I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.
On one hand, this seems obvious: “Of course I give things the meaning they have for me”. But as we look deeper, we realize that it isn’t so clear.
What this means is that everything that happens around us or to us has no meaning. It is without any meaning at all. Completely neutral.
But we usually don’t see things that way. We usually see them with some sort of judgment, like good or bad.
What this lesson is teaching us is that – just like Shakespeare said – nothing is good or bad. It is our thinking that makes it so. We give everything all the meaning that it has for us.
We’ve been so conditioned to believe the world impinges on us. But it’s the other way around.
Consider these very powerful lines from A Course in Miracles:
My holy brother, think of this awhile: The world you see does nothing. It has no effects at all. It merely represents your thoughts. (W-pI.190.6)
That concept is so challenging, but also incredibly liberating. Our thoughts determine the world we see and experience. That is why so much of the course deals with our thoughts – understanding where they come from and how we can change them. In fact, the course emphasizes that we should not try to change the world, but rather we should focus on changing our thoughts about the world.
So the next time we find ourselves feeling any negative emotion, we can practice A Course in Miracles Lesson 2 and remember that we’ve given some event – which on its own is without meaning – and given it a negative judgment with our thoughts.
We’ll learn in later lessons why this is and how it works as we build up toward experiencing true peace.