Hero’s Journey Is Our Journey

As you know yourself to be, you are the effect of God’s desire to extend Love.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 43)

Yes, we are the extension of the Godhead as Love. We just fell into separation, wanting to explore how we might be different if we “forgot” that we are Love. We didn’t know what a magnificent entity we could be if we remained in Love. Yet God chose this pathway for us, along with us. It was a mutual decision. We will return to Him, ready to be embraced by Love, much more knowledgeable and much more mature than new souls who had previously not embarked on any journey.

This is the “hero’s” journey. Ultimately, we return to where we have been. And there, T. S. Eliot, the poet, says, “to know the place for the first time.” This is what life is all about, to explore, to make mistakes in our ignorance of the whole picture, to finally know that God is all we want. Jesus says this elsewhere in WOM (Christ Mind Trilogy), that he is still constantly wanting to know more and more of God, still progressing as an entity. He encourages us to move fast if we want to be where he is, because his place in the universe is not static. He will yet be farther along than we, if we hesitate.

God created us as a way to extend Love. His Love acted in the cosmos to individuate portions of His Self so that He could truly experience existence. Neale Donald Walsch, in his conversation with God series, describes this well. Neale goes on to say that God in His totality would be as unknowable as “nothing,” if He did not differentiate His Self into component parts. Yet we may believe that, like a hologram, each part (each entity) contains the Whole. So we can reach deep within, and intuitively, just “know.” This knowing takes us a very long way on our pathway back home.

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When Will We Ever Learn?

“The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful. And this belief is the devil. It is powerful, active, destructive, and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His fatherhood. Never underestimate the power of this denial. Look at your life and see what the devil has made. But know that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation is a lie.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.9:1-6)

Now we know what the devil concept was all about. We know that it is really the egoic notion of things, lived out in separation from God. We could not truly separate from Him, because we are part of Him, but we could live, with the ego, as though we are separate. And therefore alone. And the ego is the symbol, as well as the essence, of fear. Thinking we are all alone in the universe will frighten the most courageous.

In the egoic world, we thought that if there were good, there had to be a counterbalancing of evil. Contrasts were the way that the drama proceeded. And there were so many dramas! We felt the height of joy, but just for a moment, before we were dashed down and in misery, despair. Is this any way to live?

We can’t live in this illusion any longer, because we know better now. As children of God, individuals within whom He dwells, our real will for ourselves is not a contradiction from His will for us. This truth can be hard to accept, for the separation has been long and cruel. The Holy Spirit will guide us gently to the truth that the wills are the same. How could they not be, when God is living through us?
God’s way is true reality; our parody of His creation has been and will always remain, illusion. Not being real, our illusion weaves fanciful imaginings that bring us down, and down, and down, repeatedly?

When will we ever learn?

We Remain with God

“Separation is painful only to those who believe it can occur in truth. What would a child’s rejection or a parent’s death mean to those who did not believe in separation? Do you believe that God believes in separation? He knows it not, and because He knows it not, it does not exist. Because He knows it not, He has not been hurt by it. He knows no rejection and no death. He knows no pain or sorrow. His son remains with him in his eternal home, joined with him as always in eternal completion.” (C:12.23)

We remain with God, even in this sometimes difficult world. He does not countenance separation from Him, something that He knows (and we now know) is impossible, for we are part of Him. When this passage says that God “knows” not separation, I think it means that He doesn’t put any store by it, not that He doesn’t know of our plight. (There are differing opinions among A Course in Miracles students/teachers about whether or not God knows of our plight in illusion.)

We are here today, merged with God. Our Self is coming into its own, and it is this Self Who is One with God.

Let us relax today in God’s care. He will never leave us nor forsake us. We are safe.

We can trust Him.

Listen to Our Heart

“The world does not keep you separate. You keep yourself separate from the world. This is what has made the world the world it is. What you withhold allows illusion to rule and truth to be locked away in a vault so impenetrable and so long secured that you have thought it forgotten. You have not realized the vault is your own heart, or that the truth is what you have chosen to keep secure and set aside there.” (ACOL, C:7.9)

This highly interesting passage explains that what has happened in our separation from God: We have also separated from each other in this world. Separation has become a plague that we didn’t know how to overcome, because we thought that separation was normal.

Separation is not normal. It is not as God intended. Our heart holds the key to understanding the way that living can really be. Our heart will project these answers onto the world and therefore transform it—when we let our heart speak to us. Until we risk a little exposure and open our hearts to each other, we still are mired in separation and distrust of each other.

Distrust of each other is a legitimate fear in this troubled world. But until we take the risk of exposing our real Self, the Christ Self, to others, we will be caught by the dangers imposed by the ego-mind, the egoic self, the little self that has not known transformation. And transformation is what we want. Opening the heart to others, even ever to slightly, will let us see that our projections now are much better than when those projections were informed by the ego-mind. We won’t get hurt in the same ways. Our projections from our Christ Mind will be healing in a way that projections from the egoic mind never were.

Make no mistake about: What we see outside of ourselves is a projection—a projection of the physical world as well as intangibles that we can’t place a finger upon. Projection makes perception, as A Course in Miracles is fond of saying. And with our choice to let the inner Christ Self out to play, we have far less to worry about. Our projections will be benign and healing.

Listen to our heart. That advice is promulgated through and through A Course of Love. Of course, we must join the heart to the mind, because otherwise our heart feelings might needlessly confuse us. But the heart takes the lead in ACOL. When we listen, we learn in new ways what Jesus is telling us.

And we project a new world. This is when creation of the new world really begins.

In Separation from God, We Have Distorted Reality

“Is it so impossible to imagine that what God created was distorted by your desire to have your reality be other than what it is? Have you not seen this kind of distortion take place within the reality you do see?” (ACOL, 9.28)

Eons ago, when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) took hold, we thought that we would make a world that we would like better than the one that God envisioned and created for us. This was indeed madness. But, like adolescents, we forged ahead, and he made the decision to let us exert the free will with which He had endowed us. And what a mess we made for ourselves!

