Tag Archives: wholeheartedness

Introducing Choose Only Love

Note:  I am now going to include, from time to time, passages and my reflections from the new series, Choose Only Love.  The work is being received by Sebastian Blaksley, who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The book is presented as a contribution by angels, archangels, Jesus, and Mary.

This is to be a seven-volume series, two volumes of which have now been published.  The publisher is Take Heart Publications.  Available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com in print and e-book.

Reading the passages slowly and meditatively, part of a devotional, seems to me to be best.

–Love, Celia

Little by Little, Let Love Fill Our Being

“Calm your minds.  Calm your hearts.  Close your eyes for a moment.  Stay with me, your Heavenly Mother.  Together let us repose in peace, united in the stillness of Christ.  Give me your imagination, your memory, your will, your all.  Leave everything aside.  Feel how your heart widens when receiving the love of God.  Little by little, let love fill your being and overflow completely, extending to all creation.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 7:IV)

We have in this section of Choose Only Love a contribution from Mary, mother of Jesus.  This passage, like all from her, are soothing in the extreme.  We see the influence of A Course of Love, in that we are encouraged to calm both mind and heart, a dual reminder of the emphasis placed on both mind and heart (“wholeheartedness”) in ACOL. 

Love is at the center of this passage, something that we will see throughout this Volume 2, fittingly entitled, “Let Yourself Be Loved.”  I feel reassured here, for the onus is not placed on us as a command:  to love.  We do not extend Love until we have been assured that we are loved by God.  If we try to move from an unstable core, the ego, we will quickly find that nothing we do will have enough love in it.  It is true that giving and receiving are one, but we love because “He first loved us,” as the Bible says.

Little by little, we read, we fill our being to overflowing with love.  When we have done this, drawing from the celestial realm, we will know a peace and happiness that has eluded us until now.

Welcome Wholehearted Healing

“As it dawns upon your once slumbering mind that change on a grand scale awaits you, you will grow fearful if you do not realize that what is being proposed to you here is something completely new, something you have not even dreamed of. This state you have not even dared to dream of is a state in which only God’s laws of love exist even within the realm of physicality. What this means is that all that in this human experience has come of love will be retained. All that will be lost is what has come of fear.” (ACOL, T3:12.7)

What a glorious description of the new world! The world that we will create right on this earth, even as we lament the tragedies of our current world. We are heading into something new, for love has to be experienced if we are to survive, and Jesus is nothing if not optimistic. He does say that he doesn’t predict the future, though. This new world that he so much wants us to create is a world of transformed individuals occupying the elevated Self of form, a Self Whom we all share. We are One, we are in unity when we have walked the whole pathway, but we are still differentiated, or individuated, in separate bodies. So we have something to be in relationship TO.

Unity and relationship will characterize the new world, the newly created world of an elevated Self. This is our hope, this is our destiny. We do not, though, seek to evangelize others to this new world—until they see how different we have become, and they begin to ask questions. As Jesus says, ordinary people living extraordinary lives will be the attraction to this new world that we will create.

This new world offers hope above all else, and hope is healing. First we must change internally, for what is within controls what is without.

When we love, we can and must turn away from fear. Fear is dividing, and of course there is much in our current world to elicit fear. But when we cling to an inner will, the willingness to change ourselves, we will move into peace. Already many of us know a greater peace, even before we have walked the whole pathway back to God and our Christ Self.

Let us continue on the way that has been pointed out to us in A Course of Love. Let the mellowness of love transform our psyches as our mind and heart joins in wholehearted healing. And with this will come the new world.

Prayer

When we give up our fears, we walk a green earth. And giving up our fears is mandatory, must happen before we can create a new world. I will start small, just with myself. And just for one day. I will give up my fears today, and walk into a green earth, our beautiful world. And it is beautiful, despite its many problems. But with a hope that things will and must get better, I will seek to allow transformation to envelop me.

Be with me for a good and better day. I have prayed to You, and You have told me that You will keep me safe—and happy. What more could I ask today?

Amen.

Walking the Clear Path Ahead

“Mindfulness and wholeheartedness are but different expressions of the union of mind and heart. Mindfulness will aid you in remembering. Wholeheartedness will aid you in reconciling the laws of God with the laws of man. Through mindfulness you will remember who you are. Through wholeheartedness you will be who are.

“It is in this way that you will enter a time of miracles, put an end to suffering, and thus begin the return to love.” (ACOL, T1:5.14 – 5.15)

Mindfulness is the conscious decision to pay attention to the details of walking through a day. Wholeheartedness is an openness to the heart and our innermost feelings while retaining the mental agility of the mind as an egoless entity. (These are my own definitions.) Mindfulness and wholeheartedness do work together to launch us on the right pathway away from separation from God and into union with Him, with the inner Self Who is a part of Him. Mindfulness works first, by getting us to remember who we are, by clueing us in to the Self Whom we have always been, the Self Who has only to be recollected, for we never actually left that Self. Wholeheartedness then guides us to be ourselves, just to put on no airs, to be who we are, the Self Who is one with God and knows the right route to take on our pathway through this world and beyond.

With mindfulness and wholeheartedness, we will enter a new time, a new time of the art of thought, a time of miracles. Suffering will lessen and then end, and does this not sound like a good thing? If it sounds too good to be true, surely we are underestimating God. We are returning to love, and it is a Love Who is God Himself. Our futures indeed look bright, with such promises as this.

Walk through a day with mindfulness. This is an Eastern thought that has great relevance to us now, and Jesus uses the term a number of times in A Course of Love. Be attentive, for this is what mindfulness really means. Then listen to the heart, and let the ego fall away, leaving a clear mind that is ready to join with the heart in wholeheartedness. Our feelings are apt to become muddled if we rely on the heart solely, but with the mind, a freed mind, we are much more likely to understand what wholeheartedness promises us. We will walk without clouds in our eyes, mists that cover the footpath.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to feel good today, as I practice both mindfulness and wholeheartedness. These two concepts, taken together, are my way into miracles, my way around suffering, and my way toward love. Let me not forget in my busyness today.

I thank You for these insights into what life has to offer, life when it is lived as it is meant to be lived. I need to realize that suffering is a wrongheaded notion that is usually accompanied by emotional turmoil. This I would leave behind, now and forever.

Amen.

Turn Aside from the Mind to the Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Joining of Personal Self to True Self

“Have we not worked throughout this course to return your true identity to you now? The joining of heart and mind in relationship is the joining of the personal self with the true Self in the reality in which you exist now. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

1 – Theme

This passage encapsulates the primary theme of “A Treatise on the New.” We are not to look for some far-off and distant culmination for the blessing that we seek. Christ-consciousness is ready for us, here and now, if we are ready. And we can be ready. That is spoken to all who are studying A Course of Love.

