Workbook Lesson Support Notes

by Allen Watson

LESSON 107
April 17

“Truth will correct all errors in my mind.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Purpose: To let truth correct your dreams. To give truth its due, that it may give you yours. To recognize it belongs to you.

Longer: every hour on the hour 5 minutes

•    Ask your Self to be in your awareness. He always goes with you for He is identical to you. Let truth correct all your mistaken beliefs that He could be apart from you. Say, with His confidence: “Truth will correct all errors in my mind. And I will rest in Him Who is my Self.”

•    Then let Him lead you to the truth. It will encompass you and give you peace so deep that you will return to the world reluctantly. Yet you will be glad to bring the truth back with you to heal the world. You will let your Self’s function be expressed through you, that you may share His joy.

Remarks: Every five minutes you give will correct your errors as well as increase the gifts you give the world. Practice on the happy note of certainty, not with the unsteady footsteps of illusions. Be certain of success. Count on truth to enter the exercises.

Shorter: Do not forget today

Repeat idea with confidence. Each time you do you let your Self express through you and release the world, as well as you.

COMMENTARY

This is the promise that gives courage! Errors are only errors, not flaws. “What are errors but illusions that remain unrecognized for what they are?”

An illusion that is not recognized as illusion causes us to react as if it were real. If I see an illusory enemy and respond with attack, that does not make me bad or stupid. The reaction was appropriate, given what I believed to be the truth.

I can recall many evenings in the past where I was sitting at home feeling lonely and world-weary. Something in me saw an illusion and believed it to be true. I saw some loneliness or weariness, a need to be comforted, and so I sought comfort in television and in staying up late. What I did was not the mistake; the mistake was believing the illusion was real. When I look at the illusion, it vanishes.

The holy instant is a state of mind without illusions, a moment of unquestioned peace, “when you were certain you were loved and safe” (2:3). It is a foretaste of “the state your mind will rest in when truth has come” (3:1). It is my true state. I can find that true state any time I am willing to look at my illusions and to let them go. So often, late at night, I used to feel disconnected, unfulfilled, empty somehow, and I tried to fill that emptiness with fantasy, television, reading, or food. The emptiness is illusion. When I feel that emptiness let me remember it is not real; let me affirm my fullness.

The state of mind that stays exactly as it always was, without shifting and changing, still seems so far away from me. Jesus says, “It will be yours; it already is yours. It is guaranteed.” “It is impossible that anyone could seek it truly, and would not succeed” (6:4). The seeming shifts and changes I go through now are all part of the illusion; they are not real, they are not truly happening. I am safe; I am steady; I am whole.

When the shifting and faltering seem to occur, let me remind myself they are only a dream. They mean nothing, they change nothing. Let me not accord them strength to disturb my peace. Let me not make the mistake of identifying with that shift and change and thinking it is me that is shifting and changing. I am fixed and unalterable.

The errors in my mind are those that tell me I could be apart from Jesus, the Christ. He is my Brother. We are the same. He is my Self. How can I be apart from my Self?

Let me take regular times today to return to this center, to recognize that Jesus and I are One Self. Today I will bring any thought that tells me different to him for correction. Any thought that tells me I am something other than this calm, serene, fearless, wholly fulfilled Being. Let me watch my mind for thoughts that say otherwise and bring them fearlessly to the light of truth. Jesus, help me to break the connection, the identification with any thought of weakness or emptiness or disconnectedness. Let me lean on your strong arm and trust in you. Let the demons scream and rant and rave around me; though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23). You are the Strong One in me, and You are my Self.

LESSON 108
April 18

“To give and to receive are one in truth.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Purpose: To offer peace to everyone and see peace return to you. From this to learn the unity of cause and effect, to learn that giving and receiving are the same.

Longer: every hour on the hour; 5 minutes

•    Say: “To give and to receive are one in truth. I will receive what I am giving now.”

