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book-reviewsThoughts, ideas, insights and dreams are the foundation of the Harpswell Institute’s blog page. I invite you to contact me if a blog strikes a chord, or if you have something to share.

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December 30, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 364   A major emphasis of A Course in Miracles is that the body is NOT what we are.  The material body is immaterial consciousness projected into form.  Immaterial mind creates the dense physical.  Quantum physics is all but screaming this revolutionary truth.  Why have we not caught on? We have not caught on because we have been conditioned since birth to accept the assumption that we are physical creatures – biological machines with brains.   Generation after generation has passed down the undisputed conclusion that we are our bodies.  The mass media, family, friends, our culture reinforce the idea that the body is our only meaningful reality.  As we grow up, the indoctrination increases.  We are taught to be concerned with how the body is dressed, if it is healthy, how it should be housed.  We reward those with beautiful bodies.  We set standards for gender, color, height, and weight.  We are consumed with fear of illness and disease.  We literally spend every waking hour in service to the body and its perceived needs. Eventually we are taught a few metaphysical concepts in the form of religious beliefs.  In stories we are...
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December 29, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles: Lesson 363   Author William Buhlman is an experienced out-of-body traveler. Based on over 40 years of experience, Buhlman describes consciousness as a form of non-physical energy extending its influence into matter through the use of biological vehicles. “All biological life-forms (including plant and animal life) are temporary cellular vehicles used by conscious energy for expression in a dense environment.” In other words, all biological life forms are, as A Course would say, “Holy Sons of God.”   William Buhlman is an explorer of inner reality, which he says is the birthplace of all reality. Our perception of the visible universe and our place in it is totally inaccurate. The universe in NOT the center of reality; it is only the outer crust, the thin epidermis layer of an inner realm of consciousness with multiple levels. Buhlman is convinced that the physical sciences are not equipped to explore the true nature of reality. As long as science confines its focus to the physical embodiment of consciousness, the inner reality from which all matter is derived will remain unrecognized.   Our future explorations of the physical world will move us inward. The creative power...
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December 28, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 362   Don’t let anyone tell you this work is easy.  Don’t listen to those who say it is nothing more than a brief escape from ‘reality.’  Try to remember this: the myriad of problems in this world will make every attempt to take precedence over this work.  There are a million ‘problems.’  They are the same problem in different form and they are diversions.  When you take up this work a thousand detours will appear, each one calling to you. At first, it will seem impossible not to listen.  There will be many times you will be drawn back.  You will ask yourself, “How can I perceive forgiveness in this world?” Over and over you will have the experience of seeing that the past is what hides forgiveness.  And you will realize that time itself is a detour and you will let it go.  Did anyone say this work was easy?   This work requires courage.  Even the people you love will hold you back, fearing your freedom could mean their loss.  It may take time for you to realize your freedom is theirs.  The thought of forgiveness itself will restrain you...
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December 27, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 361   Just about one year ago I made a commitment to myself.  I determined to take this year and write a daily blog on each of the 365 Lessons from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. I never meant this blog to be anything special but if you have found anything it in, please know I am grateful.  It is not my job or intention to convince anyone of anything. The last five lessons of the Workbook are simple but their application is not the conclusion, it is only the beginning.    “This holy instant I would give to You. Be You in charge.  For I would follow You, Certain that Your direction gives me peace.”   This holy instant I would give to You.  In this NOW moment I connect with Source, and through this connection, all else as well.  I am the Child of God and shall remain so, independent of all my imaginings otherwise.   Be You in charge.  In every moment I have only two choices:  I can resist it or let it touch me.  Letting it touch me requires trust – not in my self...
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December 26, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 360   “Peace be to me, the holy Son of God. Peace be to my brother, who is one with me. Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.”   Peace be to me.  I am a 61 year-old woman but I am still a holy Son of God and so are you.   My dogs are holy Sons of God.  The 100 year-old pine in my back yard in a Holy Son of God.  My computer is a holy Son of God.  How delightful to know!   Peace be to my brother who is one with me.  Everything is my brother – male or female, human, or non-human – it’s all the same and that’s the point.  Everything is made of light and nothing is not me. Our group consciousness has created this entire world.  We are all in agreement with it.  How can I not be one with you and it?  Peace be to me and peace be to you.  The law of love knows no distinctions.   Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.  In holiness we were created.  In holiness we remain.  In Wholeness. ...
