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91 Miracles are seen in light.

MT: Miracles and vision go together, and you say this is a central idea in my new thought system. JC, you're getting pretty esoteric here. I have no idea what you're talking about. Miracles? Vision? Light?

JC: You made up darkness, and you think you see in it, but it was made to obscure light.

MT: So I am groping in darkness, right now, this minute. The light in this room, coming from two sources, is not the real light.

JC: It is not the light we're talking about. It is a shabby imitation.

MT: I can understand shabby, and I vaguely understand that there is a world beyond the one I perceive. But the relationship between miracles and light? I thought of them as two separate events. So I haven't got the central thought of the Course, I guess.

JC: You glossed over this idea in the past. You didn't understand it, so you went on.

MT: It is time I understood it. Please show it to me. I guess you are leading me to actually DO the Course, not just talk about it. I hover around the Infinite--my whole life has had this hovering, disengaged quality about it. You want me to open myself to God through "deep experience." I call this meditation, and I've backed off from meditation for years now. Are we talking about the same thing? Deep experience equals meditation?

JC: Yes and no. Meditation facilitates deep experience, but deep experience can happen while you're washing the dishes or driving on a country road.

MT: Paul on the road to Damascus. . . that's me. So this is my prayer: JC, hold my hand today and surprise me with a light show!

 

91 Miracles are seen in light.

MT: I know the possibilities, JC. I know what could be, if only . . .
JC: You know nothing, dear sister, beloved, beautiful and whole. You know nothing.
MT: You are saying I have no way of knowing what could be, because that is beyond my imagining.
JC: To lament being short of a state that is only a projection of the past, that is futile. The mind is doing nothing while engaging in this. Let go of past and future. Come wholly empty-handed unto your God.
MT: I see that I can't be present while lamenting not being present.
JC: That would be one way to hide the light from you. There are many, and all equally futile.

91 Miracles are seen in light.

Light, formless and infinite! We came from light, to light we shall one day return. Should the sun go out, all things of Earth would perish, that much is certain. There is nothing to compare with light--sound just doesn't cut it. There is nothing faster than light--it circles the globe six times in one second. On my back on the high Sierra ground, contemplating the astonishing display of a starry sky, this is all I can say: God IS.


92 Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.

MT: Here's that connection again, light and strength, strength and light.

JC: You cannot have one without the other. You cannot be strong if you regard yourself as a miserable sinner. You cannot make strength out of weakness. You have to leave weakness behind. Let the light of God in today, and expect miracles.

MT: I just had a flash of the old state of mind, the desperation, the groping about in the dark. You offer instant release--the miracle.

JC: Salvation happens in a flash, but it can take a long time. It waits on your readiness.

MT: Today, I remember that the light of God is all around me. It is the essence of Life.

 

92 Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.

JC: You bring light today to those you meet. Selfish happiness does not exist.
MT: Sometimes I feel like a burned-out bulb, and I fight that feeling. But fighting it doesn't help.
JC: Know that the truth needs no defense. Meet the world totally without defenses and you will see how needless and futile they are.
MT: It was good to meditate this morning, JC. I got to that place where nothing needs to happen, where I can meditate forever. Thanks for the useful commentary on the lesson. I've been missing the point for a while, wandering in the wilderness so to speak.
JC: Wander no more. The Father waits with a banquet set for you in your House that you never left.

92 Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.

>. . . your idea of what seeing means is tied up with the body and its eyes and brain. Thus you believe that you can change what you see by putting little bits of glass before your eyes.

I see with the mind, not with the eyes. I get that much.

>You also believe the body's brain can think. If you but understood the nature of thought, you could but laugh at this insane idea. It is as if you thought you held the match that lights the sun and gives it all its warmth; or that you held the world within your hand, securely bound until you let it go. Yet this is no more foolish than to believe the body's eyes can see; the brain can think.

So Mind is way more that I can even conceive of. Gregory Bateson wrote of the intelligence inherent in all living things. To him that was God. I agree with Bateson that evolution is intelligence at work.

