Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 61 I am the light of the world.
- Who is the light of the world except God’s Son? This, then, is merely a statement of the truth about yourself. It is the opposite of a statement of pride, of arrogance, or of self-deception. It does not describe the self-concept you have made. It does not refer to any of the characteristics with which you have endowed your idols. It refers to you as you were created by God. It simply states the truth.
- To the ego, today’s idea is the epitome of self-glorification. But the ego does not understand humility, mistaking it for self-debasement. Humility consists of accepting your role in Salvation and in taking no other. It is not humility to insist you cannot be the light of the world if that is the function God assigned to you. It is only arrogance that would assert this function cannot be for you. And arrogance is always of the ego.
- True humility requires that you accept today’s idea because it is God’s Voice, which tells you it is true. This is a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth. It is a giant stride toward taking your rightful place in Salvation. It is a positive assertion of your right to be saved, and an acknowledgment of the power that is given you to save others.
- You will want to think about this idea as often as possible today. It is a perfect answer to all illusions, and therefore to all temptation. It brings all the images you have made about yourself to the truth and helps you depart in peace, unburdened, and certain of your purpose.
- As many practice periods as possible should be undertaken today, although each one need not exceed a minute or two. They should begin with telling yourself: I am the light of the world. That is my only function.That is why I am here.
- Then think about these statements for a short while, preferably with your eyes closed if the situation permits. Let a few related thoughts come to you and repeat the idea to yourself if your mind wanders away from the central solid.
- Be sure both to begin and end the day with a practice period. Thus you will awaken with an packnowledgement of the truth about yourself, reinforce it throughout the day, and turn to sleep as you reaffirm your function and your only purpose here. These two practice periods may be longer than the rest, if you find them helpful and want to extend them.
- Today’s idea goes far beyond the ego’s petty views of what you are and what your purpose is. As a bringer of Salvation, this is obviously necessary. This is the first of a number of giant steps we will take in the next few weeks. Try today to begin to build a firm foundation for these advances. You are the light of the world. God has built His plan for the Salvation of His Son on you.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): The ego is doing its best to talk me out of this being the Light of the World business, Lord. “LET JESUS BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD AND JUST LET ME TAKE CONTROL OF YOU AND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. LOOK WHAT A GREAT JOB WE HAVE DONE TOGETHER SO FAR, ECKIE,” the ego says. When that doesn’t work, it continues to batter: “COME ON. YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD! YOU. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THE WAY YOU CURSE AND HOLD GRUDGES. ALL THE DUMB THINGS YOU’VE DONE. REMEMBER ALL THE TIMES YOU CHOSE WRONG FOR THE SAKE OF BEING WRONG. YOU DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO BE GOOD. YOU THREW YOUR GOODNESS AWAY, ON PURPOSE. YOU ARE TOO SELFISH TO BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. YOU CANNOT STAND PEOPLE. YOU CANNOT BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD DOESN’T DO THE THINGS YOU HAVE DONE. YOU RUINED YOUR TESTIMONY FOR CHRIST A LONG TIME AGO! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO – START A CULT AND CALL YOURSELF THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD? OH MY GOD. PLEASE STOP. NOBODY WILL EVER BELIEVE YOU ARE ANYTHING BUT AN OLD, TIRED, USED-UP, HAS-BEEN WHO NOW WANTS TO FEEL IMPORTANT BY TELLING HERSELF THAT SHE IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. WHAT A JOKE. MAKES ME PUKE. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO EVEN THINK YOU ARE ANYTHING AT ALL WITHOUT ME. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A LAZY PIG…”
Well, now it went too far. What a ridiculous rant. Calling me a lazy pig – maybe all that other stuff had some truth, but I am far from a lazy pig!
Here Jesus is, telling me that I am the light of the world, to proclaim this to myself, and the ego is calling me a lazy pig. Hmm. Which voice should I believe? How could it possibly hurt me to believe that I am the Light of the World? Why would Jesus tell other people that they are the Light of the World and leave me out? I am the light of the world. Let me shine, dear Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): This morning, when we had our devotions, James said, “Is that it?” He repeated today’s idea, and it seemed to me at the time that he did not appreciate the significance of today’s lesson. Then I remembered that we had finished up our review yesterday and had been doing five lesson concepts a day. “This is a biggie, Lover,” I said.
Today we are telling ourselves that we are the light of the world. We are accepting our role in the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 5:14 (RSV), Jesus tells the crowd that has gathered to hear him speak, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” And today in our lesson he has us proclaim this to ourselves, to own it, to stand up and be that light that cannot be hidden.
I can remember struggling so much with this last year. First of all, the ego reminded me that I didn’t want to be a light; Jesus was enough of a light, why in the world would He ask for my little light? We were having fun together, the ego told me. When the lights go out, is when the fun begins, ego indicated with its sneaky little snicker. It was an old lie, and I have been around the block a time or two by now. I knew better. When that didn’t work, the ego reminded me of all I had to hide. All that dark stuff we had got up to together; the stuff I didn’t want anybody to know; the things I was happy enough not to shine the light on. But I remember thinking how none of that mattered. Who cared if people knew what I had done when I was lost and confused and didn’t know who I was or what I was about? God loved me! If God wanted me to be the light, and if that is why He created me, what else would I, could I possibly do and find any joy, peace, or love?
Owning that we are the light of the world, saying “I am the light of the world” is a confident declaration of our right to be saved from time, from all that is not loving, kind, and everlasting. Being the light of the world asserts our collective, and individual, correct place in salvation. When ego would tempt us to believe anything else about ourselves, we can say with certainty, holding no doubts or fear, “I am the light of the world. That is my only function. That is why I am here!”
Beginning the day and ending the day with this reminder will make our purpose here on earth real in our thoughts and be made manifest in our daily lives. This lesson is referred to as a first giant stride toward changing the way we see things now – through the eyes of the ego – and beginning to perceive with the vision of Christ. This lesson was a life-changer for me. It transformed my mind. I was someone who had played around the edges of darkness and shadow while depending on good, old, trusty Jesus to be the light of the world. But now I am One who takes their rightful place in the plan of salvation standing with Jesus in the united Brotherhood of God – my light becoming one with the Sonship of God. Oh, this is how it works, I marveled when the idea began to internalize. I join with Christ. We become one. Let the light shine upon all that is not truth – my silly pride, swaggering arrogance, false humility, and self-deception – it can no longer tempt me to believe that this is who I am! And with ultimate unpretentiousness of heart and soul, I join with Christ and say: I am the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 61 I am the light…Circle of Atonement. Complete and Annotated Edition (2017). pp. 1043-1044.