Nothing I see in this room [on this street,from
this window, in this place] means anything.
W-pI.1.1. Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
2 This table does not mean anything.
3 This chair does not mean anything.
4 This hand does not mean anything.
5 This foot does not mean anything.
6 This pen does not mean anything.
W-pI.1.2. Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:
2 That door does not mean anything.
3 That body does not mean anything.
4 That lamp does not mean anything.
5 That sign does not mean anything.
6 That shadow does not mean anything.
W-pI.1.3. Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied. 2 That is the purpose of the exercise. 3 The statement should merely be applied to anything you see. 4 As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. 5 Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. 6 Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. 7 One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.
W-pI.1.4. Each of the first three lessons should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably morning and evening. 2 Nor should they be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry. 3 A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.
I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this
window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.
W-pI.2.1. The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. 2 Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. 3 Then increase the range outward. 4 Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. 5 If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. 6 Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.
W-pI.2.2. Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. 2 Take the subjects simply as you see them. 3 Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. 4 The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. 5 Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.
W-pI.3.1. Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. 2 Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. 3 Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea. 4 These are not exercises in judgment. 5 Anything is suitable if you see it. 6 Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you. 7 Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.
I do not understand anything I see in this room
[on this street, from this window, in this place].
W-pI.3.2. The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them. 2 It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. 3 For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.
W-pI.4.1. Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. 2 In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. 3 Then apply the idea to them. 4 If you are already aware of unhappy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea. 5 Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are "bad." 6 You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called "good" or "bad." 7 This is why they do not mean anything.
These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I
see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].
W-pI.4.2. In selecting the subjects for the application of today's idea, the usual specificity is required. 2 Do not be afraid to use "good" thoughts as well as "bad." 3 None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. 4 The "good" ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. 5 The "bad" ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. 6 You do not want either.
W-pI.4.3. This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. 2 The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. 3 It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaningful within. 4 It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognize what is the same and what is different.
W-pI.4.4. In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:
2 This thought about___does not mean anything.
W-pI.4.5. You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognize as harmful. 2 This practice is useful, but is not a substitute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. 3 Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. 4 You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.
3 It is like the things I see in this room [on this street, and so on].
W-pI.4.6. Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. 2 Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. 3 We will return to them later.
W-pI.5.1. This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain. 2 Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. 3 The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. 4 This is not true. 5 However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. 6 Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.
I am never upset for the reason I think.
W-pI.5.2. When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it. 2 For example:
3 I am not angry at___for the reason I think.
W-pI.5.3. But again, this should not be substituted for practice periods in which you first search your mind for "sources" of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.
4 I am not afraid of___for the reason I think.
W-pI.5.4. In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others. 2 It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:
3 There are no small upsets. 4 They are all equally
W-pI.5.5. Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.
disturbing to my peace of mind.
W-pI.5.6. You may also find yourself less willing to apply today's idea to some perceived sources of upset than to others. 2 If this occurs, think first of this:
3 I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. 4 For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.
W-pI.5.7. Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. 2 Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it. 3 Further examples are:
4 I am not worried about___for the reason I think.
6 Three or four times during the day is enough.
5 I am not depressed about___for the reason I think.
W-pI.6.1. The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones. 2 Again, it is necessary to name both the form of upset (anger, fear, worry, depression and so on) and the perceived source very specifically for any application of the idea. 3 For example:
I am upset because I see something that is not there.
4 I am angry at___because I see something that is not there.
W-pI.6.2. Today's idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose. 2 However, the three or four practice periods which are required should be preceded by a minute or so of mind searching, as before, and the application of the idea to each upsetting thought uncovered in the search.
5 I am worried about___because I see something that is not there.
W-pI.6.3. Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than to others, remind yourself of the two cautions stated in the previous lesson:
2 There are no small upsets. 3 They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.
5 I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. 6 For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.
W-pI.7.1. This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first. 2 Yet
it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones. 3 It is the reason why nothing
that you see means anything. 4 It is the reason why you have given everything
you see all the meaning that it has for you. 5 It is the reason why you do not
understand anything you see. 6 It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean
anything, and why they are like the things you see. 7 It is the reason why you
are never upset for the reason you think. 8 It is the reason why you are upset
because you see something that is not there.
I see only the past.
W-pI.7.2. Old ideas about time are very difficult to change, because everything you believe is rooted in time, and depends on your not learning these new ideas about it. 2 Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time. 3 This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first.