>It is your weakness that sees through the body's eyes, peering about in darkness to behold the likeness of itself; the small, the weak, the sickly and the dying, those in need, the helpless and afraid, the sad, the poor, the starving and the joyless. These are seen through eyes that cannot see and cannot bless.

Hah! I love the richness of the language. That is the world in which I seem to move, the world of caretakers who need the weak as much as the weak need them.

>Strength comes from truth

Nothing is as powerful as the idea whose time has come.


93 Light and peace and joy abide in me.

MT: Here, today, now, let me connect with you. I am willing to hear the Voice for God.

JC: I am with you all the time, always.

MT: You--the Christ--are embedded in me, like the knee-jerk responses of old. An irrevocable decision has been made, by me no less, I who am so good at revoking and dawdling and dallying.

JC: As you go through your day, I will remind you (whenever given the chance): light and peace and joy abide in us. I include myself, both as separate entity and as the Christ-consciousness in your mind.

MT: Yay! I feel much happier these days. I have discovered the power of enjoying the smallest things: the green of the California hills after a season of rain, the soft fur of my cat, a strong cup of coffee, the neighbor who stops over to ask about my tangerine tree. JC, that reminds me--there's such a weight, such heaviness at my in-laws. I feel it as I step in the door. How can I bring light and peace and joy to them, when I visit this afternoon?

JC: They have to want it too. But remember that the heaviness you feel when you step in, that is your residual heaviness that they happen to trigger. It does not exist out there, so it can't be changed out there.

MT: Ouch, that's so true. So what I can do for them is not to buy into it. Not to see the heaviness. I have taken them far too seriously, accepting their view of the world as a place of suffering. It's such a fine line, to let people be themselves and at the same time not buy into their worldview! I have been either indifferent to their suffering, or tried to "fix" them in a pseudo-helpful way.

JC: Forgiveness is the key to walking that line. Bring light, peace, and joy with you as you walk in, and let them choose it. They will, as much as they are able. Your attitude has a ripple effect you can hardly imagine. The butterfly opens its wings in Tokyo and the breeze felt in New York.

MT: Thank you so much for this clarity. You just put in another piece of the puzzle.

 

93 Light and joy and peace abide in me.

MT: One phrase stuck out for me, JC--"we question this . . . from a very different reference point." To change my reference point, that makes total sense. My old reference point was that of a bug groping about in the dust. I breathed dust and called it perfume. At any time a cosmic shoe might squash me, and I would fully deserve to be flattened out. I accepted what other bugs said as gospel, secretly hating them and their pronouncements and hating myself for being a hypocrite. I saw no way out. "Life is a bitch, and then you die."
JC: Enough of those imaginings. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. What does God say about you?
MT: In me the Father is well pleased. I am the Holy Son of God, always was, always will be. Nothing I say or do or think can change my eternal holiness.

 


94 I am as God created me.

MT: You repeat this sentence ad nauseam. You must really, really want us to learn it.

JC: Yes. It is the central idea of the Course.

MT: Along with There is no Sin, God Is, Only Truth Is True, Nothing Unreal Exists, etc. etc.

JC: Yes, again. They are all central, in that if you totally accepted any one of these, you would have accepted the entirety of the Course.

MT: I must say, I get annoyed at the repetition. I can mutter the words endlessly, like a Catholic saying Aves and Pater Nosters while fingering the rosary and thinking about the next meal. I wonder if so much repetition really helps me in any way.

JC: The repetition is intended to flood the mind and bring on a massive breakthrough that can save years of your time. You have dilly-dallied long enough.

MT: I didn't do the lessons right, the first time around, and that's something I regret, because I sensed the massive breakthrough intention. I did them partially, unconsciously, and inconsistently. But I tried. I remember repeating "I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me" while driving to work, and at one point really freaking out. I thought I was going to lose it, evaporate--or go crazy, my pet fear.

JC: You were right to stop, or your ego might have crashed the car! But now that the fear has subsided, are you willing not only to repeat the words, but actually live them?

MT: I am as God created me. I am His Son eternally. I can say the words, but I don't feel them.

JC: What would help you feel them?

