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A Course In Miracles, Lesson 35 plus Commentary by Allen Watson

My mind is part of God's. I am very holy.

Today's idea does not describe the way you see yourself now. It does, however, describe what vision will show you. It is difficult for anyone who thinks he is in this world to believe this of himself. Yet the reason he thinks he is in this world is because he does not believe it.

You will believe that you are part of where you think you are. That is because you surround yourself with the environment you want. And you want it to protect the image of yourself that you have made. The image is part of this environment. What you see while you believe you are in it is seen through the eyes of the image. This is not vision. Images cannot see.

The idea for today presents a very different view of yourself. By establishing your Source it establishes your Identity, and it describes you as you must really be in truth. We will use a somewhat different kind of application for today's idea because the emphasis for today is on the perceiver, rather than on what he perceives.

For each of the three five-minute practice periods today, begin by repeating today's idea to yourself, and then close your eyes and search your mind for the various kinds of descriptive terms in which you see yourself. Include all the ego-based attributes which you ascribe to yourself, positive or negative, desirable or undesirable, grandiose or debased. All of them are equally unreal, because you do not look upon yourself through the eyes of holiness.

In the earlier part of the mind-searching period, you will probably emphasize what you consider to be the more negative aspects of your perception of yourself. Toward the latter part of the exercise period, however, more self-inflating descriptive terms may well cross your mind. Try to recognize that the direction of your fantasies about yourself does not matter. Illusions have no direction in reality. They are merely not true.

A suitable unselected list for applying the idea for today might be as follows:

I see myself as imposed on.
I see myself as depressed.
I see myself as failing.
I see myself as endangered.
I see myself as helpless.
I see myself as victorious.
I see myself as losing out.
I see myself as charitable.
I see myself as virtuous.

You should not think of these terms in an abstract way. They will occur to you as various situations, personalities and events in which you figure cross your mind. Pick up any specific situation that occurs to you, identify the descriptive term or terms you feel are applicable to your reactions to that situation, and use them in applying today's idea. After you have named each one, add:

But my mind is part of God's. I am very holy.

During the longer exercise periods, there will probably be intervals in which nothing specific occurs to you. Do not strain to think up specific things to fill the interval, but merely relax and repeat today's idea slowly until something occurs to you. Although nothing that does occur should be omitted from the exercises, nothing should be "dug out" with effort. Neither force nor discrimination should be used.

As often as possible during the day, pick up a specific attribute or attributes you are ascribing to yourself at the time and apply the idea for today to them, adding the idea in the form stated above to each of them. If nothing particular occurs to you, merely repeat the idea to yourself, with closed eyes

Commentary by Allen Watson

The Text tells us that "you do not understand how lofty the Holy Spirit's perception of you really is." In the following section of the same chapter, it says:

You did not establish your value and it needs no defense. Nothing can attack it nor prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely isAsk the Holy Spirit what it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, because it comes from God. It is an exalted answer because of its Source, but the Source is true and so is Its answer. Listen and do not question what you hear, for God does not deceive. He would have you replace the ego's belief in littleness with His Own exalted Answer to what you are, so that you can cease to question it and know it for what it is.

As the lesson points out, we do not normally think of ourselves in terms such as "lofty" and "exalted." Notice, though, that the Course is saying this is true of us, not because of anything we have done, but because of our Source (3:2). What makes us what we are is not ourselves, but God. That is why the Course lays so much stress on the idea "I am as God created me." Our little view of ourselves comes from our attempts to create ourselves; our true grandeur derives from the fact that we are God's creations. Our unwillingness to recognize this connection with our Source is what keeps us locked in our smallness. We resist acknowledging God as our Source because it seems, to our egos, to put us in second place and to make us dependent. It does not make us dependent-we are dependent. That is not our shame; it is our glory. It is what establishes our grandeur.

We have difficulty believing that "I am very holy." Our refusal to believe it is why we are in this world, in this environment we think we want. We want it because it supports our image of ourselves as separate beings, independent of God.

When we look at the world, and look at ourselves living in the world, the things we see do not support the idea of this lesson. And yet the eyes, ears, nose, and touch we use to gather evidence are part of the very image of this world. They exist within the constraints of the world's image which we have constructed, very carefully, not to show us our union with God. Of course, they bring us very little evidence to contradict the ego's image of us; we made them to function that way.

One very strong emphasis of the Course is on looking directly at our darkness and confronting our fears. The more we look at fear, says the Course, the less we will see it. Simply bringing the darkness into the light dispels the darkness. Looking at our ego, and even the full extent of our hatred, is crucial to our growth, it tells us. This lesson reflects the other side, which is sometimes neglected when looking at the ego is overemphasized. The other side is reminding ourselves, firmly, of the truth of our exalted reality: "My mind is part of God's. It is very holy." In the Text we are told:

Whenever you question your value, say:

God Himself is incomplete without me.

Remember this when the ego speaks, and you will not hear it.
Reminding ourselves of the truth about us is another powerful technique the Course recommends for transcending our egos.

The list of attributes and terms we use to describe ourselves given in the lesson is just a sample. As you practice the lesson today, try to notice how you think about yourself, and how different all of those thoughts, good and bad both, are from the lesson's statement about you. I could add some of my own terms to the list: forgetful, disorganized, intelligent, clever, falling behind, skillful at what I do. What terms do you think of?

You should have noticed that the lessons are now calling for three longer practice periods of five minutes each. We are getting into heavier practice. Some of us, if we have not meditated previously, may find it difficult to sit for five minutes with our eyes closed doing these exercises. I encourage you to do them anyway. Anything new is difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice; that is what the practice is for.

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