Lesson 236 • August 24


Lesson 236

I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.

Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in a separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the “What Is” section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.


If the “secret of salvation” is that “I am doing this to myself” (see T-27.XI.1:1), the reason that is “salvation,” or good news, is that it means there are no inimical external forces imposing themselves on me. It’s just my own mind screwing up. And if that is true, there is hope. Because nobody is running my mind but me! Therefore, I can turn things around. My mind is my kingdom, and I am king of my mind. I rule it; nobody and nothing else does.

Yes, it’s true that “at times, it does not seem I am its king at all” (1:2). At times! For most of us it seems more like most of the time. My “kingdom” seems to run me, and not the other way around, telling me “what to think and what to do and feel” (1:3). A Course in Miracles is a course for kings; it trains us how to rule our minds. We’ve been letting the kingdom run wild instead of ruling it. We’ve made the problem, projected the image of the problem, and then we’ve blamed the image for being the problem. As the Text says, we’ve reversed cause and effect. We are the cause, we made the effect, and now we think the effect is causing us (see T-28.II.9:2). So we need a course in “mind training” that teaches us we are the rulers of our minds.

The mind is a tool, given to serve us (1:4-5). It does nothing except what we want it to do. The problem is that we have not been watching what we’ve asked the mind to do. We’ve asked for separation, we’ve asked for guilt, and being guilty, we’ve asked for death, and the mind has delivered as asked. We’ve given it over to the wild insanity of the ego, and the result is the ego’s world we live in. So we need to see that, stop doing it, and give the mind’s service to the Holy Spirit instead.

That raises a question for me. If I am supposed to rule my mind, how is giving it to the Holy Spirit doing that? To give the mind to the service of the Holy Spirit is said, here, to be the way “I thus direct my mind” (1:7). The answer is actually quite simple. There are only two alternatives: ego or Holy Spirit, fear or love, separation or union. The Holy Spirit is not a foreign power ruling over me, He is the Voice of my own Self, as well as the Voice for God. He is the Voice of both Father and Son because Father and Son are one, with one Will. The call to rule my mind is not a call to total self-reliant independence, the king as me-all-by-myself. That is the ego version of ruling the mind. The call to rule my mind is a call to total dependence, to total Self reliance; reliance upon the Self that is shared by us all.

I have the choice between the illusion of independence, in which my mind is actually enslaved by its effects, and real freedom, in which my mind is given to its divinely intended purpose, serving the Will of God. Who can deny that our experience of being independent minds is actually an experience of slavery, with our “kingdom” telling us what to think and do and say? Let us today realize there is an alternative, and gladly give our minds to God. Let us enter with willing hearts into the process of retraining our minds to think with God.