Lesson 225 God Is My Father, And His Son Loves Him

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 225 God is My Father, and His Son Loves Him.

  1. Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me.  I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind and keeping it within its kindly light, inviolate, beloved, with fear behind and only peace ahead.  How still the way Your loving Son is led along to You!
  2. Brother, we find that stillness now.  The way is open.  Now we follow it in peace together.  You have reached your hand to me, and I will never leave you.  We are one, and it is but this oneness that we seek, as we accomplish these few final steps which end a journey that was not begun. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  We love God because He first loved us.  We were made in love and by love and for love.  Is it any wonder that we suffer so much in a world that talks about love, sings about love, makes so much of love, and yet has no idea what it really is? 

Jesus teaches us that giving and receiving are the same.  It does not seem that way in our world.  If we text someone and they do not respond to our text, we feel as if we gave something and did not receive anything back.  It feels like a threat or at the very least a sadness, a disappointment.  No response is a clear message that says – I do not care about you enough to respond to your effort at communication.  If it happens only once, if it happens only once in a great while, we are willing to overlook it – technology fails us, people get busy and forget, perhaps our message got erased or lost in the flush of others.  Otherwise this seemingly slight discourtesy can cause trouble in even solid relationships. 

In God’s Kingdom the only way to receive what is already yours is to give.  In God’s Kingdom it is impossible to receive without first giving; it is impossible to give without first receiving.  It is natural, it is simultaneous, spontaneous, and certain.  When God gives us His Love, He knows that we can do nothing but give it back – it is a continual virtuous cycle of giving to receive, receiving to give.  As long as we live in a realm of separation, our minds are uneasy waiting to receive before we can give, waiting to see who we can trust to play fair, to repay what they receive. Here in time the love of God is experienced as alien to our natures and our wills can resist loving Him in return.  When we begin to lay down our defenses, we see how worthless our efforts to seek anything but God, because we recognize the value of His great love and devotion to us.  We recognize who we really are in relation to Him and to each other.  We can do nothing but love Him. 

How do we love God?  We love Him by seeking Him.  We love Him by stilling our minds and hearts and asking Him to talk to us, to lead us back to Him, to return our minds and hearts to His Kingdom where we are one now and forever with Him as His Son.  Jesus assures us in this lesson that the way to God is open and that we follow the way hand-in-hand with Him.  We are delivered from the enchantment of separation, illusion, and despair.  Today let His peace quiet your mind and calm your spirit.  Today we walk with Jesus on the path to our reality in God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 225. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 224 God Is Father, And He Loves His Son

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 224 God is Father, and He loves His Son.

  1. My true identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light.  It lights the world as well.  It is the gift my Father gave to me; the one as well I give the world.  There is no gift but This that can be either given or received.  This is reality, and only This.  This is illusion’s end.  It is the truth.
  2. My Name, O Father, still is known to You.  I have forgotten it, and do not know where I am going, who I am, or what it is I do.  Remind me, Father, now, for I am weary of the world I see.  Reveal what You would have me see instead.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today is the anniversary of my earthly father’s death.  Although it has been 61 years ago, and I was a girl of ten at the time – I will never forget my dad.  He was everything a little girl dreams of in a dad – kind, smart, funny, and fun-loving – I never heard him say a curse word, grumble about how hard he had to work, or show my mother anything but love, adoration, and appreciation.  He was the kind of man who cried when his Brittany Spaniel died.  He loved the ocean.  He liked Sunday drives and taking his family out for dinner after church.  He read the funnies to me at night while mom prepared supper.  He taught me good manners and insisted that I use them.  He loved a good story and always had a stack of books next to his bed and favorite chair. 

My earthly father gave me his DNA, he gave me his name, he gave me sustenance, love, and provided as safe and happy home for me as he was able.  Because of this, it is not difficult for me to accept our heavenly Father’s love.  For others who have suffered abuse, inappropriate sexual touches and incest, witnessed or been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of their earthly fathers, it can be a real challenge to accept God’s Love.  The other night at our meeting, Linda shared the story of how she has finally be able to know the love of God in spite of what she suffered growing up at the hands of her own father.

The fact that she shared her story set my own heart free at last.  For I had kept her secrets for her when we were little kids.  I held them in my heart and never told anyone, never went for help for her, had no way to know how to make what she was going through stop.  She came over to stay at our house when things got too rough – thankfully, my parents were the kind of people who loved having kids around, who did not mind an extra mouth to feed, who always made room for one more. 

I had known the role that Linda played in my life as a child but I had always felt as if I had failed her – there is a sense of guilt and shame that comes with helplessness, with keeping secrets, with knowing that something wrong is taking place and not knowing how to make it stop.  Harking back to last year’s post, in Chapter One, Jesus tells Helen that a miracle is the maximal service one can render to another. It is a way of loving another as yourself.  It is recognizing your own and another’s worth simultaneously.  I knew that Linda had done that for me throughout our troubled childhoods, but I had always believed that I had failed her.  And yet tonight when she shared her story and it opened up the hearts and minds of others in the room, we both recognized that I had understood her worth and that I did what I was supposed to do at the time.  I held her hand.  I loved her.  I gave her a safe place.  I was a little girl and I was giving her my best. 

No matter if we have been blessed with a loving father or a wounded father here on earth, we will experience the unreality of the world and the inability of our fathers to protect us from a world that is designed to teach us cruelty, subterfuge, and death.  We will come to realize that there has to be a better way and we will seek for it – first in the better ways that the world offers and then, weary of the inconstancy and false promises of the world, we will seek for the better way and return to our Heavenly Father to find our truth in Him.   

God is our Father and He loves us as His Son.  Be blessed by this thought and turn to it often today, cleansing your mind of all that would try to define you by your body, by your mistakes, by your gender, family, country, culture, class.  God is our Father and He loves us as His Son. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 224. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 223 God Is My Life. I Have No Life But His.

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 223 God is my life.  I have no life but His.

  1. I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body.  Now I know my life is God’s.  I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him.  He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him.
  2. Our Father let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes.  For we who are Your holy Son are sinless.  We would look upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims that we are not Your Son.  And we would not forget You longer.  We are lonely here, and long for Heaven, where we are at home.  Today we would return.  Our Names is Yours, and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.[1]

Notes and Personal Application: Today while I was filling my gas tank with fuel a beautiful little boy peeked around the other side of the gas pump, looked up into my eyes and smiled. I smiled back, and we did not stop.  Even after his father took him by the hand and led him into the convenience store, he twisted his head around and kept smiling at me.  It was a very precious encounter, innocent and pure, expressing friendly curiosity and warmth between a gray-haired grandmother and a little brown-eyed boy with a cute afro.  Yet I was well aware that we live in a world where suspicions and fears could have given his father a sense of alarm.  This is what we call life here in this realm – a place where little children must be warned against smiling at strangers, even harmless looking matronly types like me! 

But this is not our life, and this is not our home.  We live with God.  We do not live apart from Him in a world of misgivings, unfulfilled yearnings, and fear.  We live where we can smile openly and for as long as we want at all living things without worries and concerns.  Our minds are free of thoughts of sin.  We are innocent, tender, and pure without intentions of harm or worries of ill will.  Here the face of Christ takes the place of the mistakes we made toward each other.  Here we are one with Christ, and we stand with Him as God’s Son, whole and holy. 

Here on earth we long for our heavenly home where we belong.  There we are not separated from one another and uncertain of one another’s motives and secret intentions.  In God we hold no grudges or selfish conceits.  In God we have Everything – leaving our human form behind to embrace our beautiful Oneness in Christ, we have no concerns about poverty and disadvantage, race and culture, lust and perversion, limited resources and the struggle to survive.  Today in the quiet and still time we give to God, we return to this place.  We remind ourselves; we are not a body, we are free.  We are still as God created us.  God is our life.  We have no life but His. 

It is in this thought we linger – taking as much time as it takes to let this prayer, this meditation, this lesson take root in our minds and release us from our bondage to the ego and the external world.  When we begin to experience our life in God, our hearts are filled with joy and happiness.  We can smile upon all of Creation as all of Creation smiles upon us.

Let us keep our minds and hearts a place of warm welcome to today’s idea.  We do not have to earn God’s Love.  We are not unworthy of God’s love because of our sins, our laziness, our lack of commitment or drive.  We are made holy and whole simply by seeking Him, inviting Him to take our darkness and fill us with His Light. There is nothing we can do or fail to do that would earn God’s Love for us.  Our will and God’s Will have become one.  We are no longer lonely or full of despair.  He is our life!  We have no life but His. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 223. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p.403.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 222 God Is With Me. I Love And Move In Him.

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 222 God is with me.  I live and move in Him.

  1. God is with me.  He is my Source of life, the life within, the air I breathe, the food by which I am sustained, the water which renews and cleanses me.  He is my home, wherein I live and move; the Spirit Which directs my actions, offers me Its Thoughts, and guarantees my safety from all pain.  He covers me with kindness and care, and holds in love the Son He shines upon, who also shines on Him.  How still is he who knows the truth of what He speaks today!
  2. Father, we have no words except Your Name upon our lips and in our minds, as we come quietly into Your Presence now, and ask to rest with You in peace a while.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: When we begin to perceive our world through the eyes of Christ, we realize that God is with us, that we live and enjoy our being in Him.  No longer are we concerned about the things that the world is concerned about – our water, our air, our food, our home, our thoughts and attitudes – everything that we thought was separate from God, has now become one with Him. 

Now that we are in Part II of our Course lessons for this year, we come in quietness and stillness to our lessons.  We clear the inner altar of our minds of all that would distract us, and we invite our Father to visit with us.  We call to Him.  We read our lesson in this quietness.  We linger over the words and let the meaning of the sentences sit upon the still water of our mind.  We sit in the stillness without words and immerse ourselves in the presence of God, knowing that He is Everything.

Do not forget that our theme in section one of Part II of our lessons is “What is forgiveness?”  Forgiveness is simply sitting still and quietly doing nothing.  We do not seek out the guilty culprit.  We do not seek to punish or to take vengeance.  We let our human desire to give someone a good taste of their own medicine sit there in the quietness and stillness of God with us and melt away in the peace that comes with forgiveness.  It is a lovely and loving experience.  We remove ourselves from that which would hurt us, get us all worked up, turn us inside out with pain and remorse and wrench our guts with sorrow.  We let it go.  We look at it.  We wait upon the Lord.  We let heal that which never occurred in God’s Kingdom and only seemed to occur here in the serfdom of separation. 

When we know God; when we take the time to get to know God within us; when we live and move in Him, we are guaranteed all safety from pain. We are assured of everlasting kindness and care.  The Light of His Love shines upon us forever. 

Ask the Lord to open your mind to this teaching today.  Bring all your worries, cares, fears, and concerns to Him and ask Him to shine His truth upon them.  Sit still in His Presence and let His peace come to commune with you in the secret garden of your mind.  Ask Him to fill your mind with His fruits, give no thought, time, or energy to the weeds that would come in to crowd out His tender love, joy, and peace.  We can think of our devotional practice as entering that secret garden.  In that secret place where we abide with Him no evil can befall us, no plague can touch us, all weapons formed against us will simply melt away. 

In Part II’s introduction, Jesus tells us that we had a wish to go a separate way from God.  We made a God who was angry, vengeful, full of wrath and jealousy.  We made God out to be a deity who loved the smell of roasting flesh and desired sacrifices of blood.  We believed that our precious Father would burn us forever with the flames of hell for our sins, humiliate us, and felt loved only when we suffered.  We said that He played favorites, that He set creation against itself, that He would move heaven and earth to take his revenge upon us.  Then we taught ourselves and others that these insane ideas we held about Him were the truth. 

But now we know better because the memory of His Love shines upon our minds.  He has never forgotten us.  He has not forsaken us.  He abides in us.  He gives us life and love and laughter. 

Today let everything that disheartens us fall away as we remember God is with us.  We live and move in Him, in this world and in His.     


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 222.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 402.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 221 Peace To My Mind. Let All My Thoughts Be Still.

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Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?

Lesson 221

Peace to my mind.  Let all my thoughts be still.

  1. Father, I come to you today to seek the peace that You alone can give.  I come in silence.  In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice.  My Father speak to me today.  I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.
  2. Now do we wait in quiet.  God is here because we wait together.  I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear.  Accept my confidence, for it is yours.  Our minds are joined.  We wait with one intent, to hear our Father’s answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.[1]
Photo credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Notes and Personal Application:  In yesterday’s devotional discussion, James and I talked about how challenging it is to accept that we are not bodies in a world in which just about everything we do is for our body and the bodies of others.  We also discussed how the Course has given us both much inner peace and a sense of certainty of God’s love and devotion toward us, how we have come to understand the role of Jesus in salvation as a role model for forgiveness, as a brother who never forgot His Sonship with God and came to earth to experience humanity to reclaim us who have split from the Kingdom in a simulated reality caught in time. 

Still, there are days that we both have a keen concern that while we practice in faith, faith does not necessarily make it true.  And no matter how much we think something is true, it does not make it true in the sense of making us or anybody else an authority on God, on Jesus, or Holy Spirit.  We know only that the Course rings true in our hearts and minds when we put it into a daily practice and that on a high spiritual plane, it makes sense.  For the first time in our lives, we found a practice that we can do every day no matter how much it challenges us, no matter how much we may resist it, that when we do it, it begins to make perfect sense and gives us a kinder, calmer, and more forgiving approach toward God and all of Creation. 

While practicing the Course and doing a lesson each day has changed our minds and attitudes in a positive way, it really has not changed the outward appearance or behaviors in ourselves and it has not necessarily solved our problems.  While it is love and peace and joy in the relationships we keep in our lives, we have had to let a lot of other relationships go.  The only thing that has changed is that we have practiced forgiveness with ourselves and with others.  We are both loners and get deeply and perhaps even obsessively involved in our projects, and that has not changed.  While my addiction to darkness is not the driving force in my life that it once was, I still am drawn at times to the meaningless tales of death, vengeance, and injustice that fill our Netflix and Prime Video offerings.  And there are days I get a little bored and find our daily devotional irksome and farfetched. 

Here then is what keeps drawing me back to the Course.  This is what keeps me loving Jesus and opening my mind to the Reality of God.  God gives me peace that goes past my body, my understanding, and all my experiences.  When I quiet my mind and sit still before Him, when I ask Him for peace, I am given peace and it does not go away – ever.  

If you were a constant onlooker in my life, it may appear to you that the peace of God leaves me.  I get up awful cranky in the morning at times.  The other day I growled at Zachary and told him not to even say my name or look in my direction until I had my first cup of coffee.  I scowled at James and curled up in a ball on the corner of the sofa and it was not until the caffeine hit my system that I could look at either one of them with affection or appreciation.  There are times I will think of someone from my past and remember how much I simply do not like them.  It does not mean I have not forgiven them, mind you.  It just means that I do not like the role they played as a human.  I do not like the way they borrowed money off of me and never paid me back.  I do not appreciate the lies they told me.  I do not enjoy the fact that they took credit for my work.  It was not nice.  It did not seem to serve me well at the time, but oh the lessons I learned from what they did.  There is nothing like experiential learning, and I remember to thank God for what they taught, to bless them for being my teacher, to absolve them in my mind from all that would otherwise protect projection and crush reality in my mind.   

No matter how much I struggle with my humanity there is that Self within that knows that I am loved and cherished by God.  I know that there is nothing I can do in my body that will make God love me more or less.  His Love is constant and forever and is not dependent upon my actions – it is dependent upon who and what I am. 

Peace be to your mind today.  Bring your questions and concerns about the Course to Him.  Jesus promises that when we ask for truth we will not be given lies.  When we ask for Holy Spirit, we will not be given an unholy guide.  Let all your thoughts be still as you come before our Father and seek the peace that can only come from Him.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 221. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Part II. Introduction & Section 1. What Is Forgiveness?

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Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?

Introduction

  1. Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons that remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set and find the end toward which our practicing was always geared.
  2. Now we attempt to let the exercise be merely a beginning. For we wait in quiet expectation for our God and Father.  He has promised He will take the final step Himself. And we are sure His promises are kept. We have come far along the road, and now we wait for Him. We will continue spending time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy. We will not consider time a matter of duration now. We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire. Nor will we forget our hourly remembrance in between calling to God when we have need of Him as we are tempted to forget our goal.
  3. We will continue with a central thought for all the days to come, and we will use that thought to introduce our times of rest and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not content ourselves with simple practicing in the remaining holy instants which conclude the year that we have given God.  We say some simple words of welcome, and expect our Father to reveal Himself, as He has promised. We have called on Him, and He has promised that His Son will not remain unanswered when he calls His Name.
  4. Now do we come to Him with but His word upon our minds and hearts and wait for Him to take the step to us that He has told us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take when we invited Him. He has not left His son in all his madness, nor betrayed his trust in Him. Has not His faithfulness earned Him the invitation that He seeks to make us happy? We will offer it, and it will be accepted. So our times with Him will now be spent. We say the words of invitation that His Voice suggests, and then we wait for Him to come to us.
  5. Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept. No step remains for time to separate from its accomplishment. For now we cannot fail. Sit silently and wait upon your Father.  He has willed to come to you when you have recognized it is your will He do so. And you could have never come this far unless you saw, however dimly, that it is your will.
  6. I am so close to you we cannot fail. Father, we give these holy times to you, in gratitude to Him who taught us how to leave the world of sorrow in exchange for its replacement, given us by you. We look not backward now. We look ahead and fix our eyes upon the journey’s end. Accept these little gifts of thanks from us, as through Christ’s vision we behold a world beyond the one we made and take that world to be the full replacement of our own.
  7. And now we wait in silence, unafraid and certain of Your coming. We have sought to find our way by following the Guide you sent to us. We did not know the way, but You did not forget us. And we know that You will not forget us now. We asked but that Your ancient promises be kept which are Your Will to keep. We will with you in asking this.  The Father and the Son, Whose holy will created all that is, can fail in nothing. In this certainty, we undertake these last few steps to You, and rest in confidence upon Your Love, which will not fail the Son who calls to You.
  8. And so we start upon the final part of this one holy year which we have spent together in the search for truth and God, who is its one creator. We have found the way He chose for us and made the choice to follow it as He would have us go. His Hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit the darkness of our minds. His Love has called to us unceasingly since time began.
  9. We had a wish that God would fail to have the Son whom He created for Himself. We wanted God to change Himself and be what we would make of Him. And we believed that our insane desires were the truth. Now are we glad that this is all undone and we no longer think illusions true. The memory of God is shimmering across the wide horizons of our minds. A moment more, and it will rise again. A moment more, and we who are God’s Sons are safely home, where He would have us be.
  10. Now is the need for practice almost done. For in this final section, we will come to understand that we need only call to God, and all temptation disappears. Instead of words, we need but feel His Love. Instead of prayers, we need but call His Name. Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed. We will accept the way God’s plan will end, as we received the way it started. Now it is complete. This year has brought us to eternity.
  11. One further use for words we still retain. From time to time, instructions on a theme of special relevance will intersperse our daily lessons and the periods of wordless, deep experience which should come afterwards. These special thoughts should be reviewed each day, each one of them to be continued till the next is given you. They should be slowly read and thought about a little while, preceding one of the holy and blessed instants in the day.  We give the first of these instructions now.

1.  What is Forgiveness?

  1. Forgiveness recognizes what you saw your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. Is sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin except a false idea about God’s Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.
  2. An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgment that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains, so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure; less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason.  What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its wanted goal?
  3. An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.
  4. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.
  5. Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show you what to do through Him who is your Guide, your Savior and Protector, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success. He has forgiven you already, for such is His function, given Him by God.  Now must you share His function, and forgive whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees, and whom He honors as Son of God. [1]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II. Introduction Section I. What is Forgiveness.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 398-401.

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Lesson 220 Review of Lesson 200

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 220

  1. (200)  There is no peace except the peace of God. 

Let me not wander from the way of peace, for I am lost on other roads than this.  But let me follow Him Who leads me home, and peace is certain as the Love of God.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

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Meditation

Today is our last lesson in Review VI.  We open our devotional today with the main thought:  I am not a body; I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  In our last lesson review, Jesus urged us to practice these words and hold this thought in our daily practice because it not only guarantees our freedom but the freedom of every living thing in the world.  And so today we recognize our way to freedom – we accept our salvation; we know our Sonship with God.

When we look up the definition for peace in the dictionary we are informed that peace means no fighting and no wars.  In God then we have no fighting and no wars.  We are not looking to God to fight our earthly battles for us, to defeat our enemies, and to slay the dragons in our life.  To have the peace of God we must give up all thoughts of fights and wars.  We are called to love our enemies, be good to those who hate us, and recognize at the deepest level of consciousness that to defend or attack is to make this world real in our minds and God’s Kingdom not. 

In this world we can only experience shards of peace, splinters of peace, a bit of peace here and a bit of peace there.  If we wake up before everybody else in the house and quietly get a cup of coffee and still our minds to hear the Voice for God within, we can call this peace, but it is not really peace because we are expecting this time to end.  We are prepared for disturbance when the ruckus of demands and calls upon our attention can start at any moment!  We can experience a state of harmony with our mates, our friends, our children, our animals but we know that there is going to come a time when any harmony that we seem to be enjoying will be disrupted by something disagreeable.  Our mate will say something gruff and unkind, our friends will fail to recognize our contribution, our kids will whine, our animals will have an accident on the new rug.  Or if you are like me, you will long to be alone and intentionally or unintentionally do or say something that will guarantee that people will give you the wide skirt for a while!

God’s peace is a state of eternal quiet and calm.  It cannot be disturbed by anything.  It is the still waters.  We will save ourselves a lot of trouble by not looking for it elsewhere.  If we look for peace where it cannot be found we will get misery and pain. 

When we come to understand that there is no peace except the peace of God, we are ready to go home.  We know that our happiness is not in a body, in the world, or in any of the meager offerings of the ego.  When we experience today’s idea as truth we know that we are God’s Son and it is impossible for us to make a will that opposes God’s.  We know that everything that appears to be apart from God is simply not reality.

God gives us a bridge of peace to leave this world – the world is no longer our enemy or the enemy of God for we have seen that in forgiveness we are set free from its lies and illusions.  God gives us peace as the answer to the fights we had with our loved ones, the wars we had to establish dominance or defend our rights, our failed relationships, and all those meaningless endeavors – we are not worthless, there is no cause for guilt, we lift up our eyes, there are no apologies demanded or expected – because we have God’s peace.

Today Jesus asks us to stop losing our way.  Stay on the straight path to Heaven, he tells us. When we put our sights upon God, we have the sure thing.  When we put our sights on the body and the world apart from God, we have uncertainty and falter on the thorny byways.  On the straight path to Heaven, we recognize peace and value it.  Softly peace embraces our hearts and minds in comfort and with love.  No more do we chase after the idols of the world for the peace of God is ours.  Peace is our way out of ambiguity, of shifting goals, and our loneliness and despair.  Peace unites us with God, and we want nothing else.  We draw nearer, Jesus says, each time we say:

“There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.”

Today we bring Review VI to a close by repeating our main thought:

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

Go in peace today, recognizing that there is no peace except the peace of God.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 220. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 219 Review of Lesson 199

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 219

  1. (199)  I am not a body.  I am free. 

I am God’s Son.  Be still, my mind and think a moment upon this.  And then return to earth, without confusion as to what my Father loves forever as His Son.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Meditation

Today our meditation focuses on both our theme for Review VI and our review of lesson 199.  Today we will focus our thoughts upon perceiving ourselves not as a body but as a spirit, a free mind, serving Holy Spirit and being unlimited in every way forever.  When we review Lesson 199, we read that thoughts that attack others cannot enter such a mind because it is given over to the Source of love, and there is no fear in love.  Our minds rest in God, and so how can we be afraid?

Hold today’s idea very close to your heart, Jesus tells us.  He goes on to tell us to meditate upon the idea today and every day.  This is the world’s call to freedom.  We are no longer slaves to our bodies and without the power to enslave us, our bodies become worthy servants of the freedom in which our minds united with Holy Spirit seek.

We are free.  And we are meant to share this freedom with others who believe that they are enslaved within a body.  No more are we bound and helpless and afraid.  Love replaces fear through those of us who have practiced and come to know this idea as truth.  This is our salvation and once we accept God’s gift of salvation, we return the gift of salvation by sharing this freedom with all who are sent to us or whom we are sent to share it with. 

We are not bodies.  We are God’s Son.  We live forever.  Think about this today.  Practice it.  When we look upon others let us see past their flesh and blood and perceive their immortality rather than their humanity, releasing them from certain death and despair.

Jesus tells us that God extends His Love and happiness each time we say today:  I am not a body.  I am free.  I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.  As we quiet our minds and still our hearts, we ask:

Dear Father, Let me hear the Voice for God inside of me today.  Let the Voice for God lead and guide and comfort me.  Give me a mind agreeable to Your Truth.  Let me not doubt, cast aspersions, or hold on to any thought that is not acceptable to Holy Spirit.  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as You created me.  In the name of Jesus with whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 219. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 217 Review of Lesson 197

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 217

  1. (197) It can be but my gratitude I earn.

Who should give thanks for my salvation but myself? And how but through salvation can I find the Self to Whom my thanks are due?

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Morning and Evening Meditation:

This morning we sit in quietness and stillness. We go to the inner altar of our minds and bow our humanity before it.  This is what we made, O Father, to take Your place and here we offer the multitude, the diverse, the different to Your Holy Spirit to restore to us the one Self of Christ, Your Son.  Our true and everlasting Self.  The One which never left us since You breathed life and love and laughter into Your image of You, extending God forever.  We are not bodies; we are free.  We are still as You created us. 

Find the words, the phrases, the images that Holy Spirit gives to each of us to complete the wholeness and holiness of God to understand our refrain for Review VI.  Wait before Him who created us until you know in your heart who and what you really are – past your body, past your ego, past all the calls and causes of our shared humanity to that true Self, the Son of God. 

This is the Self that we give our gratitude to for restoring us to oneness in Christ.  This is the Self who has been calling to us, the wayward splinters who have found themselves trapped in time, in a body, in an ego – lonely, desperate, not knowing how to live in a world seemingly separated by time and space, sin and shame, fear and disaster, darkness and death from our Loving Father.  We offer gratitude to our Self for remembering who and what we are in Christ.  Sons of God.  The whole and magnificent, the powerful and holy “we” instead of the timorous, tiny, terror-ridden shard of a “me.” 

No more do we believe the ego’s lies of our Father.  He is not vengeful.  He has no spite toward us.  He yearns for us as much as we yearn for Him.  He will never forsake His Creation although His Creation seems to have forsaken Him.  He has prepared a feast to celebrate our return, to rejoice in our salvation from a hallucination of adrift and alone, of castoff and forsaken.  As we choose our true identity in Him, we have only our truth, our Self in Christ, the Son of God to give our gratitude. 

This is not a hard concept to get our mind around once we accept Christ as our Savior and realize that the parable of the prodigal son in our own life that stands as a symbol for all of Creation.  We left our Father’s Kingdom where we were one in Sonship to make our own way in a world that promised adventure, independence, satisfaction, and fulfillment.  Jesus tells us in our Course that those of us who ended up in this world are the ones who wanted to take Creation and make something else of it, to do it our own way, to separate from the “we” of God’s Sonship and become a “me.”  We were wooed away from the Everything of God to the nothingness of the world in which we would make up lies to take the place of truth.  We would live out the lies, we would make them so real in our minds that we would be caught in this web of fiction with no apparent escape. 

And yet there was and is and always has been an escape.  God has never left us.  Our salvation resides within each of us because we belong to Him, He will never leave us, His Kingdom resides in us in all its glory.  It is there where it has always been – it is our true and only Self, yearning for His oneness, homesick for His Kingdom, knowing that this world, this body, this substitute for all we are will never take His place. 

When the prodigal left his father’s house, his father did not preach at him, quote scripture at him, shout dire warnings to him as he tramped down the road to get away.  His father gave him his inheritance.  His father knew that the world would take from his son everything and give him nothing in return, and yet the father did not lock him up, the father did not strip him of his wealth, or take away his family name. The father did not try to get his son the right kind of friends or get him involved with sports or bible camps or other forms of healthy alternatives to the call of the wild.  The father knew that for this son, the only thing that would do was for him to experience for himself, the world.  To be stripped bare, to experience the emptiness, the nothingness, the false friends, hopes, and promises that separateness assures.  And then when he came back – there were no whips and chains.  There were no lectures.  There was no “I told you so.”  There was a feast, a robe, a ring, a resounding and loving welcome.  The son who had separated himself into a lonely, lost, and lustful “me,” had come home to take his place in the “we” of family, friendship, and fidelity.

He came back because he remembered who he was.  He remembered the truth about himself.  He belonged to his father and nothing that he had done could ever take that away.  He got up and out of that pigsty.  He found his way home.  He had only himself to thank – his father had not left; his father had not changed; everything was there where it always was, but the son had to make his way back, his son had to make the plan, he had to put one foot in front of the other.  It was not magic.  His father did not come and pick him up and bring him home.  He had to find his own way.  And he had only himself to thank for remembering who he was and where he belonged. 

Today our lesson reminds us “it can be but my gratitude I earn.”  When we hark back to the original lesson we are reminded that the world is not pitted against us, it is our own thoughts about the world that we transfer to God that trap us in the pigsty of sin, shame, and that deep sense of unworthiness.  Like the prodigal, let us remember today who we really are!  Sons of God.  Let us make our way back to Him, putting off our fear of God and embracing Him with the assurance of His Son, as we forgive the world and all who are in it for not being able to keep its promises, to show its gratitude, to be pure and righteous and holy.  Now we know.  Without Him it is a ruse; it is a freak show; it is a battleground; it is death.  With Him we are saved and the world with us.  Let us thank ourselves for making our way back to our Father’s love.  We are not bodies, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.[2] 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 217. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 218 Review of Lesson 198

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 218

  1. (198) Only my condemnation injures me.

My condemnation keeps my vision dark, and through my sightless eyes I cannot see the vision of my glory.  Yet today I can behold this glory and be glad.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo credit: https://www.rogerebert.com

Today’s Meditation

Here we are this morning nearing the end of Review VI.  By this time, our review theme should ring resoundingly in our minds:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We can take this with us throughout the rest of our journey home and let the words guide us, refresh us, remind us, and so let our light shine from within.

It is only our condemnation toward others that leads us down a path of forgetting who we are in Christ.  When we raise up our defenses against others and rail against the bad examples they are setting themselves up to be, the poor life choices they are making, air their sins and rage over the minimum sentences that they receive for their crimes against humanity – we allow our minds to be filled with the lies of the world instead of the glory of God.  In other words, we are valuing the valueless, cherishing thoughts of fear and discord which blinds us to our freedom, liberty, and magnitude with God. 

The other day I enjoyed about as perfect of a day as I can have in this world.  I woke up with a sense of energy, quickness, and gratitude long before the sun came up.  I had a sweet, creamy cup of French roast coffee and a quiet time with God before James roused from sleep.  When he had his coffee, we sat on our sunny, spacious deck and enjoyed our Course lesson and time of devotion together.  Later we went on a little shopping spree, indulged in a delicious lunch at Cracker Barrel, enjoyed our ride, our conversation, the little treasures and good things to eat that we bought while we were out and about.  When we got home and had everything put away, we stretched out and took a little snooze, got up and had a glass of iced coffee, some more conversation and then both of us got to work.  I worked in the garden and harvested a big basketful of juicy red tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, and some green beans.  James tiled our retaining wall on the south side.  Later we had a light supper and James asked me for a date in the hot tub. 

All day long I enjoyed a sense of peace, well-being, and communion with God and with James. My mind was filled with gratitude for our lives, health, blessings, and even for our trials and that which challenges us for I saw them as lessons designed for our spiritual growth and deepening of our understanding.  For the first time in my life I am experiencing on a daily, moment-to-moment basis a sense of security, well-being, a release from fear, anxiety, and condemnation.  It has been a journey to get to this, it is not magic, it has taken a full-fledged commitment and daily practice to free my mind from all that had warped, distressed, and caused me both mental, social, and physical torment. 

So there I was after our dinner – wiping off the counters, rinsing off the plates, putting the dirty dishes and glasses in the dishwasher – not hurrying necessarily but certainly not poking around.  I was looking forward to getting in the hot tub, laying back in the warm water and gazing at the stars and moon, talking, and extending the sense of comradery and closeness that we had enjoyed all day.  Except a dark shadow crept into my consciousness in the form of a video clip stored in my mind: Tony Soprano lurking in the backyard waiting to exact bloody vengeance upon a former mobster living under an assumed identity.  For years I had been hooked on The Sopranos and to this day hearing the opening theme, remembering the plot lines of the troubled characters, salivating over Carmela’s Italian dishes, and shivering over the Pine Barrens episode thrills my mortal senses.  And yet tonight I did not want to think of the Tony’s in the world, creeping into my joy and love and peace, rekindling a smokescreen of menace and danger while Lover and I sat under the stars soaking up the bubbles in our spa. 

With thoughts of the fictional Tony, my mind traveled to a decade’s old tale of home invasion, arson, torture, rape, and death.  The tragedy that befell Dr. William Petit and his first wife and two daughters stands in my mind for all the horror and evil in the world.  For years Dr. Petit’s story haunted me, kept me awake at night, drawing me out of bed to check locks, investigate suspicious noises, and live in fear.  Now the ego was inviting me to take up its cause again, to give up the peace of God, to fill my mind once again with thoughts of danger, vulnerability, and fright. 

Fear would have paralyzed me at one point in my life. Always having been afraid of the dark, the lonely, unanswerable questions evoked by the endless black of the night sky above, there was no way I would have sat outside in the hot tub without all the lights on, with no safeguards against wild dogs, midnight prowlers, or things that go bump in the night. 

Never again!  I have had my fill of interrupted sleep, mental fatigue, distrust of others, the lack of peace and joy and well-being.  Only my condemnation injures me. I forgive the world for its crooked paths, its predatory nature, its horrors, pains, cruelties, and caprice.  In paragraph four of Lesson 198, we read:  Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death.  I will never again oppose this plan of God. I will not argue with it.  I will not try to find ways in which it would fail or must be wrong.  I will not look for another way.  I will not seek to punish, to condemn, to hold accountable, to take up arms, or call for war.  I will forgive!

Only my condemnation injures me.  Only my own forgiveness sets me free. Let our words for today free us from all that would haunt us, torment our minds, give us cause to worry, fret, or be afraid.  Stand along with me as we resolve to never oppose, argue with, or find fault with God’s plan of freeing us from all that is not of love.  We can stop searching for other solutions for there is no other way.  When we forgive and hold no condemnation toward the world all we fear is washed away. 

Thank you for listening and have a forgiving and forgiven day!2


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 218. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

2Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 216 Review of Lesson 196

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 216

  1. (196) It can be but myself I crucify.

All that I do, I do unto myself. If I attack, I suffer. But if I forgive, salvation will be given me.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

In our Course study today we went over today’s lesson.  We sat with the thought I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We let our minds ponder this, imagining if you will the freedom we experience from the demands of our physical forms.  We let our minds rest in the state of sinlessness, purity, and innocence in which we were created and the state in which we find ourselves in Christ.

As we reviewed and discussed Lesson 196’s main idea, we shared how often we have experienced “It can be but myself I crucify.”  Last year at this time, I had been keenly drawn up about some of the ways in which even at day 216 in our Course study I was still crucifying myself by an ongoing habit of crucifying others in my mind, unforgiving of their process, picking at their faults and weaknesses and holding others accountable for that which I was doing myself.  I would love to say today that I no longer engage in such behavior.  That the Course teachings have taken root in my mind and that no longer do I crucify myself by gloating over or cherishing the sins and shortcomings of others.

Honestly, it happens far less frequently than last year but there are times I still find myself tempted to nail others to the cross.  The only difference now is that now I know better!  I know that if I nail you to the cross, I am the one that experiences the nails, the crown of thorns, the gaping wound, the shame and humiliation of nakedness, thirst, suffering, and vulnerability.  I am the one that wakes up in the night and feels the whip lashes of my own condemnation.  I am the one that ends up lonely, despised, and depressed.  Loveless and alone, the only way I can escape is to offer forgiveness to all who have offended me, including my own sorry self. 

As Linda read over the lesson review and Lesson 196, Jesus spoke to my mind and heart through her words.  It is a dreary, hopeless thought to think that we can attack any part of creation and escape the attack we made on that with which we are one.  This puts us in a hellish realm where we are attacking God Who is one with His Creation and every single part of it.  When we set ourselves against another – call them names, make fun of them, mock their efforts to better themselves, judge them for their mistakes and wrongdoing – we are attacking God.  This puts us in a precarious position in our minds for when we make an enemy of God, it really does scare us on a deep, unconscious level.  We find ourselves in a hellish realm, a state of madness and insanity.  We go from person to person trying to find allies to boost up our self-image, to justify our outrage and indignation, but nobody – no matter how nice they are to us, no matter how many times they pat us on the back and take our side, no matter how many drugs they give us, no matter what they do to drown out our pain and sorrow – will ever stop the sense of crucifixion that we bring upon ourselves. 

Until we realize that the only one who can deliver us from the cross upon which we crucify ourselves is ourselves we will live in a hellish realm of blaming God for giving us a raw deal,  Maybe He didn’t give us the right kind of mother and father, sisters and brothers.  We will blame God for making us black in a world that prefers white or making us white in a world that holds whites accountable for every crime against humanity ever committed.  We will blame God for letting us marry the wrong person or giving us rotten kids.  We may not be aware that we are blaming God, but when we blame other people for our own unhappiness, our hurts and sorrows, our disappointments, trials, and tribulations, we are saying: “God gave me a raw deal.  He made me suffer.  He gave someone else a far better life than the sorry excuse He gave me.  He must hate me for giving me a sister who would break my toys, flirt with my husband, and steal the affection of my only daughter.” 

This idea sounds difficult and perhaps a little bit like self-condemnation until we realize that when we learn that it is not other people we hurt with our attack, but only ourselves, we do not have to worry about vengeance and pursuit.  We thought we hurt others, we thought that our cruel words, our mean jabs and our angry thrusts hurt God and His Creation, but nobody is coming to take us away, nobody is coming to get us, nobody is plotting our demise –  because we only hurt ourselves.  When we recognize the strength and the freedom that today’s idea holds, we accept our salvation from the mad idea that we hurt others when we attack them. 

In God’s Kingdom, He is our Father and we are His Son along with Christ.  We lay down our arms, we put down our defenses, we are no longer afraid.  God has got us in the palm of His Hand, in the center of His Heart.  We have nothing to fear.  His kindness and mercy envelope us forever.  As we accept the mind of Christ as our own, we become one with Him who created us.  Nothing can induce us to speak evil or harbor ill will in our hearts toward His Creation.  When we see someone use their powers stupidly and cruelly our hearts and minds well up with pity for we know that they are only hurting themselves.  They cannot hurt us because we offer them forgiveness, we offer them mercy, we give to receive that which lasts forever.

We are not a body, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 216. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 215 Review of Lesson 195

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 215

  1. (195)  Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

The Holy Spirit is my only guide.  He walks with me in love.  And I give thanks to Him for showing me the way to go.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

As we open today’s devotional practice we let our mind linger for a while on our refrain:  I am not a body; I am free.  I am still as God created me.  In Lesson 195, we learn to thank our Father for only one thing – that we are united with Him and with every living thing – nothing could take away from the wholeness, the unity, our completion in God.  We are still as God created us. 

Many times when we say to be grateful to God we thank Him for our food.  We thank Him for our clothes, our houses, the beauty of nature, our cars, our mates, our blessed family.  And yet today’s lesson says to only thank God for this one thing which covers all things – He makes us one with all living things and with Him. 

When we no longer fail to recognize what this means, gratitude takes the place of anger, bitterness, and thoughts of vengeance. All the thoughts of fear and sorrow, malice and ill-will are replaced by a deep and abiding gratitude that God cares for us and calls us His Son.  What more could we possibly want?

Jesus tells us that gratitude goes hand-in-hand with love, and where there is love, there is gratitude.  Gratitude is an aspect of the Love that brought forth Creation.  In Christ, our hearts and minds are full of gratitude toward our family members.  We no longer hold spite and thoughts of bitterness toward them for the ways in which they took more than their fair share, the ways in which they withheld their love and affection, the ways in which we were used and abused, misunderstood and thwarted.  With gratitude that comes from Love we remember the delicious meals we shared, the fun games we played, the funny pranks we pulled on people.  With gratitude we remember our trips in the car, the nature hikes, our quirky little habits, the ways in which they supported us and came to us in our hour of need.  We will remember the lessons they taught us, the skills they shared with us.  We will remember their gentle touch, their kind words, their soft, warm hugs, their deep chuckles.  We will remember their forgiveness and their love.  We will remember with grateful hearts and minds that they are our Savior even as we are their Savior for we are one with Christ. 

In reviewing Lesson 195, we come to understand that we have no rivals, that we seek no vengeance, that we make no comparisons – we are only joined in love. 

This is why we train our mind to forgive for when our forgiveness is complete we will experience total gratitude; we will see everything and everyone – including our Selves – with love.  If this frightens you, do not allow the ego to put you off the Course.  You do not want bitterness.  You do not want a self-perception that puts you in a place of callously chasing after that which never satisfies and leaves you depressed, lonely, stricken, and ashamed.  You do not want to feel bullied and sullied, surrounded by those who care nothing about you and where your future looks bleak and empty of love and solace.  If your ego is trying to convince you that forgiveness is for saps, take this time of devotional practice and meditate upon the Love of God.

Love can walk only in the way of gratitude, Jesus tells us.  This is the way we walk to God – with grateful hearts and minds, forgiven and forgiving, giving Him thanks even as He thanks us for being what we are – His Own completion, the Source of Love along with Him. 

Today we close our meditation with this refrain:  I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me. 

Walk in gratitude for this is the way to God.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 215. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 214 – Review of Lesson 194

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 214

  1. (194)  I place the future in the Hands of God.

The past is gone; the future is not yet.  Now am I freed from both.  For what God gives can only be for good. And I accept but what He gives as what belongs to me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Morning and Evening Meditation

As we say our refrain today – “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

Last year at this time, I wrote: “Today’s lesson idea reminds me to place the future in the Hands of God.  Isn’t the future already in His hands anyway?  Well, yes and no.  The gift of free will allows us, evidently, to either place the future in the Hands of God or be otherwise adrift in the ego’s illusion – never knowing what the future holds and not being able to entrust it to anybody or anything because who, other than God, would have a clue as to what is coming next in this chancy world of ours?” 

“Placing the future in the Hands of God then, frees me from my past – and with that out of the way, the past can no longer affect my future.  And trusting in God with that allows me to live in the peaceful, blessed present.  For what God gives can only be good, our lesson today states, and what God gives is what truly belongs to me.  This statement is the ultimate de-stressor.  I can relax.  Nothing is up to me – the future is in the hands of Someone much smarter and bigger and knowledgeable than I am!”

As I read these words today, I realized that throughout the past year, as I have consciously trained my mind through each day’s prayers, meditations, and refrains (with many lapses, periods of forgetfulness, and ego resistance to Course expectations, mind you) I have learned to relax, to not worry and fret, to put down the reins of control and the shield of defense, and to put all of my trust in God.  When I make a mistake, I trust in God to forgive me.  When others make mistakes, no matter how much my ego wants to build a case and cherish my hurt feelings – I let it go, bless them, and offer empathy toward them for our shared humanity, our stabs in the dark to find a way other than the path God has prepared for us. 

Practicing the future in the Hands of God releases us from depression, pain, grief, and worshipping and nurturing sorrows of every kind.  When we place the future in God’s Hands, we no longer strive to make things happen.  We no longer have to put our nosy beaks where they do not belong.  We accept people and their processes through time instead of trying to save them by bullying them into doing things the way we think they should.  We are delivered from the zombie-hood of what we call life here in the body and on this planet. 

Lesson 194 tells us in paragraph four that as God holds our past and present as one, so should we.  No matter how the temporal process tempts our minds to think of it as real, we are asked to put the future in the Hands of God.  When we do this, our checkered past can no longer hurt us!  When we put the future in God’s Hands, the dread of what the world is coming to, old age, disease, abandonment, estrangement, misery, and death no longer have any meaning. 

This is our freedom from bondage to the illusions of the world.  This is our freedom from a past that would run its predictable, ruthless, disease-ridden course straight into our future.  When thoughts of social insecurity, age-related illnesses and complications, being put in a nursing home and ill-cared for in our decrepit old age would come to haunt us, to tickle our imaginations with future woes and disadvantages we can laugh because our future is in God’s Hands.  The future in God’s Hands rules our mind, we pull it from our problem-solving toolbox, we use it as an immediate reaction to any temptation to travel down a path of woe-is-me and what-is-the-world-coming-to?  Jesus tells us in Lesson 194, as we learn to see salvation in all things, the world will perceive its salvation. 

When our minds form the habit of placing our future in the Hands of our Loving Father, all thoughts of sin and evil are replaced by peace and the love of God.  We no longer concern ourselves or fix our expectations upon the shaky systems of the world.  No matter how many mistakes we make, no matter how we may choose to see things wrong, we know that God will correct us and set us aright. If we fall into deception, we choose again with no worries about our Father’s wrath and indignation and dire punishment for our mistakes. 

Today let us lay aside the sick illusions of the world and offer the peace and trust of God.  In God’s Hands, our minds are untroubled.  We can be certain that only good is in store for us.  If we start to needlessly worry and helicopter our loved ones thinking that we can stand between them and the lessons that they need from the world, we can be gently reassured that our future and their future is in the hands of God.  When we entertain resentful thoughts in our minds, God will replace them with ones of forgiveness and blessing.  When we are tempted to arm ourselves and go into attack, we can put down our flimsy weapons and appeal to the One Who would laugh at our defenses and teach us that the world is not our enemy, but the place we have come to remember who and what we really are in God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 214. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 213 – Review of Lesson 193

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 213

  1. (193)  All things are lessons God would have me learn.

A lesson is a miracle which God offers to me, in place of thoughts I made that hurt me.  What I learn of Him becomes the way I am set free.  And so I choose to learn His lessons and forget my own.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

Today we open our practice with the theme of Review VI:  I am not a body, I am free.  I am still as God created me.  Referring to Lesson 193, we learn that God wills nothing except our happiness, that our happiness be undisturbed, forever expanding, and without limit in Him.  This is the Will of God.  The mere fact that this is God’s Will guarantees that this is not only possible, but that it is done.

Last night James and I ate dinner with our dear friends, Roger and Peggy.  On the way to their house, we started to discuss some of the troubling issues that keeps our news media afloat.  Before we became too deeply ensnared into a conversation that had no earthly resolution, we quickly reminded ourselves of the beautiful day that we were experiencing.  The sky was clear and deep with a wordless blue; the sun was shining; we had had a productive day.  We were driving through abundant farmland and then through shaded woods.  We had a good bottle of wine in the cooler, a six pack of Mexican beer, and four individual tubs of ice cream to share with our friends.  In other words we had absolutely no good reason to concern ourselves with that which is not real, true, virtuous, or of good report.  So instead of talking about that which could only disturb our peace and steal our joy – we talked about that which is true and beautiful and lets the light of Heaven through.  Our ride there was fun, we arrived with light hearts and untroubled minds, and we were set to enjoy a wonderful evening of good food, conversation, and fellowship with one of our favorite couples. 

Our evening could not have been nicer.  Roger and James manned the grilled corn and boiled the lobsters.  Peggy and I set the picnic table, dished the slaw and cantaloupe, and made a rich dill and cotija cheese topping for the grilled corn.  We drank champagne and strawberries, sipped at a delicious white wine, and we talked about all our exciting (to us) house projects.  Peggy has just finished designing and turning her old bathroom into a dream bathroom with gleaming new tiles, chrome, and glass and her artistic touches.  We had just finished pouring the cement pad for our kitchen patio which runs the length of our house in back. 

However, later as we sat curled up on the papasan chairs, the conversation turned toward worldly events that brought no spirit of joy or peace to the blissful evening.  We forgot our lesson idea for today; we forgot our resolve to know that all things that happen or seem to happen in the world are lessons that God would have us learn in forgiveness.  Instead of reflecting God’s loving kindness in our words and thoughts, instead of practicing forgiveness and seeing the circumstances differently, we allowed the outside world to become real to us.  We forgot that we could simply practice forgiveness and see the whole thing differently.  We forgot that the peace of God is what we really want, and instead we thought we wanted defense, we thought we wanted attack and counterattack.

Jesus tells us that to all that speaks of terror, answer thus: “I will forgive, and this will disappear.”  To every apprehension, every care, and every form of suffering, these words will dissipate any disturbance to our happiness.  These words hold the key to Heaven’s gate!  These words bring the Love of God the Father down to earth and raises the consciousness of the whole earth heavenward.  Every time something comes up to make us quiver in our shoes, raise our voices in outrage and indignation, point our fingers in blame and shame, say mean, condemning words against others – we are to practice forgiveness and make it disappear.  We are to train our minds to hold nothing but the reality of God. 

Every single thing that happens in our lives is a lesson in forgiveness.  There are no trivial events that have no purpose and no meaning.  We allowed our minds to be bullied by the fears and worries of a media that is intent on disturbing the peace, creating wars and discord, making people afraid of one another in order to be more easily controlled by the dark prince of this world.  When we refuse to let the bad news alarm us and practice forgiveness, we literally undo all effects and intentions of harm and ill will.  This does not just work for us, but it benefits everybody.   

Good news does not sell in this world.  While the media would have us believe that our differences tear us apart, Jesus teaches us that we are one with one another, that our differences are only superficial, temporal, and a lie. 

Today we discussed our lapse into engaging in temptation, into making the illusion real, into letting our minds be disturbed by the lies of the separation.  Just as we nipped our own conversation in the bud on our way to visit our friends, so could we have nipped the conversation with them in the bud.  When whoever started the first jabs in that direction, one of us could have easily refused to take the bait.  “Let’s talk about the goodness of God!” we could have said.  Life is full of love, health, goodwill, truth, peace, joy, and good times.  There is no end to the goodness of God and His love and devotion towards us.  When we focus our attention upon God’s goodness and truth, we encourage others to do the same.  We raise the standard – we offer forgiveness and undo all that would steal our joy and upset our well-being. 

This is God’s Will for you and for me.  Every single thing is a lesson that we are to learn and to learn well.  James and I learned an important lesson last night.  It does not bring us happiness to spout off judgments and condemnation about the upsets of the world, the dastardly deeds of the unrighteous, the outrageous acts of rabble rousers.  It is not God’s Will for us to hold anger or mean thoughts toward others in our minds, it is not God’s Will for us to come up with surefire ways in which to defend our bodies, our country, our belief system.  It is God’s Will that we are happy, secure, and that our peace has no end.  The only way to experience this is through our minds as one with the mind of Christ. 

When we can take all the thoughts that we have about something that hurts us, frightens us, lays us low and turn them into a lesson from God in forgiveness, in undoing the wrong, in setting things right – we experience miracles.  Our minds are transformed.  We realize that we are not a body.  We are free of all that would bind us and confine us and scare the living daylights out of us.  We are still as God created us – His Son, loved, safe, secure forever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 213. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

 

Lesson 212 Review of Lesson 192

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 212

  1. (192)  I have a function God would have me fill.

I seek the function that would set me free from all the vain illusions of the world.  Only the function God has given me can offer freedom.  Only this I seek, and only this will I accept as mine.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

In keeping with the instructions for Review VI we open and close our devotional with the theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We begin our day with this; we end our day with this thought.  Every hour, every time we can, without any pressure or stress, we gently train our mind back to this refrain throughout the day.  We consciously and deeply relinquish all the vain illusions of the world – the promises of happiness and meaning and gratification in a world where everything that has the least amount of satisfaction attached to it is both costly and fleeting. 

As much as we can, we will get beyond words today.  We will not use any special postures or forms of practice.  We will instead be quiet and still.  We will put aside all we thought we knew and understood and trust in God to bring us light and truth.  When our thoughts stray to judgment and condemnation, to resistance against the reflection of God’s love, we can simply say, for example: “I do not want this thought against my friend.  I choose instead to forgive her, to bless her.”  And then we will repeat “I have a function God would have me fill.”

Jesus asks us in paragraph eight of Lesson 192, “Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines?”  So let us today dwell upon this question and practice conscious forgiveness toward everyone we see, the people and situations that come to mind, the stories we make up about others in our minds, the memories that tempt us to hold grudges and bear ill will toward others instead of forgiving them. 

Practicing this deeply, reverently, and diligently is our function in Christ.  It is the function that God would have each one of us fill, dear brothers.  No matter how many people we see, no matter how the world tries to stir us against one another, to hold grudges and arm ourselves against those who seem dangerous and insane, our function is to offer forgiveness, to bless them, to hold no one prisoner.  We are here to loose instead of bind, for this is what sets us free. 

We are not asked to do much.  All that God asks of us is to give up our anger.  To give up our spite.  To offer forgiveness.  It involves no sacrifice.  It frees our tortured minds of all the images of pain and shame.  We give up our anger and we are given everything by God.

