28. “Above all else I want to see things differently.”
Today we are really giving specific application to the idea of for yesterday. In these practice periods you will be making a series of definite commitments. The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. And we are still at the beginning.
You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, “Above all else I want to see this table differently.” In itself it is not important at all. Yet what is by itself? And what does “in itself” mean? You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at
all. You either see or not. When you have seen one things [sic] differently, you will see all things differently. The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.
When you say “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table, and open your minds to what it is and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experiences of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.
You will not question what we have already defined. And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. In saying, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are committing yourself to seeing. It is not an exclusive commitment. It is a commitment which applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less.
You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you could withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind. It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.
In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe. You will be making the same request of each subject which you use in the practice periods. And you are making a commitment to each of them to let their purpose be revealed to you, instead of placing your own judgment upon them.
We will have six two minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see in looking about you. Not only should be the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today’s idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.
As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject which your eyes ahppen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying:
“Above all else, I want to see this ___________”
Each application should be made quite slowly and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry.