Review I - Lessons 6 to 10
"I am upset because I see what 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."
Purpose: To review the lessons and therefore let them sink in a notch deeper. Also, to see how interrelated they are and how cohesive the thought system is that they are leading you to.Exercise: As often as possible (suggestion: every hour on the hour), for at least two minutes.
• Alone in a quiet place, read one of the five lessons and the related comments. Notice that the comments are written as if they are your own thoughts about the idea. Try to imagine that they are. It will help if you frequently insert your name. This will set you up for the next phase, in which you generate similar thoughts of your own.
• Close your eyes and think about the idea and the comments. Think particularly about the central point of the commentary paragraph. Reflect on it. Let related thoughts come (utilizing the training you’ve received in that practice). If your mind wanders, repeat the idea and then get back to your reflection. This is the same basic exercise as in Lesson 50, in which you actively think about ideas in order to let them sink more deeply into your mind.
• At the beginning and end of the day read all five lessons.
• Thereafter, cover one lesson per practice period, in no particular order. • Cover each lesson at least once.
• Beyond that, concentrate on a particular lesson if it appeals to you most.
Remember that the general practice for these reviews is to read all five thoughts and comments twice daily, morning and evening, and to spend at least one two-minute period with each of the five ideas during the day.
The thoughts are thick in these reviews, so I offer only a few observations on things that stand out for me.
"Reality is never frightening" (1:2). Reality is, of course, what God created. When I feel frightened, I find it useful to remind myself that I must be seeing something that isn't really there.
I am the one who makes up frightening illusions. How reassuring to be told that, "Nothing in God's creation is affected in any way by this confusion of mine" (1:7). That is the basis for letting go of guilt. I may be confused, mistaken, deceived, and deceiving, but none of it affects what is real. What's real is real no matter what I do. The sun doesn't go out when I cover my eyes. So all that I have done has had zero real effects! I have nothing of which to feel guilty.
"If I see nothing as it is now, it can truly be said that I see nothing" (4:2). A thing is as it is now. It isn't as it was yesterday; it isn't as it will be tomorrow. Things exist NOW. That is the only way I can see them. That is how they are. If I am seeing the past, I'm not seeing anything. The past isn't here.
"I have no private thoughts" (5:2). What if everyone in the world could see right into your mind? What if the way you thought about your boss affected the war in Bosnia? Guess what? They can. It does. And yet, "they mean nothing" (5:5). If you think thoughts you believe to be private, they are meaningless. They have effects within the illusion, but they affect nothing real. Only thoughts that are shared have real effects, and the only thoughts that can be truly shared are the thoughts you think with God.
Copyright © 1996, The Circle of Atonement, Sedona,
All rights reserved.