I see nothing as it is right now.
We are moving back and forth between “seeing” as an activity of the physical body in the physical world and “vision” as an action of spirit in the real – imperceptible to the physical eye – world. The goal of these early lessons is to help us recognize this process, to identify when we are seeing one way and to choose another.
This morning, coming back from the field and forest, I passed a fir tree. Against the full moon – gently blurred in a bower of cloud – each needle was perfectly illuminated, sharp and distinct, unmoving in the cold air. I stood for a long time watching, my mind ranging as it does on these walks.
The world presents these beauties to us – pictures of perfection, of glory, of grace. You can’t photograph it or even write about it really without removing yourself from the fullness of the experience. God is there in those moments, fully present, fully willing to be seen and known. If you will accept the gift (ask yourself how to accept gifts, you know how to do this, it is inherent in what you are) then you will learn that you have always had it.
ACIM Lesson 9 is a wonderful exercise in acknowledging that we’re clueless, that we don’t understand. As always, this is itself an undoing. As we look about our lives – the room we are in, the road on which we drive, the institution at which we teach, the people with whom we interact – we are being asked to consider the possibility that we are completely mistaking all of it. For many of us, even cracking this door a little will be too shocking, too unsettling.
But don’t fight that! Remember that in these lessons there is nothing to get right. We’ve already passed the midterm and final exam. All we have to do is bring them into application in a random way, excluding nothing in particular and including nothing in particular. That’s it. The rest will be handled by God.
And, indeed, one of the joys of this lesson – for this student anyway – is the degree to which God cheerfully does handle the rest. To stare deeply at an orange or a fish tank or a dog or the moon beyond a tree and accept that we are not capable of seeing the Truth is to invite a new, a radical experience. Remember, the Truth is there. We aren’t called to add it or define it or understand it. Its accessibility is contingent on nothing but our willingness to let God show it to us.
So look around. Accept your confusion. Ask to be enlightened. And wait in joyous faith for the answer God has already given you.