A Course in Miracles Lesson 25

I do not know what anything is for.

I am sometimes critical of the text of A Course in Miracles for undue opacity – it can be hard to unravel exactly what is meant by this or that section. But generally tha sort of criticism is unwarranted when it comes to the workbook. I suspect that by the time Helen Schucman was channeling it – having already done the entire text – she had sufficiently cleared the lines of communication to allow for largely error-free scribing. Whatever the case, the lessons tend to be clear and direct and helpfully specific. Lesson 25 is a good example.

When I do this lesson there are basically two voices in my head. The first diligently does what Jesus asks me to do. “I do not know what this washing machine is for. I do not know what this vase of flowers is for. I do not know what that horse is for.”

The second tells the first voice it’s an idiot. It sounds a bit like this:

Voice one: I do not know what this mug is for.

Voice two: Actually you do. It’s to hold tea. See? It’s actually got tea in it right now.

Voice one: I do not know what this fish tank is for.

Voice two: Seriously? You don’t think it’s to hold fish?

Voice one: I don’t know what this shoe is for.

Voice two: Wow. Look who Jesus put in the slow class.

It’s not pretty. And I’d get lost there if it wasn’t for the fantastic example that’s used to flesh out this simple point.

Before you can make any sense out of the exercises for today, one more thought is necessary. At the most superficial levels you do recognize purpose. Yet purpose cannot be understood at those levels (W-pI.25.4:1-3).

The example, of course, is the telephone. Sure, at a superficial level I know that it’s used to make telephone calls to people who aren’t within my immediate vocal range. What I don’t understand – and what really matters – is why I want to reach this or that person. And is at that level that meaning exists and makes my contact with this or that person valuable.

I love that! It is direct and clear and makes absolute sense to me. And it neatly exposes the ego’s pathetic attempts to undermine me. The ego, of course, is Voice Two in that dialogue up above. At first glance, its subtle digs seem reasonable, wise cracks from somebody who’s not going to get suckered by Jesus. But when I call that telephone example to mind, the ego is silenced.

Voice one: I don’t know what this shoe is for.

Voice two: Wow. Look who Jesus put in the slow class. How about – wild guess here – it’s to put on your foot?

Voice one: Yeah, I get that. But why put it on my foot? Because it enables me to go out into the world – I can teach today, take my parents to lunch, my daughter to ride her horse – and, in addition to being able to do those things safely, I’m not going to be focused on my freezing feet. So I can focus on my students, my parents, my daughter. But why do I want to focus on my students, my parents, my daughter?

And to that question, Voice two is silent. The ego doesn’t know why I should love and be kind to my brothers and sisters. When the ego shuts up, I come back to the lesson and learn this simple fact: my job isn’t to figure out what’s good or bad in the world but rather to see it all as meaningless. Why? Because then I can perceive the meaning that God has written on it. That’s my goal. That’s what I want.

4 thoughts on “A Course in Miracles Lesson 25”

    1. Thanks for reading, Jess. I’m glad it resonated. These lessons posts go way back – it’s a kind of sweetness to read them now. The workbook was so helpful to me. I’m always happy when folks read. We are all in this together. 🙂

      ~ Sean

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