Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.
W-pI.79.1. A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. 2 Even if it is really solved already you will still have the problem, because you will not recognize that it has been solved. 3 This is the situation of the world. 4 The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. 5 Yet the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognized.
This paragraph is clear to me. My problem is that I think I am separate from God and from my brothers. That problem has been solved. I am not separate from God nor my brothers. That I seem to be separate is an illusion. That I think I want to be separate is confusion in my mind that is easily undone once it is recognized as confusion.
W-pI.79.2. Everyone in this world seems to have his own special problems. 2 Yet they are all the same, and must be recognized as one if the one solution that solves them all is to be accepted. 3 Who can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? 4 Even if he is given the answer, he cannot see its relevance.
If I thought that I needed more money, if I were really broke and facing homelessness, for instance, I might think that I knew the problem, was intimately aware of the problem. So, if I am told that my solution is to accept that I am not separate from God, this answer would not feel relevant to the situation, so it would not be recognized as the answer. This would be especially true if I were in fear.
W-pI.79.3. That is the position in which you find yourself now. 2 You have the answer, but you are still uncertain about what the problem is. 3 A long series of different problems seems to confront you, and as one is settled the next one and the next arise. 4 There seems to be no end to them. 5 There is no time in which you feel completely free of problems and at peace.
When the hurricanes hit, everyone thought they knew what their problems were. They had to evacuate and that problem had many other problems within it. Where to go? How to pay for the evacuation? What was happening back home to their home? Would insurance cover the damage? Would they find a good contractor to do repairs?
Some had physical illnesses that complicated the situation. Some had children whose school life had already been disrupted by the virus and now they would be disrupted again. How to deal with that was an additional concern. The problems connected with this one event seemed like a very long list, some perhaps that seemed beyond their ability to solve.
If I were to say to some of these worried and sometimes frantic people that they were safe, that they are not separate from their Creator, I don’t think they would have seen this as relevant to the situation at hand. Even now, six months later, the problems are still multiplying for many people in this situation. Even as life begins to return to normal, other problems occur and this is going to keep happening for everyone.
W-pI.79.4. The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved. 2 The world seems to present you with a vast number of problems, each requiring a different answer. 3 This perception places you in a position in which your problem solving must be inadequate, and failure is inevitable.
There is always another problem. Even when life is going smoothly and even happily, there is an unconscious awareness that the other shoe is going to drop. There is no completely peaceful moment in our lives while in the world. The most perfect life imaginable will end in death. There is a way to peace, but it is not through trying to solve each problem as it arises, or even trying to prevent problems before they occur.
W-pI.79.5. No one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. 2 They seem to be on so many levels, in such varying forms and with such varied content, that they confront you with an impossible situation. 3 Dismay and depression are inevitable as you regard them. 4 Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have resolved the previous ones. 5 Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial, and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unsolved.
As I read this paragraph, I thought about sentence five. I made many mistakes as I passed through this life, and those that were unforgiven were often denied and pushed down so that I could go on living in relative sanity. I didn’t know what to do about them. They were in the past where I couldn’t undo them. I tried to make amends where I could without making things worse. But often, I had no idea how to do that, and just the thought of doing so sometimes was more than I could bear.
Eventually, through the study and practice of the Course and with help from someone who had succeeded at freeing herself from the past, I was able to do the same. It is the most amazing feeling to forgive completely myself and everyone involved in these situations and to forgive the situations themselves. Now those old memories seldom arise and when they do it is without power to affect me. This is an example of problems we simply cannot do anything about if we think we know the problem and if we think we know the solution.
W-pI.79.6. All this complexity is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the problem, and therefore not to let it be resolved. 2 If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance. 3 Perceiving the underlying constancy in all the problems that seem to confront you, you would understand that you have the means to solve them all. 4 And you would use the means, because you recognize the problem.
Sometimes, it can be hard to recognize that a particular problem is just a separation problem even when you know that it must be so. Even when it is accepted as just another form of the separation problem, it can feel hard to not do something in the world to solve it, or even hard to know how to let it be solved since clearly, we are still living as if we are separate from God. That’s why this lesson is so helpful.
W-pI.79.7. In our longer practice periods today we will ask what the problem is, and what is the answer to it. 2 We will not assume that we already know. 3 We will try to free our minds of all the many different kinds of problems we think we have. 4 We will try to realize that we have only one problem, which we have failed to recognize. 5 We will ask what it is, and wait for the answer. 6 We will be told. 7 Then we will ask for the solution to it. 8 And we will be told.
Yesterday, I had a headache that was painful and ongoing. I remembered that I am entitled to miracles. I talked to Jesus about this. I asked what belief was in my mind that needed correction. I noticed ego thoughts intruding on my conversation with Jesus and would try again. Part of the ego’s plan to stay ruler of its little kingdom is to keep the problem, if not in its present form, in some form. Its basic tenant is to seek but do not find. That way we never wake up. Too many problems to solve.
I kept working with Jesus, looking for grievances that were hiding the light in me. I reminded myself that I am under no law but God’s. I told myself firmly that the Light has come. But the headache persisted and I finally took something for it. I thanked Jesus for working with me. I am grateful for that opportunity and for the healing that occurred even though it was not complete and even though it did not manifest as a healed headache.
It is always valuable to work with our problems on the highest level we are capable of. We must not judge our results, just be grateful for unseen healing and trust that all prayers are answered whether we see the answer or not. Later that night during a prayer call, I experienced an answer. It is hard to explain in words, but I simply knew I was heard and that my mind is healed in some way. The answer was a feeling, not words, but a clear knowing.
W-pI.79.8. The exercises for today will be successful to the extent to which you do not insist on defining the problem. 2 Perhaps you will not succeed in letting all your preconceived notions go, but that is not necessary. 3 All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of your version of what your problems are. 4 You are trying to recognize that you have been given the answer by recognizing the problem, so that the problem and the answer can be brought together and you can be at peace.
My problem yesterday was not a headache. The headache was just a symbol of the problem, something that let me know that there was a problem. Even knowing this is true, pain kept pulling me back to the symbol rather than the real problem so I was conflicted. Perhaps that is why I didn’t sit down and write with Jesus so that I could explore the problem with him without so much ego distraction. But I did the best I could do at that time and it was enough.
All effort on behalf of our awakening is a success. I used to feel depressed when I failed to achieve what I set out to do, but now I recognize that I don’t know what success is, and I am just happy to do whatever I can do knowing this effort will make the next attempt easier and that my attempt has brought more light to the mind we all share. You’re welcome. ~smile~
W-pI.79.9. The shorter practice periods for today will not be set by time, but by need. 2 You will see many problems today, each one calling for an answer. 3 Our efforts will be directed toward recognizing that there is only one problem and one answer. 4 In this recognition are all problems resolved. 5 In this recognition there is peace.
W-pI.79.10. Be not deceived by the form of problems today. 2 Whenever any difficulty seems to rise, tell yourself quickly:
3 Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.
4 Then try to suspend all judgment about what the problem is. 5 If possible, close your eyes for a moment and ask what it is. 6 You will be heard and you will be answered.
Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved is a great prayer to use today. It is the prayer I was attempting yesterday, but today with this idea fresh in my mind, I feel confident that I will enjoy using it and I look forward to seeing how it works for me. Each seeming problem that occurs, no matter what it seems like, I will ask that I recognize this problem so it can be solved. Then I will open my mind to discover the answer.