MT: What helps is gratitude. Beethoven’s Ninth. A fresh rose from the garden. Extending love to another. A walk at dusk, under the deep violet sky, breathing deeply of the scents of my beloved California night. I've got it. Thanks, JC.

 

94 I am as God created me.

MT: In my long adaptation to the world of flesh and bone, time/space, relationships, money, religion, sin and guilt, I glued together a self to fit, or seemingly fit. What if I had known the truth of who I AM all along!
JC: "What-ifs" do not help. Do not lament the darkness. The words of this lesson represent Awakening. Turn on the light, and leave all thought behind, every mad idea of who you were or should be and could or could not do. A new day dawns, and in the freshness of the new you will find the Self you never lost.
MT: I am as God created me. Thank you for the truth of these words.



95 I am one Self, united with my Creator.

MT: My thoughts are in the Miracle ACIM Diet group this morning. How can one live in a body, and not make it real. How I really can't accept that to be one Self with God means letting everything else slide. It can be interpreted as a permission to be sloppy, lazy, careless, indifferentt, and fat. You see that too, don't you?

JC: The question is central to your ego-self, and it has bugged you since the beginning of your spiritual journey. You would like me to tackle it.

MT: Correct. I am asking to see this question in the light of your teachings in the Course. I don't want to confuse levels, to ask God for that Mercedes-Benz, because God by definition does not see the illusory world I made up to replace God's world. Yet I have struggled with a weight problem ever since I was in my teens. My separation from the body happened then. I began to find fault with my body. You have no idea of the suffering I caused myself, the scrubbings and cleanings and permanent waves, every hair in place, let me smell my breath to make sure it's sweet, except I can't, so let me keep worrying! The preoccupation that kept me from any enjoyment of life! I think I was really mentally ill then. Don't know how I kept from having a major breakdown. Getting married saved me from that fate, but it didn't mean mental health by any means. The venue changed, the problem stayed the same.

JC: Holy child of God, you were created to bathe in God's Light. You were not created for this! Nobody should make himself put up with this!

MT: I get a hint of how I am still doing the same thing I did in my teens: making up a problem that I then struggle to solve. I didn't have a problem then, I don't have a problem now. My cat doesn't worry about weight--he gains weight in winter, gets thinner in summer. The birds unruffle their feathers, and then go about the business of life without another thought. The flowers grow without looking down to see if the earth is still moist. Life lives.

JC: Life lives. God's life lives eternally. The body decays like your ten-year-old car that needs more maintenance as it ages, Spirit soars with the eagles. While it is not appropriate to ask God to intervene in a body issue that you yourself generated, your will can determine what happens to the body. You are eating your preoccupation, so to speak. Lightness of heart brings lightness of the flesh, but lightness of heart must happen first. It is not a consequence of the state of your body, but rather its cause.

MT: So what shall I do with my so-called problem that has haunted me for so long?

JC: Can you laugh about it? Practice weight loss for the mind?

MT: The weight is in the mind. . . Slippery concept, but I think I get it.

 

95 I am one Self, united with my Creator.

MT: Let me paraphrase the lesson. I see myself as a ridiculous parody on God's creation; weak, less-than, a victim of my past, poor, miserable and prey to every malady known to man. Such is my version of myself; a self divided into many warring parts, separate from God, and tenuously held together by its erratic and capricious maker, to which I pray. It does not hear my prayers, for it is deaf. It does not see the oneness in me, for it is blind. It does not understand I am the Son of God, for it is senseless and understands nothing.

I have seen the extent of my lack of mental discipline, and of my need for mind training. . . . Regularity . . . is advantageous for those whose motivation is inconsistent, and who remain heavily defended against learning. That's me! Ouch!

JC: And if you truly were one Self, united with your Creator?

MT: I would probably be out hiking in the cool of dawn, breathing deeply of air that night renewed and refreshed. I would smile to the few I meet and say "Hi!" I would be in intimacy with grasses and reeds, sense their gentle openness to this visitor. I would softly call to the rabbit scurrying into the sagebrush: "do not fear, I wish you no harm." I would fully, completely enjoy this day that is God's gift to me.

