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Gentle Healing Lesson 177, Text, Manual for Teachers. 12-01-19

LESSON 177

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (163) There is no death. The Son of God is free.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (164) Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

I think these two lessons go together very well. When we consider that death is the ego and the knowledge that we are not the ego sets us free, that makes it possible to know that we are one with our Source. It can be no other way. We cannot know we are one with God while we believe we are the ego. We cannot know we are Life while we still believe in death.

How does one let go of the belief in death? Find a path out of the belief and stick to it. Study it, practice it, be vigilant for it.

Relax in it, letting faith and trust smooth your way through it. Question every thought discarding those that don’t reflect truth. Never judge yourself or others. Never allow guilt to enter into the process. Never give up.

Keep your mind open and receptive to a Higher Source. Quickly discard your own plans when that Source moves you to another better plan. Be surrendered to your Guide so that you can be easily moved.

Before you know it, you will become aware of your Self living you. Even if it is only briefly, it is enough to create a strong desire to allow awakening to that way of living. At least this has been my experience so far. It is becoming more and more consistent as I practice it.

Manual for Teachers

3. WHAT ARE THE LEVELS OF TEACHING? Paragraph 2
2 The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters; a “chance” meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult “by chance,” two students “happening” to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another; perhaps the adult will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.

I have become hyper-aware of those simple moments that offer a chance for salvation. Like most people, I used to think that they were unimportant and that they meant little. Now, I understand that salvation lies in many small moments linked together. Sometimes the other isn’t even there with me but I don’t see that it matters.

Yesterday, I watched one granddaughter in a parade and the other granddaughter scrambling to pick up the candy thrown to the children. Eleanor would stop once in a while to eat a piece of the candy and would drop the wrapper on the ground next to our chairs. When it was time to go, I gathered all the papers to throw away.

If I had not done this, someone else would have and I didn’t want to add to that person’s workload. This was a moment in which I did not lose sight of our separate interests so it was a moment of salvation. The papers were sticky and I was looking for something to put them in to carry back to the car.

A family next to us had a roll of paper towels so I asked if I could have one. I explained that I hated sticky fingers and we smiled at each other and shared a moment in which we were on the same page with no interests that separated us. It was a holy encounter, one more link in the chain of the Atonement that is taking us home.

Text
XI. Christmas as the End of Sacrifice P 4

T-15.XI.4. You who believe that sacrifice is love must learn that sacrifice is separation from love. 2 For sacrifice brings guilt as surely as love brings peace. 3 Guilt is the condition of sacrifice, as peace is the condition for the awareness of your relationship with God. 4 Through guilt you exclude your Father and your brothers from yourself. 5 Through peace you invite them back, realizing that they are where your invitation bids them be. 6 What you exclude from yourself seems fearful, for you endow it with fear and try to cast it out, though it is part of you. 7 Who can perceive part of himself as loathsome, and live within himself in peace? 8 And who can try to resolve the “conflict” of Heaven and hell in him by casting Heaven out and giving it the attributes of hell, without experiencing himself as incomplete and lonely?

Journal

I used to believe that love demanded sacrifice and lived that belief. This showed up in so many ways. My husbands were supposed to sacrifice their desire to be with others, to spend time away from me, to spend money on frivolous things rather than the family, just to name a few. I called this love.

This desire to control and manipulate for my own desires above theirs’s caused me to feel guilty without really even understanding where the guilt came from. And when they failed to comply, I made them guilty of not loving me enough or not living up to the unspoken agreement. I’m sure they had their own list of sacrifices they expected from me in the name of love.

Living like this, believing that love is sacrifice inevitably leads to war. Sometimes it is a quiet little war that eats away at the relationship a nibble at a time until there is no sign of the original impulse to love and connect. Sometimes a concord is established between them in an attempt to bring peace and harmony back to the relationship. This is a pale reflection of the love that is actually desired, and is unstable because the seeds of conflict remain in the heart.

I watch my mind very closely now for signs that I am asking for sacrifice. Even the merest desire that someone give of themselves in order to make me happy is undone as soon as it forms. I want no guilt in my relationships because guilt is the destroyer of relationships. It can be something as simple as wishing my daughter would invite me to supper.

I question that thought relentlessly until I get to the truth that my happiness is not my daughter’s job and that to think so is to ask for separation and suffering. You can’t really love someone you push away with guilt. Agreements in which sacrifices are traded is not love and will only erode the existing love.

Love has expanded in my life since I decided to join rather than separate at every opportunity. Union, not separation is love. If I need something, I give it to myself rather than asking someone else to do it for me. Actually, if possible, I give what I want to receive. So instead of resenting not being invited for dinner, I have invited someone to come eat with me.

When I used to be in resentment, I made the other party guilty and pushed them away. This was the making of a hell in which I felt incomplete and lonely. When I learned differently, and I took responsibility for my own happiness, I felt compelled to share that happiness and so included others and that is the making of a heavenly life in which I am joined with many and this feeling of completion is experienced in relation to God as well.

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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Gentle Healing Lesson 176, Text, Manual for Teachers. 11-27-19

LESSON 176
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (161) Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (162) I am as God created me.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

I just so much want always to see the holy Son of God in everyone. Sometimes I do, at least to the degree that I can. I see their bodies and I am aware of their personalities. But I know that this does not in any way define them. I know it is just a script being played out and that it is in their best interest and in mine as well.

