Purpose: To prepare for part II of the Workbook, by concentrating on readiness for it and by reviewing the last 20 lessons in a way that will facilitate that readiness.
Longer: 2--beginning and ending of the day, for 5 minutes or more.
* Open your mind, clear it of all distracting thoughts. For five minutes let this thought alone occupy it, displacing all others: "My mind holds only what I think with God."
* Read the day's two ideas. Close eyes and repeat ideas slowly, without hurry, for this is what time was made for. Let each word shine with the meaning God gave it. Receive from each idea the gift God placed in it.
Remarks: Phase 1 will be enough to set your day along the lines God planned, making it a special time of blessing for you and for the world. It will be enough to place Him in charge of all your thoughts. Your thoughts will come from more than you. They will also come from Him and tell you of His Love. Thus will you, His completion, join with Him. And He, your completion, will join with you. He thanks you for your practicing. And as your day ends, His gratitude will surround you.
Shorter: hourly, for a quiet moment
* Say: "My mind holds only what I think with God." Spend a quiet moment with it.
* Then repeat the day's two ideas, slowly enough to see their gifts and receive their gifts.
The world I see is a world shown to me by unforgiveness. It is "the delusional system of those made mad by guilt" (T-13.In.2:2). The only thing that keeps up the illusion of this world's reality, with its seeming punishment, pain, sorrow, separation and death, is a lack of forgiveness. Why does my body seem to be what I am? Why does the pain I experience, mental, emotional and physical, seem so real? Why does loss seem so real? All of its reality originates and is sustained by a lack of forgiveness in my mind. This is why, "Forgiveness is the key to happiness" (Lesson 121).
There is a world I truly want, a world that lies beyond this world. The Course calls it the real world. "The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the world is seen to be forgiveness" (T-30.V.1:1). "The real world is attained simply by complete forgiveness of the old, the world you see without forgiveness" (T-17.II.5:1). My perception shifts from seeing the world of pain to seeing the real world by means of one thing: forgiveness.
This is why it is impossible to see two worlds. Either my mind is forgiving, or it is not. Either it condemns what it sees, or it accepts in merciful forgiveness. Let me begin within myself: how unkind I am to myself in the way I think of myself! How merciless I am in judging my mistakes! This harshness with myself is the origin of the harsh world I see.
There is within me, and within us all, a vast space of kindness, an enormity of heart that embraces everything in love. This is the Mind I share with God. Within me, too, is a fearful child, awash in pain, believing it has eternally damaged the universe. Let me turn with love to that hurt part of myself and open my arms in comfort and gentle loving-kindness. My heart is big enough to hold this pain instead of rejecting it. The love I share with God is vast enough to grant mercy to myself. Let me not shut myself out of my own heart any longer. Let me take myself in, in warmth and gentle welcome.
Let me look on the ones close to me, as well, with this same gentle, kind acceptance. Here is the cure for my loneliness and pain, for there is nothing so painful as a closed heart. Indeed there is no pain but this. Pain is constricting the heart. Pain is denying the love that I am. In this subtle, internal gesture of rejection lies the origin of the world I see. In the undoing of this contraction of pain is my salvation, and the salvation of the world. Here is the entry to the real world, a world bright with love, radiant with hope, certain in its joyfulness.
Beyond this world, there is a world I want, and the key to open the door is forgiveness.
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