My thoughts do not mean anything.
Within each lesson there is always a seed or two, the flowering of which seems to aim at completely undoing our sense of self. There is a tendency to merely glance at these “seeds” – to pass over them quickly – under the mistaken belief that we are making the lessons less fearful and thus more manageable. Leave what’s scary for another day! But this is a delay tactic that only postpones our inevitable – and desirable – readjustment. Atonement, as Jesus points out frequently in A Course in Miracles, reflects a total commitment on our part.
As it clearly states, Lesson 10 is a second, somewhat altered, take on a soon-to-be familiar theme: our thoughts are meaningless. We saw this first in ACIM Lesson 4 which compared our thoughts to the objects we perceive in the material world. The goal was to begin to sense that our “thoughts” are actually outside of us rather than within and that they are also in a critical sense “past.”
We are not ignoring that aspect in Lesson 10. Implicit in the brief review of Lesson 4, is the need to remember that our thoughts – as we now understand them – are essentially unreal in the sense of time and space, which is to say, in the sense of bodies. We need to rethink the way we think: and this “rethinking” is not a function of the brain but rather of that in which – or through which – the brain has its function.
Lesson 10 takes it a step further, largely through the lines that are both the heart – and the above-mentioned seeds – of this exercise.
Now we are emphasizing that the presence of these “thoughts” means that you are not thinking. This is merely another way of repeating our earlier statement that your mind is really a blank W-pI.10.3:2-3).
If these thoughts – about whether Chrisoula or I will take Sophia riding today, or what is for supper, or will I teach Dickinson or Whitman this semester, or where is the next dollar will come from, or why am I so suddenly and intensely scared of death, why doesn’t so-and-so call anymore, etc. – do not constitute thinking, then what does?
Better yet, who is the “you” that this workbook lesson addresses?
I think that last question is one of the true gifts of A Course in Miracles, although it arrives – and can remain for sometimes – more in the nature of a curse. Whoever – and whatever – we are, our bodies and the brain-chatter produced by them are inside of us.
We aren’t who we think we are. We aren’t what we think we are. When Jesus assures us in the text that we are perfect creations of a loving Creator, he isn’t referring to Sean Reagan or you or anybody else. He is not referring to bodies. He is not referring to identities attached to bodies.
Thus, this “identity in God” to which I often refer is not some perfection of the bodily self, some pinnacle of emotional wellness, a last stop on the train of spiritual evolution.
Rather, it is spirit itself. And there is only one spirit, only one mind. This we that “we” think “we” are is going to be wholly and utterly subsumed by its origins, absorbed back into God from which it did not, in truth, depart. We fight that – we are fighting it right now, else what is the ego for – but with each lesson we take another inexorable step in the direction of Heaven where differences of any kind are entirely dissolved.
This is not an experience that we have as bodies. Our physical experience is subject to the laws that characterize bodies – ups and downs, comings and goings. At best, our bodily experience hints at the greater peace from which it borrows its existence. Lesson 10 is a way in which we begin to allow the weighty pervasiveness of the body to recede as we give attention to mind and the light in which – and through which – mind exists.