Tag Archives: truth

Joy on the Horizon

“What joy it is to live in the uncreated truth.”  COL bk.2, 19:I

Truth is “uncreated”?  This assertion attributed to Jesus in Choose Only Love is telling us that truth is eternal, not something that came to be in our world, but originated outside our world, yet immanent in it.  We did not, in other words, “make” truth when we fell into the ego.  We will not even “create” truth when we are living in Christ-consciousness.  Truth is not of the personal self, nor the Self that is differentiated from God.  Truth is of God.

Knowing this, we can walk a green earth.   There are some things that don’t change as we go forward into evolution.  And truth is one such static thing.  Let us ask to be made aware of the eternal truth that we have heretofore not known.  God is not trying to keep secrets from us; He is perfectly willing to share His truth.  It is our own limitations, emerging fresh from an egoic past, that hinder us.

Yes, joy—joy!—is in our future.  If we let the thoughts of our finite mind flow in and out, in peace, we will not get so tangled up.  This way of living will keep us constantly in God’s shadow.  We will listen to what He says, in His silence, and know.  Just know.  This is the Christ-Self speaking to us, the essence of who we are.

Let’s listen well today.

We Need to Experience Unconditional Love

“I need you above all human understanding.  You are always in my heart.  Please meditate calmly on this message.  My love is not poetry, although it can be expressed in that way.  It is not philosophy, either.  My love is truth.”  COL bk.2, 16::I

In a statement attributed to Mary, this quotation suggests that she needs us.  Actually needs us.  And this need is above our understanding.  If she holds us in her heart, we know that we are in a safe place, being with her.  Her love, she says, is “truth.”

The scribe, Sebastian, is Roman Catholic, and his religion has had a history of revering Mary.  We might, whatever our religion, take to heart these messages.  Her words do indeed sound like poetry, though that is not how she describes her love.

If we know that we are truly loved, we can gain a good bit in our daily lives.  Part of the problem of our world is the fact that people do indeed feel unloved.  We can see this in everyday life, and a paucity of love has dire implications.  When things get desperate enough, tragedy happens.  The truth of love often cannot be heard in such circumstances.

Let’s take a step back and realize that God’s Love is always available to us.  And Mary is an apt messenger of that love, being, as she was, the mother of Jesus.  This quotation does not say it, but love of this nature is definitely unconditional.  And it is unconditional love that our tired ole world needs most keenly.

Sign of True Hope

“Observe how the world seems submerged in panic.  The state of terror to which many are subjected is a visible manifestation of the arrival of the time of light and truth, and that everything is being healed.  It is a sign of true hope.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:I)

This quotation exemplifies a paradox.  How can we see hope, when all around us things seem to be falling down?  Our world seems in chaos.  We seem in chaos.

But this quotation says that actually this is a “sign of true hope.”  And that “everything is being healed.”  If we listen to these words, perhaps we will have peace.  The chaos won’t seem unsolvable any longer.  It will not be unsolvable any longer.

We can let our panic and our terror go.  If it is darkest just before the dawn, maybe the dawn is even now on the horizon.  We want to see the arrival of the time of light and truth, and if we stand steadfast in our faith, this quotation is saying to us that light and truth will be what we will experience.  Not a long way off, but very soon.  Delay is only of the ego, and the ego is gone from many of us now.  A Course of Love says this.

Let us take this passage to heart, sure of our God, sure of His promises.  It truly is darkest just before the dawn.

I think I can see a ribbon of light on the horizon even now.

Depth of a Perfect Silence

“I share with you the depth of a perfect silence. I share with you wisdom supreme. I abide as you are: the thought of Love in form. To be in form does not mean to be a body. It means only that the Christ Mind, which is the reality of Love’s existence, truly abides within each of us equally. If this were not so, you could not recognize me. When you read a word, or a sentence, or a paragraph that resonates within you as being the truth, you could not know it was so, if that Truth did not already live within you as the reality of your very existence.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 11, Page 135)

We are not actually learning anything new: We are “remembering.” This is a tenet of The Way of Mastery, that we don’t actually learn new things, that we are recalling to mind what was learned a very long time ago, and then forgotten, much to our detriment.

Our Truth is written on our heart. Not our mind. When we say this, everyone knows what we mean. The “heart” has a very definite point of understanding in our psyche. When we soften to listen to our heart, we want a smooth pathway back to our God. Our feet don’t stumble on stones, we don’t trip and fall. We just walk smoothly along a flower-strewn pathway. And we discover much on this peaceful and often slow journey.

We get impatient to get on with it. We want Awakening, and we want it now.

But this is not God’s way. He acts only when certain that WE are ready for the great responsibility of Christ-consciousness. Sitting as Christ for five minutes a day can speed the process, but still God probably acts in a much more measured pace than we would like. The slowness prompts patience, something sorely lacking in many of us.

Jesus, our leader, is offering us the chance to commune with our God in silence. In silence is how God speaks to us. Understanding Him is a “feeling” issue, and feelings belong to the heart. That is why turning to our heart for decisions is so important. Our ratio of mistakes to good decisions becomes much improved toward good decisions.

When in doubt, just ask for the loving response to be writ upon our heart. This way we won’t go astray as we walk back to God, letting Love heal the separation.

Our Feelings in Truth Come from Love

“Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (ACOL, C:5.11)

Jesus forms a startling assertion about love and fear, one that we wouldn’t expect. He says that all of our feelings come from love, in essence because we are not “bad” (C:5.11). ACIM says that we have the “innocence of God” (T-III.17:2), and so Jesus is here asserting to the same thought. How our feelings of destruction and violence can come from love may remain nebulous to us, but Jesus believes that we have just misunderstood ourselves. We have been misguided about how to bring love to ourselves. So we have made wrong choices in our love, choices that gave us destruction and violence.

Do we not often noticed that nobody who is embroiled in violence and destruction thinks that he/she is at fault about anything that is bad? History is replete with wars that were fought in the name of God, believing that one is doing God’s will in the antagonism. This is one way of looking at love gone astray. This is one way to realize that fear has done nothing, that it is only our misperceptions about love and how it ought to be expressed that have done us in.

Our feelings are not bad, Jesus says. We only need to channel those feelings in the right direction, seeing love where it really is, avoiding feelings of destruction and violence, pain and suffering. Then we will find love’s fruits to be our chosen just desserts. We will have taken another step on love’s pathway. Another step toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.

Two Choices

“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (ACOL, T4:1.11)

We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.

We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.

We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.

And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.

Mirrors of the Truth

The truth of this way is not discovered through the passing on of knowledge in form but through relationship. Those following the way of Mary become mirrors of the truth they discover, reflecting the way to their brothers and sisters. This is why this is not a place or state of non-interaction but of great interaction. It is a state that facilitates knowing through relationship. This occurs through the one Self of form. (ACOL, D:Day19.14)

In our physical bodies, we engage in relationships with each other—especially true when we are following the way of Mary. In relationship, we are being our full Self, the Christ-Self, and in interaction with others, our brothers and sisters, in our world, we come into our own.

We teach in this mode. We reflect what we have learned or discovered (depending on where we are in the process), and in this exchange our brothers and sisters are loved into acceptance. It is quite easy to love other people into acceptance. Great love does that, and Mary’s way is nothing if it is not great love.

We set an example in the way of Mary. And this gracious living changes the world into something new and different.

We are about creating a new world, of course. And the way of Mary is what we are all coming to accept. Doing is the way of Jesus, the example life. And while we may still do much when we are embracing Mary, the doing is subsisted in the being.

Being defines us.

Beauty Is Truth, Truth Beauty

“Nothing, not even the ego, has been able to keep you from expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. You came into the world of form incapable of not expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. That you are is an expression of beauty and truth. You express the beauty and truth of who you are by being alive. It has only been your inability to accept this that has caused your grief and pretensions. In a certain sense, your ability to express the beauty and truth of who you are has been taught out of you by learning practices that sought for sameness, and saw not your differences as the gifts they are.” (ACOL, D:Day9.27)

John Keats, a Nineteenth Century poet, expressed an idea that Jesus is here expressing also. Keats said, in the well-known “Ode on a Grecian Urn”: “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Not many people could explicate that poem as beautifully as Jesus has in this quotation for today. We are often obvious of the beauty that surrounds us, but even our desire for physical beauty is a reflection of our God-given love of beauty. And here Jesus says that being who we are is an expression of both beauty and truth. And being who we are is the theme with which A Course of Love ends, the take-away for all of us.

Jesus also expresses a desire that we recognize the diversity that we all have. We often thought, previously, that we had to be “alike” or the “same” to fit in. Our society is just coming to the realization that differences are to be celebrated, and we find in that celebration a champion no less than Jesus.

Many literary critics have sought to understand what John Keats was trying to say, but very few of them would ever recognize that “being who we are” is likely the best interpretation that could be made. Beauty and truth enfold us, and we don’t have to be egocentric to recognize value in this; indeed, if we are egocentric, we will miss the point. Being who we are is to celebrate our diversity, our differences, but know that there is a divine nature undergirding all of us. We have many gifts from God, and we abide with them when we are aware that they exist. We don’t take credit for our diversity; we celebrate it, and we celebrate most of all the myriad ways that our truth and beauty can be expressed.

Dear God,

Thank You for giving to me an understanding of what beauty and truth really mean, here, in Jesus’s words. Our attempts to be beautiful physically can even be seen as a reflection of divine longings. Let me live with Your words and Jesus’s interpretation today. May I see the beauty and truth of the words themselves.

Thank You for another beautiful day in our beautiful world. Help me to look at the positive, even as the news may bring reasons to shake my head at the difficulty of this world. Be with me, point out the positive, and give me Your blessings today, as always.

Amen.

It Is to the Truth of Our Brothers & Sisters that We Look

“Expressing who you are in physical form will return remembrance to the minds of those who observe your expression. Further, your observance of your brothers and sisters will return remembrance to their minds and hearts. It is, in fact, your observance of the truth of your brothers and sisters that is the miracle we have stated as our new goal.

“I repeat, your observance of the truth of your brothers and sisters is the miracle.” (ACOL, T3:18.4 – 18.5)

We are into observation now, the observing of our brothers and sisters that will provide the insight about how to live that we so need. We are no longer looking to the guidance that was found in ancient treatises; we no longer look to what others have said. Instead, we look within, to our own truth. This truth is embodied in the Christ-Self and in the Christ-consciousness that is our inheritance.

To look to others with whom we are in relationship is a benign way to come to experience the miracle. We are comfortable, most of the time, with the significant others in our lives, because we know them better than anybody else. If we observe what they are saying and doing, we will be following the dictates of this quotation. Our brothers and sisters, in relationship with us, will take us home.

It is to the truth of our brothers and sisters that we look. We do not pay any attention to what their egos are saying to us. This illusion will always perceive inaccurately. But when we know that others are children of God, we will know that we are seeing into their heart. And when we see into their heart, we are encouraged, once again, to see into our own.

We need a miracle today. It is the way back. It is the way in which we will share with our brothers and sisters, and in the sharing we will know that we have understood.

Prayer

I learn best when I am paying close attention to other people, especially significant others, and that is what observation is all about. What better way to learn than to learn from our brothers and sisters with whom we have formed a close bond?

I seek to pay close attention, to be tolerant, and to be sensitive to the emotions and temperament of the significant ones in my life. Help me to walk the extra mile for them. Help me to see that their point of needs is answered right away, for sometimes You choose me as the vehicle.

Amen.

Live as a Mantra: Love, Peace, & Truth

“During the time I spent on earth I did not dwell in the house of illusion but in the house of truth. What this means is that I was aware of the truth and lived by the truth. I was aware of the Peace of God and lived within the Peace of God. I was aware of the Love of God and the Love of God lived within me.

“This is what you are now called to do:

Be aware that the love of God lives within you.
Live within the Peace of God.
Live by the truth.

“This could be restated as you are love, you live in peace, you live by or in accord with the truth.” (ACOL, T3:11.6 – 11.8)

This quotation for today reiterates the three words that Jesus says are interchangeable: love, peace, and truth. We would make much progress in our earthly walk if we took his statement to heart. We cannot love in any way except a special way when we are not in peace. And we cannot love and be in peace without clinging to the truth of who and what we are. Madness or insanity stalks our way otherwise. And we are so left, with cotton before our eyes, that we don’t recognize truth when we see it. And vision becomes our great need.

Such we can have. Vision is the way that love, peace, and truth shower down around us. When we see well and correctly, it doesn’t matter if our eyes are open or shut. True reality is seen without using physical eyes. True reality is where we want to head. There is no other real place, no other real way to live.

If we make a mantra of love, peace, and truth, we will have something to cling to. We will have a way home. And that home will be within sight on a clear day. Our glimpses of enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, will lengthen and lengthen until they merge to become a mystical moment in time that allows Christ-consciousness to descend upon us. We don’t have this blessing by demanding it of God. Our demands get in our way, and He does not listen to demands. We walk humbly and in surrender, and then the blessing happens. Seemingly all by itself. We will know. We will know the precise moment.

Then we must not let the shadows come again. Returning fear and judgment will drop the black curtain again, and our surrender will have become a one-time thing only. If we fall far, our ego will set up shop again, a new egoic consciousness will arise, and we will be back where we were when we started.

We must not let this happen. The world needs something more from us. The world is now drowning in sorrow, and Jesus would have us create this world anew. This is his great desire, along with a concomitant desire to see us come into Awakening, Christ-consciousness, enlightenment. We can’t create that new world until our self has been transformed, until the inner Christ-Self has come out to take its place as our real identity. Then what we will accomplish will become evident for all to see.

But it won’t be ego. It will be true reality, come to encompass this world.

Prayer

Thank You for the emanation of peace that comes to me when I am in spaces where there has been much prayer. I was in such a place this morning, and the sense of harmony and serenity was palpable. Thank You for these experiences. They reassure me that You are always near, that the felt sense of Your Presence is real and close.

Be with me as I seek to live well in this troubled world. May I do nothing to add to its chaos, but only add a sense of peace to my little corner of the world.

Thank You for guiding me toward the best way to live.

Amen.

Fear of the Truth Is Fear of the Impossible Being Possible

“How silly is it to be afraid of the truth? Fear of the truth is like a fear of the impossible being possible. Like the fear of death, it is the product of upside-down thinking.” (ACOL, C:31.3)

Our thinking has definitely gone awry, over eons. And now Jesus, in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, not to speak of his life on earth, is trying to heal our minds. And the way pointed out in A Course of Love is healing through the heart. We will know the truth, and, as is always said, the truth will set us free. We have nothing to fear.

Jesus in ACOL says a great deal about the truth and its primacy in the new world that he wants us to create. The truth is true, and nothing else is true. But just what is this truth that is so important?

The truth is the true essence of who we are, the Christ Self who is once again becoming available to us. No longer dependent on the intermediary function of the Holy Spirit, we are no longer afraid of God, and truth, and we can access both directly and immediately. What a glorious truth this indeed is!

Our thinking has been upside-down as we sought to make peace with an ego that was insane, just full of madness. There could be no peace in the midst of such chaos, and we are learning this truth more and more every day that we access the Christ Self.

Let us promise ourselves that we won’t turn back, won’t reintroduce egocentric thinking into our fragile minds, but will introduce the truth to a mind and heart made powerful by God Himself.

We can do this. We must do this. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to my Christ Self today. I would finally and irrevocably drop the ego from my mind. And I would substitute a heartfelt love for You, a reverence for You, that will change everything.

Heal me today. I trust that this healing will be peaceful and warm, loving and harmonious. May I be a welcoming entity to the changes that you wish to make in me, change that on some level I have already approved.

Amen.

