I do not know what anything is for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Six practice periods, each of two-minutes 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.
The sentence that stands out to me in this lesson is that everything is in my own best interests. There was a time when I argued that point. How could being sexually abused as a child be in my own best interests? How could being sick and losing loved ones be in my own best interests? How could being impoverished be in my best interest?
I know now that the argument was not about any of those things, but rather that I simply did not want to give up the idea that I would finally discover a way to change the world so that it was kinder and gentler to me. I just hated the idea that not only was it impossible for me to change certain things but that on a different level, I was responsible for all that I experience. That desire to reject my responsibility extended to rejecting that I would have to change my thoughts if I wanted to see a different world and it wasn’t going to happen tomorrow.
Once I faced these objections and let them go, I looked at the fact that I judged all things according to how they affected my personal interests. I let that go, too as I realized that there is not actually a personal self in the sense that I perceived it. All things affect all aspects of the Sonship.
The Holy Spirit sees everything as either true or not true, whereas, the ego sees everything as either good or bad. So there was another area that I had to learn to see as the Holy Spirit sees. I had to learn that concepts are unimportant because nothing we think we know is absolute truth, it is only either helpful or not helpful.
As my mind has been purified a great deal, and as these ideas have been settled in my mind, it has become easy to see that everything is in my own best interests. If I care to use all situations for my awakening, I see that they are either helpful or not, true or not. I see that the personal story of Myron is really more of a parable than anything else and so it is a way to see what yet needs to be healed in the mind.
Yes, it does seem like there is a personal awakening going on here along with the awakening of the Sonship as a whole. And that is a good place to work from. It is the reason that Jesus tells us later that our only function is to accept the Atonement for ourselves. But as we each accept the Atonement, it is being accepted within the Consciousness of which we are all a part, and the Consciousness is being healed.
So as we each let go of the idea of personal interests and personal goals, and accept that our only goal is the peace of God, Awakening occurs on both levels. And everything that occurs within these interesting stories of life as a human brings us closer to that Awakening if that is our goal. If one is not yet ready to think about awakening, the life stories are helpful anyway as they bring each person closer to the day that they will be ready. There is, after all, a limit to how much pain we can withstand before we start looking for a better way. So everything really is in our best interests.
I don’t know what anything is for, and the reason I don’t know what anything is for is because I don’t understand the purpose of anything. I think I understand the purpose but I only understand the ego’s purpose. The ego says that everything has value as it relates to my personal life, and provides for my personal needs.
For instance, according to my ego, when I was working, my job was to provide me with money for what I need and want. That seemed to be its purpose according to ego, and when I think that my purpose is to provide something that is for me alone, I am confused. I have no personal interests because I am one with everyone. I am literally within the Mind of God and I share the same mind that my brothers and sisters do. How could I have an interest that I don’t share with all?
What I have discovered, however, is that my job provided me with many forgiveness opportunities. It provided me with many opportunities to be a teacher of God. My job gave me many opportunities to love and be kind and generous. I learned to see a different purpose in my job, one that I share with the entire Sonship.
The real purpose of my job is to help us wake up. Because this is a shared purpose, it has meaning, where before when I thought I had interests apart from others, the purpose I gave my job made it meaningless. I can apply that logic to everything in my life and where I think the purpose is mine alone, I don’t actually know what it is for.
Do you notice that Jesus is asking us to look at all sorts of simple objects and recognize that we don’t know what they are for? I think this is his way of asking us to wipe the slate clean. Let go of the idea that you know anything and make a place for knowledge. Today I am going to question my life. I think I know something about the true purpose of my life, but even that I am willing to question. I don’t know what anything means. Isn’t it exciting to do this? I can hardly wait to see the good that comes from this.