A Course in Miracles Lesson 20: I am determined to see.
An important thought in this lesson is this line:
Your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear.
That is very hard for us to accept. We believe we can definitely tell the difference between happiness and sadness. Yet the Course is teaching us that these are two sides of the same coin.
What we consider to be “good” is a result of the world and our body being in a certain state where our needs and desires are met. It’s a conditional sort of happiness that can evaporate as soon as conditions change: our body (or the body of a loved one) gets sick; our financial security is threatened, people disappoint us, and so on.
When we’re willing to accept that we really can’t tell the difference between joy and sorrow - then we open ourselves to a new way of seeing. One not driven by the ego mind.
The Course teaches us that “your decision to see is all that vision requires.”
So our practice consists in reminding ourselves that we do want to see. And now we allow a different teacher to guide our journey.
Lesson 20: I am determined to see.
W-pI.20.1. We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for undertaking them, minimal effort has been required, and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked. This approach has been intentional, and very carefully planned. We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. The salvation of the world depends on it. Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.
W-pI.20.2. This is our first attempt to introduce structure. Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. You are now learning how to tell them apart. And great indeed will be your reward.
W-pI.20.3. Your decision to see is all that vision requires. What you want is yours. Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for an indication that our goal is of little worth. Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? And can the world be saved if you are not? God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. In your determination to see is vision given you.
W-pI.20.4. The exercises for today consist in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. Today’s idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want.
W-pI.20.5. Repeat today’s idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour today, attempting to do so every half hour. Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember. The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person or event that upsets you. You can see them differently, and you will. What you desire you will see. Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.