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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

IV. The Holy Spirit’s Plan of Forgiveness 1-6

  1. Atonement is for all, because it is the way to undo the belief that anything is for you alone. To forgive is to overlook.  Look, then, beyond error and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds. Accept as true only what your brother is if you would know yourself. Perceive what he is not, and you cannot know what you are, because you see him falsely. Remember always that your Identity is shared, and that Its sharing is Its reality.
  2. You have a part to play in the Atonement, but the plan of the Atonement is beyond you. You do not understand how to overlook errors, or you would not make them. It would merely be further error to believe either that you do not make them, or that you can correct them without a Guide to correction. And if you do not follow this Guide, your errors will not be corrected. The plan is not yours because of your limited ideas about what you are. This sense of limitation is where all errors arise. The way to undo them, therefore, is not of you, but for you.
  3. The Atonement is a lesson in sharing, which is given you because you have forgotten how to do it. The Holy Spirit merely reminds you of the natural use of your abilities. By reinterpreting the ability to attack into the ability to share, He translates what you have made into what God created. If you would accomplish this through Him you cannot look on your abilities through the eyes of the ego, or you will judge them as it does. All their harmfulness lies in the ego’s judgment. All their helpfulness lies in the judgment of the Holy Spirit.
  4. The ego, too, has a plan of forgiveness because you are asking for one, though not of the right teacher. The ego’s plan, of course, makes no sense and will not work.  By following its plan, you will merely place yourself in an impossible situation, to which the ego always leads you. The ego’s plan is to have you see error clearly first, and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real?  By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it. This is where the ego is forced to appeal to “mysteries,” insisting that you must accept the meaningless to save yourself. Many have tried to do this in my name, forgetting that my words make perfect sense because they come from God. They are as sensible now as they ever were because they speak of ideas that are eternal.
  5. Forgiveness that is learned of me does not use fear to undo fear. Nor does it make real the unreal and then destroy it. Forgiveness through the Holy Spirit lies simply in looking beyond error from the beginning, and thus keeping it unreal for you. Do not let any belief in its realness enter your mind, or you will also believe that you must undo what you have made in order to be forgiven. What has no effect does not exist, and to the Holy Spirit the effects of error are nonexistent. By steadily and consistently canceling out all its effects, everywhere and in all respects, He teaches that the ego does not exist and proves it.
  6. Follow the Holy Spirit’s teaching in forgiveness, then, because forgiveness is His function, and He knows how to fulfill it perfectly. That is what I meant when I said that miracles are natural, and when they do not occur something has gone wrong. Miracles are merely the sign of your willingness to follow the Holy Spirit’s plan of salvation, recognizing that you do not understand what it is. His work is not your function, and unless you accept this you cannot learn what your function is.[1]

The Holy Spirit’s plan of forgiveness is the only one that works.  We do not know how to forgive.  We are only kidding ourselves if we think we can forgive wrongdoing in the flesh.  For what we do to each other in the flesh is imprinted upon our minds and we can go for lifetimes holding grudges and bearing ill will toward each other. 

When Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher we learn the difference between flesh and Spirit.  The flesh has one way of handling things and the Spirit has another.  In the flesh, the ego’s way to practice forgiveness is to make what you did to me very real to me.  I will ruminate upon your rude treatment of me.  I will tell other people about it. I will write about it in my diary.  I will think about it when I am washing the dishes and hanging the clothes.  I will say, “Oh help me to forgive all the ways in which that awful JoJo did me wrong, Lord.”  But as long as what you did to me is real to me, all my prayers, hurt feelings, and plans to get even or teach you a lesson will not take the hurt away.  I am stuck with it.  The more I think about it the bigger it looms in my mind and no matter how I may smile at you, try my best to get over it, I will have a hard spot in my heart toward you.

The Holy Spirit’s plan of forgiveness is to make it apparent to me that what you did to me is simply not real.  Holy Spirit is not of the ego but of God.  To Holy Spirit anything that is not of God is not true, real, or meaningful.  What you did to me in the flesh has no meaning to Holy Spirit.  When I ask Holy Spirit for forgiveness, Holy Spirit forgives for me.  My ego is no longer in charge of forgiving you, Holy Spirit is.  Holy Spirit sets me free of the burden of forgiving you.  Because I am no longer caught up in grievances and grudges and ill-will, I am free to be what God created me to be.  I can love you.  I can enjoy you.  I can appreciate you.  Instead of defining you by a mistake, and defining myself by my judgment of you, we recognize each other as brothers.  God’s love and peace and joy flow through me to you and from you to me. 

In today’s devotional practice, meditate upon the last few sentences in paragraph five:  What has no effect does not exist, and to the Holy Spirit the effects of error are nonexistent. By steadily and consistently canceling out all its effects, everywhere and in all respects, He teaches that the ego does not exist and proves it.  Let these sentences rest upon your mind and ask Holy Spirit to illuminate this truth to you.  When we ask Holy Spirit to forgive those who have harmed and wronged us, we are asking for their wrongdoing to be canceled out.  We are asking that they be saved.  We are not asking that they be punished, that they go to hell, that they are shamed and humiliated for what they did to us.  We are asking for grace for them and for us. 

When we ask Holy Spirit for grace to be given to our enemies, we learn that we have no enemies.  The very fact that we want to extend to them the grace given to us, indicates that we recognize their worth.  It is in recognizing their worth, that we are saved.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9: The acceptance of the atonement. IV The holy spirit’s plan of forgiveness 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A Course in Miracles Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

