an HTML compilation of the Urtext Manuscripts edited by Doug Thompson
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version BETA 17 July 2013
Readings of the lessons by Deborah Maltman, Lisa Trevino, and Doug Thompson
May 26, 1969
W 1 In1 1. A theoretical foundation such as the Text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
W 1 In1 2. The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
W 1 In1 3. The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The Workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now, and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time, and if possible in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
W 1 In1 4. Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself, and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim W(2) of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
W 1 In1 5. Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this; you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
W 1 L 1. Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
“This table does not mean anything.”
“This chair does not mean anything.”
“This hand does not mean anything.”
“This pen does not mean anything.”
W 1 L 2. Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range: W(3)
“That door does not mean anything.”
“That body does not mean anything.”
“That lamp does not mean anything.”
“That sign does not mean anything.”
“That shadow does not mean anything.”
W 1 L 3. Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied. That is the purpose of the exercise. The statement is merely applied to anything you see. As you practice applying the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned. W(4)
W 2 L 1. The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is to either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything in an area or you will introduce strain. Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you.
W 2 L 2. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have ‘lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything in particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded. W(5)
W 3 L 1. Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for the application of the idea. These are not exercises in judgment. Anything is suitable if you see it. Some of the things you see may have emotionally-charged meaning for you. Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.
W 3 L 2. The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them. It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful. W(6)
W 4 L 1. Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day. In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute. Then apply the idea to them. If you are already aware of unhappy thoughts use them as subjects for the idea. Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad.” You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad.” This is why they do not mean anything.
W 4 L 2. In selecting the subjects for the application of today's idea, the usual specificity is required. Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad.” None of them represent your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. The “good” ones of which you are aware are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either.
W 4 L 3. This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form. The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you and the meaningful within. It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognize what is the same and what is different. In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:
“This thought about ___ does not mean anything. It is like the things I see in this room (or wherever you are)” W(7)
W 4 L 4. You can also use the idea for a particular thought which you recognize as harmful. This practice is useful, but is not a substitute for the more random procedures to be followed for the exercises. Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so. You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied. Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult. Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day. We will return to them later. W(8)
W 5 L 1. This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain. Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy, or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. This is not true. However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.
W 5 L 2. When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it. For example:
“I am not angry at ____ for the reason I think.”
“I am not afraid of ____ for the reason I think.”
But again, this should not be substituted for practice periods in which you first search your mind for “sources” of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.
W 5 L 3. In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others. It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:
“There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.”
Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.
W 5 L 4. You may also find yourself less willing to apply today's idea W(9) to some perceived sources of upset than to others. If this occurs, think first of this:
“I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.”
Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feelings as you experience it. Further examples are:
“I am not worried about ____ for the reason I think.”
“I am not depressed about ____ for the reason I think.”
Three or four times during the day is enough. W(10)
W 6 L 1. The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones. Again, it is necessary to name both the form of upset (anger, fear, worry, depression, and so on) and the perceived source very specifically for any application of the idea. For example:
“I am angry at ____ because I see something that is not there.”
“I am worried about ___because I see something that is not there.”
W 6 L 2. Today's idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose. However, the three or four practice periods which are required should be preceded by a minute or so of mind-searching, as before, and the application of the idea to each upsetting thought uncovered in the search.
W 6 L 3. Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than to others, remind yourself of the two cautions stated in the previous lesson:
“There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.”
“I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same” W(11)
W 7 L 1. This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first. Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones.
It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything. It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you. It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see.
It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see.
It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think.
It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.
W 7 L 2. Old ideas about time are very difficult to change, because everything you believe is rooted in time, and depends on your not learning these new ideas about it. Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time. This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first. Look at a cup, for example.
W 7 L 3. Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of picking up a cup, being thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast, and so on? Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? You would have no idea what this cup is except for your past learning. Do you, then, really see it?
W 7 L 4. Look about you. This is equally true of whatever you look at. Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. For example: W(12)
“I see only the past in this pencil.”
“I see only the past in this shoe.”
“I see only the past in this hand.”
“I see only the past in that body.”
“I see only the past in that face.”
Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next. W(13)
W 8 L 1. This idea is, of course, the reason why you see only the past. No one really sees anything. He sees only his thoughts projected outward. The mind's preoccupation with the past is the cause of the total misconception about time from which your seeing suffers. Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything.
W 8 L 2. The only wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions. Very few minds have realized what is actually entailed in picturing the past or in anticipating the future. The mind is actually blank when it does this, because it is not really thinking about anything.
W 8 L 3. The purpose of the exercises for today is to begin to train your mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. While thoughtless “ideas” preoccupy your mind, the truth is blocked. Recognizing that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision.
W 8 L 4. The exercises for today should be done with eyes closed. This is because you actually cannot see anything, and it is easier to recognize that no matter how vividly you may picture a thought, you are not seeing anything. With as little investment as possible, search your mind for the usual minute or so, merely noting the thoughts you find there. Name each one by the central figure or theme it contains, and pass on to the next. Introduce the practice period by saying:
“I seem to be thinking about ___.” W(14)
Then name each of your thoughts specifically, for example:
“I seem to be thinking about (name of person), about (name of object), about (name of emotion), and so on,”
concluding at the end of the mind-searching period with:
“But my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.”
W 8 L 5. This can be done four or five times during the day, unless you find it irritates you. If you find it trying, three or four times is sufficient. You might find it helpful, however, to include your irritation, or any emotion which the idea may induce, in the mind-searching itself. W(15)
W 9 L 1. This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. However, understanding is not necessary at this point. In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding. You do not need to practice what you really understand. It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding, and assume that you have it already.
W 9 L 2. It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what seems to be pictured before it is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. Each little step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind which has been cleared of the debris which darkens it.
W 9 L 3. These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application, and the essential rule of excluding nothing. It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it. W(16)
W 9 L 4. For example:
“I do not see that typewriter as it is now.”
“I do not see this key as it is now.”
“I do not see this telephone as it is now.”
Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range:
“I do not see that coat rack as it is now.”
“I do not see that face as it is now.”
“I do not see that door as it is now.” W(17)
W 10 L 1. This idea applies to all the thoughts of which you are aware, or become aware in the practice periods. The reason the idea is applicable to all of them is that they are not your real thoughts. We have made this distinction before, and will again. You have no basis for comparison as yet. When you do, you will have no doubt that what you once believed were your thoughts did not mean anything.
W 10 L 2. This is the second time we have used this kind of idea. The form is only slightly different. This time, the idea is introduced with “My thoughts” instead of “These thoughts,” and no link is made overtly with the things around you. The emphasis is now on the lack of reality of what you think you think.
W 10 L 3. This aspect of the correction process began with the idea that the thoughts of which you are aware are meaningless, outside rather than within; and then stressed their past rather than their present status. Now we are emphasizing that the presence of these “thoughts” means that you are not thinking. This is merely another way of repeating our earlier statement that your mind is really a blank. To recognize this is to recognize nothingness when you think you see it. As such, it is the prerequisite for vision.
W 10 L 4. Close your eyes for these exercises, and introduce them by repeating the idea for today quite slowly to yourself. Then add:
“This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.”
The exercises consist, as before, in searching your mind for all the thoughts which are available to you, without selection or judgment. Try to avoid classification of any kind. In fact, if you find it helpful to do so, you might imagine that you are watching an oddly assorted procession going by, which has little if any personal meaning to you. As each one crosses your mind, say:
“This thought about ____ does not mean anything.”
“That thought about ____ does not mean anything.” W(18)
W 10 L 5. Today's idea can obviously serve for any thought that distresses you at any time. In addition, five practice periods are recommended, each involving no more than a minute or so of mind-searching. It is not recommended that this time period be extended, and it should be reduced to half a minute or even less if you experience discomfort. Remember, however, to repeat the idea slowly before applying it specifically, and also to add:
“This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.” W(19)
W 11 L 1. This is the first idea we have had which is related to a major phase of the correction process; the reversal of the thinking of the world. It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. Today's idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see. Be glad indeed to practice it in this initial form, for in this idea is your release made sure. The key to forgiveness lies in it.
W 11 L 2. The practice periods for today's idea are to be undertaken somewhat differently from the previous ones. Begin with eyes closed, and repeat the idea slowly to yourself. Then open your eyes and look about, near or far, up or down, -- anywhere. During the minute or so to be spent in using the idea, merely repeat it to yourself, being sure to do so without haste and with no sense of urgency or effort.
W 11 L 3. To do these exercises for maximum benefit, the eyes should move from one thing to another fairly rapidly, since they should not linger on anything in particular. The words, however, should be used in an unhurried, even leisurely fashion. The introduction to this idea should be practiced as casually as possible. It contains the foundation for the peace, relaxation and freedom from worry that we are trying to achieve. On concluding the exercises, close your eyes and repeat the idea once more, slowly to yourself.
W 11 L 4. Three practice periods today will probably be sufficient. However, if there is little or no uneasiness and an inclination to do more, as many as five may be undertaken. More than this is not recommended. W(20)
W 12 L 1. The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself.
W 12 L 2. These exercises are done with eyes open. Look around you, this time quite slowly. Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo throughout. What you see does not matter. You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.
W 12 L 3. As you look about you, say to yourself:
“I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,”
and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. For example, you might think of “a good world,” or “a satisfying world.” If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. You may not yet understand why these “nice” adjectives belong in these exercises, but remember that “a good world” implies a “bad” one, and “a satisfying world” implies an “unsatisfying” one. All terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today's exercises. Their seeming quality does not matter.
W 12 L 4. Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between applying today's idea to what you think is pleasant and what you think is unpleasant. For the purposes of these exercises, there is no difference between them. W(21) At the end of the practice period, add:
“But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.”
W 12 L 5. What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. Beneath your words is written the Word of God. The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.
W 12 L 6. Three or four times is enough for practicing the idea for today. Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute. You may find even this too long. Terminate the exercises whenever you experience a sense of strain. W(22)
W 13 L 1. Today's idea is really another form of the preceding one, except that it is more specific as to the emotion aroused. Actually, a meaningless world is impossible. Nothing without meaning exists. However, it does not follow that you will not perceive something that has no meaning. On the contrary, you will be particularly likely to think you do perceive it.
W 13 L 2. Recognition of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. It represents a situation in which God and the ego “challenge” each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space which meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own “ideas” there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own unreality. And on this alone it is correct.
W 13 L 3. It is essential, therefore, that you learn to recognize the meaningless, and accept it without fear. If you are fearful, it is certain that you will endow the world with attributes which it does not possess, and crowd it with images that do not exist. To the ego illusions are safety devices, as they must also be to you who equate yourself with the ego.
W 13 L 4. The exercises for today, which should be done about three or four times, for not more than a minute or so at most each time, are to be practiced in a somewhat different way from the preceding ones. With eyes closed, repeat today's idea to yourself. Then open your eyes and look about you slowly, saying:
“I am looking at a meaningless world.”
Repeat this statement to yourself as you look about. Then close your eyes and conclude with:
“A meaningless world engenders fear because I think I am in competition with God.” W(23)
W 13 L 5. You may find it difficult to avoid resistance, in one form or another, to this concluding statement. Whatever form such resistance may take, remind yourself that you are really afraid of such a thought because of the “vengeance” of the “enemy.” You are not expected to believe the statement at this point, and will probably try to dismiss it as preposterous. Note carefully, however, any signs of overt or covert fear which it may arouse.
W 13 L 6. This is our first attempt at stating an explicit cause and effect relationship of a kind which you are very inexperienced in recognizing. Do not dwell on the concluding statement, and try not even to think of it except during the exercise periods. That will suffice at present. W(24)
W 14 L 1. The idea for today is, of course, the reason why a meaningless world is impossible. What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.
W 14 L 2. The exercises for today are to be practiced with eyes closed throughout. The mind-searching period should be short, a minute at most. Do not have more than three practice periods with today's idea unless you find them comfortable. If you do, it will be because you really understand what they are for.
W 14 L 3. The idea for today is another step in learning to let go the thoughts which you have written on the world, and see the Word of God in their place. The early steps in this exchange, which can truly be called salvation, can be quite difficult and even quite painful. Some of them will lead you directly into fear. You will not be left there. You will go far beyond it. Our direction is toward perfect safety and perfect peace.
W 14 L 4. With eyes closed, think of all the horrors in the world that cross your mind. Name each one as it occurs to you, and then deny its reality. God did not create it, and so it is not real. Say, for example:
“God did not create that war, and so it is not real.”
“God did not create that airplane crash, and so it is not real.”
“God did not create that disaster (specify) so it is not real.”
“God did not create that illness (specify with name of person) and so it is not real.”
W 14 L 5. Suitable subjects for the application of today's idea also include anything you are afraid might happen to you, or to anyone about whom you are concerned. In each case, name the “disaster” quite specifically. W(25) Do not use general terms. For example, do not say, “God did not create illness,” but, “God did not create cancer,” or heart attacks, or whatever may arouse fear in you.
W 14 L 6. This is your personal repertory of horrors at which you are looking. These things are part of the world you see. Some of them are shared illusions, and others are part of your personal hell. It does not matter. What God did not create can only be in your own mind apart from His. Therefore, it has no meaning. In recognition of this fact, conclude the practice periods by repeating today's idea.
“God did not create a meaningless world.”
W 14 L 7. The idea for today can, of course, be applied to anything that disturbs you during the day, aside from the practice periods. Be very specific in applying it. Say:
“God did not create a meaningless world. He did not create (specify the situation which is disturbing you), and so it is not real.” W(26)
W 15 L 1. It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your “seeing” was made. This is the function you have given your body's eyes. It is not seeing. It is image-making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.
W 15 L 2. This introductory idea to the process of image-making which you call seeing will not have much meaning for you. You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.
W 15 L 3. As we go along, you may have many “light episodes.” They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you. But they will prepare the way to it.
W 15 L 4. In practicing the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:
“This ____ is an image which I have made.”
“That ____ is an image which I have made.”
It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today's idea. It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself. The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time. W(27)
W 15 L 5. Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practice that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible. Less than a minute will do for the practice periods, if you begin to feel uneasy. Do not have more than three application periods for today's idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four. W(28)
W 16 L 1. 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 which are true create their own likeness. Those which are false make theirs.
W 16 L 2. 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.
W 16 L 3. In addition to never being idle, salvation requires that you 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.
W 16 L 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 which tends 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 quality which you assign to it, is a suitable subject for applying today's idea. W(29)
W 16 L 5. In the practice periods, first repeat the idea, 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.”
W 16 L 6. As usual, use today's idea whenever you are aware of a particular thought which arouses uneasiness. The following form is suggested for this purpose:
“This thought about ____ is not a neutral thought, because I have no neutral thoughts.”
W 16 L 7. 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. W(30)
W 17 L 1. This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it really operates. 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 really 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.
W 17 L 2. 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 that catches your eye 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.”
W 17 L 3. As usual, it is essential to make no distinction between what you believe to be animate or inanimate; pleasant or unpleasant. Regardless of what you may believe, you do not see anything which is really alive and really joyous. That is because you are unaware as yet of any thoughts which are really true and therefore really happy.
W 17 L 4. 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 which is otherwise recommended. W(31)
W 18 L 1. The idea for today is another step in learning that the thoughts which give rise to what you see are never neutral or unimportant. It also emphasizes the idea that minds are joined, which will be given increasing stress later.
W 18 L 2. Today's idea does not refer to what you see as much as to how you see it. Therefore, the exercises for today will emphasize this aspect of your perception. The three or four practice periods which are recommended should be done as follows:
W 18 L 3. Selecting subjects for the application of the idea randomly, look at each one long enough to say:
“I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see ___.”
Conclude the practice period by repeating the more general statement:
“I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.”
A minute or so or even less will be sufficient. W(32)
W 19 L 1. The idea for today is obviously the reason why your seeing does not affect you alone. You will notice that at times the ideas related to thinking precede those related to perceiving, while at other times the order is reversed. The reason is that the order does not actually matter. Thinking and its results are really simultaneous, for cause and effect are never separate.
W 19 L 2. Today we are again emphasizing the fact that minds are joined. This is rarely a wholly welcome idea at first, since it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and may even be regarded as an “invasion of privacy.” Yet it is a fact that there are no private thoughts. Despite your initial resistance to this idea, you will yet understand that it must be true if salvation is possible at all. And salvation must be possible because it is the Will of God.
