(D) The Book “A Course In Miracles”

“GOLDEN LINING” 

GOLDEN-LINING[1]

“Golden Lining”   oil on canvas   36″ X  48″   artist: Leslie Taylor

This “Miracles For All” website page, provides a brief overview of the book “A Course In Miracles” from which an individual who has not read the book can determine if they would be interested in doing so. Also, the works [below] may be of value to one who has already read the book and would like a review. All the of the artworks featured on this page are images of original oil paintings created by the author of this website. They do not specifically illustrate the text (although some do fit in rather well) – the intention is entirely aesthetic.

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Text, Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers – by the Foundation for Inner Peace

How it came (as derived from the preface of the book) – a miracle in and of itself:

Two individuals, Helen Schucman and William Thetford, Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, collaborated in the production of the material in “A Course in Miracles.” The book came about in a most extraordinary manner and it is, in and of itself, a testimony to its teachings. Neither Ms. Schucman nor Mr.Thetford would be considered spiritual, by their own account. They were both concerned with personal and professional acceptance and status; in other words, quite invested in the values of the world. Nor was their relationship a particularly harmonious one. Their lives would not at all be described as being in accord with anything that the Course advocates. Helen, the one who received the material, describes herself as:

“Psychologist, educator, conservative in theory and atheistic in belief, I was working in a prestigious and highly academic setting. And then something triggered a chain of events I could never have predicted. The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that “there must be another way.” As if on cue, I agreed to help him find it. Apparently this Course is the other way.”

She continues:

“Three startling months preceded the actual writing, during which time Bill suggested that I write down the highly symbolic dreams and strange images that were coming to me. I was still very surprised when I wrote, “This is a course in miracles.” That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook. The writing was never automatic. It could be interrupted at any time and later picked up again. It made me very uncomfortable, but it never seriously occurred to me to stop. I seemed to be on a special assignment I had somehow, somewhere agreed to complete. It represented a truly collaborative venture between Bill and myself. I would take down what the Voice “said” and read it to him the next day and he typed it from my dictation. I expect he had his special assignment, too. Without his encouragement and support I would never have been able to fulfill mine. The whole process took about seven years. The “Text” came first, then the “Workbook for Students”, and finally the “Manual for Teachers.”

This, what Helen states above, is remarkable to me for the book seems brilliant beyond what any human alone could produce to say nothing of it having literally flowed through Helen in near perfect and final form. She also informs:

Chapter titles and subheadings have been inserted in the Text, and some of the more personal references that occurred at the beginning have been omitted. Otherwise the material is substantially unchanged.”

******

What the book says:

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

“A Course in Miracles” begins by making a fundamental distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception. Knowledge is truth, under one law, that being the Love of God. Truth is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. It may be unrecognized but it cannot be changed. It applies to everything that God created, and only what He created is real. It is beyond learning because it is beyond time and process. It has no opposite; no beginning and no end. It merely is …”

From the creator of this website:

I am an avid reader of, not just metaphysics and spiritual material, but science as well. I have studied college, undergraduate level physics, cosmology, cellular biology, neuroscience and some geology. These fields naturally include chemistry (although I have yet to study chemistry specifically on its own). I’ve read the Bible and numerous physics and metaphysics (combined) books as well as a few works based on Buddhist and Hindu teachings. This is what started me on this inquiry:

When growing up in northern California my family never attended church; religion was not at all part of my upbringing. Yet, ever since I was quite young, I have experienced and continue to experience what would be considered as miraculous, and in varied forms (see the MFA Home page and chapters (A), (B) and (C) for examples). I needed answers explaining the material and the immaterial, or spiritual, world that I, and all others are a part of. I cannot recommend “A Course in Miracles” enough. I have read some amazing works written by some brilliant philosophers, spiritualists and scientists yet, I continue to put ACIM at the very top of the list. It is not an easy read but well worth the effort.

Below are pieces derived from “A Course in Miracles” written by me. They are abridged and written in such a way as to be easier to comprehend then the original text. From these one can better and more easily grasp the actual, and all of the text in the book should they choose to proceed with “the Course.”

The book, I believe, is true Christian teachings. Forgiveness is its main theme; forgiveness, not in the charitable sense but in the knowing, thus seeing, who we are in truth. The Teacher (the communicator) is Jesus Christ.

Leslie Taylor

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Let Miracles Replace All Grievances

Each decision you make is a choice between a grievance or a miracle. And, each time you choose a grievance it presents itself much like a dark curtain of hate and anger shutting out the miracle it conceals. Yet, the light and the love, the miracle, remains waiting for you.

bodhisa panel 1Today we will reverse the world you see by looking past your grievances not allowing sight to stop before seeing. Nor will we wait in front of the dark curtain, but instead push it aside and, in silence with your eyes open behold your brother, the Son of God. For beyond your grievances he will appear in the light, radiant and, where each one stood before this one. Know that it is he who stands in the light and you who has stood in the darkness and, each grievance you attributed to him made this darkness deeper such that you could no longer see.

Starting today, and everyday hereafter, we will attempt to see God’s Son not letting ourselves turn away and with our grievances blocking sight. In doing so, the seeing of the world is reversed as we look toward truth and away from fear. We do this with each one we see and those whom we remember. We practice seeing God’s Son as he is in truth and not, instead, untrue to the ideal role he should have accepted for and according to us.

