Tag Archives: serenity

Serenity Will Heal

“The impulse to struggle and defend is the impulse that moves the egoic world because the ego is only concerned with its survival.”  COL bk.2, 18:II

Perhaps we can read in this quotation from Choose Only Love the implication that to struggle and defend are false issues for us.  Certainly struggle is not God’s way with us.  His way of speaking to us is all peace.  And defending our little territory of mind and heart in this world is not the way, either.  Yes, struggling in vain and defending our way as the only way are both signs of an egoic leaning.

The ego would like to continue to lead us around.  But its days are numbered.  In A Course of Love, as we read through it meditatively, we discover that the ego has left us.  If we latch onto a new way of living, we will not build a new ego on the ashes of the first one.  And we would not choose to do that, for such a futile choice would take away all our gains.

When tempted to struggle with an issue, go within and get quiet.  In the silence, God will speak to us.  He knows that serenity is one of our greatest blessings.  And He will bring serenity to our personal issues in life.  Serenity irons out the difficulties, and we will walk a smooth pathway as we go along.

Defenses do what they would defend, as A Course in Miracles tells us.  So a defensive attitude in life is not the way either.  Drop our defenses today.  We will be the better for it.

Give up the ego and egotistical leanings as bad choices.  Let the subconscious mind be cleansed as we pray for help. 

This in itself will go a long way toward saying good-bye to the ego.

Resting in the Serenity of Wholehearted Love

“I thank you for your strong desire to be saviors of the world and to end her suffering. I thank you for your compassion and for your desire to be of service to the world. But I call to you from peace and ask for you to remain in peace with me and let not the suffering of the world call you from it. When these things of the world threaten to call you from your peace, you must remind yourself that it is only from within the Peace of God that your wholeheartedness and our unity is accomplished.” (ACOL, T3:20.14)

This quotation summarizes much that I have been alluding to in recent posts. This is the drift of this part of A Course of Love. We must stay in the serenity of wholehearted love. If we don’t, we risk falling into the blaming of God for things that go wrong, and this is wrongheaded thinking. Our unity as One—all of us—in relationship one to the other, explains the new world, the new true reality. We are meant to live in union with our Christ-Self, and in union with our brothers and sisters. We must share in order to receive, and giving and receiving in this unity is the same. We have differences, but underlying our diversity, our incredible diversity, is a sameness that we all embody as children of God. And it is in this unity that we find our heaven on earth.

The world is incredibly diverse, and so God must love diversity. We are told in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that we are creators, that we made the world that we see. This is a tremendous leap for us to consider. Certainly with our limited minds now, we know that we didn’t do anything like this. But the God within did, and we are a part of Him. He dwells within, and in this merging of the human and the divine, much more is seen to be possible than previously. Largely our reluctance to adopt our gifts has been because we projected God outside ourselves, a God in some heaven far away from earth. We know now that this just isn’t true. God lives through us; he is living life through us. His way thus becomes an unseparated union with human beings who all have a spark of the divine within.

Don’t focus on suffering to make it more than what it is. Be careful not to lapse into self-pity, if the suffering is our own. Be careful to let pain just be pain. In this world we are not without limitations, and pain may be our limitation. See what it has to say to us.

Prayer

It is revealing to me to realize how much needed sleep can work to relieve pain. When I relax, emotional turmoil just ceases to exist, and often emotional turmoil is the most debilitating aspect of pain and suffering. Sleep knits up care, as Shakespeare said so eloquently. I thank You for the nap today that gave me the peace of mind and heart that I needed and wanted. There are no needs, for need is answered at the point of its inception. Thank You for this truth from A Course of Love.

Be with me to develop my mind and heart in preparation for a good day. Thank You for the little things that give me solace, the solace of exercise, tasty food, soul-healing sleep. I seek not to escape from life, but to use the simple elements of a good life to give me the peace that You always wish me to have.

Thank You for the good things of today and yesterday. I ask for those good things to continue tomorrow also.

Amen.

Turning Aside from the Ego Gives Us Serene Contentment

“The only choice that has been made is that of attachment to the human form as the self. The choice that hasn’t been made is the choice to leave this idea behind. The choice that has been made is to believe in a savior who could have, but did not, keep you from this suffering. The choice that has not been made is the choice to believe in the Christ-Self who is the only savior, rather than the ego-self, which is all you have needed saving from.” (ACOL, T3:8.5)

Do we blame Jesus, as a savior who failed to remove suffering? Do we blame him for the “plan of salvation” not working? Well, previously, we have looked to the crucifixion, and he asks us now to look to the resurrection. While he doesn’t tell us how this was came about, he does hint that an ethereal body was present. This doesn’t, therefore, seem to be the resurrection of the physical body that traditional Christianity has told us, has sought to make us believe. If we look to the resurrection of the ethereal body, is there hope that somehow this suffering will ease? Can we see a way out for ourselves, now, some 2000 years later on?

