Seeing the inner Light of Heaven

Course author and speaker Gary Renard receives clarification about the nature and state of this dream world, the path of the Atonement, and how to become increasingly miracle-minded, through a remarkable manifestation of the Holy Spirit called Arten and Pursah. Many people familiar with A Course in Miracles have read Gary’s books about them, so I’m not going to elaborate on details here. What I find particularly fascinating is that they provided Gary with a rendition of the Gospel of Thomas, containing the sayings of Jesus that Didymus Judas Thomas recorded back then directly from Jesus. So these sayings have not been altered by the early church fathers of Christianity. Although each saying would merit a blog in its own right, let’s zoom in on the final one, wherein Jesus says: “The disciples said to him, “When will the Kingdom come?” He said, “It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Behold here,’ or ‘Behold there.’ Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.” (PgoTh, 113).

First of all, the ‘Kingdom of the Father’ is a symbol for that state of life where there is no more fear, no more war, no more lack of anything whatsoever; in short, it’s more or less the state of the paradise of the garden of Eden before the cardinal sin. Or, if you’re more into metaphysics, it’s the state wherein the dream of duality has ended and the one Son of God has reawakened to his natural nondualistic state at Home in the Heart of God, experiencing and being the inner Light of Heaven, content with merely doing God’s Will of extending Love forever and ever. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says that this is not something that will happen by waiting for it in the future. It is not a place outside of us that we can point at. Rather, this perfect state of life (state of mind, really) is here and now, and it is everywhere; we just don’t see it. How could this be, and, assuming this is true, why do we not see it?

Rather than just stimulating students to focus solely on the love and light that’s within them, A Course in Miracles explains — in great depth — just what this inner Light of Heaven (“the Kingdom of the Father”) is, and why you and I do not see it, or, more precisely, do not want to see it. As long as you and I believe we are a body, born in time and space, with the inevitable outcome of physical death which will be the end of the brief candle we call our life, we will not experience this inner Light of Heaven that we all share; we will not see the Kingdom of the Father. As Jesus explains in his Course, all of us are one spirit, seemingly asleep in a dream of fragmentation in time and space. We dream we are an autonomous body, separate from our Creator. The guilt we feel about this ‘act of separation’ (which, again, never really happened, although we believe it did), has led us to be bitterly afraid of the Light of God, and to seek for absolution and salvation through a life of penance and sacrifice, to prove our worthiness. Within this dream, the concept of ‘Jesus’ has shifted from the Voice for unconditional Love, to an external deity who might grant our souls access to Heaven if we promise to be good for the rest of our lives.

We should try to regard Jesus not as some external savior who will come to absolve and rescue all the souls who still desperately seek for salvation. Rather, he simply remains a symbol of the Love of God, the inner Light of Heaven that is the essence of all living things. In Thomas’ Gospel saying 91, the disciples asked Jesus: “Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you.” Jesus responded: “You examine the face of Heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment.” (PgoTh, 91). In our contemporary time, Jesus might have stated it thus: “You can study spirituality as much as you like, but you still condemn everyone around you, consciously or not. You still do not really focus on the Light of Heaven that shines in everyone. And you can only behold this light now, by cleansing your mind of all the condemnation that you constantly choose, and accepting instead the now as the only time there is.”

Jesus is the symbol of what you and I and all of us are, a state we’ll experience once we wake up from the dream. As he assures us in the very first chapter of A Course in Miracles: “Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. […] There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist.” (T-1.II.3:5-4:1). So in the end you and I and all of us will return to the eternal light of nonduality, and we will understand the inherent equality of Jesus and ourselves, since in nonduality everything is one.

Jesus is attempting to have us realize that a focus on ‘improving’ anything external in the world is not the road to salvation. It’s fine to spend your days on raising a happy family, on contributing to better healthcare, or on transforming the way we produce and use energy resources, but this in itself does not lead to the lasting experience of ‘the Kingdom of the Father’. Jesus would have us see that we will not find salvation in the world, because there is no world: “Give up the world! But not to sacrifice. You never wanted it. What happiness have you sought here that did not bring you pain? What moment of content has not been bought at fearful price in coins of suffering? […] If you choose a thing that will not last forever, what you chose is valueless. A temporary value is without all value. Time can never take away a value that is real. What fades and dies was never there, and makes no offering to him who chooses it.” (T-30.V.9:4-8; W-pI.133.6:1-4).