JC: Need I say more?

95 I am one Self, united with my Creator.

I feel so divided sometimes! Thanks for the reminder. I am one Self, cannot be anything else. Let me not attempt to change what God created perfect!


96 Salvation comes from my one Self.

MT: I feel quite empty today, JC. The session with the chiropractor yesterday, both physically and cognitively, left me stunned. In a way, I think he was hinting at the same things you've been saying--that I am holding on to life--or my body-- as it used to be, that I am not letting the light in. I wonder (putting words in his mouth now)--"how can she work at it for so long, and still not get it? She seems intelligent enough, and she certainly tries. She tries very hard, but her efforts are thwarted by internal resistance." He didn't say that, and neither have you, but is this what you're thinking?

JC: If you take out the hint of condemnation, yes. What is the one thing you haven't done?

MT: I didn't keep up meditation. I abandoned it. It became too uncomfortable, after being a solace for years. This is a source of guilt for me. I know, I know, guilt never helps, but I do beat myself up for this. If I am doing the Course, I should meditate, because those are your final words of advice: to surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to practice "deep experience."

JC: So here you are, keeping out the Kingdom in this small way.

MT: Meditation freaks me out. The room is too cold. My back hurts. I forget. Shouldn't I be comfortable? Doesn't the Course say there's no need for suffering? Those are my "reasons." There are many.

JC: By "this small way" I meant that, right now, you are keeping our the Kingdom by finding fault with yourself, meditating, not meditating. You are turning a loving suggestion into a problem.

MT: I am. I feel like gnashing my teeth.

JC: Meditation is a gift, not a burden. Salvation is a gift, not an additional burden. Salvation comes from our One Self, but in condemning yourself in this way, you are splitting the Self (or trying to, it's really an impossibility). Perhaps John was wrong?

MT: I don't think so, but I am interpreting those things he said as condemnation, when he probably meant only to help. I'm having a hard time today. I would like to post this, but one rule I have is that my posts all have to end cheerfully. Well, I'm going to break the rule. I've always been something of a rebel anyway. Sayonara.

 


96 Salvation comes from my one Self.

JC: Problems that have no meaning cannot be resolved within the framework they are set. You must look for the answer where it is, not where it is not.
MT: Surrender, then, has a deeper meaning: to let go of the need to find an answer, and also to let go of the question itself. When I consider this, my mind seems to go into space.
JC: Welcome to the Light. Go for the Light.
MT: Yet it is always easier for me to retreat than to connect. Connecting with others has always been an effort.
JC: The effort must go, this much is true. When you let go of effort, connection becomes a joy. It is a return to your natural state. When you are connected with your one Self, the easy joy of friendship is a given. It does not need to be added by trying harder. You know this with your cat, you know this with your grandchildren. You can know this with strangers.
MT: What surprises these lessons contain!


96 Salvation comes from my one Self.


MT: Yes, yes, yes. Salvation comes from my one Self.
JC: You sound peeved.
MT: Why do I feel I have to repeat these lessons I know so well?
JC: Perhaps because they are short of application still?
MT: My one Self. I can live from that place, not tomorrow or next year, but today. It takes letting go of this too.
JC: Welcome to your Father's house!


97 I am spirit.

MT: Better day, today.

JC: Good to hear. God wants every day to be a better day.

MT: I am spirit, so you say, pal. I am spirit. I've accepted that lesson, I think.

JC: Except when you forget. So do not forget today. You are not a body, you are spirit. God created you spirit, and spirit you shall be, for ever and ever. When you leave your worn body, you return to the great pool of Spirit, like a drop returning to the ocean. So must everyone who walks the earth.

 


97 I am Spirit.

How am I to be absolved from madness? By knowing I am Spirit.

I am Spirit, lovingly endowed with the Father's love and peace and joy.

God's promise: the Holy Spirit will be glad to take from my hands five minutes out of every hour of this day, to be bestowed on an aching world in which pain and misery, cruelty and lack seem to reign.

