The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.
— Daniel J. Boorstin
In today’s lesson (A Course in Miracles, Lesson 1; and for more info, here’s my introduction to this blog series), the course starts us off with a simple exercise: Look around the room you’re sitting in and tell yourself, “Nothing I see in this room means anything.” That chair does not mean anything. That pen does not mean anything. And so on.
We are going to circle back to this foundational philosophy over and over again over the next few months, but this exercise is tapping into a root idea in ACIM: Everything has equal lack of meaning because there is no separation and no difference between the things we’re seeing.
In our attachment to our ego and in our attachment to the identity we’ve formed for ourselves (I’m an athlete! I’m vegan! I’m a partner! I’m a friend! I’m a CrossFit enthusiast!), we have essentially created an illusion around us. An illusion of separation. As long as we think we know the meaning of something, we won’t seek the greater truth that can help us break this illusion.
This very first lesson is the first step in seeing the world differently. It helps us to slowly embody the idea that nothing real — your true, divine, loving self — can be threatened.
Let me repeat, nothing real (you) can be threatened.
It can’t be threatened because all these other things don’t mean anything. We can start to release these things. Our weight loss, our food, our social identity, our fitness — or even our lack of these things — does not threaten our true self.
Without this sense of threat, without this fear and this idea of separation, we begin to see the mental change that we need to retrain ourselves towards success and happiness and a healthier approach to our bodies. On a deep level, it changes our relationship to our bodies, paving the way for a new approach to health and self-love and self-care.
Today’s action steps:
- Write down situations or things in your life that make you feel anxious, fearful or threatened. Perhaps it’s recent weight gain, or the junk food binge you did last week, or a stressful job. Return to the thought that your true self cannot be threatened by these things. As you release them, you give healing and light a chance to enter and slowly change those situations.
- Repeat today’s thought whenever you find yourself attaching too much meaning to something. Use this as a tool to stay grounded. If you feel yourself becoming ungrounded, circle back and say “This [moment, situation, person, meal, gym session] does not mean anything.”