A Course In Miracles, Lesson 52 plus Commentary by Allen Watson
Today's review covers these ideas:
(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 regard 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?
Commentary by Allen Watson
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". 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, "Nothing in God's creation is affected in any way by this confusion of mine". 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 about which to feel guilty.
"If I see nothing as it is now, it can truly be said that I see nothing". 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". 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". 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.