Undoing the Ego

Ask Amy: Are you the creator of your universe?

Guy QuestionQ:  After working with the Course for several years, I take from it the message that I am the creator of my universe.  A dear friend of mine was killed in Syria recently.  Did I create this?  If I did, I don’t know how I can live with myself.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Rest assured, you did not create the killing of your dear friend in Syria.  Only the ego thinks in terms of guilty responsibility, magical powers of influence, and the loss of life.  Jesus, in his Course in Miracles, would never put you through this kind of psychological agony.

The idea that you are the creator of your universe is a common misconception among Course students.  The primary mistake lies in not understanding who you really are.  Typically, every human, and therefore, every reader of ACIM, begins with the assumption that he or she is a body, identified as male or female, labeled with a name, assigned a role as son or daughter, and so on.  These designations are nothing more than ego brainwashing, layering assumption on top of assumption that the body is “you.”

But you are not a body.  God’s Creation is an extension of the Creator Himself — consequently, you are Spirit, not human.  Therefore, when referring to yourself, know that You are Imageless, Formless, Timeless, and Unified as God’s One Son.  It is not the little ego “you” who creates; the ego “you” mistakenly dreams and that is all.  The real You creates the way God creates: You naturally and effortlessly emanate Loving Light.

“Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied?  You are as God created you.” (W-191)

The one collective ego mind (of which people appear to be individual fragments) is a terrorist dictatorship thought system.  The way out of this tyrannical, punitive, and vicious ego-mind cycle is to observe the ego with Jesus.  Then you discover the only reason the ego felt so real is that you believed in it, while forgetting it was nothing more than a passing idea in God’s Mind.

“In a split mind, identity must seem to be divided.” (T-27.II.11:1)

When you stop unconsciously denying your true Identity, it is revealed that as long as we seem to live in a world with others, the only sane choice is to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and be a miracle worker.  You will feel peaceful, comforted, liberated and illuminated, as you devote the body to serving God’s Will instead of reinforcing a false personal identity.

“It is impossible that God lose His Identity, for if He did, you would lose yours.” (T-14.XI.7:5)

Let us conclude with a prayer for your friend.  May he rest in God, at Home with his Father, enlightened and free in the recognition of his true Self.  Death can serve as one of the many doorways to Who we really are.  Happily for all of us, it is inevitable that everyone awaken to our God-Self, each in our own perfect moment.

“The word ‘inevitable’ is fearful to the ego, but joyous to the spirit.  God is inevitable, and you cannot avoid Him any more than He can avoid you.”  (T-4.I.9:10-11)

Note:  If you found this topic interesting, click here to read the Ask Amy column in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Miracles magazine, which delves into this same concept from a different angle.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Gatita’s Metamorphosis Into The Lady

The Lady muted eyesIt has been about eight months since Gatita gently laid the body aside and emerged as The Lady.

Some hours after shedding her skin, I had the clear sense that Gatita was no longer a cat.  When I spoke with her in my mind she was now The Lady.  She had emerged from the confines of form.

The Lady has the elevated essence of Mary’s love, purity and kindness.  She is numinous, sublime and retains a feline inscrutability.

The Lady is another way of saying the Holy Spirit.

The Lady understood my great appreciation of Gatita’s form and we could mind-meld as She loved me and communicated ideas like,

“That was an exquisite form.  I understand your love for it.  You can love the Gatita I was and yet you don’t have to miss her.  When you drop your Amy form you will not miss that.  You will experience pure freedom.  And you can experience that pure freedom before you drop the form as well simply by shifting your attention from form to What Is.”

All grieving felt sweet; it was a confirmation of the love Gatita and I shared.  It didn’t feel like loss.

This grieving feels like a tribute to unconditional love.  It is confirming of the Formless.  It is liberating and tender.  It is strengthening of faith and courage.

Om Namah Shivaya.

Click here to read an earlier post on the miracle of Gatita’s passing.  And this may inspire you as well: Inexplicably Predictably Happy

“The Lady” illustration was lovingly and beautifully drawn by Harper Wood.  If you would like to commission artwork, email harper@harperwood.com

The Cure for You

Amy crosslegged white“Who is the ‘you’ who are living in this world?”  ~Jesus (T-4.II.11:8)

Do you assume you are a person?  Is it a given that your body and your personality are “you”?

One way of describing A Course in Miracles is that it offers a cure to the delusional belief all people hold that their identity is connected to the body.  If this is a brand new thought for you, you are probably saying, “Wha???”

That’s okay.  It’s a huge turning point for every ACIM student when he or she “gets it” that everything is happening in the mind, not the body.