I have a cousin who has riddled herself with insanity because of the hatred and anger and spite she is unwilling to give up toward her sister.  Everywhere she goes, she spreads vicious tales about her sister’s past wrongdoings, her faults, her vanities.  She wants to remind everyone that her sister is nothing but a whore, a thief, a usurper – from the time she came home from the hospital as a baby the little brat stole all the attention, broke her toys, and sucked up all the air in the room.  Now over 70 years later, the woman has made herself a pariah.  She has so distorted herself with hatred, jealousy, and unforgiveness that those who held her dearest now dread to respond to her calls, visit her, or have much at all to do with her.

There is absolutely no justification for holding another person prisoner in one’s mind.  My cousin’s younger sister is her savior, Jesus says.  She owes her sister thanks instead of pain.  When she learns to show mercy, she will be set free.  Until she sets her sister free, until she accepts her function in God, she is not born again in Christ.  In God’s eyes, it does not matter how much more virtuous she was than her sister.  It does not matter that she went to Bible College, saved her virginity for marriage, and taught Sunday School while her sister was whooping it up in the world.  As long as she is unwilling to forgive her sister for her feckless flirtations and frivolous forays – she is prisoner to the ego, she is not showing mercy, she is denying her function.  She is keeping herself in hell.

This is a very precious and highly personal process and we must never make light of it.  My cousin’s call to forgive her sister is as real to her as an other’s struggles to forgive rape, child molestation, or mass murder.  All of us have people in our lives that we hold prisoner in our minds, that we disparage, look down upon, build cases against, and condemn.  Our way to freedom is to fulfill the function given to us by God.  We are to set them free.  We forgive them.  In the world it is impossible to know love, Jesus tells us.  No matter how much we talk about it, say it, attach the word to all kinds of physical acts, we simply do not understand love.  Forgiveness is the only thing that reflects Love in a world where it is too far beyond our simple grasp. 

Today let our minds reflect God’s Love.  We have a function God would have us fill.  It does not cost us anything.  There is no sacrifice involved.  We simply give up our anger, our hatred, our resentment toward those who have not met our expectations.  Every time we see someone today, think of someone today, imagine someone today – we offer them forgiveness for not being who and what they really are in Christ.  We bless them.  We understand that they are struggling with their humanity even as we are struggling with ours.  We see them, not as flesh and blood, but as Sons of God, here for the same reason we are – to awaken from a dream of separation, in a time-bound process of accepting who and what we really are, to return to the place where we belong.  We look upon them gently, we see that all their faults, their weaknesses, their cruelty and stupidity are all unknown in Heaven, and so should not be remarked upon and made real here.  Forgiveness wipes our slates clean so that the Word of God can replace all the marks and smears the world had written there before. 

Jesus calls to us to be merciful today.  As the Son of God, we deserve mercy.  As one with Christ, when we refuse to forgive our brother, we refuse to forgive Christ.  All of us on earth are called to forgive each other, to accept each other as our own identity, to recognize that there is no difference between me and you because we are all as God created us.  I am what you are, and you are what I am.  Forgiveness shows us we are one.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 212. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 211 Review Lesson 191

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 211

  1. (191)  I am the holy Son of God Himself.

In silence and in true humility, I seek God’s glory, to behold it in the Son whom He created as my Self.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

Today we reflect upon Review VI’s daily theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We let the words sink into our consciousness and lift us out of our entrenched and usurped identity in the world, in the body, in the ego.  We are no longer a man or a woman, a Greek or a Jew, an American or an African or a Peruvian.  We do not identify with our gender, race, religion. We are not our country, family lineage, or our status in the world.  We are not our affiliations with a political thought system or our passions or hobbies in the world.  We are as God created us – everlasting spirit, a Son of God, united with God and with each other, without sin, without stain, without disease, without death.  When we accept our true identity in Christ, we are saved and in position to save others – we no longer use our powers stupidly or cruelly.  Hell is undone.

When we do not accept our identity in God, we have accepted the ego’s identity and are in a state of constant instability. We are vulnerable to all that the world throws at us, we are born to live a little while, to know that no matter who or what we choose to fasten our identity and worth and happiness upon, it is doomed.  It can only be for a little while and there is always someone or something bigger, better, newer, and more exciting waiting to take our place, to assume our position, to throw us off our game, to steal our joy, and keep us locked into an ongoing pattern of seeking but never finding that which satisfies the yearnings of our hearts and souls.   

Referring back to our original lesson, paragraph seven instructs us to use the following phrase to remind ourselves often of who and what we really are:  I am the holy Son of God Himself.  I cannot suffer.  I cannot be in pain.  I cannot suffer loss.  I cannot fail to do all that salvation asks. 

As Sons of God, it is impossible for us to fail in what God has created us to be. We are still as He created us.  Past the illusion of this world, the dream of separation and of time, we are still God’s Son.  God loves us and is devoted to us.  Never again can we accept the weak, frail version of ourselves that the ego would offer us in place of the truth about who and what we are.  We were not created to be born and die, to weep and suffer pain.  As our Father, God has bestowed upon us the same power that He Himself enjoys both in heaven and on earth. 

There is nothing at all cheeky about accepting the truth about who and what we really are.  There is nothing impudent about waking up to discover that all of this has been a dream of separation, of being apart from each other, of being a multitude of warring factions rather than the loving Son of God.  We cannot be over-confident in this truth about ourselves, we cannot let it frighten us, go running back to cower in the flesh and blanket our awakened consciousness in the trivia of the world.  We are the holy Son of God Himself.  We are not a body.  We are free.  We are still as God created us.  This is you and this is me. 

Today in our quiet moments and with true humility we step up to the plate.  We seek God’s glory.  We behold His glory in ourselves, His Son.  Dare to push all doubts and fears aside.  Do not accept the lies of the ego which would keep us trapped in a self-image designed to warp and pervert us, alienate and divide us, keep us seeking but never finding, wrapped up in flesh and blood and driven by desires that end in death. 

One here and one there, from all over the world, we lay down our defenses against the truth.  We put aside our differences and we come together as one in Christ.  We are brought together, you and me, us and we with these words: 

I am a holy Son of God.  I am not a body.  I am free.  I am still as God created me.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 211. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 210 – Review of Lesson 190

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 210

  1. (190)  I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

Pain is my own idea.  It is not a Thought of God, but one I thought apart from Him and from His Will.  His Will is joy, and only joy for His beloved Son.  And that I choose, instead of what I made.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

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

We open our devotional practice with the theme for Review VI.  We let these sentences rest on our quiet minds, our altars free of the demands of the world, of our families, our houses, our jobs, our worldly interests and calls.  When we realize we are free of the body, the world recedes from our minds and our minds are cleared for the Truth of God, the Reality for which we have been yearning for our whole lives but did not know how to put into words, did not know how to put into practice, did not trust in our Selves but rather trusted in the lies of the outside world. 

Now we know!  Being free of our bodies, we can choose joy instead of pain, we can be happy instead of sorrowful and afraid.  Pain – experienced in any form, Jesus tells us, is not true, it is not real, it is a lie.  When we experience pain we experience God as cruel.  There He is in His sweet Heaven, above and not beneath, inflicting pain upon His subjects like a cruel landowner who sits in his mansion while his peasants eke a bare subsistence living from his fields.  This is the world’s portrayal of god – this is the god we would learn about in most of our churches and synagogues and temples.  A god who is all-powerful but who is quite willing to see us suffer physically, psychically, and mentally, a god who wants us to kill each other, to seek vengeance upon our so-called enemies because they worship a different way from us or do not have the same values, or have done us wrong or worse yet, our ancestors have wronged their ancestors. 

But God is not cruel, Jesus informs us in Lesson 190.  Pain is only a sign that illusions reign in place of truth.  Pain is a denial of the reality of our Loving Father.  If He is real, pain is not.  If pain is real, He is not.  Our Father wills that none of us suffer so much as a stubbed toe for would we not rush to protect our little ones from such a fate if it be in our power? 

Our thoughts that are not aligned with the Will of God, the Love of God, the Peace of God, are what causes our pain.  Jesus tells us that nothing outside of our own minds can hurt us or injure us in any way.  Nothing from the outside world can oppress us.  Nobody but ourselves can affect us.  It is our thoughts about such matters that bring the pain.  We have the power within us to influence all things simply by remembering who we are. 

You may not believe this.  It may seem too far out there.  You may think that you are being hoodwinked and that it is unbelievable that your thoughts about things have brought you so much trauma, pain, and disease in your life and in the lives of those you love.  But Jesus tells us in this lesson that as we perceive the harmlessness in all that has brought us such grief and torment, we will see differently and that our sorrows, our grief, our illnesses, will become a source of purity, a source of holiness, even. 

When we begin to see that the world is only a representation of our thoughts about it, we will have much more incentive to change our mind about it.  When we give up our addiction and our false delight in pain and pity, mayhem and melodrama, sacrifice and suffering, sorrow and grief and choose the joy of God – the world changes to reflect what we want to see. 

When we turn off the media, put down the newspaper, refuse to engage in conversations that revolve around rumors, intrigue, and ill will, when we no longer give room in our minds and thoughts to conspiracies, suspicions, and doomsday prophecies – we are clearing our altars for the Joy of the Lord.  When we no longer chase after special relationships instead of trusting in God, God will give us the desires of our hearts, the desires that align with truth and righteousness, peace and love. 

No matter how much we want to blame others for causing us pain, others have absolutely no power to hurt us.  When we are hurt, it is the result of our idle wishes, strange desires, thoughts of death.  When we engage in sour thoughts toward our family members, our coworkers, our friends, the president, other races, cultures, religions, and community groups, we are asking for pain.  We are asking for discord.  We are asking for sorrow.  When we bring up past sins and point our fingers in blame and shame, we are going to see this projected on the screen of our lives.  When we rant and riot, spew forth venom, cast aspersions on the names of others, take up causes, fight for our rights, and give other people the power to steal our joy and cause us to suffer, we are not choosing the joy of the Lord.  No cause on earth, no matter how seemingly righteous, worthy, or critical will bring us joy or give us anything but pain.

 Jesus teaches that we must lay down our arms and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last.  Let thoughts of danger and of fear be exchanged for thoughts of God’s love and devotion to us.  Refuse to allow thoughts of attack into our minds.  Put down the cruel sword of judgment, He says. Stop hiding our holiness behind the withering assaults we take upon others. 

This is when the joy of the Lord belong to us.  This is salvation’s power.  We know that pain is only an illusion – Joy is reality.  Pain is a lie; joy is the truth.  We choose the truth – no matter how the world tempts us to believe there is a cause to worry, to fret, to get sick, to depress ourselves upon its calls to take up arms and defend ourselves against the evil hordes or rampaging pestilence – we know God.  Our minds are fixed upon Him.  We love Him who gives us peace when the world would offer us conflict.  We devote our minds to Him who gives us Life and Light when the world would fill our mind with death and darkness.   

We are not a body.  We are free.  We are still as God created us.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 210. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 209 – Review Lesson 208

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 209

  1. (189)  I feel the love of God within me now.

The Love of God is what created me.  The Love of God is everything I am.  The Love of God proclaimed me as His Son.  The Love of God within me sets me free.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

Notes and Personal Application:  We quiet our minds and sweep clear our inner altar this morning of all the calls and causes of the world.  We bring our stillness and our trust to God.  We are not bodies separated by our flesh and time and space.  For these blessed moments we focus upon our freedom from all that the world does to keep us apart from it.  We remember that we are still as God created us – One with Him and with all of Creation.  This is a blessed meditation – one that as we experience it and let it shine from us – will save the world.  Morning and evening we spend at least 15 minutes with this practice, devoting our time and our thoughts to God, with whom we are one.  We will not answer the calls of the world during these times because we know that this is the most important things we can be doing at this time.  We will put our trust and our belief in God and His Will and no longer allow the world to tempt us that we are doomed!

The review for our day tells us that we feel the love of God within us now.  This is what we are made of – the Love of God.  It is who and what we are in our eternal beings.  We are His Son.  It is His Love that unshackles us from our identity with time and all that it seems to hold – the world, our bodies, the special relationships which would take the place of our Sonship with God, our Brotherhood with Christ.  We can let it all go with no sorrow, no pain, no sense of loss or sacrifice – we exchange that which is nothing for God’s Love which is Everything. 

This is not only a blessed meditation; it is a powerful one!  Today pray this prayer with me.  As we pool our minds to experience God’s Love, now, we are joined from all parts of the world and made one in Christ.  We may never meet in the flesh, but we are one in God’s Love, one in the spirit of Sonship and Brotherhood. 

Dear Father: We feel Your love within us now.  As we draw close, shutting off the clamor of the world and all of its calls to involve ourselves in its repetitive and tiresome pleasures, pranks, plagues, and pitfalls, we come to understand that we are made of Your Love, for Your Love, and by Your Love.  Let us quietly and wordlessly share Your Love with those who come to mind, forgiving them their small humanity, blessing their marvelous reality in You, reflecting the Love we feel within us now, so that we may all be free.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 209. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 208 – Review of Lesson 188

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 208

  1. (188) The peace of God is shining in me now.

I will be still and let the earth be still along with me.  And in that stillness, we will find the peace of God.  It is within my heart, which witnesses to God Himself. 

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo credit: The Friar Patch

Notes and Personal Application:  Our devotions today start with Review Six’s theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We will meditate upon this theme, remembering who and what we really are – we are everlasting, we are forever, the world is not our home, the body does not confine us or define us! 

As we review Lesson 188, we experience the peace of God shining in us – now.  We do not have to wait until we get to Heaven.  We do not have to wait until God’s Kingdom come, God’s Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  We have God’s peace and it is shining in us right now, this instant.  We do not have to seek the light of God’s peace because it was born into each one of us.  Jesus tells us in Lesson 188, we can never lose our light – it will lead us back to where we belong.

The peace of God shines out from us and touches everyone and everything around the world.  It stops to caress every living thing, Jesus tells us in paragraph three of our lesson.  It leaves a blessing that remains forever.  It renews our hearts and lights up the way.  When we recognize the peace of God within us, we cannot keep it to ourselves.  We must bless others – quietly and without making a show of ourselves, we no longer curse, we no longer speak ill or hold grudges, we bless all we see because there is nothing else we can do when we realize what the peace of God is, what it means, and how precious and priceless and irreplaceable it is.

This morning while I was watering the drooping, thirsty sunflowers I paused for several moments just to reflect upon the peace of God.  Buzzing bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbird moths sipping the nectar from the flowers and it blessed me beyond measure to see them enjoying the patch of beautiful yellow-orange and brown faces.  It was hot, quiet morning and when I was finished watering the gardens and harvesting some tomatoes and zucchinis, I stretched out on the hammock and closed my eyes. 

The words from Lesson 188 came back to me, The peace of God is shining in me now.  Let all things shine upon me in that peace and let me bless them with the light in me.  I thought about how relaxing it was to water the garden, to take each plant and give it a long, cool drink from the well.  To watch them perk up before my eyes, to thank me with their beauty and bounty. Each plant brings forth its fruit its own unique way – the purple and white flower on the eggplants, the pale green outer leaves around the firm core on the cabbages, the pretty white flowers on the red pepper plants.  I was transfixed for several moments, aware of the peace of God, the peace of God in me and coming from me.  It was as if all my thoughts lined up with love and peace and joy.  It was as if for that bit of timelessness there was nothing in or on my mind but gentle kindness and a deep gratitude.

I was not afraid of the bear that lives in the woods.  I was not afraid of the draught.  I was not afraid that someone would see me laying on my hammock and call me lazy and useless.  My thoughts were not on any kind of trouble, worry, or care.  When I opened my eyes, all I could see was the pattern of the leaves and the limbs against the puffy white clouds and the light blue sky. This is peace.  And it shines in all of us when we grow still and let the world grow still around us. 

Go with peace today.  Be quiet with it.  Be still and shine it on your world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 208. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

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

Lesson 207 – Review of Lesson 187

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 207

  1. (187)  I bless the world because I bless myself.

God’s blessing shines upon me from within my heart, where He abides.  I need but turn to Him and every sorrow melts away, as I accept His boundless Love for me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:   We open our morning and evening mediation with I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  If you are doing these lessons and devoting your attention to the theme of Review Six, by now the above sentences are embedded in your consciousness.  If you are wondering where a deepened sense of peace and joy stem from – let it be clear that understanding these lines truly does enlighten us in all ways.  Our spirits soar, we are no longer confined in flesh, not knowing who we are and where we belong.  We know we are creations of God, adrift but not unmoored, lost but only in our blighted imaginations, in these three sentences we find ourselves complete and whole. 

In our review of Lesson 187, we learn that what we give, we receive.  This idea is different from what happens in the world.  In the world, when we give something away, it is no longer ours.  In truth, when we give, we receive. In fact, Jesus says that it is only in giving that we can receive.  The only way we can protect all things that we value is by giving them away and this is the only way we can be sure to never lose them.  The only caveat is this:  Do not value form – no form ever endures.  It is the thought behind the form of things that is unchangeable. 

Today’s idea is a kingdom principle that when applied in form will simply not work.  Do not be deceived into thinking that this is a get rich quick scheme.  It does not work with anything of form.  If people tell you that the way to get God’s blessing is to send them a hundred dollars, you can tell them to pound sand.  If someone tells you however, to receive God’s blessing you must bless other people in your words, thoughts, and deeds – you know that you are in the presence of a teacher of God.  If someone tells you that to retain God’s blessing upon your life, you must continue to bless others in your words, thoughts, and deeds – this is truth – it will cost you no money, it will take little of your time, but you will see the miracles it brings to everyone you see. 

To receive blessings, no sacrifice is ever demanded – there is no pain or sense of loss, no sickness or sorrow, no poverty, starvation, or death.  We do not beg God to bless us, to remove a curse, to smite our enemies.  We can laugh at such crude depictions of our Father who loves all of Creation.  Blessings are received as they are given.  Blessings are retained as they are never denied to anyone.  It is like a stream of living water – it is freely given as long as it is not dammed up, hoarded, or doled out to a select few.  When kept for oneself, it dries up and becomes that which will never quench one’s thirst or water one’s garden. 

There is purity in understanding the flow of God’s blessings and coming to understand how we are one in thought when fear of one another is laid aside and we stand together as God’s Son.  Our grievances toward one another are washed away when we bless each other.  All those people whom we simply cannot stand, whom we love but want to stay away from, whom we see as shadows who have infringed upon our joy and taken away our sunshine – we bless.  We offer them a blessing and we are blessed.  We lay down our past dealings – the things that were said, the way we were made to feel, the ways in ways in which our kindness was met with hostility, the times when we felt unwanted and unwelcome.  When we bless others who have hurt us, disappointed us, cast us off for someone new and exciting and stopped returning our calls – we are blessed.  Jesus says we make our minds a home for Innocence Itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours. 

For those of us who have grown cynical in the world, who mock innocence, who enjoy playing people for the fool – pointing out mistakes and keeping the past alive in order to keep others from following their joy and reaching their destiny – let there be no mistake.  Jesus tells us that this principle also works when we fail to bless others.  When we fail to bless others, we fail to recognize our own blessings.  We fail to realize our own salvation.  We fall into a dirty stream of blame and shame and end up full of sorrow, ashamed, and forsaken.  In other words, we make our own hell. 

Today we bless the world because we bless ourselves.  It is the way we love our Selves the best – by blessing everything and everyone we see.  We value blessing and so we give it away – this is the way to our salvation and to the salvation of the world.  No matter how lowdown and dirty someone wants to play, let us bless them and move on, offering them no spite, no mean words, no nasty recriminations – simply a blessing and not a curse.  

Again we wrap up today’s devotional practice with this refrain:  I am not a body, I am free. For I am still as God created me. 

I bless you because I bless myself, and you bless me because you bless yourself.  We are one in Christ, today and always. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 207. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 206 Review of Lesson 186

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 206

  1. (186)  Salvation of the world depends on me.

I am entrusted with the gifts of God because I am His Son.  And I would give His gifts where He intended them to be.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  Today we open and close our morning and evening devotional practice with the holy reminder – I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

In our 15-minute periods, let us sit with the idea that the salvation of the world depends upon each one of us realizing that we are one with Christ.  As we realize who and what we are in Christ, we see the Gifts of God which has been entrusted with us.  We have been given the world.   It is our holy assignment.  It is our Mission from God.  When we accept our mission, we acknowledge the truth that God’s Will is done on earth as it is done in Heaven.  When we accept our mission, we unite our will along with Creation and restore it to Heaven’s peace. 

God is not asking us to change who we are.  He is not asking us to dress a certain way or go live in the desert and eat grasshoppers.  He is not telling us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.  He is not asking us to forsake our families or sacrifice our first born.  God is simply asking us to remember who and what we really are – we are not a body, we are free.  We are as God created us.  God is asking us to accept our role in salvation – to know that the whole of it depends on each one of us – not on the little pile of dust that would be our bodies, but on our true Selves which is God’s Son. 

Our humanity will find all kinds of ways to drown out the Voice for God in our lives.  It will give us many scattered goals and functions.  It will divide us and splinter us and overwhelm our mortal bodies with demands, expectations, and roles that drain us of all our joy and peace and love.  Our reality in God makes us one.  In God we are whole.  When we know our one true purpose, we can ignore the calls and causes of this world that clamor for our attention and bring nothing but more demands and uproar.  When we know that the salvation of the world depends upon us, we understand that our function is to forgive as Christ forgave.  Jesus shows us that to forgive is how we offer love on earth.  We forgive because we know that there is nothing to forgive in Heaven.  We forgive because forgiveness is expressing love to a world that yearns for love, sings songs about love, makes much of love but has forgotten what it really is. 

Dear Father, today we ask that our lesson idea is made real to our minds and hearts.  Show us the truth about ourselves – we are not bodies, we are liberated, we are as You created us to be.  The salvation of the world depends upon our willingness to forgive one and all for wandering away from You.  Let us do Your Will and offer love in the way the world understands.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 206. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 205 – Review of Lesson 185

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 205

  1. (185)  I want the peace of God.

The peace of God is everything I want.  The peace of God is my one goal; the aim of all my living here, the end I seek, my purpose and my function and my life, while I abide where I am not at home.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Personal Notes and Application:  Today we are on our fifth day of Review VI.  We open our morning and evening meditation with the friendly and happy-making assertion about who and what we are not and who and what we really are:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me. 

While I would never discourage young people from studying A Course in Miracles, I believe that it makes more sense to come to the teachings after experiencing the world.  When we were young and full of piss and vinegar, as James likes to put it, we would not have wanted to be anything but our bodies!  No matter how much trouble they were, how spiritually deprived, how they embarrassed or harassed us, we lived for them.  We took delight in the pleasures and displeasures our bodies seemed to make of us and for us.  We were driven by the idea that our bodies – both our shame and our delight – were somehow going to get us where we wanted to go and give us that which for what we were yearning. Looking back we both laugh and cringe over all the ways in which we tried to reconcile these two irreconcilable thoughts – we were to worship a God who made the body, and yet the body seemed to be a thing in and of itself, and not of God at all!   

If someone would have asked me what I wanted at an early stage of my life, I would not have said the peace of God.  I wanted to be a published writer. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to distinguish myself somehow and someway from others. I longed for adventure, travel, to be on the arm of some new and dashing guy, a marvelous lover, a world-wise fellow who would teach me the ropes.  I yearned to meet and make friends with people more like the characters I found in literature, people who would sit and discuss ideas with me and share my love for books and writing and ponder the meaning of the universe, rather than the lot I seemed to be stuck with who were suffering their unhappy, love-starved lives with flirtations and affairs, their pretending to be one thing but being quite another, their repetitive, go-nowhere cycles of planting bad seed and hoping for a good harvest.  I wanted to be free of such people because I wanted to be free of that version of me.  I wanted to meet someone that would change my current state and make me into something else.  In other words, the peace of God was not on my want list, and there is no shame in that. It was a very necessary phase of my life where I had to experience wanting a lot of other things and even getting them in order to find out that without the peace of God, that other stuff meant nothing at all.   

What I have learned in time and through time is that it is only the peace of God I want – for when I have the peace of God, I have Everything.  Happiness becomes my new standard and goal.  Without the peace of God, I may have everything I thought I wanted, but it will be as nothing, and happiness will always be something I am seeking but never finding. 

Today we will spend our meditations times and our little moments throughout the day reminding ourselves that no matter what we think we want here in the world, without the peace of God it will be over before it began, it will be spent, it will be fast a fading memory and then gone forever.  The world’s promises to bring us pleasure, to tickle our fancies, to make us smarter, bigger, better fail to do bring us anything but disappointment.  There is no point getting cynical about it, boo-hooing, griping or complaining.  Things here do not last and there is a very good reason for this to be so – it is not God’s Kingdom, it is not God’s Will, and we can never make it what it is not. 

Nothing that happens in the world dares to disturb the tranquil, quiet calmness we experience with the peace of God.  We may not understand how this can be, but this is what we want.   The world will always find something to separate us, to build cases against each other, to take up our signs and wear our special colors, to join its causes and go to war. The world may call for peace, but what it really wants is bloodshed, let us make no mistake about it.  It is only the peace of God we want, because this the only peace there is!

Today we quiet our minds and turn off all that would call for discord.  We clear the altars of our mind of all that is not the call of love, and we offer them to God.  We pray,

“I want Your Peace on the altar of my mind, O Father.  While I am living in the dream of separation, my one goal is to experience Your Peace.  It is my function to seek Your Peace and find it and share it with others.  My body does not define me.  The bodies of others do not define them.  We are still as You created us.  Let us experience Your peace.  In the name of Jesus, with whom we are one.  Amen.“


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 205. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 204 Review Lesson 184

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 204

  1. (184)  The Name of God is my inheritance.

God’s Name reminds me that I am His Son, not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions, free in God, forever and forever one with Him.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:   Today we open our morning and evening devotion with the words:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  This morning James and I woke up with aches and pains – our backs hurt, my calve muscles ached, our shoulders felt hammered.  I blamed the bed, we need a new mattress but I have been dithering about how I want to replace it – do we get one of those fancy-schmancy mattresses that do all kinds of magic or settle for a medium firm Serta with a pillow top?  James said he has and will continue to sleep on whatever I pick out as long as it is not so soft it sags in the middle.  But he does not associate his aches and pains with our mattress; his come from being old, he said. 

We had a good laugh – we are only five years apart and so if he is old, then I am old!  If his aches and pains are from the aging body that is where mine are coming from as well.  Why bother getting a new mattress? 

According to Wikipedia, the United Nations has designated sixty-five as being the start of old age.[2] But old age is an idea, a state of mind, a device of the ego nature designed to put the fear of God in us.

We are not bodies.  We are free.  For we are still as God created us.  The rumbles and grumbles that seem to symbolize our old age, our has-been status in the world, our lack of no longer contributing to the gene pool or the work force are simply not the truth about us.  We are still as God created us, the Mind of God.  The Name of God is our inheritance – Jesus reminds us in today’s review. In the world we experience ourselves as humans separated by time and space from Creation and the Kingdom from which we came – destined for death and decay. In God’s Kingdom we are forever, invincible, and one with God and each other – designed to last forever and ever.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 204. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_age# Retrieved July 23, 2020

Lesson 203 Review of Lesson 183

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 203

  1. (183)  I will call upon God’s Name and on my own.

The name of God is my deliverance from every thought of evil and of sin, because it is my own as well as His.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:   This morning I woke up early and went downstairs to start the coffee.  While the coffee was brewing, I went outside to sit and look at the algae pond, the woods, the ducks, the overcast sky.  It was so pleasant, so quiet, so peaceful.  The rooster shattered the quiet morning with his throaty crows, rather unhappily, it sounded to me.  Last night James had put him in the retirement home with the pensioners to give the little hens a break from all his rascally ways.  He has been an over-stimulated, randy lad and with twelve young hens, I was afraid he was going to you-know-what himself to death if we did not intervene!  The pensioners can stand their own against him – old and brazen, they have outlasted and outlived three roosters in their lifetimes. 

This morning’s devotional practice begins with I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  And today’s lesson review “I call upon God’s name and on my own,” brings to mind a passage in Sons and Lovers when writing about his character, the drunken, family-despising Mr. Morel, D.H. Lawrence writes, “He forgot the God in him.”[2]  I do not want to forget the God in me, my mind said, as I sat on the back deck in the early morning hours.  And so here this morning I call upon God’s name and on my own.  For God has made me like Himself, and I am still as God created me. 

Today let our prayer be that we never forget the God in us.  No matter where we are in the lifespan, no matter what our worldly achievements, our advances and our declines – we will remember to call upon God’s name and on our own.  For we are like Him!  We do not have to believe the false report of who we are any longer.  We are not bodies which clamor, demand, and point fingers of blame and shame!  We are the Mind of God, made in His image, powerful and invulnerable. 

As humans we are in a dark primitive dream state in which we prey upon the flesh of Creation to survive to die another day.  We are all screaming for and streaming toward that which we think will satisfy us but never will.  We will never find security by making any other part of Creation insecure; we will never find peace, by disturbing the peace; we will never find happiness by coveting the joys, blessings and gifts of another being.

The name of God delivers us from the fallen, depraved nature of this world because it is the name He shares with us.  He breathed His Name into us, His Son.  Unlike the fictional Mr. Morel, I never want to forget the God in me, and I hope you do not either!   

Do your best today to meditate morning and evening on our lesson review.  Throughout the day quietly ask Holy Spirit to reveal the deep truth of today’s lesson review idea.  To those of us who have been programmed to fear God instead of love and identify with Him, the idea of sharing the name of God takes some getting used to!  But how could we call Him Father if it were otherwise?    


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 203. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Lawrence, D.H. Sons and lovers. (Kindle Edition) retrieved from amazon.com. A public domain book.

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

Review VI – Lesson 202

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 202

  1. (182)  I will be still an instant and go home.

Why would I choose to stay an instant more where I do not belong, when God Himself has given me His Voice to call me home?

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation:

Today we spend 15 minutes meditating upon the concept of being still.  We spend an instant every hour, every chance we remember, to be still and to hear the Holy Child within us, calling to us to come home with Him, giving to Him our hearts and minds, putting down our arms and putting our trust and faith in Him.  This is how we train our minds to stay upon God, to keep our thoughts free of the world and stayed upon our Father, our Lord, our Creator, and King.  This is where we find peace to bring to the world’s turmoil, to save it from despair, to bring God’s Kingdom to earth and make it one. 

Dear Father, I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as You created me. Thank you for our lesson review for today. Help us to be still an instant and come home. 

We know that this world is not our home.  All of our lives we tried to find a home in this world, but it could not be found.  We thought that maybe there was something wrong with us; other people seemed to find a home, other people seemed to be happy here and accept the world of decay, deception, destruction, and death.  But Jesus tells us today that no matter how people may deny it or play games, go to war, or build multiple houses in order to drown their sadness and sorrow, everybody knows that this world is not our home. 

Thank you for the Holy Child who comes to make His home in those of us who end up here.  Thank you for His holiness and how He reflects the light of Heaven, bringing God’s kingdom to earth and making it one.  Help us today to pay attention to that Child, to take a rest from the world with Him, to know that He is part of us, and we are part of Him. 

Show us how to protect this Child, not with battalions and other ignorant forms of physical defense, but with purity and innocence and defenselessness.  Help us not to allow the voice of the ego to drown out the Child’s voice, but instead let us take His hand and come home with Him in our morning and evening practice sessions and our hourly calls as well. 

We know that the Child is an outcast here, an alien.  We no longer seek to fit in with the world, to take up the calls of the world for we have traveled the world’s many paths to happiness and found that all of them led to nowhere, and none of them took us to You. 

Let us not wear upon our Savior’s patience or cause Him to plead to our deafened ears!  No matter how long He is willing to wait for us, let us not cause ourselves delay.  Let us go with Him in peace and in trust to where we belong. 

Let the world recede in our minds, dear Father, so that we may hear His Voice.  Let us not value what is valueless no longer, dear God.  Quicken our minds and soften our hearts so that we resist Christ no longer.  For we seek stillness, silence, and peace.  We want to go beyond doubt, beyond fear, beyond the discord and dishonesty of the world. 

Today we will rest with Him who was willing to become a little Child that we might learn of His strength that needs no defense, that we might learn to offer love to those who would otherwise be our enemies.  We will protect the time we spend with this Child.  We will not let our human needs cause us to forget, to push it aside, to give it little account. 

We who have wandered want to come home, dear Father.  Today we come to You in our devotions and throughout the day, happy to escape the hell we made for those holy moments that we get to spend with You.  Let us lay down our shields, for they do not protect us or offer us any kind of shelter.  Let us stop attacking false foes and offer the love of Christ to friend and brother. 

Deliver us from illusions that we serve no other gods.  We are as You created us and for our innocence, our holiness, and our real Selves we yearn. 

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with Whom we are one.  Amen.

I will be still an instant and go home.

I am not a body; I am free.  I am still as God created me.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 202. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 201 I Am Not A Body. I Am Free. For I Am As God Created Me.

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 201

  1. (181)  I trust my brothers, who are one with me.

No one but is my brother.  I am blessed with oneness with the universe and God, my Father, one Creator of the whole that is my Self, forever one with me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Devotional Meditation:

Dear Father, Today we come to you morning and evening, recognizing the holiness and goodness and love that You created me with and for:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as You created me.   

I ask Holy Spirit to instill within my mind the structure and guidance from Christ as in how to train our mind to think with You.   I want to know that I am not a body, that I am free, that I am still as You created me from the deepest regions of my mind and heart.  I never want to fall back into believing that I am a body or an ego, that I am nothing but another consumer, a plague upon the face of the earth, devouring or being devoured by forces outside and from within.  Today I thank You, Father, for giving us Salvation, for giving us a way out of the nightmare which is not made of You. 

We will start today’s morning review with the theme for Review VI. I choose to do the best I can to stay with the structure and guidance on this review instead of just going my own way and sometimes doing it the second time and sometimes not.  So I will start each practice session for the next twenty review lessons with the main idea of:  I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Today I trust my brothers for they are one with me.  I will forgive them for all the ways in which I was tempted to believe that they were out to get me, to take advantage of me, to try to steal my joy, or rain on my parade.  I will forgive them for all the ways in which they left me alone and in sorrow when I needed them most!  I will forgive them while all along knowing that I have nothing to forgive for they were doing the best they could.  As I am not a body, neither are they a body.  As I am free of the ego; so are they free of the ego.  As I am still as God created me, so are they.

As I review Lesson 181, let the words of Christ take life in my mind and help me to ward off all tempting thoughts that my brothers can remain lost while I can be saved.  When anger and resentment come to my mind today, when I am tempted to dwell upon their wrongdoing, their selfishness, their lies – let me remember to avow with all my strength and devotion:  I will not look upon my brothers and see anything that is wrong or sinful.  I trust them for they are one with me.  I will give up all grudges no matter how many times they come to mind in efforts to throw me off the path to You.  These thoughts of forgiveness, these thoughts of trust, these thoughts of putting away anger and wrath and unkindness and focusing only upon the goodness and purity of my brothers will keep me safe. 

This is no pipe dream.  My thoughts have power to go beyond the mistakes of my brothers, the sins of the world.  My thoughts have the holy function to bring in Your Kingdom, Your Power, Your Glory now and forever.  When all I want to see is the holiness and sweetness, the kindness and goodness of my brothers, when this is all I seek for, when all I want to think about is Your Kingdom of love and joy and peace, the vision of Christ becomes mine.  All I want to see, Dear Father, is the Love You feel for us reflected in the world. 

The world no longer is a witness to our sin but rather our purity and holiness.  Our love for everyone we see demonstrates that we are transformed from the illusion of humanity to the Self created in Your Love and in Your Will.  Let us remember who we are, O Lord.  Bless our practice today.  Bring us together in Christ – not looking back or hoping in a vain future, but straight into the present where we put our trust, our hope, our love. 

I trust my brothers who are one with me.  Bless them today and keep them in the light of Your Will, Oh Father.  Let me see all with the eyes of Christ; let them see me with the eyes of Christ.  Show us the way and help us to walk within it as we give our willingness to You. 

I am not a body, I am free.  I am still as God created me.

In the name of Jesus with Whom we are One.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 201. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Review VI Introduction

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI INTRODUCTION

  1. For this review we take but one idea each day and practice it as often as is possible.  Besides the time you give morning and evening which should not be less than fifteen minutes and the hourly remembrances you make throughout the day, use the idea as often as you can between them.  Each of these ideas alone would be sufficient for salvation if it were learned truly.  Each would be enough to give release to you and to the world from every form of bondage and invite the memory of God to come again. 
  2. With this in mind we start our practicing in which we carefully review the thoughts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us in our last twenty lessons.  Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day.  One is enough.  But from that one, there must be no exceptions made.  And so we need to use them all and let them blend as one as each contributes to the whole we learn.
  3. These practice sessions, like our last review, are centered round a central theme with which we start and end each lesson.  It is this:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me. The day begins and ends with this.  And we repeat it every time the hour strikes. Or we remember, in between, we have a function that transcends the world we see.  Beyond this, and a repetition of the special thought we practice for the day, no form of exercise is urged, except a deep relinquishment of everything that clutters up the mind and makes it deaf to reason, sanity, and simple truth.
  4. We will attempt to get beyond all words and special forms of practicing for this review.  For we attempt, this time, to reach a quickened pace along a shorter path to the serenity and peace of God.  We merely close our eyes, and then forget all that we thought we knew and understood.  For thus is freedom given us from all we did not know and failed to understand. 
  5. There is but one exception to this lack of structuring.  Permit no idle thought to go unchallenged.  If you notice one, deny its hold and hasten to assure your mind that this is not what it would have.  Then gently let the thought which you denied be given up, in sure and quick exchange for the idea we practice for the day.
  6. When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation, as you say:  This thought I do not want.  I choose instead ______________.      And then repeat the idea for the day, and let it take the place of what you thought.  Beyond such special applications of each day’s idea, we will add but a few formal expressions or specific thoughts to aid in practicing.  Instead, we give these times of quiet to the Teacher Who instructs in quiet, speaks of peace, and gives our thoughts whatever meaning they may have. 

7.   To Him I offer this review for you.  I place you in His charge and let Him teach you what to do and say and think, each time you turn to Him.  He will not fail to be available to you, each time you call to Him to help you.  Let us offer Him the whole review we now begin and let us also not forget to Whom it has been given, as we practice day by day, advancing toward the goal He set for us; allowing Him to teach us how to go, and trusting Him completely for the way each practice period can best become a loving gift of freedom to the world.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  In this review, we take one idea from lessons 181 through 200 and start each day and end each day with a 15-minute period of devotional practice.  During these times of devotion, we will meditate up on the idea, we will review the written lesson, we will write down or voice our thoughts realizing that Holy Spirit who is our Teacher will give our thoughts all the meaning that they have.  We will also ask our Teacher to send someone to us or allow us to find some way to share the thoughts that our lessons inspire within our minds.  For this is the way that we learn – not by keeping them to ourselves, but by sharing them with others. 

If you skip a devotional time, if you feel a sense of dread toward your practice, if you feel as if you are being infringed upon by the demands of this course, take it all with a grain of salt.  This is a perfectly natural way for the ego to respond to this course which is asking us to both recognize it and relinquish it.  It does not want to go!  The ego is not our enemy; neither is it our friend.  It is a lie, a work of fiction that wants to be real and can only exist as long as we give it a place to lurk and make more untruth.  So ignore that sense of cringing when it comes to our meditational practice and begin to share the thoughts of God with others in any way that Holy Spirit leads.  Do not be afraid but be full of courage because this is the only real thing and the only thing of meaning that we can do in this world.  All other things we share end in death; but this leads to eternity and lasts forever!

Let our theme for Review VI – I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me. take root in our consciousness by starting our devotional with this thought and ending it with this thought.  Throughout the day, when thoughts that concern the body and the ego arise to mess with our minds and to distract us from truth simply by remembering our theme and the lesson review idea will bring us much advance in surrendering all that is not of God.

Watch your thoughts and do not let any single one of them go unchallenged.  When we are tempted to condemn an old foe, remember a past wrong, let ourselves get worked up by what other people are doing in other parts of the world, put our nose where it does not belong, or be jealous, envious, or harsh, take charge of the thought and say firmly and clearly:  I do not want this thought.  I choose instead to trust my brothers who are one with me, for example, as our review instructs, put the review idea for the day into that blank line!  This is a powerful way in which we train our minds to dwell upon and stay focused upon our goal.     

As I do this, as you do this, as we all do this together from all parts of the world, from all walks of life, our differences melt away and we become one in Christ.  If we forget or get too busy to devote ourselves to this review, we will not condemn ourselves or give the ego any time to use our forgetfulness or lack of devotion and forethought against us.  We will simply ask our Teacher to get us back on track.  We will remember our love for God and how much we miss Him; we will remember His great love and devotion toward us.  We will recognize that in our weakness we are made strong.  I will pray for you and I ask you to pray for me, that this review will draw us together in the holy instant that establishes us forever in the love of God.  This is our gift to God, to ourselves, to each other.  Every single practice period is a loving gift of freedom to the world. Let us take it with the utmost sincerity, goodwill, and holy trust.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with whom we are one.  Amen. 


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

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

Lesson 200 There Is No Peace Except The Peace Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 200 There is no peace except the peace of God.

  1. Seek you no further.  You will not find peace except the peace of God.  Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt.  Seek you no further.  There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.
  2. This is the final point to which each one must come at last, to lay aside all hope of finding happiness where there is none; of being saved by what can only hurt; of making peace of chaos, joy of pain, and Heaven out of hell.  Attempt no more to win through losing, nor to die to live.  You cannot but be asking for defeat.
  3. Yet you can ask as easily for love, for happiness, and for eternal life in peace that has no ending.  Ask for this, and you can only win.  To ask for what you have already must succeed.  To ask that what is false be true can only fail.  Forgive yourself for vain imaginings and seek no longer what you cannot find.  For what could be more foolish than to seek and seek and seek again for hell, when you have but to look with open eyes to find that Heaven lies before you, through a door that opens easily to welcome you?
  4. Come home.  You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms that have no meaning to you, though you sought to make them meaningful.  This world is not where you belong.  You are a stranger here.  But it is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house or jail for anyone.
  5. Freedom is given you where you behold but chains and iron doors.  But you must change your mind about the purpose of the world, if you would find escape.  You will be bound till all the world is seen by you as blessed, and everyone made free of your mistakes and honored as he is.  You made him not; no more yourself.  And as you free the one, the other is accepted as he is.
  6. What does forgiveness do?  In truth it has no function and does nothing.  For it is unknown in Heaven.  It is only hell where it is needed, and where it must serve a mighty function.  Is not the escape of God’s beloved Son from evil dreams that he imagines, yet believes are true, a worthy purpose?  Who could hope for more; while there appears to be a choice to make between success and failure; love and fear?
  7. There is no peace except the peace of God, because He has one Son who cannot make a world in opposition to God’s Will and to his own, which is the same as His. What could he hope to find in such a world? It cannot have reality, because it never was created. Is it here that he would seek for peace?  Or must he see that, as he looks on it, the world can but deceive? Yet can he learn to look on it another way and find the peace of God.
  8. Peace is the bridge that everyone will cross to leave this world behind. But peace begins within the world perceived as different and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond. Peace is the answer to conflicting goals, to senseless journeys, frantic, vain pursuits, and meaningless endeavors. Now the way is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge where freedom lies within the peace of God.
  9. Let us not lose our way again today. We go to Heaven, and the path is straight. Only if we attempt to wander can there be delay and needless wasted time on thorny byways. God alone is sure, and He will guide our footsteps. He will not desert His Son in need, nor let Him stray forever from his home. The Father calls; the Son will hear. And that is all there is to what appears to be a world apart from God, where bodies have reality.
  10. Now is there silence. Seek no further. You have come to where the road is carpeted with the leaves of false desires, fallen from the trees of hopelessness you saw before. Now are they underfoot. And you look up and on toward heaven, with the body’s eyes but serving for an instant longer now.  Peace is already recognized at last, and you can feel its soft embrace around your heart and mind with comfort and with love.
  11. Today we seek no idols.  Peace cannot be found in them. The peace of God is ours, and only this will we accept and want.  Peace be to us today. For we have found a simple, happy way to leave the world of ambiguity, and to replace our shifting goals and solitary dreams with single purpose and companionship. For peace is union, if it be of God. We seek no further. We are close to home, and draw still nearer every time we say: There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.[1]

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Dear Father, Today let our seeking in the world for peace and happiness, meaning and joy come to an end. We cannot find peace here. We only find peace within Your Will and this is what we accept today. Let us leave the world of opposites and uncertainty, the place of separateness and loneliness. We will find our peace in You and in union with one another in Your peace. We draw closer to you each time we say our lesson idea today – “There is no peace except Your peace, O Father. And I am glad and thankful it is so.” In the name of Jesus Christ, with whom we are one. Amen.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 200. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

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

Lesson 199 I Am Not A Body. I Am Free.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 199 I am not a body.  I am free.

  1. Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself.  The body is a limit.  Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it can not be found.  The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it, and sheltered by its presence.  If this were the truth, the mind were vulnerable indeed!
  2. The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked.  Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter into a mind that has attached itself to love.  It rests in God.  And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves?
  3. It is essential for your progress in this course that you accept today’s idea and hold it very dear.  Be not concerned that to the ego it is quite insane.  The ego holds the body dear because it dwells in it and lives united with the home that it has made.  It is a part of the illusion that has sheltered it from being found illusory itself.
  4. Here does it hide, and here it can be seen as what it is.  Declare your innocence and you are free.  The body disappears, because you have no need of it except the need the Holy Spirit sees.  For this, the body will appear as useful form for what the mind must do.  It thus becomes a vehicle which helps forgiveness be extended to the all-inclusive goal that it must reach, according to God’s plan.
  5. Cherish today’s idea and practice it today and every day.  Make it a part of every practice period you take.  There is no thought that will not gain thereby in power to help the world, and none which will not gain in added gifts to you as well.  We sound the call of freedom round the world with this idea.  And would you be exempt from the acceptance of the gifts you gave?
  6. The Holy Spirit is the home of minds that seek for freedom.  In Him they have found what they have sought.  The body’s purpose now is unambiguous.  And it becomes perfect in the ability to serve an undivided goal.  In conflict-free and unequivocal response to mind with but the thought of freedom as its goal, the body serves, and serves its purpose well.  Without the power to enslave, it is a worthy servant of the freedom which the mind within the Holy Spirit seeks.
  7. Be free today.  And carry freedom as your gift to those who still believe they are enslaved within a body.  Be you free so that the Holy Spirit can make use of your escape from bondage, to set free the many who perceive themselves as bound and helpless and afraid.  Let love replace their fears through you.  Accept salvation now and give your mind to Him Who calls to you to make this gift to Him.  For He would give you perfect freedom, perfect joy, and hope that finds its full accomplishment in God.
  8. You are God’s Son.  In immortality you live forever.  Would you not return your mind to this?  Then practice well the thought the Holy Spirit gives you for today.  Your brothers stand released with you in it; the world is blessed along with you; God’s Son will weep no more. And Heaven offers thanks for the increase of joy your practice brings even to it.  And God Himself extends His Love and happiness each time you say: I am not a body.  I am free.  I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  We are born with the Voice for God inside of us, given to us by God and calling for us to awaken from the dream of separation, from the dream of being a body, from the dream of being split between opposites.

When we think of ourselves as a body, we are prisoner to a form which keeps us enslaved to its never-ending needs for mere survival.  The nature of this world is set up for the fight for survival, the struggle to matter, the race for limited resources, the effort to make one’s self and one’s species special and at the top of the food chain.  It is violent and full of vengeance.  If someone tells you that nature is nice, that it is natural to love one another and to ignore differences, ask them to go live in the woods and commune, unprotected with it for a few weeks.  Let them get away from their computers and from behind their desks and experience for themselves what hard work it is to survive in nature!   

A loving God did not this world make.  A God devoted His Son has bestowed upon His Son all of His own features, privileges, and characteristics.  A God devoted to His Creation has taken responsibility for His Creation’s salvation and will bring them home from their captivity in self-deception, in believing a lie, in creating a dark enchantment which blinds them to reality and keeps them trapped in a hallucination of death and despair. 

Returning our minds to our true identity sets us free.  We are no longer content to drown out the Voice for God with the shrill and chaotic, mindless and thoughtless, constant and repetitive calls of the body.  The body serves the mind; the mind serves not the body.  We are the Son of God.  We are not a body; we are the Mind of God.  Today Jesus tells us to remember this and bring this thought into all of our practice.  To share this idea with all who are still mistaking themselves for a body.  As we realize the truth of this lesson idea, we will increase our joy, we will have no reason for tears and sorrow, we will experience God’s Love and happiness each time we say these words:  I am not a body, I am free.  I hear the Voice that God has given me.  And it is only This Voice my mind obeys.  

Do not worry if your ego puts up a fuss and tells you how crazy you are.  Do not let concerns over how your body certainly feels like you, defeat your dedication to the truth.  Do not allow your love for your body and the great care you take for it convince you that it is your reality and that your life ends when it does.  Just simply open your mind to the truth of the matter – time will wreak its havoc upon all things that are not real – this is the purpose of time.  Time teaches us what has value and what has none by simply wasting away all that is not real, slowing eroding, changing, and converting one form into another.

Jesus emphasizes to us today that Holy Spirit is home of us who seek our freedom from the hold of the body and the lies of the ego.  Today we ask for and listen for the Voice for God.  We will take a little while several times a day to clear our inner altar and practice knowing who and what we really are.  We will be patient and kind with ourselves. There is no need to get discouraged or overwhelmed with impossible spiritual goals, because we put our spiritual progress into the hands of Him Who created us and is calling us to remember.  We will enjoy our spiritual walk.  We will have fun with it!  We will not grovel or plead with God, for He is not a God who takes pleasure in such piddling behaviors.  It does not please Him to see us cry or humiliate ourselves, our bodies are not a sacrifice.  God already has Everything; He simply does not want or need our bodies.  He did not create them, they will never be holy, or of any value except as a vessel through our lessons in time.  Our Heavenly Father only wants us, our hearts and minds, our love and devotion, even as He has given us His Heart, His Mind, His Love and Devotion.  Our bodies will disappear in time and we are thankful that this is so because we are not the symbol of the ego; we are not an emblem of death and decay.  Day by day, moment by moment, we loose ourselves from identifying with ego and the body and we choose our identity in Christ.  Day by day, moment by moment, we will come to see how much more we are, how much more is all Creation.  In the name of Jesus the Christ, with whom we are one.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 199.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 198 Only My Condemnation Injures Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 198 Only my condemnation injures me.

  1. Injury is impossible. And yet illusion makes illusion. If you can condemn, you can be injured. For you have believed that you can injure, and the right you have established for yourself can be now used against you, till you lay it down as valueless, unwanted, and unreal. Then does illusion cease to have effects, and those it seemed to have will be undone. Then are you free, for freedom is your gift, and you can now receive the gift you gave.
  2. Condemn and you are made a prisoner. Forgive and you are freed. Such is the law that rules perception. It is not a law that knowledge understands, for freedom is a part of knowledge. To condemn is thus impossible in truth. What seems to be its influence and its effects have not occurred at all. Yet must we deal with them a while as if they had. Illusion makes illusion. Except one. Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest.
  3. Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. All illusions save this one must multiply a thousand-fold. But this is where illusions end.  Forgiveness is the end of dreams because it is a dream of waking. It is not itself the truth. Yet does it point to where the truth must be and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are one.
  4. Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death. How could there be another way, when this one is the plan of God Himself? And why would you oppose it, quarrel with it, seek to find a thousand ways in which it must be wrong; a thousand other possibilities?
  5. Is it not wiser to be glad you hold the answer to your problems in your hand?  Is it not more intelligent to thank the One Who gives salvation, and accept His gift with gratitude?  And is it not a kindness to yourself to hear His Voice and learn the simple lessons He would teach, instead of trying to dismiss His words, and substitute your own in place of His?
  6. His words will work.  His words will save.  His words contain all hope, all blessing, and all joy that ever can be found upon this earth.  His words are born in God and come to you with Heaven’s love upon them.  Those who hear His words have heard the song of Heaven.  For these are the words in which all merge as one at last.  And as this one will fade away, the Word of God will come to take its place, for it will be remembered then and loved.
  7. This world has many seeming separate haunts where mercy has no meaning and attack appears as justified.  Yet all are one; a place where death is offered to God’s Son and to his Father.  You may think They have accepted.  But if you will look again upon the place where you behold Their blood, you will perceive a miracle instead.  How foolish to believe that They could die!  How foolish to believe you can attack!  How mad to think that you could be condemned and that the holy Son of God can die? 
  8. The stillness of your Self remains unmoved, untouched by thoughts like these, and unaware of any condemnation which could need forgiveness.  Dreams of any kind are strange and alien to the truth.  And what but truth could have a Thought which builds a bridge to it that brings illusions to the other side?
  9. Today we practice letting freedom come to make its home with you.  The truth bestows these words upon your mind, that you may find the key to light and let the darkness end:  Only my condemnation injures me.  Only my own forgiveness sets me free.  Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought.  Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.
  10. Accept the one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God’s Son, and Heaven is remembered instantly; the world forgotten, all its weird beliefs forgotten with it, as the face of Christ appears unveiled at last in this one dream.  This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for you from God your Father.  Let today be celebrated both on earth and in your holy home as well.  Be kind to both, as you forgive the trespasses you thought them guilty of, and see your innocence shining upon you from the face of Christ. 
  11. Now is there silence all around the world.  Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense.  Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep.  And now the Word of God alone remains upon it.  Only that can be perceived an instant longer.  Then are symbols done, and everything you ever thought you made completely vanished from the mind that God forever knows to be His only Son.
  12. There is no condemnation in him.  He is perfect in his holiness.  He needs no thoughts of mercy.  Who could give him gifts when everything is his?  And who could dream of offering forgiveness to the Son of Sinlessness Itself, so like to Him Whose Son he is, that to behold the Son is to perceive no more, and only know the Father?  In this vision of the Son, so brief that not an instant stands between this single sight and timelessness itself, you see the vision of yourself, and then you disappear forever into God.
  13. Today we come still nearer to the end of everything that yet would stand between this vision and our sight.  And we are glad that we have come this far and recognize that He Who brought us here will not forsake us now.  For He would give to us the gift that God has given us through Him today.  Now is the time for your deliverance.  The time has come.  The time has come today.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   The other day I got up on the wrong side of the bed.  Our coffee tasted like there was something wrong with it – I was certain that James did something to it, watered it down, put something in it – he likes to try new things and I do not mind trying new things either, but not my morning coffee.  No butter, no spices, no coconut oil, no flavors.  Later when we went on a little lark, I was still grumpy, and I prayed and asked the Lord to please fill my mind with gratitude and He did.  It was wonderful.  After that I asked the Lord to continue to talk to me.  I was following James down to Harrisburg and I did not want to listen to the radio, my random thoughts, or even an Audible book – I wanted to hear from the Voice for God.  We had not had devotions in our haste to get the show on the road and I missed that “little while” we spend with God each morning.

