Tag Archives: true reality

CONCLUSION TO “WHAT IS TRUE REALITY?”

In this series on true reality, we have seen that we are leaving behind the illusory past of separation from God, moving into unity and relationship, a place that we share with all others living in the House of Truth. We will move into elevated Selves of form, actually one Self, shared with all others. We will either change the world, or create a new world (and Jesus hopes for the latter). Our days are full of promise. Our nights, times for consolation and peace.

True reality is filled with the intangibles of love, joy, harmony, peace, certainty—the very things that we have lacked before. We will not know lack of any kind in this new world. Whether or not the physical is still illusory is a mote point, for to us it is tangible and real. But better, oh, so much better than what we knew before.
The characteristics of reality are many and varied; likewise, the characteristics that are not shared in true reality are also many and varied. We are in a form now that we share everything, for we were never meant to be alone, and now we know this.

The future looks bright to us. Let us never rue a good day. And the future is projected to be filled with good days.

We Create Our Own Reality

“You are thus, as always, the creator of your reality.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 29, 29.8)

Jane Roberts, back in the sixties, began channeling, live channeling, an entity who called himself “Seth.” Jane was one of the forerunners of the New Age movement. A principal feature of Seth’s teachings was the idea that we created our own reality.
This seems to be a cornerstone of New Age thinking now. And here Jesus affirms the same idea. We are said, by Jesus, to be “creators” now, not “makers” of an illusory reality headed up by the ego. We are living in the time of Christ, which allows the reality that we create to be true and good.

“You started with what you believed you had been given, the self that you saw yourself to be—the self you considered immutable and unchangeable—and proceeded from there. Yet you created in response to ‘reality’ rather than creating reality. Now you are called to create reality—a new reality.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 36, 36.5)

When we made a false reality, we remembered, however vaguely, some of what true reality was really like, even though hoodwinked by the ego. Now Jesus wants us to create a new reality, a new world. He doesn’t want us just to “change” the world, though some of us will do that. He holds out to us the better reality of creating a new world. And he also tells us that he doesn’t know what form that new world will take, because he is not being predictive, he doesn’t have these answers.

“Can you not see that if you can create your experience you can create a new reality—a new world? Can you not see the difference between creating as a separate self in response to a ‘given’ set of circumstances in a ‘given’ world and creating your experience as a creator who has realized oneness and unity—who has realized a new reality? The old reality was that of separation. The new reality is that of union. It is new only in that it has gone uncreated.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 36, 36.8)

This quotation is near the end of the Dialogues of A Course of Love, and the Dialogues are the third and final part of ACOL. It is good that we read and reread this quotation, for much is dovetailed in a few simple sentences.

We are to create a new world. We are creators who can do this. We have realized oneness and unity, and in this realization we have seen a new reality. The old, false illusion of separation is no more. The new reality is one of union, and its newness is only because heretofore this new reality has gone uncreated. Now is our chance to create a new world. To walk into the future holding Jesus’s hand.

Knowing Does Not Entail Belief

“Thus the absence of good health is disease; the absence of peace is conflict, the absence of truth illusion. This belief does not accept that there is only one reality and that it must exist where you are.

“We are moving you now away from all such beliefs to a knowing that precludes the need for belief at all.

“Yes, I have said that contrast is a favored teaching device of the Holy Spirit. But I have not yet said that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending even though I have stated that the time of second coming of Christ is here.” (ACOL, 7.2 – 7.4)

Nowhere in A Course in Miracles nor A Course of Love does Jesus promise his physical return, through reincarnation or any other means.  But he does say, adamantly, that the time of the Second Coming is now.  What does he mean by this?

We can be assured that we are living in resurrected times, in the time of the resurrection.  This is another way of saying that our time to reach Christ-consciousness is at hand.  And we can also understand from reading ACOL that it is easier in this time to reach Awakening.  Others have longed for the time that we have now.  The “celestial speedup” that A Course in Miracles inaugurated is well underway.

So the bottom line is that we don’t know for sure what Jesus really means.  We must turn to our inner Christ Spirit to know if we are on the right track.  And keep in mind that we may be surprised by the ease with which we reach Christ-consciousness in this new day.  This may be the second coming of Christ that Jesus is talking about in A Course of Love.

We who live in the time of Christ, now, are living in the one true reality, a reality that exists where we are. We don’t have to learn by contrast any longer, though that was often the way of the Holy Spirit (whose time is past). Contrast highlighted the difference between the egoic way of life, and the way of life of the truth. The ego was not the truth, never and always. The way of the truth is the way of the wholehearted joining of mind and heart to a new reality of peace and contentment. We live in that reality that we choose, and choosing anew will benefit us mightily.

We can have good health, peace, and truth in our experience. We don’t have to experience the opposite of these blessings to experience fully. We can just know. And in the knowing we have found our way back. We are living the truth of existence once again. Never fear that we will be led astray, for such is not possible if we listen to the Christ Self who dwells within each of us.

Just as the Holy Spirit used to guide us, now the Self does so. The Self is also internal, just as the Holy Spirit was, and the change in terminology is a bit obscure. But the reason is that we are incorporating ever more closely the matters of God. We are joined with God, and we talk to Him without fear. No longer do we need an intermediary (Holy Spirit) because of our fear.

Our lives are certain now. We are contented. The drama of the past is over, and with good reason, for we have walked into the future with Christ. Our time of Christ has done this for us.

Difference between Reality and Illusion

“Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place—for differences cannot exist within it—so too are illusions without distinctions.” (ACIM, M-8.6)

This quotation compares reality to illusions, suggesting that they have some things in common. All through reality, and all through illusions, we do not have differences. All that is reality is real, and all that is illusion is not real. But size and shape and time and place do seem different, in reality and in illusion. It is the permeating sameness of both reality and illusions that we are considering today.

We don’t really know what Jesus means by “reality.” We don’t know if he means a physical reality that is true rather than illusion; or if physical reality, because it has form, is not real. The formless does indeed seem more likely to be real. And this “formless” includes the best values of our environment, the love, joy, peace, harmony in which we wish to live permanently. The fact that we don’t live in these intangibles permanently may cause many of us to weep and wail. But there is a reason. We have not gone back far enough to get out of the illusion. Time is likened in A Course in Miracles to a long carpet on which steps are being retraced so that we head back to the beginning of our detour into fear. The carpet is then rolled up, and we are at home in God again. Jesus corrects all mistakes that we cannot correct. It is true that he gives himself a great deal of work to do in this world, but is that not what a savior does?

Illusions are something about which we have a better handle. Illusions are not true. And we live in illusions, for sure, at least as long as we have not reach Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We project the world that we see from within, and if this world looks bleak to us, then our inner life is bleak as well. We create our own reality, as so many in the New Age camp have said. We do not blame those who live in bad circumstances; we help them, when they are open to our help. But we know that life can get better even in illusion. The Holy Spirit brings happy dreams.

We may be tempted to stay in these happy dreams granted by the Holy Spirit. But we will not be creating a new world, which Jesus has encouraged us to do within the pages of A Course of Love. We need to do what we can to remove the blocks to love’s awareness, which all of us can do. God Himself makes the all-important decision to grant Awakening or Christ-consciousness, when he metaphorically reaches down to us and lifts us up. We don’t have direct control, therefore, over when we awaken. But we can walk the path back to Him in patience, knowing that His timing is always right. The moment when we know Christ-consciousness is already determined, as is much else on our pathway. We merely walk a path that has already been laid out, retracing our steps back to God.

Ordinary People Living Ordinary Lives Can Change This World

“The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.” (ACIM, M-2.2)

This quotation is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles. God’s Answer to the separation is meant to be the Holy Spirit, which is also known as God’s Voice, and the Universal Inspiration.

With God, as He has made with us, the solution is always found with the problem. And here the separation from God seemed to happen, and here God answered immediately with the Holy Spirit. During the time of the Holy Spirit (the last 2,000 years), we need simply to appeal to Him, and our needs are answered. We may not always recognize what the Answer has been, but this is true nevertheless. God has not left us comfortless.

In reality, we did not separate from God at all, though we have always thought that we did. We could not separate from God and live, because we are a part of Him. He dwells deep within, and we project outward to an illusory world that seems to contain us in physicality. Indeed, outside of true reality, we have “fallen” indeed, and the way back may take a very long time indeed. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it may take millions of years, possibly longer, for all human beings to return, as the “separation” happened over a similarly long period of time. This may be disturbing and discouraging, but Jesus does not gloss over the facts. We have a lot to do to bring ourselves and others back into the fold.

God’s Answer is always there for us, if we are following ACIM (A Course of Love counsels the inner Christ Spirit as our way back, because the time of the Holy Spirit has passed, and we are now living in the time of Christ). People will not, we believe, live in terrible circumstances for all of these millions of years. As more of us awaken, our pathway will seem brighter, and ACIM also says that the Holy Spirit brings happy dreams.

A Course of Love counsels that the elevated Self of form will live in this world, a new world that we are creating as we grow spiritually. Physicality is not bad or wrong, but separation and the egoic thoughts that it brings can be terrible in the extreme. We can safely reside in the physical form when we have sustained Christ-consciousness or Awakening. The future that we will create, a new world, is yet to be determined, but Jesus seems very hopeful in ACOL. He does not predict what we will do; probable realities prevent accurate prognostication. But our way will be easier as we walk a closer path with God.

Ordinary people living ordinary lives can make quite a difference.

