A COURSE IN MIRACLES

LESSON 17

I see no neutral things.

1. This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it really operates in the world. ²You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. ³It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. ⁴This is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it is the way you think. ⁵If it were not so, perception would have no cause, and would itself be the cause of reality. ⁶In view of its highly variable nature, this is hardly likely.

Annotations
Expanded

This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it [cause and effect] really operates in the world. ²You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. ³It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. ⁴This [thought precedes seeing] is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it [thought precedes seeing] is the way you think. ⁵If it [thought precedes seeing] were not so, perception would have no cause, and would itself [perception’s-self] be the cause of reality. ⁶In view of its [preception’s] highly variable nature, this [perception causing reality] is hardly likely.

Substituted

This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as cause and effect really operates in the world. ²You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. ³It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. ⁴Thought precedes seeing is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that thought precedes seeing is the way you think. ⁵If thought precedes seeing were not so, perception would have no cause, and perception would be the cause of reality. ⁶In view of preception’s highly variable nature, perception causing reality is hardly likely.

Simplified

You think, and then you see. Your thinking causes reality.

2. In applying today’s idea, say to yourself, with eyes open:

²I see no neutral things because I have no neutral thoughts.

³Then look about you, resting your glance on each thing you note long enough to say:

⁴I do not see a neutral _____, because my thoughts about _____ are not neutral.

⁵For example, you might say:

⁶I do not see a neutral wall, because my thoughts about walls are not neutral.
⁷I do not see a neutral body, because my thoughts about bodies are not neutral.

3. As usual, it is essential to make no distinctions between what you believe to be animate or inanimate; pleasant or unpleasant. ²Regardless of what you may believe, you do not see anything that is really alive or really joyous. ³That is because you are unaware as yet of any thought that is really true, and therefore really happy.

4. Three or four specific practice periods are recommended, and no less than three are required for maximum benefit, even if you experience resistance. ²However, 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.16 I have no neutral thoughtsW-pI.18 I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing