Tag Archives: unity and relationship

Spirit and Nature, by Ivor Sowton

One question that often comes up for me and others I’ve talked to is how much to trust ourselves with knowing what is really ours to contribute in life. After all, many of us have been led by Jesus or some other Great Master into some pretty dramatic changes over the years, and before we “resigned as our own teachers” we generally had some pretty egotistical ideas about our contribution. Back then we might have figured that our contribution would be 1) what we were naturally good at already (so it would be easy), 2) would make us look really good to others, and 3) would make us wealthy, powerful and famous.

Now, Jesus in A Course in Miracles (ACIM), is the one who helped me see these egotistical motives in me, which were always there, apparently, but outside of my awareness. Now the often painful awareness is being accepted as a lesson and a gift, as Jesus says in A Course of Love (ACOL):

“Acceptance of what is, is acceptance that whatever is happening in the present moment is a lesson and a gift. What comes as a lesson may not seem like a gift, but all lessons are gifts…What you have struggled to learn in the past you have struggled with only because you did not realize the nature of the situation as a lesson or recognize that all lessons are gifts.” (3rd Treatise, 10.6)

So now I can see the ego motivation clearly I often seem to be trying to renounce it with a lot of my energy. Does this happen for you? For me at least it does indeed make sense that Jesus in both these great dispensations calls us to a lot of undoing of the old– of those old ego stances that never did work, after all.

But then how to also be positive while waiting for a more Divine replacement? In general terms I understand Jesus to be encouraging me to wait with a peaceful attitude as I become more wholehearted with his help. I am trying to receive rather than plan (ibid. 22.5), and I do sometimes feel hopeful, waiting with a kind of cautiously joyful anticipation.

Right at the end of the marvelous Third Treatise Jesus equates the recommended attitude of receptivity with observation of what is, or the Truth in us and in our surroundings–people, animals, plants–all of it! He says:

“Realize that what we have called “closed eyes” observation is really the observation of a Self beyond the personal self. To call forth observance is to call forth the sight of your true Self.” (22.17)

That is actually a wonderful promise, isn’t it? Worth waiting for, worth all that ongoing undoing of the old painful ways…

How I am looking at it now is that we should actually be curious about the things we already do well, have an aptitude for. Why shouldn’t this be part of our contribution? Like a gift we have to give, but this time with pure intention.

After all, when Jesus says we have (and actually are) a true self he is talking in the context of unity and relationship–one of the great overarching themes in ACOL. The True Self in us knows its intrinsically connected with everyone and everything “else,” so it is capable of acting for the greater good and is actively seeking to do that in each situation we find ourselves in.

So I’ll call that True Self the Spirit in us in relationship with the Nature part of us–our bodies, our unique gifts, our time-bound lives as individuals here.

There is a very beautiful Sanskrit hymn that roughly translates to “Spirit and Nature, dancing together! Victory to Spirit and Victory to Nature!” Each is fulfilled in the other, in Union and Relationship.

May it be so for you, and for all of us.

Inevitably Receive the Answer

Impressionist-Paintings-020“In unity and relationship, each is not only capable but will inevitably receive the answer and come to the understanding or interpretation that is right for her or his heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I interpret life well today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Are One

We are One, in unity as One and in relationship to the All.  These two words, “unity and relationship,” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love.  And well they are, for they emphasize a major theme that complements the idea that mind and heart need to work together in wholeheartedness.  If we are wholehearted, we will rejoice in the camaraderie that we know with others, as well as with ourselves and God Himself.  There is no end to the joy that we will know.

2 – Interpret Life Well

We will come to interpret life well.  We will no longer be lost in a maze of confusion.  The things that we need to do will occur to us at the point that knowing what to do becomes important.  We are led, and led gently and well by God, Who knows us better, of course, than we know ourselves.

3 – Life Improves

Be with us today as we seek to interpret well.  May our analysis of the day be benign, slighting no one.  May we know that life gets better as we seek God more often.  When He becomes our constant companion, the one to whom we refer all perplexities, we will be well on our way Home.  And Home is not the Other Side, but the real world that A Course in Miracles tells us about.  This is the world that we will see when enlightenment is sustained in our elevated physical Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to know, to interpret, my life as it is meant to be interpreted, in an accurate way.  May I know what to do and when.  And may I remain calm and joyous, letting confusion drop away.  When anxious moments arise, may I just let them go.  And let them go in the moment, the Now.

Be with me as I travel through this day.  May I no longer pay my “pound of flesh,” as a Shakespearian character did, but know that being anxious is not a talisman to keep bad things from happening.  I would live in trusting You.  May that strong degree of trust engulf me today.

If my mind strays to worry, may I know that I am failing to have enough faith to get through the day.  You don’t send bad things, but in our world bad things do happen.  And there is always a good lesson in these things that will eventually, and sooner rather than later–in faith–take us home to You.  A home in this world that is heaven on earth.

Thank You.

Amen.

Union

“Instead of recognizing your union, a state in which you are whole and complete because you are joined with all, you have determined to stand separate and use the rest to support your separate stance.  Do you see the difference in these two positions?  In what way is your way better than the way God created for you, a way that is completely free of conflict?  (A Course of Love, 9.49)”

Vincent-Van-Gogh-painting-wallpaper-Paintings-Wallpaper-19
Affirmation:  “union–not separateness”

Reflections:

1 – What Does “Union” Mean?