2 – Failure

We will not always feel the truth of these words. We will fall down, often many times, before we know Awakening to be a constant state. These lapses should not deter us. We will find our way Home.

3 – Time

There is no time. This is an implied message of ACOL. All time, in fact, exists simultaneously, which is one of the laws of those who follow the newest findings of physics.

4 – Pathway

Do not fail to reach the pathway today. Know that lapses in understanding that happen today will fall away tomorrow. Know that the reality in which we now reside is the best place from which we can grow to the elevated Self.

5 – True Self

This quotation equates the movement from just the personal self to the elevated Self, or true Self, with the joining of mind and heart into wholeheartedness. This latter was the emphasis of the first part of A Course of Love, the original volume. When we open to our heart, we know that we do not need the proofs for ultimate reality that the mind demands, especially the mind in service to the ego. We love more deeply as well. Our heart understands and knows, at one in relationship to others in our little world. This is the “unity and relationship” that ACOL stresses so much also. We are One, and yet we are differentiated into the many, in relationship one to the other. It is a paradox that we are both the One and the many, in relationship. But it is the best way that we can come to know the ultimate reality in which we are immersed.

6 – Ego

We have been occupying a form that encompassed a small-minded version of ourselves. We are asked to enlarge our self-concepts to something much bigger. We will be rewarded when we make a transition to a greater sense of Self. It will be more than a larger personal self, which would invite fear because it would encompass a bigger ego, and bigger egos are always scary. Think of the people you have known who seemed to have big egos. Weren’t you, on some level, afraid of these individuals? And now we are recognizing that we ourselves have perhaps sometimes scared others by our own inflated egos. Now we would leave all this behind.

7 – Being

The Self that we will embody is larger and grander than any ego could imagine. And so much more completely the true Being that we are. In oneness with God, we walk into the sunshine of this world, seeking to effect salvation in those who are ready to listen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

In this Thanksgiving season, I thank You for my true identity, especially for the truth that my true identity can be known now–without tedious waiting for some distant future time.

If I find myself prone to doubt this truth, may I rethink my position, and accept Your words as true. We can know ourselves in our true identity in this world, and may we recognize this glorious truth today.

Help me navigate through this day, moving ever closer to Christ-consciousness. Remove the egoic blocks that I have to this blessing. I know that this is Your will, and now it is mine as well. We all need to move into a greater dimension of Being, there with You. Help me to make great strides to this new place, with You, today.

Amen.

The Disjoining of Mind and Heart / The Rejoining into Wholeheartedness

“The separated state was nothing more than the disjoining of heart and mind, a state in which mind attempted to know without the relationship of the heart and so merely perceived its own creations rather than the creations birthed in unity. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.26)”

1 – Wholeheartedness

This passage alludes to the joining of mind and heart into “wholeheartedness” that the first volume of A Course of Love makes so beautifully clear. We are meant to live in wholeheartedness. In fact, we see that A Course of Love is to the heart what A Course in Miracles was to the mind. Now we have both joined–wholeheartedness.

2 – Separation

We are now ready to leave separation behind, separation from God and separation from our brothers and sisters. We are ready to leave a separated self behind also, to have an elevated Self of form that is wholehearted. Mind and heart are once more joined in unity. And in this state we are able to understand, once again, what it means to be in relationship to all that surrounds us, especially our brothers and sisters.

3 – A Fortunate Fall

We have long lamented the separation from God. But ACOL indicates that this separation was part of the plan. In A Course in Miracles, we learn that this separation happened when a tiny, mad idea crept into the mind of God’s Son. There was nothing to do but to find a plan that could not be subverted, and this plan ultimately culminated in the plan of forgiveness for each other and ourselves. Our egos wanted to call our mistakes “sins,” but to call these mistakes by such a term did tend to make them attractive to us on a continual basis (an ACIM tenet). When we have a mistake, we naturally want to correct it. We have changed its status from a sin to a mistake, and we respond accordingly. ACOL makes the same pronouncement, in slightly different words. Elsewhere we learn that we can turn aside from the things in our personalities that we dislike; we are not bound to keep these lamentable traits. But we are ready to accept Christ in Christ-consciousness, despite what we may still view as flaws. ACIM says that Jesus stands at the end of the journey to undo mistakes that we have not been able to undo. These twin ideas in ACIM and ACOL thus meld into one.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

If we come to understand these concepts, we will be well on our way to the elevated Self of form. We must not let theology delay us; if anything in this interpretation does not resonate with you, then just turn aside from it. A universal experience is mandatory, a universal theology impossible. Why? We see things from different perspectives because our personalities differ. What one may need by way of his/her religion is different from another. Many of us need a personal God, and some find this personal God in the Holy Spirit. A Course in Love, though, says that today the era of the Holy Spirit is over, that we are to learn through the Christ inside of us. This Christ is a part of God Himself, as ACOL teaches. We are a part of God, and so we think with His Mind (an ACIM tenet). We may also come to realize that we feel with God’s heart, in the manner of A Course of Love’s “wholeheartedness,” and this will indeed make our pathway much smoother.

5 – Theology

Don’t let theology delay you, especially if differing interpretations of God’s Word are causing you conflict. Conflict is of the ego, not of either the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ, and certainly not of God Himself. If we are experiencing conflict, we have let the ego intrude once again in our lives, and the results of allowing that mistake could be deplorable.

6 – Come Home

Come home to God today. Never let interpretations lead you to cut back on your moments of solitude with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I try to meld my heart and mind into wholeheartedness. Thank You for being with me in the difficult moments. Life is not always smooth, but You are there for me always.

May I turn aside from my mistakes, and may I let Your grace repair my wrongdoings. It is with joy that I look forward to this day.

I find that reading interpretations of Jesus’s words sometimes confuses me. I would not have it so. I would go to his words directly, and interact with those words in as elemental a fashion as possible. Help me to do so. Help me to listen to what You are saying to me about Jesus’s words. Be with me today as I seek to have a good day in Your grace.

Amen.

Listen to Your Heart

bridge in monets garden
“Your link between the realm of unity and the realm of physicality is your heart. Your heart tells you of the already accomplished and bids you to express it with your physicality, thus uniting the two realms through expression. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.2)”

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

Reflections:

1 – Best Way to Live

A Course of Love, the trilogy, throughout emphasizes the heart, though we do know that wholeheartedness–the linkage of mind and heart–is the best way to live (as stated therein). Now we know that we will be one when we listen to the heart and respond in our physical bodies to what we view as the best way to live. This is through letting the Self/Christ shine forth.

