GreatCrusade

PART 1: LETTING JESUS HANDLE THE TRIVIA OF YOUR LIFE

Miracles depend on timing.

This is why you shouldn’t waste time. I told you a while back that time would cease when it was no longer useful as a learning aid [T-1.I.15]. There is a way of speeding this up. And that is by leaving more and more time for Me. So you can devote it to miracles.

This short passage isn’t in the Urtext. It may have come just before or just after the story of Helen’s coat, which also was omitted from the Urtext and is found only in the shorthand notes.

It sets the general theme of the story. There is a way of speeding up time: by leaving more and more time for Jesus, so that we can devote that time to miracles. How are we to do that? The story answers the question with an example.


The Story of Helen’s Coat

During the scribing of the first chapter of the Course, Helen Schucman needed a new coat. She asked Jesus’ help, and he directed her to the S. Klein department store, just a few blocks from her apartment. Klein’s was a discount department store, but prided itself on being fashion-aware and a cut above other bargain stores, yet more affordable than Macy’s other main-line department stores. It closed in 1978. Klein’s had a wide popular appeal. For instance, it was a favorite with “I Love Lucy”‘s Lucy and Ethel, and also with Edith Bunker. Because it was not one of the “finer stores” Helen was used to shopping with, Helen would never have thought of going there on her own, but received guidance from Jesus that she would find the coat she was looking for there, so she went. Instead of the exact designer coat she wanted, she found a better one, and in the process was also able to offer considerable help to the salesperson who waited on her. He had a retarded child, and Helen was able to be very helpful to him. This dictation is Jesus’ comments on those events.


For me, the overall message of this story is summed up very well by a line written by the Christian poet, Amy Carmichael: “It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts” (Amy Carmichael). As you will see, the message seems to be saying that we should put the unimportant matters of our lives—which encompasses most of what we typically spend our time on—in Jesus’ hands. If we do so, he will take care of it for us, and we will have more time to do what we are really here to do: work miracles, share the Atonement, and bring Heaven to earth.

The Coat Story (from untranscribed Shorthand Notes) SPEAKER’S NOTES

The reason I direct everything that is unimportant is because it is no way to waste YOUR free will. If you insist on doing the trivial your way, you waste too much time and will on it. Will cannot be free if it is tied up in trivia. It never gets out.

I will tell you EXACTLY what to do in connection with everything that doesn’t matter. That is not an area where choice should be invested. There is better use of time.        

I read a book once titled, “The Tyranny of the Urgent.” And trivial and unimportant things often seem so urgent, and crowd out what is really important. Jesus says that if we insist on doing all the trivial things our way, we will “waste too much time and will on it.” When he offers to “direct everything that is unimportant,” he is referring to something he said earlier in the Text:

My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose. …Fear prevents me from giving you my control.  (T-2.VI.1:3-5).

Ideally, our bodies and their activities ought to be controlled by Jesus, with miracles flowing forth from us spontaneously, as seemed to be the case with him when he was physically present. When we remove our lives from his control, we become afraid. Suppose, for a moment, you were on a Boeing 767 jet with just the pilot, flying across the country, when suddenly the pilot has a heart attack. He was flying the plane, so you were relaxed and confident; now, suddenly, flying the plane is up to you! You would be terrified. Well, we feel a similar fear when we think we are responsible for controlling our bodies and what they do, because we aren’t sure of how to do it.


Notice that Jesus says that investing our time and will in making unimportant choices is a waste of time and will. The unimportant includes such things as purchasing clothing, and by extension, can be understood to include anything to do with taking care of our bodies—buying food, ordering in restaurants, deciding when to go to bed or when to get up, how much to exercise, and so on. He says that such things are “not an area where choice should be invested.” Instead, if we allow it, he “will tell exactly what to do” in all such cases. Even a casual observation of our lives will probably reveal to us that we are doing exactly what he is speaking about here: Wasting a lot of time on unimportant choices. The question that arises, quite naturally, is just how we can stop that waste of time. How do you live without spending time on unimportant choices?


In the passage from Chapter 2, quoted previously, he tell us: If we will place our minds under his guidance, he will control our behavior. Doing this is the key to freedom from fear. But living this kind of guided life requires constant mental diligence. He continues here:


You have to remember to ask me to take charge of all minutiae, and they will be taken care of so well and so quickly that you CANNOT bog down in them.

