Choose Love – Not Fear
“All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love. All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear. This is all there is. This is the world you make. Love or fear is your reality by your choice. A choice for love creates love. A choice for fear creates fear. What choice do you think has been made to create the world you call your home?” (ACOL, C:1.180)
So we are off on an adventure, a decision to shed fear for the much better value of love. The question in the quotation begs itself, for we know that previously all of us, encrusted with an ego that is destructive and violent, have chosen fear as our guide to walking through this world. We don’t have to make this choice anymore. There is another way, outlined in A Course of Love, scribed by Mari Perron, just as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford chose another way that way culminated in A Course in Miracles.
We want our reality to be love, whether or not we are thinking about this all the time. We often make decisions that are steeped in fear, thinking that we are making a choice for love. Our special relationships are the most obvious example of this dynamic. We find a “special” someone, we fall “in love,” we think that we cannot live without this lovely thing—for the person has become a “thing” to us. We want to possess the other individual for ourselves, but we are fearful about losing this precious object. What do we do now? How do we find a way out of fearing and loving, seemingly at the same time?
This is the dilemma of our world. And , in taking a look, directly, at love and fear, we will be directed to a new and different, never way tried by ourselves before. It is a fabulous journey without distance to a goal that has been ours for eons. We just didn’t know it before.
A Course in Miracles Sets the Stage
“The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11)
Many come to A Course of Love from A Course in Miracles. And Jesus has made clear that A Course of Love is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. Here we find the continuity that Jesus wanted. Here he expresses this continuity in terms of love and fear.
We are told, in no uncertain terms, that when we feel that we cannot fully accept A Course in Miracles (and, by implication, A Course of Love), we are “abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11) We think we don’t know how to live a life fully in love; we don’t dare let go of fear.
What is this but the ego talking to us? It is nothing but: It is pure ego.
We have such a problem in letting go of the fear-ridden ego in favor of the heart-felt place of our love. We think, wrongly, that the ego has protected us from unnamed disasters—when it is actually just the reverse. We are abject cowards in the fact of the loud voice of the ego that we hear shouting to us to be careful. We think that if we don’t heed these shrieking sounds, we will be lost. But it is actually the reverse. We will be lost in a hell of our making by refusing to listen to the still small voice that whispers of Love.
So let us take a look at what we are really meant to be, the person that Jesus sees in us. The person who chooses love over fear, consistently.
“To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear. To know the safety and love of the embrace is to know no cause for fear, and thus to come into your true power. True power is the power of miracles.” (ACOL, C:20.28)
Seeing that we don’t express who we really are out of fear, let us contemplate what we might do to turn this situation around.
Jesus includes in A Course of Love a sensitively-written passage in which he takes us into his arms and embraces us. The passage exudes warmth, peace, and safety. Here is the most cogent part:
“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.” (C:20.2)
This reassuring passage is emblematic of the tone of all A Course of Love, for ACOL looks to the heart, first of all, to entice us to give up the false values of the ego, the false identity to which we have clung for so long.
In letting this memorable passage fill our minds, we are led beyond the bounds of the fear-ridden ego. We will know that we want something different from what we have had all of our lives. We know that the enticement that Jesus represents is the true value of love, the way that we will come home to ourselves.
When we come home to ourselves, we will be fully powerful for the first time, and who among us does not want a right sort of power? The egoic power that we have known previously has given us flights of joy, but evermore it has dashed our feet on stones, and prompted tears of grievous regret. We can be finished with these tantalizing fits. We can stop sensing electric joy that dissolves into abject misery. Jesus is showing us the way out when he encourages us to be who we truly are.
When we don’t fear anything, in the embrace, we are primed to come into our real power. We are primed to be who we really are, in love with the whole world. And for this miracle, we need give up nothing! Nothing at all, for what the ego has given us has truly been nothing. The ego gives but to take away. And, even the giving is time-bound to be of short duration. The “gifts” of the ego don’t satisfy very long at all. Then we are off to a new goal. And, ultimately, what we have accumulated becomes ash and dust at our feet. No joy in the “everything” at all, for the everything is not enough. “Is this all there is?” becomes a legitimate question for the vast majority of us. And that is because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.
The best place to look for love is within the miracle. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say a great deal about the power of miracles. We aren’t to decide personally what miracles ought to be done, because we would be misguided if that were our attitude. Jesus makes clear that he decides when and if a miracle is timely, because he is in charge of the Atonement. But when we ask for something, such as love and the centrality of love in our life, we can be sure that Jesus is right there with us, cheering us along. We can’t know how the miracle will happen, only that it will. We are asking in God’s will for the relinquishment of fear and the shift to love in all our dealings. Prayers such as these do not go unattended.
The power of miracles is said in A Course of Love to be the true power. Would any of us want any other power? We need and want to be reverent in our asking, supportive of whatever guidance we get. We don’t need to launch into pipe dreams that become meaningless. With the attraction of true power in our minds and hearts, we will know Love sooner rather than later. And the fear that has hampered all our doings for many years will gradually fall away.
Tension of Opposites
“As a separate being, you have been in a relationship with fear. This relationship with fear is all that has provided the ‘I’ of the separated self. But because you exist as an extension of love, you have always held within you the Christ, who is the relationship with love. This is why individuation has become the conflict between, or the tension of, opposites. Because you have relationship with both fear and love.” (D:Day40.22)
We need to have the fear fall away, but we are doomed from that prospect as long as the ego rules and separation from God rules. We are heading into a new dimension of our personhood, a Christ-consciousness that will mean that we occupy a physical form in this world, but our minds and hearts are elsewhere, in a new consciousness that means that we live very much in the present. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
For eons we have been in a relationship with fear, because we were governed by a false view of self that has come to be known as the “ego.” This relationship with fear meant that any pain was very likely to turn into suffering, and more pain, and disaster, even. To rescue us from this dismal situation, Jesus has channeled both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the former to dislodge the ego, and the latter to establish a new identity. To establish a new peace.
We have never really snuffed out the Christ within. This is our true Self, the entity that is one with God, Who also dwells within. But our relationship with this false part of ourselves called the ego has meant that we couldn’t sense the Christ, and we couldn’t live well, and all in all we have been in a bad way. This is because we have been attached to fear rather than to love. And now is the time to remedy that.
Love and fear do not mix very well. Love is harmonious and kind, as we know, but love is not just an emotion. It is truly what we are, what we are meant to be. Fear, on the other hand, is the great pollutant of what we are. Because we bought into fear through the self ruled by the ego, we have never really stood a chance to be happy.
The ego gives but to take away. We have had flights of fragile joy, but egoic joy is never the real thing. And just as soon as we experienced one of these joyous flights, we were hurled downward, face on the ground, to a devastating sense of doom. It is clear that we can never enjoy peace of a lasting nature when this is the reality in which we live.
Is this not the way that we have experienced reality? But this is not genuine reality. Jesus is telling us now, in ACIM and ACOL, how to so live that we are in peace and happiness continually. If we heed his words, we will live in what is true reality. And we will have a calm peace that remains undisturbed by outward events in our physical and emotional world. We will truly have learned how to live.
And we will be who we truly are.
Only Two Emotions
“You label love a feeling, and one of many. Yet you have been told there are but two from which you choose: love and fear. Because you have chosen fear so many times and labeled it so many things you no longer recognize it as fear. The same is true of love.” (ACOL, C:2.3)
We have been pretty mixed up. We have, all too often, confused fear with love, labeling them both two of many other feelings. But we learn from Jesus that there are only two emotions—love and fear—and that all other emotions are variants of these two.
This simplifies life for us. But how do we move away from fear, toward love?
We need help, and it is help that Jesus is giving us. We have confused fear and love, often making choices that gave us fear when we were seeking to experience love.
This dynamic is especially true in special relationships, those relationships in our lives in which certain other people are emblazoned, by our ego, with qualities that seem to set these people apart from all others. This is especially the case with romantic relationships, which nearly always start out as special. We think that he or she is the best thing that we have ever encountered, and we want to appropriate these good qualities to ourselves. We complete in the presence of the other. We feel joyous. And we feel a sense of grandeur that is perhaps as yet unparalleled in our experience in this world.
But such thoughts are actually a grandiosity. And these feelings do not last. Our special person is found to have feet of clay, and we fall away disillusioned—sometimes almost immediately, sometimes years later. And then we often turn away, for we feel that we have somehow been misled. We misconceived what was before. He/she was not “special” at all.
But that other really was special. The problem is that we didn’t realize that we needed to turn the special into the holy, something that Jesus counsels us about. Ultimately, he tells us that none of us is special, or, conversely, all of us are—for we are no different one from the other. (Only in time do we differ, and time does not really exist; we live in eternity only.) We need to make an end, as A Course of Love counsels, to the whole idea of special relationships. They will never bring us what we want. And in turning from the special to the holy, we will finally know genuine love for the first time.
The special relationship fosters fear, for we sense that we “need” this other person for our completion. And we fear, rightly, that he/she may not always be there for us.
Relationships are the primary way that we confuse fear and love. A particularly poignant way that actually holds great promise for us. But only when we take away the fearful aspects of our relationship to another. And it is hard indeed to do that, when we are new to Jesus’s channeled teachings.
A Course of Love counsels us that we must indeed give up special relationships, but also that we will not really lose anything—for special relationships are nothing, being borne of fear. We will transform these relationships with particular others into a holy experience, and then we will know true love for what it is.
We have not heretofore recognized that fear is predominant in many of our relationships. We have had our eyes blinded. But now we can come to know. We recognize that feeling uncertain in relationships fosters fear only, not love. And we want love, the real thing.
And we can have love.
To Separate or to Remain Whole
“You have been told there are but two emotions, love and fear. What this is really saying is that there are but two ways to respond to what you feel—with love or with fear. If you respond with fear you expel, project, and separate. If you respond with love you remain whole.” (D:Day16.10)
What is the difference in reacting between these two emotions?
Fear is always separating, removing us farther from the sense of God’s Presence within us. Love allows us to be whole, at one with God, with others, and with ourselves.
When we are caught in the egoic fear that has engulfed us for so long, we project a fearful world. We project that which we believe to be true about our world. But this projection is all coming from within a fearful self-concept, and so this projection is really a nothing, dressed up in clothes that make it seem something important and right. But it is never right, and most of us are tired of the same old world of fear. We need a new attitude, a new projection, a projection of love. And this we can have, when we follow the guidance of Jesus in these examples of channeling.
So let us decide, once and for all, that we will respond to what we see with love. This decision changes everything for us. Not only do we forgive, but we see with the eyes of love. And our little world changes accordingly, for (as A Course in Miracles makes clear) projection makes perception.
“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (T4:1.11)
We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.
We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.
We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.
And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.
