Saturday, December 01, 2012

Making Explicit the True Meaning of Forgiveness: November FB Statuses

Two, or three, years ago, I set up a Facebook account, but I never really did much with it, until Sunday 8 April, Easter Sunday, auspiciously, when it occurred to me that I could post a Status statement on Facebook, daily.  These are my mini-essays for September.

On Sunday morning, August 5, 2 012, a white supremacist opened fire at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing 6 Sikh worshippers, and wounding 3 others, and severely wounding a police officer, Lt. Brian Murphy,51 , who was first on the scene.

Reading a recent account in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Monday, October 29, I simply marveled at the extraordinary calm that pervaded Murphy during his ordeal.  The article is entitled, Training makes heroes, and here are some excerpts.

The first shot hit him in the face, left side of his jaw, the 9mm bullet moving down, ripping through his larynx, bouncing off his spinal column and lodging in his right neck.
He remembered his training - "in a high-risk incident I will survive." And he moved, even as 11 more bullets pierced his arms, hands, legs and the back of his head, even as three more bullets struck his protective vest, even as the gunman kept coming, firing at close range.
And he thought to himself: "I'm not going out like this. I'm not going out in a parking lot."
His guys were on their way, led by veteran officer Sam Lenda, a marksman.
His guys would end the terror.
Murphy says. "My entire adult life has been based on working in a situation that can at times become uncontrollable and chaotic. But the training I've been provided has always set me up to work very positively and to do the right thing without thinking."
"I would love to tell you some religious aspect, but my initial thought was, 'that's going to leave a mark,' " Murphy says. "I know it sounds stupid and nobody buys it, but I just looked and thought, 'ooh.' "
He was calm, controlling his breathing. All he requested was that they have a little something at the hospital to control his pain.

"I didn't give him anything back," he says. "I didn't yell in pain. I'm not giving you anything. While it might be very self-serving and egotistical, I wonder if there was not some part of him that thought, I don't want to get too close because he's not stopping. No matter how much I shoot him, he's not stopping. And maybe that just held him off enough . . . before Sam could get there. You know what I mean?"

•        *     *     *     *

Finally, I don’t have much to say.  Mind training is mind training.  We get the results.  I’m grateful.


I have my own routine for my writing practice, and it is pretty simple.  Usually, from late morning to early afternoon, I sit quietly and read the Course and other books and articles, just being receptive, and more often than not, ideas just start pouring in, and I write them down in my notebook.  With little editing these notes become FB Statuses, or blog posts.

I am always curious about the routines of other writers.  Here is an account of the routine of the novelist, Hilary Mantel.

When she wakes in the morning, she likes to start writing right away, before she speaks, because whatever remnants sleep has left are the gift her brain has given her for the day. Her dream life is important to the balance of her mind: it’s the place where she experiences disorder. Her dreams are archetypal, mythological, enormous,  full of pageantry—there are knights and monsters. She has been to the crusades in her dreams more than once.
When she’s starting a new book, she needs to feel her way inside the characters, to know what it’s like to be them. There is a trick she uses sometimes, which another writer taught her. Sit quietly and withdraw your attention from the room you’re in until you’re-focussed inside your mind. Imagine a chair and invite your character to come and sit in it; once he is comfortable, you may ask him questions. She tried this for the first time when she was writing “The Giant, O’Brien”: the giant came in, but, before sitting down in the chair, he bent down and tested it, to see if it would take his weight. On that occasion, she never got any further, because she was so excited that she punched the air and shouted “Yes!” But from then on she could imagine herself in the giant’s body. (Larissa MacFarquhar, The Dead Are Real, The New Yorker, October 15, 2012, p. 52)

I am still appreciating how people stay calm in different situations, how different kinds of mind training pay off.

It was shortly after 10:30 on Sunday morning, August 5, after the white supremacist shot the worshippers at the Sikh Temple that Travis Webb, the 39-year-old trauma surgeon, began working on the police officer, Oak Creek Lt. Brian Murphy, who had just been shot a dozen times.

And here's what would lodge in Webb's memory.

The wounded man was utterly calm. He was awake, alert, not thrashing around. Just calm.
“We're going to take good care of you,” Webb said, “You're going to be OK.”
The officer nodded his head.
Like his patient, Webb had a calm appearance. He has dark, collar-length hair and keeps an acoustic guitar in his office. On breaks, he sometimes strums to relax his mind.
After several hours performing various surgeries, Webb realized that Murphy’s voice box, almost completely destroyed, needed the attention of a specialist.
By this point, Michael Stadler, the head and neck surgeon, had scrubbed in and was waiting with his team. Stadler has been a doctor for seven of his 33 years.
"It was the worst injury that I had seen," the surgeon recalled. "I was amazed that he was on the operating table alive."

The surgeon had performed many 12-hour and even 20-hour surgeries. As he worked, he was in the moment, unaware of any fatigue. Last of all, he sewed up the neck incision. He took his time. He thought, as he always does, how he would want the scar to look if it were on a member of his own family. (Froedtert surgery team worked smoothly to save officer shot at Sikh temple, Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 29, 2012.)

•        *     *     *

•    Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

While reading Lesson 191, I am the holy Son of God Himself, I thought of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  In the beginning, Plato represents man’s condition as being “chained in a cave,” with only a fire behind him. He perceives the world, the illusion, by watching the shadows on the wall in front of him. He sits in chains in darkness with the false light of the fire and does not realize that this existence is illusory. It merely is his existence — he knows no other, nor offers any complaint.

Plato next imagines what would occur if the chained man were suddenly released from his bondage and let out into the world. Plato describes how some people would immediately be frightened and want to return to the cave and the familiar dark existence. Others would look at the sun and finally see the world as it truly is.

The Cave is to the illusion and the Sun is to Reality.

When I am in the recognition my true identity, the holy Son of God Himself, I am released from my bondage to my illusory world.

Here is your declaration of release
from bondage of the world. And here as well
is all the world released. You do not see
what you have done by giving to the world
the role of jailer to the Son of God.
What could it be but vicious and afraid,
fearful of shadows, punitive and wild,
lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?

A miracle has lighted up all dark
and ancient caverns, where the rites of death
echoed since time began. For time has lost
its hold upon the world. The Son of God
has come in glory to redeem the lost,
to save the helpless, and to give the world
the gift of his forgiveness. Who could see
the world as dark and sinful, when God's Son
has come again at last to set it free?


For 10 days now, I have been sick with the flu, the crud, a cold—runny nose, congested lungs, fatigue, and coughing, sneezing.  I take frequent naps and try to sleep in mornings.

But, what simply amazes me,  is that all the time my mind is clear.  I can read and write and think and talk with clarity.  I still get bright ideas.  My body is doing one thing, and my mind is doing another, like right now as I type this.

This direct experience of my free, still mind is my reference point for a general statement like this:

I am not a body.  I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
Lesson 199

I am certainly not this body, and I am in the direct experience of my mind, my consciousness, my awareness as God’s creation, His Son,complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love.


Philip Chard, a psychotherapist, writes a column for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, entitled, “Out of My Mind,” and a recent one is called, What does seeing a ghost mean?

His patient, Jacob, had come to him because his wife thought that, perhaps, he was crazy for seeing the ghost of his father.  Here is the account:

One evening while reading quietly in bed, Jacob had a visit from his father.  They had a nice talk.  Nothing heavy, just the usual fare such as, the weather, sports and local gossip,  Finally, his dad asked him what he was reading, smiled and bid him goodnight. 

It all seemed matter of fact.  “I knew he was dead but it seemed so relaxed and ordinary that I just went with it.”

Fortunately, Chard did not go into whether or not ghosts are real; he simply asked Jacob what was the meaning or message in what he experienced.

“I miss him a lot.  We were good friends.  And when I was a kid, he always read to me in bed.”

Chard smiled and told him, “Seems like he still does.”  (Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 3E)


Browsing through a bookstore, I came across this book by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling.

This account caught my eye.

I first experienced the Presence of God in a setting of exquisite beauty.  I was living and studying at a Christian community in a tiny Alpine village in France, after having graduated from Wellesley College.

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains.  I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty.  The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale.  Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me.  I became aware of a lovely Presence and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.”  This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus.  As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching.  This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe.   (pp. Vll, Vlll)

In her Introduction to her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young tells us that she was inspired to write her book by reading God Calling. She writes:  This is a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.”  These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. 

