Handout_198-204

Workbook Lesson Support Notes

by Allen Watson

LESSON 198
July 17

“Only my condemnation injures me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Purpose: To use forgiveness to go past your condemnation and experience the freedom that lies beyond it. To come nearer to the end of all that blocks you from the final vision. To be glad, for today your deliverance has come.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes—at least; 10—better; 15 even better; 30 or more—best

No specific instructions.

Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)

Use the lesson to forgive the happenings of the previous hour. Do not let it cast its shadow on the hour to come. Thus you unloose the chains of time and remain unbound while still in time.

Frequent Reminder: Repeat: “Only my condemnation injures me. Only my own forgiveness sets me free.”

Response To Temptation: When tempted to succumb to any form of suffering or injury, realize it hides a condemning thought and say, “Only my condemnation injures me. Only my own forgiveness sets me free.”

COMMENTARY

When I condemn another, I am offering injury to myself. How is that so?

When I condemn anyone, I am wishing injury on them; some form of punishment for their “wrong.” At the very least, my condemnation states that the person is less worthy of love. I am believing, therefore, that I can injure, even that I would be justified in offering injury or withholding love. The principle I have established by this belief, however, can be turned against me. I can be injured, too. If I measure my love to others according to my perception of them, I am affirming that this is how love works. Therefore, I am asserting that God measures His love to me based on my appearance, my current state of character development, for instance. Do I really want that?

In reality, “Injury is impossible” (1:1). Neither God, nor my true Self as His creation, can be injured in any way. Nor have they been. But “illusion makes illusion,” and the illusion of condemnation makes the illusion of injury. We will continue, therefore, to experience injury until we lay down condemnation as an undesirable tool, “unwanted and unreal” (1:4).

There is a principle that lies underneath the surface of this lesson that is really quite important in understanding the Course. Injury is impossible; so is condemnation (2:5). “What seems to be its influence and its effects have not occurred at all” (2:6). Thus, as the Course says in many places, the separation never happened; there is no sin; there is no death; sickness is illusion; and even our bodies and this world do not really exist. “There is no world!” (W-pI.132.6:2). We are not really here where we think we are; we are asleep in Heaven, dreaming of exile. The apparent problem has been already solved, and indeed, it never happened! This is the truth on the level of what the Course calls knowledge or Heaven.

And yet…what? For there is an “and yet” to the Course’s teaching. It does not state the ultimate truth and stop; it has something to say about the apparent illusion. It affirms with meticulous care the unreality of the illusion, and yet it deals with it! “What seems to be its influence and its effects have not occurred at all. Yet must we deal with them a while as if they had” (2:7).

What are the influence and effects of condemnation? Every form of “injury” imaginable. The apparent effects of our self-judgment include the making of the world and of bodies as well. These are the things, then, that we must deal with as if they had really occurred—for a while. Time itself is an illusion, yet the Course talks a good deal about saving time, and urges us to use time wisely, particularly in the practice instructions that are part of these lessons. It knows time is illusory, and yet it deals with it as if it were something real, using the very illusion to lead us out of illusion; using time to bring us back to eternity.

We meet illusion with illusion; we meet the effects of condemnation with forgiveness. In reality there is nothing to forgive because nothing happened. But to undo the illusion of what happened and so become aware of the unchanging reality, we need the illusion of forgiveness.

The Course affirms that this world is illusion, and yet, for a time, it teaches us to deal with it as if it were not an illusion; as if it had really occurred. The only way to thus deal with it is to forgive it, to proclaim to it that “there is no condemnation in God’s Son” (10:1). Forgiveness is the bridge that brings illusion to the truth, that provides the escape passage out of illusion entirely.

LESSON 199
July 18

“I am not a body. I am free.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY:

Purpose: To go past your identification with the body and so experience the freedom of not being tied to it. To free your mind and give it to the Holy Spirit’s use, that you may carry freedom to those who think they are imprisoned in the body.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes—at least; 10—better; 15 even better; 30 or more—best

No specific instructions.

Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)

Use the lesson to forgive the happenings of the previous hour. Do not let it cast its shadow on the hour to come. Thus you unloose the chains of time and remain unbound while still in time.

Frequent Reminder: Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.”