Love or Lack of Love
“The heart of the body is the altar at which all your offerings to God are made. All offerings are love or lack of love. Lack of love is nothing. Thus, all offerings made from a place other than love are nothing. All offerings made from a place of fear or guilt are nothing.” (C:1.2)
Our relationship to God undergoes a change when we read A Course of Love. He is no longer seen as Someone to Whom we pray for blessings, someone outside of ourselves Who hears our prayers. This type of supplication doesn’t work when we realize that God is within, that we are part of God. Our heart within the body is where our prayers properly reside. This is totally within ACOL’s emphasis on the heart as the center of our new being, the Self. If we are fearful or feeling guilty when we approach God in this way, we are sacrificing our best interests, for we need to approach our inner heart, the God within, in a spirit of love.
Love and fear, the same two emotions that we are considering, become pivotal here. If we approach God with fear, we don’t receive the whole blessing, for we are caught in our ego-mind. The Christ Self does not know fear, for this Self knows only love. And when we are in our right minds, joining mind and heart to form what ACOL calls “wholeheartedness,” we are living in love.
That is the only way to be, the only way to be who we are.
Lack = Fear
“All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear. Where there is fear, love is hidden. Love is rejected when a choice for fear is made. You cannot be without love, but you can reject love. When you reject love, it is hidden from you, because receiving completes giving. Each of your brothers and sisters are love inviolate. What each gives is incomplete until it is received.” (ACOL, C:25.5)
Loving each other, and giving and receiving as part of the same continuum, are mandatory in this world we hope to inhabit. If we are feeling in any way lacking in something that we need, we are in a fearful state that is best left behind. We have everything that we need, for our needs are met at the point that need is first recognized. The universe does provide; the only missing part might be that we don’t recognize that our needs are provided for. This would be a recognition of lack, and lack means that fear has the upper hand. Not something that we want; we don’t want to go there.
We are meant to share with each other in relationship one to the other. This naturally means that nobody will experience lack, for the giving and receiving that we do ensures that our needs are met.
Our brothers and sisters embody love. When this is all that we see in them, we will have walked a long way on the pathway back to God. We don’t need to see weaknesses and a sense of misplaced trust. These are egoic structures in others that are actually illusory. All of us are strong in the Christ Self. And it is this strength that we draw on when we relinquish fear in favor of love.
Love = Everything
“Love is the name you give to much you fear. You think that it is possible to choose it as a means to buy your safety and security. You thus have defined love as a reaction to fear. This is why you can understand love as fear’s opposite. This is true enough. But because you have not properly recognized fear as nothing, you have not properly recognized love as everything. It is because of the attributes you have given fear that love has been given attributes. Only separate things have attributes and qualities that seem to complement or oppose. Love has no attributes, which is why it cannot be taught.” (C:2.4)
We have confused love and fear, and in A Course of Love, we are told that love is everything, fear nothing. Love and fear are the two emotions, and love is fear’s opposite in every way. But understanding these points is not enough, for we have called “love” much that we actually fear.
This is most important to note in regard to special relationships, a topic of great interest in A Course in Miracles also. We actually find fear in our special relationships, the particular others that we seem to love better than other people in the world. These special relationships we fear to lose, for they seem to be everything to us. And this is where the fear is seen most strongly. Only when we have transformed the special into what Jesus calls “holy relationships” do we see our mistakes in making “special” anything in a relationship.
In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that the time has come to give up our special relationships. They have never brought us anything that we truly wanted. They were flawed, borne of fear in a fear-ridden world. Holy relationships, though, are filled with true love. We know that regardless of how much a person might reject us, we will keep on loving. And love all we encounter, though not in physical or sexual terms, obviously. There is a place for discernment, still, in our relationships.
Expressions of Love vs. Expressions of Fear
“There is only one distinction that need be made: what comes of love and what comes of fear. All expressions of love are of maximal benefit to everyone. While you may, for a while yet, not see that all that are not expressions of love are expressions of fear, I assure you this is the case. Thus any behavior, including sexual behavior that is not of love, is of fear. All that comes of fear is nothing. What this means is that cause and effect are not influenced by what comes of fear.” (T3:19.8)
So love is everything and fear is nothing. If behavior is not of love, Jesus says that this behavior is based in fear. He specifically mentions sexual behavior, and we know that much of our sexual lives have heretofore been more or less a “secret” from God. Not really, but we like to think so. Jesus brings this secrecy out into the open, letting us know that we are not getting away with anything. Our fearful sexual behavior, that is, our sexual behavior that is not love-centered, is actually nothing. It doesn’t amount to anything in any substantial way. It is just a lesser way to spend time.
We are encouraged to let our actions and our behaviors come out of love always. Then we will have no reason to regret. We will be home free in sexual behavior, in particular.
Love Is What You Are
“You feel you are capable of loving acts of heroic proportions and fearful actions of horrific consequence, acts of bravery and acts of cowardice, acts of passion you call love and acts of passion you call violence. You feel unable to control the most extreme of these actions that arise from these extremes of feeling. Both ‘ends’ of feelings are considered dangerous and a middle ground is sought. It is said that one can love too much and too little but never enough. Love is not something you do. It is what you are. To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to be unable to identify your Self. (ACOL, C:2.6)
We know from the title of this book that being who we are is very important in A Course of Love. And what and who we are, are love. We sometimes see this love as passion, and that is not wrong, just incomplete. We have sometimes engaged in extreme forms of behavior due to our passion, and we have sometimes been fear-prone when we have been doing so. Pure love is not drama; we make a mistake in believing that it is. We think that if we love in an all-embracing way, we will be embroiled in a drama that will take us outside of ourselves.
Love is not something that we do. Instead, it something that we are. We won’t succeed in identifying our Self if we continue to think in terms of doing rather than being. And identifying our Self is what A Course in Love is all about. We are trying to establish a new identity, and the new identity is the source of our being one with God. We have left the illusory separation behind, and we are at one with God, no longer afraid of Him. We don’t have to fear a traumatic experience in those times that we approach God. Like A Course in Miracles says, we will instead have a beatific experience.
“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?” (C:4.5)
We have often doubted God, and not just in our youth, when many of us became agnostics and atheists because the chronology of Genesis did not jibe with evolution. We have doubted that there could be a Higher Power Who could hear our prayers. We wanted to be intellectually honest, but we didn’t listen to our hearts. Our hearts knew all along that we weren’t alone in a fearsome universe.
A Course of Love questions, “How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?” (C:4.5). This lack of love that we felt when we were being intellectually “honest” is a reason to feel fear. What better reason could there be?
Now that most of believe in the Other Side, that channeling is possible and also probable, we are in a different place. Our doubts have subsided, but we still are living the remnants of too much fear. Fear has become a habit for us. And this has to change if we are to live full lives in a new world that we are seeking to create.
When we put away our doubt, we will make substantial progress. Just give the heart a chance to speak to you. You will not be disappointed. This may be the first indication that the Christ-Self is coming into its own, in us, in all of us.
Joining Jesus in Christhood
“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. . . .It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is.” (A Course of Love, C:5.1)
We are indeed blessed now! When we recognize the Christ in us, we are recognizing a joining the human and the divine. And in this joining, we are told, love reigns, “joining. . .ushers in love’s presence.” (C:5.1) All that has caused fear and pain drops away, and we finally recognize what love really is. This is the celebration, when we recognize the Self within, the Self no longer a captive of the ego.
The Christ in us is wholly human and wholly divine, not omniscient, of course, because of our humanness. We are ready to experience true reality in the fullness of the Christ-consciousness (Awakening) that now engulfs us. We may as yet have captured only glimpses of this Christ-consciousness. But the purpose of A Course of Love is to lead us to understandings that will cause the impediments in our psyche to drop away. Jesus wants us to reach Christ-consciousness. A consolidation of awakened individuals is the best hope that we have for a world in disarray, lost in pain and suffering, lost in conflict of one brother and sister against another. But God, we might add, is the omniscient Presence that makes the decision of when we are ready. Thus, there is an indecisive quality about Christ-consciousness and its coming that we can’t predict. Only the omniscient God of us all knows when any one of us is truly ready.
There are things that we can do. Things we must do. We must give up judgments, one of the other. We must give up fear (a biggie). We must give up attack and planning that is not the direct result of guidance. A Course of Love highlights the giving up of judgment and fear; A Course in Miracles highlights the giving up of attack, judgment, and unguided planning. These directives are meant to remove impediments to the coming of Christ-consciousness, and we can all recognize how difficult these directives will be if we don’t have divine help.
We do have divine help. We need only ask. The part of ourselves, the inner part, that is God, will respond. Angels will also come to our aid, for we are not all alone in the universe. Those of us who are in close contact with the Other Side will also come to recognize other entities that move to help us, though Jesus does not point this truth out, in so many words. Jesus has said that he is always with us, always guiding us by the hand. He is our rock, our salvation to a higher world in this world. We do not have to die to enjoy the benefits of a higher presence directing our efforts.
Feelings Come from Love
“Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (A Course of Love, C:5.11)
Jesus forms a startling assertion about love and fear, one that we wouldn’t expect. He says that all of our feelings come from love, in essence because we are not “bad” (C:5.11). A Course in Miracles says that we have the “innocence of God” (T-III.17:2), and so Jesus is here asserting to the same thought. How our feelings of destruction and violence can come from love may remain nebulous to us, but Jesus believes that we have just misunderstood ourselves. We have been misguided about how to bring love to ourselves. So we have made wrong choices in our love, choices that gave us destruction and violence.
Do we not often noticed that nobody who is embroiled in violence and destruction thinks that he/she is at fault about anything that is bad? History is replete with wars that were fought in the name of God, believing that one is doing God’s will in the antagonism. This is one way of looking at love gone astray. This is one way to realize that fear has done nothing, that it is only our misperceptions about love and how it ought to be expressed that have done us in.
Our feelings are not bad, Jesus says. We only need to channel those feelings in the right direction, seeing love where it really is, avoiding feelings of destruction and violence, pain and suffering. Then we will find love’s fruits to be our chosen just desserts. We will have taken another step on love’s pathway. Another step toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.
“The desire to protect is a desire that arises from distrust and is based totally on fear. If there were no fear, what would there be to protect? Thus, all of your love—the love that you imagine you keep within yourself, and the love that you imagine you receive and give—is tainted by your fear and cannot be real love. It is because you remember love as that which kept you safe, that which kept you happy, that which bound all those you love to you, that you attempt to use love here. This is a real memory of creation that you have distorted.” (C:9.3)
We are not able to use love to protect us, although we often try. The desire to protect ourselves is a fear-based motivation, one that can’t be what it tries to do, keep us safe. We are already safe; we don’t need anything extra to make ourselves so.
