Tag Archives: workbook lesson

Experiencing Deep Love Eliminates Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 199 – for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.”

“The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked.  Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind, because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter in a mind that has attached itself to love.  It rests in God.  And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves.  (WB382)”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven on Earth

If we could live the way in which the quoted passage, above, says, we would go a long way toward having Heaven on earth.  Were it not for our mistakes and our habits of long-standing, we would be able to live this wondrous way.  A Course in Miracles presents an idealized way of living, and many of us are not able to live up to its many wonderful promises.  But we can begin each day, and end each day, with time for contemplation of ACIM, our meditations, and these will reform long-standing errors.  ACIM can heal a neurotic through Jesus’s guidance.

2 – Choose Not to Be Afraid

May we live the Source of love today.  We need to determine that we will leave fear behind, to determine that we do not choose to be afraid ever again.  We will in all likelihood not succeed in the beginning, but we can, with God’s help, keep trying.  And that is all He asks.

3 – Serving the Holy Spirit

Serving the Holy Spirit means that we will follow the guidance that comes to us.  It may be by intuition (a likely response), an inner knowing that seems deeper than simply intuition, an interior word from the Holy Spirit, prayer, contemplation, meditation, writing in a journal to solutions, and so forth.  We do not know the many ways that the Holy Spirit can guide us.  But if we are open to His prompting, our lives will transform in ways that seemed impossible only yesterday.  Time is in Jesus’s hands (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose love, and gratitude for my many blessings in a strong way to choose love.  Help me to know that being grateful does enhance my feelings of love.  And choosing love over anger is always a blessing.  I would eliminate anger from my repertoire of emotions sooner rather than later.

Thank You for the guidance that I received yesterday in my realization that something might arise that would cause anger.  I decided to leave the room.  As it turned out, I could not easily do so, but still, remembering what I had decided kept me quite and self-contained.  This in itself is a tremendous blessing.

Now, again today, as the day has started well–help me.  May the day go well for all its hours.  And may I always be thankful for the many blessings that You have given me, and for the many blessings that You have given all of my brothers and sisters in this world.

Amen.

Only My Own Forgiveness Sets Me Free

ACIM Workbook Lesson 198 – for Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Affirmation:  “Only my condemnation injures me.”

“Only my condemnation injures me.
Only my own forgiveness sets me free.

“Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought.  Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.  (WB380)”

Reflections:

1 – Assertion of Great Importance

Here is an assertion of great importance, but particularly easy to overlook within the scope of A Course in Miracles:  no form of suffering or pain that the lack of forgiveness has not caused and that a gesture of forgiveness cannot heal.  Here we are indeed set free from our moments of suffering and pain!  What a glorious affirmation this is!

2 – Be Willing to Forgive

It does not mean that we will forever be free of suffering and pain, for we are human and we still make mistakes.  But we have in our power the will to reduce those moments by quite a bit with our willingness to forgive, and our unwillingness to indulge our ego’s bent toward unforgiving thoughts.

3 – We Have Chosen

Our ego would have us to blame others, and in so doing to find things that seem unforgivable, for have not we been hurt by the words and actions of others?  But ACIM says that we are responsible for what we see, that we have chosen what we experience.  This is an definite statement in ACIM that brooks no exceptions.  We find it hard to believe only because we are still caught in ego games.

4 – Our Will to Forgive

Think for a moment what power our will to forgive has in it!  We can choose to forgive, and, if this comes hard, we can commune with God until it comes easy.  We are not pawns in some cosmic joke; we can effect chance in the world that we experience.  May we change that world for the better today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forgive easily today, if You help me.  I would not engage in any attack, for I love the people who surround me.  May I see that anger is a ploy of the ego.  May I know that my forgiveness will free me.

If anger arises, may I just leave the room.  A short timeout is all that may be needed.  I ask You to help me if the day turns tense, if stress enters.  And does stress not enter, from time to time, for all of us?

Be with me closely today.  I feel vulnerable to anger, because yesterday was a very busy day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Forsake Attack / Find Gratitude

ACIM Workbook Lesson 197 – for Monday, July 16, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “It can be but my gratitude I earn.”

“God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself.  And what belongs to God must be His Own.  Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.  (WB377)”

Reflections:

1 – Attack / Forgiveness

As long as attack is attractive to us, we will need to turn again and again to forgiveness so that we get back on the right track.  And who among us can say that we never have the urge to attack (usually verbally), or that we never feel anger?  These are very human characteristics.  After all, think of Jesus in the temple with the moneychangers, as depicted in the New Testament.

2 – God Does Not Condemn

When we have made progress toward leaving attack behind, we will know the love that is described in today’s Workbook lesson.  We will know that God does not condemn, and we will know that our best action is also not to condemn–even when we don’t recognize that there has just been a mistake that can be rectified by forgiveness.  Remember the illusion in which we live.  The Self is never hurt–only the “little,” personal self.  And we would not take offense at a brother or sister who is having a hard time and takes it out on us.  We need to be bigger than that.

3 – Very Human Traits

All of this is not easy.  We carry these human traits, many from childhood and brought on by the insane ego.  Most of us have not completely relinquished the ego, and so we are more prone to take offense easily.

4 – Harmony

We need to do what we can to bring more love into our lives.  Do we not sense the harmony that can be ours when we choose the word or deed that comes from love rather than attack?

5 – God = Love

Let us today ask for the grace to live our lives in love, or in Love.  For God is Love, as the Scriptures tell us, and now as borne out by A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reminding me that attack has no place in the group of reactions that we would have in this world.  Attack always blinds us to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and attack also hurts our brothers and sisters.  We need the harmony that Love (God) and love (Awakening or Christ-consciousness) can effect in our lives.  May I ask for that harmony to be mine today.  I realize that this may be a daily prayer, for I do not know when I will be ready for You to reach down and awaken me.