A Course in Miracles is a curriculum in mind training. It’s never the world that is the problem; it’s the belief that there is a world that can give us some form of salvation that’s the problem. The solution, then, lies in a change of mind about the purpose of the world, and therefore about the purpose of your life. This entails a change of mind from wrong-mindedness (“salvation lies outside of me”) to right-mindedness (“my salvation comes from me”). A Course in Miracles shows us that forgiveness is the vehicle to achieve this change of mind. A healed mind, cleansed of all condemnation, ushers in the real world, which heralds the near end of duality. In the Kingdom of the Father, the many become one again. We practice that state of consciousness here by joining — in the mind — with our fellow brothers: “If you would know you are saved, never doubt a brother. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in yourself. If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me whose faith in you cannot be shaken. Can you ask of the Holy Spirit truly, and doubt your brother? Believe his words are true because of the truth that is in him. You will unite with the truth in him, and his words will be true. As you hear him you will hear me. Listening to truth is the only way you can hear it now, and finally know it” (T-9.II.4).

So when Jesus said that “the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it”, he meant that we do not see it because we choose not to see our brothers as they really are: the One Son of God, as are we.  Only by truly forgiving ourselves for each deliberate choice to keep oneness at bay, do we allow the Holy Spirit to gently undo all this silly separation stuff in the mind. This is the mind training that Jesus would have us practice day in, day out. As you progress on that journey-without-distance, you notice that your days become increasingly more peaceful. You are on your way to the real world. You are on your way to finally seeing the Kingdom of the Father spread out here and now, for you put to the forefront of your mind the inner Light of Heaven that shines in everyone, and let the mad rumblings of the world recede ever further to the background of your mind. You still live an active life here, contributing to ‘a better world’, but in each action the miracles you offer in extending the inner Light of Heaven in yourself is what really matters.


See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

buy-now-amazon-button

See also my Feb. 2018 Course workshop at www.youtube.com.

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.

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You are a miracle!

In A Course in Miracles, workbook lesson 77 would have me learn that “I am entitled to miracles.” Jesus explains this by stating: “You are entitled to miracles because of what you are. You will receive miracles because of what God is. And you will offer miracles because you are one with God.” (W-pI.77.1:1-3). As we read in chapter 1 of the text, a miracle is an expression of unconditional love. Our natural heritage is to extend or share such expressions, and therefore receive them. And, since according to the Course, having and being are the same, Jesus adds in miracle principle 24: “You are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator.” Or, stated differently in chapter 6 of the text: “Teach only love, for that is what you are” (T-6.I.13:2). So what is the practical value of realizing that you and I are a miracle?

At a first glance, these lines seem to flatter the ego. Doesn’t it sound good to be told you are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of God? After all, that was the reason, in the ontological moment just before time began, that we tried to split off from our Creator, to be able to be a god in our own little isolated world! Alas, this is of course not at all what Jesus means when he compliments me that I am a miracle, as he explains in workbook lesson 76: “You really think that you would starve unless you have stacks of green paper strips and piles of metal discs. You really think a small round pellet or some fluid pushed into your veins through a sharpened needle will ward off disease and death. You really think you are alone unless another body is with you. It is insanity that thinks these things. You call them laws […] You think you must obey the ‘laws’ of medicine, of economics and of health. […] The body suffers just in order that the mind will fail to see it is the victim of itself. […] It is from this [recognition that you but attack yourself that] your ‘laws’ would save the body. It is for this you think you are a body.” (W-pI.76.3:2-5:7).