My gift of a few minutes will be multiplied a thousand, ten thousand times and more. My willingness to let my mind be changed will touch myriad souls in far-away places. My commitment fans out in waves, a pebble tossed on a still lake, its ripples touching distant shores the pebble knows not. This, not from my puny, isolated, shabby made-up self, but because we are One.

97 I am spirit.

MT: Don't feel like doing this, JC. I rebel against self-imposed tasks.
JC: What would you rather do?
MT: I would rather be on my way up Islay Hill.
JC: So why don't you do that? You are under no laws but God's. God's Law says that you follow your bliss.
MT: I get it. There is no more sacrifice. I lived under Obligation for so long, I forgot what bliss is. The scrunched-up heart of Obligation is much more real than open-hearted bliss.
JC: Obligation binds, bliss sets you free!
MT: It takes courage, though, to stay with joy. Obligation is so much safer.
JC: Safer in that you can always blame your brother for rules you don't like to follow. But this one idea is especially made for you: with joy you can never go wrong.
MT: Because?
JC: Because you are Spirit, and joy sets Spirit free.


98 I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.

MT: Accept?! You mean, I've turned down the job? I thought God was the one who didn't want to hire me.

JC: Do I need to comment? You know what that implies--that you were blaming God for something of your own doing.

MT: Yes, I was. I spent decades blaming the world, too, when I really needed to look in the mirror. Eventually I learned that it was my choice, not that of others, that I was unemployed and underused. It's been a lifelong pattern of mine--whatever I'm doing, I should be doing something else; whoever I am, I should be someone else; whomever I'm with, I should be with someone else. I just now realized the extent of it. How insane. How laughable.

JC: What about now, today?

MT: I am much more present, more at peace with being who I am, where I'm at.

JC: A small correction to your statement--let's not confuse personality with Self. Who you are is beyond evaluation. The personality is not who you are.

MT: I am spirit.

JC: Your part in God's plan is to be the spirit-self, as much as you can. This is your practice. This is your job. Your salary and benefits will be come from God, a very trustworthy CEO.

MT: Indeed. Anything more you would like to add, before I hit Send?

JC: No. This will do for today. Welcome to The Firm.

 

98 I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.

MT: I accept me this morning: sleepy and unfocussed and reluctant. I sat here to post, but I would rather be in the kitchen, making up an omelet and brewing hot coffee. I am doing this out of obligation, JC. No missionary zeal here. Right at the moment, I've lost sight of my own best interests in studying the Lessons and posting my blogs.
JC: This is Easter, the day you celebrate forgiveness. Not that you should overlook forgiveness the other 364 days!
MT: Shiny eggs laid by cute rabbits (where did that come from? Why do we teach children ridiculous errors in biology?), lilies, colors (thank God for my generous climbing roses!), sunshine, my aliveness that can appreciate the gifts of God.
JC: Especially your aliveness that goes out in gratitude.
MT: Especially my aliveness that can say thank you God, I'm alive. You haven't left me, nor could you. You bathe every cell of my body with Life. That I have to give, and it is enough.

98 I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.

Words are powerful, aren't they? We pledge--give our word--swear on a Bible--pronouce our marriage vows--and that action has power in it, even though it's "just words".

I accept my part in God's plan for salvation. Once I say that, something has changed. At least, I can't claim ignorance! Now I know there is a plan. Now the ball is in my court.


99 Salvation is my only function here.

MT: I had a thought, just before sitting down with the laptop: I should make this a holy instant. Dedicate it to my relationship with God and you, before I start. I tend to begin where I'm at, then let you talk me into right thinking.

JC: For learning and teaching purposes, it is just as well to write from the state you are in. If your goal is only to connect with God, you can do that without ever writing a word. But there is no isolated goal in this curriculum. Not isolated within you, not isolated from others. They all lead to God in the end, and they lead others to God. Your struggles are valuable to your brother. Never think that you need preparation to invite God in.

MT: I think this relates to my function of salvation, doesn't it?

JC: It is your function to make your journey Home public to others. You have been much too secretive. You have taken pride in being a "private person," but now you can see it's really a "private persona." There is no need for that.

