Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.
1. What time but now can truth be recognized? ²The present is the only time there is. ³And so today, this instant, now, we come to look upon what is forever there; not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ. ⁴He looks past time, and sees eternity as represented there. ⁵He hears the sounds the senseless, busy world engenders, yet He hears them faintly. ⁶For beyond them all He hears the song of Heaven, and the Voice for God more clear, more meaningful, more near.
When we look at the world from the perspective of the ego, we see guilt sinners. We see attack and hatred. But when we look with Christ’s vision, all of this fades away. We still see the bodies and all that is occurring, but it is in the background. Our focus is on Heaven’s Call.
Before I studied the Course, before my mind healed enough for me to see differently, this is an example of how I perceived another’s story. When I would be listening to someone’s story, I would relate it to me. My mind would find a memory that reflected the same ideas. If it triggered guilt, I might feel uncomfortable hearing her story and would want to move away. This is the way the ego-mind transfers its own sense of guilt onto someone else with the idea that the other is guilty of making it feel uncomfortable. In the past, this might have felt like disgust or revulsion for her because, in those days, I didn’t know we were not our stories. I would have judged her for her story and seen her as her story.
Here is an example of how this feels to me now. I can be with someone listening to her story, but instead of falling into the story with her, I see the thinking error that caused the upset. I see the potential for healing. My Self recognizes her Self. I feel compassion for her confusion because I know how that feels, but I don’t feel sorry for her; I know she is safe. I feel love for her. If the mind recalls a similar experience of my own, I only use it to highlight the way to healing. I might slip into a story briefly if it triggers something unhealed in my mind, but not often.
2. The world fades easily away before His sight. ²Its sounds grow dim. ³A melody from far beyond the world increasingly is more and more distinct; an ancient call to which He gives an ancient answer. ⁴You will recognize them both, for they are but your answer to your Father’s Call to you. ⁵Christ answers for you, echoing your Self, using your voice to give His glad consent; accepting your deliverance for you.
The change reflected in my experience did not happen all at once. It was a process in which I slowly learned to respond differently. I released what seemed at the time to be an endless stream of guilty thoughts. I used everyone as a chance to rid myself of guilt by projecting it onto them. It never helped and I just felt guiltier which made me more anxious and determined to find someone else to be guilty.
But at the same time, as I was practicing the Course, I began to notice what I was doing and I would ask the Holy Spirit to look at it with me and heal my mind. I did that at first just when my suffering drove me to it, but as time went on, I became fiercely determined to end my suffering and then to end the suffering of others. That is when I became vigilant for my thoughts and resolute on changing my mind. Now, I hear the call of Self clearly because I am no longer so focused on the self.
3. How holy is your practicing today, as Christ gives you His sight and hears for you, and answers in your name the Call He hears! ²How quiet is the time you give to spend with Him, beyond the world. ³How easily are all your seeming sins forgot, and all your sorrows unremembered. ⁴On this day is grief laid by, for sights and sounds that come from nearer than the world are clear to you who will today accept the gifts He gives.
We are coming to accept that this Course and our practice of it is changing our lives. If it has not yet, you will begin to experience the holiness of what you are doing, your sacred responsibility to look at the story of your apparent life to show you the errors you came to undo for the Sonship. As this happens the world becomes quieter and fades into the background more and more.
You begin to notice that while in the past, you had easily forgotten your purpose during the business of the day, now you have those quiet moments of feeling something else. Maybe it is just a subtle knowing that there is more to you than you ever imagined. Maybe the realization that you are not alone, that your Teacher, your Guide is with you speaking to your heart.
Your Self has answered the call for you and you have begun to take notice. It can be exhilarating to discover this. Or maybe the process is slow and gradual and the realization so very subtle that it was almost unnoticed until these words brought it to your delighted attention.
4. There is a silence into which the world can not intrude. ²There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost. ³There is a sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never touched. ⁴All this today you will remember. ⁵Faithfulness in practicing today will bring rewards so great and so completely different from all things you sought before, that you will know that here your treasure is, and here your rest.
It is important to remember that everything is in our minds only. If we feel sad or angry, that is in the ego part of the mind. If we feel love, peace, and joy, that is in our holy mind. What is in our right mind is not touched by what is in the ego-mind. This means that our Self is unaffected by what the ego-self does, says, or thinks. This means we are always perfectly safe because we are not the imagined ego. We are the Self. We are very holy.
Here is what my practice looks like. I thought about someone I don’t like. I don’t see her often and she has little effect on my life. At one time, I probably would not have given her a second thought, but now that a lot has been cleared from my mind, I am very aware of my judgment. This judgment is like an irritating itch that I must scratch. Up until now, I have turned my attention away from the thought of her and let it go unattended, distracting me from that itch. Now, though, I am ready to forgive.