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December 25, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 359   Your Christmas gift is in this lesson.  Yesterday we learned “No call to God can be unheard nor left unanswered.”  Today we learn what form the answer always takes.  “God’s answer is some form of peace.  All pain is healed; all misery replaced with joy. All prison doors are opened.  And all sin Is understood as merely a mistake.”   All sin is merely a mistake.  This world was created when we forgot to laugh! The answer to any problem always begins with forgiving it.  Forgiving a problem, allows the present moment to be as it is, and this is the first step of correction.   What God created is sinless.  There is no sin.  There is no sin.  There is no sin.  There are merely mistakes of perception:  a fear taken seriously, an instant of belief that lack or scarcity could be real, a moment when vulnerability replaced the surety of eternal mind, that sickness in the body could cause the death of love.  This day we celebrate the birth of Christ. In truth it is no different than any other day.  But if you can use it to...
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December 24, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 358 “No call to God can be unheard nor left Unanswered.  And of this I can be sure: His answer is the one I really want.”   Would God have left the meaning of the world to our interpretation?  If God had, it HAS no meaning.  The meaning we attach to things is constantly changing, shifting -becoming this and then that.  God does not shift about.  The law of love IS the law and it doesn’t alter for anyone or anything.  This is a joyful thing to know.   Certainty is guaranteed in God’s laws. God’s laws are simple.  We have spent a year reviewing them.  “Everything I give, I give to myself.”  “There is nothing to fear.”  “Love created me like itself.”  And so on.  Here is one more law: We exist in Mind of God.  Therefore nothing we think, feel, or experience is separate from God.  Or from each other.  The matrix of light carries all to all.  Nothing is left out.   Information is sent instantly.  You will spend today in a body.  That is pretty much guaranteed.  But your body is not what you are.  Spend some time in quiet...
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December 23, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 357   “Truth answers every call we make to God, Responding first with miracles, and then Returning unto us to be itself.”   Lets look at this lesson.  Its message isn’t spelled out in simple terms.    “Truth answers every call we make to God.”  How do we call to God?  I call to God when I am not in fear.  When I let my moment touch me and I do not resist it, I am broadcasting a signal that says, “I am open and unafraid.  Bring it on!”  I am in flow with what IS.  Now here’s the key: being in flow places me in alignment with God. When I hold the attitude of allowing - of forgiving - my frequency rises and it does not go unrecognized.  I am making a call.   “Responding first with miracles..” When I broadcast a signal of flow, things will come to me.   I have made the call!  These things will be miracles because I am in alignment.  If I stay in alignment, I WILL perceive them.  I will perceive them because God is in my mind and my mind is aligned with God,...
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December 22, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 356   The three key words of this lesson take most people into new territory.  It would be helpful to define the key words first and then take on the lesson.  The first word is “sickness” which most people associate with the body.  But A Course teaches this association is a mistake:  all bodily illness stems first from a conflict in the mind that is displaced into the body.     A “sick” body is an EFFECT of thought.  Remember, thoughts are creative.  They are multi-dimensional energies that affect three-dimensional form.  As chronic thoughts of guilt and fear (thoughts we all share) are experienced within the body, dis-ease logically results.  The body is a neutral thing.  Left alone, it leans toward balance and health. The second word is “sin.”  What a loaded religious word this is!  Sin has a totally different meaning in A Course.  It is not a crime against God, or a punishable act of any kind.  “Sin” is nothing more than a mistaken belief that we could ever be separate from our Creator.  Sin is an error in thinking and it produces behavior that is also mistaken.  It needs correction...
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December 21, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 355   All of creation is free and without limit.   If we imagine (as we do) that there are any limits at all, we are incorrect.  The Word is God.  The Word is all of creation and it is what we ARE.    Now, I have never experienced limitless creation.  But believe I am WORD of God.  I have chosen my identity because I am free to do so.  I am also free to remain undecided about myself and have the experience of not knowing.  It’s all good.  It doesn’t change a thing.   But when I choose, I begin to sing a different song.  I begin to know myself in new ways.  As Paul Selig says, “I know who I am.  I know what I am.  I know how I serve.”   What am I?  I am Word of God in form.  And I am in service to Word through my willingness to know my Self.  I am claiming my inheritance as the one who may choose in freedom and without limit.  That is what I am. “There is no end to all the peace and joy, And all the miracles...
