The arrival present

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We are writing a new first page, a new Genesis. It begins now. It begins with the rebirth of a Self of love. It begins with the birth of Christ in you and in your willingness to live in the world as the Christ-Self. (T3:14.14)

You are the virgin, the pregnant, the birth, and the new life. This is the way of the world as well as the way of creation. What is unaltered remains unaltered despite its many manifestations. Wholeness exists in every cell, in each of every smallest particle of existence. Wholeness exists in you. Nothing can take wholeness from you. It is as natural to you as it is to all of creation. It does not exist only once potential is realized or made manifest, but always in all things. D:D24.2

 

Early this year, and last year too, I spent a great deal of time preparing for my first presentation at the Course in Miracles conference. Just recently the video of that “main” acim-acol-photopresentation became available and was made into viewable form.  It is now up on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/perronmari

What struck me as I watched it came at the end—in the way I spoke of the coming of the Course—a way I hadn’t spoken of it previously. I spoke of it as what was long awaited having arrived.

Perhaps that also made viewing it the experience it was. Having had to wait in my desire to see the fruits of that creative time—it’s arrival—well, there’s such a feeling of completion in that!

The ideas of awaiting and arrival then prompted me (in that round-about way these things do) to bring up (from the basement canning room) our long-unused Advent Wreath. It didn’t remain “up.” There was something discouraging about the “church” definitions related to its use. I knew I could give it my own meaning, but by then the mood had left me. What remained was a contemplation on the “arrival.” Advent is generally thought of as a time of awaiting, but the word “advent” actually comes from the Latin adventus which means “arrival.”

Last year, as Christmas approached, I wrote this in my blog:

“The arrival marks a new season. We who have allowed the birth of the Christ within, are in this new season. It is present.”

A Course of Love began 18 years ago. December 1st marked the anniversary. Was that “beginning” the birth . . . or the gestation?  I asked myself this question because there is a new feeling in me, a feeling that perhaps this 18th year marks the coming into maturity of this baby of mine. Yes, I have felt myself to be the proud mother, nurturing this baby along.

Some weeks ago, in speaking to one of the translators of the Spanish edition of ACOL, Coralie Pearson, I felt that in her immersion in her work of translation, she truly understood what I experienced on receiving the Course. Then this week, Glenn Hovemann, ACOL’s publisher, showed me the work he’s been doing on updating (really re-creating) ACOL’s website. There is space on this new site given to the foreign translations and those working on them.  Reading other commentaries from translators, I knew that they had experienced this feeling too—especially Hélène Caron, when she wrote, “I sometimes forgot to eat.” Such little things say such big things! They speak of the total absorption that ushers in the new!

So many are feeling this now: the impregnation, the gestation, the birth, the maturing, the new life coming into its time of fullness. We are no longer awaiting.

This is a course for the heart. The birthplace of the new. (C:I.1.13)

butterfly-7-12At the start of A Course of Love, Jesus speaks of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, saying: You are well aware of the fact that if you could not see the transformation take place “with your own two eyes,” you would not believe that the two seemingly disparate creatures were the same. Someone telling you this story of transformation without being able to show you proof that you could see would be accused of making up a fairytale for your amusement. How many of you see the story of your own self in this same frame of mind? It is a nice fairytale, an acceptable myth, but until your body’s eyes can behold the proof, this is what it will remain. This is the insanity of the nightmare you choose not to awaken from. It is as if you have said, I will not open my eyes until someone proves to me that they will see when they are opened. You sit in darkness awaiting proof that only your own light will dispel. (C:p.40-41)

When we hear of this again in Day 24 of The Dialogues, we have changed:

You are the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly. This is the way that you are many Selves as well as one Self. You are a Self with many forms. The form you occupy contains all of your potential manifestations as the form of the caterpillar contains all of its potential manifestations. 24.1

Potential is what you carry, as air carries sound, a stream water, a pregnant woman her child. You carry your potential to the place of its birth through an activated will, a will that is also carried within you. This merging of will and potential is the birth of your power and the birth of the new. 24.9

Let’s no longer sit in darkness. Let’s join together newly and celebrate this arrival, this birth of the new, this birth of the Christ in you and in me.

