Workin’ the Workbook

W-41: God goes with me wherever I go.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

We find out today that our problems are not real.  We are also reassured that what we think are our problems is merely foolishness.  Those of us who do find this comforting know that A Course in Miracles is our path.  Others may be offended by this idea–this is an opportunity to burn off the beliefs that add up to feeling offended.  But if there is no motivation to do so, then you will be at war with A Course in Miracles 🙂

The lesson says that deep within we are perfect and ready to radiate this perfection through us and out into the world.  We can never be alone, deprived or joyless because our Source is always with us. Nothing can destroy our peace of mind because God goes with us wherever we go.

Photo: Scott Johnson

We are given an image of a dense and heavy cloud which obscures the Light within us.  The exercise today helps us pass through this cloud and arrive at the Light.  We enter deeply into our mind, sinking downward and inward, past all foolish thoughts of the world, leaving appearances behind and approaching reality.

Reaching God is the most natural thing “in the world” and instant success is possible.  We are advised to concentrate on the unfailing companionship that goes with us and the complete protection which surrounds us.  That will make it easier to laugh at our fear thoughts.

If you’d like to practice together, click here for my “God Goes With You” mindfulness MP3.

LESSON 41

God goes with me wherever I go.

Today’s idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment all the separated ones experience.  Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation.  So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering and intense fear of loss.

The separated ones have many “cures” for what they believe to be “the ills of the world.”  But the one thing they do not do is to question the reality of the problem.  Yet its effects cannot be cured because the problem is not real.  The idea for today has the power to end all this foolishness forever.  And foolishness it is, despite the serious and tragic forms it may take.

Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world.  It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to them.

You can never be deprived of your perfect holiness because its Source goes with you wherever you go.  You can never suffer because the Source of all joy goes with you wherever you go.  You can never be alone because the Source of all Life goes with you wherever you go.  Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.

We understand that you do not believe all this.  How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within,  under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see?  Today we will make our first real attempt to get past this dark and heavy cloud, and to go through it to the light beyond.

There will be only one long practice period today.  In the morning, as soon as you get up if possible, sit quietly for some three to five minutes, with your eyes closed.  At the beginning of the practice period, repeat today’s idea very slowly.  Then make no effort to think of anything.  Try, instead, to get a sense of turning inward, past all the idle thoughts of the world.  Try to enter very deeply into your own mind, keeping it clear of any thoughts that might divert your attention.

From time to time, you may repeat the idea if you find it helpful.  But most of all, try to sink down and inward, away from the world and all the foolish thoughts of the world.  You are trying to reach past all these things.  You are trying to leave appearances and approach reality.

It is quite possible to reach God.  In fact it is very easy, because it is the most natural thing in the world.  You might even say it is the only natural thing in the world.  The way will open, if you believe that it is possible.  This exercise can bring very startling results even the first time it is attempted, and sooner or later it is always successful.  We will go into more detail about this kind of practice as we go along.  But it will never fail completely, and instant success is possible.

Throughout the day use today’s idea often, repeating it very slowly, preferably with eyes closed.  Think of what you are saying; what the words mean.  Concentrate on the holiness that they imply about you; on the unfailing companionship that is yours; on the complete protection that surrounds you.

You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-40: I am blessed as a Son of God.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

quiet-mind-hears-inner-voiceIn Lesson 40 we are instructed to repeat the central idea, “I am blessed as a Son of God,” every 10 minutes, a form of  mindfulness.  I think of mindfulness as good self talk.

Good self talk is an internal process — a way of thinking.  Most of us have an ongoing mental stream of self-criticism or discontent with others.  We don’t even know there is another way to think.

On the human level, good self talk is kind, encouraging, comforting and loving.  The results include increased confidence, calm and empathy.  I first came across it in yoga during savasana, the deep relaxation at the end of the asana practice.  My teacher, Dharma Mittra, guided us to express gratitude to our organs, like so, “Thank you, heart.  Thank you, kidneys.  TSavasanahank you, liver.  Thank you, stomach.”

This was completely novel to me, and my heart embraced loving myself and the greater Intelligence that made the body work.  Spontaneously, I felt more connected to myself and something Greater as well.

Jesus tells us, in Lesson 40, that we are going to begin to assert some of the happy things to which we are entitled, “being what you are.”  Because we are Happy, Peaceful, Love, Contentment, Calm, Quiet, Assured, Confident, we are to remind ourselves of this Fact every 10 minutes.  We are not talking ourselves into trying to believe that we are Happy, Peaceful, etc.  We are shifting our attention from the ego to the Truth.

