is but a recognition; not a change at all."
are people who have lived on the earth, and
perhaps there are people living here now, whose
minds have been completely healed by the Holy
all religions, there are stories of saints and
prophets who worked miracles. That is because,
when the mind returns to God, it becomes a vessel
for His power. The power of God transcends the
laws of this world. Saints and prophets have
actualized the Christ within them. They have
been purified of fearful thoughts and only love
remains within their minds.
purified beings are called the Enlightened ones.
Light means understanding. The enlightened understand.
people don’t have anything we don’t
have. They have perfect love inside, and so
do we. The difference is that they don’t
have anything else. Enlightened beings, Jesus
and others, exist in a state that is only potential
in the rest of us. Jesus and other enlightened
masters are our evolutionary elder brothers.
The Christ-mind is merely the perspective of
unconditional love. You and I have the Christ-mind
in us as much as Jesus does. The difference
between him and us is that we are tempted to
deny it. He’s beyond that. His every thought
and action stems from love. The unconditional
love, or Christ within him, is the truth that
sets us free, because it’s the perspective
that saves us from our own fearful thoughts.
are in trouble because we fight too much. We
fight ourselves, each other, our planet, and
God. A thoroughly loving person is like an evolutionary
mutation, manifesting a being that puts love
first and thus creates the context in which
miracles occur. Ultimately, that is the only
smart thing to do. The mutation, the enlightened
ones, show the rest of us our evolutionary potential.
They point the way.
ego is like a gravitational force field, built
up over eons of fearful thinking, which draws
us away from the love in our hearts. In Course
terminology, our entire network of fearful perceptions
is called the ego. The word ego is used differently
here than the way in which it is often used
in modern psychology. It is being used as the
ancient Greeks used it, as the notion of a small,
is a false belief about ourselves, a lie
about who we really are.
though living that lie is a terrible anxiety,
it’s amazing how resistant we are to healing
the split in our mind about who we are. As uncomfortable
as our life might be, as painful or even desperate
at times, the life we’re living is the
life we know, and we cling to the old rather
than try something new. The
ego is our mental power turned against ourselves.
It is clever, like we are, and smooth-talking,
like we are, and manipulative, like we are.
Remember all the talk about a silver-tongued
devil? The ego doesn’t come up to us and
I’m your self-loathing." It’s
not stupid, because we’re not. Rather,
it says things like, "Hi, I’m your
adult, mature, rational self. I’ll help
you look out for number one." Then it proceeds
to counsel us to look out for ourselves, at
the expense of others. It teaches us selfishness,
greed, judgment, and small-mindedness.
Holy Spirit is the call to awaken and be glad."
will means we can think whatever we want to
think, but no thoughts are neutral. There is
no such thing as an idle thought. All thought
produces form on some level. Taking responsibility
for our lives, then, means taking responsibility
for our thoughts. And praying to God to save
our lives, means praying for Him to save us
from our own negative thoughts.
Holy Spirit was God's answer to the ego. He
is God's eternal communication link with His
separated sons, a bridge back to gentle thoughts,
the Great Transformer of Perception from fear
to love. Often the Holy Spirit is referred to
as the Comforter. He comes to us in many forms,
from a conversation with a friend to a serious
spiritual path; from a lyric in a song to an
excellent therapist. He
is the inexorable drive toward wholeness that
exists within, no matter how disoriented or
crazy we get. God can’t force his way
back into our thinking, because that would be
violating our free will. But the Holy Spirit
is a force of consciousness within us that delivers
us from Hell, or fear, whenever we consciously
ask him to, transforming our thoughts from fear
within us longs to go home, and He is that something.