This was the detour into fear, the detour from true reality. And it is only now, in Christ-consciousness, that we have a chance to recoup what we have lost—the true meaning of reality as God intended it for us.

We know that this world is a place of madness. We know this if we have even an inkling of how badly things have gone for us. We have pain that escalates into suffering, and we feel so alone in all the world.

But now we are finding our way back, making out way back on the carpet laid out before us. We are heading backward into time (an ACIM concept), to the place that we left. And we tell ourselves that everything will be better this time. We know better now, we know better from hard experience. We cannot get along without God, as much as we might think we can. He made us to commune with Him, our Maker, and the extent to which we do so fuels the pace at which we right our world again.

Don’t be satisfied with a partial world of adolescent rebellion today. Free will is a great gift, but not when it is misused. Ask deeply, today if you like what you have made. The answer, if asked honestly, will be “no.” Then set about to get the guidance needed to create as elevated Selves of form with the God of our greater imaginings.

He will be there waiting for our return. He has never left us. He has always been waiting for our return to sanity. And that sanity is now beckoning us for a great Awakening.

Give Up Isolation as a False Idea

“You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look.” (ACIM, T-13.V.6)

Reality is not isolated, a theme that I have emphasized in this blog. We can derive great comfort from hearing that we are not meant to be fiercely independent, separate from each other in splendid isolation. We are meant to lean on each other, to share, to join. We are not going to be able to live independently all the time anyway; life will pull the rug out from under us at pivotal points, and we do not need to rue this experience. We may chastise ourselves, thinking that we are too “weak” at such times. But this is a misnomer. We are never meant to go it alone. We don’t have to do so. Nothing in life or in our experience demands this of us.

What a blessing this actually is! We now know, if we take to heart this quotation, that we are joined to one another. We are differentiated in relationship, but we are in unity as One. And so we are actually joined one to the other.

We need to communicate with each other. We don’t need to stay in madness, with a split mind of separation and unity vying for ascendancy. The mind is split, all of our minds. The Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles would say) or the inner Christ mind (as A Course of Love would say) are “struggling” to take over, thereby freeing us. But there are probably still elements of the egoic, separated mind that vie for ascendancy.

But we know enough now that we don’t want the ego to try to run our lives. This ego is actually the “devil” or “Satan” that we have feared. But as a product of our own thinking, the ego does not require our fear of it. It is just best turned aside from. Not in resistance, for that will make the ego strong, because defense makes what it would defend against. Instead, just know that we need a whole mind, split no longer between unity and separation. The way is clear. Just sense our joining one with another, and our ego will be undone. Immediately, though it may arise from time to time, over and over, until banished for good in Awakening or Christ-consciousness.

Our Father Could Not Cease to Love His Son

“Redeemed perception is easily translated into knowledge, for only perception is capable of error and perception has never been. Being corrected it gives place to knowledge, which is forever the only reality. The Atonement is but the way back to what was never lost. Your Father could not cease to love His Son.” (ACIM, T-12.VIII.8)

We perceive before we know. We project from within, and this projection makes our perception of forms, of the outer world. But Jesus says here that it is easy to transform perception, our usual mode of comprehending, into knowledge, which sees truly, sees true reality.

We did not really lose our way except in illusion. We wanted to experience a different reality, believing that the one that we had with God was not exactly what we wanted. We made a detour into physical form, and instead of continuing to experience God and His way, we diverted from that happiness and made an ego. The ego was a false notion of who we really are, or, as Jesus says, a part of our belief about ourselves. When we made the ego, we also made fear, and nothing has ever been the same since. This is the separation, but, as Jesus alludes to in this quotation, we have not really left God. We cannot do this, because we are a part of Him. So our perceptions are askew, and until we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our perceptions into knowledge, we will remain indecisive, unhappy, and lost to our real Self.

Because God could never cease to love us, as soon as the separation occurred, He created the Holy Spirit as our Guide back to Him. He knew that we would never be satisfied without Him. But we did not know this. Many of us still don’t know this. It is in realizing that the happiness that God provides can be ours, in this lifetime, that we have the incentive to see what can be done to move into this knowledge. And it is knowledge.

Jesus has provided the road map, and we are led back, willingly, as we seek to find the Creator again. The Creator Whom we have never really left at all.

Dot AND Circle, by Ivor Sowton

Early in the Dialogues of A Course of Love (ACOL), Jesus gives us a very powerful exercise to practice:
“Expand your reach! Step outside of the dot of the separated self and into the circle of unity where all you desire is already accomplished in the fullness and wholeness of the undivided Self.” (D: 8.11)

For me and many I’ve come in contact with, the spiritual search has been the primary aim in life–precisely because the limitations of the tiny separated self have become far too painful. That is, we long to expand our reach beyond the monad or separated self. A monad is an existentially isolated being. But thankfully, the idea is not to completely jettison or discard or kill the monad in us, but to elevate it.

There is a tradition is esoteric spirituality that there actually is no monad or separated self–that it is an illusory construct only and needs to be outgrown and discarded at best and vigorously excised at worst. As when Adam and Eve in the Bible disastrously step outside the proscribed limitations of the Garden of Eden and exercise self-will. In that version of the creation story the choice for self-will is a completely negative thing and the family of humans have to struggle from then on merely to continue to survive at all.

Luckily for us in our lives as individuals, Jesus in A Course of Love tells us that we should have Self-will–just not destructive small-self will, which is from ego and is illusory. Right near the end of this wonderful new dispensation Jesus has given us in A Course of Love, Jesus gives us the denouement here, saying that we needed to individuate from undifferentiated Godhead because that completed God. God needed or wanted to be known, and hence both subject and object became needed, because for there to be a created in turn means that there is perforce a Creator, and that God Himself has become fulfilled in His own creation. He is thus fulfilled through us, as we are fulfilled through Him. How beautiful!