The only problem people have is a mental problem; it is not a brain-body problem.  Your only problem is a mind problem.  This is why Jesus tells us in Chapter 21, “Seek not to change the world.  Choose to change your mind about the world.”

Can you locate the mind?  Try to put your finger on the mind.  What is the mind composed of?  Thoughts, beliefs, ideas, concepts.  Can you touch thoughts, beliefs, ideas and concepts?

As you contemplate this, notice whether a click of recognition arises … or fear.  Recognition is the memory of God within you surfacing through ego-imposed clouds and darkness.  Fear is the voice of the ego saying, “Don’t remember!”  Don’t remember what?  Who you really are: Spirit extending naturally from the Formless, Timeless, Changeless, Innocent, Unified God-Mind which is your Source.

By the way, the ego offers us all kinds of cures for sickness and unhappiness.  Sometimes they work on the human level;  sometimes they don’t.  The nature of the ego is that it is changing, contradictory and unstable.  But the Holy Spirit offers a sure-fire cure that always works.  The central idea in Lesson 140 states:  “Only salvation can be said to cure.”

Salvation means the undoing of what never was.  The ego is the dreamer of a dream that we are separate from God.  Ego mesmerizes us by imagining bodies, from the celestial level to the human level.  Ego mind would keep us stuck in the concept of a body forever, but Lesson 140 offers us a way out, “The happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings … lead from sleep to gentle waking, so that dreams are gone.  And thus they cure for all eternity.”

We need the Holy Spirit to undo our beliefs because, as people, we are stuck within a limited ego thought system which does not want us to understand that we can be cured of personal identity.  This cure, to the ego, seems to be death.  As the beloved master Mooji says, it is only death to what you are not, but What You Truly Are is Life and Life cannot include death.

The cure for living as a person is to undo the person completely.  The person cannot undo the person; it is the Holy Spirit’s job to unravel the tangled web we elected the ego to weave.  Just withdraw your vote for darkness and complexity, and Light and Simplicity will naturally arise in the Mind of which you are an inextricable extension.

At first, improving the person seems necessary, but eventually, you get the hang of dropping the person altogether.  Let me know if this makes sense to you — email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com

Watch for my upcoming book, Sweet Dreams of Awakening.  And let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to my readings of each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Review I: Introduction

This is the first review in the A Course in Miracles Workbook.  It covers the first 50 lessons in sets of five.  Jesus tells us this is designed to emphasize the relationships among the first 50 ideas in the lessons in order to appreciate the cohesiveness of the God’s thought system which is where they are leading us.

If any of the five ideas in any given review lesson appeal more than the others, make that the focus of your day.

“The purpose of your learning is to enable you to bring the quiet with you, and to heal distress and turmoil.”  At first, we learn in solitude, but the purpose of this practice is to build up an ability to stay with Peace no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.  As we dis-identify as a person-body, this becomes easier and easier because we are discovering we are Peace.

Jesus puts it this way, “You will yet learn that peace is part of you, and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are.  And finally you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are.”

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

How to Stop Mind Chatter


The ego mind is a weapon of mass distraction.  Distraction is destruction, when it comes to peace of mind.  That’s why it’s imperative to learn how to stop mind chatter.

Peace of Mind is God-Thought — a Oneness joined as One.  Absolute God-Thought does not contain words or images, shapes or forms, time or space; It just Is.  It is Life — Unborn, Undying Being.

Ego-thinking, on the other hand, is a dreamer of a false identity within God-Mind.  It is an attempt to split and limit what is Unified and Limitless.  It is imaginative but not Creative.  The descent from Oneness to personal identity contains layers of veils to prevent you from remembering your True Self.

“Never allow purity to remain hidden, but shine away the heavy veils of guilt within which the Son of God has hidden himself from his own sight.” (T-14.V.4:4)

How do we nip ego-mind chatter in the bud?

Jesus tells us as early as Chapter 3, “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations.”  And in Lesson 43, he says, “Do not allow any protracted period to occur in which you become preoccupied with irrelevant thoughts.”

yogi jc

It is a turning point when you are able to catch irrelevant thoughts and use mind chatter as a reminder to choose again.  The tool Jesus provides in Lesson 43 is to repeat, “God is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.”  It is one of countless expressions of God choices.  You can simply say, “Holy Spirit, help me!” or “I am Spirit” or “God, God, God.”

I’ve found that a powerful alternative that fits perfectly with A Course in Miracles is to use Sanskrit, which is primarily a vibrationally-based language and only secondarily meaning-based.  For a better understanding of what I mean by this and how it works, watch Prescription for Inner Peace.

