[acimlessons_list] Lesson 27 - January 27
sue at circleofa.org
Thu Jan 26 07:12:47 EST 2012
Lesson 27 - January 27
"Above all else I want to see."
Purpose: to bring closer the day when you want vision more than everything
Exercise: at least every half hour (3 or 4 times an hour is suggested)
Simply repeat the idea. You can do this even in the middle of conversation.
Don't worry if you don't fully mean the idea. Repeat it to bring closer the
day when you will mean it. If repeating it arouses fear of having to give up
something, add, "Vision has no cost to anyone," and, if still afraid, say,
"It can only bless."
Remarks: This is a very important lesson, the second lesson in frequent
practice (the first was Lesson 20). It is clearly serious about this
frequency. At the beginning of the day you are supposed to set the interval
you will use (e.g., every twenty minutes, every thirty minutes). If you have
not done that yet, it would be good to do so now. Then, for the rest of the
day, you are asked to do your best to stick to the frequency you yourself
chose. The Course realizes that, in all likelihood, you will not do this
perfectly. When you forget a practice period, do not get angry with
yourself. This eventually makes you feel like giving up (and is, in fact, an
ego ploy to engineer just this outcome; see 95.7:3-5, 10:1-2). Just get back
to your practicing as if nothing happened. What is important is not
lamenting past failures to practice, but doing the practice in the present
and future. The benefits of this can be enormous. Just one truly sincere
repetition can put you forward years in your development.
This is reminiscent of Lesson 20, "I am determined to see," to which a
subtle reference is made in the first line: "Today's idea expresses
something stronger than mere determination." It puts the desire to see into
first place, "above all else." I want to see more than I want anything else.
If we mean this, we will choose the path that leads to vision every time, no
matter what other lesser goal might be tempting us.
The lesson recognizes that the idea may not be wholly true for us yet. Since
desire determines vision, if it were now wholly true you would <already>
see, and therefore would not need the lesson! So working with a lesson like
this is not hypocritical; it is an exercise intended specifically for people
for whom the idea is not yet wholly accepted, designed to move us closer to
the day when it will be.
The phrase "above all else" may tempt us to think we are being asked to
sacrifice. "Vision at any cost!" Therefore the lesson suggests that if we
feel uneasy about unreservedly committing ourselves to vision, we should add
this thought: "Vision has no cost to anyone." If that isn't enough, add, "It
can only bless." Put them all together: "Above all else I want to see, and
vision has no cost for anyone. I can only bless."
This hints at an idea stated clearly many times in the Course: this path
does not believe in sacrifice. It says we are asked only to sacrifice
illusions, and that this is in reality only an illusion of sacrifice.
"Nothing real can be threatened."
Still, the lesson is leading us towards this kind of single-minded,
unreserved determination to have true vision. We <do> need to be willing to
put vision above anything that seems to compete with it. It may <seem> at
times that we are being asked to give things up, and we may actually have to
give them up, but when we do, we will realize we have given up nothing we
truly wanted. The entire process is perfectly safe, and entails no real loss
of any kind.
The practice requirements suddenly leap into high gear in this lesson:
repeat the idea "at least every half hour." That's <at least.> "...and more
if possible. You might try for every fifteen or twenty minutes." (Things
will ease up again tomorrow.) Specific structure, with a set time schedule,
is recommended. All we are asked to do each of these times is to repeat the
one sentence to ourselves, "Above all else I want to see." This is not a big
deal. There isn't any reason we can't do it, even in the middle of a
conversation--if we want to, if we are willing.
"The real question is, how often will you remember? How much do you want
today's idea to be true? Answer one of these questions and you have answered
the other" (4:1-3). How often we remember will be the measure of how much we
really want to see above all else. This will be a very revealing day!
Notice carefully how we are supposed to deal with the fact that we probably
will forget and come nowhere near the ideal of every fifteen minutes. It
says a lot about how the Workbook views this whole matter of "practice."
Basically it says, "Don't let your 'failure' bother you; just get back on
track immediately." All that it takes to save "many years of effort" (4:6)
is to, just once during the day, repeat the idea with perfect sincerity. To
achieve that one time, many repetitions are needed. Simply do the best you
can--but let it be the <best> you can do.
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