Category Archives: Workbook Lessons

Lesson 023 – I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts

The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed. Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless. But this way cannot fail. Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see. It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.

If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do not want. There is no point in lamenting the world. There is no point in trying to change the world. It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. Here you are changing the cause. The effect will change automatically.

The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance. Each of your perceptions of “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts. One can well ask if this can be called seeing. Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?

You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker. You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause. This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone? Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now. Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate. For you will not be making them alone.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed. This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced. The first two steps in this process require your co-operation. The final one does not. Your images have already been replaced. By taking the first two steps, you will see that. this is so.

Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practise periods are required in applying today’s idea. As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you. As each one crosses your mind, say:

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about _______

Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.

In the practise periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked. Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same. You do not recognise this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today’s practise periods. We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see. When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.

Lesson 022 – What I see is a form of vengeance

Today’s idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. His own attack is thus perceived as self defence. This becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees. Otherwise, thoughts of attack and counter-attack will preoccupy him and people his entire world. What peace of mind is possible to him then?

It is from this savage fantasy that you want to escape. Is it not joyous news to hear that it is not real? Is it not a happy discovery to find that you can escape? You made what you would destroy; everything that you hate and would attack and kill. All that you fear does not exist.

Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time. As your eyes move slowly from one object to another, from one body to another; say to yourself:

I see only the perishable.
I see nothing that will last.
What I see is not real.
What I see is a form of vengeance.

At the end of each practise period, ask yourself:

Is this the world I really want to see?

The answer is surely obvious.

Lesson 021 – I am determined to see things differently

The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. This time, however, specific mind searching periods are necessary, in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they may arise. Five practise periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.

In the practise periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated that arouse anger in you. The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.

Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practise periods. Remember that you do not really recognise what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations or persons than on others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious”. This is not so. It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.

As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind while you tell yourself:

I am determined to see ________ [name of person] differently.
I am determined to see ________ [specify the situation] differently.

Try to be as specific as possible. You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect. If your perception is suffering from this form of distortion, say:

I am determined to see _________ [specify the attribute] in _________ [name of person] differently.