Letters of Gratitude ~ German [original] Edition

TRANSLATIONHallo,

While I don’t possess funds to support your project, I feel the need to THANK you for your work from the bottom of my heart.

To hear the Words every day means more to me than I can express in words. “Daily Bread” describes it pretty much. The fog disperses more and more and the Truth comes ever closer, Thank You!

Light greetings,

Ivonne

December 21, 2011

_________________________________________

GERMAN ORIGINAL

Hallo,

ich habe zwar keine Gelder um Euer Projekt zu unterstützen, doch ist es mir ein Bedürfniss Euch aus tiefstem Herzen für Euro Arbeit zu DANKEN.

Die Worte jeden Tag zu hören sind mehr als ich in Worten ausdrücken kann. Tägliche Nahrung kommt dem sehr Nahe. Der Nebel schwindet immer mehr und die Wahrheit rückt immer näher, Dank Euch.

Lichte Grüsse

Ivonne

December 21, 2011

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Poetry ~ Helen Schucman, scribe of A Course in Miracles


The  Risen Sun

~*~
By Helen Schucman*

[as it appeared in the December 2011 Newsletter]

Helen Schucman ~ Scribe of A Course in Miracles

Be still, my soul, and rest upon the Lord
In quiet certainty. For He has come
To rescue you from doubt. And now you stand
In blazing glory of a risen sun
That cannot set. It will forever be
Exactly as it is. You stand with Him
Within a radiance prepared for you
Before time was and far beyond its reach.
Be still and know. And knowing, be you sure
Your Lord has come to you. There is no doubt
That stands before His countenance, nor can
Conceal from you what He would have you see.
The sun has risen. He has come at last.
Where stands his Presence there can be no past.
Be still, my soul, and rest upon the Lord
Who comes to keep the promise of His Word
.
~FEBRUARY 11, 1974

MUSIC
by Martin Weber-Caspers [maz]

Maz SINGS Helen’s poem beautifully, and sets it to his MUSIC.


CLICK above and choose “The Risen Sun”

*Maz is currently the voice for the Original Edition [OE] of A Course In Miracles, produced by SonShipRadio. Maz serves the OE so that it can be shared globally; and as chairman of the Curtis Knight Foundation he produces local radio programs, internet radio shows and other endeavors to promote and support co-creativity on a broader scale.

More MUSIC from MAZ

*Helen Schucman, scribe of A Course in Miracles, was also a poet who took
down several poems even while she was scribing A Course in Miracles. This poem “The Comforter” was dated January 1, 1974 and is located among many of her other poems in a book titled, “The Gifts of God” published by the Foundation for Inner Peace [FIP]. The book is available through FIP and also through the Community Miracle Center CMC.

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Judgment Our Own Personal Prison ~ George Wallace

Judgment ~ Our Own Personal Prison

by George Wallace*

[As it appears in the December 2011 Newsletter]

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

http://welcomingpeace.com/


George Wallace is the President and CEO of The Discovery Communications Group,
an award winning, fully integrated website design, marketing and advertising agency.
He is also author of the book

How To Enjoy Peace In Your Life Everyday

If you chain a newborn elephant to a stake in the ground, that elephant will grow into adulthood believing that his entire world is dictated by the length of the chain. The unfortunate elephant may seem perfectly content to remain within the limited confines of an artificial space and illusory world that was created for him. He does not know that, even as an infant, he had the power to pull the onerous stake from the ground as though it didn’t even exist, and walk away from that artificial prison at any moment of his choosing, to become truly happy, joyous and free. He does not know that his power and might are immeasurably greater than the life limiting stake to which he is attached, and he doesn’t know that he does not know. But the essence of this animal is buried deep inside, distant yet immediately accessible, constantly calling him to express his perfect reality, completely connected to his inner core, allowing him to run joyfully with his brothers and sisters, forever.

Every human being on the planet (as well as anyone who happens to be orbiting the earth on a space station) shares an element of the elephant’s pathetic existence. Metaphorically speaking, the stake represents our propensity to pass judgment on others, no matter how trivial it may seem, and the chain is our inextricable attachment to those judgments, ever burdening us with feelings of separation, isolation, loneliness and fear – whether we know it is there or not.

