Lesson 15 in A Course in Miracles has the wonderful title “My thoughts are images that I have made”. It took me years to understand that title and the message of the lesson. It is incredibly simple but completely mind blowing:
It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your “seeing” was made. W-pI.15.1-3
It’s already a profound insight to recognise that our thoughts create all that we see around us including our own bodies. But then in the same sentence to say that these thoughts that create the world are nothing! Well, really?
I like the reason why I don’t realise my thoughts are nothing. It’s because I see images with my eyes. My world appears real and so I conclude that the thoughts that gave rise to it must be real and meaningful.
How practical is this teaching?
It lets us know that when we react, judge and tell stories about our body, other people and the things we see in the world, we are giving meaning to nothing. Ultimately not to give meaning to the world is to say that we as a separate, individual self do not exist. To keep our identity we have to give meaning to the world and our bodies.
Fortunately there is another meaning to be given to everything in the world.
If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. W-pI.12.5:3
Is is obvious (well, after a certain age it is obvious) that we are never going to be indescribably happy by getting more money, a better house or another relationship. We all know deep down there is a deeper meaning possible even in this world.
We all have moments when we allow truth to help us question the meaning of the life we hold so dear. In quietness, truth joins with us and we see that our separate thoughts are nothing and meaningless.
All the small steps of forgiveness gradually awaken us from the dream. Some of these steps are fearful because we are so identified with who we are. But the journey does not end with nothingness but with perfect safety and peace.
The idea for today (God did not create a meaningless world) is another step in learning to let go the thoughts that you have written on the world, and see the Word of God in their place. The early steps in this exchange, which can truly be called salvation, can be quite difficult and even quite painful. Some of them will lead you directly into fear. You will not be left there. You will go far beyond it. Our direction is toward perfect safety and perfect peace. W-pI.14.31-6
Indescribable happiness is remembering our true Identity. It requires us to recognise that our own individual thoughts are meaningless and nothing, and if we identify with them, we are delaying our return to perfect safety and peace.