I will begin with some more of Ken’s thoughts on Review III’s Introduction, here goes:
“Jesus lets us know we may not be able to do this as strictly as he sets it forth here, and that is all right if we cannot. I recall some twenty-five years ago meeting a spiritual eager beaver who decided after receiving ACIM that he should leave his profession and family, and retire to a remote location. Only there, he reasoned, could he practice and study the Course without being encumbered by the daily demands of his life at home and office. He unfortunately missed the point. ACIM is not meant to be done in the desert, mountain top, or anywhere else you would exclude yourself from the world. It is generally meant to be done as part of your normal day. What this was before you started the Course should be the same as now, for that is where you need reminding that worldly distractions have no hold on you unless your mind chooses to have them do so. Thus re read Jesus’ words addressing the issue of external changes:
“Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers….It is most unlikely that changes in attitudes would not be the first step in the newly made teacher of God’s training….There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. By far the majority are given a slowly evolving training program, in which as many previous mistakes as possible are corrected (M-9.1:1,4,6-7).”
If things of the world distract you from God of Jesus, it is not because of the world, but because you do not want to be reminded of Them or Their peace. The workbook’s mind-training program, again, allows you to get in touch with the resistance that seeks always to protect the ego’s thought system of separation. It is helpful to see how quickly you may try to blame external circumstances for what is your own mind’s mistaken choice.”
Ken writes in response to 9:1-2 where at the end of the second sentence, Jesus states, “without applying what you learned to them”:
“This is where Jesus tells you: “I understand what you are doing. Do not judge yourself, and for your own sake stop excluding me and my message because it will not make you happy to continue to do so.” You do not have to pretend you are an outstanding student of ACIM because you do the lessons faithfully. Being faithful does not mean meeting the half-hour or hourly obligation, but applying the daily thought whenever you are tempted to be upset. If you are truly vigilant, you would see yourself upset almost every minute, for there is always something you believe is intruding on your peace. When you fail to apply the thought to your upset, you learn to forgive yourself for once again choosing the ego over the Love of God. This constitutes the faithful application of the lessons and the meaning of forgiveness.”
I will stop there, that’s enough for today from Ken.
It is all about forgiveness, bottom line, period.
Learning to forgive ourselves when we forget to practice, learning to forgive ourselves for everything we perceive, forgive everyone who may appear to hurt/offend/anger/enrage/irritate us. Ken reminds us on a repeated basis throughout his eight volume Journey through the Workbook that we practice Lessons 5 and 23. “I am never upset for the reason I think” and “I can escape the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” Simple, not easy, however, as Jesus admonishes us Himself.
We practice, sure, we’ll falter, we’ll fail. I will falter, I will fail. I will make it all real, all this mess I call my identity and my life and my story.
As Ken writes above, I don’t have to pretend I am an outstanding student of ACIM. It matters not at all how long I have studied ACIM, it just doesn’t. Am I practicing in this instant? Am I remembering I am as God created me? Am I remembering I can always rest in God?
Am I remembering that any and all sense of urgency I experience is my listening to the ego…again and again and again?
Have a lovely day!