To summarize once more what I regularly try to summarize in these posts: you and I are not a body, but pure spirit. The one Son of God is still one, though seemingly asleep in a dream of separation and individuality, unconsciously feeling exiled but in reality still at home in God, Who knows nothing of this dream: “Nothing at all has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep…” (T-28.II.4:1). In the very same paragraph, Jesus links this unfortunate illusory hallucination to the purpose of the miracle: “The miracle does not awaken you, but merely shows you who the dreamer is. It teaches you there is a choice of dreams while you are still sleep, depending on the purpose of your dreaming [i.e., separation or Oneness; fear or love]” (T-28.II.4:2-4). So being a miracle, an expression of unconditional love, we both share and receive these expressions, since, again, in reality being and having are the same: “Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals [e.g., the ‘laws’ above] you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are. It is implicit in what God your Father is. It was ensured in your creation, and guaranteed by the laws of God.” (W-pI.77.2)

Given these insights, let’s look at some of those rather abstract fifty miracle principes in chapter 1, to see if we can now clarify these. For example, nr. 15: “Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively. It is thus a teaching device and a means to an end. Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning” (T-1.I.15). If we spend our days expressing the love that we are, regardless of the person or situation at hand, we are actually saving large intervals of time that would otherwise be needed to reach the end of the dualistic dream of time and space. You might object and say that time itself is illusory and that everything in time is happening now, and this is correct, but while we still hold one dark spot in the mind (many dark spots, for almost all of us), there’s forgiveness work to do. This reconditioning, or undoing, is a process that takes time, illusory though it may be.

The combination of 18, 21, 29 and 44 can also be helpful in this regard: “A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously. […] Miracles are natural signs of forgiveness. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness [i.e., Love] by extending it to others. […] Miracles praise God through you. They praise Him by honoring His creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification. […] The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of His Atonement.” (T-1.I.18,21,29,44). Again, any expression of unconditional love recognizes the inherent unity of Christ, the One Son of God, the spirit that is our shared essence. This undoes the hateful and fearful separation thought of the ego. The decision maker in the mind now consciously chooses forgiveness instead of condemnation.

So the next time someone seems to treat you unfairly, or you run into a situation that seems to cause you distress, you can now realize this person or situation expresses a call for love, which needs only one answer: love. We do this by quickly activating the decision maker in the mind, and then choosing not to condemn, but to follow the intuitive advice of the Holy Spirit. As we read in the section “Above the battleground”: “When the temptation to attack rises to make your mind darkened and murderous, remember you can see the battle from above. Even in forms you do not recognize, the signs you know. There is a stab of pain, a twinge of guilt, and above all, a loss of peace. This you know well. When they occur leave not your place on high, but quickly choose a miracle instead of murder. And God Himself and all the lights of Heaven will gently lean to you, and hold you up. For you have chosen to remain where He would have you, and no illusion can attack the peace of God together with His Son.” (T-23.IV.6).

Hence Jesus’ plea with us to “Teach only love, for that is what you are” (T-6.I.13:2). It should be obvious that you and I do not really believe this yet, for if we truly did, we would not need 1500 pages of A Course in Miracles with a workbook to practice a lifetime; heck, we would not even hang around here any longer. Still, the required change of every value that we hold dear (“Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning”, T-24.in.2:1) can only succeed once we embrace the correct notion of what we are. We are not a body; our essence is an expression of Love (“Can you who see yourself within a body know yourself as an idea?”, T-18.VIII.1:5), and we are still safe at Home in the Heart of God as the One Son of God. We experience the reflection of that essence here in this world through diligent practice of unconditional forgiveness. Tell yourself confidently today that you are entitled to miracles because you are a miracle. It’s a simple statement of a simple fact. Keeping this in mind, and expressing it in your daily activities, will bring you the peace that you seek.


See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

buy-now-amazon-button

See also my Feb. 2018 Course workshop at www.youtube.com.

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.

Wishing or willing?

Many people feel burdened by tensions with people around them: parents, spouse, manager, you name it. We perceive such conflicts as a genuine barrier to finding the inner peace we want so much. “If only my mother would stop badgering me about things I ought to do better”; “If only my spouse would stop demanding of me to be someone I’m not”; “If only my boss would show some appreciation for my efforts, then I would be able to find peace of mind.” In other words, we hold others responsible for our lack of peace. This is the same as saying that others are guilty of depriving me of my desired peace of mind. But since these others won’t change, there’s no real perspective for lasting happiness, is there?

