Why does Lesson 17 say “I see no neutral things” when Lesson 294 says “My body is a wholly neutral thing”?

Q. How do you explain the difference between Lesson 17, “I see no neutral things,” and Lesson 294, “My body is a wholly neutral thing”?

A. There would be a real contradiction if Lesson 17 was “There are no neutral things.” Rather, that lesson is all about how we see things; how our thoughts about things determine our perception of them: “You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts” (W-pI.17.1:2). The previous lesson (“I have no neutral thoughts”) explained the concept of non-neutral thoughts: “Every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear” (W-pI.16.3:1).

In other words, onto all the forms that we see, we are placing a non-neutral meaning, a meaning that will lead to either a positive or negative outcome. However, if we could strip away those meanings and see those forms as they are, we would see exactly what Lesson 294 says. We would see that our body and every body, and indeed every physical object and process,┬áis actually “wholly neutral.” It is something that “cannot be sinful nor sinless; neither good nor bad” (W-pII.294.2:1).

So how should we see all those forms? What meaning can we place on them that leads to a positive outcome? As the rest of the Course makes clear, we should be seeing two things. First, that they have no meaning in themselves, and therefore can have no real effect on us. We are not at their mercy. Second, that they can be used for the sake of salvation, which means used to communicate love to our brothers. What Lesson 294, then, has us say about our own body applies to everything we see—to our cars and computers and houses and money:

Let me not see it more than this today; of service for a while and fit to serve, to keep its usefulness while it can serve, and then to be replaced for greater good. (W-pII.294.1:10)

Browse the FAQ archive. FAQ Topic: . FAQ Tags: , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.