Do not forget today.
I am one Self, united with my Creator.
W-pI.95.1. Today’s idea accurately describes you as God created you. 2 You are one within yourself, and one with Him. 3 Yours is the unity of all creation. 4 Your perfect unity makes change in you impossible. 5 You do not accept this, and you fail to realize it must be so, only because you believe that you have changed yourself already.
When we believe we are the body that we have identified with in this life, it is certain that we will believe we have changed ourselves and thus changed creation. This makes it very hard to realize that we are safe and are still as we were created. But when we start to understand that we are not now and never were a body, never were this personal self, our minds begin to open to the truth and we feel safe. What the body does and what it suffers does not affect the Self we are.
W-pI.95.2. You see yourself as a ridiculous parody on God’s creation; weak, vicious, ugly and sinful, miserable and beset with pain. 2 Such is your version of yourself; a self divided into many warring parts, separate from God, and tenuously held together by its erratic and capricious maker, to which you pray. 3 It does not hear your prayers, for it is deaf. 4 It does not see the oneness in you, for it is blind. 5 It does not understand you are the Son of God, for it is senseless and understands nothing.
Here Jesus is talking about the ego, (the personal self). We call it god, and we accuse this god of our imagining of creating us badly and of ignoring our plight. Why does god allow these atrocities, we ask, and then shiver in fear at our audacity. But the god we made to take the place of our Father doesn’t hear our prayers or care about our suffering. Its only desire is to keep us trapped in these bodies, and then, in the end, to kill us.
W-pI.95.3. We will attempt today to be aware only of what can hear and see, and what makes perfect sense. 2 We will again direct our exercises towards reaching your one Self, which is united with Its Creator. 3 In patience and in hope we try again today.
Again, Jesus is encouraging us to go within and meet with our true Self. Our true Self knows us and loves us and wants only our good, and knows how to lead us to what is in our best interests. We are children who have been lost in our play for so long that we cannot remember how to return home or even that we have a home. But within our mind is the Self, united with God, and waiting patiently for us to be ready to remember so that It can help.
W-pI.95.4. The use of the first five minutes of every waking hour for practicing the idea for the day has special advantages at the stage of learning in which you are at present. 2 It is difficult at this point not to allow your mind to wander, if it undertakes extended practice. 3 You have surely realized this by now. 4 You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training. 5 It is necessary that you be aware of this, for it is indeed a hindrance to your advance.
This idea that our minds are undisciplined and in need of training was directed at me, specifically, I think. ~smile~ After all this time, my mind is still in need of training and discipline, but what has changed is the intensity of my desire for transformation. My heart is filled with longing for Home. And at the same time, even in one or two minutes of stillness and focus on Love’s Presence, I am transformed. I feel love permeating my being and, yes, this will fade in intensity, but it is easy to recall it.
W-pI.95.5. Frequent but shorter practice periods have other advantages for you at this time. 2 In addition to recognizing your difficulties with sustained attention, you must also have noticed that, unless you are reminded of your purpose frequently, you tend to forget about it for long periods of time. 3 You often fail to remember the short applications of the idea for the day, and you have not yet formed the habit of using the idea as an automatic response to temptation.
This ‘forgetfulness’ was true for me, too, but now it is not. I never forget my purpose. I never forget Love. This is because I stuck with the practices, I studied and applied what I studied. Now it is mine, and though I may still slip into a story from time to time, I never stay there. I know what I am and I know why I am here. I know the difference between reality and illusion.
W-pI.95.6. Structure, then, is necessary for you at this time, planned to include frequent reminders of your goal and regular attempts to reach it. 2 Regularity in terms of time is not the ideal requirement for the most beneficial form of practice in salvation. 3 It is advantageous, however, for those whose motivation is inconsistent, and who remain heavily defended against learning.
I remember when I first got on this path, I did not think I was heavily defended against learning, but after a while, I had to admit that this was true. I saw how I would get totally lost in some story and forget all about forgiveness. I saw how even when I remembered what I was supposed to do, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. How could I forgive when the other person was so obviously wrong? I laugh at that thought, now.
