[acimlessons_list] Lesson 194 - July 13
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Sun Jul 12 05:00:42 EDT 2009
Lesson 194 - July 13
I place the future in the Hands of God
PURPOSE: To accept today's idea, and so pass countless obstacles and set
your foot on the lawns before the gate of Heaven. This is the last of the
Workbook's giant strides.
MORNING/EVENING QUIET TIME: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
Today again there are no specific practice instructions for morning and
evening. I would suggest beginning by going through the various situations
that are causing you concern (see W-pI.47.4-5) and, with each one,
repeating, <I place the future in the Hands of God.> Then, after about ten
minutes of this, spend the rest of your time in meditation, resting
untroubled in God's Hands, sure that only good can come to you.
HOURLY REMEMBRANCE: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if
circumstances do not permit).
Review the happenings of the previous hour that are still weighing on you,
and with each one, release the pain it appears to thrust on you by
repeating, <I place the future in the Hands of God.>
RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION: Whenever you feel tempted to become upset.
Quickly react by repeating today's idea, realizing that this is an appeal to
God to choose for you to abandon temptation. And as you leave temptation
behind, the world does as well.
REMARKS: If you really see the value in today's idea, you'll give consistent
effort to making it part of your thinking, both today and afterward. Do your
utmost to make it a rule of thought, <a habit in your problem-solving
repertoire> (6:2), a key device in your response-to-temptation toolkit.
The block to remembering our Self that is dealt with in today's lesson is
the <fear of future pain> (7:6). Again, the holy instant is a major part of
the remedy. All the references to <in no one instant> (3:1; 3:2; 3:3) and
<the instant in which time escapes the bondage of illusions> (5:2) are
indirect references to the holy instant, which is directly referred to in
5:3: <Then is each instant which was slave to time transformed into a holy
The idea is a simple one: placing the future into God's Hands. Yet it is
referred to as another <giant stride> toward quick salvation (1:1; the other
<giant strides> were in lessons 61, 66, 94, and 135). This giant stride is
said to take us all the way to the lawns that welcome us to Heaven's gate.
It is the remedy for anxiety, pits of hell, depression, thoughts of sin, and
guilt. How can this simple idea be so powerful?
Think, for a moment, how your life and your mental attitude would change if
you deeply and fully knew not just believed but knew that your future was
wholly in the Hands of a loving God. Isn't it fairly easy to see how this
would remove anxiety, fears of hell, depression, temptation, and even guilt?
Simple as it is, this is an extremely powerful idea, and a powerful one to
Once again we are not expected to suddenly shift from a state of
near-constant anxiety (Ernest Becker, in his book The Denial of Death,
refers to man's so-called normal state as one in which there is <the rumble
of panic underneath everything>) to one of blissful trust in God. We are
being asked to practice having instants of such trust, free of panic. For a
moment, just for a moment, <let the future go, and place it in God's Hands>
(4:5). In so doing, we will understand that by doing this we have given past
and present to God as well. In that holy instant we will be free of grief
and misery, pain and loss. The light within us will be free to shine and
bless the world.
In any particular instant, when we take that instant for itself, without
past or future, we cannot feel depression, experience pain, or perceive
loss; nor can we experience sorrow, or even die (3:1 3). Every such
experience depends on our awareness of the past or future to sustain it and
give it the illusion of reality, but none of them exist in the present
moment. Take grief, for instance. Grief is so clearly based on the past
that it hardly requires explanation to say that if the past were momentarily
put out of our minds, grief would vanish. The mind is calling up memories of
our loved one, and then insisting that the absence of that loved one now
demands emotional pain. Yet when the loved one was part of our life, there
were thousands of moments in which they were not physically present with us,
and we were still happy; why, then, cannot we be happy now? Grief is really
nothing more than a cruel mental trick we are playing on ourselves. The
future enters into grief because we envision an endless string of moments
that lack the beloved. But those moments are not now; again, it is a mental
trick. Grief does not exist when we are wholly in the present moment, in the
As we learn to give the future into God's Hands, one instant after another,
we are released. <And so each instant given unto God in passing, with the
next one given Him already, is a time of your release from sadness, pain and
even death itself> (3:4). Note the similarity to yesterday's practice of
applying forgiveness at the end of each hour to all that has passed in the
hour, freeing the hour that follows. This kind of thing, says the lesson,
needs to become <a thought that rules your mind, a habit in your
problem-solving repertoire, a way of quick reaction to temptation> (6:2).
That is what all this practice is about: developing new habits of
spirituality that break the pattern of our deranged thinking, freeing us for
a new experience. The more we experience, the more we will want it, until
eventually it takes over our minds entirely.
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