I will there be light.
W-pI.73.1. Today we are considering the will you share with God. 2 This is not the same as the ego’s idle wishes, out of which darkness and nothingness arise. 3 The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it. 4 The ego’s idle wishes are unshared, and therefore have no power at all. 5 Its wishes are not idle in the sense that they can make a world of illusions in which your belief can be very strong. 6 But they are idle indeed in terms of creation. 7 They make nothing that is real.
There are two messages in this for me. First, my will is the will I share with God. It is as powerful as is God’s Will and is as creative as is His. The second message is that these idle wishes of the ego have no power of creation. They are powerful in that we made the whole world with them, but there is no power of creation in a wish so what is made will not last. It will not bring us joy as does true creation. It is not love because it came from an unloving source.
W-pI.73.2. Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. 2 The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego’s need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for “righteous” judgment. 3 These figures become the middlemen the ego employs to traffic in grievances. 4 They stand between your awareness and your brothers’ reality. 5 Beholding them, you do not know your brothers or your Self.
What Jesus is telling me in this paragraph is that my idle wishes gave rise to the world I seem to inhabit. The grievances I hold maintain this world. They are what keeps the world going rather than letting it disappear from our mind so that Heaven will rise in our memory. Everything I think I know about anyone or anything is actually just a thought in my mind, and probably, not a true thought. I look at someone and think I know them, but I really only know my thoughts about them. They stay hidden from me until I release the thoughts.
Here is an example of how this occurs. Let’s say that I am visiting my nephew and I haven’t seen him for many years. My mind has an idea of who he is based on the time we used to spend together. When he talks to me about his girlfriend, everything he says is filtered through my beliefs about him and his relationships with women.
I knew that when I was spending time with him in the past that he had cheated on his girlfriend, so I think of him as being a cheater and disloyal. Chances are, he has matured and his relationships have matured. But I will never know this about him if I hold a grievance against him because of past behavior. My thoughts about him keep him a cheater in my mind.
Not only do these judgmental thoughts keep me from knowing who he is now, but they also keep me from knowing his true Self that is beyond any of these rules I made up for appropriate behavior. How can I know this beautiful and brilliant being of light and love if I am not even willing to know his better self in the story? If I let go of the story of my nephew as a cheater and go into the relationship with an open mind, not deciding who he is but letting him show me, it is a reflection of my desire to know his true Self.
W-pI.73.3. Your will is lost to you in this strange bartering, in which guilt is traded back and forth, and grievances increase with each exchange. 2 Can such a world have been created by the Will the Son of God shares with his Father? 3 Did God create disaster for His Son? 4 Creation is the Will of Both together. 5 Would God create a world that kills Himself?
I cannot remember my true will, the will I share with God while I also believe that this world with its judgments and grievances, its attacks and defenses, its fear and guilt is my true will. I must give up the idea that I can finally make the world work, that I can find a way to be happy in it if I continue to manipulate it. There are not enough self-help books in the world to make me happy here.
No matter what kind of life I make for myself within this illusion, it will end in death. Could the Source of all Life have made a world where His Son comes to die? 4 Creation is the Will of Both together. 5 Would God create a world that kills Himself? God created me like Himself so there must be love and happiness and peace in me. That is the Will of God and it is my true Will.
W-pI.73.4. Today we will try once more to reach the world that is in accordance with your will. 2 The light is in it because it does not oppose the Will of God. 3 It is not Heaven, but the light of Heaven shines on it. 4 Darkness has vanished. 5 The ego’s idle wishes have been withdrawn. 6 Yet the light that shines upon this world reflects your will, and so it must be in you that we will look for it.
Wonderful! Again, we are going to try to reach the light that is within us. This light is not Heaven but it is a reflection of Heaven and it is already in us. We only need to desire the light, to desire it more than the dark thoughts of the ego. This does not mean that we have to banish the ego, but that we must have a strong desire for it. What am I willing to give up in order to know the Self that I am? Would I be willing to give up the ego’s favorite beliefs, like guilt and fear? The ego argues that this is something I might need. I might need to recognize guilt in someone else or even myself. I might need to let fear protect me.
But I know this is not true and I am willing to release any of that which is left in my mind. I have learned that it is a lie that I need guilt to do what is right. I can do what is right simply because it is right. I don’t need to feel bad to make the better choice. I have discovered that fear doesn’t really protect me at all. I lock my doors at night. I don’t have to be afraid to do that. I do it because it is the reasonable thing to do. The more guilt and fear I give up, the safer and happier I feel.
W-pI.73.5. Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. 2 The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without. 3 Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. 4 Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light. 5 We have repeatedly emphasized that the barrier of grievances is easily passed, and cannot stand between you and your salvation. 6 The reason is very simple. 7 Do you really want to be in hell? 8 Do you really want to weep and suffer and die?
3 Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. How does that work? Any of us who have made a habit of watching our thoughts has noticed that when we think about fearful things, we become more fearful. When we think about things that make us angry, we become angrier. This applies to guilt as well. Whatever we focus on becomes the world we see.
