ACIM Lesson 19 I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
ACIM Lesson 19
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
1. The idea for today is obviously the reason why your seeing does not affect you alone. ²You will notice that at times the ideas related to thinking precede those related to perceiving, while at other times the order is reversed. ³The reason is that the order does not matter. ⁴Thinking and its results are really simultaneous, for cause and effect are never separate.
2. Today we are again emphasizing the fact that minds are joined. ²This is rarely a wholly welcome idea at first, since it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and may even be regarded as an “invasion of privacy.” ³Yet it is a fact that there are no private thoughts. ⁴Despite your initial resistance to this idea, you will yet understand that it must be true if salvation is possible at all. ⁵And salvation must be possible because it is the Will of God.
Cause and Effect Are Simultaneous
This idea is very like yesterday’s idea. In Lesson 18 we practiced the idea that we are not alone in experiencing the effects of our seeing. And today we practice the idea that we are not alone in experiencing the effects of our thoughts. This would have to be so since what we see comes from what we think. And it doesn’t matter which order the ideas appear in because thinking and its results are simultaneous. Jesus says that this is so because cause and effect are never separate.
I am working this out in my mind. If I think I am a victim, I can expect situations that prove my victimhood to show up in my life. I can also expect that my perception of situations will prove my victimhood regardless of the facts because this is what I think will happen. So I see that cause and effect are simultaneous and it doesn’t matter which comes first.
Let’s Revisit the Plumber
Looking at my situation with the plumber yesterday, I can see this in action. For a little while, I accepted the idea of victimhood as possible. This belief showed me the victim story I wanted to see. When I looked at what the plumber was doing, what I saw seemed to prove I was right. When I asked for a different way of seeing it, my perception showed me an innocent plumber and the whole illusion fell apart.
The Hidden Desire
This kind of thinking and perceiving conceals a hidden desire. The reason we want to see ourselves as a victim is that we want someone else to assume the hidden guilt we feel. We think we left God bereft of His Son and now we are alone in the world and filled with guilt. So, we make up these stories that prove the guilt belongs to someone else in an effort to ease our burden. This pretense made it possible for me to believe the plumber was the problem even though the whole situation as I saw it was in my mind.
The illusory nature of the situation becomes obvious when we remember that our thoughts are images we have made. Then, in a magic act of enormous proportions, we convince ourselves that the images of our thoughts are outside us. Now we can pretend that we are innocent victims of a world over which we have no control, even though it is an effect of our thoughts. That is why we made the world but the world itself is in our mind since thoughts leave not their source. We are not in the world, the world is in us.
Our Thoughts Affect Others
So how does this affect the other person if we don’t take our accusations to the level of expressing them out loud? Ah, this is where another truth comes in. We are one, with one mind. There are no private thoughts. We may not see the effect of our thoughts on someone else, but the effect is there non the less. This is why once I came to my senses, I felt regret that I had imposed my guilt onto another. It is why I forgave myself as I allowed the consequences of my thoughts to be undone by letting the Holy Spirit decide for God for me.
3. The minute or so of mind searching which today’s exercises require is to be undertaken with eyes closed. ²The idea for today is to be repeated first, and then the mind should be carefully searched for the thoughts it contains at that time. ³As you consider each one, name it in terms of the central person or theme it contains, and holding it in your mind as you do so, say:
⁴I am not alone in experiencing the effects of this thought about _____________.
4. The requirement of as much indiscriminateness as possible in selecting subjects for the practice periods should be quite familiar to you by now, and will no longer be repeated each day, although it will occasionally be included as a reminder. ²Do not forget, however, that random selection of subjects for all practice periods remains essential throughout. ³Lack of order in this connection will ultimately make the recognition of lack of order in miracles meaningful to you.
5. Apart from the “as needed” application of today’s idea, at least three practice periods are required, shortening the length of time involved, if necessary. ²Do not attempt more than four.
One Meaning and So One Miracle
Jesus is emphasizing in our instructions to be sure our selections are truly random. This is necessary so that we begin to accept that all things are the same and so all things are subject to the miracle. My thoughts are images I made in order to experience the idea of separation. The one meaning they have makes them all the same no matter what shape or form they take. The miracle undoes the idea of separation and so there is one problem and one solution. And naturally, this also means that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.
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