Purpose: To introduce you to your true function (this is the first lesson to deal with the topic of function). You are here to bless, and to make no demands. This blessing involves first acknowledging your own holiness, and then seeing others in its holy light. Try to see today's practice periods in this way, as practice in the reason you are here.
Longer: Four times, for three to five minutes.
- Repeat the idea and, for a minute or so, look about you and apply it to the objects you see, saying, "My holiness blesses [this chair, that window, this body, etc.]."
- Close your eyes and apply the idea to any person you think of, saying, "My holiness blesses you, [name]."
- For the remainder you may continue with this second phase of practice, go back to the first, or alternate between them.
- Conclude by repeating the idea with eyes closed and then once more with eyes open.
Frequent reminders: As often as you can.
This can take one of two forms:
- Repeat the idea slowly.
- Apply the idea silently to anyone you meet, using his or her name. Really try to do this. It takes real presence of mind to repeat the idea right when you meet up with someone, but it can be done. Or it can be done after the interaction is over. The Workbook will repeat this practice in several future lessons, which shows the importance it has. This practice has the power to transform an ordinary encounter into a holy encounter.
Response to temptation: Whenever you have an adverse reaction to someone.
Immediately apply the idea to him or her ("My holiness blesses you, [name]"). See this as a real act of blessing this person with your holiness. This will keep your holiness in your awareness, while your anger will blot it from your mind.
There is a principle stated in Chapter 13 of the Text that applies to this lesson: "To perceive truly is to be aware of all reality through the awareness of your own" (T-13.VI.1:1). Or, in terms a bit closer to our lesson for today:
Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both. You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others. (T-1.III.6:6-7)
Unless we recognize our own holiness we will not see the holiness of all of God's creations. What we perceive is, after all, merely the reflection of how we see ourselves. Conversely, how we perceive others shows us how we must be seeing ourselves.
In this lesson we are told that we see "the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here" (1:1). Our job is stated simply but with great profundity: "Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness" (1:2).
Have you ever met someone you would consider very holy? I have. The most remarkable thing about them is that they seem to see everyone as holy. When you are around them, you even feel holy yourself! They seem to be seeing something in you that normally you cannot see; their seeing it draws it out of you. And just exactly that is why we are in the world; just exactly that is what all of us are here to do. We are here to see the world through our own holiness, to draw out of everyone around us their native holiness, to perceive them in such a way that the power of our perception lifts them up out of self-doubt and self-loathing into an awareness of their own magnificence.
We have this power!
As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it. The power to work miracles belongs to you. (T-1.III.1:6-7)
"Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement" (T-1.III.3:3). This is the plan by which we, empowered by God's Spirit within us, can save the world. We release one another by perceiving each other through our own holiness, creating a resonance within them as their own holy nature, long suppressed, responds to our perception of them.
Thus are you and the world blessed together. No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. (1:3-4)
"My holiness blesses the world"; that is what I am here for. I am here to bring blessing to the world, and the message I bring is: so are you. No one loses; everyone gains. What an incredible outlook this is!
This undoes the entire idea of sacrifice because it is a message of total equality. We are here to acknowledge each other, and when we do we have achieved our glorious purpose. Any other way of looking at things winds up demanding sacrifice; somebody, somewhere, has to lose. But with the vision of Christ we can look out at all the world and proclaim, "They are all the same; all beautiful and equal in their holiness" (T-13.VIII.6:1).
"Your holiness blesses him by asking nothing of him. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands" (2:6-7). Oh, that we might learn the lesson of asking nothing, making no demands! Have you ever, even perhaps if only for a brief time, been with someone who was so complete they made no demands on you? They had no need they were, overtly or covertly, asking you to fill. They loved you just as you were; they accepted you without expecting anything from you. Isn't that what we all want in our relationships? Isn't that what unconditional love is?
Well, the way to have what you want is to give it away. This is what all of us are destined to do, and will do eventually, even if it seems beyond us now. Aware of your holiness and your own completion, you will stand and bless the world.
Your holiness is the salvation of the world. It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed along with you. (3:1-2)