Showing posts with label ACIM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ACIM. Show all posts

Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #306 - The gift of Christ is all I seek today.

 Lesson #306

The gift of Christ is all I seek today

What is the “gift of Christ”? It is the vision of the healed world where there is no separation, no division, only One. It is the vision of the UU sixth principle, “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.” This goal has been achieved already in God’s vision. It is human egos which have obstructed the view of it. If we can clear away the barriers and obstacles erected in the ego world, we can see  the gift of Christ, holiness, clearly.

In Alcoholic Anonymous it is suggested, in step eleven, that we seek to improve our conscious contact with God through prayer, meditation, and mindfulness.

In Unitarian Universalism we join together to affirm and promote the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

Today, it is suggested that we reflect continually on the gift of Christ which is the holiness of the world. Like the buddhist monk said to the hot dog vendor, “Make me one with everything.”

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #300 - Only an instant does this world endure.

 Lesson #300

Only an instant does this world endure.

One of the key concepts of A Course In Miracles is the idea that we live in two worlds: the world of the ego and the world of the Spirit(Love). Today we are reminded that only an instant does the world of the ego endure and then we are free to join the world of the Spirit if we choose.

In Alcoholic Anonymous it is suggested, in step eleven, that we improve our conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation, what today is also called mindfulness.

In Unitarian Universalism we covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles and it is by joining with others in this effort that we bypass the world of the ego and engage in the world of the Spirit.

Today, we can comfort ourselves by reminding ourselves that only an instant does this world of the ego endure. We are free to refocus on the world of Spirit anytime we choose. We are reminded of the saying when we are afraid, resentful, angry, guilt ridden that “this, too, shall pass” for only an instant does this bullshit endure.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The series of posts on a Course In Miracles and Unitarian Universalism.

 A fellow said to me, "All you have on your site is stuff about A Course In Miracles. I thought it was suppose to be about Unitarian Universalism?"

His comment made it clear he hadn't read many of the articles or he would have realized that every article does relate the lessons from the Course not only to Unitarian Universalism but also to the spiritual teachings of Alcohol Anonymous one of the biggest programs for spiritual development in the United States today.

The lessons of A Course In Miracles can be challenging in their seemingly intellectualized formulations. They don't make a lot of sense, often, unless the practitioner is familiar with the metaphysics of the Course. However, when the practitioner understands the metaphysics of the Course, the meanings of the lessons can be profound and inspiring and very practical in developing one's spiritual life.

If you have been regular reader and practitioner of the UU ACIM lessons here, I'd love to hear from you what you think of them and how you have used them. Send me an email at

Thank you for your consideration.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #289 - The past is over. It can touch me not.

 Lesson #289

The past is over. It can touch me not.

The past is gone. It’s done. It’s over. The hurt, the pain, the fear, the guilt, the resentment, the grievance, the anger, it wells up and can accentuate as long as we remember, ruminate, pout, and pay rent for it to occupy our minds. We can plot revenge, live in fear, get depressed, and live in our own hell. The ego world we create is a curious thing. One has to wonder if there is not a better way to live our lives?

It is suggested in Alcoholic Anonymous, in step eleven, that we improve our conscious contact with God (Love). Great idea! We can’t do this though if we live in the past dwelling on the past sins of ourselves and others. Before we can improve our conscious contact with God this s*** has to go.

In Unitarian Universalism we join together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. In order to focus on this worth and dignity the baggage has to be ejected from the clown car which is our life in the world of the ego.

Today, it is suggested that several times when we are upset that we remind ourselves that the past is over. It can touch me not unless I let it by recalling past hurts and regrets. Let it go and focus on the Divine within us and others.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #287 - You are my goal, my Father. Only You.

 Lesson #287

You are my goal, my Father. Only You.

What does the soul yearn for? Reunification with its Divine Source. The soul yearns for this beyond the body’s desire for happiness and immortality. Are you a soul in a body or a body with a soul? Once you understand your soul’s (heart’s) desire, you can bring your body, mind, and soul into alignment and finally recognize the only thing that matters. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is the reunification with the Divine Source from which our egos have separated. Understanding this we can say, “You are my goal, my Father. Only You.”

In Alcoholics Anonymous it is suggested, in step eleven, that we improve our conscious contact with God. The desire for this improvement involves knowing that our primary goal is the reunification with the Divine which brings peace and bliss.

In Unitarian Universalism we join together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. What is it that we are ultimately searching for? A person who has reached advanced stages of maturity is yearning for reunification with the Divine which is the fountain of truth and meaning.