We Live in a Safe Universe

“Only reality is free of pain. Only reality is free of loss. Only reality is wholly safe. And it is only this we seek today.” (ACIM, W-268)

Reality is benign, “free of pain,” “free of loss,” “wholly safe.” This reassurance is very welcome today. We need to know that true reality is different from the sometimes hazardous world that we inhabit before reality dawns.
The sometimes hazardous world is illusion, but when we cut ourselves, we bleed, and this does not seem illusory.

It is that we experience illusion as reality that we are able to experience this world at all. We are caught in physicality, and this “caught” feeling is very real to us.

True reality is different. We experience good things. We don’t cut ourselves, and so we don’t bleed. We don’t experience pain or suffering, and we don’t experience loss of our loved ones. We are safe in this true reality.
How is this possible? We don’t know, or certainly I don’t know to be able to tell you. But if Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it is so, I believe him. He is trying to tell us something very real; he is trying to lead us home to God. We can’t get there if we dwell on pain or suffering, and loss. We can get there only if we feel perfectly safe.

Even when bad things happen, still we can know that true reality is there to guide us. The bad things will not seem so bad when we are lost in God’s love. God does not lead us through a world of mystery, only to tell us in the end why these things have happened to us. We can know the “why” when we listen deeply. Everyone’s answer is different, and different for each circumstance, but we will be given an answer when we ask.

Ask today for your answer to eternal safety. See if God doesn’t reach out to you with His Answer. The Holy Spirit (if reading A Course in Miracles) or the inner Christ Self (if reading A Course of Love) will guide us rightly. We won’t have to wonder. But we do have to ask with the full assurance that we will be told.

And we will be told.

Seek Reality in Harmony, Peace, Joy

“As nothingness cannot be pictured, so there is no symbol for totality. Reality is ultimately known without a form, unpictured and unseen.” (ACIM, T-27.III.5)

Perhaps, for those of us who are interested, this quotation from A Course in Miracles is one answer to question of whether reality has a form, or if forms are always illusory. As I read it, this quotation would strongly suggest that reality is made up of non-forms, perhaps the intangibles of harmony, peace, joy, and the like.

I do not think that deciding whether or not reality has a form is a litmus test for adherents to A Course in Miracles. The same for our feelings are what illusion entails. ACIM is silent enough on this subject to leave room for differences of opinion. And we don’t want those differences of opinion to divide us.

Reality is here seen as totality. And we know, from other passages in A Course of Love, that totality cannot be experienced as one whole. There must be differences for us, even for God Himself, to experience Being. So reality was differentiated into parts, but each part as part of the whole, and containing the whole. This is one way of seeing reality, a way that is meaningful to me.
Reality, according to this quotation, is “unpictured” and “unseen.” But not unfelt, of this we can be sure. Let’s ask to experience true reality in our various paths through the world today.

We won’t be disappointed. The solution is always with the problem, and we have found unreality long enough. Now we are heading back home, and true reality lights our path to it.

No Better Day Can Be Had than One Spent in Peace

“Only this is certain in this shifting world that has no meaning in reality: When peace is not with you entirely, and when you suffer pain of any kind, you have beheld some sin within your brother, and have rejoiced at what you thought was there.” (ACIM, T-24.VI.5)

This quotation is a stern warning, and it sounds less than kind, on the surface. But is it, really? When peace is not with us totally and we feel pain of any kind, are we harboring anger at our brother for his perceived sins?

There are few of us who would believe that we are beyond anger. None of us actually are, though ACIM warns that anger and attack are unjustified, for our Self is innocent. A Course of Love is more forgiving, explaining that anger may stay with us until we bid it go. Negative feelings do not keep us from Christ-consciousness, because ACOL says that we do not have to be “perfect” in this world. ACIM says that Jesus stands at the end of the pathway, to correct any errors that we ourselves are powerless to change. So we are standing on good ground when we acknowledge anger and a propensity to see sin in others, though we all recognize that this is not the way we want to feel and see.

“Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions I made up.” (ACIM, W-52)

If we are deeply experiencing this world, we will be experiencing illusions. And we will be upset. We need the reality that is behind these conflicted and conflicting feelings. And we can have it—today.

All we need do is ask for the reality that is behind all illusion. Ask for what is non-material; ask for love, joy, harmony, peace. You will not be left dangling. The Holy Spirit (or, in ACOL, the Christ Self) will respond to your pleas with much good will. Claim this promise. I claim it almost daily. And my world becomes smoother as a result.

Ask for perfect peace today. Turn aside from the upsets, big and small, that people your world.

The perfect peace that comes will assure us that we ought to harbor no ill will toward another. And we will join with them in a community of believers in faith, in God, in holiness.

No better day can be had than one spent in peace.

Cross the Bridge into Reality–to Find God

“You will cross the bridge into reality simply because you will recognize that God is on the other side, and nothing at all is here. It is impossible not to make the natural decision as this is realized.” (ACIM, T-16.V.17)

Choosing for God is the natural decision. Of course, many do not believe this. But if we open our minds ever so slightly, and allow the thought that God is real, that He is a part of our lives, and that we are happier recognizing this, there will never be a problem with belief again.

I have long been drawn to those parts of A Course in Miracles that use the term “natural.” This seems to be a harbinger of particular apt thoughts. Who does not want to live the life “natural” to us? And how can we do that if we leave God out?

Don’t leave Him out. Open the door to your deepest mind ever so slightly, and see if you don’t experience a swelling of your heart at the same time that you open your mind.

This is all it takes. But it is enough. We have let God show us that paying attention to Him is natural to our best living. And He will respond in kind. This is what He has been waiting for. Don’t keep Him waiting any longer. Just experiment. And reflect.

The advantages are many, the drawbacks none at all. God would have you live the good life, and by this I don’t mean the materialistic life. The good life is the best that is out there for us, and it is there for the immediate experiencing when our minds and hearts turn to the One Who knows all.

Love Asks Only for Happiness

“Today, let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real and that reality is not disaster. Reality is safe and sure, and wholly kind to everyone and everything. There is no greater love than to accept this and be glad. For love asks only that you be happy, and will give you everything that makes for happiness.” (ACIM, T-16.II.8)

What a reassuring quotation! Our reality is safe, sure, kind—nothing to fear at all. It is only when we dip into fear itself that we experience the bad things of this world. Of course, things that are bad appear to spring up quite independent of ourselves, but they, even in our front yard, will touch us not if we are wholly immersed in reality. We will see with larger eyes, seeing past the illusion that is before us, to the reality of love that is within. We are part of God, and this being so, how can our inner being not experience His love?

Love asks only that we be happy. We who are achievement-oriented have long thought that more was asked of us than simply to experience the feeling of love. Of course, love is more than a feeling, an emotion, but that is a legitimate starting point for our experience of reality. Achieving will happen, when we are ready, for we too don’t want to spend our days in a bored funk. But love comes first. Then we are led, skillfully and carefully, to an achievement that would rival our highest dreams.

Love will give us everything that makes for happiness! Yes, the quotation says that. Settle back, relax, take it easy, and let the love that is in our hearts flow over us. We will have a better day. Indeed, we can have no better day when we take this initial step for a good day.

Heaven Dawns Here and Now in This World

“In Heaven reality is shared and not reflected. By sharing its reflection here, its truth becomes the only perception the Son of God accepts. And thus, remembrance of his Father dawns on him, and he can no longer be satisfied with anything but his own reality.” (ACIM, T-14.X.2)

When we remember God, we are likely to be in a sharing mood with others. We are not likely to be isolated and alone, in a self-centered way with ourselves and others as well. In Heaven, then, reality is shared. We don’t see reality “reflected,” which is an inferior way to experience reality.

And we can have Heaven here and now. This is being said. We have long thought that we had to wait for the afterlife, and maybe eons beyond the immediate afterlife, to reach Heaven. But here and now Heaven awaits us, when we are made ready by our persistence and our love for God and other people, as well as love for ourselves (which is necessary to love God and others).

When we remember God, we are living reality. We don’t have to be made acquainted with God, for He is in our memory. We once knew that, being a part of Him, we could never lose Him. Now we need to realize that this remembrance is always out there, waiting for us.

The ways of this world are obscure at best. The ways of Heaven are transparent to those who ask to see.

Seeing Love, Harmony, Peace, Joy Will Chase Away the Demons of Unreality/Illusion

“Different realities are meaningless, for reality must be one. It cannot change with time or mood or chance. Its changelessness is what makes it real. This cannot be undone. Undoing is for unreality. And this reality will do for you.” (ACIM, T-14.IV.2)

Do we not want to undo what has no effects, something such as fear? The effects that we feel seem real enough to us, of course, but actually these effects are nothing more than illusion that has been given a pseudo reality. And it is true reality that we want.

Seeing love, harmony, peace, joy, will chase away the demons of unreality/illusion. For love, harmony, peace, and joy are real, are evidence that we are seeing true reality. And in the real world (seen only for an instant in time, though we do not know how long as “instant” really is) love reigns. We would do well to welcome the real world all the time in our experience.

“Appearances deceive, but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form, and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.” (ACIM, T-30.VIII.1)

The “appearances” that this quotation mentions are the things in our world that we see and call reality, which are in actuality physical forms that are illusion. We live in an illusory world, with positive emotions our only tie to reality—love, joy, peace, etc. These emotions (which are really a bit beyond emotion) are changeless in reality. But we don’t often recognize this, for our emotions appear labile to us. We oscillate, in and out of moods of the day, and we wonder how even the positive emotions can be changeless.

Even those positive emotions can’t be changeless when we are trapped. But we do not have to remain trapped. Trapped in illusion! What a dreary thought!

