Friday, October 24, 2003


One of the turning points in my life came one day while doing the lessons from A Course in Miracles. Of course, I can no longer be certain exactly which lesson it was, but it was fairly early in the lessons and I think it was lesson 37, "My holiness blesses the world." That lesson begins with:

"This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here. Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness."

The instructions for the day were for four exercise periods of three to five minutes each, during which you would first repeat the idea of the lesson ("My holiness blesses the world.") and then spend a few minutes blessing anything (or anyone) you might see or think about, with your eyes open or shut. (Thinking to yourself, for example, "My holiness blesses this chair.") The lesson also suggested that "It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his name as you do so."

It is that last suggestion that changed my life, because as I went through the day, my holiness blessed the checker at the grocery store, the person who held the door for me (or for whom I held the door) at the post office, the people driving past me on the street, and everyone else I thought about during the day. And everyone changed that day, and no one has been the same since.

It was as though a light had been turned on, or a curtain raised, and I could see people for the first time. Before, I could see their faces, hair, arms, and legs, but now I felt I was seeing the real them, that I could sense their inner thoughts and inner essence. And everything I saw was good. They were all kind, loving, gentle people, true children of God. True, one of them might seem rude or indifferent at the moment, but that was a slip, a mistake, which might happen because they were busy or distracted or preoccupied with some troubling thought. Fundamentally, they were all good people, and I loved them all.

And I'm happy to say that, when I am in my "right mind" (a phrase from the Course), I can still see only the "Inner Light" in those around me (a Quaker phrase), and not the darkness. And I still like to go through the day at peace, surrounded by loving people, and blessing them all with my holiness.

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