III.  The Correction of Error

  1. The alertness of the ego to the errors of other egos is not the kind of vigilance the Holy Spirit would have you maintain. Egos are critical in terms of the kind of sense they stand for. They understand this kind of sense because it is sensible to them. To the Holy Spirit it makes no sense at all.
  2. To the ego it is kind and right and good to point out errors and correct them. This makes perfect sense to the ego, which is unaware of what errors are and what correction is. Errors are of the ego, and correction of errors lies in the relinquishment of the ego. When you correct a brother, you’re telling him that he is wrong. He may be making no sense at the time, and it is certain that, if he is speaking from the ego, he will not be making sense. But your task is still to tell him he is right. You do not tell him this verbally if he is speaking foolishly. He needs correction at another level because his error is at another level. He is still right because he is a Son of God. His ego is always wrong, no matter what it says or does.
  3. If you point out the errors of your brother’s ego you must be seeing through yours, because the Holy Spirit does not perceive his errors. This must be true since there is no communication between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego makes no sense, and the Holy Spirit does not attempt to understand anything that arises from it.  Since He does not understand it, He does not judge it, knowing that nothing the ego makes means anything.
  4. When you react at all to errors, you are not listening to the Holy Spirit. He has merely disregarded them, and if you attend to them you are not hearing Him. If you do not hear Him, you are listening to your ego and making as little sense as a brother whose errors you perceive. This cannot be correction. Yet it is more than merely a lack of correction for him. It is the giving up of correction in yourself.
  5. When a brother behaves insanely, you can heal him only by perceiving the sanity in him. If you perceive his errors and accept them, you are accepting yours. If you want to give yours over to the Holy Spirit, you must do this with his. Unless this becomes the one way in which you handle all errors, you cannot understand how all errors are undone. How is this different from telling you that what you teach you learn? Your brother is as right as you are, and if you think he is wrong you are condemning yourself.
  6. You cannot correct yourself. Is it possible, then, for you to correct another?  Yet you can see him truly because it is possible for you to see yourself truly. It is not up to you to change your brother, but merely to accept him as he is. His errors do not come from the truth that is in him, and only this truth is yours. His errors cannot change this and can have no effect at all on the truth in you. To perceive errors in anyone, and to react to them as if they were real, is to make them real to you. You will not escape paying the price for this, not because you were being punished for it, but because you are following the wrong guide and will therefore lose your way.
  7. Your brother’s errors are not of him, anymore than yours are of you. Accept his errors as real, and you have attacked yourself. If you would find your way and keep it, see only truth beside you for you walk together. The Holy Spirit in you forgives all things in you and in your brother. His errors are forgiven with yours. Atonement is no more separate than love. Atonement cannot be separate because it comes from love. Any attempt you make to correct a brother means that you believe correction by you is possible, and this can only be the arrogance of the ego. Correction is of God, who does not know of arrogance.
  8. The Holy Spirit forgives everything because God created everything. Do not undertake His function, or you will forget yours. Accept only the function of healing in time because that is what time is for. God gave you the function to create in eternity. You do not need to learn that, but you do need to learn to want it. For that all learning was made. This is the Holy Spirit’s use of an ability that you do not need, but that you made. Give it to him! You do not understand how to use it. He will teach you how to see yourself without condemnation, by learning how to look on everything without it. Condemnation will then not be real to you, and all your errors will be forgiven.[1]

Jesus tells us in today’s text reading that this world is not the place we think it is.  The more we learn about it the more real we make it to ourselves.  The more real we make it to ourselves, the more we are inclined to judge it, to judge our brothers, to think we know best, to find ways to belittle others in order for us to think better of ourselves.  This is the way the ego entraps us in the little, small-minded, low-minded realm of flesh. This is not the path to salvation which is freedom from the ego and return to God and His Kingdom.

Our function in this world is to heal.  To heal means to remember what we really are and what we were created to be as God’s Son.  We were created to be extensions of God, to extend His Kingdom, to create more love, peace, and joy and expand the attributes of God, the Will of God, throughout eternity. Because this is our natural, God-given function, it fills us with joy, purpose, and meaning.  To not do God’s Will is to deny our function. 

We deny our function as God’s Will when we condemn our brothers.  When we think it is our job to correct them, to tell them where they went wrong, to point out their fatal flaws, we are offering the ego’s kind of “help.”  It is the function of Holy Spirit to correct us.  We are called to recognize the Son of God in our brothers regardless of what the ego has wrought in their lives.  We are not to draw attention to what is wrong about them, but to focus on their identity as God’s Son. 

Jesus promises us that when we do this, we are defeating the ego simply by not giving it any credibility.  When we stop judging our brothers, we make room in our minds and hearts to see them as we see ourselves – as worthy Sons of God, as God’s treasures, as God’s Will. 

Accepting the Atonement means that we recognize our function in the world, in time, as one of healing, of returning, learning the value of what we threw away when we separated our awareness from God and His Kingdom.  We are not here to judge the world or get involved in it – we are here to recognize that this is not God’s Kingdom, and we want to go home – together with the complete Sonship of God. 

We are not here to get caught up in any of the blather that substitutes for the real communication of Holy Spirit.  We are not here to go around telling other people how awesome our religion is compared to theirs.  We are here to learn to want to be what we really are as God’s Son.  We are here to grow up to become Him Who has called us because He created us. 

In the last paragraph of today’s reading, Jesus urges us to recognize that we do not know how to correct other people nor ourselves.  We are corrected by Holy Spirit and we are to give all of our learning over to His teaching.  He will teach us everything we need to know when we need to know it.  He will teach us how to see ourselves and each other with no condemnation.  He will teach us that when we no longer believe in sin, in condemnation, in punishment, and dread – it will be washed away from our consciousness and we will have peace.

Having peace is a condition of God’s Kingdom.  We cannot have peace without first removing all that opposes peace.  Today ask Holy Spirit to be your Teacher.  Linger with this text and ask Holy Spirit to reveal its meaning to you in a way that you can apply to your own circumstances and practice in your daily life. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. III The correction of error. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

II. The Answer to Prayer 7-12

7. I love you for the truth in you, as God does. Your deceptions may deceive you, but they cannot deceive me. Knowing what you are, I cannot doubt you. I hear only the Holy Spirit in you, who speaks to me through you. If you would hear me, hear my brothers in whom God’s Voice speaks. The answer to all prayers lies in them.  You will be answered as you hear the answer in everyone. Do not listen to anything else or you will not hear truly.

8. Believe in your brothers because I believe in you, and you will learn that my belief in you is justified. Believe in me by believing in them, for the sake of what God gave them.  They will answer you if you learn to ask only truth of them. Do not ask for blessings without blessing them, for only in this way can you learn how blessed you are. By following this way, you are seeking the truth in you. This is not going beyond yourself but towards yourself. Hear only God’s Answer in His Sons, and you are answered.

9. To disbelieve is to side against, or to attack. To believe is to accept, and to side with.  To believe is not to be credulous, but to accept and appreciate. What you do not believe you do not appreciate, and you cannot be grateful for what you do not value. There is a price you will pay for judgment because judgment is the setting of a price. And as you set it you will pay it.

10. If paying is equated with getting, you will set the price low but demand a high return. You will have forgotten however that to price is to value, so that your return is in proportion to your judgment of worth. If paying is associated with giving it cannot be perceived as loss, and the reciprocal relationship of getting and receiving will be recognized. The price will then be set high, because of the value of the return. The price for getting is to lose sight of value, making it inevitable that you will not value what you receive.  Valuing it little, you will not appreciate it and you will not want it.