•    Close eyes and offer everyone what you would like to receive. Say, for example: “To everyone I offer quietness. To everyone I offer gentleness.” And so on. Say each slowly, then pause to receive the gift you gave. It will come in the exact amount you gave it. You may want to choose one person as a symbol for everyone. Through giving to this one you give to everyone.

Remarks: These exercises will teach you much. Think of them as quick advances in learning. You will make much faster progress from now on.

Shorter: Repeat idea, realizing that each time makes your learning faster and more sure.

COMMENTARY

The early part of the lesson describes the state of one-mindedness, where all opposites have been resolved into “one concept which is wholly true” (1:3). When that occurs, the concept will disappear because “the Thought behind it will appear instead to take its place. And now you are at peace forever, for the dream is over then” (1:4–5). This is Heaven; attaining this state is beyond the scope of the Course. But it is our eventual goal, a place where perception and concepts have vanished, and only knowledge remains.

That “state of mind that has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all” (2:2) is within me. It is the Christ mind, and from it comes my peace of mind; from it comes single perception. It is this I call upon or tap into, drawing it into myself until it takes me over. It is where I am always and what I am forever, but which I have forgotten.

One of the best and most useful lessons we can learn while drawing on this state of mind is that giving and receiving are one and the same. Like all opposites, they are not truly opposite at all; they are part of a unified spectrum of reality. Neither precedes the other; both occur together. Through actual experience with this particular example of the resolution of opposites we can begin to learn how all opposites are reconciled.

We can produce an experience of this resolution at will. It is an experiment that always works.

Sit quietly, and mentally begin to send peace to everyone. Think of specific persons, and say to them in your mind, “I offer you quietness. I offer you peace of mind. I offer you gentleness” (8:6–8). Go through your list of friends and relations mentally, sending peace to each and every one of them. Offer it to the world at large.

What we find as we do this is that, as we offer peace to others, we experience it ourselves. Quite literally, what we give, we receive. Immediately. There is no pause, no delay for feedback. Our act of giving is quite literally also an act of receiving. There is one act and it contains both things, because there are not two things, only one.

The generalization of this lesson is that “Cause and effect are one in truth” (my interpretation of 10:2–3). It leads us to realize that my thought of attack on another is literally an attack on myself, at that very moment. We think of cause and effect in a linear fashion, as if what I do today will impact on me tomorrow and in the future. That is an incomplete picture. In fact, there is no time delay at all. My thought of attack impacts on me now, just as my thoughts offering peace immediately make me peaceful. Thought and action are likewise the same. I am constantly sourcing the universe of my experience. In reality, there is nothing outside my mind, nothing but these thoughts. The world we see is just our thought given form. It has never left our mind in truth.

LESSON 109
April 19

“I rest in God.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Purpose: To rest in quiet, peace, stillness, safety and happiness in the midst of the world’s storms of turmoil, danger and sorrow.

Longer: every hour on the hour, 5 minutes

Close your eyes and sink into stillness, away from dreams and into peace. Let your mind be still and accept the healing of its fearful dreams as it rests in God beyond the touch of time, beyond cares, concerns, burdens, anxiety, pain, fear or regret.

Remarks: Each five minutes you rest, healing comes to a tired mind, an injured bird, a dry stream. The world is born again, brought nearer to waking. Forget no one. Open the temple doors and call all your brothers, near and far, unborn and passed by, to enter the holy sanctuary and rest with you. By resting together is your rest made complete.

Shorter: Repeat idea.

Remarks: Each time you repeat idea you call all your brothers to rest with you. They will hear and come because it is God speaking through you. This idea has power to end suffering for all the world, as well as to awaken the vision in you that sees past all appearances.

COMMENTARY

This lesson epitomizes what so many of the lessons are trying to get me to do: simply to take a little time out of my day to rest in God. To be quiet. To be at peace. To sense the stillness that lies at the depths of my being, placed there in creation by God. To do this not just once in the morning, but often during the day, repeatedly reminding myself that this peace, this serenity of being, is my natural state, while the frenzy of distractedness, the ping-pong of opposing thoughts that so habitually occupies my mind, is what is unnatural. What has seemed to me to be “normal” has been nothing but “frantic fantasies [that] were but the dreams of fever that has passed away” (5:4).

