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ACIM Workbook

Lesson 12 Insights


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


In this lesson, I am being asked to step back and refrain from giving any meaning to the world. I am told that the world has no meaning because it is meaningless. On this blank slate, the Holy Spirit can bring me real meaning. All true meaning comes from God. Thinking there is an outside world, a world outside of God, is a false idea. It is a meaningless idea. Thinking that something could be outside of everything is meaningless and could never be.

Recognizing that the world is meaningless is a very important step in my healing process. All the meanings I have given the world have been an effort to make the error real. I am now realizing that the error, or the false idea of separation, could never be real and is meaningless. God is one. God is all. There could never be anything outside of God. I want to heal my mind. I want to let go of false ideas. And part of that process is really getting it that the idea of a world outside me is meaningless.

There is no meaning to separation, no matter how hard I try to make it real by putting a meaning on it. The world is not bad or good; it is meaningless. My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world. As I give it meaning, it becomes real to me. As I remove the meaning, I can see that it is meaningless. On this blank slate, the Holy Spirit can show me all true meaning. The Holy Spirit can show me what is real.

This is a very important part of my awakening process. I want to practice throughout the day refraining from giving my meaning to the world. I want to practice stepping back and letting the Holy Spirit show me all true meaning. This is a very simple process but requires great focus on my part to step back again and again and again. I have had such a habit of doing the opposite — giving my meaning to the world — that it now takes continued practice doing the opposite until the new habit becomes automatic. It isn’t automatic yet, so I still need continued practice. I am determined to practice stepping back today. I do not know what anything means. The Holy Spirit does. I am willing to listen.

I can only experience fear or worry because I believe harm or loss is possible. Harm or loss is possible only if separation is real. But separation cannot be real because God is one and all that is. Love is all that is. Being impossible, the idea of separation is meaningless. So, I am upset because I see a meaningless world, although I do not recognize it as meaningless. I have given it a meaning that is not true, although I believe it is true.

It is my belief in the reality of illusion that makes illusion threatening. The moment I recognize it as illusion, I see its meaninglessness and it is no longer threatening. Once again it comes back to belief. Belief in false ideas makes the idea appear true because the belief in it is the wish for it to be true.

These lessons are gently, step-by-step, helping us to step back and detach from our identification with our beliefs. Gradually we will be able to recognize the false beliefs that underlie the fearful, sad, exciting, thrilling, upsetting, traumatic and dramatic world. As we withdraw our investment in those beliefs, we will withdraw the meaning we have written upon the world, making way for God’s Word of joy and peace to be written on it in its place. Unspeakable happiness will replace the roller coaster emotions that come from our belief that separation is real. It is worth the practice. It leads to what our heart seeks. It leads Home.

I’ve done these lessons more than once and I am clearer on what is being asked of me. I understand my part of it better. I understand that I don’t have to make a new world, or even figure out what the world should look like. I just have to clear my mind of what I think it should be and let reality shine through. That is hard enough. Thank goodness it is all I have to do.


I still do not do my part with any consistency. I have moments of clarity, and then I allow the ego to creep back in and I start to see a scary, sad, chaotic world again. I am reminding myself that my success is certain however that seems contrary to my present state.

What comes to my mind when I think that I am upset because what I see is meaningless is that I have assigned labels to everything and deep within me, those labels, which were assigned by my ego, are ultimately not real or true. And they change depending on what my ego wants. This is a very profound revelation for me, because now I see how truly upsetting this meaningless world is. If I see something and my ego declares it good one day and a month later declares it bad based on perhaps other people’s opinions, then I am always shifting, and my perspective is always changing, and I never feel firmly rooted in anything. This is ultimately the most disconcerting thing any being can experience. To not feel rooted is frightening. To not feel rooted is to feel disconnected and separate. There is the Key! Separateness.

But I am not separate from God, my Creator. I am right here inside Him. I may have hidden that from myself in this experience, this dream… but the fact that I am now searching, actively searching for God, implies that I am no longer benefiting from my belief that I am separate from God. Now it is time to let the truth shine. I have never been separate from God. I have always been with God. Separateness is the illusion, the dream. And this meaningless world supports that illusion, which is why I get upset. I therefore must see all of this as not real to return to the truth that I am still with God and never left God.

This dream is my playtime and yet I have gotten so wrapped up in it that I have forgotten it is playtime and I have taken it to be completely real. No, this is my recess. And when my recess is over I will see God. Yet just because I am at recess doesn’t mean that I cannot see God. God, in fact, has always been right here ready and waiting to be seen, but in my excitement of recess I have completely forgotten about God. That is really the bigger problem. And then when recess is losing its fun, I get upset and depressed and fearful.

However, anytime I choose, all I need to do is meditate and think of God and I will realize that this is playtime and God is still here, and I am still with God, part of God, but I am in the playground right now and that is why I keep forgetting I am with God. But all is well. And when I realize that, I can return to my playtime lighter and brighter and ready to radiate love and joy.

Workbook Lesson 12 Insights - PoL


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