following is what I highlighted during my read of this excellent book -- I
recommend it on my Top List of Peace resources. My purpose in providing
them is to interest you, the reader, and hope that you will obtain and read the
complete work. To properly understand the highlights, you need to read the
book to put them in the proper context.
What I learned from A Course in Miracles is that the change we’re
really looking for is inside our heads.
.. Change in life is always going to happen; they part of the human
experience. What can change, however, is how we perceive those experiences.
And that shift in our perception is the meaning of miracles.
When the house is built on rock, it means we’re not so vulnerable to
life’s passing dramas.
Our stability rests on something more enduring than the current weather
– something permanent and strong. When our house is built on rock, it means
we’re depending on God.
I had never realized that depending on God meant depending on love.
As I began to study A Course in Miracles, I discovered the following
things about God:
He is the love within us.
Whether we ‘follow Him’ i.e., think with love, is entirely up to us.
When we choose to love, or to allow our minds to be one with God, then
life is wonderful. When we turn away
from love, the pain sets in.
So when we think God, then life is peaceful.
When we think without Him, life is painful.
And that’s the mental choice we make, every moment of every day.
Love is God
Love taken seriously is a radical outlook, a major departure from the
psychological orientation that rules the world.
It is threatening not because it is a small idea, but because it is so
For many people, God is a frightening idea.
Asking God for help doesn’t seem very comforting if we think of Him as
something outside of ourselves, or capricious, or judgmental.
But God is love and He dwells within us.
We were created in His image, or mind, which means that we are extensions
of His love, or Sons of God.
God remains who He is and always will be:
He is the energy; the thought of unconditional love.
He cannot think with anger or judgment.
He is mercy and compassion and total acceptance.
We forgot this, and having done so, we have forgotten who we ourselves
I began to realize that taking love seriously would be a complete
transformation of my thinking. A
Course in Miracles calls itself a mind training in the relinquishment of a
thought system based on fear, and the acceptance instead of a thought system
based on love.
Surrender to God means surrender to love.
The mind that’s separate from God has forgotten how to check in with
love before it saunters out into the world.
The mind’s function is to experience love.
To surrender to God means to let go and just love.
By affirming that love is our priority in a situation, we actualize the
power of God.
Through a mental decision a conscious recognition of love’s importance
and our willingness to experience it we “call on a higher power.”
Once we get to the point where we realize that God is love, it’s not
too difficult to understand that following God just means following the dictates
The question is no longer “What is God?” The question we ask now is,
“What is love?”
Love is energy.
Very few people feel enough love in their lives.
The world has become a rather loveless place.
We can hardly even imagine a world in which all of us were in love all
the time, with everyone.
There would be no war because we wouldn’t fight.
There would be no hunger because we would feed each other. There would be
no environmental breakdown because would love ourselves, our children and our
planet to much to destroy it. There
would be no prejudice, oppression, or violence of any kind.
There would be no sorrow. There
would only be peace.
Most of us are violent people – not necessarily physically, but
emotionally. We have been brought up
in a world that does not put love first, and where love is absent, fear sets in.
Fear is to love as darkness is to light.
It’s a terrible absence of what we need in order to survive.
Fear is the root of all evil. It’s
the problem with the world.
So the problem with the world is that we have strayed from God, or
wandered away from love. According
to A Course in Miracles, this separation from God first happened millions of
years ago. But the important
revelation, the crux of the Course, is that in reality it never actually
happened at all.
1. Love is real. It’s an
eternal creation and nothing can destroy it.
2. Anything that isn’t
love is an illusion.
3. Remember this, and
you’ll be at peace.
When we think with love, we are literally co-creating with God.
And when we’re not thinking with love – since only love is real –
then we’re actually not thinking at all. We’re hallucinating.
And that’s what this world is: a
mass hallucination, where fear seems more real than love.
Fear is an illusion. Our
craziness, paranoia, anxiety and trauma are literally all imagined.
The way out of sin or fear is through opening the mind to love.
Love casts out fear the way light casts out darkness.
The shift from fear to love is miracle.
…it addresses the real source of our problems, which is always on the
level of consciousness.
Thought is Cause; experience is Effect.
If you don’t like the effects in your life, you have to change the
nature of thinking.
Love in your mind produces love in your life.
This is the meaning of Heaven.
Fear in your mind produces fear in your life.
This is the meaning of Hell.
Our worldly problems are actually just symptoms of the real problem,
which is always a lack of love.
The miracle, a shift from fear to love, works o an invisible plane.
It transforms the world at the Causal level.
Anything else is just a temporary palliative, a fix but not a healing, a
treatment of the symptom but not cure.
To say, “God, please help me,” means, “God, correct my
thinking.” “Deliver me from
hell,” means, “Deliver me from my insane thoughts.”
God Himself will not violate the law of Cause and Effect.
It is the most basic law of consciousness, and was set up for our
protection. As long as we follow the
Golden Rule, we are safe.
…everything was perfect until they began to judge – to keep their
hearts open sometimes, but closed at others.
“I love you if you do this, but not if you do that.”
Closing our hearts destroys our peace.
It’s alien to our real nature. It
The real Self is the love within us.
It’s the “child of God.” The
fearful self is an imposter. The
return to love is the great cosmic drama, the personal journey from pretence to
self, from pain to inner peace.
Why don’t we just stay in the realm of the answer, rather than always
returning to the realm of the problem? Why not seek some level of awareness
where we don’t create these problems for ourselves all the time?
Let’s ask for a new world. Let’s
ask for a new life.
Until that point, I was hiding from my love, and so resisting my own
life. The return to love is hardly
the end of life’s adventure. It’s
the real beginning, the return to who you are.
