Lesson 328• November-24

I choose the second place to gain the first.


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: Ask for guidance about some situation facing you today. Listen with a quiet, receptive, open mind. You may find that what you hear feels different from your will, from what you want in this situation. If so, try to consider that perhaps what you heard is your will. Consider that this is your true will, which you have lost touch with, coming to you in a particular form.

Commentary

The lesson is saying that when we consider choosing to join our will to God's Will (1:5), it seems like some kind of loss, a submission to something outside of ourselves. It seems like taking "second place." It seems subservient, or submissive. And in our mistaken identity as egos, we feel that the only way to have autonomy is to make ourselves independent from God and from the rest of His creation.

We are seeing things upside down (1:1). All that we find by asserting our independence is "sickness, suffering and loss and death" (1:3). We are like a branch trying to become independent of the vine. If we are cut off from the vine, we die. Our identity is not lost by joining with the vine; it is found, because we are not something separate. We are part of God and part of His creation, and only in joining with that willingly can we discover our true Identity. "Our will is His" (1:6).

We choose to "submit" to God's Will (which seems like taking second place) because, in joining with Him, we arrive in first place: one with the Will of the Creator of all things.

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