LESSON 176 (REVIEW V)
"God is but Love, and therefore so am I."
"Give me your blessing, holy Son of God."
"I am as God created me."
Purpose: To prepare for part II of the Workbook. To give more time and effort to practicing, that you may hasten your slow, wavering and uncertain footsteps, and go on with more faith, certainty and sincerity. Make this review a gift to Jesus and a time in which you share with him a new yet ancient experience.
Central Thought: "God is but Love, and therefore so am I." This thought should start and end each day, start and end each practice period, and be repeated before and after each thought to be reviewed. Each of these thoughts, in turn, should be used to support this central thought, keep it clear in mind, and make it more meaningful, personal and true.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Repeat and dwell on central thought and review thoughts.
Let go of the words, which are only aids. Try to go beyond their sound to their meaning. Wait for experience, place your faith in it, not the means to it. If your mind wanders, repeat the central thought.
Close with the central thought.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
(Suggestion) Repeat the central thought and the review thoughts slowly enough to see and receive their gifts. Spend a quiet moment with them.
Frequent Reminder: Take one of the review thoughts and surround it with the central thought ("God is but Love, and therefore so am I."). Use the review thoughts to keep the central thought clear in our memory throughout the day.
Response To Temptation: (Suggestion) When tempted, respond with a review thought, the central thought, or both.
Comments on Introduction, paragraph 8.
Our practicing somehow releases Christ to the world. Opening our minds to the Holy Spirit makes us available as channels to those around us. The Holy Spirit, of course, is "Him Who sees your bitter need, and knows the answer God has given Him" (8:1). One of the things that makes the Course so unique, I think, is the way in which it both acknowledges our "bitter need" and yet affirms that in reality we have no needs. It is as if He is saying to us, "I know that the world of pain and loss is only an illusion and nothing to be disturbed about, but I also know that, to you, it is very, very real, and I am ready to work with you on that basis."
Quite clearly, we are being encouraged to develop a relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We review "together." We devote our time and effort to them "together." We are not simply individuals practicing some kind of mind manipulation; we are engaging in a relationship, a collaborative venture.
"Healing does not come from anyone else. You must accept guidance from within. The guidance must be what you want, or it will be meaningless to you. That is why healing is a collaborative venture. I can tell you what to do, but you must collaborate by believing that I know what you should do" (T-8.IV.4:5-9).
So we are reviewing these thoughts with him. We are not just mulling them over by ourselves, but listening to that guidance from within as we do so.
"And together we will teach them to our brothers" (8:4). Have you noticed how nearly every time the Course talks about the process we are going through, it ends up with some aspect of sharing or extension, some kind of giving what we have received to our brothers? The Course is not a personal path of salvation. Indeed it teaches there is no such thing as individual salvation, because "individual" is an illusion. We are not alone. We are not separate individuals who can be individually saved. We are part of a Whole, and when we begin to receive what the Holy Spirit has to teach, we must share it, because sharing is what He is teaching. We teach "by actions or thoughts; in words or soundlessly; in any language or in no language; in any place or time or manner" (M-1.3:6).
We share precisely because the Whole is not Whole until everyone is included. As Jesus is incomplete without us, we are incomplete without our brothers. We, like Jesus, may recognize the wholeness in ourselves and in so doing, recognize it in our brothers. The wholeness is already there, but unacknowledged and unrecognized. Our "ancient home" is being "kept unchanged by time, immaculate and safe" (8:8). We cannot lose it, but we have lost awareness of it, and that awareness is what we share with each other. As we begin to accept our own wholeness we become reminders to the world of the wholeness that is also theirs, and that we share with them. There is no "preaching" quality, no spiritual elite telling the rest of the world "how it is." It is the happy communication that, "You are whole, as I am. I am as God created me, and you are as God created you." We come to our brothers, not as superiors, but asking their blessing on us, acknowledging them as the holy Son of God, along with us.
"Your holiness is the salvation of the world. It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by 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." (W-pI.37.3)
Copyright © 1996, The Circle of Atonement, Sedona,
All rights reserved.