I begin by asking the Holy Spirit to look at this with me. I first ask myself why it is that her behavior upsets me. I know the answer right away. Her behavior reminds me of my past behavior. I have changed that behavior but evidently, had not forgiven myself for it. I ask the Holy Spirit to heal my mind of the belief that I am guilty and to remove this thought from my mind.
I remember what it was like to be me then. I was so lost in my own guilt that I did and said many things that I came to regret. I was so self-absorbed that often, I didn’t realize the impact I had on others. ]With His help, I begin to feel compassion for that young woman I was. I continue to sit with the Holy Spirit for a few moments and as always, I smile to think that in this minute of silence, my mind is being healed and renewed. What a miracle that is!
Then I bring this woman to mind again so I can feel if there is any antagonism left. Since there is not, I ask for the process to be completed. I know that I am not done until I love her. I cannot talk myself into this change of heart, but I know from past experience that this miracle is available to me. While I cannot do this for myself, the Holy Spirit does it easily if it is my true desire. I begin to feel the love as I imagine her face before me. Again, I am in awe of the miracle.
5. This is the day when vain imaginings part like a curtain, to reveal what lies beyond them. ²Now is what is really there made visible, while all the shadows which appeared to hide it merely sink away. ³Now is the balance righted, and the scale of judgment left to Him Who judges true. ⁴And in His judgment will a world unfold in perfect innocence before your eyes. ⁵Now will you see it with the eyes of Christ. ⁶Now is its transformation clear to you.
The judgment I had of this woman was my vain imaginings and they parted, what was revealed to me was a Sister in Christ, a beloved image of one who is perfectly innocent and who I love. It is hard to fathom by the ego-mind that something can be so transformed in just minutes. This is the way, healed thought by healed thought that the real world appears.
6. Brother, this day is sacred to the world. ²Your vision, given you from far beyond all things within the world, looks back on them in a new light. ³And what you see becomes the healing and salvation of the world. ⁴The valuable and valueless are both perceived and recognized for what they are. ⁵And what is worthy of your love receives your love, while nothing to be feared remains.
And now imagine this process completed. Imagine that our minds are healed of all grievances, all attack thoughts, all sadness. Imagine that we have all of us looked on sickness and recognized it as merely an untrue thought projected onto an imaginary body, and seen anew simply fades away and along with it its effects. This is all we are doing; all we need to do. We are to notice how our thoughts make us feel, bring the uncomfortable thoughts to the Holy Spirit, and looking at them together, let the Light shine them away. Salvation is so simple. I’m excited to be doing my part in the salvation of the world.
7. We will not judge today. ²We will receive but what is given us from judgment made beyond the world. ³Our practicing today becomes our gift of thankfulness for our release from blindness and from misery. ⁴All that we see will but increase our joy, because its holiness reflects our own. ⁵We stand forgiven in the sight of Christ, with all the world forgiven in our own. ⁶We bless the world, as we behold it in the light in which our Savior looks on us, and offer it the freedom given us through His forgiving vision, not our own.
We are always seeking an interpretation of what is in our mind, just as I did with the woman who I was judging. I noticed her behavior and I asked the ego what it meant. The ego judged her harshly and since the ego is in my mind, I felt guilty for the judgment. Then I chose a different advisor and asked the Holy Spirit what her behavior meant. This judgment is outside the ego mind. It is trustworthy and releases me from my guilt.
There is no third option. We always ask either the ego or the Holy Spirit before we make a decision. All decisions must be made in union to have power, either with the Christ or antichrist. Understanding this one fact makes it obvious how to handle these ego ideas. It makes it possible to avoid the effects of ego judgment and frees the mind. Seeing the world from a healed mind blesses it. This is done through forgiving vision, not our own (ego vision).
8. Open the curtain in your practicing by merely letting go all things you think you want. ²Your trifling treasures put away, and leave a clean and open space within your mind where Christ can come, and offer you the treasure of salvation. ³He has need of your most holy mind to save the world. ⁴Is not this purpose worthy to be yours? ⁵Is not Christ’s vision worthy to be sought above the world’s unsatisfying goals?
To have the healing experience I want, I let go of any personal outcome. I let go of what I want to come of it. I just surrender to One Who Knows and trust that. I am being offered salvation and freedom. I am being offered happiness and peace of mind. What other goals could I possibly desire that come close to this?
9. Let not today slip by without the gifts it holds for you receiving your consent and your acceptance. ²We can change the world, if you acknowledge them. ³You may not see the value your acceptance gives the world. ⁴But this you surely want; you can exchange all suffering for joy this very day. ⁵Practice in earnest, and the gift is yours. ⁶Would God deceive you? ⁷Can His promise fail? ⁸Can you withhold so little, when His Hand holds out complete salvation to His Son?
Let us remember, today, how simple and easy this is, and let us not fail to do our part. Let us feel the gratitude that comes from His promise that cannot fail us. Let us do our part to save the Sonship from more suffering.