We have, Jesus says, a memory of love from eons ago (as the world judges time). Love at the beginning, before the illusory separation, kept us happy and kept together all whom we loved. Somehow, dimly, we remember this true event, and we want some of that same feeling now. We try to find it in fear that comes from distrust. If we didn’t think we were in danger, why would we think at all about being “protected”? We would know that there is nothing that we need protection from, and we would be at peace. So this desire is wholly fear-based. We do love a disservice when we attempt to “use” it at all. Love cannot be used, just as we would be wise not to use each other for our own ends. We are safe, we have always been safe, and sooner or later we will all realize our safety is a God-given gift.
When love is tainted by fear, it is not real love. Unfortunately, most of our love in this world is tainted by fear, and thus we need another way to view love. We need to realize that it is part of the long-ago memory of Oneness with God. Only our attempt to separate from God, with the concomitant rise of the ego, has kept us from real love. Let us decide today that we will be done with all of this foolishness. Ask to experience real love, remove our mind from attempts to use this love to protect the physical body, and see if a better day doesn’t dawn.
Love or Fear Seen in the World
“Think you not that reason opposes love, for love gives reason its foundation. The foundation of your insane world is fear. The foundation of Heaven, your true home, is love. The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (C:14.9)
We don’t have to have blind faith in the precepts of A Course of Love. We are told, “love gives reason its foundation.” (C:14.9) We are further told that the foundation of our insane world is fear. And the foundation of Heaven, our true home, is love. It is strongly implied that the way that we look at our world determines whether it is hell or Heaven. The way that we look. That is perception, and we know from A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception. What we feel inwardly will determine what we see in the outer world. And if we are feeling fear, we will see an insane world that is violent and destructive. If we are feeling love, we will see Heaven.
Is this too simplistic? Is this even true? Can the same images that flow before our eyes seem fearful or loving, based on what we are projecting? Yes. For the fearful mind sees more reason to fear, and the loving mind sees only that in its sight are lamentable things, but no cause for fear. The loving mind does not reject the outer world of insanity as not there; it sees that it is there, but it is only illusion, the illusion of insanity. And so it gives that outer, violent and destructive, world no credence.
“The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (C:14.9)
Yes! This is the secret for staying in this world, but seeing it differently. This is the secret of having peace in the midst of chaos. Choose fear or love, and all the world will change according to the emotion that is chosen.
“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (A Course of Love, C:16.8)
It is a good question to wonder how we can change from love to fear in our thinking. And the answer is one word: forgiveness. Forgiveness will overcome judgment, and above all we need to overcome judgment of ourselves and our brothers and sisters
We don’t really have anything to forgive, for we are looking out on a world of illusions. Nothing has actually happened at all. We are living a stage play that has no repercussions on our inner essence. Only those things that come from love are real, for God is Love, and His reality is the only true reality.
In the ethos of A Course of Love, we let our hearts find the forgiveness that our minds might deny. Spend a while today in your heart, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in how the day is viewed. We will, if we let our hearts make the decision, find forgiveness of ourselves and others, and thus look out on a forgiven world.
There is no better way to live. Just recognize, when someone attacks you, that they are being insane, that their reaction is pure insanity. And one would not blame a certifiably insane person for the strange reactions that that person exhibits. We would know that the person is not fully responsible for words and deeds, and we would forgive easily.
Our brother or sister who is certifiably sane is due the same response. In the opinion of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the attacking brother or sister is not actually sane at all, but mad in a mad world. And so forgiveness becomes easier for us.
Effortful Living Transformed
Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time. Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear.” (A Course of Love, T4:3.6)
We were raised in a dysfunctional environment—all of us, regardless of how loving our parents tried to be toward us. They too partook of fear, and thus we were nurtured in fear. The world became a place in which we sought the approval of our parents, and this approval became something to earn, something about which we must exert effort.
Our relationships continued from this first one, of parents to children (us). We sought to grow through achievement, our own efforts, and the world became a fairly grim place indeed. We projected this fear upon our image of the God within, though we didn’t know that He was within. Most of us saw God as an external Creator, someone, something like Santa Claus, who knew everything that we thought and did, and weighed it in the balance to decide if we were good little boys and girls. This is indeed a fearful way to view God, and we imagine that this might indeed hurt Him (if the Creator were to have an ego such as we have, which He doesn’t).
So we grew up, supported by our fearful ideas of this world. Only religious convictions can actually save us from the dilemma in which we find ourselves. And these do not necessarily have to be of a traditional sense. God is God of the secular as well. And He will provide. We need only ask, though we are apt to forget the asking part when we are fearful.
A World of Love
“Now, as we reverse this set of circumstances, and replace the world of fear with a world of love, there can be no more weighing of love against fear. God did not create fear and will not be judged by it. All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity. While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God. You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state.” (A Course of Love, T4:3.7)
We thought that it was protective to have fear in our arsenal of defenses. But did it ever work very well? We got anxious often, but did this really protect us?
We don’t need fear’s protection. We don’t need protection at all. We have no need for defense against anything. We will be warned when we need to do anything to “protect” ourselves because we are in danger of some kind. God does not leave us defenseless; He is our defense, if we ever need to have a defense in this world at all, and that is debatable.
Defenses do what they would protect against.
We thought that fear was a natural reaction, not realizing that it was, instead, evidence of living insanity. We need to replace this world of fear we have made into a world of love, and only then can we relax in the grace that God gives us. We need to make a definite decision to give up judgment, and this much we can do. We can determine that we will not judge ourselves, others, or God, and we can stand by this as a promise. The world will never again look as dismal. We will have found means to emerge from a world of insanity. We will walk into the light.
Loss of Love the Greatest Fear
“And all of these, those who would admit to fear, and those who would not, would still believe that love exists despite fear’s claim upon it, and think that they are lucky to have found a love to shield them for a little while from all the other things they fear. And yet the greatest fear of all is that of loss of love. You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain. For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state? What is loss of love but being left alone?” (A Course of Love, C:14.21)
We thought that we wanted to be separate from God; this is part of the theology of traditional Christianity as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Separation would be that we would be independent, on our own, isolated. Yet in the illusory actuality (for we could never actually separate from God, being part of Him) we have been the most afraid of being alone. Try as hard as we can, we still cling, desperately, to the special love relationships that would save us from ourselves—or so we think. So the living out of isolation has actually been the source of our greatest fears.
We fear being alone more than anything because somewhere in our deluded minds is the certainty that we are living amiss, and that a furious God will take revenge on us for denying Him. This is as true for atheists as anyone else, for each of us of whatever persuasion has a religion in which we put our faith. If this religion is ego-tainted, we will fear all the more, and what religion in our world is not ego-tainted? It is only in giving up our false idols of isolation and separation that we come even close to finding our way safely through this world.
We find our way safely in this world by acknowledging what our heart tells us. And this heart does not require “proof” of God’s existence. It is rightly said that there are no atheists in foxholes (a somewhat outdated reference recalling the first world war). When we get scared about our predicament, we do turn to what we hope will save us. And A Course of Love proclaims that this is the saving grace for what we understand to be our heart. It alone does not seek to have divine proof; it simply knows that we are not alone in all the universe. We are not isolated and independent; we are meant to share our living with others. And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love call these relationships, the “holy” relationships.
Most all of us have experienced loss of love in some form, with somebody. Somebody let us down, we cry. We think that if only this special someone had loved us for ourselves alone, we would be saved. This makes of love a mockery. And it places in our midst a scavenger that would devoir true love. We do not have to pin our hopes on one someone (or several someones) who can save us. We need only rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we are never meant to be alone, that divine love is there to protect and keep us safe. And once we give up the attributes of specialness, our relationships one to another will indeed be holy. We have to give up specialness in relationships, we are told. But the relationships will not be snatched from us, to leave us cowering in the dust. The special relationships turned holy will be a foretaste of Heaven, right here on earth.
Listen to Our Heart
“Uncertainty will not now come to teach you lessons you have already learned but will only visit you as an echo from the past. It is a habit, a pattern of the old thought system. All you must do is not listen to it. Its voice will not be gentle or full of love. Its voice will hold the unmistakable edge of fear.” (A Course of Love, T3:10.11)
When we refuse to surrender to divine love, we are racked with uncertainty about life and everything in it. We are like wind socks, buffeted about by the breeze, a gentle breeze that we mistake for the direst emergency. This uncertainty will fall away when we know enough to surrender to God. What uncertainty still plagues will only be a “echo” (T3:10.11) from the fear-ridden state of illusory separation. This echo will be fearful, and this fear is the way that we will recognize that it is a lamentable part of our past. It cannot do anything to us now except to make us uneasy. But it can and will do that, until we give up separation and its concomitant independence as a bad idea.
Don’t listen to uncertainty about anything in our lives. Let guidance from within give us the certainty about what to say and do and even think. The heart’s advice will stand us in good stead now. Listen to that which calls to us.
Listen to our heart.
Separation / Fear
“Your attempt at individuation and extension, an attempt consistent with the nature of your being, failed only because you experienced separation rather than differentiation, and fear rather than love.” (A Course of Love, D:Day40.6)
What, eons ago, were we trying to do when we enter physical matter on earth? We were not at risk of avoiding God, as long as we didn’t think that we needed separation from Him. We needed only to be differentiations—individuations—of God, experiencing physical form in this new environment, new for souls such as we.
But we did think that we need to experience what life was like to be separate from God. This is why this experiment, at first, failed. To live without God, without communing with God, we needed to construct a separate existence ruled by a separate thought: the ego. And so we dropped into pain and suffering, for nothing that deems itself apart from God can survive well in such a harsh climate as we have found ourselves.
We fell into fear rather than love, and that has made all the difference. We didn’t known what we were getting into. Long have we rued that day, though we didn’t know what we were rejecting. Our attempt at individuation thus became known as the “fall of man,” and we have since struggled mightily to find our way back to our Maker.
It is important to note that extension into physical form was not the problem; it was only how we lived it that was (and is) the problem. Now we need to recognize that Awakening to reality is what we need. We have taught ourselves not to commune with God, and this is a most unnatural way to live. In our finite minds, we can’t know what best to do next. Only supernatural help will guide us rightly. And this supernatural help is right within us, in the Christ mind that dwells within.
Let’s make the right choice today, and seek the guidance that only communing with our depths can bring about.
Wisdom that Has Not Come Before
“How can what continues to give in to fear know love? All your reasons for fear-based living have been discounted one by one. And yet you dare not try to live without it. Why? Because of the thoughts of the ego-mind. The ego-mind is concerned only with its own survival but it has you convinced it is your survival that depends on it. How can you be convinced to live as if the truth were otherwise? For only if you begin to live as if the truth were otherwise can you see that it truly is otherwise, or based on a wisdom other than what has come before.” (T1:3.5)
We tremble in fear when we make short forays in to trying to live without fear. Fear seems a given, something that will protect us.