The Holy Spirit guides us to a different perception
of reality. His correction of our perception
is called Atonement. In asking the Holy Spirit
to help us, we are expressing our willingness
to perceive a situation differently. We give
up our own interpretations and opinions, and
ask that they be replaced by His.
angry, we pray, "Dear God, I am
willing to see this differently."
a situation to God means surrendering to Him
our thoughts about it. Some people think that
if we surrender to God, we’re giving up
personal responsibility. But the opposite is
true. We’re taking the ultimate responsibility
for a situation by being responsible for our
thoughts about it.
people think that calling on God means inviting
a force into our lives that will make everything
rosy. The truth is, it means inviting everything
into our lives that will force us to grow, and
growth can be messy. The purpose of life is
to become aware of our perfection. So, once
we call on God, everything that could anger
us is on the way.Why? Because the place where
we go into anger instead of love, is our wall
to the awareness of our perfection. Any situation
that pushes our buttons is a situation where
we don’t yet have the capacity to be unconditionally
loving. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job
to draw our attention to that, and help us move
beyond that point. Our
comfort zones are the limited areas in which
we find it easy to love. It’s the Holy
Spirit’s job not to respect those comfort
zones, but to bust them. We’re not at
the mountaintop until any zone is comfortable.
isn’t real love until it’s unconditional.
We’re not experiencing who we really are,
until we experience our perfect love.
order to ensure our progress toward the goal
of enlightenment, the Holy Spirit has a highly
individualized curriculum for everyone. Every
encounter, every circumstance can be used by
Him for His purposes. He
translates between our perfect spirit Self,
and our worldly insanity. He enters into the
illusion and leads us beyond it. The spiritual
path, then, is simply the journey of living
our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path,
most people just don’t know it.
Holy Spirit is a force in our minds that knows
us in our perfectly loving, natural state, which
we’ve forgotten, but enters into the world
of fear and illusion with us, and uses our experiences
here to remind us who we are. He does this by
showing us the possibility of a loving purpose
in everything we think and do. He revolutionizes
our sense of why we are on the earth. Everything
we do in our lives will be used, or interpreted,
by the ego or the Holy Spirit. The ego uses
everything to lead us further into anxiety.
The Holy Spirit uses everything to lead us into
inner peace and happiness.
Love Is Real
is not the author of fear. You are."
or God, taken seriously is a radical outlook,
a major departure from the psychological orientation
that rules this physical world. It is threatening
not because it is a small idea, but because
it is so terribly huge. For many people, God
is a frightening idea. Asking God for help doesn’t
seem very comforting if we think of Him as something
outside of ourselves or judgmental. But God
is love and He dwells within us. We were created
in His image, or mind, which means that we are
extensions of His love, or Sons of God.
Course says we have an authority problem. We think
we authored God, rather than realizing that He
authored us. Rather than accepting that we are
the loving beings that He created, we have arrogantly
thought that we could create ourselves, and then
create God. We have made up a God in our image.
Because we are angry and judgmental, we have projected
those characteristics onto Him. But God remains
who He is and always will be: He is the energy,
the thought of unconditional love. He cannot think
with anger or judgment. He is mercy and compassion
and total acceptance. We
forgot this, and having done so, we have forgotten
who we ourselves are. I began to realize that
taking love seriously would be a complete transformation
of my thinking.
Course in Miracles calls itself a mind
training in the relinquishment of a thought
system based on fear, and the acceptance instead
of a thought system based on love. To surrender
to God means to let go and love. By affirming
that love is our priority in a situation, we
actualize the power of God. Through
a mental decision, a conscious recognition of
love’s importance and our willingness
to experience it, we call on a higher power.
We set aside our normal mental habit patterns
and allow them to be superceded by a different
mode of perception. That is the meaning of miracles.
we get to the point where we realize that God
is love, it’s not too difficult to understand
that following God just means following the
dictates of love.
question is no longer "What is God?"
The question we ask now is, "What is
is energy. It’s not something we can perceive
with physical senses. But people can usually
tell you when they feel it and when they don't.
Very few people feel enough love in their lives.
The world is rather a loveless place. We
can hardly even imagine a world in which all
of us were in love all the time, with everyone.
There would be no war because we wouldn’t
fight. There would be no prejudice, oppression,
or violence of any kind. There would be no sorrow.
There would only be peace.
of us are violent people, not necessarily physically,
but emotionally. We have been brought up in
a world that does not put love first, and where
love is absent, fear sets in. Fear is to love
as darkness is to light. We need love in order
to live happily, as much as we need oxygen in
order to live at all. It's not that mysterious,
really. Without love, the world is simply not
a great place to be. So the problem with the
world is that we have strayed from God, or wandered
away from love. According to the Course, this
separation from God (Love) first happened millions
of years ago. But the important revelation,
the crux of the Course, is that in reality it
never actually happened at all. The introduction
to A Course in Miracles states,
Course can be summed up very simply:
real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God."
that means is this: Love is real. It’s
an eternal creation so cannot be destroyed.