She goes on to say:  I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.  Sitting quietly in God’s Presence is just as important as the writings I glean from these meditative times.  I believe that He speaks to those who listen to Him, and I continually depend on the Holy Spirit’s help in this.  I have written from the daily passages from Jesus’ point of view; i.e., the first person singular (I, Me, Mine) always refers to Christ.  “you” refers to you, the reader, so the perspective is that of Jesus speaking to you.

Here is an echo from Jesus in His Course.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive
the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept
what comes from You, instead of from myself.
I do not know the way to You. But You
are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son
along the quiet path that leads to You.
Let my forgiveness be complete, and let
the memory of You return to me.
Lesson 291


I have always had a particular fondness for the first line of The Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace.

We are a great variety of instruments, receptive to channeling God’s Voice.

A wonderful example is two women, “Two Listeners,” who sat patiently each day  and listened for Jesus to speak to them.  These daily words of Jesus are published in the book, God Calling edited by A. J. Russell.

The following is from the Introduction.

We sat down, pencils and paper in hand and waited.  This was in England in December 1932.  From the first, beautiful messages were given to us by our Lord Himself, and every day from then these messages have never failed us.

Always, and this daily, He insisted that we should be channels of Love, Joy, and Laughter in His broken world.

Still came this insistent command to love and laugh and be joy-bringers to the lives we contacted.

He encouraged us daily, saying that He would not break the instruments that He intended to use, that He would not leave the metal in the crucible longer than was necessary for the burning away of the dross.

This book is published, after much prayer, to prove that a living Christ speaks today, plans and guides the humblest, that no detail is too insignificant for His attention, that He reveals Himself now as ever as a Humble Servant and Majestic Creator. 


Here are the words that Jesus gave on November 10 to the “Two Listeners” who scribed the book, God Calling.

New Forces

Remember that Life’s difficulties and troubles are not intended to arrest your progress, but to increase your speed.  You must call new forces, new powers into action.

Whatever it is must be surmounted, overcome.  Remember this.

It is as a race.  Nothing must daunt you.  Do not let a difficulty conquer you.  You must conquer it.

My strength will be there awaiting you.  Bring all your thoughts, all your power, into action. Nothing is too small to be faced and overcome.  To push small difficulties aside is to be preparing big troubles.

Rise to conquer.  It is the path of victory I would have you tread.  There can be no failure with Me.

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from failing and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding Joy…”

And this is from Jesus in His Course:

Christ is the link that keeps you one with God,
and guarantees that separation is
no more than an illusion of despair,
for hope forever will abide in Him.
6 What is the Christ?


Here are the words that Sarah Young received from Jesus for November 11, as they appear in her book, Jesus Calling.

DO NOT LET any set of circumstances intimidate you.  The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal.  You seem to think that I empower you equally each day, but this is not sol.  Your tendency upon awakening is to assess the difficulties ahead of you, measuring them against your average strength.  This is an exercise in unreality.

I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly.   The degree to which I strengthen you on a given day is based mainly on two variables:  the difficulty of your circumstances, and your willingness to depend on Me for help.  Try to view challenging days as opportunities to receive more of My Power than usual.  Look to Me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do.  As your day, so shall your strength be.

And here is Jesus in His Course.

Try to pass the clouds by whatever means appeals to you.  If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you.  And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy.  Lesson 70.9:2-4

One practice I find very helpful I learned from my friend, Diane Poe.  In one of her Improv classes, I learned the key to the success of an Improv skit:  the key is YES/AND.  If a fellow actor says, “Let’s do this. . .” you always say, at least to yourself, YES/AND, with the idea that Yes/But would kill the act.  The YES/ANDs  enable the skit to find its own direction.

So, now, when I find myself in a difficult, painful situation, wandering in the dream, as my projections seem to be “out there” victimizing me, I say to myself, “YES, this seems to be going on, AND I am the Holy Son of God, resting in His Presence.”

  The dream always presents an opportunity for improvisation.

This all came to mind while reading Lesson 292, A happy outcome in all things is sure, and I practiced simply saying YES after each affirmation, and YES/AND after each description of the dream.

God's promises make no exceptions. And He guarantees that only joy can be the final outcome found for everything.

Yet it is up to us when this is reached; how long we let an alien will appear to be opposing His.

And while we think this will is real, we will not find the end He has appointed as the outcome of all problems we perceive, all trials we see, and every situation that we meet.

Yet is the ending certain. For God's Will is done in earth and Heaven. We will seek and we will find according to His Will, which guarantees that our will is done.

We thank You, Father, for Your guarantee of only happy outcomes in the end.

Help us not interfere, and so delay the happy endings You have promised us for every problem that we can perceive; for every trial we think we still must meet.

YES, I am “in” the world, AND I am not “of” the world.

I love to hear echoes of the words of A Course in Miracles.  Here is an echo from a man born over 350 years ago, Francois Fenelon (1651-1750), a French priest and a poet.

God never ceases to speak to us; but the noise of the world without, and the tumult of our passions within, bewilder us, and prevent us from listening.  All must be silent around us, and all must be still within us, when we would listen with our whole souls to this voice.  It is a still, small voice, and is only heard by those who listen to no other.  Alas!  How seldom is it that the soul is so still that it can hear when God speaks to it!
And here is Jesus in Lesson 49, God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.

It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way. The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not. It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws. It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganized and highly uncertain.
The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind. Try today not to listen to it. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.

Reading Lesson 297, Forgiveness is the only gift I give, I realized that saying to myself, YES/AND, i.e. YES, this incident is occurring in my dream, AND I am the holy Son of God is a formula, or a method, and this recognition and this shift in my mind is forgiveness.  In this simple act, I accept Atonement for myself.

Forgiveness is the only gift I give,
because it is the only gift I want.
And everything I give I give myself.
This is salvation's simple formula.
And I, who would be saved, would make it mine,
to be the way I live within a world
that needs salvation, and that will be saved
as I accept Atonement for myself.
And it is accomplished by the grace of God.

Father, how certain are Your ways; how sure
their final outcome, and how faithfully
is every step in my salvation set
already, and accomplished by Your grace.
Thanks be to You for Your eternal gifts,
and thanks to You for my Identity.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
For the past week, newspapers have taken on a tabloid-like quality, reporting the indiscretions of Gen. David Petraeus.  However, Kathleen Parker, a columnist for  The Washington Post, ended her column with these thoughtful paragraphs.

“Warte!” was the word Franz Kafka had over his bed.  “Wait.”  I can’t guess why he had it over his bed.  Perhaps this is where he worked.  Studio apartment?  Walker Percy, the writer, took this word as his own and hung it over his desk.  I have copied them both and added a similar sign above my desk.
We can’t wait for the news because it’s the journalist’s job to uncover it.  But we can and should wait for judgment.  Let the investigations proceed.  Let the facts be verified.  Let these people survive the humiliation they are certain to suffer.
We are better than the mob—until we become one.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 14, 2012, 15A)

And now He asks but that you think of Him
a while each day, that He may speak to you
and tell you of His Love, reminding you
how great His Trust; how limitless His Love.
In your name and His Own, which are the same,
we practice gladly with this thought today:

I will step back and let Him lead the way,
For I would walk along the road to Him.
Lesson 155

No matter how brilliantly the brain performs, the performance is still, simply, thought images projected from an unreal source.

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
Introduction, A Course in Miracles
This came to mind when I read this account.

A man named Zac Vawter performed a remarkable feat the other day.  He climbed 103 floors of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, wearing a bionic prosthetic leg; bionic means thought controlled.
The robotic leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring.  When Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors, belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee.

This is a dramatic example of Lesson 15, Thoughts are images I have made.
No matter how heroic and dramatic this achievements, it only helps clarify the distinction Jesus makes between seeing and vision.

It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your "seeing" was made. This is the function you have given your body's eyes. It is not seeing. It is image making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions. Lesson 15.1

Vawter’s achievement is a reminder that, no matter what, we want to learn to see with vision, true perception.

The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end.
Clarification of terms. 4  True Perception-Knowledge.1

Over the years I have observed just how juicy gossip is.  Because of recent events at high levels of government, it is becoming increasingly prevalent.

In a newspaper yesterday, I came across a rather extensive description of gossip by Hinda Manadell, an assistant professor of communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

But gossip is so seductive.  It allows us to get creative about motive, desire, consequence and circumstance when we’re comfortably removed from the searing spotlight.  It’s as if we’re creating a movie drama in our heads that we share with friends.  Even though we’re not privy to the details, we embark on a determined course of speculation.
The Bible certainly censors it.  In Leviticus, we read:  “Thou shall not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” (USATODAY, 4E, November 15, 2012.)