Response To Temptation: (Suggestion) When tempted to engage in any thoughts which reinforce a bodily identity, say: “I am not a body. I am free. I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.”

Overall Comments: Practice well this thought, today and every day. Cherish it. Use it in every practice period.

COMMENTARY

To the ego, today’s idea is “quite insane” (3:2). Yet it is clearly one of the basic principles the Course uses to free us from our bondage. The lesson attaches a great deal of importance to it, more than to most ideas the Course presents. We are told to “cherish” it and “practice it today and every day” (5:1). And evidently Jesus expects us to integrate the idea that “I am not a body” into every practice period from now on! (5:2)

Let’s face it: Before we encountered the Course, the body was something we took for granted. If we knew anything, we thought, we knew we were a body. Our bodies held a very different place in our lives from every other physical object. If someone stepped on a CD we owned, we might say, “Hey! You’re breaking my CD.” But if they stepped on our toe (part of our body), we would say, “Hey! You’re stepping on me!” It is part of our consciousness. “I” am where my body is. We say, “I am eating. I was asleep. I am in my car. I am sick.” And all of those “I’s” refer to the body. Even if we have been Course students for ten or fifteen years, we are probably still saying those same things, and still, out of habit, thinking of the body as our self.

The ego has expended millenia of effort at mentally programming into the mind the identity of “me” and the body. It isn’t something the mind will let go of easily; it is a habit of thought that will take a great deal of counter-programming to unlearn. That is why we are urged to make it a part of daily practice. The body-as-self identity will not be broken by a few simple repetitions. We all still believe in it. As Ken Wapnick has said, if you doubt that you still believe in the identity of body and self, just try holding your breath for ten minutes.

What are we to do with our awareness that we hold this false belief about ourselves? The lesson tells us, “Be not concerned” (3:2). Like a runner practicing to break the four-minute mile, we need not be concerned that we haven’t done so yet. We just need to keep on practicing, doing what needs to be done to achieve that goal. Our goal is to realize we are a “mind…[that] no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it and sheltered by its presence” (1:4). That is the state of mind in which total freedom is found. When we have entered that state of mind, we will be right-minded, and in the real world. Our only concern now is to move in that direction.

The holy instant offers us foretastes of that state of mind. The body recedes from awareness in the holy instant, and what we are aware of is Oneness, something so vast no body or collection of bodies could ever contain it. As we experience this state more and more it will come to dominate our consciousness. We still have a body, but we realize we are not bound to it. It becomes simply a “useful form for what the mind must do. It becomes a vehicle which helps forgiveness be extended to the all-inclusive goal that it must reach, according to God’s plan” (4:4–5).

Ironically, the more we detach our mind from our body, the more perfect the body becomes. “It becomes perfect in the ability to serve an undivided goal” (6:4). If perfecting the body is the goal, we will never achieve it; only when our goal becomes unified with the Holy Spirit in seeking to extend forgiveness to everyone and everything will the body, now in its proper place, find perfect wholeness. Trying to hold on to the body destroys it; letting it go brings it health.

The body is not the home of the mind; the Holy Spirit is (6:1). Our aim in practicing, in each holy instant we take, is to free our mind from its connection to the body, and to give our minds to the Holy Spirit for His purposes. Our energy then is not directed at acquiring food or clothing, or housing, or physical well-being, but at bringing forgiveness to the world. If we do this, the Holy Spirit promises that He will take care of all the rest. As Jesus put it in the Bible:

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Or, as the Course puts it: “Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort” (T-20.IV.8:4).

LESSON 200
July 19

“There is no peace except the peace of God.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Purpose: To no longer seek peace from idols, but only from God. To no longer lose our way but take the straight path to God.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes—at least; 10—better; 15 even better; 30 or more—best

No specific instructions.

Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)

Use the lesson, “There is no peace except the peace of God,” to forgive the happenings of the previous hour. Do not let it cast its shadow on the hour to come. Thus you unloose the chains of time and remain unbound while still in time.

Frequent Reminder: Repeat: “There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.”

Response To Temptation: (Suggestion) When tempted to seek peace from anything of this world, quickly repeat: “There is no peace except the peace of God, and I am glad and thankful it is so.”