Let’s practice together!   My 3 mindfulness meditations on http://cdbaby.com/amytorres stop mind chatter in 10 minutes or less for only 99 cents each.   Also, check out my dear friend Corinne Zupko’s free webinar http://www.acimindfulness.com


Ask Amy: Sexually abused by a priest: are you responsible?

Guy QuestionQ:  As a boy, I was sexually abused by a priest, and it has crippled me as an adult in many ways.  The Course has helped me to forgive him, but I feel like Jesus is blaming me when he tells us to say, “I am responsible for what I see.  I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve.  And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II)  How could I be responsible for this priest’s actions, especially since I was so young at the time?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Thank you for your courage in sharing this devastating situation.  Your question is shared by so many people who were betrayed as children.  There are several layers here, so let’s peel them away together.

First, you reveal that due to the abuse you are crippled as an adult.  As realistic as this seems to you, please consider that no matter what your circumstances, feelings, or state of mind, Jesus clearly states in Chapter 1, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving.”  Somewhere deep inside we all know this is true.  Allow yourself to be a sponge and soak up this loving testament to who you really are, and always will be, God’s perfect child.

Second, you say the Course has helped you forgive the priest.  In the ACIM Preface, Jesus explains that each special relationship holds the “chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other.”  This could be taken to mean that one person forgives another, but the Course clarifies that forgiveness occurs when you invite the Holy Spirit to take charge and work through you.  The Holy Spirit truly empowers us by undoing projections of victimization no matter how justified they appear.

In the process, guilt may seem to move from “other” back to “self” until it evaporates entirely.  Eventually, we discover forgiveness undoes the identification you have as a person and reveals there is no one to be forgiven.  You don’t have to figure this out.  ACIM is like a Zen koan — it boggles the mind in order to open the mind to its true Identity.

Third, you feel Jesus is blaming you, which reveals you are still carrying guilt.  Not to worry.  Guilt is the glue that holds the ego together.  When you catch yourself feeling as if Jesus is blaming you, be aware that ego-thinking has taken over.  Let this become an ongoing reminder to “choose again.”  Simply say, “Holy Spirit, I choose your guidance. Remind me of my innocence.”  Miracles are guaranteed.

Last, you ask, “How could I be responsible for the priest’s actions, especially since I was so young at the time?”  Notice within your question is the inherent assumption that you are a person.  Don’t fall for this ego trick.  “A pseudo-question has no answer.  It dictates the answer even as it asks.” (T-27.IV.5)  The ego lures us to speculate endlessly about human affairs.  Dismiss this temptation.

The prayer you cite is about a higher power of decision.  There are only two choices: God or ego.  You are responsible for choosing to see with the Holy Spirit’s unifying vision or the ego’s divisive eyesight.  This prayer is neither an accusation nor a law of attraction mantra.  Jesus is not concerned with people improving their personal lives, which only strengthens belief in ego illusions.  Happily, the part of you that reads the Course understands this because it is the memory of God within you, awakening to its true Self.

Try this: “I, the One Son of God, am responsible for what I see.”  Choose peace, make peace your goal, and you will come to feel peace, receive peace, give peace, and know you are peace.  “Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy.” (T-21.Intro)

Suggested reading:  A Course in Miracles, T-11.VIII. The Problem and the Answer; T-26.II. Many Forms; One Correction; S-1.I. True Prayer, and How to Take Yourself Less Personally.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com


A New Measurement of Love

glowing heart“Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation, and used for purposes of love?” (T-18.VI.5:1)

I was raised with the understanding that love is measured by how devastated you feel when someone dies.  Inconsolable grief was a demonstration of depth of feeling and loyalty to the departed.

In fact, pain was a tie that kept the relationship between the deceased and the living “alive.” To stop feeling pain was to be a callous monster.

Guilt turned out to be an intrinsic part of all love relationships, whether dead or living.  Guilt was an ongoing barometer of how often I fell short of loving well, and the punishing consequences of my inadequacy and/or selfishness.

Such is the nature of human love.  There are always conditions and loss.

However, after studying A Course in Miracles for a while (along with 12-step work and psychotherapy), I began to realize that giving on human terms was supporting conditional love rather than unconditional love.  It was also enabling me to maintain ego control rather than developing faith in relying on my Inner Teacher.

What a relief to discover my true purpose, “Everyone has a special part to play in the Atonement, but the message given to each one is always the same; God’s Son is guiltless.”   (T-14.V.2:1)

Ego tempted me with the idea that accepting innocence (when I was convinced I had done something wrong) would be the equivalent of not having a conscience. Or that if I forgave someone when he had clearly done something wrong that I would be encouraging or enabling cruelty and its results.

