A Course In Miracles Lesson 5
A Course In Miracles Lesson 5 states:
I am never upset for the reason I think.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 5 along with yesterday’s lesson can be used with any person, situation, or event you think is causing you pain. Today’s lesson explains that what you think is the reason for the pain you are feeling is not the reason.
I am not upset because he said something. I am not upset because she did something. I am not upset because something happened. We may not yet know the real reason we are up set about something. A Course In Miracles Lesson 5 is not going to venture into what is really the cause of our upset. That comes tomorrow. For today, we will see if we can consider this idea in its simple and direct form as a statement of truth the way we would approach learning new mathematics. When learning a new mathematical arrangement, we do not start complex. We lead into complexity through a series of small, basic, and obvious statements about the arrangement of the math. A Course In Miracles Lesson 5 is just such a statement. We won’t go deep yet.
Today we introduce into our mind all day today the consideration that what I think is upsetting me is not really what is causing my feelings of upset. I do not yet know what is causing my upset. The first step in getting to the heart of that matter is to let go of the misguided answer I made up as a way of coping with the unknown.
Our brains do not like to exist in the unknown for very long. While we definitely have a draw and attraction to seeking out the unknown, we do so for the pleasure of regaining certainty. Order and certainty are the paramount priorities of the brain. If we can not locate order and certainty regarding a situation, we will make order and certainty up as quickly as we can as a means to cope with the unknown. What we make up is not an accurate account of what is bothering us. It is a temporary measure until we are calm enough to look more objectively at a situation.
Coping often entails dealing with the painful instead of experiencing the absolutely unbearable. We will suffer a fear or a rage because these feelings are preferred over the truly terrifying experience of powerlessness or chaos. We cope, we redefine and reframe what we think we understand because in truth we do not understand and that is very difficult to live with.
Our adaptation methods get us through the overwhelm that is the Great Mystery of life. But A Course In Miracles Lesson 5 invites us to expand our capacities to endure the experience of the unknown by pausing and questioning how accurate our assessments really are. Whenever we feel confident about how we understand a person or situation, we are wise to remember to question our assessment.
Confidence is the remedy to insecurity. Knowing this, our brains are quite capable of producing confidence by sheer determination. We are able to make up answers to comfort ourselves. These made up answers are like security blankets or teddy bears we cling to so that the world will be less overwhelming. This process is very helpful. And once we are able to calm down and find solid ground, could we find the courage to have a look at how accurate our made-up answer is?
What I think I know about someone or something is not fully informed. It is not possible to be fully informed while living in a body. A body is the very definition of limited perceptions. Leaving the body is the only way to release limited perceptions. But we are not being asked to return to an all-knowing state just yet. That will occur in its own time. For now, all today’s lesson is asking of us is that we take a moment to consider the fact of our limitations.
I am never upset for the reason I think.
Here is what we can know:
I can know that I am upset.
I can know that the reason I think I am upset is not the real reason.
I can know that I do not really know the true cause of what is upsetting me. And I can create space for how uncomfortable it feels to not know something.
Try to sit for two to three minutes today three times, morning, midday, and evening. As we did in previous lessons, take one minute or so to just observe the thoughts you are having today. Let them rise up and present themselves. Try to define the upset feeling that the thought causes by giving it a single word definition. The quality of your fear may feel like fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy… etc.
All these types of disruptions will appear to be different in quality. They are, however, all the same disruption. Fear, worry, depression, anxiety… are all disruptions to our peace of mind.
A Course In Miracles is teaching us that forms do not matter. Placing our fixed attention on the forms of life (the outer shells) rather than the life energy within those forms causes disruption to our peace of mind. The objects around us are temporary, like cloud formations ever shifting and fading away. Wanting the constantly moving forms to stay put and be reliable can cause depression, anxiety, anger, etc. Thoughts and feelings are just like the objects around us. Thoughts and feelings are a type of “physical” form which have only temporary meaning for us. Thoughts and feelings shift just as much as all the stuff around us shifts. Where do we find a solid, reliable anchor in all this movement? Finding that is the whole purpose of this course so keep going with each daily lesson. There is something truly reliable to place our attention on. But first we need to fully see how where we are currently placing our attention is not reliable.
We are not upset for the reason we think.
Every variation of upset feeling is a good subject to apply today’s lesson to. Apply the idea equally to all the different variations of upsetness you feel no matter what the style or flavor. When sitting in the exercise today, give a specific name to the type of upsetness. Call it “anger” or “sadness” or “jealousy.” Also give a specific definition to summarize the topic that has come to mind. For example, we might say, “I am not (angry) at (name of person) for the reason I think.” Or “I am not (sad) about losing for the reason I think.”
Practice three or four times today for 2 or 3 minutes. In your practice sessions, be sure to take a moment to let your mind call up topics that come naturally. Do not go searching for issues. Let yourself sit and observe a moment to see exactly what is on your mind today. Then bring the lesson to that content.
I am not _____ at/about _____ for the reason I think.
This may be a lesson where it is harder to be indiscriminating. Some topics in our mind hold greater weight and meaning for us than others. But all disruptions are disruptions. A tiny ember of fire is equally dangerous as a torch. They are the same. We want to make no evaluations or ranking of importance for any topic that comes to mind. All upsets are equally disturbing to my mind.
For the purpose of these exercises I will view all my upsetting issues as all the same.
If we find peace with a small issue but still hold onto anger or fear regarding a so-called larger issue, we are still living in a disrupted field. The big issue is as meaningless as the small issue. Being upset with a sales clerk is equal to being upset with a life partner. Disruption is disruption.
We are endeavoring to calm the lake that is our mind to become a still reflection of what is always there. We can not reflect the true nature of reality until we calm the turbulent waters to a still reflective surface. One step towards calming the lake of our mind is to remember, we are never upset for the reasons that we think. Tomorrow we will have a look at what the real reason is for our upset. Spend all day today with this lesson and give it the space in your mind without jumping ahead to find the reason, the comfort of answers. Spend a bit of time in the awareness that we do not know.