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PART I

LESSON 16. I have no neutral thoughts.

W-16.1. 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.

W-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-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-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-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-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.

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