2 – Already Accomplished

We are expressing ourselves when we recognize that we are already accomplished, that we have already done all that we need to do. On the surface, this does not seem possible, but perhaps we do not yet fully understand what Jesus means. We have sought and sought, always seeking and often not finding. And there comes a time when seeking must end, for our own peace of mind. That time is now. Not that we don’t still need our meditative, reflective times–because we do. But we know that we have accomplished for Jesus hoped for us when we have let the Self/Christ shine through. And then in our physicality we express ourselves. And we hope that that expression is right and good.

3 – ACIM vs. ACOL

We don’t have to downplay the physical, and this is perhaps a single major difference between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Perhaps Jesus channeled again, in part, to make this point clear to us. We are not inferior because we like the physical expression of our bodies. We live in a higher realm, but here the physical is very real to us (though an illusion, or maya). We do not have to denigrate ourselves for liking what we can accomplish physically–in sports, in love, in simply walking around this beautiful world. God can take the physical and make of it something very grand indeed.

4 – Listen to the Heart

Let us listen to our heart. It will not lead us astray, although the one proviso might be that we are so overwrought as not to read the heart’s message correctly. Then we need to calm down, go within, and ask until the answer is clear. Sometimes our mind interferes with the message of the heart, because the mind is agitated and perhaps the ego has not fully withered away. But the heart speaks wisely and for all good.

5 – Wise to Listen

And we are wise to listen to it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the many blessings that I derive from reading ACIM and ACOL. Thank You that my many questions often find answers in their pages. May I rest in the certainty that living in this world in physical form is right and good for me. I do not have to scourge the body to find solace for my soul.

May my brothers and sisters listen to their heart, even as I try to listen to mine. If their hearts say something different than my own, may I know that this too is right and good, and while we may not always agree, we are One in You.

Be with me throughout the day and night. May the ego be silent indeed today and tonight.

Amen.

A New Way of Thinking

InspiringImpressionism_Morisot

“The experience of truth dispels illusion and thus the ego-mind.  The art of thought replaces the ego-mind with the wholehearted.  The wholehearted is but the heart and mind joined in unity.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “wholeheartedness today”

Reflections:

1 – Wholeheartedness

This passage for today is a summary statement of the importance of wholeheartedness.  We have deemphasized the ego-mind to the extent that we personally can.  It is up to God to do the rest.  And He will not fail us.

2 – New Art of Thinking

When we have truly experienced the truth of our world, we will perhaps not recognize it at first.  We need time to grow accustomed to a new way of thinking, the new art of thought.  But we will recognize that the illusions in which we have believed in the past seem to have fallen away.  We will see more clearly, but with an inner eye, not our physical sight.  This is all it takes:  To see with the inner eye.  This is the way in which the Christ/Self within experiences the world.  And when we identify most clearly with the Christ/Self within, we are well on our way home.

3 – Personal Experience

Christ-consciousness is not yet for everyone, and it particularly behooves us not to claim to have experienced it if we are not living it.  Others will take notice and realize that we have deluded ourselves.  We need to set a good example of absolute truthfulness in this regard.  Those who would claim Christ-consciousness may only be getting glimpses that will fade.  As I have mentioned, I have had two experiences of Awakening that did not last–one for three months, one for six.  These experiences were life-changing for me, and they led me to understand what would be in store for me when the change was permanent.  But a permanent change cannot be rushed.  We do our part by reading and studying, praying and communing with God, and then we wait in patience for Him to act.  He will reach down (metaphorically) and lift us up when the time is right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day go well.  May I appreciate what is before me, never crying after something that I don’t have.  May I be satisfied as long as I am pursuing Your way, to the best of my ability and may the set of my will be strong.  There is no way that I can be of use to others if I am not well-equipped personally and emotionally.  May I find Your peace today in everything that I say and do.  May the joy of the moment replace second-guesses and ruminations.

May I find Your way amid the myriad ways that this world points out to me.  This world is not what I would have until it has been transformed before my eyes by You.  May this happen today, if it be Your will as well as mine.  May I no longer be afraid of Awakening, for if I am afraid of it, it is not the prayer of the heart, and You cannot honor my request.  May all of my requests to You be from deep within me, and may nothing be asked that is superficial.

Thank You for putting the right book in my hands at the right time.  And this is repeated with many books over the course of years.  Thank You for giving to me the significant others who do all that they can to meet the needs that are theirs to meet.  May this day go smoothly for all whom I encounter in any way.

Amen.

Seek No More

images - ballet dancer“The first instruction I give to you is to seek no more.  All that you are in need of knowing has been provided within A Course of Love.  That your learning does not feel complete is not a failing of this course or of your self.  That your learning does not feel complete is the result of forgetfulness, which is the opposite of mindfulness.  Your further learning then is learning based on mindfulness or remembering.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 1.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remind myself that I need seek no more.”

Reflections:

1 – Why ACOL Was Written?

This first passage selected from the Treatise on the Art of Thought encapsulates what may possibly be one of Jesus’s primary reasons for channeling A Course of Love.  We who have studied A Course in Miracles quite a bit do not always feel complete.  For unknown reasons we have sought so long that we want to continue seeking.  But there comes a stopping point, and the only way to stop is to stop.  Jesus would have us stop our hankering for learning by giving us the assurance that we are The Accomplished, that we have learned all that we need to know for salvation,

2 – Seek No More

Our minds have been the troubling part.  Our hearts have always known more than the egoic mind.  And now we are encouraged to join our mind to our heart in wholeheartedness.  But to seek no more.  There is enough in us already.  We must just observe, not “learn.”  And in the observation of daily life we will be fulfilled (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love).

3 – Eastern Thought

The Eastern theories about mindfulness are relevant here.  Jesus calls mindfulness “remembering.”  We pay attention to what we do daily, hourly, and even moment-by-moment.  And we are fulfilled thereby.  We rest in the assurance that all is well, that the world is unfolding as it is meant to unfold.  Not that we can’t improve things, because we are not encouraged to forget others.  But we know that when we are peace, the world in which we live seems more at peace also.

4 – Time of Christ

We have forgotten much, and we will call to mind what we need to call to mind when we rest in God.  He will recall those important things to mind for us.  In A Course of Love, the time of Christ, it is no longer the Holy Spirit.  But the Christ/Self within that directs our every thought and mood.

5 – Remembering

We need to ask for remembering today, while we practice the mindfulness that is meant for us.  We think about what we are doing, but we do not analyze it.  Jon Kabot-Zinn has written Coming to Our Senses, a vast compendium of guides to mindfulness in our world.  If additional help in mindfulness is desired, this would be a good place to start.

6 – The Accomplished

But we do not need to “learn” more.  We are The Accomplished.  We do not fully understand this, and to be accomplished, we do not have to be perfect.  This is a major contribution in A Course of Love.  We just turn aside from those thoughts and actions that are less than what we want, and then the thought or action falls away.  That is all, but it is enough.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take to heart what I wrote in my reflections today.  The basis of those remarks are mostly from Jesus, with some indication that religions other than Christianity have also spoken of mindfulness.  May I live in peace today, not reaching irritably after more and more.  I am enough, if I am living the Self within.  Help me to fully realize this Self within, sooner rather than later.

