Our current goals:
- Widen the horizons of our vision
- Take direct approaches to uncover the blocks that keep our vision narrow
- Lift those blocks, however briefly, in order to experience the sense of liberation that comes when the blocks are removed
- Intensify our motivation for freedom
We have spent several days focusing on awareness-life-presence. Awareness-life-presence is our essence. It is the essence of all things.
Today’s lesson asks us to take one step beyond focusing on awareness-life-presence. It asks us to claim awareness-life-presence as our identity. We are to claim our essence as what we are.
The lesson tells us that the cause of all problems is the denial of our true identity. In other words, the cause of all problems is identifying with thought. You can see that’s true, if you want to. Look back at your memory. Every time you have acted mean or unjust with another person, it was because you identified with the thoughts that were in your mind at the time. If the thoughts said, “She’s lying to me,” you reacted as if your friend was a liar. Etcetera.
Because identifying with thought is the cause of all problems, identifying with awareness-life-presence is the answer to all problems.
How do you know if you are identified with thought or awareness-life-presence?
You know which you are identified with by how you give attention and how you act.
Today’s lesson calls identifying with thought “a game you play in which Identity can be denied.” And then it says, “You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you. Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.”
The last line of that paragraph reminds me of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The highest interpretation of that rule is to live from your identity as awareness-life-presence. Or, as we said in lesson 187, be enlightened now.
There is a big difference in the way identification with thought acts and the way identification with awareness-life-presence acts. For example, let’s imagine that a friend asks me a question, and I answer truthfully, but my answer isn’t what she believes. She becomes angry and says, “You are a liar!”
At this point, defense thoughts are likely to be triggered in my mind. If I am identified with thought, I will say whatever the defense thoughts are telling me to say. If I am identified with awareness-life-presence, I will silently watch the show of defense that is happening in the mind, but I will remain in my seat as the watcher. Those words will not pass my lips. I also will not give them the energy of belief and agreement. I will stay seated within as watcher, merely observing and waiting for this temporary energy to pass.
The lesson says, “Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers to rest?” The lesson could also ask, “Are you ready to rest? Are you ready for the peace of God?”
Focusing on awareness-life-presence is an important first step, but we fall short of living our truth if we continue to speak and act from identification with thought. It is time to go beyond simply focusing on essence. It is time to live from it. Live as it. Living as awareness-life-presence is embracing truth and accepting it as what we are.