Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
And so forth.
What we’re learning in this very first lesson is that nothing has any meaning on its own. There is no inherent meaning in anything that we see.
In fact, everything is like a blank slate. It has no meaning, and we project onto that tabula rasa all the meaning that it has for us.
And the meaning we give it is dependent on which teacher we’ve chosen in our mind. Either the teacher of the ego, or the right mind of spirit.
For instance, not only does this chair not mean anything, but the meaning we give it (such as “to hold my body while I sit at my desk”) comes from a choice in the mind. Consider these lines from the course.
Perception seems to teach you what you see. Yet it but witnesses to what you taught. Perception is the outward picture of a wish; an image that you wanted to be true. (T-24.VII.8)
So as we look about us and we see all the things in our field of vision, A Course in Miracles Lesson 1 is helping us to begin practicing the idea that it (each thing our eyes see) has no meaning on its own.
And what we’re going to learn in later lessons – starting with Lesson 2 – is that we give everything all the meaning that it has for us based on which teacher we’ve first chosen in our mind.
As we learn how to select the teacher in our mind, we begin to understand that all our sense of peace or pain comes from the choice in our mind.