Wisdom of Receptivity

“Through receptivity is the wisdom inherent in being who you truly are revealed. Being who you truly are, accepting your true identity, is the goal of this Course and of this beginning level of what I only loosely call a curric¬ulum. It is appropriate to remember and to be reminded at this level, that being true to your Self is not about reaching an ideal state or a state of iden¬tity exactly the same as another’s. It is also not about being selfless. These ideas too are part of the unlearning of this Course and are to be discouraged.” (ACOL, A.24)

We have a persona, called the ideal, that we attempt to reach. We did this especially when the ego was predominant. But being who we are is not about being an ideal; we don’t reach for something that always seems just beyond our reach.

We rest where we are, certain of a new identity that, while not perfect, is perfectly all right—ALL right. We can imagine that the more selfless we are, the more self-sacrificing we are, the better people we are. Not so, says Jesus in this quotation. We ask to have our mistakes corrected in us—and it is done. We ask to be accepted just as we are—and it is done. The ways of God prevail.

When we are receptive, in a receptive state of mind and heart, we are most ready to accept the words and meaning of A Course of Love. We don’t imagine the ideal, therefore. We accept who and what we are, just as we are. This will give us a peace that we have never known. This will give us God’s peace.

A Course of Love is about establishing a new identity, and “being who we are” is exactly that. Of course, we have been so confused by our egos that we haven’t really known who we are, and we probably don’t know, still. But glimmerings will come to us. And if we listen carefully to our heart, we will know more. The way back is not hard.

Dear God,

I would accept myself today just as I am, flaws and all. I would ask You to correct any mistakes that still lurk in the background. I am as sure that You will as I am sure of anything. Your promises are sure. With Jesus as Your agent, the flaws of the past will recede into the past.

Thank You for giving me the reassurance, always, of Your love for me. And all my brothers and sisters. We walk a sure pathway back to You. If the way seems long, we rest in patience. If the way seems short, we pick up our speed and forge ahead. But the end—You—is certain.

Amen.

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Wisdom Discounts Fear-Based Living

“How can what is closely guarded extend? How can what is controlled create? How can what continues to give in to fear know love? All your reasons for fear-based living have been discounted one by one. And yet you dare not try to live without it. Why? Because of the thoughts of the ego-mind. The ego-mind is concerned only with its own survival but it has you convinced it is your survival that depends on it. How can you be convinced to live as if the truth were otherwise? For only if you begin to live as if the truth were otherwise can you see that it truly is otherwise, or based on a wisdom other than what has come before.” (ACOL, T1:3.5)

We need to base our living on a better mind than the ego-mind; we all know this. And the Self knows best, the best that is part of God. This inner Christ is there to help us live by wisdom that does not seem to be entirely our own. This belief is based on the fact that the ego has never led well; we have stumbled time and again when listening to its counsel.

Now there is a better way: living in love with the Self guiding us as to our next step. We don’t live in fear when we are living in love; they are diametrically opposed to each other. And in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we have learned why fear-based living is a mirage. We think it saves us from something worse, from living without judgment. But the judgment and fear are what have caused us to live inferior lives.

The ego is the insane portion of our mind that knows that its days are numbered, and so the ego is desperate, trying to convince us that our survival depends on keeping it (the ego) strong. This is wrong, and we know this. But in our weaker moments we give in to fear, and we don’t live from love, and so the whole house of cards seems to fall down around us.

We know better than this. We have no good reasons for appealing to fear to save us. Fear cannot save us, not in the least. And when we realize that the love that we sense all around us is genuine, we will sustain a better way of life. Things will get easier. Our hearts won’t beat as fast in pain. We will live with our heads high, but not in pride. We will live with our heads up, knowing that we are listening to a guidance from our inner Self that is true and good.

And when we listen to that inner Christ, we are healed.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to live peaceably in this world, without the ego pulling at my mind to let it (the ego) reign. I would not live with the ego in the ascendancy. I would live from love, knowing that in this decision, all future decisions are made easy.

Be with me today, drawing out the peace that is deep within me. Help me to know when to act, when to speak—and when not to do either. The peace that You give me is the only real peace in this world, the only real peace in the only true reality.

