Tag Archives: the present

A Quiet Future Filled with Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 314 – for Thursday, November 10, 2011

Affirmation:  “I seek a future different from the past.”

“Who can grieve or suffer when the present has been freed, extending its security and peace into a quiet future filled with joy?  (WB457)”

Reflections:

1 – Helen and Bill’s Agreement

What does it mean to have a present that has been “freed”?  According to ACIM, it means that we no longer have an imprisoned will, and it is an imprisoned will that is causing our misery.  We see pain because we have not yet come around completely to a new perception, a perception cleansed by our following of the Holy Spirit.  We must know that there is another way, just as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford came to recognize.  In the midst of harsh academic politics, Bill exclaimed one day, “There must be another way!”  And Helen immediately promised to help him to find it.  That was the turning point for them, and the scribing of ACIM began soon afterwards by Helen, leading to the turning point for the several million people since who have purchased ACIM, some in languages other than English.

2 – A Freed Present = the Real World?

If we are living in a freed present, what would it look like?  This passage gives indications:  security, peace, a quiet future filled with joy.  Is this not the real world?  Is this not what we have been wanting all along?  (This is an interpretation of my own.)

3 – Heaven on Earth

We will not grieve or suffer when the present has been freed for everyone, for Heaven on earth will have arrived as the comprehensive Awakening of all has finally come.  Jesus says that just as the separation took millions of years, the return may extend over a similar period of time, and perhaps still longer.  This seems a pessimistic statement, but it probably best viewed as realistic–and we will have no trouble comprehending as we look at the conflicted and troubled world in which we live.  Our own little worlds will improve, though, as our projections become cleansed by a mind freed of egoism, and we perceive the good in this world.  No longer dwelling on the wrongs that we may also perceive, we just categorize these wrongs as “insanity,” as illusions (or maya), and while we do what we can to free our brothers and sisters, we do not join them any longer in insanity. Thus our future becomes quiet and joyful, even though we continue to live and work in a world where many things are amiss.  Our attitude changes when we are living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (an interpretation, not stated as such in ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would make the same decision that Helen and Bill did, to find “another way” to live in this world.  ACIM points out that glorious way, a movement beyond the separation into salvation that eventually becomes a comprehensive Awakening for all individuals.  We must “be there” for our brothers and sisters, even as we intensively study A Course in Miracles, “our” way.  And some of us may feel led to consider A Course of Love, viewed by some as a sequel to ACIM, also believed by some to be channeled from Jesus.

Help me today to live in the present, and to accept this world even as I reach the conclusion that much that I view is simply insanity.  All of us are aware of the conflict inn which this world is caught.  Not all of us would view this trouble as sourced by the ego, turning our minds to madness.  But ACIM makes this pronouncement, and I would seek to understand this concept through the words that I read daily.  

May we first change ourselves into beings who wish to love without the ego, and then may we reach out to others who are ready for the message we long to give them.  Help me to know that changing myself is the first responsibility, and never are we bade to involve others who are not themselves already seeking.  May I share what is needed by my brothers and sisters today.  May I walk in love, with Jesus as my elder brother, holding me by the hand.  He promises to be with all who ask for him.  Thank You for this comforting thought.

Amen.

The Past is Over. It Can Touch Me Not.

ACIM Workbook Lesson 289 – for Sunday, October 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “The past is over.  It can touch me not.”

“Unless the past is over in my mind, the real world must escape my sight.  For I am really looking nowhere; seeing but what is not there.  How can I then perceive the world forgiveness offers?  This the past was made to hide, for this the world that can be looked on only now.  It has no past.  For what can be forgiven but the past, and if it is forgiven it is gone.  (WB442)”

Reflections:

1 – Living in the Now

This lesson supports the notion that we need to live in the Now, the present–with the past being dead to us.  This idea is almost universal in serious religious writing through the centuries.  But how many of us can, day-to-day or even moment-to-moment, live in the present?  We follow our complex minds into lives that focus, internally with our thought processes, on what has happened in the past that worried us, or what will happen in the future, a future that we fear.  This is still living the egoic model.

2 – Awakened Individuals Live in the Now

Awakened individuals tend to live in the present, according to published reports.  One of the most accessible is the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth), who reports in an interview (the CD is entitled, “Even the Sun Will Die”) that he does not think much of the future–meaning that he plans only when he has physical needs to consider, such as planning for an upcoming trip, with reservations to make and the like.

3 – Let Us Not Dip into Fear

We would do well to practice living in the Now as often as we can.  If we dwell on our the past and the future, we will almost without exception let our minds dip into fear.  We will not believe that the Holy Spirit will guide us, or that He has guided us in the past.  But A Course in Miracles says that we cannot but be in the right place at the right time.  There are no accidents in salvation (from the Manual).  We can practice best when our minds are in an attitude of complete forgiveness.  Then we will be entertaining the means that ACIM is giving us to prepare us for the ultimate revelation, the sustained revelation, of Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the present, the Now, though my memories play in my mind back to the past.  Let those past thoughts not hinder my living today.  May I lose the disturbing things that happened by failing to dwell upon them.  May I take the good from the past only insofar as it helps me to live better in the Now.

I would not be fearful anymore.  Fear has been a problem for me, most often manifested in anxiety.  May those days be behind me forever.  May Your peace fill my mind and heart and spirit.

Amen.