Lesson 12

“I am upset because I see a meaningless world.”

The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a
correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what
upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world,
or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world
is meaningless in itself.

These exercises are done with eyes open. Look around you, this
time quite slowly. Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of
your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time
interval. Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly
longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo
throughout.What you see does not matter.You teach yourself this as
you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal
time.This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.
As you look about you, say to yourself:

“I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,”

and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you.
If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you,
include them. For example, you might think of “a good world,” or “a
satisfying world.” If such terms occur to you, use them along with
the rest. You may not yet understand why these “nice” adjectives
belong in these exercises, but remember that a “good world” implies
a “bad” one, and a “satisfying world” implies an “unsatisfying” one. All
terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today’s
exercises. Their seeming quality does not matter.

Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between
applying today’s idea to what you think is pleasant and what you
think is unpleasant. For the purposes of these exercises, there is no
difference between them. At the end of the practice period, add:

“But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.”

What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. Why, then, should
a meaningless world upset you? If you could accept the world as
meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would
make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are
impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you
see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. Beneath your words is
written the Word of God.The truth upsets you now, but when your
words have been erased, you will see His. That is the ultimate
purpose of these exercises.

Three or four times is enough for practicing the idea for today.
Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute.You may find even
this too long. Terminate the exercises whenever you experience a
sense of strain.

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