Sunday, January 06, 2013

Making Explicit the True Meaning of Forgiveness: December FB Statuses

Some time 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 December.

The other day, Christine and I went to a restaurant in Baraboo for breakfast, and while waiting to be served, she looked at her Smartphone and said, smiling, “There’s Wi-Fi here;” at that moment, I glanced at a newspaper on the table and read this title of an article, “Baffling WW11 code found on carrier pigeon.”

Britain’s code-breakers acknowledged that they found an encrypted handwritten message from World War 11 on the leg of a long-dead carrier pigeon in a household chimney in southern England.  They believed it may have been flying home from British units in France at around the time of the D-Day Normandy Landing in 1944.

Now, what struck me was the incredible development of communication technology over the past 60 years, and at the same time, I realized that the development of our awareness had hardly changed at all, i.e., most people still live in a dream of their own making, unaware that they are the holy sons of God.  Or, in Thoreau’s words, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.”

Of course, what’s 60 years compared to the 2000 since Jesus walked the earth?  And as a friend of mine often says, "Nothing’s changed in 40,000 years."

Thank God for A Course in Miracles.


The first sentence of Lesson 333, Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here, struck me powerfully:

Conflict must be resolved.

My conflicting thoughts, coming from a part of my mind having no source in reality, can be likened unto dirt and grime, and they can simply be washed away.  The root of the word, resolve, is the Latin, resolvere, meaning to loosen, undo.  One way to loosen my conflicting thoughts is to recognize that, “This is not so.”  Forgiveness can be likened unto a solvent, removing the greasy grime of conflicting thoughts.  No big deal.  They can be simply washed away.

Thus is the real world’s purpose gently brought into awareness to replace the goal of sin and guilt.  And all that stood between your image of yourself and what you are, forgiveness washes joyfully away.  (Chapter 30.V.6:1,2)


While reading the Course, I find it very helpful to pay close attention to the reference for each pronoun Jesus uses, e.g., “you.”  Here are three possible reference points:

1)     Allied  with the ego, separation
2)     Joined with the Self, union
3)    Deciding between the ego, or the Self, mechanism of decision

In the following passage, YOU represents 3, the mechanism of decision.

A Voice will answer every question YOU ask, and a vision will correct the perception of everything YOU see.  For what YOU have made invisible is the only truth and what YOU have not heard is the only Answer.  God would reunite YOU with your Self, and did not abandon you in your distress.  (Chapter 12.Vlll.4:3-5)

And, Thank God, Jesus is holding our hands:

If you will accept the fact that I am with you, you are denying the world and accepting God.  My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.  (Chapter 8.lV.3:8-10)


The concept of "sin" has taken on a meaning quite different from its true meaning.  Originally, "sin" simly meant "off the mark," an archery term, indicating that the archer missed the bull's eye.

To be "on the mark" means to be in alignment with your Source, to be one with your Self, to be at one, accepting Atonement for yourself.

My sinlessness ensures me perfect peace,
eternal safety, everlasting love,
freedom forever from all thought of loss;
complete deliverance from suffering.
And only happiness can be my state,
for only happiness is given me.
What must I do to know all this is mine?
I must accept Atonement for myself,
and nothing more. God has already done
all things that need be done. And I must learn
I need do nothing of myself, for I
need but accept my Self, my sinlessness,
created for me, now already mine,
to feel God's Love protecting me from harm,
to understand my Father loves His Son;
to know I am the Son my Father loves.

Lesson 337


Finally, after all these years, I know the true meaning of the word “wait.”  First, these phrases and questions come to mind containing the word “wait.”

What are you waiting for?
Just wait ‘til your father gets home.
Wait just a minute, Mister.
Just wait ‘til you’re my age.
Why wait for Heaven?
“Waiting for Godot.”

It all started to come together for me the other day in Session at Endeavor Academy when a brother said, “I am waiting for me to give up.”

And I was also reminded of Jesus gives us an incredible example in John 8.  The scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in the act of adultery, and they asked him what should be done, tempting him that they may accuse him.  And look at what Jesus does:

But Jesus stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.”
After waiting a sufficient amount of time, Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
And a gain he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, b eing convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Jesus reminds me that in the middle of a difficult situation, I need to step back, be still, wait to be guided.

Yes, there it is.  My only problem is holding on to my illusory thoughts and dreams, and yet, they seem to present to me a real world of time and space.  I am simply waiting for me to give up my false perceptions, so that I am receptive to the treasures that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are offering me in every moment.

