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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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October 30, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles: Lesson 303   The presence of Love is both a conscious knowing and a vibratory field. Love is the highest form of creation because it objects to nothing - knowing nothing is outside Itself. Knowing I create my own reality I must ask, “What is it I am giving myself in my creation? What am I creating with, Love or fear?”   When I believe I am WORTHY of Love, and I begin to create FROM Love, everything changes. What I bring into material form is now an expression of the divine. What I consider unworthy I am putting outside the jurisdiction of God. And what I put outside is very powerful because what I keep outside of God’s dominion are the very things that keep ME OUTSIDE. This is how I create in fear and not in Love. And the very things I decide I do not wish to see expressed as my creation become the very things I call to myself in fear and judgment. It's just physics. The equation has to balance.   This is why I MUST claim my divinity. I cannot create in Love without it. I MUST...
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October 29, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 302   “Where darkness was I look upon the light.”   I will be blunt:  my husband is a snorer.  Not every night and not all night.  But most nights, especially when he’s lying on his back, his throat closes on the in-breath and it sounds like he’s being strangled to death.  This doesn’t bother him at all.  It drives me crazy.    I’m sharing this by way of saying the lessons of A Course arrive at our doorstep all the time, wrapped in many different packages.  And asking myself, “What would the Christ do?” is not always helpful.  Somehow, I can’t imagine Jesus being regularly awaken by a snoring partner and having to ask yet again, “Honey, would you please turn on your side?” It isn’t easy trying to be mindful when you’ve been woken for the 5th time in an hour. But it is a great time to practice.  Being mindful asks me to stay in the awareness that my partner is not purposefully “attacking” me and therefore no “defense” is required on my part.  He is not “guilty” of snoring, nor am I for asking him to turn over...
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October 28, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 301    “What is the second coming?”   This question is the foundation of the next ten lessons.  It is one of the most significant questions in Christian thought.  A Course in Miracles waits until the 301st lesson to address it because all the prior lessons lead up to the answer, which is both simple and profound.    The “second coming” has no significant leader, and it involves no church or institution of any kind.  The “second coming” involves no judgment or retribution.  No one is cast off or punished.  Indeed such thinking is antithetical to its arrival.  The “second coming” is nothing more than the correction of a mistake and the return of sanity.  It is the moment in which humankind realizes its own oneness with each other, all things, and its Source.  It is the moment in which forgiveness is extended without exception and without reserve.  This is why our function here is to learn forgiveness.  Repeat, this is why our ONLY function here is to learn forgiveness.   We are assisted all along the way in the lesson of forgiveness.  We need to be.  The illusion of separation is deeply...
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October 27, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 300                                    “Only an instant does this world endure.” Our perception of time is false at both the scientific and metaphysical levels.  Linear time is an illusion of 3 dimensional space; it is not a universal truth.  This is not a new idea but one that was first proposed by mathematician and physicist Hermann Minkowski.   In 1907, Minkowski discovered a mathematical model that combined space and time into a single continuum. He called his model “space-time” or the “space-time continuum.”  It has been used ever since to accurately describe and predict the uniform workings of the universe at both supergalactic and subatomic levels.  In space-time, all possible events exist concurrently, side by side.  On a metaphysical level time is also described as non-linear.  The admonition to pay attention to the present moment, the “now”, is emphasized in nearly every spiritual tradition.   A Course in Miracles is no exception:  “For NOW is the closest approximation of eternity this world can offer.  It is in the reality of NOW, without past or future, that the beginning of the appreciation of eternity lies.” The ego lives with guilt in the past and fear of the...
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October 26, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles: Lesson 299   The world of quantum physics got a big boost this week when researchers at the Delft University of Technology confirmed physicist John Bell’s theory of quantum entanglement.  Einstein called quantum entanglement “spooky action at a distance” but he didn’t support Bell’s theory because he believed nothing could travel faster than the speed of light.  It appears something does.    Quantum entanglement is the tip of the iceberg.  It opens whole new areas of thought.  It is says we have to accept that two particles at opposite ends of the universe can be entangled in such a way that anything you do to one instantly affects the other.  In other words, the particles behave as one. One thing the Delft experiment doesn’t do is contradict the oldest spiritual concept on earth, which is the idea of Oneness.  What was created from One remains One even as It is expressed with unlimited variety.  Nothing is not entangled with the One from which all things arise.  Oneness is immanent in every thing.   Quantum entanglement is reflected in today’s lesson.  It says:    “Eternal holiness abides in me.”   Eternal is unending, unlimited...
