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“A meaningless world engenders fear.”
In this world it seems very weak to say, “I don’t know what anything means.” We have spent our whole lives learning what everything means. And if we don’t know, we are considered ignorant. In this lesson, we are learning to do the opposite. We are learning that it is important to step back and not give meaning to everything we see. We are learning that this stepping back and not giving meaning is the most valuable thing we can do now. We are learning that it is our pathway to freedom.
We are learning that it is important to undo all our past learning by merely stepping back from it and leaving an empty space. This is an important part of dis-identifying from the ego, or dis-identifying from the belief that we have separated from God. Being in competition with God is indeed frightening. We can give up the battle. Seeing the meaninglessness of the world is a very important step. It requires consistent stepping back from all we learned in the past. It is worth the effort. The more we do it the easier it gets.
Detachment from all the meanings I have given the world is my pathway to freedom and happiness. On the empty slate made clean with willingness to step back, the reality of Love has a chance to enter. With the reality of Love comes peace and joy. These blessings that return with stepping back from giving meaning to everything make it worth the effort. This undoing process is worth the effort.
It doesn’t seem like I am in competition with God. I’m not likely to say to anyone, “I’ve got this competition thing going with God.” But there are some telltale signs that this is true. I am aware that in some areas of my life I’m quite comfortable with saying, “I am willing to follow God’s Will.” But there are other areas where I have a definite agenda. I am willing to follow God’s Will, provided it looks like I want it to look. You might call it a halfhearted willingness. In still other areas, I’m not interested in even finding out what God’s Will is because I believe that His Will might mean that I have to give up something that is important to me.
Here it is most clear that I am in competition with God. The belief is that if I accept God’s Will, I will lose. God wins, I lose. I win, God doesn’t get His way. That’s competition. I see now that any time I believe God’s Will would require that I lose, I must be in competition with God. When I “win,” I get to keep my roller coaster emotions of terror, moments of ecstatic happiness, sadness, satisfaction, frustration, guilt and occasional periods of comfort that I am always afraid will not last. Some prize.
The Course tells me that God’s Will for me is perfect happiness. But because I have identified with the ego thought system, I have a faulty image of what happiness is. And I believe that if I lose that image, all is lost. That’s terrifying. This is why this lesson says to note carefully any signs of overt or covert fear which the idea that I am in competition with God may arouse and not to dwell on it except during the practice periods. At this point it appears that if I accept this statement as true, it would completely obliterate me. There would be nothing left. It is difficult at this point to see that what it would really do is open the door to indescribable happiness and a peace that cannot be disturbed.
Clearly the Course recognizes where we are in our thinking and does not ask us to make a giant leap over what we perceive as an insurmountable chasm. It leads us gently, step-by-step, to retrain our minds to see that we really do want the Will of God because It will bring us perfect happiness. The Course is patient with us, so it seems like a good idea to follow its example and be patient with ourselves. Let it be sufficient today to recognize that a meaningless world engenders fear and trust that we are being led by Love to return to Love.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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