Introduction Lessons 181 – 200

You'll recall that we have twice been told we're now in preparation for the second part of the Workbook. This introduction is telling us a little more specifically how the next twenty lessons are meant to prepare us.

First of all, the overall goal is to strengthen our commitment and unify our goals into one intent.

The immediate goal of our practicing these lessons is experience of the peace, liberation, and freedom that unified commitment can bring; holy instants when we have a foretaste of right-mindedness.

The method of making such experience available is a focus on the remaining blocks to it, with the intent of, even if just briefly, lifting those blocks.

If the overall goal is to firm up our willingness to commit ourselves more strongly to the Course's path, then obviously the Workbook is recognizing that at this point, about halfway through the Workbook, our willingness is probably still a bit irresolute, and our commitment less than complete. "You are not asked for total dedication all the time as yet" (1:2). There are probably a few of us that are quite relieved to hear that. I think it is likely that, if the Course is not yet asking for total, continual dedication at this stage, it would be unwise and counterproductive to be asking it of ourselves. We have to bear in mind those two little words "as yet," indicating that "total dedication all the time" lies somewhere in our future; it is where we are being led. But we should not berate ourselves for not having that total dedication now.

What is being asked of us is to practice. The experience of the holy instant at this point in our spiritual growth is not expected anything more than "intermittently" (1:3). Notice how that idea is repeated several times in these three paragraphs. We are lifting the blocks "however briefly" (2:2). We aim to go past our defenses "for a little while each day" (3:4). We are practicing, each day, to bypass one major block to the awareness of love's presence, just for a short time. We aren't supposed to be worrying about making this our permanent mental state—not yet. It is the cumulative experience of these holy instants that will provide the motivation to make that total dedication; we aren't sufficiently motivated without that.

It is experiencing this that makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth. (1:4)

Your motivation will be so intensified that words become of little consequence. You will be sure of what you want, and what is valueless. (2:5-6)

No more than this [little while each day] is asked, because no more than this is needed. It will be enough to guarantee the rest will come. (3:5-6)

In Chapter 13 of the Text we are admonished: "Be you content with healing" (T-13.VIII.7:1). And as we progress through the Workbook we need to be content with practicing—same thing. Our experience of grace at this stage may still be intermittent, just a little while each day; that's okay, and we can be at peace with its being so. Just that little while each day will be enough to guarantee the rest will come, so there need be no panic nor discouragement. Just do the practice and full enlighten­ment will surely follow; that is the promise being made here.

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