A Course In Miracles Lesson 6
A Course In Miracles Lesson 6 states:
I am upset because I see what is not there.
Here is the core of why we get upset. Here is the foundation of why our peace of mind is disrupted. Our minds have the ability to see things that are not there. Our minds are very unreliable narrators of what is going on. We really do not see a situation in its entirety. Knowing this about our minds, knowing this limitation, helps us grasp and manage the ever-changing nature of our daily experiences.
The fact is, we read into things. We pile hopes and expectations onto people and events to bring us something we think we want and we are not aware of how much meaning and importance we have piled on. When the person or event is unable to serve the role we have unconsciously asked them to play for our hopes and desires, we get upset. We think we are upset with the person. But what really caused the upset is how our minds placed illusional demands upon them and felt those demands should be met.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 6 is not asking us to learn how to see situations accurately. That is a different skill set. Today all it is asking of us is that we understand the fact that we do not see a person or a situation accurately. Today’s lesson is asking that we see how our brains make things up. We see people and situations as either meaningless to us or as playing a role in a desire that we have. To really grasp this true observation, today’s lesson asks us to practice the exercise just like we practiced yesterday’s exercise.
Set aside two or three minutes today for three distinct practice sessions. Sit quietly and take one minute to observe the contents of your thoughts. Try not to seek out a particular issue. Just let content arise in your mind. After a minute of seeing what topics come up, name the form of upset you are seeing, (anger, fear, worry, depression… etc.) And also name what you feel the perceived source of the upset is. For example, “I am (angry at) (my brother) because I see something that is not there.” Or “ am (worried about) my daughter because I see something that is not there.”
The practice sentence structure is: I am ______ at/about _____ because I see something that is not there.
We probably do not yet know what it is we are seeing that is not there. Do not strain to try and figure that out. If an insight comes as to the deeper reason for your upset, that is great. But if you are not able to find an answer yet, try to let the idea for today sink in as a starting place for finding deeper clarity.
The thought process goes something like:
Here is what I know: I know I feel (sad). I know I think it is because (of this person or this situation) But I am also going to consider that I do not really know what is upsetting me because I am seeing something in this that is not really there.
You can apply today’s idea to anything that seems to upset you. Use this healing phrase throughout the day. But be sure to also take time to sit down to 3 or 4 official practice sessions. In those sessions, take one minute to look at your thoughts. Then naming the quality of upset and the perceived cause, say to each thought, “I am (____) about (____) because I see something that is not there.
Notice if it is easy to apply the idea to some upsetting topics and not as easy to apply to other upsetting topics. Remind yourself of two important teachings from yesterday’s lesson:
1. There are no small upsets. All disturbances are equally disturbing to my peace of mind.
2. I can not hold onto this particular form of upset and let other forms of upset go. For the purpose of this exercise, I will regard all that upsets me as equally the same.
Bring this idea to anything that upsets you today. And remember, we are not seeking to locate what we are not yet seeing. We are only introducing the concept that something is there that we do not see. We are acknowledging that we do not have the whole picture.