Thoughts on Week 26, Ch. 15, I. The Two Uses of Time


Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time? Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more.

That it does seem hard to imagine at times given all that occurs in an hour, a day, a week or a year. Yet, I offer to the Holy Spirit “time”, He knows what to do with it. I do not. He can use it for my own well-being.

The ego instead wants me dead. I have felt it breathing down my neck long enough. Who can I trust? “No one,” it whispers and that for now seems true. The ego wants my allegiance. It keeps fear from me, yet it keeps me in fear to work its smoke and mirrors. The ego only sees hell. There is no hope here. There is no one you can trust. All too many times that has been the case. Even now.

Holy Spirit wants me to know there is no hell. Hell is only what the ego has made of the present. Hard to believe when one’s state of mind is full of bleakness. Yet onward and upward Holy Spirit leads me to Heaven. He would undo all fear now. He would remind me to take one step at a time, one instant at a time. In this I will see it reborn. Leave the past behind. Leave all that has hurt me behind. I no longer need it. The past is not my friend, nor anyone there.

Jesus says to take this instant in the here and now, and understand that nothing from the past can reach out and grab me scaring the bejesus out of me. I am completely absolved (no matter what I or others think), I am completely free, and I am wholly loved without condemnation whatsoever. Any condemnation comes from my own mind. From anyone else, that is their own mind to solve.

If you are tempted to be dispirited by thinking how long it would take to change your mind so completely, ask yourself, “How long is an instant?” Could you not give so short a time to the Holy Spirit for your salvation? He asks no more, for He has no need of more. It takes far longer to teach you to be willing to give Him this than for Him to use this tiny instant to offer you the whole of Heaven. In exchange for this instant He stands ready to give you the remembrance of eternity.

So an instant I give and eternity I receive. Isn’t that all I really wanted? An eternity of peace. Hush now and rest in peace.

Thoughts on Week 36, Text, Ch. 20, VI. The Temple of the Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit’s temple is not a body, but a relationship.

When I reflect on relationships in my past, marriages or friendships or otherwise, I can admit to myself there was a smack of idolatry as Jesus speaks of here. Now, it’s not that I worshipped someone else, but when we look at the idolatry, it is putting someone else above us. I held some people and created an agenda that there was to be no mistakes, and really it was to have them worship me. Yikes!

Turning this over to the Holy Spirit changes this. I no longer make others responsible for my feelings, my emotions, my needs and anything else I would dream up. I am responsible for the own choices and decisions I have made in my life. Blame disappears. Darkness is lifted. Simply, I remove the body from the equation and receive eternal blessing. This blessing comes from the knowledge so simply we are One.

It is this simple. The barriers I put up are long and winding before my brothers and sisters in the world. With each tick of truth, another barrier disintegrates and here I am opening my mind more and more to the true relationship.

Here is the way to true relationships held gently open, through which you and your brother walk together, leaving the body thankfully behind and resting in the Everlasting Arms. Love’s Arms are open to receive you, and give you peace forever.

Thoughts on Week 36, Text, Ch. 20, V. Heralds of Eternity


We restore our relationship with God with the holy relationship. Here we see who we truly are. When we approach the holy relationship, we know we are whole and complete.

When I come upon situations with people in my life, I remember this. I spoke the other day of a meeting I attended with someone who I had experienced issues in the past. Yet when I approached the meeting seeing the other person as whole, healed and complete, I had an experience that was filled with love and light. By recognizing the truth in individuals I encounter in my life (even the TV news), I find I feel more positive and uplifted, rather than being negative and judgmental. Aligning my mind with the Holy Spirit creates an atmosphere of love beyond this world.

As Jesus shares with us at the end of this passage:

Be comforted, and feel the Holy Spirit watching over you in love and perfect confidence in what He sees.  He knows the Son of God, and shares his Father’s certainty the universe rests in his gentle hands in safety and in peace. 

Thoughts on Week 36, Text, Ch. 20, IV. Entering the Ark


Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so. 

I cannot be hurt by anyone or anything. I am the one that allows another person, organization, situation or fearful thought “hurt” me. In truth, I cannot be hurt at all. When I allow something to “hurt” me, it is because I wish to remain as a victim. There are no victims when we all have the power as the Son of God. In past experiences I have had in my life, there were times I allowed others in the world have power over me. Be it abuse, or whatever it may have been, I believed myself as small and insignificant. This changed when I believed what the Voice of God shared with me. In any situation, I allow the Holy Spirit to see it with me and show me where I can have freedom instead of fear.

