[acimlessons_list] Lesson 165 - June 14
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+ 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 165 - June 14
"Let not my mind deny the Thought of God."
Purpose: To stop denying the Thought of God; to experience it and then
abandon all else as worthless in comparison.
Morning/evening quiet time: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
Practice in whatever way the Holy Spirit inspires you to, but the essence of
it should be undoing your denial of the Thought that created you and
sustains you, and asking to know that Thought. Thus, there should be both a
<negative> focus on letting go of your denial, your resistance, and a
<positive> focus on asking for the experience of the Thought of God, the
experience of Heaven. "Ask with desire" (5:1) and with hope (7:1). It is all
right if you doubt how much you want this. Certainty will only come through
experiencing what you ask for. This will carry you past all your doubts, to
where you know that this experience is indeed the only thing you want.
Hourly remembrance: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if
circumstances do not permit).
Repeat the idea, trying to let go of your denial and inviting the awareness
of Heaven. Then thank God for His gifts in the hour gone by, and ask for His
guidance for the hour to come.
Today's lesson, tomorrow's, and those just before and after, are a strong
encouragement to move forward. The Course, in these days, is trying to draw
us past the point of hesitation and into a firm commitment.
What makes this world seem real except your own denial of the truth that
lies beyond?...What could keep from you what you already have except your
choice to see it not, denying it is there? (1:1, 4)
Ken Wilber, the author of many books on transpersonal psychology and
spiritual growth, points out that, viewed as evolution, spiritual growth
proceeds to the degree we are willing to die to the lower level of life in
order to transcend it and remember (or re-member) the higher level. The fact
that our experience is on an ego level is not because the higher is not
already here, it is because we have chosen the lower as a substitute for the
higher, and we do so in every instant. It is not until the lower level is
lived out, tried to the fullest, in a sense, and found lacking, that
motivation exists to move us higher.
We need to become disillusioned with the ego to the point that we begin to
see through its illusions. The degree to which the ego seems real to us is
the measure of our denial of "the truth that lies beyond" (1:1). We can't
see the real world because <we don't want to>. We are actively denying it.
The reality of the real world, if perceived and accepted, will mean the end
of reality as we now know it. Heaven appears to us as a threat to our
imagined comfort on the ego level.
Jesus appeals to us,
Deny not Heaven. It is yours today, but for the asking. Nor need you
perceive how great the gift, how changed your mind will be before it comes
to you. Ask to receive, and it is given you. Conviction lies within it. Till
you welcome it as yours, uncertainty remains. Yet God is fair. Sureness is
not required to receive what only your acceptance can bestow. (4:1-8)
You don't have to be sure before asking for Heaven. You don't have to be
certain. "Sureness is not required" (4:8). In fact, you cannot be sure or
certain before asking because "conviction lies within it" (4:5); that is,
you don't find the conviction, the sureness, the certainty until you have
Heaven, and you can't know you have it until you ask.
As we live thinking we are egos, considering moving forward, considering
leaving the ego behind, the ego fights for its own existence. "You don't
know what you are getting into here," it tells us. "How can you be sure
you'd like it? You'd better make sure before you make a move."
Certainty, sureness, and conviction come from experience. When you have
experienced the real world, even a glimpse, you will know you want it, you
will know it is what you want and what you have mistakenly been seeking in
the shadow world of the ego's illusions. So ask for Heaven.
Another comfort is that we don't have to understand all that Heaven, or the
real world, is, before we experience it. You don't have to have a clear idea
of what you're asking for, of "how changed your mind will be" (4:3). That
change of mind does not precede the decision to ask, it follows it. It is
the desire that allows it to come.
You don't even need to be sure that Heaven is the only thing you want!
You need not be sure that you request the only thing you want. But when you
have received, you will be sure you have the treasure you have always
It's all right to go into this with reservations, such as "Maybe I can have
the real world and still hold onto my special relationships. Or maybe I can
have inner peace and still enjoy my little pleasures." Those reservations
will vanish once you taste the real thing. A very poor analogy, but one that
makes the point: "How can you keep them down on the farm after they've seen
Paris?" Once you taste "the treasure you have always sought" why would you
go back to lesser things?
We already have the certainty within ourselves, in reality. That's part of
what we've covered over with ego illusions. When we find the Self, we find
it complete with certainty. The process of the Course, of "removing blocks
to the awareness of love's presence" (T-In.1:7), is restated here in terms
of that inner certainty: "This course removes all doubts which you have
interposed between Him and your certainty of Him" (7:6).
The process consists of becoming aware of our doubts, owning them,
acknowledging them, and then not taking them seriously. This is exactly the
same process we go through with other such blocks, like anger and sadness
and pain. See them clearly so you can see that the doubts, too, are part of
the illusion. They are "meaningless, for God is certain" (7:3). "His
sureness lies beyond our every doubt" (8:3).
Certainty is not something we can generate for ourselves. "We count on God,
and not upon ourselves, to give us certainty" (8:1). But for that to happen,
we must be willing to move forward, to be willing to "die" to the level of
life we know now and to ask for something more, a different way of seeing, a
different kind of vision. We need to be willing to ask that "the Thought of
God" enter our minds and displace the distorted thinking we have been doing.
We need to "follow the instructions," so to speak, given in the Course; if
we do, certainty is sure to come to us.
+ Commentary by Allen Watson
+ Practice Summary: Robert Perry
+ Available in book format from The Circle
+ of Atonement (Vol. 1 reprint due by end of 2004, write us for info)
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