[acimlessons_list] LESSON 151 - MAY 31
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Mon May 30 20:24:04 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 151 - MAY 31
"All things are echoes of the Voice for God."
Morning/evening practice: Fifteen minutes.
Repeat the idea slowly, just once. Then watch your mind; observe your
thoughts. As each thought crosses your mind, give it to the Holy Spirit.
Then listen as He gives it back in purified form. What He will do is take
your thought and strip away all the egoic elements in it, leaving only
whatever light that was contained in it: the love, the kindness, the pure
intentions, your desire for peace and for God (for teaching on this idea,
see T-5.IV.8:1-6). For example, let's say the thought you give Him is "I'm
running out of time to get this task done." The purified version that you
receive back from Him might be "I really want to do this right. I want to do
right by the people this affects." In other words, you will be giving Him
thoughts that are very mixed bags-patterns of darkness interlaced with
threads of light. When He gives them back, however, only the threads of
light will be left. They will be pure light, and so will reveal the light in
you. And you will see them come together into a single, perfect thought,
which will shed its blessing on everyone.
Remarks: This process of purification of your thoughts will resurrect your
mind, making today your personal Eastertime. It will also inaugurate your
ministry. For your ministry is simply to extend your purified thoughts,
which will release everyone from guilt and teach them their sanctity.
Repeat the idea (which basically means that you can see in all things-in the
world and in your mind-the interpretation that the Holy Spirit has given
that thing. You can experience all things as echoes of the Voice for God).
Thank the Holy Spirit for the purified thoughts He gives you, and trust that
the world will happily accept those thoughts as its own. This seems to imply
that on the hour you will do a miniature version of the longer
practice-perhaps giving a thought to the Holy Spirit and listening for Him
to give you back a purified version of that thought.
The world as we see it seems to bear unrelenting witness to separation, sin,
death, hatred, and the transient nature of everything. The world seen with
the vision of Christ, as the Holy Spirit sees it, bears witness to the
truth, to unity, holiness, life, love, and the eternal nature of everything.
<Everything> is echoing the Voice for God, all the time, but we do not hear
it. We hear the ego's voice with relentless consistency. The two views could
not be more stark in their contrast. Why do we display such a prejudice for
the ego's view?
The early part of this lesson points out that the reason the world so often
seems so solidly real to us is because of our underlying doubt of its
reality. It asks us to look at the fact that the ego goes too far in its
stubborn insistence that what our eyes and ears show us is solidly reliable.
It says that, although we know very well from our experience that our senses
often deceive us, and our judgments are often wide of the mark, we
irrationally continue to believe them down to the last detail. We show
surprise whenever we discover that what we thought was true is not, in fact,
true, even though we have had this experience hundreds or thousands of
times. And it asks:
Why would you trust them [your senses] so implicitly? Why but because of
underlying doubt, which you would hide with show of certainty? (2:5-6)
It is like the line in Shakespeare's <Hamlet>: "The lady doth protest too
much, methinks." It is the behavior of someone who is trying to shout down
their doubts with protestations of absolute certainty. So, to the Holy
Spirit, our very "certainty" of the world's reality is a proof of underlying
doubt! We are certain even when it is unreasonable to be certain, and that
is a certain evidence of hidden uncertainty.
We who study the Course are used to the idea that we project our guilt and
anger onto others. Here, however, the Course introduces the idea that there
is a way in which our egos project themselves onto us. The ego doubts. The
ego condemns itself. The ego alone feels guilt. Only the ego is in despair
(see 5:1-6). But it projects all of these things onto us, and tries to
convince us "its evil is your own" (6:2). It plays this trick on us by
showing us the world through its eyes, and introducing the things of the
world as witnesses to our evil, our guilt, our doubt and despair. The ego is
desperate for us to see the world as it wants us to because the ego's world
is what proves to us that we are identical with the ego. For instance, it
leads us to evaluate our own spiritual progress and to find ourselves
wanting; it induces us to despair. Why? Because <it> [the ego] is feeling
despair. It knows (without admitting it) that it is going to lose. This is
why spiritual despair so often strikes after a major spiritual advance. The
ego feels despair, and projects that despair onto our minds, trying to
convince us the despair is <ours> rather than <its>.
This is why the ego is so insistent on convincing us of the world's reality.
It needs the world to build its case.
The lesson asks us to raise all our evaluations, which we have learned from
the ego, to question, and to doubt the evidence of our senses. It asks us to
let the Holy Spirit be the Judge of what we are, and of everything that
seems to happen to us (8:1; 9:6). If we try to judge things by ourselves, we
will be deceived by our own egos, and the way in which we see ourselves and
the world will become a witness to the ego's reality. If, however, we let go
of our judgments and accept the judgment of the Holy Spirit, He will bear
witness to our beautiful creation as God's Son. Everything we see, if we
look with Him, will show us God.
Read the eleventh paragraph; it describes perfectly just how the Holy Spirit
accomplishes this retranslation of everything. When we give Him our
thoughts, He gives them back as miracles (14:1).
Let me, then, give my thoughts to Him today. Let me not hide my thoughts
from Him, nor try to alter them myself before I expose them to His sight.
Let me ask Him to work His alchemy on them, to transmute the lead into gold
before my eyes. That is His job. Every thought has elements of truth in it,
to which we have added falsehood and illusion. The Holy Spirit strips away
the false, and leaves the golden kernel of truth. He does not attack our
thoughts; He purifies them. He shows "the love beyond the hate, the
constancy in change, the pure in sin" (11:3). He does this with our very
thoughts, and so reveals to us the gentle face of Christ as our very Self.
+ 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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