ACIM Lesson 8: My Mind is Preoccupied and It isn’t Pretty

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The Future is a Concept

The Future is a Concept

It’s get my shit together Friday.  Seriously.  It is good that I am practiced in this forgiveness stuff and unattachment to what I think things ought to look like because I am failing miserably in my endeavors to be the best version of myself.  As usual, it revolves around money and my resistance.  I am noticing this vague resentment that I have not figured out how to earn any money from writing and therefore need to do other things to make a living.  My tethered job has ended and although I am elated to be free, I am also more than acutely aware of my own deficiencies: I need to get out of my own way and I feel like Brer Rabbit after he tried to beat up Tar Baby.  Stuck, stuck, stuck.

So, thank heavens for today’s lesson and the reminder that I my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  I’m seeing what is not there.  It’s fear.  It’s guilt.  It’s all the usual ego tricks.  It’s crap I smeared on top of reality (what is, right here, right now, in the present, the only time there is) because I was afraid.  I looked at my current circumstances and reverted to fear.

Lesson 8

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. No one really sees anything. He sees only his thoughts projected outward. The mind’s preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. Very few have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.

The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. 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.

The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. 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. With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. Introduce the practice period by saying:

I seem to be thinking about ___.

Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:

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:

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. 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.

I seriously need to meditate more – some tool that can pull me back to being present.  I recognize that I am not being present, that I am projecting my fears onto the future and blocking my own way, but (how cleverly I defend!) what can I say, it’s a bad habit.

What would it look like if I just entered the flow of energy?  If I just did what was in front of me to do without freaking out over what I hope it could be but without the need to actually do the work.  Yeah, I never really want to do the work.  What is up with that???

I seem to be thinking about money, about guilt, about what I feel I should be doing, but my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

Can’t wait until I am trained into the solution.  One step at a time, Nanc.  One step at a time.

There is Just the Present

There is Just the Present

So here is the Alan Watts video for the day, discussing the vicious circle that is worry, that is what we do when we are preoccupied with past thoughts and fears of the future.

All we are really looking for, all I’m really looking for anyway is relief.  To leave the ego behind for a bit, while I play as my true, higher self: the part of me that isn’t afraid, or obsessed; the part of me that knows it is an expression of the divine, seeking to extend love and experience peace.

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.

Waking Up to Who You Are

Waking Up to Who You Are

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