Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 11 My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
- This is the first idea we have had that is related to a major phase of the correction process; the reversal of the thinking of the world. It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. Today’s idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see. Be glad indeed to practice the idea in its initial form, for in this idea is your release made sure. The key to forgiveness lies in it.
- The practice periods for today’s idea are to be undertaken somewhat differently from the previous ones. Begin with your eyes closed and repeat the idea slowly to yourself. Then open your eyes and look about, near and far, up and down, – anywhere. During the minute or so to be spent in using the idea merely repeat it to yourself, being sure to do so without haste, and with no sense of urgency or effort.
- To do these exercises for maximum benefit, the eyes should move from one thing to another fairly rapidly, since they should not linger on anything in particular. The words, however, should be used in an unhurried, even leisurely fashion. The introduction to this idea, in particular, should be practiced as casually as possible. It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation, and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve. On concluding the exercises, close your eyes and repeat the idea once more slowly to yourself.
- Three practice periods today will probably be sufficient. However, if there is little or no uneasiness and an inclination to do more, as many as five may be undertaken. More than this is not recommended.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): Sitting in my office – I say the lesson first with my eyes closed and then opening them, I say it again and again as I let my eyes rest upon the things in my office, my bookshelf, my framed degrees, the fan, the light switch, the world maps, the paper shredder.
How do the keys to forgiveness lie in this exercise? I think that we can forgive when we realize how meaningless it all is!
Notes and Personal Application (2020): This morning we had devotions in bed with coffee and our grandson, Zachary laying across the bottom of the bed with a candy cane before breakfast. We had our prayer and then I read the lesson, including my notes and personal application from last year. We did an exercise together for practice and then discussed the meaning of the exercise. James said that last night when he was clearing things from his computer, he thought about how the last time he worked in Elkton (where he is working now), he had poured so much of himself into his work, into design features, into research, into development. It is all gone now – every trace of that building, that particular pharmaceutical, that time and energy, the effort that so many people put forth for that job is gone, and none of it has any more meaning. He thought about yesterday’s lesson – My thoughts do not mean anything – and had already applied today’s idea to the thoughts he was having about that job from over 20 years ago. My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
Not wanting to give Zachary the wrong impression, Grandpa was careful to say that it is only meaningless in the eternal sense. We should still have ambitions in the world, work, pay our taxes, achieve our dreams – but not make this world or the things in it our God or our goal. I shared a thought that I woke up with this morning about William Wilson. I had heard about him from when the grandsons, Hali, and I used to visit Indian Echo Caverns.
William Wilson had given up on the world after his innocent sister had been hung for murdering her children. He spent the last 19 years of his life in the cave. When I woke up, I remembered how after his sister’s unjust death, life here lost all meaning to William. His work didn’t mean anything; his food, his drink, his comfort. There was nothing left that tempted him to remain because the charm, the enchantment, that the world has over most of us, had been stripped away and he could see through it to what lay beneath. It had driven him mad, which is its aim.
For most of us, the insanity lies in believing in it; for those of us like William, who see it for what it is, insanity is also in store, unless we realize that it is nothing – we are living in an illusion, anything can happen at any time. Under the façade of order, organization, and safety is chaos, fear, and hatred. It is a place of separation, a place of limitation and calls for sacrifice, blame, and guilt. It is a place that offers a meaningless substitute for our Reality in God and our place in His Kingdom.
We discussed how much easier it is to forgive all that happens here when we realize it is meaningless; that it is over before it has begun. There is no reality in time. It is a passing dream with many forms but with only one eternal purpose – to learn of separation so that we can choose to be separated from our Father no more.