Raising the Light

To Choose Again

It was me!  It was all me!  I created this dream, complete with all of its characters and all of its situations.  I even created you, my Brother.  I made you what you are not.  I made you to antagonize and disturb my well-being.  I wanted to be the victim and you the aggressor.  I just thought it would make me special.  Here I am, the underdog; sad, humiliated, and broken.

You, too my Brother, join in my folly.  We have a silent agreement to justify war at all costs.  We cross swords and battle over grievances until the death.  You have done this to me.  You have made me the miserable, disgusting loser in this dark comedy.

But, no, it is not so!  It is impossible that you have done anything to me, my Brother.  We are lit by the same flame.  We spring forth in the dream as two apparent parts of the same light.  The world would change dramatically if the two of us act in the unison that we are and learn to choose a different path.

The peace that you and I secretly search for is attainable simply by putting down our swords and seeking an eternal solution.  What I see in front of me is an outward expression of what I made from the inside.  It was an error in thought.  Somehow, I lost track of what I was focusing on.

It is okay if you would rather not join me in this new take on reality.  It is okay if you choose to remain in the battle against your brothers.  You may even seek to remain in battle with me.  I will choose differently and it will be enough for you as well; as it will for our brothers around us.

That is how it will be recognized.  That is how we will recognize each other.  We will see the light in each other.  We will see eternity there.  We will remember Who the Voice belongs to.  We will remember who the Creator is and who we truly are.

No more pinging the spider’s web and upsetting the ego dream.  No more believing that the upsetting ego dream can have any effect on us.  No more wallowing in self-proclaimed specialness and despair.

I now choose again.  It is peace that I really want; it is an end to this war between us.  It is an end to this guilt and aggression.  I relinquish my part in the ego dream.  I stand corrected and allow the Voice for God to walk me down a different path.  A path of Her choosing, as She sees a far grander view of what is before me.

I choose to see only innocence in you, my Brother.  I choose again.

© 2013, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Why Do You Imprison Your Brother?

It happened suddenly.  I was not prepared for what the Voice would tell me that day.  Of course, I know better than to allow myself to think ill of a brother, but nonetheless, there I was mumbling words of condemnation.  “And there he is, doing…”  What he did doesn’t matter here.  You know the story.  I thought someone did something to me, so of course, I must find fault and tell myself that he is guilty of some imagined act.


That’s when it happened.  Holy Spirit was as clear as any voice I could hear with my physical ears.  The message was given in the usual gentle tone, but it pierced me like a razor-sharp sword.


“Why do you imprison your brother?”  Huh?  Imprison who?  “Your brother.  Why do you wish him to remain in prison?  In the process, you are holding yourself in the same prison.  Why would you do that?”


It hit me.  Whenever I roll my eyes and complain about someone—anyone—I am holding both of us in prison.  I remember reading something like this in the Course.


As a minister of the Course, I have opened myself to the call to free myself and my brother from this illusion we know as Hell.  Yet, here I am closing the gate on him while the gate behind me also slams shut.


Over the next several days, whenever I begin to point a finger of guilt at a brother, those words echo once again.  “Why do you imprison your brother?”  Those words rise before me each time I begin my barrage of accusatory thoughts.  It didn’t take long for those words to stop me in mid-mental slander and I changed my thought to, “Be blessed.”


This went on for several days.  It is getting where “Be blessed,” comes just as the thought, “Why, you dirty, rotten…”  (or something like that) slips from my thought process.


I understand that this is something that needed healing from the beginning of my journey through the Course.  Ask my Mind-Healing Partner how she exercised great patience as we went through the lessons for ordination.  Holy Spirit must have seen fit that this day was the day to bring healing to my error; to give opportunity to forgive and open the prison gates freeing my brother and I.


Today, when I think someone is doing something to me, the first thought is, “Be blessed.”  I don’t even want to hear that prison gate slam.  I would rather hear the cheers of freedom than the cries of imprisonment.


Be free, my brother.  Step out into the Light, breathe the fresh air and touch the beauty that surrounds you.  Know that you are perfect, invincible, eternal and utterly free.  You are spirit.  Neither God nor I want you in a cage.  Take my hand.  Let’s step out together.  Do not fear.  Only Love exists.


Namaste

© 2013, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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The End of the World

Well, the end of the world was two days ago.  Everyone is smiling and feeling all triumphant that the world didn’t end after all.  There actually were people out there who were terrified that the world could really end.  Others were preparing to survive the world’s demise.  I’m still scratching my head on that one.


Do we know for sure that the world didn’t end?  Just because we are still here, does that mean the world didn’t just quit?  What if the world ended and we didn’t know it?  Is that even possible?  Who said that the end of the world would come in violence?


Maybe the end of the world doesn’t look like we have been told it should look.  Jesus certainly didn’t look like the disciples thought He should look.  They wanted a king that would overthrow Rome and give Israel back to the Jews.


