Beginning with today, we will have a series of review periods. Each of them will cover five of the ideas already presented, starting with the first and ending with the fiftieth. There will be a short comment after each of the ideas, which you should consider in your review. In the practice period, the exercises should be done as follows:
Begin, the day by reading the five ideas, with the comments included. Thereafter, it is not necessary to follow any particular order in considering them, though each one should be practiced at least once. Devote two minutes or more to each practice period, thinking about the idea and the related comments. Do this as often as possible during the day. If any one of the five ideas appeals to you more than the others, concentrate on that one. At the end of the day, however, be sure to review all of them once more.
It is not necessary to cover the comments literally or thoroughly in the practice periods. Try, rather, merely to emphasize the central point, and think about it as part of your review of the idea to which it relates. The review exercises should be done with the eyes closed, and when you are alone in a quiet place, if possible.
This is emphasized particularly for reviews at your stage of learning. It will be necessary, however, that you learn to require no special settings in which to apply what you have learned. You will need it most in situations which appear to be upsetting, rather than in those which already seem to be calm and quiet. The purpose of your learning is to enable you to bring the quiet with you, and to heal distress and turmoil. This is not done by avoiding them and seeking a haven of isolation for yourself.
You will yet learn that peace is part of you, and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are. And finally you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are.
You will note that for review purposes the ideas are not always given in quite their original form of statement. Use them as they are given here. It is not necessary to return to the original statements, nor to apply the ideas as was suggested then. We are now emphasizing the relationships among the first fifty of the ideas we have covered, and the cohesiveness of the thought system to which they are leading you.
Lesson 51 The review for today covers the following ideas:
1) “Nothing I see means anything.”
The reason this is so is that I see nothing, and nothing has no meaning. It is necessary that I recognize this that I may learn to see. What I think I see now is taking the place of vision. I must let it go by realizing that it has no meaning, so that vision may take its place.
2) “I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me.”
I have judged everything I look upon. And it is this and only this that I see. This is not vision. It is merely an illusion of reality, because my judgments have been made quite apart from reality. I am willing to recognize the lack of validity in my judgments because I want to see. My judgments have hurt me, and I do not want to see according to them.
3) “I do not understand anything I see.”
How could I understand what I see when I have judged it amiss? What I see is the projection of my own errors of thought. I do not understand what I see because it is not understandable. There is no sense in trying to understand it. But there is every reason to let it go, to make room for what can be seen and understood and loved. I can exchange what I see now for this merely by being willing to do so. Is not this a better choice than the one I made before?
4) “These thoughts do not mean anything.”
The thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything because I am trying to think without God. What I call “my” thoughts are not my real thoughts. My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God. I am not aware of them because I have made “my” thoughts to take their place. I am willing to recognize that “my” thoughts do not mean anything, and to let them go. I choose to have them replaced by what they were intended to replace. “My” thoughts are meaningless, but all creation lies in the Thoughts I think with God.
5) “I am never upset for the reason I think“
I am never upset for the reason I think because I am constantly trying to justify “my” thoughts. I am constantly trying to make them true. I make all things my “enemies,” so that my anger is justified, and my attacks are warranted. I have not realized how much I have misused everything I see by assigning this role to it. I have done this to defend a thought system which has hurt me, and which I no longer want. I am willing to let it go.