Tag Archives: Stress

Ask the Holy Spirit for Escape from Fear

The way we view our brother is actually the way that we view ourselves.  If we attribute dark motives to him, it is sure that we are projecting those motives from within ourselves. And mild annoyance can be just as debilitating as more aggressive forms of hostility.  We are never angry at something that is “really there”; what we see is always a projection from our own false image of self, our ego.  To believe otherwise is to construct a room without exits in this illusory and sad world of ours.

            We can see the dynamic of blame played out with our brother.  First, for whatever reason, we unconsciously feel fear; this fear floats about looking for a place to alight, and just a word, of whatever nature, from our brother is enough to create anger.  The whole encounter revolves around fear, but we will more likely correctly identify what transpires if we allow ourselves to

experience the fear as stress.  We can then more easily bring ourselves around to a better slant of mind, without torturing ourselves by looking for the source of fear.  Ease up, and ask for respite from the Holy Spirit.  It is our little mind, the ego, that has gotten us into this fix, but it is our Higher Mind that can get us out.  If we dwell a moment upon our brother’s sterling qualities, the sword of guilt above our heads will no longer descend to touch our heart.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Increase the Daily Calm

We must honor our brother, for in him God has given a part of Himself for us to love and cherish.  The Christ in us sees our brother truly, in the holiness that is his own; would we allow the egoistic false self to see otherwise?

            Remember that it is much easier to see one’s brother as holy than to see him (or one’s self) as special.  We taught ourselves specialness with much effort, because we wished it to be true. It takes much effort to assimilate a lie, and no effort at all to let the truth be shown to us.  And with this, effortless accomplishment comes to us and we are at rest.

The Attraction of “Sin”

            There is an attraction to “sin” that is not found in what is recognized as merely as a mistake.  The Course says that our way to sin is lit only by “fireflies” that would hurl us over precipices. (T-24.V.4:2)  The attraction to sin exists because in our debased self-image, we still long for specialness.  And specialness carries with it the seeds of destruction and decay.  Be glad that this is true, for the decay is the decay of the ego, and with the ego’s demise goes all our pain and suffering.  With Christ’s vision we know a perfect lack of specialness as we hold our brother’s hand and walk Home together.

            If we can see our brother as holy, we will have come a long way toward seeing ourselves in the same light.  “In him is your assurance God is here, and with you now.” (T-24.VI.1:4) If we see our brother as sinful, it is sure that we perceive ourselves the same.  Do not be variable in private assessments of our brother, for such variability will permeate the whole of the world as we see it.

            I have frequently recognized that I never get angry unless I am stressed, and this is possibly true for most of us.  It is thus very likely that the variability we have been discussing arises out of stress, which is really fear causing us to feel threatened.  If we can so clear our minds that we are calm and at peace, we will not be tempted to think ill of our brother.  It behooves us so to organize our daily lives to maximize the calm and minimize the myriad frustrations.  This we owe to ourselves and to our brother. 

Jesus: “Fear Cannot be Controlled by Me, but It Can Be Self-Controlled. Fear Prevents Me from Giving You My Control.”

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Affirmation: “Fear can be self-controlled.”

Reflections:

1 – Previous Posts

I have posted on passages from A Course of Miracles about fear three times in the very recent past. Fear is a motif of ACIM, and fear and love are said to be the only two emotions–with all others being subsets of those two. Fear is of the ego, and the presence of fear is a sure sign that we are letting the ego rule once again. We need to find out how to avoid letting the ego rule. We will never make much progress on our spiritual “journey without distance” (from ACIM) unless we find a way to overcome fear. But Jesus also tells us that we cannot “master” fear by our insistence; he says that the only true mastery is through love. So this puts us back at square one. We need to understand how to love, to get ourselves and our egos out of the way, to see how we can view our world, the people in it and ourselves, with only the positive sense of love. Then and only then will we be free of anxieties. It is true, though, that such mastery may come ultimately only with Awakening.