“There is a place in you where this whole world has been forgotten; where no memory of sin and of illusion lingers still. There is a place in you which time has left, and echoes of eternity are heard. There is a resting place so still no sound except a hymn to Heaven rises up to gladden God the Father and the Son. Where Both abide are They remembered, Both.

…The changelessness of Heaven is in you, so deep within that nothing in this world but passes by, unnoticed and unseen. The still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator, nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within.” (T-29.V.1,2; Text, p. 570)

And here I rest in God. Here I breathe the air of Heaven. Here I can remember what I am.

The lesson tells me of wondrous things that come from my willingness to take these times of rest. These moments of quiet are not for me alone. They are my mission for the world; through them I am bringing peace to every mind. Our practice times are no small thing, to be lightly skipped over; the author places extraordinary importance on them.

“Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while” (2:5).

“There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve” (3:3,4).

“You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God…you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you” (4:5,6).

“Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you” (6:1–2).

I came to bring the peace of God into the world. This is my “trust” (8:2), my sacred mission, my reason for being. Jesus asks me to “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” (8:3). This is what I am doing each time I stop the mental chatter and sit, quietly, and rest in God. I am like Buddha, casting his compassion on the world. I am Buddha; I am Christ.

I envision myself as a cell in a cosmic body, a body that has been invaded by a deadly virus, the virus of antagonism, of disharmony, of hatred, envy and strife; the virus of bitterness, sorrow, and pain; the virus of despair, depression, and death. As I take my time of rest, it is as if this little cell has discovered how to produce the antitoxin, the remedy for the virus: the peace of God. And the connecting current of our shared thoughts is the bloodstream that carries this antitoxin to other cells, who absorb it and begin, in turn to produce this healing substance. Peace of mind, the antitoxin for the world.

It is for this I have taken birth. It is for this I am here, and nothing else.

“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’” (9:4–6).

LESSON 110
April 20

“I am as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Longer: every hour on the hour; 5 minutes

•    Say: “I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I am His Son.”

•    With this firmly in mind, try to discover the Self Who is the Christ in you. Deep in your mind He waits for you to acknowledge Him as your Self. Seek Him and find Him. Let go your false images of who you are and open your mind to Him. When you find Him you will discover just how false your images were.

Shorter: as often as you can

Repeat idea. Remind yourself of the Christ in you. Remember God with gratitude and with loving thoughts toward all you meet.

Remarks: Practice with gratitude, for this idea is the key that opens the gate of Heaven. It is the great restorer of the truth, the birthplace of all miracles.

COMMENTARY

This one thought, we are told, is enough to save not only ourselves, but the world, if we believed it to be true.

“Its truth would mean that you Have made no changes in yourself that have reality, nor changed the universe so that what God created was replaced by fear and evil, misery and death” (1:3).

This is the primary meaning of this idea for me: nothing I have done has changed anything. Ego thoughts have done nothing, changed nothing. Fear and evil, misery and death have not occurred. I remain as God created me. I have not damaged anything. The tiny, mad idea to replace God on His throne accomplished absolutely nothing. I am still perfect, innocent, golden love.

“It is enough to let time be the means for all the world to learn escape from time, and every change that time appears to bring in passing by” (2:4).

We tend to see the ravages of time. We see the aging body. We see loved ones come and go. We see decay and death and loss. But time can be the means by which we learn escape from time and all its changes. We learn through time to look beyond the appearances of change to what is unchanging, and we come to learn that only that is real. “Lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:24).

“If you are as God created you, then there has been no separation of your mind from His, no split between your mind and other minds, and only unity within your own” (4:2).

No separation, no split, no schizophrenia. I am one Self, united with my Creator, and limitless in power and in love. I can trust my brothers, who are one with me, because I am as God created me and have never split from them. What I find within myself when I listen to the Spirit’s quiet voice is what all others are as well. I find within myself the Holy One. I am This; you are This. Let me simply become aware of any thought that says anything different, any picture of myself that creates a false and limited idol, and just drop that thought.

