A Course In Miracles, Lesson 49 plus Commentary by Allen Watson
God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.
It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way. The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not. It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws. It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganized and highly uncertain.
The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind. Try today not to listen to it. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.
We will need at least four five-minute practice periods today, and more if possible. We will try actually to hear God's Voice reminding you of Him and of your Self. We will approach this happiest and holiest of thoughts with confidence, knowing that in doing so we are joining our will with the Will of God. He wants you to hear His Voice. He gave It to you to be heard.
Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind. Go past all the raucous shrieks and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your eternal link with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. You do not live here. We are trying to reach your real home. We are trying to reach the place where you are truly welcome. We are trying to reach God.
Do not forget to repeat today's idea very frequently. Do so with your eyes open when necessary, but closed when possible. And be sure to sit quietly and repeat the idea for today whenever you can, closing your eyes on the world, and realizing that you are inviting God's Voice to speak to you.
Commentary by Allen Watson
"God's Voice speaks to me all through the day." Yes, It does! It may seem like wishful thinking to you when you say this sentence, but it isn't. God's Voice really does speak to us all through the day, every day. "The part of your mind in which truth abides [i.e., the right mind] is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not". We aren't usually aware of this communication, although we could be. Our consciousness simply isn't tuned in.
It's like a radio signal. Here in Sedona we have a radio station called KAZM ("chasm," cute, huh?). KAZM is in communication with my radio all through the day, but I may not have my radio tuned to that station. The Holy Spirit is in communication with my mind all through the day, but I may not be tuned in.
There is another part of our mind that carries on the busy-ness of this world. That is the part we are mostly aware of. I'll label it "wrong mind" so we can tell the parts apart. This part really does not exist, and the part tuned in to God (right mind) is really the only part there is. Thus, speaking of "parts" of our mind is really just a helpful fiction.
The wrong mind is an illusion. The right mind is real. The wrong mind is frantic, distraught, filled with a chattering madhouse of "thoughts" that sound like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. The right mind is "calm, always at rest and wholly certain". The right mind is what Lesson 47 spoke of when it said, "There is a place in you where there is perfect peace". In this place, "stillness and peace reign forever".
We can choose which voice to listen to, which "part" of our mind to attend to: the frantic voice or the peaceful Voice. Does it seem hard to believe that there is a place in you that is always perfectly peaceful, like the eye of a hurricane? But there is. I found it hard to believe, but when I began looking for it I began finding it.
Often when we first try to find this place, the other voice shrieks so loudly that it seems we can't ignore it (as the lesson instructs us to). Just the other day someone was telling me how when they sat in meditation, the onset of peace was so frightening that they had to jump up and get busy with something. Isn't it weird that we find peace so unacceptable? Sit for a few minutes trying to be peaceful and something inside you is screaming, "I can't stand it!" That's the frantic voice. "Try," the lesson says, "not to listen to it".
It's worth the effort! That place of peace is there in all of us, and when we find it-ahhh! I still have some days when I can't seem to stop the yama yama of my mind (as Werner Erhard calls that constant mental chatter), but the times when I sink into the peace beyond my thoughts are increasing, for which I am very grateful. You simply have to stop your activity to find it; you can't find it without sitting down, quieting down, and shutting down for a while. The world is far too distracting otherwise, at first.
Eventually we can learn to find this peace any time, anywhere, and even to bring it with us into chaotic situations. At first, however, we need to act out the stillness in order to find it, closing our eyes on the world, going past the stormy surface of our minds and into the deep, calm depths, asking God's Voice to speak to us.
One more thought. You might think, from this lesson, that if God's Voice speaks to you all through the day, it must be easy to hear it. Wrong. The ego's voice is characterized here as "raucous shrieks", "frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds", and "constantly distracted". Listening to God's Voice, at first, is like trying to meditate in the middle of a riot. It's like trying to compose a new tune while a rock band is tuning up. Or like trying to write a careful letter when three people are shouting different things into your ears. It's hard work. It takes focus and concentration. It takes, above all, willingness. "The Holy Spirit's Voice is as loud as your willingness to listen".
You have to be willing to tune out that other voice. The shrieks of the ego don't just happen without our volition; they do not stem from some malevolent demon trying to frustrate our efforts to hear God. They are our own unwillingness taking form; that's all. We've spent eons turning on the noisemakers in our own minds. We have to start going around and choosing to turn them off.
So hearing the Holy Spirit isn't something that happens overnight-read about it today, start being "divinely guided in all I do" tomorrow. No. It's not that simple. In fact, in the Text, Jesus himself says that learning to listen only to that Voice and no other was the final lesson he learned, and that it takes effort and great willingness!
The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice That calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God's Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons.
So, let us begin today to learn this so-very-important lesson. Let us listen.