2 – Conditions Bringing Fear

The quotation is not the complete passage, and what is quoted can be a little misleading. Later on Jesus says that we are to ask for help in eliminating the conditions that have brought the fear about. That then frees us to accept the control of Jesus. What are these conditions, usually? That we have been too self-centered, that we have not let go and let God, or, more precisely, the Holy Spirit as the Communicator to us. We have not let the Holy Spirit have His way in the guidance that we have asked to recognize as we live our lives. In these early passages in the Text of ACIM, Jesus has not yet introduced the Holy Spirit fully, and he uses the first person, himself, to introduce us to the idea that we need help in our daily lives. He is there for us, and later on he will make clear that the Holy Spirit is there for us. Here we are bade to give control to Jesus in regard to the conditions that have brought fear about. It is always a desire to be separate, these conditions. And it is not the will of the universe that we see ourselves as separate and apart from the whole. We desire so much to be independent, but we are not intended to be as independent as the ego has said. We are part of the All, and the sooner we join the whole in our minds and hearts, the quickly we will be free of fear, free of anxieties.

3 – Self-Controlled Fear

In getting the guidance of the Holy Spirit to eliminate the conditions that brought about the fear, we are going to the root of the fear. This is true self-controlled fear.

4 – Cause and Effect

Jesus also says that cause and effect are involved in fear. When the conditions that bring about fear are present as a cause, then the effect is the fear. To tamper with this cause-and-effect relationship would be to deemphasize our minds, which Jesus would never do. He also says that we fear the power of the mind, but to think of it as impotent is not a helpful concept. We are actually afraid of the power of the mind.

5 – Fear Can Be Overcome

Fear can be overcome. It is simple to read these words and to take them to heart, but perhaps it is not easy to effect the eradication of fear. As indicated, A Course in Miracles Course returns again and again to the differences between love and fear, and ultimately tells us that the only true mastery of fear is through love. How do we effect this change? How do we choose love in every situation? Ah, that is the question. But one of the best ways to so live is to turn often to the inner Self, as well as to the inner Deity, in communion and prayer. If we keep a reverent attitude toward what we are going through in daily life, we will be living in a more centered way. We will not become so scattered, with attempts made so often to go off in many directions at once. The scattered approach to living is an invitation to allow fear the upper hand. And stress fuels anxieties.

6 – Stress

How might we reduce the daily stress that comes with the territory of being human? One of the best ways is to devote a short period, morning and evening, to devotionals. The Workbook of ACIM is certainly a way to learn how to do this. When we touch base with God on a regular basis, we find that we are conscious of His Presence when our minds are on the things of this world. This is the best way that I know to “self-control” fear.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I be free of fear. May I have help with the conditions that bring the fear about. And may I be guided in how to control my fear.

I pray for Jesus’s help in my life. He promises this to me. May I turn to him and to the Holy Spirit for the help that I so much need.

Amen.

If You Attack Error in Another, You Will Hurt Yourself. You Cannot Know Your Brother when You Attack Him.

“If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself. You cannot know your brother when you attack him. Attack is always made upon a stranger. (T41)”

Affirmation: “Attack is always made upon a stranger.”

Reflections:

1 – Very Little Rightmindedness

It takes very little rightmindedness to see the truth of the quoted passage. How often have we responded in anger to another’s words, felt a surge of self-righteousness, and then sunk into a depressed spirit? Why did you fall into a depressed spirit? Why did the moment of “triumph” not last? We thought that we had gotten the guilt out (an interpretation by Ken Wapnick). But the guilt resurges, because even when in the ego, we are misled, and we know it, somewhere in our minds. The ego, in fact, always oscillates between triumph and depressed spirit, because the ego is constantly being undone. That is the way of salvation, so that we will eventually see that the boons that the ego holds out to us are mirages.

2 – Seeing the Unholy

When we attack, we are not seeing the holy in our brother. We are not seeing his (or her) innocence. So we are not seeing truly. We have made of him (or her) a stranger. But do we want our nearest and dearest to be a stranger to us? Of course not. So we must reevaluate, and in the reevaluation, we come to see that making a stranger of our brother or sister is not going to lead us to salvation. It is our joining in relationship to our brother or sister that we know God, that we walk the pathway to Awakening–for this is the way of A Course in Miracles. Once one has known even once the joy of a heartfelt kinship, in a holy relationship one to another, we will never be satisfied with less than this best. We are ruined for any other kind of unholy alliance.

3 – Feeling

When we attack, we may feel momentarily better, but then the insanity of guilt will overcome us. We will feel worse than before, and this comes from knowing that we have betrayed both our brother and ourselves. Attack is rarely physical, but often verbal. And it is in response to anger borne of stress. The world we live in is a very stressful place, and so anger and attack dog our steps.

