Lesson 005 – I am never upset for the reason I think

Please share

 

This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain. Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. This is not true. However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognising they are all the same.

When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it. For example:

I am not angry at ________ for the reason I think.
I am not afraid of ________ for the reason I think.

But again, this should not be substituted for practise periods in which you first search your mind for “sources” of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result. In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others. It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:

There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.

Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.

You may also find yourself less willing to apply today’s idea to some perceived sources of upset than to others. If this occurs, think first of this:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it. Further examples are:

I am not worried about ________ for the reason I think.
I am not depressed about ________ for the reason I think.

Three or four times during the day is enough.

Lesson 004 – These thoughts do not mean anything

Please share

 

Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. In these practise periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. Then apply the idea to them. If you are already aware of unhappy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad”. You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad”. This is why they do not mean anything.

In selecting the subjects for the application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required. Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad”. None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. The “good” ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either.

This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaningful within. It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognise what is the same and what is different.

In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:

This thought about ________ does not mean anything.
It is like the things I see in this room, [on this street, and so on].

You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognise as harmful. This practise is useful, but is not a substitute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. You are too inexperienced as yet to void a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.

Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgement in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. We will return to them later.

Lesson 003 – I do not understand anything I see

Please share

 

Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea. These are not exercises in judgement. Anything is suitable if you see it. Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you. Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.

The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realise how little you really understand about them. It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgement, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.

Support for students of "A Course In Miracles"