Seeing beyond the dark curtain that you placed between yourself and the Son of God you will learn this: That which you kept hidden from yourself is there in everyone, including you, and canbodhisa panel 2 be seen by you. Let Him be free to take his place as your and all your brothers’, thus the world’s, savior for this is His role in God‘s, His Father’s, plan. You will, out of habit, attempt to hold him in your mind just as you currently do: reviewing his faults, the difficulties you’ve had with him, the pain he has caused you, the neglect and all the smaller and larger hurts inflicted by him. You will also regard his body with its flaws and better attributes. You will also consider his mistakes, his sins even. Then, ask of Him who knows this Son of God in reality, in truth, if we may look on him differently. Ask Him:

“Let me behold my savior in this one that you have appointed as the one for me to ask to lead me to the radiant, holy light in which he stands, that I may join with him.”

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Your savior would then be freed and in doing so make his freedom yours as there is no separateness in God’s Son. Quietly look upon your savior now with no dark grievances shrouding the miracle of God’s love shining in and radiating from His Son. The world and all of Heaven thank you for saving not one thought of God, not one Son, but instead rejoices as you are saved and all the world with you. So from here, from this moment on:

Let miracles replace all grievances.

Note: ACIM used the symbol of a shield to represent that which blocks seeing and I used the symbol of a dark curtain. The reason for this is I saw a clear vision, much like a photograph, while awake yet with my eyes closed, of a dark curtain at a window obscuring much of the light of day from entering yet it was pulled aside allowing for some daylight to shine through. I felt it symbolized that which is being taught here (which I soon happened to read in ACIM following the vision).

 

bodhisatva[1]

“Bodhisattva”  (Sanskrit,: refers to an enlightened being who compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others and is worshiped as a deity in Mahayana Buddhism) ). It is an oil on canvas, 24″ X 24″  painting. The two panels featured in the text above are 12″ X 12″ each. This is a a three part painting and the artist is Leslie Taylor

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“Above All Else I Want To See”

Seek not to change the world but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result of projection and is not a cause. And, that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked upon with vision (vision meaning seeing truthfully) is healed and holy (I like to think “wholly”). Anything perceived without vision is meaningless and where there is no meaning, there is only chaos. The picture “outside” (disaster and catastrophe or hope and holiness) is a testimony to your state of mind about the world.

Condemnation is your judgment on yourself (not others) and that which you project upon the world. If you see disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify the Son of God yet, if you see holiness and hope, you joined with the mind of God and set his Son free. The world you see, perceive (not vision), but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see within you and accepted as rightfully yours.

Judgment (right or wrong, good or evil, beautiful or ugly, smart or stupid, etc.) and its projection produces false perception whereas vision leads to joyfulness. Judgment will always give you false directions but, vision shows you where to go. And, know that there is no need to learn from painful experiences. For, what produces happiness you want to learn and do not want to forget. The question here is: Will the method by which this course, “A Course in Miracles,”  is taught bring you the joyfulness it promises? If you believed it would the learning of it would be no problem. However, you are not a joyful learner as of yet because you still remain uncertain that vision gives you more than judgment does. And, both together cannot create a joyous, wholly healed world.

Vision is glimpses of what is real yet what we would qualify as miraculous and, most people have experienced, or know of at least, a few miraculous events. Therefore, if there are some then they must be real and, miracles by definition, are unlimited in their creative potential as well as when, where and how often they occur. Miracles do not abide by the supposed, therefore perceived, limiting, hardened rules of matter, space and time. Instead they creatively, not destructively (for they are joyful only in their nature), transcend these restrictive and unessential rules and belief systems. For, pain and judgment are not necessary in learning, but instead keep us blind. “A Course in Miracles” suggests that the student ask of God, “Above all else, I want to see.”

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The Holy Instant

Everyone has, or will at some point, experience what they would call a sense of being transported beyond themselves. It is a sense of actual escape from limitations. What is to be considered here is what this “transportation” actually entails. It is a sudden unawareness of the body and a joining of yourself with something else during which your mind enlarges to encompass both. This is not about a special relationship with another. It is about something else entirely; this is about the giving up of the illusion of a limited awareness and the fear of unity (both imposed by the belief that you are a body). Love instantly replaces the fear by extending from you to that which you unite with; thus freeing you. And, during which, you are not at all uncertain of what you are in truth: unlimited, having thus escaped from fear to total peace, asking no questions of reality, but merely accepting it. Once having accepted reality in place of the body, you allow yourself to be one with something beyond it simply by not letting your mind be limited by the illusion, the belief, that you are a body.

This can occur regardless of the physical distance and any other qualities that seem to maintain the separation that appears to be between you and what you join with. Space and time are not relevant. It can occur with anyone or anything from the past, in the present, or anticipated in the future. It can be facilitated by a sight, a sound, a thought, memory, dream, a general idea even. You join, become united with it, because you know, you feel, the love for it and would be one with it. And so you rush to meet it, letting your limits melt away, suspending all the “laws” your body obeys; gently setting them aside.

There is no violence involved in this experience of expanded awareness; the body is not attacked but rather properly perceived. It ceases to limit you because you would not have it so. Nor are you “lifted out of it” for it cannot contain you. By the process of unity with that which you have otherwise perceived as separate and apart from you, you go where you would be, gaining, not losing; an experience of Self. Again, in these instants of release from physical restrictions, you experience the lifting of the barriers of space and time, the sudden experience of peace and joy and, above all, the lack of the awareness and thus the limitations of the body and any doubts as to whether or not this is possible.