4 – Anger and Attack

Yet would we have it so? Would we have anger and attack as our constant companions? I think not. We recognize, however dimly, the insanity of such a defense against the truth of the holiness of our brothers and sisters. We know that we have done them a disservice when we attack them or respond in anger. Their own anger may have sparked the lamentable exchange, but we need to recognize, then, that the anger was distress based on error (from the Text of ACIM). Many times our significant others will bait us when in a low mood. And always we can respond by remembering the distress that is at the heart of this response. Remembering this will pave the way for our forgiveness, for momentarily the “pain-body” (a concept of Eckhart Tolle) is in ascendancy. Our brother or sister wants to experience pain at such times, but we do not have to oblige. We can fill our bodies with presence, and the pain-body will dissipate, sooner rather than later.

5 – Innocence

Recognizing the innocence in our brother even if he (or she) has attacked us first, is to know the evidence of insanity in our world. A special relationship is usually filled with attack, once the bloom of infatuation is off the relationship. A holy relationship, however, has moved beyond the specialness (which was always a lie), and knows one’s brother as the loving Self that he (or she) truly is.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I make no brother or sister a stranger by attacking that person. May I realize that I have always made him or her a stranger when I have attacked.

May I see the innocence even in attack received from another. Attack is a form of insanity–nothing more. May I forgive and walk into the light.

Amen.

Bring Love to Every Circumstance

monet - bridge“Remain who you are and continue to live by the laws of love in every circumstance, and you bring love to every circumstance. Be neither dismayed nor discouraged by those who do not see and have no willingness to offer. Just know these aren’t the ones given you to bring to love and trust that none will remain forever lost to his or her own Self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.17)”

Affirmation: “I ask to reflect only love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Poor Example

We make a poor example of our faith, and we reflect poorly on A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, when we do not live in love. It is easy to let anger take over when someone baits us, or when we are threatened, or when we are simply stressed and have had all that we think we can take. But the answer is not to live this neurotic mess. The answer is to turn to the best that we know, which is love.

2 – Timeout

Take a timeout! That is the best advice. If we can’t escape the temptation, then get quiet. Just don’t say anything, unless that will antagonize your significant others even more. Usually we can turn aside a negative comment by a positive one of our own. If we don’t let the pain-body (as Eckhart Tolle describes in A New Earth) take over. The pain-body is our almost out-of-touch reactions to negativity, a need that the ego has to sound off from time to time. And we are very out of control when the ego is in charge.

3 – Be Present

How do we refrain from letting the pain that is within find an outlet? We can get very present, very poised. And don’t react at all to what someone else is saying. Try not to react, even, to what you are thinking. Just look within, to the inner Self, though we may not have actualized that Self in the way that Jesus hopes we will eventually. He hopes for us to arrive at Christ-consciousness, and we can ask for a glimpse of that bright moment when things are going awry for us.

4 – Live in Love

We need to live in love, for ourselves as well as others. We need to recognize that the good that we do lives on in other people. One quiet thought, expressed, will have waves of influence on other people, to say nothing of ourselves. We live in love when we express the best that is in our nature. And we know that even before the blessing of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, has descended upon us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in love today, regardless of whether or not there is any baiting going on around me. I do not have to retaliate; I can stay quiet, I can pray, and I can answer softly. I know that I always feel worse later if I reply angrily to any supposed attack. The attack can always be reframed as distress based on error, and, knowing this, I can forgive.

May today go smoothly for all of my brothers and sisters. They are filled with pain, sometimes, that I cannot comprehend. Knowing that, I can do no better than to offer solace—but reinforcement. Help me to walk the fine line between solace and reinforcement.

Thank You for help. You have never failed me. The times that I have had to wait for an answer have been few and far between. Thank You for the swiftness of Your responses.

Amen.

How to Acquire a Restful Mind

monet - water lilies7“The mechanics of the mind were what engaged you in so many daily battles that you became almost too weary to continue.  The mechanics of the mind were what were in need of being overcome in order for you to listen once again to the wisdom of your heart.  The mechanics of your over-worked and over-stimulated mind were what you were asked to leave behind as this act of leaving behind was the only means by which you could allow your mind to be restful enough for it to even contemplate union or the new learning required in order to facilitate your return to union.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 1.7)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek a restful mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Over-Stimulated Mind

We have indeed been over-stimulated in our minds.  And we have suffered for it.  Our society is particularly, in recent years, prone to contributing to jangled and frenzied nerves, and we would not have it so.  Multitasking does not really result in better efficiency.  Indeed, productivity goes down and accuracy declines.  If, in God’s good time, something is not reached, then it was not meant to be reached.  God’s pace is measured and sure, calm and serene.