What does Jesus mean by “union”?  It is the same idea, I think, that he alludes to earlier in the first volume of A Course of Love–the holy relationships that we develop as we drop the separate stance that is actually the special relationship (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  Why is it so important to let go of the superficial values that special relationships provide?  For they provide for an illusion of safety, an illusion of a haven–not the real thing.  In this world our holy relationships normally being as special ones, but, if we follow Jesus, the special turns into the holy.  We see our brothers and sisters for their intangible values, and we walk in union with them.  We do not separate as we will, when we are disenchanted because he or she has not fulfilled some part of the secret bargain that we have made with them.  We stay the course, and we look for the peace and joy that is a part of all that is holy.  We do not mind the fading beauty as years go by; we don’t even see fading beauty.  All of our holy relationships simply become more precious as time goes by.

2 – The All = God

We join with the All, the God in All.  This is union; this is not separatism that masquerades as union.  We do not let disappointments that our brothers and sisters are not perfect interfere with the love that we have for them.  We bask in the glory of their union, and ours, with God, and we join hands to walk toward Christ-consciousness.

3 – No Conflict

We are not in conflict at such times.  We do not encounter conflict very often, even though the Dalai Lama said that he sometimes feels anger.  That is the human part of the human/divine joining that we will come to know.

4 – Need to Love

We need to love, and to love deeply.  We especially need to love when we are feeling unloving.  Holy relationships do not demand that we be perfect.  Jesus does not demand that we be perfect (from ACOL).  We are human beings on a divine mission, with a spirit inside that is both human and divine.  When we recognize the divine, we will have walked at least a few steps along the pathway to Christ-consciousness.  And all will be better for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose union with the All today, and that includes my brothers and sisters as well as You.  May we have a good day together.  May we join, knowing that this is Your will for us, and we need You and each other.

Be with us as we seek to have a good day.  There is no reason for conflict when You are sensed by us.

Amen.

We Live in an Eternity. Be Happy Today.

“As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own.  Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found.  (M-28.5)”

Affirmation:  “unity of purpose”

Reflections:

1 – Eastern Thought

We live in an eternity.  Be happy today.  The previous two sentences are from an Eastern master.  But I have long loved those words, as though they had been in my own religious tradition.

2 – God Will = Our Real Will

Here Jesus is saying the same thing.  Because God’s Will and our will are actually identical, we do wish to do God’s Will.  We do not want to wander off in tangents, seeking who knows what.  We want to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, because it is the way home for us.  Nothing and Nobody else will do.  There is no other way, until we reach Christ-consciousness (as discussed, perhaps, by Jesus in A Course of Love).

3 – A Course of Love

We are united, yet in relationship to one another and to God.  A Course of Love talks repeatedly about “unity and relationship,” and to my eye this seems a paradox.  How can something united be in separate parts that would be demanded for a relationship to take hold?  I think that Answer is that we are One, and yet we have differentiated into seemingly separate entities, separate Selves, in order to experience all facets of reality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or A Course of Love).  So the fact that A Course of Love counsels “unity and relationship” repeatedly is actually a fact that must be faced head-on.  We must be One with ourselves and our brothers and sisters, at the same time that we are in relationship one to the other.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be happy today, knowing that we live one day at a time.

May my day equal my magnificent expectation for it.

Thank You.

Amen.

Day Fourteen: Healing

“Your acceptance of these words is a form of acceptance of the unknown and as such a means of coming to know.  These words are only one means, which is why this is called a dialogue.  Realize now that this is but one voice of the many.  You have entered into the dialogue with the many as well as the one.  This dialogue is going on all around you.  Have you been listening to but one voice?  Or have you begun to hear the one voice in the many?  (A Course of Love:  Dialogues, p. 161)”

Affirmation:  “May I hear one voice in the many that surround me.”

Reflections:

Healing is found in the acceptance of the spacious Self–the Self that we share with all others in unity and in relationship one to another.  Earlier we have been tempted many times to reject feelings, and we have thereby been led many times into sickness.  Now we are called upon to accept all of our feelings.  Our feelings are not unique to each of us individually, but are part of the whole which we all share.  Others feel as we do.  This concept in itself is comforting, because we are tempted to think that nobody else in our world has ever felt quite as we do when we are feeling down.

We are asked to hold within our feelings in the spacious Self, the Self we share with all others.  We are not as likely to feel wounded when we know that others are a part of ourselves.  We will not understand all things, but we will hold within not only our spaciousness but also the invisibility of that which we do not comprehend.  We do not reject these unknowns; we hold them in our spaciousness.  We are accepting of the unexplainable.

Our spacious Self will be a healed Self.  We reach out to others, and we accept them in this dialogue.  We are not alone on the mountaintop!  We accept that others are with us on the same ascension.  We then sustain one voice, the many expressing the unity in relationship that we have all needed for eons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize that in my Self are the others that surround me.  I am never alone.  My spacious Self includes all.

May I be forgiving of all of those others.  May they be healed along with me, as we realize that we are all One.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 107:

Truth will correct all errors in my mind.