I know someone who became afraid because his job was dangerous. He drove a cab in a big city and it was not unheard of to be robbed and even killed doing this job. The more he thought about it, the more he worried. Soon, he bought a gun and kept it in his cab. He had become willing to kill to protect himself against a shadowy future that felt very dark to him.
Eventually, he began keeping the gun available in his house and later he slept with it. Most cab drivers don’t die on the job and he had never been threatened. He certainly never needed the gun in his home. But this was the world of his imagination and so it was the world he saw and responded to. It did not make him happy, and it was not the world God created for him.
4 Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light. This same person worked his way out of the dark world he had made with his beliefs. His love of God and desire to live a Godly life helped him to turn away from the darkness and place his faith in God rather than in his gun. I don’t think he even owns a gun anymore.
When he began living a faith filled life, he stopped seeing danger everywhere he looked. He fell in love and got a different kind of job. He stopped looking for things to frighten him. He began to experience happiness and life seems so good now. He began to experience miracles. 5 We have repeatedly emphasized that the barrier of grievances is easily passed, and cannot stand between you and your salvation.
W-pI.73.6. Forget the ego’s arguments which seek to prove all this is really Heaven. 2 You know it is not so. 3 You cannot want this for yourself. 4 There is a point beyond which illusions cannot go. 5 Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. 6 Such is your will in truth. 7 And so salvation is your will as well. 8 You want to succeed in what we are trying to do today. 9 We undertake it with your blessing and your glad accord.
W-pI.73.7. We will succeed today if you remember that you want salvation for yourself. 2 You want to accept God’s plan because you share in it. 3 You have no will that can really oppose it, and you do not want to do so. 4 Salvation is for you. 5 Above all else, you want the freedom to remember Who you really are. 6 Today it is the ego that stands powerless before your will. 7 Your will is free, and nothing can prevail against it.
How strange that Jesus must convince us that we want to be happy, and we want to be free. Let us today, surrender to this argument. God wants our happiness and our freedom and we want what God wants. We can be free of the dark ego thoughts that keep us imprisoned in a hell of our own making. Let us accept His offer. It only requires that we shift our thinking from dark thoughts to thoughts that are in alignment with the thoughts we think with God.
And we do not even have to do anything to effect this change other than to be willing for it. Once we decide that we want to live from our true will instead of the ego will, we start to notice the thoughts that are not relevant to our changed perspective and the Holy Spirit corrects them for us. We have cowered before the ego will thinking it was in charge, but today can be different. Today, we can take responsibility for our thoughts and discover how easy salvation really is. 6 Today it is the ego that stands powerless before your will. 7 Your will is free, and nothing can prevail against it.
W-pI.73.8. Therefore, we undertake the exercises for today in happy confidence, certain that we will find what it is your will to find, and remember what it is your will to remember. 2 No idle wishes can detain us, nor deceive us with an illusion of strength. 3 Today let your will be done, and end forever the insane belief that it is hell in place of Heaven that you choose.
This is a very exciting thought! Just walk away from these ego thoughts and beliefs and let them be. Walk into the light, into the Love that is God and rest there, happy to be where I belong, where I am at home.
W-pI.73.9. We will begin our longer practice periods with the recognition that God’s plan for salvation, and only His, is wholly in accord with your will. 2 It is not the purpose of an alien power, thrust upon you unwillingly. 3 It is the one purpose here on which you and your Father are in perfect accord. 4 You will succeed today, the time appointed for the release of the Son of God from hell and from all idle wishes. 5 His will is now restored to his awareness. 6 He is willing this very day to look upon the light in him and be saved.
I do not anticipate a particular outcome. I simply surrender to the experience. I let myself discover what it is to be wholly in accord with God’s Will. I will discover what it is to be restored to my awareness of Self. I am willing. Here I am, God.
W-pI.73.10. After reminding yourself of this, and determining to keep your will clearly in mind, tell yourself with gentle firmness and quiet certainty:
2 I will there be light. 3 Let me behold the light that reflects God’s Will and mine.
4 Then let your will assert itself, joined with the power of God and united with your Self. 5 Put the rest of the practice period under Their guidance. 6 Join with Them as They lead the way.
This whole idea, every word in this paragraph is deeply meaningful to me and fills me with love and hope and sense of who I am.
W-pI.73.11. In the shorter practice periods, again make a declaration of what you really want. 2 Say:
3 I will there be light. 4 Darkness is not my will.
5 This should be repeated several times an hour. 6 It is most important, however, to apply today’s idea in this form immediately you are tempted to hold a grievance of any kind. 7 This will help you let your grievances go, instead of cherishing them and hiding them in darkness.
This is my usual way of forgiving ego ideas. I might still notice a grievance in my mind, or the ego attempt to interest me in a grievance but there is no grievance that I am interested in keeping. I like a peaceful mind.