Thank You for being here for me.  The day has been good so far, and always a day goes better when the morning is good.  You know that I am not a morning person, though I get up and start the day at a relatively early hour.  You know that I need structure to my day, to make that day be devoted to the pathway that You point out to me.  Thank You for guiding my decisions, so that the little decisions that the Holy Spirit gives me, moment-by-moment, are heeded.

I am grateful for the blessing of Your Love.  May I never forget my indebtedness to You.  And may I never forget how much You love me.

Amen.

Dreary, Hopeless Thoughts = Hell

ACIM Workbook Lesson 196 – for Sunday, July 15, 2012

Affirmation:  “It can be but myself I crucify.”

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?  (WB374)”

Reflections:

1 – Fear of God = Hell

So the fear of God is hell!  Elsewhere Jesus says also that “guilt” is hell.  And so it seems that our own guilt at our presumed misdeeds and bad thoughts has made us fear God’s retribution, and therefore we have experienced hell on earth.  (And, if the truth be told, we have spent part of our lives, at least, fearing hell after death.)

2 – God Never Condemns

God never condemns, and so He does not need to forgive us for our thoughts and actions.  This is a sticking point for many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles, because we cannot seem to get out of our minds a God Who may have created part of the pain and suffering in our world, or at least ought to do something about it!  These thoughts misdirect our minds.  God neither created pain and suffering, but we, in a “tiny, mad idea” thought that we separated from Him, and we entered a world, built up by us, that is insanity.  And in an insane world there is pain and suffering.

3 – A Way Out

Is there a way out that we can take beginning today?

4 – Get the Madness Out

Yes, there is a way out.  And we need only learn as a student the precepts of ACIM, and, with our minds losing some of its insanity, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook) can attract to ourselves a much better living experience.  These are benign dreams that some would say we have used through the “law of attraction” (a tenet of a bestseller entitled The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne).  But we too want more than the materialistic if we are to be happy.  The altruistic ideas of God will inform a world in much stronger terms than simply an improvement in our material conditions.  And, for the intangibles of God, we turn to our Guide, the Holy Spirit–or the Christ-consciousness within (if we have traveled this far on the pathway back home).  (The concept of Christ-consciousness is described in A Course of Love, believed by some to be a sequel to ACIM and also channeled by Jesus.)

5 – We Are Out Own Worst Enemy

So let us cease aiding and abetting our own hell on earth. We have taught ourselves the unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator (an ACIM tenet), and we have reaped the lamentable result in our world.  Let us turn today to a different way of living, and find our way home in God with all of its attendant joys.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I think that most of us have found ways to be happy, and some of our unhappy moments are when we forget to put into practice what we already know.  Certainly our depressed thoughts do constitute a hell outside of You.  We can get medical help, and we can turn to A Course in Miracles, to prayer, to friends and family, to writing in a journal; there clearly are limitless ways that may have helped in the past.  

Thank You for the good day that I am having.  But the day did not start in a promising way, because I felt sleepy and wanted just to nod off again.  Jesus would not have us to withdraw, as he says in ACIM.  And when I began writing (one of my solutions), everything turned around.  Then I visited my mother at her retirement community, and that gesture took me out of myself.  Thank You for the good day that this has turned out to be.

May my brothers and sisters be cheered by something today, if anyone is feeling down.  May we help each other, if by no other way that good thought vibes.

Amen.

Rest Untroubled / Gently Reassured

ACIM Workbook Lesson 194 – for Friday, July 13, 2012

Affirmation:  “I place the future in the Hands of God.”
“Now are we saved indeed.  For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us.  If we forget, we will be gently reassured.  If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love’s reflection.  And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind.  No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.  (WB371)”

Reflections:

1 – Euphoria vs. Dejection

I do not think that we often think of the world as our “enemy.”  But it is quite possible that, as Jesus says, this is a legitimate way to think of the what we have made the world to be for ourselves.  Driven by the ego, and with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenet), we find ourselves alternating euphoria (when the ego has “won”) and dejection (when the ego has been deflated).  If the ego were sane, we would never be in this predicament.  But living with our ego has driven our own minds to madness.  And this Jesus would not have for us.

2 – How Do We Get the Madness Out?

How do we get the madness out?  A frontal assault on the ego will not work, as the ego would just go underground, where its machinations would continue–disturbing our peace of mind and giving us bad dreams in a reality that is not truly “real.”  We simply are bidden to turn aside from the ego’s promptings, and often this may be seen by us as those things to which egotistical desire is a motivation.  We turn aside the ego’s promptings gently, because the ego is strong in strife (an ACIM tenet).

3 – A Different Way to Live

Does this turning aside from the ego seem a hopelessly impossible task?  If so, try to learn a different way to live, the way outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Try to give over attack, judgment, and planning that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit to a Higher Power.  This Higher Power is, in fact, the Holy Spirit, and He will come to our call.  Jesus promises the same, i.e., to come in respond to “one unequivocal call” (ACIM quotation).

4 – We Need Help

We need help.  It is the ego that thinks this makes us less, to admit our defeat in trying to live by the ego’s dictates.  But it is the wisest reasoning, and it is a reasoning that is inspired by intuition, one of the primary ways that our Guide (the Holy Spirit) speaks to us.  We will find, as time goes by, that turning on a dime, when we receive prompting is a very freeing way to live.  We may not know what will come afterward, but we do learn, through this method, the next right step.

5 – The Next Right Step

And knowing that next right step makes all the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the fact that currently my life is going smoothly.  Everyone has difficulties from time to time, and I would stay in touch with You during the easy times as well as the problems.  Thank You that all in my immediate circle are emotionally and physically well.  Thank You that I am emotionally and physically well.  May my brothers and sisters whom I do not know move into this certain realm, where You are there and all is well.

