Episode 18, Lesson 10: “My Thoughts Do Not Mean Anything”

Text: “My Thoughts Do Not Mean Anything”

Welcome to Episode 18 of A Course in Miracles for Social Activists. I’m your host, Mike Rivage-Seul. I’m a liberation theologian, social activists, and longtime student of A Course in Miracles. On this podcast (for reasons outlined in Episode 3 we’re understanding ACIM as written specifically for North Americans living in the belly of our imperial beast.

From that viewpoint, A Course in Miracles calls us to quit attacking the world’s poor and to stop believing that they are attacking us. Whether they live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran, Cuba, Russia, Syria, Somalia, or China, they are not our enemies. They are our sisters and brothers.  

Towards understanding that message more fully, today’s ACIM lesson can be very powerful. It asks us so-called “Americans” to face the fact that (as the lesson puts it) “My thoughts” (about such people – and everything else for that matter) “do not mean anything.” The lesson asks us to clear our minds of all falsehoods (i.e., of ALL our brainwashed thoughts without exception) and even to make our own the prayer, “Release me, Lord, from all that I now believe.”

Is that radical enough for you? “Release me, Lord, from all that I now believe.”

By inspiring that prayer, Lesson 10 calls attention to the fact that we are all quite thoroughly propagandized – especially, I would say, by religion and white supremacist American history. For instance, we’ve been instructed from childhood in a religious mythology that would have us accept a story like the following:

  • God is an old man in the sky watching our every move.
  • If we disobey his commands, he will judge, condemn, and punish us for all eternity, torturing us in a lake of fire causing the worst pain imaginable.
  • He (sic) is especially concerned about sex.
  • That is, he gave us a sex drive second in power only to the instinct for self-preservation.
  • Yet he will punish any sexual thought, word, or deed outside the marriage context with the hell just described.
  • And this God, who (according to these beliefs) threatens to treat us as only a pathologically cruel parent would, somehow loves us!
  • [George Carlin is especially eloquent on all of this (though rather scatological, I must admit). For a good laugh and a dose of truth, check him out].

As for our political beliefs, we’ve been taught (with equal problematics) that:

  • Our country’s founders were extraordinary even saintly men.
  • Even though they committed genocide against the original inhabitants of the land our so-called Founding Fathers stole.
  • And even though the nation’s fortunes were built directly on the backs of millions of kidnapped and enslaved Africans who worked without pay for nearly 300 years (1619-1865), who were subject to formal segregation for another hundred years after that, and who still describe their condition as second class.
  • We are also taught to believe that our country is a force for good in the world even though it remains (as described by Dr. Martin Luther King) the “greatest purveyor of violence” on earth.
  • And despite all our election riggings at home (through voter suppression laws, gerrymandering, bought elections, etc.) – not to mention routine interference in other countries’ elections – “we” are somehow authorized to pontificate about democracy throughout the world.
  • And even though in the last 20 years we’ve fought seven wars against Muslims (killing well over a million of them in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, and who knows where else?) we can lecture the Chinese on their alleged “genocide” of Uyghurs “imprisoned” in re-education camps one-sidedly vilified in our mainstream media.
  • (Again, as George Carlin might remind us, all of this is no less B.S. than our unquestioned religious beliefs.)  

In any case, you get the idea. Lesson 10 wants us to clear our minds of all the false ideas that plague our thinking processes – i.e., it asks us to provisionally discard EVERYTHING we’ve been taught to believe – especially religiously, politically, and historically!!

So, following the lesson’s direction, try to spend a minute or so five times today reminding yourself as random thoughts occur to you:

My thought about ____ does not mean anything.

My thought about ____ does not mean anything.

Then add:

“This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.”

Try it.

We’ll move on to Lesson 11 next time. Till then, this is Mike Rivage-Seul wishing you well and God’s abundant blessings.

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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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