11. Never forget, then, that you set the value on what you receive, and price it by what you give. To believe that it is possible to get much for little is to believe that you can bargain with God. God’s laws are always fair and perfectly consistent. By giving you receive. But to receive is to accept, not to get. It is impossible not to have, but it is possible not to know you have. The recognition of having is the willingness for giving, and only by this willingness can you recognize what you have. What you give is there for the value you put on what you have, being the exact measure of the value you put on it. And this, in turn, is the measure of how much you want it.

12. You can ask the Holy Spirit, then, only by giving to Him, and you can give to Him only where you recognize Him. If you recognize Him in everyone, consider how much you will be asking of Him, and how much you will receive. He will deny you nothing because you have denied Him nothing, and so you can share everything. This is the way, and the only way to have His answer, because His answer is all you can ask for and want. Say, then, to everyone:

Because I will to know myself, I see you as God’s Son and my brother.[1]

Jesus loves us for the truth in us.  We are created by God and we have truth established within us.  Lies and illusions about what we are may mess up our sense of identity but lies and deception do not hide the truth about us from Christ.  That is why He does not doubt us because He relates only to the truth in us, to the spirit in us, to that which is holy in us.  Just as He extends His grace to us are we required to extend this grace to our brothers.  We will find the answer to all of our prayers in one another.  Only when we accept what others are communicating to us from Holy Spirit within, can our prayers be answered.  Close ourselves off from our brothers, refuse to listen to them, refuse them the grace that God extends to us through Christ, we will not hear truly.

It is tempting in our walks with God to rely solely on our own guidance.  It is easy to mistake the ego for the Voice for God.  For years I let the ego deceive me thinking that it was protecting me from harm, from being taken advantage of, from making witless decisions about my life.  When people would tell me things, I would not trust them, nor would I make any effort to see beyond my tainted perceptions of what they were saying and hear the truth.  In other words I lost about all faith in people and believed that my hope was not in people but in God.

But Jesus tells us to believe in our brothers because He believes in us.  Just as Jesus saw past all my own self-deceptions, my ridiculous ego, and all my mistakes and wrong decisions – He asks me to extend His grace to you and to all humanity.  To find joy, love, and peace with you.  If I ask only truth from you, that is what you will give me. 

I have had some problems with this.  So many times people simply refuse to tell you the truth.  They will either refuse to acknowledge your worth out of a spirit of enmity and jealousy, or they will refuse to address your areas of improvement.  In other words most people refuse to use their words to tell us what we need to know about ourselves.  However, Jesus tells us that when we learn to ask only truth of others, they will give it to us.  We are again being asked to take full responsibility for our journey to God.  We cannot project this failure to take responsibility upon others by saying, “Well, our brothers didn’t help us.  They didn’t give us good advice, they misled us, they purposefully puffed us up on our own pride and took great pleasure in watching us fall.”  When we learn to give only blessings to our brothers, to communicate only truth to them and ask for truth in return, we are practicing the way of truth, we are learning how to handle the truth, we are not going beyond ourselves by seeking it outward, but rather we are taking the perceptual world and translating its lies and delusions into truth.  We are hearing God’s Answer in His Sons, Jesus says. 

 In paragraph nine, Jesus seems to be telling us to keep open to what we can glean from each other and to accept the truth that is in each one of us.  We are to appreciate our brothers for what they are, we are to be grateful for them.  We can get our answers to prayer through them, whether we agree with them or not.  People have so much to teach us through both positive and negative example. 

If we are too busy judging others and setting a price for truth, for salvation, for the path that leads to God, we are the ones who will have to pay the price.  Thinking of another as having less worth than I do because they do not attend church services, belong to a different denomination, or read a different religious text is setting a price. It is saying that your salvation must look like and be like mine or it isn’t real or deep or has as much meaning.

Only when we adopt the Kingdom principle of giving rather than paying will we recognize the reciprocal relationship of getting and receiving.  We are blessed to give blessings; Jesus extends His Grace to us in the form of trust, and we extend this to our brothers.  We receive to give salvation, not pay for our salvation or put any stipulation or charge upon our brothers.  In other words when I see Jesus in my brothers, as I see the answer to all my prayers in them, the grace I extend to them will not be a business transaction, it will be an extension of what has been given me.  Because I understand the reciprocal relationship of getting and receiving, I would keep giving because I see how valuable it is to me unless I hoard it for only a few and refuse to extend salvation to all.

In paragraph eleven, Jesus tells us that we can never bargain with God. The ego would have us believe that we can get and keep it for ourselves or make others pay for what was given to us freely.  To believe that we can receive God’s Grace and then withhold it from others in our minds, or make stipulations, or keep it only for ourselves and people who believe like we do is not understanding the way things work in God’s Kingdom. 

If my prayer is to lift you out of a state of anxiety and depression, I will extend to you all the love, peace, and joy that is possible because love, peace, and joy mean so much to me and I so appreciate living in the state of abundance that these attributes give me.  I will not judge you for being so sad, so condemning, or for allowing your mind to ruminate upon negativity and ill will.  I will not lecture you on how much you have to be thankful for.  I will not join with you in your complaints about others or the sad state of the world.  Nor will I grumble about you to others or condemn you for needing some extra TLC. I will simply hear the truth behind what you are telling me.  I will give you love, peace, and joy.  I will see your state of anxiety and depression as a call to God no matter how you deny Him, for I know God as Love, and all sadness and depression come from its being hidden from our awareness. 

When I think of you, I will think of you with love, joy, and peace.  When I mention your name, I will mention it with joy and with devotion.  When I do anything for you, it will be my gift to you for love and peace and joy are God’s gifts to me and the more I give to you the more I accept in return.  You may not fully appreciate my love and peace and joy, but love and peace and joy are creations of God.   When I extend God’s gifts to you, they keep extending in every direction with or without your help. 

We make our requests known to Holy Spirit by giving to Him and we give to Him where we recognize Him.  If we make a point to recognize Him in everyone, we are asking of Him and receiving from Him.  When we do not deny Holy Spirit, He will not deny us – we will share in everything.  This is the only way to have His answer to our prayers because His answer is all we can ever ask for and all we can ever want. 

Whenever anyone comes to mind, whenever we encounter anyone anywhere, quietly and with no great show, join with Holy Spirit in their minds and say:  Because I will to know myself, I see you as God’s Son and my brother. 