The perfect you isn’t something you need to create, because God
already created it. The perfect you
is the love within you. Your job is
to allow the Holy Spirit to remove the fearful thinking that surrounded your
The concept of a divine, or “Christ” mind, is the idea that, at our
core, we are not just identical, but actually the same being.
There’s only one of us here.
We’re like the spokes on a wheel, all radiating out from the same
The word Christ is a psychological term.
Christ refers to the common thread of divine love that is the core and
essence of every human mind.
“Accepting the Christ” is merely a shift in self-perception.
We awaken from the dream that we are finite, isolated creatures, and
recognize that we are glorious, infinitely creative spirits.
We awaken from the dream that we are weak, and accept that the power of
the universe is within us.
Eastern religions tell us that if we go for God, all that is not
authentically ourselves will drop. Go for the light and darkness will disappear.
Focus on Christ means focus on the goodness and power that lie latent
within us, in order to invoke them into realization and expression.
We get in life, that which we focus on.
Continual focus on darkness leads us, as individuals and as a society,
further into darkness. Focus on the
light brings us into the light.
Very few of us were taught that we’re essentially good.
Very few of us were given sense of unconditional approval, a feeling that
we’re precious because of what we are, not what we do.
We were raised by people who were raised the same way we were.
What we lost was a sense of our own power.
And what we learned was fear, fear that we weren’t good enough, just
the way we are.
In Course terminology, our entire network of fearful perceptions, all
stemming from that first false belief in our separation from God and one
another, is called the ego.
Thought separated from love is a profound miscreation.
It’s our own power turned against ourselves.
The moment the mind first deviated from love….an entire illusionary
world came into being.
…it proceeds to counsel us to look out for ourselves, at the expense
of others. It teaches us selfness,
greed, judgment, and small mindedness. But
remember, there’s only one of us here: What
we give to others, we give to ourselves.
…no thoughts are neutral.
Taking responsibility for our lives, then, means taking responsibility
for our thoughts. And praying to God
to “save” our lives, means praying for Him to save us from our own negative
In asking the Holy Spirit to help us, we are expressing our willingness
to perceive a situation differently.
The purpose of life is to grow into our perception.
Once we call on God, everything that could anger us is on the way.
Why? Because the place where we go into anger instead of love, is our
wall. Any situation that pushes our
buttons is a situation where we don’t yet have the capacity to unconditionally
love. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job
to draw our attention to that, and help us move beyond that point.
If we really desire a moral answer to the Holocaust, we do everything in
our power to create a world in which it could never happen again.
…have the moral fibre to say no to it.
What would the Holy Spirit have us do now?
Although we cannot guarantee that a Hitler will never again be born, we
can in fact create a world in which, even if a Hitler appeared, there would be
so much love that hardly anyone would listen or conspire with him.
The spiritual path, then, is simply the journey of living our lives.
Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it.
The Holy Spirit is a force in our minds that….uses our experiences here
to remind is who we are.
Enlightenment is but recognition, not a change at all.
They have been purified of fearful thoughts and only love remains within
their minds. These purified beings
are called the enlightened ones. Light
The enlightened “understand.”
The unconditional love, or Christ within him, is “the truth that sets
us free,” because it’s the perspective that saves us from our own fearful
The descendents of the mutation are then the ones to survive.
Our species is in trouble because we fight too much. We fight ourselves,
each other, our planet, and God. Our
fear-ridden ways are threatening our survival.
A thoroughly loving person is like an evolutionary mutation, manifesting
a being that puts love fist and thus creates the context in which miracles
Ultimately, that is the only smart thing to do.
It is the only orientation in life which will support our survival.
The mutation, the enlightened ones, shows the rest of us our
evolutionary potential. The point
So it is with spiritual masters: Jesus,
Buddha, or any other enlightened being. They
were geniuses in the way the used their minds and hearts.
Why not learn from them, follow their lead, and study what they were
A Course in Miracles does not push Jesus. Although the books come from
him, it is made very clear that you can be and advanced student of the Course
and not relate personally to him at all.
It is time for a huge revolution in our understanding of Christic
philosophy, and most particularly in our understanding of Jesus.
Jesus reached total actualization of the Christ mind, and was then given
by God the power to help the rest of us reach that place within ourselves.
What if we truly believed there is a God – a beneficent order to
things, a force that’s holding things together without our conscious control?
You and I are integral parts of that system, too.
We can let our lives be directed by the same force that makes flowers
grow – or we can do it ourselves.
To trust in the force that moves the universe is faith.
Faith isn’t blind, it’s visionary.
Faith believes that the universe is on our side, and that the universe
knows what it’s doing.
Without faith, we’re frantically trying to control what it is not our
business to control, and fix what it is not incur power to fix.
Violation of these laws doesn’t bespeak a lack of goodness; just a
lack of intelligence.
A Course in Miracles tells us that there is no such thing as a faithless
Faith is an aspect of consciousness. We either have faith in fear or we
have faith in love, faith in the power of the world or faith in the power of
We’ve created a fight mentally.
When we surrender to God, we surrender to something bigger than
ourselves – to a universe that knows what its doing.
Surrender means, by definition, giving up attachment to results.
To place something in the hands of God is to give it over, mentally, to
the protection and care of the beneficence of the universe.
Surrender is process of emptying the mind.
Charisma was originally a religious term, meaning “of the spirit,”
or “inspired.” It’s about
God’s light shine through us.
Surrender means the decision to stop fighting the world, and to start
loving it instead.
We are given His power to share with the world, to heal all wounds, to
awaken all hearts.
“Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance, and limits of any kind.”
In asking for miracles, we are seeking a practical goal:
a return to inner peace. We’re
not asking for something outside us to change, but for something inside us to
change. We’re looking for a softer
orientation to life.
…our greatest tool for changing the world is our capacity to change
our mind about the world.
