Are We Afraid of Religion?

“However, the major purpose of his [Freud’s] incarnation was not neglected. He did succeed in forcing recognition of the unconscious into humanity’s calculations about itself, a step in the right direction which should not be minimized. Freud was one of the most religious men I have known recently. Unfortunately he was so afraid of religion that the only way he could deal with it was to regard it (not himself) as sick. This naturally prevented healing.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.18:1-5)

More on Freud in this quotation. So Freud was “one of the most religious men I have known recently.” That is not an evaluation that would occur to us. But it is in A Course in Miracles, the complete edition. So we ought to take it seriously.

Freud was “afraid” of religion, and so he formed a particularly negative attitude toward it. We might ask when and if we do the same. Are we afraid of these assertions, so cogent and illuminating, in A Course in Miracles? Where do we fear Jesus? Do we see him as a judgmental figure?

If we open our hearts to the man Jesus, we will see that there is nothing to fear about him. He is not lying in wait to judge us. We judge ourselves, and in the last judgment, Jesus’ brothers, the Sonship, will assist. But it is final evaluation in which we retain only what is good and true, and so there is no reason to place “hellfire” in it.

If Freud was afraid of religion, having such a good mind, then we too may be, perhaps without fully realizing it. This bodes ill, and we ought to correct it.

Spirituality is our savior from miscreations of the mind. Let the heart lead to true spirituality.

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Our Desire to Experience the Physical

“Realize that you know that it is not God who abandoned you, but you who abandoned your Self and God. Give up your desire to think that if you did such a thing there was a reason for you to have done so. How many times have you asked yourself why you would have chosen separation if there had not been a reason for you to do so? Realize that a reason has been given here and that this reason, while perfectly believable, is not one that includes a need to abandon your Self or God. Why should you be more inclined to believe that you left a para¬dise in order to live a while in a form that would cause you much suffering and strife, for the sole reason of being separate from that to which you long to return? The only alternative has seemed to be a belief in a God that would banish you from paradise for your sins. We have worked, thus far, to change your idea of a vengeful God. Now we work to change your idea of a vengeful self. For what else would such a self be?” (ACOL, T3:2.11)

Previously, I focused in this blog on the express purpose for our existence, in form, in this world. Jesus defines this as our desire to create a new means of expression, in a physical self, for new experiences that would allow the various selves to experience one another in relationship. Separation happened, but not because we “desired” separation from God. We moved too fast, tried to do too much too quickly. And in the doing of that, we made fear for ourselves, and in this fear made a self borne of fear, the ego-self. And, until recently, this had been all that most of us had ever known.

We thought God rejected us for this misstep. But this idea is far from the truth. We do not have a vengeful God. And now we need to realize that our Christ-Self is also not vengeful, though the egoic self has evidenced elements of vengeance. Our Christ-Self is in charge now, and great will be the changes that this Self will create.

There is a difference between creating and making, a difference pointed out by A Course in Miracles. Creating is meant to denote true reality, while making is the illusion in which we have been caught. Do we not see what great and good changes are ahead for us?

We did not leave paradise meaning to leave God. We were merely creating physical form to experience further. But we got ahead of ourselves. And in the separation from God that ensured, we lived in fear with a fearful self that thought that at any minute God might strike us dead, consign us to hell.

What fearful beliefs we have entertained! Surely the time for such fanciful nonsense is behind us now. Surely the time now is for a new day, a new Self, a better route—and a union with our God, and our brothers and sisters.

Prayer

There must be something very grand in this physical form, that we would leave a paradise to experience further, to express ourselves in a new and different way. Like everybody else, I made a false turn, and in the false turn made an ego-self who has caused much havoc. I would be through with this havoc. I would walk easily and peacefully with You directing every step.

Be with me today. As always I ask this. I know that You never leave me, that I am a part of You, and that means that You are closer than my breath. You are living through me. This can turn out very well when the ego-self has withered away.
I am finished with the ego-self. Help me to know this in my bones.

Amen.

Human United with Divine Creates a New State of Being

“What you are called to do is to, through your multitude, sustain Christ-consciousness, and thus create the union of the human and the divine as a new state of being. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.18)”

1 – Christ-consciousness

Keep the goal of sustaining Christ-consciousness ever before. Do not lapse into discontent if the day seems hard. On this earth there will be times of doubt. But we know the truth of Jesus’s teaching. He has made his teaching clear for us to comprehend.

2 – New Being

We are asked to have a new being, one that embodies both the human and the divine. The human and the divine has always been our birthright, but we did not know how to reach it until now, perhaps. Now we do know, and we are bade to drop uncertainties and doubts, and to walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

3 – Better Pathway

When we encompass the human and divine as one being, we will know a better pathway. We can read and pray, we can reach out to Jesus (who is always with us), and we will live a happier life. Do not despair, whatever we do. Keep in mind that we have much help, and that Jesus is the companion that we seek the most. He will never let us down.

4 – Special Day

This can be a special day in our sequence of days and nights. We can make great progress today; we can have a breakthrough. We know enough, have enough knowledge, to bring about real change, in cooperation with the Powers that be. God is with us, the Christ Spirit is with us, Jesus is with us (though we really cannot understand how). This day let us turn aside from the thought that we are guilty beings encased in a separate form that isolates us from all others. This idea is a myth, a myth of our egos. And until we realize that we are actually guiltless, we will be lost in fears and anxieties from time to time, for we think that we are disobeying God.

5 – Not Sins, Only Mistakes

We have not sinned, but have merely made correctable mistakes. This thought eliminates the attraction that sin seems to have for us, and we rush to correct the errors that we have made. Then we realize that guiltlessness is our inheritance in this world. We can remove the blocks to the awareness of love in our world, and when we love deeply, there is no room for fear and anxieties.

6 – Light

Let us walk into the light today. Let us have a new beginning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to understand today, in my innermost being, what You are asking in the union of the human and the divine. May I come closer today to sustaining this state of unity. Please be with me today when I falter and seem to fail. May I not falter and seem to fail.

Thank You for Your presence in my life always. May I know that I am a part of You. Jesus has said this, and I believe it.

Amen.

To Sustain Christ-consciousness

“To sustain Christ-consciousness in form is creation of the new. My one example life could not sustain Christ-consciousness for those who came after me but could only be an example. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.18)”

1 – Christ-consciousness

Jesus could not do it for us; he could not guarantee that Christ-consciousness would come to all of us when we ask for it. But we can learn much from his life. We can study Scripture, and thereby come to know more fully what Jesus asks of us. He asks nothing more than we accept what is ours for the taking. He asks us to realize that his way is an example life for us to follow.

2 – Jesus’s Gift

But we do not have to be crucified. That was his gift to us. He sought to show us what defenselessness would effect, and in what has happened after his life, we learn. In this lifetime, we can follow a much gentler pathway than Jesus knew, and he would have us to do so.

3 – No Discouragement

Do not be discouraged if the way seems long. We are set in the direction that we wish to travel. Flow with life; do not shrink from exploring all that life holds out to us. This does not mean to dwell in the depths of misdeeds, but to reach for what is best and right for all of us.

4 – Example Life

The example life is explained elsewhere in A Course of Love as well. Jesus makes plain that this was what he intended in his life on earth. We too can be examples for one another; we can follow an example life.

5 – Ego

If we don’t soon loose ourselves from the bonds of our ego, we won’t be in any shape to forgive the world, to offer salvation to the world that so badly needs it. We are at a crisis point in our world’s progress in time. Eckhart Tolle makes this plain. If we don’t soon awaken, our world will not survive, according to him, and he is not at all certain that in fact this world will survive.

6 – Outcome

But if we all do our part, the outcome will not be so dire. Let us seek together today to find out what that part really is, and then set about doing it. Salvation is our only function, a tenet of A Course in Miracles. If we wish to do our part, we ourselves must be saved first.

7 – God’s Will

And this is very possible, for it is completely in God’s Will for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for all the blessings that you have bestowed on me–especially these latest words from Jesus in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. They have changed my life. Thank You for this.

May we love with the love of the spirit.

May today go well. May I find what this day is to bring to others as well as to myself. May this insight come easily and peacefully.

Thank You always for being there for me. Your Voice speaks to me all through the day, in a silent inner monologue that is coming to me as my own voice as well. May this dynamic lead me to You today and always.

Amen.

Joining of Personal Self to True Self

“Have we not worked throughout this course to return your true identity to you now? The joining of heart and mind in relationship is the joining of the personal self with the true Self in the reality in which you exist now. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

1 – Theme

This passage encapsulates the primary theme of “A Treatise on the New.” We are not to look for some far-off and distant culmination for the blessing that we seek. Christ-consciousness is ready for us, here and now, if we are ready. And we can be ready. That is spoken to all who are studying A Course of Love.

2 – Failure

We will not always feel the truth of these words. We will fall down, often many times, before we know Awakening to be a constant state. These lapses should not deter us. We will find our way Home.

3 – Time

There is no time. This is an implied message of ACOL. All time, in fact, exists simultaneously, which is one of the laws of those who follow the newest findings of physics.

4 – Pathway

Do not fail to reach the pathway today. Know that lapses in understanding that happen today will fall away tomorrow. Know that the reality in which we now reside is the best place from which we can grow to the elevated Self.

5 – True Self

This quotation equates the movement from just the personal self to the elevated Self, or true Self, with the joining of mind and heart into wholeheartedness. This latter was the emphasis of the first part of A Course of Love, the original volume. When we open to our heart, we know that we do not need the proofs for ultimate reality that the mind demands, especially the mind in service to the ego. We love more deeply as well. Our heart understands and knows, at one in relationship to others in our little world. This is the “unity and relationship” that ACOL stresses so much also. We are One, and yet we are differentiated into the many, in relationship one to the other. It is a paradox that we are both the One and the many, in relationship. But it is the best way that we can come to know the ultimate reality in which we are immersed.

6 – Ego

We have been occupying a form that encompassed a small-minded version of ourselves. We are asked to enlarge our self-concepts to something much bigger. We will be rewarded when we make a transition to a greater sense of Self. It will be more than a larger personal self, which would invite fear because it would encompass a bigger ego, and bigger egos are always scary. Think of the people you have known who seemed to have big egos. Weren’t you, on some level, afraid of these individuals? And now we are recognizing that we ourselves have perhaps sometimes scared others by our own inflated egos. Now we would leave all this behind.

7 – Being

The Self that we will embody is larger and grander than any ego could imagine. And so much more completely the true Being that we are. In oneness with God, we walk into the sunshine of this world, seeking to effect salvation in those who are ready to listen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

In this Thanksgiving season, I thank You for my true identity, especially for the truth that my true identity can be known now–without tedious waiting for some distant future time.

If I find myself prone to doubt this truth, may I rethink my position, and accept Your words as true. We can know ourselves in our true identity in this world, and may we recognize this glorious truth today.

Help me navigate through this day, moving ever closer to Christ-consciousness. Remove the egoic blocks that I have to this blessing. I know that this is Your will, and now it is mine as well. We all need to move into a greater dimension of Being, there with You. Help me to make great strides to this new place, with You, today.

Amen.

We Can Be Reborn as a True Self without Dying

“To believe that you are mortal is to believe that you must die to the personal self of form in order to be reborn as a true Self. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

1 – Health

How often we lament the minor and major health problems that beset us! But ACOL would have us deemphasize these problems of form. When we are reborn as the true Self, the highs and lows of health of the form will diminish in value. We will stop focusing on such, knowing that the Self is always healthy.

2 – Death

This passage highlights a frequent misinterpretation about life after death, which A Course of Love seeks to set straight. We do not have to die to experience the rewards of Heaven. We can enjoy Heaven’s benefits in the here and now, when we have experienced the diminution of the personal self (the “little” self, as I am interpreting it) and the rise of elevated Self of form. To experience all the benefits of this new Self, we must forgive (an ACIM tenet), and we must love without reservations. We must see ourselves as well as all of our brothers and sisters as innocent, or in grace (the latter, a statement occurring once in ACIM). When we recognize that all are as God created us, then we know that our mistakes have not been unforgivable “sins,” but merely mistakes that we seek now to remedy.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

This truth will be known to us when we become involved in something bigger than our little self of form. The elevated Self knows better. May we know better today.

4 – Christ-consciousness

Abiding in the elevated Self of form can and does occur when we let go of all impediments to reach this state. This state is Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment. This state is our natural inheritance, but until recent times it has not been possible on a large scale.

5 – This World

We can believe that now it is possible on a large scale. Our world depends on it, for the world is old and worn and without hope. If we are to survive as a species, we need a new lease on life, a lease that is made possible by many thousands turning to Christ-consciousness as a way of life. This is a major tenet of Eckhart Tolle, an enlightened individual who has taught widely in our world (The Power of Now; A New Earth).

6 – God’s Action

We cannot make this decision for ourselves. We are told in A Course in Miracles that God makes the decision of when, when we are ready. But we can do some things that make the time sooner. We can let go of egoic notions about how to react in our world; we can practice the Workbook of A Course in Miracles; we can seek to forgive, really forgive, for when we come to the understandings that are imbedded in ACIM and A Course of Love, we know that our brothers and sisters have never actually done anything that has harmed us. All was done in illusion, and illusion does not really exist.

7 – Little Edges of Light / Great Rays

The way is open for many of us now. Take the next step. Affirm that you would like to be ready for Christ-consciousness. Notice the little edges of light that come to mark the world that you see. Notice if the Great Rays from the sun envelop your world. These are signposts, given us by ACIM. And we will have brief moments of Awakening that do not last. These moments reveal the end to us, and ACIM and ACOL point out the means. Revelation is given us the end, and the means are being pointed out in these remarkable volumes.

8 – Vision

Take heed of the changes that occur as we begin to see our world differently. Vision will come to us. And to us all. It is only a matter of time, and time does not really exist, being an illusion also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept my birthright as a Self that has been encased in a little form, but which I would elevate to a higher Self. Help me to forgive myself and all of my brothers and sisters today. May I know only joy as I seek to do this task of forgiveness.

I am truly a guiltless Son/Daughter of God. Once I realize this, I will know that as I seek to rectify my mistakes, they are taken from me. And then I thank You that Heaven on earth can truly be experienced, even though I don’t know how in all the particulars. Jesus has promised this in ACIM and ACOL, and I trust him as an elder brother who has walked the whole pathway back Home.

Amen.

Separating from God and All of Creation

“God always existed. But you separated yourself from direct awareness of your relationship with unity, with oneness with God, just as you separated yourself from relationship with the wholeness of the pattern of creation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.22)”

1 – Unity and Relationship

Here again is a further explanation of unity and relationship. Our unity is not, as we may have suspected, just with our brothers and sisters, but with God Himself. God is the All, and we would do well to remember this. He is deep within us, as well as present in the outside as we perceive it. He is everywhere, but still in the unity that makes Him One, not in pantheism.

2 – Direct Awareness?

We now need to reaffirm this direct awareness that we have lost. This direct awareness can be viewed as another way of describing Christ-consciousness. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that there is a way for us to be brought under his direct guidance, but that this usually entails a step that we are not yet ready to accept. Perhaps, by the time we have studied both ACIM and ACOL (and ascended to the mountain top with Jesus in the Forty Days and Forty Nights), we will be ready for this direct awareness again. May this be so. Such a joy we would know in all of our days, even the times that seem, on the surface, to be hard.

3 – Combat?

We have lived in combat with not only our brothers and sisters, but with our environment. Thankfully, as a worldwide society, we are coming to know better. The “wholeness of the pattern of creation” does include, to my way of thinking, not only our brothers and sisters, but also our environmental surroundings. We are a part of creation, and though we look upon ourselves as the crowning part of creation, it behooves us to consider other forms of life as well, along with the natural world.

4 – Oneness

“You have believed in God and perhaps in some concept of unity or oneness, but you have also denied even the possibility of experiencing your own direct relationship with God, or the possibility that your life is a direct experience of the pattern of unity or oneness that is creation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2:22)”
We can experience a direct relationship with God, though A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are ambivalent about whether or not this relationship can be outside of Awakening or Christ-consciousness. Much is said in A Course in Miracles about listening to the Holy Spirit, Who is our Guide, and Who is Universal Inspiration. And much is said in A Course of Love about listening to the Christ Self, found within the mind, and exemplified in a combination of mind and heart that embodies wholeheartedness.

5 – Illusions

It is possible that the illusion in which we exist prior to Awakening is not entered into by God, and thus we need a mediator. I don’t personally believe this, but many sincere students/teachers of A Course in Miracles do so believe.

6 – Direct Communion

Certainly, after Christ-consciousness, we commune directly with God. This much is made clear by this quotation. And we understand, once again, the unity of all creation. We are in a fortunate period indeed when we welcome Christ-consciousness into our lives. God makes the decision of when, but we can do much to be ready. Actually it is the Holy Spirit Who does the “much,” because it is said in ACIM that we have to do little, just show a “little willingness.”

7 – God

Whatever the truth of our relationship to God, certainly He has not left us bereft. He is with us in spirit or in actuality.

8 – Rest Easy

And with this assurance, we can rest easy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help me to rejoin You, my brothers and sisters, and to adopt a friendly relationships with my environment in this world. I would not have separation anymore. You can effect this change in me. I ask for it now.

Thank you for your support, emotionally and in other ways, as I have sought to walk alone in this world. I would leave that way of being behind today, as I walk with You every step of the way.

Amen.

Finding Inner Vision

1 – Day 27

“You have been asked to let go of uncertainty, not certainty. You have been assured of a certainty you never before believed you were capable of. This certainty is beginning to form within you but will not come into its fullness except through experience. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

2 – Guidance

We will reach certainty about what we say and do only when we have consistently followed guidance. This can be hard to do, especially when we are having a bad day, when we are overwrought, or when we are being stubborn. We may rebel against the intuitive nudges that come to us. And rebelling is never a good idea.

3 – Uncertainty

We need to let go of uncertainty. We need to walk surely and easily in this world. And we will when we let the Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles says) or the Christ Self, within (as A Course of Love says) take precedence in our lives. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is our best guidance, we have not yet moved into the time of Christ. And this is OK. Many enlightened people still depend on the Holy Spirit.

4 – Holy Spirit

There is an implication in ACOL that the world’s people will have to “grow out of” the time of the Holy Spirit. We who were born in the time of the Holy Spirit will, in the natural course, leave this world. And then all people in the Twentieth-First Century will have been born in the time of Christ. This may or may not make any difference to us, but it will make a huge difference in the way that the world works. We need to contemplate moving into the time of Christ, asking our inner guidance if we are ready for this.

5 – Certainty

To reach certainty is to be consistently following guidance. Of course, I believe that the Holy Spirit knows on any given day whether or not we will be rebellious. And He tailors His guidance appropriately. We can’t fool Him, though we can fool ourselves.

6 – External Life

“Experiencing life without the insight of spirit was to experience external life. . . .Most of you have had well-examined external lives. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

7 – Well-Examined

All of us lived for years, probably, without benefit of the Holy Spirit, or the inner spirit. We didn’t know any other way to live. But we analyzed our lives quite a bit, especially when we embarked on the spiritual pathway. That leads to the “well-examined external lives” that Jesus speaks of here.

8 – Decisions

We have previously been experiencing external life, making decisions that would fall in line with what we were experiencing externally. Now the time is ripe to look within before making decisions. The inner life prompts much better, and we start having a rich internally-focused life. The life that we live will smooth out accordingly.

9 – Coming to Know

“Coming to know if not an aspect of the mind alone. It is not an aspect of the spirit alone. Coming to know is a quality of inner-sight, of wholehearted human experience combined with spiritual experience. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

10 – Inner-Sight

We want to know, of course—all of us. And we will really know only when we have inner-sight, experiencing the world while living with the spiritual understandings that we have come to have through experience. Here Jesus is talking about combining the mind and heart to be wholehearted in experience. This was a major emphasis of the first volume of A Course of Love.

11 – Internal and External

“To be able to hold onto, apprehend, and carry with you the ability to experience both levels of experience, the internal and the external, the form and the content, the human and the divine, is to elevate the self of form, or, in other words, to be what you have always been: Whole. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

12 – Elevated Self of form

A central theme in ACOL, the elevated Self of form is what Jesus wants for all of us, the elevated Self of form sustained. Many have had glimpses of this Awakening, but Jesus says in ACOL that nobody has sustained this. And he needs sustaining. We can reach the sustenance of Christ-consciousness if we refrain from judging and if we lose all fear (from the Treatise on the New). A tall order, but easy if we have the grace from God that calls these traits forth.

13 – Judging and Fear

Certainly returning judgment and fearful thoughts will both abort the Awakening experience. How do we live without judgment and in a relaxed state that eliminates fear and anxiety?

14 – What We Do

Just being aware of the pitfalls will make a huge difference. But grace is the Answer to completely foiling these negative states of mind and heart. God’s grace in our lives. And we cannot totally control this, even though we know that His Will for us is Christ-consciousness, a sustained, elevated Self of physical form in this world. Knowing that the natural state of human beings is Awakening helps a great deal. When Christ-consciousness comes, we are not doing anything special, but are merely moving into the realm that has always been there for us.

15 – Life

“Life, your humanity, is the variability. Spirit, your oneness, is the constant. Life is oneness extended into separation and variability through experience. The elevated Self of form will be the expression of new life lived within the constant of wholeness but continuing to experience the variability of separation. This is what you practice as you gather on the mountain top while remaining on level ground. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 200)”

16 – Apprehension

The apprehension of which Day Twenty Seven speak is not an apprehension of fearfulness, but a comprehension, an apprehension, of life itself. We are asked to reach for life itself in all its variability. We seek for variability through wholeness. This is actually more familiar to us now than we realize, because in studying ACOL from the mountain top, while simultaneously remaining in our daily world, we have been experiencing two levels at once. This is the basic reason why we were asked to go to the mountain top while not removing ourselves from daily life.

17 – Wholeheartedness

We experienced external life for many years in out past without the benefit of spirit. Now we are beyond such evidence of limitedness. We are experiencing life through the spirit as well as the mind. We are experiencing the wholeheartedness that is the hallmark of A Course of Love.

18 – Whole

To experience the human and the divine simultaneously is to be what we have actually always been: Whole. This is leading to the sustaining of the elevated Self of form, a basic tenet of ACOL. We are heading toward an experience of variability within wholeness rather than within separation. The biggest revelations are ahead of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I welcome the chance to experience both my humanity as well as my spirit. This is a new contribution of A Course of Love, and I find this concept enchanting.

May I learn in this period of 40 Days and 40 Nights all that the “mountain top” experience is meant to hold out to me. Be with me as I seek. Help me to learn through thoughts that I do not think, even as this trilogy that is A Course of Love has encouraged learning to cease, and observation and experience to continue as I walk further along my personal pathway..

Thank You for the many blessings that this day has brought to me. Help me to forgive myself for the mistakes that I have brought to this lovely day of Yours. I know that You don’t need to forgive, because You have never condemned. But I need to realize, once again, that I am very fallible, and that regardless of good intentions, I do sometimes stumble and fall—as I did earlier today. I would begin again, start the day over. And I know that Jesus would say that this is entirely possible, for he has pointed out the way for starting the day over in A Course in Miracles.

Thank You for these blessings of ACIM and ACOL. We need so much to learn what Jesus has been trying to get across to us. We need to heed his words, to walk into the sunlight with him.

Amen.

We Are Never Alone

1 – Day 22

“You are life, and you are also surrounded by living forces channeling to you constantly. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

2 – The Other Side

We are not alone, ever. Not only is God with us constantly, but we have channeled help from what many call the “Other Side.” The next time you are in need, think on this. And the day will brighten.

3 – Channels

Day Twenty Two makes clear that all of us are channels to the unknown. We choose that which we express. The channeling goes on all the time. What each person expresses is unique to that individual. Each person can bring forth only that which is expressly his or hers to bring forth.

4 – Choices

Every choice is a mean of channeling. This makes clear the closeness of our world to other worlds beyond us. We are not, however, simply intermediaries between our world and other worlds. The channeling which we express would come into being only by our own choice, our own means of expression.

5 – God

We can know God better in this unique way. We can, through channeling, through expression of the unknown as we come to see it, make known the love of God to individuals in this world. When we do this, we are making known love in its purest form.

6 – Union

“It is clear, when looked at in terms of process, that there is no intermediary function involved in channeling, but a function of union. This is the very function that you have waited to have revealed to you, the function you have known you are here to fulfill, the function of direct union with God. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

7 – Innermost Being

This quotation lets us know that God channels directly to us from our innermost being, our Being. He is One with us at all times. And we can call on this inner help when outer troubles threaten to overcome us. Do so now. Let the warmth of God’s love envelope you with a softness and a gentleness that maybe you have forgotten in the harshness of this world. Know that God cares, the innermost Being of yourself. You are never, never alone.

8 – Darkest Hours

So when we are in union with God, we channel His messages just all the time. We have to listen, though, for otherwise the personal self will engulf us and let us feel that we are all alone. Don’t let this egoic self rise again. The egoic self is over. But we can seem to flounder if we don’t turn within for assistance in our darkest hours.

9 – World

And these hours will come to us, still. We may mostly know happiness, but the world is still with us, and the world is a place of meanness and hostility, if we let it be that to us. The world can also be a place of loving care, especially when we reach out for help that is needed.

10 – Turn Within and Without

So: we turn within and we turn without. We know that there is no “other” self, that all of us are joined. Sometimes the Word of God comes to us in the message of another. Sometimes in a song heard on the radio. Sometimes in a song heard in our heads. It matters not from what Source we get God; but get Him we must, if we are to be happy.

11 – Let God Reach Us

We must be channels for God to reach us.

12 – Union

“You will feel as if you will burst if you cannot share the union that you touch when you fulfill your function of direct union with God. How do you let it pass through you to the world?

13 – Live Love

“The most simple, direct, and uncomplicated answer is that of living love. The simple answer is that you must express the unknown that you have touched, experienced, sensed, or felt with such intimacy that it is known to you because the knowing becomes real in the making known. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

14 – Happiness

This shows us that living love is the only way to have happiness in this world. Even when all the world seems bent against us—for that is a fallacy. The world will only seem as hostile as our own minds are seeming at the time. If we soften, the world will soften. And birds will sing again in our little world.

15 – Alexandra Stoddard

Alexandria Stoddard, the interior decorator, has a series of books that intimate how loving has been the relationship that she has shared with her husband Peter. The books are a great inspiration, for if one keeps mind and heart in the right place, the relationships with which one is blessed will also remain in the right place.

16 – God’s Presence

If we wish to be in direct union with God, we have only to invite His Presence into our minds and hearts. We will feel alienated when hurt or angry, and His Word will be impossible to hear.

17 – Attune to God

Let your minds and hearts attune now to God. Let Him speak to you in great simplicity. He is there, waiting to be asked. He will bring you home, in salvation to remain. He would have us sustain the elevated Self of form.

18 – Love

“You realize that you have known a place where nothing but love exists, where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

19 – Heaven

The quotation is apt. We do realize, however dimly, that there is a Heaven where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. And we can indeed have this Heaven on earth. It takes attentiveness to others, the direct manifestation of love in action. And when we have been inattentive, we know it and we suffer. But we can turn things aright by just the awesome power of our minds, which is God’s Source. We need to be in union with God to have a good life, to be separated (even in illusion) from Him no longer

20 – Heaven on Earth

We can create this Heaven on earth. We can use the power of our minds, in league with God, to do so. And prayers such as these are completely within His Will, and completely within His power to create.

21 – Time

Pay attention to the following quotation: “It is time to be a channel for the awareness of union with God that exists in every living thing. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

22 – Christ-consciousness

“The awareness is what we have been calling Christ-consciousness, but what you call it now matters not. All the words that have been expressed here, that say so many similar things in so many different ways, are words that are simply calling you to realization of your union with God and to the new world you can create once you accept and make real this union. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

23 – New World

Would we not want to create a new world? Would we all want Christ-consciousness, Awakening, enlightenment? Yes, of course. All of us.

24 – Awareness of Union

We need to realize that we are already one with God, and we need now to be aware of this union. That is the only thing standing between us and Christ-consciousness. Awareness of union.

24 – We Try

We try so hard. And we fall on our faces. But God sees our feeble attempts and our frantic attempts as well. And He smiles at us, and says, “Take it easy. There is nothing here that I can’t handle. All is well.” And if we relax in the goodness of His love, we feel a peace that is not of this world. We know joy in the midst of pain. And our moments of pain shrink as we stand watching them.

24 – Union

Union. Awareness of union. Keep that in the forefront of your mind. And you will create a new world, despite yourself.

25 – Feeling

“Remember only the feeling that a place of union exists in which you know God, in which you know love, in which you know of joy without sorrow, and life everlasting. This is the great unknown that you can make known. (Dialogues of a Course of Love, Day 22)”

26 – Bliss

We can know such bliss when we are intimately connected to God. We don’t have to struggle anymore to “understand.” We just rest in awareness that He is present, and that He is handling everything that we don’t know how to handle.

27 – Cease Struggling

Cease struggling. Come into God’s Arms with certainty that there alone is where He would have you be.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be aware, constantly, of the impact of an unseen world on my own personal surroundings as well as this world in general. Thank You for the clear statement of this great boon. We are never alone. Forces from beyond reach out to us and comfort us.

Thank You.

May I discern wisely the channeling that comes to me. A Course of Love does not say that we have to discern spirits, but through the years I have believed that. Be with me as I assimilate the new insight of ACOL, and if I must discern spirits, please guide me rightly in this endeavor.