This is the answer to all our prayers for love, for joy, for peace.  This is the answer to all our prayers for health, healing, and wholeness.  When we recognize our brothers’ truth, we recognize our own. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. II The answer to prayer. 7-12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

II. The Answer to Prayer 1-6

  1. Everyone whoever tried to use prayer to ask for something has experienced what appears to be failure. This is not only true in connection with specific things that might be harmful, but also in connection with requests that are strictly in line with this course. The latter in particular might be incorrectly interpreted as proof that the course does not mean what it says. You must remember, however, that the course states, and repeatedly, that its purpose is the escape from fear.
  2. Let us suppose, then, that what you ask of the Holy Spirit is what you really want, but you are still afraid of it. Should this be the case, your attainment of it would no longer be what you want. This is why certain specific forms of healing are not achieved, even when the state of healing is. An individual may ask for physical healing because he is fearful of bodily harm. At the same time, if he were healed physically, the threat to his thought system might be considerably more fearful to him than its physical expression. In this case he is not really asking for release from fear, but for the removal of a symptom that he himself selected. This request is, therefore, not for healing at all.
  3. The Bible emphasizes that all prayer is answered, and this is indeed true. The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked anything will ensure a response. Yet it is equally certain that no response given by Him be one that would increase fear. It is possible that His answer will not be heard. It is impossible, however, that it will be lost. There are many answers you have already received but have not yet heard. I assure you that they are waiting for you.
  4. If you would know your prayers are answered, never doubt a Son of God. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in yourself. If you would know God and His answer, believe in me whose faith in you cannot be shaken. Can you ask of the Holy Spirit truly, and doubt your brother? Believe his words are true because of the truth that is in him. You will unite with the truth in him, and his words will be true. As you hear him you will hear me. Listening to truth is the only way you can hear it now, and finally know it.
  5. The message your brother gives you is up to you. What does he say to you? What would you have him say? Your decision about him determines the message you receive. Remember that the Holy Spirit is in him, and His Voice speaks to you through him. What can so holy a brother tell you except truth? But are you listening to it? Your brother may not know who he is, but there is a light in his mind that does know. This light can shine into yours, giving truth to his words and making you able to hear them.  His words are the Holy Spirit’s answer to you. Is your faith in him strong enough to let you hear?
  6. You can no more pray for yourself alone then you can find joy for yourself alone. Prayer is the restatement of inclusion, directed by the Holy Spirit under the laws of God. Salvation is of your brother. The Holy Spirit extends from your mind to his and answers you. You cannot hear the voice for God in yourself alone because you are not alone. And his answer is only for what you are. You will not know the trust I have in you unless you extend it.  You will not trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit or believe that it is for you unless you hear it in others. It must be for your brother because it is for you. Would God have created a voice for you alone? Could you hear His answer except as He answers all of God’s Sons?  Hear of your brother what you would have me hear of you, for you would not want me to be deceived. [1]

The purpose of this Course is the escape from fear.  We do not escape from fear by having all of our prayers answered because many of our prayers are based upon our ego’s need for specialness.  Several years ago, a coworker announced at the lunch break table that she enjoyed a very special relationship with God.  God answered every single one of her prayers, she claimed.   Me and the rest of the group were more than a little taken aback because for as long as we knew her she had been and continued to be swamped in ongoing health, money, and relationship woes.  Nearly every encounter with Karen revolved around her complaints about her unhappy marriage, uncontrolled spending, kids in and out of jail and rehab, and the rare and mysterious maladies that had no known cure that plagued her family.  While Karen is a lovely woman completely undeserving of all that had befallen her, she did not seem to be a sterling example of someone who had an in with God! 

Using Karen as an example, let’s look at paragraph two.  Karen asks the Lord for a faithful husband, healing from an ongoing assortment of physical ailments, and for her grown children to take responsibility for their lives and stop draining her finances.  How could she be afraid of what she wants?  Isn’t this what everyone wants? 

Only if Karen does not feel worthy of a faithful doting husband, good health, and self-supporting, responsible grown children could we agree that Karen’s prayers are always answered in the form that makes her most comfortable and adheres with her thought system.  When she claims to have a special relationship with a God Who answers all her prayers she may very well be asking for exactly what she is most comfortable in having. Karen wants specialness.  As long as Karen’s husband and kids are not so special, she gets to be special.  She is the one that endures them for God.  This goes along with a religious belief system that sacrifices love, peace, and joy for a sense of duty, fear of God, and suffering.

Jesus claims that all prayer is answered – ask and it will be given.  No request is ever lost.  There are three seeming qualifications, however.  We will be given nothing that makes us afraid.  We may not hear the response to our prayer.  We may have received the answer, but it is on hold until we are ready for it.

As I looked at paragraph four today and asked the Lord to show me what it meant, I thought of Karen and her constant complaints about her cheating husband, her bad kids, her failing health.  I thought of my own prayers and the seeming lack of response from God in a few areas.  If we are to receive what we pray for, we are to remove all doubt from our mind about ourselves and each other.  We are to believe in Jesus who has complete and unshaken faith in us.  We cannot ask anything of Holy Spirit if we have doubt about those we pray for.  When we ask for fidelity from those who have been unfaithful, we are to believe he is capable of faithfulness, even though all we have known of him says otherwise.  When we pray for God to heal our finances, we must believe that we are worthy of abundance, that we will know the difference between wants and needs, that we will not spend money that we do not have.  When we pray for health and healing, we are to believe we are worthy of healing, that we are able to adopt healthful practices and avoid that which promotes illness and disease.  We are to believe in what our healers, medical or otherwise, prescribe to us with no doubt or fear.  When we pray for our children to be decent, upright, and good, we are to have no doubts in their abilities and efforts put forth in that direction.

In other words we are to put our minds toward what we ask of Holy Spirit.  We are to cooperate with what we ask God for.  When I ask for a faithful partner, I do not ruminate upon his past flings and try to garner sympathy or tarnish his name by sharing his weaknesses in this particular area with everybody I know.  I believe in his strength, I believe in his love, I believe in his truth.  When I unite with the truth in my partner, what he says will be true.  As I hear him, I will hear Jesus.  Listening to truth is the only way we can hear it in the realm of perception and finally know it.  We find the answer to every request in recognizing the truth in one another.  We cannot ask the Holy Spirit truly and turn around to doubt His response in our brother. 

