Workin’ the Workbook

W-31: I am not the victim of the world I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Detachment.  Neutral observation.  These qualities will allow us to separate from the ego thought system rather than separating from God.

We are advised to “let the stream [of thought] move on evenly and calmly, without any special investment on your part.”  This is the mind training: watching our thoughts as if they are figures on a ticker tape; figures in which, contrary to ego thinking, we now have no investment.

We are beginning to recognize that the world we picture is the results of the thoughts we think.  “You will escape from both together, for the inner is the cause of the outer.”  As we learn this we “are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom.  And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.” 

As we rewind our thoughts and discover everything is really and truly happening in the mind, we become free of feeling that we can be the victim of anything that happens in the world.  Our freedom frees everyone because there is only one mind to change and then the whole illusion unravels.

“The idea for today is also a particularly useful one to use as a response to any form of temptation that may arise.  It is a declaration that you will not yield to it, and put yourself in bondage.”  Hmmmm.  Well, that’s gonna take some more practice. 

LESSON 31

I am not the victim of the world I see.

Today’s idea is the introduction to your declaration of release.  Again, the idea should be applied to both the world you see without and the world you see within.  In applying the idea, we will use a form of practice which will be used more and more, with changes as indicated.  Generally speaking, the form includes two aspects, one in which you apply the idea on a more sustained basis, and the other consisting of frequent applications of the idea throughout the day.

Two longer periods of practice with the idea for today are needed, one in the morning and one at night.  Three to five minutes for each of these are recommended.  During that time, look about you slowly while repeating the idea two or three times.  Then close your eyes, and apply the same idea to your inner world.  You will escape from both together, for the inner is the cause of the outer.

As you survey your inner world, merely let whatever thoughts cross your mind come into your awareness, each to be considered for a moment, and then replaced by the next.  Try not to establish any kind of hierarchy among them.  Watch them come and go as dispassionately as possible.  Do not dwell on any one in particular, but try to let the stream move on evenly and calmly, without any special investment on your part.  As you sit and quietly watch your thoughts, repeat today’s idea to yourself as often as you care to, but with no sense of hurry.

In addition, repeat the idea for today as often as possible during the day.  Remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom.  And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.

The idea for today is also a particularly useful one to use as a response to any form of temptation that may arise.  It is a declaration that you will not yield to it, and put yourself in bondage.

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-30: God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Real vision is unlimited by space and time.  Real vision does not depend on the body’s eyes at all.  Real vision comes from “within,” that is, from God’s mind.  Today we use “projection” as a way of seeing the All in all.  

God is in everything I see … because God is in my mind.  God is in my mind, and so everything I see is infused with God.

If God is Light, then Light is shining through my mind, and illuminating all that I see.

Darkness cannot exist in Light.  Who am I?  That Light which is Shining.

LESSON 30

God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

The idea for today is the springboard for vision.   From this idea will the world open up before you, and you will look upon it and see in it what you have never seen before.  Nor will what you saw before be even faintly visible to you.

Today we are trying to use a new kind of “projection.”  We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by seeing it outside.  Instead, we are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognize is there.  Thus, we are trying to join with what we see, rather than keeping it apart from us.  That is the fundamental difference between vision and the way you see.

Today’s idea should be applied as often as possible throughout the day.  Whenever you have a moment or so, repeat it to yourself slowly, looking about you, and trying to realize that the idea applies to everything you do see now, or could see now if it were within the range of your sight.

Real vision is not limited to concepts such as “near” or “far.”  To help you begin to get used to this idea, try to think of things beyond your present range as well as those you can actually see, as you apply today’s idea.

Real vision is not only unlimited by space and distance, but it does not depend on the body’s eyes at all.   The mind is its only source.  To aid in helping you to become more accustomed to this idea as well, devote several practice periods to applying today’s idea with your eyes closed, using whatever subjects come to mind, and looking within rather than without.  Today’s idea applies equally to both.

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

W-29: God is in everything I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Photo: Scott Johnson

We are used to attributing the grandeur and beauty of nature to God.  We are not used to the idea that God is in the mundane and the revolting as well.