If we think we’re magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of
love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way.
We have a mission – to save the world through the power of love.
The world needs healing desperately, like a bird with a broken wing.
People know this and millions have prayed.
God heard us. He sent help.
He sent you.
To become a miracle worker means to take part in a spiritual underground
that’s revitalizing the world, participating in a revolution of the world’s
values at the deepest possible level. That doesn’t mean you announce this to
Miracle workers learn to keep their own counsel.
The Course tells us of God’s plan for the salvation of the world,
called “the plan of the teachers of God.” The plan calls for God’s
teachers to heal the world through the power of love.
This teaching has very little to do with verbal communication, and
everything to do with a quality of human energy.
To teach is to demonstrate. A
teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one.
Our job as a teacher of God, should we choose to accept it, is to
constantly seek a greater capacity for love and forgiveness within ourselves.
We do this through a “selective remembering,” a conscious decision to
remember only loving thoughts and let go of any fearful ones.
This is the meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness
is a major cornerstone of A Course in Miracles philosophy.
The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the
healing of the world. Angry people
cannot create a peaceful planet.
To surrender the past to the Holy Spirit is to ask that only loving,
helpful thoughts about it remain in our minds, and all the rest be let go.
I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all consequences
of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.
…should we live with fully open hearts today; tomorrow will take care
So far, there has been no “comprehensive reawakening or rebirth” We
can all contribute to a global rebirth to extent that we allow ourselves to be
awakened from our own personal dream of separation and guilt, to release our own
past and accept a new life in the present. It
is only through our own personal awakening that the world can be awakened.
We cannot give what we don’t have.
We’re all assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe
that is ours to transform.
…creative power –God within us – is experienced as a double-edged
sword: if received with grace, it blesses us; if received without grace, it
drives us insane.
“Miracles are everyone’s right,”
“but purification is necessary first.”
It’s not the flow of power we have to work on…..but the preparedness
with which we receive it.
Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it.
If we’re frantic, life will be frantic.
If we’re peaceful, life will be peaceful.
And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace.
Our internal state determines our experience of our lives; our
experiences do not determine our internal state.
Our willingness, our conviction, gives us a miraculous power.
A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but
toward creating the world that could be.
So we work within the worldly illusion, politically, socially,
environmentally, etc., but we recognize that the real transformation of the
world comes not from what we’re doing, but from the consciousness with which
we’re doing it.
We’re actually just buying time while the real transformation of
global energies has a chance to kick in.
Waiting with cynical resignation for the world’s collapse makes we
part of the problem, not the answer.
Any thinking person knows that the world is in many ways moving in a
downward spiral, and an object continues to move in whatever direction it’s
currently headed. Only the
application of a stronger counterforce can change its direction.
When love reaches a critical mass, when enough people become
miracle-minded, the world will experience a radical shift.
The Course tells us that it’s not up to us what we learn, but only
whether we learn through joy or through pain. We will learn to love one another,
but whether we learn it painfully or peacefully is entirely up to us.
We are told that we don’t ask God for too much; in fact, we ask for
too little….all we have to do is ask for His help.
The future can be reprogrammed in this moment.
The Holy Spirit’s temple is not a body, but a relationship.
When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.
As you see him, you will see yourself.
As you treat him, you will treat yourself.
As you think of him, you will think of yourself.
Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.
Heaven, according to the Course, is neither a condition nor a place, but
rather the awareness of perfect one.
We will always learn what we have chosen to teach.
A Course in Miracles prides itself on being a practical Course with a
practical goal: the attainment of
inner peace. Forgiveness is the key
to inner peace because it is the mental technique by which our thoughts are
transformed from fear to love.
The ego is the great fault-finder. It
seeks out the faults in us and others. The
Holy Spirit seeks out our innocence.
Forgiveness is “selective remembering” – a conscious decision to
focus on love and let the rest go.
…where were my thoughts not aligned with God’s?
The last thing I wanted to be told was that the only error was an error
in my own thinking.
People who do make us angry, however, are our most important teachers.
They indicate the limits to our capacity for forgiveness.
God doesn’t need us to police the universe.
The future is programmed in the present.
If a person behaves unlovingly, then, that means that, regardless of
their negativity – anger or whatever – their behavior was derived from fear
and doesn’t actually exist. They’re
hallucinating. You forgive them,
then, because there’s nothing to forgive.
Forgiveness is discernment
between what is real and what is not real.
Since all thought is thought about ourselves, then to condemn another is
to condemn ourselves.
How do we escape judgment? Largely
through a reinterpretation of what we’re judging.
As extensions of God, we are ourselves the spirit of compassion, and in
our right minds, we don’t seek to judge but to heal. We do this through
When someone has behaved unlovingly –when they yell at us, or lie
about us, or steal from us –they have lost touch with their essence.
They have forgotten who they are. But
everything that someone does, say the Course is either love or a call for love.
If someone treats us with love, then of course love is the appropriate
response. If they treat us with
fear, we are to see their behavior as a call for love.
A miracle here would be a shift from perceiving prisons as houses of
punishment to perceiving them as houses of rehabilitation.
When we consciously change their purpose from fear to love, we release
infinite possibilities of healing.
“Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord,” means, “Relinquish the idea
of vengeance.” God balances all wrong, but not through attack, judgment or
punishment. Contrary to how it feels
when we’re lost in the emotions that tempt us to judge, there’s no such
thing as righteous anger.
It actually doesn’t matter who “did it first.”
Whether you’re attacking first or attacking back, you’re an
instrument of attack and not of love.
I spent years as an angry left-winger before I realized that an angry
generation can’t bring peace. Everything
we do is infused with the energy with which we do it.
As Gandhi said: “We must be
the change.” What the ego
doesn’t want us to see is that the guns we need to get rid of first are the
guns in our own heads.
