ACIM Workbook Lesson 8
My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
W-pI.8.1. This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. 2 No one really sees anything. 3 He sees only his thoughts projected outward. 4 The mind’s preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. 5 Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. 6 It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.
W-pI.8.2. The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. 2 To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. 3 Very few have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. 4 The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.
W-pI.8.3. The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. 2 While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. 3 Recognizing that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.
W-pI.8.4. The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. 2 This is because you actually cannot see anything, and it is easier to recognize that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything. 3 With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. 4 Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. 5 Introduce the practice period by saying:
6 I seem to be thinking about _____.
W-pI.8.5. Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:
2 I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion],
and so on, concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with:
3 But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
W-pI.8.6. This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. 2 If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. 3 You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion that the idea for today may induce, in the mind searching itself.
Initial Insight: “2 No one really sees anything.” Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just think something and it would appear before us? Well, that is exactly what is happening. Our eyes were made for the purpose of showing us what we think by projecting our thoughts outward. (Jesus will bring us more on that later.) The problem is, since our minds are preoccupied with the past which doesn’t exist, we are actually seeing nothing. Our minds think nothing. I know that my mind can seem to be really busy with all sorts of thoughts but it is actually blank since it is thinking of a past that does not exist.
Daily Application: I seem to be thinking about my sweet little granddaughter Eleanor. I am thinking about how excited she gets when I go for a visit. I’m thinking about how imaginative she is and how much fun it is to be part of her inventive play. I’m thinking about how she throws little tantrums and then they disappear as quickly as they began and she is back to her delightfully happy self. Every thought I just had of her is something I have experienced with her in the past. My mind is actually blank.
Insights from Holy Spirit: The reason I want you to practice this is that you need to understand that you are not thinking at all. You need to become aware of when this is happening. These thoughtless ideas are blocking the truth. It is possible to see what is really there, not with your eyes, but with your mind. This kind of vision will not possible while your mind is filled with thoughtless ideas.
Gratitude: I always have to read this lesson many times and carefully because it is so completely different than anything I have ever believed before. It is also exciting to think about. I gladly practice this lesson and look forward to one day experiencing true vision with even more clarity than I have so far.