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This is possible because you have decided that this is what you want; this sudden expansion of awareness otherwise known of as the holy instant. It calls on you to be yourself within its safe and loving embrace. For here the laws of limit are lifted welcoming you to openness of mind and to freedom. Come to this place of refuge where you can be yourself, your true self, in peace and not through destruction, not through a breaking out, but merely by a quiet melting inward. For here peace and joy will join you simply because you have been willing to let go of the limits you have placed upon yourself and experience unity, experience oneness, with Love.

 Silent Flight 002

“Silent Flight”  30″ X 30″  oil on canvas  artist: Leslie Taylor – I did this painting several years ago. It is a very close rendition of a photograph by the renown nature photographer Elliot Porter (1938 – 1990). Mr. Porter was not only an accomplished photographer but an engineer and physician and had also worked as a biochemical researcher at Harvard University. I had a number of his books for, in my opinion, they contained the very best photographs of birds. 

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Forgiveness  – Thus knowing who you and all others are in truth, Son of God

Forgiveness is at the very core of the teachings in “A Course in Miracles.” It is not the concept of forgiveness in the charitable sense (someone has caused you pain and suffering and you benevolently forgive them). But rather, forgiveness is an understanding, a knowing, thus being, who you and all others are in truth, Son of God. The piece below is not brief but its teaching is of inestimable value.

In the world, forgiveness is the equivalent of Heaven‘s justice. No one forgives unless they believe in sin and that they have much to be forgiven for. Forgiveness is always for the one who offers it. That is, until he sees himself as no longer needing forgiveness. For, it is the means by which one learns that the Son of God (you, your brother, all others) has done nothing that he needs to be forgiven for. In boundless Love what could need forgiveness? There is no sadness and no parting here. And, he whom appeared to have needed forgiveness is now joined and returned to his real function of creating (miracles) which the act of forgiveness, needed in the world (due to his perceptions), offers him.

The guiltless, the sinless, must perceive that they are one. For, in truth nothing stands in between pushing the other off. And, in the space and time that sin and condemnation left vacant they now join as one in joyfulness recognizing that, that which is part of them never was separate and apart. Where you stand (and, it is holy in truth) the eternal present, is but the place that the belief in sin, producing the illusion of separateness, has made instead. Consider the concept that one, or a group, is perceived as superior than the other, or others, and in any number of ways: more righteous, intelligent, disciplined, beautiful, favored, blessed, etc. Forgiveness facilitates your seeing the face of Christ arising in your brother and, in its [separations] place. Who could behold the Son and not recall his Father? Love? And not reach out beyond the universe, beyond space and time, to touch the Heart of all Creation – Oneness? It is here that every light of Heaven comes to be rekindled and increased in joy. For here is what was perceived as lost; the knowledge of who and what we all are is restored and our, all our, radiance made whole again.

Forgiveness leads not to small miracles before the gate of Heaven. Here the Son of God comes to receive each gift (the gift of miracles – the grace of God) that brings him nearer to his home, to Heaven. Not one brother is lost nor cherished more than any other and each one teaches the other that what he feared he actually loves. In the world what but a miracle could change his mind such that that he understands that Love, that Oneness, cannot be feared? What other miracle is there but this? What else is needed to make the space between you and the other disappear? The tiny space, the belief in sin, the little hindrance, that stands between you and your brother is holding back the opening of Heaven’s gate to you.

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A little hindrance can seem large to those who do not understand that miracles are all the same. Teaching that is what this course if for; its only purpose; all that there is to learn. And, one can learn it in many different ways. In fact, all learning is either a help or a hindrance to Love, to the gates of Heaven, and nothing in between is possible, nor real for that matter. There are but two teachers who point in two different ways; one of two directions you can take while time remains and choice is meaningful. You either choose to go toward Heaven, or away to nowhere. There are no other choices.

Nothing is ever lost but the time and space between, which in the end, is meaningless; but a little hindrance to eternity. Yet, since you do believe in it, why should you waste it going nowhere when it can be used to reach a goal as high as learning can possibly achieve? And, do not think that the way to Heaven’s gate is at all difficult. Nothing you undertake with certain purpose, high resolve, and happy confidence, holding your brother’s hand and keeping step is difficult to do.

God gave his Teacher to replace the one you made [space and time], not to conflict with it. And that, what you would replace, has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind with no effect upon eternity. So, all time has past and everything is exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made (that which lies in between – space and time – thus separation). The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, the separation, and all mistakes made within that one mistake also holds the correction for the first mistake and all others that came within the first one. In that tiny instant that time and the space between was, is gone, for that was all it ever was; but a tiny instant. What God gave answer to is answered and is now gone.

To you who still believe you live in time, the Holy Spirit guides. You think you exist in what is, in truth, no longer. Each thing you see, you are looking on that which was long ago, and prior to its unreality, was the truth. Not one illusion still remains; uncertainty was brought to certainty also so very long ago; in the past – an ancient past. Too short to make a world in response to Creation did this world appear to arise, and for such a tiny interval of time, so that not one note in Heaven‘s song was missed. Yet, in each unforgiving act or thought, in every judgment and in all belief in sin, is that one instant still called back as if it could be made again and again in time. (Consider, for example, the historical repetition of circumstances and persons involved in Abraham Lincoln’s and John F. Kennedy’s assassinations a hundred years apart. This explains how such a circumstance could be. Look it up online if you are unfamiliar). You keep an ancient memory before your eyes and he who lives in memories is unaware of where he is: Heaven.