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October 25, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 298   Do not be put off by the wording of today’s lesson.  It is a statement of intention.  It is a way of standing in your worth and saying, “I know who I am.  I am the one in authority who comes to claim her Self.” “I love You, Father, and I love Your Son.” Do you feel just a bit of resistance to these words?  If so, simply acknowledge the resistance.  The words are less important than the claim you are making.  The claim you are making is for yourself.  It is a way of saying, “I know who I am. And I am in agreement with the divine Love that has created me.” When I claim my Love I am naming my inheritance.  I do not know my inheritance through thinking about it.  Thinking is a mental process.  It is a way of managing information and it is useful.  There are many, many ways to process information and some are cleverer than others.  But knowing is not mental, it is intentional and it does not occur solely with the brain.  Knowing is a form of inherited wisdom we all...
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October 24, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 297   “Forgiveness is the only gift I want.”   “Forgiveness is the only gift I give because it is the only gift I want.”  My knowing the truth of this lesson is an event.  It is not something I understand and then nothing happens.  It changes everything I experience.    “When I know I am the one who is allowed to forgive, who is able to forgive, who is able to transform her history through a new idea, then I will say, “I can be free,” and I will lift my consciousness above the wall that has created the separation in which I exist.” –Paul Selig.    I am allowed to grow and change.  I am allowed to know I am forgiven.  When I know I am forgiven, I am free to awaken to my own accountability.   Knowing my accountability without fear or guilt, I become aware of what I did not know before.  And as I become aware of what I did not know before, doors open and the path to Love widens.   Everything I give, I give to myself.  Every experience I have is my choice.  When I...
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October 23, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 296   Yesterday’s lesson asked us to see through the eyes of the Self, the part of us that knows Its connection to God.  Some call this aspect of God that is immanent with each of us, the Holy Spirit.  So, I spent some time trying to imagine what the Holy Spirit “sees” through me.  How would It’s vision differ from mine and how might practicing the lesson change my experience?   First, I practiced seeing openly.  I noticed any judgment that attached itself to what I saw.  It was surprising how quickly judgment and comparison arose in my mind and how much lighter it felt when I set them aside.  I tried to look at everything as it was exactly in the moment.  Color was more intense and little things I normally wouldn’t see became apparent.    How casually my eye usually falls upon the things within its view!   I practiced trying to see the oneness of things.  The movement of birds from the tree, to the feeder, and back again began to appear as a dance of light between the birds, the tree, and the feeder.  I saw each person...
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October 22, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 295   “The Holy Spirit speaks through me today.”   “You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so.  You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful.  Is it not time you brought these facts together and made sense of them?” A Course in Miracles is nothing if not logical.  Is it not time to “bring the facts together” and realize separation is misperception? The search to know my self must end in knowing I am part of a whole.    We have more than a little tendency to fragment and focus only on the parts, thinking it a better way to understand the world.  We separate and name, we take apart, and put together, believing this means we know the truth of a thing. But Spirit knows Itself whole.  It sees both sides of the equation and so must I if I am to know my Self.  Source needs me to see my wholeness and speak for it.  When I see it, I can teach it.  In teaching it, I learn it.    Let the...
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October 21, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles Lesson:  293   Today I will remember I am not my body.  My body is a symbol I have created.  It seems solid.  It appears to contain me.  It seems to BE me.  But I am dreaming this body.  Its form is my imagination and I am sleeping still, even as I seem to awaken from a dream and move my body into a ‘new’ day.   My body is not ‘good’ or ‘bad.’  Only my belief it IS me has consequences that seem hurtful.  I stub my toe and call out in pain.  The effects of aging seem reflected in the mirror.  The truth is, my body is a wholly neutral thing.  I am but using an imaginary form and calling it my self.  My self, as spirit, is vastly more real than any form could possibly be.   “My body is a wholly neutral thing.”   God did not create this body, but God is in it.  God is in every thought I have.  I am God’s Holy Child, an Aspect of the Mind of All.  Not one thought I have does not contain some reflection of my Source.   The...