It is in everyone’s best interest because everyone’s script gives all involved another chance to wake up to the truth. I also am aware that we are all playing at being human, that right now we are dual in nature, one foot in the world and the other in eternity. But that is not going to last because duality is an illusion.

I don’t want to sustain the illusion any longer than necessary. I want to be consistent in choosing to see past the human and into the essence of each person I meet. I want to never be confused or to be fooled by the outward appearance. This would be truly helpful. Right now, I have an understanding that I fully accept about what is going on here, and that helps a lot. What I really want, though, is to have a knowing, true Christ Vision that is consistent.

Manual for Teachers
3. WHAT ARE THE LEVELS OF TEACHING?

1 The teachers of God have no set teaching level. Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same; to make of the relationship a holy relationship, in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless. There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.

Every sentence in this paragraph tells me something I am happy to know. Relationships have different forms but all have the same goal. Through the teaching-learning process they have the potential to become holy relationships in which they look on each other and see only innocence. While this can happen with any two, there are very specific contacts for all of us and they will show up in our lives.

I have had relationships that have been very challenging and some of them took most of my life to resolve. I fully accept that there are no accidents in salvation. Every one of these relationships was important to my awakening. Even though some of them were quite painful for a time, I am grateful for the healing that came through them.

I know that I certainly didn’t approach them from the point of view that they had the potential for a holy relationship, yet I know now that they did. I will say that the relationships in my life have been healed of any anger or guilt. I think back on some of them and I see that all contention was just a thought in my mind and had nothing to do with the other person. So, as my thoughts were healed, the relationships were healed.

Text
XI. Christmas as the End of Sacrifice P 2
T-15.XI.3. This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. 2 Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us. 3 Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. 4 All pain and sacrifice and littleness will disappear in our relationship, which is as innocent as our relationship with our Father, and as powerful. 5 Pain will be brought to us and disappear in our presence, and without pain there can be no sacrifice. 6 And without sacrifice there love must be.

This Christmas what will you be giving to the Holy Spirit for Him to heal? I have given Him all grievances and if the tiniest of grievances comes into my mind, I am quick to release it to the Holy Spirit because there is nothing tiny or big, just true or not true. What feels like a little grievance to me will deprive me of peace just as what feels like a big grievance will deprive me of peace so it makes no difference in its effect how I measure it. A grievance causes me the pain of losing my peace and so it is not something I intend to tolerate. The cost is too high.

I have given Him guilt and have no intention of taking it back. Not even tempted. The gift of guiltlessness is a gift beyond measure. This Christmas season, I am giving him sickness of the body. Sickness in the body is just a form of sickness no different than sickness that takes the form of poverty or broken relationships. All are symptoms of the belief in lack. I didn’t choose sickness as the issue I would work on, it chose me, or rather, the Holy Spirit chose it for me.

First, I was led to certain of the Pathways courses and certain places in A Course in Miracles. I have done these courses with fellow students and have learned a lot about sickness and healing, and I am taking them again with others who want to work on healing. I had a bronchial infection some months ago and it never completely went away. Recently, just in the last week or so, it has gotten worse so I thought how propitious this was. Here I am working on healing and here is something to practice on.

I am looking at how we value sickness above healing and in each case, I am checking in to see if I am doing this. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what I need to see so that I can hand it over to Him. I am also looking at the idea of sickness as a defense against the truth, a defense against God. I am willing to see this if it is there. And there is also sickness as an attack. It is an attack on Love (God) because it attacks our very nature as His Son. Here is something from one of the Pathways courses I wrote about how I worked with attack in the past.

I love this from our book: “Now, when we attack or see attack in others, we can recognize this is just the effect of not valuing Love, followed by feeling the loss of Love, and then projecting that someone else is taking Love from us.”

If I use the situation with the two people on Facebook who I judged as judging (Ha ha) I could see it this way. They seem to be attacking me with their opinions which are so different than mine. Why does that upset me? Because I might be wrong about some basic spiritual principle. Why would that upset me? Because I believe I stand on shaky ground with God. Why is that? Because I separated from Him. So we are now at the beginning. I failed to value Love (God) which is an attack on Him. I feel the loss of Love acutely and so when these people seem to threaten my attempts to regain God, I see them as the problem. The thing about my reasoning is that it all rests on a false foundation. It rests on the belief that my choices have undone Love and that I must regain it and I can’t let anyone get in my way.

After working on the idea of attack and practicing what I learned, I almost never fall for that ego defense anymore. But I seem to have perhaps fallen for it in a different form since I am experiencing the effects of attack in my body. This is going to be such a valuable experience as I continue to bring up all forms of defense, attack and false value so that the Holy Spirit can heal my mind. And as Jesus says, . 3 Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. I look forward to both receiving and giving.

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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Gentle Healing Lesson 175, Text, Manual for Teachers. 11-24-19

LESSON 175

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (159) I give the miracles I have received.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (160) I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Fear is the hardest belief for me to give up. I have succeeded in giving up many forms of fear. For instance, I realize that my grandchildren are going to begin feeling very real effects from global warming and their children will truly suffer. I don’t know what to do about that except to keep trying to get someone who cares elected.