Choice To Love
….unless we love them, we
can never understand them. The
spiritual path involves taking conscious responsibility for what we choose to
perceive – our brother’s guilt or innocence.
People are not perfect – that is, they do not yet express externally
their internal perfection.
What we think of as people’s guilt is their fear.
All negativity derives from fear. When
someone is angry, they are afraid. When someone is rude, they are afraid.
When someone is manipulative, they are afraid.
When someone is cruel, they are afraid.
There is no fear that love does not dissolve. There is no negativity that
forgiveness does not transform.
…if we want to be rid of fear, we cannot fight it but must replace it
…the miracle is a shift in our own thinking:
the willingness to keep our own heart open, regardless of what’s going
on outside us.
A miracle is always available in any situation, because no one can
decide for us how to interpret our own experience.
There are two emotions: love and fear.
We can interpret fear as a call for love.
Miracle workers, says the Course, are generous out self-interest.
We give someone a break so we can stay in peace ourselves.
The Holy Spirit tells us, “Don’t try to purify yourself before
coming to me. I am the purifier.”
When we’re angry, or upset for any reason, we’re asked to say,
“I’m angry but I’m willing not to be. I’m willing to see this situation
differently.” We ask the Holy
Spirit to enter into the situation and show it to us from a different
Relationships are assignments. They
are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment, the Holy Spirit’s blueprint by
which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love.
Relationships are the Holy Spirit’s laboratories in which He brings
together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth.
No meetings are accidental. “Those who are to meet will meet, because
together they have the potential for a holy relationship.”
The Course says that there are three levels of teaching in relationship.
The first level is what we think of as a casual encounter, such as two
strangers meeting in an elevator or students who “happen” to walk home from
school together. The second level is
a “more sustained relationship, in which, for a time, two people enter into a
fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate.”
The third level of teaching is a relationship which, once formed, lasts
all our lives. At this level,
“each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with
unlimited opportunities for learning.”
It is mostly in causal encounters that we are given a chance to practice
the fine art of chiselling away the hard edges of our personalities.
Relationships are eternal. They
are of the mind, not the body, since people are energy, not physical substance.
Often we see a couple who has separated or divorced and look with
sadness at the ‘failure’ of their relationship.
But if both people learned what they were meant to learn, then that
relationship was a success.
Now it may be time for physical separation so that more can be learned
in other ways. That not only means
learning elsewhere, from other people; it also means learning the lessons of
pure love that come from having to release the form of an existing relationship.
Third-level, life-long relationships are generally few because “their
existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in
which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect.”
People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back
to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or
unconsciously challenge our fearful positions.
They show us our walls. Our
walls are our wounds – the place where we feel we can’t love any more,
can’t connect any more deeply; can’t forgive past a certain point.
We are in each other’s lives in order to help us see where we most
need healing, and in order to help us heal.
…the search for the perfect person to “fix” us is one of our
biggest psychic wounds, and one of the ego’s most powerful delusions.
Our desire to find one “special person” one part of the Sonship who
will complete us, is hurtful because it is delusional.
It means we’re seeking salvation in separation rather than in oneness.
The only love that completes us is the love of God, and the love of God
is the love of everyone. That
doesn’t mean that the form of our relationships is the same with everyone, but
it means that we are seeking the same content in every relationship; a quality
of brotherly love and friendship that goes beyond the changes of form and
The special relationship is the ego’s seductive pull away from God. It
is a major form of idolatry, or temptation to think that something other than
God can complete us and give us peace.
A relationship is not meant to be the joining at the hip of two
emotional invalids. The purpose of a
relationship is not for two incomplete people to become one, but rather for two
complete people to join together for the greater glory of God.
…when we try to use a relationship to serve our own purposes, we
falter because we are reinforcing our illusion of need.
A Course in Miracles describes the difference between an unholy and a
For an unholy relationship is based on differences, where each one thinks the other has what he has not. They come together, each to complete himself and rob the other. They stay until they think that there is nothing left to steal, and then move on. And so they wander through a world of strangers, unlike themselves, living with their bodies perhaps under a common roof that shelters neither; in the same room and yet a world apart.
A holy relationship starts from a different premise. Each one has looked within and seen no lack. Accepting his completion, he would extend it by joining with another; whole as himself.
How do we find a holy relationship? Not by asking God to change our
partners, but by asking God to change our minds.
Spiritual progress is like a detoxification.
Things have to come up in order to be released.
Once we have asked to be healed, then our unhealed places are forced to
the surface. A relationship that is
used by the Holy Spirit becomes a place where our blocks to love are not
suppressed or denied, but rather brought into our conscious awareness.
We never get crazy like we do around the people we’re really attracted
to. Then we can see our dysfunctions
clearly; and when we’re ready, ask God to show us another way.
God’s idea of a “good relationship” and the ego’s idea of one
are completely different. To the ego, a good relationship is one in which
another person basically behaves the way we want them to and never presses our
buttons, never violates our comfort zones. But
if a relationship exists to support our growth, then in many ways it exists to
do just those things; force us out of our limited tolerance and inability to
love unconditionally. We’re not
aligned with the Holy Spirit until people can behave in any way they choose to,
and our own inner peace isn’t shaken.
We love purely when we release other people to be who they are. The ego
seeks intimacy through control and guilt. The Holy Spirit seeks intimacy through
acceptance and release.
Rejecting another human being simply because they are human has become a
collective neurosis. People ask,
“When will my soul mate get here?” But
praying for the right person is useless if we’re not ready to receive him.
Our soul mates are human beings, just like we are, going through the
normal processes of growth. No one
is ever “finished.”
A Course in Miracles says that one day we will realize that nothing
occurs outside our minds.
