Today we will review the following:
(11) My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
Since the thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything, the world that pictures them can have no meaning. What is producing this world is insane, and so is what it produces. Reality is not insane, and I have real thoughts as well as insane ones. I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing.
(12) I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
Insane thoughts are upsetting. They produce a world in which there is no order anywhere. Only chaos rules a world that represents chaotic thinking, and chaos has no laws. I cannot live in peace in such a world. I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it. And I do not choose to value what is totally insane and has no meaning.
(13) A meaningless world engenders fear.
The totally insane engenders fear because it is completely undependable, and offers no grounds for trust. Nothing in madness is dependable. It holds out no safety and no hope. But such a world is not real. I have given it the illusion of reality, and have suffered from my belief in it. Now I choose to withdraw this belief, and place my trust in reality. In choosing this, I will escape all the effects of the world of fear, because I am acknowledging that it does not exist.
(14) God did not create a meaningless world.
How can a meaningless world exist if God did not create it? He is the Source of all meaning, and everything that is real is in His Mind. It is in my mind too, because He created it with me. Why should I continue to suffer from the effects of my own insane thoughts, when the perfection of creation is my home? Let me remember the power of my decision, and recognize where I really abide.
(15) My thoughts are images that I have made.
Whatever I see reflects my thoughts. It is my thoughts that tell me where I am and what I am. The fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, and am not allowing my real thoughts to cast their beneficent light on what I see. Yet God’s way is sure. The images I have made cannot prevail against Him because it is not my will that they do so. My will is His, and I will place no other gods before Him.
1 (11) My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
“I have real thoughts as well as insane ones. I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing.”
It is essential that we acknowledge the unreality of the world we see and the life we seem to live within this world. But if we were left there with nothing to believe in we would be trading one nightmare for another. We are not left there. All that is required to let go of the world we see now is to let go of all attack thoughts. And the way to see the real world is to allow these thoughts to be replaced with my real thoughts. I see the world differently now than I used to. It is not the real world yet, but even in the slow steady pace I have chosen for myself, I see a dramatic difference.
2 (12) I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
“I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it.”
Even now while I seem to live in this world, I notice how different it seems to me since I have been letting go of untrue thoughts. For instance, I used to value my special relationships. I would always say yes no matter what was asked of me, no matter how much I didn’t want to say yes. The value I put on the specialness of my relationship made it hard to have a real relationship with those I loved and cared about.
Last year, though, I had the opportunity to look at a relationship with a dear friend again and decide what it means to me. My friend wanted me to do something that I didn’t want to do. I had been working on detaching from these special relationships, and it seemed to be working. So when I was asked to do this, I said no.
She was very angry with me because in her mind, I was her solution. I was afraid she would hold a grudge and I knew this could disrupt our relationship permanently, but I meant no so I said no and I stuck with it. There was a time when I could not have said no. Then there was a time when I could not have stuck with my answer.
Absolutely, there was a time when I would have been so upset with the situation that I would have suffered. This time, though, I wasn’t upset. I checked for sure that I wasn’t being selfish, and I watched my thoughts and feelings and released those that were not my real thoughts. In a couple of weeks, she had found a solution and was over her anger.
I’m glad it worked out like that because I love her dearly, and I am happy that I have seen, to some degree at least, a world beneath the world that is projected from the ego fear and guilt thoughts. This was one instance and there are others, and I am still working on this. I know how to release old beliefs and I am learning to be open and receptive to the truth regardless of what seems to be going on in the story of Myron. From this happy result, I can extrapolate a future world that is not driven by fear and guilt.
3 (13) A meaningless world engenders fear.
Just being in the world is a scary proposition. There is no stability, no grounds for trust. Whatever I choose to believe in and value in the world will be overturned and leave me feeling hopeless and alone. But living in the world without believing in it is entirely different. Every frightening and discouraging idea can be seen differently when its unreality is established in the mind. Even the possibility of its lack of reality opens the mind to a different belief and therefore a different effect.
