151 All things
are echoes of the Voice for God.
MT: It's a gorgeous day, JC. Easy to see the greenery and hear the birds
as an echo of the Voice for God. Less easy when we're hit with ugliness
JC: Ugliness and devastation are ways that you see things apart from
MT: I want to see and hear with God. Well, I must say that this expression,
"echoes of the Voice for God," has a transcendent quality about it.
I can listen for that music of the spheres above the raucuous noises
of the world. A distant echo that one barely hears--it awakens a faint
memory of what we left behind when we came. Perhaps I need to learn
JC: The Voice for God is always there, no matter where you are, because
it is within you.
MT: So I can be a voice for God too . . .
151 All things are echoes
of the Voice for God.
My granddaughter, sitting on my lap as I write, is an echo of the Voice
for God. The lab Sadie, sitting at my feet lest I forget to walk her,
is an echo of the Voice for God. The birds that sing their morning song
are echoes of the Voice for God. How could I not be an echo of the Voice
for God? It is so because I say so. It is so because God says so.
151 All things are echoes of the Voice for God.
MT: I really don't want to post, JC. I would rather go to bed. It's
JC: As long as you know what you are doing: you are avoiding a change
of mind. Fatigue is only lack of interest.
MT: I feel sad now. I have had such great times and experiences with
this work, why am I removing myself?
JC: You know what happens when you give of yourself to others. You know
how interest arises and stays with you.
MT: There's that feeling that nobody wants what I have to give.
JC: What you are seeing out there, that is what is inside.
MT: Yes, I know, in theory. I think this is true: that I am the one
who holds back. Mostly I just want to be left alone. I avoid human contact.
Not always, but right now the feeling is: leave me alone, don't bother.
JC: Has God left you, do you think?
MT: That is an impossibility. I can pretend that I have left God, but
God can never leave me.
JC: You are an echo of the Voice for God. Let this thought stay with
152 The power of decision is my own.
MT: Today I decide with God. Yes, but . . . JC, I need help in following
guidance. There are so many areas of my life where I keep things the
same. You have told me, time and again, to call one person or another,
and I seem to dig my heels in like a balky mule, and play computer games
instead, or eat, or take a nap. Making contact is especially difficult
for me. Or I make it difficult. Some people love contact, I do not.
Some people seem to need to talk in order to think, I need to think
ten times before I talk.
JC: You are not sure which is the Voice for God, and which is the voice
of the ego.
MT: You got it. I am tired of fighting myself. At times, contact has
been very painful, most recently with E, who lashed out at me for a
totally innocent remark. I felt I couldn't open my mouth without setting
him off. But I think the pain goes way back to my childhood. I was beaten
back, over and over, when I tried to make friends with my sister and
her circle, whose main entertainment was to trick me into panting after
her so she could reject me. The world became a hostile place where shutting
down was the best strategy. My brittle pride was established then: "if
you don't like me, I won't even try. I am enough in myself. Let me show
you how I can have fun all by myself. You come begging for my company,
I'm never going to offer it." Sheesh, I just dove into this part
of my personality, and now it's very real. And I don't want homilies
from the Course, please.
JC: Do you see how you cling to a few negative examples? Do you see
how you ignore those who profoundly love you? This is where the power
of decision comes in. You can choose to see a hostile world, and you
will create hell all around you. Choose to see the many large and small
ways in which love is offered, and brush away the rest. You will be
"right" either way, because you are making up the world as you go, moment
by moment. By the way, forgiveness work with your sister might be in
order . . .
152 The power of decision is my own.
MT: I accept that I decide on what to feel. I have decided to be angry
at times, and found out it did me no good. I have turned around a bad
moment by just deciding otherwise, and surprised myself and others with
my change in mood. But sickness? It does seem to be something that happens
to me, totally unbidden and unwelcome.
JC: Yet it is all the same. When you decide for God, you have decided
against illness and death. The energies of your body respond immediately,
because you have stepped out of time.
MT: Guess I am afraid of this "trick" not working. Or perhaps
afraid that it might work! Feels a bit creepy that the cells of my body
JC: Only because you still see it as a trick, not as a window into Truth.
The ego offers ingenious non-solutions to your non-problems. That is
the real shabby trick.
MT: So in order to get well, I need to completely suspend disbelief.
I'm not there yet. It would require becoming someone else, yet there
are all these people around me who keep me in the ego that I was.
JC: You don't "become someone else." You claim for yourself
that which you truly are, the radiant, glorious Son of God. This is
the decision you must make.
