[acimlessons_list] Lesson 243 - August 31
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Tue Aug 30 06:04:19 EDT 2005
+ COMMENTARIES ON LESSONS FROM THE WORKBOOK OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES
+ by Allen Watson, with Practice Summaries by Robert Perry,
+ of The Circle of Atonement
+ Visit our website at http://www.circleofa.org/index.php
Lesson 243 * August 31
"TODAY I WILL JUDGE NOTHING THAT OCCURS."
See complete instructions in a separate document. A short summary:
* READ the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
* PRAY the prayer, perhaps several times.
* MORNING AND EVENING: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind
* HOURLY REMEMBRANCE: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* FREQUENT REMINDERS: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
* READ THE "WHAT IS" SECTION slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice suggestion: Think of some situation that has been upsetting you,
and repeat the following lines:
<I do not know what this means,
Because meaning is supplied by context,
And I do not see the whole context for this.
The whole context for this is> the< whole--totality, infinity.
Yet I see only bits of my perception.
I do not know what this means>.
If attempting to practice today's lesson does nothing else, it will show me
just how constantly my mind <is> judging. The eventual goal, of course, is
to truly relinquish all judgment, and to allow the Holy Spirit to judge
everything for us. Letting go of judgment is a key to transcending the ego:
"The ego cannot survive without judgment, and is laid aside accordingly"
"I will be honest with myself today" (1:1). The Course teaches us that
letting go of judgment is simply learning to be honest with ourselves. This
lesson is paralleled in the Manual:
It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not
judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up
what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion
of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that
judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it.
So giving up judgment is simply being honest about the fact that I <cannot>
judge. To judge accurately I would have to know many things that "must
remain beyond my present grasp" (1:2). I would have to know "the whole"
(1:3) just from what my limited perception is telling me. And I can't do
that. So any judgment I make has to be an illusion, no more valid than a
Still--just watch yourself doing it! Our minds automatically categorize
every person we see. We evaluate their clothes, their grooming, their sexual
attractiveness, the appropriateness of their behavior, the way they walk,
and on and on. We get up, see the sunshine, and say, "What a nice day!" or
we see rain and say, "What miserable weather!" We read a book and tell a
friend what a "great book" it is. We take a bite of food and instantly judge
it. The ego mind seems to do little else but judge. Just watch yourself.
That isn't going to stop overnight, if ever. What we can do, however, is to
become aware of these judgments constantly going on and realize that they
are without any real meaning. We can tell the ego, "Thank you for sharing,"
and choose to realize that we don't really know what anything means or how
to react to it, despite what the ego is telling us. We can turn instead to
our inner guidance. We can "leave creation free to be itself" (2:1) without
our constant interference. We can bring our judgments to the Holy Spirit and
ask Him to heal our minds. And, perhaps most important of all, we can simply
<desire> that judgment be undone. In the end, that desire is all it takes:
Vision would not be necessary had judgment not been made. Desire now its
whole undoing, and it is done for you. (T-20.VIII.1:5-6)
Undoing is not your task, but it <is> up to you to welcome it or not.
Don't worry about <how> your judgments can be undone. Don't try to undo them
yourself. Just desire that they be undone; just welcome the undoing. That is
all, and the Holy Spirit will do it for you.
What Is the World?
"The world was made as an attack on God" (2:1). That is probably one of the
most shocking statements in <A Course in Miracles>. It puts to bed any idea
that perhaps the world was, at least partly, created by God; God would not
create an attack on Himself. The world is the ego's attempt to replace and
displace God, and to provide us with an alternative satisfaction.
In Chapter 23, Section II, the Text speaks of "The Laws of Chaos," the ego's
laws. It tells us that these laws are what make the world real; it says,
"These <are> the principles which make the ground beneath your feet seem
solid" (T-23.II.13:5). The ego's laws are what made the world.
What of the world's beauty? What of the glitter of the stars, the fragile
beauty of a flower, the majesty of an eagle in flight? Nothing but glitter,
a shiny surface hiding the death-rot underneath. "Kill or be killed" is the
law of this world. Beneath the lovely, glittering surface of the ocean lies
a world of sharp teeth, cruel deception, and constant warfare, where life
consists of eating some things and avoiding being eaten by others.
"Can you paint rosy lips upon a skeleton, dress it in loveliness, pet it and
pamper it, and make it live?" (T-23.II.18:8). "There is no life outside of
The world symbolizes fear, which is the absence of love. "Thus, the world
was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could
be apart from Him" (2:4). The ego made the world as a place to hide out from
God, to get away from Him. Yes, we can find symbols of God in nature, and we
should; true perception sees nothing but love in all things. But that means
we see Him in tornadoes and earthquakes as well as in flowers and birds. It
means we see Him in everything because He is in our minds. But at its root,
this world is a place where God is not. That is why the ego made it. That is
our purpose in coming here, as egos. And we egos did a pretty good job;
people have been trying to "prove" the existence of God within the context
of this world for millennia, and nobody has ever done so except, perhaps, to
the satisfaction of a few who were already inclined to believe. Finding God
<in> the world is quite a stretch. The world does a far better job of hiding
God than it does of demonstrating Him.
What is the message in all of this for us? Remember, "The world is false
perception" (1:1). It is not the truth. The picture of the world,
symbolizing fear and attack, is the picture of the ego's thoughts. "It is
born of error" (1:2). This world is not what we want. We cannot attempt to
cling to its "better" parts and forget about the horror all around us. We
take it whole or let it all go. And so, we can learn to look upon the world
with love--all of it. Loving it gives it the only value it has (see
T-12.VI.3:1-3). With forgiveness, we look past the messages of hate and fear
it constantly tries to give us, and see there, as well as in the more
"pleasing" aspects, the universal call for love.
You do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of
it you look upon with love. This gives it the only reality it will ever
have. Its value is not in itself, but yours is in you. As self-value comes
from self-extension, so does the perception of self-value come from the
extension of loving thoughts outward. Make the world real unto yourself, for
the real world is the gift of the Holy Spirit, and so it belongs to you.
+ Commentary by Allen Watson
+ Practice Summary: Robert Perry
+ Available in book format from The Circle
+ of Atonement (Vol. 1 reprint due by fall of 2005, write us for info)
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