The Star Shines Still

“You have not two realities, but one. Nor can you be aware of more than one. An idol or the Thought God holds of you is your reality. Forget not, then, that idols must keep hidden what you are, not from the Mind of God, but from your own. The star shines still; the sky has never changed. But you, the holy son of God Himself, are unaware of your reality.” (ACIM, T-30.III.11)

There is a way in which these special relationships become holy, for at the beginning of the specialness, we have actually glimpsed what the holy will be, later on. We want to get past the grievances when love seems to fade. We want to touch the holy in our relationships.

If the Thought God holds of me is true reality, how can I come to know what that Thought is? A Course in Miracles answers this question. The Thought is one of pure essence, of a being of love with no dark fear intruding; a thought of love, with no egoic notions compounding our sorrows into suffering. We do not really want for idols, but we have found many in our walk in this world. Those idols keep us from the true God.

Often our special relationships start out as a search for idolatry. We make of our beloved an idol, and in the making does the ego loom large. Only this ecstasy does not last, for we find that our special love has very human characteristics. And then we are off again, searching once again for a perfect love that is in actuality an idol.

Special relationships turned holy are the special means that A Course in Miracles is taking us back home to God. When we realize that the negative aspects of our beloved, newly seen by us, are actually the insanity of the ego, then we are led to love on a deeper level. It is sometimes helpful when anger emerges, or attack looms, to say to ourselves, “This is just insanity.” For it is. And insanity is the madness is which we have been lost to God and to ourselves.

Until we change those special relationships into holy, we do not know our true reality. The true reality has not changed, but we have been oblivious to it.

Decide today to seek what is good and pure, true and honest. The blessings that we will know will surface our highest imaginings.

Lifelong Relationships Are Generally Few

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

1 – Examples of Lifelong Relationships

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

2 – Our Society

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

3 – Keep Relationships Intact

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

4 – Lifelong Relationships Are Few

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

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

5 – “Brother” as Significant Other

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

6 – Forgiveness

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

7 – Hostility?

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

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

8 – Saviors

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

9 – Perfect Lesson

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

10 – Holy Spirit

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


Dear Father/Mother,

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

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


Salvation Does Not Lie in Being Asked to Make Unnatural Responses which Are Inappropriate to What Is Real

1 – Forgiveness

Many of us who are long-time students of A Course in Miracles carry around a very earthbound idea about forgiveness. We forgive, maybe for years, our significant others, and then we think that they are not changing enough to suit us. We think that we have been setting a good example, and still they show anger and attack us verbally when we don’t perceive a good cause. Then we are stuck, because we think that we have forgiven them for anything and everything, but this lack of what is perceived to be little meaningful change for the better draws us up, and we begin to blame them. This is the “forgiveness to destroy” that the pamphlet on psychotherapy channeled by Helen makes so clear. And all of us have a little of the tendency to “forgive to destroy.”

2 – The Answer

What can we do? How can we see differently? Note the following:

“Salvation does not lie in being asked to make unnatural responses which are inappropriate to what is real. . .[Y]ou are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is the only sane response. (T-30.VI.2)”

If we can see that someone else’s progress or lack of it is not our concern, that it is only up to us to live with them peaceably, then we can say, over and over if need be, “distress that rests on error.” Most of us live with individuals who are not ACIM students. Very few of our significant others are. And we get weary of forgiving, don’t we? We think that others ought to think as we do.

3 – Anger and Attack

But have we actually made as much progress as we think? How many times do we “lose it,” falling into attack and anger when things do not go our way? The brother, the significant other, may not have our frame of reference, and yet we see in him or her the tendency to forgive us for these lapses. We see this because we are not where we are in life by accident. We are placed with the ones who can be the best mirrors for ourselves.

4 – Responses

But we do not have to make unnatural responses. We are living an illusion, and as such the anger and attack do not really matter. They are transient. Of course, anger and attack do matter on some level for the one who is so emoting; karma takes its toll (not an ACIM tenet). But we can see that we are living a dream, and that it is our dream; we are not figures in somebody else’s dream (ACIM tenets). So regardless of how hateful or vicious someone might be, we can still realize that there is a reason that we are seeing this. We do not have to remain with this person if the drama is too negative for us. We can ask, “Am I better with or without this person?,” and let our answer dictate what we do. And we can know that regardless of how alone we might feel in this world, we do have guidance about what to say and do.

