Today let us review these ideas:
(31) I am not the victim of the world I see.
How can I be the victim of a world that can be completely undone if I so choose? My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave simply by walking out. Nothing holds me in this world. Only my wish to stay keeps me a prisoner. I would give up my insane wishes and walk into the sunlight at last.
(32) I have invented the world I see.
I made up the prison in which I see myself. All I need do is recognize this and I am free. I have deluded myself into believing it is possible to imprison the Son of God. I was bitterly mistaken in this belief, which I no longer want. The Son of God must be forever free. He is as God created him, and not what I would make of him. He is where God would have him be, and not where I thought to hold him prisoner.
(33) There is another way of looking at the world.
Since the purpose of the world is not the one I ascribed to it, there must be another way of looking at it. I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God’s Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his freedom.
(34) I could see peace instead of this.
When I see the world as a place of freedom, I realize that it reflects the laws of God instead of the rules I made up for it to obey. I will understand that peace, not war, abides in it. And I will perceive that peace also abides in the hearts of all who share this place with me.
(35) My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.
As I share the peace of the world with my brothers, I begin to understand that this peace comes from deep within myself. The world I look upon has taken on the light of my forgiveness, and shines forgiveness back at me. In this light I begin to see what my illusions about myself kept hidden. I begin to understand the holiness of all living things, including myself, and their oneness with me.
1 (31) I am not the victim of the world I see.
“How can I be the victim of a world that can be completely undone if I so choose?”
How is it that I choose to walk out of this world? This morning, I joined with the Holy Spirit in choosing the kind of day I would have. This is what was decided.
Today I will make no decisions by myself.
Today, I am going to make every effort to remember that I am not a victim of my life but the maker of this life, the scriptwriter. I will enjoy the story. If the script becomes one of suffering, I will remember to ask Jesus what thought error needs correction, allow it to be corrected and feel gratitude for the events that pointed to the error in thinking.
If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me.
Later this morning, I was at the eye doctor. I had to get my eyes dilated, something I don’t like doing. I also don’t particularly like my doctor. He doesn’t really listen and he doesn’t like to be questioned or disagreed with. I noticed my mood and realized that I was not having the day I decided on. I had to wait for my eyes to dilate so I took advantage of that time to talk to Jesus.
I put my hand on my heart and called to him. When I felt connected, I told Jesus how I was feeling and that I recognized that I was holding a grievance against this doctor and that I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to free my mind of ego thinking. I asked Jesus what this was really about. I knew right away that it was about not feeling safe. I didn’t feel safe with this doctor and that made me feel vulnerable.
All ego thoughts and situations are a result of the tiny mad idea in which we chose to see ourselves as separate from God and the resultant fear and guilt. We just play that moment out over and over in different ways. In seeing myself separate from God, I felt vulnerable for the first time and that is all that was happening here, this time with the doctor playing the part God played.
But nothing actually happened in the tiny mad idea other than a fantasy. I am not ever vulnerable. I am always safe. The ego is what feels vulnerable and it is the ego that seeks to defend itself. I am not the ego and unless I choose to identify with the ego, I do not have to feel endangered. I gave the Holy Spirit the belief that I am what I made.
I accepted His correction and saw myself outside of and apart from the body in that chair waiting for her eyes to dilate. All the anxiety and the resentment just fell away. Nice. This is how I step outside the world I made. This is how I leave behind the idea of victimhood. I went to the doctor for my yearly exam and left with a prescription for new glasses and a peaceful mind.
2 (32) I have invented the world I see.
“I made up the prison in which I see myself.”
I made up the idea of a body and I made up the idea of a world of separate things that have no connection to each other. I made up the idea that I could somehow be separate from my Source. Because of the power of our mind, all that could be imagined was imagined and we have been exploring it since.
But no matter how extraordinary the illusion, it is still an illusion. I can be free of it simply by not thinking it anymore. That is what I am learning now and slowly, as I understand what thoughts are perpetuating the illusion, I choose to release them and they are undone.
3 (33) There is another way of looking at the world.
“I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his freedom.”
I have used the illusion as a prison for the Son of God, but there is another way to see it. As I let more and more of the imprisoning thoughts be corrected, the world takes on a different meaning. Each person in my life and each situation in my life mirrors the beliefs in my mind and lets me see which I want to keep and which I am ready to let go. What held us prisoner now becomes the way to freedom.
4 (34) I could see peace instead of this.
This morning at the doctor’s office, the world felt like a prison. I was stuck with a doctor I didn’t trust and who seemed arrogant and uncaring. The world felt dangerous to me. Because I have learned to choose peace above all else, I let my mind be corrected. All the judgmental thoughts and feelings fell away as I decided that I wanted everyone there to feel loved. This was the best checkup I have ever had. They took their time and did a good job. The world is a place of war if my mind is at war. It is a place of peace if my mind is peaceful. It’s up to me.