The original mistake or misstep came when we got afraid of assuming that role of being a tremendously powerful Child of God, and in our fear made an ego in order to define our turf in much smaller terms. So the ego is the monad, and it’s not who we are, but at the same time it doesn’t need to be attacked and killed. Jesus says in ACOL that “You are called to peace, a peace that begins and ends by ceasing to do battle with the ego.” (2nd Treatise, 11.4)

Luminary current new thinker Ken Wilber has given us a useful model that has helped me understand the growth Jesus is recommending so strongly to us now: transcend and include (see his early, exuberant book A Brief History of Everything, currently in print.) So the dot goes beyond its little boundaries by transcending them, thereby becoming identified with the Container, the Eternal, the All– however we might conceptualize the One Source of all dots. The dot is then INCLUDED in the All, but does not thereby become obliterated, but fulfilled.

So we get to be both the dot and the Circle!

Now of course the dot is changed markedly by its new relationship with the circle, or the great expanse of Unity in which it is now included. Jesus calls this new dot, so to speak, the true Self in observable form, or just the true Self. Having re-established our identity and relationship with the Great Circle, we are now fulfilling our true purpose at last:
“You are a beautiful representation of the truth and cannot be otherwise. You may bring this beauty to any number of walks of life, to what you currently do or something you have always dreamt of doing. Wherever you go, whatever you do, the truth will go with you.” (3rd Treatise, 22.3)

And so we see that we don’t have to do self-damage to re-establish our sense of connection with God. What we do have to do is to open up to the vision of ourselves as not only dot and not only Circle, but BOTH. This is the inheritance Jesus says is ours and everyone’s–now and always. Thus Jesus tells us repeatedly “fear not.” We can’t lose, for we are all contained within the embrace of that Circle, always. Thus he says (Ibid., Ch. 13, title) that there can be for us now:

“No loss, but only gain (!)”

The Christ Self Comes into Its Own Again

“Your awareness of the Self that you are now was not present in the past, but you can truly now, with the devotion of the observant, see that the Self you are now was indeed present, and was the truth of who you were then as now. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.15)”

1 – Secular Psychology

As I mentioned yesterday, even secular psychology says that our personalities don’t change a great deal over the course of our life. We may not actually like this; we might want to be very different from what we were when we were insecure teens. And certainly some of the superficial changes are obvious. We grow more self-confident; we are less reticent to speak our minds; we don’t feel that being popular is the most important thing in the world.

2 – Self

But A Course of Love is saying here that our Self (with a capital “S”) has always been with us, but we just did not know this. This Self is the Christ Self, the inner Self that the ego sought to override and to rule. This Self is the tie to God that had been missing when the ego was in the ascendancy. This tie to God, so long missing in the separation, is the reason that the Holy Spirit was created (according to A Course in Miracles).

3 – Guidance

Now we are seeing this Self again, and we are listening to its guidance. This is the time of Christ, and are well-received by our whole Self when we listen to what this Self says.

4 – Remembering

This passage indicates that we “remember,” that we have never really lost, the true Self that was covered over during the time of our separation from God. Our separation, given elsewhere in A Course of Love, was a plan in which we participated because we were eager to experience life, and God had no other way to deal with us but to let us go (much as a parent lets a teen who is rebellious find their way through a sometimes troubled world). But if we “remember,” we have not really lost that Self that existed prior to the separation. And we are now ready to remember, in the form of the “elevated Self of form” (an ACOL tenet).
What a joy to know that this new way of living has always been available to us, but that our culture covered it over with concepts of God and the Holy Spirit meant for another time and place. We are ready now to walk into the light. May we do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I truly know, in the depth of my being, the Self that You have said I really am. May today know no attack nor anger. May my little self not intervene in the glory that I can feel when the Self is in ascendancy.

Thank You for these words of reassurance in the passage for today. I know that if You say that I have always been this Self, then my awareness of this Self will expand and develop.

May this day be good. May I listen carefully to my inner Self as I seek to follow the good guidance that only You can give.

Amen.

The Journey of the Self into Form and into Separation

1 – Day 13

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

2 – One Self

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

3 – Detour into Fear

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

4 – The Godhead

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

5 – Self of Form

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

6 – Relationship

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

7 – Christ-consciousness

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

8 – Jesus

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

9 – Integrate Many and One

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

10 – Elevated Self of Form

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

11 – Study / Love

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

12 – Happiness

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

13 – Spacious Self

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

14 – Imagination

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

15 – Evil / Fear

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

16 – Enfolding

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

17 – Happy Dreams

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

18 – Eastern Story

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

19 – Easy Way

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

20 – Suffering Self

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

21 – Boundary-less Self

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

22 – Self of Fear

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

23 – Summation

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

24 – Union

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

24 – Not Fearful

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

25 – Judgment

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

26 – Accepting

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

The Ego Becomes Strong in Strife. If You Believe There Is Strife You Will React Viciously. The Idea of Danger Has Entered Your Mind.

1 – Anger

We know that when we get angry, the ego is responsible. Without the ego, we would remain perfectly calm and quiet all the time (from the ACIM Text). While many of us think that we want to continue to have some drama in our lives, we will not want drama when we have Awakened. We will be glad for the quiet.

2 – Strong in Strife

And so when we are arguing with our significant others, the ego is strong, for this is strife. And we may even react viciously, because we feel threatened; the idea of danger has entered our minds:

“The ego becomes strong in strife. If you believe there is strife you will react viciously, because the idea of danger has entered your mind. (T80)”

3 – Separation

When we separated from God (in illusion, making a world that is illusion), we developed a split mind—one part of God, one part of the false persona, the ego. We can heal this split by choosing God; but we can never heal this split by choosing the ego. God does not give up on us that easily. He is always in our Mind, and so it is impossible to choose the ego be ascendant. There is actually no conflict, no danger that the devil ego can win. This ought to give us comfort as we seek to incorporate the teachings of A Course in Miracles:

“The separation is merely another term for a split mind. (T80)”

4 – Ego

“The ego is the symbol of separation, just as the Holy Spirit is the symbol of peace. What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself. You may let your mind misperceive, but the Holy Spirit lets your mind reinterpret its own misperceptions. (T80)”

This passage is ever more substantiation that the ego and the Holy Spirit, part of the triune God, are at odds. And only one is going to be the victor—always the Holy Spirit. But we do have free will, and our timing for relinquishment of the ego is respected by God. He and His Voice, the Holy Spirit, do not force themselves upon us. We choose. And then God chooses—when He deems that we are ripe for Awakening.