Even these simple practices went by the wayside. I would be on fire with a lesson and excited to practice it during the day, and then at nightfall would be mortified that I had not thought of it once after I left the book. But I persisted and I moved past the defenses. I now understand why Jesus set these lessons up the way he did and I know how important the practice is. It is worth the effort to form these habits. It is so very worth it.
W-pI.95.7. We will, therefore, keep to the five-minutes-an-hour practice periods for a while, and urge you to omit as few as possible. 2 Using the first five minutes of the hour will be particularly helpful, since it imposes firmer structure. 3 Do not, however, use your lapses from this schedule as an excuse not to return to it again as soon as you can. 4 There may well be a temptation to regard the day as lost because you have already failed to do what is required. 5 This should, however, merely be recognized as what it is; a refusal to let your mistake be corrected, and an unwillingness to try again.
Even though Jesus describes exactly what will happen and encourages not to give in to the defeatist thinking, and to recognize it as the unwillingness it really is, I did just that. I started the lessons, failed to do them right, and then quit. I hated to look at my failure and so I would plunge into the Text and ignore the lessons. Then I would go back and start again, sometimes from where I left off or I would start all over. This went on for years.
Eventually, I found an online platform that used to be available through Pathways where a few people were studying them together. I started doing this with them, each of us sharing our thoughts about the lesson and talking about how we were applying it in our lives. I loved the experience so much that I did each lesson as it came up and went to the next whether I did it perfectly or not. I just didn’t want to fall behind and not be able to participate in the group.
That is why I have a daily lesson group on Facebook so that others can have that opportunity if they want it. It was the first time I went through all the lessons. I did it again the next year with them and my spiritual journey really took off from that point.
W-pI.95.8. The Holy Spirit is not delayed in His teaching by your mistakes. 2 He can be held back only by your unwillingness to let them go. 3 Let us therefore be determined, particularly for the next week or so, to be willing to forgive ourselves for our lapses in diligence, and our failures to follow the instructions for practicing the day’s idea. 4 This tolerance for weakness will enable us to overlook it, rather than give it power to delay our learning. 5 If we give it power to do this, we are regarding it as strength, and are confusing strength with weakness.
Here is what stood out to me in this paragraph. The Holy Spirit is not delayed in His teaching by your mistakes. Thank God for this! The only thing that can delay me is my unwillingness to let them go. This unwillingness to forgive myself is what stood in my way for so long. It slowed me down when I would fail to do the lesson perfectly because my shame and disappointment in myself kept me from trying again until the feelings faded, sometimes taking months.
It continued to affect my progress in other situations as well. I would delay looking at certain thoughts because I was afraid of them, afraid about what they said about me, afraid that I was condemned for them. Eventually, as I persisted, this feeling of failure began to fall away and I began to see the necessity of looking at thoughts. Then, I began to see the value of looking at them with the Holy Spirit and allowing my mind to heal.
What changed, really, is forgiveness. I finally realized that I had to forgive, not only others but myself. As I practiced forgiveness, I witnessed the value of it as I became happier and more peaceful. With this new willingness, I discovered that not only could I forgive my errors but that it was ok to be wherever I was in this process. I became tolerant and in my tolerance to myself, I became tolerant toward others. It made all the difference.
W-pI.95.9. When you fail to comply with the requirements of this course, you have merely made a mistake. 2 This calls for correction, and for nothing else. 3 To allow a mistake to continue is to make additional mistakes, based on the first and reinforcing it. 4 It is this process that must be laid aside, for it is but another way in which you would defend illusions against the truth.
As Jesus tells us, our failure to follow directions is just a mistake to be corrected. What took me longer to understand is that I had a hidden agenda in my failures, something that was not at all apparent to me for a long time. I was trying to fail. I was still so identified with the ego (the personal self) that I believed all those thoughts were mine. This meant that I considered the ego’s imperative to seek but do not find to be my imperative. I didn’t allow myself to see this idea at first, but eventually, I did realize what I was doing and so things began to turn around for me.
W-pI.95.10. Let all these errors go by recognizing them for what they are. 2 They are attempts to keep you unaware you are one Self, united with your Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace. 3 This is the truth, and nothing else is true. 4 Today we will affirm this truth again, and try to reach the place in you in which there is no doubt that only this is true.
