[acimlessons_list] Lesson 164 - June 13
sue at circleofa.org
Mon Jun 13 05:54:22 EDT 2011
Lesson 164 - June 13
"NOW ARE WE ONE WITH HIM WHO IS OUR SOURCE."
Morning/evening quiet time: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
Enormous promises are attached to today's practice, if we do it faithfully
(4:5), if we "practice in earnest" (9:5). So let's bring every ounce of
willingness we have to this practice today.
Begin by going through a process of "letting go all things you think you
want" (8:1). Go through a list of things your ego is attached to, and with
each one, be willing to consider, just for the duration of this practice
period, that it has no real value. You might imagine that you are inside the
room of your mind, a room cluttered up with all the "trifling treasures"
(8:2) you are attached to. One by one, clear out those worthless "treasures"
from this room.
Now you have a clean and open room, ready to receive real treasure from
Christ, "the treasure of salvation" (8:2). Let this room fill with "an
ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost" (4:2). Let it be
pervaded by "a sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never
touched" (4:3). Hear your Father calling to you, and then hear the Christ in
you answer for you. Most of all, try to let in Christ's vision. Open the
curtains in this room; let in the light. Through these open windows, you now
can "see the world anew, shining in innocence, alive with hope"
Now the room of your mind has become His treasure house, filled with the
gold and silver of His miracles. Now, wherever you look, your eyes deliver
these miracles, as you bless what you see with your loving gaze. Step out
into your day knowing that this is your job, to heal everyone you see by
looking on them with "His forgiving vision" (7:6).
Hourly remembrance: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if
circumstances do not permit).
Repeat the idea as a way of entering the treasure house of your mind and
feeling your oneness with God. Then thank Him for the treasures He bestowed
on you in the last hour. And ask Him what He would have you do in the next
To anyone who has done the Workbook lessons to this point, it is clear that
the recent lessons are reaching for some new kind of level. There is a
consistent emphasis on what the Course calls the holy instant, although many
of the lessons do not use the term. But when a lesson, as this one, speaks
of "this instant, now" as the time in which we come "to look upon what is
forever there" (1:3), or of the time we give to spend in quiet "with Him,
beyond the world" (3:2), it is clearly indicating times in which we enter
the holy instant, a moment of eternity within time.
The practice being asked of us (since Lesson 153), day after day, is to set
aside times of no less than five minutes, and as much as a half hour or
more, morning and evening, to exercise our spiritual sight and hearing. We
are being asked to listen to "the song of Heaven" (1:6) that is continually
sounding beyond all the sounds of this world. This "melody from far beyond
the world" (2:3) is the song of love, the call of our hearts to Him, and of
His to ours.
These times are periods in which we forget all our sins and sorrows (3:3),
and remember the gifts of God to us (3:4). We practice setting aside the
sights and sounds of the world that constantly witness to us of the ego's
message of fear, and we listen to the song of Heaven. We quiet ourselves,
still our minds, and try to get in touch with the "silence into which the
world can not intrude" (4:1), the "ancient peace you carry in your heart and
have not lost" (4:2), and the "sense of holiness in you the thought of sin
has never touched" (4:3). All of this, as the first paragraph says, "is
forever there; not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ" (1:3). We are
not creating it; we are not making it happen; we are brushing away
everything within our minds that veils it from our sight. "Now is what is
really there made visible, while all the shadows which appeared to hide it
merely sink away" (5:2).
Such practicing puts our minds in a state in which we feel pure joy. Joy is
the word that comes to my mind to describe what a holy instant "feels like."
There is a sense of contentment, an assurance that, despite all evidence to
the contrary, all is well. There is a peaceful relaxation into the mind of
God. Our minds naturally reach out in love to all the world from within this
holy place, blessing rather than judging.
It may be difficult for us at this juncture to fully understand how such
quiet practice, something that takes place completely within our own minds,
can "save the world" (6:3). The lesson states in no uncertain terms that, by
means of this practice, "We can change the world" (9:2). How can that be? It
is so because all minds are joined, and while we may understand the concept,
our sense of its reality may be very weak. That is normal; the effect on the
world proceeds whether we are aware of it or not. We can, for the time
being, focus on the personal benefit: "But this you can surely want; you can
exchange all suffering for joy this very day" (9:4).
If you are like me, the reality and importance of this practice grows
slowly. There are many days we let "slip by" without taking the time to do
the work on our minds the Workbook calls for. The details of life, the press
of business, the daily crises shriek for our attention, drawing us away, as
they are meant to do. It takes some determination to put this "quiet time"
with God first, above all else. But when we do so, an amazing thing happens.
As Lesson 286 puts it: "Father, how still today! How quietly do all things
fall in place!" (W-pI.286.1:1-2). I recall, long ago, reading how Martin
Luther once wrote, "I have so many things to do today, I must spend three
hours in prayer to prepare myself." There was a man who understood, within
his own context, that preparing his mind with God was the most important
thing, and that the more pressing the world seemed, the more he needed that
quiet time in God's presence.
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