Review of lessons 1 - 5
- Nothing I see means anything.
- I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me.
- I do not understand anything I see.
- These thoughts do not mean anything.
- I am never upset for the reason I think.
Holden Caulfield, the narrator in J.D. Salinger’s classic book, The Catcher In The Rye, called the conditioning by society “The Big Lie.” These first five lessons are teaching us the same thing. The world of the ego is bull shit. It is impermanent, illusionary, and fraught with disappointment, resentment, grievance, anger, and fear. Once we see the world of the ego for what it is, who would want it? But first we must see and admit that what we have been taught by society to value is nonsense. More than nonsense it is insanity.
In the first three steps of Alcoholics Anonymous we are encouraged to realize the same thing. Step one asks us to admit that our lives in the world of the ego are unmanageable. Step two encourages us to acknowledge that there is a power greater than ourselves which can restore us to right mindedness. And in step three we are encouraged to make the decision to let go of the world of the ego and to turn our awareness and actions over to our Higher Power as we understand it. We can live in the world of the ego or the world of the Spirit. The miracle resides in that choice, that power, to make that decision. Before we can make that decision, we have to realize that we have one and that is what these first five lessons are designed to teach us.
In Unitarian Universalism we also are encouraged to question the world of the ego when we are asked to covenant together to affirm and promote the seven principles which are as counter cultural as any principles could be. We are asked in principle four to engage in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning implying that there is a better way than what we have been taught by society. And what is that better way? A Course In Miracles teaches us that the world of the Spirit as compared to the world of the ego is the path to peace, harmony, and bliss. As UUs like to say, “May it be so.”
We can’t say hello to the future until we say goodbye to the past. The first step in pursuing a life of miracles is to undo what Alcoholics Anonymous calls “Stinkin thinkin.” We have to come to the realization that what we have been conditioned to believe in our society isn’t true. Until we question the shadows on the wall of the cave we will never seek the light.