[acimlessons_list] Lesson 189 - July 8
sue at circleofa.org
Mon Jul 7 05:30:54 EDT 2008
Lesson 189 - July 8
I feel the Love of God within me now.
PURPOSE: To go past all your thoughts of self, world, and God and so
experience the Love of God within you now. This will go far towards enabling
you to give your total willingness to the
MORNING/EVENING QUIET TIME: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
This is an exercise in what I call <Open Mind Meditation.> Follow the
instructions in paragraph 7 (you may even want to use them as an induction
process): Empty your mind of all thoughts and try to let go of all your
beliefs as well, including your highest spiritual beliefs. Even ideas from
the Course must not be allowed into your mind. <Empty your mind of
everything> (7:2). And then stand there, with your mental hands completely
open, ready to receive God's Love. Trust that He <knows the way to you>
(8:1), and that all you need do is remove the obstacles and <His love will
blaze its pathway> (9:4) into your mind. As always, whenever any words or
thoughts intrude, repeat the idea and then return to waiting empty-handed
for God's Love.
HOURLY REMEMBRANCE: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if
circumstances do not permit). Do a short version of the morning/evening
exercise. Close by asking for God's guidance for the coming hour and
thanking Him for His gifts in the past hour.
By this point in the Workbook, any time we see the word <now> we should be
seeing it as a probable reference to the holy instant. The word <feel> also
has significance, directing our attention to the realm of experience, as
opposed to conceptual understanding. Given these two points we can realize
that this lesson is about entering a holy instant in which we have an
experience of God's Love within us.
<There is a light in you the world can not perceive> (1:1). The lesson
begins by referring, as did yesterday's lesson, to the light that is within
us, inherent in our creation. It is not something visible to the body's
sense organs (1:2), but quite visible to a different kind of sight. To see
this light and to feel the Love of God are synonymous (1:7). We are being
directed to experience this other kind of seeing.
We can see <through darkened eyes of malice and of fear> (3:2), or with a
mind permeated with the experience of Love's presence within the mind. What
we see within determines how we see the world. Based on our state of mind,
we see either a world poised to attack us, or a world that reaches out to
bless us. Either picture of the world makes the other picture inconceivable
to us (3:5; 4:1).
If I am seeing <a world of hatred rising from attack> (3:5), the description
of the world given in paragraph 2 seems to be no more than wishful thinking.
People encountering the teaching of the Course for the first time often
raise this objection. For instance, I once heard a man who had listened to a
lecture on forgiveness say, <You people must be crazy! All you have to do is
walk down the street in New York and you can't possibly maintain that love
is all there is.> He was seeing a world of hatred rising from attack; there
was no room left in his mind to see anything else.
If I am seeing the world of hatred, how can I possibly see a world of love?
No logical argument will ever change my mind. What is required is something
that will change what my mind is seeing within itself, because the world I
see is nothing more than a reflection of that, <the outside picture of an
inward condition> (T-21.In.1:5). If I am seeing a world of attack it is
because within myself I am seeing an attacking mind. <What they have felt in
them they look upon, and see its sure reflection everywhere> (4:3). The holy
instant can, and does, change that self-perception. <I feel the Love of God
within me now.> That experience will literally transform the way I see the
world. <If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world
of mercy and of love> (5:5).
This is why we are asked to <lay aside all thoughts of what [we] are> (7:1),
to be still, and to allow something else to enter our minds. We are being
asked to set aside every conclusion we have ever made about anything, to
allow for a moment at least that all of it may be misinformed and misguided,
and to <come with wholly empty hands unto your God> (7:5). In asking us to
forget even <this course> (7:5), the lesson is not saying that intellectual
comprehension of the Course is not useful, but it is saying that only
something that transcends the intellect can truly turn the tide of our wrong
perception. Even our understanding of the Course is bound to be distorted
when it is based on a mind firmly rooted in fear and in the concept of self
we have built up. We may mistakenly use that imperfect understanding to
dictate to God the way He should come to us. So we are asked to set even
this aside, and to allow God to come to us in whatever way He wants to come.
To forget the Course is not a permanent principle, but a temporary expedient
to be practiced in our moments of stillness, designed to allow a new kind of
experience. It is merely part of removing the barriers to the experience of
ourselves as Love, for even our ego-based <understanding> of the Course can
interfere with the experience of its true meaning. So we are being told,
when seeking the holy instant, to lay aside any assumption that we
understand anything at all. Let everything be open to change. If we are
willing to do this, <His Love will blaze its pathway of itself> (9:4).
We cannot force ourselves to see the world differently. But if we can, just
for an instant, see ourselves differently, and feel the Love of God within
ourselves, the way we see the world will change of itself, because the way
we see the world is the way we see ourselves.
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