Tag Archives: safety

Sense the Love of Our Hearts

“Let yourself be carried away by love and you will feel safe.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 13:IV)

Who among us does not want safety?  Who among us does not want to feel safe?

These are the same questions.  And the Answer is the one that we have heard all of our lives:  just to love.  Let us be “carried away” by love.

The Way of Mastery, another received work, this one from Jesus, says that if we were told that scientists had discovered something new in the universe, never before known, and if it were called some exotic name, we would be more likely to listen than when we say that that this something new is love.  It is new because love has never been tried on a large scale.  We have loved in our families, perhaps, though this love has often been conditional and therefore imperfect.  We have loved our significant others, though often we have special relationships that do not become holy, and therefore fail us in the long run.  We have loved our friends, but often this too is fickle.  Whatever are we to do?

For love to work for us, we must sense love in our hearts.  This is the only way.  When we are enthralled by love in our hearts, we will know, finally, that we are safe in this earth.  Even in this earth that is fraught with dangers.

Safety is not always a physical thing.  But it can always be a “feeling” thing. 

Our hearts know the Answer, the Answer to one of our greatest needs—to know that we are safe in the arms of God.

Love which Kept Us Safe – and Happy – and Bound to Those We Love

“The desire to protect is a desire that arises from distrust and is based totally on fear. If there were no fear, what would there be to protect? Thus, all of your love—the love that you imagine you keep within yourself, and the love that you imagine you receive and give—is tainted by your fear and cannot be real love. It is because you remember love as that which kept you safe, that which kept you happy, that which bound all those you love to you, that you attempt to use love here. This is a real memory of creation that you have distorted.” (ACOL, C:9.3)

We are not able to use love to protect us, although we often try. The desire to protect ourselves is a fear-based motivation, one that can’t be what it tries to do, keep us safe. We are already safe; we don’t need anything extra to make ourselves so.

We have, Jesus says, a memory of love from eons ago (as the world judges time). Love at the beginning, before the illusory separation, kept us happy and kept together all whom we loved. Somehow, dimly, we remember this true event, and we want some of that same feeling now. We try to find it in fear that comes from distrust. If we didn’t think we were in danger, why would we think at all about being “protected”? We would know that there is nothing that we need protection from, and we would be at peace. So this desire is wholly fear-based. We do love a disservice when we attempt to “use” it at all. Love cannot be used, just as we would be wise not to use each other for our own ends. We are safe, we have always been safe, and sooner or later we will all realize our safety is a God-given gift.

When love is tainted by fear, it is not real love. Unfortunately, most of our love in this world is tainted by fear, and thus we need another way to view love. We need to realize that it is part of the long-ago memory of Oneness with God. Only our attempt to separate from God, with the concomitant rise of the ego, has kept us from real love. Let us decide today that we will be done with all of this foolishness. Ask to experience real love, remove our mind from attempts to use this love to protect your physical body, and see if a better day doesn’t dawn.

We Are Safe, and Know Ourselves to Be in the Lap of God Himself

“The Holy Spirit was called upon to return this remembrance to minds and hearts. But again let me remind you that the Holy Spirit is not other than who you are but an aspect of who you are and Who God Is. Let me remind you also that names, such as Holy Spirit, are but word symbols that represent what is. So think now of whatever stories you know of the Holy Spirit, stories that symbolize what is. In these stories, the Holy Spirit is always called upon to return the true Self to the self of illusion. A Holy Spirit is called to return to your mind and heart.” (ACOL, T3:17.6)

This quotation for today gives us a fuller understanding of the Holy Spirit than we have had previously. We may have sometimes not understood at all. But to hear that the Holy Spirit is “a” Holy Spirit is an advance in our understanding. A Holy Spirit came unto Jesus 2,000 years ago, and enthralled him. The Holy Spirit did the same for us in A Course in Miracles. As well as all the times that we were fearful of God and needed an intermediary.

Now we aren’t fearful of God anymore and can reach inward in a more direct fashion. This is why the time of the Holy Spirit has ended and we are now in the time of Christ. The Christ-Self is within, a part of God. Of course, the Holy Spirit has been within as well, but we did not always recognize this. We were still projecting the Trinity as outside ourselves.

We need the true Self now. This is the only thing that will give us peace. The Holy Spirit prepared us for our return to God and Self.

And there is little else needful now. We are safe, and know ourselves to be in the lap of God Himself.

Prayer

I seek a closer walk with You today. I am praying what has been a frequent prayer, but today I invest this prayer with even more meaning. I know that I create my own reality, and the reality that I would have is one in which You walk with me always and forever. No separation, not even an illusory separation.

Thank You for the warmth that I feel when I pray. You warm my heart. You inform my mind of things that I need to know to live well. And the two together—heart and mind—give me a present and future far beyond what I have been able to envision.

Thank You.

Amen.

Now We Know that We Are Safe

“Atonement, or correction, is not of you but of God. You might think of this in terms of nature and look upon nature’s ability to correct itself. You are a part of nature. Your body can correct or heal itself, and so can your mind and heart…if they are allowed to do so. A time-bound consciousness that hangs onto the past as if it were the truth, allows not correction to take place. The past is no more and neither the present nor the future can be built upon it. This is why we have spent so much time unlearning and why we continue with lessons of forgetting.” (ACOL, T3:14.12)

We all know that the physical body heals itself, though sometimes we do choose healing means to augment the natural. Now Jesus is telling us that the mind and heart will also heal itself, if left to its own devices. And we need to leave it to its own devices, not to egg it on with “remedies” that actually preserve the problem.

A Course in Miracles speaks of our feeling concerned that the contribution that we add to that of the Holy Spirit actually needs to be so little. Very little is actually asked of us. We can even be somewhat passive in accepting the help of the universe.

In this acceptance from God and His universe, we grow emotionally and spiritually. We are no longer bent on finding our own way. We rest in a larger truth, that the things that we know will emerge from the depths, and we will be alright, finally.

Now we listen to the Christ-Self, for the time of the Holy Spirit has passed. He was a intermediary, because we were fearful of approaching God directly. Now we know that we are safe, and now we know that we aren’t fearful of God any longer.

Our progress can and will be faster.

Prayer

Nature, You, can heal our mind and heart. What a great choice this makes—for us to relax and let You do Your lovely work, healing us. The way back to You is paved with good blessings. And when we finally reach You, we are indeed blessed.

May this day be a happy one. May this day show me, once again, that turning to You heals. There is no faster way to healing than the one that You point out.

Amen.

Let God Direct Our Pathway into a Sunnier Clime

“Your ego will strongly resist your attempts to listen to your heart, and will call this every kind of foolishness, a waste of time that could be spent on better things. Yet time is not required, nor is money or the use of any other thing you value. And there is not even the slightest chance of being made to look foolish by what you are asked to do.” (ACOL, C:13.10)

Our ego is very wily. It seems to have a life of its own, though it is simply a part of our belief about ourselves. And we are renouncing that belief as we read A Course of Love.

The change will be dramatic. Here Jesus is reassuring us that we leave behind, with the ego, nothing that we really want. And we are still safe. The ego never, ever, kept us safe—though this part of our belief about ourselves would say that we are unsafe unless we trust in it.

