Episode 9: Part I, Lesson I: As a prisoner in Plato’s Cave, Nothing I See Means Anything

Welcome to Episode 9 of “A Course in Miracles for Social Justice Warriors.” I’m your host, Mike Rivage-Seul.  And today we’ll turn our attention to Part 1, Lesson 1 of The Course’s Workbook for Students.

Remember, we’re re-reading The Course from below – from the position occupied by Jesus of Nazareth whose words channeled specifically to North Americans represent the entire content of ACIM’s three volumes. Be reminded that the historical Jesus necessarily saw reality “from below.” He was poor, imperialized, working class, and stood in opposition to the Roman Empire and to temple authorities who lay in bed with the Roman occupiers.

As we saw in our last episode, the purpose of A Course in Miracles as described by Jesus in its Introduction is to help students “think differently” – to see the world as he saw it. Such adjustment of vision is necessary because as The Course insists, the world’s way of seeing things is completely skewed. Its world vision is 180 degrees opposed to God’s vision – to the vision of Jesus the Christ.

As The Course implies again and again, it’s like all of us are imprisoned in Plato’s Cave where everything we see as real is merely only a shadow of something completely artificial. It’s all illusion. In effect, we take for reality what are only shadows of statues projected for us by the frauds who control our world.

The course would have us escape the captivity of our culture’s cave. It would have us follow Socrates and Jesus.

To that end, the point of the first part of Book I – more than 200 lessons – is to help deconstruct the world we’ve been tricked into accepting as real.

So, buckle up. Open your book to the third page of your student workbook. Pause this recording and prayerfully read the chapter for yourself. Follow its directions as closely as possible. Then come back here.

The central thought of Lesson One reads: “Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.” “Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.”

To make that thought clearer, I suggest reading it like this: As a prisoner in Plato’s Cave, I see nothing in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] that means anything. As a prisoner in Plato’s Cave, I see nothing in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] that means anything.”

Alternatively, you might read today’s central thought to say: “As one indoctrinated into the ideology of a white supremacist, imperialist, capitalist, patriarchy, I see nothing in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] that means anything.” Everything I see in this room, on this street, from this window, in this place is shadow; it’s illusion; it’s all unreal.

Let those thoughts sink in. Repeat them whenever you can throughout the day: “As a prisoner in Plato’s Cave, everything I see is meaningless. It’s all illusion, shadows, deception.”

Thank you for listening. Tomorrow we’ll move on to Lesson 2.

And by the way, if you want to review the first eight episodes in this series, please go to my podcast site at acim for activists .com (acimforactivists.com)

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

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