We are misinformed. Fear is not necessary for our continued survival in this sometimes harsh world. The reason that we think that fear is needed is the lingering influence of the ego-mind, the insane part of us that continues to dwell just below the surface of our good sense.
The ego is gone from us when we have assimilated the truths of A Course of Love. We may not realize this, we may still struggle. But the ego only has a residue of false thinking that continues to infiltrate our moments of reflection. We have always thought with the ego-mind, and so to hear Jesus say in ACOL that we are done with the ego is immediately enough to raise doubts in our minds. How can we be done with the ego? We see its influence constantly.
We need to let go. We need to trust what Jesus is telling us. If he says that the ego is no more for us, then let the mind rest in that knowledge—for it is knowledge, not perception. Just rest. And the truth of the elimination of the ego will dawn on a calmer mind in ourselves.
A greater wisdom is available to us, and we ought to take advantage of that greater wisdom forthwith. Let the smudge of ego on our minds be lightened by our prayer consideration that perhaps the ego is just a mirage, seeming to be ahead of us on our pathway, but actually not representing anything but illusion.
From Ego-Self to Christ-Self
“I repeat, and will do so again and again, that the ego-self is gone from you. Whether you fully realize this or not matters not. This A Course of Love has accomplished. Now the choice is before you to do one of two things. . .to proceed toward love or fear. If you proceed with fear you will assemble a new ego-self, an ego-self that perhaps will seem superior to the old, but which will nonetheless still be an ego-self. If you proceed with love, you will come to know your Christ-Self.” (T3:4.8)
Yes, the ego-self is gone from us. The first book of A Course of Love accomplished this, making us The Accomplished. It is not ego that says this. It is the unparalleled good sense. Jesus says it. Can we not believe it?
If we continue to walk with fear. we are in danger, for we will be tempted to form a new ego-self. Jesus says in fact that we will form a new ego-self, if fear intrudes on our peace. We need to get rid of the fear, for our right minds depend on it.
On the other hand, if we proceed with love, we will come to know our Christ-Self, the inner essence that is our real Self.
We need to make the distinction between fear and love to make the right choices upcoming. We need to know that we are safe in this world, that nothing can harm us, that the blood that we see is merely catsup, and that illusions are not reasons to be frightened. We need to see reality, and reality will launch us toward love. We see reality when we trust, for, as A Course in Miracles affirms, trust is the bedrock of our new thought system, the thought system of love, of the Christ-Self. We give up fear when we recognize how divisive a force it has been in clogging up our minds. Our minds are precious indeed, but we have walked with a demented mind.
Now we can walk with a sane mind by listening to our heart. Our heart is our saving grace in this new reality in which we find ourselves. Only our heart can save us now. Let us proceed by listening to our heart, a part of our being that needs no proof of God. In our inner essence, we just know that we are not all alone in the universe. That we have an indwelling spirit that means us well. And that that indwelling spirit is God Himself.
Displacement of Love with Fear
“The displacement of the original intent, while it did not change the original cause, formed a false nature for the personal self. This displacement of the original intent can be simply stated as the displacement of love with fear. It is as simple as that. Yet the way in which each of you have interpreted this displacement has come to seem quite complex.” (T4:3.4)
We think that we live complex lives, and, indeed, the ego has reveled in that thought. But the only thing that happened, the detour into fear, was a shift from love to fear. We may this transition as quite young children. And we are led down a path toward living in fear that has always been hard to reverse.
Now we have a way, and it is simple in the extreme. We simply learn to listen to what our heart is telling us. Our heart always opts for the love that is hidden away deep within it. Our heart always knows how to guide us. In this time of Christ, the heart is our beacon, for the Christ-Self is within, like the heart. Of course, we don’t mean the physical heart. “Heart,” as used in A Course of Love, is a metaphor for the deepest feeling part of ourselves. We feel rather than think, and in that shift, a shift in consciousness comes slower or later.
We can hope for sooner, for those of us reading these words long for Christ-consciousness (if we have not already reached this). We long to live serene and awakened lives, sure of ourselves, sure of our brothers and sisters, and sure of God.
When we occupied physical bodies, we made a mistake, a mistake that could not happen but did. We opted for separation from God by feeling a tiny bit of fear that grew into an almost all-encompassing fear. This situation does not have to go on. We can retreat from fear into our real essence of love. At any time. And the transformation will be arresting.
“Loss of love comes from only one source. Call it fear or call it separation but it is still the same. For in your separated state you ask that love make you special to someone else, and that one special to you. You think this is what love is for, and so you make of it something it is not and only call it love.” (C:14.22)
“If you do not believe you can reverse or ‘turn back’ to the state in which you existed before the original error, then you never shall.
. . .
“This space you can turn back to holds no judgment and no fear, and so it is the repository of all that has proceeded from love. There it keeps all love’s gifts safe for you. Love’s gifts are gifts of creation or extension, gifts you have both given and received. Each act of love is added to the space in the universe that is yours and has become part of the whole along with you. All that has proceeded from fear is nothing, and has no existence apart from your own thoughts.” (C:17.12, C:17.14)
Within the separation, the illusory separation from God that hasn’t actually happened, it is impossible for us to be contented aside from special relationships. And, of course, these do not content us long, for we ask both too much and too little of them. Special relationships are fraught with fear. We fear being alone again, that this special one will love less (or leave), or that we (even though together still) do not love equally.
These concepts are all meaningless to a holy relationship, which seeks never to take, but always to give—though we know that giving and receiving are one in love. We will be contented when we give up the idea of having special relationships. Not that these relationships will be snatched away from us—no, never—but that we will never be happy on a continual basis until we have transformed our loves into holy loves.
Fear then will slip away. We know that if we lose one form of love, another will take its place. While we do not try to substitute loves for one another, we do recognize that it is our internal love that is most important. And this means that all Selves are One, all loves are One. Fear has no basis for gaining a foothold when ideas such as this are given sway in a life.
Returning You to Your True Nature
“You may not feel that you have ever intended to live in fear. But the displacement of the original intent was so compete that each life has begun with fear and proceeded from this beginning continually reacting fear. While the original intent remained within you and caused you to attempt to express a Self of love despite your fear, fear has thwarted your every effort and caused the very effort that has continued the cycle of fear. To have to try to be who you are and to express who you are is the result of the displacement of the nature of love with the nature of fear. What we now are about is reversing this displacement and returning you to your true nature.” (T4:3.5)
We had an “original intent” eons ago, and that was to live in love—not fear. But fear intervened, and nothing has ever been right since. This is the crucial, central feature of our lives. We have displaced love with fear, and then we have lived in this egoic state of fear. There ought to be a better way.
And there is. We can learn, and not necessarily by traditional means of study, to displace fear and the egoic self with the Self of love. This change will make all the difference. And A Course of Love is showing us how to effect this change. It is true (as A Course in Miracles says also) that God makes the final decision of when we are ripe for Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Then he metaphorically reaches down to us and lifts us up.
Yet there are things we can do to remove blocks to the awareness of love. This in itself will ease our way, and give us a happy experience. We need to get the idea of suspiciousness out of our minds; we need trust above all else. And trust we can have; just a decision to have it is enough to bring it to us. This does not mean that we will be gullible. We have our own good sense, and this is sense of the real Self, not the ego. When we place our faith in the inner Christ Self, we are far more likely to be right than to be wrong in our evaluations of others. Note that this does not mean “judgment” of others, for judging keeps us from attaining enlightenment. We need to simply rest in the assurance that if we are encouraged to avoid a particularly situation (or person), we will know how and where to do so. That is all.
Return to Relationship
“In seeing the self as separate you have known fear and have been forced to reconcile fear with love. Now, in coming back to relationship and union with me you have realized that you are not separate and now have striven against the ‘opposing’ force of separation. With the acceptance of the Christ in you, you are returned to relationship and need no longer strive against the ‘opposing’ force of separation, for you no longer know it.” (D:Day40.8)
As we turn from separation, we turn from fear to love. We may even strive actively to turn from fear to love. We have realized that we aren’t separate (as we could never be, for we are part of God), and we have striven to get past these ideas of the ego with every force of our personality. When we accept the Christ in us, we understand that we have returned to a relationship that has long eluded us, and now we no longer need to strive against separation. We know intimately that we are joined with the Christ Self; we know intimately that we are “separate” no longer.
Self in Unity
“The only replacement that can occur that will accomplish what you seek is the replacement of illusion with the truth, the replacement of fear with love, the replacement of your separated self with your real Self, the Self that rests in unity.” (C:9.24)
We see that A Course of Love makes parallels of illusion and truth, fear and love, and the separated self with the real Self, saying that a replacement of illusion, fear and the separated self needs to be made—with truth, love and the real Self. This is salvation, this is the coming to know that we will find in fullness in Christ-consciousness. Until then, we can see only rare glimpses, some longer than others, but still temporary.
This is the only accomplishment that we seek, and on some level it has already been accomplished, for Jesus says that we are The Accomplished. But not in any egoic sense, of course. We have walked the whole pathway, and now we find our way back to retrace our steps.
It doesn’t have to take long in the life of any individual, though the return may take a very long time for everyone on earth. Make no mistake: This is what we are about, the eventual return of everyone to full sanity, which means that we are in communion with our Creator and we have walked into the real Self through Awakening.
Love Is Welcome
“You exist, quite simply, because of your relationship with love. Love is the unity you seek. In having chosen separation over unity, you but chose fear over love. When you let go of fear and invite unity to return, you but send out an invitation to love and say you are welcome here.” (C:11.18)
Being welcome is an attribute of friendship, and being “friends” with love is something that we all can do. We need to realize that we are one (unity), and in this realization we are inclined to love more than fear.
Of course, we can’t always banish fear. We are particularly prone to fear’s ravages early in the morning, when the whole day looms and we are apprehensive about what lies ahead. At such times we need to make a determined effort to calm ourselves down. Over time, we have developed some of these techniques: writing in a journal, meditation, deep breathing, quiet conversation with your significant other (if time permits), petting a beloved animal. All will make small increments to erode fear. And, as time passes, fear will become more of a stranger in our lives.
We feel ourselves separate and alone when we face the day with apprehension. We are living our comfy homes for a sometimes terrifying outside that seems to wish us no well. These are the types of thoughts that replace love with fear. And it need not be so. The outside world is as much in need of our love as are our nearest and dearest. Give a helping hand to those we meet outside our homes. And then they will seem much less the bearers of bad tidings, or, at the last, uncertain tidings that give us cause for fear. Love with a whole heart, knowing that we actually are safe when we set our minds to creating a beloved world.