This is a ridiculous notion, for the ego doesn’t do anything good for us at all, and it does do much that is bad. It leads us to separate from our God, to separate from our brothers and sisters, and to try to live a lonely and autonomous life—as independent as we can make it. But independence is not the way. Interdependence is. And the new way of the heart will teach us this.

There is no reason to think that we leave behind anything important. And no reason to think that we are made unsafe by giving up a false idea. On the contrary, we are made unsafe, in theory, by holding to falsity.

Trust in the Lord, as the Bible tells us. Let God direct our pathway into a sunnier clime. The way back is not fraught with dangers, but with the most sincere form of good will—for we have Jesus at our side.

We Live in a Safe Universe

“Only reality is free of pain. Only reality is free of loss. Only reality is wholly safe. And it is only this we seek today.” (ACIM, W-268)

Reality is benign, “free of pain,” “free of loss,” “wholly safe.” This reassurance is very welcome today. We need to know that true reality is different from the sometimes hazardous world that we inhabit before reality dawns.
The sometimes hazardous world is illusion, but when we cut ourselves, we bleed, and this does not seem illusory.

It is that we experience illusion as reality that we are able to experience this world at all. We are caught in physicality, and this “caught” feeling is very real to us.

True reality is different. We experience good things. We don’t cut ourselves, and so we don’t bleed. We don’t experience pain or suffering, and we don’t experience loss of our loved ones. We are safe in this true reality.
How is this possible? We don’t know, or certainly I don’t know to be able to tell you. But if Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it is so, I believe him. He is trying to tell us something very real; he is trying to lead us home to God. We can’t get there if we dwell on pain or suffering, and loss. We can get there only if we feel perfectly safe.

Even when bad things happen, still we can know that true reality is there to guide us. The bad things will not seem so bad when we are lost in God’s love. God does not lead us through a world of mystery, only to tell us in the end why these things have happened to us. We can know the “why” when we listen deeply. Everyone’s answer is different, and different for each circumstance, but we will be given an answer when we ask.

Ask today for your answer to eternal safety. See if God doesn’t reach out to you with His Answer. The Holy Spirit (if reading A Course in Miracles) or the inner Christ Self (if reading A Course of Love) will guide us rightly. We won’t have to wonder. But we do have to ask with the full assurance that we will be told.

And we will be told.

Regardless of Appearances, We Are Safe

“Reality observes the laws of God, and not the rules you set. It is His laws that guarantee your safety.”
(ACIM, T-30.IV.4)

We know that bad things happen to us in illusion, in the way of this world. We also know that our real Self has never been harmed. The entity of which we are a part is that real Christ Self (from A Course of Love). And it is this Self who is always safe from misfortune, from pain, from suffering.

Our Higher Self sometimes sets things up that appear to harm our “little,” or personal self. We are working out our salvation in this world, and we don’t understand the higher Forces that are impinging upon this world as much as we would, perhaps, like to know and understand. We know that the personal self isn’t to be blamed for misfortune; this is the wrongheaded New Age thinking that would blame the victim. But all “victims” need to understand everything. Our finite minds cannot comprehend all that we confront. But we know that God means us well, that He is never to blame. Perhaps we charted a difficult course in our lives from the Other Side, before our birth. Perhaps we took on challenges that maybe we now regret. We are apparently so optimistic before our birth that we take on the world, so to speak. Only to have the world come crashing down around us.

These are things about which we have no proof and cannot be certain. But A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are both certain that, regardless of what happens, we remain safe.

This is true reality. This is our inheritance. And all really is well with us, regardless of appearances.

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.

Fundamental Error: that Fear Can Be Mastered. The Only Real Mastery Is through Love.

“We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasized that the only real mastery is through love. . . .You may think this implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control. (T33)”

Affirmation: “only real mastery is through love”

Reflections:

1 – Mastery through Love

This is one of Jesus’s great promises in A Course in Miracles: that fear can be mastered by love (and only by love). I know this first hand, though I have as yet had only glimpses of Awakening that I did not sustain. I know that when I have let all grievances go, I know that I am safe (from the Workbook). And when I know that I am safe, I do not feel fear. And it is my love for others, especially significant others (past and present) that gives me the wherewithal to forgive what has not happened, for we live in illusion. Pardon is totally justified due to this. Nothing has ever really hurt us except in illusions, the maya of Eastern religions.

2 – Time and Space

The final sentence also states a truth that we would be wise to accept at face value, though perhaps it is early yet to recognize the miracles that the sentence represents. Isn’t it wonderful to think that Jesus has such power that time and space are under his control? But he would not demand that we believe this yet, while we are not yet sure of miracles. It might help our belief if we stop to realize, often, that we live in an illusion. Dreams can be manipulated, even by ourselves, when we dream them in sleep. So it is not so very far from credulity that Jesus, the Ascended, could manipulate time and space to aid us in our “journey without distance” (from the Text of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Learn how to Love

We must learn to love if we are to be happy, for who can remain happy while intermittently experiencing pangs of fear? A Course in Miracles is the way that many of us have chosen to learn how to love, how to live a better way. It is a beginning, a way home for those of us who follow diligently its guidance. Early in the Text, Jesus tells us abundant willingness and great patience are needed for learning. And that revelation can occasionally reveal the end to us. I have personally had that revelation. The end is Awakening, which I have not sustained. But the glimpses that I have had–once for a summer, once for six months–sustain me through more difficult times and assure me that all of us will eventually reach the good outcome. In the meantime, I aim for patience and willingness to learn (and this learning, according to A Course of Love, is now through observation, not intense study).

4 – Mastery of Fear

The time between readiness and mastery of fear does not, as implied by this passage, have to be lengthy. It is true that it may be lengthy, but elsewhere Jesus recommends that we be content to walk the pathway, even if the way seems long to us. I have, in my own experience, found that the time has indeed been lengthy, though I have known periods of great calm and peace, without any fear at all. I see my own limitations as the reason for the fact that the mastery of fear through love is taking so long. Jesus says in ACIM that here we are not meant to be without limitations, but we are to overcome them when and where we can (a paraphrase).

5 – Sometimes Time Moves Fast

It is not always long. Many people find themselves at home in God within a few days or weeks of reading ACIM. When this happens, we have experienced a revelation of the end. And the revelation may not last. Yet we will take away from the experience our certainty, also given us by Jesus, that once the way is begun, the end is certain. A Course in Miracles then becomes our pathway home.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we see Jesus control time and space in our world. Even when we do not understand this, may we realize that what he has promised is real–more real than the things of this world. May I suspend doubt and let my mind play with this concept. It is indeed a great blessing.

May we master fear by love. We know that this is the only way. May we feel the love that You have placed in our hearts. When we feel this love, however briefly, and we abandon resentments, we feel safe and therefore fearless.

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your way. I know myself, and so I know that I will stumble and fall, but I ask that You walk beside me and help me back up, each time that I fall. May I keep the words, “distress that rests on error,” keenly in my mind as I react to individuals who are pursued by their demons. The anger that I sometimes hear is actually a call for help, as Jesus tells us in the chapter on forgiveness in ACIM. May I recognize any and all calls for help today, and rush to the side of the one doing the calling.

Amen.