At one time this sort of thing scared me and I would be anxious every time I thought of it. Now, I do what I can to change this, but I am not afraid of it. The same thing is true about the possibility of Trump getting us into a nuclear war. I recognize the possibility and do what I can but I am not afraid of it.

But I am still afraid of heights and I still fear for my son. I even get fearful for my granddaughter who is a fearless little explorer. What I do know about fear is that it is not real. It is the effect of believing in separation. As long as I identify with my humanness, I will have fear, but that fear lessens as I remember who I am. It lessens daily now. One day, I will shoo that stranger out of my mind altogether.

PS: The only fear I still have these months later is the fear of heights. I care about the other stuff to some degree and I will do what feels right to do, but I am not afraid. So it is that we can let go of the belief in fear. It can be done. It’s funny to me that I still have the fear of heights but each time it comes up, I give my willingness to see this differently, so let’s see how that goes.

Manual for Teachers
2.WHO ARE THERE PUPILS? 4,5

4 Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. The pupil comes at the right time to the right place. This is inevitable, because he made the right choice in that ancient instant which he now relives. So has the teacher, too, made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. God’s Will in everything but seems to take time in the working-out. What could delay the power of eternity?

That we are here studying A Course in Miracles together was always inevitable because it has already happened. It only seems to be a new event, something we decided on in this lifetime. Like everything in our stories, what seems to be true is not. But it is not a choice made for us, but a choice we made ourselves long ago. Both student and teacher made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. This is God’s Will and though it seems to have taken a lot of time to work its way, there is no time in eternity so it was done instantly and always had been done. Weirdly enough, though I have trouble finding words for this, I am beginning to make sense of it.

5 When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own. 

I love the way paragraph 5 begins. Right away the stage is set to express the fluid nature of the teaching-learning situation. I have students I work with every day. It appears as if I am the teacher and they the student, and those are the terms we use to make things simpler to speak about. But actually, when we come together for the purpose of true learning, that is checking our egos at the door, leaving behind our separate agendas and all expectations based on what we think we know, neither is the teacher and both are the teacher.

In our emptiness, we have made a place for the Teacher to come forward in our awareness and to teach through us. Since He knows the gap of personhood is an illusion, He moves seamlessly from one to another, healing as we speak our inadequate words, or say nothing. All that is needed is a true Heart’s desire to be healed through our union of purpose. This profound event, this holy instant may even go unnoticed and unremarked by the two who have come together, but it is a miracle, none-the-less. It is the fulfillment of our purpose.

My experience of the process is that I have absolutely nothing to do with its fulfillment. I simply show up where prompted, follow guidance as best as I can, be as willing as I can be, and even all this is only vaguely in my awareness, and sometimes not at all. It’s not my job to choose where and with whom this is to happen. Jesus is in charge of the Atonement and knows where the chain needs to link next. What a relief to be moved, to be lived, to let go of the intolerable burden of making decisions and taking action on my own. And what an illusion it was anyway.

Holy Spirit, I invite you to guide me today in all things, to speak through me, to move me where I am needed, and above all, to call me back to sanity if I were to start running around on my own thinking I am the one doing something.

Text

XI. Christmas as the End of Sacrifice P 2

T-15.XI.2. The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. 2 See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come. 3 He comes demanding nothing. 4 No sacrifice of any kind, of anyone, is asked by Him. 5 In His Presence the whole idea of sacrifice loses all meaning. 6 For He is Host to God. 7 And you need but invite Him in Who is there already, by recognizing that His Host is One, and no thought alien to His Oneness can abide with Him there. 8 Love must be total to give Him welcome, for the Presence of Holiness creates the holiness that surrounds it. 9 No fear can touch the Host Who cradles God in the time of Christ, for the Host is as holy as the perfect Innocence which He protects, and Whose power protects Him.


Journal
I used to abide in the darkness and didn’t even know it was dark. It was just all I knew. As I studied and practiced the Course, light began to shine within me, first just a spark, a tiny spark. The more I aspired to spiritual enlightenment, the brighter the light became. Now, in retrospect, I see how dark it was before and wonder how I could function in such dismal conditions. I had no idea who or what I was, and I didn’t feel the connection with all my brothers like I do now. How lonely it was, how discouraging and fearful to think I was alone.

Now it feels very strange that I was afraid of the light of love that was waiting for my desire for it so that it could ignite into the blaze of love it is now. I wonder what I thought it was going to cost me. I see now that there was no sacrifice asked of me. None. God is Love and Love can only offer Itself, certainly not harm, nor can It ask for sacrifice. Here is all I gave up in order to know this wonder; hatred, fear, guilt, rage, jealousy, competition, grievances, judgments and depression. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.

As soon as I made room for it, I received peace that hardly ever wavers and never wavers for long. I received love that seems to grow daily as if it has taken root within me and flourishes there. I feel the love in me and as it flows outward it is returned to me. What an amazing experience this is! I feel protected and upheld, enlightened and cherished. Instead of being upset that I am not perfect, I joyfully anticipate perfection as I open my heart to it. That I don’t seem to be a perfect expression of my Creator now, doesn’t matter at all. The perfection is there and I know it will show itself soon enough and I look forward to the experience of love that is total. What a Christmas gift this is!