In many ways, judging other people places and things is extraordinarily easy to do, does not require much in the way of creative energy, and we very often engage in the practice without even knowing. Judgments are the result of the unique mental, spiritual and emotional conditioning we have undergone from the day we took our first breath. They are the combination of a lifetime of experiences, thoughts, feelings, relationships, emotions, automatic reactions, and learning that we accumulate by following the path of those who came before us. We are not to be blamed. We are to be forgiven and set free.

Judgments can be quite comforting because they provide us a mechanism of defining ourselves to ourselves, however erroneous the definition happens to be. By labeling and defining others, whether positively or negatively, we are by default staking out a position (remember the elephant) of our very own in relation to the world around us. Bear in mind that the entire world outside the boundaries of our own skins is a projected illusion. Everything we see and experience emanates from the inside. As Deepak Chopra says: “You are not in the world, the world is in you”.

But the good is very often the enemy of the best. So, while we get a temporary lift from the false feeling of superiority that judgment seems to provide, we are really allowing our own inbred fear to construct the jail cells of separation from other human beings that reinforces the original erroneous notion that we can be separate from God. Every judgment we make, good or bad, reinforces that lie.

~*~

Defining others negatively is a cheap method of inflating or own sense of superiority. If we can point an accusing finger at another person and relegate them to a status that is decidedly less than our own, we are simultaneously elevating our own perception of ourselves, however falsely, in our own eyes. Hitler had his master race, political parties have their platforms, the military has its “elite” units, religions have the one true God (which, by rigid and often unquestioned dogma, is better than the one true God of the other religions), and there always seems to be at least one country somewhere in the world that has the “moral authority” to exert its will on another country. Often lost in the deafening roar of the bombs and bullets is the complete irony that this “moral authority” is being expressed by the attempted extinguishing of entire civilizations, or the killing and maiming of thousands upon thousands of innocent people.

A Course in Miracles tells us that there is no degree of difficulty in the miracle, which also means that there is no degree of difficulty in the error. Therefore, if I judge another human being as being anything less than the perfect expression of the Love of God, it is the same thing as the government of the United States annihilating the “savage” Native Americans, British slave traders stealing African negroes and placing them into lives of enslavement and suffering, and people in positions of power advocating hatred of other groups from the imaginary authority of a Sunday morning pulpit.

Judgment is also a way of seeking balance. We have all arrived at the present moment as the result of having experienced a life that is entirely unique. No two people ever have the exact same (yes, the phrase “exact same” is redundant. I know. And it makes me crazy whenever I read it, and I have no idea why I used it. But I will keep it there because I can) combination of life experiences, interactions, relationships, thoughts, feelings and actions. The different paths we have all traveled define our lives today and inform every decision we make, thought we have, and feeling we experience as a result of those thoughts.

Our histories are the tools we utilize to stake out (a deliberate reference to the elephant at the beginning of the story) our own place in the world that is a little like living on our own separate islands without Gilligan and the Skipper to make everything alright. So, the balance we seek is a total agreement between the conditions of the outer world and the disparate functions (dysfunctions?) of our own inner worlds. And we go about achieving this balance in a purely backwards manner, attempting to shape the outer world to fit the mold of the inner world, with our judgments playing a major role in this drama.

So, the question is: “How do we extricate ourselves from living this self defeating cycle of the illusion of separation.” A Course in Miracles provides us the solution. The Course teaches us that we can no more be separate from our creator than a drop of water can find the place where it ends and the ocean begins. Through the Course, we learn that all we have to do is remove the blocks we have created in our own lives that keep us from connecting to, and experiencing, the Love of God that is in fact our own true reality. The Course is brilliant in the way it allows us to use our own understanding of the world to propel us forward to a place where the ego’s grip on our lives is significantly diminished. We hear phrases like: “I can see peace instead of this”, “In my defenselessness, my freedom lies”, “Teach love, for that is what you are”, or “An idea leaves not its source”.

We learn that we are not pin balls, propelled into the dizzying array of lights and sounds, bouncing from bumper to flipper, without the ability to select the path upon which we will tread. We get to make a choice, every minute of every day. We get to choose the thoughts we pay attention to and the ones we ignore. We get to decide what we will think about a certain person or situation in our lives, and refuse to settle for the default thinking that our past would dictate. And if you ever feel scared, lost, alone, in turmoil, or indecisive, all you need to do is stop a moment, look inside, and ask God for the help that He will most assuredly provide.