W 19 L 3. The minute or so of mind-searching which today's exercises require are to be undertaken with closed eyes. The idea is to be repeated first, and then the mind should be carefully searched for the thoughts it contains at that time. As you consider each one, name it in terms of the central person or theme it contains, and holding it in your mind as you do so, say:
“I am not alone in experiencing the effects of this thought about ____.”
W 19 L 4. The requirement of as much indiscriminateness as possible in selecting subjects for the practice period should be quite familiar to you by now, and will no longer be repeated each day, although it will occasionally be included as a reminder. Do not forget, however, that random selection of subjects for all practice periods remains essential throughout. Lack of order in this connection will ultimately make the recognition of lack of order in miracles meaningful to you. W(33)
W 19 L 5. Apart from the “as needed” application of today's idea, at least three practice periods are required, shortening the length of time involved, if necessary. Do not attempt more than four. W(34)
W 20 L 1. We have been quite casual about our practice periods thus far. There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for undertaking them, minimal effort has been required, and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked. This casual approach has been intentional, and very carefully planned. We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. The salvation of the world depends on it. Yet you will not see if you regard yourself as being coerced, and if you give in to resentment and opposition.
W 20 L 2. This is our first attempt to introduce structure. Do not misconstrue it as an effort to exert force or pressure. You want salvation. You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now because your minds are totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. You are now learning how to tell them apart. And great indeed will be your reward.
W 20 L 3. Your decision to see is all that vision requires. What you want is yours. Do not mistake the little effort that is asked of you for a sign that our goal is of little worth. Can the salvation of the world be a trivial purpose? And can the world be saved if you are not? God has one Son, and he is the resurrection and the life. His will is done because all power is given him in Heaven and on earth. In your determination to see is vision given you.
W 20 L 4. The exercises for today consist in reminding yourselves throughout the day that you want to see. Today's idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want. W(35)
W 20 L 5. Repeat today's idea slowly and positively at least twice an hour today, attempting to do so every half hour. Do not be distressed if you forget to do so, but make a real effort to remember. The extra repetitions should be applied to any situation, person, or event which upsets you. You can see them differently, and you will. What you desire you will see. Such is the real law of cause and effect as it operates in the world. W(36)
W 21 L 1. The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. This time, however, specific mind-searching periods are necessary in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they arise. Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.
W 21 L 2. In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated, which arouse anger in you. The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.
W 21 L 3. Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods. Remember that you do not really recognize what really arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations than on others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious.” This is not so. It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.
W 21 L 4. As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind and tell yourself;
“I am determined to see ____ (name of person) differently.”
“I am determined to see ____ (specify the situation) differently.”
Try to be as specific as possible. You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect. If your perception of the person is suffering from this form of distortion, say:
“I am determined to see____ (specify the attribute) in____ (name of person) differently.” W(37)
W 22 L 1. Today's idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. His own attack is thus perceived as self-defense. This becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees. Otherwise, thoughts of attack and counterattack will preoccupy him, and people his entire world. What peace of mind is possible to him then?
W 22 L 2. It is from this savage fantasy that you want to escape. Is it not joyous news to hear that it is not real? Is it not a happy discovery to find that you can escape? You made what you would destroy; everything that you hate and would attack and kill. All that you fear does not exist.
W 22 L 3. Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time. As your eyes move slowly from one object to another, from one body to another, say to yourself:
“I see only the perishable.
I see nothing that will last.
What I see is a form of vengeance.”
At the end of each practice period, ask yourself:
“Is this the world I really want to see?”
The answer is surely obvious. W(38)
W 23 L 1. The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will succeed. Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless. But this way cannot fail. Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see. It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.
W 23 L 2. If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do not want. There is no point in lamenting the world. There is no point in trying to change the world. It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. Here you are changing the cause. The effects will change automatically.
W 23 L 3. The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance. Each of your perceptions of “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts. One can well ask if this can be called seeing. Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?
W 23 L 4. You see the world which you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image-maker. You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause. This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone? Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now. Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them even though they were made of hate. For you will not be making them alone. W(39)
W 23 L 5. The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed. This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced. The first two steps in this process require your cooperation. The final one does not. Your images have already been replaced. By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.
W 23 L 6. Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today's idea. As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you. As each one crosses your mind, say:
“I can escape from the world by giving up attack thoughts about ___.”
Hold each one in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.
W 23 L 7. In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked. Their effects are exactly the same, because they are exactly the same. You do not yet recognize this, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today's practice periods. We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see. When you finally realize that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go. W(40)
W 24 L 1. In no situation which arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. Therefore you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. It is inevitable, then, that you will not serve your own best interests. Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived. Otherwise you will not recognize what they are.
W 24 L 2. If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.
W 24 L 3. The exercises for today require much more honesty than you are accustomed to using. A few subjects, honestly and carefully considered in each of the five practice periods which should be undertaken today, will be more helpful than a more cursory examination of a large number. Two minutes are suggested for each of the mind-searching periods which the exercises involve.
W 24 L 4. Practice periods begin with repeating today's idea, followed by searching the mind, with closed eyes, for unresolved situations about which you are currently concerned. The emphasis should be on uncovering the outcome you want. You will quickly realize that you have a number of goals in mind as part of the desired outcome; and also that these goals are on different levels, and often conflict.
W 24 L 5. Name each situation that occurs to you, and enumerate carefully as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in its resolution. The form of each application should be roughly as follows: W(41)
“In the situation involving ___, I would like ____ to happen, and ____ to happen,” and so on.
Try to cover as many different kinds of outcome as may honestly occur to you, even if some of them do not appear to you to be directly related to the situation, or even to be inherent in it at all.
W 24 L 6. If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals however the situation turns out. After covering the list of as many hoped for goals as possible for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind, say to yourself:
“I do not perceive my own best interests in this situation,”
and go on to the next. W(42)
W 25 L 1. Purpose is meaning. Today's idea explains why nothing you see means anything. You do not know what it is for. Therefore it is meaningless to you. Everything is for your own best interests. That is what it is for; that is its purpose; that is what it means. It is in recognizing this that your goals become unified. It is in recognizing this that what you see is given meaning.
W 25 L 2. You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals. These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you. This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for. As a result, you are bound to misuse it. When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.
W 25 L 3. Another way of describing the goals you now perceive as valuable is to say that they are all concerned with “personal” interests. Since you have no personal interests, your goals are really concerned with nothing. In cherishing them, therefore, you have no goals at all. And thus you do not know what anything is for.
W 25 L 4. Before you can make any sense out of the exercises for today, one more thought is necessary. At the most superficial levels, you do recognize purpose. Yet purpose cannot be understood at these levels. For example, you do understand that a telephone is for the purpose of talking to someone who is not physically in your immediate vicinity. What you do not understand is what you want to reach him for. And it is this that makes your contact with him meaningful or not. W(43)
W 25 L 5. It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything. The recognition that they are meaningless, rather than “good” or “bad,” is the only way to accomplish this. The idea for today is a step in this direction.
W 25 L 6. Six practice periods, each of two minutes duration, are required. Each practice period should begin with a slow repetition of the idea for today, followed by looking about you and letting your glance rest on whatever happens to catch your eye, near or far, “important” or “unimportant,” “human” or “unhuman,” with your eyes resting on each subject you so select, say, for example:
“I do not know what this chair is for.”
“I do not know what this pencil is for.”
“I do not know what this hand is for.”
Say this quite slowly, without shifting your eyes until you have completed the statement. Then move on to the next subject, and apply today's idea as before. W(44)
W 26 L 1. It is surely obvious that if you can be attacked you are not invulnerable. You see attack as a real threat. That is because you believe that you can really attack. And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you. It is this law that will ultimately save you. But you are misusing it now. You must therefore learn how it can be used for your own best interests, rather than against them.
W 26 L 2. Because your attack thoughts will be projected, you will fear attack. And if you fear attack, you must believe that you are not invulnerable. Attack thoughts therefore make you vulnerable in your own mind, which is where the attack thoughts are. Attack thoughts and invulnerability cannot be accepted together. They contradict each other.
W 26 L 3. The idea for today introduces the thought that you always attack yourself first. If attack thoughts must entail the belief that you are vulnerable, their effect is to weaken you in your own eyes. Thus they have attacked your perception of yourself. And because you believe in them, you can no longer believe in yourself. A false image of yourself has come to take the place of what you are.
W 26 L 4. Practice with today's idea will help you to understand that vulnerability or invulnerability is the result of your own thoughts. Nothing except your thoughts can attack you. Nothing except your thoughts can make you think you are vulnerable. And nothing except your thoughts can prove to you this is not so. W(45)
W 26 L 5. Six practice periods are required in applying today's idea. A full two minutes should be attempted for each of them, although the time may be reduced to a minute if the discomfort is too great. Do not reduce it further.
W 26 L 6. The practice period should begin with repeating the idea for today, then closing your eyes and reviewing the unresolved situations whose outcomes are causing you concern. The concern may take the form of depression, worry, anger, a sense of imposition, fear, foreboding, or preoccupation. Any problem as yet unsettled which tends to recur in your thoughts during the day is a suitable subject. You will not be able to use very many for one practice period, because a longer time than usual should be spent with each one. Today's idea should be applied as follows:
First, name the situation:
“I am concerned about ____.”
Then go over every possible outcome which has occurred to you in that connection and which has caused you concern, referring to each one quite specifically, saying:
“I am afraid ____ will happen.”
If you are doing the exercises properly, you should have some five or six distressing possibilities available for each situation you use, and quite possibly more. It is much more helpful to cover a few situations thoroughly than to touch on a larger number.
W 26 L 7. As the list of anticipated outcomes for each situation continues, you will probably find some of them, especially those which occur to you toward the end, less acceptable to you. Try, however, to treat them all alike to whatever extent you can.
W 26 L 8. After you have named each outcome of which you are afraid, tell yourself:
“That thought is an attack upon myself.”
Conclude each practice period by repeating today's idea once more. W(46)
W 27 L 1. Today's idea expresses something stronger than mere determination. It gives vision priority among your desires. You may feel hesitant about using the idea on the ground that you are not sure you really mean it. This does not matter. The purpose of today's exercises is to bring the time when the idea will be wholly true a little nearer.
W 27 L 2. There may be a great temptation to believe that some sort of sacrifice is being asked of you when you say you want to see above all else. If you become uneasy by the lack of reservation involved, add:
“Vision has no cost to anyone.”
If fear of loss still persists, add further:
“It can only bless.”
W 27 L 3. The idea for today needs many repetitions for maximum benefit. It should be used at least every half hour, and more often if possible. You might try for every 15 or 20 minutes. It is recommended that you set a definite time interval for using the idea when you wake or shortly afterwards, and attempt to adhere to it throughout the day. It will not be difficult to do this, even if you are engaged in conversation or otherwise occupied at the time. You can still repeat one short sentence to yourself without disturbing anything that is going on.
W 27 L 4. The real question is how often will you remember? How much do you want today's idea to be true? Answer one of these two questions, and you have answered the other. You will probably miss several applications, and perhaps quite a number. Do not be disturbed by this, but do try to keep on your schedule from then on. If only once during the day you feel that you were perfectly sincere while you were repeating today's idea, you can be sure that you have saved yourself many years of effort. W(47)
W 28 L 1. Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday. In these practice periods you will be making a series of definite commitments. The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. And we are still at the beginning.
W 28 L 2. You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, “Above all else I want to see this table differently.” In itself it is not important at all. Yet what is by itself? And what does “in itself” mean? You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all. You either see or not. When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently. The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all.
W 28 L 3. When you say “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table, and open your minds to what it is and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experiences of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.
W 28 L 4. You will not question what we have already defined. And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. In saying, “Above all else I want to see this table differently,” you are committing yourself to seeing. It is not an exclusive commitment. It is a commitment which applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less. W(48)
W 28 L 5. You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table, if you could withdraw all your own ideas from it, and look upon it with a completely open mind. It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe.
W 28 L 6. In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe. You will be making the same request of each subject which you use in the practice periods. And you are making a commitment to each of them to let their purpose be revealed to you, instead of placing your own judgment upon them.
W 28 L 7. We will have six two minute practice periods today, in which the idea for the day is stated first, and then applied to whatever you see in looking about you. Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today's idea is applied to it, in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing.
W 28 L 8. As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject which your eyes happen to ’light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying:
“Above all else, I want to see this ___ differently”
Each application should be made quite slowly and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry. W(49)
W 29 L 1. The idea for today explains why you can see all purpose in anything. It explains why nothing is separate, by itself or in itself. And it explains why nothing you see means anything. In fact, it explains every idea we have used thus far, and all subsequent ones as well. Today's idea is the whole basis for vision.
W 29 L 2. You will probably find this idea very difficult to grasp at this point. You may find it silly, irreverent, senseless, funny, and even objectionable. Certainly God is not in a table, for example, as you see it. Yet we emphasized yesterday that a table shares the purpose of the universe. And what shares the purpose of the universe shares the purpose of its Creator.
W 29 L 3. Try then, today, to begin to learn how to look on all things with love, appreciation, and open-mindedness. You do not see them now. Would you know what is in them? Nothing is as it appears to you. Its holy purpose stands beyond your little range. When vision has shown you the holiness that lights up the world, you will understand today's idea perfectly. And you will not understand how you could ever have found it difficult.
W 29 L 4. Our six two minute practice periods for today should follow a now familiar pattern; begin with repeating the idea to yourself, and then apply it to randomly chosen subjects about you, naming each one specifically. Try to avoid the tendency toward self-directed selection, which may be particularly tempting in connection with today's idea because of its wholly alien nature. Remember that any order which you impose is equally alien to reality.
W 29 L 5. Your list of subjects should therefore be as free of self-selection as possible. For example, a suitable list might include: W(50)
“God is in this coat hanger.”
“God is in this magazine.”
“God is in this finger.”
“God is in this lamp.”
“God is in that body.”
“God is in that door.”
“God is in that wastebasket.”
W 29 L 6. In addition to the assigned practice periods, repeat the idea for today at least once an hour, looking slowly about you as you say the words unhurriedly to yourself. At least once or twice you should experience a sense of restfulness as you do this. W(51)
W 30 L 1. The idea for today is the springboard for vision. From this idea will the world open up before you, and you will look upon it and see in it what you have never seen before. Nor will what you saw before be even faintly visible to you.
W 30 L 2. Today we are trying to use the new kind of projection. We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by seeing it outside. Instead, we are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognize is there. Thus we are trying to join with what we see, rather than keeping it apart from us. That is the fundamental difference between vision and the way you see.
W 30 L 3. Today's idea should be applied as often as possible throughout the day. Whenever you have a moment or so, repeat it to yourself slowly, looking about you, and trying to realize that the idea applies to everything you do see now, or could see now if it were within the range of your sight.
W 30 L 4. Real vision is not limited to concepts such as “near” and “far.” To help you begin to get used to this idea, try to think of things beyond your present range as well as those you can actually see, as you apply today's idea. Real vision is not only unlimited by space and distance, but it does not depend on the body's eyes at all. The mind is its only source.
W 30 L 5. To aid in helping you to become more accustomed to this idea as well, devote several practice periods to applying today's idea with your eyes closed, using whatever subject comes to mind, and looking within rather than without. Today's idea applies equally to both. W(52)
W 31 L 1. Today's idea is the introduction to your declaration of release. Again, the idea should be applied to both the world you see without and the world you see within. In applying the idea, we will use a form of practice which will be used more and more, with changes as indicated. Generally speaking, the form includes two aspects, one in which you apply the idea on a more sustained basis, and the other consisting of frequent applications of the idea throughout the day.
W 31 L 2. Two longer periods of practice with the idea for today are needed, one in the morning and one at night. Three to five minutes for each of them is recommended. During that time, look about you slowly while repeating the idea two or three times. Then close your eyes and apply the same idea to your inner world. You will escape from both together, for the inner is the cause of the outer.
W 31 L 3. As you survey your inner world, merely let whatever thoughts cross your mind come into your awareness, each to be considered for a moment and then replaced by the next. Try not to establish any thought of hierarchy among them. Watch them come and go as dispassionately as possible. Do not dwell on any one in particular, but try to let the stream move on evenly and calmly, without any special investment on your part. As you sit and quietly watch your thoughts, repeat today's idea to yourself as often as you care to, but with no sense of hurry.
