Friday, October 10, 2008

Lesson 181 I trust my brothers, who are one with me.

LESSON 181


I trust my brothers, who are one with me.


Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself. When you attack a brother, you proclaim that he is limited by what you have perceived in him. You do not look beyond his errors. Rather, they are magnified, becoming blocks to your awareness of the Self that lies beyond your own mistakes, and past his seeming sins as well as yours.


Perception has a focus. It is this that gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision now will shift, to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before. Remove your focus on your brother's sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.


Therefore, in practicing today, we first let all such little focuses give way to our great need to let our sinlessness become apparent. We instruct our minds that it is this we seek, and only this, for just a little while. We do not care about our future goals. And what we saw an instant previous has no concern for us within this interval of time wherein we practice changing our intent. We seek for innocence and nothing else. We seek for it with no concern but now.


A major hazard to success has been involvement with your past and future goals. You have been quite preoccupied with how extremely different the goals this course is advocating are from those you held before. And you have also been dismayed by the depressing and restricting thought that, even if you should succeed, you will inevitably lose your way again.


How could this matter? For the past is gone; the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more. We lay these pointless limitations by a little while. We do not look to past beliefs, and what we will believe will not intrude upon us now. We enter in the time of practicing with one intent; to look upon the sinlessness within.


We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother's sins occur to us, our narrowed focus will restrict our sight, and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our "sins." So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say:


It is not this that I would look upon.

I trust my brothers, who are one with me.


And we will also use this thought to keep us safe throughout the day. We do not seek for long-range goals. As each obstruction seems to block the vision of our sinlessness, we seek but for surcease an instant from the misery the focus upon sin will bring, and uncorrected will remain.


Nor do we ask for fantasies. For what we seek to look upon is really there. And as our focus goes beyond mistakes, we will behold a wholly sinless world. When seeing this is all we want to see, when this is all we seek for in the name of true perception, are the eyes of Christ inevitably ours. And the Love He feels for us becomes our own as well. This will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves.


The world which once proclaimed our sins becomes the proof that we are sinless. And our love for everyone we look upon attests to our remembrance of the holy Self which knows no sin, and never could conceive of anything without Its sinlessness. We seek for this remembrance as we turn our minds to practicing today. We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present. And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now. Our sinlessness is but the Will of God. This instant is our willing one with His.







The Following is Forwarded from Pathwaysoflight.org


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Lesson 181
"I trust my brothers, who are one with me."

What stands out to me in today's lesson, including the introduction, is the idea that these lessons are about practice. We are not expected to be perfectly consistent in remembering every moment of the day to see the innocence in our brothers. But we are asked to practice. Each time we remember to practice, we give ourselves a gift. We give ourselves the opportunity to experience the peace that comes with seeing the innocence of our brothers.

The ego loves to keep us preoccupied with focus on all the times we have failed to see our brother's innocence or have failed to apply the lessons or ideas presented in the Course. It loves to point out these failures as proof that we will continue to fail in the future. This lesson clearly identifies this ego strategy as a defense against our release. As we remember neither the past nor the future are here now, we can focus on the present moment. It is in the present moment that we can see our brother free of all our past mistakes as well as our perception of his.

If we are able to bring our full attention for just a brief moment each day to look past the images of this world and see the face of Christ in a brother, we have given ourselves a magnificent gift. The peace we experience in that moment will motivate us to keep practicing. That is what the exercises in these lessons are designed to do: To bring us the experience that will motivate us to practice more.

In the beginning, we practice doing the exercises as prescribed, sometimes not even understanding them. Sometimes they have no conscious affect. All we are asked to do is practice. We don't have to agree with the ideas. We don't have to even understand them. We need only practice. The exercises do have effects, whether they are recognized or not. As we have more and more instants of peace and of happiness, our motivation grows to be more diligent in our practice.

The periods of resistance do not matter. They will pass as we continue to practice. We need not battle against the resistance. We need only practice the exercises. The gift of peace and happiness the practice brings will overshadow the resistance and it will gently fade away. So today I will practice seeing that my brother is one with me. We share one Self and I can trust that Self, for It is Love.


In today's lesson Jesus is asking me to practice seeing the Light of Christ in my brother, the truth in him instead of the illusions. He knows that as I practice having this focus of looking for the truth of Love in my brother, that I will remember that I am Love.

As I practice seeing the truth in my brother, today and every day, Jesus knows that I will return to remembering my Self. The truth in my brother and in me are one truth. This practice helps me feel the peace that comes from my inheritance. From the experience of this peace will come the motivation to strengthen the one goal that I am being led to.

I am being led to being single-minded. I am being led to knowing only God. How I get there is by seeing my brother's innocence instead of his mistakes. I can't have both focuses at the same time. I must choose one. Jesus is helping me with that choice. And with my choice of seeing the innocence behind the illusions, I am returned to the one Self we all are. Today is a day of practice, practice in seeing my brother's innocence, who is one with me.


This lesson says that a major hazard to success has been involvement with our past and future goals. This is so true for me because I know a lot of my fear of being "successful" with this Course is based on my seeming past failures. The lesson also says that these concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Although I still need much practice on changing my perception, I'm learning to quiet my mind long enough to not make any judgments or have an opinion on a situation. In doing this, I believe I leave myself open to let the Holy Spirit work through me.

At that point I might not have a better opinion of my brother or the situation, but at least I have no opinion instead of a bad one. And if I'm consistent in this practice, I do eventually begin to see my brother and/or the situation in a different light. The Course does claim to be a Course in mind training and this is exactly what we do by practicing these lessons.

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