Tag Archives: religion

Perception Can Make Whatever Picture the Mind Desires to See

1 – Justice

“Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice, since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. (M49)”

2 – Heaven

What a wonderful place that Heaven will be! Error impossible! And, of course, we are told that we can enjoy Heaven on earth. Of course, too, if we get enamored of believing that we can make no mistakes, we will be deluded big time.

3 – Holy Spirit

We don’t render justice at all. We turn over justice to the Holy Spirit, who knows all circumstances. We don’t let judgment of ourselves interfere, either. If we judge, we are sure to judge wrongly, and so we let guidance show us the way.

4 – Attack

Attack is unjust, because our brother is actually innocent, even though he/she does things or says thing that hurt. He/she is doing the best possible, given the world view subscribed to. We are living a dream that we ourselves have devised; the Self has devised it. And nothing happens to us that our Self has not approved.

5 – The Path

“The path become quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. (M49)”

6 – Personal Experience

Things normally get better as we go along. My immediate supervisor, years ago, asked me one day, in a fit of pique on her part, “Do you live a charmed life?” I think she had recognized that I had far fewer grievances than she herself did, and she may also have noticed how many blessings I did enjoy. Of course, salvation is not always linear, not always a straight line. Once I got away from A Course in Miracles, and my little world started crashing down around me. At this point I didn’t much believe that I lived a “charmed life.” But when I returned to my lodestone, ACIM, life smoothed out once again. I was projecting a better dream, and so once again I knew the “happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the ACIM Workbook).”

7 – Grandeur

We cannot know when we first start out on the spiritual pathway all that the future holds of grandeur. This grandeur is different from the grandiose fantasies of the ego, and this grandeur does not hold the pain that the ego always dips into. Things will get better. We just have to surrender to our own egoistic desires, make a pact with the Holy Spirit (Who is always there for us), and follow the guidance that comes. We will not be abandoned; we will know real peace for the first time.

8 – Concepts

“All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. (M49)”

9 – Persona

When we imagine our brothers, we create a perceived persona for them that is not true; this is the “concept” that this passage explains. Likewise, when we fear for the future, for growing older and sinking into illness, we walk ahead of the Holy Spirit. He tries to meet us in the present, always the present, and when we are projecting ahead, we are endangering our good sense, our good dreams.

10 – Projection Makes Perception

When we project a distorted dream from our minds, we are playing with fire, for the projection may seem very disturbing indeed. Try, just today, to live a few minutes in the present—not worrying about what the future may bring. Of course, we all know that the only moment that we can live in IS the present, but we find it very difficult not to look back and not to look ahead. The past and the future are mirages that are not there. Only live in the present, planning as little as possible. If there are plans to be made, the guidance that we get will prompt us what and when to do. We do not have to fear that our lives will fall apart if we live in the present. It is actually the most powerful point available to us; we will be more available for any future problems because we will be “present” to them.

11 – God’s Justice

“Pray for God’s justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. (M50)”

12 – Heaven or Hell

It is a tenet of the Course that projection makes perception. This may be difficult to understand, but this passage clarifies the issue: “Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see.” Jesus declares that in this lies Heaven or hell, as we elect.

13 – Our Life Situation

This understanding puts our life situation back in our own hands. It is how we see the world, how we interpret it, that determines how we will experience it. Our own insanity has made of this world a hell, and we surely do not wish to stay in this perception.

14 – Judging

We are told elsewhere that it is not up to us to judge our brother or sister. God’s justice is wholly that they are innocent people, as are we, people who are doing the best that they can, given the understanding that they have at any given moment. Our understanding can help them to follow God’s way.

15 – Impartial

“God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. . .Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see! (M50)”

16 – Innocent Children

God’s justice is that we are all innocent children of His. He leaves out nobody, throwing the mantle of His care around us all. We know when we experience His Presence that attack and condemnation are ridiculous choices, and if we are very present, we let those choices fall away. When attack and condemnation fall away, we are happy again. It is just that simple.

17 – Our Vision

Our vision is out there waiting for us. Vision, as described in A Course in Miracles, is not the sight of the physical eyes. It is akin to understanding, to accurate perception, to perception verging into knowledge given us by the Holy Spirit. We can see! Our problems just drop away when seen in this light. We can, if we are lucky, have a moment of enlightenment, a satori, and experience God’s love in a way that is new to us. Our vision, restored, helps us walk along a smoother pathway. If we are grateful sufficiently, we have thanked God all that He wants. He, after all, does not need our gratitude; we do. He needs our communication with Him, though, for He recognizes that we sleep and need to be awakened. He recognizes that His channels of communication are closed. We are told also in ACIM that He is lonely when the minds that He created do not communicate with Him. If this seems like anthropomorphism, then perhaps this is OK. God is a very real Presence, and when we are lucky, when we have fulfilled the requirements, we will feel His Presence in our lives.

18 – God’s Presence

Sometimes we don’t feel His Presence, even when we have been diligent in following His way. At such times, we may be experiencing His withdrawal, allowing us a “dark night of the soul.” The only way out is to go through this bad feeling, and the bad feeling may last a very long time. But we are not left comfortless, as Jesus promised in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit will take us where we are and lead us, ever so gently, to the light again. And we will be stronger for having gone through the dark night of the soul. God has, in that dark night, shut us up to Him alone. And we will be grateful that He did.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my perception be cleansed, so that I elect to see only Heaven. This does not mean that I deny insane things that I see, but it does mean that I choose to see their unreality. This world is illusory, as the Course teaches me.

Help me to see Heaven in my everyday world. Help me not to get lost in dreams that are essentially insane.

Amen.

The Sole Responsibility of God’s Teacher Is to Accept the Atonement for Himself.

“The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. (M48)”

1 – Atonement Means Correction

This tenet of the Course is not always understood. Many people want to describe the Atonement as “at – one – ment,” and this may be a reasonable conclusion. Jesus’s answer, though, is that Atonement means the correction, or undoing of errors. Certainly we are not perfect here, or we would not be in this world. Jesus says elsewhere that it is our purpose to become perfect, and when this happens, we will not return to this world at all. We can reasonably conclude that we will have help from the Other Side, because he also says elsewhere that the Teachers of Teachers are not seen by people who live in this world.

2 – Undo Errors

May we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit so completely that we do see the undoing of errors in ourselves. The only way that this undoing can happen is to follow this guidance. We are not strong or brave enough to bring about our own perfection. It takes divine intervention.

3 – Be a Healed Healer

This passage implied that our first responsibility is to ourselves. We will make mistakes in trying to extend salvation to others if we are “unhealed healers” who wish to do good, but don’t really know how. Once we have accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will be in a position to extend salvation to others. Our times of making mistakes will fall away, leaving Jesus in a position to work through us in a way that he has never been able to do so before.

4 – Miracle Worker

“When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. (M48)”

Would you like to be a miracle worker? This passage says that when we have accepted the atonement, the undoing of errors in ourselves, then we become a miracle worker by definition.

5 – Not Perfect

Now I do not think that this means that we have become perfect. This would be the ego speaking. In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that we just turn aside from those character traits that make us less than we would like to be. If we have anger, and we don’t want anger, we just turn aside from it; it will be there or not, as we will it. And, in the case of anger, we would will it away.

6 – Jesus

The idea that we have to be perfect before God can accept us is not true. Jesus says that he stands at the end of the pathway to correct those errors that we ourselves cannot correct. He corrects our unresolved mistakes.

7 – Ideal

It is an unnecessary burden on us to try to be perfect, though the New Testament does indicate that we ought to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. This is an ideal, and we will know many ideals in this life when we sign on with Jesus. He will hold us by the hand and gently lead us forward.

8 – Limitations

He knows our limitations, and in this world we are not free of limitations. Making mistakes is one of those limitations, and he is, as I said, here to correct what we are not wise or strong or keen enough to correct.

9 – Ego

I worry that some will allow the ego to intrude and call us “miracle workers” when we actually have far to go, still, on the pathway. We can effect change, it is true, but we still will fall down. The Holy Spirit will take charge in our lives to lead us to be true miracle workers, but the credit goes to him, not us.

10 – “Sins”

“His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal? (M48)”

“Sins” are a misnomer, as we have learned. We make mistakes, and mistakes don’t have the attracting value that sins do. We will repeat mistakes when we call them “sins,” because of this attracting feature. It is a perversity, in my opinion.

11 – Mistakes

But all the wrong thinking and the wrongdoing a “mistake,” and we just want to correct it. We don’t condemn ourselves for our mistakes, and it is certain that when we forgive ourselves, we are setting ourselves up to forgive others. I think we cannot really forgive others until we have first forgiven ourselves.

12 – God

God does not forgive, we are told in A Course in Miracles, because He has never condemned. If we ourselves never condemn our mistakes, and never condemn the mistakes of others, we will recognize the highest—that there is really nothing to forgive in the misthoughts and misdeeds of others.

13 – Healing

We do want to heal, to heal personally and to reach out to others to heal them as well. Ask today what you can do to effect this great miracle. Ask what miracles you are to perform. Jesus will guide us, for the Atonement principle is in his power.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please assist me to understand Atonement. May I accept it fully for myself, and then may I reach out to others from a state that approaches error-free circumstances.

I know that Your guidance will help me to reach Your will for me. Atonement for myself is my first directive from You, and I know that You will help me to reach this glorious state.

Amen.

God’s Teachers’ Major Lesson Is to Learn How to React to Magic Thoughts Wholly without Anger

1 – Witnessing to Reality

“If he [the teacher of God] argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has ‘proved,’ both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. . . .Magic thoughts are but illusions. (M47)”

Sometimes we think we see that our significant other is just off in left field. Sometimes our significant other is suffering, and as a result is stubborn and angry. The reaction of stubbornness and anger is a reaction borne of magic thoughts, of irrationality. If we truly knew, if our significant other truly knew, how to have a completely loving relationship, then together we would create this lovely thing for each other.

2 – Don’t Give Credence to Magic Thoughts

Our ignorance of how to do that is all that is holding us back. But we ourselves must take care, when faced with stubbornness, anger, and irrationality, not to react in a negative fashion. To do so is to give credence to magic thoughts; it is to make them real in our illusory world. If we focus on these negative traits, they will be harder to overlook (ACIM tenet). May we go gentle into the day, overlooking negativity, seeing only light in this potentially beautiful world of ours.

3 – Irrationality

We must not take a direct assault on a magic thought, a thought expressed of irrationality. If we approach the problem gently, our significant other may soften, for we have not attacked his ego. Attacking his thoughts will always be perceived by his ego as an attack on his/her person. And be met with resistance.

4 – Resistance

We don’t need this resistance. It will never get us what we want, which is a loving relationship. Our significant other, as well, wants a loving relationship—even if he/she is not fully aware of the possibility of curing problems with love.

5 – Wholly without Anger

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. (M47)”

6 – Anger

Our brothers and sisters who are not Course students will have many superstitious ideas (“magic thoughts”) that may arouse anger in us. They may attack us. Unless we are quiet and calm, we will react negatively, thus undoing the good that they might receive from us.

7 – Major Lesson

Note that Jesus says that reacting to magic thoughts wholly without anger is the “major lesson” of God’s teachers. This is a significant statement. He knows that we lose our patience easily, and we must be patient if we are to set a good example, if we are to reach others in the only way that they can accept.

8 – React without Anger

We cannot be identified as God’s teachers until we have mastered this difficult lessons of reacting without anger. This asks a lot of us, because the ego, in most of us, has not yet withered away. The truth about ourselves is that we respond to anger with a desire to help and to express love, not retaliate in kind. When we have mastered this difficult lesson, we will be well on our way to being the teachers of God that Jesus needs.

9 – Correction

“Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
“You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him. (M47)”

We can never get angry from a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger, and we allow anger when we emphasize, in our minds, magic thoughts that we incorrectly perceive as threatening. Magic thoughts are illusion, and so they cannot really threaten, but in our illusion, our dream, they can do so. It is up to us to recognize an illusion when we see it. And overlook it. Overlooking, if we are in danger of any real harm, is crucial.

10 – Don’t Correct “Faults”

If we are confronted with a mistake, let us know that it is not up to us to correct another’s “faults.” The Holy Spirit will do this in His own good time. We are being arrogant, an arrogance of our egos, when we think that it is up to correct the presumed “faults” of another.

11 – Egoic Arrogance

We can recognize a mistake, and we can gently substitute what we see as the truth. If we are rejected in this attempt, perhaps we acted too soon. Perhaps in our egoic arrogance, we thought that we, rather than the Holy Spirit, could effect a change in the relationship that we have with another.

12 – Guidance

We need to take the humbler view. We can sometimes do very little, but that little may be mighty. Don’t stew in wondering what to do or say; just ask of guidance, just ask of the Holy Spirit.

13 – Listen

He will respond immediately, and the more often we listen, the more crystal clear His Answers will be.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to react to my brothers and sisters wholly without anger, especially when they are saying things about which I disagree. Sometimes their thoughts will conflict with the Course, and this will bother me, if I am not careful. Help me not to be bothered, but to react wholly with love.

Help me to stand back if my brothers and sisters are not ready to learn the material of the Course. Help me to give what I can in a good and loving manner, and to know when to stop. Thank you helping me to decide the right time to change my manner of response.

Amen.

Anger in Response to Perceived Magic Thoughts Is a Basic Cause of Fear

1 – Basic Cause of Fear

“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. (M45)”

Has someone whom you always considered a very rational individual suddenly started expressing what appear to be irrational thoughts? I think this is because each strong character trait, such as rationality, has a shadow side, as Jung would tell us. The shadow side of rationality is irrationality, and irrationality is very threatening, especially when a significant other seems to be reversing trends of a lifetime.

2 – Irrationality

This irrationality, which we may hear, is what we are perceiving as a magic thought. And this is a prime reason that we fear, if we get angry about the threatening of our world view. If we become afraid, our own better thinking may fall by the wayside, and we ourselves may become irrationally fearful.

3 – Stress

Stress can bring all of this lamentable thinking about. I have come to see stress as a manifestation of the fear vs. love dichotomy in our world. And stress is the manifestation of fear.

4 – Holy Spirit

Let’s do what we can today to walk a smooth pathway. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice to us, will help. He can keep us calm even if our significant others are not calm. Even if our significant others are caught in irrational thinking.

5 – Irrationality

If we ourselves have ever been irrational (and who of us has not been?), then irrationality in another will become more threatening to us. Let’s pray together today that all such insanity fall from us. Let’s pray today for a good day.

6 – Magic

“A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. (M45)”

We are having magic thoughts also when we let the irrationality of another get to us. This is because when we are attached to God in prayer, we don’t feel fearful of presumed irrationality. We know that God has everything in hand. It is when we ourselves allow ourselves to become fearful (and this will happen when we are threatened by another’s fears) that we are most cognizant of our separation from God.

7 – Prayer

Pray today to mend this separation. Pray today to mend the barrier between you and your brother/sister. Barriers fall down when we get guidance from the Holy Spirit.

8 – Counterproductive

It may be counterproductive to tell someone else that he/she is being irrational, or that we are perceiving that he/she is being irrational. By the very definition of irrationality, if someone else is being irrational, that person will not recognize truth when confronted with it. He/she will see our evaluation as a kind of attack, which indeed it is. It may very well be best to keep one’s interpretations (for they ARE interpretations) to one’s self, and just smooth the troubled waters.

9 – Later On

Later on, when the coast is smoother, we can ask our significant other about those expressed opinions which have upset us. We need to share everything that we possibly can. There are no exceptions to this rule, unless sharing would hurt the other person. Sharing is normally healing.

10 – Sleeping Guilt

“But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but awaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, ‘You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten.’ Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. (M45)”

This passage explains why we are sometimes confronted with magic, or irrational, thoughts in another. We are being shown our “sleeping guilt.” We have become frightened of God. We are fearful of God.

11 – Insanity

This is stark insanity. There is nothing in our relationship to God that, in a sane mind, is fearful. All of us are said, in A Course in Miracles, to be mad, to one extent or another—until we awaken. Let us pray to be healed of our guilt, for it is the guilt that has driven us insane, the guilt of our presumed “sinful” nature. But we have only made mistakes, correctable mistakes. And we don’t need to stay insane. The Holy Spirit will take us by the hand—indeed, Jesus will take us by the hand. And we will be led to freedom of thought, to freedom of thought without fear.

12 – God

Then the irrationality of magic thoughts won’t hurt so much. We will know that God is handling this situation for us.

13 – God’s Teachers

“Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God Himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. (M46)”

Here Jesus laments the worsening situation of our world. He knows that we cannot continue to survive, nor to thrive, if those of us who have followed him do not do our part in salvation. But he is optimistic, even as he sounds a cautionary note. We can help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to escape from this impossible situation in which we find ourselves. But we need patience and abundant willingness to do so.

14 – Practicality

What does this mean for us, practically? I think that for those of us who have chosen the Course as “our Way,” then this passage means that we must study and learn ourselves all the time that we are trying to reach others. The Course is long enough and sophisticated enough that we cannot recall all its tenets unless we refresh our memories on virtually a daily basis. This does not mean just doing the workbook, but also dipping into the text and the manual for teachers.

15 – The Course

If we study the Course, our own lives will go better. We will then be in a much better situation to reach our brothers and sisters. We will be in the right frame of mind to want to share the good news. We will not be resistant. Remember that Jesus is there to help us always. He promises this. And our guidance from the Holy Spirit is a sure thing. With Helpers like these, how can we fail?

16 – Anger

“If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. (M46)”

We are interpreting the magic thoughts of another. And if we get angry about being confronted with irrationality, we are not feeling something that is justified. We get angry when we are threatened in our world view. We don’t want our boat rocked. But sometimes, in our troubled world, this happens.

17 – Facts vs. Interpretation

But we never get angry at a fact; it is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger (ACIM tenets). And our anger at irrationality may be so subtle as not to be felt very keenly.

18 – Hidden Anger

This hidden anger is especially insidious, for it subjects us to fear, to stress manifested in ourselves. If we are not careful with our emotions, this stress will have an outlet, and that outlet will be an expression of anger.

19 – Brothers/Sisters

Our brother/sister deserves better than this from us. Let us pray to have our own magic thoughts, our own irrationality, healed around these concepts. We are safe, and when we fear another’s irrationality, we think that we are not safe. And, on some level, this makes us angry.

20 – Calm Mind

There are rules by which this will not occur, but first and foremost, we need a calm mind.

21 – Madness

“Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. (M46)”

Madness can do nothing, for it is illusion. Be calm, be not overwhelmed by another’s irrationality. It is only madness, and madness has nothing that can cause fear in a mind (ours) that is steeped in comfort given us by God’s holy Presence.

22 – Fleeting

So the irrationality of another cannot ultimately hurt us. The fact that irrationality is mostly fleeting is a blessing. We don’t have to dwell on these magic thoughts. We can set them aside as insanity. And we can know that the expression of magic thoughts, the expression of madness, is “distress that rests on error” (from the ACIM Text).

23 – Walk a Green Earth

Pray today to do your part to assuage that distress. Then you, as well as your significant other, will walk a green earth again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have the patience and willingness to function rightly as a teacher of God. May, indeed, I be a teacher of God. May I never lead anyone astray.

I know that not all of my brothers and sisters are ready to receive direct teaching. May I be sensitive to what they are ready for, and may I offer only this in confidence that I am making the right decision in reaching them.

Amen.

If a Magic Thought Arouses Anger in Any Form, God’s Teacher Can Be Sure that He Is Strengthening His Own Belief in Sin and Has Condemned Himself.

1 – Major Lesson

“How to deal with magic thus becomes a major lesson for the teacher of God to master. His first responsibility in this is not to attack it. (M44)”

2 – Jesus’s Definition of “Magic”

As mentioned previously in this blog, Jesus gives the term “magic” a very specific interpretation. It is the form given magic by psychology, which is to equate magical thinking with irrationality. We need to set aside our airy, fairy ideas about “magic” being something good, at least for the moment.

3 – Irrational Thinking

We don’t want to attack irrational thoughts of another, even when this irrationality is an attack on us. If we are doing what is right, we will get quiet within, maybe distance ourselves for the moment from the perpetrator, and talk to God. His Holy Spirit will guide us. And we will feel more compassionate, for our significant other is suffering, even in the attack.

4 – Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh has a wonderful book called simply Anger, in which he describes the best way to be mindful and to respond to attack with compassion. He says that we ought to speak out when we are suffering from attack, but certainly not from an attack of our own. We need to realize that the ego has taken control of us in those moments of confusion and disarray, those moments of anger. If we tell the other that we are suffering, that we are trying to be mindful and to heal, then the way may very well be open to better communication.

5 – Courage

Of course, sometimes to speak out takes great courage, for we don’t want to do anything that will exacerbate the conflict. Soft words do a lot to unhinge anger, though. Slow and quiet words of compassion are healing, and our significant other will recognize this—unless the ego has a very, very strong hold. Sometimes the only thing that we can do if the ego in another is very strong is to pray for a miracle. The miracle will come. Healing will arrive. Only believe this, try to make yourself believe this, and the blessing will arrive right on schedule.

6 – Ego

We ourselves have to have to right attitude, though, and we cannot have the right attitude if we have not mindfully rid ourselves of the ego’s hold on us. If our suffering is overwhelming, we may still blame the other, though this is not the right way to think. In such cases, a little time apart, but in the same house, may be necessary.

There is always a way.

7 – Anger

“If a magic thought arouses anger in any form, God’s teacher can be sure that he is strengthening his own belief in sin and has condemned himself. He can be sure as well that he has asked for depression, pain, fear and disaster to come to him. (M44)”

8 – Heal

This is when the attacks of another really get to us; we fail to regroup and heal, something that God only can do for us. If we get angry, we are not offering compassion. And it is compassion that will eliminate the anger.

9 – God Only?

Is it only God who can do this for ourselves? Are we really that helpless? Perhaps not. Perhaps I overstated. But it is sure that if we don’t go within and heal quietly, we will not heal at all. Venting, as Thich Nhat Hanh makes clear, is not ultimately healing. We are making the seed of the anger grow. We may think that we get rid of our anger, because after beating a pillow we are tired, but when the tiredness has dissipated, and another occasion of anger arises, we will find our anger that much accentuated. Nothing works other than to go within, quietly, where God resides.

10 – Outcome

“Nor should it be forgotten that the outcome that results will always come to teacher and to pupil alike. (M44)”

11 – Rhonda Byrne

Teacher and pupil are equals. So we experience the same. Rhonda Byrne’s books (The Secret; The Magic; The Power) say the same. What we give, we receive, and there are no exceptions to this rule. It is unclear from Rhonda’s writings if she has been influenced by A Course in Miracles.

12 – The Good

If we want something good to come to us, we must give our good things. It is that simple.

13 – Attack

“Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered. And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy. (M44)”

14 – Anger

This is an important passage because it is about attack, am emphasis in ACIM. Under what conditions do we feel anger rising? Under what conditions do we attack others (and ourselves)? If we perceive that we want something different from the other, then we are prone to attack to preserve what WE want. While this is not self-evident upon first reading, if we reflect on it, we will realize that it is true. We think that we have separate goals from our brother, that we are at odds with him. And if we are not joyous, then we have perceived that he/she and we want different things.

15 – Joy

If joy is our canary in the mine, then we know when we are diving off the deep end. If we know unhappiness, we are diving off the deep end.

16 – God’s Wish

See how often Jesus mentions joy as a harbinger of better times ahead? He says that God wants only happiness for us, that happiness is our function (one of several, including salvation and forgiveness as well). Happiness is not a minor goal. We can do for others much better when we ourselves are happy. We fell like reaching out, something that doesn’t happen when we are in the throes of our neurosis.