In the past, I tried to figure out my plan to deal with the fear I held onto so tightly, and none of it worked at all. Holy Spirit offers a new plan and one that works. When I align myself with His Plan for Salvation, all is made clear. Just as Ganesha in Hindu philosophy used his trunk to remove obstacles in the way, Holy Spirit does that for me.  Yet I cannot see my brother as an obstacle but as a partner. This is how we enter the Ark, as we cannot enter alone.

My favorite passage is the last paragraph, where it is assured us when we follow Holy Spirit’s plan, all obstacles of our state of mind will be removed and our mind will be at peace.

You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill.  As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. God’s guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. It rests on [you.]  And what can be more certain than a Son of God?

 

Thoughts on Week 36, Text, Ch. 20, III. Sin as an Adjustment


We have adjusted the truth to meet the ego’s needs to keep the separation in the forefront of our mind. The ego has distorted the truth. The holy do not interfere with truth. And we are holy. We have been afraid of the truth only because we have listened to the wrong voice for so long. Now we have a different voice speaking to us. This Voice tells us to look at the world through happy eyes or Christ Vision.

How do we do this? We release our judgment on others and on ourselves. Yes, this has been repeated many times before. Why do you think that is? If I stop and remember to see through the Eyes of Christ, just as I had recently in a meeting I attended. When I attended the meeting I knew that a particular person I had dealt with in the past would be there. So instead of allowing the past in the form of this person have power over me. I decided to pray instead. I decided to bless instead of curse. The meeting went smoothly and I was in great gratitude. This was a gift to myself and to the other person. Only takes willingness to forgive.

Thoughts on Week 35, Text, Chapter 19, IV. The Obstacles to Peace, B. & C.


This is taken from a post I made in July 2014. Also included below are two podcast episodes on the Third and Fourth Obstacles to Peace:

As a reminder we are in Text, Chapter 19, Section IV. The Obstacles to Peace. First, we had “the desire to get rid of it” where we see that we are always looking for peace to be escaping us, thus we are always looking for some sort of conflict in our mind. Secondly, we explored “the belief the body is valuable for what it offers” and how we focus on the self we have made instead of what God created. We believe the self we made will get us what we want. It doesn’t. This week we took our focus to the Third Obstacle – The Attraction of Death. Here we are focused not only on the death of the body, but anything that is a symbol of death, which in and of itself is the symbol of fear. Anything that is not of love is death. Any limitation we sense within is death. We focus on death so that we may not live.

I’d like to mention what Thursday night’s group focused on which was the aspect of forgiveness. We spent quite some time sharing personal examples on forgiveness. Sometimes it seems that it is a process that we consciously choose. Other times students noticed that it just seems to happen and the miracle appears. We came to an agreement that with our consistent study of ACIM we have decided upon an intention of healing. We may not always recognize this yet somehow and somewhere we have made the decision, “There must be another way.”

With this discussion we hauled out the Rules for Decision in Chapter 30, focusing mainly on the point “we can decide we do not like what we feel.” What we feel, if it is not peaceful, is a death. We have placed a limit on ourselves or one of our brothers. We can hide all we care to but we have made a decision for death. We have the secret wish that we would just go away or they would just go away or the problem would just go away! Take it away! PLEASE!

It is because we feel as a victim. When we can remember that this fear and the form it appears in our lives is just a mere symbol of fear, we can choose to join with the Holy Spirit and learn how we can allow this transform from an obstacle to peace but an opportunity in facilitating the way of peace in our lives. Jesus tells us to use the following:

Remember the holy Presence of the One given to you to be the Source of judgment. Give it to Him to judge for you, and say: 

Take this from me and look upon it, judging it for me.

Let me not see it as a sign of sin and death, nor use it for destruction.

Teach me how not to make of it an obstacle to peace, but let You use it for me, to facilitate its coming.

