ACIM Lesson 20 I am determined to see.
I am determined to see.
1. We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. ²There 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. ³This approach has been intentional, and very carefully planned. ⁴We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. ⁵The salvation of the world depends on it. ⁶Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.
Jesus is such a good teacher. I try to follow his example in both my teaching and learning. I don’t want to push myself or anyone else. When we feel like we are being coerced, we tend to dig our heels in and resist. Jesus foresaw this reaction and so the lessons so far have required very little of us. Now he is going to ask for more. I guess we are graduating from the kindergarten of spiritual school. Ha ha. Jesus goes on to tell us that this is very important work that we do. The salvation of the world depends on it.
Let’s Pick Up the Pace
2. This is our first attempt to introduce structure. ²Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. ³You want salvation. ⁴You want to be happy. ⁵You want peace. ⁶You 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. ⁷You are now learning how to tell them apart. ⁸And great indeed will be your reward.
How interesting it is that Jesus needs to tell us that we want salvation, happiness, and peace. I suppose, though, that if we don’t have these qualities in our life, it is because we don’t want them. I used to want to be happy, but I thought being right would make me happy, or having more money would do the trick.
Even after I began the study of the Course, I thought I knew what would make me happy and it was always something outside me that I looked for. I finally had to accept that I didn’t want to be happy, or I would do something that actually brought me happiness. At last, I had put my finger on the problem and things began to change. The change was slow because I resisted giving up what never worked anyway. Go figure. But I did finally make the choices that brought me peace and happiness.
I Was Really Confused
Jesus is also telling us in this lesson that our minds are undisciplined. I knew he was right. But then, he tells us that we don’t know the difference between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. I wasn’t so sure about that. At least I could tell the difference between love and fear, couldn’t I? But I kept my mind open and soon began to realize he was right.
Here is an example of what I saw. I thought it brought me joy to be right, to win, to be better than someone else. I’m no longer confused about this. I know this isn’t true and I never strive for it anymore. I now understand that the feeling I used to have when I won was just a short-lived adrenalin rush. And I also saw that there was no way to sustain it. True joy comes without effort and stays unless I impose something else in its place.
It Is All About What I Want
3. Your decision to see is all that vision requires. ²What you want is yours. ³Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for an indication that our goal is of little worth. ⁴Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? ⁵And can the world be saved if you are not? ⁶God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. ⁷His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. ⁸In your determination to see is vision given you.
This is another lesson I finally learned. Nothing happens until I desire the change. I had to watch my thoughts for the tendency to slip back into old ways of thinking. For a while, I would revert to trying to find happiness in the world. I would be disappointed, and then remember that I needed to make an inward change. I needed to see the situation in another way.
4. The exercises for today consist in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. ²Today’s idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. ³Therefore, 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.
5. Repeat today’s idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour today, attempting to do so every half hour. ²Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember. ³The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person or event that upsets you. ⁴You can see them differently, and you will. ⁵ ⁶Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.
What I Desire to See, I Will See
Jesus was right that I wasn’t seeing, and that was why I wasn’t happy or peaceful. I became completely convinced that was the problem when I began to solve it. For instance, if I was angry at someone, I would remind myself that I must not be seeing this. I meant that I was perceiving it with the ego and that vision was possible if I changed my mind. Then, I would ask for vision, or I would forgive my thoughts about the situation and I would have vision.
Now, I never hesitate to ask for another way to see. I have learned that no one is trying to coerce me to do something I don’t want to do. I am not being forced to be happy. It became obvious to me that if what I am presently doing isn’t working, I need a better way of doing it. I came to absolutely know that Jesus is right. What I desire to see, I will see.
The Real Law of Cause and Effect
This sentence explains why it is that we always get what we want even if we are confused about what we want. Jesus says ⁶Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world. If I think I desire to see what is actually there, that is, Love, then I will see it. If I don’t see Love, then I need to recognize that I have chosen something else to see, probably to be right. ~smile~ And then with an open mind, I can choose again. My thought is the cause, what I see is the effect. This is always true so I don’t have to wonder why I am not happy or at peace. I just have to change my mind about what I thought I wanted. My new desire will bring me a new experience.
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