I also came across the meaning of the German, Kaffeeklatrsch: coffee gossip.

The living-room in a German household always contains a large sofa at one side of the room, which is the seat of honor accorded a guest.  At a Kaffeeklatsch, the guests of honor are seated on this sofa, and the large round table is wheeled up before them.  The other guests seat themselves in chairs about the table.

For me, now, it all comes down to this: 

Our preoccupation with gossip is one of the ways the ego sets out to defend us from experiencing the truth of what we are, the Holy Sons of God.
My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
I see only my own thoughts, and my mind is preoccupied with the past. What, then, can I see as it is? Let me remember that I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. Let me understand that I am trying to use time against God. Let me learn to give the past away, realizing that in so doing I am giving up nothing. Lesson 52

I rather enjoyed this quotation, posted as a FB Status by my friend, Elise Maria.

There is no such thing as a Self-realized person;
When there is no ‘person’ the Self is realized. 
Sri Poonja (Papaji)

It is so on the mark, reminding me of the root meaning of person.  It comes from  Greek drama.  The early plays were staged in large amphitheaters, and in order to project sound, actors wore wooden masks called Personas, per means "through," and son means "sound."  It is so appropriate, then, to realize that our personality is a mask we wear, defensively covering our real Self.

The body suffers just in order that the mind will fail to see it is the victim of itself.  The body’s suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers.  Lesson 76.5:3,4

Here is another marvelous echo of A Course in Miracles, a passage from Jacob Boehme (1575-1624).

When thou art gone forth wholly from the creature, and from that which is visible, and art become nothing to all that is nature and creature, then thou art in that Eternal One which is God himself:  And then thou shalt perceive and feel in thy interior the highest virtue of love. . .Whosoever finds it, finds all things.

And from Jesus in His Course.

The world stands like a block before Christ’s face. But true perception looks on it as nothing more than just a fragile veil, so easily dispelled that it can last no longer than an instant. It is seen at last for only what it is. And now it cannot fail to disappear, for now there is an empty place made clean and ready. Where destruction was perceived the face of Christ appears, and in that instant is the world forgot, with time forever ended as the world spins into nothingness from where it came.
Clarification of Terms. 4True Perception-Knowledge. 4

After coming across an inspiring passage by Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), the Teutonic Theosopher, I became curious about his awakening experience, and this is what I found.

Born of poor, but pious, Lutheran parents, from childhood, Jacob Boehme was concerned about "the salvation of his soul." Although daily occupied, first as a shepherd, and afterward as a shoemaker, he was always an earnest student of the Holy Scriptures; but he could not understand "the ways of God," and he became "perplexed, even to melancholy, — pressed out of measure.
“Then, after some farther hard fights with the powers of darkness, my spirit broke through the doors of hell, and penetrated even unto the innermost essence of its newly- born divinity where it was received with great love, as a bridegroom welcomes his beloved bride.”
"No word can express the great joy and triumph I experienced, as of a life out of death, as of a resurrection from the dead! . . . While in this state, as I was walking through a field of flowers, in fifteen minutes, I saw through the mystery of creation, the original of this world and of all creatures. . . . Then for seven days I was in a continual state of ecstasy, surrounded by the light of the Spirit, which immersed me in contemplation and happiness. I learned what God is, and what is His Will. . . . I knew not how this happened to me, but my heart admired and praised the Lord for it!"
At the age of twenty-five, Boehme was given another great illumination, in which the Lord let him see farther into "the heart of things . . . the true nature of God and man, and the relationship existing between them." Ten years later "the divine order of nature" was opened up to him, and he was inspired to write what the Lord had revealed to him.
From 1612 to 1624, he wrote thirty books.

Source:  Jacob Boehme On line Manuscripts

Jim Self, the founder of Mastering Alchemy, in his book, The Shift, makes it clear that we are now making a transition from the Third to the Fourth Dimension.  Dimensions are not places.  Rather, they are levels of consciousness, each with its own characteristics and ways of thinking, feeling and experiencing.

(At the end of his book, I came across two sentences that gave it great credibility:
Since childhood, Jim has retained a conscious awareness and ability to recall his experiences within the sleep state.  Over the last ten years, this awareness has expanded into relationships with the Archangels, Ascended Masters and Teachers of Light.)

Here are three aspects of the Third Dimension.

Time:  To keep it simple, we take our past experiences and project them into our future and then step into that experience in a future present-time moment to feel it all over again in a different size, shape or color.
Duality:  Duality is a predominant structure of perception.  In duality are the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, and should and should not.  In this rigid belief system of heavy thought-form, fear and pain are anchored.

The rational mind:  While the rational mind is a wonderful tool for measuring, comparing and making decisions, it only knows what it knows and has lost access to what it does not know.  For thousands of years the rational mind has kept humanity tightly focused in the Third Dimension. 
Here is a strong parallel from A Course in Miracles.
The world was made as an attack on God.
It symbolizes fear. And what is fear
except love's absence? Thus the world was meant
to be a place where God could enter not,
and where His Son could be apart from Him.
Here was perception born, for knowledge could
not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive,
and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become
quite possible, for certainty has gone.

The mechanisms of illusion have
been born instead. And now they go to find
what has been given them to seek. Their aim
is to fulfill the purpose which the world
was made to witness and make real. They see
in its illusions but a solid base
where truth exists, upheld apart from lies.
Yet everything that they report is but
illusion which is kept apart from truth.
3.  What is the World?

Jim Self, the founder of Mastering Alchemy, in his book, The Shift, describes aspects of the Fourth Dimension.  Dimensions are not places.  Rather, they are levels of consciousness, each with its own characteristics and ways of thinking, feeling and experiencing.

The Fourth Dimension provides us with an opportunity to re-frame our reference points, review our beliefs and attain a new understanding of what is possible.  It allows us to be “in” the world, and not “of” the Third Dimensional world.

Here are two aspects of the Fourth Dimension.

Present Time:  This is a quiet NOW moment.  We only exist in the Now, but most of us hold very little of our attention here.  The present is all there is.
Choice:  In this Dimensions, reaction is replaced by choice, providing flexibility and new possibilities.  With choice you have an opportunity to observe, and to  experience, and to choose without judgment, right or wrong, good or bad, or the fear of being punished.  Conscious choice invites a wider range of possibilities, allowing for well-being, happiness and realignment with the Heart.  Choice  creates  opportunity.  Opportunity allows for well-being. Well-being awakens happiness, openness and the inner smile within the Heart.  From your open Heart, your purpose and the fulfillment of all your dreams are within your grasp.

Here is a strong parallel from A Course in Miracles.
The real world holds a counterpart for each
unhappy thought reflected in your world;
a sure correction for the sights of fear
and sounds of battle which your world contains.
The real world shows a world seen differently,
through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace.
Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries
of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there
remains outside forgiveness. And the sights
are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds
can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.
8.  What is the Real World?

Jim Self, the founder of Mastering Alchemy, in his book, The Shift, makes clear the aspects of the Fifth Dimension. 

When you enter this consciousness, you experience a full reintegration with your Higher Self and merge with your Soul.  This reconnection with your higher aspects allows you to once again know yourself at a Soul level.  You begin to think from Heart and act from the wisdom of your Soul.  Your innate intuitive spiritual abilities now become fully available to you again.

This dimension vibrates at a very high, brilliant and fast frequency range of Light, Love and great  beauty.  Heavy, dense thoughts and emotional vibrations, such as, reaction, anger, judgment, and fear cannot be held in this realm for long.  In  this  frequency  range  of Light there are no limitations, all possibilities are available for creation.

Here is a strong parallel from A Course in Miracles.
I am God's Son, complete and healed and whole,
shining in the reflection of His Love.
In me is His creation sanctified
and guaranteed eternal life. In me
is love perfected, fear impossible,
and joy established without opposite.
I am the holy home of God Himself.
I am the Heaven where His Love resides.
I am His holy Sinlessness Itself,
for in my purity abides His Own.
14.  What am I?

