Workbook Lesson 16, I have no neutral thoughts
Here are some definitions to consider while contemplating NTI Ephesians, especially chapters 3 & 4:
mind – a conscious substratum or factor in the universe; a complex of elements that feels, perceives, thinks, wills and especially reasons. (Note: A “complex” is a whole made up of complicated or interrelated parts. One definition of “reasons” is the sum of intellectual powers.)
spirit – an activating or essential principle that influences
Christ = consciousness. consciousness – the totality of conscious states (Note: A “state” is a mode or condition of being. In the Alan Watts audio, Alan refers to everything as consciousness, including rocks.)
This week’s reading and audio are worthy of deep contemplation, and they are highly related to today’s workbook lesson. Today’s workbook lesson says, “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.”
NTI Ephesians likens the totality of what we are to a body. So does Alan Watts. Alan refers to each person as being like a nerve ending in the body, which feeds back into the body’s central mechanism.
According to NTI Ephesians, this body is made up of mind and spirit, which really cannot be separated but are spoken of separately in order to help us gain understanding. The “mind” is referred to as “the great receiver.” The “spirit” is the great deliver. We are also told that each individual is a microcosm of this same mode of functioning.
Since we perceive ourselves as individuals, it is probably easier to look at this from the individual perspective first.
“Mind is the great receiver.” On an individual basis, this means that the thoughts that come into your mind are not really thought by you. They are received from the mind (the central system) of the totality. This is why yesterday’s workbook lesson said “you think you think.” You do not think thoughts. You receive thoughts, and then you either cast attention on them or you don’t.
When you receive a thought, the first decision that is made is whether this thought is worth attention or not. If it is decided that the thought is worth attention, attention is given. Attention is spirit, an activating agent. Once you cast attention onto a thought that has been received by mind, that thought is re-activated and sent back into the central system where it can be delivered as an influencing agent throughout consciousness. (Note: NTI calls the totality “Christ”, but “consciousness” is the appropriate non-religious term.)
So if we put this all together, here is an example of how this ‘loop’ works.
I receive a thought of attack in my mind. Maybe it shows up as a thought about the president or a thought about his protestors. I decide that thought is worthy of my attention and I cast attention on that thought. By casting attention on the thought, I reactivate the spirit of the thought, which is attack. This sends the spirit of attack back into the central system and it is redistributed upon the totality. It shows up in many ways: It shows up in the minds of others as attack thoughts, who most often will strengthen it by casting attention upon it; it shows up as violence and war on the world scene; it shows up as cancer in bodies; it shows up as one animal killing another for survival; it shows up as weeds taking over a landscape killing all of the other plants; it shows up as a violent storm, etc.
Or as another example, I receive a right-minded thought in my mind, like the thought to rest, accept and trust. This time, I decide this thought is worthy of my attention, and I cast attention deeply and consciously upon it. This idea of resting from false thoughts is blessed with the activating agent of my spirit and sent back to the central system. It is redistributed upon the totality and shows up in a variety of ways. Someone is given a spiritual book by a friend, and it ignites a new curiosity. Another who has been struggling in the spiritual path intellectually has his/her first genuine realization from within, and the spark of truth-seeking is reignited with new vigor; another person awakens; another begins teaching from the flow of spontaneous wisdom; a female lion feels compassion for an injured calf and protects it so it can heal in peace; a forest that was burnt down begins to regrow; a woman’s cancer spontaneously heals; a scientist suddenly realizes a cure for a disease that has plagued humans for generations; a polluted atmosphere begins to spontaneously regenerate itself, a new beautiful song comes through a young songwriter, etc.
NTI says there is a shift occurring. It is a shift from wanting something different than truth to wanting to know our truth. It also says, “Determine where within the the shift you choose to be And join the operation of the body there.”
There are no neutral thoughts. How will you cast attention?
Workbook Lesson 17, I see no neutral things
If my memory serves me correctly, the first time I did this workbook lesson I didn’t fully believe it. For example, I thought I saw a neutral wall or a neutral TV or a neutral trashcan. That was only because my judgments were much more repressed then. This time, as I looked about me, it was as if I could remember (not specifically, but generally) all of my judgments about walls and TVs and trashcans, etc.