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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Gentle Healing Lesson 174, Text, Manual for Teachers. 11-11-19

LESSON 174
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (157) Into His Presence would I enter now.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (158) Today I learn to give as I receive.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

“But the Holy One, the Giver of the happy dreams of life, Translator of perception into truth, the holy Guide to Heaven given you, has dreamed for you this journey which you make and start today, with the experience this day holds out to you to be your own.”

Today, I have experienced a touch of Heaven, perhaps not exactly as described in Lesson 157, but definitely a touch of it. My ego mind doesn’t find it to be perfect. I have resisted every effort the ego has made to pull me into one of its stories. Oh, yes, the ego has really tried, but I am more interested in peace today.

This morning during meditation, I asked for help in experiencing a deeper level of meditation and to more often feel the quiet joy of knowing who I am.  Before I read these lessons, I was asking for what is offered here. I was asking the Giver of happy dreams of life to work miracles in my mind.

What I feel is quiet joy. I am not exhilarated or excited, but just quietly joyful. I haven’t done anything differently, and I don’t know anything today that I didn’t know yesterday. But each group I was part of, each person I spoke to seemed precious to me and I felt joyful being a part of it.

Each time an untrue thought came into my mind, I gently released it without effort and with no concern it was there. I knew the Translator of perception was on the job and I didn’t need to concern myself other than to see the need for translation. I just let myself be carried.

“What has been given you? The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of love. Nor have you left your Source, remaining as you were created. This was given you as knowledge which you cannot lose. It was given as well to every living thing, for by that knowledge only does it live.”

Today, this passage from 158 was self-evident to me and therefore nothing that happened was important because it was just an illusion. This is what is true and cannot be changed or altered. My only purpose here is to stop believing anything else.

Manual for Teachers

3. WHAT ARE THE LEVELS OF TEACHING?
1 The teachers of God have no set teaching level. Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same; to make of the relationship a holy relationship, in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless. There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.

Every sentence in this paragraph tells me something I am happy to know. Relationships have different forms but all have the same goal. Through the teaching-learning process they have the potential to become holy relationships in which they look on each other and see only innocence. While this can happen with any two, there are very specific contacts for all of us and they will show up in our lives.

I have had relationships that have been very challenging and some of them took most of my life to resolve. I fully accept that there are no accidents in salvation. Every one of these relationships was important to my awakening. Even though some of them were quite painful for a time, I am grateful for the healing that came through them.

I know that I certainly didn’t approach them from the point of view that they had the potential for a holy relationship, yet I know now that they did. I will say that the relationships in my life have been healed of any anger or guilt. I think back on some of them and I see that all contention was just a thought in my mind and had nothing to do with the other person. So, as my thoughts were healed, the relationships were healed.

Text
This is from one of the Pathways of Light courses that I did. I thought it might be helpful to post it here. We were asked to write on the key thoughts we wish to reinforce to heal our mind and to share with our mind healing partner. Review T-7.VI.1-13

1. “It is impossible, however, to see something in part of it that you will not attribute to all of it. That is why attack is never discrete, and why it must be relinquished entirely. If it is not relinquished entirely it is not relinquished at all.”
So if I see someone as a threat, I will see threats everywhere I look and I will attack. I remember something that happened years ago. I was very upset with my husband and could do nothing about it. When my daughter did something I didn’t like, I attacked her like she had done a terrible thing. I didn’t understand at the time why I did that, and I felt very guilty for it.

I did it because attack is not discreet. The rage at my husband boiled over onto my daughter. Then I attacked myself for my behavior. As I chose to make more of my decisions with God, this kind of thing happened less and less. It never happens now. It became my goal to give up attack for all time.

Knowing that we are all one is what makes this possible. I notice that as I feel the oneness that we are, the desire to attack and defend has ended.

2. If I attack, I lose the awareness of love and since I am love, I have also lost the awareness of my self, my identity.

3. “… the ego attacks what is preserving it, which must result in extreme anxiety.”
Have you ever experienced unspecified anxiety, the feeling something was wrong but not had anything to pin the feeling on? I think this happens because of the ego attacks and what that means to us. We attack and we feel the wrongness of this and if we don’t take responsibility we will project. This just confuses the situation further and creates more anxiety. It is a terrible cycle that would go on forever were it not for the Holy Spirit in our mind.

4. “Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear.”
First, I notice that Jesus is putting fear before the ego. That is, we felt fear then we made the ego in response to that fear. So, in the tiny mad idea, we made a decision to experience separation and this decision caused us to be afraid. Then the fear in our mind caused the ego as a way of dealing with that fear, thus we came up with a thought system that allowed us to have the experience we wanted within a system that provided a means of dealing with the emotional effects through projection. We could make it someone else’s fault thinking this would hide our evil deed.
Since all thoughts produce after its kind, that fear thought continued to produce more fear thoughts which were then given form and projected as the world we seem to live in. The same power that made all of this can be used to undo it. As we notice the effects of the fear in our minds, we can learn to see it differently, to withdraw our belief in it, and to focus on the truth, which is love. Just as fear makes more fear and then manifests as fearful events, love, will make more love and will manifest as loving experiences.