COMMENTARY

The basic message of this lesson is that every means we use to try to find peace through or from the world will fail; only the peace that comes from God, a peace that we already have as part of our created being, is real and eternal. (Some good sections to read in conjunction with today’s lesson are Chapter 11 in the Manual, “How is peace possible in this world?”, and Chapter 31, Section IV in the Text, “The Real Alternative.”)

Everything in this world ends in death. This world is hell, because no matter what course we follow, no matter how hard we strive, we wind up losing everything in the end. What a depressing game it is, when the only outcome is losing! This is the source of “the agony of bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt” (1:3). If we are playing the game of the world, seeking for “happiness where there is none” (2:1), we can only be hurt. We are “asking for defeat” (2:3).

We may not be fully conscious of this despair, yet it underlies everything we do. Ernest Becker’s book, “The Denial of Death,” is all about the ways in which we anxiously and firmly push the awareness of death out of our minds, burying it in the trivia of daily life, struggling to find meaning in something to which we can attach ourselves and somehow achieve immortality. Becker reaches the same conclusion as the Course, in some respects: that we are all insane, all bound up in denial and projection. The only difference between us and those called “insane” is that our form of denial is a little more successful than theirs. Yet in some ways the “insane” are more honest than we are. They have admitted the emptiness of the world and have chosen to create their own fantasy world in its place, or have become suicidal in despair. The rest of us still stumble along in naive hope that the world will yet bring us satisfaction.

The Lesson asks us to give up the futile search for happiness through our bodies and the world, and to relax into the peace of God. If we can simply accept the fact that we will not find happiness or peace anywhere else, we can save ourselves all this misery. If I look at my own life, my most miserable moments have been those in which someone or something on which I had pinned my hopes for happiness failed me: a marriage, a church, a job, a noble purpose, a hope of romance. The lesson is saying these are not isolated events. They represent the whole. The search for peace apart from the peace of God is hopeless, and the sooner we realize it, the sooner will we find true happiness.

“This world is not where you belong. You are a stranger here” (4:3–4). So give it up. Let it go. Stop expecting it to make you happy; it never will. “But it is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house or jail for anyone” (4:5). There is a way out! “You must change your mind about the purpose of the world, if you would find escape” (5:2).

The Text tells us the same things:

“Until you see the healing of the Son as all you wish to be accomplished by the world, by time and all appearances, you will not know the Father nor yourself. For you will use the world for what is not its purpose, and will not escape its laws of violence and death” (T-24.VI.4:3,4).

“To change all this, and open up a road of hope and of release in what appeared to be an endless circle of despair, you need but to decide you do not know the purpose of the world. You give it goals it does not have, and thus do you decide what it is for. You try to see in it a place of idols found outside yourself, with power to make complete what is within by splitting what you are between the two. You choose your dreams, for they are what you wish, perceived as if it had been given you. Your idols do what you would have them do, and have the power you ascribe to them. And you pursue them vainly in the dream, because you want their power as your own” (T-29.VII.8).

If we can decide that we do not know the purpose of the world, we will be free to receive the purpose the Holy Spirit sees in it. Until we give up our imagined purposes, His purpose will seem dim and indecipherable. It is the letting go of what we think the world is for that allows its only true purpose to dawn upon us. That purpose, in a word, is forgiveness; or as the line in Chapter 24 put it, “the healing of the Son.” Forgiveness is needed in hell, and this world, therefore, must be hell (6:4). Forgiveness offers, to me and to everyone, “the escape…from evil dreams he imagines, yet believes are true” (6:5). All the world is good for, we might say, is for us to “learn to look on it another way, and find the peace of God” (7:6).

If the world is such a terrible, depressing place, we might think that logically, the way to find peace is to leave the world. To die. To get out of this body. But that is not what the lesson says. “Peace,” we are told, “begins within the world perceived as different” (8:2). Notice: peace begins within the world. It begins with a new perception of the world, not as a prison house, but as a classroom. Beginning here, the road of peace will lead us on “to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond” (8:2). But it must begin here.

In poignant images of a road “carpeted with leaves of false desires,” we can see ourselves lifting our eyes away from the “trees of hopelessness” to the gate of Heaven. It is the peace of God we want, and nothing but the peace of God. In the holy instants we enjoy in today’s practicing, we recognize the peace we have sought, and “feel its soft embrace surround your heart and mind with comfort and with love” (10:6).