Isn’t it peace that you would rather have? Why look for an exit that will only lead you once again in the maze? The exit is in acknowledging and owning the symbol of fear before you. It’s just a symbol it cannot hurt you. We are only hurt by our own interpretations of the symbol itself.  It is always the interpretation that distresses us. We have spoke so much in the classes this month on my chapter “Just the Facts” in my book “I am Entitled to Miracles!” It gives us the power to face these dark and deathly symbols and realize life instead. I will be teaching a class next year on “Just the Facts” and I hope you will join me for it. Actually I hope you will join us much sooner for all the classes we offer.

The last aspect we spoke about last evening was “consistency.” This time of year students tend to take it more easily, not attend weekly sessions, forget to do their workbook lesson in the morning or meditation time, or pick up the latest novel instead of their Course book. Not that there is judgment on this. It is certainly okay to enjoy the sun and sand, go on vacation and give yourself a break. However, in my many years of working with ACIM students it has been observed that when the “forgetting” starts it can easily become a slippery slope. One missed lesson or session leads to two, then three or more. Then a startling experience is thrust in our face and we do not know where to turn.

The consistency of practice helps to alleviate any uncomfortability we may feel. It’s seems like practice slips away and then the turmoil just appears. Yet when we are practicing daily and joining with others who are mighty companions regularly, the forgiveness is easier. As was said in our group last night as we talked about how new AA members are encouraged to attend meetings every day for 90 days. It then becomes a habit, a part of your life and you are not as tempted to go down the path of pain as before.

Take an assessment right now. Have you been sliding down that slippery slope? If so, it’s time to re-engage. Your spirit is worth it. You are worth it. It may be the lazy days of summer, but don’t take it literally! It’s good to rest and have a respite, but there is a fine line. That fine line could push you off the edge. Practice, practice and more practice. Every thought that comes in, every person who gets in your face, and every situation that occurs is fodder for you to practice the principles of ACIM. As you know I always say that it is not about the insightful words in our dear blue book it is so much more than that. When we can use it in every situation, and I mean every situation, peace then flows freely. No more obstacles!

As one of my students came to this week: Slow down, observe, be willing to ask for Guidance and choose again. So stop where you are now and ask the same. Ask for the recommitment in your life to your spiritual path with A Course in Miracles. Take the time to commit to joining with your local group or one of ours. What is an hour or so a week in joining with others? It will pay for itself one thousand times fold. And, what about those 5 minutes in the morning and evening, once again, thousands of minds will be made glad when you become still.

Let nothing be an obstacle to your peace. Do not allow the thought of fear keep you from peace. It’s your choice.

3rd Obstacle to Peace on our Radio Show

4th Obstacle to Peace on our Radio Show

Thoughts on Week 34, Text, Chapter 19, IV. The Obstacles to Peace


This section is a long section so it will be covered this week and part of next.

The following if from a former post from 2014 on the First Obstacle to Peace: The Desire to Get Rid of It:

Would you really want to throw away peace? We say “No” but we do it all the time! This week’s reading has been in Chapter 19, IV. The Obstacles to Peace, A. The First Obstacle: The Desire to Get Rid of It. Whew, long title, right? Jesus really wants us to see that we have a desire for anything but peace. Peace is simple. We make a change of mind. We empty the fear, attack and judgment thoughts and voila! Peace! Not so easy it seems as it is demonstrated by how we feel and our resulting actions.

There is that ego part of us that wants to clutch on to the grievances with others and with ourselves. I know my past week (yeah, again) has been that. Clawing and clutching onto fear. When I grab onto that fear, it only increases. The very thing I say I don’t want, fear, is the very thing that barrels its way towards me.

You see, the desire to get rid of peace creeps in so slowly. Watch your language, what is it that you say?

It’s too quiet here something is bound to happen.

There’s always a calm before the storm.

When’s the other shoe going to drop?

We keep peace at bay. We keep it in the future. I’ll be at peace, WHEN, whatever the WHEN is to you. We keep peace away because of fear and wanting to be safe and secure, yet that fear driving us is literally driving us to hell and then some!

How mighty can a little feather be before the great wings of truth? Can it oppose an eagle’s flight, or hinder the advance of summer? Can it interfere with the effects of summer’s sun upon a garden covered by the snow? See but how easily this little wisp is lifted up and carried away, never to return, and part with it in gladness, not regret. For it is nothing in itself, and stood for nothing when you had greater faith in its protection. Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake, and shiver in remembrance of the winter’s cold?