But Jesus so clearly explains in A Course in Miracles that our original state is Innocence and Innocence can only beget Love, that he changed my mind.  My attention moved from ego madness to Jesus sanity, as he explained, “Your only calling here is to devote yourself, with active willingness, to the denial of guilt in all its forms.” (T-14.V.3:4)

I embraced this “active willingness” and it removed the deep-seated guilt that plagued me, gently excised the judgment that condemned me, and in the process released all my brothers as well.  People make mistakes and mistakes deserve Correction.  Turning to the Holy Spirit always provides a loving Answer.

For almost 20 years now, rather than using relationships as instruments of separation, I have used them for the purpose of glowing lightslove.  My new measurement of Love has withstood the test of time and experimentation with real humans.  Love inevitably leads to Timelessness and shifts the human to the Being.

It should be no surprise God’s Love turns out to be Innocent, non-judgmental, non-obligatory, non-expectant, bargain-free, no contracts, freely given and received, easy and natural, overflowing with generosity, and always alive.  For God’s Love can never die, nor betray, nor harm.  And we are an extension of God’s Love.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Why Subscribe to Workin’ the Workbook?

WtW verticalWorkin’ the Workbook (WtW) is an online class that helps structure, clarify and support your Course in Miracles Workbook practice.  WtW also helps you persevere and stick with all 365 lessons. Many people quit before completing the Workbook and don’t get to experience the rewards of choosing the Holy Spirit rather than the ego.

You can begin at any lesson — start with Lesson 1 or resume where you left off.  The price is $37 a month (just a bit more than a dollar a day) and no one is turned away due to lack of funds (email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com to ask about scholarships).  The classroom is open to you for as long as it takes to finish all 365 lessons.

Most importantly, WtW encourages you to trust your personal experience. Messages and signs that you might overlook will be illuminated as WtW helps you recognize symbols of God’s Love and Light.

As you do the workbook practice, you will find it easier to connect with your Internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit, and recognize His guidance. You will develop more focus, faith and trust as your own experience strengthens the Truth which is already in your mind.  Here are some basic recommendations from the Holy Spirit as given by Jesus in ACIM:

Recommendations from the Holy Spirit

★ Develop the good habit of practicing your workbook lesson as close to awakening, and going to sleep, as possible.

★ All the workbook lessons should be done in an unhurried manner. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.

★ As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned. This is important because it impresses on the mind the first miracle principle: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” When this becomes real to us, there is nothing else to do but naturally and effortlessly spend our lives extending miracles.

★ “The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance.” ACIM, M-29. Isn’t it comforting and inspiring to know that the Holy Spirit is working with you individually?*

★ Open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and feel His power surging Life and Love into you. Doing the workbook practice is like plugging in your cell phone–a powerful energy is charging you up! And there will be signs to boost your confidence along the way.

★ There is also a purification process involved, so it’s natural to experience unpleasant side effects at times. But remember, when swimming pools are disinfected, first the muddy, murky sludge that has gathered at the bottom is churned up to the surface. Only after the filter has been going for a while does the water become clear. In the same way, you are cleansed and purified through the workbook practice. After a while fear and darkness dissolve, and all that remains is the loving light You Really Are.

* There will come a day when you realize that you were working with the Holy Spirit, not He with you.  He helps you awaken to Reality, not dream a better dream.  When you choose His guidance, you are choosing against illusions and enlightenment is recognized as always here, always true. “The Holy Spirit must work through you to teach you He is in you.  This is an intermediary step towards the knowledge that you are in God because you are part of Him.” (T-7.IV.2:1-2)

For a long time, it seems as if your path is your own–very personal and filled with unique experiences. It is your particular set of experiences, relationships and understandings. This is because first you must become your self, and that readies you to realize your Self.

Imagine you are climbing a ladder to Heaven, rung by rung. Each rung is brightened with more and more light, as you draw nearer and nearer to Heavenly Light. The Holy Spirit is not shining brighter – you are drawing nearer. And when you reach the top you realize there is no individual “you”– there is one unified Us 🙂

WtW Lauren crisp n clear

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-9: I see nothing as it is now.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

I only see the past.  My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  These previous lessons lead to this one: “I see nothing as it is now.”  What I seem to see is not really here.

All Jesus asks is that we apply the idea by doing the exercises.  We don’t understand, that much is obvious.  And if we did understand we wouldn’t need this workbook.  Jesus says, “Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.”  Practicing is as wonderfully, comfortingly mundane as cleaning out our closets.  As I practice, clutter is removed, space is opened, and light dawns.

As usual, we are told that when doing the exercise, “remember the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing.”

Here goes:

I do not see this _____________ as it is now.