More recently, the baby-boomers were told that if they graduate high school and get a good job, they’ll be safe and secure well into their retirement years.


Nothing looks as we anticipate it should.  Let’s say I win the lottery.  Does being wealthy look the way I think it should?  Don’t get me wrong; having unlimited amounts of money is wonderful, but all I did was make a more pleasant dream.  Not quite what we could call enlightenment.


So here we stand at the end of the world, the Mayan calendar ended and there has been no cataclysm; at least, not of biblical proportions.


This is our moment.  It is our function to hold the Light in place while insanity seems to boil, churn and surge all around us.  It’s not that everyone can’t do this because everyone can, but most of us forgot how.  That’s why we must remember at every turn of events, good and bad, that we are here to hold a place of peace and Light for ourselves as well as our brother.


It’s not a magic spell, neither is it a lost secret hidden in some cave in a faraway desert.  Every time we put peace first, every time we hold a place of Light, every time we extend God’s Love out to a brother we collapse time and stand at the brink of eternity.


We are gathered in the Now.  The past is only a memory and the future hasn’t happened yet.  There is only Now.  There is only Love.


Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  It stands for the coming of Truth; the birth of Peace and Light.  Once again we have the opportunity to extend all that the Father has given us to our brother and to ourselves.  The responsibility belongs to us.  His burden is light and His yoke is easy.


Maybe the world did end on the Solstice.  We are forever.  We are eternal.  We stand here looking out at an eternal universe knowing that all the worlds in the cosmos may end, but the Father has given us eternal life.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Peace first.

© 2012, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Seeing Differently

I intend to see this world differently
But all I see is disease disaster and death
I suppose I still don’t understand my God
And I reel as I stop to catch my breath


Who I am I still have not a clue
Nor recognize my brother as the Son
As long as I would keep this world dear
And resist the truth my brother and I are One


I look out on a dark and troubled world
I know the pain and tears we each endure
Still I chant that I am not a body
But rather eternal holy strong and pure


    I escape this world by giving up attack
    And never shall I turn around or back

Michael L. Ciavarella, OMC

© 2012, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Facilitating Your Awakening

In the past, I have not been quite as open to facilitating a Pathways of Light course.  This is changing. 

If you would like to take one of the courses offered here at Pathways of Light, I am making myself available to you.  At this time, I am able to facilitate any of the courses in the four-step process to becoming a minister.  You do not have to have an interest in becoming a minister to take these courses.  You can take any course you like.

These courses are designed to enhance your spiritual walk and help you progress toward awakening.  Of course, if you are interested in becoming a minister, begin with Step 1 and we will work through to Ordination.  You have no time limit to finish.

I am excited to join the facilitating ministers.  Any of our ministers will gladly work with you.  I am only stating that I am now opening up to this effort.

One more quick note:  Please do not think you have to live in my hometown to sign with me.  We can do the work over the phone at a predetermined schedule.  This is the same for any of the ministers on this site.

Thank you for considering me as your facilitator.  Use Partner ID:  2286.

Michael L. Ciavarella, OMC
e-mail:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone:  708.625.4861

© 2012, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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Crossing the Bridge

It has been increasingly evident from reading through the Course and doing the Workbook lessons that forgiveness goes far beyond forgiving the “bad things” that happen in life as well as “those abrasive people” that make our day challenging.

In recent weeks, I have found that forgiving my good day is only the beginning of this journey we have chosen.  True, if something bad happens, we have learned that we must forgive the circumstances as well as anyone involved in making our life a pure Hell.  The people around us are actually a part of us, because we are not separate beings.  To condemn another person is to condemn God and ourselves.  We are all One.

In reality, it is impossible for another person to do anything to us, since nothing external from ourselves is real.  No one can actually harm us or make us feel sad.  Our lives cannot be a pure Hell.  This is forgiveness.

However, it must be understood that there is more to forgiveness than what I have just shown.  There are days where nothing troubling happens at all.  It doesn’t happen often, but I suppose Walter Ego gives us a little latitude so we won’t go out and hang ourselves from a tree.  Yet, even this must be forgiven, after all, good days are not real either.

As we get older, we seem to think, more and more, of our younger days; the people we knew, and all of our antics—good and bad.  We remember our ambitions, the dreams we never realized; we think of friends we’ve wronged, places we never visited, and opportunities that we nonchalantly passed by.  The older we get, the more vivid the memories.  They begin to haunt us until we almost go insane.

The Holy Spirit is always there to bridge the gap between the horrors we imagine and the Truth.  It is at this bridge that the Holy Spirit takes the sights and sounds that echo from what we understand to be the past and translates them from the witnesses of fear to the witnesses of Love.

I can hear my mind tormenting my soul, day and night, as to what I should have done—or shouldn’t have done—so many years ago.  I should be punished for my misdeeds as well as my sins of omission.  And this I do on a regular basis.  I must have been an idiot to think the way I did then.  Maybe I was insane.  What made me react the way I did?  What was my motivation for this act or lack of action?