4 (14) God did not create a meaningless world.
“Let me remember the power of my decision, and recognize where I really abide.”
The world we see every day is meaningless and since God did not create the meaningless, this world cannot be real. It cannot exist. I must be dreaming. As long as I decide to continue the dream, it will appear to be real to me and I will suffer the effects as if they are real. But, the power of my decision will release me from this nightmare of my own making. I decided on the world I see and I will decide otherwise. I don’t have to go anyplace to be in the real world. I only have to withdraw my belief in what is meaningless and decide to believe only the truth. Working on it.
5 (15) My thoughts are images that I have made.
“Whatever I see reflects my thoughts. It is my thoughts that tell me where I am and what I am.”
Could Jesus make this any clearer? I don’t see how unless he described the process in which we use our thoughts to give form to our wishes. Oh yeah, he does that in Lesson 325. Right now I am content to place my attention on the simple fact that it is done. The split mind has been driven mad by its own absurd reasoning and the world as we see it now is the effect. Even so, I can use my real thoughts to change how I see the world. I do this as I continue to recognize the insane separation thoughts for what they are and choose God instead.
Once I accept that the world is only an image I have made from the thoughts in my mind, it is easy to follow the rest. I am well aware that my thoughts are often chaotic, that they are often senseless. I can have a thought of love in one moment and in the very next a thought of hate. I can be thinking about how fortunate I am to have a home and car paid off that my retirement is more comfortable financially.
In the next moment, I am worried that my little bank account will dwindle and I won’t have the money to cover unexpected losses. If I continue to pay attention to this kind of thinking, thoughts of loss will cascade until I feel hopeless. I often think how blessed I am with good health, then will have a strange sensation or sudden pain and wonder if I have some terrible illness. Again, if I continue to think about this, I will feel helpless and hopeless.
Understanding that there are no idle thoughts and that all thinking produces form at some level, is it any wonder that the world I have made is unstable and chaotic? I don’t know how I survived my own erratic thinking and its effects for as long as I did. When I thought there was nothing else, no hope for anything better, I was suicidal and I don’t wonder I was. In fact, sometimes I am amazed that more people don’t choose that option.
Of course, that wouldn’t work either, as the world is not the problem, but only the effect of the problem and our thoughts continue unhealed until we make a different choice. Fortunately, the thoughts that have made our world a hell are not our real thoughts and we do have real thoughts available to us. All we need to do to access these thoughts is to lose interest in the ego separation thoughts. It sounds really simple and actually, it is. It is not as easy as it is simple, though, at least a first.
At first, it seems like sanity is insanity. We are told that the world we see and feel and sense in every way is not real. We are told that the world is just an image, that we have a thought and make an image that represents that thought. Then we evidently project that thought outward and use the body’s senses to experience it as if it is real. And then we fight like crazy to defend the particular image we have made. We argue for it and insist it is reality in spite of the suffering it causes us.
I think about telling my children what is going on and I giggle nervously to myself as I imagine the reaction. We have done an excellent job of making a world that represents the idea of separation, and of making it so real that we are able to have that experience and to believe in it against all reason. We are the Sons of God and still, we believe we are helpless against a world we made up. Insane!
We never intended for this to be our permanent experience, though, and as we decide that we are through playing in the world of separation, the means to awaken are there for us. I am ready to wake up, as are all of you who are reading this. I understand what we have done. I understand how it works, at least enough to know that the world I see is not real. And even so, I care what happens to “me” in this world and if my children are threatened I am afraid for them. If things get crazy enough I can become confused about reality.
So, while simple to choose differently, it doesn’t always feel easy. But it is possible, and it is what I am doing, moment to moment. Lately, this task has become easier and occurs much faster because my mind is clearer than it used to be. This happened because I learned to be vigilant and to ask Holy Spirit for healing and to accept that healing. The following is from a past entry and is a clear example of how that worked for me.
