Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Lesson 37

My holiness blesses the world

This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here. Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness. Thus are you and the world blessed together. No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. It signifies the end of sacrifice because it offers everyone his full due. And he is entitled to everything because it is his birthright as a Son of God.

There is no other way in which the idea of sacrifice can be removed from the world's thinking. Any other way of seeing will inevitably demand payment of someone or something. As a result, the perceiver will lose. Nor will he have any idea why he is losing. Yet is his wholeness restored to his awareness through your vision. Your holiness blesses him by asking nothing of him. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.

Your holiness is the salvation of the world. It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed along with you.

Today's four longer exercise periods, each to involve three to five minutes of practice, begin with the repetition of the idea for today, followed by a minute or so of looking about you as you apply the idea to whatever you see:
  • My holiness blesses this chair
  • My holiness blesses that window
  • My holiness blesses this body
Then close your eyes and apply the idea to any person who occurs to you, using his name and saying

My holiness blesses you, [name].

You may continue the practice period with your eyes closed; you may open your eyes again and apply the idea for today to your outer world if you so desire; you may alternate between applying the idea to what you see around you and to those who are in your thoughts; or you may use any combination of these two phases of application that you prefer. The practice period should conclude with a repetition of the idea with your eyes closed, and another, following immediately, with your eyes open.

The shorter exercises consist of repeating the idea as often as you can. It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his name as you do so. It is essential to use the idea if anyone seems to cause an adverse reaction in you. Offer him the blessing of your holiness immediately, that you may learn to keep it in your own awareness.

My comments... Again, we are building upon the previous lessons and this one drops a bombshell when it states that "Your holiness is the salvation of the world." That's a lot of pressure to assume (grin). If in fact, I created all this and am responsible for all that is in my reality, I guess that is not such a burdensome statement.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

My holiness envelops everything

Lesson 36

My holiness envelops everything I see

Today's idea extends the idea for yesterday from the perceiver to the perceived. You are holy because your mind is part of God's. And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well. "Sinless" means without sin. You cannot be without sin a little. You are sinless or not. If your mind is part of God's you must be sinless, or a part of His Mind would be sinful. 8 Your sight is related to His Holiness, not to your ego, and therefore not to your body.

Four three-to-five-minute practice periods are required for today. Try to distribute them fairly evenly, and make the shorter applications frequently, to protect your protection throughout the day. The longer practice periods should take this form:

First, close your eyes and repeat the idea for today several times, slowly. Then open your eyes and look quite slowly about you, applying the idea specifically to whatever you note in your casual survey. Say, for example:
  • My holiness envelops that rug
  • My holiness envelops that wall
  • My holiness envelops these fingers
  • My holiness envelops that chair
  • My holiness envelops that body
  • My holiness envelops this pen.
Several times during these practice periods, close your eyes and repeat the idea to yourself. Then open your eyes, and continue as before.

For the shorter exercise periods, close your eyes and repeat the idea; look about you as you repeat it again; and conclude with one more repetition with your eyes closed. All applications should, of course, be made quite slowly, as effortlessly and unhurriedly as possible.

My comments... a building block lesson that reinforces lesson 35, which as I mentioned, I had trouble 'digesting'. This reminds me of earlier lessons where I was instructed to not see what I was seeing. Conditioning lessons, I like to call these. Preparing me for greater accomplishments in changing how I perceive the world I 'think' I see.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A New Perspective On Wellness

When miracles do not occur something has gone wrong.

A new e-book called "A New Perspective On Wellness" by teachers of A Course in Miracles from A Course In Miracles International offers a practical and radical healing alternative to struggling with guilt, sickness and pain. (Excerpt)

The seemingly impossible dilemma inherent to the human condition is that it appearsalways to perceive something outside itself. Whether that “something” is adeadly strain of virus, the cancer I am fighting, the spinach I am eating, the carI am driving, the randomness of terrorism, or the obnoxiousness of my next doorneighbor---there is always something “out there” that can “get” me. The predicamentis the defining characteristic of all human behavior. Trying to find a referencepoint within the chaos of apparently opposing forces -- social, physical, emotional,intellectual, and sexual -- I react blindly to whatever I think I perceive. I standas if within a mirrored ball, bouncing off my own reflection, always in a reaction,projecting onto my body, my family, my community, and my world my own fearfuldefense against my own perceptions. The human race, the Master Teacher remindsus, is “suffering from the disease of projected self-identity.”

