Lesson 180 in the Workbook “To give and to receive are one in truth.” ends with the practice of a special case of giving and receiving:
Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone, and see how quickly peace returns to us. You might for instance, say: To everyone I offer quietness. To everyone I offer peace of mind. To everyone I offer gentleness.W -180.7:4 & 8:5-8
I found myself tempted to rush quickly over this simple exercise in case it worked! Imagine deserving the peace and love that we give to others! If we are honest we often spend our time judging, criticizing and being impatience with others because we believe that is what we deserve for ourselves.
Even if we are resistant to doing the exercise in a positive way there is enormous benefit in recognizing that if we give the “gift” of attack to others, it results in making us miserable. We immediately feel guilty attacking, even if we can seemingly justify our attack and even if lots of other people are on our side.
Over the holidays I had an experience of being in the thick of some family dynamics were someone was seen as being at the best unfriendly, but more likely deceiving, rude and out for their own self gain. I must admit that I was tempted to agree with this evaluation because there was so much support from close family. Having often in the past been the “black sheep” of the family it was tempting to give support to having someone else be in that role. But at what cost?
The cost would be loss of my inner peace because I will receive what I give. I will perceive myself consciously or unconsciously as being deceitful, rude and unfriendly. I will reinforce my mind’s belief that I deceived God and stole my individuality at the expense of oneness. Self gain at the expense of God is not a very friendly belief to reinforce and will of course lead to increased feelings of guilt.
So Lesson 180 is basically saying “how about trying the opposite of what you usually do? You know from experience that you hurt yourself by attacking other, so how about being kind to yourself by offering others gentleness?”
A simple exercise like this can reveal how our identification with the ego’s self concept, leads us to act again and again against our own best interests. It is surely in our best interests to reinforce our guiltlessness by offering kindness to others? We find the exercise difficult because we have chosen to protect our miserable self concept. Our wrong-minded self concept can only tolerate reinforcing differences, offering division and looking after self interests at the expense of others.
To give and to receive are one in truth. I will receive what I am giving now… think of what you would hold out to everyone, to have it yours… expecting to receive the gift you gave. And it will come to you in the amount in which you gave it. You will find you have exact return, for that is what you asked. W-108.8:2-8, 9:1-3
My last weekend on veterinary duty was a very busy one. I remember putting pressure on myself to finish off consulting so that I could start a surgical procedure. I remember finding the last few appointments very demanding and my attempts at moving along seemed to be met with endless questions that required more that my usual attention. I was offering to others and the situation disquiet and neediness. If I had offered patience, compassion and presence I would received the same and avoided being stressed, drained and worn out.
I remember Kenneth Wapnick saying in some of his lectures about not holding a thought in our minds about anyone that we would not hold about everyone including Jesus. His point I think is that, all minds are joined, and so for example holding a thought that you are inconsiderate means effectively I considerate everyone to be inconsiderate, including myself.
To give and to receive are one in truth.
I will receive what I am giving now.
I have repeated the above quote because in the second sentence I found it useful to substitute for the word “giving” the words: “choosing”, “asking for” and “wishing to learn”: I will receive what I am choosing now. I will receive what I am asking for now. I will receive what I am wishing to learn now.