Be with all of us today as we embark on a new Treatise from A Course of Love.  May our reading inform our lives.  And may Jesus hold our hands as we walk.

Amen.

Time of Christ / Time of Holy Spirit Has Passed

images - impressionism“The way of the heart is the way of the Time of Christ.  The time of the Holy Spirit has passed.  The time of the intermediary is over.  The greatest intermediary of all has been the mind.  It has stood between you and your own inner knowing, caught in a dream of perception.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

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

Reflections:

1 – Final Passage to Consider Currently from ACOL‘s First Volume

This is the final passage from the first volume of A Course of Love that I will consider presently.  I see this passage as a summary passage, in that the heart is given ascendancy–a major theme of the Course of Love trilogy.  This passage does not link mind and heart together into wholeheartedness, which Jesus does elsewhere in ACOL. Here Jesus emphasizes the limitedness of the mind, which has, as we know, been the home of the ego for eons.  And the ego has not meant us well.

2 – Inner Knowing

We need to include the mind, but because the emphasis has been on the mind for so long, it is welcome now to address the heart.  We know with the heart, not just emotionally, but in practical terms that give us insight into the very nature of reality (i.e., the real world, as described in A Course in Miracles).  This is the inner knowing that the passage for today emphasizes.

3 – Perception of the Mind

The mind, on the other hand, has emphasized perception, which is always erroneous to one degree or another, for when we are perceiving, we are lost in a dream or illusion.  When we know, though, we cease to engage the mind to any great degree.

4 – Intent of ACOL Different from ACIM

The words of A Course of Love are far more abstract than anything in A Course in Miracles, because the intent is different.  The heart knows abstraction, and abstraction is the natural condition of the mind (from ACIM).  It is only when the mind has run amuck that we find that the specificity of detail gets us lost in a dream world.  We would not have it so.  We would awaken sooner rather than later.  And we await God’s timing on this.

5 – Glimpses of Awakening

In the meantime, we are apt to see glimpses of Awakening, from a few moments to a few months.  This is the revelation that is occasionally revealed to us, but for which preparation is needed (a paraphrase from the early pages of ACIM).  The means are explained in A Course in Miracles, which dislodged the ego, and then A Course of Love was channeled to allow us to come farther along the pathway to what our heart (rather than our mind) could show us.  We will not be finished until we give up constant seeking.  Jesus says in A Course of Love that we are the “accomplished.”  And, of course, he does not mean this in an egotistical way.  But the accomplished at stop seeking and rest in knowledge, calm in the certainty of a heartfelt understanding that is more than the mind can ever give.

6 – Stillness and Quiet

Let us rest in stillness and quiet.  Let us turn to Jesus as our companion, our teacher no longer.  He is ready to receive us as equals.  Would we hope for anything less?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest for awhile.  The original volume of A Course of Love has been considered, and we need to take a brief break before we move to the first three Treatises.  May I have a calm mind today, supported by the comforting, abstract thinking that ACOL counsels.  May I be at peace, sure of Your love, certain of the truth of the assertions of A Course of Love.  If we are in the time of Christ, may I know what to do that is different from the time of the Holy Spirit.  Already words comes into my mind from the subconscious that seem to me to be a bit beyond me, but different from the counsel of the Holy Spirit.  Am I learning in the time of Christ?  Is this the way that it is?

We do not have firm guidance in other works for what the time of Christ really means.  ACOL counsels us, and I would do well to listen.  Help me to be relaxed and easy, to take each moment as it comes, to live in the Now.  And may I drop from thought any worry that threatens my peace.

Thank You.

Amen.

Be True to Love

monet-soleil“This Course has succeeded in ways you do not yet understand and have no need to understand.  These words have entered your heart and sealed the rift between your mind and heart.  Be true to love and you cannot fail to be true to yourself.  (A Course of Love, 32.4)”

Affirmation:  “Be true to love today.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL Has Succeeded

It is very reassuring to read that A Course of Love has succeeded in ways that I don’t understand.  And that I have no need to understand.  Certainly I do not recall the whole volume, but perhaps it has found a place in my heart.  And the heart does not think intellectually.

2 – How to Practice Love when It Is Hard

How are we to be true to love?  We are to practice love even when it seems hard, even when others attack us and we feel like retaliating.  Retaliating is not the way, for we will only feel worse later on.  Do what we have learned to do in the face of seeing a lack of love.  Perhaps taking a timeout is best.  Or praying in another room.  The temper can get the best of us frequently, especially when we are unwell.  Let us not succumb to crankiness today.  Remain loving, quietly, if in no other way.

3 – Wholeheartedness

In this part of the conclusion of A Course of Love, Jesus reminds us that he has led us from mind and heart being separate, to the wholeheartedness that combines the two.  This is a central theme of ACOL.  When we are true to love, we are true to ourselves.  There is no other way to be true to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to practice love today, even when circumstances seem to make practicing love hard.  Our significant others are not always in good moods; they may be doing something that they really don’t want to do; they may be worried about their health.  The problem can be any number of things, but I ask today to have the patience to stay sweet and to wait out the bad mood.

Be with us as we seek You in wholeheartedness, mind and heart combined.  This is the way that is being shown to us, and it is a wholly good way.  May we seek and find You today.

Amen.

Overcome Depression

“Impossible learning goals lead to depression.  This is why we must learn anew with a mind Green-font-b-Wheat-b-font-font-b-Field-b-font-with-Cypress-II-By-Van Goghand heart joined in wholeheartedness.  (A Course of Love, 31.13)”

Affirmation:  “May I avoid depression today by not seeking impossible learning goals.”

Reflections:

1 – Egoic Goals

We have all too often sought to learn things that are impossible for us to learn.  These were goals of the ego.

2 – A Better Way

But Jesus assures us that there is a better way.  We do not have to get depressed, trying to learn something strange that is not “for us” at all, for we do want to leave the ego behind.  The ego always leads to depression, for it is an idle thought that is not really idle.  There are no idle thoughts, for all lead to form at some level (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Wholeheartedness

May we seek the wholeheartedness that gives heart and mind in conjunction with each other.  May our minds be so cleansed of egoic attitudes that we can listen to our hearts, and then we can invite the mind back into the equation with a major welcome.

4 – Heart Knows

The passage for today gives a major theme of A Course of Love.  It is not a hard theme to learn.  We know that the heart “knows” in a way that the mind does not.  And we would be wise to listen to our hearts in lieu of convoluted thoughts of our minds.  When the mind is cleansed, then is time enough to welcome it back, with great joy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not court depression by seeking to learn things that are impossible to learn.  I would forsake egoic goals forever, and I would take a stance today to do so.  Depression is major life problem for many people, and it just may be that many of us thrive–or fail to thrive–because we are ego-oriented.  The ego is always being undone.  It is always that way.  For every up moment, there is a down one, and the down ones ultimately predominate.  I would be free of this foolishness forever.