When I Let All My Grievances Go I Will Know I Am Perfectly Safe

monet - water lily pond with bridge1 – Anxieties

I have long been prone to anxiety, really all of my life. Of course, not feeling “safe,” in that I am secure in my relationships with others, has followed. So I have long appreciated the following passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles:

“Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (W-68)”

2 – Safety

If I let all my grievances go, would I be safe, feel safe? This means resentments of all types, including a lack of forgiveness for apparent wrongs done to me by others in the past. If I let all this baggage go, would I be free of anxiety? I have found that there is some difference in my anxiety level when I am feeling perfectly safe. I do, in fact, feel anxiety-free at such times. I am calm and easy and happy to be a part of this world. I feel loving.

3 – Love

I think that the fact of feeling loving in the most salient point. One does not hold grievances or any resentment as such times. I remember particularly a Christmas Eve with my family. I was very, very peaceful. Yet what happened the next morning? I had an anxiety attack while trying to lie peacefully in bed before time to get up.

4 – Ego-Mind

Why would anxiety have attacked me so viciously at such a time? I think that my mind, my ego-mind, was trying to tell me that I couldn’t be rid of the ego that easily—that it would reassert itself and that I would not be rid of it.

5 – Illusions

Of course, this is an illusion, but illusions seem a lot like the real world when in the grip of them. So I think that the ego is part of the anxiety problem. In my early-morning anxiety attack, I obsessed about a workshop that I was to direct a month after Christmas. I was on the job, fearful that I would not perform well enough. I would fail, even about some minor matter that I had in mind. So obviously the ego was at stake in this fantasy, this illusory future. It is important to note that the anxiety attack did not prompt me to do anything about the particular matter that I had fantasized about when I got back to work in early January. I knew, by then, that the anxiety had been a straw man, an illusion in my attempt to do everything in my job perfectly.

6 – Self

“You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. (W-68)”

Certainly! This passage is accurate. My Self, as described in both ACIM and A Course of Love, knows no grievances. This Self, the inner Christ, has long ago let all such negativity recede. And I must listen to this inner Christ. I must let go of the negativity of holding things against other people.

7 – Personal Experience

I do not think that I am particularly prone to grievances or resentments. I found out, long ago, that I lived better, I was happier, when I did not retain obsessions about the past, a past that had previously upset me. If others have treated me badly, that is their problem. For some reason, I needed to experience their bad actions, but that is over now. I don’t have to rehash it. I don’t have to re-hurt myself, like a phonograph record going around and around on the turntable.

8 – Grievances

“It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember. (W-68)”

We need to remember who we are, and the only way that we can remember the inner Self/Christ is to be sure that grievances do not find a place in our hearts. Of course, that is not the whole change that needs to occur. We need also to loosen the ego’s grip upon us, which means that we will not lapse into egotistical states of mind. In my case, that means that I need not to “plan the workshop” in an egoistic state of mind. As if my whole reputation depended upon it. Yes, all of us fall into such perplexities often, and we stay in those perplexities far longer than we ought.

9 – Guilt

I would not suffer guilt, because I have learned that this is what has made all of us insane. Guilt is insanity, as ACIM says. And the loosening of the bonds of guilt on our frantic minds will pave the road for the coming of Christ-consciousness, or Awakening. There are things that we can do to ready ourselves, though the timing is God’s own.

Affirmation: “I would be safe today, because I know that I walk free of grievances.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be perfectly safe today, and for this to be true, I need to let all regrets about the past fall away. Regrets, as such, are not grievances, but they are closely akin. And I would feel perfectly safe, perfectly.

Help me to sense Your presence throughout the day, as I am sensing right now. You are my lodestone, my center in a world that can be difficult—but does not have to be. This world can be Heaven on earth, and such I propose for it to be in my life.

Help this to come true.

Amen.

Dream of Your Brother’s Kindnesses Instead of Dwelling in Your Dreams on His Mistakes

impressionist paintings“Dream softly of your sinless brother, who unites with you in holy innocence. And from this dream the Lord of Heaven will Himself awaken His beloved Son. Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes. Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave. Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams. He represents his Father, Whom you see as offering both life and death to you. (T-27.VII.15)”

1 – What We Dwell Upon

We can choose what we dwell upon. We don’t have to replay the bad things in our minds. We can remember the good times, and the good things that our brother has done for us—and said to us.

2 – Safety

If we drop from our studied concentration the things that we resent, we will have walked a long way toward recognizing that we are safe.
“Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (W-68)”

3 – Viewing Our Brother/Sister

A Course in Miracles asked us to view our brother as he appears to us. We are to see his form, his physical body, and contemplate what about that form so attracts us. This emphasis on the physical is characteristic of A Course of Love, the channeled writing that follows ACIM. We are not to denigrate the physical, something that we have often been led to do in the past in order to advance spiritually. We are here on this earth in form, and it behooves us to turn toward, rather than away, from that which we see all around us. If we let go of our grievances toward these forms, these physical embodiments of our brothers and sisters, then we will feel perfectly safe on earth. We will know that nobody harms us except with the permission of our greater Self, the Christ within.

4 – Our Brother’s Gifts

We are not to brush aside our brother’s gifts because he does not appear perfect to us. We are to dwell on his kindnesses, all of the many things in our relationship that has brought great meaning to us and great joy. The passage, above, ends with a curious rejoinder to reflect on the fact that our brothers represents our Father—God—to us, whom we see as offering both life and death. Of course, we know that such an interpretation lacks something. God does not, after all, offer death but a lifetime in eternity. Death is another of the many illusions in which we are caught in this world and the one beyond. But if our brother represents God to us, then we can see why our special relationships need to transform into holy. We can see why our relationship to our brother is the means that A Course in Miracles uses to bring us to Awakening. We are seeing God in our brother, but not in an idolatrous way. We are seeing God in a form that we can recognize.

5 – Personal Experience

Other people can lead us to God, and not by proselytizing us. (We would not be open to that; it would drive us farther away.) We can see the example that they set, and we can rejoice. I myself was brought to a mystical understanding of what prayer can mean by a college professor of mine. He had changed in the two years since I had seen him, a calmer man, a more self-assured man who did not vacillate in moving toward and away from life.

When I exclaimed, “You’re solid as a rock! How did you get that way?,” he replied with one word, “Prayer.”

Oh, what a difference that one-word sermon has made in my life! I knew that I wanted what I saw he had developed in his personality. I wanted the peace that gives a solidarity to the human personality.

6 – Joy

So dwell in your thinking on that which gives you joy about your brother. If you have had disagreements with him, let those drop from your mind. The disagreements will fuel resentment, surely the least loveable of characteristics. Think instead of the good that has come between you. And in this thinking is even the most dysfunctional relationship moved to healing.

Affirmation: “I will see the good things that my brother does today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to remember today the good things that people have done to me. Let me drop from my mind any resentments or antagonisms or hates that have occurred to me over the years. Help me to know that I find safety in this world, I know that I am safe, when I have dropped entirely any and all grievances.

Be with us today. Help us to be grateful for the many right things that have happened to us over the years.

Help me to reach out to others when they are open to it. Don’t let me to make decisions about them that rightfully are not mine to make. Help me to be tolerant.