The closing lines, given us for practice, sum up the whole lesson. Most of us, if confronted with the thought that there is no peace but the peace of God, do not yet respond with gladness and thanks. The message that “there is no hope of answer in the world” (T-31.IV.4:3) seems a dour and bitter pill to swallow. Instead of joy, we feel sad, and a bit resentful. We wistfully cling to our vain hopes that the idols of this world will still, somehow, satisfy us. We want them to, so very much. Only when we have learned to release them gladly and thankfully will we be, finally, free of their hold upon us.

Let me, then, in today’s practicing, seek to find that gladness and thanks within myself. The Christ in me wants to “come home” (4:1). There is a part of me that breathes a sigh of relief as I begin to realize the world can never satisfy me, and whispers to me, “At last! At last you are beginning to let go of the source of your pain. Thank you!” Let me connect with that part of my mind that is native to Heaven, and knows it does not belong here; it is the only part there is in reality. The more I connect with it, the sooner will I know the peace that is my natural inheritance.

Review VI Introduction
July 20 to August 8

This is the final review of the Workbook, the end of Part I. Back in the Introduction to the Workbook we were told: “The workbook is divided into two main sections, the first dealing with the undoing of the way you see now, and the second with the acquisition of true perception” (W-Int.3:1). The last forty lessons or so have said they were preparing us for Part II of the Workbook. So now we are coming to the end of the first phase of our training. Presumably, if we have been doing the exercises as instructed (and that is the real key, of course), we are now ready to enter a new, higher phase of our practicing.

Two things are clearly different about the second part of the Workbook. First, the written lessons are much, much shorter; none is more than a half page, although we will be asked to read a one-page teaching section ten times, once each day along with the lesson. The emphasis in the second part, as we will see, is much less on learning new ideas (or unlearning old ones) and much more on having new experiences, and on reinforcing the habits we have formed during Part I.

The second major difference is that, from this review which ends Part I and the Introduction to Part II forward, the lessons contain no more practice instructions. It seems quite clear that the pattern of practice we are meant to follow has been established, and we are expected to know what it is, and to follow it for the remaining 245 lessons of Part II.

That pattern was discussed in Lesson 153. We said earlier that Lesson 153 set the final four-fold pattern for Workbook practice; now, after further consideration, Robert and I have realized that in Lesson 153 only two of the elements were firmly established for daily practice: the longer morning and evening quiet times, and the hourly remembrances. The remaining two elements—frequent reminders between the hours, and response to temptation as needed—while clearly set forth for Lesson 153 itself, really remain somewhat optional for the rest of the lessons through 200. It is only here, in the Introduction to the final review, that they are added in as something definitely expected of us every day.

“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” (W-pI.rVI.1:2). The word “besides” makes it clear that these frequent reminders are now being given in addition to the morning and evening quiet times and the hourly remembrances. The response to temptation is clearly added as well, in paragraph 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” (6:1–4).

Those four elements of practice, firmly set in place in this final review, are meant to be the instructions we follow on a daily basis for the rest of the year.

1. Morning and evening quiet time of not less than fifteen minutes each.

2. Hourly remembrances of a few minutes, in which we recall the idea for the day and apply it to the hour past and the hour to come.

3. Frequent reminders in between the hours, when we simply call the idea to mind.

4. Response to temptation, in which we deliberately replace our ego thoughts with the thought for the day.

We are told that any one of the ideas we are given are “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” (1:3–4). This is true of the ideas to come, and also of the ideas in the last twenty lessons. Notice the conditional phrases that modify this statement, however: “…if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day” (2:2). Any one idea is enough…if we apply that idea without exception (2:4).

If any single idea is enough, why do we need 365 lessons? The answer is simple. The author knows perfectly well that we won’t apply any single idea without exception to every happening throughout every day. “And so we need to use them all and let them blend as one, as each contributes to the whole we learn” (2:5).

In this final review, which lasts for twenty days, repeating each day one of the thoughts from the previous twenty days, we are asked to let our practicing center around a unifying theme:

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me” (3:3–5).

