I am determined to see.
We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for undertaking them, minimal effort has been required, and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked. This approach has been intentional, and very carefully planned. We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. The salvation of the world depends on it. Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.
This is our first attempt to introduce structure. Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. You are now learning how to tell them apart. And great indeed will be your reward.
Your decision to see is all that vision requires. What you want is yours. Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for an indication that our goal is of little worth. Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? And can the world be saved if you are not? God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. In your determination to see is vision given you.
The exercises for today consist in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. Today’s idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want.
Repeat today’s idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour today, attempting to do so every half hour. Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember. The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person or event that upsets you. You can see them differently, and you will. What you desire you will see. Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.
Lesson 20 is another one of those pivotal points in the Course. It is a declaration of my intention to become fully awake. I am determined to see. I have set my goal and turned my footsteps in the direction of salvation. And what must I do to succeed at this lofty goal of saving the world? Today I must remember that this is what I want. I know from past experience that, as simple as this is, it is easy to “forget” because there has always been resistance to success, even though I say I want it.
My message from Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit: Yes, Myron, you have been resistant, but never have you been so ready as you are now. Do not judge what may appear as failure this day. Each time you notice that you forgot to remember that you are determined to see, just say to yourself, “Oh, I forgot to do my lesson, but I am determined to see.” This will be the truth, and each time you do this you will know it more completely. Myron, all of Heaven appreciates the effort you are making today.
Me: Thank you that I can hear Your Voice more clearly than I could before. Thank you for helping me with my part in the salvation of the world. I invite you into my mind and ask that you correct the errors in my thinking.
Distinguishing Between Joy and Sorrow, Pleasure and Pain, Love and Fear
I cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. What a strange idea that was to me. How could that be true, I wondered? I didn’t think too much about it when I first read it because I wasn’t ready to see the obvious. Here are examples that I am aware of now.
I thought it would make me joyful if my children would be interested in A Course in Miracles. Now I think it would make me joyful if I accept my children are doing exactly what they need to be doing right now.
I thought that my worry about my children and others in my life was the inevitable result of loving them. Now I understand that it is just fear and has nothing to do with love. Love trusts and is certain. Knowing the truth in spite of appearances is love expressed. Worrying is fear expressed.
When I was younger I used sex and drugs to numb the pain and I called it pleasure. Now I know that love, peace, being of service, appreciation, acceptance, surrender, forgiveness, vigilance, trust, gentleness, kindness, gratitude, knowing what I am, knowing who I am, remembering, awakening; this is what feels like pleasure to me now.
Asking to See a Situation Differently
Yesterday something happened that was helpful because I saw with ego and then I chose to see differently. It was hard at first, but I was determined and so my mind shifted from anger and resentment to peace. It seemed a small thing in the world, but the truth is, yesterday I did my part as the savior of the world.
Here is what happened. I went to the dealership to get the oil changed in my car. I had two warning lights on and so I thought it was good that it was time for the oil change. They could check out the lights, too. After I left, I saw the lights were still on. I was so mad about that. Couldn’t they see the lights? Why didn’t they at least say something about them?
One of the reasons I was so angry is that I have to take off work to go there and it always takes them a long time to get things done so I don’t want to lose a lot of work time again. Also, they have been careless with my stuff before and I don’t really trust them. The reason I go back is that the oil changes are free. So when I noticed the lights were still on I spent about an hour wrestling with the idea that they were incompetent and I was going to make a stink about this. I even called the service manager but he didn’t call me back, and that was just fuel on the fire.
Of course, I came to my senses eventually. I knew I was seeing this with my ego mind and I began to ask for help to see differently. Here is what I began to realize. The world is a mirror. It only shows me what I believe to be true. There must be in me a belief that I am unfairly treated, and it must be that this is the belief I want to see represented as my life. Also, my distrust makes me afraid. How do I protect myself against my enemy?
As Jesus said in a previous lesson, the thought always comes first. It looked like I was reacting to the incompetency of the dealership, but the belief that I can be unfairly treated came first. The fearful thought that I am vulnerable and a victim came first. The situation at the dealership is the story that was projected to give me what I wanted to experience. It was the proof I wanted so I could believe in what I had already decided on. When the light bulb finally came on and I saw this, I was grateful.
First, it helped me decide, once again, that the peace of God is everything I want. And secondly, by making it clear that this is the belief that I can be unfairly treated and the belief that I am a victim, I realized how very tired I am of those sorry and useless thoughts. I said, very firmly, that I don’t want them anymore. I am asking the Holy Spirit to help me notice today any tendency that I have to embrace these unhelpful and untrue thoughts. I want to see differently. I am determined to see differently.