I hope that we can see a way out. Jesus indicates here that the ego-self has been our undoing. And we do know, from common sense, that our clinging to the ego has caused much emotional suffering for ourselves. Could the ego also have caused physical suffering? This seems to be what Jesus is saying in this quotation for today. Our Christ-Self will show us a new person with a new personality, ready to live differently. And in the different living will the suffering that we have known so long just pass into history.

We have not birthed the idea that suffering can end. We have made accommodations to suffering, thinking that only what we know as wishful thinking might end these plagues on our good humor and our good health. Elsewhere Jesus says that failing to birth the idea of suffering is what has kept it in place. We haven’t believed our own religion. We have hoped for change, but we have not effected that change with our holy Mind. Yet we can create our own reality free of the turmoil that has previously engulfed us. We do create our own reality now; this is implied not only in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, but also stated in a forthright way in New Age thought previously.

What if we believed that we could be free of suffering? What if we let our Christ-Self out from the depths of our being, and therefore found real change, for the first time ever.

This is what we need to do. Let the Christ-Self, in good humor and good health, come out to play, gently and without seriousness, lightheartedly. Seriousness, Jesus tells us, is always of the ego, and we have had enough of the ego. We are, in fact, ready to discard it forever. Hopefully, forever. We can still form a new ego-self if we are not enthralled with the love that Jesus counsels. Fear and judgment will cause us, once again, to fall, though this fall also will be illusory.

Turn to the inner Christ-Self to save us now. Turn and be reassured that turning inward to God and the Christ-Self are all that we really need to do to effect a future unlike anything we have experienced previously.

Prayer

I know that my ego never gave me a contented life. Sure, there were highs, but these highs were followed by lows. Moods kept me from a serene and carefree life, though I had flights of happiness.

Now, trying to live without the ego, is blissful. I have an inner Self to guide me, and contentment steals over my day. The way back to God is not hard, is instead something that is natural.

Be with me, dear God, for a full and productive day.

Amen.

Slight Twinge of Annoyance / Intense Fury

monet - water and boats“You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury. (W-21)”

Affirmation: “May I be angry with no one today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nighttime Dreams

This assertion, one of the more well-known from A Course in Miracles, does not seem credible on first reading. But actually our egoic minds delude us. We may dream at night far more hostilely than we think in the daytime. And so nighttime dreams of anger can clue us to the fact that we can be intensely furious when we think that we are mildly upset.

2 – No Gradations in Emotions

Why would this passage be true? Jesus does not give credence to gradations in emotions. In some ways, he thinks in black and white. And we may be used to this from his reactions in the New Testament. So what he says here has a certain ring of authenticity.

3 – Why?

Why would we really be furious when we think that we are only mildly annoyed? The ego wants it all for itself. The ego doesn’t really think in gradations, but it knows that we won’t accept extreme anger for ourselves, and so, in its wily way, the ego softens its attitudes. If this makes the ego sound independent, it does indeed function in this way quite often. But it is merely a part of our belief about ourselves, and we can choose to let it wither away. Indeed, we must choose this.

4 – Fury

How do we “lose it”? Do we lose it often? This shows that Jesus’s statement is indeed true. When we are tired, we are likely to express more fury than at any other time. Or if something else has already upset us (something that is never the “real thing” that is upsetting–an ACIM tenet). We can recognize, when we contemplate, that intense fury is actually veiled when we get upset. And we are the worst for it.

5 – Love

May all of us turn to the love within, the love that will eliminate these bouts of fury.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I learned in my maturity that I never get angry unless I am stressed. Many others are surely like this as well. But isn’t stress with me, still? And don’t I try to veil the anger that sometimes visits at inopportune times? I would be finished with this expression of the ego. No more.

May I invite the serenity that displaces the ego and put Your love in the center of my life. Then and only then will I no longer feel or show extravagant displays of negative emotion. Be with me as I seek to leave all this foolishness behind. I would not do this to myself, as I would not do it to my closest companions.

Amen.

Soothe Your Worries Away

170px-Girl_with_a_Hoop

“If you do not think you are yet prepared, if you think you are not yet ready, cease to think.  Read again these words of love and let the sound of love soothe your worries away. Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you and I will return them to you transformed by Love.  (A Course of Love, 32.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I give my inferior thoughts to Jesus to transform.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort from ACOL

This passage for today is very comforting.  Let us read again from A Course of Love when we are upset, for these are the words of Love.  These are words that can lead us back to God.  The very sound of words of love will ease troubles away, and in this we have help.  We are never alone, though we may imagine ourselves to be.

2 – Jesus as Primary

Jesus takes his place as a primary factor in our lives with this passage for today.  “Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you. . . .”  What comfort!  We cannot understand how he will transform these troubled thoughts, but we can give Jesus a chance.  And he will not fail us; that is my conviction.