I will not wait another day to find
the treasures that my Father offers me.
Illusions are all vain, and dreams are gone
even while they are woven out of thoughts
that rest on false perceptions.
(Lesson 334)


Dr. Even Alexander 111, the Harvard-trained neurosurgeon who had a near-death experience, has now published a book, Proof of Heaven.  One reason his story is so compelling is his scientific training.

During my coma my brain wasn’t working improperly, it wasn’t working at all.

Nevertheless, he reports that he experienced a beautiful girl with high cheekbones and deep black eyes on the wings of a butterfly who took him to an immense void that is both pitch black and brimming with light coming from an orb that interprets for an all-loving God.

His message to those who deal with dying is one of relief.

Our spirit is not dependent on the brain or body.  It is eternal, and no one has one sentence worth of hard evidence that it isn’t.  (New York Times, November 26, 2012, C1)

Our Father, bless our eyes today. We are
Your messengers, and we would look upon
the glorious reflection of Your Love
which shines in everything. We live and move
in You alone. We are not separate
from Your eternal life. There is no death,
for death is not Your Will. And we abide
where You have placed us, in the life we share
with You and with all living things, to be
like You and part of You forever. We
accept Your Thoughts as ours, and our will
is one with Yours eternally. Amen.
Lesson 163


Dave Brubeck, a pianist and composer whose distinctive mixture of experimentation and accessibility made him one of the most popular musicians of the 1950’s and 1960’s, passed over on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at the age of 91.

He once said:

One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart.  It’s the same any place in the world, that heartbeat.  It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born, and before you’re born—and the last thing you hear.

My heart is beating in the peace of God.

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.
Lesson 267


Reading Lesson 336, Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined, I was reminded of one of my favorite metaphors:  Forgiveness is like a SOLVENT, wiping away my illusory dreams.

In quiet may forgiveness wipe away
my dreams of separation and of sin.
One problem.  One solution.

You are entitled to peace today. A problem that has been RESOLVED cannot trouble you. Only be certain you do not forget that all problems are the same. Their many forms will not deceive you while you remember this. One problem, one solution. Accept the peace this simple statement brings. (Lesson 80)

But now we call back our wandering thoughts and wash them clean of strange desires and disordered wishes.  We will forgive them all, ABSOLVING all the world from what we thought it did to us.  (Lesson 188)

Here is the new perception, where everything is bright and shining with innocence, washed in the waters of forgiveness, and cleansed of every evil thought you laid upon it. (T-18.lX.9)

Your relationship with your brother has been uprooted from the world of shadows, and its unholy purpose has been safely brought through the barriers of guilt, washed with forgiveness,  and set shining and firmly rooted in the world of light.


Apparently, there is a Madison-based group that calls itself, Freedom From Religious Foundation.  This Foundation erected its winter solstice display in the Capitol rotunda as an answer to the state Christmas tree and other Christian symbolism.

The mock nativity scene celebrates the human family, reason and the pagan winter holiday.  The wise men were replaced with Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.  Instead of Baby Jesus, there’s a baby girl in the manger. (Wisconsin State Journal, December 1,  2012. A2)

Here’s the foundation’s festive message, penned by co-founder Anne Nicol Gaylor:

At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail.
There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

This struck me as a great expression of exactly how the ego sees the world.

What is the ego?

The ego is idolatry; the sign
of limited and separated self,
born in a body, doomed to suffer and
to end its life in death. It is the "will"
that sees the Will of God as enemy,
and takes a form in which it is denied.
The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak
and love is fearful, life is really death,
and what opposes God alone is true.
(12.  What is the ego?)
And let’s end on a positive, loving note:
Yet will one lily of forgiveness change
the darkness into light; the altar to
illusions to the shrine of Life Itself.
And peace will be restored forever to
the holy minds which God created as
His Son, His dwelling place, His joy, His love,
completely His, completely one with Him.

Merry Christmas.


This morning I was reading God Calling, and the message from Jesus to the “Two Listeners” for December 2 inspired me to look at the idea of supplication from another angle.

As I walk through my illusory dream, I am often supplicating Jesus for help to let go of my illusory thoughts.  I never thought of Jesus as a Suppliant, but this wonderful, loving passage makes it very clear that He is waiting with infinite love for us to turn to Him.

