91 Miracles are seen in light.
MT: Miracles and vision go together, and you say this is a central idea
in my new thought system. JC, you're getting pretty esoteric here. I have
no idea what you're talking about. Miracles? Vision? Light?
JC: You made up darkness, and you think you see in it, but it was made
to obscure light.
MT: So I am groping in darkness, right now, this minute. The light in
this room, coming from two sources, is not the real light.
JC: It is not the light we're talking about. It is a shabby imitation.
MT: I can understand shabby, and I vaguely understand that there is a
world beyond the one I perceive. But the relationship between miracles
and light? I thought of them as two separate events. So I haven't got
the central thought of the Course, I guess.
JC: You glossed over this idea in the past. You didn't understand it,
so you went on.
MT: It is time I understood it. Please show it to me. I guess you are
leading me to actually DO the Course, not just talk about it. I hover
around the Infinite--my whole life has had this hovering, disengaged quality
about it. You want me to open myself to God through "deep experience."
I call this meditation, and I've backed off from meditation for years
now. Are we talking about the same thing? Deep experience equals meditation?
JC: Yes and no. Meditation facilitates deep experience, but deep experience
can happen while you're washing the dishes or driving on a country road.
MT: Paul on the road to Damascus. . . that's me. So this is my prayer:
JC, hold my hand today and surprise me with a light show!
91 Miracles are seen
MT: I know the possibilities, JC. I know what could be, if only . . .
JC: You know nothing, dear sister, beloved, beautiful and whole. You know
MT: You are saying I have no way of knowing what could be, because that
is beyond my imagining.
JC: To lament being short of a state that is only a projection of the
past, that is futile. The mind is doing nothing while engaging in this.
Let go of past and future. Come wholly empty-handed unto your God.
MT: I see that I can't be present while lamenting not being present.
JC: That would be one way to hide the light from you. There are many,
and all equally futile.
91 Miracles are seen
Light, formless and infinite! We came from light, to light we shall one
day return. Should the sun go out, all things of Earth would perish, that
much is certain. There is nothing to compare with light--sound just doesn't
cut it. There is nothing faster than light--it circles the globe six times
in one second. On my back on the high Sierra ground, contemplating the
astonishing display of a starry sky, this is all I can say: God IS.
92 Miracles are seen
in light, and light and strength are one.
MT: Here's that connection again, light and strength, strength and light.
JC: You cannot have one without the other. You cannot be strong if you
regard yourself as a miserable sinner. You cannot make strength out of
weakness. You have to leave weakness behind. Let the light of God in today,
and expect miracles.
MT: I just had a flash of the old state of mind, the desperation, the
groping about in the dark. You offer instant release--the miracle.
JC: Salvation happens in a flash, but it can take a long time. It waits
on your readiness.
MT: Today, I remember that the light of God is all around me. It is the
essence of Life.
92 Miracles are seen
in light, and light and strength are one.
JC: You bring light today to those you meet. Selfish happiness does not
MT: Sometimes I feel like a burned-out bulb, and I fight that feeling.
But fighting it doesn't help.
JC: Know that the truth needs no defense. Meet the world totally without
defenses and you will see how needless and futile they are.
MT: It was good to meditate this morning, JC. I got to that place where
nothing needs to happen, where I can meditate forever. Thanks for the
useful commentary on the lesson. I've been missing the point for a while,
wandering in the wilderness so to speak.
JC: Wander no more. The Father waits with a banquet set for you in your
House that you never left.
92 Miracles are seen in light,
and light and strength are one.
>. . . your idea of what seeing means is tied up with the body and
its eyes and brain. Thus you believe that you can change what you see
by putting little bits of glass before your eyes.
I see with the mind, not with the eyes. I get that much.
>You also believe the body's brain can think. If you but understood
the nature of thought, you could but laugh at this insane idea. It is
as if you thought you held the match that lights the sun and gives it
all its warmth; or that you held the world within your hand, securely
bound until you let it go. Yet this is no more foolish than to believe
the body's eyes can see; the brain can think.
So Mind is way more that I can even conceive of. Gregory Bateson wrote
of the intelligence inherent in all living things. To him that was God.
I agree with Bateson that evolution is intelligence at work.
