Tag Archives: Self/Christ

Tiny, Mad Idea

cezanne - bowls of fruit
“It is impossible for you to imagine this holiness [of the Self] with the concepts of the thought system you heretofore have relied upon. This thought system has allowed only the acceptance of a reality within certain parameters, for it has not allowed you to imagine being able to take steps ‘back’ to the God you believe you left in defiance, or the self you believe you abandoned there. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.11)”

Affirmation: “I can believe that to separate from God was a ‘tiny, mad’ idea.”

Reflections:

1 – Madness

Earlier I suggested some “reasons” for a presumed separation from God, “reasons” set forth by individuals other than Jesus. Elsewhere, near this passage, Jesus indicates that we don’t have to look for a reason, though we have done so for eons. And maybe there was no reason other than madness. The “tiny, mad” idea is set forth early in the Text of A Course in Miracles, and this ACIM passage goes on to say that we “forgot to laugh.” And so the mad idea became possible of effects, without a cause. If this reasoning is sound, then we need look no further for reasons for a fall of humankind. There is no reason except madness.

2 – Guilty?

In today’s passage, we are almost seen as feeling guilty for this lapse, this separation. So we don’t look further for its cure. But there is a reason to look for the cure. And in that reason we move from the ego-self, to the personal self (also a persona) that is informed by the Self/Christ from within.

3 – God Is Not Angry with Us

If we can believe that we did not leave God in defiance, and especially if we can believe all that ACIM and ACOL have told us about God, we know that He is not “angry” with us. He has never condemned us, and so He also has no need to forgive us. What a glorious promise this is! We are redeemed, when we have walked the pathway back. The “journey without distance” (from ACIM) is as though we stand at the end of the pathway, looking back, and the carpet rolls up in retrospect.

4 – We Relive the Past

Jesus indicates that we do indeed stand at the end of the journey, that all that we experience now is in the past. We simply look back, reliving, a journey in which we are retracing our steps. The “tiny, mad” idea met with a Solution (the Holy Spirit) at the very point of the inception of the mad idea.

5 – Leave the Ego Behind

So let us decide today that we are through with all this egoic madness. We are, in fact, through with it, if we believe Jesus’s assertion that we are reliving the past. And so today is just as good as any day to take ourselves lightly as we retrace our steps.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind this tiny, mad idea of separation today. I did not leave God out of defiance, though I may have believed this for a very long time. And now is the time to return. I am ready, from a personal standpoint. But good intentions are not enough. I need You. Be with me as I make this transition into sanity.

Thank You.

Amen.

Meditation / Yoga / Affirmations

_5236338_hf“Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting go of one so that the other can arrive. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.2)”

Affirmation: “I will let go of the ego so that the Self can step forward.”

Reflections:

1 – Practices

The practices mentioned in A Course of Love, in this passage, are not mentioned in A Course in Miracles, though the final lessons in the Workbook are thought by some students/teachers to be meditative in approach. Here Jesus names the practices that will undo the learning that we have obtained heretofore, leaving us free to welcome the Self/Christ.

2 – Present Moment

We are asked to think of the present moment, an assertion that many, many spiritual practices have recommended. We release the ego mind in the present, so that we know unity–with Self as well as others. The unity is one of unity in relationship, the One reaching out to the many, and “unity and relationship” are hallmarks of ACOL.

3 – Meditation

I practiced meditation three times a day for years for 30 minutes each time. I was deep into my career of librarianship, and the work could be and often was, stressful, and this despite most people’s assumptions that libraries are stress-free environments. But I am no longer a librarian, and in recent years I have not kept up the practice of meditation. This ought to be changed in me. Meditation is enormously comforting and calming to the emotions, and the insight that comes as a result can sometimes be profound. All practitioners say the same.

4 – Yoga

I now practice yoga most mornings, first thing in the morning. I have a meditative routine that stills my mind and prepares me for the day, and I keep at it for about 20 to 30 minutes. The day gets started right, and, perhaps, in a way, this is a form of meditation for me now.

5 – Affirmations

And affirmations are particularly helpful when I am stressed. Norman Vincent Peale often recommended this form of learning. And he prepared compilations of biblical passages that are particularly well-suited to being converted to affirmations. One favorite is entitled, “Thought Conditioners.”