Draw nigh in the utter confidence that is the sublimes prayer.  Draw nigh.  No far-off pleading, even to a God clothed with majesty of fire.  Draw nigh.  Draw nigh, not as a suppliant, but as a listener.  I am the Suppliant, as I make known to you My wishes.  For this Majestic God is Brother too, longing so intensely that you should serve your Brother-man, and longing, even more intensely, that you should be true to that Vision He has of you.


Long before I came across A Course in Miracles, I read this sentence that seemed so true that I can recall it today, although I can’t even remember the name of the book it came from.  Here is the first sentence of the first chapter.

You may not think that what you think counts, but what you think determines where you are, and if you don’t like where you are, it is easier to change your thinking than it is to move the world around.

This came to mind when I read Lesson 338, I am affected only by my thoughts.

Your plan is sure, my Father, - only Yours.
All other plans will fail. And I will have
thoughts that will frighten me, until I learn
that You have given me the only Thought
that leads me to salvation. Mine alone
will fail, and lead me nowhere. But the Thought
You gave me promises to lead me home,
because it holds Your promise to Your Son.

I can learn to replace my thoughts with the Thoughts of the Holy Spirit, when I am determined to be receptive to His Thoughts, forgiving my own thinking process.


While Christine and I were Christmas shopping in Madison yesterday, I became “shopped out,” and wandering through a store, I was grateful to come across a small pile of books lying on a table.  I grabbed a book entitled, The Anthem by Ayn Rand.  When I read the first sentence of the Introduction by Leonard Peikoff, I didn’t care how long we remained in the store.

Ayn Rand’s working title for this short novel was “Ego.”

He went on to quote her:

“I used the word in its exact, literal meaning,” she wrote to one correspondent.  “I did not mean a symbol of the self—but specifically and actually Man’s Self.”
Man’s self, Ayn Rand held, is his mind or conceptual faculty, the faculty of reason.  All man’s spiritual distinctive attributes derive from this faculty.  For instance, it is reason (man’s value judgments that leads to man’s emotions.  And it is reason which possesses volition, the ability to make choices.

(I could hear the Master Teacher of Endeavor Academy say, as he said so often, “I’ve just got to get you turned around.”)

The term ego combines the above points into a single concept:   it designates the mind considered as an individual possession.  The ego, therefore, is that which constitutes the essential identity of the human being.  As one dictionary puts it, the ego is the ‘I’ or self of any person.

How does this novella about man’s ego, first published in England in 1938, relate to The Fountainhead (1943)?  Anthem, Miss Rand wrote “is like the preliminary sketches which artists draw for their future big canvases.  I wrote it while working on The Fountainhead—it has the same theme, spirit and intention, although in quite a different form.”

I was fascinated by this matter of fact conviction regarding the ego that we have learned to dismiss, forgive, as nothing.

What is the ego?  Nothingness, but in a form that seems like something.  In a world of form the ego cannot be denied for it alone seems real.  Yet could God’s Son as He created him abide in form or in a world of form?  Who asks you to define the ego and explain how it arose can be but he who thinks it real, and seeks by definition to ensure that its illusive nature is concealed behind the words that seem to make it so.  (Clarification of Terms.2.  The ego—The Miracles)


I just may be getting a little punchy with all this preparation for Christmas going on, but anyway. . .I was walking through a Mall in Madison yesterday, and I found myself actually listening to the lyrics of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and Santa’s plea to Rudolph struck me:

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph, with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Of course, Rudolph answered the call, heroically.

And all the other reindeer loved him,
As they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer,
You’ll go down in history.

Now, here is the punchy part.  My mind went to Joseph Campbell’s book, Hero with a Thousand Faces, describing in great detail “the call, the going out, and the return.”  And, of course, The Odyssey is a great example.

Well, Christine and I were called to A Course in Miracles in late December of 1986, when she encouraged me to go with her to a Meditation Class on a Sunday evening at Kalamazoo Community College.  In the middle of the class, a woman gave a thirty-minute Introduction to A Course in Miracles, and I was hooked, buying the book the next day and devouring it during Christmas break from my high school where I taught English.

We were called to Endeavor Academy eleven years later when we attended a Course Workshop over the 4th of July weekend in 1997.  Four brothers came from Endeavor Academy; we had never even heard of the Academy.  We were fascinated by what they said and our conversations with each of them.  Thirty days later, we crossed the threshold of Endeavor Academy, August 7, 1997, intending to stay for only thirty days, and we’re still here.