17 – Single Aim

“The single aim of the teacher turns the divided goal of the pupil into one direction, with the call for help becoming his one appeal. This then is easily responded to with just one answer, and this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly. From there it shines into his pupil’s mind, making it one with his. (M44)”

18 – Guidance

This passage echoes the reflections in this blog, so often recurring, of the primacy of following guidance from the Holy Spirit. This passage indicates that the answer will enter the teacher’s mind (that’s our minds) unfailingly. So we do get responses from the Holy Spirit when we engaged in his business, our function of salvation.

19 – Overwrought Emotions

The guidance is never slight. If it seems slight, our emotions may be too overwrought to hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to us. Go within, get quiet, and see if with calm emotions you do not get guidance as to what to do.

20 – Calm

Be calm in daily life. Our days flow more smoothly, and we live the word of A Course in Miracles that has come to mean so much to us.

21 – Facts and Interpretations

“Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. (M44 – M45)”

22 – Angry

We will learn, as we study the Course, that wrong interpretations always happen when we are angry. And vice-versus. If we become really, really angry, it is certainly a misrepresentation that we are seeing. We have made an interpretation that is false (a Course concept).

23 – Negative Emotions

When we learn the part that we play in negative emotions, that we have interpreted facts, then we are encouraged to drop this maladaptive behavior. Facts are neutral, and it is only when we judge our brothers and sisters that we become so very angry at their behavior. If we learn that everything is either an expression of love or a call for love (a Course interpretation), then we will be ready to forgive their negative behavior and to run to their side with help. Sometimes we cannot give this help overtly, because our brothers and sisters are angry, too, and would not welcome our intervention. Then we wait for a better time. In the meantime, though, we are at peace. We have forgiven.

24 – Blessings

What a blessing it is to give up negative emotions! This will not happen all at once, at least not usually, but happen it will as we progress in our study of the Course. We are not perfect, but we will become a little more evolved, which will lighten our load and give us the joy and peace and calm that we desire.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reinterpret my anger today, knowing that I have made an interpretation that is false. I know that my brothers and sisters are innocent, that they are only calling for help–and love.

Help me always to control my temper. Help me not to fly off the handle at the slightest sign of anger. Thank you for helping me to stay calm and quiet in all circumstances.

Amen.

Attempts to Supplant God’s Will May Indeed Seem Frightening, but They Are Merely Pathetic.

1 – Avoidance of Magic = Avoidance of Temptation

“The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. (M42)”

2 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

Elsewhere in the Course we learn that God’s will is actually the same as ours. It is the same as ours if we only knew ourselves better. Studying the Course will open up ways to know ourselves better. And much study will convince us that we are not like Job of the Old Testament, unwilling recipients of guidance, but instead willing recipients of guidance because we know that what we “hear” is legitimate and will bring us closer Home.

3 – Ego

“Magic” thoughts are those inspired by the ego (an interpretation of the Course, but not stated directly therein). Often magic ideas are superstitious ideas that have become a part of us through long years of following the ego.

4 – God’s Way

If we set our will each morning to following God’s way, we will be well on our way to avoiding temptation. We will know that what God wants for us is what we too desire. Anything less is magic.

5 – Pathetic

“These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. (M42)”

6 – Heaven Restored

“Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness. (M42)”

7 – Irrationality

Magic, as defined by Jesus, is irrationality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And the magic, the irrationality, is rooted in the belief in sacrifice and in the separation from God. Sacrifice and the separation are both the “detour into fear” (from ACIM) which happened when the ego arose in our thought processes. But we don’t really have anything worth having when we have the ego.

8 – Heaven

When we give up the error that is the ego, Heaven is restored to our awareness. Can we believe this? Can we willingly give up egoic and egoistical strivings? If we can assess carefully, we will acknowledge that the puffed-up ego does not mean much in the final analysis. When we are on our death bed, we won’t put much store in anything that the ego had us striving to do; we will know that it was all vanity. Why not reach that conclusion while most of us have many years left of life? Why not enjoy Heaven on earth, the promise that is here held out to us by Jesus himself?

9 – Helen and Bill

The truth of these statements is found in the living out of them—nothing more. Reflect on where you have been and where you hope to go. See if ego is still managing your pathway. And just wonder, just wonder, if there might not (and Helen and Bill found, co-scribes of ACIM) be another way?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am still not flexible enough to turn aside from my own self’s wishes to follow the guidance that I am perceiving from the Holy Spirit–at least not always. Please help me toward this willingness. I know that it is the very best thing for me.

Please be with me throughout this day, as I perceive, through my intuition, the will of the Holy Spirit. This may be my greatest need. Please help me to perfect following guidance as I go about my normal life.

Amen.

Yes, There Is No Order of Difficulty in Solving Problems

1 – No Distinctions

“He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for He to Whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. (M41)”

2 – Child’s Play

How wonderful it is to know that, however difficult the problem might appear to us, it is child’s play to the Holy Spirit. He will find the answer for us, if we but listen. Elsewhere Jesus proclaims that one miracle is not more difficult than another, that there is not order of difficulty in miracles. But we usually don’t really believe this. More study and loving guidance will lead us to the truth of the statement.

3 – Holy Spirit

The “He” in this passage is, of course, the Holy Spirit. The language of the Course reflects the sixties, when the books were scribed, and follows as well the terminology of the Bible. We should not let our faith waiver because the language is not gender-inclusive. That would be asking too much of a document written before such sensitivities entered our culture.

4 – Ask

Since the Holy Spirit sees no order of difficulty in solving problems, He will solve them when we turn to Him. We have only to ask. And asking is not greedy. In supplication, we know that God is greater than are we, and if we turn as little children to Him, He answers us. We have to be willing, though, to relinquish our own propensities to do things our way. God’s Way may, and likely is, very different. And we will be led Home as we follow His Way.

5 – Safe

“He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times and different places, because they are all one to God. (M41)”

6 – Safety

All of us want safety. We don’t always get it. Bad things happen, even to good people. But this passage reflects a reassurance that we are as safe as we were before time began and illusions entered the mind of humankind. We are also told that safety is in every situation. We have God with us. Actually, what more could we ask?

7 – Safety of the Mind

The safety of one’s body is a concern for many, but it is actually safety of the mind that is most important. Many of us fill our minds with trivialities that reduce the power of mental acuity, that or we take pills or drink to excess, and the mental acuity that should be ours falls by the wayside. No one needs to reject Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in this day, any more than when he wrote it. Safety is absolutely essential before higher levels of needs are addressed.

8 – God

Be assured that God wishes us well. Know that our bodies are safe, even unto death. The body, being illusion, changes form in that illusion, but this is of essentially no consequence. We age, and we get sick from time to time, or even long-term, but the body is a projection of the mind, and it is the mind with which we ought to be most concerned. Watch your mind for the scraps of fear that arise. And know that this need not be. The capriciousness of the ego is ever-present, except in moments of grace, but we do not have to buy into its dismal view of living. We can and we must live on a higher plane.

9 – Time

“How simply and how easily does time slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe, and knows it to be so. He has a Guide Who will not fail. (M41)”

10 – Guidance

In order to get full benefit of this passage, we must trust the Holy Spirit to guide us. To do so effectively, we must be willing. Not only willing, but eager to turn on a dime when our guidance is to do something different from what we may be doing.

11 – Feeling

Guidance comes in many ways. All of us have experienced guidance, but we not always have even recognized what was happening. Most often guidance from the Holy Spirit comes in the form of a “feeling,” or intuition, that we ought to do or say a certain thing.

12 – Forms of Guidance

As time goes by, guidance may take other forms: a chance word overheard, an interior word from our inner Voice. The ways are numerous, but one thing that all have in common is that, if we follow, we will feel safe. One caution: If the internal guidance seems negative, we are not ready. Mentally unstable people need to be especially cautious, because there are voices that are not those of the Holy Spirit.

13 – Time

Time that slips by easily! What a welcome part of our lives this can become. We are not afraid any longer of what life may bring us, because we know that, with the Holy Spirit to guide us, we are equal to anything that comes our way. This is one of the greatest benefits that the Holy Spirit does bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May time slip by easily today. As I go about my day, may I turn to the Holy Spirit often for the next step, and then may I take it safely. I know that I am always safe.

May my brothers and sisters be blessed by our encounters. If I follow guidance before I speak, the words that come out of my mouth will be right. And then, too, my brothers and sisters will feel safe.

Amen.

One Thought that Should Be Remembered: Thought of Pure Joy; a Thought of Peace, a Thought of Limitless Release, Limitless because All Things Are Freed within It.

1 – My Favorite Passage

“There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are freed within it. (M41)”

2 – On the Right Direction

This is far and away my favorite passage from A Course in Miracles. It sets my day on the right direction, regardless of what attack and anger thoughts or deeds have intervened. The words “limitless release” and “pure joy” are blessings beyond my description.

3 – Beautiful Passage

This is one of the most beautiful passages in all of the Course: “pure joy” and “limitless release.” How much we have to be thankful for!

4 – A Good Day

When we remember these words throughout the day, we indeed do have a good day. They are the epitome of peace and happiness.

5 – Our Hearts

The messages these words convey should be etched in our hearts. We can indeed have pure joy, regardless of what surrounds us, because we know that this world is an illusion. This does not give us the right to do just anything, but it does give some distance to the wrongs that we note. We can also know limitless release, because we are free in God and the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what transpires on the outside of ourselves, on the inside we can be free and at peace.

6 – Afraid of Nothing

“How foolish to be afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection. (M41)”

7 – Defenses

We bring up defenses when we feel threatened, and we often feel threatened, not because of anything external to ourselves, but something internal: stress. We are all prone to stress in our busy world. We do want we can to protect ourselves, but A Course in Miracles assures us that our defenses will not work, but we have no need of defenses. We are safe, and we have always been safe. There is no real need for fear—but try telling us this when we are caught in the throes of being afraid.

8 – Our Real Protection

Our real protection seems to be our propensity to follow guidance of the Holy Spirit (though this is not spelled out at this juncture in ACIM). Our real protection is Someone Whom we can accept whenever we get ourselves out of the way sufficiently to accept help.

9 – Help

We need help. Why do we reject what could save us from despair? Ah, that is the question, for we struggle so often in this world, forgetting our lofty beliefs and forgetting how very easy the path becomes when we welcome our brother/sister with an open and serene heart.

10 – Our Way Home

A Course in Miracles puts forth our love for our brother/sister as our way home. This is the way that ACIM is saving us time; we don’t have to devote long hours to contemplation, though meditative moments seem to be encouraged in the Workbook, particularly at the conclusion of this part of ACIM. We live a holy relationship, a relationship saved from specialness, and in the living out, day by day, we are saved from ourselves. We know peace, for when we recognize that our brother/sister’s attack and anger are distress that rests on anger, we can forgive. And we know that because we live an illusion, nothing bad is actually happening to us as we live side by side with others, even others who attack and show anger.

11 – The Best that One Can

Everyone does the best that he or she can at any given moment, given his or her level of understanding. If we could just incorporate this truth in our everyday life, our lives would flow so much more smoothly.

12 – Significant Others

Nor do our significant others have to accept our pathway to allow us to live peacefully with them. We will find, without our trying to change them, that when we accept them just as they are, with no attempts to change, that a change will miraculously happen. Accepting as one really is, is a powerful practice. It is the primary thrust of Hugh and Gayle Prather’s counseling practice for troubled couples. Just accept the significant other as he/she is. Just that.

13 – Ann Landers

Only if there is danger to one’s person do we need to separate. It is sometimes wise to consider Ann Landers, the advice columnist. She asked us to consider, “Am I better off with or without him/her?” when we are in a troubled relationship. Usually we are better off with the individual. Shared history makes for a powerful bond. In this world it is so easy to close our hearts, but that is not the way of love.

14 – Jesus

Remember that Jesus took the long view in the New Testament. We don’t have to believe in a fundamental sense what he said to gain value from his denunciation of divorce. He was onto something.

15 – Marriage

I think it not a far stretch to see that Jesus’s characterization of our special relationships turned holy is a continuation of his primacy of marriage in the New Testament. In A Course in Miracles, we are encouraged to see our brother/sister as innocent; we are in fact told that this is the only way to forgive, totally, completely.

16 – Forgive-to-Destroy

We do not “forgive to destroy” (as A Song of Prayer describes), in that we continue to remember the misthought or the misdeed, remembering and “forgiving” because we are “better” than the other. This is the only forgiveness that this world can give. But we are outside this world when we truly forgive because we see the innocence in our brother/sister. We know that they are not attacking us out of perversion, but simply because, at the time, that is the best that they can do.

17 – Struggling Brothers/Sisters

Our hearts can go out to a struggling brother or sister. So many of those we encounter are struggling. It behooves us to practice our faith. To know that this too shall pass.

18 – To Be Saved

And to recognize that we are saved in our holy relationships, in our forgiveness of our significant others.

Dear Father/Mother,

May today I know the pure joy, peace, and limitless release that Jesus promises. May I know what these words really mean, and may I act on them throughout the day.

Thank you for being there for me always. I do not always sense your presence, and when I realize that I have drifted apart from You, may I get quiet on the inside and remember You are with me.

Amen.

The Miracle of Easter

“Give faith to your brother, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give. Into the hands that give, the gift is given. Look on your brother, and see in him the gift of God you would receive. It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. Let us give redemption to each other and share in it, that we may rise as one in resurrection, not separate in death. (A Course in Miracles)”

Nowhere in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love does Jesus deny that the resurrection happened. Here he gives a very prosaic call to give redemption to each other, that we may be one in resurrection, not separate in death.

May we spend this Eastertide in joyous remembrance of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Whether or not you believe in a physical resurrection or not, you are still welcomed to the table celebrating Easter. Jesus does not demand, in A Course in Miracles, that we adhere to any particular theology; he specifically says that there can be no universal theology, but that a universal experience is not only desirable, but necessary.

We are seeking that experience today. Be with God in communion as we greet the spring and the time that Jesus came into his own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to put aside doubts and to recognize that in the spirit of A Course in Miracles specific beliefs are not demanded of me. I do not seek theology, but an experience of finding Jesus and You in my daily life. Surely there can be no better way to live a life than to commune constantly with Heavenly Powers.

Help me to have a good day today, as always. Thank You for this sunny day, an occurrence that always seems especially appropriate on Easter.

Amen.

Atonement Is for You. But Learn This Course and It Is Yours.

1 – No Regret

“God’s teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children’s toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house? (M33)”

2 – No Lasting Pleasures

There are no lasting pleasures in this world. The pleasures that are lasting are intangible, and by definition not of this world. That is why using the law of attraction to get physical things will not be satisfying over the long haul. But using the law of attraction to get love, joy, peace, harmony—these will be lasting.

3 – Pain

We all too often do know pain when we are caught in the ego’s throes. We think that we are happy, and we are—for a time. But the ego is constantly being undone, because it is a part of belief about ourselves, a false part. And so God leads us ever so gently to a better way. A Course in Miracles points out that other way.

4 – Seek

“’Seek but do not find’ remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise. (M34)”

5 – Ego

The ego will always seek but not find. Any pleasure will almost immediately be balanced by a sense of pain, however minor it may be.

6 – The Physical Toys

Do you want to seek and find? Then we must turn aside from the physical toys of this world, though in themselves they are not wrong. Just not lasting in pleasure. We will always want something more. Always something more. For the ego is insatiable.

7 – What Do You Want?

“And what, O teacher of God, is it that you want? You have been called by God, and you have answered. Would you now sacrifice that Call? Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you. There is no other hope in all the world that they can trust. (M34)”

8 – Teachers of God

We are talked to here as teachers of God, and only time separates the teacher from the student, and time does not really exist. We need to answer the plaintive call of others who are lost in ignorance, pain, and suffering—but not in an overt way of proselytizing. Some are ready, as the Manual says, only for a smile.

9 – Proselytizing

The quickest way to turn someone off from God and the Holy Spirit is to lean on them, to proselytize. We will know when someone is ready to hear us. We will know. Then we speak. But only then.

10 – Holiness

“It is its [the Word of God] holiness that makes you safe. It is denied if you attack any brother for anything. For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible. (M34)”

11 – Attack

We need to give up attack, even attack that occurs only in our minds. Even if we don’t say anything, the attack has hurt us. And there is a Oneness to the Mind so that others will sense what we are thinking (not an ACIM tenet).

12 – Holy Spirit

How do we give up attack? The quickest way is to immediately commune with God when tempted to think less of another. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from the scene of the “crime.” Sometime we are not strong enough to avoid attack thoughts. And it is then that we need help. We need to ask help of the Holy Spirit, and that help is always forthcoming.

13 – Atonement

“Atonement is for you. Your learning claims it and your learning gives it. The world contains it not. But learn this course and it is yours. (M35)”

14 – At – One – Ment

Atonement is illustrated by some teachers of the Course as “at-one-ment.” This is not the full meaning, but it does lead in the direction that we want to go. Jesus is in charge of the Atonement, and he fulfilled his part in it in his life and resurrection on earth. Now he would help us to fulfill ours. Our way is not the way that he walked, and it can be decidedly pain-free.

15 – Motivation

This passage gives a strong motivation to learn the Course. Surely we want Atonement, the salvation that we all so desperately need. The Course does not have to be seen as difficult if we keep to the basics that Jesus explains, often repeatedly. Everything is either love or a call for love (or help); anything else if a misrepresentation of what is actually going on. We need not attack or feel anger when we recognize that our brothers and sisters are innocent of wrongdoing. Their real Self has not sinned. Their little self has made mistakes. These concepts embrace the fundamentals that the Course would have us to understand.

16 – For Us?

Do we believe Atonement is for us? If not, then we are acting against Jesus’s word to us. He has promised us that Atonement is for us, and nothing else that we might add to that fundamental is true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Jesus speaks in the Course. May I have the Atonement that is promised in the Course, and may I have it soon.

You know that I long for many things, but Atonement is at the top of the list. Be with me now as I seek for Your blessing and ask for the gift of Atonement.

Amen.

God’s Teachers Choose to Look on Dreams a While. All Choices Are Made Consciously, with Full Awareness of Their Consequences.

1 – Conscious Choice

Do we really believe the title of this posting? Do we believe that all of our choices are made consciously?

2 – Doubt

I think not. We think that the subconscious mind undoes us, more often than not. Yet Jesus asserts that we are making conscious choices. I think that this choice is made by the inner Self, which knows no unconsciousness. When we avoid guidance, we often make bad situations for ourselves, and in this avoidance, we learn that we are making a conscious choice to make our own judgments, judgments that are always wrong.

3 – Central Lesson

“The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. (M32)”

4 – Avoid Sin and Attack

We need to avoid “sin” and attack. Of course, we know this, but the flesh is weak, and we do often retaliate when faced with attack. We will then see the body as sinful, a truly lamentable self-image.

5 – Not Troubled

When we use the body rightly, we are not troubled by attack that reaches us from without. We go blithely along, untroubled by anything. Let us resolve today to so live. One does not have to be unhinged by attack or anger presented to us. We can realize that we are seeing distress that is based on error (from the ACIM Text). And we can gently turn aside, giving the poor attitudes no support from without.

6 – The Holy Body

“Use it [the body] to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all. (M32)”

7 – When We Die

The body is laid by when we die. Most choose some sickness to effect a release from this world, but actually we don’t have to engage sickness to get release.

8 – Self-Preservation

Death is not a popular subject. We still cringe, wanting to live longer on this earth. Self-preservation is hard-wired into our psyches, and that is not bad.

9 – Word of God

Let us bring the Word of God to others in thought, word, and deed. Then we will see our bodies as holy, and we will not lament that we are still in this world. We will be glad of the opportunity. Thoughts of relinquishing our troubles will no longer trouble us. Our self-preservation instincts will carry us through.

10 – The Mind

“The mind makes this decision [the decision to lay the body aside], as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition. Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. To do that would be to give the body another purpose from the one that keeps it holy. (M32)”

11 – Decisions

The mind makes the decisions; the body does not. We tend to forget this when we are sick. Sickness is faulty decision-making, an ACIM tenet. We think that it gets us something that we want.

12 – Sickness

But the “something” that we want is never the sickness that has laid us low.

13 – Holy Spirit

If we do not make the decision for death alone, with Whom do we make it? The Holy Spirit guides us in the final days of our lives, just as He has guided us throughout, as long as we have allowed Him to do so.

14 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is. He does not suffer either in going or remaining. Sickness is now impossible for him. (M32)”

15 – The Ideal

More difficult passages about sickness. This is the ideal in A Course in Miracles, and not all of us can be ready for this ideal. But we can take steps in the direction of the ideal.

16 – Sickness

And when we do, our sicknesses are lessened incrementally.

17 – Oneness

“Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while. It is a conscious choice. For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences. (M32)”

18 – Illusion

What we are seeing in this world is illusion (a Course concept). The Course also calls what we see “dreams.” And we have chosen to look upon dreams, knowing on some level what will transpire for us. We may suffer, but we do not have to do so. Pain does not have to bring suffering, if our minds and hearts are in agreement with the Holy Spirit, who makes only one judgment: “God’s Son is guiltless.”

19 – External Searching

We can also be free of sickness, which is some form of external searching. The external searching may teach us something, of course, which is its purpose. But the Course would not have us learn in this way.

20 – One

We are One with our brothers and sisters. We know, on some level, what will happen in our lives. And we have chosen it–not consciously, of course, but on a deeper level. This is different from a “blame the victim” mentality, and it would be wise that we keep to ourselves this concept if voicing it would be hurtful to another. Not everyone is ready to see that choices made to experience illusion are not ultimately hurtful, however horrendous they may appear in our insane world.

21 – Awareness of Dreaming

“Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful. (M32)”

22 – Unity

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs. (M32)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be aware that my dreams–my illusions–are chosen consciously. I realize that my little self is not aware of this, but my larger Self is. And I do not blame myself or others for this state of affairs; it is simply a law of this world.

Be with me today if I seem to feel pain. May I not turn this pain into suffering by my own inner turmoil. You have promised to be with me always, and I thank you for Your blessing.

Amen.

Now Can the Teacher of God Rise Up Unburdened, and Walk Lightly On. Giving Up Judgment, His Sense of Care Is Gone.

1 – Sense of Care

“Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. (M28)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage refers to turning over our decisions to the Holy Spirit. We carry life more easily once we have done this, and we do not feel burdened, as if we are carrying a load on our backs.

3 – Walk Lightly

Our sense of care is gone. We walk lightly in the light. These reassurances are worth their weight in gold. Who would not wish to walk the earth in peace and calm that is not abated?

4 – A Sure Guide

Why would we have a sense of care, when we have a Guide that is sure? We must only ask that we be given the grace always to follow that guidance. As we do follow that guidance, we become more and more reassured that it will always be there for us, and we drop our cares into the lap of God.

5 – Judgment Gone

“He has given it [sense of care] away, along with judgment. (M28)”

6 – Martha and Mary and Jesus

What a joy to give up the sense of care! We are, like Martha of the New Testament, worried about so many things. Martha was preoccupied with preparing a meal, and she wanted Mary, her sister, to help her instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus, where Mary was drinking in the words of Jesus.

7 – Rebuke

Yet Jesus kindly rebuked Martha, saying that Mary had chosen the best part, which in this case, was listening to him.

8 – Sit at the Feet of Jesus

May we be like the Marys of the world, not to disregard our obligations, but as often as at all possible, to sit, metaphorically, at the feet of Jesus and drink in his words. Then indeed is our care given away.

9 – Judgment

“Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. (M27)”

10 – “Good” Judgment?

Judgment seems to be wisdom, but, as we have been suggesting, it is far from wisdom. We think that “good judgment” will get us the outcome that we cry to have.

11 – Guidance

This is not true. Good judgment, whatever that is, will not get us the outcome that we cry to have. Only following guidance will do that.

12 – We Cannot Judge Rightly

“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. (M27)”

13 – Honesty

Would we like to be more honest? Of course! And this is the way—give up judgment! We cannot judge aright—ever. We may make wise decisions because we have been protected by God, but the consistent right decisions only come from guidance.

