It is impossible to see two worlds.
Purpose: To realize that you cannot have a little bit of this world and still see the real world, that you must choose one or the other. To make the choice for the real world by letting go of all value given this world. This is another of the Workbook’s giant steps (see 9:2).
Longer: Six times, for five minutes.
Today’s practice is extremely similar to the last two days, especially Lesson 128. Begin by repeating the opening lines: “It is impossible to see two worlds. Let me accept the strength God offers me and see no value in this world, that I may find my freedom and deliverance.” You are asking for God’s strength to uphold you and help you make a definitive choice of the real world over this world. Try to really mean this request. Then close your eyes and spend some time “emptying your hands of all the petty treasures of this world” (8:3). Then reach out for an experience of true perception, the kind of seeing which your eyes alone cannot see. Desire to see only the other world, the world of love. During this time, “wait for God to help you” (8:4). Trust that He will be there, helping you make the choice to value only the real world. While you wait, you may want to repeat, “Help me see only the real world.”
Response to temptation: Whenever you find yourself valuing anything in the world.
Remember that by valuing a little part of hell you are really choosing all of hell, and blocking out Heaven entirely. Say, “It is impossible to see two worlds. I seek my freedom and deliverance, and this [thing I feel attracted to] is not a part of what I want.” You will need to watch your mind carefully all day, because today you are watching not for disturbances and upsets, but attractions.
Today’s lesson is extremely uncompromising. The first two paragraphs are as clear a statement of the Course’s understanding of perception as there is in all three volumes. What we value we want to see, what we want to see determines our thinking, and what we see simply reflects our thinking. “No one can fail to look upon what he believes he wants” (1:6). Or, as it is twice stated succinctly in the Text, “Projection makes perception” (T-13.V.3:5; T-21.In.1:1).
On top of that, since we can’t hate and love simultaneously, we can’t project totally opposite worlds simultaneously. We project the world of fear or the world of love. And “the world you see is proof you have already made a choice as all-embracing as its opposite” (6:2). In other words, the world we see proves that our minds have made an all-embracing choice for fear. “Fear has made everything you think you see” (4:1).
As I said, this is very uncompromising. It does not allow for any part of this world to be excluded from the category of “projection of fear.” The world we see is
quite consistent from the point of view from which you see it. It is all a piece because it stems from one emotion [fear], and reflects its source in everything you see. (6:4-5)
If we try to exclude part of it from this portrait, maintaining that “surely this part is good,” we are trying to “accept a little part of hell as real” (11:1). It guarantees that the whole picture will be “hell indeed” (11:1).
On the other hand, the Course does not try to foster any rejection of the world. It tells us that only the part of it we look upon with love is real (see T-12.VI.3:2-3). Therefore we are urged to love all of it equally, and thus “make the world real unto yourself” (T-12.VI.3:6). Our attempts at salvaging “parts” of the world as real are mistaken in that they separate and make certain parts special, more loveable than the rest.
As we see it, through eyes of fear, this world is without any value whatsoever. Let us accept God’s Strength and “see no value in the world” (8:6). If we are willing to do this we will see another world, with sight that “is not the kind of seeing that your eyes alone have ever seen before” (9:4). “When you want only love you will see nothing else” (T-12.VII.8:1).
To be a little more practical for a moment: I have found the final words of this lesson to be an incredibly useful phrase in times of distress of all kinds: “This is not a part of what I want” (11:5). If I see only what I want to see, and I am seeing something distressing, let me affirm my choice to change my mind: “I don’t want this any more.” Although my application of it is still very inconsistent, I have seen this simple affirmation make separateness in a relationship evaporate. I have seen it make a sense of poverty evaporate. I have seen it change my body, and give it an energy I thought I had lost. I have watched it reverse impending illnesses. I recommend it highly to you all.