As in all courses of study, a review period helps the student and the teacher assess how much has been learned. I decided to use this as a separate day and go on to Lesson 51 tomorrow. There will be other days where i will stop to discuss passages that come up between the lessons. These days can be used to work on your mind-training exercise or repeat a favorite lesson. There is no wrong way to do the lessons as long as you do them in succession and study only one per day.
Our lessons have been helping us to understand that we are all students and teachers to each other as we go about our daily activities. Every encounter offers an opportunity for forgiveness of the other and of ourself. The new ideas we are studying are building our spiritual muscles so that we more often use our inner spiritual strength (which comes from joining with the Holy Spirit in our mind) to solve our perceived problems.
We are being trained to look at all life situations in a different way, to see them as extensions of our own thoughts. We are learning that the responsibility for what we see and experience is in our own mind. This is a great gift even though it can seem like a huge responsibility. If we are victims of other people’s actions, then we are helpless. Fear is an appropriate reaction. But if we recognize that we made the problem, then we can unmake it. Fear becomes an impediment to be relinquished. We are learning to take back the power of decision in our mind.
This mind training process we are undergoing is restoring us to our true nature as God’s holy creation, not separate from but eternally a part of our Source. We are told there is nothing outside God, therefore there is nothing outside of us. “You will yet learn that peace is part of you, and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are. And, finally, you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are.” (W Review1.5)
In truth, this is no big deal. We eat every day, in fact several times, we work, we sleep.
Nothing remarkable. Yet, for me, making a daily year-long commitment to do a lesson a day was a daunting idea at first. I didn’t know if i could stay the course! But it’s 50 lessons later and despite computer glitches, family emergencies, and life in general, i’ve managed to express my thoughts about one lesson each day. I feel energized, uplifted, focused, and delighted that this has been relatively easy.
This brings to mind a line from T14.IV.6:2: “When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer.” Well, i don’t know about the summer part (right now it’s about 46 degrees outside!) but i certainly do feel loved and gently guided.
Now, let’s review these first 50 lessons—the “weed pluckers” as my first ACIM teacher Paul used to call them. Their radical ideas are meant to shake us and wake us up to the beauty and joy that exist outside of our leaden ego. We may not instantly agree with or understand each lesson, yet something deep down says, “Keep going. This is good stuff!” The review will remind us of our initial reaction to each lesson. Now, as we read the lesson again, we can discern how much of these ideas are beginning to settle into our mind and thoughts, giving us hope for the first time that there is another way of looking at the world, one that inspires peace and joy rather than fear and guilt.