Let us wait here in silence and kneel down
an instant in our gratitude to Him
Who called to us and helped us hear His Call.
Epilogue, A Course in Miracles


I woke up this morning a couple of hours before my alarm was due to go off, thoughts pouring through my mind.  I went into my routine, reciting The Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23, but to no avail, and I got up.

I sat down with a cup of coffee and read What is a Miracle?

Miracles fall like drops of healing rain
from Heaven on a dry and dusty world,
where starved and thirsty creatures come to die.

And, then, Duh! the Thought came to mind that those thoughts in the night that prevented me from sleeping had no source in reality; they were perpetuating an illusory world, while all the time I AM the Holy Son of God. 

Then I experienced that easy, peaceful feeling again, and this song came to mind from long ago, Remembering and Forgetting by Jai Michael Joseph, from Carry The Love;

Here are the first three stanzas:

Sometimes I feel the spirit
Sometimes I feel so sad
Sometimes I feel so near it
Other times I hurt so bad
Some days it all feels wonderful
And some nights I want to cry.
Remembering and forgetting
That’s the game that we play
We drift so far
We forget who we really are
’Til we remember that love is the way
To remember
The light that shines inside of us
Is brighter, brighter than the sun
But sometimes we ignore it
We’re so busy trying to get things done
Sometimes it all seems so important
What we say and how we do
Then sometimes I feel the silence
And I know what’s really true.


I was very moved by reading an account in USA TODAY about a transsexual, Gabrielle Ludwig, 50, 6’ 6”, 250 pounds, who is on a women’s basketball team, Mission College, California.  For her it is a dream come true.

This woman whom her teammates lovingly call, Gabbie, was born Robert John Ludwig in Germany in 1962, and came to the United States in early childhood.
In 1984, he began an eight-year stint in the Navy, during which he served in Desert Storm.  While stationed in Alabama, he felt most at ease wearing a wig over his short military haircut, lipstick and eyeliner and a sophisticated dress.  (USA TODAY, December 5, 2012, Section C1)

Ludwig had the sex change operation in July, 2012.

What caught my attention is the loving support of her coach, Corey Caffera and her teammates.
One of them, Felicia Anderson, says:

“We’ve been discriminated against for different reasons.  We all have our own oppressions we are facing ourselves.  Either we are lesbians or we are different races or we dress like boys or we have piercings or tattoos or different hairstyles.  All of us are different, so it’s like, where else would you be?”

I just love Gabrielle’s courage, and the only reason I am writing about her is that it provides such a dramatic example of how we think in the duality:  If I become the opposite, everything will be OK.

YES, AND, I want to keep remembering that I AM the Holy Son of God, and in this state of mind, there is no opposite.


To keep it real simple, I am always looking into a mirror.  What I see is either dark, or bright.  It is always a matter of my perception, and this word comes from the Latin, percipere,  meaning to grasp with the mind.  So, tt is always a question of whether I am seeing with the mind of the ego, or the mind of the Self.  A miracle is a shift in perception, shifting from the egoic mind, to the mind of the Self, from darkness to light, seeing a reflection of the truth of what I AM, the holy Son of God.

Father, a miracle reflects Your gifts
to me, Your Son. And every one I give
returns to me, reminding me the law
of love is universal. Even here,
it takes a form which can be recognized
and seen to work.
Lesson 345

When I perceive through the eyes of the ego, I am making up problems that have no source in reality.

The miracles I give
are given back in just the form I need
to help me with the problems I perceive.

This miraculous shift in perception is forgiveness.

Father, in Heaven it is different,
for there, there are no needs. But here on earth,
the miracle is closer to Your gifts
than any other gift that I can give.
Then let me give this gift alone today,
which, born of true forgiveness, lights the way
that I must travel to remember You.

Peace to all seeking hearts today. The light
has come to offer miracles to bless
the tired world. It will find rest today,
for we will offer what we have received.


Sometimes, it can be so simple; other times. . .Oh, well.  But, right now, I am remembering to be conscious of breathing in and breathing out.  Now, consciously breathe in, breathe out, breath after breath.

So simple.

In this consciousness, all thoughts fade away; being present is a conscious breath away.  When I am present, I am receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, directing me as I walk through this world, being in it, yet not of it.

Now, how often will I be present to be guided as this day goes on?

Of course, Jesus refers to breathing in His Course.

This Child does not ask for more than just a few
instants of respite; just an interval
in which He can return to breathe again
the holy air that fills His Father's house.
Lesson 182, I will an instant and go Home.