Turn Aside from Illusion in Favor of Truth

“Now you must imagine yourself walking outside of the doors of this house of illusion and finding a completely new reality beyond its walls. . . .Yet you soon will find that this new reality is known to you and requires no new learning at all.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.3)

Jesus goes into great detail about the house of illusion and the house of truth, saying that the house of illusion (where we have been living) is always contained inside the house of truth. Now that we are emerging from the house of illusion, we note that there are explosions within, that its foundation is crumbling. Once outside, though, we are encouraged (really told point blank) that we should not attempt to reenter the house of illusion. That is finished for us now, even though our loved ones may still reside there. We are to help while outside the walls of the house of illusion, residing in the house of truth.

“These words, truth and peace and love, are interchangeable in the house of truth as their meaning there is the same. These words, like the words House of Truth represent an awareness of a new reality, a new dwelling place.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.3)

Living in the House of Truth, we know truth, peace, and love in a way that we never have before. We are indeed in a new dwelling place and a new reality. We are living in a new world that we have helped to create.
Our lives will never be the same.

“How then, do you access and live within this new reality, this new beginning? Through living by the truth.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.12)

Jesus says a great deal about the “truth” in A Course of Love, but what he means may at first be obscure to us. He is setting truth aside, and opposite from, illusion. And we are very familiar with the concept of illusion, for we have lived this way for eons.

We live in this new reality, this new beginning, when we set aside illusion for all time. We are getting a fresh start.

And Jesus is right there by our side, helping us.

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.”

Pain is Illusion – Sleep – Deception / Joy Is Reality – Awakening – Truth

“Here will you understand there is no pain. This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.” (ACIM, W-190)

This Workbook lesson from A Course in Miracles emphasizes the central place of joy in our lives when we are following the pathway back to God. It makes clear that true reality is joy. When we are feeling pain for any reason, it is assurance that we are still trapped in illusion. Of course, all of us are trapped in illusion to one extent or another, even those who have Awakened. The gifted in Awakening do accept what is rather than try to rail against it. And they are peaceful and contented, regardless of what surrounds them. But as long as we live on the earth plane, we are subject to emotions other than joy. And pain may be experienced, though we can understand that pain does not have to escalate into suffering.

This Workbook lesson indicates that at Day 190, one can come into the fullness of knowledge. One can walk away from pain in the form of illusion, sleep, deception. And we can replace that pain with joy, awakening, truth, reality. Let us hope that this change will come to all of us, though this assertion from Jesus for this day is on the ideal level of studying ACIM. (There are both ideal and practical levels in ACIM, with the ideal something that not all of us can reach on a daily basis, though we can have glimpses of this level.)

We do not want illusion. And Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, believes that we move from illusion into reality as we walk this pathway. (She was videotaped in a presentation that indicated this.) But we must be patient with the concepts to which we are being exposed. Not all of us are ready for Awakening. God alone makes that decision. Frequently, we do catch glimpses before Awakening is sustained, and in the glimpses do we see what is held out to us for the future. We know what joy there will be in Awakening.

Endow Truth with Spark of Beauty

“It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more. The spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion, freedom or slavery—it is all the same. For you can never choose except between God and the ego.” (ACIM, T-17.III.9)

This quotation from A Course in Miracles succinctly explains much about the nature of true reality. Jesus herein pens a variety of contrasting words, and we know that on the one side is true reality, and on the other, the abyss of nothingness. It is basically the difference between truth and illusion, and the truth is seen as the real, the real world, or reality, and illusion is seen as perception of an unreal world that is governed by fear. This unreal world is imagined in all its details by the ego. And the ego does not mean us well.

We want to join with truth. All of us, reading this far, do. How do we do so? We cease to identify with the ego, and the easiest way to do this is to decide, categorically, that we will not reinforce that ego by contemplating egotistical goals. The “ego,” of course, is not exactly synonymous with “egotistical,” but there is a very, very close connection. It is impossible to identify with the ego and not do egotistical things, not think of egotistical goals. And we must put a stop to this in whatever way we can.

We want freedom, and as long as we are apart from God (in illusion), we will be living with an imprisoned will. God set the limits on our power to miscreate. He had to hold the universe(s) together, and he realized that pain, to which the ego always leads, would encourage us to choose again. As Helen and Bill, co-scribes of ACIM, decided, “There must be another way.” And A Course in Miracles outlined one other way, a way back to God. This in spite of the fact that Helen was a proclaimed atheist.

So let us decide for the function that God has given us—salvation, happiness. The two are one and the same. We do not seek happiness as we sought egoic goals, though. We rest in surrender to God and His way, knowing that His Will and ours are actually identical. We want what He wants for us, but we just don’t recognize this. At least not in the beginning of our “journey without distance” (from ACIM).

Love and Loving Thoughts Are True Reality

“If you would look upon love, which is the world’s reality, how could you do better than to recognize, in every defense against it, the underlying appeal for it? And how could you better learn of its reality than by answering the appeal for it by giving it?” (ACIM, T-12.I.10)

This advice from Jesus is practical. How can you better learn of love than by—just giving love. It sounds easy, but we all know that it is not. People attack and exhibit anger, and we feel hurt, and defensive, and angry in return, and we attack—thereby losing any sense of the power of love in our lives. Love is the world’s reality; it is the only thing in the world that has any reality, everything else being illusory.

“Truth being brought to illusions, reality now becomes a threat and is perceived as evil. Love becomes feared because reality is love.” (ACIM, P-2.IV.6)

When we are lost in illusions, we are lost in fear and its attendant features of anger and attack. We see only “evil” in illusions, and when we are so trapped, we are actually afraid of love. Love is feared because true reality is love, and nothing else.

“Do not, then, be deceived in your brother, and see only his loving thoughts as his reality, for by denying that his mind is split you will heal yours.” (ACIM, T-11.VIII.9)
Jesus uses denial in a very positive sense in A Course in Miracles. We and our brother are actually one, and what we do for him, we do for ourselves. This is the bottom line of what is being said in this quotation.

We need to see his loving thoughts as the only reality that he has. Right now his mind is split between the ego and true reality, and that split makes for problems. When we deny the split, and see his love emanating from him, we are healing both himself and ourselves.

“If only the loving thoughts of God’s Son are the world’s reality, the real world must be in his mind. His insane thoughts, too, must be in his mind, but an internal conflict of this magnitude he cannot tolerate.” (ACIM, T-12.III.7)

Reality is in the mind only. Everything projected from the mind is illusory, and this includes the world that we see. Projection, as we have often said, makes perception.
God’s Son (and Daughter) has loving thoughts in the mind, but there is a split in the mind, making it partially insane. This insanity is the cause of all the world’s problems. We can see attack and anger as insanity, and thereby make excuse for our brother’s fear of us.

Because we cannot tolerate this split in the mind, we project our fear outward. And this causes problems for ourselves and everybody else. Love heals. Love is the only reality that is not illusory.

“Love or fear is your reality by your choice. A choice for love creates love. A choice for fear creates fear. What choice do you think has been made to create the world you call your home?” (ACOL, 1.18)

Jesus asks a question here, in A Course of Love, that answers itself, for we all know the dire straits in which this world finds itself. It was made, created (if you will), out of fear. And fear has turned back in on itself, making us live insanely in a fearful world.

If we turn to love more and more, we will see our immediate as well as distant world change into a better place. We will ourselves no longer be trapped by fear. We will have made the decision that gives us the best world possible for here and now.

“Safe within your heart lies love’s reality, a reality so foreign to you that you think you remember it not. Yet it is to this reality we head as we travel deep within you to the center of your Self.” (ACOL, 8.9)

Jesus talks about the heart in A Course of Love, bypassing the mind because our mind longs for proof that cannot be, and the heart remembers love without having any desire for proof. We just “know,” and in this knowing is our salvation. In ACOL, we are heading into love when we reach inward to the center of our being, our heart.

So love and loving thoughts and loving actions are the answers that we need in this unsatisfying world that we are now calling our home. We herein find true reality. We herein find our way to Awakening or Christ-consciousness.

Beauty / Truth / Wisdom — God’s Gifts

1 – Day 20

“You have realized now your relationship with the unknown and ceased to fear it. You are, perhaps, even eager now, to move beyond the known to the unknown. . . .