Thank You for leading me to understand that the egoic goals that I courted in my youth and early adulthood were false thinking.  I did not know any better.  But now I do.  And I pray to You that I will not let myself be misled by a part of myself–the ego–that refuses to wither away.  I do not need the ego to live a fully satisfactory life, and, indeed, I cannot kowtow to the ego and still lead a satisfactory life.  The ego as defined here is a false way of viewing life, not the organizing principle that another definition would have it be.

May I just turn aside from ego ideals.  May I not actively resist them, for the ego become strong in strife.  Be with me as I seek to take my place as an equal among peers.  There is no need to seek for superiority, for superiority is a false value.  All talents will one day be shared equally among Your children.

Amen.

Eliminating Perplexities

“While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received paintings-by-camille-pissarro-6is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment.  You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have ‘turned the question or concern over’ and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  “When I have a perplexity, I turn it over to God.”

Reflections:

1 – Perplexities

Perplexities do not have to remain perplexities.  There is a quick solution, as I said yesterday in this blog:  The solution is with the problem (an ACIM tenet).  We are learning better what that means as we read A Course of Love.  We are learning to turn inward, where all is quiet, to our heart, and thereby to receive an answer.  This is an elaboration of what A Course in Miracles teaches, which seems to be another indication that what we have here in ACOL is actually a sequel from Jesus.

2 – “Basket Case”

I read recently from an inspirational writer of one of his family members who came up against severe problems at various junctures in her life.  She would, in his words, be a “basket case.”  But this did not last long.  When he would visit shortly thereafter, she would be calm, though the difficulty was still there.  She would reply, in response to his comment that all seemed well, that she had “turned that over to God.”  The emotional reaction was much more muted.

3 – Turn It Over to God

If we can learn to do this on a constant basis, we will live a much calmer and saner life.  We will not be lost in insanity, the state that all of us exist in until we come to know better.  We leave behind anger and attack, we turn our lives over to God, and we are rewarded by a peaceful life, with the “peace that passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

4 – Heart and Mind = Wholeheartedness

A Course of Love constantly appeals to the heart, and only toward the end do we see that a blend of mind and heart is actually the way for us.  We have to let go of egoic notions of the mind, though.  And the emphasis upon the heart, in the opening pages of ACOL, is exactly what we need to hear in the beginning.  We will come to know better when we give up asking for tangible proof.  The heart already knows.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I quickly turn any perplexity over to You.  You want to help me.  It is a free offer.  Surrender works.  Thank You.

May I be good company today with my brothers and sisters, and especially with those who are my significant others.  May this be a good day.  Help us to know how to turn perplexities into solutions.  This is something that we all need frequently.

Be with us today and always.

Amen.

How to Live in Love

“All Selves are joined in wholeheartedness.  The one Self is solely involved in living love.  (A Course of Love, 25.17)”

Affirmation:  “I am One with all.”monet - bridge and bush

Reflections:

1 – All of Us Are One

We are one, all of us, and often I have made this point in this blog.  But we don’t often believe this.  I must remind myself of the truth of it constantly.  Knowing that we are one with each other, and with God, is a freeing mechanism of the highest order.  We don’t fret any longer.  We know that we are safe.

2 – Living in Wholeheartedness

Living in wholeheartedness is, according to A Course of Love, the union of mind and heart toward which we are headed, as we know all that salvation holds out to us.  We no longer look for “proofs” of the mind that are largely ego-inspired; we listen to our hearts, who know that proofs are not needed.  But we don’t just have blind faith.  We do have understanding that is not perceptive, but understanding that is knowledge from God Himself.  We are led, step-by-step, into the larger world where we can live freely and peacefully with each other.  These are the Selves of which we are one.

3 – The Selves = One

The Selves, then, are actually One, one with everything and everyone.  Let us meditate upon this truth today, and let words fall by the wayside.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would make the decision again today to turn to love rather than fear.  I ask that You accept this determination and shape my desires so that I do not have to repeat myself and pick myself off the floor because I have failed once again.  Help all of us to reach toward You with a certainty and a determination that will brook no failure.  I know that You want us to commune with You in prayer, and that it is through prayer, with the silences of listening, that we will come to know Your greatest joys for us.  Be with us today as we seek to treat all whom we meet with the love that they so richly deserve.

If I fail today, may I recognize that You will rectify all mistakes.  I need not fret that I am not perfect.  Indeed, Jesus tells us in A Course of Love that perfection is not required.  He tells us in A Course in Miracles that he stands at the end to correct any mistakes that we could not..  So thank You that we are in good hands.

May we seek to grow today in lightness, even as we grow in love.  You would not have us approach life with a seriousness that eludes peaceful and easy living.  The light touch, the light burden, all hallmarks of Jesus.  May we incorporate these traits into our own Selves.

Amen.

Wholeheartedness

China_Edouard_Manet_oil_paintings_world_famous_oil_paintings2011151746002“No matter which path you follow, the path of the mind or the path of the heart, you will not get where you are wanting to go until they are joined.  You might imagine three paths–one path representing mind, one path representing heart, and one path representing wholeheartedness.  The path of neither mind nor heart alone will take you where the path of unity will take you, and the journey will not be the same.  (A Course of Love, 21.7)”

Affirmation:  “I choose the path of wholeheartedness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Combining Mind and Heart

We have previously been emphasized following the heart, which was necessary as a contrast to following the mind.  But now Jesus is ready to guide us to combine the two, mind and heart.  And this combination results in what he terms “wholeheartedness.”  Our mind is no longer ruled by the ego, and so this is a safe combination.  We need the mind while living in this world.  We also need the heart.  And the two combined give us true direction in this sometimes difficult world.

2 – A Path of Unity

We must join the two–mind and heart.  The passage for today makes this necessity absolutely clear.  We do want to know where we are going.  And it is a path of unity.

3 – Unity as Defined Here

Unity is here used in a different sense than the “unity and relationship” that defines our connection of others in our world.  Unity here is strictly of the mind and heart, within ourselves.  But when we combine the two within ourselves, we are ready to reach out to others.  We are ready for the unity and relationship with our brothers and sisters, with Jesus, and with God.  We can follow the correct path no other way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am ready to join mind and heart into wholeheartedness.  You have prepared the way for me, and I know that when I ask Your help in coming mind and heart, I am asking in our joint will.  Help me not to inaccurately think that my heart can do better without my mind.  My heart, being the seat of emotions, can, without the rational, sane mind, lead astray.  I would not be led astray today.  Help me to stay on Your pathway.

