am one Self, united with my Creator."
comes from my one Self."
Purpose: A second chance at the last 20 lessons, a chance to face how little you have learned and learn greatly by applying idea to everything in your life. You will gain such large advances that you will continue more firmly and solidly.
Overall Remarks: Please follow this format as closely as you can. If you miss a practice period because it was impossible to do at the appointed time, learning is not hindered. You need not make these practice periods up. If instead you missed because of unwillingness to give the time, learning will be hindered, and those practice periods should be made up. Be very honest with yourself. Do not camouflage your unwillingness with situations seemingly beyond your control. Learn to discern between this kind of situation and situations that are truly unsuited to practicing. Your unwillingness comes from choosing other goals over salvation. As soon as you choose salvation again, do your make-up practice periods as a replacement for your devotion to other goals.
Longer: 2--in morning and in last hour before sleep (ideally first and last 5 minutes of your waking day) 5 minutes (longer if you prefer)
* Read over the day's ideas and comments.
* Then lean back in faith and let your mind use them as it chooses. Let it think about them and relate them to your needs, problems and concerns. Trust your mind to do this wisely and to be guided by the Holy Spirit, for He has chosen your mind as His means for saving you. He has given these ideas to you in perfect faith you will use them well. Give them to your mind in the same perfect faith.
Shorter: at the beginning of every half hour for a moment
* Repeat applicable idea (on the hour, the first idea; on the half hour, the second idea).
* Allow your mind to rest in silence and peace for a moment.
Remarks: These shorter practice periods are at least as important as the longer. Do not forget them. You have tended to skip these and not apply the idea to all that you encounter. Your learning has thus been limited and its gifts weak.
Shorter/Response To Temptation: in between the half hour marks
Do not lay the idea down after the half hour reviews. Take it with you into your affairs and apply it to them, making them holy. If you forget or your peace is shaken, think of it again.
Remarks: The practice periods are meant to teach you the habit of applying idea to everything you do. The idea is meant to serve you with unlimited usefulness at all times and places and whenever you need any kind of help.
COMMENTARYThere is something inexpressibly appealing about the idea of being "one Self." Much of modern psychology talks about "integration" of the disparate aspects of our being. So much of the time we feel as if we are made up of varying segments, sometimes cooperating but more often than not conflicting with one another. There is what the Jungian analysts refer to as our "shadow" self, all the dark, repressed tendencies that follow us around as dark figures in our dreams.
The Course holds out the vision of a unified Self. It speaks of "a mind at peace within itself" (W-pII.8.3:4). It tells us that because we must be only one self, we cannot be in conflict. The Text talks about our war against ourselves (Chapter 23) and says that the apparent conflict we see in the world around us is nothing but a reflection of the illusion of conflict we all carry within our own minds. It says that "peace begins within the world perceived as different, and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond" (W-pI.200.8:2). The peace must begin within us, in the serenity and calm of an integrated self, in a mind free of conflict and attack.
The Self we are speaking of is more than just a whole individual, however. It is one Self shared by all, "at one with all creation and with God" (1:2). The two are really different aspects of the same thing, for as we free ourselves of conflict within ourselves, our conflict with the world will miraculously disappear.
This is why salvation comes from this one Self. When we have consolidated ourselves, recognized the truth of our unified being, this condition of wholeness naturally extends to others. From within the Circle of Atonement (T-14.V) we draw others to their own wholeness, shared with us.
Today I still my mind from all its conflicts. I dissociate myself from the dissociation, I separate myself from the separation. I take time in quiet to break my sense of identification with this image of a shattered self, and I let myself sink down into the awareness of "one Self" within me. Who I really am. Conflicting images of myself come and go with startling frequency; they cannot be my reality. Something persists beneath it all, the "hum" of being in which all the flash and drama seems to occur. It is this steadiness that I am, not the ephemeral shooting stars of thought that seem to demand my attention. I embrace this one Self, avidly, saying, "Salvation comes from my one Self. This oneness is my salvation. This oneness is my reality."
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