Letting Related Thoughts Come

Beginning in Lessons 38 and 42, and extending into the 70’s, the Workbook trains us in the important practice of “letting related thoughts come,” in which we come up with our own thoughts that are related to the idea for the day. The purpose of this is to make the idea more personal to us (W-43.6:1) and to help us recognize the truth in it (W-50.4:2, 64.4:4).  What follows are the basic steps in this practice.

1. REPEAT THE IDEA FOR THE DAY (ideally with eyes closed)

You will probably find it easier to let related thoughts come to you in the minute or two you should devote to considering this if you can close your eyes. (W-63.4:1)

2. LET THOUGHTS RELATED TO THE IDEA COME TO MIND

After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts that occur to you in relation to today’s idea. (W-42.4:3)

Let whatever relevant thoughts that may occur to you add to the idea in your own personal way. (T-43.6:1)

a. More or less clearly related to the idea for the day

Introduce whatever variations appeal to you, but keep the exercises focused on the theme “There is nothing my holiness cannot do.” (W-38.5:4)

Whatever thought that is clearly related to the idea itself is suitable. (W-42.5:1)

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-43.6:2-3)

The form of these applications may vary considerably, but the central idea should not be lost sight of. (W-46.6:1)

b. Do not strain, let them come

Let them come without censoring unless you realize that your mind is merely wandering….Remember, though, that active searching for relevant thoughts 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 merely to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes first open, then closed, then open, and so on, than it is to strain to find suitable thoughts. (W-42.5:3, 6:1-3)

c. They are an expression of a wisdom deep in your mind

You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your own thoughts contain. (W-42.5:2)

Let related thoughts come freely, for your heart will recognize these words, and in your mind is the awareness that they are true. (W-62.6:1)

Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you….The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance. Give it direction at the start, and then lean back in quiet faith, and let it use the ideas you have given it as they were given you. (Re.3.In.6:1-2, 6:5-6)

3. IF YOUR MIND WANDERS, OR YOU DRAW A BLANK, REPEAT THE IDEA AND TRY AGAIN.

Let them come without censoring unless you realize that your mind is merely wandering, and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts 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 it once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind. (W.42.5:3-5)

If you should find your mind wandering, if you begin to be aware of thoughts which are clearly out of accord with the idea for today, 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-43.7)

Should your attention wander, repeat the idea and add:
I would remember this because I want to be happy. (W-62.6:2-3)

EXAMPLES

God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

Vision must be possible. God gives truly.
God’s gifts to me must be mine because He gave them to me.
  (W-42.4:5-7)

God is the Love in which I forgive.

God is the love with which I love myself.
God is the love in which I am blessed.
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.
(W-46.5:5-6, 6:3-6)

God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

I see through the eyes of forgiveness,
I see the world as blessed,
I see my own thoughts, which are like God’s,
The world can show me myself.
(W-43.6:2)

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