We may think that we don’t want to live in a changeless world. But that is not exactly what is promised us. The positive emotions will continue, though the particular activities in which we engage will differ. The positive emotions, I think, are the changeless factor.

The world that we see can become a real world when we look past its changing forms. And when our emotions level out. We are not meant to be constantly up and down, in a dreary round of a felt spinning world. We are meant to look to God for our constancy and for our changeless reality. We are meant to commune with our Creator, for it is very unnatural not to do so (from ACIM). We shortchange ourselves when we don’t commune, just talk, with God, as we go through our day. He will take the changeable and turn it into the changeless, and the smoothing out of our experience will be palpable.

Radiant Message of God’s Love

“The only part of your mind that has reality is the part that links you still with God. Would you have all of it transformed into a radiant message of God’s Love, to share with all the lonely ones who have denied Him? God makes this possible.” (ACIM, T-14.V.1)

Our inner Christ Self is the linkage with God, the internal linkage that allows us to welcome others, to love them intensely, and to be at home in all the universe. We are no longer lonely when we recognize that we are one with God. And we reach out to others, as just something that we want to do. Not a compelling, in reaching out to others. Just something that we feel led to do, with no coercion at all.

Our Christ Self is discussed at length in A Course of Love. It is the truest of true reality, the “only part of your mind that has reality.”
Let us go forth today to reach out to others in whatever ways we can. They will welcome our interest and our words, if we listen guidance within that tells us when and where to speak.

Reality, true reality, is asking us to do the best that we can. And guidance is always there to be sure that our thoughts, words, and actions are well-considered.

Does Illusion Fall Away in ACIM’s Real World?

“The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.” (ACIM, T-11.VII.4)

Perhaps reality, being “only what is true,” is not illusion at all, is no longer the dream in which we perceive the world. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love do not develop this idea very much at all; it is left to tantalize us with its innuendo. Certainly the eternal in our experience, the intangibles of love, harmony, peace, joy, happiness, are not illusion, and it may be these intangibles that Jesus is discussing. Honest people have differed on what he is saying, dedicated students/teachers, all, of A Course in Miracles.

We are teased out of thought when we wonder if seeing the real world, which ACIM notes happens only briefly, is not an illusion. We are caught up in Awakening by God Himself, and through this action do we know peace for the first time. Whether or not the images that appear before our eyes are perception or knowledge is not made clear to me in ACIM. Maybe I am too dense, but I still have questions.

How could the illusion of our eyes, in this outside world, suddenly, with the advent of the real world, true reality, be “real”? This is one question for us to puzzle over, because none of us has a definitive answer. This much is certain: the intangibles are eternal, and therefore true—but the eyes don’t see these intangibles.

“This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge.” (ACIM, T-11.VIII.1)

Will Heaven be a physical manifestation of truth? And will Heaven be here and now?

This quotation certainly seems to say “yes” to both questions. But A Course in Miracles can be obscure, and I seek to say nothing that is controversial, because controversy is divisive in that it separates us from each other in the study of ACIM.

We can ask to see this real world sooner rather than later. And we can do what we can to remove the blocks to love’s awareness.

This much we can do.

And it will be no mystery why we are healed.

“Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. There is no order in reality, because everything there is true.” (ACIM, T-17.I.5)

This defines “true reality,” if we have ever needed a definition.

“How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness.” (ACIM, T-22.V.1)

This quotation explains why we need be defensive about nothing. Defense weakens us, making what we would defend against. This is an axiom of A Course in Miracles.

We can get ourselves so caught up in illusion, and so defensive, that we let the ego run wild in our psyches again.

We do not need this. Nobody needs this. The ego, so apparent to others, will keep us weak for eons—if we let it. Now is the time to turn aside gently from the ego, take heed no longer, and know truth for the first time.

“Where once you recognized only illusion and called it reality, the mind joined in union will now, more and more, recognize only truth and experience only the truly real.” (ACOL, 1.10)

This brings back the quandary with which I became this posting. Will we experience only the “truly real”? Does this go beyond simply intangible emotions (love, peace, etc.)?

Certainly it seems to say this. And what a great promise this is, if this should be true! We don’t have to fear being lost in illusions any longer. Our dreams are over, maybe in physical manifestation as well.

Ask deep within for the answer to this quandary. I suspect that honest people will vary on their interpretations, but that is no reason for us to be divided one from the other. We do realize that the intangibles are not dreams. And joy, peace, love, harmony, happiness, will beckon us forward every step of the way, paving the way for Heaven on earth.

Do Not Be Afraid to Look upon Fear, for It Cannot Be Seen

“Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what leads to nothing could not be real. Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen.” (ACIM, T-11.V.2)

So often we have heard or read that we need to walk right up to fear, look it in its face, and it will disappear. This quotation says the same. And it goes further: There is not anything there to be seen at all.

My experience has sometimes been different, because I am able to scare myself with my own desert places. I can panic when I look upon fear too closely. But, given that I know A Course in Miracles, it is a panic based on nothing, on illusion only. There is nothing there that can actually harm me. Nothing at all.

We are not dealing with the real when we deal with fear, however we deal with it. We are dealing with illusion, with the scary thoughts of our deluded minds, and we are walking away, at the same time, from reality. Reality is not scary in the least. And so we don’t have to scare ourselves with our own desert places. Not at all.

Reality builds upon itself; that is what is meant by the “extension” comment in the quotation. The more we look on true reality, the bigger it gets, the more of our force field is taken up by the sweet beauty of reality.

Choose reality today. Gently turn aside from fear, not with resistance (for fear grows strong with resistance), but with love. Love overcomes fear, always and forever. And it is just such love that will save us.

Remember from Eons Past What We Know of God

“Give up gladly everything that would stand in the way of your remembering, for God is in your memory. His Voice will tell you that you are part of Him when you are willing to remember Him and know your own reality again. Let nothing in this world delay your remembering of Him, for in this remembering is the knowledge of yourself.” (ACIM, T-10.II.2)

This favorite passage from A Course in Miracles does emphasize that the Voice (the Holy Spirit) will guide us surely into true reality, which is the remembrance of God. We are not, it is important to note, learning something new when we learn of God; instead, we are remembering something forgotten eons ago. The way back has been long and difficult, painful in the extreme, but those days are ending. The way now becomes smooth, there are no pebbles to kick against with our feet, and we are living better than we ever have before. We are learning to trust God again, and this in itself is a cause for great rejoicing.

We need not delay in this world. We want knowledge of ourselves, and in knowledge of God is knowledge of ourselves laid. We will live in great glory when we have put aside our wonderings about reality, and let reality be written upon our world. Then the illusions may very well fall away, and we will see the intangibles—faith, love, joy, harmony, peace—with new eyes.

We are part of God, Who lives deep within us. We project an insane dream, but not from such depths as God lives. He leads us back to Him ever so gently, making sure that we don’t stumble. His way is good and true, and it leads to true reality.
Would we lack for anything when we live in true reality, illusions sought no longer?

True Reality Is Eminently Obvious

“The ego is afraid of the obvious, since obviousness is the essential characteristic of reality. Yet you cannot overlook it unless you are not looking.” (ACIM, T-9.VII.3)

I have emphasized, from A Course of Love, many times that we are moving away from the ego and all of its woes. The most obvious parts of our world are not the egoic interpretations, but the reality that is coming about from our dropping of fear and judgment. This reality is blessed, a true gift from God. And we don’t have to wait to experience true reality. If it is obvious, as this quotation says, then it is there for all of us to see. And see it we will, when we have met the conditions of dropping fear and judgment from our group of emotions.
When something is obvious, we don’t overlook it unless we are not looking. The quotation says this, and we know this is true in our own experience. Ask for the obvious today. Let the obvious in your surroundings call to you.

If the “obvious” seems to be painful, then sit with that thought and emotion for a while. Don’t turn the thought and emotion into suffering. Just sit with the pain. If looked at intently, pain will begin to dissipate, for it is only illusion—nothing more. And illusion doesn’t stick around if we are onto it, if we have discerned that in fact it is illusion.

We can give up our dreams of a mad world. We can give up our madness. Find something that absorbs our consciousness, that gives us peace, and see that the pain dissipates.
And the obviousness of true reality will dawn—not later, but now.

The Reality of Everything Is Totally Harmless

“Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not. The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality. It is also the condition of your awareness of its reality. You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.” (ACIM, T-8.IX.2)

We have made a world from our projections from within, a world that is perceived rather than truly experienced. And this perception has been wrong, has gone awry. We don’t have to stay with these misapprehensions, though. There is a better way. And true reality is what it is.

How do we experience true reality? When we recognize that we can be harmed by nothing, we are well on our way. Of course, in this world, this assertion strikes us as irrational. Surely there are many things in this world that hurt us. But our real Self is not hurt, and it is this Self that is able to experience true reality. This Self does not spend time lamenting perceptions of the world that are not accurate. This Self sits in the sun and is contented. Would we not all long for this experience?

Our conditions to meet include harboring no fear and no judgment. These are the twin conditions that keep us stuck in illusions, in our dream world. We may think that stress, fear, is always with us, but we need to think again. Fear is not with us when we are open to the God within. Judgment does not overtake us when we are communing with Him.

So: Today, let loose the misperceptions with which we have peopled our world. Know that fear and judgment can be left behind, and that the quickest route to that right choice is to touch base with the inward God. Meditate on Him, and see if there are not bright spots in your perception. Soon knowledge will replace perception, and we will know that all is well. Let us choose that all will be well today.

