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Part 1

Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 3

I do not understand anything I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place).

Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind.  Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea.  Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea.  These are not exercises in judgment.  Anything is suitable if you see it.  Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you.  Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.[1]

Photo credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com
He understands our ceiling fan, not.

Notes and Personal Application (2019): I could really grasp this.  I know that I don’t understand anything I see.  Sometimes I think otherwise, but deep within I know that I don’t understand anything I see and I would like to understand it, but feel as if it is impossible to know all the variables and all the circumstances and all the science even to understand what I see.   

Notes and Personal Application (2020):  During this morning’s lesson, James expressed resistance to this idea because he does understand the things that he sees in the bedroom – take for instance, the ceiling fan.  He installed the ceiling fan.  He understands what it is made from at a molecular level.  He ran the electrical wiring to it and he knows how it operates. Therefore, James was not willing to say that he did not understand it when he knew that he did.  Since I do not possess the kind of knowledge and background that James has in mechanical engineering or everyday chemistry, it may have been easier for me to apply today’s lesson idea.  However, during our discussion over this seeming glitch in our efforts to study the lessons together this year, I was forced to put a concept into words to explain to him what the lesson meant for me from a spiritual, eternal sense. 

The fan will not be here in 100 years except perhaps in rusted, splintered, decrepit parts.  Nothing we see with our naked eye will be around forever but will change and become something else in time.  Although we may understand things from a molecular level, but we do not know where the molecules came from or why they came into existence in the first place.  Therefore, we do not understand what we think we see, no matter how much we have made sense of them to ourselves. 

This idea led to an interesting conversation about how everything in this realm that we make centers around our temporal body – the house we are renovating and building, the work we do, the insurances and taxes we pay, the entertainment that we seek.  We live for our bodies which die and fade away and are barely remembered after they die.  This is A Course in Miracles in that we train our minds to focus on our eternal Spirits rather than our bodies.  It is an entirely opposite way of living one’s life in the world.  From an eternal point of view, James could then say with complete agreement:  “I do not understand anything I see.” 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 3 I do not understand…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 5.