Amen.

Life Is a Channel

1 – Day 21

“The first transition. . .is about a letting go of any of the ideas that you may still have that an outside source exists. There is no such thing as an outside source. There are no outside sources of wisdom, guidance, or even information.

2 – There Is No World

We cannot reach outside ourselves for wisdom; we can only incorporate what resonates with the inner Self. If we try to reach outside ourselves, we are really just experiencing the larger Self, for we are all One. Jerry is a part of You; you are a part of Beverly. All is One. And All is God. So reaching outside is absolutely not possible. Why, then, do we not take the next right and realize that it is only wisdom from within, that we have assimilated unto ourselves, that will save us?

3 – Learning

We are still trying, albeit less often, to listen to the teachings of others and thus to “learn.” But Jesus has said that the time of this type of learning is over. We can still receive inspiration from others, but to take another’s word for something that you haven’t experienced is the most tremendous folly. We can be inspired by this person’s story, but it is our own experience that saves us.

4 – Don’t Always Listen

Don’t listen to any exterior words unless they form a resonating cord in your own heart. Don’t take unto yourself anything that another says that sounds foreign to you, to Your Self. For you will try to absorb amiss. It is only your own Self Who can make decisions about your future course of action. Only your Self knows what is right for you.

5 – Pattern of Learning

“This was true even within the pattern of learning you have been familiar with, for in order to learn, the source of wisdom, even though you may have seen it as existing outside of yourself, had to function as what it was—a channel through which the wisdom, guidance or information moved. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

6 – Time of Learning

This quotation says that even in the time of learning, when we listened intently to what others said to us, we still did function only to absorb that which was meaningful within our own experience. Unless we were coerced, and this rarely happened except in childhood, we were bent on adapting our way to others’ ways that seems close to what we were coming to believe. If the words made no sense to us, we dismissed them out of hand. We did not waste our time trying to absorb the message if it seemed foreign to our experience.

7 – Wisdom / Guidance / Information

We were letting wisdom, guidance, and information flow into ourselves, though we did not yet know that there was an inner Self Who sought to guide us. If we were following A Course in Miracles, we were listening solely to the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration. And we were well led.

8 – Holy Spirit

But still we listened to God, for the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. And this similitude was not lost on us. We longed to have a Hearer in God, in the Holy Spirit, and Jesus himself had promised us that he would hold our hand as we walked along. So Christ was present, too, even before we knew that we partake of the Christ.

9 – A Channel

“You realize now that life itself is a channel and that you are constantly receiving. You still perhaps think in terms of receiving meaning that there is something given from a source beyond the self, but this is the ‘thought’ that has to change. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

10 – Nothing Outside You

There is nothing outside you (from A Course in Miracles). This is why we don’t receive anything that is outside, for there is nothing outside.

11 – Theology

This is theology, and it may be hard to accept. But lean a while into the concept, and see if it doesn’t make sense in view of the fact that we see God as One, as the Whole, as the All. We are part of that All. We are a hologram that contains the whole in each part. And each part can receive meaning from the Whole at any time.

12 – Union

“No intermediary is needed when you exist in union. It is recognized that the knowledge, wisdom, guidance, or information that is needed each moment is available within each moment and that the interaction, rather than being one of taking something from an outside source into the self where it is learned and then regurgitated or even applied, has given way to an interaction that begins within and extends outward. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 186)”

13 – External Sources

Day Twenty One elaborates upon the previous day’s commentary. We are led to understand more completely that we cannot rely upon external sources for the truth. We are led to realize that we cannot even rely upon Jesus to impart the truth to us. We must reach inward, and in dialogue with the Self that is the All of us, we will come to know. This will not be an external seeking, but an internal transition to relying on the Self.

14 – Jesus

Jesus is preparing us to cease thinking of him as our teacher. He has said in these commentaries that he is our companion, but he is resigning as our teacher. We are not to look outside ourselves for the answers, but to turn inward. Ideas such as these are reiterated throughout the Forty Days and Forty Nights.

15 – Giving and Receiving

Life itself is a channel, and we are constantly both receiving and giving. There is nothing channeled to one that is not always available to all others. Teacher and learner are equal, an idea that was presented in A Course in Miracles; in ACIM, though, it was said that only time separated the teacher from the learner, because the teacher temporarily knew more, and was therefore in a position to help. In these concluding chapters to A Course of Love, we are led to realize that time no longer separates the teacher from the learner. We have walked farther along the pathway. We are assuming Christ-consciousness for ourselves.

16 – Mountain Top

“You began your mountain top experience with a companion who had offered himself as a teacher in order to bring you to the place of being willing to accept that a teacher was not needed. He joined you on the mountain top in order to prepare you for his departure, a departure from reliance upon him that would allow you to arrive at reliance upon yourself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

17 – Bottom Line

This is the bottom line of what Jesus has been trying to tell us in the Dialogues. He is not the teacher anymore; he is an equal who seeks to be received as a companion. We don’t look to him in the same way that traditional Christianity looked to Jesus, because we have moved beyond this understanding. Jesus is still very much a part of our faith, and he is still our leader, but his responses to us are not predicated on his knowing a great deal more than we can come to know ourselves.

18 – Self

We need to rely on Self, but in that Self is the Whole. So there is no need to stop praying; we need prayer to God, even though we know that we are God, as blasphemous as that may sound on first reading. We don’t have the union with all that God has, but we do have a relationship with those outside of our bodies. Their minds are, though, joined with ours, and together we walk to home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassurance that I have come farther along on the pathway, and that union with the Self that I am will answer my questions. I want to be in union with You. I do not want separation any longer. Help me to know union with You.

I do what I can. I don’t always do the right things, but I do try. All of us do try. Help my brothers and sisters to walk aright this day, and please help me. May this day go well in all particulars. Be with me as I walk through this day. Help me to make the right decisions, the ones that are in Your Will. Don’t let me go off on tangents, making decisions that aren’t appropriate to the situation. May I read Your desires accurately today, for I know that Your Will and my real will are identical.

Thank You for the spectacular promise of this day. I do not have to rely on external sources, but I only need to turn inward to You and the Self that I am.

Amen.

Beauty / Truth / Wisdom — God’s Gifts

1 – Day 20

“You have realized now your relationship with the unknown and ceased to fear it. You are, perhaps, even eager now, to move beyond the known to the unknown. . . .

“This is the first transition, the transition in which you really ‘get it’ that the unknown cannot be taught, laid out on a map, or shown to you by another. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

2 – Teaching?

We cannot teach another what is buried deep within our hearts. Only our Self can accurately guide us in this life.

3 – Mentors

Oh, we have tried other things. We have listened to mentors, we have read—in all ways we have sought to learn from the teachings of others. But in this time of Christ we need to stop reaching out to others for the riddle of our lives; we need to realize that deep within are the Answers. So we get quiet, and we listen.

4 – Meditations

Now, meditations written by others may still help. They serve to anchor us, though, still deeper within ourselves. These meditations only remind us of what we have forgotten. They do not point out the road on which we ought to travel. Or, if we try to make them point out that road, we use those meditations in the wrong way. If we follow a path that has been laid out by another, we go nowhere—for each individual has a unique path. This point is well made by Joseph Campbell and is related in a book entitled, “Companion to Joseph Campbell.” The book blends oral comments from Joseph in a seminar of some time at Esalen, with quotations from Joseph’s work. And Joseph says just this—if we follow the path that has been followed by another, we go nowhere. Joseph also says, tellingly, that if follow our bliss, doors will open that have been closed before, and doors that would be closed for anyone else. So listen to your Inner Wisdom (a phrase used by an enlightened friend of mine), dialogue with your Inner Wisdom, and you will come out all right—not alright, for ALL right.

5 – We Receive

“What has happened here is that words have been put on the feelings and remembrances that you have within your minds and hearts and have been sharing in this dialogue. The way of saying this perhaps is new, but the way of saying this is the expression of the human being receiving it. The way in which you are hearing and responding to these truths is perhaps new, but that way too is of the human being receiving it, in this case, you. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 183)”

6 – Learning

We have long depended on learning, on our minds, to live as comfortably as possible in this world. Day Twenty clarifies that we cannot learn the truth that way, the unknown cannot be taught. We know intuitively, and have always known intuitively, the truth of our being, the unknowns for which we have sought externally for solutions.

7 – Transitions

The first transition ends when we realize that we are in a state of transition, the state of knowing that we cannot learn anything, that we have always held internally the truths of which we are becoming aware. The more we turn inward, the more we will know these truths. Our minds are not the way; our hearts are. Thus we are at the true end of learning.

8 – Level Ground

We are preparing here, at the halfway point of our Forty Days and Forty Nights, to return to level ground, to leave the mountain top. We will be different people when we have returned to level ground. We will know the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the one Self, the Self that we share with all our brothers and sisters.

9 – Truth

“The truth is the truth. It doesn’t change. It is the same for everyone.

“What, then, is the unknown? The reception and expression of truth.

“This is why you can ‘know’ while always coming to know. . . .The only thing there is to know is the One Self in its many expressions. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

10 – Paths

The “truth” that is same for everyone is not the same as the path that someone will take in life. We all take different paths, but if we are to stay on that pathway, we need the same truths that speak to all of our brothers and sisters. We need authoritative truth, not subjective. We need to hear from someone like Jesus—and here he is speaking to us as an equal, a companion on our trek to the mountain top with him, leading to Christ-consciousness.

11 – Surrender

Surrender is an important component of arriving at Christ-consciousness. It is not within us to know the place nor the time that God appoints. This is a paraphrase from the New Testament in regard to the coming of the Kingdom of God, Heaven on earth. And what will we have in Christ-consciousness but the Kingdom of God, Heaven on earth. Nothing. We are walking to fulfillment as a Christ Self, allowing that inner Self to blossom and become obvious to ourselves and all around us.

12 – Timing

It is not hard, but it does take surrender to God’s timing, for He makes the decision about when.

13 – Preparation

Are there things that we can do to prepare? Yes, or A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love would never have been channeled. The ultimate purpose of both is to see us awaken. Jesus says in ACIM that revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there, the means are needed. And he continues, that the means are being carefully explained to us. That is A Course in Miracles, the means.

14 – Struggle

I think that it is likely that Jesus saw many of struggling, once we knew that the ego was a bad thing, meant to be eliminated for our lives. How do we replace it with something? And so I think that Jesus had unfinished business with us, he recognized this, and, accordingly, as the new century dawned, he channeled A Course of Love to Mari. Just as he had channeled A Course in Miracles to Helen. There are other books available, many others, believed by their scribes to be channeled by Jesus in this new age. I do not judge these books. We find truth, sometimes wherever we look. But my way to a culmination is A Course of Love, just as my way was (and is) A Course in Miracles. And, as Jesus says about ACIM, why choose some other way that has served others well when this one is intended for you (for me). Yes, we need to realize that there are many pathways to God, and there is a different course for every teacher of God (the latter a paraphrase from the Manual of ACIM).

15 – Beauty, Truth, and Wisdom

“In other words, all the truth and all the wisdom that is available but unknown to you, takes you to make it known. And if this is the only way that the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the One Self can be made known, then you are the source and the power of coming to know and making known. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

16 – Beautiful Passage

This is an especially beautiful passage (as are many passages of particular beauty in A Course of Love). We are a source of coming to know for ourselves; we do not first seek outside ourselves. We are deliberately told not to seek outside ourselves by A Course in Miracles.

17 – Seeking

But isn’t outside seeking what we have been doing so often? We don’t just look on others’ writings as meditative, inspirational reading; we seek in them the ultimate answers to the ultimate questions. And we will not find such there, for such can only be found within. We can prepare, we can learn—but now is a time of rest, a time of reflection, a time of ultimately coming to know from our inner Christ Self. We are prepared. We may (and we do) still have flaws of personality, but we are “all right.” We accept ourselves the way that we are, or we decide that we don’t like a given personality trait, and so we just quietly turn aside from it. (Note that we don’t resist, which would tie the trait to ourselves all the stronger.)

18 – Gifts

So: beauty, truth, wisdom. These are gifts of the Christ Self Who is within all. We can know these gifts today. We do not have to wait. Just ask. For what we ask is in strict accordance with the Will of God, and if we have a little faith, a tiny faith that He will answer, indeed He will answer. Just first ask, politely and with love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It seems to me that You are teaching me that I have always known intuitively what is just now becoming clear to me. How foolish I have been! I have put more faith in what others have told me than in what I knew internally.

I ask for Your guidance, and the will to follow that guidance, today. I will never have done all that I can do to prepare for Awakening if I refuse, out of stubbornness and recalcitrance, to follow your Way. The Way that You point out to me. Sometimes I do feel stubborn, but if I follow Your Way, as it is pointed out to me by guidance, as soon as I can relinquish resistance, all will have returned to the right track. Just follow as soon as I can. With willingness and abundant joy, for joy is the hallmark that I am in the flow of my day. My day has flow when I follow guidance, and I chafe against illusory binding when I resist Your Way. How foolish would I be today? I choose not to lead a foolish life, not to see that foolishness in my thoughts, words, and actions today. I do want flow, and the only way that I can have it is to surrender to Your guidance as I comprehend that guidance. It is not hard, when the day has started right. And if the day starts wrong, I can start again. The path is both gentle and kind. And especially loving, for it is Your Way, which is always and ever loving.

Perhaps I needed to learn from others. But now You are teaching me to rely on the inner Word that You have place in my heart. May I rest in the comfort of this concept.

Amen.

Living the Way of Mary

1 – Day 19

“Those of you who are the forerunners of the way of Mary may have felt confusion over your sense of calling. You know you are called to something, and something important, but it does not have a form within your mind and so you see not how it can become manifest in the world. In other words, you know not what to do. You perhaps see no ‘specific’ accomplishment in your future, but see instead a way of living as the ultimate accomplishment. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 19)”

2 – Way of Living

A way living is the ultimate way of Mary; it is not achieving, out in the world, as doers have done in the way of Jesus. This becomes a reflective way of life, a way of relationship, often in the family, and is sometimes understood, perhaps, by women more so than by men. This is according to the stereotype of how women have been viewed in a patriarchal society. And in the new world, men and women both will be far more likely just to live, just to live in relationship, than to try to achieve, even if that achievement is ego-less.

3 – Comforting

This way is a comforting way, this way of Mary. It is a very loving way, this way of relationship. We move in circles that are near to us; we heal each other in ways that are impossible if one is out in the world trying to make a mark, to actively change the world for the better.

4 – Change Happens from Within

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both emphasize that change of the world happens only when we first see an inward change. We change amiss when we attempt to overturn the old order by force of external means. We change what we perceive, and then we change what we know, and in the doing, we change quite a bit in the outside world. Even followers in Mary’s tradition will change quite a bit in the outside world, but it will be a by-product of that change that happens closer to home, closer to the heart.

5 – Contented

“Being content is being fulfilled by the way in which you express who you are—by the way you express your content—your wholeness. Those who use their gifts to create the truth they see are those who in ‘doing’ find their way to true contentment and true creation. . . .Those called to the way of Mary are called to be what they want to see reflected in the world and to the realization that this reflection is the new way of creation. In their being they become what they want to create. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 19)”

6 – Becoming

Those of the way of Mary are in the midst of “becoming” a being whom they want to create. In their Selves they embody change. If one first becomes something that is actually desired in the outside world, we truly make a change over which we have some control. We can always change our own selves. And in the changing does the world itself change as well.

7 – Being

We rest content when our very being has been transformed, and if the way of Mary is our way, then this is what we are about.

8 – Interaction

“The way of Mary is not a place or state of non-interaction however. This is not the state or place of the monks, nuns, or the contemplatives of old. It is not solitary nor isolated, nor confined to a specific community. It is a way of existence in which relationship is paramount. It is not listening to a calling to ‘do’ but a calling to ‘become.’ (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 180)”

9 – Relationships

Relationships do matter a great deal. And when we are following Mary’s way, we major in relationships. They are our focus, they are our reason for living. Cannot we see that women have historically played this role, even when the ego was the dominant inner force?

10 – Rest

There is rest in the way of Mary. We no longer try to change anybody or anything that is outside of us, unless that change happens naturally through our interaction with them. We aren’t trying to a role model for anyone; we are just “being.” We are not “doing” in the active way that Jesus was doing. His example life is not called for by those who follow Mary.

11 – Not “Doing”

The way of Mary is not a “doing” so much as a way of “being.” This does not mean that doing will be absent from our brothers and sisters who follow Mary’s way, but their primary mode of living will be in relationships. They will not always be as known by our world as those who are actively doing. But they will not dwell in obscurity. As we fulfill the obligations and mission for which we live in the world, we will naturally move more toward being rather than doing.

12 – All

Eventually all will follow the way of Mary. This may be hard for us to understand at this time in our history, when there is so much that we perceive as “wrong” with this world. But as we all learn to “be” rather than to try (sometimes misguidedly) to “do,” then we will see that no change is lasting that does not include an internal change. This is a largely unexpressed but implicit tenet of Jesus in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

13 – Anchors

Both Jesus and Mary are anchors in this time of transition. Both ways–doing and being–are needed as we seek to bring to our world a new, transformed world.

14 – Acclaim

“This is not to say that those called to the way of Jesus will find acclaim and those called to the way of Mary will find obscurity. Many called to the way of Mary will ‘do’ much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being rather than a means of facilitating that way of being. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 19)”

15 – In Relationship

So we live, first of all, in relationship when we are called to the way of Mary. And we may find acclaim, but it is no longer foremost to us, even when we are outside the realm of the ego. We don’t have to “do” to achieve our purpose in life; we just “are.”

16 – Way of Jesus

“Without those pursuing the way of Jesus, those pursuing the way of Mary would have a much more difficult task. There would be little space in which to anchor the new. Those following the way of Jesus create the openness of the spacious Selves who allow for the anchors of the new to be cast and thus to ride out the many storms of this time of transition. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 19)”

17 – New Age

Those of the way of Jesus have paved the way for the new age, those who will follow in the way of Mary. Someone needed to actively work in the world to bring about change—by setting an example, and, earlier, by teaching and learning. Now those goals have been achieved, and many of the way of Mary have gained much from the accomplishment. Now the time is ripe for simply “being,” no longer out in the world creating a new order.

18 – New Order

Yet the way of Jesus, the new order, needed to be achieved, to give the Marys of the world a place to rest content. Now those of the way of Mary can walk serenely in a world that did not exist a few years ago. It exists now, for a few followers of Mary—and more followers of Mary will come in the years henceforth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have spent most of my life “doing”–sometimes in a feverish pace. I am so relieved that Jesus does not ask me to “do” compulsively any longer. Thank You for the words that indicate that “being” in relationships is also a good thing. Help me to truly understand the way of Mary.

As I balance the way of Jesus–the doing–with the way of Mary–the being–may I have Your constant support. I cannot live well in this world without Your guidance every step of the way. Thank You.

Amen.

Christ-consciousness Is the Awareness that God Is Everything

1 – Creation

“Just as the creation story had to start somewhere—so you had to start somewhere. . . . Thus there must be a difference between life-consciousness and Christ-consciousness, since you have been life-conscious without being Christ-conscious. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

2 – Eternity

We have been in eternity for a very long time. There is no way to recall when we were separated from God in illusion. After this happened, we were conscious of life, but no longer of union, no longer of Christ-consciousness. And no longer did we see God as our Friend. The die was cast; we were outside of the Garden of Eden.

3 – Life-conscious

We have thus been life-conscious. Now we seek to become Christ-conscious, though this is not totally in our control. God, as Union, makes this decision. But we are part of God. God is everywhere, and everything. He is the All, the One, the union that we seek to experience now.

4 – Christ-consciousness – a Definition

“You have been told Christ-consciousness is neither God nor man but the relationship that allows the awareness that God is everything. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

5 – Who We Are

This quotation gives a definition of Christ-consciousness that will aid our discovery and recreation of Who we are. We have a relationship with God, when we have reached Christ-consciousness, that is different from the egoic state of mind. We are living in wholeheartedness, a union of mind and heart that Jesus described in A Course of Love’s original volume.

6 – God

Do we really believe that God is everything? Do we really believe this? Let us entertain the possibility that the earth, indeed the universe, is not God’s handiwork, but, so to speak, His Body. Out of what would He create, if not from Himself? Try to open your mind a little to encompass this great idea. The idea will tease you out of thought, get you out of your mind. And knowing that this Body of God is Love personified, we can rest easy. We do not have to have primordial fears.

7 – The “I Am”

“Christ is the ‘I Am’ of God, the expression of ‘I Am’ in form, the animator and the animated, the informer and the informed, the movement, being, and expression of creation. Christ is that which anointed form with the ‘I Am’ of God. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

8 – Elevated Self of Form

Here we are verging into the “elevated Self of form.” This phrase, so far as I know, is unique to A Course of Love. Only A Course of Love comes up in a Google search, and the phrase is used only in my own blog. So we see that in A Course of Love, Jesus is not negating the body, but elevating it to something better than it has ever been. We will still be physical, on this earth and in this world, but everything else will have changed in Christ-consciousness.

9 – Physical Form

To think that form, physical form, was anointed the “I Am” of God in the elevated Self of form is a gigantic statement, a truly momentous choice to make in this world.

10 – Drive

“What is the drive that kept you reading the Course, caused you to enter this dialogue, kept you examining, kept you attempting to move beyond learning to a new means of knowing? Christ-consciousness. This is why it was said in the beginning pages of the Course that the Christ in you was the learner. The Christ in you is what was created to inspire movement beyond simple awareness to knowing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

11 – Christ

The Christ in us is apparently present in embryo form long before we are gifted with Christ-consciousness. The Self that is Christ has always been within; God has always been there. We may be aware, in an intellectual sense, that Christ is within, but this awareness will soon move to knowing, which is a much bigger concept.

12 – Knowing

Knowing is comforting. It is beyond perception, which is our normal mode of operating with the outside world. When we know something, we are certain in a way that no other kind of awareness can give us. We don’t need proof when we know. Jung was once quoted as saying that he knew that God existed: “I don’t think, I know.” Certainly he was a mystic as well as an intellectual, and his word does help us to realize that men of great intellect are not dissuaded from belief by intellectual doubts, at least not always.

13 – Study

So it has been the Christ within Who has led us to study diligently A Course of Love. We might extrapolate from that that the Christ within also led us to study diligently A Course in Miracles. We have not been walking in the dark. Christ, our real Self, has been influencing us all along. A great comfort to realize.

14 – Challenged Patterns of Learning

“There have always been individuals who challenged the predominant patterns of learning because of the strength of their connection to Christ-consciousness. While no one has more access to Christ-consciousness than another, some exhibited more willingness to let that consciousness be their guiding force—that by which their being gained movement and expression. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

15 – Inner Direction

The more inner-directed among us have allowed their inner Christ to have full influence on them. These are individuals who are not peer-pressured to the same extent as others of us. And many of us move to inner direction when we realize that inner direction is the only thing that can take us home in God.

16 – Jesus

Leaders in the spiritual realm have been pioneers in following the Christ within. And sometimes they suffered for it, Jesus of course being the most obvious example.

17 – Access

So we all have the same access, but not all listened to this access to the same extent. Not all heard what the Christ Self was trying to say.

18 – Time of Christ

“What Jesus represented or demonstrated has now been realized, which is why this is called the time of Christ. The ‘time’ of Christ, whom so many associate with Jesus Christ, represents the ‘time’ of fulfillment of the way of Jesus. What could be taught and learned has been taught and learned. Now it is time to move beyond what could be taught and learned to what can only be realized through relationship. Now is the time of the final revelation of what can be realized, or made real, through following the example life of Jesus. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

19 – Time of Learning

We have been in a time of learning, a time that emphasized the mind. As we move into Christ-consciousness, we are bade to come into knowing. The mind and its learning have fulfilled their time. We are now to move into the sustaining of Christ-consciousness, rather than simply the maintenance of this state intermittently.

20 – Acceptance

The way of Jesus was acceptance, and the realization of an example life. It was Christ-consciousness through teaching and learning. Now we are coming into a different form of Christ-consciousness, through relationship, which is exemplified in the life of Mary, his mother. We have “learned” all that we can; we are encouraged now to live with our feelings in relationships. We will truly “know.” And this knowing is beyond needing proof of any kind. It is the fulfillment of all that the sustaining of Christ-consciousness can offer to us.

21 – Mary

“Christ-consciousness was represented not only by Jesus, but by his mother, Mary. Mary, like Jesus, realized full Christ-consciousness and full expression of Christ-consciousness in form. Each did so in individual ways, ways that revealed the choices available to those who would follow them. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

22 – Relationship

Day Seventeen affirms that Mary also realized Christ-consciousness. But as Jesus accepted, and was an example life, Mary taught through relationship. And it is this time of relationships in which we find ourselves now. The final paragraph in this chapter begins, “Thus we enter the ending stage of what can be realized through fulfillment of the way of Jesus and the beginning of the fulfillment of the way of Mary.”

23 – Christ-consciousness in Mary

We learn that Mary also realized Christ-consciousness. We learn also that the example life of Jesus was one of “doing,” and that Mary’s life was one of “being.” The being aspects are relationship-oriented, and are not so much out in the world. Jesus needed the support of the “being” of Mary to fulfill his work. All of us need the support of both types of personalities: doing and being. There are aspects of both in each of us, but previously the “doing” has received most attention. Being is coming into its own, though, as the wave of the future.

24 – Second Coming of Christ

This generation will see the culmination of the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus never says anything about what he means by this in regard to physicality. Whether or not there will be another incarnation is left to doubt. But the understandings of this era do place it squarely in the Second Coming. And we can be grateful that this is so.

25 – Teaching and Learning

“What could be taught and learned has been taught and learned. Now it is time to move beyond what could be taught and learned to what can only be realized through relationship. Now is the time of the final revelation of what can be realized, or made real, through following the example of Jesus. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

26 – Doing and Being

We are still now following the example of Jesus: Most of us are doing, as opposed to simply being. The time will come when this will change.

27 – A Change

“Thus we enter the ending stage of what can be realized through fulfillment of the way of Jesus and the beginning of the fulfillment of the way of Mary. This ending stage of the fulfillment of the way of Jesus is the stage of interaction with the world, the time of miracles, the death of the old way and the birth of the new. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 17)”

28 – Doing

We are now in this ending stage of the time that we will be constantly doing. We do miracles (when prompted by Jesus). We work in the world. But later on our real work will be inner work, work that will find its genesis in relationships one to the other. We will then truly know what love is all about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am so used to learning. I have sought You in so many ways, and now I am tired of seeking. You, through Jesus, tell me that the time of learning is over, that knowing will happen now. Thank You. I realize that I have longed for this, without realizing what I longed to reach.

May I reach out to others through more loving relationships to them. This heralds the time of Mary, and,, while I do not fully comprehend what this means, I know that the living out of it will make it clearer. Jesus, please guide me in this new phase of my development as a spiritual being.

Thank You for the gifts with which I have been blessed this day. Today has been good, and I pray that tomorrow will be likewise. Thank You for the insight that You have granted me today, but may I not be tempted to think of any insight in an egoic way. I would be rid of the ego, though I also know that turning aside is best. A frontal assault on the ego would be resistance, and that would only cement it further in my mind. Be with me as I move into living in an ego-less state. Be with all of us as we do this.

Amen.

Entering the Dialogue

1 – Day 15

“When you fully realize that sharing is necessary you will have entered the dialogue. When you have fully surrendered to the fact that you can’t come to know on your own you will have entered the dialogue. . . .When you fully realize that you are in-formed by everything and everyone in creation, you will have entered the dialogue. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

2 – One

We are One with everyone, but we are also individualized into separate beings, making necessary that we form relationships with others, our brothers and sisters. These relationships mean that we share with one another. And, as A Course of Love says here, we enter the dialogue with each other, the Christ within, and God Himself. There is no compromise in this. We are both the One and the many, and we both need to recognize the unity of the One, and the multiplicity of the relationships that we have with the many. There is no other way. This message of “unity and relationship” is repeated often in A Course of Love. It is the way that God Himself experiences Himself—in us, for we are God, though we lack the union that He enjoys with the All.

3 – God

How can we call ourselves God? That is Jesus’s word, not mine. He says, later on in the Dialogues, that we are God Himself—that He individuated Himself so that He could experience His divine Being. But we decided, having been individuated and at the same time given free will, that we wanted to separate from this Godhead, that we knew better. In this tiny, mad idea (from A Course in Miracles), we fell into pain and suffering, for our will was imprisoned to prevent our entire loss to God (which would have been impossible).

4 – Theology

This is theology, and theology can divide. Do not take unto yourself if you have resistance. Accept only what seems right and good to you.

5 – Christ-consciousness

“As you are more fully able to maintain Christ-consciousness you begin the movement away from being observed to being in-formed by the spirit which animates all things. You begin the movement away from observing to informing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

6 – Observation / In – forming

Jesus had earlier told us in A Course of Love that we were moving from the time of learning into observation. Now, in this final section of the concluding book, the Dialogues, he says that we move to “informing.” The spirit is possessing us, and we are being possessed consciously. And in this possession, we are being “in – formed.” Note the dash. Form within, that’s what it means. And in this new form that is being created in us, we are moving ultimately in that new being that we will be in the new world—the elevated Self of form.

