[acimlessons_list] Lesson 31 - January 31
sue at circleofa.org
Sun Jan 29 17:44:55 EST 2012
Lesson 31 - January 31
"I am not the victim of the world I see."
Purpose: to begin declaring your release.
Longer: 2 times, morning and evening, for 3-5 minutes
* Repeat the idea two or three times while looking slowly
* Then close your eyes and apply the idea to your inner world,
the level of cause. Let whatever thoughts that want to come arise, be noted,
and then allowed to pass by. As with Lesson 10, it is important to stay
detached from your stream of thoughts. Try seeing it as either a strange
parade of disorganized, meaningless objects or as a series of leaves
floating by on a stream. Let the stream keep moving; don't stop it to dwell
on a particular thought. As you watch it move by, repeat the idea as often
as you want, with no hurry.
Frequent reminders: as often as possible (suggestion: several times per
Repeat idea. While doing so, consciously remember that you are declaring
your freedom from all outer causation, and freeing other minds in the
process. Try a repetition now in that spirit-it will take you five seconds.
Response to temptation: when you feel like anything in the world is
Repeat the idea. You will get more from it if you say it as a declaration
that you refuse to be slave to outer events and to your ego's reactions.
Remarks: Today's lesson marks an important development. The daily practice
now begins to separate out into two levels: longer practice periods, which
will generally be done morning and evening, and shorter, frequent practice
throughout the day (this includes both frequent reminders and response to
temptation). This is a major step toward the eventual four-fold structure of
morning and evening practice periods, hourly remembrance, frequent
reminders, and response to temptation.
As you must have noticed when you read today's lesson, there isn't a lot of
metaphysical thought in it. In fact there is almost none, except in the lead
thought quoted above. The rest of the lesson is practice instructions. So
I'll weight my comments in approximately the same way.
The one sentence that heads the lesson is plenty in itself, however. If you
think about it, it is amazing how many ways we see ourselves as victims of
the world. We go through life feeling like victims--of the weather; of the
jerk who cuts you off in traffic or swerves into the parking space you were
aiming for; of your computer disk when "it" loses your file; of your house
mate who uses the last of the hot water just before your shower; of the slow
service in the restaurant; the traffic that makes you late for your
appointment. To say nothing of the people who may deliberately and
malevolently terrorize you in our cities (or perhaps in your home).
To assert that "I am not the victim of the world I see" can be liberating
and empowering. It is remarkable how these simple words can cause feelings
of weakness and helplessness to wash away. Try it! You'll like it.
We also feel victimized by unseen enemies and even our own thoughts, oddly
enough. Ever have an anxiety attack? Or find yourself feeling gouged by the
IRS? A victim of an unfair "system?" Plagued by self-doubt? You are not the
victim of your inner world any more than of your outer world. "You will
escape from both together, for the inner is cause of the outer."
This lesson introduces what will become the basic practice outline for most
of the Workbook, and for on-going practice for Workbook graduates. 1) Two
longer practice periods, morning and evening, in which you apply the idea of
the day on a sustained basis. 2) Frequent repetitions through the day, as
often as possible (a study of other references to this indicate that four or
five times per hour is intended). 3) Using the idea as a "response to
temptation" whenever it arises.
The only element of Workbook practice not present in this lesson is specific
hourly or half-hourly periods of shorter practice, in length somewhere in
between #1 and #2 above. That appears as the Workbook goes along to build a
habit of practice on the structure of the clock, and then is gradually
phased out as the habit (presumably) has been established. The three
elements presented here in Lesson 31 are retained in recommendations for
post-Workbook practice given in the Manual for Teachers (see Chapter 16,
"How should the teacher of God spend his day?").
Make a point of taking those longer, 3 to 5 minute, periods morning and
evening. This is the first time for them. You wouldn't practice the piano by
playing only half the scales, so don't stint here, either. From this point
on in the Workbook the practice is going to intensify; like me, I'm sure
you'll find it more difficult to maintain and to actually carry out.
Remember: "You are merely asked to apply the ideas <as you are directed to
do so.> You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use
them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you
that they are true" (Introduction to the Workbook).
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