ACIM Lesson 15 My thoughts are images that I have made.
My thoughts are images that I have made.
ACIM Lesson 15
My thoughts are images that I have made.
1. It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. ²You think you think them, and so you think you see them. ³This is how your “seeing” was made. ⁴This is the function you have given your body’s eyes. ⁵It is not seeing. ⁶It is image making. ⁷It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.
The Thoughts You Think You Think
Let’s look at this first paragraph very carefully. It starts out saying “the thoughts you think you think” an idea he has alluded to before. We seem to have a lot of thoughts. In fact, our minds are filled with chatter pretty much all the time. But Jesus wants us to know that this is not real thinking. The only real thoughts we have are the thoughts we think with God or the thoughts that reflect God. All other thoughts are separation thoughts and are there to obscure our reality as Christ.
How Our Seeing Was Made
Next, he tells us that these thoughts appear as images. This is anything that is seen with the eyes. It is our bodies, trees, etc. It is the images of wars and sickness, images of suffering and death. We see these images as if they are outside us and because we see them, we believe they are real. And because they seem to be outside our mind, we can believe we have no responsibility for them. And thus, someone or something else is guilty of them.
Jesus reinforces this important idea by telling us outright that this is how our seeing was made. This is the function we gave the body’s eyes. But it is not seeing at all, it is image making. He has been building up to this from the beginning of the lessons but now he is being very clear. We have a senseless idea, a separation idea that could not be true. It is what we call thought and then we project that thought outward as an image. We then use the body’s eyes to show us the image we made and thus “prove” it is real and apart from us.
Trading Seeing for Vision
Jesus ends this paragraph by emphasizing that what we think of as seeing is made to replace vision with illusions. Vision is completely internal and has nothing to do with the body’s eyes. Vision is seeing past the body and its behaviors. It is the awareness of what actually exists. Here is an example of vision as opposed to seeing. I had been frustrated with the work a plumber was doing for me. It seemed to me that he was guilty of doing shoddy work. I knew that this had to be a wrong-minded thought but what my eyes showed me seemed to prove it was true.
I know, though, not to trust the eyes to show me the truth. And I am very uncomfortable with guilt of any kind. So, I asked the Holy Spirit to show me another way to see this. The idea He gave me was simple. “You think he is a plumber.” I laughed because I got it right away. My eyes showed me a fallible plumber. But because I was willing to see differently, my mind showed me the Christ. All resentment and guilt thoughts fell away instantly and were replaced with love. That is vision.
2. This introductory idea to the process of image making that you call seeing will not have much meaning for you. ²You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. ³That is the beginning of real vision. ⁴You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.
3. As we go along, you may have many “light episodes.” ²They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. ³Do not be afraid of them. ⁴They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. ⁵They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. ⁶These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you. ⁷But they will prepare the way to it.
Most people do not experience light episodes with their eyes. This was directed to Helen because of an experience of a friend. The light we see is about vision. It is internal, the light of understanding or of seeing differently. However it shows up it is temporary, a symbol of true perception. I took this literally when I first studied the lessons. Thus, I felt guilty and inadequate that I didn’t see little edges of light. Eventually, I realized that I was slowly beginning to see things differently in a more enlightened way and that this is what Jesus means.
A Persistent Idea
4. In practicing the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:
²This _________ is an image that I have made.
³That _________ is an image that I have made.
⁴It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today’s idea. ⁵It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself. ⁶The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time.
5. Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practice that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible. ²Less than a minute will do for the practice periods, if you begin to feel uneasy. ³Do not have more than three application periods for today’s idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four. ⁴However, the idea can be applied as needed throughout the day.
The idea that the world is real and that the eyes do truly see things outside our minds is persistent. But just because we believe something doesn’t make it true. I opened my mind to another way to see and over time, I began to accept vision as reality rather than the images we made. It still thrills me, though, to stop and looking at what appears to be a solid object, remind myself it is only an image that I have made. Even here in the middle of the illusion, we can peek behind the veil and remember we are not what we seem. In reality, we are limitless, eternal, powerful, and Divine.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 15 click here.
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