Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 55 Review of Lessons 21-25
- (21) I am determined to see things differently.
What I see now are but signs of disease, disaster, and death. This cannot be what God created for His beloved son. The very fact that I see such things is proof that I do not understand God. Therefore I also do not understand His Son. What I see tells me that I do not know who I am. I am determined to see the witnesses to the truth in me rather than those which show me an illusion of myself.
- (22) What I see is a form of vengeance.
The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts. It is a picture of attack on everything by everything. It is anything but a reflection of the love of God and the love of His Son. It is my own attack thoughts that give rise to this picture. My loving thoughts will save me from this perception of the world and give me the peace God intended me to have.
- (23) I can escape from this world by giving up attack thoughts.
Herein lies salvation, and nowhere else. Without attack thoughts, I could not see a world of attack. As forgiveness allows love to return to my awareness, I will see a world of peace and safety and joy. And it is this I choose to see, in place of what I look on now.
- (24) I do not perceive my own best interests.
How could I recognize my own best interests when I do not know who I am? What I think are my best interests would merely bind me closer to the world of illusions. I am willing to follow the Guide God has given me to find out what my own best interests are, recognizing that I cannot perceive them by myself.
- (25) I do not know what anything is for.
To me, the purpose of everything is to prove that my illusions about myself are real. It is for this purpose that I attempt to use everyone and everything. It is for this that I believe the world is for. Therefore I do not recognize its real purpose. The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it. Let me open my mind to the world’s real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it and learning the truth about it.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): An opening prayer: Thank you for this review of the ideas in this course, dear Savior. Thank you for reminding me of what I have learned and for taking me one step at a time to the fullness of truth. I am ready to let my thoughts be part of the mind of my Creator and part of creation itself! I desire to only think with Love, to think with the Holy Spirit, to join with you Lord and Savior, and take my part in the Sonship of God and the Brotherhood of Christ. In Your name and through Your grace, I pray. Amen.
Morning prayer: Dear Holy Spirit, please come into my mind and give me your perception today. I am determined to see things differently and to have your perception instead of the separated ego’s perception. What ego sees is a form of vengeance. I want to see love. I can see love by giving up attack thoughts. I want to perceive my own best interests! The ego does not know what anything is for, but You do. I want to see Love.
Thank you, dear Teacher.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): During this morning’s devotion, we discussed each aspect of the five lesson reviews using an illustration from our daily lives. In our human experience, there is danger on every corner, around every bend. This morning on Facebook, I saw calls of taking precautions against the coronavirus, how to protect your home from intruders, how to deal with difficult people, how to tell if you or your mates have a personality disorder. Amongst the delicious looking recipes, the pictures of family outings, and dire complaints about Monday and how the weekend must be made in China because it doesn’t last, there were pictures of animal cruelty, mean pranks, and kids who are missing or have died premature and tragic deaths.
What we see now are but signs of disease, disaster, and death. This cannot be God’s creation! The very fact that we see such things is proof that we do not understand God or ourselves, His Son. We cannot find love in this mixed bag of joy and sorrow. It cannot be true. It cannot be the reality of God. It cannot be our reality. Today we determine to see the witnesses to truth rather than the illusion, the hellish nightmare, the place of separation and time.
This is hardly the picture of loving thoughts! Instead, Jesus tells us quite bluntly, it is an assault. It is a hallucination of assault and violence on each other and by each other. There is nothing in this picture that reflects God’s Love. What gives rise to this picture? Is the picture that we are seeing caused by others? Are we the victim of attack and assault? Do we live in fear and false bravado because we choose to think of ourselves as a body, an ego, playing the part of victim and victimizer in this hellish realm? Jesus calls for us to turn our thoughts to love. It is our loving thoughts; it is the vision of Christ that saves us from this devouring, depressing, disease-carrying perception of who we are and what we are. When we look upon the world with the vision of Christ, with love and forgiveness, when we step away from what we see and experience in the flesh and remember who and what we really are, we experience the peace that God intended for us to have. It happens in our minds. It happens when we consciously choose to give our thoughts of hate, fear, and depression that come in identifying with bodies and egos and choose to live in the spirit and see through the vision of Christ.
When we give up the ongoing cycles of attack and defense, we escape the world of attack and defense. We can walk in love and in peace and in a state of calm forgiveness. Yesterday one of my ego’s worst enemies, someone who has tormented me from the time I was a tot, was about to walk past me. I could have chosen to ignore her. I could have chosen to give a little shudder of revulsion. I could have called upon Jesus to protect me from “her” evil. However, the love of God pulled me up and past all that dark shadow of attack and defense. I could not see my former “enemy” as apart from myself. I could overlook all the times she set out to ruin my day, steal my joy, and broadcast her suspicions and crazed misperceptions about me. Love, returned to my awareness, allowed me to see her through the eyes of Christ – my blessed Teacher. I had despised her for teaching me lessons I chose to learn in the way I did. I was not her victim; she was not my victimizer. We had engaged in that attack and defense go-round because, mutually, we had not chosen love.
Imagine her surprise when I expressed sincere delight in seeing her, in greeting her, and yet what I gave, I received. Just as Jesus promises. When we can see our brothers through the eyes of love, they respond in kind. When we see our brothers through the eyes of ego, they will also respond in kind. When we give up attack and defense, we receive peace and safety and joy. We see what we are determined to see. This is the promise of God.
When we forget who we are and start relating to ourselves and each other as bodies, as egos, as mortals who must struggle against all odds to survive in a dog-eat-dog world, we think it is to our best interest to rise in the world. We go after all that the world would offer to “protect” us. We seek wealth and status as insurance against all that would attack us. We think that forming alliances with the right people and the right organizations is to our best interest. We follow silly fads and crazy trends in our efforts to maintain an acceptable body image. We pay exorbitant fees to get into the right college, have the best medical care, and live in the right section of town. When none of this brings us the sense of fulfillment, adventure, love, and security we have spent our life chasing, we can easily fall into a pit of despondency and depression, blaming others for our mistake, sulking over our misfortunes, and misinterpreting those who teach us the truth about the state of our being as our enemies.
God created us. His Holy Spirit is our Holy Spirit. The quiet, calm, all-knowing Holy Spirit does not force His will upon those who choose another way. Our Holy Spirit within knows everything. It is who and what we really are. Only when we finally give up trying to find ourselves in the physical realm of time and follow our eternal truth, can we know what our best interests are. Only then are we set free from this meaningless substitute for reality. Only then is our world turned upside right, and we can recognize and enjoy our true function.
Until this point, we think we have to prove ourselves as real. We use everything and everyone, Jesus says, to show that our bodies and the ego they symbolize are real and Holy Spirit is not. When we believe the nightmare world is real, we do not recognize its real purpose. No matter how charmed the lives we seem to live may appear to others, we all live amidst the thrum and hum of the devourer. As bodies, we use our families, our friends, our churches and organizations, our charities, our money, our status, our achievements to protect us from being snatched, from being snuffed out, but we all know the end of the story. The world has no happy endings. Only Jesus has shown us a happy ending to the world through the resurrection. Only Jesus shows us how to withdraw the meaning our egos have given the world and learn the truth about its real purpose.
Let us follow Jesus. Let us accept the Guide Whom God has given us. Let us not delay ourselves a moment longer. Let us walk in Love.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 55…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 90-91.