>It is your weakness that sees through the body's eyes, peering about
in darkness to behold the likeness of itself; the small, the weak, the
sickly and the dying, those in need, the helpless and afraid, the sad,
the poor, the starving and the joyless. These are seen through eyes that
cannot see and cannot bless.
Hah! I love the richness of the language. That is the world in which I
seem to move, the world of caretakers who need the weak as much as the
weak need them.
>Strength comes from truth
Nothing is as powerful as the idea whose time has come.
93 Light and peace and joy
abide in me.
MT: Here, today, now, let me connect with you. I am willing to hear the
Voice for God.
JC: I am with you all the time, always.
MT: You--the Christ--are embedded in me, like the knee-jerk responses
of old. An irrevocable decision has been made, by me no less, I who am
so good at revoking and dawdling and dallying.
JC: As you go through your day, I will remind you (whenever given the
chance): light and peace and joy abide in us. I include myself, both as
separate entity and as the Christ-consciousness in your mind.
MT: Yay! I feel much happier these days. I have discovered the power of
enjoying the smallest things: the green of the California hills after
a season of rain, the soft fur of my cat, a strong cup of coffee, the
neighbor who stops over to ask about my tangerine tree. JC, that reminds
me--there's such a weight, such heaviness at my in-laws. I feel it as
I step in the door. How can I bring light and peace and joy to them, when
I visit this afternoon?
JC: They have to want it too. But remember that the heaviness you feel
when you step in, that is your residual heaviness that they happen to
trigger. It does not exist out there, so it can't be changed out there.
MT: Ouch, that's so true. So what I can do for them is not to buy into
it. Not to see the heaviness. I have taken them far too seriously, accepting
their view of the world as a place of suffering. It's such a fine line,
to let people be themselves and at the same time not buy into their worldview!
I have been either indifferent to their suffering, or tried to "fix"
them in a pseudo-helpful way.
JC: Forgiveness is the key to walking that line. Bring light, peace, and
joy with you as you walk in, and let them choose it. They will, as much
as they are able. Your attitude has a ripple effect you can hardly imagine.
The butterfly opens its wings in Tokyo and the breeze felt in New York.
MT: Thank you so much for this clarity. You just put in another piece
of the puzzle.
93 Light and joy and
peace abide in me.
MT: One phrase stuck out for me, JC--"we question this . . . from
a very different reference point." To change my reference point,
that makes total sense. My old reference point was that of a bug groping
about in the dust. I breathed dust and called it perfume. At any time
a cosmic shoe might squash me, and I would fully deserve to be flattened
out. I accepted what other bugs said as gospel, secretly hating them and
their pronouncements and hating myself for being a hypocrite. I saw no
way out. "Life is a bitch, and then you die."
JC: Enough of those imaginings. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God.
What does God say about you?
MT: In me the Father is well pleased. I am the Holy Son of God, always
was, always will be. Nothing I say or do or think can change my eternal
94 I am as God created me.
MT: You repeat this sentence ad nauseam. You must really, really want
us to learn it.
JC: Yes. It is the central idea of the Course.
MT: Along with There is no Sin, God Is, Only Truth Is True, Nothing Unreal
Exists, etc. etc.
JC: Yes, again. They are all central, in that if you totally accepted
any one of these, you would have accepted the entirety of the Course.
MT: I must say, I get annoyed at the repetition. I can mutter the words
endlessly, like a Catholic saying Aves and Pater Nosters while fingering
the rosary and thinking about the next meal. I wonder if so much repetition
really helps me in any way.
JC: The repetition is intended to flood the mind and bring on a massive
breakthrough that can save years of your time. You have dilly-dallied
MT: I didn't do the lessons right, the first time around, and that's something
I regret, because I sensed the massive breakthrough intention. I did them
partially, unconsciously, and inconsistently. But I tried. I remember
repeating "I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created
me" while driving to work, and at one point really freaking out.
I thought I was going to lose it, evaporate--or go crazy, my pet fear.
JC: You were right to stop, or your ego might have crashed the car! But
now that the fear has subsided, are you willing not only to repeat the
words, but actually live them?
MT: I am as God created me. I am His Son eternally. I can say the words,
but I don't feel them.