God showed me a brother from our ACIM study group who had voiced that he will not say the name of someone who hurt him.  The Voice for God assured me that he will say the name and he will say it without any rancor, with no trace of pain, with nothing but thanksgiving and forgiveness, and that when I hear him saying the name and how he will be saying the name with forgiveness and joy, forgiveness and happiness will flood his being.  It was such a lovely message, and I thought to myself, “I am so happy that I can say everybody’s names.  I have nobody with whom I hold a grudge or any resentment.  All is forgiven.” 

As I drove down the road passing the structures where I had once worked, I thought of a fellow I used to work with.   I could not even remember Rod’s last name even though I had once sat on a few committees with him – committees that were formed with community leaders who had joined in a mission to prevent child sexual abuse.  A few years ago, I was working with some wonderful people from the local to the state level in an effort to educate the public on attainable, practical measures to stop child abuse.  As I mused about the past and the work that we had been doing, thoughts towards that group of people took a downward turn.  Without at first being aware of it, I spent about 20 minutes thinking of all the ways in which the efforts of all these other people only lasted as long as preventing child sexual abuse was the trendy thing to do.  When human trafficking and other social issues came to take the forefront, they dropped the ball, no longer attended meetings. and showed little to no interest in giving their time or efforts to the foundation.  It was their egos, I decided.  They were just in it to make themselves look good.  They had latched on to the cause to distinguish themselves and then dropped it when it was no longer a popular topic…I remembered how alone and unsupported I felt.  I remember how the CEO of the agency bluntly informed me that while there were generous funds for rescuing victims, there were few directed toward education and prevention.  One woman had brashly indicated that the name of the foundation was simply not sexy enough.  Imagine!  I remembered with no small trace of bitterness the prevention videos we were assigned were so outdated, to the point of being laughable. I remembered how few people attended the informative workshops – free certified training, childcare, and a meal were not enough to persuade them to come learn about the topic.  Nobody seemed to care!  They could not be motivated to do what it takes to make the horror stop. 

I had thought this was a settled matter in my mind.  I had forgiven it all.  I had stopped thinking about it, but here it was still lurking in my mind unnamed and unexposed – a case against them, an outside force.  Today the Voice for God showed me that there was no case.  It was my ego which had latched on to the cause.  It was my ego that had found a worthy cause to make real in the illusion and then use this as a means of attack against anybody who did not jump on and stay on the bandwagon with me.  Anybody who did not want to support this admirable mission was up for condemnation.  Their efforts were not sincere.  Their efforts were not enough.  They had a hidden agenda, and all the while my ego was finding reasons to attack others for what it was doing itself. 

Today’s lesson then would beseech me to forgive those who had failed to give their undivided efforts to ending child sexual abuse, while understanding that forgiveness itself is but another illusion. They had not done anything wrong except to disappoint my ego for not joining with it in making another illusion “real.”  My unforgiveness and resentment toward these people was my ego’s way of keeping me blind to the crafty, subtle way in which first, it could get me caught up in something that is not real and second, condemn others who did not give “the cause” as much as I thought they should.

Condemnation was making me prisoner.  As I “forgave” them, it was myself I forgave because my ego had made the whole case up in the first place – it was all an illusion.  I was binding myself to the unreal world by getting ensnared in a social issue that has no reality in Christ.  Every effort that I would make to prevent child sexual abuse would be an effort toward making an ungodly practice real in my mind and in the minds of all that joined with me.  Illusion breeds illusion, Jesus says in paragraph two. 

When I practice the kind of forgiveness that today’s lesson is talking about, it is all swept away.  It breeds no lies or misrepresentations.  All illusions multiply by a thousand, but not the illusion of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the illusion that ends the dream.  I forgive only to realize I have nothing at all to forgive.  Nothing here in this illusion is worth taking sides, fighting for, or defending – because nothing here is true.  As long as we believe it is, we are entrapping ourselves in the past which we continue to project into the future, skipping over the holy present which leads us to reality, which leads to God. 

The world appears to be full of injustice.  Attacks against cheaters, child molesters, and charlatans may seem more than justified – yet Jesus says that all are one.  Our condemnation towards “others” injures us; only our own forgiveness sets us free.  And even this is an illusion because in reality there is nothing at all to forgive – what happens in the dream, stays in the dream.

Dear Father: Thank you for showing me where grudges still festered in my mind unawares.  I thought that I was somehow ahead of my brother in our journey back to you, only to find that nope, my brother and I are one.  Help me to be kind today – to forgive the trespasses I think that others are guilty of inflicting and to know that in reality there is nothing at all to forgive for nothing here could change the Will of God or His great love and devotion to His Son.   Christ needs no thoughts of mercy.  Let me see others as Christ.  Let me see with His vision; let me know reality.  Bring me back forever into You.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 198.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

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

Lesson 197 It Can Be But My Gratitude I Earn

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 197 It can be but my gratitude I earn.

  1. Here is the second step we take to free your mind from the belief in outside force pitted against your own. You make attempts at kindness and forgiveness. Yet you turn them to attack again, unless you find external gratitude and lavish thanks. Your gifts must be received with honor, lest they be withdrawn. And so you think God’s gifts are loans at best; at worst, deceptions which would cheat you of defenses, to ensure that when He strikes He will not fail to kill.
  2. How easily are God and guilt confused by those who know not what their thoughts can do. Deny your strength, and weakness must become salvation to you. See yourself as bound, and bars become your home. Nor will you leave the prison house, or claim your strength, until guilt and salvation are not seen as one, and freedom and salvation are perceived as joined, with strength beside them, to be sought and claimed, and found and fully recognized.
  3. The world must thank you when you offer it release from your illusions. Yet your thanks belongs to you as well, for its release can only mirror yours. Your gratitude is all your gifts require, that they be a lasting offering of a thankful heart, released from hell forever. Is it this you would undo by taking back your gifts because they were not honored? It is you who honor them and give them fitting thanks, for it is you who have received the gifts.
  4. It does not matter if another thinks your gifts unworthy. In his mind there is a part that joins with yours in thanking you. It does not matter if your gifts seem lost and ineffectual. They are received where they are given.  In your gratitude are they accepted universally, and thankfully acknowledged by the Heart of God Himself. And would you take them back when He has gratefully accepted them?
  5. God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself. And what belongs to God must be His own. Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love, and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.
  6. Withdraw the gifts you give, and you will think that what is given you has been withdrawn. But learn to let forgiveness take away the sins you think you see outside yourself, and you can never think the gifts of God are lent but for a little while before He snatches them away again in death. For death will have no meaning for you then.
  7. And with the end of this belief is fear forever over. Thank your Self for this, for He is grateful only unto God, and He gives thanks to you onto Himself. To everyone who lives will Christ yet come, for everyone must live and move in Him. His being in His Father is secure because Their Will is one. Their gratitude to all They have created has no end, for gratitude remains a part of love.
  8. Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God. For as you were created, you contain all things within your Self. And you are still as God created you. Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. In your heart the Heart of God is laid. He holds you dear because you are Himself. All gratitude belongs to you, because of what you are.
  9. Give thanks as you receive it. Be you free of all ingratitude to anyone who makes your Self complete. And from this Self is no one left outside. Give thanks for all the countless channels which extend this Self. All that you do is given unto Him. All that you think can only be His thoughts, sharing with Him the holy Thoughts of God. Earn now the gratitude you have denied yourself when you forgot the function God has given you. But never think that He has ever ceased to offer thanks to you.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today we are taught that we earn only gratitude toward ourselves in Christ.  I know how this feels on an earthly plane – to feel grateful to oneself.  I experience this sometimes when I think of how long it took me to fulfill my earthly accomplishments.  No matter how long it took me or how old I got in the meantime, I kept plugging away refusing to give up.  How I longed at times to relax and let go of my dreams!  I remember castigating myself for not being content to reading other people’s novels, why did I feel compelled to write one of my own?  And why not sit and watch my favorite TV shows, eating popcorn and ice cream snuggled on the couch every night instead of studying, writing papers, researching, or working on my novel?  Sometimes I would give in to laziness or lack of belief in my ability to accomplish my goals.  Sometimes I would let the opinions and tempting offers of others knock me off course.  But in the end how exciting it was to learn and apply my newfound knowledge in my life and in my work.  How utterly fulfilling it felt to see my book in print.  All the time and effort and fun times I missed when I was working toward my goals was now worth it.  No matter how people teased me about how old I was to finally be graduating from university, no matter how many people loved my novel or refused to read it, I was just so darn thankful that I had finally accomplished the things that had been instilled in me since I could remember. 

Today however, it is not the earthly accomplishments that Jesus is talking about.  Our concept today is to be applied to how we are to free our mind from all thoughts of an outside force pitted against our own force.  When we extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us and they show no sign of gratitude toward our mercy, the worse thing we can do is take back our forgiveness and continue to hold a grudge toward them.  Jesus is telling us today that we must extend our gifts of forgiveness and goodness no matter what the reception because if we “take it back,” we will likewise believe that God takes back His gifts, that He only loans them to us, or that He only wants us to forgive and be kind to make us vulnerable and defenseless against Him. 

When we are not aware of the power of our thoughts, we confuse God with guilt.  We forget how strong we are, and we think that weakness is our defense.  We see this all about us when it comes to people who love and fear God.  They do not like to take credit for anything but are quick to say, “Oh it was God who did it, not me.”  They are so afraid that God will get His little feelings hurt if they take credit for their hard-earned business success or their beautiful artwork or handiwork.  “I am weak, Lord, You are the big strong One,” is another line in this false humility before the Lord.  In the eyes of someone who fears God, establishing their weakness and their lack makes God seem all the more powerful and stronger and bigger.  But Jesus is telling us today to stop this – God did not create us to be weak and to cringe before Him.  We are not to appease Him by not accepting our power and strength and intelligence.  Weakness is not salvation!  We are not to believe “I am weak, but You are strong.”  We are to accept our Sonship.  Freedom and salvation are joined with strength beside them.  We are to seek this and claim this and find it and fully recognize this fact – today. 

When we begin to see that God did not make us as underlings to worship and praise Him out of fear and smallness and weakness, but to become One with Him – we are released from our puny, sad, stupid little lives that spin and spin but never go anywhere at all.  And when we are released, we release the world.  It is all a matter of freeing our minds from the illusion of the outside world.  Personally, the way that I have come to understand this is to realize that my ego human eyes have been programmed to see a world of illusion, discord, separation, shame, blame, guilt, and sin.  Yes, my ego eyes report a world of that is nice, sweet, and kind in many areas but equally badass and bitter in others.  My ego eyes take all that is pure and good and forever and turn it into somewhat and doomed.  My ego eyes take the eternal love and devotion that God has for us, His Son, and turns it into anger, rage, and eternal damnation – except of course for the select few that manage to better themselves above the rest of us and sail into the heavenlies waving a cheery ta-ta.  Ego wants us to believe in a God that would not take responsibility for His Creation and help them to find a way back to Him, not only blaming His Creation for failing to please Him, but devising ways to torment and torture them throughout eternity. 

We earn our gratitude and we earn the gratitude of God when we stop believing such tripe and listen to the call of Love within our hearts.  Kindness and forgiveness then comes naturally to us as we forgive the blinded and misguided world.  It does not matter what they say or do – they may express thanks for our insights or they may reject them – they may honor us one day and discount our words the next – when we claim our strength, when our thoughts are set free of the ego dogma that would have us fear God and seek approval and honor from those who still believe this world is their home and these bodies are who and what they are – we earn the gratitude of Him with Whom we are One. 

It is God who blesses our gifts and when we give them to Him, we give them to ourselves because we are One.  Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms today – we will only know that His gifts are certain, everlasting, unchanging, without limit, always extending and giving love and joy when we forgive and never take it back, when we forgive and never attack those with whom we forgave. 

Death has no more allure or meaning.  Fear is gone forever.  We forgive and never do we have to forgive again because there is simply nothing anyone can do or say that will cause us to believe in the lies of this world.  Now that we see with the eyes of Christ, now that we love God instead of fear Him, we choose only thoughts of love, joy, and peace.  This is how we earn gratitude; this is how we walk in love.  This is how we return to God from whence we came. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 197. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 196 It Can Be But Myself I Crucify

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 196 It can be but myself I crucify.

  1. When this is firmly understood and kept to full awareness, you will not attempt to harm yourself, nor make your body slave in vengeance.  You will not attack yourself, and you will realize that to attack another is but to attack yourself.  You will be free of the insane belief that to attack a brother saves yourself.  And you will understand his safety is your own, and in his healing, you are healed.
  2. Perhaps at first you will not understand how mercy, limitless and with all things held in its sure protection, can be found in the idea we practice for today. It may, in fact, appear to be a sign that punishment can never be escaped because the ego, under what it sees as threat, is quick to cite the truth to save its lies. Yet must it fail to understand the truth it uses thus. But you can learn to see these foolish applications and deny the meaning they appear to have.
  3. Thus do you also teach your mind that you are not an ego. For the ways in which the ego would distort the truth will not deceive you longer. You will not believe you are a body to be crucified. And you will see within today’s idea the light of resurrection, looking past all thoughts of crucifixion and death, to thoughts of liberation and of life.
  4. Today’s idea is one step we take in leading us from bondage to the state of perfect freedom. Let us take this step today, that we may quickly go the way salvation shows us, taking every step in its appointed sequence, as the mind relinquishes its burdens one by one. It is not time we need for this.  It is but willingness. For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.
  5. The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross. Perhaps it seemed to be salvation. Yet it merely stood for belief the fear of God is real. And what is that but hell, who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and block him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?
  6. Such is the form of madness you believe, if you accept the fearful thought you can attack another and be free yourself. Until this form is changed, there is no hope. Until you see that this, at least, must be entirely impossible, how could there be escape? The fear of God is real to anyone who thinks this thought is true. And he will not perceive its foolishness, or even see that it is there, so that it would be possible to question it.
  7. To question it at all, its form must first be changed at least as much as will permit fear of retaliation to abate, and the responsibility returned to some extent to you. From there you can at least consider if you want to go along this painful path. Until this shift has been accomplished, you cannot perceive that it is but your thoughts that bring you fear, and your deliverance depends on you.
  8. Our next steps will be easy for you take this one today. From there we go ahead quite rapidly. For once you understand it is impossible that you be hurt except by your own thoughts, the fear of God must disappear. You cannot then believe that fear is caused without. And God, Whom you had thought to banish, can be welcome back within the holy mind He never left.
  9. Salvation’s song can certainly be heard in the idea we practice for today. If it can but be you you crucify, you did not hurt the world, and need not fear its vengeance and pursuit. Nor need you hide in terror from the deadly fear of God projection hides behind. The thing you dread the most is your salvation. You are strong, and it is strength you want. And you are free, and glad of freedom. You have sought to be both weak and bound because you feared your strength and freedom. Yet salvation lies in them.
  10. There is an instant in which terror seems to grip your mind so wholly that escape appears quite hopeless. When you realize, once and for all, that it is you you fear, the mind perceives itself as split.  And this had been concealed while you believed attack could be directed outward and returned from outside to within.  It seemed to be an enemy outside you had to fear.  And thus a god outside yourself became your mortal enemy, the source of fear.
  11. Now, for an instant, is a murderer perceived within you, eager for your death, intent on plotting punishment for you until the time when it can kill at last.  Yet in this instant is the time as well in which salvation comes.  For fear of God has disappeared.  And you can call on Him to save you from illusions by His Love, calling Him Father and yourself His Son.  Pray that the instant may be soon, – today.  Step back from fear and make advance to love.
  12. There is no Thought of God that does not go with you to help you reach that instant, and to go beyond it quickly, surely, and forever.  When the fear of God is gone, there are no obstacles that still remain between you and the holy peace of God.  How kind and merciful is the idea we practice!  Give it welcome as you should, for it is your release.  It is indeed but you your mind can try to crucify.  Yet your redemption, too, will come from you.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: We have no enemy outside of our self!  Our enemy is within us, dear Brother and Friend.  We have an imposter who has usurped our identity and goes by our name.  We have so aligned ourselves with the ego that we need salvation to deliver us from its fearful lies, its petty hatreds, its triteness, and its murderous intent.  Only when we realize that any blame we try to pin upon our brothers is blame and shame we pin upon ourselves, will we begin to understand mercy, the light of resurrection, and soar past vengeance, sorrow, suffering, and death to take flight with thoughts of liberty and life. 

Jesus teaches us through today’s lesson idea that salvation does not come by offing our enemies, calling them out, blaming them for our problems, or assailing their institutions.  Salvation does not come from forcing our ideas about right and wrong upon others.  Perhaps in the eyes of the world this seems to be the way to make positive change, but these endeavors – no matter how seemingly worthy or justified – merely stand for the belief that God is to be feared, that He uses His power against us or else keeps it all for Himself, and that we are not His Son. 

In other words, Jesus spells it out to us in paragraph five – This is not heaven, this is hell. 

If we think we can attack another to set ourselves free, there is no hope.  Instead of loving God and trusting God, those who believe in attack believe that God is fearful, that He favors some over others, that He loves war and is strengthened through physical feats performed by bodies which bleed, suffer, and ooze pus, mucus, and saliva.  When we rise up to defame another, to trash our neighbors, to spread rumors and engage in gossip, to form cliques…we believe in a God that cannot be trusted, a God who made a world set upon itself, a world in which we must band together to fight and arm ourselves against those who are different from us to thrive, to survive, to carry on our lineage to the next generation.  When we take up signs and carry placards, pin our hopes on a political figure and make enemies of her rival, when we report negative things about our neighbors and recount all their wrongs and failings, we must understand that we are engaging and caging ourselves in hell. 

There is no escape until we lay down our arms.  There is no escape from this dreary madness until we take responsibility for the thoughts we cherish and carefully consider the path in which they lead us upon.  Until we change our mind about this, Jesus says, until that shift takes place, we will not realize the truth of the matter:  It is our thoughts that bring us fear.  God does not reach down from Heaven and deliver us; deliverance comes from our willingness to stop thinking thoughts of attack and fear.  We clear the altar of our minds, we dedicate our minds to thoughts of truth, of love, of unity and it is impossible to be hurt.  When we accept this as true, we recognize God as our Father.  We no longer think that the world is going to make us happy.  We know that the world cannot and will not save us.  We change our minds about who and what we are; we change our minds about who and what God is.  We know Him and we love Him and in knowing Him we know ourselves and all of creation as one. 

When we no longer experience ourselves as split between darkness and light, good and evil, black or white, we are saved.  When we no longer fear God, we have peace.  Our minds let go of the worries and cares that make this world spin in space and time.  When our minds are full of the light of resurrection, there is no place for thoughts of the past.  We break free from humanity and all its calls for taking up arms against each other – and into our rightful identity in God.

Dear Father, Enlighten our minds so that we come to know that when we harbor attack and defense thoughts toward others here on earth, we are binding ourselves to the hellish realm.  Make it real to our minds that only when we let such thoughts go do we realize that we have no enemy except the enemy within – the ego whose only aim is to nail us to the cross in its efforts to crucify your beloved Son.  Give us courage, O Lord, for this is the instant in which our salvation comes.  We are saved from the lies of the enemy with Your Love.  You know us as Your Son for we are one in Christ now and forever.  And it is in His name we pray.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 196. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 195 Love Is The Way I Walk In Gratitude

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 195 Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

  1. Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss. The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others. And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they. How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts! For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause? And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more?  Our gratitude is due to Him alone who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.
  2. It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness. Nor could the even partly sane refuse to take the steps which He directs, and following the way He sets before them, to escape a prison that they thought contained no door to the deliverance they now perceive.
  3. Your brother is your “enemy” because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining. Now is vengeance all there is to wish for, now can you but try to bring him down to lie in death with you, as useless as yourself; as little left within his grasping fingers as in yours.
  4. You do not offer God your gratitude because your brother is more slave than you, nor could you sanely be enraged if he seems freer. Love makes no comparisons. And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love. We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find freedom. It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound. For who can bargain in the name of love?
  5.  Therefore give thanks, but in sincerity. And let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy, and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. All these go with you. Let us not compare ourselves with them, for thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share with them, as they must share with us.
  6. We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness, nor impair or change our function to complete the One Who is Himself completion. We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we failed to recognize the gifts of God to us.
  7. Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest awhile. We offer thanks for them. For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. An ancient door is swinging free again; a long-forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear.
  8. Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love. For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. What more remains as obstacles to peace? The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing. Thus we cannot choose to overlook some things, and yet retain some other things still locked away as “sins.” When your forgiveness is complete you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self.
  9. Today we learned to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice, and revenge. We have been given everything. If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. Gratitude becomes a single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. God has cared for us and calls us Son. Can there be more than this?
  10. Our gratitude will pave the way to Him and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of. Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found.  For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the source of all creation. God give thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way of God.[1]

Notes and Personal Application: Today Jesus teaches us that love makes no comparison.  We do not give God our gratitude because we were born with more privileges than other people nor are we supposed to be jealous and ungrateful if someone has more.  The only reason we offer thanks to God is that in Christ with whom we are one will all of creation find freedom.  Nobody will remain enslaved while some go free – we are one in Christ and as one body we bring all into the Sonship of Christ, where there differences between us that seem so apparent in the world disappear and we one with Him. 

With the vision of Christ, we do not differentiate between the Sonship based upon the color of skin, genitals, cultural traditions, or the clothes we wear.  When we look upon our brothers we do not judge them according to their bank accounts, the car they drive, the house they live in, or their favorite football team.  None of these matter in the eyes of love.  Hatred cannot abide where comparisons and judgments are laid aside, when we walk in the light of His Love.  In His Love, the world and all of its distinctions, competitions, differences, injustices, privileges and disadvantages, finger pointing, games of blame and shame melt away into the past that never was.  The world is made new.

As we learn the plan of salvation we begin to see that it is no longer Jesus dying on a cross for the sins of the world that saves us from the hallucinations of sorrow, shame, and death, but that it is our minds and hearts becoming one with Him.  

Love is the way we walk in gratitude when we single-mindedly and with no exception recognize the fact that we are given power over any thoughts of anger, malice, and revenge.  We accept the gift of everything in place of nothing, and we are free.  Our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude and we walk the way of God to God. 

 If we reject the gift of everything, we will experience animosity, we will feel persecuted, pushed about, enraged and at every disadvantage.  We will rage and riot and demand that the injustices of the past be made up to us, as victims someone has to make things right for us and ensure our future.  We think that the world owes us something; we fall for the deception that others live and work and breathe in a fairy land of privilege while we go without.  We will fill our heads with disturbing images of past abuses, current injustices, and dark and mysterious rites and rituals performed by the atrocious one percent which rules the world, stealing our children, enslaving our minds, and blinding our vision.  When we reject God’s gift of everything in exchange for nothing, we forget how to love each other, we think of ourselves and others as meat, as commodities, as competing with one another for the prime cuts, for the biggest slice of the pie. 

In today’s lesson, Jesus is asking us to examine these insane perceptions and see them for what they really are!  God loves us.  He calls us His Son.  What more could we possibly ask for?  For this we are grateful and learning this powerful lesson – Jesus promises – will shorten our learning time by great measure.  Love and gratitude go hand in hand.  Love does not abide where there is ingratitude, ill will, and competition and comparison. 

O Father Let us walk the way of love in gratitude.  Deliver our minds of the world’s dark madness and give us the Vision of Christ.  Thank you for every living thing, dear Father. Let us not see others as being different from ourselves but help us to recognize and accept our oneness in Christ.  In the name of Jesus with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 195. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 194 I Place The Future In The Hands Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 194 I place the future in the Hands of God.

  1. Today’s idea takes another step toward quick Salvation, and a giant stride it is indeed! So great the distances that it encompasses, it sets you down just short of heaven, with the goal in sight and obstacles behind. Your foot has reached the lawns that welcome you to Heaven’s gate; the quiet place of peace, where you await with certainty the final step of God. How far are we progressing now from earth! How close are we approaching to our goal! How short the journey still to be pursued!
  2. Accept today’s idea, and you have passed anxiety, all pits of hell, all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin, and devastation brought about by guilt. Accept today’s idea, and you have released the world from all imprisonment by loosening the heavy chains that locked the door to freedom on it. You are saved, and your salvation thus becomes the gift you give the world, because you have received.
  3. In no one instant is depression felt, or pain experienced, or loss perceived. In no one instant sorrow can be set upon a throne and worshiped faithfully. In no one instant can one even die. And so each instant given unto God in passing, with the next one given Him already, is a time of your release from sadness, pain, and even death itself.
  4. God holds your future as He holds your past and present.  They are one to Him, and so they should be one to you. Yet in this world, the temporal progression still seems real. And so you are not asked to understand the lack of sequence. You are but asked to let the future go and place it in God’s hands. And you will see by your experience that you have laid the past and present in His hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless.
  5.  Release the future. For the past is gone, and what is present, freed from its bequest of grief and misery, of pain and loss, becomes the instant in which time escapes the bondage of illusions where it runs its pitiless, inevitable course. Then is each instant which was slave to time transformed into a holy instant, when the light that was kept hidden in God’s Son is freed to bless the world. Now is he free, and all his glory shines upon a world made free with him, to share his holiness.
  6. If you can see the lesson for today as the deliverance it really is, you will not hesitate to give as much consistent effort as you can, to make it be a part of you. As it becomes a thought that rules your mind, a habit in your problem-solving repertoire, a way of quick reaction to temptation, you extend your learning to the world. And as you learn to see salvation in all things, so will the world perceive that it is saved.
  7. What worry can beset the one who gives his future to the loving Hands of God? What can he suffer? What can cause him pain or bring experience of loss to him? What can he fear?  What can he regard except with love? For he who has escaped all fear of future pain has found his way to present peace, and certainty of care the world can never threaten. He is sure that his perception may be faulty but will never lack correction. He is free to choose again when he has been deceived; to change his mind when he has made mistakes.
  8. Place, then, your future in the Hands of God. For thus you called the memory of Him to come again, replacing all your thoughts of sin and evil with the truth of love. Think you the world could fail to gain thereby, and every living creature not respond with healed perception? Who entrusts himself to God has also placed the world within the Hands to which he has himself appealed for comfort and security. He lays aside the sick illusions of the world along with his and offers peace to both.
  9. Now are we saved indeed. For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us. If we forget, we will be gently reassured. If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will soon be replaced by love’s reflection. And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind. No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.[1]
Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: Prior to accepting the truth about the world, I knew the future to be in God’s Hands, but it was in a fatalistic, negative way in that I saw no point in having any hope or doing anything meaningful in the world because “God” would blow on it and make it disappear.  I hated the temporal world; it confused, frightened, and seemed to hold me captive to a form of flesh and blood which existed in a span of time only long enough to spawn, grow old, and die. 

Knowing who and what I really am has changed all that!  The future in God’s Hands is an incredible experience, one in which has eternal meaning and goes from glory to glory, expanding in joyful creation in every direction.  My Heavenly Father, a God of Love and Happiness is not intent on extinguishing anything that has meaning to me, but rather replaces all my thoughts of unhappiness, woe, and sorrow with the truth of love, assurance, a promise and a blessing without end. 

Today Jesus declares that only good can come to us when we stop interfering with the future and put our trust in God.  He is not out to get us, trip us up, or teach us lessons of hate, fear, and torment.  He is not out to embarrass us, wound us, or humble us.  We are one with Christ, we are His Son, and God wants for us what we want for our children and grandchildren – to be loved, protected, happy, and surefooted, good, kind, sweet, and generous.  With the future in God’s Hands, the world is no longer an enemy to fear, but a friend which comes along with us in a future entrusted to God, safe and comfortable, loving and kind.  When we lay aside the lies of the world, no longer taking pleasure in its perversions and misadventures, closing our mind to its call to sorrow and misery, the world follows suit. 

This is the sure way to salvation.  Only good can come to us when we put our faith in God.  No longer do we rely on the shaky, unstable systems of the world; no longer do we blame the president for our problems or give credit to the forms of the world for providing our needs.  We have no need to worry if we change our minds about God and backslide into sin because if we forget, Jesus promises that we will be reminded.  If we fall into unforgiving attitudes, the reflection of love will come to take root in us.  Temptation to fight, to go to war, to blame and point fingers will all seem so stupid and silly in the light of His love, His peace, His joy. 

Today every concern we may have about the future, we place in the Hands of God.  My worries and concerns about growing old and being a burden on my family are placed in the loving Hands of God.  My concerns about the cucumber leaves wilting on the vine – I put in the Hands of God.  He knows how much I enjoy making pickles, sharing pickles, eating pickles.  And His Will is for me to be happy – not to be worried about my cucumber crop!  God knows how much I love and miss my family members.  How I dread growing old without them in my life, talking and remembering things together, always coming up with fun things to do together.  God’s Will is for me to be happy, not to be concerned about them never talking to me again or cherishing dishonest, unjust grudges from the past.  I put all my loved ones in His Hands, forgiving the reasons why I built cases against them and the cases they built against me.   God knows each and every desire of my heart.  I put the future in His Hands.  I do not have to worry about my energy levels, running out of speed, losing strength and courage, my goodness or my tendency to be selfish and egocentric, for I belong to Him. 

Only good can come to us when the future is in God’s Hands.  The world is no longer an enemy in which I must fear attack, but the world becomes friend when I place my future in the Hands of God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 194. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 193 All Things Are Lessons God Would Have Me Learn

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 193 All things are lessons God would have me learn.

  1. God does not know of learning.  Yet His Will extends to what He does not understand, in that He wills the happiness of His Son inherited of Him be undisturbed; eternal and forever gaining scope, eternally expanding in the joy of full creation, and eternally open and wholly limitless in Him.  That is His Will.  And thus His Will provides the means to guarantee that it is done.
  2. God sees no contradictions.  Yet His Son believes he sees them. Thus he has a need for One Who can correct his erring sight and give him vision that will lead him back to where perception ceases.  God does not perceive at all.  Yet it is He Who gives the means by which perception is made true and beautiful enough to let the light of Heaven shine upon it.  It is He Who answers what His Son would contradict and keeps his sinlessness forever safe. 
  3. These are the lessons God would have you learn.  His Will reflects them all, and they reflect His loving kindness to the Son He loves.  Each lesson has a central thought, the same in all of them.  The form alone is changed, with different circumstances and events with different characters and different themes, apparent but not real.  They are the same in fundamental content.  It is this: Forgive, and you will see this differently.
  4. Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness.  Yet that is the content underneath the form.  It is this sameness which makes learning sure because the lesson is so simple that it cannot be rejected in the end.  No one can hide forever from a truth so very obvious that it appears in countless forms, and yet is recognized as easily in all of them, if one but wants to see the simple lesson there.  Forgive, and you will see this differently.
  5. These are the words the Holy Spirit speaks in all your tribulations, all your pain, all suffering regardless of its form.  These are the words with which temptation ends, and guilt, abandoned, is revered no more.  These are the words which end the dream of sin and rid the mind of fear.  These are the words by which salvation comes to all the world.
  6. Shall we not learn to say these words when we are tempted to believe that pain is real, and death becomes our choice instead of life?  Shall we not learn to say these words when we have understood their power to release all minds from bondage?  These are words which give you power over all events that seem to have been given power over you.  You see them rightly when you hold these words in full awareness, and do not forget these words apply to everything you see, or any brother looks upon amiss.
  7. How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn?  Does pain seem real in the perception?  If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned.  And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.
  8. God would not have you suffer thus. He would help you forgive yourself.  His Son does not remember who he is.  And God would have him not forget His Love, and all the gifts His Love brings with it.  Would you now renounce your own salvation?  Would you fail to learn the simple lessons Heaven’s Teacher sets before you, that all pain may disappear, and God may be remembered by His Son?
  9. All things are lessons God would have you learn.  He would not leave an unforgiving thought without correction, nor one thorn or nail to hurt His holy Son in any way.  He would ensure his holy rest remain untroubled and serene, without a care, in an eternal home which cares for him.  And He would have all tears be wiped away, with none remaining yet unshed, and none but waiting their appointed time to fall.  For God has willed that laughter should replace each one, and that His Son be free again. 
  10. We will attempt today to overcome a thousand seeming obstacles to peace in just one day.  Let mercy come to you more quickly.  Do not try to hold it off another day, another minute or another instant.  Time was made for this.  Use it today for what its purpose is.  Morning and night devote what time you can to serve its proper aim, and do not let the time be less than meets your deepest need.
  11. Give all you can and give a little more.  For now we would arise in haste and go unto our Father’s house.  We have been gone too long, and we would linger here no more.  And as we practice, let us think about all things we saved to settle by ourselves, and kept apart from healing.  Let us give them all to Him Who knows the way to look upon them so that they will disappear.  Truth is His message; truth His teaching is.  His are the lessons God would have us learn.
  12. Each hour spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lessons in forgiveness in the form established for the day.  And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before.  The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way.  Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it.  Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal in the world of time.
  13. This is the lesson God would have you learn:  There is a way to look on everything that lets it be to you another step to Him, and to salvation of the world.  To all that speaks of terror, answer thus: I will forgive, and this will disappear.  To every apprehension, every care and every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words.  And then you hold the key that opens Heaven’s gate and brings the Love of God the Father down to earth at last, to raise it up to Heaven.  God will take this final step Himself.  Do not deny the little steps He asks you take to Him. [1]
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: Today let us practice saying: I will forgive, and this will disappear, every hour to all thoughts that would steal our joy, cause us rage or anger, blight our light, or darken our pathway.  We do not have to hold any such thoughts in our mind.  We can set ourselves free from all that the world would throw upon us to wreak havoc upon our minds and cause us to arm ourselves against one another, snub one another, or widen the separation between ourselves and God. 

There are times that the past comes to my mind in such a vivid way – as if undesirable events and wrongdoings that happened decades ago have just now inflicted the pain, sorrow, disappointment, and anger.  My ego does not want me to forget the many reasons I have to shield myself against love and forgiveness.  As long as the ego can keep me in the go-round of holding grudges, keeping others accountable, building cases against those who wronged me, doubting their goodness and worth, I are trapped in the senseless state of time, of separation, and of uncertainty.

Today Jesus is telling you and me to take a stand against the lies of the ego.  We are to open our eyes and know that all of the hurt, the sorrow, the disappointment, the ongoing agony of it all will simply disappear once and for all when we realize that the past has no meaning.  The adversities that I suffered in childhood are simply gone.  The difficulties, betrayals, and false friends that cluttered my adulthood are no more. There is absolutely no good reason to hold on to them, to let my mind make them real to me, to hold the actors and the players accountable for the nothing that passes in time.  All things that happened to me are lessons that God would have me learn.  If I thought it would be a lark to separate myself from God, live in a place of opposites, uncertainty, and competition for limited resources, well, then I must learn in whatever manner it takes that it is no picnic, no lark, no high adventure.  Jesus insists in today’s lesson that there is nothing that can happen in the realm of separation, in the simulated world of that which is not love that can possibly be cause for me to hold unforgiveness in my heart. 

I see things differently through the eyes of forgiveness.  All things are lessons God would have me learn.  God’s Will is for me to be happy, for my happiness to be undisturbed throughout eternity, for my happiness to expand itself int the joy of creation, gaining scope forever and limitless in Him.  That is God’s Will for me and for you.  And His Will guarantees that it is done. 

Today let us learn the lessons God would have us learn!  Every single thing that happens to us either personally or vicariously is a lesson we are here to learn.  We are not to hold the people involved accountable.  We can avoid any bitterness, anger, resentment, or sense of loss by learning the lesson and forgiving all who were involved in teaching it to us.  God hold no ill will toward us.  He does not devise lessons to hurt us, to take revenge upon us, or to punish us.  Yet each dark circumstance, each jealous, loveless act, each situation that befalls us is a lesson to lead us back to God.  Reaping what we sow is not a punishment, it is a lesson in an eternal principle.  Casting our pearls before the swine and then experiencing a sense of shame and worthlessness is not a punishment, it is a lesson in an eternal principle.  Taking something that does not belong to us and then having the same thing happen to us, is a lesson in an eternal principle, not God taking revenge upon our sin. 

When we learn our lessons in truth, we can thank the very ones who taught us by forgiving the role they played in driving those hard lessons home.  Forgive, Jesus says, and we will see things differently.  These words Holy Spirit speaks to us in all our pain and suffering of every kind.  We can put an end to all our problems, we can make our pain and suffering disappear simply by accepting it as a lesson from God.  This is a key to the gate of Heaven, Jesus claims.  This is how we bring God’s Kingdom to earth – by accepting everything that happens to us as a lesson, forgiving the circumstances, choices, and characters that led us to each lesson, and experiencing  healing through the sense of love and peace and joy instead of resentment, grudges, and confusion. 

Dear Father, Today let me take each event in my life as a lesson from You.  Let me accept the lesson, learn from it, and forgive all the circumstances and people involved who have made the lesson seem loveless and painful.  When I forgive, I will see things differently.  When I forgive, any hurt, trauma, pain, or sorrow will disappear.  Help me to see this through the eyes of Christ.  In the name of Jesus, with whom I am one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 193. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 192 I Have A Function God Would Have Me Fill

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 192 I have a function God would have me fill.

  1. It is your Father’s holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of Love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its Name, forever one with God and with your Self.  Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred, and attack?
  2. Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms.  For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp?  Forgiveness represents your function here.  It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone.  And who would pardon Heaven?  Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.
  3. Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world.  It has no meaning here.  Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth.  For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all.  Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless.  What He makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain.
  4. Forgiveness gently looks upon all things unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear, and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before.  Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone.  Forgiveness lets the body be perceived as what it is, a simple teaching aid, to be laid by when learning is complete, but hardly changing him who learns at all.   
  5. The mind without the body cannot make mistakes.  It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attacks.  Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then?  What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear?  Only forgiveness can relive the mind of thinking that the body is its home.  Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son.  Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.
  6. With anger gone, you will indeed perceive that, for Christ’s vision and the gift of sight, no sacrifice was asked, and only pain was lifted from a sick and tortured mind.  Is this unwelcome?  Is it to be feared?  Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted.  We are one, and therefore give up nothing.  But we have indeed been given everything by God.
  7. Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so.  Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack.  Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is, but confusion born of error.  We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there.
  8. Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines?  Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone?  A jailer is not set free, for he is bound together with his prisoner.  He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends him time in keeping watch on him.  The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them. 
  9. Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.
  10. Be merciful today.  The Son of God deserves your mercy.  It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now.  Deny him not.  His Father’s Love for him belongs to you.  Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity.  He is as God created him.  And you are what he is.  Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.[1]
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  Jesus asks in paragraph eight, who can be born again unless he has forgiven everything.  Hold nobody prisoner, our Teacher instructs.  What is keeping us trapped in the illusion of time, separation, and a world where we are all at each other’s throats, pointing fingers and holding one another accountable for our rift from God, from Love, from each other is our lack of forgiveness, our mistake in believing that we are flesh and blood bodies, the Sons of man and not the Son of God. 

The Son of God deserves our mercy, Jesus says.  The Son of God is all of us, is all of creation.  Is all of us lost in time, stumbling about in the dark, uncertain, forgetting who we are and how we got here and what we are to do about it.  Meaning is lost to us.  The Son of God has traded in his eternal spirit for an identity that is trapped in a cycle of death and despair – and yes, He deserves your mercy.  We are not to deny Him His true identity.  We are to remind Him Who and What He is in Christ. 

Our religions in the world teach us that the way to salvation is to be a good person, but Jesus tells us that there is no such thing.  Our good deeds, our perfect behaviors, our denying ourselves meat on Friday’s, sex outside of marriage, and that extra slice of cake may indeed get us a pat on the back from our priests, our neighbors, and our health care professionals.  Our human goodness will certainly make us better citizens, trustworthy parents, nice friends, and the kind of people who will more than likely succeed in the world, but it will not earn our salvation or get us any closer to God’s Kingdom. 

The way to salvation is through forgiveness.  We recognize the world for what it is, we recognize humanity for what it is, and we forgive it for deceiving us into thinking it is the Creation of God.  Now we know!  We hold nobody accountable, for truly they know not what they do.  No longer does the thought of death hold us in terror, for we will be only too happy to lay the body aside when we have learned all that the world has to teach us. 

We are full of mercy for as we show mercy, mercy is granted to us.  We are one.  No longer splintered, no longer facing the dark abyss alone and afraid, we know that this is not Creation and that our God is not a madman who would devise perversions, distortions, opposites, and insecurities.   We were created in Love, by Love, and for Love.  We are extensions of God, extending His Love forever through Creation.  We can forgive time, we can forgive the world, we can forgive our lessons learned in darkness for only in separation do we learn to cherish oneness and unity; only in darkness do we learn to devote ourselves to light; only in uncertainty, doubt, and fear can we learn to treasure the certainty of God, and only in the throes of death do we learn to accept everlasting life. 

Dear Father, Let our hearts and minds be full of mercy toward our fallen state.  Our enchantment for darkness and death has seemed to blind our eyes to the light and love of God.  Let us forgive one another and show mercy – for this is the function that You would have us fill.  In the name of Jesus Christ, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 192. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 191 I Am The Holy Son Of God Himself

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 191 I am the holy Son of God Himself.

  1. Here is your declaration of release from bondage of the world. And here as well is all the world released. You do not see what you have done by giving to the world the role of jailer to the Son of God. What could it be but vicious and afraid, fearful of shadows, punitive and wild, lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?
  2. What have you done that this should be your world? What have you done that this is what you see? Deny your own Identity, and this is what remains. You look on chaos and proclaim it is yourself. There is no sight that fails to witness this to you. There is no sound that does not speak a frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you near death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.
  3. Deny your own identity, and you will not escape the madness which induced this weird, unnatural, and ghostly thought that mocks creation and that laughs at God. Deny your own identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies. Deny your own identity, and look on evil, sin and death, and watch despair snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope, leaving you nothing but the wish to die.
  4. Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied? You are as God created you. All else but this one thing is folly to believe. In this one thought is everyone set free. In this one thought are all illusions gone. In this one fact is sinlessness proclaimed to be forever part of everything, the central core of its existence and its guarantee of immortality.
  5. But let today’s idea find a place among your thoughts and you have risen far above the world, and all the worldly thoughts that hold it prisoner. And from this place of safety and escape you will return and set it free. For he who can accept his true Identity is truly saved. And his salvation is the gift he gives to everyone, in gratitude to Him Who pointed out the way to happiness that changed his whole perspective of the world.
  6. One holy thought like this and you are free; you are the holy Son of God Himself. And with this holy thought you learn as well that you have freed the world. You have no need to use it cruelly, and then perceive this savage need in it. You set it free of your imprisonment. You will not see a devastating image of yourself walking the world in terror, with the world twisting in agony because your fears have laid the mark of death its heart.
  7. Be glad today how very easily is hell undone. You need but tell yourself: I am the holy son of God himself. I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain; I cannot suffer loss, nor fail to do all that salvation asks. And in that thought is everything you look on wholly changed.
  8. A miracle has lighted up all dark and ancient caverns, where the rites of death echoed since time began. For time has lost its hold upon the world. The Son of God has come in glory to redeem the lost, to save the helpless, and to give the world the gift of his forgiveness. Who could see the world as dark and simple, when God’s Son has come again at last to set it free?
  9. You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this: All power is given on to you in earth and Heaven. There is nothing that you cannot do. You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you. Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.
  10. Then let the Son of God awaken from his sleep, and opening his holy eyes, return again to bless the world he made. In error it began, but it will end in the reflection of his holiness. And he will sleep no more and dream of death. Then join with me today. Your glory is a light that saves the world. Do not withhold salvation longer.  Look about the world and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?
  11. They must await your own release.  They stay in chains till you are free.  They cannot see the mercy of the world until you find it in yourself.  They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you.  They die till you accept your own eternal life.  You are the Holy Son of God Himself.  Remember this, and all the world is free.  Remember this, and earth and Heaven are one.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.charismamag.com

Notes and Personal Application:   Even though I understand that I am a holy son of God Himself, and I know that Jesus really wants us to get this so that we no longer identify with the miscreation, I still feel a twinge of embarrassment to say it.  It is true.  We are as God created us, not the thing that evolved here in time, but when I read our lesson today with my husband and grandson, there was a part of me that shrunk back inside.  They hear me say bad words!  They hear me gripe and complain.  They know how bossy I am and how I can stomp about when I do not have my picture met.  Saying that I am not “a” holy Son of God, but the Son of God is even more cringeworthy to my ego which is far more comfortable being a splintered self, full of opposites, addicted to darkness, doomed to death and despair. 

Here in the world living in my flesh and blood body, being prone to temptation by the very ego that would tempt me to deny my eternal Self while spoon feeding my habit of succumbing to its lies, it seems a far stretch that I am the holy Son of God Himself.  And yet Christ has made me one with Him, just as you are one with Him and all of creation is one with Him.  Asleep in the world of time, it may seem as if this is something in store for us at a much later date when we manage to get all the kinks worked out of our humanity and clean ourselves up to become acceptable to God’s Kingdom.  But today’s lesson states otherwise.

In paragraph 10 Jesus calls for us to waken from our sleep, open our holy eyes, return again to bless the world we made.  We who have been taught about the second coming of Christ, take heed.  We are the second coming of Christ. We who have been asleep, identifying as sons of man are to accept the call of Christ and recognize that we are one with Him.  Jesus calls to us: “Join with me today.  Your glory is the light that saves the world.  Do not withhold salvation longer.  Look about the world and see the suffering there.  Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?…”

Jesus reminds us of who and what we are and until we are willing to accept our true identity in Him, we are not saving the world.  We are in chains; we find no mercy, we suffer pain, we die, and the cycles of time keep spinning until we accept our eternal life, our holy Son of Godship.  When we remember this, the world is set free and becomes one with Heaven. 

Let us practice today with this prayer:

Dear Father, I am one with Christ.  I am Your Holy Son.  I do not believe in suffering; I do not believe in pain. I cannot lose or fail to do all that salvation asks.  I am not a prisoner here, persecuted, fearful, afraid of death and disease and discomfort because I am one with Christ; I am the holy Son of God.  All power is given to me in Heaven and on the earth and there is nothing I cannot do.  I am not helpless in the face of my earthly nature; I am not at the mercy of the merciless ego.  I forgive all the lies, unmet promises, and dashed hopes found in everything and everyone who would take the place of You. I no longer crave the lifeless trinkets of the world or the satisfaction of vain drives and desires – because all of my love, my trust, my devotion belong to You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 191. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 190 I Choose The Joy Of God Instead Of Pain

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 190 I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

  1. Pain is a wrong perspective. When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. It is not a fact at all. There is no form it takes that will not disappear if seen right. For pain proclaims God cruel. How could it be real in any form? It witnesses to God the Father’s hatred of His Son, the sinfulness He sees in him, and His insane desire for revenge and death.
  2. Can such projections be attested to? Can they be anything but wholly false? Pain is but witness to the Son’s mistakes and what he thinks he is. It is a dream of fierce retaliation for a crime that could not be committed; for attack on what is wholly unassailable. It is a nightmare of abandonment by an Eternal Love, Which could not leave the Son whom It created out of love.
  3. Pain is a sign illusions reign in place of truth. It demonstrates God is denied, confused with fear, perceived as mad, and seen as traitor to Himself. If God is real, there is no pain. If pain is real, there is no God. For vengeance is not part of love. And fear, denying love and using pain to prove that God is dead, has shown that death is victor over life. The body is the Son of God, corruptible in death, as mortal as the Father he has slain.
  4. Peace to such foolishness! The time has come to laugh at such insane ideas. There is no need to think of them as savage crimes, or secret sins with weighty consequences. Who but a madman could conceive of them as cause of anything? Their witness, pain, is mad as they, and no more to be feared than the insane illusions which it shields and tries to demonstrate must still be true.
  5. It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in anyway. There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. No one but yourself affects you. There is nothing in the world that has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail.  But it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see by merely recognizing what you are. As you perceive the harmlessness in them, they will accept your holy will as theirs. And what was seen as fearful now becomes a source of innocence and holiness.
  6. My holy brother think of this awhile: the world you see does nothing. It has no effects at all. It merely represents your thoughts. And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind and choose the joy of God as what you really want. Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever. And would you deny a little corner of your mind its own inheritance, and keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die?
  7. The world may seem to cause you pain, and yet the world, as causeless, has no power to cause. As an effect, it cannot make effects. As an illusion, it is what you wish. Your idle wishes represent its pains. Your strange desires bring it evil dreams. Your thoughts of death envelope it in fear, while in your kind forgiveness does it live.
  8. Pain is the thought of evil taking form and working havoc in your holy mind. Pain is the ransom you have gladly paid not to be free. In pain is God denied the Son He loves. In pain does fear appear to triumph over love, and time replace eternity in heaven. And the world becomes a cruel and a bitter place, where sorrow rules and little joys give way before the onslaught of the savage pain that waits to end all joy in misery.
  9. Lay down your arms and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last. Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. Let no attack enter with you. Lay down the cruel sword of judgement that you hold against your throat and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.
  10. Here will you understand there is no pain. Here does the joy of God belong to you. This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. It is this: paying is illusion; joy, reality. Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.
  11. And so again we make the only choice that ever can be made; We choose between illusions and the truth, or pain and joy, or hell and Heaven. Let our gratitude unto our teacher fill our hearts, as we are free to choose our joy instead of pain, our holiness in place of sin, the peace of God instead of conflict, and the light of Heaven for the darkness of the world. Amen. 1
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Notes and Personal Application:   Lately I have been experiencing the world as hard and mean, spiteful and full of vengeance.  Not necessarily in my personal life, but in the news media, in the conversations that I have with others, with the things that assail my mind – old resentments trying to resurrect themselves in my thoughts, ancient sorrows, betrayals, unkind things said and done.   And my body has not been holding up as well as I think it should – it is no wonder either as I am carrying around extra weight with me, a drag on my energy levels and an impediment to everything I want to do. 

Yesterday while we were out shopping, I sighed to myself, saying a little prayer, as if this life was too hard for me and I was ready to come home anytime the Lord sees fit.  And Holy Spirit was so kind and showed me how much I have to live for here – the little heaven that is going on right here and right now, which I was choosing to shut out because I choose to see the darkness instead of the light, that I have become addicted to being stirred up, sad and sorrowful, full of angst and wondering what the world is coming to!  Holy Spirit showed me so plainly that when I choose to entertain myself with darkness, when I choose to talk about darkness, when I choose to keep my mind awhirl with darkness, the light in me is obscured, the sweet truth of my Heaven is being covered by the lies of the world. 

Then in Tuesday’s lesson which I did not study until later in the day, Jesus taught us that there is no need to wait for Heaven, that if we are not experiencing heaven, we are covering our eyes against it, because the light of Heaven is in us already.  It is simply a matter of what I choose to focus my mind upon.  Do I choose thoughts that are real, true, and holy or do I choose the lies of the world that blacken my perception and trick it into seeing enemies instead of friends, darkness instead of light, sorrow instead of joy? 

Today when we are tempted to let the lies of the world be our reality, let us meditate upon our lesson idea for today: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.”  Nothing external to us can cause us pain or oppress us because nothing but ourselves affects us.  Nothing can make us ill, sad, weak, or frail because in Christ we have the power to dominate all things we see by simply knowing who and what we are.  As we see how utterly harmless these things we are giving power to really are, our holiness becomes their holiness.  What seemed to cause us to be worried or afraid now becomes a place of purity and goodness. 

When we choose truth, truth becomes apparent to us.  When we choose the illusion, the illusion becomes apparent to us.  Jesus tells us we choose what we fill our mind with – pain or joy, hell or Heaven.  Oh how thankful we are to Him to know that we get to choose!  No matter what situation we are in, we can look at it with joy and faith and love or we can look at it in resentment, sorrow, and bitterness.  We can say:

O Lord lead me out of this temptation to think of these weary bones, strained muscles, and aging body as my reality! The world’s quarrels, spats, wars, and factions have no reality in Christ.   I know who I am in You.  I know that I cannot be assaulted by the world outside of myself.  My Heaven is right here and right now.  I choose to experience Heaven and not the lies of darkness.  That has no reality in You!  I keep my mind focused on the truth to save myself from despair.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 

1A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 190. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

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

Lesson 188 The Peace Of God Is Shining In Me Now

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 188 The Peace of God is shining in me now.