A few years ago, I wrote an essay that became a booklet entitled:


Of all the things I have written, this is one that people most often mention to me.  In fact, it has been translated into 4 other languages:  German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch.   You can find them on my web site:  

Here is the beginning:

Part 1: Awareness

This paper begins with what may appear to be a startling declaration:
“By changing your mind, you can change the world.”
All that is required to demonstrate that this is true is your commitment to shift your awareness, and that is everything. If you choose, by the time you finish reading this paper, you will clearly experience the steps you can take to train your mind, systematically, to a new way of seeing and listening.
This transformation of your mind will change the world.
Let’s begin. Notice that this paper is addressing you. There is only you. Even in reading this sentence you are listening to a voice in your mind. This voice is so familiar, that you may not have noticed it. It is your perceptual mind; a familiar narrator, a story teller, telling you a story.
Now, look up from this paper and look slowly around you. . .
Observe how this story teller says to you, automatically, “table” or “cup” or “hand.” Whatever you see has been given a name. In fact, it is not there without having been named. The objects that appear to make up your world spring from within. They are not imposed from without. There is only your subjective reality. There is not really a world, there is only your world.
A little reflection on what you “see” shows you that you are simply unable to see objects without a flood of associations. Your narrative voice tells you stories about the table, cup, and hand. After doing this simple exercise, you can realize that seeing is completely subjective, that your voice does not really describe any thing as it is, only as you would have it be, based on associations from your past.
So, right now, what are you making of this realization?
“I don’t get it” “How could it be different?” “I’m confused.”. . .
Please click on the link to my web site.

The other morning, I found myself thinking about some future events, saying to myself, “What will I do, what will I say?” And then the Thought came in, “Let it go, you will be guided then as you are guided now, just stay focused on the present.”

Later, I decided to read the day’s passage from Sarah Young’s, Jesus Calling, and I was astonished at its contents.

AS YOU LOOK at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your right hand.  You recall My promise to guide you with My counsel, and you begin to relax.  As you look again at the path ahead, you notice that a peaceful fog has settled over it, obscuring your view.  You can see only a few steps in front of you, so you turn your attention more fully to Me and begin to enjoy My Presence.
The fog is a protection for you, calling you back into the present moment.  You can communicate with Me only here and now.   Someday the fog will no longer be necessary, for you will have learned to keep your focus on Me and on the path just ahead of you.  (November 16)

It is mid-morning, and I am sitting on our couch in our Sun Room, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the Course.  The room is well-named because the sun is pouring in; in fact, I grabbed my prescription sunglasses to make it easier to read.  Large windows, 4’ X 6’ grace the room, 2 to my left, facing east, 3 to my front, facing south, and 2 to my right, facing west.

I am reading Lesson 299, Eternal holiness abides in me, and I am astonished at the synchronicity of reading these lines in bright sunlight.

Father, my holiness is not of me.
It is not mine to be destroyed by sin.
It is not mine to suffer from attack.
Illusions can obscure it, but can not
put out its radiance, nor dim its light.

The implied metaphor is that the sun is to my holiness as clouds are to my illusions.  The root meaning of metaphor is meta, meaning "beyond," and phor, meaning "to carry."  Recognizing that the sun is always shining, even though it may be obscured by clouds, I am remembering that my holiness is always as radiant as the sun, even when my illusions are obscuring my awareness of it; I am being carried beyond them.

And just look at this sentence from Lesson 300, Only an instant does this world endure.

Yet this is also the idea that lets
no false perception keep us in its hold,
nor represent more than a passing cloud
upon a sky eternally serene.

Several years ago, not long after enrolling in Endeavor Academy, I went to a class taught by a brother who had been here for some time.  At the end, he said, “All I know is this:  “When I am in conflict, I ask for Help, and when I experience Peace, I say Thank You.”  That was very helpful for me, undergoing my transformation.

Conflict is sleep, and peace awakening. 
(Lesson 331)

This came back to me when I read a brief interview with the best-selling author, Anne Lamott who has just published a book entitled, Help, Thanks, Wow!  She said, “Everyone knows that feeling of being in a situation that can go either way.  It could be a huge mess, or it could turn out OK.  When you realize that ending will be a good one, you are so relieved and amazed that you didn’t screw it up.”

I am happy for Anne that she has learned to ask for Help.  However, if I had an opportunity to attend her class, or one offered by the brother, I would be inclined to attend his because he has learned to ask for Help, standing outside of the duality, outside of the illusory world, praying to let it go, while Lamott seems to stand in the middle of the duality of the world, asking for Help to be OK as opposed to experiencing the “huge mess” of the opposite.

Anne Lamott will be just fine because her gratitude will enable her to be receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, talking to her in a small, still Voice all through the day.
Here is the last stanza of Lesson 300, Only an instant does this world endure.

We seek Your holy world today. For we,
Your loving Sons, have lost our way a while.
But we have listened to Your Voice, and learned
exactly what to do to be restored
to Heaven and our true Identity.
And we give thanks today the world endures
but for an instant. We would go beyond
that tiny instant to eternity.


Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal talk about catching glimpses of God in their Introduction to their book, Small Miracles:  Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life.

There are moments in life when we catch our breath and glimpse God’s presence.  Sometimes it is when we see the radiant face of a sleeping child, sometimes it is when we hear a fragment of melody that stirs awake an unfamiliar yearning. These moments—which flicker for a tantalizing instant and then vanish in a flash—convey to us a sense of the Divine.  Every leaf, every blade of grass bears God’s imprint.

A story is told of a holy man who radiated an unusual aura of inner peace and joy.  An unearthly, almost celestial glow shone from his body.

“Blessed one,” he was asked, “are you God?”  “No,” he answered.  “Are you an angel?”  “No.”  “Are you a prophet/” “No, I am simply awake.”

This reminds me of a brief passage from The End of Your World by Adyashanti.

In my own case, I had my first glimpse beyond the veil when I was twenty-five.  Something about that realization never left me.  Somewhere inside I always knew that everything as one—that I was eternal, unborn, undying, and uncreated.  I understood that my essential nature was not limited by or confined to my personality structure or the body I seemed to be inhabiting.  (p. 24)

And from A Course in Miracles:

Listen—perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered.  (T-21.1:6)

Reading  Lesson 296, The Holy Spirit speaks  through  me  today, I heard the echoes of two poems, one by Robert Frost (1874-1963),  and the other by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

First, here is the passage from the Lesson, relating to Frost.

We teach today what we would learn, and that
alone. And so our learning goal becomes
an unconflicted one, and possible
of easy reach and quick accomplishment.

And here is the third stanza of Frost’s poem, Stopping  by Woods on a Snowy Evening:

He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sound’s the sweep  
Of easy wind and downy flake.  

Frost’s narrator is in the woods in his sleight, still, and instead of taking the opportunity to be receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, he listens to his ego voice telling him of his worldly promises, and he hurries off.

Here is the passage from the Lesson, relating to Tennyson:

How gladly does the Holy Spirit come
to rescue us from hell, when we allow
His teaching to persuade the world, through us,
to seek and find the easy path to God.

Here is the last phrase of Tennyson’s Ulysses:

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

In Ulysses, the Roman name for Odysseus, Ulysses is becoming restless sitting idly, after 20 years of adventures, traveling to and from Troy, battling with his might companions, and now he summons them one more time to journey forth, seeking more adventures.

Jesus, the master poet, writes the poetry of His Course, layered with meanings that are so evocative for the reader.  The root meaning of evocative is the Latin, evoare, meaning, "to summon, to rouse,  to call."  We are being called to our transformation by sheer poetry, learning to turn within and letting go our worldly desires.

To read the two poems in their entirety, please go to my blog post for November 29,  2012, and read “Echoes of Poems in A Course in Miracles.


The other day, I was idly walking through the mall, Christmas shopping, and I heard these lyrics.

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.

The next day, first thing in the morning, I picked up Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling, and I came across her first paragraph for November 27, marveling at the synchronicity.

LET THANKFULNESS RULE in your heart.  As you thank Me for blessings in your life, a marvelous thing happens.  It is as if scales fall off your eyes, enabling you to see more and more of My glorious riches.  With your eyes thus opened, you can help yourself to whatever you need from My treasure house.  Each time you receive one of My golden gifts, let your thankfulness sing out praises to My Name.  “Hallelujahs” are the language of heaven, and they can become the language of your heart.

And I, Ray, know full well that a grateful heart enables me to be receptive to God’s Voice speaking to me all through the day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Echoes of Poems in A Course in Miracles

Reading  Lesson 296, The Holy Spirit speaks  through  me  today, I heard the echoes of two poems, one by Robert Frost (1874-1963),  and the other by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

First, here is the passage from the Lesson, relating to Frost.