The only remaining problem is that you will be unwilling to ask, because you are afraid not to be bogged down. Don’t let this hold us back. If YOU will ask, I will arrange these things even if you’re not too enthusiastic.

“You have to remember to ask.” That is really the crux of the matter. You have to remember to ask. That may seem to be a daunting task. Anyone who has tried to practice the Workbook, following the instructions for each day exactly as they are given, has very quickly become aware just how undisciplined our minds are. When, in Workbook Lesson 95, Jesus begins to call for devoting the first five minutes of every waking hour to practice, he comments on our need for discipline:

"The use of the first five minutes of every waking hour for practicing the idea for the day has special advantages at the stage of learning in which you are at present. It is difficult at this point not to allow your mind to wander, if it undertakes extended practice. You have surely realized this by now. You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training. It is necessary that you be aware of this, for it is indeed a hindrance to your advance" (W-pI.95.4:1-5).


We can overcomplicate remembering to ask, and make it seem more difficult than it really is. Our lives are filled with decisions and choices. We make, not hundreds, but thousands of small choices every day. Decisions are nested within decisions. Each morning, I decide to get out of bed. Every other choice in the day hinges on that one, so it is a big one. Then, I decide whether or not to go to work. If I decide to go to work, I have a choice of how to get there. Perhaps I can drive, take a bus, take a train, walk, ride a bike. Then there is the choice of what route to follow: Shall I drive down the freeway, or take local streets? What’s the traffic this morning? Maybe there are back roads with more pleasant scenery I could take. And as I drive (assuming that’s what I am doing), I have to decide over and over again when to apply the brakes or step on the gas, when to turn, how to respond to other drivers who are interacting (or interfering) with me.

The same complex of decisions encompasses everything else we do as well: selecting our food, deciding how much of it to eat, what to throw away, what to recycle or compost; whether or not to greet someone we encounter, and what to say, how to respond to what they say, or don’t say. It goes on and on.

If we attempted to stop and ask for guidance every time we made a decision we would drive ourselves nuts. But we don’t have to do that! Jesus makes it clear in a couple of places in the Text. First, in Chapter 5, he tells us that the effects of a decision will continue to be in effect until the decision is changed:

"...the question, ‘What do you want?’ must be answered. You are answering it every minute and every second, and each moment of decision is a judgment that is anything but ineffectual. Its effects will follow automatically until the decision is changed" (T-5.V.6:3-4).


In Chapter 30, he spells out what we need to do to facilitate his taking charge of the minutiae of our lives:

"Decisions are continuous. You do not always know when you are making them. But with a little practice with the ones you recognize, a set begins to form which sees you through the rest. It is not wise to let yourself become preoccupied with every step you take. The proper set, adopted consciously each time you wake, will put you well ahead" (T-30.I.1:1-5).


The key thought, in my opinion, is starting the day right. Each time you wake, you adopt “the proper set,” the right frame of mind. You ask for guidance for your entire day. You might pray, in the words of Lesson 71:

"What would You have me do?

Where would You have me go?

What would You have me say, and to whom" (W-pI.71.9:3-5).


Or perhaps the prayer from Lesson 275 works better for you:

"Your healing Voice protects all things today, and so I leave all things to You. I need be anxious over nothing. For Your Voice will tell me what to do and where to go; to whom to speak and what to say to him, what thoughts to think, what words to give the world. The safety that I bring is given me. Father, Your Voice protects all things through me." (W-pII.275.2:1-5).


Starting the day like that creates a proper mind-set, and that “sees you through the rest” of your decisions. The right choices just come to mind without effort. You are aware of being carried along in the flow of the Spirit: 

"Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill. As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be" (T-20.IV.8:4-9).


The wisdom and guidance of the Spirit is always within you. You don’t have to do anything to get it. Rather, you need to stop trying to control things by yourself. You need to get out of the way, to “step back and let Him lead the way.” There was a recent country song by Carrie Underwood, titled, “Jesus, take the wheel.” I like that idea, and I think it is very close to what we are talking about here. Take your hands off the steering wheel of your life, and let the Holy Spirit take over. Let your attention, your choices and your time and your will, be focused on the “one function you that you would fulfill.” Do that, and the trivia of your life will all be taken care of perfectly!