I would listen to my inner Self today, with a smooth heartbeat, slow and easy. Fear has no place in me when I have made this decision.

Amen.

Life Is a Channel

1 – Day 21

“The first transition. . .is about a letting go of any of the ideas that you may still have that an outside source exists. There is no such thing as an outside source. There are no outside sources of wisdom, guidance, or even information.

2 – There Is No World

We cannot reach outside ourselves for wisdom; we can only incorporate what resonates with the inner Self. If we try to reach outside ourselves, we are really just experiencing the larger Self, for we are all One. Jerry is a part of You; you are a part of Beverly. All is One. And All is God. So reaching outside is absolutely not possible. Why, then, do we not take the next right and realize that it is only wisdom from within, that we have assimilated unto ourselves, that will save us?

3 – Learning

We are still trying, albeit less often, to listen to the teachings of others and thus to “learn.” But Jesus has said that the time of this type of learning is over. We can still receive inspiration from others, but to take another’s word for something that you haven’t experienced is the most tremendous folly. We can be inspired by this person’s story, but it is our own experience that saves us.

4 – Don’t Always Listen

Don’t listen to any exterior words unless they form a resonating cord in your own heart. Don’t take unto yourself anything that another says that sounds foreign to you, to Your Self. For you will try to absorb amiss. It is only your own Self Who can make decisions about your future course of action. Only your Self knows what is right for you.

5 – Pattern of Learning

“This was true even within the pattern of learning you have been familiar with, for in order to learn, the source of wisdom, even though you may have seen it as existing outside of yourself, had to function as what it was—a channel through which the wisdom, guidance or information moved. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

6 – Time of Learning

This quotation says that even in the time of learning, when we listened intently to what others said to us, we still did function only to absorb that which was meaningful within our own experience. Unless we were coerced, and this rarely happened except in childhood, we were bent on adapting our way to others’ ways that seems close to what we were coming to believe. If the words made no sense to us, we dismissed them out of hand. We did not waste our time trying to absorb the message if it seemed foreign to our experience.

7 – Wisdom / Guidance / Information

We were letting wisdom, guidance, and information flow into ourselves, though we did not yet know that there was an inner Self Who sought to guide us. If we were following A Course in Miracles, we were listening solely to the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration. And we were well led.

8 – Holy Spirit

But still we listened to God, for the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. And this similitude was not lost on us. We longed to have a Hearer in God, in the Holy Spirit, and Jesus himself had promised us that he would hold our hand as we walked along. So Christ was present, too, even before we knew that we partake of the Christ.

9 – A Channel

“You realize now that life itself is a channel and that you are constantly receiving. You still perhaps think in terms of receiving meaning that there is something given from a source beyond the self, but this is the ‘thought’ that has to change. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

10 – Nothing Outside You

There is nothing outside you (from A Course in Miracles). This is why we don’t receive anything that is outside, for there is nothing outside.

11 – Theology

This is theology, and it may be hard to accept. But lean a while into the concept, and see if it doesn’t make sense in view of the fact that we see God as One, as the Whole, as the All. We are part of that All. We are a hologram that contains the whole in each part. And each part can receive meaning from the Whole at any time.

12 – Union

“No intermediary is needed when you exist in union. It is recognized that the knowledge, wisdom, guidance, or information that is needed each moment is available within each moment and that the interaction, rather than being one of taking something from an outside source into the self where it is learned and then regurgitated or even applied, has given way to an interaction that begins within and extends outward. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 186)”

13 – External Sources

Day Twenty One elaborates upon the previous day’s commentary. We are led to understand more completely that we cannot rely upon external sources for the truth. We are led to realize that we cannot even rely upon Jesus to impart the truth to us. We must reach inward, and in dialogue with the Self that is the All of us, we will come to know. This will not be an external seeking, but an internal transition to relying on the Self.

14 – Jesus

Jesus is preparing us to cease thinking of him as our teacher. He has said in these commentaries that he is our companion, but he is resigning as our teacher. We are not to look outside ourselves for the answers, but to turn inward. Ideas such as these are reiterated throughout the Forty Days and Forty Nights.

