THE PRUNING SHEARS OF REVISION
The second Man is the Lord from Heaven. 1Corinthians 15:47
Never will he say caterpillars. He’ll say, “There’s a lot of butterflies-as-is-to-be on our cabbages, Pure.”
He won’t say, “It’s winter.”
He’ll say, “Summer’s sleeping.”
And there’s no bud little enough nor sad-coloured enough for Kester not to callen it the beginnings of the blow.
Mary Webb, Precious Bane
THE VERY first act of correction or cure is always “revise”. One must start with oneself. It is one’s attitude that must be changed.
What we are, that only can we see. Emerson
It is a most healthy and productive exercise to daily relive the day as you wish you had lived it, revising the scenes to make them conform to your ideals.
For instance, suppose today’s mail brought disappointing news. Revise the letter. Mentally rewrite it and make it conform to the news you wish you had received. Then, in imagination, read the revised letter over and over again. This is the essence of revision, and revision results in repeal.
The one requisite is to arouse your attention in a way and to such intensity that you become wholly absorbed in the revised action. You will experience an expansion and refinement of the senses by this imaginative exercise and eventually achieve vision.
But always remember that the ultimate purpose of this exercise is to create in you “the Spirit of Jesus”, which is continual forgiveness of sin.
Revision is of greatest importance when the motive is to change oneself, when there is a sincere desire to be something different, when the longing is to awaken the ideal active spirit of forgiveness.
Without imagination, man remains a being of sin.
Man either goes forward to imagination or remains imprisoned in his senses. To go forward to imagination is to forgive. Forgiveness is the life of the imagination. The art of living is the art of forgiving
Forgiveness is, in fact, experiencing in imagination the revised version of the day, experiencing in imagination what you wish you had experienced in the flesh.
Every time one really forgives – that is, every time one relives the event as it should have been lived – one is born again.
“Father, forgive them” is not the plea that comes once a year but the opportunity that comes every day. The idea of forgiving is a daily possibility, and, if it is sincerely done, it will lift man to higher and higher levels of being. He will experience a daily Easter, and Easter is the idea of rising transformed.
And that should be almost a continuous process.
Freedom and forgiveness are indissolubly linked.
Not to forgive is to be at war with ourselves, for we are freed according to our capacity to forgive.
Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Luke 6:37
Forgive, not merely from a sense of duty or service; forgive because you want to.
Thy ways are ways of pleasantness and all thy paths are peace. Proverbs 3:17
You must take pleasure in revision. You can forgive others effectively only when you have a sincere desire to identify them with their ideal. Duty has no momentum.
Forgiveness is a matter of deliberately withdrawing attention from the unrevised day and giving it full strength, and joyously, to the revised day. If a man begins to revise even a little of the vexations and troubles of the day, then he begins to work practically on himself. Every revision is a victory over himself and therefore a victory over his enemy.
A man’s foes are those of his own household, Matthew 10:36,
and his household is his state of mind. He changes his future as he revises his day.
When a man practices the art of forgiveness, of revision, however factual the scene on which sight then rests, he revises it with his imagination and gazes on one never before witnessed. The magnitude of the change which any act of revision involves makes such change appear wholly improbable to the realist – the unimaginative man; but the radical changes in the fortunes of the Prodigal [Luke 15:11-32] were all produced by a “change of heart”.
The battle man fights is fought out in his own imagination. The man who does not revise the day has lost the vision of that life, into the likeness of which it is the true labour of the “Spirit of Jesus” to transform this life.
All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, even so do ye to them: for this is the law. Matthew 7:12
Here is the way an artist friend forgave herself and was set free from pain, annoyance and unfriendliness. Knowing that nothing but forgetfulness and forgiveness will bring us to new values, she cast herself upon her imagination and escaped from the prison of her senses. She writes
: “Thursday, I taught all day in the art school. Only one small thing marred the day. Coming into my afternoon classroom, I discovered the janitor had left all the chairs on top of the desks after cleaning the floor. As I lifted a chair down, it slipped from my grasp and struck me a sharp blow on the instep of my right foot. I immediately examined my thoughts and found that I had criticized the man for not doing his job properly. Since he had lost his helper, I realized he probably felt he had done more than enough and it was an unwanted gift that had bounced and hit me on the foot. Looking down at my foot, I saw both my skin and nylons were intact, so forgot the whole thing.