….love is a decision.
Part of working on ourselves, in order to be ready for a profound
relationship, is learning how to support another person in being the best that
they can be. Partners are meant to
have a priestly role in each other’s lives.
They are meant to help each other access the highest parts within
…our pain doesn’t come from the love we weren’t given in the past,
but from the love we ourselves aren’t giving in the present.
Salvation is only found in the present.
We don’t get to the light through endless investigation of the
darkness. After a certain point, the
discussion always becomes circular. The
only way to the light is through entering the light.
The Course says we think we’re going to understand people in order to
figure out whether or not they’re worthy of our love, but that actually, until
we love them, we can never understand them.
What is not loved is not understood.
We hold ourselves separate from people and wait for them to earn our
love. But people deserve our love
because of what God created them to be.
As long as we’re waiting for them to be anything better, we will
constantly be disappointed. When we choose to join with them, through approval
and unconditional love, the miracle kicks in for both parties.
This is the primary key, the ultimate miracle, in relationships.
And so it is that, in relationships as well, we’re brought together
for real work. Real work can only
occur in the presence of rigorous honesty. We
all long for that, but we are afraid of honestly communicating with another
person because we think they’ll leave us if they see who we really are.
It’s far better to communicate than to suppress our feelings.
Anger is often a result of a series of uncommunicated feelings building
up inside of us and ultimately exploding.
In a holy relationship, we consider it part of our commitment to stay
current in the honest expression of our feelings, and to support our partner in
doing the same.
I’ve suggested to couples that they agree not to break up a
relationship because a fight. It’s very important to have a safe space for
fighting. I say that because
fighting isn’t always fighting.
Once I was having a “dramatic discussion” with a friend.
A mutual friend of ours spoke up and said, “I can’t stand the way you
guys are fighting” “We’re not fighting,” I said. “We’re Jewish.”
He thought we were fighting; we thought we were having a passionate
Anger is a hot topic for spiritual seekers.
Many people, for instance, have an issue with Jesus’ anger with the
The removal of ego is not the removal of personality. What we call
Jesus’ anger was energy. An
outburst of emotion doesn’t have to be so quickly labelled anger.
It’s a release of energy and doesn’t have to be thought of as a
negative or “unspiritual” emotion.
The unhealthiest thing you can do with anger is to deny you have it. The
miraculous perspective is not to pretend you’re not angry, but rather to say,
“I’m angry but I’m willing not to be.
Dear God, please show me what it is I’m not seeing.”
There is a way of sharing our anger with people, without expressing it as
Instead of saying, for instance, “You made me feel this or that,”
you say, “This is how I’m feeling. I’m
not saying you made me feel this way, or that you’re to blame. I’m simply
sharing this as part of my healing, in order to release this feeling and move
A Course in Miracles says that miracles arise from total communication
given and received.
We often must become painfully aware of the unworkability of a pattern
before we’re willing to give it up. It often seems, in fact, that our lives
get worse rather than better when we begin to work deeply on ourselves.
Life doesn’t actually get worse; it’s just that we feel our own
transgressions more because we’re no longer anesthetized by unconsciousness.
This process can be so painful that we are tempted to go backwards.
It takes courage – this is often called the path of the spiritual
warrior – to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to
take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last t the rest of our lives.
So what are we to do with our fear, our anger, and the clouds that cover
the love inside us? Relinquish them to the Holy Spirit.
He transforms them through love, and never through an attack on another
person. It is attack, not the anger
itself, which is destructive.
…locking your door is vastly different from locking your heart.
That is one of the primary principles of miracles in relationships:
We are to look ourselves – our own lessons, thoughts and behavior –
in order to find peace with another person. “The sole responsibility of the
miracle-worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.”
That ten percent that is “your” part is what you need to look at and
learn from. It is what you will
carry with you into the next scenario.
Trying to clean up someone else’s is just an ego trick to keep you
from applying yourself to your own lessons.
In order to learn the most from relationships, you have to focus on your
The price you pay for not taking responsibility for your own pain is the
failure to realize they you can change your conditions by changing your
Whoever is saner at the time, says A Course in Miracles, is to invite
the Holy Spirit into a situation.
The only way that I can accept someone’s finding me wonderful, is if I
find myself wonderful. But to the
ego self-acceptance is death. This
is why we’re attracted to people who don’t want us…..The reason we’re
not attracted to them is because we’re not available ourselves.
This is a common trap for Course students.
If anger isn’t brought up into conscious awareness, it has no place to
go. It either turns into an attack on self or an inappropriate unconscious
attack on others.
…we tend to see no one as they are now. We keep blaming someone in the
present for something else did in the past.
Our defenses reflect our wounds. But
no person can heal those wounds.
The fundamental change will occur with the change of mind in the
The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you
need to recover from is a fractured sense of self.
The only exercise in the Workbook of a Course in Miracles that is
repeated several times is “I am as God created me.”….your only real
problem is that you have forgotten who you are.
We heal through noticing, and prayer.
Awareness alone does not heal us. If analysis by itself could heal our
wounds, we would all be healed by now.
The process of miraculous change is twofold:
…until the choice is made to do it differently, you just keep going
around in circles.
We reach the light by choosing the light.
When we give up the childish obsession with scanning the planet for Mr.
or Ms Right, we can begin to develop the skills of compassionate relationship.
We stop judging people and start relating to them instead.
We recognize, first and foremost, that we’re not in a relationship to
focus on how well the other person is learning their lessons, but rather to
focus on learning our own.
..Celebrate one of the most glorious human potentials: our capacity to
…actual change occurs because of a decision on our part:
the decision to heal, the decision to change.