Anything that isn’t love is an illusion.
Remember this, and you’ll be at peace.
The Course says that only love is real:
opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing
can have no opposite."
we think with love, we are literally co-creating
with God. And when we’re not thinking
with love, since only love is real, then we’re
actually not thinking at all. We’re hallucinating.
And that’s what the Course says this world
is: a mass hallucination, where fear seems more
real than love. Our
craziness, paranoia, anxiety and trauma are
literally all imagined. That is not to say they
don’t exist for us as human beings, and
need to be brought to light in order to be released.
But they do not replace the love within us.
They are literally a bad dream.
Course explains that our mind has been split
in two, with one part staying in touch with
love, and the other part veering into fear.
Fear manufactures a kind of parallel universe
where the unreal seems more real than the real.
A Course in Miracles, sin is loveless
perception. The way out of sin or fear is through
opening the mind to God or love. Love casts
out fear the way light casts out darkness.
shift from fear to love is what the Course
means by a miracle.
addresses the real source of our problems, which
is always on the level of consciousness. Thoughts
are like data programmed into a computer, registered
on the screen of your life. If you don’t
like what you see on the screen, there’s
no point in trying to erase it off the screen.
If you don’t like the effects in your
life, you have to change the nature of your
thinking because thought is cause; experience
of love in your mind produces love in your
life. This is the meaning of Heaven.
of fear in your mind produces fear in your
life. This is the meaning of hell.
Our worldly problems are actually just symptoms
of the real problem, which is always a lack
of love. The miracle, a shift from fear to love,
works on an invisible plane. It transforms the
world at the causal level. Anything else is
just a temporary palliative, a fix but not a
healing, a treatment of the symptom but not
say, "God, please help me,"
means, "God, correct my thinking."
me from hell," means "Deliver
me from my insane thoughts."
Himself will not violate the law of cause and
effect. It is the most basic law of consciousness.
As long as we follow the Golden Rule (do unto
others as you would have done to you), we are
safe. Adam and Eve were
happy until she "ate of the knowledge
of good and evil." What
that means is that everything was perfect until
they began to judge, to keep their hearts open
sometimes, but closed at others. "I love
you if you do this, but not if you do that."
our hearts destroys our peace. It's alien to
our real nature. It warps us and turns us into
people we're not meant to be. Freud defined
neurosis as separation from Self, and so it
is. The real Self is the love within us. It's
the Child of God. The fearful self is an imposter.
return to love is the great cosmic drama, the
personal journey from pretense to self, from
pain to inner peace.
your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing
is left but a blessing."
exists in eternity. The only point where eternity
meets time is in the present. The past is merely
a thought we have. It is literally all in our
minds. Our capacity for brilliance is equal
to our capacity to forget the past and forget
the future. The Course teaches, "Give
the past to Him who can change your mind about
it for you."
that is real in our past is the love we gave
and the love we received. Everything else is
miracle is a shift in thinking from what we
might have done in the past or should be doing
in the future, to what we feel free to do right
here, right now; a shift from man’s way
of thinking to God’s way of thinking.
We want a new life, a new beginning. We desire
a life untainted by any darkness of the past,
and being entitled to miracles we are entitled
to that full release. This is what it means
to say that Jesus washes us clean of our sins.
He completely removes all loveless thoughts.
The physical world of the ego is a world of
constant changes, ups and down, darkness and
light. The physical world of time is not the
real world. The spirit world of eternity is
our real home. We are on our way there.
is no time, no place, no state where God
have been times in my life, when I have
felt that sadness would overwhelm me. Something
didn’t turn out the way I wanted it
to, or there was some conflict between myself
and someone else, or I was afraid of what
was going to happen or not happen in the
lives in those moments can be so painful,
and the mind begins an endless search for
things that could make us feel better, or
change the situation. What
I learned from the Course is that the change
we’re really looking for is inside
our heads. Our
outer circumstances will always be in flux.