“Deep in your mind the holy Christ in you is waiting your acknowledgment as you. And you are lost and do not know yourself while He is unacknowledged and unknown” (9:4–5).

Review III
April 21–30

Again a review. Nearly everyone I know, especially when they first do the Workbook, finds the reviews either boring or frustrating. It’s an interesting testimony to the orientation of our minds. Apparently we crave constant newness, and the idea of repeating practice with the same ideas, even for just the second time, seems lackluster and mundane. We want to get on to something new and exciting.

What we don’t seem to grasp is that any one of these ideas could be the breakthrough for us. Toward the end of this review Introduction, the reviews are called a “second chance with each of these ideas” (12:3). Now if you are anything like me, you probably didn’t rack up a perfect “score” in practicing the first time. You forgot the hourly practices, you did only a few each day, and perhaps missed days entirely. So, think of this as a second chance to get the benefits of each lesson. I know I’m thinking of it that way, and I need it.

The Review III Introduction is one of the most important discussions of Workbook practice in the book. The attitude towards practice portrayed here is extremely informative. First, of all, following the instructions literally as given, and doing the two five-minute practices, with short practices on the hour and half-hour in between, is considered very, very important. We are “urged” to pay attention to the instructions and “to follow [them] just as closely as you can” (1:3). An attitude that says it doesn’t matter how you do the lessons clearly doesn’t fit with this admonition.

Second, the author is being very reasonable. He recognizes that it may be impossible for us to literally carry out the instructions in an “optimal” way (2:1). For example, a mother caring for very young children may not be able to stop every half hour and close her eyes; a clerk in a retail store may not be able to get away from customers for a minute every half hour. “Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time” (2:2). So if you miss because it is impossible to practice, thanks OK. Notice, however, the word “impossible.” It doesn’t say “inconvenient” or “awkward,” it says “impossible.” The key to whether or not our learning will be hampered is not whether or not we actually do the practice, but why we don’t do it. Is it because we can’t, or because we don’t want to?

Notice, also, that we aren’t expected to make “excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers” (2:3). To me that implies that making reasonable efforts to catch up is something that would be proper. So if I miss at noon because I’m talking with my boss, but I’m free at 12:15, it would make sense to stop for a minute and make up that missed practice period. But the goal is not ritual; it isn’t about “doing it perfectly.” The crux of the matter is our desire and our willingness, not the number of practice periods. We aren’t to become obsessive about this stuff.

Third, the author obviously understands our ineptitude and resistance in regard to practice. Skipping a practice period because we don’t want to do it (or don’t “feel like it”) will hamper our learning! (3:1) Again I say, this statement is hardly consistent with any thought that following instructions doesn’t matter, and that it’s enough to just read over the lesson in the morning. He takes particular pains to point out the ways we deceive ourselves, hiding our unwillingness “behind a cloak of situations you cannot control” (3:3). He points out that many of these have been subtly engineered by ourselves to “camouflage…your unwillingness” (3:4), and urges us to learn to distinguish these from situations that are truly “poorly suited to your practicing.”

I have often found that the times when I “just do it” even when I don’t feel like it are often the ones in which I have the deepest awareness of a shift in consciousness occurring.

Lest some of you feel offended by all this, let me say that it’s perfectly OK to just read over the lesson in the morning and forget about the practice directions. Just be aware that is what you are doing, and that it is your choice. Don’t fight yourself. If you really don’t want to do the practice now, don’t do it. This type of disciplined practice may not be what you need right now. You may not be ready now, but will be later. Or perhaps you’ll find another spiritual path. But don’t think you can pass judgment on the Course and say it didn’t work for you, unless you do the lessons as instructed. If you do them, they will work.

Notice, too, that practices you deliberately skip because you “did not want to do them, for whatever reason, should be done as soon as you have changed your mind about your goal” (4:1). This kind of missed practice you should try to make up! Why? “Your practicing can offer you everything” (4:5).