Thank You for the emphasis on wholeheartedness that comes near the conclusion of A Course of Love.  There is a reason for this, and I suspect that it is because we have heretofore been far too dependent on the mind.  So You brought us to a dependence upon the heart, which knows without laborious and insane thinking.  Now You would combine easy and sane thinking with the emotions of the heart to form a unity.  What a glorious plan this is!  We are indebted to Jesus for bringing us this truth in a form which is easily accessible and easily accepted.

Amen.

Follow Your Heart

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

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

Reflections:

1 – The Heart

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

2 – Look Inward

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

3 – Little Edges of Light

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

4 – Reach Out

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

5 – Inner Vision

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

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

Amen.

Wholehearted Yearning for Union

“It is in your holy relationships that union can be found and experienced, and thus from these that you fuel your desire for union with all and for knowledge of your creator.  This yearning must but be a pure yearning–untainted by fear and judgment and approached with wholeheartedness–for it to be fulfilled.  It is not the means that are lacking but the wholehearted desire.  (A Course of Love, 19.7)”

Affirmation:  “Bless my holy relationships.”Café-Terrace-on-the-Place-du-Forum,-Arles,-at-Night,-The - van gogh

Reflections:

1 – Holy Relationships

If we have wholehearted desire, today’s passage assures us that we can find union in our holy relationships.  This is our way home, according to both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Holy relationships bypass the need for hours of contemplation.  We are our brother’s keeper, and we do well to acknowledge this and to act on it.  Then we will know the peace that we seek.

2 – Holy Oneness

From our holy relationships, we move to a desire for Oneness with all, a holy Oneness rather than the physical that we sometimes think.  The physical is not downplayed by ACOL, though; it is, in fact, applauded, in a sense, by the closeness that it leads us to feel.  It can be a way of reaching toward God.  But union with the All is not physical, but metaphysical.  And we then have knowledge of our Creator God.  We are not alone in our wonderings any longer, but we know.

3 – Jung

Jung, the eminent psychologist, was once asked about faith, and he replied that he “knew,” implying that, for him, knowledge of God was not limited to a nebulous faith.  What a witness this is!  We will come to be so sure in our knowledge of God that we do not have to appeal to faith in the matters of which we are unsure.  We will be told all that we need to know.  And very, very little will be veiled from us.  (An interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL.)

4 – Union

If we are falling short, let us ask ourselves if we have the wholehearted desire for union that this passage indicates we must have.  Do we see any reason for union?  Do we still think that there is something in separateness that will give us the experience of what we want?  If we do want separateness, we will remain in it.  But do we really want to be so isolated or alone?  Do we really want to fear?   All of these things comes with the separate.  And not many of them would any of us long to experience.

5 – Are We Afraid?

We may be afraid of union, not knowing what will be asked of us.  And, indeed, much may be asked of us.  But we will find that we can do these requested missions with ease and peace, with effortlessness.  God does not hold us to a work ethic that we ourselves made.  God desires good works, we might think, but He knows that we are weak and frail children, and that we need help.  Ask (a necessity), and that help will be forthcoming.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would overlook all slights that happen to me currently, seeking instead the union with all my brothers and sisters, and God, that this passage recommends.  May we be forgiving, for this world is difficult, and if we forgive, we will come to understand.

May my yearning for union be without fear of any kind.  May my anxiety melt away.  And may You spend the day with me today, so that I sense Your presence.

Amen.

Begin Your Transformation

“A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is will begin the transformation.  This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is naturally returned to your awareness, for this unification returns you to the Christ in you and the one mind united with God which you have never left.  (A Course of Love, 19.4)”

van gogh - field6Affirmation:  “May I be united with the Christ in me today.”

Reflections:

1 – A Sequence

There is a sequence of occurrences in this passage that is worth noting.

2 – Do Not Glorify the Separate Self

First, we must abandon thoughts of glorifying our separated self (or the self that we think, in illusion, is separated).  So often we seek to glorify the physical, with material objects and the trappings of “success.”  But we are digging our own grave when we do so.  So let us ask today how to avoid glorifying the self.  We will be told, and then when we act on this knowledge (for it is knowledge, not perception), then we will be set on the right path.

3 – Mind and Heart = One

Second, we need to ask that our mind and heart be made one.  We know many things intellectually, for many of us have studied diligently.  But intellectual understanding is often not comforting in the middle of the night, when fears try to overwhelm one.  So we need to invite our heart to join.  This is our emotional aspect, and we do not need intellectual proof when our emotions are involved.   We simply feel the good feeling (or the bad), and we live sanely.  The lack of intellectual “proof” does not disturb the heart, for the heart knows things that cannot be proved.  And the heart does not ask for proof.

4 – Christ/Self

Finally, we seek to unite with the Christ/Self in us.  This is the Self of whom Christ-consciousness is concerned.  We have never actually left this Self, and this point (made repeatedly) is pivotal.  We can clain Christ-consciousness as our birthright, but it is God Himself who makes the decision about when we are ready to receive this blessing..

5 – The Base of ACOL

This sequence is at the base of A Course of Love.  If we can ask for and receive (for receiving is, of course, necessary), then we will have walked the whole pathway.  And all of us wish for this.  We pray for this.  And one day this blessing of Christ-consciousness will belong to us all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for a transformation to begin today.  I know that I need to turn myself over to You in mind and heart for thsi transformation to happen.  Be with me as I make every effort to turn myself over to You today.

The Christ/Self who is within is my lodestone.  It is my way home to You.  Help me to sense today, if only for a moment, what this Self can do for me.  And may I reach out to others, for it is only in connectedness that we see the light.

Amen.

What Makes This Existence So Chaotic and Erratic

Starry Night over the Rhone - van gogh

“That you keep yourself from desiring anything fully here is what makes this existence so chaotic and erratic.  A mind and heart in conflict is what keeps you from desiring anything fully and thus from creating.  (A Course of Love, 18.14)”

Affirmation:  “Desire fully or not at all.”

Reflections:

1 – Comparison of ACIM and ACOL

This idea is new, not found in any form in A Course in Miracles.  Perhaps this is because the delineation is made in A  Course of Love between the mind and the heart.  We did not hear much about the heart in ACIM, but the mind’s need to dislodge the ego was paramount.

2 – Desire Fully

When we desire fully, we are not in chaos, doing erratic things.  Of course, we need to be certain that we are desiring rightly.  And this  can come only when  glimpses of the Christ/Self within are guiding us.  We must desire because we know that we are after something worthwhile.  Nothing else will do.

3 – Uncertainty

When we are unsure of ourselves, we act in erratic fashion, and we create chaos and drama because we don’t seem to know any better.  God can take away that lack of certainty.  We have all too often been afraid to desire fully, because we thought we might desire amiss.  Ask, and then we can be sure.