“This is the first transition, the transition in which you really ‘get it’ that the unknown cannot be taught, laid out on a map, or shown to you by another. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

2 – Teaching?

We cannot teach another what is buried deep within our hearts. Only our Self can accurately guide us in this life.

3 – Mentors

Oh, we have tried other things. We have listened to mentors, we have read—in all ways we have sought to learn from the teachings of others. But in this time of Christ we need to stop reaching out to others for the riddle of our lives; we need to realize that deep within are the Answers. So we get quiet, and we listen.

4 – Meditations

Now, meditations written by others may still help. They serve to anchor us, though, still deeper within ourselves. These meditations only remind us of what we have forgotten. They do not point out the road on which we ought to travel. Or, if we try to make them point out that road, we use those meditations in the wrong way. If we follow a path that has been laid out by another, we go nowhere—for each individual has a unique path. This point is well made by Joseph Campbell and is related in a book entitled, “Companion to Joseph Campbell.” The book blends oral comments from Joseph in a seminar of some time at Esalen, with quotations from Joseph’s work. And Joseph says just this—if we follow the path that has been followed by another, we go nowhere. Joseph also says, tellingly, that if follow our bliss, doors will open that have been closed before, and doors that would be closed for anyone else. So listen to your Inner Wisdom (a phrase used by an enlightened friend of mine), dialogue with your Inner Wisdom, and you will come out all right—not alright, for ALL right.

5 – We Receive

“What has happened here is that words have been put on the feelings and remembrances that you have within your minds and hearts and have been sharing in this dialogue. The way of saying this perhaps is new, but the way of saying this is the expression of the human being receiving it. The way in which you are hearing and responding to these truths is perhaps new, but that way too is of the human being receiving it, in this case, you. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 183)”

6 – Learning

We have long depended on learning, on our minds, to live as comfortably as possible in this world. Day Twenty clarifies that we cannot learn the truth that way, the unknown cannot be taught. We know intuitively, and have always known intuitively, the truth of our being, the unknowns for which we have sought externally for solutions.

7 – Transitions

The first transition ends when we realize that we are in a state of transition, the state of knowing that we cannot learn anything, that we have always held internally the truths of which we are becoming aware. The more we turn inward, the more we will know these truths. Our minds are not the way; our hearts are. Thus we are at the true end of learning.

8 – Level Ground

We are preparing here, at the halfway point of our Forty Days and Forty Nights, to return to level ground, to leave the mountain top. We will be different people when we have returned to level ground. We will know the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the one Self, the Self that we share with all our brothers and sisters.

9 – Truth

“The truth is the truth. It doesn’t change. It is the same for everyone.

“What, then, is the unknown? The reception and expression of truth.

“This is why you can ‘know’ while always coming to know. . . .The only thing there is to know is the One Self in its many expressions. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

10 – Paths

The “truth” that is same for everyone is not the same as the path that someone will take in life. We all take different paths, but if we are to stay on that pathway, we need the same truths that speak to all of our brothers and sisters. We need authoritative truth, not subjective. We need to hear from someone like Jesus—and here he is speaking to us as an equal, a companion on our trek to the mountain top with him, leading to Christ-consciousness.

11 – Surrender

Surrender is an important component of arriving at Christ-consciousness. It is not within us to know the place nor the time that God appoints. This is a paraphrase from the New Testament in regard to the coming of the Kingdom of God, Heaven on earth. And what will we have in Christ-consciousness but the Kingdom of God, Heaven on earth. Nothing. We are walking to fulfillment as a Christ Self, allowing that inner Self to blossom and become obvious to ourselves and all around us.

12 – Timing

It is not hard, but it does take surrender to God’s timing, for He makes the decision about when.

13 – Preparation

Are there things that we can do to prepare? Yes, or A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love would never have been channeled. The ultimate purpose of both is to see us awaken. Jesus says in ACIM that revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there, the means are needed. And he continues, that the means are being carefully explained to us. That is A Course in Miracles, the means.

14 – Struggle

I think that it is likely that Jesus saw many of struggling, once we knew that the ego was a bad thing, meant to be eliminated for our lives. How do we replace it with something? And so I think that Jesus had unfinished business with us, he recognized this, and, accordingly, as the new century dawned, he channeled A Course of Love to Mari. Just as he had channeled A Course in Miracles to Helen. There are other books available, many others, believed by their scribes to be channeled by Jesus in this new age. I do not judge these books. We find truth, sometimes wherever we look. But my way to a culmination is A Course of Love, just as my way was (and is) A Course in Miracles. And, as Jesus says about ACIM, why choose some other way that has served others well when this one is intended for you (for me). Yes, we need to realize that there are many pathways to God, and there is a different course for every teacher of God (the latter a paraphrase from the Manual of ACIM).

15 – Beauty, Truth, and Wisdom

“In other words, all the truth and all the wisdom that is available but unknown to you, takes you to make it known. And if this is the only way that the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the One Self can be made known, then you are the source and the power of coming to know and making known. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

16 – Beautiful Passage

This is an especially beautiful passage (as are many passages of particular beauty in A Course of Love). We are a source of coming to know for ourselves; we do not first seek outside ourselves. We are deliberately told not to seek outside ourselves by A Course in Miracles.

17 – Seeking

But isn’t outside seeking what we have been doing so often? We don’t just look on others’ writings as meditative, inspirational reading; we seek in them the ultimate answers to the ultimate questions. And we will not find such there, for such can only be found within. We can prepare, we can learn—but now is a time of rest, a time of reflection, a time of ultimately coming to know from our inner Christ Self. We are prepared. We may (and we do) still have flaws of personality, but we are “all right.” We accept ourselves the way that we are, or we decide that we don’t like a given personality trait, and so we just quietly turn aside from it. (Note that we don’t resist, which would tie the trait to ourselves all the stronger.)

18 – Gifts

So: beauty, truth, wisdom. These are gifts of the Christ Self Who is within all. We can know these gifts today. We do not have to wait. Just ask. For what we ask is in strict accordance with the Will of God, and if we have a little faith, a tiny faith that He will answer, indeed He will answer. Just first ask, politely and with love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It seems to me that You are teaching me that I have always known intuitively what is just now becoming clear to me. How foolish I have been! I have put more faith in what others have told me than in what I knew internally.

I ask for Your guidance, and the will to follow that guidance, today. I will never have done all that I can do to prepare for Awakening if I refuse, out of stubbornness and recalcitrance, to follow your Way. The Way that You point out to me. Sometimes I do feel stubborn, but if I follow Your Way, as it is pointed out to me by guidance, as soon as I can relinquish resistance, all will have returned to the right track. Just follow as soon as I can. With willingness and abundant joy, for joy is the hallmark that I am in the flow of my day. My day has flow when I follow guidance, and I chafe against illusory binding when I resist Your Way. How foolish would I be today? I choose not to lead a foolish life, not to see that foolishness in my thoughts, words, and actions today. I do want flow, and the only way that I can have it is to surrender to Your guidance as I comprehend that guidance. It is not hard, when the day has started right. And if the day starts wrong, I can start again. The path is both gentle and kind. And especially loving, for it is Your Way, which is always and ever loving.

Perhaps I needed to learn from others. But now You are teaching me to rely on the inner Word that You have place in my heart. May I rest in the comfort of this concept.

Amen.

The Time to Be Intolerant

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

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

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

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

2 – Tolerance

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

3 – Living in This World

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

4 – What Do We Have to Lose?

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

5 – Trust

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

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

Amen.

Real Meaning of Miracles

paintings-by-hilaire-germain-edgar-degas-star-l'etoile“Miracles are not the end, but the means, of living by the truth. Miracles are not meant to be called upon to create specific outcomes in specific circumstances. They are meant to be lived by as the truth is meant to be lived by. Not because you desire an outcome, but because it is who you are and because you realize you can no longer be, live, or think as other than who you are in truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.11)”

Affirmation: “I would live the miracle today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mistaken?

We have heretofore had a mistaken idea about miracles, even though A Course in Miracles exists with a title that incorporates the word. We have believed that miracles are specific outcomes to specific circumstances, and when miracles are meant to be lived as a way of life in the real world.

