A Course In Miracles Lesson 27
A Course In Miracles Lesson 27 states:
Above all else I want to see.
The word “see” here means to have true vision. True vision is an inner knowing that does not need eyes. What we see with our eyes is usually the result of some misunderstanding because it is not the outside world that informs what we see, it is how we think that determines what we see. A Course In Miracles has been suggesting to us for several lessons that we do not understand what we see and there is more to what we believe to be in front of us. We are currently conditioned to see violence and vengeance everywhere because our thoughts are preoccupied with the past. Our minds fixate on self-made mental images that reiterate pain and frustrations of past events. And this generates anger and a desire for revenge, (a belief that violence will bring us peace).
A Course In Miracles Lesson 27 wants us to make changing our perspective away from violence and vengeance our highest priority in life. Having true vision (seeing with clarity) is not something we hope will happen. It is not something we want very much. No, it is what we want above all else. Releasing painful thought patterns and living in deep creative peace is our destiny. It must come to pass. Our life’s purpose is to locate peace and joy. All our activities and goals that do not connect with this single aim will have no meaning and will lose motivation.
This declaration extends beyond average determination. It confirms all day long today that seeing clearly is your single most important desire in this world. You want clarity above all else because clarity brings peace. You want to see yourself and others accurately as you and they really are. You do not want to live in misperceptions. You want to know the truth about what went wrong with this person or that situation. You want out of the cycle of frustration our current way of seeing (understanding) this world causes us.
You may not yet feel an experience of strong power in your conviction today regarding how intense your determination is to pursue clarity. It may not feel like you care enough to achieve what this concept is promising because of how often your mind wanders away from the idea being presented. But your inability to focus is not a problem. We are not expected to instantly have powerful conviction all at once. It is a way of living, of constantly choosing a way of thinking that extends the roots of our determination. Our alignment with seeking peace and joy is healthier if cultivated slowly rather than in intense bursts seeking to secure in the moment that which will be established more deeply over time.
The level of commitment presented here in today’s lesson is built as one would build any lasting strength or skill- slowly, daily, as a personal practice. There is a reason there are 365 lessons in this book. It is inviting us to make the ideas part of our daily life so that the ideas become our new normal. Large and intense experiences of passionate loyalty may feel exciting for a time. But highs always cycle down to their lows. Approaching the development of conviction as a daily practice is an effective way to mediate that high/low cycle experience. We will meet our practice wherever we feel ourselves to be. Sometimes high, sometimes low. We will not speculate on our “progress” based on our emotions. We will see our emotions as the weather of the day, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny. And we need not worry if we do not “feel” strong conviction. How we feel will shift and change. More valuable to us will be our genuine effort to return attention (however faint) again and again to the understanding that above all else we want to see truly.
I want to connect with clarity and grace. I want to put aside my impulsive and misguided conclusions about this world and see reality for what it really is. If my mind is a lake, I want to calm the choppy waters disturbing an inherent reflection of what is there to be reflected. I calm my mind and see clearly from stillness. This I want more than anything else because this state will bring forth all the reasons I am struggling to do any and all other actions. Calming my mind will lead to what that mind is pursuing in all its motion. All my pursuits need only recognize this one most effective pursuit.
Small enduring effort to connect with this intention will accumulate into a substantial conviction. No need to strain to summon a large conviction. As you take up this activity of developing a daily relationship to peaceful thoughts and peaceful encounters, be content to start wherever you are. It is a deeply satisfying activity to gather daily peace. Even if it seems a storm comes and blown all our efforts away. Picking up the scattered pieces of our peace of mind is our single most useful task regardless of conditions.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 27 also brings our attention to a psychological obstacle we may have with the concept for today. We are informed that we may believe a pursuit of true vision (the pursuit of living a spiritually connected life with the Creative Field) requires a sacrifice on our part. We may believe that to be connected with the Field of true purpose and meaning requires us to give up something we enjoy. Sacrifice is a belief system claiming that in order to gain, I must suffer loss. Nothing could be more untrue than this. Giving up a joy in the hopes that doing so will bring more joy is a profoundly misguided belief system. It is an insane belief system.
God wants our joy. God does not know what your particular path to joy is because you are a creative movement of new discoveries. Whatever brings you joy, follow it, discover it, and expand Reality in doing so. But be very vigilant and honest about recognizing joy vs a willful deception. Often we hold stubbornly to something we think should make us happy when our experience lacks joy. Above all else, seek what brings you peace and joy. Wherever there is a feeling of guilt or obligation there is no peace or joy. Walking a spiritual path has no cost to anyone. There is nothing to give up that you will not be ready and glad to release. If you are not ready or glad to release something you think you “should” release, know that you are given time to investigate that conversation with yourself. Do not apply force to pry an attachment from yourself. Do not engage in the psychology of sacrifice. Be curious about why your attention is being held as it is and bring space to whatever the turmoil may be.
Sacrifice psychology only leads to more feelings of guilt, shame, and sacrifice. What is like itself leads to more of itself. Engaging in sacrifice psychology will only build more of itself. I do not need to live an austere life in order to find the abundance of joy I seek. Functioning from obligation will not foster free, creative expansion. Do not persist under motivations of obligation or guilt. You do not owe anyone anything at all. It is only a matter of time before you will disappoint someone by not behaving how they want you to behave. Obliging them at the expense of your true life’s movement will always result in pain.
How might we bring our understanding of a situation we are in to a more enjoyable mental experience? Do we need to put an activity down? Or do we need to reframe our understanding of the purpose of that activity to better enjoy it? Regardless of if we need to stop or just adjust, ACIM asks us not to proceed in any activity while feeling guilty, trapped, or resentful.
How can we release ourselves from the resentment we feel towards those who have hurt us? We can recognize that the injury is done. There is no undoing it. To keep focusing on the pain of it keeps the pain in place. To let the injury fade in meaning, to let go of our mental grip on the past event, restores the brightness of the world around us. It is disconcerting to render something painful as meaningless. Meaninglessness is frightening because it is true meaning we seek above all else. When we are wronged by someone it is up to us to determine how long we will carry that pain and when we will render the past event meaningless and irrelevant to our life right now.
Locating in ourselves how to enjoy this world is your primary purpose in life. Being happy is not selfish and it causes no one any harm. True vision has no cost to anyone. Pursuing clear vision leads only to grace and wellness. There is no risk and we will not lose anything by pursuing it.
Today’s lesson is intensive like no other lesson has been thus far. It asks us to recall the affirmation of the day every 20 minutes. That is quite attentive. Give it a try. Bring today’s idea to everything you do today. Make it a mantra that repeats all the way until you fall asleep. This is a big energy day. Start from where you are and have fun with discovering how often you forget and how often you remember your deepest desire and truest purpose in life. Above all else- you want to see. If your thoughts carry you off into a maze of focus on some task or relationship to the exclusion of Spirit awareness, just reach to remember the Creative Field whenever you can. We are developing the skill of remembering our Source more and more often. This is the first of many many days to come where we will deepen our connection to our non-physical greater self. Like a runner at the starting line, have fun improving your speed and accuracy, and conviction.