Then, we are invited to add attributes we associate with being a Son of God to this list.  Sometimes I like to think of “Son” as “Sun” because it follows naturally that I am an extension of God’s Loving Light.  I am one of God’s Great Rays.  I am Radiant, I am Innocence, I am Whole, I am Safe, I am Fearless, I am Relaxed, I am Luminous Love.

“I am blessed as a Son of God. I am innocent, fearless, Whole. I am fulfilled, nourished, radiant with Purpose.” Often I figure out my attributes by noticing what I don’t want: I don’t want to be hungry, I don’t want to be driven by body needs, I don’t want to have body pain, I don’t want to make demands on others, I don’t want to have expectations of others, I don’t want others to suffer, etc.

Who we areThen I translate: I am full with the Love of God. I am formless, changeless, Spirit. I am whole and free. I am at peace, fulfilled, content. I need nothing because I am that I am.  I am relaxed, happy, at peace, filled with purpose, filled with love.  Therefore, we are all Whole, Unified, at Peace and Joyful.

Lesson 40 is a potent, uplifting lesson.  Jesus tells us that this exercise is possible to practice “quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to.”  This means that I can say it in my mind while talking on the phone, working with clients, teaching students, interacting with shop keepers, driving, etc.

How beautiful to be looking at another and saying to myself, “I am blessed as a Son of God.  Therefore you are blessed as a Son of God.  We are happy, peaceful, unified, innocent, fearless, content.”  If you’d like to practice together, click here for my mindfulness MP3s.

LESSON 40

I am blessed as a Son of God.

Today we will begin to assert some of the happy things to which you are entitled, being what you are.  No long practice periods are required today, but very frequent short ones are necessary.  Once every ten minutes would be desirable, and you are urged to attempt this schedule and to adhere to it whenever possible.  If you forget, try again.  If there are long interruptions, try again.  Whenever you remember, try again.

You need not close your eyes for the exercise periods, although you will probably find it more helpful if you do.  However, you may be in a number of situations during the day when closing your eyes would not be feasible.  Do not miss a practice period because of this.  You can practice quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to.

Today’s exercises take little time and no effort.  Repeat the idea for today, and then add several of the attributes you associate with being a Son of God, applying them to yourself.  One practice period might, for example, consist of the following:

I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am happy, peaceful, loving and contented.

Another might take this form:

I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am calm, quiet, assured and confident.

If only a brief period is available, merely telling yourself that you are blessed as a Son of God will do.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

W-39: My holiness is my salvation.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

First we have to agree that guilt is hell.  For many of us, guilt is the signal that we have a conscience, an ethical center.  If we gave up guilt we might run amok, rampage, loot, steal, binge, and have orgies.  Hmmm.  Most of us have had the experience of doing things we know we shouldn’t even though we feel guilty 🙂  From a Course perspective, guilt keeps us believing we have separated from God by telling us we’ve done something wrong.

If we’re not guilty then we are innocent.  Innocence, from a Course perspective, is an attribute of via Akasha LightkjhgGod’s Mind.  Innocence is Oneness and Oneness is Holiness.  Recognizing my holiness saves me from the misinformation the ego offers.  Recognizing my holiness “returns” me to an undifferentiated State of Mind — a state of Wholeness in which sin, guilt, fear, punishment and death are impossible and do not exist.

And, of course, if my holiness is my salvation, that is how my holiness blesses the world (Lesson 37).  This makes me think of wounded healers.  I became a psychotherapist because I was emotionally wounded and therapy healed me beyond the personality; it led to a series of spiritual awakenings.  I felt drawn to others who wanted to undergo deep self-examination.

I was, as the Course says, teaching what I wanted to learn (Introduction to the Manual for Teachers, “The course … emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same.” and Miracle Principle 16: “Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating it is as blessed to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.”)

At some point, this phrase was given to me, “Amy teaches self-awareness which leads to Self-Awareness.  God takes it from there.”  This teaching is an unlearning; it is a dis-identifying with the person; a “learning” to not take ourselves and others personally.  If you’re interested, read: How to Take Yourself Less Personally

LESSON 39

My holiness is my salvation.