2 – How to Work

Most of us work too hard.  God will show us how to work, and it is the easy and relaxed method of getting work done.  Speed does not really contribute to anything but frenzy.  We will get more done, in the long run, when we take time out to recharge.

3 – Slow Down

The mind can hold only so much.  And we have greatly overtaxed our mind in recent years.  The best thing is to ask God to show us how to work efficiently, and almost always that prayer will be answered by “slow down.”

4 – We Are Weary

We have indeed been weary.  A Course in Miracles says that we are not really capable of being tired, but we are very capable of wearying ourselves.  Listening only to the ego will naturally do that to us.  And we would not have it so.  Listen to the heart.  We need to stop when we find ourselves becoming weary, because the best work is not done under those conditions.

5 – What Union Means

We need to get our minds in the right mind slant to recognize union when it is presented to us.  We are one with the Christ/Self within, the God within, and with others in our world.  That is what union means.  We are part of the All, and the All is One.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would still my mind today, letting emotions ease and difficulties fall away.  I need to know that I have often tried to do too much, as do most people.  We are leading ourselves astray when we try to multitask.  We aren’t more efficient.  We are just frazzled.

You will show me how to work, how to proceed through my day with a paced and tranquil attitude.  If it is not there when I proceed calmly and peacefully, whatever it is that I have been after was best left alone.  It was not meant to be there for me.

Thank You for the peace that has engulfed me in my better moments.  May anxious and fretful times fall by the wayside, as I observe Your way and try to abide by it.  Thank You for the serene way in which You mean for me to live.  To live serenely is the only right way to approach life.  May I remember this all through the potential stresses of today.

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “no anger and no attack”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger = Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – Never Getting Angry?

How do we accomplish never getting angry?  We may not, and I do not believe that A Course in Miracles is recommending stifling anger, suppressing or repressing it–a result that would, according to current thinking in psychology, invite disaster in our emotional bearings.  I think that the anger doesn’t arise as readily when we are at peace, secure in the love that we feel is available to us, and aware of ACIM‘s tenet that we live in illusion, in maya (an Eastern term not used in ACIM).  If all that we encounter in life is illusion, and we are doing this unto ourselves (another ACIM tenet), we can even come to laugh at our moments of rising ire.  We can realize that our ego is rearing its head.

2 – Anger Arises = Stress

I personally have found that anger does not arise in me unless I am stressed.  I do not actually how true this is for other people, or whether or not this might be true for you.  But give it some thought, if you are so inclined.  When anger arises, I know that I need to have a timeout.  I am not yet disciplined enough never to express anger by attack, and, of course, this admission flies in the face of the truth of the passage for today.  But that is my aim.  And I ask for help when I am overwrought.  Peace invites compassion and forgiveness.  Serenity is catching.  Other people will not negatively affect us nearly as much if we are not inwardly seeing something that needs “fixing” in ourselves (a paraphrase from the ACIM teacher Hugh Prather).

3 – Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

4 – Innocence

The underlying idea here is that our brother is actually, in his essence, innocent.  He has, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Dream = Nothing Real Except Love

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask You to help me to live peaceably this day, not allowing the normal stress of the day to impact my temperament.  I know that I never get angry and am then tempted to attack verbally, unless I am stressed.  I do not believe that stress is Your will.  I realize that some stress is even good, but all too often my stress escalates, and then I do not walk the pathway that You have laid out for me.

I would relinquish anger and attack with the assertion of my will, believing surely that it is Your will also.  Be with me in my weak moments.

Thank You.  You are always there; it is myself that chooses to look outward rather than within.

Amen.

The First Obstacle that Peace Must Flow Across

“The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get ride of it.  For it cannot extend unless you keep it. (T407)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Stressful Days

How often we multitask in our days!  How can we ever hope to have peace in such an environment of stress and frenzy?

2 – We Are Busy

Of course, we are busy.  Our days are filled with a myriad of activities, some chosen, some not.  Many have families as well as jobs outside the home.  Our obligations are many:  parents, children, friends.  There seems to be no end to the aspects of life that are tearing at us.