What matters is that I decide I want to be healed, and I ask God to help
In accepting the Atonement, the correction of our perceptions, we are
returned to who we really are. Our true, purely loving self can never be
uncreated. All illusions will be
undone. Although experiences such as
childhood trauma can lead us to deviate from our true nature, the truth itself
is held in trust for us by the Holy Spirit until we choose to return.
Unconditional love I could understand, but not unconditional dating.
I didn’t know what to do. I ask for a miracle…..I gave the situation
to God and remembered that I need do nothing.
To communicate is to join and to attack is to separate
Accepting people as they are has the miraculous affect of helping them
improve. Acceptance doesn’t
prohibit growth; rather, it fosters it.
People who are always telling us what’s wrong with us don’t help us
so much as they paralyze us with shame and guilt.
People who accept us help us to feel good about ourselves, to relax, to
find our way.
Accepting another person doesn’t mean we ever share constructive
But like everything else, our behavior is not so much the issue as the
energy that it carries.
…communicate from love instead of attack.
…the key to communication is not what we say, but rather the attitude
that lies behind what we say.
The choice to join is the key to communication because it is the key to
communion. The point is not to seek
our goal in a communication, but to find a pure ground of being from which to
mount our message.
The teacher of God is a finely-tuned intuitional instrument.
A Course in Miracles says we’re to listen to our brother, first and
foremost. If we’re supposed to
speak, He’ll let us know.
Commitment in a relationship means commitment to the process of mutual
understanding and forgiveness – no matter how many conversations it takes, nor
how uncomfortable those conversations might sometimes be.
Ultimately you discover that how the person treated the last one is
exactly how they’ll treat you.
Love is not neutral. It
takes a stand. It is a commitment to
the attainment of the conditions of peace for everyone involved in a situation.
…although, according to the thinking of the world, he was betrayed, he
didn’t choose that perception for himself.
What created the space for his triumph was his defenselessness, his
holding to love despite what others were doing to him.
…our power comes from saying, “I will step back and let Him lead the
way.” The Christ within us can handle any assault because it is not affected
by loveless ness.
It takes great courage and personal strength to hold on to our center
during times of great hurt. It takes
wisdom to understand that our reactive ness only fans the flames of false drama.
Love creates a mystical shield around us, protecting us from the chaos.
Very little is sacred anymore in this world, but one thing must be
treated with reverence or else the moral fabric of the world disintegrates:
an agreement between two people. An
enlightened marriage is a commitment to participate in the process of mutual
growth and forgiveness, sharing a common goal of service to God.
Why is marriage a more profound commitment than other forms of
relationship, such as a couple who are living together? Because it is an
agreement that, while a whole lot of shaking and screaming might go on, no
one’s going to leave the room.
We don’t get married to escape the world; we get married to heal it
As with anything else, the key to a successful marriage is the conscious
awareness of God.
19. Forgiving Our Parents, Our Friends, Ourselves
There is no coming to consciousness without forgiving our parents.
We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by
the love we’re not extending in the present.
Forgiveness remains the only path that leads out of hell.
I am only here to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who
sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and
abilities were used in a way that served others.
We’re compensated by grateful looks in people’s eyes, whatever
material abundance supports us in performing joyfully and at high energy, and
the magnificent feeling that we did our bit today to save the world.
The Atonement means putting love first.
In everything. In business as
well as everything else. You’re in
business to spread love.
The question to ask is, “When I do anything, how should I do it?”
And the answer is, “Kindly.”
..Remember that my real job is to love the world back to health.
God does not demand sacrifice. The
life of sacrifice is the life we live before we find a higher sense of identity
Love gives energy and direction. It’s
We study up on how to run businesses, not stopping to think about why
we’re in business except to make money.
…ask Him to show you the brilliance within you.
It is the recognition of our brilliance that releases it into expression.
We don’t get our lives together and then give them to God, but rather
we give our lives to God and then things start coming together.
As our hearts open, our talents and gifts begin to blossom.
No matter what form our job or activity takes, the content is the same
as everyone else’s: we are here to
minister to human hearts. If we talk
to anyone, or see anyone, or even think of anyone, then we have the opportunity
to bring more love into the universe.
The choice to be used as an instrument of love, right here, right now,
is a choice for personal empowerment.
…love is returned and pride is not.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world…
We are all meant to shine.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
In Letters to Young Poet,
Rilke tells a young writer only if he has to. We are to do what there is a deep
psychological and emotional imperative for us to do.
That’s our point of power, the source of our brilliance.
Our power is not rationally or willfully called forth.
It’s a divine dispensation, an act of grace.
“Your store us a church.” Church,
esoterically, means the gathering of souls.
People don’t come into your place of business so that you can get
anything. They’re sent so that you
can give them love.
…if the purpose of my career is to channel God’s love, them I’m
only there to open my heart, open my brain and open my mouth.
The miraculous transformation here is from a sales mentality to a
The mind is the source of greed, and money is one of the places where it
expresses itself. Both money and sex
can be used for holy as well as unholy purposes.
Like nuclear energy, the problem isn’t the energy, but how it is
…the moral imperative is not to block the reception of money into our
lives. The challenge is to
spiritualize our relationship to it, by seeing that its only purpose is to heal
The problem, contrary to the ego’s perception, is not just the
distribution of wealth, but the consciousness around it.
In asking for miracles, we ask the Holy Spirit to remove the obstacles
to our reception of money. These
obstacles take the form of thoughts, such as: money is impure, or having money
means we’re greedy, rich people are bad, or I shouldn’t make more money than
my parents did. Having money means
that we have more money with which to employ other people and heal the world.
There’s nothing beautiful about what happens to a society when money
“Miracles are everyone’s right but purification is necessary
….he taught us the truth about life.
