Course in Miracles
4 - These
thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I
see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this
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
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.
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 represents 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.
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.
about _____ does not mean anything. It is like the things I see
in this room [or wherever you are].
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.