Saturday, March 29, 2008

LESSON 24 I do not perceive my own best interests.


I do not perceive my own best interests.

In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. Therefore, you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. It is inevitable, then, that you will not serve your own best interests. Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived. Otherwise, you will not recognize what they are.

If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.

The exercises for today require much more honesty than you are accustomed to using. A few subjects, honestly and carefully considered in each of the five practice periods which should be undertaken today, will be more helpful than a more cursory examination of a large number. Two minutes are suggested for each of the mind-searching periods which the exercises involve.

The practice periods should begin with repeating today's idea, followed by searching the mind, with closed eyes, for unresolved situations about which you are currently concerned. The emphasis should be on uncovering the outcome you want. You will quickly realize that you have a number of goals in mind as part of the desired outcome, and also that these goals are on different levels and often conflict.

In applying the idea for today, name each situation that occurs to you, and then enumerate carefully as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in its resolution. The form of each application should be roughly as follows:

In the situation involving ___, I would like ___ to happen, and ___ to happen,

and so on. Try to cover as many different kinds of outcomes as may honestly occur to you, even if some of them do not appear to be directly related to the situation, or even to be inherent in it at all.

If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out.

After covering the list of as many hoped-for goals as possible, for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind say to yourself:

I do not perceive my own best interests in this situation,

and go on to the next one.


Lesson 24

“I do not perceive my own best interests.”

When I was growing up, I was often asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do with your life?” I was given the impression that I needed to decide and that it was my job to decide my likes or dislikes, where I lived or who I lived with, or what I did with my time. I have thought that this individual life I appear to be leading was up to me and that I could find happiness by deciding on my own. Now I am finding that the opposite is true.

I am now learning that it is not my job to decide on my own because I do not perceive my own best interests. I am learning that my job is to step back and go into a place of quiet and ask the Spirit of Wholeness in my mind for direction. I am learning to practice remembering that on my own I do not know what my best interests are. But the good news is there is a Source of Wisdom and Love in my mind that does.

As I learn to practice stepping back more and more, I am finding that this Source of inner Wisdom does know what my best interests are and will lead me moment by moment to accomplishing my true purpose in this ‘life.’ I am learning that my real Life is in being the Love that I am and this real Llife never changes and is eternal.

In the world of perception, the circumstances of my service does change. The form may change, but the Love stays constant. Removing the barriers to my remembering my true Identity is my fundamental purpose right now. It begins with remembering that I do not perceive my own best interests.

This lesson is helping me recognize that I don’t know as much as I think I know. It is helping me open my mind to be teachable. We’ve all seen little children decide that they want something and demand it, even though we can see that it is not in that child’s best interest. The child clearly thinks it is. What is not so clear is that most of the time we are like that little child, demanding that circumstances in our lives be a certain way to make us happy. Like the child who does not know the whole picture and all the effects of having what it demands, we have a limited perception and do not know all the effects of having what we think we want would have on us.In looking at my life experience, I can see many examples of when I insisted on things being a certain way, only to discover that I was not happy when I had it. There have been times when I had what I thought I wanted, and it appeared to be taken away. It was upsetting to me.

But I learned an affirmation years ago that I use many times in situations like those. It was, “I can hardly wait to see the good that comes from this.” To me this is another way of saying I do not perceive my own best interests. It is acknowledging that my perception is limited and that if I am willing to listen to my inner Teacher, I will receive what is helpful and learn what is helpful. In every situation in which I perceived loss, when I used this affirmation or something like it, great good did come from the experience -- sometimes important turning points in my life.

Today’s lesson is a great tool to use whenever I believe I know what my best interests are. It is useful when I have believed I have lost. It is also helpful to use when I believe I have what I want to help me open my mind to a greater perception, with Holy Spirit’s help. It is a great reminder of the limits of my perception and an opening to let Holy Spirit give me His bigger picture. The more I can do this, the more peace and happiness I will allow in my life.

How can I see what is in my best interest with my ego eyes? I cannot. My best interest is the interest of the Oneself. That is far beyond the comprehension of the ego, even if it desired to understand my True Self's best interest, which it does not. My ego expectations run amok, here, there, and everywhere like wild creatures, untamed and undisciplined. Thoughts going in all directions at once, each demanding attention.

My best interest is the interest of my true Self. I need Holy Spirit to show what this is in every moment. I can no longer pretend that I know what anything means. I give all expectations and all competing voices to Holy Spirit this day. Today I am willing to say I don't know anything and I am willing to follow the lead of Holy Spirit. Only then is my best interest made manifest. Only then am I in love and peace, and surely love an peace are in my best interest.

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