  1. Why wait for Heaven?  Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.  The light is in them now.  Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.  Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well.  The light came with you from your native home and stayed with you because it is your own.  It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source.  It shines in you because it lights your home and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.
  2. This light cannot be lost.  Why wait to find it in the future, or believe it has been lost already, or was never there?  It can so easily be looked upon that arguments which prove it is not there become ridiculous.  Who can deny the presence of what he beholds in him?  It is not difficult to look within, for there all vision starts.  There is no sight, be it of dreams or from a truer Source, that is not but the shadow of the seen through inward vision.  There perception starts, and there it ends.  It has no source but this.
  3. The peace of God is shining in you now, and from your heart extends around the world.  It pauses to caress each living thing and leaves a blessing with it that remains forever and forever.  What it gives must be eternal.  It removes all thoughts of the ephemeral and valueless.  It brings renewal to all tired hearts and lights all vision as it passes by.  All of its gifts are given everyone, and everyone unites in giving thanks to you who give, and you who have received. 
  4. The shining in your mind reminds the world of what it has forgotten, and the world restores the memory to you as well.  From you salvation radiates with gifts beyond all measure, given and returned. To you, the giver of the gift, does God Himself give thanks.  And in His blessing does the light in you shine brighter, adding to the gifts you have to offer to the world.
  5. The peace of God can never be contained.  Who recognizes it within himself must give it.  And the means for giving it are in his understanding.  He forgives because he recognized the truth in him.  The peace of God is shining in you now, and in all living thing.  In quietness is it acknowledged universally.  For what your inward vision looks upon is your perception of the universe.
  6. Sit quietly and close your eyes.  The light within you is sufficient.  It alone has power to give the gift of sight to you.  Exclude the outer world and let your thought fly to the peace within.  They know the way.  For honest thoughts, untainted by the dream of worldly things outside yourself, become the holy messengers of God Himself. 
  7. These thoughts you think with Him.  They recognize their home.  And they point surely to their Source, Where God the Father and the Son are one.  God’s peace is shining on them, but they must remain with you as well, for they were born within your mind, as yours was born in God’s.  They lead you back to peace, from where they came but to remind you how you must return.
  8. They heed your Father’s Voice when you refuse to listen.  And they urge you gently to accept His Word for what you are, instead of fantasies and shadows.  They remind you that you are the co-creator of all things that live.  For as the peace of God is shining in you, it must shine on them.
  9. We practice coming nearer to the light in us today.  We take our wandering thoughts, and gently bring them back to where they fall in line with all the thoughts we share with God.  We will not let them stray.  We let the light within our minds direct them to come home.  We have betrayed them, ordering that they depart from us.  But now we call them back and wash them clean of strange desires and disordered wishes.  We restore to them the holiness of their inheritance.
  10. Thus are our minds restored with them, and we acknowledge that the peace of God still shines in us, and from us to all living thing that share our life.  We will forgive them all, absolving all the world from what we thought it did to us.  For it is we who make the world as we would have it.  Now we choose that it be innocent, devoid of sin and open to salvation.  And we lay our saving blessing on it, and we say: The peace of God is shining in me now.  Let all things shine upon me in that peace And let me bless them with the light in me.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:  Why wait for Heaven indeed?  There are times that this world gets to me – first it reels me in with its mysteries and its stories of death and despair, and then once in I forget about the peace of God.  Instead I rail upon Him.  How could He let this happen?  Where is all this love and devotion He is supposed to have for us.  Why would He let us dream such a dream, experience, even vicariously the torments of such a dark and despairing realm?

This is me in the world.  I have known from the time I can remember that it is a dangerous place and to survive I must use my wits against all who would come up against me.  And yet I am so drawn to its darkness, to its fearful tales and cryptic lies.  The very stories that draw me in crowd out my love and trust in God.  The illusions of the world enchant me and then like an unfaithful lover, leave me dangling in a state of confusion, despair, and disbelief. 

But today Jesus says that we do not have to wait for Heaven.  We do not have to cover our eyes with the dark fables of murder, espionage, revenge, and kidnapping.  All we have to do is let our light shine, the light that came with us from Heaven when we came to the world, the light that can never be extinguished, the light that leads us back to our true home. 

When we let our light shine, it reminds the world of all it has forgotten, and when the world remembers it reminds us as well.  When we stand with Christ, we add our light to His light.  Jesus tells us today that the peace of God is shining in us right now, it is shining in all living things, and it is in the quietness of our inward vision that Christ’s vision becomes apparent to the universe. 

Today we sit for our little while with our eyes closed to the forms of the time-bound world.  We sit quietly and let our thoughts take wing and transport us to the peace of God within each of us.  Our thoughts, Jesus says, untainted by the world outside of us, are holy messengers of God.  It is these thoughts which think with God.  They take us home.  They bring us to that state of oneness and unity to remind us where we came from and how we must return. 

When we refuse to listen to our Father’s Voice, it is these thoughts, these inward, holy thoughts that heed His Voice.  These thoughts are the ones that gently urge us to turn off the bloody, screaming, angry, sad, despairing images on our screens and accept ourselves not as humans trapped in flesh and blood but as Sons of God, co-creators of all things that live, accepting of the peace of God shining in us all in spite of what our programs would have us believe about ourselves. 

In our quiet, solitude we practice getting in touch with our inner light.  We take all thoughts of the world outside of ourselves and bring them in line with all the thoughts we share with God.  We have betrayed our thoughts with strange desires and disordered wishes to chill out with stories of death, of lies, betrayals, and the petty drivel of the world.  But for our devotional times, we train our thoughts to God.  We see that the peace of God still shines in us and in all living thing.  We absolve the world from all the pain we thought it brought to us.  The thoughts we think with God bless and save the world. 

Father, the peace of God shines in me!  Let all living things shine on me in the peace of God.  Let me bless all living things with Your light which shines in me.  In Jesus name.  Amen.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 188. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 187 I Bless The World Because I Bless Myself

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 187 I Bless The World Because I Bless Myself.

  1. No one can give unless he has. In fact, giving is proof of having. We have made this point before. What seems to make it hard to credit is not this. No one can doubt that you must first possess what you would give. It is the second phase on which the world and true perception differ. Having had and given, then the world asserts that you have lost what you possessed. The truth maintains that giving will increase what you possess.
  2. How is this possible?  For it is sure that if you give a finite thing away, your body’s eyes will not perceive it yours. Yet we have learned that things but represent the thoughts that make them.  And you do not lack for proof that when you give ideas away, you strengthen them in your own mind. Perhaps the form in which the thought seems to appear is changed in giving. Yet it must return to him who gives. Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. It must be more.
  3. Ideas must first belong to you before you give them. If you are to save the world, you will first accept salvation for yourself. But you will not believe that this is done until you see the miracles it brings to everyone you look upon. Herein is the idea of giving clarified and given meaning. Now you can perceive that by your giving is your store increased.
  4. Protect all things you value by the act of giving them away, and you are sure that you will never lose them. What you thought you did not have is thereby proven yours. Yet value not its form. For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you try to keep it safe. No form endures. It is the thought behind the form of things that lives unchangeable.
  5. Give gladly. You can only gain thereby. The thought remains and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. Thoughts extend as they are shared, for they cannot be lost. There is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. There is a giver who retains; another one who will give as well. And both must gain in this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to him. What he seems to lose is always something he will value less than what will surely be returned to him.
  6. Never forget you give but to yourself. Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. Nor can he fail to recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. He laughs as well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation, and at death. He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.
  7. Illusion recognized must disappear. Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. The thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appears to take. And sacrifice is an idea so mad that sanity dismisses it at once.
  8. Never believe that you can sacrifice. There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value. If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen, and correction must be made. Your blessing will correct it. Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well. No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.
  9. The lilies that your brother offers you are laid upon your alter, with the ones you offer him beside them. Who could fear to lookup on such lovely holiness? The great illusion of the fear of God diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on here. Be not afraid to look. The blessedness you will behold will take away all thought of form, and leave instead the perfect gift forever there, forever to increase, forever yours, forever given away.
  10. Now are we one in thought, for fear has gone. And here, before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator, and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our one Self whose innocence has joined us all as one, we stand in blessedness, and give as we receive. The Name of God is on our lips. And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our reflection of our Father’s love.
  11. Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world. What we have looked upon we would extend, for we would see it everywhere. We would behold it shining with the grace of God in everyone. We would not have it withheld from anything we look upon. And to ensure this holy sight is ours, we offer it to everything we see. For where we see it, it will be returned to us in form of lilies we can lay upon our alter, making it a home for Innocence itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours.[1]
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Notes and Personal ApplicationThe idea to focus upon today is one of letting go of the idea of sacrifice.  We have been taught that God demands sacrifice, but this is the one lie that stands behind all pain and loss, sickness and grief, poverty, starvation, and death.  The fear of God is the great illusion.  We are so blessed when we get past the fear of God because that is when we come to understand God’s love and devotion.  When we no longer fear God we can love Him with our whole hearts and minds.  We can look upon Him without being afraid.  When we look to God without fear, without the thought of sacrifice, the world and all its darkness, its injustice, and its spite fades away.  It is no more.  We are one with God and with each other.  When we begin to experience this, we can do nothing but bless others because we see God in everyone and in everything.  The world’s version of murder, mystery, and uncertainty is of little account.  We are here to free the world from the idea of sacrifice, to bless the world and to bless ourselves.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 187. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 186 Salvation Of The World Depends On Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 186 The Salvation of the World Depends on Me.

  1. Here is the statement that will one day take all arrogance away from every mind.  Here is the thought of true humility, which holds no function as your own but that which has been given you.  It offers your acceptance of a part assigned to you, without insisting on another role.  It does not judge your proper role.  It but acknowledges the Will of God is done on earth as well as Heaven.  It unites all wills on earth in Heaven’s plan to save the world, restoring it to Heaven’s peace.
  2. Let us not fight our function.  We did not establish it.  It is not our idea.  The means are given us by which it will be perfectly accomplished.  All that we are asked to do is to accept our part in genuine humility, and not deny with self-deceiving arrogance that we are worthy.  What is given us to do, we have the strength to do.  Our minds are suited perfectly to take the part assigned to us by One Who knows us well.
  3. Today’s idea may seem quite sobering, until you see its meaning.  All it says is that your Father still remembers you and offers you the perfect trust He holds in you who are His Son.  It does not ask that you be different in any way from what you are.  What could humility request but this?  And what could arrogance deny but this?  Today we will not shrink from our assignment on the specious grounds that modesty is outraged.  It is pride that would deny the Call for God Himself.
  4. All false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen to God’s Voice reveal to us what He would have us do.  We do not doubt our adequacy for the function He will offer us.  We will be certain only that He knows our strengths, our wisdom and our holiness.  And if He deems us worthy, so we are.  It is but arrogance that judges otherwise.
  5. There is one way, and only one, to be released from the imprisonment your plan to prove the false is true has brought to you.  Accept the plan you did not make instead.  Judge not your value to it.  If God’s Voice assures you that salvation needs your part, and that the whole depends on you, be sure that it is so.  The arrogant must cling to words, afraid to go beyond them to experience which might affront their stance.  Yet are the humble free to hear the Voice Which tells them what they are, and what to do.
  6. Arrogance makes an image of yourself that is not real.  It is this image which quails and retreats in terror, as the Voice for God assures you that you have the strength, the wisdom, and the holiness to go beyond all images.  You are not weak, as is the image of yourself.  You are not ignorant and helpless.  Sin can not tarnish the truth in you, and misery can come not near the holy home of God.
  7. All this the Voice for God relates to you.  And as He speaks, the image trembles and seeks to attack the threat it does not know, sensing its basis crumble.  Let it go.  Salvation of the world depends on you, and not upon this little pile of dust.  What can it tell the holy Son of God?  Why need he be concerned with it at all?
  8. And so we find our peace.  We will accept the function God has given us, for all illusions rest upon the weird belief that we can make another for ourselves.  Our self-made roles are shifting, and they seem to change from mourner to ecstatic bliss of love and loving.  We can laugh or weep and greet the day with welcome or with tears.  Our very being seems to change as we experience a thousand shifts in mood, and our emotions raise us high indeed, or dash us to the ground in hopelessness. 
  9. Is this the Son of God?  Could He create such instability and call it Son?  He Who is changeless shares His attributes with His creation.  All the images His Son appears to make have no effect on what he is.  They blow across his mind like wind-swept leaves that form a patterning an instant, break apart to group again, and scamper off.  Or like mirages seen above a desert, rising from the dust.
  10. These unsubstantial images will go, and leave your mind unclouded and serene, when you accept the function given you.  The images you make give rise to but conflicting goals, impermanent and vague, uncertain and ambiguous.  Who could be constant in his efforts, or direct his energies and concentrated drive toward goals like these?  The functions which the world esteems are so uncertain that they change ten times an hour at their most secure.  What hope of gain can rest on goals like this?
  11. In lovely contrast, certain as the sun’s return each morning to dispel the night, your truly given function stands out clear and wholly unambiguous.  There is no doubt of its validity.  It comes from One Who knows no error, and His Voice is certain of Its messages.  They will not change, nor be in conflict.  All of them point to one goal, and one you can attain.  Your plan may be impossible, but God’s can never fail because He is its Source.
  12. Do as God’s Voice directs.  And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is That asks, and who would make denial.  Then consider this; which is more likely to be right?  The Voice That speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent, and unsure of everything?  Let not its voice direct you.  Hear instead a certain Voice, Which tells you of a function give you by your Creator, Who remembers you, and urges that you now remember Him.
  13. His gentle Voice is calling from the known to the unknowing.  He would comfort you, although He knows no sorrow.  He would make a restitution, though He is complete; a gift to you, although He knows that you have everything already.  He has Thoughts which answer every need His Son perceives, although He sees them not.  For Love must give, and what is given in His Name takes on the form most useful in a world of form.
  14. These are the forms which never can deceive because they come from Formlessness Itself.  Forgiveness is an earthly form of love, which as it is in Heaven has no form.  Yet what is needed here is given here as it is needed.  In this form you can fulfill your function even here, although what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still.  Salvation of the world depends on you who can forgive.  Such is your function here.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:   Who do we think we are claiming that the salvation of the world depends upon us?  We are Sons of God, beloved of our Father, irreplaceable, inerasable, accepting our true identity, our proper role in acknowledging the Will of God on earth and restoring our world to Heaven’s peace. 

Jesus encourages us in today’s lesson not to fight our function.  Do not let a false sense of being unworthy keep us back from answering the call of God in our lives.  We will not let the ego’s twisted modesty trick us into thinking we are not good enough, educated enough, special enough to do our part in God’s plan for salvation.  God knows us!  If He says we are worthy, we are worthy.  He does not care how many times we screwed up.  He does not care how skinny or how obese we are.  He does not care how many times we ended up behind bars or on probation.  He does not care how many degrees we may have after our name.  He does not care how much money we have.  The only thing that God cares about is that we accept that there is nothing we could do – that would shake His love and devotion.  There are not enough vices in the universe to come between us and God.  There is no sin that would remove the Christ in us.  There is no hardship that the world can mete out to prove its strength and power that does not begin and end in time.

God asks of us to accept our function.  The world cannot be saved without us.  Answer this call.  God does not expect for us to clean up our act and change ourselves into something that is more fitting for His Will.  What He asks of us is not hard nor is it impossible.  We are to simply put down our umbrage, our resentment, our grief and sorrow.  No longer can the world affront us for we forgive its twisted dream, we forgive the surreal world made from the dreams of those who lost their way.  When we forgive we are fulfilling our function to save the world.  It is a matter of not holding the world accountable for all of its wrongs, its injustices, its inequality, its bad manners, and bloodthirsty ways.  We forgive it, not because we are good and it is bad, not because we are charitable and want to make brownie points with God.  We forgive it because we recognize it for what it is – a world that simply cannot exist, a world that simply cannot go on, a world that was based upon a mad idea of specialness, hierarchies, and the spaces in between instead of unity, oneness, and the equality of God. 

Take your little while today reviewing our lesson, measuring its words, asking Holy Spirit to help you hear the call of God in your mind.  You do not have to leave your house to save the world.  You do not have to buy special kinds of clothes to wear.  You do not have to change a thing about who and what you are.  All that is required of us is to accept our role with humility. 

Father, we forgive the world.  We thought it was one thing but found that it is not.  Our striving in the world of men has only brought us more striving.  Our efforts to clean up this world has only uncovered more filth.  Our longings for that special someone has only led to heartache and sorrow, bitterness and regret.  No matter what we chase to make us happy, to bring us joy and peace and love, the world is only a tease.  It only gives us a taste to take it away again.  It gives us a sense of hope to only stomp it in the dust. This world is not our home, Father.  We choose to forgive it for pretending to be something it is not.  We choose to forgive ourselves and others for falling for the world’s lies, the ego’s defenses, the heartlessness of nature, and the untrustworthy words of those who pretend to lead us to You.  We forgive it all.  Thus we stand with Christ; thus we save the world.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 186. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 185 I Want The Peace Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 185 I want the peace of God.

  1. To say these words is nothing.  But to mean these words is everything.  If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form, in any place or time.  Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.
  2. No one can mean these words and not be healed.  He cannot play with dreams, nor think he is himself a dream.  He cannot make a hell and think it real.  He wants the peace of God, and it is given him.  For that is all he wants, and that is all he will receive.  Many have said these words.  But few indeed have meant them.  You have but to look upon the world you see around you to be sure how very few they are.  The world would be completely changed, should any two agree these words express the only thing they want.
  3. Two minds with one intent become so strong that what they will becomes the Will of God.  For minds can only join in truth.  In dreams, no two can share the same intent.  To each, the hero of the dream is different; the outcome wanted not the same for both.  Loser and gainer merely shift about in changing patterns, as the ratio of gain to loss and loss to gain takes on a different aspect or another form. 
  4. Yet compromise alone a dream can bring.  Sometimes it takes the form of union, but only the form.  The meaning must escape the dream, for compromising is the goal of dreaming.  Minds cannot unite in dreams.  They merely bargain.  And what bargain can give them the peace of God?  Illusions come to take His place.  And what He means is lost to sleeping minds intent on compromise, each to his gain and to another’s loss.
  5. To mean you want the peace of God is to renounce all dreams.  For no one means these words who wants illusions, and who therefore seeks the means which bring illusions.  He has looked on them and found them wanting.  Now he seeks to go beyond them, recognizing that another dream would offer nothing more than all the others.  Dreams are one to him.  And he has learned their only difference is one of form, for one will bring the same despair and misery as do the rest.
  6. The mind which means that all it wants is peace must join with other minds, for that is how peace is obtained.  And when the wish for peace is genuine, the means for finding it is given, in a form each mind that seeks for it in honesty can understand.  Whatever form the lesson takes is planned for him in such a way that he can not mistake it if his asking is sincere.  But if he asks without sincerity, there is no form in which the lesson will meet with acceptance and be truly learned.
  7. Let us today devote our practicing to recognizing that we really mean the words we say.  We want the peace of God.  This is no idle wish.  These words do not request another dream be given us.  They do not ask for compromise, nor try to make another bargain in the hope that there may yet be one that can succeed where all the rest have failed.  To mean these words acknowledges illusions are in vain, requesting the eternal in the place of shifting dreams which seem to change in what they offer, but are one in nothingness.
  8. Today devote your practice periods to careful searching of your mind, to find the dreams you cherish still.  What do you ask for in your heart?  Forget the words you use in making your requests.  Consider but what you believe will comfort you and bring you happiness.  But be you not dismayed by lingering illusions, for their form is not what matters now.  Let not some dreams be more acceptable, reserving shame and secrecy for others.  They are one.  And being one, one question should be asked of all of them, “Is this what I would have, in place of Heaven and the peace of God?”
  9. This is the choice you make.  Be not deceived that it is otherwise.  No compromise is possible in this.  You choose God’s peace, or you have asked for dreams.  And dreams will come as you requested them.  Yet will God’s peace come just as certainly, and to remain with you forever.  It will not be gone with every twist and turning of the road, to reappear, unrecognized, in forms which shift and change with every step you take.
  10. You want the peace of God.  And so do all who seem to seek for dreams.  For them as well as for yourself, you ask but this when you make this request with deep sincerity.  For thus you reach to what they really want and join your own intent with what they seek above all things, perhaps unknown to them, but sure to you.  You have been weak at times, uncertain in your purpose, and unsure of what you wanted, where to look for it, and where to turn for help in the attempt.  Help has been given you.  And would you not avail yourself of it by sharing it?
  11. No one who truly seeks the peace of God can fail to find it.  For he merely asks that he deceive himself no longer by denying to himself what is God’s Will.  Who can remain unsatisfied who asks for what he has already?  Who could be unanswered who requests an answer which is his to give?  The peace of God is yours.
  12. For you was peace created, given you by its Creator, and established as His Own eternal gift.  How can you fail when you but ask for what He wills for you?  And how could your request be limited to you alone?  No gift of God can be unshared.  It is this attribute that sets the gifts of God apart from every dream that ever seemed to take the place of truth.
  13. No one can lose and everyone must gain whenever any gift of God has been requested and received by anyone.  God gives but to unite.  To take away is meaningless to Him.  And when it is as meaningless to you, you can be sure you share one Will with Him, and He with you.  And you will also know you share one Will with all your brothers, whose intent is yours.
  14. It is this one intent we seek today, uniting our desires with the need of every heart, the call of every mind, the hope that lies beyond despair, the love attack would hide, the brotherhood that hate has sought to sever, but which still remains as God created it.  With Help like this beside us, can we fail today as we request the peace of God be given us?[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:  In today’s lesson Jesus reminds us that as long as we ask for anything of this world, we are asking for dreams.  It doesn’t matter if we are asking for money to pay our bills or money to spend on a lavish luxury; it doesn’t matter if we are asking for the Lord to save our marriage for the sake of the children or if we are seeking a new mate who will liven up our love life and take us to new heights of impassioned ecstasy.  We are to carefully think about what we believe will bring us comfort and happiness.  When we ask God to give us anything from this world, we are not choosing Heaven or the peace of God No matter what form it takes – we either desire things from this world that will bring us temporary satisfaction at best or we pray for God’s peace which is everlasting.

Here in the flesh, I seem to want and need so many things.  My husband seems paramount to my happiness; my love for cooking is only surpassed by my love for eating.  I love my house, my car, my garden.  I love our kids and grandkids.  When too many days go by and I do not hear their voice or see their faces, I get a sad and lonely feeling.  The estrangement of my sister weighs heavily upon me; how could I ever experience peace or enjoy my life without her love and affection?  I have a bucket list with all the things I want to do before I die – walk Hadrian’s Wall, visit Italy, master making the perfect bagel…

Today I lay that all aside.  I know that there is nothing in the world – the love of my cherished husband, my older sister, our kids and grandkids, the Roman wall, the olive groves of Italy, and no homemade bagel this side of heaven which is going to give me everlasting peace or even the tiniest bit of Heaven.  It does not work that way.  I either desire the world and the things in the world or I desire God and the peace of God. 

There comes a time when we start to grasp this concept and understand why there can be no compromise.  As long as we seek the things that the world has to offer us we are closing our minds to who and what we really are, we are accepting the identity which the world has given us – a body with its never-ending, never-satisfied lists of needs, wants, desires, and lusts.  Identifying with the body keeps us on a go-round of always living for the next fix.  This is not peace. This is not joy. This is not Heaven. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying one’s dream, of having a happy dream, abundant and well-spent in time.  Love, food, travel, cooking, adventures…there is no sin involved in any of it.  But we do not confuse this with the true desires of our heart and mind.

We know the peace of God when we understand our unity, when to take anything away becomes as meaningless to us as it is with God, when all we want is to share God’s Will and there is goodwill for all and to all. 

May the peace of God be yours today. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 185. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 184 The Name Of God Is My Inheritance

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 184 The Name of God is my inheritance.

  1. You live by symbols.  You have made up names for everything you see.  Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name.  By this you carve it out of unity.  By this you designate its special attributes and set if off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it.  This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.
  2. This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world’s perception is achieved.  You see something where nothing is and see as well nothing where there is unity; a space between all things, between all things and you.  Thus do you think that you have given life in separation.  By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.
  3. What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awareness?  You gave these names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be.  The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well.  For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequence inherent in itself.
  4. This is the way reality is made by partial vision, purposefully set against the given truth.  Its enemy is wholeness.  It conceives of little things and looks upon them.  And a lack of space, a sense of unity or vision that sees differently, become the threats which it must overcome, conflict with, and deny.
  5. Yet does this other vision still remain a natural direction for the mind to channel its perception.  It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more.  Yet you believe this is what learning means; its one essential goal by which communication is achieved, and concepts can be meaningfully shared.
  6. This is the sum of the inheritance the world bestows.  And everyone who learns to think that it is so accepts the signs and symbols that assert the world is real.  It is for this they stand.  They leave no doubt that what is named is there.  It can be seen, as is anticipated.  What denies that it is true is but illusion, for it is the ultimate reality.  To question it is madness; to accept its presence is the proof of sanity.
  7. Such is the teaching of the world.  It is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through.  But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are it premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects.  Learning that stops with what the world would teach stops short of meaning.  In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin, a new perception can be gained, and all the arbitrary names the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised in doubt.
  8. Think not you made the world.  Illusions, yes!  But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming.  When you call upon a brother, it is to his body that you make appeal.  His true Identity is hidden from you by what you believe he really is.  His body makes response to what you call him, for his mind consents to take the name you give him as his own.  And thus his unity is twice denied, for you perceive him separate from you, and he accepts this separate name as his.
  9. It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function.  You have need to use the symbols of the world a while.  But be you not deceived by them as well.  They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them.  They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.
  10. Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name Which God has given you; the one Identity Which all things share; the one acknowledgement of what is true.  And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules.
  11. Use all the little names and symbols which delineate the world of darkness.  Yet accept them not as your reality.  The Holy Spirit uses all of them, but He does not forget creation has one Name, one Meaning, and a single Source Which unifies all things within Itself.  Use all the names the world bestows on them but for convenience, yet do not forget they share the Name of God along with you.
  12. God has no name that we could ever give Him, He has no need of a name.  And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end.  All names are unified; all space is filled with truth’s reflection.  Every gap is closed, and separation healed.  The Name of God is the inheritance He gave to those who chose the teaching of the world to take the place of Heaven.  In our practicing, our purpose is to let our minds accept what God has given as the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made as fitting tribute to the Son He loves.
  13. No one can fail who seeks the meaning of the Name of God.  Experience must come to supplement the Word.  But first you must accept the Name for all reality and realize the many names you gave its aspects have distorted what you see but have not interfered with truth at all.  One Name we bring into our practicing.  One Name we use to unify our sight.1

Father, our Name is Yours.  In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator.  What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Reality.  And we are glad and thankful we were wrong.  Shine the light of Christ upon all our mistakes, our beliefs in darkness, our fractured thoughts, and fragmented distortions, that we may be absolved from all the dastardly effects our strange devices seemed to have.  We accept the truth You give, in place of every little thought that would distinguish us from You.  Your Name is our salvation and escape from the hellish realm we made.  Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace. Amen.

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Notes and Personal Application:  The world’s view of Creation intends to keep all things little, separate and distinguished.  Its reality are the spaces between things; while true vision perceives lack of space, a sense of oneness and wholeness.  True vision is a threat to separateness.  Any attempt to see correctly is a cause for ego to attack, to create conflict, to go into denial.  Time and the world it runs thrives in the mind of separateness and lack of wholeness.  Its systems are built upon it.  Here the Sons of God believe they are sons of man, splintered, segregated, and suppressed.

No matter!  The vision of Christ is the natural direction for the mind to channel its perception.  Who wants to be burdened with thousands upon thousands of names for all the different pieces in which the world would splinter Creation?  The more names we know, the more things we can dissect, dismember, and distinguish the smarter we think we are, while the reality is how apparent it is that this only seems to make the rift and divide between us deeper and denser.  We think that we strengthen our vocabulary but the less we can communicate meaning and purpose, the less we understand, the less we exchange ideas that have the ability to heal and transform.   

We learn to accept the signs and symbols, the names and ranks that the world assert is real.  We learn to call childlikeness and innocence an impediment to truth; to believe in our Father a fantasy, and belief in the world’s point of view as proof of our sanity and intelligence and worth.  As we come through the world, all of us are educated in this matter.  We cannot escape it, but we can question it, we can see it for an illusion, a place where time gobbles up every passing moment and never gives it back, how all of it is set up to attack and take away, how decay and death are its ongoing gifts.  When we begin to question our humanity, we begin to question the theater of life, the mechanics of our vision, the falseness of its premises, the programming of its vision. 

Learning that stops with what the world teaches, stops short of meaning.  No matter how many certificates, diplomas, or degrees we may have, or how many letters distinguish us from others, it doesn’t matter how many languages we can count to 100 in, none of it will have any meaning unless we take what we learned in the world and use it as a starting point from which another kind of learning will begin. 

Jesus affirms that it is only when we begin to recognize what is missing in the world’s perception that we can gain a new perception – a perception that undoes the world’s vision and replaces it with the true vision of Christ.  In paragraph eight, we are told that we did not make the world, but we are certainly responsible for the illusions we made to take the place of the real world.  It is important to recognize this fact:  Truth in Heaven and on earth is beyond our ability to name.  When we sum one another up, we are summing up an illusion because we have no idea of the holiness and the purity and the value of that which we name here on earth. The true identity of each one of us, indeed of all Creation, is hidden from our human eyes.  We give each other names and titles – even our pets will perk their ears at the names they have been given, but Jesus says do not be deceived for this is only a way to deny our oneness twice over because as we demand a name, we are distinguishing one part of Creation from another, and when he responds to the name he is accepting his separated state.

As long as we are in the world we use the world’s symbols, but we do not need to be deceived by them!  They do not stand for anything and knowing this and meditating upon this thought will release us from our bondage to the idea of separateness.  We can use the world’s symbols, its words, its names, its ways of perceiving one splintered part of Creation from another, but Jesus emphasizes that we must fully understand that this is not true communication and oneness and knowledge cannot be found where space and time has splintered the minds and hearts of God’s creation into separated parts.

I keep thinking of a chocolate cake and how awful it would be if every ingredient separated itself and vied for independence.  What a pickle we would be in if our bodies decided to separate their parts and live independently of one another, our livers taking a little road trip through the Rockies while our spleens decided to go to camp meeting in Miracle Valley, Arizona.  

In our devotional practices we take time to realize and appreciate what we learn in the world while recognizing it as an elementary and temporary phase of our learning.  Jesus likens it to darkness, a prison even, which we leave to go into the sunshine and forget its lonely cells and dim corridors.  Our practice is the sunshine that lights our minds with truth – we are not these dimwitted creatures fighting one another and vying for special privileges – we are Sons of God; we all share the same name.  Basking in this truth, letting our minds rest upon its loveliness and joy, we take it back with us to the house of bondage, knowing that the prison house of death is not our reality.  Sharing the good news that we are not bodies; we are everlasting spirits which share the identity of God becomes our only function naturally and willingly.  We are ready to transform.  We look forward to the day when we can shed our humanity and take our real identity as a whole, and not in parts, with God.   

In conclusion, we use the names and words and phrases of the world, but we no longer accept them as our reality.  For Creation has one name, one meaning, one Source Which unified everything with His Love.  Never again will we be seduced into thinking that God will fight our battle and not theirs, that our holiness is greater, our skin color defines us, that our physical beauty gives us worth.  We are one and we have one name and that name we share with God. 

And yet we know that God has no name that can be spoke or understood in the human tongue.  When we learn the namelessness of God we are one with Him.  We know everything there is to know, all names are unified, all space is filled with truth, there are no more illusions, nothing is hidden from our consciousness.  We are one – you and me, us and we – transparent in our love and affection and complete as a whole. 

To seek the meaning of the Name of God, we are guaranteed to grasp the truth.  Our experiences will make the truth we study quite apparent to us.  But before all that, we must accept God’s Name for all reality.  Realize that while naming of this thing and that, of putting privilege here and taking advantages there, of prizing one thing and disregarding another may have perverted the truth in the worldlings’ mind, truth still stands untouched by any vain imaginings. 

In our devotions today we meditate upon One Name.  One Name we use to unite our perceptions.  We begin to open our mind to the oneness of God which He has given to us.  It is One Name where all the foolish separateness, which blinded us to truth will go away.  It is reflecting upon the idea of One Name where we are given strength to see beyond the splintered, splattered distortions of this world.  Only when we recognize that we are one with God, that we share His Name and His Being, can we give as we receive.  

1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 184. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 183 I Call Upon The Name Of God And On My Own

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 183 I call upon God’s Name and on my own.

  1. God’s name is holy, but no holier than yours. To call upon His name is but to call upon your own. A father gives his son his name, and thus identifies the son with him. His brothers share his name, and thus are they united in a bond to which they turn for their identity. Your Father’s name reminds you who you are, even within a world that does not know; even though you have not remembered it.
  2. God’s Name cannot be heard without response, nor said without an echo in the mind that calls you to remember. Say His Name, and you invite the angels to surround the ground on which you stand, and sing to you as they spread out their wings to keep you safe, and shelter you from every worldly thought that would intrude upon your holiness.
  3. Repeat God’s name, and all the world responds by laying down illusions. Every dream the world holds dear has suddenly gone by, and where it seemed to stand you find a star; a miracle of grace.  The sick arise, healed of their sickly thoughts. The blind can see; the deaf can hear. The sorrowful cast off their mourning, and the tears of pain are dried as happy laughter comes to bless the world.
  4. Repeat the name of God, and little names have lost their meaning. No temptation but becomes a nameless and unwanted thing before God’s name. Repeat His Name and see how easily you will forget the names of all the gods you valued. They have lost the name of god you gave them. They become anonymous and valueless to you, although before you let the Name of God replace their little names. You stood before them worshipfully, naming them as gods.
  5. Repeat the Name of God, and call upon your Self, Whose Name is His. Repeat His Name, and all the tiny, nameless things on earth slip into right perspective. Those who call upon the Name of God cannot mistake the nameless for the Name, nor sin for grace, nor bodies for the holy Son of God. And should you join a brother as you sit with him in silence, and repeat God’s Name along with him within your quiet mind, you have established there an altar which reaches to God Himself and to His Son.
  6. Practice this but today; repeat God’s name slowly again and still again. Become oblivious to every name but His. Hear nothing else. Let all your thoughts become anchored on This. No other word we use except at the beginning, when we say today’s idea but once. And then God’s Name becomes our only thought, our only word, the only thing that occupies our minds, the only wish we have, the only sound with any meaning, and the only Name of everything that we desire to see; of everything that we would call our own.
  7. Thus do we give an invitation which could never be refused. And God will come and answer it Himself. Think not He hears the little prayers of those who call on Him with names of idols cherished by the world. They cannot reach Him thus. He cannot hear a request that He be not Himself, or that His Son receive another name than His.
  8. Repeat God’s Name, and you acknowledge Him as sole creator of reality. And you acknowledge also that His Son is part of Him, creating in His name. Sit silently, and let His Name become the all-encompassing idea that holds your mind completely. Let all thoughts be still except this one. And to all other thoughts respond with this and see God’s Name replace the thousand little names you gave your thoughts, not realizing that there is one Name for all there is, and all that there will be.
  9. Today you can achieve a state in which you will experience the gift of grace.  You can escape all bondage of the world and give the world the same release you found. You can remember what the world forgot and offer it your own remembering. You can accept today the part you play in its salvation, and your own as well. And both can be accomplished perfectly.
  10. Turn to the Name of God for your release and it is given you. No prayer but this is necessary, for it holds them all within it. Words are insignificant, and all requests unneeded when God’s Son calls on His Father’s Name. His Father’s Thoughts become His own. He makes his claim to all his Father gave, is giving still, and will forever give. He calls on Him to let all things he thought he made be nameless now, and in their place the holy Name of God becomes his judgment of their worthlessness.
  11. All things are silent. Little sounds are soundless now. The little things of earth have disappeared. The universe consists of nothing but the Son of God, who calls upon his Father.   And his Father’s Voice gives answer in his Father’s holy Name. And this eternal, still relationship, in which communication far transcends all words, and yet exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey, is peace eternal. In our Father’s Name, we would experience this peace today.  And in His Name, it shall be given us. [1]

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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 183. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 182 I Will Be Still An Instant And Go Home

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 182 I will be still an instant and go home.

  1. This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.  A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what is it the voice reminds you of.  Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.  Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here.  Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.
  2. No one but knows whereof we speak.  Yet some try to put by their suffering in games they play to occupy their time and keep their sadness from them.  Others will deny that they are sad, and do not recognize their tears at all.  Still others will maintain that what we speak of is illusion, not to be considered more than but dream.  Yet who, in simple honesty, without defensiveness and self-deception, would deny he understands the words we speak?
  3. We speak today for everyone who walks this world, for he is not at home.  He goes uncertainly about in endless search, seeking in darkness what he cannot find; not recognizing what it is he seeks.  A thousand homes he makes, yet none contents his restless mind.  He does not understand he builds in vain.  The home he seeks can not be made by him.  There is no substitute for Heaven.  All he ever made was hell.
  4. Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again.  The childhood of your body, and its place of shelter, are a memory now so distorted that you merely hold a picture of a past that never happened.  Yet there is a Child in you Who seeks His Father’s house and knows that He is alien here.  This childhood is eternal, with an innocence that will endure forever.  Where this Child shall go is holy ground.  It is His holiness that lights up Heaven, and that brings to earth the pure reflection of the light above, wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one.
  5. It is this Child in you your Father knows as His Own Son.  It is this Child Who knows His Father.  He desires to go home so deeply, so unceasingly, His voice cries unto you to let Him rest a while.  He does not ask for more than just a few instants of respite; just an interval in which He can return to breathe again the holy air that fills His Father’s house.  You are His home as well.  He will return.  But give Him just a little time to be Himself, within the peace that is His home, resting in silence and in peace and love. 
  6. This Child needs your protection.  He is far from home.  He is so little that He seems so easily shut out, His tiny voice so readily obscured.  His call for help almost unheard amid the grating sounds and harsh and rasping noises of the world.  Yet does He know that in you still abides His sure protection.  You will fail Him not.  He will go home, and you along with Him.
  7. This Child is your defenselessness; your strength.  He trusts in you.  He came because He knew you would not fail.  He whispers of His home unceasingly to you.  For He would bring you back with Him, that He Himself might stay, and not return where He does not belong, and where He lives an outcast in a world of alien thoughts.  His patience has no limits.  He will wait until you hear His gentle Voice within you, calling you to let Him go in peace, along with you, to where He is at home and you with Him.
  8. When you are still an instant, when the world recedes from you, when valueless ideas ceases to have value in your restless mind, then will you hear His Voice.  So poignantly He calls to you that you will not resist Him longer.  In that instant He will take you to His home, and you will stay with Him in perfect stillness, silent and at peace, beyond all words, untouched by fear and doubt, sublimely certain that you are at home.
  9. Rest with Him frequently today.  For He was willing to become a little Child that you might learn of Him how strong is he who comes without defenses, offering only love’s messages to those who think he is their enemy.  He holds the might of Heaven in His hand and calls them friend, and gives His strength to them, that they may see He would be Friend to them.  He asks that they protect Him, for His home is far away, and He will not return to it alone.
  10. Christ is reborn as but a little Child each time a wanderer would leave his home.  For he must learn that what he would protect is but this Child, Who comes defenseless and Who is protected by defenselessness.  Go home with Him from time to time today.  You are as much an alien here as He.
  11. Take time today to lay aside your shield which profits nothing and lay down the spear and sword you raised against an enemy without existence.  Christ has called you friend and brother.  He has even come to ask your help in letting Him go home today, completed and completely.  He has come as does a little child, who must beseech his father for protection and for love.  He rules the universe, and yet He asks unceasingly that you return with Him and take illusions as your gods no more.
  12. You have not lost your innocence.  It is for this you yearn.  This is your heart’s desire.  This is the voice you hear, and this the call which cannot be denied.  The holy Child remains with you.  His home is yours.  Today He gives you His defenselessness, and you accept it in exchange for all the toys of battle you have made.  And now the way is open, and the journey has an end in sight at last.  Be still an instant and go home with Him and be at peace a while.[1]
Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com

Personal Notes and Application:   This world is not our home, and when we are honest with ourselves, we know that this is true.  We are haunted by a sense of homesickness, a sense of longing, a persistent feeling that there is a world which has been snatched from us, a place of peace and love and joy that this world can only simulate in brief, rare moments sandwiched between blood, sweat, and tears of frustration and hard work. 

No matter how hard we try to make this world our home, to deny our unhappiness, to pretend to love its cruel games and its dark pleasures, its insane laws and unfair practices, all of us, if we are honest will admit that we know that this world is not our home.  We may not remember the other world where we experience certainty, oneness, joy, and wonder but we yearn for it.

In our efforts to recreate that world in this one.  Jesus tells us in verse three that in darkness we can make a thousand homes and yet find no rest.  Every story here, every search, every attempt to find meaning, joy, friendship, and certainty here in this world ends in the hell of death.  We simply cannot survive without our Source; in a world which is built upon saints and sinners, hopes and fears, love and hate, darkness and light, we will never experience anything but upheaval, uncertainty, and inequality. 

No matter how rosy our past looks and how far we go to return to it, it is gone.  It will never be again; in fact, it never really was.  No matter how fond you may be of your memories of the past, they are nothing but images of nothing that matters, nothing that truly exists, nothing that has made one bit of difference in the reality of God. 

Jesus teaches us today that we have an inner Child who has never been and never will be at home in this world where to survive it must take up arms against its brothers and alienate itself from love and survive on fear and defense against attack.  This innocent Child which abides in each of us, knows God as His Own and God knows as His Own.  This Child of God calls us and keeps calling us to let Him rest, to give Him peace and rest and joy from all the things of this world that weary Him and keep Him from His real home in God. 

This little Child calls to us to protect Him.  He is the baby Christ within each one of us – born into a world so dark and full of contradictions, knowing that He must go through the torments of darkness to get to the light from which He came.  He will go home, and we will go with Him.  It is why He is there inside of us, God-placed and never erased. 

It is during our quiet moments, our devotional practices, our times of putting aside this world and remembering the place from which we came, that we will hear the baby Christ within us.  Today Jesus tells us that His Voice will touch us in such a way that we will no longer be able to ignore it or resist it, and that it is in these moments of quietness and reflection, of meditation and our full attention in which this perfect Child takes us home.  Our lesson today reflects the innocence, the purity, the faith to believe in that which the world would distort and call crazy, the tenderness evoked by the holy Child.

For Christ, our brilliant Holy Brother who resisted darkness and temptation, was willing to become the little Child that we may learn of strength through defenselessness, how to offer love to those who would make us an enemy.  This Child holds all the strength of God’s eternal Kingdom; He is friend to all and calls us all as brothers and as friend.  This Child protects us as He calls to us to protect Him as well in this dark world far from reality and from which He can not return without us along with Him.  

Today Jesus teaches us that Christ is reborn into each one of us as we enter into this world, a world that we ended up in when we left the realm of love to explore the realm of darkness.  And it is this Child in which we must learn to protect because as a child He is defenseless, and it is our defenselessness which protects Him and protects us.  We build no defenses against God as we build no defenses against each other.  We lay them aside.  We take the Child by the hand and we walk with Him a while each day learning again to become as He is, to become Him.

This Child knows the love and peace and joy we have not entirely forgotten.  This Child knows that there is nothing in the world that He wants or needs.  This Child knows that this realm is for those who forgot who and what they really are and have lost their way.  This Child calls to us, leading us back to where we belong – exchanging all our ways of war and discord for the love and peace of God. 

Today we spend our “little while” with this Child.  We go Home with Him for a few moments.  We experience His peace, His Love, His Joy, His sense of wonder and appreciation.  We know that this is our heart’s desire.  We experience our innocence through the purity of this holy Child.  The shade of the trees, the green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the white clouds, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all a reflection of care of His Father and His love and devotion to us.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 182. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 181 I Trust My Brothers Who Are One With Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 181 I trust my brothers who are one with me.

  1. Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself. When you attack a brother, you proclaim that he is limited by what you have perceived in him. You do not look beyond his errors. Rather, they are magnified, becoming blocks to your awareness of the Self That lies beyond your own mistakes, and passed his seeming sins as well as yours.
  2. Perception has a focus. It is this that gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision now will shift, to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before. Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.
  3. Therefore, in practicing today, we first let all such little focuses give way to our great need to let our sinlessness become apparent. We instruct our minds that it is this we seek, and only this, for just a little while. We do not care about our future goals. And what we saw an instant previous has no concern for us within this interval of time wherein we practice changing our intent. We seek for innocence and nothing else. We seek for it with no concern but now.
  4. A major hazard to success has been involvement with your past and future goals. You have been quite preoccupied with how extremely different the goals this course is advocating are from those you held before. And you have also been dismayed by the depressing and restricting thought that, even if you should succeed, you will inevitably lose your way again.
  5. How could this matter?  For the past is gone; the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more. We lay these pointless limitations by a little while. We do not look to past beliefs, and what we will believe will not intrude upon us now. We enter in the time of practicing with one intent; to look upon the sinlessness within.
  6. We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother’s sins occur to us, our narrow focus will restrict our sight, and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our “sins.”  So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say: It is not this that I would look upon. I trust my brothers, who are one with me.
  7. And we will also use this thought to keep us safe throughout the day.  We do not seek for long-range goals. As each obstruction seems to block the vision of our sinlessness, we seek but for surcease an instant from the misery the focus upon sin will bring, and uncorrected will remain.
  8. Nor do we ask for fantasies. For what we seek to look upon is really there. And as our focus goes beyond mistakes, we will behold a holy sinless world. When seeing this is all we want to see, when this is all we seek for in the name of true perception, are the eyes of Christ inevitably ours. And the love He feels for us becomes our own as well. This will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves.
  9. The world which once proclaimed our sins becomes a proof that we are sinless and our love for everyone we look upon attest to our remembrance of the holy Self which knows no sin, and never could conceive of anything without its sinlessness. We seek for this remembrance as we turn our minds to practicing today. We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present.  And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now. Our sinlessness is but the Will of God. This instant is our willing one with His.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   Last year when I was first studying the Course lessons, I understood that, basically, my mind was being trained to think with love, acceptance, guiltlessness toward God, toward myself, and toward mankind.  By lesson 181, I had concluded that studying A Course in Miracles was not going to give me a magical experience; Jesus was not going to float down from the heavens, come into my heart, fill me with ecstasy, and transform me into a holy being.  I would have to ask, I would have to show, and I would have to practice my willingness to “give up” hatred, ill will, resentment, judgments, superiority/inferiority, jealousy, old wounds, imagined wounds, sad stories, sorrowful stories, false prophesies, a know-it-all attitude, bluff, arrogance, and littleness – and exchange it bit by bit for tiny holy instants of innocence, purity, goodwill, blessing, forgiveness, and Atonement. 

A Course in Miracles is the path that I chose to prepare our minds for the Kingdom of God.  A Course in Miracles explains why the traditional ways we have interpreted the gospel, revered some sages and “saints,” while castigating and torturing others, saved certain manuscripts and texts and called them holy, adopted and cherished false idols and wrongful images of God have stunted our minds, blinded our vision, and keep us in a prolonged state of separation from the very one Who promises us unity, love, and everlasting peace.  Today Jesus tells us that we must know the blocks to our attainment of the Kingdom of God in order to recognize them and put them aside. 

I had expected a miracle – as in a cloud of holiness, purity, and innocence that would sweep through me in an instant and change me, and I was a little disappointed that it was more than that – that I had to be prepared, I had to practice, I had to have things explained to me in a way that I could understand.  I thought that I was through with school, but here I was again, learning what had befallen us, the deception that has tricked and seduced and held us captive, and how we cannot escape it on our own.  Our human brains are designed to keep us trapped in this nightmare, and if we want to wake up and make our return to our Home, we cannot rely upon the very ideas, systems, and vision which has held us as slaves to its manipulations and dramas since time began.   

We must answer God’s call from within.  We have to reach for the truth.  God cannot come to a lie and make it real.  God does not come into a dream of death and despair and somehow work to take what is only a lie, an illusion, a nightmare and fix it up pretty so that it is more tolerable to us.  We must come to understand that the whole thing is a lie, that time itself is an illusion, that we are Sons of God and not sons of man. 

When we practice trusting in our brothers and seeing them as one with us, we are putting our faith in God and in God’s way of thinking.  In the world we are accustomed to seeing each other as separate beings, living separate lives, accomplishing separate things. We are used to building trust with those who look like us, think like us, and share the same values.  We are used to mistrusting those who look different, think different, and have a different set of values.  We embrace some brothers and take up arms against others.  This is how it is done here.  The harder you try to bring peace to this world, to change the nature of this world, to make the separation real and everlasting, the worse it becomes.  You trade one offense for thousands more. 

You can carry your signs and banners, you can lecture all your friends on Facebook about social justice and racial inequality, you can vote for this one and start a campaign of hatred and blame toward another for not agreeing with you, but you will only cause more unrest, more war, more injustice. 

When we focus upon the “sins” and failings of others, anger comes to block our return to God. We cannot enter into the peace of mind and the everlasting joy and love of God as long as we look upon the behaviors of those who do things that hurt, worry, and offend us through the eyes of fear.  We must embrace a new understanding of what this world is, what happens here, and why we are here. 

We are here to end the separation.  We are here to establish unity and oneness with God.  We are here to trust our brothers who are one with us.  This is not a fantasy, this is not mind games, this is not wishful thinking.  This is the reality of Christ.  When all we want to see is how holy and precious are our brothers, when we recognize the truth of Christ’s perception, this will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves. 

Today practice this holy approach a little while.  Meditate upon it.  Ask Holy Spirit to bless your encounters and interactions with your brothers and teach you to trust in Him and in them.  Here our eyes are trained on attack and defense; in God we have the eyes of love and devotion.  Here we are steeped in thoughts of sin and shame; in God we know our sinlessness is His Will and God’s Will is done. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 181. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Introduction Lessons 181-200

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Introduction to Lessons 181-200

  1. Our next few lessons make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong; your scattered goals blend into one intent.  You are not asked for total dedication all the time as yet.  But you are asked to practice now in order to attain the sense of peace such unified commitment will bestow, if only intermittently.  It is experiencing this that makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth.
  2. Our lessons now are geared specifically to widen horizons, and direct approaches to the special blocks that keep your vision narrow and too limited to let you see the value of our goal.  We are attempting now to lift theses blocks, however briefly.  Words alone can not convey the sense of liberation which their lifting brings.  But the experience of freedom and of peace that comes as you give up your tight control of what you see speaks for itself.  Your motivation will be so intensified that words become of little consequence.  You will be sure of what you want, and what is valueless.
  3. And so we start our journey beyond words by concentrating first on what impedes your progress still.  Experience of what exists beyond defensiveness remains beyond achievement while it is denied.  It may be there, but you cannot accept its presence.  So now we attempt to go past all defenses for a little while each day.  No more than this is asked, because no more than this is needed.  It will be enough to guarantee the rest will come.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:   Today Jesus introduces us to the next 20 days of lessons which will firm our commitment and blend our scattered goal into one holy intent.  Patiently, Jesus awaits our full dedication to His goal for us.  Not too much is expected of us, we are only to practice each day loosening our affection for that which has no value and giving our full devotion to that which is everlasting. 

Our Course is designed to bring awareness to the falsities of the world, the ways in which the dream of separation has made our sojourn in time seem our only hope and our only chance to live, to breath, to enjoy our being.  Here we believe what we think we see with our physical eyes – but Jesus is asking us to get beyond this limitation.  To choose to see with the vision of Christ fills our beings with an unspeakable sense of joy, peace, freedom, and adventure.  The vision of Christ gives us the ability to know what we want and to know the difference between what has value and what has none!

The next twenty days we will start our journey to that which words cannot convey by focusing on the issues that are holding us back.  As long as we do not realize the impediments to our healed vision, as long as we hold fast to that which blinds us, as long as we are afraid to put our trust in God, or believe in His love and devotion toward us, we will never see or accept the great store of riches, the treasures, the everlasting love and joy and peace that He has in store for us. 

So from today – June 30th through July 19th, Jesus asks us to devote ourselves to the lesson idea for the day.  This will help us get past all the defenses that our egos, the usurper, the stranger within, has erected to block us from knowing who and what we really are, why we are here, and how we can return to our Creator. 

This is all it takes.  A little while each day, and the rest will come – and that is a guarantee. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Introduction to Lessons 181-200. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 180 Review of Lessons 169 and 170

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 180

  1. (169)  By grace I live. By grace I am released.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (170)  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review V:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: As we say the words in Lesson 169’s lesson idea, realize that it is God’s Grace that has allowed us to leave His Kingdom in a dream state, but continue as we were created.  It is His Grace, not the world’s technology, that has simulated the separation so that we can dream and dream again the lessons we must learn from leaving His Kingdom of Love and making a world which grows old in time, a world where nothing lasts, a world of preying upon Creation instead of loving Creation. 