In paragraph five, Jesus gives us more information on how our fellows play a part in our own healing and the healing of the world.  Here we are compelled to take responsibility for what our brothers tell us – what they tell us in their words, deeds, and attitudes toward us.  In the world, we do not take responsibility for what our brothers tell us.  We take what they say and do and react to our perception of what they are saying and doing.  When our mates go astray, we say that they have disrespected us, that they do not find us worthy of faithfulness, that we are not exciting or attractive to them anymore.  We grow sad and angry. 

In the case of Karen she was a lot of both.  Incensed, she would stalk her husband’s girlfriends, telling their husbands or boyfriends what they were up to, blasting them on Facebook, and making public their indiscretions.  She was proud of her vengeance, her cleverness at sleuthing out the hurtful escapades, and the stunts she pulled on the adulterers.  She was also sad, often unable to work in her grief, seeking sympathy from her co-workers and friends who assured her how beautiful and shapely she was and how easy it would be for her to find another man.  The same story was repeated with her kids, health, and money woes.  No matter what anyone suggested to her in the way of help, she claimed that it was all in God’s hands and she could count on Him.   But it was not in God’s hands because instead of creating love, peace, and joy she seemed to draw out the worst in all of us. 

When Karen was around, people were afraid to talk about the fun times they had with their mates and kids, their good health, engagements, and the new things they bought or vacations they planned because she would make snide remarks, warn them against marriage, relate gory childbirth stories to those who were expecting, and claim she could not remember the last time she had a break.

While I grew as weary as everyone else with Karen’s ongoing melodrama, I did a few things right in that I continued to talk about the good things in my life whether she liked it or not.  I pointed out that just because I had absolutely nothing to complain about, did not mean that I did not have a right to share my joy.  Sharing joy gives other people the “permission” to share joy.  When we begin to share joy with one another, we tap into the light in our minds that recognizes our blessings and makes them known.  We get off the downward spiral of only seeing the negative.  Simply by refusing to join in the clubby, cliquish martyr club and speaking of that which fills us with joy and gratitude is a way to let the light in an otherwise dark and dire situation. 

Sharing my joy with Karen and refusing to join in the pity-poor-Karen group was the best thing that I could have done at that time.  My decision about Karen determined the message that I received from her.  I did not believe the bad report that God was in any responsible for her suffering or that she had a special relationship with God, but I did believe that the answer to her prayer was waiting for her to recognize it and accept it.  Going through this period with Karen and her public airings of grievances and hardships, was a good opportunity for me to recognize the more private and subconscious ways in which I was hindering the answers to my own prayers for spiritual growth, for overcoming antagonism toward those who disappoint and offend me, and other seemingly wrong-minded conceptions and practices that caused my mind to build cases rather than extend God’s Kingdom. 

Instead of a person I remember with a sense of dread, I now remember Karen as part of the Sonship, as an equal teacher and student on our path to God.  We are here to remind each other what we really are, for only when we recognize ourselves in each other can we receive the answer to our prayers.  At the end of paragraph five Jesus assures us that what we learn from our brother is the answer we get to our prayers. 

This is a wonderful message.  My prayer is that it rings true in our hearts and minds and we are motivated to be open to ways to put this into practice.  It is all too easy to pinpoint the personal failings, spiritual dim-wittedness, and shortcomings of others, but until we realize that our brothers are telling us the truth about us, can we remove the obstructions that are hindering us from recognizing Holy Spirit’s answer to our prayer. 

The very nature of prayer is one of inclusion.  There is no room for any ideas of specialness for Holy Spirit operates under the unified and equal laws of God.  We find our salvation in our brothers and it is of utmost importance that we accept the salvation of all.  Only when we see our brother as saved, can we be saved.  We cannot use our salvation, our belief system, our holy practices as a way to divide the Sonship – only to extend it.  When we think we have a special relationship with God and we make monsters of those who are weak, who falter, who fail to live up to their promise, we are not extending God’s Kingdom, we are denying ourselves opportunities for practicing our salvation, for learning what we need to learn about our own need for complete freedom from the perceptual world.  Believing in the name of Jesus is a trite interpretation of the gospel but practicing the mind of Christ is the salvation of the world for it eradicates all that is false and untrue and lets in the light that frees us from division and death to our true union with God. 

We cannot learn to trust the guidance of Holy Spirit until we learn to lay down our defenses against our brothers and trust in the equal and just Voice for God in each and every one of us.  God would not give me a holy spirit and give you, my brother, that which is not holy.  Our function then is to recognize Holy Spirit within everybody and relate to that and only that.  

We will end today’s blog with paragraph six and complete this section in the next post.  Today ask God to illuminate your mind so that you can grasp the meaning of this section.  We may have resistance to these concepts because the world would tell us that we do not find salvation or truth in our brothers, but only in the name of Jesus.  However Jesus tells us to see beyond the perceptions of our flesh eyes and listen and hear what our brothers are really asking of us and telling us.  Just as we depend upon Jesus to look past our own misconceptions and give us what we truly want and need, so are we to relate only to the truth in others.     

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. II The answer to prayer 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

I. The Acceptance of Reality 8-14

8. No right mind can believe that its will is stronger than God’s. If then, our mind believes that its will is different from His, it can only decide either that there is no God or that God’s Will is fearful. The former accounts for the atheist and the latter for the martyr, who believes that God demands sacrifices.  Either of these insane decisions will induce panic because the atheist believes he is alone, and the martyr believes that God is crucifying him. Yet no one really wants either abandonment or retaliation, even though many may see both. Can you ask the Holy Spirit for gifts such as these, and actually expect to receive them? He cannot give you something you do not want. When you ask the Universal Giver for what you do not want, you’re asking for what cannot be given.  It was never created. It was never created because it was never your will for you.

9. Ultimately everyone must remember the will of God, because ultimately everyone must recognize himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God’s are one. In the presence of truth, there are no unbelievers and no sacrifices. In the security of reality, fear is totally meaningless. To deny what is can only seem to be fearful. Fear cannot be real without a cause, and God is the only Cause. God is love and you do want Him. This is your will. Ask for this and you will be answered, because you will be asking only for what belongs to you.

10. When you ask the Holy Spirit for what would hurt you He cannot answer because nothing can hurt you, and so you are asking for nothing. Any wish that stems from the ego is a wish for nothing, and to ask for it is not a request. It is merely a denial in the form of a request. The spirit is not concerned with form, being aware only of meaning. The ego cannot ask the Holy Spirit for anything because there is complete communication failure between them. Yet you can ask for everything of the Holy Spirit because your requests to Him are real, being of your right mind. Would the Holy Spirit deny the will of God? And could He fail to recognize it in His son?