5. “No one who has everything wants the ego.”
It is absolutely necessary that the ego deny your true self. If the ego accepts any part of you as love, it will be completely undone. If it accepts anyone else as pure love, it will be undone. So, it keeps everyone as enemies and hides this way of thinking from us. It does this, as far as I can see, by increasing fear and guilt and making everything seem so complex that we give up trying to understand it or change it. This is why we need the Holy Spirit and why God created the Holy Spirit. It is not fooled by the ego and can help us disentangle from it when we are ready to do so.

6. “The Holy Spirit does not want you to understand conflict; He wants you to realize that, because conflict is meaningless, it is not understandable.”
The Holy Spirit does not fight the ego or try to understand it. The Holy Spirit simply disregards it because it does not exist. Ultimately, this is my goal as well. I began by learning about the ego so I could recognize it. I was not trying to understand it or destroy it, I just wanted to know the difference between ego’s voice and the Voice for God. I then began to loosen my hold on these untrue thoughts and allow my mind to be corrected. I am still not at war with the ego, but I see that it is not me and I am practicing recognizing the tendency to identify with it so I can stop doing that. I hope that soon I will be able to disregard it completely because no part of my mind believes in it or has an interest in it. I am very close to this.

7. “If the mind cannot attack, the ego proceeds perfectly logically to the belief that you must be a body.”
The ego wants me to be the body because that is its chosen home, its chosen identity. It works diligently toward engaging my mind as its own delusional thought system, which keeps us from remembering who we are. It does this because knowledge would dispel the ego immediately. We must believe in one or the other, but not both if we are to remain at peace. This is why we must be vigilant for the truth if we want to be free.

8. “Unless you perceive His creation truly you cannot know the Creator, since God and His creation are not separate.”
It is when we accept our God and all His creations as whole and indivisible that we recognize our own identity and our power. This is why I cannot accept conflict and grievances in my mind. It is why I ask for correction the moment I notice this belief in my mind. If I believe in attack, I will think I am attacked and I will defend myself. And this very act of defense, the very thought of defense, keeps the ego in place. It leaves me feeling weak and vulnerable and makes attack seem fully justified.

9. “The attack must be blind, however, because there is nothing to attack.”
And yet, what do I attack? There is nothing to attack so we make up images that allow us to seem to attack and so seem to defend. That is what everyone and everything is to the ego. It is something to project upon and to attack, thus to seem to keep myself as innocent and everything else as guilty. It also serves the purpose of fleshing out my existence so that I can actually believe in this body as myself. This is clearly insane.

10. “Allowing insanity to enter your mind means that you have not judged sanity as wholly desirable.“
I think I need to defend myself against God and this is what I seem to be doing as I divide my allegiance by making instead of creating. I need scapegoats and I need to pretend none of this happened and the world I see is the only world there is. But in my mind is the truth and I cannot altogether ignore it and so I am not happy no matter what I do. I am not sane either while I claim two diametrically opposed thought systems and try to operate from both at the same time. This is almost completely gone now.

11. “In this depressing state the Holy Spirit reminds you gently that you are sad because you are not fulfilling your function as co-creator with God, and are therefore depriving yourself of joy. “
Thank, God, we are not left in this state. We but do this to ourselves and we have been given the means to undo it. We begin by deciding to remember that we are one with our brothers in spite of appearances and that we love our brothers as we must if we are one. Then we accept that we are one with God and that this oneness does not in any way diminish us. It is actually easy to shift into this way of thinking because it is the simple truth.

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Gentle Healing Lesson 173, Text, Manual for Teachers. 11-04-19

LESSON 173
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (155) I will step back and let Him lead the way.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (156) I walk with God in perfect holiness.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

If there is one thing I feel certain about it is that I am not a human being in spite of waking up every morning to a body. I am even learning to detach from the personality of this character, Myron. I am aware of it as I am aware of the body of Myron, but I don’t claim either as being me. I am Love because God is Love and I am His creation. But, I am not fully separated from the body/personality of this incarnation’s character either.

I still have some preferences, though much less than before. I still think in terms of the personal, but again, much less than I have in the past. Sometimes I get caught in one story or another. My daughter asked me to babysit for her again and she said she hated to do it but didn’t have anyone else to ask. It took some juggling of students to free up the four hours she needs me, but I did it.

I don’t like doing this. I don’t like moving my schedule around and falling behind on my work. I don’t like babysitting an active 2-year old for four hours, climbing up and down the stairs. But I saw the need was legitimate and so I agreed. I am using this time to practice giving up the idea that I like some things and dislike others.

The reason I want to give up the liking/disliking dichotomy is that disliking something is a sure-fire way to suffer because if I like something, I am automatically setting up the opposite. If what I like becomes unavailable, then I will be stuck with what I don’t like and so here we are again at suffering.

I joined with my holy Self and made a decision to release any thought of preferring to babysit or preferring to not babysit. I am emotionally allowing this part of the script. How will it turn out? Dread instantly turned to curiosity when I made that decision. At the same time, I told my daughter that she needs to get another backup sitter because I can’t be that for her in the future.

And now…
The decision to love the situation at hand has worked out very well. She calls on me only in the direst emergencies and I have come to enjoy my time with my granddaughter. It seems all my objections were of the ego and now that I no longer ask the ego for advice, I am discovering a whole world filled with opportunities to extend love and experience joy and peace.

