Offer of Assistance in ACIM ~ Q and A with Carmen

Good Questions
Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
~*~*~*~*~*~

[As it appears in the July 2011 Newsletter]

There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 16 years.

Question:You have offered your experience of calling upon Jesus for guidance and assistance in our weekly study group.  Is His offer of assistance specifically referenced in ACIM?  If so, can you point me to the sections where Jesus makes reference to this? Thanks!  ~Logan McC
Answer:  Is it referenced in ACIM?  Oh gosh YES!

ALL of the functions later ascribed to the Holy Spirit in ACIM are initially ascribed to Jesus, personally, in the early chapters, ESPECIALLY His offer of help and guidance.

The popular reasoning for that shift from Jesus to the Holy Spirit as our Guide is that the Holy Spirit is a “higher” form of spiritual Help and Guidance and Jesus was encouraging us to “progress” on to that level, gently and gradually during the process of the dictation.

My own theory, however, is that Helen was way too uncomfortable with the intense intimacy of that kind of relationship with Jesus as a personal entity (a well-attested to conflict for Helen) and so she was far more comfortable with “distancing” those functions “up” to the much more impersonal, symbolic and abstract Holy Spirit. (Jesus speaks directly to Helen’s preference for the abstract in the Urtext as a limitation on her ability to comprehend the concrete and practical.) But, seeing Helen’s resistance, and ever the gentle and helpful “older brother”, Jesus just accommodated her.  And through her struggle with Jesus’ help, apparently Jesus found a way to help many of us!

There are dozens of references to Jesus offering to be our guide and role model even in the heavily edited Foundation for Inner Peace [FIP] version but the most direct ones are in the Original Edition and most especially in Helen’s notes and Urtext.

Jesus tells Helen to ask Him about everything she must decide: from what to wear to work, to when to stop channeling His dictation, to where to shop for her new coat – and even a very particular diamond broach!

The “personal” note where Jesus calls Himself “The Higher Shopping Service” is my personal favorite of all these references because it so clearly demonstrates both His sense of humor and His practical understanding through personal experience of just what it is to be a human.

Over the years, I have asked for guidance from both Jesus and the Holy Spirit and I just personally prefer to go to Jesus because of His delightful sense of humor – He can correct my errors bluntly but make me laugh at myself simultaneously – while the guidance from the Holy Spirit seems more dry and matter-of-fact, that being the primary distinction between them.  BUT it is also my belief that Jesus cautions us to not attempt to go too quickly to the Holy Spirit before He’s helped us actually recognize our fears:

T-4.III.7. It has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever had that opposes knowledge. 2 You retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One from entering. 3 Light cannot penetrate through the walls you make to block it, and it is forever unwilling to destroy what you have made. 4 No one can see through a wall, but I can step around it.

It is my belief that this is the explanation why so many ACIM students have so much difficulty in distinguishing between the Holy Spirit’s Voice and their own egos’ – they have skipped over this major step of clearing the fear that blocks the Holy Spirit with the tender and patient help of Jesus.

There are specific references in the early versions to things as down-to-earth and specific as even asking Jesus about whom to marry, how to resolve personal and professional counseling situations, and even customized “prescriptions” relating to physical symptoms.

But if you’re asking for something to cite from the standard FIP, here’s just a small selection:

T-1.II.4. “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist. 2 The statement is more meaningful in terms of a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. 3 You stand below me and I stand below God. 4 In the process of “rising up,” I am higher because without me the distance between God and man would be too great for you to encompass. 5 I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other. 6 My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it.

T-1.III.1. I am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin. 2 When you offer a miracle to any of my brothers, you do it to <yourself> and me. 3 The reason you come before me is that I do not need miracles for my own Atonement, but I stand at the end in case you fail temporarily. 4 My part in the Atonement is the cancelling out of all errors that you could not otherwise correct. 5 When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. 6 As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it. 7 The power to work miracles belongs to you. 8 I will provide the opportunities to do them, but you must be ready and willing.