11. You do not recognize the enormous waste of energy you expend in denying truth. What would you say of someone who persists in attempting the impossible, believing that to achieve it is to succeed? The belief that you must have the impossible in order to be happy is totally at variance with the principle of creation. God could not will that happiness depended on what you could never have.  The fact that God is love does not require belief, but it does require acceptance.  It is indeed possible for you to deny facts, although it is impossible for you to change them. If you hold your hands over your eyes, you will not see because you are interfering with the laws of seeing. If you deny love, you will not know it because your cooperation is the law of its being. You cannot change laws you did not make, and the laws of happiness were created for you, not by you.

12. Any attempt to deny what is must be fearful, and if the attempt is strong it will induce panic. Willing against reality, though impossible, can be made into a very persistent goal even though you do not want it. But consider the result of this strange decision. You are devoting your mind to what you do not want. How real can this devotion be? If you do not want it, it was never created. If it were never created, it is nothing. Can you really devote yourself to nothing?

13. God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create. Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.

14. Remember, then, that God’s will is already possible, and nothing else will ever be. This is the simple acceptance of reality, because only that is real. You cannot distort reality and know what it is. And if you do distort reality you will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimately panic, because you are trying to make yourself unreal. When you feel these things, do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say therefore:

Christ is in me. And where He is God must be, for Christ is part of Him.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that we can believe truth, or we can believe in that which is not true.  If I am God’s Will, I can either believe God’s Wills for me to exist and is therefore keenly interested in and devoted to me, or I can believe there is no God, that I am alone in the Universe, that the only sustenance I have is at the mercy of fickle fate, fickle humans, and an even more fickle universe.  Or I can choose another untrue belief system in that there is a God, but He is angry with me because I made mistakes, because I had a mind of my own (which He gave me no less), because He isn’t happy unless He is in a rage about something, and I must make up to him for all the ways in which I have failed Him.  I will believe that God’s Will and my will go in two opposing directions, and so I must sacrifice my will to please God because I am bad and only He is good, I am dirty and He is clean, I am wicked, and God is pure.  

I will therefore martyr myself to please this God – because God is only happy if I am giving up something I like and enjoy proving to Him how much I love Him.  Nobody really wants a God who would abandon them or make them sacrifice things they want and enjoy in order to placate Him.  But that is the way in which we have twisted the truth of God and have been afraid to examine our religious doctrines, texts, and teachings. 

If we suffer from a sense of abandonment or retaliation from God, these are not the gifts of Holy Spirit.  We are not accepting the reality that we are God’s Will and that God’s Will is our happiness.  We have somehow accepted a warped idea that God’s Will is separate from us and that we have to sacrifice what we really want in order to have His Will in our lives.  As long as we view that laying aside all thoughts of death, disease, and devastation is a sacrifice, we will need salvation from an upside down conception of God.  

If we think we want the gifts of the ego, we are asking for that which does not really exist, we are asking for that which is not only a waste of time but that which time wastes.  God only gives gifts that create the everlasting, and Jesus tells us that because God created us like Him, this is the only gifts that bring us joy and have any meaning to us. 

We will all come to understand this about ourselves sooner or later.  No matter how caught up we may be in the physical world, no matter how our heart races at the thought of a new sexual conquest, a new car, a bigger house, a diamond ring, a trip here or a trip there – what we really want, what really fills us with joy and a sense of purpose and meaning is God’s Will – that love, joy, peace and all meaning reside in our Being.  That our reality is not external but internal.  When we recognize this truth, and we all will sooner or later, there can be no unbelievers, there can be no sense of sacrifice for there is nothing to give up, there can be no fear for reality is secure, it is certain, it is benevolent and all that we truly yearn for and were created for.  As hard as it may be to imagine in the realm that is not God’s Kingdom, fear is meaningless. 

Jesus tells us in paragraph nine that fear cannot be real without a cause.  And because God is the only Cause, and God is love, joy, and peace and all the other wonderful attributes that we want for ourselves and for others, God’s Will is our will.  Gone from our consciousness is the crazy-making idea that God created us to abandon us, to turn His back upon us, to test us and prove us and then punish us forever for having a mind of our own, for making a mistake, for tasting something that He made to look enticing and then forbid us to eat.  Gone from our consciousness is the equally crazy-making idea that God Who is Everything would require blood and the suffering of our bodies in order to appease His wrath.  Sin does not have to be punished; mistakes merely need correction. When we change our minds about the fear of God and choose to perceive God as love, as our meaning, as our joy all fear is gone. 

When we ask Holy Spirit for anything less than the attributes of God, we get nothing for nothing is what we asked for.  The nothingness of the ego and its wishes for more nothingness would lay waste the Sons of God.  Any wish that stems from the ego is a form of nothingness and Holy Spirit is not concerned with nothingness.  Ask for vengeance upon your enemies cloaked in the guise of teaching them a good lesson, and you are asking for vengeance upon yourself.  Prayers that reflect that we are different, better, and godlier than our brothers are prayed, not in the language of mutuality and oneness, but in a language that Holy Spirit does not understand.  Jesus calls this a complete communication failure. 

Yet we can ask everything from Holy Spirit when we pray with our right minds and in the language of oneness for we know what we are as God’s Will.  We will not ask for fame, fortune, and favor – for these prayers are answered by that which would drive us to waste our time pursuing that which does not lead to God’s Kingdom.  We will ask of God the things of God, for we are His Will, and our will is to extend His Kingdom. 

When we worry and fret over the things of the world, we waste time.  Wasting our time, stresses our minds because we are denying truth.  God is love.  This is not something we must believe; it is something we must accept to know truth.  Deny this, continue to uphold fearful conceptions of God, and we keep future generations trapped in a belief system that recycles that which brings enmity and division rather than mutuality of love.  Love is not a rapist, a stalker, a hound from hell; nor is it a game player who holds out and makes the other party work for it, pay for it, sacrifice to it.  Love’s law is one of mutuality, reciprocation, and converging on the same level.  Believe what you want about God, about His laws, but His laws were created to bring us joy, they were created for us, not by us. 

