Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Our third review begins today. We will review two of the last twenty ideas each day, until we have reviewed them all. We will observe a special format for these practice periods, which you are urged to follow just as closely as you can.
2. We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day. Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time. Nor is it necessary that you make excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers. Rituals are not our aim, and would defeat our learning goal.
3. But learning will be hampered when you skip a practice period because you are unwilling to devote the time to it that you are asked to give. Do not deceive yourself in this. Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control. Learn to distinguish situations which are poorly suited to your practicing from those which you establish to uphold the camouflage for your unwillingness.
4. Those practice periods which you have lost because you did not want to do them, for whatever reason, should be done as soon as you have changed your mind about your goal. You are unwilling to cooperate in practicing salvation only if it interferes with gods you hold more dear. When you withdraw the value given them, allow your practice periods to be replacements for your litanies to them. They gave you nothing. But your practice periods offer you everything. Accept their offering and be at peace.
5. The format you should use for these reviews is this: Devote five minutes twice a day, or longer if you would prefer, to contemplating the ideas assigned. Read over the ideas assigned. Read over the ideas and comments which are written down for each day’s exercises. Then begin to thing about them quietly, letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems, and all your concerns.
6. Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you. What can you trust but what is in your mind? Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail. The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance. Give it direction at the start, and then lean back in quiet faith, and let it use the ideas you have given it as they were given you.
7. You have been given them in perfect trust, in perfect confidence that you would use them well, in perfect faith that you would understand their messages and use them for yourself. Offer them to your mind in that same trust and confidence and faith. It will not fail. It is the Holy Spirit’s chosen means for your salvation. And with His trust it merits yours as well.
8. We emphasize the benefits to you if you devote the first five minutes of the day to your reviews, and also give the last five minutes of your waking day to them. If this cannot be done, at least try to divide them so you undertake one in the morning, and the other in the hour just before you go to sleep.
9. The exercises to be done throughout the day are equally important, and perhaps of even greater value. You have been inclined to do your exercises only at appointed times, and then go on to other things without applying what you learned to them. As a result, your learning has had little reinforcement, and you have not given it a fair chance to prove how great are its potential gifts to you.
10. Here is another chance to use it well. In these reviews we stress the need to let your learning not lie idly by between your longer practice periods. Attempt to give your daily two ideas a brief but serious review each hour. Use one on the hour, and the other one a half an hour later. You need not give more than just a moment to each one. Repeat it, then allow your mind to rest a little time in silence and in peace. Then turn to other things, but try to keep the thought with you, and let it serve to help you keep your peace throughout the day.
11. If you are shaken, think of it again. These practice periods are planned to help you form the habit of applying what you learn each day to everything you do. Do not repeat the thought and then lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you. And it is meant to serve you in all ways, all times and places, and whenever you need help of any kind. Try, then, to take it with you in the business of the day and make it holy, worthy of God’s Son, acceptable to God and to your Self.
12. Each day’s review assignment will conclude with a restatement of the thought to use each hour, and the one to be applied on each half hour as well. Forget them not. This second chance with each of these ideas will bring such large advances that we come from these reviews with learning gains so great that we begin again on solid ground, with firmer footsteps and with stronger faith.
13. Do not forget how little you have learned. Do not forget how much you can learn now. Do not forget your Father’s need of you, as you review these thoughts He gave to you.
. A Course in Miracles Complete & Annotated Edition.