Teachings of Christ Mind

Library of Christ Mind Teachings
A Course Of Love

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4.1 Do you have to love God to know what love is? When you love purely, you know God whether you realize it or not. What does it mean to love purely? It means to love for love’s sake. To simply love. To have no false idols.

4.2 False idols must be brought to light and there seen as the nothing that they are before you can love for love’s sake. What is a false idol? What you think love will get you. You are entitled to all that love would give but not to what you think love will provide for you through its acquisition. This is a classic example of not recognizing that love is.

4.3 Love and longing are so intimately attached because they joined together at the moment of separation when a choice to go away from love and a choice to return were birthed in unison. Love was thus not ever lost but shadowed over by longing that, placed between you and your Source, both obscured Its light and alerted you of Its eternal presence. Longing is your proof of love’s existence, for even here you would not long for what is not remembered.

4.4 All your long search for proof of God’s existence ends here when you recognize what love is. And with this proof is proof of your existence established as well. For in your longing for love, you recognize as well your longing for your Self. Why would you wonder who you are and what your purpose here is all about, if not for your recognition, given witness by your longing, of what you fear you are not, but surely are?

4.5 All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied? No shadows linger when doubt is gone. Nothing stands between the child of God and the child’s own Source. There remain no clouds to block the sun, and night gives way to day.

4.6 Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self. In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves. You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death. Recognize who you are and God’s light goes before you, illuminating every path and shining away the fog of dreams from which you waken undisturbed.

4.7 Love alone has the power to turn this dream of death into a waking awareness of life eternal.

4.8 Yearning, learning, seeking, acquiring, the need to own, the need to keep, the grasping call, the driving force, the chosen passion—all these things that you have made to replace what you already have will lead you back as surely as they can lead you astray. Where what you have made will lead rests only on your decision. Your decision, couched in many forms, is simply this: to proceed toward love or to withdraw from it, to believe it is given or withheld.

4.9 Love is all that follows the law of God in your world. All else assumes that what one has is denied another. While love cannot be learned nor practiced, there is a practice we must do in order to recognize love’s presence. We practice living by the law of love, a law of gain not loss, a law that says the more you give the more you gain.

4.10 There are no losers and no winners under God’s law. Not one is given more than another. God cannot love you more than your neighbor, nor can you earn more of God’s love than you have, or a better place in heaven. The mind, under the ego’s direction, has thrived on winners and on losers, on striving for and earning a better place. The heart knows not these distinctions, and those who think their hearts have learned them by being battered and abused by their experience here, rejoice in knowing that it is not so. This seeming illusion is believed in because your mind has made it so. Your thoughts have reviewed and reviewed again all the pain that love has brought. It dwells on those occasions when love has failed because it does not recognize that love cannot fail.

4.11 Your expectations and false perceptions of your brothers and sisters are what have caused you to believe that love can fail, be lost, withdrawn, or turned to hate. Your false perception of your Father is what has caused all other perceptions to be false, including the one you hold of your own Self.

4.12 When you think of acting out of love, your thoughts of love are based on sentiment and must be challenged. Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. Love is not throwing logic to the wind and acting in foolish ways that pass as gaiety but cannot masquerade as joy. You each have an image in your mind of someone you believe knows what love is. This is perhaps an elderly person who is always kind and gentle, with no cross word for anyone, and no concern for his or her own self. This is perhaps a mother whose love is blind and self-sacrificing. Still others of you might imagine a couple long married in which each person is devoted to the other’s happiness, or a father whose love is unconditional, or a priest or minister who guides unfailingly. For each or any one of these that you admire, you give attributes that you do not have and that you might one day acquire when the time is right. For that kind and gentle stance you do not believe will serve you now, that blindness and self-sacrifice is something to be gained at too high a price, that devotion you might think is fine for one whose partner is more loving than your own, that unconditional love is great, but must it not be tempered by good judgment? And surely that ability to guide others must be earned through the acquisition of wisdom not within your reach.

4.13 Thus, your image of love is based upon comparison. You have chosen one who demonstrates that which in you is most lacking and you use that image to chastise yourself while saying this is what you want.

4.14 Your ideas of being in love are quite another category altogether. In this context love is not only full of sentiment but of romance. This stage of love is seldom seen as lasting or as something that can be maintained. It is the purview of the young, and the daydream of the aging. It is synonymous with passion and an overflow of feelings that defy all common sense. To be in love is to be vulnerable, for once common sense has failed to keep you acting as expected, you might forget to guard your heart or to keep your real Self in hiding. How dangerous indeed is such an act in a world where trust can turn to treachery.

4.15 Each one of you has held an ideal of what the perfect mate would mean, an ideal that changed over time. Those most bound by the ego might think of stature and of wealth, of physical beauty and the trappings of good upbringing. Those most insecure will believe in a partner who would shower him or her with praise and gifts, with attention never wavering. Another who prizes independence seeks a partner in good health, not too demanding, a companion and a lover who will be convenient within a busy life.