Ultimately, A Course in Miracles gently brings us to a place where we understand that genuine forgiveness is the only antidote to a lifelong habit of collecting prejudices, judgments, biases, errors and lies. The forgiveness of which I speak has nothing to do with letting go of our resentments toward another person because that does not correct our erroneous perception. In this scenario, we assume that the other person is, in fact, an accurate reflection of our negative thoughts and we are being magnanimous in our decision to overlook their indiscretion, thereby driving the stake to which we are chained ever deeper into the ground.

Genuine forgiveness assumes that we have made a mistake in our limited human perception, born of an understanding that whenever we judge another, we are simply re-living an unhealed past. Our judgments are a result of the past being brought into the present moment, thus ensuring a future that looks remarkably similar. It is like the movie “Groundhog Day” where Bill Murray re-lives the exact same (there I go again. I just can’t help myself) 24-hour sequence over and over again. The big difference is that Bill Murray is very funny, and our constant replay of the past is somewhat sad.

So, what will it be? The stake in the ground to which you will be forever chained, or the freedom that comes with choosing the Voice for God? Prison bars that keep you isolated from your brothers and sisters, or the light and love you experience when you decide to see only God in another person. Will it be love or will it be fear – door number one, or door number two? The choice belongs exclusively to you.

Sometimes it helps to simply stick your toe in the water to test the temperature. Allow yourself to notice one single judgment, call it for what it is, and decide to see the person or situation differently. Then, your whole life will change. And you will be glad it did.

~*~

 *George writes: “My ultimate goal is to become the person that God originally intended for me to be. I believe that the only way to accomplish this is to engage the passion for learning I have been given, and to be as true to myself as is humanly possible.”. George is the author of the book: “How To Enjoy Peace in Your Life Everyday.”

Do We Need the Ego?

WHAT IS THE EGO  is the section of the Workbook that we recently listened to in our weekly ACIM Study Group. It is read by Maz Weber-Caspers along with his own exquisite music.

Afterwards we had a discussion on the ‘Ego’ and the following question arose:

QUESTION:   DO WE NEED THE EGO?

ANSWER:     This is a fantastic question because it most likely stems from our prior conditioning and training which has TAUGHT us that the ego is normal and natural and very much needed for us to exist in the world. And this is true if we believe that the world the ego has created is REAL. The ego makes the world and then dictates its own reality within that world.  And yet HE tells us in A Course in Miracles this is “too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away”. ♥

How willing are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? Is it your wish to let no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do?

No one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself. No one believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of a body and could never have conceived this world as real. He would have seen at once that these ideas are one illusion, too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they now appear to be. And no one can remember when they would have met with laughter and with disbelief.   ACIM OrEd.Tx.27. 78

‘WHO’ then is even asking this question? Most certainly it is the one who does not remember their initial attack upon themselves and does not remember that instant when time was carved from eternity and limitation placed upon wholeness. And since we don’t remember, we continue to ask a question, predicated on our separateness: “Do we need the ego?”

We have learned that the ego is defined as a sense of ‘self’ distinguished and separated from other selves and yet the entire study of A Course in Miracles is a process of bringing us back to the Knowledge that we are not our egos and back to the Knowledge that we are not separate from one another.

From loving minds there is no separation. And every thought in one brings gladness to the other because they are the same. ACIM OrEd.Tx.22.64

He tells us that the ego stems from a sense of division. Healing our sense of separation is actually the only goal we have while we still find ourselves in this ‘world’. HE tells us that there is only one problem and that there is only one solution. The ‘problem’ is our belief in separation and the solution is the REALITY of our Oneness.