3 – Troubled Words Transformed

For troubled words to be transformed by Love is to let those troubled words be transformed by God, Who is Love (with a capital “L”).

4 – A Heartfelt Appeal

We are bade to cease to think, if we think that we are not yet ready for all that Jesus holds out to us.  He is appealing to the heart, which does not need to think.  And that heartfelt appeal will draw us in.

5 – A Conclusion

This is the final passage from the main part of the original volume of A Course of Love.  It is indeed enough, for we know that Jesus walks with us, to soothe and comfort us, to lead us Home.  And that is surely what we have wished all along.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be soothed today.  I would join with Jesus as my companion, my friend, and I would listen to the internal promptings that may come from him.  He promises to be with us upon one unequivocal call.  I make that call today.  I leave with him the things that trouble me, for he is able to transform them so that they trouble not me nor anybody else.  What a blessing this is!

May I know the soothing presence of Jesus.  May I recognize that there are other teachers, but, for me, Jesus is the most important one.  I have chosen to follow the way that he has pointed out, and though I read from other individuals, my heart belongs to him.

Amen.

The Embrace II

degas - dancing class2

“The embrace can now be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people.  It is a language of images and concepts that touch the one heart and serve the one mind.  (A Course of Love, 21.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I sense the embrace of Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

The passage about the embrace of Jesus with us is in my opinion the most beautiful portion of all three volumes of A Course of Love.  We are bade to lay our head on Jesus’s shoulder, and we are comforted completely.  We know no fear in the embrace, and we are at peace and perfectly tranquil.  Jesus is not exclusive to any of us, but embraces us all.  And there is nothing untoward in this embrace.  It is a chaste embrace, something that is perhaps not entirely clear upon first reading in ACOL.

2 – Jesus, Our Companion

Jesus is not our lover, but he is our companion.  And ultimately in ACOL he will cease to be our teacher, but become our equal.  This may be a welcome change for him, so long praised by the world and so long set apart.  Here he rejoins us, and we are, like him, both human and divine.  Our elevated Self of form has reached beyond the ego in the mind to the place of the heart in our exalted body.  We trust in him, and we walk a new and infinitely better path.

3 – No Fear of Jesus

Be with me as we seek to comprehend the ramifications of the embrace of Jesus.  May we not fear him at all.  And fear has been an accompaniment of the long years of egoic rule.  We were afraid of Jesus.  And now we know that we need not to have this uncertainty about him ever again.  He is our friend extraordinaire.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in the embrace of Jesus, my companion, as he is the companion of all who so choose.  May I know no fear, because Jesus is with me.  May I be comforted, as Jesus intends.  The joy of the moment may surround me with a certainty that all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Thank You.

Amen.

What Do We Really Seek?

“This Course may seem to have come far astray from what you would have it do, for you are looking for something specific from it, though you know it not.  You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  You are looking for the safety and security of a loving home, even if it is one only of philosophy  You look for the soft assurance of certainty, not of your mind, but of your heart.  (A Course of Love, 12.5)”

Affirmation:  “peace, serenity, calm, tranquility”

Reflections:vangogh - blossoming almond tree2

1 – Blessings

All of us want the blessings so beautifully mentioned in the passage for today.  Some of us choose to turn aside from the quiet that could come from a genuinely spiritual attitude in life.  And perhaps that is not all wrong.  God is God of the secular, and He does not need our worship (though He does want our communion with Him, according to A Course in Miracles, the Text).  God does not have an ego with which to accept the praise that traditional religion has asked us to give to Him.  But we ourselves do need to be thankful for His generous blessings, and the fact that He is always here for us, even (especially) when we fail to recognize His Presence.

2 – What Do We Want in Life?

Today let us get very quiet within ourselves, and ask in genuine calm if Jesus doesn’t have it right here.  What do we really want in this life?  Jesus mentions rest, quiet joy, love, safety and security, and soft assurance of certainty in our hearts.  Jesus does not mention “success” as the world views success.  Is it not therefore likely that we are amiss when we seek for the successes that this world recognizes?  All blessings in the list are intangibles, even the reference made to “home” is considered to be metaphorical.  If we pray for the blessings in this list, are we not praying in God’s Will?  And will He not grant what is in His Will?

3 – Our Real Will and God’s Are Identical

Remember that our real will and God’s are identical.  He chooses for us what we really want.  But he does give us the free will to reject what He has offered, though He does set limits on our miscreation.  If He did not set limits on our miscreation, we would be lost indeed.  So let us be thankful that we can stray from Him just so far.

