Purpose: To be determined to have vision and so to receive vision.
Exercise: Two per hour (preferably on the half hour).
- Repeat the idea. How you repeat it makes all the difference. The lesson asks you to do so "slowly and positively" (5:1), remembering that you are determined to exchange your present state for one you really want. (In fact, you may want to try saying it this way just once right now, and see if that makes a difference.)
- If you find at some point that you have forgotten to practice, "do not be distressed…but make a real effort to remember" (5:2) from then on.
Remarks: This lesson marks a major shift in the Workbook. If the Workbook has seemed easy up until this point, that was intentional. It cannot stay that easy, however, and reach its goal of the total transformation of your thinking. So beginning now it will give you more of a structure within which to practice. This will include more frequent practice, set times in which to practice, and longer practice. Today's lesson includes the first two of those. How you respond to this structure is crucial. If you see it as an imposition, as an outside will forcing itself on you, you will either actively or passively rebel against it. Instead, try to see it as the expression of your true will. You want all the things the Course offers you. And you will only get them through having a trained mind, and you will only get that through doing the practice. Therefore, doing the practice today is your own true desire.
Response to temptation: Whenever you become upset about a person, situation, or event.
Repeat the idea as an emotional remedy. You may want to specify it: "I am determined to see this situation." If you really want to see this situation differently, you will.
Today's lesson does not really ask all that much of us: Every half hour, remember to repeat the words "I am determined to see." If we are studying the Course this is something we probably truly want.
You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. (2:3-5)
Why then all the foofaraw about our feeling coerced, resentful and opposed to the instructions?
Because "this is our first attempt to introduce structure" (2:1), and it will not be the last. Our undisciplined minds have a built-in resistance to structure. So what if it's good for us? Actually something we want? If someone tells us to do it in a certain way, at certain times, we rebel. We drag our feet. We don't like being told what to do or how to do it. Our mind is "totally undisciplined" (2:6) and wants to remain that way to protect the ego's vested interests.
The practice asked is extremely simple. So try it. You'll probably be amazed at how often you forget, how the thought of doing it may flash into your mind only to be postponed because it isn't convenient at the moment, or because "it isn't really important," and then forgotten completely. This is why the Workbook approaches the whole idea of structure with great caution; it knows there will be resistance, and is trying to make us realize just how important this deceptively simple practice really is. This is why it says: "Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember" (5:2).
"Your decision to see is all that vision requires" (3:1). If we could really get this lesson, in other words, and truly mean what we are saying, the job would be done. Vision would be ours. "In your determination to see is vision given you" (3:8). This is not a trivial lesson; it is the core of everything the Course is teaching. So let's put our heart into it today! Let's do this joyfully, even-dare I say?-religiously, every half hour. Let's repeat the idea "slowly and positively" (5:1). Let's "make a real effort to remember" (5:2). Let's apply it "to any situation, person or event that upsets" us (5:3).
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. (5:4-6)