It is by God’s grace that the hell we have made is only a simulation, and it is God’s grace that we awaken to find that it is not real, that our lives do not end in death but in life everlasting, that we are released from the hell of our vain imaginings and return to our Father as pure and holy as when He created us. 

Be thankful for God’s grace.  Jesus tells us in lesson 169 that grace is not something that can be learned.  Grace is not the goal of A Course in Miracles.  However, the goal of our Course prepares us to accept God’s grace, to awaken from this dream of death and fear, to answer the call of God in our hearts and in our minds.  Our Course lessons and the text of A Course in Miracles helps us to become aware of things we do not know about ourselves, readies us to accept another state of being completely different from the experience of our humanity.  Our human brains cannot begin to grasp the meaning of oneness with God.  And yet it is God’s grace which calls to us, to waken from the dream of separation and specialness in which we made the world.  It is grace and the experiences that come from grace that allows us to live in the dream and be released from the dream; it is grace that allows us to share with others and see their release as well.

What better release than to realize the lesson idea presented in Lesson 170 – There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  There is no meanness in God.  The things we were taught about Him preparing a place of eternal happiness for the goody-goodies of the world and preparing a place of eternal fire and brimstone for the rest of us – are not the least bit true.  One of the main reasons that Jesus was crucified on the cross was because He told the truth about God.  He is our loving Father, the Good Shepherd, the One who cares about the sparrows.  Our Father never ordained that we prey upon each other’s flesh, let alone demand blood and meat sacrifices to appease His rage. There is no cruelty in God and there is no cruelty in us.

If you have been worshipping a cruel god, today Jesus urges us to look at our beliefs with dispassion.  Cruelty has no place in the character of God.  God is God and nothing can stand against Him.  If cruel god’s lips are smeared with blood and fire seems to burst forth from him, this god is an idol.  It will never bring you everlasting joy, peace, and love.  It cannot give you refuge.  It has no real power.  Cruel god is not your personal warrior and it will never vanquish your enemies.  Gods of cruelty are humanity’s nightmares, made to keep you in fear and bondage and keep you from your Father’s love.    

Recognizing this may be a shock to our systems, but it is our release from slavery.  For until we see the cruel god for exactly what it is, we can not lay it aside and recognize our true God and His great and abiding love for us.  We will continue to believe that cruelty can somehow defend us, save us, and make all our fears go away.  We will continue to believe in a god that makes enemies of his creations and does not accept responsibility for the ways in which they went wrong.  We will put our trust in fear and fear God instead of love Him. 

However, when we see God as Love, we are no longer burdened by the world; we no longer look through its blind eyes, but we see with the vision of Christ.  When we choose God instead of the false gods of cruelty and madness that the world’s religions offer us, our hearts and minds are filled with everlasting peace for when God is love, we are love.  We can trust in Him.  He will not let us to our own devices.  He has a plan and Creation is restored. 

Our prayer then becomes: 

Dear Father, we are like You.  We are not cruel because You are not cruel.  Your peace is ours.  When others point their fingers in accusation of how mean we are, how insensitive, how racist, and sexist and unjust – we are not tempted to agree with them, for we know who we are and what we are in You.  We bless the world.  We make our brothers one with us.  We fulfill our function in Your plan of salvation as we have received it from You.  We give thanks for all of Your creation because in Creation we see Your glory, and in Creation we find our peace.  We are holy because Your holiness has set us free from the deceptions and temptations of the world and all that would bind us to brutal humanity.  Thank you, Father.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 180. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 179 Review Lessons 169 and 170

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW V God is Love, and therefore so am I.

LESSON 179

  1. (167)  There is one life, and that I share with God.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
  2. (168)  Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.  God is but Love, and therefore so am I.[1]

Daily Prayer for Review:

Steady our feet, our Father.  Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still and speak to us.  We have no words to give to You.  We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours.  Lead our practicing as does a father lead a child along a way he does not understand.  Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

So do we bring our practicing to You.  And if we stumble, You will raise us up.  If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering.  We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back.  Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You.  And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Personal Notes and Application:  As we review Lesson 167, There is one life and that I share with God, Jesus reminds us that it does not matter that there appears to be death in this world – it simply does not exist.  Nothing in time is real – it passes away into nothingness as soon as it begins – it is impossible for anything to really exist in time because time itself is not real.  Our whole experiences in the world of time then, can be likened to a dream, an imaginary state, a virtual reality where once awakened, the mind, our eternal spirits, continue as we always have – safe in the one life that we share with God. 

Jesus calls upon us to wake up to this fact.  We were created in unity of life, He reminds us, nothing, not even death can separate us from the Source of life from which we came.  As we wake up and accept the truth about ourselves, about God, about our Holiness in Christ we no longer need to be coaxed or persuaded into forsaking death in all its forms – we have no interest in it and we no longer believe in the reality of anything that does not pertain to our life in God.

In Lesson 168, we claim the grace that God gives us.  He is our Father.  He is available to us.  He answers when we call.  We call to Him because we know His Love and are certain of His devotion to us.  No longer do we try to serve a god we fear, someone we must grovel before and chastise our humanity.  There is no god who holds our mistakes against us, who terrorizes us with thoughts of hell and damnation, who would let His Son be tortured throughout eternity.  These are lies that are taught to us to control and manipulate us, to keep us from our true heritage in God, to keep us from knowing and experiencing His grace. 

God’s gift of grace restores the memory of Him to our sleeping minds, God’s gift of grace restores the certainty of the meaning of His love.  Ask Him today to give you the means by which this world will disappear, and vision will come.  And after vision, Jesus promises, we will know.  It is God’s grace that gives us light that covers our world with love.  We can watch every single fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and take the light as their own. 

God’s grace is ours.  We claim it today. 

We come to you, Father.  And You come to those who ask.  We are the Son You love.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 179. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 225 God Is My Father, And His Son Loves Him

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 225 God is My Father, and His Son Loves Him.

  1. Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me.  I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind and keeping it within its kindly light, inviolate, beloved, with fear behind and only peace ahead.  How still the way Your loving Son is led along to You!
  2. Brother, we find that stillness now.  The way is open.  Now we follow it in peace together.  You have reached your hand to me, and I will never leave you.  We are one, and it is but this oneness that we seek, as we accomplish these few final steps which end a journey that was not begun. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  We love God because He first loved us.  We were made in love and by love and for love.  Is it any wonder that we suffer so much in a world that talks about love, sings about love, makes so much of love, and yet has no idea what it really is? 

Jesus teaches us that giving and receiving are the same.  It does not seem that way in our world.  If we text someone and they do not respond to our text, we feel as if we gave something and did not receive anything back.  It feels like a threat or at the very least a sadness, a disappointment.  No response is a clear message that says – I do not care about you enough to respond to your effort at communication.  If it happens only once, if it happens only once in a great while, we are willing to overlook it – technology fails us, people get busy and forget, perhaps our message got erased or lost in the flush of others.  Otherwise this seemingly slight discourtesy can cause trouble in even solid relationships. 

In God’s Kingdom the only way to receive what is already yours is to give.  In God’s Kingdom it is impossible to receive without first giving; it is impossible to give without first receiving.  It is natural, it is simultaneous, spontaneous, and certain.  When God gives us His Love, He knows that we can do nothing but give it back – it is a continual virtuous cycle of giving to receive, receiving to give.  As long as we live in a realm of separation, our minds are uneasy waiting to receive before we can give, waiting to see who we can trust to play fair, to repay what they receive. Here in time the love of God is experienced as alien to our natures and our wills can resist loving Him in return.  When we begin to lay down our defenses, we see how worthless our efforts to seek anything but God, because we recognize the value of His great love and devotion to us.  We recognize who we really are in relation to Him and to each other.  We can do nothing but love Him. 

How do we love God?  We love Him by seeking Him.  We love Him by stilling our minds and hearts and asking Him to talk to us, to lead us back to Him, to return our minds and hearts to His Kingdom where we are one now and forever with Him as His Son.  Jesus assures us in this lesson that the way to God is open and that we follow the way hand-in-hand with Him.  We are delivered from the enchantment of separation, illusion, and despair.  Today let His peace quiet your mind and calm your spirit.  Today we walk with Jesus on the path to our reality in God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 225. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 224 God Is Father, And He Loves His Son

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 224 God is Father, and He loves His Son.

  1. My true identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light.  It lights the world as well.  It is the gift my Father gave to me; the one as well I give the world.  There is no gift but This that can be either given or received.  This is reality, and only This.  This is illusion’s end.  It is the truth.
  2. My Name, O Father, still is known to You.  I have forgotten it, and do not know where I am going, who I am, or what it is I do.  Remind me, Father, now, for I am weary of the world I see.  Reveal what You would have me see instead.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today is the anniversary of my earthly father’s death.  Although it has been 61 years ago, and I was a girl of ten at the time – I will never forget my dad.  He was everything a little girl dreams of in a dad – kind, smart, funny, and fun-loving – I never heard him say a curse word, grumble about how hard he had to work, or show my mother anything but love, adoration, and appreciation.  He was the kind of man who cried when his Brittany Spaniel died.  He loved the ocean.  He liked Sunday drives and taking his family out for dinner after church.  He read the funnies to me at night while mom prepared supper.  He taught me good manners and insisted that I use them.  He loved a good story and always had a stack of books next to his bed and favorite chair. 

My earthly father gave me his DNA, he gave me his name, he gave me sustenance, love, and provided as safe and happy home for me as he was able.  Because of this, it is not difficult for me to accept our heavenly Father’s love.  For others who have suffered abuse, inappropriate sexual touches and incest, witnessed or been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of their earthly fathers, it can be a real challenge to accept God’s Love.  The other night at our meeting, Linda shared the story of how she has finally be able to know the love of God in spite of what she suffered growing up at the hands of her own father.

The fact that she shared her story set my own heart free at last.  For I had kept her secrets for her when we were little kids.  I held them in my heart and never told anyone, never went for help for her, had no way to know how to make what she was going through stop.  She came over to stay at our house when things got too rough – thankfully, my parents were the kind of people who loved having kids around, who did not mind an extra mouth to feed, who always made room for one more. 

I had known the role that Linda played in my life as a child but I had always felt as if I had failed her – there is a sense of guilt and shame that comes with helplessness, with keeping secrets, with knowing that something wrong is taking place and not knowing how to make it stop.  Harking back to last year’s post, in Chapter One, Jesus tells Helen that a miracle is the maximal service one can render to another. It is a way of loving another as yourself.  It is recognizing your own and another’s worth simultaneously.  I knew that Linda had done that for me throughout our troubled childhoods, but I had always believed that I had failed her.  And yet tonight when she shared her story and it opened up the hearts and minds of others in the room, we both recognized that I had understood her worth and that I did what I was supposed to do at the time.  I held her hand.  I loved her.  I gave her a safe place.  I was a little girl and I was giving her my best. 

No matter if we have been blessed with a loving father or a wounded father here on earth, we will experience the unreality of the world and the inability of our fathers to protect us from a world that is designed to teach us cruelty, subterfuge, and death.  We will come to realize that there has to be a better way and we will seek for it – first in the better ways that the world offers and then, weary of the inconstancy and false promises of the world, we will seek for the better way and return to our Heavenly Father to find our truth in Him.   

God is our Father and He loves us as His Son.  Be blessed by this thought and turn to it often today, cleansing your mind of all that would try to define you by your body, by your mistakes, by your gender, family, country, culture, class.  God is our Father and He loves us as His Son. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 224. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 223 God Is My Life. I Have No Life But His.

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 223 God is my life.  I have no life but His.

  1. I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body.  Now I know my life is God’s.  I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him.  He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him.
  2. Our Father let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes.  For we who are Your holy Son are sinless.  We would look upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims that we are not Your Son.  And we would not forget You longer.  We are lonely here, and long for Heaven, where we are at home.  Today we would return.  Our Names is Yours, and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.[1]

Notes and Personal Application: Today while I was filling my gas tank with fuel a beautiful little boy peeked around the other side of the gas pump, looked up into my eyes and smiled. I smiled back, and we did not stop.  Even after his father took him by the hand and led him into the convenience store, he twisted his head around and kept smiling at me.  It was a very precious encounter, innocent and pure, expressing friendly curiosity and warmth between a gray-haired grandmother and a little brown-eyed boy with a cute afro.  Yet I was well aware that we live in a world where suspicions and fears could have given his father a sense of alarm.  This is what we call life here in this realm – a place where little children must be warned against smiling at strangers, even harmless looking matronly types like me! 

But this is not our life, and this is not our home.  We live with God.  We do not live apart from Him in a world of misgivings, unfulfilled yearnings, and fear.  We live where we can smile openly and for as long as we want at all living things without worries and concerns.  Our minds are free of thoughts of sin.  We are innocent, tender, and pure without intentions of harm or worries of ill will.  Here the face of Christ takes the place of the mistakes we made toward each other.  Here we are one with Christ, and we stand with Him as God’s Son, whole and holy. 

Here on earth we long for our heavenly home where we belong.  There we are not separated from one another and uncertain of one another’s motives and secret intentions.  In God we hold no grudges or selfish conceits.  In God we have Everything – leaving our human form behind to embrace our beautiful Oneness in Christ, we have no concerns about poverty and disadvantage, race and culture, lust and perversion, limited resources and the struggle to survive.  Today in the quiet and still time we give to God, we return to this place.  We remind ourselves; we are not a body, we are free.  We are still as God created us.  God is our life.  We have no life but His. 

It is in this thought we linger – taking as much time as it takes to let this prayer, this meditation, this lesson take root in our minds and release us from our bondage to the ego and the external world.  When we begin to experience our life in God, our hearts are filled with joy and happiness.  We can smile upon all of Creation as all of Creation smiles upon us.

Let us keep our minds and hearts a place of warm welcome to today’s idea.  We do not have to earn God’s Love.  We are not unworthy of God’s love because of our sins, our laziness, our lack of commitment or drive.  We are made holy and whole simply by seeking Him, inviting Him to take our darkness and fill us with His Light. There is nothing we can do or fail to do that would earn God’s Love for us.  Our will and God’s Will have become one.  We are no longer lonely or full of despair.  He is our life!  We have no life but His. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 223. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).  p.403.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 222 God Is With Me. I Love And Move In Him.

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Part II:1 WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

Lesson 222 God is with me.  I live and move in Him.

  1. God is with me.  He is my Source of life, the life within, the air I breathe, the food by which I am sustained, the water which renews and cleanses me.  He is my home, wherein I live and move; the Spirit Which directs my actions, offers me Its Thoughts, and guarantees my safety from all pain.  He covers me with kindness and care, and holds in love the Son He shines upon, who also shines on Him.  How still is he who knows the truth of what He speaks today!
  2. Father, we have no words except Your Name upon our lips and in our minds, as we come quietly into Your Presence now, and ask to rest with You in peace a while.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: When we begin to perceive our world through the eyes of Christ, we realize that God is with us, that we live and enjoy our being in Him.  No longer are we concerned about the things that the world is concerned about – our water, our air, our food, our home, our thoughts and attitudes – everything that we thought was separate from God, has now become one with Him. 

Now that we are in Part II of our Course lessons for this year, we come in quietness and stillness to our lessons.  We clear the inner altar of our minds of all that would distract us, and we invite our Father to visit with us.  We call to Him.  We read our lesson in this quietness.  We linger over the words and let the meaning of the sentences sit upon the still water of our mind.  We sit in the stillness without words and immerse ourselves in the presence of God, knowing that He is Everything.

Do not forget that our theme in section one of Part II of our lessons is “What is forgiveness?”  Forgiveness is simply sitting still and quietly doing nothing.  We do not seek out the guilty culprit.  We do not seek to punish or to take vengeance.  We let our human desire to give someone a good taste of their own medicine sit there in the quietness and stillness of God with us and melt away in the peace that comes with forgiveness.  It is a lovely and loving experience.  We remove ourselves from that which would hurt us, get us all worked up, turn us inside out with pain and remorse and wrench our guts with sorrow.  We let it go.  We look at it.  We wait upon the Lord.  We let heal that which never occurred in God’s Kingdom and only seemed to occur here in the serfdom of separation. 

When we know God; when we take the time to get to know God within us; when we live and move in Him, we are guaranteed all safety from pain. We are assured of everlasting kindness and care.  The Light of His Love shines upon us forever. 

Ask the Lord to open your mind to this teaching today.  Bring all your worries, cares, fears, and concerns to Him and ask Him to shine His truth upon them.  Sit still in His Presence and let His peace come to commune with you in the secret garden of your mind.  Ask Him to fill your mind with His fruits, give no thought, time, or energy to the weeds that would come in to crowd out His tender love, joy, and peace.  We can think of our devotional practice as entering that secret garden.  In that secret place where we abide with Him no evil can befall us, no plague can touch us, all weapons formed against us will simply melt away. 

In Part II’s introduction, Jesus tells us that we had a wish to go a separate way from God.  We made a God who was angry, vengeful, full of wrath and jealousy.  We made God out to be a deity who loved the smell of roasting flesh and desired sacrifices of blood.  We believed that our precious Father would burn us forever with the flames of hell for our sins, humiliate us, and felt loved only when we suffered.  We said that He played favorites, that He set creation against itself, that He would move heaven and earth to take his revenge upon us.  Then we taught ourselves and others that these insane ideas we held about Him were the truth. 

But now we know better because the memory of His Love shines upon our minds.  He has never forgotten us.  He has not forsaken us.  He abides in us.  He gives us life and love and laughter. 

Today let everything that disheartens us fall away as we remember God is with us.  We live and move in Him, in this world and in His.     


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 222.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 402.

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 221 Peace To My Mind. Let All My Thoughts Be Still.

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Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?

Lesson 221

Peace to my mind.  Let all my thoughts be still.

  1. Father, I come to you today to seek the peace that You alone can give.  I come in silence.  In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice.  My Father speak to me today.  I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.
  2. Now do we wait in quiet.  God is here because we wait together.  I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear.  Accept my confidence, for it is yours.  Our minds are joined.  We wait with one intent, to hear our Father’s answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  In yesterday’s devotional discussion, James and I talked about how challenging it is to accept that we are not bodies in a world in which just about everything we do is for our body and the bodies of others.  We also discussed how the Course has given us both much inner peace and a sense of certainty of God’s love and devotion toward us, how we have come to understand the role of Jesus in salvation as a role model for forgiveness, as a brother who never forgot His Sonship with God and came to earth to experience humanity to reclaim us who have split from the Kingdom in a simulated reality caught in time. 

Still, there are days that we both have a keen concern that while we practice in faith, faith does not necessarily make it true.  And no matter how much we think something is true, it does not make it true in the sense of making us or anybody else an authority on God, on Jesus, or Holy Spirit.  We know only that the Course rings true in our hearts and minds when we put it into a daily practice and that on a high spiritual plane, it makes sense.  For the first time in our lives, we found a practice that we can do every day no matter how much it challenges us, no matter how much we may resist it, that when we do it, it begins to make perfect sense and gives us a kinder, calmer, and more forgiving approach toward God and all of Creation. 

While practicing the Course and doing a lesson each day has changed our minds and attitudes in a positive way, it really has not changed the outward appearance or behaviors in ourselves and it has not necessarily solved our problems.  While it is love and peace and joy in the relationships we keep in our lives, we have had to let a lot of other relationships go.  The only thing that has changed is that we have practiced forgiveness with ourselves and with others.  We are both loners and get deeply and perhaps even obsessively involved in our projects, and that has not changed.  While my addiction to darkness is not the driving force in my life that it once was, I still am drawn at times to the meaningless tales of death, vengeance, and injustice that fill our Netflix and Prime Video offerings.  And there are days I get a little bored and find our daily devotional irksome and farfetched. 

Here then is what keeps drawing me back to the Course.  This is what keeps me loving Jesus and opening my mind to the Reality of God.  God gives me peace that goes past my body, my understanding, and all my experiences.  When I quiet my mind and sit still before Him, when I ask Him for peace, I am given peace and it does not go away – ever.  

If you were a constant onlooker in my life, it may appear to you that the peace of God leaves me.  I get up awful cranky in the morning at times.  The other day I growled at Zachary and told him not to even say my name or look in my direction until I had my first cup of coffee.  I scowled at James and curled up in a ball on the corner of the sofa and it was not until the caffeine hit my system that I could look at either one of them with affection or appreciation.  There are times I will think of someone from my past and remember how much I simply do not like them.  It does not mean I have not forgiven them, mind you.  It just means that I do not like the role they played as a human.  I do not like the way they borrowed money off of me and never paid me back.  I do not appreciate the lies they told me.  I do not enjoy the fact that they took credit for my work.  It was not nice.  It did not seem to serve me well at the time, but oh the lessons I learned from what they did.  There is nothing like experiential learning, and I remember to thank God for what they taught, to bless them for being my teacher, to absolve them in my mind from all that would otherwise protect projection and crush reality in my mind.   

No matter how much I struggle with my humanity there is that Self within that knows that I am loved and cherished by God.  I know that there is nothing I can do in my body that will make God love me more or less.  His Love is constant and forever and is not dependent upon my actions – it is dependent upon who and what I am. 

Peace be to your mind today.  Bring your questions and concerns about the Course to Him.  Jesus promises that when we ask for truth we will not be given lies.  When we ask for Holy Spirit, we will not be given an unholy guide.  Let all your thoughts be still as you come before our Father and seek the peace that can only come from Him.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 221. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Part II. Introduction & Section 1. What Is Forgiveness?

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Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?

Introduction

  1. Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons that remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set and find the end toward which our practicing was always geared.
  2. Now we attempt to let the exercise be merely a beginning. For we wait in quiet expectation for our God and Father.  He has promised He will take the final step Himself. And we are sure His promises are kept. We have come far along the road, and now we wait for Him. We will continue spending time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy. We will not consider time a matter of duration now. We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire. Nor will we forget our hourly remembrance in between calling to God when we have need of Him as we are tempted to forget our goal.
  3. We will continue with a central thought for all the days to come, and we will use that thought to introduce our times of rest and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not content ourselves with simple practicing in the remaining holy instants which conclude the year that we have given God.  We say some simple words of welcome, and expect our Father to reveal Himself, as He has promised. We have called on Him, and He has promised that His Son will not remain unanswered when he calls His Name.
  4. Now do we come to Him with but His word upon our minds and hearts and wait for Him to take the step to us that He has told us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take when we invited Him. He has not left His son in all his madness, nor betrayed his trust in Him. Has not His faithfulness earned Him the invitation that He seeks to make us happy? We will offer it, and it will be accepted. So our times with Him will now be spent. We say the words of invitation that His Voice suggests, and then we wait for Him to come to us.
  5. Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept. No step remains for time to separate from its accomplishment. For now we cannot fail. Sit silently and wait upon your Father.  He has willed to come to you when you have recognized it is your will He do so. And you could have never come this far unless you saw, however dimly, that it is your will.
  6. I am so close to you we cannot fail. Father, we give these holy times to you, in gratitude to Him who taught us how to leave the world of sorrow in exchange for its replacement, given us by you. We look not backward now. We look ahead and fix our eyes upon the journey’s end. Accept these little gifts of thanks from us, as through Christ’s vision we behold a world beyond the one we made and take that world to be the full replacement of our own.
  7. And now we wait in silence, unafraid and certain of Your coming. We have sought to find our way by following the Guide you sent to us. We did not know the way, but You did not forget us. And we know that You will not forget us now. We asked but that Your ancient promises be kept which are Your Will to keep. We will with you in asking this.  The Father and the Son, Whose holy will created all that is, can fail in nothing. In this certainty, we undertake these last few steps to You, and rest in confidence upon Your Love, which will not fail the Son who calls to You.
  8. And so we start upon the final part of this one holy year which we have spent together in the search for truth and God, who is its one creator. We have found the way He chose for us and made the choice to follow it as He would have us go. His Hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit the darkness of our minds. His Love has called to us unceasingly since time began.
  9. We had a wish that God would fail to have the Son whom He created for Himself. We wanted God to change Himself and be what we would make of Him. And we believed that our insane desires were the truth. Now are we glad that this is all undone and we no longer think illusions true. The memory of God is shimmering across the wide horizons of our minds. A moment more, and it will rise again. A moment more, and we who are God’s Sons are safely home, where He would have us be.
  10. Now is the need for practice almost done. For in this final section, we will come to understand that we need only call to God, and all temptation disappears. Instead of words, we need but feel His Love. Instead of prayers, we need but call His Name. Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed. We will accept the way God’s plan will end, as we received the way it started. Now it is complete. This year has brought us to eternity.
  11. One further use for words we still retain. From time to time, instructions on a theme of special relevance will intersperse our daily lessons and the periods of wordless, deep experience which should come afterwards. These special thoughts should be reviewed each day, each one of them to be continued till the next is given you. They should be slowly read and thought about a little while, preceding one of the holy and blessed instants in the day.  We give the first of these instructions now.

1.  What is Forgiveness?

  1. Forgiveness recognizes what you saw your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. Is sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin except a false idea about God’s Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.
  2. An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgment that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains, so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure; less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason.  What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its wanted goal?
  3. An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.
  4. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.
  5. Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show you what to do through Him who is your Guide, your Savior and Protector, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success. He has forgiven you already, for such is His function, given Him by God.  Now must you share His function, and forgive whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees, and whom He honors as Son of God. [1]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II. Introduction Section I. What is Forgiveness.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 398-401.

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Lesson 220 Review of Lesson 200

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 220

  1. (200)  There is no peace except the peace of God. 

Let me not wander from the way of peace, for I am lost on other roads than this.  But let me follow Him Who leads me home, and peace is certain as the Love of God.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

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Meditation

Today is our last lesson in Review VI.  We open our devotional today with the main thought:  I am not a body; I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  In our last lesson review, Jesus urged us to practice these words and hold this thought in our daily practice because it not only guarantees our freedom but the freedom of every living thing in the world.  And so today we recognize our way to freedom – we accept our salvation; we know our Sonship with God.

When we look up the definition for peace in the dictionary we are informed that peace means no fighting and no wars.  In God then we have no fighting and no wars.  We are not looking to God to fight our earthly battles for us, to defeat our enemies, and to slay the dragons in our life.  To have the peace of God we must give up all thoughts of fights and wars.  We are called to love our enemies, be good to those who hate us, and recognize at the deepest level of consciousness that to defend or attack is to make this world real in our minds and God’s Kingdom not. 

In this world we can only experience shards of peace, splinters of peace, a bit of peace here and a bit of peace there.  If we wake up before everybody else in the house and quietly get a cup of coffee and still our minds to hear the Voice for God within, we can call this peace, but it is not really peace because we are expecting this time to end.  We are prepared for disturbance when the ruckus of demands and calls upon our attention can start at any moment!  We can experience a state of harmony with our mates, our friends, our children, our animals but we know that there is going to come a time when any harmony that we seem to be enjoying will be disrupted by something disagreeable.  Our mate will say something gruff and unkind, our friends will fail to recognize our contribution, our kids will whine, our animals will have an accident on the new rug.  Or if you are like me, you will long to be alone and intentionally or unintentionally do or say something that will guarantee that people will give you the wide skirt for a while!

God’s peace is a state of eternal quiet and calm.  It cannot be disturbed by anything.  It is the still waters.  We will save ourselves a lot of trouble by not looking for it elsewhere.  If we look for peace where it cannot be found we will get misery and pain. 

When we come to understand that there is no peace except the peace of God, we are ready to go home.  We know that our happiness is not in a body, in the world, or in any of the meager offerings of the ego.  When we experience today’s idea as truth we know that we are God’s Son and it is impossible for us to make a will that opposes God’s.  We know that everything that appears to be apart from God is simply not reality.

God gives us a bridge of peace to leave this world – the world is no longer our enemy or the enemy of God for we have seen that in forgiveness we are set free from its lies and illusions.  God gives us peace as the answer to the fights we had with our loved ones, the wars we had to establish dominance or defend our rights, our failed relationships, and all those meaningless endeavors – we are not worthless, there is no cause for guilt, we lift up our eyes, there are no apologies demanded or expected – because we have God’s peace.

Today Jesus asks us to stop losing our way.  Stay on the straight path to Heaven, he tells us. When we put our sights upon God, we have the sure thing.  When we put our sights on the body and the world apart from God, we have uncertainty and falter on the thorny byways.  On the straight path to Heaven, we recognize peace and value it.  Softly peace embraces our hearts and minds in comfort and with love.  No more do we chase after the idols of the world for the peace of God is ours.  Peace is our way out of ambiguity, of shifting goals, and our loneliness and despair.  Peace unites us with God, and we want nothing else.  We draw nearer, Jesus says, each time we say:

“There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.”

Today we bring Review VI to a close by repeating our main thought:

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

Go in peace today, recognizing that there is no peace except the peace of God.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 220. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 219 Review of Lesson 199

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 219

  1. (199)  I am not a body.  I am free. 

I am God’s Son.  Be still, my mind and think a moment upon this.  And then return to earth, without confusion as to what my Father loves forever as His Son.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Meditation

Today our meditation focuses on both our theme for Review VI and our review of lesson 199.  Today we will focus our thoughts upon perceiving ourselves not as a body but as a spirit, a free mind, serving Holy Spirit and being unlimited in every way forever.  When we review Lesson 199, we read that thoughts that attack others cannot enter such a mind because it is given over to the Source of love, and there is no fear in love.  Our minds rest in God, and so how can we be afraid?

Hold today’s idea very close to your heart, Jesus tells us.  He goes on to tell us to meditate upon the idea today and every day.  This is the world’s call to freedom.  We are no longer slaves to our bodies and without the power to enslave us, our bodies become worthy servants of the freedom in which our minds united with Holy Spirit seek.

We are free.  And we are meant to share this freedom with others who believe that they are enslaved within a body.  No more are we bound and helpless and afraid.  Love replaces fear through those of us who have practiced and come to know this idea as truth.  This is our salvation and once we accept God’s gift of salvation, we return the gift of salvation by sharing this freedom with all who are sent to us or whom we are sent to share it with. 

We are not bodies.  We are God’s Son.  We live forever.  Think about this today.  Practice it.  When we look upon others let us see past their flesh and blood and perceive their immortality rather than their humanity, releasing them from certain death and despair.

Jesus tells us that God extends His Love and happiness each time we say today:  I am not a body.  I am free.  I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.  As we quiet our minds and still our hearts, we ask:

Dear Father, Let me hear the Voice for God inside of me today.  Let the Voice for God lead and guide and comfort me.  Give me a mind agreeable to Your Truth.  Let me not doubt, cast aspersions, or hold on to any thought that is not acceptable to Holy Spirit.  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as You created me.  In the name of Jesus with whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 219. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 217 Review of Lesson 197

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 217

  1. (197) It can be but my gratitude I earn.

Who should give thanks for my salvation but myself? And how but through salvation can I find the Self to Whom my thanks are due?

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Morning and Evening Meditation:

This morning we sit in quietness and stillness. We go to the inner altar of our minds and bow our humanity before it.  This is what we made, O Father, to take Your place and here we offer the multitude, the diverse, the different to Your Holy Spirit to restore to us the one Self of Christ, Your Son.  Our true and everlasting Self.  The One which never left us since You breathed life and love and laughter into Your image of You, extending God forever.  We are not bodies; we are free.  We are still as You created us. 

Find the words, the phrases, the images that Holy Spirit gives to each of us to complete the wholeness and holiness of God to understand our refrain for Review VI.  Wait before Him who created us until you know in your heart who and what you really are – past your body, past your ego, past all the calls and causes of our shared humanity to that true Self, the Son of God. 

This is the Self that we give our gratitude to for restoring us to oneness in Christ.  This is the Self who has been calling to us, the wayward splinters who have found themselves trapped in time, in a body, in an ego – lonely, desperate, not knowing how to live in a world seemingly separated by time and space, sin and shame, fear and disaster, darkness and death from our Loving Father.  We offer gratitude to our Self for remembering who and what we are in Christ.  Sons of God.  The whole and magnificent, the powerful and holy “we” instead of the timorous, tiny, terror-ridden shard of a “me.” 

No more do we believe the ego’s lies of our Father.  He is not vengeful.  He has no spite toward us.  He yearns for us as much as we yearn for Him.  He will never forsake His Creation although His Creation seems to have forsaken Him.  He has prepared a feast to celebrate our return, to rejoice in our salvation from a hallucination of adrift and alone, of castoff and forsaken.  As we choose our true identity in Him, we have only our truth, our Self in Christ, the Son of God to give our gratitude. 

This is not a hard concept to get our mind around once we accept Christ as our Savior and realize that the parable of the prodigal son in our own life that stands as a symbol for all of Creation.  We left our Father’s Kingdom where we were one in Sonship to make our own way in a world that promised adventure, independence, satisfaction, and fulfillment.  Jesus tells us in our Course that those of us who ended up in this world are the ones who wanted to take Creation and make something else of it, to do it our own way, to separate from the “we” of God’s Sonship and become a “me.”  We were wooed away from the Everything of God to the nothingness of the world in which we would make up lies to take the place of truth.  We would live out the lies, we would make them so real in our minds that we would be caught in this web of fiction with no apparent escape. 

And yet there was and is and always has been an escape.  God has never left us.  Our salvation resides within each of us because we belong to Him, He will never leave us, His Kingdom resides in us in all its glory.  It is there where it has always been – it is our true and only Self, yearning for His oneness, homesick for His Kingdom, knowing that this world, this body, this substitute for all we are will never take His place. 

When the prodigal left his father’s house, his father did not preach at him, quote scripture at him, shout dire warnings to him as he tramped down the road to get away.  His father gave him his inheritance.  His father knew that the world would take from his son everything and give him nothing in return, and yet the father did not lock him up, the father did not strip him of his wealth, or take away his family name. The father did not try to get his son the right kind of friends or get him involved with sports or bible camps or other forms of healthy alternatives to the call of the wild.  The father knew that for this son, the only thing that would do was for him to experience for himself, the world.  To be stripped bare, to experience the emptiness, the nothingness, the false friends, hopes, and promises that separateness assures.  And then when he came back – there were no whips and chains.  There were no lectures.  There was no “I told you so.”  There was a feast, a robe, a ring, a resounding and loving welcome.  The son who had separated himself into a lonely, lost, and lustful “me,” had come home to take his place in the “we” of family, friendship, and fidelity.

He came back because he remembered who he was.  He remembered the truth about himself.  He belonged to his father and nothing that he had done could ever take that away.  He got up and out of that pigsty.  He found his way home.  He had only himself to thank – his father had not left; his father had not changed; everything was there where it always was, but the son had to make his way back, his son had to make the plan, he had to put one foot in front of the other.  It was not magic.  His father did not come and pick him up and bring him home.  He had to find his own way.  And he had only himself to thank for remembering who he was and where he belonged. 

Today our lesson reminds us “it can be but my gratitude I earn.”  When we hark back to the original lesson we are reminded that the world is not pitted against us, it is our own thoughts about the world that we transfer to God that trap us in the pigsty of sin, shame, and that deep sense of unworthiness.  Like the prodigal, let us remember today who we really are!  Sons of God.  Let us make our way back to Him, putting off our fear of God and embracing Him with the assurance of His Son, as we forgive the world and all who are in it for not being able to keep its promises, to show its gratitude, to be pure and righteous and holy.  Now we know.  Without Him it is a ruse; it is a freak show; it is a battleground; it is death.  With Him we are saved and the world with us.  Let us thank ourselves for making our way back to our Father’s love.  We are not bodies, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.[2] 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 217. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 218 Review of Lesson 198

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REVIEW VI I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 218

  1. (198) Only my condemnation injures me.

My condemnation keeps my vision dark, and through my sightless eyes I cannot see the vision of my glory.  Yet today I can behold this glory and be glad.

I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo credit: https://www.rogerebert.com

Today’s Meditation

Here we are this morning nearing the end of Review VI.  By this time, our review theme should ring resoundingly in our minds:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We can take this with us throughout the rest of our journey home and let the words guide us, refresh us, remind us, and so let our light shine from within.

It is only our condemnation toward others that leads us down a path of forgetting who we are in Christ.  When we raise up our defenses against others and rail against the bad examples they are setting themselves up to be, the poor life choices they are making, air their sins and rage over the minimum sentences that they receive for their crimes against humanity – we allow our minds to be filled with the lies of the world instead of the glory of God.  In other words, we are valuing the valueless, cherishing thoughts of fear and discord which blinds us to our freedom, liberty, and magnitude with God. 

The other day I enjoyed about as perfect of a day as I can have in this world.  I woke up with a sense of energy, quickness, and gratitude long before the sun came up.  I had a sweet, creamy cup of French roast coffee and a quiet time with God before James roused from sleep.  When he had his coffee, we sat on our sunny, spacious deck and enjoyed our Course lesson and time of devotion together.  Later we went on a little shopping spree, indulged in a delicious lunch at Cracker Barrel, enjoyed our ride, our conversation, the little treasures and good things to eat that we bought while we were out and about.  When we got home and had everything put away, we stretched out and took a little snooze, got up and had a glass of iced coffee, some more conversation and then both of us got to work.  I worked in the garden and harvested a big basketful of juicy red tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, and some green beans.  James tiled our retaining wall on the south side.  Later we had a light supper and James asked me for a date in the hot tub. 

All day long I enjoyed a sense of peace, well-being, and communion with God and with James. My mind was filled with gratitude for our lives, health, blessings, and even for our trials and that which challenges us for I saw them as lessons designed for our spiritual growth and deepening of our understanding.  For the first time in my life I am experiencing on a daily, moment-to-moment basis a sense of security, well-being, a release from fear, anxiety, and condemnation.  It has been a journey to get to this, it is not magic, it has taken a full-fledged commitment and daily practice to free my mind from all that had warped, distressed, and caused me both mental, social, and physical torment. 

So there I was after our dinner – wiping off the counters, rinsing off the plates, putting the dirty dishes and glasses in the dishwasher – not hurrying necessarily but certainly not poking around.  I was looking forward to getting in the hot tub, laying back in the warm water and gazing at the stars and moon, talking, and extending the sense of comradery and closeness that we had enjoyed all day.  Except a dark shadow crept into my consciousness in the form of a video clip stored in my mind: Tony Soprano lurking in the backyard waiting to exact bloody vengeance upon a former mobster living under an assumed identity.  For years I had been hooked on The Sopranos and to this day hearing the opening theme, remembering the plot lines of the troubled characters, salivating over Carmela’s Italian dishes, and shivering over the Pine Barrens episode thrills my mortal senses.  And yet tonight I did not want to think of the Tony’s in the world, creeping into my joy and love and peace, rekindling a smokescreen of menace and danger while Lover and I sat under the stars soaking up the bubbles in our spa. 

With thoughts of the fictional Tony, my mind traveled to a decade’s old tale of home invasion, arson, torture, rape, and death.  The tragedy that befell Dr. William Petit and his first wife and two daughters stands in my mind for all the horror and evil in the world.  For years Dr. Petit’s story haunted me, kept me awake at night, drawing me out of bed to check locks, investigate suspicious noises, and live in fear.  Now the ego was inviting me to take up its cause again, to give up the peace of God, to fill my mind once again with thoughts of danger, vulnerability, and fright. 

Fear would have paralyzed me at one point in my life. Always having been afraid of the dark, the lonely, unanswerable questions evoked by the endless black of the night sky above, there was no way I would have sat outside in the hot tub without all the lights on, with no safeguards against wild dogs, midnight prowlers, or things that go bump in the night. 

Never again!  I have had my fill of interrupted sleep, mental fatigue, distrust of others, the lack of peace and joy and well-being.  Only my condemnation injures me. I forgive the world for its crooked paths, its predatory nature, its horrors, pains, cruelties, and caprice.  In paragraph four of Lesson 198, we read:  Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death.  I will never again oppose this plan of God. I will not argue with it.  I will not try to find ways in which it would fail or must be wrong.  I will not look for another way.  I will not seek to punish, to condemn, to hold accountable, to take up arms, or call for war.  I will forgive!

Only my condemnation injures me.  Only my own forgiveness sets me free. Let our words for today free us from all that would haunt us, torment our minds, give us cause to worry, fret, or be afraid.  Stand along with me as we resolve to never oppose, argue with, or find fault with God’s plan of freeing us from all that is not of love.  We can stop searching for other solutions for there is no other way.  When we forgive and hold no condemnation toward the world all we fear is washed away. 

Thank you for listening and have a forgiving and forgiven day!2


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 218. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

2Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 216 Review of Lesson 196

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 216

  1. (196) It can be but myself I crucify.

All that I do, I do unto myself. If I attack, I suffer. But if I forgive, salvation will be given me.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Morning and Evening Meditation

In our Course study today we went over today’s lesson.  We sat with the thought I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We let our minds ponder this, imagining if you will the freedom we experience from the demands of our physical forms.  We let our minds rest in the state of sinlessness, purity, and innocence in which we were created and the state in which we find ourselves in Christ.

As we reviewed and discussed Lesson 196’s main idea, we shared how often we have experienced “It can be but myself I crucify.”  Last year at this time, I had been keenly drawn up about some of the ways in which even at day 216 in our Course study I was still crucifying myself by an ongoing habit of crucifying others in my mind, unforgiving of their process, picking at their faults and weaknesses and holding others accountable for that which I was doing myself.  I would love to say today that I no longer engage in such behavior.  That the Course teachings have taken root in my mind and that no longer do I crucify myself by gloating over or cherishing the sins and shortcomings of others.

Honestly, it happens far less frequently than last year but there are times I still find myself tempted to nail others to the cross.  The only difference now is that now I know better!  I know that if I nail you to the cross, I am the one that experiences the nails, the crown of thorns, the gaping wound, the shame and humiliation of nakedness, thirst, suffering, and vulnerability.  I am the one that wakes up in the night and feels the whip lashes of my own condemnation.  I am the one that ends up lonely, despised, and depressed.  Loveless and alone, the only way I can escape is to offer forgiveness to all who have offended me, including my own sorry self. 

As Linda read over the lesson review and Lesson 196, Jesus spoke to my mind and heart through her words.  It is a dreary, hopeless thought to think that we can attack any part of creation and escape the attack we made on that with which we are one.  This puts us in a hellish realm where we are attacking God Who is one with His Creation and every single part of it.  When we set ourselves against another – call them names, make fun of them, mock their efforts to better themselves, judge them for their mistakes and wrongdoing – we are attacking God.  This puts us in a precarious position in our minds for when we make an enemy of God, it really does scare us on a deep, unconscious level.  We find ourselves in a hellish realm, a state of madness and insanity.  We go from person to person trying to find allies to boost up our self-image, to justify our outrage and indignation, but nobody – no matter how nice they are to us, no matter how many times they pat us on the back and take our side, no matter how many drugs they give us, no matter what they do to drown out our pain and sorrow – will ever stop the sense of crucifixion that we bring upon ourselves. 

Until we realize that the only one who can deliver us from the cross upon which we crucify ourselves is ourselves we will live in a hellish realm of blaming God for giving us a raw deal,  Maybe He didn’t give us the right kind of mother and father, sisters and brothers.  We will blame God for making us black in a world that prefers white or making us white in a world that holds whites accountable for every crime against humanity ever committed.  We will blame God for letting us marry the wrong person or giving us rotten kids.  We may not be aware that we are blaming God, but when we blame other people for our own unhappiness, our hurts and sorrows, our disappointments, trials, and tribulations, we are saying: “God gave me a raw deal.  He made me suffer.  He gave someone else a far better life than the sorry excuse He gave me.  He must hate me for giving me a sister who would break my toys, flirt with my husband, and steal the affection of my only daughter.” 

This idea sounds difficult and perhaps a little bit like self-condemnation until we realize that when we learn that it is not other people we hurt with our attack, but only ourselves, we do not have to worry about vengeance and pursuit.  We thought we hurt others, we thought that our cruel words, our mean jabs and our angry thrusts hurt God and His Creation, but nobody is coming to take us away, nobody is coming to get us, nobody is plotting our demise –  because we only hurt ourselves.  When we recognize the strength and the freedom that today’s idea holds, we accept our salvation from the mad idea that we hurt others when we attack them. 

In God’s Kingdom, He is our Father and we are His Son along with Christ.  We lay down our arms, we put down our defenses, we are no longer afraid.  God has got us in the palm of His Hand, in the center of His Heart.  We have nothing to fear.  His kindness and mercy envelope us forever.  As we accept the mind of Christ as our own, we become one with Him who created us.  Nothing can induce us to speak evil or harbor ill will in our hearts toward His Creation.  When we see someone use their powers stupidly and cruelly our hearts and minds well up with pity for we know that they are only hurting themselves.  They cannot hurt us because we offer them forgiveness, we offer them mercy, we give to receive that which lasts forever.

We are not a body, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 216. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 215 Review of Lesson 195

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 215

  1. (195)  Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

The Holy Spirit is my only guide.  He walks with me in love.  And I give thanks to Him for showing me the way to go.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

As we open today’s devotional practice we let our mind linger for a while on our refrain:  I am not a body; I am free.  I am still as God created me.  In Lesson 195, we learn to thank our Father for only one thing – that we are united with Him and with every living thing – nothing could take away from the wholeness, the unity, our completion in God.  We are still as God created us. 

Many times when we say to be grateful to God we thank Him for our food.  We thank Him for our clothes, our houses, the beauty of nature, our cars, our mates, our blessed family.  And yet today’s lesson says to only thank God for this one thing which covers all things – He makes us one with all living things and with Him. 

When we no longer fail to recognize what this means, gratitude takes the place of anger, bitterness, and thoughts of vengeance. All the thoughts of fear and sorrow, malice and ill-will are replaced by a deep and abiding gratitude that God cares for us and calls us His Son.  What more could we possibly want?

Jesus tells us that gratitude goes hand-in-hand with love, and where there is love, there is gratitude.  Gratitude is an aspect of the Love that brought forth Creation.  In Christ, our hearts and minds are full of gratitude toward our family members.  We no longer hold spite and thoughts of bitterness toward them for the ways in which they took more than their fair share, the ways in which they withheld their love and affection, the ways in which we were used and abused, misunderstood and thwarted.  With gratitude that comes from Love we remember the delicious meals we shared, the fun games we played, the funny pranks we pulled on people.  With gratitude we remember our trips in the car, the nature hikes, our quirky little habits, the ways in which they supported us and came to us in our hour of need.  We will remember the lessons they taught us, the skills they shared with us.  We will remember their gentle touch, their kind words, their soft, warm hugs, their deep chuckles.  We will remember their forgiveness and their love.  We will remember with grateful hearts and minds that they are our Savior even as we are their Savior for we are one with Christ. 

In reviewing Lesson 195, we come to understand that we have no rivals, that we seek no vengeance, that we make no comparisons – we are only joined in love. 

This is why we train our mind to forgive for when our forgiveness is complete we will experience total gratitude; we will see everything and everyone – including our Selves – with love.  If this frightens you, do not allow the ego to put you off the Course.  You do not want bitterness.  You do not want a self-perception that puts you in a place of callously chasing after that which never satisfies and leaves you depressed, lonely, stricken, and ashamed.  You do not want to feel bullied and sullied, surrounded by those who care nothing about you and where your future looks bleak and empty of love and solace.  If your ego is trying to convince you that forgiveness is for saps, take this time of devotional practice and meditate upon the Love of God.

Love can walk only in the way of gratitude, Jesus tells us.  This is the way we walk to God – with grateful hearts and minds, forgiven and forgiving, giving Him thanks even as He thanks us for being what we are – His Own completion, the Source of Love along with Him. 

Today we close our meditation with this refrain:  I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me. 

Walk in gratitude for this is the way to God.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 215. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 214 – Review of Lesson 194

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 214

  1. (194)  I place the future in the Hands of God.

The past is gone; the future is not yet.  Now am I freed from both.  For what God gives can only be for good. And I accept but what He gives as what belongs to me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Morning and Evening Meditation

As we say our refrain today – “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

Last year at this time, I wrote: “Today’s lesson idea reminds me to place the future in the Hands of God.  Isn’t the future already in His hands anyway?  Well, yes and no.  The gift of free will allows us, evidently, to either place the future in the Hands of God or be otherwise adrift in the ego’s illusion – never knowing what the future holds and not being able to entrust it to anybody or anything because who, other than God, would have a clue as to what is coming next in this chancy world of ours?” 

“Placing the future in the Hands of God then, frees me from my past – and with that out of the way, the past can no longer affect my future.  And trusting in God with that allows me to live in the peaceful, blessed present.  For what God gives can only be good, our lesson today states, and what God gives is what truly belongs to me.  This statement is the ultimate de-stressor.  I can relax.  Nothing is up to me – the future is in the hands of Someone much smarter and bigger and knowledgeable than I am!”

As I read these words today, I realized that throughout the past year, as I have consciously trained my mind through each day’s prayers, meditations, and refrains (with many lapses, periods of forgetfulness, and ego resistance to Course expectations, mind you) I have learned to relax, to not worry and fret, to put down the reins of control and the shield of defense, and to put all of my trust in God.  When I make a mistake, I trust in God to forgive me.  When others make mistakes, no matter how much my ego wants to build a case and cherish my hurt feelings – I let it go, bless them, and offer empathy toward them for our shared humanity, our stabs in the dark to find a way other than the path God has prepared for us. 

Practicing the future in the Hands of God releases us from depression, pain, grief, and worshipping and nurturing sorrows of every kind.  When we place the future in God’s Hands, we no longer strive to make things happen.  We no longer have to put our nosy beaks where they do not belong.  We accept people and their processes through time instead of trying to save them by bullying them into doing things the way we think they should.  We are delivered from the zombie-hood of what we call life here in the body and on this planet. 

Lesson 194 tells us in paragraph four that as God holds our past and present as one, so should we.  No matter how the temporal process tempts our minds to think of it as real, we are asked to put the future in the Hands of God.  When we do this, our checkered past can no longer hurt us!  When we put the future in God’s Hands, the dread of what the world is coming to, old age, disease, abandonment, estrangement, misery, and death no longer have any meaning. 

This is our freedom from bondage to the illusions of the world.  This is our freedom from a past that would run its predictable, ruthless, disease-ridden course straight into our future.  When thoughts of social insecurity, age-related illnesses and complications, being put in a nursing home and ill-cared for in our decrepit old age would come to haunt us, to tickle our imaginations with future woes and disadvantages we can laugh because our future is in God’s Hands.  The future in God’s Hands rules our mind, we pull it from our problem-solving toolbox, we use it as an immediate reaction to any temptation to travel down a path of woe-is-me and what-is-the-world-coming-to?  Jesus tells us in Lesson 194, as we learn to see salvation in all things, the world will perceive its salvation. 

When our minds form the habit of placing our future in the Hands of our Loving Father, all thoughts of sin and evil are replaced by peace and the love of God.  We no longer concern ourselves or fix our expectations upon the shaky systems of the world.  No matter how many mistakes we make, no matter how we may choose to see things wrong, we know that God will correct us and set us aright. If we fall into deception, we choose again with no worries about our Father’s wrath and indignation and dire punishment for our mistakes. 

Today let us lay aside the sick illusions of the world and offer the peace and trust of God.  In God’s Hands, our minds are untroubled.  We can be certain that only good is in store for us.  If we start to needlessly worry and helicopter our loved ones thinking that we can stand between them and the lessons that they need from the world, we can be gently reassured that our future and their future is in the hands of God.  When we entertain resentful thoughts in our minds, God will replace them with ones of forgiveness and blessing.  When we are tempted to arm ourselves and go into attack, we can put down our flimsy weapons and appeal to the One Who would laugh at our defenses and teach us that the world is not our enemy, but the place we have come to remember who and what we really are in God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 214. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 213 – Review of Lesson 193

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 213

  1. (193)  All things are lessons God would have me learn.

A lesson is a miracle which God offers to me, in place of thoughts I made that hurt me.  What I learn of Him becomes the way I am set free.  And so I choose to learn His lessons and forget my own.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

Today we open our practice with the theme of Review VI:  I am not a body, I am free.  I am still as God created me.  Referring to Lesson 193, we learn that God wills nothing except our happiness, that our happiness be undisturbed, forever expanding, and without limit in Him.  This is the Will of God.  The mere fact that this is God’s Will guarantees that this is not only possible, but that it is done.

Last night James and I ate dinner with our dear friends, Roger and Peggy.  On the way to their house, we started to discuss some of the troubling issues that keeps our news media afloat.  Before we became too deeply ensnared into a conversation that had no earthly resolution, we quickly reminded ourselves of the beautiful day that we were experiencing.  The sky was clear and deep with a wordless blue; the sun was shining; we had had a productive day.  We were driving through abundant farmland and then through shaded woods.  We had a good bottle of wine in the cooler, a six pack of Mexican beer, and four individual tubs of ice cream to share with our friends.  In other words we had absolutely no good reason to concern ourselves with that which is not real, true, virtuous, or of good report.  So instead of talking about that which could only disturb our peace and steal our joy – we talked about that which is true and beautiful and lets the light of Heaven through.  Our ride there was fun, we arrived with light hearts and untroubled minds, and we were set to enjoy a wonderful evening of good food, conversation, and fellowship with one of our favorite couples. 

Our evening could not have been nicer.  Roger and James manned the grilled corn and boiled the lobsters.  Peggy and I set the picnic table, dished the slaw and cantaloupe, and made a rich dill and cotija cheese topping for the grilled corn.  We drank champagne and strawberries, sipped at a delicious white wine, and we talked about all our exciting (to us) house projects.  Peggy has just finished designing and turning her old bathroom into a dream bathroom with gleaming new tiles, chrome, and glass and her artistic touches.  We had just finished pouring the cement pad for our kitchen patio which runs the length of our house in back. 

