Handout_086-092


Workbook Lesson Support Notes

by Allen Watson

LESSON 86
March 27

“Only God’s plan for salvation will work.”

“Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer:1 time (or 2) for about 15 minutes

For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: “Only God’s plan for salvation will work.”

Second half of day: “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: “God’s plan for salvation will save me from my perception of this.” ”This is no exception in God’s plan for my salvation.” ”Let me perceive this only in the light of God’s plan for salvation.”

Second half of the day: “I am choosing between misperception and salvation as I look on this.” ”If I see grounds for grievances in this, I will not see the grounds for my salvation.” ”This calls for salvation, not attack.”

COMMENTARY

I find it really interesting the way the lessons seem to alternate between seeing grievances, and where we see salvation. I’m beginning to get the idea, I think: When my ego wants to keep me from finding God’s salvation within my own Self, it distracts me with some kind of grievance outside myself. Seeing the cause of my distress outside, I naturally look for the solution outside. I seek salvation outside myself.

It’s never what is outside that is the problem. “Those whom you see as guilty become the witnesses to guilt in you, and you will see it there, for it is there until it is undone. Guilt is always in your mind, which has condemned itself. Project it not, for while you do, it cannot be undone” (T-13.IX.6:6–8). What we are seeing out there, the object of our grievances, is only the projection of self-condemnation. We may change the name of the sin to protect the guilty (ourselves), but it is our sin we are seeing out there in the world. That is why seeing grievances outside keeps us from finding salvation inside.

As the review says, we have sought salvation in many different places and things, and it was never where we looked for it (1:3). We can’t find it out there because it isn’t out there, anywhere. There is no hope for salvation in the world—and that is good news. It’s good news because we no longer have to depend on someone or something outside of ourselves to play its proper role, to arrive at the right time to meet our needs, or to do anything. We can let go of expecting someone else to save us, and we can turn to the only place and thing we can absolutely depend on: ourselves, our real Self. We can let everyone else off the hook we’ve been holding them on for our entire lives. We can tell the world, “You are freed from being responsible for me. I no longer hold you accountable for my unhappiness. I’ve realized that is my own job, not yours.”

I remember how odd I felt, but how happy, to tell my dear friend Lynne, years ago, “I‘ve realized that I don’t need you.” She was delighted, being far wiser than I was at the time. I was afraid she would be insulted; how “unromantic” a thing to say to a partner in love! “I don’t need you.” She understood exactly what I meant, though. I was telling her that she was no longer expected to make me happy; she was no longer saddled with the unbearable burden of my happiness. Thinking that our love partner is responsible for our happiness is exactly what makes special relationships into hell, because when I am not happy, I have a grievance, just like in a labor union: “Hey! You’re not living up to your part of the bargain. You’re supposed to make me happy.” And the grievance against our partner keeps us from seeing the salvation in our own hearts.

I’ve always liked the last line in today’s lesson: “This calls for salvation, not attack” (4:4). It reminds me of the old line in the ancient Superman TV series (the one with George Reeves—guess I’m really dating myself here!). Clark Kent looks at some crime or disaster in progress, and says, “This is a job for…[in a totally different, ‘super-sounding’ voice] Superman!” Instead of looking at the events in our lives and thinking, “This is a job for the ego. Let’s attack! Let’s form and hold a grievance!”, we can look at the situation and say, “This is a job for God! Let’s forgive! Let’s respond with love to the call for love.” When some need arises around me, which power will I call on: God, or the ego?

The choice is “between misperception and salvation” (4:2). The only alternative to salvation is something unreal, an illusion, a misperception. The only way I can avoid being happy is to misperceive my brother; if I see him or her truly, I will always find salvation. “By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness” (3:4). What a silly thing to do! I think I’ll stop!

“I would accept God’s plan for salvation and be happy” (3:6).

LESSON 87
March 28

“I will there be light.”