4 – Living in a Dream

Pain is the way that, more often than not, we know that we have strayed.  This does not mean that every illness is an indictment from God.  Certainly not.  We live in a world of dreams, and our Selves can choose illness for a myriad of reasons, most often being a way to learn.  Yet we can learn through rewards (an ACIM tenet), and we might spend some time today asking that our pains be reduced and our rewards be increased.  Learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not.  Sometime, somehow, we realize that there is another way.  And then we are ready to find it.  A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are two courses that seek to set us on the pathway back to God and all holiness that, in our dreams, we have forgotten.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the intangibles of rest, peace, certainty of the heart, and the like–intangibles that you have offered to me so freely.  When I seek for success as measured by this world, I often seek amiss.  But Your will is that I have these intangibles that are Your blessings.  When I ask for them, Your giving them to me is assured.  Thank You for the gentleness of Your response.

I would learn through rewards, not pain.  I would choose the way of Jesus, a way which is sure to be lasting.  Pain teaches, but only for a season.  We have to come to know, eventually, that there is another way to live, another way other than encountering pain wherever we look.  I would find that other way today.  And when I do so, I will  not cease to thank You for the joy that You are so desirous to give me.

Amen.

On the Wings of Angels

“It is a call whose answer will come to you quickly on the wings of angels, a fluttering your heart will feel, for angels too are one with you. . . .

This is a call that requires you to do nothing but to remain faithful to it.  You do not need to think about it, but only let it be.  (A Course of Love, 11.16 – 11.17)”

Affirmation:  “May I remain faithful to the call today.”

Reflections:vangog - still  life of flowers

1 – Serenity and Peace

We need to live a serene and peaceful life, for it is this effortless ease with which we truly live or “be.”  We do not have to scurry around trying to accomplish all manner of things, many of which would be misguided.  God guides us every step of the way, for we are in  union with Him.  And angels accompany us, as this passage suggests.

2 – We are One

We are all one together.  Knowing that we are not meant to be separate from God and from others is a great blessing–just the knowingness of this concept.  We do not have to experience dark nights of the soul, though they may come.  Even in the blackest night, though, we can realize that the light dawns at the end of the path, that things will get better.  We can rest in assurance that this is the case.  And we can know that the old adage, “It is darkest just before the dawn,” is true–oh, so true.

3 – The Call

We can answer this call, and we can do so each new day.  This is what being faithful to a call really means (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).  Every new day that we reaffirm our commitment to God and His purposes is a new beginning for us.  And we will know it as the day unfolds.  A good beginning always presages a better chance a a good day all along.

4 – Angels

May the angels that accompany us know that we need their presence in our lives.  It is an ACOL tenet that angels are one with us, and this tenet is comforting indeed.  May we realize that the oneness extends to all.  We are one with everyone whom we have ever known, perhaps especially those who are no longer in our pathway.  We do not know what lies in the future, and of course that is best.  But we can be certain that when we are contented simply to “be,” at least most of the time, the many busy doings of our day will flow smoothly more often than not.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my guardian angels see me through the day.  May I always remember, at least once a day (if not more), to acknowledge their presence in my life.  Though it is difficult to acknowledge someone whom I can’t see, it is the best way to live serenely and peacefully.  May I be serene and at peace today.

We are all One.  May all of us remember this as we seek to head into the next year.

Amen.

Tranquil Mind

“A tranquil mind is not a little gift.  Would you not rather live than choose to die?  (M-20.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose to live.”

Reflections:

1 – To Live in This World

To be in this world without a tranquil mind is existing rather than living (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Would we not rather choose to live?  And a tranquil mind can allow us to live in all the fullness that this world affords.  This world, as such, may not afford much, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that this world has nothing to offer (a truth that takes much consideration).  But even in this world we can be happy if we have a tranquil mind.

2 – Conditions of a Tranquil Mind

How do we seek out the conditions of a tranquil mind?  Surely we already know this answer.  We turn inward to God or His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  (The Holy Spirit is also called the Universal Inspiration–from the opening pages of the Text.)  We slow down our frenetic pace, and we seek the quiet that only God can give.  We come to know peace, even in the midst of a busy life.  And we commune with God every chance that we get (and there are many chances, most of which, unfortunately, we ignore).

3 – Tranquility in a Quiet Mind

We would all know the tranquility that comes from a quiet mind.  Jesus says in ACIM that our goal is to become “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Not everybody is ready to hear this, as some of us still long for drama in our lives.  But the more often we experience calm and quiet, the more desirous it becomes for us.  And calm and quiet can become very desirous indeed.

4 – Plea to God

We would choose a tranquil mind today.  Lead us along that pathway, dear God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will never be truly happy, on a consistent basis, until I have settled down to serenity, to a tranquil mind.  I would do so today.  Be with me as I seek You in an ever more loving way.  You are found through love, and I pray that I always remember this.  You do not countenance drama in our daily life, and drama is a distraction supported by the ego and meant to keep us tied to the ego’s apron sttrings.

You want better for me.  You want better for all of us.

Help me to find that better today.  And tomorrow.

Amen

How Is Quiet Found?

