Lesson 73 • March-14

I will there be light.


Practice Instructions

Purpose: Another attempt to reach the light in you, which will show you the real world.

Longer: Two times, for ten to fifteen minutes.

I see this lesson as very similar to Lesson 69, where you spent a beginning phase reflecting on how much you want to find the light in you, and then, in the ending phase, entered a meditation in which you tried to actually reach that light.

  • Spend several minutes thinking about how salvation is your true will, what you really want. (To prepare yourself, I recommend rereading paragraphs 6-9, frequently inserting your name while you do so.) Think about how you truly want to reach the light in you. Think about how salvation is your will, not an alien purpose thrust upon you. Since reaching the light is your will, you can be confident in your attempt to find it today. Carry this attitude of "reaching the light is my will" into your meditation.
  • Then, "with gentle firmness and quiet certainty" (10:1), tell yourself, "I will there be light. Let me behold the light that reflects God's Will and mine."
  • The rest of the practice period is a meditation in which you try to reach the light in you. Hold your true will in mind and let it, joined with God and your Self, lead you to that radiant light at the center of your mind. Remember to respond to wandering thoughts with the idea, and most of all, remember to stay in touch with your will to experience the light.

Frequent reminders: Several per hour.

Say, "I will there be light. Darkness is not my will." If you say it as a genuine "declaration of what you really want" (11:1), you will get more out of it.

Response to temptation: Whenever you are tempted to hold a grievance.

It is important to immediately say, "I will there be light. Darkness is not my will." Remembering that it is not your will to have grievances will release your grip on them.

Commentary

This is a lesson about our will, "the will you share with God" (1:1). I'd like to focus just on what is specifically said in this lesson about our will.

First, it is a will we share with God. That is, what the Course calls our will is identical to God's Will. We want the same thing God wants for us, because we were created as extensions of His Will; what else could our will be except the same as His?

Your fatherhood and your Father are one. God wills to create, and your will is His. It follows, then, that you will to create, since your will follows from His. And being an extension of His Will, yours must be the same. (T-11.I.7:6-9)

Our "true" will (which by the Course's definition is our only will) is not the same as the ego's wishes, the manifold variety of thoughts that seem to conflict with God's Will and with each other. From the Course's standpoint these are not our will, just ego wishes. A desire to attack, no matter how strongly we may consciously identify with it, cannot be our will; it can only be an idle wish of the ego. Our will represents our Self as God created us; anything that seems to come from a different source is not will but wish. What this means in practical terms is that our ego thoughts are not part of our true Self, and in reality we do not will them.

"The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it" (1:3). Our will therefore must be realized; nothing can oppose it. We will have what we truly want because our will has all the power of creation, while the ego's wishes have no power at all. We exist in the illusion that our ego's wishes are almost all-powerful, and what we may think of as our higher will often seems weak by comparison. This is simply not true. It can only appear to be true for a limited time; eventually, inevitably, the will of our Self must be done.

"Your will is lost to you in this strange bartering" (3:1). Our conscious awareness is out of touch with the will of our Self. Our ego's need for grievances has created shadow figures in our minds, "figures that seem to attack you" (2:2), images from the past that we superimpose over our perceptions in the present, so that we react to people in the present as if they were these figures from our past. This traffic in grievances has blocked our real will from our awareness, covering it with the wishes of the ego until those wishes seem to be our will. We are no longer aware of what it is we really want.

"Can such a world have been created by the Will the Son of God shares with his Father?" (3:2). The obvious answer is "no." How could we have willed a world of attack and judgment? This is obviously not something anyone would want. The world we see reflects the ego's wishes, not our will.

"Today we will try once more to reach the world that is in accordance with your will" (4:1). This is the "real world," as the Course defines that term. There is a world in accord with our will. We are not seeing it now, but we can.

"Yet the light that shines upon this world reflects your will, and so it must be in you that we will look for it" (4:6). The real world reflects our true will, what we truly want in our eternal Self. The light that shines on it is in us, and we can find that world by looking within ourselves for the light.

"Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light" (5:4). Forgiveness lets go of grievances, thus removing the dark spots on our mind that are being projected as black blotches of darkness on the world, just as a dust mote in a movie projector throws a black spot on the screen. Forgiveness allows us to see the world as our Self truly wants to see it; it reasserts our will.

"Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. Such is your will in truth" (6:5). It seems silly to say something like "Suffering is not happiness," and yet we often treat it as if it were happiness. We seem to prefer our pain over risking something new; at least we know how to suffer, and we are oddly afraid that we won't know how to function if we are happy. But we don't really want suffering; how could we? How could anyone? Our will, in truth, is happiness.

"And so salvation is your will as well" (6:7). If we want happiness, we want salvation, because salvation is happiness.

Salvation means happiness. We want to be relieved of suffering; we want to be happy.

It amazes me sometimes how powerful a message this can be. Most of the time it seems as if I have a split mind; part of me wants to be happy, and part of me sabotages my every effort. Isn't it peculiar how common is this thought: "It's too good to last"? Or "Nothing lasts forever"? Or "Into each life a little rain must fall"? Something in us tells us that we can't be happy all the time, that we don't deserve it, or even that we couldn't stand it. Ridiculous ideas! The will of our true Self, with all the power of creation behind it, is that we be happy. Therefore—we will be. It must be so.

You want to accept God's plan because you share in it. You have no will that can really oppose it, and you do not want to do so. (7:2-3)

I really do want the Will of God; my will is the same as His! I want to accept salvation. There is no part of my will that opposes it; only idle, paltry ego wishes seem to. So I can't miss; I can't fail. My will is not different from God's.

Above all else, you want the freedom to remember Who you really are. Today it is the ego that stands powerless before your will. Your will is free, and nothing can prevail against it. (7:5-7)

The power of your will and mine can bring light to this world if we simply choose to assert it. We simply realize what we truly want, and say, "I will there be light." And there will be light. Just as God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. Because our will is creative, as His is.

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