ACIM Lesson 28 Above all else I want to see things differently.
Above all else I want to see things differently.
ACIM Lesson 28
Above all else I want to see things differently.
1. Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday. ²In these practice periods, you will be making a series of definite commitments. ³The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. ⁴If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. ⁵And we are still at the beginning.
I love that Jesus tells us that it is not a question of whether we will keep these commitments in the future. Let us not be concerned with that. Instead, let’s make the commitment now and remember this is just the beginning. We have plenty of time to let our practices reinforce our desire to see differently.
Seeing the Light
2. You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, “Above all else I want to see this table differently.” ²In itself it is not important at all. ³Yet what is by itself? ⁴And what does “in itself” mean? ⁵You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all. ⁶You either see or not. ⁷When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently. ⁸The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.
I appreciate Jesus using the symbol of light to describe what we see. I have always imagined that if my eyes could show me what is really here, it would be light. The table would be light, the tree would be light, the bodies would be light. Light is light and not different. For instance, the light in my living room is not different than the light in my kitchen. Standing in the doorway between those rooms, I cannot see where the light from the living room turns into the light from the kitchen.
Then I imagined that the light would slowly coalesce into form and become so dense that I would then go back to seeing all these separate things. Using my eyes I seem to see things. With Christ Vision, I see light. Eyes are not real and so don’t show us anything real. They do not actually see at all, they just make images, and so I am not seeing. If I allow myself to be aware of what is actually there beyond the images, I can say that I do see. It feels clearer to me to say that I perceive the table as it is, and what it means.
Making a Commitment to Open Our Minds
3. 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. ²You are not defining it in past terms. ³You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. ⁴You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.
If I look at the table with my eyes, I see an object. I then decide what it is for and what it means to me based on my ideas about tables. This will, of course, be decided on according to my past experiences with tables. I look at my dining table and I am happy because it fits nicely into the space that I have for it. This is influenced by the fact that I had a larger table before this one and it sat awkwardly in the room. I like it because it is wood and it is old and this preference is influenced by my first in-laws who refinished old furniture and loved antiques and collectables. I picked this preference up from them in the past.
Rather than asking the table what it is, I am telling it what it is. As Jesus says, I am binding it to my tiny experience of tables. I am doing this unless I become determined to see this table differently. Then maybe I could see it without limiting it to my personal thoughts. It seems very strange to look at an inanimate object like this. But if I again use the symbol of light as what everything is, then the table isn’t different than the body standing next to it.
This Is not an Exclusive Commitment
4. You will not question what you have already defined. ²And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. ³In saying, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are committing yourself to seeing. ⁴It is not an exclusive commitment. ⁵It is a commitment that applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less.
Ok, Jesus further explains why this lesson is important. If we think we already know what everything means, we will not be open to receiving answers. We won’t even ask the question. I’m doing my best to open my mind to this simple exercise. Above all else I want to see this table differently. I’m finding it difficult for two reasons.
One is that I think it doesn’t matter that I see the table differently. This means I still resist the idea that there is no difference between a table or a body or any other image. The second reason is that my mind is full of ideas that I believe about tables. Thus, I have trouble dismissing those ideas so that I can discover something new. But I am opening my mind and waiting to see what happens.
Opening to the Real Meaning
5. 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. ²It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. ³Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.
6. 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. ²You will be making this same request of each subject that you use in the practice periods. ³And 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.
I cry when I read this paragraph, every time. What would it be like to look at anything and seen its beauty and its infinite value. I want to, though, and to do so, I must let go of my own ideas and humbly accept my Teacher’s guidance. Jesus is telling us that it’s beauty is its purpose, as is the value of everything. What is our purpose? It is forgiveness, the undoing of the ego. I can practice this right now as I decide to stop telling the universe what it is, and instead ask my Teacher what it is. Another way to state this is to stop asking the ego for understanding and ask the Holy Spirit instead.
7. 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. ²Not 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.
8. 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:
²Above all else I want to see this _________ differently.
³Each application should be made quite slowly, and as thoughtfully as possible. ⁴There is no hurry.
This is a great way to practice vision as opposed to image making. I look forward to being told the purpose of the table and thus to know the purpose of the universe. This seems at first glance, a strange if not silly practice, and yet, it is helping me to gain Christ Vision. It is helping me to see, to really see. I think this is a significant lesson after all.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 28 click here.
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