However, later as we sat curled up on the papasan chairs, the conversation turned toward worldly events that brought no spirit of joy or peace to the blissful evening.  We forgot our lesson idea for today; we forgot our resolve to know that all things that happen or seem to happen in the world are lessons that God would have us learn in forgiveness.  Instead of reflecting God’s loving kindness in our words and thoughts, instead of practicing forgiveness and seeing the circumstances differently, we allowed the outside world to become real to us.  We forgot that we could simply practice forgiveness and see the whole thing differently.  We forgot that the peace of God is what we really want, and instead we thought we wanted defense, we thought we wanted attack and counterattack.

Jesus tells us that to all that speaks of terror, answer thus: “I will forgive, and this will disappear.”  To every apprehension, every care, and every form of suffering, these words will dissipate any disturbance to our happiness.  These words hold the key to Heaven’s gate!  These words bring the Love of God the Father down to earth and raises the consciousness of the whole earth heavenward.  Every time something comes up to make us quiver in our shoes, raise our voices in outrage and indignation, point our fingers in blame and shame, say mean, condemning words against others – we are to practice forgiveness and make it disappear.  We are to train our minds to hold nothing but the reality of God. 

Every single thing that happens in our lives is a lesson in forgiveness.  There are no trivial events that have no purpose and no meaning.  We allowed our minds to be bullied by the fears and worries of a media that is intent on disturbing the peace, creating wars and discord, making people afraid of one another in order to be more easily controlled by the dark prince of this world.  When we refuse to let the bad news alarm us and practice forgiveness, we literally undo all effects and intentions of harm and ill will.  This does not just work for us, but it benefits everybody.   

Good news does not sell in this world.  While the media would have us believe that our differences tear us apart, Jesus teaches us that we are one with one another, that our differences are only superficial, temporal, and a lie. 

Today we discussed our lapse into engaging in temptation, into making the illusion real, into letting our minds be disturbed by the lies of the separation.  Just as we nipped our own conversation in the bud on our way to visit our friends, so could we have nipped the conversation with them in the bud.  When whoever started the first jabs in that direction, one of us could have easily refused to take the bait.  “Let’s talk about the goodness of God!” we could have said.  Life is full of love, health, goodwill, truth, peace, joy, and good times.  There is no end to the goodness of God and His love and devotion towards us.  When we focus our attention upon God’s goodness and truth, we encourage others to do the same.  We raise the standard – we offer forgiveness and undo all that would steal our joy and upset our well-being. 

This is God’s Will for you and for me.  Every single thing is a lesson that we are to learn and to learn well.  James and I learned an important lesson last night.  It does not bring us happiness to spout off judgments and condemnation about the upsets of the world, the dastardly deeds of the unrighteous, the outrageous acts of rabble rousers.  It is not God’s Will for us to hold anger or mean thoughts toward others in our minds, it is not God’s Will for us to come up with surefire ways in which to defend our bodies, our country, our belief system.  It is God’s Will that we are happy, secure, and that our peace has no end.  The only way to experience this is through our minds as one with the mind of Christ. 

When we can take all the thoughts that we have about something that hurts us, frightens us, lays us low and turn them into a lesson from God in forgiveness, in undoing the wrong, in setting things right – we experience miracles.  Our minds are transformed.  We realize that we are not a body.  We are free of all that would bind us and confine us and scare the living daylights out of us.  We are still as God created us – His Son, loved, safe, secure forever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 213. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

 

Lesson 212 Review of Lesson 192

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 212

  1. (192)  I have a function God would have me fill.

I seek the function that would set me free from all the vain illusions of the world.  Only the function God has given me can offer freedom.  Only this I seek, and only this will I accept as mine.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

In keeping with the instructions for Review VI we open and close our devotional with the theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We begin our day with this; we end our day with this thought.  Every hour, every time we can, without any pressure or stress, we gently train our mind back to this refrain throughout the day.  We consciously and deeply relinquish all the vain illusions of the world – the promises of happiness and meaning and gratification in a world where everything that has the least amount of satisfaction attached to it is both costly and fleeting. 

As much as we can, we will get beyond words today.  We will not use any special postures or forms of practice.  We will instead be quiet and still.  We will put aside all we thought we knew and understood and trust in God to bring us light and truth.  When our thoughts stray to judgment and condemnation, to resistance against the reflection of God’s love, we can simply say, for example: “I do not want this thought against my friend.  I choose instead to forgive her, to bless her.”  And then we will repeat “I have a function God would have me fill.”

Jesus asks us in paragraph eight of Lesson 192, “Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines?”  So let us today dwell upon this question and practice conscious forgiveness toward everyone we see, the people and situations that come to mind, the stories we make up about others in our minds, the memories that tempt us to hold grudges and bear ill will toward others instead of forgiving them. 

Practicing this deeply, reverently, and diligently is our function in Christ.  It is the function that God would have each one of us fill, dear brothers.  No matter how many people we see, no matter how the world tries to stir us against one another, to hold grudges and arm ourselves against those who seem dangerous and insane, our function is to offer forgiveness, to bless them, to hold no one prisoner.  We are here to loose instead of bind, for this is what sets us free. 

We are not asked to do much.  All that God asks of us is to give up our anger.  To give up our spite.  To offer forgiveness.  It involves no sacrifice.  It frees our tortured minds of all the images of pain and shame.  We give up our anger and we are given everything by God.

I have a cousin who has riddled herself with insanity because of the hatred and anger and spite she is unwilling to give up toward her sister.  Everywhere she goes, she spreads vicious tales about her sister’s past wrongdoings, her faults, her vanities.  She wants to remind everyone that her sister is nothing but a whore, a thief, a usurper – from the time she came home from the hospital as a baby the little brat stole all the attention, broke her toys, and sucked up all the air in the room.  Now over 70 years later, the woman has made herself a pariah.  She has so distorted herself with hatred, jealousy, and unforgiveness that those who held her dearest now dread to respond to her calls, visit her, or have much at all to do with her.

There is absolutely no justification for holding another person prisoner in one’s mind.  My cousin’s younger sister is her savior, Jesus says.  She owes her sister thanks instead of pain.  When she learns to show mercy, she will be set free.  Until she sets her sister free, until she accepts her function in God, she is not born again in Christ.  In God’s eyes, it does not matter how much more virtuous she was than her sister.  It does not matter that she went to Bible College, saved her virginity for marriage, and taught Sunday School while her sister was whooping it up in the world.  As long as she is unwilling to forgive her sister for her feckless flirtations and frivolous forays – she is prisoner to the ego, she is not showing mercy, she is denying her function.  She is keeping herself in hell.

This is a very precious and highly personal process and we must never make light of it.  My cousin’s call to forgive her sister is as real to her as an other’s struggles to forgive rape, child molestation, or mass murder.  All of us have people in our lives that we hold prisoner in our minds, that we disparage, look down upon, build cases against, and condemn.  Our way to freedom is to fulfill the function given to us by God.  We are to set them free.  We forgive them.  In the world it is impossible to know love, Jesus tells us.  No matter how much we talk about it, say it, attach the word to all kinds of physical acts, we simply do not understand love.  Forgiveness is the only thing that reflects Love in a world where it is too far beyond our simple grasp. 

Today let our minds reflect God’s Love.  We have a function God would have us fill.  It does not cost us anything.  There is no sacrifice involved.  We simply give up our anger, our hatred, our resentment toward those who have not met our expectations.  Every time we see someone today, think of someone today, imagine someone today – we offer them forgiveness for not being who and what they really are in Christ.  We bless them.  We understand that they are struggling with their humanity even as we are struggling with ours.  We see them, not as flesh and blood, but as Sons of God, here for the same reason we are – to awaken from a dream of separation, in a time-bound process of accepting who and what we really are, to return to the place where we belong.  We look upon them gently, we see that all their faults, their weaknesses, their cruelty and stupidity are all unknown in Heaven, and so should not be remarked upon and made real here.  Forgiveness wipes our slates clean so that the Word of God can replace all the marks and smears the world had written there before. 

Jesus calls to us to be merciful today.  As the Son of God, we deserve mercy.  As one with Christ, when we refuse to forgive our brother, we refuse to forgive Christ.  All of us on earth are called to forgive each other, to accept each other as our own identity, to recognize that there is no difference between me and you because we are all as God created us.  I am what you are, and you are what I am.  Forgiveness shows us we are one.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 212. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 211 Review Lesson 191

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 211

  1. (191)  I am the holy Son of God Himself.

In silence and in true humility, I seek God’s glory, to behold it in the Son whom He created as my Self.

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

Today we reflect upon Review VI’s daily theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We let the words sink into our consciousness and lift us out of our entrenched and usurped identity in the world, in the body, in the ego.  We are no longer a man or a woman, a Greek or a Jew, an American or an African or a Peruvian.  We do not identify with our gender, race, religion. We are not our country, family lineage, or our status in the world.  We are not our affiliations with a political thought system or our passions or hobbies in the world.  We are as God created us – everlasting spirit, a Son of God, united with God and with each other, without sin, without stain, without disease, without death.  When we accept our true identity in Christ, we are saved and in position to save others – we no longer use our powers stupidly or cruelly.  Hell is undone.

When we do not accept our identity in God, we have accepted the ego’s identity and are in a state of constant instability. We are vulnerable to all that the world throws at us, we are born to live a little while, to know that no matter who or what we choose to fasten our identity and worth and happiness upon, it is doomed.  It can only be for a little while and there is always someone or something bigger, better, newer, and more exciting waiting to take our place, to assume our position, to throw us off our game, to steal our joy, and keep us locked into an ongoing pattern of seeking but never finding that which satisfies the yearnings of our hearts and souls.   

Referring back to our original lesson, paragraph seven instructs us to use the following phrase to remind ourselves often of who and what we really are:  I am the holy Son of God Himself.  I cannot suffer.  I cannot be in pain.  I cannot suffer loss.  I cannot fail to do all that salvation asks. 

As Sons of God, it is impossible for us to fail in what God has created us to be. We are still as He created us.  Past the illusion of this world, the dream of separation and of time, we are still God’s Son.  God loves us and is devoted to us.  Never again can we accept the weak, frail version of ourselves that the ego would offer us in place of the truth about who and what we are.  We were not created to be born and die, to weep and suffer pain.  As our Father, God has bestowed upon us the same power that He Himself enjoys both in heaven and on earth. 

There is nothing at all cheeky about accepting the truth about who and what we really are.  There is nothing impudent about waking up to discover that all of this has been a dream of separation, of being apart from each other, of being a multitude of warring factions rather than the loving Son of God.  We cannot be over-confident in this truth about ourselves, we cannot let it frighten us, go running back to cower in the flesh and blanket our awakened consciousness in the trivia of the world.  We are the holy Son of God Himself.  We are not a body.  We are free.  We are still as God created us.  This is you and this is me. 

Today in our quiet moments and with true humility we step up to the plate.  We seek God’s glory.  We behold His glory in ourselves, His Son.  Dare to push all doubts and fears aside.  Do not accept the lies of the ego which would keep us trapped in a self-image designed to warp and pervert us, alienate and divide us, keep us seeking but never finding, wrapped up in flesh and blood and driven by desires that end in death. 

One here and one there, from all over the world, we lay down our defenses against the truth.  We put aside our differences and we come together as one in Christ.  We are brought together, you and me, us and we with these words: 

I am a holy Son of God.  I am not a body.  I am free.  I am still as God created me.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 211. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 210 – Review of Lesson 190

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 210

  1. (190)  I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

Pain is my own idea.  It is not a Thought of God, but one I thought apart from Him and from His Will.  His Will is joy, and only joy for His beloved Son.  And that I choose, instead of what I made.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

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

We open our devotional practice with the theme for Review VI.  We let these sentences rest on our quiet minds, our altars free of the demands of the world, of our families, our houses, our jobs, our worldly interests and calls.  When we realize we are free of the body, the world recedes from our minds and our minds are cleared for the Truth of God, the Reality for which we have been yearning for our whole lives but did not know how to put into words, did not know how to put into practice, did not trust in our Selves but rather trusted in the lies of the outside world. 

Now we know!  Being free of our bodies, we can choose joy instead of pain, we can be happy instead of sorrowful and afraid.  Pain – experienced in any form, Jesus tells us, is not true, it is not real, it is a lie.  When we experience pain we experience God as cruel.  There He is in His sweet Heaven, above and not beneath, inflicting pain upon His subjects like a cruel landowner who sits in his mansion while his peasants eke a bare subsistence living from his fields.  This is the world’s portrayal of god – this is the god we would learn about in most of our churches and synagogues and temples.  A god who is all-powerful but who is quite willing to see us suffer physically, psychically, and mentally, a god who wants us to kill each other, to seek vengeance upon our so-called enemies because they worship a different way from us or do not have the same values, or have done us wrong or worse yet, our ancestors have wronged their ancestors. 

But God is not cruel, Jesus informs us in Lesson 190.  Pain is only a sign that illusions reign in place of truth.  Pain is a denial of the reality of our Loving Father.  If He is real, pain is not.  If pain is real, He is not.  Our Father wills that none of us suffer so much as a stubbed toe for would we not rush to protect our little ones from such a fate if it be in our power? 

Our thoughts that are not aligned with the Will of God, the Love of God, the Peace of God, are what causes our pain.  Jesus tells us that nothing outside of our own minds can hurt us or injure us in any way.  Nothing from the outside world can oppress us.  Nobody but ourselves can affect us.  It is our thoughts about such matters that bring the pain.  We have the power within us to influence all things simply by remembering who we are. 

You may not believe this.  It may seem too far out there.  You may think that you are being hoodwinked and that it is unbelievable that your thoughts about things have brought you so much trauma, pain, and disease in your life and in the lives of those you love.  But Jesus tells us in this lesson that as we perceive the harmlessness in all that has brought us such grief and torment, we will see differently and that our sorrows, our grief, our illnesses, will become a source of purity, a source of holiness, even. 

When we begin to see that the world is only a representation of our thoughts about it, we will have much more incentive to change our mind about it.  When we give up our addiction and our false delight in pain and pity, mayhem and melodrama, sacrifice and suffering, sorrow and grief and choose the joy of God – the world changes to reflect what we want to see. 

When we turn off the media, put down the newspaper, refuse to engage in conversations that revolve around rumors, intrigue, and ill will, when we no longer give room in our minds and thoughts to conspiracies, suspicions, and doomsday prophecies – we are clearing our altars for the Joy of the Lord.  When we no longer chase after special relationships instead of trusting in God, God will give us the desires of our hearts, the desires that align with truth and righteousness, peace and love. 

No matter how much we want to blame others for causing us pain, others have absolutely no power to hurt us.  When we are hurt, it is the result of our idle wishes, strange desires, thoughts of death.  When we engage in sour thoughts toward our family members, our coworkers, our friends, the president, other races, cultures, religions, and community groups, we are asking for pain.  We are asking for discord.  We are asking for sorrow.  When we bring up past sins and point our fingers in blame and shame, we are going to see this projected on the screen of our lives.  When we rant and riot, spew forth venom, cast aspersions on the names of others, take up causes, fight for our rights, and give other people the power to steal our joy and cause us to suffer, we are not choosing the joy of the Lord.  No cause on earth, no matter how seemingly righteous, worthy, or critical will bring us joy or give us anything but pain.

 Jesus teaches that we must lay down our arms and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last.  Let thoughts of danger and of fear be exchanged for thoughts of God’s love and devotion to us.  Refuse to allow thoughts of attack into our minds.  Put down the cruel sword of judgment, He says. Stop hiding our holiness behind the withering assaults we take upon others. 

This is when the joy of the Lord belong to us.  This is salvation’s power.  We know that pain is only an illusion – Joy is reality.  Pain is a lie; joy is the truth.  We choose the truth – no matter how the world tempts us to believe there is a cause to worry, to fret, to get sick, to depress ourselves upon its calls to take up arms and defend ourselves against the evil hordes or rampaging pestilence – we know God.  Our minds are fixed upon Him.  We love Him who gives us peace when the world would offer us conflict.  We devote our minds to Him who gives us Life and Light when the world would fill our mind with death and darkness.   

We are not a body.  We are free.  We are still as God created us.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 210. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 209 – Review Lesson 208

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 209

  1. (189)  I feel the love of God within me now.

The Love of God is what created me.  The Love of God is everything I am.  The Love of God proclaimed me as His Son.  The Love of God within me sets me free.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

Notes and Personal Application:  We quiet our minds and sweep clear our inner altar this morning of all the calls and causes of the world.  We bring our stillness and our trust to God.  We are not bodies separated by our flesh and time and space.  For these blessed moments we focus upon our freedom from all that the world does to keep us apart from it.  We remember that we are still as God created us – One with Him and with all of Creation.  This is a blessed meditation – one that as we experience it and let it shine from us – will save the world.  Morning and evening we spend at least 15 minutes with this practice, devoting our time and our thoughts to God, with whom we are one.  We will not answer the calls of the world during these times because we know that this is the most important things we can be doing at this time.  We will put our trust and our belief in God and His Will and no longer allow the world to tempt us that we are doomed!

The review for our day tells us that we feel the love of God within us now.  This is what we are made of – the Love of God.  It is who and what we are in our eternal beings.  We are His Son.  It is His Love that unshackles us from our identity with time and all that it seems to hold – the world, our bodies, the special relationships which would take the place of our Sonship with God, our Brotherhood with Christ.  We can let it all go with no sorrow, no pain, no sense of loss or sacrifice – we exchange that which is nothing for God’s Love which is Everything. 

This is not only a blessed meditation; it is a powerful one!  Today pray this prayer with me.  As we pool our minds to experience God’s Love, now, we are joined from all parts of the world and made one in Christ.  We may never meet in the flesh, but we are one in God’s Love, one in the spirit of Sonship and Brotherhood. 

Dear Father: We feel Your love within us now.  As we draw close, shutting off the clamor of the world and all of its calls to involve ourselves in its repetitive and tiresome pleasures, pranks, plagues, and pitfalls, we come to understand that we are made of Your Love, for Your Love, and by Your Love.  Let us quietly and wordlessly share Your Love with those who come to mind, forgiving them their small humanity, blessing their marvelous reality in You, reflecting the Love we feel within us now, so that we may all be free.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 209. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 208 – Review of Lesson 188

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 208

  1. (188) The peace of God is shining in me now.

I will be still and let the earth be still along with me.  And in that stillness, we will find the peace of God.  It is within my heart, which witnesses to God Himself. 

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.[1]

Photo credit: The Friar Patch

Notes and Personal Application:  Our devotions today start with Review Six’s theme:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  We will meditate upon this theme, remembering who and what we really are – we are everlasting, we are forever, the world is not our home, the body does not confine us or define us! 

As we review Lesson 188, we experience the peace of God shining in us – now.  We do not have to wait until we get to Heaven.  We do not have to wait until God’s Kingdom come, God’s Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  We have God’s peace and it is shining in us right now, this instant.  We do not have to seek the light of God’s peace because it was born into each one of us.  Jesus tells us in Lesson 188, we can never lose our light – it will lead us back to where we belong.

The peace of God shines out from us and touches everyone and everything around the world.  It stops to caress every living thing, Jesus tells us in paragraph three of our lesson.  It leaves a blessing that remains forever.  It renews our hearts and lights up the way.  When we recognize the peace of God within us, we cannot keep it to ourselves.  We must bless others – quietly and without making a show of ourselves, we no longer curse, we no longer speak ill or hold grudges, we bless all we see because there is nothing else we can do when we realize what the peace of God is, what it means, and how precious and priceless and irreplaceable it is.

This morning while I was watering the drooping, thirsty sunflowers I paused for several moments just to reflect upon the peace of God.  Buzzing bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbird moths sipping the nectar from the flowers and it blessed me beyond measure to see them enjoying the patch of beautiful yellow-orange and brown faces.  It was hot, quiet morning and when I was finished watering the gardens and harvesting some tomatoes and zucchinis, I stretched out on the hammock and closed my eyes. 

The words from Lesson 188 came back to me, The peace of God is shining in me now.  Let all things shine upon me in that peace and let me bless them with the light in me.  I thought about how relaxing it was to water the garden, to take each plant and give it a long, cool drink from the well.  To watch them perk up before my eyes, to thank me with their beauty and bounty. Each plant brings forth its fruit its own unique way – the purple and white flower on the eggplants, the pale green outer leaves around the firm core on the cabbages, the pretty white flowers on the red pepper plants.  I was transfixed for several moments, aware of the peace of God, the peace of God in me and coming from me.  It was as if all my thoughts lined up with love and peace and joy.  It was as if for that bit of timelessness there was nothing in or on my mind but gentle kindness and a deep gratitude.

I was not afraid of the bear that lives in the woods.  I was not afraid of the draught.  I was not afraid that someone would see me laying on my hammock and call me lazy and useless.  My thoughts were not on any kind of trouble, worry, or care.  When I opened my eyes, all I could see was the pattern of the leaves and the limbs against the puffy white clouds and the light blue sky. This is peace.  And it shines in all of us when we grow still and let the world grow still around us. 

Go with peace today.  Be quiet with it.  Be still and shine it on your world. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 208. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

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

Lesson 207 – Review of Lesson 187

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 207

  1. (187)  I bless the world because I bless myself.

God’s blessing shines upon me from within my heart, where He abides.  I need but turn to Him and every sorrow melts away, as I accept His boundless Love for me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:   We open our morning and evening mediation with I am not a body. I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  If you are doing these lessons and devoting your attention to the theme of Review Six, by now the above sentences are embedded in your consciousness.  If you are wondering where a deepened sense of peace and joy stem from – let it be clear that understanding these lines truly does enlighten us in all ways.  Our spirits soar, we are no longer confined in flesh, not knowing who we are and where we belong.  We know we are creations of God, adrift but not unmoored, lost but only in our blighted imaginations, in these three sentences we find ourselves complete and whole. 

In our review of Lesson 187, we learn that what we give, we receive.  This idea is different from what happens in the world.  In the world, when we give something away, it is no longer ours.  In truth, when we give, we receive. In fact, Jesus says that it is only in giving that we can receive.  The only way we can protect all things that we value is by giving them away and this is the only way we can be sure to never lose them.  The only caveat is this:  Do not value form – no form ever endures.  It is the thought behind the form of things that is unchangeable. 

Today’s idea is a kingdom principle that when applied in form will simply not work.  Do not be deceived into thinking that this is a get rich quick scheme.  It does not work with anything of form.  If people tell you that the way to get God’s blessing is to send them a hundred dollars, you can tell them to pound sand.  If someone tells you however, to receive God’s blessing you must bless other people in your words, thoughts, and deeds – you know that you are in the presence of a teacher of God.  If someone tells you that to retain God’s blessing upon your life, you must continue to bless others in your words, thoughts, and deeds – this is truth – it will cost you no money, it will take little of your time, but you will see the miracles it brings to everyone you see. 

To receive blessings, no sacrifice is ever demanded – there is no pain or sense of loss, no sickness or sorrow, no poverty, starvation, or death.  We do not beg God to bless us, to remove a curse, to smite our enemies.  We can laugh at such crude depictions of our Father who loves all of Creation.  Blessings are received as they are given.  Blessings are retained as they are never denied to anyone.  It is like a stream of living water – it is freely given as long as it is not dammed up, hoarded, or doled out to a select few.  When kept for oneself, it dries up and becomes that which will never quench one’s thirst or water one’s garden. 

There is purity in understanding the flow of God’s blessings and coming to understand how we are one in thought when fear of one another is laid aside and we stand together as God’s Son.  Our grievances toward one another are washed away when we bless each other.  All those people whom we simply cannot stand, whom we love but want to stay away from, whom we see as shadows who have infringed upon our joy and taken away our sunshine – we bless.  We offer them a blessing and we are blessed.  We lay down our past dealings – the things that were said, the way we were made to feel, the ways in ways in which our kindness was met with hostility, the times when we felt unwanted and unwelcome.  When we bless others who have hurt us, disappointed us, cast us off for someone new and exciting and stopped returning our calls – we are blessed.  Jesus says we make our minds a home for Innocence Itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours. 

For those of us who have grown cynical in the world, who mock innocence, who enjoy playing people for the fool – pointing out mistakes and keeping the past alive in order to keep others from following their joy and reaching their destiny – let there be no mistake.  Jesus tells us that this principle also works when we fail to bless others.  When we fail to bless others, we fail to recognize our own blessings.  We fail to realize our own salvation.  We fall into a dirty stream of blame and shame and end up full of sorrow, ashamed, and forsaken.  In other words, we make our own hell. 

Today we bless the world because we bless ourselves.  It is the way we love our Selves the best – by blessing everything and everyone we see.  We value blessing and so we give it away – this is the way to our salvation and to the salvation of the world.  No matter how lowdown and dirty someone wants to play, let us bless them and move on, offering them no spite, no mean words, no nasty recriminations – simply a blessing and not a curse.  

Again we wrap up today’s devotional practice with this refrain:  I am not a body, I am free. For I am still as God created me. 

I bless you because I bless myself, and you bless me because you bless yourself.  We are one in Christ, today and always. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 207. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 206 Review of Lesson 186

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 206

  1. (186)  Salvation of the world depends on me.

I am entrusted with the gifts of God because I am His Son.  And I would give His gifts where He intended them to be.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  Today we open and close our morning and evening devotional practice with the holy reminder – I am not a body, I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

In our 15-minute periods, let us sit with the idea that the salvation of the world depends upon each one of us realizing that we are one with Christ.  As we realize who and what we are in Christ, we see the Gifts of God which has been entrusted with us.  We have been given the world.   It is our holy assignment.  It is our Mission from God.  When we accept our mission, we acknowledge the truth that God’s Will is done on earth as it is done in Heaven.  When we accept our mission, we unite our will along with Creation and restore it to Heaven’s peace. 

God is not asking us to change who we are.  He is not asking us to dress a certain way or go live in the desert and eat grasshoppers.  He is not telling us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.  He is not asking us to forsake our families or sacrifice our first born.  God is simply asking us to remember who and what we really are – we are not a body, we are free.  We are as God created us.  God is asking us to accept our role in salvation – to know that the whole of it depends on each one of us – not on the little pile of dust that would be our bodies, but on our true Selves which is God’s Son. 

Our humanity will find all kinds of ways to drown out the Voice for God in our lives.  It will give us many scattered goals and functions.  It will divide us and splinter us and overwhelm our mortal bodies with demands, expectations, and roles that drain us of all our joy and peace and love.  Our reality in God makes us one.  In God we are whole.  When we know our one true purpose, we can ignore the calls and causes of this world that clamor for our attention and bring nothing but more demands and uproar.  When we know that the salvation of the world depends upon us, we understand that our function is to forgive as Christ forgave.  Jesus shows us that to forgive is how we offer love on earth.  We forgive because we know that there is nothing to forgive in Heaven.  We forgive because forgiveness is expressing love to a world that yearns for love, sings songs about love, makes much of love but has forgotten what it really is. 

Dear Father, today we ask that our lesson idea is made real to our minds and hearts.  Show us the truth about ourselves – we are not bodies, we are liberated, we are as You created us to be.  The salvation of the world depends upon our willingness to forgive one and all for wandering away from You.  Let us do Your Will and offer love in the way the world understands.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 206. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 205 – Review of Lesson 185

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 205

  1. (185)  I want the peace of God.

The peace of God is everything I want.  The peace of God is my one goal; the aim of all my living here, the end I seek, my purpose and my function and my life, while I abide where I am not at home.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Personal Notes and Application:  Today we are on our fifth day of Review VI.  We open our morning and evening meditation with the friendly and happy-making assertion about who and what we are not and who and what we really are:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me. 

While I would never discourage young people from studying A Course in Miracles, I believe that it makes more sense to come to the teachings after experiencing the world.  When we were young and full of piss and vinegar, as James likes to put it, we would not have wanted to be anything but our bodies!  No matter how much trouble they were, how spiritually deprived, how they embarrassed or harassed us, we lived for them.  We took delight in the pleasures and displeasures our bodies seemed to make of us and for us.  We were driven by the idea that our bodies – both our shame and our delight – were somehow going to get us where we wanted to go and give us that which for what we were yearning. Looking back we both laugh and cringe over all the ways in which we tried to reconcile these two irreconcilable thoughts – we were to worship a God who made the body, and yet the body seemed to be a thing in and of itself, and not of God at all!   

If someone would have asked me what I wanted at an early stage of my life, I would not have said the peace of God.  I wanted to be a published writer. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to distinguish myself somehow and someway from others. I longed for adventure, travel, to be on the arm of some new and dashing guy, a marvelous lover, a world-wise fellow who would teach me the ropes.  I yearned to meet and make friends with people more like the characters I found in literature, people who would sit and discuss ideas with me and share my love for books and writing and ponder the meaning of the universe, rather than the lot I seemed to be stuck with who were suffering their unhappy, love-starved lives with flirtations and affairs, their pretending to be one thing but being quite another, their repetitive, go-nowhere cycles of planting bad seed and hoping for a good harvest.  I wanted to be free of such people because I wanted to be free of that version of me.  I wanted to meet someone that would change my current state and make me into something else.  In other words, the peace of God was not on my want list, and there is no shame in that. It was a very necessary phase of my life where I had to experience wanting a lot of other things and even getting them in order to find out that without the peace of God, that other stuff meant nothing at all.   

What I have learned in time and through time is that it is only the peace of God I want – for when I have the peace of God, I have Everything.  Happiness becomes my new standard and goal.  Without the peace of God, I may have everything I thought I wanted, but it will be as nothing, and happiness will always be something I am seeking but never finding. 

Today we will spend our meditations times and our little moments throughout the day reminding ourselves that no matter what we think we want here in the world, without the peace of God it will be over before it began, it will be spent, it will be fast a fading memory and then gone forever.  The world’s promises to bring us pleasure, to tickle our fancies, to make us smarter, bigger, better fail to do bring us anything but disappointment.  There is no point getting cynical about it, boo-hooing, griping or complaining.  Things here do not last and there is a very good reason for this to be so – it is not God’s Kingdom, it is not God’s Will, and we can never make it what it is not. 

Nothing that happens in the world dares to disturb the tranquil, quiet calmness we experience with the peace of God.  We may not understand how this can be, but this is what we want.   The world will always find something to separate us, to build cases against each other, to take up our signs and wear our special colors, to join its causes and go to war. The world may call for peace, but what it really wants is bloodshed, let us make no mistake about it.  It is only the peace of God we want, because this the only peace there is!

Today we quiet our minds and turn off all that would call for discord.  We clear the altars of our mind of all that is not the call of love, and we offer them to God.  We pray,

“I want Your Peace on the altar of my mind, O Father.  While I am living in the dream of separation, my one goal is to experience Your Peace.  It is my function to seek Your Peace and find it and share it with others.  My body does not define me.  The bodies of others do not define them.  We are still as You created us.  Let us experience Your peace.  In the name of Jesus, with whom we are one.  Amen.“


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 205. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 204 Review Lesson 184

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 204

  1. (184)  The Name of God is my inheritance.

God’s Name reminds me that I am His Son, not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions, free in God, forever and forever one with Him.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:   Today we open our morning and evening devotion with the words:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  This morning James and I woke up with aches and pains – our backs hurt, my calve muscles ached, our shoulders felt hammered.  I blamed the bed, we need a new mattress but I have been dithering about how I want to replace it – do we get one of those fancy-schmancy mattresses that do all kinds of magic or settle for a medium firm Serta with a pillow top?  James said he has and will continue to sleep on whatever I pick out as long as it is not so soft it sags in the middle.  But he does not associate his aches and pains with our mattress; his come from being old, he said. 

We had a good laugh – we are only five years apart and so if he is old, then I am old!  If his aches and pains are from the aging body that is where mine are coming from as well.  Why bother getting a new mattress? 

According to Wikipedia, the United Nations has designated sixty-five as being the start of old age.[2] But old age is an idea, a state of mind, a device of the ego nature designed to put the fear of God in us.

We are not bodies.  We are free.  For we are still as God created us.  The rumbles and grumbles that seem to symbolize our old age, our has-been status in the world, our lack of no longer contributing to the gene pool or the work force are simply not the truth about us.  We are still as God created us, the Mind of God.  The Name of God is our inheritance – Jesus reminds us in today’s review. In the world we experience ourselves as humans separated by time and space from Creation and the Kingdom from which we came – destined for death and decay. In God’s Kingdom we are forever, invincible, and one with God and each other – designed to last forever and ever.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 204. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_age# Retrieved July 23, 2020

Lesson 203 Review of Lesson 183

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 203

  1. (183)  I will call upon God’s Name and on my own.

The name of God is my deliverance from every thought of evil and of sin, because it is my own as well as His.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:   This morning I woke up early and went downstairs to start the coffee.  While the coffee was brewing, I went outside to sit and look at the algae pond, the woods, the ducks, the overcast sky.  It was so pleasant, so quiet, so peaceful.  The rooster shattered the quiet morning with his throaty crows, rather unhappily, it sounded to me.  Last night James had put him in the retirement home with the pensioners to give the little hens a break from all his rascally ways.  He has been an over-stimulated, randy lad and with twelve young hens, I was afraid he was going to you-know-what himself to death if we did not intervene!  The pensioners can stand their own against him – old and brazen, they have outlasted and outlived three roosters in their lifetimes. 

This morning’s devotional practice begins with I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.  And today’s lesson review “I call upon God’s name and on my own,” brings to mind a passage in Sons and Lovers when writing about his character, the drunken, family-despising Mr. Morel, D.H. Lawrence writes, “He forgot the God in him.”[2]  I do not want to forget the God in me, my mind said, as I sat on the back deck in the early morning hours.  And so here this morning I call upon God’s name and on my own.  For God has made me like Himself, and I am still as God created me. 

Today let our prayer be that we never forget the God in us.  No matter where we are in the lifespan, no matter what our worldly achievements, our advances and our declines – we will remember to call upon God’s name and on our own.  For we are like Him!  We do not have to believe the false report of who we are any longer.  We are not bodies which clamor, demand, and point fingers of blame and shame!  We are the Mind of God, made in His image, powerful and invulnerable. 

As humans we are in a dark primitive dream state in which we prey upon the flesh of Creation to survive to die another day.  We are all screaming for and streaming toward that which we think will satisfy us but never will.  We will never find security by making any other part of Creation insecure; we will never find peace, by disturbing the peace; we will never find happiness by coveting the joys, blessings and gifts of another being.

The name of God delivers us from the fallen, depraved nature of this world because it is the name He shares with us.  He breathed His Name into us, His Son.  Unlike the fictional Mr. Morel, I never want to forget the God in me, and I hope you do not either!   

Do your best today to meditate morning and evening on our lesson review.  Throughout the day quietly ask Holy Spirit to reveal the deep truth of today’s lesson review idea.  To those of us who have been programmed to fear God instead of love and identify with Him, the idea of sharing the name of God takes some getting used to!  But how could we call Him Father if it were otherwise?    


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 203. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Lawrence, D.H. Sons and lovers. (Kindle Edition) retrieved from amazon.com. A public domain book.

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

Review VI – Lesson 202

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 202

  1. (182)  I will be still an instant and go home.

Why would I choose to stay an instant more where I do not belong, when God Himself has given me His Voice to call me home?

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation:

Today we spend 15 minutes meditating upon the concept of being still.  We spend an instant every hour, every chance we remember, to be still and to hear the Holy Child within us, calling to us to come home with Him, giving to Him our hearts and minds, putting down our arms and putting our trust and faith in Him.  This is how we train our minds to stay upon God, to keep our thoughts free of the world and stayed upon our Father, our Lord, our Creator, and King.  This is where we find peace to bring to the world’s turmoil, to save it from despair, to bring God’s Kingdom to earth and make it one. 

Dear Father, I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as You created me. Thank you for our lesson review for today. Help us to be still an instant and come home. 

We know that this world is not our home.  All of our lives we tried to find a home in this world, but it could not be found.  We thought that maybe there was something wrong with us; other people seemed to find a home, other people seemed to be happy here and accept the world of decay, deception, destruction, and death.  But Jesus tells us today that no matter how people may deny it or play games, go to war, or build multiple houses in order to drown their sadness and sorrow, everybody knows that this world is not our home. 

Thank you for the Holy Child who comes to make His home in those of us who end up here.  Thank you for His holiness and how He reflects the light of Heaven, bringing God’s kingdom to earth and making it one.  Help us today to pay attention to that Child, to take a rest from the world with Him, to know that He is part of us, and we are part of Him. 

Show us how to protect this Child, not with battalions and other ignorant forms of physical defense, but with purity and innocence and defenselessness.  Help us not to allow the voice of the ego to drown out the Child’s voice, but instead let us take His hand and come home with Him in our morning and evening practice sessions and our hourly calls as well. 

We know that the Child is an outcast here, an alien.  We no longer seek to fit in with the world, to take up the calls of the world for we have traveled the world’s many paths to happiness and found that all of them led to nowhere, and none of them took us to You. 

Let us not wear upon our Savior’s patience or cause Him to plead to our deafened ears!  No matter how long He is willing to wait for us, let us not cause ourselves delay.  Let us go with Him in peace and in trust to where we belong. 

Let the world recede in our minds, dear Father, so that we may hear His Voice.  Let us not value what is valueless no longer, dear God.  Quicken our minds and soften our hearts so that we resist Christ no longer.  For we seek stillness, silence, and peace.  We want to go beyond doubt, beyond fear, beyond the discord and dishonesty of the world. 

Today we will rest with Him who was willing to become a little Child that we might learn of His strength that needs no defense, that we might learn to offer love to those who would otherwise be our enemies.  We will protect the time we spend with this Child.  We will not let our human needs cause us to forget, to push it aside, to give it little account. 

We who have wandered want to come home, dear Father.  Today we come to You in our devotions and throughout the day, happy to escape the hell we made for those holy moments that we get to spend with You.  Let us lay down our shields, for they do not protect us or offer us any kind of shelter.  Let us stop attacking false foes and offer the love of Christ to friend and brother. 

Deliver us from illusions that we serve no other gods.  We are as You created us and for our innocence, our holiness, and our real Selves we yearn. 

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with Whom we are one.  Amen.

I will be still an instant and go home.

I am not a body; I am free.  I am still as God created me.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 202. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 201 I Am Not A Body. I Am Free. For I Am As God Created Me.

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REVIEW VI

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

Lesson 201

  1. (181)  I trust my brothers, who are one with me.

No one but is my brother.  I am blessed with oneness with the universe and God, my Father, one Creator of the whole that is my Self, forever one with me.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Devotional Meditation:

Dear Father, Today we come to you morning and evening, recognizing the holiness and goodness and love that You created me with and for:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as You created me.   

I ask Holy Spirit to instill within my mind the structure and guidance from Christ as in how to train our mind to think with You.   I want to know that I am not a body, that I am free, that I am still as You created me from the deepest regions of my mind and heart.  I never want to fall back into believing that I am a body or an ego, that I am nothing but another consumer, a plague upon the face of the earth, devouring or being devoured by forces outside and from within.  Today I thank You, Father, for giving us Salvation, for giving us a way out of the nightmare which is not made of You. 

We will start today’s morning review with the theme for Review VI. I choose to do the best I can to stay with the structure and guidance on this review instead of just going my own way and sometimes doing it the second time and sometimes not.  So I will start each practice session for the next twenty review lessons with the main idea of:  I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Today I trust my brothers for they are one with me.  I will forgive them for all the ways in which I was tempted to believe that they were out to get me, to take advantage of me, to try to steal my joy, or rain on my parade.  I will forgive them for all the ways in which they left me alone and in sorrow when I needed them most!  I will forgive them while all along knowing that I have nothing to forgive for they were doing the best they could.  As I am not a body, neither are they a body.  As I am free of the ego; so are they free of the ego.  As I am still as God created me, so are they.

As I review Lesson 181, let the words of Christ take life in my mind and help me to ward off all tempting thoughts that my brothers can remain lost while I can be saved.  When anger and resentment come to my mind today, when I am tempted to dwell upon their wrongdoing, their selfishness, their lies – let me remember to avow with all my strength and devotion:  I will not look upon my brothers and see anything that is wrong or sinful.  I trust them for they are one with me.  I will give up all grudges no matter how many times they come to mind in efforts to throw me off the path to You.  These thoughts of forgiveness, these thoughts of trust, these thoughts of putting away anger and wrath and unkindness and focusing only upon the goodness and purity of my brothers will keep me safe. 

This is no pipe dream.  My thoughts have power to go beyond the mistakes of my brothers, the sins of the world.  My thoughts have the holy function to bring in Your Kingdom, Your Power, Your Glory now and forever.  When all I want to see is the holiness and sweetness, the kindness and goodness of my brothers, when this is all I seek for, when all I want to think about is Your Kingdom of love and joy and peace, the vision of Christ becomes mine.  All I want to see, Dear Father, is the Love You feel for us reflected in the world. 

The world no longer is a witness to our sin but rather our purity and holiness.  Our love for everyone we see demonstrates that we are transformed from the illusion of humanity to the Self created in Your Love and in Your Will.  Let us remember who we are, O Lord.  Bless our practice today.  Bring us together in Christ – not looking back or hoping in a vain future, but straight into the present where we put our trust, our hope, our love. 

I trust my brothers who are one with me.  Bless them today and keep them in the light of Your Will, Oh Father.  Let me see all with the eyes of Christ; let them see me with the eyes of Christ.  Show us the way and help us to walk within it as we give our willingness to You. 

I am not a body, I am free.  I am still as God created me.

In the name of Jesus with Whom we are One.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 201. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Review VI Introduction

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI INTRODUCTION

  1. For this review we take but one idea each day and practice it as often as is possible.  Besides the time you give morning and evening which should not be less than fifteen minutes and the hourly remembrances you make throughout the day, use the idea as often as you can between them.  Each of these ideas alone would be sufficient for salvation if it were learned truly.  Each would be enough to give release to you and to the world from every form of bondage and invite the memory of God to come again. 
  2. With this in mind we start our practicing in which we carefully review the thoughts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us in our last twenty lessons.  Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day.  One is enough.  But from that one, there must be no exceptions made.  And so we need to use them all and let them blend as one as each contributes to the whole we learn.
  3. These practice sessions, like our last review, are centered round a central theme with which we start and end each lesson.  It is this:  I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me. The day begins and ends with this.  And we repeat it every time the hour strikes. Or we remember, in between, we have a function that transcends the world we see.  Beyond this, and a repetition of the special thought we practice for the day, no form of exercise is urged, except a deep relinquishment of everything that clutters up the mind and makes it deaf to reason, sanity, and simple truth.
  4. We will attempt to get beyond all words and special forms of practicing for this review.  For we attempt, this time, to reach a quickened pace along a shorter path to the serenity and peace of God.  We merely close our eyes, and then forget all that we thought we knew and understood.  For thus is freedom given us from all we did not know and failed to understand. 
  5. There is but one exception to this lack of structuring.  Permit no idle thought to go unchallenged.  If you notice one, deny its hold and hasten to assure your mind that this is not what it would have.  Then gently let the thought which you denied be given up, in sure and quick exchange for the idea we practice for the day.
  6. When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation, as you say:  This thought I do not want.  I choose instead ______________.      And then repeat the idea for the day, and let it take the place of what you thought.  Beyond such special applications of each day’s idea, we will add but a few formal expressions or specific thoughts to aid in practicing.  Instead, we give these times of quiet to the Teacher Who instructs in quiet, speaks of peace, and gives our thoughts whatever meaning they may have. 

7.   To Him I offer this review for you.  I place you in His charge and let Him teach you what to do and say and think, each time you turn to Him.  He will not fail to be available to you, each time you call to Him to help you.  Let us offer Him the whole review we now begin and let us also not forget to Whom it has been given, as we practice day by day, advancing toward the goal He set for us; allowing Him to teach us how to go, and trusting Him completely for the way each practice period can best become a loving gift of freedom to the world.[1]

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Notes and Personal Application:  In this review, we take one idea from lessons 181 through 200 and start each day and end each day with a 15-minute period of devotional practice.  During these times of devotion, we will meditate up on the idea, we will review the written lesson, we will write down or voice our thoughts realizing that Holy Spirit who is our Teacher will give our thoughts all the meaning that they have.  We will also ask our Teacher to send someone to us or allow us to find some way to share the thoughts that our lessons inspire within our minds.  For this is the way that we learn – not by keeping them to ourselves, but by sharing them with others. 

If you skip a devotional time, if you feel a sense of dread toward your practice, if you feel as if you are being infringed upon by the demands of this course, take it all with a grain of salt.  This is a perfectly natural way for the ego to respond to this course which is asking us to both recognize it and relinquish it.  It does not want to go!  The ego is not our enemy; neither is it our friend.  It is a lie, a work of fiction that wants to be real and can only exist as long as we give it a place to lurk and make more untruth.  So ignore that sense of cringing when it comes to our meditational practice and begin to share the thoughts of God with others in any way that Holy Spirit leads.  Do not be afraid but be full of courage because this is the only real thing and the only thing of meaning that we can do in this world.  All other things we share end in death; but this leads to eternity and lasts forever!

Let our theme for Review VI – I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me. take root in our consciousness by starting our devotional with this thought and ending it with this thought.  Throughout the day, when thoughts that concern the body and the ego arise to mess with our minds and to distract us from truth simply by remembering our theme and the lesson review idea will bring us much advance in surrendering all that is not of God.

Watch your thoughts and do not let any single one of them go unchallenged.  When we are tempted to condemn an old foe, remember a past wrong, let ourselves get worked up by what other people are doing in other parts of the world, put our nose where it does not belong, or be jealous, envious, or harsh, take charge of the thought and say firmly and clearly:  I do not want this thought.  I choose instead to trust my brothers who are one with me, for example, as our review instructs, put the review idea for the day into that blank line!  This is a powerful way in which we train our minds to dwell upon and stay focused upon our goal.     

As I do this, as you do this, as we all do this together from all parts of the world, from all walks of life, our differences melt away and we become one in Christ.  If we forget or get too busy to devote ourselves to this review, we will not condemn ourselves or give the ego any time to use our forgetfulness or lack of devotion and forethought against us.  We will simply ask our Teacher to get us back on track.  We will remember our love for God and how much we miss Him; we will remember His great love and devotion toward us.  We will recognize that in our weakness we are made strong.  I will pray for you and I ask you to pray for me, that this review will draw us together in the holy instant that establishes us forever in the love of God.  This is our gift to God, to ourselves, to each other.  Every single practice period is a loving gift of freedom to the world. Let us take it with the utmost sincerity, goodwill, and holy trust.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with whom we are one.  Amen. 


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

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

Lesson 200 There Is No Peace Except The Peace Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 200 There is no peace except the peace of God.

  1. Seek you no further.  You will not find peace except the peace of God.  Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt.  Seek you no further.  There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.
  2. This is the final point to which each one must come at last, to lay aside all hope of finding happiness where there is none; of being saved by what can only hurt; of making peace of chaos, joy of pain, and Heaven out of hell.  Attempt no more to win through losing, nor to die to live.  You cannot but be asking for defeat.
  3. Yet you can ask as easily for love, for happiness, and for eternal life in peace that has no ending.  Ask for this, and you can only win.  To ask for what you have already must succeed.  To ask that what is false be true can only fail.  Forgive yourself for vain imaginings and seek no longer what you cannot find.  For what could be more foolish than to seek and seek and seek again for hell, when you have but to look with open eyes to find that Heaven lies before you, through a door that opens easily to welcome you?
  4. Come home.  You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms that have no meaning to you, though you sought to make them meaningful.  This world is not where you belong.  You are a stranger here.  But it is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house or jail for anyone.
  5. Freedom is given you where you behold but chains and iron doors.  But you must change your mind about the purpose of the world, if you would find escape.  You will be bound till all the world is seen by you as blessed, and everyone made free of your mistakes and honored as he is.  You made him not; no more yourself.  And as you free the one, the other is accepted as he is.
  6. What does forgiveness do?  In truth it has no function and does nothing.  For it is unknown in Heaven.  It is only hell where it is needed, and where it must serve a mighty function.  Is not the escape of God’s beloved Son from evil dreams that he imagines, yet believes are true, a worthy purpose?  Who could hope for more; while there appears to be a choice to make between success and failure; love and fear?
  7. There is no peace except the peace of God, because He has one Son who cannot make a world in opposition to God’s Will and to his own, which is the same as His. What could he hope to find in such a world? It cannot have reality, because it never was created. Is it here that he would seek for peace?  Or must he see that, as he looks on it, the world can but deceive? Yet can he learn to look on it another way and find the peace of God.
  8. Peace is the bridge that everyone will cross to leave this world behind. But peace begins within the world perceived as different and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond. Peace is the answer to conflicting goals, to senseless journeys, frantic, vain pursuits, and meaningless endeavors. Now the way is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge where freedom lies within the peace of God.
  9. Let us not lose our way again today. We go to Heaven, and the path is straight. Only if we attempt to wander can there be delay and needless wasted time on thorny byways. God alone is sure, and He will guide our footsteps. He will not desert His Son in need, nor let Him stray forever from his home. The Father calls; the Son will hear. And that is all there is to what appears to be a world apart from God, where bodies have reality.
  10. Now is there silence. Seek no further. You have come to where the road is carpeted with the leaves of false desires, fallen from the trees of hopelessness you saw before. Now are they underfoot. And you look up and on toward heaven, with the body’s eyes but serving for an instant longer now.  Peace is already recognized at last, and you can feel its soft embrace around your heart and mind with comfort and with love.
  11. Today we seek no idols.  Peace cannot be found in them. The peace of God is ours, and only this will we accept and want.  Peace be to us today. For we have found a simple, happy way to leave the world of ambiguity, and to replace our shifting goals and solitary dreams with single purpose and companionship. For peace is union, if it be of God. We seek no further. We are close to home, and draw still nearer every time we say: There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.[1]

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Dear Father, Today let our seeking in the world for peace and happiness, meaning and joy come to an end. We cannot find peace here. We only find peace within Your Will and this is what we accept today. Let us leave the world of opposites and uncertainty, the place of separateness and loneliness. We will find our peace in You and in union with one another in Your peace. We draw closer to you each time we say our lesson idea today – “There is no peace except Your peace, O Father. And I am glad and thankful it is so.” In the name of Jesus Christ, with whom we are one. Amen.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 200. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

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

Lesson 199 I Am Not A Body. I Am Free.

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 199 I am not a body.  I am free.

  1. Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself.  The body is a limit.  Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it can not be found.  The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it, and sheltered by its presence.  If this were the truth, the mind were vulnerable indeed!
  2. The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked.  Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter into a mind that has attached itself to love.  It rests in God.  And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves?
  3. It is essential for your progress in this course that you accept today’s idea and hold it very dear.  Be not concerned that to the ego it is quite insane.  The ego holds the body dear because it dwells in it and lives united with the home that it has made.  It is a part of the illusion that has sheltered it from being found illusory itself.
  4. Here does it hide, and here it can be seen as what it is.  Declare your innocence and you are free.  The body disappears, because you have no need of it except the need the Holy Spirit sees.  For this, the body will appear as useful form for what the mind must do.  It thus becomes a vehicle which helps forgiveness be extended to the all-inclusive goal that it must reach, according to God’s plan.
  5. Cherish today’s idea and practice it today and every day.  Make it a part of every practice period you take.  There is no thought that will not gain thereby in power to help the world, and none which will not gain in added gifts to you as well.  We sound the call of freedom round the world with this idea.  And would you be exempt from the acceptance of the gifts you gave?
  6. The Holy Spirit is the home of minds that seek for freedom.  In Him they have found what they have sought.  The body’s purpose now is unambiguous.  And it becomes perfect in the ability to serve an undivided goal.  In conflict-free and unequivocal response to mind with but the thought of freedom as its goal, the body serves, and serves its purpose well.  Without the power to enslave, it is a worthy servant of the freedom which the mind within the Holy Spirit seeks.
  7. Be free today.  And carry freedom as your gift to those who still believe they are enslaved within a body.  Be you free so that the Holy Spirit can make use of your escape from bondage, to set free the many who perceive themselves as bound and helpless and afraid.  Let love replace their fears through you.  Accept salvation now and give your mind to Him Who calls to you to make this gift to Him.  For He would give you perfect freedom, perfect joy, and hope that finds its full accomplishment in God.
  8. You are God’s Son.  In immortality you live forever.  Would you not return your mind to this?  Then practice well the thought the Holy Spirit gives you for today.  Your brothers stand released with you in it; the world is blessed along with you; God’s Son will weep no more. And Heaven offers thanks for the increase of joy your practice brings even to it.  And God Himself extends His Love and happiness each time you say: I am not a body.  I am free.  I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  We are born with the Voice for God inside of us, given to us by God and calling for us to awaken from the dream of separation, from the dream of being a body, from the dream of being split between opposites.

When we think of ourselves as a body, we are prisoner to a form which keeps us enslaved to its never-ending needs for mere survival.  The nature of this world is set up for the fight for survival, the struggle to matter, the race for limited resources, the effort to make one’s self and one’s species special and at the top of the food chain.  It is violent and full of vengeance.  If someone tells you that nature is nice, that it is natural to love one another and to ignore differences, ask them to go live in the woods and commune, unprotected with it for a few weeks.  Let them get away from their computers and from behind their desks and experience for themselves what hard work it is to survive in nature!   

