Lesson 55 of A Course in Miracles – and the lessons it reviews – is a chance to see again – to experience again – that we do not not know our own best interests because we do not know who or what we are. Our experience, filtered through the ego’s teaching lens, establishes that we suffer alone in a world of chaos. It is this we try to avoid, or try to fix, or try to reimagine.
What I see now are but signs of disease, disaster and death . . . The very fact that I see such things is proof that I do not understand God. Therefore I also do not understand His Son (W-pI.55.1:2-4-5).
The solution to this problem requires no activity on our part. Rather, it is a shift in thought. The only real problem we have is that we think we have a problem (T-26.II.3:3). The abstract solution is to remember that none of this is real because we are not separate from God. The specific solution is to be willing to change the way we think in order to see “the witnesses to the truth” (W-pI.55.1:7).
The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts . . . It is anything but a reflection of the Love of God and the Love of His Son. It is my own attack thoughts that give rise to this picture (W-pI.55.2:2, 4-5).
When we accept responsibility for these thoughts, we simultaneously become able to make contact with our “loving thoughts” which reform the deranged projections of hate and restore to the peace that is God’s intended gift for us (W-pI.55.2:6).
Do you notice ow the narrative voice has changed in the review lessons? In the regular lessons, the narrative Jesus addresses us directly – “you” have this experience, “you” think that, “you” must try to do this in order to heal. But now the text adopts the first person. “I do not know who I am . . . “(W-pI.55.5:2). This is a deliberate shift, and it accomplishes two things.
First, it begins to merge our self with that of Jesus. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus is both teacher and elder brother – a role model for how a separated Child of God follows the Holy Spirit to full acceptance of the Atonement. He is like us and we are like him, different only in our belief in the illusion of separation.
There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you (T-1.II.3:10-13).
So the lessons are helping us accept Atonement, in order to better realize our potential for holiness.
The other thing that happens in the narrative shift is that we begin to learn how ideas in A Course in Miracles can be expressed in many ways, and often the most effective is in language that is personal to us. Several main lessons near the end of the first fifty encourage us to try restating the lesson in the form of related ideas (Lesson 43 and Lesson 46). We are being given license to integrate them more fully into our experience and thus increase their helpfulness.
Why is that helpful? Because the more loving our thoughts become, the easier it is to turn those thoughts toward the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the fact that they are loving is evidence that they are flowing from and to and with the Holy Spirit already. Thus, we are taking the teacher who can translate our experience from fear and hate into the gentle light of Heaven.
It is easy to overlook the benefits of review periods. But these lessons are here for a reason; they are structured the way they are for a reason. When we merely glance at them, we don’t hurt ourselves. We merely fail to use time as constructively as possible. We are postponing salvation.
Is there not a better way? And is it not right before us?