The ego is the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own. Its ceaseless attempts to gain the Soul’s acknowledgment and thus to establish its own existence are utterly useless. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.33

When I was 19 years old I tried to do just that. I read a book called Psycho-Cybernetics and was inspired to try to change my personality. I tried to re-create myself using the ego as guide. The only thing I succeeded in doing was to lose all sense of who I was and what the world was. At the time it was frightening and yet it was a kind of liberation. I was completely in the NOW. I lost a sense of my past and very little was defined for me. And yet there was a Core of Being within my heart that was at Peace and Knew that which was Real could not be threatened. In the following quote, HE tells us that we are part of reality and all we need do is “see it as it IS.” We don’t need to struggle with concepts or ideas. We can allow Reality to BE what it IS. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Course and one of my favorites:

The ego tries to exploit all situations into forms of praise for itself in order to overcome its doubts. It will be doubtful forever, or rather as long as you believe in it. You who made it cannot trust it because you know it is not real. The only sane solution is not to try to change reality, which is indeed a fearful attempt, but to see it as it is. You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of your Soul. When you are afraid, be still and know that God is real and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Do not let your ego dispute this because the ego cannot know what is as far beyond its reach as you are. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.15

It’s so soothing to hear HIM say, “YOU are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of your Soul”. Thank God my ego has no effect on Who I truly AM. We also learn that the ego cannot know us because our true Reality is Soul. The ego cannot know what Soul is:

8 Nothing can reach the Soul from the ego, and nothing from the Soul can strengthen the ego or reduce the conflict within it. The ego is a contradiction. Man’s self and God’s Self are in opposition. They are opposed in creation, in will, and in outcome. They are fundamentally irreconcilable because the Soul cannot perceive and the ego cannot know. They are therefore not in communication and can never be in communication. Nevertheless, the ego can learn because its maker can be misguided but cannot make the totally lifeless out of the life-given. The Soul need not be taught, but the ego must. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.8

And that is why we study A Course in Miracles. It is teaching us [and we are re-membering] that we can misguide ourselves into thinking the ego is real until the pain of that decision becomes unbearable. And then we can CHOOSE AGAIN.

 Your mission is very simple. You have been chosen to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.89

HE tells us in the Course that the ego is quite literally a fearful thought. And so we can be certain that when we choose LOVE, the fear [and the ego] return to the nothingness from which they came. And with Love in us, we have no need but to extend it.
Reja Janaki Joy Green [Reja_CIMS] is one of the founding members of the Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]; She is the CIMS webmaster & social media manager, has facilitated Course in Miracles study groups since 1983, is in the 2nd year of the CMC Ministerial program  and currently resides with her husband Chris Green in Omaha, NE.

Course in Miracles Society (CIMS) is an international group of Course students and teachers organized to discover, authenticate and propagate the divine teachings of A Course in Miracles. As students, we seek to increase our knowledge of Jesus’ words and to deepen our experience of his teaching. As teachers, we work to circulate the message of A Course in Miracles throughout the world by our words, by our deeds and by the example of our lives.

http://www.acim-original.com/ <- More information about A COURSE IN MIRACLES

http://www.jcim.net

Scribing by Sun~Rose Guidance on What Am I


Guidance from Elder Brother
as Received and Transcribed by Sun~Rose*

[As seen in the December 2011 Newsletter]


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

GUIDANCE on “WHAT AM I?”
INTRODUCTION to LESSONS 351 to 360
ACIM ORIGINAL EDITION  

TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: The Course text is in bold face.  The Guidance is in normal type   

In His Guidance, He has asked Me to capitalize the pronouns You and We as an acknowledgement of the Divinity of All of Us, an acknowledgement of Equality, an expression of His Love and respect for You.  

When You see the word ‘YOU’  capitalized in the Guidance, know that He is not just speaking to YOU, He is honoring YOU.   

I am God’s Son, complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love.   

Two little words changed gives wonderful understanding of what is the Son of God You are and of Your relationship with the Father-Mother.

What words are this these make such a difference? Listen carefully.

I am God’s Son, complete and healed and whole, shining AS the PRESENCE of His Love.

In me is His creation sanctified and guaranteed eternal life. In me is love perfected, fear impossible, and joy established without opposite.  

If the ego’s ‘You’ had to do this on ‘Your own’, a daunting job is it indeed! Yet this is not a request but rather a statement of fact. And for One to resist it or deny it would simply be ego defense of false humility.

I am the holy home of God Himself.  

These statements are the Truth of You, the Son. The Son has no gender, for God has not made two types of Son, one so-called ‘male’ and the other ‘female’. These are ego inventions for the purposes of various subjugations. My accommodations are simply to clarify: One is not ‘better’ than Another.

The Truth is: We are All the Son. There is no ‘male’ nor ‘female’.

