[acimlessons_list] Lesson 312 - November 8
suelegal at gmail.com
Wed Nov 8 05:46:37 EST 2006
LESSON 312 - NOVEMBER 8
"I see all things as I would have them be."
See complete instructions in separate document.
A short summary:
* Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
* Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
* Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
* Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
This lesson is the second in a pair. The previous lesson told us that we
judge all things as we would have them be. This lesson continues:
"Perception follows judgment" (1:1). Judgment is, in this context, nearly
synonymous with interpretation. We first want a certain thing to be true; we
therefore judge or interpret what is around us according to that desire; and
having judged (interpreted), we perceive what we wanted. "For sight can
merely serve to offer us what we would have" (1:3). The Course's
presentation of perception and how it works is consistent and insistent:
You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you
want it there.
Perception has no other law than this. (T-25.III.1:3-4)
If we want to see the real world, we will see it. If we join with the Holy
Spirit in His goal, we "cannot fail to look upon what Christ would have him
see, and share Christ's Love for what he looks upon" (1:6). The key is in
what we want.
It's hard to admit that what we are seeing we must have wanted to see, at
some level of our minds. The ego has a sick mind, quite literally; the
unrecognized ego thoughts and wishes manifest in the world even though we
are not conscious of them. But the world is our mind's mirror; what we see
is what we have chosen to see. The world does not change because we are
afraid to look within our minds and see the thoughts that caused it. If we
will look, He will heal.
I recall someone standing during an ACIM workshop, when Ken Wapnick was
sharing along these lines, and telling how, during the television reports on
a California earthquake, he became aware that there was a part of his mind
that was disappointed that the death toll was so low. Something in him
wanted it to be more dramatic, wanted to see more death. I remember once
realizing quite clearly that I wanted someone dead-someone quite close to
me. It was a shock, but when I let myself be aware of it I was also aware
that the thought was not new!
We need to be willing to find the cause of the world we see within our own
minds, so that we can change our minds about the world. With changed
thoughts, we will see a changed world.
If we will, we can look upon "a liberated world, set free from all the
judgments I have made" (2:1). Today we can choose to see the world
differently-if we want to. There is no guilt in choosing not to see it
differently, but think of how unhappy your perception of the world has made
you up till now and ask yourself if you don't want to see it differently.
Seeing the real world is your will. It is up to you, and to me, to choose to
see it today.
Father, this is Your Will for me today, and therefore it must be my
goal as well. (2:2)
WHAT IS THE LAST JUDGMENT?
Part 2: W-pII.10.1:3-4
In two sentences we have the Second Coming, the Last Judgment, and the final
At first you see a world that has accepted this as true [the Second
projected from a now corrected mind. And with this holy sight,
a silent blessing [the Last Judgment] and then disappears [the final
its goal accomplished and its mission done. (1:3-4)
The "this" which we see the world as having accepted is the statement from
the previous sentence: "what is false is false, and what is true has never
changed." If the <world> has accepted this statement, it indicates to me
that this is not simply the real world (the world seen through forgiving
eyes) but the Second Coming, in which all minds have been given to Christ.
The unified, healed mind of the Sonship is still projecting, but "from a now
corrected mind," and therefore what is being projected is a healed world.
When we see this "holy sight," we pronounce the Last Judgment, which is a
silent blessing, for as the Course says elsewhere, the Last Judgment is not
a meting out of punishment but a final healing (T-2.VIII.3:3).
With the "final healing," then, the goal and mission of perception itself
(as the Holy Spirit sees its purpose) is over, and so perception itself
vanishes, no longer needed. Here, perception vanishes; in the next paragraph
(2:3) the world itself, which is the object of all our perception, "slips
away to nothingness."
What's the point of understanding these eschatological events? (Eschatology
is "The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of
humankind" [American Heritage Dictionary].) They represent the goal towards
which the Course is leading us. As the Course itself says, in "Setting the
Goal" (T-17.VI), when you accept a certain goal you begin to overlook or
discount everything that stands in its way, and start to focus on the things
that will bring the goal about. It says:
The value of deciding in advance what you want to happen is simply that
you will perceive
the situation as a means to <make> it happen. You will therefore make
every effort to
overlook what interferes with the accomplishment of your objective, and
everything that helps you meet it. (T-17.VI.4:1-2)
If we have even some small understanding that the final goal is a silent
blessing, a final healing, an overlooking of all error and a recognition of
the innocence of all of God's creation, and of all of our own creations, we
will begin to perceive our day-to-day situations as "a means to make it
happen." We will make every effort to overlook attack thoughts and
condemning judgments, whether in our own minds or in others, because we will
see them as something that interferes with the goal we are seeking.
Another value of this understanding of the Last Judgment is that it
eliminates one of the sources of our fear. We'll see more about this further
on in this section, but for now, just realizing that God will <not> be
running an inquisition and punishing us for every minuscule transgression of
His laws will come as a great relief to many of us, influenced by our
immersion in a culture where religion is often filled with fear of God's
wrath. The idea of a wrathful, vengeful God is something the Course goes out
of its way to counteract.
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