A Course in Miracles’ workbook is designed to help us put into practice, a way of thinking and being that changes the way we see the world. The Course says “The purpose of the workbook is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world.” It is that “new” way of seeing that brings experiential understanding of ACIM’s Spiritual teachings.
The power of transformation, that ACIM provides, comes from DOING the workbook lessons. Intellectual understanding of the Course is helpful, but secondary to the spiritual experience that comes from generalizing its lessons. The practice and understanding of the lessons is the heart of the Course’s teaching. That is, in part, why I’ve decided to broadcast on YouTube LIVE, a weekly show titled Lessons of Love, in which I discuss each week’s lessons.
With an intent to expand on the lessons, I’m sharing personal insights and hope to re-enforce love’s teachings. In this blog I address ACIM workbook lessons 1 through 7.
ACIM Lesson 1 – Nothing I see means anything.
All objects, places, people and things seem to having meaning to us. Take for example my wedding ring. For me, it may mean commitment, love, self-worth, and happiness. Or let’s take for example the meaning of a new sports car, to some it may symbolizes freedom, abundance, and joy. But what happens when the ring is lost?…Or that new sports car gets into an accident? What those things represented may now inflict disappointment, anger or frustration.
Things of this world have no true intrinsic meaning because all things of this world are subject to destruction and change. So can we really say that it’s meaning can hold real truth? Truth, by definition is unalterable and universally unchanging. In Reality, all thing are equal and neutral, they have no meaning.
ACIM Lesson 2 – I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me.
Building on the first lesson, all meaning ascribed to things of the world is given by US. We decide what things mean. Therefore, if we raise an object or any part of this world, up on a pedestal, we imbue it with some kind of specialness. We’ve establish a level of importance where there is none. Consequently, when what we’ve deemed as important shifts, changes or is destroyed, for which is destined to happen to all things of this world, we are at the effect; suffer, become disappointed and feel disillusioned.
We can reverse all effects form has on us as we are willing to let go of the meaning WE placed on it.
“The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that.” – A Course in Miracles
ACIM Lesson 3 – I do not understand anything I see.
This lesson calls forth humbleness. Too often we think we understand and know what it is that we see. Despite the instability of perception, we place our faith in it. The ego’s arrogance blocks the opportunity for knowledge to be obtained.
I’m reminded of a sailing class I took once, with my partner at the time. He was a “show off” and “mister know it all.” While out at sea training, the teacher was great at giving instructions and directing. My partner of course, believing he knew it all, would jump ahead, not pay attention and lean on his own intelligence to sail. Obscured from the practical knowledge and training that was being given, he made a senseless mistake that cause the sail to shift direction quickly, and to avoid an accident, HE FELL OFF THE BOAT! It was a “wet” lesson in being humble.
The truth is, we don’t know anything. If we did, we wouldn’t need A Course in Miracles or any other spiritual theology. This lesson is a practice and reminder that our perception is limited in the face of Ultimate Reality. Stepping back from our assumptions, about the world and who we are, opens our mind and awareness to a higher intelligence. Being willing to pause for inspiration positions us to receive intuitive guidance (Holy Spirit) and pave the way for miracles.
ACIM Lesson 4 – These thoughts do not mean anything.
The meaninglessness of things is not limited to objects, but includes thought forms too. In fact, at the heart of all of our suffering lies a thought system or story about who and what we are. We’ve been conditioned to believe our narrative and assume that it is who we are. The thought system of separation says things like “you’re not enough,” “you’ve done the wrong thing,” “you’ve got to do better” etc. All mental commentary is but a block to the awareness of what is true about you; YOU ARE HOLY. Thoughts, like objects and things, DO NOT mean anything. Investment in the story of what you believe is you, will cause suffering.
ACIM Lesson 5 – I am never upset for the reason I think. (CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO ON LESSON 5)
Too often the mind is quick to assign blame on the “outside” world for what we perceive has been an injustice on us. “She did this…and they did that,” “this happened to me and that is why I’m upset.” Believing that the world is causal, we invest time and energy to change what’s happening in the world. But those changes are temporary until the next “problem” arises. There’s never an eternal solution to the world’s problems and the effect it has on “people” when faith remains in one’s limited perception.
There is nothing in the world that can actually cause you harm or grief. All Cause is at the mind level. If we are upset it is because of OUR interpretation, and the meaning we assigned to the world.
ACIM Lesson 6 – I am upset because I see something that is not there.
When we think we have a “problem,” that problem doesn’t have an independent existence or source. It is an interpretation or scenario in mind that we are playing out. It is the “story” of ourselves and the possibilities of lack and vulnerability that create upset. The scenario as we see it in mind is “not there” in Reality. The commonality between all these scenarios is they take place on a mental timeline. Fear and guilt is always associated with “What will happen in the future?” or what’s happened in the past, but never Reality as it is here and now. This is why the practice of being present is paramount.
ACIM Lesson 7 – I see only the past.
Our actions and decisions are primarily influence by what we’ve been taught and have experienced in the past. Believing we know something (based on the past), we respond to the world as we did in the past. In other words, if our decision making is based on past references, we continue to make choices that create experiences of the past. Have you ever had the sense or the feeling of “I can’t believe I made that mistake yet again?” Repeating mistakes is a hallmark of ego thinking.
Until we approach each moment without interpretation of any kind, we’ll never be able to see things as they actually are in Reality.
Here’s the YouTube Live episode ACIM – Lessons of Love, Workbook Lessons 1 through 7: