After the first 6 lessons this one is freeing. Because after doing these exercises I realize so many moments in life are not in the Now, they are reactions or associations to the past. Even in “things”. We see things that we associate the past with.
I am one who has some “old” things around. I mean old. And I know that many of these things I keep to “remind” me of pleasant memories or ones I don’t wish to forget. But they are not the moment in and of themselves. They are things. Scrap books, from WW2. I look at them sometimes, sometimes I see the actual scrap book and sometimes, I see the memories associated with those books. Looking at them with my Mum and God-Mother, discussing the history and stories of those people that many I hadn’t met but my grandmother knew well. Sipping tea and staying up late into the evening going through these very scrap books.
We give meaning to so many things that truly in and of themselves have no meaning. The same holds true of many things. People in particular. I am one of these people that if I get upset, it doesn’t generally take very long for me to calm down and recognize my error. The further into the course I go the more peace I find. And there is no competition between the feeling of peace and any other feeling. It is only God’s peace and love I wish to live in and wish to extend to others. It is only that peace and love that is real.
This lesson, I see only the past, is so very powerful. Lesson 7 3:1-7 says:
Look at a cup, for example. Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of picking up a cup, being thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast and so on? Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning. Do you, then, really see it?
So what do you see? I see the past in lots of moments and things. But I am learning to see the present and appreciate each and everything. And that brings me closer to living in the Now, and experiencing life as it truly is. The older we get, the more associations our mind makes.
Music is a good example for me. Probably for many people. We hear a song and we don’t hear the song. We hear the thoughts of memories of certain places or events or times in our life. We don’t hear the music for itself anymore. We hear the thoughts and thoughts about the thoughts and how it makes us feel. When we begin to recognize this the magnitude of the implications become apparent.
As I look at this photo I see a rose. When I look past the association of the photo, I see a fall leaf, wrapped to look like a rose, but truly what I see is an image of beauty that is appealing. And I see the past, the time put into the craft with my children and I see not only the one, but the bouquet they gave me to. How powerful the mind is.