God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.
Purpose: To tune into and identify with the part of your mind where God's Voice is always speaking to you.
Longer: Four times (more if possible), for five minutes.
This is yet another meditation exercise, like Lessons 41, 44, 45, and 47. After closing your eyes and repeating the idea (not mentioned today, but standard), go into the meditation. Again, I find it helpful to think of it as having three aspects:
1. Sink past the cloud of frantic, insane thoughts that chokes the surface of your mind. Sink down to the part of your mind where stillness reigns, where you are truly at home, and where God's Voice speaks to you. Sinking down to this part also means listening to this part.
2. Draw your mind back from wandering by repeating the idea.
3. Above all, hold in mind the attitude that this is the happiest, holiest thing you could do, and that you are confident you can make it, because God wants you to.
Frequent reminders: Very frequently.
There is a range of options, which go from practicing under limiting circumstances to the ideal form of practice. This range applies to all the lessons:
1. Repeat the idea with eyes open when you have to. 2. Repeat it with eyes closed when possible. 3. Whenever you can, sit quietly, close your eyes, and repeat the idea. Make this an invitation to God's Voice to speak to you.
"God's Voice speaks to me all through the day." Yes, It does! It may seem like wishful thinking to you when you say this sentence, but it isn't. God's Voice really does speak to us all through the day, every day. "The part of your mind in which truth abides [i.e., the right mind] is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not" (1:2). We aren't usually aware of this communication, although we could be. Our consciousness simply isn't tuned in.
It's like a radio signal. Here in Sedona we have a radio station called KAZM ("chasm," cute, huh?). KAZM is in communication with my radio all through the day, but I may not have my radio tuned to that station. The Holy Spirit is in communication with my mind all through the day, but I may not be tuned in.
There is another part of our mind that carries on the busy-ness of this world. That is the part we are mostly aware of. I'll label it "wrong mind" so we can tell the parts apart. This part really does not exist, and the part tuned in to God (right mind) is really the only part there is (2:2-3). Thus, speaking of "parts" of our mind is really just a helpful fiction.
The wrong mind is an illusion. The right mind is real. The wrong mind is frantic, distraught, filled with a chattering madhouse of "thoughts" that sound like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. The right mind is "calm, always at rest and wholly certain" (2:1). The right mind is what Lesson 47 spoke of when it said, "There is a place in you where there is perfect peace" (W-pI.47.7:4). In this place, "stillness and peace reign forever" (2:5).
We can choose which voice to listen to, which "part" of our mind to attend to: the frantic voice or the peaceful Voice. Does it seem hard to believe that there is a place in you that is always perfectly peaceful, like the eye of a hurricane? But there is. I found it hard to believe, but when I began looking for it I began finding it.
Often when we first try to find this place, the other voice shrieks so loudly that it seems we can't ignore it (as the lesson instructs us to). Just the other day someone was telling me how when they sat in meditation, the onset of peace was so frightening that they had to jump up and get busy with something. Isn't it weird that we find peace so unacceptable? Sit for a few minutes trying to be peaceful and something inside you is screaming, "I can't stand it!" That's the frantic voice. "Try," the lesson says, "not to listen to it" (2:4).
It's worth the effort! That place of peace is there in all of us, and when we find it—ahhh! I still have some days when I can't seem to stop the yama yama of my mind (as Werner Erhard calls that constant mental chatter), but the times when I sink into the peace beyond my thoughts are increasing, for which I am very grateful. You simply have to stop your activity to find it; you can't find it without sitting down, quieting down, and shutting down for a while. The world is far too distracting otherwise, at first.
Eventually we can learn to find this peace any time, anywhere, and even to bring it with us into chaotic situations. At first, however, we need to act out the stillness in order to find it, closing our eyes on the world, going past the stormy surface of our minds and into the deep, calm depths, asking God's Voice to speak to us.
One more thought. You might think, from this lesson, that if God's Voice speaks to you all through the day, it must be easy to hear it. Wrong. The ego's voice is characterized here as "raucous shrieks" (4:3), "frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds" (4:4), and "constantly distracted" (1:4). Listening to God's Voice, at first, is like trying to meditate in the middle of a riot. It's like trying to compose a new tune while a rock band is tuning up. Or like trying to write a careful letter when three people are shouting different things into your ears. It's hard work. It takes focus and concentration. It takes, above all, willingness. "The Holy Spirit's Voice is as loud as your willingness to listen" (T-8.VIII.8:7).
You have to be willing to tune out that other voice. The shrieks of the ego don't just happen without our volition; they do not stem from some malevolent demon trying to frustrate our efforts to hear God. They are our own unwillingness taking form; that's all. We've spent eons turning on the noisemakers in our own minds. We have to start going around and choosing to turn them off.
So hearing the Holy Spirit isn't something that happens overnight—read about it today, start being "divinely guided in all I do" tomorrow. No. It's not that simple. In fact, in the Text, Jesus himself says that learning to listen only to that Voice and no other was the final lesson he learned, and that it takes effort and great willingness!
The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice That calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God's Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons. (T-5.II.3:7-11)
So, let us begin today to learn this so-very-important lesson. Let us listen.