I have given everything I see in this room
[on this street, from this window, in this place]
all the meaning that it has for me.
W-pI.2.1. The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. 2 Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. 3 Then increase the range outward. 4 Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. 5 If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. 6 Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.
W-pI.2.2. Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. 2 Take the subjects simply as you see them. 3 Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. 4 The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. 5 Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.
I remember when I first began these lessons that I thought these first lessons were silly and I felt silly doing them. Now, I have learned to appreciate them. I recognize that these first lessons are the foundation for the rest. Yesterday, we acknowledged that nothing we can see with our eyes means anything even though we always thought they did and even thought we knew the meaning of each thing. It is a little unsettling to think that the world we believe in doesn’t mean anything.
Today, we see that the reason we think the world and all its many separate objects have meaning is that we gave it meaning. I’m looking at my computer right now and I know that I have given it a lot of meaning. I appreciate my computer very much because of the meaning I give it and I spend a lot of happy hours on it. I know others who don’t enjoy their computer and resent and sometimes feel fear about it because they don’t completely understand it. The meaning they give it is much different and yet the object is the same.
When we realize that bodies are just objects that are meaningless until we give them meaning, it is even easier to see how this works. My kids look at my body and they think ‘mother’ and all that means to them. My neighbor sees something different. Take this into the political arena and we see that one person looks at a politician as someone who is representing their wishes and another looks on the same person as perhaps a block to their wishes. One likes the guy and another resents and maybe dislikes him. Both only know about that body what they want to know, the meaning they have given it.
It may take a while to truly accept that nothing in the world means anything until we give it meaning and that meaning is true only for the one who gave it. We tend to cling to what we think we know and feel uneasy at this idea of meaninglessness. Meaninglessness does not apply to reality. What is real has meaning that cannot change because it is true and real.
Our Selves have meaning. That is why we are as God created us regardless of how we might want to see ourselves, regardless of our stories. Our Selves remain as we were created because we are real; we are Creation. Some call this the Unaffected Self because It knows only what it is and nothing can affect what it is.