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Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. There is no other teacher and no other way. For what has been undone (the separateness between you and all of creation) no longer is nor ever truly was. It is this that is a hindrance to the place where one truly is. Does any echo from the past, a supposed fact about what happened when, have anything to bear on where one is now? And how much can one’s illusions about time and place effect a change in where he really is? Not to forgive is a call to the past and the past is forever gone. And, everything that points to it as real is but a wish that what is gone could be made real again and seen as here and now, in place of what is really here now.

Forget the time of fear that has been so long ago corrected and undone. Can sin withstand God’s will for his Son? Can it be up to you to see the past and place it in the present? You can not go back. Everything that points the way in the direction of the past but sets you an on a mission leading to only that which is not real. And if it is not real then no harm was done. Thus, no sin, no guilt. This is the justice your all-loving Father has ensured shall come to you and your brother. You cannot lose your way for the only way to go is to Him.

This course will teach you only what is now and that any dreadful instant in a distant past is now perfectly corrected; it is of no concern nor value. Let that which is dead and no more be peacefully forgotten. For resurrection has taken its place and you are part of resurrection, not of death. No past illusions of time, of endings, of death, of separation, have the power to keep you in a place the Son of God entered but for an instant then instantly restored again unto God‘s perfect Love. For, that instant, the instant he chose death, he was reborn.

Will you not forgive the Son now, because he made an error in the past that God has no knowledge nor concern of and is not here now? You are shifting to and fro from the past and the present confusing the past with the present in the process. This is but a borderland, a bridge between the past and the present and where the shadow of the past remains but, here too, the present light is also dimly recognized. Once it is seen however, this light can never be forgotten and, once seen it will continue to draw you from the past into the present, where you really are.

The shadow voices of the past do not change the laws of time nor, for that matter, eternity. In the seemingly real world is also the other part of the hallucination confirming that time and death are real because they are perceived by the body’s senses. For bodies themselves are a construct of this perception, of its own belief system, cyclically reinforced again and again by this system; evoked by the belief in time; a limiting temporal perception.

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Each day and every minute in each day and every instant in each minute you but relive the single instant when time, the time of fear, took the place of Love (unity, connectedness extended forever in creation). And so you die to live again until you cross the gap between the past and present, which really isn’t a gap at all. Such is each life; a seeming interval from birth to death and on to life again; nothing more than a repetition of an instant gone long ago that cannot be relived. All of time is but the insane belief that what is over is still here and now.

Forgive the past. Let it go. It is gone. You stand no longer on the ground that lies between the worlds; the past and the present. You have now gone on and reached the world that lies at Heaven’s gate (for here and now you have read, thus contemplated and thus learned this). There is no hindrance to God’s will for his Son nor any need that you repeat again a journey that was over long ago. Look gently on your brother and behold the world in which your perception – that which you believed justified your hatred, your condemnation – has been transformed into a world of Love.

“Joie de Vivre” Joie-de-Vivre[1]“Joie de Vivre”   oil on canvas   36″ X  36″   artist: Leslie Taylor

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The Material Versus the Spiritual Realms and the Miraculous Experience

Note: This piece (below, on pages 12 thru 14) was influenced by ACIM teachings along with other meaningful and important written works from authors such as: Amit Goswami PhD., Lothar Schafer PhD., Deepak Chopra M.D., Rupert Sheldrake PhD., to name a few, along with purely scientific written works and courses as well as my own miraculous experiences. From thereon though, I am going to return to the specific teachings from “A Course in Miracles.”

Currently, within the corporeal, worldly realm our central and peripheral nervous system (the whole of the sensory perception system – brain and body) due to, and limited to, its modes of perceiving (the five senses) experiences the mechanistic physical world (including the forces that act upon matter: electromagnetic, the nuclear strong force, gravitational force, etc.) as being outside itself and just like itself (again, the body); all enclosed within a physical structure causally interacting with yet, separate and apart from all other structures. For example: Consider the body’s skeletal structure, the organs (such as the heart pump and associated arterial and vassal pipes), the body’s fluids, the membranes, the neural axon’s conduction of chemical and electrical impulses signaling adjacent neurons, and so on. Any part of and/or the whole of the body is much like anything and everything else in the world, organic or otherwise: such as a tree, a building, a river system, a computer, a city even (learn of how a single cell functions internally – like a little city!).

The atoms and molecules throughout the universe, based on our observations, are the same structurally and how they electro-dynamically interact as do the atoms and molecules inside our bodies. And, due to these subatomic structures and the electromagnetic, nuclear weak and strong forces, as we perceive (thus comprehend, thus perceive, and so on) them to be, we then deduce not only that we are, but why we are, material. Also, because we see ourselves (thus everyone and everything else) as dense material and separated masses, we see ourselves (thus everyone and everything else)  as being constrained by the laws of gravity and its effects on and between these masses. Then, given our concepts of space and time, we perceive ourselves and everything else as being of limited existence subject to decay and oblivion. Our perception of the world around us, wherever we look, is precisely the same as our perception of ourselves. Or, stated a bit differently, we perceive the world as being just like that which is doing the perceiving. This is a cyclically reinforcing process of believing, thus experiencing, thus believing, thus experiencing, and so on. (Adding to that, consider Samsara: in Hinduism the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth).