T-1.II.5. Revelations are indirectly inspired by me because I am close to the Holy Spirit, and alert to the revelation-readiness of my brothers. 2 I can thus bring down to them more than they can draw down to themselves. [Jesus is claiming here to be the means for us to reach revelation.]

T-1.III.4. I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement. 2 You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you. 3 Ask me which miracles you should perform. 4 This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication.

T-1.III.8. That the miracle may have effects on your brothers that you may not recognize is not your concern. 2 The miracle will always bless <you>. 3 Miracles you are not asked to perform have not lost their value. 4 They are still expressions of your own state of grace, but the action aspect of the miracle should be controlled by me because of my complete awareness of the whole plan. 5 The impersonal nature of miracle-mindedness ensures your grace, but only I am in a position to know where they can be bestowed.

T-1.IV.4.6 I assure you that I will witness for anyone who lets me, and to whatever extent he permits it. 7 Your witnessing demonstrates your belief, and thus strengthens it. 8 Those who witness for me are expressing, through their miracles, that they have abandoned the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance they have learned belongs to them.

T-1.VII.5.4 I have been careful to clarify my role in the Atonement without either over- or understating it. 5 I am also trying to do the same with yours. 6 I have stressed that awe is not an appropriate reaction to me because of our inherent equality. 7 Some of the later steps in this course, however, involve a more direct approach to God Himself. 8 It would be unwise to start on these steps without careful preparation, or awe will be confused with fear, and the experience will be more traumatic than beatific. 9 Healing is of God in the end. 10 The means are being carefully explained to you. 11 Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to you, but to reach it the means are needed. [See T-1.II.5.2 above.]

T-2.II.1. You can do anything I ask. 2 I have asked you to perform miracles…

T-2.V.A.11. (1) 3 When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.

T-2.VI.1.3 My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose.

T-2.VI.4.9 Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. 10 If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.

T-3.IV.7.3 I was a man who remembered spirit and its knowledge. 4 As a man I did not attempt to counteract error with knowledge, but to correct error from the bottom up. 5 I demonstrated both the powerlessness of the body and the power of the mind. 6 By uniting my will with that of my Creator, I naturally remembered spirit and its real purpose. 7 I cannot unite your will with God’s for you, but I can erase all misperceptions from your mind if you will bring it under my guidance. 8 Only your misperceptions stand in your way. 9 Without them your choice is certain. 10 Sane perception induces sane choosing. 11 I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice.

T-4.IV.11.   I do not attack your ego. 2 I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home. 3 I am your vigilance in this, because you are too confused to recognize your own hope. 4 I am not mistaken. 5 Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible.

T-4.VI.6.     My trust in you is greater than yours in me at the moment, but it will not always be that way. 2 Your mission is very simple. 3 You are asked to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego, and I do not choose God’s channels wrongly. 4 The Holy One shares my trust, and accepts my Atonement decisions because my will is never out of accord with His. 5 I have said before that I am in charge of the Atonement. 6 This is only because I completed my part in it as a man, and can now complete it through others. 7 My chosen channels cannot fail, because I will lend them my strength as long as theirs is wanting.

T-4.VI.7.     I will go with you to the Holy One, and through my perception He can bridge the little gap. [Again, Jesus is saying he is the bridge – the intermediary – between us and the Holy Spirit’s Help, at least in the beginning] …7 Because you are the Kingdom of God I can lead you back to your own creations.

T-4.VI.8.     As you come closer to a brother you approach me, and as you withdraw from him I become distant to you. 2 Salvation is a collaborative venture. 3 It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me.

T-4.VII.8.7 The truly helpful are God’s miracle workers, whom I direct until we are all united in the joy of the Kingdom. 8 I will direct you to wherever you can be truly helpful, and to whoever can follow my guidance through you.