Let’s look at our errors.
- you believe that you have changed yourself already.
- You see yourself as a ridiculous parody on God’s creation
- You turn to your capricious maker for help and it cannot help you for it is senseless and understands nothing.
- of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training
- you tend to forget about it (your lesson) for long periods of time.
- you have not yet formed the habit of using the idea as an automatic response to temptation.
- motivation is inconsistent, and who remain heavily defended against learning
- a refusal to let your mistake be corrected, and an unwillingness to try again.
- He can be held back only by your unwillingness to let them errors) go
- To allow a mistake to continue is to make additional mistakes
- you would defend illusions against the truth
- attempts to keep you unaware you are one Self, united with your Creator
Now, release all this nonsense to the Holy Spirit. None of this is true; it is all just errors in thinking and easily undone. What is true is that you are limitless in power and in peace and that you really are one Self, united with your Creator. You can reach the part of your mind where this is known as the truth. This is what the lesson is for. This is the goal.
W-pI.95.11. Begin the practice periods today with this assurance, offered to your mind with all the certainty that you can give:
2 I am one Self, united with my Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace.
3 Then close your eyes and tell yourself again, slowly and thoughtfully, attempting to allow the meaning of the words to sink into your mind, replacing false ideas:
4 I am one Self.
5 Repeat this several times, and then attempt to feel the meaning that the words convey.
W-pI.95.12. You are one Self, united and secure in light and joy and peace. 2 You are God’s Son, one Self, with one Creator and one goal; to bring awareness of this oneness to all minds, that true creation may extend the allness and the unity of God. 3 You are one Self, complete and healed and whole, with power to lift the veil of darkness from the world, and let the light in you come through to teach the world the truth about yourself.
W-pI.95.13. You are one Self, in perfect harmony with all there is, and all that there will be. 2 You are one Self, the holy Son of God, united with your brothers in that Self; united with your Father in His Will. 3 Feel this one Self in you, and let It shine away all your illusions and your doubts. 4 This is your Self, the Son of God Himself, sinless as Its Creator, with His strength within you and His Love forever yours. 5 You are one Self, and it is given you to feel this Self within you, and to cast all your illusions out of the one Mind that is this Self, the holy truth in you.
Oh my dear God, when I read passages like this, I don’t know how to express myself. My heart expands to take it in, and I have so much gratitude that I cannot find words. My gratitude oozes from my eyes as tears. I will read this again and again today just for the joy of it and also because the ego cannot combat these truths. Jesus says: “…and it is given you to feel this Self within you, and to cast all your illusions out of the one Mind that is this Self…” I would be a fool to not accept this.
W-pI.95.14. Do not forget today. 2 We need your help; your little part in bringing happiness to all the world. 3 And Heaven looks to you in confidence that you will try today. 4 Share, then, its surety, for it is yours. 5 Be vigilant. 6 Do not forget today. 7 Throughout the day do not forget your goal. 8 Repeat today’s idea as frequently as possible, and understand each time you do so, someone hears the voice of hope, the stirring of the truth within his mind, the gentle rustling of the wings of peace.
If these true thoughts were not gift enough, I am now told that all of Divinity needs my help in bringing happiness to the world. I am being asked to not forget today. Such a little ask, how could I say no? Heaven is confident in me, surely, I can meet that Divine confidence with my own. I can try. I can be vigilant. I can remember. And I will do what I must to make sure that I remember.
I will write notes and put them around the house to help me remember because this is so important. All of my brothers are depending on me to do my part. Jesus is depending on me to do my part. And I will remember that each time I say these words, someone hears the voice of hope, the stirring of the truth within his mind, the gentle rustling of the wings of peace. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for my part in the salvation of the world.
W-pI.95.15. Your own acknowledgment you are one Self, united with your Father, is a call to all the world to be at one with you. 2 To everyone you meet today, be sure to give the promise of today’s idea and tell him this:
3 You are one Self with me, united with our Creator in this Self. 4 I honor you because of What I am, and What He is, Who loves us both as one.
And so it will be. And so it is.