ACIM Lesson 12 I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
ACIM Lesson 12
I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
1. The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. ²You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. ³All these attributes are given it by you. ⁴The world is meaningless in itself.
I really do understand this. My friend’s dog had to be put down it seemed like a sad world. I read about cruel and violent actions in yesterday’s news so it must be a cruel and violent world. Politics today show me an insane world. That seems obvious and yet, the world itself is meaningless. If it has meaning, it is because I gave it meaning. As soon as I hear about something or notice something, I rush to decide what it means.
It’s All the Same
2. These exercises are done with eyes open. ²Look around you, this time quite slowly. ³Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. ⁴Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo throughout. ⁵What you see does not matter. ⁶You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. ⁷This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.
I looked around my office at all I could see giving meaning to each thing my eye lit on without singling anything out. Everything was equal because nothing had more or less value so it didn’t matter what I looked at.
Jesus Will Help us Understand
3. As you look about you, say to yourself:
²I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,
and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. ³If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. ⁴For example, you might think of “a good world,” or “a satisfying world.” ⁵If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. ⁶You may not yet understand why these “nice” adjectives belong in these exercises but remember that a “good world” implies a “bad” one, and a “satisfying world” implies an “unsatisfying” one. ⁷All terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises. ⁸Their seeming quality does not matter.
4. Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between applying today’s idea to what you think is pleasant and what you think is unpleasant. ²For the purposes of these exercises, there is no difference between them. ³At the end of the practice period, add:
⁴But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
I didn’t have any trouble describing everything. I already understand that what I think of each thing is not about the thing. It is about me because I am seeing a meaningless world. And I am jumping in to give it some kind of meaning. I wonder why I feel compelled to do that? Why not just let it be? I’m sure that Jesus will help us understand this compulsion.
The Word of God
5. What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. ²Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? ³If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. ⁴But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. ⁵It is this you see in it. ⁶It is this that is meaningless in truth. ⁷Beneath your words is written the Word of God. ⁸The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. ⁹That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.
6. Three or four times is enough for practicing the idea for today. ²Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute. ³You may find even this too long. ⁴Terminate the exercises whenever you experience a sense of strain.
Ha! I knew we would be told the answer to my question. The reason I am compelled to give meaning to the meaningless is that beneath my words is written the Word of God. I suppose the feeling must be that this is my world not His and so I get to do the naming and decision making. I decide what it all means. And it is this that is meaningless. My thoughts are meaningless. Me trying to distort creation is meaningless. No wonder I don’t like to think about that. No wonder the world feels so screwed up.
It’s ok, though. At one time I was desperate to keep His Words hidden from me because of my fear and guilt. The past years of doing these lessons has changed that. I am ready to accept that my thoughts are meaningless, relieved even to know this. I have released so many beliefs already and I love the thought of doing more of this sacred work. The idea of seeing God’s Words that are written beneath my careless judgments is exhilarating!
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