2 – Replacing the Ego

Perhaps we were not ready previously. We were not living by the truth, even though we might have thought that we were. After all, our egos convinced us that by studying ACIM we were well on our way to true salvation. Even though ACIM was written to dislodge the ego, if we did not have anything, or know anything, to replace the ego, we often were at a loss. And we made no progress, though the preliminary steps were in place.

3 – ACOL’s Change

A Course of Love changes all of that. We truly know what it means to live the miracle, not just to pray for a serendipitous happening that might be a miracle, or that we might call a miracle. We know that living the truth is living outside illusions. We know what the real world is all about. And we have left the ego behind, at least insofar as possible. This egoless mind may still present problems for us, for the ego is wily and does not diminish easily, and may have a resurgence when we least expect it to return. We must be guarded then, so that this abominable occurrence does not arise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to speak well and to do well today. I would reject illusions, even when those illusions seemed happy to me. They never pleased me for long. And I would live the truth as I live the miracles that are behind the truth. I would listen to You today, the Miracle Who lives behind All.

Help me to incorporate this new meaning, for me, of miracles. It is hard to let go of the idea that a miracle leads to a specific outcome and is in the fact of the matter, an occurrence that brings an awe in Your presence. Actually to understand that living miracles is ongoing living of the truth and not illusions is a very freeing idea. And thank You for this knowledge. You lead me constantly to greater freedom, because my will is no longer constantly imprisoned.

May this day be a good one. May You help me to do what I can to smooth the pathway of my brothers and sisters, as well as I ask for help in smoothing my way. I am grateful to You for the help that always come when I get myself out of the way and ask.

Amen.

Return to Illusions? No!

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-george-sotter-autumn-gold-1930-original-size-22-x-26-bucks-county“You will be tempted to return to the house of illusion to gather those within and bid them join you in the reality of the truth. But in this time of Christ, a new time, a time without parallel or comparison, this will not be possible. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.15)”

Affirmation: “I will bid others to come, but from the house of truth.”

Reflections:

1 – Explanation

This passage takes some explanation if not familiar with the concepts from A Course of Love. Jesus indicates that many are still in the House of Illusion, which a house which is contained within the House of Truth. Some have ventured from this unstable House of Illusion outside its borders, into the House of Truth—reality, or the real world (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL). If we are outside the House of Illusion, in the House of Truth, we might be tempted to turn again and go back into illusion, if only to bid others to step outside. But Jesus says that it doesn’t work that way. We stay in the House of Truth, and from that vantage point, beckon those still in the House of Illusion to step outside, into the House of Truth.

2 – Confusing?

This may all sound quite confusing, but if one visualizes the concepts, it becomes much easier.

3 – Time of Christ

We are now in the time of Christ, and we do not reenter the House of Illusion once we have emerged from it. This is a welcome thought, because backsliding is a theological concept that has worried many sincere believers. Now Jesus says that our backsliding is not to be a worry for us; we are permanently, in this era of the time of Christ, in the House of Truth.

4 – A New Age

What a joyous word this is—coming from Jesus, who heralds the dawn of a new age. May we take him at his word and not try to reenter a place of pain and suffering, the illusions in which we had been lost, for eons, amid the chaos of the ego. May we step into the real world, and from there it is but a short step into Awakening—when God decides that we are ready (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

With Your help, I would not return to illusions. I know that Jesus says in this passage for today that we cannot return to illusions in this time of Christ. Many sincere believers have thought otherwise in other eras. May I adopt the thinking of this passage, and be wise in the ways of the new era.

May I not forget those who are still in the House of Illusions. From truth, may I beckon to others, still trapped, to come outside, into truth. May I understand rightly what truth really is. May I be certain that if others are hurt, I have not found truth.

Be with me as I walk into the time of Christ. And may Christ-consciousness comes upon me when You choose. Guide me. Lead me. Love me.

Thank You.

Amen.

End the Time of Illusion

monet - lake in autumn“The return of Christ, or your ability and willingness to live as your true self, to live in the house of truth rather than the house of illusion, is what will end the time of illusion. Just as the truth is the truth and illusion is illusion; just as these things are what they are without judgment; so is the beginning the beginning and the end the end. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 17.8)”

Affirmation: “Help me to live as my true self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

It is perhaps not so difficult to imagine what our true self really is like, though none of us knows for sure unless we have sustained Awakening. Our true self comes in glimpses at first, I think, but we need to know that the traditional desires—to live in peace, joy, serenity—form the core of the true self. And, of course, we are right with God. As the basis.

2 – Ego

We want to avoid illusion, but avoiding illusion is not possible in this world when we are still trapped in the ego. We move into the house of truth when we have allowed the ego to disintegrate. We do no egotistical things, we do no materialistic things. Life goes calmly when we get our priorities in order, and by now, most of us on the spiritual pathway know what these priorities are, even when we can’t seem to practice them consistently.

3 – Intentions

In the Bible, we learn that we fall on our face when we don’t depend on God. We may have the best of intentions, but these come to naught when we depend on ourselves alone. The most important thing is to turn to a Higher Power, to pray without ceasing. Most of us do not reach this degree of religious practice, but when our hearts are right with God, we don’t worry about stringent practices. He knows when we are reaching toward Him, and reaching toward Him will ease our consciences and give us the tranquility that has eluded us until now.

4 – When We May Cease to Live in Illusion

We may be living in illusion all the time, but some students/teachers of A Course of Love believe that when we have entered Christ-consciousness, we are no longer living an illusion, but the truth, the real world. Certainly A Course in Miracles says that when we reach the real world, God will act quickly to draw us unto Himself in Awakening (enlightenment). This is the word in ACIM for Christ-consciousness, and so there is actually no conflict between the two works (ACIM and ACOL).

5 – Gentleness

We ought to be gentle with ourselves as we go through a day. If a thing does not happen in an easy and paced walk through the day, that thing was perhaps not meant to happen. This is an idea from Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), and this idea is a prescription for reasoned and peaceful living.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the knowledge that there is an end of illusions, that we move into the truth, the real world, when we are ready to leave behind illusions—and when we have Your help to do so. I would ask for that help today.

I thank You for the insight that has been given me from time to time, sometimes almost constantly, about how to live. I know that my own mind can mislead, but I pray that my mind stays in check, and my heart takes the lead. With the mind under the jurisdiction of the heart, I will live peacefully. I will no longer need to have “proof” of everything, for what the heart sees is real and true, and I know in my deepest being when You are there for me. And You are always there for me; it is my own scattered mind that prevents me from recognizing You in every instant.

Amen.

Answer to All Our Dreams

Autumn Effect at Argenteuil, by Claude Monet, 1873“Accept one ‘part’ or tenet of the truth and see the reverse take place. See how quickly the thought system of the truth build upon itself and forms a real and true interrelated whole. What forms the house of truth is love eternal and it has always encompassed you, even unto encompassing the house of illusion that you made to obscure it from yourself. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.17)”

Affirmation: “Love eternal has always encompassed me.”

Reflections:

1 – Neurotic Funks

We so often do not let ourselves be comforted. We get in a neurotic funk, we get angry and attack, we worry—and all of this is so unnecessary. Yet here in the passage for today Jesus assures us that even in illusion we have been surrounded by love eternal in the house of truth.

2 – Truth vs. Illusion

Jesus’s use of the terms “house of truth” and “house of illusion” can be somewhat confusing, and I think that if we find the “house” metaphor an impediment, we can simply think of both truth and illusion in contrast to each other. We know that we have been living an illusion here. But there is a way to step out of this illusion, and we do so when we awaken. And Awakening, or Christ-consciousness within the elevated Self of form is where we want to head.

3 – Mari Perron

We have not always welcomed truth. That is the reason that we have been caught in illusion. There is no way to know if the “reality” that we experience once we are Christ-conscious is yet another illusory world, but just a better one. Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, has spoken on her belief that at such a time we step away from illusion. I respect her belief, and she knows much, having walked far along the pathway.