Choose Not Be Affected by Lack of Love from Without

“In reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you.” (ACIM, T-2.I.5)

This quotation doesn’t seem to make sense when we first read it. Of course we are affected by the lack of love expressed by others! But are we, really? We are our own Self, the entity whom God created, and we are not actually changed by anything that happens outside ourselves—including expressions of lack of love. In such a situation, we need only turn within, to the God within, and feel the love percolate up to the surface from deep within. We are fine; we are loved by God; we need fear other people in the world not at all.

This explanation needs some “sitting with” to reach full agreement with your very human mind. And perhaps the mind cannot comprehend this idea at all. Maybe it takes the heart. Our hearts know things that the mind, especially when caught by the ego, can never know. Ask the heart if it feels unloved when a significant other turns his/her back on us. Is it not pride, an egoic notion, that is truly hurt? If we ask deep within, we will know that our essential Self has known no pain; this essential Self is right there, waiting for our little self to come to its senses. We are loved, and we are not hurt when the source of that love changes.

We will always have love in our lives. We need never wonder if we will go lacking, for we won’t. This is a characteristic of true reality; this is the truth of what we experience in this sometimes sad world. Love never goes away; it just hides sometimes. But communing with our depths, communing with God, will right our little world again when we have suffered loss.

Ask today from whence your love might best come. You will sense an answer, and the pain and suffering (if this is your experience) will subside. Remembering God’s love is all that it takes.

PART 3: WHAT IS TRUE REALITY? CHARACTERISTICS OF REALITY

We Are Spirits Having a Bodily Experience

“The miracle sets reality where it belongs. Reality belongs only to spirit, and the miracle acknowledges only truth.” (ACIM, T-1.IV.2)

We are spirits having a bodily experience. We are not primarily bodies. Even when we have reached Christ-consciousness, and even when we have sustained that Christ-consciousness, living the elevated Self of form that Jesus extols, we still are, at base spirits. Our spirits can recognize a miracle when we see one. Skepticism has been discarded, and we revel in the glory of a true reality that is always and only miraculous.

Our true reality has spirit, then, at its base. And until we recognize this as what true reality really means, we will be to some extent at loose ends. We like physicality, or we would not have incarnated in flesh. Don’t you think we had some choice in the matter? (A Course of Love is silent on this question.) If we did have some choice, then it is true, as Jesus says, that the choice to occupy an elevated Self of form in an eternity is really ours.
Nobody needs to make a decision like this now. The world as it exists today would not be desirable as an eternal home. But a portion of the entity who we are might very well choose to live on this earth, bringing ourselves and others to salvation. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that the return of everyone to God may take millions of years. We do not have to be daunted by this suggestion. We can, instead, be grateful that our existence is about to take on new meaning in this world. We have the means before us to reach Christ-consciousness, to live with miracles surrounding us all the time. We have the new revelations (as I view them) of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Both books speak to our time, in language that understands secular psychology (hence the emphasis on the “ego”) and, at the same time, acknowledges the depth of generations to a mystical tradition.

We are truly in an enviable position now. We are in the time of Christ, a time awaited by many for centuries before us.

We Are “Enough”

“You may have left behind aspirations of wealth, and replaced them with ideas of having more time, more fulfilling work, simpler pleasures, and yet you still see your new state as one that does not touch upon this aspect of ‘reality.’ The better life you might attain will be a by-product rather than the effect of Cause.

“Here is the real of the old ‘reality’ most solid and unrelenting. Not having ‘enough’ is the ‘reality’ of your life because it was the reality of the learning life.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 3, 3.22 – 3.23)

There are several ideas in this quotation that need some explanation. Surprisingly, perhaps, A Course of Love says that we are heading away from the time of learning through intermediaries, especially the reading and studying that we have done. We are heading into the place of observation of the world and what it contains, and then discovery of reality. We, we are told, are living in the time of Christ, and we need no intermediaries, not even the Holy Spirit, for the time of the Holy Spirit has now passed.
Of course, we may not even know from whence our guidance is coming. I have friends who still hold dear the Holy Spirit, and I don’t think that Jesus would downplay their inclinations. The Holy Spirit is a part of the Trinity, which includes the inner Christ Self we are to follow now. So as long as seek mightily to follow the guidance that we ask to receive, I think that we will be alright.
Why do we think that we don’t have “enough”? Is it not lingering fear of what the future will bring, whether or not we will be taken care of in this problematic world? Our unreal reality is of a world that doesn’t give us what we need, but we have to bear part of the blame for this, because we have been looking in all the wrong places. We are now to look outward at a new, true reality, one that doesn’t seek for inferior goals. We don’t necessarily need the soft life that we may have replaced the goals of ambition.

Our true reality is yet to be written. Jesus says, toward the end of A Course of Love, that he won’t be predictive, that not even he has the knowledge to know where we are heading, what we can create. But one thing is sure: The transformation of ourselves to a more perfect, elevated Self, is inevitable once we seek out the answers, answers that are there in our given world to observe and to discover. Look around you today, and see if you don’t notice a clearer world than you have previously observed or discovered. The clarity is God’s gift to us as we walk ever farther on the pathway home.

Prayer Says Good-Bye to Fear

“To use prayer only as a means of reaching out to a god seen as separate is to attempt to use what cannot be used. . .Prayers such as these emanate from either heart or mind and have not the power of the wholehearted. Prayers such as these emanate from the state of fear that is the reality of the separated self.” (ACOL, 6.5)

All of us have prayed as though we were in a foxhole. These are the desperate prayers, when we are very vulnerable, for whatever reason. And all of us grew up seeing God as an all-powerful Eye Who could see anything that we were doing, and Who would mostly punish us if we did something that was “wrong.”

It is impossible to avoid these concepts of God. But the time has come for a more mature concept of the Deity. We believe, if we follow A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, that God is within, that we are all “God-stuff,” and that when we turn inward, we connect with Something both very deep and very high. We see this illusory world as a product of projection from within, yet we sense also that there is a Higher Reality, a reality that we long to experience.

When we turn inward and pray real prayers, our prayers are heard, but by a God Who does not feel inspired by our illusory fear. He will still listen, of course, but we are in a compromised state of mind and heart when we pray out of fear, and we often feel that our prayers have not reached the ceiling, that we have not been heard. This is because fear is a barrier to touching the Divine. It keeps us from what we most want.

There is a way around this. First, calm the mind and heart in whatever ways you have discovered work for you. For some, this is meditation. For some, it is reading the Workbook lessons that are a part of A Course in Miracles. For some, it is as mundane as deep breathing. But unless the mind and heart are somewhat calm, our prayers convict us of things that we think we have done wrong. And this isn’t a fruitful state in which we touch God.

We aren’t reaching to a God beyond the stars. It is nearer than our breath. And always there. He does not punish, however much we think that we deserve punishment. He is always present to listen. But from deep within us. Not outside.

“While your mind did not accept the truth of your identity or the reality of love without fear, it existed in a reality of fear and judgment, and bound heart and body to this reality.” (ACOL, Treatise on the New, 7.5)

This is the old way of thinking, a way that ACIM and ACOL sought to dismantle. We used to fear mightily, and we may still have flights of fear, but there ought to be some lessening by now. Our egoic mind is falling apart, finally, and we are living in a better personal world than we have ever known before. We may still have painful elements to our world, but the suffering (you may have observed) has lessened. This is because the ego has smelled defeat, and while the throes of the death process may be acute, they are not unending.

Leave behind fear and judgment as a decision of the mind and heart. Walk into the sunlight of a new world created by a loving God Whom we are coming to recognize, often for the first time.

In Separation from God, We Have Distorted Reality

“Is it so impossible to imagine that what God created was distorted by your desire to have your reality be other than what it is? Have you not seen this kind of distortion take place within the reality you do see?” (ACOL, 9.28)

Eons ago, when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) took hold, we thought that we would make a world that we would like better than the one that God envisioned and created for us. This was indeed madness. But, like adolescents, we forged ahead, and he made the decision to let us exert the free will with which He had endowed us. And what a mess we made for ourselves!

This was the detour into fear, the detour from true reality. And it is only now, in Christ-consciousness, that we have a chance to recoup what we have lost—the true meaning of reality as God intended it for us.

We know that this world is a place of madness. We know this if we have even an inkling of how badly things have gone for us. We have pain that escalates into suffering, and we feel so alone in all the world.

But now we are finding our way back, making out way back on the carpet laid out before us. We are heading backward into time (an ACIM concept), to the place that we left. And we tell ourselves that everything will be better this time. We know better now, we know better from hard experience. We cannot get along without God, as much as we might think we can. He made us to commune with Him, our Maker, and the extent to which we do so fuels the pace at which we right our world again.

Don’t be satisfied with a partial world of adolescent rebellion today. Free will is a great gift, but not when it is misused. Ask deeply, today if you like what you have made. The answer, if asked honestly, will be “no.” Then set about to get the guidance needed to create as elevated Selves of form with the God of our greater imaginings.

He will be there waiting for our return. He has never left us. He has always been waiting for our return to sanity. And that sanity is now beckoning us for a great Awakening.

The Ego Is Best Left Behind

“This is your reenactment of creation, begun each morning and completed each night. Each day is your creation held together by the thought system that gave it birth. To observe this is to see its reality. To see this reality is to see the image of God you have created in God’s likeness.” (ACOL, 8.24)

The word “ego” is not used in this quotation, but that is what I think is meant. When we live with the ego, we reenact creation, but in a skewed way, to our detriment. We have images of ourselves, other people, and God. And these images are idols. Let’s give up this foolishness now. Let’s listen to A Course of Love when it tells us, metaphorically, that the ego is dead in us. We are proceeding as Jesus encourages, leaving ego behind, developing an identity with our inner Christ Self. This Self will then direct us, just as the Holy Spirit did in the last era. We have, according to ACOL, moved out of the time of the Holy Spirit and into the time of Christ. Let’s act as though we believe this. The action will then lead to the belief.