“There is no will but God’s.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 1 (or 2) times for about 15 minutes

For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: “I will there be light.” 

Second half of day: “There is no will but God’s.”

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: “This cannot hide the light I will to see.” ”You stand with me in light, [name].” ”In the light this will look different.”

Second half of the day: “Let me perceive this in accordance with the Will of God.” ”It is God’s Will you are His Son, [name], and mine as well.” ”This is part of God’s Will for me, however I may see it.”

COMMENTARY

Today’s review deals with will—ours and God’s, which are one.

The Course encourages us to make use of the power of our will. It constantly encourages us to choose again, and says that “the power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world” (T-12.VII.9:1). We can will, or choose, that there be light. Naturally this accords with God’s Will. You could say, I suppose, that our one true choice is to decide to agree with God’s Will, and we must make this choice over and over until we realize there is no other will, and therefore, no actual choice except that between reality and illusion.

In the review of “There is no will but God’s” there is an interesting summary of the progression of the ego’s error:

– I believe there is another will besides God’s. 

– Because of this I become afraid. 

– Because of fear, I try to attack. 

– Because I attack, I fear my own eternal safety (thinking God will attack me for being an attacker).

The solution is simply to recognize that none of this has occurred. Knock down the basic premise—realize there is no will but God’s—and the rest of the progression disappears.

I like the way both ideas are applied to how I see the other people around me: “You stand with me in light, [name]” (2:3) and “It is God’s Will you are His Son, [name], and mine as well” (4:3). One night in our study group in Sedona we were studying Chapter 14 Section V, “The Circle of Atonement.” The whole section is about seeing other people as within the circle of peace, seeing them as included, or seeing them standing with me in light, as it is put here.In that section Jesus urges us, “Stand quietly within this circle, and attract all tortured minds to join with you in the safety of its peace and holiness” (T-14.V.8:6). It says that this is “the only purpose to which my teaching calls you” (T-14.V.9:9).

Our only purpose here is to awaken everyone to the fact that they are included in God’s peace and safety because there is no other will than His. Imagine mentally greeting everyone you meet today by saying, “You stand with me in light.” What kind of effect would that have on you? Or on them? 

Lesson 109 says it has a profound effect, not just on people you actually meet, but on everyone in the world, even those who have passed on beyond the world, and those still to come to it:

6:1—Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad,…

7:1—With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking.

8:1–3—You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.

9:1–6—You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”

LESSON 88
March 29

“The light has come.”

“I am under no laws but God’s.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 1 (or 2)times for about 15 minutes

For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: “The light has come.”

Second half of day: “I am under no laws but God’s.”

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: “This cannot show me darkness, for the light has come.” ”The light in you is all that I would see, [name].” ”I would see in this only what is there.”

Second half of the day: “My perception of this shows me I believe in laws that do not exist.” ”I see only the laws of God at work in this.” ”Let me allow God’s laws to work in this, and not my own.”

COMMENTARY

The ideas being reviewed today, seemingly concerned with very different concepts, yet have a certain common ground that is brought out in this review. That common ground could be expressed in this thought: Only what is of God is real; what appears to be in opposition is only an illusion without power, except that given it through my belief.

The light of salvation has already come. “I always choose between truth and illusion” (1:5), and “Attack and grievances are not there to choose” (1:4). I really have no alternative to the light because there is no alternative. My entire experience of darkness is an adventure in delusion and nothing more; there is no darkness.”I can but choose the light, for it has no alternative” (1:7). This is why the Text tells me that the outcome of my drama here on earth is inevitable. “God is inevitable, and you cannot avoid Him any more than He can avoid you” (T-4.I.9:11). In seeking that my perception be changed, I are only seeking to see what is already there, and what is the only thing there.