The Unity minister, Eric Butterworth, wrote a book titled In the Flow of Life in which he said much the same thing:

There is no use trying to make divine law work for you, for the law is an inexorable flow. You are always in this flow—as you are always in gravity and it is always in you. You may, and often do, get out of the awareness of the flow. But the need is to cease doing whatever is interfering with the natural flow of your good from within. Turn your thoughts from tension and strain. Let go and let the flow of life unfold. (Butterworth, In the Flow of Life, page 22)


This is not a case of you or me as a lowly being asking something other than ourselves to take over. God is not out there; God is not separate. We are in God and God is in us. I like the way Butterworth explains this:

Divine guidance is not an exterior force acting upon you. It is the seed of your divinity (the Christ of you) seeking to fulfill its pattern in the outforming process of your life. God could never want for you that which you do not inherently want for yourself. (ibid, page 71)

 

The story of Helen’s purchase of a coat gives us a specific example of the sort of thing we can and should expect. 


Prayer can safely be very specific in little matters. If you need a coat, ask me where to find one. I know your taste well, and I also know where the coat is that you would eventually buy anyway.

If you don’t like the coat afterwards, that is what would have happened anyway. I did NOT pick out the coat for you. You said you wanted something warm, inexpensive, and capable of taking rough wear. I told you you could get a Borgana, but I let you get a better one because the furrier needed you.

Note, however, that it is better in terms of the criteria YOU established. I could do this because YOU saw the coat more that way than in terms of a particular material.

Beside the overall mind-set, the general prayer placing the day under divine guidance, there can be specific prayers as well. Jesus tells Helen, “If you need a coat, ask me where to find one.” Helen is being invited to tap into the universal knowing of Spirit, here personified in Jesus. He tells her he knows her taste and he also knows where the coat she want can be found. 

There have been so many cases of people knowing things that they seemingly could not have known that there is little doubt in my mind that, as the Course teaches, all minds are joined. In fact even some scientific researchers have begun to postulate that our memories—the things we know—are not located in our brains at all, or even in our bodies, but that they are recordings in what is called the Zero Point Field, which is universal, located everywhere. Our brains, they say, are little more than receivers or read-out mechanisms of that ultimate data storage medium. So, for me, it is perfectly believable that Helen received specific guidance of where to find her coat.

Notice that Jesus says, “I did not pick our the coat for you.” In other words, the choice was hers. It was not coming from some outside source; Jesus was merely locating it for her, and also led her to the right store because “the furrier needed you.” 

The story continues:

You thought of Klein’s yourself a few days ago, and then you decided against it, because Borgana is price-fixed. Then you remembered a coat Grace once got there that was much cheaper, and seemed pretty much the same, and asked yourself whether it was really right to be sold on a particular trade name through advertising. That opened your mind.

This sounds to me like Helen’s thought processes were very much involved here. Jesus was “noodging” her in the best direction, but her desire for quality and her frugality were also strong factors.


I cannot save you more time than you will let Me, but if you are willing to try the Higher Shopping Service, which also covers all lower-order necessities and even quite a number of whims within reason, I have very good use for the time we could save.

“The Higher Shopping Service”! That sounds better than Amazon.com or Consumer Reports! But once again it’s clear that Jesus’ intent is to free up Helen’s time so that he can use it. It’s so interesting that this “service” covers not only all lower order necessities—all of them—it also covers “quite a number of whims within reason.” For me, that probably includes things like gourmet coffee or a new laptop. But almost certainly we can extrapolate on this to extend it beyond just shopping. It includes everything that concerns our “lower order necessities,” such as food, clothing, and shelter. Things such as jobs, recreation, and health. We can leave all these things up to Jesus, or to the Holy Spirit. That does not mean we become careless about things, thought. In Chapter 5 of the Text, Jesus advises us:

"You need be neither careful nor careless; you need merely cast your cares upon Him because He careth for you. You are His care because He loves you" (T-5.VII.1:4–5).