W-pI.7.3. Look at a cup, for example. 2 Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of picking up a cup, being thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast and so on? 3 Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? 4 How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? 5 What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? 6 You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning. 7 Do you, then, really see it?
W-pI.7.4. Look about you. 2 This is equally true of whatever you look at. 3 Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. 4 For example:
5 I see only the past in this pencil.
W-pI.7.5. Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. 2 Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. 3 Three or four practice periods, each to last a minute or so, will be enough.
6 I see only the past in this shoe.
7 I see only the past in this hand.
8 I see only the past in that body.
9 I see only the past in that face.
W-pI.8.1. This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. 2 No one really sees anything. 3 He sees only his thoughts projected outward. 4 The mind's preoccupation with the past is the cause of the misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. 5 Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. 6 It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.
My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
W-pI.8.2. The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. 2 To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. 3 Very few have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. 4 The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.
W-pI.8.3. The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. 2 While thoughtless ideas preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. 3 Recognizing 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.
W-pI.8.4. The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. 2 This is because you actually cannot see anything, and it is easier to recognize that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything. 3 With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. 4 Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. 5 Introduce the practice period by saying:
6 I seem to be thinking about _______.
W-pI.8.5. Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:
2 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:
3 But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
W-pI.8.6. This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. 2 If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. 3 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.
W-pI.9.1. This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. 2 But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. 3 However, understanding is not necessary at this point. 4 In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. 5 These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding. 6 You do not need to practice what you already understand. 7 It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.
I see nothing as it is now.
W-pI.9.2. It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there. 2 This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. 3 Yet that does not preclude applying it. 4 No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. 5 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.
W-pI.9.3. These exercises, for which three or four practice 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. 2 For example:
3 I do not see this typewriter as it is now. 4 I do not see this telephone as it is now. 5 I do not see this arm as it is now.
W-pI.9.4. Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range outward:
2 I do not see that coat rack as it is now. 3 I do not see that door as it is now. 4 I do not see that face as it is now.
W-pI.9.5. It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. 2 Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. 3 You may be tempted to obscure it.
W-pI.10.1. This idea applies to all the thoughts of which you are aware, or become aware in the practice periods. 2 The reason the idea is applicable to all of them is that they are not your real thoughts. 3 We have made this distinction before, and will do so again. 4 You have no basis for comparison as yet. 5 When you do, you will have no doubt that what you once believed were your thoughts did not mean anything.
My thoughts do not mean anything.
W-pI.10.2. This is the second time we have used this kind of idea. 2 The form is only slightly different. 3 This time the idea is introduced with "My thoughts" instead of "These thoughts," and no link is made overtly with the things around you. 4 The emphasis is now on the lack of reality of what you think you think.
W-pI.10.3. 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. 2 Now we are emphasizing that the presence of these "thoughts" means that you are not thinking. 3 This is merely another way of repeating our earlier statement that your mind is really a blank. 4 To recognize this is to recognize nothingness when you think you see it. 5 As such, it is the prerequisite for vision.
W-pI.10.4. Close your eyes for these exercises, and introduce them by repeating the idea for today quite slowly to yourself. 2 Then add:
3 This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.
4 The exercises consist, as before, in searching your mind for all the thoughts that are available to you, without selection or judgment. 5 Try to avoid classification of any kind. 6 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. 7 As each one crosses your mind, say:
8 My thought about___does not mean anything. 9 My thought about___does not mean anything.
W-pI.10.5. Today's thought can obviously serve for any thought that distresses you at any time. 2 In addition, five practice periods are recommended, each involving no more than a minute or so of mind searching. 3 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. 4 Remember, however, to repeat the idea slowly before applying it specifically, and also to add:
5 This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.
W-pI.11.1. This is the first idea we have had that is related to a major phase of the correction process; the reversal of the thinking of the world. 2 It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. 3 Today's idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see. 4 Be glad indeed to practice the idea in its initial form, for in this idea is your release made sure. 5 The key to forgiveness lies in it.
My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
W-pI.11.2. The practice periods for today's idea are to be undertaken somewhat differently from the previous ones. 2 Begin with your eyes closed, and repeat the idea slowly to yourself. 3 Then open your eyes and look about, near and far, up and down,--anywhere. 4 During the minute or so to be spent in using the idea merely repeat it to yourself, being sure to do so without haste, and with no sense of urgency or effort.
