Let me be still and listen to the truth.
Lesson 106 holds a dual message: it teaches us how to hear truth, and it reminds us what that truth is. If you study the lesson carefully, it is urging you not only to listen but teaching you what to listen for.
The “how” part is relatively straightforward. We create a space in our living in which we can become still. A space where we can sit or kneel or lie in silence, hang a do not disturb sign, and give attention only for the Voice of the Holy Spirit.
In order to listen for the Holy Spirit, we have to avoid listening to ego, whose fractious voice speaks only for the concerns of the world and body. People have to be nicer to me! I have to be more beautiful! I like chocolate better than prayer. And so on.
So each time those thoughts arise we let them pass, giving attention instead to the silence of the heart, where mind’s mental acrobatics are useless.
That’s a highly poetic way of saying “notice how awareness is not verbal or even formal.”
This is a form of contemplative prayer as Thomas Merton envisioned it – “a ‘return to the heart,’ finding one’s deepest center, awakening the profound depths of our being in the presence of God.”
. . . the true contemplative is not the one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect or anticipate the word that will transform his darkness into light. He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. He does not demand light instead of darkness. He waits on the Word of God in silence, and when he is “answered,” it is not so much by a word that bursts into his silence. It is by his silence suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God (Contemplative Prayer).
So we do nothing; hold nothing; privilege nothing. We simply rest in the deepest, most sustainable silence with which we can make contact and trust it is sufficient.
Our trust makes the silence sufficient. And so the silence becomes the Word given by the Voice for which we wait.
Thus, the second part of Lesson 106 tells us what we are listening for: “hear your Father speak to you through his appointed Voice, which silences the thunder of the meaningless, and shows the way to peace to those who cannot see (W-pI.106.2:1).
That voice has one message: you are entitled to miracles (W-pI.106.4:8) and “the holy Word of God is kept through you receiving it to give away, so you can teach the world what giving means by listening and learning it of Him” (W-pI.106.10:1).
Thus does salvation start and thus it ends; when everything is yours and everything is given away, it will remain with you forever. And the lesson has been learned (W-pI.106:7:1-2).
The giving contemplated by this lesson is not the giving the world recognizes. It is not the slice of pie you give to your brother. It is not even noticing that your sister is hungry and would benefit from a piece of your pie.
Rather, it is the recognition that your brothers and sisters are guiltless – perfect creations of God – each a light shining in the darkness of confusion and fear. They are the brave and devoted responders to our call for love.
When we see someone in this way – as the bringer of salvation – it means that we are no longer projecting fear and hate onto them. That is the gift we give to them, and that is the gift they give us.
Lesson 106 calls us to become nonviolent activists for a Love which does not recognize differences. All we have to do is give ourselves wholly to the lesson. When we sit in silence, no matter how hard we wrestle with ego, a thousand other minds awaken, each joining their little light to our own (W-pI.106.9:2).
These brothers and sisters are us, a unity we become ready to learn when we no longer equate giving with losing. We only have one brother; we only have one sister. Lesson 106 invites us to remember this, and in remembering it, remember that it symbolizes that God’s Creation is One.