Daily Inspiration for Living A Course in Miracles

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The Escape from Fear and Guilt

We said that prayer is always for yourself, and this is so. Why, then, should you pray for others at all? And if you should, how should you do it? Praying for others, if rightly understood, becomes a means for lifting your projections of guilt from your brother, and enabling you to recognize it is not he who is hurting you. The poisonous thought that he is your enemy, your evil counterpart, your nemesis, must be relinquished before you can be saved from guilt. For this the means is prayer, of rising power and with ascending goals, until it reaches even up to God.”

The earlier forms of prayer, at the bottom of the ladder, will not be free from envy and malice. They call for vengeance, not for love. Nor do they come from one who understands that they are calls for death, made out of fear by those who cherish guilt. They call upon a vengeful god, and it is he who seems to answer them. Hell cannot be asked for another, and then escaped by him who asks for it. Only those who are in hell can ask for hell. Those who have been forgiven, and who accepted their forgiveness, could never make a prayer like that.

At these levels, then, the learning goal must be to recognize that prayer will bring an answer only in the form in which the prayer was made. This is enough. From here it will be an easy step to the next levels. The next ascent begins with this:

What I have asked for for my brother is not what I would have. Thus have I made of him my enemy.

It is apparent that this step cannot be reached by anyone who sees no value or advantage to himself in setting others free. This may be long delayed, because it may seem to be dangerous instead of merciful. To the guilty there seems indeed to be a real advantage in having enemies, and this imagined gain must go, if enemies are to be set free. (A Course in Miracles, S-1.III.1-3)

Our desires are prayers. A desire for anything in the world is a desire for a substitute for God. If we accept a substitute, we become unaware of God. We become unaware of Love. This is why the Course calls the world a loveless place.

When we wish for a special relationship, someone who will meet our perceived needs in the world, we are really seeking an enemy. For any substitute for God is an “enemy” of Love. Love knows no enemies, for it is one. But the ego is afraid of Love and sees Love as its nemesis. It knows that if we accept Love as it is, the ego would cease to seem to exist.

To become aware of the peace and Love that is already given us, we need to let go of our desires for substitutes. We need to learn that no substitute will ever satisfy us. Any thing, circumstance or relationship that seems to bring us happiness can turn in an instant to pain and fear. This is because nothing in the world is true. Truth alone is changeless Love. Here, in Truth, is our eternal peace and happiness. The relinquishment of our beliefs that anything in the world offers anything we truly want is essential for us to find the peace of God.

The daily practice of asking for the Holy Spirit’s vision to replace our perceptions in the world will lead us up the ladder of prayer to the increasing experience of peace and happiness. The pain of fear and guilt will fade and be replaced by the awareness of the Love and peace that is our inheritance.

© 2018, Pathways of Light. http://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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