Connecting the dots: Making up stories to give the world meaning

Here’s a simple way to describe nonjudgment: You have one dot over here and another dot over there. So, through nonjudging eyes, what do you see? Two unrelated dots, nothing more.

But that’s not how we humans view things. Judgment is the automatic function of our ego minds. We see a dot over here and another one over there, and we automatically connect them. Most of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it. We tell ourselves a story that seems to fill up the space between those dots, and that story becomes our truth.

But really, it’s a story and nothing more.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example of how this works: I see a dog on a street corner. He has no collar. He looks dirty. I automatically say to myself, There is a stray dog.

It’s a conclusion I’ve reached entirely on my own. And because I historically have an affinity for animals and underdogs, I go on to embellish the story further:

He must be hungry and tired, poor thing.

I wonder if he’s been abandoned on that street corner. I’ll bet he’s waiting for an owner who’s never coming back.

People are so cruel.

So I’ve taken the 3 dots of ‘dog on a street corner’ and ‘no collar’ and ‘looks dirty,’ and I’ve used it as an excuse to weave a present story that reinforces my own past forms of condemnation onto the world.

I do not forgive you for cruelty to animals.

And then the dog’s human emerges from the garage of that house on the corner with a tub and a garden hose – and I see that suddenly the story has changed completely.

It’s still nothing but a story, mind you, as the dog turns and trots after the person, and they both watch the tub fill with soap and water. Now my story involves a squeaky clean puppy whose collar will be returned as soon as he’s dry.

I’m flooded with relief. But I also feel sheepish and ashamed for my earlier wrong conclusion. I attacked that dog’s owner for no reason. Clearly, this dog is loved. He’s cared for. I made a bad mistake.

I’m still connecting dots, but this time I’m doing it to condemn myself for my own misguided prejudices.

Connecting dots may seem like a harmless pastime, but it isn’t. We connect dots constantly, and it’s those stories we fabricate that make up the world as we know it. But the world isn’t as we know it. Not by a long shot. Yet we can’t begin to know the world’s true nature until we stop telling ourselves made-up lies about it.

Our compulsive need to connect dots – to judge random unrelated things and make up stories of good/bad, and right/wrong about them – this is what blocks our memory of Heaven.

As long as we go on making judgments, telling ourselves fantasy stories about each other to give our world meaning, we miss this eternal truth: The world in and of itself has no meaning.

It’s just a whole lot of disconnected dots, signifying nothing.

But if we patiently work, retraining our minds to leave those dots disconnected – to refrain from filling the in-between spaces with our fantasy judgments – that’s when the light of Heaven (which is always loving and entirely without judgment of any kind) has room to filter into our awareness.

To practice nonjudgment is to see the dots, but to resist the temptation to assign them a meaning they really don’t possess.

Nonjudgment is hard for ego minds to get used to. It’s uncomfortable for us to leave the dots unconnected – we’re hardwired for storytelling.

I guess it all just boils down to this: Do you want to know the world as it really is, and see Heaven’s light reflected everywhere you look?  My own answer to that question is hell yeah.

And I definitely want it more than I want to hang onto my stories about the world. So for me, it’s time to start doing my best to leave the dots alone.

End of story.

6 Replies to “Connecting the dots: Making up stories to give the world meaning”

  1. Once again Carrie you illustrated a key concept of the Course in a practical, clear way that I can certainly relate to in my own everyday life.

    I can not judge. I have no business passing judgement. On anyone, anything, any circumstance … There is no way that I can know everything necessary to make a sound judgement.

    Only Spirit knows everything about past, present, and even future about what is causing *that* to unfold before my eyes.

    Talk about a great way to live, and alleviate stress. Beautifully said. You should be an author or something. 🙂 Love your incite and the way you say it. Thank you.


    1. that’s a really good point you make – that it alleviates stress… nothing to get worked up about, is there, if you’re not assigning meaning to anything! Thanks, David.

  2. Yowza, Carrie! Another one out of the park. (What park? lol)

    I have just taken Chapter 14 XI 6: 1-11 as my newest mantra. It is the summation of what you have just explained in your dots story, above. Love when thought ‘follows’ art. 😀

    Oh and cute that David typed ‘incite’ rather than ‘insigh’t in his post. I don’t think you are condoning violence whatsoever, but typos can be hilarious! Another reason to laugh in this silly dream! Thanks for the chuckle, David! Thanks for the blogpost, Carrie! 🙂

  3. I’ve read LTNS, and has just started with TEP.
    I’ve been reading your blog (from the start off – still not finished), and I’m hooked. (I know, I know. I’m a finder, though 😉 )

    Through you, I’ve had my small weird and “electrical charge”-ish moments. Thank You. (Some day, I’ll thank Me.)

    This post is perfect. It fits into avery venue of The Dream.
    It’s an easily understandable analogy, and I just love it.

    Can I quote parts of it?


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