That seems to call for the impossible. Being careful means “not careless,” and being careless means “not careful,” doesn’t it? How can we be “neither careful nor careless? By following the biblical injunction Jesus quotes here: “You need merely cast your cares upon Him because He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7). We trust Him to take care of us. We should not be care-less, but neither do we need to be care-full; we can entirely let go of feeling responsible for our own safety. Instead of being careless, we give everything into His hands; we cast our cares upon Him; instead of being careful ourselves, we are free of care in trusting Him.

Sentence 5 gives an alternate meaning to the Bible verse, “You are His care” (1:5). That is how J. B. Phillips actually translates the verse in “The New Testament in Modern English”: “You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.” 

The development of this kind of trust is the first characteristic of the developing miracles worker. In the Manual for Teachers we read:

"The teachers of God have trust in the world, because they have learned it is not governed by the laws the world made up. It is governed by a Power That is in them but not of them. It is this Power That keeps all things safe. It is through this Power that the teachers of God look on a forgiven world.

.  When this Power has once been experienced, it is impossible to trust one's own petty strength again. Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him? And who would place his faith in the shabby offerings of the ego when the gifts of God are laid before him" (M-4.I.1:4-2:3).


About the time I began to study the Course, I wrote a letter to my teenage sons in which I tried to capsulize what I had learned about life up to that time. I remember one thing that came to me very clearly, a thought with very specific words: I trust in the integrity of the universe. I think what I was sensing then is what these paragraphs are talking about. The world is governed by a Divine Power, a Power that “keeps all things safe.” The Course teaches that there are no mistakes:

"The past as well [as now and the future] held no mistakes; nothing that did not serve to benefit the world, as well as him to whom it seemed to happen" (M-4.VIII.1:6).

Putting it in terms of a personal God, God knows what He is doing. Or putting it in more abstract terms, the creative life force of which we are parts is always moving in an upward, positive direction. I can trust It; I can “go with the Flow.”

So we don’t have to be careful, full of care, constantly preoccupied with managing our own welfare and providing for our lower order necessities. We can trust in God to provide those things, realizing that He does so in us, through us, and as us. We don’t disengage our minds. We engage them but without anxiety. We trust that our thoughts and choices will be guided because we have asked that they be guided. We are vigilant against the thoughts that arise from the ego, thoughts of fear, blame, attack, unkindness, or disrespect—any thought by which a brother or sister loses or is diminished. 


Returning to the story of the coat:


Remember, the specific answer you get depends on the specific question you ask. The fewer limits you impose, the better the answer you’ll get. Ex: You could ask where do I find a Borgana coat? or where is the coat I want? or where is the coat I should get? and so on. ? ? The form of the thought determines the level of creation.

That’s some very practical advice on how to ask. “The fewer limits...the better the answer.” Let me give you an example I’m currently working with. I believe I need a new laptop computer for when I travel. Mine, which still works, is about five years old. That’s ancient in computer years, which is proven by the fact that the next release of the Macintosh operating system, which comes out this summer, won’t run on my current laptop. Its maximum memory is less than new computers come with. So, I’ve had some thoughts about replacing it. I’ve investigated the various options: a Macbook Pro, what size screen, how much memory and disk storage I want; or maybe a light-weight Macbook Air which would be better for travel; or perhaps all I need is an iPad 2 with a portable keyboard? I’ve thought about what I want to use it for, what kind of software I need, what kind of travel I’ll be doing with it. All these factors. And, of course, price.

So, how does the Higher Shopping Service come in? If I ask a very specific question, such as, “Where can I get the best deal on a Macbook Air with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state hard drive?” I have seriously limited the field. I’ve already made up my mind exactly what I want and I’m just shopping for price. I may receive an answer from my inner Guide, but it won’t be a very creative answer!

If, however, I ask very generally, “How can I best meet the needs I have for portable computing?” the options are wide open. The different models of laptops come into play, as does the iPad. And the field is even open for a more creative answer, something I have not even considered yet, like buying a Windows laptop, or somehow upgrading my old laptop and sticking with the current operating system and not worrying about upgrading this summer. 

Miracles depend on timing.

This is why you shouldn’t waste time. I told you before that time would cease when it was no longer useful as a learning aid. There is a way of speeding you up, and that is by leaving more and more time for me, so you can devote it to miracles.

{A bit later}: Go and look up atonement, and then get dressed. To save time,  wear EXACTLY what I tell you and go.