7 – Perceptions

In A Course of Love, we are not told to denounce the world, except as we previously perceived it. We are told, in both ACIM and ACOL, that our perceptions need to be cleansed, and when this happens, the world around us will change accordingly. Projection makes perception (from ACIM). We cannot unilaterally change this difficult world when we are unhealed healers; we change our minds, and in the changing, there is a mystical transformation that heals everyone. According to ACIM, it takes one Son who perfectly forgives to heal the world. And we are all that one Son/Daughter. Jesus did in fact pave the way for us by coming first. But he and God need our voice, our hands, our feet, in relationship to others, to transform the world. This hostile, difficult, suffering world. That is our function, once we have accepted forgiveness, happiness, and salvation as offered to us now.

8 – Neutrality

“In practicing observation without judgment, you learned to be neutral observers. Being neutral observers allowed cause and effect to occur naturally rather than having your judgment alter natural cause and effect. . . .

9 – Don’t Judge

We need not to judge. If we don’t judge, we will awaken (from A Course in Miracles). This is a statement that can easily be overlooked, but it is to my mind a most important statement. If we don’t judge our brother and sister, we will awaken. Don’t all of us want to awaken? This is God’s promise to us, relayed by Jesus.

10 – Observation

We do observe (without the struggle of learning) our inner and outer circumstances. And we become neutral in so doing. Neutrality, in observation, prevents judgment from occurring at all. We remain in the natural cause and effect, not disturbing the natural order by judging anything at all.

11 – Peace

Thus we are at peace. Pray to leave off judging your brother/sister, your significant relationship, and see if you don’t have peace indeed. Of course, because we are fallible, we may return to judgment, but as often as we return to it, we can ask that it be removed from us—and God will do so, for it is in His Will. Then, without judgment, we see that everything is sunshine and light, and we live as the light of the world (from the New Testament and from A Course in Miracles).

12 – Creative

“This is the new realm of power that few in physical form have practiced and that has never been practiced by many at one time. It is a major shift because it is not neutral but creative. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

13 – Co-creators

We want to be co-creators with God. We want to be creative, for this is our inheritance. We observe neutrally, but then we create. When we have made this shift in consciousness, we are not “making” any longer (from ACIM), but we are creating in this new world that we occupy. There is no greater joy than to walk into eternity in joy and inner peace, creating as we go.

14 – Eternity

If we wonder what we will do in eternity, it is this—joyously experiencing, joyously creating, effortlessly. We will not see a Heaven that is boring. Has not this been a problem for us as we heard of angels sitting on clouds and playing harps all day long? This image can easily be dispelled, when we realize that we are here on earth with a glorious new world awaiting our creation of better times, better circumstances. Would our life after death be any different? Would not a joyous creation of new lives and pleasures be an enormously freeing concept to hold?

15 – Drama

And we can hold this concept? Don’t entertain for a moment that without drama your life will be boring, now or in the future. Drama is one of the great seducers of the ego, a state of mind and heart that will totally be disowned when we enjoy the Christ-consciousness to which we are all heading.

16 – Sustaining Christ-consciousness

“Although this power cannot be misused, to have access to this power in one instance and not another as you move in and out of the state of Christ-consciousness will not serve the purpose of creation.

17 – In – forming

“What does it mean to practice informing and being informed? It means to join together with others who have the ability to maintain Christ-consciousness in your company. This creates the joining together of spacious Selves. It is joining without boundaries. You become clear pools flowing into each other. You make your spirits known. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

18 – Maintaining / Sustaining

Before Christ-consciousness (Awakening) is sustained, we have glimpses of what this great state will be like. We move in and out of it, maintaining for a while but not sustaining. This maintaining for a while is not what Jesus calls us to. He encourages us here to join with others who can help us to sustain (rather than just see glimpses) of Christ-consciousness.

19 – Jesus

Jesus needs our sustaining of Christ-consciousness for the effortless work that we will do in this world. He needs healed healers. He needs for us to awaken, sooner rather than later. To ask for Awakening is thus to ask for what is God’s best Will for us, for what is totally in line with His Will. Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, and these are glimpses of Awakening that I have mentioned. But to get there, the means are needed. And the means are carefully explained to us by Jesus in A Course in Miracles (supported now also by A Course of Love). (These last sentences are paraphrases from ACIM.)

20 – Fears

“Examine what you fear. Is it really the stones within your pool, or is it the challenge of moving with the current that you know will be generated by the joining of spacious Selves? . . . .

“If so, enter the dialogue with the purpose of your final preparations in mind. Bring your fears into the light of oneness and see how the light dispels the darkness. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

21 – Discard Fears

We need to discard fears. This is something that all of us would want, however ambivalent we still are about the whole concepts that Jesus discusses. Imagine light encompassing our whole Being; imagine that we are light. For that we are. We are the light of the world, and for this we have to be, first of all, simply light.

22 – Light

There is a lightness of being that arrives when you call light to yourself. We know an end to fears in such moments. Later on, if the fears return, we simply repeat calling light to ourselves. (This exercise is explained by Sanaya Roman in the book, Spiritual Growth. It is a channeled work from an entity known as Orin.)

23 – Spacious Selves

We will be our spacious Selves in the future. We will enfold darkness, thereby lighting it away. Perhaps this idea scares us, for Jesus sees into our minds, knowing what we can’t quite accept yet.

24 – Healing

But the spacious Self is fully capable of dispelling darkness through light, with no loss of power on our part. We do not suffer in this technique. We are healing ourselves and others at the same time.

25 – Neutrality / Acceptance

“This is not a time of being judged or of adopting the beliefs of others but one of finally conquering judgment with neutrality or acceptance. Allowing others to accept you as you are is a gift that releases them from judgment and any notion that may have remained within them that Christ-consciousness is a form of ‘group think.’ Never will you feel more like an individual than when you are made known through the informing of spirit! (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

26 – Individuality

If we join with others, we may wonder if we are taking on their thoughts as our own, thereby losing some of our individuality. Our individuality is very, very important to us. We got used to being individuals under the grip of the ego, and in the new world, we still will be individuals—even though we are joined as One with others.

27 – No Fear

Have no fear. We don’t lose our individuality when we share with others. When we reach out to others to heal them. When we heal ourselves by reaching out to others.

28 – Judgment

We are moving, finally, away from judgment. We are being neutral observers. And God will bless us for this advance.

29 – Dialogue

“You will be shown that you can enter the dialogue with all and still focus, or place your attention, on areas that might not interest others in the slightest. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

30 – Jerry Jampolsky

We do still have our own areas of interest. We are still individuals. Not everybody is drawn to A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, but they can still be transformed. These two books are my way, something that I recognized (with ACIM) some 33 years ago. Many others have had the same experience of recognizing this. Jerry Jampolsky, for example, a well-known teacher of ACIM, heard the inner words, “Physician, heal thyself,” when he first picked up the manuscript of ACIM. And he has gone on to bring thousands of others to greater understanding through his work in this world.

31 – ACIM and ACOL

But not everyone who awakes has used our course of study, our curriculum. A Course in Miracles says that it is a required course. Not everybody feels the same about what this means. Does that mean that everyone must eventually study ACIM? I think not. It is required for those who are drawn to it, as we are. There are other teachers with different curricula in this world (from the Manual of ACIM).

32 – Assimilate

But our course is what we are called to assimilate. Why use what was intended for others? And we will know if A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are our way. Ask within. You will hear the Answer.

33 – Sustenance

“While there is division remaining between the self and the spacious Self, the self and the creative force, you remain in the state of maintenance rather than sustenance of Christ-consciousness. This is an acceptable state for this time of limited practice with those with whom you are engaged in this specific mountain top dialogue. It is not an acceptable state for full-scale interaction with the world. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 164)”

34 – Sharing

The chapter for Day Fifteen is lengthy and complex, bringing together in one place the disparate threads of meaning that we have earlier explored in separate chapters, and, at the same time, moving the discussion forward by a further explanation of what “entering the dialogue” really means. Basically, “entering the dialogue” is recognized as a necessary sharing of self with others. These others do not negate the fundamental nature of individuality, though, and we will remain clear about our individuality as we progress. We will also not limit our interactions to those who believe as we do, who travel to the mountain top as we do in these Forty Days and Forty Nights. We will reach out to all others in our world, and we will do so non-judgmentally.

35 – Neutrality / No Judging

We learn to be neutral in our observation of our world and the brothers and sisters in it. It is important, very important, that we not judge. We let what we observe pass through us in invisibility. We do not hold to these observations, to come back to them and to judge them. This action of observation without judgment, in invisibility, is a very creative act.

36 – Without Boundaries

We join with others in Christ consciousness, and we do so without boundaries. If we see that there are others in our company who are not ready to let go of their boundaries, that are too fearful to loose their boundaries, we accept these brothers and sisters as they are.

37 – Dialogue

There is much that is as yet unknown to us, and it is in dialogue with others that we may come to know more fully. This does not negate a personal understanding, but it does open us up to dialogue with the spacious Self, the Self we share with all others. Our own pathway may be different from that of others, and our path may not even interest others in the slightest. This is alright. We will realize our true identity as we walk alone or with others.

38 – Encompass All in the Self

But we never want to disregard the brothers and sisters who have not made the mountain top trek with us. We need to encompass all in the Self that we share with all brothers and sisters, those who believe as we do and those who do not..

39 – Debunked

“We have now debunked your myths about your true identity being an idealized form of the self. Now are you ready, through your ability to view your own self as well as that which you observe with a neutrality that embraces the unknown as well as the known, to reclaim your Self and your purpose here. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know all that You hold out to me on this mountain top experience. I do not try to learn, but to know without learning. I would experience the Christ-consciousness that I long for by sharing myself with all of my brothers and sisters in love. I would sustain the elevated Self of form. All of this I cannot do of myself alone. I need Your help, and I rest in certainty that Your promise to me of these things is true.

May I share my understanding with those in my world who are ready. May I not try to share and may I not hold in judgment those of my brothers and sisters who are not ready. You will teach me the difference. Thank You for this assurance that You have given to me on this day that encompasses so much of my pathway to You in maturity and spiritual awareness.

Be with me today, as I seek to follow Your Will, which always is my true will. You know best, and I would follow consistently. Forgive my lapses, though I know that You never condemn me and thus do not need to forgive at all. Thank You for this beginning of a good day. May it end in the same, good spirit.

Amen.

The Journey of the Self into Form and into Separation

1 – Day 13

“Once the One Self became form and knew its Self, it knew separate thought. The separate thoughts of the one self, rather than the form of the one self, allowed for the knowing of the self that created the many selves. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 13)”

2 – One Self

The One Self was, ultimately, God. But with free will, we made separation real; we thought that we had separated from God, though in reality this would be impossible. We could lack the knowledge of His One Will, though, forgetting that we were God Himself.

3 – Detour into Fear

This detour into fear (from A Course in Miracles) is all that has happened as we have moved into the world of form, the little or personal self. The Self became differentiated into the many, so that God could experience Himself. But the experiencing was faulty, for we are meant to commune with our Creator—something we didn’t do when we thought ourselves lost in separation from Him. We though that we could make a world that we would like better, but God limited our will to miscreate, lest creation be doomed . He allowed us to go into illusion, which would hurt nothing in reality. We think that we suffer, but it is all illusion.

4 – The Godhead

The many selves came from the One Self, the Godhead. There is no Other. We have done this illusion unto ourselves. We think that we have pain and suffering, that we have made a “better” world than God could create. But we only have lived with an imprisoned will, a will that first the Holy Spirit (as in ACIM) and now the Christ Self would lead us to disavow.

5 – Self of Form

“The ‘one’ self of form is the self you were born into. The one self of form comes to know the One Self through relationship with other selves experiencing oneness through being selves of form. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 13)”

6 – Relationship

It is only through relationship that God can know Himself, that we can know ourselves, as the Self that has been individuated, i.e., made into separate “parts.” This individuation is a means that, through relationship to each other, we can know ourselves, and God can know Himself. We are God, but we are not yet in union with each other, and so we are therefore somewhat less than the Godhead. In union with others, we come into our fullness. Then and only then do we know both unity and relationship, and we are home in God.

7 – Christ-consciousness

This is Christ-consciousness, but it is not here for many of us. The timing of Awakening, according to ACIM, is when God deems us ready. And many people who seem flawed will nevertheless experience Awakening. It is not a matter of perfecting ourselves. There are mysteries here that we don’t comprehend.

8 – Jesus

Yet Jesus in A Course of Love is attempting to spell out the process of reaching Christ-consciousness to us. He is writing a metaphysical document that explains creation and our place in it. The words are sometimes dense, but when studied as one would study a textbook, absorbing every line, the prose becomes comprehensible. Unlike something I once thought, you can’t read ACOL as though you were reading a story. Perhaps this works on the first times through, but to understand in depth, study at some level is needed.

9 – Integrate Many and One

“You are thus not meant to lose the experience of the self of form but to integrate it so that you are both the many and the one. The oneness that your individual self represents in this life is the oneness of the Holy One who is both one—somewhat in the way you think of the individual self—and All. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 13)”

10 – Elevated Self of Form

This antedates the elevated Self of form. This passage leads us to that concept. We occupy form, and we are not to disavow it. But this personal self of form needs to be elevated to the Self that is the inner Christ. What will bring this about?

11 – Study / Love

Study gets us there. But love actually effects the transformation—love and a forgiving attitude (from ACIM) that is not judgmental. In A Course in Miracles, we are told that we cannot judge and hope to awake. Yet we still fall into judgment a thousand times a day—until we don’t. When we don’t, we have found Christ-consciousness.

12 – Happiness

And we are happy. Stupendously happy. And we live effortlessly. We have no fear. We have no anxieties. We will with inner peace, in loving relationship to every individual with whom we are introduced.

13 – Spacious Self

“Thus holding the loveless self within the spacious Self of love is the answer to the question of evil and the final lifting of the last veils of fear. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 13)”

14 – Imagination

There will be parts of us which are unloving. But we can imagine—and “imagine” is the important word—that we have a “spacious” self that is the real Self. This Self chooses to encompass the unloving parts of ourselves, and this creates a transformation in ourselves.

15 – Evil / Fear

This ends evil. This ends fear. We are at home in God.

16 – Enfolding

If we just enfold the unloving part of ourselves into the part that is always deep within, held in Love, the Self, we will know peace. There is actually no other way that we can know peace. For evil and fearful dreams will disturb our illusions. And, actually, we can never be happy with illusions, unless they are dreams that the Holy Spirit brings—the happy dreams that precede Awakening, to prepare us for it

17 – Happy Dreams

We do not want to get stuck in desiring the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings. We want the real world; we want reality. And we want to awake. This can come about when we seek Awakening earnestly, with all of our being. Yet in our striving, we must realize that our striving cannot be as the ego pushed us previously. Or the ego will reawaken and much will be lost; we will be on the treadmill again.

18 – Eastern Story

So seek enlightenment as a man whose had is held under water seeks air (an old Eastern analogy). We will have enlightenment when we devote ourselves to the loving that brings it, the loving in relationship and union with all others whom we encounter.

19 – Easy Way

The way is smooth. The way is easy. And when we look back on Christ-consciousness, we will know that we need do nothing in this world (from ACIM, but the term “Awakening” is used). We will want to do something to lead our brothers and sisters to the realization that we have had, but we will do so effortlessly. Life will become one sweet song.

20 – Suffering Self

““The same is true of all you would fear, such as the suffering self. A suffering self, held within the spacious Self exists in harmony with the spacious Self. Attempts to eject the self of suffering from the spacious Self create disharmony. It is only by this holding within that the loveless self and the suffering self are rendered ineffective. It is only in this way that you realize that all exist within. It is only in this way that you become completely fearless and totally spacious, for fear is part of the density of form, being a lack of love. (ACOL Dialogues, p. 158)”

21 – Boundary-less Self

Before we can understand Day Thirteen, we need to try to comprehend what is meant by the “spacious Self.” It is discussed herein as a “boundary-less Self,” the all-encompassing Self that we share with everyone. It is the Self of Love, and when we focus on Love, we can overcome any fearful thoughts and feelings of the small self of form.

22 – Self of Fear

Jesus says that we are not to try to eject the self of fear, but to encompass with the greater spacious Self, thus rendering it ineffective. Trying to eject the self of fear actually makes it worse in our experience of fear.

23 – Summation

Look again at the passage from A Course of Love, the Dialogues, quoted above. It actually summarizes much that is said in Day Thirteen. At the conclusion of the chapter, Jesus once again returns to the theme of unity and relationship. We have true relationship with our brothers and sisters when we recognize and incorporate the spacious Self, and then we are truly in unity with all.

24 – Union

“Once fear is gone, true relationship is not only possible but inevitable. True relationship exists naturally in the state of harmony that I the spacious Self. This is the state of union. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 13)”

24 – Not Fearful

When we are not fearful of others, our brothers and sisters, we will seek union with them. We will seek relationship with them. And this will take us home. Yes, home. We are not living as God unless we are living in union, something that we have not been doing as our separated selves. We have been in relationship, but this has been flawed, for we have been judgmental of each other. And we can never know Awakening if we are judgmental. This is a crucial point that can be easily overlooked. We cannot know Christ-consciousness, cannot come to Christ-consciousness, cannot receive the gift of Christ-consciousness, if we are judgmental.

25 – Judgment

Come to God today and ask that judgment be taken away. All of us must do this, all who have not already been freed of judgmental thoughts.

26 – Accepting

Without judgment are we accepting of all—in union with each personal self elevated to the Self, and in relationships as individuated beings.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be fearless, and to know that I can transcend the suffering self by my fearlessness. Help me not to be tempted to try to reject this suffering self. Help it simply to wither away as I come to know my real Self.

I know that my real Self is always one of Love, but I tend to forget this oft-repeated truth. Help me not to forget the Self of Love today. Thanking You in advance, I turn to You often today and every day.

Amen.

All Is One / All Are One Self

1 – No Loss / Only Gain

“We are one self. How else could we be capable of receiving what we give? How else could our lives be capable of experiencing no loss but only gain? Why else would we have to share ourselves to know ourselves? (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 11)”

2 – Mystical

This is the truth, though it is a mystical concept and therefore difficult to understand, difficult to wrap our minds around. How can we be one self with others? How can the many be one?

3 – God-Stuff

We are all “God-stuff.” We are all differentiated from the Godhead. And the universe(s) is constantly expanding, and so there is always growth (though no real change). When we recognize that we are all one, that there is no loss but only gain, we know that what we “lose” goes to our brother or sister, who is actually one with us. So we only expand into a spacious self, as A Course of Love says. This spacious self recognizes that all are One, that we lose nothing when we spread abroad the intangibles.

4 – Sharing

When we share ourselves in conversation, we actually become more of what we truly are. We are sharing and in that process, actually gaining a sense of ourselves as One. We do not have to be extroverts to experience the release that we get through sharing. It is an experience that all can relate to and enjoy.

5 – Relationship

“To be separate in truth would be to not exist. To be the All of Everything would be to not know existence. Only what exists in relationship knows that it exists. Thus relationship is everything. Relationship is the truth. Relationship is consciousness. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 11)”

6 – God

This quotation points to a reason that God would have differentiated Himself in the beginning, and continues to do so. He cannot actually experience the Whole, if He is All that there is. It is only in relationship of the one to the other that such experience of reality is possible. Neale Donald Walsch, in the trilogy of Conversations with God, makes this identical point. But it is a theological point, and we do not want theology that we cannot accept to divide or separate us.

7 – One and the All

We are both one and the All. Unity and relationship, as A Course of Love says repeatedly. It is in reaching out to others, and in reaching down deep within, that we come to know reality. The deep within is God; the others are God as well, but as differentiated aspects of God. Parts of God that are yet part of the Whole.

8 – Hologram

It is like a hologram. Each part contains the whole. This is ultimately why everything has been given to each of us (tenet from A Course in Miracles).

9 – Christ-consciousness

“Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence through relationship. It is not God. It is not man. It is the relationship that allows the awareness of God in everything. It has been called wisdom, Sophia, spirit. It is that without which God would not know God. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 11)”

10 – Awakening

We want and we need Christ-consciousness, a concept that is called Awakening in A Course in Miracles. We don’t know when God will bestow this blessing on any of us, but we can be sure that He will bestow Christ-consciousness at the exact moment that we are ready. If this seems long off, we need not fret. The time will be as right as the Answer. (These are paraphrases of A Course in Miracles.)

11 – In Relationship

We are in relationship when we are enjoying Christ-consciousness. We no longer feel envious that others have what we do not; we know that we all potentially have everything. If that thing we want is not in our life now, we will know that it will be added at a future date (though maybe not in this lifetime).

12 – Sophia

“Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence through relationship. It is not God. It is not man. It is the relationship that allows the awareness that God is everything. It has been called wisdom, Sophia, spirit. It is that without which God would not know God. It is that which differentiates all from nothing. (ACOL Dialogues, p. 154)”

13 – Separation

This one passage helps to explain why separation from God, and our return to Him, was necessary in the first place. If God is within (as well as without), then He could know Himself only in separation from the Whole. But it is in the rejoining in unity and relationship that makes Christ-consciousness what it is.

14 – Unity and Relationship

The words, “unity and relationship,” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love. They are so repeated that their meaning may be lost, unless we take care to understand fully at the outset. We are one in unity with our brothers and sisters, and we are one in relationship to them–being that two or more are held together in relationship. Thus the phrase, “unity and relationship,” is the central point without which Christ-consciousness could not function.

We are one heart, one mind, one Self–but seemingly fragmented into parts. This is an illusion, but this fragmentation is the only way that God can experience Himself. The All must separate and then see Itself in those separate, but united parts. While this may be hard for us to wrap our finite minds around, here is one of the secrets of salvation, one of the philosophical tenets around which A Course of Love is built. We know Christ-consciousness when we have rejoined our brothers and sisters in unity, but kept them close to use in our relationship to them. This knowing is a celestial event of the highest magnitude.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I offer myself in service to the All that is You. I am in relationship to that All, and I will know Christ-consciousness only as I accept this relationship. I would accept this relationship now.

Thank You for this course, this Course of Love, a sequel to A Course in Miracles. Thank You for granting me the intuitive insight that seems to say, over and over as I read, “yes, yes!” May I come to know the insights of A Course of Love intimately, ever more so over the times that I study.

May I realize that study is necessary, that you can’t just read this sequel like you read a story, something I used to think. The study is ever-reinforcing, as I realize that here is truth that I really, really want to understand. Thank You for Jesus’s dedication in channeling, once again and for us, a work of this magnitude. Thank You for supporting Mari as she scribed.

Thank You for guiding me in this shift in perception, this miracle. I would know the elevated Self of form, and I will endeavor to turn to You often today, so that I may remain close to this new reality.

Amen.

Trust in Your Feelings

1 – Trust

“You think of feelings either as that which comes to you through your five senses or as emotions, and you have not trusted in these feelings as much as you have trusted in rational thought. This lack of trust works both for you and against you now. It works for you in that you do not have to resist and reject an existing trust as you do with the thoughts of the mind you call rational. It works against you because all feelings are capable of providing what you have called intuitive knowledge or insights and your distrust of this knowledge and insight will need to be overcome. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Ten)”

2 – Intuition

We need to rely on feelings, as this is our insight into intuition. We have previously, often, and especially before studying A Course in Miracles, believed that feelings would lie. Now that may be true, and so we test out our feelings; we fail to act on aggressive or unkind impulses, but impulses are not the same as genuine feelings as meant in this quotation. Genuine feelings don’t lie; they tell us what to say and do. They are our only Guide to what the Self is trying to say to us. (A Course in Miracles called this inner sense the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration.)

3 – Thoughts

We do not have to reject feelings in the same way that we have to reject the thoughts of the mind that previously appeared to be rational. These thoughts were egoic notions that led us badly astray. And we would be rid of those lamentable thoughts now. We are through with the ego.

4 – Feelings

Listen to your feelings about what to say or do. If these feelings are genuine, they will be harmless, even better than harmless—for that will offer salvation to all around us.

5 – To “Know”

“To ‘know’ before you act is wise. But to think that doubting your feelings or seeking outside assurances of what you know will lead to either confidence or certainty is foolish. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Ten)”

6 – Christ Self

To “know” is an inner sense that comes from following the inner Christ Self. It relies on feelings, and it is the same as intuition. The “knowing” is even more profound than run-of-the-mill feelings, though. The knowing is profound, a real insight that what you are contemplating saying or doing is right in God’s eyes.

7 – Foolish Doubts

We are told in this significant quotation that to doubt our feelings is foolish. What a revelation! We have been taught by this world to doubt our feelings always—to rely instead on the judgments of our the mind that we thought were rational. These judgments were amiss, for we cannot know the past, present, and future in all its ramifications. We cannot judge aright, and so we cease trying.

8 – Blessing

This brings a great blessing to us. We always know what to do and say when we rely on the intuition that is down deep within, the Christ Self.

9 – Christ-consciousness

“Thus I will speak to you from this point onward as the voice of Christ-consciousness, the voice of your own true consciousness, the consciousness that we truly share. I came to you in the form of the consciousness of the man I once was because you were, prior to this point, unready to give up image for presence, the individual for the universal, reliance on an outside source for reliance on yourself, Jesus for Christ-consciousness. (ACOL Dialogues, p. 148)”

10 – Time of Christ

This quotation explains that we are to rely on the inner Christ Self. The quotation does not specifically mention the Holy Spirit, but elsewhere in A Course of Love, Jesus has proclaimed that the time of the Holy Spirit has ended, and that we are now in the time of Christ. And he doesn’t mean only himself. The Christ is a shared identity, an identity which all of us have.

11 – Home

We need to cease relying just on the man Jesus. We need to depend on Christ-consciousness for our reliance upon the truth. This will take us home. This will sustain Christ-consciousness in ourselves.

12 – True Consciousness

Our true consciousness is Christ-consciousness. And it is this on which we must come to rely.

13 – Save the World

This chapter is lengthy, but the quotation above does encompass the most important point. Jesus tells us many things about power, but his most important concept is the fact that reliance upon our own Self in Christ-consciousness will help us to save the world. This is a strong assertion, but he does not mean for us to be crusaders unless our intuition guides us to our goals. He says quite a bit about following intuition, in relying on our Self rather than to turn to outside sources in trying to make decisions about our life. We must have confidence in our feelings.

14 – Jesus

So Jesus will stop speaking in these 40 days and nights as the man who lived over 2,000 years ago. He will speak as our own Self, the Christ-consciousness that we are meant to share with him and all others. Jesus stresses that these communications are dialogues, not simply the imparting of information from him to us.

15 – Elevated Self of Form

He describes what we will feel as the elevated Self of form. We will feel not much different than we do now, but more peaceful and free of the constraints of the body. Jesus compares what we will feel in this world with how we imagine our loved ones who have crossed the barrier of death. We imagine them as we knew them, but more peaceful and free of the body that they knew in this life. Jesus too notes that he wants us to feel happiness and peace, especially now in this final chapter in which he addresses us as the man Jesus, rather than the Christ-consciousness which we will share in the remainder of the 40 days and nights.

16 – Relationship with Jesus

“I ask you not to give up your relationship with me as the man Jesus, but to accept that the man Jesus was simply a representation in form, of Christ-consciousness. I do, however, ask you to give up your identification of the voice of this dialogue as that belonging to the man Jesus who lived two thousand years ago. To continue to identify this voice with that man is to be unable to recognize this voice as the voice of your own true consciousness—the voice of Christ-consciousness. Yet to realize that this is the same that animated the man Jesus two thousand years ago will aide you in realizing that this is the voice that will now animate the elevated Self of form, or in other words, you.” (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Ten)”

17 – Consciousness

“Consciousness is about what you are aware of, not about what you think. And you are very much aware of your feelings. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Ten)”

18 – Egoic Thoughts

We are told to doubt our thoughts, for they have previously been mostly egoic. We need to be aware of consciousness that points to intuition and comes to us as feelings to be followed. Only in genuine mental illness do we have to be very, very careful of “guidance” that would lead us astray. Dependence on inner voices in mental illness becomes a warning sign.

19 – Insanity

But most of us are quite sane, though we have previously, under the grip of the ego, been insane for eons. We lived out insanity, or madness, and now we would be through with it. A Course in Miracles repeats this truth quite a bit. We don’t want to accept it, but when we see the state of our world, it becomes something that is not so easily brushed aside.

20 – Love

“The power of love is the cause and effect that will change the world by returning you, and all your brothers and sisters, to who they are in truth. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Ten)”

21 – A Healed World

This is the way that the world will be healed, and the answer, “love,” sounds almost trite to hear. Yet if we reflect on what love really means, we will know peace, and we will know how to heal our brothers and sisters. We need to return to who we are in truth, and that is the Christ Self within. The little self, the personal self, has always been a mirage, an illusion, a persona. And we would cease to make masks that hide us from the world.

22 – Compassion

“Blessed brother and sister, we feel the same love, the same compassion, the same tenderness for each other and the world. This is unity. This will save us. This will save the world. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Ten)”

3 – Salvation, Forgiveness, Happiness

Here is the emphasis on saving the world, our function (though we do not lean on anybody who is not ready). Our function is salvation, forgiveness, happiness—all synonyms for what we would be and what we ever more would become fully.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You that Jesus is ready to see our own Christ-consciousness, and, in effect, to speak to us as equals. I do not feel worthy, but help me to realize that these thoughts and feelings are the vestiges of the ego.