As long as we deny this reality, twist it into something else, make it a burden and a sacrifice, we will be afraid; our minds will not fare well.  Choose to believe that which is not true about God, we work very hard for something we do not really want.  If we do not want something, if our minds are not joyful and at peace, if our minds are not loving, benevolent, strong and invincible – if we are a bunch of whiners and complainers getting ourselves worked up into a tizzy over our relationships, our jobs, the political front, the this and that that of the world and its constant calls for taking up arms, how can we really be devoted to a God that would make us feel so small, fearful, and vulnerable?  If we do not want to be small, fearful, and vulnerable, this is not creation.  If this is not creation, it is fabrication.  It will waste in time and it is a waste of time.  Can we really devote ourselves to that?  Should we devote ourselves to that? 

Our religious traditions play so much a part in our sense of belonging, our relationships with family, friends, and the larger community, but if we are being taught wrongful, harmful doctrines that deny truth, our devotion will not be real.  It will require enormous expenditures of energy to devote ourselves to anything less than love, for Love is the Source of our Being; Love is our Being.  Serving God instead of loving God makes of our spiritual path, a duty to perform. Accepting a God that makes us feel ashamed, belittled, or at a disadvantage is not a joy, but a burden.  The fault does not lie with us, but in the doctrines and myths of those with only a dim understanding of God and His Kingdom. 

God’s devotion created us to be devoted to all things; He gave us what we are devoted to. This is our perfection, this is our reality, this is what we are and what makes us tick.  We do not fare well on that which is not loving, joyful, and peaceful, because love, joy, and peace are God’s Will.  Without God’s Will, we are afraid, we are unhappy, we are ashamed.  Accept fear, joylessness, and shame as our reality, we cannot extend love, joy, and peace.  When we do not extend love, joy, and peace our reality is meaningless to us because our lives have no meaning.  As long as we are busy building cases against each other, taking up arms, plotting and scheming vengeance, blaming each other for the woes of the world, it is impossible for us to create for we are opposing the love, peace, and joy we were meant to create with one another.  We are keeping ourselves in a state of nothingness.

For there is nothing outside the Will of God.  All else is wasted in time and by time – it is a distortion of reality.  Because it is built on that which is not God, it only follows that we will do hideous things to each other and to ourselves.  We will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimate panic because we are trying to take something which is created by and for Love and do something that opposes love.  No matter how close we get to the truth in a kingdom that is not God’s, we remain asleep in a dream because it is not reality.  The dream will scare us because it would keep us asleep forever, obscuring that which is real in our subconscious with a constant stream of fear, fable, and dismal forecasts.  We cannot escape this dream on our own.  Jesus entered the delusion to set us free from it. He suffered the same temptations, the ill will, the vengeance, the lies. He suffered extreme pain, humiliation, and death of the body on the cross. He resurrected to awaken us to our true identity, and it is through Him we are saved.

In your devotional practice and throughout the day, no matter how troubled and conflicted the outside world appears to be, practice the acceptance of your reality in Christ.  Do not look to the world for truth, for it is not in the world, it is in you, for Jesus abides in you and where He is, God is.      

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. I The acceptance of reality 8-14. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

I. The Acceptance of Reality

  1. Fear of the Will of God is one of the strangest beliefs the human mind has ever made. It could not possibly have occurred unless the mind were already profoundly split, making it possible for it to be afraid of what it really is. Reality cannot threaten anything except illusions since reality can only uphold truth. The very fact that the will of God, which is what you are, is perceived as fearful, demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are. It is not, then, the Will of God of which you are afraid, but yours.
  2. Your will is not the ego’s, and that is why the ego is against you. What seems to be the fear of God is really the fear of your own reality. It is impossible to learn anything consistently in a state of panic. If the purpose of this course is to help you remember what you are, and if you believe that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet the reason for the course is that you do not know what you are.
  3. If you do not know what your reality is, why would you be so sure that it is fearful? The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what the truth is. All this could mean is that you are arbitrarily associating something beyond your awareness with something you do not want. It is evident, then, that you are judging something of which you are totally unaware. You have set up this strange situation so that it is impossible to escape from it without a Guide Who does know what your reality is. The purpose of this guide is merely to remind you of what you want. He is not attempting to force an alien will upon you. He is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness.
  4. You have imprisoned your will beyond your own awareness where it remains but cannot help you.  When I said that the Holy Spirit’s function is to sort out the true from the false in your mind, I meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and recognize the Will of God there.  His recognition of this Will can make it real to you because He is in your mind, and therefore He is your reality.  If then, His perception of your mind brings its reality to you, He is helping you to remember what you are.  The only source of fear in this process is what you think you will lose.  Yet it is only what the Holy Spirit sees that you can possibly have.
  5. I have emphasized many times that the Holy Spirit will never call upon you to sacrifice anything. But if you ask the sacrifice of reality of yourself, the Holy Spirit must remind you that this is not God’s Will because it is not yours. There is no difference between your will and God’s. If you did not have a split mind, you would recognize that willing is salvation because it’s communication.
  6. It is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. You and your Creator can communicate through creation because that, and only that is your joint will. A divided mind cannot communicate because it speaks for different things to the same mind. This loses the ability to communicate simply because confused communication does not mean anything. A message cannot be communicated unless it makes sense. How sensible can your messages be when you ask for what you do not want? Yet as long as you were afraid of your will, that is precisely what you are asking for.
  7. You may insist that the Holy Spirit does not answer you, but it might be wiser to consider the kind of questioner you are. You do not ask only for what you want. This is because you are afraid you might receive it, and you would. This is why you persist in asking the teacher who could not possibly give you what you want. Of him you can never learn what it is, and this gives you the illusion of safety. Yet you cannot be safe from truth, but only in truth. Reality is the only safety. Your will is your salvation because it is the same as God’s. The separation is nothing more than the belief that it is different.[1]

There is absolutely no reason to fear the Will of God, for we are the Will of God. You and me, Will of God.  Chances are pretty good that we are not afraid of ourselves – I am a pretty nice person.  All I really want is what you really want – to be loved and cherished, to love and cherish, to have goodness in my life, to extend goodness to others.  I have no real desire to crush the life out of anything or anybody.  I have no real desire to be the biggest or the best, the richest or the most powerful – as long as I have what I need from day-to-day, I am happy, well-adjusted, and harmless.  And I can assume that this is you.  This is God’s Will.  You and me, harmless and happy and well-adjusted. 

