A Course in Miracles Lesson Insights

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Listen to Lesson 16 Insights

ACIM Workbook Lesson 16 Insights

“I have no neutral thoughts.”

There is a tendency to believe that if something is meaningless, it has no effect. This lesson is making it clear that this is not true. Being meaningless does not mean being ineffectual. To the extent that the thoughts I hold in my mind are meaningless, I am unaware of what has meaning. Meaningless thoughts are a barrier to recognition of meaning. Likewise, separation is a barrier to Love.

Since all real meaning is Love or Oneness, separation from Love is separation from meaning, and therefore meaningless. Though separation is meaningless, it is clearly not ineffectual. The whole world we see is the effect of belief in separation. The pain and loss, devastation and death we see in this world is the effect of believing in separation, even though separation is not real and is therefore meaningless.

This lesson is making an important point about the power of our thoughts. Our thoughts reflect our beliefs. If we believe in the meaningless, our thoughts will show us a meaningless world. This meaningless world stands as a barrier to the recognition of reality, of Love. This is why it is important that we learn to recognize the difference between what is meaningful and what is meaningless, what is real and what is illusion, what is true and what is false.

We cannot do this alone. We need help from outside of the meaningless thought system of illusion with which we have identified. That Help is in our minds — our inner Guide and Teacher, the Holy Spirit. A Course in Miracles could be called an expression of the Holy Spirit. It is a tool available to us that we can use to learn to distinguish between the real and the unreal, the meaningful and the meaningless. In this lesson it acknowledges that we do not recognize the difference as yet. We need continued instruction.

The Course does not expect us to learn it in a flash. It is important that we not place this expectation on ourselves. That is one more ego play to foster guilt and discouragement and thus keep its foothold in our mind. Persistent practice will bring great rewards of peace and lasting happiness. It will lead us back to the Love that we search for and that we are.

Jesus is being very helpful to me with today’s lesson. I really need to practice remembering that everything I see is the result of my thoughts, with no exceptions. I also need to hold the awareness that every thought I have is either true or false. My thoughts either extend the truth or multiply illusions. I have no neutral thoughts.

Because I am not always aware of my thoughts, it also helps me to pay attention to how I am feeling. If I am feeling uneasy, there is a thought that I am holding on to that is creating my experience of uneasiness. Every thought has an effect; every thought brings me peace or war, love or fear.

This is a very practical and useful lesson. If I am consistent in remembering that I have no neutral thoughts as I go through my day, it will help me see the destructive thoughts that are still residing in my mind. When I see them, I can then take them to my true Self and ask for a corrected perception. I feel that this practice is the key to my awakening.

This work of recognizing the thoughts that are going on in my mind is how I can let go of habitual thought patterns from the past. It is how I can implement positive change in my life experience. Everything I see is the result of my thoughts. Wow. This means I am not a victim of circumstances outside me. This means I want to pay close attention to what I am thinking. Every thought I hold is creating my experience. I do not want to dismiss fear thoughts as unimportant. I see that it is very important that I recognize that they are there in my mind. This is the first step towards recognizing that they are unreal. Once I see that they are there, I can turn them over to my inner Teacher, because I do not want to continue multiplying illusions. I do not want to contribute to the experience of more war or more fear. I want to extend peace and the Love of God. I want to experience the peace and Love of God. Today’s practice helps this occur.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles

Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:

T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.

W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.

M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.

C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6

The above numbering system of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

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