Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 52 Review of Lessons 6-10
(6) I am upset because I see what is not there.
Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions I made up. The illusions are upsetting because I have given them reality, and thus react regarding reality as an illusion. Nothing in God’s creation is affected in any way by this confusion of mine. I am always upset by nothing.
(7) I see only the past.
As I look about, I condemn the world I look upon. I call this seeing. I hold the past against everyone and everything, making them my enemies. When I have forgiven myself and remembered who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see. There will be no past, and therefore no enemies. And I will look with love on all that I failed to see before.
(8) My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
I see only my own thoughts, and my mind is preoccupied with the past. What, then, can I see as it is? Let me remember that I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. Let me understand that I am trying to use time against God. Let me learn to give the past away, realizing that in so doing, I am giving up nothing.
(9) I see nothing as it is now.
If I see nothing as it is now, it can truly be said that I see nothing. I can see only what is now. The choice is not whether to see the past or the present; the choice is merely whether to see or not. What I have chosen to see has cost me vision. Now I would choose again, that I may see.
(10) My thoughts do not mean anything.
I have no private thoughts. Yet it is only private thoughts of which I am aware. What can these thoughts mean? They do not exist, and so they mean nothing. Yet my mind is part of creation and part of its Creator. Would I not rather join the thinking of the universe than to obscure all that is really mine with my pitiful and meaningless private thoughts?
Notes and Personal Application (2019): Opening prayer – Thank You, Savior, for this review of the ideas in this Course. Thank You for reminding me of what I have learned and taking me one step at a time to the fullness of truth. I am ready to let my thoughts be part of the mind of my Creator and part of creation itself! I desire to only think with Love, to think with the Holy Spirit, to join with my Lord and Savior, Jesus, and take my part in the Sonship of God and the Brotherhood of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Morning discourse: Dear Lord, the one that leaps out for me is Lesson 8, My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. I no longer want to do that. I want to bless and fill my past with love and correction and use time for God, not against God. Let me learn to give my past away, and realize, too, that is doing so, I am giving up nothing at all. Let me not hold anything of the past against You, by forgiving and overlooking and seeing only love in my brothers and sisters before God. Show me the way and really convince my mind of this I pray. That I may do my part and love my Lord and make happy for myself, for others, and especially for God.
Holy Spirit: When you are happy, I am Happy, and all are happy. Your happiness, your niceness, this is your Holiness. Your gift that you bring. When I ask you to be blithe and bonnie, I ask you only for the gifts that bring you joy. When I ask you to give up your past – this is no sacrifice! You are giving up a big nothing. Always know this – I will never ask you to sacrifice your joy and gladness, your Blithe and Bonnie! I love you. Your pleasures and your comforts – they are my pleasures and comforts. I only see goodness and graciousness and joy when I look upon you. When the deceiver comes to me to tell me of all your wrongdoing, I laugh in his face. Oh, that is not my Eckie you are talking about, I tell him. Surely you are mistaken! I refuse to hear anything bad about you, Eckie. I refuse and deny anything at all that would soil your holy innocence and goodness. All I ask of you is to do the same for your brothers and your sisters. As I delight in your goodness, so delight in the goodness and graciousness of all your sisters and brothers and refuse and deny any dirt on them. This will please me beyond measure and draw us ever closer. You will see.
Me: This review – I want to apply it to my relationships with my sisters and brothers, my mother and father, my nieces and nephews, my friends whom I have distanced from myself. I could see only the past, Lord, and I let it hurt me and put up defenses and attacks against them. I could see only their past failings, failings that I was projecting onto them, because of my own shortcomings, clearly, and also the failings that they, in turn, were projecting unto me. It just filled me with outrage, Lord! To think that they would blame me for their own choices. To think about the things they said and did, how they seemed to take advantage, and then point their finger at me in attack when I was only giving them a taste of their own medicine. When I put myself out on a limb for them and tried to explain to them what I found so unbearable and hurtful… When I tried to establish necessary and understandable boundaries…when I had to hear their poison for years but was not given a safe place in which to express my own…I do not know how to give this up, I do not know how to get over it. I do not know how to keep dwelling upon it. I want to give it up. I want to love them. I want to offer them what You give me, Lord. I love it when You overlook my blunders, my mistakes, my stupidity, and bad manners and ignorance. I love it and appreciate it so much, but yet I cannot seem to offer this to others.