Loving Freely & Without Fear
“You who do not know how to trade your separated state for that of union have still done so when you have loved freely and without fear. In this state your memory returns to you of who you are, and you are innocent and joyous and one with love itself. That this memory does not last, and these feelings seem unsustainable, is the result only of that which does discard and replace. As we have said before, there are but two emotions. One is love, the other fear. Fear, through your own choice, replaces and discards love. Fear is always strongest when you value something that you feel may be threatened. Love threatens most your specialness. Before your conscious mind has any awareness of what is happening, your memory of love, of innocence and of joy, threatens your specialness, your ego, your separated self who quickly rushes in with love’s replacement. Nothing but fear could take the memory of love from you, or replace so quickly the glory that is your nature with the specialness that is not.” (C:14.28)
Fear is of the ego, and fear is a game changer in the hope of reaching Christ-consciousness. We cannot, in fact, reach enlightenment when we still entertain fear. But, the rub, how to stop the fear that so often threatens to engulf us?
Prayer is one answer, in all likelihood the best answer that we could ever devise. And it is not our idea, but an intuition and an experience that comes from God. Our prayers put us in alignment with something greater than we are, and this Someone has the power to right our little world immediately. We don’t have to suffer anxiety any longer; it just dissipates when we start to pray.
Meditation is similar, of course. We go into a zone-type of thinking that eases our minds. We don’t actively think at all; we focus on a sacred word or our breathing. And the miraculous effect takes over.
Talking with a treasured friend is yet another solution to fear. Others have known the same fear that we dread, though often we think that we are all alone because they haven’t told us about their anxieties, wanting to appear strong and solid to us. This is a fallacy, of course, which we will come to see when we converse intimately. All short of enlightenment are victims of the fear mongrels that rob us of peace of mind.
Think a bit of the practices that have given us peace of mind in the past. Of course, like all things, this fear, too, shall pass. But there are a myriad of practices which can speed fear along its way, never to return in quite the same way again.
Trust that guidance will lead us out of the darkness of our anxieties and our fears. Trust that choosing to be unity one with another will be an almost magical solution to an intractable problem.
Living in Unity
“In unity, all that you desired was participated in fully by a mind and heart combined in wholeheartedness. You knew your Self to be the creator, and loved all that you created. You did not desire and fear something at the same time, and your desires did not change from moment to moment.” (C:18.14)
We are now living eons past the time of “first” unity. This first experience of unity cannot really be recaptured as a sense impression now, but it can be recaptured as we move farther along the pathway back to God. We lived eons ago in wholeheartedness, knowing ourselves as a creator, a co-creator (if you will), of God Himself. But because of something that couldn’t really happen, but did (the “tiny mad idea” that A Course in Miracles discusses), we fell from grace into an adolescent rebellion. We weren’t patient enough to come into the fullness of our Being, our Self. So we coalesced around a false persona, driven by an ego that we made ourselves, and we fell into deep despair as a result.
We can return to the unity that we have forgotten. It takes patience and abundant willingness to capture what we have lost, but the recapture is God’s intention for us, and so he is right there helping us every step along the way.
Don’t get depressed that the way seems too long and tortuous. It may be long, but the way is not tortuous at all. Not with all the help that we are being given. Our way back is assured—indeed, has always been assured, from the beginning. God’s will only takes time in the working out, and time does not really exist, for we live in eternity.
Giving & Receiving as One
“Others represent the accidents waiting to happen, love that is not returned, the withholding of things you deem important. This fear that you feel in relation to others is as true of those you hold most dear to you as it is of those you would call strangers. It is the very independence of others that makes your own independence seem so important to you. Dependency is not consistent with your notions of a healthy self. What, then is the alternative?
“The alternative is believing in giving and receiving as one.” (T2:7.2 – 7.3)
We are in unity with others, but we often don’t encourage this unity because of our fear of these same others—even our most significant others. We think that being independent of needing other people will serve us best. We think being close with others will lead to an unhealthy dependency. But is this in line with A Course of Love?
Absolutely not. We give and receive in tandem when we follow the dictates of ACOL. We know that independence is not so very healthy, that the opposite of independence is not dependency, but a heartfelt joining of ourselves to other people. We give them our love; they return our love. The giving up of our solitary nature is actually a most joyful undertaking—when we realize that we were never meant to be isolated and alone. We are meant to share with others, to live in a partnership with others. Why else would the world have so many people?
We are meant to join and to share, giving up our prideful isolation in a choice to give and receive as one with other people sharing our world. This choice will give us joy. Can it be so wrong to choose what will make us happy, avoiding the false independent nature that has failed us so many times?
Miracles Become Natural Occurrences
“You are a unique expression of the selfsame love that exists in all creation. Thus your expression of love is as unique as your Self. It is in the cooperation between unique expressions of love that creation continues and miracles become natural occurrences.” (C:20.30)
We are meant to live in a miraculous world, surrounded daily by a higher realm that meets our every need with miracles attuned to supply and demand. We are unique individuals, each of us, but when we live in cooperation with each other, this uniqueness suggest that being different is not so much a fact as is our sameness. We are all equally special, or, seen in the reverse, none of us are special at all. We are simply entities of the creative endeavor of a limitless God Who knows no bounds to His loving of us, His creatures, of us, His Sons and Daughters.
We were born of His love, and when we extend the love that is at the core of our being, we soon live a life that is miraculous in the extreme. We no longer take nature for granted. We no longer take the dawn of a new day for granted. We no longer take our health as a given. We know that the love that sustains us also provides for us.
And we know that that love comes from God Himself.
Laws of the Universe of Love
“This cooperation is natural when fear has been rejected. You have long embraced fear and rejected love. Now the reverse is true. This reversal of truth has changed the nature of your universe and the laws by which it operates. The laws of fear were laws of struggle, limits, danger, and competitiveness. The laws of love are laws of peace, abundance, safety, and cooperation. Your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of love will naturally be different from your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of fear. You set the laws of the universe when you chose fear. The laws of the universe of love are God-given.” (C:20.30 – 20.31)
We need love; it is our very nature. We have lived for a long time in the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) that gave us a universe of fear. We were not at home there; we struggled mightily. We listened to an egoic persona that did not mean us well, that tried to protect us by isolating us from each other in a cacophony of diverse sounds that spelled “fear” to us. We never felt safe, because we never were safe. Our “creations” had come back to haunt us.
But now all that can change. Now we know better. In a universe of love, we know peace abundance, safety, cooperation. Our laws of struggle, limits danger, and competitiveness are not outdated. What a joy to envision what awaits us in this new age! We are safe because we are no longer “creating” with the ego; we are working within the laws of God, laws which complement our true reality. We are homebound, safe in a universe where love reigns and where we have turned aside from the ego and its sad and forlorn dictates.
Love / Safety / Trust
“Where you learned to hate, you will learn to love. Where you learned to fear, you will learn safety. Where you learned to distrust, you will learn trust. And each learning experience will be a learning experience because it will touch your heart.” (C:24.1)
We are thinking about the heart in A Course of Love. Of course, technically we are thinking about “wholeheartedness,” which is the union of mind and heart. But we focus on the heart because we have so long neglected that vital center of our Self. When we were caught by the ego, we listened to what our deluded and insane mind said. And when we sought to relinquish the ego, we were changing our minds.
But there is a step beyond that A Course of Love seeks to have us reach. And this step is reached without words that the mind could understand, or rational understanding that is totally beyond the ego. This is the realm of the heart, where words fail us and we are at home in God. We “know” things without having to be told. We “understand” things without a rational explanation. Life just “is,” and we are finally and ultimately happy in the “isness” that will lead us to Christ-consciousness. We don’t ask anymore because we have no need. We know. And this knowledge saves us.
“While your mind did not accept the truth of your identity or the reality of love without fear, it existed in a reality of fear and judgment, and bound heart and body to this reality. Your heart has now heard the appeal of this Course and worked with your mind to bring about this acceptance of the truth, a truth your heart has always known but has been unable to free you to accept without the mind’s cooperation.” (T4:7.5)
This quotation explains the concept of wholeheartedness, that we need to join mind to heart, not letting either take the ascendancy alone. In wholeheartedness, we give up fear, not with a whimper, but with a joyful shout. We are free at last! Fear and judgment go together, and both are anathema to reaching Christ-consciousness. Our heart has always known truths that our mind rejected because of our intellectualism. Basically, we didn’t want to be superstitious. We feared that believing in God was intellectually suspect.
Our heart doesn’t have such misgivings. Our heart knows that there is a Something—or Someone—More. And when we listen to our hearts, we are happier. Would you not take happiness, any day, over intellectual skepticism that locks us in despair?
“Rest, when truly learned, is a state of being in which struggle has ceased and peace has triumphed over chaos, love has triumphed over fear.
“You may still see but two choices: peace or struggle. But with such an attitude, you would soon be struggling to maintain your peace. There is another choice, and it lies within.” (T2:1.6 – 1.7)
We are at rest when we commune with our depths, which is the same as saying that we commune with our God. He is always there, ready and eagerly waiting to help in any way that we will allow. He doesn’t interfere if we thwart His ways by not turning to Him; He gave us free will so that we would turn to Him out of our extreme need.
Many don’t turn to God unless and until we are in dire straits. But what a way to live! Let intellectual doubts rest in the knowledge from the heart that there is a Supreme Power that dwells in the depths of our souls. Within and without, He is always there—waiting for our nod in His direction.
We don’t have to choose peace over struggle in some kind of balancing act that seeks to keep the peace and resist the struggle. We need only rest within, and all struggle ceases easily. We have peace when we rest within. And then God reigns. And all is well in His world—and His world is our own.
A New Response
“While God is nothing but the Source of Love, you have, in your doubt, made of God the source of fear. Pause a moment here and let the enormity of this confusion sink in, for this is the reversal in thinking that will pave the way for all the rest. Because of this confusion you have responded to Creation with fear. Is it no wonder a new response is asked of you?” (T1:4.26)
We fear many things, but we don’t often realize that what we fear most is actually God. Or our concepts of God, which are misguided and inaccurate. He is Love—as we know—but still we forget, even when we pray daily. We think that maybe He doesn’t have our best interests at heart, our best interests as we view them. We think that what we want for ourselves would be better. And when we realize that God is in the depths of our spirit, then we can realize how very confused we have become.
God means us well. Our Depths mean us well. We don’t have to fear God at all. It is not He Who punishes us, if indeed we are punished at all. (And the ego does punish, though we are trying to get away from this concept, this deluded concept.) Once we are able to fully believe that God is “for us,” then our love for Him can blossom, and our egoic fears will soon drop away.
Love in Physicality
“This state you have not even dared to dream of is a state in which only God’s laws of love exist even within the realm of physicality. What this means is that all that is in this human experience has come of love will be retained. All that will be lost is what has come of fear.” (T3:12.7)
We want the elevated Self of form; we want God’s laws to be existent within our lives. And love will do this for us. We have not even dared to dream of this new life, for we have feared so much that we haven’t trusted at all (or very little). But we can have a new life, closeted in physical bodies. And this will be familiar to us, because we have lived in physicality all of our lives.
