"I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts."
PRACTICE SUMMARYExercise: 3 or 4 times (at least 3), for 1 minute or so (shorter if necessary).
- Close eyes and repeat idea.
- Search your mind carefully for the thoughts it contains now. As you consider each one in turn, hold it in your mind and say: "I am not alone in experiencing the effects of this thought about [name central person or theme of thought]."
Response To Temptation: Apply idea as needed.
COMMENTARYYesterday it was about seeing; today about thinking. "Thinking and its results are really simultaneous, for cause and effect are never separate" (1:4). Thinking is cause; seeing is effect, and they are simultaneous. A baseball flying through your window causes the glass to be broken. Which happens first? The baseball passing through the plane of the glass, or the glass breaking? Obviously both happen at once.
So it is with thinking and seeing. When we think, we perceive. The simultaneity is part of what makes it so difficult for us to recognize thought as the cause. It is fairly easy for the ego to play the trick of reversing cause and effect, so that we believe that what we see is the cause of what we think. But that isn't the way it works at all.
The idea that minds are joined is exciting, but also, especially at first, quite threatening. There are thoughts I have that I do not want to have shared, but "There are no private thoughts" (2:3). My "private" thoughts affect everyone and everything just as every thought does that engages my mind. The idea can be disconcerting. The lesson tells us that despite resistance, eventually we will all recognize that the idea--of joined minds in which no thought is private--is inevitable "if salvation is possible at all" (2:4). It does not explain why it is inevitable, but just says that we'll all see it that way before long.
Let's think about it for a minute. If other minds are truly separate from mine, then different wills are also truly possible. That places me in competition with the world, alone against the universe. How can I then be free from fear, if outside forces can at any moment turn against me in vicious attack?
If, however, minds are joined, and if what I think affects all of this unified mind, then salvation is possible. Then one choice for peace can affect the entire joined mind towards peace. Salvation is possible; I am not at effect of the world, but the world is my effect. I am empowered to choose. I can choose peace for all of Mind. This is how, in the Course's view of things, I can become a savior of the world.
Let me then determine this day to choose for peace, for healing, and for forgiveness. As I begin to realize that I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts, I will begin to care about what I think, and as I begin to care, I will begin to heal myself and the world along with me.
Copyright © 1996, The Circle of Atonement, Sedona,
All rights reserved.