All posts by Auntie Patricia

Patricia Robinett has been leading A Course In Miracles study groups for over 20 years. December 27, 2008 she began a new project – to video tape the ACIM Workbook lessons, even though she had never made a video before. Between January 1 and December 31, 2009 she released 365 videos. In 2009 she also released her 35-year project, "Knowledge, The Essence of World Scriptures" which can be purchased at amazon.com.

Lesson 004 – These thoughts do not mean anything

 

Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. In these practise periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. Then apply the idea to them. If you are already aware of unhappy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad”. You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad”. This is why they do not mean anything.

In selecting the subjects for the application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required. Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad”. None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. The “good” ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either.

This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaningful within. It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognise what is the same and what is different.

In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:

This thought about ________ does not mean anything.
It is like the things I see in this room, [on this street, and so on].

You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognise as harmful. This practise is useful, but is not a substitute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. You are too inexperienced as yet to void a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.

Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgement in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. We will return to them later.

Lesson 003 – I do not understand anything I see

 

Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea. These are not exercises in judgement. Anything is suitable if you see it. Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you. Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.

The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realise how little you really understand about them. It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgement, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.

Lesson 002 – I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me

The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.

Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, colour, material, or relative importance to you. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.