[acimlessons_list] Reveiw II, Lesson 83 - March 24
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Fri Mar 25 05:55:39 EST 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
+ <http://www.circleofa.com/> >
Reveiw II, Lesson 83 - March 24
"My only function is the one God gave me."
"My happiness and my function are one."
Longer: 2 times (once for each of the ideas), for about 15 minutes
* For 3 or 4 minutes, slowly read over the idea and comments
(repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.
* Close your eyes and spend the remainder listening for the message
the Holy Spirit has for you. We can see this time of listening as
having the following components:
1. Listen "quietly but attentively" (3:1)—listen in stillness and with
all your attention.
2. Hold an attitude of confidence ("this message belongs to me"),
desire ("I want this message"), and determination ("I'm determined to
3. Listening for ten minutes can easily be one big invitation to mind
wandering, and so the majority of instruction for this exercise deals
with this issue. For out-of-control mind wandering, go back and repeat
the first phase. For more minor wandering, realize the distracting
thoughts have no power and that your will has all the power, and then
replace the thoughts with your will to succeed. Do so with firmness.
"Do not allow your intent to waver" (4:1). "Refuse to be sidetracked"
This is not mentioned in the instructions, but you may find it helpful
to actually ask for the message, at the beginning and then
periodically throughout. You may say, for instance, "What is Your
message for me today?" You may even want to use this request as the
specific vehicle for dispelling wandering thoughts.
REMARKS: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be
distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.
First half of day: "My only function is the one God gave me."
Second half of day: "My happiness and my function are one."
RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION:
You may use these specific forms or your own words:
First half of day: "My perception of this does not change my function."
"This does not give me a function other than the one God gave me."
"Let me not use this to justify a function God did not give me."
Second half of the day: "This cannot separate my happiness from my
function." "The oneness of my happiness and my function remains wholly
unaffected by this." "Nothing, including this, can justify the
illusion of happiness apart from my function."
To be without conflicting goals in life is a wonderful blessing. Most
of the time, I feel stressed out with conflicting goals. I want to
exercise but I have a deadline to meet for work. I want to spend time
with my friends but my favorite TV program is on. And so on. When I am
able to realize that my only function is the one God gave me --
forgiveness, or simply being happy instead of being angry or upset --
things become marvelously clear. My goal becomes to be at peace, to be
happy, to be serene and unaffected by what surrounds me. "What to do,
what to say and what to think" (1:4) simply comes to me. Perhaps I
realize that it makes no real difference whether I exercise or write.
Perhaps I realize that one or the other can wait. Remembering my one
and only true goal somehow sorts out everything else.
I used to think that when I had a conflict, the only way to become
peaceful again was to make a decision, to resolve the conflict. It
rarely worked. Usually, when I made my choice, I felt some distress at
what I was leaving undone, or some loss at what I could not do because
of my choice (e.g. watch TV or be with my friends; one or the other
had to be "sacrificed"). Lately I've begun to realize that if I put
becoming peaceful at the top of the list, if I choose to be peaceful
<first>, before making my decision (perhaps taking a minute just to
close my eyes and be quiet, remembering Who is with me), the decision
becomes simple, and there is no sense of sacrifice. I just know what
This is the way to be happy. My function is one with my happiness. If
I can be at peace, letting go of my grievances, the little demands I
constantly make of life, I am happy. Like forgiveness, happiness is a
choice I can make at any time.
I notice today that the examples given of different ways to apply the
ideas in specific situations seem to emphasize a kind of negation.
They stress that the situation, or the way we perceive things, can
<not> affect us if we so choose. The way I perceive this doesn't
change my function, give me a different function, or justify selecting
a goal other than the one God gave me. No matter what I see, no matter
what happens, nothing will alter the fact that the only way I will
find happiness is if I fulfill my function of forgiveness, blessing,
and peace. There is no happiness apart from my function, and I am
deceived by an illusion whenever I think there is. Do I expect to find
happiness by indulging worry, justifying my anger, indulging my
appetites, or licking my wounds of pain? It will never happen. Only in
forgiveness, only in releasing everyone and everything from all my
demands and expectations, only in quiet peacefulness of mind will I
ever find my happiness.
+ 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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