A Course In Miracles Lesson 13
A Course In Miracles Lesson 13 states:
A meaningless world engenders fear.
This world is not without meaning. The lessons up until now have not been trying to convince us that life has no meaning. They have been working to get us to see that we are not recognizing where meaning lies. Our perception does not see true meaning because our brains (which are fixated on the past) impose meaning where none exists and ignoring meaning where it dwells inherently.
Today’s lesson specifies fear as the single emotion that seeing a meaningless world causes in us. A meaningless world is a terrifying notion. Luckily, there is no such thing.
A meaningless world is impossible. Nothing without meaning exists. Everything that does not have meaning is an illusion, is not real, does not exist and need not be thought of.
However, it is in our brain’s power to choose to see things that are not there. It is possible for us to perceive something and believe that it has no meaning. We can think in a mistaken way. We can convince ourselves that we perceive meaninglessness. And we can become quite distraught about it. Our thoughts are not accurate accounts of what is true.
But the truth can be found in our thoughts, nonetheless, even when we are clouded by misperception because the truth, being eternal, is always there and can always be found. We need only grow still and listen. The truth is there because it is the nature of the truth to always be there. Truth does not ever go away. Being true, it is eternal. It can however be covered up, like the sun being obscured by clouds.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 13 explains that recognizing meaninglessness causes anxiety in the separated ones. The term “separated ones” here is referring to living beings with physical bodies. Having a body means you have engaged in the belief that you are a single, separate entity, alone in an isolated world that has no origin. This is an impossible arrangement. You can not be sourceless. But it is in our power to believe that the impossible is true. Having a body means you have engaged in the belief that all you are is your physical form. This is distressing because it is a false belief. It is also distressing because we know our bodies will eventually die and “leave” us. We feel our bodies should be the way we feel, which is eternal. Part of us feels eternal and expects the eternal because part of us is eternal.
We will put down this body like a coat no longer needed and we will continue on in our consciousness. The body only has meaning so long as we occupy it. We are what holds meaning, not the object we choose to express through. Part of us knows this and will always know it because it is simply true and the truth can not not be known. The truth can be denied, but never not known. Another part of us (because we have a split mind with two seemingly different states of awareness, believes we can change what is true, overwrite reality with our own self-made chosen reality. This we can do, in illusions. Our self-made reality is never real. We only engage in willfully believing it is.
The ego frantically tries to establish its own ideas as authority wherever the empty space that meaninglessness provides. The ego is fearful that if it doesn’t to assert a narrative upon that empty space, the empty space will be used to show the ego’s error in thinking that it has any authority or ability to make meaninglessness ever have meaning.
This fear of the ego’s is a well-founded fear because on this point alone it is correct. The ego can never make that which is not real real. The natural state of meaninglessness does show the truth about the ego because the truth underlies all illusions. It can not be otherwise. It is always only a matter of time before any ego-made situation will dissolve and reveal the inherent and eternal landscape of truth within all that truly is.
Again, recognition of meaninglessness generates intense anxiety in anyone who has chosen to believe they are separated from the Source of all Creation. A Course In Miracles calls this Source God. An experience of anxiety is an indication that a belief in meaninglessness as real has occurred. There is no such thing as meaninglessness. There is only the act of believing that meaninglessness can exist. It can not exist, but you can believe that it does. Your believing so does not and will not ever make it a reality.
It is important to recognize and accept “events of meaninglessness” without fear. There is nothing for us to fear in the space of meaninglessness because meaninglessness has no meaning. It is neither good nor bad. It does not exist. If fear arises, we can know from that sensation that it is our ego feeling threatened because one of our self-made descriptions of reality is being rendered inaccurate. When this happens we can choose to double our efforts to push for the misguided description of reality we are trying to assert upon Reality, or we can put down that fight and stop endowing the world with attributes it does not possess. The world is neutral. You are your only source of fear. There is nothing out there that is out to get you. If there were, it would have already achieved any mission of destruction. Reality is not a state of destruction. Reality is a state of creation.
Understanding the astounding power of your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations enables you to stop generating fear “unconsciously” and to start being a leader in holding space for clarity to reign. Meaning is the eternally prevailing state of all that truly is. We are, however, free to believe that this is not true. Choosing to believe an idea that is not true is a capacity of our inherent freedom. Freedom is an attribute of true creation. Nothing is created without freedom, and since we have been created (we exist) we are inherently free (and inherently creative.) That is our natural state.
Freedom means we are free to believe things that are not true. We are free to believe whatever we are interested in believing. But we can not ever make anything real that is inherently not real. A belief is an act of will. You choose (through the content of what you believe) to either fight or be at peace with reality. Believing in concepts that are not true causes a situation where God (the Source of all that truly exits) and our smaller, self-made will (our ego) are in a battle for whose meaning will be written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides.
Empty space (meaninglessness) does not inherently cause fear. It inherently causes nothing at all. This can not be frightening or problematic. If fear is experienced in relation to that which is meaningless, that fear is caused by the act of ascribing meaning where none should be placed.
My thoughts are meaningless. They do not hold the importance that I have ascribed to them. This is good news because thinking the thoughts I have in my head does not feel very good and if I can let them go as things not needing to be thought of at all, I will feel profound relief.
I do not need to think of the situations I am fixated on in my head. I can put them down like I would put down an old-fashioned suitcase. I can choose to see that my thoughts do not mean anything and I can choose to recognize that I do not see anything as it is now. My mind is occupied with past thoughts. The past does not exist and is not real. Thinking that the past is real is a misguided belief.
The ego spends tremendous energy trying to establish its own ideas as real. The ego rushes in frantically to “challenge” reality and imposes its preferences. The ego is afraid that the void may otherwise show the truth about its own powerlessness and about its error.
The ego is correct on this one belief alone.
The void of meaninglessness that is empty space will show and reflect perfectly back to the ego the error it is making in its comparisons. The ego will not be able to not see that error but it is free to pretend it does not see it.
Because the ego is incorrect about how the world works, and because it fights to deny knowing this, the ego is afraid and always running from that which would dissolve its willful error. To release from this impulse, it is essential that we learn to recognize that which is meaningless and accept it without fear. The contents of your thoughts are meaningless. The preoccupations of scenarios do not lead to any awareness except in your ability to put them down and move your attention away from them.
If you are fearful, what you offer the world is fear. If you are fearful, you will see fear in everything. You will endow the world with attributes it does not possess. You will crowd the world with images that do not exist. To the ego, illusions are safety devices. When you equate yourself with the ego, illusions are security blankets for you as well.