We can think about this differently. That’s where we go to the subsection, The Attraction of Guilt, for one of my favorite passages in relation to what messengers do we send forth. This is how we can learn to keep the peace.

Any guilt that we feel produces fear of love. Remember that guilt is the guilt that we believe we are separated from God and that we have taken horrible strikes against Him. Yet love and peace is embedded in our memory. It is there. It cannot be taken away. We can follow the dictates of fear’s voice and most often we do.

When we listen and follow fear’s voice, we trumpet this fear outward. Toot, toot, toot, “Send out the fear” is the message to our kingdom. Fear is released and as Jesus so brilliantly paints the picture here, fear is as hungry dogs, looking for scraps of guilt, hungry and pouncing on every bit of guilt and fear that they can scrummage. They are frantic and in pain, knowing that it is only this they must return to their lord and master.

The imagery here is amazing and I remember first reading this section many moons ago and how it painted such an indelible picture in my mind. It was the perfect reading for this week as I realized my own fear and guilty thoughts were behind the skeletal witnesses that stepped forth, handing to me their silver platters of guilt and their mighty conquests of judgment.

It was not the witnesses fault. It was my own for first I portrayed this destructible scene in my own mind. They merely took their places and on their mark for this period drama of hatred, my own self-hatred.

In reading this throughout the week with our study classes and the radio show, I was able to be reborn in the words. No, it was not reborn in fear, but in love and peace. I learned (again) the power of Holy Spirit and His messengers of Love. Holy Spirit is loving, kind and gentle with me. He is a True Friend when everyone else seems to abandon you. You can always count on His Love to surround you, no matter the circumstances. You are safe in Him. The winds of hate may blow and whip wickedly around you, yet there in the center of it all is Love. Love can be trusted. Love is what sets you free.

All is as it should be. The lessons come for me at the perfect time and when they are needed, or if even simply reminded to me when the road ahead seems bleak. Ignore the naysayers of the ego, and trust in the glowing witnesses to Love who always offer me grace, just by that simple shift to a miracle.

Listen now to that softly joyous whispering that tells you too of the truth. Listen and be glad.

If you missed our show this week on this week’s reading, you can download and listen:

1st Obstacle to Peace

2nd Obstacle to Peace

Thoughts on Week 33, Text, Chapter 19, III. The Unreality of Sin


And yet you look with Heaven’s smile upon your lips, and Heaven’s blessing on your sight.

In the holy instant, I see all of my relationships (present and past) differently. I see them as an opportunity to heal instead of the wound I clasped onto before. The belief in sin has kept me separate from these relationships in my mind. Through God, I experience the truth of the oneness we share. It is all in my perception. Will I use opportunities in my life to heal or wound? In my practice, I embrace these opportunities because deep within, I do want to heal. It is imperative I do. Holding on to grudges or resentments, brings no solace. It does not mean I physically place myself in the proximity of these people, but I do so in my mind.  There is a difference between the form and the content. We are asked only to see one another as the Holy Spirit sees. If we are to do anything else here in the world, He will tell us.

Thoughts on Week 33, Text, Chapter 19, II. Sin versus Error


Only in such a world could everything be upside down.

An error made can be corrected. But the ego would not tell us that at all. God assures us our mistaken belief can be corrected and easily. It is the ego that would have us believe in punishment and death. This is not what God wants for us. He wants us to know we are redeemed. It takes but a choice to know this in our heart and mind.

I know in my life there have been experiences of which I doomed myself to hell. Choices I made of which could bring shame and guilt. Some of those choices plagued me for years. Yet in God, I can know not only am I forgiven, but He loves me regardless and despite because He does not see the error and does not believe it as sin. He seems my choice as just that a choice I made that now needs to be adjusted. He offers Heaven so easily to me so why do I choose hell?

In this realization in my healing journey, it offered me liberation and happiness.

Wrapping our heads around His Love seems difficult. It does not compute. Regardless, His Love is real and it is ever present.

 

Thoughts on Week 33, Text, Chapter 19, I. Healing and Faith


We said before that when a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth, peace is inevitable.

Here it is again, setting the goal. Peace comes when we offer all of our experiences to the Holy Spirit. Let Him handle it and peace is received. Isn’t this a relief to know we can have peace anytime we want? We have it because we step aside from our petty desires.

