Question: I am working on A Course In Miracles Lesson 5 – “I am never upset for the reason I think.” I have been working on this today and wanted to ask your advice. A reason I came up with, something I’ve been digging into a bit lately, is my dad and his smoking habits. I am upset that he smokes because he is killing himself and I have to breathe that smoke in when I am home. I feel as though I am upset because it makes me think he doesn’t care about us, he’s killing himself and won’t stop even though he has children. Does it go beyond this as to why I am upset?

Answer: Yes, it does go beyond what you believe is upsetting you. The ego would have you believe that the cause of the upset is outside of you. In this case, it is your dad and his smoking habit. And as long as you believe the source of upset is outside of you, YOU have no control.

It is an ego trap. It keeps the belief in separation real. As long as you believe your dad is guilty, you will see him as separate from you. Unconsciously, this maintains your innocence at the cost of his (dad). This is the antithesis of love.

A Course In Miracles’ Lesson 5 – “I am never upset for the reason I think” infers that what we “think” is upsetting us, is NOT the cause. It only appears to be it, but is is the ego’s intent to keep attention focused outwardly. A Course In Miracles’ Lesson 5 helps bring awareness to our seeming automatic response to place blame in the world – making the world cause for our suffering. It keeps the charade of separateness going by keeping hidden where all true cause resides.

The cause of ALL upset (seemingly big or small) is at the mind level. The interpretation of your dad and his “habit” is what makes for upset. When you say “it” makes me think he doesn’t care”, what is the IT that “makes” you think in that way? What force is making you do anything? Is it his doing, the habit or perhaps it’s simply the ego mechanism at work; trying to maintain the unreality of separation between you and your father?

There are many situations that “appear” to upset us, but their difference in form is just differences in illusion. All upsets are rooted in an unconscious choice to feel separate. The ego’s thought system would hide this from you by diverting attention outside…to keep you from looking within; where problems are solved and the ego’s thought system eradicated.

Love you, Craig

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