Again: It’s all about not wasting time, leaving more time to devote to miracles. And there’s another clue of how specific this can get: Jesus is telling Helen “exactly “ what to wear! I suspect she was probably a person who spent a lot of time trying to pick out just the right clothes, so there was time to be saved here. 



Helen apparently had tremendous difficulty with the fur coat guidance, essentially because she was afraid to let Jesus take charge of all her minutiae. This difficulty is evident throughout the pages of dictation that followed this guidance. First, her resistance apparently distorted some dictation she took down. Jesus said,

The first part of what you wrote last night is right. Check this now. (Corrected under advice.) The second part was put in by you because you didn’t like the first. It was an attempt to re-establish your own control over time. Remember, you cannot stand not knowing what time it is. I am not intruding on your will, but I am trying to free it.

You can see from this that her upset apparently was caused by what she experienced as a loss of control. She wanted to be in charge of things, and did not like having Jesus tell her what to do.

Unfortunately, it is not clear what these first and second parts are. Ken Wapnick says, “I cannot ascertain for sure what these two parts refer to” (Absence from Felicity, p. 237), and we can’t either. What is clear, though, is that Helen saw Jesus controlling her use of time as such an intrusion that she then wrote something down that gave control back to her, not realizing that this part was from her, not from Jesus.


This same resistance then apparently triggered disturbing dreams once she went to bed. Helen writes, “In the morning I remembered two indistinct dreams which upset me very badly.” We only get details about the first, in which someone tells her “that I have done something very poorly, and that he thought that they would have to let me go. But he promised me a perfectly fair investigation. You [Bill] were assuring me it would be all right, but I was by no means sure.” Jesus then comments:

Do not get bogged down in those dreams of last night. They are reflections of old learning patterns, and arose because you did not like what I said about leaving minutiae to me. They merely illustrate your unwillingness to [not] get bogged down because you are afraid of the course. So don’t use them that way. If you are tempted to do this, ask Bill to stop you. This course is about willingness, not unwillingness. Unwillingness has to be replaced by willingness, because willingness is part of readiness, without which learning cannot occur.


Apparently, Helen was so resistant to the idea of “leaving minutiae to” Jesus that she then had upsetting dreams that she could get “bogged down in,” thus diverting her attention from following Jesus’ teaching. Yet having had these upsetting dreams, he said, she could choose to not use them as the diversions she had unconsciously intended them to be.


As you and I begin to attempt to put this into practice ourselves, committing the minutiae of our lives to Jesus, casting our cares upon him, we will surely experience this same kind of resistance. I know I do. Things come up to “bog me down,” distracting me, causing me to become preoccupied with some problem or another. With me, I can get bogged down in trying to solve some detailed computer problem. I know, in the past, that I have spent hours trying to debug a little program or script I was writing that was designed to save me a few seconds every day. Obviously, the script was not worth the time I put into it. But once I lock on to a goal like that I have a terrible time letting it go. It’s just one of the ways the ego tries to distract me.


A bit later, Helen wrote something down that seems to be her paraphrasing of further guidance about not getting bogged down. The key, this said, was to “leave everything to him—my feelings about Gary, Art, etc., all of which I can simply refer to him and not get bogged down. This is the real secret of not wasting energy.” After this, Helen said, “I asked him [Jesus] to stay with my unconscious while I slept, and just passed out.”


The fur coat guidance, then, ended up sparking massive resistance in Helen. This resistance caused her to take down false guidance that gave her back control. It caused upsetting dreams meant to divert her attention from Jesus’ message. And it caused her to blame Jesus for the coat she got, even though it fit her specifications. She perceived letting Jesus direct the minutiae as an intrusion on her free will. He countered this, saying that he was trying to free her will, by keeping it from getting bogged down in the trivia of daily life. His help could actually speed her through that trivia, so that she could devote more time and energy to giving miracles. And this, he said, was what she was really afraid of. She wanted to get bogged down in trivia. She wanted to be upset and to waste her time and energy, so that she had nothing left over for miracles.


In light of all this, it is interesting to note that Helen did not dictate any of this guidance to Bill to be typed into the Urtext. This includes everything under miracle principle #25 and everything recounted in this cameo. None of it left her notebooks.


