Lesson 52: Review: “I am upset because I see something that is not there.” “I see only the past.” “My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.” “I see nothing as it is now.” “My thoughts do not mean anything.”
The Course reminds us that we are seeing only the present all the time.
The past does not exist. The past is unreal.
That means that we must decide whether we simply want to see or not.
When we are in the present, this is appropriate because it is the only reality and time there is. The ego loves to make the past a place that has substance and brings us painful memories, but the Course asks us to simply remove ourselves from buying into the past’s being real.
The whole point of seeing the past as not real is then we simply have no other choice than to be rather in the present.
Then, we struggle less in the process of keeping ourselves grounded in what is happening now.
We ideally want to stay focused on the present and allow the past to not pull us in any way in the creation of our thinking, because the past is a particularly vivid part of our nightmare.
We are learning to let go of the past because doing so allows us to be much more open to the present moment.
We are reminded here that we make enemies with everyone and everything because we hold the past against everyone and everything.
The problem is when we get too invested in the past and we start to believe the conclusions we made about our past.
Then we get upset and hold grievances and grudges because we have declared war on the past.
The ego has a very long list of grievances and we accept them because the past is where the ego goes off- into an insane rant about all that transpired.
The ego makes a bloody battlefield because the past is so easy to clutch onto and complain about.
The Course says that our purpose is to evaluate the past.
We can collect information about the past’s reality without being at war.
All we have to do is be as neutral as possible.
We don’t judge in any way. We learn here to understand that the ego will go on and on in a craven insanity in the recalling the past. But our task is to be quiet and gentle with the past and forgive it.
Then, we see it as far less intense when we simply evaluate it with no judgement because we accept that is is not real. This helps us forgo the weightiness of the past.
We can hold it lightly because it is unreal and just give our minds the presence to sit with it and see it.
Then we give it all to God for the healing it needs.
We, also, bring it back into our minds, where we then can benefit from the helpful ideas we learned from witnessing the past without getting stuck in our distress over it.