6 – Turn Aside from the Ego

We need to make a concerted effort to avoid egotistical thinking and actions. This is easily done if we catch ourselves in the moment and turn aside, not to resist but simply to make another choice. And in the unity that we will know when we are living in an egoless way will much understanding come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to practice all three of the learning techniques mentioned herein–meditation, yoga, and affirmations. I will be the better for it. No effort need be involved. I just drop the ego and decide to follow established practices that will better my mind.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that I enjoy. I am desirous of enlarging the number of moments during the day that I sense Your presence, and I ask that You stay with me, not withdrawing and leading me into a dark night of the soul.

Amen

To Live the Life Dreamed Of

Manet-Portrait_Berthe_Morisot_with_Violets
“The only difference between the life you are living and the life you want lies in your willingness to express who you are. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.1)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to know who I really am today.”

Reflections:

1 – Self-Expressive

We need a certain freedom to be self-expressive in this world. We will live the life that we have dreamed of when we let ourselves go and not try so hard to conform to dictates from others that find no place in our heart.

2 – Our Childhood

Many of us grew up trying to conform to the wishes of our elders, usually our parents. Others rebelled against their intentions, but still this was a reaction of “no,” and doing the exact opposite was still an influence from elders.

3 – Guidance

How exactly do we live the life that we want? We follow guidance from God. The inner Self/Christ will know, just know, what to say and do. Our will and that of our God are identical. He speaks for us (a tenet of A Course in Miracles, speaking of the Holy Spirit). God would have us express who we really are, but we are such confused beings on this issue. We wonder, “Who am I?” And we ask this question in a thousand ways and more. Yet inside we know the answer. Only the ego prevents our emergence into the Self/Christ that will blossom one day.

4 – The Past

We need to stop living the constricted life that is based on the past. We need to start afresh each day, turning to God each morning for the marching orders for the day. He will not be harsh or stern with us; He will love us. And we will benefit greatly from our times of communion with Him. Living the life that expresses who we are is not hard at all. It is going against the truth of who we are that is contrary to God’s will and our own will.

5 – Starting Over?

Now, many of us can get some rather crazy notions in our heads, in an impulsive way, about throwing over the life that we have so carefully built and starting all over. Lest this direction be your bent, think again. Impulsively throwing overboard our loved ones for a life of “freedom” is not what being who we are is really about. We need each other, and God has given each of us significant others for whom we are chosen people. Impulsivity is not living who you are. Insufficient thought before change is made is a detriment to the right change. So think carefully, with the heart, before chucking it all to be “free.” There is not greater freedom than the joy that we get from attending to the needs of our loved ones.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your guidance today. It is easy to want to be independent and free, freed of ties. But I would not live thus. My significant others are given to me for a purpose. And I am given to them. The blessings that we enjoy together come from You. I know that independence is best lived when it is actually interdependence.

May we leave behind the chains from our past, our childhood. We need to forgive our families, for they did the best that they could. Even if it was imperfect.
I too am imperfect. And I thank You that Jesus can heal those imperfections of mine if I will give him half a chance.

I would give him a chance today.

Amen.

Pray from Fear into Inner Peace

cezanne.jas-buffan-pool“To pray out of fear is not to pray at all, because such prayer chooses not the union that is the prerequisite.  To pray out of fear is to ask from an unreal state of lack for what is seen as missing or desired.  In contrast, true prayer, formed in union, is a means of creating, recollecting, or recalling a divine memory and transforming that divine memory into a present moment experience.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.6)”

Affirmation:  “I will choose to avoid fearful prayers.”

Reflections:

1 – Fearful Turmoil

When we are in fearful turmoil, our emotions are so engaged that it is hard to sense God’s presence.  We are not in union with God, because we cannot feel His presence.  This is the so-called foxhole prayer, i.e., “There are no atheists in foxholes” (a reminder of World War I).  We need in some way to alleviate the fear, and I have found that prayer, in fact, does alleviate fear.  I can pray myself to sleep when I am anxious.  Is there a problem with my experience vs. the words of Jesus in this passage?

2 – Personal Experience

I think not, because I am calmed by the prayer, a calming that precedes receiving an answer (an answer that is sometimes just blissful sleep).  I do not go to sleep fearful, and I do not remain fearful as I pray.  The fear just drops away, and I pray from a relaxed state of mind and heart.