Amen.

When I Have Let Grievances Go, I Will Know that I Am Perfectly Safe

camille-monet-and-her-son-jean-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-renoir-large“I am safe and nothing that I do or do not do will threaten my safety. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.8)”

Affirmation: “I cannot threaten my safety today.”

Reflections:

1 – Grievances and Safety

This passage for today is an echo of a significant passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. ACIM say that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. But here in A Course of Love, we are not even warned about grievances (but maybe because we are presumed already to have let grievances go). Nothing that we do or do not do can threaten our safety. We will in a safe universe.

2 – Peace and Quiet

Of course, that does not mean that the body will never feel pain. But our Self will never be hurt. Our core Self is always calm and at peace, quiet. The inner assurance that we can derive from believing this blessing is overwhelming. We can likewise allow pain, if it comes, but we ourselves have the wherewithal not to turn that pain into suffering. We are safe.

3 – Safety and Security

Safety and security are never unsought in this world. But when we are caught by the ego, we cannot know safety and security on a constant basis, because the ego is constantly being undone. Our flights of joy turn to chaos and tears.

4 – Our Only Security = God

In this world, we will live in a much more stable environment when we give up seeking security. Our only security is God, and He has always been there for us, though we have not always known this. If we seek to prepare for our material needs, we may find ourselves shaken, for sometimes we seem to have needs that go unmet. This is the illusory “reality” of this world. Yet God knows our needs, and our real needs are met. Our wants are not always met, and perhaps our Christ inner Self knows that it would not be good for us to have all of our wants met. We get in our heads some very strange wants.

5 – Needs and Wants

Be willing to wait on God’s timing for the satisfaction of wants. First may be a desire for safety, and this is a need that is met, even when we don’t see it that way. The needs are often inscrutable, for we so often confuse needs and wants. What God gives to us may be superior to what we earlier wanted. Let us trust Him enough to know what is best for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have clung to Your promise that when I let all grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe. I feel the truth of that promise just this moment. Thank You.

You know that we need safety and security in this world, and the only real security is found in You. Even when bad things happen (and they do in this world), I can know that my Self is not hurt. The inner Christ Self is never harmed, and that is truly the only self that we are. Our egoic personal self often knows flights of joy followed by the depths of despair, because the ego is a false part of belief about ourselves that is constantly being undone. I would let the ego go today. I would make that a priority, though I realize that I may pray this prayer tomorrow also. The ego dies hard. But it does die, and my glimpses of Awakening have shown me that.

Thank You.

Amen.

Blame

Towpath_Bridge - hass“All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself, ‘I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.’ You need not spend any more time with blame than this and I offer you no word of sentiment to replace it. I ask you simply to take the thought of it from your mind as quickly as it enters. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid blame today.”

Reflections:

1 – Blame and Guilt

It is easy for the ego to get one tripped up by encouraging the placing of blame on others and on ourselves. We need to do neither. We are all innocent, as A Course in Miracles so eloquently states. Blame is to my mind a first cousin to guilt, and it is guilt that has driven us mad (from ACIM). We need to keep our relationships with others as cordial as possible, and holding grievances would mean that this is impossible. We are not safe when we hold grievances, because we point a finger at another, but three fingers are pointing back at us. And grievances and blame are akin.

2 – Benign Emotions

Why would we harbor ill will if we could harbor more benign emotions? And we can harbor more benign emotions. We get ourselves all tangled up, criticizing (even in our minds) the words or actions of another. We don’t make friends that way; we alienate people. There is no way that we can blame without suffering repercussions that are bad.

3 – Blaming Ourselves

We often blame ourselves when we think that we have fallen short of our ideal behavior. And this is just as bad as blaming others for their shortcomings. We are innocent! And that is enough to know. We don’t have to chastise ourselves that we are falling short. We are enough.

4 – Let Grievances Go and Be Safe

The ego trap of blame need trouble us no further when we remember from the Workbook of ACIM that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. Without that knowledge, we invite anxiety, and blaming ourselves and others is a prime way that anxiety (and fear) can enter our lives.

5 – Being Good

We are good people, even when we don’t act in a good way. Our inner Christ Self knows no sin, and even our personal self knows only mistakes—not sins. And we would correct mistakes as soon as possible. Then there is no reason to blame ourselves for falling short of what we want to be. We can pick ourselves up and simply try again—no harm done, for we live in an illusory world in which God knows that his children are innocent. If the blame seems to invite it, we can ask for forgiveness of others and ourselves. God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (from ACIM). God just loves, and it would behoove us to follow the Almighty in this laudable task for loving only.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will not allow myself to fall into the temptation of blaming either myself or another for perceived shortcomings. I know that this is an egoic trap, and that blaming will only bring on the more sinister guilt.

Help me to keep to this vow. Help me to avoid blaming if things don’t go to suit me. The day is long and there is time for much to go wrong. But I can start the day over again at any time, and I would do so if I step amiss.

Be with me for a good day. Always be with me.

Amen.

Is Not the Embrace Holy?

images“This lesson is only as complicated as the most complex among you needs it to be .  But for some it can be simple, as simple as realizing the oneness of the embrace.  Within the embrace you can let all thought go.  Within the embrace, you can quit thinking even of holy things, holy men and women, and even divine beings, even the one God.  Is not the embrace itself holy?  Is not the sunrise and sunset?  (A Course of Love, 20.21)”

Affirmation:  “I welcome the embrace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

This passage for today is especially beautiful in writing style as well as the message.  We can realize, when we imagine that Jesus embraces us, that we are totally protected and totally safe.  We can let our worries fall away.  We can drop our concerns.  We have no problems, for the solutions are presented at the point that the problems appear (an ACIM tenet).  Such a glorious way to live!

2 – Safety in Love

If we could only sustain this realization, this perfect safety in love, we would be well along the pathway home.  May we follow the way that Jesus has so beautifully pointed out to us.  May we not get ourselves all tangled up with the fretting of this world.

3 – Embrace = All Is Forgiven

The embrace is Jesus’s way of saying that all is forgiven.  Despite any regrets that we have, we do not need to hold them against ourselves, thinking we are not worthy, for we are children of God, and we remain as He has created us.  Everything else is illusion, and though we cannot discount what has happened in illusion, when we ask for forgiveness of our mistakes, all is indeed forgiven.  May we never forget this blessing of Atonement.

4 – Simple Lesson

May we learn a simple lesson today.  May we not make it complex or complicated.  It is as simple as telling a child that Jesus loves him/her.  We have not outgrown Jesus, but now, in A Course of Love, he ultimately sees us as companions to him, equals in every respect.  This is not the message of traditional Christianity, but perhaps it is a new message for our age,

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we bask in the love that Jesus shows us that he has for us.  May we not let our minds wonder how this might be.  He is real, and he knows us–all of us.  Let us look beyond what science tells us to what we know in our hearts.

May we feel the embrace of Jesus today.  He will see that we come to understand all that we need to understand, so that intellectual doubt does not intrude.

Amen.

