Lesson 5 Insights
“I am never upset for the reason I think.”
This lesson brings to our attention a central teaching of the entire Course: Form does not matter. If we stop to think about it, everything that upsets us in any way has something to do with form — the words someone says, the way someone behaves, a computer that malfunctions, a friend who doesn’t call — the list could go on and on.
Gratefully the Course recognizes we are nowhere near ready to fully embrace this idea. We do not even need to believe form does not matter as yet. Today’s exercise will help us open our minds to the possibility. It will help us move toward recognizing all our upsets have one cause. We do not even need to know or understand what the cause is at this point. We are not expected to make the Herculean step from the belief in myriad causes of upset we carry now to the recognition that there is only one cause. We will be led to this recognition gently and easily as our willingness opens the door.
It is important not to get wrapped up either in seeing the end goal as so large or so far away that it seems impossible or that we should be able to reach it right now. The ego loves to bring up barriers and it will do it by making goals seem out of reach or impossible. Or it will use the goal as a standard to which you must measure yourself now and then suggest that you are guilty for not being there now. Do not believe it. Clearly the Course doesn’t. If it did, it would not have dedicated 1,200 plus pages and 365 lessons to helping us change our minds.
In the Text, it points out the mind can change in an instant, but it takes time to develop the willingness to accept the change. There is no hint of condemnation or guilt associated with recognizing that it takes time to develop willingness. We have spent a billion years building a world of form we believe is real. The Course simply presents itself as a means to collapse time in the letting go of a world of form we think we have made real.
These early lessons introduce some very radical ideas compared to what we have believed is true in the world. It is helpful to be patient with ourselves as we go through the undoing process. We have the strength of the Holy Spirit in our minds to help us reach the goal. Our concern is only to develop our willingness to accept His help. He will do the rest. The peace of God is guaranteed.
Building the habit of telling myself, “I am never upset for the reason I think", helps me step back from thinking I already know. Thinking I already know is the problem. When I think I already know, I am making forms of separation real. When I look through the body’s eyes and see different forms, different people that seem separate from me, I am trying to make the error of separation real.
When I make the error of separation real, I am thinking from the split mind, the ego mind. The ego mind always wants to see separation. When I join with the ego thought system, I believe what I am seeing as an outside world is separate from me and has nothing to do with my thoughts. As I study the Course, I am learning this is not true. I am learning what I am seeing through the body’s eyes is only a reflection of my thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. The forms I am seeing and trying to make real are the opposite of the truth.
The Course reminds me again and again that only our oneness in the Mind of Love is real. The Course reminds me again and again that all form is not real. The Course reminds me again and again that anything that has to do with time or space is not real. Anything that changes is not real. Only eternal Love in the Mind of God is real. When I try to make something real that is not real, I move into a place of fear. Thinking I am separate from Love is very fearful. This is why thinking form is real is very fearful and upsetting.
Telling me I am never upset for the reason I think is a very important step in helping me heal my mind. I need to practice this again and again with every difference I see. I need practice in refraining from making the error of separation real. It does appear very real. What I am learning in this lesson helps jog my sense of certainty that it could ever be real. This helps me step back and open to the Holy Spirit, Whose job it is to help me discern the real from the unreal.
As I take every upset to the Holy Spirit, I will gradually learn the truth that every form is equally unreal. As I practice this day by day, again and again, there is a growing sense of peace and calm within me. I can learn to laugh with Holy Spirit that all these seeming forms could be real. I learn to not take the world I am seeing so seriously. As I continue to practice with Holy Spirit, I learn to see past form to the one Christ that is always there. I learn to come back again and again to the truth with the gentle help of the Holy Spirit. “I am never upset for the reason I think” is one of those powerful tools to jog my mind out of the know-it-all syndrome. As I use this, I can learn to happily step back one more time and take what I think I know to the Holy Spirit to be undone.
When I get upset it comes in many forms — anger, resentment, disgust, expectations and on and on. Then, of course, here comes the snowball effect in which these feelings turn to depression or despair in wondering, "Why can’t I get this thing called life?" As I read the Course, it amazes me how sneaky the ego is and how it "rents space in our minds," keeping us confined to thoughts like, "don’t get mad, get even" or "don’t worry, try again," only to get the same results. I don’t know why I get upset, but I am willing to let the Holy Spirit guide me today and trust this lesson will fall into place when I’m ready.
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