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December 20, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 354   If you have children home from college you may have noticed that food disappears fast.  Things you love to eat and have saved for special moments are simply gone when you go looking for them.  “What happened to the Cheez-Its?” I asked myself this very  morning.  This oneness thing takes practice.  We are so trained not to see it and even when we do, it takes so little to lose its peace. “Those Cheez-Its were MINE!” screamed my little ego!  The truths of oneness become apparent only after you’ve tried everything else.  The words of today’s lesson establish us as One, wholly free, and beyond time.  We have no self except the one that is together with all other selves in Mind of Source. “We stand together, Christ and I, in peace And certainty of purpose.  And in Him Is His Creator, as He is in me.”   As Christmas approaches, the Workbook reminds us that the purpose of Christmas is the celebration of oneness.  It is not a birthday party.  What we love about this time year isn’t the crass commercialism of gift giving.  In fact, the pressure of...
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December 19, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles: Lesson 353   We add to Source through our experience and whether we know it or not, our experience is always in movement toward happiness. In this upside down mirror of a world, one person’s happiness may not align with another’s because the ego defines happiness as getting solely what it wants.   But what defines real happiness is not for the ego to say. God’s definition of happiness has no losers. “Your function is to add to God’s treasure by creating yours. You cannot find joy except as God does.” God makes no distinctions with joy and God’s joy cannot come at anything else’s expense.   Today’s lesson speaks to using the body for joy. Make no mistake; seen by the ego, this lesson is a direct attack because the ego is completely identified with the body. The idea of attack would have no appeal if we did not believe the body could benefit from it. Take a moment and consider this if you will. The body IS vulnerability and fear in form.   Depression is always the result when we equate ourselves solely with the body. This is the logical outcome...
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December 18, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 352 The world we have created here on “earth” is an upside down mirror of reality.  I know this is hard to imagine.  Suffice it to say we cannot depend upon this world to tell us what we are.  Actually, we can’t rely on our minds much either. My mind will tell me only that I am an agglomeration of past events that have led me to this point.  I am so, so much more. Now there is one thing in this upside down mirror of a world that CAN ground me in truth:  the awareness that I am 100% in charge of my own energy.  I get to decide how I want to respond to everything that is in front of me.  And I can also choose to know this:  everything that is in front of me, I have called to me to experience. But there is one thing I am NOT in charge of, and that is the will of another.  The gift of free will is universal.  Mind of God contains every possible experience.  I do not get to decide which ones are agreeable and which are not.  When...
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December 17, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 351   The final rubric of the year asks, “What am I?”  And the answer is, “I am God’s Son, complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love.”  If this were the only thing I learned in my year of lessons, it would be healing enough.  When I know what I am it changes everything.  I know what I am and see the whole world differently.  I know what I am and accept responsibility for my self.  I know what I am and I see who you are.  “My sinless brother is my guide to peace.” My sinful brother is my guide to pain. And which I choose to see I will behold.”   Each one of us is living her moment of expression.  It’s called life.   And each one of us is loved by the divine whatever form our expression may take.  So long as I know you are worthy of love, I align to the possibility that I am also worthy.  How I am willing to see you is a direct reflection of how I am willing to see myself. Now this does not mean I...
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December 16, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles: Lesson 350   As this Christmas season approaches we are called to remember what miracles are and what forgiveness really is. A miracle is the instant I remember who I am and hold that memory like a light within.   Forgiveness is not ever, for any reason, forgiving someone for something they have “done” to you. How can someone do something to Word of God in form? We are powerful, immutable, and when we remember what we are, we can know what forgiveness truly is.   I have created my life and my circumstances down to every last detail because I am Word of God in form. Nothing that happens TO me has not been created BY me and does not have my approval, because I am Word of God in form. I am asked to sacrifice nothing in my learning of this truth. And everything I forgive is returned to me, and that is how I remember I am whole and free and I am truly Word of God in form.   What I forgive becomes a part of me because forgiveness ends the dream of separation. You are part of me....