JC: What would help you feel them?
MT: What helps is gratitude. Beethoven’s Ninth. A fresh rose from
the garden. Extending love to another. A walk at dusk, under the deep
violet sky, breathing deeply of the scents of my beloved California night.
I've got it. Thanks, JC.
94 I am as God created
MT: In my long adaptation to the world of flesh and bone, time/space,
relationships, money, religion, sin and guilt, I glued together a self
to fit, or seemingly fit. What if I had known the truth of who I AM all
JC: "What-ifs" do not help. Do not lament the darkness. The
words of this lesson represent Awakening. Turn on the light, and leave
all thought behind, every mad idea of who you were or should be and could
or could not do. A new day dawns, and in the freshness of the new you
will find the Self you never lost.
MT: I am as God created me. Thank you for the truth of these words.
95 I am one Self, united with my Creator.
MT: My thoughts are in the Miracle ACIM Diet group this morning. How can
one live in a body, and not make it real. How I really can't accept that
to be one Self with God means letting everything else slide. It can be
interpreted as a permission to be sloppy, lazy, careless, indifferentt,
and fat. You see that too, don't you?
JC: The question is central to your ego-self, and it has bugged you since
the beginning of your spiritual journey. You would like me to tackle it.
MT: Correct. I am asking to see this question in the light of your teachings
in the Course. I don't want to confuse levels, to ask God for that Mercedes-Benz,
because God by definition does not see the illusory world I made up to
replace God's world. Yet I have struggled with a weight problem ever since
I was in my teens. My separation from the body happened then. I began
to find fault with my body. You have no idea of the suffering I caused
myself, the scrubbings and cleanings and permanent waves, every hair in
place, let me smell my breath to make sure it's sweet, except I can't,
so let me keep worrying! The preoccupation that kept me from any enjoyment
of life! I think I was really mentally ill then. Don't know how I kept
from having a major breakdown. Getting married saved me from that fate,
but it didn't mean mental health by any means. The venue changed, the
problem stayed the same.
JC: Holy child of God, you were created to bathe in God's Light. You were
not created for this! Nobody should make himself put up with this!
MT: I get a hint of how I am still doing the same thing I did in my teens:
making up a problem that I then struggle to solve. I didn't have a problem
then, I don't have a problem now. My cat doesn't worry about weight--he
gains weight in winter, gets thinner in summer. The birds unruffle their
feathers, and then go about the business of life without another thought.
The flowers grow without looking down to see if the earth is still moist.
JC: Life lives. God's life lives eternally. The body decays like your
ten-year-old car that needs more maintenance as it ages, Spirit soars
with the eagles. While it is not appropriate to ask God to intervene in
a body issue that you yourself generated, your will can determine what
happens to the body. You are eating your preoccupation, so to speak. Lightness
of heart brings lightness of the flesh, but lightness of heart must happen
first. It is not a consequence of the state of your body, but rather its
MT: So what shall I do with my so-called problem that has haunted me for
JC: Can you laugh about it? Practice weight loss for the mind?
MT: The weight is in the mind. . . Slippery concept, but I think I get
95 I am one Self, united
with my Creator.
MT: Let me paraphrase the lesson. I see myself as a ridiculous parody
on God's creation; weak, less-than, a victim of my past, poor, miserable
and prey to every malady known to man. Such is my version of myself; a
self divided into many warring parts, separate from God, and tenuously
held together by its erratic and capricious maker, to which I pray. It
does not hear my prayers, for it is deaf. It does not see the oneness
in me, for it is blind. It does not understand I am the Son of God, for
it is senseless and understands nothing.
I have seen the extent of my lack of mental discipline, and of my need
for mind training. . . . Regularity . . . is advantageous for those whose
motivation is inconsistent, and who remain heavily defended against learning.
That's me! Ouch!
JC: And if you truly were one Self, united with your Creator?
MT: I would probably be out hiking in the cool of dawn, breathing deeply
of air that night renewed and refreshed. I would smile to the few I meet
and say "Hi!" I would be in intimacy with grasses and reeds,
sense their gentle openness to this visitor. I would softly call to the
rabbit scurrying into the sagebrush: "do not fear, I wish you no
harm." I would fully, completely enjoy this day that is God's gift
JC: Need I say more?