God’s laws alone rule me. The other laws that I think have power over me are laws that I made up. “I suffer only because of my belief in them. They have no real effect on me at all” (3:5–6). The laws of the ego cannot constrain me; I can be free of them now because I am, in reality, always free of them; they have no power. My ego at times seems so very powerful, the knee-jerk reaction of hurt and anger seems beyond my control and in control of me, but it is not so. I am free of these “laws” of chaos, of sin and guilt and punishment and separation. The healing of every relationship is inevitable because God’s laws make us one, not separate. “A happy outcome to all things is sure” (Lesson 292) because there are no laws but God’s, no will but God’s. Only my belief in it gives power to the appearance of an opposing will, with opposing laws.

Let me then, today, look on everything with this insight. Where I seem to see darkness, let me proclaim the reality of light. Where I see laws opposed to God at work, let me declare them powerless. Thank You, Father, for the certainty of Your plan, the present reality of Your light.

LESSON 89
March 30

“I am entitled to miracles.”

“Let miracles replace all grievances.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 1 time for about 15 minutes

For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: “I am entitled to miracles.” 

Second half of day: “Let miracles replace all grievances.”

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: “Behind this is a miracle to which I am entitled.” ”Let me not hold a grievance against you, [name], but offer you the miracle that belongs to you instead.” ”Seen truly, this offers me a miracle. “

Second half of the day: “I would not hold this grievance apart from my salvation.” ”Let our grievances be replaced by miracles, [name].” ”Beyond this is the miracle by which all my grievances are replaced.” 

COMMENTARY

Because I am under no laws but God’s (the laws of love and of extension, sharing and giving) I am entitled to miracles (1:2). Giving of miracles is what God does, in accordance with His laws. The laws of grievances tell me I am not entitled to miracles. Every grievance I hold on to against a brother or sister is really my own mind telling me I do not deserve miracles; the very act of mental attack involved in holding a grievance makes me feel unworthy of them. Every grievance is hiding a miracle, and by letting the grievance go I release the miracle to happen.

There is a reason why God gives me miracles; He gives them so that I can fulfill the function He has given me (1:5), to continue His extension, to allow Him to love through me. The Course is emphatic on the fact that only in finding my true function as God’s extension and fulfilling it can I be happy. My goal isn’t being blissed out; it is to receive so that I can give, to accept love so I can share love with others. Like a light bulb that receives electric current only so that it can shine forth with light, I receive the miracles of God to extend them to others.

“I unite my will with the Holy Spirit’s” (3:2) today; I declare, “Let miracles replace all grievances” (3:1). I want all of my illusions to be replaced with truth. I want my grievances to be banished forever from my mind and replaced with miracles. As I sit quietly this morning I call people I know to mind and tell them, “Let our grievances be replaced by miracles” (4:3). I think of war-torn spots on the globe and say, “Let our grievances be replaced by miracles.” Today, I want to offer miracles to each one I meet. I want to be a channel of miracles; let me not block them with my grievances, Father.

When something arises in my perception that seems like a cause for grievance or grief, let me remember: “Behind this is a miracle to which I am entitled” (2:2). Let me tell myself: “Seen truly, this offers me a miracle” (2:4). Everything is miracle fodder; nothing is without use in this classroom of miracles.

LESSON 90
March 31

“Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

“Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 1 time for about 15 minutes

For 3 or 4 minutes, read over the ideas and comments slowly (repeatedly if you wish) and think about them.

Close your eyes and spend the remainder of the time listening quietly and attentively. There is a message for you. Be confident you will receive it, for it belongs to you and you want it. If you have distracting thoughts realize they have no meaning or power. Replace them with your will to succeed. Trust it to carry you past distractions. If your mind still wanders, repeat first phase of exercise.

Remarks: Regard these exercises as dedication to God. Refuse to be distracted. Be determined to assume your function today.

Shorter: Frequent

First half of day: “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.” 

Second half of day: “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

Response To Temptation: You may use these specific forms or your own words:

First half of day: 

“This presents a problem to me which I would have resolved.” 

“The miracle behind this grievance will resolve it for me.” 

“The answer to this problem is the miracle that it conceals.”