Be with us throughout the day.  Thank You specifically for this Workbook lesson, one that is so reassuring and compels peace to enter our minds and hearts.  Be with us today to keep serene in the midst of the ordinary path that we walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Stab of Anger

ACIM Workbook Lesson 192 – for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Affirmation:  “I have a function God would have me fill.”

 

“Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.  (WB366)”

Reflections:

1 – See the Sword Averted

A very important passage, this lesson for today is telling us what we must do when we feel a stab of anger.  And who among us does not still feel anger, even if one believes himself/herself to be enlightened?

2 – Stress and the “Pain Body”

We are likely to be stressed at the time that we seem most out of control.  As Eckhart Tolle would say, our “pain body” is in the ascendancy, and we want pain at any and all costs.  We are not in our right mind; we are even more insane than the usual.

3 – The Ego = Strong in Conflict

If we can realize that averting the sword above one’s head actually makes us free, we might be more inclined to follow this passage when the daily pathway turns grim.  We want to be free, but we cannot be free if we are caught by anger and attack, for the ego is strong in conflict (paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Temptations to Anger

Our brothers and sisters who tempt us to anger are actually doing us a favor, for without their input, we would not be inclined to choose the good more often than the bad.  They, in turn, are merely asking for help at such times.  A brother or sister who attacks is calling for help, and the only sane response is to rush to his/her side with that help.  We must be reasonable, and ACIM does not counsel doing anything that will escalate the conflict.  If we are in danger, bodily or mentally, it would be wise to act later on, when the heat is out of the moment.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

5 – Venting and Our Anger

Do we really owe our brother or sister thanks for the stab of anger that his/her venting has elicited?  According to ACIM, we do.  We can recognize that we will not likely ever be free of moments of being tempted into anger, but we can fly into a great calm rather than into a great fury.

6 – This Lesson for Today

Making that choice is what today’s Workbook lesson is all about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to be free of stabs of anger.  If my brother or sister tempts me to anger, help me to turn aside from attacking verbally.  Help me to realize that in all likelihood, this brother or sister is stressed, and I have been there, throughout my lifetime, many times.  I would want someone to forgive me when I am letting Eckhart’s “pain body” rise to ascendancy.  May we all pray today that our pain bodies will be released, and that we will enjoy the peace and harmony that You want for us above all else.

Be with me as I walk the pathway to You today.

May I take a timeout, leaving the room temporarily, if my temper is threatening to get the best of me.  It is actually the “worst” of me.  And I would not indulge my ego today by venting when I am stressed.  And I don’t get angry unless I am stressed.

May my brothers and sisters adopt what coping mechanisms they find most useful in avoiding anger and attack.

Thank You.

Amen.

What You Feel Within = What You See Without

ACIM Workbook Lesson 189 – for Sunday, July 8, 2012

Affirmation:  “I feel the Love of God within me now.”

 

“What would you see?  The choice is given you.  But learn and do not let your mind forget this law of seeing:  You will look upon that which you feel within.  If hatred finds a place within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world, held cruelly in death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers.  If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and of love.  (WB359)”

Reflections:

1 – A Lovely Passage

What a lovely passage from the Workbook!  And the images are so profound.

2 – Fear = Hatred

If we have ever lived in fear, perhaps we have not realized that hatred has found a place within our heart.  Perhaps this seems too harsh.  But Jesus frequently equates attack with hate (in other places in ACIM); he goes the whole distance in categorizing our emotions.  Jesus does not see lukewarm emotions, indicating to us elsewhere that a hint of irritation is the same as intense fury (separated from us only by a veil).

3 – Not Always Fearful

We do not always see a fearful world.  So we are not always caught by the hatred (and attack) that the ego would foster.

4 – The Love of God Within

We see a world of mercy and of love, perhaps increasingly so as our study of A Course in Miracles proceeds.  According to the passage for today, this sight means that we are feeling the Love of God within.  What a blessing this is!

5 – A World of Mercy and of Love

We would not view “death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers.”  We would see a world of mercy and of love.  Let us go forth today to see Love wherever we are, and if someone else seems to attack us, let us remember that he or she is really calling for help (an ACIM tenet), and may we give help accordingly.  This is the way that Love works.  And it is our holy relationships that will carry us home to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see a world today of mercy and of love.  I would feel within the love that You wish for me to feel.  And I know that when I feel that inward love, then the world that is externally is very different, very much better.  Thank You for helping me to reach this understanding.

This workbook lesson teaches me what is repeatedly said in A Course in Miracles:  projection makes perceptions.  May I project from a mind and heart that is rooted in love, and by so doing to see a world that is beautiful.  I know that the suffering in this world is actually illusory, but let this understanding in no way detract from the compassion that I would feel for others.

Be wtih me today as I walk through my world.  May my words be sweet, my demeanor graceful.  I would be the person today that You wish for me to be.  May I reach out to my brothers and sisters with the help that You know that I am suited to give.  But may I never try to overreach, to help when I am being an unhealed healer.

Amen.

Why Wait for Heaven?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 188 – for Saturday, July 7, 2012

Affirmation:  “The peace of God is shining in me now.”

“Why wait for Heaven?  Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.  The light is in them now.  Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.  Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well.  The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own.  It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your source.  It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.  (WB357)”

Reflections:

1 – Are Our Present Lives Unreal?

The most welcome opening sentences of the passage for today lend an unreal aspect to our mundane lives.  Can it truly be that we are missing out on Heaven on earth because we are covering our eyes from the light that would show us Heaven?

2 – Enlightenment

Importantly, we see the way to Enlightenment (also called Awakening in ACIM) pointed out in this passage as well.  We “recognize,” but we are not miraculously changed.  Our personalities remain the same.  And A Course of Love (perhaps a sequel to A Course in Miracles) says that we do not have to be perfect to experience this change.  We need only to make the decision for those imperfect things (or things that we deem to be imperfect) be eliminated from our emotional make-up, and they will be gone.  Throughout ACIM we are told that our minds make our experience of this world.  In A Course of Love, we are told that wholeheartedness is the aim toward which we are now ready to point.  This is a blend of mind and heart, for the heart knows blessings and understands concepts (intuitively) that the mind can never know.