Anyone remotely familiar with psychology knows the universal axiom that “you can never change someone else; you can but change yourself”. People who are really into psychology will recognize the vicious mechanism of projection at work: the evil we think we perceive in others, we secretly believe to be in ourselves, which we fearfully refuse to acknowledge, and therefore project onto someone or something else.  So if I accuse my parents of demanding too much from me, I would do well to investigate my thoughts and beliefs, to see in which aspects of my life I’m demanding too much of myself or of others. All the ‘bad behavior’ I accuse my spouse of, is a sure sign that I am refusing to see the very same kinds of thoughts in my own unconscious mind. Therefore, an important goal in psychotherapy is to make myself aware of all the self-sabotaging projections I employ, and transform them into more constructive beliefs about myself, which is an important basis for healing problematic relationships in my life.

A Course in Miracles, being a lifelong curriculum for healing the mind, takes this process several spades deeper, which, painful though this may feel at times, produces a much better end result, namely, lasting inner peace no matter what happens. First of all, not only does Jesus carefully explain that all relationships I think I have with others, with possessions, and with situations, actually reflect the relationship I have with myself, but I also learn that any relationship I perceive, including how I see myself, reflects how I see my relationship with God. Although the 20th century saw a decline in the popularity of God, A Course in Miracles holds that the fact remains that you and I are still created by God; that is, not the vengeful Biblical God, but the totally abstract God Who equals Love. Our only ‘problem’ we seem to have is that we think we have a will that can be different from what God wills (that is, extending Love).

Briefly summarized, the link between this notion of creation and the pain in our daily relationships works as follows. God created His Son (not in time, but in eternity, which we cannot really grasp) in His likeness: perfect, formless, unchangeable and loving; and of course with a free will, just like his Source. One of the ‘quantum possibilities’ is that the Son can ponder what it would be like to be autonomous and on his own, separate from his Creator. This is the thought that’s called ego in A Course in Miracles. This thought can never be reality. However, by seriously considering this notion, the Son seemed to fall asleep in the ego dream, and the ontological event of separation seemed to have actually occurred. In reality, the Son is still perfectly at Home in the Heart of God, Who knows nothing about this dream, since the dream is not and cannot be real.

Within the dream, though, the one Son is now only aware of the ego’s voice, who informs him that a terrible sin has just been committed, for which he should feel very guilty: usurping the throne of God as supreme Creator. Furthermore, so the ego counsels, God will not be too pleased; in fact, he is bound to come after his sinful Son, and take back what’s rightfully His. And the Son should fear severe punishment for this savage sin, the bloodstain of which can never be removed. The Son then fearfully follows the advice of the ego to hide from God, by fragmenting into a billion separated pieces. This is the start of what we now perceive as the material universe. However, the guilt and the fear are both still fully present in each splintered fragment. Finding this too terrible to face, each fragment projects the guilt away, magically hoping this way to free itself from sin, and appeasing the wrath of God. And so every fragment proclaims: “I am an innocent fragment; all these other fragments are sinful, and they are responsible for all the evil I perceive, and the situation I find myself in.”

And so, within the ‘waking dream’ of time and space, in the totally illusory material universe, we seemingly spend our days pointing fingers at other seemingly separated fragments. The ‘brilliant’ dynamic of projection has made us believe that we are innocent individuals, unwillingly born into a hostile world wherein everyone is out to take as much as possible from everyone else; a world wherein God seems to be completely absent, and wherein I can at least have a personal will of my own. It may be a place where good and evil constantly wage battle, but at least I am in the position to be able to decide what’s best for me. I soldier on to get and keep what little happy moments I can collect through the years, before death (i.e., God) comes to extinguish the little candle of my life after all. Still, it will have been worth it, because at least I was on my own.

