On May 8, 2016, which was Mother's Day, Rev. Kelly Hallock at the Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA gave a talk to those gathered for the Sunday Service. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of that talk.
Good morning. It's so good to be here. It is kind of interesting. I interviewed for this job as Assistant Minister in November. One of the things I said when I interviewed was, "I feel drawn to teach." Yet things kept happening. I was supposed to teach in February, and that didn't work. I had a back injury. So I said "Okay, I'll teach on Mother's Day. That will be pretty easy." It was funny when I first signed up for it, I thought back to when I had been going to a different church last year. I thought I'll do the lesson I've always heard on Mother's Day which is about the Divine Feminine. It was about two weeks after I signed up, I went, "Oh…. that's not A Course in Miracles concept. Oops!"
Okay. So I got to start again. I thought, "Well I'll talk about what A Course in Miracles says about motherhood, about women, the feminine. Then I had one of those "oopsie" moments again. I knew it wasn't in A Course in Miracles much, but when I started looking – I did a search online – I found out the Original Edition of A Course in Miracles actually never goes to the feminine. It never talks about mothers, or females, or women. There's not a single quote in the Original Edition. I did find one in the Clarification of Terms which is in the Foundation for Inner Peace edition, but it wasn't here in the Original Edition. So I really considered, why is that?
I didn't ever fully get an answer to that question, but I'll share a little bit of my experience with you. Several authors I read talked about Jesus or Helen Schucman – whoever you want to say A Course in Miracles was written by – that there was a redefining of terms in the Course. Terms such as "Son of God" doesn't just mean Jesus any more. Son of God means everyone. These authors talked about redefining "salvation" and redefining "atonement." Then a lot of these author said, "Well, it's the same thing with the masculine. When Jesus says ‘him' or ‘man' it's inclusive."
I will say, initially I said, "Well okay." Then I realized that every single author who said that – was a man. (laughter) All the female authors who talked about it never really came up with an answer as to why there's no feminine in A Course in Miracles. So I looked at that thinking, "You know, I understand the Course does redefine a lot of terms that we look at. But I thought if I wrote or said "God loves all white people," how would people who are experiencing that they are different nationalities, of different races feel about that? Would they think, "Oh yeah, that's inclusive." I thought a lot of people probably wouldn't.
For me, I'm wondering if I'm quite ready to say that the masculine means everybody. I don't know. But I said, "Okay God. I know you've got me doing this lesson for a reason this week. What is it? Because I don't know what you want me to say." It wasn't what I planned and suddenly I started coming up with the same lesson over and over, which is kind of ironic because it's actually next Sunday's lesson. Rev. Peter is talking next week so hopefully he's not going to talk on it too much. We will warn him that I stole his lesson this week. I came across it when I was doing some reading. Then Rev. Tony shared an email with me we had received about the recent Conference in Las Vegas. It talked about the same lesson, which is Lesson 135. Then I thought, okay, this seems to be coming up a lot. I think I might be talking about Lesson 135 for Mother's Day. Then about two days after I thought that, I got in my car and there was a Jacob Glass CD in my car player that turned on when I turned on the engine. (Jacob Glass is a well known ACIM teacher from Southern CA) Jacob from the CD said, "So, we're talking about Lesson 135 this week." So I got it. We're talking about Lesson 135 which was some of the reading we read earlier today. So I thought, "Okay, we'll go with it."
Lesson 135 is a long lesson. I'm going to read you some quotes from it but not all of it because it is the longest lesson in A Course in Miracles. There are several paragraphs then it says, "A healed mind does not plan." (OrEd.WkBk.135.12) That, in itself, made me laugh because I'm thinking about the planning for this Mother's Day teaching today that didn't work. It says, "A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans which it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done and then proceeds to do it." (OrEd.WkBk.135.12)
So I thought, it's a healed mind and it's a lower case "mind." So it's not talking about that God does this or that Spirit does this. It's saying the mind who we see ourselves as. When that mind has been healed we stop planning. We stop trying to control what we're doing. It doesn't say that there is no plan, but it says we begin to listen to the plans. We listen to what is given to us that's not our own. What's not our own? If it's not ours, it's from God. It's from Spirit. So we listen to that Voice, and the Course says we wait to be taught – and then proceeds to move ahead. There's no "but" in this lesson it just says "wait." The plans will be good.
