Lesson 290: Present Happiness: More Thoughts on Believing Thoughts

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Sometimes I pause for a moment and just notice.  With shocking regularity, what I notice is how I’ve blocked my present happiness.  Instead of enjoying what is right in front of me, I scan the horizon for “what’s wrong.” Today’s ACIM lesson is about correcting that bad habit.  Lesson #290 says, My present happiness is all I see.”  When I remember that and I feel as if the happiness is somehow missing, I try to remind myself: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  I quit fighting the present moment.  I relish the bounty of God rather than the terror of ego thoughts.  It’s so much more enjoyable!  From last year’s writing:

Lesson 290, ACIM

My Present Happines

It’s shocking how habituated I am to missing my present happiness.  The Course teaches that happiness is always here – in this moment, right now, but “What I perceive without God’s Own Correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold” (as today’s lesson tells).  What the hell!  What in the world am I doing?  I am missing out on the good stuff with my insistence on seeing what is not there.

Just that realization makes me suddenly high, which for me is a solid indicator of being on the “right track.” When I am thinking correctly, I feel high.  It happens in our ACIM class a lot.  It always happens when I do “high watch” at church.  And yes, the world seems more beautiful during those moments.

Like so many things, it comes down to a decision.  It is the decision to give up the thoughts created by ego that tell me this moment is not good enough.  It’s amazing the level of dissatisfaction ego tries to interject.  But it is listening to those thoughts that get in the way of experiencing the bliss of God.  God’s will for me is happiness.  God’s will for you is happiness.  Ego is so accustomed to future-tripping that it eclipsed our ability to experience the good stuff.  It distorts our vision.  I find myself believing the thoughts that fly through my head about I need to do this, I should have done that, that mom shouldn’t talk to her kid that way, etc. etc.  One opinion (judgment) after another floating through to distract me from being present.

In my ego thoughts, the present moment needs fixing somehow.  I don’t have enough money (not affirming, Lord!); I need a new whatever (phone, laptop, car, pedicure).  My to do list hangs in front of me like a gauze I can’t see past.  But these are just thoughts.  The issue is that I believe them as if they were reality.

I seriously think that the purpose of meditating is to get used to ignoring thoughts.  Thoughts get in the way of being present, of experiencing present happiness.  I have these thoughts and before I know it, I’m busy telling these stories and failing to “see” the present moment.

Today’s lesson:

Lesson 290

My present happiness is all I see.

Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see. Eyes that begin to open see at last. And I would have Christ’s vision come to me this very day. What I perceive without God’s Own Correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold. Yet I would not allow my mind to be deceived by the belief the dream I made is real an instant longer. This the day I seek my present happiness, and look on nothing else except the thing I seek.

With this resolve I come to You, and ask Your strength to hold me up today, while I but seek to do Your Will. You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me. And I am sure that I will see my happiness today.



© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA  94942-0598


Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see.”  I am looking upon what is not there every time I pay attention to a thought that distracts me from enjoying “my present happiness.”  It takes practice, for sure.  It is like learning to meditate with eyes open: a thought arises and I have to ignore it.

I’m notoriously bad at it.  Oops – thought; ignore that.

Christ’s vision looks on everything with Love.  No judgment.   No condemnation; just love.  Until I learn to do that, I will fail to notice the goodness that is right here, right now.  Granted, it takes practice and faith.  Someone with cancer will insist that the goodness is missing.  “No,” they will tell you, “I really do have cancer right this moment.”  They will fail to notice that they have held the sickness in place by dragging the belief in it around with them.

“There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” Cancer goes into remission every day.  It disappears without doctors being able to explain why.  But it cannot happen while the patient is entertaining thoughts of owning it.  It’s just a thought.  It’s a thought that has become a belief, and it is not the truth.

As the Course reminds us, “ You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations. “

And of course, the Course disavows illness. “ To believe that a Son of God can be sick is to believe that part of God can suffer. Love cannot suffer, because it cannot attack.”

4 To believe a Son of God is sick is to worship the same idol he does. God created love, not idolatry. All forms of idolatry are caricatures of creation, taught by sick minds too divided to know that creation shares power and never usurps it. Sickness is idolatry, because it is the belief that power can be taken from you. Yet this is impossible, because you are part of God, Who is all power. A sick god must be an idol, made in the image of what its maker thinks he is. And that is exactly what the ego does perceive in a Son of God; a sick god, self-created, self-sufficient, very vicious and very vulnerable. Is this the idol you would worship? Is this the image you would be vigilant to save? Are you really afraid of losing this?”

I wonder if they have ever tried to hypnotize someone to “cure” them of cancer.  I mean, Milton Erickson used clinical hypnosis to cure people all the time; although he said that is was a misconception to think “hypnosis works miracles,” suggesting that to achieve miracles you should rely on a higher power.

Anyway, the point of all this is to notice the many, many ways I entertain thoughts that prevent me from seeing “my present happiness.”  Most of the time, there isn’t even anything going on.  I’m not in the middle of a gang war, or a hurricane.  Even physical pain can be transmuted into a different sensation with practice.  It begins with disowning the thought.  Self-hypnosis is used to manage pain all of the time.

“ You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations. “

So my task is to notice where I am thinking instead of seeing.  My present happiness is all I see.”  I can see it as soon as I let go of looking at what is not there, as soon as I quit believing my thoughts.

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.




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