Additionally in this section: Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God.

I have related this many times in my writings on my life with ACIM. I choose to use whatever situation is in front of me as an opportunity for forgiveness and healing. When I do so, I receive exactly what I requested, HEALING. And what needs healed? My mind. As Jesus continues, it is not the body that needs healed but our mind. Ineed to see beyond the body to what lies within myself and my brother. That being the illumination of truth. Yes, it gets old hearing this, right? We are One. One is all there is. Peace is found within. Etc. But you see, we need these reminders over and over and once again because we forget so readily and rapidly.

I know I have throughout the course of my day, even this morning. How about you?

So take the reminders with love. Embrace faith, grace, the holy instant, your brother and yourself. Don’t belittle yourself for forgetting to practice, or to remember, or that you became angry, or you had forgotten to forgive. Start now at this very moment (yes, again and again if you have to do so) to allow a new start. It only takes that recognition and then, willingness. I assure you for me and for you and for all of us that we will get through this. We will come to know this Course by living this Course through the mistakes and missteps we make. In this, we learn non-judgment and love.

Thoughts on Week 33, Text, Chapter 18, IX. The Two Worlds


You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness.

This is an essential reminder. We do not put light on the darkness, or holiness on guilt. In doing so, we make the darkness or guilt real. Instead we offer these to the light/holiness so they may be transformed.

Further down: Yet God can bring you there, if you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit through seeming terror, trusting Him not to abandon you and leave you there.  For it is not His purpose to frighten you, but only yours. 

This is what we are afraid of, that no matter what the challenging situation we are facing that there would be some cruel joke on God’s part where He leaves us to figure it out for ourselves in our isolation from Him. This was my own line of thinking in my life especially as I grew older and matured because I learned to handle life myself because no one was there to assist me. I had to do it all. And not only that, if I had trusted someone, they instead lied, cheated, hurt or slapped me in the face in some way. So why trust another, and why trust God?

So I learned through my practice of ACIM to trust God implicitly. Yet, I still can be visited by these old patterns if I have an experience that is similar to my past. I may trust God but where I need to do my personal work is on trusting others for those I have (not all) have forsaken me. But is that true? You see, this is where the practice comes in. I have to question everything with the Holy Spirit because He will reveal the truth to me.

I do not have to face the circle of fear alone. I sail through it to the other side WITH the Holy Spirit, not me captaining the ship myself. I know I can be bull-headed at times and want to steer the ship, but He knows where we are going and He knows I really do want to go where He is heading. I release the wheel and let Him pilot. The Circle of Light is a glad exchange for the circle of fear.

This teaching I offered in 2014 is on this entire section. Watch on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YanO0ZrY-y8

Thoughts on Week 33, Text, Chapter 18, VIII. The Little Garden


I recall perhaps 16 years ago there was a beautifully illustrated book for children created from this section, titled “The Sunbeam and the Wave.” I owned this lovely book and I may still have it in my collection. The book shared with children and families what we too can learn from this section. Simply, we are not alone. The sunbeam is not separate from the sun and the wave is not separate from the ocean. As try as we might, to be separate from God, we cannot. The same with everyone here in the world, particularly at this time in current events, many would like to be separate from a certain presidential candidate. Neither we nor the candidate can be separate from us.

We defend our little piece of insignificant matter and fight tooth and nail to do so. Wouldn’t it serve us to recall the Kingdom as whole?

I can say at times my mind has wandered away from the joining with others here in the world I may find disagreement in terms of philosophies or politics, yet I can disagree but not separate. I can have, as Ken Wapnick used to say, a “preference” for another way to live, a candidate or even a movie genre. I have to look closely at my mind as to why I do have the preference. Is that preference wrought with judgment? Or can I cleanly and clearly state, it is just a matter of choice with no emotional repository present?

There is no reason to “fight” for anything. Only love is welcome and as it should.

I do love the last line in this section: Only a little wall of dust still stands between you and your brother. Blow on it lightly and with happy laughter, and it will fall away.  And walk into the garden love has prepared for both of you.

The wall of dust is all the barrier is between political parties, philosophies, opinions, genres, what have you. It is our own mind that keeps us separate. Nothing can separate what God has joined.

 

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