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.
Lesson 267, My heart is beating in the peace of God.

God is with me. He is my Source of life,
the life within, the air I breathe, the food
by which I am sustained, the water which
renews and cleanses me. He is my home,
wherein I live and move; the Spirit Which
directs my actions, offers me Its Thoughts,
and guarantees my safety from all pain.
Lesson 222, God is with me.  I live and move in Him.

When you have learned how to decide with God,
all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing.

We are as certain of success as we are sure we live and hope and breathe and think. We do not doubt we walk with truth today, and count on it to enter into all the exercises that we do this day.
Lesson 107,Truth will correct all errors in my mind.


When I resist evil, I throw myself right into the illusion of duality, making it real.  If I think s/he “done me wrong,” then I want revenge.

If I were to stop for a moment, breathe in and breathe out, resisting “not” evil, I would have a chance to experience my true Self, reminding myself that the illusion made up by my false self is not so.

This came to mind when I read this entry from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling for December 8.

YOUR NEEDS AND MY RICHES are a perfect fit.  I never meant for you to be self-sufficient.  Do not try to bury or deny these feelings.  Beware also of trying to pacify these longings with lesser gods:  people, possessions, power.

Come to Me in all your neediness, with defenses down and with desire to be blessed.  As you spend time in My Presence, your deepest longings are fulfilled.  Rejoice in your neediness, which enables you to find intimate completion in Me.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil:  but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Matthew 5:38-39

In my defenselessness my safety lies.
Lesson 153

The Sage has no interests of his own,
But takes the interests of the people as his own.
He is kind to the kind;
He is also kind to the unkind;
For Virtue is kind.
He is faithful to the faithful;
He is also faithful to the unfaithful:
For Virtue is faithful.
For Virtue is Kind.
Lao Tzu 63


What Adam Lanza did at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New town, Connecticut, on Friday, December 14, is so horrendous that I am not even going to talk about forgiveness.

I will simply use this horrible incident to remind myself that I am responsible, moment to moment, for what I see.  I remind myself to do the salute, bringing my right-hand index finger to my nose.  I breathe in and breathe out and tell myself that I am solely responsible for what I see; “solely” in reference to my soul.

What I see is my choice, and my peace of mind is at stake.

Once again, Thank God for A Course in Miracles.  This all came to mind when I read Lesson 351, entitled:

My sinless brother is my guide to peace.
My sinful brother is my guide to pain.
And which I choose to see I will behold.

No matter what, Adam Lanza is a holy Son of God.

Who is my brother but Your holy Son?
And if I see him sinful I proclaim
myself a sinner, not a Son of God;
alone and friendless in a fearful world.
Yet this perception is a choice I make,
and can relinquish. I can also see
my brother sinless, as Your holy Son.
And with this choice I see my sinlessness,
my everlasting Comforter and Friend
beside me, and my way secure and clear.
Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice.
For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.

It is my mind, and I choose to look within and preserve my peace of mind, and in this peaceful  receptivity, I trust that I will be told where to go, what to do, what to say and to whom.

And here is this wonderful passage from Anita Moorjani's, Dying To Be Me:

So I found myself with nothing but compassion for all the criminals and terrorists in the world, as well as their victims.  I understood in a way I never had before that for  people to commit such acts, they must really be full of confusion, frustration, pain, and self-hatred.  A self-actualized and happy individual would never carry out such deeds!  People who cherish themselves are a joy to be around, and they only share their love unconditionally.  In order to be capable of such crimes, someone had to be (emotionally) diseased--in fact, much like having cancer.  (p. 108)


The weather predictions were on the mark, and I awakened this morning in the middle of a blizzard.  I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down on the couch in our Sun Room surrounded by large windows and simply  marveled at the snow sculptures.  A fluffy 4 inches of snow adorned the tree branches and tiled the fences.  I was “enclosed in a tumultuous privacy of storm” from Emerson’s beautiful poem, The Snow-Storm.

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.


Master Teacher of Endeavor Academy often used the term “dead ones,” referring to humans walking around thinking that the body’s eyes are showing them reality, unaware that they are the holy Sons of God, capable of seeing with Christ’s Vision.

This came to mind while I was reading a book by the medium, James Van Praagh, Unfinished Business.