3 – Divine Memory

The latter half of this passage is difficult to understand.  What exactly is a “divine memory”?  I think that Jesus is calling on our Self/Christ at this point.  When we experience the Self/Christ, we are healed from a divine perspective, for the Self/Christ is our part of the God within (an interpretation, not stated precisely in A Course of Love).

4 – When to Pray

We need to begin praying when we are afraid or fearful, but–and this is the important point–we will not remain afraid or fearful.  We will, in nearly all cases, immediately begin calming down, for we will be recalled to trust in God.  We need never cease to pray because we think that we are too overwrought.  God will create the holy instant that will bring us peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to know that praying to You in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, is a very practical way to induce a return to sleep.  I think that You welcome this communion, for our private times together heal and calm me.  Thank You for letting me adopt practical use of prayer for a very human need of sleep.

Thank You for leading me to realize that the best prayer is not one of fear.  The prayer may begin with anxieties, but the prayer will take me out of the anxieties into peace.  Thank You for this blessing.

If I can reach divine healing today, it will be because You have led me every step of the way.  Fort this leading, I am very grateful.

Amen.

Revelation

impressionism - flowers and water

“Revelation is a proper description of the mode by which the art of thought teaches and helps you learn.  It is not through study, effort, or re-interpretation but through revelation.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.23)”

Affirmation:  “Revelation is now how I will learn.”

Reflections:

1 – Now Ready

This passage for today is a sea change from previous passages cited from A Course of Love, because the passage indicates that we are now ready for revelation.  And the implication is that this revelation will be constant and ongoing.  What a blessing!

2 – Do We Recognize Revelation?

Perhaps we will not be aware of all the times that revelation comes to us.  Perhaps revelation has already come many times and often in recent weeks and months, as we study A Course of Love, and we did not recognize revelation for what it was.  This is my interpretation, that we just didn’t recognize the times that God has spoken to us, has revealed to us that which we needed to learn.

3 – Observation

We do know that no longer do we learn through intense study, but through observation–an observation that is more of the abstract mind than the concrete (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  Now we find that it is not just our personal self that observes, but the Self/Christ within that senses revelation and therefore is guided about what to say or do next.  Our minds and hearts are guided.  We know beyond doubt that we are not alone.  And it is our Self/Christ that has risen to the forefront in our very being.

4 – Do Not Analyze

This passage also says a great deal about what Jesus means by the “art” of thought, the title of this treatise.  We are no longer to analyze, but to receive, and then, in turn, to give.  We receive from the Self/Christ within, a Self that is in intimate contact with our God within, and then we know how to respond.  And our response is very, very important.  We don’t take responsibility for our brothers and sisters, for that is their role for themselves, but we do respond to their needs whenever appropriate.

5 – ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, we learned that revelation would occasionally show us the end, but to get there the means were needed.  And the means were being explaining in ACIM.  (Paraphrases from ACIM, the Text.)  Now we are encouraged to accept that revelation will be much more of a constant in our lives.  The passage does not say, and does not even imply, that we need to be enlightened before we can receive from revelation.  The books in the trilogy of A Course in Love are to be read in sequence, and it is not until the last half of the third book that we go to the mountaintop (metaphorically) with Jesus, and there become the elevated Self of form (assumingly reaching Christ-consciousness).  The Treatise of the Art of Thought is the first of four treatises in the second book in the sequence.  So we are not at Christ-consciousness when revelation begins to speak to us in an ever-more constant way.

6 – Revelation Now More Constant

We learn that revelation is more constant today, from this passage.  May we learn in this new way, and may we thank God for the new means of learning.  We will make great strides, if our heart is right, from  now on.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn how to distinguish revelation from something else.  It seems akin to intuition, but perhaps You need to teach me further.

May I be open to revelation today.  May I learn this new way of knowing, in the depths of my being, in my Self.

Amen.

Transformation

Paul-Cezanne-Painting-012

“Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur.  Your ego has made of this something different than it is.  Rather than extension of mind your experience has become a projection of ego.  This can change.  (A Course of Love, 31.35)”

Affirmation:  “I would withdraw from the projections of my ego.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL vs. ACIM

A Course of Love is more welcoming to experience in this world, in my opinion, than is A Course in MiraclesACOL sees real benefits to an experience in this world, provided that we are moving toward the elevated Self of form.  This elevated Self of form is the sustained awareness of the inner Self/Christ which we will know when we have walked the whole pathway, the pathway to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening.