Maybe, in this case, Helen’s resistance won the battle. That happens. As we look at our lives, we might ask ourselves how much of our time is devoted to miracles, and how much to trivia.


Exercise (ten minutes):

Spend a minute or two in quiet, and then try to think of at least one “lower level necessity” that has been taking up a lot of time in your life. Write that down, and then write down one or more ways you can ask for help, giving the particular piece of personal trivia over to the care of Jesus. Try to formulate the question with as few limits as possible. After writing down the question, take a minute to actually close your eyes and pray, using the question to take your hands off the wheel, relinquishing your control and trusting God’s.

If you have time, do the same for a second thing that is taking too much of your time.

Be sure to listen for an answer!! It might come more quickly than you think.


*****


Not everything our egos crave will be given to us. In fact, nothing the ego craves will be given to us! We are told just how it works:


"Everything the ego tells you that you need will hurt you. … ask not of yourself what you need, for you do not know, and your advice to yourself will hurt you. For what you think you need will merely serve to tighten up your world against the light, and render you unwilling to question the value that this world can really hold for you.


.  Only the Holy Spirit knows what you need. For He will give you all things that do not block the way to light. And what else could you need? In time, He gives you all the things that you need have, and will renew them as long as you have need of them. He will take nothing from you as long as you have any need of it. And yet He knows that everything you need is temporary, and will but last until you step aside from all your needs and realize that all of them have been fulfilled. Therefore He has no investment in the things that He supplies, except to make certain that you will not use them on behalf of lingering in time.…


.  Leave, then, your needs to Him. He will supply them with no emphasis at all upon them. What comes to you of Him comes safely, for He will ensure it never can become a dark spot, hidden in your mind and kept to hurt you. Under His guidance you will travel light and journey lightly, for His sight is ever on the journey's end, which is His goal" (T-13.VII.11:1-13:4).


PART 2: WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE A LIFE WITH NO TIME FOR TRIFLING

Jesus wants to handle the trivia—the trifles—of our lives so that we can spend more of our time working miracles. What does this miracle-working look like? As we’ve seen, it can be apparently mundane things: Helen re-writing the paper for a colleague; offering a ride in a cab; noticing when someone needs our help.


He calls this work in which we are called to join with him, “the Great Crusade to correct it [error]”. At least, in the published Text, it is a crusade to correct error; but the Urtext was more explicit. Here is the published Text:


As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it (T-1.III.1:6).

The word “it” in “correct it” must refer, in this context, to “error in yourself and others.” That seems confirmed by the second part of the sentence, which says, “learn to undo error and act to correct it.”


However, that same passage in the Urtext reads like this:


You now share MY inability to tolerate the lack of love in yourself & in everyone else, and MUST join the Great Crusade to correct it. The slogan for this Crusade is "Listen, Learn, and Do."  

This means Listen to My Voice, Learn to undo the error, and DO something to correct it. 


Clearly, the “error” being referred to is “lack of love in yourself and in everyone else.” We listen to the Holy Spirit, learn to undo our lack of love, and then do something to correct the lack of love in everyone else. This is not just thinking about it; it is doing something.


In Chapter 6, Section I, “The Message of the Crucifixion,” we are told that the message of the crucifixion is: “Teach only love, for that is what you are.” 

Let’s think for a moment about the second half of that sentence: “that is what you are.” You are Love. In fact, everyone is Love. The Course teaches:

"You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is" (T-1.III.2:3-4).

In the Workbook, the statement, “God is but Love, and therefore so am I,” is repeated at the start of every lesson practice for the ten days of Review V. “God is but Love” means “God is only Love”; therefore the second half of this statement means “I am only Love.” I am wholly loving!  Lesson 229 tells us to pray like this:

"Love, Which created me, is what I am.  I seek my own Identity, and find It in these words: "Love, Which created me, is what I am." Now need I seek no more. Love has prevailed. So still It waited for my coming home, that I will turn away no longer from the holy face of Christ. And what I look upon attests the truth of the Identity I sought to lose, but Which my Father has kept safe for me" (W-pII.229.2:1-1:5).