"The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think that it will be provided for unless it makes its own provisions .... What it has learned before becomes the basis for its future goals." (OrEd.WkBk.135.16-17) So again, the Lesson is talking about the mind that hasn't been healed yet. The Lesson says that mind is planning for stuff based on controlling the future. I thought, "Isn't that true!" That is always what we want to do. I'm always trying to control. Every time I set up a plan I'm trying to make things the way I want them to be in the future. So I thought, "Well, why?" Because if I don't know what's going to happen, I get scared. I forget that I can trust. The Lesson says there is Spirit Who is going to give me the plan. But if I don't have the plan I go into fear because my mind thinks it won't be taken care of unless it takes care of itself. I think a lot of that is based on how we perceive our past experiences.
There are two types of reasoning. There's what's called deductive reasoning, which is based on laws, rules and there's inductive reasoning which is what we usually live by. Inductive reasoning says, "I'm going to base my decision, what I think is going to happen, on what I've experienced in the past." An easy example is, "It rained yesterday here in San Francisco. It rained the day before." Does that mean, 100%, that it's going to rain today? That's where inductive reasoning goes. It says, "Well it has to rain today because that's my experience."
We do that with our lives. We think, "I'm going to judge by past experiences. I'm going to say those past experiences were bad." Since those past experiences may not have been what I thought I wanted, now I think if I don't control the future it's going to be bad again. Yet the Course is saying that is not true. The Course is saying there is deductive reasoning, which is based on the rules. Know what we've got. It says. "What could you not accept if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present, and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?" (OrEd.WkBk.135.19)
That's the deductive reasoning. What would you think if you knew the rule that this is planned for your good? What are you going to expect of the future? The Course quotation says, "... all events, past, present, and to come" (OrEd.WkBk.135.19) It doesn't say, "Well the past – except for this one experience." ACIM is not saying the past "except for."
I went through a divorce about five years ago. I never thought I would go through a divorce. I was the good Christian girl who was never going to get divorced. That divorce was the most traumatic thing that could have happened at that point in my life. Can I accept that that had been planned for my good? Can I accept that my present is planned for my good?
I've shared with a few people recently that I spent about three years transforming my body. I was at the gym every day. I lost over 100 pounds. Then I ended up having surgeries to remove all the extra skin. I went through all that, and now I've regained about 30 pounds. I haven't regained everything, but I've regained ... maybe a little more than 30. We'll just say that. (laughter) That's been hard because I look at my body and say, "How can this be for my good?" This is not the current situation I would have chosen. I would like to be a size 8. I was almost to a size 8 but I didn't quite make it.
So Lesson 135 asks, can you accept that everything currently happening to you has been planned? Can you accept that the future has also been planned? I especially love that it doesn't just say it's "planned." It says, it's "… gently planned." It's not going to be harsh. God is not looking out to "get" you. Spirit isn't thinking, "Ooh, I want them to learn this lesson, so I'm going to make it really difficult so they get it." Lesson 135 says "It is gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?" (OrEd.WkBk.135.19) That's hard to listen to sometimes – that it's for my good.
I think about the Christian teachings I grew up with. It wasn't just that I was a sinner because I did bad. I was a sinner because I was born that way. I was bad because I was born, because that is what people are – they're sinners. That's the Christian teaching I had. I grew up, and eventually I did leave the Christian Church. I grew up and was in the professional world. At my job, a person would get their performance evaluation, and there would be this whole award preogram. If you got a good performance evaluation you got an award – money! They would tell everybody who got the awards, and who got the money.
I've learned to compare myself. I'm not as thin as I want. I'm the "fat" girl. How much judgment is there about our bodies? I'm not good enough. How can I expect good? Even sometimes we take stuff from the Course and make it to fit our plan. In some portions of the Course it talks about our belief that we've murdered God. Well if we've murdered God, goodness gracious, how could anything be for our good if we're doing that horribly? So we can take things from anywhere in our experience and make it for our unworthiness. Yet it says, "What could you not accept if you but knew that [it all was for] your good?" (OrEd.WkBk.135.19)
Lesson 135 says "Without defenses." (OrEd.WkBk.135.21) What are these "defenses?" Let's go back to the previous sentence. It's laying down the thought that we're not good enough. Let the defenses down. Stop saying "I'm not good enough." Be open. "Without defenses, you become a light which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own. … Your followers will join their light with yours, and it will be increased until the world is lighted up with joy." (OrEd.WkBk.135.21) Heaven gratefully wants to acknowledge us as Its own. Think of that. The Lesson is not saying Heaven wants to acknowledge what we've done. It says Heaven wants to acknowledge that we are Its own, and is gratefully going to do so. Then it says others will join with us. Separation is overcome. "The world is lighted up with joy." (OrEd.WkBk.135.21) Isn't that what we were just talking about at the Las Vegas Conference? "Change your mind. Change the world." (This was the theme at the 2016 International ACIM Conference held April 8-10.) So what's the changing of your mind? It's the letting down of the defenses of thinking I'm not good enough, that the world is out to get me, that God is out to get me. Let that down and then we can remember we are this light, this joy, and then others join with us and light up the world.
