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A Course In Miracles, Lesson 20
plus Commentary by Allen Watson.

Lesson 20

I am determined to see.

We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for undertaking them, minimal effort has been required, and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked. This approach has been intentional, and very carefully planned. We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. The salvation of the world depends on it. Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.

This is our first attempt to introduce structure. Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. You are now learning how to tell them apart. And great indeed will be your reward.

Your decision to see is all that vision requires. What you want is yours. Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for an indication that our goal is of little worth. Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? And can the world be saved if you are not? God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. In your determination to see is vision given you.

The exercises for today consist in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. Today's idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want.

Repeat today's idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour today, attempting to do so every half hour. Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember. The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person or event that upsets you. You can see them differently, and you will. What you desire you will see. Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.

This week’s lesson does not really ask all that much of us: Every half hour, remember to repeat the words "I am determined to see." If we are studying the Course this is something we probably truly want.

You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace.

Why then all the foofaraw about our feeling coerced, resentful and opposed to the instructions?

Because "this is our first attempt to introduce structure", and it will not be the last. Our undisciplined minds have a built-in resistance to structure. So what if it's good for us? Actually something we want? If someone tells us to do it in a certain way, at certain times, we rebelWe drag our feet. We don't like being told what to do or how to do it. Our mind is "totally undisciplined" and wants to remain that way to protect the ego's vested interests.

The practice asked is extremely simple. So try it. You'll probably be amazed at how often you forget, how the thought of doing it may flash into your mind only to be postponed because it isn't convenient at the moment, or because "it isn't really important," and then forgotten completely. This is why the Workbook approaches the whole idea of structure with great caution; it knows there will be resistance, and is trying to make us realize just how important this deceptively simple practice really is. This is why it says: "Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember." "Your decision to see is all that vision requires". If we could really get this lesson, in other words, and truly mean what we are saying, the job would be done. Vision would be ours. "In your determination to see is vision given you". This is not a trivial lesson; it is the core of everything the Course is teaching. So let's put our heart into it today! Let's do this joyfully, even-dare I say?-religiously, every half hour. Let's repeat the idea "slowly and positively". Let's "make a real effort to remember". Let's apply it "to any situation, person or event that upsets" us.

You can see them differently, and you will. What you desire you will see. Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.

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