Today, it is suggested that we remind ourselves continually that what really matters is not the mundane practicalities of life which must be attended to if we are to care for the body, but the yearning of the soul which is to experience the Divine Presence.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #202, Review of lesson 182, I will be still and instant and go home,

Lesson #202
I am not a body, I am free. For I am still as God created me.
Review of lesson 182 - I will be still and instant and home.

“Going home,” in A Course In Miracles, is that meditative state of no thoughts, no mind. We become totally relaxed and centered. It is this place which is our real Self with a capital S meaning that it is a place far beyond our ego and body. It is communing with the All. It is what the hippies called “cosmic consciousness.”

In Alcoholic Anonymous, it is suggested in the twelfth step that we improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God through prayer and meditation. Isn’t this a good idea?

In Unitarian Universalism, we covenant together to affirm and promote the love for the interdependent web of which we all are a part. Another great idea.

Today, it is suggested that we take fifteen minutes at the beginning and end of the day and many times in between to be still a moment and go home.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #178, Review of lessons 165 and 166,

 Lesson #178

Review of lessons 165 and 166.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

Lesson 165 - Let not my mind deny the Thought Of God.

Lesson 166 - I am entrusted with the gifts of God.

When people would say to John Buerhens that they didn’t believe in God, he said he would reply, “What God is it that you don’t believe in?” It sounds a bit flip and glib but taken seriously it is an excellent question. People believe in many idols and anthropomorphized forms of God but rarely do they contemplate the Oneness, the Source of All, the Ground Of Our Being. Neale Donald Walsch teaches that if you don’t like the word “God” use the word “Life.” What would it mean for a person to say “I don’t believe in life?”

Once we come to a mature understanding of the non dualistic idea of God, we begin to experience and understand the gifts of Grace.

In Alcoholic Anonymous, it is suggested in step eleven that we seek to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power through prayer and meditation.

In Unitarian Universalism, we affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning which will inevitably take us to the apprehension of the non dualistic Oneness which is the Transcendent Source of all that is.

Today, it is suggested that we take a few minutes at the beginning and the end of the day and a few minutes in between to take a few deep breaths, relax, and sink into the non dualistic Oneness and remember our experience of God and realize God’s gifts.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #164 - Now we are one with Him Who is our Source

Lesson #164
Now are we one with Him Who is our Source

Most of us live in the past and then we worry about the future and so we overlook the now what the Course calls the Holy Instant. If we stop, look within, take three deep breaths, relax, we sink into being with our Transcendent Source.

It is suggested in step eleven of Alcoholics Anonymous that we seek to improve our conscious contact with our Transcendent Source through prayer and meditation. Is this a good idea or what? Is it just a coincidence that Lesson #164 in A Course In Miracles suggests the same thing? Is this synchronicity just a coincidence or is there something more going on here?

In Unitarian Universalism we covenant together to affirm and promote a love for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part. One of all and all for one where there is no past and no future, just the eternal present.

It is suggested that we begin and end the day, and many times in between, by taking time to remember that we are one with Him Who is our Source. When we do this, we can tell by the peace and joy that wells up with us.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #22 - What I see is a form of vengeance.

The Smarter Way to Seek Revenge

Lesson #22
What I see is a form of vengeance.

Today’s lesson may seem harsh and the student will recoil and deny its validity and yet if we step back and consider the dynamics we engage in when we perceive and interpret ourselves and the world we come to realize its veracity.

Most of us, unless we are enlightened, are full of anger which is fueled by our fears. We all are a bit paranoid thinking that other people and circumstances are out to harm us. This generates anger which we then project onto other people and situations and then we fear blowback and repercussions which make us defensive which only generates more anger and so a vicious cycle is created in which resentments, grievances, recriminations become a huge part of our lives whether we are consciously aware of it or whether our anger is repressed, and appears dormant and is unconscious.

We are asked today, to take a minute or two five times during the day and just reflect on our thoughts, motivations, intentions, preferences and identify what the Course calls “attack thoughts.” Once we can identify and name them for what they are, we can decide to choose a better way.

All of our Unitarian Universalist principles ask us to affirm and promote a better way, but this is highly unlikely until we can recognize and admit that we often think, feel, and do the opposite of  what the principles ask of us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson #17 - I see no neutral things.

See God in all things. Form is neutral. | Quotes at

Lesson #17
I see no neutral things.

As we have learned in previous lessons, projection is the name of the game. Projecting our previous experiences, our social conditioning, our expectations, our implicit biases, our confirmation biases, our prejudices onto the things we see and the things we experience is how we create our reality.

And so, we can say with certitude that I see no neutral things.

