ACIM Workbook Lesson 11
My meaningless thoughts are showing me
a meaningless world.
W-pI.11.1. 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. 2 It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. 3 Today’s idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see. 4 Be glad indeed to practice the idea in its initial form, for in this idea is your release made sure. 5 The key to forgiveness lies in it.
W-pI.11.2. The practice periods for today’s idea are to be undertaken somewhat differently from the previous ones. 2 Begin with your eyes closed, and repeat the idea slowly to yourself. 3 Then open your eyes and look about, near and far, up and down,—anywhere. 4 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.
W-pI.11.3. 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. 2 The words, however, should be used in an unhurried, even leisurely fashion. 3 The introduction to this idea, in particular, should be practiced as casually as possible. 4 It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve. 5 On concluding the exercises, close your eyes and repeat the idea once more slowly to yourself.
W-pI.11.4. Three practice periods today will probably be sufficient. 2 However, if there is little or no uneasiness and an inclination to do more, as many as five may be undertaken. 3 More than this is not recommended.
Initial Insight: I suspect I am not alone in beginning my spiritual path believing that others and circumstance upset me, made me angry, afraid, sick, or whatever feelings came my way. It was quite the turnaround to realize that I was doing this to myself, that my thoughts were the cause of my suffering in whatever form it took. It was a happy turnaround because I realized right off that the only way I could be free was to withdraw my projections and take responsibility for my feelings. Until I was willing to do this, the Holy Spirit would not be able to help me because He never takes from me what I am unwilling to give Him.
Daily Application: Jesus tells us the key to forgiveness lies in this lesson. I can see that. When I believed my ex-husband was the cause of my unhappiness, there was no way I could forgive him. According to the ego interpretation of the situation, he was guilty and I would be a fool to let him off the hook. Anyway, he really did it (to me). But, if my meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world, then who is there to blame? Who is there to forgive? What is there to forgive?
However, if we look on forgiveness as undoing the ego as the Course instructs, then recognizing that our meaningless thoughts are showing us a meaningless world leads directly to forgiveness. Everything that happens to or around us is meaningless and so there is nothing to forgive. This could leave us in a depressed state as we realize that the world in meaningless, but we will not be left there. For the moment, let’s just follow the instructions which are very detailed and uncompromising. We will trust that all is well and that we will be shown how this is so.
Insights from Holy Spirit: When you decided not to buy the Bank St house, you were uncomfortable about telling your daughter this. But you didn’t accept that fear thought from the ego. When you did tell her, you acknowledged her likely feelings when you said you knew she was disappointed. She reassured you that yes, she would be disappointed but for just a couple of days. She didn’t want you to take a house that you were not happy with.
For that bit of time that you dreaded telling your daughter, you were seeing the meaningless world that was the result of your meaningless thoughts about the situation. As soon as you realized how this felt, you gave it over to me. When you talked to your daughter and she reacted in a loving manner, the world you saw was different because your mind was different. It was filled with light because you forgave the idea that the world (your daughter) was doing anything to you.
Gratitude: Yes, thank you for reminding me of that and how it applies to this lesson. Thank you for healing my mind. I know that the conversation would have been very different if I had gone into feeling defensive.
The part of Regina’s tips that caught my attention is in these two paragraphs.
The past is meaningless to us now, because it isn’t our current desire or purpose. It has no value for us. Yet, we continue to give those thoughts value. Therefore, our meaningless thoughts are showing us a meaningless world, a world of untruth when we seek truth.
NTI Romans 6 says, “You may let the past go. You need not keep anything you do not want. Focus your eyes on Jesus (your true desire) and know the love in your own Heart.
In order to let go of the meaningless thoughts that show us a meaningless world, we need to remember what we want now. That is the key. Remembering what we want now will help us transcend the habit (reprogram the brain) of casting attention on stories that represent a past desire, a desire that is meaningless to us now.
Purpose is what saved me. I chose to make the peace of God my only desire. It didn’t happen all at once, but eventually, this desire of my heart took precedence over everything else. When I did that, my world changed. How I saw things changed. I suspect that seeing the world differently which let me experience it through a loving heart, there were very possibly changes in the script. When we no longer need a lesson because we have already learned that lesson, the universe shifts to accommodate our new vision. This brings me to the sentence from Roman says this.
“You may let the past go. You need not keep anything you do not want. Focus your eyes on Jesus (your true desire) and know the love in your own Heart.”
This is why I use the process of watching my thoughts with the Holy Spirit and asking for correction, then accepting that correction. I do not have to keep those memories, those judgments and resultant guilt and all the suffering they brought with them. I can give them to the Holy Spirit and free myself of them.