And finally:

T-5.II.3.7 The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. 8 His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again. 9 It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. 10 It takes effort and great willingness to learn. 11 It is the final lesson that I learned

“The final lesson that [Jesus] learned”…learning to distinguish the Holy Spirit’s Voice and listening to no other…how vain then would it be to think that I could learn to do that on my own WITHOUT his help! Thankfully, Jesus offers us his help in doing so.  Repeatedly.

I truly hope that this was helpful, Logan.  God bless!

~*~

* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

Authentic Guidance ~ Q and A with Carmen

Good Questions 
Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
~*~*~*~*~
[As it appears in the May 2011 Newsletter] 
There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years.  
Question:Can two people receive authentic guidance on an issue even if that guidance is completely opposite for each?
Answer: I’ve gotten that question many times over the years (especially from couples).  And the short answer is YES!Remember that the Course is a customized curriculum.  Each person that comes to it is learning different lessons and in a different order.  So two (or more) people may each be told by the Holy Spirit to follow what seems like a conflicting path simply because they each have a different lesson to learn.This is true even if their (or our) guidance isn’t really from the Holy Spirit but from the ego mind, instead.So, two very sincere ACIM students may feel guided to vote for different candidates for president, for instance.  One student needs to learn the lessons that come from taking responsibility for the outcomes from their choice of the winner and the other has lessons that may center on how they deal with supporting the loser wholeheartedly.

The more important question though is how we respond to situations in which our guidance isn’t the same as the guidance of those we are closely associated with.  For if their choice has brought up a negative reaction in us, the lesson is ours, isn’t it?

I sincerely pray that this is of help to you and God bless you on your perfect journey, always.

~*~

* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

Scribing by Sun~Rose

 

Guidance from Elder Brother

as Received and Transcribed by Sun~Rose*

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

[as it appeared in the April 2011 Newsletter] 
 

GUIDANCE ON EASTER and the RESURRECTION

LESSON 69
[Words from A Course in Miracles-original edition are Bold and Gold ]

It has been said that every Sunday is a little Easter.  And I am going to bring Easter much more present than that statement.  The Truth is that every instant is a potential Holy Instant – or full-blown Easter.

Your Resurrection or Awakening is present with You – as You – at this very moment, quietly, expectantly, waiting for Your willingness.  That’s very simple, isn’t it?  Sounds too simple.  I must be Someone special since You don’t know of another example of Resurrection, although You may have heard there are Others, living off in the Himalayan mountains, but They’re special too.

Well what have I said to You when discussing the Miracle Principles?  Every One of You is special, priceless and precious to God.  And I will again quote Saint Augustine: God loves Each One of Us as if there were only One of Us.  That makes You – All of You – the “only begotten Son”, just as I am.

And so, how is it that Your Resurrection/Awakening is right now present, not just with You, but as You? … … It’s the Holy Spirit!  It’s Your True Mind.  Today We are working with Lesson 69, although I could excerpt from any of the Lessons, We will use where We are today.

You have, for the most part, heretofore, thought of Resurrection as something happening to the body.  Well it is not.  It is a transformation of the mind, from little m mind to capital M Mind; from the ego state of thought to the Holy Spirit’s Knowing.

Think of your mind – and the mind We are looking to reach is the Mind You know – or have heard of and which is now being described – as a vast round area, – as the Holy Spirit, hidden from view, – surrounded by – where You are abiding now, which is almost always the limited ego sense of mind, that here in this lesson, is being visually described as – a layer of heavy dark clouds. You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the whole area, and quite apart from it.  So seems the Holy Spirit to You, as not a part of You but something separate, mystical and magical, and far more than You could ever be.

And so – From where you stand, you can see no reason to believe there is a brilliant light hidden by the clouds. The clouds seem to be the only reality. Just as ego thinking seems to be Your only mind.  They seem to be all there is to see. And so You do not realize how much there is to You and how very marvelous You are.  Therefore you do not attempt to go through them and past them, which is the only way in which you would be really convinced of their lack of substance.  – for cloudy doubtful thoughts are so often what and how You think You are. So You need encouragement, and this is what I give You now. We will make this attempt today.  This effort will not be half-hearted but joyous and enthusiastic!