One of the book's main authors, the Master Teacher of A Course In Miracles states that "Wellness is a Whole Lot More Than Not Being Sick" and adds that there is available, a transformative mind training program through A Course In Miracles that utilizes the powerful application of love, healing, forgiveness and miracles offering people a systematic, direct, powerful approach to changing their lives for the better, once and for all.

"A New Perspective On Wellness" offers valuable tips on:
  • Wellness & Self-Help*Miracles as a natural part of life
  • Forgiveness and Recovery from Addiction
  • Mind-Training to Enlightenment
  • Miraculous and Spiritual Healing
  • Fostering World Peace through attaining Inner Peace

To obtain a free copy of this e-book, go to: http://healnow.acimi.org

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I see myself as

Lesson 35

My mind is part of God's. I am very holy.

Today's idea does not describe the way you see yourself now. It does, however, describe what vision will show you. It is difficult for anyone who thinks he is in this world to believe this of himself. Yet the reason he thinks he is in this world is because he does not believe it.

You will believe that you are part of where you think you are. That is because you surround yourself with the environment you want. And you want it to protect the image of yourself that you have made. The image is part of this environment. What you see while you believe you are in it is seen through the eyes of the image. This is not vision. Images cannot see.

The idea for today presents a very different view of yourself. By establishing your Source it establishes your Identity, and it describes you as you must really be in truth. We will use a somewhat different kind of application for today's idea because the emphasis for today is on the perceiver, rather than on what he perceives.

For each of the three five-minute practice periods today, begin by repeating today's idea to yourself, and then close your eyes and search your mind for the various kinds of descriptive terms in which you see yourself. Include all the ego-based attributes which you ascribe to yourself, positive or negative, desirable or undesirable, grandiose or debased. All of them are equally unreal, because you do not look upon yourself through the eyes of holiness.

In the earlier part of the mind-searching period, you will probably emphasize what you consider to be the more negative aspects of your perception of yourself. Toward the latter part of the exercise period, however, more self-inflating descriptive terms may well cross your mind. Try to recognize that the direction of your fantasies about yourself does not matter. Illusions have no direction in reality. They are merely not true.

A suitable unselected list for applying the idea for today might be as follows:
  • I see myself as imposed on
  • I see myself as depressed
  • I see myself as failing
  • I see myself as endangered
  • I see myself as helpless
  • I see myself as victorious
  • I see myself as losing out
  • I see myself as charitable
  • I see myself as virtuous.
You should not think of these terms in an abstract way. They will occur to you as various situations, personalities and events in which you figure cross your mind. Pick up any specific situation that occurs to you, identify the descriptive term or terms you feel are applicable to your reactions to that situation, and use them in applying today's idea. After you have named each one, add:

But my mind is part of God's. I am very holy.

During the longer exercise periods, there will probably be intervals in which nothing specific occurs to you. Do not strain to think up specific things to fill the interval, but merely relax and repeat today's idea slowly until something occurs to you. Although nothing that does occur should be omitted from the exercises, nothing should be "dug out" with effort. Neither force nor discrimination should be used.

As often as possible during the day, pick up a specific attribute or attributes you are ascribing to yourself at the time and apply the idea for today to them, adding the idea in the form stated above to each of them. If nothing particular occurs to you, merely repeat the idea to yourself, with closed eyes.

My comments... This did not make sense to me the first time I read it. I had to read this a number of times and really concentrate on the meaning. It goes against the grain to say something to yourself like "I see myself as failing". However the immediate response of "But my mind is part of God's. I am very holy" nullifies the statement and its connotations. This has been a very difficult exercise to comprehend.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Peace is my choice

Lesson 34

I could see peace instead of this.

The idea for today begins to describe the conditions that prevail in the other way of seeing. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

Three longer practice periods are required for today's exercises. One in the morning and one in the evening are advised, with an additional one to be undertaken at any time in between that seems most conducive to readiness. All applications should be done with your eyes closed. It is your inner world to which the applications of today's idea should be made.

Some five minutes of mind searching are required for each of the longer practice periods. Search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety-provoking situations, "offending" personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harboring unloving thoughts. Note them all casually, repeating the idea for today slowly as you watch them arise in your mind, and let each one go, to be replaced by the next.