15 – Giving and Receiving

Life itself is a channel, and we are constantly both receiving and giving. There is nothing channeled to one that is not always available to all others. Teacher and learner are equal, an idea that was presented in A Course in Miracles; in ACIM, though, it was said that only time separated the teacher from the learner, because the teacher temporarily knew more, and was therefore in a position to help. In these concluding chapters to A Course of Love, we are led to realize that time no longer separates the teacher from the learner. We have walked farther along the pathway. We are assuming Christ-consciousness for ourselves.

16 – Mountain Top

“You began your mountain top experience with a companion who had offered himself as a teacher in order to bring you to the place of being willing to accept that a teacher was not needed. He joined you on the mountain top in order to prepare you for his departure, a departure from reliance upon him that would allow you to arrive at reliance upon yourself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

17 – Bottom Line

This is the bottom line of what Jesus has been trying to tell us in the Dialogues. He is not the teacher anymore; he is an equal who seeks to be received as a companion. We don’t look to him in the same way that traditional Christianity looked to Jesus, because we have moved beyond this understanding. Jesus is still very much a part of our faith, and he is still our leader, but his responses to us are not predicated on his knowing a great deal more than we can come to know ourselves.

18 – Self

We need to rely on Self, but in that Self is the Whole. So there is no need to stop praying; we need prayer to God, even though we know that we are God, as blasphemous as that may sound on first reading. We don’t have the union with all that God has, but we do have a relationship with those outside of our bodies. Their minds are, though, joined with ours, and together we walk to home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassurance that I have come farther along on the pathway, and that union with the Self that I am will answer my questions. I want to be in union with You. I do not want separation any longer. Help me to know union with You.

I do what I can. I don’t always do the right things, but I do try. All of us do try. Help my brothers and sisters to walk aright this day, and please help me. May this day go well in all particulars. Be with me as I walk through this day. Help me to make the right decisions, the ones that are in Your Will. Don’t let me go off on tangents, making decisions that aren’t appropriate to the situation. May I read Your desires accurately today, for I know that Your Will and my real will are identical.

Thank You for the spectacular promise of this day. I do not have to rely on external sources, but I only need to turn inward to You and the Self that I am.

Amen.

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.

Wholly Give Up Attack

1 – Teacher = Holy Spirit

“But the Teacher Who knows the truth has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, being wholly devoid of attack. And therefore incapable of arousing guilt. (M71)”

2 – Answers

Here is a reason that the Holy Spirit, the “Teacher,” does so well in guiding us. His answers are totally devoid of attack. Our judgments, even when we are at our best, may have an edge of attack, often very subtle. Our judgments can even be passive-aggressive, in which we do not directly confront another, but we attack then subtly by kind words that are not really kind.

3 – Benefit

Note that the Teacher’s truth brings benefit to all. And that includes us as well. So we are not wrong to see a selfish motive to following this guidance. It helps us as well as our brothers and sisters.

4 – Ego

We cannot stress too often the need to give up attack in all its forms. Until we do, we are caught in the ego, for only the ego will attack. May we pray to be free of the machinations of the ego, and to turn to our Teacher in as many times as would be practical. Jesus does say elsewhere that we are not bade to ask the Holy Spirit’s advice constantly, as this is not practical. We are bade to ask for guidance in the mornings and again at night, and to turn to the Holy Spirit at other times that are propitious. Then our thoughts and actions will be well-placed.

5 – Inheritance

“To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned.”

6 – Be Practical

Here is another entreaty to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Moreover, we are given specific guidelines: Be practical, which means that we do not ask on a continual basis because that is not practical.

7 – Guidance

Our true inheritance is to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. An inheritance is a gift, a mighty gift. We are encouraged to realize the blessing that God has bestowed on us by giving us such a Helper.

8 – Often Turn

The more often we turn to the Holy Spirit, with a willing mind and heart, the more He can do for us. This does not negate the practical, but turning to Him as a matter of course becomes habitual the farther along the pathway of the Course we go.