On this day, please set my feet on the right pathway, if I have in any way veered off that pathway. Help me to help my brothers and sisters in need, and may You help me as well. I need your help desperately, for my allegiance varies from day to day as I seek to eliminate my neuroses. Be with me today as I seek to live a sane Christ Self. This is really the one way to be, and I would be that way henceforth. If I doubt that this is possible, please remove all doubts from me. Help me to walk slowly and gently through this world, for it has many obstacles to my inner peace. May the inner Self encompass all my mind and feelings today, so that I fulfill Your wishes for me in this day.

I welcome Jesus, once again, into my life today. I am very grateful that he lives in service to all of my brothers and sisters, and myself. Thank You for Jesus.

Amen.

Love Will Transform Normal, Ordinary, Life into Extraordinary Life

1 – Transformation

“Love will transform normal, ordinary, life into extraordinary life. Loving exactly who you are and where you are in every moment is what will cause the transformation that will end your desire to remove yourself from life. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

2 – Jesus

Jesus had earlier, in these 40 days and 40 nights, talked of the need that some of us feel to remove ourselves from life while we metaphorically travel to the mountain top with him. He says that such removal is absolutely unnecessary, and is actually undesired (by him) and undesirable. If we love right where we are, we will have no need to feel that we want to separate from normal, ordinary life. We will be more than satisfied in the present, with Jesus leading the way to the mountain top.

3 – Love

How do we know when we have transformed life by love? We do not really need to ask this question, for when we have actually made the transformation viable, we will be happier than we have ever been before. We will know that this was where we were heading. We will know ecstasy, at least sometimes (though prolonged ecstasy would be debilitating to our bodies).

4 – Love Deeply

How do we love that deeply? We pray to love more deeply; it is just that simple. The prayer to love more deeply is in the Will of God, and He will provide. When we are consumed by our love, we will feel a warmth and a gentle ease that will assure us of God’s Presence, here, now, right in ordinary life.

5 – Rushing About

What a blessing this is! We get in such a rush sometimes, barreling over ourselves to reach God—when He is within us, just waiting quietly for us to realize His Presence. When we rush through life, we miss so very much—and, most of all, we miss God. He can still reach us from within, but it is harder for us to feel Him.

6 – Hard?

We don’t need to make things hard for ourselves. We need only get quiet, calm down, relax, take the easy course—and life with God as a present Reality takes form. This is the Will of God, as well as His pleasure with us. This will bring us the love that we have heretofore felt only in fleeting moments that fell away all too soon.

7 – Acceptance Clarified

“But here is the point that needs clearing up. This is not about acceptance of what you do not like. Do you really think you are being called to accept ‘normal life?’ Called to accept those conditions that have made you feel unhappy? No! You are being called to an acceptance of new conditions! (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

8 – “Don’t Like”

We do not have to accept what we don’t like. This would be acquiescence in the face of negatives that we don’t want to accept. And we wouldn’t get the boon that we hoped to have by acceptance. We realize that we don’t like certain conditions; we just accept that we don’t like them. This “don’t like’ is in itself a form of acceptance. And it will take us farther along the pathway. Much farther than reluctant acceptance of that which we don’t like, simply because we think that this uneasy acceptance is required of us.

9 – New Conditions

The new conditions come as we ascend the mountain top with Jesus. These new conditions include a greater desire to be quiet and calm—not to make drama in our everyday lives. These new conditions are the joy of living, the day-to-day happiness, the relaxation and easy work that we do now. No work needs to be hard, when we are in the pattern of acceptance. We will enjoy what we do, however busy that might be. We are not meant to remove ourselves from life in some superficial desire to be lazy.

10 – Power

“All power to effect change comes from acceptance—not acceptance of the way things are, but acceptance of who you are in the present. Not through acceptance of the way you want to be but of the way you are now. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

11 – Accept Self

We need to accept ourselves, flaws and all. We have a certain perfection of being that is independent of the perfection that we are eventually called to. If we don’t like a certain trait, we just turn away from it, giving it no power because of resistance. What we resist, on the other hand, becomes stronger in the resistance.

12 – Perfect?

I believe that we are intended to become perfect in all respects, but we don’t have to be perfect to realize Awakening, or Christ-consciousness. Anger is such an example. Remember that Jesus showed anger with the activities of the moneychangers in the temple during his last week on earth. Would we believe that he didn’t have Christ-consciousness? Of course not. This is a very real example that allows us to accept ourselves as we are, even though we learned in A Course in Miracles that anger has no justification.

13 – Who We Are

We need, therefore, to accept who we are in the present. We need to cease our relentless seeking, always wanting something more by way of salvation. That something more will come to us when God is ready for us to have—and not a moment sooner. We cannot “achieve” enlightenment, or Awakening, though we can move in that direction by the early seeking that we do. At this point in A Course of Love, though, we need to do less seeking and more accepting. Jesus makes this point over and over. We can do something more, but will that really help us at this point?

14 – Intolerant of Illusions

“Remember that you have been told that your real Self will be intolerant only of illusions and that this intolerance will take the form of seeing only the truth rather than attempting to combat illusion. Thus when you see others gossiping, you are called to see only the truth of who they are—to see beyond the illusion, what would seem to be the ‘fact’ of their gossip—to the fear that feeds it, and beyond the fear to the love that will dispel it. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

15 – Gossip

Jesus uses gossip as an example in Day Eight. He says that we don’t like it, sometimes because we have been the brunt of gossip. We aren’t, however, to denounce the purveyor of gossip as a bad person; it is just a mistake, we feel, and then we turn aside from it without giving it power by resistance. These individuals who gossip are fearful in their lives, fearful because their ego has sway at that point. We can love in spite of the gossip, for we will nearly always find that the person who is conveying gossip about us has done something nice for us at some time. Jealousy, or a wish for the type of life that we have, is often a factor in gossip. And have not all of us been guilty of jealousy at some point, some time wanting what another has in life?

16 – Charmed Life

We particularly need to be aware that others will sometimes see us as “living a charmed life,” because our understanding has allowed our projection to make perceptions that are very good indeed. The world itself is an illusion, and our lives become better once we realize such things as this. We have had a guide in the Holy Spirit as we have created our lives, and thus we have made lives that work better than someone who has never learned these things. So live and let live, knowing that others are looking to us, also, for guidance. They, too, would like to live charmed lives.

17 – Anger

“If anger arises in you now, it does not mean that you will react in whatever way anger once called you to react and it does not mean that something is wrong with you or that you are not spiritual enough! It simply means that you are involved in a situation or relationship that has called forth that feeling. It is in the expression of that feeling that who you are is revealed, not in the feeling itself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

18 – ACIM

Here we are talking of anger again; Jesus uses this example repeatedly in A Course of Love. It must be that anger is a hot spot for many of us, and perhaps Jesus knows how we have struggled with his words in A Course in Miracles. In ACIM he declares that anger and attack have no foundation in truth and are not justified. But Jesus would know that premature suppression of anger does what it would remove. We find ourselves engaging in behavior that is worse than it was before we had this instruction!

19 – Jesus’s Attitude toward Anger in ACOL

So Jesus takes, in A Course of Love, a more tolerant attitude toward anger. He does not, note, say that it is a good thing. He recommends that we be accepting of our anger as we are of everything else in our lives. We have that certain perfection even now.

20 – Don’t Suppress Anger

He would have us refuse to express anger, which we can do without suppressing it. We can refuse to express anger to our brother/sister, for how could expressing anger help him/her? He/she will feel betrayed, perhaps, for each is doing the best he/she can, given his/her understanding at the time.

21 – Acceptance

“Now, however, it is crucial that you come to acceptance of yourself–in the present, as you are–for only by doing so will you come to full acceptance of who you are and be able to allow the Self of unity to merge with the self of form, thus elevating the self of form. You will also, only in this way come to true expression of the elevated Self of Form. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 136)”

22 – Accept the Present

The title for Day Eight, “Accept the Present,” is particularly apt. Virtually everything in the chapter explains this assertion in some way. We need to accept the present of being in normal life as we spend this time on the metaphorical mountain top. We do not need to separate ourselves from our brothers and sisters, for they are the only way to the love that will give us unity with them. We also do not need to separate ourselves from our normal living routines.

23 – Passivity?

We are not called, however, to accept what we do not like. We are not called to any passivity. We are called to total acceptance of our Self. Once we have accepted the Self, sometimes it will take some time for conditions to change, and sometimes conditions change immediately. This is one of our blessings. Change will not come without first having acceptance of our Self.

24 – Feelings

We should accept our own feelings. Distancing ourselves from our feelings is not only dishonest; it will prevent us from further movement forward. We are called to unity with our brothers and sisters through love. We cannot err when we follow our feelings–for these feelings have now been cleansed. If, however, we have not accepted all that Jesus holds out to us, we must be wary of feelings that take us away from the Self that we want to be, the Self of Christ-consciousness. Then and only then do we need to be wary of following our feelings. (This latter point is an interpretation, not a tenet of ACOL.)

25 – Thinking and Feeling

“Remove all thinking that says that you can err in following your feelings. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

26 – Harbinger

This statement is a harbinger of greater things to come in the 40 days and 40 nights. It is also a statement that intuition works best for us, even when we are tempted to ignore that intuition. We can have better lives when we follow our guidance, and that guidance frequently comes by way of feelings.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to accept myself as I am, knowing that You do. I chastise myself so often, and I think so often that I am not worthy. Jesus would have me to drop these thoughts and the actions that result from them. I am not perfect, but I must accept that You accept me as I am.

If there are things about myself that need to be changed, please give me the grace to change easily. I understand that I have made real progress, and that the elevated Self of form is something that I can attain. I am apt to forget this. Help me to remember this. And thank You for the blessing of the Christ-consciousness that You hold out to me.

Thank You for this good day. May the days ahead string, like pearls on a string, into a beautiful necklace of good feelings brought about by love of others as well as a settled good love for myself. Until I can love myself, I am hindered in loving others. I have not always recognized this truth, but thank You for showing it to me now. Be with me as I walk into the evening of this good day.

Amen.

A Gentler and More Compassionate Alternative

1 – Acceptance / Lack of Acceptance

“What does the idea of only now coming to acceptance imply but that you were previously unaccepting? And what does being unaccepting imply but the very denial of yourself that you have come to see as your former state. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

Our former state required denial of the self, and the New Testament and Jesus’s words said the same. We were to deny ourselves, take up his cross, and follow him. Do we still need to do this?

2 – Jesus as Our Companion

Yet, we do follow Jesus, as outlined in A Course of Love. He wants to be our companion, but no longer our teacher. He wants to be an equal to us, and if we are open to our Self, we will see how this change can be effected. It is not arrogant to think that we will eventually be equal to Jesus. It is not ego speaking; in fact, the ego would rail against such an assertion as the most supreme arrogance.

3 – Unaccepting

It is not so. We have been very unaccepting of ourselves, believing that we need to be a lot better than we are before we can be accepted by God. Jesus even is quoted in the New Testament as saying, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” What can we make of this? Is this a misquote? No, I think not. In a way, we are perfect now, but we will go on to greater perfection without struggle and completely in line with what our inner Self counsels. If we are angry a lot, we can simply turn aside from this anger (if we so wish), and it will be gone from us. We simply have to ask that the anger be removed. The universe will do the rest.

4 – Point of Improvement

Jesus says now that we are to be accepting of ourselves, however imperfect we think that we are. If we don’t accept ourselves as we are, there is really no hope that we can get even better. The point of improvement comes at the point of acceptance. If we reject ourselves, we will not be in a position to improve; we will be too demoralized. We do not want demoralization, at any cost. This is simply not the way that God works with us. He wants happiness for us (A Course in Miracles tenet). So we take the first tentative steps toward acceptance, and, lo, we find a great gift given to us. We live more peaceably, and we love our brother more completely. We forgive. All of this acceptance of ourselves just as we are holds out to us.

5 – Time

“Another condition of the time of acceptance that will be of great service to you now is that of the different relationship that you will have with time. This is a time of convergence, intersection, and pass through of the finite and the infinite, or time and no time. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

6 – Adjust Time

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will adjust time so that we can perform miracles. What is this to say except that time is malleable, and therefore an illusion? We are passing from time into eternity; that is essentially what is meant by “convergence, intersection, and pass through of the finite and the infinite, or time and no time.” In eternity, where all is One, we find our real Self. We do not dally in time any longer than we have to in order to live well in this life. We use practical time to make necessary plans, travel arrangements and the like, but we don’t get stuck in the past and the future. We live, as Eckhart Tolle has recommended, in the Now, the present. (Eckhart wrote The Power of Now and A New Earth, and he is an enlightened teacher, having sustained enlightenment for more than 30 years.)

7 – The Present

The new way that we view time will be of great help to us in our living. We will not forge ahead through our days, nor will we get stuck in recriminations of the past. We will live very much in the present, and this blessing will restore us to ourselves.

8 – Expansion

“A further condition of the time of acceptance is that of expansion. The singular self you once believed yourself to be was not capable of true expression and true sharing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

9 – Hologram

The Self is very large, for It encompasses everything, as a hologram of the universe(s). We will find ourselves expanding into greater contributions, greater service to our brother. We will no longer dwell in littleness, in the personal self that is only a persona. We will know peace by reaching upward and outward.

10 – The Self

This expansion will take place over some days, and we are learning of it in this time of the 40 days and 40 nights. An expanded Self is a great blessing. We will no longer feel that we are inferior to anyone or anything, but this will not be the ego speaking. This will be the Self Itself speaking.

11 – Peace

And we will know peace in Its assertion.

12 – Dominoes

“It is easy to see from here how the dominoes fall and each condition of learning is replaced, always by a far gentler and more compassionate alternative. Thus there is no need for me to list every new condition here. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

13 – Fear

Would we not want to live more gently and more compassionately? We can do so, and the only thing that it takes is a fall away from fear, for fear is made strong when we are living in the ego. Jesus says that at this point our ego is gone, but maybe we don’t yet believe this. Do believe it now. If you have followed the volumes of A Course of Love, we are told by Jesus that we have learned everything that we need to learn, and that we are in the time beyond and pass learning. A more gentle world and a more compassionate world await us. We need only take it as a gift from God.

14 – New Conditions

The new conditions are many, and Jesus does not attempt to list them all, for that would be impossible. We live better, having better days, and we serve more, having no ego to invest in the world by reaching out to others. We no longer get our kudos by achievement; we no longer feel that we must achieve to justify our existence.

15 – Learning

Each condition of learning thus falls away as we move beyond the time of learning into observation of this world, of our projection—for projection makes perception (ACIM tenet).

16 – Certainty

“The condition of the time of acceptance that will most clearly reveal to you your status in regard to maintaining or sustaining your access to union will be that of the replacement of doubt with certainty. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

17 – Your Role in This World

Would you like to be certain of your role in this world? Would you like to end all doubt? You can, if you accept just where you are as perfect for the moment. This certainty in living gives great confidence. And is not confidence something that we would all long to have?

18 – Certainty

“Certainty is a condition of the present. Realize you may say you are certain of the future or the past but that you cannot make it so. Thus your ability to maintain and then sustain your access to union and thus your certainty, goes hand-in-hand with your ability to live in the present. This ability is also contingent upon your recognition of what certainty really is. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

19 – Christ-Consciousness

We are now supported in our progress toward Christ-consciousness. In truth, we have always been supported, but fear blocked our awareness of this support. Love will now let us see that we always have support from the divine. When we were learning, we felt that effort was required, and we did not feel support. But we are beyond this time of learning now, and the support that we have always longed for will be there for us to experience. We are now in the time of discovery, and we will learn through “thoughts that we do not think.”

20 – Time of Expansion

We are in a time of expansion, so that once the elevated Self of form has occurred, we will create a new world, a new universe. Living in this new universe will be as natural as breathing.

21 – Doubt Replaced

Our doubt will be replaced with certainty. We really have nothing to worry about, nothing at all. The union with the divine is ours to behold. Accept and be assured. And focus on living in the present at all times.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand the certainty in which You would have me live. Help me to live in the present, knowing that if there are plans to be made, I will be told of them in the present always.

Help me to be patient this day, in this time of desire but no sustainability of Christ-consciousness. I need to wait on Your timing, and Your timing is different from my desire. Be with all of us as we seek to follow what we know to do in our lives. May our knowledge grow as study. May we not get tripped up by traditional learning, but may we learn through observation, as Jesus says. May this day go well, observing as I walk through each hour.
Thank You for Your Presence in my life, for the feeling of Your Presence.

I long for this elevated Self of form. Help me to move ever closer to this reality of Christ-consciousness. Thank you for your constant abidingness with me.

Amen.

Reverence for God

1 – True Self

“We now will discuss being the true self while becoming the true self—the time in between your awareness and access to Christ-consciousness, or unity, and your sustainability of Christ-consciousness, or unity, in form. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

2 – Inbetween

We are in an inbetween time now. We are seeking Christ-consciousness, though “seeking” is not quite what we ought to be doing. Seeking is a harbinger of the old way of learning, and no individual can set his/her time of Awakening (Christ-consciousness). We are now the true self, but we are not all that we can become.

3 – Sustainability of Christ-consciousness

It may take some time to reach sustainability of Christ-consciousness. We do, for most of us, see glimpses, or satori, long before we sustain Christ-consciousness. The sustainability is what our elevated Self of form will achieve, but it is not achievement as we understand achievement of egoic things. It will come about through the grace of God, though we can do things that will prepare. Having thoughts that we do not think will lead the way.

4 – Help

These thoughts that we do not think are a form of thought transfer into the mind and heart. They come from either God, our subconscious, our Self, or entities on the Other Side. We are not nearly as alone as we think. There is always someone there who will help.

5 – Becoming

“As was said earlier: To realize the state of becoming is to realize that an in between exists between the time of learning and the time of being the elevated Self of form. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

6 – Repetition

This simply reinforces what we have read previously. Jesus uses repetition to lodge thoughts in our minds.

7 – Music

“In all stages of its creation, the piece of music exists in relationship to its creator. . . .Only when it is a complete and full and true expression of the artist’s idea, however, will it and the artist be one.

“You are a work of art headed for this oneness of full and true expression. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

8 – Example of Music

Jesus, previously, uses the composing of music as a metaphor for the transformation that we are undergoing. The music first exists as an idea in the mind of the composer, but once he/she has set the idea to musical notes, the composer and the piece of music become one through the expression of the music in being played.

9 – Oneness with God

We are like that. We are heading toward full expression of our Oneness with God, our Christ Self.

10 – Colleagues

“Thinking of our relationship as that of colleagues as well as companions, as fellow workers or work-mates with a task to accomplish, as well as conversationalists, is not an erroneous way to think of our relationship. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”
11 – Jesus

Jesus describes his relationship to us in these 40 days and 40 nights as a colleague, a companion, a fellow-work, a work-mate, and the two of us—he and us—are conversationalists engaged in a meaningful dialogue.

12 – Equals

We have long thought of Jesus as our teacher, but he relinquishes that role with us on the mountaintop which we are ascending with him. He wants us to see ourselves as equals with him, and this a very lofty thought indeed. How can we so see without arrogance. Drop egocentric thinking, and then we will not be arrogant in following Jesus’s train of thought in making us equals to him.

13 – Drop Egocentric Thinking

How do we drop egocentric thinking? It is frequently a long process, over much time, but it need not be. We can genuinely long to drop egotistical thoughts and actions from their expression, and we will find ourselves making progress every day. Occasionally there is a quick and irreversible transformation at one juncture, and this happens when we quickly and irrevocably give up our own judgment about what to say and do. As A Course in Miracles points out, usually the giving up of judgment is a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because we find it personally insulting. The world has trained for reliance upon judgment to make good decisions, but Jesus goes to some lengthy in ACIM to let us see that good judgment, lacking guidance from the Holy Spirit, is simply not possible because we can’t know all of the past, present, and future decisions and happenings that will impinge on the any given decision.

14 – Acceptance

“Does this work of acceptance seem never ending? It is until it is replaced by reverence, just as learning was unending until it was replaced by acceptance. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

15 – Reverence

When we feel reverence, we are at our best, close to God, communing with God. This welcomes the Presence of God, and when we do so, we will have days of good flow, serene and untroubled. So we do not need to “work” at acceptance for long, if we develop the right attitude toward our Maker. When we feel reverent, we are home free.

16 – Difficulty

“What you are going to realize from this time of seeming difficulty is an end to difficulty and the growth of your ability to do whatever you do peacefully and to be who you are in whatever situation you find yourself in. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 128)”

17 – Time of Becoming

We are in the “time of becoming” on the metaphorical mountain top with Jesus as our companion, but not our “teacher” any longer–for the time of learning has passed, and we are in the time of discovery. We are becoming the true self of Christ-consciousness, the elevated Self of form. But there is an in between state of trying to maintain rather than the sustaining of Christ-consciousness, and we are called to this in between state right now in this 40 days and nights of preparation.

18 – Composer

Jesus makes a comparison to an artist composing a piece of music. There is a time when the music may or may not “flow” into him or her, and then eventually, there is a feeling that completion is needed. All along the way, the artist may make the decision to share his music, either early or late in the process of preparation. We are reaching out to our brothers and sisters in love, with the thought that we are heading toward a greater understanding while in the midst of daily life. These 40 days and nights are not meant to take us “out” of life; the optimal situation is to remain in our normal lives. We may think that a removal would be advantageous, but Jesus asserts not.

19 – Calm

We need a created place of calm within; that is a main reason why we are not told to try to remove ourselves from normal life. We are the created becoming the creator of our lives. The passage for today emphasizes the ease with which life will be lived when we have attained Christ-consciousness. We reach for this without strain or effort; we allow Jesus to guide us at all times in this mountain top experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be patient on this mountain top with Jesus. I long for peace, and I long to be who I really am without strain. I have strained so often. It is a great blessing to learn that all of that can be put behind me now.

May the remainder of this day go well. This I frequently ask of You. It is important to me to have good days, and as I go through the mountain top experience once more, I appeal to YOu to be with me. Keep my mind clear and my emotions calm. Give me right thinking and right interpretations. Help me do my part, knowing that You will do yours. May I have peace above all else, inner peace with You at the helm. Thank You.

May I create a place of calm within myself, as I leave behind the old self and reach toward Christ-consciousness and the elevated Self of form. May I be patient, knowing that this boon is my destiny. Thank You for being with me today and every day.

Amen.

Thoughts You Do Not Think

1 – Unity

“For many of you, ‘thoughts you did not think’ are among your first experiences of unity. Thus, just as when you might look up when trying to remember something, or tap a finger to your temple, there is, in a certain sense, a ‘place’ to which you turn for these experiences. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Five)”

2 – Without Conscious Thought

We do know things often without conscious thought. Ideas come into our minds, without our volition, so obviously. Often this is an intrusive thought, and it doesn’t mean mental illness (though some intrusive thoughts do mean mental illness). The ideas, the thoughts are not consciously selected or guided. We might think of these thoughts as coming from the subconscious, but there are also other possibilities. Most of us believe in an Other Side, with entities there who communicate with us. A Course in Miracles makes this clear, saying that the Teachers of teachers give their ideas to people who would be frightened if they were to see these Teachers.

3 – Wave of the Future

This is the wave of the future. We are going to be learning through observation and through thoughts that we don’t “think.” The wave of the future looks bright, for we will have many ways to learn that are effortless and give us incredible direction in what to do and say.

4 – Access to Unity

“Access to unity will seem, at first, a quite individual accomplishment, something one may have and another may not. While this remains the case, you may desire to give others what you have and feel unable to do so. Yet, like love, unity is known through its effects. All the benefits of union can be given away to any willing to receive. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Five)”

5 – Transformation

We can see transformation in everyone! This is a marvelous promise. We will have access to the unity of which all of us are a part, part of the One, the One God. We may feel that we cannot easily convey to others what we are experiencing. But this will be a misnomer. We really are able to communicate what others are willing to hear, but they must be willing to hear. Some are ready only for a smile, as A Course in Miracles says.

6 – Rest

“You simply want to rest and have whatever transformation is to come to you to come. If you could indeed give in to this desire fully, it would speed the transformation along quite nicely. So please, listen to your weariness and to your heart’s desire to rest. Listen to the call to peace and let yourself recline in the embrace of love, feeling the warm earth beneath you and the heat of the sun above you. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, pp. 120-121)”

7 – Unity

Unity is defined on Day Five as being fully who you are and expressing fully who you are. It is not a matter either of effort or of learning. Jesus says repeatedly that the time of learning is over. The time of learning was in trying to satisfy the ego that one had accomplished.

Unity is something quite different, as defined by Jesus in A Course of Love.

8 – Effort

Likewise, as in the passage quoted above, the time of effort is over. We are to rest and to relax as our point of access to unity becomes clear to us. Jesus notes that there are various ways that access can be experienced: via part or all of the head, the heart, the hands, or even arising from the earth and felt throughout the body. A point of access will no longer be needed once we have sustained the elevated Self of form, rather than just tried to maintain it.

9 – Being Who We Are

This summary will likely not be fully satisfying to you, because Jesus’s words are dense with meaning. Know that we are only on Day Five, and 35 more days of explanation will follow. In the meantime, rest assured that unity–being who we are and expressing fully who we are–is Jesus’s intention in the 40 days and nights on the mountain top.

10 – Ego Is Gone

“While the ego is gone, effort remains, and while it remains, you will not realize full access to what you are given. We are speaking here of letting your form serve union and union serve your form. This service is effortless for it is the way of creation. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Five)”

11 – Effortless Accomplishment

What a glorious way to say that we don’t need to “effort” so! We have long been at the mercy of an ego which pushed us to do more and more. Those days are over, if we are willing to make them be over. If we are efforting, we are not taking full advantage of what we have been given. Our form is meant to be the elevated Self of form, and this form does not need to “effort” accomplish things. The way of creation is effortless, and we need to create as God intends.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long to peace today, for rest in You. I have sought salvation through my learning so earnestly, and I would now rest in Your promise that the time of effort is over. I do wish to express fully who I am, being reassured that I am sanctified.

Thank You for Jesus’s reassuring words in this Day Five of the mountain top experience. He ever has looked to You for his knowledge, and may I rest in surety that what I read today is knowledge and not simply perception.

Amen.

Learning Is Not Meant to Be Effortful

1 – Thinking

“Learning was not meant to be linked with thinking. Again I’ll draw your attention to the learning of childhood. Learning begins long before the onset of the time of language that constitutes your ideas about what it means to think. (Dialogues, Day Four)”

2 – Children

This truth, that children learn before they have language, proves Jesus’s point that there is a way to learn, through observation, that is easy and requires no effort. We have long put great store by our learning abilities, that we put forth a great effort in school, and then we reap the benefits. But we make everything too hard on ourselves, way too hard. We may still sometimes choose to learn through effort, but this is not the optimal way. We learn best when we learn easily.

3 – Minds

Can we really believe that learning is meant to be linked with thinking? We give our minds way too much credit. We think that the thinking of the mind is what will get us back to Heaven, even. This is not true, actually, though learning in the old way might have been needed when we were assimilating the truths of A Course in Miracles. As we assimilate those truths, we come into a new era, an ear in which we seek to have the heart guide us, not the mind. And our learning proceeds through observation, not thinking.

4 – Language

“Even after the onset of language, children continue to learn without thinking. Does this sound odd, foreign to you? And yet this is the way learning was designed to be. Learning was given as a natural mean of access to all that was available to you, but not through effort any more than breathing was designed to be effortful. (Dialogues, Day Four)”

5 – Ego

So actually learning is not meant to be effortful. We made it that way, when we were consumed by the ego, the ego which always made things as hard as it could—thus approving its value to us. Breathing is not effortful, normally, and we are told here that learning is just as easy as breathing.

6 – Struggle

May we spend some time today deciding that what we struggle to learn is maybe best not learned.

7 – Personal Experience

I know that I worked very, very hard in college, attending a difficult school in which I ranked by ability in the middle of the class. But I wanted better than average grades, and so I sought to overachieve. College was not very much fun. My personality flattened out. I felt oppressed. And not until I had finished that dark time in my life did my personality come alive. So I know first hand that learning achieved through effort exacts a high price, a price that it would be best not to pay.

8 – Thinking as a Constraint

“Thinking, in this time beyond learning, could be rightly seen as a constraint you but try to impose on all that is natural. Your thinking, since it is a product of learning, does nothing but attempt to learn or teach. These are the natural responses of its training. Thus, a major key to your discovery of all that exists within you in the state of unity, is an end to thinking as you know it. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

9 – An End to “Thinking”

So let us “end” thinking as we know it. Let’s let the heart rule, the heart that listens to intuition, or the deeper Christ Self. (A Course in Miracles had termed this listening through the Holy Spirit.) We are said to be in the time of Christ now, and listening to the Christ Self is a harbinger of things to come. We are no longer in the time of the Holy Spirit. We have moved beyond as we read A Course of Love.

10 – Fear / Love

“You must realize that here is where fear must be totally replaced by love. If you fear to go where the portal of access will take you, you will not go. Thus your desire needs to be greater than your fear. Love needs to reign. Love of self and love of your brothers and sisters, love of the natural world, of the world of form that is, love of the idea of the new world that can be, all of these must come together and be victors over the reign of fear. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 113).

11 – New Temptations

The “new temptations” meant in this title are two: real choice and access. These are not negatives, but goals toward which we wish to go. We are leaving behind the time of learning, so that we learn through “thoughts that we do not think,” as a child does, and as early man and woman did–before language entered into our experience.