God is in everything we see because we are within God’s Mind.   Seen correctly, every “thing” is not a thing at all, but an extension of One Formless Source.

Therefore, God is in this and God is in this

God is in everything I see … because I am within God’s Mind.

Pantheism regards the universe as a manifestation of God; pantheism is a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe.*  Today’s lesson is not saying that God created the physical universe.  It is saying that what the ego mis-created can be used for God’s Loving Purpose which will help us see differently.  The word “universe” is used to mean different things depending on its context in ACIM.  In W-29, universe is used to mean Oneness.

Lesson 29 could also be titled, “The Whole Basis for Vision.”  The alternate title I proposed for yesterday’s lesson was, “The Purpose of the Universe.”  When we want to see things differently, the purpose of the universe is revealed: to see with God’s Unified Vision, not with the ego’s divisive dream-mind.

Your Inner Teacher, the Holy Spirit, provides a Vision bridge for you to cross.  golden bridge

The manifestation of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, holds out his hand for you to help you cross that golden bridge.

Since we are equals with Jesus, we are also manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Cross the bridge and find out for yourself.

Jesus Hand

LESSON 29

God is in everything I see.

The idea for today explains why you can see all purpose in everything.  It explains why nothing is separate, by itself or in itself.  And it explains why nothing you see means anything.  In fact, it explains every idea we have used thus far, and all subsequent ones as well.  Today’s idea is the whole basis for vision.

You will probably find this idea very difficult to grasp at this point.  You may find it silly, irreverent, senseless, funny and even objectionable.  Certainly God is not in a table, for example, as you see it.  Yet we emphasized yesterday that a table shares the purpose of the universe.  And what shares the purpose of the universe shares the purpose of its Creator.

Try then, today, to begin to learn how to look on all things with love, appreciation and open-mindedness.  You do not see them now.  Would you know what is in them?  Nothing is as it appears to you.  Its holy purpose stands beyond your little range.  When vision has shown you the holiness that lights up the world, you will understand today’s idea perfectly.  And you will not understand how you could ever have found it difficult.

Our six two-minute practice periods for today should follow a now familiar pattern: Begin with repeating the idea to yourself, and then apply it to randomly chosen subjects about you, naming each one specifically.  Try to avoid the tendency toward self-directed selection, which may be particularly tempting in connection with today’s idea because of its wholly alien nature.  Remember that any order you impose is equally alien to reality.

Your list of subjects should therefore be as free of self-selection as possible.  For example, a suitable list might include:

God is in this coat hanger.
God is in this magazine.
God is in this finger.
God is in this lamp.
God is in that body.
God is in that door.
God is in that waste basket.

In addition to the assigned practice periods, repeat the idea for today at least once an hour, looking slowly about you as you say the words unhurriedly to yourself.  At least once or twice, you should experience a sense of restfulness as you do this.

*  Source of definition:  Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary and Google dictionary

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

 

W-28: Above all else I want to see things differently.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

tableThis lesson helps us to stop referencing the past entirely, to open our minds completely, and to see truly. The title could just as well be, “The Purpose of the Universe.”

When we look at the image to the left, we have already defined it in our minds.  If we withdraw everything we think we know about this table, and commit to seeing it differently, we could gain vision from this simple exercise right now.

Jesus is not messing around.  He tells us, “In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe.” and “You are asking it what it is, rather than telling it what it is.” In doing so, “You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables,  nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.” 

So let’s try it:  “Above all else I want to see this table differently.”  Above all else I want to see this table differently.  A b o v e a l l e l s e i w a n t t o s e e t h i s t a b l e d i f f e r e n t l y . . . y l t n e r e f f i d e l b a t s i h t e e s o t t n a w i e s l e l l a e v o b a . . .

Withdrawing all ideas from the table (or anything else) leaves your mind open to “something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope.”  When above all else you really want to see things differently, God’s purpose is revealed.

LESSON 28

Above all else I want to see things differently.

Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday.  In these practice periods, you will be making a series of definite commitments.  The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here.  If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them.  And we are still at the beginning.