This is how I approached My Resurrection: with great joy and enthusiasm.  The certainty of God as all Reality – and therefore, My Consciousness – shone as blazing Light, keeping Me from slipping into the human dream of anger, fear, and crucifixion, all clamoring for My attention.  I lived – and still do – the glorious words to God from Isaiah 26:3: “Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

And He is keeping You in perfect peace too, as You stay Your mind on Him.

This is Your Resurrection and Your Awakening.  Your Easter Joy.

Where, You may be thinking of Yourself, is My crucifixion?  There is no crucifixion for You.  Only the ego sense feels crucified because it has been crucifying You for eons.  Is it not time to accept Your freedom?

As the moon retires in the light of the sun, let Us together retire crucifixion in Light of Resurrection.  The true retirement of crucifixion is the Awakening which brings the disappearance of the ego.  And the ego sense is all that will disappear in the Resurrection of Awakening.  Where You thought a painful and a troubled world abided so clearly will it be seen that the Kingdom of Heaven has been here all along.

Feel My Love for All of You, as I rejoice in Your Resurrection.  For what is Resurrection but Your dwelling once again as Your rightful place: the Holy Spirit and You as a joyous One, the Belovèd Son of God You are, and have always been, despite the endless, troubled dreams that hid Yourself from You.  Our Father waits with joyous expectation for Your glad return.

All that’s asked is that little willingness for miracles abound, and Your glad Homecoming encourages all the sleeping Sons of God to waken and make the journey with You, the journey without distance, as Heaven waits for You right here and now.

You have long confused Heaven with the dream of dying.  This could not be farther from the Truth.  Heaven is the true experience of Life Awake instead of life asleep.  For the two experiences are both at hand, right where You are.  You have chosen dreaming for so long, there hadn’t seemed to be another choice.  And so I’m here to offer You a far, far better sense of Life than dreaming endless, fitful dreams that You perceive as lifetimes.

How real is Your sleeping dream?  The waking one is no more true.  Your Resurrection, just like Mine, is from the unreal to the Real.  Nowhere to actually go, it’s just a simple change of Mind from Me to We.  From separation and loneliness to inclusion and a Love and safety long forgotten.  And yet this Love has not forgotten You.  You will not lose Your loved Ones for They will come along with You, inspired by Your Joy.

How does this journey begin?  The same way that it ends: You Joining with the Holy Spirit, and He is What You really are.  All fear is gone forever, melted by the Love of God, exemplified as He and now as You.  You had forgotten Who You are: joyous Son and Daughter of the King.

Welcome Home.  

*~*~*~*~*

*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

Q and A with Carmen

Good Questions 
Questions & Answers

By Carmen Cameron*

 [as it appeared in the March 2011 Newsletter]

There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 

 Question: I know that, as a spiritual person, I’m not supposed to be into things but the Course says that the Holy Spirit knows that I need things while I am here just to survive until I learn to go beyond this level of existence.  Things are really tight for me right now and it’s becoming a big distraction to my spiritual progress.  Any ideas?

Answer: Have you ever heard about “The Higher Shopping Service“?

It’s a service Jesus offered Helen and Bill and it’s available to ALL of us. (And I’ve found it to be downright miraculous since living on such a mini budget these last few years so it would be helpful to you, too, while you’re kinda’ short. 🙂

Jesus says he’ll help find the things he knows we need – along with “a reasonable amount of whims”, as well (his words, not mine) – AT THE PRICE THAT WE CAN AFFORD so that a) he can prove to us that he exists and hasn’t left us (as he promised), and b) to save us time dealing with the worry and frustrations so we can spend more time in doing what we’re here to learn to do (just extend the love of God to each other :-).

