Tag Archive: A Course in Miracles


The answer is yes according to bestselling author of A Return to Love, and numerous other books, Marianne Williamson. She is probably the best example of how to practice the principles of A Course in Miracles, a type of self-help spiritual psychotherapy aimed at changing our perceptions of the world. I am finding that I am much more emotionally balanced by practicing the Course. She has also just announced that she is running for Congress. See video interviews A Vision of Possibility and A New Paradigm for Politics.

It sounds like she is taking her own best advice:

“Our Deepest Fear…”

More lovely quotes:

It's not just what we do, but also who we are ...

It’s not just what we do, but also who we are that transforms the world (Photo credit: symphony of love)

Next time youre about to judge someone, attemp...

Next time youre about to judge someone, attempt to understand them instead (Photo credit: symphony of love)

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I want to share with you all an excerpt from A Course in Miracles, which is a form of do-it-yourself spiritual psychotherapy that changes our perceptions of the world.

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; added by those for whom prayer or miracles were granted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lesson 195:

Love is the way I walk in gratitude 

Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss. The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others. And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they. How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts! For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause? And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more? Your gratitude is due to Him alone Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.

It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness. Nor could the even partly sane refuse to take the steps which He directs, and follow in the way He sets before them, to escape a prison that they thought contained no door to the deliverance they now perceive.

Your brother is your “enemy” because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you, and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining. Now is vengeance all there is to wish for. Now can you but try to bring him down to lie in death with you, as useless as yourself; as little left within his grasping fingers as in yours.

You do not offer God your gratitude because your brother is more slave than you, nor could you sanely be enraged if he seems freer. Love makes no comparisons. And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love. We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find their freedom. It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound. For who can bargain in the name of love?

Therefore give thanks, but in sincerity. And let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. All these go with you. Let us not compare ourselves with them, for thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share with them, as they must share with us.

We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness, nor impair or change our function to complete the One Who is Himself completion. We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we fail to recognize the gifts of God to us.

Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest a while. We offer thanks for them. For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. An ancient door is swinging free again; a long forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory, and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear.

Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love. For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. What more remains as obstacles to peace? The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing. Thus we cannot choose to overlook some things, and yet retain some other things still locked away as “sins.” When your forgiveness is complete you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self.

Today we learn to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice and revenge. We have been given everything. If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. Gratitude becomes the single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. God has cared for us, and calls us Son. Can there be more than this?

Our gratitude will pave the way to Him, and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of. Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all creation. God gives thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way to God.

Learn more about A Course in Miracles.

Happy Thanksgiving 😉

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

In my last post. Are Negative Emotions “Unspiritual”?   I talked about how we need to go easy on ourselves when we find that we can’t always think positively, especially in light of the fact that we have a mood disorder. I also questioned the idea that the so-called “negative” emotions are always a bad thing, because they can teach us about ourselves and others.  A good analogy is that of physical pain, if we always ignore it then we would never learn not to touch a hot stove!

So pain is designed to tell us when something is wrong.  With bipolar disorder somehow our emotional pain signals have gotten screwed up. This is not our fault, although the outside world tends to judge us harshly for it. When we feel the pressure to “just think positively’ it is very difficult to get people to understand that there are times when we just can’t!

But does that mean that positive thinking doesn’t have a part in our recovery? No, because even if at a particular moment in time where we cannot actually believe something, just being exposed to a positive affirmation often enough can help change our beliefs. I am not saying permanently, because we are going to have mood swings. But maybe that positive thought can help slow our decent and help us get back on our feet again.

That is why I often put affirmations around my house and read them daily. I can make up my own or find quotes that inspire me. This isn’t about trying to make myself believe something, that would be counter-productive because I can’t do that. It is about planting a seed that (hopefully) will grow in my sub-conscious mind.

I want to share with you all one of my favorite inspirational quotes of all time. I am sure many of you are already aware of this one, but I think it bears repeating over and over. Enjoy!

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles *

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

*Note: Many people incorrectly attribute this quote to Nelsen Mandela

Bipolars: Are We Victims?

Original logo of FIP, later adopted by the FACIM

Original logo of FIP, later adopted by the FACIM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am not the victim of the world I see.

A Course in Miracles, Lesson 31

 

I am a student of A Course in Miracles. Sort of. Actually a relapsed student. While I agree with many of its points I still find that some are hard to take in.  Fortunately there is no requirement that I have to accept everything verbatim.  The Course is really about trying on new ideas and new ways of interacting with ourselves and others. It is a kind of spiritual psychotherapy.

The central theme of the book is summed up as follows:

“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”

So what does that mean? It means that the only thing that is real is God’s love.  Period. Anything that does not come from God is a form of attack upon ourselves and others. The aim of A Course in Miracles is to learn how to get rid of our psychological blocks to God’s love and to release ourselves and others through forgiveness. Forgiveness of others is defined as learning to recognize their innate innocence as Sons and Daughters of God. Whatever “evil” they have done is due to their psychological separation from God and His love. This applies to us as well.

Although I find the Course intriguing, I will confess that I find it hard to understand because of its’ very intellectual format.  However there are many books and websites commentaries that I have found very helpful as far as understanding the concepts and how to apply them to my life.