All of Us are, indeed, the very Presence of Our God, Belovèd Source of All.  

I am the Heaven where His Love resides.  

Once more, here We see that Heaven’s not a ‘place’ at all, but a state of Consciousness.

I am His holy sinlessness itself, for in my purity abides His own.

How could One ‘sin’ when God is All of Us? And yet We see sin everywhere We look. And this is not about a blind eye to it, but rather sin’s unreality; along with the unreality of the entire dream.

2 Our use for words is almost over now. Yet in the final days of this one year we gave to God together, you and I, we found a single purpose that we shared.

And it has been the joy of giving, a purpose that You will find eternally. It is the Truth of All Reality.

And thus you joined with me. So what I am are you as well. The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe.

Can words be used to describe the Natures Infinite of Love, or Life?  The understanding does come in the willingness to BE Them.

Yet we can realize our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us.

To start with literally living Love is the key to Life that is only Living.  You are never born and never dying, and this is the Truth right here and right now.

3 We are the bringers of salvation. We accept our part as saviors of the world, which through our joint forgiveness is redeemed.

What is this word “salvation”?  What’s it mean?  Redemption of a sinner miserable and undeserving?  That’s not You!  That’s not any One of You! 

Salvation is but the expression of Life, Truth and Love, All lived and shared each moment, as Your very Be-ing ‘in the world’.

The world has need of Your Life, Truth and Love.  And it but waits on You to give Your Gifts.

And this, our gift, is therefore given us.

How else can Gifts as These, so wonderful, be experienced but in the Living of each one of Them?

Speak not of Love, but BE It.  Speak not of Life Eternal, just live It!  Don’t prattle about the Truth, Be Its Living Example!

We look on everyone as brothers and perceive all things as kindly and as good. We do not seek a function that is past the gates of Heaven.

Nice words these are indeed, yet, how do You live them?  You do know the answer: Today I will make no decisions by Myself.

Speak not Your words, but the Holy Spirit’s.  For when You let Her (or Him if You wish) hear and see for You, then will the words of Love come forth so very naturally.  Just as they now pour forth as Me to You.  The Holy Spirit that I am communicates through to Holy Spirit You are.  And We All are this One Holy Spirit.

Knowledge will return when we have done our part. We are concerned only with giving welcome to the truth.

Just Be that Living Love and watch Your consciousness unfold and flower as the gardens of Your kindness spring up all over.

4 Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin.

Ask Me what is really there, hidden by the dream of sin.  Be still and listen.  I will gladly tell You!

Ours are the ears that hear the Voice of God proclaim the world as sinless. We hear His Mind Divine ever expressing to Us: Here is ever Good!

Ours the minds which join together as we bless the world. – All things of which God is Aware must be Holy.  God Knows Good only.

And from the oneness that we have attained we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy. 

This consummation is the Weddedness Divine of All the Sonship and All the Universe as well.

5 We are the holy messengers of God who speak for Him, and carrying His Word to everyone whom He has sent to us, we learn that it is written on our hearts.  

Having really learned the Truth and thus becoming It as well, We joyously do share this Love with Every One!

And thus our minds are changed about the aim for which we came and which we seek to serve.

We are no longer here for getting, but for giving, and Our happiness has now become Our Be-ing.  For getting is insatiable and never satisfied, while giving Gifts but Joy.

We bring glad tidings to the Son of God, who thought he suffered. Now is he redeemed. And as he sees the gate of Heaven stand open before him, he will enter in and disappear into the Heart of God.

The discontent and suffering which had attended His existence for the eons of the dream have ended, and the Life which is Joy has again begun for Us.  Let Us with Our Joy share this great Heart Of God, this endless Love, until All Our Brothers have Awakened!

