Tag Archives: tolerance

Tolerance = Gift for Friendship

“This acceptance is the only thing that will truly prevent judgment, for it does not require you to be your brother’s keeper but only your own. It requires you to know yourself without judging yourself.

“Will knowing your dislikes cause you to be intolerant? This is an important question. You have been intolerant of yourself and it was easy to extend this intolerance to others. Once acceptance of the Self begins to be practiced, you will realize that the self of intolerance was the self of fear. Acceptance of yourself, in love, leads to acceptance of others. Knowing this aspect of how you feel, what we are here calling your dislikes, is but a first step in this beginning stage of acceptance and only of importance because of your intolerance of your own feelings.” (ACOL, D:Day8.11 – Day8.12)

We have often been intolerant of ourselves, and this, as Jesus says, led to intolerance of others. We didn’t like the self that we were. We wanted to be somebody different. And in this refusal to accept ourselves, we made all of our trouble.

Of course, it is easy to realize that we didn’t like the egoic self, didn’t want that to be who we were. And we weren’t that at all! It was a mistake, pure and simple. Now we can accept the inner Christ-Self, coming out now, to be who we really are. This Self is easy to accept.

When we are tolerant of our very self, we will be tolerant of others. And this will give us a gift for friendship that we have lacked before. I have a friend whom I recognized as having a gift for friendship, and I told her so. One day she was in a particularly judgmental mood, not liking an interaction with somebody else, and she told me that she had least tried to be tolerant of others. At that moment, she thought that she was falling down on tolerance. Here we see a link with our quotation for today. If we accept others, foibles and all, we will have tolerance for them. And we will have a gift for friendship.

If we are to be together for an eternity, we need to treat each other well. We need to be good to each other. This attitude is especially important for interacting with our significant others, but it holds for all of our brothers and sisters. Acceptance of them doesn’t mean condoning poor behavior. But we don’t have to judge that poor behavior. We can know that others act as best they can, given their degree of understanding. And we can help, but only when they reach out to us. Then we can share what we think, always in an expression of love—not for the bad deed, but for the Son or Daughter of God Who is within all of our brothers and sisters.

Be good today to those we love. In the love, their understanding will seem to magically increase.

Dear God,

Thank You for, once again, starting my day off right. I do receive guidance as to what to do and say to make of this a good day. I thank You immensely for this ever-present guidance. May my sensitivity to intuition only increase.

Be with me to assist me to accept others with a full heart today. I need to develop more tolerance, and with more tolerance will come an ever-expanding circle of friendship. Thank You.

Amen.

May We Be Faithful—Honest, Trusting, Gentle, Joyous, Tolerant

“True faithfulness, however, does not deviate. Being consistent, it is wholly honest. Being unswerving, it is full of trust. Being based on fearlessness, it is gentle. Being certain, it is joyous. And being confident, it is tolerant. (M15)”

1 – Dense Passage

This is a dense passage, dense with meaning. It builds upon the definition of faithfulness we read yesterday, and it is extols consistency in our image of the idea.

2 – Honesty

We have read elsewhere that honesty is actually consistency of thought and deed–nothing contradicts our inner beliefs and nothing that we do externally contradicts what we feel inside.

3 – Trust

Trust is mentioned again, as it was yesterday. We must place our trust in the Word of God to set all things right.

4 – Gentleness

Gentleness leads to fearlessness, because we are not always looking toward our backs to see who might betray us.

5 – Joy

When we are certain about the course that our lives will take, in love, we can feel joy.

6 – Tolerance

And then, finally, when we are tolerant we can live with the strength of confidence in our choices.

7 – Promises

Nowhere else in the Course are so many promises packed in so short a span of phrases.

8 – Strengths of the Manual

This is one of the strengths of the Manual, which can lead some readers to choose this shorter part as the one with which they begin. Jesus does not counsel against this, leaving it to the reader to choose the parts first that speak to him or her the most.

9 – Faithfulness

“Faithfulness, then, combines in itself the other attributes of God’s teachers. It implies acceptance of the Word of God and His definition of His Son. (M15)”

10 – Faith

We so often misread the concept of faith and faithfulness. In the Bible, we learn that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

11 – “On Faith”

Growing up, we may have rejected taking things “on faith,” because perhaps this implied to us that we were to leave our minds behind, let our intellect go. While this is probably a false conception, even when based on biblical teachings, this conception is totally antithetical from the spirit and words of A Course in Miracles.

12 – ACIM’s Take on Faith

In ACIM, we are not ever required to take anything on blind faith. We are led, step by step, to knowledge that we can accept with our intelligence even working overtime (unless this intelligence is overly informed by our egos). We are led to realize that nothing in faith need contradict reason, a tenet of St. Thomas Acquinas. We are led gently to pathways of faith. We are not ever chastised if we are not yet ready to a given concept. The Holy Spirit is eminently patient with us.