In Unitarian Universalism we covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and the question arises about where we should search. If we are searching in the world of the ego based on our projections knowing that we see no neutral things where does this leave us?

Keep up with the daily lessons and you will learn that you will be left with miracles.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Today's lesson - Achieving vision by going with the flow.

Today's lesson is lesson 30 in A Course Of Miracles which is "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind."

ACIM makes a distinction between seeing and vision. Seeing is the physical sight with our eyes which is made up by projection. What we think we are going to see, we see. We are very biased. Psychologists call this a "psychological set" meaning that we have a frame of reference within which we perceive and understand our physical sensations. This is also called a "self fulfilling prophecy."

Vision is different in that it comes from within and is experienced best with our eyes closed. It has nothing to do with things being close or far or having particular shapes. Vision is being present in the moment and apprehending the whole not the parts.

When we attempt to "be here now" and apprehend the interdependent web of existence and experience the nondualistic unity we experience the bliss of God being in our mind.

A common experience of this kind of vision is what psychologists call "flow". Time stands still and we lose track of time. We become enthralled.

Today, allow yourself to become enthralled with what and wherever you are and see (no pun intended) if you can go with the flow and experience the peace of God in your mind.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

How do people keep their consciousnesses asleep?

The perennial psychology distinguishes between the states of human consciousness as asleep and awake. Most human beings spend most of their lives with their consciousness asleep. Steve Taylor describes the sleep state of consciousness in his book, The Leap, as having four categories of signs and symptoms: affective, perceptual, conceptual and behavioral. We will be taking these categories of signs and symptoms of a sleeping consciousness one at a time. In this article we will describe the signs and symptoms of the behavioral category. 

People who are asleep, most of humanity, manage their dis-ease in two major ways: entertainment that is mood altering, and filling their internal void up with stuff, accumulating things.

President George W. Bush, who professes to be a follower of Jesus, told Americans after the 9/11 attack to "go shopping" because we can't let the terrorists defeat our American way of life. Really? 

The answer to national anxiety after being attacked by terrorists is to go shopping is the second behavioral strategy for staying asleep. Continuing to sleep, America pursues its immoral wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which continue to this day 17 years later. These wars are evidence of the spiritual poverty of Americans. Americans are so asleep that very few people even question the fact that America is still at war in Afghanistan and has spent over one trillion dollars on this ineffective and disastrous strategy to create world peace.

The first strategy of entertaining ourselves to avoid our dis-ease is evidenced by the preoccupation with social media, drugs, and materialism in all its shapes and sordid configurations. The desire to be entertained has led to the election of a reality TV president who filled the airways during his campaign and Presidency with all kinds of sensationalized lies, cheats, and attacking behaviors. As a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment, President Trump is a cartoonish figure whose outrageous antics have aroused passions which contribute to Americans continued sleep while all kinds of immoral policies are enacted in their names from immigration, to racism, to misogyny, to "tax reform" taking from the poor to enrich the one percent.

Somnolent consciousnesses of Americans is addressed one soul at a time by the covenant of Unitarian Univeralism which affirms and promotes seven principles. The covenant of UU is a path to salvation. It is written in A Course in Miracles, “Salvation is nothing more that ‘right-mindedness,’ which is not the One-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, but which must be achieved before One-mindedness is restored. Right-mindedness leads to the next step automatically, because right perception is uniformly without attack, and therefore wrong-mindedness is obliterated.” T-4.II.10:1-2

The seven principles which UUs use as a compass to discern "right-mindedness" which takes us to the One-mindedness which we all yearn for. The mission of UU A Way of Life ministries is "to sanctify the world by helping people become holy." This sanctification involves becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of our somnevalence. Becoming aware we can choose to wake up.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Susan Schmidt - Are you miracle ready?

By Susan Schmidt

David Markham in his Tuesday night class #3 discusses the meaning of the word "person" in the first principle of Unitarian Universalism. He asks the question, "What does it mean when we say the "person" has worth and dignity?"

My understanding of A Course In Miracles is that humanity is on an evolutionary trajectory to become aware of the Atonement which is, in Course terms, better articulated as the At-One-Ment. John Lennon in his great song, Imagine, points to the awareness of this reality when we humans are able to rise above our divisions demarcated by national boundaries, religious creeds, colors, sexual orientations, sex, and any number of other dividing practices that we humans engage in in an attempt to make ourselves unique and special. What we forget when we engage in these dividing practices is "yes, we are special and unique just like everyone else."

Unitarian Universalism takes us closer to the awareness that Mr. Markham is pointing to when we consider our seventh principle, the respect for the interdependent web of all existence. Rev. James Ford describes himself and a few other UU pastors as "first and seventh principle preachers." It would seem that all Unitarian Universalists who really embrace the UU Way Of Life should be first and seventh principle UUs.

