Thursday, December 31, 2015
Lesson 365: “This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.”
The purpose of the Course is to teach us to be gentle with ourselves, both gentle with a strong arm of discipline. We need to have both. The ego is always giving us a raw deal. We always get a strong arm of punishment from the ego. This may come in all different ways. But the most excruciating way is when it comes as our continual mental exercise. The ego gives us constant badgering and beating with strong language and biting criticisms. Our ego is never ever being gentle. The ego is always gushing over giving us the harsh response of attack in every way.
We get a mind full of hate and discord and rage and resentment. The list goes on and on. The ego is always at the helm of our mental outlook and making it known that if we do anything it deems not good we will get a response of terror. We never have a moment of the ego being gentle because the ego tells us that gentleness is for the weak. The ego looks down on weakness because the ego looks down on everything. The criticism of the ego is a constant struggle internally because it is a biting, mean cruelty. The ego thinks this is justified so we often let it go and force ourselves to change something so we can be more perfect in the ego’s eyes. Then we won’t seem to deserve such cruel treatment if we show that we can be perfect, the ego’s perfect that is.
The ego spends all of its awareness on the experience of our suffering. The ego is never kind and gentle, this is totally contrary to its way. The ego stops at nothing to give us the worst case scenario in response to who we are. This is why the ego never lets us surrender our insane attraction to pain- the thrashings of the ego.
The Course says that we can learn gentleness. We want to know deeply how soft and easy and comfortable this gentleness is. The gentleness never pressures us. We can learn to live in gentleness because this is the nature of God. The gentleness is the way that we express and live in our love for ourselves and other people. This gentleness is a quality of this love.
What we need to do is unlearn our old ideas of what gentleness means as many of us equated that with weakness. What we want to do is understand that gentleness is also coupled with discipline. This is the way we experience and live through our gentleness and still within that carry the edge that helps us progress forward. We want to forgive ourselves and the world and everyone in it as this is our gentleness. What we want to do also is practice so we create from our own habitual behavior a strong consistent discipline. This is not contrary to the gentleness, it rather strengthens and defines the gentleness so we can move in the world with a strong clear will- a discipline with the heart of God and we do it with a gentle presence and peace. We extend love as our gentleness and the act of extending to anyone is one manifestation of our discipline. Both are part of the same whole and are necessary pieces to each other.