Second half of the day: 

“I need not wait for this to be resolved.” 

“The answer to this problem is already given me, if I will accept it.” 

“Time cannot separate this problem from its solution.”

COMMENTARY

This review places a different slant on these two ideas than in the original lessons. There, the only problem was defined as separation. Here, more directly in synch with the preceding lessons about grievances, “the problem is always some form of grievance that I would cherish” (1:2). Of course there is a close relationship between separation and grievances. A grievance separates me from whatever or whoever I hold the grievance against. So we could see a grievance as a thought or belief that separates me from my brothers.

Later in the Workbook the same thought is stated slightly differently, in terms of forgiveness or unforgiveness: “Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. Yet that is the content underneath the form” (W-pI.193.4:1–2). The problem is a grievance, or an unforgiveness. And it doesn’t always seem that way to us. Sometimes, when I feel distress of some sort, or experience what seems to me to be a problem, I cannot for the life of me see any grievance or unforgiveness in it. The ego is an expert at camouflage. It survives by trickery and misdirection: “How can it maintain the trick of its existence except with mirrors?” (T-4.IV.1:7) Its temptations to attack or unforgiveness are often so well disguised I don’t detect them as such, although it is “certain” that is what they are. The form deceives; the content is the same.

When I come to the Holy Spirit with my problems or my distress, I must be willing to be shown the grievance or unforgiveness lurking in them. For me, so often, what I find is a form of grievance against myself, some form of self-judgment. Other times, I don’t understand the connection between my form of problem and forgiveness, but I assert my willingness to be shown, and I consciously choose a miracle for all concerned, including myself. “The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle” (1:5). If I can’t see the exact instance of unforgiveness in what I perceive as a problem, at least I can choose a miracle instead of the problem. That willingness is enough.

The idea that the problem and the answer are “simultaneous in their occurrence” (3:4) seems strange. It seems “natural” to separate them by time: first the problem, then the answer. But if the problem is separation, or a grievance, the concept becomes easier to understand. God answered the separation with the Holy Spirit the instant the separation entered the mind of God’s Son (M-2.2:6). Every problem I perceive, therefore, has already been resolved before I perceive it. “It is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already” (3:7), because separation—the only problem there ever is—has already been resolved. Therefore I don’t have to wait for circumstances to change; I can accept the peace of complete resolution now, without anything changing at all. “I need not wait for this to be resolved” (4:2).

I have a long-standing relationship problem that, in time, has been going on for over fifteen years (even longer), and which shows no outward signs of resolution. The other party has absolutely no interest in—more properly, has an aversion to—talking with me, so resolution, within time, seems impossible. Yet I can let go of the tension this could produce in me. I can be free of the stigma of “an unhealed relationship.” In the holy instant I can know that problem, that rift in relationship, has already been healed. Down at the core of my mind and her mind, we are already one in love; everything has been forgiven. The disease of separation has already been innoculated, and the medicine of forgiveness is slowly and inexorably spreading through both of our minds, moving from the invisible sphere of spirit into the more concrete, thicker sphere of manifestation in the material world. There is no cause for concern. “It is the destiny of all relationships to become holy” (M-3.4:6). Today, I can recognize that this problem has already been solved. I believe my doing so speeds the day that healing will manifest in form. It may not be in this lifetime; what does that matter? The healing has already taken place.

One thing I notice as I think this way about this relationship, even as I write: Accepting that the problem is already solved frees me from the temptation to blame the other person for her refusal to make peace. Aha! a grievance was there, wasn’t it, Allen? I accept a miracle in its place; thank You.

PRACTICE NOTES

Lessons 91-92: the "miracles are seen in light" series

Teaching goal: To teach us that seeing through our body's eyes is a case of our weakness peering about in darkness; and that if we will allow the strength of our true Self to see for us, we will see the true light, and in that light perceive miracles.

