"I see all things as I would have them be."
This lesson is the second in a pair. The previous lesson told us that we judge all things as we would have them be. This lesson continues: "Perception follows judgment" (1:1). Judgment is, in this context, nearly synonymous with interpretation. We first want a certain thing to be true; we therefore judge or interpret what is around us according to that desire; and having judged (interpreted), we perceive what we wanted. "For sight can merely serve to offer us what we would have" (1:3). The Course's presentation of perception and how it works is consistent and insistent: "You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there. Perception has no other law than this" (T-25.III.1:3-4).
If we want to see the real world, we will see it. If we join with the Holy Spirit in His goal, we "cannot fail to look upon what Christ would have him see, and share Christ's Love for what he looks upon" (1:6). The key is in what we want.
It's hard to admit that what we are seeing we must have wanted to see, at some level of our minds. The ego has a sick mind, quite literally; the unrecognized ego thoughts and wishes manifest in the world even though we are not conscious of them. But the world is our mind's mirror; what we see is what we have chosen to see. The world does not change because we are afraid to look within our minds and see the thoughts that caused it. If we will look, He will heal.
I recall someone standing during an ACIM workshop, when Ken Wapnick was sharing along these lines, and telling how, during the television reports on a California earthquake, he became aware that there was a part of his mind that was disappointed that the death toll was so low. Something in him wanted it to be more dramatic, wanted to see more death. I remember once realizing quite clearly that I wanted someone dead--someone quite close to me. It was a shock, but when I let myself be aware of it I was also aware that the thought was not new!
We need to be willing to find the cause of the world we see within our own minds, so that we can change our minds about the world. With changed thoughts, we will see a changed world.
If we will, we can look upon "a liberated world, set free from all the judgments I have made" (2:1). Today we can choose to see the world differently--if we want to. There is no guilt in choosing not to see it differently, but think of how unhappy your perception of the world has made you up till now and ask yourself if you don't want to see it differently. Seeing the real world is your will. It is up to you, and to me, to choose to see it today.
"Father, this is Your Will for me today, and therefore it must be my goal as well" (2:2).
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