The Embrace

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted.  Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mind.  Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right.  Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist.  Feel the gentleness and the love.  Drink in the safety and the rest.  Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.  (A Course of Love, 20.2)”

Affirmation: “May I feel the embrace today.” van gogh - sunflowers10

Reflections:

1 – Most Beloved Passage

This passage for today is one of the most beloved of all passages in A Course of Love.  In it, Jesus is speaking personally to every reader, but he is also speaking from a more universal perspective, saying that the universe is safe and holds us within its embrace.

2 – Gentleness, Love, Safety, Rest

The personal aspect will appeal to some; the more universal, to others.  We are bade to feel the gentleness and love of the embrace, the safety and the rest.  Jesus invites us to close our eyes and imagine what cannot be seen.  Often we have been told (in A Course in Miracles as well as A Course of Love) that our physical eyes cannot have “vision.”  We only have vision for the real world, which is not physical in the way that the illusory world is physical.  The physical world is seen differently in vision, and that is all that we really need to know.

3 – Comfort

This passage is comforting in the extreme, and it would be helpful to return to it over and over when we are ill-at-ease or distraught.  Life does throw us curves sometimes, and we would do well to take advantage of all that Jesus is offering to us.  He is with us, when we make one “unequivocal call” (from ACIM).  Can we understand this?  No, we can’t.  But, somehow, Jesus transcends ordinary physical laws and is with all of us as need arises.

4 – Personal

Do I believe this, truly?  Absolutely.

5 – A Blessing

And I hope that we will all come to believe this blessing also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have felt the presence of a person who seemed, to my mind, to be Jesus.  There was a comfort to this presence that I have felt from nobody else.

Be with me today as I seek to work out my intellectual doubts.  There are natural laws about which our science, as yet, knows nothing.  And I think that Jesus’s presence with us is one of those natural laws.  He comes in response to one unequivocal call, as A Course in Miracles tells us.

Thank You.

Amen.

Safe, Sure, and Secure World–within You

“Within you is all the world safe, sure, and secure.  No terror reigns.  No nightmares rule the night.  Let me give you once again the difference between what is within and what is without:  within is all that has joined with you.  Without is all that you would keep separate.  Within you is every relationship you have ever had with anything.  Outside of you is all that you have kept apart, labeled, judged, and collected on your shelves.  (A Course of Love, 5.14)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose the real life within me.”

Reflections:

1 – Joining Inside of One’s Self

This “joining” inside of one’s self is a new concept in A Course of Love, not discussed specifically in A Course in Miracles.  We can take within, we know, but often the only world that we observe is the one outside of ourselves–the one we enter to earn a living, to find a mate, to make friends.  But Jesus says here that it is the inner joining that creates the real.  And the real is inside of us.

2 – More Complete Definition of the Real World

This is a more complete definition of the “real world” than A Course in Miracles ever gives.  If we believe that Jesus channeled A Course of Love, perhaps to clear up misconceptions and to lead us farther onward, then this more complete definition of the real world, of reality, is a blessing.  We join with that which we love.  And love is the overriding aspect of A Course of Love.

3 – We Have Judged What Is Outside

We have judged what is outside of ourselves.  And that is where our errors lie.  ACIM did say that we were not to attack, judge, or make plans against contingencies to come (unless the Holy Spirit so prompted us to make plans).  So we have made a mistake (but not a sin) when we have judged.  And the judgment has made happiness impossible for us.  We cannot love those whom we judge.  Oh, we love them sometimes, and we hate them sometimes, but this is not love as Jesus mean the word.  We need to love unconditionally, and in A Course of Love he is trying to teach us how to love unconditionally (an interpretation of ACOL, not stated therein).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would join within today, and with this “within” I will reach outward to my brothers and sisters–and those are all of us.  May this view of the real world satisfy me.

There is no better way to live.  To join with all that we are, and reach outward to all that we see.  Thank You.

Amen.

When All Fear Ends. . .

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established.  All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is.  How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “I relinquish doubt today.”

Reflections:

1 – Doubt

We have not even believed in our own true existence.  We have so doubted ourselves, and love, and God, that we scarcely knew where to turn–ever.

2 – Feel Love and Fear Is Gone

We need to take to heart this message, as it is the key to leaving fear behind.  When we recognize that we are love, and that we are surrounded by love, and we really, really feel this, then we will not fear anymore.  There will be no reason for fear.  Our safety is assured.  Regardless of what we attract in this world by our wayward thoughts, we will know internally, in our better moments, that God loves us and that we are not alone.  We will find surety in this thought, when this thought has taken hold in our hearts–and our minds.

3 – Wholeheartedness

The combination of mind and heart is called in A Course of Love “wholeheartedness.”  Jesus is getting ready to introduce this idea.  But first we need to just step aside from the mind, and listen to our hearts.  Our hearts will offer the solace that we often do not find in this world.  We will, with God’s help, be healed.  We will know real love for the first time.  We will no longer be lonely, for God will provide those things that we really need.  Our needs are always met; this is a certainty.  And if we need friends and family as support, these too will be provided.  We need only ask in certainty, and our pleas will be heard.  Our needs will no longer overcome us, and we will be free to live the better life that we are meant to find in this world.  Yes, even in this world.

4 – Fears Are Made by Us

Let us step aside from fear today.  Let us know that fears are made by us and our mistaken belief about what we are.  Fears are not of God.  Let us ask today for only the things which are of God.  And because this is a prayer in His Will, we will be answered in abundance and in assurance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for setting aside my fears this morning.  My routine for the morning was broken, and, as a result, my fear intruded.  This is a prime example of the danger of too much routine, too many predictable rituals.  Help me to leave these undesirables alone.

Be with me as I seek to recognize that You are with me always, that feelings of love will negate fearful thoughts.  This recognition has always been a part of ACIM and ACOL, but until recently somehow its import was lost on me.  I would lose this recognition no longer.  I would know that Your felt Presence assures me that I am with You, that You are with me, and that we are One.  

In this is my loss of fear and anxious thoughts assured.

Amen.

Yes, We Are Safe

“There is no difference in his state at different times and different places, because they are all one to God.  This is his safety.  And he has no need for more than this.  (M-16.7)”

Affirmation:  “I am safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Inaccurate Definitions of the Ego

God is with us, closer than our breath, because we are part of God.  We have made a separate part that believes (inaccurately) that this tiny part has actually separated from God, but this would be an impossibility, because God is the All.  This part that we only “think” separated is the ego, and we do not need this particular definition of the ego to maneuver our way about our world.  This definition of the ego comes close to Freud’s, but is not equal to it.  This ego is a part of our belief about ourselves (a Text tenet), and believing in its viability makes a lot of turmoil for us.  We are better to live egoism out of the picture.  This definition is also not exactly “egotistical.”  Certainly the egotistical come into play, but this ACIM definition of the ego is more basic.  We do not have to afraid of it, but this seemingly separated part of ourselves is  mightily afraid of our real Self, knowing that we will withdraw all allegiance to it when we have experienced the joy of God as a sustainable state of mind and heart.

2 – No Egoistic Attractions

We are safe when we do not attract egoistic things into our lives.  We can even enjoy the material without feeling guilty, as long as we knowingly give God His place in our lives.  We do not even have to be religious in the usual sense.  Teachers of God (a Manual tenet) come from all religions, and from no religion.