If you begin to experience difficulty in thinking of specific subjects, continue to repeat the idea to yourself in an unhurried manner, without applying it to anything in particular. Be sure, however, not to make any specific exclusions.

The shorter applications are to be frequent, and made whenever you feel your peace of mind is threatened in any way. The purpose is to protect yourself from temptation throughout the day. If a specific form of temptation arises in your awareness, the exercise should take this form:

I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.

If the inroads on your peace of mind take the form of more generalized adverse emotions, such as depression, anxiety or worry, use the idea in its original form. If you find you need more than one application of today's idea to help you change your mind in any specific context, try to take several minutes and devote them to repeating the idea until you feel some sense of relief. It will help you if you tell yourself specifically:

I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry [or my thoughts about this situation, personality or event] with peace.

My comments... Sometimes I feel like snippets of ACIM are peppered throughout our history and philosophical beliefs. Take this lesson, which (to me) says I can change the way I look at something. I have the power to change what I believe about something. A relationship with a friend or employer might be stressful, but I can "choose" to look at what is happening differently. I can choose peace instead of stress.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A better way

Lesson 33

There is another way of looking at the world.

Today's idea is an attempt to recognize that you can shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. A full five minutes should be devoted to the morning and evening applications. In these practice periods, the idea should be repeated as often as you find comfortable, though unhurried applications are essential. Alternate between surveying your outer and inner perceptions, but without an abrupt sense of shifting.

Merely glance casually around the world you perceive as outside yourself, then close your eyes and survey your inner thoughts with equal casualness. Try to remain equally uninvolved in both, and to maintain this detachment as you repeat the idea throughout the day.

The shorter exercise periods should be as frequent as possible. Specific applications of today's idea should also be made immediately, when any situation arises which tempts you to become disturbed. For these applications, say:

There is another way of looking at this.

Remember to apply today's idea the instant you are aware of distress. It may be necessary to take a minute or so to sit quietly and repeat the idea to yourself several times. Closing your eyes will probably help in this form of application.

My comments... a lesson I can use. This is one that brings immediate understanding and aids in perception. It is said tha there is no such thing as coincidence, and coincidentally I received an email from a friend that corresponds to the meaning of this lesson.

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."

There is another way of looking at our world!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Side trip - a question

I am probably not the best example of a typical blog reader as I don't often read the comments people make (on other blogs) - I usually just read the posts. In the event this also describes you, you may have missed an anonymous comment on a recent post that reads....

These "lessons" you are discussing, are they available other places online with greater explanations as to what this is about? I am interested in reading your comments, but I am not sure I get the full picture on what this is about.
Good question, and if you are not familiar with "A Course In Miracles", I can imagine your confusion. Heck, I've reading the Course for months now and I promise you that no one is more confused than me.

Yes, A Course In Miracles is readily available on the web. You can get the complete text, and even listen to daily lessons. This link is to the public domain version of A Course in Miracles. You can find the Workbook for Students and the Manual for Teachers and the full 365 lessons. Another handy place to Select a Lesson is at this link, from the Foundation for Inner Peace. To be sure, there are many other links to the Course, but these two I reference most frequently.

You may have heard that there is (or was) a controversy about who "owned" (the copyright) to the Course, but that is not something I wish to concern myself with. I purchased the complete printed book and also bought the audio version, which is quite handy when working around the house or traveling in my car. On my Miracles website I have links where you can get the ACIM book and the other books I have discussed by Gary Renard (Disappearance of the Universe) and Taylor G. Wilshire (The What If Guy).

I guess this is a long-winded answer to your question, but if it bothered you, it is probably a question that others had. In my opinion, the Course is a self-discovery journey. For this reason, I have not done a lot of searching online for opinions of others. I know that some refuse to accept ACIM as the word of Jesus, and others consider it some kind of cult. There are many ways into heaven, and the Christian Bible we see today poses as many questions as ACIM.

On this journey, I have chosen to study A Course In Miracles and my blog and website are out there in the hopes that others might benefit from what I learn along the way. If you're new to the Course, buy the book or audio program and give it a chance. You have nothing but eternity...

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am the inventor

Lesson 32

I have invented the world I see.