It is ironic that humans think that their departed loved ones are dead.  In reality our so-called dead relatives are more alive than we are on earth.  Spirits are in a new level of consciousness, an awareness they did not take the time to acknowledge during their sojourn on earth.  I have had thousands of spirits tell me, “You call us dead?  Most of you are the walking dead! You have no sense of the world within you.”

Here is Jesus speaking directly to you at the end of His Course in Miracles.


And now in all your doings be you blessed.
God turns to you for help to save the world.
Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you,
and all the world stands silent in the grace
you bring from Him. You are the Son He loves,
and it is given you to be the means
through which His Voice is heard around the world,
to close all things of time; to end the sight
of all things visible; and to undo
all things that change. Through you is ushered in
a world unseen, unheard, yet truly there.
Holy are you, and in your light the world
reflects your holiness, for you are not
alone and friendless. I give thanks for you,
and join your efforts on behalf of God,
knowing they are on my behalf as well,
And for all those who walk to God with me.


Master Teacher of Endeavor Academy often extolled the value of using MAAPS, an acronym meaning, Metaphors, Analogies, Allegories, Parables, and Similes, demonstrating that it is helpful to use worldly comparisons to take us beyond the world.

I thought of this today while reading Lesson 342, I let forgiveness rest upon all things, For thus forgiveness will be given me.

I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save
me from the hell I made. It is not real.
And You have given me the means to prove
its unreality to me. The key
is in my hand, and I have reached the door
beyond which lies the end of dreams.

Here is the Analogy:

The key is to the door as forgiveness is to illusions.

I stand before the gate of Heaven, wondering
if I should enter in and be at home.
Let me not wait again today. Let me
forgive all things, and let creation be
as You would have it be and as it is.
Let me remember that I am Your Son,
and opening the door at last, forget
illusions in the blazing light of truth,
as memory of You returns to me.
Brother, forgive me now. I come to you
to take you home with me. And as we go,
the world goes with us on our way to God.

The key is forgiveness, opening the door to Heaven.


Thank God we are given maps along the way as we walk this world.  For example, Master Teacher of Endeavor Academy often expressed the value of MAAPS (Metaphors, Analogies, Allegories, Parables, and Similes). 

Metaphor comes from the Latin, meta, meaning beyond, and phor, meaning to carry.  It is a comparison that carries us beyond.  Here is a Metaphor in  A Course in Miracles that carries us beyond the illusory world.

Miracles fall like drops of healing rain
from Heaven on a dry and dusty world,
where starved and thirsty creatures come to die.
Now they have water. Now the world is green.
And everywhere the signs of life spring up,
to show that what is born can never die,
for what has life has immortality.
13 What is a Miracles?

Miracles are like drops of healing rain, falling on a barren world, turning it green.  This comparison carries us beyond the word, shifting our perception from mortality to immortality.


In the world of dreaming, it is tempting in the duality to stand in the middle of this versus that, good versus bad, and choose the “better” option, thinking that this choice makes everything OK.
In her book, Living Outloud,  Anna Quinlan gives us the metaphor for the duality as oil and water in her essay, Christmas.

Sometimes this makes oil and water of my life:  getting married in Alencon lace and pearls, and yet keeping my own name; answering all my sons’ questions absolutely truthfully, and then assuring them that Santa does exist; questioning church teachings in my mind, and yet reading the Christmas Gospel in church and feeling the power of its message in my heart;  “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” 

She calls choosing the better option, tradition.

Christmas is the mainstay of my year because tradition is the mainstay of my life.  It keeps me whole.  It is the centrifugal force that stops the pieces from shooting wildly into the void.  The only way I can bear the changes that grind on inexorably around me is to pepper the year with those things that never change.  Bath and books for the boys before bedtime.  Homemade cakes on their birthdays.  The beach in August.  Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Jack Frost nipping at your nose.  You name it, I do it.

Ah, Yes, there’s the temptation, standing in the middle, making it a better dream, while all the time we can take another stand outside of the duality.

Peace, then, be unto everyone who becomes a teacher of peace. Stand quietly within this circle, and attract all tortured minds to join with you in the safety of its peace and holiness. Abide with me within it, as teachers of Atonement, not of guilt.