W-pI.11.3. To do these exercises for maximum benefit, the eyes should move from one thing to another fairly rapidly, since they should not linger on anything in particular. 2 The words, however, should be used in an unhurried, even leisurely fashion. 3 The introduction to this idea, in particular, should be practiced as casually as possible. 4 It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve. 5 On concluding the exercises, close your eyes and repeat the idea once more slowly to yourself.
W-pI.11.4. Three practice periods today will probably be sufficient. 2 However, if there is little or no uneasiness and an inclination to do more, as many as five may be undertaken. 3 More than this is not recommended.
W-pI.12.1. The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. 2 You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. 3 All these attributes are given it by you. 4 The world is meaningless in itself.
I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
W-pI.12.2. These exercises are done with eyes open. 2 Look around you, this time quite slowly. 3 Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. 4 Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo throughout. 5 What you see does not matter. 6 You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. 7 This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.
W-pI.12.3. As you look about you, say to yourself:
2 I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,
and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. 3 If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. 4 For example, you might think of "a good world," or "a satisfying world." 5 If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. 6 You may not yet understand why these "nice" adjectives belong in these exercises but remember that a "good world" implies a "bad" one, and a "satisfying world" implies an "unsatisfying" one. 7 All terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today's exercises. 8 Their seeming quality does not matter.
W-pI.12.4. Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between applying today's idea to what you think is pleasant and what you think is unpleasant. 2 For the purposes of these exercises, there is no difference between them. 3 At the end of the practice period, add:
4 But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
W-pI.12.5. What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. 2 Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? 3 If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. 4 But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. 5 It is this you see in it. 6 It is this that is meaningless in truth. 7 Beneath your words is written the Word of God. 8 The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. 9 That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.
W-pI.12.6. Three or four times is enough for practicing the idea for today. 2 Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute. 3 You may find even this too long. 4 Terminate the exercises whenever you experience a sense of strain.
W-pI.13.1. Today's idea is really another form of the preceding one, except that it is more specific as to the emotion aroused. 2 Actually, a meaningless world is impossible. 3 Nothing without meaning exists. 4 However, it does not follow that you will not think you perceive something that has no meaning. 5 On the contrary, you will be particularly likely to think you do perceive it.
A meaningless world engenders fear.
W-pI.13.2. Recognition of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. 2 It represents a situation in which God and the ego "challenge" each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides. 3 The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own ideas there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own impotence and unreality. 4 And on this alone it is correct.
W-pI.13.3. It is essential, therefore, that you learn to recognize the meaningless, and accept it without fear. 2 If you are fearful, it is certain that you will endow the world with attributes that it does not possess, and crowd it with images that do not exist. 3 To the ego illusions are safety devices, as they must also be to you who equate yourself with the ego.
W-pI.13.4. The exercises for today, which should be done about three or four times for not more than a minute or so at most each time, are to be practiced in a somewhat different way from the preceding ones. 2 With eyes closed, repeat today's idea to yourself. 3 Then open your eyes, and look about you slowly, saying:
4 I am looking at a meaningless world.
5 Repeat this statement to yourself as you look about. 6 Then close your eyes, and conclude with:
7 A meaningless world engenders fear because I think I am in competition with God.
W-pI.13.5. You may find it difficult to avoid resistance, in one form or another, to this concluding statement. 2 Whatever form such resistance may take, remind yourself that you are really afraid of such a thought because of the "vengeance" of the "enemy." 3 You are not expected to believe the statement at this point, and will probably dismiss it as preposterous. 4 Note carefully, however, any signs of overt or covert fear which it may arouse.
W-pI.13.6. This is our first attempt at stating an explicit cause and effect relationship of a kind which you are very inexperienced in recognizing. 2 Do not dwell on the concluding statement, and try not even to think of it except during the practice periods. 3 That will suffice at present.
W-pI.14.1. The idea for today is, of course, the reason why a meaningless world is impossible. 2 What God did not create does not exist. 3 And everything that does exist exists as He created it. 4 The world you see has nothing to do with reality. 5 It is of your own making, and it does not exist.
God did not create a meaningless world.
W-pI.14.2. The exercises for today are to be practiced with eyes closed throughout. 2 The mind-searching period should be short, a minute at most. 3 Do not have more than three practice periods with today's idea unless you find them comfortable. 4 If you do, it will be because you really understand what they are for.
