Written by Mary Anne Buchowski
Despite having practiced it and taught it, I have never liked this lesson. It makes me responsible for everything that happens to me, and I don’t like that or really want to believe it. On the day we practiced this lesson, I awoke anxious from a very disturbing dream in which a woman was being tortured.
It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself…. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen. (Lesson 253.1:1,3-4)
So, I wanted this? So, I want “good” and “bad” to come to me? You can see why I’ve never liked this lesson! Even if I didn’t like the worldly part of it, I did like the heavenly part, and I wrote, “If my will is so powerful that it can do this, then it must be powerful enough to waken me to Heaven. This is what I want. I want salvation/freedom. I want happiness. I want peace, and “What you want is yours (from Lesson 20.2:3-5; 3:2). This is what I would bid come to me!”
I went through my day repeating the lesson, trying to take in its full––and hopeful––meaning, trying to focus on what I truly wanted. However, it was only in our evening quiet time where I succeeded and had an insight that changed my thinking completely. Here it is:
In Heaven, I am ruler, all-powerful, creating what I really want––more pure loving spirit. Here in this world, I am making, drawing to myself, what I want––or think I want. The question is, “What do I want?” If I see myself as sinful and as guilty, I will draw to myself punishment in some form or other. If I see myself only as God created me––“God’s Son is guiltless” (T-31.I:8:1; M-1.3:5 see also 13.I.9:1,6)–– I will believe that I deserve only “the happy things of God to come to me” (Lesson 285.1:1). I must remember what I want.
Most of all, I want truth. I know it; I feel it. The rest (freedom, happiness, peace) will come automatically if I only remember this and that, “I am in need only of the truth” (Lesson 251). I must “take a stand… side with truth and let illusions go” (Lesson 98.1:2-3). I must hold truth before me, like a standard behind which I walk. “[My] starting point is truth, and [I] must return to this beginning. (T-3.XI.10:2)!
Given that “What [I] want is [mine]” (Lesson 20.3:2), and I want truth, truth must be mine. When I was talking with Jesus on the day when we did Lesson 251 (“I am in need of nothing but the truth”), I told him that I realized that truth is all I need and want, and this is what I received:
Truth is yours, Mary. You need but deny the ego and its lies, the temptation to make illusions real. Do not play its game of sin. Be strong and faithful. Do not succumb to its dream of death. You are not a body. You are free, for you are still as God created you. Go in peace, Mary––in the peace that only truth can bring you.
I thought again about “My Self is ruler of the universe” and was reminded of this from “The Power of Decision” (T-21.II:2:3-5):
I am responsible for what I see.
I chose the feelings I experience,
and I decided on the goal I would achieve,
And everything that seems to happen to me, I asked for and received as
I had asked.
If I’m clear about what I truly want, that’s what I will ask for and receive. If I desire the truth, I will always receive something that is in line with the truth. Again, I came back to “What do I want?” In every situation, I need to ask, “What do I want?” Whenever I feel fearful or am in conflict, I need to stop and ask, “Is this what I would have in place of Heaven and the peace of God?” (Lesson 185.8:9) and then deny the ego and “choose again” (T-31.IX.3:2).
Through all my reflecting and journaling, “My Self is ruler of the universe,” a lesson that I had never liked, had become one of my favourites!
As I continued to think about it, I remembered this from the “What Is Sin?” section, which preceded these lessons:
The body is the instrument the mind made in its striving to deceive itself. Its purpose is to strive. Yet can the goal of striving change… truth can be its aim as well as lies.
If I take a stand for truth and direct my thoughts and actions toward striving for it, then truth will be mine; I will experience it. The next day’s lesson was 254, “Let every voice but God’s be still in me.” I was drawn to these words in the prayer:
I have no prayer but this: I come to You
to ask You for the truth. And truth is but
Your will, which I would share with You today.
In my morning quiet time, this came to me: “Truth is but love, Mary.” I was deeply touched by this, and it brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. If truth is the goal, the aim of my mind, then love is the goal. If I come to God to ask Him for the truth, then I am asking for love––the love that God is, and that I am, and that everyone is along with me. That brought me to Lesson 109, “I rest in God,” and this:
This thought has power to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything…. This is the end of suffering…. There is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself. (2:4-6)
So, if the same truth is in everyone, and the truth is love, then love is in everyone. The same truth is in everyone despite appearances, despite what the body’s eyes behold, which, as we saw in the “What Is” section, is always about deception. The other day, I wrote that I thought a door was opening in my mind. I think that, since then, I’ve been receiving powerful insights from the lessons. I think that it is the door to truth, to love, to God, that is opening. I have asked for truth––sincerely asked for it––and I think that it’s beginning to come to me, and for this I am truly grateful!
(Mary Anne Buchowski, Walking the Path blog, September 17, 2020)