A Course In Miracles Lesson 11
A Course In Miracles Lesson 11 states:
My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
The idea that my thoughts do not mean anything might strike us as a depressing one. But we want to make sure we read the statement correctly and in context. It is not saying that the world is meaningless. It is saying that we do not see the world’s inherent meaning.
The logic of the past few lessons has very specifically begun to reverse the foundation of how we think. That pathway of logic is:
My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. (Lesson 8)
Since the past does not exist, when I think about the past, I see nothing as it is now. (Lesson 9)
If I am fixated on the past, I am fixated on something that is not there which means my thoughts are fabrications based on false notions. My thoughts do not mean what I think they mean. My thoughts do not mean anything when focused on the past. They are like a cloud, floating and vanishing. The presence of such thoughts means that we are, in reality, not thinking at all. We are in a dormant state of illusion, like a dream. We are sleeping and we are believing the dream is real.
The logic of today’s lesson reverses how we think about and understand the world.
It seems like the world around us is the authority that determines what we perceive and experience. But this lesson explains that it is our thoughts that determine the world we see. Not the other way around.
Seeing how our minds are actually caught up in thoughts about the past identifies the core of what causes all our pain. If we are drawing our conclusions about situations based on a logic that is flawed, it will only be a matter of time before we encounter that flawed logic as well as the pain that comes from such logic.
Awareness of how our minds are behaving is the first step in releasing that misguided behavior.
A Course In Miracles calls this release process “forgiveness.” The text states that understanding how our fixation with the past causes pain is how we will find “forgiveness.” It goes on to explain that the word “forgiveness” is a difficult concept to understand. It very often gets translated as being some kind of submission to a larger power and it often feels like a degradation.
So long as forgiveness feels like a power game of wills, we will not understand it or experience it. But we do not need to use the word “forgiveness” if it causes a challenge to us. The true function and result of forgiveness is a release from mental anguish. We can use the word “release” whenever the word “forgiveness” gets in our way. Our goal here is not to make peace with religious terminology. We can use it whenever it is helpful and we can put it down, reframe it when it is not helpful.
Our goal is to locate and follow what is true. Words and their functions change over time like clouds shifting in the sky. (Like everything in this world) If a word holds historical significance (the past) and we ascribe meaning to that word (illusion) it is time to release it and find a more fitting description.
The world does not cause us pain. Our way of thinking causes us pain. Forgiveness means letting go of a way of thinking that is painful. It is an act of choosing peace and an act of choosing a different pathway of logic.
There is no need, nor is it possible to get to the bottom of painful thoughts once and for all with the logic that made them. That pain logic go on and on so long as you choose to place attention on it. Turning away from the whole event of such thoughts and releasing the need to sort, clarify, and put in order what’s what about the situation will lead to peace. We do not know why something has happened the way it has happened. We can rest in not knowing and refrain from generating resistance.
“My thoughts do not mean anything. My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world. This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.”