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 it. Yet that is precisely why you need 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 experiences 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 aesthetic 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.
This is excerpted from my book, “Hey, Holy Spirit, It’s Me Again.”
This lesson tells me that I see only the past, and while I could understand this, I was baffled as to what to do with the information. Am I expected to unlearn that bananas are good for the body because they are rich in potassium? As I opened my mind to the Holy Spirit, He helped me to see that He needs only my vigilant attentiveness and my willingness to be wrong about what I currently believe. In this way He can correct my thinking.
A helpful way to look at this is to see the ego-thinking mind as a filing cabinet stuffed with information I have picked up over the years and filed away in the proper category. All of it is based on perception, which is not truth but simply judgment formulated from partial understanding, and as such it is nearly completely useless. And yet, I base every decision in my life on this information.
If I continue to make decisions based on what happened in the past nothing will ever change. I must say that this sounds exactly like an ego strategy for self-continuance. By continually returning to the past to make decisions in the present, I am making the ego my authority. I am now choosing to return that Authority to One Who knows. I am learning to question my beliefs, rather than blindly accept the thoughts in my mind. I now routinely question their validity and ask for clarity from the Holy Spirit, rather than from the ego.
This is not always easy for me to do. I have become very enamored with the idea that my thoughts are valid and meaningful, and I have trouble letting this go. As I was trying to hear the Holy Spirit in my mind, I kept returning to the old ego file cabinet. My mind wanted to believe that it held a vast store of knowledge when really it held a vast store of useless information.
Holy Spirit, how does this apply to my packing for the move?
Holy Spirit: When you look at each object, you are failing to see it as it is. Instead you are ascribing a meaning to it based on an invalid valuing system. It is invalid because it came from the ego, which doesn’t know anything. For instance, you look at that blue tea set and you see it as an affirmation that you are liked and respected by the person who gave it to you.
Look at it with Me, and allow Me to show you what it really is. Can you let go of your meaning long enough to do that? Do you think that you truly need that affirmation of affection and respect? Because that is what you are holding on to; not the teapot itself. I assure you that the affection the giver feels for you is not dependent on the teapot being on your shelf. I further assure you that your worth is not dependent on her respect.
Here is something you can do. Stand before each item in question and invite Me to look at it with you. Just be willing to see it differently. Then do with the object what feels good to you.