REVIEW VI Introduction
1 For this review we take but one idea each day, and practice it as often as is possible. Besides the time you give morning and evening, which should not be less than fifteen minutes, and the hourly remembrances you make throughout the day, use the idea as often as you can between them. Each of these ideas alone would be sufficient for salvation, if it were learned truly. Each would be enough to give release to you and to the world from every form of bondage, and invite the memory of God to come again.
2 With this in mind we start our practicing, in which we carefully review the thoughts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us in our last twenty lessons. Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day. One is enough. But from that one, there must be no exceptions made. And so we need to use them all and let them blend as one, as each contributes to the whole we learn.
3 These practice sessions, like our last review, are centered round a central theme with which we start and end each lesson. It is this:
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
The day begins and ends with this. And we repeat it every time the hour strikes, or we remember, in between, we have a function that transcends the world we see. Beyond this, and a repetition of the special thought we practice for the day, no form of exercise is urged, except a deep relinquishment of everything that clutters up the mind, and makes it deaf to reason, sanity and simple truth.
4 We will attempt to get beyond all words and special forms of practicing for this review. For we attempt, this time, to reach a quickened pace along a shorter path to the serenity and peace of God. We merely close our eyes, and then forget all that we thought we knew and understood. For thus is freedom given us from all we did not know and failed to understand.
5 There is but one exception to this lack of structuring. Permit no idle thought to go unchallenged. If you notice one, deny its hold and hasten to assure your mind that this is not what it would have. Then gently let the thought which you denied be given up, in sure and quick exchange for the idea we practice for the day.
6 When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation, as you say:
This thought I do not want. I choose instead ________.
And then repeat the idea for the day, and let it take the place of what you thought. Beyond such special applications of each day’s idea, we will add but a few formal expressions or specific thoughts to aid in practicing. Instead, we give these times of quiet to the Teacher Who instructs in quiet, speaks of peace, and gives our thoughts whatever meaning they may have.
7 To Him I offer this review for you. I place you in His charge, and let Him teach you what to do and say and think, each time you turn to Him. He will not fail to be available to you, each time you call to Him to help you. Let us offer Him the whole review we now begin, and let us also not forget to Whom it has been given, as we practice day by day, advancing toward the goal He set for us; allowing Him to teach us how to go, and trusting Him completely for the way each practice period can best become a loving gift of freedom to the world.
INITIAL INSIGHT: “Each of these ideas alone would be sufficient for salvation, if it were learned truly. Each would be enough to give release to you and to the world from every form of bondage, and invite the memory of God to come again.”
I remember the time when I was bored with the idea of reviews, when I would move through them but with little energy or enthusiasm. Funny, how things have changed. I now look forward to each of the review sections, but then, everything about the Course has taken on a new depth of meaning for me. More than meaning, really. It is love and gratitude and words just can’t express how it feels to me now. I ask the Holy Spirit to keep me mindful of the sacredness of this work, its importance to us all.
“Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day. One is enough. But from that one, there must be no exceptions made.”
It is important to do the practice but that is not enough. Understanding is good but not enough, it must be accepted into the heart. And that is not enough either, it must then be applied to life experiences. And one more thing, there can be no exceptions, not one. I know this right, and the process is very familiar to me. I know that it works. We can do this.
“…no form of exercise is urged, except a deep relinquishment of everything that clutters up the mind…”
This has been my consistent practice for a couple of months now. I have been building toward this for years, actually. Now, though, it is different. Before, as I watched my thoughts and made decisions about what was helpful and what was hurting me it had a plodding quality to it. It also felt very personal. They were my thoughts and I was making my life better by doing this practice.
Now it feels like I am doing a small but essential part for the Sonship. My dedication to this is total. I understand that our freedom depends on this. Every day I am more devoted to this work than I was the day before. Every idle thought I challenge is helping someone to awaken. How could I not be devoted to this? I open my heart and mind to the Teacher and trust Him to guide me through it so it is of the most benefit for all of us.
DAILY APPLICATION: Any one sentence in the lesson or any one of the lessons is enough to wake me up. Could it possibly be that simple? That question in the mind is the ego. If I believe this thought, the ego stays in place longer. Do I trust Jesus or not? Jesus says it is that simple, but then he says that for that to be so, I must make no exceptions to the lesson.
I must trust my bother in every instance no matter what the circumstance, no matter how confused he seems, no matter how obvious it seems he is wrong. And already I see the reason I must be vigilant as I do this lesson. I have not always trusted my brother without exception. I have sometimes seen him as wrong. I am not, however, determined to be right about that, and so I entrust my mind to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to correct me.
I am not hopelessly lost, but I do appreciate this lesson. So, I use all the lessons and allow them to blend into one and my awakening deepens and expands according to my true desire. I will quicken this process as I am determined to let no wrong-minded thought make a home in my mind. I will not battle it, but will simply lay it gently by, realizing that it does not serve me in my awakening.
The last paragraph is encouraging and supporting. I am so grateful to Jesus for his love and care. He is placing us in the Holy Spirit’s charge and reminding us that He will answer our every call for help. I will remember to make that call. Actually, I did that this morning. I was not quite alert yet but I did notice that my mind was filled with body thoughts and concerns.
I saw this and I said, automatically, that I am not a body. I remembered that Jesus says in the Text that if I think I am a body I will suffer all the body suffers. I asked the Holy Spirit for help and I then had the thought that I think too much about the body. He has reminded me of that before and just recently. I appreciated the further reminder.
I give too much of my attention to something that is not me and is only related to me in a peripheral way. It is the image that represents the beliefs I came here to undo and that is all it is. I know these are thoughts the Holy Spirit gave me in answer to my request for help because the ego would never tell me this. It does not want me to be aware of these ideas as they lead directly to the end of the ego.