"Everything I want DONE NOW
is suspended BY Spirit Who asks us to exercise patience.
The Spirit’s use of NOW is the practice of patience. "
The Ego’s Use of Now
Today my Lesson reads,
“The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.
He undoes it at the same level on which the ego operates,
or the mind would be unable to understand the change.”
It says change is part of undoing, of which the Holy Spirit is in charge. The level of change is the level of time. Everything of time changes.
He says that eternity is changeless. If the mind and spirit are creations of Love, of God, then the mind and spirit cannot change or BE changed because Creator’s Perfection is changeless and eternal. They remain as they were created eternally. This is what Teacher calls Protection, or the Laws of God that cannot be changed.
Time changes everything. The time level is the level of change. Undoing is a change. Then the undoing occurs at the change level. It seems to contradict the idea that changes must take place in the mind, but if the IDEA of time is in the mind, then it is IN THE MIND that the idea OF time changes, and therefore at the time level is this change to be seen. The change then is an effect, or experienced AS an effect of the change that takes place in the mind.
So it is good to see these principles in metaphors as it provides a way for us to understand that change IS inevitable. Even for all things of time is change inevitable. It is inevitable that the ego will one day no longer exist as a perceived reality and ruler of the mind. It is written that the ego contains the seeds of its own destruction. And so eventually the ego will be let go just as easily as it was accepted by the mind.
Now for my personal experiences, I developed this skin irritation on the neck and chest in the area of the throat and heart chakras. These are skin irritations that appeared suddenly one morning about 4 days ago. I understand that the body experiences effects of those changes that occur in the mind, and so the skin irritation is an effect of the purging of the mind of irritants. The question them becomes, “What are the irritants in me that are being made manifest in the body as a skin irritant, that itches, that enflames the skin and does not give relief?”
What is interesting is that this occurred days before this Lesson was Given. And so I can see that whatever changes have been introduced to my mind and thinking occurred way before this Lesson would be revealed to me. It is always in hindsight that one can see the Lesson much clearer. Yet He says that with eyes to see and ears to hear one can see what Great Comforter is correcting, or undoing, or healing, WITHIN the experience.
So today I investigate the idea of time. For time is where, He says, the undoing takes place. The ego’s level is the physical level, the level of time. The ego’s level is the level of man-made laws, of time ideas, and all that is of the world of bodies. The undoing, it says, takes place there, although as I mentioned the time level is IN THE MIND. So in the mind where change takes place can be seen AS AN EFFECT in the time level.
In a very basic way, man wants to put up a parking lot. So he cuts down the trees and destroys the forest to put a hospital with modern amenities and a large parking lot for all who will come to visit this hospital and park in this parking lot. They rip the earth apart and begin the process of building. The building will be used to care for sick and or injured bodies. I am not saying it is not needed. I am just using this as an example. When the concrete is poured for the parking lot, it effectively seals out all possibility of the earth’s plants returning there. Yet life always finds a way. And so eventually a plant begins to grow in the cracks of the concrete. This is a simple example of undoing. Man attempts to cover the earth in concrete, effectively sealing out life forever. Yet life being eternal, and concrete being not eternal, produces an example of the undoing. Life returns to the place where previously there was an attempt to shut it out forever.
Now alcoholism is another good example of undoing at the ego’s level. To drink and be unable to stop makes for addiction to a destructive habit. However, as it is said in A.A. this destructive behavior is PRECEDED BY an idea or thought or notion. The notion, whim, assumption is firmly planted in the mind early on that “drinking is what one does to ease the concerns of the mind”. And so one experiences a euphoric feeling when taking a few sips of alcohol. Eventually the body builds up a tolerance and then it requires MORE to have the same effect, the effect being to quell an inner discontent. Eventually there is not enough alcohol in the world to quell the discomfort, and even the discomfort FROM drinking becomes a reason FOR drinking more. One then finds oneself with a terrible addiction that is destroying the body and brain, but does nothing for the inner discontent. When, however, as A.A. suggests, the discontent can be addressed once the alcohol is put down, the undoing begins, AT THE LEVEL on which it began.