12 – Union

We must now want union in relationship to our brothers and sisters and our God more than anything else. We must find acceptance of ourselves, despite our anger or our depression, or anything else that seems to be imperfect. We are told that we do not have to be perfect, and we are reminded of the Prodigal Son, who surely did not feel perfect when he returned to his father. He only needed to accept the father’s love. That is our situation now. And unity is within ourselves; our God is within.

13 – Access

The portal of access is love and only love. Nothing else will do at all. This is the portal that here on the mountain top, we will discover with Jesus. We are only just beginning our 40 days and nights with him on the mountain top. More is to follow. But we would do well to realize that perfection is not required of us. Acceptance of love as the only way is. Fear must be left behind forever, and when we have done that, we will be Home.

14 – Jesus

“I do not have to spell out this choice for you, for you know exactly what it means. It means you will be as I am. It means you will live from love rather than from fear. It means that you will demonstrate what living from love is. It means that you will resurrect to eternal life here and now. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

15 – Guidance from Love

It is important always to live from love and not from fear. Guidance always comes from love, and if we think we hear a guidance that is telling us to protect ourselves with a sense of fear, we are really hearing the personal self that is not yet rid of the ego. Guidance does not rule us through fear, and any message that we receive that is fear-tainted is a false message.

16 – Protection

Of course, we can take prudent measures to protect ourselves from danger. But we are normally safe in everyday life, though there are those among us who find themselves in dangerous situations, and thus would find this assertion untrue in their experience. The world we inhabit can be a dangerous place, but we make it worse by our thinking of it in such a way. We defend, making that worse by our defense. We seek to protect ourselves at all costs, and we need to ask if this is really the heart-centered Self that we are protecting, or the ego of the personal or little self. It will prove to be, more than likely, the ego of the little self. And Jesus has declared that we, at this point, are free of the ego. If we have followed A Course of Love, we will know ourselves to be free.

17 – Christ Self

If we resurrect to eternal life here and now, we are living as our Christ Self. This is what we seek to do. This is home for us. Heaven is here and now. There is no waiting.

18 – Prodigal Son

“Think a moment of the story of the prodigal son. All that the prodigal son was asked to do was to accept his own homecoming. Do you think he would have considered himself perfect as he approached his father’s presence? Surely he would not have. You are asked but to accept your own homecoming. To leave behind the time of wandering, seeking, learning. To leave behind fear for the embrace of the love and safety of your true home. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

19 – Seeking

In A Course of Love, I believe that we are asked to leave behind the incessant seeking—the time of wandering, seeking, learning. I suspect, but this is an interpretation, that Jesus channeled A Course of Love because he saw many students and teachers of A Course in Miracles still seeking, though finished with these books. With what were we to replace the ego? I think that ACIM does not make this point as crystal clear as Jesus wished it to be. We replace the ego with the Self, and this point is made in ACIM, but it can easily be overlooked. Jesus revisits us with iterations of the answer in ACOL. We are to give up seeking, because we have at last arrived. And to say this is not arrogance, unless we truly are still tied to our egos.

20 – Homecoming

The prodigal son only had to accept his own homecoming. So it is with us. We need only to accept, as the first two days of the 40 days and 40 nights told us. If there are things about ourselves that we don’t like, things of our personality, we can ask, humbly, that these be removed, and watch them fall away. God is very powerful, and He hears our prayers, I believe. I don’t think that we are alone because we are lost in illusion. Now we are moving into the real world, the world just short of Heaven, and we have advantages from this vantage point that we lacked previously. We will see miracles wherever we look.

21 – Choice

“This choice has come before you might have expected it to. It does not come at the end but at the beginning of our time together for a reason. This is simply because this choice is the beginning. This is the choice that allows us to continue our dialogue as one. To talk heart to heart. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Four)”

22 – Hearts

We choose to listen with our hearts, and we make a choice to stop our incessant seeking. That is the choice that Jesus refers to in this quotation. We have arrived. Let us rest easy and be glad. We do not yet know everything that we wish to know, but we can rest—knowing that what we need will be revealed to us. We need not fear any longer that we will ever be bereft.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize that, like the Prodigal Son, I do not have to be perfect to be accepted by Jesus, to reach the heights that the mountain top experience is meant to bring to me. I may resist this concept, and so please guide my thoughts and feelings so that it is acceptable to me.

Thank You for this good day. I feel especially grateful for the congenial way in which people are interacting with me this day. It is not always so. We live among people who have many problems, and it is up to us to try to heal their problems by loving more strongly. We cannot heal for them, in many cases, but we can ask for miracles that will work in their lives to heal. We can be the instrument of that healing, but only when we ask guidance as to what we ought to do. Be with us as we sense Your Presence, ask for guidance, and then carry out the impulses that arise in us. Thank You for the sense of Your Presence always.

May I be united with love. May I drop fear. These are perhaps my two greatest needs, and these build on A Course in Miracles and are further explained to me now in A Course of Love. Thank You for helping me to devote my life and myself to love.

Amen.

Accept Your Anger

1 – Day Three

“Accept your anger for it is the next step in the continuum upon which we travel. When a person is dying, just as when a person is undergoing this final surrender, there are stages through which one moves. (Dialogues, Day Three)”

2 – ACIM and Anger and Attack

Jesus chose an especially volatile example of what can be accepted. In A Course in Miracles, there is a very significant passage in which anger is said to have no justification and attack no foundation in fact. This is especially crucial to our holy relationship, which is the way that A Course in Miracles is preparing us for Awakening by God. Here, in this quotation, Jesus says in A Course of Love, that anger can be accepted as part of a continuum. I suspect that Jesus knows how hard some of us have tried to eliminate anger, and our suppression of it has not worked very well.

3 – ACOL and Anger

Here, in A Course of Love, Jesus would have us just turn aside from anger, without giving it any credence, and, I would believe, especially not try to suppress it. The ego has a field day with suppression, for what is resisted only gets stronger and comes out in even worse ways (sometimes). Jesus compares our acceptance of anger, on this continuum, as akin to the stages of grieving only one’s own death. And acceptance is only one stage in that process, but a very important one. Likewise, when we accept the anger, the anger loses its force over us. It becomes meaningless, and we don’t resist any longer. It is not made stronger, as it would be made in resisting the anger actively.

4 – Money / Abundance

“There is one area that is greeted with even more anger and more resistance in regard to learning of all kinds—in other words both old learning as well as new—than love. This is the area that you call money and that I call abundance. (Dialogues, Day Three)”

5 – Jesus

Jesus moves into “abundance” or “money” from the discussion of anger. He spends a great deal of time on this day in discussing money. He knows that it is a hot point for many of us—either the love of money or the regret that we don’t have more of it. Jesus indicates that abundance is not something that is to be regretted, and here he differs from his words as quoted in the New Testament. There he tells his apostles that it is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Many there are who have taken Jesus at face value in this statement. The rich young ruler in the account turns aside sadly, for he had great riches. He is told to sell all, give to the poor, and follow Jesus. The rich young ruler can’t bring himself to do this because money is his god (an interpretation).

6 – Crisis Point

Here, in this quotation, Jesus is said to find money or abundance more of a crisis point than even the concept of love. We can all agree on love. We can’t all agree on money. It is a dividing point for many, the final straw that our dedication to salvation is actually weak.

7 – Fallacy

“This is the basic fallacy that the time of learning supported. The idea of if this, then that. The idea of abundance earned. The idea of nothing being truly free. Not you, and not your gifts. (Dialogues, Day Three)”

8 – Learning

Here Jesus is saying that the past time, the time of learning, supported the idea that everything of value—and this especially includes money—has to be earned, is not truly free. We also think, erroneously, that we have to earn our way into Heaven. This, I think, is the basic concept that Jesus is challenging. We don’t, ever, earn our way into Heaven. The bestowal of Awakening by God, or Christ-consciousness, is a free gift. We can, we are realizing, prepare ourselves for this gift in various important ways, but the final bestowal is God’s choice, His timing and His choice, always. We don’t earn our way into this most coveted of evidences of salvation.

9 – Earned?

But abundance that is truly abundance does not have to be earned in every instance. There are many instances of abundance that don’t cost anything. And the law of attraction often indicates that money itself is subject to our thinking about it, our drawing it to ourselves. Abundance is good, as long as the abundance (or the money) doesn’t become one’s god. When that happens, we have substituted an idol for the richness of Heaven.

10 – Acceptance

“Yet how can you accept yourself when you have feelings such as these? How can you accept the idea of inheritance with ideas such as these? How do you accept me when you see me as symbolizing a life of ‘godly’ poverty, and of calling my followers to abandon their worldly goods? (Dialogues, Day Three)”

11 – Bad?

This gets even closer to understanding that abundance, per se, is not necessarily bad—in fact, that abundance may be very good indeed. But we often get our priorities mixed up when it comes to money, and that is indeed what Jesus was saying in the New Testament story of the rich young ruler (an interpretation). Jesus knows that his readers will not take lightly any admonition to give up worldly goods for another world, although that, in effect, is at issue. We give up the LOVE of money, and then the abundance itself is not a bad thing. And how do we separate the love from the money itself? Ah, that is the rub, and that is why Jesus spends so much time in A Course of Love talking about abundance and money. He knows that the historical Christianity has always denigrated worldly goods as being ungodly, and that people who might otherwise have been Jesus’s followers get stuck on just this point.

12 – Misplaced Priorities
A Course of Love settles the point. Abundance, per se, is not the issue. It is the misplaced priorities, choosing the world over spiritual matters, that keeps us in real poverty of spirit.

13 – Set Your Mind at East

“Let me set your mind at ease, for you are not called to sacrifice, as you have been told time and time again. (Dialogues, Day Three)”

14 – Sacrifice?

We are not called to sacrifice anything at all in A Course of Love, any more than we are called to sacrifice in A Course in Miracles. We are given things, many things, and we are told that our happiness is God’s first priority. That’s right. But how many of us can take this good news and run with it? We get so caught up in believing that we are tainted by material goods, even though we don’t stop ourselves from having such goods. Jesus would eliminate our confusion and our conflict, telling us that we need not sacrifice for him. But we do need to understand that the things of the spirit only give us the happiness that he wishes for us. Any material object is of this world, and our joy in it will subside over time. We are also liable to get caught up in the ego when we wish for material possessions, and the ego is a bad idea from the start. We have indeed sacrificed in this world, but it has usually been for the things that the ego told us would be good for us. And that was a lie. Nothing the ego bade us get has ever turned out well. The elation that we feel always turns to tears of despair.

15 – Unity

“You have accepted now, because of whatever experiences of unity you have had, that the knowing of unity is available to you. You may not have given great consideration to the access through which that availability arose, but since for most of you it has arisen as thoughts you did not think, if you were to make an association in regards to entry, you would likely say the entry point was the mind. This is, in a sense, true, as wholeheartedness is comprised of the mind and heart joined in unity. (A Course in Love: Dialogues, p. 103)”

16 – ACOL

The passage chosen here is tangential to the argument put forth in Day Three. It does, however, say some very important things about the A Course of Love as a whole. In unity is abundance accepted, and this abundance is the very practical matter of money–having enough, feeling secure, knowing that we will be taken care of in the future.

17 – New Understanding
Jesus notes that in coming to a new understanding of abundance we will move through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Only then we will be ready to accept abundance as our natural inheritance from God. We will be ready to discover, rather than to learn through the mind. This includes the “thoughts that we do not think,” which is the infusion of knowledge into our wholeheartedness rather than the learning through our mind that the ego so enjoyed. We have now moved beyond the ego.
18 – Common Sense
Jesus talks quite a bit about money here, and he is very, very commonsensical. He knows that may of us have issues about money (he calls it “abundance”) that might preclude our acceptance of all that he holds out to us in the new wholeheartedness that he extols. Day Three is among the most practical chapters in the entire three-volume ACOL. Surely we can follow his reasoning, and reach for the unity of all brothers and sisters without reference to relative abundance. He concludes, “The active acceptance of abundance is the way to abundance.”
19 – Natural State
“Abundance is the natural state of unity and thus your natural state, just as certainty rather than uncertainty is your natural state, just as joy rather than sorrow is your natural state. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
20 – Unnatural Lives
We see here that abundance, certainty, joy—all—are natural states of human beings. We have lived such unnatural lives so far. Let’s give up the unnatural in favor of the natural any day. Let’s drop the idea of sacrifice that is so dear to the ego’s persona. We will thrive when our hearts are right with God. He blesses us, as He does everyone, when we ask. There are many things for which we must ask, many blessings, and we hesitate to ask because we think that they are undeserving things, or even that we ourselves are undeserving.
21 – Deserving
We deserve the good things of good. Just know that those good things are mostly intangibles—joy, harmony, peace, no conflict,–and we will have to abundance that we so richly deserve. We will know the function of happiness, which is akin to forgiveness in A Course in Miracles. Our salvation is to know happiness and forgiveness as our function (from A Course in Miracles).
22 – Materiality
Materiality is part of abundance, and it is part of what money can buy. Money is not a dirty word or concept. It is only the overweening love of money that speaks to the ego and gets us into trouble.
23 – Replacement of Learning

“While you think of acceptance as just another word, another concept, another trick of the mind, you will not see it as the replacement of learning, and as such as an active state, a state in which you begin to work with what is beyond learning, a state in which you are in relationship with what is beyond learning. It is in truth a state in which you enter into an alternate reality, the reality of union—because you accepted that reality. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
24 – Union
We are asked to enter union with our fellow beings and with God. Elsewhere, many times, A Course of Love stands up for unity and relationship as twin goals for everyone. But our acceptance of that union is an acceptance that will free us to walk with Jesus on the way home. It will take us to the mountaintop, metaphorically holding his hand. We are not “learning” anymore, we are “accepting.” And we are not straining in our acceptance. We feel no strain in our daily doings. We don’t work in the same way, though work we will, and hard. We will find work to be effortless without the agony of thinking that we are learning through our backbreaking work. We do not have to struggle to learn anymore. What we need to know will be given us.
25 – Alternate Reality
This is our alternate reality—a state of union with All that is (God). And All that is includes our brothers and sisters who are walking together with us. All may not be walking to salvation, but that is partially up to us. We need to share, when sharing is OK to those involved. We do not have to proselytize, which would indeed be counterproductive if one needed only a smile (from A Course in Miracles). So we accept our reality as Sons and Daughters of God. We accept that our personal self (our persona) and our Christ Self are one, and in that understanding do we take our place in a new world.
Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know the security that only resides in You, in the abundance that You promise to me. May I not be tempted to fret about my future needs, or even my present ones. May I do what I can, when I can, and may I rest secure in the knowledge that my real needs are always met.

Abundance is a relative term, but I do not long for the abundance of material goods so much as spiritual. Jesus promises that I can have both, and I rest in peace in that assurance.

Amen.

The Choice to End Suffering

1 – Day Two

“Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of me. Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of your inheritance. Now is the time to come into full acceptance of the human self as well as the Self of unity. It is time for the final merging of the two into one Self, the elevated Self of form. (Dialogues, Day Two)”

2 – Elevated Self of Form

This new Self, the elevated Self of form, is a concept stressed throughout A Course of Love. Jesus’s statement herein also mitigates our difficulty with his first day’s insistence that we accept him as our companion on the mountaintop (though not our teacher). If our acceptance of our full Self, the little self or personal self as well as the Christ Self, means that we have accepted Jesus’s primary role in guiding us, then we are able to by-step the controversy of needing to accept Jesus as primary to our life’s progress.

3 – Our Inheritance

Acceptance of our inheritance is a view toward seeing the personal self (the one that we know most intimately as a persona, but minus the ego as central to that persona) and the Self as the unity that it ought to be. When we merge the personal self with the Christ Self, we have achieved the elevated Self of form. This does not mean that we have experienced Christ-consciousness, only that we have removed the blocks to receiving such a blessing. Christ-consciousness is seen to arrive during our time in these 40 days and 40 nights on the mountaintop with Jesus.

4 – Journey

He does not mean that we will make this journey repeatedly. Later on, soon, he makes that point in A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He is preparing us to make the journey once with him, and then to be done with that aspect of our growth. We will never finish growing, because there are always new plateaus, but apparently Jesus had felt that students/teachers of A Course in Miracles were caught by relinquishment of the ego with nothing spelled out as the way to go after the ego was history. This, to my mind, is his reason for channeling A Course of Love at all. He wanted to share more of what follows when the ego has been relinquished. And A Course of Love does just that.

5 – Inventor

“You are like an inventor who wasted many years, much money, and endured many hardships over many projects that did not come to fruition, and now has succeeded in inventing just what was always envisioned. This is the moment of fulfillment and desire coming together, the time in which to realize ‘it was all worth it.’ (Dialogues, Day Two)”

6 – Ego

This analogy dovetails a good bit of the rationale for A Course of Love. We have tried many things, struggled much, in finally letting go of the ego. What now? Now we find out. We are on the brink of a new day. And that new day is ushered in by A Course of Love.

7 – Moment of Fulfillment

This is the moment of fulfillment. What a glorious promise! We have waited long for this, and perhaps when we are finished with our 40 days and 40 nights, we will know how great a promise Jesus has made to us. If we have struggled with our study of A Course in Miracles for a very long time, we will read Jesus’s words with relief. We don’t have to struggle any longer to know the full fruition of our many deeds, words, thoughts. We are home free.

8 – Decisions

“I could give thousands of examples here, but the point is that we are not looking for degrees of wrong-actions, or wrong-doing. You all have moments you wish you could re-enact, decisions you wish you could change. These ‘actions’ are unchangeable. This is why simple acceptance is needed. (Dialogues, Day Two)”

9 – End of the Journey

Many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles site the passage in which Jesus says that he stands at the end of the journey, ready to remedy all mistakes that we ourselves could not remedy. This implies to my mind that there is some perfection being sought. Is this true? I think that it is not the whole truth, for the very idea of being perfect is an egoic construct. Our egos will have a field day with the idea that we need to be better than we are in every respect. This will hold off the acceptance even further.

10 – Chastisement

Jesus is saying here that there needs to be an end to the chastisement that we all give ourselves for not being perfect. He says elsewhere that if we recognize any personality trait, and don’t like it, we just turn aside from it and it will disappear. If we are satisfied to keep the anger, or the guilt, then we do just recognize their presence and accept them—but we don’t try to “change” constantly into a better version of what we are now. The ego loves the concept of trying to perfect ourselves. It keeps the game going. And there is no end in sight.

11 – Accept

But we who are relinquishing the ego will recognize that Jesus’s dictum that we just “accept” is welcome news indeed. In our acceptance, we stop the resistance that keeps the negative traits in place. This resistance has also kept the ego alive. This is to my mind why acceptance is so crucial to Jesus’s words here; not to accept would retain the ego. To accept will mean that the ego withers away.

12 – End Suffering

“Here, then, is where you need to make the choice that those in my time could not make, the choice to end suffering. This is the choice I made ‘for all.’ This is a choice you make for all as well. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 95)”

13 – Worthy?

This passage makes the point well that many of us who are on the mountain top (the setting of these 40 days and nights) feel that we are not worthy of this experience to which Jesus calls us. We think of the many things that we have done wrong, or that were done wrong to us, and we do not accept these things and put them in the past. Acceptance is the great call that Jesus makes to us on this day.

14 – Jesus

Jesus says that his example life was meant to bring the end of suffering, that he did not suffer, because he knew who he was. We will find this assertion hard to believe, but we need to trust that Jesus is leading us aright.

15 – Self

We are worthy, we have experienced Atonement, and we are ready to elevate the Self of form. The self and the Self are meant to be combined. We will not recognize that we are worthy of this great blessing until we reach acceptance of all that has gone before. Our mistakes have been forgiven; that is all that we really need to know. Then we will be ready to take our place as Awakened beings. In this 40 days and nights, this call is made by Jesus to all of us who are his readers of the Dialogues and who accept his word, as expressed therein.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I accept myself as I am. May I know that the Atonement that You have offered me is freely given to all, including myself. If there are things about myself that I want to change for the better, help me to make these changes in the midst of my acceptance.

Be with me today as I seek to commune with You throughout the day. That communion is really the best way to live. Staying close to You keeps my attitude straightened out, my calm undisturbed, and gives me a peace that is not of the world. May my day go well with You at the helm. May I remember to thank You for the blessings of this day, which are many, more than I might usually have. I wish to remain steady and calm, relaxed and serene. Knowing Your Presence goes with me can ensure that this demeanor will be mine until the end of the day. Thank You.

May I assist in ending suffering in this world, for others and myself. Until I have taken my place in this great endeavor, I will feel that something is missing. May nothing be missing today.

Amen.

This Has Been Spoken of as the Second Coming of Christ

1 – Day One

“Acceptance of me is acceptance of your Self. Acceptance of me is acceptance of your inheritance. (Dialogues, Day One)”

2 – Personal Acceptance of Jesus

Elsewhere in A Course of Love Jesus indicates that acceptance of him personally is a prerequisite for being on the mountaintop with him and making the final exit from our sad and troubled world by Christ-consciousness being received. This is a controversial point for readers of A Course of Love, for readers of A Course in Miracles were not so instructed. Why accept Jesus’s personal role in our salvation?

3 – Traditional Christianity

This may be a reflection of older, traditional Christianity, which saw Jesus as the only Savior of the world. If we believe that Jesus channeled A Course of Love, though, we need to look more deeply, because we are believing that just recently he said that he was the way. Christians will not have much trouble with his assertion, but people of other faiths who read A Course of Love may reject Jesus’s statement. I would recommend keeping an open mind, following Jesus up the metaphorical mountaintop, and, at least for this experience, believing that he can and will lead us home.

4 – No Longer a Teacher

“We are here on the top of the mountain together, beginning our work together. I am no longer your teacher, but there is a reason that you are here with me. You have been listening to my words, and these words are what have brought you here, not to a place but to an ascended state. (Dialogues, Day One)”

5 – Ascended State

Jesus says here that we are in an ascended state on the mountaintop. Elsewhere in A Course of Love he has declared that our egos are dead now, and that we have only a little farther to walk before we inherit Christ-consciousness (what A Course in Miracles calls “Awakening”). He has been guiding us, and especially if we are students of A Course in Miracles we have de facto accepted him as our guide. This is not controversial; it is practical good sense. (I seek to keep the controversial out of my interpretations.)

6 – Why No Longer Our Teacher?

Why is Jesus no longer our teacher? He says this in the quotation above. We have moved beyond needing him as our teacher; he is our companion, our fellow seeker as well, though he has found and what is accepted by him is only potential in us. Elsewhere in A Course of Love, Jesus stresses the brotherhood that we share with him; he says that we are equals. Much as was said in the New Testament, there is nothing that he has that cannot be ours as well. This is great good news.

7 – Mountaintop

We will have 40 days and 40 nights of communion with Jesus on the mountaintop, still immersed in our daily work lives, but living with our head in the clouds while our feet are on the ground. Let us be grateful that we are still immersed in daily life, for if Jesus had required of us a time apart, most would not make the journey to the mountaintop with him. He says elsewhere that this immersion in daily life is actually preferred, that we are right to be seeking salvation while going about our normal lives.

8 – Holy Men and Women

“Had any of the holy men and women who walked the way of the world since my time learned, accepted, and lived the teachings that have brought you to this point which I now would like to lead you beyond, the world would be a different place. Have I not called you to a new time in which the conditions of learning exist no more? In which the suffering and death that have obscured that love is the answer are banished, rejected, and a new world of love accepted in their place? (Dialogues, Day One)”

9 – New World of Love

We are seeking a new world of love, and this is no small feat. Our world of perception is troubled indeed. And Jesus is saying in this quotation that if holy people of the past had known what we have been exposed to, then the world itself would be different now. I think that he is suggesting that if we follow his words, our world of the present and future will indeed be different.

10 – Learning

Strangely, perhaps, Jesus says that learning in the old way is no longer desirable. We will learn, but through observation (said elsewhere in A Course of Love). Observing is effortless, as even we who have not yet ascended the mountaintop, with all that this holds out to us, can see. We welcome the effortless, indeed. We are being called to a new time, a new time in which we walk through out days (and these may be very busy days indeed), but without the strain that dealing for eons with the ego has cost us. There is no strain to following Jesus’s way.

11 – Our Fulfillment

“This has been spoken of as the second coming of Christ because my story goes unfulfilled without your fulfillment. It is only in your fulfillment of the continuing story of creation that my story reaches completion. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 90)”

12 – Our Guide

This “Day One” represents the first of 40 days and nights on a “mountain top” with Jesus as our guide. In this chapter of the Dialogues, Jesus makes a comparison of these 40 days and nights with his own 40 days and nights in the desert, prior to the beginning of his mission on earth 2,000 years ago. We are to become what he became.

13 – God

Jesus stresses that it matters not what we call “God,” because God knows who He is. But acceptance of Jesus as our guide is necessary; it explains that this is just the way it is in salvation. This tenet of A Course of Love, the Dialogues, will be difficult for some of us to accept, perhaps, but if we realize that in A Course in Miracles we have already accepted Jesus as our guide, we will be less resistant.

14 – Example Life

We are meant to become all that Jesus was. His was the example life. We do not have to go through what he experienced, because that was for him alone. But we do have to accept him as our guide. Then we will be well on our way to recognizing that indeed this is the time of the second coming of Christ. We are meant to embody that second coming as we elevate our self of form to the elevated Self.

15 – Jesus’s Part

“My forty days and forty nights on the mountain succeeded my baptism and my acknowledgment as the Son of God, and preceded my time of living as my Self in the world. So too does it with you. (Dialogues, Day One)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I wholeheartedly accept Jesus as my guide. May I drop any resistance that I have ever had around this idea. May I choose the best for my future, and may I realize that Jesus is a part of my personal future.

Be with me every day. I long for Your comfort. I get confused when I try to make decisions on my own, with my little self struggling so. The best that I can do is to turn inward to the Self Who is a part of You. Help me to come to understand, in these 40 days and 40 nights, what this Self really means. Guide me to make good decisions, for my own judgment is very faulty. Help me to walk into the sunlight with You, certain of guidance, sure of my steps, balancing securely as I walk along.

Thank You, dear God, for leading me to love better. As I go to the mountain top with Jesus over the next 40 days, may I know a resurrection that only You can bring to me.

Amen.

A Course of Love – 40 Days and 40 Nights from the Dialogues

I will publish numerous passages with reflections from what some view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. It is a three-volume series entitled A Course of Love, channeled by Mari Perron, believed to be from Jesus. The passages chosen are from the last half of the final volume in the series, the Dialogues.

Mari Perron’s web address is as follows:
http://www.acourseoflove.com/A_Course_Of_Love_And_Grace.shtml

I will re-introduce A Course of Love by re-posting an essay that compared A Course in Miracles to A Course of Love.

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love

by Celia Hales

Mari Perron’s A Course of Love, in three volumes (A Course of Love, the Treatises, and theDialogues, acronym ACOL), is a beautifully rendered narrative that I view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. She heard internally, as she related to me in an interview when I met her in St. Paul, that ACOL was presented to her by Jesus as “another Course in Miracles.” She said that she had about a week before she consented to tackle such a large project, a project that eventually led her to resign from her position at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities to devote herself full time to the channeling. The channeling was done in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In my reading, I find in ACOL no contradictions of any kind with ACIM. My summary evaluation is that ACOL is to the heart what ACIM is to the mind. Jesus says that he is combining mind and heart in A Course of Love to lead to a state that he terms “wholeheartedness.” There are many consoling passages, notably a beautifully rendered invitation to join Jesus in an embrace that comforts and sustains us, and that we return in a mutual embrace. He invites us to weep, yet we know that he will not leave us weeping, but instead lifted up to his view of life and love as they are meant to be lived.
There is much in ACOL about the fact that our fiction of a separated self is to be replaced by a union that can be understood only in relationship one to another. As in ACIM, this is meant to be a holy relationship, not a special one. Jesus bids us serve one another, and asserts that this describes the circular nature of the universe–to serve and to be served
Jesus is much concerned in this whole series of three volumes that we not keep seeking for our answers; we are to rest in the view that we know enough to live in love. He talks about the fact that we seem to be continually seeking, but we are weary, and he knows that we wonder when this seeking will finally end. In ACOL, all three volumes, the seeking is finally to come to an end. The two volumes that follow the first, the Treatises and the Dialogues, particularly bid us leave our intellectualism behind and to listen, wholeheartedly, to our mind and heart in conjunction with each other. In these later volumes, particularly the last, he resigns as our teacher and speaks to us as one of us.

When I first began reading the second of the three volumes, the Treatises, I became convinced that Jesus was the author; it was an intellectual decision based in part on the newness of the material and the complexity of it. In addition, the fact that there were no contradictions to ACIM played heavily in my decision. The Treatises are four in number, and they provide an intellectual framework in ways that the other two volumes do not. They are harder to understand, but the same beautiful language is there, along with the forthrightness that I have learned to associate with Jesus. In the early pages, he asks us to choose a miracle, and explains that this will help us to understand what he is saying. Later on, he asserts, in line with Eastern thought, that mindfulness will provide the complement to wholeheartedness.

As the volumes go on, there is much that is new in them–ideas that pick up where ACIM left off, with the time of the Holy Spirit, and assertions that we are now in the time of Christ-consciousness. There have always been individuals who embodied Christ-consciousness, but none (except Jesus, we might add) that have sustained it. Jesus does not make promises about a physical Second Coming, as he did not in ACIM, but he does indicate that now is the time for the sustaining of Christ-consciousness among more and more people, and he asserts that children born now will inhabit a very different world than that of their forebears.
Jesus directly states that ACIM and A Course of Love work hand-in-hand. ACIM was meant to dislodge the ego, and ACOL builds upon this success, giving us the tools with which to work. He asserts in the final volume, the Dialogues, that we are now the accomplished, and he presents a primer that is meant to be read and understood over forty days and nights. We are working in a forty-day ascension to elevate the Self of form on our earth.