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?  Like the text for which this workbook was written, the ideas used for the exercises are very simple, very clear and totally unambiguous.  We are not concerned with intellectual facts nor logical toys.  We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?  This is not difficult, surely.  The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question.  But do you believe that guilt is hell?  If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a workbook at all.  No one needs practice to gain what is already his.

We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world.  What about your own salvation?  You cannot give what you do not have.  A savior must be saved.  How else can he teach salvation?  Today’s exercises will apply to you, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world.  As you apply the exercises to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.

Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future.  Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell.  Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own.  How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it?  God does not know unholiness.  Can it be He does not know His Son?

A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today, and longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged.  If you want to exceed the minimum requirements, more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are suggested.

Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today’s idea to yourself.  Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear; uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity and so on.  Whatever form they take, they are unloving and therefore fearful.  And so it is from them that you need to be saved.

Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises.  It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently.  And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.

Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation.  Apply the idea for today to each of them in this way:

My unloving thoughts about ____________ are keeping me in hell.

My holiness is my salvation.

You may find these practice periods easier if you intersperse them with several short periods during which you merely repeat today’s idea to yourself slowly a few times.  You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything.  Sustained concentration is very difficult at first.  It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractible.

Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into the exercise periods in whatever form appeals to you.  Do not, however, change the idea itself as you vary the method of applying it.  However you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning is the fact that your holiness is your salvation.  End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding:

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?

In the shorter applications which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today’s idea, and preferably both.  If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:

My holiness is my salvation from this.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-38: There is nothing my holiness cannot do.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

cosmic heart infinity“The purpose of today’s exercises is to begin to instill in you a sense that you have dominion over all things because of what you are.”  Dominion meaning “true Authority,” not “supremacy.”  This is not grandiosity.  Grandiosity is of the ego.  This is true humility.

“Only the ego can be arrogant.  But truth is humble in acknowledging its mightiness, its changelessness and its eternal wholeness, all-encompassing, God’s perfect gift to His beloved Son.” (W-152)

When we connect to our Source, there is nothing our holiness cannot do.  It does not change the world.  It changes our perspective about the world.  Connecting with holiness undoes the world by awakening us from our dream of the world.

It is important to grasp that when Lesson 38 says, “Through your holiness the power of God is made manifest.” this is not about worldly manifestation.  “Manifest” is used by Jesus to mean “clear” or “obvious”.  It is about moving your attention from the ego split-mind to your true Unified Mind.  Let’s read the sentence again, like this:  “Through you holiness the power of God is clear and obvious.”  How do you know?  There is an Inner Peace, Quiet Certainty, and persistent Joy.

If we take this lesson seriously, it is very comforting, and very empowering.  Do the exercises below with sincere focus and reap the rewards of knowing nothing and the peace and freedom that arises as “fragmented you” expands into Unified You.

LESSON 38

There is nothing my holiness cannot do.

Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world.  It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance and limits of any kind.  Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator.

Through your holiness the power of God is made manifest.  Through your holiness the power of God is made available.  And there is nothing the power of God cannot do.  Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems.  It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else.  It is equal in its power to help anyone because it is equal in its power to save anyone.

If you are holy, so is everything God created.  You are holy because all things He created are holy.  And all things He created are holy because you are.  In today’s exercises, we will apply the power of your holiness to all problems, difficulties or suffering in any form that you happen to think of, in yourself or in someone else.  We will make no distinctions because there are no distinctions.

In the four longer practice periods, each preferably to last a full five minutes, repeat the idea for today, close your eyes, and then search your mind for any sense of loss or unhappiness of any kind as you see it.   Try to make as little distinction as possible between a situation that is difficult for you, and one that is difficult for someone else.  Identify the situation specifically, and also the name of the person concerned.  Use this form in applying the idea for today:

In the situation involving _________ in which I see myself, there is nothing that my holiness cannot do.

In the situation involving _______ in which _______ see himself, there is nothing my holiness cannot do.

From time to time you may want to vary this procedure, and add some relevant thoughts of your own.  You might like, for example, to include thoughts such as:

There is nothing my holiness cannot do because the power of God lies in it.

Introduce whatever variations appeal to you, but keep the exercises focused on the theme, “There is nothing my holiness cannot do.”  The purpose of today’s exercises is to begin to instill in you a sense that you have dominion over all things because of what you are.

In the frequent shorter applications, apply the idea in its original form unless a specific problem concerning you or someone else arises, or comes to mind.  In that event, use the more specific form in applying the idea to it.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-37: My holiness blesses the world.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

purple glimmerJesus begins Lesson 37 by saying, “This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here.”  Some synonyms for “glimmer” are “flicker,” “glisten,” “glow,” and “shimmer.”  Glimmers of true function are quietly auspicious.

