Meaning is not inherent; it is projected. Nothing external – be it a fruit salad, a spouse or a graveyard – has any meaning save what we give it. If we can realize this – which is something different than intellectually understanding or admiring it as a concept – than our lives would change. We would literally be transformed.
Our practice as students of A Course in Miracles begins with the external. This is so important. The very first lesson asks us to look around and see what’s there – a road, a wall, a window, a table. And as our physical sight rests on these things, we gently tell ourselves that it “does not mean anything.”
It is good sometimes to come back to this and spend some time with it. After we’ve studied and practiced a bit, it can be helpful to look again at some of the early lessons. They are simple but profound. Tara Singh used to say that any one of them could awaken us if we paid attention.
What is an apple if we withdraw from it all meaning and judgment? Can we do that? It is so hard! We think we are doing it but then if we watch our thoughts we see how fast and subtle they are. We are always defining things, and deciding whether they’re good or bad, and how they relate to other things.
It is so hard for us to give anything a little space, a little breathing room from our thoughts.
But just seeing this is helpful. We begin to see how busy our brains are and how chaotic and unreliable our thoughts are. When we see this, one thing that can happen is we stop trusting ourselves so much. We stop assuming that whatever is going on in our thoughts is right or good or even accurate.
A Course in Miracles is very clear: we have to resign as our own teacher. We really do
Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning . . . Perceptions are learned and you are not without a Teacher. Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you learned yourself, for you who learned amiss should not be your own teacher (T-11.VIII.3:2-3, 7-8).
So much becomes possible when we accept at last that we don’t have a clue and need help. And you know, it’s often one step forward, two steps back. One day we get it and the next we’re like bulls in a china shop. Don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m doing!
That is why the lessons are so instructive, even the early ones which are so deceptively simple. They are chances to learn again that our own resources are insufficient and we must avail ourselves of the mighty Teacher ever ready to instruct us in the ways of reality. It becomes part of our practice: we question what we know. We don’t stop at the judgment and the fragmentation that seems so natural to the brain but go farther. We are willing to go farther. We turn to the Teacher who promises to take us farther.
Meaning does not reside in the fragment but in the whole. This is the fact upon which our salvation – our deliverance unto peace and joy – is based.
The whole power of God is in every part of Him, and nothing contradictory to His Will is either great or small. What does not exist has no size and no measure. To God all things are possible (T-11.VI.10:6-8).
That is knowledge: that is where our seeking finds its end.