Longer: 3--morning, evening and once in between, for 10 minutes
* Say: "Beyond this world there is a world I want. I choose to see that world instead of this, for here is nothing that I really want."
* Close your eyes on this world and in silent darkness watch the lights of the other world light one by one, until they blend together and cover all you see. Your eyes cannot see this light, but your mind can see and understand it.
Shorter: hourly; for a moment
Lay by your thoughts and dwell briefly on this: "The world I see holds nothing that I want. Beyond this world there is a world I want."
The emphasis of the Course, however, isn't on "giving up the world, but on exchanging it for what is far more satisfying, filled with joy, and capable of offering you peace" (1:3). Well, that's not such a bad deal, is it?
It begins to look especially good if we take a hard look at the world we're trying to hang on to. Merciless, unstable, cruel, unconcerned with you, quick to avenge and pitiless with hate. The recent bombing in Oklahoma City, and the rabid rage against the bomber, are both testimony to this. The bomber was "avenging" Waco, and now people want vengeance on the bomber. The fighting in Bosnia is a vengeance cycle that has been going on for centuries. This is the way the world is. And "no lasting love is found, for none is here. This is the world of time, where all things end" (2:5-6). That, perhaps, is the cruelest part of all about this world. Even when you do find love, it can't last forever.
So--wouldn't you rather find a world where it is impossible to lose anything? Where vengeance is meaningless? (3:1) "Is it a loss to find all things you really want, and know they have no ending and they will remain exactly as you want them throughout time?" (3:2) It's speaking here of what the Course calls "the real world," and the following sentence--"you go on from there to where words fail entirely" (3:3)--is talking about Heaven, the non-physical existence in eternity.
What is it talking about when it speaks of "all things you really want?" If they are things that have no ending and don't change over time, they can't be anything physical; certainly not bodies. It is speaking of Love Itself; it is speaking of our Self which is spirit, and which we share with everyone. We are here to find the changeless in the midst of the changeable, and to learn to value what is changeless and to let go of what is changeable.
When we choose the changeless, and value the real world of spirit instead of what changes and decays, it brings us very close to Heaven, and prepares us for it. Loosing our grasp on the world makes the transition to Heaven easy.
Holding on to the world brings loss. When you try to cling to the perishable you doom yourself to suffering; Buddhism teaches a similar lesson, that all desire is suffering.
Doing the practice exercises for today has a remarkable effect. When I say, "The world I see holds nothing that I want. Beyond this world there is a world I want," I find myself noticing all the attachments I still have to things in this world; I find myself noticing that my conception of what it is beyond this world that I "really want" is a bit vague. And so I bring that attachment and that unclarity to the Holy Spirit, and ask that He help me in those areas. I know He will.