"Today I learn to give as I receive."
Purpose: To practice seeing with the eyes of Christ. To give the knowledge you have received by giving Christ's vision to your brothers, and thus letting that vision look on you as well.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
Sit quietly and wait on God. Thank Him for His gifts in the previous hour. And let His Voice tell you what He wants you to do in the coming hour.
Frequent Reminder: See each brother you meet with the Christ's vision and so let that vision shine on you. See no one as a body. Acknowledge him as God's Son, at one with you.
Response To Temptation: Whenever you feel tempted, repeat idea.
This lesson has a lot of profound metaphysics in it, particularly the stuff about time. If you'd like to dig into the Course's concept of time, a terrific starting place is Ken Wapnick's book, "A Vast Illusion: Time in A Course in Miracles." I can't write a book tonight and you probably don't want to read one right now! :-) So I'm going to skip over most of that stuff.
The practical point this lesson is trying to make is that "knowledge," which lies in the sphere of Heaven, is outside the scope of this Course. We have all received knowledge when we were created; every living thing knows, inherently, that it is still connected to its Source: "a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid because you were created out of Love" (1:2). It may seem to us that this is something we do not have, and that it is this we are trying to give to others and to receive for ourselves. But we can't give it because everyone already has it. It exists outside of time entirely. The point in time at which the experience of this knowledge reveals itself to us is already determined, by our own minds (2:9). When it happens, it will happen.
Within time - which is an illusion - what we can give, and receive, is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift that reflects true knowledge "in a way so accurate its image shares its unseen holiness" (11:1-2). What we can give is a vision of sinlessness, "Christ's vision." We can look past the body and see a light; look past what can be touched and see an idea; look past the mistakes and fears in our brothers and sisters, and see their inherent purity. We can greet one another and in each one, "see him as the Son of God he is, acknowledging that he is one with you in holiness" (8:4).
We are not giving knowledge. When we meet someone, we can give them our vision of themselves as sinless. In the way that we perceive them, they can find a new perception of themselves, one they have not found on their own. As they respond to our merciful vision, they will reflect that vision back to us, enabling us to perceive the Love of God within ourselves. When we forgive another, we have simultaneously forgiven our own sins, because "in your brother you but see yourself" (10:3).
We cannot know when revelation of truth, the experience of our reality, will come to us. The time is set; the drama is being played out; there is not one step we take only by chance (3:1-3). And yet, each act of forgiveness brings the day nearer. Our concern, then, is not with the final experience, but with the practice of vision, seeing with the eyes of Christ. This is something we can attain; this is something we can do something about. And we can do so today. Right now.
"This can be taught; and must be taught by all who would achieve it" (8:1). The way to learn the vision of Christ is to give it. The way to achieve the vision of ourselves as Christ sees us is to practice seeing others with His eyes. We give it to have it. This is the whole plan of the Course.
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