Once you know: 1. Leave your
personal problems at the stage door; 2. Treat the material with honesty, dignity
and without embellishment; 3. Show up fully no matter how many people are in the
audience, then you know everything you need to know in order to have a powerful
professional career. To know the
real truth about anything is to know the truth about everything.
The issue is whether we’re working for money, or working for love.
…love is actually good business.
“God, please use me” is the most powerful affirmation we can say for
an abundant career
Our job is to tend to our own growth as people, our grace and integrity
and humility. We need no other goal.
The core of our being then grows into a substantial power, externally as
well as internally. Our ministry
becomes a direct line of creation, from God through us to all mankind.
Hearts, New Jobs
Ultimately, it is not our credentials but our commitment to a higher
purpose that creates our effectiveness in the world.
A Course in Miracles discusses a difference between magic and miracles.
Magic is when we focus the mind on a desired manifestation, giving our
shopping list to God and telling Him what we want Him to do for us. Miracles are
when we ask God what we can do for Him.
The miracle worker’s goal in every circumstance is peace of mind.
Making our goal anything other than peace is emotionally
In God’s world, there’s only one work going on, and that’s the
preparation of His teachers, those who demonstrate love.
“Dear God, I surrender this situation to you.
May it be used for your purposes? I
ask only that my heart be open to give love and to receive love.
May all the results unfold according to your will?
Amen” Whatever you do, do it for God.
The news isn’t how bad things are.
The news is how good they could be.
Our generosity towards others is key to our positive experience of the
The Body’s Purpose
Living within the realization that we are much more than bodies, that we
are spirits within the mind of God, expands the level of our awareness and
places us outside the limitations of ordinary physical law.
This correction of our perception, this Atonement, is our healing.
It is not the body that gets sick, but the mind.
“Health or sickness of the body depends entirely on how the mind
perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would see it for.”
It is not the body but the mind that is in need of healing, and the only
healing is a return to love.
Forgiveness is the ultimate preventative medicine as well as the
What is this “psycho-immunological factor” which, by now, science
knows exists, but doesn’t know how to identify? That factor is love, or God.
A miracle worker’s job is not to attack illness, but rather to
stimulate the natural forces of healing.
We turn our eyes away from sickness to the love that lies beyond it.
…the healing doesn’t come from the pill.
It comes from our belief.
Crisis comes bearing its solution in that it takes us to our knees, our
most humble thinking. If we had been
there to begin with – if we had placed the power of God before our own,
putting love before all personal ambitions – then our problems would not have
An epidemic such as AIDS is a collective heartbreak, pulling millions of
people into its painful vortex. But
this also means that it brings millions of people to their knees.
As soon as enough of us get there, as soon as love reaches a critical
mass or, as the Course says, enough people become miracle-minded; there will be
a sudden break-through in consciousness – rapture, an instantaneous healing.
It will be as though millions of us are stopped at that red light,
recognizing our loveless ness and asking that we be healed.
the Mind, Saving the Body
It takes spiritual discipline. Spiritual
practice is mental and emotional exercise, not unlike physical exercise in the
way it works. Through spiritual work
we are seeking to rebuild our mental musculature.
We achieve so little, says A Course in Miracles, because we have
undisciplined minds. Training our
minds to think from a loving, faithful perspective is the greatest boost we can
give to our immune systems, and one of the greatest challenges we can pose to
Changing our lives can be difficult.
For a person who has been diagnosed with a physical ailment, the call to
change is imperative.
A spiritual, holistic notion of healing includes treatment not only of
the body, but of the mind and spirit as well.
Love changes the way we think about our disease.
Healing comes from entering into a conversation with our illness,
seeking to understand what it’s trying to tell us.
Holiness means the presence of a loving purpose and in that sense, the
body and its accouterments can be a holy expression.
The meaning in things is how much we use them to contribute happiness to
the world. Clothes and other
personal effects are no different than any other art form.
If we perceive them lovingly, they can lift the vibrations and increase
the energy in the world around us.
Weight and Age
Becoming a student of A Course in Miracles, I began to realize that how
much I weighed didn’t matter. All
that mattered was love. If I could
train my min to concentrate more on that, then my problems would disappear by
themselves. In the Eastern religions
it is often said, “Go for God, and all that is not authentically you will
We take care of the body as a way of taking better care of the spirit.
Let’s change our minds. Let’s
remember that the longer we live, the more we know, and the more we know, the
more beautiful we are.
No matter what the illness or addiction or distorted physical
expression, its cause is in the mind, and only there can it is healed.
The greatest power we’re given, says the Course, is the power to change
our mind. Our physical condition
does not determine our emotional condition.
The experience of peace comes only from the mind.
“Peace of mind,” says A Course in Miracles “is clearly an internal
Meaning of Healing
When we think of healing, we usually think if physical healing, but A
Course in Miracles defines health as inner peace.
Many people have spoken of their illnesses as a “wake-up call.”
Why is that? Because
whenever we are diagnosed with a critical illness, much of our superficial
personal baggage is dropped in the first five minutes.
Dropping our illusions is a healing in itself.
Within each of us there is a core – our essence, our true being.
That is the place of God who is within us.
Finding that essence is our return to God.
It is the purpose of our lives, and even our most painful experiences can
serve that purpose.
Healing is a return to love. Illness
and death are often painful lessons in how much we love, but they are lessons
nonetheless. Sometimes it takes the knife that emotionally pierces our heart, to
pierce the walls that lie in front of it.
“dark night of the soul”
Hadn’t I changed from my pain, in deep and ultimately positive ways?
If my soul had used that experience as a path to greater awareness of myself.
It isn’t my task to judge – to help, in any and every way possible,
yes, but not to doubt the ultimate wisdom of all things.
The greatest gift we can give to a person in pain is to hold in our own
minds the thought that there is a light beyond the darkness.
