Purpose: "To feel the truth in you" (3:1); to experience your true Self.
Longer: Every hour on the hour, for five minutes.
- Say, "I am as God created me. I am His Son eternally."
- The remainder is again a brief meditation, in a slightly new format. First, lay aside your self-images-"the list of attributes, both good and bad, you have ascribed to yourself" (4:1). Then "wait in silent expectancy" (4:1) for your true Self to be revealed to you. Wait confidently, knowing that God has promised you this revelation. This waiting means holding your mind in stillness, empty of specifics yet filled with the expectancy that Who you really are will dawn on you. When your mind wanders, repeat the idea to return your mind to this expectant waiting.
This appears to me to be the first example of what I call Open Mind Meditation, which will become the Workbook's crowning method of meditation. In this technique, you consciously set aside your normal thoughts and beliefs, and then hold your mind in stillness, waiting for the truth to dawn on you. For examples, see the introduction to Review V, paragraph 12; and Lesson 189, paragraph 7.
Alternate: On the hour.
If you do not do the five minutes on the hour, at least repeat, "I am as God created me. I am His Son eternally." This practice of spending a minute or so with the idea, if you can't do the full five minutes, will apply to all the five-minute-per-hour lessons.
Frequent reminders: Frequently.
Repeat the idea, in original or expanded form.
Response to temptation: Whenever someone seems to irritate you.
Be certain to respond with, "You are as God created you. You are His Son eternally."
Encouragement to practice: You are urged to "make every effort to do the hourly exercises today" (5:8). "Each one you do," you are promised, "will be a giant stride toward your release" (5:9). If you let that line sink in, you will find that it is a tremendous motivator to practice. That line also means that this lesson is another of the Workbook's giant strides (the first ones were 61 and 66). This is appropriate because "I am as God created me" is the Workbook's premier lesson. It is repeated in 110, 162, and all through the twenty-day Review VI.
This lesson continues with the thought introduced yesterday: "Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought;-you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself" (W-pI.93.7:1). The Course places a significant emphasis on this single idea. It is the only idea used as the main theme of more than one lesson; it is the lead thought of this lesson, Lesson 110, and Lesson 162. It was introduced in the Text (T-31.VIII.5:2). It is a subtheme in Lessons 132 and 139, and Review VI has us repeating every day for twenty days, "I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me." You sort of get the feeling that Jesus wants us to get this idea and get it good.
Read over the first paragraph of this lesson and you will see just how important this idea is in the Course's curriculum: it is called "the one idea which brings complete salvation" (1:1).
So. Why is this single, simple idea so very important? Just this: our entire "problem" lies in our belief that, even if God created me whole and complete, somehow I have screwed that up. Somehow I have lost it, blown it, destroyed it, or corrupted myself. "I am as God created me" asserts that none of this is true. God created me whole, and "I am as God created me." I am still whole. I am still holy. I am still sinless and guiltless.
To think that we can change what God created and corrupt it is the height of arrogance; it asserts that our power is greater than God's, that we can un-create what He created. If God created us wholly loving and wholly lovable, then we are still that, no matter what we think, no matter what we may believe we have done. We are not what we made of ourselves; we are still what God created. "If you remain as God created you, you must be strong and light must be in you" (2:2). So we "stand in light, strong in the sinlessness in which [we] were created" (2:6). That is the truth about us, and the Course is all about undoing any belief we may have that contradicts it and denies the truth.
Today's practice, once again, asks for "the first five minutes of each waking hour" (3:1) as times in which we attempt to feel the truth in ourselves, and to reach the Son of God in ourselves. This practice of five minutes each hour, begun yesterday, is going to continue for another sixteen lessons through Lesson 110, so get used to it. This is probably the most intense extended practice the Workbook demands; after Lesson 110 it settles down to a morning and evening period with shorter hourly remembrances. As you will see, nearly all of these eighteen lessons from 93 to 110 are variations on the theme of reaching the Christ within, the true Self, me as God created me. Realize how important this is, and make a real effort to do the hourly practices, rearranging your day as necessary if you can. Remember, though, that yesterday's lesson told us that we may not want, or even be able, to do this, and if our motivation is not so high, it suggested that we at least spend one minute per hour reviewing the idea for the day.
Recognize also that the Workbook would hardly include eighteen lessons on the same basic theme and format if it expected you to "get it" perfectly in the first one. Getting in touch with our one Self takes practice, and that is what the lessons are for. The Text refers to the benefits of practicing "the mechanics of the holy instant" (T-15.II.5:4) even when you don't actually "feel the truth in you" (3:1) every time; practicing the mechanics, going through the motions as it were, is what brings the reality of the holy instant closer every time we do it. It asserts your willingness to receive the grace God wants to give you; it breaks down your resistance, which is the only thing keeping the one Self from your awareness.
The closing words of the lesson emphasize the importance of this practice:
Make every effort to do the hourly exercises today. Each one you do will be a giant stride toward your release, and a milestone in learning the thought system which this course sets forth. (5:8-9)
So join me in a serious attempt to do as these lessons tell us to do. Remember the admonitions of the introduction to the Workbook (italics are my emphasis):
It is doing the exercises that will make the goal of the course possible. (W-In.1:2)
You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true. (W-In.8:3-6)
Do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required. (W-In.9:4-5)