2 – The Insane Ego

Our experience here is of the physical.  In ACOL, such an experience is not denigrated.  But our problem is that our minds have dipped into insanity by way of the creation of an insane part, the ego.  And the ego does not love us or wish us well.  We can frequently see in the ego the old devil, or enemy, concept of traditional Christianity.

3 – The “Devil”

Just what was the devil, or enemy, in traditional Christianity?  It was a fallen angel who took on God as its rival, at times (as in Job) causing God to engage in contests that sought to prove that the devil knew better.  And there is in many of us this dualistic nature of thought still raging.  We have not left behind this egoic interpretation, for that is exactly what the devil really is, an invention of the ego.

4 – Battle with God?

We are not in a battle with God, and neither is our ego.  The ego just thinks that it is battling God.  God doesn’t respond.  He knows that eventually all of us will choose to eliminate the pain from our lives and choose again His way.  We, unfortunately, do not always understand the truth that His will and our will are actually identical.  We want what He wants for us, but we are just unsure about this.  We think that it is an infringement on the free will that he gave us.

5 – An Imprisoned Will

Actually this is a misnomer.  Our will is actually imprisoned when we choose against God (an ACIM tenet).  And we would not choose to live a life that is, essentially, a loveless and painful experience.  We find joy in turning to the God within.  There is no greater joy than communion with Him or with His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  Once we realize that truly His will for us is the same as our true inner will, we will no longer be in conflict.  We will no longer be Jonahs, railing against His will for us.  We did not create ourselves, though an agnostic or atheist might have trouble with this assertion.  We need to set to one side our intellectual doubts, and just allow the experience of God to infiltrate our minds.

6 – Agnostic or Atheistic?

We will then not long remain agnostics or atheists.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would transform my experience in this world from a battleground for the ego to an experience of a transformed Self for whom God is very real.  I would see that my ego’s idea that I am battling God is not true.  I would seek to know only the true.  

May all of us walk together toward an experience in this world that is the best that this world can offer, the best that life on the earth can offer.  We will be surprised at the transformation that can occur.  And we need to take steps toward that transformation today.  Thank You for guiding us.  Thank You for Jesus’s inspired words in A Course of Love.

Amen.

In God Only Find Your Self

van gogh - birds against dark sky“Give up this notion of losing your Self to God, and you will be done for all time with resisting God.  Only in God can you find your Self.  This is known to you, and is the reason for man’s quest for God throughout all time. . . .Not looking to God to find your Self would be akin to searching everywhere but the Earth for humankind.  If you do not seek where what you wish to find can be found, you seek in vain.  (A Course of Love, 31.10)”

Affirmation:  “I turn to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nirvana

Perhaps many of us have feared the concept of nirvana, when the soul loses itself in God completely and is annihilated in God.  But Jesus is not here advocating such a belief.  He says that we find ourselves in God, and it in the Self that is consumed by God that we know peace.

2 – Lose Ourselves to Find Ourselves

Surely we all want to know peace.  And we may not know how to go about losing ourselves in God, losing ourselves to find ourselves.  This is a legitimate question, but one that is easily answered when we give the technique a try.

3 – Feel God’s Presence

When we feel God’s presence, we are giving this technique a try.  And who has not felt God’s presence?  The warmth is palpable, and so welcome.  We would have more of it; we would never leave it.  But the emotions are involved, and when the emotions are involved, there is always change.  So we do not feel God’s presence on a constant basis.  The times that we do feel His presence, though, are enough to propel us forward into asking for my evidence of His Being.

4 – Feeling Warmth in God

May God be with us as we seek His presence today.  Enough times of such warmth will assure us that He is not to be feared, in the sense of being afraid of him, or of the possibility that we will be annihilated.  We will be all-consumed, but not annihilated, and there is a substantial difference between these two concepts.

 

5 – In God

To be all-consumed by God is to feel His love at all times, as well as the love of our Self that negates pain (a tenet of A Course of Love).  This is indeed a blessing that we would seek, and we may ask for it today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would no longer fear nirvana, which suggests loss that is foreign to my deepest understanding.  I would no longer resist God because I fear losing my Self.  In God I find myself.

