[acimlessons_list] Lesson 157 - June 6
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Sun Jun 5 09:55:30 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.com>
Lesson 157 - June 6
"Into His Presence would I enter now."
PURPOSE: To usher in the experience of Heaven. This will shed a light on
what you have learned and prepare you for what you will learn. A holy day, a
special time of promise, a crucial turning point in the curriculum, the
beginning of a new journey. It will transform your mind, usher in your
ministry and sanctify your body. Your only purpose now will be to bring to
the world the vision that reflects your experience. And you will be given
power to touch everyone with that vision.
MORNING/EVENING QUIET TIME: 5 minutes--at least; 10--better; 15 even better;
30 or more--best
Let your Self direct your practicing. Let today's idea light your mind and
bring it to a state of quiet anticipation and joy. Your mind will then go to
the highest reaches of learning, to the vision of Christ's shining face. And
then you will transcend even that. You will forget the world and walk into
eternity a while.
REMARKS: You have come far enough to experience this today. And, as you
faithfully practice each daily lesson, you will learn to experience this
more and more. As a result, all goals but this will fade away. Each time you
return from this experience, the world will be closer to the light, and you
will see the light more sure and distinct. Eventually, you will not return
in your current form.
HOURLY REMEMBRANCE: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if
circumstances do not permit)
Sit quietly and wait on Christ.
FREQUENT REMINDER: Repeat idea.
RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION: Whenever you feel tempted, repeat idea.
Thoughts on 157, 158: Experience and Vision
Today I'd like to share some thoughts based mainly on Lesson 157, but with
some references to 158 also. This lesson introduces a series of lessons
designed to lead us into the holy instant, which is a major goal of the
Workbook. From this point on, "every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings
you more swiftly to this holy place" (157.3:3).
The Course talks here of both an <experience> and of <vision> which results
from the experience. The holy instant contains a moment of
knowledge--something beyond all perception--from which we return with the
vision of Christ in our minds, which we can offer to everyone.
The experience spoken of here is simply entering the Presence of God. It is
"a different kind of feeling and awareness" (157.1:4) in which we "learn to
feel the joy of life" (157.1:6). It is called elsewhere the holy instant.
Lesson 157 also calls it "a touch of Heaven" (157.3:1) and a moment in which
we are left to our Self. It is an instant in which "the world is quietly
forgot, and Heaven is remembered for a while" (157.6:3). We leave time for a
moment and walk into eternity (157.3:2). It is not something we do
ourselves; the Holy Spirit, the "Giver of the happy dreams of life" and
"Translator of perception into truth" will lead us (157.8:2).
The vision spoken of is the result of the experience. This is not "A
vision," something that is seen, but "vision," a way of seeing. We are not
talking of some trance state, some appearance within our minds of mystical
sights. We are talking about a different way of seeing the world, a
different mechanism of sight, something other than the physical senses.
Eastern religion might talk about opening the Third Eye to indicate the same
sort of thing.
When we have experienced the holy instant, we have awakened a different way
of seeing. That new sort of vision does not disappear when we "come back to
the world," so to speak (157.7:1). It is only a figure of speech to say we
come back. We never left. Or perhaps better, since Heaven is what is real
and this world is the illusion, we never came here at all. What "comes back"
with us, into the dream, is the remembrance of God and Heaven, the
remembrance of what we saw in that holy instant. We continue to see glimpses
of it beyond the sight of the world, seeing the "real world" beyond the
world, and beyond that, Heaven.
Each (apparently separate) holy instant we experience strengthens this new
vision, this new mechanism of seeing. This is the purpose of the workbook's
recommendations for daily morning and evening periods of meditation; they
are practice sessions, exercises to develop our new vision. We are meant, of
course, to exercise this vision constantly during the day, to have repeated
holy instants all day long. If we compare this to learning a language, the
meditation sessions are like language labs and grammar studies. The
concentrated language exercises are not an end in themselves but are meant
to prepare us and improve our speech and understanding as we go out and
actually use the language. Likewise, meditation is not an end in itself. It
is an exercise to strengthen spiritual vision, but the purpose is to go out
into daily life and begin using that new vision as often as possible.
Lesson 157 says, "We cannot give experience like this directly. Yet it
leaves a vision in our eyes which we can offer everyone" (157.6:2,3). I
can't give you a holy instant directly. I can tell you about it, but you
have to do the work yourself and have the experience yourself.
What I can give you or offer to you is the new vision, the new way of seeing
the world. The vision we can all teach, as fledgling teachers of God, is
that of forgiveness and love within the world. I can teach you that it is
possible to see the invisible beyond the visible, to see the undimmed Truth
behind the clouds of doubt, fear and defense. I can teach you to "see no one
as a body. Greet him as the Son of God he is, acknowledging that he is one
with you in holiness" (158.8:3). By seeing you without guilt I teach you
that seeing without guilt is possible.
And in willingness to practice the vision, williingness to ask to be shown a
different way of seeing, the experience of the holy instant comes.
+ Commentary by Allen Watson
+ Practice Summary: Robert Perry
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