I do not see this blog as it is now. I do not see these fingers as they are now.  I do not see this book as it is now.  I do not see these crystal pyramids as they are now.  I do not see this whirling dervish statuette as it is now.  I do not see this glass of water as it is now.  I do not see these reading glasses as they are now.  I do not see this waste basket as it is now.

Cleaning out closets, uncluttering my mind.  Little by little.  My heart feel light and care-free.


I see nothing as it is now.

This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones.  But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet.  However, understanding is not necessary at this point.  In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas.  These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding.  You do not need to practice what you already understand.  It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.

It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there.  This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms.  Yet that does not preclude applying it.  No more than that is required for these or any other exercises.  Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.

These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing.  For example:

I do not see this typewriter as it is now.
I do not see this telephone as it is now.
I do not see this arm as it is now.

Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range outward:

I do not see that coat rack as it is now.
I do not see that door as it is now.
I do not see that face as it is now.

It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided.  Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction.  You may be tempted to obscure it.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.


W-8: My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This is getting funny now.  The lesson says no one really sees anything, we’re just “seeing” our thoughts projected outward.  I comprehend this through a swooping suction-y feeling, as if the content of my mind is being sucked through my forehead and vortexed forward and out.  There it goes, what I believe, outpictured and accepted as reality.  Yikes.

The lesson goes on to say that the only true thought about the past is that is doesn’t exist, therefore what we call thinking is actually in a state of blankness.  Today’s exercise begins to train the mind to recognize when it is not thinking at all.  That might make meditating easier.  I could close my eyes and think about how all those passing thoughts are the past and my mind is actually blank.  The thoughtless ideas I call thinking actually block the Truth.  The Truth is there, but preoccupation with the past (Jesus is kind here — “obsession” is often more accurate)  blocks the Truth.

This is important:  Jesus says, “The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all.”   Stop.  Let’s take that in.

The practice is: “I seem to be thinking about _________.” Fill in the blank and conclude with “But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.”

The purpose is to train my mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all.  The practice is to examine my thoughts.  Purpose.  Practice.  Purpose.  Practice.

Here goes:  I seem to be thinking about having a snack and worrying that, at this rate, I’ll just get fatter and fatter.  I seem to be thinking about my taxes and, oddly, feeling a sense of pleasure at being able to afford them.  I seem to be thinking about that background noise: is the cat throwing up?  I seem to be feeling irritated, but the exercise said that’s okay as long as I note my feeling.  And anyway, all that’s actually happening is that my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

I am more the breath than I am the body.  If I undo the body, I get back to the breath.  The breath is invisible … except when it mists in cold temperatures.  The breath is the bridge to Formlessness.

If God’s name is the sound of the breath, as I’ve learned more than once from various spiritual teachings, identifying with the breath takes me closer to God … I’ve also heard it said that when God exhales we inhale, and when God inhales we exhale.  I’ve been invited to let God breath me.  To put an end to my effortful breathing, my tense, constricted breathing, my shallow, inadequate inhales and overly depleting exhales and to just let myself fall into God’s flow, God’s rhythm, God’s breath of Life.

There’s been too much striving and trying for me.  Even worse than perfectionism, all that trying.  My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts, but something is budding, Something is making Itself felt.   In spite of myself, thank God, the Truth shines on and Its Gleam within me glows softly, dimly, increasingly.

The lesson directs the practice for today, “I seem to be thinking about ______________.”

I seem to be thinking about my vision–there seems to be no comfortable distance from which I can read clearly.  With contacts or without contacts, with reading glasses or without reading glasses, everything is mostly blurry and I feel sad about that.  Many times I feel irritable, the texture-y anger and helpless that I call frustration.  Right now I feel sad because I’m so engrossed in reading and writing these days and would like to enjoy reading and writing smoothly and effortlessly.  But what’s really going on is that my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  Right now :)

I seem to be thinking about  …

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

Four to five times of practice is suggested for today … unless the lesson is irritating me, lol.


My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This idea is, of course, the reason why you only see the past.  No one really sees anything.  His sees only his thoughts projected outward.  The mind’s preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers.  Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is.  It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here.  To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions.  Very few have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future.  The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.

The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all.  While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked.  Recognizing that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.

The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed.  This is because you can actually not see anything, and it is easier to recognize that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything.  With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there.  Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next.  Introduce the practice period by saying:

I seem to be thinking about __________.

Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:

I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion],

and so on, concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with:

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you.  If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient.  You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion that the idea for today may induce, in the mind searching itself.

For more on “I seem to be thinking about …” read Coming Apart at the “Seems”.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.