This lesson and commentary is part of a complete class on A Course in Miracles offered here at The Joy Within. Signup for the full class here, or view all ACIM workbook lessons.
Lesson 2: Idea for the Day
I have given everything I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place) all the meaning that it has for me.
Guided Audio Narration
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Insights and Commentary
I have given everything I see in this room all of the meaning it has for me.
As we progress through this course, you will find that the lessons build gradually upon each other, reinforcing, extending, and expanding a series of interconnected ideas. Yesterday, we began with the idea that everything — all thoughts, objects, events, and circumstances — are inherently meaningless. If you could distill everything you experience down to its core essence, you would find that it is completely neutral. Energy makes no evaluations or judgments.
While you can probably grasp this point intellectually, actually having the experience of neutrality is a skill and a habit that may take time to develop. Do not worry if you feel like you don’t yet “get it.” Be patient with yourself. You are learning an entirely new way of interacting with the world, and you are only just beginning. Take a few moments now to reinforce the previous lesson. Look around the room, choosing objects at random, stating: “This pen does not mean anything. This table/lamp/rug/pizza does not mean anything…”
As you repeat this exercise, you may notice a slight uneasiness or a feeling of awkwardness. If so, this uneasiness comes from a contraction of your energy, which is an indication that you do attach some meaning to the object. As you look at a photograph, for example, perhaps it evokes memories of time spent with friends or family, and it is normal for you to have some degree of attachment to those memories and the people involved.
Regardless of whether the attachment is positive or negative, your belief in it contradicts the statement that the object has no meaning. Already. we seem to have reached an impasse, since your beliefs cause the object to appear meaningful to you.
That is where today’s lesson comes in. The objects you encounter every day do appear to have meaning. The key realization for today is to recognize that you create this appearance. You have determined what meaning different objects, people, and events have for you. They are symbols. Just as a symbol is meaningless to someone who does not know the history of it, everything you encounter is meaningless outside of the interpretations, beliefs, and stories you tell yourself about it. Their apparent meaning is a choice you create for yourself.
To internalize this concept, take a few moments to ponder different objects around you. Choose an object, allow your gaze to rest softly on it, and state: “I have given this book/mug/picture/phone all the meaning it has for me.”
You may wish to allow your mind to wander briefly about each object. For some, it helps to uncover the meaning you apply, in order to see that you have applied it. For example, perhaps you dislike your curtains because they are out of style. Perhaps this observation creates other, more nuanced implications: that you have poor taste, aren’t creative enough to have more interesting designs, or don’t earn enough to buy the latest fashions. As your mind wanders in this way, it becomes easy to see that the curtains have not imposed these beliefs upon you. They are just curtains. You have given them meaning. The same is true for every object around you, every thought you think, or event you experience. Your interpretation creates meaning. Without your interpretation, no meaning exists. Everything is inherently neutral.