Today’s review includes the following:
W-pI.55.1. (21) I am determined to see things differently.
2 What I see now are but signs of disease, disaster and death. 3 This cannot be what God created for His beloved Son. 4 The very fact that I see such things is proof that I do not understand God. 5 Therefore I also do not understand His Son. 6 What I see tells me that I do not know who I am. 7 I am determined to see the witnesses to the truth in me, rather than those which show me an illusion of myself.
As I use my body to experience the world, I see, hear, think, and feel that which represents the ego thoughts in my mind. When I notice what the body shows me but with the certain knowledge that the body was made to show me what can never be, I can shift into something else. Here is an example.
When I was working, I had a customer who was difficult. He was never satisfied and he was suspicious of everything and everyone. I always dreaded having to meet with him as I knew he would complain the whole time and make unreasonable requests. His whole demeanor was one of defensiveness. So, with my eyes, I saw his body telegraph his attitude. With my ears, I heard him complain endlessly. With my mind, I interpreted his behavior and words as an attack on me.
When I saw what I was doing, I decided to ask the Holy Spirit for another way to see this. This is the same as asking for vision. At first, what happened is that I began to think about what it feels like to believe your thoughts. I remembered how hard it is to live in the world when you listen to the ego with its consistent warnings that you are not safe. This elicited compassion instead of judgment from me. Then from that softer perspective, I was reminded that he is not this body/personality he appears to be. He is his true Self; he is as he was created as am I. This change in the way I saw him changed the relationship.
W-pI.55.2. (22) What I see is a form of vengeance.
2 The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts. 3 It is a picture of attack on everything by everything. 4 It is anything but a reflection of the Love of God and the love of His Son. 5 It is my own attack thoughts that give rise to this picture. 6 My loving thoughts will save me from this perception of the world, and give me the peace God intended me to have.
In the relationship with the customer I was talking about, I began by seeing the world from the perspective of the ego. The ego is based on fear and hatred and so that is what I see. I looked within myself for fear and hatred and I saw how it is that I contribute to that worldview. I let the Holy Spirit bring to mind specific incidences so that I can see it clearly and feel the effects of fear and hatred. I know, then, that I don’t want that in my mind and so I released it to the Holy Spirit and accepted His healing. What is left when the attack thoughts and judgmental thoughts are gone, is love. This lets me see a world of love instead of hate.
W-pI.55.3. (23) I can escape from this world by giving up attack thoughts.
2 Herein lies salvation, and nowhere else. 3 Without attack thoughts I could not see a world of attack. 4 As forgiveness allows love to return to my awareness, I will see a world of peace and safety and joy. 5 And it is this I choose to see, in place of what I look on now.
I love when Jesus is straightforward and uncompromising. He is telling us that the only way I am going to escape from this world is by giving up attack thoughts. The only way! He tells us elsewhere we have to give up judgment and, in another place, he says we have to give up guilt. This is not a contradiction because these are all the same in content. When I judge, I am attacking and there is guilt.
He also tells me that I must choose this. I choose it by desiring peace and happiness above all else. I choose to be happy rather than to be right. In the situation with the difficult customer, I first saw the world as a battlefield. When I decided I preferred peace, that is how the world looked to me, peaceful. I had to trust that Jesus knows what he is talking about and put down my arms, that is, I had to stop defending myself. The person who seemed to have been my enemy became my friend.
W-pI.55.4. (24) I do not perceive my own best interests.
2 How could I recognize my own best interests when I do not know who I am? 3 What I think are my best interests would merely bind me closer to the world of illusions. 4 I am willing to follow the Guide God has given me to find out what my own best interests are, recognizing that I cannot perceive them by myself.
When I was deciding for myself how I should handle this difficult customer, I thought I knew my best interests. I thought I should find some way to bind this customer to me. I would do a lot of extra things for him. I would try to meet all his needs as he saw them even when it wasn’t my job to do so. Nothing worked. I thought I was failing and that would be bad.
When I prayed about it and asked for another way to see, I realized I didn’t know my best interests and therefore should stop trying to achieve those interests. I surrendered the problem to One Who does know. The very best thing I could do, it turns out, was to forgive myself and forgive him and forgive the situation. The best thing I could do for myself was to step out of the story of trying to please a difficult person, and instead, ask what this situation was for. It turns out, it was for me to learn a better way of being. With my Helper, I learned that lesson.
W-pI.55.5. (25) I do not know what anything is for.
2 To me, the purpose of everything is to prove that my illusions about myself are real. 3 It is for this purpose that I attempt to use everyone and everything. 4 It is for this that I believe the world is for. 5 Therefore I do not recognize its real purpose. 6 The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it. 7 Let me open my mind to the world’s real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it, and learning the truth about it.
What do I use the world for? For a very long time, I have used the world to prove I am the self I made and that this self is capable of making its own decisions and carrying out its own plans. Part of the plan was to make everyone else guilty and leave only myself as innocent, and to make everyone else the loser and me king of the hill.
That is what I used everyone and everything for. Through my thoughts and beliefs, I peopled the world with enemies. I was in competition with everyone. It is a hard way to live, and whether I seem to be winning or losing it is a stressful way to live. I am happy to leave that behind. Without that limited perspective, life is much better now.