“As was already stated, the first opportunities for you to learn the art of thought will be provided through what we have called the re-experiencing of memory. These are opportunities to re-experience the lessons your life has brought you.” (ACOL, T1:4.21)
This directive is fun to do. Who does not like to re-experience our life through memories? Of course, later on Jesus will caution against interpreting what we are reviewing. This interpretation is what we are used to doing, and it won’t get us where we want to go, which is to respond to our past with love and patience, sure that when we relive, we are safe.
We do learn through our lives. In the Dialogues, the third and last book in A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us to avoid study of the old masters, the learned wisdom of those whom we have deemed wiser than we are. In its place, he counsels observation of our lives, observation of the world and all that is in it, observation that will take us somewhere. And this observation is what we are now doing with our memories. We are trying to see what we can learn from what has gone before.
My own personal recommendation is that one lie across a bed when re-experiencing memories. This puts the body at rest. It is how I got up-to-date with my life when I was quite young, a child. We can’t retrieve memories well if we are uptight; the subconscious won’t come to our bidding. But the subconscious is what we are retrieving now. And when we have successfully retrieved the subconscious, we go on to the Unconscious, the God/Self deep within. And the union with our depths is what this re-experiencing of memories is really all about. It will lead to this further blessing of union with our depths.
Our life is our best learning mechanism. Have we really ever doubted this? The best knowledge that we have ever read is meaningless unless we can find something with which to identify. And this identification is with what has occurred in our lives.
Be still today, in whatever place or position you deem wise. Let the mind (and heart) rest. And see if God Himself doesn’t speak to us from our depths.
May I spend some time today in contemplation of my life history. I get so busy sometimes, and in the busyness I fail to reach to You.
I would not make that mistake again today. Be with me as I seek to find You in my depths. Be with me as I seek to learn from my past. And may I know that regardless of what has happened, I am safe now.