Friday, January 14, 2011

Clearing the Past

Following the post from last week, here are the next 7 lessons in A Course in Miracles. Recalling the lessons in perception post, lesson #5 stated that I am not upset for the reason I think. The next lessons expand on this (and will continue throughout the year...):

Lesson 006: I am upset because I see something that is not there.

Lesson 007: I see only the past.

Lesson 008: My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

Lesson 009: I see nothing as it is now.

Lesson 010: My thoughts do not mean anything.

Lesson 011: My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

Lesson 012: I am upset because I see a meaningless world.


I love these first simple lessons. A Course in Miracles is quite simple, really. But it's NOT EASY. It's tough to undo all that we've believed to be our "truth" thus far in our lives... even if it has only brought us pain.

These lessons remind us that we see only the past. Our judgments on everything are based on what we know of them from our past history. The TV program, This Emotional Life, also pointed out from a scientific point of view, that our brains have difficulty wrapping around the thought of a future that is different from what we see right now. Even then, our minds are continually seeing the present through our past projections, experiences and perceptions... if it even sees the present at all!

Have you ever tried to look at something as if you're seeing it for the very first time? Having children helps with this exercise. My kids, from day one, have shown me things about stuff I see or do or think every day that I never considered before. A brand new perception reminds us to look again, beyond what we think we see, to perhaps recognize a beautiful Essence that we've forgotten to notice.

Then the lessons move on to show that:

"It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. Today's idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see."

and then:
"You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself."

It is actually our judgments, again based on our past, that are creating the pain we are perceiving.


I realize that these lessons may be difficult to digest. Trust me! This is why I've never been able to complete an entire year! As intelligent humans with brains, we try to "figure out" stuff instead of simply accepting it as is. I'm the worst at this, as you regular readers have probably figured out.

I love this quote regarding trying to "get" the lessons:

"...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 SOOO true.

We only think we know what we're seeing/thinking/doing, and to quote Dr. Phil, "how's that working for you?"

I recognize that there are many different paths to awareness. A Course in Miracles only claims to be one of many. This is my chosen path... at this point in my life. It may not be yours. Thank you for obliging me.


  1. You and I are on a similar wave length today. I wrote about looking at life moment by moment, and having an encounter with a past lover has helped me clean out some of the past junk that I was holding onto. Be here now, as Ram Dass wisely said.

  2. I really gotta check out the Course in Miracles, I've decided. Such powerful stuff.

  3. I love reading your perspective on these things. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow! I am intrigued. I have never thought of the world as meaningless. I can see how it would be helpful to think that way, but so difficult! It's great that the course is laid out in small increments to digest slowly, or rather not to digest but just to 'practice'! What a concept...

  5. I think i should be reading these. the titles all sound like mu life.

  6. I am so happy that you said that you have a hard time understanding some of the lessons. I have been reading them daily and can't grasp what they mean or what to do. I just assumed that I am not ready yet and kind of given up. I need to go back and just do them. Thanks as always for reminding me that I don't have to understand, just be aware.

  7. Hi, my name is Luke and I'm the visitor from Amsterdam Noord Holland - actually I just live here, I'm English. For what it is worth here is a list of ACiM links I post people. - Here you can download an audio(talking book version) of "A Course in Miracles" (about 1.2GB). I've put it on an MP3 player - takes the hard work out of studying!
    > - an online A Course in Miracles.
    > - online copy of the original A Course in Miracles produced by
    > Dr.Helen Schucman(scribe) and Dr.William Thetford (her boss).
    > - a site that gives the lesson of the day - part of a site devised for people who read A Course in Miracles (ACiM) and go to 12 Step groups.
    > - a community site with regular discussions plus chatroom.
    > - another community site set up by an ACiM student.
    > - another ACiM community site.
    > - for a commentary on the lesson of the day.
    > - an internet radio station - nice mix of gentle music with some ACiM music and meditations.
    > - a talk radio station that runs in conjunction with a Paltalk ACiM chatroom .
    > - short videos of international students who read A Course in Miracles. (One student is named "Master Teacher" - this title was given him by his followers and doesn't appear in ACiM. Personally I believe that title should go to Jesus).
    > - a site that compares quotes from the New Testament and A Course in Miracles.
    > - helpful site where one can lookup or locate quotes in ACiM.
    All the best with learning/living forgiveness, Luke.


Thank you for leaving me some comment love!