W 31 L 4. In addition, repeat the idea for today as often as possible during the day. Remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom. And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.
W 31 L 5. The idea for today is a particularly useful one to use as a response to any form of temptation. It is a declaration that you will not yield to it and put yourself in bondage. W(53)
W 32 L 1. Today we are continuing to develop the theme of cause and effect. You are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. You will see it or not see it, as you wish. While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want it, it will not be there for you to see.
W 32 L 2. The idea for today, like the preceding ones, applies to your inner and outer worlds, which are actually the same. However, since you see them as different, the practice periods for today will again include two phases, one involving the world you see outside you, and the other the world you see in your mind. In today's exercises, try to introduce the thought that both are in your own imagination.
W 32 L 3. Again we will begin the practice periods for the morning and evening by repeating the idea for today two or three times, while looking around at the world you see as outside yourself. Then close your eyes, and look around your inner world. Try to treat them both as equally as possible. Repeat the idea for today unhurriedly as often as you wish, as you watch the images which your imagination presents to your awareness.
W 32 L 4. For the two longer practice periods, three to five minutes are recommended with not less than three required. More than five can be utilized, if you find the exercises restful. To facilitate this, select a time when few distractions are anticipated, and when you yourself feel reasonably ready.
W 32 L 5. These exercises are also to be continued during the day, as often as possible. The shorter applications consist of repeating the idea slowly, as you survey either your inner or outer world. It does not matter which you choose.
W 32 L 6. The idea for today should also be applied immediately to any situation which may distress you. Apply the idea by telling yourself:
“I have invented this situation as I see it.” W(54)
W 33 L 1. Today's idea is an attempt to recognize that you can shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. A full five minutes should be devoted to the morning and evening application.
W 33 L 2. In these practice periods, the idea should be repeated as often as you find profitable, though unhurried applications are essential. Alternate between surveying your outer and inner perceptions, but without an abrupt sense of shifting. Merely glance casually around the world you perceive as outside yourself, then close your eyes and survey your inner thoughts with equal casualness. Try to remain equally uninvolved in both, and to maintain this detachment as you repeat the idea throughout the day.
W 33 L 3. The shorter exercise periods should be as frequent as possible. Specific applications of today's idea should also be made immediately when any situation arises which tempts you to become disturbed. For these applications, say:
“There is another way of looking at this.”
W 33 L 4. Remember to apply today's idea the instant you are aware of distress. It may be necessary to take a minute or so to sit quietly and repeat the idea to yourself several times. Closing your eyes will probably help in this form of application. W(55)
W 34 L 1. The idea for today begins to describe the conditions which prevail in the other way of seeing. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.
W 34 L 2. Three longer practice periods are required for today's exercises. One in the morning and one in the evening is advised, with an additional one to be undertaken at any time in between which seems most conducive to readiness. All applications should be done with your eyes closed. It is your inner world to which the applications of today's idea should be made.
W 34 L 3. Some five minutes of mind-searching are required for each of the longer practice periods. Search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety provoking situations, “offending” personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harboring unloving thoughts. Note each one casually, repeating the idea for today slowly, as you watch them arise in your mind, and let each one go to be replaced by the next.
W 34 L 4. If you begin to experience difficulty in thinking of specific subjects, continue to repeat the idea to yourself in an unhurried manner, without applying it to anything in particular. Be sure, however, not to make any specific exclusions.
W 34 L 5. The shorter applications are to be frequent, and made whenever you feel your peace of mind is threatened in any way. The purpose is to protect yourself from temptation throughout the day. If a specific form of temptation arises in your awareness, the exercise should take this form:
“I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.”
If the inroads on your peace of mind take the form of more generalized adverse emotions, such as depression, anxiety or worry, use the idea in its original form. W(56)
W 34 L 6. If you find you need more than one application of today's idea to help you change your mind in any specific context, try to take several minutes and devote them to repeating the idea until you feel some sense of relief. It will help you if you tell yourself specifically:
“I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety, or worry (or my thoughts about this situation, personality, or event) with peace.” W(57)
W 35 L 1. Today's idea does not describe the way you see yourself now. It does, however, describe what vision will show you. It is difficult for anyone who thinks he is in this world to believe this of himself. Yet the reason he thinks he is in this world is because he does not believe it.
W 35 L 2. You will believe that you are part of where you think you are. That is because you surround yourself with the environment you want. And you want it to protect the image of yourself which you have made. The image is part of it. What you see while you believe you are in it is seen through the eyes of the image. It is not vision. Images cannot see.
W 35 L 3. The idea for today presents a very different view of yourself. By establishing your Source it establishes your identity, and it describes you as you must really be in truth. We will use a somewhat different kind of application for today's idea, because the emphasis for today is on the perceiver, rather than on what he perceives.
W 35 L 4. For each of the three five-minute practice periods today, begin by repeating today's idea to yourself, and then close your eyes and search your mind for the various kinds of descriptive terms in which you see yourself. Include all of the ego-based attributes which you ascribe to yourself, positive or negative, desirable or undesirable, grandiose or debased. All of them are equally unreal because you do not look upon yourself through the eyes of holiness.
W 35 L 5. In the earlier part of the mind-searching period, you will probably emphasize what you consider to be the more negative aspects of your perception of yourself. Toward the latter part of the exercise period, however, more self-inflating descriptive terms may well cross your mind. Try to recognize that the direction of your fantasies about yourself does not matter. Illusions have no direction in reality. They are merely not true. W(58)
W 35 L 6. A suitable unselected list for applying the idea for today might be as follows:
“I see myself as imposed on.”
“I see myself as depressed.”
“I see myself as failing.”
“I see myself as endangered.”
“I see myself as helpless.”
“I see myself as victorious.”
“I see myself as losing out.”
“I see myself as charitable.”
“I see myself as virtuous.”
W 35 L 7. You should not think of these terms in an abstract way. They will occur to you as various situations, personalities, and events in which you figure cross your mind. Pick up any specific situation that occurs to you, identify the descriptive term or terms which you feel are applicable to your reactions to that situation, and use them in applying today's idea. After you have named each one, add:
“But my mind is part of God's. I am very holy.”
W 35 L 8. During the longer exercise periods, there will probably be intervals in which nothing specific occurs to you. Do not strain to think up specific things to fill the interval, but merely relax and repeat today's idea slowly until something occurs to you. Although nothing that does occur should be omitted from the exercises, nothing should be “dug out” with effort. Neither force nor discrimination should be used.
W 35 L 9. As often as possible during the day, pick up a specific attribute or attributes which you are ascribing to yourself at the time, and apply the idea for today to them, adding the idea to each of them in the form stated above. If nothing particular occurs to you, merely repeat the idea to yourself, with closed eyes. W(59)
W 36 L 1. Today's idea extends the idea for yesterday from the perceiver to the perceived. You are holy because your mind is part of God's. And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well. “Sinless” means without sin. You cannot be without sin a little. You are sinless or not. If your mind is part of God's you must be sinless, or a part of His Mind would be sinful. Your sight is related to His holiness, not to your ego and therefore not to your body.
W 36 L 2. Four three to five minute practice periods are required for today. Try to distribute them fairly evenly, and make the shorter application frequently, to protect your protection throughout the day. The longer practice periods should take this form:
W 36 L 3. First, close your eyes and repeat the idea for today several times slowly. Then open your eyes and look quite slowly about you, applying the idea specifically to whatever you note in your casual survey. Say, for example:
“My holiness envelops that rug.”
“My holiness envelops that wall.”
“My holiness envelops these fingers.”
“My holiness envelops that chair.”
“My holiness envelops that body.”
“My holiness envelops this pen.”
Several times during these practice periods, close your eyes and repeat the idea to yourself. Then open your eyes and continue as before.
W 36 L 4. For the shorter exercise periods, close your eyes and repeat the idea; look about you as you repeat it again; and conclude with one more repetition with your eyes closed. All applications should, of course, be made quite slowly, as effortlessly and unhurriedly as possible. W(60)
W 37 L 1. This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here. Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness. Thus are you and the world blessed together. No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. It signifies the end of sacrifice, because it offers everyone his full due. And he is entitled to everything, because it is his birthright as a Son of God.
W 37 L 2. There is no other way in which the idea of sacrifice can be removed from the world's thinking. Any other way of seeing will inevitably demand payment of someone or something. As a result, the perceiver will lose. Nor will he have any idea why he is losing. Yet is his wholeness restored to his awareness through your vision. Your holiness blesses him by asking nothing of him. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.
W 37 L 3. Your holiness is the salvation of the world. It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed, along with you.
W 37 L 4. Today's four longer exercise periods, each to involve three to five minutes of practice, begin with the repetition of the idea for today, followed by a minute or so of looking about you as you apply the idea to whatever you see:
“My holiness blesses this chair.”
“My holiness blesses that window.”
“My holiness blesses this body.”
Then close your eyes and apply the idea to any person who occurs to you, using his name and saying:
“My holiness blesses you, (name)” W(61)
W 37 L 5. You may continue the practice period with your eyes closed; you may open your eyes again and apply the idea for today to your outer world if you so desire; you may alternate between applying it to what you see around you and to those who are in your thoughts; or you may use any combination of these two phases of application which you prefer. The practice period should conclude with a repetition of the idea made with your eyes closed, and another, following immediately, made with your eyes open.
W 37 L 6. The shorter exercises consist of repeating the idea as often as you can. It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his name as you do so. It is essential to use the idea if anyone seems to cause an adverse reaction in you. Offer him the blessing of your holiness immediately, that you may learn to keep it in your own awareness. W(62)
W 38 L 1. Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance, and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator. Through your holiness the power of God is made manifest. Through your holiness the power of God is made available. And there is nothing the power of God cannot do.
W 38 L 2. Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems. It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else. It is equal in its power to help anyone, because it is equal in its power to save anyone. If you are holy, so is everything God created. You are holy because all things He created are holy, and all things He created are holy because you are.
W 38 L 3. In today's exercises, we will apply the power of your holiness to all problems, difficulties, or suffering in any form that you happen to think of in yourself or someone else. We will make no distinctions because there are no distinctions.
W 38 L 4. In the four longer practice periods, each preferably to last a full five minutes, repeat the idea for today, close your eyes, and then search your mind for any sense of loss or unhappiness of any kind, as you see it. Try to make as little distinction as possible between a situation that is difficult for you and one that is difficult for someone else. Identify the situation specifically, and also name the person concerned. Use this form in applying the idea for today:
“In the situation involving ____ in which I see myself, there is nothing that my holiness cannot do.”
“In the situation involving ____ in which ____ sees himself, there is nothing my holiness cannot do.” W(63)
W 38 L 5. From time to time you may want to vary this procedure, and add some relevant thoughts of your own. You might like, for example, to include thoughts such as:
“There is nothing my holiness cannot do because the power of God lies in it.”
Introduce whatever variations appeal to you, but keep the exercises focused on the theme
“There is nothing your holiness cannot do.”
The purpose of today's exercises is to begin to instill in you a sense that you have dominion over all things because of what you are.
W 38 L 6. In the frequent shorter applications, apply the idea in its original form unless a specific problem concerning you or someone else arises, or comes to mind. In that event, use the more specific form of application. W(64)
W 39 L 1. If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? Like the Text for which this Workbook was written, the ideas which are used for these exercises are very simple, very clear, and totally unambiguous. We are not concerned with intellectual feats nor logical toys. We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.
W 39 L 2. If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? This is not difficult, surely. The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question. But do you believe that guilt is hell? If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a Workbook at all. No one needs practice to gain what is already his.
W 39 L 3. We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world. What about your own salvation? You cannot give what you do not have. A Savior must be saved. How else can he teach salvation? Today's exercises will apply to you alone, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world. As you apply the exercises to your own world, the whole world stands to benefit.
W 39 L 4. Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future. Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell. Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own. How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it? God does not know unholiness. Can it be He does not know His Son?
W 39 L 5. A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today. Longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged. If you want to exceed the minimum requirements more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are encouraged. W(65)
W 39 L 6. Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today's idea to yourself. Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear; uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity, and so on. Whatever form they take they are unloving and therefore fearful. And so it is from them that you need to be saved.
W 39 L 7. Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today's exercises. It is imperative for your own salvation that you see them differently. And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.
W 39 L 8. Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation. Apply the idea for today to each one of them in this way:
“My unloving thoughts about ____ are keeping me in hell. My holiness is my salvation.”
W 39 L 9. You may find these sessions easier if you intersperse the applications with several short periods during which you merely repeat today's idea to yourself slowly a few times. You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything. Sustained concentration is very difficult at first. It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractible.
W 39 L 10. Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into your application periods, in whatever form appeals to you. Do not, however, change the idea itself in varying the method of applying it. However you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning remains that your holiness is your salvation. End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding:
“If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?” W(66)
In the shorter applications, which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today's idea, or preferably both. If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:
“My holiness is my salvation from this.” W(67)
W 40 L 1. Today we will begin to assert some of the happy things to which you are entitled, being what you are. No long practice periods are required today, but very frequent short ones are necessary. Once every ten minutes would be highly desirable, and you are urged to attempt this and to adhere to this schedule whenever possible. If you forget, try again. If there are long interruptions, try again. Whenever you remember, try again.
W 40 L 2. You need not close your eyes for the exercise periods, although you will probably find it more helpful if you do. However, you may be in a number of situations during the day when closing your eyes would not be appropriate. Do not miss a practice period because of this. You can practice quite well under almost any circumstance, if you really want to.
W 40 L 3. Today's exercises take little time and no effort. Repeat today's idea, and then add several of the attributes which you associate with being a Son of God, applying them to yourself. One practice period might, for example, consist of the following:
“I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am happy, peaceful, loving and contented.”
Another might be something as follows:
“I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am calm, quiet, assured and confident.”
If only a brief period is available, merely telling yourself that you are blessed as a Son of God will do. W(68)
W 41 L 1. Today's idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment which all the separated ones experience. Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation. So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering, and intense fear of loss.
W 41 L 2. The separated ones have invented many “cures” for what they believe to be the “ills of the world.” But the one thing they do not do is to question the reality of the problem. Yet its effects cannot be cured because it is not real. The idea for today has the power to end all this foolishness forever. And foolishness it is, despite the serious and tragic forms it may take.
W 41 L 3. Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the whole world. It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to these beliefs.
W 41 L 4. You can never be deprived of your perfect holiness because its Source goes with you wherever you go. You can never suffer because the Source of all joy goes with you wherever you go. You can never be alone because the Source of all life goes with you wherever you go. Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.
W 41 L 5. We understand that you do not believe all this. How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within, under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see?
W 41 L 6. Today we will make our first real attempt to get past this dark and heavy cloud, and to go through it to the light beyond. W(69) There will be only one long practice period today. In the morning, as soon as you get up if possible, sit quietly for some three to five minutes with your eyes closed. At the beginning of this practice period, repeat today's idea very slowly. Then make no effort to think of anything. Try, instead, to get a sense of turning inward, past all the idle thoughts of the world. Try to enter very deeply into your own mind, keeping it clear of any thoughts that might divert your attention.
W 41 L 7. From time to time you may repeat today's idea, if you find it helpful. But most of all, try to sink down and inward, away from the world and all the foolish thoughts of the world. You are trying to reach past all these things. You are trying to leave appearances and approach reality.
W 41 L 8. It is quite possible to reach God. In fact it is very easy, because it is the most natural thing in the world. You might even say it is the only natural thing in the world. The way will open if you believe that it is possible. This exercise can bring very startling results even the first time it is attempted, and sooner or later it is always successful. We will go into more detail in connection with this kind of practice as we go along. But it will never fail completely, and instant success is possible.
W 41 L 9. Throughout the day use today's idea often, repeating it very slowly, and preferably with eyes closed. Think of what you are saying; what the words mean. Concentrate on the holiness which they imply about you; on the unfailing companionship which is yours; on the complete protection that surrounds you.
W 41 L 10. You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go. W(70)
W 42 L 1. The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship which explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift to you, rather than your own, which offers vision to you.
W 42 L 2. God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are and in whatever circumstances you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.
W 42 L 3. We will have two three-to-five-minute longer exercise periods today, one as soon as possible after you wake, and another as close as possible to the time you go to sleep. It is better, however, to wait until you can sit quietly by yourself at a time when you feel ready, than it is to be concerned with the time as such.