A Course in Miracles debunks all these false beliefs about what we think is our reality. In a brilliantly symphonic course, Jesus teaches us to be glad that we are not what we think we are. You and I are not simply a body that inevitably dies. We are not separate from everyone and everything we perceive around us. And we have no will apart from God, even though we insist we do. “God wills. He does not wish.  Your will is as powerful as His, because it is His.” (T.7.X.4.6-8) In workbook lesson 73 we read: “The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it. The ego’s idle wishes are unshared, and therefore have no power at all. Its wishes are not idle in the sense that they can make a world of illusions in which your belief can be very strong. But they are idle indeed in terms of creation. They make nothing that is real. Idle wishes and grievances are partners in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego’s need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for ‘righteous’ judgment. […] Beholding them, you do not know your brothers or yourself.” (W-pI.73.1:3-2:3;2:5).

In short, the message of A Course in Miracles is that lasting inner peace is not to be found in this nightmarish world that is designed from the outset to keep God out and to keep the illusion of individuality ongoing. Lasting inner peace calls for the acceptance of the Atonement message that individuality is unreal and not at all what we want. In fact, “Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself.” (T-27.VII.13:3). This ‘war upon himself’ refers to the battleground of the mind, wherein the attacks we perceive from all around us symbolize our perceived conflict with our Creator. There seems to be no way out, and so we try to make the best of our days, wearing a veil of denial on the outside, but being “uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear” (T31.VIII.7:1) on the inside.

The slow process of awakening, gently guided by the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love, Who came with the Son into the dream of duality, as the link with God can never be wholly severed, would have us question every single belief about our little individual self we hold so dear. The outcome of that process is not a more blissful individual self, but a realization of what we actually are. “What if you looked within and saw no sin? This “fearful” question is one the ego never asks. […] Your faith is [now] moving inward, past insanity and on to reason. And what your reason tells you now the ego would not hear. The Holy Spirit’s purpose was accepted by the part of your mind the ego knows not of. […] And yet this part, with which you now identify, is not afraid to look upon itself. It knows no sin. […] This part has seen your brother, and recognized him perfectly since time began. And it desired nothing but to join with him and to be free again, as once it was. It has been waiting for the birth of freedom; the acceptance of release to come to you.” (T-21.IV.3).

Guilt is the only feeling that keeps us rooted in the dream of individuality. And this guilt is not real at all! A Course in Miracles  helps us to uncover the heavy blankets the ego has laid across this made-up tale of guilt, and, through the ill-working process of projection, maintain the illusion of separation in a world wherein everyone and everything calls for defenses. And this is only because we think we have a will apart from God. The Voice of the Holy Spirit reminds us that we do not want the ego’s futile wishes, but really only want to align with God’s Will, as there is nothing else.

“The Holy Spirit will direct you only so as to avoid pain. […] The problem is not whether what the Holy Spirit says is true, but whether you want to listen to what He says. You no more recognize what is painful than you know what is joyful, and are, in fact, very apt to confuse the two. The Holy Spirit’s main function is to teach you to tell them apart. What is joyful to you is painful to the ego, and as long as you are in doubt about what you are, you will be confused about joy and pain. […] Obey the Holy Spirit, and you will be giving up the ego. But you will be sacrificing nothing. On the contrary, you will be gaining everything. If you believed this, there would be no conflict. That is why you need to demonstrate the obvious to yourself. […]

You believe that doing the opposite of God’s Will can be better for you. You also believe that it is possible to do the opposite of God’s Will. […] Your will is as powerful as His because it is His. The ego’s wishes do not mean anything, because the ego wishes for the impossible. You can wish for the impossible, but you can will only with God. This is the ego’s weakness and your strength. […] His Will is not an idle wish, and your identification with His Will is not optional, since it is what you are. Sharing His Will with me is not really open to choice, though it may seem to be. The whole separation lies in this error. The only way out of the error is to decide that you do not have to decide anything. Everything has been given you by God’s decision.” (T-7.X.3-6). In other words: stop wishing, and remember to will again, gently guided by the Holy Spirit in the pace you are willing to accept.


See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

buy-now-amazon-button

See also my Feb. 2018 Course workshop at www.youtube.com.

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.