Manual for Teachers

2. WHO ARE THERE PUPILS? 4,5
4 Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. The pupil comes at the right time to the right place. This is inevitable, because he made the right choice in that ancient instant which he now relives. So has the teacher, too, made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. God’s Will in everything but seems to take time in the working-out. What could delay the power of eternity?

That we are here studying A Course in Miracles together was always inevitable because it has already happened. It only seems to be a new event, something we decided on in this lifetime. Like everything in our stories, what seems to be true is not. But it is not a choice made for us, but a choice we made ourselves long ago. Both student and teacher made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. This is God’s Will and though it seems to have taken a lot of time to work its way, there is no time in eternity so it was done instantly and always had been done. Weirdly enough, though I have trouble finding words for this, I am beginning to make sense of it.

5 When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own. 

I love the way paragraph 5 begins. Right away the stage is set to express the fluid nature of the teaching-learning situation. I have students I work with every day. It appears as if I am the teacher and they the student, and those are the terms we use to make things simpler to speak about. But actually, when we come together for the purpose of true learning, that is checking our egos at the door, leaving behind our separate agendas and all expectations based on what we think we know, neither is the teacher and both are the teacher.

In our emptiness, we have made a place for the Teacher to come forward in our awareness and to teach through us. Since He knows the gap of personhood is an illusion, He moves seamlessly from one to another, healing as we speak our inadequate words, or say nothing. All that is needed is a true Heart’s desire to be healed through our union of purpose. This profound event, this holy instant may even go unnoticed and unremarked by the two who have come together, but it is a miracle, none-the-less. It is the fulfillment of our purpose.

My experience of the process is that I have absolutely nothing to do with its fulfillment. I simply show up where prompted, follow guidance as best as I can, be as willing as I can be, and even all this is only vaguely in my awareness, and sometimes not at all. It’s not my job to choose where and with whom this is to happen. Jesus is in charge of the Atonement and knows where the chain needs to link next. What a relief to be moved, to be lived, to let go of the intolerable burden of making decisions and taking action on my own. And what an illusion it was anyway. It’s amazing how thoughtlessly I will pick that burden back up again.

Holy Spirit, I invite you to guide me today in all things, to speak through me, to move me where I am needed, and above all, to call me back to sanity when I start running around on my own, thinking I am the one doing something.

XI. Christmas as the End of Sacrifice

T-15.XI.1. Fear not to recognize the whole idea of sacrifice as solely of your making. 2 And seek not safety by attempting to protect yourself from where it is not. 3 Your brothers and your Father have become very fearful to you. 4 And you would bargain with them for a few special relationships, in which you think you see some scraps of safety. 5 Do not try longer to keep apart your thoughts and the Thought that has been given you. 6 When they are brought together and perceived where they are, the choice between them is nothing more than a gentle awakening, and as simple as opening your eyes to daylight when you have no more need of sleep.

Journal
In seeking safety, we have only two choices, the ego or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit offers us our place in God, complete invulnerability, eternal life, joy, and perfect peace. The ego offers us the world, a separate self, the illusion of infinite choices and the effects of this choice, pain, suffering, and death. You would think the choice for God would be an easy one, and yet, Jesus spends a lot of time convincing us that God is the safe choice and that no sacrifice is asked of us.

The thing is, we made the idea of sacrifice, just as we made the idea of an ego. Sacrifice is unknown in God; it is only in our imagined world that the idea of sacrifice has any meaning. Do you see the implications of this? There is no sacrifice as soon as we stop believing in the idea of sacrifice.

It is no different than when a child is fearful of the monster in the closet until the parent opens the closet door and shines a light to prove there is no monster. When we open our minds to the Holy Spirit, the Light shows us we are safe, loved, and cherished. And it costs us nothing.

What likely began as an interesting exercise in imaginative play has gone awry. Our imagination ran away with us and now we have lost our way. There is nothing to fear, though, because we have total control. We can choose to open our eyes and see what is real. We have a Guide to help us remember who We are.

We are the Sons of God and it is time to claim our birth rite. Open the door to your secret fears and let the Holy Spirit shine His Light on them and they will disappear. The only thing hiding in the closet are imagined guilt and fear and imagination is easily dispelled by the Love that is God the Father and God the Son.

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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Gentle Healing Lesson 172, Text, Manual for Teachers. 10-30-19

LESSON 172
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (153) In my defenselessness my safety lies.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (154) I am among the ministers of God.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

I practice defenselessness all the time and have been for years now. I don’t often feel defensive anymore, but when I do, I catch it right away. I used to feel defensive when my kids would say something to me that I perceived as critical. At some point, I must have practiced enough that this stopped bothering me. Now when they do say something like that to me, I usually just laugh and agree that they probably have a point.

And the cool thing about that is that I mean it. I have evidently mostly stopped thinking that my human self has to be perfect and I have stopped identifying so much with that part of me so I don’t take it personally anymore. Occasionally, something will be said that actually triggers some unworthiness and that’s OK. It is just a chance to really master the decision to see this differently.

This newfound freedom is helpful in being a teacher of God. If I showed my child a hurt face, this would infer that he/she was guilty and guilt is what we are here to undo. I want to teach my children they are innocent. I want to do this with everyone. I am definitely becoming a better teacher of God through learning and practicing what I read in the Course.

Manual for Teachers
2. WHO ARE THEIR PUPILS? P 2, 3

2 In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time that the course sets forth. Atonement corrects illusions, not truth. Therefore, it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the Will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all. 