W 42 L 4. Begin the longer practice period by repeating the idea for today slowly, with eyes open, looking about you. Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, quite slowly. After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts which occur to you in relation to today's idea. You might think, for example:
“Vision must be possible. God gives truly.”
“God's gifts to me must be mine because He gave them to me.”
Whatever thought that is clearly related to the idea itself is suitable.
W 42 L 5. You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your own thoughts contain. Let them come without censoring unless you realize that your mind is merely wandering, and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts W(71) intrude. You may also reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind. If such interferences occur, open your eyes and repeat the thought once more while looking slowly about; close your eyes, repeat the idea once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind.
W 42 L 6. Remember, though, that active searching is not appropriate for today's exercises. Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come. If you find this difficult, it is better to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes open, then closed, then open, and so on than it is to strain in order to find suitable thoughts.
W 42 L 7. There is no limit on the number of short practice periods which would be most beneficial. The idea for today is a beginning step in bringing thoughts together and teaching you that what you are studying is a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant. The more often you repeat the idea during the day, the more often you will be reminding yourself that the goal of the course is important to you, and that you have not forgotten it. W(72)
W 43 L 1. Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge. Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your minds. With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge. That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it. Therefore, that is its function in truth.
W 43 L 2. In God you cannot see. Perception has no function in God, and does not exist. Yet in salvation, which is the undoing of what never was, perception has a mighty purpose. Made by the Son of God for an unholy purpose, it must become the means for the restoration of his holiness to his awareness. Perception has no meaning. Yet does the Holy Spirit give it a meaning very close to God's. Healed perception becomes the means by which the Son of God forgives his brother and thus forgives himself.
W 43 L 3. You cannot see apart from God because you cannot be apart from God. Whatever you do you do in Him, because whatever you think you think with His Mind. If vision is real, and it is real to the extent to which it shares the Holy Spirit's purpose, then you cannot see apart from God.
W 43 L 4. Three five-minute practice periods are required today, one as early as possible and another as late as possible. The third may be undertaken at the most convenient and suitable time which circumstances and readiness permit. At the beginning of the practice period, repeat the idea to yourself with your eyes open. Then glance around you for a short time, applying today's idea specifically to what you see. Four or five subjects for this phase of the exercise are sufficient. You might say, for example:
“God is my Source. I cannot see this desk apart from Him.”
“God is my Source. I cannot see that picture apart from Him.”
W 43 L 5. Although this part of the exercise period should be relatively short, be sure that you select the subjects for this phase indiscriminately, without self-directed inclusion or exclusion. W(73) For the second and longer phase of the exercise period, close your eyes, repeat today's idea again, and then let whatever relevant thoughts occur to you add to the idea in your own personal way. Thoughts such as:
“I see through the eyes of forgiveness,”
“I see the world as blessed,”
“The world can show me myself,”
“I see my own thoughts, which are like God's,”
or any thought related more or less directly to today's idea is suitable. The thoughts need not bear an obvious relationship to the idea, but they should not be in opposition to it.
W 43 L 6. If you should find your mind wandering; if you begin to be aware of thoughts which are clearly out of accord with today's idea; or if you seem to be unable to think of anything, open your eyes, repeat the first phase; and then try the second phase again. Do not allow any protracted period to occur in which you become preoccupied with irrelevant thoughts. Return to the first phase as often as necessary to prevent this.
W 43 L 7. In applying today's idea in the shorter practice periods, the form may vary according to the circumstances and situations in which you find yourself during the day. When you are with someone else, for example, try to remember to tell him silently:
“God is my Source. I cannot see you apart from Him.”
This form is equally applicable to strangers and to those you know well. Try, in fact, not to make distinctions of this kind at all.
W 43 L 8. The idea should also be applied throughout the day to various situations and events which may occur, particularly those which distress you in any way. For this kind of application, use this form:
“God is my Source. I cannot see this apart from Him.”
If no particular subject presents itself to your awareness, merely repeat the idea in its original form. W(74)
W 43 L 9. Try today not to allow long periods of time to slip by without remembering today's idea, and thus remembering your function. W(75)
W 44 L 1. Today we are continuing with the idea for yesterday, adding another dimension to it. You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light. You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation. Creation and darkness cannot coexist, but light and life must go together, being but different aspects of creation.
W 44 L 2. In order to see, one must recognize that light is within, not without. You do not see outside yourself. Nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. An essential part of this equipment is the light which makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.
W 44 L 3. Today we are going to attempt to reach that light. For that purpose, we will use a form of practice which has been suggested once before, and which we will utilize increasingly. It is a particularly difficult form for the undisciplined mind because it represents a major goal of mind training. It embodies precisely what the untrained mind lacks. Yet the training must be accomplished if you are to see.
W 44 L 4. Have at least three practice periods today, each lasting three-to-five minutes. A longer time is highly recommended, but only if you find the time merely slipping by with little or no sense of strain. The form of exercise we will use today is the most natural and easy one in the world for the trained mind, just as it seems to be the most unnatural and difficult for the untrained mind.
W 44 L 5. Your mind is no longer wholly untrained. You are quite ready to learn the form of exercise we will use today, but you may find that you will encounter strong resistance. The reason is very simple. While you practice in this form, you leave behind everything that you now believe, and all the thoughts which you have made up. Properly speaking, this is the release from hell. Perceived through the ego's eyes, it is loss of identity and a descent into hell. W(76)
W 44 L 6. If you can stand aside from the ego ever so little, you will have no difficulty in recognizing that its opposition and fears are meaningless. You might find it helpful to remind yourself from time to time that to reach light is to escape from darkness, whatever you may believe to the contrary. God is the Light in which you see. You are attempting to reach Him.
W 44 L 7. Begin the practice period by repeating today's idea with your eyes open, and close them slowly, repeating the idea several times more. Then try to sink into your mind, letting go every kind of interference and intrusions by quietly sinking past them. Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it. It is merely taking its natural course. Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement, and slip quietly by them.
W 44 L 8. While no particular form of approach is advocated, what is needful is a sense of the importance of what you are doing, its inestimable value to you, and an awareness that you are attempting something very holy. Salvation is your happiest accomplishment. It is also the only one that has any meaning, because it is the only one that has any use to you at all.
W 44 L 9. If resistance rises in any form, pause long enough to repeat today's idea, keeping your eyes closed unless you are aware of fear. In that case, you will probably find it more reassuring to open your eyes briefly. Try, however, to return to the exercises as soon as possible.
W 44 L 10. If you are doing the exercises correctly, you should experience some sense of relaxation, and even a feeling that you are approaching, if not actually entering into light. Try to think of light, formless and without limit, as you pass by the thoughts of this world. And do not forget that they cannot hold you to the world unless you give them the power to do so. W(77)
W 44 L 11. Throughout the day, repeat the idea often, with eyes open or closed as seems better to you at the time. Do not forget. Above all, be determined not to forget today. W(78)
W 45 L 1. Today's idea holds the key to what your real thoughts are. They are nothing that you think you think, just as nothing that you think you see is related to vision in any way. There is no relationship between what is real and what you think is real. Nothing that you think are your real thoughts resemble your real thoughts in any respect. Nothing that you think you see bears any resemblance to what vision will show you.
W 45 L 2. You think with the Mind of God. Therefore you share your thoughts with Him, as He shares His with you. They are the same thoughts, because they are thought by the same Mind. To share is to make alike, or to make one. Nor do the thoughts you think with the Mind of God leave your mind, because thoughts do not leave their source. Therefore your thoughts are in the Mind of God, as you are. They are in your mind as well, where He is. As you are part of His Mind, so are your thoughts part of His Thoughts.
W 45 L 3. Where, then, are your real thoughts? Today we will attempt to reach them. We will have to look for them in your mind, because that is where they are. They must still be there because they cannot have left. What is thought by the Mind of God is eternal, being part of creation.
W 45 L 4. Our three five-minute practice periods for today will take the same general form that we used in applying yesterday's idea. We will attempt to leave the unreal and seek for the real. We will deny the world in favor of truth. We will not let the thoughts of the world hold us back, and we will not let the beliefs of the world tell us that what God would have us do is impossible.
W 45 L 5. Instead, we will try to recognize that only what God would have us do is possible. We will also try to understand that only what God would have us do is what we want to do. And we will also try to remember that we cannot fail in doing what He would have us do. There is every reason to feel confident that you will succeed today. It is the Will of God. W(79)
W 45 L 6. Begin the exercises for today by repeating the idea to yourself, closing your eyes as you do so. Spend a fairly short period in thinking a few relevant thoughts of your own, keeping the idea in mind as you do so. After you have added some four or five thoughts of your own, repeat the idea again, and tell yourself gently:
“My real thoughts are in my mind. I would like to find them.”
Then try to go past all the unreal thoughts which cover the truth in your mind, and reach to the eternal. Under all the senseless thoughts and mad ideas with which you have cluttered up your mind are the thoughts which you thought with God in the beginning. They are there in your mind now, completely unchanged. They will always be in your mind, exactly as they always were.
W 45 L 7. Everything that you have thought since then will change, but the foundation on which they rest is wholly changeless. It is this foundation toward which the exercises for today are directed. Here is your mind joined with the Mind of God. Here are your thoughts one with His.
W 45 L 8.
For this kind of practice only one thing is necessary;
approach it as you would an altar dedicated in Heaven itself to God the Father
and God the Son. For such is the place you are trying to reach. You
will probably be unable as yet to realize how high you are trying to go.
Yet even with the little understanding you have already gained, you should be
able to remind yourself that this is no idle game, but an exercise in holiness
and an attempt to reach the
W 45 L 9. In using the shorter form for applying today's idea, try to remember how important it is to you to understand the holiness of the mind that thinks with God. Take a minute or two, as you repeat the idea throughout the day, to appreciate your mind's holiness. Stand aside, however briefly, W(80) from all thoughts that are unworthy of Him Whose host you are. And thank Him for the thoughts He is thinking with you. W(81)
W 46 L 1. God does not forgive because He has never condemned. And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary. Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them. As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.
W 46 L 2. Although God does not forgive, His Love is nevertheless the basis of forgiveness. Fear condemns and love forgives. Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God. For this reason, forgiveness can truly be called salvation. It is the means by which illusions disappear.
W 46 L 3. Today's exercises require at least three full five-minute practice periods, and as many shorter applications as possible. Begin the practice periods by repeating today's idea to yourself, as usual. Close your eyes as you do so, and spend a minute or two in searching your mind for those whom you have not forgiven. It does not matter “how much” you have not forgiven. You have forgiven them entirely or not at all.
W 46 L 4. If you are doing the exercises well, you should have no difficulty in finding a number of people you have not forgiven. It is a safe rule that anyone you do not like is a suitable subject. Mention each one by name, and say:
“God is the Love in which I forgive you, (name)”
W 46 L 5. The purpose of the first phase of today's practice is to put you in the best position to forgive yourself. After you have applied the idea for today to all those who have come to mind, tell yourself:
“God is the Love in which I forgive myself.” W(82)
Then devote the remainder of the practice period to offering related ideas such as:
“God is the Love with which I love myself.”
“God is the Love in which I am blessed.”
W 46 L 6. The form of the applications may vary considerably, but the central idea should not be lost sight of. You might say, for example:
“I cannot be guilty because I am a Son of God.”
“I have already been forgiven.”
“No fear is possible in a mind beloved of God.”
“There is no need to attack because love has forgiven me.”
The practice period should end, however, with a repetition of today's idea as originally stated.
W 46 L 7. The shorter applications may consist either of a repetition of the idea in the original or in a related form or in more specific applications if needed. They will be needed at any time during the day when you become aware of any kind of negative reaction to anyone, present or not. In this event, tell him silently:
“God is the Love in which I forgive you.” W(83)
W 47 L 1. If you are trusting your own strength, you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious, and fearful. What can you predict or control? What is there in you that can be counted on? What would give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that only good can come of it? What is there in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution, and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?
W 47 L 2. Of yourself you can do none of these things. To believe that you can is to put your trust where trust is unwarranted, and to justify fear, anxiety, depression, anger, and sorrow. Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe? Yet who can put his faith in strength and feel weak?
W 47 L 3. God is your safety in every circumstance. His Voice speaks for Him in all situations and in every aspect of all situations, telling you exactly what to do to call upon His strength and His protection. There are no exceptions because God has no exceptions. And the Voice Which speaks for Him thinks as He does.
W 47 L 4. Today we will try to reach past your own weakness to the Source of real strength. Four five-minute practice periods are necessary today, and longer and more frequent ones are urged. Close your eyes and begin as usual by repeating today's idea. Then spend a minute or two in searching for situations in your life which you have invested with fear, dismissing each one by telling yourself,
“God is the Strength in which I trust.”
W 47 L 5. Now try to slip past all concerns related to your own sense of inadequacy. It is obvious that any situation which causes you concern is associated with feelings of inadequacy, since otherwise you would believe that you could deal with the situation successfully. It is not by trusting yourself W(84) that you will gain confidence. But the strength of God in you is successful in all things.
W 47 L 6. The recognition of your own frailty is a necessary step in the correction of your errors. But it is hardly a sufficient one in giving you the confidence which you need and to which you are entitled. You must also gain an awareness that your confidence in your real strength is fully justified in every respect and in all circumstances.
W 47 L 7.
In the latter phase of the practice period, try to
reach down into your mind to a place of real safety. You will recognize
that you have reached it if you feel a deep
peace, however briefly. Let go all the trivial things that churn and
bubble on the surface of your mind, and reach down and below them to the
W 47 L 8. Repeat the idea for today often. Use it as your answer to any disturbance. Remember that peace is your right because you are giving your trust to the strength of God. W(85)
W 48 L 1. The idea for today simply states a fact. It is not a fact to those who believe in illusions, but illusions are not facts. In truth there is nothing to fear. It is very easy to recognize this. But it is very difficult to recognize for those who want illusions to be true.
W 48 L 2. Today's practice periods will be very short, very simple, and very frequent. Merely repeat the idea as often as possible. You can use it with your eyes open at any time and in any situation. It is strongly recommended, however, that you take a minute or so whenever possible to close your eyes and repeat the idea slowly to yourself several times. It is particularly important that you use the idea immediately, should anything disturb your peace of mind.
W 48 L 3. The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, not necessarily in a place which you recognize as yet, you have remembered God and let His strength take the place of yours. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear. W(86)
W 49 L 1. It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all day without interrupting your regular activities in any way. The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not. It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws. It is this part which is constantly distracted, disorganized, and highly uncertain.
W 49 L 2. The part that is listening to the Voice of God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind. Try today not to listen to it. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.
W 49 L 3. We will need at least four five-minute practice periods today, and more if possible. We will try actually to hear the Voice reminding you of God and of your Self. We will approach this happiest and holiest of thoughts with confidence, knowing that in doing so we are joining our will with the Will of God. He wants you to hear His Voice. He gave It to you to be heard.
W 49 L 4. Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind. Go past all the raucous shrieks and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your eternal link with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sounds and sights of this insane world. You do not live there. We are trying to reach your real home. We are trying to reach the place where you are truly welcome. We are trying to reach God. W(87)
W 49 L 5. Do not forget to repeat today's idea very frequently. Do so with your eyes open when necessary, but closed when possible. And be sure that you sit quietly and repeat the idea for today slowly whenever you can, closing your eyes on the world, and realizing that you are inviting God's Voice to speak to you. W(88)
W 50 L 1. Here is the answer to every problem that confronts you today and tomorrow and throughout time. In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, “protective” clothing, “influence,” “prestige,” being liked, knowing the “right” people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness which you endow with magical powers.
W 50 L 2. All these things are your replacements for the Love of God. All these things are cherished to ensure a body identification. They are songs of praise to the ego. Do not put your faith in the worthless. It will not sustain you.
W 50 L 3. Only the Love of God will protect you in all circumstances. It will lift you out of every trial, and raise you high above all the perceived dangers of this world into a climate of perfect peace and safety. It will transport you into a state of mind which nothing can threaten, nothing can disturb, and nothing can intrude upon the eternal calm of the Son of God.
W 50 L 4. Put not your faith in illusions. They will fail you. Put all your faith in the Love of God within you, eternal, changeless and forever unfailing. This is the answer to whatever confronts you today. Through the Love of God in you, you can resolve all seeming difficulties without effort and in sure confidence. Tell yourself this often today. It is a declaration of release from the belief in idols. It is your acknowledgment of the truth about yourself.