So much is devoted to the false thinking that we have about continuing to seek in a never-ending pathway. When is it enough? When does the seeking end? Jesus ultimately says that we are ready now, once we have walked the whole pathway (which he outlines in the latter part of the third volume, the Dialogues), and that continual seeking is not what he means for us. We will let the rough aspects of our personalities fall away, knowing that we are beloved and that we have achieved the Christhood that he holds out to us as his promise. In what appears to be a departure from ACIM, Jesus asserts that no feelings are bad. In ACIM, he had asserted that anger was never justified. In A Course of Love he notes different aspects of personality that do not hinder us from full acceptance to Christ-consciousness. Some of these aspects are negative, but he holds out to us the view that we can have these undesirable traits, undesirable to us, fall away if we do not care for them. Otherwise, it appears that we are simply to be tolerant of aspects of ourselves that will be subject to change as we grow in Christ-consciousness. In ACIM, perfection is seen to be a prerequisite, and Jesus was said to stand at the end of time to undo those errors in us that we otherwise could not undo. The differences between these two thoughts may not be as great as we might imagine, as we remember from the New Testament that the man Jesus, the example-life of Christ-consciousness, got very angry in the last week of his life with the moneychangers in the temple.

To believe that we can retain some negative traits and yet ascend to Christ-consciousness is a remarkable statement that sounds almost too good to be true. Yet I believe that it is true, and that it is only our own ego that would assert that the new understanding is arrogance. This is the suggestion, discussed above, from A Course of Love that we do not have to be perfect to be an ascended Self of form in this world. This is reassuring in the extreme, because how many of us try and try, only to fall up short repeatedly? This is discouraging for those of us on the spiritual pathway, and Jesus’ statements deny the reality of perfection as a criterion on acceptance by him as being Christ-conscious. This statement is one of the more startling in the volumes, and perhaps one of the more controversial.

Relationships are seen in the much the same vein as in ACIM, and special relationships must change to the holy. This is itself will change everything. We will exist in union with our brothers and sisters, in relationship, and this will fuel the new Christ form that we occupy.
We live within the house of truth, according to the Treatises, though within that house of truth is a house of illusion, in which many of us still live. In a significant image, the words describe that there have been “explosions” within the house of illusion, but that it is has not fallen yet. Nevertheless, still this house of illusion is within the house of truth, and so all of us are one together. Those in the house of illusion are still, like ACIM says of us, ruled by the ego; those outside the house of illusion but inside the house of truth are now ruled by the Christ spirit, or Christ-consciousness, as the time of the Holy Spirit is drawing to a close and the time of Christ-consciousness is at hand. This latter point is an expansion from ACIM, a next step.

We are not to evangelize our brothers and sisters, though, who still live in the house of illusion. Instead, we seek just by service one to another to draw everyone to us in the house of truth. Another way of stating this same phenomenon, new to our world but explained above, is that we must individually and collectively sustain Christ-consciousness. This then is the new Self that we are to be.
The third volume, the Dialogues, seeks to lead us to a sustained place of Christ-consciousness in form, i.e., the elevated Self of form. Christ-consciousness replaces perception (as discussed in ACIM) with knowing. This elevated Self of form, to my reading, means the physical form that we occupy on earth, but it is does not mean that death will cease to be (a somewhat common misconception that sometimes is made with ACIM).

The volume concludes with an injunction to remain in the world, but to follow Jesus to the mountaintop for forty days and nights of final observation (not “learning“). The content of the chapters devoted to these forty days and nights is beautiful indeed. As mentioned, Jesus resigns as our teacher and becomes akin to an equal, but just as surely must we too resign as our own teacher (an ACIM thought as well). We learn directly from observance, from within our own selves, of the real world that only appears to be outside of ourselves (an ACIM concept also). But we cannot observe only from within ourselves; we must join in union and relationship with our brothers and sisters. To unite is to be one in being; to join in relationship is to join with our brothers and sisters as beings; both union and relationship are necessary, and this injunction for unity and relationship is repeatedly emphasized.
In observing and living these forty days and nights, we are to remain in our daily world, carrying out our normal activities. Jesus assures us that this is the best way to learn, for, after all, we are creatures of the earth as well as heaven, and we do not need to remove ourselves from our daily lives to learn his truths.
There is a very interesting insertion in the Dialogues of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus is seen to be the “example life,” the one of “doing“; and Mary’s way is seen to be that of “being,” in relationship, the way of the future. There are consistencies between doing and being, though, and the two are not mutually exclusive now nor in the future.

The ultimate revelation of A Course of Love is the fact that we can indeed expect heaven on earth; this Jesus declares. He ends the final volume, the Dialogues, by saying that we will know expressions of love as our service on earth. This is very traditional thinking, but after studying all three volumes, it is a restful conclusion. We are not encouraged to spend ourselves in endless effort, as the end that we seek is peaceful and effortless. It is the way that life is meant to be, and has always been meant to be, lived.

A Course of Love, as I have reiterated, is a beautiful work of art. Though not in blank verse, as is ACIM, the language that Mari Perron channeled is stunningly beautiful. You have a magnificent opportunity in studying these volumes to learn what Jesus wants to say to us by way of sequel to ACIM.

Forget Not Once This Journey Is Begun the End Is Certain

1 – Doubt

“Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain. Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again. Yet is the ending sure. No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do. When you forget, remember that you walk with Him and with His Word upon your heart. (M91)”

2 – Home

We are sure to get Home. Once the journey is begun, the ending is certain. And all of us have begun the journey, the “journey without distance” (quoted elsewhere in the Course).

3 – Oscillations

Getting Home is not a straight line. We will vary, and sometimes we will fall off the pathway. But if we give up attack, judgment, and planning against contingencies to come, we will find our way back onto the pathway. These three aspects of our experience–attack, judging, and planning–are all the means by which we fail (a Course concept). Let us give up such nonsense now.

4 – Jesus

We do walk with Jesus, as we walk with God and the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere Jesus invites us to imagine that we hold his hand as we walk along, and he assures us that this is no idle fantasy.

5 – Morning Star

“The morning star of this new day looks on a different world where God is welcomed and His Son with Him. We who complete Him offer thanks to Him, as He gives thanks to us. The Son is still, and in the quiet God has given him enters his home and is at peace at last. (M92)”

6 – Final Sentences

This is the final few sentences of the Manual. And it is a great comfort to read and to reread. The “morning star” is an allusion to Revelation in the New Testament.

7 – Home

May we reach this place of Home and be at peace sooner rather than later. May we study the Course diligently, so that this great blessing will be ours. May we love our brothers and sisters, forgiving them their mistakes. May we thank God for His great blessings to us.

8 – At Last

Jesus is with us all along the way. Remembering this will help us to remember our blessings, even as our path meanders toward Home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to imagine today that Jesus is walking along the way with me–through everything that I see and know today. Help me really to feel this. I know that this is a blessing that requires a leap of faith, but I am ready to take that leap.

Thank You for the comfort of the Course. Thank You for the reassurance that, once begun, the way Home is certain. I will find You again.

Amen.

You Have Never Left Heaven

1 – Help?

“There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left. But there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false beliefs of your Identity, Which God alone established in reality. Helpers are given you in many forms, although upon the altar they are one. (M87)”

2 – Believable?

This is a lovely passage, but one that may be hard to believe. Have we really never left Heaven? It certainly seems that we have.

3 – The Self

The passage refers to the larger Self of which we are a part; this Self has indeed never left Heaven. The “false beliefs of your Identity” refer to the falling into the egoic state of mind, from which we would escape. We can escape by turning to the Helpers given us–the Holy Spirit (of primary importance), Jesus, other brothers and sisters, the Course itself, and the like. We are not alone in this world, and we would do well to reach out for help back Home.

4 – Release and Joy

It is a very loving thought to realize that we have never left Heaven. If we keep this one point in mind, it will lead us to the “limitless release” and “pure joy” that the Course speaks about elsewhere.

5 – Face of Christ

“The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God. (M87)”

6 – Elder Brother

This passage explains the true role of Jesus as the Christ. Elsewhere, repeatedly, Jesus in the Course refers to himself as our brother, our elder brother, who has walked the whole pathway, and who stands at the end to help us when we fail to walk the whole pathway. He will assist us. We do not have to feel alone.

7 – Christ-Consciousness

All of us are eventually to reach Christ consciousness (an interpretation, not spelled out in the Course). Then we will surely understand what Jesus has been trying to tell us.

8 – Face of Christ

When we see the face of Christ in all our brothers and sisters, we will know that we have made much progress. Seeing the face of Christ in our brothers and sisters is a prerequisite to finding our way Home.

9 – Along with You. . .

“Is he the Christ? O yes, along with you. His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you. He will remain with you to lead you from the hell you made to God. And when you join your will with his, your sight will be his vision, for the eyes of Christ are shared. Walking with him is just as natural as walking with a brother whom you knew since you were born, for such indeed he is. (M88)”

10 – Comforting

A quite comforting passage, this indicates that Jesus has nothing that we too are not meant to have. He has just reached Home sooner, and therefore is in a better position to help us do the same.

11 – Part of the Christhood

We too are part of the Christhood. We have not assumed our place yet (at least most of us have not), but the time is at hand when we will. Studying the Course is our way Home. Other pathways are valid also, but we have chosen the Course, and it has been meant for us.

12 – Walking with Jesus

This passage indicates that we have walked with Jesus since we were born; we just have not been aware of this blessing. Let us now be aware of this blessing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize the beauty of the fact that my Self has never left Heaven. Thank You for this reassurance. May I know where to turn and what to do to realize Heaven.

I appreciate the reassurance that You offer me continually. Help me to live through this day and to make of it a good day.

Amen.

We Are All Part of the One Son/Daughter

1 – Christ

“The term mind is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy. . . .Spirit is the Thought of God which He created like Himself. The unified spirit is God’s one Son, or Christ. (C79)

2 – Term “Soul”

Jesus does not use the term “soul” very often at all in A Course in Miracles; he does use “spirit,” and this term refers to the animating Self, of which all of us are One. We all are Christ in our highest Self, but this takes some understanding, for we do not all manifest Christ in our daily lives. We often make grievous mistakes, and this propensity to take the wrong step does land us into trouble, even when help in the form of the Holy Spirit is so near to us. We cannot know our highest Self until we have walked far enough on the pathway home that we know that we HAVE a higher Self. We don’t know that in the beginning, and we lose the way—though help will rescue us.

3 – Spirit

“Spirit is the part that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit, Who abides in this part but sees the other part as well. . . .The other part of the mind is entirely illusory and makes only illusions. (C79)

4 – Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Spirit is our focus when we have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a blessing that comes to all who ask. The illusory part of the mind is the persona that we have made with the help of the ego, the egoic mind. And this persona never wishes its maker well. We see that the ego is constantly being undone; this is necessary, by God, to ensure that our deviation from the pathway is not so severe that we can’t find our way back. So with the ego constantly being undercut, what do we have left but to choose another way, and for us the other way is A Course in Miracles.

5 – Ego

If the ego is making only illusions, we are going to be lost in illusion, and nothing that is made in that state of mind means anything. We walk a way that will not work, however long and hard we try to make it work. We are like prisoners who become accustomed to their chains (Jesus uses this metaphor in A Course in Miracles), and when the light is finally seen and we are freed, we don’t know what to make of freedom in the beginning. We are dazed by the light. But help is always near, and we will soon find that our new way is much preferred to our old.

6 – Right-Mindedness

“Right-mindedness listens to the Holy Spirit, forgives the world, and through Christ’s vision sees the real world in its place. . . .Wrong-mindedness listens to the ego and makes illusions; perceiving sin and justifying anger, and seeing guilt, disease and death as real. (C79)”

7 – Contrast

Right-mindedness and wrong-mindedness are opposites, and only the former will get us where we want to go. Only the former is blessed by God. And only the former will ease our way in this troubled and difficult world.

8 – Wrong-Mindedness

Wrong-mindedness is the state of mind in which mistakes predominate, mistakes predominating because of the ascendancy of the ego. We don’t really want to adopt a persona that is unworthy of ourselves, but we do it, even when we have invited the Holy Spirit to guide us. We fall down, we make mistakes, we don’t see our way clear to walk the charmed pathway.

9 – Light

These mistakes can all be undone by welcoming in Light. This Light is the Light of Christ, and Jesus is the spokesperson. Jesus will set us aright, if we follow A Course in Miracles with an open mind. He speaks the truth, and we are well-advised to follow carefully what he says. The beauty of the language, the depth of the thinking, the clarity of what is said—all work together to give authenticity to A Course in Miracles as a legitimate, channeled work of Jesus. Who else could say such things? Who else speaks with such authority?

10 – Worlds

“Both this world and the real world are illusions because right-mindedness merely overlooks, or forgives, what never happened. Therefore it is not the One-mindedness of the Christ Mind, Whose Will is one with God’s. (C79)”

11 – One-Mindedness

We want to head toward this One-mindedness, and that, I believe, is what happens to us when we have awakened. Then our will is truly one with God’s, and our walk is completely unencumbered.

12 – One Will

The One-mindedness is when we recognize that God’s Will and ours is the same, and, most importantly, when we acknowledge God’s Will and consistently choose His Way, as shown us by the Holy Spirit.

13 – Consciousness

“Consciousness has levels and awareness can shift quite dramatically, but it cannot transcend the perceptual realm. At its highest it becomes aware of the real world, and can be trained to do increasingly. Yet the very fact that it has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge. (C80)”

14 – Theory

These are the theoretical underpinnings of the Course. This passage indicates that achieving the real world, a world of love devoid of the ego, is a gradual process. Moreover, perception can be cleansed, and we seek to train our minds to increase our perception in order to get us out of the ego-oriented world that we see. But knowledge is of God, in revelation, and this cannot be taught. It is a gift of God, when we have removed the barriers to the presence of knowledge.

15 – Consciousness

Our consciousness is important to us, and we have learned falsely, through psychology, that a strong ego is necessary to live in this world. We do not need ego in the sense that the Course refers to the “ego.” But this word is slippery, and it is does not mean the same to all people, even psychologists. In the Course, the word “ego” is a false perception of ourselves, a false image that leads us into pain and suffering. It is not a thing that we would want, and we are bade to leave it behind.

16 – Ego Being Undone

In this world, the ego is constantly being undone. We are pricked at the point of our greatest pride, an egoistic trait. We are constantly brought low when the ego has been in ascendancy. This is no accident. It is the way of salvation for us, according to the Course.

17 – Real World

We may not realize it, but the real world is what we want while on this earth. The real world will sparkle with joy, and our eyes will light up at the thought of another day. Let us not be discouraged if we don’t achieve this boon on a constant basis. Elsewhere Jesus says that here we will not be without limitations, but that our task is to escape from them. This we will do increasingly as we study the Course and make its tenets our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be increasingly conscious of the real world of joy and love. I realize that this is still a perception, and so it is not the knowledge that only You can give. I hope to walk further along the pathway, so that I am ready for the knowledge that only You can impart.

Thank you for being there for me. As I pray so often, help me to follow in Your way and by Your guidance.

Amen.

Atonement = Correction of Perception

1 – Terminology?

“This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception. (C77)”

2 – Atonement

Some of the most viewed postings in this blog concern Atonement. We all want to know what it means. And here we find out: the correction of perception.

3 – Resurrection

That, of course, is not the whole answer. Jesus has paved the way for us, but it is not the crucifixion to which we look for Atonement, but the resurrection. The crucifixion is a benign lesson that shows Jesus not fighting back, as he would have us not fight back. He did not defend himself, because defense makes what it would defend against (ACIM tenet).

4 – Forgiveness

“The means of the Atonement is forgiveness. The structure of ‘individual consciousness’ is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the ‘original error’ or the ‘original sin.’ To study the error itself does not lead to correction if you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error. And it is just this process of overlooking at which the course aims. (C77)”

5 – Universal Experience

“A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends. (C77)”

6 – Simple Course

“The course in simple. It has one function and one goal. Only in that does it remain wholly consistent because only that can be consistent. (C77)”

7 – Ken Wapnick

Ken Wapnick said that A Course in Miracles was simple, but it was not easy. He was the primary scholar for ACIM in his lifetime, though there were others who also took up the banner for ACIM (notably Robert Perry, as a scholar).

8 – Awakening

The function is forgiveness, and the goal is Awakening (though we are not in charge of when that goal will be reached, for God alone decides).

9 – Consistency

Consistency is important.

10 – One Goal

The fact that there is one goal in A Course in Miracles keeps the Course simple. We bring our own ego’s complexity to what we read, and that is why we make what is simple very complicated. It is not easy, as Ken said, because our minds are too ravaged by blind ego to take the easy words and apply them. We always want to make something easy into something hard. We are so prone to such foolishness in daily life that it is no question that we bring this trait into our spiritual seeking.

11 – Ego

“The ego may ask, ‘How did the impossible occur?’, ‘To what did the impossible happen?’, and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you. (M77)”

12 – Beginning of Time

This passage refers to the beginnings of time as we know it. How did we separate from God? What tiny, mad idea did we entertain? The ego wants to know, and maybe we do also.

13 – Practical Course

The Course is always practical, and elsewhere tells us that it is concerned with only the practical. It says that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. The Course does not waste much, if any, time debating theological issues, and recommends that we not do so either. It suggests that theology is heavily influenced by the ego, which is our false concept of ourselves.

14 – Ego-less

We need to seek the experience that the Course holds out to us–an ego-less form of living that marches us straightway toward Awakening. We get there, as we have said repeatedly, by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus would not have us delayed on this “journey without distance,” and so bids us to seek the experience and not to let theology delay us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Theology is the preoccupation of so much religion. Please let my religion, my spirituality, be different. May I seek an experience of spirituality, one that You lead me to discover.

Thank you for Your guidance always. May I better follow Your guidance this day.

Amen.

Wholly Give Up Attack

1 – Teacher = Holy Spirit

“But the Teacher Who knows the truth has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, being wholly devoid of attack. And therefore incapable of arousing guilt. (M71)”

2 – Answers

Here is a reason that the Holy Spirit, the “Teacher,” does so well in guiding us. His answers are totally devoid of attack. Our judgments, even when we are at our best, may have an edge of attack, often very subtle. Our judgments can even be passive-aggressive, in which we do not directly confront another, but we attack then subtly by kind words that are not really kind.

3 – Benefit

Note that the Teacher’s truth brings benefit to all. And that includes us as well. So we are not wrong to see a selfish motive to following this guidance. It helps us as well as our brothers and sisters.

4 – Ego

We cannot stress too often the need to give up attack in all its forms. Until we do, we are caught in the ego, for only the ego will attack. May we pray to be free of the machinations of the ego, and to turn to our Teacher in as many times as would be practical. Jesus does say elsewhere that we are not bade to ask the Holy Spirit’s advice constantly, as this is not practical. We are bade to ask for guidance in the mornings and again at night, and to turn to the Holy Spirit at other times that are propitious. Then our thoughts and actions will be well-placed.

5 – Inheritance

“To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned.”

6 – Be Practical

Here is another entreaty to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Moreover, we are given specific guidelines: Be practical, which means that we do not ask on a continual basis because that is not practical.

7 – Guidance

Our true inheritance is to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. An inheritance is a gift, a mighty gift. We are encouraged to realize the blessing that God has bestowed on us by giving us such a Helper.

8 – Often Turn

The more often we turn to the Holy Spirit, with a willing mind and heart, the more He can do for us. This does not negate the practical, but turning to Him as a matter of course becomes habitual the farther along the pathway of the Course we go.

9 – Wisdom

“If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it. Prepare for this each morning, remember God when you can throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit’s help when it is feasible to do so, and thank Him for His guidance at night. And your confidence will be well founded indeed. (M71)”

10 – Ask

This passage outlines the way in which Jesus would have us respond to the Holy Spirit. Ask in the morning, turn to God during the day, and thank Him at night for His guidance. We will then know the truth of these important words.

11 – More Egotistical

If we become more egotistical, which will happen from time to time, we can gauge our state of mind by how willing we are to be flexible about following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We will need to be flexible, because sometimes the guidance comes at the immediate point that we have begun to do something different.

12 – Happiness

Following guidance is the way to happiness in this world. And it is also our way Home.

13 – Heart Requests

“Never forget that the Holy Spirit does not depend on your words. He understands the requests of your heart, and answers them. Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you, He will respond with evil? Hardly! For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language. He understands that an attack is a call for help. And He responds with help accordingly. (M71)”

14 – Reassuring

A very reassuring passage (as are so many in the Course), these words assure us that the better “thoughts” of our heart will be what the Holy Spirit listens and responds to. We may ask for what may hurt us, but God will protect us from such false dreams. The Holy Spirit knows what the Self really wants, and this Self is the larger life that we have beyond this world.

15 – Attack = Call for Help

This passage repeats the oft-given truth that an attack is a call for help. This explains what we may already realize from other passages: that our brothers and sisters are only asking for help when they attack. The same holds true for ourselves as well. Attack is never what it seems. Attack asks that we rush to the side of the offending party, and give whatever sort of help seems called for. Once we take this truth to heart, we will never view our brothers and sisters the same. We have no reason to become angry when we are the brunt of an attack. Our brothers and sisters always just want our help, however disguised the request comes to us.

16 – Welcome the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit always helps us. He does not intrude, but once we have made Him welcome, He will be there for us. The most important aspect is our flexibility is following His guidance. He does not frequently give advice unsolicited or even too far in advance; that is why we must be ready and even eager to “turn on a dime.” When we follow guidance consistently, we open the way to a glorious world, the real world, that is far beyond anything that this prosaic world seems to offer us.

17 – Cruel?

“God would be cruel if He let your words replace His Own. A loving father does not let his child harm himself, or choose his own destruction. He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still. And how much more than this does your Father love His Son? (M71)”

18 – No Answer?

This passage seems to suggest the real reason that we sometimes think that we do not receive answers to our prayers. The Course makes clear that we are always answered in our best interests, and our prayers may have asked for something that, in the long run, would be to our detriment.

19 – Friend

The Holy Spirit, just like Jesus, is our Friend. He will protect us in this sometimes chaotic world. We have only to offer Him the slightest nod in His direction, and He tells us where to step next.

20 – God

God is our Father/Mother. He, like an earthly father (normally), wants only the best for us, His children. He will protect us by sending the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to help us make our way in this world. Then we will know the blessings that are truly intended for us. We must pray for solutions to our difficulties. We will not be disappointed, though God’s timetable in answering may not be our own.

21 – Immediately

“Ask all things of His Teacher, and all things are given you. Not in the future but immediately; now. (M71)”

22 – Helpful

This passage is incredibly helpful. We receive answers immediately to our questions and to our prayers. “Now” may not be recognized by us, though. We may not hear the Answer that we are expecting, leading us to believe that we are not heard at all. But we are.

23 – Go Within

When answers do not seem to come immediately, go within. Get calm and relaxed, or, as the Course says, “perfectly calm and quiet.” Ask why there seems to be a delay. And you will be told. The answer will present itself. If you are very upset, you may not be able to hear the response immediately. Pray diligently, and then quietly go about your life. When you are quiet within, the Answer will appear. This is an assurance that this passage gives.

24 – Frame of Mind

The fact that the answer is given “now” does not necessarily mean that we are in the frame of mind that can hear that answer. Be patient with yourself. We are not without limitations in this world (a Course concept). Know in your deepest heart that the Answer you are seeking has been given, and in time, usually soon, the Answer will appear spontaneously in your mind and heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to give up attack. If I cannot reach this ultimate good, may I reach for love as long as I possibly can. Only love is the way of the saved.

Be with me throughout the day today. I know that I feel better when I have loved rather than attacked. This is evidence that Your way is right for me.

Amen.

Holy Spirit = Teacher Who Cannot Make a Mistake

1 – His Answers

“Be glad you have a Teacher Who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours? (M70)”

2 – Holy Spirit

The Teacher here is the Holy Spirit. And this is yet another prodding that we will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

3 – Probing Question

The probing question, “Would you say that of yours?,” referring to the correctness of our answers, if insightful. Certainly we know that we make mistakes, and that our answers about what to do in various situations are not always correct. Indeed, they are perhaps more frequently wrong than right. This is what behooves us to follow a higher guidance.

4 – Intuition

We have earlier indicated a number of ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Probably the most common is what we usually call intuition. This means that we go against the teaching of this world, in that we are taught to rely on our judgment. The Course counsels just the reverse, noting in significant passages that our judgment is frequently wrong because we cannot see the whole picture.

5 – Advantage

“There is another advantage,–and a very important one,–in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. (M70)”

6 – Guilt

To be absolved of guilt is actually the primary reason that we ought to follow the Holy Spirit, for guilt is madness, and madness and judging are why the Awakening do not come to us. As long as we are lost in madness, we will judge; it is just that simple. And when we give up judging, we will welcome, by God for us, the Awakening. We will awake when we give up judging (an ACIM tenet).

7 – Judgments

When we take on functions that are not ours—making judgments about our own pathway—we are actually usurping what belongs to Another. And that Other is the Holy Spirit. Our world trains for a totally different world view. Our world trains for self-reliance, but how good has this been for us? Not very good at all, because we can’t know all the circumstances when we make a decision. We can’t see the past, present, and future—all that impinge on a given decision. So how much better it is to rely on One Who does know! Let us not forget this.

8 – Not Folly

So let us give up our judgments about what to do to the Holy Spirit, Who will guide us in daily life. This is not folly; it is the soundest good sense. Nobody can make accurate judgments when so much depends on what we don’t know. And we are not omnipresent.

9 – Fear

“To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you. (M70)”

10 – Hell

Let us escape from fear today. Let us get out of hell. Fear is hell, the hell on earth that we make for ourselves. And there is a simple way out.

11 – Misinterpretation

Now, we will not always follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There will be times when we misinterpret, when we think we understand and really don’t understand. We will think that we see two ways to go; there is only one, but we are not infallible.

12 – Stubborn

We will also get stubborn sometimes. We will decide where and how we want to go, and when we get a nudge to change directions, we won’t want to do so.

13 – Change Directions

Change directions as soon as you can bring yourself to do so, to make that altered direction the one that you really want. The Holy Spirit will make it easy for us. He will let us know what to do, and as soon as we can make the switch, our lives will smooth out.

14 – Jesus

This is Jesus’s promise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Once again I find that I am negligent in always following the guidance that I receive. I fall down when I don’t follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May my understanding be honed so that I ascertain rightly, and may I then walk quietly and calmly into Your light.

Thank you for providing this sure guidance. I have not always followed, but I have known of Your guidance for many years. When I have followed Your guidance, I have been happy.

Amen.

Who Needs Prayers? Who Needs a Smile?

1 – Giving What Is Needed

“Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more? (M70)”

2 – Interactions

Our interactions with our brothers and sisters always must be attuned to what they are ready to accept. Perhaps a vocal witness is the wrong tactic. Then we will be let to pray for them, or, as this passage says, to give only a smile. We do not want to turn off others by unwelcome proselytizing.

3 – Catherine Marshall

Catherine Marshall, a spiritual writer of earlier times, counseled putting a “golden zipper” upon our lips when around unbelievers who are not actively seeking our help. This is Mrs. Marshall’s advice particularly where significant others are concerned. Those closest to us do not want to be inundated by unsought advice about their salvation.

4 – Questions

If we are lucky, when they see that we have changed, they will begin to ask questions. Then is the time to take off the “golden zipper” from our lips, and to witness to them. May this day come soon for all of us, especially with those closest to us.

5 – The Curriculum

“The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance. Ask and He will answer. The responsibility is His, and he alone is fit to assume it. To do so is His function. To refer the question to Him is yours. Would you want to be responsible for decisions about which you understand so little? (M70)”

6 – Individualized

The phrase, “the curriculum is highly individualized,” means, I think, that we all have, tailor-made for us, the pathway that serves best. We learn what we are ready to learn, and we run across the guidance, in the form of reading (often), or words, or intuition, the particular reactions that we are prompted to have. We are not left to our own devices. We are led every step of the way.

7 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, is chosen by God for this task. We can appeal to Him, and, without exception, be answered. We may not recognize this Answer immediately, but if we are attuned at all (not overwrought), we will come to understand sooner rather than later.

8 – Guidance

We are to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That is our function, to refer to Him in all things. To defer to Him in all things. Let us proceed cautiously, sometimes, through our days, especially when the way seems confusing and we don’t know what to do.

9 – Be with Us

Be with us as we seek this guidance on a constant basis. This guidance will lead us back to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be a good witness for You. May I not let my own troubles interfere with helping those who surround me. May I choose rightly what they are ready to accept by way of salvation.

Help me today. I need Your help. I am hesitant to choose what my brothers and sisters can best accept from me now.

Amen.

All Living Hearts Are Tranquil with a Stir of Deep Anticipation

1 – Everlasting Things

“All living hearts are tranquil with a stir of deep anticipation, for the time of everlasting things is now at hand. There is no death. The Son of God is free. And in his freedom is the end of fear. (M68)”

2 – Fear

Would that we could welcome the end of fear on a daily basis! But somehow we all fall back on anxieties and fears, falling short of accepting God’s grace in our daily lives. When fear comes, we must go within and contemplate what it would mean to end the fear. Get still. Commune with God. Simply ask Him for the blessing of His peace.