“How is this quiet found?  No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions.  God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists.  (M-20.3)”

Affirmation:  “peace only today”

Reflections:

1 – Quiet

We will not fail in our endeavors when we are seeking out the conditions that lead to quiet.  When we have forsaken anger, we are making progress.  But doing so, forsaking anger, may be hard for us, as human beings, to accomplish.  That is why we need help.  And the Holy Spirit is always there to help.  Jesus is there to help if we ask him (“one unequivocal call,” a quotation from A Course in Miracles).

2 – Eliminate Anger

May we find this quiet today.  And when anger threatens to engulf us, let us seek out the conditions that will eliminate the anger.  How might we do this?  We must remember that anger is always of the ego, and we have willed the ego to leave us.  Anger is also brought on, in my experience, by stress (though not stated in ACIM).  Anger and attack have no justification, according to the Text.  We live in an insane world, and anger and attack are part of this insanity.  We would leave behind the insanity by choosing quiet over anger.

3 – God’s Peace

We will not have God’s peace as long as anger is a part of our experience.  It is certainly true that we don’t make this transition all at once.  Anger may rear its ugly head repeatedly (and A Course of Love makes this clear).  But as we experience the peace that passeth understanding (from the Bible), we realize that anger is not what we want.  We want the peace of God.

4 – Invite Peace

May we find peace today.  May we do the things that invite peace, and we have not come this far in A Course in Miracles without making some decisions about what to do and how to act.  We will continue to fall down from time to time, but we need to just pick ourselves up and try again.  And the Holy Spirit will always help.  It is His role.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would fall in line with the Holy Spirit’s guidance today, and in His guidance is found peace.  I will seek out the conditions of peace, which involve finding time for quiet reflection.  I know that You are found in quiet and in silence  You speak to us in silence through the Holy Spirit, our Universal Inspiration.  May I find some of His Inspiration today.

I would not be anger over anything, for I know that anger is an interpretation.  Nobody gets angry at facts; it is always an interpretation that gives us the emotion of anger.  Jesus tells me this in A Course in Miracles, and I believe his words.  May all whom I see today gain something from the peaceful countenance that I mean to present to the world.  Especially I ask for help in bringing peace to my significant others, especially my most significant brother.

Be with all of us today, on this, the first day of the rest of the eternity that we will live.

Amen

Joy = Avoid Attack

“Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered.  And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy.  (M-17.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would know joy today.”

Reflections:

1 – We All Want Love

Our brothers and sisters, and you and I, truly have no separate goals.  We may want different things, but we really, at the base, want only love in all its manifestations.  If we think that we want something else, we are deluding ourselves.  And this is always a form of insanity.

2 – Insanity in ACIM

A Course in Miracles says that virtually all of us are insane to one degree or another.  Only when we have experienced Awakening can we feel surely that we are at least partially sane.  And the experience of Awakening can come and go, not being sustained because our ego has not yet withered away.  We are very human in this world, and we make many mistakes.  The Holy Spirit can eliminate these repeated mistakes, if we will only give him a “little willingness” (quotations from ACIM).

3 – No Attack / Only Joy

I would not entertain attack in any form today, because I would know joy.  This is ample motivation!  If I am tempted to want to attack, then I will take a timeout, exit the room, and quiet myself down.  Sometimes the only thing that works in anger is a sudden removal from the temptation to attack.  Counting to ten in the same room as the one with whom we are angry will not always work.  Walking to another room, and stilling the emotions, is far more effective.  Many of us only get angry when we are stressed.  We need to get quiet, and the stress will dissipate.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM.)

4 – Joy = Our Inheritance

Joy is our inheritance.  We would do well to accommodate ourselves to this lofty blessing, and to do so we must relinquish anger and attack in all its forms.  Anger and attack have no foundation in truth (a paraphrase from the Text).  We are always angry at nothing, at an illusion.  If we recognize that our brother or sister is actually part of our illusion, we will not get angry regardless of what happens in the dream (i.e., the illusion).  We would not get angry at someone who was certifiably insane.  We might regret their behavior, but we would know that these individuals have reduced accountability.  And when they are once again in a sane mind, they will act more responsibly.  It is the same for all of us, because we all have insanity (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May all of us leave insanity behind today.  When our egos are in charge, we insane to one degree or another.  We would not let our egos drive us around today.

May we know the joy of find You in all our dealings.  May we stay calm and serene, at peace with whatever happens.  May we just let the ego disappear, wither away faster rather than slower, embrace the love that is our inheritance.

If we fall on our faces today in any way, may this anger/attack leave us as suddenly as it arrived.  We do want to stay peaceful, in the extreme.  No other way is Your way, and we would follow Your way always.  Help us to stay true to this determination.

Thank You.

Amen.

Illusory Split from God Experienced in Attack

“[The Word of God] is denied if you attack any brother for anything.  For it is here the split with God occurs.  A split that is impossible.  A split that cannot happen.  Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible.  And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen.  It seems to happen at the ‘sacrifice’ of truth.  (M-13.7)”

Affirmation:  “I will not attack under any circumstances.”

