[acimlessons_list] Lesson 14 - January 14
sue at circleofa.org
Wed Jan 13 13:40:52 EST 2010
Lesson 14 - January 14
"God did not create a meaningless world."
Purpose: To erase the interpretations you have put on the world so that you
can see God's interpretation (just as with the previous two lessons). This
process will save you. In its early stages, however, you may often feel as
if you are being led into terror. This is only temporary. You will be led
through fear and then beyond it forever.
Exercise: 3 times (unless you find more comfortable), for 1 minute at most
* With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that
cross your mind, anything you are afraid might happen to you or anyone. For
each one say, "God did not create that [specify the horror], and so it is
not real." Be very specific in naming the horror or disaster.
* Conclude by repeating the idea.
Response to temptation: optional-when anything disturbs you
Feel free to apply the idea to dispel your upsets during the day. A special
form has been provided for this: "God did not create a meaningless world. He
did not create [specify the situation which is disturbing you], and so it is
not real." This is a very effective practice for regaining peace of mind.
You may, in fact, want to give it a try now: Choose a situation that is
weighing on you and apply the practice to it. See if at least some of the
weight of it does not lift immediately.
RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION: optional
The idea can be applied to anything that disturbs you. Say: "God did not
create a meaningless world. He did not create [specify the situation which
is disturbing you], and so it is not real."
Today's idea should come as a welcome relief after four days of being told
our thoughts are meaningless and are showing us a meaningless world that is
upsetting and frightening. The meaningless world we are seeing was not
created by God, and, "What God did not create does not exist."
In the book, "Awaken from the Dream," by Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick, Gloria
wrote about how this idea first attracted her to the Course:
"Hearing firsthand about the devastating effects World War II had on people
personally, I concluded that if this world were the best that God could
create, I wanted nothing more to do with Him...
"As I read Jesus' words explain that God did not create the world, it was as
if 'lightning bolts' crashed through my head. 'Why hadn't I thought of
that?' I kept thinking to myself. 'It is so simple; that is the answer.'
Finally, after twenty-three years the puzzle in my mind was solved. The
Course had supplied the missing piece, and I no longer had to blame God for
a world He did not create."
To some the message that God did not create the meaningless world we see
comes as salvation; to others, it may be "quite difficult and even quite
painful." For recognizing that He did not create it entails a corollary
truth: we made it up. We are responsible for the world we see. That can lead
us "directly into fear." The Course faces up to this in many different
places through all three volumes. The message it is giving to us, especially
in the "early steps," can be difficult, painful, and fearful.
Many people wonder if something is wrong because they have strong negative
reactions to this line of thought in the Course. The answer is, not at all.
Perhaps it is those among us who <do not> have any negative reactions who
should be wondering if they are apprehending the Course's message correctly
and realizing its implications. A negative reaction is far more common than
a positive one; that I can say with confidence.
Be glad, however, that the lesson goes on to say: "You will not be left
there [in fear]. You will go far beyond it. Our direction is toward perfect
safety and perfect peace." The Course calls our path a "journey through fear
to love." The early distress is avoided by very few indeed, but the
direction of the journey is towards a warmth and breadth of love that can
barely be imagined as we start out.
One word of caution about the particular form of practice today. Notice
carefully that the lesson is asking you to say these thoughts <to yourself>
about "your personal repertory of horrors." It is not advocating telling
another person who is going through some tragedy that it isn't real; for
instance, "Cheer up! God didn't create the death of your husband, so it
isn't real." In most cases that is not a loving message but an attack,
placing you in a "superior" spiritual position to the other person. The
lesson is talking about giving this message to yourself.
Note also the mention here that of our illusions, "Some of them are shared
illusions, and others are part of your personal hell." Things such as famine
and AIDS fall in the "shared illusion" category. There is clear support here
for the idea that the illusion of the world is a shared responsibility, not
just your personal creation, or mine.
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