The visible and invisible

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We are beginning now to paint you a new picture, a picture of things unseen before but visible to your heart if not your eyes. C5.7

 

Waking up to fog this morning gave me a splendid feeling of anticipation. It’s been warmer—mid 40’s, and the ground suddenly has give again. I didn’t know this heading for the cabin, but there was no way I was going to miss being out for the first vague and misty fog of the season, always so different when there’s snow on the ground, even the scant bit we’ve had.

In a mere week there’s been a significant decline in places for bunnies and squirrels to hide and find shelter. The steady fall of dry old limbs has left many passing friends in my path, and the few I pick up and pitch toward the fire pit are large but light, with no life left in them.

I walk into their topography of mystery, feeling surrounded by a burrowing and quiveringfog-long-view cloaked in dusk-tinted standing air—air given form. Ah, my God, the wonder of the visible becoming invisible and the invisible—visible! It arouses something in me, prickles my skin, upends my usual spacial sense of time and place. Something in me calms down and heats up at the same time. I’m both in my milieu and inspired by it.  All is fresh. I’m a voyager offered hospitality in a foreign realm. And so there is an alliance, a fusion.

All faith is faith in the unknown through knowing, as a glimpse of fleeting light in darkness provides for a knowing of light. D.Day18.5

Fog and mist are visual images of a partnership with mystery and its invitation to enter into it
. . . literally.

And so I begin to ponder the visible and invisible, a quiet and lovely theme laced through A Course of Love, drawing us into its exploration, and then into our likeness to the very thing we’re pondering.

This is truly the approaching magnetism of the great mystery, coming out to meet us in the wetlands, seeping quietly in. This is what you are. Not only akin to, but one with, the invisible realms.

 

acol-cabin1In addition to broad and lengthy descriptions of the spacious (and invisible) Self, this mystery is revealed in the metaphor of birth:

My mother, Mary, was responsible for the incarnation of Christ in me as I am responsible for the incarnation of Christ in you. This union of the male and female is but union of the parts of yourself expressed in form and story, expressed, in other words, in a visual pattern that aides your understanding of the invisible. It is one more demonstration of the union that returns you to your natural state. It is one more demonstration of cause and effect being one in truth. It is one more demonstration of what needs to occur now, in this time, in order for the truth of the resurrection to be revealed and lived. T:18.16

The truth represented by Jesus and Mary was represented as a visual pattern that would aide understanding of the invisible. This is what you are now called to do. Whether you demonstrate the myth of duality or the truth of union, you are demonstrating the same thing. The way in which you do this must be chosen, and for this choice to be made with full consciousness, you must rely on your feelings. D:Day18.7

Every day we’re asked to rely on our invisible feelings and make them visible. Whether it’s at a Thanksgiving table where family dynamics reveal the tenderness of someone who feels constantly interrupted, or the held-in fears triggered and revealed by an election, the revelation is essential to the coming of the new. It is the way deception becomes transparency.

This is the purpose of the world and of love most kind: to end your self-deception and return you to the light. C:6.22

The messages of mystery are many and varied. They can smooth and soothe or ignite and initiate. Yet the oneness stepped into causes a surge that reveals that we are that which we encounter.

 

 

The door is Love

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A door has been reached, a threshold crossed. What your mind still would deny your heart cannot. A tiny glimmering of memory has returned to you and will not leave you to the chaos you seem to prefer. It will keep calling you to acknowledge it and let it grow. It will tug at your heart in the most gentle of ways. Its whisper will be heard within your thoughts. Its melody will play within your mind. “Come back, come back,” it will say to you. “Come home, come home,” it will sing. You will know there is a place within yourself where you are missed and longed for and safe and loved. A little peace has been made room for in the house of your insanity. C:10.32

Early Saturday morning, as my grandson Henry still slept, and I not far from sleep myself, a tidbit of A Course of Love jumped into my mind out of the blue. It came just before I went to my sunroom to write. It was this: “A door has been reached, a threshold crossed.”

