LESSON 12. I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
W-12.1. The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. 2 You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. 3 All these attributes are given it by you. 4 The world is meaningless in itself.
W-12.2. These exercises are done with eyes open. 2 Look around you, this time quite slowly. 3 Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. 4 Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo throughout. 5 What you see does not matter. 6 You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. 7 This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.
W-12.3. As you look about you, say to yourself:
2 I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,
and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. 3 If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. 4 For example, you might think of "a good world," or "a satisfying world." 5 If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. 6 You may not yet understand why these "nice" adjectives belong in these exercises but remember that a "good world" implies a "bad" one, and a "satisfying world" implies an "unsatisfying" one. 7 All terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today's exercises. 8 Their seeming quality does not matter.
W-12.4. Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between applying today's idea to what you think is pleasant and what you think is unpleasant. 2 For the purposes of these exercises, there is no difference between them. 3 At the end of the practice period, add:
4 But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
W-12.5. What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. 2 Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? 3 If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. 4 But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. 5 It is this you see in it. 6 It is this that is meaningless in truth. 7 Beneath your words is written the Word of God. 8 The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. 9 That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.
W-12.6. Three or four times is enough for practicing the idea for today. 2 Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute. 3 You may find even this too long. 4 Terminate the exercises whenever you experience a sense of strain.