3 – End of the Journey

When we have taken the steps outlined in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we will be at home in God.  The end of the journey that never began is at hand.  May this blessing come sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk ever closer to You and ever-closer to Christ-consciousness.  I would not do so in arrogance, but in true humility and with the Authority that You give me.  You are the Source.  May I never forget that.

Be with me today through the sometimes lonely road that we all walk.  May I find my friends there for me today, and especially may I find my significant others there for me.

Help us to help each other, as Jesus would certainly proscribe.

Amen.

Finding Happiness and Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 92 – for Monday, April 2, 2012

Affirmation:  “Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.”

Selected Passage:

“Truth is a savior and can only will for happiness and peace for everyone.  It gives its strength to everyone who asks, in limitless supply.  It sees that lack in anyone would be a lack in all.  And so it gives its light that all may see and benefit as one.  It strength is shared, that it may bring to all the miracle in which they will unite in purpose and forgiveness and in love.  (WB159-160)”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

We sometimes have trouble with the concept of truth, for we know that our own interpretations intervene, sometimes leading us to false assumptions.  Truth frequently seems to be all interpretation, and actually, when we have guidance, it is not all interpretation.  Truth, rightfully understood, leads to happiness and peace, and which of us does not want this boon?

2 – Share with Others

We are here encouraged to share in unity with our brothers and sisters, a tenet that is shared by the later A Course of Love (Note:  See “About” section of this blog).  When we share in unity, a miracle comes easily.  We no longer seem to be alone and abandoned by God; He is with us, because we are with Him.

3 – We Must Be United

We who are to save the world must be united, if we are to succeed.  There are many different curricula, but ours is A Course in Miracles (and perhaps the volumes seen by some as a sequel by Jesus, A Course of Love).  It would not do for us to try out many different pathways, though many of us have done just that over the years.  Why choose, again and again, when ours has been given to us (a Text tenet)?  We will have the strength to succeed in our endeavors when we turn to guidance of the Holy Spirit, following Jesus, who holds our hand as we walk along (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know happiness and peace today.  I would stand united with my brothers and sisters in the endeavor which we are undertaking to bring salvation to a troubled world.  I would not proselytize, though, for I do not wish to turn off others when they are not ready.  Help me to make the correct discernment about the readiness of others, before I share anything about God with them.

Be with all of us today to lead us to a good day.  May our blessings reassure us that You have always been there for us.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without.  May the knowledge that You bring to me cleanse my perceptions, so that the projections that lead to my perceptions do not lead me astray.

Thank You.

Amen.

Enjoying Comfort in Living

ACIM Workbook Lesson 90 – for Saturday, March 31, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

Selected Passage:

“The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle.  And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance, and my welcome of the miracle that takes its place.  (WB155)”

Reflections:

This lesson builds on the one for yesterday.  Yes, all problems are forms of grievances, or we would not perceive them as problems at all.  Our problems can be solved, and solved this very day.  Sometimes the best solution is internal, and no external matter has to change at all for the blessing to come down upon us.

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

Selected Passage:

“I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence.  That is because I do not yet realize that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time.  The Holy Spirit will teach me this, if I will let Him.  And I will understand it is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already.  (WB155)”

Reflections:

This passage may sound utopian, too unrealistic to be believed.  But there are many things in ACIM that sound too good to be true.  Be patient a bit, and study, and see how the Holy Spirit brings the happy dreams (an ACIM tenet).  We think our problems are real, but we live in illusion, and therefore no problem at all is truly “real.”  A careful study of the passage selected for today will prove to be comforting in the extreme.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a comforting day today, and to have this comforting day, all that is needed is to turn to You.  You will replace my grievances with the forgiveness that I need to give all, and then this becomes the miracle that I need.  I need Your miracles, and I thank You for so generously offering them to me.

Be with us today as we go about our world.  I know that the real world is something different from the illusions that I look upon.  I would clear my mind and spirit of illusions, and let my heart take over to provide solutions to all that I view as problems.  Be with me today, in Your comfort.

Amen.

Salvation = A Decision Made Already

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

 

Affirmation:  “The light has come.”

Selected Passage:

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

Reflections:

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

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

Selected Passage:

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

Reflections:

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

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

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

Amen.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

ACIM Workbook Lesson 87 – for Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Affirmation:  “I will there be light.”

Selected Passage:

“I will use the power of my will today.  It is not my will to grope about in darkness, fearful of shadows and afraid of things unseen and unreal.  Light shall be my guide today.  I will follow it where it leads me, and I will look only on what it shows me.  This day I will experience the peace of true perception.  (WB152)”

Reflections:

True perception is a gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that gives us happy dreams.  And true perception can and does lead ultimately to knowledge.  We can use the power of our will to will today that we see in light.  This is a metaphorical way of speaking, but its intent is clear to even very early students of A Course in Miracles.  We know when we are groping in darkness, in the negative emotions, and we would change all of that to sometimes much more positive.  ACIM will teach us how to make that change.

Affirmation:  “There is no will but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“I am safe today because there is no will but God’s.  I can become afraid only when I believe there is another will.  I try to attack only when I am afraid, and only when I try to attack can I believe that my eternal safety is threatened.  Today I will recognize that all this has not occurred.  I am safe because there is no will but God’s.  (WB152)”

Reflections:

One does attack only when one is afraid.  Knowing this, how can we not forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters?  Attack is the misguided way that we ask for help.  It is the opposite of giving help.  And we must give help, sometimes in very subtle ways, if we would know the best way to live.  If an overt display of help would not be well-received by someone who is attacking us, let us back off.  But we can give what we are led by guidance to give.  And sometimes we can simply wait for a better moment to make our gift to ourselves as well as to others.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for an easy day today.  Perhaps this is not a realistic prayer, but it is one that feels right to me now.  I need some solace, some happy dreams.  I am on the verge of experiencing too much stress.  May my perceptions change so that I am at peace.  May You walk with me throughout this day, and may I be conscious of Your presence.