9 – Wisdom

“If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it. Prepare for this each morning, remember God when you can throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit’s help when it is feasible to do so, and thank Him for His guidance at night. And your confidence will be well founded indeed. (M71)”

10 – Ask

This passage outlines the way in which Jesus would have us respond to the Holy Spirit. Ask in the morning, turn to God during the day, and thank Him at night for His guidance. We will then know the truth of these important words.

11 – More Egotistical

If we become more egotistical, which will happen from time to time, we can gauge our state of mind by how willing we are to be flexible about following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We will need to be flexible, because sometimes the guidance comes at the immediate point that we have begun to do something different.

12 – Happiness

Following guidance is the way to happiness in this world. And it is also our way Home.

13 – Heart Requests

“Never forget that the Holy Spirit does not depend on your words. He understands the requests of your heart, and answers them. Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you, He will respond with evil? Hardly! For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language. He understands that an attack is a call for help. And He responds with help accordingly. (M71)”

14 – Reassuring

A very reassuring passage (as are so many in the Course), these words assure us that the better “thoughts” of our heart will be what the Holy Spirit listens and responds to. We may ask for what may hurt us, but God will protect us from such false dreams. The Holy Spirit knows what the Self really wants, and this Self is the larger life that we have beyond this world.

15 – Attack = Call for Help

This passage repeats the oft-given truth that an attack is a call for help. This explains what we may already realize from other passages: that our brothers and sisters are only asking for help when they attack. The same holds true for ourselves as well. Attack is never what it seems. Attack asks that we rush to the side of the offending party, and give whatever sort of help seems called for. Once we take this truth to heart, we will never view our brothers and sisters the same. We have no reason to become angry when we are the brunt of an attack. Our brothers and sisters always just want our help, however disguised the request comes to us.

16 – Welcome the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit always helps us. He does not intrude, but once we have made Him welcome, He will be there for us. The most important aspect is our flexibility is following His guidance. He does not frequently give advice unsolicited or even too far in advance; that is why we must be ready and even eager to “turn on a dime.” When we follow guidance consistently, we open the way to a glorious world, the real world, that is far beyond anything that this prosaic world seems to offer us.

17 – Cruel?

“God would be cruel if He let your words replace His Own. A loving father does not let his child harm himself, or choose his own destruction. He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still. And how much more than this does your Father love His Son? (M71)”

18 – No Answer?

This passage seems to suggest the real reason that we sometimes think that we do not receive answers to our prayers. The Course makes clear that we are always answered in our best interests, and our prayers may have asked for something that, in the long run, would be to our detriment.

19 – Friend

The Holy Spirit, just like Jesus, is our Friend. He will protect us in this sometimes chaotic world. We have only to offer Him the slightest nod in His direction, and He tells us where to step next.

20 – God

God is our Father/Mother. He, like an earthly father (normally), wants only the best for us, His children. He will protect us by sending the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to help us make our way in this world. Then we will know the blessings that are truly intended for us. We must pray for solutions to our difficulties. We will not be disappointed, though God’s timetable in answering may not be our own.

21 – Immediately

“Ask all things of His Teacher, and all things are given you. Not in the future but immediately; now. (M71)”

22 – Helpful

This passage is incredibly helpful. We receive answers immediately to our questions and to our prayers. “Now” may not be recognized by us, though. We may not hear the Answer that we are expecting, leading us to believe that we are not heard at all. But we are.

23 – Go Within

When answers do not seem to come immediately, go within. Get calm and relaxed, or, as the Course says, “perfectly calm and quiet.” Ask why there seems to be a delay. And you will be told. The answer will present itself. If you are very upset, you may not be able to hear the response immediately. Pray diligently, and then quietly go about your life. When you are quiet within, the Answer will appear. This is an assurance that this passage gives.

24 – Frame of Mind

The fact that the answer is given “now” does not necessarily mean that we are in the frame of mind that can hear that answer. Be patient with yourself. We are not without limitations in this world (a Course concept). Know in your deepest heart that the Answer you are seeking has been given, and in time, usually soon, the Answer will appear spontaneously in your mind and heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to give up attack. If I cannot reach this ultimate good, may I reach for love as long as I possibly can. Only love is the way of the saved.

Be with me throughout the day today. I know that I feel better when I have loved rather than attacked. This is evidence that Your way is right for me.

Amen.