Using THSS always results in a win-win outcome, miraculously.  Using it proves to us that we’re not alone and we’re being heard and cared for.  And eventually, it makes us feel so safe and secure that very little can shake our peace, distracting us from loving life.  And each other.

It’s really cool!  I’ve had things I need just show up (often left right on my doorstep).  I’ve had a gazillion experiences of finding the perfect thing at the unbelievably low price I could afford (comfortably)!  And I’m far from being alone in learning that THSS is not only real, it’s DEPENDABLE.  (And fun – ‘cuz you just never know HOW that perfect item will turn up, and it’s often in such a way that telling the story almost sounds like fiction! lol )

Over the years since learning of THSS, our group has extended it to a broader “reach” into:
– the higher relationship counseling service
– the higher career counseling service
– the higher whatever-you-need-in-the-moment service.

Maybe you’re in the place to need THSS just because it’s time for you to learn how safe you are (if you already haven’t, that is 😉

Loving you, sweet child of God.  You are beloved!

                                                                  ~*~

* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

Q and A with Carmen

 Good Questions 
Questions & Answers
By the late Carmen Cameron*
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
[as it appeared in the February 2011 Newsletter]

 

There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 

 Question: HOLINESS ~ What does it MEAN? And what does it have to do with ME?!? 

 

Answer: MANY of us struggle with the idea that we are “holy” when repeatedly presented with that as an unalterable FACT throughout the Course and especially in some of the early Workbook lessons. (e.g. One of my favorites, “There is nothing my holiness cannot do.” Lesson 38)

I think that our resistance to the idea that we are holy is based on the concept of “holiness” that we are taught by mainstream religions, a concept that makes a separate class of people (the “saints” of all religions) special amongst us. The common understanding is that “holiness” is the exception, not the norm. And that it is something one has to “earn” by constantly fighting against temptation – an “earning” that proves our worthiness to become God’s “adopted children” (according to St. Paul). It is an incredibly difficult requirement for most humans to accomplish.

“Holiness” is not believed to be inherent in God’s creations. What God created must work for holiness. And failure is expected.

EXAMPLE, from the New Catholic Dictionary 

“Holiness (from Anglo-Saxon: perfect, or whole) – In the Old Testament the Hebrew, kadosch (holy), signified separation from the profane [they do not define “profane” anywhere in this dictionary], dedication to God’s service… Applied to God it sets forth His separation from, and opposition to all evil. Outside of God only that is holy which has some relation to Him. Holiness of creatures can be subjective, objective, or both. Subjective holiness in rational creatures consists essentially in sanctifying grace (separation from sin, possession of virtue). Objective holiness in any creature denotes its exclusive dedication to the service of God: priests by ordination, religious by vows, sacred vessels, vestments, etc., either by consecration or by blessing.”

Note that “holiness” is said to encompass the ideas of “separation from the [undefined] profane”, “opposition to evil” and “separation from sin” and (my personal favorite) being “holy” by virtue of an external and ritualized “consecration or by blessing” by an authorized human being (as in “holy water” and priestly vestments), none of which is readily accessible to ordinary human beings.

Is it any wonder, then, that we are resistant to the notion that WE are holy – by nature and by right?!? And unalterably? Hard to accept! But that is what the Course says again and again. So now let’s take a look at what one of my favorite Course expert has to say about “holiness”. From Robert Perry’s Glossary of Terms

“Holiness, Holy – A quality of divine innocence or purity, untainted by the slightest sin, guilt or impurity. A quality that comes from God to those things that are like Him. Holiness is the natural condition of God’s creations and is shared. It is characterized not by separation from the impure (as in some traditional notions), but by oneness with all things. It can never be tainted or lost, only obscured. Salvation comes through overlooking all unholiness and seeing again the native holiness in others and in oneself …”

Okay, now we’re not struggling to be “holy”; we just ARE holy, because we’re made by God and God can only make the WHOLE. It is now something that isn’t “earned” but merely RECOGNIZED (or re-membered, as Jesus says, quite literally and consciously re-attached to our sense of self) through our understanding that we are “one with all things”.