This time I am afraid of my own reactions.  Being stressed puts me at odds with Your peace, and I would not be at odds with Your peace.  Help me to lie low today as I regain my equilibrium.  This day I devote to You.  This day I will seek, in as many moments as I can, Your peace above my ego-oriented propensity to be right.

Keep me from knit-picking.  I would be tolerant of all whom I encounter.  I would seek for their happiness every bit as much as I seek for mine.  Give me Your guidance as I seek to maneuver through the mines of an uncertain world.

Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

Overcoming Grievances, Hate, and Resentment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 85 – for Monday, March 26, 2012

Affirmation:  “My grievances hide the light of the world in me.”

 

Selected Passage:

“To see, I must lay grievances aside.  I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

To see is to have vision, the understanding that is afforded us by the Holy Spirit.  And to see aright, we must leave our grievances behind.  Other words (not stated in ACIM, but suggested by a close reading) that would be akin to “grievances” would be resentment and hate.  These dark emotions will preclude our seeing aright.  And we must see aright if we are to bring salvation to our brothers and sisters in this world.

Affirmation:  “My salvation comes from me.”

Selected Passage:

“Today I will recognize where my salvation is.  It is in me because its Source is there.  It has not left its Source, and so it cannot have left my mind.  I will not look for it outside myself.  It is not found outside and then brought in.  But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

The passage quoted above is a theoretical look at one of the more practical aspects of A Course in Miracles.  For those of us who are drawn to the theoretical, we will find much to ponder in this passage.  God is within.  There is nothing outside ourselves (a Text tenet).  We project, and then we perceive the external to ourselves.  But when we recognize that God speaks to us from within, we can know what is meant by the lesson for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave all my grievances, even the tiny ones, behind me today.  When I don’t collect grievances, I am not prone to attack verbally.  Thank You for this insight.  It is akin to the insight, also given by you, that I am not prone to attack unless I am stressed.  I would live in Your peace today, and I would not collect grievances nor invite stress.

Help me today when the stress seems to be too much.  All manner of problems will develop unless I take a time-out and pray.  Help me to remember You when it counts most.  I would live in Your peace.  That is all that I really need to think about as the day unfolds.

Thank You for being there for me.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without–that I am projecting the world, just as are my brothers and sisters in this world.  May we find each other a help in our journey back to You, never a hindrance.  If anybody attempts to bait me today, let me know that I am seeing amiss, and a few moments of quiet, solitary time will set my perceptions aright again.

Amen.

The Nature of Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 84 – for Sunday, March 25, 2012

Affirmation:  “Love created me like Itself.”

Selected Passage:

“I am in the likeness of my Creator.  Love created me like Itself.  (WB149)”

Reflections:

We are meant to be creatures of Love.  This lesson echoes biblical teaching:   made in the image and likeness of the Creator.  And we were taught, long before ACIM was given, that God is Love.  May we assume the mantle of Love today.  This does not make us equal to God, though ultimately we are meant to be co-creators with Him.  He created us; we did not create ourselves (an ACIM tenet).  We are told in ACIM that we are particularly apt to forget this distinction when we are being egotistical.

Affirmation:  “Love holds no grievances.”

Selected Passage:

“Grievances are completely alien to love.  Grievances attack love and keep its light obscure.  If I hold grievances I am attacking love, and therefore attacking my Self.  My Self thus becomes alien to me.  I am determined not to attack my Self today, so that I can remember Who I am.  (WB149)”

Reflections:

This passage is a strong motivator, almost in selfish terms (though not intended to make us selfish).  We would give up grievances so that we do not attack our Self.  We can have no peace, of course, when we are unloving to our Self.  This is reminiscent of the biblical teaching to love thy neighbor as thyself.  If one does not love one’s self, then it is impossible to love our brothers and sisters.  But this directive is in direct contradiction to the kind of love of self that the ego encourages.  We would do well to remember this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand this lesson.  What is Love?  Are You the Love Whom I am like?

I would believe so.  And help me to absorb this great blessing.

I would not hold grievances today.  I would know that I am perfectly safe.  Thank You for this reassurance.

Amen.

God Will Listen

ACIM Workbook Lesson 358 – for Saturday, December 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “No call to God can be unheard nor left
        Unanswered.  And of this I can be sure;
        His answer is the one I really want.”

“Let me not forget myself is no thing, but my Self is all.  (WB483)”

 

Reflections:

1 – The Christ Self

My Self is all, and that Self is the Christ Self.  Here we are coming into our own, the Self Whom God always intended us to be.  This is His answer to us in these final moments of the year.  We can come home to him as the Self we really are.

2 – Commune with God

Let us spend the rest of this reflection time in praying, in communing, with God for the glory that He means for us to have.  May we not say that we are unworthy, for this is the ego being arrogant.  God has prepared us.  It is only the ego that would say otherwise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray sincerely and with strong intent to know that You hear me.  I thank You for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but when I am deep in trouble, I want You.  And You are there.  You are within, and the Self that is part of You projects the world that I see outside myself.  This gets into mysteries that I do not pretend to understand, but I have hints from You.  My mind is too small to comprehend all of Your magnificence.

Be with me today.  I need to pray by writing, or by saying words aloud.  Sometimes when I speak internally, I regret that my mind wanders.  Be with me today, and with my thoughts, to keep my thoughts on track.  I would not neglect You by my own shortcomings in concentration.

