Lesson 7 Laurie’s Reflections

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lesson 7: “I see only the past.”

The Course says the past is not real.  We are aiming to get ourselves adjusted to living in the moment.  What we truly want is to experience this second and then the next second, no more, no less.  We want to just relax and be open to what is happening in this very instant.  This is the way to be fully awake and fully alive when we show up to the now with just the exciting anticipation of all the extraordinary things that will happen in the present.  This is the way to true joy and consistent peace when we approach the moment with nothing but our open mind and willing heart to let go of any past ideas.
The world says we are supposed to define everything in the present and also predict the future based on what we thought happened in the past.  The world says that the past gives us information and we are meant to use this to make sense of what is happening now.  The problem is if we bring the past with us in our minds we will just carry the past over from then until now.  Then we are doomed to repeat the past because if we operate from the idea that the past can impact the now then we give it power to shape the now.

When we bring the past with us, this definitely colors how we approach everything.  When the past is included in how we see the present while we experience it the past is going to make only limitations on the present  Our ego perception of the past is always within its own limitation about how good the present can be.  When we bring these kinds of expectations to the present then we make everything necessarily small.  We assume then the present is simply a copy of the past with all of its woes.  The Course says that the ego assumes that our experience of the present is always within the realm of limitation because that’s what the ego is good at.  The ego shows us all around how the present is limited and therefore, we adopt this presumption about it because it seems familiar.

What we learn in the Course is how to let go of our insistence on making the past real.  What we do when we make the past real is that we give it validity, we make it something that had impact on us before and definitely causes the same challenge in the present.  Making the past real is when we allow the past to affect us.  This is why we have to be totally vigilant in watching our minds so we don’t make the past real.  When we remind ourselves that the past isn’t real, it allows us to stop suffering over it and bringing it with us.  This is why we need to go the the extent of seeing it as not real.  This mental presumption allows us to hold in our minds that the past was not real and therefore- by its unreality- has no power to affect us.

We just need to know that all we see is the past.  We need to realize how much power we give in our minds to our beliefs in the past and all the definitions that we made in the past.  This is mind-blowing because it is the way we function in the world.  We define everything in terms of what it was to us before.  Then we think we can define the present with the terms of the past because it is based on this perceptual information we think we gathered.  The Course is teaching us that- this is a startling realization that we base so much of our existence on this.  We are just using this time of learning to wake up and see with more clarity what we are actually doing with our minds and hearts.


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