Above all else I want to see things differently.
Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday. In these practice periods, you will be making a series of definite commitments. The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. And we are still at the beginning.
You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, “Above all else I want to see this table differently.” In itself it is not important at all. Yet what is by itself? And what does “in itself” mean? You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all. You either see or not. When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently. The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.
When you say, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table, and open your mind to what it is, and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.
You will not question what you have already defined. And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. In saying, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are committing yourself to seeing. It is not an exclusive commitment. It is a commitment that applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less.
You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you would withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind. It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.
In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe. You will be making this same request of each subject that you use in the practice periods. And you are making a commitment to each of them to let its purpose be revealed to you, instead of placing your own judgment upon it.
We will have six two-minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see about you. Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today’s idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.
As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject your eyes happen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying
Above all else I want to see this ______ differently.
Each application should be made quite slowly, and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry.
First thing off Jesus reassures us that we are making a commitment to see differently right now, and not to be concerned if we will keep that commitment in the future. He absolutely knows how the ego mind works and often anticipates our fears and our objections. So for right now, for this day, I am going to make a commitment to ask to see things differently.
When Jesus asks us to see the table differently he is not asking us to see it differently with our eyes. Yes, some have had light episodes, and some have had amazing experiences, especially in the beginning. I had a student who watched her hand disappear and then reappear right before her eyes. These early experiences are given to us so that we will be motivated and encouraged. But if we get hung up on the experiences themselves we will get stuck. We get a taste of what we are, and now we have to go back and do the work to claim and sustain that knowledge.
What Jesus wants for us in this lesson when he says “see differently” is that we understand it or perceive it differently. If we can let go of the idea that the image we made which appears as the table is all there is to the table, we can see what really exists. This vision will knock our socks off! Vision will show us purpose. It will show us that everything is God.
We don’t see differently by staring intently at the image of the table we have made and trying to change that image into something else. We ask the table to reveal itself to us and we wait to receive the answer. For this incarnation I chose a personality that is especially grounded in my head, and this lesson evaded me for a long time. I really wanted to see differently, but I just couldn’t let go of what my ego mind believed was true.
One time when I was writing, my desire to see overcame my skepticism and I had an experience. I had been looking at my hands and asking to see them differently, then my eyes had fallen on my keyboard. Suddenly I became willing to let go of my hold on the reality I had made, and I felt the keyboard dissolve into light, and with it, my hands, and I understood there was no gap between them. They were one thing, and that thing was not solid matter. It scared the crap out of me! Ha ha. It lasted only long enough for me to panic. I was not yet ready to release my chosen boundaries as a body, but it showed me that I am not what I thought I was.
Just as I am not this image of a body that I made so that I can have this experience of separation, neither is anything else the image I have made of it, and nothing is separate from anything else. Remember Lesson 15 that tells us that my thoughts are images I have made? It says that the thoughts you think you think appear as images, and, it tells us, this is how your seeing was made, and this is not seeing but image making. We wanted an entire world of images to represent the idea of separation and so we did it. Are we crazy powerful, or what!
Now it is time to wake up from this dream so we are being gently led out of it. If you read just the titles of the lessons so far, you can see that Jesus is telling us that this world we see is not reality. He is, step by step, showing us how we came to believe it was, even as he leads us out of the fantasy and back to Reality. You may think you want to be jarred awake, especially if you have given yourself a bad dream, but believe me that is not the way to go. This gentle, slow process of undoing is perfect. Even this we resist, insisting that we are victims waiting to be saved from ourselves, but through these lessons we come to our Self in perfect timing.
In this lesson, Jesus is inviting us to allow reality to show itself to us, even if for a brief moment. In my experience, even a brief moment can change the way you see the world and yourself. In my case, it was a beginning to a slow and deliberate reversal, but for someone else, it can become the catalyst to a complete reversal, everything changing in the blink of an eye. Our ego self is not in charge of how it unfolds, so we just do the lesson and see what happens. How exciting!