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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
Original Edition
Since you and your neighbor are equal members of the same family, as you perceive both, so you will behave toward both. The way to perceive for Golden Rule behavior is to look out from the perception of your own holiness and perceive the holiness of others.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Workbook for Students
Part 1
Lesson 8
My mind is preoccupied
with past thoughts.
1 This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. No one really sees anything. He sees only his thoughts projected outward. The mind's preoccupation with the past is the cause of the total misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. It therefore cannot understand time and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

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

3 The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. While thoughtless "ideas" preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. Recognizing 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.

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

5 I seem to be thinking about _____.

6 Then name each of your thoughts specifically. For example:

7 I seem to be thinking about [name of person], about [name of object], about [name of emotion];

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

9 But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

10 This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. If you find it trying, three or four times are sufficient. You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion which the idea may induce, in the mind searching itself.
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Lesson ARCHIVE

Course in Miracles
Original Edition
TEXT
Chapter 1
Introduction to Miracles

I. Principles of Miracles par 59-70
[READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
41. 59 The miracle acknowledges all men as your brothers and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God in them. The specialness of God's Sons does not stem from exclusion but from inclusion. All my brothers are special. If they believe they are deprived of anything, their perception becomes distorted. When this occurs, the whole family of God, or the Sonship, is impaired in its relationships. Ultimately, every member of the family of God must return. The miracle calls him to return because it blesses and honors him even though he may be absent in spirit.

60 "God is not mocked" is not a warning but a reassurance on this point. God would be mocked if any of His creations lacked holiness. The creation is whole, and the mark of wholeness is holiness.

42. 61 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. It thus corrects or atones for the faulty perception of lack anywhere.

62 Here we begin to make the fundamental distinction between miracles and projection. The stimulus must precede the response and will also determine the kind of response that is evoked. Behavior is response, so that the question "response to what?" becomes crucial. Since stimuli are identified through perception, you first perceive the stimulus and then behave accordingly. It follows, then, that:

63 As ye perceive, so shall ye behave.

64 The Golden Rule asks you to behave toward others as you would have them behave toward you. This means that the perception of both must be accurate. The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior. You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive accurately, because appropriate behavior depends on lack of level confusion. The presence of level confusion always results in variable reality testing and therefore in variability in behavioral appropriateness. Since you and your neighbor are equal members of the same family, as you perceive both, so you will behave toward both. The way to perceive for Golden Rule behavior is to look out from the perception of your own holiness and perceive the holiness of others.

65 The emptiness engendered by fear should be replaced by love because love and its absence are in the same dimension, and correction cannot be undertaken except within a dimension. Otherwise, there has been a confusion of levels. Death is a human affirmation of a belief in "[hate]," or level confusion. That is why the Bible says, "There is no death" and why I demonstrated that death does not exist. I came to fulfill the law by reinterpreting it. The law itself, if properly understood, offers only protection to man. It is those who have not yet "changed their minds" who entered the "hellfire" concept into it.

66 I assure you that I will witness for anyone who lets me and to whatever extent he permits it. Your witnessing demonstrates your belief and thus strengthens it. Those who witness for me are expressing through their miracles that they have abandoned the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance they have learned belongs to them.

43. 67 A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing man from his misplaced sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack.

68 Miracles are affirmations of Sonship, which is a state of completion and abundance. Whatever is true and real is eternal and cannot change or be changed. The Soul is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect the level it chooses to serve. The only limit which is put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters.

69 The mind, if it elects to do so, becomes a medium by which the Soul creates along the line of its own creation. If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than genuinely authoritative control. As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants. To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority.

70 The miracle is thus a sign that the mind has chosen to be led by Christ in His service. The abundance of Christ is the natural result of choosing to follow Him. All shallow roots must be uprooted because they are not deep enough to sustain you. The illusion that shallow roots can be deepened and thus made to hold is one of the distortions on which the reversal of the Golden Rule rests. As these false underpinnings are given up, the equilibrium is temporarily experienced as unstable. However, the fact is that nothing is less stable than an orientation that is upside down. Nor can anything which holds it that way be really conducive to greater stability
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Sarah's Workbook
Reflections
Lesson 8
My mind is preoccupied
with past thoughts.
Sarah's Commentary:
This Lesson is an explanation for why we see only the past. It is because our minds are occupied with past thoughts. If this is the case, "No one really sees anything." (W.8.1.2) What we are seeing is ". . . only his [our] thoughts projected outward." (W.8.1.3) It is amazing how we live in our past thoughts. How different is this from someone we label as senile who lives in the past. It turns out, we are doing exactly the same thing! In fact, Jesus often reminds us of our insanity, albeit very gently. He tells us we simply do not see beyond the forms of this world, and thus, we don't understand anything.

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Love and blessings, Sarah

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Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Lesson 8
My mind is preoccupied
with past thoughts.
Allen's Commentary:
Allen Watson joined Robert Perry to form the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.”

One of his most popular books is: A Workbook Companion: Vol I and II.

Please send gifts of gratitude via PayPal to watsona@innocent.com.
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