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Lesson 44: God is the light in which I see
In Lesson 44 we learn that light and seeing - as we’ve come to understand those concepts - are actually their opposites. True seeing comes from within.
This lesson builds on the prior lesson (God is my source - I cannot see apart from him).
And what we’re learning here is that the light in which we see isn’t light in the way we normally understand it. Photons emitted from a source such as a light bulb or the sun and then picked up by receptors in our retina.
The light referred to here is not a visible light. It’s not a light seen with eyes.
This line helps make it clear: “In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without.”
What blocks us from “seeing” this light (and I put the word seeing in quotes because what we think of seeing is, again, not something to do with our eyes). So what blocks us from “seeing” is all our thoughts.
Every thought we have has something to do with this world. With our body or other bodies. And it is these thoughts that hold us back.
In fact, it is these thoughts that lead us to believe that we see with our eyes and that light is what enables our eyes to see. What we call light is really darkness. Because it keeps us rooted in our thoughts.
The practice exercises in this lesson have us move beyond all our thoughts. Sinking beneath them (or rising above them - whichever image you prefer). And beyond all our thoughts is the true light. The light of our Source. The light of peace.
Lesson 44: God is the light in which I see.
W-pI.44.1. Today we are continuing the idea for yesterday, adding another dimension to it. You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light. You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation. Creation and darkness cannot coexist, but light and life must go together, being but different aspects of creation.
W-pI.44.2. In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without. You do not see outside yourself, nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. An essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.
W-pI.44.3. Today we are going to attempt to reach that light. For this purpose, we will use a form of exercise which has been suggested before, and which we will utilize increasingly. It is a particularly difficult form for the undisciplined mind, and represents a major goal of mind training. It requires precisely what the untrained mind lacks. Yet this training must be accomplished if you are to see.
W-pI.44.4. Have at least three practice periods today, each lasting three to five minutes. A longer time is highly recommended, but only if you find the time slipping by with little or no sense of strain. The form of practice we will use today is the most natural and easy one in the world for the trained mind, just as it seems to be the most unnatural and difficult for the untrained mind.
W-pI.44.5. Your mind is no longer wholly untrained. You are quite ready to learn the form of exercise we will use today, but you may find that you will encounter strong resistance. The reason is very simple. While you practice in this way, you leave behind everything that you now believe, and all the thoughts that you have made up. Properly speaking, this is the release from hell. Yet perceived through the ego's eyes, it is loss of identity and a descent into hell.
W-pI.44.6. If you can stand aside from the ego by ever so little, you will have no difficulty in recognizing that its opposition and its fears are meaningless. You might find it helpful to remind yourself, from time to time, that to reach light is to escape from darkness, whatever you may believe to the contrary. God is the light in which you see. You are attempting to reach Him.
W-pI.44.7. Begin the practice period by repeating today's idea with your eyes open, and close them slowly, repeating the idea several times more. Then try to sink into your mind, letting go every kind of interference and intrusion by quietly sinking past them. Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it. It is merely taking its natural course. Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement, and slip quietly by them.
W-pI.44.8. While no particular approach is advocated for this form of exercise, what is needful is a sense of the importance of what you are doing; its inestimable value to you, and an awareness that you are attempting something very holy. Salvation is your happiest accomplishment. It is also the only one that has any meaning, because it is the only one that has any real use to you at all.
W-pI.44.9. If resistance rises in any form, pause long enough to repeat today's idea, keeping your eyes closed unless you are aware of fear. In that case, you will probably find it more reassuring to open your eyes briefly. Try, however, to return to the exercises with eyes closed as soon as possible.
W-pI.44.10. If you are doing the exercises correctly, you should experience some sense of relaxation, and even a feeling that you are approaching, if not actually entering into light. Try to think of light, formless and without limit, as you pass by the thoughts of this world. And do not forget that they cannot hold you to the world unless you give them the power to do so.
W-pI.44.11. Throughout the day repeat the idea often, with eyes open or closed as seems better to you at the time. But do not forget. Above all, be determined not to forget today.