We teach today what we would learn, and that
alone. And so our learning goal becomes
an unconflicted one, and possible
of easy reach and quick accomplishment.

And here is the third stanza of Frost’s poem, Stopping  by Woods on a Snowy Evening:

He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sound’s the sweep  
Of easy wind and downy flake.

Frost’s narrator is in the woods in his sleight, still, and instead of taking the opportunity to be receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, he listens to his ego voice telling him of his worldly promises, and he hurries off.

Here is the passage from the Lesson, relating to Tennyson:

How gladly does the Holy Spirit come
to rescue us from hell, when we allow
His teaching to persuade the world, through us,
to seek and find the easy path to God.

Here is the last phrase of Tennyson’s Ulysses:

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
In Ulysses, the Roman name for Odysseus, Ulysses is becoming restless sitting idly, after 20 years of adventures, traveling to and from Troy, battling with his might companions, and now he summons them one more time to journey forth, seeking more adventures.

Jesus, the master poet, writes the poetry of His Course, layered with meanings that are so evocative for the reader.  The root meaning of evocative is the Latin, evoare, meaning, 'to summon, to rouse,  to call."  We are being called to our transformation by sheer poetry, learning to turn within and letting go our worldly desires.

Here are the two poems in their entirety.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.  
His house is in the village though;  
He will not see me stopping here  
To watch his woods fill up with snow.  

My little horse must think it queer  
To stop without a farmhouse near  
Between the woods and frozen lake  
The darkest evening of the year.  

He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sound’s the sweep  
Of easy wind and downy flake.  

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  
But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep,  
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost


It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

         This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

         There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Making Explicit the True Meaning of Forgiveness: October Statuses

Two, or three, years ago, I set up a Facebook account, but I never really did much with it, until Sunday 8 April, Easter Sunday, auspiciously, when it occurred to me that I could post a Status statement on Facebook, daily.  These are my mini-essays for September.

In Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18

So, what is a “tittle?”

Ancient Hebrew scribes did much of their writing with little brushes.  Numerous letters were distinguished from one another only by patterns of minute brush marks.  Because of their shape, these marks were commonly known as “horns.”  It became proverbial that a careful scribe copied material exactly—that is, “to the horn.” 
When John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English in 1382, he referred to the “horn” as “tittle.”  Abbreviated in common usage, the phrase lives on.  Now when something is done with precision, it is said to be done to a T.

I must say that the modern scribe, Helen Schucman, scribed Jesus to the T.

I find myself either experiencing peace, or asking for help.  The trick is not to ask for help with conditions, but to ask for help to experience peace.

This came to mind reading this passage from Lesson 189, I feel the Love of God within me now.

Is it not He Who knows the way to you?
You need not know the way to Him. Your part
is simply to allow all obstacles
that you have interposed between the Son
and God the Father to be quietly
removed forever. God will do His part
in joyful and immediate response.
Ask and receive. But do not make demands,
nor point the road to God by which He should
appear to you. The way to reach Him is
merely to let Him be. For in that way
is your reality proclaimed as well.

When I came to “let Him be,” I thought of the Beatles song, and sure enough, they are right on the mark, completely trusting in Mother Mary.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.


As early as Lesson 2, I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me, Jesus makes it very concrete that our eyes are making up our world.  Here is the sentence:

Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. 2

Now here is the sentence that has such an impact on me:

If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what “was” behind you.

Your thought makes it so, and then it is gone, until you glance at it again, thinking it into existence.

And here’s the title to Lesson 4, These thoughts do not mean anything, they are like the things in this room.

These exercises prepare us to recognize that we can never forgive a person, or an event; we can only ever forgive a thought, a thought-image brought to us by our eyes.

Here is the first sentence of What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness recognizes what you “thought”
your brother did to you has not occurred.


The medium is the message.  This is a principle in writing.  Form and function are one.  So is structure and content.   

This principle is beautifully illustrated in Lesson 267, My heart is beating in the peace of God.  This is a perfect example of blank verse, 5 sets of syllables per line, slack STRESS.

my HEART is     BEAT ing IN the PEACE of GOD.

The message echoes the medium; it sounds like a beating heart.

Please find your heartbeat; read the title, again, letting the STRESS and the beat coincide.

Please read the entire Lesson, feeling your heart beats matching the words stately marching across the page.

Surrounding me is all the life that God
created in His Love. It calls to me
in every heartbeat and in every breath;
in every action and in every thought.
Peace fills my heart, and floods my body with
the purpose of forgiveness. Now my mind
is healed, and all I need to save the world
is given me. Each heartbeat brings me peace;
each breath infuses me with strength. I am
a messenger of God, directed by
His Voice, sustained by Him in love, and held
forever quiet and at peace within
His loving Arms. Each heartbeat calls His Name,
and every one is answered by His Voice,
assuring me I am at home in Him.

Let me attend Your Answer, not my own.
Father, my heart is beating in the peace
the Heart of Love created. It is there
and only there that I can be at home.

Jesus sums up His Course in His Introduction.

Nothing real can be threatened;
Nothing unreal exists;
Herein lies the peace of God.

I was reminded of this while reading Lesson 268, Let all things be exactly as they are. Only this time, I read it like this:

Nothing real can be threatened;
No thing  unreal exists.

All “things” in time and space are the projections of a part of my mind that has no source in reality; these “things” are “sickly forms” that I “wished” into existence.

Perception is a mirror, not a f act.

Let not our sight be blasphemous today.

Blasphemous means to slander sacred things.  I saw for the first time that to look through the body’s eyes is to slander what we see looking through the eyes of Christ, a true reflection.

Lesson 304, Let not my world obscure the sight of Christ.

I can obscure my holy sight, if I
intrude my world upon it. Nor can I
behold the holy sights Christ looks upon,
unless it is His vision that I use.
Perception is a mirror, not a fact.
And what I look on is my state of mind,
reflected outward. I would bless the world
by looking on it through the eyes of Christ.
And I will look upon the certain signs
that all my sins have been forgiven me.

After writing this, I came across this sign: 

The best things in life are not things.

Over two thousand years ago, when Jesus stood before the High Priest He gave us an incredible example of meeting projection with defenselessness.

And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou
nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said
unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether
thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said.

Matthew 26: 62-64

. . .Thou hast said.

Perception is a mirror, not a fact.


Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition.

And now, two thousand years later, Jesus leads us in our practice.

Today our theme is our defenselessness.
We clothe ourselves in it, as we prepare
to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ,
and let our weakness disappear, as we
remember that His strength abides in us.
We will remind ourselves that He remains
beside us through the day, and never leaves
our weakness unsupported by His strength.
We call upon His strength each time we feel
the threat of our defenses undermine
our certainty of purpose. We will pause
a moment, as He tells us, "I am here."

Lesson 153.19

I invite you to read my blog post inspired by a painting by a 17th Century Dutch artist, Matthias Stom:


While reading Lesson 261, My sight goes forth to look upon Christ’s face, I came across three words that stood out in particular.

MISTAKE:  to make an error.  A sin is just a mistake, an error to be corrected; it’s off the mark.  On a movie set, a scene is filmed, and a director sees something wrong and yells “Cut” and it is filmed again; he asks for another “take.”

PERCEPTION:  This word comes from the Latin, per, thoroughly, and capere, to grasp, or take.  Either, I thoroughly take in images through my body’s eyes, or I see a bright reflection through the eyes of Christ.

ILLUSION:  From the Latin, ludere, to mock at, to play with.  The illusion I perceive is a mockery.

Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games, which teach them that the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured. The game of fear is gladly laid aside, when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.  Lesson 153.12

And now here is Lesson 261.

I will identify with what I think
is refuge and security. I will
behold myself where I perceive my strength,
and think I live within the citadel
where I am safe and cannot be attacked.
Let me today seek not security
in danger, nor attempt to find my peace
in murderous attack. I live in God.
In Him I find my refuge and my strength.
In Him is my Identity. In Him
is everlasting peace. And only there
will I remember Who I really am.


In 1903, James Allen (1864-1912) wrote “As A Man Thinketh.”

In the Introduction to Chapter 21 of His Course, Jesus writes this sentence:

As a man thinketh, so does he perceive.

Here is the entire first paragraph.

Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived without it means anything. And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.

This passage powerfully echoes James Allen in his essay.

Every thought seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit. 

The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought, and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors which make for the ultimate good of the individual. As the reaper of his own harvest, man learns both by suffering and bliss.

Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are. Their whims, fancies, and ambitions are thwarted at every step, but their inmost thoughts and desires are fed with their own food, be it foul or clean. The "divinity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves; it is our very self. Man is manacled only by himself. Thought and action are the jailers of Fate - they imprison, being base. They are also the angels of Freedom - they liberate, being noble. Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.

Right now, I am simply enjoying the echoing of the juxtaposed passages.

In this dream, James Allen (1864-1912) describes his inspiration for his life’s work.

"I looked around upon the world and saw that it was shadowed
by sorrow and scorched by the fierce fires of suffering. And
I looked for the cause. I looked around, but I could not find

I looked in books, but I could not find it. I looked
within, and found there both the cause and the self-made
nature of that cause. I looked again, and deeper, and found
the remedy. I found one Law, the Law of Love; one Life, the
life of adjustment to that Law; one Truth, the Truth of a
conquered mind and a quiet and obedient heart...

"And I dreamed of writing books which would help men and
women, whether rich or poor, learned or unlearned, worldly or
unworldly to find within themselves the source of all success,
all happiness, accomplishment, all truth.

And the dream remained with me, and at last became substantial;
and now I send forth these books into the world on a mission
of healing and blessedness, knowing that they cannot fail to
reach the homes and hearts of those who are waiting and ready
to receive them."

Thank you, James Allen.


Yesterday, Christine and I had a most deLIGHTful day, driving to La Crosse,WI., marveling at the fall colors, eating lunch at Hotel Trempealeau, and walking in the woods, edging the Mississippi River. 

Later, we went into our favorite florist shop, La Fleur Jardin de Flora.  Christine likes the plants, and I check out the chimes and the statues and twirly things and the books. Christine bought a Hibiscus plant, called Mandarin Wind,  with one flower and a lot of buds, and I didn’t give it much of a thought.

This morning, early, I sat down on my couch to read the Lesson, and I was startled
to look across the room and see that overnight, three incredibly beautiful flowers had burst out of their buds, looking at me in all their glory.  The largest one was about six inches in diameter with five petals interlaced, dark orange along the edges, and pale white towards the center, exploding in a furry red. 

And this passage came to mind from Lesson 156, I walk with God in perfect holiness.

There is a light in you which cannot die;
whose presence is so holy that the world
is sanctified because of you. All things
that live bring gifts to you, and offer them
in gratitude and gladness at your feet.
The scent of flowers is their gift to you.
The waves bow down before you, and the trees
extend their arms to shield you from the heat,
and lay their leaves before you on the ground
that you may walk in softness, while the wind
sinks to a whisper round your holy head.


Reading “Glimpses of God’s Grace” by Anita Corrine Donihue, I came across a story about a woman named Fanny J. Cobb (1820-1915) who was blind from infancy because of a doctor’s mistake.  She had a hard life, but “in spite of everything, she resolved to enjoy life and be thankful for God’s blessings.” 

 “One day, Fanny visited a friend named Phoebe Knapp (1839-1908).  Phoebe played a melody for Fanny that she had recently composed and asked Fanny what the words should be.  Fanny dropped to her knees in prayer.  What she visualized in her mind was clear.  There in Phoebe’s home Fanny wrote the lyrics to the melody, and the hymn ’Blessed Assurance’ was born.”

This is a great example of becoming receptive and listening to “God’s Voice speaking to me all through the day.” (Lesson 49)

    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    O what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

    This is my story, this is my song,
    praising my Savior all the day long;
    this is my story, this is my song,
    praising my Savior all the day long.

    Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    angels descending bring from above
    echoes of mercy, whispers of love.    

    Perfect submission, all is at rest;
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    watching and waiting, looking above,
    filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

(I must say that I tried to think of a way to alter the last phrase of Stanza 1:
. . . touched by his rod, echoing “Thy rod and they staff, they comforteth me.”)


I just love to hear basic truth expressed in different ways.  For example, one of my favorite Lessons in the Course is Lesson 49, God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.

It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way. The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not.

The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.

And now listen to these passages echoed in the first two paragraphs of a book by Janet Connor entitled, “Writing Down Your Soul.”

THERE IS A VOICE INSIDE YOU.  There is a Voice inside everyone.  Whether you hear it or not, the Voice is there.  Whether you acknowledge it or not, the Voice is there.  Whether you ask for help or ignore its guidance, the Voice is still there.  Waiting.  It is waiting for you to stop, if just for a moment, and listen.  The Voice is always there, guiding you, encouraging you, loving you.  This book is about connecting with that Voice.

I’ll let you in on a sweet little secret right here on the very first page:  connecting with that Voice is easy.  And why shouldn’t it be?  The Voice isn’t trying to hide from you—it is seeking you.  It knows the rich conversation that awaits you both.  It knows what you need and longs to give it to you.  So it stays close at hand, in your heart, your mind, your soul.  The Voice is right there, barely below the surface, waiting for you to pick up your pen and penetrate the thin wall of consciousness that keeps you apart. 
(pp. 7,8)

Because of an event that occurred yesterday, I spent a restless night, and I woke up in a funk this morning.  It hardly matters what the event was about because what I am making of it in my perceptual mind is the problem; I am not a victim.  Looking through my body’s eyes, forgetting for a moment the truth of what I am, is always the problem.
So, I sat down on my couch and asked for help to experience peace, so that I could be receptive to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me all through the day, answering my questions:

What would You have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?

Lesson 71.9

Then I read Lesson  271,  God’s healing Voice protects all things today.

Suddenly, while reading this passage, the clouds of funk disappeared, and the light shone brightly, again, because these lines echoed my previous thoughts, reaffirming that I am God’s beloved Son; the synchronicity knocked me out, and I felt that easy, peaceful feeling again.

Your healing Voice protects all things today,
and so I leave all things to You. I need
be anxious over nothing. For Your Voice
will tell me what to do and where to go;
to whom to speak and what to say to him,
what thoughts to think,
what words to give the world.
The safety that I bring is given me.
Father, Your Voice protects all things through me.

Reading Lesson 186, Salvation of the world depends on me, I was struck by the word “arrogance,” meaning, overbearing, insolent, and assuming.  Listening to my arrogant ego prevents me from serving my true function as savior of the world.

Let us not fight our function. We did not
establish it. It is not our idea.
The means are given us by which it will
be perfectly accomplished. All that we
are asked to do is to accept our part
in genuine humility, and not
deny with self-deceiving arrogance
that we are worthy.

What came to mind as an example of pure arrogance is Julius Caesar.  In Shakespeare’s play, the conspirators begin to close in on Caesar, kneeling, imploring him to reverse his decision to banish Metellus Cimber.  In fact, they are closing in with the intent of assassinating him.  To the end, Caesar remains true to his arrogant self.

Thy brother by decree is banished.
If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know Caesar doth not wrong but with just cause,
Nor without cause will he be satisfied.
And he continues:
I could be well moved, if I were as you.
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fixed and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine,
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place:
So in the world.

Act 3.1:52-66

Obviously, Caesar was completely unaware of his true function.

Reading Lesson 277, Let me not bind Your Son with laws I made, I was inspired to experience Me as I was created by God.

I sat quietly, closed my eyes, simply focusing on breathing in and breathing out, letting all thoughts go by, fading away, becoming weaker and weaker, until, for a moment, peace filled my heart, infusing my body.  This state of mind is my Self created by God.
And then, I read again the first stanza of the Lesson, letting the egoic me be represented as “me” and “i” and my Self as I and Me.

Your Son is free, my Father. Let “me” not
Imagine”i” have bound him with the laws
“i” made to rule the body. He is not
subject to any laws “i” made by which
“i” try to make the body more secure.
He is not changed by what is changeable.
He is not slave to any laws of time.
He is as You created him, because
He knows no law except the law of love.

Seeing the egoic “i” as the Self I is so automatic, so habitual, so ingrained, so conditioned, and I was astonished to see a vivid reminder of this each time I changed the I to “i”.  The operating program of Word AUTOMATICALLY turns the  i into a capital I, just as the egoic i takes over and assumes my Identity.


Forgiveness can be quite confusing.  For example, I am sitting on my couch early in the morning, reading a section of the Text of A Course in Miracles, entitled, “For They Have Come,” and a brother comes to mind for whom I feel a seething resentment.  So, with this judgment pressing on my mind, I read this:

Regard him gently.  Look with loving eyes
on him who carries Christ within him, that
you may behold his glory and rejoice
that Heaven is not separate from you. 1

Damn.  It didn’t work.  I’m still pissed.  But, then, this Thought came in:  My perception of him is a dream; it is not so.  He and I, in reality, are  joined in our Christ mind, no matter what I am making up.  And that recognition, for a moment, is forgiveness.

