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P.1 This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. The time for you to take it is now. You are ready and miracles are needed.
P.2 Pray for all those in need of miracles. To pray is to ask. But for what are you asking? This is the first instruction in this course in miracles. All are in need of miracles. This is the first step in miracle readiness: asking for all to be included in what we do here. By praying for all those in need of miracles you are praying for all to learn as you learn, you are asking to link your mind with all minds. You are asking to end your separated state and learn in a state of unity. This is a basic recognition that this is the only way you learn.
P.3 The separated self or the ego does not learn. Even when the ego has taken many courses and received many teachings, the ego has not learned but has merely become threatened. Spirit does not need a course in miracles. If the ego cannot learn and the spirit does not need to, then who is this Course and all other such courses for? Learning our true identity, the identity of the Self that is capable of learning, is something everyone must do. Can the ego learn this? Never. Does spirit need to? No. Who, then, is this Course for?
P.4 This is a basic question that was not adequately answered in A Course in Miracles. While a course in miracles is meaningless to the ego and unnecessary to spirit it would seem to have no audience at all if these are the only two states that exist. Since it is impossible to be part spirit and part ego, assuming there would be such a state in which learning could take place would be meaningless.
P.5 The world as a state of being, as a whole, has entered a time, brought on largely by A Course in Miracles, in which readiness for miracle-mindedness is upon it. A Course in Miracles opened a door by threatening the ego. All those who, with egos weakened, walked this world with thehope of leaving ego behind, with miracle-minded intent, have awakened human beings to a new identity. They have ushered in a time of ending our identity crisis. Not since Jesus walked the earth has such a time been upon humankind.
P.6 What is it in you that is capable of learning? What is it in you that recognizes that ego is not what you are? What is it in you that recognizes your spirit? What is it in you that hovers between two worlds, the world of the ego’s dominion and that of spirit? What recognizes the difference? The Christ in you.
P.7 It is easy to imagine how the Christ in you differs from your ego but not as easy to recognize how the Christ in you differs from spirit. The Christ in you is that which is capable of learning in human form what it means to be a child of God. The Christ in you is that which is capable of bridging the two worlds. This is what is meant by the second coming of Christ.
P.8 The ego is what you made. Christ is what God made. The ego is your extension of who you think you are. Christ is God’s extension of who He is. In order to end the need for learning, you must know who you are and what this means. Where the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold, this is a course to establish your identity and to end the reign of the ego.
P.9 There are still few who dare to believe in the glory of who they are, few who can lay aside the idea that to think of themselves in the light of God’s thought of them rather than their own is arrogance. This is only because the ego is not yet and finally gone. You are right not to desire to glorify the ego in any way. You know that the ego cannot be glorified and that you would not want it to be. This is why, while the ego remains, you cannot know who you are. The only glory is of God and His creations. That you are among the creations of God cannot be disputed. Thus all glory is due you. All glory is yours, and your efforts to protect it from the ego’s reach are valiant but unnecessary. The ego cannot claim the glory that is yours.
P.10 Many of you desire to be “foot soldiers,” to just live the good life without claiming glory, without having any grand ideas about yourselves. It is possible to do much good without recognizing who you are, but it is impossible to be who you are, and you are what the world is for. Your recognition of your Self and your recognition of your brothers and sisters is what the world is for. To stop before this is accomplished when it is in reach is every bit as insane as belief in the ego. Ask yourself what it is that stops you. As humble as you seem to be in your choice, you are still letting ego make your choice. This is not humility but fear.
P.11 The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the Course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear. You are perhaps making this world a better place but you are not abolishing it. In your acceptance of doing good works and being a good person, you are accepting ministry to those in hell rather than choosing heaven. You accept what you view as possible and reject what you perceive as impossible. You thus cling to the laws of man and reject the laws of God. You claim your human nature and reject your divine nature.
P.12 What is this rejection but rejection of your Self? What is this rejection but fear masquerading as humility? What is this rejection but rejection of God? What is this but a rejection of miracles?
P.13 You who have rejected your Self are likely to feel increasingly burdened. Although an initial burst of energy may have followed your reading of the Course or your discoveries of other forms of the truth, although you may even have experienced what seemed to be miracles happening “to” you, as you continued to reject your Self this energy and these experiences that lightened your heart would have begun to recede and to seem as distant and unreal as a mirage. All that you retain is a belief in effort and a struggle to be good and to do good, a belief that clearly demonstrates that you have rejected who you are.
