comment 0

A Course in Miracles CHAPTER TWO THE SEPARATION AND THE ATONEMENT

Section VI. Fear and Conflict 6-9

6.  It is possible to reach a state in which you bring your mind under my guidance without conscious effort, but this implies a willingness that you have not developed as yet.  The Holy Spirit cannot ask more than you are willing to do so.  The strength to do comes from your undivided decision.  There is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own.  The lesson here is quite simple, but particularly apt to be overlooked.  I will therefore repeat it, urging you to listen.  Only your mind can produce fear.  It does so whenever it is conflicted in what it wants, producing inevitable strain because wanting and doing are discordant.  This can be corrected only by accepting a unified goal. 

7.  The first corrective step in undoing the error is to know first that the conflict is an expression of fear.  Say to yourself that you must somehow have chosen not to love, or the fear could not have arisen.  Then the whole process of correction becomes nothing more than a series of pragmatic steps in the larger process of accepting the Atonement as the remedy.  These steps may be summarized in this way:

Know first that this is fear. Fear arises from lack of love. The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love. Perfect love is the Atonement.

8. I have emphasized that the miracle, or the expression of Atonement, is always a sign of respect from the worthy to the worthy.  The recognition of this worth is re-established by the Atonement.  It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement.  You have done something loveless, having chosen without love.  This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered.  The need for the remedy inspired its establishment.  As long as you recognize only the need for the remedy, you will remain fearful.  However, as soon as you accept the remedy, you have abolished fear.  This is how true healing occurs.

9.  Everyone experiences fear.  Yet it would take very little right-thinking to realize why fear occurs.  Few appreciate the real power of the mind, and no one remains fully aware of it all the time.  However, if you hope to spare yourself from fear there are some things you must realize and realize fully.  The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force.  It never sleeps.  Every instant it is creating.  It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains.  It appears at first glance that to believe such power about yourself is arrogant, but that is not the real reason you do not believe it.  You prefer to believe that your thoughts cannot exert real influence because you are afraid of them.  This may allay awareness of guilt, but at the cost of perceiving the mind as impotent.  If you believe that what you think is ineffectual you may cease to be afraid of it, but you are hardly likely to respect it.  There are no idle thoughts.  All thinking produces form at some level.[1]

Through our text reading today, Jesus teaches that we must consciously bring our mind under the guidance of Holy Spirit.  We come to God; we ask Him for the mind of Christ.  Help us, Lord, we pray, to think with Christ instead of against Him.  The more we think with Christ and see the result of thinking with Love, the more we will be convinced of how right this is, that there is no other worthy state in which to be!  Jesus promises that when our minds want nothing but God’s Will, there will be no conscious effort, no sense of sacrifice, no stretch or strain because we realize that everything we want, is what God wants for us.  When we finally realize that God is not a God of fear but of love and power and a right mind, we will no longer be divided about Who we want in charge of our thoughts, Who we want in charge of our perceptions, and with Whom we want to be one. 

In paragraph seven, Jesus gives us a beautiful prescription for all mistaken thoughts.  When we have conflict with anything or anybody, recognize it as an expression of fear.  Many times we will start to despise someone and fail to recognize that fear has entered into the relationship.  Perhaps our partner has a wandering eye, perhaps our sister is a braggart, perhaps our best friend is a big gossip hound. We will not consider the fear factor involved but rather pounce upon the way their actions make us feel.  While our mate’s wandering eye makes us feel unattractive, our sister’s self-promotion makes us feel small, our friend’s tendency to blab secrets and spread rumors makes us feel distrustful, we will not process those feelings as fear-based.  We will not think of the lustful mate, the self-promoting sister, the bad-mouthing friend as lacking love because we will be too busy thinking of how they made us feel.  But what we feel is a lack of love and the only remedy to lack of love is perfect love.  Perfect love is the Atonement.  It is the great equalizer.  It is bringing both the receiver and the giver into mutuality, into honesty and clarity, into a perfect understanding that the mind brought under the jurisdiction of Christ is a mind that heals and unites and makes holy. 

Any other remedy is a recipe, not for healing, but for disaster.  Lack of love is not corrected by a fearful response, by withdrawal, by a refusal to communicate, by divorce and division.  When we bring those who are on our shit list, our hit list, our A and B and C list to Atonement, there we stand in our humanity, in our humility, and offer our sour, bitter, spiteful thoughts to God.  We bare our minds and pour out our hearts, we ask God to reveal to us our mutuality.  And we take it like His Son because when we bring the darkness of all of those who disappointed, humiliated, and hurt us to Atonement, we see our own darkness in all its meanness, poverty, and filth.  And there at Atonement we put down all the blame and shame we would cast upon others and we lay down all of that which would be on ourselves.  Our minds are cleansed of all that is unholy, unloving, and wrong.  We see ourselves not as the blemishes that marred our perfection, but as the Sons of God who are holy, whole, and smart.  This is perfect Love.  This is the only correction.  This is Atonement.

There is no part of Creation which is not worthy.  There is nobody and nothing that deserves anything less than our utmost respect and good humor.  The miracle is the expression of God’s perfect plan of salvation for those who would separate from Him.  The miracle worker is devoted to the vision of Christ.  We recognize the truth about the world – it is a lie, it is fiction, its very purpose is to separate and divide and see each other with fear instead of love.  Only Truth stands forever.  When we recognize the worth of every single aspect of Creation we have accepted the truth, we have accepted Atonement.  If we make a mistake and slip into fear and begin to have conflict, we know the solution.  We have the remedy.  The remedy will do us no good until we accept the remedy.  We will remain in fear until we stop cherishing the idea that there is any aspect of Creation that is not worthy of Atonement.  We will live in fear of spiders and snakes, as long as we find them unworthy of Atonement.  We will live in fear of those who rape, plunder, call names, or snub us at social events as long as we find them unworthy of Atonement.  All fear is gone when we apply the remedy. 

No measures we take in the outer, physical world will ever obliterate fear and conflict and bring us peace. True healing only happens in the minds of those who have accepted Atonement for themselves and the other.  Heal the mind first and the external world follows – for our minds create the circumstances we experience.  Jesus highlights how critical it is that we get this and work with this until it becomes our practice and holy habit. 

All of us are afraid and yet all it takes is our right mind to realize why we are afraid and how to avoid conflict completely.  Our mind is powerful, creative, always alert, communicating, and always working.  Our thoughts and the belief systems that power them are able to coalesce into a force that Jesus says can literally move mountains.  A mind separated from God is in a state of fear and friction – miscreating a world that is full of division and forms that are susceptible to disease, decay, and death.  A mind at one with Christ is unified, beautiful, guided by holiness, creating forms that nourish, that bring bliss and joy, harmony and fellowship forever.  Our mind unified with Christ and one another are lovely and loving, a realm of miracles, the place of healing and the restoration of Creation. 

Receive Atonement to give Atonement.  Give Atonement to receive Atonement.  This is the flow of God and it is available to each and every one of us for each and every need.  Let there be no place for fear in the beautiful, powerful minds of those who perform miracles in His Name.   For our minds are fixed upon God’s perfect Son, our brother, Jesus, who makes us one. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2:VI Fear and conflict. 6-9. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edtion (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

A Course in Miracles CHAPTER TWO: THE SEPARATION AND THE ATONEMENT

Section VI. Fear and Conflict 1-5

  1.  Being afraid seems to be involuntary; something beyond your own control.  Yet I have said already that only constructive acts should be involuntary.  My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does if you so choose.  Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled.  Fear prevents me from giving you my control.  The presence of fear shows that you have raised body thoughts to the level of the mind.  This removes them from my control, and makes you feel personally responsible for them.  This is an obvious confusion of levels.
  2. I do not foster level confusion, but you must choose to correct it.  You would not excuse insane behavior on your part by saying you could not help it.  Why should you condone insane thinking?  There is a confusion here that you would do well to look at clearly.  You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think.  The truth is that you are responsible for what you think because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.  What you do comes from what you think.  You cannot separate yourself from the truth by “giving” autonomy to behavior.  This is controlled by me automatically as soon as you place what you think under my guidance.  Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide it. 
  3. It is pointless to believe that controlling the outcome of misthought can result in healing.  When you are fearful, you have chosen wrongly.  That is why you feel responsible for it.  You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness.  You do not need guidance except at the mind level.  Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible.  Change does not mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work. 
  4. The correction of fear is your responsibility.  When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not.  You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about.  These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate.  At that level you can help it.  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. 
  5.   Fear is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts with what you do.  This situation arises in two ways:  First, you can choose to do conflicting things, either simultaneously or successively.  This produces conflicted behavior, which is intolerable to you because the part of the mind that wants to do something else is outraged.  Second, you can behave as you think you should, but without entirely wanting to do so.  This produces consistent behavior but entails great strain.  In both cases, the mind and the behavior are out of accord, resulting in a situation in which you are doing what you do not wholly want to do.  This arouses a sense of coercion that usually produces rage, and projection is likely to follow.  Whenever there is fear, it is because you have not made up your mind.  Your mind is therefore split, and your behavioral level can shift the error from the first to the second type but will not obliterate the fear.[1]

In paragraph one Jesus teaches that we think that we are afraid because we believe in the made-up versions of reality that are fearsome.  Love does not generate fear, nor does it seek to correct or heal it.  Love is truth; fear is a lie.  A lie has no correction except to be replaced by the truth.  Jesus therefore cannot save us from fear unless we choose not to believe in the lie of it.  No matter what we are afraid of – be it the dark, or those who creep about in darkness performing dirty deeds – having fear means that we have let our trust in God fall away and have put our trust in a lie.  The responsibility for not choosing fear is up to each one of us.  We have a choice to trust in God or trust in fear.  When I choose to identify with my body, God is no longer in charge of my mind and fear enters in.  I am back in charge of me because I have chosen fear. 

In yesterday’s reading, Jesus assured us that our lower-level needs will always be taken care of when we trust in God and put Him in charge.  Miracle workers around the world will be given a means to support themselves.  They will not have to worry about food and clothing and warmth and shelter and other necessities and even luxuries.  We will have confidence that we will always have enough and be good enough.  We will not have to concern ourselves about wild beasts tearing our flesh from our bone nor mean-spirited people forming alliances and plotting against us.  The Lord provides for those who put their trust in Him. 

However, when we begin to fear for the protection of our bodies, we have taken our trust away from God and put fear in charge.  Jesus cannot deliver us from that because it is a choice we made.  It was our fear of God and not our love and trust in Him which caused the separation, and it is our fear of God and not our love and trust in Him that would keep the separation going! 

Jesus clarifies the problem of level confusion for us, but we are responsible for correcting it.  Do we put our trust in God or in lies?   Do we search for truth in the world’s daily fear-riddled newsreel or trust in God’s love, devotion and care for us?  Fill our minds with media forecasts– we are going to be afraid.  Jesus is asking you and me to recognize that the thoughts we think are to be under His guidance, but He does not come unwelcomed.  This means that we must recognize that fearful thoughts are not thoughts from God, they are from a source that is full of lies, suspicions, and untruth.  Fearful thoughts are miscreations that are not based on the Atonement, which is the Principle of Love.  Jesus does not make the choice for us between fearful and loving thought – we must make that choice by learning to recognize and pay attention to our thoughts and their source.   

When things arise in our lives that are the result of our mistaken thoughts, there is no healing.  When we are afraid, it means we have chosen the wrong place in which to place our trust.  We have decided to separate Creation into one side being good and worthy of our allegiance and the other side as being evil and depraved.  We have set our sights on being higher than another, or conversely placing another person as worthy of that which only belongs to God.  This reminds me in my own life how I would make a big blunder and then pray for the results of that blunder to be somehow made right and good and work out for me!  It is not until we correct the cause of the blunder that there can be healing.  I cannot expect the people that I backstabbed and built a case against to forgive and love me as long as I continue to hold judgment and ill will in my thoughts toward them and toward myself.   As long as I see them as somehow being inferior to me, no behavior on my part will heal the rift between us.  I can bake them cookies and send them gift cards and pray for them until the cows come home, but it is only as I begin to see them and myself as equal and worthy Sons of God that healing can take place.  The world’s weak forms of charity and forgiveness may seem to patch things up temporarily but for true healing to take place, the mind must be under the control of our older and wiser Brother Who only offers His guidance and control when welcomed.    

Correction of fear falls upon our shoulders.  When we ask for release from fear, we are asking Him to do our work for us.  The language we use should reflect our very best understanding of Atonement and the principle of Love upon which it stands.  We are to pray for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about.  When I begin to build a case against someone, I am willing to separate myself from that person because I have held fearful thoughts toward them.  I am more willing to think of them as an enemy, than I am to take this relationship to God and ask for Atonement for myself and them as equals.  I am not standing with Christ when I am willing to see division in the Brotherhood rather than healing and unity, I am standing with anti-Christ.  This is the point where I need help.  When I begin to see the whining, self-promoting, and irksome behavior of one of my nearest and dearest through the eyes of fear and loathing instead of love, forgiveness, and thoughts of helpfulness – when sneering thoughts occur to me instead of loving and forgiving ones, this is where I call for help and correction.  I take those snide and unloving thoughts to God and say, “I don’t want to think of my dear brother in this way.  I do not want to think of so-and-so with thoughts of fear and loathing.  Please take these and give me thoughts of her goodness and love.  Remind me of all the fun we have together, our happy memories, our precious times we share…”

Jesus says that we are much too tolerant of our miscreations.  We think it is perfectly reasonable to think of others in terms of mooch, pest, narcissist, bully, and stupid, defining them by their mistakes in mortality rather than their divine reality as God’s Creation.  This leads to fear because the labels we place on God’s Creations are the very labels we place upon ourselves. 

We are afraid, Jesus says when what we want – peace and love and joy – conflicts with what we do.  Years ago I was praying for peace and love and joy – and yet what I was doing was thinking sour, mean thoughts towards my loved ones whom I thought of as having failed me in my greatest hour of need.  I held grudges and dwelled upon their selfishness, their jealousy, their lack of appreciation, and so forth.  I thought of all the things I did for them, which they failed to recognize or reciprocate.  In my mind they began to take on forms of caricatures that symbolized all that was unworthy of my love and affection.  Because of a sense of family loyalty and keeping with tradition, I continued to pretend that everything was okay. I communicated my hurt feelings over their mockery, bad manners, lack of respect, support, and goodwill, not in a spirit of healing, but in a spirit of grievance and complaint.  While I sincerely wanted peace and love and joy, I also wanted to be the big cheese, the one everyone loved the most, the one who had all the answers!  Jesus explains that this conflict between what our minds really want and what we are doing leads to outrage.  

When the shit hit the fan, there was no point asking God to heal the outcome of all that negativity for it was my own miscreation.  As long as I am unwilling to believe the truth about my family’s love and devotion, their beauty and goodness, but rather trust in the fearful report based upon the false witness of perception, any so-called “healing” will be temporary and unstable.  When I choose thoughts of love, of truth, of peace and joy, I will know my loved ones as God’s loved ones, all equal in our need of Atonement, all equal in our need for correction and healing.  This can only take place in my mind.   We cannot correct separation anywhere except in the mind where it was created in the first place.  And God does not do this for us.  We are responsible for the thoughts we choose to believe about ourselves, about others, and about God. 

If I were a different kind of person I may have chosen the second path that leads to conflict.  I know that there are some people who having more self-discipline than I do, have forced themselves to go for years behaving as they thought they should.  Being taken advantage of and letting others usurp their time and misuse their resources, all the while not necessarily complaining or talking trash, but knowing on some gut level that this was not right or proper.  This leads to a sense of coercion, Jesus says, that leads to outrage and projection.  Accusing others for our refusal to take responsibility to set proper limits and fair boundaries is saying that it is someone else’s duty to read our minds and telepathically know our needs.  Nobody should be put in that position!  Blaming others for denying us what we feel is our fair due does not at all impress the God in us, for it is absolving our responsibility for our thoughts and for the conflict that arises when we do not communicate truthfully with God or others, allowing the misperceptions that come up to stand for truth in our minds.   

We will close today’s study with paragraph five, but I urge you to continue reading the rest of section six on your own.  We are compelled to come clean with our selves and take responsibility for what we have become all too comfortable blaming others and asking God to do for us.  Ask God to illuminate the meaning of this part of the text for you in a way in which you can apply it to the fear and conflict that appears in your own life in time and space.  Meditate and take notes in your personal Course journal and be sure to share it with someone – for when we share we are trusting in the principle of receiving to give and giving to receive. 

Thank you for listening and have a blessed day.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2: VI Fear and conflict. 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

A Course in Miracles CHAPTER TWO: V.THE FUNCTION OF THE MIRACLE WORKER

Section V. The Function of the Miracle Worker 11-18

A. Special Principles of Miracle Workers

  11. (1) The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns.  Since it is an out-of-pattern time interval, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply.  When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it. 

  12. (2) A clear distinction between what is created and what is made is essential.  All forms of healing rest on this fundamental correction in level perception. 

  13. (3) Never confuse right- and wrong-mindedness.  Responding to any form of error with anything except a desire to heal is an expression of this confusion.

  14. (4) The miracle is always a denial of error and an affirmation of the truth.  Only right-mindedness can correct in a way that has any real effect.  Pragmatically, what has no real effect has no real existence.  In effect, then, it is emptiness.  Being without substantial content, it lends itself to projection. 

  15. (5) The level-adjustment power of the miracle induces the right perception for healing.  Until this has occurred healing cannot be understood.  Forgiveness is an empty gesture unless it entails correction.  Without this it is essentially judgmental, rather than healing.

16. (6) Miracle-minded forgiveness is only correction.  It has no element of judgment at all.  The statement “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” in no way evaluates what they do.  It is an appeal to God to heal their minds.  There is no reference to the outcome of the error.  That does not matter. 

17. (7) The injunction “Be of one mind” is the statement for revelation-readiness.  My request “Do this in remembrance of me” is the appeal for cooperation from miracle workers.  The two statements are not in the same order of reality.  Only the latter involves an awareness of time, since to remember is to recall the past in the present.  Time is under my direction, but timelessness belongs to God.  In time we exist for and with each other.  In timelessness we coexist with God. 

18. (8) You can do much on behalf of your own healing and that of others if, in a situation calling for help, you think of it this way:

I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him Who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.[1]

Dear Heavenly Father: As we come to our devotional practice this morning, with humble and willing hearts that seek to respond in good faith to the call within, teach us how to bless instead of curse, how to heal instead of sicken, how to stand with Christ instead of anti-Christ.  Your blessed Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Each day we bring our humanity to You and accept our divinity in Christ.  Each day we draw closer to our goal.  We pray for truth, for guidance, for our daily needs as we return our hearts and minds to You.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.

In principle one, Jesus tells us that we have no concern for lower-order needs when we perform miracles.  We are not in charge of the time and space required for the miracle to occur; we are only in charge of offering Atonement.  We do not have to concern ourselves at all with the unhealthy habits and mistaken lifestyles that may have played a part in leading to the need for a miracle.  We have no concern in our function as miracle-workers to instruct the receiver how to “keep” their miracle.  When Jesus says, “the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply,” it simply means that He will take care of it from there.  We are not to worry and fret about if the receiver is deserving or worthy, why we are called to give a miracle to one and perhaps not another, to collect facts and gather information to prove that a miracle happened, or to take any credit for it.  While in ordinary considerations of time and space, we are compelled to be recompensed for our time and trouble in service to others, when we perform miracles, Jesus provides all we need for we receive to give and give to receive.  The time, money, and effort we spend doing God’s work, will not take time, money, and effort away from us, but give us more of each attribute in which to continue doing His work.  We will learn through experiencing this beautiful flow to trust Him in this regard for all of our lower-order needs.  In other words, when Holy Spirit calls us to go to a particular person or host a particular event, He will provide all the temporal needs required to accomplish it – He only asks for our willingness and cooperation. 

Principle two declares that we must know the difference between the spirit which is created and the physical which is an illusion.  All the prayers in the world cannot change reality for reality is established as truth and cannot be moved or manipulated.  The miracle rests upon reestablishing truth in our minds and hearts by offering and accepting Atonement first for ourselves and then for others.  Atonement is the principle of love which forgives and corrects all lies, illusions, and misperceptions.  When our minds are right, we are healed and are ready to offer healing to others.  It makes all the difference when you see me from the spirit rather than the flesh.  No matter what disease may be chewing up my flesh and causing me undue pain and discomfort, unless you see me as not my flesh, but as Spirit, you will be tempted to be afraid.  You will offer me pity rather than the miracle.  You will demand that I have pain-killers and other unnecessary and therefore unhelpful measures because I am only a body to you, and not an everlasting Spirit who needs to be reminded of my true identity in God.  As nice as it is for me to have someone holding my hand and wiping my brow and standing up to the medical profession for my physical comforts, you will not be offering me a miracle, you will be offering me a very weak form of charity that does not enlighten me and set me free from the hold of the illusion.  You will be very tempted to make sure other people know how good you are to me, how many hours you spend at my bedside, how you really told off the doctor and demanded that I have morphine or other pain-killers, you will give daily, perhaps even hourly reports to all the people who want to know about my suffering and collect those facts, not to heal me but as simply grist for the gossip mill.  Oh did you hear about poor Eckie. There she is suffering away, just wasting away to about nothing.  And that dear friend of hers, sitting by her bedside, blah blah blah blah blah. 

When we begin to see how terribly useless this kind of behavior is, how it poses as one thing but is actually something else altogether, we grow very discontent with it.  We reach past the weaker forms of charity, which posed in place of the true principle of Love.  When the pain and suffering of others no longer holds any interest to us except as an incentive to heal and bring Atonement, we will have arrived at the place where we are miracle ready.  And here is the beauty of miracles and miracle working.  We do not have to be physically present.  We do not have to share the same time zone or live in the same country.  Being Spirit we can be anywhere and anytime, Jesus says.  We can bring healing and correction and let all the glory go to God and not collect it for ourselves, which would easily lead to egoism and defeat, for at least the time-being, the purpose of God’s call, thus prolonging time instead of shortening it!   

The world offers a very weak form of forgiveness, which is not real forgiveness at all.  The ego’s form of forgiveness is to say, You are a bad girl, but since I am good I will forgive you.  You better not do that again or I will take my forgiveness away from you and you will have to earn it back again.  The ego’s form of forgiveness demands apologies, restoration, and punishment.  It is an empty vessel, the forgiveness of the ego, and offers no real correction or healing. 

Atonement recognizes that all physical forms are empty vessels, filled with nothingness. They therefore do not matter in the spiritual world of reality and everlasting life.  Correction only comes from the Spirit and healing comes only after correction.  The Atonement I offer you for hiding your unholiness behind stories you made up about me, does not conceal the damage wrought by your lies and ill will, but does deny the power of what you have done to truly hurt me on the level of Spirit, which is our only reality.  In the flesh we are one thing; in the spirit we are perfect.  Level adjustment heals because we understand that untruth has no power to hurt either one of us.  We let it go because it is empty, meaningless, and we forgive each other for ever thinking otherwise.

We do not dwell on “what they do.”  We dwell instead in a state of Atonement, we forgive everything.  We do not have gab sessions about each case and disrespectfully discuss the particulars, digging up stuff that wastes time and has no other purpose than to titillate our egos and its thirst to collect unwarranted facts about others.  Jesus stresses that it is particularly important for miracle workers to understand that in time we exist for and with each other.  Here we practice charity, we practice Golden Rule behavior, we reach for Atonement and for healing.   When we do this, we do not talk about others in ways that we ourselves do not wish to be discussed!  We do not brag about our acts of charity or the miracles we have been called to do.  We get beyond our egos which are always seeking self-glory and become more other oriented, not to gratify their egos with flattery and fatuousness, but to awaken and heal and share holy friendships devoted to God. 

Miracle workers called of Christ to become one with His purpose – Let the last paragraph of our text today be our prayer, our devotion, our guide as we live for and with each other in the world of time and space. 

Remind us dear Father that as our holy brother, Jesus, we are here only to be truly helpful.  We are not here to in any way promote our selves, bur rather to represent Christ Who sent us.  We do not have to waste our minds in vanity preparing what to say or what to do, because He Who sent us, will direct us.  We are content to be wherever He wishes because we know that He goes with us.  We will be healed as we let Him teach us how to heal.  Your Will be done, Father, on earth as it is in Heaven.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2: V. 11-18. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 27-28.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

A Course in Miracles CHAPTER TWO: THE SEPARATION AND THE ATONEMENT

Section V. The Function of the Miracle Worker 6-10

  •  6. It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates.  As a learning device it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate.  Only the mind is capable of illumination.  Spirit is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense.  The mind, however, can bring its illumination to the body by recognizing that it is not the learner, and is therefore unamenable to learning.  The body is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind that has learned to look beyond it toward the light. 
  •  7. It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates.  As a learning device it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate.  Only the mind is capable of illumination.  Spirit is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense.  The mind, however, can bring its illumination to the body by recognizing that it is not the learner, and is therefore unamenable to learning.  The body is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind that has learned to look beyond it toward the light. 
  •  8. It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates.  As a learning device it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate.  Only the mind is capable of illumination.  Spirit is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense.  The mind, however, can bring its illumination to the body by recognizing that it is not the learner, and is therefore unamenable to learning.  The body is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind that has learned to look beyond it toward the light. 
  •  9. It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates.  As a learning device it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate.  Only the mind is capable of illumination.  Spirit is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense.  The mind, however, can bring its illumination to the body by recognizing that it is not the learner, and is therefore unamenable to learning.  The body is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind that has learned to look beyond it toward the light. 
  •  10. It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates.  As a learning device it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate.  Only the mind is capable of illumination.  Spirit is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense.  The mind, however, can bring its illumination to the body by recognizing that it is not the learner, and is therefore unamenable to learning.  The body is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind that has learned to look beyond it toward the light. 

In today’s text, Jesus directs us again to perceive our bodies as nothing more than a learning device for the mind.  The mind is the learner.  Our Spirits, our true and holy Selves, are not learners – for they are like God and alive, vibrant, radiant with truth and all knowledge.  It is our minds that are capable of learning, of being illuminated and awakened – our body just follows the dictates of our mind and believes in its creations and miscreations.  When we recognize that our bodies are not who and what we are, when we recognize that our Spirits are the only real source of wisdom and truth, and that our minds are the determiners, the learners, the seekers, and the creators, our bodies are brought into proper alignment because we no longer depend on our body senses or functions as a means to truth. 

Learning that leads to truth begins when our spirits awaken.  When we begin to see that what we see with our physical eyes is not the way to truth the hallucinations of the world lose their grip upon our consciousness.  This can be scary because we are afraid of what our spiritual eyes will show us – we have conjured up all manner of demons, imps, extraterrestrials, and angelic beings that bring doom, torment, and punishment to keep us from that which is spirit.  We have aligned our beliefs in magic to that which is Spirit and truth.  But the truth is that Holy Spirit is all the Spirit there is.  God is All and in All.  If we are seeing visions of demons and foul spirits we are not seeing truth because this does not come from God.  If we see anything that disturbs our peace, upsets our happiness, or takes away our joy we can go straight to the truth of Atonement.  We know that it is a lie and has no power to hurt us unless we choose to put our trust in it.  Anything at all that we can dream up to pollute our minds with – disasters and disease, destruction and death – are simply not of God.  They cannot be real except in the unholy imagination.  When we accept the Atonement, we are accepting forgiveness for the lies we made up in darkness.  We are accepting the truth of God.  We are acting upon the Principle of Love, which is accepting Atonement to give Atonement.  When we accept Atonement, we are delivered from the power of lies to hurt us because we no longer believe in them!  We do not talk about them.  We do not take sides for or against them.  We do not waste our time trying to determine who said what and what they meant by it.  We lose faith in what our physical bodies tell us about truth because we know there is no truth to be found in the physical realm which is a realm of magic and make-believe. 

When we look to Holy Spirit we see nothing but forgiveness and love.  We see absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  All those stories about God’s wrath and vengeance are fabrications to keep us in fear of our Father instead of loving and seeking Him.  Spiritual awareness makes us aware of the Everything of God where there is only love, truth, and goodwill.  There is no room for darkness and the things of darkness in Him Who is Everything.  If we are experiencing fear of any kind, we are trusting in lies and not the truth of the matter.  We are to use our minds for God and not against Him.  Protecting our mind from the illusion and applying our minds to Atonement, is the only remedy for all untruth. 

In paragraph eight, Jesus tells us that our fear of healing comes from our inability to see how sick we really are.  We want to pretend that humanity has the answers for humanity, that we are evolving in an upward way – that our technological advances, our medical systems, and our scientific discoveries hold the answers for our problems.  But Jesus tells us very plainly that everything we see with our physical eye is beyond correction.  Physical devices cannot correct physicality. As long as we continue to believe that the hallucination, the magical realm of the physical world is real in any sense of the word, our attempts to correct it will be mistaken.  When we accept the world as truth, our real vision is hidden from us, and we like it that way because looking within means we have to face the truth about our selves and humanity.  We made up a lie.  We deluded ourselves.  We separated our consciousnesses from all that is truth, love, and everlasting life and have accepted the fictional versions we made to substitute for true Creation.   Until we recognize that the world we see has no reality, we have no way of recognizing the truth of the matter and we go on, humpity-dumptiy, the egg on the wall, looking for the king and all his men who can put us together again.  Searching in the magical kingdom for more magic to cure what magic has made of us, we come to the conclusion – sooner or later – that there has to be a better way!

Restored to God’s Kingdom, we have no need of healing for we are whole.  It only follows, that healing is a temporary need that arises only in the space and time belief system.  Healing is a means of protection during our sojourn in time.  Without healing which rests on the principle of charity, we would eventually destroy each other and every other species on this planet.!  Charity allows us to see another in love’s perfect light even when we do not see ourselves in the same light. When we are kind to one another, when we look past our differences, when we show affection and devotion to Creation instead of preying upon Creation, we are expressing charity which is about the only height of love that we can conceive of in the separated realm.  Embracing and practicing charity is essential to right-mindedness, Jesus teaches.  When we view one another with charity we are reaching for Atonement.  We are daring to believe that what we see is not the real story.  We are healed and we heal others through expressions of charity. 

We practice charity when we look on our brothers as we would have others look upon us.  It is an act of charity to overlook his foul language, his bad manners, his crooked acts, irksome habits, and dastardly deeds and offer him forgiveness instead of offering him judgment and condemnation.  Instead of holding our brother accountable for his humanity, we offer Atonement and recognize and acknowledge the God in him.    If he had already accepted Atonement for himself, he would have no need for our charity.  Charity is an acknowledgement of a need for healing and a recognition that no matter what our physical perception may tell us, it is accepted. We will waste no time yapping to other people about our brother’s sins.  We will have no sense of shame to impose upon him for his failings as a good and decent human being.  We will not preach, lecture, or impose our religious beliefs upon him.  We will simply offer him Atonement and go our merry way, not necessarily forgetting about him, but certainly not fretting over him and believing the untruth about him, even if he is still exhibiting untruth in time and space. 

Jesus says that revelation is the only thing that transcends our sense of time and space and hopefully all of us can experience revelation which takes us straight to the heavenlies and gives us wonderful experiences that are far beyond what we can expect in our day-to-day existence as mortals.  However, all of us can perform miracles.  As expressors of charity, miracles workers from all over the world, across all spans of time and space, stand with Christ instead of against Him.  We seek and we find.  We realize we are sick, and we are healed.  We bring Him our darkness; He fills us with light!   