3 – God

In all likelihood, when we have done our part to quiet our troubled minds, He will step in and finish the work. We will know the peace of God.

4 – Medication

Sometimes He uses pills to effect this transformation. Jesus asserts that pills, medication, are not to be avoided, though pill are a form of magical solution. But, being in a fear-ridden state, if we tried to live without pills we might be worse off.

5 – Ask

Ask God what solution He would hand out to you. He will find a way to get through to you. He will show you a solution, and this solution may come swiftly. The main thing is to recognize the answer to prayer when it comes. Be alert. Be aware. And thank God when that solution comes.

6 – Song of Heaven

“And we, God’s children, rise up from the dust and look upon our perfect sinlessness. The song of Heaven sounds around the world, as it is lifted up and brought to truth. (M69)”

7 – Beautiful

These are very beautiful words that calm my soul as I write. We have not sinned, however much we think that we have. It is true that we have made mistakes, but these will be relinquished for resolution when we are sorry for them and make restitution. They will not be attracting again to us; we just want a solution, a remedy.

8 – “Sin”

Sin, on the other hand, when a thing is so labeled, has an attracting feature. I don’t know why this is, but Jesus recognizes this about our egos. We will want to do that sinful thing again, and then the ego has a field day.

9 – Holiness

“And we accept His holiness as ours; as it is. As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own. Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found. (M69)”

10 – God’s Will = Our Will

God’s Will is our will; this we must recognize. The Holy Spirit chooses for us, only for us in every instance. It is the ego which has a separate will, and this will always leads us astray. There is no peace in the ego’s eyes. When we choose to effect God’s Will in our daily lives, we lose illusions that there is another will. We no longer think, like Jonah, that we know better. We know that God knows what will really make us happy, and we fall in line with that Will of His.

11 – Joy

“These things await us all, but we are not prepared as yet to welcome them with joy. As long as any mind remains possessed of evil dreams, the thought of hell is real. God’s teachers have the goal of wakening the minds of those asleep, and seeing there the vision of Christ’s face to take the place of what they dream. (M69)”

12 – Vision of Christ’s Face

This passage says some very important things to us. The passage equates evil dreams with the thought of hell. And the passage spells out what we are to do about that: waken the minds of those asleep. When we do so, the vision of Christ’s face takes the place of the evil dreams.

13 – Toward Awakening

This says that we have work to do, to bring Awakening to all minds. We can move toward Awakening for ourselves by studying the Course diligently. We will then not be unhealed healers, but those ready to take our part in the plan of salvation, the part that God has prepared just for us. Until we respond affirmatively to the call for salvation, our part is missing. Nor can it be taken by anybody else. We are unique in that sense.

14 – Christ in Our Brothers and Sisters

The vision of Christ’s face is mentioned several times in the Course. We will see Christ in our brothers and sisters when we are prepared. In large measure, that is what we are meant to see. In dreams, which are what we are caught in before we waken, we will not see Christ’s face, because our brothers and sisters sometimes elicit anger and attack in us. When we have let anger and attack fall away, we will be on our way to the salvation that we are bring to others, as well as accepting salvation for ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave aside thoughts of anger and attack, and take my place in Your plan for salvation. May I awaken the minds of those asleep. Until I have accepted the Awakening of my own mind, I will not be a completely healed healer.

Thank you for Your help. I need You more than ever today.

Amen.

The Resurrection Is a Change of Mind about the Meaning of the World

1 – Reawakening

“Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind about the meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world’s purpose; the acceptance of the Atonement for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit’s final dream. (M68)”

2 – Immortality in This Body?

This passage is frequently misinterpreted by Course students. Many think that somehow the fact of immortality in this body will happen. But this is not what is being said. Death has no meaning, because it is merely a change of form; death is a rebirth into a new life beyond this world. We can symbolically achieve this state while in the body in this world. We will then know the end of dreams of misery, and accept the final dream from the Holy Spirit: “the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Course).

3 – Jesus’s Resurrection

Jesus does not deny his own resurrection in A Course in Miracles, though. This Christian doctrine is upheld. The point is not that we are to follow Jesus’s way in all its particulars, though. That was his contribution. We do not have to face crucifixion. And our resurrection is a means to rebirth into the real world (a Course tenet). The real world is the one sanctioned by the Holy Spirit to be a world in which our perceptions have been cleansed, and therefore we do not project misery into our lives by our own doing.

4 – Rebirth

A rebirth is the great Awakening, one of the final steps before we reach Home. We all long for this miracle, and occasionally revelation reveals this end to us. To reach Awakening permanently, though, we need to know the means, and it is this that the Course spells out for us.

5 – Invitation

“It is the invitation to God to take His final step. It is the relinquishment of all other purposes, all other interests, all other wishes and all other concerns. It is the single desire of the Son for the Father. (M68)”

6 – Awakening

The experience of rebirth or resurrection welcomes our Awakening. It is when we feel that we are finally ready for God’s great blessing: when He reaches down (metaphorically) and lifts us up to Awakening.

7 – Eckhart Tolle

None can set this time for themselves. None of us can. We do not have to be especially “good” for this to happen. This is a statement that Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) has made. The Awakening may come to people who seem to have many flaws, but God is able, for some reason, at that time to take them out of their flaws. To make them new people.

8 – Surrendered

The Awakening is not a goal to seek, as we seek goals, especially goals of the ego. To seek Awakening is to invite the ego into this greatest of all blessings, and this invitation will never succeed. We must be totally surrendered, we must not put preconditions on God. He would have us totally.

9 – Personal Experience

I have a personal friend in my town who experienced a transformation more than 30 years ago, a transformation that has been sustained. She is one of the easiest people to know whom I have ever met. And she believes that this transformation can be for everyone.

10 – Life as Salvation

“The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reverse entirely. Life is now recognized as salvation, and pain and misery of any kind perceived as hell. (M68)”

11 – Hell

We do not want pain and misery, which are hell to us. This means, perhaps, that the only hell that we will experience is here on earth, where pain and misery often accompany our days.

12 – Life

When we see that our very life is our salvation, then we are home free.

13 – Truth

May we see this truth, that life is salvation, today.

14 – Christ’s Face

“Christ’s face is seen in every living thing, and nothing is held in darkness, apart from the light of forgiveness. There is no sorrow still upon the earth. The joy of Heaven has come upon it. (M68)”

15 – Home

When we can see Christ’s face in everyone, then we are home. We forgive all their trespasses against us; we hold nothing against anyone. We are happy in God’s grace; nothing fazes us.

16 – Grace

Surely all of us have experienced such moments of grace already. This are mini-blessings, a foretaste of heaven on earth. We do not know or feel sorrow. We are happy. May we pray today that this blessing descend upon us sooner rather than later.

17 – Curriculum

“Here the curriculum ends. From here on, no directions are needed. Vision is wholly corrected and all mistakes undone. Attack is meaningless and peace has come. The goal of the curriculum has been achieved. Thoughts turn to Heaven and away from hell. (M68)”

18 – Vision

Our vision has been corrected when we are able to see Christ in everyone. We actually perceive his face as though he were the other person, male or female. This is no hallucination. This is very real.

19 – In Snatches

And it may first come in snatches. Be present when it comes. Be thankful. And pray that this vision might be sustained.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need rebirth today. I feel weak, and I am fallible. Please give me Your insight. May the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” come upon me, and then may they give way to Awakening.

Be with me today as I try to live Your Word. Thank You for Your promise always to be near.

Amen.

Direct Union with God

1 – Brief Experience

“Sometimes a teacher of God may have a brief experience of direct union with God. In this world, it is almost impossible that this endure. It can, perhaps, be won after much devotion and dedication, and then maintained for much of the time on earth. (M64)”

2 – Awakening?

We are led to speculate what this direct union would actually mean, because it is not Awakening. Some do experience Awakening, and live for long years on earth. The Buddha was one such individual. And present day people live for a long time in Awakening as well.

3 – Mystical Experience

Direct union with God is a mystical experience of the highest magnitude. And one would be somewhat separated from others if this were to happen. God would be his/her experience.

4 – Glimpses

The brief experience of union with God is akin to the Eastern concept of satori, and it is also akin to glimpses of Awakening (much the same thing, for Awakening and enlightenment are the same experience with different names).

5 – Rare

“But this is so rare that it cannot be considered a realistic goal. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, so be it as well. All worldly states must be illusory. If God were reached directly in sustained awareness, the body would not be long maintained. (M64)”

6 – Will to Survive

In other words, we would die shortly afterwards. Most people, with the will to survive so strong, would not choose such a fate.

7 – Extend Helpfulness

“Those who have laid the body down merely to extend their helpfulness to those remaining behind are few indeed. And they need helpers who are still in bondage and still asleep, so that by their awakening can God’s Voice be heard. (M64)”

8 – Personal Experience

I do know of one case in which I believe that an individual died at a young age in order to help his immediate family survive well a series of catastrophic experiences. There has been much illness of long duration in that family, much sadness. And religion does not play a large part in what the members of the family believe, and so they lack this comfort.

9 – Eased Way

But if they have the eldest child in the family looking on with help, their way would be much eased. And I think that that is what is happening.

10 – Final Chapter

The final chapter has not been written, for the children of the family are peers of mine. But I have long thought that that eldest child was easing the burden of the ones remaining behind.

11 – Limitations

“Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them. (M64)”

12 – Despair

We often despair when we are in pain and suffering, but these too are a form of limitation, and Jesus here says that we will not be without limitations in this world. We can get help to resolve the conditions that brought fear about, though, and it is this that we ought to pray for. Elsewhere Jesus says that he cannot properly remove the fear for us, because it is our minds which have brought it about, and the alteration of cause-and-effect would not be a good thing for us.

13 – Escape

So we are meant to escape from our limitations, as they arise. We can learn how to do this, but it does take patience and willingness to follow guidance. If a limitation is not removed after much prayer and trying different methods of cure, perhaps this is a “thorn in the side” that St. Paul speaks about in his letters in the New Testament. He believed that this thorn was meant for his good.

14 – Jesus

So Jesus would not have us despair. Help is always near, and we will receive healing, or we will receive the wherewithal to sustain our good will while caught by limitations. Faith is not often stressed in the Course, but this is the attribute that will enable us to withstand limitations. Know that Jesus and his Helpers are nearby, and be reassured.

15 – Saviors

“If you would be a savior, you must understand what needs to be escaped. Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the ehlp you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. (M65)

16 – Optimistic

Jesus gives us here a very optimistic group of statements. “All the help you can accept” will be provided. This fragment of a sentence notes that we ourselves may limit the help that we accept. We do not have to limit this help, and it would be wise of us to encourage help from beyond ourselves when in a quandary.

17 – Patience

We do need patience, but Jesus proclaims that the answer will not be long delayed. Surely the delay can seem long to us, because our notions of time are not those of eternity. But this delay is not actually long, and it is probable that Jesus is speaking in our terms when he says this. He knows our impatience, and what seems “long” to us. He does not mislead. Our needs will be met, and soon.

18 – Limitations

This passage also suggests that some of our limitations are given us so that we can be saviors; we can understand what others are going through. Certainly an individual who has experienced a given problem, and overcome it, is more likely to be able to help others. Shortly after this assertion, Jesus says once again that his Course is not theoretical. Elsewhere he has said that the Course is always practical. We can see this most clearly when we have overcome a limitation, and thereby be ready to help our brothers and sisters with the same limitation.

19 – Goals

“Let us not, then, be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you. What more could you desire, when this is all you need? (M65)”

20 – God

Yes, God takes us where we are and welcomes us. What more would we really ask? We have it all. Even in pain and suffering, God is there. He never leaves us, He never departs. He may usher in a dark night of the soul if He wants to have us seek Him for no ulterior motive—or our own inner Self may do so.

Pray long and hard, in depth, in many minutes. The way, regardless of what it is, will then seem smooth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am very aware of my limitations today. Help me not to be my own worst enemy. Help me to reach out to You and Your helpers, and be absolved of the current limitation under which I find myself.

I know that You want only good for me. Jesus says that we are meant to escape from our limitations, though we are not without them. Help me to escape from my limitations today.

Amen.

Help from Beyond This World

1 – Teachers of Teachers

“There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. (M64)”

2 – Not Long Stay on the Earth

This passage proclaims that when we have reached God directly, we will not long stay on this earth. We will no longer be seen on earth, but our “image” can be called upon. We are then “Teachers of teachers.”

3 – Lay Down the Body?

Elsewhere Jesus says that very few of us willingly lay down the body simply to be of help to others in a greater way. So most of us will not attain this degree of salvation while in this world.

4 – Help

We do have help from beyond the earth. We can call upon this help, and we will receive assistance. No greater bounty can be ours, than to know that we are never alone, that God and His Teachers care for us always.

5 – Appearances

“And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. (M64)”

6 – Beyond Your Thinking

Have you ever felt that you got ideas that were actually beyond your scope, your thinking? Of course, and we often saw this as God speaking to us—which it may have been.

7 – From Whom Are We Hearing?

But we must also recognize that we may be hearing from those whom Jesus called “Teachers of teachers” in regard to A Course in Miracles. He seems to indicate that these are noble individuals who have gone over, made the transition to life after death, and then reached backwards to help us. He doesn’t say that these individuals are angels, but human beings, we might believe, who have let all barriers come down.

8 – Frightened?

We might be frightened if we had a visitation. Some in the Course community have claimed visitations, but their assertions were widely disbelieved, and who is to know for sure? Many have been visited by a departed loved one, shortly after death. This has become a common practice.

9 – Whom Do We Know?

Do we know these Teachers of teachers? Sometimes, perhaps, but perhaps more often not.

10 – Hugh Prather

Jerry Jampolsky and Gayle Prather have both been visited by Hugh Prather in the hours and days following his fatal heart attack. The Holy Encounter, a publication by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff, so reported. And the words from Hugh were profoundly comforting. Toward Jerry, Hugh affirmed that we live in an illusion, just like ACIM says. Toward his wife Gayle, he spoke up about the little daily matters of living—glad that he didn’t have to clean the house, encouraging her to hold their cat longer.

11 – Communication from the Other Side

These reports do not have to be believed, but our lives are immeasurably enriched if we can crack the doubt a bit and entertain the possibility that communication from the Other Side is very evident, very possible.

12 – Off the Deep End?

Of course, we don’t want to go off the deep end. Test out these unembodied words that come to you. If they recommend anything harmful, then we are not ready. Don’t get carried away.

13 – Not in Vain

“No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. (M64)”

14 – Welcome

This reassurance, that no one can call on Teachers of teachers in vain, is a welcome statement. We have many helpers from the Other Side. We here on earth have long believed ourselves isolated, and that belief has been very damaging to our psyche.

15 – Help

We are not alone. We live in a very peopled universe. And when we open our minds to the possibility of help, that help comes immediately, if we are calm enough to recognize what is happening.

16 – Ask for Help

“The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their Name and in no other. (M64)”

17 – Understood

“The time will come when this is understood.” Yes! We are rapidly coming to that time now.

18 – Good

And good it is for our culture.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand the concept of “Teachers of teachers.” May I reach for their help often once I comprehend whom I am asking.

Thank you for providing all this help to me in this uncertain world. May I be quick to take advantage of this help as I go about my day today.

Amen.

Can God Be Reached Directly?

1 – God in Our Prayers

“Can God be reached directly? God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son. His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart. (M64)”

2 – Bible

This passage recalls to mind the biblical quotation, “The kingdom of God is within.” Certainly many passages in the Course suggest that God is within, that there is no division between God and ourselves. We see here that there is no distance between God and His Son (or Daughter). This is the Self that is the larger part of ourselves, the part that has never left God.

3 – Memory

How reassuring to know that the awareness of God is in everyone’s memory! And that we can indeed, as the Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive,” because His Word is written on everyone’s heart. The sentence from the passage that says this is particularly beautifully written, and it encourages peace and inner quiet by its reassurance.

4 – Be Quiet

We can receive God’s Word directly in the midst of our busiest activities, but more often we hear His word when we are quiet and therefore more receptive to the still, small Voice within. May we turn to Him when perplexed, and may we know that our prayers are heard, and, better still, our prayers are answered.

5 – Barriers

“Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of recognition only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case? (M64)”

6 – Projection Makes Perception

God can be reached directly when barriers to His coming have been removed. If God is within, if projection makes perception, then we are projecting an illusory world. But God is akin to a hologram, and Each is present in the One, the All, the every bit. So we turn inward, seeking to diminish the ego’s static that would prevent us from knowing the inner Christ Self.

7 – Awakening

All barriers to truth have not been eliminated in the vast majority of us. These barriers are eliminated only in Awakening, or enlightenment. And in how many is this manifested? Eckhart Tolle indicates that more and more of us are experiencing enlightenment, but the phenomenon is not yet widespread in society.

8 – Soon

May we move into this new day sooner rather than later.

9 – Teachers

“Here, then, the role of God’s teachers. They, too, have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the Power of God. (M64)”

10 – Join with Others

We must join with others to have enough power to effect change. This does not mean that we try to change the world from an unhealed perspective. The inefficacy of the unhealed healer is a phenomenon described in A Course in Miracles. And we don’t want to be unhealed healers.

11 – How Do We Join?

So, in whatever way we can, we join with others. This may be only a telepathic joining, or it may take other forms. We may choose to join a study group of A Course in Miracles, we may join other prayer groups, we may attend traditional church services. All of these practices have a place in salvation, in spreading the word.

12 – Proselytize?

The only thing that we are forbidden to do is to proselytize, of to attempt to do so, when the individual(s) in front of us are not yet ready. This would be a sure turnoff.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I turn to You often during the day. I know that I can reach You directly. Help me to reach into my memory and into my heart to find You.

Only if I turn to You will have a truly good day. I know this. Help me to live it.

Amen.

Psychic Powers

1 – The “Devil”?

“‘Psychic’ abilities have been used to call upon the devil, which merely means to strengthen the ego. (M63)”

2 – Ego

The “devil” is not seen by the Course as a powerful figure; the devil is simply seen as a way of characterizing the ego. Moreover, the contest between hell and Heaven is seen to be an egoistic drama, something that our minds have made up because of the rise of the ego in us. This happened as a result of a tiny, mad idea that entered the mind of the Sons and Daughters of God, and this tiny mad idea became our downfall. In actuality, we have not left Heaven; our Self is there.

3 – Travel Back in Time

And we travel back in time to that time past remembering, until we are Home again. All of these ideas as Course tenets. We cannot begin to understand, but we can accept these tenets, because they come from Jesus–our elder brother who has walked the whole pathway, and who stands ready to give us a helping hand when we cannot undo all the mistakes that we have made.

4 – Intuition

These psychic abilities may be as simple as a tiny intuition of what to do or say next. We can test out these feelings, and if they lead us to a better world, we would be foolish not to follow them. We are not being led by the ego at such times, or by the “devil.” indicates).

5 – Limitations

“Those who have developed ‘psychic’ powers have simply let some of the limitations they laid upon their minds be lifted. It can be but further limitations they lay upon themselves if they utilize their increased freedom for greater imprisonment. The Holy Spirit needs these gifts, and those who offer them to Him and Him alone go with Christ’s gratitude upon their hearts, and His holy sight not far behind. (M63)”

6 – Mind

If we could only let the limitations on our minds be lifted! And we can. We have this within our power, and to do so is strictly within the Holy Spirit’s purview. God wants us to enlarge our scope, and here is one way that we can do.

7 – Ask

How do we let the limitations on our minds be lifted? I think that we ask. That’s right, we just ask—in prayer, for these gifts, which are of the Holy Spirit. If we want to be more psychic in our daily lives, just ask. And then watch quietly while more and more “hidden” knowledge becomes available.

8 – Personal Experience

I have noticed over the years that the way in which I get guidance has changed, not in full content but in more frequent content of an altered nature. Earlier, when I was 30 and before, I listened to “feelings,” and these were more prevalent the more vulnerable that I was emotionally. If I were especially stressed, I would have feelings about what to do and say rise to the surface very easily.

9 – Safe?

But is this safe, emotionally? Sometimes not. And we need to be safe emotionally at all times. The Holy Spirit cannot use us effectively if we are living on the edge.

10 – Unconscious

In the last few years, I have noticed that words from the subconscious come into my mind, almost unbidden. These are words from my inner Self, I think. And they are my own thinking reflected back to me, I think. But they have psychic power. I know, or have knowledge, of things over which I would not normally “know.” And when I act on the actions that are prompted, life goes more smoothly.

11 – Reflective Thinking a Must

I am especially attuned to my most significant other, my husband. I seem to know what to say and not to say, knowing him so intimately as I do. Of course, this knowledge, if it might be called that, is not 100 percent. And I sometimes barrel ahead without thinking reflectively, which is frequently a mistake.

12 – God

God takes us where we are, and builds from there. Psychic flashes are prevalent for me, and I would not have this gift turned to the ego. Even writing about it is a danger. But I pray to be protected from turning the psychic into an ego manifestation. I simply mean to share, to see if others have a similar reaction.

13 – Ego, Again

The ego would love to turn psychic flashes into its own. Such a dip in cognition would affirm the value of the ego, especially if material objects are not valued as previously. This will not do. The psychic, turned egoistic, is a sad commentary indeed on a gift of the Holy Spirit.

14 – Holy Spirit

May all of us seek to use additional gifts of the Holy Spirit only for God’s purposes.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not use my psychic inclinations as a way to strengthen the ego. May I have no pride in having psychic abilities.

Please be with me as I explore my psychic nature. And may I use it only for the good of my brothers and sisters, and the good for myself.

Amen.

Are “Psychic” Powers Desirable?

1 – No “Unnatural” Powers

“There are, of course, no ‘unnatural’ powers, and it is obviously merely an appeal to magic to make up a power that does not exist. It is equally obvious, however, that each individual has many abilities of which he is unaware. (M62)”

2 – Inner Knowledge

When we walk along the pathway to Awakening, we will find ourselves surprised by the inner knowledge that comes to us. We must be careful, lest the weakened ego use this newfound knowledge to trip us up. There are no unnatural powers; we are simply becoming more natural.

3 – Right Here and Now

Be glad of knowing in advance what might transpire on any given day. Normally the psychic flash is not for some far-distant vision, but right here and now. We will also know when we are saying and doing things that are not quite on the beam, when we are leading people astray. These intuitions matter.

4 – Psychic Flashes

Of course, we may get psychic flashes for events that are important to us and that are far in the future. I knew when I was about 30 that I would marry at 39. And I did. I had not met my husband-to-be, but I realized that I had seen, however briefly, the future. Of course, getting married was an important event, personally, for me. Marriage gave me my “brother,” as A Course in Miracles says, and he has been my greatest earthly teacher.

5 – Ordinary People

So the psychic does intrude on ordinary people. The psychic who receives pay for services rendered needs to be above board at all times, and it is sometimes hard to predict psychic flashes. And so dishonesty is rampant in the psychic-for-pay field. What a pity! This is the turning of a gift into a weapon of the ego. And Jesus would never have us do this.

6 – Magic

We do not want to appeal to magic, in the sense that Jesus uses the word. He uses magic to mean the irrational faculties that psychology has identified.

7 – Communication

“Certainly there are many ‘psychic’ powers that are clearly in line with this course. Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes. If it were, there would be little point in trying to teach salvation. It would be impossible to do so. (M62)”

8 – ACIM

The Course is never specific about these “psychic” powers, but it may be interpreted that the usual kinds of psychic powers are meant, all a form of ESP. Certainly we sometimes seem to know what those closest to us are thinking. This is a universal experience.

9 – Guidance

Guidance from the Holy Spirit is often received in a psychic manner. We get an intuitive sense of what to say or do next, and we follow, and we discover that what we said or did by this prompting was, oh, ever so right. Living by following guidance is the most joyous way to live.

10 – Flexible

We must be flexible, be able to turn on a dime, if we wish to take advantage of psychic powers that are in line with the Course. The Holy Spirit does, indeed, sometimes guide us months and years in advance, but this is not the most common way. The most common way is to intuit the next thing that we should do or say. Otherwise, we would, in our egoic state, be susceptible to planning against contingencies to come, which the Course specifically says is not a desired characteristic. We need to do the next right thing, and then the next, and the next. Then life flows smoothly, and we know the blessings that A Course in Miracles holds out to us.

11 – Limits

“Who transcends these limits in any way is merely become more natural. He is doing nothing special, and there is no magic in his accomplishments. (M62)”

12 – Ego

We cannot see ourselves as special in any way and avoid an identification with the ego. We are not doing anything special when we are being psychic. We have just, at least for now, transcended the boundaries of what formerly kept us captive.

13 – Psychic Powers

“Even those who no longer value the material things of the world may still be deceived by ‘psychic’ powers. As investment has been withdrawn from the world’s material gifts, the ego has been seriously threatened. It may still be strong enough to rally under this new temptation to win back strength by guile. Many have not seen through the ego’s defenses here, although they are not particularly subtle. (M63)”

14 – Warning

This passage includes a stern warning, and it is one that I have taken to heart as I have experienced more psychic gifts as time has passed. I want the ego to wither away, and to do so I cannot reinforce it by my own faulty thinking. The ego, as a part of our belief about ourselves, will do anything to keep us “safe” as the ego defines safety. If we don’t put much store by the physical things of the world, we still may be beguiled by psychic powers that seem special. And “special” is of the ego. Always.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to the psychic powers that can benefit my world.

May I not seek for what would be harmful. May the Holy Spirit guide me. May I always be willing to accept His guidance.

Be with me today as I explore my psychic nature. Thank you for being a part of my life always.

Amen.

Is Reincarnation So?

1 – Not to Deal with Now

“Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. (M60)”

2 – Take No Stand

“For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness, as well as his own decision making. (M60)”

3 – Litmus Test?

Many people would use reincarnation as a litmus test for the validity of the Course, if we were to take a public stand on where we stand on this issue. Jesus is not interested in controversy, but only in what will work for us in our lives in a practical way. So he recommends that we avoid the question of reincarnation publicly, for to engage in debate would only lessen our usefulness.

4 – Jesus

Elsewhere Jesus says that the Course can be used by both those who believe in reincarnation and those who don’t. Jesus is not interested in theological interpretation, but only in the day-to-day lives of his followers. Elsewhere he says that there can be no universal theology, but a universal experience is necessary.

5 – Only Way? No

This universal experience he spells out in the Course. This is not to say that the Course is the only Way. It is one way that many people have now chosen for salvation in this world. And the introductory pages of the text say that this is a required course, with only the time that we take it to be voluntary. Our way is to have brothers and sisters in significant relationships–holy relationships–with ourselves. This eliminates the tedium of long hours spent in meditation. All special relationships, the Course says, are meant to become holy. This is the practical means that the Course is bringing us Home.

6 – Reversal of Thought

“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. (M61)”

7 – When It Is OK to Discuss Reincarnation

This passage gives the reason that we are not to discuss reincarnation unless we are with people of a like mind. We don’t need to invite controversy. I myself have tried very hard, over the years, to keep controversy out of my blog. My innate reaction is to avoid controversy, to keep life smooth, and I would like to feel that people who read my blog are looking for a calm reassurance that all is well.

8 – Our Witness

Controversy would just interfere with our witness. We don’t need to start arguments; we need to avoid them. We don’t have to dissemble, but we can be circumspect is what we say.

9 – ACIM Leaders

Leaders in the ACIM movement differ on how they feel about reincarnation. Based on his writing, I have concluded that Jon Mundy, publisher of Miracles magazine, does not believe in reincarnation. Most other leaders have not taken a stand, and so I don’t know how they feel. I find that I can read the words of ACIM two ways, and so there is much room for disagreement.

10 – Silence

But the benefit is that we don’t have to proselytize for our opinion. We can remain silent on this issue unless and until we are in a group of kindred spirits. Then we are encouraged to discuss reincarnation, if we so desire.

Dear Father/Mother,

Remind not to engage in controversy, because this will only limit my helpfulness. May I discuss reincarnation only in intimate circles of like-minded individuals. Publicly to take a stand on reincarnation might limit my usefulness.

I know that You will guide my speech. May I not be tempted to run ahead of Your guidance.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Far Behind a Grateful Heart and Thankful Mind

1 – Name of Jesus Christ

“Remembering the Name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which he is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. (M58)”

2 – Not Magical

Calling on the Name of Jesus in prayer is not a magical act. It reminds us that he is our elder brother, who is there to help us whenever we ask. He promises this in the Course. At one point he recommends that we imagine him taking our hand and leading us, and he assures us that this will be no idle fantasy.

3 – Keys to the Kingdom

Being grateful and thankful are keys to the Kingdom. We are so often not grateful for the good that we receive. No sooner than we have received it than we are off asking for something else–never stopping very long to say “thank you.” But this passage indicates that love will follow a grateful and thankful heart and mind. And love is the opposite of fear, love and fear being the only two emotions (the rest being variants of these two).

4 – Blessings

So, with a grateful heart, thank God in prayer for the blessings that He has given us. And use Jesus’s Name, if we can feel secure in doing so. As an elder brother, he appreciates (as do we) that we are giving credit to him when it is due. (This is an interpretation, not a Course tenet.)