3 The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there. As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned. 

There are two important ideas about time that I take from these paragraphs. The first is that time is not real; it is part of the illusion. We are eternal. Here is a definition of eternity: a state to which time has no application; timelessness. We, as we were created, have nothing to do with time. We stand outside time, which doesn’t actually exist anyway.

The next thing I sort of understand is that while in the experience of a world we are having a linear experience in which time seems to be happening. So, it seems that we are making choices and we are experiencing the effects of those choices now. But what is really happening is that we are experiencing something that has already happened because in eternity everything happens at once or not at all. It seems that the world we know never happened because it starts and stops and changes, so it is an illusion.

Well, now that that’s crystal clear… What we can know is that within the story we are apparently living, which is an illusion, we are given the task of discovering what we already know. We look at our thoughts and allow them to be corrected where they are not true and this is what the Course calls accepting the Atonement. Eventually, our mind becomes clear enough that we know this is an illusion (called awakening) and we are on our way to returning to our true state.

Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there.

We are also told that the path home is already chosen but we are free to choose when we want to learn it. My path is A Course in Miracles. It looked like I found it by happenstance and that I decided to read it and to practice it all these years. But that this would happen was a done deal and my only part was to decide if it would be this lifetime in which I decided on it. And then Jesus says, And as you accept it, it is already learned.  My assumption here is that I cannot fail to learn it because I have already done so.

Chapter 16: The Forgiveness of Illusions
I. True Empathy

T-16.I.1. To empathize does not mean to join in suffering, for that is what you must refuse to understand. 2 That is the ego’s interpretation of empathy, and is always used to form a special relationship in which the suffering is shared. 3 The capacity to empathize is very useful to the Holy Spirit, provided you let Him use it in His way. 4 His way is very different. 5 He does not understand suffering, and would have you teach it is not understandable. 6 When He relates through you, He does not relate through your ego to another ego. 7 He does not join in pain, understanding that healing pain is not accomplished by delusional attempts to enter into it, and lighten it by sharing the delusion.

Journal
I used to think that empathy was to relate to the problem and to express that to the person who had the problem. For instance, if someone lost a loved one, I would agree with them how very hard this is and I would cry with them because their grief triggered my fear of loss.  I catch myself doing this very thing sometimes even now that I know better. I am always surprised at myself when I choose to form a special relationship through shared suffering. In doing this, I would be strengthening the belief in suffering for both of us. That is just plain crazy.

The question becomes, how do I relate to someone who is suffering? It would seem cruel not to respond at all and I’m not foolish enough to believe this is the time and place to talk to them about illusions. The solution is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in my mind and will give me the words to say if I ask and then pause long enough to receive them. I sometimes do funerals and, of course, I go to funerals, more of them than before now that I am older. So, it is important to me that I follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

When I am talking to a Course student, it is a little different. My assumption when a fellow student comes to me with a problem, they are hoping to receive some guidance from the Holy Spirit through me. I will speak to them differently than I do with someone else but, again, I ask first so that what I share will be helpful. I do feel empathy in both cases because I have both grieved and been confused.

If I feel more than empathy, if I feel sympathy or a desire to share their suffering, I give it to the Holy Spirit and then I ask for words to share with the one in front of me. If I need to revisit the issue later, I do that when I am alone. One of the things I have noticed is that with grief, sometimes all that is required of me is a hug. And with other problems sometimes all that is needed from me is a listening ear. The important thing for me to remember is that my part is to be there, to be open and receptive. Knowing what to say or do is the Holy Spirit’s part.

© 2019, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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Gentle Healing Lesson 171, Text, Manual for Teachers. 10-24-19

Lesson 171
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

1 (151) All things are echoes of the Voice for God.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

2 (152) The power of decision is my own.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

I was guided to look at the power of decision again and was further guided to review how it is I make decisions. This is from Rules for Decisions in Chapter 30.

Paragraph 14 on page 628 of the Text popped out at me. It says, ” We said you can begin a happy day with the determination not to make decisions by yourself. This seems to be a real decision in itself. And yet, you cannot make decisions by yourself. The only question really is with what you choose to make them. That is really all. The first rule, then, is not coercion, but a simple statement of a simple fact. You will not make decisions by yourself whatever you decide. For they are made with idols or with God. And you ask help of anti-Christ or Christ, and which you choose will join you and tell you what to do.”

And paragraph 16 on page 628 popped out at me too. It says, “The second rule as well is but a fact. For you and your advisor must agree on what you want before it can occur. It is but this agreement that permits all things to happen. Nothing can be caused without some form of union, be it with a dream of judgment or the Voice for God. Decisions cause results because they are not made in isolation. They are made by you and your adviser, for yourself and for the world as well. The day you want you offer to the world, for it will be what you have asked for, and will reinforce the rule of your adviser in the world. Whose kingdom is the world for you today? What kind of day will you decide to have?”

The lesson tells us in no uncertain terms and with no comprise that whatever is in our lives is there because we decided on it. In the Text he is explaining how we make the decision. We make it in union, either with the ego or the Holy Spirit. There is no other option. We do not make decisions on our own no matter what we tell ourselves to the contrary.

