"Above all else I want to see things differently."
PRACTICE SUMMARYPurpose: To make a series of commitments (regardless of whether you will keep them in the future) to withdrawing your preconceptions about particular things and opening your mind to truly seeing them. By committing yourself to seeing one particular thing truly, you are committing yourself to seeing everything, to seeing the purpose of the universe.
Exercise: 6 times, for 2 minutes.
- Repeat idea.
- Then apply it randomly to whatever you see about you, giving each subject equal sincerity. Let your eyes rest on each one long enough to say, slowly and thoughtfully: "Above all else I want to see this_____differently."
COMMENTARYThe thought that I could gain vision from just a table, or any random thing for that matter, if I could look on it with a completely open mind, is staggering. It means that I have been surrounded all my life by people and things, any one of which could have brought me enlightenment, and I have not responded. The computer screen I look at as I write, if seen without any of my own ideas, could open up and show me "something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope" (5:2).
I still find that hard to believe. Oh, I don't doubt it, in one sense. Somehow it makes sense to believe that an enlightened being, like Jesus for instance, would see, as the poet put it, "the universe in a grain of sand." But I guess what I doubt is that I could see that. I've looked at so many tables in my life and none of them ever spoke to me. I look at my desk now and I see--a desk.
"Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe" (5:3). Ah! A clue as to what this lesson is getting at; we're talking about a shared purpose. We're asking to see a common purpose that binds everything as one. I think a desk is for writing on, a table is for eating on, a fork is for spearing my food, a computer is for sending messages to folks on the Internet. I see a whole bunch of different purposes, each thing with its own, separate purpose. But they all share a purpose. As does my body, the sky, the moon, everything I can see. What is that purpose? That is what I am asking to see.
That is something worth asking for.
Nothing around you but is part of you. Look on it lovingly, and see the light of Heaven in it. So will you come to understand all that is given you. In kind forgiveness will the world sparkle and shine, and everything you once thought sinful now will be reinterpreted as part of Heaven. How beautiful it is to walk, clean and redeemed and happy, through a world in bitter need of the redemption that your innocence bestows upon it! What can you value more than this? For here is your salvation and your freedom. And it must be complete if you would recognize it (T-23.Int.6).
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