Help me to feel Your Presence, a Presence which I feel, in my good moments, as a palpable warmth.  Thank You for giving me this blessing.  And may I do longer have foolish fears of annihilation in You.  Your are my completion, and that is all that I need to know.

Amen.

Choose Once Again

“The choice to change your belief is before you.  Are you ready to make it?  As you once pissarro_stage-coachchose separation you can now choose unity.  Not knowing that unity was a choice prevented you from making this choice before now.  Now I tell you clearly, the choice is yours.  Choose once again.  (A Course of Love, 29.18)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose unity today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Way to Christ-Consciousness

We need to change our beliefs, to believe no longer in the separation that never was, and to embrace the unity that always has been–which we are now ready to accept.  There is no other way to Christ-consciousness.  We must be aware that we are “as” relationship to all, “as” as well as “in.”  And it is in the “as” that we come to see that we cannot get along without communion with God, with our deepest Christ Self, and with other people, our brothers and sisters.

2 – Unity Our Greatest Need

When we recognize that unity with the All is our greatest need, we will be willing to cease this desire for meaningless independence, the isolation that so many of us feel deep in our minds and, perhaps, even, we think, in our hearts.  Our hearts do not really feel thus, though, for they do not have the intellectual doubts about God that stop or, at least, impede, so many of us.  Let us ask for the intellectual understanding that will quell our restless minds, but let us not get hung up about it.  We know in our hearts that God is real, and that He is the only real thing in a real world.  Everything else is illusion, for we ourselves, and everything, is a part of God.  Our brothers and sisters are, likewise, one with God and one with ourselves.

3 – God’s Blessing

It is time to choose again, to choose the blessing that God would bestow upon us.  Fear can fade away when we say the affirmations that come us to from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, as well as the Bible.  These affirmations proclaim a truth that is above doubt, a truth that all is really well with us–regardless of outside circumstances.  Even pain is alleviated and kept from escalating into suffering when we live close to the deepest within ourselves, the deepest which is God.

4 – Join in Unity

May we join forces with all whom we see today, to join in unity with our brothers and sisters, and to pray for the Christ-consciousness which will mean that we will live in unity without any time constraints, permanently.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to get very clear about what we need–and that is a unity with all, You and All that exists.  May I reach the clarity that will tell me this in my deepest heart of hearts.  May I depend on You for the answers to my needs, knowing that needs are always answered.  My wants may not be realized, and that is as it should be.  I may want what would hurt me.

Thank You for helping me to realize that I must keep my mind clear to avoid attracting the wrong things.  I have some say in this, though You will guide me–always–when I let myself be open to guidance.  May I follow Your will and Your way today, all through the day.

Amen.

My Child, Return to Me

monet - lily pads2

“If God were to speak to you Himself and tell you of what means your service would be to Him, He would but tell you this:  My child, return to me.  God has no Will apart from yours.  Your return to unity is all God seeks for you, for Himself, and for all His children.  The return to unity was my [Jesus’s] accomplishment, and all that is meant by what I have often repeated here:  Only you can be accomplished.  Your service is but dedication to this goal.  (A Course of Love, 29.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would return to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

This passage for today is indeed beautiful.  If all God asks of us is to return to Him, then we would do well to heed Him.  Our will and God’s are actually identical, and therefore we do not have to fret that we will be led down paths that we don’t want to take.  We need to realize that we are part of the while, and in returning to the One (God) we return to unity.  We are living in relationship to all at the same time that we are unified with all.  Unity and relationship are touchstones for A Course of Love.

2 – The Accomplished

We will serve, ourselves and others, and in this service we will become like Jesus, in that we will be “the accomplished.”  We need not fear that this is arrogance of the ego, for it is not.  It is the way that things actually are when we are living the Self/Christ.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

The Self/Christ is the elevated Self of form, which means that we are living a physical existence in this world, but we are elevated to the union with God that we all so need.  Union with God, the unitive state, is what mystics of all generations have found, and in the finding they have known peace indeed.

4 – Of Service

Let us ask today to be the accomplished, and with this accomplishment, we will want to be of service to ourselves and others.  We can ask no great blessing than this, to be One with God and our brothers and sisters, one with the All.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be patient as I am of service to others today.  May I make sure that I am embracing You at every turn.  This is what You want.  This is what I want.  May I not let impatience for more hold me back even further.