OK.  That may not seem like much, but for a moment I remembered that I dreamed him up, and that moment is touched by forgiveness.

I’ll take it.


While reading Lesson 278, If I am bound, my Father is not free, I was struck by Jesus using the “if, then” proposition.  Here is the first stanza of His Lesson.

If I accept that I am prisoner
within a body, in a world in which
all things that seem to live appear to die,
then is my Father prisoner with me.

If I am bound in any way, (then) I do not know
My Father nor my Self.

In logic, the “If” statement is the hypothesis, and the “then” statement is the conclusion.  The question with these propositions is always whether the hypothesis is a true statement, or a false supposition.  Obviously, in these two examples, the hypothesis  is false.

Obviously, Jesus cuts through the falsity by his logical statement, saying, therefore, or “For:”

For truth is free, and what is bound is not a part of truth.

Here is Jesus, the Master.

If pain is real, there is no God.
If God is real, there is no pain.
Lesson 190.3

I am reminded of a poem by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936 ), “If.”  Obviously, Kipling is not awake to his true Identity, and identifies fully with worldly concerns,  overcoming the duality by choosing the positive over the negative, concluding that if you do it right, then you will be a good human.

Here is his last stanza.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!


My friend, Pat Connor, brought to my attention an account of a Near Death Experience, or I like to change it to a Near Life Experience, by a Harvard-trained neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander.

I was just mesmerized by his account because it echoes A Course in Miracles time after time. Here are some juicy excerpts.

As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.
Then, on the morning of my seventh day in the hospital, as my doctors weighed whether to discontinue treatment, my eyes popped open.
‘You have nothing to fear.’ ‘There is nothing you can do wrong.’ The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief.

For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face.
Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.
The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:
“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“There is nothing you can do wrong.”
The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.

Here is the link to the entire account.

We use a variety of metaphors to describe the fix we’re in as we look out on a world through the ego’s eyes, believing that what we look upon is real.

It’s a fix, a dream, an illusion, a mirage, a movie, a stage play, and you can add here your favorite. . .

I was reminded of one of my favorite metaphors when I read this passage from“What is the Holy Spirit?
Across the bridge that He provides are dreams
all carried to the truth, to be dispelled
before the light of knowledge.
We are in a spell, against our Will, indeed.
There is no Will but God’s.  (Lesson 74)

In this Lesson, after practicing experiencing only God’s Will, Jesus says:

If you are succeeding, you will feel a deep sense of joy and an increased alertness, rather than a feeling of drowsiness and enervation. 5:4

In a spell, I am drowsy and enervated, meaning “to cut the nerves of, to cut the sinews.”

Now, that describes what it’s like to be in a spell.

In the fall of 1962, in my senior year at Kalamazoo College, I was Co-captain of our football team, a defensive end, and tonight we gather at the Kalamazoo Country Club to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our undefeated season, only the third undefeated football team in the history of the college, founded in 1833.

What has faded away for me are the memories of the games and the scores and the plays and the practices, but what does remain are the intangible qualities that brought us all together, inspired by our outstanding coaches, Rolla Anderson and George Acker and Ray Steffen, and it is significant that we called them Rolla and George and Ray, and not the more official, “Coach.”

Here are some of those qualities: determination, perseverance, dedication, single-purpose, courage, selflessness, loyalty, teamwork, enthusiasm, and game faces.  The looks on our faces as we came together on those Saturday afternoons made tangible these qualities. 
During that season we found these qualities within ourselves, and there they were nourished and manifested, and as my life went on, I continued to bring these into application.

First, I spent a career teaching, and any class I ever taught became a team, working together, taking personal responsibility to make it a joyful joining.

Secondly, waking up from the dream through A Course in Miracles required these qualities and strengths more than ever.

At the Healing Center of Endeavor Academy, there are 12 Booths forming a semi-circle facing the front of the room.  Here are the names of the 12 Booths: Determination, Perseverance, Forgiveness, Gratefulness, Love, Peace, Light, Joy, Mind, Power, Freedom, Home.

What I experienced with my teammates and my coaches was the foundation for my transformation, and although twenty-one year old guys would never say it, we were held together by Love.

Being at Kalamazoo College for Homecoming, I was reminded of where and when the seeds were sown for me to write, Larry Barrett, my beloved English Professor.

In the fall of 1959, twenty of us gathered in Dr. Laurence Barrett’s classroom in Bowen Hall for Freshman Comp.  Here is the scene from across the years:  He is sitting on his desk, cross-legged, making searing eye contact with each of us in turn.  He has the haircut of the times, a short flat top, his sport coat is dusted with chalk, his shirt collar ends are pointing up, his tie is awry across his chest, and he holds forth in a gruff, but loving manner.  And, oh yes, much to Neil Harris’ delight and mine, his vocabulary is occasionally laced with mild profanity, like damn, piss and shit.  Neil and I loved it when some of the girls talked about it at dinner in Welles Hall, shaking their heads and pursing their lips.

Now, here is what brought it all together, the standing assignment:  Every two weeks, write an essay.  No assigned topic.  Write about what is important to you. 

The way Larry handled these tender pages was inspired and inspiring.  He asked us to type our essays on mimeograph masters.  He would then run them off, each one identified with a number instead of a name.  He handed out these precious packets, and he lovingly taught us how to read and write, using our own writing.

So, one day, while reading through a packet, Larry came to my essay.  He read the first three paragraphs without stopping for a comment or a correction.  Then he looked up and said, “Do you know what that means?  You bet your bootstraps you know what that means.”  He went on to say that it was a model of coherence.

Well, that was it, and that was everything.  It is as if lightning had flashed from Mount Olympus.  I swear ozone filled the room.  At that moment, I breathed in the divine, and that is the root meaning of the word inspiration, from the Latin, inspirare. 

After class, I walked out of Bowen Hall, headed across the quad, and resolutely said to myself, “If I can write for Larry Barrett, I can write for anybody.” 

Emmet Fox (1886-1951), a pioneer of the New Thought Movement, published a book entitled, Around the Year with Emmet Fox, 365 daily meditations, and this one is from January 2.

But where is this wonderful Power to be contacted?  The answer is simple—this Power is to be found within your own consciousness, the last place that most people would look for it.  Within your own mentality there lies a source of energy stronger than electricity, more potent than high explosive; unlimited and inexhaustible.  You only need to make conscious contact with it to set it working in your affairs.  This Indwelling Power, the Inner Light, is spoken of in the Bible as a child.  The conscious discovery by you that you have this Power within you, and your determination to make use of it, is the birth of the child.

This Child needs your protection. He is far
from home. He is so little that He seems
so easily shut out, His tiny voice
so readily obscured, His call for help
almost unheard amid the grating sounds
and harsh and rasping noises of the world.
Yet does He know that in you still abides
His sure protection. You will fail Him not.
He will go home, and you along with Him.

This* is a marvelous description of what happens when the spiritual idea, the Child, is born to the soul.  Walking in darkness, moral or physical, dwelling in the land of the shadow of death—the death of joy, or hope, or even self-respect—describes well the condition of many people before this light shines into their weary, heartbroken lives.

*I must confess that I substituted a passage from A Course in Miracles, Lesson 182.6  for his Biblical one, Isaiah, 9:6.

It is my intention as my day unfolds to ask for help to be in a peaceful state of mind, so that I am receptive to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, speaking to me all through the day.  (Lesson 49)  Of course, this is particularly the case in my writing.

This is nicely expressed by Janet Connor in her book, Writing Down Your Soul:  How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within.
And let’s not forget miracles.  Ask and you shall receive.  Every spiritual tradition tells us that asking and receiving is the law of the universe, and the Voice is happy to comply.  Pick up a pen with the INTENTION of connecting with that extraordinary Voice within, and your life will start rumbling, shifting, and moving.  Awakening, as if from a long sleep, you will see your world differently, and you’ll find yourself changing, subtly at first.  Then, as your trust expands in the wisdom of the Voice, you’ll find you have the inner strength and confidence to create your own brave new world. p. 9

INTENTION comes from Old French, enteneion, meaning stretching out,  reaching  to hear the Voice.

And, then, this came to mind:  As I write, I enjoy the fluidity of receptivity finding expression.