4 – God’s Way

Why would we make a world of illusion to obscure the truth from ourselves? We may never know in this lifetime, honestly. But we can catch glimpses. We thought that we made a way that we would like more than God’s way for us. And we were so wrong. God’s way is the best right way that we can go, and it is the answer to all of our dreams.

5 – No Better Way

There is no better way to walk than from the house of illusion into the house of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me, help me, walk from illusion into truth today, though I know that “truth” is a slippery concept. Many in our world think that You rubber stamp their version of truth, and yet that version of truth hurts people, sometimes drastically. I would know today that nothing of the truth is anything but healing to another. And may I live the way that will be healing to others.

Thank You for my blessings! Most recently you have soothed me and given me good sleep and rest. I need to “knit up the raveled sleeve of care.” And I do so when You watch over me at night. Thank You.

Amen.

The Ultimate in Salvation

san Marco Renoir painting“It should be becoming clear to you by now that, although you dwell in the house of the truth, you are capable of bringing with you old patterns of behavior. Once the translation of the new thought system for the old is complete, this will no longer happen. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.3)”

Affirmation: “I would avoid old patterns of behavior today.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to translate the old thought system into the new—the old egoic patterns into the new truth of reality as it is meant to be lived through Christ-consciousness, the ultimate in salvation. But we are still caught in the fears of the old pattern, and as long as those fears stay with us, we will have a problem. We will not be moving forward.

2 – Fear

Take time today to contemplate, with God, what we might do to speed along the process to completion of salvation. Many of us have had mystical experiences along the way, even glimpses of Christ-consciousness, but these have most usually not been sustained. Ask, and ye shall receive (from the New Testament). Ask to reach Christ-consciousness and to sustain it. To do so will mean that we make a conscious choice to leave fear behind.

3 – Divine Help

Can we leave fear behind on our own? No! We cannot. We need divine power to leave behind something that has become so ingrained in us. But God’s will for us is surely to leave behind the old thought system of egoic fear, and to walk into the sunlight with Him. He would have us transform ourselves, and ultimately the world. And time does not mean the same to Him that it does to us. What may seem a very long time, even millions of years (from A Course in Miracles), will pass very quickly in the grand scheme of things.

4 – Paradox

Don’t be afraid to leave fear! This assertion sounds paradoxical, and indeed it is. But do we not cling to the past in thousands of ways? Are we not afraid to let go and let God? His truth for us is far greater than we can imagine. He can show us how to lose the past by an all-encompassing movement, even run, toward the future.

5 – God

Let God show us today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to leave fear behind forever. I have often prayed a prayer for the lessening of anxiety, yet despite the glimpses of the ultimate in life, I still invite anxiety from time to time by my attitudes.

Let me leave this foolishness behind now and each day in the future, taking one day at the time. It is not Your will that we cower against this world, though it is true that this world can hurt us. I would not invite hurt by my attitude. I would enjoy tranquility and peace today and every day. Help me to do so.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Warning about Righteousness

paris street - rainy day
“This first lesson on the temptation of the human experience comes in truth as a warning against righteousness. It comes to remind you, as you replace the thought system of illusion with the thought system of the truth, that having remembered the truth of who you are, you are called to forget the personal self who would find this cause for righteousness. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.17)”

Affirmation: “I would avoid self-righteousness today and every day.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

The passage for today gives a stern warning about how the ego can entrap us again. The ego is very wily, and though only a part of our belief about ourselves, it does seem to act out of our control. But it is simply madness, but madness that can wreck great havoc. We are moving from illusions to truth, and when we recognize this, the ego can rear its head through a sense of self-righteousness, that we are somehow “better” for this difference. We are “better” to the ego, which sees this change as a chance for self-aggrandizement. And then we are trapped in illusion again. The journey from the house of illusion to the House of Truth has been aborted.

2 – Only Time Separates

The temptations of the human experience are great, and it is up to us to bypass these temptations. Only time separates the Son/Daughter of God, the Christ Self, from those these trapped in an egoic sense of the personal self. All will find the way back eventually, and we are needed to bring that time closer, because the world is weary, and all things in it are weary (from A Course in Miracles). The world is very tired, and it winds on in a wearying fashion, causing us to weary ourselves (also from ACIM). Do our brothers and sisters not need as greatly? And to save them from themselves, we ourselves must be “saved,” heading through salvation to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Journey

The journey has been long, though it has all been an illusion, and we are actually on a “journey without distance” (from ACIM). Let us not become self-righteous on this illusory journey, negating all the good that we could do for ourselves as well as others. Self-righteousness is such a pitiable state, and those who are on a spiritual pathway are the main ones who are afflicted with this trait. So it behooves us to watch ourselves carefully. We can still backslide, in my opinion. We can still lose our way. And certainly knowing the contents of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, if we lack the lack and fall into self-righteousness, is a prescription for disaster.

4 – Pray

Let’s pray today that we may be spared from the temptation to think ourselves better than others who have not read all that we have read, studied all that we have studied. We are not better. We are equals. And in heaven we share all talents equally. The only advantage today in having “more” than another is the chance to be happy, and the chance to share that happiness with others. This is all that salvation holds out for us. We are perfectly calm and quiet, without drama, and so enlightenment is really “nothing special” (a Zen thought). But it can be everything for us when we walk the narrow pathway that keeps us from temptations and draws us ever closer to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would avoid righteousness today. If I succumb to it, I will be like the Pharisee of the New Testament, who thanked God that he was not like other men, and he left his prayer unjustified. I would recognize that the ego can still entrap me with such thoughts. I would avoid this maladjusted thinking today.

Help all of us to realize that we are here to assist each other in our path toward salvation. I do not seek to proselytize, only to share with others who are ready to hear what I might be able to say. And in this endeavor there is a minefield for the ego. I would avoid that minefield today. Help me to recognize that You are there for all of us, and that only time separates any bit of knowledge that any of us have come to recognize.

Amen.

House of Illusion vs. House of Truth

watercan - renoir
“The house of illusion exists within the House of Truth because it is where your brothers and sisters think they are. The house of illusion is not a hell that anyone has been banished to. It can at times be a chosen hell, just as it can at times be a chosen heaven. Choice and the awareness of the power of choice that exists within is all that differentiates one from the other. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.13)”

Affirmation: “I would leave behind the house of illusion today.”

Reflections:

1 – Change

This passage for today is a reassurance for our sisters and brothers who are not yet emerging from the house of illusion into the brighter world of the House of Truth. We are elsewhere bidden not to rejoin others in this house of illusion, if we have already emerged into the brightness of true reality. Yet the explosions within cue us to the fact that change is underway. We will not long be without our significant others, with us in the House of Truth.

2 – Hell on Earth

We do not wish for anyone a hell on earth, and the house of illusion is sometimes that. It can also be a heaven, as when we dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles). But we are in a more substantial heaven when we have emerged from these illusions. We try to make our elevated Self of form sustainable, and while this is not always a realistic goal, it is realistic to know that we can and do catch glimpses of the real world nearly every day.

3 – Choices

Our choices are open in reality, in the House of Truth. Our choices are restrained in the house of illusion, for our will is imprisoned (from ACIM). An imprisoned will induces discomfort in the extreme, even pain. And we would be free of imprisonment. Let us today resolve to live well, to emerge from illusions into truth.

4 – God’s Will Is Our Real Will

Our choices ought always to be aligned with what God’s will really is, for His will is our real will. This negates the oft-repeated sense that we are being coerced. The Holy Spirit (in ACIM) and the Christ Self (in A Course of Love) do not in any way coerce us. We live a free life, secure in the love of our Father.

5 – Heaven

Let us today live in heaven, whether we are still caught by illusions or whether we have emerged into the light of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the House of Truth today. I would not reenter the house of illusion. And I am actually helping my brothers and sisters more by so doing. I cannot help from within the house of illusion, because my own mind would be caught in illusions again. And I would not have it so.

Be with me as I seek earnestly to live abundantly within the House of Truth. I would leave fear, as an egoic notion, behind. I would enjoy the peace and tranquility that is promised me by you, when I enter the House of Truth. Help me to know only calm and quiet today.