When you offer me charity and I offer you charity we are offering miracles.  We are shortening time because we are finally grasping the true meaning of salvation, of Atonement, of the Second Coming of Christ.  When I look upon you as God’s son, my holy vision corrects your attachment to that which is not true, both backwards and forwards in all degrees of time.  When I refuse to gossip about you, tell stories, repeat confidences, and otherwise disrespect the God within you, I offer you a place of trust, a place of peace and calm and holiness within me which enlarges the gifts of God in both of us.  When I speak of your goodness, your gentleness, kindness and good deeds, and only that – your goodness, gentleness, kindness, and virtue expands as well as my own.  Building relationships upon principles of charity makes our very relationships miraculous correcting our past and present and future, assuring our place in the Kingdom of God. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2:V.6-10. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 26-27.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

A Course in Miracles CHAPTER TWO THE SEPARATION AND THE ATONEMENT

Section V. The Function of the Miracle Worker 1-5

  1. Before miracle workers are ready to undertake their function in this world, it is essential that they fully understand the fear of release.  Otherwise they may unwittingly foster the belief that release is imprisonment, a belief that is already very prevalent.  This misperception arises in turn from the belief that harm can be limited to the body.  That is because of the underlying fear that the mind can hurt itself.  None of these errors is meaningful because the miscreations of the mind do not really exist.  This recognition is a far better protective device than any form of level confusion because it introduces correction at the level of the error.   It is essential to remember that only the mind can create, and that correction belongs at the thought level.  To amplify an earlier statement, spirit is already perfect and therefore does not require correction.  The body does not exist except as a learning device for the mind.  This learning device is not subject to errors of its own, because it cannot create.  It is obvious, then, that inducing the mind to give up its miscreations is the only application of creative ability that is truly meaningful.
  2. Magic is the mindless or the miscreative use of the mind.  Physical medication are forms of “spells,” but if you are afraid to use the mind to heal, you should not attempt to do so.  The very fact that you are afraid makes your mind vulnerable to miscreation.  You are therefore likely to misunderstand any healing that might occur, and because egocentricity and fear usually occur together, you may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing.  Under these conditions, it is safer for you to rely temporarily on physical healing devices, because you cannot misperceive them as your own creations.  As long as your sense of vulnerability persists, you should not attempt to perform miracles.
  3. I have already said that miracles are expressions of miracle-mindedness, and miracle-mindedness means right-mindedness.  The right-minded neither exalt nor depreciate the mind of the miracle worker or the miracle receiver.  However, as a correction, the miracle need not await the right-mindedness of the receiver.  In fact, its purpose is to restore him to his right mind.  It is essential, however, that the miracle worker be in his right mind, however briefly, or he will be unable to re-establish right-mindedness in someone else. 
  4. The healer who relies on his own readiness is endangering his understanding.  You are perfectly safe as long as you are completely unconcerned about your readiness but maintain a consistent trust in mine.  If your miracle working inclinations are not functioning properly, it is always because fear has intruded on your right-mindedness and has turned it upside down.  All forms of not-right-mindedness are the result of refusal to accept the Atonement for yourself.  If you do accept it, you are in a position to recognize that those who need healing are simply those who have not realized that right-mindedness is healing.  
  5. The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.  This means you recognize that mind is the only creative level, and that its errors are healed by the Atonement.  Once you accept this, your mind can only heal.  By denying your mind any destructive potential and reinstating its purely constructive powers, you place yourself in a position to undo the level confusion of others.  The message you then give to them is the truth that their minds are similarly constructive, and their miscreations cannot hurt them.  By affirming this you release the mind from over evaluating its own learning device and restore the mind to its true position as the learner. [1]

Today in our Course reading, Jesus expounds upon the meaning of release from fear.  It is critical to our calling that we understand that release from fear means release from all fear.  No matter what errors our minds are fretting about when it comes to performing miracles and to experience the healing that follows, the remedy takes place at our thought level.  Spirit is already perfect, the body is a mere learning device for the mind, and cannot create or miscreate, and all fabrications that the mind does come up with are not real!  We have made a virtual reality based upon that which keeps us apart and not together, that which makes us suspicious of each other instead of trusting one another – and the way in which we are to use our beautiful creative ability is to give up all separation thoughts and practices and only stand for unity, for recognizing our Sonship with God and recognizing our brothers as ourselves. 

Jesus calls our external worlds “magic,” because it is a world of fantasy instead of reality.  The more we learn of Truth the more we see the temporal, dream-like qualities of time and physical existence.  In reference to healing, physical medications are “spells” because the mind is what actually heals. Our fear of the power of our minds keeps us from using them creatively and properly.  Our fear of the mind has us believe that those who consciously use the power of their minds are magicians. We tend to marvel, idolize, and make spectacles over the deeds of those who use the power of their minds in either a constructive or a destructive way. Jesus says that egocentricity and fear usually occur together.  While we have become very comfortable using our minds to keep the separation going, few of us have been willing to devote our minds for blessing others.  When we welcome and accept the Principle of Love as our guide, we have nothing to fear.   

For me personally, I have had a fear of healing because there are times I have offered a miracle and the person recovered in an extraordinary way and other times I have offered the miracle and there was no change at all.  I did not really know what I was doing right in the instances where it worked, nor did I understand what I was doing wrong in the latter instances.  In both cases I experienced bewilderment and confusion and so I have moved away from offering healing.  After all, the miracle of shifting our consciousness to that of Son of God rather than flesh and bone is the first step toward healing.  In yesterday’s reading it seemed apparent to me that healing was not our responsibility, we were only accountable for offering the miracle.  Upon close reading of today’s text however, it does seem apparent that miracles, Atonement, and healing are three aspects of the same release from fear.  The miracle shifts the consciousness to that of Sonship and releases us from fear.  Atonement, the Principle of Love, releases from fear.  Healing is the result of a complete release from fear.  If we are miracle workers, we are healers. 

Jesus advises that as long as I experience fear or confusion, it is better to let physical remedies suffice rather than practice miracles blindly and without complete understanding.  In my experience, when I am moved by Spirit to offer prayer and healing to someone in need, there is a miracle.  I do not have to be present to offer the miracle and would not dream of taking credit for it.  However, when miracles are credited to my name, they generate not only a sense of gratitude but almost a sense of worship and specialness that makes me very uncomfortable.  We are not to perform miracles for any other reason than to offer help and no matter how pure the heart of the miracle worker, many times if someone does credit your prayers and faith for their recovery, you stand the risk of being misunderstood, held in awe, which should only be reserved for God, and/or elevated to sainthood.  This creeps me out for I know all too well that I am not a saint and am no different than anyone else! 

Miracles are only an expression of the mind which is right, which sees past illusion and to the truth of the matter.  There is never any reason to make more or less of the mind of a miracle worker.  While there is certainly no cause for mockery of someone who is doing their best to practice right-mindedness in a world based upon lies, illusion, and accusations against Creation, there is absolutely no cause for idolizing or fearing someone for the same thing.  The mind of a miracle worker is the mind of someone who has decided to seek God, to seek Truth, to follow Jesus and stop believing in what has only brought them heartache, sorrow, and despair.  The whole purpose of the miracle is to restore our minds to truth, to that which is right and not wrong, to give us hope rather than despair.  While we are graced to be in the presence of anyone who heeds the call of God and shares an honest account of this process, it does not make them special, for they are doing only what we all will eventually do – come to the end of adding to illusion and begin using our mind for truth. 

Any fear that we experience in performing miracles is because we have allowed ourselves to believe in physicality over spirituality.  We have believed that this particular person or this particular illness is just too sinful or too far gone for God to heal.  Instead of trusting in God, we start trusting in our own judgment, we believe what our flesh eyes see instead of the vision of Christ.  The remedy for us at these times is always the Atonement.  The Principle of Love will always draw us back to giving to others what God has given us.  We offer miracles when we treat our brothers as we ourselves wish to be treated.  We offer healing in order to be healed ourselves.  The Atonement is the give to receive and the receive to give principle.  Once the Atonement has been reestablished in our minds, performing miracles is natural to us.  We get over our fear of the miraculous the more we practice and teach and welcome miracles to flow out through us to others because they bless and correct instead of curse. 

In the last paragraph of today’s reading, Jesus reminds us that accepting the Atonement is the sole responsibility of the miracle worker.  When we accept the Atonement we recognize the mind as the only creative level about us.  Any lies and illusion created by mind is corrected by Atonement, the Principle of Love, which is receive to give and give to receive.  We give to our brothers that which we ourselves desire for ourselves.  When we accept Atonement we accept the responsibility for the thoughts we hold in our mind toward our brothers.  We no longer think of them as different from ourselves, as being more deserving or less deserving, as being more worthy or less worthy.  Atonement is the correction of all that goes wrong.  It is you and me saying, there will be no more destruction, hatred, fear, or separation in my mind because my mind belongs only to God.  We stand with Christ when we accept the Atonement for Christ is no different than us except blessing is the only choice Christ makes while we who are still wishy-washy and ineffectual miracle workers may still find ourselves tempted to find worth in that which does not bless. 

Today let us pray together, me for you and you for me:

Dear Heavenly Father:  Let us recognize that our minds are the only creative level and that all lies, and magic, and illusions are corrected when we accept Atonement.  Let our faith be completely in You and in Your plan of salvation, for when my mind is healed, my mind can only heal other minds.  Let me make the choice then only for that which blesses and provides the means for others to use their minds only for You.  Set us free from the stupor of all of our own devices, fantasies, and vengeance.  Let us not degrade our minds nor exalt them – but only see them restored to their true position as learner, seeker, and healer.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2: V The function of the miracle worker.  1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 24-26. 

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

A Course in Miracles Chapter 2 THE SEPARATION AND THE ATONEMENT

Section IV – Healing as Release from Fear

  1. Our emphasis is now on healing.  The miracle is the means, the Atonement is the principle, and healing is the result.  To speak of “a miracle of healing,” is to combine two orders of reality inappropriately.  Healing is not a miracle.  The Atonement, or the final miracle, is a remedy and any type of healing is a result.  The kind of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant.  All healing is essentially the release from fear.  To undertake this, you cannot be fearful yourself.  You do not understand healing because of your own fear. 
  2. A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels.  Sickness or “not-right-mindedness” is the result of level confusion, because it always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another.  We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur.  Only the mind is capable of error.  The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought.  The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms.  Physical illness represents a belief in magic.  The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.  This error can take two forms; it can be believed that the mind can miscreate in the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind.  When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, neither type of confusion need occur.
  3. Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device for the mind.  Learning devices are not lessons in themselves.  Their purpose is merely to facilitate learning.  The worst a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning.  It has no power in itself to introduce actual learning errors.  The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application.  This is not because the body is a miracle, but because it is not inherently open to misinterpretation.  The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world.  Its abilities can be and frequently are over evaluated.  However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in the world.  Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial.  The term “unworthy” here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful.  If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind’s power, one is also denying the power itself.
  4. All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles.  This is the first step in believing that the body makes its own illness.  It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents. It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil.  Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement.  In this case it may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief.  This is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an increase in fear.  They are already in a fear-weakened state.  If they are prematurely exposed to a miracle, they may be precipitated into panic.  This is likely to occur when upside down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.
  5. The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed.  In fact, if it used truly, it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver.  This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear.  This does not necessarily mean that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable.  It does mean, however, that it is the highest level of which he is capable now.  The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to lower it by increasing fear.[1] 

In today’s text reading, Jesus clarifies the process of miracles, Atonement, and healing, and how the three seemingly separate functions work together.  It is important as we study A Course in Miracles to understand our function as miracle workers properly.  Pay close attention to today’s reading because many of us who are called of God do make the mistake of combining two orders of reality – the physical and the spiritual, in an inappropriate and therefore ineffective way.  Open your mind and heart and give your willingness to God’s Will in this area of your practice, your ministry, and your devotional habits.  When we ask God to remove the roadblocks that keep us in a state of ineffectuality, we must be willing to give up our traditional practices and belief systems that support error.  When we sincerely, with an open mind and heart ask God for truth, when we ask for only that which is holy, we are not given lies, seduction, or anything at all that will promote vain glory.  We hamper our ability to understand healing and to become competent miracle workers because of fear of displeasing others or abandoning accepted tradition, not because of our love and trust in God. 

Today’s focus is on healing and why we never ask for a “miracle of healing.” While healing is the natural result of the miracle, we are not healers, we are miracle workers.  As miracle workers, we facilitate the miracle – which is the mind shift that corrects our perception of separation from God and Creation to the realization of our Sonship with God and our Brotherhood with Christ.  This miracle leads to Atonement.  Atonement, Jesus tells us, is the Principle of Love – we receive Atonement by extending miracles.  We do not apply Atonement, that is beyond us.  Love was not created by us and cannot be manipulated by us.  We simply share our consciousness shift from humanity to our divinity.  This removes us from the fearful, reactive, and therefore vengeful mindset that would trap us in our ego identities. 

The Golden Rule behavior advocated by Christ is the only appropriate way to offer miracles.  Golden Rule behavior is not reactive, it is proactive.  Golden Rule behavior is miracle-minded behavior.  The aim of those who practice the Golden Rule is miracle-based because it based upon right-mindedness instead of the wrong-mindedness of the world.  We release ourselves from the combative, spiteful, vengeful identity and only offer that which is love.  We go straight to forgiveness.  We go straight to Atonement.  We look past our hurt feelings.  We look past the rude behavior, the bad manners, the mockery, the bloodshed, the infidelity, and lies – whatever it is and instead of reacting in kind, we offer forgiveness, we deny the power of that which is not love to hurt us. 

This is the miracle.  The healing that results from practicing acts of Atonement is not the miracle.  Healing is only the natural outcome of the Atonement which we did not make but can only practice and reach through the sharing of the miracle.  We must always go back to the beginning and study the principles until they are established in our minds and hearts for it is very tempting to think of healing as the miracle and confuse the issue.  Thinking of ourselves as miracle workers and not healers may resolve this issue for us for the time being.  We perform the miracles that Christ asks us to do and let the healing up to the Atonement.  In this way we protect our mind from becoming doubtful and downcast when we do not see healing take place in our own timeframe.  We let the healing to God Who sees the whole picture. 

When I look upon a person without seeing them as any different from me, when I look past all of their behavior, their deeds, their status in the world and I see them only as a brother – this is the miracle.  Just this.  I see them as myself because I see myself as a Son of God.  I no longer identify with my human form, which is a woman, Caucasian, old to some and young to others.  Because I see myself through the vision of Christ, I can see you as I see myself – I see us both as equals, as alike, as brothers in Christ, as the beloved Sons of God.  Again it is very important to note that this is the miracle, and we are in a miracle realm at this point.  Jesus calls it a holy instant; we can call it a holy encounter – no matter what – this is the miracle.  This leads to love between the brothers, and healing comes after all fear of God and Creation have been replaced by the Principle of Love.  This is not of our concern.  Our function is only the miracle, the changed perception!  This shift in consciousness is what leads to Atonement.  And when the remedy of Love, which is the Atonement, is applied to any situation, healing occurs.   

When we recognize our identity as being Spirit and not body, we are no longer confused – our bodies and what we do in our bodies cannot affect our status as God’s Son.  We now understand that the body can act only upon what we choose to believe.  The body cannot generate anything in and of itself.  When we believe that it can, the false belief is what seems to generate physical illness.  The body has no magical power over us.  There is simply no creative ability in matter and the body cannot create (or miscreate) anything in the mind.  When we fully realize that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, we realize that what we experience here in the world is an illusion of separateness.  We see the spaces and the outlines between us and believe that we are apart and different and not of the same Creation.  We chose the seductive, separatists thoughts of competition, independence, corruption, and fear over love.  We entered a dream of our own making.  The mind, which is the only thing that can create, cannot create that which has no life and is not eternal. What we see as matter, Jesus teaches, is a form of magic so to speak.  It is a hallucination that has pulled us in, spun a web, and entrapped our consciousness in a state of believing our own fiction!  However, if we can believe in sickness we can believe in health and that is all that we are being asked to do as long as we believe we have bodies.  Instead of believing in sickness believe, talk about, and accept health. Do not let old grudges and hatred fester in our minds, but release it by bringing it to God and letting the Light of His Love shine upon it so that it can no longer wreak havoc upon our consciousness.  Instead of believing in loneliness, estrangement, and separation, believe in communion, forgiveness, and unity.  When we do this we are using our humanity properly, as a communication device and teaching tool that aids the learning necessary to healing.  When we practice believing and trusting in that which is love, we are standing with Christ instead of anti-Christ. 

To my understanding, the miracle is simply awakening to the truth of what we are. Performing miracles is simply practicing the Golden Rule instead of the rule of this world.  When we see others as our brothers, we give them forgiveness, understanding, and empathy that we ourselves want to receive – this brings us to the everlasting principle of Love, the Atonement – for when we give as we would receive, that is what happens – we receive what we give.  It becomes a strong and invincible chain of one brother awakening to Sonship and giving to receive until the entire Sonship is delivered from all acts of fear, backbiting, two-facedness, suspicion, one-upmanship.  We put away the condemnation that kept us apart and we build the bridge of Atonement that leads to the healing of the nations, to God’s kingdom restored on earth as it is in Heaven.

We who are called to perform miracles will come to our own conclusions about the use of medicine, vitamins, medical operations, health insurance, and so forth.  Apparently Christ has no gripe against doctors, surgeons, home remedies, pharmaceutical companies, or healing practitioners of any kind.  Jesus tells us that Atonement is expressed in the way that is most helpful to the receiver.  Our function is to experience the shift in consciousness to who and what we are in Christ and share that!  As we learn to know ourselves as Sons of God, to see our brothers as ourselves, Atonement takes over from there.  Healing happens where and when there is no fear. 

Our Father in Heaven, May we walk fearless in Your Love and as Your Son.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2: IV Healing as release from fear. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 23-24.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

A COURSE IN MIRACLES CHAPTER TWO SEPARATION AND ATONEMENT

Section III – The Altar of God

  1. The Atonement can only be accepted within you by releasing the inner light.  Since the separation, defenses have been used almost entirely to defend against the Atonement, and thus maintain the separation.  This is generally seen as a need to protect the body.  The many body fantasies in which minds engage arise from the distorted belief that the body can be used as a means for attaining “atonement.”  Perceiving the body as a temple is only the first step in correcting this distortion, because it alters only part of it.  It does recognize that Atonement in physical terms is impossible.  The next step, however, is to realize that a temple is not a structure at all.  Its true holiness lies at the inner altar around which the structure is built.  The emphasis on beautiful structures is a sign of fear of Atonement, and an unwillingness to reach the altar itself.  The real beauty of the temple cannot be seen with the physical eye.  Spiritual sight, on the other hand, cannot see the structure at all because it is perfect vision.  It can, however, see the altar with perfect clarity. 
  2. For perfect effectiveness, the Atonement belongs at the center of the inner altar, where it undoes the separation and restores the wholeness of the mind.  Before the separation, the mind was invulnerable to fear, because fear did not exist.  Both the separation and the fear are miscreations that must be undone for the restoration of the temple, and for the opening of the altar to receive the Atonement.  This heals the separation by placing within you the one effective defense against all separation thoughts and making you perfectly invulnerable.
  3. The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time.  This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so.  You can temporize, and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate.  An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable.  Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.  Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way.  As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning-point.  This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight.  The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute.  But the outcome is as certain as God.
  4. Spiritual vision literally cannot see error, and merely looks for Atonement.  All solutions the physical eye seeks dissolve.  Spiritual vision looks within and recognizes immediately that the altar has been defiled and needs to be repaired and protected.  Perfectly aware of the right defense it passes over all others, looking past error to truth.  Because of the strength of its vision, it brings the mind into its service.  This re-establishes the power of the mind, and makes it increasingly unable to tolerate delay, realizing that it only adds unnecessary pain.  As a result, the mind becomes increasingly sensitive to what it would once have regarded as very minor intrusions of discomfort. 
  5. The children of God are entitled to the perfect comfort that comes from perfect trust.  Until they achieve this, they waste themselves and their true creative powers on useless attempts to make themselves more comfortable by inappropriate means.  But the real means are already provided, and do not involve any effort at all on their part.  The Atonement is the only gift that is worthy of being offered at the altar of God, because of the value of the altar itself.  It was created perfect and is entirely worthy of receiving perfection.  God and His creations are completely dependent on each other.  He depends on them because He created them perfect.  He gave them His peace so they could not be shaken and could not be deceived.  Whenever you are afraid you are deceived, and your mind cannot serve the Holy Spirit.  This starves you by denying you your daily bread.  God is lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.  They must learn to look upon the world as a means of healing the separation.  The Atonement is the guarantee that they will ultimately succeed.[1] 

Today Jesus establishes in our minds that Atonement does not involve a body at all.  We should never relate Atonement with a crown of thorns, crucifixion, or pain and suffering of any kind.  It is a very dangerous doctrine in which God is seen as demanding sacrifice and wanting His Creation to suffer turning Him into a spirit of vengeance and revenge instead of the Loving Father Who awaits our return in tenderness and kindness.  There are absolutely no physical means by which we can earn Atonement.  Love is the principle of Atonement, and miracles are the acts of love that help us to both accept and recognize Atonement.  To try to reach Atonement through the means of a body, a building, anything physical at all is a sign of fear of Love and an unwillingness to go to the inner altar which cannot be seen or experienced in a physical way. 

When we have the vision of Christ, when our spiritual eyes are open we see beyond the structures, whether it is a body, a temple, an edifice of any kind – to the inner radiance, the inner altar where Atonement takes place.  When our inner altar is cleared of all that would stand in the way of our recognition of who and what we are, this is Atonement.  Accepting Atonement then is going back to this inner altar as many times as we must before the full realization of Christ is established in our minds and hearts. 

In paragraph two Jesus tells us that the Principle of Love – the Atonement – belongs at the center of our Beings.  This principle corrects the separation.  The acts of love that Atonement calls for us to perform, the miracles we perform in Jesus name, restores our wholeness of mind.  Separated from God, we live in fear; united with God fear does not exist.  Separation and fear are the forbidden fruits if you will!  They are the lies that pose as creation – that would lift us up above God, instead of at one with God.  That would whisper vain, seductive thoughts and paint self-glorifying images upon our innocent and holy minds tempting us away from our love for God and creation and instead have us fearing and preying upon one another and God, Himself.  These are the lies that must be undone!  These are the imaginings, the behaviors, the acts of that which is not love.  These forbidden fruits tear us apart, they blemish our love and respect for one another, the miscreative aim is not to build and bring together, but to tear down and destroy.  Believing the lie, we hide behind our own devices and project them upon God and each other.  Believing the lies, we mock, disdain, purposefully misconstrue and ridicule not only God’s creation but God Himself.  Cheap laughs at best and viciousness of the most murderous kind at worst, these unholy, unloving lies must be seen for what they are and removed from our consciousness – forever.  Only then is Atonement accomplished in our lives.  We walk then in the light of the inner altar where the principle of Love is established for ever more. 

God is our Creator.  He made us as His Son and as His Son we can only take so much of the loneliness, despair, and sense of meaningless that is engendered by separation, disunity, and lack of love.  Separation is tyranny and Jesus tells us in paragraph three that imprisonment is intolerable to the free will that He has placed within us.  No matter who we are or what we think of ourselves, sooner or later we come to realize there must be a better way.  This is our turning point which leads to our awakening.  As our spiritual vision is strengthened – our investment in that which is physical weakens.  We experience this as conflict while we are still in the flesh for we alternate then between the spiritual vision and the physical one.  This can become what I have experienced personally over the decades of this life – we hear both calls – the call of God within, the call of the world without.  Jesus assures us that no matter how long this goes on, no matter how much we drag out this process, no matter how muddied the water as we try to find answers externally – the outcome is as certain as God. All of us accept Atonement in the end. 

In the last two paragraphs of today’s reading, our Brother explains to us that spiritual vision sees right past error to Atonement.  Spiritual sight enables us to virtually bypass all the magical potions, the long years in therapy or prison, the sacrifices and other forms of tyranny that we devise for ourselves to treat our sense of sin and shame.  When we say Atonement is our only defense, we say that the principle of Love is our only defense.  It offers us the strength to see past the offense and to the heart of the offender. It goes straight to the truth of the matter.  We no longer label people a narcissist or rapist, a child molester, or a thief.  We see the one on the outside of us as we see ourselves.  We are no longer able to tolerate anything which is not love.  Our minds have been liberated from the tyranny and pain of separateness.  As we become increasingly sensitive to acts which are not love, we find ourselves unable to join in conversations of attack for we see them for what they are.  We can no longer sit on boards which have delineated sides and judged those on the other as wicked, evil, and depraved, deserving of hatred, judgment, and condemnation.  Collecting unnecessary facts about others holds no interest to us.  We find no real delight mockery and ridicule.  All we want is healing, reparation, restoration, Atonement.  We stand with Brother Christ and not against Him. 

As God’s children we are entitled to certainty.  Brother Jesus tells us that we waste ourselves and our God-given creativity trying to come up with ways to make ourselves more comfortable in a realm of separation.  I take this to mean that it is inappropriate to think of our humanity – our human drives and unending demands for sustenance, self-esteem, status, and worth – as providing us with a source of comfort and trust.  Our humanity is tyrannous.  Our bodies cannot go without food or water for more than a few days without intense discomfort and even death.  Our bodies reek without the effort of bathing, wiping, perfuming, shaving, and degreasing.  Always rumbling for attention of one kind or the other, they become dangerous when deprived.  Eat too much, exercise too little – our bodies grow fat and prone to disease.  Eat too little they starve and wither on the bone.  Bodies are prone to accidents, disease, discomfort, and decay.  They are easily manipulated by drives for food, water, sex, and other “goodies.” No matter how hard we work to stay on top of our health, bodies die in the end.  This is the avenue in which we put way too much effort to find comfort where it can not be maintained.  This is tyranny.

Jesus teaches that we can escape this tyranny by seeking God first.  By going to our inner altar, there we find our everlasting Selves.  Bringing that Self to the forefront and letting the radiance of that Self shine should be our main concern because here is where Atonement takes place.   Here is where we find our everlasting comfort and here is where we can place our trust.  When we can offer the Atonement to our inner altar we have come to know that Atonement is the only thing worth pursuing in this realm.  We have come to the realization of who and what we really are, and we only want that and not what we have made.  When we put Atonement first, all other things fall into place.  Our concerns for our body are no longer tyrannous for we know that they are only teaching tools and a means to communicate in a world of physicality, not our identity.  We are only too happy to put them down when they are no longer of use. 

When we live from our true Self, that inner altar within, we know our worth in God and to God.  There we find the peace of God which is certain and everlasting.  Nothing in the external world can shatter that peace or make it go away.  We can no longer be fooled by the world and its tyranny for we live from Holy Spirit and all fear is gone.  Our true Selves are nourished not by the food of this world that goes in one end tasty and delicious and goes out the other end stinky and revolting but by the principle of Love, which sustains us through Its unifying principle of giving to receive and receiving to give.  Getting to know that Self, getting to know our worth to God, how necessary we are to His everlasting happiness and joy, how necessary He is to our everlasting happiness and joy – we can only look on the world with a desire to heal, to save, to restore. The Atonement is God’s promise to us.  His Plan is our guarantee.  God’s Will is Done.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2:III The altar of God. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

A Course in Miracles Chapter 2 Separation and Atonement

Section II – The Atonement as Defense

  1. You can do anything I ask.  I have asked you to perform miracles, and have made it clear that miracles are natural, corrective, healing, and universal. There is nothing they cannot do, but they cannot be performed in the spirit of doubt or fear.  When you are afraid of anything, you are acknowledging its power to hurt you.  Remember that where your heart is, there is your treasure also.  You believe in what you value.  If you are afraid, you are valuing wrongly.  Your understanding will then inevitably value wrongly, and by endowing all thoughts with equal power will inevitably destroy peace.  That is why the Bible speaks of “the peace of God which passeth understanding.”  This peace is totally incapable of being shaken by errors of any kind.  It denies the ability of anything not of God to affect you.  This is the proper use of denial.  It is not used to hide anything, but to correct error.  It brings all error into the light, and since error and darkness are the same, it corrects error automatically.
  2.  True denial is a powerful protective device.  You can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you.  This kind of denial is not a concealment but a correction.  Your right mind depends on it.  Denial of error is a strong defense of truth, but denial of truth results in miscreation, the projections of the ego.  In the service of the right mind, the denial of error frees the mind and reestablishes the freedom of will.  When the will is really free it cannot miscreate because it recognizes only truth.
  3. You can defend truth as well as error.  The means are easier to understand after the value of the goal is firmly established.  It is a question of what it is for.  Everyone defends his treasure and will do so automatically.  The real questions are, what do you treasure, and how much do you treasure it?  Once you have learned to consider these questions and to bring them into all your actions, you will have little difficulty in clarifying the means.  The means are available whenever you ask.  You can, however, save time if you do not protract this step unduly.  The correct focus will shorten it immeasurably.
  4. The Atonement is the only defense that cannot be used destructively because it is not a device you made.  The Atonement principle was in effect long before the Atonement began.  The principle was love and the Atonement was an act of love.  Acts were not necessary until the separation, because belief in space and time did not exist.  It was only after the separation that the Atonement and the conditions necessary for its fulfillment were planned.  Then a defense so splendid was needed that it could not be misused, though it could be refused.  Refusal could not, however, turn it into a weapon of attack, which is the inherent characteristic of other defenses. The Atonement thus becomes the only defense that is not a two-edged sword.  It can only heal.
  5. The Atonement was built into the space-time belief to set a limit on the need for the belief itself, and ultimately to make learning complete.  The Atonement is the final lesson.  Learning itself, like the classrooms in which it occurs, is temporary.  The ability to learn has no value when change is no longer necessary.  The eternally creative have nothing to learn.  You can learn to improve your perceptions and can become a better and better learner.  This will bring you into closer and closer accord with the Sonship; but the Sonship itself is a perfect Creation and perfection is not a matter of degree.  Only while there is a belief in differences is learning meaningful.
  6. Evolution is a process in which you seem to proceed from one degree to the next.  You correct your previous missteps by stepping forward. This process is actually incomprehensible in temporal terms because you return as you go forward.  The Atonement is the device by which you can free yourself from the past as you go ahead.  It undoes your past errors, thus making it unnecessary for you to keep retracing your steps without advancing to your return.  In this sense the Atonement saves time, but like the miracle it serves, does not abolish it.  As long as there is need for Atonement, there is need for time.  But the Atonement as a completed plan has a unique relationship to time.  Until the Atonement is complete, its various phases will proceed in time, but the whole Atonement stands at time’s end.  At that point, the bridge of return has been built.
  7. The Atonement is a total commitment.  You may still think this is associated with loss, a mistake all the separated Sons of God make in one way or the other.  It is hard to believe a defense that cannot attack is the best defense.  This is what is meant by “the meek shall inherit the earth.”  They will literally take it over because of their strength.  A two-way defense is inherently weak precisely because it has two edges and can be turned against you very unexpectedly. This possibility cannot be controlled except by miracles.  The miracle turns the defense of Atonement to your real protection, and as you become more and more secure you assume your natural talent of protecting others, knowing yourself as both a brother and a Son.[1]   

Today as we come to our devotional practice, Jesus tells us in our reading that we can do anything that He asks of us.  And brothers, Jesus has asked us to perform miracles.  Are we supposed to perform miracles to show off how special we are in the spiritual realm?  Are we called to perform miracles to prove to the world that Christ exists and has come to save the world from eternal damnation?  Do we perform miracles as spectacles so that our fellows are convinced that God is real?  Of course not.  Miracles are natural, not supernatural.  They are simple acts of love that are performed quietly and in a spirit of peace, humility, and grace.  When we bring communication, correction, and healing to any situation that arises no matter how big or small it may appear, we are performing miracles.  We are applying the perfect remedy.  We are not taking a side, trying to find something or someone to blame, we are moving in and taking care of a problem.  We bring every situation to truth by honest communication, we see the remedy as loving one another as brothers and joining our hearts and minds to find solutions, we bring peace and not projection, we bring healing.  Jesus tells us that there is absolutely nothing that this approach will not heal and correct.  Instead of trying to find someone to blame, instead of blabbing to everyone else about a problem instead of addressing it with the very stakeholders, we do the right thing.  We are not cowards who believe that darkness has more power than light; we stand with Christ.  We do the right thing.  We perform miracles. 