Now time is of the ego, as I previously said. Then time ideas must be undone at the time level. A.A. has a time idea that can undo time ideas. It is called, “One day at a time”. It is the practice of NOW. However, the ego wants to USE NOW for ITS purpose and does so to justify that “If God says NOW everything can be corrected, then I request ALL MY TROUBLES BE DONE AWAY WITH NOW!”. Clearly, this is ego’s abuse of the concept of now.
In the ego’s use of NOW, we develop IMPATIENCE. In Spirit’s use of now, we develop patience. Where ego demands things be done NOW, we discover that it is an irritation with current circumstances from which ego attempts to escape. It wants the lesson to be over NOW. It does not want to wait. It wants things its way NOW. When the ego uses the concept of NOW to justify its impatience, it will say, “If I sell my house in one day, this is God’s Will.” We develop OUR idea of how things will be, and then foolishly assign this insane practice to the Creator. And the house sells in one day and the mind is convinced this is “God’s Will”.
The ego’s use of time causes it to be irritated. When Spirit is to undo time ideas, the ego WILL BECOME IRRITATED. These irritations in the mind then come up, and the effects OF these irritants coming up produce an effect in the body as a skin rash. The Spirit is undoing the ideas of time in my mind, the ideas of all I want NOW to be undone. Everything I want DONE NOW is suspended BY Spirit Who asks us to exercise patience. The Spirit’s use of NOW is the practice of patience. Since the ego does not know what patience is, because patience is of God, and time is of the ego, it becomes irritated IN the Spirit’s use of NOW, of Its use of time. Spirit’s use of time places us in a state where we WANT THINGS TO BE DIFFERENT but all we attempt fails. Or what we want we manufacture and then convince ourselves it was “a miracle I sold my house in one day”.
Today the ego’s use of now promotes a great deal of impatience in my thinking. Impatience is a form of temptation, where one has a deep unconscious desire to escape some unpleasant circumstance. It is IN THIS PLACE OF UNPLEASANT CIRCUMSTANCE that Spirit leads us for the purpose of exercising Its Use of time, or its use of NOW. Where Spirit’s use of now is implemented, we discover what Spirit terms SURRENDER or a letting go. We may still experience a great deal of discomfort, but only because we have not developed a firm foundation in Spirit’s use of Now.
So we come back to the A.A. idea of one day at a time, and see the wisdom of such a principle. Each day a being does not take a drink moves him closer to the breaking of that addiction. First there is the physical liberation, whereby all the alcohol is removed from the body. Then there is the psychological conditioning that must be undone, surrendered, released. Each day one does not GIVE INTO THE TEMPTATIONS of the mind moves the mind one step closer to the liberation FROM that addiction. Eventually, what A.A. terms “a psychic change” occurs in the mind, whereby the addiction and temptations are REMOVED. In the Course, Spirit calls this “the final step” that Creator takes or gives when one has surrendered TO the process of undoing.
There are many, many layers of temptations through which one will pass. The important part of the process of undoing is to remember the ego has a use for the concept of NOW just as Spirit does. In Spirit’s use of Now, we develop discrimination and time cannot intrude. No matter what the idea of time is, it is undone by us not serving its demands. In ego’s use of time there will always be a panic, a need to take care of something NOW, and a need for a solution NOW. This promotes the perpetuation of the time idea, and strengthens the irritations in the mind.
My lesson is showing me that the skin irritation is an effect OF the mind’s desire to have things a certain way NOW. In REALIZING this, in the awareness that this is what the mind is experiencing, IS its release. At the time level, one may run to a doctor and seek a “solution” as prescribed. Yet if He says the undoing is done at the level of the ego, then as I do not run to a doctor, I trust this irritation WILL PASS. For it is also the EFFECT OF THE IRRITATED SKIN that would promote a need to have it corrected NOW, TODAY. And yet even a doctor might say, “Take this for a week and it should clear up.”
So today I exercise the Great Comforter’s use of time as It undoes in me all ideas of time I think must be corrected TODAY. And I exercise the use of patience, or one day at a time, to break free of the ego’s use OF time.
If the effects of ego’s use of time perpetuate time, then so must the effects of Spirit’s use of time end it.
And in this lesson I welcome the END OF the ego’s use of NOW.