Here is an example. How is it that loss shows up in my life? Who would want that? Who would decide for loss? We did. We decided to show up as bodies that die. We then decided that when someone’s body dies, it means they die and we will suffer their loss. On two levels we made that decision, on the level of manifestation and on the level of interpretation. Neither death nor loss are in God, so we must have made those decisions with the ego.

Text
X. the Time of Rebirth, P 9

9 You will not succeed in being partial hostage to the ego, for it keeps no bargains and would leave you nothing. Nor can you be partial host to it. You must choose between total freedom and total bondage, for there are no alternatives but these. You have tried many compromises in the attempt to avoid recognizing the one decision you must make. And yet it is the recognition of the decision, just as it is, that makes the decision so easy. Salvation is simple, being of God, and therefore very easy to understand. Do not try to project it from you and see it outside yourself. In you are both the question and the answer; the demand for sacrifice and the peace of God.

Journal
This decision to be part ego and a part spirit has never worked and is not ever going to work. We live an illusion of a life and we suffer. We tell ourselves that when we die, then we will be spirit but then we wind up back here trying again and suffering again. We try all sorts of compromises. We become religious and at least once a week for an hour or so we give ourselves to God. Or spiritual, and we spend at least some of our time as seekers without ever really becoming a finder. All to keep from making a decision for God. But nothing we do brings us perfect joy or unending peace, and we wind up suffering after all.

What are we clinging to? What is so valuable that we cannot bear to give it up? What are we so afraid of? I think there is nothing to be afraid of but it is the fear that this is not true that keeps us sitting on this uncomfortable fence. We say we are afraid of God, but I wonder about that. Perhaps the real fear is in giving up what we made to take His place. We have convinced ourselves that this separate self with its endless stories is what we are and that to give it up would be annihilation.

We are afraid that we would be asked to give up our very life and everything that makes us what we are. But what we would actually be giving up is what we are not, so that we could embrace what We are. We are going to have to eventually get off that fence and choose reality. Why not sooner than later? Why continue to suffer when we could be living in continuous bliss? There is no compromise in this. We must choose and we will, in the end, choose God. So, again, why wait?

Manual for Teachers
2. WHO ARE THEIR PUPILS?

1 Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. Again, it is only a matter of time. Once he has chosen to fulfill his role, they are ready to fulfill theirs. Time waits on his choice, but not on whom he will serve. When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him. 

I find it very comforting to know that as a teacher of God, my students are being sent to me. I need do nothing to find them. It’s not up to me to decide if they are ready for what I offer. I don’t have to worry that I won’t have what they need. If they have been sent to me, I can be sure that we are perfectly matched for a learning/teaching situation.

Again, Jesus reminds us that as we teach we learn when he says, “When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him.”  My experience has proven this to me. I am very grateful to each and every teaching/learning opportunity that is given to me.

Since I was ordained, I have had numerous students and opportunities to teach, but Holy Spirit began sending me students before I even knew I had answered a call or even that there was a call to answer. They would come right out of the blue.

My spiritual life had slowly begun to expand outside the perimeters of traditional religion. Holy Spirit started me off slowly by sending some simple books my way. One of the first I read was a book about Edgar Cayce. That was pretty radical stuff for me back then. It was important because it was a gentle way for me to begin to consider that things are not always what they seem.

Then a book about life after life came my way and I opened to even more to possibilities. I had just finished reading this book when I received my first teaching opportunity, or at least the first one that I was aware of. I was driving a taxicab in Houston, Texas at the time. When my fare got into the cab that morning he was at first quiet, then struck up a conversation, and immediately began telling me about a near-death experience he had. It was strange, almost like he was just waiting for the chance to tell me about this.

This man, whose name I never got, had surgery some time back and “died” on the table. They revived him and he had a very vivid memory of his death experience. When he finished telling me about it, he confessed that he had never shared this experience with anyone because he was afraid of being judged. There was only one book out about this kind of thing at that time and it was not as accepted as it is now. He asked me what I thought about what happened to him and what did I think it meant.

I told him about the book I had just finished and suggested he get hold of a copy. I told him I believed him and I don’t know if I said much of anything else, but he left my cab more relieved than when he got in, and he now had a resource that could help him learn more if he wanted to. I was just a bit astounded by the whole thing. Why did he tell me that? How was it that I was one of the few people he would speak to that day that would understand?

At the time this happened, I didn’t know about the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know about being a teacher of God, or that once we put our foot on this path opportunities would unfold before us without our effort. I did feel wonder that it happened and gratitude that somehow, I managed to be helpful. I felt a deep satisfaction that only in retrospect did I understand. It seemed a small teaching, but he needed the only thing I could give him, and so it was perfect.

The second teaching opportunity came within a year or so, and I had joined a Unity church by this time and was a tiny bit less clueless than before. I was working in an ad agency and a man came in to look over our stock and started a conversation with me. He quickly began telling me things about his life and I knew he wanted me to help him figure it out.

I didn’t have a clue what to say, but something in me caused me to ask God for words. I think I was very helpful to him. If he was surprised, I was even more surprised. I had never had the experience of teaching myself as I taught someone else. I didn’t know where the words came from, well, from God of course, but I didn’t know, up until that moment, that this could happen.

We don’t need to think about how we are going to be used and we don’t need to understand anything that happens. We just need to show up with a willingness to be used by the Holy Spirit.

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