One day they love you; the next day you’re
their target. One
day a situation is running smoothly; the
next day chaos reigns. One day you feel
like you're an okay person; the next day
you feel like you're an utter failure. What
can change, however, is how we perceive
those experiences. And that shift in our
perception is the meaning of miracles.
a Biblical story where Jesus says we can
build our house on sand or we can build
it on rock. When
our house is built on sand, then the winds
and rain can tear it down. When our house
is built on rock, then it’s sturdy
and strong and the storms can’t destroy
house is our emotional stability. When it
is built on sand, our sense of well-being
is based on circumstances working out our
way, based on fleeting things and passing
moods. One disappointing phone call and
we crumble. When
it is built on rock, we’re not so
vulnerable to life’s passing dramas.
emotional stability rests on something more
enduring, something permanent and strong.
When our house is built on rock, it means
we're depending on the higher reality of
had never realized that depending on God
meant depending on love. I had heard it
said that God was love, but it had never
kicked in for me exactly what that meant.
As I began to study A Course in Miracles,
I discovered the following things about
God: He is the perfect unconditional love
within us. Whether we follow Him, i.e.,
think with perfect love, is entirely up
to us. When we choose to love, or to allow
our minds to be one with God, then life
is wonderful. When we turn away from love,
the pain sets in. So when we think with
God, life is peaceful. When we think without
Him, life is painful. And that’s the
mental choice we make, every moment of every
Thought God holds of you is like a star,
unchangeable in an eternal sky."
perfect you is the love within you. The
perfect you isn’t something you need
to create, because God created it. To remember
that you are part of God, that you are love,
is not arrogant. It’s humble. To
think you are anything else is arrogant,
because it implies you created yourself.
Your job is to allow the Holy Spirit to
remove the fearful thinking that surrounds
your perfect self. Love is changeless and
therefore so are you.
Carl Jung posited the notion of the collective
unconscious. His idea was that if you went
deep into your mind, and deep into mine,
there is a level we all share. The Course
goes one step further; if you go deep into
your mind, and deep into mine, we have the
same mind. The
concept of a divine or Christ mind is the
idea that, at our core, we are not just
identical, but actually the same being.
"There is only one begotten Son"
doesn’t mean that Jesus was it, and
we’re not. It means we’re all
it. There’s only one of us here. We’re
like the spokes on a wheel, all radiating
out from the same center. If you define
us according to our position on the rim,
we seem separate. But if you define us according
to our source, the center of the wheel,
we’re a shared identity. At the bottom
of it all, what we are is love.
word Christ is a psychological term. No
religion has a monopoly on the truth. Christ
refers to the common thread of divine love
that is the core and essence of every human
love in one of us is the love in all of
us. There's actually no place where God
stops and you start, and no place where
you stop and I start. Love is energy, an
infinite continuum. Your mind extends into
mine and into everyone else's. It doesn't
stay enclosed within your body.
Course in Miracles likens us to sunbeams
thinking we’re separate from the sun,
or waves thinking we’re separate from
the ocean. Just
as a sunbeam can’t separate itself
from the sun, and a wave can’t separate
itself from the ocean, we can’t separate
ourselves from one another. We are all part
of a sea of love, one indivisible divine
truth of who we really are doesn't change;
we just forget it. We identify with the
notion of a small, separate self, instead
of the idea of a reality we share with everyone.
aren’t who you think you are. Aren’t
not your grades, or your credentials, or
your resume, or your house. We aren’t
those things at all. We
are holy beings, individual cells in the
body of Christ. We are who God created us
to be. We are all one, we are love itself.
the Christ is merely a shift in self-perception.
We awaken from the dream that we are finite,
isolated creatures, and recognize that we
are glorious, infinitely creative spirits.
lot of today’s most common psychological
orientation is to analyze the darkness in
order to reach the light, thinking that
if we focus on our neuroses, their origins
and dynamics, then we will move beyond them.
we get in life that which we focus on. Continual
focus on darkness leads us, as individuals
and as a society, further into darkness.
To focus on Christ means to focus on the
goodness and power that lie latent within
us, in order to invoke them into realization
accept the Christ within" means,
accept the beauty within me as who I really
am. I am not my weakness. I am not my anger.
I am not my small-mindedness. I am much much
more. And I am willing to be reminded of who
I really am."
to Love by
Marianne Williamson presents
the principles of A Course in Miracles with simplicity