It is from a favored quote, one I’ve felt drawn to recently and so shared in my most recent talk at Unity of Sedona and found appearing, through the inspiration of friends, in the material prepared for my upcoming visit to the Center for Contemporary Mysticism. (See https://contemporarymysticism.org/mariperron.asp)

Favorite quotes do this—begin to appear more and more, and to shed their place in the bigger acol-2nd-edition-softscheme of things—existing apart from chapter and verse. They become not “favorite quotes” but captivating spoken-words that meet us where we are and fit our own context and mood. They are both personal and universal. They absorb us into them.

They are compelling communications, messages given, and received, and felt heart-to-heart.

Later, as I was in contemplation of this gift, Henry awoke and joined me. He crawled in next to me on the love seat where I was sitting with my feet up, and as I covered us with a blanket, he said, “Don’t you wish sometimes you could just lay in bed and look out the window at the snow?” And without another word, that was what we were doing, only not in bed. We sat in complete silence for maybe 15 minutes, the blinds open to the horizon and the first snow of the year. His body was perfectly comfortable in the crook of my arm, his head resting just above my heart.

pompus-grassAnd then he asked me if I was good (meaning, Do you feel okay?) and I said yes and asked him if he felt okay and we agreed we both had colds lingering and I said that was a good reason to get breakfast soon so that he could have his medicine, and that might have broken the spell a little but not fully, for we spent at least another five or ten minutes, at one point he twining his fingers with mine, and so I came aware of their shape, the length and slenderness, and the prayer,

Oh Lord … hold this boy close.

I know how blessed I am that my grandson is almost ten and still willing to be held close … by me. And I know that he is held close by Jesus. I know that I am held close too. And you. That each of us are held close by divine Love.

I have never, ever, been able to convey the fullness of the experience of the altered state that was receiving ACOL, or the immensity of the sweet, sweet love and acceptance for my imperfect self that was contained within it. But that door is love. That door is love’s sweetness in the form of a little boy, and in the mind-boggling reception of a sacred text, both of which are equally able to overwhelm with love, to leave you a puddle of love, to leave you with no more capacity to put up barriers to it.

This is A Course of Love.

The cause and effect of love joining the world

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Take all the images of love set apart that you have made and extend them outside love’s doors. What difference would a world of love make to those who lock their doors upon the world? How vast the reaches where their world of love could extend once love joined the world. How little need for the angry ones to retain their anger when love has joined the world. For love does join the world, and it is within this joining that love abides, holy as itself. C: 4.25

…[I]ssues, when removed from feelings, still remain issues. They remain social causes, environmental causes, political causes. The cause of all these issues is fear. The cause and effect of love is all that will replace these causes of fear with the means and end that will transform them along with you. You are means and end. It is within your power to be saviors of the world. It is from within that your power will save the world. D:Day10.37

 

 

I began my time at my cabin window wondering why I am not heartbroken over events of the ACOL 4x6past week, the election that named our new president of the United States.

The election of 2008 came to mind and I knew that if Barack Obama had lost that election, heartbreak is what I would have felt. Obama gave me hope. And so I concluded that it would have taken hope in one of our 2016 candidates to cause me to feel heartbreak in ones defeat.

Our collective disenchantment with the establishment, or “the old” is perhaps what this election came to reveal. I heard one commentator say that if the democrats had realized the extent of the public’s disenchantment they would have supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.

Now they know.

Yet this was not enough solace and I was in need of Jesus and his messages of love. Yet what I was reminded of as I went to A Course of Love, was a statement that has been challenged a time or two:

You do not yet believe nor understand that the urges that you feel are real, and neither good nor bad. Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love. C: 5.11

The key to understanding this passage is about response. Is your response to what you feel guided by fear, or by love?