153 In my defenselessness my safety lies.
MT: JC, I summon you to my side. The house is quiet, Scott sleeps (I
woke up defending myself against his imaginary threats), the clock ticks.
Outside, birds begin to welcome the dawn. Who am I? I think I am an
old woman with a pot belly. I don't feel radiant right now. I am identifying
with an aging body that right at the moment feels tight, slumped and
achy. I have forgotten who I am.
JC: So refocus now. You cannot be this body.
MT: Why not? That's all I see right now.
JC: You are Spirit.
MT: I have vaguely experienced being not-this-body, but I guess I need
a stronger experience of that. Please provide.
JC: What happened right now? Scared?
MT: I got distracted by the sudden decision: I want you to help me experience
being not of the body, but I suddenly dove into the old fear: I'm afraid
to ask, because if I do, this time the whole thing will turn out to
be a scam, a fake, the Course did not get written, God does not exist,
JC is just a figment of my imagination, and tomorrow I die, to be gone
forever. Annihilated. I will have completed the fate I deserved all
along. That's the full run of ego thinking, the thinking you and I have
worked so hard to dispel. Here it is in its full regalia.
JC: When you attempt to take a stand with your power, you bring in the
old despair: that you are weak and undeserving.
MT: Not only that. I ensure that I will have to keep on trying, because
the old despair doesn't serve anymore. I feel like a hamster on a treadmill,
going nowhere, its effort clearly futile, yet compelled to keep trying.
JC: Silence will get you where running won't.
MT: Meditation. You are right. I am shutting myself off from God by
my machine-like thinking process.
JC: You asked for a clear experience of being Spirit. Open yourself
to it now.
153 In my defenselessness
my safety lies.
To walk the world undefended, because there is nothing I would defend--what
peace is in this! What a world it shows me--a world of brotherhood and
kindness, with reverence for animals, the plant world, and each other.
History vanishes, because there are no wars to rehash and relive, no
enemies to guard against. I want this world for myself. I pledge to
walk the world in this way, not because I should, but because there
is nothing to defend. I am the Holy Son of God. I am as God created
154 I am among the ministers of God.
MT: Good morning, JC.
JC: Good morning, Monica. May the awareness of God's presence grow with
every word you write.
MT: With this lesson, you are expanding my function. Besides forgiveness,
JC: That's the next step in your return to God. When you teach, you
MT: They used to say, back where I grew up: "If you know, you do. If
you don't know, you teach"--but I guess that was just a dig at the pompous
windbags who pass for teachers in Brazil.
JC: Watch out for the unforgiving thought. Would you accuse yourself
of purposely sending a confusing message?
MT: Rarely. Wait. Back in school, I wrote confusing essays when I wasn't
up on the subject, in hopes that the instructor wouldn't have time or
patience to sort out my blather. It worked sometimes ; )
JC: It came from fear of being seen as the slacker you feared you were,
MT: Yes. But school is a game much of the time. I played the game well.
JC: If you saw the subject as of interest to you, would you have faked
MT: No, that would be dishonest and a betrayal of my own goals.
JC: I am curious--what is your goal with this writing?
MT: To clear my own head on a daily basis. To reconnect with you and
with God. This is my blog, and I feel a bit sheepish to be using this
board as a blog, but what the heck, my experience is probably useful
to someone, somewhere, some of the time.
JC: You begin to see the universality of experience.
MT: Yes. . . the old isolation, the feeling that I had to hide who I
was in order to belong, that's largely a thing of the past.
JC: The best teachers use their own experience. Every word has a richness
to it: "I benefit from this myself. I am teaching me, teaching others
is a bonus and it may or may not happen." What others learn is up to
them. Not every seed sprouts.
MT: God keep me from false humility, and save me from the windbag phenomenon:
trying to be what I am not.
154 I am among the ministers
This is my purpose and my life: to spread the word, whether by example
or in writing or verbally, that sin is not real, that the Sonship has
now been shown the way home.
154 I am among the ministers of God.
MT: Don't know what to say, JC. Am I really among the ministers of God?
JC: You and all who choose this path.
MT: I get discouraged sometimes. A lot of times.
JC: That is when you forget who you are, when you decide to be angry
MT: I want more of the miracle. I want more of those moments when I
love everyone. I love to feel cheerful and friendly, especially when
it happens spontaneously.
154 (2006) I am among the ministers of God.
MT: So?!!! I thought I was a minister way back, age 13, and look where
it got me.