Our purpose is to see the world through our own holiness.  The ego dreamed up the world to destroy wholeness.  But the Holy Spirit uses what the ego made to restore our awareness of wholeness.  How beautiful, how relieving, how fulfilling, to know my purpose is to shift the attention from the false idea of littleness to our natural Magnificence.

“The path becomes quite different as one goes along.  Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene, and the path homeenormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset.  Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases and time ends with it.” (M-19)

Purpose has nothing to do with human goals.  Holy purpose sees perfection and wholeness in everything, no matter how it looks from the human perspective.

An alternate title for Lesson 37 could be, “The end of sacrifice.”  When we move the attention to our holiness, we find it blesses our brother by asking nothing of him because when we see ourselves as whole we have no demands.  There is no payment or loss involved in holiness.  Holiness is complete.

When we allow the recognition of holiness to take hold of the mind, the world reflects God’s Love back to us.

We apply the idea to our outer world, our inner world, and to any problem people we encounter during the day.  We are told, “… if anyone seems to cause an adverse reaction in you” that it is especially important to offer that person the blessing of our holiness immediately.

Miracle principle 18 corresponds to this lesson nicely:  A miracle is a service.  It is the maximal service you can render to another.  It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself.  You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously.  We do this, not by preaching, but by denying the false concept of sacrifice, and, instead, being a living demonstration of wholeness.  The person cannot do it — only the mind aligned with Spirit can be guided to manifest through the body for as long as that is necessary, useful, and truly helpful.

Okay, let’s try it, because repetitions = mind training = shifts in perception (miracles):

My holiness blesses you, [name].
My holiness blesses this computer.
My holiness blesses this car.

My holiness especially blesses you, [name of person “causing” my adverse reaction] My holiness blesses the world.

LESSON 37

My holiness blesses the world.

This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here.  Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness.  Thus are you and the world blessed together.  No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision.  It signifies the end of sacrifice because it offers everyone his full due.  And he is entitled to everything because it is his birthright as a Son of God.

There is no other way in which the idea of sacrifice can be removed from the world’s way of thinking.  Any other way of seeing will inevitably demand payment of someone or something.  As a result, the perceiver will lose.  Nor will he have any idea why he is losing.  Yet is his wholeness restored to his awareness through your vision.  Your holiness blesses him by asking nothing of him.  Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.

Your holiness is the salvation of the world.  It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not be preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed along with you.

Today’s four longer exercise periods, each to involve three to five minutes of practice, begin with the repetition of the idea for today, followed by a minute or so of looking about you as you apply the idea to whatever you see:

My holiness blesses this chair.
My holiness blesses that window.
My holiness blesses this body.

Then close your eyes and apply the idea to any person who occurs to you, using his name and saying:

My holiness blesses you, [name].

You may continue the practice period with your eyes closed; you may open your eyes again and apply the idea for today to your outer world if you so desire; you may alternate between applying the idea to what you see around you and to those who are in your thoughts; or you may use any combination of these two phases of application that you prefer.  The practice period should conclude with a repetition of the idea with your eyes closed, and another, following immediately, with your eyes open.

The shorter exercises consist of repeating the idea as often as you can.  It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his name as you do so.  It is essential to use the idea if anyone seems to cause an adverse reaction in you.  Offer him the blessing of your holiness immediately, that you may learn to keep it in your own awareness.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-36: My holiness envelops everything I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Yesterday’s lesson focused on the perceiver (us from the inside out).  Today we’re focusing on the perceived: what we seem to see.  If we are part of God’s mind, we are infused with His Light.  When we look with the Holy Spirit, all is illuminated with His Light, which is a loving beacon showing us the way back to God.

Let’s go:
My holiness envelops this keyboard. (See it glow!)
 My holiness envelops these fingers (Shine on!)
My holiness envelops this window (Sparkle, twinkle!)

My holiness envelops everything I see … because “I” am within Holiness!

If you do the practice, you are Guided, whether it’s obvious to you or not.

 

LESSON 36

My holiness envelops everything I see.

Today’s idea extends the idea for yesterday from the perceiver to the perceived.  You are holy because your mind is part of God’s.  And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well.  “Sinless” means without sin.  You cannot be without sin a little.  You are sinless or not.  If your mind is part of God’s you must be sinless, or a part of His Mind would be sinful.  Your sight is related to His Holiness, not to your ego, and therefore not to your body.