Our feelings are of love—but they are distorted by fear. Who hasn’t experienced this distortion? Who among us is not able to recognize it when we see it displayed?

To see that all of our feelings are of love, we’re asked to enter into a relationship with each and suspend our judgment of all.

And so we return to this in The Dialogues Day 10: Power, hearing again, in vs. 31-34 about these feelings:

If you are being called to acknowledge these feelings, what are you being called to do with them? You are being called to respond to them with acceptance and love. As a man, I took a stand for the powerless and called them to power. I am still doing so. Not because any of you are powerless but because you do not know your power. If there is one thing associated with my life more so than any other, it was this. I was an advocate for all to know their power. Do you think that my advocacy was a social statement for the times in which I lived? Or do you not see that it is the same now as then? 10.31

All the issues that those you would call spiritual leaders are called to champion or censor have their roots in timeless and universal spiritual truths. It is the timeless and universal that you are called, in unity, to respond to and with. But this response will not be generated without the feelings that precede them! …  When speaking of the many issues facing your world in this time, we are speaking of situations that would seem to be extreme and to call for extreme measures. The only extreme measure called for now is the same extreme measure that I called for during my life. It is the call to embrace your power. 10.32

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, turn your thoughts not to ideals of social activism, to causes, or to championing any one side over another. Turn not to your thoughts but to your feelings and go where they lead. And everywhere they lead you, remember one thing only. Remember to embrace your power. The power of love is the cause and effect that will change the world by returning you, and all your brothers and sisters, to who they are in truth. This cannot be done from without but must be done from within. It is the transformation that is caused within that will affect the world without. 10.33

The power you must come to rely upon is the power of your own Self to create and express the cause and effect that is the power of love. 10.34

Some have seen verse 10.33 as a call against social activism. I do not see it that way. Some may find their hearts calling them to do just that. Some won’t. Each of us only need to be concerned with responding to our own heart’s call with love. When we respond with love rather than fear, we will stay united with the Cause of Love and work always toward unity.

Jesus concludes in this way:

Although I need no awareness of the issues facing your time in order to speak to you of such things, I am aware of them. So is every other living thing because all that lives exists in relationship. What I have often referred to as the urgency of this time has been partially because of these issues and partially because of your readiness. It is no accident that these two aspects of urgency are converging. When your reliance on all that exists apart from your Self—your reliance on science and technology and medicine and military might—has been shown to be unfounded, a new source of reliable power is finally sought with the tenacity with which these other sources of seeming power have been sought. This is what has occurred. This is the time at which we stand.  10.35

All of the solutions to the issues facing the world and those who live upon it have been pursued separately from one another and from God— until recently. Now unity is being sought and unity is being found. 10.36

You are means and end.

 

 

 

 

Love’s freedom (from the ego)

rw-scene3Who you are is love, and all things brought to love are seen in a new light, a light that keeps what you would learn to help you remember who you are, and in that remembrance transforms the rest, leaving you with nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to keep hidden, leaving you with nothing but the truth of who you are. C:31.20acol-hard-cover-horizontal-300x200

 

Your remembrance of the Christ-Self has abolished the ego-self and allows us to begin the lessons of the personal self. T3:1.13

 

Our freedom comes in release of the burden of not being who we are, the burden of the dictator ego, the declaration of our independence from it, or even better, our acceptance that it does not now and never did exist in truth.

While spending the day with ACOL reader/receivers in Sedona I felt a desire to face the belief in (or continuing acceptance of the existence of) the ego head on. I have spoken of this before, but never in a way of, “Let’s look at this.” In my preamble to the topic I spoke of meeting so many truly loving people who’ve read ACOL many times, and still speak of “their” ego—and so the suggestion—“Let’s talk about it.”

My challenge came in a way I didn’t expect—in a quite thoughtful suggestion that the ego can be befriended. I don’t remember word-for-word what I said in response, but it was the closest I know of to any statement I’ve made that might be considered dogmatic. I said something along the lines of this being an understandable idea psychologically, but that with the definition of ego given us in ACOL and the action we’re asked to take, this is not the call.