95 I am one Self, united
with my Creator.
I feel so divided sometimes! Thanks for the reminder. I am one Self, cannot
be anything else. Let me not attempt to change what God created perfect!
96 Salvation comes from my
MT: I feel quite empty today, JC. The session with the chiropractor yesterday,
both physically and cognitively, left me stunned. In a way, I think he
was hinting at the same things you've been saying--that I am holding on
to life--or my body-- as it used to be, that I am not letting the light
in. I wonder (putting words in his mouth now)--"how can she work
at it for so long, and still not get it? She seems intelligent enough,
and she certainly tries. She tries very hard, but her efforts are thwarted
by internal resistance." He didn't say that, and neither have you,
but is this what you're thinking?
JC: If you take out the hint of condemnation, yes. What is the one thing
you haven't done?
MT: I didn't keep up meditation. I abandoned it. It became too uncomfortable,
after being a solace for years. This is a source of guilt for me. I know,
I know, guilt never helps, but I do beat myself up for this. If I am doing
the Course, I should meditate, because those are your final words of advice:
to surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to practice "deep
JC: So here you are, keeping out the Kingdom in this small way.
MT: Meditation freaks me out. The room is too cold. My back hurts. I forget.
Shouldn't I be comfortable? Doesn't the Course say there's no need for
suffering? Those are my "reasons." There are many.
JC: By "this small way" I meant that, right now, you are keeping
our the Kingdom by finding fault with yourself, meditating, not meditating.
You are turning a loving suggestion into a problem.
MT: I am. I feel like gnashing my teeth.
JC: Meditation is a gift, not a burden. Salvation is a gift, not an additional
burden. Salvation comes from our One Self, but in condemning yourself
in this way, you are splitting the Self (or trying to, it's really an
impossibility). Perhaps John was wrong?
MT: I don't think so, but I am interpreting those things he said as condemnation,
when he probably meant only to help. I'm having a hard time today. I would
like to post this, but one rule I have is that my posts all have to end
cheerfully. Well, I'm going to break the rule. I've always been something
of a rebel anyway. Sayonara.
96 Salvation comes from my one Self.
JC: Problems that have no meaning cannot be resolved within the framework
they are set. You must look for the answer where it is, not where it is
MT: Surrender, then, has a deeper meaning: to let go of the need to find
an answer, and also to let go of the question itself. When I consider
this, my mind seems to go into space.
JC: Welcome to the Light. Go for the Light.
MT: Yet it is always easier for me to retreat than to connect. Connecting
with others has always been an effort.
JC: The effort must go, this much is true. When you let go of effort,
connection becomes a joy. It is a return to your natural state. When you
are connected with your one Self, the easy joy of friendship is a given.
It does not need to be added by trying harder. You know this with your
cat, you know this with your grandchildren. You can know this with strangers.
MT: What surprises these lessons contain!
96 Salvation comes from my one Self.
MT: Yes, yes, yes. Salvation comes from my one Self.
JC: You sound peeved.
MT: Why do I feel I have to repeat these lessons I know so well?
JC: Perhaps because they are short of application still?
MT: My one Self. I can live from that place, not tomorrow or next year,
but today. It takes letting go of this too.
JC: Welcome to your Father's house!
97 I am spirit.
MT: Better day, today.
JC: Good to hear. God wants every day to be a better day.
MT: I am spirit, so you say, pal. I am spirit. I've accepted that lesson,
JC: Except when you forget. So do not forget today. You are not a body,
you are spirit. God created you spirit, and spirit you shall be, for ever
and ever. When you leave your worn body, you return to the great pool
of Spirit, like a drop returning to the ocean. So must everyone who walks
97 I am Spirit.
How am I to be absolved from madness? By knowing I am Spirit.
I am Spirit, lovingly endowed with the Father's love and peace and joy.
God's promise: the Holy Spirit will be glad to take from my hands five
minutes out of every hour of this day, to be bestowed on an aching world
in which pain and misery, cruelty and lack seem to reign.