Blessed are you who teach with me. Our power comes not of us, but of our Father. In guiltlessness we know Him, as He knows us guiltless. I stand within the circle, calling you to peace. Teach peace with me, and stand with me on holy ground. Remember for everyone your Father's power that He has given him. Believe not that you cannot teach His perfect peace. Stand not outside, but join with me within. Fail not the only purpose to which my teaching calls you. Restore to God His Son as He created him, by teaching him his innocence.  T-14.V:8,9


In this season (Christmas) which celebrates the birth of holiness into this world, join with me who decided for holiness for you. It is our task together to restore the awareness of magnitude to the host whom God appointed for Himself. It is beyond all your littleness to give the gift of God, but not beyond you. For God would give Himself through you. He reaches from you to everyone and beyond everyone to His Son's creations, but without leaving you. Far beyond your little world but still in you, He extends forever. T-15.lll.7

And this passage from Sarah Young’s  Jesus Calling, December 25.

AS YOU WAIT attentively in My Presence, the Light of the knowledge of My Glory shines upon you.  This radiant knowledge transcends all understanding.  It transforms every fiber of your being; renewing your mind, cleansing your heart, invigorating your body.  Open yourself fully to My Presence; be awed by My glorious Being.


In the dream, one of the great temptations has to do with money and possessions.  We are tempted to invest our minds in the wrong things.  Here is Jesus in Matthew:

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.  Matthew 19:21

Understanding what Jesus means turns on the word “investment.”  He is not referring to our monetary investments, telling us to give them to the poor.  He means that the poor are poor because they are not investing in  reality.  Since we are investing in reality, we can give it all to them, since we are among them.  We can give them everything.

In His Course in Miracles, written 2,000 years later, He looks back and says:

I once asked you to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me. This is what I meant: If you have no investment in anything in this world, you can teach the poor where their treasure is. The poor are merely those who have invested wrongly, and they are poor indeed! Because they are in need it is given you to help them, since you are among them.  T-12.111.1


This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us. Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. All pain and sacrifice and littleness will disappear in our relationship, which is as innocent as our relationship with our Father, and as powerful. Pain will be brought to us and disappear in our presence, and without pain there can be no sacrifice. And without sacrifice there love must be. T-15.Xl.3


One map that is often used to navigate our way through the illusory dream is an allegory.  An allegory is a strategy of extending a metaphor through an entire narrative, so that objects, persons, and actions are equated with meanings that are outside the text.

Here is a great example, Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave.

“Behold! human beings living in an underground cave, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the cave; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing.

"And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision."
(Plato, "Allegory of the Cave" from Book Seven of The Republic)

Here are the meanings that lie outside the text.  Seeing through the body’s eyes, we see only shadows and illusions.  But when we release ourselves and face the light, we learn to see with Christ’s vision.


I find that I am always looking for the specific reference point, an experience, that is expressed in a general statement.  For example, while reading Lesson 97, I am spirit, and doing the exercises, I do catch a glimpse.

You are the spirit in whose mind abides the miracle in which all time stands still; the miracle in which a minute spent in using these ideas becomes a time that has no limit and that has no end. Give, then, these minutes willingly, and count on Him Who promised to lay timelessness beside them. He will offer all His strength to every little effort that you make. Lesson 97.3

And then I saw this YouTube segment entitled, “Mickey Robinson Testimony (Death Experience)," and I was completely caught up in the experience of being spirit.
Mickey vividly describes his spirit leaving his body and going on this wondrous journey.

  Now, this is a reference point!


Reading Lesson 340, I can be free of suffering today, I was astonished that three sentences formed a perfect distillate for me.  To distill comes from the Latin, distillare, meaning to trickle down in minute drops.  Here are the drops in three sentences.

This day is holy, for today Your Son
will be redeemed.  His suffering is done.
For he will hear Your Voice directing him
to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and
be free forever from all suffering.

This day is holy. . .I experience wholeness, not separation.

Your Son will be redeemed. . .my possession will  be regained, my awareness of my  true Self.

For he will hear Your Voice. . .I will be receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me all through the day. (Lesson  49)

Directing him. . .I will be directed to change directions, from listening to my ego thoughts, having no source in reality, to listening for true Thoughts.

Christ’s vision. . .His vision is always available, if I am not blinded by seeing with the body’s eyes.

Forever. . .I will have lapses, but this distillate is a process that always works.


This is the time in which a NEW YEAR will soon be born from the time of Christ. I have perfect faith in you to do all that you would accomplish. Nothing will be lacking, and you will make complete and not destroy. Say, then, to your brother:

I give you to the Holy Spirit as part of myself.
I know that you will be released, unless I want to use you to imprison myself.
In the name of my freedom I choose your release, Because I recognize that we will be released together. T-15-Xl.10