This is a good Lesson. I love Lesson 135! Ooh Spirit! Thank you for leading me to it! Two more quotes: "We make no plans for how it will be done but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty. … If there are plans to make you will be told of them. They may not be the plans you thought were needed nor indeed the answers to the problems which you thought confronted you." (OrEd.WkBk.135.22 .25) Again, what does it say? It's about our defenselessness. We have to let down the defenses. When we do we realize we don't need to make the plans anymore, because we don't know everything. We try to think we know everything. We don't. We know what we think we experienced in the past. How often have you said, "Oh this happened," and somebody else said, "No, it didn't. It happened differently." We have our perception of what happened in the past, and I sure know that I'm not able to see into the future. So it says we can't really make our own plans, but we're given the plans. We're given the plans for the things we didn't know we even needed.
Lesson 135 says, "Heaven asks nothing .... You give up nothing in these times today when undefended you present yourself to your Creator as you really are." (OrEd.WkBk.135.26) How are you? You are good. You are perfect. You are how God created you. So "… you present yourself to your Creator as you really are.… Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you can not conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning." (OrEd.WkBk.135.26 and 28) Think of that one! I love to plan. When I go on vacation I have every tourist activity pre-paid for before I leave. I'm that kind of person. Yet it says, think of all the happiness that can come to you without the planning. Be open to the miracle that can come into your life.
"Learn today. And all the world will take this giant stride and celebrate your Easter time with you." (OrEd.WkBk.135.28) Now it goes back to our lesson for today, Lesson 128 that told us "The world I see holds nothing that I want." (OrEd.WkBk.128) Well guess what? Now Lesson 135 says, "… you give up nothing in these times." (OrEd.WkBk.135.26) Why do we give up nothing? Because there is nothing in the world that we want. There is nothing that the physical is going to satisfy. I'd like to lose 30 pounds. But guess what happens? When we lose 30 pounds we think what? Well if I could lose five more. You lose five more and you think, "Well I lost five more, but now my eyes are a little droopy. Maybe I should get an eyelift." Then you get the eyelift done and you think, "Well those are okay, but now .…" It just keeps going. When we engage in what we're trying to make the world be for us, we don't get to the happiness that God offers us. So Lesson 135 says come undefended, as you really are, and don't try to shape the day because our dreams are so inadequate compared to what God has for us. God has so many more amazing things, if we're open to allowing that good to come into our lives.
I love that it says, "… all the world will take this giant stride and celebrate your Easter time with you." (OrEd.WkBk.135.28) It doesn't say we're celebrating Good Friday. It says we're celebrating the Easter.
Initially I thought this lesson maybe fell on Easter sometimes, but it is way too late in the book. It isn't talking about Easter, the holiday. No Easter bunnies. It's too late. We're in May here. So what is the Easter time? It's the resurrection. It's when you move into a new life. It's when you move into a new birth.
Again, I was thinking how does this tie into Mother's Day with the new birth? Think of a little child. Does the child know at three years old that they are "bad" because they have green pants on while the other kid has on a red jumper? Three year olds aren't thinking that way. They are thinking in innocence. They're just in the moment. They're having fun. The extent of their planning is, "Mom, I want a grilled cheese sandwich." Even when Mom doesn't give them a grilled cheese sandwich if they're having a good day, they will still trust Mom. They are going to be happy, because Mom fed them whatever Mom fed them. Mom took them to the park. Mom took care of all the planning for their day. Mom picked out clothes for them to wear whether it was green pants or red jumper.
I think that's what God is for us … God is our trustworthy Mother. This is interesting to me. Remember I said there is one place in the Clarification of Terms where Mother is mentioned. But I actually really like a different quote about mother from Helen Schucman's poetry. This is one of the last things she wrote. It says, "He loves you as a mother loves her child; her only one; the only one she has; her all in all; extension of herself; as much a part of her as breath itself." (The Gifts of God) So I think maybe the feminine wasn't used in A Course in Miracles becasue Helen wasn't ready for that at the time. However later on, Helen acknowledges that God acts as our Mother in a lot of ways. God is the Loving One showing us the plans and taking care of us. And we just have to let down our defenses and trust.
Thank you. (applause) ♥
Rev. Kelly Hallock is CMC's 89th minister. She currently works full time as the CMC's Assistant Minister (01.21.2018). She is also on the CMC Board of Diretors. She was ordained by the CMC on Sep. 13, 2015.
c/o Community Miracles Center
San Francisco, CA 94147
This article appeared in the June 2016 (Vol. 30 No.4) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.