14 – Intuition

What does it feel like with intuition, the most prevalent kind of guidance? I sense a feeling tone to such guidance, in that I sense what the next right step should be. Sometimes guidance looks to the future, but in the step-to-step process of our days, intuition usually gives us the next right step. Sometimes the guidance comes to us as our own thinking rather than as a feeling. We will know that this thinking is guidance because it will seem a bit beyond us, though actually the thinking is coming up from the unconscious deep within. There God rests, and there the Holy Spirit communicates from God to us.

15 – Judgment Always Impossible

“Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. (M27)”

16 – Relinquish Judgment to the Holy Spirit

This inner process of thinking, or the inner process of feeling (intuition), allows judgment “through” us to come out. So we do not give up judgment entirely; we just relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who is deep within. And His decisions are right. We will soon realize this. It takes little time to know that one’s egoic notions are faulty, and that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is on the beam.

17 – Guiltless Son/Daughter of God

“And this judgment is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad.’ It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist. (M27)”

18 – Theology

This passage is a theological construct of A Course in Miracles. God’s Son (or Daughter) is innocent of wrongdoing, for he/she has acted only in illusion, a dream. And thus he/she has not acted at all.

19 – Sin

Sin does not exist, for sin is seen as an attractive alternative. Call something a “sin,” and we want to do it again. This is lamentable human nature.

20 – Mistake

In contrast, call something a “mistake,” and the only right thing is immediately seen to be correction of the mistake. Our “sins” are all mistakes, in the theology of ACIM.

21 – Past, Present, and Future

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everything and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (M27)”

22 – Prescience

This passage summarizes what we have been considering. We can’t know, in a prescient manner, what we are about. Lacking knowledge of past, present, and future in all its ramifications, we no longer attempt to judge on partial understanding. We give over judgment to the Holy Spirit, who is omniscient or all-knowing.

23 – Lay Judgment Down

“Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. (M28)”

24 – Jesus’s Appeal

This passage is Jesus’s appeal to us to stop the foolish judging to which we are almost addicted. If possible, try to live this day without judging what to do next. Let guidance direct your footsteps.

25 – Close of the Day

And see, at the close of the day, if you did not get into a free-flowing frame of mind that offered you a good day.

26 – Reassuring Passage

A reassuring passage, as so many of the passages A Course in Miracles, are. We are bade to lay judgment down–to make no decisions for ourselves. Can we really do this? The Course elsewhere indicates that we should set our will at the beginning of the day to follow guidance, and then give thanks at the end of the day. Then our decisions will be far more likely to be right. ACIM is always practical, and asking at every juncture may not always be practical (an ACIM concept).

27 – A Guide

It is calming to know that we have a Guide who will not fail. This we can feel with gratitude.

28 – Burden of Judgment

The burden of trying to make judgments of what to do or say has always been extremely difficult for us. And we learn now that doing so has all been illusion. We don’t have to feel all alone in the universe. We have a Guide, and His guidance is the Way that makes our life a calm and gentle experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to lay judgment down forevermore. I do know in my heart of hearts that judgment can only hurt me. Let me be through with it forever.

Thank you for guiding me through the Holy Spirit. When I follow His prompting, I know that I am always taking the right pathway.

Amen.

The Teacher of God Does Not Make His Own Decisions. He asks the Holy Spirit for His Answer, and It Is This He Follows as His Guide for Action.

1 – Teacher of God

“As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

Affirmation: “Help me to turn to the Holy Spirit for my guide to action.”

Reflections:

2 – Guidance

This is a concise statement of how important it is to follow God’s guidance as seen for us in the Holy Spirit (an ACIM concept). It may be harder in the beginning to follow this guidance, but the difficulty may never fully drop away. Our ego dies hard. But we are promised that following the guidance that we receive will be easier and easier as we advance in our training. And that is all the assurance that we need.

3 – Don’t Make Your Own Decisions

We do not make our own decisions, based on our own faulty judgment. Our own judgment cannot but be faulty, for we are told elsewhere that we cannot know all factors in the past and future that impinge on any given decision. Once we give up trying to follow our own judgment, life becomes easier.

4 – Advanced

This passage remarks on the advanced teacher of God. Not all of us, even those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles for years, can realize this appellation for ourselves. But we will come closer and closer as we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is actually the easiest way in which to live.

5 – Easier and Easier

“This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

6 – Smooth Flow

Would we like to develop a smooth flow to all of life? This is the Answer, following guidance that we ask to receive from the Holy Spirit. He does not force Himself upon us—never does He do this. We must be open to His help. And then the miracles happen.

7 – How “Hear” Guidance?

How do we “hear” guidance? There are many ways, and guidance may be understood, often, only by the person who receives it. I have penned an article entitled, “The Gift of Guidance,” which can be found in this blog by putting “gift and guidance and hales” in the search box. This article lists some ten ways that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me over the years. It is very personally written.

8 – Ego

Be careful of guidance, for sometimes the ego intrudes. If the message that we are getting would be harmful to anyone, know that we are misinterpreting. And if we don’t really want to listen, then don’t. Jesus says not to fight ourselves, that we are not ready in such cases. A Course in Miracles is always very practical.

9 – Fairly Slow Process

“The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God’s Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. (M26)”

10 – Testing Out Guidance

It is not an ACIM tenet, but I think that testing out guidance, when the results would be benign and not harmful, is helpful. It will ensure us that we are on the right path. This will help, in my experience, to eliminate the sense of being “insulted” that Jesus mentions.

11 – Intuition

We also don’t want to go off the deep end in following intuition. Sometimes the ego is very wily, and we embark on all kinds of dubious means to justify something that only the ego wants to do. We convince ourselves that it is God speaking to us. You can probably recount many, many incidents in history in which people have so thought. We cannot judge these encounters, for they are unique to the individual involved. But sometimes we have to wonder.

12 – Give Up Judgment

So we have to make a decision to give up judgment, our own little understanding that needs to be augmented. If we are stable enough, we will soon—very soon—come to recognize the difference between the “guidance,” the false guidance, of the ego, and the true guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will have a self-authenticating Word from God to us, we will simply “know,” but not to know why we know. Yet this inner assurance will be enough to take steps to follow guidance. Now that if we feel peace within, we are in a much better position to believe that it is truly the Holy Spirit Who is guiding us. Later on, when reading A Course of Love, we learn that the era of the Holy Spirit is over, and that the time of Christ is at hand. Then we listen to the inner Christ Spirit. But at this juncture in A Course in Miracles, we are not there yet.

13 – The World’s Training

“The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation. (M26)”

14 – Contrast

Here the contrast between the world’s learning and the learning associated with A Course in Miracles is encapsulated most precisely. We think that when we have “grown up,” we will be self-reliant, judging wisely, able to make our own decisions without help. Oh, we may pray sometimes to know God’s direction for us, but we often don’t do so consistently. And not praying consistently ensures that we will listen to our own judgment.

15 – Our Judgment Is Faulty

But our judgment is faulty. Elsewhere we learn that nobody can know all of the past, present, and future, so that we make wise judgments. But the Holy Spirit does have such prescience. And this is why we would be wise to ask for His guidance at numerous junctures throughout each day. Jesus says that we don’t have to become preoccupied with each step, because this is not practical, but that the proper mind slant, adopted upon awakening, will set us on the right course.

16 – Confused

If we become confused, we need to turn inward to the Holy Spirit right away. He will never let us down. Only if we are so overwrought and agitated that we can’t hear His Voice will there be a problem (and sometimes He gets through to us even then).

17 – Commune with God

Go apart and commune silently. Know that the upset will pass (“This too shall pass,” though not an ACIM tenet, is nevertheless true.) Relax into Your day. Know that decisions made in the heat of an argument are virtually always ego-driven, for the Holy Spirit is very quiet.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to make a determination to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit at every turn of my life. May I be reassured that this is the best way to live, the only way that leads completely to happiness.

Thank you for my Guide. May I know if I am misperceiving, and may I turn from that to true guidance.

Amen.

There Is a Place for Helpers in Healing

“False healing rests upon the body’s cure, leaving the cause of illness still unchanged, ready to strike again until it brings a cruel death in seeming victory. (S-3.II.6)”

1 – False Healing

This “false healing” is the “body’s cure,” which ignores the mind’s powerful importance to healing. The body’s cure would be physical healing. Physical healing sometimes does not last, though there may be a respite. And, frequently, the body adopts some new symptom of yet another illness, and the cycle starts all over again.

2 – Healing of the Mind

The healing of the mind is different, and A Course in Miracles says that healing that lasts is always of the mind. When we have chosen a symptom in the body, the body will choose another symptom if the mind has not been healed, “ready to strike again.”

3 – Forgiveness

So the cause of the illness has not been eradicated. We are told elsewhere that only forgiveness can heal the mind and thus heal sickness of the mind. The mind is always the healing place to begin.

4 – Healing-to-Separate

“Healing-to-separate may seem to be a strange idea. And yet it can be said of any form of healing that is based on inequality of any kind. (S-3.III.2)”

5 – Difficult Passage

This is a bit obtuse. We do not want to see inequality between our brother and ourselves. We want not to experience “healing-to-separate.” If we think that we have walked further along the path to God than our brother, and therefore think that we are better than he/she, then we are much mistaken. Only time separates us from our brother, and time does not really exist; it is an illusion.

6 – Equality

Let us resolve to bring equality into all of our relationships. The sooner we see everyone as inherently equal, the sooner we will experience healing of the mind, and often of the body as well.

7 – Physicians

“Someone knows better; this the magic phrase by which the body seems to be the aim of healing as the world conceives of it. And to this wiser one another goes to profit by his learning and his skill; to find in him the remedy for pain. (S-3.III.3)”

8 – Esteem

This passage explains our propensity to elevate physicians to a higher plane, to go to them, always, for cure. Now Jesus never denigrates physicians or the medications that they give. He says that pills, though a form of magic, may be a compromise cure. We may increase our anxiety if we try to heal without pills, and we are already in a compromised state of mind, and so anything that raises anxiety is not good.

9 – Patient’s Mind

But the mind of the patient only is the way that healing progresses. The mind decides if healing will be allowed. If healing is not allowed, then illness may progress even unto death (and most choose some illness as the way to exit from this life to the Other Side). “Special agents” seem to be ministering to us, but actually they are not always needed. Yet do not see this statement as a choice not to go to physicians, for Jesus never says this. The mind of the patient makes the decisions about illness or healing. (These are tenets from the Manual of A Course in Miracles)

10 – Helpers

“Is there a role for healing, then, that one can use to offer help for someone else? In arrogance the answer must be ‘no.’ But in humility there is indeed a place for helpers. (S-3.III.4)”

11 – Helpers = Physicians

These helpers are often physicians. And in humility there is a place for helpers. And we ourselves can be helpers as well. We do not have to alone and lonely when we are sick. We can reach out, and in the reaching out, often we find solace and healing. Our minds may have made the decision, but we may be too weak to heal ourselves alone. We do need help, and often this comes by way of orthodox medicine and/or other people who heal by alternative methods. We decide, though not sometimes as the conscious mind. The Self makes these decisions, the inner Self which we do not always consciously access.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a healing today. I know that I don’t need a physician today; the healing I need is emotional. Help me to react peaceably to all that I encounter. Help me to be less stressed, for it is only stress that brings out the anger in me. I would be tranquil and calm, in love with You and all of Your creation today.

Help me to know when to go to physicians. They have their place, and Jesus never denies this. Help me to know the difference between healing with You only and healing with others.

Be with me as I walk through this day. May it turn out better than I fear right now.

Amen.

Sickness Is a Shadow on the Holy Face of Christ

“The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. It has not left its source, and in its pain and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. (Song of Prayer, S-3.I.2)”

1 – Song of Prayer

Now we return to the Song of Prayer, a tract scribed by Helen later than A Course in Miracles, also channeled by Jesus. This passage emphasizes the pivotal important of unforgiveness, in that it is seen to be the cause of the body. The body’s source is seen to be unforgiveness, and we experience pain and death as a result.

2 – A Course of Love

This emphasis is different from the later-channeled A Course of Love, in which we are bade to embody an elevated Self of form and the physical is not denigrated nearly so much.

3 – The Difference?

What is the difference here? I think that the first emphasis, that the body is to be lamented, is an ideal. This is one level of A Course in Miracles. But we are not living that ideal; we occupy a physical reality in which we all have bodies that do hurt when probed or struck, and which do die.

4 – Unforgiveness

We need a way to look at the unforgiveness, once unforgiveness has been replaced with forgiveness. This is when the elevated Self of form makes sense. We are living in a forgiven world at that point, and we are seeing the real world—the world of peace, harmony, joy, etc. We no longer hold the mistakes of our brothers and sisters against them. And we have forgiven ourselves as well. We are at home in God.

5 – Body

Then we can enjoy the body, when inside is the Self, the Christ Self that had only been covered up by the part of our belief about ourselves that is called the ego. We have elevated the physical, and we no longer need to lament that we have a physical body. We can merge the ideal with the practical, and we can live a good life, even though encased in matter.

6 – Healing as an Effect of Forgiveness

“The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give remembrance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. (S-3.I.3)

7 – Healing

This passage, also from the Song of Prayer, emphasizes the central place of healing in Jesus’s message. If we truly forgive, we are placing ourselves under a higher law, one that embraces healing from sickness as an integral part of this world. Remember, though, that it is the mind that is healed always. This may or may not include the healing of the body. Physical symptoms of sickness may continue, even though the mind has been healed. (These tenets are from the Manual of ACIM.)

8 – The Mind

Note the emphasis in this passage on the mind: “a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows.” Sickness is seen as one of these shadows, and we overlook that sickness. This is akin to the fact that we are encouraged, even taught, to overlook our brother’s mistakes, his attacks and anger directed at ourselves.

9 – Overlooking

This process of overlooking is crucial to living a peaceful life. We do not set ourselves up for more grief by overlooking. Indeed, we set ourselves up for more grief by refusing to overlook. We are encouraged to remember the good deeds of our brother, not to focus in our thoughts on his misdeeds. If we focus on his misdeeds, we have made them real to ourselves, and then how can we overlook what we have made real?

10 – The Secret

We cannot. That is the secret. Overlook and move on. Only if one’s own self is in danger should we consider some other course of action, for God’s way does in no way demand sacrifice of our own best interests.

11 – Judgment

“Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it. (S-3.I.3)

12 – Do Not Judge!

Do not judge! That is the idea behind this brief two-sentence passage. When we do not judge, we will awaken (from the ACIM Text). We do not have to damn the body as a prison. We can rejoice instead that we have been given a serviceable instrument in which to do God’s bidding, for His bidding is what we really, in our heart of hearts, want to do. The Holy Spirit will guide us very specifically. We will be told all that we need to know, all that we need to say and do.

13 – Body

We can give the role of prison to our bodies, but it does not have to be so. Even the weakest and sickest bodies in the world can find some meaning in living. The most infirm people, upon occasion, have done more for this world than those with robust health and robust bodies. Think of Stephen Hawking, the most famous physicist in the world, who suffers from disabilities that are in the extreme. Yet he accomplishes much. Think of Helen Keller, robbed of her hearing and sight at the age of two, who went on to be an inspiration to millions. With examples like this, how can we lament our small illnesses? They can be overcome, if we do not let our minds succumb to the illness as well as our bodies.

14 – Help in the Voice

“What he has done now must God’s Son undo. But not alone. For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessnes and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. (S-3.I.4)”

15 – Holy Spirit

This passage emphasizes, once again, the powerful place of the Holy Spirit in taking us back home to God. We cannot heal ourselves; we have thrown away the prison’s key, the key to our bodies, and, indeed, our minds. The Holy Spirit is God’s Voice, placed in us to lead us home to Him. Listen today. Follow today. See if the day does not improve.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day in Your love. I would remember that guidance will take me from any ruined day at any moment that I turn to the Holy Spirit within. He guides, he teaches me to love, he teaches me to forgive. The way is clear to a sunny day with such a Helper as this.

Be with my brothers and sisters as I seek to forgive them any mistakes that have included their actions toward me. May I love with a love greater today than anything I have known in the past. May I love with Your love, shown to me by Your Holy Spirit, my Guide, Your Voice.

Amen.

No One Is Where He Is by Accident, and Chance Plays No Part in God’s Plan

1 – Changes

“Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. (M26)”
A reassuring passage, this indicates that we do not have to suddenly change outer circumstances when we assent to the way of A Course in Miracles. Some do, but not many (though I was one of those).

2 – The Mind

The mind is here explained to be in the ascendancy, as always. The body is an illusion, as has been stressed over and over in ACIM. The mind will work the changes that we want to make, even if those changes include changes in the external situation. The mind is the decider.

3 – Chance?

“Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan. (M26)”

I find this to be a very reassuring statement. We are not adrift in the world, wily-nily finding our way without any help. We are part of a plan. Very comforting.

4 – Mistake?

So we are not where we are by mistake, and so my difficult situations in life have been for a purpose. I once had a work situation that was close to intolerable. Strangely, I had had a honeymoon on that job that lasted for a year, and then annual peer reviews came about. One of my colleagues, with whom I had been socializing, thinking we were friends, wrote a devastating peer review. And I was devastated accordingly.

5 – Attack

Nothing was ever the same again. I came upon the Workbook lesson, “I can escape from the world that I see by giving up attack thoughts.” And I listened to this lesson very, very carefully. I tried to forgive my former friend, for the review had made a breach between us; we did not socialize together anymore.

6 – Personal Experience

Two years later I was out of that situation at work, and embarking on my marriage and a new work environment. I wrote back to my old place of employment, telling someone who had remained a good friend, “Everyone here is surprisingly congenial.” She decided, she later said, that this was a very sad statement, for it denounced the work environment where she still resided. I had not even realized that this statement was denouncing.

7 – Personal Experience II

Yet the passage above would say that there were things for me to learn in that earlier work environment, that even my former friend could teach me something. I later came to realize that she needed to push others down so that her ego would feel better than others. She continued similar actions with new people after I had left. So it is likely that the peer review had more to do with her own neuroses than with my performance.

8 – Ego

I just didn’t know this at that time. I suffered, or, more appropriately, my ego suffered from being called incompetent. My own ego was too strong and too big to be healthy. Indeed, any ego at all is too strong and too big.

9 – Life Situations

“There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. (M26)”

This passage speaks to the pathway of those of us who are ACIM students. It answers a question that many will have, namely, “What will happen to me?”

10 – Change

Herein is described the fact that some who read the ACIM will be asked almost immediately to make changes in their life situation. These may or may not be permanent changes. But, for those of us who are still fearful, A Course in Miracles is reassuring in asserting that only “special cases” may meet with an immediate change in life situation. For the cowards among us (and which of us does not fall in this category at some times), this lets us off the hook.

11 – Guidance

If we do sense guidance from the Holy Spirit that we are to change our life situations almost immediately, then the Holy Spirit will be there throughout the entire episode, be it lasting or temporary. We need not fear; we need only trust.

12 – Relationships

“Relationships in particular must be properly perceived, and all dark cornerstones of unforgiveness removed. Otherwise the old thought system still has a basis for return. (M26)”

The first thing that changed for me when I became a student of A Course in Miracles was my relationships, because I changed. I no longer reciprocated if someone attacked me; I no longer showed anger. I cried into my journal if I felt anger. And it worked.

13 – Reading ACIM

I married within three years of finding ACIM. And I quickly read and reread the books in order to keep my relationship going smoothly.

14 – Work

I also left a work situation that was suffocating. I took to heart the Workbook lesson, “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” And I did escape. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I knew then that ACIM worked. When we change our projections, then our perceptions are cleansed of ill effects.

15 – ACIM Works

In all the several years since, I have returned to A Course in Miracles if I feel ready to retaliate when someone has supposedly “harmed” me by verbal attack. ACIM works. Retaliation, attacking back, gets us nothing that we want. And it will ruin the relationships that we have, more often than not.

16 – Defensiveness

Defensiveness also needs to go. Don’t defend yourself, because the defense makes what you are trying to avoid (ACIM tenets). Avoiding attack and avoiding defensiveness are two cardinal rules for making relationships work, according to the ACIM instructions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I was led to change my life situation almost immediately upon reading the Course, but it was not a lasting change. It did make changes in my heart, though, and for that I am grateful.

Thank you for helping me to adjust to a new life situation, and help me now adjust to my new life situations. I know that You are always with me.

Amen.

There Can Be No Order of Difficulty in Healing Merely because All Sickness Is Illusion

“There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? (M25)”

1 – No Order of Difficulty

Do we really believe this? If we don’t, this explains our difficulty with the concepts of healing that Jesus is discussing.

2 – Of the Mind

Earlier we noted that he indicated that all healing was of the mind. This eliminates the problem with continuing physical symptoms, for the body, we know, is not real—but an illusion. The reference to hallucination is important. Elsewhere Jesus asks us if we see a difference in the number of pitchforks that a devil holds—or do we see all of this as hallucination? His metaphor here is very, very similar. We do not have to view a large hallucination as more “real” than a smaller one. All are illusory, for we are trapped in a dream from which we need only awaken.

3 – Forgiveness

And we cannot awaken ourselves, though we can smooth way by forgiving our brother/sister, our significant others. The holy relationship is the way that this course is saving time. We don’t use large amounts of time in contemplation; we just forgive our brother/sister for what they have not, in reality, done. And we are healed thereby.

4 – Awakening

God does the Awakening, when He knows that we are ready (ACIM tenet).

5 – The “Devil”

“Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears than to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? (M25)”

6 – Illusions

“When he realizes they are all illusion they will disappear. (M25)”

7 – Hallucination

Here are especially graphic illustrations of what hallucination can do to us. We are projecting our “reality,” our illusions, even when we are not insane in the psychiatric way of thinking. All of us, however rational we appear, are mad to a degree until we accept Awakening. We live in insanity.

8 – Madness

Knowing that, prior to Awakening, we are, to varying degrees, mad, can go a long way toward justifying forgiveness. The angry words, the attack, can be seen for what it is—the cry of another human being to be loved. His distress is based on error (from ACIM Text), and we know that all of us make errors.

9 – Body’s Eyes

“The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. . . .the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. (M25)”

10 – Perceptions

The body’s eyes see perceptions, based on projection from within, that are untrue. When we have a healed mind, we will see the unreality of what we have previously viewed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask today to be healed of my misperceptions. I know that I bristle when someone verbally attacks me, but I also know that the anger that I feel dissipates when I realize that this beloved son or daughter of You is actually crying out for help. I realize that I am to rush to his/her side with that help—if intervening now is advisable.

Help me to know when it is advisable to intervene, and when it is wiser to withdraw briefly until the air clears. You do not demand sacrifice, and our own well-being is dear to Your heart.

May I know that You wish all of your children well. And I know that Your heart bleeds when You see us hurt each other.

Amen.

An Illusion Is an Attempt to Make Something Real that Is Regarded as of Major Importance, but Is Recognized as Being Untrue.

1 – The Mind

“By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. (M24)”

This definition of illusion can be understood by many of us because of life situations in which we have tried to “fool ourselves” into believing, sometimes vehemently, something that is not true. In our depths we often recognize that what we fervently want to believe is not true, because we may get a curious “stop” to our attempts to pray for this outcome. If this happens to us, we would do well to reflect on what is actually at stake.

2 – Illusions

Illusions are prevalent in our world. There is so much pain in even everyday life that we retreat from feverish dreams into an illusory world that seems–but only “seems”–better. Somewhere is our deepest being we recognize that we are believing in an illusion, and we, somewhere, feel self-betrayed. We do not often let this deeper understanding surface, though. We may live for years with illusions that would have been left behind in the beginning if we had only turned to the Holy Spirit earlier.

3 – Self-Betraying

The mind is very powerful, and it can seem to make an illusion true. Such tactics are self-betraying in the long run, though. We don’t want to believe a falsehood, and our intensity of desire for an illusion is the real culprit here. The desire will abate when we recognize that we are fooling ourselves and when we turn to the Holy Spirit for more substantive consolation. Then and only then will we be free to let the illusion fall away.