Reflections:

1 – Sword over our Heads

We are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that when we are tempted to be angry (and to attack), it is as though we hold a sword over our heads.  And it will fall or be averted as we choose to ask for peace and turn aside from the reverse, the anger and attack.

2 – We Are Human

We are human, and we have human frailties.  We will still, sometimes, get angry.

3 – Insanity

If we can, when tempted by anger, to assert that what we are being baited with is just insanity, we will easily (sometimes easily) turn aside.   And what we are viewing is insanity, but it is also a call for help and for love.  The Holy Spirit will teach us this, if we will let Him.  And nobody responds to a call for help with anger.  A call for help is a piteous call, and deserves our sympathy.

4 – Our World Will Smooth Out

If we do well with these ideas, our world will smooth out.  It is when we attack in response that the trouble starts, for we have set up a situation in which baiting happens between ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

5 – Do Not Respond to a Bait

We would respond to no bait today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we believe in the split or separation from God only when we are in attack mode, then it does behoove us to get out of that mode.  Forgive me if irritation arises today, or if a significant other tempts me to attack, or if I am just in a bad mood and feel like venting.  None of this is in Your Will, and I would live Your Will, though I am human and will always make mistakes that You can lead me to correct.

Be with me to stay in harmony and calm–and joy!–today.  If the individuals I see are having a bad day, help me to stay serene and to do what I can to make that day better.  My own attack, added to theirs, would lead us all down the thorns of the egoistic pathway.  Nobody needs that.

Be with me as this day plays out.  Help me to get enough rest so that I am not as likely to fall into poor ways of behaving.  Keep me in Your care, and lead me to the sure pathway that is happiness in You.

Amen.

Rest Untroubled / Gently Reassured

ACIM Workbook Lesson 194 – for Friday, July 13, 2012

Affirmation:  “I place the future in the Hands of God.”
“Now are we saved indeed.  For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us.  If we forget, we will be gently reassured.  If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love’s reflection.  And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind.  No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.  (WB371)”

Reflections:

1 – Euphoria vs. Dejection

I do not think that we often think of the world as our “enemy.”  But it is quite possible that, as Jesus says, this is a legitimate way to think of the what we have made the world to be for ourselves.  Driven by the ego, and with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenet), we find ourselves alternating euphoria (when the ego has “won”) and dejection (when the ego has been deflated).  If the ego were sane, we would never be in this predicament.  But living with our ego has driven our own minds to madness.  And this Jesus would not have for us.

2 – How Do We Get the Madness Out?

How do we get the madness out?  A frontal assault on the ego will not work, as the ego would just go underground, where its machinations would continue–disturbing our peace of mind and giving us bad dreams in a reality that is not truly “real.”  We simply are bidden to turn aside from the ego’s promptings, and often this may be seen by us as those things to which egotistical desire is a motivation.  We turn aside the ego’s promptings gently, because the ego is strong in strife (an ACIM tenet).

3 – A Different Way to Live

Does this turning aside from the ego seem a hopelessly impossible task?  If so, try to learn a different way to live, the way outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Try to give over attack, judgment, and planning that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit to a Higher Power.  This Higher Power is, in fact, the Holy Spirit, and He will come to our call.  Jesus promises the same, i.e., to come in respond to “one unequivocal call” (ACIM quotation).

4 – We Need Help

We need help.  It is the ego that thinks this makes us less, to admit our defeat in trying to live by the ego’s dictates.  But it is the wisest reasoning, and it is a reasoning that is inspired by intuition, one of the primary ways that our Guide (the Holy Spirit) speaks to us.  We will find, as time goes by, that turning on a dime, when we receive prompting is a very freeing way to live.  We may not know what will come afterward, but we do learn, through this method, the next right step.

5 – The Next Right Step

And knowing that next right step makes all the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the fact that currently my life is going smoothly.  Everyone has difficulties from time to time, and I would stay in touch with You during the easy times as well as the problems.  Thank You that all in my immediate circle are emotionally and physically well.  Thank You that I am emotionally and physically well.  May my brothers and sisters whom I do not know move into this certain realm, where You are there and all is well.

Be with us throughout the day.  Thank You specifically for this Workbook lesson, one that is so reassuring and compels peace to enter our minds and hearts.  Be with us today to keep serene in the midst of the ordinary path that we walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Way of Living in the World that Is Not Here

“There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be.  You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently.  Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet.  And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own.  Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before. (WB291)”

Affirmation  “There is a way of living in the world that is not here.”

Reflections:

1 – Avoid the Ego with the Passage for Today

This is an especially sweet passage.  Beware, however, of letting the ego in.  This statement is not saying that we are “special.”  We can say that nobody is “special,” or that all are “special”; either way works.  We are not alone, and we have no gifts that will not one day be shared by everyone (a Text tenet).