Mr. Markham quotes A Course in Miracles when he says in his talk, "Miracles arise from a mind that is ready for them. By being united this mind goes out to everyone, even without the awareness of the miracle worker himself." T-1.III.7:7-8 The question might be are you ready, are we ready as a church, to work miracles? A miracle in the Course's terms is a change in perception. A miracle is seeing the world in a new and different way than the way of the ego. A miracle is when the light bulb goes on and we have a rise in consciousness and we realize the wholeness of life and that we are utterly dependent on the whole and in this realization are filled with gratitude.

It says in the Course, "You respond to what you perceive, and as you perceive so shall you behave." T-1.III.6:1

"Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both. You should look out from the perception of your holiness to the holiness of others." T-1.III.6:6-7

May you experience your day as a miracle.

Editor's note:

Susan Schmidt is a long time student of A Course In Miracles, and she is interested in studying the resonance of the Course with Unitarian Universalist values and understandings. She will be writing a regular column for UU A Way Of Life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Heaven on earth......really?

And here comes the clincher on this discussion of discerning and living God's will or Life's will from ACIM. "Blessed are you who learn that to hear the Will of your Father is to know your own. For it is your will to be like Him, Whose Will it is that it be so. God's Will is that His Son is one, and united with Him in His Oneness. That is why healing is the beginning of the recognition that your will is His." T-11.I.11:6-9

St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians that if God is with you who can be against you? You and God are a dynamic duo. And yet St. Paul is a bit misleading because you and God were never apart, only your ego would have you think that because your ego wanted to do things itself and so it denied your radical dependence on Life for your very existence.

The ego is a sneaky devil, it really is. It leads us astray in our willfulness. We all are a part of this thing called Life whatever it is, however we can awkwardly describe it. And our destiny, our fate is to be alive as long as Life allows it and we will it. It is indeed a great blessing to discern God's will  and to know it as our own. Therein lies great peace and heaven on earth.

We Unitarian Universalists approach this peace when we recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From whence does our existential anxiety arise?

It is written in ACIM, "You are afraid to know God's Will, because you believe it is not yours. This belief is your whole sickness and your whole fear."

We, humans, live in fear. There is a low level anxiety about our existence. Something is just not quite right even when we can't identify what it is.

Nadia Bolz-Weber says in her interview with Krista Tippett On Being:

"Well, I think we've sort of glamorized certain types of brokenness. You know, there's like the big ones: mental illness, addiction. And in a way, it can be very tempting to allow those people who are so obviously broken to just carry all the brokenness for us...........................Everyone has something that they - like it might not be a huge addiction, the really kind of big sexy ones, but it might be there's something that we feel powerless over, that we feel like has a hold of us, that we don't feel like we have much choice in, like we've lost the ability to choose whether we're going to do this, or this this, or be in this relationship, and then our life has a certain unmanageability because of that. I think that is very, very, very common, even if you don't have one of the big sexy problems that we sort of identify."

When we fear God's will because it means giving up our identification with our own egos, it causes existential anxiety and we are at odds with ourselves and life. We don't know and don't accept who we really are. We doubt our essential worth and dignity. We are one with God, with Life, whether we want to acknowledge our radical dependence on that fact or not and when we deny it, reject it, are unaware of it, we suffer. When we recognize it, accept it, align or give up our egos to be one with it we are at peace.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Doing God's will is "keepin it real"

"God's Will is that you are His Son." it is written in A Course In Miracles. In more contemporary language we might write, "Life's will is that you are part of itself, obviously or you would not be here." It goes on to read in ACIM, "By denying this you deny your own will, and therefore do not know what it is. You must ask what God's Will is in everything, because it is yours. You do not know what it is, but the Holy Spirit remembers it for you. Ask Him, therefore, what God's Will is for you, and He will tell you yours." T-11.1.8:3-7

As a psychotherapist I am constantly reminded how stupid people are. By that I mean unaware, unconscious. The psychoanalytic idea of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious, conscious. Most people have no idea what makes them tick, and yet Socrates told us over 2,000 years ago that the unexamined life is not worth living and how many people do you know that live examined lives?

We pray in the great Christian prayer the Our Father.............Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, They will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus, like UUs, believed that we should be getting heaven into people not people into heaven, a lesson which Christianity has pretty much missed and the path to getting heaven into people is to do God's will for us and ACIM teaches that we are in denial. We are too stupid to know what we don't know because we are so caught up in our ego world of projection that we don't even ask what might be deeper, richer, more inspiring, more authentic, more genuine, more real and we could know, we should know, we would know if only we asked the Holy Spirit to remind us and re-member it for us.