4 – Feverish Dreams

“Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others. (M24)”

5 – Tangled Up

Our “feverish dreams” are the tangles we get ourselves into when we seek for answer with our ego. The ego doesn’t know, and, most importantly, we can tell when the ego is uppermost in our minds. We need to let go at that point. Relax and let the guidance of the Holy Spirit come through. We will always know when we have momentarily released the ego, because we will immediately feel calmer.

6 – Wily Mind

The mind is a wily creature. It wants to stay with a bad experience just to see it out. Don’t get trapped by this feverish dream.

7 – Others’ Needs

Be sure to take others’ needs into account. All too often, when we are suffering, we think that it is all we can do to manage ourselves. But we don’t have to manage ourselves; turn the self over to God. Is this easier said than done? Only when we are agitated. Take a break. Have a cup of tea. Pray. Meditate, if only briefly. The world you return to will seem different, somehow. And that difference is that you have let go of your feverish dreams. We can be very stubborn sometimes, and resist the letting go. But we are ever so much better off when we remain flexible, or when we return to flexibility. We need to be able to turn on a dime, when intuition prompts a different decision.

8 – Seeing

“Only the mind evaluates their [the differences] messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful. (M24)”

The mind is not really where we want to stay, according to a possible sequel to A Course in Miracles, entitled A Course of Love. We want to be in the heart, which does not need the reasoning that the mind requires. We just “know,” when in the heart. And ACOL recommends that mind and heart be joined, into what is called “wholeheartedness.” This is the way home.

9 – Perception

“It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. (M24)”

We don’t need to analyze our perceptions so much. Perceptions are always varying, because they are perceptions of changing illusions, changing dreams.

10 – Knowledge

We need to move to knowledge (from perception), which the Holy Spirit will help us with. Knowledge is of God, and knowledge cannot be “proved.” It just is. We will know the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave illusions behind. May I seek only what is true, only what I know in my depths is true.

If I have derived pleasure from believing my illusions, this has not been also without pain. May I recognize that I do not want pain, and may I let my illusions leave me.

Amen.

Should Healing Be Repeated?

“This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? (M22)”

1 – The Mind

What is certain is that the MIND is healed. The physical symptoms may last. The fact that ease is required is important. We don’t keep coming back with more pleas; we accept that healing has occurred.

2 – Jesus

This may be difficult to accept, but I do believe that Jesus is giving it to us straight. We need to recognize that the body is illusion, and its continued symptoms do not really mean much except in this world. Our mind’s well-being is the most important.

3 – Channel for Healing

“Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal, because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. (M22)”

4 – Holy Spirit

A very reassuring passage, this indicates that we as teachers of God will not fail. The Holy Spirit does the healing, and the healing is of the mind.

5 – Continuing Symptoms

“One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. . . .Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and truth cannot coexist. (M22)”

6 – The Sticking Point

This is the sticking point: How can we believe healing has occurred when the body still exhibits symptoms of disease? It is with the mind that the Holy Spirit works, and that is not seen by the physical eye.

7 – Doubt

“The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. (M23)”

8 – God’s Teacher

The meaning herein is a bit obscure, but basically the passage is letting us know that God’s Teacher, who is the Holy Spirit, will always resolve problems for us. The answer may not come immediately if we are not yet ready. It may take awhile. But come it will, unless we doubt. And what is there but self-doubt? Surely, if we have come this far, we do not doubt the resolutions of problems by the Holy Spirit. If we hesitate, we are using our own minds against ourselves, and this is the meaning of self-doubt.

9 – A Resolution to Our Problems

We must trust the Holy Spirit to bring about a resolution to our problems. Elsewhere Jesus asks that we pray for a resolution of the conditions that have brought about fear. This concept is akin to what is meant in this passage. Cause-and-effect will not be tampered with, by the Holy Spirit or Jesus. Jesus says that he will not tamper with the power of our minds, and that we ask him to do so at our peril. Only the power of our minds keeps us caught in dreams of pain. There is a way out, and the Course spells out what it is. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit! We cannot emphasize this enough. It is the solution to our myriad problems, and it is the Answer to our prayers as well.

10 – Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is a particularly insidious form of self-betrayal. We would be wise to drop our misgivings about the power of our own minds, and then turn our wills over to the Holy Spirit. Then the resolution to our problems will be seen, often sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I look forward to the quick resolution of the problems that I have given to the Holy Spirit to solve. May I not doubt that He will resolve my problems. Let me have trust in His Word.

Thank you for being there for me. I look forward to a brighter world ahead.

Amen.

Jesus’s Difficult Words about Healing

“Healing is the change of mind that the Holy Spirit in the patient’s mind is seeking for him. (M20)”

Affirmation: “Healing is a change of mind.

1 – Of the Mind

Yes! Healing is a change of mind—not necessarily of body! So this is why we have hesitated when we approached Jesus’s words about healing in the Manual of A Course in Miracles. Seeing the body as an illusion, he focuses on the mind.

2 – Healing

And the mind knows healing.

3 – Emotions

This sets the healing in the realm of the emotions, which everyone can recognize is a much easier place to be than the physical. All too often we are “caught” in the physical, seeing effects of illness, and we cannot get beyond this. That is why we doubt healing because of continuing symptoms.

4 – Jesus

But Jesus is talking about a healing of the mind, for the mind, unlike the body, is real. Of course, there may be healing of the body as well, but we do not have to depend upon this to believe Jesus’s encouraging words.

5 – Change of Mind

This passage summarizes the idea that we have been exploring for the last several days. Healing comes about with a change of mind, a change from a desire for illness–external searching–to a desire for health. Nowhere is this concept made clearer in A Course in Miracles than in this one sentence.

6 – Health

It is clear here that the Holy Spirit is for health all the way. Yet He will not stand between cause-and-effect, if our minds desire illness. Even when we don’t recognize that we desire illness, this still is true. It is frequently an unconscious choice.

7 – Death

Death would best come by just laying down the body as finished, its usefulness over (ACIM concept). There is no reason for a prolonged illness to overcome us at any time in our lives, unless we mistakenly think that this external searching will lead us to what we need to know. And often it appears to do so. A Course in Miracles would not choose this for us, though. ACIM would choose health, and by reading such passages as this one, we can see that health is the choice of the Holy Spirit as well.

8 – Holy Spirit

“And it is the Holy Spirit in the mind of the giver Who gives the gift to him. How can it be lost? How can it be ineffectual? How can it be wasted? (M20)”

The Holy Spirit gives healing. This is familiar territory for us, for long have we talked about guidance and the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

9 – Giver

The “giver” is the individual seeking to be a conduit to healing for another person. We must not doubt; that is imperative. And we must recognize that the healing will be accepted when it is not a threat.

10 – Sickness as a Way of Life

Elsewhere Jesus talks about healing that must stand aside if an individual has used the sickness as a way of life. He notes that perhaps depression would result from a sudden healing, that the person might even attempt suicide, his loss being so great. So, in such cases, healing must stand aside as too dangerous for the personal self (the “little” self).

11 – Gifts

“What concern, then, can a teacher of God have about what becomes of his gifts? Given by God to God, who in this holy exchange can receive less than everything? (M21)”

12 – God Within

“Given by God to God” is an indication that God is within each of us. God is the All, in the interpretation of A Course in Miracles.

13 – More Certain Healing

This whole exchange about healing in the Manual is an example of the level of the ideal to which ACIM points. Some are ready to meet Jesus at that level, but some are not. And it behooves us to commune with God to reach that level of the ideal. Then healing is far more certain.

14 – Body an Illusion

Certainly healing is of the mind, for the body is only an illusion. So emotional healing will get us home free every time. We won’t worry so much, even about pain, for we know that we are safe.

15 – Home

We have found the medical treatment that works—a healing of the mind. Let the physical symptoms remain, if they seem stubborn. We have found the way home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize that true healing is a change of mind, and that if continuing physical symptoms are present, it does not mean a lack of healing.

Thank you for the many healings that I have known in my life. I know that all of them came from You.

Amen.

What About Love, Sinlessness, Perfection, Knowledge, and Eternal Truth? These Are the Son/Daughter of God’s Inheritance.

1 – Our Inheritance

“You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God’s teachers does not include things that are the Son of God’s inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge and eternal truth do not appear in this context. They would be most inappropriate here. (M16)”

Affirmation: “My inheritance as a Son (or Daughter) of God includes love, sinlessness, perfection, and like concepts.”

This appears to be a somewhat mysterious passage. Perhaps the best explanation is that these terms listed–sinlessness, perfection, etc.–are assumed rather than given to the teacher of God as a new attribute to signify his or her more lofty status. Even this description is misleading, though, because “lofty status” is an egoic concept, not one that we associate with the A Course in Miracles. Perhaps it is enough to say that everyone–student or teacher of God–has the attributes listed by birthright. This is the reason that the word “inheritance” is used in this context.

2 – Trust

This passage is part of a lengthy explanation of attributes of God’s teachers, of which “trust” is the most important. It is elsewhere explained that all of these attributes are achieved as time goes by and learning proceeds. Learning within the context of ACIM, it is believed that the teacher will acquire all of these attributes over time.

3 – Egotistical?

To acquire all of these attributes sounds daunting, and perhaps even egotistical. Yet it is anything but. No egotistical attribute is meant by any of the terms given in the passages in the surrounding pages to M16. God’s teachers learn what they need to learn to acquire these attributes, and, once learned, they will have left the ego far behind.

4 – Unlearning

“It is the function of God’s teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is ‘true learning’ in the world. (M16)”

5 – Questions

What does this mean? Why do we bring “unlearning” to the world, if we are following our mission?

6 – Self-Reliance

The world trains for self-reliance, believing that as we grow older, maturing, we will almost stand alone, certain in the truth of our judgments. A Course in Miracles indicates that we are not ever intended to be solitary creatures, that our relationship to our brother (and sister) is our way home, to salvation, to Awakening. This holy relationship to our brother/sister is the means that ACIM uses to save us time. We don’t have to spend long hours in contemplation, which can be tedious. We simply need to forgive our brother for what he has not done in truth, because we live in an illusion and in his/her heart of hearts, he/she is innocent of wrongdoing. (All of the ideas in this paragraph of ACIM tenets paraphrased.)

7 – Judgment

We don’t easily give up judgment. We think that it is personally insulting to give over our judgments to the one Answer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But do so we must, if we are to have a free will. It is only in bowing to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who chooses for us, for what we really want, that we finally lose our imprisoned will and become free. God set the limits on our miscreation, for otherwise his creation would be flawed and fail to work. So all will return ultimately, sure finally that God’s Way is the only correct, right Way.

8 – The Secular

We may state this truth in more secular terms. That does not matter. God is God of the secular as well as the religious.

9 – Guidance

So we are bringing unlearning to this world, for the world and the ego teach amiss. Rather than self-reliance, we depend on guidance from either the Holy Spirit (as in ACIM) or the inner Christ Self (from A Course of Love). Once we taste the difference, we will not want to turn back (though we may, if we fall away from ACIM teachings). Our days will develop a flow, a smoothness, that will have us only wanting more of that smoothness.

10 – Happiness

We will finally be happy, a sustained happiness/joy that is unlike the cheap thrills that the ego offers.

11 – Forgiveness

“It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation. (M16)”

All of us are teachers as well as students. The teacher of God teaches to himself/herself as much as to others—often more, for in teaching we truly learn.

12 – Time

Only time separates the teacher from the learner, the student. And time does not really exist, a tenet of modern physics and Einstein, and his followers, as well as A Course in Miracles.

13 – Salvation

We are to bring salvation to the world. That is one of the functions to which A Course in Miracles calls us. (The others are happiness and forgiveness.) We do not become overbearing, for not all are ready for our message. In a favorite passage of mine, we learn from the Manual that some of our brothers and sisters are ready only for a smile. We do not press, unless others express interest in knowing how and why we have changed. So to my mind a good example is one of the best things that we can present to the world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize that my inheritance as a Son or Daughter of God includes love, perhaps most importantly. I receive this and many other things as a birthright.

This is not egotism. I appreciate very much the gifts that are mine as one of Yours.

Amen.

Nothing but Sparkles Now which Seemed So Dull and Lifeless Before. And Above All, All Things Are Welcoming.

“Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment. As judgment shuts the mind against God’s Teacher, so open-mindedness invites Him to come in. (M16)”

Open-mindedness is said to be the last of the traits which a teacher of God takes unto himself/herself. I wonder about that, whether it is true for all people. I have personally found other traits to be harder to acquire. Open-mindedness makes a smooth pathway in the walk ahead. When I am mellow, open-mindedness seems an easy way to go. When I am stressed, open-mindedness seems impossible, for I lapse into judgment.

1 – Non-Judgmental

Open-mindedness suggests a non-judgmental stance, and certainly judgment is a problem for many of us, perhaps most of us on the spiritual pathway. Hugh Prather says as much, in a little book entitled, The Little Book of Letting Go. He indicates that those on a spiritual pathway are perhaps more insufferable than those who have never given much thought to spirituality.

2 – Personal Experience

This attitude, expressed by Hugh, is a stern warning. I have thought back over some of the religious individuals whom I have known, and, like Hugh says, I have identified three deeply religious men (two of whom are ministers) who have particularly big egos. They are difficult to be around, because judgment is also a big part of their emotional makeup.

3 – Sanctimoniousness

We really don’t want to be like this. Sometimes I think that I would rather be around people who are not particularly religious, because they are more comfortable people with whom to associate. There is none of the sanctimoniousness that religious people sometimes exude.

4 – Judgments

These, in themselves, are judgments. I wonder how much others might agree with these thoughts. I myself struggle with judgments when I am confronted with seemingly irrational anger and attack. What did I do to cause this, I ask in vain. Probably nothing. The anger and attack are just manifestations of the depth of insanity into which all of us have fallen. We have to climb the ladder back up to sanity, but we do have help from guidance. It helps sometimes just to identify anger and attack, directed at ourselves, to be just madness or insanity. Then we are in a better position just to forgive without judging.

5 – Avoid Judgment

Judging should always be avoided.

6 – Peace

“Only the open-minded can be at peace, for they alone see reason for it. (M16)”

Affirmation: “When I am open-minded, I can be at peace.”

Open-mindedness and tolerance for the thoughts and actions of others are closely aligned. It is good to find out in the Course that open-mindedness will allow us to be at peace. Who would not want to know how to be at peace?

7 – Definition

What does open-mindedness mean? Basically, it is the contrasting way to say that we do not judge each other. We need a positive expression, rather than the more negative “do not judge.” And “open-mindedness” is given us in the Course. It is always better to state a truism in positive terms rather than to muddy our minds with the negative.

8 – Peace

We will be at peace when we embrace open-mindedness. Do we want this? Of course, and the Course specifies exactly how to make peace of mind ours.

9 – Forgiveness

“How do the open-minded forgive? They have let go all things that would prevent forgiveness. They have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. (M16)”

This passage is a great promise and promises a great joy. To have the world restored to us in newness is a blessing, a boon, that all of us would want.

10 – Let Go of Judgment

What things do we need to let go that prevent forgiveness? Primarily judgment, I think. We need to avoid the memory of wrongs done to us. We need truly, as they say, to forgive and forget, remembering that we live in an illusion and nothing bad has, in truth, happened. Our brother/sister has been living in madness, saying and doing things that hurt us. He/she would not say or do those things if they knew better. We sometimes cannot teach them any better, and to do may be arrogance. We don’t have to make the way to Heaven plain (an ACIM tenet). We are not better than they, forgiving out of a sense of superiority. We are not superior in any way. Only time separates us from our brothers and sisters on the spiritual pathway, and time does not really exist.

11 – Spiritual Pathway

The spiritual pathway is its own reward. Others do not have to change for us to be at peace. We may have to distance ourselves from an abusive relationship, but we still can forgive even the heinous wrongs. We do this for ourselves as much as for the other person, who may not even know of our forgiveness. We simply walk a better path, a joy-strewn path.

12 – Seeing the World Anew

To see the world anew is what we really want. It can be done, and, when we are calm and harmonious, seeing the world anew seems the easiest thing out there. Stress is, to my mind, the great boogieman. We don’t need to let stress get to us, although sometimes this seems unavoidable. Anger and attack can be left behind, as many hours out of the day as possible. Our lives will be immeasurably better for walking the primrose pathway.

13 – Sparkling

“Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before. And above all are all things welcoming, for threat is gone. No clouds remain to hide the face of Christ. Now is the goal achieved. Forgiveness is the final goal of the curriculum. (M16)”

We frequently feel anger, and we attack, when we are threatened. One family member in my past was particularly vicious when threatened, and I understood this even as quite a small child, long before I discovered A Course in Miracles. Recognizing what had happened, the fact of feeling threatened, meant that the insanity of it did not touch me very deeply. I knew that in her better moments, the love for me was very deep. I could forgive, even as a quite young child.

14 – Forgiveness

The passage above ends with the a truth that we need to understand about A Course in Miracles. Forgiveness is the final goal of ACIM. We do not, in these books, go beyond that. A Course of Love does take us beyond, though, and some feel that this trilogy is a sequel to ACIM, that Jesus had more to teach us. The idea is that we seemed to have dislodged the ego, but didn’t have anything with which to replace it, leaving us still searching. In A Course of Love, we end the search. We are enough. It is time to end the search. We do not have to remain endless seekers.

15 – Single Aim

“Forgiveness is it single aim, at which all learning ultimately converges. It is indeed enough. (M16)”

Learning converges with forgiveness. A Course of Love goes beyond learning, though, and it would be good for us to review some of those lessons. (See the “History of the Blog” in “About Miracles Each Day,” and then refer to the Archives to get the right month and year for previous postings.)

16 – ACIM and A Course of Love

I wonder if Jesus changed his mind between A Course in Miracles and the scribing of A Course of Love. Was forgiveness not enough? I wonder deeply. Certainly we need to realize that we want an end to the endless searching for something more. Otherwise, we are never truly at peace. Jesus would have us be at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be open-minded and tolerant of the words and actions of my brothers and sisters. May I not fume in private at anything that they say or do.

I long for Your peace. Thank you for giving me one more way that Your peace can come to me.

Amen.

May We Be Faithful—Honest, Trusting, Gentle, Joyous, Tolerant

“True faithfulness, however, does not deviate. Being consistent, it is wholly honest. Being unswerving, it is full of trust. Being based on fearlessness, it is gentle. Being certain, it is joyous. And being confident, it is tolerant. (M15)”

1 – Dense Passage

This is a dense passage, dense with meaning. It builds upon the definition of faithfulness we read yesterday, and it is extols consistency in our image of the idea.

2 – Honesty

We have read elsewhere that honesty is actually consistency of thought and deed–nothing contradicts our inner beliefs and nothing that we do externally contradicts what we feel inside.

3 – Trust

Trust is mentioned again, as it was yesterday. We must place our trust in the Word of God to set all things right.

4 – Gentleness

Gentleness leads to fearlessness, because we are not always looking toward our backs to see who might betray us.

5 – Joy

When we are certain about the course that our lives will take, in love, we can feel joy.

6 – Tolerance

And then, finally, when we are tolerant we can live with the strength of confidence in our choices.

7 – Promises

Nowhere else in the Course are so many promises packed in so short a span of phrases.

8 – Strengths of the Manual

This is one of the strengths of the Manual, which can lead some readers to choose this shorter part as the one with which they begin. Jesus does not counsel against this, leaving it to the reader to choose the parts first that speak to him or her the most.

9 – Faithfulness

“Faithfulness, then, combines in itself the other attributes of God’s teachers. It implies acceptance of the Word of God and His definition of His Son. (M15)”

10 – Faith

We so often misread the concept of faith and faithfulness. In the Bible, we learn that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

11 – “On Faith”

Growing up, we may have rejected taking things “on faith,” because perhaps this implied to us that we were to leave our minds behind, let our intellect go. While this is probably a false conception, even when based on biblical teachings, this conception is totally antithetical from the spirit and words of A Course in Miracles.

12 – ACIM’s Take on Faith

In ACIM, we are not ever required to take anything on blind faith. We are led, step by step, to knowledge that we can accept with our intelligence even working overtime (unless this intelligence is overly informed by our egos). We are led to realize that nothing in faith need contradict reason, a tenet of St. Thomas Acquinas. We are led gently to pathways of faith. We are not ever chastised if we are not yet ready to a given concept. The Holy Spirit is eminently patient with us.

13 – Defenselessness

“Toward Them [God and God’s Son] it looks, seeking until it finds. Defenselessness attends it naturally, and joy is its condition. And having found, it rests in quiet certainty on That alone to Which all faithfulness is due. (M15)”

This use of the term “Them,” capitalized is a bit confusing in ACIM. It does mean God and God’s Son (and Daughter), as a careful reading will let us know. We do seek God; we do seek our real Selves, the Christ Self deep within us (a tenet of A Course of Love).

14 – Quiet Certainty

We do rest in “quiet certainty,” a wondrous concept. All of us thrive on certainty in this ever-changing world. Most of us don’t take kindly to change that barrels us forward at breakneck speed (though some of us thrive on the thrill of it all). Quiet certainly is calmer, and in this stressful world we often want calm.

15 – Peace of Mind and Joyous Living

Faithfulness to our curriculum in A Course in Miracles will bring us peace of mind and joyous living. This is ACIM’s promise, and the vast number of students of ACIM will attest that the books live up to their promise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can remember all parts of this great promise as I walk through the day. Forgive my limitations. Help me now to drive these ideas deep into my mind, so that they are there in my subconscious when I need them.

Help me to be tolerant of my own limitations. I know that in this world I will have limitations, but Your promises are sure, and I can depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I walk through the day.

Amen.

Do You Still Select Some Aspects of Your Life to Bring to Your Learning, While Keeping Others Apart?

“The extent of the teacher of God’s faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? (M15)”

1 – Upset the Apple Cart

In the beginning of our walk to Awakening, we remain careful not to upset the apple cart. We bring part of our life, sometimes the small part that we formally devote to devotionals, to our learning toward salvation. We don’t surrender all. Oh, we may surrender, even surrender anew, from time to time, even frequently. Yet in our daily walk we keep some parts of our lives separate from Who we perceive God to be. We don’t want Him “controlling” us.

2 – Fallacious Reasoning

This type of reasoning is fallacious. Only when we bring all parts of our learning, in life, to God and the Holy Spirit do we really make progress along the way. Although at first, selectivity in what we bring to God is almost inevitable, later on we need to keep a tight rein on ourselves to be sure that we are not falling away. We need to relax in God’s love, knowing that nothing that the Holy Spirit bids us to do will undo us. Of course, we are fallible, and so we can misconstrue the Holy Spirit’s messages—His guidance—but not for long, if we stay close to the Divine. We will get hints that what we are about to say or do is not kosher.

3 – Judgment

At first we don’t give up judgment very readily; at first we don’t choose guidance consistently. This is because the world’s training has consisted of reliance upon judgment, our own judgment, about what to do or say. As we grow, we think that we are honing judgment to be a more complete and competent person. Eventually, we think, we will stand on our own two feet, not making mistakes, or at least not making as many.

4 – False Persona

This is wrong, for this type of thinking is of the false persona that we have adopted that is the ego. The ego is a part of our belief about ourselves, but a false part. The definition of the ego in A Course in Miracles is, I am quick to say, not the definition of Freud. He saw a strong ego as necessary to our effective survival and our living. But he defined ego differently. Freud saw ego as a unifying, coalescing piece of the psyche that mitigated between the id and the superego. A Course in Miracles, in contrast, sees the ego as a false persona, but one that we all develop. Yet life constantly undoes this false persona, because that is the way that life is set up. The ego, constantly being undone, throws us on a shift between joy (false joy) and despair. The thrills that the ego shows us in our dramas always cause tears of pain. ACIM notes that every flight of joy is matched by these tears of pain, bought at the cost of tears.