5 – Internally

This passage shows us a way to know what is really going on internally with ourselves. Whatever we perceive in others, we have, usually unconsciously, looked within and found (ACIM concept).

6 – Perception

This truth of perceiving in others what we really hold within is a powerful teacher. The “sins” that we perceive in others are, first of all, within ourselves. Seeing this, we can see what needs to be changed. And it is not our brother. It is something within ourselves.

7 – Loving

Our brother will seem much more loving as our own thoughts become loving. “Projection makes perception” is an ACIM concept. May we learn from our brother, even as we sometimes note lamentable emotions in him or her. These emotions (and often actions) have first been within ourselves.

8 – Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit can deal with a reluctant learner without going counter to his mind, because part of it is still for God. Despite the ego’s attempts to conceal this part, it is still much stronger than the ego. . . .(T80)”

Our Mind always chooses God. We don’t always realize this, but if we consider in contemplation, we will know the truth of this passage.

9 – Peace

“You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace. If peace is eternal, you are at home only in eternity. (T80)”

May we recognize that we want to be at home only in eternity. Time is an illusion, and therefore we only need it for practical purposes. We can ignore time far more often than we do, and then eternity will burst upon our insight.

Affirmation: “perceive in others. . .strengthen in yourself”

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I learn from others: What I see in them is actually something that is within myself. May I use this knowledge to improve my disposition, my mind and spirit, and my behavior.

As my thoughts become more loving, my brothers and sisters will be perceived as more loving. This is a great boon for us. May we realize the truth that projection makes perception, as we learned in the Course.

Amen.

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.

You Did Not Separate from God Out of Defiance

[Y]ou believed that every step in the advancement of your separated state was a step away from God and your real Self. This belief was based in logic, but the logic of the illusion in which you believed you chose to separate from God out of defiance and a desire to be one with God no longer. This could not be further from the truth and is the cause of all your suffering, for contained within this belief was the belief that with each successful step toward independence came a corresponding step away from God. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.5)”

Affirmation: “I can be independent and yet one with God.”

Reflections:

1 – Fall from Grace

We for a long time have believed, almost in the marrow of our bones, that we fell from grace by willfully separating from God. And that this fall made the suffering which we have known. We have lamented this lapse of ours, this lapse in good judgment, and we have sought to return to God.

2 – More Benign Separation

But might not there be a more benign way to view the separation, seeing it as separation even as it is also seen as ultimately illusory?

3 – Ruth Montgomery

Ruth Montgomery’s Guides told her (in automatic writing) that we were sparks sent out from God to experience all that we might wish to experience, returning eventually to God as enlightened beings who had known what it was to explore. It seems likely to me that this interpretation holds something akin to what Jesus tells us in A Course of Love. Of course, he does not use the same terms, but the concept is very similar.

4 – A Choice by God

In the interpretation which Ruth gave us, we were sent out from God by Himself. He chose for us to depart from Him. We did not fall from grace. We found a way to develop independence and to gain experience of good and evil. This is part of the doctrine of the “fortunate fall.” And so not so unlike traditional theologies of Christianity.

5 – Do Not Lament the Past

Jesus is about to say that we ought not to lament what has transpired in illusion and in the past. We can move forward in the sunlight today. He will be out Guide, until the our own Christ Self steps forth. And our own transformation into Christ-consciousness happens. (Remember that Christ-consciousness is elsewhere called the Awakening–in ACIM–and enlightenment–in Eastern faiths.

6 – Do Not Lament the Separation

So do not lament the separation. But know that it can be overcome without giving up any at all of our treasured independence, as long as that independence is informed by our heart as trusted guidance. As long as the ego-mind is in the ascendancy, we will not trust guidance, and we will seek to use our own judgment to make decisions. By now we have in all likelihood recognized some of the fallacy involved in such thinking, but remnants may still remain. As long as we know that we cannot know all the facts–past, present, and future–in anything at all, we will be led gently to put our faith in a deeper truth available to us, frequently, as intuition.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray today, I would pray a great deal. You know that I need to do so. And the blessings that I pray for others, I find, come back to me. While this does not sound very selfless, it is Your way. You bless us in proportion to how much we ask for blessings for others. But this is personal interpretation, or personal experience, and I do not know if it is always Your way.

May I move closer to Christ-consciousness today. I am patient, in my better moments. The glimpses You have given me, the guidance that You give me moment-by-moment, is indeed a joyous happening. And I would wish for my significant others, today, the same joy which I feel. And that joy is great indeed.

Thank You for holding me tightly to Yourself.

Amen.

Tiny, Mad Idea Undone

woman with a cat - renoir“[W]ith my resurrection, which was accomplished for all, the meaning of life, the reality of life, changed, though you have known this not.  The great experiment in separation ended with the resurrection, though you have known this not.  For the resurrection and life are now one and the same.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought,

Affirmation:  “I would choose life today.”

Reflections:

1 – Resurrection Ended Separation

Jesus has repeatedly referred to our imagined separation from God as illusory, that we cannot really separate from God at all, for we are part of Him–He is within us.  In A Course in Miracles, he refers to the separation as a “tiny, mad idea” about which the Son of God “failed to laugh,” and thus effects were born.  He continues to say in ACIM that we would laugh at such a foolish idea if it had not gained credence to us (a paraphrase from ACIM).   Now Jesus says that his resurrection ended the separation, once and for all.  We just have not known this.

