I see no neutral things.
This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it really operates in the world. You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. This is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it is the way you think. If it were not so, perception would have no cause, and would itself be the cause of reality. In view of its highly variable nature, this is hardly likely.
In applying today’s idea, say to yourself, with eyes open:
I see no neutral things because I have no neutral thoughts.
Then look about you, resting your glance on each thing you note long enough to say:
I do not see a neutral ___, because my thoughts about ___ are not neutral.
For example, you might say:
I do not see a neutral wall, because my thoughts about walls are not neutral.
I do not see a neutral body, because my thoughts about bodies are not neutral.
As usual, it is essential to make no distinctions between what you believe to be animate or inanimate; pleasant or unpleasant. Regardless of what you may believe, you do not see anything that is really alive or really joyous. That is because you are unaware as yet of any thought that is really true, and therefore really happy.
Three or four specific practice periods are recommended, and no less than three are required for maximum benefit, even if you experience resistance. However, if you do, the length of the practice period may be reduced to less than the minute or so that is otherwise recommended.
Yesterday I learned that I have no neutral thoughts. I also learned that all thoughts are creative according to their likeness, either true or false. Today I see this projected into the world, so what I see is not neutral either, but must reflect truth or error. I also understand why it is that I must accept that I see a thought in my mind first, and then see it reflected in the world, rather than as I used to believe, that I see something and then have thoughts about it. If it were not first in my mind, that would mean perception had no cause and would itself be cause. That cannot be true. We all have different perceptions and even our perceptions are different moment to moment. How could perception be cause?
It is important to the ego mind that I not know this, because as I start to understand the true nature of the illusory world I made, it begins to fall apart. I am practicing this idea all the time now. I practice it with whatever seems to be happening. One of my favorite ways to practice the idea that the thought comes first is with time.
Over and over I have proven that time is an illusion, that it is elastic and will stretch to fit my needs, and yet it is such a persistent belief that I fall right back into believing time is a fixed thing that controls my life. My ego belief is that time is real and that I am a victim to it. There is only one way to see time and there is nothing I can do about it.
What I am practicing is that I have a thought about time and then I have that experience of time. So if I seem to be victim to time, never enough of it, always scurrying to catch up, always running out of it, then this is what time will be for me. Repeatedly I have absolutely proven to myself that time is completely in my control.
I have needed more time that I had to complete my writing, for instance, and I have the thought that I will have enough time because Jesus has told us time can be manipulated. I do the writing without anxiety because I believe I can, and sure enough when I am through, it is exactly the time I need it to be. It’s so impossible to the ego mind that this happened that I just sit and laugh.
I find I am unwilling to believe this all the time. I hold it out for special occasions. If time is not real, if my thoughts about time determine its nature and how it behaves, then how can I believe in the world as I have always seen it? How can I believe I am a victim of the world? How can I believe the world is real?
The sand beneath my feet begins to shift and fear rises in me. While I am getting used to the shifting sand, and I no longer seem to be afraid of a world turned upside down, it is clear that I am conflicted about what I want to be true. Some part of my mind is not through with the dream and is still clinging to it. But the desire to awaken is stronger than the desire to remain in the illusion so I keep doing this. I keep playing with time.
I remind myself that I don’t see a neutral world. I remind myself that my thought came first, then the world as I see it appeared. Then I pretend to have a reaction to it as if it was affecting me, rather than it is actually an effect of my thought. I get upset about something at work and think that if I had a different job I would be happier. It is laughable.
If I want to be happier, I must choose to be happy. From the desire to be happy, a happy situation will be my experience. As Jesus points out we begin this course with little idea of what is real and so happy, but as we do the lessons and live what we are learning, this begins to change. I am learning that it is better for me to be patient with myself and allow this to unfold it its own way.
So now my effort is mainly to recognize that the world always faithfully reflects my desires. It is the effect, and the mind is the cause. If I am unhappy, I am not unhappy about something that happened. The unhappiness came first, and was the cause of the situation. Just reminding myself that this is true is causing everything to shift.