Four three-to-five minute practice periods are required for today.  Try to distribute them fairly evenly, and make the shorter applications frequently, to protect your protection throughout the day.  The longer practice periods should take this form:
First, close your eyes and repeat the idea for today several times, slowly.  Then open your eyes and look quite slowly about you, applying the idea specifically to whatever you note in your casual survey.  Say, for example:

My holiness envelops that rug.
My holiness envelops that wall.
My holiness envelops these fingers.
My holiness envelops that chair.
My holiness envelops that body.
My holiness envelops this pen.

Several times during these practice periods, close your eyes and repeat the idea to yourself.  Then open your eyes, and continue as before.

For the shorter periods, close your eyes and repeat the idea; look about you as you repeat it again; and conclude with one more repetition with your eyes closed.  All applications should, of course, be made quite slowly, as effortlessly and unhurriedly as possible.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-35: My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

ice cube melting in waterHaving been immersed in the Course for almost 20 years, and having done the Workbook practice more than once, this lesson is fully welcomed and experienced as an ice cube melting in warm water (as beloved Mooji puts it).  The person called “Amy” is no longer important.  She handed the key to the perception mechanism over to the Holy Spirit long ago.

Today’s emphasis is on the perceiver and not on what is perceived. Depending on who you think you are, you identify as a differentiating perceiver or a Unifying perceiver.  This is all that matters.  What is perceived is determined by this one, simple decision: ego-driven perception or Holy Spirit-guided perception.

The ego tells us, “My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.” is an arrogant, inflated statement — and that it is untrue.  Jesus tells us the same statement is natural, and a humble acceptance of what is simply so.

These early lessons work with seeing and thinking.  We are asked to examine what seeing and thinking are.  Today we are told that we want to protect the image we have made, the image of the world and ourselves as bodies.  We again are faced with, “Images cannot see.”

The repercussions of this idea are so bright they blind the ego’s eye.  We are being told that whatever it is we do with our eyes is not true seeing.

The text tells us in Chapter 11, Section VI. Waking to Redemption, “That is what I meant when I said, ‘Blessed are ye who have not seen and still believe,’ for those who believe in the resurrection will see it. The resurrection is the complete triumph of Christ over the ego, not by attack but by transcendence. For Christ does rise above the ego and all its works, and ascends to the Father and His Kingdom.”

The lesson describes what vision will show us–how we will see once we plug back in to our Creator.  Our viewpoint changes, and we start to see that any way we see ourselves, good or bad, witnesses to the idea that there is something other than God to “see.”

This is not to scare us, bum us out, or batter our self-esteem.  It is to clarify that we are not human and whatever humans perceive is a reminder to remember (lol) that “My mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy.”

Holy in the sense of Whole, undifferentiated from my Source which is Oneness Itself.

We are given very specific instructions to observe our ego thought process.  This lesson presents a beautiful deconstruction of personality.  And we are told not to strain or dig to fulfill the exercise, but simply to relax and allow ideas to occur to us.  This is a perfect example of how “I need do nothing except not to interfere” (T-16.I) is the most direct route to receiving Guidance.

A little further along in Chapter 11, VI, Jesus says, “Learning of Christ is easy, for to perceive with Him involves no strain at all. His perceptions are your natural awareness, and it is only the distortions you introduce that tire you.  Let the Christ in you interpret for you, and do not try to limit what you see by narrow little beliefs that are unworthy of God’s Son. For until Christ comes into His Own, the Son of God will see himself as Fatherless.”* [emphasis mine]

* You may also enjoy reading, “Who Is My Father?”

LESSON 35

My mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy.

Today’s idea does not describe the way you see yourself now.  It does, however, describe what vision will show you.  It is difficult for anyone who thinks he is in this world to believe this of himself.  Yet the reason he thinks he is in  this world is because he does not believe it.

You will believe that you are part of where you think you are.  That is because you surround yourself with the environment you want.  And you want it to protect the image of yourself that you have made.  The image is part of this environment.  What you see while you believe you are in it is seen through the eyes of the image.  This is not vision.  Images cannot see.

The idea for today presents a very different view of yourself.  By establishing your Source it establishes your identity, and it describes you as you must really be in truth.  We will use a somewhat different kind of application for today’s idea because the emphasis for today is on the perceiver, rather than on what he perceives.