5 – Why?

Do we really want to live this way?

6 – Faithfulness

“Faithfulness is the teacher of God’s trust in the Word of God to set all things right; not some, but all. (M15)”

To believe the Course in all situations is to remain faithful to its tenets. This makes us faithful followers of its tenets. This only is faithfulness.

7 – All Things Set Right

We must believe that all things will be set right, not in some far-off future, but here and now. It all has to do with our perception. We project what we perceive (a Course tenet). If we can believe that the Word of God will set all things right, we do not have to take upon ourselves the “sins” of the world.

8 – Trust

“Trust” is mentioned in this passage. Elsewhere we learn that trust is the bedrock of the teacher of God’s faith. If trust goes, all else follows. We lose our faith, and we have slipped once again into egoistic thinking. If we attack, make judgments, or plan defenses against an unknown future, we have lost our way. We need to regain trust, and study of the Course is our way, our way Home.

9 – One Answer

“To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. (M15)”

This passage identifies the giving up of self-control is favor of God-control, or control by the Holy Spirit, through our willingness to be led. Most people make this shift only very gradually, because the shift is seen by us, in the throes of the ego, to be personally insulting (a Manual tenet). The world has taught us to rely on our own judgment; we do, usually, not easily give this choice up, and we usually do so only in fragments. We choose some aspects of life to bring to the Holy Spirit, keeping carefully limited what we “tell” Him.

10 – Happiness

This is not the way to live well! All of us want to live well. Indeed, the Workbook, as well as other parts of ACIM, counsel us that happiness is God’s one intention for us. We may question this, thinking that happiness is not a lofty goal. Yet can we really help others from a position of misery? In such states of downtrodden living, we are normally turned inward on ourselves, and only begrudgingly offer solace to others at all. When I was in my early twenties, and in the grip of neurosis, I was not outgoing, and I did not like other people to the extent that would be normal. I felt that it was all that I could do to keep myself going, to solve my own problems. Little did I realize at the time that turning outward miraculously cures neurosis, curing personal problems at the same time.

11 – Readiness

“Yes each degree, however, small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery. (M15)”

God will take us where we are and go from there. When we are in readiness, the miracle happens. We are still a long way from mastery, but we need, at least, to cultivate readiness.

12 – Guidance

Readiness means that we do make a decision to follow guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. We develop flow, and flow feeds on itself. We have a good day in flow, and the next day we want to have yet another good day in flow. “In flow” means that we move freely throughout our day, choosing easily because we are in constant touch with the Divine.

There is no better way to live.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May I acquire this faithfulness that You describe. May I have the trust that You will set all things right.

If I study the Course, I will come to understand faithfulness. I do not fully understand now, but I hope to do so, with Your help. Help me to understand the Word of God in this matter of setting all things right.

Amen.

The Gentle Have No Pain. Why Would They Not Be Joyous?

1 – Beloved

“The gentle have no pain. They cannot suffer. Why would they not be joyous? They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. (M13)”

Gentleness works. On the days that I am most gentle, I walk a smooth pathway. Nothing fazes me. Life is good. Part of this blessing is that I know that I am safe in this world, regardless of what the world throws at me.

2 – Safety

You are safe also. All of us are equal children of God, receiving equal blessings when we come to ourselves enough to ask for those blessings. But we must ask. The Bible is filled with examples of blessings that can be ours, but for which we must ask (ACIM tenet).

3 – Greedy?

We are not being greedy when we ask for what God wants for us anyway. He wants all good for us. Never is He guilty of bringing to us pain; we do this to ourselves.

4 – Personal Experience

When I was growing up, I did not want to be greedy in any sense at all. My mother told me that she and my father had a hard time knowing what Santa should bring, because I would not name what I wanted.

5 – Personal Experience II

Later on, when I was 25, I saw a vision (hallucination) of my bad karma, and it was the fact that I wanted to “get mine.” This is technically called “rapaciousness,” and William Faulkner, Nobel Prize laureate, has a great deal to say about this character trait. It is wanting for self, a reaching forth in a negative fashion. Loosely understood, it is greed.

6 – Restlessness

But gentleness quells all this restlessness to “have.” It is quite true that God wants us to have everything good, and we will not be satisfied until we do have everything. The ego tells us that sometimes we separate out something very desirable (from the ego’s standpoint) as if to say that having this one thing, we will forego all other (ACIM paraphrase). Yet this fails to satisfy, if we succeed in getting this desired goal. For we want everything, and everything does belong to us in truth.

7 – Joy

“Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. (M13)”

We will be happy if we can remain gentle; this is joy. We will certainly feel remorse, at least later on, if we succumb to attack; this is the tragedy of grief experienced.

8 – Attack

It is true that momentarily after attack, we may feel better, not worse. This is because we think, erroneously, that we have gotten rid of the guilt that has otherwise dogged us on our paths. But we haven’t really gotten rid of the guilt. It has, instead, become enhanced through our giving in to attack. This is the folly that we don’t see when suddenly we “see red.”

9 – Find the Gentleness

To find the joy, we must find the gentleness. To remove the grief, we must disavow attack. This formula works in daily life. Why don’t we all give it a try?

“God’s teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God’s Voice directs them in all things. (M13)”

Yet another passage affirming the validity of guidance by the Holy Spirit, Who is identified here as God’s Voice, we know that this is true—if we have studied A Course in Miracles to any extent at all. The Holy Spirit, to Whom we give up our own puny judgment, gives us our real will. And we are made happy in this exchange.

10 – No Harm!

No harm! Yes! Even bad things lose their sting. We know that our real Self, the Christ within, cannot be harmed in any way. Let the world do what it will, we are safe.

11 – Song of Thanks

“Joy is their song of thanks. . . .How joyous it is to share the purpose of salvation! (M13)”

Would it not be a wonderful thing to be joyous all the time! That is indeed the very blessing that is held out to us in Awakening. I have a friend who experienced Awakening some 30 years ago, and she is a prime example of happiness in life. The negative does not hurt her at all. She sees the bigger picture.

12 – Awakening

And so can we all, even before we experience enlightenment. Enlightenment is increasing in numbers, according to Eckhart Tolle, but is still comparatively rare. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us (from the Bible), knowing what the glorious end will be.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I give up attack in all my dealings with my brothers and sisters. This one step will give me joy. Gentleness will also accompany this change in me.

Thank you for the courage to give up attack. Help me to realize that it offers nothing that I want, and everything that I do not want. Lead me along Your pathway to joy, led by the gentleness that You will help me to acquire.

Amen.

God’s Teachers Are Wholly Gentle. They Need the Strength of Gentleness, for It Is in This that Salvation Becomes Easy.

1 – Harmfulness

“No teacher of God but must learn,–and fairly early in his training,–that harmfulness completely obliterates his function from his awareness. It will make him confused, fearful, angry and suspicious. (M13)”

Certainly, if we think about it, we know the truth of this passage. When we have dipped or dropped into a negative mood, everything looks black. We are courting depression.

2 – Reaping the Results

If we do harm to another or to ourselves even in a thought, we will reap the result. We will become confused about our purpose because we will start being suspicious, even paranoid. We will become fearful, because we don’t know where the next attack will appear—and it will appear. When we become fearful, we are stressed, and stress (at least in my experience) nearly always produces anger, even attack.

3 – Nobody Wants to Live This Way

Nobody wants to live this way. We do not wish to do harm to others or ourselves, and we are given in A Course in Miracles the way to live so that we lives harmlessly. The Manual of ACIM is especially helpful in this regard, including most especially the passages on giving up judgment and living in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Pray Harmlessly

If we pray to live harmlessly, our prayer is in accord with what God wishes for us, and we will walk a primrose path. Our prayer WILL be answered, being the divine Way. Let’s make a decision today to live in the Presence of the Divine, of God, and all of the subsequent decisions will be ever so much better.

5 – God’s Teacher

“Nor can God’s Teacher be heard at all, except by those who realize that harm can actually achieve nothing. No gain can come of it. (M13)”

We lose the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s Teacher, when our minds dip into harm. He simply departs from us, knowing, probably, that we are temporarily unable to access our better nature, the nature of the indwelling Spirit of Universal Inspiration. We will feel bereft, especially once we have become accustomed to hearing God’s Voice (the Holy Spirit).

6 – Voice?

Note that in all likelihood we don’t actually hear a voice. We might worry about our sanity if we did. My own sense of the Holy Spirit comes through intuitive feeling, a knowing, or my own thinking that enters my mind when I am not consciously choosing to think of a given puzzle in my life, a given decision that I want to make about what to say or do next. I used to have feelings almost exclusively. The internal “thinking” mode has come to me only in the last few years, and I have not truly known how to interpret this. I have never read anything like it, though surely the phenomenon is commonplace. I have wondered if this new phenomenon is akin to the thesis set forth by Julian Jaynes in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

7 – Julian Jaynes

Julian, since the seventies, has enjoyed quite a following in some circles. He hypothesized that the ancients thought differently from us because they had not yet developed consciousness; they hallucinated voices, and these voices were largely auditory. His thesis explains the many passages in the Old Testament in which we are told that “God spoke” to individuals. The theory cannot be disproved; nobody can know what thinking was really like in the distant past.

8 – Madness

But surely there are times we ourselves may experience something similar, something similar even in our relative sanity. I say “relative,” because ACIM notes that all of us who have not yet awakened are mad, to one degree or another. We are not living as ultimate salvation would have us live. Yet there are degrees of insanity, and we live more and more sanely when we follow the Holy Spirit’s directives. We learn that gentleness really works.

9 – Wholly Gentle

“. . .God’s teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation becomes easy. (M13)”

10 – Consoling

This is a consoling passage. Which of us would not want to be gentle, to feel gentleness?

11 – Strength of Gentleness

When we learn, through this passage, that the strength of gentleness helps us in salvation, then our motivation to become gentle multiplies.

12 – No Anger and No Attack

To be wholly gentle is not to attack and not to act on anger. Both are lamented elsewhere in the Course as not being justified under any circumstances. How so? Our brothers and sisters are innocent of sin (though perhaps not of having made mistakes). When we can see the innocence of others, we are well of our way to becoming gentle in our interactions with them.

13 – Praying

Gentleness is a trait much to be admired. We do not often pray for this, perhaps, but perhaps we should. In it are found many of the other traits that we do aspire, frequently, to have.

14 – Might of God’s Teachers

“The might of God’s teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thoughts came neither from God’s Son nor his Creator. Thus did they join their thoughts with Him who is their Source. And so their will, which always was His Own, is free to be itself. (M13)”

Our will becomes free, no longer imprisoned, when we realize that God’s Will and our real will are actually identical. The Holy Spirit chooses for us. We are not lost in a quandary of false values and false decision-making points. We don’t have to feel like Jonah. We actually do what we truly want when we follow the guidance that comes to us, guidance that we do test out, because we can still be mistaken in our choices.

15 – Harmfulness of the Ego

If the guidance that comes to us is of no harm to another, we are on the right track normally. Any harmfulness is of the ego, and we are trying to let the ego wither away.

16 – Our Path

Gentleness is our path now. Let’s make a decision to react gently to any and all circumstances, to any and all circumstances that we can.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for gentleness, for in gentleness is the function of salvation made easy. I pray for Your help to allow gentle thoughts and actions in my life and the lives of those I touch.

May I be a teacher of God. This is something that Jesus would have me to be, and I pray that I am doing what is necessary to be such a teacher.

Amen.

Steps on the Way toward Awakening

1 – Period of Undoing

“First, they must go through what might be called ‘a period of undoing.’ This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. (M10)”

At this point in the development of trust, the movement toward Awakening, we find that many of things in which we placed great value are, very suddenly, no longer in our lives. We may experience substantial grief at this point.

This period of undoing may occur relatively early in one’s life. College is an awakening experience, in another sense, and the changes that one undergoes are not always happy. We may lose touch with our treasured friends from high school, college may be much tougher than high school, and all in all we experience identity crises as the old props of home and family are removed.

Not everybody, of course, goes through this stage at this point in life. There are many variations.

2 – Period of Sorting Out

“Next, the teacher of God must go through ‘a period of sorting out.’ This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. (M10)”

Once the props have been removed, we need a new stasis of personality, a new way to accept the life that we have been given. One important made in the Manual, in this passage, is that we have here learned that all changes are always helpful. This is akin to the biblical injunction, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” This quotation meant a great deal to me when I was going through this step.

We do not have to fret. We will come through this mixed up period and be the stronger for it.

3 – Period of Relinquishment

“The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called ‘a period of relinquishment.’ If this is interpreted a giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. (M10)”

Sometimes we have to give up something that seems, at the point, very precious to us. We may be asked to follow God’s will, as we perceive it, without reassurances that all is well. God sometimes withdraws and lets us make our own decisions. While guidance is very much a part of this step, it does not mean that we understand the “why” of what we are being asked to say and do. I think very often we don’t. We follow blindly, if we stay true to the pathway. We know what we are to do, but we may not fully want to do it, not yet realizing that God’s will for us is always our real will (ACIM tenet).

4 – Period of Settling Down

“Now comes ‘a period of settling down.’ This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. (M10 – M11)”

We do have periods of respite on this gentle path to Awakening. This identifies such a time. We are told, shortly after this passage, that we will go on from here with “mighty companions.” This seems to indicate help from the Other Side, whether angels or not is not clear. We may be helped by Teachers of teachers, those who have gone on to beyond this life to help those of us still left behind (ACIM tenet).

We need these quiet times, for without them the way would be too arduous, and we might drop out—choosing to make our way blindly, without listening to the Holy Spirit. We might lose our way on the path to Awakening. There are no guarantees.

5 – What Do We Really Want?

“And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed! (M11)”

This is the real disappearance of the ego, in my understanding. What one really wants is not egoistic things of this world, yet the call of the ego has been strong in us, and we relinquish the things of this world with some struggle.

What do we really want? Ah, that is the question. We do want the peace of God, and we cannot have this on a sustained basis as long as the ego is strong in strife.

6 – Period of Achievement

“And finally, there is ‘a period of achievement.’ It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all ‘emergencies’ as well as tranquil times. . . .This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would ‘go’ anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? (M-11.”

I think I can say without ego that the first part of this passage is where I am now—but not the second part of the passage. I can see my learning being consolidated, even as I write my blog. Part of my “solid gains” can be seen in difficult times, “emergencies.”

I have not yet reached the state of real peace, with Heaven’s state fully reflected. I still have difficult days part of the time. I still forget all my learning sometimes, especially when stressed.

It seems to me, from where I sit, that the final half of this passage, the “period of achievement,” identifies the state in which one has been awakened or enlightened.

7 – Recapitulating

Affirmation: “Help me to ask what I really want in every circumstance.”

This passage explains one of the steps on the way to Awakening. It sounds easy, but the playing out of the passage is hard indeed. To lay all judgment is not easy, as the ego thrives on judgment. And the ego it is that we need to lay aside.

But Jesus assures us that we have “heavily reinforced” help to lay all judgment aside. This is a great blessing. This help comes from the Holy Spirit. In addition, Jesus himself has said that he is always with us. We have only to ask for help, and it will be forthcoming.

This passage represents a stumbling block to many. This is where we get stuck in our pathway to Awakening. We must recognize that the way may be long, and that there may be setbacks along the way. But the glorious end is certain.

“This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would ‘go’ anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete” (M11)”

This passage represents the ultimate achievement in matters of salvation. The passage tells us that peace of mind is possible even in this world, and that therein lies Heaven.

The theology underlying the Course is not always easy to follow. But here we have a definite stand that Heaven is possible of achievement even in this world. And this is a grand promise indeed.

The way to Heaven is “open and easy,” and, in fact, it is “here” now. What more glorious release could we wish to have? This is a goal worth striving for, and Jesus’s promise is that we shall know Heaven even here, once we have walked the pathway that the Course sets out.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for Heaven on earth. Jesus has promised it to me, and I claim his promise.

May I have the peace of mind that gives Heaven to me, even in this world. I thank you in advance for the fulfillment of this glorious promise.

Amen.

Honesty. . .Nothing You Say Contradicts What You Think or Do.

“Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. (M11 – M12)”

1 – Important Passage

This is, to my mind, a most important passage from A Course in Miracles. Being honest, constantly honest, has been a point for me in my life; I have sometimes rejected people who did not tell me the truth. And I have been lied to, though when encountering one who is dishonest, it is hard to know at what point the lie occurred.

2 – Trust

Honesty promotes trust, and dishonesty makes one doubt every encounter. I think that my own first dishonesty as a child, when I lied to my mother when she was punishing me for a misdeed, has colored my perception of honesty all the time since. I seemed to lose God at that point. I was five years old, and the loss of God was the dimming of my sight. Even my physical sight dimmed, causing me to require glasses by age 9 (and needed glasses sooner).

3 – Sound Good Sense

The important of honesty is that it is sound good sense. We don’t have to remember what we have lied about. The fact that consistency is the hallmark here is pivotal to a good life. We don’t have to say one thing, and think or do another. We are at one with ourselves, through and through. Anyone who can reach this level of understanding is well on the pathway to Awakening, but most of us still dissemble, at least from time to time.

4 – Stop the Dissembling

We are encouraged with this passage to stop the dissembling, to be consistent in our inner thoughts and our outer words. No less would be required of us along the pathway home to God.

5 – No Conflict

“At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything. (M12)”

An admirable situation, we are out of conflict. And conflict is often what gives rise to attack, because conflict breeds stress, and stress breeds anger, leading to attack. At least in my experience.

6 – Peace of Mind

“The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty. (M12)”

What would we not attempt to do to experience peace of mind always? Throughout each and every day?

7 – How to Have Peace of Mind

This passage tells us how. Just strive to be at one with one’s subconscious thoughts, leading to conscious deeds that are consistent with inner Self. The inner Self is the Christ Self (according to A Course of Love), and this is our beacon as we move beyond A Course in Miracles, away from the time of the Holy Spirit and into the time of Christ.

8 – Consistency

Perfect honesty, as explained, really means “consistency.” We don’t say or do anything that contradicts the love that is in our hearts. We therefore do not know conflict, but instead perfect peace of mind.

9 – Teachers of God

Are all of us advanced teachers of God? Not yet, but we are destined to become that, once we have gone through the workbook, as well as studied carefully the other parts of the Course. We will know the peace of mind that is reserved for those who have walked the full pathway.

10 – Heaven on Earth

This is a glorious promise, one of the best in the Course. Surely we will do our part to bring about this Heaven on earth of peace of mind. No one can ask more of us, and Jesus assures us elsewhere that it is easy. We may find this hard to believe, even after years of studying the Course, but easy it can become for us when we turn to the Holy Spirit for all of our answers.

11 – At One with One’s Self

“No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. (M12)”

This is an endeavor worth pursuing! Ask today how we might effect this positive persona. May we be at one with ourselves, and in the achievement, we will cease to know conflict. And when conflict goes, so many negative traits of our personal self go as well. This passage is, to my mind, extremely important.

12 – Communion with God

Pray to know how to be at one with self. There are no easy answers, but communion with God will give us those answers.

13 – Challenge

“There is no challenge to a teacher of God. Challenge implies doubt, and the trust on which God’s teachers rest secure makes doubt impossible. Therefore they can only succeed. (M12)”

I have long loved this passage, the fact that “challenge” does not have to arise. In my past, I have thrived on challenge, but sometimes the challenge was of the ego. This passage indicates that challenge is not a desired state of mind. We choose for all people when we eliminate challenge as an egoic notion.

14 – Marching Orders

We do not need to doubt. We get our marching orders from the Holy Spirit (if we are following ACIM) and from the inner Christ Self (if we are following A Course of Love).

15 – Guidance

What a wonderful state of affairs! To fail to doubt our words and deeds is to know that we are listening to guidance, though of course we remain sometimes vulnerable to misthought. We may not hear aright. But when we are on the beam, and emotionally stable, we will know with an inner knowing what we are to say and do next. Ask often. We will be led well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for peace of mind above all other joys. And I recognize that it is joy that this peace gives to me.

May I be perfectly consistent in my thoughts and behavior, and may I realize that this is what honesty actually entails. Please stay by me.

Amen.

The Surface Traits of God’s Teachers Are Not All Alike. Their Superficial “Personalities” Are Quite Distinct

1 – Characteristics of God’s Teachers

“The surface traits of God’s teachers are not at all alike. They do not look alike to the body’s eyes, they come from vastly different backgrounds, their experiences of the world vary greatly, and their superficial ‘personalities’ are quite distinct. (M9)”

2 – Everyone

This world has a variety of people, and any of them may have come to see the light, and to follow the way of God. Personalities can conflict, though, and so we may not always like everyone, even when they too are on the pathway. And this, being on the pathway, does not it include everyone?

3 – Surface Traits

The fact that surface traits differ can be reassuring. It does ensure that we will not necessarily recognize our brothers and sisters who are walking the pathway. It makes us more tolerant of diversity. Would God have made us so distinct unless there were a good reason?

4 – Different Pathways

This passage says that we can walk very many different pathways to God. ACIM is just the way that you and I have chosen. We should recognize that other pathways are just as valid for others. Nowhere does the A Course in Miracles contradict this idea.

5 – Differences Are Temporary

“All differences among the Sons of God are temporary. (M9)”

Elsewhere in ACIM we learn the talents of individual people differ in this world, but there will come a time when all talents are shared alike. This is one reason that we need not be vainglorious about differences among us. Only time separates us in differences, and time does not really exist.

6 – Other Side

A second reason that we need not be vainglorious is not discussed in A Course in Miracles, but is widely discussed in other New Age literature. We get help from the Other Side. This includes the geniuses among us as well as us ordinary people. We don’t even have to turn to New Age literature to recognize this phenomenon. Julia Cameron, a creative artist of fiction and drama, who has written and taught widely to undo the blocking of creativity, quotes numerous famous people from the past who credit their work to God. She herself knows that she does not so much think up writing as sense that the writing is coming through her.

7 – Julia Cameron

Julia also recommends initiating a dialogue with Higher Power, in which we pose questions and seek to get answers. We “listen” for answers. This practice works. When I practice it, I find that the advice which I scribe is much superior to anything that I might think “on my own.”

8 – Pride

So let us realize that our differences are temporary, and we have no reason for hubris. We need to realize that we are the same, not different, and it behooves us to be grateful for this sameness (ACIM tenet). The ego would never tell us this, for the ego thrives on differences that seek to set us apart from others. But we will never be happy with such thinking. What pride has not failed to put us in a depressive spiral once the thrill of momentary victory is gone? This is the only happiness that the ego gives, and the ego gives to take away. The ego is always being undone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When my sisters and brothers who are on the pathway seem very different from me, may I not despair, but instead give thanks. We need to be different to appeal to different sisters and brothers. The diversity serves God.

Help me to know what to say when I meant someone who seems quite distinct from me. Help me to reach out in the best way, the way that You would have me to reach.

Amen.

Lifelong Relationships Are Generally Few

“The third level of teaching occurs in relationships which, once they are formed, are lifelong. These are teaching-learning situations in which each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with unlimited opportunities for learning. (M8)”

1 – Examples of Lifelong Relationships

This third level of learning is most often seen in parent-child relationships. In bygone eras, it was also seen in life-long partnerships, but with divorce so prevalent, this is no longer true. If we are extremely fortunate, we will know a few individuals throughout our lives who offer unlimited opportunities for learning. Be this parent-child, or partners for life, the potential is reason for rejoicing.

2 – Our Society

Sometimes, in our society, we move far away from our birth city, and far away also from our parents. The same holds true for our children. If our primary relationship is intact, we will continue to learn from our partner. But one source also is the friends that we make along the way. Most will eventually fade from our lives, and therefore not be the lifelong relationship that this passage proclaims as so pivotal to our lives.