So, ‘Fearless Felix’ finally did it.  He jumped out of a capsule from more than 24 miles above the earth and landed safely, coincidentally on the 65th Anniversary of Chuck Yeager, the U. S. Test Pilot, breaking the sound barrier in a jet.

‘Fearless Felix’ hit mach 1.24, or 834 mph, the first man to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet. Of all the hoopla surrounding this event, what struck me was his comment about his experience of traveling faster than sound.

“It is hard to describe because you don’t feel it.  With no reference points, you don’t know how fast you travel.”

This reminded me of what it is like to experience the Real World in my mind without the reference points of the false world of time and space.

The real world cannot be perceived except
through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see
a world where terror is impossible,
and witnesses to fear can not be found.
The real world holds a counterpart for each
unhappy thought reflected in your world;
a sure correction for the sights of fear
and sounds of battle which your world contains.
The real world shows a world seen differently,
through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace.
Nothing but rest is there.
8. What is the Real World?

And this is how my friend, Kristen Kloostra, expresses it in the last part of her lovely poem, Holy Ground:
In this ancient new awareness of now...
Where are separate bodies?
Where is time and space?
Only the ecstasy of Union IS.
And the Great rays dance throughout our field
As the aurora borealis ripples and shimmers
through the sky in ecstatic delight. 
So release your world now and be swept away!


While I was walking around the campus of Kalamazoo College last weekend, enjoying the Homecoming festivities, memories came flooding in.

I kept thinking about one of my favorite English Professors, Dr. Laurence Barrett, who inspired me to write.

Ten years ago, I was surprised to receive a phone call from his daughter, informing me that he had just passed on, and while going through his papers, she came across a note saying that he wanted Ray Comeau to deliver his eulogy.

On September 12, 2002, I stood at the lectern of Stetson Chapel, cresting the hill overlooking the quad of the College, reading his eulogy, and about three-quarters through it, I felt this insertion of Light and stepped around the lectern and said, “Although Larry has left his body, his spirit is still with us here,  now.”

When I returned to Endeavor Academy, I walked into the Reading Room for morning Session, and Master Teacher was sitting on the couch, teaching, surrounded by students.  Master Teacher and I made eye contact, and then he said to me, “Did you know I was there?”

And I cracked up because I realized at that moment that he was the Light insertion.

He laughed uproariously, rolling back on the couch, his feet coming up in the air, bicycling, and then he rocked forward, laughing.


As happens so frequently,  I came across a sentence in a Lesson that stayed with me for a long time.  Here is the sentence, this time from Lesson 287, You are my goal my Father.  Only You.

Your Son would be as You created him.

“Would be,” the conditional form of the verb.  So, what conditions must I meet to experience my Self as God’s creation?

I ask the Holy Spirit for help to let go of, surrender, forgive the fear thoughts pouring through my mind that have no source in reality.  This leaves a place in my mind to be receptive to loving thoughts.

The Holy Spirit will help you reinterpret everything that you perceive as fearful, and teach you that only what is loving is true. Truth is beyond your ability to destroy, but entirely within your ability to accept. It belongs to you because, as an extension of God, you created it with Him. It is yours because it is part of you, just as you are part of God because He created you. Nothing that is good can be lost because it comes from the Holy Spirit, the Voice for creation. Nothing that is not good was ever created, and therefore cannot be protected. T-5.lV.1:2-8


While driving down the highway, leaving Michigan this morning, I was reading to Christine Lesson 294, My body is a wholly neutral thing.

My body, Father, cannot be your Son.
And what is not created cannot be
sinful nor sinless, neither good nor bad.
Let me then use this dream to help Your plan
that we awaken from all dreams we made.

Riding in the car, I found it natural to see the analogy between the neutral gear and my neutral body.  The car simply sits idling, ready for my command to go forward, or go in reverse.  It is simply ready to be useful.

The question is what command  do I give my neutral body?  There’s the problem, the “I” that is usually, habitually, yes automatically, in charge.  As my friend, Dan Maynard, frequently says, “Don’t let the blind one drive.”

The solution is to ask the Holy Spirit for help to know what direction to move in, letting go of, surrendering, forgiving the “I” plan. 

In Lesson 71,  Only God’s plan for salvation will work, Jesus teaches us to practice listening to God’s plan.

Let us devote the remainder of the extended practice period to asking God to reveal His plan to us.  Ask Him very specifically:

What would you have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?
W-71.9: 1-5

Dealing with brothers day in and day out, at work, at play, at meals, in Session, I find it funny, at first, to read a passage from the Course, like, Your brother is your Savior.

He often seems to do anything but save me.  But then I get it when I say to myself that my brother offers me an opportunity to take a hard look at the shit that comes to mind when I look at him.  In that respect, my brother can save me from my shit.

At that moment, he affords me the opportunity to realize I am looking through the lens of a projector, garbing him with my past references that only have to do with me, not with him, except as a triggering device, while all the time, he is the Christ, walking through my costume show.

My brother is my Savior.  Let me not
attack the savior you have given me.
But let me honor him who bears Your Name,
and to remembe4r that it is my own.
Lesson 288

Now, I will try to remember this when I next encounter a brother, and honor him as I say to myself, “Namaste,” the Christ in me greets the Christ in you.

In Lesson 190, I choose the joy of God instead of  pain, I was struck by the metaphors of the battleground that Jesus uses to describe the pain we experience when we choose to see through the body’s eyes.

Lay down your arms, and come without defense
into the quiet place where Heaven's peace
holds all things still at last. Lay down all thoughts
of danger and of fear. Let no attack
enter with you. Lay down the cruel sword
of judgment that you hold against your throat,
and put aside the withering assaults
with which you seek to hide your holiness. 9

In contrast, Jesus encourages us to find a place in our mind Above the Battleground.
The overlooking of the battleground is now your purpose.

Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it. From there will your perspective be quite different. Here in the midst of it, it does seem real. Here you have chosen to be part of it. Here murder is your choice. Yet from above, the choice is miracles instead of murder. And the perspective coming from this choice shows you the battle is not real, and easily escaped. Bodies may battle, but the clash of forms is meaningless. And it is over when you realize it never was begun. How can a battle be perceived as nothingness when you engage in it? How can the truth of miracles be recognized if murder is your choice? T-23.lV.5

In his book of daily readings, Emmet Fox (1886-1951), reminds me of the true meaning of the word, miracle.  It comes from the Latin, miraculum, meaning object of wonder.

First Isaiah says that the name of the Child is Wonderful.  The word used here requires careful scrutinization.  As employed in the Bible, it implies a miracle—just that, and nothing less.  The Bible repeatedly says that miracles can happen, and it gives detailed and circumstantial accounts of many specific cases.  Moreover, it says that miracles always will happen if you believe them to be possible, and are willing to recognize the power of God, and to call upon it.  As soon as the Child is born in your consciousness, the miracles will come into your life.  (Around the Year with Emmet Fox:  A Book of Daly Readings, January 4)

And, of course, Jesus begins His Course with the 50 Miracle Principles.  Here are simply the first 5, briefly:

1.     There is no order of difficulty in miracles.
2.     Miracles as such do not matter.
3.    Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
4.    All miracles mean life; and God is the Giver of life.
5.    Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary.

I cannot believe after all these years of being attentive to the root meaning of words that I never before saw that individual means to be “undivided.”

It took reading these passages from Emmet Fox’s book of daily readings.

The fifth main aspect of God is Soul.  Soul is that aspect of God by virtue of which He is able to individualize Himself. The word individual means undivided.  Most people seem to think it suggests separateness but actually individual means undivided, and God has the power of individualizing Himself without, so to speak, breaking Himself into parts.
You are really an individualization of God.  Only God can individualize Himself in an infinite number of units of consciousness, and yet not be in any way separate because God is spirit.  Matter cannot be individualized.  It can only be divided.  So your real Self, the Christ within, the spiritual man, the I Am, of the divine spark, as it is variously called, is an individualization of God.  You are the presence of God at the point where you are. (January 16)

Long before coming across the Course, I went through a Jungian phase that turned out to help me along the path to awakening.  Looking back, I realize now what he meant by his term, “individuation.”

Here are two quotations from Jung:

To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality in fact is.
What is it, in the end,  that induces a man to go his own way and to rise out of unconscious identity with the mass as out of a swathing mist?

It is what is commonly called vocation: an irrational factor that destines a man to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths. … Anyone with a vocation hears the inner Voice: he is called.