4 – Living Harmoniously

When the mind and heart are one in purpose. we live harmoniously, even in this world.  This world does not seem so difficult as before we made this fusion of mind and heart.  When in conflict, stop and think about why:  Is the mind out of sync with the heart?  Do you want something intellectually but not emotionally?  Here we will find the answer to our dilemma, the answer to the end of chaos.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I move beyond just following my heart, into following both my heart and mind in wholeheartedness.  I would desire fully that which You wish for me, and that is salvation.  I know it, but sometimes I don’t realize it fully.  Help me to realize myself fully today.

I would desire fully those things in this world that are good and true.  I would turn aside, without emotion, those things that are bad for me.  May I encourage my brothers and sisters to follow Your way in everything.  The pathway that You point out is so joyous, and following Your guidance, moment-by-moment, is undoubtedly the more joyous of all.

Amen.

Trust

“All that is required to gather this new evidence is to trust in your own heart.  Are you willing to believe what your heart would tell you?

“This exercise should take no time nor break your stride or the flow of your conversation.  All it asks you to do is to become aware of spirit and to allow this awareness to abide within you.  (A Course of Love, 13.6 – 13.7)”

Affirmation:  “May I trust in my own heart today.”

Reflections:Van-Gogh_Bedroom_Arles

1 – The Mind

If we stop giving our mind so much attention, if we put our mind into neutral, we are then more likely to listen to the spirit within.  We are also more likely to pay attention to the spirits of others, rather than the personality that is so dominated by the mind when it is in egoic mode.  When we pay attention to the spirit in ourselves and in others, we are attuned to our hearts.  And that is a very good place to be.

2 – Turn to the Heart

Jesus would have us turn to the heart increasingly.  That is the primary theme of these first pages of the original volume of A Course of Love.  (Later, he will emphasize the union of mind and heart, into “wholeheartedness.”)

3 – Intellectual Truths?

The heart does not demand intellectual truths.  The mind, when it is dominated by the ego, does so often want intellectual truths.  But the ego is never satisfied; no proof is ever sufficient.  And so we bring our intellectual doubts to the table of God, and we doubt Him.

4 – Heed the Heart

This is no way to live.  If the heart seems to be telling us something, we would do well to heed what it is saying.  We intuitively know that God exists, and that He loves us, and when we live this faith, we live truly–we don’t simply walk through our days like automatons.

5 – Use the Day Wisely

May we spend today looking for the spirit in ourselves and others, and may we pay attention to what our heart is trying to say to us.  If we can sustain this endeavor, we will indeed have used the day wisely.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to trust my heart today.  It will soon be time to meld the mind and the heart into wholeheartedness, but for today I will listen to my heart.  I will see what it has to tell me, and I will heed.

This does not mean that I will do foolish things.  We do not need to let emotions run amuck.  That would not be worthy of ourselves or our concept of God.

Be with me today as I seek to be ever mindful of Your blessings.  You have given me much.  Help me to give back.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Taught

“What love is cannot be taught.  Remember that your task here is to remove the barriers that keep you from realizing what love is.  That is the learning goal of this course–your awareness of what love is–and no earthy course can take you beyond this goal.  It is only your willingness that is required.  (A Course of Love, 11.5)”

renoir - womanAffirmation:  “May I love today.”

Reflections:

1 – From ACIM to ACOL

There is a movement in these words of A Course of Love that goes beyond A Course in Miracles, which had as its goal the bestowing of forgiveness of ourselves and others.  While love was certainly not absent from ACIM, the focus was on the mind and the ego, while A Course of Love looks to the heart, and, ultimately, the mind and heart in conjunction with each other.

2 – Intuitive Knowledge

We know intuitively that love cannot be taught.  We experience love, and we experience love most often as a function of the heart, without the involvement of the mind and the intellect.  We love someone, and we don’t know why–we just do.  Our emotions are involved, and the emotions, in our understanding, are heart-sent into our lives.

3 – Heart Is Central

This is why we cannot be taught love, because if we could, the mind would be the central player (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  And the mind is not.  We sometimes love in spite of ourselves, though often this is in special relationships.  After they turn, with our help and God’s, into holy relationships, then we come closer to the wholeheartedness that Jesus extols in A Course of Love.

4 – Love at the Center

Do not despair that love cannot be taught, because it can be learned, though perhaps not of the mind.  When we ease up, we are in a better position to allow love to overcome us, to grab us.  And then we have placed love at the center of our being, where love belongs.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I offer love its central place today, in my heart, where love belongs.  I can intellectually choose to love somebody; it doesn’t work that way.  We cannot will love into being, and sometimes we love almost against our will.  

But love we will, for it is crucial to our being, the center of our being.  We may not express that love well, but even the most despised of human beings on our earth have loved, in the limited way that they knew.  Love is like a light that will not be extinguished.  And it is the way that joy comes into our lives.

May we all express love today to those closest to us.  May we receive the love that is offered to us.  And may we express and receive in totality.  You are with us always, and, today, when we need You most, You will be there for us, in love.

Amen.

When All Fear Ends. . .

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established.  All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is.  How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “I relinquish doubt today.”

Reflections:

1 – Doubt

We have not even believed in our own true existence.  We have so doubted ourselves, and love, and God, that we scarcely knew where to turn–ever.

2 – Feel Love and Fear Is Gone

We need to take to heart this message, as it is the key to leaving fear behind.  When we recognize that we are love, and that we are surrounded by love, and we really, really feel this, then we will not fear anymore.  There will be no reason for fear.  Our safety is assured.  Regardless of what we attract in this world by our wayward thoughts, we will know internally, in our better moments, that God loves us and that we are not alone.  We will find surety in this thought, when this thought has taken hold in our hearts–and our minds.

3 – Wholeheartedness

The combination of mind and heart is called in A Course of Love “wholeheartedness.”  Jesus is getting ready to introduce this idea.  But first we need to just step aside from the mind, and listen to our hearts.  Our hearts will offer the solace that we often do not find in this world.  We will, with God’s help, be healed.  We will know real love for the first time.  We will no longer be lonely, for God will provide those things that we really need.  Our needs are always met; this is a certainty.  And if we need friends and family as support, these too will be provided.  We need only ask in certainty, and our pleas will be heard.  Our needs will no longer overcome us, and we will be free to live the better life that we are meant to find in this world.  Yes, even in this world.

4 – Fears Are Made by Us

Let us step aside from fear today.  Let us know that fears are made by us and our mistaken belief about what we are.  Fears are not of God.  Let us ask today for only the things which are of God.  And because this is a prayer in His Will, we will be answered in abundance and in assurance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for setting aside my fears this morning.  My routine for the morning was broken, and, as a result, my fear intruded.  This is a prime example of the danger of too much routine, too many predictable rituals.  Help me to leave these undesirables alone.