3 – God with Us

God is here for us when we need Him.  He is also here for us when we don’t recognize that need.  But what joy when we do recognize and acknowledge His place in our lives.  There is no better way to live.

4 – Foxhole Religion

Safety is a big concern to many of us, particularly if we have been physically or emotionally vulnerable at some point in our lives.  If we have hit bottom, so to speak, we may have become quite open to religion.  But this religion of the desperate is not the best that we can hope to have.  The foxhole religion falls away when out of the foxhole.  It is far better to live a quiet life, even one as busy as we desire, but one that acknowledges that we can’t do everything on our own.  We actually know this, whether or not we have acknowledged God’s place in our lives or not.  There is no way for has not seen that life could be lived a better way.

5 – ACIM and ACOL

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love come to us to show us a better way.  There are thousands of other courses (a Manual tenet), but ACIM (and, perhaps, ACOL) are our way.  So why should we seek further?  There will always be apparent reason for more seeking, because we are so used to doing it.  But A Course of Love says that there comes an end of seeking and an end of learning.  Let us be glad that we know enough to welcome God into our lives.  And may we know His joy in everyday life.  This is a quite attainable goal.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that I do know, in the depths of my being, that I am safe today.  I know it for I feel Your Presence, in my better moments.

Help me to intuit the real meaning of the ego, as described in A Course in Miracles.  I know that it is part of myself, but I do not have a handle on how to describe this, except in terms of what it is not.  Help us all today to reflect a bit on the ego and to have the certainty that, even though we can’t pin it down, we do know what Jesus is talking about.  And we would let that part of our belief about ourselves just wither away.  We would not struggle to end the ego, for resistance makes the ego strong.  We would just turn aside from the ego and all that it means.  And, in so doing, we are turning our hell into Heaven.

May I study and derive a great deal from my reading.  And may I commune with You on an almost constant basis.  That is truly the way home.

Amen

Safety = God’s Promise

“There is no deceit in God.  His promises are sure.  Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end.  It is your function to make that end be soon.  It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.  (M-15.3)”

 

Affirmation:  “I would ultimately find everyone at home in God.”

Reflections:

1 – Plan of the Teachers

This passage is about the plan of the teachers of God (from ACIM), to bring everyone back to Him, though that may take millions of years.  I have often mentioned this length of time in this blog, but always with a reassurance that our own way and God’s way in time are not the same.  Jesus says that each of us saves a thousand years, as the world measures time.  But time, also an ACIM tenet, is an illusion; there is no time.  Modern physics is coming to see this truth as well.

2 – God’s Judgment Is Benign

God’s Judgment is benign.  It dwells not at all on “sin.”  And it certainly does not dwell on hell.  God’s Judgment will come to all of us, when we are ready to welcome it (from the Manual).  The Judgment will be carried out by Jesus in conjunction with his brothers (and sisters).  Can we understand this?  Of course not.  We are very human, and this is part of the theology of ACIM that is in all likelihood something that is beyond us.  But having led us this far, is it likely that Jesus would be wrong herein?  Most students/teachers of A Course in Miracles do not believe Jesus is leading us astray.  He himself says that we might sometimes get that idea, but he has tried to choose words that are impossible to misconstrue (a paraphrase from the Text).  But he also says that we can twist symbols (which words are) around if we wish.

3 – The World Is Weary Now

We need to make the end come sooner.  This world is very weary now, and there is an astounding amount of suffering and pain.  Surely we ourselves weep when we hear some news accounts.  But this illusion will not stand before the compassion of God.  And our way home has been pointed out to us (in my opinion, in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love).  Let us seek today to be quiet a bit, and listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Let us ask today what we can do to be sure that the illusory separation from God does not continue for eons.  Let us ask what we can do today to save the thousand years that Jesus has promised to each of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is hard for me, as a limited human being, to comprehend the millions of years that Jesus says may be ahead before everyone is home again.  It seems such a sad dilemma.  But I know that Jesus is not a morose figure.  He always means well, and there are few of us who would ever doubt this.  So even a million years will be short when we have Awakened.  And it is our function in salvation to make that glorious day sooner for those with whom we come in contact.  Help me to remember this, and be with me, I ask.

I know that Jesus does not ask us to force our will on anyone.  Many, perhaps most, of us are not yet ready to accept all that salvation holds out for us.   It is my belief that each day, lived well and happily, provides a means to reach others with the glorious message of Awakening.  And, before Awakening, we are made gentler–not to be scared–by the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings to us.

Be with me today, as I seek to share Your message.  Help me to reduce mistakes in conveying Your message.  May all who are ready to receive help from You and Your Communicator, the Holy Spirit, open their hearts today to receive.  And may we be consistently happy as we receive, for that happiness is also a function for us in this world, according to Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

Amen.

We Are Holy

“Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God.  Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?  (M-15.1)”

Affirmation:  “We are all holy.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

This passage is comforting, even when we do not find it (at first reading) to be believable.  We do want to be whole people, able to give and receive love.  And we do want to be free and at peace.

2 – Being Free

Before we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have an “imprisoned will” (from the Text).  Once we begin, ever so tentatively, to follow Him as our Guide, we learn, slowly at first (usually) what being free actually entails.   The Holy Spirit guides us to our real will, which is totally at One with God’s Will.  The Holy Spirit choose for us (from ACIM); he leads us to our heart’s desire.  But this is our real desire, not the frivolous and useless “pleasures” of the world that soon turn to ashes and dust in our hands.

3 – Heart of God

When we live in the Heart of God, we do not fret or worry.  Of course, and certainly in the beginning, we do not consistently feel God’s mercy.  The transition normally takes some time (though it can happen instantaneously).  We have glimpses of the real world, the world we see just before Awakening.  But we have to realize that these perceptual differences, while miracles, will not last, because miracles are perceptual and nothing perceptual is lasting.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)  So let us take one tiny step after another in the direction of God today.  Let us ask for His “felt presence” (a quotation from Eckhart Tolle).

4 – God’s Felt Presence

Sorrow is no more when we are experiencing God’s felt presence.  We know that we are beloved, and we do not agonize about the future (or even the present, and certainly not the past).  We are living in the present, as God would have us do.

5 – Peace

And we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Most of us do not really believe that we are holy, and when we are consumed by the ego, being called “holy” seems to be not credible.  But we have not changed from our creation; we are as You created us, and we only made a detour into fear–an egoic mistake because of a “tiny, mad idea.”

Help me to leave all such foolishness behind today.  You know that we all try the best that we can at even given moment.  We make mistakes, but You and we together can correct those mistakes.  I would correct my mistakes today.

Help me to feel the gratitude for You that keeps me safe from all harm.

Amen

No Place for Sacrifice nor Suffering

ACIM Workbook Lesson 187 – for Friday, July 6. 2012

Affirmation:  “I bless the world because I bless myself.”

“Never believe that you can sacrifice.  There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value.  If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen and correction must be made.  Your blessing will correct it.  Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well.  No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.  (WB355)”

Reflections:

1 – Doing for Others

We have long believed that when we sacrifice for our loved ones, we are doing the right thing.  This passage for today assures us that, even when we are doing for our loved ones, God does not demand sacrifice.  We may do the same things, but when we are in God’s flow, we will not see our actions as sacrifice.  A change of attitude is all that is needed.