5(35) My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.
“I begin to understand the holiness of all living things, including myself, and their oneness with me.”
My doctor is very holy. The technicians are very holy. I am very holy. We are all part of God and so we are all very holy. That is just a fact. Everything else that I seem to experience is an illusion. That we are all part of each other and part of God is the only thing that is true.
PS This is the first time in two years that I can see clearly and that I don’t suffer eye fatigue. I think that my past judgment and resultant distrust of the doctor is the reason I was having so much trouble getting a correct prescription. I had gone in with a loveless attitude and my thoughts were projected outward as this situation. This year I let that all go and the prescription I received was absolutely perfect. It has made a big difference in my life.
Jesus likens this world to a prison and talks about chains that bind us. The truth is, though, that we made the prison and the door is locked from the inside. To leave, we only need to become aware that we are both prisoner and jailer, and decide to leave. Imagine that! We can throw off our chains anytime we want to.
When I was going through the upsetting situation with my customer, I would obsess about the situation. This is a chain I used to bind me to the world I see. I had thoughts about who was to blame, about what might happen as a result of this situation. More chains. When I had been miserable long enough, I began to throw off the chains.
I did this by allowing the Holy Spirit to remove the ego thoughts from my mind, and then I protected that freedom by shifting my focus to the truth every time I would start to take up the chains again. Even this morning, as I got out of bed, I began to make up a story about what some problem would mean to me in the future. I stopped myself immediately. I laughed at the absurdity and I thanked the Holy Spirit for the little nudge to pay attention
When this happens it is the ego mind wanting to go back to the comfortable familiarity of the chains that bind. Why would I even consider going back to that misery? Here is how the ego thinks. It says that if I am firmly bound by my belief that I am a victim, I can sit here in my prison in my chains and feel sorry for myself. It is not pleasant, but I know how to do it and I don’t have to change anything. The ego mind prefers pain and suffering to freedom, because it sees freedom as the end of its pitiful existence, and in that it is right.
The ego keeps saying it is me, and that its end is my end, and in that it is wrong. The ego argues that maybe I am wrong and it is right. I can sit here waiting for my sentence to end and not take any chances. What if I try to escape and it doesn’t work? What would that mean? Would that prove that God hates me and wants to punish me as I feared? Would that mean the Course is wrong, and I have dedicated my life to the wrong thing? Or could it mean that my sins are too bad to be forgiven?
What if I prove that I can throw off the chains of victimhood anytime I want to? What would that mean to me? What if later I need to be the victim again? Would I be able to believe it when I wanted it? What about blame and guilt? What if I felt so guilty that I just had to find someone else to take the blame? And what if I am wrong and there is a vengeful God that wants me to pay for my sins. Won’t he be angry if I just walk out?
We don’t generally think those things in those words, but that is the buried fear that keeps us bound. I used to see myself pick up the chains over and over. I would feel the fear that I didn’t put words to. So I knew something was going on in the mind that I was not willing to cop to, but that was keeping me sitting here on death row, waiting for the inevitable.
There is another fear as well. In the Text, Jesus tells us that it is not so much the fear of God, as it is the fear of our Self. We are afraid to discover our Divinity, to know what we are. That seems even stranger than the fear of God. If I see God as the vengeful, angry Deity that I learned about from church, it makes sense that I would be afraid of Him.
But to be afraid to discover that I am one with God, and all that God is, that is even stranger. But why else would we cling to our victimhood. How we will laugh when we awaken, and realize we actually convinced ourselves that the Son of God was a victim of his own story. Actually, the world we made and the story we are living is going to be our way out.
In the review it says, “… the world is really a place where he can be set free.” And in Lesson 152 it says, “Here is your world, complete in all details. Here is its whole reality for you. And it is only here salvation is.” This is stating very clearly, that the world is exactly what I wanted, and at the same time it is saying that it is in the world that I will find salvation.
How does this work? Just like this: I went through this upsetting experience because I chose to, and then came out of it because I chose to, and so learned that I am doing this to myself. Could that be enough to get me to unlock my prison door and walk out? Yes, absolutely, and it is.
I think about the story of Jan Frazier.In her book, “Fear Falls Away” she tells us about a life of fear and how one night she asked a simple question. The next day she had to face one of her greatest fears, and as she prepared for sleep, she asked if she could do this without fear. That was the moment she chose to walk out of her prison. Fear fell away and has never returned. It was her awakening moment.
Jan didn’t know she was making that choice when she asked. It is not our character that makes the choice. But it is through the character and the story that is being played out that the choice is made. And yes, it happens in a moment, some moment. Maybe this moment? It is up to us. There is a certainty, though, that it will happen.