"Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is
The weapon I would use
To keep the miracle away from me."
From the sublime heights of yesterday's lesson ("I would forget all things except Your Love") we return to the level of our split mind, in which we attack ourselves, keeping away the miracle with judgment and attack. The previous lesson was miracle-mindedness; here we see why we do not always experience that state of mind: We actively keep it away from ourselves with judgment and attack. The process of the Course involves learning complete honesty with ourselves. We learn to recognize and admit the duplicity of our own minds:
"Father, I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my will to have" (1:1).
"My will" is my right-mindedness, forgetting everything except God's Love. And yet we seem to want something else, and to actively resist having the Love of God flooding our minds.
I love this next couple of lines:
"Straighten my mind, my Father. It is sick" (1:2-3).
I love those lines because of their stark simplicity, and because of the contrast they offer to the frothy denial of our inner darkness that is prevalent in so many circles. The Course does not pull any punches. It does not "throw pink paint" over our problems, as Marianne Williamson so colorfully puts it (pun intended!). There are times when no other assessment fits: Our minds are sick! It is sick to want what goes against my true will, and to actively resist my own well-being. Self-destruction is always pathological. When we look honestly at the fact that we are literally pushing away our own peace of mind, by active choices we make, it ought to be repugnant. When we see what we have been doing, our saner self will say, "This is sick!"
And so we ask the Father to "straighten my mind." That always reminds me of a science fiction book by Zenna Henderson, called "The People" (or perhaps the title was "No Different Flesh"). In it there were certain persons who could telepathically enter into another person's mind and "sort" their thoughts, soothing their inner turmoil and pain. The idea appealed to me so much that I used to pray, "Sort me, Father," when I felt my thoughts in chaos and confusion. And it seemed to work! I was pleasantly surprised to see this similar phrase here, validating my experience. "Straighten my mind."
We enable the straightening of our minds by giving all our judgment to the Holy Spirit and asking Him to judge for us (1:5). He sees what we see, "and yet He knows the truth" (1:6). He is looking at the same evidence I am looking at, but He knows the pain is not real; the evidence means something entirely different to Him. To me, the evidence of my eyes seems to prove that separation, pain, loss and death are real. When I bring all this to Him and ask Him to straighten my mind, He will show me that what I see does not mean what I think it means; He will use what I thought proved my guilt to reveal my innocence.
"He gives the miracles my dreams would hide from my awareness" (1:8).
"Listen today. Be very still, and hear the gentle Voice for God assuring you that He has judged you as the Son He loves" (2:1-2).
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