2 – Christ Self

Now we do know it, as seen in this passage.  But exactly what does this mean?  It means that we too can join in the resurrection, that we too are eligible to assume our place as a Christ spirit.  This is the Self/Christ within about which so much has been said in this blog.

3 – A Resurrected Life

Our lives are now resurrected lives:  “For the resurrection and life are now one and the same.”  What will it mean to live a resurrected life?

4 – Miracle Readiness

We will be in miracle-readiness all the time.  We will recognize miracles when they occur, something that we have previously not usually recognized.  We will be at one with our brothers and sisters, who, like us, are resurrected with Jesus.  We are all life, and all life, animate and inanimate, is God.  No longer do we see God as outside His creation, observing His handiwork in the earth.  All of everything is an individuation (or a differentiation) of God.  We are not outside Him in any sense whatsoever.

5 – Theology

This is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, though the words that I have used are not part of either trilogy.  Do not let theology delay you.  Jesus says in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.

6 – A Universal Experience

We would ask for that universal experience on an ongoing basis.  And we are now ready to live the resurrected life, as Jesus did.  He has prepared the way for us.  And as individual parts of God, yet part of the whole, we are ready to thank Him for the length of the pathway that we have already walked.  It is because we have walked far that we are now receiving these blessings of knowledge (not perception).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let the illusory separation end for me today.  I would join, as Jesus bids, in his resurrection.  Help me to give up the folly of the “tiny, mad idea” and walk into the sunlight today.

I would experience salvation fully.  Help me to say and do the things that You want of me, and may my cooperation and my faith in You sustain me.  I would not fight You ever again.

Amen.

Begin Your Transformation

“A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is will begin the transformation.  This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is naturally returned to your awareness, for this unification returns you to the Christ in you and the one mind united with God which you have never left.  (A Course of Love, 19.4)”

van gogh - field6Affirmation:  “May I be united with the Christ in me today.”

Reflections:

1 – A Sequence

There is a sequence of occurrences in this passage that is worth noting.

2 – Do Not Glorify the Separate Self

First, we must abandon thoughts of glorifying our separated self (or the self that we think, in illusion, is separated).  So often we seek to glorify the physical, with material objects and the trappings of “success.”  But we are digging our own grave when we do so.  So let us ask today how to avoid glorifying the self.  We will be told, and then when we act on this knowledge (for it is knowledge, not perception), then we will be set on the right path.

3 – Mind and Heart = One

Second, we need to ask that our mind and heart be made one.  We know many things intellectually, for many of us have studied diligently.  But intellectual understanding is often not comforting in the middle of the night, when fears try to overwhelm one.  So we need to invite our heart to join.  This is our emotional aspect, and we do not need intellectual proof when our emotions are involved.   We simply feel the good feeling (or the bad), and we live sanely.  The lack of intellectual “proof” does not disturb the heart, for the heart knows things that cannot be proved.  And the heart does not ask for proof.

4 – Christ/Self

Finally, we seek to unite with the Christ/Self in us.  This is the Self of whom Christ-consciousness is concerned.  We have never actually left this Self, and this point (made repeatedly) is pivotal.  We can clain Christ-consciousness as our birthright, but it is God Himself who makes the decision about when we are ready to receive this blessing..

5 – The Base of ACOL

This sequence is at the base of A Course of Love.  If we can ask for and receive (for receiving is, of course, necessary), then we will have walked the whole pathway.  And all of us wish for this.  We pray for this.  And one day this blessing of Christ-consciousness will belong to us all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for a transformation to begin today.  I know that I need to turn myself over to You in mind and heart for thsi transformation to happen.  Be with me as I make every effort to turn myself over to You today.

The Christ/Self who is within is my lodestone.  It is my way home to You.  Help me to sense today, if only for a moment, what this Self can do for me.  And may I reach out to others, for it is only in connectedness that we see the light.

Amen.

Thus Was Fear Born

“The complex set of criteria needed to create a world of separation was, in the instant of creation, anticipated and provided in a form consistent with creation’s laws.  While this world was created with love, as all of creation was, it was also created to provide the desired experience.  Thus was fear born, for a separate self is a fearful self by its nature.  How could it not be?  (A Course of Love, 19.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would avoid a ‘separate self’ today.”iris-1914-17 - monet

Reflections:

1 – Not Separate

If we realize that we are not really separate at all, perhaps, this passage seems to say, we will not experience fear.  It is the belief that we are alone that makes the fear, and who would not be fearful with such a belief?  If we turn to God and His helpers consistently, then we will not feel alone.  We will know that we live in a benevolent universe, and we will experience the peace that such a universe will give us.  And what more would we seek?

2 – Elevated Self of Form

We need to ask for this blessing of an end to the separated state.  When we experience the elevated Self of Form ( as described farther on in A Course of Love), we will know that we, though in physical form, presumably separate from others, are not really alone.  We will know that we chose physical expression for our experience of reality, but we did not choose to actually be alone.  We have many companions in this world and the world beyond, and it is wise for us to remember this.  The knowledge will give us comfort and a deep sense of security.

3 – Tiny, Mad Idea

God responded to our tiny, mad idea (from A Course in Miracles) with the world of separation.  It is said that we, on some level, made this world.  And then the separation began, extending over millions of years, for others were attracted to physicality as well.  So fear was born where it had been not.

4 – Solitary?

It seems sensible to think that we are solitary creatures when we are encased in physical bodies.  And that is the role that we are playing.  But it is a facade, an illusion.  We are actually still at home in God, and we can know this at any time by asking to have a divine experience.  Why not do so today?  It will make all the difference, for once again we will know that we are One with the All, and we will feel secure in the Love that the All emanates.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know today that I am not isolated in a world of form.  I have many helpers, and You are at the top of the list.  I would recognize that separation is an illusion brought on by the fact that w are encased in physical bodies.  But we are not separate from one another nor from You.

Be with me today for a tranquil day.  Thank You for the affirmations from the Bible that I say frequently, for they are very calming.  Thank You for the many ways that You help.

