Lesson 15 – My thoughts are images that I have made.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This lesson tells me that I think that I am thinking, therefore the truth is that I am not thinking.  What I call thinking is actually not-thinking.

Because I think I am thinking, I think I see what I’m “thinking” about.  This is what eyesight is for: to witness to the ego that the ego indeed exists through false visuals.

Lesson 15 goes on to say it is teaching us an  “introductory idea to the process of image making” [bold mine].  This was said to Helen and Bill in the 1970s before the mainstream popularity of New Age ideas about creating your reality, visualizing your future and positive affirmations.  I’ve come to understand that positive affirmations, vision boards, setting intention, etc., are methods of manipulating the ego dream — which is okay for a while, but at some point this is no longer gratifying.

Discovering the power of the mind, even in the ego dream, is very useful.  The belief in ego mind has miscreated powerfully with the use of imagination:  galaxies, planets, the elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether, humans — yet, none of this is real.  You can think of it as virtual reality.

Lesson 15 says that we will begin to understand the process of image making when we see little edges of light around the same familiar objects which we see now, and that that is the beginning of real vision.  Jesus says once this happens we can be certain that real vision will come quickly — of course, we don’t know what Jesus means by quickly, lol.  Billions of years are nothing to him, and anything can happen in a holy instant.  We are also told that as we go along we may have many light episodes.  I’ve had some, and many others (perhaps you?) have as well.

Although light episodes can seem dramatic, they are, as my first yoga teacher Dharma Mittra used to say, “just another experience.”  Yogic practices can lead to light experiences, just as Course practices can.  As the Course says in the Text, there are many legitimate paths and A Course in Miracles is but one of them.  But if the Course does turn out to be your path, as it is mine, there is a satisfaction in acknowledging that the world has been a terrifying, unjust and vicious place.

In my experience it is also a depleting, unsatisfying, perversely uncooperative, unreasonable and irrational place.  In recent years, since I found the Course, the world and my relationships have become much more gratifying.  Everything is much simpler now that I can remind myself that everything is a call for love, or Love Itself, and the only response is Love.  Now I can focus on letting go of the ego thought system with Love and return Home.

Some students of the Course take this information about light episodes literally.  Ken Wapnick, a renowned teacher of A Course in Miracles, and my mentor, used to say that the light episodes are symbolic.  I think they are both — sometimes literal, sometimes symbolic.  Personally, I have had many experiences of seeing what Gurumayi and others call the “blue pearl.”   And I have also had a series of ocular migraines that, as I stopped feeling afraid of them and relaxed into them, have had a softening and opening effect on my mind.  They are a painless light show, jewel-like, kaleidoscopic-ish, and give me a strong demonstration of how “eyesight” is actually “brainsight”!

In the ACIM Preface, Jesus says, “The opposite of seeing through the body’s eyes is the vision of Christ, which reflects strength rather than weakness, unity rather than separation, and love rather than fear.”  Give yourself a treat and read the Preface at the beginning of the first book in A Course in Miracles called the Text.  In the third section of the Preface, called “What It Says,” Jesus speaks and gives us an excellent synopsis of the entire ACIM teaching.  This will better help you absorb the workbook lessons.


My thoughts are images that I have made.

It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing.  You think you think them, and so you think you see them.  This is how your “seeing” was made.  This is the function you have given your body’s eyes.  It is not seeing.  It is image making.  It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.

This introductory idea to the process of image making that you call seeing will not have much meaning for you.  You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now.  That is the beginning of real vision.  You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

As we go along, you may have many “light episodes.”  They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected.  Do not be afraid of them.  They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last.  They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge.  These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you.  But they will prepare the way to it.

In practicing the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:

This _______________ is an image that I have made.
This _______________ is an image that I have made.

It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today’s idea.  It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself.  The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time.

Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practice that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible.  Less than a minute will do for the practice periods, if you begin to feel uneasy.  Do not have more than three application periods for today’s idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four.  However, the idea can be applied as needed throughout the day.

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.