You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, “Above all else I want to see this table differently.”  In itself it is not important at all.  Yet what is by itself?  And what does “in itself” mean?  You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all.  You either see or not.  When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently.  The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.

When you say, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table, and open your mind to what it is, and what it is for.  You are not defining it in past terms.  You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is.  You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.

You will not question what you have already defined.  And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers.  In saying, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are committing yourself to seeing.  It is not an exclusive commitment.  It is a commitment that applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less.

You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you would withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind.  It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope.  Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.

In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe.  You will be making this same request of each subject that you  use in the practice periods.  And you are making a commitment to each of them to let its purpose be revealed to you, instead of placing your own judgment upon it.

We will have six two-minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see about you.  Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today’s idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.

As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject your eyes happen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying:

Above all else I want to see this __________ differently.

Each application should be made quite slowly, and as thoughtfully as possible.  There is no hurry.

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

 

W-27: Above all else I want to see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

blue sky doveIt’s interesting how today’s lesson says it expresses something stronger than “mere determination.”  Lesson 20 was “I am determined to see.”  Now, we graduate to “Above all else I want to see.”  In Lesson 27, Jesus tells us that determination is not very strong at all–no surprise there, ha ha!  But although the ego tries to undermine us, be comforted by knowing that if you are practicing A Course in Miracles, grace is working with you; grace is guiding you already.

In the law of attraction the word “want” indicates lack.  But in A Course in Miracles, “want” simply means desire.  The word “above” conjures up a heavenly light beckoning.  The lesson is clearly stating the only sensible priority: before everything else, every ego concern and desire we have, there must be commitment to True Vision.  This is the only road to love, peace and joy.

We are warned that to the ego this will feel like we’re inviting loss.  So we’re given two phrases to assuage this fear:  “Vision has no cost to anyone” and “It can only bless.”  If I become afraid that on rising to Heaven (which is not about the death of the body) I’ve left behind my loved ones and they can’t get on without me, I can remind myself that no one pays a price for Vision and it blesses us all.

This kind of lesson is compatible with my nature.  I enjoy making it a mindful mantra.  “Above all else I want to see.  Above all else I want to see.  Above all else I want to see. Aummmmmmmmmmm.”  It was in my sleep with me last night.  The words jumbled around (“Beyond all things I want to see”) but the meaning was retained–specific words don’t matter when we are sincere and allow the Holy Spirit to take over and work within us.

LESSON 27

Above all else I want to see.

Today’s idea expresses something stronger than mere determination.  It gives vision priority among your desires.  You may feel hesitant about using the idea, on the grounds that you are not sure you really mean it.  This does not matter.  The purpose of today’s exercises is to bring the time when the idea will be wholly true a little nearer.

There may be a great temptation to believe that some sort of sacrifice is being asked of you when you say you want to see above all else.  If you become uneasy about the lack of reservation involved, add:

Vision has no cost to anyone.

If fear of loss still persists, add further:

It can only bless.

The idea for today needs many repetitions for maximum benefit.  It should be used at least every half hour, and more if possible.  You might try for every fifteen or twenty minutes.  It is recommended that you set a definite time interval for using the idea when you wake or shortly afterwards, and attempt to adhere to it throughout the day.  It will not be difficult to do this, even if you are engaged in conversation, or otherwise occupied at the time.  You can still repeat one short sentence to yourself without disturbing anything.

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.  You will probably miss several applications, and perhaps quite a number.  Do not be disturbed by this, but do try to keep on your schedule from then on.  If only once during the day you feel that you were perfectly sincere while you were repeating today’s idea, you can be sure that you have saved yourself many years of effort.

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

 

W-26: My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

mauve-sky-with-lightningThis is one of those lessons that is thunderous.  It reverberates through my mind with powerful claps because my memory of God is sparked by it.  It says, “The idea for today introduces the thought that you always attack yourself first.”

The ego mind scared itself into believing that we had separated from God’s mind and that in order to alleviate that fear we lashed out at God as if He had done something wrong (first projection).  This led to us believing that now we could be attacked in return.