W-pI.14.3. 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. 2 The early steps in this exchange, which can truly be called salvation, can be quite difficult and even quite painful. 3 Some of them will lead you directly into fear. 4 You will not be left there. 5 You will go far beyond it. 6 Our direction is toward perfect safety and perfect peace.
W-pI.14.4. With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. 2 Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its reality. 3 God did not create it, and so it is not real. 4 Say, for example:
5 God did not create that war, and so it is not real. 6 God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real. 7 God did not create that disaster [specify], and so it is not real.
W-pI.14.5. 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. 2 In each case, name the "disaster" quite specifically. 3 Do not use general terms. 4 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.
W-pI.14.6. This is your personal repertory of horrors at which you are looking. 2 These things are part of the world you see. 3 Some of them are shared illusions, and others are part of your personal hell. 4 It does not matter. 5 What God did not create can only be in your own mind apart from His. 6 Therefore, it has no meaning. 7 In recognition of this fact, conclude the practice periods by repeating today's idea:
8 God did not create a meaningless world.
W-pI.14.7. The idea for today can, of course, be applied to anything that disturbs you during the day, aside from the practice periods. 2 Be very specific in applying it. 3 Say:
4 God did not create a meaningless world. 5 He did not create [specify the situation which is disturbing you], and so it is not real.
W-pI.15.1. It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. 2 You think you think them, and so you think you see them. 3 This is how your "seeing" was made. 4 This is the function you have given your body's eyes. 5 It is not seeing. 6 It is image making. 7 It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.
My thoughts are images that I have made.
W-pI.15.2. This introductory idea to the process of image making that you call seeing will not have much meaning for you. 2 You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. 3 That is the beginning of real vision. 4 You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.
W-pI.15.3. As we go along, you may have many "light episodes." 2 They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. 3 Do not be afraid of them. 4 They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. 5 They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. 6 These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you. 7 But they will prepare the way to it.
W-pI.15.4. In practicing 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:
2 This___is an image that I have made. 3 That___is an image that I have made.
4 It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today's idea. 5 It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself. 6 The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time.
W-pI.15.5. Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practice that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible. 2 Less than a minute will do for the practice periods, if you begin to feel uneasy. 3 Do not have more than three application periods for today's idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four. 4 However, the idea can be applied as needed throughout the day.
W-pI.16.W-pI.1. The idea for today is a beginning step in dispelling the belief that your thoughts have no effect. 2 Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. 3 There is no exception to this fact. 4 Thoughts are not big or little; powerful or weak. 5 They are merely true or false. 6 Those that are true create their own likeness. 7 Those that are false make theirs.
I have no neutral thoughts.
W-pI.16.2. There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of "idle thoughts." 2 What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. 3 Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. 4 You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so.
W-pI.16.3. Besides your recognizing that thoughts are never idle, salvation requires that you also recognize that every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear. 2 A neutral result is impossible because a neutral thought is impossible. 3 There is such a temptation to dismiss fear thoughts as unimportant, trivial and not worth bothering about that it is essential you recognize them all as equally destructive, but equally unreal. 4 We will practice this idea in many forms before you really understand it.
W-pI.16.4. In applying the idea for today, search your mind for a minute or so with eyes closed, and actively seek not to overlook any "little" thought that may tend to elude the search. 2 This is quite difficult until you get used to it. 3 You will find that it is still hard for you not to make artificial distinctions. 4 Every thought that occurs to you, regardless of the qualities that you assign to it, is a suitable subject for applying today's idea.
W-pI.16.5. In the practice periods, first repeat the idea to yourself, and then as each one crosses your mind hold it in awareness while you tell yourself:
2 This thought about___is not a neutral thought. 3 That thought about___is not a neutral thought.
4 As usual, use today's idea whenever you are aware of a particular thought that arouses uneasiness. 5 The following form is suggested for this purpose:
6 This thought about___is not a neutral thought, because I have no neutral thoughts.
W-pI.16.6. Four or five practice periods are recommended, if you find them relatively effortless. 2 If strain is experienced, three will be enough. 3 The length of the exercise period should also be reduced if there is discomfort.
W-pI.17.1. This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it really operates in the world. 2 You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. 3 It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. 4 This is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it is the way you think. 5 If it were not so, perception would have no cause, and would itself be the cause of reality. 6 In view of its highly variable nature, this is hardly likely.