Practice goal: To give us an experience of the strength and light of our Self, in which we see miracles, so that we can leave behind the weak, body-based image of ourselves.

Longer periods increase: Note the increase: 91 is the first lesson to ask for 3 periods of 10 minutes each. 92 asks for 2 periods of 20 minutes each--the first solid 20 minutes of practice in the Workbook. We won't see this kind of length again until 124.

LESSON 91
April 1

“Miracles are seen in light.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Purpose: To leave your weak, body-based image of yourself behind and experience something else, something more solid, sure and worthy of your faith.

Longer: 3 times for 10 minutes each

Begin by repeating: “Miracles are seen in light. The body’s eyes do not perceive the light. But I am not a body. What am I?” Ask this final question in honesty.

Then devote several minutes to allowing your weak, body-based image of yourself to be replaced by the truth. Say, for example: “I am not weak, but strong. I am not helpless, but powerful. I am not doubtful, but certain,” and so on. Try to experience these truths about you, especially the experience of strength. Remember that weakness comes from the mistaken belief you are a body. If only for a moment, remove your faith from this. Instruct your mind to escape the body and leave weakness behind.

For the remainder, relax, confident that your weak efforts are fully supplemented by God’s strength, which joins you in your practice. His strength will provide you with both the experience of your strength and the light in which you will see miracles.

Shorter: 5 or 6 per hour, at fairly regular intervals

Repeat idea

Response To Temptation: Suggested form: “Miracles are seen in light. Let me not close my eyes because of this.”

COMMENTARY

As the Workbook lessons get longer it won’t be practical to try to comment on everything in each lesson. That could be more than a person could write in a day; in fact, I have written a 48-page booklet on Lesson 135, for instance (“A Healed Mind Does Not Plan” is the booklet title). So I will be picking some aspect of the lesson that particularly speaks to me, and writing about that.

The first idea, central to the lesson, is that “miracles and vision necessarily go together” (1:1). We are told this bears frequent repetition, and that it is central to our new thought system. The whole nature of what the Course means by a miracle is touched on here. A miracle is not really a change in anything outside of our mind; it is a change in perception, a “shift to vision.”

“As the ego would limit your perception of your brothers to the body, so would the Holy Spirit release your vision and let you see the Great Rays shining from them, so unlimited that they reach to God. It is this shift to vision that is accomplished in the holy instant.” (T-15.IX.1:1–2)

“The miracle is always there” (1:4). What changes is our acceptance or rejection of vision; we either see it or we don’t. It is always present. What changes is our awareness. So to experience the miracle, we must have vision. We must let go of darkness in order to see the light. As the section titled “What is a Miracle?” puts it (Workbook page 463/473):

“A miracle is a correction. It does not create, nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false.”

The devastation is what we see with our eyes. The Course is very plain-spoken about physical sight: “The body’s eyes do not perceive the light” (6:3). “You do not doubt that the body’s eyes can see. You do not doubt the images they show you are reality” (3:3,4). And yet the lesson is clearly asking us to do just that, to doubt that our eyes really see, and to doubt that what they see is real. We have to let go of the darkness to see the light, and what they body’s eyes show us is not light; therefore it must be darkness. We need a shift to a new kind of vision.

This need to undo our faith in our eyes and what they see is part of the reason this lesson turns to a second idea: “I am not a body” (6:4ff). We are told to instruct our minds that we are not bodies. We are to will ourselves to realize that we are something else, something that does not see with the eyes, but in a different way.

The exercises today are designed to help us realize that we are something other than a body; we are looking for a very concrete experience. In paragraph 7 we are told: “You need to be aware of what the Holy Spirit uses to replace the image of a body” (7:2); “You need to feel something to put your faith in” (7:3); “You need a real experience of something else” (7:4). An awareness, a feeling, an experience. There is something within us, a certain strength, “which makes all miracles within your easy reach” (4:4). We don’t realize how strong we are! And more than that: “Your efforts, however meager, are fully supported by the strength of God and all His thoughts” (10:1). I always think of this by an analogy, something akin to sound waves or radio waves. When my little willingness strikes the right wavelength, I suddenly find myself joined by the harmony of the universe, a powerful beam of divine energy that resonates with me. If we can strike the right frequency of thought today, we will find that awareness, sense that feeling, and have that experience that takes us beyond the body, and into vision.