Miracle working calls for us to step forward and take our rightful place in the Kingdom of God.  We are no longer content to be a bystander.  We are no longer content to sit and stuff our faces with popcorn while we entertain ourselves with crimes, car chases, and one calamity after another.  When we hear the call of God in our lives, it is time to acknowledge our treasure and come to its defense.  While truth never needs defense, and Jesus instructs us to stay away from the double-edged sword of defense and attack, we do defend our treasure which is the call of God in our lives.  We pray lead us away from temptation in our Lord’s prayer because we do not want to be tempted to not take care of our treasure.  We set aside time each day to listen to the call of God in our lives and learn all we can about Him.  We do not let anything, or anybody come before our treasure for it is the very reason for our being!  Our treasure and our function and our Savior are one – for our only means to Him is through our call.  In our call we find our peace and in that peace we find certainty that God will never let anything hurt us, destroy us, or take away our everlasting joy, peace, and love. 

While we cannot hide our past and the things that we have done in darkness, we are to deny their power to hurt us.  We can gladly come forth bringing our dirty deeds, our stinky laundry, our fleshly drives and ungodly inclinations to the light of God’s love, because in our humanity this is all we have to offer.  In the light of God’s love is where all mistakes are corrected.  In the light of God’s love is where we find our true identity as His Son.  As God’s Son we in turn offer forgiveness, communication, correction, and healing to others.  This is performing miracles. 

In our right minds we know that darkness cannot hide, and our mistakes cannot hurt us as long as we bring them to the light.  We do not conceal our mistakes.  We do not blame them on other people.  We do not deny we ever did what we did and try to get other people to lie for us or gaslight others by vehement denial of our past deeds.  That would be concealment not correction.  When we deny the ability of error to hurt us, we can talk about our journey in darkness with truth and integrity and with no fear of exposure.  Those things we did become powerful teaching tools.  People are actually blessed by our testimonies and encouraged to bring their own shame and sorrow to the light of God’s love.  When we deny our past actions and do not tell the truth about them, we miscreate, we project and protect ego, we walk in untruth and instead of our past mistakes being a teaching tool and put to the use of Holy Spirit, we live in fear and in hiding.  We carry our past around with us and it seems to destroy our peace and stands between us and our holy function.  In this state, we are under tyranny, and our mind cannot create because it is not devoted to truth.  

Not until our goal is firmly established can we really devote ourselves to truth and defend our devotion to truth against our natural inclination to protect our egos, to be afraid of taking a stand for what is right, and learning to deny the power of darkness and sin in our lives.  When seeking God and aligning our selves to His Will becomes our only treasure and we know that beyond a shadow of doubt and fear, then the means to God and reestablishing His Will in our minds and hearts comes naturally to us. 

For years I sought God, but I also sought a lot of other things!  For years I sought God but when seeking God got in the way of other more tangible things – seeking God was put on the shelf.  For years I sought God, but when I realized that bringing all my dirty deeds to Him instead of sweeping them under the rug and pretending they never happened was involved, I felt too dirty and unholy and flesh-driven to ever be good enough for Him.  I would just die in my flesh and be content with that, I told myself.  I would ignore my heart’s cry.  I would ignore His call to me and fill my life with all sorts of other things.  In other words, I wasted a lot of time.  I spent a lot of time, money, and effort barking up the wrong trees, establishing alliances that were based on nothing, chasing pursuits that did not satisfy.  In paragraph three, Jesus urges us to choose our correct focus by determining what our treasure is and how much we treasure it.  When we realize our true treasure in Him, our focus then is not divided.  We are no longer ashamed of it, but we defend it by devoting our time to it, by sharing it, by living it, and encouraging others to do the same. 

In paragraph four, Jesus says that the Atonement cannot be used destructively because it is not a manmade device.  The Atonement is another word for love.  The principle of Atonement is Love, the Atonement itself is an “act of love.”  Before the separation, acts of love were simply not needed.  We existed in a state of love.  In a state of love, space and time do not exist.  Love is all there is, one is for all and all for one.  There is no competition, no greed, no jealousy, envy, or hatred.  As hard as it is to imagine, such a state still exists in the core of our being, for we were made in Love and to be Love.  But once the separation seemed to take place, Atonement was recon plan.  It was the perfect solution because Love cannot be misused.  Atonement is the best defense because unlike other defenses which when refuted or refused turn into attack, Love can only heal.  Love Wills not to attack. 

Atonement then is the end of our belief in time and space.  Atonement is the end of separation.  It is the final lesson of our sojourn in time and space.  It is the final lesson of humanity.  When Atonement has taught its final lesson there is no more to learn.  We have been reinstated to our Sonship; we have become the eternally creative once again – our lessons in separateness, time, and space are done. 

In the here and now Jesus encourages us to use our sense of time and our belief in space to our best advantage.  Use our time to improve our vision, to become better at learning because this brings us in close accord with the Sonship.  We are preparing our minds for perfection.  Be perfect like me, Jesus says.  He does not expect us to become perfect overnight.  He does not cover us with His blood like some people claim and make us perfect.  We become perfect.  It is a process.  All Jesus asks of us now while we are in the dream of humanity is to accept the concept of perfection over the concept of flesh and blood and the lowly realm in which we find ourselves.  Remember who and what you really are and do not be afraid of it, He calls to us.  The more we apply ourselves to this the closer in accord we become.  Learning loses its meaning once we arrive and have no more to learn.

Human evolution seems to take us from one level to the next, we do not step forward without taking all the mistakes of the past right along with us – so it only seems as if we are going forward but we still have the reptilian brain so to speak.  We still have the unloving impulses and drives and perversions of our most primitive forbears.  We can pretty them up.  We can hide them behind civility and good manners, but they are still there, and we bring all those same traits into the future.  Jesus calls this returning as we go forward. 

Atonement sets us free from human evolution, indeed humanity itself.  We can advance without dragging our pasts with us.  We bring the past to light and it is forgiven, corrected, and it no longer has any weight, it does not drag us down, it cannot hurt us or delay our progress.  Atonement sets us free from our humanity and thus saves us time, but time marches on until its end and Atonement with it.  And there it is at the end of time, the Bridge of Love, completed with all our acts of love, holding us as we cross into the eternal Kingdom. 

Jesus stresses to us that Atonement is a total commitment.  It takes our devotion.  We put it first.  We have determined it our treasure, our dearest and most precious gift.  As long as we begrudge the time our devotion takes, the hours of study, the acts of love as a sacrifice, we have not yet come to appreciate its value.  We still think that there is value in attack.  We still think that there is value in fantasy.  We still think that humanity has something more to offer us than the peace and calm and mildness of Spirit.  We do not see Atonement, the principle of Love, as being our best defense.  Our intellect and our reactive human instincts shriek at practicing the proactivity of the Golden Rule; we still believe that the two edged sword of defense and attack will protect us.  We still believe that to be fair, Love should only be proffered to those we deem deserving and withheld from those we judge unworthy. 

As we practice acts of love, as we follow the call of Christ, we gain enough experience and expertise to realize that Love is our only protection.  We put away our weapons because we know who and what we really are – a brother and a Son.  Healing and protecting instead of defaming and destroying is our natural, God-given, essential gift – our treasure – and our only real defense. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2:II The atonement as defense. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

A Course in Miracles Chapter 2: SEPARATION AND ATONEMENT


Section 1 – The Origins of Separation

  1. To extend is a fundamental aspect of God which He gave to His Son.  In the creation, God extended Himself to His creations and imbued them with the same loving Will to create.  You have not only been fully created but have also been created perfect.  There is no emptiness in you.  Because of your likeness to your Creator you are creative.  No child of God can lose this ability because it is inherent in what he is, but he can use it inappropriately by projecting.  The inappropriate use of extension, or projection, occurs when you believe that some emptiness or lack exists in you, and that you can fill it with your own ideas instead of truth.  This process involves the following steps: First, you believe that what God created can be changed by your own mind.Second, you believe that what is perfect can be rendered imperfect or lacking. Third, you believe that you can distort the creations of God, including yourself. Fourth, you believe that you can create yourself, and that the direction of your own creation is up to you.
  2. These related distortions represent a picture of what actually occurred in the separation, or the “detour into fear.”  None of this existed before the separation, nor does it actually exist now.  Everything God created is like Him.  Extension, as undertaken by God, is similar to the inner radiance that the children of the Father inherit from Him.  Its real source is internal.  This is as true of the Son as of the Father.  In this sense the creation includes both the creation of the Son by God, and the Son’s creations when his mind is healed.  This requires God’s endowment of the Son with free will because all loving creation is freely given in one continuous line, in which all aspects are of the same order. 
  3. The Garden of Eden, or the pre-separation condition, was a state of mind in which nothing was needed.  When Adam listened to the “lies of the serpent,” all he heard was untruth.  You do not have to continue to believe what is not true unless you choose to do so.  All that can literally disappear in the twinkling of an eye because it is merely a misperception.  What is seen in dreams seems to be very real.  Yet the Bible says that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and nowhere is there reference to his waking up.  The world has not yet experienced any comprehensive reawakening or rebirth.  Such a rebirth is impossible as long as you continue to project or miscreate.  It remains within you, however, to extend as God extended His Spirit to you.  In reality this is your only choice because your free will was given you for your joy in creating the perfect.
  4. All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God.  Of course, you neither can nor have been able to do this.  Here is the real basis for your escape from fear.  The escape is brought about by our acceptance of the Atonement, which enables you to realize that your errors never really occurred.  Only after the deep sleep fell upon Adam could he experience nightmares.  If a light is suddenly turned on while someone is dreaming a fearful dream, he may initially interpret the light itself as part of his dream and be afraid of it.  However, when he awakens, the light is correctly perceived as the release from the dream, which is then no longer accorded reality.  This release does not depend on illusions.  The knowledge that illuminates not only sets you free, but also shows you clearly that you are free.
  5. Whatever lies you may believe are of no concern to the miracle, which can heal any of them with equal ease.  It makes no distinctions among misperceptions.  Its sole concern is to distinguish between truth on the one hand, and error on the other.  Some miracles may seem to be of greater magnitude than others.  But remember the first principle in this course; there is no order of difficulty in miracles.  In reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love.  These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you.  Peace is an attribute in you.  You cannot find it outside.  Illness is some form of external searching.  Health is inner peace.  It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without and capable, through your acceptance of miracles, of correcting the conditions proceeding from lack of love in others.[1]

As we come to today’s reading, we clear our inner altars of all that would hinder us from our return to Him.  We bow our minds and hearts before God and acknowledge His ultimate power, love, and goodwill toward us, His Son.  We ask that we are not tempted to take our devotional practice lightly, to push it aside for a more convenient time, but to come to Him faithfully and with utmost sincerity.  We recognize that we did not create ourselves; that we belong to Him Who is perfect and has made us perfect according to His Will.  We pray in our own words with respect, sincerity, and utmost reverence.  We do not grovel or plead or make special requests – for God is in charge and His love and devotion toward us give us what is best and provides for our abundant joy and everlasting peace.  We pray in the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  And we all say Amen, for we agree that our prayers please our Father who loves to hear from us and acknowledges each one. 

Today we go back to the beginning of our sojourn in time.  What happened that we ended up here?  Born not knowing who we are or why we are here, trying to find our own way in a bewildering maze of that which is not love, truth, peace, or joy.  Yearning for an intimacy which cannot occur between bodies, yearning for connection that seems impossible in a world of inequality, injustice, and strife – that is us here in the world.

Jesus tells us that we believed a bad report about ourselves and about God.  We believed in the power of sin rather than the perfection of God and His creations.  We believed that our perfection in Him could be lost or damaged or made more perfect.  We believed in our own power to distort God’s creations, including ourselves, We believed that instead of God being in charge, we were in charge of our creation and that the direction of our creation is up to us, and not to God.  It was insurrection against all that was love and peace and joy.  What we get in exchange for our rebellion is a virtual reality, a nightmare of our own making.  For every lie we come up with, we find evidence in which to back it up – we work very hard to make that which is not truthful true.

Our hope lies in the miracle of waking up in the nightmare and realizing who and what we are.  Jesus leads the way.  He came to experience the nightmare as one of us. He was the Son who never left but had God’s love for those who did.   Born into a world of lies, half-truths, and confusion, He was and is the light, the truth, the way.  He said to follow Him and be perfect as He is perfect.  To accept our Sonship with God, to accept our perfection and leave thoughts of sin and shame and sacrifice behind.  By example, we are to stop believing in suffering, bloodshed, and death and instead resurrect our holy Selves within.  In other words open our eyes, seek the truth, ask for the truth and it will be given to us.  Not by bright lights and extraterrestrials coming down from the heavens, but the radiance of God within us, shining forth from us, breaking free of the humanity that we made and acknowledging and accepting our Sonship with God, our brotherhood in Christ and with all of Creation. 

We do not have to convince ourselves of reality.  We do not have to keep repeating scripture and go about saying mantras all day or lock ourselves away somewhere from the rest of the world and surround ourselves with people who look, think, and believe the same way we do.  God’s kingdom becomes apparent to us.  We recognize the nightmare for what it is and awakened, we are released from it.  The nightmare becomes a teaching device and nothing more.  Everything that happened in the nightmare – no matter the significance – is gone.  It was a dream of separation, it was a dream of our own making, a consideration that God extended to let us experience what it was we separated our awareness from Him to do.  That it turned into a bad dream is hardly His responsibility, for no matter what we never lost our perfection in Him, we never lost His love and devotion to us and for us, we have no power within us to remove ourselves from His love. 

Accepting the Atonement then is accepting correction.  Acknowledging who and what we are in Him corrects all mistakes, releases us from our sojourn in time, and gives us the ability to help release others.  Sharing Atonement is how we secure our place in His Kingdom.  Sharing Atonement is the practice of the Golden Rule.  Those who are saved, awaken others.  Withholding Atonement is the practice of that which is not Christ – we are saved, to hell with others. 

No matter the depth of the lies, all are healed, Jesus assures us in paragraph five, with equal ease.  The miracle is the truth.  It makes no distinctions between lies, between mistakes, between sins.  It only separates between truth and falsehood.  To us, miracles may seem big or small, but none are greater than another.  A serial killer coming to know his perfection in Christ demands no more effort on the part of truth than someone who has never so much as pinched their brother in a fit of jealousy.  There is simply no more and no less effort on the part of truth to be true because it always was and ever will be what it is.  It does not have to work at it.  Lies, on the other hand, have to put forth a lot of effort to maintain themselves.  They call for a lot of defense and a lot of attack.  Lies call forth allies and get up sides to back them up.  Lies beget more lies; they are chaotic and lead to unhappiness and insanity.  Truth stands as one in unity.  When we get our mind around this we see how silly it is to get our panties in a wad about anything! 

While humanity calls for outrage, blame, and vengeance, in reality we are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love!  Jesus makes it clear that even when our own egos try to berate us, make us feel ashamed and guilty for our past mistakes and our more recent blunders, we can go to the truth and realize our peace, our perfection, the meaninglessness of anything that would work to prove how unworthy we are of God’s love.  When others attack us, when we attack others – we go to our peace. Bringing our darkness to that peace corrects every mistake and every situation.  It will make us sick if we look for peace in the external world.  The external world has none.  Inner peace and health are one and the same.  It is our inner peace that gives us certainty in the face of lovelessness from others.  It is our inner peace, our acceptance of miracles, that provides healing to all conditions that come from lovelessness in ourselves and in others.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 2:1 The origins of separation. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1:THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

Section VII: Distortions of Miracle Impulses

  1. Your distorted perceptions produce a dense cover over miracle impulses, making it hard for them to reach your own awareness.  The confusion of miracle impulses with physical impulses is a major perceptual distortion.  Physical impulses are misdirected miracle impulses.  All real pleasure comes from doing God’s Will.  This is because not doing it is a denial of Self.  Denial of Self results in illusions, while correction of the error brings release from it.  Do not deceive yourself into believing that you can relate in peace to God or to your brothers with anything external.
  2. Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy.  Do not forget this.  The Love of God, for a little while, must still be expressed through one body to another, because vision is still so dim.  You can use your body best to help you enlarge your perception, so you can achieve real vision, of which the physical eye is incapable.  Learning to do this is the body’s only true usefulness. 
  3. Fantasy is a distorted form of vision.  Fantasies of any kind are distortions because they always involve twisting perception into unreality.  Actions that stem from distortions are literally the reactions of those who know not what they do.  Fantasy is an attempt to control reality according to false needs.  Twist reality in any way and you are perceiving destructively.  Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them.  But although you can perceive false associations, you can never make them real except to yourself.  You believe in what you make.  If you offer miracles, you will be equally strong in your belief in them.  The strength of your conviction will then sustain the belief of the miracle receiver.  Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent to both giver and receiver.  Reality is “lost” through usurpation, which produces tyranny.  As long as a single “slave” remains to walk the earth, your release is not complete.  Complete restoration of the Sonship is the only goal of the miracle-minded. 
  4. This is a course in mind training.  All learning involves attention and study at some level.  Some of the later parts of the course rest too heavily on these earlier sections not to require their careful study.  You will also need them for preparation.  Without this, you may become much too fearful of what is to come to make constructive use of it.  However, as you study these earlier sections, you will begin to see some of the implications that will be amplified later on.
  5. A solid foundation is necessary because of the confusion between fear and awe to which I have already referred, and which is often made.  I have said that awe is inappropriate in connection with the Sons of God because you should not experience awe in the presence of your equals.  However, it was also emphasized that awe is proper in the presence of your Creator.  I have been careful to clarify my role in the Atonement without either over- or understating it.  I am also trying to do the same with yours.  I have stressed that awe is not an appropriate reaction to me because of our inherent equality.  Some of the later steps in this course, however, involve a more direct approach to God Himself.  It would be unwise to start on these steps without careful preparation, or awe will be confused with fear, and the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.  Healing is of God in the end.  The means are being carefully explained to you.  Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to you, but to reach it the means are needed.[1]

In our last section of Chapter One, Jesus explains how our awareness is so darkened by the lies and illusions of our own creation that loving impulses are often confused with physical impulses.  In fact our physical impulses are misdirected miracle impulses because real pleasure comes only from doing God’s Will which is spiritual.  When we confuse expressing love with our physical impulses we will often end up in a sexual relationship with the wrong person, we will often find ourselves obligating ourselves to someone’s selfish demands or worse yet, demanding others to show their love to us through physical means.  While pleasure is obviously enjoyed by our romantic, friend, family, and professional relationships, we deny ourselves true relationship by denying the spiritual part of us and only relating through the physical.  When we form any kind of relationship that does not consider our holiness, our innocence and purity of the Spirit, we deceive ourselves, Jesus says.  We think that we can relate in peace to God and to our brothers with the external instead of the internal.

Today during our devotional practice, ask God to give you true perception on every relationship you have and want to have.  Give your yearning for connection to God and ask Him for what He has for you instead of going out and seeking physical communion on your own.  Start putting God first in every relationship – bringing the Spirit which is life, love, joy, and peace into your prayers for each of your loved ones.  Instead of praying selfishly for this one or that one, ask God to broaden your love base to include people that you would normally not think of when you are only praying for those who are close to you.  Pray for those who have used you, abused you, or cast aspersions on you.  Denying the holy Self which is spirit and everlasting in our relationships dooms us to lies, falsehoods, and more separation while correcting our way of relating to others gives us truth and freedom! 

In paragraph two, Jesus calls to each of us.  He tells us who we are:  We are children of God.  He tells us why we were created:  We were created to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy!  Do not let the world tempt us to believe any other thing about who we are or why we are here, dear brothers. Even while we are encased in the flesh and our understanding dim, we will be able to express the love of God if we put our minds to it!  The only right way to use the body is to learn how to broaden our perception, so we get to the real vision of Christ.  Even though our physical eyes are incapable of seeing with the eyes of Christ, our Spirits, our holy Selves have never lost their spiritual sight.  Using our body to get past the need for a body Jesus states is what we will learn in this Course.

We are to be like Jesus.  Greater works than Jesus are we called to do.  As we identify with our true Self in Christ, we will be able to perform the miracles that He is calling us to do.  Jesus longs to see us follow in His steps and not allow our bodies to define us, tempt us, or in any way stand in the way of the miracles the world needs.  When Jesus was here on earth, he went for days without food.  He walked on water.  He raised the dead.  He cast out devils, healed the sick, multiplied the bread and fishes.  Now all He is asking of us is to be like Him.  To share our testimony of His love and devotion toward us; to stand with Him and become one with Him in the salvation of the world. 

One of the big temptations of the physical realm is not only to engage us in its illusions but also to add to the illusions by fantasy, fiction, and thrilling adventures in nothingness.  Our movies, romances, novels, and dramatic theatrical performances seem to bring such great pleasure to us that it is all too easy to mistake the enjoyment that we take in such as a harmless source of entertainment, inspiration, and relaxation.  But Jesus tells us that excursions into fantasy take us even farther from reality and provide another means of dimming our wits and tyrannizing our minds.  While we rivet our minds with fantasies, our minds are being appropriated by that which is not love.  Fantasies are only another distortion of miracle impulses.  They seem creative, but they are regurgitated forms of illusion – slightly different forms of the same tired tale of separation, sin, shame, specialness, and sacrifice. 

Fantasy is just not necessary to miracle workers, Jesus says.  There is no reason at all to engage in it when reality becomes not only apparent to the miracle worker but also to the miracle receiver.   Our practice of the loving impulse and the strong conviction that comes from changing the minds of those who are trapped in cycles of death and despair will sustain us and keep us from craving what fantasy offers.  The only goal we should have as a miracle worker is for the complete restoration of the Sonship.  Pray for me dear brothers even as I pray for you each day that we are kept free of all temptation and devote ourselves only to Him.     

A Course in Miracles is a course that trains our minds.  We apply ourselves to its message by paying attention and setting time aside each day to study and devote ourselves to this practice.  Jesus plainly states that these first few chapters of the Course require careful study because they prepare our minds to overcome our fear of God and the communion that we seek with Him.  Take the time each day to go over your notes, meditate upon each section of the text, and listen to the lessons.  Many students have shared that they record their own voice reading the chapters and listen to them on their devices as they go back and forth to work or to the gym.  There is something very powerful about listening to your own voice speaking of God, Jesus Christ, and holiness.  As we hear the sound of our own voice telling us about the good things of God and blessing others instead of cursing them, we begin to feel our inner Selves come to the forefront.  No longer are we ashamed to speak for God because God is in us and of us.  The God in us transforms our mediocre lives in the flesh to that of Spirit and everlasting love.  We ready ourselves for the bright, brave future which God has in store for us by preparing our minds now.

By applying our minds to our daily study of this Course, we are building a solid foundation in learning how to separate lies from truth, illusions from reality.  Pay particular attention to the last paragraph.  Jesus again emphasizes the need for us to learn the difference between awe and fear.  We are not to be awed by any of our brothers. Jesus even includes himself in this category.  He is our brother.  No matter how many followers someone has, no matter how their insights have blessed us, no matter how many miracles they perform, or how beautiful, sweet, and holy – we are not to stand in awe of our equals.  We are not to gush over each other or encourage others to make us more special for any reason whatsoever.  Jesus has called us all to be like Him for while we are both holy and unholy, Jesus is nothing but holy.  Jesus has given all.  Once we come to know Christ, we are ever grateful for His gift to us and answer His call to us with love and devotion, but not awe. 

Now we communicate with God through Jesus, but as we get closer to the truth and our minds are trained to get past darkness and see through illusions, we come to know God directly as we become one with Christ.  While this is a sublime experience, unproperly trained, we could become full of fear.  We do not want to be afraid of miracles, my brother.  We do not want to be afraid of our God Who heals through those who become one with Christ.  We do not want to be traumatized or bewildered by the loving acts that will restore sanity to the minds and hearts and even bodies of our brothers.  And so we come to our daily practice with good faith and apply ourselves to this training as if the salvation of the world depends up on it, because it does! 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1: VII Distortions of Miracle Impulses. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1: THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

Chapter 1 THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

VI.  The Illusion of Needs

  1.  You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.  No learning is acquired by anyone unless he wants to learn it and believes in some way that he needs it.  While lack does not exist in the creation of God, it is very apparent in what you have made.  It is, in fact, the essential difference between them.  Lack implies that you would be better off in a state somehow different from the one you are in.  Until the “separation,” which is the meaning of the “fall,” nothing was lacking.  There were no needs at all.  Needs arise only when you deprive yourself.  You act according to the particular order of needs you establish.  This, in turn, depends on your perception of what you are.
  2. A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.  This sense of separation would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth and had thus perceived yourself as lacking.  The idea of order of needs arose because, having made this fundamental error, you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs.  As you integrate you become one, and your needs become one accordingly.  Unified needs lead to unified action because this produces a lack of conflict. 
  3. The idea of orders of need, which follows from the original error that one can be separate from God, requires correction at its own level before the error of perceiving levels at all can be corrected.  You cannot behave effectively while you function on different levels.  However, while you do, correction must be introduced vertically from the bottom up.  This is because you think you live in space, where concepts such as “up” and “down” are meaningful.  Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time.  Both are merely beliefs.
  4. The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief.  You can never control the effects of fear yourself because you made fear, and you believe in what you made.  In attitude, then, though not in content, you resemble your Creator, Who has perfect faith in His creations because He created them.  Belief produces the acceptance of existence.  That is why you can believe what no one else thinks is true.  It is true for you because it was made by you.
  5. All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the creative level, and therefore do not exist at all.  To whatever extent you are willing to submit your beliefs to this test, to that extent are your perceptions corrected.  In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines: 

Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.

But:

Only perfect love exists. If there is fear, It produces a state that does not exist. 

Believe this and you will be free.  Only God can establish this solution, and this faith is His gift.[1] 

In today’s reading of section six of Chapter One, The Meaning of Miracles, Jesus tells us that we have needs because we are thinking from a place of separation from God.  At one with God, there are no needs at all.  In the spiritual realm where there is only wholeness and unity and equality nothing is lacking.  Peace is a state of being that is certain and fixed and everlasting.  We suffer a sense of need here in this realm because we no longer have what once we took for granted.  In fact, we have nothing that we experienced in spirit and wholeness in separation except little patches of love and peace and joy that are disrupted by conflict, unhappiness, and fear in between times. 

Jesus points out that when we feel deprived of any one thing, we act in accord with that need – if we want peace, we go to battle against the thing or the person whom we judge as disturbing our peace.  Instead of making it better, we make it worse and any peace we do establish is tentative and temporary and cannot be called peace at all.  But when we remember who we are in Christ, we know about wholeness and Spirit.  We know about the Golden Rule that is proactive and not reactive.  We know that any particular nuisance is not to be hated or feared, but to be forgiven and blessed and made perfect right along with us – and when we do it this way, things turn out different.  We have the peace for which we have yearned because we have recognized reality, we have recognized our brotherhood.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs came to mind while I read this passage.  The five levels of human needs are physiological or survival, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization (as in fulfilling one’s potential).  Only when a person has adequately fulfilled one level of needs is one ready for the emerging needs of the next level.  According to this theory, a person who is still trying to figure out how to provide food, shelter, and clothing for himself cannot concern himself much with higher, spiritual needs.  Jesus says however, that order of needs is an illusion in and of itself.

In paragraph two, Jesus teaches that the only need we have is to remember that we are not separated from God.  God has not abandoned us, and He never will.  He has created us to be part of His Kingdom forever and that has not changed.  The only reason we think that God is separate from us is because we made up a lie and began to believe in it – we needed something more than abundance, more than wholeness, more than our brother.  Already thinking of ourselves as needy, we bring order to our needs only to satisfy the levels we ourselves make between one another.  Some people will never reach the top of Maslow’s pyramid for instance.  They will forever be stuck in poverty, in hand-to-mouth existence, in a state of spiritual unawareness.  This is not God’s order of needs, Jesus says.  This is a man-made construct for man-made levels. 

However, when we experience the shift in consciousness that reminds us of who and what we really are, the manmade levels disappear.  We are one – we love our brothers as ourselves.  Nobody has to go through four different levels of needs to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization – we have no needs because our love for one another reinstates our wholeness, our unity, our sense of being one with God.  No more conflict, no more need for superiority, no more need for pity, no more need to feel more special that our brothers.  Nobody goes without because in oneness we are all for one and one for all.  No more need. 

In short, by seeking first the Kingdom of God, we have everything.  We exist in a realm of constant and certain abundance.  When we put God in charge first and believe in His Kingdom instead of the lie we made, God provides everything for our return to Him.

Jesus states in paragraph three that we cannot behave effectively while we function on different levels.  I take this to mean that as long as we see each other at different levels of needs, there is no way we will be able to practice the Golden Rule because while I may give my brother a book that has meant so much to my spiritual awakening, he would toss it aside because what he thought he needed was a bag of groceries!  As long as we are perceiving different levels of needs, we start at the bottom – with the body’s need for survival.  We go from there to the higher needs for security, for love and belonging, for purpose and meaning, for ultimate reunion with God.  As long as we think in levels, correction occurs in levels.  This is a mere courtesy of course because levels have no meaning to God.  God would much prefer us to forsake our belief in the body altogether which is the aim of this course. 

The real purpose of the world is not to set up our kingdom here, but to live out the lies we have made up, to correct our belief in fear and in scarcity, to understand there is no power greater than His Perfect Love and no form greater than Spirit.  This is not Creation.  This is the lie about Creation that we all contributed to and have formed in our own image.  Every single one of us who end up here, have come here because we made up another version of Creation which we believed was better and therefore truer than the one that God made.  Every single one of us can live in the lie of Creation for as long as we desire, but the longer we are here the more we will realize how far from truth we are, how far from peace and love and joy.  When each person believes in a different lie, it becomes true to them but separates them even more from their brothers.

The positive purpose of this world is to correct our unbelief in God’s love and our state of conflict and disagreement with Him. If we continue to believe that God made this world, we will continue to believe that God is not a God of love, but a God of war, bloodshed, death, and despair.  Jesus teaches us the reality of, not this world, but the kingdom of God within each of our hearts. Love, peace, and joy are calling to us; our yearnings for brotherhood, for unity, for innocence and purity are fulfilled only by seeking that Kingdom.  Here within our very beings we find God Who has placed His Mark upon us and will not rest until we put down this world of lies in exchange for the real Kingdom of Truth. 