My gift of a few minutes will be multiplied a thousand, ten thousand times
and more. My willingness to let my mind be changed will touch myriad souls
in far-away places. My commitment fans out in waves, a pebble tossed on
a still lake, its ripples touching distant shores the pebble knows not.
This, not from my puny, isolated, shabby made-up self, but because we
97 I am spirit.
MT: Don't feel like doing this, JC. I rebel against self-imposed tasks.
JC: What would you rather do?
MT: I would rather be on my way up Islay Hill.
JC: So why don't you do that? You are under no laws but God's. God's Law
says that you follow your bliss.
MT: I get it. There is no more sacrifice. I lived under Obligation for
so long, I forgot what bliss is. The scrunched-up heart of Obligation
is much more real than open-hearted bliss.
JC: Obligation binds, bliss sets you free!
MT: It takes courage, though, to stay with joy. Obligation is so much
JC: Safer in that you can always blame your brother for rules you don't
like to follow. But this one idea is especially made for you: with joy
you can never go wrong.
JC: Because you are Spirit, and joy sets Spirit free.
98 I will accept my part in
God's plan for salvation.
MT: Accept?! You mean, I've turned down the job? I thought God was the
one who didn't want to hire me.
JC: Do I need to comment? You know what that implies--that you were blaming
God for something of your own doing.
MT: Yes, I was. I spent decades blaming the world, too, when I really
needed to look in the mirror. Eventually I learned that it was my choice,
not that of others, that I was unemployed and underused. It's been a lifelong
pattern of mine--whatever I'm doing, I should be doing something else;
whoever I am, I should be someone else; whomever I'm with, I should be
with someone else. I just now realized the extent of it. How insane. How
JC: What about now, today?
MT: I am much more present, more at peace with being who I am, where I'm
JC: A small correction to your statement--let's not confuse personality
with Self. Who you are is beyond evaluation. The personality is not who
MT: I am spirit.
JC: Your part in God's plan is to be the spirit-self, as much as you can.
This is your practice. This is your job. Your salary and benefits will
be come from God, a very trustworthy CEO.
MT: Indeed. Anything more you would like to add, before I hit Send?
JC: No. This will do for today. Welcome to The Firm.
98 I will accept my
part in God's plan for salvation.
MT: I accept me this morning: sleepy and unfocussed and reluctant. I sat
here to post, but I would rather be in the kitchen, making up an omelet
and brewing hot coffee. I am doing this out of obligation, JC. No missionary
zeal here. Right at the moment, I've lost sight of my own best interests
in studying the Lessons and posting my blogs.
JC: This is Easter, the day you celebrate forgiveness. Not that you should
overlook forgiveness the other 364 days!
MT: Shiny eggs laid by cute rabbits (where did that come from? Why do
we teach children ridiculous errors in biology?), lilies, colors (thank
God for my generous climbing roses!), sunshine, my aliveness that can
appreciate the gifts of God.
JC: Especially your aliveness that goes out in gratitude.
MT: Especially my aliveness that can say thank you God, I'm alive. You
haven't left me, nor could you. You bathe every cell of my body with Life.
That I have to give, and it is enough.
98 I will accept my
part in God's plan for salvation.
Words are powerful, aren't they? We pledge--give our word--swear on a
Bible--pronouce our marriage vows--and that action has power in it, even
though it's "just words".
I accept my part in God's plan for salvation. Once I say that, something
has changed. At least, I can't claim ignorance! Now I know there is a
plan. Now the ball is in my court.
99 Salvation is my only function
MT: I had a thought, just before sitting down with the laptop: I should
make this a holy instant. Dedicate it to my relationship with God and
you, before I start. I tend to begin where I'm at, then let you talk me
into right thinking.
JC: For learning and teaching purposes, it is just as well to write from
the state you are in. If your goal is only to connect with God, you can
do that without ever writing a word. But there is no isolated goal in
this curriculum. Not isolated within you, not isolated from others. They
all lead to God in the end, and they lead others to God. Your struggles
are valuable to your brother. Never think that you need preparation to
invite God in.
MT: I think this relates to my function of salvation, doesn't it?
JC: It is your function to make your journey Home public to others. You
have been much too secretive. You have taken pride in being a "private
person," but now you can see it's really a "private persona."
There is no need for that.