5 – The World’s Forgiveness

“Unjustified forgiveness is attack. And this is all the world can ever give. It pardons ‘sinners’ sometimes, but remains aware that they have sinned. And so they do not merit the forgiveness that it gives. (T-30.VI.3)”

This four-sentence explanation is “forgiveness to destroy” in a capsule form. We think, in our lowest moments, that others do not deserve the forgiveness that ACIM seems bound to make us offer, if we are to live our salvation.

6 – Healing

“Look on your brother with this hope in you, and you will understand he could not make an error that could change the truth in him. It is not difficult to overlook mistakes that have been given no effects. But what you see as having power to make an idol of the Son of God you will not pardon. For he has become to you a graven image and a sign of death. Is this your savior? Is his Father wrong about His Son? Or have you been deceived in him who has been given you to heal, for your salvation and deliverance? (T-30.VI.10)”

Our brother has been given us to love and to heal. Our most significant other is a gift. While not all of us will live a lifetime with one person, there are many who do. And forgiveness makes that road much easier. He/she is the one who has been given us to heal, and we are well-advised to take this command as a command.


Dear Father/Mother,

I wish to be very certain today that I don’t “forgive to destroy.” Help me to know in the depth of my being that all is well. That the one given me to love is the one given me to heal. That one also must forgive me, even if lacking the understanding that ACIM gives. I realize that this may make forgiveness harder.

Help me to live a good life, a relaxed life in Your presence. I take life too seriously sometimes, and I would be done with that attitude.

Help me to come to You for rest and renewal, when the burdens of life seem too great. And may I never forget to thank You for my brothers and sisters, who challenge me even as they love me.


All that Is Real Is Shared

woman with a cat - renoir“[O]nly with your understanding that all that is real is shared does the ego lose its power. The ego was made from the belief in separation and all that followed from it. Thus your true identity must be re-created from the belief in unity that is inherent in the acceptance that you are a being who exists in relationship. Separation is all that opposes relationship, and the ego is all that opposes your true identity. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 11.7)”

Affirmation: “I will share today, that the ego might die.”


1 – ACIM

These ideas in the passage for today are logical extensions of much in A Course in Miracles. We share with others in relationship, and this creates a unity, for all of us are actually One, with ourselves, with our brothers and sisters, and with God. When we are ready to be in relationship as our foremost endeavor, we are truly ready to give up the ego. In secular terms, this means that we choose cooperation, which is a benign concept, over competition, which is often egoic in nature.

2 – Protective Defense

We try to choose separation from others when we are being particularly protective of ourselves, trying to save ourselves from hurt. This in itself is not bad, but the ramifications are, for to separate from others is to be all alone with the ego. Only the ego wants this separation, and with the separation comes strife, and the ego is strong in strife (from ACIM).

3 – Personal Experience

I was quite retiring and shy as a teenager. And some of this carried over throughout my college years. Finally, finding reference librarianship did much to bring me out of my shell–but discovering A Course in Miracles did even more. We do not need to fear others, to turn inward in a withdrawn way. We do not have to fear others at all, for they have no power over us that we do not give them. We choose what happens to us on some level, though this choosing is not conscious, and we have to be careful that we don’t blame the victim when something bad ensues. The Self/Christ makes these decisions, and that world view is much bigger than anything that the personal self can see.

4 – True Identity

So the ego is all that opposes our true identity. Of course! What more could it be? And when we turn aside from egoic thinking, listening to our heart, we will find our way home. The “journey without distance” (from the Text of ACIM) is completed sooner rather than later. Do not, however, lament if the way still seems long. Brighter days are here as we learn to give up the ego in every way that we perceive. And the knowledge that comes to us from God will ensure that our walk is smooth and our way is well-marked.


Dear Father/Mother,

May I walk a calm way today. I have been overpressing lately, trying to do too much, being on the go all the time. This is no way to live a life. Help me to regroup and to lead a more placid existence.

I would share with others, but not so as to make any others jealous of each other. Especially my significant other needs to know that I am there for him. May I make this clear today, clear to him in a way that is unmistakable.

I would choose to avoid egotistic doings today. May my choices reflect the truth that I try to follow Your guidance. Thank You for the guidance that You have already given me today.