Thank You for this year spent with the Workbook.  Thank You for what You and the Holy Spirit, not to mention Jesus, have taught me.  I would choose to put into effect in the New Year all that You have taught me.  I realize that I will not always succeed with my resolutions, but I trust that You will be there to keep me walking along the pathway to You.

Thank You for your comfort today.

Amen.

Christ = the Self We Are Meant to Share

ACIM Workbook Lesson 354 – for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “We stand together, Christ and I, in peace


And certainty of purpose.  And in Him
Is His Creator, as He is in me.”

“For who is Christ except Your Son as You created Him?  And what am I except the Christ in me?  (WB481)”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of the Christ

Here is a further amplification of what “Christ” actually means.  He is the Self that we all embody in our essence.  We are still as God created us.  We only think that we ever separated from Him.  And in the lack of separation, we find the Christ/Self whom we are.

2 – Be at Peace

We are at peace when we have remembered these truths.  We do not have to rely only upon the personal self, the little self which has all too often been informed by the ego.  We can rely on the Voice that God gave in Answer to the separation, the Holy Spirit.  And we have one purpose with the fullest understanding of the term “Christ.”  We have certainty of purpose in furthering salvation.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

Our Creator is within.  We project the world that we see.  There is nothing outside of us, and that is what we must ultimately learn (Text tenets).  May we turn to our Creator, our God, within, whenever we are perplexed.  We do not have to remain in doubts.  The solution is always with the problem.  Not ultimately, but right now.  It, practically, may take awhile for the truth of  a solution to dawn upon our deluded minds.  But dawn it will, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would turn inward today, constantly listening to the guidance of the Guide that You gave me.  I would have a good day, knowing that my intention does make some difference in the way things turn out.  Be with me today as I share my day with my brothers and sisters.  Help me to know when to reach out and when to refrain.  May I make no overtures that are unwelcome, but may I not hesitate to make overtures that I sense may be welcome.

Help me to understand what my real Self, the Christ within, really means.  I know that my little personal self may not comprehend fully, but guide me gently to a fuller understanding of all that You intend us to know on this plane.  

Be with my significant others, those nearby and those at a distance, those I have contacted recently and those I wish to contact but hesitate to do so.  May all I have ever encountered be aware of the love that surrounds all of us when we turn inwardly to You.

Amen.

Judgment and Love Are Opposites

ACIM Workbook Lesson 352 – for Sunday, December 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “Judgment and love are opposites.  From one
Come all the sorrows of the world.  But from
The other comes the peace of God Himself.”

“You have not left me comfortless.  I have within me both the memory of You, and One Who leads me to it.  (WB480)”

Reflections:

1 – Love / Don’t Judge

We do not really want to judge.  We do really want to love.

2 – Love vs. Judgment

The experience of love brings great boons, even in this world.  The experience of judgment brings only sorrow.  It is as though we pointed our index finger at another, and three other fingers on the same hand are pointed back at us.  We indict ourselves when we judge another.  We cannot know all that each individual, each brother or sister, is going through.  We need to give slack, just as we ourselves would want the same.  We forgive, and we find that same forgiveness flowing back toward us.  The three fingers pointed back at us then offer comfort.

3 – Finding Comfort

We have the memory of God within, and we have access to His Voice (the Holy Spirit).  This dual gift is unbeatable.  We cannot lose, when we turn inwardly to the memory of God and the Voice that guides us.  We have comfort.  Much comfort.  And we are well on our way to being at home with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel Your peace today.   And I would feel the comfort that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, provides to all who turn to Him.  May i not forget today that Your Guide is always true.

I would not judge.  If I am tempted to do so, i will remember that any attack or display of anger is actually a call for help and love.  And I will ask, inwardly, if there is something that I can do to render my view of this situation more in line with Your own.

I would love today.  I sometimes realize that the feeling of expressing love is an attribute of my real Self, the inner Self that has not believed in separation.  I would remember this truth today.

Be with me as I seek to find You often today.  You are always there, and please never let me forget this.

Amen.

I Was Born into This World but to Achieve This Day

ACIM Workbook Lesson 340 – for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “I can be free of suffering today.”

“Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring.  This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed.  His suffering is done.  For he will hear Your Voice directing him to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and be free forever from all suffering.  Thanks for today, my Father.  I was born into this world but to achieve this day, and what it holds in joy and freedom for Your holy Son and for the world he made, which is released along with him today.  (WB472)”

Reflections:

1 – A Holy Day

This is a holy day, according to our lesson from the Workbook.  It promises that, through our forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters, we will live in a personal world from which suffering is absent.  Note that this does not say that we will never experience pain, but we know from the Text that pain is not necessary.  We do not have to learn through pain; rewards as a way to learn are more lasting.

2 – A Pipe Dream?

Does this seem to us to be pipe dream?  Perhaps.  Certainly we need only turn on the radio and catch the news broadcast, or read the world news on the web or in a newspaper, to know that all is decidedly not well in this world.  But we can look at these things, and make one judgment in line with the Holy Spirit:  This that I see is unreal (from ACIM).  Then we are made ready to project another way from our inner world.  We can project an experience for ourselves that does not hold suffering, even if it should, from time to time, hold pain.  In this world we are not to be without limitations (an ACIM tenet), but we will be given the grace to rise above them.

3 – Project Good Dreams

Let us focus on this prayer to God.  We learn through following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who wills only good for us.  And when we follow that guidance, we are well on our pathway back to God.  We do not make our own misery.  We have moved beyond that vale of tears.  We learn to depend on guidance for all aspects of our lives, and following what the Voice for God says, we project only good dreams.  We accept life in all its fullness, even when pain is present, and so we do not add our lamentable rejection of that pain, making it suffering (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not get lost in pipe dreams today, but I would choose good dreams today and everyday.  Help me to realize anew that this wish is in line with Your desires for me.  And we will all know good dreams, happy dreams, until You reach down, metaphorically, and make this day the time that I am awakened by You.  I would wish for You to come sooner rather than later.  But I will be content to remain securely within Your timing.

