Here are a few things I've learned that are very different ways to look at life. I know they seem a little far fetched, but when you begin to really dig deeper, you will find truth in these odd, perhaps even insane ideas that will change the way you think.
As you read through these ideas, try to do so with an open mind, if you feel challenged, or defensive about them, spend some time pondering this, why do these ideas make you feel uncomfortable?
This was the first lesson from A Course in Miracles and to be honest, I thought, what is this about?
As I worked on the lesson, and in the days that followed, I began to recognise I was trying to detach myself from the meaning I've applied to everything.
There was no real explanation of why, but I understood I was learning to let go of meaning.
Why is this important?
Because everything we do, we do from a place of conditioning. We bring all we have learned to everything we see. And we all look at things in very unique ways. When we realise that things don't actually have meaning, we can see we attempt to give things meaning. But this process is quite senseless. It's a bit of a curveball, but I enjoy the freedom I gained from this idea!
On day four, lesson four provided me a new freedom, freedom from my thoughts. I am certain I'm not the only person with endless ideas, and a mind that doesn't seem to stop!! I'm one of those people who is constantly thinking, it never seems to stop.
When I read this, I was able to pause. I began to observe my thoughts even more closely. I saw the similarities to all I'd learned through basic teachings of Buddhism. I realised my thoughts actually don't mean anything at all, only the meaning I give to them.
Realising my thoughts don't mean anything, helps me to see they aren't as important as my mind would lead me to believe. I've found this idea particularly useful if I am in a negative thought pattern, I can snap myself out of it very easily by saying, "well it doesn't matter, because my thoughts don't mean anything anyway".
If you're also a highly thoughtful person, I'd love to know if this helps you in any way!!
I'm really not upset for the reason I think and bringing this to a level of consciousness has been wonderful. Lesson five has taught me to ask why I think I'm upset, what do I think is causing pain?
It's simple, I get to choose how I feel. If I believe something external is causing me to suffer, I have chosen to let myself fall into a state of negativity. It doesn't matter what form this negativity takes.
"I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same" - A Course in Miracles, Lesson 5.
Any source of discontentment is a negative emotion, and negative emotions do not serve any positive purpose. They simply hold us in a space of fear. When we feel upset, regardless of what the upset is, we are holding ourselves back from our true identity, a state of happiness, peace and love.
When we seek out our forgiving nature, we can begin to more easily return to our true identity. It takes time, but understanding we are in control of our emotions, helps us to move forward.
Lesson 11 is one which helps me to remain conscious about what I see. If I look around and see what I think, then I'm missing the point. What I think isn't the same as what others think. If I look around and see suffering, it's showing me that someplace within I am suffering. It isn't teaching me anything about the world itself.
What I think, is simply a reflection of my state of mind. When I see the world as it is, and when I see myself as I am, then the thoughts become irrelevant.
If you've made it this far, WELL DONE!
It's not the easiest set of ideas to comprehend, but the goal is to release ourselves from all of the conditioning we've received. This can amount to many, many years of conditioning depending on when it is you start this process of undoing!
Be gentle with yourself as you start to unravel your ideas, and attempt to see things differently. Realise that progress takes time, and habits die hard. Over time, our loving identities do become more natural, and life expands, it grows to feel more fulfilling than ever before.
What do you think about these insane (or perhaps not so insane) ideas? Do you agree, or disagree that these can help to change the way you think??
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