3 – Keep Relationships Intact

It is good to keep our relationships intact, even if separated by distance. In this era of e-mail, this is more easily done than previously. Phone calls, of course, can continue as well. We would be wise, in all likelihood, never to let anybody fade from our lives permanently–at least, anybody who was once significant. This is an ideal, though, and few of us will be fortunate enough to find it.

4 – Lifelong Relationships Are Few

“These relationships are generally few, because their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect. (M8)”

We won’t have many lifelong relationships, though those with our parents, until death do us part, are the most common. Those with our siblings are next. But the best, for us, is a lifelong partnership with our significant other—if we are so lucky, for divorce is so very common these days. Nothing seems stable in an unstable world.

5 – “Brother” as Significant Other

The “brother” that is often mentioned is, I think, your significant other. If we don’t have one significant other, it is likely that A Course in Miracles will not interest you quite so much. A widow whom I tried to interest in ACIM (she was a minister) just did not find anything which resonated with her, and I think it is because her beloved husband had died several years earlier.

6 – Forgiveness

If we forgive our brother/sister of any and all wrongdoing (as we perceive it), then we are well on our way to following the pathway whom that A Course in Miracles points out. This forgiveness thing is tricky, for all too often even long-term students/teachers of ACIM will dip into what Song of Prayer calls “forgiveness-to-destroy.” That is when we think we forgive out of a sense of superiority, that the person does not really deserve forgiveness, but because we are “spiritual,” we say that we pardon. We do not really pardon. We hold the offense against them, forgetting that we are in an illusion that we ourselves have devised. It is impossible to be unfairly treated (ACIM statement). May we remember this truth when we are believing that we are treated unjustly by our brother. Even if he/she has done or said something really bad, still is this true. We may have to distance ourselves to avoid abuse, but still this is true. We cannot be unfairly treated, for our Self devises the things that we become involved in.

7 – Hostility?

“This does not mean that they necessarily recognize this; in fact, they generally do not. They may even be quite hostile to each other for some time, and perhaps for life. Yet should they decide to learn it, the perfect lesson is before them and can be learned. (M8)”

Lifelong partners do not always get along. And they will not, in such cases, realize how well-suited for each other they really are. Let us remember today. We are in a partnership for a reason, and we ought to try to learn what that reason is. We need to drop hostility from our group of emotions. Our brother/sister does not deserve this. Only when we forgive others, can we forgive ourselves. It just works this way. And our own unforgiveness thus will always return to haunt us.

8 – Saviors

“And if they decide to learn that lesson, they become the saviors of the teachers who falter and may even seem to fail. No teacher of God can fail to find the Help he needs. (M8)”

9 – Perfect Lesson

So when we learn the perfect lesson from our significant other, we can become saviors of others. We can say the right thing at the right time. We can share salvation. What better way to spend our day, than to share it with those we love?

10 – Holy Spirit

This “Help” is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always provides—never fear. He is there for us through thick and thin. He guides us to what is best for us. If we listen to His guidance, we will lead a charmed life. Others may not understand what causes the charm, but this is the secret: Following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. How do you do that? Check out the many ways that I identified in the blog posting, “The Gift of Guidance.” Enter gift and guidance and hales to bring it up. This is a posting based on an article featured in Miracles magazine, published by Jon Mundy. Thank you for reading.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the lifelong relationships that I have, and have had. May I come to understand what a teaching-learning balance really means.

I ask you to help me keep my relationships intact. If I have lost someone from my life, and it seems feasible to reach out once again, may I have the courage to reach out.

Amen.

Certain Pupils Have Been Assigned to Each of God’s Teachers, and They Will Begin to Look for Him as Soon as He Has Answered the Call.

1 – Answering the Call

“Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. (M5)”

This is a reassuring passage. There are people out there who are only waiting for us to respond to God’s call, reiterated by Jesus. When we have responded to that call, we will find these new people showing up in our lives.

2 – Maybe Old Friends/Family

And not always are they “new” people. Some may have been in our lives for years, but because we were not ready, we did not teach properly. We may have even led these long-time brothers and sisters into greater mistakes, because we ourselves knew no better. Let us let this insanity end today.

3 – Distinct Teaching

All of us have a certain way of teaching salvation. There are no two ways identical, just as there are no two fingerprints identical. The fact that these pupils have been waiting is a Course concept that we may not fully understand. The fact that our coming was “certain” is also a Course concept that may be difficult to understand. Again we must take Jesus at his word, and know that these understandings, once accepted, will speed us, as well as others, on the way to total joy and fulfillment.

4 – Separation from God

“The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all. (M5)”

God’s Answer is the Holy Spirit, an Idea Who is the Universal Inspiration. The Holy Spirit is in our minds in a very real sense. Traditional Christianity recognizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and we know of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given to the new church.

5 – Tiny, Mad Idea

This passage gives additional, very interesting information. It affirms that the Holy Spirit has been with God’s children since the idea, the tiny, mad idea, entered into their minds. But in time, we are told, this happened a very long time. Since time is an illusion, it actually never happened at all.

6 – Moving Backwards in Time

We are moving backwards in time to that instant of the tiny, mad idea. Time is like a carpet that rolls up, going backward. (These are ACIM tenets.) So we are hearing theological underpinnings to A Course in Miracles. We do not have to believe theology, because Jesus is concerned only that together we have a universal experience. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. (ACIM tenets.) This is fascinating read from ACIM, but we don’t need to get lost in the mystery of it all. We need to focus on the experience of forgiving our brother, returning to our love for him/her.

7 – World of Illusion

“The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. (M5)”

More theological underpinnings that build on the previous passage. We cannot understand these assertions. They just stand in ACIM, for us to accept, believe, and build upon, or to reject as too strange. Let us not reject anything in ACIM because, at first reading and even subsequent readings, it seems strange.

8 – A Dream

We are caught in illusion, in a dream. And time is part of that illusion. Einstein taught this. And so our physics is keeping pace.

9 – The Curriculum

“As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you learn it. You are free however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned. (M5)”

We have free will. We can choose when we want to learn. The fact that this passage seems to indicate that we do not have free will in everything is not to be lamented. I do not fully understand that we seem not to have free will in all particulars. I assume that some of us, years ago, chose certain a certain curriculum, including the form in which we would learn. And for many of us, that curriculum is A Course in Miracles, and the form becomes the particular way, individual to all of us, in which we learn ACIM.

10 – No Struggle

We need struggle not to learn. As we accept ACIM with a full and grateful heart, it is already learned. Indeed, ACIM is very easy to memorize. Many students have memorized large chunks of the work. But we don’t need to be fundamentalists about its words. The Second Edition underwent extensive editing by both Helen Schucman and Ken Wapnick, working together. I personally believe that that editorial work was informed by Jesus, but I have no proof. A first draft is rarely as good as a carefully edited version, and even Jesus’s words might be, and probably are, no exception. So I have seen no need to revert to an “original version.” The Second Edition is a polished document and is well-accepted by the course community.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my pupils find me. May I speak Your Word to them in such a way that they can come to greater love and understanding.

It is reassuring that I have a place in salvation. Thank you for making this clear to me.

Amen.

The Self-Deceiving Must Deceive, for They Must Teach Deception. And What Else Is Hell?

1 – Manual for Teachers (A Course in Miracles)

“This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect, or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over, in many, many ways, until they have learned it. (M2)”

2 – Perfection

This passage continues the theme of the previous passages in this blog. As we teach perfection, we gradually (almost without knowing it) become more perfect ourselves. We are not now perfect, because we are a part of this world. We would not choose to be here if we were already perfect. But there is a way that we can become more perfect, and this passage spells it out.

3 – Elusive Goal

We must not be too hard on ourselves. Perfection will probably always remain an elusive goal, and it is even neurotic to ask the impossible of ourselves. But Jesus holds out to us the promise that eventually we will know perfection. We truly cannot understand how, as we think over our shortcomings. But we need to take Jesus at his word.

4 – Description of the Manual

The manual is the shortest of the three parts to the Course. Some of us will want to start there, maybe simply because it is short. If this seems right, we should do it. Otherwise, we need to dip into both the text and the workbook, to see what seems right (guided by the Holy Spirit) for us.

5 – Salvation

“Except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever real. The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. And what else is hell? (M2)”

6 – Cooperation

This passage explains why it so important that we learn A Course in Miracles and become teachers of God. This world depends upon our cooperation in this great endeavor. If we do not take our place in salvation, the world itself is at stake. Of course, there are many courses in this world, and even ACIM students/teachers teach different versions of ACIM, each of them. So we are not to judge those who choose another pathway. The important thing is for there to be a choice to walk the high road in this sometimes troubled world.

7 – Hell

The definition of hell given herein suggests that hell is the worst that we know on earth. Nowhere is there any indication in the Course of a hell beyond death. In fact, the reverse itself is true. We are not to live in fear that we may end up, being judged of wrongdoing and cast into hell after death. The Course is very clear on its denial of this.

8 – This World – Real?

If we deceive ourselves in believing that this world is real, then we will teach this concept. It is a tenet of the Course that this world is not real; the real world awaits us as we have walked further along on the pathway to Awakening. Surely we are willing to take out places in bringing salvation to this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I lose my fear of hell, because it is self-deception. The real world awaits my coming to it. This real world is the one of love and peace that Jesus promises to us.

I know that you need me to help save the world. This is not arrogance, but the sanest sense. May I join your great Awakening in this real world, ready to do my part in salvation.

Amen.

Never Feel Guilty!

“If you allow yourself to become guilty, you will reinforce the error rather than allow it to be undone for you. (T90)”

1 – Reinforcing the Error

This passage emphasizes an important psychological truth, but one that we may never have heard before reading the A Course in Miracles. The passage also contains some ACIM teaching that would preclude full understanding without our reading.

2 – Ego

One of the greatest problems that we face when engulfed by the ego is the problem of guilt. We think that we have done horrendous things, and maybe we have, but only in illusion and only as mistakes–not sins. Mistakes cry out for resolution, for remedying. They do not have the attraction that a deed named a “sin” seems to have for our frail psyches.

3 – Holy Spirit

If we choose to eliminate guilt, we will help the error to be undone as well. But “we” do not undo the error; that is the providence of the Holy Spirit. He works in cooperation with our willingness to leave guilt behind. And, with guilt behind, the error is easily overlooked. We choose not to repeat the error as soon as we label it thusly–an error, or mistake, not a sin.

4 – Be Firm with Yourself

“Be very firm with yourself in this, and keep yourself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there. Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace. (T90)”

5 – Forgiveness

We need to forgive ourselves. This way we avoid the guilt that threatens to engulf us, even over minor matters (because we don’t perceive those matters as minor). A Course in Miracles says that guilt has made us mad (insane). And an important point: God does not forgive us, because He has never condemned us. One does not forgive unless he has first condemned. That is why it is so important for us to forgive our brothers and sisters. We have condemned, sometimes even unconsciously, and we need to rectify this mistake.

6 – Would I Fail to Forgive Myself for This?

But the most important aspect is that we have had trouble forgiving ourselves, and if we can’t forgive ourselves, we can’t forgive others. It is just that simple. So our prayer should always be, when faced with an attack from another, “Would I fail to forgive myself for this?” Often the answer will be “no,” and we need to alter that choice to something better—complete absolution through forgiveness.

7 – Atonement

Atonement is mentioned again in this passage. Many of us have a problem with the term Atonement, but it is mainly described in ACIM as an “undoing.” We let our errors be undone by the Holy Spirit, and thus we approach Atonement. We are absolved of error, for we have turned our misthoughts and misdeeds over to the only One who can correct them: the Holy Spirit. And He is always quick to change what has hurt us. He means us well, unlike the ego, which never means us well.

8 – Finding Peace

“Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation:

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.

“I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.

“I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.

“I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.

“I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me. (T90)”

The above passage is a good one to read and reread when in the throes of our neurosis. The Holy Spirit will act to relieve us of our neuroses, just as Jesus has promised to so act as well. Jesus will stabilize us, and he will heal us. The Holy Spirit, being a part of the Holy Trinity, but an Idea, will move to do the same. All that is asked of us is that we surrender to His will for us. We will never regret that surrender.

9 – Unequivocal Call

The Holy Spirit does not impose Himself on us, but He acts at our slightest invitation. This is similar to Jesus’s promise to come at a single “unequivocal call.” We need the Holy Spirit at the point in our progress. Later on, approaching Awakening, we will turn to our inner Christ Self to change us for the better.

10 – Peace that Passeth Understanding

We are at peace when we have allowed the Holy Spirit to have His way with us. That peace is akin to the peace that passeth understanding, from the Bible.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

If I make mistakes, I will feel guilty when I come to myself. This feeling of guilt can be undone when we seek to be forgiven, of ourselves and of the other person whom we feel we have wronged. May I find that forgiveness now, and leave guilt behind.

Help me to turn to the Holy Spirit when I am tempted to make mistakes that will induce guilt. Thank you for being there for me.

May this be a good day. I am so thankful for the new turns in my life. Blessings seem to be reigning down upon me, and it behooves me to be grateful for these blessings. You are the Source of blessings. And I can so choose to recognize how to react non-neurotically in my daily life. This much I can do, though I cannot do it all. Be with me as I seek to make the best decisions as I go about my day. May my decisions always be informed by guidance. And may I fail to be resistant to that guidance.

Thank You.

Amen.

Holy Spirit = An Idea

1 – Transfer of Perception to Knowledge

“The way to recognize your brother is by recognizing the Holy Spirit in him. I have already said that the Holy Spirit is the bridge for the transfer of perception to knowledge, so we can use the terms as if they were related, because in His Mind they are. (T78)”

Perception is temporary, caught in time with us, but knowledge is eternal, and is of God. These are tenets from elsewhere in A Course in Miracles. Miracles are perceptual, and therefore do not last. Revelation is knowledge, and therefore is eternal. Revelation always comes from God, and it is intensely personal and therefore hard to convey to another. Its validity is determined by the self, the personal self that is trying to access the inner Christ Self (from A Course of Love).

2 – Holy Spirit in Our Brother/Sister

The Holy Spirit is in our brother, and when we recognize the Holy Spirit in him/her, we are seeing the other truly. The Holy Spirit is in us in a very practical sense. Though an idea, He is the Source of Universal Inspiration, the way that we come to know, as opposed to our perceiving. The ego perceives; the self which is accessing the Holy Spirit knows.

3 – Idea of Healing

“The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared. (T78)”

Ideas do increase when shared. That is why it is so important to seek first the intangibles of God, the peace, hope, joy, harmony, and the like. If we seek first for material pleasures, we will never be satisfied very long with anything we get.

4 – Increases when Shared

“The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part. It is strengthened by being given away. It increases in you as you give it to your brother. Your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit in himself or in you for this miracle to occur. (T78)”

This is a passage with deep meaning. It suggests that we do not have to get our brothers and sisters to study the A Course in Miracles before they will derive great meaning from it. They will derive that great meaning by our own living out of the principles of ACIM.

5 – A Strengthened Idea

When we give away our understanding of the Holy Spirit, we enrich our brothers and sisters. The idea of the Holy Spirit is strengthened. And they do not have to even be aware of what we are doing.

6 – Miracles

Jesus calls this sharing of the Holy Spirit a “miracle.” It will indeed seem so as we see our brothers and sisters more loving and peaceful, just by the fact that we are trying to share our understanding of the Course with them.

“The Voice of the Holy Spirit is weak in you. That is why you must share It. It must be increased in strength before you can hear It. (T79)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I share my understanding of the Course and the Holy Spirit, silently, with my brothers and sisters. May I especially share this understanding with those most close to me.

We will bless our brothers and sisters by our own understanding. May I not try to get anybody else to follow my way, but by my own following of it, may I lead others to You.

Amen.

The World Is Very Tired. . .Our Task: the Joyous One of Waking It to the Call for God

1 – Weariness

“The world is very tired, because it is the idea of weariness. Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God. (T77)”

Have we not often awakened in the morning with a sense of weariness, thinking, ungratefully, “another day.” Our lack of gratitude for the day is what is keeping us from a great day. And our lack of gratitude is making our world weary.

2 – Don’t Rue the Day

We have better things to do with our time than to rue the day. We have a joyous function—to wake up this weary world to the Call for God. This is the sense that we are to save the world, that the salvation of the world is in our hands.

3 – A Smile

We do not proselytize those individuals who are not ready, though. Many are not, needing only a smile from us to make their day. The way of A Course in Miracles is not everybody’s way. Far from it. And there are many thousands of other courses that point the way. Indeed, even for ACIM students, each teaches a different version of the course.

4 – Joyousness

So affirm the day with an invitation to joyousness. It will make all the difference, not only for ourselves but also for others.

5 – Tired?

Do we feel tired when we wake up in the morning? That common feeling is what we see discussed in this passage. Elsewhere Jesus assures us that we are not really capable of being tired, but we are very capable of wearying ourselves. When we feel joy, we most often drop weariness.

6 – Waking the World

Our function in the world is variously described in A Course in Miracles. Here it is defined as the task of waking the world to the call for God. (Elsewhere, our function is defined as forgiveness, or even just happiness.)

7 – Helen Schucman

ACIM, according to Helen Schucman (the scribe) was sent at this time because the world is in a very bad situation. All are called to help to create better conditions. May this be our function today: to make those we meet or even think about have a better experience of their day.

8 – All Power

“My mind will always be like yours, because we were created as equals. It was only my decision that gave me all power in Heaven and earth. My only gift to you is to help you make the same decision. (T77)”

This is Jesus speaking. It is a welcome idea that Jesus is there for us, and that we are equals, or are meant to be equals. He has walked the whole pathway, and he stands at the end to rectify any mistakes that we could not alter (ACIM tenets).

9 – Heaven and Earth

The “same decision” would be the intent to have all power in Heaven and earth. Jesus is still our leader, though, for we do not usurp his power. But we have our own power to walk into. We have very big shoes to fill. And, when we do fill those shoes, we will know a joy that is unbounded. We will be home.

10 – The Mind

“I have assured you that the Mind that decided for me is also in you, and that you can let it change you just as it changed me. This Mind is unequivocal, because it hears only one Voice and answers in only one way. (T77)”

The “One Voice” is the Holy Spirit:

“The Holy Spirit is the call to awaken and be glad. (T77)”

We are to respond to this call to awaken. We must realize, though, that we cannot effect the Awakening by our own volition. God takes that step, but we will be ever more ready when we have mastered the means that Jesus is describing to us in A Course in Miracles. He says elsewhere that revelation may occasionally show the end to us, but to reach the end, we must have the means. And the means are being carefully explained to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I drop weariness from my list of troubles. May I substitute joy as the feeling that I would experience.

May we come this day to a new understanding of our task in this world. May we take the part that God has given to us–waking the world to the Call for God.

Amen.

The Call to Joy Is So Strong that the Ego Always Dissolves at Its Sound

1 – Strong Call

“The principle of Atonement and the separation began at the same time. When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the call to joy. This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound. (T75)”

This passage identified why joy is the preferred way to come to salvation and on to Awakening. The ego dissolves when we are overcome with joy. Indeed, we could not feel such joy if we held onto the ego, for the ego does not mean us well.

2 – Blessing

A call for joy that is so strong! This is a great blessing.

3 – Separation

What did the separation accomplish? Nothing! That is what A Course in Miracles teaches. We have actually never changed in our Selves as we really are. The separation was a tiny, mad idea that is now no longer in the mind that thought it (ACIM concept).

4 – Peace and a Calm Mind

May we react to the joy that God would have us feel, and thereby leave the ego and separation behind. We will then know the peace that a calm mind induces.

5 – Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice That calls you back to where you were before and will be again. (T75)”

The presence of the Holy Spirit is not abstract, is not theoretical, and is not a metaphor. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is fact, truth, literal truth.

6 – Separation?

We have only fallen away from where we were “before,” before the presumed separation. I say “presumed,” because we never actually separated from God; we only thought that we did, and this thought has made all the difference.

7 – Part of God

We are part of God, and so we could not really separate from Him. But in illusion we could think that we did separate, and this tiny, mad idea built up a world of separation that has been a trap for us.

8 – Trap

Let us get out of this trap forthwith. We stay only because we prefer it, the familiar to the forgotten, the unknown. Yet the forgotten is where our real joy comes. And with this call for joy, we are well on our way home.

9 – The Voice

“It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God’s Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons. (T75 – T76)”

If we can get ourselves to follow guidance consistently, we will be led away from judgment and therefore on our way home. Judging our brother/sister is the only thing, repeat, the only thing, that has stood in our way. And the guidance of the Holy Spirit will take us consistently away from that tendency toward judgment.

10 – Choose Again

We cannot be unjustly treated. This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles. We are deprived of nothing except by our own choice. And we can, at any and every moment, choose again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a calm mind, because I have known joy that dissolves the ego. May I remember these moments of peak experience, so that I can call on them when the going gets rough.

May I realize that the separation accomplished nothing–that my real Self has continued in peace and joy with You.

May this good day go well. Thank You for my many blessings. I know that I am fortunate indeed, as are my brothers and sisters when they stop to think about it. You have never left us bereft, but are always near. The sense of Your Presence will sustain us through the darkest nightmare. And, if we remember to thank You for our blessings, the nightmares will fall away for our thinking will be straight and true.

Amen.

“Seek and Ye Shall Find” Does Not Mean that You Should Seek Blindly and Desperately for Something You Would Not Recognize.

1 – Where Can I Go for Protection?

“This is the question that must be asked: ‘Where can I go for protection?’ ‘Seek and ye shall find’ does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. (T66)”

We ought not to beseech Heaven for a miracle that we would not recognize at high noon. This is a paraphrase from a favorite book of mine by Michael Drury. If we seek haphazardly, we seek amiss. And we will not find. But meaningful seeking, that is seeking that is directed by the Holy Spirit, always ends happily. We find. And we are blessed by what we find.

2 – Seek and Ye Shall Find

When I was in high school, the quotation from the New Testament given here (“Seek and ye shall find”) meant a great deal to me. With science and evolution, I was no longer a fundamentalist. And I needed something to cling to. I somehow realized that if I sought from God, He would answer.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Matthew 7:7)”

This was my lodestone, in high school and beyond.

3 – Learning

“You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you. However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value. Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last. (M66)”

Why would we choose to learn something that is not of sting value to ourselves? This seems to be a paradox, and perhaps it is. But when we realize that we may have chosen whole careers that were not chosen for the right reasons, we may realize that the ego has been involved.

4 – Careers

But we probably had problems in those careers that were chosen for less-than-the-best reasons. More than just careers have been involved, though. Our choices in relationships may have been flawed as well. Our insanity covers a great deal of our lives.

5 – Value

We can learn best when we turn to learn those things that are of value. And those things are always lasting. Surely we can do this as we learn from A Course in Miracles to choose aright.

6 – What For?

“In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, ‘What for?’ This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything. What is the purpose? Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. (T67)”

We need to choose aright, obviously. “What for?” can put us on the right pathway. Elsewhere ACIM says that we sometimes want to learn something because its value will not last. I think that this is a diversionary tactic by the nefarious ego, always with the intent to waylay us. The ego acts as though it were autonomous, and sometimes it does seem to be, but we remain in control. Our minds can turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance just as easily (more easily, actually) as the ego.

7 – Egotistical

Turn from the egotistical. Don’t let such notions occupy our holy minds a moment longer. The “egotistical” is not all that the ego means, but it is a start. The ego is our false persona, the one that strives for triumph at our brother’s expense, the one that longs to achieve when cooperation works best in our world, the one that puts the self in a very self-centered light. Don’t follow these dictates any longer. They will not get us what we want. Oh, they may seem to do so. But after the short-lived joy of getting something we want, we are once more in despair because our wants have not been satisfied. When we place our faith in the intangibles of God, the peace, hope, joy, harmony, music of the spheres, we are led along a rose-strewn pathway that always leads to what we truly want.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we choose only those things that have lasting value. May we turn aside from those things that do not have lasting value. May we not be tempted to learn those non-lasting things because they do not have value.