The middle part of the Introduction gives us fascinating instruction in having faith in our own minds. We are supposed to allow our minds to relate the ideas we are reviewing to our needs, concerns and problems. The picture you get is almost one of free association, placing the idea in our mind and then seeing where it leads us. Jesus asks us to give faith to our mind that it will use the ideas wisely. This seems to be designed to counteract our self-doubt. Perhaps we think that, left to range freely, our minds will wander off into the forest of ideas and get lost. But we are “helped in [our] decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you,” that is, the Holy Spirit (6:2). If we wander, He will guide us back.

In this kind of exercise we are learning to trust our own inner wisdom. “The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance” (6:5). If what comes to mind is a paraphrase of the day’s idea, let it come. Often, your own paraphrase of the idea will be more effective for you than the original form, and will stick in your memory much better.

The final portion of the Introduction returns again to general practice instructions and what might be deemed a “pep talk.” The emphasis in this part is on bringing the ideas into application in our lives, all the day long (9:2,3). “These practice periods are planned to help you form the habit of applying what you learn each day to everything you do” (11:2).

“Do not repeat the thought and lay it down” (11:3). Sounds familiar to me! If nothing else, this review superbly exposes all the little tricks our minds have been using to avoid the benefits of the lessons! Don’t let that discourage you. Just becoming aware of the devious ploys of the ego’s resistance is a major advance in the curriculum. But don’t stop there, either; now that you are aware of the ego’s tricks, you can turn the situation around and begin to let the ideas of the lessons “serve you in all ways, all times and places, and whenever you need help of any kind” (11:5).

And just in case we missed the point, look how the Introduction closes. I’ve added a little emphasis here to make the point even plainer:

Forget them not

Do not forget how little you have learned. Do not forget how much you can learn now. Do not forget your Father’s need of you, As you review these thoughts He gave to you.”

LESSON 111
April 21

“Miracles are seen in light.”

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

PRACTICE SUMMARY

REVIEW III

Purpose: A second chance at the last 20 lessons, a chance to face how little you have learned and learn greatly by applying idea to everything in your life. You will gain such large advances that you will continue more firmly and solidly.

Overall Remarks: Please follow this format as closely as you can. If you miss a practice period because it was impossible to do at the appointed time, learning is not hindered. You need not make these practice periods up. If instead you missed because of unwillingness to give the time, learning will be hindered, and those practice periods should be made up. Be very honest with yourself. Do not camouflage your unwillingness with situations seemingly beyond your control. Learn to discern between this kind of situation and situations that are truly unsuited to practicing. Your unwillingness comes from choosing other goals over salvation. As soon as you choose salvation again, do your make-up practice periods as a replacement for your devotion to other goals.

Longer: 2—in morning and in last hour before sleep (ideally first and last 5 minutes of your waking day) 5 minutes (longer if you prefer)

•    Read over the day’s ideas and comments.

•    Then lean back in faith and let your mind use them as it chooses. Let it think about them and relate them to your needs, problems and concerns. Trust your mind to do this wisely and to be guided by the Holy Spirit, for He has chosen your mind as His means for saving you. He has given these ideas to you in perfect faith you will use them well. Give them to your mind in the same perfect faith.

Shorter: at the beginning of every half hour for a moment

•    Repeat applicable idea (on the hour, the first idea; on the half hour, the second idea).

•    Allow your mind to rest in silence and peace for a moment.

Remarks: These shorter practice periods are at least as important as the longer. Do not forget them. You have tended to skip these and not apply the idea to all that you encounter. Your learning has thus been limited and its gifts weak.

Shorter/Response To Temptation: in between the half hour marks

Do not lay the idea down after the half hour reviews. Take it with you into your affairs and apply it to them, making them holy. If you forget or your peace is shaken, think of it again.

Remarks: The practice periods are meant to teach you the habit of applying idea to everything you do. The idea is meant to serve you with unlimited usefulness at all times and places and whenever you need any kind of help.