All aspects of fear do not exist at the creative level because fear is a lack and is not substantive on its own.  Fear is not creative; fear is derivative.  Here is creation; fear is afraid of creation.  Fear is a state that does not exist because God did not create anything fearful.  God did not create anything in which to do battle.  God did not create a world which has a vicious nature.  The world and its viciousness is the world we made in exile from Him.  It cannot be taken into eternity. Terror gives us nothing to build upon and accomplishes nothing.  Fear is a sinkhole.  It is a state of mind that is based upon darkness, not light.   We who are afraid, we who perform and promote vicious acts, we who deny the brotherhood of Christ and the Sonship of God are choosing the wrong kingdom, the kingdom made of men, of unholiness, of brutality and death.  We are living and teaching falsehoods which remain locked in time.  Perfect love exists, my brothers.  In this state of perfect love there resides no fear.  If there is fear, it is not true, and you can ask God to remove it from your consciousness and let the peace of God shine out from you.  This is something we cannot do on our own for we believe in what we have been taught as truth, we believe in our own lies and falsehoods.  Being set free from illusion is a gift from God to you and can only be accomplished when you ask for it and are willing to reach out in faith and accept what He offers. 

Join with me in prayer as we bow our minds and hearts before Him:

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for freeing us from all fear, from all illusions, from all neediness and poverty and jealousy and self-pity over the uneven distribution of wealth and power in the world.  Give us holy faith in the Kingdom of God within us, dear Father.  Let us remember Your great love and devotion to us.  Let us not blame the state of the world upon You O Most High but realize we are in the fallen kingdom, the separated kingdom which has lifted other gods up and called them better, stronger, smarter, and more worthy than You.  Let us not follow gods of our own creations which encourage us to kill our brothers, to taunt and torture and humiliate, to perform acts of terror in their name.  Humble our hearts, dear Father.  Let us bring to you our shame and dread of all the dastardly deeds in which we committed in our zeal for that which is not You.  Let us bring to you our fear and lack of peace and understanding.  Here is our darkness, Lord!  We want it no more.  We only want Your Light.  Here is our hatred dear Father. We want it no more.  We only want Your Love.  Here is our calls for battle – for we want only to accept Your peace.  Thank you dear Father for forgiving us our mistakes and falsehoods.  Thank you Father for correcting us and bring us to Truth.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:VI The illusion of needs. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Thank you to James F. and Linda J. for the learning, teaching, and increased understanding you brought to this particular section.  

comment 0

Chapter 1: THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

V. Wholeness and Spirit

  1. The miracle is much like the body in that both are learning aids for facilitating a state in which they become unnecessary.  When spirit’s original state of direct communication is reached, neither the body nor the miracle serves any purpose.  While you believe you are in a body, however, you can choose between loveless and miraculous channels of expression.  You can make an empty shell, but you cannot express nothing at all.  You can wait, delay, paralyze yourself, or reduce your creativity almost to nothing.  But you cannot abolish it.  You can destroy your medium of communication, but not your potential.  You did not create yourself.
  2. The basic decision of the miracle-minded is not to wait on time any longer than is necessary.  Time can waste as well as be wasted.  The miracle worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor gladly.  He recognizes that every collapse of time brings everyone closer to the ultimate release from time, in which the Son and the Father are one.  Equality does not imply equality now.  When everyone recognizes that he has everything, individual contributions to the Sonship will no longer be necessary. 
  3. When the Atonement has been completed, all talents will be shared by all the Sons of God.  God is not partial.  All His children have His total Love, and all His gifts are freely given to everyone alike.  “Except ye become as little children” means that unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father.  The specialness of God’s Sons does not stem from exclusion but from inclusion.  All my brothers are special.  If they believe they are deprived of anything, their perception becomes distorted.  When this occurs the whole family of God, or the Sonship, is impaired in its relationships.
  4. Ultimately, every member of the family of God must return.  The miracle calls him to return because it blesses and honors him, even though he may be absent in the spirit.  “God is not mocked” is not a warning, but a reassurance.  God would be mocked if any of His creations lacked holiness.  The creation is whole, and the mark of wholeness is holiness.  Miracles are affirmations of Sonship, which is a state of completion and abundance. 
  5. Whatever is true is eternal and cannot change or be changed.  Spirit is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect what it chooses to serve.  The only limit put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters.  If it elects to do so, the mind can become the medium by which spirit creates along the line of its own creation.  If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than Authoritative control.  As a result, it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants. To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority.  
  6. The miracle is a sign that the mind has chosen to be led by me in Christ’s service.  The abundance of Christ is the natural result of choosing to follow Him.  All shallow roots must be uprooted because they are not deep enough to sustain you.  The illusion that shallow roots can be deepened, and thus made to hold, is one of the distortions on which the reverse of the Golden Rule rests.  As these false underpinnings are given up, the equilibrium is temporarily experienced as unstable.  However, nothing is less stable than an upside-down orientation.  Nor can anything that holds it upside down be conducive to increased stability.[1]  

Today we move beyond escape from darkness to learn about Wholeness and Spirit.  

In our first paragraph of today’s reading, Jesus likens miracles to our bodies – when we have no more need for bodies we will have no more need for miracles.  Those who are whole, do not need what miracles provide.  When we no longer believe our bodies define us, we let them go and the need for the miracle goes away. 

But here we are now, you and me – still in the body, still with lots to learn – and Jesus tells us while we still retain our humanity to choose miracles because miracles reflect God’s love – they offer forgiveness, they are merciful, and they heal first our perception and then everything we behold and experience in our perception.

Conversely, when we make the loveless choice, we make an empty shell.  Lovelessness is sin we learned in yesterday’s text.  Sin is the opposite of a miracle.  Lovelessness prolongs our suffering in time, it delays our return to God, it stupefies and petrifies, reducing the creative force within us to almost nothing but it cannot destroy our holiness. Sin cannot destroy the God in us, it cannot abolish our Holy Self.  It can wreak havoc and even death to our bodies but not our Promise, not our Potential, for we did not create our Selves.

When our mind is transformed by the miracle, we have no desire to waste time because we know that time itself is a waster.  As long as we stay bound to time, we suffer, and we cause others to suffer.  Dragging out my awakening to holiness did not just hurt me and cause me unnecessary pain – it hurt everybody who loved me, who depended upon me, and who looked upon me.  While my biggest worry about identifying with Spirit was that it would turn me into some kind of a religious nut who would miss out on all the goodies this world had to offer, wasting my time in lovelessness is where I lost my marbles!  Sunk in a sense of shame and despair, how I regret the suffering I seemed to cause by my lack of wisdom, kindness, and Golden Rule driven behavior. 

As a miracle worker we know better than to waste time.  Every time someone wakes up to the truth about themselves, time collapses a little more and we all grow closer to the ultimate release from time, from bodies, from separateness.  In the meantime, we perform our miracles, and we do not waste our time in lovelessness!

When we remember fully who and what we are in Christ, we know that union with God is everlasting light and life, while separation from God is the black hole of darkness and death.  Nothing is excluded from God’s Love.  In God’s eyes we are each special but never more special than one another.  An idea like me being even a little more special than you, deprives you of a little bit of specialness and gives me more.  This does not fly in the Kingdom of God, for such ideas would blight the concept of oneness, unity, and equality which is the law of love and peace and joy.     

Over time, all of God’s family returns to Him.  The miracle calls us all home no matter how long we try to deny our Spirit and live for the flesh.  The miracle calls to us in dreams, in quiet thoughts, through our love for our children and grandchildren, and the beauty and wonder of Creation.  When our hearts and minds are touched by God even in our lowest, darkest hour, we know it is the miracle which is calling to us to change our mind and choose the right Kingdom.  The Creator has put Himself into all of His Creation.  We may have tried to claim it as our own, but God cannot be mocked in this regard.  We can never steal or hide our holiness from Him Who is Holy and has marked us forever as His own.  There is no small part of Creation which can ever be lost because it is whole, and it is one. 

We must all meditate upon this in our devotional practice and ask God to make it real to our minds.  When we begin to fathom the wholeness and oneness of God, the miracle has removed all fear from our mind of God’s Holiness, our holiness, and our place in His Kingdom.  We are part of a grand scheme, my brothers, in which we dwell forever in a state of wholeness and abundance beyond words.  When we share miracles, Jesus says, we are affirming our place in that Kingdom, in the Sonship, in that state of utter joy, delight, and certainty forever. 

When we change our minds about God and begin to openly acknowledge, love, and serve Him and His Call, we are on the side of truth.  Truth remains unchanging forever.  God will not change His mind about our perfection just because we did.  God is truth and truth does not change its tune!  God Who loves Creation today will love Creation forever.  When we align our minds with God, His Spirit creates through us.  We find that the creations of love, of peace, and joy are boundless and go on forever in every direction.  Creations of spirit are not limited by time and space or direction.  Creations of spirit bless and complete, they draw us together, not apart.   

When we do not align our minds with God, we are under the control of tyranny.  Oppression is the poor substitute for the freedom and joy and limitlessness of the spirit.  Our creativity in a state of lovelessness will last for a fleeting moment and then degenerate into repetitive cycles -regurgitating that which has already been created, perhaps in a slightly different form, perhaps in a different hue, but never anything truly alive and everlasting.  In the loveless state, our attempts to create will grow old and stagnant, ever more selfish and depraved.  To be free of this unpleasant, diabolic cycle we must change our minds by placing them under the control of God, who is the only true Authority.  When we have learned all we need to know about darkness and sin, when we only want light and love, God frees our mind of these hellish rounds and restores to our awareness our true Identity in Him. 

In the last paragraph of today’s reading, Jesus assures us that miracles will follow all of us who choose to be led by Him in His service.  We live abundantly and we give abundantly when we follow Christ.  We walk in the Spirit and we share all the Gifts that God has bestowed upon us.  We withhold His love and mercy from nobody. 

Before we can accept our wholeness and our holiness, all shallow belief systems and religious practices must be uprooted, must be surrendered, must be looked upon as distortions of the message of Christ.  Christ teaches that the Golden Rule is the only acceptable way in which to follow Him.  We are proactive, not reactive.  We do not feed our minds the newsreels of the day and make the mistake of taking it for truth!  We respect the message of God’s love and forgiveness and refuse to take sides in battles in which both parties have denied the peace, love, and unity of God and have taken arms against each other and therefore against Christ. We forgive and bless because we are forgiven and blessed.  We hold nobody accountable for our happiness, for our peace, and for our joy for we trust only in God and what He has for us.  We do not chase after that which can never satisfy, for we have devoted ourselves only to God, Who is Wholeness and Spirit. 

Jesus understands that when our superficial beliefs and practices are uprooted, we will temporarily feel insecure.  This world has seemed very real to us for all this time.  Few of us have had direct contact with our spiritual Self and have not yet learned to trust God’s call to us.  We may have had terrible experiences because of followers of Christ who have not offered us miracles, but rather harshness, harassment, and hurtfulness.  We may have read religious texts that perverted God’s love and described God as wrathful, vengeful, and prone to dangerous temper tantrums when His tiny creations did not obey His every whim.  Giving up traditions that glorify the death of Christ instead of His resurrection, will seem at first to throw us off balance. Yes, when our shallow roots are uprooted, we may feel a little wobbly – but do not be afraid.  Truth stands and never needs defense, only lies are vulnerable.  Shallow, ego-based stories of God do not give us certainty – they fill us with doubt and fear and shame.

Today’s prayer then is:

Our Father Who is perfect, awesome, and true, we want Your Kingdom and not ours.  Uproot our shallow belief systems, our false doctrines, and our silly traditions that do not give us certainty, but rather make us feel ashamed of ourselves and our belief in You.  Awaken us to Your truth.  Let us devote ourselves to Christ Who leads the way.  Deepen our understanding and help us not to be afraid.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1][1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:V Wholeness and spirit. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 12-13.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1: THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

IV. The Escape from Darkness

  1.  The escape from darkness involves two stages:  First, the recognition that darkness cannot hide.  This step usually entails fear.  Second, the recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could.  This step brings escape from fear.  When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy.
  2. Holiness can never be really hidden in darkness, but you can deceive yourself about it.  This deception makes you fearful because you realize in your heart it is a deception, and you exert enormous efforts to establish its reality.  The miracle sets reality where it belongs.  Reality belongs only to spirit, and the miracle acknowledges only truth.  It thus dispels illusions about yourself and puts you in communion with yourself and God.  The miracle joins in the Atonement by placing the mind in the service of the Holy Spirit.  This establishes the proper function of the mind and corrects its errors, which are merely lacks of love.  Your mind can be possessed by illusions, but spirit is eternally free.  If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within.  But the Atonement restores spirit to its proper place.  The mind that serves spirit is invulnerable.
  3.  Darkness is lack of light as sin is lack of love.  It has no unique properties of its own.  It is an example of the “scarcity” belief, from which only error can proceed.  Truth is always abundant.  Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no needs of any kind.  The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything to you; or rather, to restore it to your awareness.  You were given everything when you were created, just as everyone was. 
  4. The emptiness engendered by fear must be replaced by forgiveness.  That is what the Bible means by “There is no death,” and why I could demonstrate that death does not exist.  I came to fulfill the law by reinterpreting it.  The law itself, if properly understood, offers only protection.  It is those who have not yet changed their minds who brought the hell-fire concept into it.  I assure you that I will witness for anyone who lets me, and to whatever extent he permits it.  Your witnessing demonstrates your belief, and thus strengthens it.  Those who witness for me are expressing, through their miracles, that they have abandoned the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance they have learned belongs to them.[1]

In today’s reading, Jesus expounds upon Principle 28 in section one of The Meaning of Miracles:  Miracles are associated with fear only because of the belief that darkness can hide.  You believe that what your physical eyes cannot see does not exist.  This leads to a denial of spiritual sight.[2]

To escape darkness we must first recognize that we cannot hide from God.  We were created to be transparent – what we do cannot be kept secret.  There is no place to hide.  In order to escape darkness we first must realize that it serves no purpose.  It does not keep us hidden.  It cannot separate us from God.  When we accept this, we may feel cornered.  We may feel trapped.  We may feel as if we have no freewill.  But the second step of escaping darkness, is realizing that we do not want to hide from God.  We remember His Love, we remember our wholeness, our oneness, our unity.  Peace and love and joy is restored to us. 

In paragraph two, we learn that we work very hard to convince ourselves that we are not holy and that we are not spirit.  No matter how hard we work to identify with our flesh and keep ourselves separate from God, the miracle sets us straight.  All illusions about ourselves go away and we begin our walk with our true and holy Self and with God.  Jesus tells us that when we find our true Self, we are joined with Him in Atonement – our minds are enlisted in the service of Holy Spirit.  Our minds are made right.  We are no longer lost, bewildered, and confused about who and what we are.  We know what we are about.  We know why we are here.  Where there was hatred and discord we now have communion and love.  Where we were stressed and burdened, we now have peace.  We laugh.  We sing.  We carry on – because our minds are no longer tormented by strange fiction but filled with the fun and freedom of the spirit, our true and holy Self.  This is Atonement.  Atonement is not bloody; it is not fraught with thorns and nails and humiliation.  Atonement is not meant for a select few of God’s Creation.  It is meant for all.   It is simply restoring Spirit to the proper place in our minds.  The mind that serves Spirit, Jesus says, is invulnerable.  It cannot suffer, it is invincible, it is as God created.    

Darkness and sin are examples of the “scarcity” belief. Darkness dissipates in light; there is no sin in love.  Light and love are truth.  Light and love are everywhere and forever.  There is nothing but the truth – take away light or take away truth and we have untruth.  We have a lie.  We have an illusion.  We have a belief system that is based upon falsehood. 

When we recognize truth as Everything and darkness and sin as nothing, we can no longer fear darkness or be tempted by thoughts of sin.  We can no longer teach that God favors some people over others or that He will pick and choose which parts of His Creation are worthy and which parts are not.  We will know in our minds and hearts that all that He has is ours.  We will not fear death.  We will not fear sickness and plagues.  We will not fear political leaders who would lead us astray.  We will seek not for ourselves a kingdom in the world of flesh and blood for His Kingdom has been restored to our awareness.  We will remember our Selves as we were created – whole and holy and forever.

Forgiveness is the antidote to all lack.  If there is lack of light; if there is lack of love – forgiveness will fill the emptiness where there was lack.  I forgive your lack of light. I forgive your lack of love because my lack of light has been forgiven, because my lack of love has been forgiven.  When we relate to one another with forgiveness, we overcome death – we demonstrate that death does not exist!  As we stand with Christ and extend God’s mercy to those who are empty of love and light, we give protection.  The miracle has no curse, damnation, or punishment attached to it.  If you believe in God’s rage and wrath, you will demonstrate this in what you do and say, you will condemn and judge rather than forgive.  Change your mind about hell-fire and damnation and Jesus will witness this truth to your mind and through your ministry.  When we share the good news of God’s love and forgiveness by offering forgiveness to those who are faint of heart and drowning in despair and sorrow, we demonstrate the abundant love and peace and joy that we have always.  We have changed our minds about our Father.  We love Him, we adore Him, we know that His Will for all of Creation is love and light and joy and peace forever, and in Him there is no darkness!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1: IV Escape from darkness. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 11-12.

[2] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1: I Principles of Miracles. 28. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 4.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1:THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

III. Atonement and Miracles

5. Error cannot really threaten truth, which can always withstand it.  Only the error is actually vulnerable.  You are free to establish your kingdom where you see fit, but the right choice is inevitable if you remember this:

Spirit is in a state of grace forever. Your reality is only spirit. Therefore, you are in a state of grace forever.

  • 6. You respond to what you perceive, and as you perceive so shall you behave.  The Golden Rule asks you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  This means that the perception of both must be accurate.  The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior.  You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly.  Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both.  You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others. 
  • 7. Miracles arise from a mind that is ready for them.  By being united this mind goes out to everyone, even without the awareness of the miracle worker himself.  The impersonal nature of miracles is because the Atonement itself is one, uniting all creations with their Creator.  As an expression of what you truly are, the miracle places the mind in a state of grace.  The mind then naturally welcomes the Host within and the stranger without.  When you bring in the stranger, he becomes your brother.
  • 8. That the miracle may have effects on our brothers that you may not recognize is not your concern.  The miracle will always bless you.  Miracles you are not asked to perform have not lost their value.  They are still expressions of your own state of grace, but the action aspect of the miracle should be controlled by me because of my complete awareness of the whole plan.  The impersonal nature of miracle-mindedness ensures your grace, but only I am in a position to know where they can be bestowed.  
  • 9. Miracles are selective only in the sense that they are directed towards those who can use them for themselves.  Since this makes it inevitable that they will extend them to others, a strong chain of Atonement is wielded.  However, this selectivity takes no account of the magnitude of the miracle itself because the concept of size exists on a plane that is itself unreal.  Since the miracle aims at restoring the awareness of reality, it would not be useful if it were bound by laws that govern the error it aims to correct. [1]

Today we finish the second half of section three, The Atonement and Miracles.  Yesterday we learned that Atonement is correction.  We learned that as we stand with Christ we do the work of Christ.  We offer Atonement through Christ, Who has called us to ready our minds and hearts, accept His truth and perform miracles in His Name. 

In our reading today we learn that nothing can threaten the truth.  Truth is truth – there are no lies, no dreams, no fantasies that can make truth anything other than what it is.  There is not a thing vulnerable about the truth because it always stands.  Only the lie is weak, spineless, and needs defense.  Jesus tells us that we can set up our kingdom here in the world of illusion, the substitute for Creation that we made.  We can believe the lie, we can fear God instead of love Him, we can make God out to be vengeful, jealous, and full of rage.  We can believe ourselves spineless, sniveling little weaklings that are destined for disease, despair, and death.  We are certainly welcome to make of this world our kingdom for as long as we want.  We can identify with flesh and blood and refuse to believe in that which we cannot see with our physical eyes, but no matter what – our Spirit is forever in a state of grace.  Our reality is in Spirit and not in flesh.  There is nothing we can do or fail to do in the flesh that will change who and what we are in Christ.  We are as we were created and evermore shall be!  We will never be abandoned to our own devices and we will, each and every single one of us, eventually choose the right kingdom. 

In paragraph six, Jesus tells us that as humans we respond to what we perceive and so what we perceive determines our behavior.  If I see a sneer on your face, I am going to respond to that sneer and sneer right back atcha!  When someone does me wrong, oh boy, my hackles rise, and I am determined to give them a good taste of their own medicine.  I have been known to hold grudges for decades against those whom I have perceived as not appreciating me, cheating on me, or telling lies about me or to me!

The Golden Rule changes this dynamic.  Jesus tells us that our holiness will help us to be proactive instead of being reactive.  Proactivity is the miracle, and it undoes error instead of making more by offering understanding, equality, forgiveness, and correction.  When someone offends me and I choose to see their offense as a simple mistake in good judgment, I am much more inclined to offer forgiveness, understanding, communication, and correction rather than umbrage, spite, and revenge.  Years of needless estrangement, loneliness, and bad behavior can be averted when at least one person is willing to offer the miracle and say, “Oh, let us settle this by talking it out, let us not fight but come to some agreement.  Let us not choose to make up stories about each other and project our own faults and weaknesses onto each other and pretend we are innocent so one of us can pretend to be the good guy at the expense of the other!”  Choosing this realm’s way of relating to others leads to ongoing strife, conflict, and unrest which needlessly stretches out the need for time and causes unnecessary suffering.  Choosing to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated leads to honest communication, healed relationships, and resolution.  It actually collapses the need for time, and nobody suffers. 

Along the same vein, when someone wants us to take one side against another, our holiness simply explains that when sides are drawn both factions have decided against peace, both sides have decided against communication and correction, both parties have decided against the miracle.  Jesus makes it very clear that it is only when we perceive ourselves and others correctly that we will be able to apply the Golden Rule to our behavior toward others.  As long as I perceive my brother as different than me, I will not be able to do anything but respond in a way that does not reflect miracles.  It is only when we get in touch with our own holiness, our true identity in the spiritual kingdom that we will be able to see the inherent holiness in others and respond to that instead of their outward behavior.  While Jesus does not expect us to get to this overnight in our process, we are expected, as we stand with Him, to take heed and make the Golden Rule our standard for appropriate behavior. 

Because miracles come from a mind that is prepared for them, we pray for miracle readiness.  We pray that we are not tempted to react to the unpleasantness of others, but to be proactive and offer miracles because miracles correct instead of make matters worse.  Our minds are ready for miracles when they are united with Christ and recognize Creation as one with God.  Until then we will find ourselves drawn to gossip and rumors, backbiting and condemnation, pointing fingers and laying blame. When we recognize our oneness with God and with each other, our minds are no longer the least bit interested in all that tripe!  Our minds enter a natural state of grace – of peace and calm, of beauty, purity, innocence, and holiness.  The mind in a state of grace knows no shame or blame, guilt or fear.  We can no longer despise our brothers; we are not jealous of their accomplishments or feel as if they are withholding something that belongs to us within them.  Instead of barring the door to our hearts and minds, we welcome, we incorporate our outer world into our inner world.  Jesus says that when we bring in him, whom we think of as different than us, he becomes like us, he becomes a brother. 

In paragraph eight, Jesus assures us that whether we are aware of it or not, miracles take effect and will always bless us.  Even those miracles that we go off and do without His express guidance will still have value, will still express our state of grace.  As eager as we may be to offer miracles to this one and that one, only Jesus knows who is prepared to accept them, to appreciate them, to be ready for them.  Miracles are impersonal in that we are not to offer them to those whom we think deserve them or those whom we love or whom are related to us.  We are not to determine in our own minds if the miracle “worked” or not.  We are to do what Jesus tells us to do and trust Him for the results instead of our very limited understanding.

The miracle is the shift in consciousness that restores us to our reality as God’s Son – it is in this realm that we naturally extend that awareness to others to whom Christ leads.  We do not have to go out on the streets and try to badger people into coming to our church or spend long hours in our prayer closets demanding and pleading with God to save this one or that one.  We do not try to manipulate God to save our loved ones by going without food or giving up other pleasantries.  All God wants from us is to remember who and what we are in Him.  We are His beloved Sons, His Creation.  We are to share this good news with the ones who are prepared for it. 

Every single one of us come to Christ when we have had our fill of what we made and want only what God has for us.  We each have our own processes, lessons, and designated paths which lead to this realization.  We should never force our views upon others before their time.  We are not here to defend or fight for the cause for Christ!  We are here to be obedient to the Lord’s leading and trust in Him.  We will trust in our brothers to be ready for Atonement at the perfect time for them, not us!  We are not limited by space, by time, by the cycles of birth and death here in this world.  The miracle releases us from all constraints of this kingdom and delivers us to the everlasting realm of God.  Choosing that Kingdom and inviting Jesus our Holy Brother to lead the way – we can cast all our worries and concerns aside and trust only in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:III Atonement and Miracles. 5-9. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1 THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

III Atonement and Miracles

  1.  I am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin.  When you offer a miracle to any of my brothers, you do it to yourself and me.  The reason you come before me is that I do not need miracles for my own Atonement, but I stand at the end in case you fall temporarily.  My part in the Atonement is the cancelling out of all errors that you could not otherwise correct.  When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself.  As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it.  The power to work miracles belongs to you.  I will provide the opportunities to do them, but you must be ready and willing.  Doing them will bring conviction in the ability because conviction comes through accomplishment.  The ability is the potential, the achievement is its expression, and the Atonement, which is the natural profession of the children of God, is the purpose. 
  2. “Heaven and earth shall pass away” means that they will not continue to exist as separate states.  My word, which is the resurrection and the life, shall not pass away because life is eternal.  You are the work of God, and His work is wholly loveable and wholly loving.  This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is. 
  3. The forgiven are the means of the Atonement.  Being filled with spirit, they forgive in return.  Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement.  Miracles are the way in which minds that serve the Holy Spirit unite with me for the salvation or release of all of God’s creations.
  4. I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement.  You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you.  Ask me which miracles you should perform.  This spares you needless effort because you will be acting under direct communication.  The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation.  A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow.  “Lead us not into temptation” means “Recognize your errors and choose to abandon them by following my guidance.”[1]

In section one of The Meaning of Miracles, we learned 50 principles of miracles.  Section two of The Meaning of Miracles showed us how revelation, miracles, and time though different, correspond.  We leaned that as precious as miracles seem to us, we are not to be awed by them, but to take them in stride, for miracles only correct what has been taken away from us, while revelation reacquaints us with God, Who alone deserves awe.  Today, Jesus introduces us to the process of Atonement. 

Because Jesus is in charge of Atonement, and we are one with Him, we offer miracles to our brothers.  No longer are we content to go to our denominational churches and our Wednesday night Bible studies, banging on our tambourines, singing hymns, swaying back and forth to Christian rock thinking that because we are keeping ourselves free from sin, we are doing the work of Christ.  Nope.  When we accept Him, we accept Christ’s vision; we accept His charge.  In this paragraph Jesus calls it the great crusade.  We learn to undo error.  We learn to correct it.  We perform miracles because Jesus said we have the power, and we should.  It is a prerequisite to becoming One with Christ.  Think about it.  What use are we if we do not do His work and  with Him in His Charge? 

To join with Christ then is to be prepared, to be ready, to be willing.  We prepare ourselves by understanding the meaning of miracles.  Once we thought miracles were astounding; now we know that miracles simply return to our awareness what we thought was lost or hidden from us.  We accept who and what we are, and when we do that, we accept our holiness.  We accept our well-being.  We accept wholeness and unity.  We accept our Sonship with God and our Brotherhood with Christ.  When we do that, we understand what a miracle is and why it is important to learn how to extend them to all whom Jesus sends to us.

With the power to perform miracles, we express the gifts of God’s mercy and love through our humanity.  We would never dream of hoarding God’s gifts for ourselves or for a select few.  This then is the Atonement – we know we have God’s gifts only to share and to share with all, for Atonement is one for all and all for one.  This is our natural profession, our only real function, as the offspring of God.  This is correction of the original error – God is Love.  He is not to be feared or groveled before.  We can trust always and under every circumstance in His everlasting love, devotion, and goodwill toward His Creation.      

When we pray the Lord’s prayer we recite:  God’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Jesus taught us to pray this prayer to awaken us from the stupor of humanity.  It is His Vision, His charge, the great campaign to awaken us from our journey through separation, to deliver us from despair, disease, and death.  Heaven and earth become one.  The separation between the two passes away.  God’s Will on earth is God’s Will in Heaven in oneness and unity – not the separated state we experience in the nightmare world. 

Jesus tells us today that the Word of God is the resurrection and the life.  Notice that the Word of God, the Expression of God is not the Holy Bible or any other religious text that is in existence today.  Take note that the Word of God is not the crucifixion of Christ.  It is not in the blood that Jesus shed or the humiliation and suffering that He went through in His human life.  The Word of God is resurrection and life.  The Expression of God never dies, it is eternal.  Jesus’s death does not save us – it is His resurrection which is everlasting and eternal.  Please get this straight in your mind for when you pray to a God who demands blood and sacrifice, when you pray the “blood of Jesus” over this and that, you are praying to death, you are praying to suffering, you are praying to a god who is vulnerable, bleeding, and dying.  Knock it off.  For you are the Expression of God and I am the Expression of God even as Christ is an Expression of God.  We are the work of God, Jesus tells us.  We must think of ourselves, not as humans prone to sin and living in decaying bodies doomed to die, but as the Creation of a perfect God, made whole, made perfect, sinless, and everlasting.  This is the message of Christ.  This is Atonement.  This is the miracle. 

When we are forgiven we forgive – this is how Atonement works.  Those who are released from fear are called to release their brothers.  When we stand with Christ, we share His message of forgiveness.  Those who are lost are welcomed back to the fold.  We forgive and we keep forgiving.  We share the shift in consciousness that reminds us of who and what we really are – Sons of God, made perfect and holy and eternal.  Standing with Christ, we become the resurrection and the life.  Standing against Christ we remain trapped in our humanity, in the fallen nature of the world, the chaotic, dog-eat-dog nightmare of creation separated from God. 

Jesus is the Atonement.  He and the Atonement are one.  We recognize Jesus as our Guide.  He assigns us where to go and what do and who and what to offer the miracle, because He is the only One Who knows who is ready and who is not.  He is the only One Who hears the prayers and responds to the cries of those who have seen their humanity for what it is and want something different.  When we listen to His direction, we do not have to plead the blood of Jesus over people, groveling before God and asking Him to please save our loved ones.  As we learn to trust in the process of Atonement, we know that our loved ones are no more special than anybody else!  We know that Jesus will send us where we are needed and not necessarily where we thought we would go.

When Jesus guided me to stop at the house of an old friend, I was not at all certain that I was hearing the right voice.  We had had a falling out over a decade ago.  In my head, my life and her life had no good reason to ever join again.  Our former friendship though holy on some levels, had also been fraught with unholiness.  We thought that being a “good” friend meant that we lied for each other, that being a best pal meant taking each other’s sides against others.  Drawing each other into unnecessary dramas and traumas, we lost respect for one another and eventually we went our separate ways, each of us thinking we were the ones “wronged.”  I was content to let it stand like that and evidently she was as well.  Then Jesus intervened and told me to go to her.  “Ah Lord that can’t be you,” I remember thinking. I called someone I trusted and asked him if it could be Jesus telling me to do such a thing.  “Yes,” was the reply. 

I did not know she was asking Jesus for a miracle. There was no way for me to know that the Course I was studying held the miracle she was seeking.  But Jesus knew.  And He directed me there.  I was sorely tempted not to listen.  What if she attacked me and called me names?  What if she were bitter and blamed me for things I could no longer remember doing?  What if she wanted to get into one of those wearying “I said-you said,” debates?  Instead of going with my mistaken thinking, I followed the guidance of Jesus and I am certainly happy that I did.  Our broken friendship was healed and made new, and Jesus knew that this was a miracle we both needed! 

We will stop at this paragraph today and pick up where we left off tomorrow, finishing Chapter 1: III Atonement and Miracles.  Before we go, let us pray this prayer together, clearing the altar of our minds and asking the Lord to illuminate all that is true and removing all that is not. 