2 – Change of Attitude

“If the thought occurs” is the pivotal point, the indication that we need to change our attitude.  We need to entertain the thought of correction.  Correction is the definition of Atonement (an ACIM tenet).  When we have accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will know correction in our daily lives.  And our daily lives will take a substantial and lasting turn for the better.

3 – Blessings and Thankfulness

Blessings and thankfulness are often linked in my own mind.  If we wish to bless someone, we are being thankful for their place in our lives.  And then we have opened the door to more blessings for ourselves as well.  We will not sacrifice and suffer in our holy relationships, because we will know love

4 – Forgiveness

If we have not forgiven ourselves for our past misdeeds, we will carry a heavy load of guilt, and guilt is hell (an ACIM tenet).  Let us reject such foolishness by simple forgiveness.  We need only ask, and the blessing of forgiveness is ours.  There can be no better way to have a good day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this glorious day.  I had a moment of an anxiety attack this morning, and, with distraction and prayer out loud to You, the moment left me–and quickly.  Help me to remember always that You are nearer to me than my breath, that I am a part of You.

No sacrifice seems too good to be true!  We will be caregivers for our significant others, but if I view this as a sacrifice, I need to change my attitude.  There is much to be gained from taking care of our loved ones–for them as well as ourselves.  May I never forget that this caregiving is a two-way street.

Be with me as I seek to leave all suffering behind.  The last three days have been glorious ones for me, and a tiny change in my routine created some of that difference.  Be with me as I seek to attract Your blessings, and many of these are the intangibles of love, peace, joy, tranquility, and serenity.  No need for drama in a life that is calm and quiet.

Amen.

How to Avoid Being Vulnerable

ACIM Workbook Lesson 86 – for Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Affirmation:  “Only God’s plan for salvation will work.  (WB151)”

Selected Passage:

 

“It is senseless for me to search wildly about for salvation.  I have seen it in many people and in many things, but when I reached for it, it was not there.  I was mistaken about where it is.  Only God’s plan for salvation will work.  (WB151)”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles says that there are many other curricula, and that they only save time.  This is the main function of any curriculum leading toward salvation.  But Jesus stresses that our way is ACIM, and it would be foolish for us to try a different way when this one is intended for us.  By “us,” Jesus is talking about students/teachers of ACIM.

Affirmation:  “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.  (WB151)”

Selected Passage:

“Holding grievances is an attempt top prove that God’s plan for salvation will not work.  Yet only His plan will work.  By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness.  I would not longer defeat my own best interests in this insane way.  I would accept God’s plan for salvation, and be happy.  (WB151)”

Reflections:

We know that we need to give up grievances.  But we fail, time and time again, because the ego has not died in us.  The ego can be very wily when its foundations have been disturbed, and this is what A Course in Miracles, particularly the Workbook, has been doing.  We may no longer make gross mistakes, but the more subtle mistakes, ones that seem so “sensible,” may still pull us back.  We must learn that  forgiveness is our way always, in every situation.  Once this lesson has been learned, we will be well on the way to Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would drop any and all grievances that I have held or do hold.  I would follow the plan for salvation that You point out.  I would not listen to my ego-mind any longer.

Help me to know that I will understand full safety when I have given up grievances,  resentment, and the like.  It is only my own fear that keeps me from You.  I would go to You today, the You that is inside of me and all else.

Amen.

Overcoming Grievances, Hate, and Resentment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 85 – for Monday, March 26, 2012

Affirmation:  “My grievances hide the light of the world in me.”

 

Selected Passage:

“To see, I must lay grievances aside.  I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

To see is to have vision, the understanding that is afforded us by the Holy Spirit.  And to see aright, we must leave our grievances behind.  Other words (not stated in ACIM, but suggested by a close reading) that would be akin to “grievances” would be resentment and hate.  These dark emotions will preclude our seeing aright.  And we must see aright if we are to bring salvation to our brothers and sisters in this world.

Affirmation:  “My salvation comes from me.”

Selected Passage:

“Today I will recognize where my salvation is.  It is in me because its Source is there.  It has not left its Source, and so it cannot have left my mind.  I will not look for it outside myself.  It is not found outside and then brought in.  But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

The passage quoted above is a theoretical look at one of the more practical aspects of A Course in Miracles.  For those of us who are drawn to the theoretical, we will find much to ponder in this passage.  God is within.  There is nothing outside ourselves (a Text tenet).  We project, and then we perceive the external to ourselves.  But when we recognize that God speaks to us from within, we can know what is meant by the lesson for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave all my grievances, even the tiny ones, behind me today.  When I don’t collect grievances, I am not prone to attack verbally.  Thank You for this insight.  It is akin to the insight, also given by you, that I am not prone to attack unless I am stressed.  I would live in Your peace today, and I would not collect grievances nor invite stress.

Help me today when the stress seems to be too much.  All manner of problems will develop unless I take a time-out and pray.  Help me to remember You when it counts most.  I would live in Your peace.  That is all that I really need to think about as the day unfolds.

Thank You for being there for me.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without–that I am projecting the world, just as are my brothers and sisters in this world.  May we find each other a help in our journey back to You, never a hindrance.  If anybody attempts to bait me today, let me know that I am seeing amiss, and a few moments of quiet, solitary time will set my perceptions aright again.

Amen.

Perfectly Safe

“Love holds no grievances.  When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (WB116)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly safe”

Reflections:

1 – A Comforting Passage

This passage is very comforting.  Safety is a great need in our world, and we find herein that letting grievances go means that we will know safety.

2 – Safety Wanted Always

This is one of my favorite passages from the Workbook, and, indeed, from the entire ACIM.  Like many of us, I have always wanted to feel safe.  And this passage promises how to do that.  Is it any wonder that we might turn to the passage often?

3 – Let Grievances Go

It is hard, sometimes, to let grievances go.  So many lamentable aspects of our lives would have us blame others for the bad times.  But should we really?  The Course teaches otherwise.  We are responsible for what we see.  We choose.    But we do not have to “blame the victim” when someone’s life seems.  Our personal (‘little”) self does not do the choosing, unless we are consciously creating a self-fulfilling prophecy (a current psychological theroy).  Our Self does the choosing, and we do not always know what it is up to.

4 – Ask God’s Help

But we can let grievances go, with God’s help, and as an act of will.  The Answer always comes in communion with God.

5 – An Illusory World

If we remember that we live in an illusory world, and that we have always actually been safe from harm to our real Self, then we may feel more secure in this world.

6 – Perfectly Safe

“. ..[P]erfectly safe” is a great consoler in times of stress and anxiety.  Let us never forget that God is always there for us, regardless of the outer and inner experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel perfectly safe today, knowing at the same time that I am perfectly safe–because my Self is never harmed.  I would let all my grievances go.  If I hold onto them, my ego is in the ascendancy.  I would not have my ego in ascendancy.

Be with me throughout the day.  Help me to live right, to live abundantly, as You will.  May I follow my Guide without fail today.  May I turn on a dime, when I sense that I am going astray.

To be perfectly safe is one of the great needs of vulnerable individuals in this world.  May all who read and pray this prayer today know that all of us are perfectly safe.  And may we know this when we have let our grievances go.