And here is one of the most telling descriptions in the Course of what that MEANS:

“I thank you, Father, knowing you will come to close each little gap that lies between the broken pieces of Your holy Son. Your Holiness, complete and perfect, lies in every one of them. And they ARE joined, because what is in one IS in them all. How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God’s Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the Whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part. Join not your brother’s dreams, but join with HIM, and where you join His Son, the Father IS.” T-28.IV.9 – 10.1

Soooo…your holiness and my holiness are part and parcel of our creation by God as an “aspect of the Son of God”, seen through physical eyes as a separate “broken piece” but, in fact, inseparable from not just the obviously sentient other aspects but also from even the tiniest of and most insignificant inanimate components of the world.

I am one with ALL of that. And it is one with me. So I cannot be broken, separated off or less than whole in ANY way.

From the Urtext: “God WOULD be mocked if ANY of his creations lacked holiness. The Creation IS whole. The mark of Wholeness is Holiness, not holes. The Sonship has no holes anywhere.”

This is one of those times in the early dictation where Jesus is “playing with words”, something he did for two reasons that he, himself, made clear elsewhere:

1) to show Bill (who loved word-play) that he was dear to Jesus; and

2) because it made things “easy to remember”.

(Helen, herself, clearly states in the notes that she doesn’t like these kinds of sayings, comparing them to doggerel, so not surprisingly, this and all similar, often humerous, sayings were deleted prior to publication.)

The point being that Jesus is associating “holiness” with its root word and source, “wholeness”. This urtext quote was immediately followed by the miracle principle that stresses the connection between our ability to perceive (or project) God’s creations’ natural state of “wholeness” and miracles:

“36. Wholeness is the perceptual content of the miracle…thus corrects (or atones for) the faulty perception of lack.” FIP Miracle Principle # 41

Ahha! Wholeness is the miracle’s correction for LACK! This is important because: “…’lack’…does not exist in the Creation of God, it is VERY apparent in the creations of man. It is, in fact, the essential difference.”

It is our perception of lack – i.e., limitation – in every form it takes that obscures our holiness/wholeness from our minds.

But the Holy Spirit – “The Great Transformer of perception” – will give us vision (once we’re open and willing to see our wholeness as reflected in the interconnectedness of all things) that…

“The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God’s perfection. From the forgiven world, the Son of God is lifted easily into his home.” T-17.II.6.3 – 7.1

Bottom line: There are no holes in you. No limits. No gaps. No lacks. The perception of them in yourself – or in anyone else – in ANY form, is a denial of the truth of you. The acceptance of your oneness with the entirety of creation calls on the power of the entire universe to deny whatever illusions you have made from your erroneous perception of yourself as weak and alone or inadequate. And from that wholeness, you can rest in peace. And holiness. 

~*~

* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

 

Q and A with Carmen


Good Questions 

Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
~*~*~*~*~
[as it appeared in the January 2011 Newsletter]

There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 

 Question: Does the Course give us any ideas about setting a New Year’s Resolution?

Answer: The Course says that clarifying our goal from the beginning (like at the beginning of a new year) determines the outcome we achieve (T-17.VI.2.3) .It would appear that ACIM actively approves of our making a New Year’s Resolution, at least those that are compatible with its principles.  And it even offers us some recommendations for our resolve:

“Accept the holy instant as this year is born, and take your place,
so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening.
Make this year different, by making it all the SAME.
And let ALL your relationships be made holy FOR you.” 
Original version of T-15.XI.112

            Accepting the Holy Instant and letting our relationships be made holy for us are both statements that are clear and easily understood.  The third suggestion, however, about making this year different from all others by making everything the same requires a little more thought and consideration.  It took me years of study (yes, I am that slow) to understand what it means (at least, a meaning that works for me).