A loving God did not this world make.  A God devoted His Son has bestowed upon His Son all of His own features, privileges, and characteristics.  A God devoted to His Creation has taken responsibility for His Creation’s salvation and will bring them home from their captivity in self-deception, in believing a lie, in creating a dark enchantment which blinds them to reality and keeps them trapped in a hallucination of death and despair. 

Returning our minds to our true identity sets us free.  We are no longer content to drown out the Voice for God with the shrill and chaotic, mindless and thoughtless, constant and repetitive calls of the body.  The body serves the mind; the mind serves not the body.  We are the Son of God.  We are not a body; we are the Mind of God.  Today Jesus tells us to remember this and bring this thought into all of our practice.  To share this idea with all who are still mistaking themselves for a body.  As we realize the truth of this lesson idea, we will increase our joy, we will have no reason for tears and sorrow, we will experience God’s Love and happiness each time we say these words:  I am not a body, I am free.  I hear the Voice that God has given me.  And it is only This Voice my mind obeys.  

Do not worry if your ego puts up a fuss and tells you how crazy you are.  Do not let concerns over how your body certainly feels like you, defeat your dedication to the truth.  Do not allow your love for your body and the great care you take for it convince you that it is your reality and that your life ends when it does.  Just simply open your mind to the truth of the matter – time will wreak its havoc upon all things that are not real – this is the purpose of time.  Time teaches us what has value and what has none by simply wasting away all that is not real, slowing eroding, changing, and converting one form into another.

Jesus emphasizes to us today that Holy Spirit is home of us who seek our freedom from the hold of the body and the lies of the ego.  Today we ask for and listen for the Voice for God.  We will take a little while several times a day to clear our inner altar and practice knowing who and what we really are.  We will be patient and kind with ourselves. There is no need to get discouraged or overwhelmed with impossible spiritual goals, because we put our spiritual progress into the hands of Him Who created us and is calling us to remember.  We will enjoy our spiritual walk.  We will have fun with it!  We will not grovel or plead with God, for He is not a God who takes pleasure in such piddling behaviors.  It does not please Him to see us cry or humiliate ourselves, our bodies are not a sacrifice.  God already has Everything; He simply does not want or need our bodies.  He did not create them, they will never be holy, or of any value except as a vessel through our lessons in time.  Our Heavenly Father only wants us, our hearts and minds, our love and devotion, even as He has given us His Heart, His Mind, His Love and Devotion.  Our bodies will disappear in time and we are thankful that this is so because we are not the symbol of the ego; we are not an emblem of death and decay.  Day by day, moment by moment, we loose ourselves from identifying with ego and the body and we choose our identity in Christ.  Day by day, moment by moment, we will come to see how much more we are, how much more is all Creation.  In the name of Jesus the Christ, with whom we are one.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 199.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 198 Only My Condemnation Injures Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 198 Only my condemnation injures me.

  1. Injury is impossible. And yet illusion makes illusion. If you can condemn, you can be injured. For you have believed that you can injure, and the right you have established for yourself can be now used against you, till you lay it down as valueless, unwanted, and unreal. Then does illusion cease to have effects, and those it seemed to have will be undone. Then are you free, for freedom is your gift, and you can now receive the gift you gave.
  2. Condemn and you are made a prisoner. Forgive and you are freed. Such is the law that rules perception. It is not a law that knowledge understands, for freedom is a part of knowledge. To condemn is thus impossible in truth. What seems to be its influence and its effects have not occurred at all. Yet must we deal with them a while as if they had. Illusion makes illusion. Except one. Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest.
  3. Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. All illusions save this one must multiply a thousand-fold. But this is where illusions end.  Forgiveness is the end of dreams because it is a dream of waking. It is not itself the truth. Yet does it point to where the truth must be and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are one.
  4. Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death. How could there be another way, when this one is the plan of God Himself? And why would you oppose it, quarrel with it, seek to find a thousand ways in which it must be wrong; a thousand other possibilities?
  5. Is it not wiser to be glad you hold the answer to your problems in your hand?  Is it not more intelligent to thank the One Who gives salvation, and accept His gift with gratitude?  And is it not a kindness to yourself to hear His Voice and learn the simple lessons He would teach, instead of trying to dismiss His words, and substitute your own in place of His?
  6. His words will work.  His words will save.  His words contain all hope, all blessing, and all joy that ever can be found upon this earth.  His words are born in God and come to you with Heaven’s love upon them.  Those who hear His words have heard the song of Heaven.  For these are the words in which all merge as one at last.  And as this one will fade away, the Word of God will come to take its place, for it will be remembered then and loved.
  7. This world has many seeming separate haunts where mercy has no meaning and attack appears as justified.  Yet all are one; a place where death is offered to God’s Son and to his Father.  You may think They have accepted.  But if you will look again upon the place where you behold Their blood, you will perceive a miracle instead.  How foolish to believe that They could die!  How foolish to believe you can attack!  How mad to think that you could be condemned and that the holy Son of God can die? 
  8. The stillness of your Self remains unmoved, untouched by thoughts like these, and unaware of any condemnation which could need forgiveness.  Dreams of any kind are strange and alien to the truth.  And what but truth could have a Thought which builds a bridge to it that brings illusions to the other side?
  9. Today we practice letting freedom come to make its home with you.  The truth bestows these words upon your mind, that you may find the key to light and let the darkness end:  Only my condemnation injures me.  Only my own forgiveness sets me free.  Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought.  Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.
  10. Accept the one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God’s Son, and Heaven is remembered instantly; the world forgotten, all its weird beliefs forgotten with it, as the face of Christ appears unveiled at last in this one dream.  This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for you from God your Father.  Let today be celebrated both on earth and in your holy home as well.  Be kind to both, as you forgive the trespasses you thought them guilty of, and see your innocence shining upon you from the face of Christ. 
  11. Now is there silence all around the world.  Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense.  Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep.  And now the Word of God alone remains upon it.  Only that can be perceived an instant longer.  Then are symbols done, and everything you ever thought you made completely vanished from the mind that God forever knows to be His only Son.
  12. There is no condemnation in him.  He is perfect in his holiness.  He needs no thoughts of mercy.  Who could give him gifts when everything is his?  And who could dream of offering forgiveness to the Son of Sinlessness Itself, so like to Him Whose Son he is, that to behold the Son is to perceive no more, and only know the Father?  In this vision of the Son, so brief that not an instant stands between this single sight and timelessness itself, you see the vision of yourself, and then you disappear forever into God.
  13. Today we come still nearer to the end of everything that yet would stand between this vision and our sight.  And we are glad that we have come this far and recognize that He Who brought us here will not forsake us now.  For He would give to us the gift that God has given us through Him today.  Now is the time for your deliverance.  The time has come.  The time has come today.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   The other day I got up on the wrong side of the bed.  Our coffee tasted like there was something wrong with it – I was certain that James did something to it, watered it down, put something in it – he likes to try new things and I do not mind trying new things either, but not my morning coffee.  No butter, no spices, no coconut oil, no flavors.  Later when we went on a little lark, I was still grumpy, and I prayed and asked the Lord to please fill my mind with gratitude and He did.  It was wonderful.  After that I asked the Lord to continue to talk to me.  I was following James down to Harrisburg and I did not want to listen to the radio, my random thoughts, or even an Audible book – I wanted to hear from the Voice for God.  We had not had devotions in our haste to get the show on the road and I missed that “little while” we spend with God each morning.

God showed me a brother from our ACIM study group who had voiced that he will not say the name of someone who hurt him.  The Voice for God assured me that he will say the name and he will say it without any rancor, with no trace of pain, with nothing but thanksgiving and forgiveness, and that when I hear him saying the name and how he will be saying the name with forgiveness and joy, forgiveness and happiness will flood his being.  It was such a lovely message, and I thought to myself, “I am so happy that I can say everybody’s names.  I have nobody with whom I hold a grudge or any resentment.  All is forgiven.” 

As I drove down the road passing the structures where I had once worked, I thought of a fellow I used to work with.   I could not even remember Rod’s last name even though I had once sat on a few committees with him – committees that were formed with community leaders who had joined in a mission to prevent child sexual abuse.  A few years ago, I was working with some wonderful people from the local to the state level in an effort to educate the public on attainable, practical measures to stop child abuse.  As I mused about the past and the work that we had been doing, thoughts towards that group of people took a downward turn.  Without at first being aware of it, I spent about 20 minutes thinking of all the ways in which the efforts of all these other people only lasted as long as preventing child sexual abuse was the trendy thing to do.  When human trafficking and other social issues came to take the forefront, they dropped the ball, no longer attended meetings. and showed little to no interest in giving their time or efforts to the foundation.  It was their egos, I decided.  They were just in it to make themselves look good.  They had latched on to the cause to distinguish themselves and then dropped it when it was no longer a popular topic…I remembered how alone and unsupported I felt.  I remember how the CEO of the agency bluntly informed me that while there were generous funds for rescuing victims, there were few directed toward education and prevention.  One woman had brashly indicated that the name of the foundation was simply not sexy enough.  Imagine!  I remembered with no small trace of bitterness the prevention videos we were assigned were so outdated, to the point of being laughable. I remembered how few people attended the informative workshops – free certified training, childcare, and a meal were not enough to persuade them to come learn about the topic.  Nobody seemed to care!  They could not be motivated to do what it takes to make the horror stop. 

I had thought this was a settled matter in my mind.  I had forgiven it all.  I had stopped thinking about it, but here it was still lurking in my mind unnamed and unexposed – a case against them, an outside force.  Today the Voice for God showed me that there was no case.  It was my ego which had latched on to the cause.  It was my ego that had found a worthy cause to make real in the illusion and then use this as a means of attack against anybody who did not jump on and stay on the bandwagon with me.  Anybody who did not want to support this admirable mission was up for condemnation.  Their efforts were not sincere.  Their efforts were not enough.  They had a hidden agenda, and all the while my ego was finding reasons to attack others for what it was doing itself. 

Today’s lesson then would beseech me to forgive those who had failed to give their undivided efforts to ending child sexual abuse, while understanding that forgiveness itself is but another illusion. They had not done anything wrong except to disappoint my ego for not joining with it in making another illusion “real.”  My unforgiveness and resentment toward these people was my ego’s way of keeping me blind to the crafty, subtle way in which first, it could get me caught up in something that is not real and second, condemn others who did not give “the cause” as much as I thought they should.

Condemnation was making me prisoner.  As I “forgave” them, it was myself I forgave because my ego had made the whole case up in the first place – it was all an illusion.  I was binding myself to the unreal world by getting ensnared in a social issue that has no reality in Christ.  Every effort that I would make to prevent child sexual abuse would be an effort toward making an ungodly practice real in my mind and in the minds of all that joined with me.  Illusion breeds illusion, Jesus says in paragraph two. 

When I practice the kind of forgiveness that today’s lesson is talking about, it is all swept away.  It breeds no lies or misrepresentations.  All illusions multiply by a thousand, but not the illusion of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the illusion that ends the dream.  I forgive only to realize I have nothing at all to forgive.  Nothing here in this illusion is worth taking sides, fighting for, or defending – because nothing here is true.  As long as we believe it is, we are entrapping ourselves in the past which we continue to project into the future, skipping over the holy present which leads us to reality, which leads to God. 

The world appears to be full of injustice.  Attacks against cheaters, child molesters, and charlatans may seem more than justified – yet Jesus says that all are one.  Our condemnation towards “others” injures us; only our own forgiveness sets us free.  And even this is an illusion because in reality there is nothing at all to forgive – what happens in the dream, stays in the dream.

Dear Father: Thank you for showing me where grudges still festered in my mind unawares.  I thought that I was somehow ahead of my brother in our journey back to you, only to find that nope, my brother and I are one.  Help me to be kind today – to forgive the trespasses I think that others are guilty of inflicting and to know that in reality there is nothing at all to forgive for nothing here could change the Will of God or His great love and devotion to His Son.   Christ needs no thoughts of mercy.  Let me see others as Christ.  Let me see with His vision; let me know reality.  Bring me back forever into You.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 198.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). 

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

Lesson 197 It Can Be But My Gratitude I Earn

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 197 It can be but my gratitude I earn.

  1. Here is the second step we take to free your mind from the belief in outside force pitted against your own. You make attempts at kindness and forgiveness. Yet you turn them to attack again, unless you find external gratitude and lavish thanks. Your gifts must be received with honor, lest they be withdrawn. And so you think God’s gifts are loans at best; at worst, deceptions which would cheat you of defenses, to ensure that when He strikes He will not fail to kill.
  2. How easily are God and guilt confused by those who know not what their thoughts can do. Deny your strength, and weakness must become salvation to you. See yourself as bound, and bars become your home. Nor will you leave the prison house, or claim your strength, until guilt and salvation are not seen as one, and freedom and salvation are perceived as joined, with strength beside them, to be sought and claimed, and found and fully recognized.
  3. The world must thank you when you offer it release from your illusions. Yet your thanks belongs to you as well, for its release can only mirror yours. Your gratitude is all your gifts require, that they be a lasting offering of a thankful heart, released from hell forever. Is it this you would undo by taking back your gifts because they were not honored? It is you who honor them and give them fitting thanks, for it is you who have received the gifts.
  4. It does not matter if another thinks your gifts unworthy. In his mind there is a part that joins with yours in thanking you. It does not matter if your gifts seem lost and ineffectual. They are received where they are given.  In your gratitude are they accepted universally, and thankfully acknowledged by the Heart of God Himself. And would you take them back when He has gratefully accepted them?
  5. God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself. And what belongs to God must be His own. Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love, and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.
  6. Withdraw the gifts you give, and you will think that what is given you has been withdrawn. But learn to let forgiveness take away the sins you think you see outside yourself, and you can never think the gifts of God are lent but for a little while before He snatches them away again in death. For death will have no meaning for you then.
  7. And with the end of this belief is fear forever over. Thank your Self for this, for He is grateful only unto God, and He gives thanks to you onto Himself. To everyone who lives will Christ yet come, for everyone must live and move in Him. His being in His Father is secure because Their Will is one. Their gratitude to all They have created has no end, for gratitude remains a part of love.
  8. Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God. For as you were created, you contain all things within your Self. And you are still as God created you. Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. In your heart the Heart of God is laid. He holds you dear because you are Himself. All gratitude belongs to you, because of what you are.
  9. Give thanks as you receive it. Be you free of all ingratitude to anyone who makes your Self complete. And from this Self is no one left outside. Give thanks for all the countless channels which extend this Self. All that you do is given unto Him. All that you think can only be His thoughts, sharing with Him the holy Thoughts of God. Earn now the gratitude you have denied yourself when you forgot the function God has given you. But never think that He has ever ceased to offer thanks to you.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today we are taught that we earn only gratitude toward ourselves in Christ.  I know how this feels on an earthly plane – to feel grateful to oneself.  I experience this sometimes when I think of how long it took me to fulfill my earthly accomplishments.  No matter how long it took me or how old I got in the meantime, I kept plugging away refusing to give up.  How I longed at times to relax and let go of my dreams!  I remember castigating myself for not being content to reading other people’s novels, why did I feel compelled to write one of my own?  And why not sit and watch my favorite TV shows, eating popcorn and ice cream snuggled on the couch every night instead of studying, writing papers, researching, or working on my novel?  Sometimes I would give in to laziness or lack of belief in my ability to accomplish my goals.  Sometimes I would let the opinions and tempting offers of others knock me off course.  But in the end how exciting it was to learn and apply my newfound knowledge in my life and in my work.  How utterly fulfilling it felt to see my book in print.  All the time and effort and fun times I missed when I was working toward my goals was now worth it.  No matter how people teased me about how old I was to finally be graduating from university, no matter how many people loved my novel or refused to read it, I was just so darn thankful that I had finally accomplished the things that had been instilled in me since I could remember. 

Today however, it is not the earthly accomplishments that Jesus is talking about.  Our concept today is to be applied to how we are to free our mind from all thoughts of an outside force pitted against our own force.  When we extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us and they show no sign of gratitude toward our mercy, the worse thing we can do is take back our forgiveness and continue to hold a grudge toward them.  Jesus is telling us today that we must extend our gifts of forgiveness and goodness no matter what the reception because if we “take it back,” we will likewise believe that God takes back His gifts, that He only loans them to us, or that He only wants us to forgive and be kind to make us vulnerable and defenseless against Him. 

When we are not aware of the power of our thoughts, we confuse God with guilt.  We forget how strong we are, and we think that weakness is our defense.  We see this all about us when it comes to people who love and fear God.  They do not like to take credit for anything but are quick to say, “Oh it was God who did it, not me.”  They are so afraid that God will get His little feelings hurt if they take credit for their hard-earned business success or their beautiful artwork or handiwork.  “I am weak, Lord, You are the big strong One,” is another line in this false humility before the Lord.  In the eyes of someone who fears God, establishing their weakness and their lack makes God seem all the more powerful and stronger and bigger.  But Jesus is telling us today to stop this – God did not create us to be weak and to cringe before Him.  We are not to appease Him by not accepting our power and strength and intelligence.  Weakness is not salvation!  We are not to believe “I am weak, but You are strong.”  We are to accept our Sonship.  Freedom and salvation are joined with strength beside them.  We are to seek this and claim this and find it and fully recognize this fact – today. 

When we begin to see that God did not make us as underlings to worship and praise Him out of fear and smallness and weakness, but to become One with Him – we are released from our puny, sad, stupid little lives that spin and spin but never go anywhere at all.  And when we are released, we release the world.  It is all a matter of freeing our minds from the illusion of the outside world.  Personally, the way that I have come to understand this is to realize that my ego human eyes have been programmed to see a world of illusion, discord, separation, shame, blame, guilt, and sin.  Yes, my ego eyes report a world of that is nice, sweet, and kind in many areas but equally badass and bitter in others.  My ego eyes take all that is pure and good and forever and turn it into somewhat and doomed.  My ego eyes take the eternal love and devotion that God has for us, His Son, and turns it into anger, rage, and eternal damnation – except of course for the select few that manage to better themselves above the rest of us and sail into the heavenlies waving a cheery ta-ta.  Ego wants us to believe in a God that would not take responsibility for His Creation and help them to find a way back to Him, not only blaming His Creation for failing to please Him, but devising ways to torment and torture them throughout eternity. 

We earn our gratitude and we earn the gratitude of God when we stop believing such tripe and listen to the call of Love within our hearts.  Kindness and forgiveness then comes naturally to us as we forgive the blinded and misguided world.  It does not matter what they say or do – they may express thanks for our insights or they may reject them – they may honor us one day and discount our words the next – when we claim our strength, when our thoughts are set free of the ego dogma that would have us fear God and seek approval and honor from those who still believe this world is their home and these bodies are who and what they are – we earn the gratitude of Him with Whom we are One. 

It is God who blesses our gifts and when we give them to Him, we give them to ourselves because we are One.  Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms today – we will only know that His gifts are certain, everlasting, unchanging, without limit, always extending and giving love and joy when we forgive and never take it back, when we forgive and never attack those with whom we forgave. 

Death has no more allure or meaning.  Fear is gone forever.  We forgive and never do we have to forgive again because there is simply nothing anyone can do or say that will cause us to believe in the lies of this world.  Now that we see with the eyes of Christ, now that we love God instead of fear Him, we choose only thoughts of love, joy, and peace.  This is how we earn gratitude; this is how we walk in love.  This is how we return to God from whence we came. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 197. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 196 It Can Be But Myself I Crucify

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 196 It can be but myself I crucify.

  1. When this is firmly understood and kept to full awareness, you will not attempt to harm yourself, nor make your body slave in vengeance.  You will not attack yourself, and you will realize that to attack another is but to attack yourself.  You will be free of the insane belief that to attack a brother saves yourself.  And you will understand his safety is your own, and in his healing, you are healed.
  2. Perhaps at first you will not understand how mercy, limitless and with all things held in its sure protection, can be found in the idea we practice for today. It may, in fact, appear to be a sign that punishment can never be escaped because the ego, under what it sees as threat, is quick to cite the truth to save its lies. Yet must it fail to understand the truth it uses thus. But you can learn to see these foolish applications and deny the meaning they appear to have.
  3. Thus do you also teach your mind that you are not an ego. For the ways in which the ego would distort the truth will not deceive you longer. You will not believe you are a body to be crucified. And you will see within today’s idea the light of resurrection, looking past all thoughts of crucifixion and death, to thoughts of liberation and of life.
  4. Today’s idea is one step we take in leading us from bondage to the state of perfect freedom. Let us take this step today, that we may quickly go the way salvation shows us, taking every step in its appointed sequence, as the mind relinquishes its burdens one by one. It is not time we need for this.  It is but willingness. For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.
  5. The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross. Perhaps it seemed to be salvation. Yet it merely stood for belief the fear of God is real. And what is that but hell, who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and block him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?
  6. Such is the form of madness you believe, if you accept the fearful thought you can attack another and be free yourself. Until this form is changed, there is no hope. Until you see that this, at least, must be entirely impossible, how could there be escape? The fear of God is real to anyone who thinks this thought is true. And he will not perceive its foolishness, or even see that it is there, so that it would be possible to question it.
  7. To question it at all, its form must first be changed at least as much as will permit fear of retaliation to abate, and the responsibility returned to some extent to you. From there you can at least consider if you want to go along this painful path. Until this shift has been accomplished, you cannot perceive that it is but your thoughts that bring you fear, and your deliverance depends on you.
  8. Our next steps will be easy for you take this one today. From there we go ahead quite rapidly. For once you understand it is impossible that you be hurt except by your own thoughts, the fear of God must disappear. You cannot then believe that fear is caused without. And God, Whom you had thought to banish, can be welcome back within the holy mind He never left.
  9. Salvation’s song can certainly be heard in the idea we practice for today. If it can but be you you crucify, you did not hurt the world, and need not fear its vengeance and pursuit. Nor need you hide in terror from the deadly fear of God projection hides behind. The thing you dread the most is your salvation. You are strong, and it is strength you want. And you are free, and glad of freedom. You have sought to be both weak and bound because you feared your strength and freedom. Yet salvation lies in them.
  10. There is an instant in which terror seems to grip your mind so wholly that escape appears quite hopeless. When you realize, once and for all, that it is you you fear, the mind perceives itself as split.  And this had been concealed while you believed attack could be directed outward and returned from outside to within.  It seemed to be an enemy outside you had to fear.  And thus a god outside yourself became your mortal enemy, the source of fear.
  11. Now, for an instant, is a murderer perceived within you, eager for your death, intent on plotting punishment for you until the time when it can kill at last.  Yet in this instant is the time as well in which salvation comes.  For fear of God has disappeared.  And you can call on Him to save you from illusions by His Love, calling Him Father and yourself His Son.  Pray that the instant may be soon, – today.  Step back from fear and make advance to love.
  12. There is no Thought of God that does not go with you to help you reach that instant, and to go beyond it quickly, surely, and forever.  When the fear of God is gone, there are no obstacles that still remain between you and the holy peace of God.  How kind and merciful is the idea we practice!  Give it welcome as you should, for it is your release.  It is indeed but you your mind can try to crucify.  Yet your redemption, too, will come from you.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: We have no enemy outside of our self!  Our enemy is within us, dear Brother and Friend.  We have an imposter who has usurped our identity and goes by our name.  We have so aligned ourselves with the ego that we need salvation to deliver us from its fearful lies, its petty hatreds, its triteness, and its murderous intent.  Only when we realize that any blame we try to pin upon our brothers is blame and shame we pin upon ourselves, will we begin to understand mercy, the light of resurrection, and soar past vengeance, sorrow, suffering, and death to take flight with thoughts of liberty and life. 

Jesus teaches us through today’s lesson idea that salvation does not come by offing our enemies, calling them out, blaming them for our problems, or assailing their institutions.  Salvation does not come from forcing our ideas about right and wrong upon others.  Perhaps in the eyes of the world this seems to be the way to make positive change, but these endeavors – no matter how seemingly worthy or justified – merely stand for the belief that God is to be feared, that He uses His power against us or else keeps it all for Himself, and that we are not His Son. 

In other words, Jesus spells it out to us in paragraph five – This is not heaven, this is hell. 

If we think we can attack another to set ourselves free, there is no hope.  Instead of loving God and trusting God, those who believe in attack believe that God is fearful, that He favors some over others, that He loves war and is strengthened through physical feats performed by bodies which bleed, suffer, and ooze pus, mucus, and saliva.  When we rise up to defame another, to trash our neighbors, to spread rumors and engage in gossip, to form cliques…we believe in a God that cannot be trusted, a God who made a world set upon itself, a world in which we must band together to fight and arm ourselves against those who are different from us to thrive, to survive, to carry on our lineage to the next generation.  When we take up signs and carry placards, pin our hopes on a political figure and make enemies of her rival, when we report negative things about our neighbors and recount all their wrongs and failings, we must understand that we are engaging and caging ourselves in hell. 

There is no escape until we lay down our arms.  There is no escape from this dreary madness until we take responsibility for the thoughts we cherish and carefully consider the path in which they lead us upon.  Until we change our mind about this, Jesus says, until that shift takes place, we will not realize the truth of the matter:  It is our thoughts that bring us fear.  God does not reach down from Heaven and deliver us; deliverance comes from our willingness to stop thinking thoughts of attack and fear.  We clear the altar of our minds, we dedicate our minds to thoughts of truth, of love, of unity and it is impossible to be hurt.  When we accept this as true, we recognize God as our Father.  We no longer think that the world is going to make us happy.  We know that the world cannot and will not save us.  We change our minds about who and what we are; we change our minds about who and what God is.  We know Him and we love Him and in knowing Him we know ourselves and all of creation as one. 

When we no longer experience ourselves as split between darkness and light, good and evil, black or white, we are saved.  When we no longer fear God, we have peace.  Our minds let go of the worries and cares that make this world spin in space and time.  When our minds are full of the light of resurrection, there is no place for thoughts of the past.  We break free from humanity and all its calls for taking up arms against each other – and into our rightful identity in God.

Dear Father, Enlighten our minds so that we come to know that when we harbor attack and defense thoughts toward others here on earth, we are binding ourselves to the hellish realm.  Make it real to our minds that only when we let such thoughts go do we realize that we have no enemy except the enemy within – the ego whose only aim is to nail us to the cross in its efforts to crucify your beloved Son.  Give us courage, O Lord, for this is the instant in which our salvation comes.  We are saved from the lies of the enemy with Your Love.  You know us as Your Son for we are one in Christ now and forever.  And it is in His name we pray.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 196. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 195 Love Is The Way I Walk In Gratitude

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 195 Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

  1. Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss. The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others. And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they. How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts! For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause? And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more?  Our gratitude is due to Him alone who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.
  2. It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness. Nor could the even partly sane refuse to take the steps which He directs, and following the way He sets before them, to escape a prison that they thought contained no door to the deliverance they now perceive.
  3. Your brother is your “enemy” because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining. Now is vengeance all there is to wish for, now can you but try to bring him down to lie in death with you, as useless as yourself; as little left within his grasping fingers as in yours.
  4. You do not offer God your gratitude because your brother is more slave than you, nor could you sanely be enraged if he seems freer. Love makes no comparisons. And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love. We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find freedom. It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound. For who can bargain in the name of love?
  5.  Therefore give thanks, but in sincerity. And let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy, and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. All these go with you. Let us not compare ourselves with them, for thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share with them, as they must share with us.
  6. We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness, nor impair or change our function to complete the One Who is Himself completion. We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we failed to recognize the gifts of God to us.
  7. Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest awhile. We offer thanks for them. For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. An ancient door is swinging free again; a long-forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear.
  8. Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love. For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. What more remains as obstacles to peace? The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing. Thus we cannot choose to overlook some things, and yet retain some other things still locked away as “sins.” When your forgiveness is complete you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self.
  9. Today we learned to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice, and revenge. We have been given everything. If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. Gratitude becomes a single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. God has cared for us and calls us Son. Can there be more than this?
  10. Our gratitude will pave the way to Him and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of. Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found.  For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the source of all creation. God give thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way of God.[1]

Notes and Personal Application: Today Jesus teaches us that love makes no comparison.  We do not give God our gratitude because we were born with more privileges than other people nor are we supposed to be jealous and ungrateful if someone has more.  The only reason we offer thanks to God is that in Christ with whom we are one will all of creation find freedom.  Nobody will remain enslaved while some go free – we are one in Christ and as one body we bring all into the Sonship of Christ, where there differences between us that seem so apparent in the world disappear and we one with Him. 

With the vision of Christ, we do not differentiate between the Sonship based upon the color of skin, genitals, cultural traditions, or the clothes we wear.  When we look upon our brothers we do not judge them according to their bank accounts, the car they drive, the house they live in, or their favorite football team.  None of these matter in the eyes of love.  Hatred cannot abide where comparisons and judgments are laid aside, when we walk in the light of His Love.  In His Love, the world and all of its distinctions, competitions, differences, injustices, privileges and disadvantages, finger pointing, games of blame and shame melt away into the past that never was.  The world is made new.

As we learn the plan of salvation we begin to see that it is no longer Jesus dying on a cross for the sins of the world that saves us from the hallucinations of sorrow, shame, and death, but that it is our minds and hearts becoming one with Him.  

Love is the way we walk in gratitude when we single-mindedly and with no exception recognize the fact that we are given power over any thoughts of anger, malice, and revenge.  We accept the gift of everything in place of nothing, and we are free.  Our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude and we walk the way of God to God. 

 If we reject the gift of everything, we will experience animosity, we will feel persecuted, pushed about, enraged and at every disadvantage.  We will rage and riot and demand that the injustices of the past be made up to us, as victims someone has to make things right for us and ensure our future.  We think that the world owes us something; we fall for the deception that others live and work and breathe in a fairy land of privilege while we go without.  We will fill our heads with disturbing images of past abuses, current injustices, and dark and mysterious rites and rituals performed by the atrocious one percent which rules the world, stealing our children, enslaving our minds, and blinding our vision.  When we reject God’s gift of everything in exchange for nothing, we forget how to love each other, we think of ourselves and others as meat, as commodities, as competing with one another for the prime cuts, for the biggest slice of the pie. 

In today’s lesson, Jesus is asking us to examine these insane perceptions and see them for what they really are!  God loves us.  He calls us His Son.  What more could we possibly ask for?  For this we are grateful and learning this powerful lesson – Jesus promises – will shorten our learning time by great measure.  Love and gratitude go hand in hand.  Love does not abide where there is ingratitude, ill will, and competition and comparison. 

O Father Let us walk the way of love in gratitude.  Deliver our minds of the world’s dark madness and give us the Vision of Christ.  Thank you for every living thing, dear Father. Let us not see others as being different from ourselves but help us to recognize and accept our oneness in Christ.  In the name of Jesus with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 195. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 194 I Place The Future In The Hands Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 194 I place the future in the Hands of God.

  1. Today’s idea takes another step toward quick Salvation, and a giant stride it is indeed! So great the distances that it encompasses, it sets you down just short of heaven, with the goal in sight and obstacles behind. Your foot has reached the lawns that welcome you to Heaven’s gate; the quiet place of peace, where you await with certainty the final step of God. How far are we progressing now from earth! How close are we approaching to our goal! How short the journey still to be pursued!
  2. Accept today’s idea, and you have passed anxiety, all pits of hell, all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin, and devastation brought about by guilt. Accept today’s idea, and you have released the world from all imprisonment by loosening the heavy chains that locked the door to freedom on it. You are saved, and your salvation thus becomes the gift you give the world, because you have received.
  3. In no one instant is depression felt, or pain experienced, or loss perceived. In no one instant sorrow can be set upon a throne and worshiped faithfully. In no one instant can one even die. And so each instant given unto God in passing, with the next one given Him already, is a time of your release from sadness, pain, and even death itself.
  4. God holds your future as He holds your past and present.  They are one to Him, and so they should be one to you. Yet in this world, the temporal progression still seems real. And so you are not asked to understand the lack of sequence. You are but asked to let the future go and place it in God’s hands. And you will see by your experience that you have laid the past and present in His hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless.
  5.  Release the future. For the past is gone, and what is present, freed from its bequest of grief and misery, of pain and loss, becomes the instant in which time escapes the bondage of illusions where it runs its pitiless, inevitable course. Then is each instant which was slave to time transformed into a holy instant, when the light that was kept hidden in God’s Son is freed to bless the world. Now is he free, and all his glory shines upon a world made free with him, to share his holiness.
  6. If you can see the lesson for today as the deliverance it really is, you will not hesitate to give as much consistent effort as you can, to make it be a part of you. As it becomes a thought that rules your mind, a habit in your problem-solving repertoire, a way of quick reaction to temptation, you extend your learning to the world. And as you learn to see salvation in all things, so will the world perceive that it is saved.
  7. What worry can beset the one who gives his future to the loving Hands of God? What can he suffer? What can cause him pain or bring experience of loss to him? What can he fear?  What can he regard except with love? For he who has escaped all fear of future pain has found his way to present peace, and certainty of care the world can never threaten. He is sure that his perception may be faulty but will never lack correction. He is free to choose again when he has been deceived; to change his mind when he has made mistakes.
  8. Place, then, your future in the Hands of God. For thus you called the memory of Him to come again, replacing all your thoughts of sin and evil with the truth of love. Think you the world could fail to gain thereby, and every living creature not respond with healed perception? Who entrusts himself to God has also placed the world within the Hands to which he has himself appealed for comfort and security. He lays aside the sick illusions of the world along with his and offers peace to both.
  9. Now are we saved indeed. For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us. If we forget, we will be gently reassured. If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will soon be replaced by love’s reflection. And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind. No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application: Prior to accepting the truth about the world, I knew the future to be in God’s Hands, but it was in a fatalistic, negative way in that I saw no point in having any hope or doing anything meaningful in the world because “God” would blow on it and make it disappear.  I hated the temporal world; it confused, frightened, and seemed to hold me captive to a form of flesh and blood which existed in a span of time only long enough to spawn, grow old, and die. 

Knowing who and what I really am has changed all that!  The future in God’s Hands is an incredible experience, one in which has eternal meaning and goes from glory to glory, expanding in joyful creation in every direction.  My Heavenly Father, a God of Love and Happiness is not intent on extinguishing anything that has meaning to me, but rather replaces all my thoughts of unhappiness, woe, and sorrow with the truth of love, assurance, a promise and a blessing without end. 

Today Jesus declares that only good can come to us when we stop interfering with the future and put our trust in God.  He is not out to get us, trip us up, or teach us lessons of hate, fear, and torment.  He is not out to embarrass us, wound us, or humble us.  We are one with Christ, we are His Son, and God wants for us what we want for our children and grandchildren – to be loved, protected, happy, and surefooted, good, kind, sweet, and generous.  With the future in God’s Hands, the world is no longer an enemy to fear, but a friend which comes along with us in a future entrusted to God, safe and comfortable, loving and kind.  When we lay aside the lies of the world, no longer taking pleasure in its perversions and misadventures, closing our mind to its call to sorrow and misery, the world follows suit. 

This is the sure way to salvation.  Only good can come to us when we put our faith in God.  No longer do we rely on the shaky, unstable systems of the world; no longer do we blame the president for our problems or give credit to the forms of the world for providing our needs.  We have no need to worry if we change our minds about God and backslide into sin because if we forget, Jesus promises that we will be reminded.  If we fall into unforgiving attitudes, the reflection of love will come to take root in us.  Temptation to fight, to go to war, to blame and point fingers will all seem so stupid and silly in the light of His love, His peace, His joy. 

Today every concern we may have about the future, we place in the Hands of God.  My worries and concerns about growing old and being a burden on my family are placed in the loving Hands of God.  My concerns about the cucumber leaves wilting on the vine – I put in the Hands of God.  He knows how much I enjoy making pickles, sharing pickles, eating pickles.  And His Will is for me to be happy – not to be worried about my cucumber crop!  God knows how much I love and miss my family members.  How I dread growing old without them in my life, talking and remembering things together, always coming up with fun things to do together.  God’s Will is for me to be happy, not to be concerned about them never talking to me again or cherishing dishonest, unjust grudges from the past.  I put all my loved ones in His Hands, forgiving the reasons why I built cases against them and the cases they built against me.   God knows each and every desire of my heart.  I put the future in His Hands.  I do not have to worry about my energy levels, running out of speed, losing strength and courage, my goodness or my tendency to be selfish and egocentric, for I belong to Him. 

Only good can come to us when the future is in God’s Hands.  The world is no longer an enemy in which I must fear attack, but the world becomes friend when I place my future in the Hands of God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 194. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 193 All Things Are Lessons God Would Have Me Learn

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 193 All things are lessons God would have me learn.

  1. God does not know of learning.  Yet His Will extends to what He does not understand, in that He wills the happiness of His Son inherited of Him be undisturbed; eternal and forever gaining scope, eternally expanding in the joy of full creation, and eternally open and wholly limitless in Him.  That is His Will.  And thus His Will provides the means to guarantee that it is done.
  2. God sees no contradictions.  Yet His Son believes he sees them. Thus he has a need for One Who can correct his erring sight and give him vision that will lead him back to where perception ceases.  God does not perceive at all.  Yet it is He Who gives the means by which perception is made true and beautiful enough to let the light of Heaven shine upon it.  It is He Who answers what His Son would contradict and keeps his sinlessness forever safe. 
  3. These are the lessons God would have you learn.  His Will reflects them all, and they reflect His loving kindness to the Son He loves.  Each lesson has a central thought, the same in all of them.  The form alone is changed, with different circumstances and events with different characters and different themes, apparent but not real.  They are the same in fundamental content.  It is this: Forgive, and you will see this differently.
  4. Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness.  Yet that is the content underneath the form.  It is this sameness which makes learning sure because the lesson is so simple that it cannot be rejected in the end.  No one can hide forever from a truth so very obvious that it appears in countless forms, and yet is recognized as easily in all of them, if one but wants to see the simple lesson there.  Forgive, and you will see this differently.
  5. These are the words the Holy Spirit speaks in all your tribulations, all your pain, all suffering regardless of its form.  These are the words with which temptation ends, and guilt, abandoned, is revered no more.  These are the words which end the dream of sin and rid the mind of fear.  These are the words by which salvation comes to all the world.
  6. Shall we not learn to say these words when we are tempted to believe that pain is real, and death becomes our choice instead of life?  Shall we not learn to say these words when we have understood their power to release all minds from bondage?  These are words which give you power over all events that seem to have been given power over you.  You see them rightly when you hold these words in full awareness, and do not forget these words apply to everything you see, or any brother looks upon amiss.
  7. How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn?  Does pain seem real in the perception?  If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned.  And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.
  8. God would not have you suffer thus. He would help you forgive yourself.  His Son does not remember who he is.  And God would have him not forget His Love, and all the gifts His Love brings with it.  Would you now renounce your own salvation?  Would you fail to learn the simple lessons Heaven’s Teacher sets before you, that all pain may disappear, and God may be remembered by His Son?
  9. All things are lessons God would have you learn.  He would not leave an unforgiving thought without correction, nor one thorn or nail to hurt His holy Son in any way.  He would ensure his holy rest remain untroubled and serene, without a care, in an eternal home which cares for him.  And He would have all tears be wiped away, with none remaining yet unshed, and none but waiting their appointed time to fall.  For God has willed that laughter should replace each one, and that His Son be free again. 
  10. We will attempt today to overcome a thousand seeming obstacles to peace in just one day.  Let mercy come to you more quickly.  Do not try to hold it off another day, another minute or another instant.  Time was made for this.  Use it today for what its purpose is.  Morning and night devote what time you can to serve its proper aim, and do not let the time be less than meets your deepest need.
  11. Give all you can and give a little more.  For now we would arise in haste and go unto our Father’s house.  We have been gone too long, and we would linger here no more.  And as we practice, let us think about all things we saved to settle by ourselves, and kept apart from healing.  Let us give them all to Him Who knows the way to look upon them so that they will disappear.  Truth is His message; truth His teaching is.  His are the lessons God would have us learn.
  12. Each hour spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lessons in forgiveness in the form established for the day.  And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before.  The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way.  Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it.  Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal in the world of time.
  13. This is the lesson God would have you learn:  There is a way to look on everything that lets it be to you another step to Him, and to salvation of the world.  To all that speaks of terror, answer thus: I will forgive, and this will disappear.  To every apprehension, every care and every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words.  And then you hold the key that opens Heaven’s gate and brings the Love of God the Father down to earth at last, to raise it up to Heaven.  God will take this final step Himself.  Do not deny the little steps He asks you take to Him. [1]
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application: Today let us practice saying: I will forgive, and this will disappear, every hour to all thoughts that would steal our joy, cause us rage or anger, blight our light, or darken our pathway.  We do not have to hold any such thoughts in our mind.  We can set ourselves free from all that the world would throw upon us to wreak havoc upon our minds and cause us to arm ourselves against one another, snub one another, or widen the separation between ourselves and God. 

There are times that the past comes to my mind in such a vivid way – as if undesirable events and wrongdoings that happened decades ago have just now inflicted the pain, sorrow, disappointment, and anger.  My ego does not want me to forget the many reasons I have to shield myself against love and forgiveness.  As long as the ego can keep me in the go-round of holding grudges, keeping others accountable, building cases against those who wronged me, doubting their goodness and worth, I are trapped in the senseless state of time, of separation, and of uncertainty.

Today Jesus is telling you and me to take a stand against the lies of the ego.  We are to open our eyes and know that all of the hurt, the sorrow, the disappointment, the ongoing agony of it all will simply disappear once and for all when we realize that the past has no meaning.  The adversities that I suffered in childhood are simply gone.  The difficulties, betrayals, and false friends that cluttered my adulthood are no more. There is absolutely no good reason to hold on to them, to let my mind make them real to me, to hold the actors and the players accountable for the nothing that passes in time.  All things that happened to me are lessons that God would have me learn.  If I thought it would be a lark to separate myself from God, live in a place of opposites, uncertainty, and competition for limited resources, well, then I must learn in whatever manner it takes that it is no picnic, no lark, no high adventure.  Jesus insists in today’s lesson that there is nothing that can happen in the realm of separation, in the simulated world of that which is not love that can possibly be cause for me to hold unforgiveness in my heart. 

I see things differently through the eyes of forgiveness.  All things are lessons God would have me learn.  God’s Will is for me to be happy, for my happiness to be undisturbed throughout eternity, for my happiness to expand itself int the joy of creation, gaining scope forever and limitless in Him.  That is God’s Will for me and for you.  And His Will guarantees that it is done. 

Today let us learn the lessons God would have us learn!  Every single thing that happens to us either personally or vicariously is a lesson we are here to learn.  We are not to hold the people involved accountable.  We can avoid any bitterness, anger, resentment, or sense of loss by learning the lesson and forgiving all who were involved in teaching it to us.  God hold no ill will toward us.  He does not devise lessons to hurt us, to take revenge upon us, or to punish us.  Yet each dark circumstance, each jealous, loveless act, each situation that befalls us is a lesson to lead us back to God.  Reaping what we sow is not a punishment, it is a lesson in an eternal principle.  Casting our pearls before the swine and then experiencing a sense of shame and worthlessness is not a punishment, it is a lesson in an eternal principle.  Taking something that does not belong to us and then having the same thing happen to us, is a lesson in an eternal principle, not God taking revenge upon our sin. 

When we learn our lessons in truth, we can thank the very ones who taught us by forgiving the role they played in driving those hard lessons home.  Forgive, Jesus says, and we will see things differently.  These words Holy Spirit speaks to us in all our pain and suffering of every kind.  We can put an end to all our problems, we can make our pain and suffering disappear simply by accepting it as a lesson from God.  This is a key to the gate of Heaven, Jesus claims.  This is how we bring God’s Kingdom to earth – by accepting everything that happens to us as a lesson, forgiving the circumstances, choices, and characters that led us to each lesson, and experiencing  healing through the sense of love and peace and joy instead of resentment, grudges, and confusion. 

Dear Father, Today let me take each event in my life as a lesson from You.  Let me accept the lesson, learn from it, and forgive all the circumstances and people involved who have made the lesson seem loveless and painful.  When I forgive, I will see things differently.  When I forgive, any hurt, trauma, pain, or sorrow will disappear.  Help me to see this through the eyes of Christ.  In the name of Jesus, with whom I am one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 193. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 192 I Have A Function God Would Have Me Fill

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 192 I have a function God would have me fill.

  1. It is your Father’s holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of Love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its Name, forever one with God and with your Self.  Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred, and attack?
  2. Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms.  For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp?  Forgiveness represents your function here.  It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone.  And who would pardon Heaven?  Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.
  3. Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world.  It has no meaning here.  Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth.  For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all.  Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless.  What He makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain.
  4. Forgiveness gently looks upon all things unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear, and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before.  Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone.  Forgiveness lets the body be perceived as what it is, a simple teaching aid, to be laid by when learning is complete, but hardly changing him who learns at all.   
  5. The mind without the body cannot make mistakes.  It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attacks.  Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then?  What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear?  Only forgiveness can relive the mind of thinking that the body is its home.  Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son.  Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.
  6. With anger gone, you will indeed perceive that, for Christ’s vision and the gift of sight, no sacrifice was asked, and only pain was lifted from a sick and tortured mind.  Is this unwelcome?  Is it to be feared?  Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted.  We are one, and therefore give up nothing.  But we have indeed been given everything by God.
  7. Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so.  Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack.  Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is, but confusion born of error.  We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there.
  8. Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines?  Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone?  A jailer is not set free, for he is bound together with his prisoner.  He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends him time in keeping watch on him.  The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them. 
  9. Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.
  10. Be merciful today.  The Son of God deserves your mercy.  It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now.  Deny him not.  His Father’s Love for him belongs to you.  Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity.  He is as God created him.  And you are what he is.  Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.[1]
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application:  Jesus asks in paragraph eight, who can be born again unless he has forgiven everything.  Hold nobody prisoner, our Teacher instructs.  What is keeping us trapped in the illusion of time, separation, and a world where we are all at each other’s throats, pointing fingers and holding one another accountable for our rift from God, from Love, from each other is our lack of forgiveness, our mistake in believing that we are flesh and blood bodies, the Sons of man and not the Son of God. 

The Son of God deserves our mercy, Jesus says.  The Son of God is all of us, is all of creation.  Is all of us lost in time, stumbling about in the dark, uncertain, forgetting who we are and how we got here and what we are to do about it.  Meaning is lost to us.  The Son of God has traded in his eternal spirit for an identity that is trapped in a cycle of death and despair – and yes, He deserves your mercy.  We are not to deny Him His true identity.  We are to remind Him Who and What He is in Christ. 

Our religions in the world teach us that the way to salvation is to be a good person, but Jesus tells us that there is no such thing.  Our good deeds, our perfect behaviors, our denying ourselves meat on Friday’s, sex outside of marriage, and that extra slice of cake may indeed get us a pat on the back from our priests, our neighbors, and our health care professionals.  Our human goodness will certainly make us better citizens, trustworthy parents, nice friends, and the kind of people who will more than likely succeed in the world, but it will not earn our salvation or get us any closer to God’s Kingdom. 

The way to salvation is through forgiveness.  We recognize the world for what it is, we recognize humanity for what it is, and we forgive it for deceiving us into thinking it is the Creation of God.  Now we know!  We hold nobody accountable, for truly they know not what they do.  No longer does the thought of death hold us in terror, for we will be only too happy to lay the body aside when we have learned all that the world has to teach us. 

We are full of mercy for as we show mercy, mercy is granted to us.  We are one.  No longer splintered, no longer facing the dark abyss alone and afraid, we know that this is not Creation and that our God is not a madman who would devise perversions, distortions, opposites, and insecurities.   We were created in Love, by Love, and for Love.  We are extensions of God, extending His Love forever through Creation.  We can forgive time, we can forgive the world, we can forgive our lessons learned in darkness for only in separation do we learn to cherish oneness and unity; only in darkness do we learn to devote ourselves to light; only in uncertainty, doubt, and fear can we learn to treasure the certainty of God, and only in the throes of death do we learn to accept everlasting life. 

Dear Father, Let our hearts and minds be full of mercy toward our fallen state.  Our enchantment for darkness and death has seemed to blind our eyes to the light and love of God.  Let us forgive one another and show mercy – for this is the function that You would have us fill.  In the name of Jesus Christ, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 192. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 191 I Am The Holy Son Of God Himself

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 191 I am the holy Son of God Himself.

  1. Here is your declaration of release from bondage of the world. And here as well is all the world released. You do not see what you have done by giving to the world the role of jailer to the Son of God. What could it be but vicious and afraid, fearful of shadows, punitive and wild, lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?
  2. What have you done that this should be your world? What have you done that this is what you see? Deny your own Identity, and this is what remains. You look on chaos and proclaim it is yourself. There is no sight that fails to witness this to you. There is no sound that does not speak a frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you near death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.
  3. Deny your own identity, and you will not escape the madness which induced this weird, unnatural, and ghostly thought that mocks creation and that laughs at God. Deny your own identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies. Deny your own identity, and look on evil, sin and death, and watch despair snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope, leaving you nothing but the wish to die.
  4. Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied? You are as God created you. All else but this one thing is folly to believe. In this one thought is everyone set free. In this one thought are all illusions gone. In this one fact is sinlessness proclaimed to be forever part of everything, the central core of its existence and its guarantee of immortality.
  5. But let today’s idea find a place among your thoughts and you have risen far above the world, and all the worldly thoughts that hold it prisoner. And from this place of safety and escape you will return and set it free. For he who can accept his true Identity is truly saved. And his salvation is the gift he gives to everyone, in gratitude to Him Who pointed out the way to happiness that changed his whole perspective of the world.
  6. One holy thought like this and you are free; you are the holy Son of God Himself. And with this holy thought you learn as well that you have freed the world. You have no need to use it cruelly, and then perceive this savage need in it. You set it free of your imprisonment. You will not see a devastating image of yourself walking the world in terror, with the world twisting in agony because your fears have laid the mark of death its heart.
  7. Be glad today how very easily is hell undone. You need but tell yourself: I am the holy son of God himself. I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain; I cannot suffer loss, nor fail to do all that salvation asks. And in that thought is everything you look on wholly changed.
  8. A miracle has lighted up all dark and ancient caverns, where the rites of death echoed since time began. For time has lost its hold upon the world. The Son of God has come in glory to redeem the lost, to save the helpless, and to give the world the gift of his forgiveness. Who could see the world as dark and simple, when God’s Son has come again at last to set it free?
  9. You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this: All power is given on to you in earth and Heaven. There is nothing that you cannot do. You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you. Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.
  10. Then let the Son of God awaken from his sleep, and opening his holy eyes, return again to bless the world he made. In error it began, but it will end in the reflection of his holiness. And he will sleep no more and dream of death. Then join with me today. Your glory is a light that saves the world. Do not withhold salvation longer.  Look about the world and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?
  11. They must await your own release.  They stay in chains till you are free.  They cannot see the mercy of the world until you find it in yourself.  They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you.  They die till you accept your own eternal life.  You are the Holy Son of God Himself.  Remember this, and all the world is free.  Remember this, and earth and Heaven are one.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.charismamag.com

Notes and Personal Application:   Even though I understand that I am a holy son of God Himself, and I know that Jesus really wants us to get this so that we no longer identify with the miscreation, I still feel a twinge of embarrassment to say it.  It is true.  We are as God created us, not the thing that evolved here in time, but when I read our lesson today with my husband and grandson, there was a part of me that shrunk back inside.  They hear me say bad words!  They hear me gripe and complain.  They know how bossy I am and how I can stomp about when I do not have my picture met.  Saying that I am not “a” holy Son of God, but the Son of God is even more cringeworthy to my ego which is far more comfortable being a splintered self, full of opposites, addicted to darkness, doomed to death and despair. 

Here in the world living in my flesh and blood body, being prone to temptation by the very ego that would tempt me to deny my eternal Self while spoon feeding my habit of succumbing to its lies, it seems a far stretch that I am the holy Son of God Himself.  And yet Christ has made me one with Him, just as you are one with Him and all of creation is one with Him.  Asleep in the world of time, it may seem as if this is something in store for us at a much later date when we manage to get all the kinks worked out of our humanity and clean ourselves up to become acceptable to God’s Kingdom.  But today’s lesson states otherwise.

In paragraph 10 Jesus calls for us to waken from our sleep, open our holy eyes, return again to bless the world we made.  We who have been taught about the second coming of Christ, take heed.  We are the second coming of Christ. We who have been asleep, identifying as sons of man are to accept the call of Christ and recognize that we are one with Him.  Jesus calls to us: “Join with me today.  Your glory is the light that saves the world.  Do not withhold salvation longer.  Look about the world and see the suffering there.  Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?…”

Jesus reminds us of who and what we are and until we are willing to accept our true identity in Him, we are not saving the world.  We are in chains; we find no mercy, we suffer pain, we die, and the cycles of time keep spinning until we accept our eternal life, our holy Son of Godship.  When we remember this, the world is set free and becomes one with Heaven. 

