Friday, October 16, 2015
Lesson 289: “What is the Holy Spirit?” “The past is over. It can touch me not.”
One of the important things that we learn in the Course is that the past is actually not in existence. We are taught here to absolutely live in the present. When we carry the past with us, we end up simply repeating it. Sometimes we repeat the past with different characters or sometimes just slightly enough circumstances for our ego minds not to get suspicious that what we are doing is simply reliving the past. When we relive the past we do it in because we need to learn certain lessons, and if we are not paying them the appropriate attention, then the past just recurs again. Thus, we keep learning that lesson until we finally integrate the healthiest and in fact most God-centered purpose in our conclusion that we finally can make within.
The past is important to use as one component that helps us to give us some understanding of what we are meant to learn. Jesus says in the Course to do this with a very fine touch. What we are asked to do is while we are in the world notice what the lesson is. We can learn all sorts of layers of our life lessons. This is the only reason it has purpose.
Jesus says in the Course however, that what is of dire consequence- even though we also laugh about it- is that we let go of the past and accept that the past is unreal. The reason we are asked to see it as unreal is because we don’t want to get into the habit of having a whole present that is simply the past carried over into the present moment. The ego likes to repeat the past because it likes to perpetuate any sense of suffering. Therefore it comes forth and just doesn’t ask questions- like whether we were happy there- it just takes charge and makes the present the closest to the past as it can manage. It likes to maintain its own story indefinitely.
The Course says the past is not real at all. What we ideally want to do is simply live in the present without a moment of perpetuating the past. Often we have unresolved issues about the past or we have questions about why people did certain things or why God made certain circumstances. The past we judge and end up being reactive about it. All of this reaction and judgement about the past takes us out of our certainty. Jesus teaches us to stay out of the past because it is not a picture we want to bring to the present.
Jesus says in the Course that life and our existence, is all so much better than we can imagine. What we are asked to do is realize that our best attempt at seeing what the present holds still pales in comparison to what is the truth of how it can be. Jesus says we are limited in our minds since we started to believe in the separation from God. Therefore, we automatically give our perception of reality much less of abundant joy and peace and abundance because we simply have a human and limited vision. This is why we want to come to the present with a portion of our minds holding space for the possibility we were wrong about how good things can get. It can be so much better than we imagine. This is why we absolutely limit the present if we plan on simply carrying over what we had in the past.
This is why Jesus says totally release the past and understand that our limited view of what can be in the present is actually rather a great joy. We just have to be willing to do our present with God. We can have the will of God and purpose of God to be what makes us clear that we are going to have such a perfect present exactly as God has planned it. This is why we are reminded that we are meant to be clear in our minds that the past has in fact no reality and therefore no impact on the present moment. We can allow ourselves to learn what the past has to teach us because we want to be committed to creating a present that isn’t simply the past reenacting itself so we can brush up on our learning. Allow the learning to be what God plans for us but be willing to let the lessons be just what God wills them. We don’t need to suffer over anything that happened in the past that still remains unresolved and having some seeming charge.
The Course gives us the tool of forgiveness to release the charge from the past. And then let the past be as it never existed in the first place so we don’t carry with us from now on some sense of distress about whatever happened previously.