2 – Others Believe Also

It is comforting to know that we can find others with similar persuasions about in the world.  This does not necessarily mean that these others will be students of A Course in Miracles; there are many ways of learning the perennial philosophy.  We can walk happily, as we incorporate the tenets of ACIM in our lives.  Certainly already each of us has had moments of recognition that someone in our world is walking the way that we choose to walk.  Sometimes we see Christ in their eyes, an especially sweet miracle when it occurs.

3 – Of Like Mind

We become aware of these others of like mind when we are looking for it.  Mostly, perhaps, it is a matter of eye contact.  It is like a secret society.  But especially know that we cannot let specialness enter in, or we lose the concept entirely.  All will come to walk the world this way, eventually, and it is our function to bring that day closer.

4 – Ask God

If we have not experienced this way of living in the world that is not “here,” then let us pray together for this blessing to come upon us.  God will not delay, for we are asking in His Will.  He wants this way of walking the world to become the way of all.

5 – Do Not See “Specialness”

The only error that we could make, and it would be a large error, is to see specialness in this miracle.  Then we will look down upon those who are simply not yet ready for this miracle.  And time is an illusion, the only thing that separates perceived miracles from coming to all of us.  There are no gifts that one day will not belong to everyone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk through the world today with a serene expression on my face.  I would know that all of us, excepting nobody, has troubles, but I would also know that the solution is always found with the problem.  Ask for help, and You grant it.

I thank You that there is a way to find others of like mind.  And I would do so today.

Amen.

Solace for a Bewildered Mind and Frightened Heart

ACIM Workbook Lesson 334 – for Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today I claim the gifts forgiveness gives.”

“I seek but the eternal.  For Your Son can be content with nothing less than this.  What, then, can be his solace but what You are offering to his bewildered mind and frightened heart, to give him certainty and bring him peace?  Today I would behold my brother sinless.  This Your Will for me, for so will I behold my sinlessness.  (WB469)”

Reflections:

1 – Is “Sinlessness” Valid?

We need to recognize the sinlessness of our brothers and sisters, and of ourselves.  This is why we seek only the eternal.  While the concept of sinlessness is often one of the stumbling blocks in A Course in Miracles, it is a completely benign concept.  It says that the impossible has never occurred.  We have not really separated from God, despite the appearances of this illusory world.  We are caught in unreality, and we blame each other, as well as ourselves, for the “sins” that we believe brought this state of affairs upon us.

2 – The “Tiny, Mad Idea”

We have not sinned.  We are still as God created us (a frequent refrain in ACIM).  But we have made mistakes, and these mistakes began with a “tiny, mad idea” about which the Son/Daughter of God forgot to laugh, making what seemed to be real effects borne of this cause.  We thought in that tiny moment of time that we wanted something more than everything, something more than God.  We thought that separation would offer us something that we would like better.  And so the long descent, over millions of years, happened for all of us.  Jesus says that the return may take a similarly long time, over millions of years.  But, once begun, the end is certain.  We will return.  And in the meantime we do what we can to see that our brothers and sisters also return.

3 – Madness of This World

When we gain an intuitive inkling of what sinlessness really holds out to us, then we are well on our way to understanding how genuine we can make our forgiveness of our brothers and sisters, and of ourselves.  We will realize that the separation, though seemingly real enough to build up a whole world around us, is actually based on very flimsy grounds.  We should not underestimate the insanity, the madness, of this world.  But we can look at it, and simply say, “This is unreal.”

4 – Enter the Eternal

When we behold our brothers and sisters as sinless, we will be entering into the eternal.  And we will be immeasurably happier for not holding their “sins” against us as grievances any longer.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not spend any time today nursing grievances.  Holding them close to my heart is senseless and brings only despair.  We are not innocent in time, but we are innocent in eternity.  If this idea seems elusive, perhaps we need to realize that the eternal is the place where we want to spend our day.  The things of the eternal–the joyous, peaceful, tranquil, and serene emotions–are manifestations of the love that we are need to receive.  The fear that we sense is only in time, and thus it is as unreal as time itself is.  Illusions do not grab us, asking for verification, when we turn our day over to the guidance of the Guide that God gave.

May the Holy Spirit take me by the hand today and lead me along peaceful pathways.  May we not turn the inevitable pains of day-to-day living into suffering.  May we realize that even the experience of pain, as Jesus tells us, is unnecessary.  May I take to heart today the statement in A Course in Miracles that I do not have to learn through pain.  I would, as would anyone, choose to learn through rewards.  And may Jesus direct me along the way that will lead to this eventuality.  May learning through rewards be a part of my experience today.

Thank You for Your Guide, the Holy Spirit.  May I discern His guidance accurately, and may I not drop into ideas that partake of falsehood rather than truth.  May I follow Your will in all that transpires.

Amen.

