Above all else I want to see things differently.
Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday. In these practice periods, you will be making a series of definite commitments. The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. And we are still at the beginning.
You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, "Above all else I want to see this table differently." In itself it is not important at all. Yet what is by itself? And what does "in itself" mean? You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all. You either see or not. When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently. The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.
When you say, "Above all else I want to see this table differently," you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table, and open your mind to what it is, and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.
You will not question what you have already defined. And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. In saying, "Above all else I want to see this table differently," you are committing yourself to seeing. It is not an exclusive commitment. It is a commitment that applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less.
You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you would withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind. It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.
In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe. You will be making this same request of each subject that you use in the practice periods. And you are making a commitment to each of them to let its purpose be revealed to you, instead of placing your own judgment upon it.
We will have six two-minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see about you. Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today's idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.
As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject your eyes happen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying
Above all else I want to see this ___ differently.
Each application should be made quite slowly, and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry.
“Above all else I want to see things differently.”
While growing up, I learned to give meaning to everything around me. I learned what everything is for. I am now learning to step back from my past, to let go of the past. I am now learning to have an open mind about what anything is or what it is for. I am learning to let go of my automatic responses and open to a new meaning given me by the Holy Spirit.
This has not been easy for me unless I quiet my mind, slow it down and let it shift into another gear. When I do this, the Holy Spirit lifts the veil -- the meaning I have given things -- and shows me the Love of God that lies behind each thing that I see.
This only happens when I am willing. The part of the lesson that says “above all else” is meaningful here. Unless I really want to see things differently, I will bring the past to the present. Right now I am working with “above all else.” I find that often it isn’t, “above all else.” But today’s lesson brings me closer, through consistent practice, to letting that “above all else I want to see things differently” a little closer to my experience.
I really want to practice today’s lesson as often as possible, knowing that this practice will lead me toward more consistency in seeing the Light of God that is really there. I am willing to take it a step at a time and forgive myself if I forget. I want to consistently remember that there is only Love. God is All. There is nothing else. Today I take one more step by practicing this lesson over and over. This leads me to freedom. This leads me to consistent experience of the peace of God.
As I did the practice exercise, it became clear to me that my day is filled with labeling and categorizing, sorting things I hear and see into various boxes of meaning. If something occurs that I cannot easily put in one of those boxes, I feel uneasy because it seems like I don’t know what it means. Without a meaning that I can assign to it, it can even seem fearful, because it is unknown and I don’t know how to defend against it if need be. All this comes because I have learned that it is my job to assign meaning to everything. That is what perception is for, or so I have learned.
This lesson is helping me to let go of this idea. It is helping me withdraw from the role of assigning meaning and open to the meaning that lies beyond the form, beyond the labels and categories I have learned in the past. As I can open my mind and withdraw the assignment of meaning from the past, I can receive the Holy Spirit’s enlightening vision. I become open to seeing the Light that is shared by all that is real.
The statement is a commitment, a dedication that I may not believe wholeheartedly yet, but each little step in that direction leads me to freedom. It leads me to recognize my Self as I was created and as I am. Here is the peace of God, for I was created in the peace of God. There can be no goal greater than this, no greater satisfaction than reaching it. “Above all else, I want to see things differently.”
When I say the words to myself, “I want to see things differently,” I notice that my attention is drawn to the word ‘want.’ I noticed as I looked around and really asked myself, “Do I really want to see this differently?” a strong sense of peace came over me.
The biggest gift in this lesson today is the comfort that when I do get tired of assigning meaning to everything, there is a truth that will embrace me. I can make a commitment to withdraw my preconceived ideas. I can let go gradually with an open mind, knowing that when my mind and heart join in unity to see the Light in everything, It will be there for me. Above all else I want to see things differently, and it will in the time that I allow it.
The peace of God is shining in me now. Above all else I want to see the peace of God. Above all else I want to see the radiance of Love that is the real truth of my brother and of all things that are part of God. I want to bless the truth in myself and my brother. Connecting with the radiance within everyone and everything is my only goal. Herein lies the peace of God.
Take my sight, O God, and let me see anew. I give to You myself. My life is Yours. It has always been Yours, but today I choose to recognize this is so in every moment. Your purpose is my purpose. Your Love is my love. We are One in all that I am. This is my comfort and my joy. I am not alone. I am One with You and that can never change.
Above all else I want to see Oneness surrounding me. I want to see You in my brother and sister. I want to see You in all things, circumstances and events. In having this sight, I have all there is to have. In this I am complete and whole. In this I am in the now with You, and this is my only reality. Above all else I want the reality of my existence.
I've felt lately a connection and that others are experiencing this process of changing mind in so much the same way as I am. It seems to help that others seem to experience the same frustrations that I seem to feel. Also, when I see talk of positive progress, that makes me feel more certain that I can too.
I was struck by the reference to the table as a way of gaining vision. It may not be particularly flattering that we aren't essentially different from the table in sharing the purpose of the universe, but it does eliminate a lot of complications. I think the point is that there is nothing outside of our mind and our real mind is the One Mind that encompasses all that is. We're learning that there isn't someone or even something else. I'm sure I haven't learned that yet but I'm very grateful that I'm willing to be taught.
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