MT: I'm posting my life on the Internet for all to see! Come on!

JC: No blame, remember? Heaven welcomes every effort, and multiplies it by a thousand. Wherever you're at, that's the right place to be, that's you contribution--and you will be doing more. Practice openness, as you are doing, as you will increasingly do. Everything else will follow.

 

99 Salvation is my only function here.

Whose salvation? Mine, but since we are One, everybody's. An old fear for me was this: salvation required me to stand in the street corner to preach to other sinners, or knock on doors like a JW, or convert my classmates. But if I broadcast the news that everybody was a sinner and needed to accept Jesus as savior, wouldn't they rightly want to stone me? How could I ever carry out an assignment with no possible completion?

So here's my gratitude for today: salvation asks nothing. It has no requirements. It is freely given by God, Who sees no need for it. Salvation does not make me responsible for anyone else, nor am I to earn my place in Heaven by good deeds. I cannot be saved, because I was never condemned and there is nothing to be saved from. I truly need do nothing. What wondrous Easter gift, salvation!


100 My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.

MT: OK, I am here, JC. You show me what I need to be doing. This is so metaphysical! When I play my part, that realigns the whole universe of relationships. How could it be otherwise?

JC: Your part today is to be happy and enjoy the wonderful spring day. Perhaps call your son. You haven't talked to him in ages. He may think you've cut him off!

MT: I thought he was cutting ME off. . .

JC: You are the parent. Can't play tit-for-tat with your offspring. Parents are expected to make the first move. You have lived a tit-for-tat existence for too long.

MT: But at times I've made efforts that turned out to be excessive or intrusive, so I pulled my head back in, not to stick it out again for a long, long time.

JC: That is a resentful decision, and unworthy of you. If the effort is unappreciated, let it go and move on. If I had backed off at the first hint of rejection, my part in God's plan would be vacant and void.

MT: I lived by a rule: if you are not wanted, get out. Perhaps I need to review it. Perhaps my definition of being "not wanted" is too broad.

JC: You are also projecting. What do you know about not wanting others? In your chosen profession, you made it a virtue to heal clients quickly, but you really wanted to be left alone. They got the idea, and left you alone, and then you complained about being unemployed. "Nobody wants what I have to offer," you said.

MT: Ouch. The world goes round and round. What we give comes right back, and then we complain. Remind me of love, please. Remind me of a better way on this beautiful Sunday morning.

JC: You are part of the Great Plan. As you said, your smallest action realigns the universe, for better or for worse. Which do you choose?

 

100 My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.

MT: Who? Me? I only have life to be lived.
JC: And living your life (rather than dying by dropperfuls) is part of the Plan. What can you bring joy TO, today?
MT: Guess you're saying I'm not the effect of what is around me.
JC: You are an effect of God. As such, you are Cause of the world around you.
MT: That is SO hard to see! My tribal mindset says I am a little canoe tossed around by the storm. Nothing I can do about it but cower, and wait, and wait. Perhaps tomorrow the sun will shine. Or next day, next week . . .
JC: You bring the light. You are the sun. Give of your light, and you shall receive the light.


100 My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.

>God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will?

Watching dolphins frolic in the waves, I was moved to tears by their sheer joy. They leapt out of the water, dove back down, as if moved by God Himself. What if we were meant to express love in the same way?

>You are indeed essential to God's plan. Without your joy, His joy is incomplete. Without your smile, the world cannot be saved. While you are sad, the light that God Himself appointed as the means to save the world is dim and lusterless, and no one laughs because all laughter can but echo yours.

This is what we were meant to do! How come we walk the world with bowed heads and preoccupied faces? Why should we spend a moment in sadness and grief?

>We will not let ourselves be sad today. For if we do, we fail to take the part that is essential to God's plan, as well as to our vision. Sadness is the sign that you would play another part, instead of what has been assigned to you by God. Thus do you fail to show the world how great the happiness He wills for you. And so you do not recognize that it is yours.

I am God's messenger today. Today I bring His happiness to all I look upon. I bring His peace and joy to everyone I meet.


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