Some thoughts from Ken in response to 9:4-10:1 that I found helpful this morning:
“The problem is that we do not want to seek Him, because we do not want to find Him. We seek instead to retain this shabby image of Christ’s Self. The purpose of these exercises – indeed, the purpose of ACIM – is to teach us how lost we are when separated from our Self. Through letting go of grievances – against others and ourselves – we acknowledge our Identity. The memory of Christ dawns on our forgiven minds and we are found.”
In response to 10:2-3, he writes:
“This calls for the recognition we made a mistake, and that our reality is with Jesus, above the ego’s battleground of conflict and death. We look down with him upon the wrong-minded thought system of graven images, and see everything differently, realizing the world has no effect on Who we are. The value of these images as protectors of our specialness disappears into their own worthlessness, leaving only the Self that is the true Image of God.”
As we practice, “Today we make a great advance to truth by letting idols go, and opening our hands and hearts and minds to God today.” (10:4), Ken writes:
“If I am to open my hand, heart, and mind to God, I need to reject what the ego has made as substitute. We thus focus on the fear of losing our individuality, as well as the valued thought system of specialness. The ego had us close our minds to the truth; now we open them and gladly greet our Self. Christ has come to replace the ego, and idols have given way to God.”
Finally, in response to 11:1, Ken shares:
“Before we greet someone with a grateful heart and thankful words, we first must realize how ungrateful we are. Remember, we find truth by undoing illusion, so these thoughts should not be used as mantras or affirmations to cover our specialness. These statements are truth’s reflection, to which we bring our shadowy illusions. We thus need to be aware of our ego’s perceptions, and then go to the truth in our minds for help.”
I am realizing, more often and more keenly, that I must look at the darkness in my mind as opposed to what I have always done, suppress, bury, submerge, deny, disregard the guilt that bubbles up in my awareness on any given day. I must remember Lesson 21 where Jesus indicates that the slightest irritation masks intense rage, goodness!
I am finding it less challenging to do so as I understand or get that Jesus embodies all the characteristics of a Teacher of God which He exemplifies throughout ACIM.
He is loving, kind, patient, gentle, etc.
I am focusing of late on open-mindedness and open-heartedness and Jesus references this today.
It is my singular focus. It enables me to remember/realize/acknowledge that I am in my own self-created classroom and Jesus in NOW my Teacher. Sure, I struggle with accepting His help, but I am no longer pushing the ego down into my subconscious by reciting the lesson for the day in a robotic fashion.
It just doesn’t work, but ah, the willingness to look at my own darkness with less fear, with Jesus’ hand in mine, allows me to me less terrified of peace, meaning less terrified of relinquishing this insane individuality I know and often hate as Gayle Bartlett.
Have a lovely day!