JC: Where did you think it got you?
MT: I made a fool of myself. Instead of earning my father's approval,
I received harsh criticism at every step--in front of the people I ministered
to, yet. I didn't know which way to turn. There was no pleasing him, ever.
JC: Knowing what you know now, were I your father, how would I have treated
MT: Well, you are different. You extend love without obligation or expectation.
Nothing but perfection would have pleased Dad, while you are tolerant
of every aspect of who I am (or fancy myself being).
JC: You are right. I love your anger and your kindness, I love your tears
and your joy. What do you know about being critical and judgmental?
MT: Sigh. I did plenty of that, especially with my kids. Where Dad
went, I still sometimes go.
JC: You are not the victim of the world you see . . .
155 I will step back and let Him lead the way.
MT: What pure poetry, and what an image! You walk ahead of me. I can
relax, certain that you know the way. I remember well the profound despair
in my being when I tried to do everything alone and comfortless. When
things didn't work out perfectly I swallowed my tears along with the
blame. I was a child doing the work of two grownups. No way I could
ever measure up.
JC: I will never leave you. Count on the comfort of my presence. I smooth
the path for you. I bend away the brambles and ward off the cougar and
the rattlesnake. Songbirds add music to our step.
MT: I am free today. A loving God will never assign me a task for which
I am not fully prepared. This is the Holy Grail, the cup of God's nectar.
I partake from it today. The Son of God is Home at last.
155 I will step back and let
Him lead the way.
MT: Right now I don't even know what to ask. In this situation with
E, I think I know the way, but it could be the way of my ego.
JC: If you think you know, then you don't know, you are with an idea.
What are you seeing in your brother, your son?
MT: His vast need to control. I wish he would leave the kids be. He
doesn't need to "mold" them into anything. He is not the sculptor
of Life--God is.
JC: Here is a chance to forgive your own need to control. Are you seeing
yourself in charge of "molding" E into an enlightened father?
Do you see that you are not the sculptor of your son's life?
MT: Good point! But then, I need help with the difference between ministry
and meddling. I don't want to be the meddler offering cheap shabby advice.
Yet I have accused myself (and been accused) of colossal indifference,
of washing my hands when I could have stepped in with authority.
JC: You do not walk alone. Ministry taps into higher intelligence. It
steps back to let Him lead the way. Ministry offers what it knows, and
155 I will step back and let
Him lead the way.
I will not attempt to run my own life. I open myself to the intelligence
of the universe. I will "let go and let God." Herein lies
the peace of God.
156 I walk with God in perfect holiness.
MT: This is Sunday, JC. Sundays used to be church days for me, morning
and evening. I got so sick of church, I can't begin to tell you.
JC: This is God's church: anywhere that a past hate has been transmuted
into a present love. This is your religion now. The Voice for God is
MT: Tell me, why this Voice for God business? Why not Voice "of" God?
A tiny preposition can yield so much meaning. . .
JC: I want to make it very clear that the voice is not God. You know
that the ego sneaks in very cleverly. Your parents knew from their own
experience: not everything that comes to you in mysterious ways is of
God. I aim to give you tools to discriminate between the two.
MT: There are a lot of stray energies floating about, no?
JC: Yes. Energy can be used in myriad ways. Your belief and intent are
key. Misguided egos make up misguided experience.
MT: So I need to ask first. . . to dedicate to God my openness and my
JC: And to call company to your side. Your connection with me is a superb
filter. Others may use Archangel Michael or the Virgin Mary. The form
does not matter.
MT: Thank you. I think I've come to the end of this exchange for today.
JC: Walk with God in perfect holiness as you move through the day. Your
church goes with you. Make this your holy day, when you see your brother
as your Self.
156 I walk with God
in perfect holiness.
God is the Source, and the Source is God. I walk with the Source and
the Source walks me. God Is, I Am.
157 Into His Presence would I enter now.
MT: Once again, JC, the words convey a profound reverence. This is the
Holy of Holies. Way better than being knighted by the Queen of England.
I guess the ego tries to imitate God in all sorts of ways, but it always
JC: As it must. The rituals of the ego are pathetic attempts to evoke
the glory of God.
MT: And we pay such rapt homage to them. When Queen Elizabeth visited
Yosemite Park back in the 90's, two rangers forgot their way around
the place they knew so well. They worked themselves into a frenzy about
a dumpy little woman clutching a leather purse, and lost their lives
in a head-on crash. As their respective spirits headed into that white
light, they must have mused: what was the fuss all about?