Our Father our devotion belongs to You. We stand with Christ and commit our human lives to the Great Cause of Atonement.  We ask that our hearts and minds are open to truth, understanding, and divine service.  We ask that our minds hold nothing but forgiving thoughts that reflect Your love. Let us extend Your gifts of mercy to our holy charges, withholding no good thing from those who ask of You.  Keep us from going our own way and following corrupt paths. All of our awe is reserved for You, Father.  In the name of Jesus with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1: III Atonement and miracles. 1-4. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 8-9.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1 THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

Section Two: Revelation, Time, and Miracles

  1.  Revelation induces complete but temporary suspension of doubt and fear.  It reflects the original form of communication between God and His creations, involving the extremely personal sense of creation sometimes sought in physical relationships.  Physical closeness cannot achieve it.  Miracles, however, are genuinely interpersonal, and result in true closeness to others.  Revelation unites you directly with God.  Miracles unite you directly with your brother.  Neither emanates from consciousness, but both are experienced there.  Consciousness is the state that induces action, though it does not inspire it.  You are free to believe what you choose, and what you do attests to what you believe. 
  2. Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated.  That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible.  Revelation induces only experience.  Miracles, on the other hand, induce action.  They are more useful now because of their interpersonal nature.  In this phase of learning, working miracles is important because freedom from fear cannot be thrust upon you.  Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love. 
  3. Awe should be reserved for revelation, to which it is perfectly and correctly applicable.  It is not appropriate for miracles because a state of awe is worshipful, implying that one of a lesser order stands before his Creator.  You are a perfect creation and should experience awe only in the presence of the Creator of perfection.  The miracle is therefore a sign of love among equals.  Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality.  It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me.  An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom.  He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted.  It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours.  There is nothing about me that you cannot attain.  I have nothing that does not come from God.  The difference between us now is that I have nothing else.  This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.
  4. “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” does not mean that I am in any way separate and different from you except in time, and time does not really exist.  The statement is more meaningful in terms of a vertical rather than a horizontal axis.  You stand below me, and I stand below God.  In the process of “rising up,” I am higher because without me the distance between God and man would be too great for you to encompass.  I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other.  My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it.  This may appear to contradict the statement, “I and my Father are one,” but there are two parts to the statement in recognition that the Father is greater. 
  5. Revelations are indirectly inspired by me because I am close to the Holy Spirit, and alert to the revelation-readiness of my brother.  It can thus bring down to them more than they can draw down to themselves.  The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to you open for revelation.  Revelation is not reciprocal.  It proceeds from God to you, but not from you to God.
  6. The miracle minimizes the need for time.  In the longitudinal or horizontal plane, the recognition of the equality of the members of the Sonship appears to involve almost endless time.  However, the miracle entails a sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception.  This introduces an interval from which the giver and receiver both emerge farther along in time than they would otherwise have been.  The miracle thus has the unique property of abolishing time to the extent that it renders the interval of time it spans unnecessary.  There is no relationship between the time a miracle takes and the time it covers.  The miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years.  It does so by the underlying recognition of perfect equality of giver and receiver on which the miracle rests.  The miracle shortens time by collapsing it, thus eliminating certain intervals within it.  It does this, however, within the larger temporal sequence.[1]

Although we have completed our review of Principles of Miracles, let us return to them again and again until we clear our mind of all preconceived concepts of what they are and for what purpose they are to be used.  In today’s reading of The Meaning of Miracles, Jesus focuses our minds and learning upon how revelation, time, and miracles are to be understood and observed during our human journey. 

Unlike miracles, revelation mirrors the original form of communication between God and Creation.  As spiritual creatures formed in God’s image, we shared close personal two-way friendship with God.  We were like Him; we were one with Him.  He did not keep any knowledge away from us; we did not try to keep secrets from Him.  Where God went, we went.  What God did, we did.  We were made in His likeness.  God our Father; we His Son.  

That all changed when we separated from Him, from Creation, from each other.  Apart from God, from Creation, from each other we can never experience the communion we once shared with Him except through revelation.  Remember in Principle 28 we learned that miracles are the means to revelation, miracles restore to us our love for God and takes away our fear of Him.  All fear gone, revelation takes us to God, restores to us our knowledge of God and our oneness as His Son.

Miracles are, or at least should be, everyday occurrences here in the world of separateness.  A miracle happens each time I see you as myself and you see me as yourself.  I offer you forgiveness, I offer you love, I offer you the gifts of God – and you offer them to me and in giving to you I receive and in giving to me you receive.  This is a miracle.  This is the realm of healing and all those other wonderful things that take place when two holy Selves recognize one another as who and what they really are!  As nice as miracles are, they are only our means to get to God.  They are not God.  They should not inspire anything but gratitude.  We do not make too much over miracles, brother.  We do not stand there mouth gaping and hands clapping and prancing about in a state of specialness.  We take them in stride because what they provide is only our due. 

In Principle 24, Jesus informs us that we made sickness and death when we separated from God.  God did not create imperfection, disease, darkness and death.  We did.  Now through the practice of miracles, we can abolish the unholiness we made simply by recognizing one another as perfect, blameless Sons of God.  No matter how happy we are that we are healed, that we are loved, that we are forgiven – miracles are not God – they are acts of love, that we perform for each other that reflect our recognition of His Love.  So be happy for them but do not be awestruck, Jesus says.

Reserve your awe for revelation, for it is in revelation that we hear and know God.  God reveals Himself to us who have aligned ourselves with Christ and accepted the Atonement.   While there is so much more to be gained from this text, this is where I sign off and I pray for our continued grasp of this material:

Dear Father in Heaven:  From now on, all our awe is reserved for You.  We will no more be saying this is awesome or that is awesome, for now we know that You alone are worshipful.  We pray for return to Your Kingdom; we pray that we do Your Will.  We ask that our time on earth is spent standing with Christ, becoming Christ even as Christ becomes us.  We no longer want what we made of Creation; we want what You created.  Dear Father, help us to understand and to practice our holy habits through our devotion to You and to the message of Christ – we are Your Son made perfect again through our faith in Christ.  Deliver us from any belief system that would cause us, Your Son, to tremble, that would burn us in hell, that would curse us to outer darkness forever – restore to us our love and trust in You we pray in the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:2 Revelation time and miracles, Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 7-8.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Chapter 1 – THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

PRINCIPLES OF MIRACLES 38-50

  1. 38. The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles.  He recognizes both God’s creations and your illusions.  He separates the true from the false by His ability to perceive totally rather than selectively.
  2. 39. The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal.  This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.
  3. 40. The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother and mine.  It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God.
  4. 41. Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles.  They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.
  5. 42. A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack.
  6. 43. Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.
  7. 44. The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of His Atonement. 
  8. 45. A miracle is never lost.  It may touch many people you have not even met and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.
  9. 46. The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium.  Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are temporary communication devices.  When you return to your original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over. 
  10. 47. The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time.  It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval not under the usual laws of time.  In this sense it is timeless. 
  11. 48. The miracle is the only device at your immediate disposal for controlling time.  Only revelation transcends it, having nothing to do with time at all.
  12. 49. The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception.  It is a device for perception-correction, effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error.  This is its true indiscriminateness. 
  13. 50. The miracle compares what you have made with creation, accepting what is in accord with it as true, and rejecting what is out of accord as false.[1]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:I 38-50. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 5-6.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

JANUARY 2021 SYLLABUS

Date:LessonText:
1/1/20211Introduction and 1:I – 1-15
1/2/20212Chapter 1:I:16-37
1/3/20213Chapter 1:I:38-50
1/4/20214Chapter 1:II Revelation, Time, and Miracles 1-6
1/5/20215Chapter 1:III Atonement and Miracles 1-4
1/6/20216Chapter 1:III Atonement and Miracles 5-9
1/7/20217Chapter 1:IV The Escape from Darkness 1-4
1/8/20218Chapter 1:V Wholeness and Spirit 1-6
1/9/20219Chapter 1:VI The Illusion of Needs 1-5
1/10/202110Chapter 1:VII Distortions of Miracle Impulses 1-5
1/11/202111Chapter 2:I The Origins of Separation 1-5
1/12/202112Chapter 2:II The Atonement as Defense 1-7
1/13/202113Chapter 2:III The Altar of God 1-5
1/14/202114Chapter 2:IV Healing as Release from Fear 1-5
1/15/202115Chapter 2:V The Function of the Miracle Worker 1-5
1/16/202116Chapter 2:V The Function of the Miracle Worker 6-10
1/17/202117Chapter 2:V The Function of the Miracle Worker A. 11-18
1/18/202118Chapter 2:VI Fear and Conflict 1-5
1/19/202119Chapter 2:VI Fear and Conflict 6-9
1/20/202120Chapter 2:VII Cause and Effect 1-7
1/21/202121Chapter 2:VIII The Meaning of the Last Judgment 1-5
1/22/202122Chapter 3:I Atonement Without Sacrifice 1-8
1/23/202123Chapter 3:II Miracles as True Perception 1-6
1/24/202124Chapter 3:III Perception vs Knowledge 1-7
1/25/202125Chapter 3:IV Error and the Ego 1-7
1/26/202126Chapter 3:V Beyond Perception 1-5
1/27/202127Chapter 3:V Beyond Perception 6-10
1/28/202128Chapter 3:VI Judgment and the Authority Problem 1-5
1/29/202129Chapter 3:VI Judgment and the Authority Problem 6-11
1/30/202130Chapter 3:VII Creating vs. the Self-Image 1-6
1/31/202131BREAK
comment 0

Chapter One – THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

PRINCIPLES 16-37

  1.  16.  Giving to James has always been a financial exchange.  He spent hours of his life, working hard to make money, and then would give these hours of his life to other people, sometimes for little to no return!  We discussed the giving of spiritual gifts, we thought of giving goodwill to our neighbors, some of whom we get along with very well and a few that we are not that fond of because of past conflict.  We discussed how we feel as if we are withholding something of worth from a neighbor when we snub them or do not respond in kind to their gestures of friendship.  While that may give us a temporary surge of justification and a feeling that we somehow “punished” them for their past shabbiness, at the same time we have learned how ignorant and destructive this kind of withholding is and how powerful it is to be kind, generous, and forgiving.  While we did not think of this in terms of a miracle, we now realize that every time we go beyond our human desire to get even or to withhold love from those who have been unholy and choose to forgive and be like God, the strength that we experience in our spiritual center, as well as the healed relationship – does demonstrate the mutuality in giving and receiving.  Nobody ends up being shorted when we extend the gifts that God bestows upon us.
  2. 17. Years ago James and I read a book called The Celestine Prophecy.  Today James reminded me of the concept of invisibility – the more spiritual we become the higher our frequency, making it impossible for those at a lower frequency to see those who have become Spirit.  We talked about reasons why this level heals, while the lower frequency or vibrating levels remain spiritually unaware and prone to illness, conflict, and death. Most sicknesses, James said, come down to the DNA level rather than go to the spiritual being.  Then we give it power by talking about and identifying with what ails us. 
  3. 18. When we lift up another in prayer and offer the miracle, the forgiveness and the realizing the worth of another is a service.  We are serving God, we are serving our neighbors, we are embracing unity and becoming one.
  4. 19.Miracles reflect God, eternity, and Oneness; what is not a miracle keeps us separate and bound to time.
  5. 20. A miracle is the shift in consciousness that gets us in touch with our reality in spirit and not the body.  When we start recognizing ourselves as something other than our bodies, we go beyond them and experience healing wherever it is necessary to complete our joy and peace.
  6. 21. Because of our studies, we have both come to realize that God does not withhold His mercy and forgiveness from us, but we cannot accept His mercy and forgiveness without extending it to others.  If we think of ourselves worthy of His mercy and would withhold it from anybody else for any reason whatsoever we are not accepting God’s mercy for it is all encompassing and is only received by those who extend. 
  7. 22. When we believe that what we see with our physical eyes is the only reality there is, we deny the Vision of Christ.  The things of God become fearful to us.  We are afraid of all that we cannot explain and are very prone to deny the spiritual insights and experiences of others because of our fear of that which we yearn for, and yet have forgotten.
  8. 23. When we confuse our body level with our spiritual level, we may pray for all kinds of things that are not of God’s Will.  We may pray for a certain person to love us, we may pray for wealth, fame, good fortune.  We may pray for a new husband or a new wife.  When we think with our flesh minds we do not know and cannot know what the best thing for us is – which is God’s Will.  Only our spirits are one with God and the miracle shifts our understanding to recognize this and pray only the prayers that reflect holiness, purity, and goodness in our lives and in the lives of all we know.  This then is the realm of miracles and the only place where healing takes place.    
  9. 24. Jesus tells us that we can do the same thing that He did while He was on earth.  Healing the sick and raising the dead are not the miracles; it is the miracle of our own holy Self which recognizes our likeness to our Creator which brings the healing and correction.  When we stop and deeply consider what this principle tells us in a tone of certainty and with no apology, is that we are choosing the zombie nightmare of what we made of ourselves.  When we come to know our Selves as God made us, we realize that sickness, death, and anything that is not the creation of light is simply an illusion.
  10. 25. Jesus speaks to us of Atonement here in the sense of reparation.  The miracle then is the repairing of time – it works in all tenses of time – the past, the present, the future.  While both James and I were raised to believe that Atonement meant the blood of Jesus, sacrificed on the cross, to somehow save people from their sins, Jesus tells us that Atonement is the forgiveness of all time and all things that happened in time.  We have come to believe that as we stand with Christ and offer forgiveness with Him on a personal level and on a universal level, we are extending miracles not bound by time or the things that happen in time.  For instance, we can offer forgiveness to those who have seemed to hurt us who have already died.  We can offer forgiveness for events that have not touched us personally, but which have shaken our trust in God and in others.  We can offer forgiveness to those who are ignorant of their damaging and destructive behavior.  Each time we get past our human resistance to forgiveness and extend God’s mercy, we offer a miracle to the ongoing chain of forgiveness necessary to free us from all which is not God, or in other words, all that is not Love.
  11. 26. For us, Atonement meant undoing in the form of releasing us from an unsavory past or a religious dogma that promoted fear of God.  As our fear of God was undone, we learned to love God.  When we lost our fear of God, we lost our fear to be like God, we lost our fear to express how much we love God.  Seeking God holds no sense of shame for us.  With fear undone, we are free to question, to make mistakes, to discard old belief systems that preach damnation, hellfire and specialness, or believe in a God which would ever require blood sacrifice, animal or otherwise. 
  12. 27. Gone are the days when I thought that forgiving someone was a favor that I bestowed upon them because I was more than and they were less than!  It is my privilege to forgive and to keep forgiving for this is how salvation works.
  13. 28. We offer miracles as a way of releasing ourselves from the fear that is inherent to our physical realm.  Miracles are a way to reach a state where there is absolutely no more fear.  There are no more worries about what we are going to eat or wear.  There are no more worries about sickness and death.  There are no more worries of strife, poverty, injustice of any kind.  These are all concerns of the physical level, and when we become a conduit of miracles, God is revealed to us, in us, and through us. 
  14. 29. We honor God’s creations when we see them worthy of forgiveness, when we extend to them respect, appreciation, and mercy.  We look past the distinctions that would keep us from honoring the least of our brothers or kissing up to the ones we deem special and better than everybody else.  The miracle works both ways – in that we no longer worship bodies and personalities, but rather we embrace our oneness with and our brotherhood in Christ.  This is the realm where healing takes place. 
  15. 30. Jesus tells that miracles adjust the way we see and hear and experience in the world.  As we recognize our true spiritual Selves, we align with that Self instead of the petty, conniving, body-centered self which is our human form.  Placing the real Self at the center, we begin to communicate directly with Spirit and in the Spirit.  We can trust in that spiritual center; we can go there to communicate with God, with each other.  Many times we will not need words because we communicate through peace, calm, and quiet. 
  16. 31. We took this to mean exactly what it says.  Extending God’s gifts of forgiveness which reflects God’s love is certainly our privilege, but it should a daily, common occurrence that is part of our holy habit.  We are miracles.  Each and every one of us and we thank God for what we really are, for we belong to Him, we are part of Him, we are one with Him.  When we come home to this, when our holiness comes to light, we are simply thankful.  Being awestruck is not proper nor fitting because it denotes specialness.  And Jesus teaches us that miracles are not special but are natural expressions of those who are awake in God.  This means when miracles occur, we do not brag about or make much of them.  Miracles are nothing more than fulfilling a need.
  17. 32. Jesus is the Source behind all miracles, whether He is given credit for them or not.  When we receive a miracle, our holiness has been recognized, our way of seeing has been lifted from physical level to the spiritual level.  With Christ’s vision, we no longer see ourselves as bodies, as failures, as doomed to die.  We see ourselves as God sees us, in the celestial order where our perfection is made apparent to us. 
  18. 33. Miracles are that shift in consciousness that is inspired by Christ.  We see ourselves as worthy and deserving of love.  We realize the light of God is in us.  All the mistakes we ever made are undone by the miracle.  We are freed of the nightmare world!  Our minds are freed of torment, sorrow, anguish and healed.  We live and walk in peace and our good sense is restored. 
  19. 34. With miracles, we restore minds, all parts that were hidden to our awareness are brought back to our memory.  We are safe from all intruders, from those who wish us harm, from all thoughts that bear ill will.  With our mind restored to fullness, we have no room in it for anything but that which is of God.
  20. 35. This is where we must trust God.  We offer forgiveness.  We do what God leads us to do.  We make that call.  We write that text.  We reach out and extend the gifts that God has bestows on us with love and with a mind free of personal motive or greed.  And yet we have no confirmation that the miracles was accepted or returned to us.  There is nothing we can do but trust that what God tells us to do does not go to waste.  We gave to receive and receive we will!  We forgave to be forgiven and forgiven we are!  We may never know the effects of any particular miracle, but we keep offering them anyway, because we do know that miracles never go to waste. 
  21. 36. When we think right, we offer miracles.  If we offer anything else it cannot be of God and will bring more harm than good.  When I treat my brother with anything less than the respect and appreciation he deserves as a fellow Son of God, I am not performing a miracle.  My mind is not aligned with the truth as God created it, but rather the “truth” as our human perceptions would interpret it.  When we think with God, we offer miracles.
  22. 37.[1] So there I am dwelling on some past conflict.  Justifying to myself how I ranted and raved about so-and-so for not respecting my boundaries, for being so envious that she did not pass on any good words that were being said about me, for not wishing me happiness, for begrudging my new coat.  And Jesus introduces a miracle into my false thinking.  Suddenly my mind is full of love for so-and-so.  All my anger and ill will melts away as I remember her kindness, her generosity, all the times she held my hand when I was sad, all the times she made me laugh, all those invigorating hikes we took together, all the trouble we got into when we were kids.  Jesus puts all my thoughts in order – the loving ones are brought to the fore; the unloving ones are undone through my forgiveness.  She forgot who she is; she forgot what she is; she forgot our love for one another and now I remember it for both of us, just as I sometimes forget and she must remember for me.  This is the way of miracles.  This is what brings healing.  We come to know God and His Divine Order only when we align ourselves with His Son and offer miracles with Him instead of standing against Him.

[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:16-37, Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 4-5.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com  

How to use the worksheet: Download this worksheet by pressing the button below.  You may print out or save this worksheet on your computer.  As you come to your devotional practice, prayerfully clear the alter of your mind of all distractions and ask God to illuminate each miracle principle.  You are welcome to keep or erase the sample notes and personal applications.  Under each principle, using as many lines as necessary, record the understanding and personal application given to you. God bless!

comment 0

Chapter One – THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

Principles of Miracles 1 – 15

  1. There is no order of difficulty in miracles.  One is not harder or bigger than another.  They are all the same.  All expressions of love are maximal.
  2. Miracles as such do not matter.  The only thing that matters is their Source, Which is far beyond evaluation.
  3. Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.  The real miracle is the love that inspires them.  In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
  4. All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life.  His Voice will direct you very specifically.  You will be told all you need to know.
  5. Miracles are habits and should be involuntary.  They should not be under conscious control.  Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.
  6. Miracles are natural.  When they do not occur, something has gone wrong.
  7. Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.
  8. Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.
  9. Miracles are a kind of exchange.  Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws.  They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.
  10. The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose.
  11. Prayer is the medium of miracles.  It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator.  Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.
  12. Miracles are thoughts.  Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience.  One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.
  13. Miracles are both beginning and endings, and so they alter the temporal order.  They are always affirmations of rebirth, which seem to go back but really go forward.  They undo the past in the present, and thus release the future.
  14. Miracles bear witness to truth.  They are convincing because they arise from conviction.  Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless and therefore destructive; or rather, the uncreative use of the mind.
  15. Each day should be devoted to miracles.  The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively.  It is thus a teaching device and a means to an end.  Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.[1]

In our own words:

Nothing is too hard or to big to bring the miracle to – so bring love to everything, big and small.

Miracles seem to matter, but evidently, they do not.  They come and then they go.  What does matter is where they come from and that is something we cannot fathom.

Miracles are natural and happen all the time as expressions of love.  Love that inspires miracles is the real miracle.  Miracles come from love.  Love is what I am about. 

These love missiles mean life and God is the Giver of Life.  God’s Voice will direct me very specifically.  And I will be told everything I need to know.  This means I do not have to worry about what I do not know.  I can ask questions and will be told what I need to know.  And I will be given directions and instruction and all I must do is trust and know the Voice of God. 

I should not have to think about miracles.  If I think about miracles and decide when to perform them and when not to perform them – then they are misguided and are probably not miracles at all.  In other words, being loving should be natural and habitual.  I do not have to stop and consider what is loving – because I know what the loving thing is to do.  Let them come naturally and let them be indiscriminate.  It is not my job to decide who and what situations need them – I just perform acts of love.

Miracles flow naturally and so when they do not happen, when acts of love are not occurring – something is wrong. 

Everyone should perform miracles because it is their right, but purification is a prerequisite.

Miracles heal because they supply something that is lacking.  Miracles are performed by us who have more at this moment for those who have less at this time.

Miracles are expressions of love which reverse the physical laws because they bring more love to the giver and the receiver.  When I give a dollar to a beggar, in the physical laws, I lost a dollar, and the beggar gained a dollar.  In the miracle sense however, that law is reversed, and the beggar gained, and I gained – it was an act of love.  My love account is blessed, as well as the beggars.  I temporarily have more, and I give to the one that temporarily has less.  

We do not perform miracles to amaze others and bring them to Christ.  We perform acts of love when they are necessary and needed.  The time will always be the right time if we follow the Voice for God.   

I pray as a means to the miracle.  Prayer is the way that I communicate with the Creator.  It is through prayer – Our Father, Brother Jesus, Holy Spirit – I invite Your love to love through me) – I receive love and then express love and then receive more love.  This is the miracle. 

Miracles are thoughts.  They come to my mind first and when I choose them, I perform them.  While miracles create spiritual experience; the thoughts of the human mind represent and makes up the human existence.

I think that I get this!  Let me use an example.  Miracles take you back to the beginning and correct from there and then it is whole – beginning and ending, and then clearing all that mess between times, which take us forward and get us out of that mess of the “past.”  So, they undo the past NOW, and release us to a new start, a rebirth, our future…

I am thinking of this in terms of feeling unloved and unloving, unwanted and not wanting the deranged family situation where specialness has shown its ugly face.  When I think of that whole mess, who said what and who did what and all that hurt and anger and sense of betrayal there seems to be no fixing it!  There is no need to wade through that hot mess – the miracle takes us to before the backbiting and mockery, the judgment and condemnation, the lies and the hypocrisy.  There is no need to recount the wounds of our past, to cherish them and hold others accountable for the very things we did ourselves.  The miracle, Jesus says, takes us back to the beginning and gives us a new start, a rebirth, and we go forward from there – releasing the future to love, rather than perpetuating a cycle of ongoing bad behavior.

We can apply this miracle to any situation, big or small.  We let miracles, our thoughts, alter the temporal order of past, present, and future and we start new and go forward as many times as necessary. 

Miracles are true acts of love and they come about because of believing and trusting fully in love.  We do not curse anybody.  We do not pray prayers that bring vengeance or wreak havoc.  Without the conviction of love, miracles are not miracles anymore, but more like magic or spells.  We have all been there, praying selfish, destructive prayers and ending up with exactly what we prayed for, wondering why we are not happy, why we have no peace, why we feel abandoned and let down! 

Each day we should devote to miracles, asking for actionable ways to express love, of rebirth, of sharing God’s gifts with those who temporarily have forgotten or seem lost.  Instead of flopping about wondering what we do with our time in the world, now we know the correct use of our time, the way to use it constructively.  Time is a means to an end means that we are released from time when we have learned what to do with it. We are not eternal material until we remember who and what we are and what we were created to be and to do!


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1:I:1-15, Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 3.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

INTRODUCTION

Today we begin our 2021 study of the Text portion of A Course in Miracles, Foundation for Inner Peace, 1992 Edition.   I am working on a syllabus to help keep us on track.  I will post this as soon as it is finished and edited.  This is our first attempt at completing the text in a year, and so please bear with me as we are starting a day late.  No worries about our progress, if we miss a section one day, we will catch up the next.  We will continue to share our personal insights, understanding, and application and welcome you to do the same!  Thank you for going on this journey with us.  May God bless and keep us as we prepare our minds and hearts for His Kingdom through our unity with His Holy Son, our Savior and Guide.

INTRODUCTION

This is a course in miracles.  It is a required course.  Only the time you take it is voluntary.  Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum.  It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time.  The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught.  It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.  The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.[1]

In 1992, during a discussion of spiritual yearnings and insights, a co-worker informed me that I sounded like a student of A Course in Miracles.  Dan urged me to do my best to get my hands on a copy of the manuscript.  He expressed concern that there were entities who were vying over ownership of the text and that it very well may not be available much longer to the general public.  “It has a radical message,” I remember him saying.  “It speaks of the world as not being real.”

My heart leapt at these words.  “There are others like me!” I remember thinking, with a great sense of jubilation. Shortly after this conversation, I found a lone copy of the Course at the King of Prussia mall and brought it home.  However, my first attempts at reading it made little to no sense to me.  It seemed way beyond my ability to comprehend and having no teacher, I put it aside for several years.

However, fifteen years later I was called to read the text from beginning to end.  I cried with joy recognizing the Inner Voice which had been speaking and calling to me from the time I could remember, as Jesus the Christ.  While I had failed to accept and trust my Inner Voice because it was so unlike the Christianity that I had been indoctrinated with, here was a text that spoke of the Father’s love, the brotherhood of Christ, of Reality unthreatened by fiction and lies, of a God I could trust and respect, of certain salvation, of everlasting joy and peace.  Gone were the images of jealousy, vengeance, spite, and malice – our Father awaits our return with everlasting patience, mercy, understanding, and love!

In 2019, Holy Spirit instructed me to study the workbook lessons and the text.  Learning to teach and teaching to learn, Holy Spirit encouraged me to use my gifts of instruction and writing to teach application of Course principals, to share deeply and openly the ways in which the daily concepts can be applied to the real, everyday issues in our personal and interpersonal lives.  Over the course of years 2019 and 2020, two of my most special relationships were made holy.  Jointly we shared our learning, acceptance, illustrations, and challenges surrounding the Workbook lessons.  In 2021, our small group started a brother blog entitled I Choose Love to continue sharing lessons while on this blog, and for this year, we dedicate ourselves to reading, reviewing, and applying the text.

Thank for joining us this year as we begin our ACIM text study, for…The time is now.  You have not been asked to work out the plan of salvation yourself because, as I told you before, the remedy could not be of your making.  God Himself gave you the perfect Correction for everything you made that is not in accord with His holy Will.  I am making His plan perfectly explicit to you and will also tell you of your part in it, and how urgent it is to fulfill it.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace. Second Edition (1992). p. 1.

[2] A Course in Miracles. Text 5:7:4. Foundation for Inner Peace. Second Edition (1992). p. 89.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Syllabus under construction. Coming soon!

Lesson 365 and Epilogue

LESSON 361 to 365

Day 365

This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You in charge.  For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

  1. And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.[1]

This past year we have learned to put God in charge – every day as we came to our devotional practice, the minutes, the hours, any amount of time that we spent seeking God, became holy instants as we came to know God as Father and ourselves as His Son.  We have completed our workbook lessons for each day of the year.  Some days our lessons put a song in our heart; and other days – not so much.  When we got discouraged, we stayed with it no matter what because we asked for truth, and this was God’s certain response.

No matter what the world has seemed to suffer, no matter the toll we have seemed to pay in our personal or professional lives – we know one thing with certainty – God is in charge by our request.  We know that He takes our calls; we know that He responds to our prayers.  No matter how much we try to intellectualize it; no matter how difficult it may be for us to wrap our mind around the logic – when we ask Christ to come to us and reunite us with our true Identity in Him, Christ is formed in us; Christ becomes us as we become Him.  We are God’s Holy Son even as Christ is the Son of God.   

Our life in separation is over.  We are no longer here to snot and cry about the troublesome situations that seem to plague the would-be world.  We are no longer here to strive for our fair share of the pie before it is snatched up by someone else.  We are no longer here to prove that we are worthy, that we mean something, that we are special while others are not.  We let go of the lunacy, the dog-eat-dog aspect of survival, and we step into our perfection in Christ.

For those who want to steal our joy, mock our salvation, and deny us God’s mercy – we stand with Christ, we forgive them! Because sooner or later, they too will awaken.  Salvation is not salvation for the few, but for all.  When we ask the God in us to be in charge, we remain in time only to restore sanity, to unify rather than divide, to offer God’s peace and mercy rather than judgment and condemnation. 

As 2020 draws to an end, let us join in spirit and rejoice in our Sonship.  God has answered our heart’s cry; God has responded to our yearning for truth – God is in charge!

Thank you, dear brothers, for walking this path with me, for teaching me and inviting me to teach you.  Alone, we falter, fumble, and fail.  Together we walk to God.  I love and thank God for you.  I look forward to spending the upcoming year immersing our minds in the textbook section of A Course in Miracles, reading and finding personal application each day.

God’s mercy, joy, and peace be yours as we welcome in the New Year, my brothers.

EPILOGUE

  1. This course is a beginning, not an end.  Your Friend goes with you.  You are not alone.  No one who calls on Him can call in vain.  Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him.  He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you.  He knows the way to solve all problems and resolve all doubts.  His certainty is yours.  You need but ask it of Him and it will be given you.
  2. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between.  Indeed, your pathway is more certain still.  For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him.  Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need.  His is the Voice for God and also yours.  And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. 
  3. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them.  Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead.  He will direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word.  His is the Word that God has given you.  His is the Word you chose to be your own.
  4. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful followers, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real.  Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good.  Let Him prepare you further.  He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self.  He will continue.  Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end.
  5. The end is certain, and the means as well.  To this we say “Amen.”  You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make.  And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach.  And so we walk with Him from this time on and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction.  Joy attends our way.  For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us.
  6. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.”  In peace we will continue in His way and trust all things to Him.  In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do.  He loves God’s Sons, as we would love him.  And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes and love him as He does.  You do not walk alone.  God’s angels hover near and all about.  His Love surrounds you and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.[2] 

[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 361-365. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 486.

[2] A Course in Miracles.  Workbook for Students. Epilogue. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 487.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 361-365 Day 364 This Holy Instant Would I Give To You…

Lesson 361-365

DAY  364

This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You in charge.  For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

  1. And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.[1]

Last year around this time, Lover and I watched an episode of The Chef’s Table, which starred Jeong Kwan, a Korean Buddhist monk.  Following the dictates of her own heart, she left her father’s home where it was expected she would carry on the family tradition like her brothers and sisters.  Although she has never worked in restaurants or attended culinary classes, now after years of solitude and devotion, Jeong Kwan travels the world promoting her message of awareness, compassion, and enlightenment through contemplative food preparation. 