May all of us project happy dreams.  Thank You for granting me the will to follow the Holy Spirit, and thereby to do my part in following Your will.  I would be flexible today, secure in Your love, ready to do Your bidding instantaneously.  Be with me so that this wish becomes a reality.

Thank You.

Amen.

I Will Receive Whatever I Request

ACIM Workbook Lesson 339 – for Monday, December 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will receive whatever I request.”

“Father, this is Your day. It is a day in which I would do nothing by myself, but hear Your Voice in everything I do; requesting only what You offer me, accepting only Thoughts You share with me.  (WB472)”

Reflections:

1 – Struggle No More

This is another logical progression in the Workbook from day to day, building on yesterday’s lesson.  If we trust enough to offer our problems to the One Solution, we will not only find the solutions to those things that perplex us, but we will find perfect solutions.  We need struggle no more.  If times seem hard, let us remember that there are always those who have it worse than we do, and some of these individuals have found a way to praise God in the midst of their troubles.  Trouble is not a respecter of persons.  It comes to the good and the “evil” alike.  But those who turn to the Holy Spirit for their solutions are not often kept defeated.  Their deliverance is sooner rather than later.

2 – The Holy Spirit = Voice

The Holy Spirit is the “Voice” meant in this prayer.  We deliver the day unto the Holy Inspiration, and then we thank God that His Answer is there for us.  Our gratitude is not demanded (an interpretation of ACIM, not stated therein), but we will out of the fullness of our heart want to offer that gratitude.  Gratitude thus becomes a means to express forgiveness of our previous misconceptions about this world and the people in it, especially our significant others, our “brother” (ACIM terminology).

3 – Solve Problems Quickly

Problems are meant to be solved, and solved quickly.  We do not need to cling to our fears about our daily sustenance in this world.  Certainly we remain concerned when we see ourselves and others hurting, and we would do what we can to heal the brokenness of which we all partake at various times in our lives.  But we who follow A Course in Miracles know some secrets that we need only share to those who are ready to listen.  Then the miracle becomes real in our own experience.  And God’s Voice has shown us the Way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I declare in my words and actions the emphasis that the Holy Spirit would bring to my day.  I would not make these decisions by myself, but I would commune with You and Your Voice, and I would offer the certainty that, when I hear aright, I will remain on the pathway that You smooth for me.  Today is no different from any other day.  I need You today just the same as always.  But I would make a special appeal to remain flexible as I walk throughout this day, struggling no more, knowing that You do not want me to struggle.  All too often, I know, struggle is of the ego and leads us away from the goal that You hold out to us–a home with You, reveling in Your felt presence.

Help me to realize that the struggle that seems so laudatory is anything but.  We are meant to commune with You, and then we are meant to accept Your Words, and then proceed peacefully and easily with our lives.  Anything else is an egoic dream, and I would not dream those dreams any longer.

Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  For others, there are other pathways; but for some of us, ACIM is the answer to so many of the questions that our minds have tried to solve.  May my mind be one with You today.

Amen.

Wholly Safe, Eternally at Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 328 – for Thursday, November 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “I choose the second place to gain the first.”

“There is no will but Yours.  And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be.  It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace.  And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.  (WB465)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will / A Puppet of God?

One of the great preoccupations of my early adult years, before I found A Course in Miracles when I was 34 years old, was the question of God’s will.  What did He want me to do with my life?  I pondered that one for literally years on end, writing in my journal and doing a lot of thinking.  I wondered if I determined what God’s will was, would I be a puppet of His?  If I don’t follow my own free will (which might be different, or so I thought), then what would I be except a puppet?

2 – The Will of God and Our Own = Identical

A Course in Miracles answers all these questions.  Jesus says that our real will and the Will of God–as imparted to us as guidance from the Holy Spirit–are actually identical.  The Holy Spirit lets us know what our real will is, and often we don’t know this until we accept His guidance.  We are so confused by the ego that we choose wrongly, and we suffer as a result.  But the Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He guides us into the smooth paths of harmony.  And all is well.

3 – We Near the End of the Workbook

By the time we reach this lesson, Lesson 328, we are well toward the end of the year spent with God in the Workbook for Students.  We are no longer imagining a result as dictated by the ego.  So the prayer above can say, “I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be.”  We would be wholly safe, eternally at peace.  And the only way to get there is through guidance that God encourages us to follow, from the Universal Inspiration, His Communicator to us.

4 – We Want What God Wants for Us

Now, if we have listened well and communed constantly with God, we will be ready to recognize that we do indeed, and happily, share the Will of God that He gave to us.  We want what He wants for us.  We know that this is all that we want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I regret that I spent so many years pondering what God’s wil might really mean.  Thank You for the answer in A Course in Miracles.  How could it be otherwise?  I am One with You, and though covered over by layers of egoic thinking, I know that my whole Self belongs to You.  So how could my real will and Your Will be different from each other?  You allow me to manifest in this world, and my Self encompasses the better individual that You still consider me to be.  You have never given up on me.  As ACIM says, I am as You created me.  Only in illusion have I fallen into the separation that is not really real.

Help me to retain these ideas today.  Thank You for this bit of theology.  If others do not find the theology compatible with their thinking, may they commune with You to get their own understanding, an understanding that may differ from my own.  Be with all of us today as we seek You once again.

Thank You that You did not create “puppets.”  That was always a false issue, and I am glad to leave that false idea behind me.  Be with me as I seek to grow ever more closely into the individual that You would have me manifest in this troubled world.

Amen.

I Will Not Use the Body’s Eyes Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson  270 – for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will not use the body’s eyes today.”

