Workbook Lesson 6

This lesson and commentary is part of a complete class on A Course in Miracles offered here at The Joy Within. Signup for the full class here, or view all ACIM workbook lessons.

Lesson 6: Idea for the Day

Guided Audio Narration

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Insights and Commentary

In the previous lesson, you practiced recognizing that you do not know the origin of your pain and unhappiness. Today, we will build on that idea by taking a small step towards a new worldview.

The idea for today is: I am upset because I see something that is not there.

One the one hand, this is a simple idea, for it only begins to point towards your errors in judgment, without giving you the full answer. On the other hand, this statement underscores one of the primary themes of the course: the world you see is an illusion. All pain, conflict, and suffering, any obstacle in your path to love, is not real. Nothing unreal exists.

Thus, the idea for today can be seen as encompassing both a single, preparatory step and the entirety of truth.

You are upset because you perceive constructs that appear to be apart from love, but this is an illusion. Love is. All that is not love isn’t. All pain, conflict, and suffering create struggle because they appear to separate you from love, but you can not cut yourself off from love. The negative emotions upset you, but they are not really there.

To work with today’s exercise, first take a few moments to clear your mind. Observe your breath, and reflect for a moment on the stillness within you. For this exercise to be effective, you must distance your emotions from the problems that appear to cause them. When your mind is clear, state the emotion and perceived cause softly to yourself: “I am worried/upset/angry at ___ because see something that is not there.

Sit silently with your statement for a few moments.

Observe the emotion.

Observe the perceived cause.

Notice how these are two distinct ideas. Only in your mind are they connected. You have created the emotion. You have created the thought about what’s causing that emotion. And, as we have already learned, you have assigned all meaning to those disparate thoughts.

The perception that is not there is the obstacle to love. Do not worry if that is as yet unclear, for we will go into much more detail in the lessons to come.

For now, simply rest in the idea that your perception may be incorrect, that you have been focusing on causes you invented, and worries that do not merit your attention.

If this exercise feels challenging or overwhelming, I encourage you to begin with a situation or an emotion that feels less compelling, or less urgent. Again, it is best to find some sense of detachment from the emotion for the exercise to be most effective. If you cannot clear your mind, take a break, distract yourself with something else, and try again later.

It is normal for certain ideas to cause more strife than others. Remember, once again, that there are no small upsets. You can release all as easily as you could release any one. Peace is total, or not at all. Be patient with yourself. Accept the process. Trust that peace is on its way to you.

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