Lesson 1 Insights
“Nothing I see in this room [on this street,
from this window, in this place] means anything.”
The Text tells us that we must learn to question everything we think we know. This first lesson of the Workbook begins the process of opening our minds to the possibility that we may not know what we think we know, we may not really understand what we think we understand. A closed mind that thinks it already understands is not open to learning.
Early in the Text, we are told that this is a course in mind training and will lead to a complete thought reversal. It’s not just a little adjustment. It’s a complete 180-degree turn from the direction we thought was true. Because we believe our safety is in what we believe to be true, we are not likely to welcome something that is telling us the opposite. So, with today’s lesson, the Workbook gently begins the process of loosening our grip on what we have believed to be true and bringing it to question.
The ego would tell us that these beginning exercises are trivial. But practiced as indicated, these exercises prepare the way for a profound shift in our perception. It is the beginning step on a journey that leads to joy beyond anything we have experienced in this world and peace that cannot be disturbed.
How long this journey is for us depends on one thing: Our willingness to fully practice the exercises and open our mind to the lessons of our inner Teacher. We are not alone on this journey. We have Help in our mind always. And we have the help of all our brothers who are dedicated to awakening from the dream. It is a shared awakening because sharing is waking. We join in the journey of returning to where we never left.
We embark on a journey together today and every day. We are together whether we realize it or not. In truth, we are one. A world of separation could never be real. That is why it does not mean anything. It has meaning only to the extent that it can be a useful tool for awakening — a teaching aid. The Holy Spirit can and will use anything in this world as a bridge to bring us from our belief in separation to our recognition that only oneness is real. As we are willing to follow with an open mind, we will be led to true and everlasting happiness, deep peace and joy without reservation.
This world is the opposite of reality. We need mind training in order to let go of what is not true. We need mind training in order to recognize the difference between what is real and what is not real. This mind training will go on day by day as we are willing to practice each lesson as specified in the Workbook. We embark on our journey today recognizing that we do not know what anything means. And we are willing to be led to what is real. We are willing to return Home to Love. We are willing to be happy instead of right.
As I look around me and tell myself that nothing is real, I am overcome by a surreal feeling. Things look different. Things seem different. What is it that gives them meaning? My mind gives them meaning. And why do some things have more meaning than others? Or less meaning than others? The sense of attachment fades away and I suddenly remember a dream I had this morning about a friend who died in October. How real was that? She seemed real in the dream. The interactions with her family seemed real. Yet when I awakened, I realized it was only a dream. Are these things that mean nothing only a dream as well? If they are, then perhaps I should let myself be amused by them as I would by a movie or television show, yet form no real attachment to them because things do come and go rather easily, don’t they?
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