5 – Christ’s Vision

“In his eyes Christ’s vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again, when he has made the journey for you? (M59)”

6 – The Pathway

Jesus walked the pathway before we came along. He led the way for us, for we have chosen him as our way. There are other leaders for other traditions, but we have chosen Jesus. And he has chosen us. Why, indeed, would we stumble along, trying so hard to get it right, when just a word from Jesus would set our little worlds right side up? Why do we hesitate?

7 – Let Down?

I think we hesitate for fear of being let down. We think that maybe Jesus won’t be there for us. But his promises are that he will be.

8 – Ask for Help

Why not take a risk and ask for his help today? Why not indeed? I suggest that none of us will be disappointed, though a doubtful heart may interfere with our awareness of his answer. Ask in confidence, certain that A Course in Miracles is right, and see if we are not well-assured by his response.

9 – Jesus

“This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. . . Do you, then, teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here. (M59)”

10 – Always Nearby

A very reassuring passage, this passage affirms that Jesus is actually always nearby, even when we are thinking of other things. “He is always here.” Yes! Jesus would not leave his followers adrift in a difficult and tragic world. We call on him, and he answers.

11 – Simple

It is just that simple.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am grateful for my many blessings, and I feel this both in my heart and my mind. Your blessings pour out on those who are grateful for what they already have. May I be careful to acknowledge Your presence in my life today.

Thank you for Jesus’s help. He has promised to be with us also, and we pray in his name.

Amen.

Is Jesus Still Available for Help?

1 – Temptation

“God’s gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God’s teachers will give way to temptation in this world. (M58)”

2 – Fallibility

Even the most advanced of God’s teachers is still fallible. We won’t get it right all the time. We will succumb to temptations in this world, and that includes especially the tendency to feel anger and then to attack. In addition, we will judge ourselves and others. And we will make contingency plans against uncertainties to come. These three actions are all ways in which temptations take us away from God. And we will fall on our face in our dealings with our brothers and sisters.

3 – Holy Spirit

Leaving temptation behind is an ongoing pathway. We will never, perhaps, be free of temptations in this world, but the times that they intrude upon our lives will lessen as we live closer to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

4 – Miracles

God gives us gifts, though we may not recognize them when they come. One might not recognize a miracle at high noon, if our thoughts are solely on our own desires and wishes. We may study the Course, and as we do, we will do better in this world. Our power will come to us as we let guidance lead the Way.

5 – Name of Jesus

“The Bible says, ‘Ask in the Name of Jesus Christ.’ Is this merely an appeal to magic. . . What does calling on his Name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing? (M58)”

6 – Faith

This invocation is not an appeal to magic; it is a statement of faith, a truly undivided appeal. We know that Jesus performed miracles in his life, and we think therefore that the miracles that we ask to be performed for ourselves now will have a welcome ear in him.

7 – Jesus

And so it is. Jesus hears still, though nobody on earth can figure out how this may be. There are laws of the physical and spiritual world of which we know nothing. Calling on the name of Jesus is one such appeal to laws of which we know nothing.

8 – Still Available?

“Is he [Jesus] still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises, and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. . .Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him? (M58)”

9 – Yes, Jesus Is Available

This passage proclaims, without question, that Jesus is available to us. Other passages suggest that we ought to visualize holding his hand, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

10 – Traditional Christianity

Many traditional Christian teachings, inspirational writing, give accounts of time when individuals felt that Jesus, with the healing touch, was present and performed miracles—especially a relaxed calm in the heart. An inner peace. May we all experience this when we ask. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will come with one “unequivocal call.”

11 – Cloning

How is this possible? We don’t know, but we can surmise, that Jesus can clone himself, appearing to many people simultaneously and in different settings. Nothing is said in ACIM about this, but we can speculate. How else would his presence to any and all of us be possible?

12 – Greatest Teacher

In this passage he is proclaimed the “greatest teacher.” Edgar Cayce, a psychic of the last century, said, in trance, that Jesus was the leader of a group of souls that came here to save people who had become enmeshed in matter. This does not mean that there are not other leaders. Christianity, fundamental Christianity, has long believed that people must accept Jesus as the Son of God, the only Redeemer. ACIM does not say this. ACIM says that there are other teachers for other people, for nobody is left bereft of counsel and help.

13 – Take a Chance

We need to take a chance today and ask for Jesus’s help. We should not feel presumptuous in so doing. He has welcomed that advance in ACIM. And it is not arrogant to believe that he will come when called. He will not intrude, but he is there when we need him: one unequivocal call.

14 – Comforting Passage

May this word be a blessing for us today. The passage is comforting in the extreme. And we know that we all need help.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not give way to temptation, though You say that I will be likely to do so from time to time. May I not give way to temptation today.

Thank You for your support always. May I avoid anger and attack today. May I be good to my brothers and sisters. When I hear guidance, let me be steadfast to hold it close to me.

Amen.

Healing and Atonement

1 – Identical Concepts

“Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. (M55)”

2 – The Sequence

If we are right with God (atonement), then the healing of our minds is next to happen. Note that physical symptoms may still be present, but the mind is where the healing happens. Physical symptoms very well may disappear in time (and there is no time, and so this is irrelevant).

3 – Undoing

Atonement, the “undoing,” happens when we surrender to God. We find that salvation has been waiting for us all along. We also find that miracles can and will heal anything that ails us. The fact that miracles do not always happen for us is not a reason to doubt the validity of some miracles. God may be saying “no” to us, and our inner Self will have acquiesced to this denial.

4 – Accept Atonement

“Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. (M55)”

5 – Ideal Level

This assertion belongs to the “ideal” level of A Course in Miracles. The books are written on at least two levels, and not all of us can reach up to the ideal level at all times.

6 – Faith

This is not a reason to lose faith. In fact, Jesus healed when faith was strong—only “believe,” he said.

7 – Unhealed Illness

Of course, you as well as I can point to many examples of sick people who believed that they would be healed, and to our eyes they were not healed. Is this reason to doubt what God has promised to us?

8 – Inner Healing

I think not. Know that an inner healing may happen even when outer circumstances do not change. The inner may be a far superior form of healing than the outer. We will be given the grace to accept our predicament.

9 – Can You Believe?

See if you can reasonably believe in a healing. If you cannot visualize a healing, then chances are good that this healing is not in the cards for you. Our failure to visualize something is almost proof positive that we are on the wrong track (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles).

10 – Progress

“The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. (M55)”

11 – Holy Spirit

We need to turn to the Holy Spirit with all of our decisions, but rarely are we courageous enough to do so. It takes time to trust Him. When we come to learn that following His advice brings good, and following our own often leaves us unhappy, we will turn to Him more and more. And our lives will get better, accordingly.

12 – Do Not Rely on Yourself

Sometimes a miracle happens, and as soon as one accepts the Holy Spirit into his or her life, then that person recognizes that the truth is good for all things. We usually don’t experience this sudden awareness, though, because we have been reared to place our dependence upon our own judgment. We think that we are missing something unless we rely upon ourselves. But this is a false doctrine. The world teaches it to us, but the Course teaches just the reverse.

13 – Judgment

Our own judgment can never know all the factors about a given situation. But the Holy Spirit does know all factors. Would we not be foolish to fail to take advantage of such a Helper? This Helper is always available to us, and He has only our best reactions at heart.

14 – Function

“The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. (M55)”

15 – Healing May Be Delayed

This passage contains a hint that healing may be delayed. Sometimes healing is delayed for our own good, in that a sudden healing might precipitate depression, because we have learned to see our sickness as part of our self-image—and we know not where to turn if healed. (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

16 – All Will Be Healed

In the end, we are all healed, whether now, later, or on the Other Side. We will know abundant health, now or in the future, for sickness has no place in the Son/Daughter of God’s reality, the true reality.

17 – Inclusiveness

“Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest? (M55)”

18 – Patience

This passage essentially says to be patient. There are illnesses that are contained only by medication, and Jesus himself says in A Course in Miracles that, though “spells,” he does not oppose taking pills if this is what we need to keep down the fear, the anxiety. An increase in fear is the last thing that we need now.

19 – Awakening

We want Awakening, but the way may be long for most of us. Awakening in our current culture in this world is relatively rare, and when it happens at all, it is frequently not sustained, but is instead a passing satori (a glimpse of Awakening). But the end is certain. God wants us to awake, and when we turn ourselves over to Him in all particulars, our way eases. We have happy dreams sent by the Holy Spirit, and these happy dreams teach us what God would have us know, how He would have us proceed before He reaches down to lift us up to Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my progress as a teacher of God be rapid. Help me to realize that trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance in all my decisions is the way to go.

I know that You want the very best for me. And You need me to reach out to my brothers and sisters. Help me to do Your will, which is also my own.

Amen.

Judge Not the Words that Come to You

1 – Chosen Words

“Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. . . .Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. (M54)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage explains that the Holy Spirit, if we listen with a keen ear, will indicate to us what to say. This is not necessarily in a “voice,” but internally we have an indication of what to say. We can misinterpret, especially if we are confused or mentally unstable, but if we are of sound mind, very soon we will be able to distinguish what is the Holy Spirit and what is not.

3 – Many Ways

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit reaches us: words spoken by a brother or sister that seem especially pertinent to our situation and cue us to words or behavior; a “feeling” that we should (or should not) say or do a certain thing; dreams; in rare cases, visions or hallucinations. Sometimes words may come into our minds that seem a bit beyond us; we did not actually choose to “think” those things. That is likely to be the Holy Spirit’s communication.

4 – Diligence

If we are diligent in following, the guidance will continue. If we resist, the guidance will seem to cease until we are more willing. The Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon anyone. We receive best when we are in a relaxed manner and mood. Tension may break the connection, because it makes us unsure of ourselves. If we persist, the time will come shortly that we can be certain of the Holy Spirit’s communication. But because God deals with all of us differently, depending upon what we are ready to accept, there can be no firm guidelines that fit everyone.

5 – A Special Case

“This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, ‘I will step back and let Him lead the way.’ The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks. (M54)

6 – Intuition

This section of the Manual offers a way of understanding our intuition that is hard to follow when we are stressed or in a bad mood. Our overwrought nature will make us doubt whether or not we actually hear anything at all, certainly anything at all that is relevant or accurate.

7 – Overwrought

When we are overwrought, the best thing to do is go within, to quiet one’s self. The little self, the personal self, is what needs quieting, for the Christ Self is always calm. We won’t know where to turn when we are in the throes of a deepening mood. We will wonder if anything that we perceive is accurate. And getting quiet will put us back into flow. Flow is when the day just moves along peacefully and gently; we are busy, but not too busy; we are calm and at peace in the midst of chaos, even.

8 – Hear Internally

If we hear internally words that we believe are those of the Holy Spirit, this passage indicates that we ought to offer those words to whomever we are with. These words may make us uncomfortable, but they will not hurt. If they seem to be hurtful words, then we are misperceiving, the Holy Spirit is not talking, but the ego is.

9 – Discernment

Listen to the Holy Spirit, but discern whether or not our inclination to talk is divinely inspired, or otherwise. Don’t speak if uncertain. Wait until we are sure.

10 – Hindrance

“A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. (M54)”

11 – Uncomfortable

This aspect of “hearing” means that we may find ourselves confronted with divinely inspired words that go against the grain. It may make us feel uncomfortable or ill at ease. We may doubt whether or not God is really with us. I would say that we must refrain from speaking if we have doubts. We will know the change when we switch out of egoic mood and into the flow that only the Holy Spirit can inspire.

12 – Easier Later On

This discernment becomes easier as we walk further along our pathway toward Awakening. The Society of Friends (Quakers) talk often about “discernment,” and this aspect of their faith is what I want to hold out to you now. We do not willy-nilly offer up anything that occurs to us to say. That would be very detrimental to our hearer. We calmly and peacefully wait until we are sure that the words that we hear internally are meant to be said. The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts when we are confused. We do not have to doubt that God will get through to us.

13 – Irrelevance

“It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception which he would leave behind. (M54)”

14 – Embarrassment

This is the embarrassment passage that so many find puzzling and contraindicated. We do not want to be embarrassed. But let us consider the words of Jesus here, the fact that he is pointing out that we actually have a “shabby self-perception” which he would remove from us.

15 – Speak Out

Don’t hesitate to speak out, even though we think that we will appear foolish. Make sure that it is divine guidance, and when you are sure, offer those words that come to you. You will find a quick acceptance on the part of your hearers. You will quickly be assured that the Holy Spirit is directing your speaking.

16 – Judge Not

“Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. (M54)”

17 – Judging Rightly

So even here we don’t “judge,” for to judge is to be mistaken. Only the Holy Spirit judges rightly.

18 – God’s Word

“God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself. (M54)”

19 – Listening

We will find a following among those who listen to us, if we listen aright. We will find that our words will take on new meaning, even to ourselves. We will grow strong in confidence, certain of the Holy Spirit’s entries into our lives.

20 – Authority

And our words will have an authority that our personal, little self has never known. We will speak with a candidness and a certainty that known no bounds.

God will be pleased with us. Take care that the ego does not attach itself to this new found confidence, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I always hear the words correctly that you wish me to say. May I not doubt, and may I not make mistakes in speaking what You will. May I not be confused in my thinking.

Your guidance is sure. When I doubt, perhaps I am still relying on the ego. May I not rely on the ego today.

Amen.

Prayer

1 – Prayer of the Heart

“Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing. The motivating factor is prayer, or asking. What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. (M53)”

2 – ACIM

The Course does not say a tremendous amount about prayer, though, we might realize, much is implied (an interpretation of the Course). Here we see the “asking” prayer, and we receive a warning: What you ask for you receive, if it is the prayer of the heart. Elsewhere we learn that if we pray for something, and are actually afraid of it, we will not receive it, because our fear contradicts our asking. Being afraid is a certainty that what we are asking is not a prayer of the heart.

3 – Unanswered Prayer?

All of us have prayed for healing and have seemingly not had some of those prayers answered. Jesus says that we have chosen various symptoms of pain, and if we remain unhealed truly, we may just replace one chosen symptom with another. We do not know, usually, what the Self truly wants–even unto death. We may pray for our healing, and to remain alive, when the Self has decided that this body is best laid aside. We are assured that there is no true death, that we are creatures of eternity.

4 – What Does the Self Want?

So keep in mind that turning to the Holy Spirit for guidance about what the Self wants may be the best choice.

5 – Symbols of Symbols

“Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality. (M53)”

6 – Prayer of Silence

So I surmise here that the prayer of the heart that works best—if efficacy is what we want—is a prayer of silence, a darting, longing toward what we view as God, however we view Him. I am thinking of the anonymous medieval treatise on mysticism, entitled The Cloud of Unknowing. This writer emphasizes just a wordless longing that we feel when we are in our best moments in prayer. We reach out to God as we conceive Him (and A Course in Miracles says that God is the All, the One), with a heartfelt longing that is close to our heart. In so doing, we will experience the Presence of God—unless we are caught in the throes of suffering a dark night of the soul (when God seems absent, but only absent in illusion, for He never departs).

7 – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is said to have mostly, throughout her long life, failed to find the sweet tenderness of God’s love in her prayers. Her letters have testified to this. She did not waver in her faith, though she missed the sweetness. Atheists have brought this unusual aspect in Mother Teresa to try to claim evidence that God does not exist, for would He withhold Himself from so faithful a servant as Mother Teresa?

8 – Barrenness in Prayer

No one knows why absence was Mother Teresa’s experience of God. But knowing this can give us solace when we go through a period of barrenness in prayer. We are not to seek the sweetness as an end in itself. We are to seek God for Himself alone.

9 – Experience

“The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the asker. (M53)”

10 – Asking

So here we are encouraged not to spend all of our time, at least, asking for specifics. We are actually wanting to experience something, and our heartfelt words, often rendered silently, are believed to bring about this experience in our daily life.

11 – The Heart

The prayer of the heart, we are told elsewhere, is always answered. If our words deny the heart, then our words are not answered. The heart always knows what it wants, and this is what is answered. If the heart contradicts something that we say, in prayer, that we want, we will not receive that something. If we are afraid of having something that we ask for, we will not receive it, either, for the fear means that the heart has not spoken.

12 – May Not Recognize

The heart always is quiet and peaceful in its asking for a specific experience. And the prayer is answered, though we may not always recognize the answer when it comes. This latter point is important, for all too often, in our limited way, we rail against God for not answering our prayers.

13 – Folk Wisdom

It has been said that God always answers: Sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes, wait. This is not repeated in A Course in Miracles, but in my reading there is nothing in ACIM that contradicts this folk wisdom.

14 – Words

“The words, then, are symbols for the things asked for, but the things themselves but stand for the experiences that are hoped for. (M53)”

15 – Real World

So we use words, often, in prayer, and they are symbols that are actually removed from the real world. The real world is God’s gift to us when we have fulfilled the conditions of salvation. And it is not really physical. It is an experience that immediately precedes our Awakening, a step that only God can take for us. He metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up, against all reasoning. We cannot achieve Awakening, and the striving for it will mean that the ego has created a problem that will not be dissolved until we get ourselves out of the way.

15 – Be Careful

We can ask for any experience, but the most stern warning is also folk wisdom: Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely receive it.

16 – Overwrought

With that in mind, it behooves us to ask God what is really best for us before we engage in prayer. He will answer in the quiet of our heart, when our mind is stilled and our emotions have settled down to peace. We cannot “hear” when we are overwrought.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please bring my prayers into my heart, asking for what the Self truly wants, and only for what is good in Your sight. May I receive the assurance that prayers of the heart are always answered.

Thank you for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I pray. Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

What Is the Peace of God?

1 – God’s Will = My Real Will

“What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict for His Will is yours. (M52)”

2 – Job

This passage is a sticking point for many. How can we have free will in this world? We think of Job in the Old Testament, and the ego tells us that what God wants for us not what we “will.” But it is. There is actually no conflict between our real will and the will of God. The farther we progress in our study of the Course, the more certain of this tenet we will become.

3 – Peace

When we accept that our real will and that of God’s is the same, we will have the peace that heretofore has eluded us. Take this tenet to heart, and see what a difference in our lives it does make.

4 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will guide us to God’s will. His whispers are true; the feelings that we have to do or say certain things can, unless we are very confused, be trusted. The Course elsewhere says quite a bit about how to follow this guidance. The Course assures us that our own judgment is flawed, and we are encouraged, even bade, to leave our judgment behind and turn to the Holy Spirit. He alone knows all circumstances and can guide us surely. We then will truly know the peace of God. And anything else is counterfeit.

5 – Tiny Frail Imaginings

“Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? (M52)”

6 – God Too Busy? Of Not in Illusion?

We sometimes think that God is too busy to deal with us. And some students/teacher of A Course in Miracles think that God is outside of illusion, and therefore does not know about us, having turned over a link to us to the Holy Spirit.

7 – Workbook

I think that both suppositions are faulty. The Godhead would be able to tune into anything at all, anywhere. That is part of omnipresence. As well, the final Workbook lessons seem to assume a personal relationship between ourselves and God. We are praying to Him. So I think that Jesus knows that we are known by God.

8 – Insignificant

We have tiny frail imaginings. We fret so much about so much that is insignificant. God’s Will, for us, is to let us know what is right for us to entertain in our lives. We don’t need to fret, and all of us realize this when in our better moments. But most of us have long swaths of time in any given day when we are discontented, even bored, certainly anxious—unless we are in a stress-free environment.

9 – Our Heritage

“The Will of God is one and all there is. This is your heritage. (M52)”

10 – Predestination?

Yes, we are One with God’s Will. We have no reason to suspect that something else is our heritage. Does this mean predestination? Does this mean that everything is already decided about our lives?

11 – Allowing

No, I think not. The Will of God allows many things to happen that are not optimal for us. We can always switch to the optimal at any time, just by adjusting our attitudes. Our physical bodies and their situation are not significant because they are illusion. Our minds are real, and often caught by the ego. We don’t have to live like this. We can let the inner Christ emerge, and this Self will work to smooth out our living.

12 – God’s Peace

“The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him. (M52)”

13 – Home Free

If we truly feel the peace of God, we will be home free. We will know that life is as it should be, that nothing that happens to us has to be lamented.

14 – Remember God

Would you like to remember God? Jesus says in ACIM that if we attain God’s peace, we will remember Him.

15 – Drama

We need not to allow drama to subsume of our lives. The drama is a separating factor from God. The ego loves strife, and loves drama, because it helps the ego to believe that it is really living. But real peace is a far more enjoyable state of mind. Try for even moments every day, and you will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Your Will is mine as well. May I be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter of following Your Will. May I not doubt, but rest in surety when I am prompted to think or act in certain directions.

Thank you for delivering me from the question of Job in the Old Testament. May I rest in this knowledge and be happy.

Amen.

A Tranquil Mind Is Not a Little Gift

“Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die? (M51)”

1 – Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

The question in this passage is akin to a question asks elsewhere: “Would you rather be right or happy?” The idea is similar, because we so often get caught up in our own turmoil, thereby making the turmoil worse.

2 – Drama?

Surely all of us would choose a tranquil mind, unless our ego has us so addicted to drama that we choose the negative drama over peace of mind. A negative drama is a form of dying, because real living is meant to be peaceful. Elsewhere Jesus says that we are intended to be perfectly “calm and quiet” all the time. Most of us find this hard to accept, so accustomed to conflict are we. The ego has a deep inroad in us.

3 – Tranquility

Tranquility is a better gift, though, and as we progress in our training as teachers of God, we will readily recognize this. A lack of drama in living is an attribute of those who have awakened, and one goal of the Course, for us, is an Awakening. We may not all reach this, but we can have moments of time in which we are awake. This is advice from Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now and A New Earth), not from the Course per se.

4 – Joy

“Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape, because it is not life in which the problem lies. (M52)”

5 – Warning?

If read in one way, this passage is a stern warning. If we have envisioned our problems as ending when we die, perhaps—just perhaps—we are told here that if we do not resolve our problems in this life, we will still face those problems after death.

6 – Comforting

It is comforting to imagine that our aches and pains, physical and emotional, will disappear when we cross the veil into life after death. We can imagine that we won’t need to take medication any longer. We can imagine that our back won’t ache, for example. And I think that this would be true.

7 – Psychic Pain

But inner psychic pain may take its toil even beyond death. If we have not worked out our problems in this lifetime, perhaps we will face some of that working out in another realm. It behooves us to walk carefully, for I am actually commenting on something that only psychics have described. And their commentaries differ.

8 – Pray

If we diligently seek to pray away our difficulties here, facing those difficulties but also seeking an end to them, then whatever comes in the next life will be a blessing. We will be ready for that next life.

9 – God

“Life has no opposite, for it is God. . . . Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is. (M52)”

10 – Powerful

This excerpt, “Everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained,” is a powerful statement that cries out for explanation. It is akin to the epigraph at the beginning of A Course in Miracles. We don’t have to fear the physical, for it is illusion and therefore not real. And the mind’s genesis, the inner Self, is real, for God created it. And this Self has no end. What a blessing! We don’t have to fear mortality. We don’t have to fear that life does not continue, for we do have immortality.

11 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit would have us realize that nothing here that we experience is, in itself, a tragedy, for it can be easily undone if understood as the learning experience that it is. The Self approves all things that happen to this mind and body. Nothing escapes. Nothing occurs that was not agreed upon by the Higher Self, the Christ who is within us all.

12 – Turmoil

We need to remember this truth when we seem beset on all sides by turmoil. When we are in anguish. And pain. And just the minor, numerous irritations of this life. We may stay too busy in this life, because we see no way to live differently. We may feel that our jobs are asking for their pound of flesh (from Shakespeare), but on some level we have agreed for this circumstance to be our lot in life. If we don’t like what we are experiencing, sometimes it takes only prayerful contemplation to rectify the situation. We do have helpers from the Other Side. And we can ask for, and receive, help whenever we need it. Help will always, always, arrive. And we will recognize this help when we have gotten calm enough to accept it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your peace. I ask to be happy being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May I leave drama behind as I move toward Awakening. May I have a tranquil mind.

Your peace is all that I want. When something upsets me, let me think of my real goal of peace before all else. Thank you for Your help.

Amen.

How Is the Peace of God Retained?

1 – Anger

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. (M51)”

2 – Expression of Help / Call for Help

The main point that this passage makes is best understood if we realize that elsewhere we learn that all is either help or a call for help. We get angry when we think that we have not been appreciated, or someone has done us wrong, or a million varieties of these two examples. If we reinterpret this attack from another brother or sister as a call for help, then we can see that they are innocent, and we truly have nothing to be angry about.

3 – Returning Anger

It is important to note that this passage says “returning anger, in whatever form”–a pertinent point. We often feel upset without fully realizing that what we are feeling is anger. Suppressing or repressing the anger is not helpful, and this is a mistake that many Course students make. Our right and proper reaction is forgiveness of the attack, because our brothers and sisters are as innocent as are we. We have made mistakes, and they have also, but we are not “sinners.” Calling an attack a “sin” only reinforces it in our minds. We need to overlook the attack, not make it real by dwelling on it (a Course tenet).

4 – Peace

Peace can be with us all the time, but this achievement (and it is an achievement, but not of the ego) may not come to any of us soon. More and more time can be spent in peace, though, if we keep the tenets of the Course in mind. The above paragraph summarizes a good bit of the basic psychology of the Course about attack and anger. For us to be peaceful, we have to have a peaceful psychology, and A Course in Miracles offers this.

5 – The Sword

“Now must you once again lay down your sword, although you do not recognize that you have picked it up again. But you will learn, as you remember even faintly now what happiness was yours without it, that you must have taken it again as your defense. (M51)”

6 – Defenses

We don’t need defenses of any type. God takes care of us without defenses. Elsewhere we are told that defenses make what they try to defend against. And this is true of anger as well. If we take up the sword, metaphorically, we will die by the sword. There is no other outcome.

7 – Relationships

All of us want nourishing relationships. And criticism of our significant others is a way that we show our anger, and it is always barrier-producing. We need to drop the barriers, the defenses, that we have erected to protect ourselves from the harm that we think significant others do to us. They will do nothing that our Self has not allowed. And our Self will show us better times when we are more open and vulnerable.

8 – An Adage

This, obviously, does not mean that we are open to physical violence. But words do not, ultimately, harm us. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” That old adage is good advice in this context.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I retain peace in my life. I know that I cannot retain peace if I allow anger to return to me over and over. I must forgive the mistakes that I make and those that my brothers and sisters make. Then I may retain peace.

Please help me to go about a peaceful day today. I know that Your help is at my right hand always.

Amen.

How Is God’s Peace Recognized?

1 – Everlasting Quiet

“First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. . .The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything. (M51)”

2 – Personal Experience

This morning, a Sunday morning, I am experiencing some of that peace of God told us in this passage. There is no preparation that is for certain; the peace comes out of the blue; prayer doesn’t necessarily precede it.

3 – Personal Experience II

I am sitting on my screen porch while the rain pelts down. The ambiance may have created some of the mood necessary to feel God’s peace.

4 – Surreal Peace

The quiet comes unbidden, but then it stays and stays, if we are lucky. The peace is almost surreal. It truly does feel like nothing experienced before, as the passage says.

5 – Presence of God

I know that this mood of mine, this Presence of God, felt, will not last. But while it is lasting, it is blessing me. And I hope that knowing it comes to anybody else can encourage a hope in you that the peace will descend upon you just as unexpectedly.

6 – Satisfy the Conditions

“How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. (M51)”

7 – Avoid Anger

I am not angry at all this morning. Perhaps that is one key, as this passage suggests. If we seek out the conditions of this peace, what will we seek? We will strive to stay on an even keel with our moods (though sometimes this may seem impossible). We may pray without ceasing, and this too is calming to the mind and negates the ego’s striving to “get.”

8 – War

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again. And the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. (M51)”

9 – What to Avoid

The stress in these passages is to avoid anger, but I think that this does not mean that we suppress anger. We use our minds to get us out of the anger. We know that whatever we are experiencing is coming about because we don’t recognize another’s attack as the call for love and the call for help that it truly is. When we answer a call, we are no longer bound by the negative feelings that will come up if we don’t answer, if we just try to suppress.

10 – Mindfulness

Our own mindfulness, really noticing each thing that we do, will create conditions welcoming to the relief of anger. Mindful breathing and mindful walking are two techniques recommended by the well-known Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Perhaps today we all need to take a cue from his teachings.

11 – Justified Anger?

“Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. (M51)”

12 – Call for Help

Anger, it is said elsewhere in the Course, is actually a call for help. It may also be viewed as a call for love. Our task is to run to our brother or sister’s side, and to offer solace–that help or love that is really wanted. We may not do this overtly if the other person is not receptive. We may only pray for our brother or sister, or smile at them, or even just make small talk. Ask for guidance in the thought or action that is needed. We must be sensitive to the plight of our brother or sister, and overt action may not be desirable.

13 – Take Peace to Heart

So we see that anger is never justified. Peace is not meaningless. God’s way is right, and peace can exist. These are wonderful concepts to take to heart.

14 – Retaliation

As long as the ego is in charge, we will be tempted to return attack for attack, but responding in this way is always wrong. Attacks is what Jesus calls a “magic thought,” and anger is thus not justified. We need to the inner quiet and calm that ensures that we will respond to magic thoughts of others (and ourselves) with compassion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I immediately recognize anger on my own part and that of others to be a call for help, meriting compassion rather than anger. May I offer the help and love that is needed. May I be gentle to myself, and may I be gentle to others.

Peace is what I want above all else. I do not want to do anything that renders peace meaningless. Please help me in this.

Amen.