Category Archives: Workbook Lessons

Lesson 016 – I have no neutral thoughts

The idea for today is a beginning step in dispelling the belief that your thoughts have no effect. Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. There is no exception to this fact. Thoughts are not big or little; powerful or weak. They are merely true or false. Those that are true create their own likeness. Those that are false make theirs.

There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of “idle thoughts”. What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so.

Besides your recognising that thoughts are never idle, salvation requires that you also recognise that every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear. A neutral result is impossible because a neutral thought is impossible. There is such a temptation to dismiss fear thoughts as unimportant, trivial and not worth bothering about that it is essential you recognise them all as equally destructive, but equally unreal. We will practise this idea in many forms before you really understand it.

In applying the idea for today, search your mind for a minute or so with eyes dosed, and actively seek not to overlook any “little” thought that may tend to elude the search. This is quite difficult until you get used to it. You will find that it is still hard for you not to make artificial distinctions. Every thought that occurs to you, regardless of the qualities that you assign to it, is a suitable subject for applying today’s idea.

In the practise periods, first repeat the idea to yourself, and then, as each one crosses your mind hold it in awareness while you tell yourself:

This thought about ________ is not a neutral thought.
That thought about ________ is not a neutral thought.

As usual, use today’s idea whenever you are aware of a particular thought that arouses uneasiness. The following form is suggested for this purpose:

This thought about _______ is not a neutral thought, because I have no neutral thoughts.

Four or five practise periods are recommended, if you find them relatively effortless. If strain is experienced, three will be enough. The length of the exercise period should also be reduced if there is discomfort.

Lesson 015 – My thoughts are images I have made

It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognise them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your “seeing” was made. This is the function you have given your body’s eyes. It is not seeing. It is image making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.

This introductory idea to the process of image making that you call seeing will not have much meaning for you. You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

As we go along, you may have many “light episodes”. They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolise true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you. But they will prepare the way to it.

In practising the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:

This ________ is an image that I have made.
That ________ is an image that I have made.

It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today’s idea. It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself. The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time.

Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practise that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible. Less than a minute will do for the practise periods, if you begin to feel uneasy. Do not have more than three application periods for today’s idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four. However, the idea can be applied as needed throughout the day.

Lesson 014 – God did not create a meaningless world

The idea for today is, of course, the reason why a meaningless world is impossible. What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.

The exercises for today are to be practised with eyes closed throughout. The mind searching period should be short, a minute at most. Do not have more than three practise periods with today’s idea unless you find them comfortable. If you do, it will be because you really understand what they are for.

The idea for today is another step in learning to let go the thoughts that you have written on the world, and see the Word of God in their place. The early steps in this exchange, which can truly be called salvation, can be quite difficult and even quite painful. Some of them will lead you directly into fear. You will not be left there. You will go far beyond it. Our direction is toward perfect safety and perfect peace.

With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say, for example:

God did not create that war, and so it is not real.
God did not create that aeroplane crash, and so it is not real.
God did not create that disaster [specify], and so it is not real.

Suitable subjects for the application of today’s idea also include anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned. In each case, name the “disaster” quite specifically. Do not use general terms. For example, do not say, “God did not create illness”, but, “God did not create cancer”, or heart attacks, or whatever may arouse fear in you.

This is your personal repertory of horrors at which you are looking. These things are part of the world you see. Some of them are shared illusions, and others are part of your personal hell. It does not matter. What God did not create can only be in your own mind apart from His. Therefore, it has no meaning. In recognition of this fact, conclude the practise periods by repeating today’s idea:

God did not create a meaningless world.

The idea for today can, of course, be applied to anything that disturbs you during the day, aside from the practise periods. Be very specific in applying it. Say:

God did not create a meaningless world. He did not create [specify the situation which is disturbing you], and so it is not real.