First we believed we could be attacked by God–before we were even in a form.  We believed this while just an ego thought without the coverings and the veils of space and time and worlds and bodies.  Next we believed that our brothers could attack us … we were so delusional we thought our brothers were separate entities.  As if the fingers on our hand were separate entities independent of our hand, arm and body.

Every person we see “out there” is a piece of us.  We are all aspects of the same ego mind.  One aspect may be homeless and in the gutter, another may be English royalty, but both are facets of the same One.

This lesson helps us really comprehend that.  “And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you.  It is this law that will ultimately save you, but you are misusing it now.  You must therefore learn how it can be used for your own best interests, rather than against them.”

The practice today is worth writing out on paper.  Very deep and powerful.  We are asked to be specific in recounting what concerns us, what we fear could happen, and then to tell ourselves, “This thought is an attack on myself.”  What a relief!

If this is not the first time you’ve done the ACIM Workbook, you might want to partner W-26 with W-38 which provides a further antidote.  In 12-step they say the only person you can change is yourself.  ACIM goes beyond the person entirely and shows us that with God’s help, little “me” is naturally absorbed back into my True Self once and for all.

LESSON 26

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

It is surely obvious that if you can be attacked you are not invulnerable.  You see attack as a real threat.  That is because you believe that you can really attack.  And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you.  It is this law that will ultimately save you, but you are misusing it now.  You must therefore learn how it can be used for your own best interests, rather than against them.

Because your attack thoughts will be projected, you will fear attack.  And if you fear attack, you must believe that you are not invulnerable.  Attack thoughts therefore make you vulnerable in your own mind, which is where the attack thoughts are.  Attack thoughts and invulnerability cannot be accepted together.  They contradict each other.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you always attack yourself first.  If attack thoughts must entail the belief that you are vulnerable, their effect is to weaken you in your own eyes.  Thus they have attacked your perception of yourself.  And because you believe in them, you can no longer believe in yourself.  A false image of yourself has come to take the place of what you are.

Practice with today’s idea will help you to understand that vulnerability or invulnerability is the result of your own thoughts.  Nothing except your thoughts can attack you.  Nothing except your thoughts can make you think you are vulnerable.  And nothing except your thoughts can prove to you this is not so.

Six practice periods are required in applying today’s idea.  A full two minutes should be attempted for each of them, although the time may be reduced to a minute if the discomfort is too great.  Do not reduce it further.

The practice period should begin with repeating the idea for today, then closing your eyes and reviewing the unresolved questions whose outcomes are causing you concern.  The concern may take the form of depression, worry, anger, a sense of imposition, fear, foreboding or preoccupation.  Any problem as yet unsettled that tends to recur in your thoughts during the day is a suitable subject.  You will not be able to use very many for any one practice period, because a longer time than usual should be spent with each one.  Today’s idea should be applied as follows:

First, name the situation:

I am concerned about _____________.

Then go over every possible outcome that has occurred to you in that connection and which has caused you concern, referring to each one quite specifically, saying:

I am afraid _____________ will happen.

If you are doing the exercises properly, you should have some five or six distressing possibilities available for each situation you use, and quite possibly more.  It is much more helpful to cover a few situations thoroughly than to touch on a larger number.  As the list of anticipated outcomes for each situation continues, you will probably find some of them, especially those that occur to you toward the end, less acceptable to you.  Try, however, to treat them all alike to whatever extent you can.

After you have named each outcome of which you are afraid, tell yourself:

That thought is an attack upon myself.

Conclude each practice period by repeating today’s idea to yourself once more.

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

 

W-23: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This lesson is riveting.  We are given the “only way out of fear that will ever succeed.”  And it cannot fail.  The cause of the world I see is my attack thoughts.  Period.  If I give up my attack thoughts, my perception of the world will change–this is the happy dream which the Course talks about in the Text.

First, we need to identify what has caused the world–choosing the ego thought system.  Second, we need to be willing to let go of our attachment to the ego thought system.  Third, God takes the final step for us and reveals the Light and Love which we already are.