COMMENTARY

I am willing today to open my mind to the light. I am eager to emerge from my darkness, and I will not fear what the light will expose. Nothing I have been hiding can hurt me. I am hungry for the truth. Within me is only innocence, and not what I have feared was there. Within me, in the light, is what I have been longing all my life to find. I am a miracle.

The light of God is my strength. I feel unable to rise up to this high calling, but my weakness is the darkness His light dispels. I do not need to be strong to come to the light; the light gives me strength as I approach it. I feel I lack the strength to see with the purity of vision called for by the Course, but God gives me the strength I need, and in His light, I see. Thank You, Father, for the light You shine into my mind today. Thank You for the light right now, in this moment.

LESSON 112
April 22

“Light and joy and peace abide in me.”

“I am as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

REVIEW III

Purpose: A second chance at the last 20 lessons, a chance to face how little you have learned and learn greatly by applying idea to everything in your life. You will gain such large advances that you will continue more firmly and solidly.

Overall Remarks: Please follow this format as closely as you can. If you miss a practice period because it was impossible to do at the appointed time, learning is not hindered. You need not make these practice periods up. If instead you missed because of unwillingness to give the time, learning will be hindered, and those practice periods should be made up. Be very honest with yourself. Do not camouflage your unwillingness with situations seemingly beyond your control. Learn to discern between this kind of situation and situations that are truly unsuited to practicing. Your unwillingness comes from choosing other goals over salvation. As soon as you choose salvation again, do your make-up practice periods as a replacement for your devotion to other goals.

Longer: 2—in morning and in last hour before sleep (ideally first and last 5 minutes of your waking day) 5 minutes (longer if you prefer)

•    Read over the day’s ideas and comments.

•    Then lean back in faith and let your mind use them as it chooses. Let it think about them and relate them to your needs, problems and concerns. Trust your mind to do this wisely and to be guided by the Holy Spirit, for He has chosen your mind as His means for saving you. He has given these ideas to you in perfect faith you will use them well. Give them to your mind in the same perfect faith.

Shorter: at the beginning of every half hour for a moment

•    Repeat applicable idea (on the hour, the first idea; on the half hour, the second idea).

•    Allow your mind to rest in silence and peace for a moment.

Remarks: These shorter practice periods are at least as important as the longer. Do not forget them. You have tended to skip these and not apply the idea to all that you encounter. Your learning has thus been limited and its gifts weak.

Shorter/Response To Temptation: in between the half hour marks

Do not lay the idea down after the half hour reviews. Take it with you into your affairs and apply it to them, making them holy. If you forget or your peace is shaken, think of it again.

Remarks: The practice periods are meant to teach you the habit of applying idea to everything you do. The idea is meant to serve you with unlimited usefulness at all times and places and whenever you need any kind of help.

COMMENTARY

I am the home of light. My native being is inherently compatible with light. Light belongs with me and in me. I am not the home of darkness. By nature, when unhindered by illusion, I radiate light to everything around me.

I am the home of joy. Sorrow and sadness are unnatural to me. When joy enters my mind it feels as if it belongs there. There is nothing in me that is inconsistent with pure joy. There is nothing in me that inhibits an atmosphere of constant joy. By nature, joy emanates from my being and stays with me. I am comfortable with joy, and joy is comfortable with me.

I am the home of peace. I am where peace belongs. Peace is native to my mind. Peace is my natural state of mind, when it is set upon the truth. Nothing in me is discordant with a steady state of peace. Peace harmonizes with my being. My natural radiance spreads peace to every mind around me.

This is how God created me. This is how I am, and will be forever. I am as changeless as God Himself, one with Him, and He with me. Nothing I have ever done or said or thought has changed this truth about me. What I am cannot change; what I am is eternal and consistent in its being.

Today, recognizing the truth about myself, I welcome the light. I welcome pure joy. I welcome God’s peace. And I share them with the world.

LESSON 113
April 23

“I am one Self, united with my Creator.”