So true reality is definitely not the ego’s frame of mind. This is something that we have known now for a long time. But, because we are mortal, and fallible, and subject to making mistakes, we forget, and we fall back into egoic ways of thinking. Then we backtrack, losing our place on the pathway to enlightenment, for there can be no compromise with the ego that leads to Christ-consciousness.

How do we leave the ego behind? The most forward-thinking action is to consciously do nothing that is egotistical. “Ego” and “egotistical” do not quite mean the same things, but there is a close relationship. The ego is the persona that we have adopted, whereas egotistical thinking and actions play out that persona in our everyday world.

We don’t have to live this way. There is a better way, outlined in ACOL. Let’s take steps along that better pathway today and every day. Let nothing dissuade you. This change of mind, and this listening that we are giving the heart, is far too important to the future of the world to let ourselves backslide.

Turn Aside from the Mind to the Heart

“What is learned by the mind only rearranges reality. The mind then holds to the new reality as a new set of rules without change. It sees reality through these new mental constructs and calls this way of seeing new. In order to support its new reality it must insist that others follow these new rules.” (ACOL, 1.2)

We must understand that A Course of Love downplays the mind, in large part, I think, due to the fact that the mind has previously been ego-oriented. ACOL emphasizes the heart, which doesn’t get changed by the egoic mind, and which often gives us the solace that the mind cannot. We do learn, as we get deeper in A Course of Love, that the mind and heart need to combine into a state termed “wholeheartedness,” because we cannot function without the mind and heart working together. Our mind is now pretty much free of the ego, if we have been faithfully reading and taking to heart the instructions in ACOL.

Thus we learn at the beginning of ACOL that the mind is dealing in constructs that mislead. We also want others to follow the rules that our mind has laid down.

Quickly we can realize that this won’t work, not long and not well. What are we to do, but deemphasize the mind as we move farther into A Course of Love?

“All the mind can do is rearrange reality and hold it still and captive and rule bound.” (ACOL 1.5)

This is what the mind does to reality. Is this anything that we would want?

“The mind will attempt to understand with its own logic and fight the logic of the heart. The mind will see new rules and perhaps be willing to rearrange its reality once again.

“The mind is its own reality. You cannot escape the mind’s reality with the mind. You cannot learn how to escape the reality of the mind with the mind’s pattern of learning or of logic. You cannot live in a new and fresh world and retain the mind’s reality.” (ACOL, 1.8 – 1.9)

These quotations do not say so, but the way to turn aside from the mind’s view of reality is to trust the heart’s prompting. We have to get outside the mind to see what it is really doing. It won’t destroy its own constructs about reality. We don’t want to destroy anything, because violence makes what we would eliminate. We simply gently turn aside, basking in the warmth of the heart’s inner knowing.

And by so doing does our little world come around alright again.

We Are Not Special

“Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same. And difference of any kind imposes orders of reality, and a need to judge that cannot be escaped.” (ACIM, T-24.I.3)

When Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we need to see ourselves as the “same,” he is saying that we are all equal, not presently, but ultimately. Some do know more temporarily, and it is this that gives us pause for thought. It is this that can give the ego a field day, for if we are unequal now, does that not mean that some of us are “special”?

No, being unequal in knowing about salvation is just the way of the present. In time, all talents will be shared in equal measure, for only time separates us from equality. And time does not really exist, being an illusion, like all that we see in our physical world. We live in eternity. We are just seeing immediate points in order to be able to experience that eternity.

We are not special. Or, conversely, we could see that all of us are special. At any rate, there is only sameness in actuality. We cooperate with our best talents now, knowing that all will share those talents eventually.
We will find ourselves judging if we think that we are special, different from each other. And judging keeps us from awakening. It is one of the three ways in which enlightenment recedes in the distance. (The other two are rising anger and planning against contingencies to come, planning that is not authorized by the Holy Spirit.)
Orders of reality are a false concept, a way of viewing our lives that does not dovetail with the real. And true reality is where we would live. There are, it is true, levels of understanding our reality. But we all live in the sameness of true camaraderie, when we listen to the Holy Spirit as we go about our day.

He will keep us from fretting and worrying. He will ease our minds.

Seeing Chaos Is Evidence of Unreality

“Certain it is illusions will bring fear because of the beliefs that they imply, not for their form. And lack of faith in love, in any form, attests to chaos as reality.” (ACIM, T-23.II.20)

We live well when we love, love ourselves, love others, love God. We don’t do so well when we are submerged in the chaos of worry, anger, hate—any of the negative emotions. When we worry, we rue God’s blessings. We don’t see that His guidance for us, the Holy Spirit, will get us out of any jam. We are lost in illusions when we worry. And all of us stay lost in illusions to one extend or another.

When we are fearful, we are opening ourselves to all sorts of negative emotions. How do we rid ourselves of the fear? Turn to love; it is just that simple. Commune with God; know that He is always with us. His blessings will eliminate the worry, nearly always. If not, we need to go deeper. Why are we letting fear rule, when we all know better? Are we bored? Are we anxious? Are we concerned about something over which we have little or no control?

The answers will vary from time to time, but there is always one antidote: Turn to God in love, ask for the blessings of the Holy Spirit, and ask for God’s protection. He will always respond in the affirmative.

“When you chose to deny relationship, you chose a thought system based on the opposite of your reality. Thus each choice to deny union reveals its opposite. What is separate from peace is chaos. What is separate from good is evil. What is separate from the truth is insane. Since you cannot be separate, all these factors that oppose your reality exist only in opposition to it.” (ACOL, 6.8)

When we are worrying, we are lost in chaos. We don’t see a way out until we distract ourselves with the best that we know: God’s love and attention to our every need. We are choosing to be, maybe ever so slightly, insane. And, as a result, we wallow about in misery.
This can’t go on. God needs our holy minds to redeem His world. And the only way that this can be initiated is to have a change of heart in ourselves first. Then we will be a position to make things better for others. Do-goodism doesn’t work for long. We can’t save the world if we haven’t first been saved. And A Course in Miracles and A Course in Love give direction to our misguided efforts to be salvation’s beacon light. We turn inward, and then in the inward turn do we see aright again—maybe for the first time in eons.

Turn aside from chaos today. We need to know that we don’t have to worry, to be anxious, to fret, to be insane. Those things can all be in the past.

Test out God today. He welcomes our heartfelt questionings. He will never fail us. His Way will take us home.

Walk into the Light of Miracles Personified

“You do not doubt that the body’s eyes can see. You do not doubt the images they show you are reality. Your faith lies in darkness, not the light. How can this be reversed? For you it is impossible, but you are not alone in this.” (ACIM, W-91)

We are not alone. In the terms of A Course in Miracles, we always have the Holy Spirit with us—there, guiding us, if we are willing to listen. And we don’t really see anything except illusions with the physical eyes. We see truly when we have vision that is not of the physical eyes. Then we are not seeing “images” at all, but true reality.

If we can just remember that we are not alone, even when all around us the world seems to be disintegrating, then we will be reassured always. Even if the outer world weren’t in disarray (which it is), then our surrounding world does tend to fall apart from time to time. Then we need to keep the faith, to know that our guidance is true, that there is a legitimate, good, way out. And we are certain that all of our worries are usually borrowed troubles.

We need to doubt that the body’s eyes see truly. When we let that doubt in, we are primed for seeing with real vision. We see the intangibles that are all around us, even when things are going badly. We can, once again, see truth, beauty, sunlight, a beautiful morning, love, the affection that we get from our most significant others. We know, most of all, that we are all in this together. We don’t lament our lot in life any longer.

And it is no mystery why we are healed.

Your Holy Mind Is Altar unto God

“Your holy mind is altar unto God, and where He is no idols can abide. The fear of God is but the fear of loss of idols. It is not the fear of loss of your reality. But you have made of your reality an idol, which you must protect against the light of truth.” (ACIM, T-29.VII.9)

There are several strains of meaning in this quotation, making it hard to follow. But the loss of idols is a real fear for us, because we have made many of our loves into idols. We thought that we had a special relationship that would solve everything for us, for we were ripped out of ourselves for the love that we felt. But we had made an idol, because the relationship was special, not holy. And only when it becomes holy are we on the right track.

“Idols are but substitutes for your reality. In some way, you believe they will complete your little self, for safety in a world perceived as dangerous, with forces massed against your confidence and peace of mind.” (ACIM, T-29.VIII.2)
We all want safety. Being safe is one of our greatest desires, out of all possible desires. And when this safety is not forthcoming, we make idols that will, we think, protect us from ourselves.

The idols will never do this. Our world is not dangerous, though it becomes so in our own, misguided, perception. We need to realize that peace of mind is part of our inheritance from God.

God is right there for us, always. Always and forever. And when we cease fearing Him, we will not need intermediaries, such as the Holy Spirit, to keep us safe. We will have direct access to God, for we have willed it so. It is God’s Will, as well, and in that our safety is secured.

Dream Your Own Dreams

“Call not to him to meet you in the gap between you, or you must believe that it is your reality as well as his. You cannot do his part, but this you do when you become a passive figure in his dreams, instead of dreamer of your own.” (ACIM, T-28.IV.5)

This quotation is a beautifully written comment meant to lead us to solidarity and love with our most significant other. All others are our brothers, but our most significant other has a particular place in the theology of A Course in Miracles. We are led to understand that in our joining with another, we jump ahead light years from where we stand. Our way is assured, our way to Awakening. We are told that contemplation (as in meditation) is a way for others, that it is a tedious way, though it too will succeed in the end. But we save time by loving our brother (or sister), our most significant other.