Feeling Unfairly Treated
When I was still working, I had a 16 hour day that ended with a four-hour drive home. It was late when I arrived and I started thinking about how tired I was and how I wish I didn’t have to do this anymore. This line of thought led to misery. I was thinking about how much I would prefer being retired and spending my days doing my ministry, which I really enjoy.
I was conflicted about this thought and talked to Jesus about it. First, I know by now that when I am upset about something, I do not want to spend my time changing the world. It is not the world that needs my attention, but my mind that needs to be changed. But I also really want to retire, and the thinking mind cannot figure out a way to do this, and so it feels hopeless. And I am right back into the ego trap of wanting something, trying to make it happen, and failing.
I also thought that it can’t be the Will of God that his Son suffer. God is not pain or hopelessness, or fear. If I am feeling those things and experiencing those things, I must be hallucinating, because these feelings are not in God and I am. So how do I resolve this quandary? How do I end the suffering without doing it in the world? Where do I start?
I was given a sudden and complete answer to my question of where to start. It didn’t come in words, but to express it here I am going to give it words. I have everything I want, and everything I want shows up for me. (Lesson 152)
“No one can suffer loss unless it be his own decision. No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him. No one can grieve nor fear nor think him sick unless these are the outcomes that he wants. And no one dies without his own consent. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose. Here is your world, complete in all details. Here is its whole reality for you. And it is only here salvation is.”
So working really hard and not having a way to retire is what I want on some level or it would not be in my life. But that isn’t enough for me to work with. I was told to think about how that makes me feel. I feel unfairly treated. I feel angry and resentful. I feel hopeless and afraid. I was told that these are the thoughts that sourced the image of the long hard day at work and the never-ending job.
So I thought it out. First I had the thought that I wanted to experience feeling unfairly treated (even though Jesus tells us to beware of that) and with it come the feelings of anger and resentment, hopelessness and fear. So, on a level not conscious to Myron, I thought, what could that look like? What kind of image can I make to create the experience I want? Well, I could make an image of Myron working hard and believing there was no way out of it. And voila! The experience I chose was the form, the belief I was unfairly treated was the content.
Once I saw this, I realized how much I pay for the opportunity to see myself unfairly treated. It is absolutely not worth it. I asked the Holy Spirit to cleanse my mind of that belief. I don’t want it anymore. I know that I don’t want it anymore, but I have believed it has value for me for a long time, so if I have to confront that idea again I will do so until I master my decision to never again choose to feel unfairly treated. From a mind free of the desire to see itself unfairly treated, the experience of being unfairly treated will not be imaged anymore.
With this clarity, I realized some things. First of all, I did work long hours and this body was tired. But I am not this body, and when I thought about it, my experience was very different than it had been in the past. I used to get so exhausted on days like this that I could hardly make it to the next hotel or home. I would be shaking inside and out. I would be in pain. I would sometimes be in tears and I would be depressed.
None of that happened on the night I was thinking about this. I no longer want that experience so it doesn’t happen. I listened to a really interesting novel on the way home and was excited that I got all the way through the big race at the end and saw the good guys triumph right as I got home. I was satisfied with the day’s work. I was looking forward to an easier day on Friday. This is radically different than it was in the past for me, and the only thing that changed was my mind.
I became upset only after I started thinking about it and feeling sorry for myself, and feeling like a victim. That was when I chose to see myself unfairly treated, and that is when I started to suffer. It seems really clear to me now and it is exciting to remember that I have a choice to see it differently. After all, God did not create a meaningless world, and so I don’t have to live in one. Even when my thoughts make a chaotic world, I can see it differently as I change my mind. I am never a victim.
It is interesting to me to read the above entry. I used to feel unfairly treated and like a victim a lot. I don’t anymore. Now I notice when I make unfortunate choices and then I change my mind. While I can see ego thoughts trying to make a comeback in my mind, I cannot even imagine believing I am a victim or that I am unfairly treated. Even when I feel it, I know it is not true and let it go. I am so grateful for A Course in Miracles, for Jesus and for the help of the Holy Spirit.