Being Who You Are
By Celia Hales
Excerpts from her new book
A Course of Love answers questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles. ACOL thus states that it is a “continuation” of the earlier work, though ACOL can be read independently. Most dedicated students of ACIM recognize that our egos have been weakened by our carrying out the dictates of what we have read. But with what do we replace the ego? There is a void, and this is a dangerous condition in which to live.
We intuitively know this, and so we keep seeking. “Is there no end to seeking?” we ask, somewhat plaintively. There is an end to seeking, and ACOL takes us to that end. As an aid to understanding this new end, Being Who You Are reflects upon ten themes from ACOL, drawing on the whole of it, and also comparing aspects of ACIM.
With weakened egos after studying ACIM, but with nothing to replace the ego, in the words of ACOL we have “rejected” ourselves. We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility. ACOL says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear: We are afraid we will not please God if we take on a more exalted notion of ourselves.
You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God. C:P.20
We take a step away from the intellect, the pride of the ego, and approach final learning through the realm of the heart. This is why, to end confusion, we call this course A Course of Love. C:P.44
There is a single significant difference between ACIM and ACOL. ACIM, through the Holy Spirit, brings comfort to the mind. ACOL brings comfort to a troubled heart. This comfort to the heart is by identification with the Christ within. It is not a comfort for pride but solace brought to us by Jesus himself. He embraces us with love.
The thesis of ACOL can perhaps be summed up in the following sequence of ideas: We abandon all attempts to glorify the separated self, the self who does not know God but thinks it is lost to Him because of our sin. When we wholeheartedly abandon any attempt to glorify this self, we are launched on the way to Christ-consciousness, a transformation that will let us know that our previous faults were mistakes only, not sins, and thus entirely correctable and forgivable. We merge ACIM and ACOL, in that we merge mind and heart, and we recognize that we are actually in union with God, never separated from Him. He lives through us.
Note these words from the conclusion of ACOL:
You will realize that you know what to do. . . . Expect heaven on earth, you were told. This is what it is. There will be no doubt, no indecision. Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along. Expect this. And it will be. (E5-6)
May this pondering speak loudly and powerfully to your heart and mind “wholeheartedly.” Let us claim the heritage that is ours, no longer fearful that we are acting out of ego. Jesus asks us to leave our fears behind and claim our power with new identity. Then the more widespread Awakening of our world surely will begin.
Three Excerpts from Chapter 1
Love: Asking God
We are always choosing between truth and illusion, and this is the same as choosing between love and fear. Love is always the way of truth. Fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices. Guidance that we receive in asking God invariably points to love.
We who have been caught in illusion do not comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we always know truth in the form of love. We cannot, on our own, turn from illusions. The all-encompassing Christ-Self, which embodies all of us, is the way that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ-Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. This is the way that our God approaches us now, and He does approach us. We are not left bereft. We know when we are asking Him for guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.
Happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.
Love Is Who We Are
We know from the title of this book that being who we are is very important in A Course of Love. And who we are is love. We sometimes see this love as simply our passion; that is not wrong, just incomplete. It is incomplete because passion without love–an egoic “love”—is prone to dramatic highs and lows. There is nothing peaceful about it. We have sometimes engaged in extreme forms of behavior due to our passion, and we have often been fear-prone when we have been doing so. Pure love is not drama; we make a mistake in believing that it is. We think that if we love in an all-embracing way, we will be embroiled in a drama that will take us outside of ourselves. And we think this is good.
Dramas are not good, though our egoic self enjoys them. When we love in a warmth that is not of this world, we love rightly. This smooth and easy journey of love, including sex, is where we are meant to go. It paves the way to a holy relationship with our partner. Replacing “special” relationships—egoic love—with holy relationships is where we are heading. This new way does not exclude passion. On the contrary, it makes passion come alive, but without the lows that drama gives. We remain in the highs.
Finally, Just Love
What a grand gesture it is to give up fear in favor of love! We cannot make this choice solely as an independent gesture. We need others in order to have someone on whom to shower our love. Yet we also know that in loving ourselves, always being accepting of ourselves, we are in a position to love others—probably, truly, for the first time. This is the promise held out to us as we live as one in this world and the next. We are diversified beings, but we share one Self, and this one Self is the Christ-Self. This truth endures well with us.
We are embedded in humankind, humankind who cries out for the love that has seemingly been denied. We ought to offer this love. We ought to live no other way.
Being Who You Are: Pondering A Course of Love is a contemplative consideration of ACOL, and is also designed to popularize ACOL to the general public interested in spirituality. Previously unpublished material, this book is 265 pages that elucidate ten themes. It is available exclusively on Amazon in both print ($8.95) and e-book formats ($5.99). Celia is the author of the well-received blog, “Miracles Each Day,” which has considered A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, as well as other channeled works, nearly daily for over 11 years. She also wrote A Course of Love: An Overview, a 48- page booklet published by Take Heart Publications ($3.95, both print and e-book).
The End Is Near
By Miguel Carvalho
Behold my sister, brother.
You and I,
entwined beloveds dancing
and in our wake
spawning time and space,
and all that is
in these dark confounding realms of time,
that but seem to hold us here,
what could we do, where can we go
how would we plead and to whom,
to but gain a mere quantum
of that orgasmic ecstasy
that would be ours
if we but recognized each other!
Please hold my hand would you,
in these here confines dark,
let’s stay together, You and I
Our time is almost near.
The night must end
the Son must rise,
the time of old is passing
and Now is almost Here.
Yes let’s stay close dear brother, sister,
as this celestial light emerges
from within our joining, merging hearts.
For don’t you and I know for sure
that it’s from the fusion of our hearts
that will dawn the certain splendor
where supernovae will merely twinkle,
For You and I with utter clarity
will have come to Know each other
and time with its blanket of illusion
will be done and gone at last.
Miguel Carvalho lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been trying to live the Course in Miracles since 1987 and now A Course of Love for about six years. And grateful beyond words for ACOL. Miguel frequently posts his reflections and poems on Facebook, on the A Course of Love Companion Group and the Discovering A Course of Love group.