I will not use the body’s eyes today.
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.
Of course this does not mean I will walk around with a blindfold on, crashing into things. I will not, however, let my sight stop at the physical. I won’t “use” the information of the eyes, I won’t depend on that.
Christ’s vision…has power to translate all that the body’s eyes behold into the sight of a forgiven world. (1:1)
There’s that word “translate” again. What I want to see, today, my Teacher, is a forgiven world. I want to see the truth behind all appearances. My function, the function of every Son of God, is that of a translator. We are here to heal the world by seeing it differently, and thus we also heal ourselves.
One of the chief components of that different vision is lack of judgment. No condemnation. No making wrong. No demand for outward changes. Seeing that everyone and everything is worthy of love, exactly as they are. No comparisons or evaluations, no making of differences, but seeing everything as part of one whole.
To forgive is to overlook. Look, then, beyond error, and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds. Accept as true only what your brother is, if you would know yourself. Perceive what he is not, and you cannot know what you are, because you see him falsely. (T-9.IV.1:2-5)
You do not know how to overlook errors, or you would not make them. (T-9.IV.2:2)
We are told to overlook error. Then we are told we don’t know how to do it. Instead, we are to turn to the Holy Spirit. It seems to me a fundamental lesson of the Course is “Don’t trust your perceptions.” Don’t use the body’s eyes. Don’t think that seeing begins and ends with physical sight and our own mental interpretations.
What we do as we go through the world is something like this: We perceive something. Our mind may interpret it, almost certainly will, and nearly always with some evaluation, some judgment. At that point, what we need to do is recognize that judgment is impossible for us, and just let it go. We abandon our perception. We don’t think of it as dangerous, or fearful, or sinful; we just recognize that it is meaningless (see M-16.10:7). That giving up of our own perceptions is the crucial step. “And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness” (M-16.10:9).
We step back and take what appears to be a very inferior position. We say, “I do not understand what this means.” This is the very first lesson in the Workbook, “Nothing I see…means anything” (W-1).
And then we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit. “I am willing to see things differently.” That’s it. If you get this far, you will become hooked, because God will answer that prayer. You will see things differently. Maybe not at once, not in that instant, but it happens. How? I don’t know! Understanding the how of the Atonement is not our job, not our function, but His.