Category Archives: Workbook Lessons

Lesson 010 – My thoughts do not mean anything

This idea applies to all the thoughts of which you are aware, or become aware in the practise periods. The reason the idea is applicable to all of them is that they are not your real thoughts. We have made this distinction before, and will do so again. You have no basis for comparison as yet. When you do, you will have no doubt that what you once believed were your thoughts did not mean anything.

This is the second time we have used this kind of idea. The form is only slightly different. This time the idea is introduced with “My thoughts” instead of “These thoughts”, and no link is made overtly with the things around you. The emphasis is now on the lack of reality of what you think you think.

This aspect of the correction process began with the idea that the thoughts of which you are aware are meaningless, outside rather than within; and then stressed their past rather than their present status. Now we are emphasising that the presence of these “thoughts” means that you are not thinking. This is merely another way of repeating our earlier statement that your mind is really a blank. To recognise this is to recognise nothingness when you think you see it. As such, it is the prerequisite for vision.

Close your eyes for these exercises, and introduce them by repeating the idea for today quite slowly to yourself. Then add:

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

The exercises consist, as before, in searching your mind for all the thoughts that are available to you, without selection or judgement. Try to avoid classification of any kind. In fact, if you find it helpful to do so, you might imagine that you are watching an oddly assorted procession going by, which has little if any personal meaning to you. As each one crosses your mind, say:

My thought about ________ does not mean anything.
My thought about ________ does not mean anything.

Today’s thought can obviously serve for any thought that distresses you at any time. In addition, five practise periods are recommended, each involving no more than a minute or so of mind searching. It is not recommended that this time period be extended, and it should be reduced to half a minute or less if you experience discomfort. Remember, however; to repeat the idea slowly before applying it specifically, and also to add:

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

Lesson 009 – I see nothing as it is now

This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. However, understanding is not necessary at this point. In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. These exercises are concerned with practise, not with understanding. You do not need to practise what you already understand. It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.

It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.

These exercises, for which three or four practise periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing. For example:

I do not see this typewriter as it is now.
I do not see this telephone as it is now.
I do not see this arm as it is now.

Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range outward:

I do not see that coat rack as it is now.
I do not see that door as it is now.
I do not see that face as it is now.

It is emphasised again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it.

Lesson 008 – My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts

This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. No one really sees anything. He sees only his thoughts projected outward. The mind’s preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.

The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. Very few have realised what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.

The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognise when it is not really thinking at all. While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. Recognising that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.

The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. This is because you actually cannot see anything, and it is easier to recognise that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything. With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. Introduce the practise period by saying:

I seem to be thinking about ________

Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:

I seem to be thinking about [name of a person], about [name of an object], about [name of an emotion],

and so on, concluding at the end of the mind searching period with:

But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion that the idea for today may induce, in the mind searching itself.