P.14 Oh, Child of God, you have no need to try at all, no need to be burdened or to grow tired and weary. You who want to accomplish much good in the world realize that only you can be accomplished. You are here to awaken from your slumber. You are here not to awaken to the same world, a world that seems a little more sane than before but still governed by insanity, a world in which it seems possible to help a few others but certainly not all others, but to awaken to a new world. If all that you see changed within your world is a little less insanity than before, then you have not awakened but still are caught in the nightmare your ego has made. By choosing to reject yourself you have chosen to try to make sense of the nightmare rather than to awaken from it. This will never work.
P.15 By rejecting who you are, you are demonstrating that you think you can believe in some of the truth but not all of it. Many of you have accepted, for instance, that you are more than your body while retaining your belief in the body. You thus have confused yourself further by accepting that you are two selves—an ego self represented by the body—and a spirit self that represents to you an invisible world in which you can believe but not take part. You thus have placed the ego at odds with spirit, giving the ego an internal and invisible foe to do battle with. This was hardly the purpose of any teachings of the truth that have as their aim the exact opposite of this conflict-inducing situation. The truth unites. It does not divide. The truth invites peace, not conflict. Partial truth is not only impossible, it is damaging. For sooner or later in this lopsided battle, the ego will win out. The spirit as you have defined it is too amorphous, too lacking in definition and believability to win this battle against what you perceive as your reality.
P.16 You who have come close to truth only to turn your back and refuse to see it, turn around and look once again. You have traveled your path and the end of the journey is in sight. You stand at the precipice with a view of the new world glittering with all the beauty of heaven set off at just a little distance in a golden light. When you could have seen this sight you turned your back and sighed, looking back on a world familiar to you, and choosing it instead. You do not see that this choice, even made with every good intention of going back and making a difference, is still a choice for hell when you could instead have chosen heaven. Yet you know that choosing heaven is the only true way to change the world. It is the exchange of one world for another. This is what you fear to do. You are so afraid to let go of the world that you have known that, even though it is a world of conflict, sickness, and death, you will not exchange it, will not relinquish it.
P.17 While God remains unknown to you and you remain unknown to your Self, so too does heaven remain concealed. Thus, in turning your back on heaven, you turn your back on your Self and God as well. Your good intentions will not overcome the world and bring an end to hell. In all the history of the world, many have done good, heroic, and at times miraculous deeds without the world changing from a place of misery and despair. What is more arrogant? To believe that you alone can do what millions of others have not been able to do? Or to believe that you, in union with God, can? What makes more sense? To choose to try again what others have tried and failed to accomplish? Or to choose to leave behind the old and choose a new way, a way in which you become the accomplished, and in your accomplishment bring the new into being?
P.18 What is the difference between your good intentions and willing with God? The difference is in who you think you are and who God knows you to be. While this difference remains, you cannot share your will with God or do what God has appointed you to do. Who you think you are reveals the choice that you have made. It is either a choice to be separate from God or a choice to be one with God. It is a choice to know yourself as you always have, or a choice to know your Self as God created you. It is the difference between wanting to know God now, and wanting to wait to know God until you have decided you are worthy or until some other designated time, such as at death.
P.19 What are good intentions but a choice to do what you can, alone, by yourself, against great odds? This is why good intentions so often fail to come to be at all, and why, when every effort has been made, the outcome seldom seems worth the effort. You cannot earn your way to heaven or to God with your effort or your good intentions. You cannot earn, and will not ever feel as if you have earned, the designation of a person of such worth that you are deserving of all that God would freely give. Give up this notion.
P.20 You have decided that you know how to do good works but that you do not know how to do what God asks of you. You think, if God asked me to build a bridge I would build a bridge, and this is likely true. Yet you will not become the bridge. You refuse to recognize that the Christ in you provides the bridge that you need only walk across to bridge the distance between heaven and hell, between your separated self and union with God and all your brothers and sisters. You prefer to think a good deed here, a bit of charity there, is more important. You prefer to give up on yourself and to help others, without realizing that you can help no others until you have helped yourself. You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God. This is not unlike the attitude of a good mother who decides to sacrifice herself for her children, without realizing that her sacrifice is not only unnecessary but undesirable.
P.21 Your good intentions neither please nor displease God. God simply waits for your return to heaven, for your acceptance of your birthright, for you to be who you are.
P.22 Another failure to accomplish lies at the other end of the spectrum, with a concentration on self that seems to have no end point and no limit to the interest it generates. While forgiveness and the release of guilt are necessary, and while recognition of gifts and what leads to joy cannot be done without, they are the point only to the extent of making one ready for a new choice. Prolonged interest in self can be as damaging as the selflessness of those intent on doing good works. Rather than leading to knowledge of God, prolonged interest in self can further entrench the ego.