The Course is not the only source of this message. Eric Butterworth, the famous Unity minister and author, wrote these words in his book, Life is for Loving:

All things begin with love. Genesis says, “In the beginning God …. “But then John says, “God is love!” The Word is Love. Thus, paraphrasing John, “In the beginning was Love, and Love was with God, and Love was God.” “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ….” This image-likeness is the transcendent nature of creative love. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” Thus it is that man is created in and of love. No matter how far he may stray from the root of reality into the circumference of living, it is always true in principle (“in the beginning …”) that he is rooted and grounded in the allness of love. The chief work of man’s life is always to “Call to remembrance” his true nature, which is created in the image and likeness of God who is love, and to get on with the business of life—which is for loving.

“God created me in His image—and God is love.” Note the logical implication of this. Each of us is created in and of love. God loves us. God is love in us. Each of us is the very activity of love. We have all the love we need to love everyone and everything, for everyone and everything are also created in and of love. To love someone is not giving him a commodity. It is simply saluting the reality of him, celebrating the unity of life. It is love within us uniting with love within him.

Our entire purpose in life is to be the love that we are.

Let me say that again: Our entire purpose in life is to be the love that we are. We are here to express God, and God is Love. You may think that your great need is love—to be loved.  But in reality, your greatest need is to be loving. Butterworth said:

Love is the reality of our total self which we can frustrate or express.

God is Love, and I am that Love expressing in and through and as my loving heart.” Thus, it is not “love” that is the great need in the life of persons —it is loving.

The Course teaches:

"With love in you, you have no need except to extend it" (T-15.V.11:3).

"…if God created you by extending Himself as you, you can only extend yourself as He did" (T-7.I.5:2).

"It is your Father's holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of Love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its Name, forever one with God and with your Self" (W-pI.192.1:1).

It is by extending love that you will know yourself as love. 

"Therefore, you are not extending the gift you both have and are, and so you do not know your being. " (T-7.VII.5:4).

"As we have already emphasized, every idea begins in the mind of the thinker. Therefore, what extends from the mind is still in it, and from <what> it extends it knows itself" (T-6.III.1:1-2).

"I said before that the message of the crucifixion was, "Teach only love, for that is what you are." This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified, because it is the only lesson that is one. Only by teaching it can you learn it. "As you teach so will you learn." If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you. And what you project or extend you believe" (T-6.III.2:4-9).

And again from Eric Butterworth:

Love is not a commodity to give, but a process through which you touch and express your own deeper nature.

if we realize that “God is Love and I am that Love expressing as me,” then we will know that we experience the ISness of God’s love only to the degree that we let this Love process move through us in our attitudes, our manners, and our actions.


When you grasp the meaning of that, then in the full context of the message of the crucifixion, you realize that teaching love means refusing to acknowledge anything but love as your Self, and refusing to recognize anything but love in everyone else, even when they are engaged in the most egregious form of behavior, behavior that appears to be attack—behavior you are tempted to perceive as crucifying you. Jesus taught only love when he prayed, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.” He blessed them instead of condemning them and attacking them, and he asks us to do the same. 


In the final paragraph of that same section, we read this:


If you will listen to His Voice you will know that you cannot either hurt or be hurt, and that many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves. When you perceive only this need in them, and do not respond to any other, you will have learned of me and will be as eager to share your learning as I am (T-6.I.19:2-3).


He is teaching us to “perceive only this need in them” and not to “respond to any other.” What need? The answer is in the preceding sentence: “...many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves.” Many need your blessing: perceive only their need of blessing, and do not respond to any other need in them.

I think that it can be as simple a thing as mentally saying, “Bless you,” to everyone we encounter, no matter whether the encounter seems positive or negative. “Bless you,” person who cut me off in traffic. “May you reach your goal safely and on time. May your mind be at peace.”

This kind of prayer in Buddism is called a “Metta Meditation,” or “Lovingkindness meditation.” Tibetan Buddhism calls it “Tonglen.”  Here is the lovely “Metta Sutra”, a classic of Buddhist scripture:



many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves.


The blessing has a particular end or goal: “to help them hear this for themselves.” Hear what? That they cannot either hurt or be hurt. That they are not vulnerable bodies or fragile egos; they are spirit, they are God’s expression, they are aspects and extensions of God’s love. 


Just a few paragraphs later, Jesus says this about need: 

"…Atonement is the one need in this world that is universal" (T-6.II.5:5).