For each of the three five-minute practice periods today, begin by repeating today’s idea to yourself, and then close your eyes and search your mind for the various kinds of descriptive terms in which you see yourself.  Include all the ego-based attributes which you ascribe to yourself, positive or negative, desirable or undesirable, grandiose or debased.  All of them are equally unreal, because you do not look upon yourself through the eyes of holiness.

In the earlier part of the mind-searching period, you will probably emphasize what you consider to be the more negative aspects of your perception of yourself.  Toward the latter part of the exercise period, however, more self-inflating descriptive terms may well cross your mind.  Try to recognize that the direction of the fantasies about yourself does not matter.  Illusions have no direction in reality.  They are merely not true.

A suitable unselected list for applying the idea for today might be as follows:

I see myself as imposed on.
I see myself as depressed.
I see myself as failing.
I see myself as endangered.
I see myself as helpless.
I see myself as victorious.
I see myself as losing out.
I see myself as charitable.
I see myself as virtuous.

You should not think of these terms in an abstract way.  They will occur to you as various situations, personalities and events in which you figure cross your mind.  Pick up any specific situation that occurs to you, identify the descriptive term or terms you feel are applicable to your reactions to that situation, and use them in applying today’s idea.  After you have named each one, add:

But my mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy.

During the longer exercise periods, there will probably be intervals in which nothing specific occurs to you.  Do not strain to think up specific things to fill the interval, but merely relax and repeat today’s idea slowly until something occurs to you.  Although nothing that does occur should be omitted from the exercises, nothing should be “dug out” with effort.  Neither force nor discrimination should be used.

As often as possible during the day, pick up a specific attribute or attributes you are ascribing to yourself at the time and apply the idea for today to them, adding the idea in the form stated above to each of them.  If nothing particular occurs to you, merely repeat the idea to yourself, with closed eyes.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-34: I could see peace instead of this.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

om skyIt is from our peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

This is a first taste of true perception–using what the ego made for the Holy Spirit’s purpose of Love.

Lesson 34 works with our fear thoughts, anxiety, depression, “offending” personalities, events, or situations, and has us become more aware of what they are … and then replace them with peace of mind.

Willingness: I could see peace instead of this.

Practice:  I could see peace instead of this.

Results:  A great spreading through the upper-back of my head … a relaxing of my breath, neck and shoulders … a sense of internal spaciousness … a letting go of fixing situations … a giggle of relief, a trusting in God, in the Holy Spirit as Comforter …

I could see peace instead of this … instead of what?  For a moment, nothing but peace, a vast spreading … no words …

LESSON 34

I could see peace instead of this.

The idea for today begins to describe the conditions that prevail in the other way of seeing.  Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter.  It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward.  It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

Three longer practice periods are required for today’s exercises.  One in the morning and one in the evening are advised, with an additional one to be undertaken at any time in between that seems most conducive to readiness.  All applications should be done with your eyes closed.  It is your inner world to which the applications of today’s idea should be made.

Some five minutes of mind searching are required for each of the longer practice periods.  Search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety-provoking situations, “offending” personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harboring unloving thoughts.  Note them all casually, repeating the idea for today slowly as you watch them arise in your mind, and let each one go, to be replaced by the next.

If you begin to experience difficulty in thinking of specific subjects, continue to repeat the idea to yourself in an unhurried manner, without applying it to anything in particular.  Be sure, however, not to make any specific exclusions.

The shorter applications are to be frequent, and made whenever you feel your peace of mind is threatened in any way.  The purpose is to protect yourself from temptation throughout the day.  If a specific form of temptation arises in your awareness, the exercise should take this form:

I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.

If the inroads on your peace of mind take the form of more generalized adverse emotions, such as depression, anxiety or worry, use the idea in its original form.  If you find you need more than one application of today’s idea to help you change your mind in any specific context, try to take several minutes and devote them to repeating the idea until you feel some sense of relief.  It will help you if you tell yourself specifically:

I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry [or my thoughts about this situation, personality or event] with peace.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-33: There is another way of looking at the world.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

open head w mechanical partsThere is another way of looking at the world.  There is another way of looking at my outer world.  There is another way of looking at my inner world.  Inside out.  Upside down.  Reversed.  Unraveled.

What are words?  A bunch of letters woven together into meanings.  What are images?   Pictures of thoughts.  Words and pictures express thoughts.  What are thoughts?  Ideas and interpretations.  Ideas about what?  Life.  Interpretations of what?  No things.

