"I am not the victim of the world I see."
PRACTICE SUMMARYLonger: 2 times, morning and evening for 3-5 minutes.
- Repeat idea 2 or 3 times while looking slowly about you.
- Close eyes and apply idea to inner world. Let whatever thoughts that want to come arise, be considered, and then replaced by the next. Let the stream move along evenly, without investment, without establishing a hierarchy. As you watch it dispassionately, repeat idea as often as you want, with no hurry.
Repeat idea, reminding yourself you are making a declaration of release.
Response To Temptation: Repeat idea in response to any form of temptation.
COMMENTARYAs you must have noticed when you read today's lesson, there isn't a lot of metaphysical thought in it. In fact there is almost none, except in the lead thought quoted above. The rest of the lesson is practice instructions. So I'll weight my comments in approximately the same way.
The one sentence that heads the lesson is plenty in itself, however. If you think about it, it is amazing how many ways we see ourselves as victims of the world. We go through life feeling like victims--of the weather; of the jerk who cuts you off in traffic or swerves into the parking space you were aiming for; of your computer disk when "it" loses your file; of your housemate who uses the last of the hot water just before your shower; of the slow service in the restaurant; the traffic that makes you late for your appointment. To say nothing of the people who may deliberately and malevolently terrorize you in our cities (or perhaps in your home).
To assert that "I am not the victim of the world I see" can be liberating and empowering. It is remarkable how these simple words can cause feelings of weakness and helplessness to wash away. Try it! You'll like it.
Oddly enough, we also feel victimized by unseen enemies and even our own thoughts. Ever have an anxiety attack? Or find yourself feeling gouged by the IRS? A victim of an unfair "system?" Plagued by self-doubt? You are not the victim of your inner world any more than of your outer world. "You will escape from both together, for the inner is cause of the outer" (2:5).
This lesson introduces what will become the basic practice outline for most of the Workbook, and for ongoing practice for Workbook graduates.
1. Two longer practice periods, morning and evening, in which you apply the idea of the day on a sustained basis.
2. Frequent repetitions through the day, as often as possible (a study of other references to this indicates that four or five times per hour is intended).
3. Using the idea as a "response to temptation" whenever it arises.
The only element of Workbook practice not present in this lesson is specific hourly or half-hourly periods of shorter practice, in length somewhere in between #1 and #2 above. That appears as the Workbook goes along to build a habit of practice on the structure of the clock, and then is gradually phased out as the habit (presumably) has been established. The three elements presented here in Lesson 31 are retained in recommendations for post-Workbook practice given in the Manual for Teachers (see Chapter 16, "How should the teacher of God spend his day?").
Make a point of taking those longer, 3-to-5 minute periods morning and evening. This is the first time for them. You wouldn't practice the piano by playing only half the scales, so don't stint here, either. From this point on in the Workbook the practice is going to intensify; like me, I'm sure you'll find it more difficult to maintain and to actually carry out.
You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true (W-Int.8:3-6).
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