4.16 You believe you can fall in love with the wrong person and make a better choice based upon criteria more important than love. You thus believe love is a choice, something to be given to some and not to others. You hope to be a winner in this game you play, a chosen one who will have each ounce of love that is given returned in kind. This is a balancing act you play with God’s most holy gift, resenting giving love that gains you little in return. And yet in this resentment you recognize the truth of what love is.

4.17 In no other area of life do you expect such fairness, such exchange of equal value. You give your mind to an idea, your body to a job, your days to activities that do not interest or fulfill you. You accept what you are paid within certain boundaries you have set; you expect that a certain amount of prestige will follow certain accomplishments; you accept that some tasks have to be done for survival’s sake. You hope there will be some fairness here in what you give and what you are given back. You hope your hard work will produce results, the dinner you prepared be eaten with delight, your ideas greeted as inspired. But this you do not expect. You often, in fact, expect the reverse to be the case, and are grateful for each acknowledgment the world gives you for the ways in which you spend your days. For spend your days you do, and soon that spending will deplete the limited number of days in store for you and you will die. Life is not fair, nor meant to be, you claim. But love is something else.

4.18 In this you are correct, for love is nothing like your image of your life and has no resemblance to how you spend your days or the way your days will end. Love is all that is set apart in your perception from what you do here. You think this setting apart gives love little relevance to other areas of your life. Love is seen as personal, something another gives in a special way to you alone, and you to him or her. Your love life has nothing to do with your work life, your issues of survival here, your ability to achieve success, or the state of your health and general welfare.

4.19 Even you who do not recognize what love is protect what you call love from the illusions you have made.

4.20 A thing set apart from the madness of the world is useful now. It may not be what love is, but what love is has guided you in choosing to set love apart from what you call the real world, from that which is, in fact, the sum total of what you have made. The world you struggle so to navigate is what you have made it, a place where love fits not and enters not in truth. But love has entered you and leaves you not, and so you too must have no place in this world that you have made but must have another where you are at home and can abide within love’s presence.

4.21 The lucky ones among you have made a place resembling home within your world. It is where you keep love locked away behind closed doors. It is where you return after your forays into the world that you have made and upon entering believe you leave the world’s madness outside your door. Here you feel safe and gather those you love around you. Here you share your day’s adventures, making sense of what you can and leaving out the rest, and here you gain the strength you need to walk outside those doors again another day. You spend your life intent upon retiring to this safe place you have made of love in a world of madness, and hope that you will live to see the day when you can leave the madness behind, and that you will still find love behind the doors you have passed through so many times in a journey spent earning your right to leave it no more.

4.22 Some would call such a life selfish and wonder how the occupants of this semi-happy dream have earned the right to turn their backs upon the world even for the scanty hours that they make believe they can do so. Full-scale interaction with the world of madness is all that some are willing to accept of others or themselves. These are the angry ones who would demand that others bring what love they have into the madness to take responsibility for the mess that has been made, to attempt to restore order to chaos, anything so that the angry ones feel less alone with what their anger shows them. Love, they say, cannot be set apart, and so they feel love not, nor see it either. Yet they too recognize love for what it is when they scream, “You cannot have it while all of these do not. You cannot hoard it to yourself when so many are in need.”

4.23 Everywhere you look is proof of love’s difference found. This difference is your salvation. Love is not like anything or everything else that goes on here. And so your places to worship love have been built, your sacraments protect love’s holiness, your homes host those you love most dearly.

4.24 Thus has your perception of love prepared you for what love is. For within you is the altar for your worship, within you has love’s holiness been protected, within you abides the Host who loves all dearly. Within you is the light that will show you what love is and keep it not set apart from life any longer. Love cannot be brought to the world of madness, nor the world of madness brought to love. But love can allow a new world to be seen, a world that will allow you to abide within love’s presence.

4.25 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.

4.26 The world is but a reflection of your inner life, the reality unseen and unprepared for by all your strategy and defenses. You prepare for everything that goes on outside yourself and nothing that occurs within. Yet it is a joining that occurs within that brings about the joining of all the world for all the world to see. This joining of the world within is but your recognition of what love is, safe and secure within you and your brother, as you join together in truth. Think you not that this joining is a metaphor, a string of pleasant words that will bring you comfort if you heed them, one more sentiment in a world where lovely words replace what they would mean. This joining is the goal you seek, the only goal worthy of love’s call.

4.27 This goal is set apart from all others as love is here, a goal that touches not on what you perceive to be a loveless world. It has no relation to the world outside of you, but every relation to the world within, where, in love’s presence, both outer and inner worlds become as one and led beyond your vision to the world that you have seen and called your home. This foreign world where you have been so lonely and afraid will linger for a while where it can terrify you no longer, until finally it will fade away into the nothingness from which it came as a new world rises up to take its place.

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