“How glorious and gracious is this world!  Yet how much more will I perceive in it than sight can give.  The world forgiven signifies Your Son acknowledges his Father, lets his dreams be brought to truth, and waits expectantly the one remaining instant more of time which ends forever, as Your memory returns to him.  (WB430)”

Reflections:

1 – May We Perceive the World Anew

This prayer is an insightful explanation of what will transpire when we perceive the world as we are meant to perceive it.  Our sight of the world, what our eyes light upon, is not all that will change.  We are acknowledging our relationship to God, our Father, and we are bringing our dreams (our illusions) to truth.  The final phrase in the prayer indicates the time of Awakening, as we “remember” God.  Nobody who has yet to experience this great blessing can truly understand all that its promise holds out to us.

2 – “The Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

We do express gratitude for a world seen anew, even when we are seeing it in the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook).  With a grateful heart, much that troubles us currently will just fall away.  Even if times are tough, our hearts will sing with praise, a praise that helps us, as well as others with whom we come in contact, more than God needs to hear it.  Jesus says in the Text that we hardly need to tell God how “wonderful” He is; God has no ego with which to accept such praise.  But we need to feel the attitude of gratefulness and praise.  We are more helped than even our brothers and sisters.

3 – May We See the World with New Eyes

May we walk today a pathway of peace.  May we see the world with new eyes.  Let us pray for that blessing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see the world anew today.  Nothing has to change for this change to be effected.  Only You know how this is done, but I know that it is Your Will that I do see anew.  Thank You.

I would be grateful for my many blessings.  All too often I focus on the few things that are wrong, ignoring the many that are right.  I would change that today; I would see only what is right and let what is wrong just wither away from lack of attention.  We can indeed make the world that we see, even while You create the real world for us to see shortly.  

Thank You for always being here for me.  Help me to aid my brothers and sisters in their “journey without distance” today.

Amen.

My Saviors = God’s Sons/Daughters

ACIM Workbook Lesson  266 – for Friday, September 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “My holy Self abides in you, God’s Son.”

“Father, You gave me all Your Sons, to be my saviors and my counselors in sight; the bearers of Your holy Voice to me.  In them are You reflected, and in them does Christ look back upon me from my Self.  Let not Your Son forget Your holy Name.  Let not Your Son forget his holy Source.  Let not Your Son forget his name is Yours.

“How many saviors God has given us!  How can we lose the way to Him, when He has filled the world with those who point to Him, and given us the sight to look on them?  (WB428)”

Reflections:

1 – Our Brothers and Sisters Are Our Saviors

My interpretation of the passage, including the prayer, is that our brothers and sisters are the saviors that Jesus means.  What a glorious promise this is!  We are certainly not in solitude in our world, and the real Self of the others is our lives mean only good for us.  Of course, we do not always recognize their well-meaning attitudes toward us; all too often, we are privy to the attack and anger that peoples a world run by egos.

2 – Egos are Illusory

But we must realize that egos are illusory, a part of our belief about ourselves.  In actuality, all of us do the best that we can at any given time (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Even though we perceive ourselves as kind, we still feel guilty, because we know that we have made mistakes, and usually we have not forgiven ourselves for those mistakes.  We live, therefore, in a hell of our own making.  I have mentioned before in this blog the important statement from ACIM that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned.  But we have condemned ourselves, and the egos of our brothers and sisters have likewise, upon occasion, condemned us.

3 – Finding Our Way Out of the Mire

How do we find our way out of this mire?  We take this passage at its word.  We are surrounded by our saviors, and our saviors are even those who have sometimes (as we perceived it) “done us wrong.”  We are in this together.  We go home together, even though this return, the end of separation, may take millions of years.  The process is set in place, and let us be grateful to Jesus that this is so.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look to my brothers and sisters today as my saviors.  We are certainly not meant to find our way through this world alone.  We can pray, commune, with You, but sometimes we are so distracted that we cannot concentrate well.  Then we are led to turn to the others in our lives who are there for us.  May I do so today.

I would find joy in the promise that I will be there for my brothers and sisters, even though it might take millions of years for the illusory separation to be healed.  May all of us on salvation’s course save time today, so that the millions of years are shrunken.

Amen.

We Are All One

ACIM Workbook Lesson  262 – for Monday, September 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me perceive no differences today.”

“Father, You have one Son.  And it is he that I would look upon today.  He is Your one creation.  Why should I perceive a thousand forms in what remains as one?  Why should I give this one a thousand names, when only one suffices?  (WB426)”

Reflections:

This passage seems to say, basically, that we are One.  We are one with our brothers and sisters, and we are one with God.  There is an extended discussion in the Text about whether or not we are the same or we are different.  Our personalities differ (according to the Manual), but at base we are One.  This means that we are just as capable of misdeeds as are our brothers and sisters who might know less about salvation than we think we know.  (We may be mistaken about how much we think we know.)  We have the capability to go astray.  This is quite in line with virtually all religious teaching.  Whether “once saved, always saved” is a theological issue that ACIM does not address, nor do I want to address it.  I am reminded of the fact that Jesus cautions us in the Text not to be involved in controversial issues.  Theology often divides us from our brothers and sisters.  We need the open-mindedness that the Manual says is one of the last traits that the teachers of God will develop.

If we look today upon the brothers and sisters whom we encounter, and we realize that we are actually One with them, we will need to try to see with the eyes of Christ, of our Self.  (This does not mean simply Jesus.)

We are the Son/Daughter of God.  Let us spend some time today asking God to teach us the meaning of this great truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that my brothers and sisters share the Self that we actually are.  Differences are perceptual only.  And we would choose only a cleansed perception, one that has seen God’s truth and would share His knowledge.  We would leave egoic perception of differences behind.

Help me to intuit how my brother and sister can be the same as I am.  Do not let theology delay me today.  Help me to find this knowledge deep inside, where You dwell.  And when I find that knowledge, help me to act on it when I next am tempted to turn on a brother or sister with attack or anger.

Amen.