What goes on externally is only the tip of the iceberg in any situation.
The lessons, the real changes, the opportunities to grow – these are
things the body’s eyes can’t see. They remain beneath the spiritual water
line, but they are there.
Growth is not always about getting what we think we want. Always, it’s
about becoming the men and women we have the potential to be.
Loving, pure, honest, and clear.
A Course in Miracles says that birth is not a beginning but a
continuation, and death is not an end but a continuation.
Life goes on forever. It
always was and always will be. Physical
incarnation is just one form that life can take.
Our physical senses reflect our current belief system, and as our belief
system expands, so will our senses.
The problem is not really death, but what we think death is.
Accepting a healing of our thoughts about what that means is a
cornerstone in our transformation from body to spirit orientation.
The truth as God created it is that death does not exist, and deep in
our hearts we know that this is true.
A Course in Miracles has no doctrine.
An advanced student of the Course may or may not believe in
reincarnation. The only meaningful
question is whether a concept is helpful. We
are told to ask our own Internal Teacher for guidance in our thinking about any
idea and its use in our lives.
Decision To Be Happy
Heaven is a decision I must make.
God’s will is that we be happy now. In asking that God’s will be
done, we are instructing our minds to focus on the beauty in life, to see all
the reasons to celebrate instead of mourn.
The key to happiness is the decision to be happy.
There is an old cliché, “You can see the glass half empty, or you can
see it half full.” You can focus
on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right.
But whatever you focus on, you’re going to get more of.
Creation is an extension of thought.
Think lack, and you get lack. Think
abundance, and you get more.
The ego’s religious dogma hasn’t helped.
Suffering has been glorified. People
have focused on the crucifixion more than the resurrection.
But crucifixion without the resurrection is a meaningless symbol.
Crucifixion is the energy pattern of fear, the manifestation of a closed
heart. Resurrection is the reversal
of that pattern, brought about by a shift in thought from fear to love.
I have noticed that people, who participate in the solution to problems,
don’t seem to find themselves as depressed about those problems as do people
standing on the sidelines doing nothing. Hope
is born of participation in hopeful solutions.
Optimism and happiness are the results of spiritual work.
Capacity For Brilliance
In the eyes of God, we’re all perfect and we have unlimited capacity
to express brilliantly.
Capacity is expressed in the present.
It is immediate. The key to
it lies not in what we have inside of us, but rather in what we are willing to
own that we have inside of us. There
is no point in waiting until we are perfect in what we do, or enlightened
masters or Ph.Ds in life, before opening ourselves to what we’re capable of
The difference between those people “living their potential” and
those who don’t, is not the amount of potential itself, but the amount of
permission the give themselves to live in the present.
We’re often afraid to do anything unless we know we can do it
extremely well. But we get to
Carnegie Hall by practicing.
A miracle frees us to live fully in the present, to release our power
and to claim our glory. The Son of
God….releases himself to be who he is today.
An untrained mind can accomplish nothing
Love takes….discipline and practice.
It’s a radical commitment to a different way of being, a mental
response to life that is completely at odds with the thinking of the world.
Heaven is a conscious choice to defy the ego’s voice.
The more time we spend with the Holy Spirit, the greater our capacity is
to focus on love.
…we meditate and pray to build up our mental musculature.
Meditation disciplines the mind.
When we meditate, our brains literally emit different brain waves.
We receive information at a deeper level than we do during normal waking
consciousness. A Course in Miracles
says that its Workbook is the crux of the Course, because the exercises train
our minds to think that transforms us, but how we think.
The principles of miracles become “mental habits” in our
Spiritual growth is not about becoming more metaphysically complicated,
but rather it is about growing simpler, as these very basic principles begin to
permeate more and more deeply into our thought system.
In the Workbook of a Course in Miracles, which is a 365-day set of
psychological exercises, we are given a very specific curriculum for
relinquishing a thought system based on fear and accepting instead a thought
system based on love. Each day, we
are given a specific thought to focus on, eyes closed, for a specific amount of
Spiritual practice supports the development of personal power,
spiritually powerful people who do so much, as they are people around whom
things get done. Gandhi caused the
British to leave
At the highest level of our being, we don’t do anything. We’re at
rest when the power of God works through us.
We all have within us a direct radio line to the voice for God.
The problem is, the radio is full of static.
In our quiet times we spend with God, the static melts away.
We learn to hear the small still voice for God.
4. Seeing The Light
We must learn to think only divine thoughts.
of the World
The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into
A Course in Miracles is not proposing …suppression of darkness as a
way to light. It is a
psychotherapeutic process by which darkness is brought to light – not the
other way around.
The decisions we make today, individually and collectively, will
determine whether the planet goes to hell or goes to heaven.
One thing, however, is sure: we
are the transitional generation. The
critical choices lie in our hands. Future
generations will know who we were. They
will think of us often. They will
curse us, or they will bless us.
…what a decisive time this is, decisions made on this planet in next
twenty years will determine whether or not mankind survives much longer...
There has to be a mass, collective forgiveness of what went before in
order for our culture to have a chance to heal itself and begin again.
No one can help with anything like someone who has been through the pain
How wonderful it would be for
…wouldn’t be wonderful…if we could just make one huge, simple
apology to all black Americans?
Indians. Until this
Atonement, there will be little room for a miraculous healing of our racial
For a fraction of the cost of keeping one criminal in jail for a year,
we could provide a child from an underprivileged background a plethora of
personal and educational opportunities that would occlude the propensity to
There is no amount of money, time or energy too great to spend on our
children. In failing them, we are
…there is so much to do, as we allow the motivation for a transformed
world to energize our souls and make manifest our convictions.
We must have faith in God and faith in ourselves.
The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in the darkness.
Christ-consciousness is the
understanding that Heaven is here now.