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 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. 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 recognize them all as equally destructive, but equally unreal. We will practice 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 closed, 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 practice 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 practice 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.
“Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. There is no exception to this fact.”
Could Jesus be any clearer than this? We have a thought (believed) and this thought along with others like it, manifest as the world we see. Another way to say this is that the thoughts are projected onto the screen we call the world. Our thoughts matter whether they are true or not. True thoughts create in their own likeness and false thoughts make theirs.
For the last 16 years, I have consistently watched my thoughts and asked for healing as I became aware of the dark ones. I accepted healing where and when I could. I learned to do this from practicing what I learned in Inner Healing by Dan Joseph. Why did I do this? Because there is only one way to peace and that is through changing our thoughts. Our thoughts got us here and our thoughts keep us here or release us.
“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. A neutral result is impossible because a neutral thought is impossible.”
I remember what Regina said about the Creative Principle. *Do I want to feed Consciousness with true thoughts or with untrue thoughts? It is not a small thing to choose peace and love. No matter what thought comes from Consciousness, no matter how dark the thought, I have a choice about what I do with it. Will I empower it with my belief and send it back in to return to me another time and to affect others as well? Or will I rob it of power by refusing to invest it with my belief? I will do one or the other. It is up to me.
The following is the part of her tips that I found most useful.
“Mind is the great receiver.” On an individual basis, this means that the thoughts that come into your mind are not really thought by you. They are received from the mind (the central system) of the totality. This is why yesterday’s workbook lesson said “you think you think.” You do not think thoughts. You receive thoughts, and then you either cast attention on them or you don’t.
When you receive a thought, the first decision that is made is whether this thought is worth attention or not. If it is decided that the thought is worth attention, attention is given. Attention is spirit, an activating agent. Once you cast attention onto a thought that has been received by mind, that thought is re-activated and sent back into the central system where it can be delivered as an influencing agent throughout consciousness. (Note: NTI calls the totality “Christ”, but “consciousness” is the appropriate non-religious term.)
So if we put this all together, here is an example of how this ‘loop’ works.
I receive a thought of attack in my mind. Maybe it shows up as a thought about the president or a thought about his protestors. I decide that thought is worthy of my attention and I cast attention on that thought. By casting attention on the thought, I reactivate the spirit of the thought, which is attack. This sends the spirit of attack back into the central system and it is redistributed upon the totality. It shows up in many ways: It shows up in the minds of others as attack thoughts, who most often will strengthen it by casting attention upon it; it shows up as violence and war on the world scene; it shows up as cancer in bodies; it shows up as one animal killing another for survival; it shows up as weeds taking over a landscape killing all of the other plants; it shows up as a violent storm, etc.
Or as another example, I receive a right-minded thought in my mind, like the thought to rest, accept and trust. This time, I decide this thought is worthy of my attention, and I cast attention deeply and consciously upon it. This idea of resting from false thoughts is blessed with the activating agent of my spirit and sent back to the central system. It is redistributed upon the totality and shows up in a variety of ways. Someone is given a spiritual book by a friend, and it ignites a new curiosity. Another who has been struggling in the spiritual path intellectually has his/her first genuine realization from within, and the spark of truth-seeking is reignited with new vigor; another person awakens; another begins teaching from the flow of spontaneous wisdom; a female lion feels compassion for an injured calf and protects it so it can heal in peace; a forest that was burnt down begins to regrow; a woman’s cancer spontaneously heals; a scientist suddenly realizes a cure for a disease that has plagued humans for generations; a polluted atmosphere begins to spontaneously regenerate itself, a new beautiful song comes through a young songwriter, etc.
NTI says there is a shift occurring. It is a shift from wanting something different than truth to wanting to know our truth. It also says, “Determine where within the the shift you choose to be And join the operation of the body there.”
There are no neutral thoughts. How will you cast attention?
I love this lesson because it tells us so much about the power of our thoughts. It is because of this lesson I became earnestly vigilant for my thoughts. It is easy to dismiss our ego chatter, the constant barrage of idle thoughts that cross our mind all the time, and to think of them as unimportant. I know I used to. I told myself they were just nonsense because they didn’t matter to me and because I didn’t seem to be directing them.
But Jesus says that there are no idle thoughts. He says these thoughts give rise to the perception of a whole world. Yesterday we learned that our thoughts are images we have made. And today, Jesus is telling us that ALL our thoughts make these images we think of as our world. He says that everything we see is the result of our thoughts and that there are no exceptions to this. The first time I truly understood the import of this, I was stunned!
All along Jesus has been building toward this. He has been telling us what our thoughts do and how important our thoughts are. But now he is spelling it out for us. Our thoughts are powerful beyond measure. They make the world we see! All of them contribute to this world, all of them, no exceptions. Now, do you see how important it is to become vigilant for your thoughts and to release the untrue thoughts to the Holy Spirit?
As I first became vigilant for my thoughts, I also became afraid of them and felt guilty because I realized what I was doing with them. That is the natural ego response, designed to keep us stuck in the ego world of guilt and fear. The ego knows that if noticing my thoughts brings guilt and fear I will be tempted to go back into mindlessness, and nothing will change, and the ego mind doesn’t want anything to change.
The Holy Spirit helped me to see that I am always innocent and that guilt is not real, just another effect of the separation idea. He tells me all the time that guilt is never helpful and I am to let it go. What helps is to notice the thoughts that are forming this world we think of as real, but to look without guilt. I’m not guilty; I’m just looking. He says that I should just notice, realize how my thoughts are making these images that I think of as the world, and decide if that is what I want to keep doing, or do I want Him to correct these thoughts.
Here is something else that came as a surprise to me. There are no neutral thoughts, and of course, this means there are no neutral results. Every thought I have is bringing either peace or war, love or fear. Every thought. This helped me to understand that I was measuring my thoughts in error. I was thinking that some thoughts were important and some not, some were especially bad and others meaningless.
But now I understood that all of that was not relevant. Either the thoughts are real or they are unreal. That is the only criteria that I can use to measure them. The question I now ask myself is this; is this thought making the world I see a more loving world, or is it adding to the ego world of fear? If it is a fear thought, it needs to be turned over to the Holy Spirit for correction rather than dismissed as unimportant.