[acimlessons_list] Lesson 13 - January 13
sue at circleofa.org
Thu Jan 12 06:37:28 EST 2012
Lesson 13 - January 13
"A meaningless world engenders fear."
Purpose: the same as yesterday.
Exercise: 3 of 4 times, for 1 minute or so (no more)
* Close your eyes and repeat the idea.
* Open your eyes and look slowly around you. While doing so
repeat over and over, "I am looking at a meaningless world."
* Close your eyes and say, "A meaningless world engenders
fear, because I think I am in competition with God."
Remarks: Do not worry if you do not believe the closing statement. You may
think it is crazy and you may resist it. All of that is fine. Simply note
your resistance, whatever forms it takes, and tell yourself that the real
reason for it is that this statement awakens your underlying fear of God's
vengeance. Deep inside you believe that by rushing in and writing your
meaning on the world's blank slate you have temporarily defeated God. As a
result, you believe you now face His wrath. To cope with this belief you
have shoved it down in your unconscious, but today's concluding statement
brings it back toward the surface. This is why you fear the statement and
are eager to dismiss it. Because of all this, do not dwell on it or even
think of it except during the exercises.
More specifically than upsetting us, the meaningless world we see sparks
fear within us. After spending several days convincing us, so it seems, that
the world is meaningless, the Course "reverses course:"
"Actually, a meaningless world is impossible. Nothing without meaning
exists" (1:2). The Introduction to the Text states that "nothing unreal
exists," and now we are told nothing meaningless exists. The situation is
not that meaningless things exist and we are afraid because we see them;
what is happening is that we <think> we perceive things without meaning, and
rush to write our meaning on them. We see no meaning because we are
unwilling to see the meaning already written on them by God.
When we see the meaningless it arouses anxiety in us. "It represents a
situation in which God and the ego 'challenge' each other as to whose
meaning is to be written in the empty space the meaninglessness provides.
The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own ideas there, fearful that
the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own impotence and
unreality. And on this alone it is correct" (2:2-4).
If the ego did not rush in to give its meaning to things, the meaning
established by God would, indeed, demonstrate the unreality of the ego. That
is why the ego imagines it sees an empty space of meaninglessness to write
in; it fears the meaning God has already given. We assign our own meaning to
The Course is insistent that if we did not rush in to write our own meaning,
the message we would hear would be one of love and beauty. This is true no
matter what the outside "situation" appears to be. For instance, a brother
may be totally deceived in his own ego and verbally or even physically
attacking us. The message we hear in his words or actions, no matter their
form, is the message we <choose> to hear. We assign the meaning we think our
brother is giving us. If our minds were attuned to the Holy Spirit, no
matter what anyone did or said, we would hear a message that affirms the
Christ in me and engenders my love. (For a long--and somewhat
complex--section on this very topic, see Text, Chapter 9, Section II, "The
Answer to Prayer," which says, in part, "The message your brother gives you
is up to you. What does he say to you? What would you have him say? Your
decision about him determines the message you receive.")
The idea that we are in competition with God and fear His vengeance because
of our competition may, as the lesson admits, seem preposterous. It asks us
to practice the lesson anyhow. At this level we are mainly trying to become
aware that we are afraid to leave anything without meaning, although we
don't realize fully <why> we are afraid of that. It is asking us to work at
being willing to say, "I do not know what this means." We really are afraid
of that! And the lesson asks us to note any form of fear carefully (5:4).
Not to try to overcome it; just notice it. Notice that leaving something
without an assigned meaning makes you anxious, and let yourself consider
that maybe the reason is that somehow, somewhere deep down in the darkness
of your unconscious, you are afraid of the meaning God might write there if
you let Him.
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