How good it is to reread these lessons written year ago and remember that the world I see hold nothing that I want.
Today’s A Course in Miracles lesson is a radical thought for those of us caught up in consumerism. Before I cracked open the Internet to see what today’s lesson was/is (I like to listen to them while sipping my morning coffee), I was fighting to get my laptop to boot up and contemplating whether or not I wanted to spend money on a new one. My friend Brandi now has a Mac which I used briefly yesterday and I found myself pondering if there was any value in switching sides, so to speak. I’ve always been a PC girl. So on the heels of this morning thoughts about — a). there truly is value in having less stuff because I’m getting ready to move and I can’t imagine hauling a lot of the crap I own with me and b). maybe I need a new toy – it felt a bit shocking to be told The world I see holds nothing that I want.
No! Didn’t you hear me! I just told you I wanted a new laptop!
Ok, back to my purpose here. Today’s lesson is really confirming that first thought about needing to get rid of crap. So much of it is just busy stuff: things that give me more to take care of and repair or replace and worry about. The Mac thought is really only because viruses are much less prevalent within the Mac world (although I’d probably want to run Bootcamp to emulate Windows and increase the likelihood so that’s probably NOT a great idea).
None of it means anything. It’s just my ego indulging in an attempt to assuage craving.
Temporarily. That stuff is always temporary. It’s thrilling until the newness wears off.
Anyway, all of it is related to the fallacy of thinking that happiness is found “out there.” The world holds nothing that I want because I can’t find real answers externally. I am the one making it all up, so to think solutions could be found in the world is to anchor myself in my ego. As I reminded myself the other day: “To remove the problem elsewhere is to keep it, for you remove yourself from it and make it unsolvable.”
Oh yeah, it’s that Catch-22 thing again.
The world I see holds nothing that I want.
The world you see holds nothing that you need to offer you; nothing that you can use in any way, nor anything at all that serves to give you joy. Believe this thought, and you are saved from years of misery, from countless disappointments, and from hopes that turn to bitter ashes of despair. No one but must accept this thought as true, if he would leave the world behind and soar beyond its petty scope and little ways.
Each thing you value here is but a chain that binds you to the world, and it will serve no other end but this. For everything must serve the purpose you have given it, until you see a different purpose there. The only purpose worthy of your mind this world contains is that you pass it by, without delaying to perceive some hope where there is none. Be you deceived no more. The world you see holds nothing that you want.
Escape today the chains you place upon your mind when you perceive salvation here. For what you value you make part of you as you perceive yourself. All things you seek to make your value greater in your sight limit you further, hide your worth from you, and add another bar across the door that leads to true awareness of your Self.
Let nothing that relates to body thoughts delay your progress to salvation, nor permit temptation to believe the world holds anything you want to hold you back. Nothing is here to cherish. Nothing here is worth one instant of delay and pain; one moment of uncertainty and doubt. The worthless offer nothing. Certainty of worth can not be found in worthlessness.
Today we practice letting go all thought of values we have given to the world. We leave it free of purposes we gave its aspects and its phases and its dreams. We hold it purposeless within our minds, and loosen it from all we wish it were. Thus do we lift the chains that bar the door to freedom from the world, and go beyond all little values and diminished goals.
Pause and be still a little while, and see how far you rise above the world, when you release your mind from chains and let it seek the level where it finds itself at home. It will be grateful to be free a while. It knows where it belongs. But free its wings, and it will fly in sureness and in joy to join its holy purpose. Let it rest in its Creator, there to be restored to sanity, to freedom and to love.
Give it ten minutes rest three times today. And when your eyes are opened afterwards, you will not value anything you see as much as when you looked at it before. Your whole perspective on the world will shift by just a little, every time you let your mind escape its chains. The world is not where it belongs. And you belong where it would be, and where it goes to rest when you release it from the world. Your Guide is sure. Open your mind to Him. Be still and rest.
Protect your mind throughout the day as well. And when you think you see some value in an aspect or an image of the world, refuse to lay this chain upon your mind, but tell yourself with quiet certainty:
This will not tempt me to delay myself.
The world I see holds nothing that I want.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
When I listened to this morning’s lesson, I immediately recognized that it was challenging my attachments, my ego identification. Even after all my studies, such challenges feel threatening. This is understandable considering that each step closer to salvation (the realization that the separation never occurred) is a step closer to the undoing of the ego. “The full awareness of the Atonement, then, is the recognition that the separation never occurred. The ego cannot prevail against this because it is an explicit statement that the ego never occurred.”
The ego, then, is make-believe. We made it up to pretend we could take God’s place in the Kingdom; except the ego’s version of the world is actually pretty crappy. If we wake up to the awareness that “the world I see holds nothing that I want” then freedom from the ego’s tyranny is finally realized. “Believe this thought, and you are saved from years of misery, from countless disappointments, and from hopes that turn to bitter ashes of despair. No one but must accept this thought as true, if he would leave the world behind and soar beyond its petty scope and little ways.”
The world holds nothing that I want because it is a projection of the ego. To think that anything of the world can provide the peace and joy we crave is to believe in a mirage.
What is it about identifying with the world that makes craving and addiction such a problem? I think of my own fairly benign habits around grocery shopping and having food in the house (my bad habit of planning for lack –what!!!!). At the moment, we are still well-stocked – over stocked on some canned goods – but certainly if there were some disaster that prevented me from being able to shop for the next month, we’d not come close to starving. We’d have to get more creative once we were totally out of milk and eggs, but we’d still survive quite nicely.
Yet, as I refrain from doing any real grocery shopping, I feel the way I do when we go on vacation and have a kitchen for meal preparation. I’m calculating what I need to get me through the week, but towards the end, eating out seems much more appealing than the same old, same old that have been the last few days’ staples. Even though it is always stuff I like, it is never quite as appealing as something new.
It takes conscious effort to use up what I have rather than indulging in something new. I’m starting to understand the value of just buying that day’s food though if I had to go shopping each time I wanted a meal, I’d most certainly eat out much more than I do.
Having said that, there is still something liberating about depleting the overstock – like it is giving me room to breathe. For a few weeks there, I couldn’t even ascertain what we had on hand. I had food clutter and I couldn’t think because of it!
What does any of this have to do with “the world I see hold nothing that I want”? It’s simple – none of these thoughts are true. They are just stories I make up to make myself feel better. Too much, not enough – I made it up. How in the world could anything “out there” hold what I want when I am the one who assigned it value? To value the “out there” stuff is but “a chain that binds you to the world.”
The Course tells us that’s not what the world is for (it’s not about who dies with the most toys), “4 Forget not that the healing of God’s Son is all the world is for. That is the only purpose the Holy Spirit sees in it, and thus the only one it has. “
So, as I practice today and repeat “the world I see holds nothing that I want,” I remind myself that it never was about the stuff. I’ve long had a theory that addiction is the ego’s attempt to fill a craving that can only be satisfied by God. And while God may indeed be in everything and everyone, the world I see is the form and God is not the form. God is changeless and form is destructible. God is the energy, the life force, the essence – the love, the peace, the joy and the harmony. Only that is real.
The world I see holds nothing that I want, but I can go beyond that. I can connect with the infinite, and in doing so, one more chain is removed, and I come a little closer to knowing the truth of who I really am.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.