Our love will be retained. Our fear will not.
Choice for a Physical Self
“Let’s return a moment to the choice that was made for the human experience, the choice to express whom you are in the realm of physicality. You were not ‘better’ or more ‘right’ before this choice was made than you are now. You made a choice consistent with the laws of creation and the steps of creation outlined above. From this choice, many experiences ensued. Some of these experiences were the result of fear, some the result of love. The choice to express who you are in physical terms was not a choice made of fear but made of love. A physical self is not inconsistent with the laws of God or of creation. It is simply a choice.” (T3:12.8)
A Course of Love reassures us that physicality is not a second-best choice. It is purely within the laws of God, though the way in which this choice worked out for us was flawed. We developed the ego, and in so doing, our physicality took on a role that has hindered our full development in this world.
Now w e are faced with a new choice: an elevated Self of form, form without the ego. And, indeed, the latter half of A Course of Love indicates that we have given up the ego as a bad idea. And the Self of form will know God in an intimate way that the egoic self never did, never could.
This blessing ought to give us reason to be thankful. We are not trapped by bodies at all, though we might have once viewed our life on earth in these terms. We can live well and happily in the flesh.
Let’s set about doing so today.
Why Fear Exists
“The life of the physical self became a life of suffering and strife only because the physical or personal self forgot that it exists in relationship and believed itself to be separate and alone. In its fear, it made an ego-self which, because it sprang from fear, was not consistent with the laws of Love or of creation. Knowing it existed in a state inconsistent with that of the laws of God, it made of God a being to be feared, thus continuing, and being unable to find release from, the cycle of fear.” (T3:12.9)
When we “fell” from grace, we decided that we had made God mad with us. He would then be seen as Someone to fear. We retaliate when we are hurt, and so we thought that God would do so as well.
How wrong we were! God let us go, as a parent lets a misguided adolescent go when his/her rebellion is so great. But we never had anything to fear from God. We made a personal self, with an insane ego, that could not stand up long-term. We would eventually seek to right our misguided notions. The ego-self made us think that we were all alone in a hostile universe. And we suffered accordingly.
This never had to be. As ACOL makes plain, a physical self might have grown up well as the elevated Self of form. We just didn’t do it right. And now we have another chance.
Let’s make that chance work out right this time around.
To Choose Physical Bodies
“There is no reason why the original nature of your being cannot become a being the nature of which is form if you so choose it to be. There is a reason why the original nature of your being cannot exist in a form unnatural to love. A form whose nature is fear cannot house the creation of love.” (T4:3.12)
We must give up fear, or we are lost. Not forever, of course, but for the time being, what we live now.
And this is not what we want. Our physical form cannot house fear and hope to know Christ-consciousness. It is just that simple—and just that complex. We don’t know how to reach Christ-consciousness on our own, though we are learning something about how to remove the blocks to love’s awareness. This is all that is expected of us, to remove the blocks. God Himself will metaphorically each down and lift us up when we have met the criteria of leaving behind fear, and, also, judgment. These are the two impediments.
And when we rid ourselves, with God’s help, of these two impediments, we will see how rapidly He acts. We don’t, surprisingly, have to be perfect—for who could be perfect in this imperfect world? We need simply to choose love in every instance, choose love and watch fear and judgment fall away.
Love over the Reign of Fear
“You must realize that here is where fear must be totally replaced by love. If you fear to go where the portal of access will take you, you will not go. Thus your desire needs to be greater than your fear. Love needs to reign. Love of self and love of your brothers and sisters, love of the natural world, of the world of form that is, love of the idea of the new world that can be, all of these must come together and be victors over the reign of fear.” (D:Day4.38)
We are set on a road to love. We are encouraged to love self, others, the natural world, all in the world of form, and this idea we are learning of a new world. When we love in these particulars, we are moving closer to the Christ-consciousness that will be ours when we have loved most completely.
The new world is ours to create—not “make,” but create. This is something different, for previously we have learned that we were only “making” illusions in an outer, physical, world. Now we are really creating, and perhaps we are creating in reality. That is a bit debatable, of course, because A Course of Love does not make it definite that loving takes us out of a world of dreams into a world of reality that is physical. The real may be the intangibles of love, harmony, joy, peace—not a physical expression at all. We just don’t know, and being open to interpretation, we will have conflicts about what A Course of Love actually means about this.
Maybe we won’t choose love, and then we will be trapped for eons more in this unfortunate place. But when we choose all those things that make love in the ascendancy—love of self, others, the natural world, the world of form, and a new world—we are making the decision that will bring Christ-consciousness to us sooner rather than later.
When love reigns, we don’t have to work so hard to remove the blocks of fear and judgment. Fear and judgment just fall away of their own accord. And we have taken the most important step that we can take to be right with God.
Life Now Totally Affirming
“Acceptance of your Self is the precondition for the time of acceptance. You are no longer denying your Self. You are no longer denying unity. You have replaced fear with love. Love is life giving and life supporting. There is thus nothing now degenerating about life.” (D:Day7.3) (italics for time; and for supporting)
We need to accept the Self whom we are—the inner Christ Who supports us in every turn that we take. This Self is pure, right before God, loving in the extreme. We need to allow this Self full rein in our lives.
The personal self, or the “little” self, has ruled with an egoic tilt for years. To eliminate this persona takes some dedication of our part. Part of us thinks that the little egoic self has served us well. Deeper reflection, however, will soon prove to us that this is not so. We have never had anything more than oscillations of mood—from joy to sorrow and back again—when we have been enthralled by the egoic self. The ego, in its own way, tries to protect us, but, being insane, it doesn’t have the means to do so. So we live an oscillating drama that never is sustainably peaceful.
We want the sustainably peaceful. This is why we are here now. We allow salvation to do its joyful work in us, and in so doing, we recognize a deeper Self who is right there to help, meaningfully, in every instance.
Move Forward Only with Love
“If you can move forward without fear, you will move forward only with love. If you move forward only with love, you will have realized there is nothing unacceptable about who you are except fear.” (D:Day4.53)
There is something unacceptable about us, but it is not what we fear. Our essence is imminently acceptable. It is the egoic fear that is unacceptable. And when we move forward in love, we come to realize that the only thing from which we have to turn aside is fear in all its forms. (One of its forms is judgment.)
When we move forward, we need to move forward in love. We need to ask for help in this, for we have been well-schooled in fear. This must end.
How do we put an end to it? The means are many, and they differ with every individual. A Course of Love offers a great portal to love, explaining as it does that the heart is the way to comprehend mysteries that the mind can never understand. Others choose other pathways, but if you are reading this, you are interested in what A Course of Love says.
You need only one portal to find love. And A Course of Love can be that portal for you.
“A suffering self, held within the spacious Self, exists in harmony with the spacious Self. Attempts to eject the self of suffering from the spacious Self create disharmony. It is only by this holding within that the loveless self and the suffering self are rendered ineffective. It is only in this way that you realize that all exist within. It is only in this way that you become completely fearless and totally spacious, for fear is part of the density of form, being a lack of love.
“Once fear is gone, true relationship is not only possible but inevitable. True relationship exists naturally in the state of harmony that is the spacious Self. This is the state of union.” (D:Day13.7 – Day13.8)
We need to realize what to do when illness strikes. If we hold the suffering within the “spacious” self, the self that takes in all, then we hold well. We are not trying to eject something that is troubling us. We are, in effect, tending our garden.
The “spacious” self is a concept that needs intuitive understanding more than anything else. It is just what the term implies: a spaciousness in our psyche that holds all that we encounter. By holding within, the suffering self is rendered ineffective. We have held a loveless self, along with a suffering self, within. And in the holding within is the answer to our problem of suffering.
This is not magic. We don’t always get over our illness, but we heal from it, even if the healing is only emotional. Emotional healing is often the most important kind of healing. And we get over our fear, for the fear has held the illness in place. And then we are primed for true relationship one to the other.
“Consciousness, or the spacious Self, thus includes feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anger as well as feelings of happiness, compassion, and peace. Consciousness does not, however, include your responses. Consciousness thus does not include either love or fear. This is because love is everything and fear is nothing.” (D:Day16.14)
We see in some parts of A Course of Love that the spacious self is equated with consciousness itself. Consciousness includes feelings of pain as well as feelings of well-being. Spaciousness holds all feelings in the embrace of love. We do not see consciousness as holding our responses to our feelings; this is a strict definition that takes some explanation.
Consciousness, the holding within, the spaciousness of self, does not include love or fear. This is because love is everything and fear is nothing (though we are loathe to recognize this distinction). Obviously, this definition of Jesus is somewhat different from what we have come to view consciousness.
We have come to view consciousness as the whole of our mental and spiritual powers, our knowledge as well as our perception. Jesus doesn’t here define consciousness in this broader way. His definition is narrower, in that he defines feelings of sadness, loneliness, anger, as well as positive feelings of happiness, compassion, and peace as examples of our consciousness at work. But not love or fear, because one (love) is everything and one (fear) is nothing, and so to think of love or fear as part of consciousness would be both to think of it in too broad a scope (in the case of love) and to narrow a scope (in the case of fear).
No Cause for Fear
“You have no cause for self-doubt because you have no cause for fear. To dwell in fear will end your ability to dwell within the love that is Christ-consciousness.” (T4:12.20)
Jesus gives me a stern warning about our tendency to think that we can’t do anything about our fear. He warns us that we can’t sustain Christ-consciousness if we cling to fear.
The antidote to fear is a mellow, as well as a dramatic, love. The love embraces the whole of our experience, even when our mood is less than mellow and certainly less than dramatic. We love deeply, even when we don’t feel anything. And in the deep love we are healed. We know Christ. Our Christ Self has come out to play.
We need a certain lightheartedness about the ultimate questions of life and living. If we take everything seriously, we are catering to the ego, the last thing in the world we want to do.
So: Love freely, love well, love with a lighthearted spirit. The benefits are many, the desires are satisfied. We don’t need to doubt that we can “achieve” this love, for it is not a matter for achievement at all. Love is our birthright. We will know when we feel real love that we have felt what we have wanted to feel all our lives. And our emotional and physical health will take a turn for the better, for love is the greatest aspect in healing, always.
Truth vs. Illusion
“The new learning that lies ahead of you now is simply learning in accordance with the new thought system of the truth; accepting the truth and leaving illusion behind. The new thought system is simple to learn. What is of love is truth. What is of fear is illusion. The temptation to see love where it is not and to not see fear where it is. But your ability to distinguish between love and fear as cause is all that is important now as you will create the new according to what you believe to be the truth and translate into ideas.” (T3:13.4)
There are two important sentences in A Course of Love that bear repeating:
“What is of love is truth.