P.23 Seekers are but another category of those who at the precipice act as if they have hit a wall rather than come across a bridge. It is precisely the place at which you stopped that you must return to. Those who continue to seek may have left teachings of the Course or of one or another spiritual or religious tradition only to find another and still another. For those intent on seeking there is always more to seek, but those who find must stop to realize what they have found and to realize that they seek no more.
P.24 The Course speaks of patience that is infinite. God is patient, but the world is not. God is patient for God sees you only as you are. The Christ in you is also still and ever present. But the weakening done your ego by whatever learning you have done has left room for strength, a strength that entered as if by a little hole made in your ego’s armor, a strength that grows, and grows impatient with delay. It is not your ego that grows impatient for change, for your ego is highly invested in things remaining the same. It is, rather, a spirit of compassion that reels at the senselessness of misery and suffering. A spirit that seeks to know what to do, a spirit that does not believe in the answers it has been given.
P.25 The way to overcome the dualism that threatens even the most astute of learners is through the Christ in you, through the One who knows what it is to be God’s child and also to walk the earth as child of man. This is not your helper, as the Holy Spirit is, but your identity. While the Holy Spirit was properly called upon to change your perception and show you the false from the true, your recognition of the Christ in you is proper in this time of identification of your undivided Self.
P.26 Let us, for the moment, speak of the family of God in terms of the family of man, in terms, in short, that you will recognize. In the family of man, there are many families but it is called one family, the family of man. It is called one species, the human species. Within this family of man are individual families, and among them, that which you call “your” family. A family has many members but it is called one family. All of its members are descended from the same ancestors, the same bloodline. Within that bloodline are genes that carry particular traits and predispositions. A child of one family may resemble the child of another distant relative or a relative who lived and died many years previously. You see nothing odd or foreign in this. This is the nature of family, as you understand family. And beyond the physical nature of families, the bloodlines and the ancestors, what holds the family together as one is love. The family is, in fact, the only place where unconditional love is seen as acceptable. Thus, no matter how good one child is perceived to be and how bad another is perceived to be, the love of the parent for the child is the same. A son or daughter does not earn the love that is given him or her, and this too is seen as acceptable and even “right.”
P.27 Obviously, the nature of God is different than the nature of man. God does not have physical form and does not produce physical offspring. God does, however, have a son, a child, an offspring, who must exist in some form like unto the Father. Within the story of the human race there is a story about the coming of God’s son, Jesus Christ, who was born, grew into a man, died and rose again to live on in some form other than that of a man. Those who believe the story have accepted that Jesus was God’s son before he was born, while he walked the earth, and after he died and resurrected. Whether this is your belief or not, it comes close to the truth in a form that you can understand. Jesus is simply the example life, the life that demonstrated what it means to be God’s child.
P.28 Just as there is part of you that thinks that you are undeserving and made for suffering and strife, there is another part of you that knows this is not true. Think back, and you will remember that, from the earliest of ages you have known that life is not as it is meant to be; that you are not as you are meant to be. The part of you that rages against injustice, pain, and horror does so from a place that does not accept and will never accept that these things are what are meant for you or for those who walk this world with you. And yet your history, in which you so believe, will tell you that the world has always been thus and that there is no escape from it. In such a world the question should not be why do so many take their lives, but why do so few.
P.29 There are many forms of pain and horror, from physical illnesses to torture to loss of love, and in between these many frightful occurrences is the equally distressing life of the purposeless, where hours pass endlessly in toil that is the cost of your survival here. Even those who have studied much and learned the lessons of the Course well, leave their learning and their teaching sit idly by while they earn their living until the dust that has collected upon it obscures it from their sight. This is the cost of turning back when heaven could have been reached, the cost in continuing to believe in the laws of the world that govern the survival of the body. This is the way of those who know this is not the way it is meant to be and then doubt their knowing. This is the way it has always been, they cry. They lament that they see but one real world while heaven waits just beyond their willingness to proceed.
P.30 You are the creation like unto your Father and the family of man is like unto the family of God. Just as children grow in your “real world” and leave their family, separate from their family to begin their “own” life, so have you done as part of God’s family. In the human family the separateness and independence that come with age are seen as the way that things should be, and yet a return to the “family of origin” is also seen as natural. Children go away for a time, eager to assert their independence, only later to return. The return is the symbol of maturity, acceptance, and often of forgiveness.