Today we are continuing to develop the theme of cause and effect. You are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. You will see it or not see it, as you wish. While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want it, it will not be there for you to see.

The idea for today, like the preceding ones, applies to your inner and outer worlds, which are actually the same. However, since you see them as different, the practice periods for today will again include two phases, one involving the world you see outside you, and the other the world you see in your mind. In today's exercises, try to introduce the thought that both are in your own imagination.

Again we will begin the practice periods for the morning and evening by repeating the idea for today two or three times while looking around at the world you see as outside yourself. Then close your eyes and look around your inner world. Try to treat them both as equally as possible. Repeat the idea for today unhurriedly as often as you wish, as you watch the images your imagination presents to your awareness.

For the two longer practice periods three to five minutes are recommended, with not less than three required. More than five can be utilized, if you find the exercise restful. To facilitate this, select a time when few distractions are anticipated, and when you yourself feel reasonably ready.

These exercises are also to be continued during the day, as often as possible. The shorter applications consist of repeating the idea slowly, as you survey either your inner or outer world. It does not matter which you choose.

The idea for today should also be applied immediately to any situation that may distress you. Apply the idea by telling yourself:

I have invented this situation as I see it.

My Comments... As I go through these lessons, I am also reading the text of ACIM. This idea that I "invented" all that I see and experience weighs heavy on my mind. Just yesterday I was watching the news on television and saw a report form Irag where car bombs were set-off and scores of civilians were slaughtered by their "neighbors". I remember thinking to myself as I remembered parts of the Course I had read... "I created this"? "Why would I create something so barbaric and distasteful"?

I fully appreciate the concept of separation and why I (my ego) created this illusion, but I have a hard time fathoming such brutality and violence. Where this is easier to accept is the argument that God created the world and all that we see in it. If we attribute the goodness and beauty to God, the creator, must we not also attribute these atrocities if in fact he DID create the world? Therein in the justification that He is not responsible for anything I think I see or experience. If God is perfect love, he could not have created, nor permit such things to happen. If not God, then it must be me.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I am not the victim

Lesson 31

I am not the victim of the world I see.

Today's idea is the introduction to your declaration of release. Again, the idea should be applied to both the world you see without and the world you see within. In applying the idea, we will use a form of practice which will be used more and more, with changes as indicated. Generally speaking, the form includes two aspects, one in which you apply the idea on a more sustained basis, and the other consisting of frequent applications of the idea throughout the day.

Two longer periods of practice with the idea for today are needed, one in the morning and one at night. Three to five minutes for each of these are recommended. During that time, look about you slowly while repeating the idea two or three times. Then close your eyes, and apply the same idea to your inner world. You will escape from both together, for the inner is the cause of the outer.

As you survey your inner world, merely let whatever thoughts cross your mind come into your awareness, each to be considered for a moment, and then replaced by the next. Try not to establish any kind of hierarchy among them. Watch them come and go as dispassionately as possible. Do not dwell on any one in particular, but try to let the stream move on evenly and calmly, without any special investment on your part. As you sit and quietly watch your thoughts, repeat today's idea to yourself as often as you care to, but with no sense of hurry.

In addition, repeat the idea for today as often as possible during the day. Remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom. And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.

The idea for today is also a particularly useful one to use as a response to any form of temptation that may arise. It is a declaration that you will not yield to it, and put yourself in bondage.

My comments... This tells me to rise above what I (think I) see and acknowledge that I am not part of the world I see outside or as I imagine things inside. Like so many of the previous lessons, this feels like an affirmation of sorts... convincing myself that I am not part of what appears to be going on around me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

God is in everything I see

Lesson 30

God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

The idea for today is the springboard for vision. From this idea will the world open up before you, and you will look upon it and see in it what you have never seen before. Nor will what you saw before be even faintly visible to you.

Today we are trying to use a new kind of "projection." We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by seeing it outside. Instead, we are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognize is there. Thus, we are trying to join with what we see, rather than keeping it apart from us. That is the fundamental difference between vision and the way you see.

Today's idea should be applied as often as possible throughout the day. Whenever you have a moment or so, repeat it to yourself slowly, looking about you, and trying to realize that the idea applies to everything you do see now, or could see now if it were within the range of your sight.