I see no neutral things.
W-pI.17.2. In applying today's idea, say to yourself, with eyes open:
2 I see no neutral things because I have no neutral thoughts.
3 Then look about you, resting your glance on each thing you note long enough to say:
4 I do not see a neutral ___, because my thoughts about___are not neutral.
5 For example, you might say:
6 I do not see a neutral wall, because my thoughts about walls are not neutral.
7 I do not see a neutral body, because my thoughts about bodies are not neutral.
W-pI.17.3. As usual, it is essential to make no distinctions between what you believe to be animate or inanimate; pleasant or unpleasant. 2 Regardless of what you may believe, you do not see anything that is really alive or really joyous. 3 That is because you are unaware as yet of any thought that is really true, and therefore really happy.
W-pI.17.4. Three or four specific practice periods are recommended, and no less than three are required for maximum benefit, even if you experience resistance. 2 However, if you do, the length of the practice period may be reduced to less than the minute or so that is otherwise recommended.
W-pI.18.1. The idea for today is another step in learning that the thoughts which give rise to what you see are never neutral or unimportant. 2 It also emphasizes the idea that minds are joined, which will be given increasing stress later on.
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
W-pI.18.2. Today's idea does not refer to what you see as much as to how you see it. 2 Therefore, the exercises for today emphasize this aspect of your perception. 3 The three or four practice periods which are recommended should be done as follows:
W-pI.18.3. Look about you, selecting subjects for the application of the idea for today as randomly as possible, and keeping your eyes on each one long enough to say:
2 I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see ___.
3 Conclude each practice period by repeating the more general statement:
4 I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
5 A minute or so, or even less, will be sufficient for each practice period.
W-pI.19.1. The idea for today is obviously the reason why your seeing does not affect you alone. 2 You will notice that at times the ideas related to thinking precede those related to perceiving, while at other times the order is reversed. 3 The reason is that the order does not matter. 4 Thinking and its results are really simultaneous, for cause and effect are never separate.
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
W-pI.19.2. Today we are again emphasizing the fact that minds are joined. 2 This is rarely a wholly welcome idea at first, since it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and may even be regarded as an "invasion of privacy." 3 Yet it is a fact that there are no private thoughts. 4 Despite your initial resistance to this idea, you will yet understand that it must be true if salvation is possible at all. 5 And salvation must be possible because it is the Will of God.
W-pI.19.3. The minute or so of mind searching which today's exercises require is to be undertaken with eyes closed. 2 The idea for today is to be repeated first, and then the mind should be carefully searched for the thoughts it contains at that time. 3 As you consider each one, name it in terms of the central person or theme it contains, and holding it in your mind as you do so, say:
4 I am not alone in experiencing the effects of this thought about ___.
W-pI.19.4. The requirement of as much indiscriminateness as possible in selecting subjects for the practice periods should be quite familiar to you by now, and will no longer be repeated each day, although it will occasionally be included as a reminder. 2 Do not forget, however, that random selection of subjects for all practice periods remains essential throughout. 3 Lack of order in this connection will ultimately make the recognition of lack of order in miracles meaningful to you.
W-pI.19.5. Apart from the "as needed" application of today's idea, at least three practice periods are required, shortening the length of time involved, if necessary. 2 Do not attempt more than four.
W-pI.20.1. We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. 2 There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for undertaking them, minimal effort has been required, and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked. 3 This approach has been intentional, and very carefully planned. 4 We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. 5 The salvation of the world depends on it. 6 Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.
I am determined to see.
W-pI.20.2. This is our first attempt to introduce structure. 2 Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. 3 You want salvation. 4 You want to be happy. 5 You want peace. 6 You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. 7 You are now learning how to tell them apart. 8 And great indeed will be your reward.
W-pI.20.3. Your decision to see is all that vision requires. 2 What you want is yours. 3 Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for an indication that our goal is of little worth. 4 Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? 5 And can the world be saved if you are not? 6 God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. 7 His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. 8 In your determination to see is vision given you.
W-pI.20.4. The exercises for today consist in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. 2 Today's idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. 3 Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want.
W-pI.20.5. Repeat today's idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour today, attempting to do so every half hour. 2 Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember. 3 The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person or event that upsets you. 4 You can see them differently, and you will. 5 What you desire you will see. 6 Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world.
