am one Self, united with my Creator."
Purpose: To attempt again to reach your one Self, united with your
Creator, at one with all creation and limitless in power and peace.
Longer: every hour on the hour; 5 minutes
- Say with all the certainty you can give: "I am one Self, united with my
Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in
- Close eyes and tell yourself again: "I am one Self." Say this several times,
slowly and thoughtfully, trying to allow the meaning to sink into your mind.
- For remainder, try to experience the meaning of the words. You are one Self,
sinless, healed, whole, at one with all there is, with power to heal the world
and extend the Allness of God. Try to feel this Self in you and let It shine
away all your illusions.
Shorter: as frequently as possible
1. Repeat idea, understanding that as you do, healing enters someone's mind.
2. Say silently to everyone you meet: "You are one Self with me, united with our Creator in this Self. I honor you because of What I am, and What He is, Who loves us both as one."
Remarks: Do not forget today. Heaven needs your help to save the world. It is confident you will try today. Share its confidence. Be vigilant. Do not forget.
COMMENTARYThis lesson is one of my favorites, because it acknowledges both my reality and the lowly image I have made of myself. It affirms my greatness without denying my illusion of weakness. It holds up the exalted picture of my "one Self," "at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace" (11:2). But it does so in the context of speaking about my "lapses in diligence" (8:3) and my "failures to follow the instructions for practicing" (8:3). It makes me realize that, somehow, this lofty vision of my Self is not incompatible with my stumbling, bumbling attempts to follow this course. It lets me know that my mistakes do not negate the truth about me.
If anyone doubts that what I said yesterday about the overall intent of these next sixteen lessons--to reach inward to an experience of our one Self--and the importance the Workbook attaches to disciplined practice as a means of attaining that experience, let him or her simply read this lesson several times. You can't miss the message, and I can't say it more clearly than the lesson says it.
"Structure, then, is necessary for you at this time" (6:1). "Do not forget today...try today...Be vigilant. Do not forget today. Throughout the day do not forget your goal" (paragraph 14).
The lesson seems to be talking about two such disparate things. On the one hand, myself as God created me, my perfect unity. On the other hand, the emphasis on regimented, very specific, structured practice, every hour on the hour for five minutes. If I am perfect, why do I need all this discipline? Why not just affirm the truth about myself and be done with it?
We need the practice just because we do not believe the truth about ourselves. We have all these hidden warriors in our minds, the subtle and deceitful manipulators of consciousness planted by the ego that keep us from full awareness. Beware of telling yourself you aren't doing the disciplined practice because you don't need it. Show me you don't need it by doing it, and maybe I'll believe you. You don't just sit down at a piano and play Tschaikovsky's Piano Concerto Number 1 right off the bat; you start with scales. Scales aren't great music but they are the necessary way to it. Just so, "Regularity in terms of time [playing scales] is not the ideal requirement for the most beneficial form of practice in salvation [the concerto]. It is advantageous, however, for those whose motivation is inconsistent, and who remain heavily defended against learning" (6:2,3). That's me; I don't know about you, but that's me.
The beauty of this kind of repetitive practice is that it discloses all the tricks of the ego that keep us from God. Just do it, like Nike says, and you'll begin to realize how many resistant strains of anti-spiritual virus exist in the maze of your mind, how many ways you have invented to keep you away from knowing your Self. That is one of the primary purposes of the practice:
"You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training. It is necessary that you be aware of this" (4:4,5). We have to be aware of our need before we can recognize the solution that has already been given us. We have to discover the "self divided into many warring parts" (2:2) before we can acknowledge the "perfect unity" (1:4) of our reality. So this practice will uncover our need, and expose the ego; that's good, that's what it is supposed to do.
But that isn't all. Yes, part of the intent is that we learn to forgive ourselves for failures. But the purpose is NOT to fail and then forgive. The purpose is to fail, forgive, and then DO IT. To say to yourself, "Oh, of course I didn't do the practice today; I'm supposed to fail," is just another way to refuse to let your mistake be corrected. It is unwillingness to try again. "To allow a mistake to continue is to make additional mistakes, based on the first and reinforcing it. It is this process that must be laid aside, for it is but another way in which you would defend illusions against the truth" (9:3-5). In other words, accepting failure is not the goal--it is what has to be laid aside. "They are attempts to keep you unaware you are one Self" (10:2)
One Self, with one purpose: "To bring awareness of this oneness to all minds, that true creation may extend the Allness and the Unity of God" (12:2). Let me give myself to this process, knowing my true purpose, recognizing I am in training to awaken mankind along with me. Let me take these minutes out of each hour to become aware of Who I am. "It is given you to feel this Self within you" (13:5). I want that, today, Father. I want to let go of my shabby illusions and feel the extent and power of my true Self, given me by You. I want to forget my belief in my littleness, even if only for a few seconds each hour, and to continually bring myself these reminders (since I am so quick to forget) until the awareness dawns in permanence on my mind, never again to be forgotten. So be it.
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