Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 20 I am determined to see.
- We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for undertaking them, minimal effort has been required, and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked. This approach is intentional, and very carefully planned. We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. The salvation of the world depends on it. Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.
- This is our first attempt to introduce structure. Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. You are now learning how to tell them apart. And great indeed will be your reward.
- Your decision to see is all that vision requires. What you want is yours. Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for an indication that our goal is of little worth. Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? And can the world be saved if you are not? God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. In your determination to see is vision given you.
- The exercises for today consist in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. Today’s idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want.
- Repeat today’s idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour, attempting to do so every half hour. Do not be distressed if you forget to do so but make a real effort to remember. The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person, or event that upsets you. You can see them differently, and you will. What you desire you will see. Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.
Notes and Personal Application (2019):
First practice period:
- I am determined to see my memory of Donald giving the gifts we intended for Georgia, Melody, and him to his drinking pals at the Lewisburg Legion differently.
- I am determined to see my cat differently.
- I am determined to see my body and my appetite for food differently.
- I am determined to see my scattered thoughts differently.
- I am determined to see differently.
What jumped out at me today was the first paragraph where Jesus tells us that we will not see if we regard ourselves as being coerced. If I give in to resentment and opposition, which is the very thing that my mind has been struggling with regarding the Course, I will not see what Jesus is teaching me. My resentful and oppositional thoughts were being addressed by building upon yesterday’s lesson: “I must not be alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.” Jesus knows that this feeling of being coerced and not really having free will in anything (except for how long we choose to be in separation) has not only given me pause and prevented me from giving my whole mind to this teaching, but that this resistance is universal and applies to all who seek to see beyond this illusion and return to God. However, I am determined to see.
I ask Jesus to guide and protect me and keep me on the right path. I have followed the guidance of Jesus in studying the Course, and I trust in Jesus to protect my mind.
To review my lessons so far:
- Nothing I see (in this room…) has any meaning.
- I have given everything I see (in this room…) the meaning it has.
- I do not understand anything I see (in this room…).
- My thoughts do not have any meaning. They are like the things I see (in this room…), [I have given them all their meaning and I do not understand my thoughts.]
- I am never upset … for the reason I think.
- I am upset…because I see something that is not there.
- I see only the past.
- My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
- I see nothing as it is now.
- My thoughts do not mean anything.
- My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
- I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
- A meaningless world engenders fear, (because I think I am in competition with God).
- God did not create a meaningless world.
- My thoughts are images that I have made.
- I have no neutral thoughts.
- I see no neutral things.
- I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
- I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
- I am determined to see.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): This morning James and I had our devotions with our coffee while we were still in bed here at the hotel. All last week when I was in Florida, we had done our lessons separately. I had not blogged for over a week or prepared lessons. Determined not to feel anxious about falling behind, this morning we read over yesterday’s lesson and today’s lesson, including the review. We both agreed that we have resistance toward the ideas. James and I discussed this at length this morning and we also discussed it on Saturday at our Course study.
Those of us who are farther along from last year’s study have a deeper understanding of the “undoing of the way we see things now.” With this understanding, we are much more willing to accept the concepts and the exercises, yet we still struggle with a sense of how we imagine Jonah felt when he didn’t want to go to Tarshish – or Helen when she was receiving the messages. Our holy brother Jesus had the call; Moses had a call to lead his people out of Egypt…all of us have a call, which we resist and oppose in the ego. The brothers in our study know this is our path to the truth, that the Holy Spirit guided us to study and teach A Course in Miracles, that we have found our function, and on that level, we are gratified, satisfied, joyful, and full of peace and love. However, our egos resist this with all its puny, futile might. As a spoiled child, it wants its own way and refuses to budge.
I thought that perhaps my week in Florida, taking a break from blogging, reconnecting with our cousins and our beloved aunt and uncle would help me to move past the resistance, but here it is again this morning, insisting that I should try to be normal and enjoy my life. It wants me to put aside all that is profound, meaningful, of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t waste your time on a spiritual path. Watch more TV shows! It says to me. Read more books! Play more games! Take in more movies! Go for more walks! Eat more, drink more, enjoy the last years of your life on earth. Put a stopper in that other thing that calls to you, Eckie, it says. Turn a deaf ear to it. It is nutty. It will drive you batty. Embrace the world! Enjoy your food and your drink and squeeze out as much pleasure as you can because this is all you have, Eckie. This is it. When you die, you are dead. You have done all you have to do in that regard, Eckie. Give it up. Do not go any farther. Let someone younger, smarter and holier take up that cross. You are not the type to give up your life for others and all that Jesus stuff is not up your alley. You are a lusty, frivolous, fun-loving kind of old girl, Eckie. Why try to kid yourself? Do not listen to that still small voice; listen to me and live it up before you die, because this is all you have, all you have, all you have.
The ego says a lot more than this, of course. It is loud, sometimes shrill and quite demanding. And now I know why Jonah chose not to go to Tarshish, and why Helen, who was devout enough to transcribe and devote herself to making A Course in Miracles available to the world, failed to follow it herself. One would think that we would be thrilled to rediscover the Sonship, to remember the power and invulnerability that comes with it, but instead we are afraid and shrink before it and would rather not do our part to awaken the world and return to God. We have normalized separation and forgotten who and what we are. The salvation of the world, our lesson states, depends upon us who recognize that we must undo the way we see things now to really see. The salvation of the world depends upon giving up the way the ego sees and accepting Christ’s vision.
Let us remind ourselves through our hourly and half-hourly practices that we want to see differently. For what we desire we will see. This is the real law of cause and effect and how it works in our world. Let us say together: “I am determined to see.”
 A Course in Miracles, Workbook for Students. Lesson 20 I am determined…Circle of Atonement, Complete and Annotated Edition, p. 966.