Holy Spirit: First, you just give it up your past. You give up their past as well. You just no longer think about it, when the deceiver tries to bring it to your mind, say as I say to you, Oh, that cannot be true! That is not the Beckie, I know! That is not the Melody, I know! That is not my dear sweet brother Jim. It was only something they did – it was a mistake. It has no meaning and does not define them. Laugh and remind yourself of the love. The joy. The holy innocence of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember how beautiful your niece is, and all the funny things she has said and done that make you love her so deeply and appreciate her cute little ways and her beautiful freckles and all the absolutely amazing times you spent with her. The times she went with you to work, and you could hear her laughter ringing, and it would fill your heart with warmth and joy. Think about all the fun times that you had with your sister, the meals you shared, the places you went, the times when her generosity and kindness would save your day. Forget about all that other stuff. Let it go the way I let your mistakes go. Remember the joy, the laughter, the warmth, how she has enriched your life beyond measure. When you think of your brother, think of his kindness, his brotherly love, his guidance. Remember how he was there for you when Manda came to be with me. Remember how he told you things that helped you to understand James, to be a good wife, to be a better person. When you think of the hurtful things he has said, tell yourself that he did not mean them, that he made a mistake, that while what he said may have been right, he did not know how to get his point across without hurting your feelings. Forgive him. I am asking you to make way for Love. And to do that you must let go of the ego’s doings – both in yourself and in others. When you do this, dear Eckie, you are doing this as unto me. When you do this, miracles start to happen.
You will at first be astounded by the miracles, but soon you will realize that the miracles are natural expressions of love, and you will no longer be astounded by them. They are logical, creative, and a blessing that builds upon itself in a natural, enlarging, and loving upward cycle that includes all. I want you to realize this and not be afraid of being “too nice” or “too loving” or “too forgiving.” This will cost you nothing, Eckie. If you feel any kind of sacrificial, begrudging spirit – you will know immediately that you are working in a physical realm and dealing with bodies instead of minds. Many people make this mistake and end up in the same pit that you seem to be in. They do and overdo for others in the physical realm and drain themselves. They end up feeling resentful and taken advantage of. I am asking you to love and forgive. This doesn’t mean that you get back into the same cycles of catering to the needs of the ego. I am not asking you to take middle of the night calls; I am not asking you to prepare feasts or burden yourself with meaningless rites and traditions out of some sense of obligation. I am asking you to love and forgive. It is the only thing that people genuinely want from you. When you are happy and glad and joyful, everything you do for others will come from Love. Love is the connection in the mind that unites all of Creation. These are the miracles. Let Happy, Glad, and Joyful be your guide. Welcome Bonnie and Blithe into your life. Never be afraid of them or think of them as lightweights. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
I welcome all that is happy, glad, joyful, bonnie, and blithe into my life, Holy Spirit. Thank you for loving me and showing me how to love others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): This morning during devotions, I didn’t want to read the entire devotional from last year to James. It was so embarrassing to let him see how difficult it was for me to forgive, the petty grudges and ongoing ruminations that were causing me distress and keeping me from enjoying the freedom and liberty, the peace, love, and joy that Jesus promises to those who let go of the past and forgive. The process for me has been so long, and I know that it doesn’t have to be this way. I envy people who can just forgive and forget and move on, and on the other hand, I suspect anybody who says it is easy!
He said that he wanted to hear it, and so I read it aloud to him. Honestly, if he thinks I am crazy, I should know about it. I read the discourse between Holy Spirit and me, and he said that Jesus also speaks to him in much the same way – in his mind and to his heart, to the very core of his consciousness. It was such a relief to hear this from him because there are times I think that perhaps I am just making it all up – that I have been programmed to believe that Jesus still speaks to people. However, when I trust the Voice for God I have peace; when I do not trust the Voice for God, I do not. And so I confess Holy Spirit talks to me; I pay attention; I believe in the Voice for God.
I also do not particularly want to share my personal devotionals on this blog, but Holy Spirit told me to share it, names, and all. It seems mean and spiteful to use names and speak of circumstances, I argued. But this is how we make room for truth – by bringing up our darkness and sharing our processes, speaking of our hurt, sorrow, grudges, our guilt, shame, and sense of sin – the process of forgiveness. When we offer our darkness to Holy Spirit, His light reveals its insubstantial shadows, and they can no longer poison and loom larger than reality. When we share our processes we are joining with God. When we hide them, we do nothing.
It is never helpful in our return to God to attempt to bring perfection to Holy Spirit, simply because perfection does not require salvation. Those who are perfect are not here in a body having struggles with their separated ego!
But we are here, and we are going to stay here until we figure this thing out. Nobody gets to ride the glory train to heaven without the rest of us. No elect of God can forgo coming to terms with separation and finding another means of return. Jesus spells it out quite clearly to us: We give forgiveness to receive forgiveness; we receive forgiveness only to share it. There are no fight-cats allowed in His Kingdom. No hidden agendas. No jealousy and rivalries. No inherited grudges; no traditions of war and violence. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross is not magical plasma that washes away our sins and absolves us of our responsibility to love and forgive, to clear our minds from the ego’s control, to fully realize exactly what we are being saved from! Here in time is the place to resolve it because there is no other cure for what ails us. Even death, Jesus says, is not an escape.
And so today I give you my thoughts. They mean nothing if they are private, and yet when my mind is joined with yours, it is part of creation and part of its Creator. I would rather join with the universe than to hide all that is really mine with my puny, purposeless “private” thoughts. Share them, Holy Spirit told me, and so I share.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 52…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 84-85.