W 50 L 5.
Twice today, morning and evening, let the idea for
today sink deep into your consciousness. Repeat it, think about it, let
related thoughts come to help you recognize its truth, and allow peace to flow
over you like a blanket of protection and surety. Let no idle and foolish
thoughts enter to W(89)
disturb the holy mind of the Son of God. Such is the
W 50 R1 1. Beginning with today, we will have a series of review periods. Each of them will cover five of the ideas already presented, starting with the first and ending with the fiftieth. There will be a short comment after each of the ideas, which you should consider in your review. In the practice period, the exercises should be done as follows:
W 50 R1 2. Begin, the day by reading the five ideas, with the comments included. Thereafter, it is not necessary to follow any particular order in considering them, though each one should be practiced at least once. Devote two minutes or more to each practice period, thinking about the idea and the related comments. Do this as often as possible during the day. If any one of the five ideas appeals to you more than the others, concentrate on that one. At the end of the day, however, be sure to review all of them once more.
W 50 R1 3. It is not necessary to cover the comments literally or thoroughly in the practice periods. Try, rather, merely to emphasize the central point, and think about it as part of your review of the idea to which it relates. The review exercises should be done with the eyes closed, and when you are alone in a quiet place, if possible.
W 50 R1 4. This is emphasized particularly for reviews at your stage of learning. It will be necessary, however, that you learn to require no special settings in which to apply what you have learned. You will need it most in situations which appear to be upsetting, rather than in those which already seem to be calm and quiet. The purpose of your learning is to enable you to bring the quiet with you, and to heal distress and turmoil. This is not done by avoiding them and seeking a haven of isolation for yourself.
W 50 R1 5. You will yet learn that peace is part of you, and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are. And finally you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are. W(91)
W 50 R1 6. You will note that for review purposes the ideas are not always given in quite their original form of statement. Use them as they are given here. It is not necessary to return to the original statements, nor to apply the ideas as was suggested then. We are now emphasizing the relationships among the first fifty of the ideas we have covered, and the cohesiveness of the thought system to which they are leading you. W(92)
W 51 L 1. 1) “Nothing I see means anything.”
The reason this is so is that I see nothing, and nothing has no meaning. It is necessary that I recognize this that I may learn to see. What I think I see now is taking the place of vision. I must let it go by realizing that it has no meaning, so that vision may take its place.
W 51 L 2. 2) “I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me.”
I have judged everything I look upon. And it is this and only this that I see. This is not vision. It is merely an illusion of reality, because my judgments have been made quite apart from reality. I am willing to recognize the lack of validity in my judgments because I want to see. My judgments have hurt me, and I do not want to see according to them.
W 51 L 3. 3) “I do not understand anything I see.”
How could I understand what I see when I have judged it amiss? What I see is the projection of my own errors of thought. I do not understand what I see because it is not understandable. There is no sense in trying to understand it. But there is every reason to let it go, to make room for what can be seen and understood and loved. I can exchange what I see now for this merely by being willing to do so. Is not this a better choice than the one I made before?
W 51 L 4. 4) “These thoughts do not mean anything.”
The thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything because I am trying to think without God. What I call “my” thoughts are not my real thoughts. My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God. I am not aware of them because I have made “my” thoughts to take their place. I am willing to recognize that “my” thoughts do not mean anything, and to let them go. I choose to have them replaced by what they were intended to replace. “My” thoughts are meaningless, but all creation lies in the Thoughts I think with God. W(93)
W 51 L 5. 5) “I am never upset for the reason I think.”
I am never upset for the reason I think because I am constantly trying to justify “my” thoughts. I am constantly trying to make them true. I make all things my “enemies,” so that my anger is justified, and my attacks are warranted. I have not realized how much I have misused everything I see by assigning this role to it. I have done this to defend a thought system which has hurt me, and which I no longer want. I am willing to let it go. W(94)
W 52 L 1. 6) “I am upset because I see what is not there.”
Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions which I made up. The illusions are upsetting because I have given them reality, and thus regard reality as an illusion. Nothing in God's creation is affected in any way by this confusion of mine. I am always upset by nothing.
W 52 L 2. 7) “I see only the past.”
As I look about, I condemn the world I look upon. I call this seeing. I hold the past against everyone and everything, making them my “enemies.” When I have forgiven myself and remembered who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see. There will be no past, and therefore no “enemies.” And I will look with God on all that I failed to see before.
W 52 L 3. 8) “My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.”
I see only my own thoughts, and my mind is preoccupied with the past. What, then, can I see as it is? Let me remember that I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. Let me understand that I am trying to use time against God. Let me learn to give the past away, realizing that in so doing I am giving up nothing.
W 52 L 4. 9) “I see nothing as it is now.”
If I see nothing as it is now, it can truly be said that I see nothing. I can see only what is now. The choice is not whether to see the past or the present: it is merely whether to see or not. What I have chosen to see has cost me vision. Now I would choose again, that I may see. W(95)
W 52 L 5. 10) “My thoughts do not mean anything.”
I have no private thoughts. Yet it is only private thoughts of which I am aware. What can these thoughts mean? They do not exist, and so they mean nothing. Yet my mind is part of creation and part of its Creator. Would I not rather join the thinking of the universe than to obscure all that is really mine with my pitiful and meaningless “private” thoughts? W(96)
W 53 L 1. 11) “My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.”
Since the thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything, the world which pictures them can have no meaning. What is producing this world is insane, and so is what it produces. Reality is not insane, and I have real thoughts as well as insane ones. I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing.
W 53 L 2. 12) “I am upset because I see a meaningless world.”
Insane thoughts are upsetting, and They produce a world in which there is no order anywhere. Only chaos rules a world which represents chaotic thinking, and chaos has no laws. I cannot live in peace in such a world. I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it. And I do not choose to value what is totally insane and has no meaning.
W 53 L 3. 13) “A meaningless world engenders fear.”
The totally insane engenders fear because it is completely undependable, and offers no grounds for trust. Nothing in madness is dependable. It holds out no safety and no hope. But such a world is not real. I have given it the illusion of reality, and have suffered from my belief in it. Now I choose to withdraw this belief, and place my trust in reality. In choosing this, I will escape all the effects of the world of fear because I am acknowledging that it does not exist. W(97)
W 53 L 4. 14) “God did not create a meaningless world.”
How can a meaningless world exist if God did not create it? He is the Source of all meaning, and everything that is real is in His Mind. It is in my mind too, because He created it with me. Why should I continue to suffer from the effects of my own insane thoughts, when the perfection of creation is my home? Let me remember the power of my decision, and recognize where I really abide.
W 53 L 5. 15) “My thoughts are images which I have made.”
Whatever I see reflects my thoughts. It is my thoughts which tell me where I am and what I am. The fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, and am not allowing my real thoughts to cast their beneficent light on what I see. Yet God's way is sure. The images I have made can not prevail against Him because it is not my will that they do so. My will is His, and I will place no other gods before Him. W(98)
W 54 L 1. 16) “I have no neutral thoughts.”
Neutral thoughts are impossible because all thoughts have power. They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one. But thoughts cannot be without effects. As the world I see arises from my thinking errors, so will the real world rise before my eyes as I let my errors be corrected. My thoughts cannot be neither true nor false. They must be one or the other. What I see shows me which they are.
W 54 L 2. 17) “I see no neutral things.”
What I see witnesses to what I think. If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought. Let me look on the world as the representation of my own state of mind. I know that my state of mind can change. And so I also know that the world I see can change as well.
W 54 L 3. 18) “I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.”
If I have no private thoughts, I cannot see a private world. Even the mad idea of separation had to be shared before it could form the basis of the world I see. Yet that sharing was a sharing of nothing. I can also call upon my real thoughts, which share everything with everybody. As my thoughts of separation call to the separation thoughts of others, so my real thoughts awaken the real thoughts in them. And the world my real thoughts show me will dawn on their sight as well as mine.
W 54 L 4. 19) “I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.”
I am alone in nothing. Everything I think or say or do touches all the universe. A Son of God cannot think or speak or act in vain. He cannot be alone in anything. It is therefore in my power to change every mind along with mine, for mine is the power of God. W(99)
W 54 L 5. 20) “I am determined to see.”
Recognizing the shared nature of my thoughts, I am determined to see. I would look upon the witnesses that show me the thinking of the world has been changed. I would behold the proof that what has been done through me has enabled love to replace fear, laughter to replace weeping, and abundance to replace loss. I would look upon the real world, and let it teach me that my will and the Will of God are one. W(100)
W 55 L 1. 21) “I am determined to see things differently.”
What I see now are but signs of disease, disaster and death. This cannot be what God created for His beloved Son. The very fact that I see such things is proof that I do not understand God. Therefore I also do not understand His Son. What I see tells me that I do not know who I am. I am determined to see the witnesses to the truth in me, rather than those which show me an illusion of myself.
W 55 L 2. 22) “What I see is a form of vengeance.”
The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts. It is a picture of attack on everything and by everything. It is anything but a reflection of the Love of God and the love of His Son. It is my own attack thoughts which give rise to this picture. My loving thoughts will save me from this perception of the world, and give me the peace God intended me to have.
W 55 L 3. 23) “I can escape from the world by giving up attack thoughts.”
Herein lies my salvation, and nowhere else. Without attack thoughts I could not see a world of attack. As forgiveness allows love to return to my awareness I will see a world of peace and safety and Joy. And It is this that I choose to see, in place of what I look on now.
W 55 L 4. 24) “I do not perceive my own best interests.”
How could I recognize my own best interests when I do not know who I am? What I think are my best interests would merely bind me closer to the world of illusions. I am willing to follow the Guide God has given me to find out what my own best interests are, recognizing that I cannot perceive them by myself. W(101)
W 55 L 5. 25) “I do not know what anything is for.”
To me, the purpose of everything is to prove that my illusions about myself are real. It is for that purpose that I attempt to use everyone and everything. It is this that I believe the world is for. Therefore I do not recognize its real purpose. The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it. Let me open my mind to its real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it, and learning the truth about it. W(102)
W 56 L 1. 26) “My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.”
How can I know who I am when I see myself as under constant attack? Pain, illness, loss, age and death seem to threaten me. All my hopes and wishes and plans appear to be at the mercy of a world I cannot control. Yet perfect security and complete fulfillment are my inheritance. I have tried to give my inheritance away in exchange for the world I see. But God has kept my inheritance safe for me. My own real thoughts will teach me what it is.
W 56 L 2. 27) “Above all else I want to see.”
Recognizing that what I see reflects what I think I am, I realize that vision is my greatest need. The world I see attests to the fearful nature of the self-image I have made. If I would remember who I am, it is essential that I let this image of myself go. As it is replaced by truth, vision will surely be given me. And with this vision I will look upon the world and upon myself with charity and love.
W 56 L 3. 28) “Above all else I want to see differently.”
The world I see holds my fearful self-image in place, and guarantees its continuance. While I see the world as I see it now, truth cannot enter my awareness. I would let the door behind this world be opened for me, that I may look past it to the world that reflects the Love of God.
W 56 L 4. 29) “God is in everything I see.”
Behind every image I have made, the truth remains unchanged. Behind every veil I have drawn across the face of love, its light remains undimmed. Beyond all my insane wishes is my will united with the Will of my Father. God is still everywhere and in everything forever. And we who are part of Him will yet look past all appearances, and recognize the truth beyond them all. W(103)
W 56 L 5. 30) “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.”
In my own mind, behind all my insane thoughts of separation and attack, is the knowledge that all is one forever. I have not lost the knowledge of who I am because I have forgotten it. It has been kept for me in the Mind of God, Who has not left His Thoughts. And I, who am among them, am one with them and with Him. W(104)
W 57 L 1. 31) “I am not the victim of the world I see.”
How can I be the victim of a world which can be completely undone if I so choose? My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave it simply by walking out. Nothing holds me in this world. Only my wish to stay keeps me a prisoner. I would give up insane wishes, and walk into the sunlight at last.
W 57 L 2. 32) “I have invented the world I see.”
I made up the prison in which I see myself. All I need do is recognize this, and I am free. I have deluded myself into believing it is possible to imprison the Son of God. I was bitterly mistaken in this belief, which I no longer want. The Son of God must be forever free. He is as God created him, and not what I would make of him. He is where God would have him be, and not where I thought to hold him prisoner.
W 57 L 3. 33) “There is another way of looking at the world.”
Since the purpose of the world is not the one I ascribed to it, there must be another way of looking at it. I see everything upside-down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God's Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his freedom.
W 57 L 4. 34) “I could see peace instead of this.”
When I see the world as a place of freedom, I will realize that it reflects the laws of God instead of the rules which I made up for it to obey. I will understand that peace, not war, abides in it. And I will perceive that peace also abides in the hearts of all who share this place with me. W(105)
W 57 L 5. 35) “My mind is part of God's. I am very holy.”
As I share the peace of the world with my brothers, I begin to understand that this peace comes from deep within myself. The world I look upon has taken on the light of my forgiveness, and shines forgiveness back at me. In this light, I begin to see what my illusions about myself had kept hidden. I begin to understand the holiness of all living things including myself, and their oneness with me. W(106)
W 58 L 1. 36) “My holiness envelops everything I see.”
From my holiness does the perception of the real world come. Having forgiven, I no longer see myself as guilty. I can accept the innocence that is the truth about me. Seen through understanding eyes the holiness of the world is all I see, for I can picture only the thoughts I hold about myself.
W 58 L 2. 37) “My holiness blesses the world.”
The perception of my holiness does not bless me alone. Everyone and everything I see in it's light shares in the joy it brings to me. There is nothing that is apart from this joy, because there is nothing that does not share my holiness. As I recognize my holiness, so does the holiness of the world shine forth for everyone to see.
W 58 L 3. 38) “There is nothing my holiness cannot do.”
My holiness is unlimited in its power to heal, because it is unlimited in its power to save. What is there to be saved from except illusions? And what are all illusions except false ideas about myself? My holiness undoes them all by asserting the truth about me. In the presence of my holiness, which I share with God Himself, all idols vanish.
W 58 L 4. 39) “My holiness is my salvation.”
Since my holiness saves me from all guilt, recognizing my holiness is recognizing my salvation. It is also recognizing the salvation of the world. Once I have accepted my holiness, nothing can make me afraid. And because I am unafraid, everyone must share in my understanding, which is the gift of God to me and to the world. W(107)
W 58 L 5. 40) “I am blessed as a Son of God.”
Herein lies my claim to all good and only good. I am blessed as a Son of God. All good things are mine because God intended them for me. I cannot suffer any loss or deprivation or pain because of who I am. My Father supports me, protects me, and directs me in all things. His care for me is infinite, and is with me forever. I am eternally blessed as His Son. W(108)
W 59 L 1. 41) “God goes with me wherever I go.”
How can I be alone when God always goes with me? How can I be doubtful and unsure of myself when perfect certainty abides in Him? How can I be disturbed by anything when He rests in absolute peace? How can I suffer when love and joy surround me through Him? Let me not cherish illusions about myself. I am perfect because God goes with me wherever I go.
W 59 L 2. 42) “God is my strength. Vision is His gift.”
Let me not look to my own eyes to see today. Let me be willing to exchange my pitiful illusion of seeing for the vision that is given by God. Christ's vision is His gift, and He has given it to me. Let me call upon this gift today, so that this day may help me to understand eternity.
W 59 L 3. 43) “God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.”
I can see what God wants me to see. I cannot see anything else. Beyond His Will lie only illusions. It is these I choose when I think I can see apart from Him. It is these I choose when I try to see through the body's eyes. Yet the vision of Christ has been given me to replace them. It is through this vision that I choose to see.
W 59 L 4. 44) “God is the Light in which I see.”
I cannot see in darkness. God is the only Light. Therefore, if I am to see, it must be through Him. I have tried to define what seeing is, and I have been wrong. Now it is given me to understand that God is the Light in which I see. Let me welcome vision and the happy world it will show me. W(109)
W 59 L 5. 45) “God is the Mind with which I think.”
I have no thoughts which I do not share with God. I have no thoughts apart from Him because I have no mind apart from His. As part of His Mind, my thoughts are His and His Thoughts are mine. W(110)
W 60 L 1. 46) “God is the Love in which I forgive.”
