10/29/07

Inner landscapes - sexual attraction

The inner worlds can be pictured as intricate and varied as the geography of the outer world, and each life as a traveler through psychological landscapes. At some times it may seem the inner terrain is strewn with rocks and pot-holes that make froward progress difficult, that keeps our eyes focused upon the ground ahead. Other times we may fix our gaze upon the grandeur of distant panoramas without any thought about the ground under foot. The picture presents various aspects of life, and the mental habits we fall into and the confusions we have become comfortable with. From the wider perspective of the spirit, all approaching storms are seen far off and can be easily avoided, and the erroneous beliefs that so frequently cause us pain are readily recognized and can be corrected.

There is within each of us a divine desire to join with our brothers. It is a powerful and fearful impulse. It is powerful because it is the irresistible pull toward our reality as God created us. It is fearful because to join with another threatens the cherished self-image of independent autonomy. To resist the pull is like a stone resisting the pull of gravity, and not roll down hill. The pull cannot be resisted, but it can be deflected and distorted.

The impulse for minds to join is the miracle-impulse, as that terms is used in “A Course in Miracles.” The distorting force of false autonomy twists the divinely inspired miracle-impulse for minds to join into physical sexual attraction. As the Course states, “The confusion of miracle impulse with sexual impulse is a major source of perceptual distortion, because it induces rather than straightening out the basic level-confusion which underlies all those who seek happiness with the instruments of the world.”

Jesus compares being bound to inappropriate sexual impulses to one living in a desert. He is, of course, referring to an inner psychological state and not an outer environment. The main characteristic of a desert in the world’s environment is its lack of water. A psychological desert is an inner landscape starved of the living waters of spirit.

Jesus advises, “The thing to do with a desert is to leave.”

10/21/07

The power of attention

"The task for this period is not to let uncreative thought have lodging room. You say you make pictures, your mind conceives them like dark magic. Try not to do this, and the best way not to make negative pictures is to make spiritual pictures. Let into your mind the noble company of thoughts, thus will you keep out the rabble. Make your mental company glorious."
From: Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood
"To be IN the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention ON it. As long as you believe that you can attend to what is NOT true, you are accepting conflict as your CHOICE. Is it REALLY a choice? It SEEMS to be, but seeming and reality are hardly the same. You who ARE the Kingdom are not concerned with seeming. Reality is yours because you ARE reality. This is how having and being are ultimately reconciled, not in the Kingdom, but IN YOUR MINDS. The altar there is the ONLY reality. The altar is perfectly clear in thought because it is a reflection of PERFECT Thought. It sees only brothers because it sees ONLY in its own Light."
From: A Course in Miracles Chapter 7, Section 3 - The Reality of the Kingdom

—oOo—

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Through Heaven's Eyes

from: The Prince of Egypt

A single thread in a tapestry,
though its color brightly shines,
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design.

And the stone that sits up on the very top
of the mountain's mighty face,
does it think that it's more important
than the stones that forms the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth
or where your value lies?
Ohhhh, you can never see through the eyes of man.
You must look at your life
look at your life through heaven's eyes.

Lai-la-lai...through heaven's eyes.

A lake of gold in the desert sand
is less than a cool fresh spring,
and to one lost sheep, a shepard boy
is greater than the richest king.

Should a man lose everything he owns
has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
of a new and brighter birth?

So how do you measure the worth of a man
in wealth or strength or size,
in how much he gained or how much he gave
the answer will come.
The answer will come to him who tries
to look at his life through heaven's eyes.

Lai-la-lai...through heaven's eyes.

And that's why we share all we have with you
though there's little to be found.
When all you've got is nothing
there's lots to go around.

No life can escape being blown about
by the winds of change and chance,
and though you never know all the steps,
you must learn to join the dance.

You must learn to join the dance.

10/20/07

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Olivia shares Elizabeth Gilbert's Advice On Oprah, and I am struck by the similarity with the Rules for Decision in "A Course in Miracles."

As Olivia reminds us, Elizabeth Gilbert recommends, "Ask yourself every morning when you wake up: What do I really, really, really want? And answer it truthfully each morning."

Compare this with:
"Throughout the day, at any time you think of it and have a quiet moment for reflection, tell yourself again the kind of day you want; the feelings you would have, the things you want to happen to you, and the things you would experience, and say: If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me."
. . . from Chapter 30 of the Course.