Amen.

This Is What You Are Now Called to Do

“This is what you are now called to do:

“Be aware that the love of God lives within you. Live within the peace of God. Live by the truth.

“This could be restated as you are love, you live in peace, you live by or in accord with truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.7 – 11.9)”

Affirmation: “I will live in love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

The instructions that Jesus gives today, in this passage from A Course of Love, are not new by any means. But he has an authority that defies explanation, except that he is our chosen leader. He speaks with the authority that he did in the New Testament, when he spoke not as the scribes and Pharisees. It does behoove us to listen to what he tells us in this new century, this time of Christ.

2 – God Is Love

We are to live by the truth that God is love, that we are to live within His peace. Such simple words, but so hard to do! We live in such complicated times, and it would be better if we simplified our lives to reject the complexity, the complexity which is often of the ego.

3 – Live in Love

What does it mean to live in love? As A Course in Miracles tells us, we live in love when we overlook anger and attack from ourselves and others, and by the overlooking, we do not make real, and we are led to forgive the errors made by ourselves and others. This also is easy to say but so hard to do. If we can just remember that we are living in illusion, at least until we have reached the real world that Christ-consciousness shows us, we will be well on our way to a better world, a better experience.

4 – Communicate with God

We find such joy in life when we communicate with God. In the early pages of the Text of ACIM, Jesus tells us that God is lonely when He recognizes that His channels to His children are closed, that we sleep, that we do not communicate with Him. We can change this. The handle to the door of our heart is on our side of the door. God is always ready to accept us; it is ourselves that get preoccupied with the things of this world that take us from Him.

5 – Prayer without Ceasing

Let us give up this spurious living. Let us return to frequent prayer, prayer without ceasing. Is this possible? It is possible to take God as a partner in daily life, to turn to Him as we would to any trusted ally, and to ask, internally, questions about our day with its many problems. We will get answers, so much so that we will wonder why we neglected Him for so long. Why did we not learn years ago that Christianity is eminently practical? Maybe we just have not yet recollected what has been within all along. We do know, and now is the time to bring forth that knowledge again.

6 – Talk to God

So seek to love today. We will fail if we don’t communicate with God throughout the day. Resolve now to talk, internally, to God as we walk through the day. He will be there. And we will know miracles that will warm our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to remember You today. May I walk through this day in close consultation with You. May I do absolutely nothing without knowing, internally, that You are in agreement with what I do. May I reach out to You, metaphorically, though I know that You are really within me. Be with me today.

Amen.

Meaningful Existence

pennsylvania impressionism
“The only thing within the human experience that made you incapable of representing who you are in truth was the ego. The only thing within the human experience that deprived the human experience of meaning was the ego. With the ego gone, you are perfectly capable of representing the truth of who you are and returning to an existence that is meaningful. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 7.5)”

Affirmation: “I would choose a meaningful existence today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego Is Gone

This passage says, once again, that for those of us who have read this far in A Course of Love, and taken its tenets unto ourselves, the ego is gone. We are The Accomplished. If we find this hard to believe, we are only being human. And we can always backslide. So the ego remains a temptation best left alone, and that follows for all the eternity that we have ahead of us.

2 – Ego Constantly Being Undone

The ego never meant us well. The ego was always a mad idea. And the ego was always being undone. If we were especially egoistic, we knew flights of joy that were undone by tears of pain that often turned to suffering. We paid for all the joy that we beheld.

3 – Living, Not Existing

Now we would live a meaningful life, and it would be an existence that is truly “living.” We would be rid of the ego by turning aside from it gently, for to resist the ego is to make it strong. The ego, according to ACIM, is strong in strife.

4 – Truth

Jesus says a great deal in A Course of Love about the “truth.” We would do well to remember, though, that we are fallible beings who may not recognize the truth when we see it. Likewise, we may think that we are viewing truth when we are actually seeing falsity. So it behooves us to contemplate our decisions well, to let guidance form our decisions. We would always mess things up, if left to our own devices without divine guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know intellectually that I am better off without the ego, but still I fear that it rears its ugly head. Help me to be through with all this foolishness today. I would not do egotistic things, and I would not make decisions from an egoistic foundation. I would follow Your way, which substitutes love in every situation.

I would live a meaningful existence today, an existence that is truly “living” rather than merely “existing.” Help me to do this. I am so dependent upon You these days. I have chosen that way of living, and You have responded. I know that Your presence sustains me, even when I am saying affirmations that keep my temper under control. I would be rid of temper today. I would say “gentle,” and “What would Mary do?” I would stop and take a timeout if I am overwrought. There is no better way to come unto Your presence.

Thank You for being there for me. Thank You for giving me the blessing of a happy life, and may I serve You in ways that You would direct. This does not mean slavish obedience, because my real will is always Yours. We are not separate, and I thank You that, through Your help, I have come to know this.

May I reach out to others today who cross my path. May I be a blessing in Your world.

Amen.

Fill the Emptiness Within

impressionists_03 - pennsylvania“While few of you have ever before reached the emptiness caused by the complete absence of the ego, just as few of you have never felt some sort of absence. All the lessons you have drawn to yourself in your lifetime have worked toward this absence in the hopes of filling the emptiness with the fullness of the truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 5.1)”

Affirmation: “I would fill my emptiness with truth.”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

Truth is a slippery concept, but when we follow the truth that Jesus sets forth, we are on solid ground. So many of us think that we have the ultimate truth, so many in our world. And others of us think that the truth expounded by others is actually a pack of lies. Let us try to do better today.

2 – Wait to Be Filled

We are not suffering when we are empty. We are simply waiting to be filled, and filled with the truth as we perceive it. This must include doing no harm to others or to our personal self, however much we may think we perceive that we are right in retaliating for wrongs committed against ourselves.

3 – No Retaliation

We are not right in retaliating, in any sense or at any time. This is something that we must incorporate into our very being, for Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that attack and anger are never justified. This assertion has been much misunderstood, for we have often felt that we must repress and suppress to follow this dictate. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We do sublimate, in that we replace the attack and anger with a higher value. And that higher value always partakes of love, a loving attitude.

4 – Anger and Stress

I never get angry unless I am stressed, and that may be the situation for you as well. So the way to return to a stasis is to calm down, and the way to calm down is frequently prayer. We get quiet, and settle down our overwrought emotions, and we walk a green earth again. There is no better way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk calmly today. I am all too prone to get keyed up when doing many things in this busy world. But quietness gives You to me, and I would have You today.

Guide me to help others in any way that would be good today. Let me love with my whole heart. May my mind settle down and my overwrought emotions grow calm. May my heart speak to my mind, and may my Self speak to both.

Thank You for your help as I walk through this day.

Amen.

What Changes and What Does Not

Edgar_Degas_painting_Degas_ - riders on horses
“It was said often within this course that the truth does not change. Thus the truth of who you are has not changed and you are as you were created. Form and behavior are, however, subject to change, as are your expressions of who you are. This distinction must be fully realized here in order for you to accept the truth of who you are and to come to an acceptance of the unchangeable nature of this truth. . .This is the final acceptance that you have ‘found’ and that you have been found. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 8.6)”

Affirmation: “I must realize that I am as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – I Am Still as God Created Me
This passage for today takes several avenues to support the assertion in A Course in Miracles that we are still as God created us (from the Workbook of ACIM). We are still innocent beings, though we ourselves have trouble accepting this. We see our mistakes and call them “sins.” Yet we will correct mistakes, and trying to call those mistakes sins causes those thoughts and actions to cling to us. We would not have it so.

2 – Truth

The concept of “truth” is sometimes seen as relative, but Jesus here in his channeled work, ACOL, declares that truth is immutable. Our abilities to recognize that truth is not always present, though. All of us see truth somewhat differently, because our personalities are quite distinct (from the Manual for Teachers of ACIM). But the truth of who we are has, as I have indicated in the first paragraph above, has not changed in all of our time as children of God. But our forms and our behavior have changed, and for this we can be thankful. Soon, we hope, we will occupy the elevated Self of form, and with that change our behavior will undergo a sea change. We can only be happy for this change.

