ACIM Lesson 7 I see only the past.
I see only the past.
ACIM Lesson 7
I see only the past.
1. This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first. ²Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones.
³It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything.
⁴It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you.
⁵It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see.
⁶It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see.
⁷It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think.
⁸It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.
Looking at the Logic
Jesus is showing us how all the previous lessons rest on this one that says we see only the past. The past doesn’t exist, obviously, except as we hold it in memory. This is good news because what I have discovered is that if I forgive an idea, I lose interest in it. And then, I no longer use it to decide what anything means. In the meantime, those ideas I have not forgiven (not let go) linger. As long as I keep them alive in my mind, they will prevent me from knowing the present moment.
We Need New Ideas about Time
2. 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. ²Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time. ³This first time idea is not really first so strange as it may sound at.
3. Look at a cup, for example. ²Do 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? ³Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? ⁴How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? ⁵What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? ⁶You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning. ⁷Do you, then, really see it?
4. Look about you. ²This is equally true of whatever you look at. ³Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. ⁴For example:
⁵I see only the past in this pencil.
⁶I see only the past in this shoe.
⁷I see only the past in this hand.
⁸I see only the past in that body.
⁹I see only the past in that face.
5. Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. ²Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. ³Three or four practice periods, each to last a minute or so, will be enough.
Clearly, this is a gentle beginning of a change of mind. We are not asked to see the body or the pencil differently. We are just asked to note that we are seeing only the past in these objects. When I think of the past, I automatically think that it doesn’t exist. I know the past doesn’t exist and to think it does makes no sense. I understand that even the past that I hold in my memory is not the past that happened.
Rather, these memories are just the past as I interpreted it according to other past memories. When I talk to family about some past memory we share, I often discover that we don’t share the same memory of the past event. I remember it one way, they remember another way. That is because everything we see here is an illusion that we experience according to our past illusions all the way back to the tiny mad idea.
An Interesting Exercise
An interesting exercise is to think of someone you know well and have known over a period of time. Try to see them without that history. I have done this using one of my children. When I look at my child, what I see is a mixture of a thousand memories. Even that is what they were according to my interpretation of those memories. But for this experiment, I chose something different. I set an intention to meet her without her past.
I wondered who she is now in this moment. And so, when I visited her, I tried to set it all aside. I looked at her as if I didn’t know who she was, as if I didn’t know her past. I wanted to see her as she is now, today, in this moment. It was still my interpretation of what I saw, of course. But it was different than when I began the visit thinking that she was what I knew of her past. This was hard to sustain, by the way, but it was informative.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 7 click here.
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