Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 37 My holiness blesses the world.
- This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here. Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness. Thus are you and the world blessed together. No one loses, nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. It signifies the end of sacrifice because it offers everyone his full due. And he is entitled to everything because it is his birthright as a Son of God.
- There is no other way in which the idea of sacrifice can be removed from the world’s thinking. Any other way of seeing will inevitably demand payment of someone or something. As a result, the perceiver will lose. Nor will he have any idea why he is losing. Yet is his wholeness restored to his awareness through your vision. Your holiness blesses him by asking nothing of him. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.
- Your holiness is the salvation of the world. It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed along with you.
- Today’s four longer exercise periods, each to involve three to five minutes of practice, begin with the repetition of the idea for today, followed by a minute or so of looking about you as you apply the idea to whatever you see: My holiness blesses this chair. My holiness blessed that window. My holiness blesses this body. Then close your eyes and apply the idea to any person who occurs to you, using his name and saying: My holiness blesses you, ____________.
- You may continue the practice period with your eyes closed; you may open your eyes again and apply the idea for today to your outer world if you so desire; you may alternate between applying the idea to what you see around you and to those who are in your thoughts; or you may use any combination of these two phases of application that you prefer. The practice period should conclude with a repetition of the idea with your eyes closed, and another, following immediately, with your eyes open.
- The shorter exercises consist of repeating the idea as often as you can. It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his name as you do so. It is essential to use the idea if anyone seems to cause an adverse reaction in you. Offer him the blessing of your holiness immediately, that you may learn to keep it in your own awareness.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): I found this particularly meaningful to me today after an exchange with our son. I repeated the exchange to James and only afterward did Jesus give me specific instructions on how to handle ego exchanges. In short, Jesus told me not to respond to them at all, and not to repeat ego exchanges to other people, not even in using them as personal illustrations. The best thing to do with an ego exchange is give it no energy at all – just forgive it and deny it any place in my mind, and only exchange and share what is holy. After this personal illustration and guidance, then the lesson which was so fitting to both. Because of understanding how it is only my holy interactions with people, and not my unholy ones that bless, I also shared the ego-exchange lesson with James, even though I am still a little shy about discussing my inner dialogue with Jesus. What is helping get over this shyness is the thought of how the Course would have never made it to the world if Helen had been too shy about talking about the inner dialogue. It is becoming clear to me that Jesus speaks to many people, perhaps all people, but we are all afraid of sharing it and instead do all kinds of things to divert ourselves from listening, which actually seems to pervert the messages then into another unhealthy avenue. The fact that James honors and respects, does not make fun or discount these experiences that I have, and supports my walk with the Lord and the study of the Course is something for which I am so thankful.
On another note: Yesterday I was having a problem seeing “my holiness” as enveloping everything I see. If not for having committed to the study of ACIM for this year, I would have probably decided it just “isn’t for me, because I am not that holy…” But today I got it. If I am not holy, how can I bless the world? Certainly the split-mind cannot bless the world, the ego cannot bless the world, but my holiness can, and I can identify with my holiness rather than with the ego. If I find it so easy to identify with the ego, which is a big nothing, why would I ever resist identifying with my holiness?
As much as this exercise meant to me, I did not do it as required – I had the one formal exercise at the first, another less formal exercise during the day, and then applied the idea when I thought about it during the day. There is still some inner resistance to this, and I am doing what I can do about that. No self-condemnation or judgment; I am working with a stubborn ego evidently. Still it is my choice to go with the ego or the Holy Spirit, and as much as that blustering ego has promised to defend me it has done nothing but produce negativity in my life.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): This morning we finally managed to have our long-distance devotional, together. I had coffee; James said since he had to go to the lobby for his coffee, it could wait. Our devotional practices have evolved into James opening with a prayer; me sharing the lesson and notes and personal application from last year, and then asking for his insights and sharing mine. We have a discussion, pulling things from both our inner and outer worlds, that best illustrate the lesson for us, talk about any resistance we have to the daily concept, and then I end with a prayer. This usually takes at least 30 minutes, but can be shortened if there are time constraints, and has extended to well over an hour when we have the extra time available. Sharing this practice with others is not something that I would normally do, but Jesus is asking me to share these details because they are helpful as a template for others. Although everyone’s form may have variation for individuality, the function is the same – to develop a way in which to focus our minds and hearts to the study that best suits our daily lives, making this an informative, fun, and adventurous way to draw us closer to separating ourselves from separation and returning to the oneness of God!