We are asked to repeat these three short sentences every morning and evening, every hour, and every time between that we remember our true function here. We repeat it along with the review idea for the day. That simple repetition is the only specific instructions we are given. Beyond that, all that we are asked to do in our practice times is, in a short phrase, to clear our minds of any opposing thoughts (3:8). This is to be a “deep relinquishment,” not simply a blanking of the mind; a letting go of every thought that stands in the way of sanity and truth.

“We merely close our eyes, and then forget all that we thought we knew and understood” (4:3).

In this final half of the Workbook we are moving “beyond all words” (4:1). We are seeking to experience serenity and the peace of God.

The only exception is something we do when an “idle thought” intrudes itself into our quiet. Paragraph 5 gives us clear instructions about how to deal with these intrusive thoughts, which will surely occur. The main point is not to allow such a thought to simply pass by unchallenged. Rather, we instruct our minds, “This is not a thought I want,” and replace it with the idea for the day. We follow the same practice all though the day, whenever we are tempted by our egos.

This is a rigorous kind of mind training. It asks a great deal of us. I believe it is what is meant by the phrase, “Be vigilant for God and for His Kingdom,” in Chapter 6 of the Text. How can we expect our minds to become free of ego thinking if we let the ego’s thoughts go unchallenged? Early in the Text Jesus tells us we are much too tolerant of mind wandering (T-2.VI.4:6); this vigilant watchfulness, challenging the ego thoughts and replacing them with thoughts of God, is the Course’s remedy.

Jesus, the author, says that he places our practice periods in the hands of the Holy Spirit (6:6 and 7:1–2). We are to listen to Him for specifics about what to “do and say and think, each time you turn to Him” (7:2). The primary emphasis seems to be on simple quiet (6:6). Yet the mention of what we do and say and think leaves us a great deal of latitude. Generally speaking, I think, we can use any of the techniques we have practiced earlier in the Workbook, such as forgiveness exercises, offering peace to the world, reviewing situations in our lives and applying the idea for the day, and so on. The major emphasis is on quietly listening to the Voice for God and allowing our minds to come to serenity and peace. The Workbook has ended its specific practice instructions, but now we are to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit instead:

“…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” (7:4).

LESSON 201
July 20

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

“I trust my brothers, who are one with me.”

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Review VI

Purpose: To carefully review the last 20 lessons, each of which contains the whole curriculum and is therefore sufficient for salvation, if understood, practiced, accepted and applied without exception.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 15 minutes—at least

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Close eyes and relinquish all that clutters the mind; forget all you thought you knew. Give the time to the Holy Spirit, your Teacher. If you notice an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

Remarks: We are attempting to go beyond special forms of practice because we are attempting a quicker pace and shorter path to our goal.

Hourly Remembrance: Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Frequent Reminder: as often as possible, as often as you can.

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Response To Temptation: permit no idle thought to go unchallenged.

If you are tempted by an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

COMMENTARY

Today, let us remember, as often as we can, that there is no one who is not our brother. Let us remember that we are all part of the one Self, and that our oneness with all-that-is is a blessing we can never lose.

Together, we are a Whole. Apart, we are nothing.

There is only One of us.

Everyone is linked immutably to God and to each other. Everything that is, is a direct offshoot of the Creator, equally worthy, equally holy, equally loveable.

My brothers and sisters are my joy and my delight. Let me see each one today as the blessing that they are to me.

LESSON 202
July 21

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

“I will be still an instant and go home.”

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Review VI

Purpose: To carefully review the last 20 lessons, each of which contains the whole curriculum and is therefore sufficient for salvation, if understood, practiced, accepted and applied without exception.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 15 minutes—at least

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Close eyes and relinquish all that clutters the mind; forget all you thought you knew. Give the time to the Holy Spirit. If you notice an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

Remarks: We are attempting to go beyond special forms of practice because we are attempting a quicker pace and shorter path to our goal.

Hourly: Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Frequent Reminder: as often as possible, as often as you can.

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Response To Temptation: permit no idle thought to go unchallenged.

If you are tempted by an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

COMMENTARY

Right now, this very instant, and every instant of this day, I have the opportunity simply to be still, to quiet my mind, and to go home to Heaven. Heaven is here. Heaven is now. There is no other time and no other place.

This world of turmoil is not my home; my home is in peace. This world of sorrow is not my home; my home is in joy. This world of hatred is not my home; my home is in love. This body is not my home; my home is in God.