*~*~*~*~*

[Thank you Dear Brother]

*Sun~Rose is the scribe of the recently published book, YOU ARE LOVED AND SAFE: PREP NOTES FOR EXPERIENCING GOD’S LOVE” She is also author of, “RADIANT LIFE: RAW FOOD AND THE PRESENCE OF LOVE”

 BOTH now available on amazon.com

~

The Shadow Side of Positive Change ~ Daniel Tipton


Dare to Be Happy

By Daniel Tipton*

THE SHADOW SIDE OF POSITIVE CHANGE

[as it appeared in the December 2011 Newsletter]

I like the title Dare to Be Happy because, most of the time, it takes courage to initiate changes that will make me happy. Sometimes I know what I want to do, but I get afraid. Before I broke up with my last girlfriend, I had never learned how difficult it can be to do the right thing. What do I mean by “the right thing.”? The right thing is whatever I know in my heart to be in line with my greatest self and greatest desires. I was in that relationship to experience all the lessons that it taught me. Then, there came a time when I felt strongly compelled to move on. At one point, I knew it was time to break up. I knew it needed to happen, so I told her. I felt liberated at first, but then fear worked its way in. The mind-altering drug of fear threw me for a loop I had never experienced before. I doubted everything and felt like the world had been turned upside down.

My thought going into the break-up was that if I am doing the right thing, the change will be easy. This is most definitely not always true. I had put much work into making that relationship what it was (which was not very healthy), and there was much work that needed to be done to withdraw. This experience taught me a valuable personal lesson though. “Scary” does not imply “take no action”. There is a difference between being scared and intuition telling me not to do something. Fear throws made-up scenarios at me to scare me off. Intuition is a gentle knowing that something should be avoided. Fear seems to make my heart hurt, while intuition seems to operate in my solar plexus. Fear is unreasonable, intuition uses reason. I had all the intuition I needed to get out of that relationship, yet I let fear delude me into keeping it going. I finally listened to my intuition to get out, but fear was sure to have its say.

~*~

      

I look back on things now and I say: “Did that really happen?” “Did I really make it through all of that?” I feel as though my fear slowly left me, but did so kicking and screaming. The Course says that we are creators, and that our creations are our children. I had created a nasty little child that suckled on my fear. When I started to dry up those reserves, this child went into attack mode. After time, it ran out of energy, and went to sleep to become a memory that is mostly quiet, yet still likes to push my buttons to test me every once in a while. All of these symbols are, of course, creations of my own thinking.

The only reason it is sometimes daring to make changes to be happy, is because the ego can be a strong foe. It should not be taken lightly. I need God’s help to overcome the ego’s many obstacles. That is why I have the Course, and why I have the Holy Spirit. God knows I am up against a mighty foe, because I have made it that way. Yet, He sees this foe as nothing, and wants to help me remember that it is nothing. When making a major change, I must be prepare to march forward against the onslaught of arrows the ego fires at me. God helps me remember though, that I hold the bow. I must set it down, and let the miracle take place.

 

~DANIEL

*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of  the Course in Miracles Society study group. He is enrolled in the ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Community Miracles Center, attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. Daniel will be assisting at the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. More Conference Information here

Daniel Tipton

GAFF ~ Thoughts of a Fisherman Gift of Ivy


GAFF: And The Gift of Ivy

Thoughts of an Old Fisherman
by Lorena R. Peter, Ph.D.*

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

[as it appeared in the December 2011 Newsletter]

A woman’s voice came across the sand from the walkway. “I’m going to scream! That woman is driving me to distraction.”

Gaff watched gulls diving into the waves until Priscilla plopped down on the cooler next to him. Emotional energy overflowed her every cell and her every movement and radiated across the beach. He smiled. “And what woman would that be?”

“That woman from Georgia, Ivy. Isn’t there some beach closer to her home that she could visit? Why does she have to pollute ours with all her yelling? The tone of her voice could singe the feathers off those gulls.”

Gaff looked from his visitor to the gulls. The very thought of Ivy setting their feathers aflame made him chuckle. “I have to admit she has a mouth on her. How’d she get you going this morning?”

“I was walking on my way here when I passed her rental. She and her neighbor are in the yard fighting about the fact that his drying laundry is blocking her view. You can hear them for miles.”

Gaff checked the tips of his rods to see that he was getting a nibble. “Again.” Not a question, but a statement. “They’re not likely to ever come to an understanding. Probably for the best.”

Priscilla’s head jerked toward her friend. “What? You think it’s good that they fight all the time. Noise pollution, I’d call it.”

Gaff nodded at the gulls calling all around them. “Are the gulls creating noise pollution?”

Priscilla face dropped, but she blurted out, “Of course not. That’s part of nature. They’re supposed to be here.”

Gaff nodded thoughtfully. “Since you mention the Course, what would it say about all this?”