For those of us who struggle still with the peculiarity of being “called out,” Jeong’s story was a testimony.  Her story serves as a prototype for how many of us must retreat from the world to find the true Self, which draws its strength, sustenance, and power from the Kingdom within.   

Herein lies the only way in which we can truly identify with what is real about us.  As long as we are engaged in the world, we are of the world, and defined by the world.  We are judged by our appearance, our accomplishments, our gifts, talents, and contributions.  We are also judged by our mistakes, our failings, our bloodlines, our social status.  We find ourselves identifying with how others see us instead of with the real Self which is the Kingdom of God within us.  We chase after love and belonging, fun and freedom, power and control, finding in the world that which only satisfies for a moment.  Estranged from our source, we mistake our drives for meaning, and continue to chase that which does not sustain us.  We think if only we work harder, pray harder, play harder we will satisfy that yearning, and so we weary ourselves with seeking and not finding in the world. 

We can impress one another with our world travels, eat in fine restaurants, make love with princes, sultans, and playboys galore.  We can wear silk robes and gold slippers, bedeck ourselves with diamonds and rubies, entertain ourselves with drama and gossip.  We can stand for causes, promote social change, march in parades, and wear ribbons that call attention to injustice.  We can build fortresses, submarines, electric cars, rockets to the moon – and it will not quell our deepest longings or answer our real question – what is this for? 

Retreating from the world can easily be perceived as defeat.  For Jeon Kwan’s father, concern for his daughter, denied a life rich with husband, children, and the family tradition of farming, was bringing him unrest.  Only by visiting her at the monastery, observing and partaking in the deep contemplative practices of her devotion, could he find peace and consolation and give her his blessing. 

Much like Jeon Kwan, a full retreat may be the way to honor the call of God, venturing into the wider world only at the Holy Spirit’s leading.  For others, our retreat is found in the holy instants, the moments we receive the gifts of Holy Spirit as we, in our daily practice, ask the Holy Self, the God in us, to be in charge.  It is here we find peace; we connect to our Source as we connect with each other, and we are given Everything.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 361-365. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 486.

[2] Reposted by permission from 12/30/20 blog post at www.eckiefriar.com

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 361-365 Day 363 This Holy Instant Would I Give To You…

LESSON 361-365

Day 363

This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You in charge.  For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

  1. And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.[1]

Today we come to our devotional practice and give these holy instants to God.  Again, we put God in charge.  We follow Him because now we know – going in the direction of God, following His direction brings us not only Peace, but His mercy and His Joy.   

It is God’s Peace which gives us what we really want and what we really need.  When we put God in charge of our lives as human beings, our heavy burdens become light, the path to God becomes easy.  We are no longer going back and forth trying to decide who and what we are, who and what is in charge of our life, and to what purpose our lives serve.  Now we know.  God is in charge!  

If we make a mistake, God will correct it.  If we go down a wrong path, God will bring us back to where we belong.  Our worries and concerns for ourselves and our loved ones are over.  We have aligned ourselves with Truth.  We have accepted Reality.  God provides everything we could possibly need and want and have. It is not for us to partake in the ongoing worries and concerns that plague the temporal world.  We can love and live and laugh in the realm of forgiveness.  We know our reality is not in this world but in the world beyond the bands of time. 

As we toss our identity to the lower-case self, our identity in Christ becomes all we are.  We are no longer light and darkness, we are light!  We are no longer holy and unholy, we are holy!  We are no longer clean and dirty, we are pure!  We are no longer innocent and guilty, we are innocent!  When God is in charge, we are therefore perfect even as Christ is perfect.  For we are one with Him who is peace.

Others may call us crazy and be quick to point out all our faults.  No matter!  We have put God in charge.  When God is in charge of me, my process, my walk, my journey to Him is none of anybody else’s business, even as it is none of my business about your process, your walk, your journey to Him.  If I make a mistake, He will correct it.  If you make a mistake, God will correct it.  We belong to Him. He loves us and will hear our prayers and answer our requests, as long as we seek only to extend His gifts of mercy, peace, and joy.

Claim God’s Gifts only for ourselves and those we think are deserving – we have not put God in charge, we have put ourselves in charge!  Claim God’s Gifts for ourselves to give to others without partiality, without judgment, with no thought but of receiving to give, and giving to receive, we have put God in charge of our sojourn in time.  When we put God in charge, we exchange our little selves for the Self that is like Him, the Self who is holy, the Self who stands with Christ and is God’s beloved Son. 

No longer are we stumbling about, fumbling around wondering what we are here for and what best to do with our days, the hours, the minutes of our life.  Each instant is holy for our time is God’s time.  We know Who we are.  We know where we end up.  We know how to get there.  With God in charge, now we know whom to call, what to say, whom to visit, whom to stay away from!  Now that we know the difference between going our own way and going God’s way, going God’s way is our only choice for this is the way of peace, to peace, to become peace. 

Today during our devotional practice, meditate upon the ways in which you can put God in charge of your days, your hours, your minutes, each holy instant of your human journey.   Commit to identifying with and following the Voice for God which is inside each one of us – calm, quiet, peaceful, and forgiving.  The Voice for God will never lead you astray for His Voice is one of love, of mercy, of eternal joy and everlasting happiness for you and for all of Creation.  This is the Voice we want to be in charge!    


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 361-365. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 486.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 361-362 This Holy Instant Would I Give To You…

LESSON 361 to 365

Day 362

This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You in charge, for I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

  1. And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge of my request.  And He will hear and answer me because He speaks for God, my Father, and His holy Son.[1]

One of the key practices that our Course has taught us is to always choose holiness.  This is not magic – God does not choose holiness for us; we must go to our innermost Self, the Holy Self, and request that the God in us choose for us.  Before our daily study, prayer, and meditations make it apparent to us that this is the only real choice, this is a practice that will at times, weary us and seem to tax our sensibilities.  It will not feel natural to go to God for the response to what seems like very real issues that call for judgment, condemnation, rebuke, and punishment.  Nor will it feel natural to go to God for the response to what seems like very real issues that call for an outpouring of love, appreciation, and gratitude.  Knowing that we go to God for all judgment, whether it seems positive or negative, good or bad, a call for reward or a call for punishment is critical to the putting away of ego that stands for all that is anti-Christ in our lives. 

Our year in the Course together leads us to and on the path for God.  We have come to know Jesus, and to know Jesus is to love Him.  He leads us to God.  He is the Vine, and we are the branches.  We are one with Him in the salvation of the world.  His function is our function.  We practice forgiveness for the mistaken identities we have made in our efforts to separate from Reality, we forgive the fictional account; we forgive the call for bloodshed and sacrifice, wrath and vengeance, building of edifices that provide no sanctuary.  We forgive all that happens in the fictional story and put it away once and for all – for we now know the truth about who and what we are.  We awaken to God’s call, we put away all that would impede us on our return, we lay down our toy weapons which could never destroy Reality; we lay down our toy defenses because Reality needs no defense.  We forgive it all and in forgiving we are forgiven, we are redeemed, we are saved. 

In our day-to-day dealings we will encounter all kinds of reasons to make humanity real to us.  We will have heartaches and sorrows, we will have yesterdays that sorely seem to predict our tomorrows, we will be badgered to accept another gospel based on bloodshed, sacrifice, and specialness.  There will be calls from those who are dear to us to join causes, choose sides, and dedicate our lives to that which leads to nothing.  When we come to understand that nothing in the ego realm is worthy of our time, our attention, our allegiance, we may become even more confused than when we started out!  Okay we gave it all up, Lord, as the fiction it is, so now what? 

Forgiving it all does not mean that we have nothing else to learn, nothing else to do, no place else to go, and that the fictional version that would replace God’s Truth has no more use for us.  We are here for a purpose.  Forgiving the world is not a one-time deal – as long as there is humanity our work here is not done. 

To those of us who thought we had a free ticket to the heavenlies and could escape while the rest of the world suffers through pre-determined destruction, this may not sound like salvation.  The redeemed however could not possibly enjoy the Kingdom without the missing parts; the whole cannot be one until everyone returns.  We are brothers with all of Creation.  The God in us Who is one with Christ, does not return and happily forget those who were left behind, we would never experience the joy and peace of God with only the ninety and nine.  

100% salvation.  100% saved and redeemed.  100% – this is the gospel of Christ.  Every knee shall bow.  Every tongue confess.  When we believe any other gospel, we do not know the Love of God; we do not know God as Father.  We have not put God in charge; we have said in our hearts, “Me and the ones who are like me deserve salvation, but so and so does not.  Let them burn in hell; let them continue to suffer in darkness along with all the rest of the infidels and unbelievers.”

When we put God in charge of our humanity, He leads us in our function.  We perform miracles because when we are awake, we awaken others.  When we make the choice for God, others make the choice for God.  When we recognize the manmade world as fiction; others recognize it as fiction.  When we stop being pawns of delusion, others lay down their lower-case selves and exchange them for the holy Self. 

This is A Course in Miracles, Jesus told the scribe, Dr. Helen Schucman.  Take notes.  Let us all take notes!  Let us all reflect the Love of God by standing with Christ as one, forgiving all that is not of Him.  When we put God in charge, we can do this.  For our minds are cleared of all that would stand in the way of our giving and receiving the eternal Gifts of God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 361-365. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 486.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Final Lessons – Introduction and Lessons 361-365

II. FINAL LESSONS

  1. Our final lessons will be left as free of words as possible.  We use them but at the beginning of our practicing, and only to remind us that we seek to go beyond them.  Let us turn to Him Who leads the way and makes our footsteps sure.  To Him we leave these lessons, as to Him we give our lives henceforth.  For we would not return again to the belief in sin that made the world seem ugly and unsafe, attacking and destroying, dangerous in all its ways, and treacherous beyond the hope of trust and the escape from pain.
  2. His is the only way to find the peace that God has given us.  It is His way that everyone must travel in the end because it is this ending God Himself appointed.  In the dream of time it seems to be far off.  And yet, in truth, it is already here; already serving us as gracious guidance in the way to go.  Let us together follow in the way that truth points out to us.  And let us be the leaders of our many brothers who are seeking for the way but find it not.
  3. And to this purpose let us dedicate our minds, directing all of our thoughts to serve the function of salvation.  Unto us the aim is given to forgive the world.  It is the goal that God has given us.  It is His ending to the dream we seek, and not our own.  For all that we forgive we will not fail to recognize as part of God Himself.  And thus His memory is given back, completely and complete.
  4. It is our function to remember Him on earth, as it is given us to be His Own completion in reality.  So let us not forget our goal is shared, for it is that remembrance which contains the memory of God and points the way to Him and to the Heaven of His peace.  And shall we not forgive our brother, who can offer this to us?  He is the way, the truth and life that shows the way to us.  In him resides salvation, offered us through forgiveness, given unto him.
  5. We will not end this year without the gift our Father promised to His Holy Son.  We are forgiven now.  And we are saved from all the wrath we thought belonged to God, and found it was a dream.  We are restored to sanity, in which we understand that anger is insane, attack is mad, and vengeance merely foolish fantasy.  We have been saved from wrath because we learned we were mistaken.  Nothing more than that.  And is a father angry at his son because he failed to understand the truth?
  6. We come in honesty to God and say we did not understand and ask Him to help us to learn His Lessons, through the Voice of His Own Teacher.  Would He hurt His Son?  Or would He rush to answer him and say, “This is My Son, and all I have is his?”  Be certain He will answer thus, for these are His Own Words to you.  And more than that can no one ever have, for in these Words is all there is, and all that there will be throughout all time and in eternity.[1]

LESSON 361 to 365

This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You in charge.  For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

  1. And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge of my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.[2]

Today and for the rest of the year, we will come to our devotional practice and meditate upon the final words and lesson concept for days 361 – 365.  We walk with God, as one with Christ.  Each time we come to God and put God in charge of our minds and hearts and interactions in the world, God supplies us with what we need.  Be it a word, a thought, peace and calm, a mind open to the Holy Spirit – whatever we need to have God in charge of our lives – we will receive. 

Always we must remember that God will never be in charge of us against our will.  We must request of Him to be in charge.  Our Holy Spirit, our holy Self will hear and answer our requests because it is our Holy Self that stands with Christ and is one with Him.  It is our Holy Self that speaks for God as our Father and for the Holy Son. 

No matter how tired we get, no matter how the world wearies us, no matter how the things of God seem to become trite and meaningless – the instant we call upon Him, He is there.  We cannot fail in this.  God is in us and of us and will not abandon us to the human condition forever. 

Contemplate your function as you journey through time as a human being.  Turning to Christ to lead the way, to give us certainty in a world of doubt and double-mindedness, we can believe in the ugly world, the dangerous world, the world of treachery, hatred, and deception no more!  Christ gives us peace, Christ gives us assurance, Christ gives us our function for we are one with Him.  As we stand with Christ, we heed His call.  We dedicate our minds and thoughts to Him; we forgive the world with Him; we remember Him in everything we do and everything we say because as Christ is so are we!  We are the beloved Son of God; the plural make up the one. 

At the end of this year, we can put away our lessons or we can take them back up again – no matter, for now we know.  We know who we are.  We know who our brothers are.  We know what the world is.  We know Christ because we are one with Him; we know God because He is our Father.  We know Holy Spirit as our holy Self.  We know everything we need to know.  If we forget, we will be reminded.  

When we give every little thing about us to God, everything He has is ours.  This is God’s promise to us and more than that nobody could ever have! 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Final Lessons. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 485-486.

[2] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 361-365. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 486.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 360 Peace Be To Me, The Holy Son Of God…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 360 Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.  Peace to my brother, who is one with me.  Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.

  1. Father, it is Your peace that I would give, receiving it of You.  I am Your Son, forever just as You created me, for the Great Rays remain forever still and undisturbed within me. I would reach to them in silence and in certainty, for nowhere else can certainty be found.  Peace be to me and peace to all the world.  In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain.  Your Son is like to You in perfect sinlessness.  And with this thought we gladly say, “Amen.”[1]

This lesson concludes the Lord’s response to our question: “What am I?”  When we stand with Christ and become one with Him, we become the Prince of Peace – the plural which can only be whole as the One.  Together as we repent our separateness, as we embrace our true Identities in Christ, the rays of light and holiness placed within can be obscured no more!  Our individual sparks of God, joined together save us from loneliness, sorrow, darkness, and death.  We have found our Selves.  We are certain.  There is no more question.  We are the peaceful holy Son of God. 

When we bring our sniveling, sinful, shameful forms of flesh to God, when we say, “Oh Father, there must be a better way!  This cannot be all there is!  Surely, You did not create this mess!” we have come to the place of redemption.  Here is where we begin our path to Him, to find our rightful Selves in Christ, His Son.  Here is where we put down our arrogance, our ignorance, and false pride.  Here is how all that is against Christ is extinguished from our minds and all that is for Christ is awakened, lovingly nurtured and carefully cultivated.  This is when the dramas and traumas of this world no longer hold our interest or distract us from His call.  Here is where our humanity draws to an end, and our Divinity is made real to us.

We share peace because God made us in peace and has given it to us.  We share holiness because God made us in holiness and has given it to us.  We are like God because God made us to be like Him, sinless, pure, and whole.  We accept our true Identity in Him.  We know who and what we are.  With courage, we claim our Identity.  With confidence, we own our divinity.  With certainty we call Him Father and ourselves His beloved Son. 

And with this glad thought, we all say, “Amen!”


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 360. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 484.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 359 God’s Answer Is Some Form Of Peace…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 359 God’s answer is some form of peace.  All pain is healed; all misery replaced with joy.  All prison doors are opened.  And all sin is understood as merely a mistake.

  1. Father, today we will forgive Your world, and let creation be Your Own.  We have misunderstood all things.  But we have not made sinners of the holy Sons of God.  What You created sinless so abides forever and forever.  Such are we.  And we rejoice to learn that we have made mistakes which have no real effects on us.  Sin is impossible, and on this fact forgiveness rests upon a certain base more solid than the shadow world we see.  Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed.  Help us forgive, for we would be at peace.[1]

In response to our question, What am I? God’s answer comes in some form of peace.  All of our sorrows, bewilderment, searching, and confusion about our identity is put to rest.  When we accept our divinity in Him, we are healed.  Jesus tells us today in our ninth lesson on what we are, that all misery is replaced with joy.  We have accepted the truth about ourselves.  We have been set free of the prison house of humanity, of separation, of the manmade world.  We can look upon ourselves, not as sinners bound for hell, but as beloved Sons.

Today as we come to our daily devotional practice, we know Christ as God’s answer because He brings us peace.  Accepting the Christ Child as King of our minds and hearts, restores us to our rightful place, beside Him in His kingdom – joint heirs with Christ. 

Standing with Christ, today we forgive everything and everybody who would have established us as anything but the holy Sons of God.  Those who put us down and tried to keep us down; those who built us up and fawned upon us and tried to make us special alike, we forgive them for none of us knew what we were doing.  We have misunderstood the gospel of Christ and categorized some as sinful and some as sinless and missed the point altogether – we are all the Sons of God who have simply lost our way, who have merely made mistakes, who – bewildered and afraid – thought to change what could never change – God’s love for His Creation.

The lies of sin and shame – forgiven – we are redeemed, we are set free, we are at peace.  In our day-to-day application of this idea, we run into an ego resistance that at first seems impossible to stand against.  Our hearts and minds seem attached to that which would hurt our feelings, make us feel small, or fill us with righteous indignation and justified outrage!  No matter. The only response to all that is not of God, is forgiveness for in forgiveness, we stand with Christ, not against Him, we become one with Christ, we accept our rightful place in His Kingdom and are at peace. 

Today as we celebrate the birth of Christ, commit to your Being as peace in whatever circumstance, in whatever capacity, in whatever form you can today.  Exchange all thoughts of battle with thoughts of peace.  Instead of building cases against your enemies, build a case for love and forgiveness.  For all the snubs, slights, and mockery that others may seem to offer, commit to kindness, good deeds, and thoughts that reflect God’s love.  Do not grow weary, for as we make our best efforts toward peace and goodwill, we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. In one form or another, Peace is what we are, where we are, what we bring, and who we are created to be.  Be that Peace! 


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 358. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992). p. 483.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 358 No Call To God Can Be Unheard Nor Left Unanswered…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 358 No call to God can be unheard nor left unanswered.  And of this I can be sure; His answer is the one I really want.

  1. You Who remember what I really am alone remember what I really want. You speak for God, and so You speak for me.  And what You give me comes from God Himself.  Your Voice, my Father, then is mine as well, and all I want is what You offer me, in just the form You choose that it be mine.  Let me remember all I do not know, and let my voice be still, remembering.  But let me not forget Your Love and care, keeping Your promise to Your Son in my awareness always.  Let me not forget myself is nothing, but my Self is all.”[1]

What am I?  What are you?  Today’s lesson concept assures us that God will answer this call; God will respond to our question when we no longer try to answer it ourselves.  We put away all our arrogance and ignorance.  We lay our egos aside and we call to Him, the only One that knows.  What am I? Who am I?  Why am I here and what does it mean? 

Until we are no longer willing to go anywhere but straight to the Source, we will dig in dirt, dissect and deconstruct, study the stars, explore the galaxy. We will discard one “truth” in exchange for another.  We will make up hypotheses and base our theories on ambiguous data.  We will ridicule, build cases, and go to battle over ideals that are based on assumptions.  This is what we do in our humanity, in our small-case selves!

In today’s prayer, we put those “selves” aside because we recognize how fragile and futile are its cases.  We turn to the God in us for the God in us is the only part of us Who knows what we are, Who gives us what we really want, Who speaks for us and not against us!  When we begin to identify with the God in us rather than the small-case self, that is the only Self we want.  We take that Self in any form God chooses us to take, but the form is not the content.  The content is the only Self we are interested in.  We are no longer the least inclined to find our answers in the form of the “self” we made, for form is nothing.  It goes nowhere.  It stays in time. 

The holy Self is the only Self because that Self is of God, in God, and one with God. 

Salvation is forever.  Forgiveness is a formality that reflects the Love of God.  Our forgiveness undoes all the forms of time.  When we look upon time itself as a learning tool, a place where we who have lost our certainty must get it back again, we can forgive the atrocities that seem happen here even as we forgive ourselves and others for all the crazy things that happen in a dream. 

The very fact that we are asking the question “What am I?” and directing it to God is all we need to assure us that we have come to the right Source.  We come back to Him with our bellies full of the other way.  We have exhausted all other avenues.  We have searched in this lifetime and perhaps many other lifetimes, in this form and perhaps in many other forms, to get to this place, to conclude that what we want, only the God for us and in us can deliver.  We have had enough of lies, illusions, fantasies, and magic.  We have had enough of independence, separation, loneliness, and despair.  We want wholeness, unity, and oneness that can be found in identifying with our Christ alone. 

We lose only that which is beastly and small to become Him Who is His Son.  His response to who and what we are is truly the only one we want!    


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students. Lesson 358. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 483.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 357 Truth Answers Every Call We Make To God…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 357 Truth answers every call we make to God, responding first with miracles, and then returning unto us to be itself.

  1. Forgiveness, truth’s reflection, tells me how to offer miracles, and thus escape the prison house in which I think I live.  Your holy Son is pointed out to me, first in my brother, then in me.  Your Voice instructs me patiently to hear Your Word and give as I receive.  And as I look upon Your Son today, I hear Your Voice instructing me to find the way to You, as You appointed that the way shall be:

“Behold his sinlessness, and be you healed.”[1]

As we continue to seek the truth about what we are, Jesus assures us that truth answers every call we make to God.  We do not have to worry about being led astray.  We do not have to worry about following the wrong gospel or joining a perversion cult.  We do not have to worry about the crazy ideas that we may come up with in response to our own bewilderment and curiosity over the things of God.  When we sincerely seek the truth and go directly to God, He answers our call with truth. 

Before we learn to forgive, we offer that which is not miracles.  Before we learn the truth about who and what we are, we bind ourselves with iniquity by judging, bearing ill will, defending and attacking, cherishing specialness, and hiding our shame.  Instead of offering miracles, we offer blame, we offer pointing fingers, we offer darkness cloaked as light.  Instead of drawing closer to God and one another, we drive the wedge between us deeper, wider, making it seem impossible to bridge.  We become lonelier.  We grow sadder.  We are full of anguish, sorrow, and despair.  We lash out at this one and that one – it is all their fault – they do not appreciate me, they do not love me, they do not respect me, they are holding something that belongs to me inside of them and selfishly refuse to share.  They are unworthy of my love.  They are a hopeless case.  They do not deserve the good life.  The mixed messages, the conflicting thoughts, the bewildering madness seems a prison house in which we think we live!   

In today’s prayer lesson, we learn that forgiveness reflects the truth, because forgiveness leads us to offer miracles instead of condemnation, vengeance, or grudges.  Forgiveness reflects the truth of finding Christ in my brothers to find Christ in myself.  Forgiveness reflects the truth of giving to receive and receiving to give.  Forgiveness reflects the truth of God’s Kingdom where one is for all and all for one. 

In our devotional practice today, think of the ones in your lives who have hurt you, betrayed your trust, mocked your efforts, blabbed your secrets, told your stories in order to hide their own.  Think of the ones who are your enemy, mortal enemies from birth, perhaps passed down from previous generations!  Think of those countries full of people who embrace a different belief system than you do, a different political ideology, who look, smell, and eat differently than you do.  God’s holy Son is there, in them first, and then in you.  It is not until we recognize this truth that we can know ourselves as God’s Son.  It is not until we first recognize our brother as sinless that we are healed, that we can give and receive miracles.

What does this look like in our daily application?  A little over twenty years ago our daughter died from injuries suffered in a car accident.  The boy who was driving the car had fallen asleep at the wheel.  While he survived the crash with hardly a scratch on his body, our daughter who had evidently been too sleepy to put her seat belt on, was thrown through the windshield.  Often I have been asked how I could ever forgive him.

For me, it was not hard to forgive Jason.  He had not done it on purpose.  He may have been thoughtless.  He may have not taken the time to make sure Manda was buckled in.  Perhaps he had been going too fast before he nodded off – but one thing was certain, Jason had not purposefully killed my daughter.  He had made a mistake, and he suffered terribly for it.  They had loved each other as high school sweethearts do.  Holding a grudge against him over this would not have brought my daughter back to life.  Bearing him ill will would not correct the mistake or keep it from happening again.  In fact I have come to believe that when we do hold grievances and unforgiveness in our hearts we live in a prison house that keeps us in ongoing bondage, pitting us against each other for no other reason than we get attached to the feeling of specialness that our supposed victimhood seems to provide.

Conversely, when a gang of young men kidnapped, raped, tortured, and killed another woman’s daughter, she took matters into her own hands. Because the police had not properly investigated the matter, somehow, she rounded the gang up at gunpoint.  She called in the law, but the law, not finding any evidence or perhaps being too afraid or corrupt to press any charges, allowed the would-be gangsters to go free.  Shortly after, the young men butchered the mother, leaving her husband and the rest of her children and grandchildren even more bereft. 

Without Christ and understanding truth, we tend to side with the mother.  Her sense of injustice had been outraged; it had compelled her to go after the perpetrators.  However, no matter how many years the boys would have sat in prison cells, no matter if they had been likewise raped, tortured, and killed – it would not have brought her daughter back to the family.  It would have not made her daughter’s pain, suffering, and death hold any other meaning than another wrenching crime against humanity.  In other words, there would be no miracle.  There was no healing.  The morale of this story is that God is dead, and we are on our own in a frightening universe governed by the lawless, the heartless, and the depraved. 

Last night in our ACIM study group, our members seemed to stumble over racism and white privilege as if these particular issues were too grievous to apply God’s truth.  But today’s lesson clearly states that truth answers every call we make to God.  Racism is not limited to people of one color and not another.  As long as we behold another as different from us because of the color of their skin, we are not reflecting God’s truth.  The concept of race privilege is a cleverly designed ploy of the ego that is treacherous to those on all sides of this issue.  Its purpose is brokenness rather than wholeness.  When we believe in that which does not reflect God’s truth, we seek for bargains, compromise, and compensation as a substitute for God’s love.  We stoutly claim our rights that our brothers are keeping from us.  We band together against the other, rather than for the other.  When we hold these ideas dear to us, when we experience race pride or race shame, when we take it upon ourselves to identify with the color of our skin rather than our identity as God’s Son, we cling to the idea that murder is justified and that love between the races is a threat to our specialness.  These ideas symbolize the gates of hell, where madness rules and keeps us apart from God, away from truth, and denies the healing necessary to save the world.[2]

What are you?  What am I?  We are God’s Son.  We escape the mad kingdom by forgiving it, not by falling prey to its ploys and believing its lies.  When we offer forgiveness, we offer miracles.  Instead of hurling insults, we call forth miracles, we show love, we embrace and draw close.  Instead of nursing grievances, we forgive them and free others from the prison house of blame.  Instead of carrying forth traditions of specialness, we teach identifying only with that which awakens us to life eternal, to our true and holy Selves, you and me, as God created us. 


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 357.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992) p. 483.

[2] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 24.II.12, 13.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 505.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 356 Sickness Is But Another Name For Sin…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 356 Sickness is but another name for sin.  Healing is but another name for God.  The miracle is thus a call for Him.

  1. Father, You promised You would never fail to answer any call Your Son might make to You.  It does not matter where he is, what seems to be his problem, nor what he believes he has become.  He is Your Son, and You will answer him.  The miracle reflects Your Love, and thus it answers him.  Your Name replaces every thought of sin, and who is sinless cannot suffer pain.  Your Name gives answer to Your Son, because to call Your Name is but to call his own.[1]

Today in your devotional practice, ask God to illuminate your mind as we meditate upon the lesson concept.  Sin and sickness are synonymous. While we experience sin and sickness in the flesh, neither one of them have anything to do with God.  Since God is not the author of flesh; He is not the author of sin; and He certainly is not the author of our sickness!  Sin and sickness are manmade.  They are the result of separation. They are the result of brokenness.  They are the result of every shattered bit believing it is alone, lonely, and lost.  

Sin and sickness do not stand for or with God for God stands for healing.  When we call to Him, God answers.  No matter where we are, brother, God is there because God is with us, He placed Himself within us and no matter how many times we have been broken, no matter how many times we have attacked others, no matter what our problem is or the problems we have inflicted upon others, we remain forever His Son.  And God answers our calls. 

Our prayer lesson tells us today that the miracles we need are a call to Him; the miracles we need reflect His Love and responds to every single need we have.  The name of God, and remember we can call God, God; we can call God, Healing; we can call God, Love – these names of God will replace every thought of sin!  When our thoughts of sin are replaced, we can not suffer pain.  We are healed.  We are cleansed.  We are made right again! 

The last sentence of our prayer today prepares us to accept who and what we really are.  Pay careful attention and do not be afraid of this, because to know this is to accept God and our everlasting place in His Kingdom.  Read the last sentence with care and with your mind and heart fastened upon your desire for truth, for answers, for healing: 

Your name gives answer to Your Son, because to call Your Name is but to call his own.

How long will we remain the sons of man – human, fleshy, separated from our Father, steeped in thoughts of sin, sickness, suffering, and death?  We are Sons of God – when we call upon the name of God, we are sure to be answered, because to call upon the name of God is but to call upon our own. 

Today when thoughts of sin and sickness appear in your mind, remind yourself of who and what you are in God.  Instead of cursing someone, offer them a blessing.  Instead of holding a grudge, ask God to heal and restore.  Seeking vengeance does not correct a bad situation, it makes it worse.  Saying mean things about others does not improve anybody or anything.  Standing about gossiping and spreading rumors does not propagate good cheer.  You are His Son.  You stand with Christ in forgiving the world.  You are here to do God’s work because you are His Son.  Together, we are the Brotherhood of Christ, the holy Sonship of God. We are called to have and to give miracles, that reflect the Love and Healing expressions of God.


[1]A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 356. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 482.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 355 There Is No End To All The Peace And Joy…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 355.  There is no end to all the peace and joy and all the miracles that I will give when I accept God’s Word.  Why not today?

  1. Why should I wait, my Father, for the joy You promised me?  For You will keep Your Word You gave Your Son in exile.  I am sure my treasure waits for me, and I need but reach out my hand to find it.  Even now my fingers touch it.  It is very close.  I need not wait an instant more to be at peace forever.  It is You I choose, and my Identity along with You.  Your Son would be Himself, and know You as his Father and Creator, and his Love.[1]

As we come to our devotional practice today, pray along with words of Christ: “Why should I wait, my Father, for the joy You promised me?”   Are you ready for the joy that is God’s gift?  Even in our separated state, our exile, we are assured of joy.  We do not have to wait until we reach the other side.  We do not have to get to Heaven’s gate.  When we choose God, we choose for ourselves, we find our Selves.  When we find our Selves we find the joy that overflows from our hearts and minds and blesses those who have lost their way.  When we find who and what we really are, we become miracle workers.  When we bless instead of curse; laugh instead of cry; correct instead of make worse, we stand as one with Christ, we walk in His forgiveness, we know ourselves as Sons of God. 

Today bring joy to the world!  We may be in exile – caught up in the body and in a thought system dominated by ego, survival, and limitations but we are at Home in God.  Our treasure is in knowing Jesus, in standing with Him, in becoming one with Him. 