What is of fear is illusion.” (T3:13.4)
Yes! And we want to walk the way of truth, which is evidential of true reality. Love finds reality, and when we find love, we are home free.
On the other hand, when we see illusions, we are seeing a fearful world. And we are afraid accordingly.
With the ego, everything that we looked upon, whether with the physical eyes or the inward eye of the ego itself, was fearful. We have moved beyond this truth in reading ACOL. We have left the ego behind.
Sometimes just habit keeps us going along the old familiar way. But this is a dangerous way to proceed, because the old familiar way is fraught with the fearful images of the ego. Let’s quietly turn aside from such images today, right now.
We will never be sorry that we have made the decision for love, for truth, for true reality.
No Loss / Only Gain – in Love
“There is no loss but only gain within the laws of love.
“By saying that there is no loss but only gain within the laws of love, you are being told to have no fear. Fear of loss is a great temptation of the human experience. If it were not for this fear of loss, you would not find it difficult to live by the thought system of the truth.” (T3:16.11 – 16.12)
We have been misled for eons, misled by the ego that we made. This ego sought to “protect” us, and we believed that unless we were heavily armored with an encasement of defenses, we would be unsafe.
A Course of Love clears away this erroneous thinking. The ego never protected us very well, something that all of us know only too well. The ego never meant us well, having been made out of fear and not love. Only a personal self who is steeped in love can truly protect, and this personal self is always backed up by the Christ Self who is within.
“There is no loss but only gain within the laws of love.” (T3:16.11)
This quotation says it all, if we can only bring ourselves to believe what it says. It is not hard to believe when we have let go of the nefarious ego. And then we have no fears, for we know that we are safe in the arms of truth. Our thought system is no longer of the ego, a thought system that has been the problem all along.
That Kept from Love
“You must not fear the changes that will occur within your physical form as it begins to be guided by the thought system of the truth rather than the thought system of illusion. You will fear these changes less if you realize that all that has come of love will be kept and that all that has come of fear will fall away. You have no need to fear that the end of the special relationship will separate you from your loved ones. You have no need to fear that the joys you have shared with others will be no more. You have no more need to fear the loss of physical joys than you have to fear the loss of mental and spiritual joys.” (T3:19.1)
Jesus has a very matter-of-fact attitude toward physical relationships, assuring us that we don’t have to fear that the end of special relationships will end our joys. On the contrary; we will know much more joy. We also keep the mental and spiritual joys, and the physical will not fall away anymore than these more ethereal joys.
We are being guided by the thought system of the truth, being lost in illusions no more. This means that the thought system of illusion has fallen away. The illusion had been ego-based, and we have left the ego behind when we venture ever farther in A Course of Love.
We will not be separated from our loved ones when the special relationship ends for us. We will have holy relationships, holy relationships that will be much more satisfying than anything the ego and special relationships ever offered us. Those egoic relationships were fraught with drama, highs and lows, good and bad, ecstasy and disaster, for that is the way of the ego. We are heading into a new world, and this new world will offer vistas of which we have never so much as dreamed. Let us be glad that the special relationships have been transformed into holy. It doesn’t mean that the physical aspect of relationships is being left behind. The physical aspect is being transformed into something ever better.
“While relationship is what has kept you forever unable to be separate and alone, relationship is also what has kept you seemingly forever unable to return to your natural state of being. The fear that was birthed along with the erroneously inherited idea that it was your nature to be separate and alone and thus fearful, made relationships fearful as well. Trust became something to be earned. (T4:3.6)
Our natural state of being includes relationships that are holy. These are examples of true joining, one with another. We learn along the way to salvation and Christ-consciousness that we don’t ever need to be isolated and alone, independent, needing nobody. This is what the ego has told us, but the ego is wrong. And we are leaving the ego behind. Our future will be a sharing one, a time of joining. And we will be the better for it.
God of Love
“I revealed a God of Love and the Holy Spirit provided for indirect and less fearful means of communion or communication with God.” (T4:2.4)
Jesus here speaks very personally about his time on earth, giving us then a “God of Love,” and explaining the purpose of the Holy Spirit. This is an important message to assimilate: The Holy Spirit provide indirect and less fearful means of communing or communicating with God.
In the throes of the ego, we are very fearful creatures indeed. Now that A Course of Love has allowed us the means to remove the ego from our thinking, we are able to reach God more directly, in an inner direction. The time of the Holy Spirit is said to have ended, and we are now in the time of Christ. We do not, therefore, find ourselves so over-awed by God that we are afraid of Him. So we can commune or communicate with ease. And we are all encouraged to do so.
Time of Holy Spirit / Time of Christ
“Duality and contrast are synonymous. In the time of the Holy Spirit, you learned through contrast. You learned from the contrast of good and evil, weak and strong, right and wrong. You learned from the contrast of love and fear, sickness and health, life and death. In this time of Christ, such learning is no longer necessary, and so these conditions of learning are no longer necessary. Thus one of your first acts of acceptance is the acceptance of the end of the conditions of learning. This does not mean, however, that you accept goodness and deny evil or even that you accept love and deny fear. How can this be?” (D:3.6)
“What will the future hold? It is up to us dear brothers and sisters. It is up to us acting as one body, one mind, one heart. It is up to us creating as one body, one mind, one heart. Because it is the new future of a new form joined in unity and relationship, the only guarantees that are known to us is that it will be a future of love, a future without fear, a future with unlimited freedom. For what more could we ask? And what more could be asked of us?” (T4:12.35)
Our futures are bright. We are told that our futures will be of love, without fear, with unlimited freedom. We make the rules, though. Jesus does not himself know what we will make of our new world. He does not predict in ACOL.
This new world is one of our unity (as one) and relationship (as the many, diversity). We will, once we have sustained Christ-consciousness, live in an elevated Self of form, something never before attained.
It is this about which Jesus does not predict. It is a future of unlimited possibility, truly a new world in all its particulars.
Jesus asks, “For what more could we ask? And what more could be asked of us?” (T4:12.35) Indeed, we might say the same. This bright future beckons on the landscape. We only, to prepare, must remove the blocks to the awareness of love, and God will do the rest. He will reach down and lift us up in Christ-consciousness, a worry-free existence, an invulnerable existence, a safe existence.
Choice for Love
“What choice have you made my sister and my brother, if you have not made a choice of love? If you have not made the choice to reject fear? If you have not made the choice for the new?” (D:Day4.39)
Jesus constantly contrasts love and fear, even in the final pages of ACOL. We have made no real choice when we choose fear, for we have chosen what has never been (in actuality) and can never be (also in actuality). But we have made a real choice, a choice for reality and truth, when we choose love.
We can all choose to overlook those daily matters which fret us, make us angry, make us want to go on the attack. Of course, we won’t always succeed in this overlooking, but each moment of falling away can lead into a new beginning.
It is this that we ought to pray for today—that our times of falling into negativity are eased, that we always, always, choose again, for love. The day that we rued can be salvaged. And our mind will be the better for it. We don’t need to muddy our minds with recriminations. We need to take the high road, always.
Resurrect to Eternal Life
“I do not have to spell out this choice for you, for you know exactly what it means. It means you will be as I am. It means you will live from love rather than from fear. It means that you will demonstrate what living from love is. It means that you will resurrect to eternal life here and now.” (D:Day4.46)
Would we like to be like Jesus, to live as we presume he does? This surely means living in love. This much we know. But it also means living without any vestiges of fear. And it mean, by this shift from fear to love, to a personal demonstration of living as life is truly meant to be lived.
We may not make it the whole way, all the time. Before Christ-consciousness will be sustained, we will see glimpses of this new way, the way of love. We will be experiencing ecstasy, at least part of the time. And we will be feeling a joyous love for all whom we encounter. We will be mellow, at peace, relaxing in pleasure of the company of others, even those we don’t know very well. The benefits are obvious. Who would not want to live this way, this way of love?
We will also resurrect to eternal life in this matter of loving. We do not have to wait for the afterlife to know that we will live eternally, and this assurance starts in this present life on earth. From now on, we can be free of worry about the future, here in this world as well as in the world to come, after death. We are blessed with the knowledge, here given to us by Jesus, that our future is as blessed as our knowledge of that future.
The peace of God will go with us daily. No anxieties, no fears, no worries. Just peace stretching out before us in a never-ending stream of time.
Nothing Can You Back except Fear
“You but think that you can wholeheartedly desire to move forward with love and without fear and that there is still anything that can hold you back. This is what the time of acceptance was meant to show you! Nothing can hold you back except fear! You do not have to be perfect—perfect is but a label, and all labels of any type cause is delay.” (D:Day4.54)
We need to find a way to move forward without fear and anxiety, for until we do that, we won’t be ready for Christ-consciousness. Fear, the opposite of love, does, like judgment, bar the door to Awakening. But so many of us dwell with our anxieties on a day-to-day basis. We despair of ever giving us the fear that so paralyzes us. What do we do when immobilized in this way, day in and day out?
We can look to what we do with our days. What activities are causing disturbances in one’s harmonious living? Are they something that really need doing, or can they be erased from our daily grind? If these daily impediments can be erased from our daily walk, let us do so. Let us do what we must to drop fear and anxiety, not eventually, but right now. And if we feel that the disturbing stimuli can’t be dispensed with, what then?
There is always some small step that can be taken to smooth out our way. Everyone, if not too overwrought at the moment, can think of one small thing that will make the day go easier. And from this small step, once our minds are more peaceful and thinking more clearly, we will think of other steps we can take.
Communication with God is a powerful step that can be taken. We are no longer afraid of Him, and He is always with us. The right kind of communion will make a straight pathway to serenity. Try it and see. You will provide your own proof.
Love is Life-generating
“Love replaces fear and is life-generating rather than life-degenerating. Your bodies will thus regenerate rather than degenerate. Love is, of course, not a condition, as it is not an attribute, but the effect of living from love rather than from fear will have a major transformative effect on form in this time of acceptance. Regeneration is a condition of the time of acceptance.” (D:Day7.6)
Would you like to be healthier? Jesus actually promises this as a by-product of living in harmony with life-regenerating attitudes. Our bodily forms may actually regenerate to an ever-better form. This doesn’t mean that aging will cease, but it does mean that aging will be more graceful. And who among us doesn’t want that?
These new attitudes spring from love lived in the marrow of our bones. It is the love itself that is life-affirming and life-regenerating. Our faces will show that we have been to God’s beauty salon. Our sour expression will alter into a serene countenance, and as a result we will appear younger. We will also feel younger, and this will be a contributing factor to our new younger appearance.
