LESSON 180 (REVIEW V)
"God is but Love, and therefore so am I."
"By grace I live. By grace I am released."
"There is no cruelty in God and none in me."
Purpose: To prepare for part II of the Workbook. To give more time and effort to practicing, that you may hasten your slow, wavering and uncertain footsteps, and go on with more faith, certainty and sincerity. Make this review a gift to Jesus and a time in which you share with him a new yet ancient experience.
Central Thought: "God is but Love, and therefore so am I." This thought should start and end each day, start and end each practice period, and be repeated before and after each thought to be reviewed. Each of these thoughts, in turn, should be used to support this central thought, keep it clear in mind, and make it more meaningful, personal and true.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Repeat and dwell on central thought and review thoughts.
Let go of the words, which are only aids. Try to go beyond their sound to their meaning. Wait for experience, place your faith in it, not the means to it. If your mind wanders, repeat the central thought.
Close with the central thought.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
(Suggestion) Repeat the central thought and the review thoughts slowly enough to see and receive their gifts. Spend a quiet moment with them.
Frequent Reminder: Take one of the review thoughts and surround it with the central thought ("God is but Love, and therefore so am I."). Use the review thoughts to keep the central thought clear in our memory throughout the day.
Response To Temptation: (Suggestion) When tempted, respond with a review thought, the central thought, or both.
Comments on review Introduction, Paragraph 12.
Yesterday we thought again about the means of practice that we are being taught, the frequent repetition of the thoughts for the day. Today's paragraph reminds us that the words are only aids. Their purpose is simply to "recall the mind, as needed, to its purpose" (12:1). The purpose is in the experience, the communion with God experienced during the holy instants we spend. "We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use" (12:2).
What is the purpose of the mind we are being recalled to? It is remembering Who we are, and sharing that with the world, reminding them of their true Self, shared with us. The repetition of words only brings us back to this memory of a Self that is in constant union with Its Father and Itself, His natural extension. The goal of our practice is to experience that state of right-mindedness, even if only for a brief moment. We are remembering that what we are is only Love, because that is all that God is.
The experience of the Self is what brings conviction (12:3). The words, "God is but Love, and therefore so am I," or, "By grace I live," cannot bring conviction or certainty. The experience of it not only can bring conviction, it does bring conviction. The goal of practice is to go beyond the words to the experience, to their meaning, "which is far beyond their sound" (12:4).
How does that happen? I can't tell you; no one can. But I can tell you that it does happen. It won't happen without practice. Practice does not make it happen, but it prepares the mind. It opens the door. It washes the mind clean with crystal pure thoughts, and readies it for the experience that is always there, always waiting. And in that experience, we find our rest.
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