“That night, after I had been working intensely for about three hours on a drawing, I decided to make myself a cup of coffee. To my utter amazement, I couldn’t manage my right foot at all and it was giving out great bumps of pain. I hopped over to a chair and took off my slipper to look at it. The entire foot was a strange purplish pink, swollen out of shape and red hot. I tried walking on it and found that it just flapped. I had no control over it whatsoever. It looked like one of two things: either I had cracked a bone when I dropped the chair on it or something could be dislocated.
” ‘No use speculating what it is. Better get rid of it right away.’
So I became quiet, all ready to melt myself into light. To my complete bewilderment, my imagination refused to cooperate. It just said ‘No.’
This sort of thing often happens when I am painting. I just started to argue ‘Why not?’
It just kept saying ‘No.’
Finally, I gave up and said, ‘You know I am in pain. I am trying hard not to be frightened, but you are the boss. What do you want to do?’
The answer: ‘Go to bed and review the day’s events.’
So I said ‘All right. But let me tell you if my foot isn’t perfect by tomorrow morning, you have only yourself to blame.’
“After arranging the bed clothes so they didn’t touch my foot, I started to review the day. It was slow going as I had difficulty keeping my attention away from my foot. I went through the whole day, saw nothing to add to the chair incident. But when I reached the early evening, I found myself coming face to face with a man who for the past year has made a point of not speaking. The first time this happened, I thought he had grown deaf. I had known him since school days, but we had never done more than say ‘hello’ and comment on the weather. Mutual friends assured me I had done nothing, that he had said he never liked me and finally decided it was not worthwhile speaking. I had said ‘Hi!’
He hadn’t answered. I found that I thought ‘Poor guy – what a horrid state to be in. I shall do something about this ridiculous state of affairs.’
So, in my imagination, I stopped right there and re-did the scene. I said ‘Hi!’ He answered ‘Hi!’ and smiled. I now thought ‘Good old Ed.’
I ran the scene over a couple of times and went on to the next incident and finished up the day.
“‘Now what – do we do my foot or the concert?’
I had been melting and wrapping up a wonderful present of courage and success for a friend who was to make her debut the following day and I had been looking forward to giving it to her tonight. My imagination sounded a little bit solemn as it said ‘Let us do the concert. It will be more fun.’
‘But first couldn’t we just take my perfectly good imagination foot out of this physical one before we start?’ I pleaded. ‘By all means.’
“That done, I had a lovely time at the concert and my friend got a tremendous ovation.
“By now I was very, very sleepy and fell asleep doing my project. The next morning, as I was putting on my slipper, I suddenly had a quick memory picture of withdrawing a discolored and swollen foot from the same slipper. I took my foot out and looked at it. It was perfectly normal in every respect. There was a tiny pink spot on the instep where I remembered I had hit it with the chair.
‘What a vivid dream that was!’ I thought and dressed. While waiting for my coffee, I wandered over to my drafting table and saw that all my brushes were lying helter-skelter and unwashed. ‘Whatever possessed you to leave your brushes like that?
‘Don’t you remember? It was because of your foot.’
So it hadn’t been a dream after all, but a beautiful healing.”
She had won by the art of revision what she would never have won by force.
In Heaven, the only Art of Living Is Forgetting & Forgiving. Especially to the Female. – Blake
We should take our life, not as it appears to be, but from the vision of this artist, from the vision of the world made perfect that is buried under all minds – buried and waiting for us to revise the day.
We are led to believe a lie when we see with, not through the eye. Blake
A revision of the day, and what she held to be so stubbornly real was no longer so to her and, like a dream, had quietly faded away.
You can revise the day to please yourself and by experiencing in imagination the revised speech and actions not only modify the trend of your life story but turn all its discords into harmonies.
The one who discovers the secret of revision cannot do otherwise than let himself be guided by love.
Your effectiveness will increase with practice. Revision is the way by which right can find its appropriate might.
“Resist not evil” [Matthew 5:39], for all passionate conflicts result in an interchange of characteristics.
To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17
To know the truth, you must live the truth, and to live the truth, your inner actions must match the actions of your fulfilled desire.
Expectancy and desire must become one.
Your outer world is only actualized inner movement.
Through ignorance of the law of revision, those who take to warfare are perpetually defeated.
Only concepts that idealize depict the truth.
Your ideal of man is his truest self. It is because I firmly believe that whatever is most profoundly imaginative is, in reality, most directly practical that I ask you to live imaginatively and to think into, and to personally appropriate the transcendent saying
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” [Colossians 1:27]
Don’t blame; only resolve.
It is not man and the earth at their loveliest, but you practicing the art of revision make paradise.
The evidence of this truth can lie only in your own experience of it.
Try revising the day. It is to the pruning shears of revision that we owe our prime fruit.