Atonement. Atonement is recognizing our oneness with God. It’s realizing that we are aspects and extensions of God’s Love. That is the one need that is universal. It is the one need to which we should respond in every person, every situation.

Butterworth wrote:

You are not really getting the message of Truth unless you are loving, kind, thoughtful, tender, accepting people as people, as they are, and not just as your prejudices cause you to think they should be.

Our true nature is Love; we are extensions of divine love, and we must be that love in the world: "Teach only love, for that is what you are." Just as Jesus gave the extreme example, the adverse circumstances of our lives (so much less extreme than his) need to be seen as opportunities to demonstrate the love of God, teaching those who do not yet know that they, too, are wholly lovable and wholly loving.

We need to look past the surface, and to affirm each and every person as “the holy Son of God Himself.” Butterworth explains:

But people are real even beyond their superficiality. With practice, you will find that you can look through them instead of just at them. You will salute the divinity within them and celebrate love as the one great reality in which you both live and move and have being.

And the Bible echoes the same idea:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phillipians 4:8)

The Course also clearly gives the same advice:

"Dream of your brother's kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes. Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave. Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams" (T-27.VII.15:3-6).

Often, the very adverse circumstances are what provide the opportunity to express the Love that we are. That was certainly the case in the crucifixion of Jesus.  Butterworth points out the way that great crises often reveal the underlying love that we are:

In times of great crises when people are thrown together in the common bond of fear or insecurity, as in war or an earthquake, it is often the subject of conversation how loving and mutually helpful people suddenly become. There is no logical explanation for the phenomenon other than that people are really this way beneath the façade of their own faulty self-esteem.


Speaking of earthquakes immediately calls to mind the recent quake in Japan. Just a few days ago I read this remarkable entry, which shows how the crisis has revealed the hidden, loving nature of people, in an online blog posted by Anne Thomas, March 14, for Ode Magazine:

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend's home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

It's utterly amazingly that where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another."

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains around Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend's husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don't. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

http://www.odemagazine.com/blogs/readers_blog/24755/a_letter_from_sendai


What people need to learn is that they are wholly lovable and wholly loving, and as such, they cannot hurt nor be hurt. By your demonstration of love, your demonstration that they have not hurt you, and that you cannot and will not hurt them, you bless them. Just as Jesus has taught us through his extreme example of crucifixion, so you will be a teacher like him, having learned of him and eager to share your learning with others. As Jesus said back in Chapter 1: “When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself” (T-1.III.1:5). “Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement” (T-1.III.3:3).

Jesus even says we can be his equal as teachers! "Believe with me, and we will become equal as teachers" (T-6.I.6:11). He says that our power to influence one another is without limit, but we must learn to use that power for our “joint salvation” (T-6.I.18:1-2), rather than to attack or to compete with one another. He tells us that we are the light of the world, and instructs us to say:

I am the light of the world.

That is my only function.

That is why I am here.

All the rest is trivia. All the rest is minutiae. I like the way Butterworth frames this in an affirmative statement:

I am loving to everyone whose path crosses mine, even if he unfairly or unjustly treats me, not because he deserves my love but because I do—for life is for loving. And I affirm as my own celebration of life: I am a channel for the expression of the Infinite Love of God.


IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT that there is ten minutes left, read and practice Lesson 108, which includes “To everyone I offer peace of mind.”

Day in the Life of a Miracle Worker 4/17/11

Session 7—The Great Crusade of Love—Allen Watson

Page1 of 17This is what should be done

By one who is skilled in goodness,

And who knows the path of peace:

Let them be able and upright,

Straightforward and gentle in speech.

Humble and not conceited,

Contented and easily satisfied.

Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.

Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,

Not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing

That the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,

May all beings be at ease.

Whatever living beings there may be;

Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,

The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,

The seen and the unseen,

Those living near and far away,

Those born and to-be-born,

May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.This is what should be done

By one who is skilled in goodness,

And who knows the path of peace:

Let them be able and upright,

Straightforward and gentle in speech.

Humble and not conceited,

Contented and easily satisfied.

Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.

Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,

Not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing

That the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,

May all beings be at ease.

Whatever living beings there may be;

Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,

The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,

The seen and the unseen,

Those living near and far away,

Those born and to-be-born,

May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.