Not all students/teachers interpret the “brother” concept in just the way described above. Some believe that everyone is our world, being our brother (or sister), is actually meant as a beacon to bring us home. I tend to read these passages as a particular other, though, one that was most special to us but who transformed into the holiest of others to us. Our special relationship became holy, in a transformation that may have disturbed almost its very essence.

We are dreaming this dream, ACIM makes clear. We are caught in a dream with our brother or sister, and our actions come out of that dream. If we treat each other badly from time to time, still we are doing the dreaming. And we can change the dream to something else—first, benign; and then loving.

Let’s make the effortless attempt today to see our most significant other as our way back home. This is the shortcut that A Course in Miracles asks of us. And it will be no surprise that Awakening reaches us sooner for the gesture.

Illusions

“No sacrifice is possible in the relinquishment of an illusion recognized as such. Where all reality has been withdrawn from what was never true, can it be hard to give it up, and choose what must be true?” (ACIM, T-26.III.7)
We don’t have to struggle to give up our illusions. They are very easy to give up, once we recognize that they have brought us images of sacrifice and pain, pain that often turned to suffering. The giving up of illusions represent a milestone on our journey.

“Illusions are illusions and are false. Your preference gives them no reality. Not one is true in any way, and all must yield with equal ease to what God gave as answer to them all.” (ACIM, T-26.VII.6)
We have some illusions that we like, and these are the hardest to give up. But if we are clinging to what has no true reality, we will be disappointed sooner or later. Why not entertain the idea that now is the time to walk into true reality?

“This is how all illusions came about. The one who makes them does not see himself as making them, and their reality does not depend on him. Whatever cause they have is something quite apart from him, and what he sees is separate from his mind. He cannot doubt his dreams’ reality, because he does not see the part he plays in making them and making them seem real.” (ACIM, T-27.VII.7)
We made this dream in which we live, and in the making, we got what we wanted. This may seem hard to believe when we realize that some of our dreams are actually nightmares. And we can give up those nightmares as easily, and perhaps more easily, than pleasant dreams.

Do so today.

“The gap between reality and dreams lies not between the dreaming of the world and what you dream in secret. They are one. The dreaming of the world is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it were its start and ending, both.” (ACIM, T-27.VII.11)

This explains how to outer world can seem real when it is actually just a dream as untrue as inner imaginings. We made this world, made it easily because the matter is actually illusory. This can be hard to envision, but the sooner we contemplate the truth of this assertion, the better our outer “reality” becomes. The happy dreams brought by the Holy Spirit will overwhelm us with blessings.

“What grieves is not myself. What is in pain is but illusion in my mind. What dies was never living in reality, and did but mock the truth about myself.” (ACIM, W-248)

“This illusionary world is full of things you have told yourself and been instructed that you have to do, but that you do not want to do. The more your life consists of such things, the smaller your reality becomes. All that would join with you and become part of the real world of your creation remains beyond your reach.” (ACOL, 5.18)

We don’t have to do those things that we detest. If we don’t want to do them, we need to ask why these things are a part of our “truth.” What do we gain by keeping them in our lives?

Of course, all of us have responsibilities that ought not to be shirked. Others depend upon us, especially our significant others, our spouse and our children, our aging parents. But we can change our minds in the midst of resistance, and then our resistance changes to an embracing of our legitimate responsibilities.

This then becomes a part of our real world. And we are living in illusion no longer.

“Whether you believe the virgin birth was reality or myth matters not as myth and reality have no concrete distinction in the illusion within which you live. In other words you live as much by myth as by truth and myth often more accurately reflects the truth than what you would call real. This is not a call, however, to embrace myth, but to embrace the truth.
Jesus does not answer definitively whether or not the virgin birth occurred. He leaves his message open to any and all, regardless of their beliefs about this possible miracle.


“Mary is called upon now as the myth to end all myths for in this example life alone is the key to the riddle provided.” (ACOL. 8.11 – 8.12)

Mary gets a lot of attention in A Course of Love. She is said to have lived a life of “being,” not “doing,” and this is said to be the wave of the future (not an exact quote). She was an example life, just as was Jesus.
When we contemplate the myth/truth of Mary, we come closer to understanding why the Atonement happened at all. Not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. This was Jesus’s most important contribution, and never does he say in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love that the resurrection never happened. We are left to wonder “how.” And in the wondering, we rise above doubt and embrace truth as we see it.

“To realize the difference between truth and illusion is not to call one right and the other wrong but to simply recognize what they are. This is an important distinction that must be kept in mind as we proceed so that you are not tempted to judge those living in illusion or their reality. Their reality does not exist. Believing in the reality of illusion will never make it the truth.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.13)

Many are still living in illusion. All are living in illusion until the truth dawns. And then things are never the same again. We are freed to live in reality.

We are not to judge others. This is traditional Christian thought, of course, and Jesus says the same in the Treatise on the Personal Self, in ACOL. If we give up our judgments, we will be removing one barrier to coming Christ-consciousness.
Need we not to make this choice today?

Illusory Past Is Gone

“If you believe the holy instant is difficult for you, it is because you have become the arbiter of what is possible, and remain unwilling to give place to One Who knows. The whole belief in orders of difficulty in miracles is centered on this. Everything God wills is not only possible, but has already happened. And that is why the past is gone. It never happened in reality. Only in your mind, which thought it did, is its undoing needful.” (ACIM, T-18.IV.8)

We do not prepare ourselves for the holy instant. The holy instant comes to us as a gift, free, of the Holy Spirit. And the bestowal is a miracle which we do not seek to “deserve.” We cannot deserve a miracle; miracles are shifts from horizontal to vertical perception that allows us access to God Himself. Jesus decides when these miracles come to us, and he, in turn, alerts us as to what miracles are ripe for us to perform. We think, in our ignorance, that there are orders of difficulty in miracles—but illusions aren’t hard to change, once the perceiver is recognized. And we are the perceiver.

The past was made up of illusions, and we don’t have to cling to illusions. We can give them up as easily as we made them up.

Let’s give up illusions of a frightful past today, knowing that we have this action in our power. Ask for help, if need be, and you will find help surround you. True reality then will follow on the heels of the victory of giving up illusions.

Share and Share Alike

“In the mad world outside you nothing can be shared but only substituted, and sharing and substituting have nothing in common in reality.” (ACIM, T-18.I.9)

We need to share with each other. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love emphasize this. No longer isolated, we share and share alike. We give up the notion of independent living, and we join with others in our lives to whom we offer love, and from whom we receive love.

Substitution is an attempt to make one body fulfill a role that another might also fill. If we can’t get one body to do what we want, we substitute by finding another who will fulfill our desires.

This is madness. It is also unfair to our brothers and sisters. We don’t want to love them in substitution for some other special relationship; we want to love them in holy relations that are in no way substitutes for an unholy alliance based on specialness.

Reality does not substitute one for another. Reality accepts the people in our world as given us by God for a higher purpose. And when all of our special relationships have been transformed into holy ones, we will recognize that previously we never knew reality at all.

This World Is Enveloped in Madness

“For truth brought to this could only remain within in quiet, and take no part in all the mad projection by which this world was made. Call it not sin but madness, for such it was and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. And above all, be not afraid of it.” (ACIM, T-18.I.6)

We have been mad for eons. We have been lost in insanity, and to a great extent (before Awakening) we still are lots in insanity. What a way to live! How do we get out of it?
We don’t get out of it by fearing it, but fear and its defenses of resistance only make the fear greater. If we feel guilt about this choice of madness, we will think that we are living reality—though we won’t be.

This quotation, once again, emphasizes that projection makes perception. We are projecting from within to see an illusory world outside of us. And this illusory world makes what we have seen within first.

This is no way to live.

“Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire, you see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.” (ACIM, T-21.II.9)

We continue with the theme of projection. “What you desire, you see.” And we have wished it to be so, as desire does make for wishing.

We need to realize that regardless of how vicious our dreams of reality really are, we are lost in illusion. Our dreams don’t make a true reality. Our dreams only scare us, if they are frightening dreams, and encourage us, if they are joyous dreams. But never will a dream be true in any sense of the word.

“What can He [God] know of the ephemeral, the sinful and the guilty, the afraid, the suffering and lonely, and the mind that lives within a body that must die? You but accuse Him of insanity, to think He made a world where such things seem to have reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this.” (ACIM, W-152)

God is not mad, and if we think that he created the world that we see, then we, in some part of our minds, either blame Him as cruel or see Him as mad. There are no other choices in how we view God.

It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles to believe that on some level we, out of madness, made this world in which we dwell. We cannot understand this on the literal level. Certainly not. But we can rise above this mad world by rejecting, gently, the projections that are making it cruel in our perception. We can give our God a good day by gently approaching that day with the communion with God that we need.

Then our projections take on a gentle air. We don’t see a world that needs fixing nearly as often.

We are getting closer to home. And home is where we long to be.

We Are Not Isolated Specks of Darkness

“As long as you perceive the body as your reality, so long will you perceive yourself as lonely and deprived. And so long will you also perceive yourself as a victim of sacrifice, justified in sacrificing others.” (ACIM, T-15.XI.5)

A Course in Miracles sees the body, as all parts of the world (including self), as illusion, and thus not as true reality. ACIM says that we will see ourselves as “lonely and deprived” as long as we believe that we, our real essence, are in this physical form. And sacrifice will be a part of this “reality,” something that we surely don’t want.

