Miracle lesson nr. 8

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. No one really sees anything. He 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 actually cannot 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.

Source: A Course in Miracles

I think we’ve reached the part where some of you may find the message really hard to swallow. Thankfully, we are not asked to wholly accept the truth of these statements. We are asked only to do the exercise as prescribed. I would recommend to continue anyway.

The acceptance of it will come naturally as the logic of it will settle in. It helps us to realize that even what we think is not there. You’re mind is playing you. In fact, when you reverse thought process the whole concept of past and future seems stupid. It’s a concept that makes us believe that something else than the present is actually happening. Of course there is nothing else happening except of the present. Duh. And when there is nothing else, you think of nothing when you think of something else than the present. When you think of the past, you think of nothing. When you think of the future, you think of nothing. Your mind is full of nothing. Your mind is blank. Thinking about anything besides the present sounds like a waste of time to me now.

Read more about a Course in Miracles.

It doesn’t matter when you start the lessons. Please do only one lesson a day in the right order. Find all lessons here.

Go to the previous lesson.

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