One tricky point is that our thoughts of attacking someone or something else are exactly the same as our thoughts that someone or something (e.g., a tsunami) is attacking us.  We have to get the hang of understanding that an attack thought is an attack thought no matter which direction it is going … it still indicates we have chosen the ego.

And now, here comes one of the many Course definitions of “salvation.”  Salvation is escaping from the cause of the world.  Salvation is that moment of decision when we opt for the Holy Spirit’s Vision rather than ego-seeing, eyesight.  Then loveliness can light all of our images. 

Now get this:  “There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. [emphasis mine]”   What a huge relief.  I no longer have to lament the world.  I do not have to worry about Mother Nature and the countless ways we defile Her.  I do not have to hate myself for not being an organ donor, for not adopting every orphan child and animal out there, for not always recycling!

What’s more, I need to grasp that the world is an effect of my choice to think through the ego mind.  It is a narrow mind, filled with guilt and fear, and it believes it has separated from God. That’s what’s happening.  That is the cause of me picturing a world.  I am outpicturing, projecting an image outwards … an image of attack, hatred, fear, retribution, vengeance.  And the world I see is the effect of my thoughts.

So Jesus says if I change my thoughts I will change my mind.  I will literally switch over from the limited edition ego mind 🙂 to the Full Edition.  We see a world but we don’t see ourselves as the image maker of the world.  We call that arrogance, to claim we could make a world–isn’t that a brilliant way of avoiding the Truth?

This led to a discussion between me and Scott about the law of attraction.  Scott said that he read a book on the subject a while back and found that “there was no traction in the law of attraction” for him.  He didn’t feel drawn to the teachings–he had an innate sense of this lesson: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts, which originated during his 12-year-old lacrosse experience (see blogpost “W-21: I am determined to see things differently” posted on Jan 21, 2015).

There’s been some public concern about the law of attraction being used for greedy manifestation without spirituality.  True law of attraction taps into a higher vibration that guarantees the highest good of all.

My sense of the law of attraction is that the undoing process can bring us to the point when a piece of God’s mind said, “Let’s try being separate from God.  Let’s try duality.  Let’s try felt experience and gross form” and that this pure moment was free of fear, attack, hatred, guilt, death, etc.  This was still within eternity and could be achieved playfully in endless ways … this is my sense of what the law of attraction provides: a way to write our dream script in all variety of gorgeous, abundant, brilliant, peaceful, harmonious ways, just for the fun of it.

Playing at God’s feet, so to speak, and awakening refreshed when we feel like it.  Some of us want to pause here and have some fun in the world.  Some of us are ready to go Home.  What’s interesting to me is that Helen wasn’t thinking about the law of attraction when she scribed the Course–Jesus didn’t offer her an alternative to living in the world for manifestation purposes.  He offered her an alternative thought system–a doorway Home because that must be what she asked for whether she always knew it consciously or not.

LESSON 23

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed.  Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless.  But this way cannot fail.  Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see.  It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.

If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do  not want.  There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect.  But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world.  Here you are changing the cause.  The effect will change automatically.

The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance.  Each of your perceptions of  “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts.  One can well ask if this can be called seeing.  Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?

You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker.  You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause.  This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone?  Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now.  Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate.  For you will not be making them alone.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed.  This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced.  The first two steps in this process require your cooperation.  The final one does not.  Your images have already been replaced.  By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.

Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today’s idea.  As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you.  As each one crosses your mind say:

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about _________.

Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.

In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked.  Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same.  You do not recognize this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today’s practice periods.  We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see.  When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.

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

 

Why Subscribe to Workin’ the Workbook?

WtW verticalWorkin’ the Workbook (WtW) is an online class that helps structure, clarify and support your Course in Miracles Workbook practice.  WtW also helps you persevere and stick with all 365 lessons. Many people quit before completing the Workbook and don’t get to experience the rewards of choosing the Holy Spirit rather than the ego.

You can begin at any lesson — start with Lesson 1 or resume where you left off.  The price is $37 a month (just a bit more than a dollar a day) and no one is turned away due to lack of funds (email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com to ask about scholarships).  The classroom is open to you for as long as it takes to finish all 365 lessons.

