Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Welcome Him

I welcome Jesus this year, not as a babe in a manger who was born to sacrifice himself for the sins of the world, but as the savior who brought to us a message of peace and love and how to recognize my true Self, of power unlimited and beyond my imagining. I welcome him as the Prince of Peace who tells me that I share in the Sonship with God with him, as do all of my brothers. I welcome him with open arms and open heart and hope that I am worthy, but I know that I am because he has said that I am, as is everyone. I welcome him and give him the gift that I will receive back:

"The gift of union is the only gift that I was born to give. Give it to me, that you may have it. The time of Christ is the time appointed for the gift of freedom, offered to everyone. And by your acceptance of it, you offer it to everyone." ACIM text pg. 324-325.

In this season and every season, I will remember my true Self and share in the Christ with all of my brothers everywhere. I will ask Jesus to help me to see the light in the darkness and accept it wholeheartedly. I will forget about sacrifice and remember Jesus' words in the course, that sacrifice is separation from love and brings guilt as surely as love brings peace. I will listen to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the One Who Knows, so that I may remember my true Identity.

"The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come. He comes demanding nothing. No sacrifice of any kind, of anyone, is asked by Him. In His Presence the whole idea of sacrifice loses all meaning. For He is Host to God. and you need but invite Him in Who is there already, by recognizing that His Host is One, and no thought alien to His Oneness can abide with Him there. Love must be total to give Him welcome, for the Presence of Holiness creates the holiness that surrounds it. No fear can touch the Host Who cradles God in the time of Christ, for the Host is as holy as the perfect Innocence which He protects, and Whose power protects Him."
ACIM text pg. 327

I will remember that I am NOT a body, for:

"As long as you perceive the body as your reality, so long will you perceive yourself as lonely and deprived. And so long will you also perceive yourself as a victim of sacrifice, justified in sacrificing others." ACIM text pg. 328

I will remember the true reason Jesus came to earth:

"The Prince of Peace was born to re-establish the condition of love by teaching that communication remains unbroken even if the body is destroyed, provided that you see not the body as the necessary means of communication. And if you understand this lesson, you will realize that to sacrifice the body is to sacrifice nothing, and communication, which must be of the mind, cannot be sacrificed. Where, then is sacrifice? The lesson I was born to teach, and still would teach to all my brothers, is that sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere. For communication embraces everything, and in the peace it reestablishes, love comes of itself."
ACIM text pg. 328

"Teach only love, for that is what you are. " ACIM text pg. 94

Let there be peace on earth and it has to begin with me.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Fountain of Youth

Throughout the day my husband and I share bits of insights that we gather from the course in our daily readings. Yesterday he said to me, “Did you know that the Fountain of Youth is mentioned in the course?” My reply was, “No way!” Surely I would remember if I had read that! To never grow old, to live forever . . . well, my first thoughts when he said that, as they probably would be for anyone, was of a Fountain of Youth for the BODY. I looked at him and he had a mischievous grin on his face so I knew there was more to the story. Of course, we are NOT a body, and the course does not mention a “Fountain of Youth” in those terms, but read this:

“In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today.”

“Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.”

“Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, ‘I rest in God.’”

(quotes are from ACIM Lesson 109)

This is the Fountain of Youth that I’ll gladly dip into!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the Quiet Stillness

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10

“In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved.” ACIM Text pg. 574

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness.” ACIM Manual for Teachers, pg. 38

“Let this day be a day of stillness and of quiet listening.” ACIM Lesson 125

“I will be still an instant and go home.”
“When you are still an instant, when the world recedes from you, when valueless ideas cease to have value in your restless mind, then will you hear His Voice.” ACIM Lesson 182

In the Course in Miracles, stillness is emphasized over and over as the condition by which God’s Voice can be heard. How easy it is to believe I am in stillness and quietness and yet my mind is babbling on about this or that. Stillness - true stillness, whereby the mind is still, takes practice. And yet, if I practice Lesson 182 on a daily basis, on an instant-by-instant basis, I know I can succeed.

I wonder what project I’ll make next.
I will be still an instant and go home.
What should I cook for Christmas?
I will be still an instant and go home.

Will he like the gifts I got for him?
I will be still an instant and go home.
I really should clean the kitchen floor today.
I will be still an instant and go home.
I wonder if I have any new e-mails.
I will be still an instant and go home.

In this season of the year, when all it stands for, from a religious or spiritual perspective, should be a time of stillness and peace, too often we are too caught up in the hubbub and stress to stop and listen to God’s Voice. Let me go away, not just from the din of the throngs of shoppers in the mall, but away from the ceaseless chatter of my thoughts. When I neglect my 10 minute meditation first thing in the morning, as I have done lately, I see the difference throughout my day. Something seems “off.”

“Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace. Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal. The goal of love is but your right, and it belongs to you despite your dreams.” ACIM Text pg. 219

“You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations. The particular result does not matter, but the fundamental error does. The correction is always the same. Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” ACIM Text pg. 29 (Jesus referring to fear and conflict)

"Let me be still and listen to the truth." ACIM Lesson 106

"Let go all the trivial things that churn and bubble on the surface of your mind, and reach down and below them to the Kingdom of Heaven.” ACIM Lesson 48, pg. 76

I will be still in my mind. It is in the stillness that I will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit/Jesus - the Voice for God. It is in the stillness that I will return to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sacrifice & the Dream

“Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers.” ACIM Manual for Teachers, pg. 32

“The world will end when all things in it have been rightly judged by His judgment. The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it. When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over. It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched. It will merely cease to seem to be.” ACIM Manual for Teachers, pg. 36

“It will merely cease to SEEM to be.” We are dreaming up this illusion that we call the world. The Course makes that very clear. My thoughts are creating the world that I see with my eyes. I must step aside and allow the Thoughts of the Holy Spirit to look at the world and judge it for what it is - meaningless.

“The first illusion, which must be displaced before another thought system can take hold, is that it is a sacrifice to give up the things of this world. What could this be but an illusion, since this world itself is nothing more than that?” ACIM Manual for Teachers, pg. 33

When I first read this passage, I thought it was saying that I had to physically give up my material possessions - all of them - in order to see the Truth. Well, to do that - to give everything away - would be to keep it because by doing that and by my thinking that I am giving it up - I make it real, and nothing in this world is real. It would be akin to looking on sin and then forgiving it. You can’t do that because sin is not real, nor are the “things” that I possess. To give up the things of the world in the Course’s context, then, is not to be attached to them. Not to see loss if they are taken from me. Some people may view this thought system as escape from reality, but it is actually an escape into Reality. The thinking of the world is upside down from what the Truth is. You keep what you give away. Give away love, then. Give away the Word of God.

“’And the last to be overcome will be death.’ Of course! Without the idea of death there is no world. All dreams will end with this one. This is salvation’s final goal; the end of all illusions. And in death are all illusions born. What can be born of death and still have life? But what is born of God and still can die?” ACIM Manual for Teachers, pg. 67

“There is no death. This sword does not exist. The fear of God is causeless. But his Love is Cause of everything beyond all fear, and thus, forever real and always true.” ACIM Manual for Teachers, pg. 46

See what we call "death" for what it is - meaningless, and a merely laying aside of the body. See no loss in it. If you can forgive death, then you can break through to the Truth.