My I embody the elevated Self of form as soon as You deem possible.  May I enjoy the days that lie between now and then, and may I remain patient always.  Only You know best.

Amen.

Avoid Over-Dependence on Others

“Knowing is alien to you, and that is why you seek validation.  Each validation is seen and felt as a reward, a prize, a confirmation that you believe allows your conviction to grow.  Because you believe it, this is, at first, quite true.  But now it is no longer the time to rely on conviction that comes from the witnesses you find along your way.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation:  “May I depend on my own knowledge.”

Reflections:

1 – Warning

All of us on the pathway back to God have turned to other people and their words to help us make the journey.  But here there is a strong warning from Jesus.  We are not to become too dependent upon others.  We are, instead, to rely on the inner Self/Christ.  We turn inward for correction, as well as an indication of the next step to take.  And we will not be disappointed.

2 – Commune with God

This passage does not say this, but it seems to me that the gist of it is a powerful incentive to commune with God far more of our waking hours than we normally have.  If we turn inward, we are, in fact, turning to God, so long as we are assured that the Self/Christ inside is operative.  If we turn to the egoic part of our mind, and we encourage the personal self to emerge, we will often be misled.  Let us have none of that.

3 – Validation

Validation does not have to come from other people.  We can live quite sanely through following our own lights.  The problem is not that we don’t know enough, but that we don’t put into practice what we do already know.  Let’s change this today.  Practice what we know.  Yes, that is the way home to God.  If we depend on others, we will get very confused.  Politicians learn this truth the hard way.  There are so many advisors, and they differ so much in what advice they give.  The wise politician looks to his/her own lights in making decisions, once all the facts are in.  We ought to do no less.  And our own lights include God and His advice.

4 – Bible Verse

The Bible has a telling verse:  “If ye know these things, happy ye are if ye do them” (from John).  This verse seems particularly apt to our passage from A Course of Love today.  We choose amiss when we don’t listen to the God within, to the Christ/Self within, but instead look overly to our brothers and sisters for validation of what we feel unsure about.  We can easily be misled by others who do not see the whole picture.  When we ourselves feel unsure, because we know that we can’t see the whole picture, how can we depend on others in any sure way?  So we look within.  And there we find God’s guidance reaching out to us.  He knows.  Listen today to Him.

5 – Egoic Mind

We are so used, in our egoic minds, to looking to others to make us feel good.  We certainly do not need to make this mistake again, or, indeed, anymore at all.  Look within.  Pray,  Commune with God.  And much more will go wel for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look to You today.  I would not depend on others to tell me what to do.  They do not know.  You do.  Thank You for your good advice.

Validation is important, but the source must be credible.  And this Source is God.  The most credible Source of All–indeed, the only One.

Be with us today as we seek to have positive experiences.  Help me to live peaceably with my brothers and sisters.  May the actions that they take toward us be well-considered, and may we also treat them well.

Amen.

Typical Fears No More Arise

L'Estaque - cezanne2

“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.

revised

Relationships of the Self/Christ

“Is it such a huge leap to go from saying you only exist in relationship to you only exist as Avenue-de-lOpera-Rain-Effect-artist-Camille-Pissarrorelationship?  You think it is, and feel your self further diminished and lacking in identity just by contemplating such an idea.  And so you must be reassured of the Self you are.  (A Course of Love, 27.10)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand that I exist as relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – Definitions

What is the difference between existing “in” relationship and existing “as” relationship?  “In” relationships we are still two entities (extended to many) that are in concert one to the other.  “As” relationship means that we are not unique in any way, but that the one Self that we are is simultaneously everywhere.

2 – Hard Point

This may be a hard point to grasp.  The subtleties are great.

3 – Selves/Christ in Union

To accept that we are “as” relationship, we must recognize the One that is everywhere and everything.  This is another way of speaking of God.  And we have already grasped that our one personal self is a part of Him.  Is it such a giant leap to see that our Self is actually Selves–Christ in union with all?

4 – Theology

This is part of the theology of A Course of Love.  It is not necessary to take this understanding unto yourself if it seems obtuse.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that theology may only delay us, for a universal theology is impossible; a universal experience, though, is indeed possible and is to be sought out.

