CHAPTER ONE DAY 1 (Lesson 1) “Nothing I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place) means anything.” (W-pI.1.1)
This moment now, we begin anew. It is the adventure we all came into this dream life to take. The one we have been searching for all our lives. We come hardwired for it. It’s like a homing beacon ticks within our psyche, until we answer its call.
We all begin with just a little willingness to venture into the unknown. The Workbook of A Course in Miracles lessons begin with undoing the concepts we now believe, by bringing everything we think we know into question and ultimately opening our minds to a whole new perception of everyone and everything. I believe I am a separate person, in a world of independent individuals and things. Is it true?
The adventure takes us through our perceived known ideas and beliefs and feelings, into their premise, seeing what is false and what is true, and ultimately undoing the false for the true, where we come to know our Self as we truly are. We rarely realize that fear underlies much of how we interpret everything we see. We are born pure and innocent, but our coping mechanisms kick in so fast we don’t realize that it is our interpretations we are reacting to, and not the person place or event.
These first few lessons are helping us look at how we perceive the world. They use the environment we are in now. We practice them twice a day, morning and evening, and only for a minute, casually applying the lesson to whatever our eyes light upon, making sure not to leave anything out deliberately. And that’s it.
“This hand does not mean anything. This wall does not mean anything.” And so on.
I look around the room as I do the lesson, and my eyes light on a painting my husband, Lar, painted of New Orleans. Lar and I fell in love in New Orleans. I’m not just seeing a painting. Thoughts, feelings, and associations, come to mind immediately, which cast a shadow over my sight.
With today’s lesson, my only goal is to notice, and by doing so, I open a small space in my mind, in which to apply the lesson. “Nothing I see means anything. This painting does not mean anything.” Can that be true?
We each have signatured our world with the values we have assigned to everything. Nothing I see in my world means anything. Except to me.
The lesson, applied in the morning, is now active in my mind. I get a note from my boss saying he wants to see me in his office. My heart races. My mind spins a story, thinking I’m in trouble for something. It starts planning what to say to cover my ass.
But somehow, I notice this. I take a deep breath, and the lesson comes into that little space. “This note does not mean anything.” The note itself is harmless. I just spun a story of fear around it. With the next breath, I let it go. I take a step. I walk into my boss’s office with an open mind.