JC: In your life right now, where are you misplacing reverence? What
do you put on a pedestal and make into an idol?
MT: I like my new Honda. . . I got really worked up when I backed it
into the van and cracked the bumper. For a few hours, I forgot that
God Is. I forgot God Is again when I was quoted $600 to fix the damage.
You'd think Honda would spare us those silly shiny bumpers. . .
JC: And if the damage was 50 cents, how upset would you have been?
MT: Hardly. Why do you ask?
JC: Six hundred dollars is a symbol, a piece of paper. Why do you assign
greater reality to paper than to a metal disk? Do you see how arbitrary
are your judgments? You decide what to be upset over, and just how much
to be upset. You are seeing what is not there.
MT: A very early lesson, if I remember well. JC, you never cease to
JC: Remember true reverence today: God Is. God is all there is.
MT: So let me now enter into God's presence that I never left. Let me
claim today my birthright. I am the prodigal son, and the Father rejoices
in my return.
157 Into his Presence
would I enter now.
This is about reverence. Reverence for all living things. Reverence
for that which I do not know and cannot claim to imagine or understand.
Reverence for the mystery of life and creation. Reverence for this body
I inhabit only a while longer, reverence for the Mind of God which I
am and will forever be.
158 Today I learn to give as I receive.
MT: To give and to receive, again. I think I know this, and I practice
it most of the time. I used to look out for the interests of others
before my own, although BC (Before Course) I think it involved guilt.
Guilt on my part, and it was an attempt to show my selflessness.
JC: An attempt to bind them to you with guilt, yes. Totally futile,
I might say. Guilt separates.
MT: People resent the feeling of obligation, you mean. I know I resent
it when others do it to me. So what is the difference from true giving?
JC: When you give truly you know, in your heart, that you want what
you are offering. The gift is hollow when you leave yourself out of
the equation. To show the door to the Kingdom to others, while leaving
yourself out, is a particularly noxious form of specialness. It is unworthy
of a Son of God.
MT: I think that was what bugged me about church, especially my father's
Baptist congregation. They prayed with tremulous voices and eyes raised
up to the ceiling, thinking that if they looked holy they must be holy.
JC: Hypocrisy needs forgiving too. You are condemning your father's
congregation for a common ego stance. What do you know about putting
on the appearance of holiness?
MT: Well, that's what I started out with--my looking after the interests
of others before my own. I need help forgiving the congregation that
was played such a large role in my growing up. I was jealous and angry
that Dad put them ahead of us, his flesh and blood. It broke my heart
when he spanked us in front of a whining parishioner--what was he trying
to do, earn his place in Heaven, show God how holy he had become? But
you did that with your mother--you rejected her because now everybody
was family, or something like that. I forget the Bible quote.
JC: Your Dad misused that Bible text to attack you and curry favor with
God. Yes, everybody becomes family when you think with God, but family
becomes family too! You yourself become family.
MT: That's funny. I become family to myself. There is no separation.
JC: We are one, not many. We are one in the eyes of God. When you see
with the eyes of God, there is no separation.
158 Today I learn
to give as I receive.
Today I offer forgiveness, that forgiveness be given me.
Today I offer love, and love I shall receive.
Today I offer trust, that trust be my inheritance.
Today I offer patience, that patience walk with me.
Today I offer generosity, that I open my eyes to the generosity around
What do I want in my life? That I offer, and as I offer it I receive
158 (2006) Today I learn to give as I receive.
JC: You cannot give without receiving. The question is, what do you
want for yourself? That which you want you should give to others. Do
you want anger, aloofness, guilt, preoccupation? Or do you want peace
that passes all understanding? Give what you want to get.
MT: Good point. I want cheerfulness, humor, a playful attitude toward
life. I want to release my body from the memory of old personality patterns.
JC: Where the body is concerned, I have sent you several messages that
you should be teaching a physical discipline.
MT: Well, I can't teach a gyro class right at the moment, but I can
offer attitude. Today, help me give cheer, play, and humor to those
159 I give the miracles
I have received.
MT: Greetings, JC, Holy Son of God along with me.
JC: Greetings to you too, but I have been here all along. Even in the
dead of night, angels watch over you.
MT: That is one expression Mother used frequently, and for which I am
grateful. I have led a charmed life, thanks in no small part to my mother's
belief in my angel companions.
JC: You received miracles, early on.
MT: Yes. I forget to be grateful, and I lose my sense of Self in finding
fault with me. The miracle I have yet to receive is complete self-acceptance.