The Voice of God is calling me constantly to come home, and I can do so any time I choose to. How thankful I am today for this inner calling! How grateful I am that, no matter where I go, no matter what I do, this Voice is always with me, always calling me home.

When I hear this Voice, why would I choose to stay an instant more where I am not at home? Every reason I might think to give dissolves into nothing when I become aware of the sweet and gentle calling of His Voice. I will remember right now, and at every opportunity during this day. “I will be still an instant and go home.”

LESSON 203
July 22

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

“I call upon God’s Name and on my own.”

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Review VI

Purpose: To carefully review the last 20 lessons, each of which contains the whole curriculum and is therefore sufficient for salvation, if understood, practiced, accepted and applied without exception.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 15 minutes—at least

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Close eyes and relinquish all that clutters the mind; forget all you thought you knew. Give the time to the Holy Spirit, your Teacher. If you notice an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

Remarks: We are attempting to go beyond special forms of practice because we are attempting a quicker pace and shorter path to our goal.

Hourly Remembrance: Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Frequent Reminder: as often as possible, as often as you can.

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Response To Temptation: permit no idle thought to go unchallenged.

If you are tempted by an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

COMMENTARY

To “call upon” the Name of God is not simply to repeat a word, but to reach out from within myself, affirming my connection to my Source. To call upon this Name means to remind myself of my union with God. “…it is my own [name] as well as His” (1:2). In a sense, it is similar to the way soldiers in battle might cry out the name of their king, or the way a football crowd chants the name of a favorite player. It is a means of identification, an affirmation of a solidarity and unity.

Yet it is more than any such thing that we might compare it with in this world, because God’s Name is my name in a much deeper sense than mere emotional identification. I am the extension of God. What He is, I am as well. I am created of the essence of Godhead. “I am still as God created me” (1:5). I affirm this every time I call upon His Name.

To call upon God’s Name is to remind myself that the lesser name and the lesser self with which I commonly identify is not who I am. “I am not a body” (1:3). In the midst of the daily crunch of busy-ness, when I call on this Name, I am delivered “from every thought of evil and of sin” (1:2). When I feel limited or confined, I can rediscover my freedom by calling on His Name. I remember that I am not this body; I am free.

As I sit in quiet today, let me open to the experience of God. Let me become aware of the vast Love without boundary or restriction. Let me sink into His limitless peace. Let me be transported in His joy. And as I do, let me remember that all that I experience of God, I AM. Let me call, too, on my own name. In remembering God, let me remember, “This is me.”

LESSON 204
July 23

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

“The Name of God is my inheritance.”

“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY

Review VI

Purpose: To carefully review the last 20 lessons, each of which contains the whole curriculum and is therefore sufficient for salvation, if understood, practiced, accepted and applied without exception.

Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 15 minutes—at least

Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Close eyes and relinquish all that clutters the mind; forget all you thought you knew. Give the time to the Holy Spirit, your Teacher. If you notice an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

Remarks: We are attempting to go beyond special forms of practice because we are attempting a quicker pace and shorter path to our goal.

Hourly Remembrance: Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Frequent Reminder: as often as possible, as often as you can. Repeat: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Response To Temptation: permit no idle thought to go unchallenged.

If you are tempted by an idle thought, immediately deny its hold, assuring your mind that you do not want it. Then let it be given up and replaced with today’s idea. Say: “This thought I do not want. I choose instead (today’s idea).”

COMMENTARY

If I bear the Name of God, I am His Son. I have the heritage of God’s family—and what an inheritance that is! I am not the offspring of random molecules of DNA. I am not the product of survival of the fittest in a vicious battle for supremacy in life. I am not the product of my human family, my upbringing, my education, my failures, or my culture. What I am I have inherited from God Himself.

As the Son of God I am “not slave to time” (1:2). I am not limited to the short span of my body’s “life” on earth. I do not require long years of development to attain my inheritance; it is mine now. Nor am I the product of my past. I do not need to fear the future. I am free of all limitations time might try to impose on me.

I am “unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions” (1:2). Laws of time, of space, of economics, of health and nutrition, or any laws we think are immutable and inevitable here, do not rule me. I am a child of God. I am spirit. I am free. I am “forever and forever one with Him” (1:2).