MT: I'm posting my life on the Internet for all to see! Come on!
JC: No blame, remember? Heaven welcomes every effort, and multiplies it
by a thousand. Wherever you're at, that's the right place to be, that's
you contribution--and you will be doing more. Practice openness, as you
are doing, as you will increasingly do. Everything else will follow.
99 Salvation is my only
Whose salvation? Mine, but since we are One, everybody's. An old fear
for me was this: salvation required me to stand in the street corner to
preach to other sinners, or knock on doors like a JW, or convert my classmates.
But if I broadcast the news that everybody was a sinner and needed to
accept Jesus as savior, wouldn't they rightly want to stone me? How could
I ever carry out an assignment with no possible completion?
So here's my gratitude for today: salvation asks nothing. It has no requirements.
It is freely given by God, Who sees no need for it. Salvation does not
make me responsible for anyone else, nor am I to earn my place in Heaven
by good deeds. I cannot be saved, because I was never condemned and there
is nothing to be saved from. I truly need do nothing. What wondrous Easter
100 My part is essential to
God's plan for salvation.
MT: OK, I am here, JC. You show me what I need to be doing. This is so
metaphysical! When I play my part, that realigns the whole universe of
relationships. How could it be otherwise?
JC: Your part today is to be happy and enjoy the wonderful spring day.
Perhaps call your son. You haven't talked to him in ages. He may think
you've cut him off!
MT: I thought he was cutting ME off. . .
JC: You are the parent. Can't play tit-for-tat with your offspring. Parents
are expected to make the first move. You have lived a tit-for-tat existence
for too long.
MT: But at times I've made efforts that turned out to be excessive or
intrusive, so I pulled my head back in, not to stick it out again for
a long, long time.
JC: That is a resentful decision, and unworthy of you. If the effort is
unappreciated, let it go and move on. If I had backed off at the first
hint of rejection, my part in God's plan would be vacant and void.
MT: I lived by a rule: if you are not wanted, get out. Perhaps I need
to review it. Perhaps my definition of being "not wanted" is
JC: You are also projecting. What do you know about not wanting others?
In your chosen profession, you made it a virtue to heal clients quickly,
but you really wanted to be left alone. They got the idea, and left you
alone, and then you complained about being unemployed. "Nobody wants
what I have to offer," you said.
MT: Ouch. The world goes round and round. What we give comes right back,
and then we complain. Remind me of love, please. Remind me of a better
way on this beautiful Sunday morning.
JC: You are part of the Great Plan. As you said, your smallest action
realigns the universe, for better or for worse. Which do you choose?
100 My part is essential
to God's plan for salvation.
MT: Who? Me? I only have life to be lived.
JC: And living your life (rather than dying by dropperfuls) is part of
the Plan. What can you bring joy TO, today?
MT: Guess you're saying I'm not the effect of what is around me.
JC: You are an effect of God. As such, you are Cause of the world around
MT: That is SO hard to see! My tribal mindset says I am a little canoe
tossed around by the storm. Nothing I can do about it but cower, and wait,
and wait. Perhaps tomorrow the sun will shine. Or next day, next week
. . .
JC: You bring the light. You are the sun. Give of your light, and you
shall receive the light.
100 My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.
>God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to
go against His Will?
Watching dolphins frolic in the waves, I was moved to tears by their sheer
joy. They leapt out of the water, dove back down, as if moved by God Himself.
What if we were meant to express love in the same way?
>You are indeed essential to God's plan. Without your joy, His joy
is incomplete. Without your smile, the world cannot be saved. While you
are sad, the light that God Himself appointed as the means to save the
world is dim and lusterless, and no one laughs because all laughter can
but echo yours.
This is what we were meant to do! How come we walk the world with bowed
heads and preoccupied faces? Why should we spend a moment in sadness and
>We will not let ourselves be sad today. For if we do, we fail to take
the part that is essential to God's plan, as well as to our vision. Sadness
is the sign that you would play another part, instead of what has been
assigned to you by God. Thus do you fail to show the world how great the
happiness He wills for you. And so you do not recognize that it is yours.
I am God's messenger today. Today I bring His happiness to all I look
upon. I bring His peace and joy to everyone I meet.
Index of Lessons