My Mind is Preoccupied With the Past

Actually, that’s an understatement! My mind is obsessed with the past!

Lesson 8 in A Course in Miracles 

It says that we see everything in our present through the lens of the past. On first reading I thought, “that makes sense”, but as the day progressed I became actively aware of each time my mind wandered to the past– spoiler– it happened all the time.

It’s kind of incredible actually, the amount of times my thoughts wandered back to something that happened before. It was a mix of recollections, good, neutral, and bad memories traipsed through my mind all day. This isn’t anything new, I know I think about the past. Sometimes I cultivate the memories on purpose, especially when trying to relive an especially good time.

Is this good or bad?

At the end of the day though, when I tried to mentally tally up the amount of times my mind had returned to the past I couldn’t. That’s when I realized my mind is more than preoccupied with the past, it’s obsessed.

It’s impossible to really have a conscious thought without the influence of our past, we are a sum of our experience. I don’t think that’s a bad thing unless one unaware of the effect the past has on the present.

The point of this exercise isn’t to make change or progress, but to bring attention to the reality of our thoughts– to have enough self awareness that we realize when our past is present.

If you’d like to read the entire lesson, you can find lesson 8 here.

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