Real vision is not limited to concepts such as "near" and "far." To help you begin to get used to this idea, try to think of things beyond your present range as well as those you can actually see, as you apply today's idea.

Real vision is not only unlimited by space and distance, but it does not depend on the body's eyes at all. The mind is its only source. To aid in helping you to become more accustomed to this idea as well, devote several practice periods to applying today's idea with your eyes closed, using whatever subjects come to mind, and looking within rather than without. Today's idea applies equally to both.

My comments... connecting the dots as it were. Yesterday's lesson taught me that "God is in everything I see". Today's lesson clarifies that I see God in everything because God is in my mind. God is with me, I am part of God and I am trying to recognize him - in me- in everything I can see or imagine.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I see God in everything

Lesson 29

God is in everything I see.

The idea for today explains why you can see all purpose in everything. It explains why nothing is separate, by itself or in itself. And it explains why nothing you see means anything. In fact, it explains every idea we have used thus far, and all subsequent ones as well. Today's idea is the whole basis for vision.

You will probably find this idea very difficult to grasp at this point. You may find it silly, irreverent, senseless, funny and even objectionable. Certainly God is not in a table, for example, as you see it. Yet we emphasized yesterday that a table shares the purpose of the universe. And what shares the purpose of the universe shares the purpose of its Creator.
Try then, today, to begin to learn how to look on all things with love, appreciation and open-mindedness. You do not see them now. Would you know what is in them? Nothing is as it appears to you. Its holy purpose stands beyond your little range. When vision has shown you the holiness that lights up the world, you will understand today's idea perfectly. And you will not understand how you could ever have found it difficult.

Our six two-minute practice periods for today should follow a now familiar pattern: Begin with repeating the idea to yourself, and then apply it to randomly chosen subjects about you, naming each one specifically. Try to avoid the tendency toward self-directed selection, which may be particularly tempting in connection with today's idea because of its wholly alien nature. Remember that any order you impose is equally alien to reality.

Your list of subjects should therefore be as free of self-selection as possible. For example, a suitable list might include:

God is in this coat hanger.
God is in this magazine.
God is in this finger.
God is in this lamp.
God is in that body.
God is in that door.
God is in that waste basket.

In addition to the assigned practice periods, repeat the idea for today at least once an hour, looking slowly about you as you say the words unhurriedly to yourself. At least once or twice, you should experience a sense of restfulness as you do this.

My comments... In today's lesson, it states that "You will probably find this idea very difficult to grasp...", but on the contrary I find it easier than many previous lessons. I have always believed that I get a glimpse of God when looking at a majestic sunset or a beautiful natural landscape. If I feel this way, is it therefore a reach to say that I can also see God in a "pencil"?
The conflict (or unease) I get is when applying this lesson to something that is not appreciated such as war or illness, etc. I get self-imposed pushback if I say I see God in the Iraq war. But I know that God did not make that war or participate in the atrocities of that or any war - that is our doing (my doing). I see God in the people of that war, not in their actions.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I want to see things differently

Lesson 28

Above all else I want to see things differently.

Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday. In these practice periods, you will be making a series of definite commitments. The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. And we are still at the beginning.

You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, "Above all else I want to see this table differently." In itself it is not important at all. Yet what is by itself? And what does "in itself" mean? You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all. You either see or not. When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently. The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.

When you say, "Above all else I want to see this table differently," you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table, and open your mind to what it is, and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.

You will not question what you have already defined. And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. In saying, "Above all else I want to see this table differently," you are committing yourself to seeing. It is not an exclusive commitment. It is a commitment that applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less.

You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you would withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind. It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.

In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe. You will be making this same request of each subject that you use in the practice periods. And you are making a commitment to each of them to let its purpose be revealed to you, instead of placing your own judgment upon it.
We will have six two-minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see about you. Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today's idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.

As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject your eyes happen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying

Above all else I want to see this ___ differently.

Each application should be made quite slowly, and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry.

My comments... This is an important clarification to me. This lesson seems less abstract than so many of the previous lessons. The comment, "You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you would withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind", strikes a chord. I have yet to see light surrounding an object or acknowledge anything that I would consider to be out of the ordinary. Meaning, that something about these lessons was changing my conscious perspective. But this message adds clarification that hopefully will cause me to begin to see and understand things differently.