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Lesson 8: My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts
There are so many powerful thoughts contained in this lesson. The first is this: “we see only our thoughts projected outward.”
What this means is that everything we see in the world is not an objective reality that is “out there”. Rather, what we’re seeing is a reflection – in the world – of our thoughts – from our mind.
That is such a powerful concept that I want to elaborate on it a bit. The world is not a medium that impinges on us. It’s not an environment we’re born into. It’s not the source of our joys and pains. It is purely a projection from our mind.
Whatever we first think in the mind, that’s what we then see in the world. Said another way, the cause of everything we experience is the contents of our mind. That explains why, as we learned in Lesson 7, that we see only the past.
The next powerful idea from this lesson is this: “Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is.” In other words, the past is gone. It’s over. It doesn’t exist. Similarly, the future isn’t “here”. There is nothing other than the present moment. And the present moment is not part of time. Otherwise, it would be either past or future.
And the last idea I want to mention from A Course in Miracles Lesson 8 is the title itself: “My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.” If we watch our thoughts carefully, they are always about the past. Even if we are fantasizing or worrying about some future event, we are using our past thoughts to envision the scenario.
When we realize the extent to which our mind is preoccupied as such, we begin the process of recognizing the power of our mind. And we’re slowly learning how to make a different choice in the mind in order to have a completely different experience in the world.