[acimlessons_list] Lesson 347--December 13
allen at circleofa.org
Sun Dec 11 21:11:04 EST 2005
"Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is The weapon I would use
against myself, To keep the miracle away from me."
PRACTICE SUMMARY (See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II
>From the sublime heights of yesterday's lesson ("I would forget all
things except Your Love") we return to the level of our split mind, in
which we attack ourselves, keeping away the miracle with judgment and
attack. The previous lesson was miracle-mindedness; here we see why we
do not always experience that state of mind: We actively keep it away
from ourselves with judgment and attack. The process of the Course
involves learning complete honesty with ourselves. We learn to recognize
and admit the duplicity of our own minds:
"Father, I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my
will to have" (1:1).
"My will" is my right-mindedness, forgetting everything except God's
Love. And yet we seem to want something else, and to actively resist
having the Love of God flooding our minds.
I love this next couple of lines:
"Straighten my mind, my Father. It is sick" (1:2-3).
I love those lines because of their stark simplicity, and because of the
contrast they offer to the frothy denial of our inner darkness that is
prevalent in so many circles. The Course does not pull any punches. It
does not "throw pink paint" over our problems, as Marianne Williamson so
colorfully puts it (pun intended!). There are times when no other
assessment fits: Our minds are sick! It is sick to want what goes
against my true will, and to actively resist my own well-being.
Self-destruction is always pathological. When we look honestly at the
fact that we are literally pushing away our own peace of mind, by active
choices we make, it ought to be repugnant. When we see what we have been
doing, our saner self will say, "This is sick!"
And so we ask the Father to "straighten my mind." That always reminds me
of a science fiction book by Zenna Henderson, called "The People" (or
perhaps the title was "No Different Flesh"). In it there were certain
persons who could telepathically enter into another person's mind and
"sort" their thoughts, soothing their inner turmoil and pain. The idea
appealed to me so much that I used to pray, "Sort me, Father," when I
felt my thoughts in chaos and confusion. And it seemed to work! I was
pleasantly surprised to see this similar phrase here, validating my
experience. "Straighten my mind."
We enable the straightening of our minds by giving all our judgment to
the Holy Spirit and asking Him to judge for us (1:5). He sees what we
see, "and yet He knows the truth" (1:6). He is looking at the same
evidence I am looking at, but He knows the pain is not real; the
evidence means something entirely different to Him. To me, the evidence
of my eyes seems to prove that separation, pain, loss and death are
real. When I bring all this to Him and ask Him to straighten my mind, He
will show me that what I see does not mean what I think it means; He
will use what I thought proved my guilt to reveal my innocence.
"He gives the miracles my dreams would hide from my awareness" (1:8).
"Listen today. Be very still, and hear the gentle Voice for God assuring
you that He has judged you as the Son He loves" (2:1-2).
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? (Part 7)
"The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the
mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not
Faith. Yes, <A Course in Miracles> asks for faith, at least at the
beginning. "The miracle is taken <first> on faith." This is a fairly
traditional meaning for the word "faith." The American Heritage
Dictionary defines faith as, "Belief that does not rest on logical proof
or material evidence." And that is what is being asked of us. We are
being asked to receive the miracle (the change of perception, the vision
of our brother's innocence) without any "proof or material evidence." We
are being asked to look on devastation (such as sickness, or the harm
done by someone's unloving actions) and to believe that what we see is
false--without "material evidence."
This is not an easy thing to do, to believe in something we cannot see.
And yet, if our false perception has blinded us to reality, and we are
now perceiving the projections of our own minds in place of truth, then
obviously the truth is now something we do not see. And since what our
mind chooses to see is what we see, the mind <must> change before we can
perceive truly. We have to choose to change our mind <before we see the
evidence>, because, in order for the miracle to manifest, our minds must
first be "made ready to conceive of what [they] cannot see and [do] not
understand." In other words, we must make a choice on faith; we must
decide that we desire to see something we cannot now see and something
we do not understand.
This reminds me very much of those very early lessons in the Workbook,
Lessons 27 and 28: "Above all else I want to see" and "Above all else I
want to see things differently." That choice has to be made before we
can see anything. We must <want> to see in order to see. That is the
faith being talked about here. It is a choice, a decision we must make.
We must <want> to see our brother innocent. We must <want> only love. We
must be willing to see things differently. Only then will we see
COMMENTARIES ON LESSONS FROM THE WORKBOOK OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES
by Allen Watson, with Practice Summaries by Robert Perry
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