3 – Spend Time with God

In the midst of life such as this, we may have to recall that God wants part of our lives.  A Course in Miracles, in the Manual, recommends a few minutes of time spent with God at the beginning and ending of the day.  If these times need adjustment, we can make the choice as soon as our busy lives clear.  But we need to recall that moments with God do not have to take long.  The Manual makes this point precisely.  We do not have to spend an hour, with eyes closed, and maybe accomplish nothing.  We can spend only an instant and join with God completely.  (These are Manual paraphrases.)

4 – We Can Choose Peace

A Course in Miracles seems to say in this passage that we have some choice in how much peace we will enjoy.  As one ACIM teacher (Marianne Williamson) has said, we are addicted to our frantic lives, the adrenalin rush.  But if we are very certain that we want more peace of God in our lives, we can have it for the taking.  We just must be consistent in seeking it.  Even a few moments a day will make a difference.  Read A Course in Miracles, or other writing that calls you, every day.  Pray.  Life will get better, even if no outer changes occur.  The inner change will make the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I stare at my “to do” list at the beginning of the day, I am sometimes overwhelmed with all that I intend to get done.  This is probably a bad habit, for the “to do” list crowds out in my mind the few moments I have given to You, and I become stressed just thinking about that list.

May I start anew tomorrow morning.  Regardless of how much I think I need to do, probably some of it unnecessary and self-generated.  I would get my priorities in order.  Not only would I put You first at the beginning of my day, but I would wish to keep You the center of my life at all times during the day.  I know that this practice will not make me less able to be productive, but instead, more able to be productive.  You will teach me how to work the peaceful, easy, and relaxed way.

May I spend time as You intended it today.  Surely this frantic world has gone far adrift from Your intentions for us.  May we drop our busyness and turn to You today to grant us the serene peace that will make of this a joyous day in Your love.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Afraid

“Love is attracted only to love.  Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear.  Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid.  (T410)”

Affirmation:  “I walk to love.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Anxiety Behind

To walk away from anxiety (a form of fear), turn to love.  This solution, though not always easy, does always work.  When we are stressed, we are more likely to get angry, and with anger, attack is frequently not far behind.  And anger and attack are forbidden by A Course in Miracles.  Of course, we cannot always live up to the ideals that we read.  We are human.  So, when we stumble, we get up and try again.  As time wears on, and we study ACIM, the way does become easier.

2 – Attack Is a Call for Help

When we are beginning to get angry, we sooner rather than later recognize that there is no reason for our anger.  If a brother or sister is present and a part of that anger, we try immediately to click into ACIM‘s tenet that attack is a call for help.  And so our only sane response is to give that help.  We may not be able to give help overtly, if feelings are running high.  We may have to withdraw, temporarily, from the situation to give other people time to regain control.  We may need to reread passages from ACIM to calm us down.  We need never deny the emotions that we are feeling, but we do not have to drown in those emotions either.

3 – The Link between Anger and Stress

It is a hopeful sign to recognize that, for many of us, we never get angry unless we are stressed.  “Being wholly without attack” does mean that we must learn to recognize and abort this behavioral tendency as it arises in ourselves.  Take a time out, and contemplate the love that you really have for your brother.  Think of his good deeds, and choose not to focus on any deeds that disturb.  Not only will this move you from stress to love, but this type of reaction will also eliminate the guilt that always arises when we either mentally or verbally attack our brother.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk in love today.  I welcome the thought that fear is left behind when I love.  And I know that attack is a call for help.  And that stress and anger, at least in me, is linked.  May I walk through this day in peace, having understood these truths, at least as I live them.

Be with me today as I seek to find You in tranquility.  May I enjoy a happy day.  May my patience grow today, for You have been perfect patience with me.  Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  May I live out its truths today.

Amen.

The Law of Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 277 – for Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me not bind Your Son with laws I made.”

“Your Son is free, my Father.  Let me not imagine I have bound him with the laws I made to rule the body.  He is not subject to any laws I made by which I try to make the body more secure.  He is not changed by what is changeable.  He is not slave to any laws of time.  He is as You created him, because he knows no law except the law of love.  (WB435)”

Reflections:

1 – Are Pills OK?

We often do things for our bodies that are meant to make them more secure, safer.  This is all unnecessary.  We need be careful for nothing.  Yet even Jesus recognized our frailty when he counseled the use of pills to help us, because if we do not use them, we will be even more in a fear-weakened state (Text tenets).  Though pills are a form of magical solution, they are not banned by Jesus.  The Course is always practical (an ACIM tenet).