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October 20, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 293   “All fear is gone.  Only love is here.”   Over 50 years ago a young psychologist was “instructed” to write the words “Projection makes perception.”  The “instruction” came from the same voice that scripted the entire 669 pages of A Course in Miracles.  In the years since, quantum physicists around the world have scientifically upheld the idea that projection does, in fact, create perception.  The confirmation that quantum particles are altered through the simple act of observation has fundamentally altered our perception of how the material world works.  Most of us just don’t know it yet.   Projection makes perception.  This is what makes today’s lesson so important.  “All fear is gone.  Only love is here.”  If I can perceive this lesson to be true and daily act from its truth, my world CANNOT NOT change.    Consciousness has consequence!  It has creative potential in the material world.  When I think with fear, I create with fear.   When I think with love, I create with love.  Awareness of my thoughts and feelings is the first step in the creation of my life.   It is not God’s will that we...
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October 19, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 292   “A happy outcome to all things is sure.” This lesson is essentially telling us there are no exceptions, alternatives, or opposites to God.  And being Love, being Joy, being unbounded Creation, all things of Its Self must also be happy.  The fact that we haven’t figured this out doesn’t change the truth one iota.  It just means we aren’t seeing it. We aren’t seeing it because we are completely attached to and embedded in a world of form and we have forgotten this illusion is our creation.  Lost in mental thought we have left Knowing in the dust.  We believe the source of knowing lies in the brain, which is form, and that without it we would know nothing. “Those of you who cling to the earth and the belief it is real are doing nothing more than cherishing your own creativity…Form itself is nothing but an echo of your Spirit, and that is the reality of what you are.” – Brent Haskell, PhD., D.O. Journey Beyond Words To BE in this world and imagine a world beyond this one, more real than this one, is to stand on the...
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October 18, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 291   “What is the Real World?”  This is the subject of the next ten lessons and they are happy lessons indeed.  The Real World has a greater significance than this world because it encompasses and supersedes this one.   But the Real World appears invisible to those who hold the belief that what is real MUST be in form.  It remains invisible to the mind that perceives separation as reality.  How can you Know the reality of Oneness when you have separated from it?  This world is based on the idea that events and things exist outside us and we observe them as apart from us - “out there.”   A Course in Miracles tells us that what is actually happening is the opposite.  There is nothing outside – it is all inside. “Projection makes perception.”  This world of form and linear time is our own fantastic creation but it is not the basis of Reality.  What is Real can be known, but not with physical vision.  It appears as a feeling sense within the mind that listens in peace to the small, still Voice for God.  The Voice has many names, but...
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October 17, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 290   If I bring the past with me, it colors everything I see.  The past brought into the present becomes a lense through which I view the world, and nothing I see is seen anew. The present moment is the clear space out of which all life unfolds.  It is the most precious thing we have.   Freedom is within it.  The promise of salvation is contained within it.  How are you right now, in this moment?  If you are reading this, then in this very moment you must be all right.  You must be safe.  You must have everything you need right now.  Perhaps this recognition makes you happy, or simply content?  “Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see.” This lesson is not new.  Most of us have heard of it in one form or another.  We just don’t practice consistently.  We are well intentioned, then things happen and we forget.  A strong emotion or an uncomfortable thought can pull us right out the present and into the past or future.  For most of us futility sets in as we seem to fail...
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October 16, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 289   Here we are on Lesson 289 of the Workbook.  Pretty impressive, I’d say.  Ironically, today’s lesson calls us all the way back to the first week of lessons in which we learned “I don’t know the meaning of anything I see.”   Why don’t we know?  Because everything we see carries the past with it.  Few of us continuously practice the art of seeing things anew – as they are now, in the present moment.   Old ideas are difficult to change because everything we believe to be true is rooted in time.  The past literally teaches us what the present is and predicts what the future will be.  We are taught to value the past as a learning tool.  And it is true we can evolve through this learning.  But cleaving to the past is also the ego’s work.  Has the Middle East evolved beyond its thousand year wars over the same original argument?  Are you still grinding over something someone said, or didn’t say, a decade ago?   Holding to the past is also how we stop learning.  It is why we stop seeing.  It forms our safe...