And I ask for Your help as I seek to overcome my lingering belief in separation.

Amen.

Overcoming Loss of Love

“You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain.  For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state?  What is loss of love but being left alone?  (A Course of Love, 14.21)”

Van-Gogh-Night-CafeAffirmation:  “I would reestablish love in my life today.”

Reflections:

1 – Sacrifice

We think that we want to be independent, alone and separate, and the only thing that this gives us is fear.  We have sacrificed everything for that which we actually do not want!  Does not this sound like insanity?  And, indeed, Jesus calls this insane thinking in A Course in Miracles.  We have, under the influence of a part of ourselves called the “ego,” sacrificed our rightful place in the kingdom as well as the love that we so desperately really want.

2 – Salvation

Can this be righted?  Of course!  This righting is what salvation is all about.  When we know that we want to be One in sharing with others, One in relationship to them and One within ourselves, with God, we are back on the right track.  There is no other way to live happily.  We must give up this senseless pursuit of independence that would neglect the others in our world.  We are not meant to be alone; we are meant to share in unity and relationship with the All.

3 -Still Resist?

Why do we still resist?  What do we think that we will give up?

4 – Rebellion

I think that there still is what can only be called adolescent rebellion in us.  Indeed, this is just what Jesus calls it, in a comparison that he makes in A Course of Love.  He says that we are like adolescents who have to separate from their parents to define their own identity.  But, in an interpretation, I would go on to say that this is not desirable with our heavenly Parent–God–is the One from whom we desire separation.  We are a part of God; He is in all of us, for He is the All.

5 – Separation

We are not meant to walk on this world as separate beings apart from each other.  We weep when we try this insanity.  This insanity can never bring us peace.  Give it up today, and return to the fold of God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My blog today sounds a lot like traditional religion, traditional Christianity even.  And it is, but with a twist.  We are One with You, and as such we have a right to walk with You.  This is, I think, what Jesus is trying to tell us in such beautiful words.  May we listen, perhaps for the first time, today.

I would choose love over fear, and when the anxious thoughts come, I would simply let them wash over me without drowning me.  Much of this may be of the body, but my mind and heart are not yet strong enough to see all of the body’s thoughts as illusion.  May I recognize illusion when I experience it.  Sooner rather than later.  And may my walk with You bring me the quiet joy that You mean me to have.

Thank You.

Amen.

Separation Is a Mirage

“The Father did not prevent the idea of separation from taking place. . . .But just as your ideas do not take on a life of their own even though they at times seem to, this idea as well had no ability to be more than what it was, except for as the son chose to participate in it.  (A Course of Love, 12.21)”

Affirmation:  “I choose to heal the ‘separation’ from God.”

Reflections:Edgar_Germain_Hilaire_Degas - ballet dancers

1 – The Choice

We made the choice to believe that we were separate from God; this passage makes that clear.  Of course, we could not really separate, but we could imagine that we had done so, and in the imaging our fantasies and illusions became very real indeed (at least to us).  We have suffered greatly by this presumed separation, for it is not natural to fail to communicate with our Creator.  We have played at atheism and agnosticism, but these are such dismal choices.  And in them we never find the satisfaction that we are seeking.

2 – Our Hearts

If we have intellectual doubts, perhaps it is time to turn to our hearts and to ask what feels right to them!  Our hearts do not need the intellectual assents that our minds do, and it is to our hearts that Jesus appeals in A Course of Love, especially in these opening pages of the first volume.

3 – Seeking

Even though we may turn to our hearts, we still may not be satisfied, and, if this is the case, we need to keep seeking.  If we seek, we will find.  We may not believe that we have chosen “not to believe,” but indeed we have.  And when we turn repeatedly to that which we do not understand, a warm feeling will occasionally engulf us, a warm feeling that is surely God Himself.

4 – Heal the Separation

When we heal this separation, we will be on our way to a much happier life.  I speak of the “presumed” separation.  Our egos will be frail by now, and we will not seek pleasures that turn to dust in our hands.  Our priorities will have gotten straightened out.

5 – Jesus’s Promise in ACOL

The best that we can do does include not obsessing over our lack of faith.  Just let the thoughts come and go, try to live in the present, and our inner Being will be better able to speak to us.  This is the Christ/Self within, and this is the promise that Jesus makes to us in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray today to know what to do, and when.  I would ask to be guided to do my part in ending my belief in separation from You.  I know that this is a mirage, but it is a mirage in which I believed for a long time.  Let us get beyond that misfortune today.  With Your help.

Help me to reach out to others whom I see today.  We are all in this together, and we need each other.  May each of us spend what time seems needful in communion with You.  This calms us down and removes fear, a very practical outcome of communion.

May we not beat ourselves up over this matter of separation.  What has not occurred can have no effects.  And separation from You is absolutely impossible, for I am a part of You.  You dwell within each and every one of us.

Amen.

The Reason for Unhappiness

“Yet you must understand that nothing that is not part of God is worthy of joining, nor can join with you.  What you have sought to join with is the reason for your unhappiness.  For you seek to join with what cannot be joined, and you seek separation from all that could be joined with you and all that would fill your dark and lonely places with the happiness you seek.  (A Course of Love, 12.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would join, metaphorically, with all today.”

Reflections:Woman in a Boat - renoir

1 – Joining, Not Separation

The passage for today is obscure, but it is likely that Jesus is referring to our belief in a separated state, and the idea that we can join with special others when we wish, and depart from those same special ones when we wish (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  But nothing separated can actually be joined.  We need to, at least tentatively and temporarily, share an idea of Oneness with all.  And then the joining is easy.