5 – Be Patient

Let the concept in today’s passage rest lightly on your mind.  As time passes, think of “in” and “as” again, and see if this distinction is beginning to be more acceptable to you.  But do not fret if it is one of the last concepts in ACOL to find your nod.  We are learning much by observation, and as we progress, in the future, through the other two volumes of ACOL, we will find much that will support the distinction of “in” and “as.”  Then the difference, though great, will not seem so forbidding.  (Note:  Two earlier portions of this blog covered parts of the Volumes 2 and 3.  These were the “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” covered from April 1 – May 14, 2010, and “Treatise on the New,” covered from May 22 – December 31, 2010.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to understand today that my Self is part of the One, the Whole, and that all Selves are One.  Thus to say that we all exist “as” relationship makes sense.  Help me to comprehend today.

May this day good well.  Thank You for the good beginning.  May all of us answer each other’s needs, and may our wants that truly are needs be answered as well.  The solution is with the problem.  And may obsessions drift away.

Amen.

What the Elevated Self of Form Means

“This is the invitation to the celebration.  This is the invitation to greet this day with no worry, disappointment, or planning.  This is the invitation to greet your Self and to find your Self within this day.  (A Course of Love, 26.18)”

Affirmation:  “I will look to my Self today.  May my Self be evident to me.”cezanne - houses

Reflections:

1 – Do We Have What It Takes?

The passage for today is very optimistic, and we might wonder if this reflects Jesus’s optimism about us.  Will we really prove to be who and what he wants us to be?  Do we really have what it takes?

2 – Start the Day Aright

A day started out right has much to recommend it.  If we decide, early today, that we want a celebration, then we might well have it.  We can drop worry, disappointment, and planning–if we have the right support from God.  And we will have that right support when we know that Jesus’s affirmations are true.

3 – Experience the Christ/Self

We need to experience our Self today.  It is the only way that we can be truly peaceful in a world that grows more difficult every day.  This Self does not hamper the growth of a better world in any way; living this Self is the way.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

How do we reach the elevated Self of form?  What, indeed, do these words even mean?

5 – What the Elevated Self of Form Means

The words, “elevated Self of form,” means that we will live in this world as physical beings but we will be living in Christ-consciousness.  The Self/Christ in us is an elevated being when we compare to the personal self, the little self, that was dominated by the ego.  The Self in form has thrust aside the ego as a bad idea, though as a part of ourselves it will simply cease to be; it will not be destroyed in any violent act.  We just turn aside from thoughts of the ego in making our decisions; indeed, we do not make our decisions alone, but in concert with the Christ within.  We assume guidance to be a constant factor in our lives, and we do not recoil from it–ever.  We know that the guidance that we know to be true is the next right action to take.  And so we live, simply and peacefully, fully reconciled to God and fully in harmony with the world in which we find ourselves.

6 – The World Will Change

The world will change when these changes have reached a critical mass.  And we can help that day be sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start this day aright.  I would leave aside worry, planning, disappointments.  I would sense my Christ/Self within today.  All will be well if I can stay true to this resolution.  I do have plenty of help.  Help is only a call away.  You are with me, and there are helpers abounding.  Thank You.

I would live the elevated Self of form today, if only in fleeting moments.  Your guidance will bring this out in me.  I am grateful to You for the assurance that we are meant to live the elevated Self of form.  The physical does not have to be downplayed.

Be with me as I seek to drop worry today, worry and obsessions.  I must do my part, and, with Your help, I will succeed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Be Still / Experience All that Is Holy

sainte-victoire-lauves - cezanne“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind?  Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more?  Can you let the planning for the future cease?  Can you be still and know your Self?

“This is perhaps disappointing to you, but it is all that is required.  If you could truly succeed at doing this for one instant, you would experience all that is holy and be forever one.  (A Course of Love, 26.16 – 26.17)”

Affirmation  “May I listen to inspired words and be reassured.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ-Consciousness

This passage, which repeats what was begun yesterday, reinforces all that is required of us.  It makes clear that keeping worry from the mind, not dwelling on the past or planning for the future, will lead us to Christ-consciousness.  We would do this for only one instant, and we would experience “all that is holy and be forever one.”  This is a definition of Christ-consciousness, the blessing toward which we are moving.