James said that he is still experiencing resistance to accepting his holiness, all too aware of his unholiness, and so we discussed this from some different angles. First we discussed how much easier it is to identify with our bad old selves, our anger, our condemnation, our calls for war instead of peace. There is something a bit namby-pamby about goodness. James says that he thinks of those portraits of Jesus from Bible Camp as a boy, with his gentle nature and the aura around his head, and surrounded by innocent little children, and well, as much as he appreciates the gentleness and tenderness of Jesus, it just ain’t him, no matter how much he tries. And I can so relate.
The hippy-dippy, lovey-dovey, halo-wearing representation of Jesus and holiness has changed in my mind the more I listened to Him and learned of Him. This is a guy who knows what it is like to be human and has no problem at all picking up a whip and driving moneychangers from the temple. This is a fellow who has no compunction of calling the established religion of His day whited death traps and pointing out the meaninglessness of their rites and rituals. It takes a strong and courageous individual to own their holiness; it takes nothing but cowardice and laziness to go with the ego. So there is that.
Then there is the fact that no matter what people say, as a whole, we are much more interested in people who are bad than we are those who are good. While we can applaud the goodness of others, and give them medals for jumping in raging rivers to save a drowning dog, or sacrificing family and homeland to dig wells and build schools and churches for indigenous people, when we seek out entertainment, something that will really get our blood going, we want crime dramas, violence, sex, lust, and murder mysteries to cluck over. We crave war stories and love to share how good we are at telling people off and putting others in their place. Using “bad” words makes us appear tough and covers up our fear of holiness; being a little scary to others gives us a line of defense – maybe they won’t mess with us if they know we are dangerous. We cannot show people our holiness because they will walk all over us and take advantage of our good nature.
And yet here, in our sixth decade, we see that our fear of holiness has brought us nothing but negativity. All the “bad” words we have said, the condemnations, the judgments, the attacks and defense we have built toward others, have brought us nothing – negative zero. But our holiness…that is a different story altogether! Our holiness has brought us joy and peace and love and treasures that money, status, special relationships, advanced degrees, and magical substances could never touch.
This insight removed our fear or rejection of holiness from our consciousness, taking place along these lines:
We want to bless the world and not curse it.
We know from experience that our ego interactions do not bless the world.
Holiness blesses the world.
We choose our holiness.
Our holiness blesses the world.
Today’s practice session takes the following form:
Today we have set aside 5:30 a.m.; 10:30 a.m.; 1:00 p.m.; and 3:30 p.m. to spend this time looking about and repeating today’s idea using whatever we see. Then closing our eyes and applying the idea to the people who cross our mind and using their names in a blessing, we will wrap up each session. We choose to alternate between eyes open and eyes closed, except for James who will be driving at 3:30 p.m. During that exercise, we both agreed that it will be better if he doesn’t close his eyes!
But that isn’t all. We will repeat the idea throughout the day, silently to everyone we meet, using their names. We will repeat it for the people who come to our minds. We will repeat it if something or someone irritates us – inaudibly offering a blessing of our holiness on the spot, so that we may learn to keep this in our awareness.
I encourage you to do the exercises as if your life depended upon it, because changing your mind about your holiness is critical to collapsing the time it takes to learn the inestimable worth of your holiness, as it joins with mine, and with all peoples past, and present, and future. As we join in holiness, we bless the world – let this idea enter into your consciousness and remove all resistance and fear. Our world needs your holiness!
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students Lesson 37 My holiness blesses…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992), pp. 56-57.