P.31 What does it mean to believe in God? You recognize that you cannot know God in the same way in which you know another human being, and yet you keep seeking this type of knowing. Even with another human being, knowing what they stand for, what their truth is, what rules they obey, how they think and how what they think aligns with what they do is the essence of knowing them. God gave you the Word to know Him by. God gave you the Word made flesh as an example to live by—an example of a living God. What more than this is necessary? You seek form when you already have content. Does this make any sense?
P.32 You read what authors write and feel that you know not only their characters, but them as well. Yet you meet an author face to face and you can seldom see in them what you saw in their writing. When you meet an author face to face, you view their form. When you read their words, you view their content. When you quit seeing with the ego’s eyes, you quit seeing form and quit searching for it. You begin seeing content.
P.33 Content is all you have of God. There is no form to see, yet in the content is the form revealed. This is true seeing. For content is all and form is nothing.
P.34 The content of God is love. Jesus embodied God by embodying love. He came to reverse the way God was thought of, to put an end to seeing God in human terms of vengeance, punishment, and judgment.
P.35 Jesus did this not only by embodying God in human form, but by giving a true rather than a false picture of power. Before the coming of the Word made flesh, the incarnation, the only idea humankind could draw of an all-powerful being was a being whose power resembled the powerful among them. Jesus took such a stand against those with this kind of power that he was put to death. But Jesus did not advocate for a powerless people. Jesus taught true power, the power of love, a power proven by the resurrection.
P.36 Jesus, united with the Christ in you, is he who can teach you who you are and how to live as who you are in a new world. He can open heaven to you and walk you through its gates, there to exchange this world at last for your true home. But it is not your body that will pass through heaven’s gates, nor your body’s eyes that will view the new world you will behold and take with you. To view a physical world of dimension, shape, and scope like unto the old and hope to transport it from one place to another would be delusional. The new world does not have to do with form, but with content. A content that is as transferable as an author’s words upon a page.
P.37 How many would not travel to heaven if they could get on a bus and be transported there? Yet each of you holds within you the power to reach heaven. Knowing your Self as who you really are is the only thing that will allow you to quit fearing your power. Jesus accepted his power and so brought the power of heaven to earth. This is what the Christ in you can teach you to do. This is miracle-mindedness. This is love.
P.38 This is oneness. The Christ in you teaches only in the sense of imparting knowledge that you already have and once again have access to as you join with your own real Self. Once this is accomplished, you are accomplished. Because you are complete. But if your joining with Christ is the accomplishment and completion of all lessons, who is he who provides the lessons? This is Jesus.
P.39 The Christ in you is your shared identity. This shared identity made Jesus one with Christ. The two names mean the same thing, as oneness is what was always shared and always will be. You are eternally one with Christ. The only way you can identify Jesus differently is to relate to the Jesus who was a man, the Jesus who existed in history. This is the same way in which you are able to see yourself—as a man or woman, as a being existing in a particular time in history. This one- or at best three-dimensional nature of your seeing is the nature of the problem. If you cannot see yourself “other than” as a man or woman living in a particular place in a particular time, you cannot see your Self. Thus Jesus comes to you again, in a way that you can accept, to lead you beyond what you can accept to what is true.
P.40 To tell someone, even a young child, that a caterpillar becomes a butterfly is seemingly unbelievable. This does not make it any less true. The butterfly, although some perceive it as being lovelier to behold, is still the same being as the caterpillar. The caterpillar did not cease to exist; it simply transformed into what it always was. Thus it would seem as if the butterfly is both butterfly and caterpillar, two separate things becoming one. 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.
P.41 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.
P.42 Your willingness to learn is evident or you would not be here. You have been told and told again that a little willingness is all that is necessary. Why do you seem then to have not advanced or to have advanced only a little bit, when your willingness is mighty? Only because you have not vanquished the ego. You learn and then you let the ego come and take all you have learned from you again and still again. It is ingenious in its ways of getting you to turn back again and still again, until you feel as if you are going in and out through a revolving door.
P.43 You were your Self before you began your learning, and the ego cannot take your Self from you but only can obscure it. Thus the teachings you need now are to help you separate the ego from your Self, to help you learn to hear only one voice.
P.44 This time we take a direct approach, an approach that seems at first to leave behind abstract learning and the complex mechanisms of the mind that so betray you. We take a step away from intellect, the pride of the ego, and approach this final learning through the realm of the heart. This is why, to end confusion, we call this course A Course of Love.
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