We are accepting what we see day to day. It is this time of acceptance, as described in ACOL, that makes all the other life-regenerating aspects of our form take shape. We no longer rail against our lives on earth. We take whatever comes, being willing to have it so. And in the “being willing to have it so,” we have found a great secret.
Life enhancement doesn’t take long to occur. Accept the good and the bad, though we will still do what we can to alter the bad. Yet we are told not to proselytize to the tenets of A Course of Love; that is not our function. When we are seen to live perfectly ordinary, common lives with great gusto and much pleasure, as well as pure joy, others will be drawn to find out what has changed about us. They will ask, and then we unseal our lips and tell them. We have accepted others as they are, and they will have seen this acceptance as something profoundly calming. They will want more of what we have.
And they can have it. For the blessings Jesus promulgates are the manna given everyone. Nobody is left out.
An In-between Time
“Again let me remind you that you are in an in-between time. Thus these conditions I have spoken of and those I have yet to speak of, are also in an in-between state. They exist along with the new you. They exist in acceptance and union. They do not exist in learning and separation. They exist in love. They do not exist in fear. Like with Christ-consciousness, you are moving from a place of maintenance of these conditions to one of sustainability of these conditions. They do not come about from changes in your external circumstances but from changes in your internal perspective.” (D:Day7.8)
We are moving into a new era, for, for now, as we proceed through A Course of Love, we are in an in-between state. We have not yet sustained Christ-consciousness; indeed, we may have only glimpsed this ineffable state, fleetingly. It is up to us to walk carefully through a mine field of emotions and world events that may derail us. We are surrounded by individuals who still listen to their egos. This is bad enough. But we may be influenced to retrieve our ego from the pit in which it has been thrown. We may be tempted to return unkindness with unkindness. And in this temptation, our new state of mind is lost. We barely maintain our new state, and we don’t sustain it at all.
Woe is us! We need to think, and we need to think deeply. Is this lower form of reacting, the old egoic mode, what we would have in our days upon this earth? No! So let us drop the tit-for-tat interplay of bad reactions, become accepting of all, and give a greater kindness than we have received. This will mean that the glimpses of Christ-consciousness will gradually lengthen, until one bright day we will realize that we are different. We have changed, and we are maintaining Christ-consciousness as we wall through this difficult and troubled world. From there, it is but a step to sustaining Christ-consciousness—a future held out to us as achievable now. Previously, nobody had actually sustained Christ-consciousness, but, now, in this time of Christ, sustainability of that vision is afforded us, when we meet the conditions.
Ask for this today in your time of communion with God. Remember that you are asking for what is only in His will for us. He will act as soon as giving us what we want, and He wants, will lead to nothing bad—but all to the good.
Love and the Body
“The conditions that affect life are conditions that affect the body. Yet it was only your mind’s acceptance of the condition of fear that led the body to exhibit the conditions of fear in the time of learning. Thus it is the mind’s acceptance of love that will lead the body to exhibit the effects of love in the time of acceptance.” (D:Day7.9)
Our body follows what our mind says. We exhibit fear in the body, with all the ills of the body, when the mind has accepted fear as undesirable, but not possible of being overcome.
This is a fallacy. Fear can be overcome, and it can be overcome today. As A Course in Miracles says, the solution is always with the problem. This means that the two, solution and problem, are not separated in time. We can have what we ask, and we can have it today. The only reason that we often don’t find solution and problem together is because we doubt that we can have the solution that we ask to have. Our doubt undercuts our prayer. This leads to defensive postures, as we seek to overcome the fear that wracks the body. And we get sick, all to often, for we have damaged the body by what the mind is thinking.
The body will radiate love when the mind has accepted that love can indeed be all that it wants. The mind does as we bid, and the body follows. So it is with the mind that we work. And A Course of Love says that listening with the heart will work, whereas many other solutions have not worked. We combine mind and heart, with the heart doing the work of transforming our minds. The solution to our primary problem (fear) is here contained. And we need never doubt again that the solution is found with the problem.
Tolerance / Acceptance
“Will knowing your dislikes cause you to be intolerant? This is an important question. You have been intolerant of yourself and it was easy to extend this intolerance to others. Once acceptance of the Self begins to be practiced, you will realize that the self of intolerance was the self of fear. Acceptance of yourself, in love, leads to acceptance of others.” (D:Day8.12)
We need to be tolerant of others. This is a particular warning for those of us on the spiritual pathway, for a dark side of our progress is that we are inclined to be more intolerant of others, others who don’t think as we do, others who give us a hard time.
We can’t practice intolerance and sustain Christ-consciousness. It is impossible. It is hard to believe, but we are actually projecting our intolerance toward ourselves outward to other people. When we are more accepting our ourselves, our remaining foibles, our remaining imperfections, we will naturally move into greater acceptance of others. And greater acceptance of others is tolerance, a worthy and necessary goal for all of us—spiritual pathway or not.
Intolerance is borne of fear. And when our fears subside, our intolerance will go with it. When we practice love, we will drop the intolerant comments, and with this will go guilt. We have recognized, often after the fact, when we have exhibited intolerance. And we have felt guilty about our statements.
This can all end peacefully, when we mellow out and let love overwhelm us. There is little that love can’t do. Practice it today and see.
A Word about Gossip
“Thus when you see others gossiping, you are called to see only the truth of who they are—to see beyond the illusion, what would seem to be the ‘fact’ of their gossip—to the fear that feeds it, and beyond the fear to the love that will dispel it. You are not called to walk away in disgust, showing your righteous contempt for the actions of others, but to accept who you are within the relationship of that present moment.” (D:Day8.13)
Gossip can destroy others. And we know this, and we ourselves are less inclined to practice gossip, because we recognize its dangers. But do we have to self-righteously object to the gossip in which others engage?
No, Jesus tells us. We don’t have to participate, but neither do we have to condemn. Indeed, we must not condemn.
Keep in mind that gossip can and does destroy the good feeling among people. The “in” crowd in regard to gossip may feel momentarily bonded, but this sense of camaraderie is not without its down side. Even the “in” crowd will have hints of guilt. And guilt destroys, the ones gossiping and the target of the gossip as well.
Our paths may change if we find ourselves the target of gossip. We may be perceived as unfit for the job we hold, we may lose our family. But the high road is still not to return in kind. Everyone loses when we return in kind. Keep to the positive, and life will begin to affirm your good intentions. Gossip will have been defeated by your attitude, for the future looks brighter when one simply turns aside from gossip and gossiping. Not in intolerance, but in simply choosing another way, a better way.
The Prodigal Son
“Think a moment of the story of the prodigal son. All that the prodigal son was asked to do was to accept his own homecoming. Do you think he would have considered himself perfect as he approached his father’s presence? Surely he would not have. You are asked but to accept your own homecoming. To leave behind the time of wandering, seeking, learning. To leave behind fear for the embrace of the love and safety of your true home.” (D:Day4.55)
Jesus uses the example of the prodigal son to have us recognize that we really don’t have to be “perfect” (whatever that means as a label) in order to get right with God. We simply need to leave behind fear, a task that may sound daunting. We leave behind the time of wandering, seeking, learning as well. We are observing our surroundings with a new eye. And with this, the seeking resolves itself. No longer always looking for more, we accept what we have in gratefulness.
The prodigal son would not have considered himself perfect as he approached his father. And no more do we. Jesus will correct all mistakes, at the end of the road, that we ourselves could not correct. He says this in A Course in Miracles, and the indication in A Course of Love that we don’t have to be perfect is a fuller explanation of this sentiment.
Find the embrace of love. Find your homecoming. Everything else will take care of itself.
From Within Comes the Power
“But these issues, when removed from feelings, still remain issues. They remain social causes, environmental causes, political causes. The cause of all these issues is fear. The cause and effect of love is all that will replace these causes of fear with the means and end that will transform them along with you. You are means and end. It is within your power to be saviors of the world. It is from within that your power will save the world.” (D:Day10.37)
We can’t save the world if we ourselves are not right with God first. So many of us have sought to reach outward, when our hearts were not right with God. And we didn’t make lasting change. We struggled to be do-gooders, fiercely seeking to right wrongs, but this was the wrong attitude. We couldn’t walk our talk. And the world therefore did not benefit from our machinations.
First we must change internally, and then the change flows outward to a new and better world. This internal change means that we will project something different; we will see differently. By projecting something different, we see what really needs to be changed. We are not running around willy, nilly, seeking to right the wrongs that we have previously perceived. Some of those wrongs, we find, were not wrongs at all, but the beam in our own eye. When we have a wholeheartedness of mind and heart, we see outwardly in a correct way, no longer misperceiving.
This inner change must come about before our salvation of the world can begin in earnest, and rightly. Unsaved saviors don’t save anything. First we must get ourselves straightened out, and then we aren’t seeing with a beam in our eye, trying to correct a mote in our brother’s eye. We are truly on the beam in the right way.
Who You Are
“Forget not that who you are is what you are here to make known and thus you must be a being who knows love without fear, joy without sorrow, and life everlasting. You must be this.” (D:Day23.1)
We have certain obligations put upon us as we progress in the spiritual life. Now that we know as much as we do, we know to choose love consistently, we are encouraged to know joy without sorrow, and we are encouraged to realize that we do indeed have life everlasting. This from Jesus at the conclusion of his mountain top experience with us, the ending of the last volume of A Course of Love.
Can we sustain this better way of viewing life? Can we live without fear, live only with love? Can we drop sorrow, choosing instead the joy of living? Can we truly live with the knowledge that we have life everlasting, and so nothing here nor in the next world need preoccupy us?
Yes, we can! This is the promise of A Course of Love. We have been made ready, and we are ready for all time and all places. Let us rest in this sure knowledge, certain that we have our bearings, confident of Jesus’s encouragement of us. We are God’s children, communing with him, listening to His guidance, as given to us through the Christ Self (the true Self with inner wholeheartedness that we now know).
A Being Based in Love
“As a separate being, your attributes were based on fear. As a being in union and relationship, your attributes are based on love.” (D:Day 40.12)
We have tried to live independent lives, being certain previously, with our egoic mind slant, that we were positioned to meet life on its own terms, strong in our defensive maneuvers.
This is a myth. We have told ourselves things that are not true, and now we know better. We are not meant to be independent of each other; we are meant to join in whole humankind as One (union) and in the diversity of relationship. We are beings of love, and we are coming to know that as we unite in our various selves, we know no fear.
What a grand gesture it is give up fear in favor of love! We cannot make this choice just as an independent gesture. We need others in order to have someone on whom to shower our love. And we know that in loving ourselves, always being accepting of ourselves, we are in a position to love others—probably, truly, for the first time.
This is the promise held out to us as we live as One in this world and the next. We are diversified beings, but we share one Self, the Christ Self. And this holographic truth stands well with us.
We are embedded in humankind. And we ought to live no other way.