Review I - Lessons 31 to 35
"I am not the victim of the world I see."
"I have invented the world I see."
"There is another way of looking at the world."
"I could see peace instead of this."
"My mind is part of God's. I am very holy."
(See Review I Practice Summary)
The review today echoes with the word "freedom."
"My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave simply by walking out" (1:3-5).
"I made up the prison in which I see myself. All I need do is recognize this and I am free" (2:2-3).
"The Son of God must be forever free" (2:6).
"I see the world as a prison for God's Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his FREEDOM" (3:4-6).
"When I see the world as a place of freedom, I realize that it reflects the laws of God instead of the rules I made up for it to obey" (4:2).
The beauty of acknowledging that I have invented the world I see is that it affirms my freedom to see it differently. Recognize that I have made up my prison, and I am free. And I am already free; all of us are free, now, in our own minds. The prison is an illusion. I can choose my thoughts, and that is the ultimate freedom. I can choose to look upon the world as a place where I can be set free, and where you can be set free. I can choose to see the world as a prison, or as a classroom. How I see it is my choice--my choice! I am free to make that choice.
I can see peace any time I choose to. I am free to do that. These moments I spend in quiet each day, practicing these lessons, are showing me that. I can create peace in my mind any time I choose to do so. To choose peace of mind is the ultimate freedom, and depends on nothing outside of me at all.
I begin to understand, as I share this peace with my brothers, that the peace is not coming from outside, but "from deep within myself" (5:2). As my mind changes, the way I see the world changes with it. It witnesses peace back to me. And so "I begin to understand the holiness of all living things, including myself, and their oneness with me" (5:5).
Years ago, when I had only begun to study the Course, I sat down one day and tried to answer a question: "What have I learned about life? What am I reasonably sure of?" And the answer that came to me was very simple: "Happiness is a choice I make." I had begun to realize the freedom of my mind to choose. I had begun to realize that my mind was truly autonomous in this choice. It needed nothing from outside to make happiness possible; it was purely a choice. And nothing outside could impede that choice.
I am still learning that lesson, building on it, solidifying it within my experience. That is what this review is telling us. We are free to choose. We really are free, right now. Our minds are all-powerful in this choice. They lack nothing to make it, and there is nothing that can stop us from making it. What is more, God wills that we make it because His Will for us is perfect happiness.
Today, let me remember that I want to be happy, and I can choose, in every moment, to be happy. I want to be at peace, and I can choose, in every moment, to be at peace. Happiness is peace, for how could I be happy if I am in conflict? Today, I will make this choice!
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