Lesson 17 2021

Lesson 17 

I see no neutral things. 

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. 

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. 


My first thought about not seeing anything as neutral appears contradictory to what Jesus has been telling us. Yes, I understand that if my thoughts are not neutral then the images that come from those thoughts cannot be neutral either. But didn’t we start off looking at everything and saying that each thing was meaningless? But of course, he also tells us that we give all things the meaning they have for us. This is why they are not neutral; we give them meaning with our thoughts which are not neutral. No wonder our world is so chaotic and unstable, our thoughts are chaotic and unstable. 

So, I look around at all my stuff and let myself remember that these things are not neutral because my thoughts are not neutral. I wonder what it would be like to see a thing without my meaning. Would that be like letting go of my past thoughts? I suppose it would because what meaning would I give it except what I know from the past? And there is this from Lesson 8: 2 No one really sees anything. 3 He sees only his thoughts projected outward. 

I’m looking at my computer and feeling glad that we dreamed this up. I have noticed before that not everyone chooses to perceive this dream image in the same way I do, however. And we also dreamed up wars and famines and pandemics. We did not as a whole have a board meeting one day and decide on them, but as individuals within the whole, we have each contributed to the form of wars and other atrocities.  

I contributed to wars with my many thoughts of conflict and to murder with my rage. I helped us to see images of famine with my fear of not enough and of pandemics with my belief in sickness and death. Now, I am turning that around. Instead of contributing to the image-making of death in all its many forms, I keep my awareness on what I prefer, beauty, grace, love, joy, and peace. These are the thoughts I want to extend and see as lovely images in my world. If we all do this, we will find ourselves back in the Garden of Eden. Minus the snake. LOL.