Be with me as I seek to recognize that You are with me always, that feelings of love will negate fearful thoughts.  This recognition has always been a part of ACIM and ACOL, but until recently somehow its import was lost on me.  I would lose this recognition no longer.  I would know that Your felt Presence assures me that I am with You, that You are with me, and that we are One.  

In this is my loss of fear and anxious thoughts assured.

Amen.

Living with Happiness and Love and Miracles

“Without your vigilance it [the ego] may even seem to have become stronger than before and fiercer in its criticism.  It pretends to hold you to new standards, only to use what you have learned to increase your guilt.  Thus it wins in daily battles and works for your final abdication, the day that you give up and admit defeat.  It challenges your right to happiness and love and miracles, and seeks only to have you claim that living with such fantasies does not work and will not ever be possible here.  (A Course of Love, 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “happiness and love and miracles”

Reflections:

1 – Reminiscent of ACIM

This passage reflects the attitude of A Course of Love in regard to the ego, an attitude that is in agreement with A Course in Miracles.  The ego was dislodged by our study of ACIM, and this previous reading was necessary as a precursor to A Course of Love.  (Mari Perron herself, the scribe, read A Course in Miracles seven times prior to channeling ACOL.)  But we need to go beyond just dislodging the ego, and that is, I believe, why Jesus channeled the later work, A Course of Love.  We need his definition fo “wholeheartedness” to replace the void that perhaps we have felt with no dependence on the ego.  We have to step forward and let the heart take over a bit from the mind.  We do not ignore the mind, but we combine the heart and the mind into what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.”  So mind and heart work in conjunction with each other.

2 – Mind & Heart = Wholeheartedness

The paragraph above is a paraphrase of a good bit of what is told us in the opening pages of ACOL.  If we can keep these distinctions between mind and heart and wholeheartedness close to ourselves, we will come a long way toward understanding the new way of learning, dubbed “observation.”  But in this first volume of ACOL we are still learning in a somewhat anomalous way.

3 – The Ego = the Nemesis

As Jesus describes the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, the ego sounds a lot like previous conceptions of the “devil.”  Yet all of this idea is internal.  There is not outer devil, in the understanding of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  We do it all to ourselves (though we do not blame the victim, as the Self makes decisions that the personal self knows not of).  We would recognize that in an egoic world, we cannot conceive of the good without the bad, God without the devil.  And this is also madness.  But it is the way that our minds work.  We need to better than this, and we can when we study ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Into the Time of Christ

We do have a right to happiness, love, and miracles.  And we would do well to step forward to claim that right.  The Christ within us, the Self, will guide us as we move beyond the time of the Holy Spirit, into the time of Christ.

5 – Move Forward

And may we move willingly, not clinging to the past because it is all that we have known.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend today being sweeter, and this means that I look aside from the ego.  I don’t resist the ego, for that would increase its power in my life–but I just turn away, focusing on the love that is at the center of my being.  I focus on the Self/Christ that is internal to me.  I focus on the happiness and love and miracles that are mine to choose.  And they are mine to choose.  We do not have to live a paltry life.  Glorious blessings are our birthright.

Be with me today as I seek to be a sweeter person.  That is all that one member of my family ever asked of me, and I have remembered his blessing fondly.  His desire was in stark contrast to the push to “succeed” and to “achieve” that everyone else in my family wanted.

But You want us only to follow Your pathway, and Your pathway is a way of ease and the cessation of difficulty.  You will lead us to every miracle that You have saved for us.  Our health can improve daily, our dispositions as well.  And we can be the sweet creatures that You, too, want us to be.

Amen.

Beginning Today to Consider A Course of Love

“The separated self or the ego does not learn.  Even when the ego has taken many courses and received many teachings, the ego has not learned but has merely become threatened.  (A Course of Love, P. 3)”

Affirmation:  “I would have my ego threatened out of existence.”

Reflections:

1 – Beginning A Course of Love

Today begins a six-month consideration of the first volume of A Course of Love, channeled by Mari Perron and first published in 2001.   Mari’s belief, which many share with her, is that this is a sequel to A Course in Miracles, meant to draw together many of the ideas that Jesus wants to impart to us.  ACIM dislodged the ego, but some of us have been somewhat “stuck” since that happened, and A Course of Love appeals to both the mind and the heart, in concert with each other, to let us know that we really do not have to keep seeking.  We are learning, though, in the first volume.  This first volume, in my opinion, can be read even by those who have not been students of A Course in Miracles, because Jesus lays the groundwork for the three-volume A Course of Love by drawing comparisons with A Course in Miracles.  This blog will attempt to do the same, drawing parallels when doing so seems particularly appropriate to me personally.

2 – Seeking

Those of us who have spent our lifetime seeking do know of what  passage for today speaks.  There always seems to be another thing to learn, another book to read, another spiritual tradition to explore.  But we find in A Course of Love that this is the time for an end to seeking.  For us, Jesus is the Way, and he has spoken in the three volumes of A Course of Love to encourage us to stop our mindless exploration, to stop tantalizing the ego with yet another way.  We have our way, and that way, if we believe that A Course of Love is a sequel to A Course in Miracles, that in these two works, we have our way.

3 – ACIM Dispels the Ego

A Course in Miracles spent much time trying to dispel the hold that the ego had on our minds.  Now, in A Course of Love, we are encouraged to get beyond the ego, once and for all.  We are ready for the message of complete acceptance that Jesus offers to us, however marred we still think we are because of mistakes made and perhaps not recognized.  We are even told in A Course of Love that we do not need to worry so much about “perfection.”  Just as we were told in ACIM that Jesus will stand at the end to correct any mistakes that we ourselves cannot correct, A Course of Love (ACOL) states this promise in even stronger terms.

4 – Embraced by Jesus

So we find ourselves at the beginning of the first volume in the trilogy of A Course of Love.  We will find ourselves comforted, even embraced by Jesus.  Let us learn what we finally need to learn, and then let us realize that the time of learning is close to an end.  And then let us rejoice!  We have our pathway.  We need no others.  ACIM and ACOL will lead us home.

5 – Welcome Comments

I welcome your comments as we proceed with A Course of Love.  You will find, as I have, a certainty of salvation that even A Course in Miracles lacked.  Jesus says that we are the “Accomplished,” even though we ourselves believe that the ego is still in ascendancy.  The ego may be in ascendancy, but this problem is readily alleviated.  As we will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn what I still need to learn, and then may I be satisfied.  I plan to cease my constant seeking, as Jesus has reassured me that I now know enough to live well.  Thank You for this.

May my ego wither away.  None of needs an ego, in the sense that Jesus defines it, and we will learn through observation all that we need to know.  The time is now.  And I pray that I am ready.

Amen.