For example, I remember thinking that one friend should not paint her walls, and in that thought there was a judgment against her. There was a judgment that she was wrong for wanting her walls to be different. I thought she should be happy with ‘what is’ instead of needing to change it.
I’ve also thought that people shouldn’t want big TVs, and I have thought that some TVs are too small. (The mind is fickle.)
Workbook Lesson 17 reminded me of the reading from NTI Luke 12, which said:
“Whenever you look at anything with the body’s eyes, there are thoughts in your mind about that thing. If you look at a chair, for example, you may think it is pretty, worn out, available, desired, not desired, clean, dirty, etc. etc. The thoughts that come into your mind seem automatic, without any awareness or evaluation on your part. You may make judgments about the chair based on your thoughts, and you may choose to sit there or not sit there based on your judgment. But you never look at, evaluate or question the thought you hold about the chair, and that is only a chair.
“The process that you call thinking, of which you are mostly unaware, goes on within your mind regarding everything in your world. You make unevaluated judgments about the work you do, the relationships you have, the pastimes you choose and the person you think of as yourself. These unevaluated judgments define everything and everyone within your world. And they are allowed within your mind without your awareness, your questioning or your evaluation.”
In NTI Romans 2, we learned that judgment creates experience and experience covers/hides truth. In Ephesians we learned that the experience we create is shared with the entire world, which keeps passing the experience around through the process of unevaluated believing (casting attention). Somewhere, sometime, someone needs to begin evaluating the thoughts that are received and deciding if attention should be cast there or not. And that someone is me. That time is now. It happens here.
I am grateful that my unevaluated judgments are coming out of repression. If I can see them, I can consciously evaluate them. If I do not see them, the loop of unconscious sharing continues.
Workbook Lesson 20, I am determined to see
Yesterday I got an email from a man who had heard numbers indicating how rare awakening is. His question was, “Do I have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting free?” Here was my answer:
In the Gentle Healing Group, I am leading people to Inner Peace, Consistent Joy and Love for All. I am doing that because I know from my own experience that it IS absolutely possible for any human who wants that, for anyone who wants to come to that point of realization.
The key in the paragraph above is the wanting.
Although most people don’t realize it, we always get what we want. It’s just that humans do not understand what ‘wanting’ looks like. ‘Wanting’ and ‘casting attention’ are the same thing.
Think of your mind as a TV with many, many channels, and you get to pick the channel you want to watch. What programs do you watch in the mind all day?
As NTI Ephesians has taught, when we cast our attention on a thought that has been received, it is activated by spirit, sent out into the oneness for manifestation, and it comes back too. We always receive what we cast attention upon. Casting attention is wanting, and we always get what we want.
So with today’s workbook lesson, we are taking beginning steps toward casting our attention differently. Today we practice once every half-hour casting our attention on the idea, “I am determined to see.” When our attention is on this thought with our whole heart, whole mind and whole soul … when this is the only channel we watch… we will see. We have to, because getting what we want is the nature of what we are. We always get what we want; we are already free.
I’d like to comment on something from the Alan Watts audio, “The Spiritual Journey as the Self.” In the audio, Alan Watts points out that dreaming and awakeness are simultaneous. The ego-centric consciousness that experiences the dream is at the surface of consciousness. It is a form of consciousness, but not the totality of consciousness. At the same time that this form of consciousness experiences the dream, awake-consciousness exists as itself without a dream.
This is why Jesus said, “The kingdom of Heaven is within.” The ego-centric consciousness is at the surface of consciousness, experiencing the dream, like the waves of the ocean are at the surface of the ocean experiencing the weather, but when you go within and get to the bottom of the limited ego-centric consciousness, you reach its edge. This would be like diving deep into the ocean and getting to the point where the day’s weather has no more effect; you can no longer tell if it is a sunny day or stormy day, because the sea at this level is unaffected.
When you go beyond the edge of ego-centric consciousness, you cross a threshold. That is figuratively the ego’s death. Beyond that threshold, you find present awakeness. This awakeness is not found by moving forward in time to the day when you are finally awake, but by going deeper into the present where awakeness already is.