Perhaps you are aware that there are mystics and spiritualists who describe the human condition as like being trapped in a hall of mirrors. Meaning, again, that how one perceives the world around them is but a reflection, quite literally, of their own perceived state of being and therefore how they understand all of reality to be. However, one’s state of being, based on their perception, thus experiencing, can take evolutionary leaps. In fact, evolution often does occur in leaps. Sort of like when an electron surrounding the nucleus of an atom, once having absorbed a quanta of light [a photon] leaps from its occupied lower energy quantum state, or level, to a virtual, until occupied by the electron then actualized higher quantum state, or level. In quantum physics parlance these states, or levels, are referred to as orbitals. And these virtual (until occupied by an electron then actualized) orbitals extending beyond the atomic nucleus are innumerable. In fact, it is suggested that they are infinite in number; infinite potentialities.

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In Christianity (yet not limited to Christian beliefs and teachings), particularly in “A Course In Miracles”, the objective is to transcend the temporal, material belief system; a cyclical, limiting state, or “hall of mirrors” perception. One of the exercises in ACIM instructs the student to repeat to themselves “Above all else I want to see.” Meaning, seeing truthfully and not limited to the body’s, thus the mind’s (or the characteristic ego’s) narrow, limited, insane even, self-reinforcing cyclical belief system however rational, and brilliant its (mechanistic) deductive reasoning seems to be. Insane because how could such a limited, vulnerable, cut-off from all that is, existence be remotely desirable? or necessary even? Yet, this physical condition, or state, however lonely, painful and pitiful it can be, for some reason (fear generally) is ardently, desperately, clinged to. To some, this state, or condition, is justified as being something of a learning, evolutionary process which it, like any experience (a trauma or tragic loss of some kind, for example) can be. It is important to note here: ACIM also teaches that suffering is not necessary for learning.

If instead, per se, you knew your brother not as mass-like, but as eternally radiant, light-like (and some have experienced seeing truthfully and as such) could you harm him? How? Shoot him? If he were light-like would he eventually rot away then perish due to old age, or starvation, or disease? Could you crush him in a car accident or blow him to bits with a bomb? If he were radiant would he not be beautiful to behold? Would he then not appear flawless; perfect in every respect? And, if you saw him as such, and he is your brother, what then are you? What then would your perception of your brother reveal to you about your self? It would reveal your  perfect, radiantly beautiful, eternal, Self. Seeing truthfully is merely knowing, thus being that which you, and therefore your brother, are in truth: Son of God.

Many spiritualists, in fact most, claim in one form or another that the Universe is constantly manifesting and reabsorbing; a cycle of birth, growth, decay, death, birth, growth, decay, death, and so on, and so on. And this is confirmed everywhere we look. Yet, this is due to our wholehearted belief and investment in our causal, mechanistic and material state and therefore our only being able to see the mechanistic/material parts and processes of the world, their eventual disorder and decay [entropy in scientific parlance], then finally their inevitable fate; their oblivion into the unseeable, the unknowable. Unseeable and unknowable because our sensory perception organ, our physical bodies, can only comprehend that which it believes itself and all else to be and, its perception is limited thus so; limited to our comprehending the world’s physical/material parts and processes and mechanistic causalities, and little more than that.

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Most people believe in a spiritual realm, an afterlife of sorts, regardless of how diverse the details associated with these afterlife realms amongst individuals are. Many worldwide believe in reincarnation – repeatedly incarnating out of the spiritual realm and into the material realm; in and out again, and again, in the best interests of the individual’s greater spiritual development. There are also many accounts from credible individuals of spiritual beings who have passed on and have communicated to living others, especially loved ones, a bit of information regarding the deceased’s well being, or information about the “after life” or, other meaningful conveyances. Other types of spiritual beings, angels for example, are also worthy of consideration here. There are innumerable, and always have been since recorded human history valid, and sometimes empirically verified, accounts of human encounters with, and/or communications from, non-physical, spiritual beings. These accounts are often referred to as miracles.

“A Course In Miracles” teaches that miracles are natural and available to all. And, the miracles referred to in ACIM are not limited to encounters with spiritual beings. (In fact, the miraculous in ACIM is geryan[1]nerally in reference to healing: healing oneself thus all others; knowing the Son of God). Yet, also quite real and possible besides miraculous healings and encounters with spiritual beings are object materializations, extra sensory perception, and precognition of future events, to name but a few. For now though, this piece will focus on the spiritual realm or otherwise risk becoming too complex to impart significant, comprehendible meaning.

These spiritual concepts of an (largely inaccessible to physical beings) afterlife, and fleeting, seemingly miraculous, encounters with spiritual beings, however inspiring, are still mired in the belief that we are material bodies. We believe that to fully experience the spiritual realms we need to, and often quite dramatically, shed our physical bodies – die in other words. Another lesson, or practice, from ACIM (in an attempt to help us see our way out of the “hall of mirrors”) is to see ourselves as we and therefore all others, our brothers, are in truth is to repeatedly remind ourselves that we are not physical bodies. This particular practice consists of repeating to oneself, “I am spirit.” Thus meaning that you are not a temporal, vulnerable, corruptible, body separated from everyone and everything; separated from God.

And, as already mentioned, above all else desire seeing: thus knowing, that you are the Son of God and take your rightful place, here and now, in the Kingdom of Heaven. This was and is Christ’s, our brother’s, message. And that we, like Christ, are capable of experiencing miracles as we come to realize, to perceive and experience, the truth of who, what, and where we are.

by Leslie Taylor

The image above is a portrait of “Brian” my nephew. The original painting is oil on canvas  16″ X 20″ 

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Back to “A Course In Miracles“:

Attack and Defense

The belief that one needs to defend or attack in self-defense confirms the false notion the believer has of his identity; that being that he is a body and therefore vulnerable, ephemeral and pitifully limited. All that is invested in the protection and adornment of the body further establishes this misconception. The body in and of itself is but an instrument, separate from the mind and, of use to the mind until it is no longer useful as such. Let it serve its purpose independently, perfectly. Heal the mind that wrongly sees itself as limited, separate and apart from all other minds and its Source, and the body responds with health; the mind thus having been corrected by the truth.