2 – A Simple Answer

Is the simplicity of the answer a disappointment to us?  We sometimes like to work too hard, thinking that hard work will get us what nothing else can.  But the heart does not work the way the mind does.  The heart simply knows, and with this knowledge comes the willingness to let go and let God.

3 – Relax

We need to relax in the blessing of God’s presence.  We need to realize that hard work doesn’t really get us what we want.  Christ-consciousness is a gift of God, and a change of what we think about is all that we really need.  We need to live in the Now, as Eckhart Tolle has told us.  Eckhart is an enlightened teacher who is identified with no one faith in our world.  But his books, The Power of Now and A New Earth, have identified the fact that he is indeed enlightened.  His way, though, was not the way of A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love had not yet been channeled.

4 – Enlightenment

Enlightenment is real is our world.  We do not want to claim this blessing if we risk making assertions that prove not to be true.  So we go slowly.  What we experience may be only a glimpse, and may not be sustained.  But Jesus would have us to sustain the elevated Self of form, something that he says has never been done in our world.  (It is unclear if he includes himself in this statement.)

5 – Rest in God’s Love

We need to drop the worries of the present, close off the past and the future, and rest in God’s love.  Then we will be positioned to accept God’s blessing of Christ-consciousness when he deigns to offer it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend the remainder of the day in contemplating what You would have me experience as I, like all of us, move closer to enlightenment.  May I be still, as Jesus asks, and experience the Self who I am.  May this contemplation give me peace of mind and heart.  Help me to make of the remainder of this day a particular day of meditation.

I need to drop worry, cease senseless planning, and think no more of disappointments that might once have unnerved me.  Your way for me has been best, when I have been faithful enough to follow.  May I be faithful enough today, and may this today extend into the future with ease.  You would not have me struggle in this world.  I can experience effortless ease when my faith in You is sufficient.

Thank You for the reassuring words of Jesus.  May his mission be fulfilled with all the help that he asks of us.  And may never a bit of egotism intrude that would ruin it all.

Amen.

You Are Not Alone

“All that you are asked to give up is your insane notion that you are alone.  We speak much of your body here only because it is your proof of this insane idea’s validity.  It is your proof as well that a life of fear is warranted.  How could you not fear for the safety of a home as fragile as the body?  (A Course of Love, 9.25)”

Affirmation:  “I am safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Fragile Body

The body is indeed fragile, and when we focus on it to the exclusion of other people–the ones who assure us that we have companions–we think amiss.  Our bodies will be healthy and strong unless we choose otherwise, for reasons that only our inner Self can know.  We would have healthy and strong bodies, and to do so we are not to focus on ailments.  Thinking intently about the ailments only accentuates them in our minds, and even accentuates the ailments themselves.

2 – Life Filled with Love

We also choose a life filled with love, one that crowds out fear.  We will know less fear when we have come to understand that we do not have to “learn” to experience the demise of fear.  We need only reach out to others and to God, and to, we may believe, unseen forces beyond our  physical world.  These many helps are available to us, but when we are sick and feel lonely, we often give in to depression and do not avail ourselves of the help that is crying out to assist us.

3 – The Body

When we think that the body is our sole home, we will be fearful, because the world does things to the body that let us know that the ego does not wish us well.  The body is the ego’s home, and the fragility of the body is the ego’s best evidence that we need to turn to it [the ego] for protection.  But, as A Course in Miracles points out, this will never solve anything, because the ego has never answered any questions, though it has raised a great many (from the Text).

4 – The Christ/Self Within

Let us pray today for the strength of the Christ/Self within, and the knowledge that our position while in this world is a blend of the human and the divine.  We need not fear the physical, for we can overcome its frailty by a persistent dependence upon the power of God to raise us up above limitations.  We may never see the end to all limitations (as ACIM notes), but we can live better when we put our dependence where that dependence is wholly justified–on the spirit of God Who is within us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not fear a weak and/or frail body–ever.  This physical framework is not all that there is to me, and I would know that and thus not fear the aloneness that the body would inspire.  It is my mind that is giving the body the “instincts” that so overcome me; the body does nothing.  May I recognize this today.

May my Christ/Self within come to the forefront and banish these thoughts of weakness and frailty.  There is no better way to live than to live in constant contact with You.

Help me to remember to keep You in mind and heart today, a conscious choice.

Amen.