One of them is ACIM Mentor. Here he answers a question about victimhood:

The personal thought system (ego) in your mind has a story for you. A Course in Miracles refers to this as your individual or personal past…This is your “personal story” and it is not an obstacle to peace in itself but functions as one when you identify with and are attached to it because it is not reality.”

What better way to describe my turbulent emotions I experience with my depressive disorder?  And also the fact that I frequently flash back to the emotional abuse that I experienced as a child? And what about the pervasive guilt that tells me that I am no good, that I am a mistake and no one would want to be around me?

“You know that you identify with and are attached to a personal story when you feel that it defines you and that you have to defend it.”

Yes I do identify with my bipolar disorder. It is a part of my story. However I am not sure that all of my problems are due to this insidious disease. It is too simplistic to say that every problem I experience is completely out of my control and that I cannot make changes to make my journey easier.  Plus there is more to me than just having bipolar disorder. I am not a disease. I am a child of God.

“When you identify with it you feel under attack by others, the world, and sometimes even your own “nature”. In other words, you are an innocent “victim” surrounded by cruelty and you are powerless. You are hurt easily and you take everything personally. You see everything that happens around you, like neutral events and other people’s actions and words, as being about you.”

Guilty as charged.

Some roles, like “victim”, are interpretations that always function as obstacles to peace because they are the result of you projecting your own thoughts onto others. The personal thought system projects from its personal story into the present to perpetuate the roles that it has assigned to you. For example, let’s say that your personal story is that your father left your family when you were a child, leaving your mother to struggle to support you and your siblings. You have grown up thinking of yourself as a victim of abandonment. You view your relationships with others through this filter. You expect abandonment and interpret others’ actions through this expectation. You may also be attracted to others who are likely to abandon you so that you can perpetuate the victim role.”

In my own life the story has been about feeling abandoned by my mother because of her harsh judgments on me. I have been reenacting that scenario with my sister and brother-in-law for years.

“Inner peace is the result of being aware of the Truth (God) within you. When you first invite Truth into your awareness you experience a magnificent peace, but you soon find that it is hard for you to maintain an awareness of Truth and to stay at peace. The reason is your belief in and attachment to your personal story for yourself.”

Perhaps this is one reason why I have been sporadic in my studies of A Course in Miracles. It seems too hard for me to change.  However, the Course is not about instant change. It is about gradually learning to see ouselves in a different way.

“So when your peace is disturbed you must look at this story and all of your conscious and unconscious beliefs in and attachment to it so that you can recognize how this affects you now. As the Truth becomes more real to you, you will find that you can let go of this story because you have Something with which to replace it. In time you will simply rest in Truth within and let the personal story unfold in front of you, without judgment on it or attachment to it. You will recognize that it is not you, but only an idea in your mind.”

Read the entire post here.

 

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Allowing Miracles

A Course in Miracles

A Course in Miracles (Photo credit: AlicePopkorn)

Miracles are natural; when they do not occur, something has gone wrong.

A Course in Miracles

Manifesting miracles does not necessarily mean that we will get what we want. Rather it means being open to possibilities:an attitude of expectancy, rather than expectations of a specific result. It means trusting the Universe to take care of our needs, even when our lives are in turmoil. We all have experienced miracles, even if we don’t know it. It may take the form of a stranger who just happens to direct you to the right help at the right time. We may find that the financial assistance and the housing we need comes through just in time. You may meet someone in a support group who has managed to beat the odds and become productive again. When we try to force miracles, however, they do not come and we become discouraged. But when we place our fate in Spirit’s hands things start happening. Miracles mean new directions and new opportunities. But for many of us, when we are in the depths of our bipolar illness, we often miss the miracles that are right in front of us. If we say, ” I don’t need medication, therapy doesn’t help, support groups are for losers”, then we are rejecting the very miracles that are offered to us. If we say, “I will never get well, it is useless to try”, then we will be right. Miracles also require effort, the willingness to seek out the resources that will help us, and put them to use. No one can help you unless you let them. Many of reject miracles out of pride; we are secretly ashamed of our illness. But if you open the door a tiny little crack to let the sunlight in, you allow space for your own miracles to happen. And remember, the biggest miracles is you, every one of us has inner strength that we are unaware of. We are all manifestations of God; we are not just our illness. If you have survived your illness to this point, then you have already manifested a miracle.

Today I will be open to whatever miracles come my way.

The Art of Appreciation

Diamond Dewdrop -- Jan 8, 2011

Diamond Dewdrop — Jan 8, 2011 (Photo credit: Ray_from_LA)

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.

Henry Ward Beecher

Being happy does not always depend on getting what we want, but appreciating what we have. Do this exercise in appreciation: Go outside in the early morning and start noticing the splendor around you. Notice the golden softness of the sun’s rays (photographers call this “sweet light”).  Notice how this light illuminates the trees, leaving little halos around the leaves. Notice the dewdrops shining like pearly diamonds on the grass. Inhale deeply of the fresh, cool air. Notice everything around you. Are there flowers? Take in the color, the fragrance, and the waxy texture of the petals. Realize that all these things are miracles, reflecting the glory of God. Now ponder that we too are miracles, made in the image of God. We are literally made of God-stuff, the stuff of the Universe. And you too can shine with the radiance of all that is around you.

Spend the day in prayerful meditation, noticing everything around you, realizing that everything we take for granted is a miracle.