A Course in Miracles Lesson 50

I am sustained by the love of God.

This often feels like a watershed lesson. It is hard for me in the same that Lesson 49 is hard – that is, I am unsure of how to approach it, or how to judge its success. It doesn’t help that it jumps to two ten-minute applications (excluding the shorter ones throughout the day) because that strains my concentration. Five minutes I’m okay with – ten pushes it.

Yet I feel strongly that whatever “I” have to say about the lessons is dubious in the first place. As Jesus points out in chapter 18, which we are explicitly not in charge of the plan to transition from dreams of fear to happy dreams.

Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success (T-18.V.1:5-6).

I can walk around all day kvetching about how Lesson 50 taxes my brain and seems to lead nowhere . . . and in the meantime, who knows what’s really happening? God does. The Holy Spirit does. There is considerable comfort in that, if we can allow it into our experience.

Perhaps that is the big theme of these recent lessons: the letting go that’s involved, the stepping back from the role of judge and jury. It’s counter-intuitive to the egoic model, but if we set our minds on salvation, then we’ve done all there is to do. We want more – we think there should be more, but that’s not always what ACIM calls for. It is an undoing. Even if we’re okay with that conceptually, in application it’s a bit more intense and demanding.

So I do my ten minutes – I peek at the clock and only seven minutes have passed. I turn back, trying to get beyond the self to . . . God. Somebody barges in – and politely regretful backs out – at 9 minutes. I want to stop there – it’s close enough, right? – but I don’t. I close my eyes and try again. Am I faithful or stubborn? Does the difference matter? I repeat the lesson perhaps more than I ought – saying it over and over in my mind – but what else can I do? It keeps the clamor of my worldly thinking at bay. It’s just another idea, perhaps – but it’s a good one. Someday I’m going to know what it means.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Anne R September 28, 2014, 4:15 am

    Yes. The same.

    On my slow sojourn through the lessons again I did this one yesterday. Today I think, did I do it ‘enough’? Shall I do it again this morning or move, seemingly recklessly, on to 51? I did do both 10 mins. I may have drifted into sleep slightly on the night time one. Did I think of it often enough through the day? Have I attended to it sufficiently? It is no wonder I have been bed bound for most of the day for all of 2014. It is laughable how much I exhaust myself with the effort I think is required in the living of this dream and in the seeing past it.

    And yet I don’t take my efforting seriously. I notice that I do just notice it. My longing to get it right. As if I have to perform some physical acrobatics and earn 10 marks before I’m done. It seems not to matter how much I understand it all intellectually I’m still running the program of ‘do it right or else do it again till you get it right’.

    But even as I write this I cannot take myself seriously. I hear the laugh that tells me there’s nothing to worry about. And have a look at 51 …

    • Sean Reagan October 1, 2014, 3:10 pm

      Hi Annie,

      I apologize for the late reply . . .

      Yes, that laugh is helpful!

      Sometimes I remind myself that it is not possible to make a mistake! And that the belief that mistakes are possible – in particular the indulgence of that belief – is all that’s really causing me any trouble. I literally have to say: “even though I don’t believe it, it’s okay. It’s good.”

      The willingness to do the lessons in part includes our willingness to let outcomes and results go, to just do the lesson without any expectation that it will or should yield some particular result. As the course says – here paraphrased – some of our greatest advances often feel like failures, and vice-versa. We really are terrible judges of reality!

      Of course, you know all this . . . and are simply giving me a chance to remember it again for myself, for which I am most grateful! Loving myself in a gentle and forgiving way – just being okay with what is – has never come easy. I need all the help I can get . . .

      Love,
      Sean

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