Lesson 307 • November-3

Conflicting wishes cannot be my will.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Practice suggestion: This exercise requires writing, so if you would like to do it, please get out paper and pen. Choose a situation in which you are feeling some degree of unloving feelings toward someone.

1. Put a #1 towards the upper left of your paper, as if starting a list. Label #1 "My will to attack." Under this heading, list all the unloving things you feel an impulse to do in this situation. Be as honest and as uncensored as you can be.

2. After finishing that, put a #2 on the page, and label it "My will to love." Under that heading, list all the loving things you want to do (either mentally or physically), the loving impulses that are somewhere inside you, perhaps obscured by your attacking impulses.

3. Then put a #3 below this, and label it "My feelings of conflict." Under this list the feelings of conflict that are engendered by having both sets of impulses in you. Look back and forth between #1 and #2 and try to get a sense of how you feel about being so divided inside, about both love and attack contending within you.

4. Then put a #4 on the paper and label it "My separation from God." Here, list the sense of conflict with or distance from God that arises in you from the inner conflict between #1 and #2.

5. Then write a #5 and label it "My feelings of peace." Here, imagine that #2 is your only will, the only thing you truly want. #1 is not what you really want, because once you get it you don't feel genuinely happy. You discover that you don't want it as much as you thought. While imagining that #2 represents your one true will, feel the lack of inner conflict, the wholeness, and the peace with yourself implied in that idea. Note what feelings arise in you and write these under #5.

Commentary

"There is no other will for me to have" (1:2) except the Will of God. No other will exists. The idea that there could be something—the devil, myself, even a part of myself—that is opposed to God is the root idea of separation. Trying to "make another will" (1:3) is futile; nothing exists outside of God, the Ground of all being. Trying to make a will other than God's is the source of pain (1:3); pain is the false witness to the attempt.

If no will but God's exists, then "conflicting wishes cannot be my will." The apparent experience of mental conflict I feel, the mental war between the Jekyll and Hyde within myself, must be an illusion and cannot be what I want. I must learn to accept that the desires in me that seem to be in conflict with my true Self are not real, and do not contain any truth about me. They do not mean I am depraved or hopeless. They mean nothing at all.

I have no alternative.

If I would have what only You can give, I must accept Your Will for me, and enter into peace where conflict is impossible, Your Son is one with You in being and in will, and nothing contradicts the holy truth that I remain as You created me. (1:5)

In simple terms, God created me; I did not. What I am is not the result of my independent choice. I am as God created me. I have no choice in the matter. Total peace is impossible until I accept this as the truth, and let myself fall back into what is so, putting an end to my fight with reality. Let me end the war; let me surrender to my Self.

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