Lesson 9


I see nothing as it is now.

1 This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. However, understanding is not necessary at this point. In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding. You do not need to practice what you already understand. It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.

2 It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.

3 These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing. For example:

I do not see this typewriter as it is now.
I do not see this telephone as it is now.
I do not see this arm as it is now.

4 Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range outward:

I do not see that coat rack as it is now.
I do not see that door as it is now.
I do not see that face as it is now.

5 It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it.


As I started to do the lesson, it felt silly to me. I’ve done this so many times, and I am past practice. I understand it now, I told myself. But, I am good at doing as I’m told and following directions, so I did the lesson. I got up from my chair and went into the other room to do it, thinking that I was tired of practicing on the same things. When I got to the living room, I reminded myself that this lesson is not aimed at understanding but practice. So, I would practice.

A funny thing happened. I stood over the old recliner that I enjoy sitting in every day and I said that I do not see this chair as it is now. For a couple of minutes, I was confused. Why don’t I see this chair as it is now? Oh, yeah. Because I see only the past and my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. So I stood there a few more moments and let my mind settle into now and looked at my chair.

Nothing extraordinary happened, but at least for that moment, my mind was not preoccupied with the past. I’m glad I didn’t just blow off this lesson as done without actually doing it. I’m glad I didn’t just go through the motions. I look forward to doing the lesson again later this morning. I open my mind to be enlightened about the things I see today.


Romans Chapter 2 gives my favorite explanation of the tiny mad idea. It describes the process we took to get to where we are now, emphasizing that it was play, curiosity, and nothing more. It was not creation so nothing we did changed reality.

“Imagine yourself with this idea, for this was the idea you had:

What if nothing was as it is?”

What if I could make something completely different,

and make it whatever I want?

What would that be like?”

If I look on the world I made from that point of view, there is nothing to fear and no grounds for guilt. What if I accept this viewpoint and begin looking on my “life” in this way? An interesting idea I am exploring and nothing more.

Then I read this:

“You needed a tool to create this experience that would allow you to explore. The building block that you made was judgment or decision and this became a new creative force. It allowed for experience without creation. And from judgment, experience was made.”

I understand now why it is we need to give judgment over to the Holy Spirit. In reality, in the Kingdom, judgment is unknown but here we need a bridge from what we made to what is real and the Holy Spirit provides that bridge. I judge something or someone and I change my mind and ask the Holy Spirit to judge for me instead.

He always judges everything the same way, either it is true or it is not true. He always judges us innocent because that is the truth. If I hold onto my own judgment, the world I made continues to exist in my mind, but so does hate and anger and fear and guilt and many more separation effects that will make my life hellish. If we made the illusion through the use of judgment, we will unmake it as we give up judgment.

I am going to stop now and contemplate this some more and then take up Romans again later.

Regina’s Tips

Regina has a lot to say about Lesson 9 drawing from the Course, NTI, and Inner Ramana. It is well worth reading. But this is the part I want to contemplate.

The problem comes from unevaluated judgments and judgment without basis. The problem comes from being on auto-pilot instead of being a conscious creator (caster of attention & decision maker).

“I see only the past.”

“My mind is preoccupied by past thoughts.”

“I see nothing as it is now.”

Everything I see comes from unevaluated judgments I have made topped off with reapplying that same unevaluated meaning when similar circumstances arise. That is judgment without basis, the cause of delusion.

“… all you need do is unweave your way out of fantasy. You reverse the ‘laws’ that made it by ceasing to play the game.”

Rest, accept/allow and trust. Let go of judgment without basis.

My Thoughts

My intention, my firm intention is to stop playing the game. That is why I watch my thoughts and feelings so that I can change my mind when I notice that I am getting all my advice from the ego. Yes, the ego is in my mind and has plenty to say, and, yes, I can choose to live my life from that mind if I want to and it’s OK. But doing so will have effects and my experience has proven to me that those effects cause suffering so I am learning to choose otherwise. The Holy Spirit, my true Self is also available to me and I need only choose that part of my mind from which to make decisions in order to stop living in the past and all suffering will end. There is something else to see and I will see it when I stop looking at the illusion.

Past Entries

Indeed, I didn’t understand this lesson when I first did it. I did the lesson anyway and trusted understanding would come, or the lesson would do its job through acceptance, no matter that I didn’t understand. That was true. Now I understand it on two levels and have no active resistance to it.

But even though the resistance is not active, it still influences me. I can tell by my stubborn insistence that some things be exactly as I see them. For instance, there have been situations at work that upset me and I have held onto that upset and the guilt that I projected. Eventually, I get tired of suffering and allow my mind to be healed. Then I see it in a new way and wonder how I ever misunderstood it so completely when the truth is so obvious. Sometimes this takes time as I lay the idea on the altar, only to pick it back up again and have to go through the process again and again until I finally have that magical miracle moment when it is simply done.

Although it can be hard for me to let go of a particular idea, to accept that there is another way to see it, I can always understand that it must be done and can be done. I know, now, that there is no instance in which I, nor my brother, is ever guilty. If I think so, I am seeing it wrong. There is no instance in which it is the will of God that I, or anyone, suffer. If suffering appears to occur, it must be an illusion.

However, there is another level of acceptance that has taken me longer to achieve. I now understand that the body’s eyes cannot really see, and so nothing that appears before me is really there. My eyes simply report to me what it is I wish to see. Therefore, I see nothing as it is now when I look with my eyes, only what I want it to be.

When I was struggling with this idea, I used an idea to help me make the leap. I assumed that everything was pure energy or light. So when I see a body or an object, it is just light or energy coalesced into something the eyes can give back to me as the body or object I desire to see. But nothing is actually there except the light.

This is an explanation that helps me to understand the insubstantial nature of the world I think of as real, though not necessarily how it actually works. But it did help me to let go of my belief in something that exists only in the mind as a desire made into an image and then project it outward where it can be observed as if it were real.

I no longer have a problem believing this most of the time. However, there are times that the illusion feels all too real to me. When my son was sick, I could not manage the light trick. I was terrified for him and so I had to admit that the world as illusion is a concept I am comfortable with, but one I haven’t bought into completely. It is at times like this that I have the opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit to help me see clearly with true vision in every circumstance.

PS: Practice does pay off. These days the stubborn resistance is gone. I still have some work to do, but I do it in joy and when I cannot be joyful, I can at least be grateful. It is seldom difficult for me to release thoughts now, and I always do so sooner or later and mostly sooner.

3 thoughts on “Lesson 9

  1. Journal of lesson 9 reminds me of people wanting me to see a “transformed” world”. I cannot accept that magic, for me the world becomes darker when my mind is filled with Light of Love. Instead I am learning I am blind until I see with my heart.

    1. Thula, I do understand the phenomenon of the world seeming to be darker as we first begin to realize just how messed up our thinking is and we realize the effect of this false thinking. However, that began to change as my mind healed more and more, and I saw that my healed mind was affecting the world and changing it, at least the part that is within my particular space. Not completely affected but then my mind is not completely healed. I think that at first with an awakened mind, we see (perceive) with our mind a transformed world, we perceive what is really there. I also think that when everyone is awakened to this healed perception, we will literally see, or see with the eyes, a transformed world. The reason I think this is because we project what is in our mind and if our mind is healed then we will project only the thoughts we see with God. Also, I have seen my life literally change when I forgave and accepted a different way to see, even the people I think of as separate from me responded and everything about the relationship changed from painful to loving. The relationship transformed. Sometimes the body transformed. A situation transformed. I can imagine how the world will appear when every mind is completely healed. And we are promised that we will live in the real world before we return to the Mind of God.

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