You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations. T-2.VI.4-6
Our minds wander when we think anything in this world has the power to upset us, or make us feel good. If I wake up peaceful, have my quiet moment and then at breakfast I’m annoyed when the toast is burned, it’s obvious when my mind wandering started. When we identify with having a negative or positive reaction we need to become aware that our minds are wandering. Our minds are wandering because we are behaving as if some external event is the cause of our feelings.
It is not only external events and other people’s bodies that are outside our mind but our own bodies as well. The “you” in the above quote is the mind and not the body. Obviously one of the difficulties is that we are not usually aware of our true identity as a mind – a decision-making mind that chooses between thoughts of the ego or the Holy Spirit. The idea of mind wandering only starts to make sense when as we choose the miracle. One of my favourite definition of the miracle is:
The miracle is the first step in giving back to cause the function of causation, not effect. For this confusion has produced the dream… T-28.II.9:3-4
We start off experiencing that we are the effect of the world and by our choosing the miracle we discover that we are the cause of what we experience in the world in terms of our perception. Choosing the miracle means that we don’t necessarily stop choosing the ego but the gift of the miracle is that we are aware that the cause of our distress is our mind’s decision.
Our ego’s do battle with the idea of choosing the miracle at every opportunity. Our everyday experience seem to confirm that the world is the cause and we are the effect. We need to realize that in choosing the ego we identify with a body so that we would experience the world and our own physical bodies as the cause of what we feel. Our perception is rigged from the start. We are effectively trapped into feeling a victim of circumstances beyond our control and so we need a miracle. The miracle helps us understand that the ego’s focus is always on the world so that we never realize we have a mind that is the cause of our perception.
It’s a wonderful experience to get back in touch with our mind’s power to be in control of our perceptions. We gradually learn not to be afraid of the ego because it is only our choice that gives the ego its seeming power. No matter how vicious our ego attacks become we are no longer afraid of them because we know the world is not the way it seems. We can look at out raging, sorrowful or ecstatic ego knowing what is really going on. Again it is not the world that is the cause of our rage, sorrow or ecstasy and it never was. Even in the midst of being caught up in the middle of a major ego trip we can always choose the miracle and return to our mind. What a powerful choice we have!
We are not failures as students of A Course in Miracle when our minds start to wander and we have an ego attack. We only “fail” the Course if we tolerate our mind wandering and do not use our little willingness to choose the miracle. Even if we “fail” to choose the miracle we understand that at that moment we were terrified and not sinful. Along the path of taking the little steps required of us we become more comfortable returning to our minds and are aware of how silly it is to choose the ego, and we can laugh at taking the idea of the tiny mad idea seriously. We develop the habit of returning quickly to the mind because we know the cost of not returning is the pain of mind wandering. We are motivated to develop the habit of becoming sensitive as to what we are doing at the level of the mind and eventually we achieve our goal of finally choosing against the ego and for the Holy Spirit.
The speed by which it (our goal) can be reached depends on this one thing alone: your willingness to practice every step. Each one will help a little, every time it is attempted… We seek to make them habits now, so you will have then ready for whatever need. T-30.Int:3,4,8