See Elizabeth Gilberts' "Eat, Pray, Love" here.

Early Christian writings online

Christian Classics Ethereal Library. The mission of the CCEL is to build up the church by making classic Christian writings available and promoting their use. English translations of early Christian writing available online.

Oracles of the Lord

An interesting observation about the probable rhythmic and rhymed style of Jesus' original sayings, from the article entitled, The Lord's Prayer, by Jack Kilmon:

"This author [Jack Kilmon] believes that one of Jesus’ disciples, probably Levi Mattathia ben Alfai (Matthew), wrote down notable sayings of Jesus both during and after his sermons. Written in Aramaic, this collection of sayings would be referred to as the "Oracles of the Lord" by Eusebius in his Church History written in the 4th century. Some scholars, capable of isolating these sayings in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, would call the source "Q." The Lord’s Prayer may have been contained, in it’s original form, in this collection of sayings. A "fingerprint" of Jesus’ sayings seems to be a two-four beat rhythm and rhyming. This was a device of good oratory of the time that assisted listeners in remembering what was said . . . Scholars learned to identify much of the "Q Source" material as genuine Yeshuine sayings by this meter and rhyme when the Greek of the New Testament record was "retroverted" to the Aramaic of Jesus."

One cannot help but see a parallel with the extensive use of iambic pentameter (blank verse) in the Course.

3-day ACIM retreat July 18-20, 2008

Limited to forty people, this three-day ACIM retreat has been organized by Alan Dolit, to be held in Oceanside, California on July 18 - 20, 2008.

"For a laughingly low price of $150 per person we can have two nights in a modern comfortable motel like setting with single or double rooms including six prepared meals and all activities. The abbey overlooks the ocean and is only a few miles to the beach.

"We can accommodate about 40 persons, and people have already started signing up. I am calling it "We are all teachers". If anyone would like to attend, send a refundable deposit of $50 payable to Alan Dolit to hold a place. The balance would be due by January 15th.

"Include name, mailing address, phone no, and email address along with the check. Please note because of space limitation, this will be on a first come, first served basis. If there is still available space after Jan 15, the rate increases to $175, and to $200 after March 15th."


Alan Dolit
3755 Vista Campana North #56
Oceanside, Ca 92057

Gorgeous for God, by Lisa Natoli

Gorgeous for God ISBN: 9781434319906Course student Lisa Natoli has recently published her first book, Gorgeous for God: The power to change the world by changing your mind.

Gorgeous for God
is based upon the writings in Lisa's blog by that same name, which she started in 2004.

From the introduction to the book:

"In November 2004, I created a blog called Gorgeous for God which is based on the teachings of Jesus from A Course in Miracles. I wrote every morning in the hope that by giving a little time each day to God, I would become more aware of my own self-imposed fears, blocks and obstacles (so that I could release them) and begin to witness what A Course in Miracles offers: an experience of living in a world where there is only love, all the time. What happened was nothing short of a miracle: I became perfect . . . May this book spark a light in your own mind that will inspire you to go beyond all littleness to the magnitude and brilliance in which you were created."

Gorgeous for God may be ordered from Miracle Shop at Amazon.com US. ISBN: 9781434319906

10/9/07

God Calling - Daily Christian Devotional

During the early 1930's, two anonymous English ladies known only as the "two listeners" undertook an experiment to see if they could listen for and hear their inner teacher. Readers familiar with the origin of "A Course in Miracles" will recognize the similarity with Helen Schucman's and Bill Thetford's joint undertaking that resulted in the transmission of the Course.

In their own words, this is what happened.

"In December 1932 my friend and I sat down, pencils and paper in hand and waiting.

"From the first, beautiful messages were given to her by our Lord Himself, and every day from then these messages have never failed us.

"We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their Churches, books and other sources. Certainly we were not advanced in spiritual growth, but just very ordinary human beings, who had had more suffering and worry than the majority and who had known tragedy after tragedy.

"The tender understanding of Our Lord's messages was at times almost heart-breaking. But He always insisted that we should be channels of Love, Joy and Laughter in His broken world."
The results of this undertaking were published in book form titled "God Calling," along with a companion volume, "God at Eventide." "God Calling" consisted of 366 daily devotional messages, most of which Course students will be quite comfortable with and inspired by.

These lessons are being presented, one per day, at: God Calling.