Most importantly, WtW encourages you to trust your personal experience. Messages and signs that you might overlook will be illuminated as WtW helps you recognize symbols of God’s Love and Light.

As you do the workbook practice, you will find it easier to connect with your Internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit, and recognize His guidance. You will develop more focus, faith and trust as your own experience strengthens the Truth which is already in your mind.  Here are some basic recommendations from the Holy Spirit as given by Jesus in ACIM:

Recommendations from the Holy Spirit

★ Develop the good habit of practicing your workbook lesson as close to awakening, and going to sleep, as possible.

★ All the workbook lessons should be done in an unhurried manner. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.

★ As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned. This is important because it impresses on the mind the first miracle principle: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” When this becomes real to us, there is nothing else to do but naturally and effortlessly spend our lives extending miracles.

★ “The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance.” ACIM, M-29. Isn’t it comforting and inspiring to know that the Holy Spirit is working with you individually?*

★ Open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and feel His power surging Life and Love into you. Doing the workbook practice is like plugging in your cell phone–a powerful energy is charging you up! And there will be signs to boost your confidence along the way.

★ There is also a purification process involved, so it’s natural to experience unpleasant side effects at times. But remember, when swimming pools are disinfected, first the muddy, murky sludge that has gathered at the bottom is churned up to the surface. Only after the filter has been going for a while does the water become clear. In the same way, you are cleansed and purified through the workbook practice. After a while fear and darkness dissolve, and all that remains is the loving light You Really Are.

* There will come a day when you realize that you were working with the Holy Spirit, not He with you.  He helps you awaken to Reality, not dream a better dream.  When you choose His guidance, you are choosing against illusions and enlightenment is recognized as always here, always true. “The Holy Spirit must work through you to teach you He is in you.  This is an intermediary step towards the knowledge that you are in God because you are part of Him.” (T-7.IV.2:1-2)

For a long time, it seems as if your path is your own–very personal and filled with unique experiences. It is your particular set of experiences, relationships and understandings. This is because first you must become your self, and that readies you to realize your Self.

Imagine you are climbing a ladder to Heaven, rung by rung. Each rung is brightened with more and more light, as you draw nearer and nearer to Heavenly Light. The Holy Spirit is not shining brighter – you are drawing nearer. And when you reach the top you realize there is no individual “you”– there is one unified Us 🙂

WtW Lauren crisp n clear

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-22: What I see is a form of vengeance.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

In 1998, there was great resistance to this lesson because I took it personally.  I thought Jesus was not acknowledging how far I had come in not judging people and being open-minded.

Now it is clear that Jesus is not speaking to little ego-fragment “me, Amy”, as a person.  He is simply stating that ego eyesight shows us forms and forms were made to obscure the Formless God-Self we truly are.

Forms can be transformed–the undoing process is an unforming, which these early lessons initiate.  Forms do not stop at material objects–forms begin with thought-form.

If I have attack thoughts, criticisms and judgments of myself or others, then I must see the world as vengeful.  The Course says I’ve projected my own anger out at the world and I expect revenge in return; I expect to be attacked.  Expecting attack, I lash out (and often lie to myself and say I’m being nice, or that I wouldn’t have lashed out if you hadn’t started “it”) and call it self defense.

“Why’d you have to make me do it?”

And so there is a vicious cycle of fear of attack leading to attack over and over again.  All the forms I see are a testament to my belief that I’ve separated from God and that I’m afraid I’ll be punished, so my best defense is an offensive strike.

Another way of putting it is that every form I see is a curtain I’ve drawn between myself and God.  This curtain obscures my Source so that I won’t remember God exists.  I don’t realize that I’m the dreamer dreaming an unreal dream which will end, and I with it, when “I” awaken … awakening is the opposite of condensation … a spreading back into Wholeness where All is the same One.