13 – Defenselessness

“Toward Them [God and God’s Son] it looks, seeking until it finds. Defenselessness attends it naturally, and joy is its condition. And having found, it rests in quiet certainty on That alone to Which all faithfulness is due. (M15)”

This use of the term “Them,” capitalized is a bit confusing in ACIM. It does mean God and God’s Son (and Daughter), as a careful reading will let us know. We do seek God; we do seek our real Selves, the Christ Self deep within us (a tenet of A Course of Love).

14 – Quiet Certainty

We do rest in “quiet certainty,” a wondrous concept. All of us thrive on certainty in this ever-changing world. Most of us don’t take kindly to change that barrels us forward at breakneck speed (though some of us thrive on the thrill of it all). Quiet certainly is calmer, and in this stressful world we often want calm.

15 – Peace of Mind and Joyous Living

Faithfulness to our curriculum in A Course in Miracles will bring us peace of mind and joyous living. This is ACIM’s promise, and the vast number of students of ACIM will attest that the books live up to their promise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can remember all parts of this great promise as I walk through the day. Forgive my limitations. Help me now to drive these ideas deep into my mind, so that they are there in my subconscious when I need them.

Help me to be tolerant of my own limitations. I know that in this world I will have limitations, but Your promises are sure, and I can depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I walk through the day.

Amen.

The Time to Be Intolerant

The-Red-Boats-Argenteuil-by-Monet-2C-Claude-2C-France-4737-30210
“This will sound intolerant to you. It is a stance intolerant of illusion. You must no longer see illusion for it is no longer there! This is how you must live with it. You must live with it as you once lived with the truth. You must find it unobservable! It must become a concept only. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.9)”

Affirmation: “May I fail to observe illusions today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Intolerance is usually abhorrent to Jesus. But here he uses the word in a new way, a way that is actually a positive concept. We are to fail to observe illusions any longer. We will just not see them!

2 – Tolerance

This means that the illusory nature of much of the thinking of this world will fall from us. We will stand aside from it, not giving it any mind. This does not mean that we will avoid the people who are speaking illusion; we will be tolerant of them, as tolerant as we can be. (And this tolerance of others is an important point.) But we will know that much that is being said is gibberish. Not worth a moment’s notice. And so it will not be there for us any longer.

3 – Living in This World

How will we live in this world with such an attitude? Jesus knows that we lived in a world of illusions without giving any credence to the truth. So why not reverse this now, now that we know better?

4 – What Do We Have to Lose?

Why not indeed? What do we have to lose? Only our belief in the illusion that the ego can give us something that we want. And the belief that others have, still. We do not, though, set ourselves apart as though we were better, because we have this knowledge. Only time separates believers. And time is an illusion. All will eventually come to know.

5 – Trust

Trust today that what Jesus bides us do is possible, even probable in the world as we live it now. We have walked farther along the pathway, and today’s passage affirms that walking has gotten us what we need and want. A sensitivity to the truth, and, paradoxically, an intolerance to illusions (though not to the people who believe in illusions).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live with the truth, not illusions, in my heart and mind today. I would walk smoothly, without boredom, anger, lassitude, or other negative attributes. Help me to do this; assist me.

Be with me as I seek to develop an intolerance to illusions. But may I never develop an intolerance to my brothers and sisters who believe in illusions. I would not hate the “sinner,” though I know that this is not sin but only mistakes.

Help me to have a good day. I need You.

Amen.

Being Open-Minded / All Sparkles Now

“[The open-minded] have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. . . .Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before.  (M-4.X.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would see a sparkling world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Being Tolerant

The “open-minded” are tolerant of their brothers and sisters, when the decisions that others make are good and when they are bad.  The open-minded do not judge, leaving judgment to the Holy Spirit, Who alone knows all the factors in play.

2 – Give Up Judgment

The beautiful prose of this passage is well-visited when we are in a dejected mood.  We would wish to see the world as glorious in newness, and we ourselves would invite joy as a constant companion.  Jesus makes the promise in this passage that when we give up judgment (be open-minded), we will see a world that sparkles, one that “seemed so full and lifeless before.”

3 – A Serene Pathway

Would we not all desire such a sea change?  Would we not all desire the dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook)?  We can live in such a world, because we can see through the illusion in which we live by recognizing that what we are seeing is not real.  We do not have to deny what our eyes report (and indeed, we should not).  But we know that what we are seeing is not true, and we therefore walk a serene pathway.

