"The Name of God is my inheritance."
Purpose: To go past the inheritance you gave yourself and so experience the Name that God gave as your true inheritance. This experience will intensify your motivation and strengthen your commitment. You cannot fail today.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Let your mind accept the Name God gave you. This is the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made for yourself. Use only this one Name in your practicing. If other names enter your mind, respond with this Name.
Remarks: You need this interval in which you leave the dark prison house of the world and go into the sunlight. Here you understand the name which God gave you, the one Identity that all things share. And then step back into darkness, to proclaim its unreality using names that have meaning in the world of darkness.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
(Suggestion) Do a short version of morning/evening exercise.
Frequent Reminder: (Suggestion) Realize that the different names you have given things obscure their oneness. Practice applying the one Name to everything, and see all foolish separations disappear.
Response To Temptation: (Suggestion) When tempted to think someone's name defines them as a separate identity, silently apply God's Name to them.
There is a lot we could think about in this lesson. The way names, which are symbols, are based on separation and distancing of things. The way that perception is built up by these names and distinctions. How all of this is forced to view wholeness as an enemy. The way that the learning of the world consists primarily in learning all these names and ways of classifying things.
All of this is in contrast to the reality that is represented by the Name of God. The Name of God stands for wholeness, oneness, "the one Identity Which all things share" (10:2). Our perception has taught us an illusion, based on thousands of names for discreet parts we see as separate things; reality, however, is Wholeness, undifferentiated, unseparated. The picture of parts we have manufactured hides the reality of the Wholeness from us.
So, then, are we to attempt to completely set aside our perception of parts with separate names, and to live, somehow, seeing only the Oneness? Is it somehow "wrong" for us to use the names and symbols of the world, to act as though Marilyn is different from Bob? Are we to treat a bluebird like our own baby? No. The lesson affirms the absolute truth, but it does not insist we attempt to make this world fit into that picture.
First, it says quite clearly that learning all the little names and symbols of separation "is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through" (7:2). As some teachers of transpersonal psychology (the branch of psychology that teaches that ultimate wholeness transcends individual ego development) have said, you cannot transcend the ego until you have developed a healthy ego. Ego development seems to be a necessary step in our overall growth. Children have to become healthy, adult egos before they can successfully go beyond the ego. If an adult is still wrestling with problems of personality development that, in "normal" growth, should have been handled in childhood or adolescence, those problems probably need to be addressed, on their own level, before the person seeks to transcend their ego entirely.
I am extrapolating on the lesson a good deal here, and expressing what have to be classed as opinions, not necessarily something taught by the Course. But I do think this section comes pretty close to implying this; everyone has to pass through the "teaching of the world" stage before they can begin to question its premises. We do not want to "stop short" at the teaching of the world (7:4), but it does seem we have to pass through it. "In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin" (7:5).
Not only do we all need to pass through the world's kind of learning as a starting point, but after we have begun to "go beyond all symbols of the world," there is still reason for us to continue to use them: we have a teaching function (9:1). We still continue, for instance, to call people by name, to treat them as individuals with individual needs, but we are "not deceived" (9:3) by these apparent differences. The names and symbols of the world are necessary for purposes of communication, but, "They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found" (9:5). We are using the symbols of the world to communicate the fact of Wholeness; we are using symbols to undo the symbols.
This is a tricky game. It is easy, remaining in the world and playing by the rules of separation, so to speak, to forget the reality these symbols of separation are hiding. That is exactly why the practice of holy instants is so important!
"Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name which God has given you; the one Identity which all things share; the one acknowledgment of what is true. And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules" (W-pI.184.10).
Practicing with the Name of God enables us to let go of "all foolish separations...which kept us blind" (14:3). In our quiet times we remember the Wholeness and forget the differences. We may still see differences, but what we see has not changed the truth (13:3). All things still have One Name. In our practicing we renew this awareness, and then we "step back to darkness;" we return to the world of symbols and dreams in order to proclaim to it the reality we have experienced in the holy instant.
"Father, our Name is Yours. In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator" (15:1,2).
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