Purpose: To experience your real thoughts, which you think with the Mind of God.
Longer: Three times, for five minutes.
- Repeat the idea as you close your eyes. Then add four to five related thoughts (remember the instruction in letting related thoughts come that you received in Lessons 42 and 43).
- Then repeat the idea again and say, "My real thoughts are in my mind. I would like to find them."
- Then employ the same meditation technique you were taught in Lessons 41 and 44. Again, it is helpful to think of it as having three aspects:
- Sink down through the obscuring layer of your senseless, unreal thoughts; reach past that to the eternal, limitless thoughts you think with God.
- When your mind wanders, draw it back. It will help if you repeat the idea.
- Above all, hold a certain attitude in mind. Confidence: Don't let your worldly thoughts tell you that you can't make it. You can't fail, because God wants you to make it. Desire: Reaching this place in you is your true heart's desire. Holiness: Approach it as you would a holy altar in which God and His Son think in perfect unison. "Remind yourself that this is no idle game, but an exercise in holiness" (8:7).
Frequent reminders: Ideally, spend one to two minutes.
Repeat the idea. Then step aside from your usual unholy thoughts and spend some time reflecting on the holiness of your mind. Think about how holy it must be if it thinks with the Mind of God.
The lessons are trying, in a way, to cause extreme disorientation in us. Our real thoughts "are nothing that you think you think, just as nothing that you think you see is related to vision in any way" (1:2). If my thoughts aren't real and what I see isn't real, what do I have to hold on to? Not much at all. This can seem quite frightening, almost what it might be like if I were one of those characters in a suspense thriller who is being attacked by someone trying to drive them insane, causing them to believe that they are hallucinating and imagining things that are not there.
Actually, although the attempt to break our mental orientation is similar, the Course's intent is just the reverse. It is trying to drive us sane, not insane. We already are insane. We are hallucinating and imagining things that are not there, and the Course is trying to break our obsessive belief in their reality.
Underneath the protective layer of delusion we have laid over reality is a wholly sane mind thinking wholly sane thoughts and seeing only truth. Our real thoughts are thoughts we think with the Mind of God, sharing them with Him. Thoughts do not leave the mind, so they must still be there. Our thoughts are God's thoughts, and God's thoughts are eternal. If these thoughts are there we can find them. We can push our feet down through the mushy ooze of our thoughts and find solid bedrock. We may be almost totally out of touch with these original, eternal thoughts, thoughts completely in accord with the Mind of God, but God would have us find them. Therefore we must be capable of finding them.
Yesterday we were seeking the light within ourselves, a very abstract concept. Today we are seeking our own real thoughts. That brings the abstract a little closer to home; not just "the light" but my own thoughts, something that is part of me and representative of my nature.
What would a thought be like that was in perfect harmony with the Mind of God? That is what we are trying to find and experience today. And if we are honest, we will have to admit that the thoughts of which we are mostly aware are not in that league at all. Our thoughts are too riddled with fear, too uncertain, too defensive, too anxious or frantic, and above all too changeable to qualify as thoughts we share with God.
A thought we share with God must be one of complete harmony, absolute peace, utter certainty, total benevolence, and perfect stability. We are seeking to locate such a thought-center in our minds. We are seeking to find thoughts of this nature within ourselves.
Once more we practice the quiet sinking down, going past all the unreal thoughts that cover the truth in our minds, and reaching to the eternal that is within us. This is a holy exercise, and one we should take quite seriously, although not somberly, for it is a joyous exercise. Within me there is a place that never changes, a place that is always at peace, always brilliant with love's shining. And today, O God yes today, I want to find that place! Today I want to touch that solid foundation at the core of my being and know its stability. Today I want to find my Self.