Part 1

Lesson 1 Nothing I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place) means anything.

Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:

This table does not mean anything.

This chair does not mean anything.

This hand does not mean anything.

This foot does not mean anything.

This pen does not mean anything.

Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:

That door does not mean anything.

That body does not mean anything.

That lamp does not mean anything.

That sign does not mean anything.

That shadow does not mean anything.

Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applies.  That is the purpose of the exercise.  The statement should merely be applied to anything you see.  As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately.  Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic.  Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded.  One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.

Each of the three lessons should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably in the morning and evening.  Nor should they be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry.  A comfortable sense of leisure is essential. [1]

Photo credit: http://www.miraclecenter.org

Notes and Personal Application (2019):  There was some resistance at first, but I did the exercise anyway and began to realize that there is no inherent meaning to anything that I see.  If it was washed away it would be washed away and I would get new or have a memory of people, but the meaning of them or things that I see with my naked eye is not there.  This was not a particularly new idea; I have always felt a bit bewildered in the world of things and people and have never really got what the meaning is behind things and people.  The whole thing has always felt like a setup to me.  The lack of meaning in things and bodies, I have grown accustomed to and am okay with. 

Notes and Personal Application (2020):  This year James and I are studying the Lessons together with our morning coffee.  It was the one time in the day that we knew we would be able to give to the Course together, since our morning coffee has been part of our routine from our first days of marriage.  So New Year’s Day, we are sitting up in bed, saying a prayer for blessing and truth.  We express our gratitude to Jesus our Savior, as we learn the lessons that liberate our minds from the hold of the ego and return them to God. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 1 Nothing I see…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 3