God does not forgive because He has never condemned. The blameless cannot blame, and those who have accepted their innocence see nothing to forgive. Yet forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence. It is the reflection of God's Love on earth. It will bring me near enough to Heaven that the Love of God can reach down to me and raise me to my home.
W 60 L 2. 47) “God is the Strength in which I trust.”
It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive. As I begin to see, I recognize His reflection on earth. I forgive all things because I feel the stirring of His strength in me. And I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but Which has not forgotten me.
W 60 L 3. 48) “There is nothing to fear.”
How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest Friend. What could there be to fear in a world which I have forgiven, and which has forgiven me?
W 60 L 4. 49) “God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.”
There is not a moment in which God's Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me. There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions, and lead my feet. I am walking steadily on toward truth. There is nowhere else I can go, because God's Voice is the only voice and the only guide that has been given to His Son. W(111)
W 60 L 5. 50) “I am sustained by the Love of God.”
As I listen to God's Voice, I am sustained by His Love. As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see. As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son. W(112)
W 61 L 1. Who is the light of the world except God's Son? This, then, is merely a statement of the truth about yourself. It is the opposite of a statement of pride, of arrogance, or of self-deception. It does not describe the self-concept you have made. It does not refer to any of the characteristics with which you have endowed your idols. It refers to you as you were created by God. It simply states the truth.
W 61 L 2. To the ego, today's idea is the epitome of self-glorification. But the ego does not understand humility, mistaking it for self-debasement. Humility consists of accepting your role in salvation, and in taking no other. It is not humility to insist that you cannot be the light of the world, if that is the function God assigned to you. It is only arrogance that would assert this function cannot be for you, and arrogance is always of the ego.
W 61 L 3. True humility requires that you accept today's idea because it is God's Voice which tells you it is true. This is a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth. It is a giant stride toward taking your rightful place in salvation. It is a positive assertion of your right to be saved, and an acknowledgment of the power that is given you to save others.
W 61 L 4. You will want to think about this idea as often as possible today. It is the perfect answer to all illusions, and therefore to all temptation. It brings all the images you have made about yourself to the truth, and helps you depart in peace, unburdened and certain of your purpose.
W 61 L 5. As many practice periods as possible should be undertaken today, although each one need not exceed a minute or two. They should begin with telling yourself: W(113)
“I am the light of the world.
That is my only function.
That is why I am here.”
Then think about these statements for a short while, preferably with your eyes closed if the situation permits. Let a few related thoughts come to you, and repeat the idea to yourself if your mind wanders away from the central thought.
W 61 L 6. Be sure both to begin and end the day with a practice period. Thus you will awaken with an acknowledgment of the truth about yourself, reinforce it throughout the day, and turn to sleep as you re-affirm your function and your only purpose here. These two practice periods may be longer than the rest, if you find them helpful and want to extend them.
W 61 L 7. Today's idea goes far beyond the ego's petty views of what you are and what your purpose is. As a bringer of salvation, this is obviously necessary. This is the first of a number of giant steps we will take in the next few weeks. Try today to begin to build a firm foundation for these advances. You are the light of the world. God has built His plan for the salvation of His Son on you. W(114)
W 62 L 1. It is your forgiveness that will bring the world of darkness to the light. It is your forgiveness that lets you recognize the light in which you see. Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about yourself return to your memory. Therefore in your forgiveness lies your salvation.
W 62 L 2. Illusions about yourself and the world are one. That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Your goal is to find out who you are, having denied your identity by attacking creation and its Creator. Now you are learning how to remember the truth. For this, attack must be replaced by forgiveness, so that thoughts of life may replace thoughts of death.
W 62 L 3. Remember that in every attack you call upon your own weakness, while every time you forgive you call upon the strength of Christ in you. Do you not then begin to understand what forgiveness will do for you? It will remove all sense of weakness, strain and fatigue from your mind. It will take away all fear and guilt and pain. It will restore the invulnerability and power God gave His Son to your awareness.
W 62 L 4. Let us be glad to begin and end this day by practicing today's idea, and to use it as frequently as possible throughout the day. It will help to make the day as happy for you as God wants you to be. And it will help those around you, as well as those who seem to be far away in space and time, to share this happiness with you.
W 62 L 5. As often as you can, closing your eyes if possible, say to yourself:
“Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.
I would fulfill my function that I may be happy.”
Then devote a minute or two to considering your function, and the happiness and release it will bring you. W(115)
W 62 L 6. Let related thoughts come freely, for your heart will recognize these words, and in your mind is the awareness that they are true. Should your attention wander, repeat the idea and add:
“I would remember this because I want to be happy.” W(116)
W 63 L 1. How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind! How blessed are you who can learn to recognize the means for letting this be done through you! What purpose could you have that would bring you greater happiness?
W 63 L 2. You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you. Accept no trivial purpose or meaningless desire in its place, or you will forget your function and leave the Son of God in hell. This is no idle request that is being asked of you. You are asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give.
W 63 L 3. Recognizing the importance of this function, we will be happy to remember it very often today. We will begin the day by acknowledging it, and close the day with the thought of it in our awareness. And throughout the day, we will repeat this as often as we can:
“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.
I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world.”
W 63 L 4. You will probably find it easier to let the related thoughts come to you in the minute or two which you should devote to considering this if you can close your eyes. Do not, however, wait for such an opportunity. No chance should be lost for reinforcing today's idea. Remember that God's Son looks to you for his salvation. And who but your Self must be His Son? W(117)
W 64 L 1. Today's idea is merely another way of saying, “Let me not wander into temptation.”  The purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness, and provide you with a justification for forgetting it. It is the temptation to abandon God and His Son, taking on a physical appearance. It is this which the body's eyes look upon.
W 64 L 2. Nothing the body's eyes seem to see can be anything but a form of temptation, since this was the purpose of the body itself. Yet we have learned that the Holy Spirit has another use for all the illusions you have made, and therefore He sees another purpose in them. To the Holy Spirit, the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation.
W 64 L 3. To review our last few lessons, your function here is to be the light of the world, a function given you by God. It is only the arrogance of the ego which leads you to question this, and only the fear of the ego which induces you to regard yourself as unworthy of the task assigned to you by God Himself. The world's salvation awaits your forgiveness because through it does the Son of God escape from all illusions and thus from all temptation. The Son of God is you.
W 64 L 4. Only by fulfilling the function given you by God will you be happy. That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable. There is no other way. Therefore every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether to be happy or not.
W 64 L 5. Let us remember this today. Let us remind ourselves of it in the morning and again at night, and all through the day as well. W(118) Prepare yourself in advance for all the decisions you will make today by remembering that they are all really very simple. Each one will lead to happiness or unhappiness. Can such a simple decision really be difficult to make?
W 64 L 6. Let not the form of the decision deceive you. Complexity of form does not imply complexity of content. It is impossible that any decision on earth can have a content different from just this one simple choice. That is the only choice the Holy Spirit sees. Therefore it is the only choice there is.
W 64 L 7. Today, then, let us practice these thoughts:
“Let me not forget my function.
Let me not try to substitute mine for God's.
Let me forgive and be happy.”
At least once devote ten or fifteen minutes to reflecting on this with closed eyes. Related thoughts will come to help you, if you remember the crucial importance of your function to you and to the world.
W 64 L 8. In the frequent applications of today's idea to be made throughout the day, devote several minutes to reviewing the thoughts, and then to thinking about them and about nothing else. This will be difficult at first particularly, since you are not proficient in the mind discipline which it requires. You may need to repeat “Let me not forget my function” quite often, to help you concentrate.
W 64 L 9. Two forms of the shorter practice periods are required. At times, do the exercises with your eyes closed, trying to concentrate on the thoughts you are applying. At other times keep your eyes open after reviewing the thoughts and look slowly and unselectively about you, telling yourself:
“This is the world it is my function to save.” W(119)
W 65 L 1. The idea for today reaffirms your commitment to salvation. It also reminds you that you have no other function than this. Both of these thoughts are obviously necessary for a total commitment. Salvation cannot be the only purpose you hold while you still cherish others. The full acceptance of salvation as your only function necessarily entails two phases; the recognition of salvation as your function, and the relinquishment of all the other goals you have invented for yourself.
W 65 L 2. This is the only way in which you can take your rightful place among the Saviors of the world. This is the only way in which you can say and mean, “My only function is the one God gave me.” This is the only way in which you can find peace of mind.
W 65 L 3. Today, and for a number of days to follow, set aside ten to fifteen minutes for a more sustained practice period in which you try to understand and accept what today's idea really means. It offers you escape from all your perceived difficulties. It places the key to the door to peace, which you have closed upon yourself, in your own hands. It gives you the answer to all the searching you have done since time began.
W 65 L 4. Try, if possible, to undertake the daily extended practice periods at approximately the same time each day. Try, also, to determine this time today in advance, and then adhere to it as closely as possible. The purpose of this is to arrange your day so that you have set apart the time for God, as well as for all the trivial purposes and goals you will pursue. This is part of the long range disciplinary training which your mind needs so that the Holy Spirit can use it consistently for the purpose He shares with you. W(120)
W 65 L 5. For this practice period, begin by reviewing the idea for today. Then close your eyes, repeat the idea to yourself once again, and watch your mind carefully to catch whatever thoughts cross it. At first, make no attempt to concentrate only on thoughts related to the idea for today. Rather, try to uncover each one that arises to interfere with it. Note each one as it comes to you with as little involvement or concern as possible, dismissing them by telling yourself:
“This thought reflects a goal which is preventing me from
accepting my only function.”
W 65 L 6. After a while, interfering thoughts will become harder to find. Try, however, to continue a minute or so longer, attempting to catch a few of the idle thoughts which escaped your attention before, but do not strain or make undue effort in doing this. Then tell yourself:
“On this clean slate, let my true function be written for me.”
You need not use these exact words, but try to get a sense of being willing to have your illusions of purpose be replaced by truth.
W 65 L 7. Finally, repeat the idea for today once more and devote the rest of the practice period to trying to focus on its importance to you; the relief its acceptance will bring you by resolving your conflicts once and for all, and the extent to which you really want salvation in spite of your own foolish ideas to the contrary.
W 65 L 8. In the shorter practice periods, which should be undertaken at least once an hour, use this form in applying today's idea:
“My only function is the one God gave me.
I want no other and I have no other.”
Sometimes close your eyes as you practice, and sometimes keep them open and look about you. It is what you see now that will be totally changed when you accept today's idea completely. W(121)
W 66 L 1. You have surely noticed an emphasis throughout our recent lessons on the connection between fulfilling your function and achieving happiness. This is because you do not really see the connection. Yet there is more than just a connection between them; they are the same. Their forms are different, but their content is completely one.
W 66 L 2. The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. So does it do constant battle with the Holy Spirit about what your happiness is. It is not a two-way battle. The ego attacks and the Holy Spirit does not respond. He knows what your function is. He knows that it is your happiness.
W 66 L 3. Today we will try to go past this wholly meaningless battle, and arrive at the truth about your function. We will not engage in ceaseless arguments about what it is. We will not become hopelessly involved in defining happiness and determining the means for achieving it. We will not indulge the ego by listening to its attacks on truth. We will merely be glad that we can find out what truth is.
W 66 L 4. Our longer practice period today has as its purpose your acceptance of the fact that not only is there a very real connection between the function God gave you and your happiness, but that they are actually identical. God gives you only happiness. Therefore the function He gave you must be happiness, even if it appears to be different. Today's exercises are an attempt to go beyond these differences in appearance, and recognize a common content where it exists in truth.
W 66 L 5. Begin the 10 to 15 minute practice period by reviewing these thoughts:
“God gives me only happiness.
He has given my function to me.
Therefore my function must be happiness.” W(122)
Try to see the logic in this sequence, even if you do not accept the conclusion. It is only if the first two thoughts are wrong that the conclusion could be false. Let us, then, think about the premises for a while, as we are practicing.
W 66 L 6. The first premise is that God gives you only happiness. This could be false, of course, but in order to be false it is necessary to define God as something He is not. Love cannot give evil, and what is not happiness is evil. God cannot give what He does not have, and He cannot have what He is not. Unless God gives you only happiness, He must be evil. And it is this definition of Him which you are believing if you do not accept the first premise.
W 66 L 7. The second premise is that God has given you your function. We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides. There are no other guides but these to choose between, and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice but the fear which the ego always engenders and the love which the Holy Spirit always offers to replace it.
W 66 L 8. Thus it must be that your function is established by God through His Voice or is made by the ego which you made to replace Him. Which is true? Unless God gave your function to you, it must be the gift of the ego. Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?
W 66 L 9. Think about this during the longer practice period today. Think also about the many forms which the illusion of your function has taken in your mind, and the many ways in which you try to find salvation under the ego's guidance. Did you find it? Were you happy? Did they bring you peace? W(123) We need great honesty today. Remember the outcomes fairly, and consider also whether it was ever reasonable to expect happiness from anything the ego has ever proposed. Yet the ego is the only alternative to the Holy Spirit's Voice.
W 66 L 10. You will listen to madness or hear the truth. Try to make this choice as you think about the premises on which our conclusion rests. We can share in this conclusion, but in no other. For God Himself shares it with us.
W 66 L 11. Today's idea is another giant stride in the perception of the same as the same, and the different as different. On one side stand all illusions. All truth stands on the other. Let us try today to realize that only the truth is true.
W 66 L 12. In the shorter practice periods, which would be most helpful today if undertaken twice an hour, this form of the application is suggested:
“My happiness and function are one,
because God has given me both.”
It will not take more than a minute, and probably less, to repeat these words slowly, and think about them a little as you say them. W(124)
W 67 L 1. Today's idea is a complete and accurate statement of what you are. This is why you are the light of the world. This is why God appointed you as the world's savior. This is why the Son of God looks to you for his salvation. He is saved by what you are. We will make every effort today to reach this truth about you, and to realize fully, if only for a moment, that it is the truth.
W 67 L 2. In the longer practice period, we will think about your reality and its wholly unchanged and unchangeable nature. We will begin by repeating this truth about you, and then spend a few minutes adding some relevant thoughts, such as:
“Holiness created me holy“
“Kindness created me kind.”
“Helpfulness created me helpful.”
“Perfection created me perfect.”
Any attribute which is in accord with God as He defines Himself is appropriate for use. We are trying today to undo your definition of God and replace it with His Own. We are also trying to emphasize that you are part of His definition of Himself.
W 67 L 3. After you have gone over several such related thoughts, try to let all thoughts drop away for a brief preparatory interval, and then try to reach past all your images and preconceptions about yourself to the truth in you. If Love created you like Itself this Self must be in you. And somewhere in your mind It is there for you to find.
W 67 L 4. You may find it necessary to repeat the idea for today from time to time, to replace distracting thoughts. You may also find that this is not sufficient, and that you need to continue adding other thoughts related to the truth about yourself. Yet perhaps you will succeed in going past that, and through the interval of thoughtlessness to the awareness of a blazing W(125) light in which you recognize yourself as Love created you. Be confident that you will do much today to bring that awareness nearer, whether you feel you have succeeded or not.
W 67 L 5. It will be particularly helpful today to practice the idea for today as often as you can. You need to hear the truth about yourself as frequently as possible, because your mind is so preoccupied with false self-images. Four or five times an hour, and perhaps even more, it would be most beneficial to remind yourself that Love created you like Itself. Hear the truth about yourself in this.
W 67 L 6. Try to realize in the shorter practice periods, that this is not your tiny solitary voice that tells you this. This is the Voice for God, reminding you of your Father and of your Self. This is the Voice of truth, replacing everything that the ego tells you about yourself with the simple truth about the Son of God. You were created by Love like Itself. W(126)
W 68 L 1. You who were created by Love like Itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget who you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. It is the decision to let the ego rule your mind, and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your awareness. It seems to split you off from your Source, and make you unlike Him. It makes you believe that He is like what you think you have become, for no one can conceive of his Creator as unlike himself.
W 68 L 2. Shut off from your Self, Who remains aware of His likeness to His Creator, your Self seems to sleep, while the part of your mind that weaves illusions in its sleep appears to be awake. Can all this arise from holding grievances? Oh yes! For he who holds grievances denies he was created by Love, and his Creator has become fearful to him in his dreams of hate. Who can dream of hatred and not fear God?
W 68 L 3. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will redefine God in their own image as it is certain that God created them like Himself and defined them as part of Him. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.