As we stand with Christ, all that would tempt us to reflect anything but His love is replaced by the mercy of God.  Our petty grudges, our deep sorrows, our terrible wounds and afflictions we lay at His altar to be corrected or if beyond correction, erased from the record.  Instead of offering others spite and vengeance, we give them riches of tenderness, brotherhood, and healing.  We give life, not death.  We bring heaven, not hell.  Laughter replaces tears and sadness.  Togetherness replaces estrangements and strife.  Forgiveness corrects all forms of fear and hatred, disease and destruction, separation and specialness.  We can only do this when we accept the Word of God.

Accepting the Word of God does not mean that we accept a particular holy book or manual, a doctrine or dogma.  Accepting the Word of God means that we accept the Expression of God.  When we use words, when we speak, we express.  We accept the word of God when we express God through our words, thoughts, and deeds.  We are not ashamed to speak of His Love, His Fatherhood, the ways in which God draws us close to Him.  We are not ashamed to share our stories and testimonies, we are not afraid to forgive, to correct, to heal, to forget. 

Today let us express our Love for God, let us share our holiness, and put away our unworthiness.  Let us share God’s mercy, peace, and joy.  When we express God through our thoughts and words and deeds, we empower others to express God’s Word through their life.  We experience the treasures of God when we express God through our lives.  When we express God through our lives, we become Him, and He becomes us.  We find who and what we are! 

This Christmas season we can accept God’s Word by sharing the joy of Jesus’ birth.  As we decorate our homes and prepare our feasts, wrap our presents, and partake in our traditions – quietly, calmly, assertively we keep Christ at the center of Christmas.  When we keep Christ as the reason for the season, as we accept the baby Jesus as God’s Holy Son and bring to Him our broken selves, our shattered, splintered, troubled selves, in Him we become whole again.  In Him we know ourselves as one with Him – God’s beloved Son.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 355. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 482.

[2] Portions of this post are reprinted by permission from post 12/21/2019 Lesson 355 @ www.eckiefriar.com

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 354 We Stand Together, Christ And I…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 354. We stand together, Christ and I, in peace and certainty of purpose.  And in Him is His Creator, as He is in me.

  1. My oneness with Christ establishes me as Your Son, beyond the reach of time, and wholly free of every law but Yours.  I have no self except the Christ in me.  I have no purpose but His Own.  And He is like His Father.  Thus must I be one with You as well as Him.  For whom is Christ except Your Son as You created Him?  And what am I except the Christ in me?[1]

In our fourth lesson that addresses the question “What am I,” we are reminded that we stand with Christ.  We come like Wise Men everywhere and bring Him gifts – not of gold, frankincense, and myrrh but of ourselves.  We give our eyes, our hands, our mouths, and our feet to Him.  We give them to Him, and in the giving we remember who and what we are in Him and He in us.  We complete Christ as Christ completes us – it is a mutually beneficial relationship as giving and receiving are one. 

As we learn who we are in Christ, our standing with Christ frees us from thoughts of separation, loneliness, and despair.  Knowing ourselves as God’s Son frees us from the ongoing concerns that would center around gratifying that which is never satisfied and raises our consciousness beyond the reach of time.  Becoming one with Christ frees us of every law except the Law of Love.  Remember the Law of Love?   What I give my brother is my gift to me.  Whatever I want in my life, I give and keep giving. 

As we become one with Christ, we share in His strength of purpose.  We are not in a state of continual need for salvation.  We do not sit on the bleachers and watch Him do all the work.  We are not on the sidelines rooting for Christ, eating hot dogs and slurping down Cokes, waving our denominational banners.  Salvation is not a spectator sport.  We stand with Him by pitching in where needed.  We stand with Him by avowing our love and devotion, walking in truth, and correcting our mistakes.  His purpose is our purpose – we speak the truth about our Father; we awaken those who are dead in the flesh and bring the scattered Sons of God back where they belong.  In other words, we do only what we are told to do, and we do it to the best of our ability. 

As Christ is made one in us, we know our Selves as God knows us.  We still look like we always did.  We still sound like we always did.  We still enjoy much the same things we always did.  But we know the difference for now we gave Him our all.  Our eyes and ears, our hands and feet – His!  We go nowhere without an awareness of His presence; we think no thoughts, we say no words.  Christ’s vision has replaced our sight; the Law of Love is now our standard. 

When we make room for Christ, we make room for who and what we really are.  Unlike the ego which exists only in separation, we find all that has meaning and purpose within the loving brotherhood of Christ.  Before oneness – we have many adventures; we make friends, and we make enemies; we celebrate triumphs, and we suffer sorrows; we do our blasted best at times; we do our dastardly worst at others – yet none of it matters.  Like the body we abide in, it is a fleeting moment, over before it began. 

We find our Self, then, only through the ideal Christ represents:  God is our Father.  His love bestows upon us mercy, joy, and peace even as we learn to love, accept and forgive each other.  While we wrap presents and put them under the tree, do not forget to give Him what was really ever His own – our hearts and mind, our love and devotion.  When we stand with Christ, we have peace and certainty of purpose.  For only in Christ do we recognize what we are – at one with God and with each other.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 354. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 481.

[2] Portions of this post were reprinted by permission from Lesson 354 – (December 20, 2019) at www.eckiefriar.com

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 353 My Eyes, My Tongue, My Hands, My Feet Today Have But One Purpose…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 353.  My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today have but one purpose, to be given Christ to use to bless the world with miracles.

  1. Father, I give all that is mine today to Christ, to use in any way that best will serve the purpose that I share with Him.  Nothing is mine alone, for He and I have joined in purpose.  Thus has learning come almost to its appointed end.  A while I work with Him to serve His purpose.  Then I lose myself in my Identity and recognize that Christ is but my Self.[1]

Throughout my life, I wanted to love Jesus and serve Him but concepts like the one we have today scared the living daylights out of me!  Give Christ my eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet?  But they are mine!  The stories of the martyrs of Christ scared the “be-Jesus” straight out of me – I wanted my head on my shoulders, thank you very much.  

And so my whole life, I did my best not to be a total reprobate, an all-out waste of humanity.  I did some good.  When I would measure myself up against others, I would come out below or above depending upon whom I chose to compare myself with.   On the days I wanted to forgive myself for all the ways I failed, I would remember all my seeming triumphs in comparison to someone who was more sinful, reckless, and told more lies and played more tricks to disappoint and hurt others than I did.  Conversely, on the days I felt like specializing my shame, I would compare myself unfavorably to all those I imagined had been smarter, more truthful, sincere, and honorable than I could ever find it in me to be!

When I come to Christ, I give Him all that judgment.  I let Him sort it out.  Christ knows me as I really am because Christ knows me as Himself. All those people I compared myself against?  Christ knows them as Himself and teaches me to do the same. 

Through my private holy practice, devotion, and prayers, and through our mutual teaching and learning meetings, I learn to seek God as the only intelligent, logical, and curative thing to do if I want my life to matter.  Serving His purpose, I do not concern myself with stories of death, sacrifice, and suffering because He is Love, He is mercy, He is healing, Peace and Joy.  Separate myself from what I really am, I am lost and floundering, alone and adrift, searching for love in a void.  Only in Christ do I find who I really am, and what I am really about.   

Today in our devotional practice, find your Self by giving your all to Christ.  If you feel a bit of hesitation, if you are not entirely sure that this is what you want to do, if you are afraid, ask God to teach you the difference between the valuable and the valueless.  Give Christ all that has no value.  Do not call it a sacrifice, but rather recognize it as the nothingness it is.  This is the way to redemption.  This is the way of salvation.  This is the path that requires nothing in exchange for Everything. 

We say nothing because we lose only that which has no value, that little sense of “self,” that would hold itself apart from others, judging, unforgiving, comparing, selfish and uncaring, acknowledging not wholeness but clinging to its little shard of ignorance for strength and sustenance.  We say nothing in exchange for Everything because in God we take our place in the cosmos, the heavens, the whole of Creation, which can only be seen through the eyes of Christ. 

Use your eyes, tongue, hands, and feet for your own purpose today and perhaps you will do a little good and a little bad. You will bless this one and curse that one.  You will build here only to tear down there. Give your eyes, tongue, hands, and feet to Christ and you will only bless and not curse, you will only build and not tear down.  You will perform miracles.  You will find your Self in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students, Lesson 353. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 481.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 252 Judgment And Love Are Opposites…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 352 Judgment and love are opposites.  From one come all the sorrows of the world.  But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.

  1. Forgiveness looks on sinlessness alone and judges not.  Through this, I come to You.  Judgment will bind my eyes and make me blind.  Yet love, reflected in forgiveness here, reminds me You have given me a way to find Your peace again.  I am redeemed when I elect to follow in this way.  You have not left me comfortless.  I have within me both the memory of You and One Who leads me to it.  Father, I would hear Your Voice and find Your peace today.   For I would love my own Identity and find in It the memory of You.[1]

What are we?  What am I?  What are you?  Today Jesus tells us clearly that in order to find ourselves, our true Identity, we must be redeemed from our false identity, the worthless fake “me,” that has usurped our Identity and seemed to separate us from the whole. 

How are we freed from all that is insignificant, valueless, and ends in despair and death?  We accept our sinlessness, we refuse to judge, to condemn.  This is the way to God; this is the way to our true Identity.  Judgment blinds us to our reality as one, as whole, as interdependent and interlocking pieces of Creation.  When I can look at you as something different from myself, more or less worthy, more or less value, more or less good, kind, tender, and pure – I am using judgment not forgiveness.  Because as long as I see you as different from me in all the ways that really matter, I am not forgiving, I am comparing.  I am judging – you against me and me against you. 

But oh the joy when I “forgive” the differences that blind me to our oneness! When I overlook all that the ego would set up as a roadblock to deny our oneness, our equality, our lack of specialness one above the other – I recognize your true worth and when I recognize your true worth, Sweet Jesus, I recognize my own.  And it is only when I recognize our joint worth that I find my true Identity in God.  Before that I thought I knew who I was and yet who was I but a passing little blip on the screen of time, sucking up resources, insecure, chasing after that which has no lasting value, forming alliances that provide no abiding love.  For what I called love was a dog from hell.  While it seemed to promise warmth, comfort, fidelity; often times love seemed to bite me in the ass and leave me destitute, lonely, and in despair! 

Yesterday I looked forward all day to having a little shopping spree with my grandson, Zachary.  Everyone in the family suspects that Zachary is my favorite grandson because we really click.  We enjoy each other’s company; we understand each other.  I can say that he is not my favorite, because love is not a respecter of persons, but I can say that Zachary is the one that responds to my calls.  So there was Grandpa shoveling out the Jeep and clearing a path for me to leave the house so I could go pick him up right after school.  I pictured us lingering over items, discussing them for each member of the family – would his dad like this?  Would his brothers enjoy this?  What would mom think of this?  We would probably grab a bite to eat and one of those flavored, overly sweet coffees that he loves.  How fun it would be to load up the trunk with our treasures and bring them all back to the house and take them up to the spare bedroom to be wrapped.  That was my picture.

So when I picked him up and we were on our way to the mall, and his dad called and said something about being home by 4:00 to go see some friends, I gave him a sharp look.  And he quickly told his dad to go along without him, and I thought that was settled.  But then while we were shopping and barely had our second cart half full, he worriedly mentioned that he had promised his mother that he would be home by 5:00.  This barely gave us time to checkout of the store and make the trip back to his place. 

“Well, it would have been nice to know that before we got here,” I sputtered angrily.  I felt so aggrieved with him for ruining my picture of our happy time together, that I could barely look at him.  In fact, I did not look at him.  I ripped through the store, grabbing one more thing or two from the shelves, before checking out.  Wheeling the cart through the slippery parking lot, throwing the stuff I bought into the back of the Jeep, I felt justified in being hurt, resentful, and spun up about our aborted Christmas shopping spree.  No matter how many times he told me that he was sorry, I remained huffy and silent. 

There was that mean little part of me that wanted him to feel bad because I was choosing to feel bad.  Of course, I did forgive him only to learn there was nothing to forgive. He had pictured a quick trip made expressly to pick out a special chair that he wanted under the Christmas tree.  We had made a mistake; we had not communicated properly.  From now on we will, we promised.  Nobody has to be hurt or angry, nobody has to say they are sorry and plead forgiveness.  Instead of an atmosphere of bitterness and hostility on my part, and a feeling of bewildered distress on his, we corrected and blessed and remained joyful all the way home.  We even took the time to drop off some cheer to a dear friend who is not feeling well.  How thankful he was that instead of holding a grudge toward him, forgiving Grammy took control over the rancorous imposer Grammy.  In forgiving Grammy is where I find my true Self.  This is where I find the peace of God.  This is where I find love for my own Identity and find in Me the memory of God. 

The practice of the concept behind this homely, everyday application, redeems and saves us from separateness and thoughts of sin.  We discover who we really are when we refuse to judge another.  Judging is measuring a situation or another against ourselves or what we think of as our know-it-all power to judge a situation, to surmise the whole picture and decide which parts are good and necessary and which parts can be discarded, disregarded, and disrespected.  Judging is not our function because in separation we can never know the whole picture!  Forgiveness is our function.  When we forgive, we realize that there is nothing to forgive – but first we must practice forgiveness because the act of forgiveness melts our resistance to oneness. 

Today ask God to reveal to you the instances in your own life which illustrate how judgment leads to all the sorrows of the world, while love leads to the everlasting peace of God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 352. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). P. 480.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 351 My Sinless Brother Is My Guide To Peace…

II.  SECTION 14. What am I?

Lesson 351 My sinless brother is my guide to peace.  My sinful brother is my guide to pain.  And which I choose to see, I will behold.

  1. Who is my brother but Your holy Son?  And if I see him sinful, I proclaim myself a sinner, not a Son of God, alone and friendless in a fearful world.  Yet this perception is a choice I made and can relinquish.  I can also see my brother sinless, as Your holy Son.  And with this choice, I see my sinlessness, my everlasting Comforter and Friend beside me, and my way secure and clear.  Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice.  For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.[1] 

What am I?  I am a forgiver.  I am one with Creation and with God.  I cannot see my brother as anything different from myself.  My forgiveness toward my brother who has wronged me is my holiness; my unforgiveness of my brother would keep me in a hellish state of awareness where my brother and I are separate and therefore have no meaning.

A brother was telling me about how offended he gets toward those telephone marketers who try to scam people out of their money.  With relish he relayed how he likes to play along and then when it gets time to give them his social security number and bank information, he soundly rebukes the swindlers.  “I hope you burn in hell for what you do to people,” he tells the person on the other end of the line.  “Nothing would be too bad for them to go through,” he informed me, “Playing such mean tricks on old folks, the poor, and the dimwitted.  It’s just not right.”  In his mind, he had taken a stand for justice. 

Today that scenario played out in my mind.  How do we forgive telephone scammers?  I thought of what it must be like to be so desperate for a job that I would take a job that required me to be dishonest, to pretend to have a better electricity deal or provide a fraudulent car maintenance coverage.  Or maybe hack into computers and run up people’s credit cards.  No matter how nice the person on the other end of the line sounded, I would have to lie to them, trick them out of their personal information, dupe them out of their money.  At night when I cleared my desk and left work, all the people that I cheated over the course of the day – would come home with me.  I would try not to think of them, but no matter how far away they lived or how I justified doing what I did, thoughts of my dishonesty would haunt me.  No matter how much money I earned, I could never feel good about what I did for a living.  But should I burn in hell?  Do I deserve cruelty, curses, and punishment?  Conversely, what good would it do for someone to forgive, correct, and bless me?

What if instead of a curse, we said we know what it feels like to make mistakes, but mistakes are easy to correct? What if we offered forgiveness and blessings and shared with them how to trust in God for an honest way to make a living?  What if instead of sending them to hell, we reminded them of who and what they are in Christ?  This is what our lesson is telling us today – if we see others are evil, we are evil in our own sight and we cannot remember God.  If we choose to see our brothers as God’s Son and merely making a mistake, which can easily be corrected, we accept our own purity and innocence, and our own mistakes are forgiven. 

Who are we, brothers?  Are we forgivers and blessers who stand with Christ for unity or do we call mistakes sins and curse our fellowman to hell?  Can we look past our ill wishes and condemnation and remind one another of who and what we really are?  Are we ready to deny all that is not of God, to acknowledge that in a state of separation we simply cannot know the whole story and therefore have no right to judge – anything.  Do we believe what Jesus teaches – that the thoughts we choose to think about our brother will manifest in ours?    

Wrongdoers give us perfect opportunities to practice the concepts we learn each day.  Jesus clearly states:  See them as evil, and we proclaim ourselves sinners and not a Son of God.  We are not on God’s side if we would condemn our brothers and focus attention on their wrongdoing instead of their Sonship. 

Our return to God is impossible for the ego, with all its bluster, blame, and demand for repayment of some kind.  Throughout my life I have been blessed by forgiveness from those whom I have hurt by unkind things I have said or done.  “I have washed it from my mind,” a friend told me one time.  “I will never bring it up again because it never happened.”  I was so stunned!  Nobody had ever offered me forgiveness without vain promises and grudging strings attached.  It was an incredible lesson in forgiveness.  My hurtful behavior washed from his mind, he refused to think of me in terms of the mistakes I had made.  It was not only a beautiful feeling; it was a miracle.  His forgiveness changed my perception of myself as a bad person who was beyond redemption to a person who was worthwhile, deserving of respect, love, and trust.  This is the miracle we offer; the correction that God gives to us as a gift, which we keep only when we share it with our brothers.

So here is to all my brothers who have wronged me in any way – I forgive you even as Christ forgives you.  It never happened.  When the enemy tries to get me to ruminate upon the pain you caused me, I will say – So and so is a Son of God, part of the brotherhood of Christ.  He is sinless and spotless and pure.  He made a mistake, and I forgive him, even as Christ forgives me. 

This is my salvation!  You become my savior even as I become yours.  This is how we enter the Kingdom of Heaven – not fighting and calling names and dragging the Lord into our petty battles, misunderstandings, and grievances.  Let you be sinless in my mind and guide me to peace!  This is what I choose to see, and this is what I will behold.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 351. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Parts of this post are reprinted by permission from 12/17/2019 post on www.eckiefriar.com

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Part II:14 What Am I?

  1. I am God’s Son, complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love.  In me is His creation sanctified and guaranteed eternal life.  In me is love perfected, fear impossible, and joy established without opposite.  I am the holy home of God Himself.  I am the Heaven where His Love resides.  I am His holy sinlessness Itself, for in my purity abides His Own.
  2. Our use for words is almost over now.  Yet in the final days of this one year we gave to God together, you and I, we found a single purpose that we shared.  And thus you joined with me, so what I am are you as well.  The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe.  Yet we can realize our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us.
  3. We are the bringers of salvation.  We accept our part as saviors of the world, which through our joint forgiveness is redeemed.  And this, our gift, is therefore given us.  We look on everyone as brother and perceive all things as kindly and as good.  We do not seek a function that is past the gate of Heaven.  Knowledge will return when we have done our part.  We are concerned only with giving welcome to the truth.
  4. Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin.  Ours are the ears that hear the Voice for God proclaim the world as sinless.  Ours the minds that join together as we bless the world.  And from the oneness that we have attained we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy.
  5. We are the holy messengers of God who speak for Him and carrying His Word to everyone whom He has sent to us, we learn that it is written on our hearts.  And thus our minds are changed about the aim for which we came, and which we seek to serve.  We bring glad tidings to the Son of God, who thought he suffered.  Now is he redeemed.  And as he sees the gate of Heaven stand open before him, he will enter in and disappear into the Heart of God.[1]

Dear brothers, as we near the end of our yearly lessons, we accept our place in the Sonship of God.  In the introduction to Part Two, Section 14, Jesus responds to the question we ask, “What am I?”  clearly and concisely:     

  • We are Sons of God. 
  • We are complete, healed, and whole. 
  • We glow in the reflection of our Father’s Love. 
  • Creation is blessed and eternal through our devotion. 
  • In us, Love is perfected. 
  • We are fearless.
  • We are so joyful that there is no room for anything but joy.  
  • We are the holy home of God who abides in us and works through us.
  • We are the Heaven where His Love lives out through us. 
  • We are bringers of salvation.
  • We are the eyes and ears which reflect Christ’s vision and hear the Voice for God.
  • We are the holy messengers of God.
  • We are sinless, for God, our Creator is sinless.
  • We are pure because God is pure.

This is the truth about us.  God wrote it upon our innermost Being.  Beyond the shadow of the ego-deceived mind, stands the truth about who and what we are.  We know the Love of God; we are the Love of God.  When we give to receive the miracle of God’s grace and accept it by faith into our hearts and minds, we are cleansed of all that would keep us apart, for we are joined – what I am you are; what you are, am I!  What we are is what Christ is, for we are one. 

In our next ten lessons, keep in mind that we are learning about who and what we are in Christ.  Here in the world our bodies and the egos which they symbolize define us – the color of our skin, our genitals, our sexual preferences, our names, age, race, our personality quirks, country of origin, jobs and professions, our handicaps and health – you name it, the world is ready to sort and organize us into every category it can come up with to keep us from asking the real question: “What am I, really?”   

In paragraph three, sentence five, we are reminded that we do not seek a function past the gate of Heaven.  This Course is only concerned with reminding us of who and what we are so that we can go home.  It takes us to the entrance, and it is there, we enter in and become one with God, because we have accepted the truth about ourselves.

We are not separate flesh bodies; we are Spirit, and we are one.  We no longer believe in the power of sin, shame, and sickness to keep us from God, to keep us apart, to hinder our journey.  We no longer believe that some are loved, and others despised.  We look upon Creation with God’s mercy, His peace and joy.  We correct instead of condemn; we bless instead of curse.  We have changed our mind about serving our egos and now we serve God!  We spread the glad tidings of comfort and joy because it is our privilege as God’s Son to stand with Christ, to be one with Him, to establish the Second Coming of Christ in our hearts and minds and do our part to save the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II:14. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 479.

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Photo credit: http://www.godtv.com

comment 0

Lesson 350 Miracles Mirror God’s Eternal Love. To Offer Them Is To Remember Him, And Through His Memory To Save The World

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 350 Miracles mirror God’s eternal Love.  To offer them is to remember Him, and through His memory to save the world.

1.     What we forgive becomes a part of us, as we perceive ourselves.  The Son of God incorporates all things within himself as You created him.  Your memory depends on his forgiveness.  What he is, is unaffected by his thoughts.  But what he looks upon is their direct results.  Therefore, my Father, I would turn to You.  Only Your memory will set me free.  And only my forgiveness teaches me to let Your memory return to me and give it to the world in thankfulness.

2.     And as we gather miracles from Him, we will indeed be grateful.  For as we remember Him, His Son will be restored to us in the reality of Love.[1]

Today let us briefly recap the introduction to this section before we examine today’s lesson.  I will also suggest that you read or listen to each day’s lesson again today and ask God to show you miracles in which His grace and His love will be mirrored through your devotion and practice.  This is a course in miracles and God is calling each one of us to know what miracles are and be an active participant as we stand with and become one with Christ in saving the world. 

In Part II:13 the question is asked:  What is a miracle?  We are taught that a miracle is a correction.  A miracle is the cleanser that removes the lie, the illusion, and all that the mind perceives falsely.  Miracles are for this world; in heaven we do not need them anymore.  Miracles are a gentle remedy for all that keeps us from knowing and experiencing God’s eternal love.  Miracles are acts of mercy, they heal and restore.  Miracles reflect God’s devotion to each individual part of Creation. 

What does a miracle contain?  The miracle holds the gift of God’s grace – it is given and received as one.  When I offer a miracle to you, the miracle is received by you and by me at the same time.  The world does not operate on this law of truth; but when we experience giving and receiving as one, we can never go back to believing any different!  No longer are we afraid to forgive, because giving forgiveness heals us from our own sense of sin, shame, and reproach.  Healed, we naturally become miracle workers for to keep being healed, we must keep healing others.  The practice of miracles contains then, the framework of the symbiotic relationship, the mutually beneficial associations, in which Creation is restored to oneness and wholeness. 

Where do miracles reside?  Miracles reside in forgiveness.  As we put our trust in the Vision of Christ, we look upon the world with mercy and love.  Our perception is healed, and what we would have at one time cursed, we now bless and correct.  Each time we forgive and bless, we offer a miracle.  A sense of purity and joy illuminates our world as we remind Creation of God’s love and everlasting devotion. 

Where do miracles take place?  The practice of miracles takes place within our minds and hearts.  Not knowing much about miracles, we must at first rely on faith – we must ask for what we cannot see and what we cannot yet understand.  But once we experience the miracles, our faith in them is justified.  We think forgiving thoughts, we offer blessings instead of curses, we recognize our brothers as we recognize ourselves, as Sons of God.  Miracles then take place in jail cells, hospital beds, corporate offices, in ghettos, and in gated communities.  Miracles keep taking place whenever and wherever a Son of God is reminded of who and what he really is.

What do miracles do?  Miracles heal the world; they provide everlasting sustenance to all of Creation.  They restore Creation to innocence, to purity, to holiness.  Miracles restore our love and devotion to God for miracles reflect God’s love and devotion to Creation.  Miracles show that what is born will never die, that what has life has immortality.  The practice of miracles leads to everlasting love, peace, and joy; while the practice of that which is not a miracle, leads to a sense of hatred, unrest, and loneliness.  Practicing miracles sets our world free of the chaos, condemnation, and affliction which has captivated our mind and separated our awareness from God and from each other. 

Today our lesson reminds us that miracles reflect God’s everlasting love.  When we offer our fellowman a miracle, we offer correction, we offer forgiveness, we offer a blessing.  When we remind our brothers of who and what they are, we become one with them in Christ.  Our lesson says that we incorporate all things within us!  Becoming one with our brothers, means that without them we cannot be saved; without us they cannot be saved. 

Without the miracle, we can only see ourselves and others as tiny fragments splintered off from the whole, lost and adrift in the vast universe, ignorant of the big picture, afraid of our insignificance, putting others down in order for us to climb up.  Without the miracle, we struggle to be special, carry signs to strut our worth, or spend our lives futilely trying to make our bitty separate selves matter. 

When our minds remember God, we take our place in the big picture.  Our mind has been healed from the lie of separation.  Our mind has been healed from the idea of each one for themselves.  We become one with Christ and instead of being only too happy to escape the hellish realm, we stand with Him in saving the world.  The more we offer miracles, the more we remember God, the more we remember God, the keener and more devoted we are to save the world for heaven cannot be conceived without all of Creation. We count it all joy. 

When I choose forgiveness, when you choose forgiveness, we learn to allow God’s memory back into our awareness.  When we put down our guards against God’s memory, He will cleanse us of all selfishness and restore to us the reality of Love.  And there is the miracle that saves me to save you to save the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 350. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992) p. 478.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 349 Today I Let Christ’s Vision Look Upon All Things For Me And Judge Them Not, But Give Each One A Miracle Of Love Instead

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 349 Today I let Christ’s vision look upon all things for me and judge them not but give each one a miracle of love instead.

  1. So would I liberate all things I see and give to them the freedom that I seek.  For thus do I obey the law of love and give what I would find and make my own.  It will be given me, because I have chosen it as the gift I want to give.  Father, Your gifts are mine.  Each one that I accept gives me a miracle to give.  And giving as I would receive, I learn Your healing miracles belong to me.
  2. Our Father knows our needs.  He gives us grace to meet them all.  And so we trust in Him to send us miracles to bless the world and heal our minds as we return to Him.[1]

To practice miracles, we must look on our brothers through the eyes of Christ.  What we want for ourselves, we must offer to our brothers – no matter who they are, what they have done or failed to do, the people they may have hurt, or the color of their skin. 

Today, miracles workers, let us learn the law of love and train our mind to obey it.  This excerpt from the prayer part of our lesson today is a wonderful recitation to help us remember to practice the law of love in every encounter:

 Thus do I obey the law of love and give what I would find and make my own.  It will be given me, because I have chosen it as the gift I want to give. 

Remember God’s gifts to us of mercy, peace, joy, and love?  These are the gifts we make our own by giving to those we meet.  When we give God’s gifts, we are healed, and we heal others. 

The other night at a little Christmas get-together somebody showed up that has, over the course of the last several years, done some very hurtful and disappointing things.  Lies, stealing, cheating – you name it, this guy has done it.  My initial reaction was one of distancing myself from him.  I did not want to look at him or talk to him.  I was thinking about asking my husband not to look at him or talk to him.  But James, unlike me, was practicing the law of love.  He does not look at this fellow through the unforgiving eyes of the ego; he looks upon him as a brother who is a Son of God. 

I know that I cannot go to heaven without this brother.  My attitude toward him should not be one of distancing myself from him, but offering him healing, forgiveness, correction, because if I withhold it from him, I not only withhold what my brother so desperately needs, but I cannot keep God’s gifts for myself!

The Lord knows my struggles.  The Lord knows your struggles.  By His grace, we will choose to practice the law of love.  By His grace, we will learn not only to practice the law of love, but to treasure the law of love, and teach it to others.  This is the way miracles are delivered to bless the world and heal our minds from the strange idea that our grudges, unforgiveness, and distance between others will bring us anything of value. 

If we want our brother to join us on the path to God, we must offer him total forgiveness for the mistakes he makes. We must refuse to judge him.  We must be vigilant against any feelings of ill will toward him, for healing and correction come only as we extend to him God’s gifts of mercy, peace, and joy.  We make this hard by dwelling on his wrongdoing instead of what is right about him.  We find it much easier to list his failures because when we are listing his, we can forget, for that little while, all of our own. 

Today, ask God to reveal to you, the opportunities that you have each and every day to practice the law of love.  Even on the days that you do not get out of your house and mingle with others, we can practice the law of love in our minds toward those whom we have singled out to be our enemies, our least favorites, the ones who scare us, the ones who get on our last nerve.  Receive God’s grace to extend to them the gifts that He has given you.  This is the way of miracles.  This is what saves the world.  This is what saves you.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 349. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 478.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 348 I Have No Cause For Anger Or For Fear, For You Surround Me…

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 348 I have no cause for anger or for fear, for You surround me. 

And in every need that I perceive, Your grace suffices.

  1. Father, let me remember You are here, and I am not alone.  Surrounding me is everlasting Love.  I have no cause for anything except the perfect peace and joy I share with You.  What need have I for anger or for fear?  Surrounding me is perfect safety.  Can I be afraid when Your eternal promise goes with me?  Surrounding me is perfect sinlessness.  What can I fear when You created me in holiness as perfect as Your Own?
  2. God’s grace suffices us in everything that He would have us do.  And only that we choose, to be our will, as well as His.[1]

Today we learn of God’s grace.  God’s grace is sufficient for everything we are called to do.  We will not be called to do miracles that are impossible for us to offer.  We will not be given burdens that break our backs and stress our spirits.  We are not called to be martyrs.  We are not called to sacrifice.  We are not called to prostrate ourselves before God and beg and plead with Him, as if He would withhold any good thing from us unless we grovel before Him. 

Today we are offered another opportunity to know God as He is – our Father Who is with us, Who never abandoned us, Whose Love surrounds us like the air we breathe.  Our Father created us in Love and for love.  He gives us perfect peace and joy.  If we have anger and fear in our heart it did not come from Him.  If we feel uncertain and unsafe, our trust is not in God. We simply cannot be afraid when we believe in His love for us.  God’s grace has created us sinless, holy, and pure and nothing can change that. 

