Lesson 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.
This body does not mean anything.
This lamp does not mean anything.
This sign does not mean anything.
This 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 applied. 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.

 

Journal

When I did this lesson for the first time, it made absolutely no sense to me. But I remembered what Jesus said in the in the introduction.

“Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required.”

I would have to remind myself of this at times when doing the lessons. Sometimes it would be hard not to make exceptions. Sometimes I would be frustrated in not understanding because the ego mind thinks understanding is control. I have since learned differently.

Jesus starts us off slowly, as he gives us simple tasks and tells us not to do them often during the day. I think he does not want the new student to feel like he is being coerced because this would cause resistance. He is gently helping us to see things differently. He is easing us into some pretty startling revelations.

When I do the lessons, I like to contemplate them. This means I like to quiet my mind and just let the lesson sit there without trying to understand, and thus, allowing understanding to come to me. This keeps the ego out of it as much as possible. After a few minutes, ideas start appearing in my mind, and when that happens, I start writing them down and often more ideas appear. I have kept a journal of this process for several years.

This lesson, which puzzled and frustrated me in the beginning, I see now as a foundational lesson on which the others build. Jesus gives us a clue as to its importance in this sentence.

“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 applied. That is the purpose of the exercise.”

Nothing I see means anything. My car that sits in my driveway doesn’t mean anything and my child whose picture brings me joy does not mean anything and the pencil on my desk does not mean anything. These objects seem so different, and my appreciation for my car seems different than my love of my child and both seem far more important to me than the easily replaced pencil.

And yet, if they are equal in not meaning anything, then they are equal in some way I did not yet understand, and would not understand for many lessons, but which became apparent in my study eventually. Right now, years after I started this study, this lesson that used to annoy me now brings me joy. I have learned to love these first lessons. They are the beginning of my freedom.

Regina’s Tips

The meaningless identifications, whether they are positive or negative identifications, have the purpose of marrying awareness with thought as if ‘I am thought.’

Workbook Lesson 1 asks us to make no allowance for difference in the kinds of things to which today’s idea applies. As I see it, that is because there is only one purpose at work in every attached meaning, and that is identifying awareness with thought.

The mind, which has the purpose of identifying awareness with thought, cannot be trusted to heal this misidentification. Something else must guide this healing process. That is intuitive wisdom, which comes from the part of awareness that is not identified with thought. Intuitive wisdom is much more subtle than thought, but it is very clear in its wisdom.

My Thoughts

When Regina refers to awareness, I think she means awareness as what we are, as in my true identity is pure awareness. Some might say spirit, so that “identifying awareness with thoughtbecomes identifying spirit with thought, or maybe, identifying self with thought. I know for a long time I believed I was my thoughts and that my thoughts defined me.

So, recognizing my thoughts are meaningless would help me realize that no matter what I believe about what I see, the purpose of giving meaning is to attach my thoughts to me, to define me by my thoughts, as if without my thoughts I would not exist. If I say that this car has this meaning or that meaning, the underlying purpose is to reinforce a belief that because I have given meaning to this car, I am, and that is a short trip to the meaning I give the car is what I am.

Here is one interpretation. The car sitting in my driveway is very nice so that means I am very worthy. Here is an alternative interpretation. The car sitting in my driveway is several years old and I may not have the money to replace it and that means that when I lost my job, I lost my worth. Pick a meaning, any meaning. It doesn’t matter, because they are all meaningless identifications. I am not my thoughts. I am not thought. If I were to be completely free of thought from now on, I (awareness) would continue to exist. The ego would like me to believe I am thought but it would be wrong.

Another tip from Regina

The mind, which has the purpose of identifying awareness with thought, cannot be trusted to heal this misidentification. Something else must guide this healing process. That is intuitive wisdom, which comes from the part of awareness that is not identified with thought. Intuitive wisdom is much more subtle than thought, but it is very clear in its wisdom.

My thoughts

I call that intuitive wisdom the Holy Spirit. In 7. What is the Holy Spirit? Jesus says this:

“The Holy Spirit mediates between illusions and the truth. Since He must bridge the gap between reality and dreams, perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given Him, to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth. Across the bridge that He provides are dreams all carried to the truth, to be dispelled before the light of knowledge. There are sights and sounds forever laid aside. And where they were perceived before, forgiveness has made possible perception’s tranquil end.”

In the Clarification of Terms 6. The Holy Spirit, Jesus says this about the Holy Spirit:

“He is the great correction principle; the bringer of true perception, the inherent power of the vision of Christ. He is the light in which the forgiven world is perceived; in which the face of Christ alone is seen. He never forgets the Creator or His creation. He never forgets the Son of God. He never forgets you. And He brings the Love of your Father to you in an eternal shining that will never be obliterated because God has put it there.

The Holy Spirit abides in the part of your mind that is part of the Christ Mind. He represents your Self and your Creator, Who are One.”

So if we look at that last sentence we see that He represents our true Self. This makes the term Holy Spirit equivalent to “ intuitive wisdom, which comes from the part of awareness that is not identified with thought.”

Past Entries

I am applying this lesson to anything I see with the body’s eyes. Everything I see is applicable, nothing is excluded. In fact, Jesus tells us that this is the purpose of the lesson. As far as this idea is concerned, everything is the same. Nothing I see with the body’s eyes means anything.

How does this make me feel? The first time I did the lessons, I was uneasy with saying that certain things do not mean anything. I had a hard time looking at a picture of my child and saying it did not mean anything. How could my child not mean anything? How could I say such a thing?

Now, some years after that, I understand that the body I look at is not my child. It is an image I have made that represents an idea in my mind. It is no different than the chair I sit on, and the tree outside my window. The only meaning these images have is the meaning I gave them when I thought them. My children represent for me the desire to experience love and oneness.

I see that it is easy for me to understand this now, but at the same time, it can be tempting to discriminate in applying the lesson. It is easy to look at my daughter’s body and say that this body I see has no meaning, but it is harder to maintain that truth in the circumstances of my life. I notice that I give her all sorts of meaning.

Here is one meaning I have given my children. They are places that I project the idea of unconditional love. I don’t always do it very well, but I want to be unconditional in my love when I think of my children. Because I am not always unconditional, they are also depositories for my guilt. Another source of guilt is that I make them special, different than others on whom I would not bestow unconditional love.

Even inanimate objects like my desk have meaning that gets complicated. It is where I do my work with Spirit and so it is very valuable to me. It is nearly always a mess because I tend to stack things there with the intention of filing them and don’t do it, so I look at my desk and feel inadequate.

So this is a good lesson for me. I will notice a wide variety of objects today and remind myself that these things that I see have no meaning. If they seem to have meaning, it is because I gave them that meaning. What I think about the things I see is more about me than about them. It is why the world mirrors my thoughts and beliefs.

6 thoughts on “Lesson 1

  1. This amazing. Things including bodies have meaning I gave to them a long time ago! Things mean what I want them to mean. Before I eat chocolate it means one thing but after I eat it it means something very different. Before its yummy sweetness and soothing. After its guilt disgust fat creating junk. I gave chocolate all that meaning. My desk is a guilt inducing mess or it’s a safe place to study. Depends on the day like Myron said. Thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you Myron. Happy New Year and here’s to a new year of peace and daily lessons. 🤓

  2. Your last two sentences, “What I think about the things I see is more about me than about them. It is why the world mirrors my thoughts and beliefs” explain it all; so simply, and so perfectly. It really shines a light on the bigger picture for me. Thank you! A happy, love-filled new year to all!

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