W 68 L 4. Would you not be willing to relinquish your grievances if you believed all this were so? Perhaps you do not think that you can let all your grievances go. That, however, is simply a question of motivation. Today we will try to find out how you would feel without them. If you succeed even by ever so little, there will never be a problem in motivation ever again. W(127)
W 68 L 5. Begin today's extended practice period by searching your mind for those against whom you hold what you regard as major grievances. Some of these will be quite easy to find. Then think of the seemingly minor grievances you hold against those you like, and even think you love. It will quickly become apparent that there is no one against whom you do not cherish grievances of some sort. This has left you alone in all the universe in your perception of yourself.
W 68 L 6. Determine now to see all these people as friends. Say to them all, collectively, thinking of each one in turn as you do so:
“I would see you as my friend,
that I may remember you are part of me,
and come to know myself.”
Spend the remainder of the practice period trying to think of yourself as completely at peace with everyone and everything, safe in a world which protects you and loves you, and which you love in return.
W 68 L 7. Try to feel safety surrounding you, hovering over you, and holding you up. Try to believe, however briefly, that nothing can harm you in any way. At the end of the practice period tell yourself:
“Love holds no grievances.
when I let all my grievances go,
I will know I am perfectly safe.”
W 68 L 8. The short practice periods should include a quick application of today's ideas in this form, whenever any thought of grievance arises against anyone, physically present or not:
“Love holds no grievances.
Let me not betray my Self.”
In addition, repeat the idea several times an hour in this form:
“Love holds no grievances.
I would wake to my Self
by laying all my grievances aside
and wakening in Him.” W(128)
W 69 L 1. No one can look upon what your grievances conceal. Because your grievances are hiding the light of the world in you, everyone stands in darkness, and you beside him. But as the veil of your grievances is lifted, you are released with him. Share your salvation now with him who stood beside you when you were in hell. He is your brother in the light of the world which saves you both.
W 69 L 2. Today let us make another real attempt to reach the light in you. Before we undertake this in our more extended practice period, let us devote several minutes in thinking about what we are trying to do. We are literally attempting to get in touch with the salvation of the world. We are trying to see past the veil of darkness that keeps it concealed. We are trying to let the veil be lifted, and see the tears of God's Son disappear in the sunlight.
W 69 L 3. Let us begin our longer practice period today with the full realization of all this, and real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else. Salvation is our only need. There is no other purpose here, and no other function to fulfill. Learning salvation is our only goal. Let us end the ancient search today, by finding the light in us and holding it up for everyone who searches with us to look upon and rejoice.
W 69 L 4. Very quietly now, with your eyes closed, try to let all the content which generally occupies your consciousness go. Think of your mind as a vast round area, surrounded by a layer of heavy dark clouds. You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the whole area, and quite apart from it. From where you stand, you can see no reason to believe there is a brilliant light hidden by the clouds. The clouds seem to be the only reality. They seem to be all there is to see. Therefore you do not attempt to go through them and past them, which is the only way in which you would be really convinced W(129) of their lack of substance. We will make this attempt today.
W 69 L 5. After you have thought about the importance of what you are trying to do for yourself and the world, try to settle in perfect stillness, remembering only how much you want to reach the light in you today, - now. Determine to go past the clouds. Reach out and touch them in your mind. Brush them aside with your hand; feel them resting on your cheeks and forehead and eyelids as you go through them. Go on; clouds cannot stop you.
W 69 L 6. If you are doing the exercises properly, you will begin to feel a sense of being lifted up and carried ahead. Your little effort and small determination call on the power of the universe to help you, and God Himself will raise you from darkness into light. You are in accord with His Will. You cannot fail because your will is His.
W 69 L 7. Have confidence in your Father today, and be certain that He has heard you and has answered you. You may not recognize His answer yet, but you can indeed be sure that it is given you, and you will yet receive it. Try, as you attempt to go through the clouds to the light, to hold this confidence in your mind. Try to remember that you are at last joining your will to God's. Try to keep the thought clearly in mind that what you undertake with God must succeed. Then let the power of God work in you and through you, that His Will and yours may be done.
W 69 L 8. In the shorter practice periods, which you will want to do as often as possible in view of the importance of today's idea to you and your happiness, remind yourself that your grievances are hiding the light of the world from your awareness. Remind yourself also that you are not searching for it alone, and that you do know where to look for it. Say, then:
“My grievances hide the light of the world in me.
I cannot see what I have hidden.
Yet I want to let it be revealed to me
for my salvation and the salvation of the world.” W(130)
Also, be sure to tell yourself:
“If I hold this grievance, the light of the world will be hidden from me,”
if you are tempted to hold anything against anyone today. W(131)
W 70 L 1. All temptation is nothing more than some form of the basic temptation not to believe the idea for today. Salvation seems to come from anywhere except from you. So, too, does the source of guilt. You see neither guilt nor salvation as in your own mind, and nowhere else. When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you must also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. Understanding this you are saved.
W 70 L 2. The seeming “cost” of accepting today's idea is this: It means that nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But it also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you, or disturb your peace, or upset you in any way. Today's idea places you in charge of the universe, where you belong because of who you are.
W 70 L 3. This is not a role which can be partially accepted, and you must surely begin to see that accepting it is salvation. It may not, however, be clear to you why the recognition that guilt is in your own mind entails the realization that salvation is there as well. God would not have put the remedy for sickness where it cannot help. That is the way your mind has worked, but hardly His. He wants you to be healed, and so He has kept the Source of healing where the need for healing lies.
W 70 L 4. You have tried to do just the opposite, making every attempt, however distorted and fantastic it might be, to separate healing from the sickness for which it was intended, and thus keep the sickness. Your purpose was to ensure that healing did not occur; God's purpose was to ensure that it did. Today we will practice realizing that God's Will and ours are really the same in this. W(132) God wants us to be healed, and we do not really want to be sick because it makes us unhappy. Therefore, in accepting the idea for today, we are in agreement with God. He does not want us to be sick. Neither do we. He wants us to be healed. So do we.
W 70 L 5. We are ready for two longer practice periods today, each of which should last some ten to fifteen minutes. We will, however, still let you decide when to undertake them. We will follow this practice for a number of lessons, and it would again be well to decide in advance when would be a good time to lay aside for each of them, and adhere to your own decision as closely as possible.
W 70 L 6. Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today, adding a statement signifying your recognition that salvation comes from nothing outside of you. You might put it this way:
“My salvation comes from me.
It cannot come from anywhere else.”
Then devote a few minutes with your eyes closed, to reviewing some of the external places where you have looked for salvation in the past, - in other people, in possessions, in various situations and events, and in self-concepts which you sought to make real. Recognize that it was not there. Tell yourself:
“My salvation cannot come from any of these things.
My salvation comes from me, and only from me.”
W 70 L 7. Now we will try again to reach the light in you, which is where your salvation is. You cannot find it in the clouds that surround the light, and it is in them you have been looking for it. It is not there. It is past the clouds, and in the light beyond. Remember that you will have to go through the clouds before you can reach the light. But remember also that you have never found anything in the cloud patterns you imagined that endured, or that you wanted. W(133)
W 70 L 8. Since all illusions of salvation have failed you, surely you do not want to remain in the clouds looking vainly for idols there, when you could so easily walk on into the light of real salvation. Try to pass the clouds by whatever means appeals to you. If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you. And I assure you that this will be no idle fantasy.
W 70 L 9. For the short and frequent practice periods today, remind yourself that your salvation comes from you, and nothing but your own thoughts can hamper your progress. You are free from all external interference. You are in charge of your salvation. You are in charge of the salvation of the world. Say, then:
“My salvation comes from me.
Nothing outside of me can hold me back.
Within me is the world's salvation and my own.” W(134)
W 71 L 1. You may not realize that the ego has set up a plan for salvation in opposition to God's. It is this plan in which you believe. Since it is the opposite of God's, you also believe that to accept God's plan in place of the ego's is to be damned. This sounds preposterous, of course. Yet after we have considered just what the ego's plan is, perhaps you will realize that, however preposterous it may be, you do believe in it.
W 71 L 2. The ego's plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. It maintains that if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved. Thus the source of salvation is constantly perceived as outside yourself. Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, “If this were different, I would be saved.” The change of mind that is necessary for salvation is thus demanded of everyone and everything except yourself.
W 71 L 3. The role assigned to your own mind in this plan, then, is simply to determine what other than itself must change if you are to be saved. According to this insane plan, any perceived source of salvation is acceptable, provided that it will not work. This ensures that the fruitless search will continue, for the illusion that, although this hope has failed, there is still grounds for hope in other places and in other things, persists. Another person will yet serve better; another situation will yet offer success.
W 71 L 4. Such is the ego's plan for your salvation. Surely you can see how it is in strict accord with the ego's basic doctrine, “Seek but do not find?” For what could more surely guarantee that you will not find salvation than to channelize all your efforts in searching for it where it is not? W(135)
W 71 L 5. God's plan for salvation works simply because, by following His direction, you seek for salvation where it is. But if you are to succeed, as God promises you will, you must be willing to seek there only. Otherwise your purpose is divided, and you will attempt to follow two plans for salvation which are diametrically opposed in all ways. The result can only bring confusion, misery, and a deep sense of failure and despair.
W 71 L 6. How can you escape all this? Very simply. The idea for today is the answer. Only God's plan for salvation will work. There can be no real conflict about this, because there is no possible alternative to God's plan that will save you. His is the only plan that is certain in its outcome. His is the only plan that must succeed. Let us practice recognizing this certainty today. And let us rejoice that there is an answer to what seems to be a conflict with no resolution possible. All things are possible to God. Salvation must be yours because of His plan, which cannot fail.
W 71 L 7. Begin the two longer practice periods for today by thinking about today's idea, and realizing that it contains two parts, each making equal contribution to the whole. God's plan for your salvation will work, and other plans will not. Do not allow yourself to become depressed or angry at the second part; it is inherent in the first. And in the first is your full release from all your own insane attempts and mad proposals to free yourself. They have led to depression and anger, but God's plan will succeed. It will lead to release and joy.
W 71 L 8. Remembering this, let us devote the remainder of the extended practice period to asking God to reveal His plan to us. Ask Him very specifically:
“What would you have me do?”
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?”
Give Him full charge of the rest of the practice period, and let Him tell you what needs to be done by you in His plan for your salvation. He will answer you in proportion to your willingness to hear His Voice. Refuse not to hear. The very W(136) fact that you are doing the exercises proves that you have some willingness to listen. This is enough to establish your claim to God's answer.
W 71 L 9. In the shorter practice periods tell yourself often that God's plan for salvation, and only His, will work. Be alert to all temptation to hold grievances today, and respond to them with this form of today's idea:
“Holding grievances is the opposite of God's plan for salvation.
And only His plan will work.”
Try to remember the idea for today some six or seven times an hour. There could be no better way to spend a half minute or less than to remember the Source of your salvation, and to see It where It is. W(137)
W 72 L 1. While we have recognized that the ego's plan for salvation is the opposite of God's, we have not yet emphasized that it is an active attack on His plan, and a deliberate attempt to destroy it. In the attack, God is assigned the attributes which are actually associated with the ego, while the ego appears to take on the attributes of God.
W 72 L 2. The ego's fundamental wish is to replace God. In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of this wish. For it is this wish which seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body which was made to imprison it. The limit on communication cannot be the best means to expand communication. Yet the ego would have you believe that it is.
W 72 L 3. Although the attempt to keep the limitations which a body would impose is obvious here, it is perhaps not so apparent why holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation. But let us consider the kinds of things which you are apt to hold grievances for. Are they not always associated with something a body does? A person says something we do not like; he does something that displeases us; he “betrays” his hostile thoughts in his behavior.
W 72 L 4. We are not dealing here with what the person is. On the contrary, we are exclusively concerned with what he does in a body. We are doing more than failing to help in freeing him from its limitations. We are actively trying to hold him to it by confusing it with him, and judging them as one. Herein is God attacked, for if His Son is only a body, so must He be as well. A creator wholly unlike his creation is inconceivable.
W 72 L 5. If God is a body, what must His plan for salvation be? What could it be but death? In trying to present Himself as the Author of life and not of death, He is a liar and a deceiver, full of false promises, and offering illusions in place of truth. W(138) The body's apparent reality makes this view of God quite convincing. In fact, if the body were real, it would be difficult indeed to escape this conclusion. And every grievance that you hold insists that the body is real. It overlooks entirely what your brother is. It reinforces your belief that he is a body, and condemns him for it. And it asserts that his salvation must be death, projecting this attack onto God, and holding Him responsible for it.
W 72 L 6. To this carefully prepared arena, where angry animals seek for prey and mercy cannot enter, the ego comes to save you. God made you a body. Very well. Let us accept this and be glad. As a body, do not let yourself be deprived of what the body offers. Take the little you can get. God gave you nothing. The body is your only savior. It is the death of God and your salvation. This is the universal belief of the world you see.
W 72 L 7. Some hate the body, and try to hurt and humiliate it. Others love the body, and try to glorify and exalt it. But while it stands at the center of your concept of yourself, you are attacking God's plan for salvation, and holding your grievances against Him and His creations, that you may not hear the Voice of truth and welcome it as Friend. Your chosen Savior takes His place instead. It is your friend; He is your enemy. We will try today to stop these senseless attacks on salvation. We will try to welcome it instead.
W 72 L 8. Our upside-down perception has been ruinous to our peace of mind. We have seen ourselves in a body and the truth outside us, locked away from our awareness by the body's limitations. Now we are going to try to see this differently. The light of truth is in us, where it was placed by God. It is the body that is outside us, and is not our concern. To be without a body is to be in our natural state. To recognize the light of truth in us is to recognize ourselves as we are. To see our Self as separate from the body is to end the attack on God's plan for salvation, and to accept it instead. And W(139) wherever it is accepted it is accomplished already.
W 72 L 9. Our goal in the longer practice periods today is to become aware that God's plan for salvation has already been accomplished in us. To achieve this goal, we must replace attack with acceptance. As long as we attack it, we cannot understand what God's plan for us is. We are therefore attacking what we do not recognize. Now we are going to try to lay judgment aside, and ask what God's plan for us is:
“What is salvation, Father?
I do not know.
Tell me, that I may understand.”
Then we will wait in quiet for His answer.
W 72 L 10. We have attacked God's plan for salvation, without waiting to hear what it is. We have shouted our grievances so loudly that we have not listened to His Voice. We have used our grievances to close our eyes and stop our ears. Now we would see and hear and learn. “What is salvation, Father?” Ask and you will be answered. Seek and you will find.
W 72 L 11. We are no longer asking the ego what salvation is and where to find it. We are asking it of truth. Be certain, then, that the answer will be true because of Whom you ask. Whenever you feel your confidence wane and your hope of success flicker and go out, repeat your question and your request, remembering that you are asking them of the infinite Creator of infinity, Who created you like Himself:
“What is salvation, Father?
I do not know.
Tell me, that I may understand.”
He will answer. Be determined to hear.
W 72 L 12. One or perhaps two shorter practice periods an hour will be enough for today, since they will be somewhat longer than usual. The exercises are as follows:
“Holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation.
Let me accept it instead.
What is salvation, Father?”
Then wait a minute or so in silence, preferably with your eyes closed, and listen for His answer. W(140) W(141)
W 73 L 1. Today we are considering the will that you share with God. This is not the same as the ego's idle wishes, out of which darkness and nothingness arise. The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it. The ego's idle wishes are unshared, and therefore have no power at all. Its wishes are not idle in the sense that they can make a world of illusions in which your belief can be very strong. But they are idle indeed in terms of creation. They make nothing that is real.
W 73 L 2. Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego's need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures which seem to attack you and call for “righteous” judgment. They become the “middlemen” the ego employs to traffic in grievances, and stand between your awareness and your brother's reality. Beholding them, you do not know your brothers nor your Self.
W 73 L 3. Your will is lost to you in this strange bartering, in which guilt is traded back and forth, and grievances increase with each exchange. Can such a world have been created by the will the Son of God shares with his Father? Did God create disaster for His Son? Creation is the will of both together. Would God create a world that kills Himself?
W 73 L 4. Today we will try once more to reach the world that is in accordance with your will. The light is in it because it does not oppose the Will of God. It is not Heaven, but the light of Heaven shines on it. Darkness has vanished; the ego's idle wishes have been withdrawn. Yet the light that shines upon this world reflects your will, and so it must be in you that we will look for it.