Let us practice today with this prayer:

Dear Father, I am one with Christ.  I am Your Holy Son.  I do not believe in suffering; I do not believe in pain. I cannot lose or fail to do all that salvation asks.  I am not a prisoner here, persecuted, fearful, afraid of death and disease and discomfort because I am one with Christ; I am the holy Son of God.  All power is given to me in Heaven and on the earth and there is nothing I cannot do.  I am not helpless in the face of my earthly nature; I am not at the mercy of the merciless ego.  I forgive all the lies, unmet promises, and dashed hopes found in everything and everyone who would take the place of You. I no longer crave the lifeless trinkets of the world or the satisfaction of vain drives and desires – because all of my love, my trust, my devotion belong to You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 191. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 190 I Choose The Joy Of God Instead Of Pain

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 190 I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

  1. Pain is a wrong perspective. When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. It is not a fact at all. There is no form it takes that will not disappear if seen right. For pain proclaims God cruel. How could it be real in any form? It witnesses to God the Father’s hatred of His Son, the sinfulness He sees in him, and His insane desire for revenge and death.
  2. Can such projections be attested to? Can they be anything but wholly false? Pain is but witness to the Son’s mistakes and what he thinks he is. It is a dream of fierce retaliation for a crime that could not be committed; for attack on what is wholly unassailable. It is a nightmare of abandonment by an Eternal Love, Which could not leave the Son whom It created out of love.
  3. Pain is a sign illusions reign in place of truth. It demonstrates God is denied, confused with fear, perceived as mad, and seen as traitor to Himself. If God is real, there is no pain. If pain is real, there is no God. For vengeance is not part of love. And fear, denying love and using pain to prove that God is dead, has shown that death is victor over life. The body is the Son of God, corruptible in death, as mortal as the Father he has slain.
  4. Peace to such foolishness! The time has come to laugh at such insane ideas. There is no need to think of them as savage crimes, or secret sins with weighty consequences. Who but a madman could conceive of them as cause of anything? Their witness, pain, is mad as they, and no more to be feared than the insane illusions which it shields and tries to demonstrate must still be true.
  5. It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in anyway. There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. No one but yourself affects you. There is nothing in the world that has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail.  But it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see by merely recognizing what you are. As you perceive the harmlessness in them, they will accept your holy will as theirs. And what was seen as fearful now becomes a source of innocence and holiness.
  6. My holy brother think of this awhile: the world you see does nothing. It has no effects at all. It merely represents your thoughts. And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind and choose the joy of God as what you really want. Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever. And would you deny a little corner of your mind its own inheritance, and keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die?
  7. The world may seem to cause you pain, and yet the world, as causeless, has no power to cause. As an effect, it cannot make effects. As an illusion, it is what you wish. Your idle wishes represent its pains. Your strange desires bring it evil dreams. Your thoughts of death envelope it in fear, while in your kind forgiveness does it live.
  8. Pain is the thought of evil taking form and working havoc in your holy mind. Pain is the ransom you have gladly paid not to be free. In pain is God denied the Son He loves. In pain does fear appear to triumph over love, and time replace eternity in heaven. And the world becomes a cruel and a bitter place, where sorrow rules and little joys give way before the onslaught of the savage pain that waits to end all joy in misery.
  9. Lay down your arms and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last. Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. Let no attack enter with you. Lay down the cruel sword of judgement that you hold against your throat and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.
  10. Here will you understand there is no pain. Here does the joy of God belong to you. This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. It is this: paying is illusion; joy, reality. Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.
  11. And so again we make the only choice that ever can be made; We choose between illusions and the truth, or pain and joy, or hell and Heaven. Let our gratitude unto our teacher fill our hearts, as we are free to choose our joy instead of pain, our holiness in place of sin, the peace of God instead of conflict, and the light of Heaven for the darkness of the world. Amen. 1
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Notes and Personal Application:   Lately I have been experiencing the world as hard and mean, spiteful and full of vengeance.  Not necessarily in my personal life, but in the news media, in the conversations that I have with others, with the things that assail my mind – old resentments trying to resurrect themselves in my thoughts, ancient sorrows, betrayals, unkind things said and done.   And my body has not been holding up as well as I think it should – it is no wonder either as I am carrying around extra weight with me, a drag on my energy levels and an impediment to everything I want to do. 

Yesterday while we were out shopping, I sighed to myself, saying a little prayer, as if this life was too hard for me and I was ready to come home anytime the Lord sees fit.  And Holy Spirit was so kind and showed me how much I have to live for here – the little heaven that is going on right here and right now, which I was choosing to shut out because I choose to see the darkness instead of the light, that I have become addicted to being stirred up, sad and sorrowful, full of angst and wondering what the world is coming to!  Holy Spirit showed me so plainly that when I choose to entertain myself with darkness, when I choose to talk about darkness, when I choose to keep my mind awhirl with darkness, the light in me is obscured, the sweet truth of my Heaven is being covered by the lies of the world. 

Then in Tuesday’s lesson which I did not study until later in the day, Jesus taught us that there is no need to wait for Heaven, that if we are not experiencing heaven, we are covering our eyes against it, because the light of Heaven is in us already.  It is simply a matter of what I choose to focus my mind upon.  Do I choose thoughts that are real, true, and holy or do I choose the lies of the world that blacken my perception and trick it into seeing enemies instead of friends, darkness instead of light, sorrow instead of joy? 

Today when we are tempted to let the lies of the world be our reality, let us meditate upon our lesson idea for today: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.”  Nothing external to us can cause us pain or oppress us because nothing but ourselves affects us.  Nothing can make us ill, sad, weak, or frail because in Christ we have the power to dominate all things we see by simply knowing who and what we are.  As we see how utterly harmless these things we are giving power to really are, our holiness becomes their holiness.  What seemed to cause us to be worried or afraid now becomes a place of purity and goodness. 

When we choose truth, truth becomes apparent to us.  When we choose the illusion, the illusion becomes apparent to us.  Jesus tells us we choose what we fill our mind with – pain or joy, hell or Heaven.  Oh how thankful we are to Him to know that we get to choose!  No matter what situation we are in, we can look at it with joy and faith and love or we can look at it in resentment, sorrow, and bitterness.  We can say:

O Lord lead me out of this temptation to think of these weary bones, strained muscles, and aging body as my reality! The world’s quarrels, spats, wars, and factions have no reality in Christ.   I know who I am in You.  I know that I cannot be assaulted by the world outside of myself.  My Heaven is right here and right now.  I choose to experience Heaven and not the lies of darkness.  That has no reality in You!  I keep my mind focused on the truth to save myself from despair.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 

1A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 190. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

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

Lesson 188 The Peace Of God Is Shining In Me Now

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 188 The Peace of God is shining in me now.

  1. Why wait for Heaven?  Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.  The light is in them now.  Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.  Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well.  The light came with you from your native home and stayed with you because it is your own.  It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source.  It shines in you because it lights your home and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.
  2. This light cannot be lost.  Why wait to find it in the future, or believe it has been lost already, or was never there?  It can so easily be looked upon that arguments which prove it is not there become ridiculous.  Who can deny the presence of what he beholds in him?  It is not difficult to look within, for there all vision starts.  There is no sight, be it of dreams or from a truer Source, that is not but the shadow of the seen through inward vision.  There perception starts, and there it ends.  It has no source but this.
  3. The peace of God is shining in you now, and from your heart extends around the world.  It pauses to caress each living thing and leaves a blessing with it that remains forever and forever.  What it gives must be eternal.  It removes all thoughts of the ephemeral and valueless.  It brings renewal to all tired hearts and lights all vision as it passes by.  All of its gifts are given everyone, and everyone unites in giving thanks to you who give, and you who have received. 
  4. The shining in your mind reminds the world of what it has forgotten, and the world restores the memory to you as well.  From you salvation radiates with gifts beyond all measure, given and returned. To you, the giver of the gift, does God Himself give thanks.  And in His blessing does the light in you shine brighter, adding to the gifts you have to offer to the world.
  5. The peace of God can never be contained.  Who recognizes it within himself must give it.  And the means for giving it are in his understanding.  He forgives because he recognized the truth in him.  The peace of God is shining in you now, and in all living thing.  In quietness is it acknowledged universally.  For what your inward vision looks upon is your perception of the universe.
  6. Sit quietly and close your eyes.  The light within you is sufficient.  It alone has power to give the gift of sight to you.  Exclude the outer world and let your thought fly to the peace within.  They know the way.  For honest thoughts, untainted by the dream of worldly things outside yourself, become the holy messengers of God Himself. 
  7. These thoughts you think with Him.  They recognize their home.  And they point surely to their Source, Where God the Father and the Son are one.  God’s peace is shining on them, but they must remain with you as well, for they were born within your mind, as yours was born in God’s.  They lead you back to peace, from where they came but to remind you how you must return.
  8. They heed your Father’s Voice when you refuse to listen.  And they urge you gently to accept His Word for what you are, instead of fantasies and shadows.  They remind you that you are the co-creator of all things that live.  For as the peace of God is shining in you, it must shine on them.
  9. We practice coming nearer to the light in us today.  We take our wandering thoughts, and gently bring them back to where they fall in line with all the thoughts we share with God.  We will not let them stray.  We let the light within our minds direct them to come home.  We have betrayed them, ordering that they depart from us.  But now we call them back and wash them clean of strange desires and disordered wishes.  We restore to them the holiness of their inheritance.
  10. Thus are our minds restored with them, and we acknowledge that the peace of God still shines in us, and from us to all living thing that share our life.  We will forgive them all, absolving all the world from what we thought it did to us.  For it is we who make the world as we would have it.  Now we choose that it be innocent, devoid of sin and open to salvation.  And we lay our saving blessing on it, and we say: The peace of God is shining in me now.  Let all things shine upon me in that peace And let me bless them with the light in me.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:  Why wait for Heaven indeed?  There are times that this world gets to me – first it reels me in with its mysteries and its stories of death and despair, and then once in I forget about the peace of God.  Instead I rail upon Him.  How could He let this happen?  Where is all this love and devotion He is supposed to have for us.  Why would He let us dream such a dream, experience, even vicariously the torments of such a dark and despairing realm?

This is me in the world.  I have known from the time I can remember that it is a dangerous place and to survive I must use my wits against all who would come up against me.  And yet I am so drawn to its darkness, to its fearful tales and cryptic lies.  The very stories that draw me in crowd out my love and trust in God.  The illusions of the world enchant me and then like an unfaithful lover, leave me dangling in a state of confusion, despair, and disbelief. 

But today Jesus says that we do not have to wait for Heaven.  We do not have to cover our eyes with the dark fables of murder, espionage, revenge, and kidnapping.  All we have to do is let our light shine, the light that came with us from Heaven when we came to the world, the light that can never be extinguished, the light that leads us back to our true home. 

When we let our light shine, it reminds the world of all it has forgotten, and when the world remembers it reminds us as well.  When we stand with Christ, we add our light to His light.  Jesus tells us today that the peace of God is shining in us right now, it is shining in all living things, and it is in the quietness of our inward vision that Christ’s vision becomes apparent to the universe. 

Today we sit for our little while with our eyes closed to the forms of the time-bound world.  We sit quietly and let our thoughts take wing and transport us to the peace of God within each of us.  Our thoughts, Jesus says, untainted by the world outside of us, are holy messengers of God.  It is these thoughts which think with God.  They take us home.  They bring us to that state of oneness and unity to remind us where we came from and how we must return. 

When we refuse to listen to our Father’s Voice, it is these thoughts, these inward, holy thoughts that heed His Voice.  These thoughts are the ones that gently urge us to turn off the bloody, screaming, angry, sad, despairing images on our screens and accept ourselves not as humans trapped in flesh and blood but as Sons of God, co-creators of all things that live, accepting of the peace of God shining in us all in spite of what our programs would have us believe about ourselves. 

In our quiet, solitude we practice getting in touch with our inner light.  We take all thoughts of the world outside of ourselves and bring them in line with all the thoughts we share with God.  We have betrayed our thoughts with strange desires and disordered wishes to chill out with stories of death, of lies, betrayals, and the petty drivel of the world.  But for our devotional times, we train our thoughts to God.  We see that the peace of God still shines in us and in all living thing.  We absolve the world from all the pain we thought it brought to us.  The thoughts we think with God bless and save the world. 

Father, the peace of God shines in me!  Let all living things shine on me in the peace of God.  Let me bless all living things with Your light which shines in me.  In Jesus name.  Amen.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 188. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 187 I Bless The World Because I Bless Myself

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 187 I Bless The World Because I Bless Myself.

  1. No one can give unless he has. In fact, giving is proof of having. We have made this point before. What seems to make it hard to credit is not this. No one can doubt that you must first possess what you would give. It is the second phase on which the world and true perception differ. Having had and given, then the world asserts that you have lost what you possessed. The truth maintains that giving will increase what you possess.
  2. How is this possible?  For it is sure that if you give a finite thing away, your body’s eyes will not perceive it yours. Yet we have learned that things but represent the thoughts that make them.  And you do not lack for proof that when you give ideas away, you strengthen them in your own mind. Perhaps the form in which the thought seems to appear is changed in giving. Yet it must return to him who gives. Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. It must be more.
  3. Ideas must first belong to you before you give them. If you are to save the world, you will first accept salvation for yourself. But you will not believe that this is done until you see the miracles it brings to everyone you look upon. Herein is the idea of giving clarified and given meaning. Now you can perceive that by your giving is your store increased.
  4. Protect all things you value by the act of giving them away, and you are sure that you will never lose them. What you thought you did not have is thereby proven yours. Yet value not its form. For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you try to keep it safe. No form endures. It is the thought behind the form of things that lives unchangeable.
  5. Give gladly. You can only gain thereby. The thought remains and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. Thoughts extend as they are shared, for they cannot be lost. There is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. There is a giver who retains; another one who will give as well. And both must gain in this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to him. What he seems to lose is always something he will value less than what will surely be returned to him.
  6. Never forget you give but to yourself. Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. Nor can he fail to recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. He laughs as well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation, and at death. He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.
  7. Illusion recognized must disappear. Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. The thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appears to take. And sacrifice is an idea so mad that sanity dismisses it at once.
  8. Never believe that you can sacrifice. There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value. If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen, and correction must be made. Your blessing will correct it. Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well. No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.
  9. The lilies that your brother offers you are laid upon your alter, with the ones you offer him beside them. Who could fear to lookup on such lovely holiness? The great illusion of the fear of God diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on here. Be not afraid to look. The blessedness you will behold will take away all thought of form, and leave instead the perfect gift forever there, forever to increase, forever yours, forever given away.
  10. Now are we one in thought, for fear has gone. And here, before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator, and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our one Self whose innocence has joined us all as one, we stand in blessedness, and give as we receive. The Name of God is on our lips. And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our reflection of our Father’s love.
  11. Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world. What we have looked upon we would extend, for we would see it everywhere. We would behold it shining with the grace of God in everyone. We would not have it withheld from anything we look upon. And to ensure this holy sight is ours, we offer it to everything we see. For where we see it, it will be returned to us in form of lilies we can lay upon our alter, making it a home for Innocence itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours.[1]
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Notes and Personal ApplicationThe idea to focus upon today is one of letting go of the idea of sacrifice.  We have been taught that God demands sacrifice, but this is the one lie that stands behind all pain and loss, sickness and grief, poverty, starvation, and death.  The fear of God is the great illusion.  We are so blessed when we get past the fear of God because that is when we come to understand God’s love and devotion.  When we no longer fear God we can love Him with our whole hearts and minds.  We can look upon Him without being afraid.  When we look to God without fear, without the thought of sacrifice, the world and all its darkness, its injustice, and its spite fades away.  It is no more.  We are one with God and with each other.  When we begin to experience this, we can do nothing but bless others because we see God in everyone and in everything.  The world’s version of murder, mystery, and uncertainty is of little account.  We are here to free the world from the idea of sacrifice, to bless the world and to bless ourselves.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 187. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 186 Salvation Of The World Depends On Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 186 The Salvation of the World Depends on Me.

  1. Here is the statement that will one day take all arrogance away from every mind.  Here is the thought of true humility, which holds no function as your own but that which has been given you.  It offers your acceptance of a part assigned to you, without insisting on another role.  It does not judge your proper role.  It but acknowledges the Will of God is done on earth as well as Heaven.  It unites all wills on earth in Heaven’s plan to save the world, restoring it to Heaven’s peace.
  2. Let us not fight our function.  We did not establish it.  It is not our idea.  The means are given us by which it will be perfectly accomplished.  All that we are asked to do is to accept our part in genuine humility, and not deny with self-deceiving arrogance that we are worthy.  What is given us to do, we have the strength to do.  Our minds are suited perfectly to take the part assigned to us by One Who knows us well.
  3. Today’s idea may seem quite sobering, until you see its meaning.  All it says is that your Father still remembers you and offers you the perfect trust He holds in you who are His Son.  It does not ask that you be different in any way from what you are.  What could humility request but this?  And what could arrogance deny but this?  Today we will not shrink from our assignment on the specious grounds that modesty is outraged.  It is pride that would deny the Call for God Himself.
  4. All false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen to God’s Voice reveal to us what He would have us do.  We do not doubt our adequacy for the function He will offer us.  We will be certain only that He knows our strengths, our wisdom and our holiness.  And if He deems us worthy, so we are.  It is but arrogance that judges otherwise.
  5. There is one way, and only one, to be released from the imprisonment your plan to prove the false is true has brought to you.  Accept the plan you did not make instead.  Judge not your value to it.  If God’s Voice assures you that salvation needs your part, and that the whole depends on you, be sure that it is so.  The arrogant must cling to words, afraid to go beyond them to experience which might affront their stance.  Yet are the humble free to hear the Voice Which tells them what they are, and what to do.
  6. Arrogance makes an image of yourself that is not real.  It is this image which quails and retreats in terror, as the Voice for God assures you that you have the strength, the wisdom, and the holiness to go beyond all images.  You are not weak, as is the image of yourself.  You are not ignorant and helpless.  Sin can not tarnish the truth in you, and misery can come not near the holy home of God.
  7. All this the Voice for God relates to you.  And as He speaks, the image trembles and seeks to attack the threat it does not know, sensing its basis crumble.  Let it go.  Salvation of the world depends on you, and not upon this little pile of dust.  What can it tell the holy Son of God?  Why need he be concerned with it at all?
  8. And so we find our peace.  We will accept the function God has given us, for all illusions rest upon the weird belief that we can make another for ourselves.  Our self-made roles are shifting, and they seem to change from mourner to ecstatic bliss of love and loving.  We can laugh or weep and greet the day with welcome or with tears.  Our very being seems to change as we experience a thousand shifts in mood, and our emotions raise us high indeed, or dash us to the ground in hopelessness. 
  9. Is this the Son of God?  Could He create such instability and call it Son?  He Who is changeless shares His attributes with His creation.  All the images His Son appears to make have no effect on what he is.  They blow across his mind like wind-swept leaves that form a patterning an instant, break apart to group again, and scamper off.  Or like mirages seen above a desert, rising from the dust.
  10. These unsubstantial images will go, and leave your mind unclouded and serene, when you accept the function given you.  The images you make give rise to but conflicting goals, impermanent and vague, uncertain and ambiguous.  Who could be constant in his efforts, or direct his energies and concentrated drive toward goals like these?  The functions which the world esteems are so uncertain that they change ten times an hour at their most secure.  What hope of gain can rest on goals like this?
  11. In lovely contrast, certain as the sun’s return each morning to dispel the night, your truly given function stands out clear and wholly unambiguous.  There is no doubt of its validity.  It comes from One Who knows no error, and His Voice is certain of Its messages.  They will not change, nor be in conflict.  All of them point to one goal, and one you can attain.  Your plan may be impossible, but God’s can never fail because He is its Source.
  12. Do as God’s Voice directs.  And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is That asks, and who would make denial.  Then consider this; which is more likely to be right?  The Voice That speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent, and unsure of everything?  Let not its voice direct you.  Hear instead a certain Voice, Which tells you of a function give you by your Creator, Who remembers you, and urges that you now remember Him.
  13. His gentle Voice is calling from the known to the unknowing.  He would comfort you, although He knows no sorrow.  He would make a restitution, though He is complete; a gift to you, although He knows that you have everything already.  He has Thoughts which answer every need His Son perceives, although He sees them not.  For Love must give, and what is given in His Name takes on the form most useful in a world of form.
  14. These are the forms which never can deceive because they come from Formlessness Itself.  Forgiveness is an earthly form of love, which as it is in Heaven has no form.  Yet what is needed here is given here as it is needed.  In this form you can fulfill your function even here, although what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still.  Salvation of the world depends on you who can forgive.  Such is your function here.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:   Who do we think we are claiming that the salvation of the world depends upon us?  We are Sons of God, beloved of our Father, irreplaceable, inerasable, accepting our true identity, our proper role in acknowledging the Will of God on earth and restoring our world to Heaven’s peace. 

Jesus encourages us in today’s lesson not to fight our function.  Do not let a false sense of being unworthy keep us back from answering the call of God in our lives.  We will not let the ego’s twisted modesty trick us into thinking we are not good enough, educated enough, special enough to do our part in God’s plan for salvation.  God knows us!  If He says we are worthy, we are worthy.  He does not care how many times we screwed up.  He does not care how skinny or how obese we are.  He does not care how many times we ended up behind bars or on probation.  He does not care how many degrees we may have after our name.  He does not care how much money we have.  The only thing that God cares about is that we accept that there is nothing we could do – that would shake His love and devotion.  There are not enough vices in the universe to come between us and God.  There is no sin that would remove the Christ in us.  There is no hardship that the world can mete out to prove its strength and power that does not begin and end in time.

God asks of us to accept our function.  The world cannot be saved without us.  Answer this call.  God does not expect for us to clean up our act and change ourselves into something that is more fitting for His Will.  What He asks of us is not hard nor is it impossible.  We are to simply put down our umbrage, our resentment, our grief and sorrow.  No longer can the world affront us for we forgive its twisted dream, we forgive the surreal world made from the dreams of those who lost their way.  When we forgive we are fulfilling our function to save the world.  It is a matter of not holding the world accountable for all of its wrongs, its injustices, its inequality, its bad manners, and bloodthirsty ways.  We forgive it, not because we are good and it is bad, not because we are charitable and want to make brownie points with God.  We forgive it because we recognize it for what it is – a world that simply cannot exist, a world that simply cannot go on, a world that was based upon a mad idea of specialness, hierarchies, and the spaces in between instead of unity, oneness, and the equality of God. 

Take your little while today reviewing our lesson, measuring its words, asking Holy Spirit to help you hear the call of God in your mind.  You do not have to leave your house to save the world.  You do not have to buy special kinds of clothes to wear.  You do not have to change a thing about who and what you are.  All that is required of us is to accept our role with humility. 

Father, we forgive the world.  We thought it was one thing but found that it is not.  Our striving in the world of men has only brought us more striving.  Our efforts to clean up this world has only uncovered more filth.  Our longings for that special someone has only led to heartache and sorrow, bitterness and regret.  No matter what we chase to make us happy, to bring us joy and peace and love, the world is only a tease.  It only gives us a taste to take it away again.  It gives us a sense of hope to only stomp it in the dust. This world is not our home, Father.  We choose to forgive it for pretending to be something it is not.  We choose to forgive ourselves and others for falling for the world’s lies, the ego’s defenses, the heartlessness of nature, and the untrustworthy words of those who pretend to lead us to You.  We forgive it all.  Thus we stand with Christ; thus we save the world.  Amen. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 186. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 185 I Want The Peace Of God

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 185 I want the peace of God.

  1. To say these words is nothing.  But to mean these words is everything.  If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form, in any place or time.  Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.
  2. No one can mean these words and not be healed.  He cannot play with dreams, nor think he is himself a dream.  He cannot make a hell and think it real.  He wants the peace of God, and it is given him.  For that is all he wants, and that is all he will receive.  Many have said these words.  But few indeed have meant them.  You have but to look upon the world you see around you to be sure how very few they are.  The world would be completely changed, should any two agree these words express the only thing they want.
  3. Two minds with one intent become so strong that what they will becomes the Will of God.  For minds can only join in truth.  In dreams, no two can share the same intent.  To each, the hero of the dream is different; the outcome wanted not the same for both.  Loser and gainer merely shift about in changing patterns, as the ratio of gain to loss and loss to gain takes on a different aspect or another form. 
  4. Yet compromise alone a dream can bring.  Sometimes it takes the form of union, but only the form.  The meaning must escape the dream, for compromising is the goal of dreaming.  Minds cannot unite in dreams.  They merely bargain.  And what bargain can give them the peace of God?  Illusions come to take His place.  And what He means is lost to sleeping minds intent on compromise, each to his gain and to another’s loss.
  5. To mean you want the peace of God is to renounce all dreams.  For no one means these words who wants illusions, and who therefore seeks the means which bring illusions.  He has looked on them and found them wanting.  Now he seeks to go beyond them, recognizing that another dream would offer nothing more than all the others.  Dreams are one to him.  And he has learned their only difference is one of form, for one will bring the same despair and misery as do the rest.
  6. The mind which means that all it wants is peace must join with other minds, for that is how peace is obtained.  And when the wish for peace is genuine, the means for finding it is given, in a form each mind that seeks for it in honesty can understand.  Whatever form the lesson takes is planned for him in such a way that he can not mistake it if his asking is sincere.  But if he asks without sincerity, there is no form in which the lesson will meet with acceptance and be truly learned.
  7. Let us today devote our practicing to recognizing that we really mean the words we say.  We want the peace of God.  This is no idle wish.  These words do not request another dream be given us.  They do not ask for compromise, nor try to make another bargain in the hope that there may yet be one that can succeed where all the rest have failed.  To mean these words acknowledges illusions are in vain, requesting the eternal in the place of shifting dreams which seem to change in what they offer, but are one in nothingness.
  8. Today devote your practice periods to careful searching of your mind, to find the dreams you cherish still.  What do you ask for in your heart?  Forget the words you use in making your requests.  Consider but what you believe will comfort you and bring you happiness.  But be you not dismayed by lingering illusions, for their form is not what matters now.  Let not some dreams be more acceptable, reserving shame and secrecy for others.  They are one.  And being one, one question should be asked of all of them, “Is this what I would have, in place of Heaven and the peace of God?”
  9. This is the choice you make.  Be not deceived that it is otherwise.  No compromise is possible in this.  You choose God’s peace, or you have asked for dreams.  And dreams will come as you requested them.  Yet will God’s peace come just as certainly, and to remain with you forever.  It will not be gone with every twist and turning of the road, to reappear, unrecognized, in forms which shift and change with every step you take.
  10. You want the peace of God.  And so do all who seem to seek for dreams.  For them as well as for yourself, you ask but this when you make this request with deep sincerity.  For thus you reach to what they really want and join your own intent with what they seek above all things, perhaps unknown to them, but sure to you.  You have been weak at times, uncertain in your purpose, and unsure of what you wanted, where to look for it, and where to turn for help in the attempt.  Help has been given you.  And would you not avail yourself of it by sharing it?
  11. No one who truly seeks the peace of God can fail to find it.  For he merely asks that he deceive himself no longer by denying to himself what is God’s Will.  Who can remain unsatisfied who asks for what he has already?  Who could be unanswered who requests an answer which is his to give?  The peace of God is yours.
  12. For you was peace created, given you by its Creator, and established as His Own eternal gift.  How can you fail when you but ask for what He wills for you?  And how could your request be limited to you alone?  No gift of God can be unshared.  It is this attribute that sets the gifts of God apart from every dream that ever seemed to take the place of truth.
  13. No one can lose and everyone must gain whenever any gift of God has been requested and received by anyone.  God gives but to unite.  To take away is meaningless to Him.  And when it is as meaningless to you, you can be sure you share one Will with Him, and He with you.  And you will also know you share one Will with all your brothers, whose intent is yours.
  14. It is this one intent we seek today, uniting our desires with the need of every heart, the call of every mind, the hope that lies beyond despair, the love attack would hide, the brotherhood that hate has sought to sever, but which still remains as God created it.  With Help like this beside us, can we fail today as we request the peace of God be given us?[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:  In today’s lesson Jesus reminds us that as long as we ask for anything of this world, we are asking for dreams.  It doesn’t matter if we are asking for money to pay our bills or money to spend on a lavish luxury; it doesn’t matter if we are asking for the Lord to save our marriage for the sake of the children or if we are seeking a new mate who will liven up our love life and take us to new heights of impassioned ecstasy.  We are to carefully think about what we believe will bring us comfort and happiness.  When we ask God to give us anything from this world, we are not choosing Heaven or the peace of God No matter what form it takes – we either desire things from this world that will bring us temporary satisfaction at best or we pray for God’s peace which is everlasting.

Here in the flesh, I seem to want and need so many things.  My husband seems paramount to my happiness; my love for cooking is only surpassed by my love for eating.  I love my house, my car, my garden.  I love our kids and grandkids.  When too many days go by and I do not hear their voice or see their faces, I get a sad and lonely feeling.  The estrangement of my sister weighs heavily upon me; how could I ever experience peace or enjoy my life without her love and affection?  I have a bucket list with all the things I want to do before I die – walk Hadrian’s Wall, visit Italy, master making the perfect bagel…

Today I lay that all aside.  I know that there is nothing in the world – the love of my cherished husband, my older sister, our kids and grandkids, the Roman wall, the olive groves of Italy, and no homemade bagel this side of heaven which is going to give me everlasting peace or even the tiniest bit of Heaven.  It does not work that way.  I either desire the world and the things in the world or I desire God and the peace of God. 

There comes a time when we start to grasp this concept and understand why there can be no compromise.  As long as we seek the things that the world has to offer us we are closing our minds to who and what we really are, we are accepting the identity which the world has given us – a body with its never-ending, never-satisfied lists of needs, wants, desires, and lusts.  Identifying with the body keeps us on a go-round of always living for the next fix.  This is not peace. This is not joy. This is not Heaven. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying one’s dream, of having a happy dream, abundant and well-spent in time.  Love, food, travel, cooking, adventures…there is no sin involved in any of it.  But we do not confuse this with the true desires of our heart and mind.

We know the peace of God when we understand our unity, when to take anything away becomes as meaningless to us as it is with God, when all we want is to share God’s Will and there is goodwill for all and to all. 

May the peace of God be yours today. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 185. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 184 The Name Of God Is My Inheritance

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 184 The Name of God is my inheritance.

  1. You live by symbols.  You have made up names for everything you see.  Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name.  By this you carve it out of unity.  By this you designate its special attributes and set if off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it.  This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.
  2. This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world’s perception is achieved.  You see something where nothing is and see as well nothing where there is unity; a space between all things, between all things and you.  Thus do you think that you have given life in separation.  By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.
  3. What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awareness?  You gave these names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be.  The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well.  For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequence inherent in itself.
  4. This is the way reality is made by partial vision, purposefully set against the given truth.  Its enemy is wholeness.  It conceives of little things and looks upon them.  And a lack of space, a sense of unity or vision that sees differently, become the threats which it must overcome, conflict with, and deny.
  5. Yet does this other vision still remain a natural direction for the mind to channel its perception.  It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more.  Yet you believe this is what learning means; its one essential goal by which communication is achieved, and concepts can be meaningfully shared.
  6. This is the sum of the inheritance the world bestows.  And everyone who learns to think that it is so accepts the signs and symbols that assert the world is real.  It is for this they stand.  They leave no doubt that what is named is there.  It can be seen, as is anticipated.  What denies that it is true is but illusion, for it is the ultimate reality.  To question it is madness; to accept its presence is the proof of sanity.
  7. Such is the teaching of the world.  It is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through.  But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are it premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects.  Learning that stops with what the world would teach stops short of meaning.  In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin, a new perception can be gained, and all the arbitrary names the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised in doubt.
  8. Think not you made the world.  Illusions, yes!  But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming.  When you call upon a brother, it is to his body that you make appeal.  His true Identity is hidden from you by what you believe he really is.  His body makes response to what you call him, for his mind consents to take the name you give him as his own.  And thus his unity is twice denied, for you perceive him separate from you, and he accepts this separate name as his.
  9. It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function.  You have need to use the symbols of the world a while.  But be you not deceived by them as well.  They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them.  They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.
  10. Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name Which God has given you; the one Identity Which all things share; the one acknowledgement of what is true.  And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules.
  11. Use all the little names and symbols which delineate the world of darkness.  Yet accept them not as your reality.  The Holy Spirit uses all of them, but He does not forget creation has one Name, one Meaning, and a single Source Which unifies all things within Itself.  Use all the names the world bestows on them but for convenience, yet do not forget they share the Name of God along with you.
  12. God has no name that we could ever give Him, He has no need of a name.  And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end.  All names are unified; all space is filled with truth’s reflection.  Every gap is closed, and separation healed.  The Name of God is the inheritance He gave to those who chose the teaching of the world to take the place of Heaven.  In our practicing, our purpose is to let our minds accept what God has given as the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made as fitting tribute to the Son He loves.
  13. No one can fail who seeks the meaning of the Name of God.  Experience must come to supplement the Word.  But first you must accept the Name for all reality and realize the many names you gave its aspects have distorted what you see but have not interfered with truth at all.  One Name we bring into our practicing.  One Name we use to unify our sight.1

Father, our Name is Yours.  In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator.  What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Reality.  And we are glad and thankful we were wrong.  Shine the light of Christ upon all our mistakes, our beliefs in darkness, our fractured thoughts, and fragmented distortions, that we may be absolved from all the dastardly effects our strange devices seemed to have.  We accept the truth You give, in place of every little thought that would distinguish us from You.  Your Name is our salvation and escape from the hellish realm we made.  Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace. Amen.

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Notes and Personal Application:  The world’s view of Creation intends to keep all things little, separate and distinguished.  Its reality are the spaces between things; while true vision perceives lack of space, a sense of oneness and wholeness.  True vision is a threat to separateness.  Any attempt to see correctly is a cause for ego to attack, to create conflict, to go into denial.  Time and the world it runs thrives in the mind of separateness and lack of wholeness.  Its systems are built upon it.  Here the Sons of God believe they are sons of man, splintered, segregated, and suppressed.

No matter!  The vision of Christ is the natural direction for the mind to channel its perception.  Who wants to be burdened with thousands upon thousands of names for all the different pieces in which the world would splinter Creation?  The more names we know, the more things we can dissect, dismember, and distinguish the smarter we think we are, while the reality is how apparent it is that this only seems to make the rift and divide between us deeper and denser.  We think that we strengthen our vocabulary but the less we can communicate meaning and purpose, the less we understand, the less we exchange ideas that have the ability to heal and transform.   

We learn to accept the signs and symbols, the names and ranks that the world assert is real.  We learn to call childlikeness and innocence an impediment to truth; to believe in our Father a fantasy, and belief in the world’s point of view as proof of our sanity and intelligence and worth.  As we come through the world, all of us are educated in this matter.  We cannot escape it, but we can question it, we can see it for an illusion, a place where time gobbles up every passing moment and never gives it back, how all of it is set up to attack and take away, how decay and death are its ongoing gifts.  When we begin to question our humanity, we begin to question the theater of life, the mechanics of our vision, the falseness of its premises, the programming of its vision. 

Learning that stops with what the world teaches, stops short of meaning.  No matter how many certificates, diplomas, or degrees we may have, or how many letters distinguish us from others, it doesn’t matter how many languages we can count to 100 in, none of it will have any meaning unless we take what we learned in the world and use it as a starting point from which another kind of learning will begin. 

Jesus affirms that it is only when we begin to recognize what is missing in the world’s perception that we can gain a new perception – a perception that undoes the world’s vision and replaces it with the true vision of Christ.  In paragraph eight, we are told that we did not make the world, but we are certainly responsible for the illusions we made to take the place of the real world.  It is important to recognize this fact:  Truth in Heaven and on earth is beyond our ability to name.  When we sum one another up, we are summing up an illusion because we have no idea of the holiness and the purity and the value of that which we name here on earth. The true identity of each one of us, indeed of all Creation, is hidden from our human eyes.  We give each other names and titles – even our pets will perk their ears at the names they have been given, but Jesus says do not be deceived for this is only a way to deny our oneness twice over because as we demand a name, we are distinguishing one part of Creation from another, and when he responds to the name he is accepting his separated state.

As long as we are in the world we use the world’s symbols, but we do not need to be deceived by them!  They do not stand for anything and knowing this and meditating upon this thought will release us from our bondage to the idea of separateness.  We can use the world’s symbols, its words, its names, its ways of perceiving one splintered part of Creation from another, but Jesus emphasizes that we must fully understand that this is not true communication and oneness and knowledge cannot be found where space and time has splintered the minds and hearts of God’s creation into separated parts.

I keep thinking of a chocolate cake and how awful it would be if every ingredient separated itself and vied for independence.  What a pickle we would be in if our bodies decided to separate their parts and live independently of one another, our livers taking a little road trip through the Rockies while our spleens decided to go to camp meeting in Miracle Valley, Arizona.  

In our devotional practices we take time to realize and appreciate what we learn in the world while recognizing it as an elementary and temporary phase of our learning.  Jesus likens it to darkness, a prison even, which we leave to go into the sunshine and forget its lonely cells and dim corridors.  Our practice is the sunshine that lights our minds with truth – we are not these dimwitted creatures fighting one another and vying for special privileges – we are Sons of God; we all share the same name.  Basking in this truth, letting our minds rest upon its loveliness and joy, we take it back with us to the house of bondage, knowing that the prison house of death is not our reality.  Sharing the good news that we are not bodies; we are everlasting spirits which share the identity of God becomes our only function naturally and willingly.  We are ready to transform.  We look forward to the day when we can shed our humanity and take our real identity as a whole, and not in parts, with God.   

In conclusion, we use the names and words and phrases of the world, but we no longer accept them as our reality.  For Creation has one name, one meaning, one Source Which unified everything with His Love.  Never again will we be seduced into thinking that God will fight our battle and not theirs, that our holiness is greater, our skin color defines us, that our physical beauty gives us worth.  We are one and we have one name and that name we share with God. 

And yet we know that God has no name that can be spoke or understood in the human tongue.  When we learn the namelessness of God we are one with Him.  We know everything there is to know, all names are unified, all space is filled with truth, there are no more illusions, nothing is hidden from our consciousness.  We are one – you and me, us and we – transparent in our love and affection and complete as a whole. 

To seek the meaning of the Name of God, we are guaranteed to grasp the truth.  Our experiences will make the truth we study quite apparent to us.  But before all that, we must accept God’s Name for all reality.  Realize that while naming of this thing and that, of putting privilege here and taking advantages there, of prizing one thing and disregarding another may have perverted the truth in the worldlings’ mind, truth still stands untouched by any vain imaginings. 

In our devotions today we meditate upon One Name.  One Name we use to unite our perceptions.  We begin to open our mind to the oneness of God which He has given to us.  It is One Name where all the foolish separateness, which blinded us to truth will go away.  It is reflecting upon the idea of One Name where we are given strength to see beyond the splintered, splattered distortions of this world.  Only when we recognize that we are one with God, that we share His Name and His Being, can we give as we receive.  

1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 184. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 183 I Call Upon The Name Of God And On My Own

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 183 I call upon God’s Name and on my own.

  1. God’s name is holy, but no holier than yours. To call upon His name is but to call upon your own. A father gives his son his name, and thus identifies the son with him. His brothers share his name, and thus are they united in a bond to which they turn for their identity. Your Father’s name reminds you who you are, even within a world that does not know; even though you have not remembered it.
  2. God’s Name cannot be heard without response, nor said without an echo in the mind that calls you to remember. Say His Name, and you invite the angels to surround the ground on which you stand, and sing to you as they spread out their wings to keep you safe, and shelter you from every worldly thought that would intrude upon your holiness.
  3. Repeat God’s name, and all the world responds by laying down illusions. Every dream the world holds dear has suddenly gone by, and where it seemed to stand you find a star; a miracle of grace.  The sick arise, healed of their sickly thoughts. The blind can see; the deaf can hear. The sorrowful cast off their mourning, and the tears of pain are dried as happy laughter comes to bless the world.
  4. Repeat the name of God, and little names have lost their meaning. No temptation but becomes a nameless and unwanted thing before God’s name. Repeat His Name and see how easily you will forget the names of all the gods you valued. They have lost the name of god you gave them. They become anonymous and valueless to you, although before you let the Name of God replace their little names. You stood before them worshipfully, naming them as gods.
  5. Repeat the Name of God, and call upon your Self, Whose Name is His. Repeat His Name, and all the tiny, nameless things on earth slip into right perspective. Those who call upon the Name of God cannot mistake the nameless for the Name, nor sin for grace, nor bodies for the holy Son of God. And should you join a brother as you sit with him in silence, and repeat God’s Name along with him within your quiet mind, you have established there an altar which reaches to God Himself and to His Son.
  6. Practice this but today; repeat God’s name slowly again and still again. Become oblivious to every name but His. Hear nothing else. Let all your thoughts become anchored on This. No other word we use except at the beginning, when we say today’s idea but once. And then God’s Name becomes our only thought, our only word, the only thing that occupies our minds, the only wish we have, the only sound with any meaning, and the only Name of everything that we desire to see; of everything that we would call our own.
  7. Thus do we give an invitation which could never be refused. And God will come and answer it Himself. Think not He hears the little prayers of those who call on Him with names of idols cherished by the world. They cannot reach Him thus. He cannot hear a request that He be not Himself, or that His Son receive another name than His.
  8. Repeat God’s Name, and you acknowledge Him as sole creator of reality. And you acknowledge also that His Son is part of Him, creating in His name. Sit silently, and let His Name become the all-encompassing idea that holds your mind completely. Let all thoughts be still except this one. And to all other thoughts respond with this and see God’s Name replace the thousand little names you gave your thoughts, not realizing that there is one Name for all there is, and all that there will be.
  9. Today you can achieve a state in which you will experience the gift of grace.  You can escape all bondage of the world and give the world the same release you found. You can remember what the world forgot and offer it your own remembering. You can accept today the part you play in its salvation, and your own as well. And both can be accomplished perfectly.
  10. Turn to the Name of God for your release and it is given you. No prayer but this is necessary, for it holds them all within it. Words are insignificant, and all requests unneeded when God’s Son calls on His Father’s Name. His Father’s Thoughts become His own. He makes his claim to all his Father gave, is giving still, and will forever give. He calls on Him to let all things he thought he made be nameless now, and in their place the holy Name of God becomes his judgment of their worthlessness.
  11. All things are silent. Little sounds are soundless now. The little things of earth have disappeared. The universe consists of nothing but the Son of God, who calls upon his Father.   And his Father’s Voice gives answer in his Father’s holy Name. And this eternal, still relationship, in which communication far transcends all words, and yet exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey, is peace eternal. In our Father’s Name, we would experience this peace today.  And in His Name, it shall be given us. [1]

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[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 183. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 182 I Will Be Still An Instant And Go Home

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 182 I will be still an instant and go home.

  1. This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.  A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what is it the voice reminds you of.  Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.  Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here.  Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.
  2. No one but knows whereof we speak.  Yet some try to put by their suffering in games they play to occupy their time and keep their sadness from them.  Others will deny that they are sad, and do not recognize their tears at all.  Still others will maintain that what we speak of is illusion, not to be considered more than but dream.  Yet who, in simple honesty, without defensiveness and self-deception, would deny he understands the words we speak?
  3. We speak today for everyone who walks this world, for he is not at home.  He goes uncertainly about in endless search, seeking in darkness what he cannot find; not recognizing what it is he seeks.  A thousand homes he makes, yet none contents his restless mind.  He does not understand he builds in vain.  The home he seeks can not be made by him.  There is no substitute for Heaven.  All he ever made was hell.
  4. Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again.  The childhood of your body, and its place of shelter, are a memory now so distorted that you merely hold a picture of a past that never happened.  Yet there is a Child in you Who seeks His Father’s house and knows that He is alien here.  This childhood is eternal, with an innocence that will endure forever.  Where this Child shall go is holy ground.  It is His holiness that lights up Heaven, and that brings to earth the pure reflection of the light above, wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one.
  5. It is this Child in you your Father knows as His Own Son.  It is this Child Who knows His Father.  He desires to go home so deeply, so unceasingly, His voice cries unto you to let Him rest a while.  He does not ask for more than just a few instants of respite; just an interval in which He can return to breathe again the holy air that fills His Father’s house.  You are His home as well.  He will return.  But give Him just a little time to be Himself, within the peace that is His home, resting in silence and in peace and love. 
  6. This Child needs your protection.  He is far from home.  He is so little that He seems so easily shut out, His tiny voice so readily obscured.  His call for help almost unheard amid the grating sounds and harsh and rasping noises of the world.  Yet does He know that in you still abides His sure protection.  You will fail Him not.  He will go home, and you along with Him.
  7. This Child is your defenselessness; your strength.  He trusts in you.  He came because He knew you would not fail.  He whispers of His home unceasingly to you.  For He would bring you back with Him, that He Himself might stay, and not return where He does not belong, and where He lives an outcast in a world of alien thoughts.  His patience has no limits.  He will wait until you hear His gentle Voice within you, calling you to let Him go in peace, along with you, to where He is at home and you with Him.
  8. When you are still an instant, when the world recedes from you, when valueless ideas ceases to have value in your restless mind, then will you hear His Voice.  So poignantly He calls to you that you will not resist Him longer.  In that instant He will take you to His home, and you will stay with Him in perfect stillness, silent and at peace, beyond all words, untouched by fear and doubt, sublimely certain that you are at home.
  9. Rest with Him frequently today.  For He was willing to become a little Child that you might learn of Him how strong is he who comes without defenses, offering only love’s messages to those who think he is their enemy.  He holds the might of Heaven in His hand and calls them friend, and gives His strength to them, that they may see He would be Friend to them.  He asks that they protect Him, for His home is far away, and He will not return to it alone.
  10. Christ is reborn as but a little Child each time a wanderer would leave his home.  For he must learn that what he would protect is but this Child, Who comes defenseless and Who is protected by defenselessness.  Go home with Him from time to time today.  You are as much an alien here as He.
  11. Take time today to lay aside your shield which profits nothing and lay down the spear and sword you raised against an enemy without existence.  Christ has called you friend and brother.  He has even come to ask your help in letting Him go home today, completed and completely.  He has come as does a little child, who must beseech his father for protection and for love.  He rules the universe, and yet He asks unceasingly that you return with Him and take illusions as your gods no more.
  12. You have not lost your innocence.  It is for this you yearn.  This is your heart’s desire.  This is the voice you hear, and this the call which cannot be denied.  The holy Child remains with you.  His home is yours.  Today He gives you His defenselessness, and you accept it in exchange for all the toys of battle you have made.  And now the way is open, and the journey has an end in sight at last.  Be still an instant and go home with Him and be at peace a while.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   This world is not our home, and when we are honest with ourselves, we know that this is true.  We are haunted by a sense of homesickness, a sense of longing, a persistent feeling that there is a world which has been snatched from us, a place of peace and love and joy that this world can only simulate in brief, rare moments sandwiched between blood, sweat, and tears of frustration and hard work. 

No matter how hard we try to make this world our home, to deny our unhappiness, to pretend to love its cruel games and its dark pleasures, its insane laws and unfair practices, all of us, if we are honest will admit that we know that this world is not our home.  We may not remember the other world where we experience certainty, oneness, joy, and wonder but we yearn for it.

In our efforts to recreate that world in this one.  Jesus tells us in verse three that in darkness we can make a thousand homes and yet find no rest.  Every story here, every search, every attempt to find meaning, joy, friendship, and certainty here in this world ends in the hell of death.  We simply cannot survive without our Source; in a world which is built upon saints and sinners, hopes and fears, love and hate, darkness and light, we will never experience anything but upheaval, uncertainty, and inequality. 

No matter how rosy our past looks and how far we go to return to it, it is gone.  It will never be again; in fact, it never really was.  No matter how fond you may be of your memories of the past, they are nothing but images of nothing that matters, nothing that truly exists, nothing that has made one bit of difference in the reality of God. 

Jesus teaches us today that we have an inner Child who has never been and never will be at home in this world where to survive it must take up arms against its brothers and alienate itself from love and survive on fear and defense against attack.  This innocent Child which abides in each of us, knows God as His Own and God knows as His Own.  This Child of God calls us and keeps calling us to let Him rest, to give Him peace and rest and joy from all the things of this world that weary Him and keep Him from His real home in God. 

This little Child calls to us to protect Him.  He is the baby Christ within each one of us – born into a world so dark and full of contradictions, knowing that He must go through the torments of darkness to get to the light from which He came.  He will go home, and we will go with Him.  It is why He is there inside of us, God-placed and never erased. 

It is during our quiet moments, our devotional practices, our times of putting aside this world and remembering the place from which we came, that we will hear the baby Christ within us.  Today Jesus tells us that His Voice will touch us in such a way that we will no longer be able to ignore it or resist it, and that it is in these moments of quietness and reflection, of meditation and our full attention in which this perfect Child takes us home.  Our lesson today reflects the innocence, the purity, the faith to believe in that which the world would distort and call crazy, the tenderness evoked by the holy Child.

For Christ, our brilliant Holy Brother who resisted darkness and temptation, was willing to become the little Child that we may learn of strength through defenselessness, how to offer love to those who would make us an enemy.  This Child holds all the strength of God’s eternal Kingdom; He is friend to all and calls us all as brothers and as friend.  This Child protects us as He calls to us to protect Him as well in this dark world far from reality and from which He can not return without us along with Him.  

Today Jesus teaches us that Christ is reborn into each one of us as we enter into this world, a world that we ended up in when we left the realm of love to explore the realm of darkness.  And it is this Child in which we must learn to protect because as a child He is defenseless, and it is our defenselessness which protects Him and protects us.  We build no defenses against God as we build no defenses against each other.  We lay them aside.  We take the Child by the hand and we walk with Him a while each day learning again to become as He is, to become Him.

This Child knows the love and peace and joy we have not entirely forgotten.  This Child knows that there is nothing in the world that He wants or needs.  This Child knows that this realm is for those who forgot who and what they really are and have lost their way.  This Child calls to us, leading us back to where we belong – exchanging all our ways of war and discord for the love and peace of God. 

Today we spend our “little while” with this Child.  We go Home with Him for a few moments.  We experience His peace, His Love, His Joy, His sense of wonder and appreciation.  We know that this is our heart’s desire.  We experience our innocence through the purity of this holy Child.  The shade of the trees, the green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the white clouds, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all a reflection of care of His Father and His love and devotion to us.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 182. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Lesson 181 I Trust My Brothers Who Are One With Me

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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

LESSON 181 I trust my brothers who are one with me.

  1. Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself. When you attack a brother, you proclaim that he is limited by what you have perceived in him. You do not look beyond his errors. Rather, they are magnified, becoming blocks to your awareness of the Self That lies beyond your own mistakes, and passed his seeming sins as well as yours.
  2. Perception has a focus. It is this that gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision now will shift, to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before. Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.
  3. Therefore, in practicing today, we first let all such little focuses give way to our great need to let our sinlessness become apparent. We instruct our minds that it is this we seek, and only this, for just a little while. We do not care about our future goals. And what we saw an instant previous has no concern for us within this interval of time wherein we practice changing our intent. We seek for innocence and nothing else. We seek for it with no concern but now.
  4. A major hazard to success has been involvement with your past and future goals. You have been quite preoccupied with how extremely different the goals this course is advocating are from those you held before. And you have also been dismayed by the depressing and restricting thought that, even if you should succeed, you will inevitably lose your way again.
  5. How could this matter?  For the past is gone; the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more. We lay these pointless limitations by a little while. We do not look to past beliefs, and what we will believe will not intrude upon us now. We enter in the time of practicing with one intent; to look upon the sinlessness within.
  6. We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother’s sins occur to us, our narrow focus will restrict our sight, and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our “sins.”  So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say: It is not this that I would look upon. I trust my brothers, who are one with me.
  7. And we will also use this thought to keep us safe throughout the day.  We do not seek for long-range goals. As each obstruction seems to block the vision of our sinlessness, we seek but for surcease an instant from the misery the focus upon sin will bring, and uncorrected will remain.
  8. Nor do we ask for fantasies. For what we seek to look upon is really there. And as our focus goes beyond mistakes, we will behold a holy sinless world. When seeing this is all we want to see, when this is all we seek for in the name of true perception, are the eyes of Christ inevitably ours. And the love He feels for us becomes our own as well. This will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves.
  9. The world which once proclaimed our sins becomes a proof that we are sinless and our love for everyone we look upon attest to our remembrance of the holy Self which knows no sin, and never could conceive of anything without its sinlessness. We seek for this remembrance as we turn our minds to practicing today. We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present.  And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now. Our sinlessness is but the Will of God. This instant is our willing one with His.[1]
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Personal Notes and Application:   Last year when I was first studying the Course lessons, I understood that, basically, my mind was being trained to think with love, acceptance, guiltlessness toward God, toward myself, and toward mankind.  By lesson 181, I had concluded that studying A Course in Miracles was not going to give me a magical experience; Jesus was not going to float down from the heavens, come into my heart, fill me with ecstasy, and transform me into a holy being.  I would have to ask, I would have to show, and I would have to practice my willingness to “give up” hatred, ill will, resentment, judgments, superiority/inferiority, jealousy, old wounds, imagined wounds, sad stories, sorrowful stories, false prophesies, a know-it-all attitude, bluff, arrogance, and littleness – and exchange it bit by bit for tiny holy instants of innocence, purity, goodwill, blessing, forgiveness, and Atonement. 

A Course in Miracles is the path that I chose to prepare our minds for the Kingdom of God.  A Course in Miracles explains why the traditional ways we have interpreted the gospel, revered some sages and “saints,” while castigating and torturing others, saved certain manuscripts and texts and called them holy, adopted and cherished false idols and wrongful images of God have stunted our minds, blinded our vision, and keep us in a prolonged state of separation from the very one Who promises us unity, love, and everlasting peace.  Today Jesus tells us that we must know the blocks to our attainment of the Kingdom of God in order to recognize th