We find ourselves very lonely when we think that our total essence is encased in an independent body, separate and apart from our brothers and sisters. We think that we have to navigate this world all by ourselves, and this is essentially disheartening.
It is also untrue. As we have pointed out previously, we are not meant to be isolated specks of matter in an alien world. We are meant to share, and share abundantly, with others. This gives us a locus of control that is not self-centered. We are in this together with others. And we benefit from the shared reality of others with ourselves. We know that we are never alone. We don’t think that we have to suffer pain alone. We know that others will help us out.

If we feel that we are victim, we will in turn victimize others. It is just that simple. And so wrong. We need to realize that in this world there are truly no victims, that we live a reality that we made, and that we can inhabit a more benign world when we have turned our decision-making over to the Holy Spirit (or, as described in A Course of Love, the inner Christ Self).

Let’s get away from this victim mentality today. And reach out to others along our way. We can have no better day than we offer to others. Share and share alike, and what we share is returned to us.

“While you believe that your reality or your brother’s is bounded by a body, you will believe in sin. While you believe that bodies can unite, you will find guilt attractive and believe that sin is precious.” (ACIM, T-19.III.7)

This is the reason that we think of sin at all: bodies. Only minds/hearts unite, in truth. Our physical bodies just “join,” and in this joining there is no ineffable mystery, when we are joining in physicality.

We don’t have to rue the physical. And physical bonding is a way to reach toward heaven. But it is never enough. One is not satisfied when all that one seek is made of the body.

“The body is an isolated speck of darkness; a hidden secret room, a tiny spot of senseless mystery, a meaningless enclosure carefully protected, yet hiding nothing. Here the unholy relationship escapes reality, and seeks for crumbs to keep itself alive.” (ACIM, T-20.VI.5)
The body IS isolated, and it is the home of the unholy alliance as well. This in itself ought to make us doubt the efficacy of a purely physical relationship.

“Only mistakes have different forms, and so they can deceive. You can change form because it is not true. It could not be reality because it can be changed. Reason will tell you that if form is not reality it must be illusion, and is not there to see.” (ACIM, T-22.III.7)
Jesus returns to the theme of illusion in this quotation. We inhabit illusory bodies, and then we seek to make reality out of them.
This attempt will always fail.

“You learn your concept of using others from the reality you have made in which you use the body that you call your home and identify as your own self.” (ACOL, C:9.32)
We ought not to find ourselves in other people, taking from them what we think we don’t embody. And all of us have done this. In fact, it is the principal thing operating in a romantic relationship that seems to hold out the promise of “everything” to us. We are seeing in the other what we think we lack, and we reach out and try to grab.

This will never work long-term. Only when we realize that the romantic relationship is destined to become holy, not special, are we on the right road.

“Your Self and God will be but memories to you while your reality remains that of the physical experience and the personal self.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.2)

We are remembering when we reach back to the Self and God, for once we knew what both of these entities meant. We need only recover what we have lost, and all will be well. While we seek release only in the physical experience, we won’t remember accurately. We will be lost in a personal, “little,” self that is a pale shadow of the Self who we really are.
And we deserve better. Jesus would have us experience better. And we can do so when we reach the elevated Self of form, a form that embodies the Self as well as physicality.
There is not better way to recognize that form has always deceived than to be lifted up to the real Self. Then the form has a glorified purpose. Then and only then are we on the right track.

Live Happy Dreams

“To fragment truth is to destroy it by rendering it meaningless. Orders of reality is a perspective without understanding; a frame of reference for reality to which it cannot really be compared at all.” (ACIM, T-17.I.4)

This is a somewhat obscure quotation with deep meaning about the idea that reality has different layers for us to try to comprehend. We have become so insanely complicated in our egoic trap. Our reality reflects our thinking, because projection makes perception (an ACIM tenet), and so it goes. We think that we will get lost in this complex world of ours, and that is frequently a self-fulfilling prophecy, for we do get lost—lost in world where we don’t give God the primacy that He deserves.

When we try, in our egoic confusion, to separate out layers of the complexity that we only in error think “reality,” we are lost indeed. We are trying to fragment truth, for there are elements of the true even in our confusion. But we don’t separate right; we twist up our minds until we are sometimes ready to scream. What can we do instead? For this is not true reality.
We can step back and reassess. We know that reality is benign, loving, in harmony, and at peace. And, if we stop to think (which we will), the world that we see is often anything but loving and peaceful. We need to simplify what we are perceiving. We need to ask what needs to be cast aside as irrelevant. But don’t get conflicted in doing so, for conflict is a major part of the problem. Just rest in God’s Presence, certain that there is a Rescuer Who will come to our aid.

When we walk further along the pathway, we become less likely to experience such abject confusion. We find that we dream the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook of ACIM), and we live lives that are simply “happier.” When we look back from this vantage point, we will wonder why we fretted and worried so, why we pushed ourselves to achieve in an egoic sense. Much of the past will seem incomprehensible to us. And in knowing a better reality, we will try not to backslide. We will try, as A Course of Love says, to sustain the “elevated Self of form.”

Give Up Isolation as a False Idea

“You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look.” (ACIM, T-13.V.6)

Reality is not isolated, a theme that I have emphasized in this blog. We can derive great comfort from hearing that we are not meant to be fiercely independent, separate from each other in splendid isolation. We are meant to lean on each other, to share, to join. We are not going to be able to live independently all the time anyway; life will pull the rug out from under us at pivotal points, and we do not need to rue this experience. We may chastise ourselves, thinking that we are too “weak” at such times. But this is a misnomer. We are never meant to go it alone. We don’t have to do so. Nothing in life or in our experience demands this of us.

What a blessing this actually is! We now know, if we take to heart this quotation, that we are joined to one another. We are differentiated in relationship, but we are in unity as One. And so we are actually joined one to the other.

We need to communicate with each other. We don’t need to stay in madness, with a split mind of separation and unity vying for ascendancy. The mind is split, all of our minds. The Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles would say) or the inner Christ mind (as A Course of Love would say) are “struggling” to take over, thereby freeing us. But there are probably still elements of the egoic, separated mind that vie for ascendancy.

But we know enough now that we don’t want the ego to try to run our lives. This ego is actually the “devil” or “Satan” that we have feared. But as a product of our own thinking, the ego does not require our fear of it. It is just best turned aside from. Not in resistance, for that will make the ego strong, because defense makes what it would defend against. Instead, just know that we need a whole mind, split no longer between unity and separation. The way is clear. Just sense our joining one with another, and our ego will be undone. Immediately, though it may arise from time to time, over and over, until banished for good in Awakening or Christ-consciousness.

Our World Has No Boundaries

“Through this transparency, the reality of the One Self being also the many, or the all, is apparent. The spaciousness of love, the lovely complexity of form, the awesome majesty of nature, all are visible within the One Self because of the invisibility of the one boundary-less Self of form.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 13, 13.6)

This quotation is part of the theology of A Course of Love, and it needs some context. We are said, once we reach Christ-consciousness, to live in a “spacious self.” This spacious self, encompasses areas outside of ourselves, enfolding others, whether they be exhibiting positive or negative traits. But others are not badly influenced by this enfoldment; they are helped by it, for we are all One Self, One with God. Our Self is therefore “boundary-less,” even though we have form, physical bodies.

We see many other bodies that don’t all look as we do, and this is part of the “complexity of form.” But we don’t make judgments, as did the ego, about these other bodies that are diverse. We welcome such complexity, some diversity, yet knowing all the while that we are really One with others, One with God, and One in our innermost being, the inner Christ Self.

Don’t let the theology throw you. Jesus doesn’t require that we understand with our thinking mind. He wants us to experience with our open heart. And in the openness of heart, we will come to experience and to understand.

And that is all that is required.

Feel Your Heart’s Leanings

“Now this power is available to assist you in accomplishing the final joining, the joining that will end duality and return you to wholeness—to who you truly are—in the reality in which you truly exist.” (D:Day29.3)

We are joining with the inner Christ, the Self with a capital “S.” Is this so hard? I think not. We begin to look within for our answers, we begin to look within for our guidance, and we don’t sway back and forth between egoic leanings and true leanings, the latter being leanings that are encouraged by the Self.

Much is said in A Course of Love about being who we truly are. The final parts of the Dialogues, the concluding book, say this, over and over. Being who we are is not any harder than joining with the inner Self. But it does take some practice, because we are so used to living a persona that satisfied the ego. We have to realize, once and for all, that we have left the ego behind now. We are living better, we hope. We are thinking better, we hope. The world, including our world but not limited to it, depends on our moving beyond the ego to loftier concerns.

Joining with the Christ Self may take some praying, some communing with God. Jesus says in ACOL that the miracle is the prayer. And miracles are not specific, but all-embracing. We think so much in specifics, a habit left over from the ego, and to think specifics is often wrong-minded. Enlarge the scope of your mind to include the heart, and watch the specificity drop away. It will.

And we will have a better day for living in a heartfelt manner.

“This is no more complicated than ending the rift between mind and heart. You have accomplished that and you can accomplish this—in your reality. As you realize by now, all this talk of accomplishment is merely about bringing forward what already exists into the reality in which you exist. Another way of saying this is bringing who you are into wholeness, which can be interpreted both as bringing all that you are into existence and as bringing all that you are into existence in union.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 29, 29.3 – 29.4)

This quotation says it all in succinct fashion. But it takes some rereading. We are joining mind and heart into wholeness, what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.” We can accomplish this; it is within our power. We are trying to move toward union one with the other, and one with our inner Self. The two are not contradictory or even diverse in meaning, for we are One with ourselves as well as One with others, including the God who encompasses everything that exists.