Today put away any vestiges of anger and fear.  This is what hinders your miracle and the miracles you are called to offer others.  Healing comes to those who forgive, who bring their anger and their fear and lay it down on the altar before God.  God does not require us to give Him gifts of silver and gold.  These substances may be precious to us, but God is and has Everything already, brother.  All God wants from us is what does not serve us.  He wants our anger and our fear, He wants our heartache and shame, He wants our diseases and disorders.  When all that is worthless is cleared from our consciousness, we can know Him and love Him, and when that happens, nothing can tempt us to turn on Him, to make up stories about Him, to use His Name in vain, or to be anything less than what He has called us to be.  For to know Him is to remember His grace, His elegance, His beauty, His Kindness, His Humor, His Wisdom, His Wit.  He is our Creator.  He is our Friend.  He is our Beginning and He is without end. 

When we remember God nothing is impossible for us.  For it is His grace which draws us to Him and it is His grace that reminds us of who and what we are in Him.  Today give your anger and fear to God.  Say, “Here it is, Lord.  I do not want it anymore.  I only want what You have for me.”  Do not be afraid.  Give Him your will; make His Will your will.  This is the way to miracles. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 348. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992) p. 477.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 347 Anger Must Come From Judgment…

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 347 Anger must come from judgment.  Judgment is the weapon I would use against myself, to keep the miracle away from me.

  1. Father, I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my will to have.  Straighten my mind, my Father.  It is sick.  But You have offered freedom, and I choose to claim Your gift today.  And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me.  He sees what I behold, and yet He knows the truth.  He looks on pain, and yet He understands it is not real, and in His understanding, it is healed.  He gives the miracles my dreams would hide from my awareness.  Let Him judge today.  I do not know my will, but He is sure it is Your Own.  And He will speak for me and call Your miracles to come to me.
  2. Listen today.  Be very still and hear the gentle Voice for God assuring you that He has judged you as the Son He loves.[1]

In our seventh lesson in the understanding of miracles, Jesus teaches that in our human state, we are confused about what we really want.  Our will, aligned with God’s Will, truly seeks the miracle of God’s mercy, joy, love, and peace.  Our will, aligned with God’s Will, loves Creation and seeks wholeness, purity, and oneness with all that there is.  And yet in our humanity, we seem to opt for separateness – you do your thing; I do mine.  We cast one another in the crudest and most vile roles, condemning and dividing.  We use others as scapegoats for our own mistakes – we allow our anger toward those we see as unrighteous, cruel and selfish keep the miracles which the world so desperately needs at bay. 

Our minds are sick.  We think we want discord, disunity, disruption.  We would rather cherish our anger toward others than accept the miracle to keep and to share.  We think that we want what anger gives to us, we think that anger will justify our judgment and unforgiveness.  We think that anger will make us stronger, bigger, better, and closer to the righteousness of the God we think lives in bitterness and spite toward His wayward Creation, instead of the Loving Father who forgives and shows mercy.    

It was my privilege several years ago to join a group of people who met each day to exercise.  Total strangers to me, from the moment I first appeared in their lively group, I was made to feel welcome.  The group members were not only open and willing to share their space, their time, their stories with me, but also showed an equal amount of interest in me and what I had to say.  Often times we would linger after the session to talk, to share, to meet up for coffee, take a walk in the park, or visit a bookshop.  Even though I was new in town and would only be there for about six months, I was invited to their house for get-togethers, warmly included in their plans outside our daily exercise, and made privy to special events going on in their hometown.  When they found out that I had authored a novel, they all promptly read it, commented upon it, and hosted a fun book-signing event.  It was not because I was a special case. I watched in absolute wonder as these people extended the same treatment to other new members, rich and poor, male and female, young and old.   

I had never experienced such unmitigated warmth, friendliness, and non-judgment in my life. The sense of mutuality, freedom, and wholeness I experienced with the group members felt like a balm to my lonely soul.

When our time there was over, I fell into a sense of despondency and despair because as much as I loved and missed my family and friends back home, their warmth, acceptance, and sense of belonging seemed to come at a great price.  Our relationships were based on judgment, jealousy, and a sense of jadedness.  Someone’s happiness was another’s woe; someone’s achievement was another’s loss; someone’s sorrow was a chance to gloat and say, “I told you so!”  Good times spent together were peppered with one story after the other of how wronged we had been, how hopeless and feeble-minded other people were, and the personal mission of everyone involved to never let one forget all the things he did wrong while being very much willing to forget everything he did right!  Our get-togethers were fraught with decisions about who to include and who to leave out. Backbiting, mockery and ridicule, and catering to the changing moods and whims of the queen bee overcast a long shadow in what was otherwise a lovely family and friend group.

I became angry and spiteful toward the shortcomings and personal failings of my family and friends.  I despised them for their lack of genuine love, their inability to be supportive and kind, their bad habits and atrocious manners.  My mind was sick at the contrast between what I had experienced with a bunch of strangers and what happened at home with them.  My mind, having no insight into itself, was unable to see how much easier it was to blame them instead of forgive them.  My anger toward them caused my unwillingness to excuse their mistakes, their shortcomings, the hurtful things they did and said. While my heart yearned for God’s gifts of mercy, love, peace, and unity, my anger and judgment led to things being said and done that caused more division, hard feelings, and loneliness. 

We believe that our judgment toward others will save us.  If someone makes us feel bad, gives us the cold shoulder, is jealous of our joys and inflicts intentional harm upon us, it only seems wise to respond in kind.  To forgive them seems impossible (as well as teaching them that it is okay to be unappreciative, unfaithful, and spiteful). By holding on to past slights, lies, and brutishness that only serve to tell the human side of our shared story, we spend years of our lives denying the miracle of love, camaraderie, and good times.  

Let our judgment and its dire results teach us our need for unity, for mercy, for love.  Within our closest and most intimate relationships, in the books we read, the movies we watch, the newsreels we depend upon to keep us informed, the mind of Christ frees us from the madness which allows no insight, which projects all of its own delusions and mistakes unto others. We learn first of our own need for forgiveness, then we learn to forgive and offer healing to others so we can keep it for ourselves.  Instead of judgment against Creation, we extend the miracle for Creation.  We leave judgment to God, for He judges us, one and all, as His beloved Son.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 347. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992) p. 477.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 346 Today The Peace Of God Envelopes Me, And I Forget All Things Except His Love

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 346 Today the peace of God envelops me, and I forget all things except His Love.

  1. Father, I wake today with miracles correcting my perception of all things.  And so begins the day I share with You as I will share eternity for time has stepped aside today.  I do not seek the things of time, and so I will not look upon them.  What I seek today transcends all laws of time and things perceived in time.  I would forget all things except Your Love.  I would abide in You and know no laws except Your law of love.  And I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.
  2. And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God.  For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God’s Love.[1]

In our sixth lesson on understanding, applying, and practicing miracles, we learn that we must forget all things that are not God’s Love.  Miracles remind us of God’s Love.  Remember that God’s Love encompasses Everything that we really want.  We want love, peace, and joy.  We want God’s mercy and tenderness.  We want life and not death.  We want health and not sickness.  We want to feel safe, happy, and secure.  We want fellowship, friends, and family.  When the peace of God envelops, we forget all things that would stand in the way of the Everything that is His Love. 

What are the things of time that we must forget in order to establish the peace of God in our consciousness?  We must forget discord, disease, destruction, and death.  We must forget lies, betrayals, rivalry, and shortages.  We must forget enmity, pain, sin, suffering, shame, and sorrow.  We must get past guilt, finger-pointing, and rumor-mongering.  When we recognize that these pastimes are purposefully devised to divide us and distract us from God’s peace (which is where we remember God’s Love), it becomes our privilege to turn off the news, turn our backs on our social media accounts, and bring our minds and hearts, wholly and solely to our devotional practice. 

When we abide in God and only know His laws, we do not worry and fret over who gets to be president, we do not concern ourselves with the world’s latest calamities, we do not get our panties in a wad over communism, socialism, or Catholicism.  We do not remember God’s Love when we are worked up into a frenzy.  Miracles that reflect God’s Love occur in peace and calm and certainty.  Our forgetting the toys of time does not mean that we do not care about the world; it simply means that we know that our happiness and hope come only from God in Whom we trust. We know that as we count it all joy, as we put our trust only in Him and His great love for us, that the miracles that save the world come about.

Today commit yourself to letting the peace of God envelop you.  Remember only His Love.  His Love encompasses everything that makes you truly happy for this is His Will for you.  Let the things that time offers to pass your time and keep you in a frenzy go.  Let your worries and concerns, your blame and shame be a thing of the past as you accept the peace of God and bask in His Love.  No matter what situation you may find yourself in, God’s peace is for all and in all.  Go for God’s peace.  Reach for God’s peace.  Take a stand for God’s peace. This is the realm of miracles. This is where you will find healing for yourself and for the world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students Lesson 346. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 476.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

comment 0

Lesson 345 I Offer Only Miracles Today, For I Would Have Them Be Returned To Me

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 345 I offer only miracles today, for I would have them be returned to me.

  1. Father, a miracle reflects your gifts to me, Your Son. And every miracle I give returns to me, reminding me the law of love is universal. Even here it takes a form which can be recognized and seen to work.  The miracles I give are given back in just the form I need to help me with the problems I perceive. Father, in heaven it is different, for there, there are no needs. But here on earth the miracle is closer to Your gifts than any other gift that I can give. Then let me give this gift alone today which, born of true forgiveness, lights the way that I must travel to remember you.
  2. Peace to all seeking hearts today. The light has come to offer miracles to bless the tired world. It will find rest today, for we will offer what we have received.[1]

In today’s lesson idea, Jesus demonstrates how practicing miracle-giving works.  God’s gifts to us, His love, mercy, joy, and peace are given to us freely as we reflect His love, mercy, joy, and peace to the world.   We give the gifts bestowed upon us to all whom we encounter, who comes to mind, whom we read about in history.  The law of love is universal; the law of love is not limited by time, space, or separateness.  Only when we give the gifts of God to others without favor, without deference, without judgment, can we keep God’s gifts for ourselves. 

We know that the law of giving and getting are different in God’s Kingdom than it is here.  In God’s Kingdom, I only keep what I share.  In our fifth lesson about miracle working, we come to understand that the law of love works even in the material realm.  When I give mercy, peace, and love – mercy, peace, and love are returned to me when and in the manner in which I need. 

We do not need miracles in Heaven, but we certainly need them in our present state.  We offer miracles to our brothers and we need them for ourselves because without miracles, which are born of forgiveness, we are living in a realm that makes no sense, that has no ongoing certainty, where our perception of love is so skewed that we believe it can change, be lost, be taken away.  Here in the world that opposes Christ, we lose our minds to that which sickens us, we embrace that which fills us with despair, we seek to be entertained by that which eats us alive!  The constant newsfeeds of the world weary us; we all long for a better way. 

No mistake our need for miracles.  No mistake our need for joy to the world, for Christ to be reborn into our hearts and minds.  We cannot hope to receive that which we refuse to give to others.  There is no getting away with thinking we are worthy of salvation but so-and-so from a different congregation or a different religion is not.  It is not our job to separate Creation into the good and the bad, the deserving and undeserving, the worthy and the worthless.  This is not our holy function.  As God’s Son, we are here to heal, to restore, to bring wholeness.  We are here to reflect unto others what God has bestowed upon us.  We are to devote ourselves to the only worthy cause there is. 

We are not here to make the separated world a better place. We are here to restore wholeness, to bring unity, to return that which was held hostage by a rogue idea – Home. 

In our daily application we can practice this concept by offering appreciation, graciousness, and goodwill to those whom our ego would have us dislike, disregard, and withhold our forgiveness.  Our Course teaches that when we withhold even a little bit of forgiveness from another, when we open the door of our hearts only a crack, instead of flinging it wide open, we are not practicing miracles. 

Today right before my devotional, Holy Spirit told me to be very keen about paying attention to what ego would have me do if I should encounter a former frenemy who has recently been promoted.  The term “petty tyrant” comes to mind.  I imagined the kissing up that is going to go on, all the fawning and fuss, the insincerity, the false flattery.    

“If I would run into him today, I would not offer him a congratulatory word – I would pretend that I did not even know about it.  I would make him tell me (and he would be sure to let me know) and then I would just pretend that it was no big deal,” I admitted to Holy Spirit.  That is what my ego’s strategy would have me do – withhold the miracle, and offer a begrudging attitude, a snarky way of saying without words, “I am not the least bit happy for you.”

Jesus is not asking us to be hypocrites.  However, He is asking us to turn our backs on all that would keep us in a state of unforgiveness toward our brothers.  He is asking us to identify with Him – to see others through His eyes of love and not our flesh eyes.  We are to stand with Christ, not against Him.  When I encounter one of my least favorite people, I do not have to pretend to any great affection or goodwill, for when I see them through the eyes of Christ they become my brother, I look upon them as I would look upon myself.  I can genuinely offer them a miracle.  Happily, without the least bit of reserve or pretense I extend God’s Gifts that were given me – His love, mercy, joy, and peace.  To give God’s Gifts to my brother, is to give a miracle and what I give, I get. 

Today in your devotional practice, ask God to show you practical application for today’s lesson.  Meditate upon the way in which not practicing miracles has wearied and plagued the world.  Ask God for the Vision of Christ.  See the world restored to the glory of Creation – pure, holy, whole, and healed.  Commit yourself to the practice of reflecting the gifts of God to your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  Each time we offer mercy, joy, peace, and love, we gain ground on our path to God.  We move toward our rightful place in His Kingdom.  Only the miracles we give, return to us – always at the right time, the right place, and in the right way.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students.  Lesson 345.  Circle of Atonement, Complete and Annotated Edition (2017). p. 1539.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 344 Today I Learn The Law Of Love, That What I Give My Brother Is My Gift To Me

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 344 Today I learn the law of love: that what I give my brother is my gift to me.

  1. This is Your law, my Father, not my own. I did not understand what giving means and thought to save what I desired for myself alone. And as I looked upon the treasure that I thought I had, I found an empty place where nothing ever was or is or will be. Who can share a dream? And what can an illusion offer me? Yet he whom I forgive will give me gifts beyond the worth of anything on earth. Let my forgiven brothers fill my store with Heaven’s treasures, which alone are real. Thus is the law of love fulfilled. And thus Your Son arises and returns to You.
  2. How near we are to one another as we go to God. How near is He to us. How close the ending of the dream of sin, and the redemption of the Son of God.[1]

The fourth concept we must learn to understand miracles and to become miracle workers is the law of love – only that which we give to others can we keep for ourselves.  This is a law of God.  It is not the law of this world.  In this world we learn quite the opposite.  What we give to others, we lose.  When I give you fifty bucks, you are fifty bucks richer while I am fifty bucks poorer.  In this world if I want to get rich, I must save my money and not give it away.  This concept applies to all things physical.  We can hoard our wealth and grow richer in material things, but Jesus reminds us that it will never give us anything but emptiness because material wealth is not what it pretends to be – it is a big nothing, and it can never be anything but a big nothing. 

When we try to share our physical wealth, it seems as if we are being generous.  We can get plaques on the wall to confirm that we are one of the charitable people of the world because we gave money for the children’s hospital, or we are big contributors to the United Way, or we have set up a foundation to help little boys born to single mothers.  We seem to be helping one another along – we get involved in our communities and pour money into rehabilitation efforts, into legislature, into banging on our tambourines to bring attention to our causes, but Jesus tells us that it is all an illusion.  While our offerings, efforts, and sacrifices may seem to make our world a slightly better version than what it is, our contributions will not change the fate of all humanity or bring us through Heaven’s gate. 

And yet offering forgiveness to all we meet enriches us beyond the worth of any fortune, achievement, status, or fame that the world offers.  When we forgive our fellow humans, when we refuse to get caught up in the conflicts, dramas, and condemnations that the ego offers to those who disappoint, offend, abuse, and cause trouble, our coffers in Heaven are filled with everlasting treasure.  The law of love is fulfilled through the forgiveness we freely offer to all regardless of how ignorant, stupid, or downright cruel they seem to be.  This is how the Second Coming of Christ takes place in our hearts and minds and transforms our humanity into our God-given divinity. 

When we pledge ourselves to forgiveness, the separation between us grows smaller, the outlines that distinguish us fade away, we see each other as we see ourselves.  I recognize you and you recognize me as the light of Christ instead of a foe, a false friend, a fallen comrade.  As we see past that which separates us and causes enmity between us, we draw close to God and God becomes made known to us.  There is no other way for we cannot go to Him alone, we cannot forgive one and not all, for the law of love is inclusive and not exclusive. 

During our devotional practice, as we clear the altars of our mind, let them be filled with the light of God.  Ask the Lord to illuminate the law of love in your mind and quicken your understanding.  Welcome all of your brothers into the field of miracles, into the realm of forgiveness – the ones who snubbed you and made fun of and left you out when you wanted in, the ones who bullied you, the ones who raped you, abused you, held you back when you were meant to spring forward.  Forgive the characters from the past who told you lies, who made fun of your learning disabilities, who falsely prophesied, who led you astray, who wasted your time.  Forgive the brother who stole the inheritance, who took more than his fair share, who gorged on steak and lobster while you barely had enough to eat.  As each one comes to mind, bless them with your forgiveness.  Accept with open mind and yielded heart God’s grace that was extended to you only to share with them.  No matter how your ego shrieks in protest, lay it down for it is not your friend, its unforgiveness will not protect you or enrich you, but will destroy you and eat you alive. 

The field of miracles resides in our forgiveness.  Jesus stresses this concept so much throughout our Course that we may grow a bit weary of the repeated lessons.  Forgiveness, again?  Are we ever going to get past forgiveness?  The answer is yes, we do go beyond forgiveness, but we cannot go beyond forgiveness until it is accomplished in our hearts and minds.  Each day brings us opportunities to forgive and until we have the practice mastered in our hearts and minds, until it becomes our natural response to all situations that call for it, we cannot hope to see Heaven.  Without forgiveness, we will not see God.  Without forgiveness we are not only useless to Christ and the Second Coming, we are anti-Christ, siding with the accuser, the punisher, the unloving one who cherishes the hellish realm of sacrifice, sin, shame, and separateness.  We remain the shattered, splintered offspring of the big bang.

We are called to be miracles workers.  To perform miracles of healing, restoration, and redemption we must learn, practice, and know God’s Law of Love.  To receive forgiveness we give forgiveness; to keep forgiveness we keep forgiving.  We do this until it is the only thing we do.  For this is our function until the end of time and the redemption of the Sonship of God. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 344. Circle of Atonement, Complete and Annotated Edition (2017). p. 1538.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 343 I Am Not Asked To Make A Sacrifice To Find The Mercy And The Peace Of God.

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 343 I am not asked to make a sacrifice to find the mercy and the peace of God.

  1. The end of suffering cannot be loss. The gift of everything can but be gain. You only give. You never take away. And You created me to be like You, so sacrifice becomes impossible for me as well as You. I too must give, and so all things are given unto me forever and forever. As I was created I remain. Your Son can make no sacrifice, for he must be complete. Having the function of completing You, I am complete because I am Your Son. I cannot lose, for I can only give, and everything is mine eternally.
  2. The mercy and the peace of God are free. Salvation has no cost. It is a gift that must be freely given and received. And it is this that we would learn today.[1]

A miracle is a correction.  A miracle corrects our thinking.  We have been taught that God requires a sacrifice.  There are long lists of everything we should “give up” to have God in our life.  We should give up our favorite substances, the ones that make us feel better about our state in the world – whether it be food, drink, drugs, or other pleasures.  We should give up meat on Fridays and candy during Lent.  We should give up our tithes and offerings in the collection plates.  We should give up our time and money to feed and clothe the poor.  The world will give us a long list of desirable things in which we must give up to follow God.  Our picture of God has been one in which God wants to take away our humanity and give us the opportunity to spend eternity worshipping and praising Him, ongoing underlings sacrificing their being in order to inflate His sense of worth and majesty. 

To become a miracle worker, we must correct this perception of God in our minds.  God wants nothing from us that costs us anything.  God only wants us back from the state of mind that strips us of all that has worth.  For the first few days of this week, I have been struggling with a sense of grief, loss, and low vitality.  It seemed like I was fighting gravity each time I moved.  So that yesterday, when I woke up refreshed, motivated, and on top of things, it was hardly a case of giving up something wonderful to feel back to my usual bouncy self.  God did not take anything away from me.  I was restored to health and well-being because I “gave up” the binge-watching, the sorrow, the guilt, the shame that brought lethargy, fatigue, and oppression.  While it felt like a miracle to be restored, it was simply a matter of correcting the mistakes that I was committing in efforts to make myself feel better. 

As long as we mistakenly believe that God requires a sacrifice, we do not know Him.  We are serving a perverted concept of God.  God only gives.  God never takes away.  Jesus makes that very clear in this lesson today.  If I mistakenly believe that God took my daughter away from me because I was unworthy, I do not know God.  God gave her to me, and God never takes His gifts away.  Her body may no longer be here with me, but this has no bearing on her life.  Just because I cannot see her with the flesh eyes, her eternal spirit is one with me in Christ.  The loss of her body may seem a sacrifice, but her everlasting life in the spirit is truly all that matters.

The mercy and peace of God are free.  Jesus teaches us in our Course that we do not have to “clean up our act” in order to come to God.  That is not our job.  Our only function is to accept salvation as our gift from Him and to give salvation as freely as we received.  This means that as nice as it is to receive an apology for wrongdoing or hurtful things, it is never something we demand or require in order to forgive others.  We do not waste our time trying to dig through the past and tag the separate incidents of unfaithfulness or betrayals or disrespect upon which to pin the blame for unforgiveness.  Just as we are freely forgiven, we freely forgive all who have harmed us – as they come to mind.  We withhold forgiveness from nobody.  We cannot move forward on our path to God without extending the mercy and peace that God has given us to all of Creation.

Today in your personal devotional, ask God to reveal how forgiveness is not a sacrifice!  Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any hidden unforgiveness, any specialness surrounding a grudge, resentment, or ill will that you cherish toward another.  Ask God to fill your mind and heart and soul with forgiveness – no matter how your ego whispers how precious and worthy this particular bit of unforgiveness is to your worth as a human being.  No matter how justified our grudges feel to us, they are a lie. 

We find truth behind every lie because the aim of the lie is to obscure truth.  Behind the lie of our hatred, our scorn, our seemingly righteous indignation, we find the truth about ourselves.  We find the means to our salvation.  Our enemies, our friends, our family members are our mirrors.  Their words, their deeds, their behaviors inform us of what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong.  Wisely, we look into our mirrors and forgive and correct the mistakes we see there; unwisely we hold our mirrors accountable for the reflections that inform us of what we are hiding from ourselves, the things we do not want to “sacrifice” to God.   These are the things that blind us to His mercy and His peace.  When we value the valueless, miracles cannot be shared nor can they be kept. 

To accept miracles for ourselves and to share them with others, we must learn this concept, practice this concept, and teach it in our words, thoughts, and deeds.  Giving up darkness for light is no sacrifice.  Giving up the temporal for that which is eternal is no sacrifice at all.  Forgiving ourselves and others for our mutual blindness, ignorance, and self-centered arrogance is no sacrifice.  The sacrifice to find the mercy and peace of God is actually no sacrifice at all.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 343. Circle of Atonement, Complete and Annotated Edition, (2017). p. 1557.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 342 I Let Forgiveness Rest Upon All Things, For Thus Forgiveness Will Be Given Me

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 342 I let forgiveness rest upon all things, for thus forgiveness will be given me.

  1. I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save me from the hell I made. It is not real. And you have given me the means to prove its unreality to me. The key is in my hand, and I have reached the door beyond which lies the end of dreams. I stand before the gate of heaven, wondering if I should enter in and be at home. Let me not wait again today. Let me forgive all things and let creation be as you would have it be, and as it is. Let me remember that I am Your son, and opening the door at last, forget illusions in the blazing light of truth, as memory of You returns to me.
  2. Brother forgive me now. I come to you to take you home with me. And as we go the world goes with us on the way to God.[1]

Keep in mind that our lessons train us in a course in miracles.  Today Jesus leads us in a prayer that takes us to the gate of heaven.  Imagine this scenario if you will.  There you are standing at Heaven’s gate.  Beyond is the land of perfect peace.  Past this gate everything is as it was created – whole, pure, secure, loving, joyful, calm.  You hear laughter, you hear singing, you hear happy sounds of contentment, pleasantness, and tranquility.  Nature is no longer cruel, heartless, and dangerous, but gentle, kind, and safe.  Man and beast are on friendly terms.  There are no conspiracy theories.  There are no face masks.  There is no social distancing.  Trump and Biden are playing a pleasant game of bridge with their wives and a few other friends with friendly banter.  Nobody is carrying signs or screaming about social issues.  There are no hospitals or graveyards or houses of ill repute.  Something inside of you is saying, “Yes, yes, yes.  This is my home.  I know it is, I’m sure it is, I belong here.”  The key is in your hand.  You have the ticket to Forever and Ever.  And yet you hesitate.  You look through the keyhole and behold all the beauty, the love, the joy, the peace.  You see your loved ones beckoning.  But then you grow very still, and you have another think. 

For what do your wondering eyes behold but Hitler passing by deep in conversation with a rabbi; Jeffrey Dahmer eating an apple instead of a liver, heart, or kidney from one of his hapless victims, and oh, no there is that overgrown anti-Christ that made fun of your second hand clothes in seventh grade.  There is the guy that knocked you up and denied paternity.  There are the people who came to your house, ate your food, sprawled on your couch, and thought it was your privilege.  You thought they would be stationed in a different part of heaven, somewhere remedial, somewhere for the slow learners, the warped, the insane, but nope, there they are strolling upon the streets of gold with the virtuous, the sainted, the nice people of the world. 

And suddenly the idea of heaven does not appeal to you that much.  Sure its nice to be forgiven for all your little sins, but these people were far worse.  They took evil, bad manners, and moocherism to a whole new level.  How could you possibly be expected to spend your forever with them.  You cannot and will not be one with them.  Your piece does not belong interlocking with their piece.  Let there be no mistake – you love God, you love Jesus, but you cannot endure the whore who wrecked your home, the shyster who scammed your grandparents, the neighbor who helped himself to your pile of gravel.   

We know the mechanism that opens the gate; we have the password!  Forgive all things and we escape the hell we made in place of Creation.  We escape karma, generational curses, the sense of sin, shame, and the deadly, unloving, fright that is the basis of all we see and experience by simply recognizing it and forgiving it all.  We enter into the wonder, the glory, the majesty of His Kingdom.  We remember who we really are, and everybody remembers who they are.  All that happened in time is not only forgiven but forgotten in the blazing light as the memory of God returns to our awareness.

And yet we hesitate.  We put it off for another day.  We cherish our grudges, we build cases against instead of for, we hide our sins behind the failures, mistakes, and shortcomings of others.  We blame, we point fingers, we make this world real and the real world a fantasy, a dream, an emotional crutch for goody-goodies and people too sensitive, too tender, too weak for this world.  Instead of becoming one with Christ and saving the world, we align ourselves with anti-Christ and sink our consciousnesses in casting lots with those who believe it is God’s Will to judge, to condemn, to choose sides, to cherish opposition and opposites, battle, bloodshed, and death.

Today Jesus encourages us to let the hellish world go.  Forgive it and watch it fade away.  Refuse to engage in its debates, alliances, denominations, politics, oppositions, and seeming opposites.  See it for what it is and let forgiveness rest upon all things.  Salvation comes.  Sanity is restored.  Heaven is no longer obscured to us.  We are free.   


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students.  Lesson 342. Circle of Atonement, Complete and Annotated Edition (2017). p. 1536.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 341 I Can Attack But My Own Sinlessness, And It Is Only That Which Keeps Me Safe

II.  SECTION 13. What is a Miracle?

Lesson 341 I can attack but my own sinlessness, and it is only that which keeps me safe.

  1. Father, Your Son is holy.  I am he on whom You smile in love and tenderness so dear and deep and still the universe smiles back on You and shares Your Holiness.  How pure, how safe, how holy, then, are we, abiding in Your Smile, with all Your Love bestowed upon us, living one with You, in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete; in sinlessness so perfect that the Lord of Sinlessness conceives us as His Son, a universe of Thought completing Him.
  2. Let us not, then, attack our sinlessness, for it contains the Word of God to us.  And in its kind refection we are saved.[1]

A miracle is a correction.  A miracle reminds us of who we really are and what we are about.  A miracle redeems us from humanity and restores our divinity.  Today Jesus leads us in a prayer of holiness.  Our prayer reminds us of our Father’s love and tenderness toward us, the words tell us of how deeply the universe holds us in esteem.  Today’s prayer is our correction, it is where the miracle happens – the miracle brings us out of our ego life in the body, restores our sense of oneness and wholeness with God, and keeps us from being tempted to think of ourselves as sinful and shameful and deserving of anything but God’s Love. 

When Jesus tells us not to attack our sinlessness, He is telling us to not accept the ego’s version of ourselves.  Today I fell into a sense of despair and sorrow.  It was my daughter Manda’s 39th birthday.  She died over 20 years ago, and while I have tried my best to stay thankful and to keep the right attitude toward her passing, today I fell into a pit of anguish, grief, and guilt.  I say guilt because as Manda’s mother I was here to watch out for her and to protect her.  She was not supposed to die before me.  Before Manda died, I sent her to her father’s to live because we were not getting along – and now that thought tormented me.  All the bad things that I ever did came back to my mind and plagued me.  There was a cold little voice in my head that told me that I did not deserve to have a lovely daughter like Manda, that it was my fault that she was snatched away from me because I was immoral, self-centered, and reckless.  Instead of taking the voice to God and laying it down at His altar, I listened to it.  I began to believe it.  I made myself sick with it.

Manda and Aunt Beckie’s crazy cat

It was only when I reached out to my holy friend, that I received the miracle.  She reminded me not only of God’s love and tenderness toward me, but Manda’s love and forgiveness.  She rescued me from attacking my sinlessness.  She reminded me that it is not in condemnation that we are saved, but in our sinlessness, in accepting our innocence. 

As parents, we will fail our children in so many ways.  No matter how hard we try, there are things that happen in this world that are beyond our control.  My mother worked overtime to keep me from harm’s way. Overbearing and overprotective, the buzzword helicopter parent comes to mind.  While her intentions seemed good, the resulting angst, depression, and poor decision making that resulted from not engaging in normal childhood activities, was something I vowed to never put my own kids through. And yet, I failed them by being too permissive, too free-thinking, too quick to say yes, too reluctant to say no, to set limits, to use safeguards, to be a good example.    

No matter our mistakes with our children, with each other, or with ourselves, we are to accept our holiness and not attack it by accepting the ego’s version of our identity.  Mistakes are correctable.  Nothing that happens in time, happens in forever.  One by one the bodies of our loved ones will all perish, some before us and some after us.  And yet the Lord promises us immortality because of our innate holiness, the Word of God which made us and in which we still abide. 

Holiness reflects upon us kindly.  Holiness extends the miracle of forgiveness, of remedy, of healing.  When I called upon my faithful friend she did not remind me of all my wrongdoing; she did not blame me for not being a positive role model; she did not agree with the ego’s assessment of who and what I am.  She corrected the false perception.  She gave me a miracle and set my mind right. 

Today be kind to yourself.  Forgive yourself for all the ones you seem to have failed.  Accept the miracle of correction.  Come to know yourself as God created you – holy, without blemish, spotless, and pure.  As we see ourselves as holy, we can be kind toward our younger, foolish, arrogant selves.  We can forgive our stupidity, our carelessness, our strut and swagger.  We can forgive ourselves for those we did not protect, for those we lost through death and mean words and cruel deeds.  We cannot offer miracles until we accept them for ourselves, for giving and receiving are simultaneous and one.  They restore unity.  They restore our true identity.  They correct false perceptions and make whole again.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 341. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p. 473.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com