I stand at the bridge.  The Holy Spirit stands next to me.  He whispers gently, “Look behind you.  What do you see?”

I turn to look at my past.  “Nothing, Holy Spirit.  There is nothing there.”

The Holy Spirit smiles, puts a loving arm around me.  He says, “The past is over.  It can touch you not.  The Father does not condemn you for your sins.  Why are you tormenting yourself?  All tormenting does is create Hell in your experience.  The Father never created Hell.  Why would you?

“Let’s you and I cross over this bridge and forget what happened and what didn’t happen.  Let’s just move forward together.  On the other side of this bridge is peace and love.  It’s not “pie-in-the-sky” and it’s not a fairyland of “milk and honey.”  It’s the real world.  It’s what you were meant to understand.

“Let’s cross over.  You must find peace.  Insanity is blocking the view.  Pain and sorrow is the veil that keeps you from realizing who you truly are.  You don’t have to cross this bridge, but why would you remain in insanity when you can simply receive what you have been looking for forever?”  And so, He led me again to Truth.

Crossing the bridge is easy.  It’s holding on to what torments us that is difficult.  Don’t be afraid.  Take Holy Spirit’s hand and cross the bridge.  There is nothing to fear.  You are indestructible.  You are sinless, guiltless, and holy.

Let go of those insane thoughts.  Let go of what could have been.  Let go of all those people that you loved and cared for.  You are not going to find them in the past.  They are a part of who you truly are.  You’ll find them on the other side of the bridge.  The Holy Spirit will not let you down.

Inspired from the Workbook Part 2, Section 7, “What Is the Holy Spirit” and Lesson 289, “The Past is Over.  It Can Touch Me Not”.

Namaste,
Rev. Michael L. Ciavarella

© 2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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The Strange Cathedral

He was seeking answers no one could provide.  He was seeking guidance, but no one knew the way.  He was frustrated, confused, and angry.

He walked along feeling discouraged and spent.  None of his dreams had been realized.  None of his plans worked out the way he thought they should.  The world around him looked like insanity, with no jobs, money running low, and people drifting farther and farther away from each other.

He came upon a cathedral-like church.  Not being a religious man, he thought maybe if he went in and prayed he could find his way.  He has heard that praying changes things.

So, through the door he went.  It was a strange place.  There was total darkness.  How odd, he thought.  By this time, he felt a compulsion to walk fully in and see what this was all about.

He felt his way into the sanctuary and found a pew.  The moment he kneeled down to pray, a brilliant Light came upon him.  It was very bright, but to his surprise, it didn’t hurt his eyes.  He felt as though he were suspended in space with total, unconditional Love lifting him.

A gentle Voice from somewhere—nowhere—echoed around him.  “Why have you come here?”

Surprised and amazed beyond words, he answered, “Lord, who am I?  What is my purpose?  What is all this for?”  Is this what happens when people pray? he thought.  I never knew it could be like this.

“You ask questions that have baffled the ages, my son.  Those who seek these answers do not believe me when I tell them; it is not what they wanted to hear.  It does not fit into their belief systems taught through the centuries.

“Yet, you come to receive a word from God and I will tell you what I know to be true.  Child, you are the Christ.  You are a single beam of Light that is a part of the Light created by the Father Himself.”

“Excuse me, Lord for interrupting, but I thought Jesus was the Christ.”

“Yes, Jesus is the Christ, my child.  But Jesus is no more the Christ than are you or the person you sit with in the evening, or the obnoxious person you avoid each day at work.

“You are the Christ, my son, which means that you are indestructible, without sin, guiltless, and abundant.  There is nothing you cannot do.  You were given the power of creation.  You create as the Father creates.  Nothing can get in your way, not even death.”

“But, Lord, people die all the time.  What you are telling me is we cannot die.”

“Death, my child, is an illusion.  Death is the witness you provide to make your illusion real.  You are capable of great magic.  Your greatest magic trick is to convince yourself of your destructibility using death, the final witness.

“Aside from death, you use lack of finances, loss of love, disease and illness, broken hearts, broken minds and broken toys.  These all witness to your separation from the Father and from each other.

“But know, without a doubt, that none of these are true.  You are as the Father created you.  You are a Light in the darkness.  You have the understanding that can lead those around you to the Light.  It is yours and is in your possession.

“Now walk out that door and bring your brothers home.  It is not necessary to preach, push, or persuade.  Simply be gentle.  As you walk in the Light, you bring your brothers with you.  You have been entrusted with truth.  You hold the key.  You have always held the key.  Show your brothers that they, too, have the key.  Now go and be blessed.”

The Light went dark.  But he could see.  Light seemed to radiate from his body.  He thought how odd that was, since he never seen anything like that before.  But he never had seen anything like what he experienced here in this cathedral-like church before, either.

Looks like there is some work to do.  Now the question is, how to begin.

Namaste,
Rev. Michael L. Ciavarella

© 2011, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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