Amen.

Perfectly Safe

“Love holds no grievances.  When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (WB116)”

Affirmation:  “When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Safety

This passage is very comforting.  Safety is a great need in our world, and we find herein that letting grievances go means that we will know safety.

2 – Hard to Let Grievances Go

It is hard, sometimes, to let grievances go.  So many lamentable aspects of our lives would have us blame others for the bad times.  But should we really?  A Course in Miracles teaches otherwise.  We are responsible for what we see.  We choose.  All the choices may not be made by the little self, the personal self.  We are sometimes attune to our larger self, the Self that will ultimately be joined as one with the Christ (from A Course of Love).

3 – God is Always There for Us

“. ..[P]erfectly safe” is a great consoler in times of stress and anxiety.  Let us never forget that God is always there for us, regardless of the outer and inner experience.

4 – A Confused and Disturbed Mind

Perhaps we long for safety too much.  We are certainly in a dangerous world, but the danger in it is sometimes seen by a confused and disturbed mind.  We would have none of this insanity, but all of us here are insane to one degree or another (an ACIM tenet).  We should not underestimate the madness of this world (also an ACIM tenet).  And it would be good for us to ask the Holy Spirit, speaking for God, to “get the madness out.”

5 – Our Circumstances May Improve

We may be surprised by the improvement in our circumstances.  Perhaps all that has been missing was our oneness with God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would lose my grievances today, if only for today, and I know that life is lived one day at a time.  I know that when I am thinking peacefully about others, I am much happier.  And I also know that I feel safe.  The truth of this statement comes home to me.

May I know safety in this difficult world.  May I let my grievances go, not just for a day or so, but day-by-day far into the future.  For all time.  This is as You would have it for me, and I choose what You will.

Thank You for helping me in this resolution.

Amen.

My Sinlessness Is All that Keeps Me Safe

ACIM Workbook Lesson 341 – for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “I can attack but my own sinlessness,
        And it is only that which keeps me safe.”

“How pure, how safe, how holy, then, are we, abiding iin Your Smile with all Your Love bestowed upon us, living one with You, in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete; in sinlessness so perfect that the Word of Sinlessness conceives us as His Son, a universe of Thought completing Him.  (WB474)”

Reflections:

1 – Theology vs. the Practical

There are some theological concepts in the prayer for today.  While we do not want to haggle over the theological, it is fascinating to contemplate the nuances of meaning in A Course in Miracles.  Keep in mind, though, that theology can distract us, and that Jesus says that it with the practical that we want to focus.  There can never be a universal theology, but a universal experience is not only possible, but also desired.  And ACIM provides some theology, for those who like this type of message, as well as abundant practical helps for living in this world.

2 – Explicating the Prayer

I want to focus on two aspects of the prayer.  First, “living one with You [God], in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete” and second, “a universe of Thought completing Him [the Self that we are all meant to rediscover].”

3 – God = Brotherhood and Fatherhood

If we are to live with God in both brotherhood and Fatherhood, then there is an inkling, in my interpretation, that we are meant to become co-creators with God.  This is the “brotherhood” aspect.  But always we are aligned with God as our Father (using the masculine gender, as ACIM does).  Our brotherhood is assured as soon as our will is no longer imprisoned by an ego run amuck.  And Awakening will follow.

4 – A Universe of Thought

The second quotation, the “universe of Thought” suggests that the universe is Thought, a Thought that our Self knows, even though the egoic self does not.  This is Idealism in philosophical terms.  ACIM does see the world as an illusion, not real, and so nothing that happens in this illusion is actually true.  We are Thoughts of God, when we are in our most exalted Self rather than the egoic self.  The “Word of Sinlessness” is God Himself (though the prayer is not specific).  And if God Himself gives us the indication that He is the Source of Sinlessness, then we might find it easier to believe that we are sinless–only having made mistakes that are theoretically correctable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What nuances of meaning are in today’s lesson!  Thank You.  I would ultimately know You as co-creator, regardless of how long (in earth years) this may span.  I would follow Your Guide, the Holy Spirit, as I seek to walk the pathway back to You that You indicate is possible.  I would give no credence to a separation that has not really happened.  I am still as You created me.

Be with me throughout this day, regardless of what the day may bring.  Yesterday had a few bumps in my ride, and it is likely that today will as well.  I will not let that deter me.  When stymied, I will turn to Your Guide, intended for me.  Thank You for His Answer to all perplexities that may arise.  Help me to enjoy fellowship, inwardly, with You, and fellowship, outwardly, with the others in my circle.  Thank You for always holding me close when the day fills with what appear to be crises.  Let nothing of the ego blow my adversities out of proportion.  There is absolutely nothing that You can’t handle, that You won’t make come out alright in the end.

Amen.

Wholly Safe, Eternally at Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 328 – for Thursday, November 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “I choose the second place to gain the first.”

“There is no will but Yours.  And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be.  It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace.  And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.  (WB465)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will / A Puppet of God?

One of the great preoccupations of my early adult years, before I found A Course in Miracles when I was 34 years old, was the question of God’s will.  What did He want me to do with my life?  I pondered that one for literally years on end, writing in my journal and doing a lot of thinking.  I wondered if I determined what God’s will was, would I be a puppet of His?  If I don’t follow my own free will (which might be different, or so I thought), then what would I be except a puppet?

2 – The Will of God and Our Own = Identical

A Course in Miracles answers all these questions.  Jesus says that our real will and the Will of God–as imparted to us as guidance from the Holy Spirit–are actually identical.  The Holy Spirit lets us know what our real will is, and often we don’t know this until we accept His guidance.  We are so confused by the ego that we choose wrongly, and we suffer as a result.  But the Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He guides us into the smooth paths of harmony.  And all is well.

3 – We Near the End of the Workbook

By the time we reach this lesson, Lesson 328, we are well toward the end of the year spent with God in the Workbook for Students.  We are no longer imagining a result as dictated by the ego.  So the prayer above can say, “I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be.”  We would be wholly safe, eternally at peace.  And the only way to get there is through guidance that God encourages us to follow, from the Universal Inspiration, His Communicator to us.

4 – We Want What God Wants for Us

Now, if we have listened well and communed constantly with God, we will be ready to recognize that we do indeed, and happily, share the Will of God that He gave to us.  We want what He wants for us.  We know that this is all that we want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I regret that I spent so many years pondering what God’s wil might really mean.  Thank You for the answer in A Course in Miracles.  How could it be otherwise?  I am One with You, and though covered over by layers of egoic thinking, I know that my whole Self belongs to You.  So how could my real will and Your Will be different from each other?  You allow me to manifest in this world, and my Self encompasses the better individual that You still consider me to be.  You have never given up on me.  As ACIM says, I am as You created me.  Only in illusion have I fallen into the separation that is not really real.

Help me to retain these ideas today.  Thank You for this bit of theology.  If others do not find the theology compatible with their thinking, may they commune with You to get their own understanding, an understanding that may differ from my own.  Be with all of us today as we seek You once again.

Thank You that You did not create “puppets.”  That was always a false issue, and I am glad to leave that false idea behind me.  Be with me as I seek to grow ever more closely into the individual that You would have me manifest in this troubled world.

Amen.