It is possible to find meaning in this world if one buries oneself in one’s career or if one becomes completely wrapped up in family life. It is also possible to find meaning by travelling around the world or becoming involved with an absorbing hobby or going into politics or supporting a worthy cause. All these things do appear to be meaningful, and there is nothing wrong with them especially if they are used to practise forgiveness. But if they take up the majority of our time, we will find it difficult to relinquish the world. You only really discover the meaninglessness of life when you stop doing all these things. That’s when it hits you! And it really isn’t a nice feeling. There is a vague sort of low-level, menacing fear or anxiety at the back of the mind, and you can’t quite put your finger on it. But if you read A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 13, “A meaningless world engenders fear,” you begin to understand the cause of the fear.
We read in Lesson 13, “Recognition of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. It represents a situation in which God and the ego ‘challenge’ each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides…” So, in a way, we can think of the discovery of the inherent meaninglessness of life as being a stage in the awakening process, and an important one at that. But Jesus warns us that we have to overcome our fear about this because, “If you are fearful, it is certain that you will endow the world with attributes that it does not possess, and crowd it with images that do not exist….” In other words, we will find something to do in this world that keeps us immersed in it or that gives us an important role in it—important to the ego in any case. But this is the right moment to avoid the temptation of filling up our lives to the brim with other things and to dedicate ourselves, instead, to the goal of awakening from the dream, thereby leaving all our illusions behind.
We all want to feel important and to think that we can contribute in some way, however small, to improving life on this planet; it is very tempting especially when one has time on one’s hands. Yet the wisest course of action might be to refrain, if possible, from doing anything in the world of form (unless we are guided to do so by the Holy Spirit/Higher Self) and instead, to focus on healing the mind that believes it has actually separated from God. Until we realise this could never have happened, we will go on and on trying to find meaning in a meaningless world. As Lesson 14 reminds us: “God did not create a meaningless world.” So why concern ourselves with it? What we really need to concern ourselves with is transforming the mind by releasing all grievances, fear and guilt that may be lurking in the subconscious part of the mind. That entails mind-watching or self-observation, calling upon our guides or the Holy Spirit for help with this and practising forgiveness. Daily meditation or at least moments of stillness every day are also very helpful.
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