Lesson 214: Review: “ I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” “I place the future in the hands of God.”
In the Course’s philosophy, the past and the future are not real. Therefore, they don’t exist and have no potential to injure us or have any serious negative effects on us. The past and future are lumped together in what the Course calls unreal.
Things like time are totally redefined in the Course in that the present is the only viable reality.
The present is the only time we are actively awake and the only time to which we can bring our consciousness and remember we are one with God. We are given the present so we can make this clear orientation for ourselves.
However, the larger task is to get it through our minds that nothing else but the present is real.
This is difficult to grasp because we are used to thinking about and making plans about the past and future.
The Course reminds us that these are simply what the ego invented to try to have some focus for the ego’s object of obsession- control.
The future and past, the ego likes to curse that something is not other than it is. We must let these ideas go that we have some story that is valid in the past. The ego has a terrible attachment to defining ourselves by our past. This never serves us because the past is always filled with incessant failings.
The ego uses the past against us in our own internal war of attack.
Therefore, we must make the mental conclusion that the past is actually unreal. When we do then the past ceases to affect us in a profound way.
We want to make the past something we evaluate; we learn from it the ways we gather information of how to better execute our next step.
We want to gain from seeing the past, and not try to avoid it in some way that the ego is stuck in judging the past. In that instance, we are paralyzed because we don’t know how to release ourselves from this judgement that keeps us mired in the past’s woes.
The Course reminds us that the future never comes if we always live in the present.
We ideally want to be as rooted in the present as much as possible. Make it our practice to release our judgment about the past as well as the worry about the future.
We watch our minds and make concerted effort when it comes to giving God all of our pasting and futuring.
The Course teaches us to get out of old habits of making the past and future all that we focus on in the moment. We then just perpetuate what happened in the past into the unknown future. However what they were before will continue because we are missing the present which is the link not to miss.
It is the only place we can be conscious to choose another thought or feeling and thus create a new reality.
Our first step is to hold securely in our minds that the past and future are not real and therefore, their impact on the quality of our feeling in the moment is not influenced by them in any way.
We learn to see them and have conversations about them when necessary but completely know that this is not the present and hold them loosely in our minds. The present is the only place we can remember God. We learn to forgive our old tendency to blame the past or future for any challenge we think the ego brings there. And we learn to not so fiercely try to control them.
Thus, we can gently and delicately join with God in the purpose that we do what needs to be done in the present, so we can give the present to God.
When we do this, our hearts are free because we are making God our focus.
Then we can give the future to God despite the fact we know it is unreal. When we have to deal with it, make it a gesture we a hundred percent do with God. When we stay committed to making our present a moment to moment practice of joining, then we never have the experience of fretting about the future because we trust implicitly that God is bringing the most ideal future.
We must stay committed to our practice in having faith in God’s plan.