God’s Will for Us = Safe, Untroubled, Serene, Joyous

ACIM Workbook Lesson 329 – for Friday, November 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “I have already chosen what You will.”

“Father, my will is Yours.  And I am safe, untroubled and serene, in endless joy, because it is Your Will that it be so.  (WB466)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will = Already Chosen

This prayer carries the question of God’s Will a step closer to what we really experience.  The lesson for today says that we have already chosen what God wills for us.  This is akin to an earlier lesson that directly stated that we are in control of our destiny.  And when we have walked far enough along the pathway home, we have already made the choice that we would have the blessings that God’s Will would bestow on us.  We have chosen, ahead of time, that we would accept His Will–not fall into miscreations again, not choose with the egoic self.

2 – Our Blessings

When we have made the choice, ahead of time, that God’s Will is ours, then we walk smoothly.  We do not run into unsafe territory; we do not take side pathways, pathways that divert us from where we would really, in our heart of hearts, prefer that we go.  We are safe, untroubled and serene, with endless joy (see prayer above).  And we are all of these things, because God has willed these blessings for us.

3 – Reassurances from the Workbook

How often in the Workbook, especially Part II, do we encounter reassurances that we are actually intended to be at peace, to be serene and joyful.  So often, in our earlier lives, we have not chosen wisely, and we have only known these blessings in a fleeting way.  Sometimes the joys that we have encountered have been egoic, and therefore especially fleeting, turning to ashes in our mouths, and leading us to weep bitter tears.  But such unfortunate outcomes are not God’s Will for us.

4 – Callings

We can rest assured that what God wills for us will be ultimately recognized by ourselves as good.  All to often, in our egoic past, we have believed that we would not will what He would will for us.  We may have heard stories of a “call” that would be the opposite of what we think that we want.  But, if we are brave enough to follow that call, we find at the conclusion of the pathway a serene and peaceful conclusion.  We will be glad beyond measure that we stayed true to the calling.  God knows us best, and the one thing that He knows above all else if what we really want in our depths–for He is in those depths.  Do not fear, therefore, to rest in God’s Will as the very best pathway out there.  At this point in the Workbook, may we indeed know that we have already chosen the Will that is His to be our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk the safe and sure pathway to joy today.  Jesus says in this day’s workbook lesson that we have already chosen Your will.  Of course!  We but walk a pathway that we have trod before, but this time we are choosing with guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We can still stray into side pathways, egoic ones, but I would not choose to do so.  I would especially not choose to follow egoic ways today.  Keep me safe in Your arms.

May we share our good news with our brothers and sisters who are ready to hear what we have to say.  May we not run ahead of them, trying to get them to accept a pathway which they may not yet choose.  And maybe a pathway different from A Course in Miracles is right for many.  We do not make decisions for other people.  But we do know that ultimately all of us will find our way home.  May I do my part, unobtrusively, to make that day come sooner.

Be with us today.  Help us, as always, to avoid anger and attack, irritation and impatience.  We need to know that You are there for us, and that You will pick us up when we have fallen.  We but try again, and again.  And finally we will succeed in being flexible enough to follow the Holy Spirit, and to know You as You intend for us.

Amen.

The Stillness of the Peace of God Is Mine

ACIM Workbook Lesson  273 – for Friday, September 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “The stillness of the peace of God is mine.”

“We need but tell our minds, with certainty, ‘The stillness of the peace of God is mine,’ and nothing can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son.

“Father, Your peace is mine.  What need have I to fear that anything can rob me of what You would have me keep?  I cannot lose Your gifts to me.  And so the peace You gave Your Son is with me still, in quietness and in my own eternal love for you.  (WB433)”

Reflections:

1 – Ever-Greater Serenity

Today we return to passages of greater serenity.  We wait in quietness for God to act.  We listen to the Holy Spirit, and we follow what He says.  And by waiting and by listening, we gain the peace of God.

2 – Disregard the Ego / Be Safe

This serenity is unassailable, regardless of what is happening in the illusory world of which we are a part.  As long as we disregard the dictates of the ego, we are safe.  And when we let all our grievances go, we will know that we are safe (from the Workbook).

3 – Let Us Rest Today

May we be in the spirit of forgiveness today.  May today be a particular day of rest in our journey.  We do not need to attack, to judge, or to make plans against contingencies to come.  If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will so tell us (a Text tenet).

4 – God Goes with Us

We can indeed afford to be careful for nothing, knowing that God goes with us wherever we go (an ACIM paraphrase).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest today awhile, secure in the knowledge of Your love for me.  I would disregard the ego, because nothing that the ego says ever made any sense; it was constantly being undone.  The ego’s undoing is part of the honing of our Self in this world.  Thank You for letting me know this.

I thank You for the rest that You will give me today.  The world has been too much with me lately, and I need the respite that only You can bring.  Be with me today as I seek Your respite.

Amen.