We need this union. We will be bereft until we have it, even though we may not now recognize what is missing. When we join with our significant others, don’t we feel a blessing? Don’t we recognize that we are coming home? It is just this way with the inner Self. And we are now The Accomplished (from ACOL), which says that we can and ought to make this transition into true reality.

Every Day Better in Every Way as We Walk into Wholeness

“This change is predicated on all the changes that have come before it, including, and most particularly, on that which was most recently spoke of, that of apprehending the new reality of wholeness. It is not wholeness that is new, but the reality of wholeness that is new. The reality of being able to experience the variability of separation from within the state of wholeness is what is new.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 18, 28.8)

Have we really left separation behind? Yes, we have, though in the beginning of sensing wholeness, we will still know some of what is in the house of illusion, and that is the “variability of separation.” A Course of Love indicates that we are in the house of truth, but outside the house of illusion—because the house of truth encompasses the All, the house of illusion as well. We don’t try to go back in and pull out those who are still trapped within the house of illusion; that is not our task, our role. We witness from the house of truth. And that is all.

Wholeness is a blessing that ought to be sought, for our sight is much keener when we are seeing the whole. What does wholeness mean? It seems to me to be the last step on the pathway to Christ-consciousness, surely the greatest wholeness of all. If we see in totality, we see accurately, but this does not mean that we are still always lost in illusions of what true reality really means. We have moved beyond that, and we have indeed made great progress to have done so.

We are after true reality, and the reality of wholeness is new to us. This creation of the new is a major theme of A Course of Love. We would leave behind our leaden feet as we walk sprightly on, with Jesus holding our hand. He will do so, though no one on earth can imagine how that might be. Perhaps he clones himself; perhaps souls that are very advanced can do such things. Seeing and sensing Jesus have been reported by many in traditional Christianity, and so this assertion (which occurred in A Course in Miracles) does seem more plausible than not.

The means are there for us. We need only ask for help. And then the reality of wholeness will be a surety for us. We will not wander, aimless and alone, in a forest of malcontent. Every day will get better, an improvement over the one before.

Heaven Looks to Our True Identity to Give Light

“My true Identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light. It lights the world as well. It is the gift my Father gave to me; the one as well I give the world. There is no gift but this that can be either given or received. This is reality, and only this. This is illusion’s end. It is the truth.” (ACIM, W-224)

This quotation equates our true identity with what is true reality. And the quotation praises our true identity. We are blessed! God has blessed us, and we are actually a light in this world. We are seeing, with true identity, the end of illusion in our world.
Of course, not until or after Awakening, do we cease to see the end of illusion. But this quotation does categorically say that when we recognize our true identity, we have reached illusion’s end. And so we wonder what is ahead. Nobody can tell us this; it is something that must be experienced to be believed. It is a change in consciousness that fulfills our total being, our true reality, our true identity as Sons (and Daughters) of God. We are at last home free, Heaven on earth is at hand, and we are, of course, at peace for the first time ever.

Our true identity is a return to the innocence that we have always had but could not see as long as we were lost in illusions. We are “free of guilt,” as the quotation says, and we finally know this through and through. We have no reason to doubt God’s goodness. Of course, we have never had any good reason, but as long as we were lost in illusions, we felt guilty and we projected that blame on God, Whom we feared. Now we can leave all this foolishness behind. God is good, He has always been good, and now we can affirm this from the bottom of our hearts.

Knowing through Relationship Is How Life Is

pissarro - street scene2“The relationship becomes the known.  While it is your nature to seek for more, it is also the nature of life to exist in relationship and to become known through relationship.  This is how knowing comes to be.  Knowing through relationship is not a ‘second best’ situation.  It is how life is.  It is how love is.  (A Course of Love, 23.2)”

Affirmation:  “I focus on relationship today.”

Reflections:

1 – What Relationship Means

This passage does not only mean relationship with other human beings.  This passage means relationship with all that we know, our inner Self and the world as we see it.  We stand in relationship to all, and that is how we learn, and that is what we love.

2 – Not Solitary Creatures

What does it mean to be “in relationship” to all?  We can take these words literally.  They mean what they say.  We are not solitary creatures; we were not created that way.  We are meant to be in relationship to all that surrounds us.

3 – With Significant Others

Of course, we focus most of all on our relationship to our significant others.  This is the way that A Course in Miracles defined salvation to be found.  And here A Course of Love picks up where ACIM left off, and also amplifies the concept.  It is a progression, because we were not ready for the full truth when we were dislodging the ego, as in ACIM.

4 – Reciprocity

We need to give our significant others the love that they need.  They in turn need to reciprocate, but this is not mandatory for the blessing to happen to us.  We will learn from love even when it is unrequited.  And we will learn from love when it ebbs and when it flows.  There is nothing that we learn outside of love, for Love is all that there is.  Everything else is illusion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that the world that I see is illusion, though it seems real enough to me.  I would recognize that the love that I feel in relationship and unity is the only true reality.  Help me to live peacefully with this knowledge, for it is knowledge, not perception.

Be with me throughout this day, to make of it a good day.  You will make of it a good day, and it is only I who would rue it.  I would not rue today.

Amen.

Deemphasize the “I”

“Begin to imagine life passing through you rather than getting stopped for examination at its pissarro - flowers in vaseintersection with you.  Begin to imagine seeing the world without the emphasis on your personal self.  Begin to form sentences and eventually to tell stories without the use of the ‘I’ pronoun.  (A Course of Love, 22.20)”

Affirmation:  “I will deemphasize my personal self today.”

Reflections:

1 – An Onion

The affirmation summarizes what our passage for today is saying, but the passage usually particularly vivid illustration.  Jesus has used the image of an onion to explain what his passing through is all about.  There are various layers, all of which represent parts of ourselves and our world.

2 – Don’t Get Stuck in a “Layer”

But we are not to get stuck in any given “layer.”  We are to let all of reality, true reality, just pass through us onto something else, one adventure after another.  And life can be an adventure.

3 – Avoid “I”

We are encouraged to stop saying “I” so much.  We are encouraged, in sentences nearby, not to refer to other individuals as “mine.”  We are to free others as we wish to be freed.  This does not mean that we love any less, only that we recognize the ultimate right of all to be free.  And when we grant freedom to others, we automatically receive it for ourselves, for giving and receiving are one.

4 – Analysis

We often have analyzed too much.  This is the mind at work, and A Course of Love encourages us to look to our hearts (and, then, our mind and heart in conjunction, which make for “wholeheartedness”).  When we have analyzed too much, we have not let life pass through us.  We have stopped at various points in the layers of the onion to consider what everything means.  And we will be wrong, for it is only in the passing through, the letting go, that we truly experience the real world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would deemphasize the personal self today.  I will not say “I’ so much.  That should encourage others to likewise deemphasize the “I.”

May I have a good day.  May I just let events flow through me.

This day You have given me to enjoy.  And to observe, coming closer to You and others, as well as my Self, all the time.  When we seek to serve You and others, we are also serving ourselves.  Let nothing hinder this threefold way of service today.

Amen.

Follow Your Heart

Degas.etoile“When your heart can feel, you need no judgment to tell you the difference between one thing and another.  You thus can begin to quit relying on your body’s eyes to distinguish the true from the false, the real from the unreal.  (A Course of Love, 21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I listen to my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Heart

Today’s passage is another indication of the primacy of the heart in our new experience of being one with Christ.  If we listen to the heart (this passage is saying), we will know the good.  We will no longer be mired into the egoism of the mind, which wants to understand and/or prove all things.  We do not need to “prove” all things.  This is an egoic interpretation, and we would be wise to quit such rationalizing immediately.  Our benefit will come immediately also.

2 – Look Inward

We have relied on our body’s eyes to tell us what we see, but we see illusions.  And so we need to look inward.  What we see from within is a changed world, a world of true reality, a real world.  Our body’s eyes deceive, and we would be deceived no longer.

3 – Little Edges of Light

When we have seen the little edges of light around familiar objects (from A Course in Miracles), we will know that vision will come quickly.  This perceptual indication will not last, because no perception lasts.  But the knowing that comes with the perception will last.  And what we know will help us to realize that God is always with us, that Jesus is our companion, and that we are surrounded by help from our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to go it alone any longer.  Indeed, we must not.  We are placed in this world with others for a reason.  We are never meant to be isolated.

4 – Reach Out

When we reach out to others (if they welcome it), then we are helped immediately.  We must be careful not to force our unwelcome attentions on another, though.  This is a mistake often made in special relationships, and we would have all of our special relationships evolve into holy ones.  Then we will have an inner knowing about when to act, and when not to act.  We will function in the dark no more.

5 – Inner Vision

Be with us today as we seek to follow your inner vision.  We will not trust the perceptions of our outer eyes, our physical eyes.  We know that the ego deceives, and we would be deceived no longer.  Help us to follow Your way, and Your way alone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to follow my heart in all circumstances today.  There is a time for the mind, but the heart knows in a way that the mind can never know.  I have all too often looked at life in an intellectual way, and this has skewed my view of this world.  May such skewing fall by the wayside, and fall immediately.

Help me to reach out to others who may be hurting.  Help me to respond to others in a way that would be helpful.  Thank You for the camaraderie of kindred spirits.  Thank You for this experience.

Be with us as we seek to see with inner vision today.  The inner is always preferred to the outer, for the outer is illusory.  I would see the real today, the intangibles of peace, hope, harmony, joy, serenity.  Help me to do so.

Amen.