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October 15, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 288   Imagine you are a in a balloon and your greatest wish is rise as high as possible, so you can explore the whole world.  You see yourself floating easily above the highest peaks, witness to the beautiful life below.  It is perfectly safe in the balloon and the journey beckons, but there is a problem.  A number of sandbags are attached to the basket holding it down.  You probably know where I’m going with this.   The sandbags holding me down are nothing more than guilt, shame, and judgment – all of which are low frequency bundles of thought and emotion.  I cannot rise in spiritual frequency as long as I identify with these thoughts and emotions.  I want to rise.  What do I do?  I take a leap of faith and give them up.  What am I giving them up to?  A Course uses the term the “Holy Spirit” – but what the heck is that?    The Holy Spirit is nothing more than the Self who knows its Oneness.  The Self is my Real Self.  It is the more significant part of me that knows it is joined...
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October 14, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 287   The language of A Course in Miracles can be archaic.  Its use of masculine pronouns and Shakespearean tone is challenging.  But the meaning behind the words is far more important than the words themselves.  This is true for today’s lesson.   “You are my goal, my Father.  Only You.”   What is the point of being here but to find out who I am?  In truth, this is my goal and my only goal.   It is my responsibility toward my self to know my Self.  Everything else comes next.  Even God comes next, for God can come only to those who know themselves.    To know my Self requires that I see God within my self and know this is who I am.  It also requires me to know every thought, feeling, and belief I hold in every moment.  I must KNOW MYSELF.   Most people living on this planet are not prepared to do this. But we must begin, slowly at first, then more consistently with practice.  The Love that supports us in this effort is unconditional.   Knowing unconditional love requires intelligence.  Not the brainy kind of mental acuity,...
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October 13, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 286 The lesson today will be very brief.  It asks the question, “Do you believe you can control the thoughts in your own mind.”  If your answer is “No,” you may wish to consider then, who does?  If your answer is “Yes,” then consider if you are at peace now, in this moment? “The hush of heaven holds my heart today.” Quiet observation in this world is not a given, but it can be claimed.  The world promotes mental disarray because it is the only way the ego-mind can stay in control.  Lack of peace is its goal!  That all things unfold exactly as they should is recognized only in the stillness of a quietly observing mind.  Today is a day to claim your availability to peace.  The mind that is in discernment knows itself and is willing to say, “Yes, peace is something I want.  Yes, this is something that is possible.  I can claim it for myself. ”  There is always free will.  Conflict is possible only in doubt.  We doubt ourselves and seek control.  We doubt each other and seek control.  We doubt our Source and do not...
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October 11, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 284   “I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.”   I’m going to quote directly from the Workbook on this lesson and then I want to say what it means and what it doesn’t mean for me.  What it doesn’t mean is as important as what it does.   “Loss is not loss when properly perceived.  Pain is impossible.  There is no grief with any cause at all.  And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream.  This is the truth, at first to be but said and then repeated many times; and next to be accepted as but partly true; with many reservations.  Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as truth.”   What does this lesson mean? It is first a recognition that I am eternal, and being so nothing ever passes truly from my self.  All loss is a temporary perception, seen from a limited viewpoint.  Nothing is taken from us forever and  nothing can truly  hurt me.   Second, the lesson recognizes I learn in stages.  And I must forgive myself for taking the time to learn.  All experiences are lessons God...
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October 10, 2015 Blog A Course in Miracles:  Lesson 283   “My true Identity abides in You.”   When we are born we are given a name.  We learn to write our name in school and say, “This is who I am.”  Others observe our childish behavior.  “Jack is a budding artist,” they might say.   Or, “Francine has a mind like a steel trap.”  Over time, and with repetition, we slowly become our identity, and much of it is imposed upon us from the outside.  How we please others becomes who we are.  How we avoid punishment or ridicule becomes who we are.   How we win praise and adulation becomes who we are. We define ourselves by our history and rarely look back.  Our identity roots us in a sense of self.  It can be bothersome at times, but mostly it feels safe and secure.  But safety comes at a cost.  It limits change.  Have you ever had a moment where you’ve completely forgotten your own name?  I have, and in that instant there was just a hint of freedom.  I could be anybody.  I could choose.  Our identity is an agreement we have made and it can be amended.  Not...
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