But this statement is in itself a form of non-acceptance.
JC: Let all things be exactly as they are, and they will change of their
own accord. The need for words comes to an end. You are home with the
Father, and all is well.
MT: A bit of a paradox here. Human nature is to strive for change.
JC: Acceptance says, you are perfect underneath it all. You shall be
with me today in Paradise.
MT: Imagine if we said that to the men--and increasingly, women--who
crowd the prisons in this country. You are perfect as God created you.
You are perfect just as I am. We are all Sons of God. The energy that
makes your heart beat moves mine too.
JC: The world needs to hear these words. They are a balm to the wounds
inflicted by the ego. You are part of the great plan. Do not waste one
more second in attempts to achieve enlightenment--you are enlightened.
Do not give a thought to fixing imperfections--you are as God created
you. Look, instead, to broadcast the message: everybody is created perfect.
Everyone who walks the Earth is a miracle.
159 I give the miracles
I have received.
MT: So this is the next step--to offer, to give. Thus I really own what
I have been given. This is true of anything. You learn it ten times
better when you set out to teach it. Now, what miracle can I offer E?
JC: You offer the miracle of forgiveness.
MT: I feel anxious about the path he is taking. It makes no sense to
me. It seems ill-considered. He no longer has a wife to serve as ballast.
Why did she have to die?
JC: Yes, why . . . but you lament what you cannot change.
MT: My question is, what can I do to help?
JC: You can see your son as healed and whole, right now. You can see
your grandchildren as radiant beings of light.
MT: It's easier with them than with him. I forget and I seek to change
him, to show the error of his ways. Anxiety propels me, the old irritation
I felt with his father, the brilliant moron I married.
JC: This is not about E, then, is it? This is an ancient piece of unforgiveness
kindly dug up for you to see.
MT: I didn't see it until now. Yes, I am reliving a relationship I left
nearly three decades ago. Thanks for opening my eyes. Today I offer
miracles to those I meet, that miracles walk with me.
160 I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.
MT: Again, one of my favorite lessons, JC. Instead of a lame phrase
like "I no longer have fear," you put together such a vivid metaphor.
We banish fear, sweep it out in righteous indignation because it's an
invader, a cockroach, a burglar. Yes, fear is more than a cockroach.
It is a burglar that commands my time, resources, money. It robs me
of the most valuable possession: my oneness with God.
JC: We all have a favorite lesson, I think. This is a favorite
for you because it brings remedy to an old hurt. You stored away your
strength and your light when you descended into fear.
MT: I felt like the chased cockroach. My sister, again. . . she thought
she would be bigger if she made me smaller. She got illusory strength
out of my illusory weakness. My weakness was a dream too, but as long
as I blamed her I couldn't see that. She felt like a burglar to me,
but she didn't steal anything I didn't give away.
JC: One correction: your strength is not yours to give away! You can
pretend it's not there, that's all. Strength and light belong. They
are family. They live with you in your home.
MT: My companions forever. They abide with me in the mighty fortress
that is my God. Thank you for the reminder.
160 I am at home. Fear
is the stranger here.
MT: If I identify with fear, I am a stranger to myself. Perhaps that's
what people mean with "I need to find myself." So how might
I be identifying with fear?
JC: Do you really know yourself?
MT: Well, better now than a quarter century ago! I used to feel like a
fake. I thought if I pretended hard enough, that self would eventually
be me. Having given that up, now I've got the feeling that I am just going
"gently into that good night," that I could do so much more.
But I don't want to do it by pretending, that sticks in my craw.
JC: What would Love tell you now?
MT: It would say, "Breathe the air of your Father's house."
JC: And the air of our Father's house is not heavy and dank, is it?
MT: No, it is light and frothy and crisp. It is like the 23rd Psalm. It
fills my body with bubbles. It is the air that angels breathe. How great
it is, to breathe with angels!
160 I am at home. Fear
is the stranger here.
One of my all-time favorite lessons! Another is "I am forever an
effect of God." Yet another: "Into His Presence would I enter
It must follow that something ties these three together. Of course. I
am at home where I belong, and I have that good feeling of safety. I stay
"home" by accepting that I am effect, not cause, of God, by
letting go of my futile attempts to replace God, attempts that got me
in trouble in the first place. And then there's the reverence of that
last statement. I enter into God's Presence and I know who I am, I know
where I stand in the hierarchy, I belong at last. I wandered the world
looking for home, and here is Home at last. There is nothing to fear.
Index of Lessons