And God Himself shall wipe away all tears.
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.
Practice suggestion: To make this lesson more personally meaningful, I have used it in a more specific form. First, pick someone whom you are judging. Then repeat:
And God Himself shall wipe away all tears
By giving me His world,
Which I will see when I cease to judge [name].
The title of this lesson is a quote from the Book of Revelation in the Bible, verses 7:17 and 21:4. We’ve all shed tears in our lives, some more than others. Back in the days when I believed in hell I used to wonder how God could wipe away my tears when people I knew and loved were in eternal torment. I used to wonder how God could be happy if most of His creatures got snatched by the devil. I guess wondering about that is part of why I don’t believe in that stuff anymore.
But how can God wipe away all our tears? When we look around with our “normal” (i.e., distorted by the ego) perception, it seems impossible not to shed at least some tears over the suffering and unfairness of life and death. The Course’s answer is that we will not be looking around with that kind of perception at all; we will be looking with a new kind of vision.
“Unless I judge I cannot weep” (1:1). How will He wipe away our tears? By removing all judgment from our minds.
We look on the world and we judge it. We judge it to be unfair, unjust, and unfriendly. We judge some to be victimizers and others the victims. Most of all, we judge it all to be real. If sin and suffering are real in the final analysis, then tears are inevitable. “But we have learned the world we saw was false” (2:4). Not real, but false. It is an illusion I have projected; it exists only in my mind. I cannot blame my suffering on it because the only one who has attacked myself is me. The only one who has been unjust is me. I am seeing in the world a reflection of what I believe I have done in relation to God and my brothers, and nothing more than that. When I learn to forgive the world, and to accept Atonement for myself, I will no longer see the world this way.
Jesus is speaking, it seems to me, from a high place, and he is including me in that place. I’m not aware of having learned the unreality of the world yet; the world still seems pretty real to me, and I still weep. The Course assures us that a part of our mind—the only part that has reality in truth—is already awake, and already wholly knows that the world we see is false. Jesus symbolizes that part of our minds that is awake.
This, however, I do know, based on the promises of the Course: I will see the world this way. There will come a time when
I cannot weep, nor can I suffer pain or feel I am abandoned and unneeded in the world. (1:1)
I can see it that way at any time I choose, in the holy instant, and I am learning to allow my perception to be transformed in accord with that vision, more and more each day.
If it seems hypocritical to repeat the prayer in today’s lesson, saying, “We have learned the world we saw was false” (2:4), reconsider that opinion. You may say, “But I don’t believe it, I haven’t really learned that; how can I say it?” Of course you don’t believe it! That is exactly why you are doing the lesson. If you believed it you wouldn’t need the lesson. Just for an instant, suspend your disbelief. Let yourself imagine how it would feel to know that all the ugliness of the world simply isn’t real, that it was nothing but a bad dream, an ugly acid trip, and that nothing really happened, nothing really was lost, and nobody was really hurt. Only the projected images died; the reality of life was totally unaffected by the dream. Let yourself slip, just for a moment, into that state of mind. Those little instants will be enough to take you all the way home.