“Let's say I'm going about my business feeling no stress, conflict or pain and suddenly, "out of the blue" comes some disturbing thought about a person/incident from the past which feels like I'm under attack, requiring me to defend and counterattack etc. I haven't seen this person for years, they're not in my life but there they are. While I believe that circumstances and people don't create feelings in us but rather we project our feelings onto them (it's entirely my movie), what I don't get is the suddenness, and absence of current context for these thoughts. Why now?...” – ES
What you describe is when something of which you are not conscious, or not fully conscious, triggers a memory of a person or circumstance. It may be some object your eyes light upon, a snatch of music or another sound, a body memory, or a train of thought that you had not been consciously following. It may also be that if the ego (personal thought system) in your mind feels threatened by your spiritual practice and experiences it recalls people and incidents to distract you. It may use the “rewards” of feeling a victim as soon as you, often unconsciously, glance its way. Sometimes these memories come up because of a chemical change in the body that induces feelings that cause you to recall when you had those feelings before.So there is a current cause for the thoughts. You are just not consciously aware of it. In any case the cause is not important. What’s important is these memories still evoke a strong emotional reaction in you. This indicates that you still have unconscious beliefs in guilt and fear to undo. So these memories, no matter how they are evoked, give you an opportunity to undo your obstacles to peace.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.