I know that the ego is involved when I reach for something that cannot be sustained. Help me always to choose aright, and this means that it is time to leave the ego behind.

Amen.

Being Dis-Spirited / Stabilizing the Unstable

“I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created. Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; you do. I have called and you will answer. I understand that miracles are natural, because they are expressions of love. My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable. (T65)”

1 – Jesus

Jesus is again speaking here. He is emphasizing that all miracles are natural and any is as easy for him to effect as any other.

2 – Miracles

We obviously find this hard to believe, for others if not for Jesus. Yet we are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that miracles are our natural inheritance. It is fascinating that here Jesus reaffirms that he raised the dead in his life on earth. This, perhaps, has been an element of the New Testament that some have found hard to understand–even long-time Christians. ACIM, scribed 2,000 years later, may make this claim more plausible.

3 – Certainty

Jesus is certain that we will respond to him. This certainty is comforting to us, because perhaps we see the way to Life as long and arduous. The pathway need not be such. We can turn to

4 – A Friend

Jesus as our Friend, as he has always promised that he would be. (In A Course in Miracles, he identifies himself as an elder brother.)

5 – Mind

“Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible. You and your brother will yet come together in my name, and your sanity will be restored. (T65)”

This passage is a reassurance from Jesus that when we join in holy relationship with our brother, we are joining with Jesus. Our sanity is restored, according to the teaching of ACIM, by this method. It is the method of ACIM.

6 – Relationships

In the way of ACIM, we are meant to see that our special relationships transform into the holy. This saves us time. It is said in ACIM that contemplation will achieve the same purpose, because of its aim, but that contemplation is tedious and time-consuming. With a joining to our brother/sister, we are well on the way to Awakening.

7 – Romance

This way of proceeding works well with our Western propensity to romanticize our relationships. We believe in falling in love, and we do so, sometimes many times over the course of a lifetime. But we never forget the ones we have loved. Love is, as Shakespeare said, not love that alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove (from Sonnet #116). And so those of us who subscribe to this truth are particularly apt to find A Course in Miracles appropriate to our needs. We are ready for it. And we find it, this means to our way home in God.

8 – Higher Mind

“I do not attack your ego. I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home. (T65)”

This is Jesus speaking. He is our elder brother (a Course concept), willing to help at any and all times. It is important that Jesus does not attack our egos. Elsewhere he tells us that attack is never justified, and he himself exemplifies this assertion.

9 – Holy Spirit

It is reassuring to know that we have help in trying to change our minds to be at one with the Holy Spirit. We surely do not understand what all of this change entails, and we need counsel that is sure and lovely. Jesus provides this, but silently, nearly always without our being aware of his presence.

10 – Holding Jesus’s Hand

There is a passage elsewhere in ACIM that invites us to imagine our holding Jesus’s hand as we go about the world. He asserts that this is no idle fancy. We cannot understand how this is possible, but Jesus is one who has made it Home, and we dare not doubt his word. We never need to feel alone or lonely again. Not only do we have Jesus, but also other companions of whom we are not usually aware. Surely there is no reason to be afraid, though, as very human people, we will probably still succumb to this temptation to fear for ourselves. In our better moments, passages such as the one above from ACIM can be our reassurance that all is truly well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need help, now and always. Help me to keep my mind in close cooperation with the Holy Spirit, and not dip into ego-oriented desires.

May Jesus help me, as he has promised. Then I can rest assured that all will go well for me in this world.

Amen.

Peace Is the Ego’s Greatest Enemy, for War Seems to Be the Guarantee of Its Survival

“You cannot understand yourself alone. This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship, and the rightful place of the Sonship is God. (T79)”

1 – Relationship

We are meant to be in relationship to each other, to be in a relationship of sharing—not only with each other but also with God, in our communion (prayer) with Him. All too often we try, in vain, to be independent, needing nobody. The ego supports this in us, but it is a support that is shaky and withdrawn at any point. The ego cannot sustain us, for it is a false persona, a false sense of who we are. We are meant to be in union with one another (for All is One), and in relationship to one another. This latter understanding is a primary tenet of A Course of Love.

2 – Sonship

We have a rightful place in the Sonship, and by this we mean women as well as men, of course. The Sonship encompasses all of us, though we cannot and do not take our rightly place in it until we have moved beyond our little, personal selves. We need to recognize the Christ Self within (from ACOL). Only then we will have walked far enough along the pathway to know who we really are and what we really want. That end is always God, but not, perhaps, in the traditional sense of Christianity. The traditional sense does not usually see us as part of God, but A Course in Miracles makes this point very clearly. We are a part of God, and so it is impossible that we ever separated from Him except in illusions.

3 – Alone?

We do not understand ourselves alone, try as we may. We are not, in our essence, all alone and lonely. We do not have to strive to be independent, needing no one. This is a false idea planted in us by the part of our belief about ourselves, the ego. And the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (from Shakespeare) will see to it that this false idea, this persona, will not stand. It cannot give us what we need. It cannot sustain us.

4 – Calm Vision

“This vision frightens the ego because it is so calm. (T79)”

We are calm when we see ourselves in relationship to one another. We know, when we think this way, that there will always be someone there for us. And by this someone, I do not here emphasize God. Of course, God is always there for us. But when we cease our senseless attempts to remove ourselves from partnership with other people, we will know that we are never alone, that we will never be alone. We are put in this world with other people for a reason. The ego would teach us otherwise, but the ego is insane. And who would follow an insane guide if he/she knew better?

5 – Isolation

We do know better now. We are calm in certainty that we are never alone. If we have physical needs, if we have emotional needs, there are people in the world who will help us. It is wrong to try to walk the path of isolation. We are going against our very nature.

6 – Enjoyment

So enjoy the calm. And do not fear the anxiety that the ego would arouse in us. We are not on the edge of a cliff, ready to fall off. We are on the way home. The calm will sustain us in the midst of the worst nightmare that still remains for us in this troubled world. We are not so insane that we will not find the help that we need when confronting the demons of the ego that still pursue us.

7 – Peace

“Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. (T79-80)”

When we are tempted to attack our brother, may we realize that it is the ego up to its old tricks. The more we attack, the stronger the ego in us becomes. Do we really want this?

8 – Alive?

When we are peaceful, we may at first feel that we are not as “alive” as we would like to be. This is the longing for drama in our relationships, and it is a sick longing. Peace is actually the best thing that can happen to us. Elsewhere ACIM says that we are meant to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time. This may sound extreme, but the things of heaven are obscure to us.

9 – Ego

When we allow peace to be, we reduce the size and complexity of the ego. We reduce its influence on us. Elsewhere we learn in the Course that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it. This sounds like a paradox, but if we reflect, we will see that the statement is true. We too often want drama to make ourselves feel alive.

10 – A Better Way

A Course in Miracles holds out a better way for us. Invite peace in our daily lives, and we will soon know a joy that is boundless–even if everything is not perfect in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I long for peace in my life far more than I long for drama. May I realize that drama only strengthens the ego, and this I do not want.

May I have Your inner calm and quiet. This is the best way that I can come to know You, and it is this that I want.

Amen.

The Second Coming of Christ

“The First Coming of Christ is merely another name for the creation, for Christ is the Son of God. The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of the mind. I was created like you in the first, and I have called you to join with me in the second. I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks. (T64)”

1 – Reassessment

In this passage, if we can believe that Jesus channeled it, is a reassessment of what the First and the Second Coming of Christ means. Christ here means the spirit which we all share; it is not solely attributed to the Jesus spirit. Jesus does not talk about his living 2000 years ago as the First Coming; neither does he talk about a physical embodiment of the Second Coming, with him as the spirit embodying a reincarnation.

2 – Jesus

What are we to make of this? Can we not think of Jesus as both the First and the Second Coming? In the broadest sense, no. Jesus is not seeing himself as unique, as having something that we too can’t have. He sees himself as equal to us, not in time but in eternity. He has nothing that we cannot ultimately reach; he makes this clear elsewhere in A Course in Miracles.

3 – What Is Jesus Saying?

So what is he saying in this passage above? We were created by God in the First Coming; our Self, as the real internal essence of ourselves, is the Christ Self discussed in A Course of Love (viewed by some as a sequel to A Course in Miracles). And in the Second Coming, we see what ACIM has been leading us to all along—the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of our minds. This healing will finally bring us to Awakening, though the timetable for this extreme form of salvation is not ours, but God’s.

4 – ACIM and ACOL

The interpretation of the First and Second Coming of Christ, to my mind, unites both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, but the passage is from A Course in Miracles.

5 – Gladden Yourself

“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? (T64)”

This is a message of extreme optimism. We can be happier! Jesus says that we have actually turned aside moments of joy, turning again to depressed thoughts. How wrong of us!

6 – This Day

It would be a useful practice for all of us to look upon the day as full of opportunities to gladden ourselves. Elsewhere Jesus asks us to think of pure joy and limitless release in our daily lives. This passage is a reiteration of this request.

7 – Mistake

It is a serious mistake to refuse to entertain joy. We make our lives much harder than they need to be as a result. Would that we might remember this passage often when faced with a day that seems filled with woe!

8 – United Minds

“Your mind and mine can unit in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. (T64)”

When we shine the ego away, we are participating in the Second Coming of Christ. Nowhere in either ACIM or ACOL does Jesus affirm nor deny a physical embodiment of himself in the Second Coming. It is likely that he doesn’t know if a physical embodiment would be recognized in the probability in which we find ourselves. (Probabilities are exhaustively explained in Jane Roberts’ Seth books, an entity channeled in the last century.)

9 – Give Up Judgment

When we shine the ego away, we are turning light on our inner reflections. We are giving up judgment, the obvious prerequisite to Awakening. In fact, Jesus tells us in ACIM that when we give up judgment, we will awaken. But the giving up of judgment, so long cherished by us, is not always easy.

10 – Guidance

We need to let guidance direct us in all things, and in ACIM this guidance comes from the Holy Spirit, and in ACOL this guidance comes from the Christ Self. The two are not really different; they just represent a different place on the continuum of our walk toward home and Heaven—not after death, but very much in the midst of the life that we live in this world.

11 – Give Up Judgment

We think, based on ego’s thinking and the teaching of this world, that we aim to refine judgment of our own so that we will know how to best live. But in the Manual, Jesus makes clear that we cannot judge rightly, and so we must give it up. This is in direct opposition to the teaching of this world. He explains that we cannot know all circumstances, past, present, and future, that impinge on a given decision. So we rightly give up judgment, and let our “knowing” tell us what to do. This knowing is frequently intuition, though guidance does not always come as intuition. As we progress, the knowing comes more often as simple knowing that we cannot explain. (See “The Gift of Guidance” under “Articles and Book Reviews” at the top of this blog.)

12 – Disheartened

“The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can be disheartened. (T64)”

This passage indicates another reason that withdrawal from the world is not recommended. We have a role to play in the salvation of the world. If we do not take our place, it is left empty, and Jesus needs us to take the role that he assigns.

13 – Ego

Remember that feeling disheartened is a function of the ego. In fact, it is one of the most common ways in which we are derailed. Ego-based action is always misguided; there are no exceptions to this rule, in the tenets of the Course.

14 – Ego II

We see, therefore, another way that we can recognize that the ego has taken over again. If we feel disheartened, we are leading our lives in the way of the ego. This cannot but bring us down. The answer? Give up thinking that we are more special than our brothers. We are all equal, though not all equal in time. Some have greater and some have lesser roles to play. Some are closer to Awakening than others. But we will all take the pathway to Awakening and find its conclusion eventually. That is what time is for.

15 – Temptations

“Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. It offers you nothing. When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. This need not be. (T63)”

“Voluntary dis-spiriting.” Of course! This is what Jesus has been trying to tell us in these several passages with a similar theme. Elsewhere he indicates that the disspirited are not helpful to him, and we need to give up this emotion. Now we learn that it is voluntary. We can choose to leave this depressed spirit behind.

16 – Depression

Jesus places the blame for our depression solely on the temptations of the ego. Elsewhere he believes that we are strong enough to leave these temptations behind. Of course, we do not do it alone ever, and we do not have to feel that we are alone in this trial. The Holy Spirit will guide us if we let Him into our lives, if we turn to him often.

17 – Do Not Withdraw

Elsewhere Jesus also counsels in ACIM that we not withdraw from the world in our low moments. We will make more progress if we stay engaged. The only exception might be the need to take control of ourselves in a weak moment, but even this is a momentary withdrawal. And even the thought of taking control of ourselves is a little misleading. We are never alone. This cannot be said often enough. We need only ask for help, and it is there for us. Life then gets a whole lot better.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I just give up feeling low, feeling disspirited. There is no need to feel this emotion when the Course tells us that we can feel pure joy and limitless release.

Be with me as I resolve to drop disspirited feeling from my range of emotions. I know that You will help me, because you have promised this to me.

Amen.

It Is Impossible to Be Wholly Helpful without Being Wholly Harmless. The Two Beliefs Must Coexist.

“God is praised whenever any mind learns to be wholly helpful. This is impossible without being wholly harmless, because the two beliefs must coexist. The truly helpful are invulnerable, because they are not protecting their egos and so nothing can hurt them. (T71)”

1 – Helpful and Harmless

May we learn to be both helpful and harmless. This passage recommends that harmlessness is an attribute of those who are following its way of peace and love. We will not attack when in our right mind, though we sometimes slip up. We know that anger is unjustified, even though we may still feel it from time to time.

2 – Invulnerable to Pain

When we are bent on helping our brothers and sisters, we will not knowingly do them harm. Not only do they benefit, but so do we. This helpfulness renders us invulnerable to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” to quote Shakespeare. What this means is that we are invulnerable to pain from our egoic selves. We are leaving our egos behind as we embark on the pathway set forth by A Course in Miracles.

3 – Goals

So: helpful and harmless. What goals these are! And how blessed we are when, even in our imperfection, we reach those goals in our daily lives.

4 – Existence vs. Being

“Existence as well as being rest on communication. Existence, however, is specific in how, what and with whom communication is judged to be worth undertaking. Being is completely without these distinctions. It is a state in which the mind is in communication with everything that is real. (T70)”

This passage is often overlooked in A Course in Miracles, but it is a comparison of existence (which is of the ego), and being (which is of God). Previously, many of us who study ACIM might have made decisions about which people were worth our time. But this is a false distinction. We need to be totally in communication with all that is real—and individuals, our brothers and sisters, are real. We feel love for them, and sometimes we feel hate. But never are we indecisive about feeling for others. We may not know what to feel, but feel we must. It is locked in our bones.

5 – God as Being

We need to understand our being, which is better than mere existence. Another name for God is Being, with a capital “B.” And we are part of God, but we do not capitalize our personal, or little, self. We need to be in communication with others, giving them our love, not our hate. And we will find a way when we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration.

6 – Sharing

“God, Who encompasses all being, created beings who have everything individually, but who want to share it to increase their joy. Nothing real can be increased except by sharing. That is why God created you. (T70)”

Gerald Jampolsky, in Love Is Letting Go of Fear, put a great deal of emphasis upon the fact that the intangibles of God—the love, the harmony, the peace, the joy—are increased by sharing; other the other hand, material goods diminish when shared. And material goods, like everything in this world that we can see with our physical eyes, are illusion.

7 – Why God Created Us

Here we learn why God created us: to increase the real by sharing. He shared with us, and we are meant, ultimately, to be co-creators with Him. Let us hasten that day along today.

8 – Praising God

“The Bible repeatedly states that you should praise God. This hardly means that you should tell Him how wonderful He is. He has no ego with which to accept such praise, and no perception with which to judge it. (T70 – T71)”

I have often found this passage to be somewhat amusing. In our previous lives, before ACIM, we may have thought just that—that God wanted us to tell Him how wonderful he is, by praising Him. But this type of praise feeds the ego, and God knows not the ego. So we praise God, but not to appeal to an ego-less Being. We praise because we need to express gratitude for our own sakes.

9 – Lonely God

“The constant going out of His Love is blocked when His channels are closed, and He is lonely when the minds He created do not communicate fully with Him. (T71)”

This is an especially sweet passage, that God would be lonely if we do not commune with Him. Elsewhere we learn that He recognizes that we are asleep and need to be awakened. And He sends the Holy Spirit to show us the way.

10 – Internal Dialogue

We would be far better off if we carried on an internal dialogue with God all through our days. He will speak to us, and we do not have to fear that our sanity will be jeopardized. Indeed, our sanity will be restored instead. For we have been mad, quite insane, with an ego that has driven us to madness. Let us be done with this foolishness. Learn what joys await on a day dedicated to communion with God. We do not have to jeopardize anything in our busy lives. But the better parts of ourselves will be augmented.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I not lose my temper. May I remain helpful and harmless to my brothers and sisters. May I communicate with God today on an ongoing basis. May I forget not.

It God is lonely when He realizes that our channels of communication are closed, may we act today to open them up to Him. What better way to experiment with reality?

When I have remained helpful and harmless, then I am invulnerable to hurts as well. This is a great desire of mine. Thank you for helping me to be both helpful and harmless.

Amen.

You Retain Thousands of Little Scraps of Fear that Prevent the Holy One from Entering

“You retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One from entering. . . .Watch your mind for the scraps of fear, or you will be unable to ask me to do so. I can help you only as our Father created us. (T61)”

1 – Anxiety / Fear

Here Jesus is explaining something that he discusses at length elsewhere. We cannot ask him to relieve us of anxiety or fear, because it is created by our minds. He does not want to interfere with the results of our thinking. Instead, we are to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to eliminate the conditions that led to our fear. These fears are ego-related, without exception, for love knows no anxiety.

2 – Daunting Task

It is a daunting task if we surmise from this passage that we must remove “thousands” of little scraps of fear. But the passage does not indicate this. We can easily remove them all at once, in the best case scenario, by asking the help of the Holy Spirit.

3 – Peace

Then we will know peace. If another day arrives, with more scraps of fear, we simply ask again. We cannot expect complete freedom from anxiety until surrender to God is complete, and this may not happen immediately. It could, of course, but realistically it often doesn’t, because we are very much still creatures of this world.

4 – Light

“Light cannot penetrate through the walls you make to block it, and it is forever unwilling to destroy what you have made. No one can see through a wall, but I can step around. (T61)”

Jesus is here giving us reassurance that he can overrule our propensity to build walls around us: He will simply step around the walls. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus identifies himself as our elder brother, who has walked the whole pathway, and thus stands at the end to correct any mistake that we cannot correct. He guides us in his teaching. He does not interfere with the cause and effect nature of our choices, but he does guide us to new choices that are better for us.

5 – Ego

Light will not destroy what we have made. Similarly, the ego will not be destroyed, but we will simply step aside from it, letting it wither from our awareness. This when we have realized that the ego never brought us anything that we wanted. Of course, we thought that the ego was bringing us what we wanted, but never were its triumphs not bought with tears of pain. Highs and lows are the only directions that the ego knows.

6 – Highs

We want consistent highs, and the ego, being egocentric and unsharing with our brothers and sisters, can never give us consistent highs. We are meant to be in this world with others, and we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we think of others. We are equals. At this point, some of us know more, temporarily, than others. But that doesn’t make us better. Those who, as the New Testament says, have been given much, will much be required. As we share with others, our life smooths out, and we know a harmony that was unknowable as long as the ego was in ascendancy.

7 – Jesus Speaking

“I can help you only as our Father created us. I will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what you have made, but I will not uphold it unless it is true. (T61)”

We have “made” with the ego, not yet “creating” as co-creators with God. We have made illusion. And Jesus will not uphold those illusions that are not dreams given us by the Holy Spirit—happy dreams.

“I will never forsake you any more than God will, but I must wait as long as you choose to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly. I will come in response to a single unequivocal call. (T61 – T62)”

8 – Single Unequivocal Call

I find the last sentence in the above passage to be one of the most reassuring in all of A Course in Miracles. Jesus will come to us—we know not how—but he has the ability to be in many places at once. And when we call without conflict, he comes to us, a “single unequivocal call.” What more could we ask?

9 – Holding Our Hands

Elsewhere in ACIM he says that we can imagine walking along with him holding our hand. And he asserts that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

10 – Elder Brother

Jesus, our elder brother in ACIM, is dedicated to us. He walked the pathway to the resurrection 2,000 years ago, and he is still walking along with us to better times. Don’t let your doubts get the best of you. Imagine that he is here with us, and he will be. Use your imagination. That is what we have been imagination for.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I awake in the middle of the night, fearful, may I turn these scraps of fear over to the Holy Spirit for resolution. May I gently return to sleep, knowing that He is taking care of them.

May I have help in the conditions that have brought this fear about. Thank you for being there for me.

Amen.

Love Does Not Conquer All Things, but It Does Set All Things Right.

1 – Gratitude

The passages for today emphasize that our gratitude to our brother/sister is our way home to God. The way of special relationships turned holy is the special way that A Course in Miracles is saving us time on the road to Awakening. We may need to be patient, for God’s timing is not always our own. A short time to God may seem very long to us. Awakening is, to my mind, still rare in this world, though Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) believes that there is a speeding up of the number of people being awakened. He says that indeed this process must be speeded up, or our species will not survive. He cites the statistics on murder of our fellow beings in just this century as the reason for his cautionary note to us.

2 – Brother/Sister

Here is the first relevant passage:

“I will go with you to the Holy One, and through my perception He can ridge the little gap. Your gratitude to your brother is the only gift I want. I will bring it to God for you, knowing that to know your brother is to know God. (T69)”

The “Holy One” is the Holy Spirit, who sets all things right. There is a difference of opinion among ACIM students about whether or not God knows about us. ACIM does state that there are some things that God does not understand about us. This is a confusing statement—for how can God, who is omnipotent according to traditional teachings, not know everything about ourselves? The answer lies in the Gnostic interpretation of A Course in Miracles, which believes that we live in an illusion, and that God does not enter into that illusion. So there are, apparently, things that even He does not understand.

3 – Holy Spirit

But the Holy Spirit, given by God to us as a means to heal the presumed separation, does understand. And the Holy Spirit is part of the Triune—God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ. And we are the Christ Self, at least once we have walked farther along our pathway. The Christ Self was walked by Jesus, but he is not exclusively Christ.

4 – Universal Experience

But this is theology, and I would not stress theology, for there can, according to ACIM, never be a universal theology. There can and must be a universal experience, though, and A Course in Miracles is pointing out that experience. The means to Awakening are being carefully explained to us, and revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us. But sustainability of Awakening is what we choose to have.

5 – Have You Known of Awakenings without Pain?

A reader, yesterday, asked me if I knew of individuals, following ACIM, who have awakened without pain. I do not know of individuals at all who are students of ACIM and have awakened, despite having read publications of A Course in Miracles for years. Is this evidence that the way is indeed long? I think that it may be. But I do believe that we are being prepared. We are to awaken without a “scream of mortal fear,” and thus without pain, but the way may be long and may demand patience.

6 – Please Write to Me

If you, my reader, know of examples of individuals studying ACIM who have awakened, I would appreciate your commenting on this posting. Your comment, once I approve it, will appear on the left sidebar of this blog. This question is such an important one that I solicit your opinion and your comments.

7 – Love

“Love does not conquer all things, but it does set all things right. . . .As you come closer to a brother you approach me, and as you withdraw from him I become distant to you. (T69)”

Perhaps we have not come close enough to forgiving our brother/sister completely and unreservedly. Perhaps that is why we do not see Awakening happening with regard to studying A Course in Miracles. Perhaps too many of us are caught in “forgiveness-to-destroy,” which is a forgiveness that does not forget the presumed misdeed. In this type of forgiveness (which if not forgiveness at all), we think that the deed that has been done is something about which we have a choice whether or not to forgive. It further thinks that there are some deeds that are beyond forgiveness. But ACIM declares that pardon has a sound basis, that what has happened has happened in illusion, and that our brother/sister is innocent.

8 – Forgiveness

Would we not want our own misdeeds forgiven?