The healed mind waits, receives through listening to wisdom from a Source other than its own. It then proceeds as it has been taught, guided fully certain of its adequacy and competence that it can fulfill its part in a plan that serves all of humanity and, knowing that no obstacle can impede its progress and ultimate success. You receive instead of plan. If there are plans you will be informed of such and they may not be what you thought were needed for solutions to the problems confronting you. The healed mind is relieved of the preoccupation of planning for the future based on past events and previous beliefs realizing that the present will provide all its needs thus guaranteeing a future quite unlike the past. Anticipation plays no part, for present confidence paves the way.

Remember, defenses are the plans you make that undermine your knowledge of the truth of who and what you are. God would never offer pain to His Own, His Son. While you make plans for death with your defenses, you did not see love shine on your every step gently leading you to eternal life without a trace of sorrow and a joy that constantly increases. Let this life become an encounter with the truth a holy instant.

Utilize your present, and trust. For, only your defenselessness is required for the truth to dawn upon your mind. Without defenses Heaven recognizes you as a light; one of its own. Then others will join their light with yours and more and more will be included until the entire world is lit up with joy. Experience the light, the joyfulness of simple trust.

Heaven asks for nothing; it only gives. It is hell that makes extravagant demands for sacrifice. Without defenses you present yourself to your Creator to learn of the part for you within His plan for the salvation of the world. This is your Eastertime, keep it holy. You need not defend yourself; the Son of God needs no defense. Listen, learn, for you cannot conceive of all the happiness that comes without your planning, without your defenses.

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Healing – and how the perception of order of difficulties can be avoided.

This piece is derived from “The Teachers Manual” in “A Course in Miracles”. It has been abridged somewhat and some of the wording changed but, remains consistent with and true to the teachings in the book.

The belief in order of difficulties is what underlies the world’s perception. This perception rests on differences; on an uneven background and a shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, etc. In other words, thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in in order to be recognized. A larger object overshadows a smaller one. A brighter thing draws the attention from another with less intensity of appeal. And, a more threatening idea, or another conceived of as more desirable by the world‘s standards, completely upsets the mental balance of those firmly committed to one or the other. What the body’s eyes behold is only conflict. Therefore, rely not on them for peace and understanding.

Illusions are always illusions of differences. By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something appear real, and of considerable importance even, but is actually realized as being unreal – untrue. The mind seeks to make the untrue true in an effort to have what it declares of value, of importance, all to itself. Which, by the way, cannot be. The mind finding health, which wholeness (or holiness), undesirable it retreats into feverish dreams in which it perceives itself as separate and apart from all other minds with different interests of its own and only able to gratify its needs at the expense of others; thus giving itself the illusion of a victory.

These differences appear to be in the world outside. Yet it is the mind that judges, thus differentiating, that which the body’s eyes see and, in doing so, gives them “meaning,” (a meaning that serves, thus reinforces, the mind’s objective). Yet, this “meaning” does not actually exist in the objective world outside at all. But rather, the mind‘s hierarchy of values is projected outward. It utilizes the body’s eyes to find, thus confirm, the mind’s preferences; that which it deems of value including the body, and therefore the mind itself; separate and apart from all others and everything else. For, it is the mind that evaluates the eyes messages, and therefore it is the mind that is responsible for seeing. And, it alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful, and so on.

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It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception arise. And, it is here where correction must be made. The mind classifies what the body‘s eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values (deluding itself in the process). And, having done so, it concludes that all its hierarchical categorizing and sorting must be true. It is on this that all the judgments (what is truer, of more value, of greater importance, etc.) of the world relies.

There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is an illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane engaged in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? Will one agree more quickly to the irrational commands of a louder voice then to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to inflict harm, to destroy even, than a shout? Yet his mind has qualified all illusions as real, and categorized their importance accordingly, and so they have become quite real to him. Yet, when he learns that they are all illusions, both big and small, they will disappear. And so it is with healing. The properties of illusions which seem to make them different are really irrelevant, for their properties are as illusory as they are.

The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But, the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be “sicker” than others, and the body’s eyes will report their changed appearances as before. But, the healed mind will put them all in one category: they are unreal. This is the Teacher’s gift; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in the sorting out of the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And, of these two, only One is real. Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place (for differences cannot exist within it for, all is One with God, within the Mind of God) so too are illusions without distinctions. The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing – healing of the mind. The one answer to all illusions is the truth – the truth of who you and all others, your brothers, are.

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 A COURSE IN MIRACLES DAILY LESSONS

Below are excerpts from the Workbook for Students section of ACIM. In the workbook there are a total of 365 daily lessons – one for each day of the year. In the next piece, “I Release the world from all I thought it was,” I have changed but a few of the words in the original text but otherwise, the message remains unchanged.

ACIM Lesson 55 – Five reviews of previous lesson.

1. I am determined to see things differently.

What I see now are but signs of disease, disaster and death. This cannot be what God created for His beloved Son. The very fact that I see such things is proof that I do not understand God. Therefore I also do not understand His Son. What I see tells me that I do not know who I am. I am determined to see the witnesses to the truth in me, rather than those which show me an illusion of myself.