The ego has spun an imaginary web of no things and made them seem like some things.  Allowing another way of looking at the world goes far beyond new ideas about planet earth and the cosmos.  It releases all attachment, completely.  Mind is still.  Peace and freedom abide harmoniously and expansively.  Happy sigh.

LESSON 33

There is another way of looking at the world.

Today’s idea  is an attempt to recognize that you can shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects.  A full five minutes should be devoted to the morning and evening applications.  In these practice periods, the idea should be repeated as often as you find comfortable, though unhurried applications are essential.  Alternate between surveying your outer and inner perceptions, but without an abrupt sense of shifting.

Merely glance casually around the world you perceive as outside yourself, then close your eyes and survey your inner thoughts with equal casualness.  Try to remain equally uninvolved in both, and to maintain this detachment as you repeat the idea throughout the day.  The shorter exercise periods should be as frequent as possible.  Specific applications of today’s idea should also be made immediately, when any situation arises which tempts you to become disturbed.  For these applications, say:

There is another way of looking at this.

Remember to apply today’s idea the instant you are aware of distress.  It may be necessary to take a minute or so to sit quietly and repeat the idea to yourself several times.  Closing your eyes will probably help in this form of application.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

 

W-32: I have invented the world I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Jesus says that I am the inventor of the world I see.  He is not speaking to me, Amy.  Amy is just a fragment of the one ego mind.  Ego does not listen to what Jesus has to say.  Ego sticks its fingers in its ears and says, “I don’t hear you!  I don’t hear you!”

Jesus is addressing all of us as One Brother, that is, Christ-consciousness, the Sonship, Pure Awareness.  Jesus is explaining that ego is an image-maker.

The outer world is a visual-figment of “my” imagination.  The inner world is a thought-figment of “my” imagination.  Who does this “my” belong to?  The one ego mind.  Who does the one ego mind belong to?  Christ-consciousness.  Who does Christ-consciousness belong to?  God.

The ego is a mad scientist mixing concoctions of guilt, fear and death; of past and future; of images and form.  Ego causes separation and the effect is separation.  God causes Love and the effect is Love.  Cause and effect are the same, but the ego makes them seem different.

Jesus tells us to apply the idea for today to any situation that may distress, such as, “I have invented this upset stomach as I see it.  I have invented these despotic murders throughout the world as I see them.  I have invented my longing to rescue that stray dog as I see it.”   As I practice, something zooms out and I see that there is no stomach to hurt, there is no political tragedy, and there is no dog to stray.  Light shines forms away …

It becomes clear that there is a sense of “me” drawing pictures that “I” get sucked into and forget were drawn by “me.”  All pain melts away and is replaced by pure faith.

Then come the oscillations between pure faith and the heavy ego-gravity pull of compulsively reviewing the past and projecting into the future … the vise of ego identity insisting on its own existence although there is nothing between its jaws.

This is only to be expected as sleep melts away and the spiritual eye of the Soul blinks open.  Do not be concerned with the final turns of the ceiling fan after the power has been cut off.

LESSON 32

I have invented the world I see.

Today we are continuing to develop the theme of cause and effect.  You are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it.  You can give it up as easily as you made it up.  You will see it or not see it, as you wish.  While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want it, it will not be there for you to see.

The idea for today, like the preceding ones, applies to your inner and outer worlds, which are actually the same.  However, since you see them as different, the practice periods for today will again include two phases, one involving the world you see outside you, and the other the world you see in your mind.  In today’s exercises, try to introduce the thought that both are in your own imagination.

Again we will begin the practice periods for the morning and evening by repeating the idea for today two or three times while looking around at the world you see as outside yourself.  Then close your eyes and look around your inner world.  Try to treat them both as equally as possible.   Repeat the idea for today unhurriedly as often as you wish, as you watch the images your imagination presents to your awareness.

For the two longer practice periods three to five minutes are recommended, with not less than three required.  More than five can be utilized, if you find the exercise restful.  To facilitate this, select a time when few distractions are anticipated, and when you yourself feel reasonably ready.

These exercises are also to be continued during the day, as often as possible.  The shorter applications consist of repeating the idea slowly, as you  survey either your inner or outer world.  It does not matter which you choose.

The idea for today should also be applied immediately to any situation that may distress you.  Apply the idea by telling yourself:

I have invented this situation as I see it.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.