A COURSE IN MIRACLES

LESSON 8

My mind is preöccupied with past thoughts.

1. This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. ²No one really sees anything. ³ He sees only his thoughts projected outward. ⁴The mind’s preöccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. ⁵Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. ⁶It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

Annotations
Expanded

This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. ²No one really sees anything. ³ He [one] sees only his [one’s] thoughts projected outward. ⁴The mind’s preöccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which [misconception about time] your seeing suffers. ⁵Your mind cannot grasp the present, which [present] is the only time there is. ⁶It [your mind] therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

Substituted

This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. ²No one really sees anything. ³ One sees only one’s thoughts projected outward. ⁴The mind’s preöccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time; from misconception about time your seeing suffers. ⁵Your mind cannot grasp the present; present is the only time there is. ⁶Your mind therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

Simplified

The present is the only time there is. Your mind sees only the past. If you see only the past, you cannot understand anything in the present.

2. The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. ²To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. ³Very few have realised what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. ⁴The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.

Annotations
Expanded

The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it [the past] is not here. ²To think about it [the past] at all is therefore to think about illusions. ³Very few have realised what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. ⁴The mind is actually blank when it [the mind] does this [pictures the past or anticipates the future], because it [the mind] is not really thinking about anything.

Substituted

The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that the past is not here. ²To think about the past at all is therefore to think about illusions. ³Very few have realised what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. ⁴The mind is actually blank when the mind pictures the past or anticipates the future, because the mind is not really thinking about anything.

Simplified

Past and future do not exist. Your mind is blank when you think about past and/or future.

3. The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognise when it is not really thinking at all. ²While thoughtless ideas preöccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. ³Recognising that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.

Annotations
Expanded

The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognise when it [your mind] is not really thinking at all. ²While thoughtless ideas preöccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. ³Recognising that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it [your mind] is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.

Substituted

3. The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognise when your mind is not really thinking at all. ²While thoughtless ideas preöccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. ³Recognising that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that your mind is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.

Simplified

Thinking about past and future blocks the truth.

4. The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. ²This is because you actually cannot see anything, and it is easier to recognise that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything. ³With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. ⁴Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. ⁵Introduce the practice period by saying:

⁶I seem to be thinking about _____.

5. Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:

²I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion],

and so on, concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with:

³But my mind is preöccupied with past thoughts.

6. This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. ²If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. ³You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion that the idea for today may induce, in the mind searching itself.

W-pI.7 I see only the pastW-pI.9 I see nothing as it is now