There is a section that deals with sameness that I think helps make its meaning clear:

But in this world, there are no simple facts
because what is the same and what is different remain unclear.
The one essential thing to make a choice at all is this distinction.
And herein lies the difference between the worlds.
In this one, choice is made impossible.
In the real world is choosing simplified.

Salvation stops just short of Heaven, for only perception needs salvation.
Heaven was never lost and so cannot be saved.
Yet who can make a choice between the wish for Heaven
and the wish for hell unless he recognizes they are not the same?
This difference is the learning goal this course has set.
It will not go beyond this aim. Its only purpose is to teach what is the same
and what is different, leaving room to make the only choice which can be made.

There is no basis for choice in this complex and over-complicated world.
For no one understands what is the same
and seems to choose where no choice really is.
The real world is the area of choice made real, not in the outcome
but in the perception of alternatives for choice.
That there is choice is an illusion.
Yet within this one lies the undoing of every illusion, not excepting this.

 Is not this like your special function, where the separation is undone
by change of purpose in what once was specialness and now is union?
All illusions are but one. And in the recognition this is so
lies the ability to give up all attempts to choose between them
and to make them different.
[How simple is the choice between two things so clearly unalike.]
original version of T-26.III.21-24

            Only perception needs salvation because Heaven was never lost.  And how do we stabilize our false perceptions?  We can’t.  But we can allow for a new perception – a perception based on truth.  A perception that makes way for truth.  The truth of our UNPERCEIVED YET ENTIRELY REAL unity as aspects of the completed picture of God’s Son:

Joining with Him in seeing is the way in which you learn to share with Him
the interpretation of perception that leads to knowledge.
You cannot see alone. Sharing perception with Him
Whom God has given you teaches you how to recognize what you see.
It is the recognition that nothing you see means anything alone.
Seeing with Him will show you that all meaning, including yours,
comes not from double vision but from the gentle fusing
of everything into one meaning, one emotion, and one purpose.

original version of T-14.IV.30-31

            And how do we allow for that fusion to happen?  The best answer to that, in my opinion, is by doing the ACIM Workbook, allowing it to make us question ALL that we believe is true – especially in those early “undoing” lessons – in order to create a space in our unstable and conflicted minds for the Holy Spirit to fill with His higher truth.  And, in order to do that – as I pointed out about the Workbook last month – we must resist the seemingly overwhelming “need” to let that newly cleared space to be filled in by any other voice than HIS!

Allow the meaning of everything you see to be gently released from whatever it was that you ascribed to it before and let the Holy Spirit show you the only meaning that He ascribes to EVERYTHING: the healing of God’s Son.

~*~

* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

 

Q and A with Carmen

 Good Questions
Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
~*~*~*~*~*~
[as it appeared in the  November 2010 Newsletter]

 

There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. 

As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years.

 

  Question: This may seem silly but, as we approach the holiday season, I always get a little depressed.  Thanksgiving is a massive hassle. Christmas never lives up to its ideal. I never seem to be able to keep my New Year’s Resolution so I just get down on myself every time I think about making one. And then there’s the long, dreary winter that follows. Do you have any practical suggestions of how to deal with “seasonal depression” based on the Course?

Answer: I don’t think that is a silly question at all.  It’s a very human one (and the Course was written for human beings).

             In answer, I’ll let the Course, itself, speak to your question:

 “Neither time nor season means anything in eternity.

But here, it is the Holy Spirit’s function to use them both,

NOT as the ego uses them.”  T-15.X.1.3-4

             This quote is speaking specifically about Christmas, but I don’t think Jesus meant to limit its meaning only to that one season.  So – for myself – I have personally emphasized the need to go to the Holy Spirit with each season (and individual holiday/holy day) to ask HIM how to see it in alignment with his purpose of helping me to awaken.  And that simple practice has changed EVERYTHING about how I perceive – and act upon – the seasons!  Therefore my feelings have changed, too.

