Back to the beginning

This post was written by DoctorJay on December 21, 2009
Posted Under: A Course In Miracles - workbook

On day fifty one we return to the beginning for a review – but things are different – we understand more that we understand nothing.

Today and for the next few days we review past exercises but at a higher level and with some comments added. From the ACIM workbook:

Begin the day by reading the five ideas, with the comments included. Thereafter, it is not necessary to follow any particular order in considering them, though each one should be practiced at least once. Devote two minutes or more to each practice period, thinking about the idea and the related comments after reading them over. Do this as often as possible during the day. If any one of the five ideas appeals to you more than the others, concentrate on that one. At the end of the day, however, be sure to review all of them once more…

Lesson 51

The review for today covers the following ideas (before I even do the exercises I’m going to add my comments in italic font):

  1. Nothing I see means anything.
    The reason this is so is that I see nothing, and nothing has no meaning. It is necessary that I recognize this, that I may learn to see. What I think I see now is taking the place of vision. I must let it go by realizing it has no meaning, so that vision may take its place.
    I still don’t understand what is meant by vision. Again I don’t get what is meant by “I see nothing.” I do believe what I see is a set of illusions and hence nothing I see means anything and especially I agree with the next statement that all meanings come from me. Epictetus said this more than two thousand years ago, and Shakespeare reiterated it (among many others) four hundred years ago.
  2. I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me.
    I have judged everything I look upon, and it is this and only this I see. This is not vision. It is merely an illusion of reality, because my judgments have been made quite apart from reality. I am willing to recognize the lack of validity in my judgments, because I want to see. My judgments have hurt me, and I do not want to see according to them.
    So true. It is the fact that we see only the past (our associations or prejudgments) that we give everything the meanings it has for us.
  3. I do not understand anything I see.
    How could I understand what I see when I have judged it amiss? What I see is the projection of my own errors of thought. I do not understand what I see because it is not understandable. There is no sense in trying to understand it. But there is every reason to let it go, and make room for what can be seen and understood and loved. I can exchange what I see now for this merely by being willing to do so. Is not this a better choice than the one I made before?
    Reminds me of the mantra “I don’t know.”
  4. These thoughts do not mean anything.
    The thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything because I am trying to think without God. What I call “my” thoughts are not my real thoughts. My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God. I am not aware of them because I have made my thoughts to take their place. I am willing to recognize that my thoughts do not mean anything, and to let them go. I choose to have them be replaced by what they were intended to replace. My thoughts are meaningless, but all creation lies in the thoughts I think with God.
  5. I am never upset for the reason I think.
    I am never upset for the reason I think because I am constantly trying to justify my thoughts. I am constantly trying to make them true. I make all things my enemies, so that my anger is justified and my attacks are warranted. I have not realized how much I have misused everything I see by assigning this role to it. I have done this to defend a thought system that has hurt me, and that I no longer want. I am willing to let it go.

Now for my comments after doing the exercises (first exercise):

  1. Nothing I see means anything.
    When I see my computer and it does not mean anything – it removes the past. It could be a door stop or a piece of art or a light or any of thousand other things.
    I look at a poster that we have had on the wall for a long time and as I say “this poster does not mean anything,” it becomes anew. It can be seen for the first time again.
  2. I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me.
    I’m applying this to plates I’m taking out of the dishwasher and I notice that I can change the meaning to make every plate, cup, glass, piece of cutlery sacred. The task becomes a sacrement rather than a chore.
  3. I do not understand anything I see.
    What I’m not sure of if anything understandable at  all. At the same time I remember that I believe that if one could understand a single thing one would understand everything and I suppose that’s why nothing is understandable.
  4. These thoughts do not mean anything.
    So true – my thoughts do not mean much if anything at all.
  5. I am never upset for the reason I think.
    Actually ninety nine percent of the time I’m upset for no real reason at all and that’s because i do not think with my real mind which is the mind of God.

I have to go for an hour drive so I’ll apply the reviews while I’m driving:

Actually I didn’t – I didn’t need to. The drive was hassle free – or was it? Now, I’m remembering. It was slow. The traffic was bad at times. It was hassle free because I didn’t mind. I enjoyed it because I enjoyed it. The changes are more internal than external…

Random thoughts throughout the day as I do some exercises:

I was reading a book by Jack Schwarz and the following relates to the ACIM workbook (my paraphrase):

When most people claim that they have faith they mean that they believe something that someone else told them (my comment idea that someone else sold them) but true faith is knowing that comes from experience.

So by doing these exercise from A Course in Miracles workbook we are getting faith through experience…

Totally coincidentally I have been studying fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases and psychoneuroimmunology.  I’m writing about that here because it relates to things we inquire about and experience here through the ACIM workbook. The words we use and attitudes we have alters our biochemistry and health.

So nothing we see means anything. I think it may better to change the word see here to perceive because there’s nothing special about the sense of sight as opposed to other senses (known and unknown) perhaps “vision” is perceiving through other unknown (to science) senses.

last exercise:

  1. Nothing I see means anything.
    I close my eyes and remember that at times when I have had peak experiences – in meditation, creativity (both left and right brained activities), sports – there were no meanings. There was being and observation. It was as though the software or film script (two examples of many) was writing itself and I was the typist. The real me was just observing with a sense of bliss. It’s as though meanings mess things up.
  2. I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me.
    But as explained above the meaning is meaningless. The Tao which can be put into words is not the true Tao – as soon as we give meanings – definitions – we are no longer talking about Ultimate Reality but are discussing the relativistic (dualistic – thus hot can only exist relative to cold and other opposites) world of illusions.
  3. I do not understand anything I see.
    I know, but that’s OK. It is good not to understand. That’s the difference between this time and the last time this was the thought of the day.
  4. These thoughts do not mean anything.
    So perhaps the best thing to do is to just observe them dispassionately (perfect meditation).
  5. I am never upset for the reason I think.
    As I read the above line the audiobook by Stuart Wilde says upset. It’s the only time he said the word upset – synchronicity once again.

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