W 73 L 5. Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without. Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon W(142) a world of light.
W 73 L 6. We have repeatedly emphasized that the barrier of grievances is easily past, and cannot stand between you and your salvation. The reason is very simple. Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die? Forget the ego's arguments which seek to prove all this is really Heaven. You know it is not so. You can not want this for yourself. There is a point beyond which illusions cannot go. Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. Such is your will in truth. And so salvation is your will as well. You want to succeed in what we are trying to do today. We undertake it with your blessing and your glad accord.
W 73 L 7. We will succeed today if you remember that you will salvation for yourself. You will to accept God's plan because you share in it. You have no will that can really oppose it, and you do not want to do so. Salvation is for you. Above all else you want the freedom to remember who you really are. Today it is the ego which stands powerless before your will. Your will is free, and nothing can prevail against it.
W 73 L 8. Therefore we undertake the exercises for today in happy confidence, certain that we will find what it is your will to find, and remember what it is your will to remember. No idle wishes can detain us, nor deceive us with an illusion of strength. Today let your will be done. And end forever the insane belief that it is hell in place of Heaven that you choose.
W 73 L 9. We will begin our longer practice periods with the recognition that God's plan for salvation, and only His, is wholly in accord with your will. It is not the purpose of an alien power, thrust upon you unwillingly. It is the one purpose here on which you and your Father are in perfect accord. W(143) You will succeed today, the time appointed for the release of the Son of God from hell and from all idle wishes. His will is now restored to his awareness. He is willing this very day to look upon the light in him and be saved.
W 73 L 10. After reminding yourself of this and determining to keep your will clearly in mind, tell yourself with gentle firmness and quiet certainty:
“I will there be light.
Let me behold the light
that reflects God's Will and mine.”
Then let your will assert itself, joined with the power of God and united with your Self. Put the rest of the practice period under Their guidance. Join with Them as They lead the way.
W 73 L 11. In the shorter practice periods, again make a declaration of what you really want. Say:
“I will there be light.
Darkness is not my will.”
This should be repeated several times an hour. It is most important, however, to apply today's idea in this form immediately you are tempted to hold a grievance of any kind. This will help you let your grievances go, instead of cherishing them and hiding them in the darkness. W(144)
W 74 L 1. The idea for today can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed. God's is the only will. When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His. The belief that conflict is possible has gone. Peace has replaced the strange idea that you are torn by conflicting goals. As an expression of the Will of God, you have no goal but His.
W 74 L 2. There is great peace in today's idea. And the exercises for today are directed toward finding it. The idea itself is wholly true. Therefore it cannot give rise to illusions. Without illusions conflict is impossible. Let us try to recognize this today, and experience the peace this recognition brings.
W 74 L 3. Begin the longer practice periods by repeating these thoughts several times, slowly and with firm determination to understand what they mean and to hold them in mind:
“There is no will but God's.
I cannot be in conflict.”
Then spend several minutes in adding some related thoughts, such as:
“I am at peace.”
“Nothing can disturb me. My will is God's.”
“My will and God's are one.”
“God wills peace for His Son.”
During this introductory phase, be sure to deal quickly with any conflict thoughts that may cross your mind. Tell yourself immediately:
“There is no will but God's
These conflict thoughts are meaningless.”
W 74 L 4. If there is one conflict area which seems particularly difficult to resolve, single it out for special consideration. Think about it briefly but very specifically, identify the particular person or persons and the situation or situations involved, and tell yourself:
“There is no will but God's.
I share it with Him.
My conflicts about _____ cannot be real.” W(145)
W 74 L 5. After you have cleared your mind in this way, close your eyes and try to experience the peace to which your reality entitles you. Sink into it, and feel it closing around you. There may be some temptation to mistake these attempts for withdrawal, but the difference is easily detected. If you are succeeding, you will feel a deep sense of joy and an increased alertness, rather than a feeling of drowsiness and enervation. Joy characterizes peace. By this experience will you recognize that you have reached it.
W 74 L 6. If you feel yourself slipping off into withdrawal, quickly repeat the idea for today and try again. Do this as often as necessary. There is definite gain in refusing to allow retreat into withdrawal, even if you do not experience the peace you seek.
W 74 L 7. In the shorter periods, which should be undertaken at regular and predetermined intervals today, say to yourself:
“There is no will but God's.
I seek His peace today.”
Then try to find what you are seeking. A minute or two every half hour, with eyes closed if possible, would be well spent on this today. W(146)
W 75 L 1. The light has come. You are healed and you can heal. The light has come. You are saved and you can save. You are at peace and you bring peace with you wherever you go. Darkness and turmoil and death have disappeared. The light has come. Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster. There are no dark dreams now. The light has come.
W 75 L 2. Today the time of light begins for you and everyone. It is a new era, in which a new world is born. The old one has left no trace upon it in its passing. Today we see a different world because the light has come. Our exercises for today will be happy ones, in which we offer thanks for the passing of the old and the beginning of the new. No shadows from the past remain to darken our sight and hide the world forgiveness offers us.
W 75 L 3. Today we will accept the new world as what we want to see. We will be given what we desire. We will to see the light; the light has come.
W 75 L 4. Our longer practice periods will be devoted to looking at the world which our forgiveness shows us. This is what we want to see, and only this. Our single purpose makes our goal inevitable. Today the real world rises before us in gladness, to be seen at last. Sight is given us, now that the light has come. We do not see the ego's shadow on the world today. We see the light, and in it we see Heaven's reflection lie across the world.
“The light has come.
I have forgiven the world.” W(147)
Dwell not upon the past today. Keep a completely open mind, washed of all past ideas and clean of every concept you have made. You have forgiven the world today. You can look upon it now as if you never saw it before. You do not know yet what it looks like. You merely wait to have it shown to you. While you wait, repeat several times slowly and in complete patience;
“The light has come.
I have forgiven the world.”
W 75 L 6. Realize that your forgiveness entitles you to vision. Understand that the Holy Spirit never fails to give the gift of sight to the forgiving. Believe He will not fail you now. You have forgiven the world. He will be with you as you watch and wait. He will show what true vision sees. It is His Will, and you have joined with Him.
W 75 L 7. Wait patiently for Him. He will be there. The light has come. You have forgiven the world. Tell Him you know you cannot fail because you trust in Him. Tell yourself you wait in certainty to look upon the world He promised you. From this time forth you will see differently. Today the light has come. And you will see the world that has been promised you since time began, and in which is the end of time ensured.
W 75 L 8. The shorter practice periods, too, will be joyful reminders of your release. Remind yourself every quarter of an hour or so that today is a time for special celebration. Give thanks for mercy and the Love of God. Rejoice in the power of forgiveness to heal your sight completely. Be confident that on this day there is a new beginning. Without the darkness of the past upon your eyes, you cannot fail to see today. And what you see will be so welcome that you will gladly extend today forever. Say, then:
“The light has come.
I have forgiven the world.” W(148)
Should you be tempted, say to anyone who seems to pull you back to darkness:
“The light has come.
I have forgiven you.”
W 75 L 9. We dedicate this day to the serenity in which God would have you be. Keep it in your awareness of yourself and see it everywhere today, as we celebrate the beginning of your vision, and the sight of the real world which has come to replace the unforgiven world you thought was real. W(149)
W 76 L 1. We have observed before how many senseless things have seemed to you to be salvation. Each has imprisoned you with laws as senseless as itself. You are not bound by them. Yet to understand that this is so, you must first realize salvation lies not there. While you would seek for it in things that have no meaning, you bind yourself to laws that make no sense.
W 76 L 2. Thus do you seek to prove salvation is where it is not. Today we will be glad you cannot prove it. For if you could, you would forever seek where it is not and never find it. The idea for today tells you once again how simple is salvation. Look for it where it waits for you, and there it will be found. Look nowhere else, for it is nowhere else.
W 76 L 3. Think of the freedom in the recognition that you are not bound by all the strange and twisted laws which you have set up to save you. You really think that you would starve unless you have stacks of green paper strips and piles of metal discs. You really think a small round pellet or some fluid pushed into your veins through a sharpened needle will ward off death. You really think you are alone unless another body is with you.
W 76 L 4. It is insanity that thinks these things. You call them laws, and put them under different names in a long catalogue of rituals that have no use and serve no purpose. You think you must obey the “laws” of medicine, of economics, and of health. Protect the body and you will be saved. These are not laws, but madness.
W 76 L 5. The body is endangered by the mind that hurts itself. The body suffers that the mind will fail to see it is the victim of itself. The body's suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers. It would not understand it is its own enemy; that it attacks itself and wants to die. It is from this your W(150) “laws” would save the body. It is for this you think you are a body.
W 76 L 6. There are no laws except the laws of God. This needs repeating, - over and over until you realize that it applies to everything that you have made in opposition to His Will. Your magic has no meaning. What it is meant to save does not exist. Only what it is meant to hide will save you.
W 76 L 7. The laws of God can never be replaced. We will devote today to rejoicing that this is so. It is no longer a truth which we would hide. We realize instead it is a truth which keeps us free forever. Magic imprisons, but the laws of God set free. The light has come because there are no laws but His.
W 76 L 8. We will begin the longer practice periods today with a short review of the different kinds of “laws” we have believed we must obey. These would include, for example, the laws of nutrition, of immunization, of medication, and of the body's protection in innumerable ways. Think further; you believe in laws of friendship, of “good” relationships and reciprocity.
W 76 L 9. Perhaps you even think that there are laws which set forth what is God's and what is yours. Many “religions” have been based on this. They would not save, but damn in Heaven's name. Yet they are no more strange than other “laws” you hold must be obeyed to make you safe.
W 76 L 10. There are no laws but God's. Dismiss all foolish magical beliefs today, and hold your mind in silent readiness to hear the Voice that speaks the truth to you. You will be listening to One Who says there is no loss under the laws of God. Payment is neither given nor received. Exchange cannot be made, there are no substitutes, and nothing is replaced by something else. God's laws forever give and never take. W(151)
W 76 L 11. Hear Him Who tells you this, and realize how foolish are the laws you thought upheld the world you thought you saw. Then listen further. He will tell you more. About the love your Father has for you. About the endless joy He offers you. About His yearning for His only Son, created as His channel for creation; denied to Him by his belief in hell.
W 76 L 12. Let us today open God's channels to Him, and let His Will extend through us to Him. Thus is creation endlessly increased. His Voice will speak of this to us, as well as of the joys of Heaven which His laws keep limitless forever. We will now repeat today's idea until we have listened and understood there are no laws but God's. Then we will tell ourselves, as a dedication with which the practice period concludes:
“I am under no laws but God's.”
W 76 L 13. We will repeat this dedication as often as possible today; at least four or five times an hour, as well as in response to any temptation to experience ourselves as subject to other laws throughout the day. It is our statement of freedom from all danger and all tyranny. It is our acknowledgment that God is our Father, and that His Son is saved. W(152)
W 77 L 1. You are entitled to miracles because of what you are. You will receive miracles because of what God is. And you will offer miracles because you are one with God. Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true identity. It is this that we will celebrate today.
W 77 L 2. Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are. It is implicit in what God your Father is. It was ensured in your creation, and guaranteed by the laws of God.
W 77 L 3.
Today we will claim the miracles which are your right,
since they belong to you. You have been promised full release from the
world you made. You have been assured that the
W 77 L 4. Begin the longer practice periods by telling yourself quite confidently that you are entitled to miracles. Closing your eyes, remind yourself that you are asking only for what is rightfully yours. Remind yourself also that miracles are never taken from one and given to another, and that in asking for your rights you are upholding the rights of everyone. Miracles do not obey the laws of this world. They merely follow from the laws of God.
W 77 L 5. After this brief introductory phase, wait quietly for the assurance that your request is granted. You have asked for the salvation of the world and for your own. You have requested that you be given the means by which this is accomplished. You cannot fail to be assured in this. You are but asking that the Will of God be done.
W 77 L 6. In doing this, you do not really ask for anything. You state a fact that cannot be denied. W(153) The Holy Spirit cannot but assure you that your request is granted. The fact that you accepted must be so. There is no room for doubt and uncertainty today. We are asking a real question at last. The answer is a simple statement of a simple fact. You will receive the assurance that you seek.
W 77 L 7. Our shorter practice periods will be frequent, and will also be devoted to a reminder of a simple fact. Tell yourself often today:
“I am entitled to miracles.”
Ask for them whenever a situation arises in which they are called for. You will recognize these situations, you are not relying on yourself to find them, and you are therefore fully entitled to receive them whenever you ask. Remember, too, not to be satisfied with less than the perfect answer. Be quick to tell yourself, should you be tempted:
“I will not trade miracles for grievances.
I want only what belongs to me.
God has established miracles as my right.” W(154)
W 78 L 1. Perhaps it is not yet quite clear to you that each decision that you make is one between a grievance and a miracle. Each grievance stands like a dark shield of hate before the miracle it would conceal. And as you raise it up before your eyes, you will not see the miracle beyond. Yet all the while it waits for you in light, but you behold your grievances instead.
W 78 L 2. Today we go beyond the grievances, to look upon the miracle instead. We will reverse the way you see by not allowing sight to stop before it sees. We will not wait before the shield of hate, but lay it down and gently lift our eyes in silence, to behold the Son of God.
W 78 L 3. He waits for you behind your grievances, and as you lay them down he will appear in shining light where each one stood before. For every grievance is a block to sight, and as it lifts, you see the Son of God where he has always been. He stands in light, but you were in the dark. Each grievance made the darkness deeper, and you could not see. Today we will attempt to see God's Son. We will not let ourselves be blind to him; we will not look upon our grievances. So is the seeing of the world reversed, as we look out toward truth, away from fear.
W 78 L 4. We will select one person you have used as target for your grievances, and lay the grievances aside, and look at him. Someone, perhaps, you fear and even hate; someone you think you love who angers you; someone you call a friend, but whom you see as difficult at times, or hard to please; demanding, irritating, or untrue to the ideal he should accept as his according to the role you set for him.
W 78 L 5. You know the one to choose; his name has crossed your mind already. He will be the one of whom we ask God's Son be shown to us. Through seeing him behind the grievances that we have held against him, you will learn W(155) that what lay hidden while you saw him not is there in everyone, and can be seen. He who was enemy is more than friend when he is freed to take the holy role the Holy Spirit has assigned to him. Let him be Savior unto you today. Such is his role in God your Father's plan.
W 78 L 6. Our longer practice periods today will see him in this role. We will attempt to hold him in our mind, first as you now consider him. We will review his faults, the difficulties you have had with him, the pain he caused you, his neglect, and all the little and the larger hurts he gave. We will regard his body with its flaws and better points as well, as we will think of his mistakes and even of his “sins.”
W 78 L 7. Then let us ask of Him who knows this Son of God in his reality and truth, that we may look on him a different way, and see our Savior shining in the light of true forgiveness, given unto us. We ask Him in the Holy Name of God and of His Son, as holy as Himself:
“Let me behold my Savior in this one
You have appointed as the One for me
To ask to lead me to the holy light
In which he stands, that I may join with him.”
The body's eyes are closed, and as you think of him who grieved you, let your mind be shown the light in him beyond your grievances.
W 78 L 8. What you have asked for cannot be denied. Your Savior has been waiting long for this. He would be free, and make his freedom yours. The Holy Spirit leans from him to you, seeing no separation in God's Son. And what you see through Him will free you both. Be very quiet now, and look upon your shining Savior. No dark grievances obscure the sight of him. You have allowed the Holy Spirit to express through him the role God gave Him, that you might be saved.
W 78 L 9. God thanks you for these quiet times today, in which you laid your images aside, W(156) and looked upon the miracle of love the Holy Spirit showed you in their place. The world and Heaven join in thanking you, for not one Thought of God but must rejoice as you are saved, and all the world with you.
W 78 L 10. We will remember this throughout the day, and take the role assigned to us as part of God's salvation plan, and not our own. Temptation falls away when we allow each one we meet to save us, and refuse to hide his light behind our grievances. To everyone you meet, and to the ones you think of, or remember from the past, allow the role of Savior to be given, that you may share it with them. For you both, and all the sightless ones as well, we pray:
“Let miracles replace all grievances.” W(157)
W 79 L 1. A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is really solved already, you will still have the problem because you cannot recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. But