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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 25 I do not know what anything is for.

  1. Purpose is meaning.  Today’s idea explains why nothing you see means anything.  You do not know what it is for.  Therefore, it is meaningless to you.  Everything is for your own best interests.  That is what it is for; that is its purpose; that is what it means.  It is in recognizing this that your goals become unified.  It is in recognizing this that what you see is given meaning.
  2. You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals.  These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you.  This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for.  As a result, you are bound to misuse it.  When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.
  3. Another way of describing the goals you now perceive is to say that they are all concerned with “personal” interests.  Since you have no personal interests, your goals are really concerned with nothing.  In cherishing them, therefore, you have no goals at all.  And thus you do not know what anything is for.
  4. Before you can make any sense out of the exercises for today, one more thought is necessary.  At the most superficial levels, you do recognize purpose.  Yet purpose cannot be understood at these levels.  For example, you do understand that a telephone is for the purpose of talking to someone who is not physically in your immediate vicinity. What you do not understand is what you want to reach him for.  And it is this that makes your contact with him meaningful or not. 
  5. It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything.  The recognition that they are meaningless, rather than “good” or “bad,” is the only way to accomplish this.  The idea for today is a step in this direction.   
  6. Six practice periods, each of two-minute duration, are required.  Each practice period should begin with a slow repetition of the idea for today, followed by looking about you and letting your glance rest on whatever happens to catch your eye, near or far, “important” or “unimportant,” “human” or “nonhuman.”  With your eyes resting on each subject you so select, say, for example:

I do not know what this chair is for.

I do not know what this pencil is for.

I do not know what this hand is for.

Say this quite slowly without shifting your eyes from the subject until you have completed the statement about it.  Then move on to the next subject and apply today’s idea as before. 

Notes and Personal Application (2019):

First exercise:  before noon

I do not know what anything is for.

I do not know what my degrees are for.

I do not know what the globe is for.

I do not know what the world maps are for.

I do not know what the puzzle is for.

I do not know what the Course in Miracles workbook is for.

I do not know what the owl is for.

I do not know what the door is for.

I do not know what the fan is for.

I do not know what the light switch is for.

I do not know what the fireplace is for.

I do not know what the bedroom light is for.

I do not know what the pens are for.

I do not know what the doorknob is for.

I do not know what the Chinese coins re for. 

I do not know what the pictures of my parents are for.

I do not know what the picture of my great-grandmother is for. 

Thank you, Teacher for my lesson today.

I completed the first exercise before noon and timed myself with my cell phone timer.  I plan to do this exercise throughout the day.

Second exercise at 12:58:

I do not know what anything is for.

I do not know what the cup is for.

I do not know what the cat is for.

I do not know what the tissues are for.

I do not know what the ceiling light is for.

I do not know hat the martini box is for.

I do not know what the female icon is for.

I do not know what the snow girl is for.

I do not know what the jar of weeds is for.

I do not know what the duck icon is for.

I do not know what my binders and journals are for.

I do not know what my books are for.

I do not know what the marble containers are for.

I do not know what the Melody doll is for.

I do not know what the glass cross is for.

I do not know what the money god images are for.

I do not know what the file holders are for.

I do not know what anything is for. 

Third exercise at 2:10 p.m.

I do not know what anything is for.

I do not know what the tissues are for.

I do not know what the file cabinet is for.

I do not know what the computer case if for.

I do not know what my purse is for.

I do not know what the folders are for.

I do not know what my desk is for.

I do not know what Luella’s Calling is for.

I do not know what my birthday cards are for.

I do not know what the artificial flowers are for.

I do not know what my old word processor is for.

I do not know what my printer is for.

I do not know what the curtains are for.

I do not know what anything is for.

Fourth exercise: 3:14 p.m.

I do not know what anything is for. 

I do not know what the stucco is for.

I do not know what the floor is for.

I do not know what my shirt is for.

I do not know what the eyelets are for.

I do not know what my leggings are for.

I do not know what my office chair is for.

I do not know what the drawers are for.

I do not know what the pins are for.

I do not know what the picture is for. 

I do not know what the mini globe that belonged to Manda is for.

I do not know what the stones are for.

I do not know what the mousepad if for.

I do not know what the Key West map is for.

I do not know what the shaker is for.

I do not know what anything is for.

I did not record the last two exercises for today.  In any case I am thankful for these exercises because this lesson is so true. Without God, everything is without meaning and I do not know what anything is for.

Notes and Personal Application (2020):  In the morning we had our devotional and lesson.  We discussed how the idea and the exercises can only be understood when we realize that their purpose is to help us realize the only frame of reference, we have had in the ego are very personal goals that mean nothing to our real Self.  The goals our egos have ascribed to everything have no meaning outside of a very narrow frame of reference.  We can look at our computers and our iPhones and watches and know that we use them to keep track of time, work, and data.  We use them as communication devices, as cameras, and for social media, but what use are they in God’s Kingdom?

The Course teaches that everything in this realm of separation was made as a substitute for the everlasting Kingdom of God.  Our lives are filled with objects that we can see, taste, sense, smell, and touch.  From the time we are babies we are taught that we are our bodies, that we are human beings, that we are vulnerable to decay, disease, and death.  Everything we see, we use to either protect, feed, or bring enjoyment and pleasure to our bodies or our self-esteem.  We spend our entire lives in this realm living for our bodies, working for our bodies, assigning everything we see a value according to how it affects our bodies and our bodies’ needs.  We fill our lives with relationships with other bodies, with possessions, with education, knowledge, and substances and experiences that provide us with temporary gratification for a need that only God can fulfill. 

Our things we see are not good or bad.  They are just meaningless in the Kingdom of God and they are meaningless in the here and now if we are substituting a relationship with God with the things we see.  We will only know what things are really for when we recognize how meaningless they are in the real world. 

While I was writing about this exercise, I thought about my pretty red car.  I could say that of course I know what my car is for, and scoff at the absurdity of this lesson.  But I do not know what this car is for unless I see how useless it is in the spirit.  Without a body my car has no meaning to me.  Without a body, the car is not a mode of transportation; it is not a status symbol; it is not an extension of my personality.  it is not anything but a useless object.  It is only pretty in the present moment.  Eventually it will begin to rust and rot and fade away and be hauled off to the junkyard, just like my body.  It will not last forever because it has no spirit, no soul.  I can see then that my car has meaning only to my body and to my ego, to this false personification of the real me.  The real me has no need for it and does not know what it is for – this is an exercise then in identifying with the spirit and recognizing the difference between the two levels. 

Whether you understand the lesson or not, I would suggest that you do the exercises simply because in the doing of the exercises, the meaning does become apparent.