W-pI.21.1. The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. 2 This time, however, specific mind-searching periods are necessary, in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they may arise. 3 Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.
I am determined to see things differently.
W-pI.21.2. In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. 2 Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated that arouse anger in you. 3 The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. 4 The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. 5 You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.
W-pI.21.3. Try, therefore, not to let the "little" thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods. 2 Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. 3 You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations or persons than on others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more "obvious." 4 This is not so. 5 It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.
W-pI.21.4. As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind while you tell yourself:
2 I am determined to see______ [name of person] differently.
W-pI.21.5. Try to be as specific as possible. 2 You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect. 3 If your perception is suffering from this form of distortion, say:
3 I am determined to see______ [specify the situation] differently.
4 I am determined to see___[specify the attribute] in _______ [name of person] differently.
W-pI.22.1. Today's idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. 2 Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. 3 His own attack is thus perceived as self defense. 4 This becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees. 5 Otherwise, thoughts of attack and counter-attack will preoccupy him and people his entire world. 6 What peace of mind is possible to him then?
What I see is a form of vengeance.
W-pI.22.2. It is from this savage fantasy that you want to escape. 2 Is it not joyous news to hear that it is not real? 3 Is it not a happy discovery to find that you can escape? 4 You made what you would destroy; everything that you hate and would attack and kill. 5 All that you fear does not exist.
W-pI.22.3. Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time. 2 As your eyes move slowly from one object to another, from one body to another, say to yourself:
3 I see only the perishable. 4 I see nothing that will last. 5 What I see is not real. 6 What I see is a form of vengeance.
7 At the end of each practice period, ask yourself:
8 Is this the world I really want to see?
9 The answer is surely obvious.
W-pI.23.1. The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed. 2 Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless. 3 But this way cannot fail. 4 Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see. 5 It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.
I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.
W-pI.23.2. If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do not want. 2 There is no point in lamenting the world. 3 There is no point in trying to change the world. 4 It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. 5 But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. 6 Here you are changing the cause. 7 The effect will change automatically.
W-pI.23.3. The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance. 2 Each of your perceptions of "external reality" is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts. 3 One can well ask if this can be called seeing. 4 Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?
W-pI.23.4. You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker. 2 You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause. 3 This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone? 4 Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now. 5 Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate. 6 For you will not be making them alone.
W-pI.23.5. The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed. 2 This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced. 3 The first two steps in this process require your cooperation. 4 The final one does not. 5 Your images have already been replaced. 6 By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.
W-pI.23.6. Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today's idea. 2 As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you. 3 As each one crosses your mind say:
4 I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about ______.
5 Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.
W-pI.23.7. In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked. 2 Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same. 3 You do not recognize this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today's practice periods. 4 We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see. 5 When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.
W-pI.24.1. In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. 2 Therefore, you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. 3 What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. 4 It is inevitable, then, that you will not serve your own best interests. 5 Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived. 6 Otherwise, you will not recognize what they are.
I do not perceive my own best interests.
W-pI.24.2. If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. 2 But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. 3 The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.
W-pI.24.3. The exercises for today require much more honesty than you are accustomed to using. 2 A few subjects, honestly and carefully considered in each of the five practice periods which should be undertaken today, will be more helpful than a more cursory examination of a large number. 3 Two minutes are suggested for each of the mind-searching periods which the exercises involve.
W-pI.24.4. The practice periods should begin with repeating today's idea, followed by searching the mind, with closed eyes, for unresolved situations about which you are currently concerned. 2 The emphasis should be on uncovering the outcome you want. 3 You will quickly realize that you have a number of goals in mind as part of the desired outcome, and also that these goals are on different levels and often conflict.
W-pI.24.5. In applying the idea for today, name each situation that occurs to you, and then enumerate carefully as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in its resolution. 2 The form of each application should be roughly as follows:
3 In the situation involving ______ , I would like_______ to happen, and _______ to happen,
and so on. 4 Try to cover as many different kinds of outcomes as may honestly occur to you, even if some of them do not appear to be directly related to the situation, or even to be inherent in it at all.
W-pI.24.6. If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. 2 You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out.
W-pI.24.7. After covering the list of as many hoped-for goals as possible, for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind say to yourself:
2 I do not perceive my own best interests in this situation,
and go on to the next one.