3 – Forms Change

If we wish our forms to change, we must realize that aging does change our forms. And this change is not to be lamented. Each age of life has its own benefits, even when we go through times of illness. Learning takes place, and for this we can be grateful.

4 – Behavior Changes

Our behavior will change also as we come closer to Awakening or Christ-consciousness. We will no longer be concerned with egoic aspects of our being, and the ego will gradually diminish. For this too we can be grateful.

5 – Guidance

Let us simply ask today for guidance on what the truth really is about our lives. We will not be let down. Our guidance from the Self, inspired by God, will show us the way.

6 – Be Grateful

And for this we can be grateful as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for my form and my behavior have changed over time. I do not lament what the passage of time has wrought, for I recognize that my wisdom has increased, my truth has increased. And my behavior is not so prone any longer to attack and anger. For this I am grateful.

May I reach out to others today, if my brothers and sisters are ready to hear what I can say.

May the day go smoothly. I need for this day to go smoothly, because stress takes me away from You, and I would stay close to You all day long.

Amen

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

The Truth Is Not a Secret

giverny-3 - monet - garden“Your ego thoughts can never share the truth with you nor with anyone else.  The ego invented the idea of ‘telling’ the truth and using it as an opposite to telling an untruth or lie.  Thus were born ideas of being able to keep truth a secret, one of the most ridiculous ideas of the ego thought system.  (A Course of Love, 31.25)”

Affirmation:  “I forget my ego’s version of the ‘truth’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Non-Dualism

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love present a non-dualistic view of reality.  This non-dualism is the fact that God is All, and that anything else is illusion, projection, or dreams.  Thus the “truth” of the ego, which is illusory, means nothing.  All of this is part of the theology of both ACIM and ACOL.

2 – Don’t Let Theology Delay You

If the theology bothers you, don’t let it cause you to dismiss ACIM and ACOL out of hand.  Jesus says in ACIM that theology can delay us, and we would not be delayed.  We would have the universal experience that he says is possible.  And a universal expereince threatens no one.  A universal theology, on the other hand, is impossible.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

3 – Personal Experience

We need to tell the truth.  We need to drop lies from our pantheon of impulses.  But that does not mean that the truth has any truth in it when the idea that we are expounding comes from the ego.  It is quite possible even to tell the ego’s truth in your nighttime dreams; I did that just last night.  And I awoke in a good mood, but I quickly told myself that this good mood was an appeal to my ego, and not something that I wanted to encourage.  The ego dies hard in us, even when we have studied carefully for years.

4 – Appeal to Sanity

Today’s passage is an appeal to sanity.  The ego is not sane (and neither was my nighttime dream).  We would drop the insanity or madness from our lives, and the only way to do that, if we are working in the framework of our courses,  is to be diligent in our practice of the tenets of ACIM and ACOL.  (There are, of course, other ways to reach God, but our way is ACIM and ACOL, if we so choose.)

5 – The Ego

Don’t fret or worry if the ego intrudes, as it did in my nighttime dream.  Don’t resist, either, for the ego is strong in strife.  Just turn aside gently, and choose again (an ACIM tenet).  Choose again on this journey without distance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The truth is not a secret, kept from us.  We are fully able to ascertain Your truth, but we must do so without the intrusion of the ego.

I would know Your truth today.  I would drop all egoic and egotistical ideas from my mind slant, and I would welcome You instead.

Be with me as I walk along my pathway for today.  There is nothing that being with You in Your presence will not improve.  Thank You.

Amen.

Starting Point = Truth = Not Ego

“Your starting point is truth, and you must return to your Beginning.  Much has been seen since then, but nothing has really happened.  Your Self is still in peace, even though your mind is in conflict.  You have not yet gone back far enough, and that is why you become so fearful.  As you approach the Beginning, you feel the fear of the destruction of your thought system upon you as if it were the fear of death.  (T51)”

Affirmation:  “My starting point is truth”

Reflections:

1 – Philosophical Backdrop

This is a difficult passage; it hints at a philosophical backdrop for the Course.

2 – Returning, but Still in Heaven

We are told that we are actually “returning,” even though we have never actually left Heaven.  This returning leads us to the Beginning, before the ego, in its madness, was made.  Naturally, to the ego, its own destruction is terrifying.  We can perhaps gauge the amount of ego still in us by the fearful nature of our thinking as we study the Course.

3 – Living an Illusion

“Nothing has really happened.”  Here is the point made again that we are  living an illusion, and should any of us really fear an illusion?

4 – Reason to Fear?

If we are truly walking a pathway that was over in an instant, long ago, and we only seem to be reliving it now–then what is there to fear at all?  We chose correctly, for God, in that tiny mad idea that arose in our minds, when we forgot to laugh (from the Text).  If this theology helps us, then we would be well to try to understand it.  But if the theology is a stumbling block, we are bade not to embrace theology that would divide us from one another, but instead seek the one experience that we all can share.

5 – We Share Love

And this experience that we all can share is always one of love.  We fall many times.  We attack verbally, we have misunderstanding and regrets, but all of this is meaningless when we recognize that we are caught in illusions, and that these illusions are madness.  Certainly we cringe at being called “insane,” but it is the best way, is it not, to describe the hold that the ego has over us.  The ego has never given us anything to keep.  It has always tangled prizes out in front of us, but prizes that rust and decay.  And then we cry, for we do not have what we really want.  And what is it that we really want?

6 – The Real World

The real world, as described by A Course in Miracles, is a world free of vengeance and rebuff, a shining world of joy and peace.  This is not “pie in the sky” thinking, because our projections make our perception (an ACIM tenet), and we can make any world that we want.  If we see something that we do not want to see, we turn inwardly to the Holy Spirit, and we ask for a new picture.  Indeed, ACIM says that we are seeing these distasteful things because we do not want to see them.  They are an outward indication of an inward condition, and only when that inward condition is healed will we, once again, walk a green earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I study the Course, I may become fearful.  This is because my ego senses its elimination.

Help me to realize that this fear can be abated by Your strength.  Help me to realize that the elimination of the ego is what I really want.

Amen.

Salvation = A Decision Made Already

ACIM Workbook Lesson 88 – for Thursday, March 29, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “The light has come.”

Selected Passage:

“Salvation is a decision made already.  Attack and grievances are not there to choose.  That is why I choose between truth and illusion; between what is there and what is not.  (WB153)”

Reflections:

This is the underpinning of ACIM.  We know that we always choose between illusions and the truth.  Not sometimes–but always.  We are living an illusory world, not knowing that salvation is ours already.  When the real world has dawned on our sight, we will not be able to believe how wrong we were for so long, why we chose such insanity.  Let us drop the insanity today.  We can.

Affirmation:  “I am under no laws but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“Here is the perfect statement of my freedom.  I am under no laws but God’s.  I am constantly tempted to make up other laws and give them power over me.  I suffer only because of my belief in them.  They have no real effect on me at all.  I am perfectly free of the effects of all laws save God’s.  And His are the laws of freedom.  (WB153)”

Reflections:

God’s laws are freedom.  And so often in the past we have not believed this.  We have chosen a way of looking at God that made us think that He would not accept us because of our manifold “sins.”  Now we learn in ACIM that we are innocent in our Self, and that we have only made correctable mistakes.  ACIM says that God does not forgive because He has never condemned.   Now it is up to us to accept this truth,  and to forgive ourselves.  Only then will be ready to reach out to others with pardon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind attack and grievances.  I know that in order to do this, I must be at peace in my daily life.  May I be at peace today.

Your salvation for me is all that I really need.  I do know this.  I will listen to my heart today, thank You for my many blessings, and see no more illusions or fantasies.  Your Way is what I choose.

Be with me through the day as I seek not to sabotage myself.  I truly am my own worst enemy.  Help me to do the things that I know will help my brothers and sisters, and myself, and to leave behind the attack and grievances that are so detrimental to everyone.

Thank You for guiding me to feel Your presence.  That is surely my greatest blessing.

Amen.