Unlearning Classroom

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

distracted

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.

LESSON 9

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.

LESSON 8

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.

 

W-7: I see only the past.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

I see only the past and that is why everything makes no sense and I can’t understand it.  Not to mention I’m not really seeing anything.  And as I look around and apply the idea, very specifically and yet not excluding anything, I begin to lose the ability to remember the names of objects.  “I see only the past in that mouse pad.  I see only the past in that TV.  I see only the past in the wire thing.  I see only the past in that … thing.  I see only the past in … that.  I see only the past … ”  Not sure if this is me really getting into the spirit of the exercise (or the Spirit of the exercise in me :) ) or whether the ego is throwing in some interference.  Either way it’s nice to know that what never happened is over.

Okay, here I go again:

I see only the past.
I see only the past in my precious book Unified.
I see only the past in the tree outside my window.
I see only the past in this glass of water.
I see only the past in the veins on my hands.
I see only the past in my highlighter pen.

Then Lesson 7 reviews how the statement “I see only the past” is the rationale for all six preceding lessons:

I see only the past is the reason why nothing I see means anything.
Because I’m filtering everything I see through the lens of the past.
Because in seeing the past I don’t see the present.
Because ego-seeing is an outpicturing of a false thought.

I see only the past is the reason why I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me.  I’m the one assigning meaning to the past.  I’m the one assigning meaning to what I “see” which is not actually seeing at all.  I’m the one hurling a thought out of my Mind and calling that “seeing.”  I like what Raj/Jesus (http://www.nwffacim.org/) pointed out about the sentence in the Course which says,”Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality.” T-16.VI.  Raj says we could interpret this to mean that we do not have to fear being hurled into reality because reality is gooooood.  Come to think of it, if we originally hurled a thought of our Mind, then, technically, we would be unhurling :)

I see only the past is the reason my thoughts do not mean anything.
My thoughts are always out of date.  Like spoilt milk–not fit for consumption.  False thought can imagine a past, but True Thought simply extends from the Father through His Son–us.

I see only the past is the reason why I am never upset for the reason I think.  If I’m always immersed in the past, I don’t know what is actually upsetting me in the present.  Nothing would be upsetting me in the present.  The present is Beingness Itself.

I keep myself hypnotized by seeing only the past.  In that way I keep from my awareness what is actually upsetting me … which is that I’m believing I’ve managed to separate from God and can never get back to Heaven and I’m expecting to be punished by God as well.  Seeing the past is a delusion in itself.  The ego makes up the past by saying something has happened which has not.

The ego says we have separated from God’s Mind, even though we have not.  The ego psyches itself out by telling itself its pretend game has become real.  It takes the idea that the pretend game has become real seriously and that is the beginning of  beliefs, of its fearful belief system.  “Fearful” because it is full of fear, similar to the fullness of God’s Mind, but opposite in the feeling of fear rather than Love.  The ego mimics God’s Mind but in a distorted manner–it has double “vision”/seeing, and makes duality out of non-duality/Absoluteness.

If the ego did not psych itself out, and did not take itself seriously, we could still play the “pretend-we-are-separate-from-God-game” and enjoy it.  We could dress up in God’s robes, and play with the power of His mind, and enjoy the puzzle pieces we threw onto the floor until we solve the puzzle, or until we grow tired of the puzzle, and then, in a blink, release the fantasy, open our Spiritual Eye, and return to the Reality from which we Come.

I see only the past is the reason why I am upset because I see something that is not there.  I feel the undoing process … I feel the mind quiet.  Jesus’ insistent logic is loosening the ego hold … my thoughts slow, I feel peaceful.  I do not  understand anything at this point.  This does not feel like ego sleepiness.  Here is the peace of God.

LESSON 7

I see only the past.

This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first.  Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones.

It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything.
It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you.
It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see.
It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see.
It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think.
It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.

Old ideas about time are very difficult to change, because everything you believe is rooted in time, and depends on your not learning these new ideas about time.  This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first.

Look at a cup, for example.  Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experience of picking up a cup, being thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast and so on?  Are not your aesthestic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences?  How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it?  What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past?  You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning.  Do you, then, really see it?

Look about you.  This is equally true of whatever you look at.  Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye.  For example:

I see only the past in this pencil.
I see only the past in this shoe.
I see only the past in this hand.
I see only the past in that body.
I see only the past in that face.

Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. Three or four practice periods, each to last a minute or so, will be enough.

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.