9 – Salvation

“Salvation is a collaborative venture. It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. (T69)”

We are not meant to isolate ourselves in this world–even to study A Course in Miracles. We are meant to stay in the world, and to minister to our brothers and sisters. Our brothers and sisters are the Sonship.

10 – Withdrawing

When we withdraw for too long, we also withdraw from Jesus. And we cannot do that, because he and the Holy Spirit are our guides to better living. He is the elder brother who catches us when we fall, and the Holy Spirit is the inner guide that leads us every step of the way–guidance.

11 – Sonship

Surely we do not want to disengage from Jesus. So this passage has a warning for those of us who would seek our own salvation and not frequently enough think of the Sonship. The two go hand-in-hand.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

When I am tempted to withdraw, help to remember my contribution to my brothers and sisters. They need me, as I need them. Salvation lies in our relationship.

May I learn from the Course with careful study, and then may I take that learning into the world. This is the solution that will work for the world and for me.

Amen.

The Bible Gives Many References to the Immeasurable Gifts Which Are for You, but for Which You Must Ask.

“The Bible gives many references to the immeasurable gifts which are for you, but for which you must ask. This is not a condition as the ego sets conditions. It is a glorious condition of what you are. (T61)”

Affirmation: “immeasurable gifts are for me”

Reflections:

1 – Greedy?

Sometimes we feel greedy when we pray for something specific. This is not, however, the way of either the A Course in Miracles or the Bible. Here we see that asking is the way to receive. Actually, asking for something specific is the intended way for us to receive.

2 – Be Specific

If we are not specific, the Holy Spirit will need to lead our minds and hearts to know what it is that we really want. This takes additional time, time that we do not need to waste in such a fashion. If we want the “immeasurable gifts,” we need only ask. The Bible says, “Ask, and you will receive.” This glorious promise is in line with the teaching of the Course as well, as we see in this passage.

3 – What Gift?

What gift would you really like to have? If it is in line with our best interests, we can have it for the asking. Elsewhere Jesus points out that our Father does not give gifts that are not good to His children; He protects us from our own misunderstandings. So do not be afraid that you will ask amiss. Pray for His will, and the blessings will always be good.

4 – God’s Will and Our Real Will

The unspoken truth that the will of God and our real will is identical is implied in this passage:

“No force except your own will is strong enough or worthy enough to guide you. In this you are as free as God, and must remain so forever. (T61)”

5 – Imprisoned Will

Our will, though, becomes imprisoned when this will is placed in the hands of the ego. This imprisonment leads to terrible things, terrible pain. And ACIM says that when this pain becomes bad enough, we will be led to understand that there is another way. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not ascendant. We change our ways.

6 – Not Punishment – Cause and Effect

This is not punishment, but just the inexorable way of cause and effect. Jesus says a lot about cause and effect in ACIM, and he makes it very clear that he will not tamper with our mind’s choices until we see that a different way is called for. If he interfered with cause and effect, he would be tampering with a law of the universe, and this is not something that he would ever do.

7 – Joy

So we choose with our will. That will must be bent to the will of God eventually, knowing that that is what we really want. And the joy that we know when we have surrendered makes certain to our minds and heart that we have chosen correctly. We are free to choose, always. But ultimately, we will not choose to walk apart from God. All of us find our way home at last.

8 – No Preconditions

A side issue that is important to our study of A Course in Miracles is that we need not use our free will to put preconditions on God. He cannot even move to bring Awakening to us when we have closed off ourselves by preconditions. We don’t want to be made anxious, we don’t want to feel pain, we don’t want to have a scream of mortal terror when the light comes on. And when we study ACIM, we are promised that we will not have a scream of mortal terror when the dream ends and we awaken. The light will come on, and we will recognize that we are no longer dreaming of a light, but seeing a genuine light. And we will not fear.

9 – Mindfulness

“Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His Love for you and yours for him. He has never failed to answer this request, because it asks only for what He has already willed. (T61)”

This is a plea that we remain open to God’s Love for us. There is no Force greater in the universe. And when we walk in Love’s way, we walk with a charmed life. We are joyous. We live in harmony. We do not suffer. Life is good, for we have found the secret.

10 – No Other Gods

“Those who call truly are always answered. Thou shalt have no other gods before Him because there are none. (T61)”

This passage is akin to the New Testament’s “Ask and ye shall receive.” We will receive answers to our questions, when we ask those questions of the Holy Spirit. Our problems will be solved, for the solution is always with the problem. So we need not wait long, unless we think (erroneously) that we have a long wait. The actual truth is that God moves immediately when we ask the right questions. This harkens to the first passage in this posting, which emphasizes that we have to ask for things from God. He will, however, in my opinion guide our thinking so that we stay on track. He will guide our thinking so that we know the right questions to ask.

11 – Gentle Way Home

This way home is gentle. The light comes on, but we do not scream. And Jesus is the companion who holds our hand on this walk.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Help to realize that asking for Your gifts is not greedy. And I must ask if I am to receive. Guide my asking in line with Your will.

May the Holy Spirit inform my choice about what to ask for. Then may I thank You for those manifold blessings.

May today go well, because it starts off well. May I keep my mind and heart positive, full of Your grace. May I know that any and all problems have a solution, right with the problem. And may I open myself to find the solution to anything that troubles me.

Amen.

Forgiveness Is the Key but Who Can Use a Key when He Has Lost the Door for Which the Key Was Made?

“Forgiveness is the key but who can use a key when he has lost the door for which the key was made, and where alone it fits? Therefore we make distinctions, so that prayer can be released from darkness into light. (S-2.I.9)”

1 – Different Types of Forgiveness

This section of Song of Prayer confirms what the rest of the treatise says about prayer. This section identifies the various types of forgiveness, giving their distinctions. Jesus would have us release forgiveness from the shadows (“darkness”) into light.

2 – Most Insidious Form of Forgiveness

The most insidious form of forgiveness, the ego’s form of forgiveness is described in the following passage:

“Forgiveness-to-destroy has many forms, being a weapon of the world of form. Not all of them are obvious, and some are carefully concealed beneath what seems like charity. Yet all the forms that it may seem to take have but this single goal; their purpose is to separate and make what God created equal, different. (S-2.II.1)”

We are actually all the same; we are One, and therefore there are ultimately no differences among us. But forgiveness-to-destroy, being the ego’s brand of forgiveness, does—as all things of the ego—seek to divide, to separate. And God would not have it so.

3 – Free Will

But as a part of our belief about ourselves, our egos have a will of their own. And God gave us free will, never to be denied. He also sought to preserve that will in active ways. Cause-and-effect is one such effect with which Jesus himself will not tamper. It is a primary device of the mind, and Jesus will not interfere with our minds. So we must willingly give up our egos, and we have surely learned by now that this cannot be done alone. We need, desperately, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit will never have us pretend to forgive offenses that we think do not deserve forgiveness. He wants all or nothing—forgiveness of the misdeeds (misdeeds at least as we perceive them) and a will to forget as well. Then we are home free. We have given up judgment, and with the giving up of judgment, the way to awake is near (from the Text of ACIM).

4 – “Better” vs. “Baser”

“In this group, first, there are the forms in which a ‘better’ person deigns to stoop to save a ‘baser’ one from what he is truly. (S-2.II.2)”

This is more elucidation of the “forgiveness-to-destroy.” When we think that we are better than another, we always think awry. And this is patently obvious to all who have studied A Course in Miracles.

Let us leave such foolishness behind forever, today. May we see that the equality of our brothers and sisters with us is a given. With that given, forgiveness is easy, because we wish that they too will forgive us when we have made mistakes. What we wish to receive, we must first give.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I practice only genuine forms of forgiveness. May I know that all individuals deserve forgiveness, total and complete, and that to deny this is to fail to receive forgiveness myself. Would I allow myself to receive forgiveness? This I must ask. Thank You for letting me understand that forgiveness has a sound basis, that it is always justified, and that when we recognize that we live in an illusory world, we know that misdeeds have not really happened at all.

Be with us today, as we seek to forgive genuinely.

Amen.

Jesus: “I Need Devoted Teachers Who Share My Aim of Healing the Mind.”

I want to focus on several passages from A Course in Miracles in which Jesus is speaking directly to us about what he can and will do for us. They are as follows:

“I will substitute for your ego if you wish, but never for your spirit. A father can safely leave a child with an elder brother who has shown himself responsible, but this involved no confusion about the child’s origin. (T56)”

“I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this will enable you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. (T56)”

“I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. (T56)”

1 – Reassuring Passages

These are all reassuring passages that indicate Jesus is aware of us, and he is able to be with any number of people all at once, a cloning, if you will.

2 – Ego

Jesus will “substitute” for our ego, when we still feel the need to have an ego. Psychology often tells us that we need a well-integrated ego, but this definition of ego is different from the definition in ACIM. The definition in psychology is a center around which the personality can well assimilate. The definition in ACIM is a false belief about ourselves, a persona that doesn’t cause our personality to assimilate properly.

3 – Difference

In this sense, the definition in psychology and the definition in A Course in Miracles are at loggerheads with each other.

4 – Ego re ACIM

We need to focus on the second definition, the one from ACIM. We don’t want to enhance a false sense of self, of the personal self. We want this false sense, this persona, to just wither away, and so we seek to turn aside from it to whatever extent we can at any given moment.

5 – Jesus

Let Jesus assume control of the ego that we recognize. Then the ego is in good hands, and we don’t have to worry about reinforcing it, for Jesus will grant us a positive persona that can give us good days.

6 – Ego and Body

We will not be concerned with either the ego or the body when we let Jesus be in charge. This accepts Jesus as a very personal friend, and this is all that he seeks. This acceptance is all, for him.

7 – Healing

When we let Jesus take over the ego, the healing of our minds is underway. This is the bottom line reason that letting go of the ego is so important.

8 – Healed Mind

And all of us want a healed mind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day we listen to what Jesus has told us in A Course in Miracles. May we set outside any question that we have about the origin of ACIM. May we be healed by these words. May our day be a harmonious, peaceful way to follow the way of the Holy Spirit.

Be with us as we see an end to this day, a beginning to another one. May our day go well, in harmony and peace.

Amen.

In This World You Need Not Have Tribulation because I Have Overcome the World. This Is Why You Should Be of Good Cheer.

1 – New Testament

The title of this posting, a passage from ACIM, sometimes causes problems for students of A Course in Miracles, because it is a statement directly contrary to one that occurs in the New Testament. On a number of occasions, Jesus clarifies and refutes words attributed to him in the New Testament, but I do not think that a refutation is what is happening in this instance.

2 – Before Resurrection

In the New Testament, he is speaking before his resurrection. He says at that time that we will have tribulation in this world. But in A Course in Miracles, he is speaking after his life, death, and resurrection, from the Other Side, and he is saying that he overcame the world. He has made the journey before us. He has paved the way. So we need not have tribulation (a caveat: we sometimes do), but ought to be of good cheer.

3 – Tribulation

Why do we have tribulation in this world when Jesus says explicating in ACIM that we need not endure tribulation? I think that we don’t know any better. We use the law of attraction by thinking of disaster, and so disaster all too often comes. When we think of the joy that Jesus promises, we are much more likely to live a life of equanimity.

4 – Humility

When we have understood Jesus’s lesson, we will be in the spirit, and we will beyond humility. Note the following passage:

“Humility is a lesson for the ego, not for the spirit. Spirit is beyond humility, because it recognizes its radiance and gladly sheds its light everywhere. (T56)”

We do not have to worry about whether or not we are humble enough. The ego will always tell us that we are being arrogant when we claim “great” things for ourselves, but Jesus reassures us that it is not us, but the ego in us, that is really the source of arrogance. When we are meek, as Jesus encourages both in the New Testament as well as A Course in Miracles, we will know great things and not be moved, egotistically, by them.

5 – Meek

“The meek shall inherit the earth because their egos are humble, and this gives them true perception. (T56)”

True perception comes before knowledge, and knowledge is of God. Our true perception will not last when knowledge has arrived via Awakening. But most of us have not yet known Awakening, at least to be sustained. What may we hope for in that regard?

6 – Awakened

I think that the Awakened are meek people, and the adjective “meek” is not soft or downtrodden or falsely humble. They have let their egos go, and with that omission from their minds, they see truly. I know two enlightened people, one from books and one from my circle of intimate friends (right here in the town where I live). The first is Eckhart Tolle, and his accounts are engaging in the extreme. He is a distinctly and quietly happy individual, with no sense of ego involvement as he tells his story. He has sustained enlightenment for over 30 years, and so his experience is not just a glimpse, or satori.

7 – Personal Experience

Similarly, in the town where I live, my personal friend is to all accounts an ego-less individual. But she doesn’t push herself forward. I have known her for eight years, taking part in a writing group in which we share our impressions of religious themes. She always writes poetry that is deep and heartwarming. But I never suspected that she was Awakened until she requested that I read a manuscript that she drafted some 30 years ago. For several reasons, she has not tried to publish until now. But now she is eager to share her story. And I hope that she will succeed in finding a publisher. My friend’s demeanor is quiet and gentle. The words in her manuscript are convincing of her experience of enlightenment.

8 – Christ-consciousness

I feel blessed to have read, and to know, of experiences of Christ-consciousness. It gives hope to all of us that this blessing is perhaps not far away and impossible of accomplishment. But I hasten to add that we must be patient and wait on God’s timing, for it is He who makes the decision about when we are ready to Awaken. As my friend notes, God gave us free will, and if we impose preconditions on our desire for enlightenment, God will hold off. There must, in her belief, be a total surrender, no preconditions.

9 – Tribulation

Let’s return to the title of this posting:

“In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. This is why you should be of good cheer. (T56)”

10 – ACIM Differs from the New Testament

This passage from Jesus is a paraphrase of what he is quoted to have said in the New Testament. But in the New Testament, we are led to believe that we will have tribulation. His resurrection is meant to counter all of that; the resurrection happened after his teaching that said the reverse. And the Course stands by the resurrection as truth. A Course in Miracles does not say if the resurrection was revelation or a miracle, but, given the definitions found therein, it seems to be a miracle.

11 – Avoid Tribulation

Tribulation is pain that we would want to avoid at all costs. Remembering that Jesus overcame the world, and harkening to good cheer are mental actions that we can take at any time.

12 – Be of Good Cheer

When we are feeling down, it is wise to recall such passages. We can conjure up good cheer, even when the day seems drab. It takes only a moment to recall us to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you that in this world we do not have to have tribulation. We can be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world. Help me not to be confused by the difference that this quotation from A Course in Miracles constitutes from the New Testament. Help me to take from this ACIM quotation what it can do for me, something that is considerable.

It takes only a moment of reflection or of prayer to recall us to ourselves. We can know peace as well as good cheer, even in this world that too often seems filled with woe.

Amen.

Pray. . .and True Humility Will Come at Last to Grace the Mind that Thought It Was Alone and Stood Against the World.

1 – True Humility

True humility means that we no longer act egotistically. A friend of mine whom I think has reached enlightenment seems ego-less. She is calm and easy in her demeanor, and she seems very much at peace—regardless of what swirls around her. She is a results-oriented person who works hard but is not compulsive about work. And she engages in written dialogues with what she calls her Inner Wisdom, which we can understand is the inner Self.
We know that prayer helps us to reach this new state of mind and heart. Here is the relevant passage:

“Prayer is a way to true humility. And here again it rises slowly up, and grows in strength and love and holiness. Let it but leave the ground where it begins to rise to God, and true humility will come at last to grace the mind that thought it was alone and stood against the world. (S-1.V.1)”

2 – Personal Experience

Prayer is very important to me personally. When I am anxious, I can pray and immediately feel God’s presence, soothing me. And this is a very practical way of viewing prayer. But the Presence is enough to allow communion with the Divine. It is enough to set a day on the right pathway. There is no end, it seems, to be blessings that prayer can wrought.

3 – Prayer

“Now prayer is lifted from the world of things, of bodies, and of gods of every kind, and you can rest in holiness at last. Humility has come to teach you how to understand your glory as God’s son, and recognize the arrogance of sin. A dream has veiled the face of Christ from you. Now can you look upon His sinlessness. (S-1.V.3)”

4 – Beyond the Illusion

We seem in this passage to have reached beyond the dream, the illusion in which we live. But here we can see that there has been a dream that “veiled the face of Christ from you.” Now we look upon His sinlessness.

5 – Personal Experience

I once met an individual who told me that we were eventually to see Christ in all people whom we meet. And at that time, I was in a satori that allowed me to do just that. It was a challenging time, because who can see the face of Christ in all her brothers and sisters, and remain calm? The change in venue was startling. It was heartwarming, though, very heartwarming. I could even see pictures in the newspaper and sense the realness of the people depicted there. The satori ended soon enough (too soon), but the memories dwell on. And I hope for a return, a safe return, to such perception.

6 – No Blame

When we see Christ in all people, we do not blame them for anything. We are completely forgiving, though this does not mean that we allow ourselves to be abused. We absence ourselves from the scene if abuse is taking place. Abuse is less likely, though, because we are no longer doing anything to bait it. We are benign creatures, living solely for Christ. We are calm and at peace; anger and attack do not touch us. And so the individuals with whom we come in contact are influenced by our attitude.

7 – Sinlessness

We truly see sinlessness for what it is. We know that our brothers and sisters have only “missed the mark,” as the word “sin” actually means. And this missing of the mark is the way that a mistake can be defined. Our brothers and sisters are innocent. And well it is for us to view them that way. It preserves our rights (from ACIM Text).

8 – Ladder Ends

“The ladder ends with this, for learning is no longer needed. Now you stand before the gate of Heaven, and your brother stands beside you there. The lawns are deep and still, for here the place appointed for the time when you should come has waited long for you. Here will time end forever. At this gate eternity itself will join with you. Prayer has become what it was meant to be, for you have recognized the Christ in you. (S-1.V.4)”

9 – Awakening

This passage represents a beautiful rendition of the state of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, enlightenment. When we have recognized the Christ within, we are home in God. “The lawns are deep and still,” for nature means much to us in this state of mind and heart.

10 – Jesus

The ladder ends with this, for Jesus has come to cancel out all mistakes that we ourselves could not cancel out by our own efforts. And God has reached down and taken us up into Christ-consciousness. This truly is the end of the ladder, when the ladder can be withdrawn, because the “climb” is complete.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live in an ego-less state of mind. May I eliminate judgment from my repertoire of emotions. I know that when I have eliminated all judgment, then I will awaken. Jesus has promised this. Thank You. May I be patient in the meantime. May nothing mar my wondrous peace in this ever more beautiful world of yours.

Be with me today so that I don’t lapse into judgment and therefore into anger and attack. These fearful emotions are just that—emotions of fear. And we would leave all anxiety behind as we walk into the sunlight with You.

Thank You for the blessing of another good day.

Amen.

Living in Relationship Provides. . .the Certainty You Have Lacked. The Fears You Have Experienced Will Not Arise within This Knowing.

manet - day in paris“Living in relationship provides a constant knowing of this sort, a simple knowing of a way things are meant to be. It is a knowing felt within the heart for which there still will be no proof, but for which there will be the certainty you heretofore have lacked. The typical fears you have experienced in the past will not arise within this knowing. (A Course of Love, 27.19)”

Affirmation: “May no fears arise in me today.”

Reflections:

1 – Knowing

When we live in relationship to God and ourselves, our deepest Selves, plus with others, we are living as Jesus recommends in this passage for today. We will feel a “knowing” in our heart that we are on the right pathway.

2 – Relationships

This is the pathway recommended initially in A Course of Miracles, but then the emphasis was on relationships, holy relationships with others, especially our most significant brother (or sister). In A Course of Love, Jesus expands the concept of relationship to mean a relationship not only to God, but to the Self/Christ within. When we reach deep, deep, inwardly, we are reassured, in a way that nothing else can, that all is well.

3 – Home

This is the certainty of which Jesus speaks in this passage. This is the assurance that we are on the way home, and not to the Other Side, but the heaven on earth that we can actually know here.

4 – Listen

Be with Jesus’s words today. See if they don’t make a huge difference.

5 – Certainty

The certainty that we are on the right pathway comes when we lift ourselves up mentally and in a heartfelt way, and we do the best that we know how. We don’t allow ourselves to get downhearted, if there is any way that we can avoid it. We are cheery, we are upbeat. We are not discouraged, for Jesus is with us always.

6 – A Promise

He has promised this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know certainty of true knowledge today. I would not press to know, but I would rest in the certainty that this is what You want for me. I would not fall into a too-strong desire for Christ-consciousness, for You make that decision. You are always with me, inside of me, for I am part of You. Thank You for this knowledge.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters today. May we let typical fears that arise with just living to fall away. We need be fearful no more. Thank You.

Amen.

The Ego Becomes Strong in Strife. If You Believe There Is Strife You Will React Viciously. The Idea of Danger Has Entered Your Mind.

1 – Anger

We know that when we get angry, the ego is responsible. Without the ego, we would remain perfectly calm and quiet all the time (from the ACIM Text). While many of us think that we want to continue to have some drama in our lives, we will not want drama when we have Awakened. We will be glad for the quiet.

2 – Strong in Strife

And so when we are arguing with our significant others, the ego is strong, for this is strife. And we may even react viciously, because we feel threatened; the idea of danger has entered our minds:

“The ego becomes strong in strife. If you believe there is strife you will react viciously, because the idea of danger has entered your mind. (T80)”

3 – Separation

When we separated from God (in illusion, making a world that is illusion), we developed a split mind—one part of God, one part of the false persona, the ego. We can heal this split by choosing God; but we can never heal this split by choosing the ego. God does not give up on us that easily. He is always in our Mind, and so it is impossible to choose the ego be ascendant. There is actually no conflict, no danger that the devil ego can win. This ought to give us comfort as we seek to incorporate the teachings of A Course in Miracles:

“The separation is merely another term for a split mind. (T80)”

4 – Ego

“The ego is the symbol of separation, just as the Holy Spirit is the symbol of peace. What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself. You may let your mind misperceive, but the Holy Spirit lets your mind reinterpret its own misperceptions. (T80)”

This passage is ever more substantiation that the ego and the Holy Spirit, part of the triune God, are at odds. And only one is going to be the victor—always the Holy Spirit. But we do have free will, and our timing for relinquishment of the ego is respected by God. He and His Voice, the Holy Spirit, do not force themselves upon us. We choose. And then God chooses—when He deems that we are ripe for Awakening.

5 – Internally

This passage shows us a way to know what is really going on internally with ourselves. Whatever we perceive in others, we have, usually unconsciously, looked within and found (ACIM concept).

6 – Perception

This truth of perceiving in others what we really hold within is a powerful teacher. The “sins” that we perceive in others are, first of all, within ourselves. Seeing this, we can see what needs to be changed. And it is not our brother. It is something within ourselves.

7 – Loving

Our brother will seem much more loving as our own thoughts become loving. “Projection makes perception” is an ACIM concept. May we learn from our brother, even as we sometimes note lamentable emotions in him or her. These emotions (and often actions) have first been within ourselves.

8 – Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit can deal with a reluctant learner without going counter to his mind, because part of it is still for God. Despite the ego’s attempts to conceal this part, it is still much stronger than the ego. . . .(T80)”

Our Mind always chooses God. We don’t always realize this, but if we consider in contemplation, we will know the truth of this passage.

9 – Peace

“You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace. If peace is eternal, you are at home only in eternity. (T80)”

May we recognize that we want to be at home only in eternity. Time is an illusion, and therefore we only need it for practical purposes. We can ignore time far more often than we do, and then eternity will burst upon our insight.

Affirmation: “perceive in others. . .strengthen in yourself”

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I learn from others: What I see in them is actually something that is within myself. May I use this knowledge to improve my disposition, my mind and spirit, and my behavior.

As my thoughts become more loving, my brothers and sisters will be perceived as more loving. This is a great boon for us. May we realize the truth that projection makes perception, as we learned in the Course.

Amen.