2 – Spending Time with God

Jesus is not speaking here of physical joining, though he does speak of this joining elsewhere.  He indicates that this physical means was meant to remind us of our desire to one, not to be separate.  We are meant to be in relationship one to another; we are never meant to spend lives of isolation.  I do not mean for this statement to be controversial.  There are introverts who prefer solitude to the company of others, and shy people sometimes choose solitude also.  There are many religious individuals in religious orders that spend a good bit of time in prayer and meditation, and for these activities they may be alone.  But God is always with us, and He wants our companionship.  The opening pages of the Text of ACIM says that God is lonely when the minds that He created do not commune with Him.  He knows that we have fallen asleep and must be awakened.  And He seeks to do just that.

2 – Joining in Onwness

So, we learn today that joining in Oneness is the intention of God for us.  We are in unity and relationship, a recurrent theme of A Course of Love.  The unity makes us One; the relationship makes us differentiate from one another so that companionship can occur.  We are actually talking with a part of ourselves when we speak to another!  And we would not wish for ourselves a bad day, and so let us be kind and loving, sparing of anger and attack, when we are with others.  Our brothers and sisters deserve this of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I never be guilty of choosing isolation from You.  And, except in special and particular times, I would not choose isolation from other people.  Be with me today as I seek to be sensitive to the interpersonal needs of other people, and to share my life with theirs, to the extent that we both desire.

I would thank You for leading me from too much introversion to a blend of being both introvert and extrovert.  I learned years ago that I get along better when I share my life with others, including the personal aspects that previously I kept between myself, my journal, and my God.

We do best when we join with others, not taking the idea of separation so seriously.  Separation, especially the independence that is so prized in our culture, is actually not always wise.  And separation, by itself, is never wise.  

May we seek and find You in the companionship that You would wish to have with us.  May I speak to You often today.

Amen.

A Separated Self Is an Illusion

“You can be faithful to but one thought system.  One is the thought system of the separated self and is based on separation.  The other is the thought system of creation and is based on union.  Your faith in what you have made has been shaken now, and you realize you would like to place your faith elsewhere.  (A Course of Love, 11.6)”

Affirmation:  “I choose union today, with God and my brothers and sisters.”

Reflections:claude-monet-paintings-claude-monet-woman

1 – Separation

We have long believed that we are somehow separated from God because we fell from grace and were expelled from Paradise due to our missteps.  Perhaps we need to take another look at these concepts.

2 – Did We Separate from God?

What if we only thought that we had been rejected by God?  What if we have never really separated from Him at all?  These are the thoughts of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Our belief in separation is based on the illusion in which we live.  It would be impossible to actually separate from God, but we can imagine that we have done so, and thereby experience what it might be like to be “other than” God.  By such thinking, we recognize, eventually, that we are lost in dreams and that we want to return home.  And home is heaven.  We find ourselves welcomed home as the Prodigal Son was welcomed back by his earthly father.

3 – Union

What does “union” mean in this context?  Union is the consciousness of All That Is, the choice to join with God in knowingness and love, and with our brothers and sisters in knowingness and love.  We are One, and in union we come to see how this can be.  There is no separation among those who love each other.  We will all meet again those in our lives whom we have loved, either on this earth or in the world beyond (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

4 – We Have Not Separated

Let us put our fatih in a different place today.  Let us reaffirm that we have not actually left God at all, that this choice would be an impossibility.  But that we think that we have left is very possible, and it goes a long way toward explaining our fears and apprehensions.  We think that He is angry with us for “rejecting” Him, and we cringe in tribulation.  All of this is illusory.

5 – A Better Day

May the faith that we reach today, the turning aside from the separated state and the choice for union, give us a better day–and may this better day be the harbinger of many good days ahead.  Would not Jesus choose this for us?  Yet we ourselves make the choice, and if it is in line with what Jesus would see as best, we are poised for a new tomorrow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to place my complete faith in You.  You know my needs, and You care for me.  You will guide me to make the right decisions, in the things that I must do to be safe and loved by those about whom I care so much.  Your way is best.  Your way is actually the only sane response.  May my day go well in Your light.

I would join in union with all today, and with All, meaning You.  May any obsessions about my continued safety drop away before Your grace.

I know that to separate from You would be impossible.  But all of my brothers and sisters do not have this knowledge.  May I reach today those whom You would have me reach with this blessed news of Your constant presence in our lives.

May the day go well.  If I am true to You all the day long, paying attention to the promptings, then this day will be good indeed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Eliminate Fear

“The separated self is so ensconced in fear that the known fears of its existence seem preferable to the unknown fears of any other kind of existence.  (A Course of Love, 10.22)”

 
van-gogh-tree in landscape
Affirmation:  “I would leave fear behind today–once and for all.”

Reflections:

1 – Separated Self

Why do we experience fear?  We have not let go of the separated self.

2 – Not Actually “Separate”

What does this mean?  It doesn’t mean that the separated self is real.  It would have been impossible, regardless of whenever, to actually separate from God or from our brothers and sisters.  The best that we could do when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) entered our minds was to imagine an illusion in which we were separate.  We could not fully know the glory of what we had until we went on a journey without distance (from ACIM) away from it.  This was a choice, ACOL tells us, that God and we made together.  We were rebellious adolescents, and so He made the choice that so many parents on this earth must make when their teenagers are rebellious:  We let go.  God “let go,” but He did not leave us alone, anymore than earthly parents leave their teens alone.

3 – In Illusions (Dreams)

And in this analogy I see much of our dilemma here on earth.  We think ourselves separate from God, and so this separation is what we experience.  Separation is not true in any real sense, but it becomes real enough to us, caught as we are in illusion (dreams).

4 – We Are Not Alone

May we leave behind the fears that our presumed separation has brought to us.  We are not and never have been alone.  God is as much with us as He has been in the eons that we have been entities in the universe(s).  May this reassurance stay with us today, as we navigate once again through the minefield that this world often is for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I let fear go today.  May no obsessions mar my enjoyment of this day.  May I know that I never have separated from You, and that Your felt presence is frequently with me.  I am at peace now.  May I remain so all the day long.

May all of us leave our fears behind, when we recognize that we are never alone.  God is always with us, and so are our brothers and sisters.  We need You, dear God, and may we never be tempted to go it alone.  That is no way to live.  No way to try to negotiate a way through this sometimes difficult world.

