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13.1 You will never fully understand what unity means, but you will come to feel what unity means, and this I promise you. This is what we work toward in this Course, for once you have experienced the feeling of unity, you will need no understanding of it. This is all the exercises that call you to observe your body are for. They are the preparation for what is to come: the preparation for feeling that which is not of your body. Our next exercise takes this one step further, and is merely an extension of the first. In this exercise you will begin to realize that your brothers and sisters are not their bodies, any more than you are yours. This is a natural extension of observing your body in action, because as your body seems to interact with others and as you observe this interaction, you will “see” yourself and others in a new light. Your body will seem more connected with those of the others it interacts with, for they will be grouped together in your observation of them. It will not be only others you observe but yourself and others, placing you and “them” together where you belong. This seeming togetherness of bodies is just a first step that will take you beyond the illusion of bodies to togetherness of spirit.
13.2 As you observe, always with your heart and not your mind, and begin to include others in your observation, I ask you to concentrate on one thing only. This is a simple exercise, and enjoyable too. It but calls for you to ask one thing: Ask yourself what you already know of the spirit of the person you observe. You will be amazed at the knowledge you already have and the joy it brings you to remember it.
13.3 These are but exercises in memory recollection, and the more you practice them the more true memory will return to you. Do not apply any effort to these exercises, particularly not that of recalling spirit. Just let impressions come to you, and when they make you feel like smiling know that you are feeling memory return. If, when trying to call up memory of spirit, you find your brow knitting in concentration, you are applying effort and need to cease attempting the exercise at that time. If you give this exercise just the tiniest bit of consistent practice, however, it will soon become routine to you, for you will want to continuously experience the pleasure that it brings.
13.4 While you may desire to put what you feel into words, this exercise is not about putting words on feelings or using them to describe spirit. It is best to leave words off this experience as, if you do not, you will soon be ascribing some attributes to one spirit and not to another, just to differentiate between them. The purpose here is to show you that they cannot be differentiated or compared or defined in the same way you have defined their bodies in the past.
13.5 You will soon find that what you recall of spirit is love. You will want to give it many names at first, and might not even recognize it as love, for it will come without all the longing and sadness you so often associate with it. While the feeling of love that washes over you from one may feel like courage, and from another like gentleness, and while this is all part of what you are encouraged to feel, it is simply asked that you let the feelings come and with them the realization that while no two spirits will seem exactly the same, they also are not “different.” The love from each will fill you with happiness because it is already complete and has no needs and so no sense of longing or sadness of any kind. Because it is complete, it will ask nothing of you, but will seem to offer you a warm welcome, as if you are a long-lost friend returning home.
13.6 And so you are. This is the new “proof” that, while not scientific or verifiable, will offer you the evidence you seek to confirm the truth of what you are being told here. All that is required to gather this new evidence is to trust in your own heart. Are you willing to believe what your heart would tell you?
13.7 This exercise should take no time nor break your stride or the flow of your conversation. All it asks you to do is to become aware of spirit and to allow this awareness to abide within you. If you feel resistance to attempting this exercise, remember that you already know that you are more than your body, and ask yourself if it makes sense to not do all you can to become aware of the “more” you know you are.
13.8 While you will not realize it at first, because you have no experience but only memory of feeling yourself in such a way, you will eventually realize that the memories you recall of the spirit of others include memories that are your own, memories that are of your own Self. For no spirit exists that is not part of you, or you of it. If you find yourself distracted by these memories, do not push them aside as interruptions in your day, but know that anything that distracts you from the little self you think you are is worth the minutes you would give to its contemplation.
13.9 What further objections can you have, for here we ask you not to follow any instruction other than that of your own Self? We invite the return of what you know, and let your real Self guide you gently back to where you want to be and already are in truth.
13.10 Your ego will strongly resist your attempts to listen to your heart, and will call this every kind of foolishness, a waste of time that could be spent on better things. Yet time is not required, nor is money or the use of any other thing you value. And there is not even the slightest chance of being made to look foolish by what you are asked to do.
13.11 Might some of your preconceived notions of others and yourself be shattered? Oh yes, and rightly so. Gladly will you let them go and, if you trust yourself, all the evidence against your brother that you have stored up in your lifetime will be let go as well.
13.12 Each of you will initially find it difficult to accept the innocence and sinlessness of others and yourself, for your memory will contain no hint of past misdeeds, errors or mistakes. No one will have leveled any hurts on you or anyone else. No reason for guilt will exist within this memory. No shame or fear is here, and no grievances of any kind. For here forgiveness is already accomplished—and when memory of forgiveness returns to you, can memory of your Father or your own Self be far behind?
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