“According to A Course of Love.” Yikes!

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I’ve gone a long time without saying, “According to A Course of Love.” According to A Course of Love/according to Jesus … this is the way … that is not the way. Surely, any way we loosen the ego’s hold on us is valuable. I could have said that. But I didn’t.

It was just after lunch when I suggested opening this conversation. We’d had the most lovely morning, but now it was afternoon.

 

I looked out at people in their “after lunch” slump, the bright enthusiasm of the morning dimmed, and probably in part due to my own discomfort in having said, “According to A Course of Love,” I moved us on and away from the whole subject before too long. A woman asked me a question about it later that I said I’d respond to by email. The question was, “How do I get rid of the ego?”

What an amazing thing that I had never been asked this question before. And that I had no idea how to answer it. I don’t know that I ever even thought of it in those terms. It had always felt to me that with the embrace of love and acceptance of truth, the letting go happened of its own. I have spoken of it mainly because I’ve felt that people judge their feelings and the thoughts that they deem negative as “ego,” and so the idea remains that until a certain perfection is reached, the ego is still part of their identity. I am really very good at encouraging acceptance of all feelings as feelings of love as we proceed, through The Dialogues, and our dialogues, as egoless selves. But the question of ego remains.

I could cite all kinds of quotes from ACOL on the topic, some that could be read as arguments against the ego, many that are appeals to accept the truth, few or none that specifically state a “how to” even while the whole of it offers many ways to acceptance. I found my acceptance in the felt experience of love and the uniting of mind and heart—the coming of wholeheartedness. When the heart and mind come together, judging and comparing one self (ego self) to the other (true Self), a “right self” to a “wrong self” begins to meet its end. These judgments that were carried so easily from ourselves to situations and relationships, quiet down. As within/so without.

In finding this unity within, the “righting” of all that prevented us from being who we truly are begins. These things are often challenging and even conflict inducing. Feelings of anger or sadness, grief or depression may arise…feelings needing room to be felt, expressed and healed. There may be calls to Self-empowerment seen as self-defense. Emergent Self-love might be seen as thinking too highly of oneself or being selfish. There may be much confusion about all this at first. How can I feel this way?  Yet it is love (not ego) that lets us turn confusion into clarity. We are “already there” and being held in the embrace that heals us into wholeness. sedona-u9

Who you are is love.

What happens first? An end to judgment? Or the advent of self-love? See what I mean? It’s all about love. In accepting love, the heart’s patterns begin to take the lead and you and I begin to see who we truly are. That is it really, the end of the ego. Yes, we’re told that some of the patterns “of the ego’s thought system” may remain for a while, but not “the ego” which is likened (in C:9.31 ) to “an imaginary friend.” Friend or foe, the ego is not real. It’s not “who” we are, and ceasing to identify with it is the way it meets its end, and is the end of having two selves. As much as love is crucial, the end of a “two-self” idea is crucial as well. The “first unity” is unity within. The “first unity” allows the acceptance of all that is and all that is yet to come, and the rejection of all that never was and never will be.

In this current election period, (as much as I hate to mention it) we’ve been seeing a crystal-clear demonstration of what happens when there are two sides doing battle. Love’s call is a call to no more battles. Love’s call is a call of unity. It won’t be seen “out there” until it is seen and accepted “in here.”

Each of you has had an imprisoned personal self. Each of you who have entered Christ-consciousness has had the cell door and the prison gate thrown open and a new world offered. If you do not “accept” this opportunity, you remain incarcerated in a system that tells you when you will awaken, how you will spend your day and when you will retire. You remain at the mercy of those who are incarcerated along with you. You remain at the mercy of those who would have power over you, and you remain subject to the laws of man. D4.5

Each of us can choose love’s freedom, the freedom of having one true Self, of living by the laws of Love, and of being able to be distinctly who we are within unity.