Thank You for teaching me years ago that it is better to share with others, to reach out.  I was never happy when I tried to hold in my conflicts.  Such isolation ignores You, and it also ignores other people.  We are all in this together.

Amen.

How the Body Is Used

“The body could not help but be thus, as it was made with dual purposes in mind.  It was made to make real and then glorify a separated self, and it was made to punish that separated self for the separation.  Its creator had in mind what is reflected in the body:  self-aggrandizement and self-effacement, pleasure and pain, violence and gentleness.  (A Course of Love, 9.7)”

Affirmation:  “May I unite today, rather than live in dualism.”

Reflections:

1 – A Dualistic Manifestation

We know such variations in our everyday mood when we are tied to the body too closely.  We do know pleasure, and we can know gentleness–but not all the time, for the body is a dualistic manifestation.  We are often led astray by our desire for the things of the body, the pleasures of this world.  But these pleasures turn to ashes and dust in our hands when we have avoided the joys and attributes of God.  He gives us joy, harmony, peace, tolerance, kindness, gentleness, and the like.  Only when we place these intangibles above any material things do we find the peace of God that “passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

2 – Why So Dense?

Why do we so often seek to attract the things of this world, when we ultimately find that these things do not satisfy for long?  Why are we so dense?

3 – Ecstasy of the Spirit

It is because we have known such poverty of spirit that we do not know the ineffable heights to which the ecstasy of the spirit can lead.  We have bowed down to idols, with the ego’s firm approval.  We have had this part of ourselves, our ego, tell us what to do and when to do it.  And, when we learn that we can attract better things for ourselves, the first thing that we think about is the material.

4 – Material Needs

Be sure that God wants to meet our material needs as well.  He knows that we have physical bodies that desire warmth and comfort, but He would comfort our hearts as well.  And the only way that He can do this for us is to bind our will to His.  To turn to our egoic will is to deny the joys of God.  And to turn to the material to satisfy us is to turn to something insubstantial and non-lasting.  Everything in this world will one day turn to dust.

5 – Christ/Self’s Action

Be careful of what you set your heart upon, for you will surely have it.  This is quotation the source of which I have long forgotten.  But it speaks to me today.  We need God and He knows it.  He would come from our depths to speak to us today, through the Christ/Self that knows both human and divine.  The Christ/Self mitigates the dual nature of spiritual/physical, and turns all to productivity.  May we have the happiness that we all seek, and may we get very clear about what will bring us that happiness.  It is not solely the material, or even primarily the material.  It is the intangible from God..

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray that I know the dualistic nature of the body no longer, that I experience the Christ/Self within that unites physical and divine.  This is a tall order, for I have traveled far into oblivion.  But I would reverse that direction today, to know You as my Creator and Sustainer.

Be with me as I seek to live a calm and tranquil life, but one with happiness and joy.  You know that I need aliveness and vitality, and the union of physical/divine in the Christ/Self can bring all these blessings to me.  Thank You.

Amen.

A Felt Sense of Being Separate = Leads to Sickness

“A sick person perceives himself as separate from God.  Would you see him as separate from you?  It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick.  (M-22.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would not separate myself from anyone today.”

Reflections:

1 – Theology

This passage is part of the theoretical and theological construct of A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to take on the theology of ACIM if we find it impossible to accept.  Jesus says that ACIM is concerned with the practical most of all, and the practical will prove the validity of ACIM.  If the ideas work in everyday life, then we will then be more open to considering some of the theology and the theory in back of the theology.  Theological debates are always controversial and therefore dividing among people.  We would not be separate from our brothers and sisters, to whom we are meant to bring salvation (a Text tenet).  We do not force our ideas, or even ACIM ideas, on anyone who is not ready.  But when others express an interest in what has changed our lives (ACIM), then is the time to speak.  Always ask the Holy Spirit what to say, and we are told in ACIM that what to say will come unfailingly into our minds.

2 – Sickness = A Physical Reality in an Illusory World

Sickness is a physical reality in our world, but the whole world is illusory.  We are told this with certainty.  This does not mean that we lack sympathy for the ill.  In many cases, recognizing the illusion in which our brother or sister believes may give us more sympathy.  But we ask for a healing, knowing that healing will occur–even when it is healing that we cannot see as either physical or emotional.  The healing has occurred.  This, of course, is more theory, and, just as I said above, we do not have to take unto ourselves anything that is dividing or too controversial.  The more we work with A Course in Miracles, the more likely we are to see its truth and to stop arguing with its tenets.  We are told that we may actively resist some of the teachings of ACIM in the Workbook, but none of this matters.  We are simply to do the exercises, and it is these that will convince us that Jesus is not misleading us.

3 – How to Heal the Belief in Separation?

How do we heal the belief in separation that has caused sickness?  That is not up to us.  It is the Holy Spirit, the Communicator from God, who carries out the miracle.  We are merely the instrument in His Hands.  If we recognize that the sense of separation has caused the sickness, we may be more likely to give up the folly of bringing sickness upon ourselves.

4 – Do Not Blame the Victim

Note that none of this theology blames the victim.  Everyone is doing the best that he/she can, given the understanding that he/she has at any given moment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray for Your wellness to follow me all the days of my life.  Help me fully to understand, while remaining in a positive mind slant, that sickness comes about when we believe in the illusory separation from You.  I would entertain only thoughts and words that illustrate our Oneness.  And I am a part of You, though the separation has made all of us find this idea a difficult one, and possibly one that would even be termed blasphemous.  This truth is not blasphemy.  Knowing–not perceiving–this truth is one of Your greatest blessings to me in this lifetime.

Be with us as we walk through another day.  May we remain grateful for Your manifold blessings to us.  May we focus on thanking You for those blessings.  May we never dwell on the negative, for to do so is to invite more negative.  We need to attract what You would have us attract, and that is only the good.

Thank You for allowing me to experience the felt Presence of You.

Amen.