2. What I see is a form of vengeance.

The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts. It is a picture of attack on everything by everything. It is anything but a reflection of the Love of God and the Love of His Son. It is my own attack thoughts that give rise to this picture. My loving thoughts will save me from this perception of the world, and give me the peace God intended me to have.

3. I can escape from this world by giving up attack thoughts.

Herein lies salvation, and nowhere else. Without attack thoughts I could not see a world of attack. As forgiveness allows love to return to my awareness, I will see a world of peace and safety and joy. And it is this I choose to see, in place of what I look on now.

Purrsuit[1]

“Purrsuit”  oil on canvas  36″ X 36″  artist: Leslie Taylor

4. I do not perceive my own best interests.

How could I recognize my own best interests when I do not know who I am? What I think are my best interests would merely bind me closer to the world of illusions. I am willing to follow the Guide God has given me to find out what my own best interests are, recognizing that I cannot perceive them by myself.

5. I do not know what anything is for.

To me, the purpose of everything is to prove that my illusions about myself are real. It is for this purpose that I attempt to use everyone and everything. It is for this that I believe the world is for. Therefore I do not recognize its real purpose. The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it. Let me open my mind to the world’s real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it, and learning the truth about it.

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 I release the world from all I thought it was.

What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs? And what can save the world except your Self? For belief is powerful indeed. The thoughts you hold are mighty, and illusions are as strong in their effects as is the truth. A madman thinks the world he sees is real, and does not doubt it. Nor can he be swayed by questioning the effects of his thoughts. But, when brought to question, the hope of freedom comes to him at last and it is then that salvation is easily achieved, for anyone is free to change his mind, and all his thoughts change with it. To change your mind means you have changed the source of all ideas you think or, ever thought or, yet will think. You free the past from what you thought before. And, you free the future from all past patterns of thoughts and seeking for that which you do not want to find. Now then, the present is the only time. And it is here, in the present, that the world is set free. For, as you let the past be lifted and release the future from your ancient fears (for you are one with all of humanity that was, is or will be), you find escape and give it to the world. You have enslaved the world with all your fears, your doubts and miseries, your pain and tears; all your sorrows impressed upon it, and keep the world a prisoner to your beliefs. Death appears everywhere because you hold thoughts of death within your mind.

The world is nothing in itself. It is only your mind that gives it meaning. And what you behold in the world you see are your wishes, acted out so you can look on them and believe them to be real. Perhaps you think you did not make the world, but came unwillingly to what was made already. Yet, the truth is, you found exactly what you sought when you came. There is no world apart from what you wish and it is this realization that is your, and the world’s, release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.

Ideas leave not their source. This central theme is often stated in the text, and must be borne in mind if you would understand this teaching. It is not pride which tells you that you made the world you see. But rather it is pride that argues you have come into a world quite separate and apart from you and what you think. And after all, you certainly wouldn’t create such a mess?

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There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth. He will return and go farther still, or perhaps step back awhile and then return again.

laurel[1]Healing (the healing of oneself thus the healing of the world) is the gift of those who are prepared to learn there is no world and can now accept this teaching. Their readiness will bring it to them in some form which they can understand and recognize it. Some see it suddenly on point of death, and rise to teach it (consider the many viable accounts of near death experiences). Others find it in an experience that is not of this world (a miraculous event such as a sudden healing, or a holy instant sometimes referred to as enlightenment, to name but two) which shows them that the world does not exist as they previously believed because what they experienced they know is true, and yet it clearly contradicts the world. And, some will find it in this course. What is being taught here is true because the world does not exist. Therefore if it is indeed your own imagining, then you can release it from all things you ever thought it was by merely changing all the thoughts you hold that gave it the appearance that it does. The sick are healed as you let go all thoughts of sickness, and the dead are not dead at all when you let thoughts of life replace all the thoughts you ever held of death.

A teaching already stated before in this text must now be stressed again, for it contains the firm foundation for the whole of the teachings. You are as God created you. There is no place where you can suffer, and no time that can bring change to your eternal state. How can a world of time and separation exist if you remain as God created you? And, if you are as God created you, you cannot think apart from Him, nor make what does not share His timelessness and Love. Are these qualities inherent in the world you see? If not, then it is not real, and cannot be. For, God’s creation is unlike the world in every way. And, as it was His Thought by which you were created, so it is your thoughts which made the world you see and therefore must set it free … that you may then know the Thoughts you share with God.

What is this teaching but a way of saying that to know your Self is nothing less than the salvation of the world? To change your mind about yourself is to free the world from every kind of pain. For, there is no world apart from your ideas because, as cannot be repeated enough, ideas leave not their source and therefore within your mind, within your thoughts, you maintain the world you see.

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Release the world! Your real creations wait for this release to give you fatherhood, not of illusions, but as God in truth. God shares His Fatherhood with you who are His Son, for He makes no distinctions in what is Himself and what is still Himself. What He creates is not apart from Him, and nowhere does the Father end and the Son begin as something separate from Him.

There is no world because this world is a thought apart from God and a belief in the separateness between the Father and the Son; a breaking away of a part of God from Himself thus destroying His Wholeness. How can a world which comes from this idea be real? Deny illusions and accept the truth. Deny you are a shadow briefly laid upon a dying world. Instead release your mind, and you will look upon a world released. For, our purpose is to free the world from all the thoughts we ever held about it, ourselves, and all other living things we see upon it. They can not be here any more than we can. Rather, in truth, we are in the home our Father set for us along with them. And, we who are as He created us would release the world, beginning now, from every one of our illusions; that we too may be set free.