Isn’t this worth ten minutes of effort, three times today? I know I think it is.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel anything, however. You will find vision. Your efforts today are not wasted, and do not think that if nothing seems to happen that you have “failed.” I remember learning to roller skate. I started out by falling down a lot. If I had stopped then, thinking I’d failed, I would never have learned to skate. But I didn’t. I kept on falling down, and falling down again, until one day I didn’t fall down. With spiritual vision, I’m still pretty much in the falling down stage myself. I’ve had some incredible experiences, holy instants, just as in the early days of skating there were times I went for blocks (skating on the sidewalk, jumping over the cracks) without falling, before I suddenly fell again. Consistent spiritual vision I don’t have as yet. But the miracle is always there, whether or not I see it! And my vision is improving each time I practice.

LESSON 92
April 2

“Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: 2 times, morning and evening; 20 minutes

Close your eyes and let truth lead you to the meeting place in you where your self meets your Self, where light joins with strength. Try to find this place and rest in its peace. Your Self’s strength will give you light to see in.

SHORTER: as often as you can

Repeat idea, recognizing you are being led away from the darkness of the body’s sight to the light of true sight, in which miracles are seen.

Remarks: Throughout the day use the shorter applications to prepare for the evening practice period.

COMMENTARY

The goal of this lesson seems to me to be finding “the meeting place of self and Self,” as it is put in 10:4. “It is God’s strength in you that is the light in which you see” (3:1). There is Something in me that is as far beyond what I think I am as the sun is beyond a match. There is an unimaginable vastness in me that, by these lessons, I am being led to discover. In the two twenty-minute practice periods today—the morning and evening “meetings” as they are referred to (11:2)—I am attempting to bring self to Self, to bring the match to the sun. I am trying to open the door to infinity within myself.

This strength within me is mighty beyond the telling of it. It is “constant, sure as love, forever glad to give itself away” (8:1). Within me, my Self “stands ready to embrace [me] as Its Own” (9:2). I am a Triple-A battery standing next to a nuclear power plant, about to plug in to endless power that ever renews itself. No; that image is too cold, it lacks the “embrace” spoken of. I am a tiny, fearful child, about to be swept up in the arms of the universal, endlessly compassionate and omnipotent Father/Mother/God.

I think that perhaps the way a very young child sees its parents—huge, vast, all-knowing, totally worthy of trust, able to do anything—is perhaps a reflection of the truth of our relationship to God, and even our relationship to our own true Self.

I find this lesson enormously encouraging. It tells me strength is the truth about me (4:7). Those are words worth many repetitions! Truth gives its strength to everyone who asks, in limitless supply (5:4). This light, this strength, “does not change and flicker and go out” (7:5). “No one can ask in vain to share its sight” (8:2). As a later lesson tells us, “No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth” (Lesson 131). It does not matter how often I have tried and failed, or how long it has been since I have had a flicker of light in my mind, or how weak and puny seem the efforts of my heart; I cannot fail. I have the strength of God in me, and it will lead me to where I want to go.

I come to the practice periods today with trust in that strength. God’s strength. My strength. I come to allow, just for this brief period, my self to meet my Self. I come to leave the darkness behind and let true vision, in the light, dawn upon my mind. I care not that it may not seem to last. I care not that my mind might seem dark before and dark after; for this instant, let me open to the light, and let It begin Its work of leading me home. I bring my doubts, my fears, my open disbelief and expose them to this light, and in the light they disappear, and my heart floods with joy. I am being “led away from darkness to the light where only miracles can be perceived” (11:3).