“Salvation comes from my one Self.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

REVIEW III

Purpose: A second chance at the last 20 lessons, a chance to face how little you have learned and learn greatly by applying idea to everything in your life. You will gain such large advances that you will continue more firmly and solidly.

Overall Remarks: Please follow this format as closely as you can. If you miss a practice period because it was impossible to do at the appointed time, learning is not hindered. You need not make these practice periods up. If instead you missed because of unwillingness to give the time, learning will be hindered, and those practice periods should be made up. Be very honest with yourself. Do not camouflage your unwillingness with situations seemingly beyond your control. Learn to discern between this kind of situation and situations that are truly unsuited to practicing. Your unwillingness comes from choosing other goals over salvation. As soon as you choose salvation again, do your make-up practice periods as a replacement for your devotion to other goals.

Longer: 2—in morning and in last hour before sleep (ideally first and last 5 minutes of your waking day) 5 minutes (longer if you prefer)

•    Read over the day’s ideas and comments.

•    Then lean back in faith and let your mind use them as it chooses. Let it think about them and relate them to your needs, problems and concerns. Trust your mind to do this wisely and to be guided by the Holy Spirit, for He has chosen your mind as His means for saving you. He has given these ideas to you in perfect faith you will use them well. Give them to your mind in the same perfect faith.

Shorter: at the beginning of every half hour for a moment

•    Repeat applicable idea (on the hour, the first idea; on the half hour, the second idea).

•    Allow your mind to rest in silence and peace for a moment.

Remarks: These shorter practice periods are at least as important as the longer. Do not forget them. You have tended to skip these and not apply the idea to all that you encounter. Your learning has thus been limited and its gifts weak.

Shorter/Response To Temptation: in between the half hour marks

Do not lay the idea down after the half hour reviews. Take it with you into your affairs and apply it to them, making them holy. If you forget or your peace is shaken, think of it again.

Remarks: The practice periods are meant to teach you the habit of applying idea to everything you do. The idea is meant to serve you with unlimited usefulness at all times and places and whenever you need any kind of help.

COMMENTARY

There is something inexpressibly appealing about the idea of being “one Self.” Much of modern psychology talks about “integration” of the disparate aspects of our being. So much of the time we feel as if we are made up of varying segments, sometimes cooperating but more often than not conflicting with one another. There is what the Jungian analysts refer to as our “shadow” self, all the dark, repressed tendencies that follow us around as dark figures in our dreams.

The Course holds out the vision of a unified Self. It speaks of “a mind at peace within itself” (W-pII.8.3:4). It tells us that because we must be only one self, we cannot be in conflict. The Text talks about our war against ourselves (Chapter 23) and says that the apparent conflict we see in the world around us is nothing but a reflection of the illusion of conflict we all carry within our own minds. It says that “peace begins within the world perceived as different, and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond” (W-pI.200.8:2). The peace must begin within us, in the serenity and calm of an integrated self, in a mind free of conflict and attack.

The Self we are speaking of is more than just a whole individual, however. It is one Self shared by all, “at one with all creation and with God” (1:2). The two are really different aspects of the same thing, for as we free ourselves of conflict within ourselves, our conflict with the world will miraculously disappear.

This is why salvation comes from this one Self. When we have consolidated ourselves, recognized the truth of our unified being, this condition of wholeness naturally extends to others. From within the Circle of Atonement (T-14.V) we draw others to their own wholeness, shared with us.

Today I still my mind from all its conflicts. I dissociate myself from the dissociation, I separate myself from the separation. I take time in quiet to break my sense of identification with this image of a shattered self, and I let myself sink down into the awareness of “one Self” within me. Who I really am. Conflicting images of myself come and go with startling frequency; they cannot be my reality. Something persists beneath it all, the “hum” of being in which all the flash and drama seems to occur. It is this steadiness that I am, not the ephemeral shooting stars of thought that seem to demand my attention. I embrace this one Self, avidly, saying, “Salvation comes from my one Self. This oneness is my salvation. This oneness is my reality.”