Her laugh broke the tension. “And now you’re going to make me see a lesson from the Course in this?”

Gaff patted her arm. “I was just wondering how all that fits together.”

“OK, what I see has only the meaning that I give it. So if I see it as bad, it is only  because I define it as bad.”

He nodded. “OK?”

Her eyes became unfocused as she considered. “I react to things out there that remind me of things in me that I need to heal.”

“Didn’t you tell me it was the emotion about the situation that was the real key?”

Priscilla nodded. “Discernment and not judgement.”

“And you’re really angry about the way this woman expresses her anger.”

Another nod. “She’s constantly yelling. Ruins the peace.”

“And you feel a sense of righteous indignation, too.”

Another nod.

“So one thing that may be going on is that she reminds you of your own anger and maybe the way you used to express it or something about it that you don’t like in your self. Another is that she’s not behaving the way you think she should according to the path you have chosen… according to the Way of Love.”

~*~

Priscilla threw a handful of sand, a physical expression of her anger. “She isn’t.” Then she shielded her face from sand blown back at her by a sudden gust of wind.Gaff looked to the tips of his rods and thought he saw a hint that a fish had taken his bait. “That sand just came back on you and so will your anger. Are you acting in accordance with the Way of Love?”The corners of her mouth drooped in recognition of his truth. Her voice was low and slow. “I should look for the blessing in this, the lesson. Everything is as it is meant to be and to change it would be to interfere with the perfect way things have been arranged.”It was Gaff’s turn to nod. The wiggling of his rod motivated him to push out of his chair to tend to his fishing, to pull in the fellow on his hook. “Are those just words you memorized or are they a guiding light in your own life, for your own behavior? To use the Course as a reason to attack another person—is that what was intended by those teachings?”

She followed Gaff to the rods, a morose expression on her face. “So Ivy is here doing just what she is meant to do to remind me to accept that each person has his own path and they don’t all look like mine.”

Gaff reeled in the first hook to find a large whiting on it. He smiled his appreciation. “That’s one thing. Another is that when Ivy is fighting with her neighbor, she’s not yelling at her family. Gives them a vacation, wouldn’t you say?”

Priscilla smiled. “I can see that. That would be a blessing for her family.”

The sound of the second hook being reeled in provided the background music. “What about all she does for her neighbor?”

Priscilla’s face was colored by exaggerated confusion. “What would that be?”

“His wife’s sick and he’s sick at heart about it. Maybe he uses that laundry to give Ivy an opening to start the yelling match so that he can get some of his anger out in a safe way.” Gaff put the fish into the cooler and pulled out enough bait for the two hooks. “He can’t very well scream at his wife for being sick or rail at God for taking her away. After all, he’s a devout church-goer.”

Priscilla nodded and smiled her recognition of a truth. “So Ivy gives him a way to vent all that pain? It only sounds like anger.”

The reel sang as baited hook sailed out into the water. “And the father who isn’t involved with his children teaches his children to spend more time with their own.”

“And the Ugly American tourist allows the residents of that country to value by contrast the reasoned traveler. One trying to force the culture into what he is used to and the other understanding the value of fitting into their culture.”

Another nod. “Like you trying to force Ivy to conform to your shoulds? The demanding tourist may also provide others with examples of what not to do.”

“The lesson can come in the form of what to do or what not to do.”

Gaff grinned. “We could go on and on, couldn’t we? Once you understand that every situation is as it is meant to be, you’re free to see the blessing in it. You’re free to break the hold of ‘shoulds’ that constrict your ability to appreciate the way things are.”

They returned to their seats, each thinking. Priscilla’s voice was filled with awe. “What a gift! Once you live this way, you can find happiness in any situation.”

“And in any person. Maybe that was the gift the Christ came to give us.”

~*~

*Lorena Peter, Ph.D., writes entertaining mysteries, romances and wisdom books.
All have strong spiritual underpinnings and paranormal elements. She blends aGaff By the Sea medical intuition and healing practice (and travel) with her writing. For more information go to WWW.LORENAPETER.COM. You may contact her on Facebook. For her understanding of the Course, she thanks Carmen Cameron and the class in Louisville, KY.

Peter is also the author of the delightful book: GAFF: WISDOM FROM THE SEA

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