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December 15, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 349   Words are a poor replacement for Knowing.  Thinking and speaking communicate only partial truth.  Knowing is felt as direct experience. “Today I let Christ’s vision look upon All things for me and judge them not, but Each one a miracle of love instead.”   How is this lesson to be experienced?  It’s not so hard:  give yourself the experience of giving everything the freedom to be itself without judging it.  “Thus do I obey the law of love, and give what I would have to make my own.”     I give freedom to have my own. I give light to know it.  I am free to skip down the street if that is what’s called for.  I am free to decide nothing that happens can harm me today.  I am free to ignore my neighbor’s angry mood or the fact that all hell seems to be breaking out in the world.  It’s not that I don’t care, but I am seeing it all through eyes that know none of it makes any difference because it’s not true.  Does that sound naïve or unrealistic?   Christ’s vision is not some...
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December 14, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 348   “I have no cause for anger or for fear, For You surround me.  And in every need That I perceive, Your grace suffices me.”   When I am able to see that every single instant of anger, fear, or disappoint in another’s behavior or choices always stems from their immaturity, or my own, rather than their unkindness, or mine, it becomes much harder not to learn the lesson of forgiveness. – Tut   Only a difference in maturity seems to separate us.  Young souls believe their thoughts.  Older souls question their thoughts.  And really old souls know thoughts are the building blocks of this entire world and none of them are true.    All real thought is shared and the medium of shared thought is love.  Be still and feel your way into the field of grace that surrounds every cell, every molecule, and every atom in your body. This seeming emptiness is the field of love.  Feel its vibration.  It is alive with life! It is light and it is the richest womb of darkness and it is what we are....
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December 13, 2015 BlogA Course in Miracles: Lesson 347   The abilities we possess here are only shadows of our real strength. Our real strength is known in unity and lovingkindness. Despite our apparent assuredness, no one has really been sure of anything since the illusion of separation was accepted as reality. This is why anger and judgment are always mistakes born of fear. “Anger must come from judgment. Judgment isThe weapon I would use against myself,To keep the miracle away from me.”   Miracles are not needed anywhere except here, where the belief in separation requires them. Who would NOT feel angry and judgmental if they thought separation was real? Who would not feel abandoned by God if they believed this world represented the only available truth?   Traditional scripture tells us we were created in the “image” and “likeness” of God. But “image” and “likeness” have been misinterpreted to be OF THE BODY. We were created in Thought, not in form. It is in thought that our reality lies and that our “likeness” to God Is. There IS nothing BUT thought and this is why it is our thoughts about what we are what require correction.    Anger and...
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December 11, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 345   What is a miracle but a correction of thought?  A miracle is not a slight of hand.  It does not create or change “reality.”  It merely looks on the insanity of the world and sees what is false.  It undoes the error of perception by showing it for what it is.  This morning I awoke with a sense of knowing that today there is nothing I need do but stand back and experience everything as it is.  No one can steal my peace from me; only I can only give it away.  In as many moments as possible, today I will choose to remember I am free.  What a miracle this thought is! Everyone is responsible for his or her own moment.  Yet too often I get caught up in others’ reactions to reality and lose myself in theirs.  For me, it is a gift of great proportion to remember yet again that I am free to make my own choice.  Does this sound like separation?  In a way it is, but it is only separating from the dream.  If you are dreaming of fear I cannot dream it with...
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December 10, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles: Lesson 344   There are laws we do not see because they govern spiritual reality – a reality that is more “significant” than the one we take for granted here. Consider it this way: what exists in two dimensions (a line and a point) is contained within three dimensions (a line, a point, and height and width). What exists in four dimensions contains the three below it, and what exists in five contains the four below it, and so on. Every higher dimension contains the ones below it.   But what is the reality of these higher dimensions and what are the laws by which they function? Certainly the laws must be different than ours and yet they must also contain ours since each higher dimension contains the ones below it.   A Course in Miracles tells us there are laws of spirit, and they contain and supersede the laws of 3-D. When we leave 3-D by leaving the body these higher laws become obvious to us. But that doesn’t mean we should not learn them here. Indeed it is our purpose to learn them here. Life is the curriculum and everyone takes...
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