             For instance, we have just passed Halloween and its companion holiday, All Saints Day.  The Holy Spirit has given me new interpretations of both which have completely redirected how I relate to each of them. 

             All Saints (November 1st) is intended to honor the “blessed dead” – those who have passed here before us that have(at least, in the eyes of some) mastered the process of becoming loving expressions of our Father here on earth.  The Holy Spirit showed me that instead of dogmas or rituals (or singling out certain people as “special” or “better than” me), to use that day to recommit to reconnecting with souls that are more highly purified than I am yet, people the Course describes as “ascended masters”, people who are still available to help me (I don’t have to “reinvent that wheel” as others have already done so and, therefore, can genuinely help me with it, too). In point of fact, they WANT to help me; I just have to LET them.  All Saints Day is now – for me – a welcome reminder of that fact.  Plus it’s a day marked on my calendar as a handy reminder that help is available whenever I ask.

             Halloween literally is All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints, and it exists because people thought that on the day before the “blessed dead” were to be honored, the souls that had passed in a state of anger would attack the living, wreaking evil retribution and trying to stop their holy celebrations.  And so people would leave out tasty foods to bribe the evil spirit off or post scary masks and images in order to drive them off. (Hence, “Trick or Treat”.)  But the modern way of celebrating Halloween has totally lost sight of its intent.  Even so, the Holy Spirit has turned the new, more fanciful method of its celebration into a very helpful practice for me.  I now use it as an opportunity to do my own INTERNAL “trick or treats” by looking WITH the Holy Spirit at all the “ghosts” – the parts of my long dead past  for which I fear retribution – still genuinely haunt me; at the “monsters” that seem so powerful to me that they still seem to make me feel so small that they can block my path; at the lurid mists of illnesses that some part of me still cherishes.

             The point is that every single holiday and season has an inner, hidden meaning that, once understood and utilized, has incredible spiritual meaning – a meaning that has the power to feed us once we’re willing.  And constant spiritual nourishment leaves no room for any depression.

             And so Thanksgiving becomes just that: an opportunity to express my gratitude.  Not just to God but to every person that I know and love.  (My practice this year according to my instruction in meditation is to express that gratitude in writing to at least one beloved person each day from now through the holiday.)  How could I possibly feel depressed when contemplating dozens of incredible lists of just how much I am blessed?

             Christmas is no longer about celebrating what happened 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.  It’s about birthing the Christ Mind in me by seeing it first in OTHERS.  And calling It forth through that recognition! And it’s about giving now, not receiving (even though I still love getting presents, now they’re the icing, not the cake).  So every gift I give – whatever the form – is really about the content: an expression of the love of God for another that just appears to be coming through me.  And in affirming my ability to give the love of God to others, I am also expanding my capacity to receive it as my own.  That simple shift in intention around the Christmas tradition has changed EVERYTHING in my experience of it!

             And I, too, have given up on making my New Year’s resolution.  On my own.  As the end of each year approaches now, I sit down with the Holy Spirit and ask HIM what my goal for the coming year should be.  Then each time that I’m tempted to break it, I remember that it was His gift (and the Holy Spirit always maintains the gifts He gives, so it isn’t my “job” to enforce it, just allow it).  And He makes smooth my path, leaving no stone for me to trip on.

             As for the long dreary winter, I no longer perceive it that way.  Now it is a very special and hopeful time. I see it as a season with abundant opportunities to get as quiet within myself as Mother Nature is without.  (The perfect motivation for doing the Workbook one more time.) Just as it is for all living things, it is a time for purification and regeneration in preparation and strengthening for the blooming of my internal spirit that I will EXPECT to accomplish in the spring when I, too, am resurrected – or, at least, a few tiny steps closer to it – at Eastertide.

 May this holiday season – and the time to follow – be your BEST time EVER!

Carmen

* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

 

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