ACIM teaches us that God's will is not something external, foreign, but something deep inside of us because we are part of God. The problem is bringing our own consciousness, awareness, into alignment with our inner genuineness and to drop the pretense, the facade, the masks we wear constantly as we go about our daily lives.

The spiritual life is being real and in being real we and God's will for us is one and the same thing. Congruence, alignment, harmony, peace.

My daughter, Kelly, moved to California, and I called her up after a couple of weeks of getting settled in and I asked her how she was doing. She told me she scared herself because she went to work and people are so friendly and said to her, "Good morning, Kelly. How ya doin?" "Dad," Kelly said to me, "I heard myself say, 'keeping it real.'" We both laughed and I said, "It sounds like you're becoming a real California girl, Kel." We laughed again and then I said, "And I wonder what that bit of slang even means? You're not being fake and phony?"

It strikes me as I write this that doing God's will is simply keeping it real. How ya doin?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happiness is an inside job.

The idea of the ego in A Course of Miracles is a pivotal concept. The ego is the sense of self which we create for ourselves based on our interactions with other people and our environment. Based on those experiences of interaction we form a sense of ourselves as separate beings. We generalize from these experiences and develop expectations of what the world around us is like. These generalizations ACIM calls projections. These generalizations are the expectations which we have of what our future experiences will be like based on past experiences. Many times these expectations turn out to be wrong and we become distressed. The Course reads, "You make by projection, but God creates by extension." T-11.Intro.3.1 The way I have come to understand this idea is to say the "happiness is an inside job." And further, "my happiness doesn't depend on what other people do."

I like relating to people who are happy with themselves. I don't want to be responsible for making them happy, and I have learned that if they expect me to make them happy, I will usually fail. Some egos are toxic in the sense that they love to play the victim and engage in drama. Life, and other people, have always done them dirty. Their problems are caused by other people they perceive as evil they love to blame, and circumstances which they resent and believe they are exploited by. As Jesus was being crucified He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Jesus was not a victim. He did not act like a victim, and He refused to play the part assigned to Him in their drama.

Unitarian Univeralists believe in the free and honest search for truth and meaning. This search does not involve and, in fact, eschews the drama of playing the victim. The UU search is one based on respect, hope, optimism, and reverence.

As the bumper sticker reads, "Don't believe everything you think."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

God Or The Ego?

The spiritual life can be like a roller coaster with ups and downs, twists and turns, incredible highs and sluggish lows where our momentum in life seems to bottom out.

I have been in a low, bottoming out, but the spiritual reality is always softly humming in the background even though it seems reluctant to come to the foreground - until yesterday when I returned once again to the incredible, difficult, enlightening but maddening A Course In Miracles.

So, I will begin again on Chapter 11 where we are confronted with the question, God Or The Ego?, and I wonder if you might be interested in joining me on this gentle exploration of the inner world?

Our Unitarian Universalist faith draws from many sources and we are a people of many books. We don't limit ourselves to just one. In my life I have studied the Christian  bible, the Tao Te Ching, many of the Buddhist scriptures, looked at the Koran, and A Course In Miracles which I have studied now for 25 years.

A Course In Miracles can be dense and intellectualized and it is easy to get lost in metaphysical concepts and speculations, but then there are times when it is stunningly crystal clear and understandings slam you like a whack with a 2 x 4 across the side of your noggin. Here is one such smack:

"The ego, then, is nothing more than a delusional system in which you made your own father."

I have been reflecting on the viciousness of gossip, calumny, irreverence which has come to be called "snark" and it is passed off defensively sometimes as entertainment, comedy, but it is done at someone else's expense. The mockery, the ridicule, might be helpful if it puncture's the bubble of someone's ego which has become inflated and arrogant, but we should remember than underneath the ego is a child of God.

As Unitarian Universalists we covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person and if our snark, our mockery, our ridicule, our satire points to the fraudulence of the ego this might be holy work, the work of the court jester or the holy fool who points out the folly, the hypocrisy, the hubris of human egos, but at the same time that we mock the work of the ego, we must also be respectful and reverent about the underlying divine spark which has been buried in misguided projection and confabulation.

God, Life, is our origin, our Father and Mother, the ground of creation. When we forget this, and think we are our own creation, masters of our own life, that we can manage our own affairs by ourselves, we have lost our way, our humility, our reverence, a sense of gratitude for our radical dependence on others and life. Let us rise above our egos and praise God, praise the Spirit of Life, our Higher Power whatever we conceive that Higher Power to be.

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