Relief from Obsessional Thinking

“Now, despite the rapidity of movement or lack thereof, to read the Trea¬tises together will likely feel as if it is almost a waste of valuable time. Thus, gatherings of those working with the Treatises will naturally include more sharing of experiences. The facilitator’s task is now one of placing these expe¬riences in context. After giving the group time to talk, the facilitator might choose a brief passage that will fit within the content of the sharing. Always it is the facilitator’s role to guide the individual group members away from inclinations, which may be strong during this time, to “figure things out.” Problem solving is to be discouraged. Trust is to be encouraged. Often a discussion can be facilitated greatly by the question, “How might we be able to look at this situation in a new way?” To encourage the gentleness of the art of thought over the relentless stridency of the thinking mind is always helpful. Obsessive thinking is always ruthless, judgmental, and wearing on the thinker. He or she needs help in breaking its grip and should never be allowed to suffer.” (ACOL, A.31)

We know about obsessive thinking, don’t we? It comes upon us at the most awful times, with our minds going around and around some matter as a record spins on its turntable. We don’t get anywhere with our obsessions. And A Course of Love is here to give us some relief.

Much of the Appendix is geared to instructions for those of us in discussion groups for ACOL. Here Jesus is particularly talking about the second part of ACOL, the Treatises. While previously, their dense prose may have attracted us, now we are encouraged not to get lost in trying to figure out everything. This “figuring out” is what leads to obsessive thinking. And our own brand of misery. Let’s be done with this, once and for all. Lead the mind flow. And let the heart give guidance to the mind, for the heart, being intuitive, doesn’t obsess.

The facilitator of group meetings has a lot on him/her. If group members are in a quandary about some part of ACOL, it is up to that facilitator to smooth things out. Other group members will help, of course, but typically their knowledge of ACOL is more limited than the knowledge of ACOL of the facilitator. Much sensitivity is called for by all members of the group, but especially the facilitator. He/she will make a real contribution to the new world we will be creating. His importance is all the more pronounced because he is listening to his heart and his guidance, not coming from a self-centered egoic stance.

Let distractions ease the obsessions that may form as we seek to “get it all” from A Course of Love. We won’t be immune to trying to study, but let’s do what we can to minimize this tendency, this temptation.

Dear God,

I have been prone to obsessions over my lifetime, but obsessional thinking is not Your way. Miracle-minded impulses are. The art of thought is based in miracles, and I ask for miracles today. Lead me to where and what I can do that is the best. Keep me mired in Your will.

Thank You for the soul-centered advice that Jesus gives us in the quotation for today. If we listen to our soul’s advice, our intuition, we will make much progress to a new and better world.

Amen.

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