Welcome to the second in a series of posts on A Course in Miracles! If you missed last week's entry, ACIM is a self-study program that teaches your mind to view the world in a more forgiving and peaceful light. It consists of 365 lessons that we meditate on every day for a year. Two years ago I tried going through it on my own but I got lost. Now I've started again with the support of a study group and a great teacher, so fingers crossed I'll be able to see it through to the end - all 365 days of ACIM! With that optimistic note behind me, I should confess that I didn't follow any of the lectures during the week and instead of studying them one day at a time, I am going through them now. I know, it's awful, ACIM works best in bite sized chunks.But anyhow, let's get started with Week 2! I have taken the headings below from the A Course in Miracles website but the interpretations are my own. If you missed my first post READ IT HERE.
Day 8: My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
Last week we ended with the concept that wherever we look, we see the past whether it's pink nail polish taking you back to your first school dance, tardiness taking you back to a mom who was always running late, and even happy memories like icing on the cake reminding us of birthdays. Our experiences start to condition our thoughts and our expectations, so that in time we look at a person's dress code (or their gender) and make assumptions about them. Our thoughts lend a voice to those assumptions and for this reason, our mind is preoccupied with thoughts about the past. We can remove this filter by taking a step back and realizing that our thoughts about X, Y or Z are really about the past.
Day 9: I see nothing as it is now.
One of the things I love about energy healing, is how each session is unique. I tend to tune into my client's energy field clairvoyantly to get a sense of what needs to be healed or cleared. The impressions come as pictures, feelings or even cartoons, illustrating the world that they live in. Every healing is a surprise, it's own movie starring John or Sally. Pretty soon it also becomes apparent that we all have different filters, based on our experiences. Some people see love through rose colored glasses, other have a cynical filter. We can each be presented with the same opportunity and nevertheless have completely different reactions to it: hope, excitement, cynicism or apathy. We don't see the world objectively; instead we see what our experiences led us to expect.
Day 10: My thoughts do not mean anything.
I could interpret this one one of two ways - my study group is tomorrow so we'll see what the teacher has to say about it. The more obvious meaning (pardon the pun) is that our thoughts don't have the significance we think they have, because we're viewing the present through the lens of our own assumptions.
Let's give an example:
Your friend Mary cancels dinner plans yet again and you think "oh, she always has something better to do" But maybe this time, her babysitter did cancel last minute. Or she's been so stressed at work that her social life has been put on the back burner, it's not personal.
We don't know the reason for things, so our thoughts about those things are at best irrelevant and at worst, damaging. This brings me to the second way of interpreting today's phrase: are our thoughts significant? On any given day, the average human has 50-70 thoughts. How many of them are significant? How many of them are true? How many of them are products of the subconscious?
Day 11: My meaningless thoughts show me a meaningless world.
Without knowing the reason for things, or even the reality, the external world really does seem meaningless. Especially all of the sad and upsetting events around the world. Let's take the recent attacks in Paris and Lebanon, a real tragedy where hundreds of innocent people were killed. I can't help wonder what goes on in the mind of a person who hurts others that way. Calling them evil would be too simple, it's more likely a mix of politics, power struggles, fear and manipulation gone wrong. A few months ago I watched an excellent interview between Queen Rania of Jordan and Arianna Huffington, where they explored some of the socioeconomic conditions that play a role. There is always a reason, and if we understand it maybe we can find a solution. I don't know what it is, but my intuition tells me that education plays a part.
Day 12: I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
This one is all too easy to make sense of, given recent events. We see things that can only be described as painful and they make no sense. It's upsetting. Today's concept reminds us that we are upset because we see no rhyme or reason for the pain in the world. If we could understand the pain by seeing the causes for all the "effects", we'd understand the world and our place in it.
Day 13: A meaningless world engenders fear.
A few years ago I applied for a job as a Global Brand Manager. The interviewer told me that in order to do well, the candidate had to feel comfortable with high levels of uncertainty. In their environment plans changed all the time, projects were abandoned at the last minute, goals would change. You'd never know if the thing you were working on today would be useful or meaningful tomorrow. The only solution was to accept that uncertainty and live with it. Today's phrase reminds me of that interview (I didn't get the job). If living in a chaotic world is stressful, your best bet is to learn to live with it and find a way to trust. Otherwise we end up anxious, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. A Course in Miracles tells us to trust that there is a reason, one we don't see.
Day 14: God did not create a meaningless world.
Whether or not you believe in a Higher Power, we all have our reasons for doing what we do. In my humble opinion, most of the tragedies on earth are man made, whether it's war, poverty, and climate change (which will bring about more and more natural disasters). There is a reason for all of this, often rooted in human egos, free will and selfishness born out of fear. The world isn't meaningless, it just takes a little work to change our mindset and understand it.
Last year one of my Facebook friends sent in the following question:
What is the purpose of us being here? I mean really - if we are infinite beings why would we choose to come here to experience disease and violence and sadness, even it it comes with joy and love too?
My gut feeling is that it was never meant to be this way, we've created it and we can change it if we change our consciousness. I wrote a series of posts leading up to the New Year and peace and prosperity, see here for details.
So that's a wrap!
Come back next week for my next installment on A Course in Miracles. You can read the whole course for free on the ACIM Website Here. It's really worth doing for a whole year so that you get the full benefit. Study groups help a lot, though there are also plenty of online videos and interviews explaining ACIM. My former classmate at The College of Psychic Studies has an awesome website called A Course in Miracles Explained, follow this link for his YouTube Channel! Enjoy =)
This is the Interview Mentioned Above!