ACIM Workbook Lesson 7
I see only the past.
W-pI.7.1. This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first. 2 Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones. 3 It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything. 4 It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you. 5 It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see. 6 It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see. 7 It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think. 8 It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.
W-pI.7.2. 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. 2 Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time. 3 This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first.
W-pI.7.3. Look at a cup, for example. 2 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? 3 Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? 4 How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? 5 What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? 6 You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning. 7 Do you, then, really see it?
W-pI.7.4. Look about you. 2 This is equally true of whatever you look at. 3 Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. 4 For example:
5 I see only the past in this pencil.
6 I see only the past in this shoe.
7 I see only the past in this hand.
8 I see only the past in that body.
9 I see only the past in that face.
W-pI.7.5. Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. 2 Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. 3 Three or four practice periods, each to last a minute or so, will be enough.
Initial Insight: Jesus is introducing the idea that we never really see anything as it is now. Instead, we see what we expect to see based on our past experiences. It may not matter so much that we see a cup as something we drink from but we don’t stop there. We give meanings to things and then those meanings affect how we react to them. Even the simple cup has a lot of meaning to me.
I have a favorite cup and if I have company and they use my cup, I feel a twinge of resentment. I call it a twinge because I don’t act on it and it doesn’t ruin my day but, in that moment, and maybe for a little longer, I am no longer at peace and, while they are drinking coffee out of my favorite cup, I no longer love that person unconditionally. I don’t even know why it is my favorite cup. Sometime in the past, I gave it special meaning and now I am stuck in that past moment and it affects my present moments.
Daily Application: I wonder what the world would be like if I didn’t live in the past at all? Maybe every morning would be an adventure as I picked a cup at random and experienced it as if for the first time. How would it feel? Would I like that cup? Would it have any meaning for me at that moment? Would it have the same meaning every morning? This sounds silly but maybe it isn’t. What if I was talking about my neighbor? It would be the same principle. Or my ex-husband. Or my child?
This lesson reminds me of an incident I wrote about before. My nephew wanted to come to talk to me and I was having trouble finding a time that would work for us both. I had plenty of early morning times but I “knew” he didn’t like to get up early. When I mentioned the problem with my schedule, he reminded me he is grown now and has been in the army. He knows how to get up early. I had to laugh at myself. I looked at this man and saw the teenage boy that I knew in the past.
Insights from Holy Spirit: Notice the ways you do this today, and notice how this affects you. Notice how much you live in the past. Then ask Me to correct your thinking. Remember that correction is not your part, desire for correction is. The reason I want you to notice that you see only the past and that this means you don’t see at all is that I want you to be fully motivated to accept the change I am offering you. I want vision for you. I want you to see. I want you to live and you cannot live this moment if you are not aware of this moment.
Gratitude: Thank you. I want to see, too.
Another message from Spirit came to me. I have been distracted by the selling and buying of a house and I was shown that when I became worried about any part of this, it was the result of seeing only the past. What if I make a mistake I will regret? Where did that thought come from? Does a little child worry about making a mistake and regretting it? No. Because they haven’t had that experience yet. There is no regretful past to see. I am willing to see clearly like an innocent little child, free from past experiences.