I’ve got a couple thoughts on this lesson.
First, it should be clear by now that the lessons are always building one another. Yesterday’s sets up this one which sets up a real gem tomorrow. And, often, the lesson we are doing today is a variation on the one that we did a while back. We are always circling certain ideas and principles, trying them this way and that.
I like this because it means that if I’m struggling with an application in one form or setting, I can still pick it up in the next one. I’m never really losing ground because I’m not actually covering a lot of ground. It reminds me sometimes of a game I played as a kid – Beat the Eight Ball or something like that. You set a big marble spinning in a cylinder. At the top of the cylinder, the ball went in slow wide circles. But as it descended, the circles got tighter and quicker.
So in a way, today’s lesson is one of those “seriously? Didn’t we cover this yesterday?” Isn’t it sort of implicit in acknowleding that I’ve invented the world I see, that there is another way to see the world?
On the other hand, given the ego’s track record of managing my life, shouldn’t I at least consider the possibility that baby steps aren’t out of line?
So I think the slow pace is instructive. I think stating the obvious is a good thing – if only because it reaffirms our commitment to following this process each step of the way. Perhaps it is like clearing ground for a garden or something like that. We need to be very thorough in letting the ego be undone, trusting that we are in better hands than our own here.
My second thought is this. I try to approach this writing as honestly as possible – without actually devolving into a blow-by-blow of what’s happening in my life. But I’m in an intense space right now. It’s nothing nobody doesn’t face from time to time – elderly parents, young kids, busy job – but it’s more at the moment than I am accustomed to. And one of the consequences is that today and yesterday have been a little tougher in terms of the lessons. I’m not feeling resistant to them per se, but I do find that time passees and I forget what I’m doing, where my focus should be. Maybe that’s a kind of resistance.
But I do want to at least flag it because I’m want to be honest about my process. I don’t want to give anybody the impression it’s all smooth sailing and blue skies.
So what happens when we forget an application? Nothing. Nothing at all. In fact, being able to come back to the day’s lesson in a loving, forgiving way is better than gritting our teeth and pounding it out. Jesus isn’t looking for masochists and it’s understood that we aren’t perfect.
In fact, these days, I sort of view the hard times as opportunities to be loving and gentle towards myself and others – which is an important form of forgiveness. I’m not the perfect ACIM student? No sweat.
Finally – if you’re following day by day, and especially if you are seeing these lessons for the first time – tomorrow’s is a real winner. It is one of the best lessons in the whole workbook. See you then!