Review I - Lessons 1 to 5
"Nothing I see means anything."
"I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me."
"I do not understand anything I see."
"These thoughts do not mean anything."
"I am never upset for the reason I think."
Purpose: To review the lessons and therefore let them sink in a notch deeper. Also, to see how interrelated they are and how cohesive the thought system is that they are leading you to.Exercise: As often as possible (suggestion: every hour on the hour), for at least two minutes.
• Alone in a quiet place, read one of the five lessons and the related comments. Notice that the comments are written as if they are your own thoughts about the idea. Try to imagine that they are. It will help if you frequently insert your name. This will set you up for the next phase, in which you generate similar thoughts of your own.
• Close your eyes and think about the idea and the comments. Think particularly about the central point of the commentary paragraph. Reflect on it. Let related thoughts come (utilizing the training you’ve received in that practice). If your mind wanders, repeat the idea and then get back to your reflection. This is the same basic exercise as in Lesson 50, in which you actively think about ideas in order to let them sink more deeply into your mind.
• At the beginning and end of the day read all five lessons.
• Thereafter, cover one lesson per practice period, in no particular order. • Cover each lesson at least once.
• Beyond that, concentrate on a particular lesson if it appeals to you most.
Note first that we aren't simply to read this review; we are meant to spend time morning and evening reviewing all five ideas, and to spend at least one two-minute practice period during the day on each of the five. That's five practice periods between the morning and evening, minimum. It will probably take a little planning to schedule those five interim periods, and the planning time is worth the effort. Second, notice that these practice instructions apply to all ten review lessons for the next ten days.
The comments on the five lessons given in Lesson 51 link them together so clearly that little comment is really needed. As Review I says in the last sentence, the emphasis of this review is on the relationships between the ideas and the cohesiveness of the entire thought system being presented. If you look at them together, they are lessons in "letting go" (the words "let go" or some variant occur in four of the five reviews). In these first five lessons I am being asked to let go of:
- What I see
- My judgments
- My understanding
- My thoughts
- My thought system
What we "see" in the normal sense is nothing; we need to realize it is meaningless and let it go, so that vision may take its place. We are not actually seeing things; rather, we are seeing our judgments on them. If we want vision, we have to realize our judgments are invalid, and cease letting them govern our sight. If we have misjudged, surely we have also misunderstood. Our "understanding" of things is based, not on reality, but on our own projections. But we can choose to exchange our misunderstandings for real understanding, based on love rather than judgment.
Like what we see, our conscious thoughts are without any real meaning; we need to let them go, along with judgment-based perceptions. They are thoughts of anger and attack, seeing all things as our enemies. These thoughts which are apart from God require constant justification, and our upset is no more than an attempt to justify our anger with the world and our attacks upon it.
As we read over this review, which is written in the first person, we may want to try reading it aloud, and seeing how we resonate with it. Am I really willing to let go of what I see, my judgments and my understanding of everything, my thoughts, and my very thought system? Can I say, "I am willing to let it go?"
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