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."
"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.