2 – Travel More Lightly

But if we would know freedom, we must travel more lightly.  There is a well-known poem that beings, “When I am old, I will wear purple,” and it celebrates the freedom of the older individual who is not so bound by the conventions of this world, the ways that we have developed to protect our human condition.  This older woman would travel more lightly if she were going through the world again.  I speculate that Jesus, who did not even have a place to lay his head at night, would counsel us also to travel more lightly.  We do not need elaborate locks to protect us (a paraphrase from the Text).  Why are we so defensive?  ACIM says that defense creates what it would protect from (a paraphrase).  We do not need defense, nor do we need to be defensive by retaliating when attacked by a brother or sister.  We need to walk God’s way, sure in the knowledge that He walks with us.  And His defense of us is all that we need.

3 – How Can I See Turmoil Go Away?

If we live the law of love, much of this turmoil in which we find ourselves will dissipate.  We make much of the trouble that we encounter.  As has often been said, we are our own worse enemies.  May we turn aside from such manner of living immediately.  Let us live the ACIM way, the way of love and forgiveness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would travel more lightly today.  If I think I need a pill for some reason, I will stop and ask if this is really necessary.  The Holy Spirit will answer, knowing that sometimes a magical solution will diminish fear.

I would walk this world lightly, knowing that it is not my real home.  I will recognize others who believe as I do, but I will not let the ego intrude on this mystery of soul recognition.  I am not better than anyone else; we are all equals, all destined to find our way home.  May I be drawn today to those who could benefit from my company.

I would leave turmoil behind today.  Conflict is always of the ego, because God’s peace is always quiet.  May I live as stress-free a day as is possible under my circumstances, and may I not forget to thank You for the benefits of stress-free living.  Be with me if today does bring stress that I cannot ignore.

Amen.

Fear Is Deception

ACIM Workbook Lesson 240 – for Sunday, August 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “Fear is not justified in any form.”

“Fear is deception.  It attests that you have seen yourself as you could never be, and therefore look upon a world which is impossible.  Not one thing in this world is true.  It does not matter what the form in which it may appear.  It witnesses but to your own illusions of yourself.  Let us not be deceived today.  We are the Sons of God.  There is no fear in us, for we are each a part of Love Itself.

“How foolish are our fears!  Would You allow Your Son to suffer?  Give us faith today to recognize Your Son, and set him free.  Let us forgive him in Your Name, that we may understand his holiness, and feel the love for him which is Your Own as well.  (WB412)”

Reflections:

So many of us are caught in fear.  It is the normal condition of mankind prior to seeing the light of salvation.  And fear may return even after experiences of being “saved,” though perhaps not of being Awakened.  Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth) declares that no thought has brought him pain since his Awakening (from a compact disk entitled, “Even the Sun Will Die”).

If this be true, perhaps all of us would wish for Awakening in great haste.  But the time of Awakening, ACIM says, is God’s Own choice.  Metaphorically, He will reach down and lift us up when we are ready.  We are prepare for this revelation by understanding the means of getting to this culmination (a Text tenet).  The means are carefully explained by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  In the meantime, we may have instances of revelation that do not last.  But perhaps they are meant to point the way to what awaits us at the end of our journey (the “journey without distance”–a quotation from the Text).

We are Sons of God, so-called not because Jesus or God is sexist, but because the language of the sixties, when ACIM was channeled, included the feminine within the masculine.  Now we can readily say “Sons and Daughters” of God, and this will be more accepted by our culture.  When “Son” is capitalized, it means the Self that belongs to God in innocence.  It is not the little self that has been consumed by the ego.  We would leave the ego behind as we open to the God within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would experience no fear today.  May I realize that the stress of daily living is actually a form of fear that what we find facing ourselves, or what we have just been through, is fearful in its essence.  We are afraid of being hurt by some circumstance, but it is usually a circumstance that we cannot control in its entirety.  May I turn over the day to the Holy Spirit, and may my daily stress be lessened by the guidance that He gives me.

Be with me today as I pray for a relinquishment of the fear that I once knew.  I am thankful that stress in my life is currently reduced, and I pray that this circumstance will continue.  May I do nothing to increase the stress that I must face.  And since I know that projection makes perception, I have it in my power to see that the circumstances that I face do not make me fearful.  I have this power, but I do not always use it, because I am fallible.  Guide me, therefore, as I walk the pathways of this earth.

Amen.