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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 79 Let Me Recognize the Problem So It Can Be Solved.

  1. A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is really solved already you will still have the problem, because you will not recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. Yet the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognized.
  2. Everyone in this world seems to have his own special problems. Yet they are all the same and must be recognized as one if the one solution that solves them all is to be accepted. Who can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? Even if he is given the answer he cannot see its relevance.
  3. That is the position in which you find yourself now. You have the answer, but you are still uncertain about what the problem is. A long series of different problems seems to confront you, and as one is settled the next one and the next arise. There seems to be no end to them. There is no time in which you feel completely free of problems and at peace.
  4. The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved. The world seems to present you with a vast number of problems, each requiring a different answer.  This perception places you in a position in which your problem-solving must be inadequate, and failure is inevitable.
  5. No one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. They seem to be on so many levels, in such varying forms and with such varied content, that they confront you with an impossible situation. Dismay and depression are inevitable as you regard them. Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have resolved the previous ones. Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial, and rise to haunt you from time to time, to be hidden again but still unsolved.
  6. All this complexity is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the problem, and therefore not to let it be resolved. If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance. Perceiving the underlying constancy in all the problems that seem to confront you, you would understand that you have the means to solve them all. And you would use the means, because you recognize the problem.
  7. In our longer practice periods today, we will ask what the problem is, and what is the answer to it. We will not assume that we already know. We will try to free our minds of all the many different kinds of problems we think we have. We will try to realize that we have only one problem, which we have failed to recognize. We will ask what it is and wait for the answer.  We will be told. Then we will ask for the solution to it. And we will be told.
  8. The exercises for today will be successful to the extent to which you do not insist on defining the problem. Perhaps you will not succeed in letting all your preconceived notions go, but that is not necessary. All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of your version of what your problems are. You are trying to recognize that you have been given the answer by recognizing the problem, so that the problem and the answer can be brought together, and you can be at peace.
  9. The shorter practice today will not be set by time, but by need. You will see many problems today, each one calling for an answer.  Our efforts will be directed toward recognizing that there is only one problem and one answer.  In this recognition are all problems resolved. In this recognition there is peace.
  10. Be not deceived by the form of problems today. Whenever any difficulty seems to rise, tell yourself quickly: “Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.”  Then try to suspend all judgment about what the problem is. If possible, close your eyes for a moment and ask what it is. You will be heard, and you will be answered.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application (2019):  Morning meditation – What is the problem?  What is the answer to my problem?  I will not assume that I already know.  I will do my best to free my mind of all the problems that I think I have.  And I will realize that I have only one problem, and that problem is the one that I have failed to recognize. I will ask what it is, and I will wait for an answer. I will be told.  Then I will wait for a solution for it.  And I will be told. 

What is the one problem, O Lord?  You are not first seeking the Kingdom of God.  You are seeking the Kingdom of God, but you are not seeking it first, and you are seeking a lot of other things.  Therefore you are in a separated and conflicted state.  That is the one problem.

What is the answer to my problem?  Seek the Kingdom of God first and foremost.  This way you will not be in a conflicted state.  You will be as One, and when you are one with Me, then all other things take their rightful place.  You will have no, I mean no worries or cares.  I will take care of them all.  I promise you this.  Seek Me first.  Know me.  Love me.  Be with me.  I am the answer to all of your problems because you are part of Me, and I am part of you.  I am Love.  Become Love and let Love become you.  Nothing else really matters. 

Notes and Personal Application (2020):  This lesson so touched our hearts today.  Throughout the day, when we went to the store to pick up some seed starters, to get some milk to make yogurt, to treat ourselves to ice cream at Hunter’s – we reminded each other that there is only one problem, and one solution.  It became a source of, not only peace, to us, but of amusement.  When James expressed frustration about the schedule he is working on for Merck, we reminded each other that there is only one problem, and one solution.  “Let’s face it,” he said laughing, “If there was no separation, there would be no Merck, no schedule, no worries!”  When our little sports car sputtered as we started off on our outing today, there was only one problem, and one solution.  If we were not in separation, we wouldn’t need vehicles to get from place to place, now would we?  When I felt heartsick over missing my sister and called her and left her a message and she didn’t call me back, I had to remind myself, There is only one problem and one solution.  If we weren’t in separation, my sister and I would have never got into this mess of not trusting and disliking one another.  There would be no alienation, there would be no hard feelings, there would be no cherishing grudges, building cases, and gathering allies. 

No matter what problems we seem to face here in the body, they are always the same because they arise from the same source.  The problems you face, and the problems I face may seem different, it may seem that my problems are not as severe as your problems, or it may seem that I am the one that always gets the short end of the stick.  No matter how we perceive our problems, until we recognize that they are one, will we be able to accept the one solution that solves them all!

To those of us who have studied and applied our lessons to this point, Jesus says that this is the position that we find ourselves in now.  We know that the answer is returning to God, but we are still not certain what the one and only problem is.  We think we have a long series of different problems which seem to threaten us.  There is seemingly no end to them all.  In fact in the separated world, there is no time at all when we feel completely free of stress, worries, and care.  There is no state of ongoing peace to be found.

Jesus says that as long as we believe that we have more than one problem, we cannot accept the solution to the problem of separation.  When we think that there is somehow a way to solve all the problems we have, we find failure, we find exhaustion, we find anguish, despair, and depression.  No matter what your state of denial may be, you can never find peace, joy, and love in an illusion designed to keep you from returning to God. 

When we perceive the underlying constancy in all the worries and concerns that we face in the world, we begin to understand that we do have the means to solve them all because we finally recognize the problem.  Jesus instructs us in today’s exercises to begin to question our version of what our problems are.  He wants us to recognize that we have been given the answer by recognizing the problem.  He wants the problem and the answer to come together in our minds so that we can be at peace. 

Throughout the day, when you face any difficulty, whether it seems significant or not, Jesus asks us to tell ourselves immediately: “Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.”  Then stop judging the problem, close our eyes, and ask what it is.  Jesus promises that we will be heard and we will be answered. 


[1] A Course in Miracles.  Workbook for Students.  Lesson 79 Let me recognize the…Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 141-142.