ACIM recommends that the student devote two 15 minute practice periods with this thought: “I who remain as God created me would release the world from all I thought it was.” Then merely rest, alert but with no strain, and let your mind in quietness be changed so that the world is freed, along with you. You need not realize that healing comes to many brothers far across the world, as well as to the ones you see nearby, as you send out these thoughts that bless the world. However, you will begin to sense your own release. And, although you may not fully understand this as yet: you could never be released alone. Throughout the day, increase the freedom sent through your thoughts to all the world, and whenever you are tempted to deny the power of your change of mind say:

“I who remain as God created me release the world from all I thought it was and know my own reality as well.”

The painting above is titled: “Laurel” and is a 12″ X 18″ oil on canvas paintings by Leslie Taylor

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 A COURSE IN MIRACLES: THE PLAN FOR THE WORLD’S SALVATION

SOARING

SOARING[1]

 “Soaring”  oil on canvas  48″ X  36″  artist: Leslie Taylor

This written work is derived from the Manual for Teachers section of “A Course In Miracles” :

A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one; anyone who had made a conscious and deliberate choice in which they saw their interests as not at all apart from the interests of another. Once this choice is made their direction is certain. A light has entered where before there was darkness. And, although but a single light, this is enough. The individual has entered into an agreement with God even if they do not, as of yet, believe in God. They now have become a teacher of God; a savior of the world.

These teachers come from all over the world; from all religions and from no religion. The Call is universal and goes on all the time everywhere. It is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long, long way off. It is because of this that the plan for the teachers was established. Their function is to save time. Each one begins as a single light that cannot be limited, and each one saves a thousand years of time, as the world perceives time. To the Call Itself, time is meaningless.

For each teacher of God the form of the course they teach varies greatly as does the particular teaching aids. Yet, the content never changes. It’s central theme is always, “God’s Son is guiltless, and his innocence is his salvation.” This can be taught by actions, words, or soundlessly, in any language or no language, in any place or time or manner. It matters not at all who the teacher was before they heard the Call, for they have become a savior of the world just by their answering. They have seen another as themselves and found their salvation, and therefore the world’s. And, in their rebirth, the world is reborn.

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The ACIM “Manual for Teachers” is a manual for a specific curriculum, intended for teachers of a particular form of the universal course. There are thousands of other forms, and all with the same outcome; they all merely save time. Yet it is time alone that winds on wearily. And the world, now tired and without hope, is ready for salvation. There is no question of outcome, for what can prevent the will of God? Still, time with its illusions of change, decay and death wears down the world and everything in it. Yet time too has an ending and it is this that the teachers of God are appointed to demonstrate through miracles which transcend time (thus distance, separateness, cause and effect). For time is in their hands. This was their choice and thus it was given them.

Who are the students of these teachers? Those who are open to recognizing their teachers in whatever form of the universal curriculum that is best suited for them and their level of understanding. The teachers’ students have been waiting long all the while knowing that their teacher is coming. It is only a matter of time. Once the teacher has chosen to fulfill their role, the student is now ready to fulfill theirs.

In order to grasp the teaching-learning plan for salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time as taught by this course. Atonement, or reparation, corrects illusions (not truth for truth needs no correction) thus correcting that which never was. Furthermore, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the will of God is entirely apart from time as is all of reality, reality being in and of God. The very instant that God’s Son conceived of separation, God’s answer was given. In time this happened so very long ago, in reality it happened not at all. For the world of time is a world of illusion.

Because your will is free you can accept what has happened already at any time you choose, and when you do you will then realize that it was already so. And it is then that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had never met before. The pupil comes to the right place at the right time. This is inevitable because the choice was made in that ancient instant that the student now relives.

When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching/learning situation begins. For the teacher is not the one who actually does the teaching. God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together as one for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because God sends His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) into any holy relationship. And, in this teaching/learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations: their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus the one who was student becomes a teacher of God having made the one decision that gave their teacher to them having seen in another that which is in themselves.

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LINKS: You may have to copy and paste, the links do not work directly for some reason:

The Foundation for Inner Peace

Here [below] is the link to The Foundation for Inner Peace; the original organization appointed by the “scribe” Dr. Helen Schucman for the publication and distribution of the only authorized manuscript of “A Course In Miracles.”

http://www.acim.org/

Conscious TV (You Tube video) – “Building Bridges”

The main teaching of “A Course in Miracles'” is forgiveness. Here is a Conscious TV video featuring an interview by Iain McNay with Jo Berry and Pat Magee titled “Building Bridges.” These two individuals work together in the area of conflict resolution and transformation. The event that brought them together was a bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton England in 1984 where conservative members of parliament gathered for a conference. Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped injury yet, Jo Barry’s father, Sir Anthony Berry, along with five others, was killed in the explosion and Irish Republican Army (IRA) member Patrick Magee spent time in prison for planting the bomb. Jo Berry has an amazing capacity for forgiveness and how she has managed to, along with Pat Magee, transform that tragic event that took her father’s life into an understanding and teaching of the importance of forgiveness is nothing short of remarkable.

 

Tedx Talk (You Tube video) – Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

This is a Tedx talk featuring Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen and what he has learned from applying brain imaging science to clinical psychiatric practice. He has studied around 64,000 brain scans from around the world and has much to offer in the understanding of criminal, violent behavior as well as the benefits to the brain of a generally healthy lifestyle.

To continue from here to the next Miracles For All Chapter (E) Rudolph Steiner “How to Know Higher Worlds click on:

https://miraclesforall.com/how-to-know-higher-worlds/