4 – We Are Needed

Walking a serene pathway in the midst of the troubles of this world is not an invitation to be uncaring.  We are needed in this world, for the salvation of our brothers and sisters who are ready for salvation.  We do not help when we sympathize by accentuating their problems and troubles.  They need a compassionate individual in us who will understand and seek to bring their minds to a higher level.  Only time separates any student from a teacher.  We are all equal, not in time, but in eternity–and there is no time.  (These are all ACIM tenets.)

5 – Heaven on Earth

May we see today as glorious and as a sparkling place to happily spend some time.  We can indeed have Heaven on earth, so long as recognize that Heaven is not a place nor a condition, but the understanding of perfect Oneness (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be open-minded today.  Help me, dear God.  I would see a world that sparkles as I walk through it, and I know that this is Your promise for me.  Help me always to forgive as I seek to be open-minded, tolerant.  There is no better way to live, and You and the Holy Spirit, with Jesus, are pointing these blessings out to me.

May today be a glorious day, enjoying the light of Your blessings even as sometimes the sun does not shine.  Everyday can be glorious, regardless of the weather.  Sometimes I forget tiny things like that.  I would not forget today.

Be with me as I seek to follow the pathway that You seem to point out to me.  May today belong to You, with Jesus holding my hand as I walk along.

Thank You.

Amen.

Devotion to a Brother Cannot Set You Back

“The Bible says that you should go with a brother twice as far as he asks.  It certainly does not suggest that you set him back on his journey.  Devotion to a brother cannot set you back either.  (T52)”

Affirmation:  “Devotion to a brother cannot set me back”

Reflections:

1 – What “Brother” Means

A “brother” in A Course in Miracles always includes brothers and sisters, and it means a companion, another person in this world who needs our compassion.  (The Course was scribed in the sixties, and inclusive gender language had not yet become inherent in our writing.)

2 – What Devotion to a Brother Means

It is important to note here that we are to follow the biblical injunction of going the distance with our brother.  We are to go the extra mile.  But we are not encouraged to send our brother searching alone for his (or her) pathway; we are to help him in the best way that we know how.  This best way may not always be apparent.  Sometimes we can help best by stepping back, and only smiling at him (or her); this is stated elsewhere in the Course.  We are bade to pay attention to what our brother is ready for.  And this may not be readily apparent, and so we need to think carefully before we act.

3 – Do We Always Act?

Sometimes we will get the indication from the Holy Spirit that we are to do nothing.  Perhaps we would only make the feelings of our brother worse by trying to talk to him.  We may have even said too much already.  Then is the time to reach for solitude and to commune with God.  He is always there, deep within us.  He does not join in our illusions, but He allows us to rise above those illusions.  And He will comfort, when interactions with our brother have proved to be disappointing.

4 – Difficulties with a Brother

It is important to forgive and to forget, and then to drop the issue.  Nothing is gained by continuing to rehash the bad experience.  We are indeed, according to ACIM, making the insanity real, and then how do we overlook it?  And overlook it we need to do.  This is much easier when we realize that we will have forgotten the issue in awhile, and so why not drop it now, before more damage is done?  Often it is ourselves that we need to forgive.  We can see that our brother thought he was making a joke, and even if it was a joke at our expense, we do not see out from his eyes, to understand his perspective.  Our personalities differ, and what is one individual’s “joke” becomes grounds for offense if we don’t share his brand of humor.  May we try to see through his eyes today.  And may we stop the rehashing of an old conflict, because conflict is inevitable in the mad world in which we live.  Move on to reality, instead, Jesus might say (an interpretation of ACIM).  We need to realize that we are just as fallible as our brother, and next time maybe our jokes will fall flat.  Goodwill will smooth away these misunderstood feelings.

5 – No Setbacks

Also important to this passage is the fact that our devotion to our brother cannot cause us to lose ground.  Our pathway, according to the Course, is found in our devotion to our brother, rather than through long periods of contemplation.  Our way, according to the Course, is forgiveness, which leads to love, of our brother.  Forgiveness of our brother will lead us to Awakening.  So will contemplation, though Jesus states that this other way can be tedious, and we are encouraged to follow our way, which the Course spells out in abundant detail.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be the best companion to my brother.  This will mean that I am there for him when he needs me.  I will walk along the pathway with him.

May I recognize that devotion to my brother cannot cause me to lose ground in the quest for salvation.  Devotion to my brother is the way spelled out in the Course.  Thank You for these words of encouragement and advice.

Today I would see my brother especially in my significant relationships, my holy relationships.  May no stress mar the serenity of our day together.  May my devotion to those closest to me meet their needs, and may I feel that the love we share is increased by our time together today.  Thank You for giving me the patience and forbearance to remain calm and collected.  May what I say and do today add to the peace that my intimates feel, the peace that You can give to all of us in great measure.   

Amen.