"I feel the Love of God within me now."
Purpose: To go past all your thoughts of self, world and God and so experience the Love of God within you now. This will intensify your motivation and strengthen your commitment.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Be still and empty your mind of all images of yourself, all concepts of the world, all beliefs in what God is, everything you think is true, false, good, bad, your "worthy" thoughts and "shameful" thoughts, all thoughts you learned from the past. Forget even this course. And come with empty hands, quiet heart and open mind unto your God.
Remarks: Do not point out the road by which God must come to you. Merely let Him be. Open a door to Him and His Love will blaze a pathway to you, shining outward from its home within.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
(Suggestion) Do a short version of morning/evening exercise.
Frequent Reminder: (Suggestion) Look out from the Love of God within you to see a world shining in innocence and alive with hope.
By this point in the Workbook, any time we see the word "now" we should be seeing it as a probable reference to the holy instant. The word "feel" also has significance, directing our attention to the realm of experience, as opposed to conceptual understanding. Given these two points we can realize that this lesson is about entering a holy instant in which we have an experience of God's Love within us.
"There is a light in you the world can not perceive" (1:1). The lesson begins by referring, as did yesterday's lesson, to the light that is within us, inherent in our creation. It is not something visible to the body's sense organs (1:2), but quite visible to a different kind of sight. To see this light and to feel the Love of God are synonymous (1:7). We are being directed to experience this other kind of seeing.
We can see "through darkened eyes of malice and of fear" (3:2) or with a mind permeated with the experience of Love's Presence within the mind. What we see within determines how we see the world. Based on our state of mind, we see either a world poised to attack us, or a world that reaches out to bless us. Either picture of the world makes the other picture inconceivable to us (3:5, 4:1).
If I am seeing "a world of hatred rising from attack" (3:5), the description of the world given in paragraph 2 seems to be no more than wishful thinking. People encountering the teaching of the Course for the first time often raise this objection. For instance, I once heard a man who had listened to a lecture on forgiveness say, "You people must be crazy! All you have to do is walk down the street in New York and you can't possibly maintain that love is all there is." He was seeing a world of hatred rising from attack; there was no room left in his mind to see anything else.
If I am seeing the world of hatred, how can I possibly see a world of love? No logical argument will ever change my mind. What is required is something that will change what my mind is seeing within itself, because the world I see is nothing more than a reflection of that, the outside picture of an inward condition (T-21.Int.1:5). If I am seeing a world of attack it is because within myself I am seeing an attacking mind. "What they have felt in them they look upon, and see its sure reflection everywhere" (4:3). The holy instant can, and does, change that self-perception. "I feel the Love of God within me now." That experience will literally transform the way I see the world. "If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and of love" (5:5).
This is why we are asked to "lay aside all thoughts of what you are" (7:1), to be still, and to allow something else to enter our minds. We are being asked to set aside every conclusion we have ever made about anything, to allow - for a moment at least - that all of it may be misinformed and misguided, and to "come with wholly empty hands unto your God" (7:5). In asking us to forget even "this course" the lesson is not saying that intellectual comprehension of the course is not useful, but it is saying that only something that transcends the intellect can truly turn the tide of our wrong perception. Even our understanding of the Course is bound to be distorted when it is based on a mind firmly rooted in fear and in the concept of self we have built up. We may mistakenly use that imperfect understanding to dictate to God the way He should come to us. So we are asked to set even this aside, and to allow God to come to us in whatever way He wants to come.
To forget the Course is not a permanent principle, but a temporary expedient designed to allow a new kind of experience. It is merely part of removing the barriers to the experience of ourselves as Love, for even our ego-based "understanding" of the Course can interfere with the experience of its true meaning. So we are being told, when seeking the holy instant, to lay aside any assumption that we understand anything at all. Let everything be open to change. If we are willing to do this, "His Love will blaze its pathway of itself" (9:4).
We cannot force ourselves to see the world differently. But if we can, just for an instant, see ourselves differently, and feel the Love of God within ourselves, the way we see the world will change of itself, because the way we see the world is the way we see ourselves.
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