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93 The physical world exists only because man can use it to correct his unbelief, which placed him in it originally. He can never control the effects of fear himself because he made fear and believes in what he made.
Workbook for Students
Part I
Introduction
1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.

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Workbook for Students
Part I
Lesson 13
A meaningless world
engenders fear.
1 Today's idea is really another form of the preceding one, except that it is more specific as to the emotion aroused. Actually, a meaningless world is impossible. Nothing without meaning exists. However, it does not follow that you will not think you perceive something that has no meaning. On the contrary, you will be particularly likely to think you do perceive it.

2 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 which meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own "ideas" there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own unreality. And on this alone it is correct.

3 It is essential, therefore, that you learn to recognize the meaningless and accept it without fear. If you are fearful, it is certain that you will endow the world with attributes which it does not possess and crowd it with images that do not exist. To the ego, illusions are safety devices, as they must also be to you who equate yourself with the ego.

4 The exercises for today, which should be done about three or four times for not more than a minute or so at most each time, are to be practiced in a somewhat different way from the preceding ones. With eyes closed, repeat today's idea to yourself. Then open your eyes and look about you slowly, saying:

5 I am looking at a meaningless world.

6 Repeat this statement to yourself as you look about. Then close your eyes and conclude with:

7 A meaningless world engenders fear because I think I am in competition with God.

8 You may find it difficult to avoid resistance in one form or another to this concluding statement. Whatever form such resistance may take, remind yourself that you are really afraid of such a thought because of the "vengeance" of the "enemy." You are not expected to believe the statement at this point and will probably try to dismiss it as preposterous. Note carefully, however, any signs of overt or covert fear which it may arouse. This is our first attempt at stating an explicit cause and effect relationship of a kind which you are very inexperienced in recognizing. Do not dwell on the concluding statement, and try not even to think of it except during the exercise periods. That will suffice at present.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
TEXT
Chapter 1
Introduction to Miracles

I. Principles of Miracles par 92-101
92 Unified need produces unified action because it produces a lack of ambivalence. The concept of a need hierarchy, a corollary to the original error that man can be separated from God, requires correction at its own level before the error of perceiving levels at all can be corrected. Man cannot behave effectively while he operates at split levels. However, while he does, correction must be introduced from the bottom up. This is because he now operates in space, where concepts such as "up" and "down" are meaningful. Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. The concept is really one of space-time belief.

93 The physical world exists only because man can use it to correct his unbelief, which placed him in it originally. He can never control the effects of fear himself because he made fear and believes in what he made. In attitude, then, though not in content, he resembles his own Creator, Who has perfect faith in His creations because He created them. Belief in a creation produces its existence. That is why a man can believe in what no one else thinks is true. It is true for him because it was made by him.

94 Every aspect of fear proceeds from upside-down perception. The more truly creative devote their efforts to correcting perceptual distortions. The neurotic devotes his to compromise. The psychotic tries to escape by establishing the certain truth of his own errors. It is most difficult to free him by ordinary means because he is more consistent in his own denial of truth. The miracle, however, makes no such distinctions. It corrects errors because they are errors. Thus, the next point to remember about miracles is:

52. 95 The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception. It is a device for perception-correction, effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error. This is its true indiscriminateness.

96 Christ-controlled miracles are selective only in the sense that they are directed towards those who can use them for themselves. Since this makes it inevitable that they will extend them to others, a strong chain of Atonement is welded. However, Christ-control takes no account at all of the magnitude of the miracle itself because the concept of size exists in a plane that is itself unreal. Since the miracle aims at restoring the awareness of reality, it would hardly be useful if it were bound by the laws which govern the error it aims to correct. Only man makes this kind of mistake. It is an example of the foolish consistency which his own false beliefs have engendered.

97 The power and strength of man's creative will must be understood before the real meaning of denial can be appreciated and relinquished. It is not mere negation. It is a positive miscreation. While the miscreation is necessarily believed in by its maker, it does not exist at all at the level of true creation.

53. 98 The miracle compares what man has made with the higher level creation, accepting what is in accord as true and rejecting the discordant as false. All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the higher creative level, and therefore do not exist at all. To whatever extent a man is willing to submit his beliefs to this test, to that extent are perceptions corrected.

99 In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along the following lines:

100 If perfect love casts out fear,
  And if fear exists,
  Then there is not perfect love.
  But only perfect love really exists.
  If there is fear,
  It creates a state which does not exist.

101 Believe this and you will be free. Only God can establish this solution, and this faith is His gift.
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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 13
A meaningless world
engenders fear.


Sarah's Commentary:
 
Yesterday, the focus of the Lesson was on the upset we experience when we see the world as meaningless. Today, Jesus tells us that not only are we upset by the experience of seeing a meaningless world, but that it brings up fear in us. It terrifies us because it threatens our very existence. We feel threatened because if we are our thoughts and those thoughts mean nothing, then we are meaningless, and we don't exist. That is why we put our meaning on everything. It affirms and maintains our existence as a separate self.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is:

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