Jesus assures us that none of this is real; it is a savage fantasy from which we can “escape.”   There is a trans-formation process where we ask the Holy Spirit to use the forms we made for His Purpose of Love and Unification.  For a while we still see forms but from a Unifying Perspective.We made up the whole story of the world and humanity, because we dreamed we separated from God, and we dreamed up the hatred and murder with which we live.  But actually we are seeing “only the perishable,” “nothing that will last,” because what we see is not real–what we see is a form of vengeance.  Vengeance can be transformed with the Holy Spirit’s Vision … to help ourselves look with Him, we ask ourselves, “Is this the world I really want to see?”

LESSON 22

What I see is a form of vengeance.

Today’s idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world.  Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him.  His own attack is thus perceived as self defense.  This becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees.  Otherwise, thoughts of attack and counter-attack will preoccupy him and people his entire world.  What peace of mind is possible to him then?

It is from this savage fantasy that you want to escape.  Is it not joyous news to hear that it is not real?  Is it not a happy discovery to find that you can escape?  You made what you would destroy; everything that you hate and would attack and kill.  All that you fear does not exist.  Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time.  As your eyes move slowly from one object to another, from one body to another, say to yourself:

I see only the perishable.
I see nothing that will last.
What I see is not real.
What I see is a form of vengeance.

At the end of each practice period, ask yourself:

Is this the world I really want to see?

The answer is surely obvious.

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

 

W-21: I am determined to see things differently.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This is the lesson that tells us that “a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.”

Anger is anger no matter what gradation we experience.  Most of us are very uncomfortable with anger anyway, and cannot permit ourselves to know how angry we are–the consequences of our anger are too threatening to us.

In the kind of psychotherapy work I used to do, we are invited to fully feel our emotions in the safety of the therapy room, and find out that they can run their course, be released, and we can feel relieved, re-balanced, and transformed from that process.

For example, if I allow myself to yell at someone who’s not actually there using Gestalt chairwork, and express that energy through my voice, body language, eyes, etc., then I will find out more.  I may grow angrier and feel the effects in my body: shaking hands, heat rising through my torso into my face, etc.

I may feel impotent as the person I am angry at ignores me or mocks me.  I may feel satisfied that I’ve said my piece.  I may feel frightened that I could hurt the other person, or myself through a violent gesture, or by internal bursting–a stroke or a heart attack.

Eventually, if I practice this technique and use it well, I will learn that strong feelings are energy in motion, e-motion, and that at the other side of this swell of anger is peace.  Underneath every human emotion is peace, joy and love … if we are willing to plumb the depths.  At the depth we discover our truth: we are all the same and we are just frightened that we are alone, misunderstood and deserving of punishment.

“I’d rather go fishin’.”

Scott told me that he learned this lesson when he was 12 years old and was on a lacrosse team.  It became clear to him that if he faced his opponent down by running straight at him,  penetrating him with a look that said, “I’m going to kill you” and wielding his lacrosse stick with fury, that he would win the game.  He fully grasped in that moment that under the veils of learning lacrosse technique and back-slapping team camaraderie was simply “kill or be killed.”  And he never went back to lacrosse.  He may not have known it at the time, but he was determined to see things differently 🙂

Yesterday’s lesson, morphed into, “I will not be deterred…”  Today I feel confident that I will not be blinded by the ego because my willingness is Greater than ego objections.  Willingness adheres to the Truth, my true Will Power, my Source.  Let the ego hypnotize and swirl and makes its magic.  Magic disappears in a poof of smoke when Light pours through.  And I am able to see … things … differently.

Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi offers the mantra, “I am that I am.”  I am that I am clears away debris and ego darkness.  I am that I am sweeps obstructions away.  Enough I am that I am clears space for the Light.  Seems similar.

LESSON 21

I am determined to see things differently.

The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one.  This time, however, specific mind-searching periods are necessary, in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they may arise.  Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.

In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself.  Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated that arouse anger in you.  The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage.  The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter.  You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.

Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods.  Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything.  You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations or persons more than others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious.”  This is not so.  It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.

As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind while you tell yourself:

I am determined to see __________ [name of person] differently.
I am determined to see __________ [specify the situation] differently.

Try to be as specific as possible.  You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect.  If your perception is suffering from this form of distortion, say:

I am determined to see _____________ [specify the attribute] in _____________ [name of person] differently.

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