The only thing that our harmlessness, our happiness, our well-being can threaten is the illusion that God’s Will is for us to suffer, be sorrowful, ashamed, and prey upon others who do not believe like us, think like us, look like us, or sacrifice as much as we do to please God.  If we are looking to God’s Will as something that takes away our joy, that makes us miserable, that makes us a pest or a danger or a torment to ourselves or others in any way – we must examine our own belief system.  It is not God’s Will that we are afraid of, it is the lies we believe about ourselves and God which must be examined. 

My will and your will does not belong to the ego and that is why our ego is not, cannot be a trustworthy guide.  When we fear God, what we are really afraid of is our own reality for the ego has made us out to be very small-minded, vulnerable, blinded to our blessings, and prone to vengeance, grudges, and condemnation. 

The logic of paragraph three makes so much sense to me.  Why do we resist the teachings of reality, why does it seem too hard, too high-minded, too spiritually lofty for us to attain?  What are we afraid of?  What is there about truth that makes us afraid?  What is it about being called to offer love to others that makes us balk?  Why are we so hesitant to believe that God is harmless and that we are His Will? 

The purpose of A Course in Miracles is to help us remember who we really are.  If we believe that what we are is world-weary, disinclined to goodness, predisposed to evil, mockery, scorn, and spite – we will not learn what we need to learn from this Course.  And yet we would not study the Course to find out what we really are unless we had doubts about the ego version of ourselves!   

We should study this Course with criticism.  We should not blindly believe something just because a woman back in the 1960s and 1970s claimed that Jesus channeled this Course, any more than we should automatically believe other texts and books labeled holy.  We must learn to question, practice, and put to practical application if we are to build our trust in any belief system.  They must “hold water,” or what is the point of having them? 

Certainly to get anything at all out of any course of study, we must put aside our disbelief, our doubts, our uncertainty enough to take the time, make the effort, and give the teacher a chance to get his points across.  We cannot learn when we come prepared to disagree, be argumentative, or disruptive.  In our Course study groups, we do not accept members who do not have prior knowledge and some experience and understanding of the Course simply because we are joining to study and apply, and not to argue its authenticity. 

However if we cannot apply what we learn to our day-to-day lives, if we put forth our best effort and still find the concepts of the Course somehow out of our grasp, the fault does not necessarily lie with us.  To teach that we are at fault would lead us into a dangerous practice of shame, self-criticism, and defeat which is not the aim of the Course.  It may simply not be the right time in one’s life to study the Course.  It may be that the Course itself is not what it says it is – we must always be open to that conclusion.  However, for those who wish to sincerely learn what A Course in Miracles teaches, while we study the Course, we come with open minds. We assume that Dr. Helen Schucman did not make this up, that it was truly the Voice of Jesus who dictated the Course to her, and that the Foundation for Inner Peace and The Circle of Atonement did their best to keep the books we have today as close to the original dictation as possible. 

That said, in sentence three of paragraph three, Jesus points out there is something beyond our awareness that is illogically associating with something we do not want.  Speaking for my own self, my biggest fear is that I will seek God and find God and then find that God is going to enslave me against my will and make me live in this big commune in the sky where I have to share everything I have with everybody else, and that I won’t have any time or space of my own and that I will be rubbing shoulders with all the people that get on my last nerve here on earth throughout eternity.  Because I love solitude, because I love my little private spaces, because I adore peace and quiet and uninterrupted time, God’s Will sometimes scares me until I remember what I have learned in this Course about God’s Will. I am God’s Will.  God’s Will is love and peace and joy; God’s Will is my happiness.  But no matter how much I study this Course, no matter how many times I experience the holy instants of bliss and love, there are times that I forget that I am God’s Will.

Jesus assures me – there is no alien will that is forced upon me, in fact the alien will that has been enforced upon me is not of God at all, but from this other thing that comes with the territory that is not God’s Kingdom!  And then Jesus says in sentence eight of the same paragraph:  Holy Spirit is making every possible effort, within the limits you have imposed on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness. 

Years ago I was trying to coax an orphaned duckling to get in the water.  I knew that the little drake would love the water.  He was created for water.  Once the little guy got into the water he would find his rightful meaning and joy. But he was so afraid that I was at first unable to teach him what he was.  He had no idea of what he really was because he had spent so much time with me, with my husband and grandkids.  He followed me around in the yard and quacked at the door when I went in the house.  But every time I tried to put him in the water, he would waddle away, and flap his vestigial wings, squawking and carrying on like I was trying to drown him.  Finally, he learned to trust me enough to let me put him in the water and paddle his webbed feet whilst I supported him, and it was not too long before he had found his joy and delight with no more encouragement from me!

Holy Spirit reminded me of Little Duck as I read today’s text.  Holy Spirit does not coerce, force, attack, or ridicule us – Holy Spirit is the calm, quiet, inner voice that is born in us all, leading us by and to love, goodness, and uprightness.  We all have Holy Spirit whether we listen to Him or not, whether we believe it is Holy or not – it just is.  It is very distinguishable from the ego, which is not holy and is not spirit.  As we learn to listen to Holy Spirit, to trust Him, to know Him, we will remove the fearful obstructions that keep us from knowing what we are as God’s Will. 

We have imprisoned God’s Will in our subconscious where it remains but cannot help us.  Holy Spirit knows our subconscious.  He knows what we have hidden there.  He knows what is true about us and what is false about us, and He has the power to look beyond what we think we are and recognize God’s Will.  Because He recognizes it, He will make our Selves real to us, because He is not only in our mind, Holy Spirit is our reality.  The reason we are afraid is because what we think we might have to give up, what we think Holy Spirit will make of us, what changes Holy Spirit will wrought in us.  But it is only Holy Spirit that perceives everything we truly are. We can forget all weird things we have learned about Holy Spirit, all the special intonations that preachers and priests use to signify how unworthy we are before His presence.  We are worthy of Holy Spirit for that is what we are.  We are not what the ego has made us out to be, we are not flesh and blood, we are holy, and we are spirit and God loves us as His Son.   

We do not sacrifice anything for Holy Spirit, for God’s Will, for God’s Son, because there is no difference between what we are and what Holy Spirit, God’s Will, and God’s Son is – and if we had not listened to the ego’s lies and temptations, if we had not split our minds between truth and delusion, we would recognize that salvation lies in accepting ourselves as God’s Will because it is the communication of love, not the excommunication of condemnation, sacrifice, suffering, and separation. 

Jesus tells us that it is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. To communicate love, peace, and joy is to create more love, peace, and joy.  We can only do this when we speak the same language as those we create with and for.  Confused communication means nothing because it makes no sense to us. When we do not accept that we are God’s Will, if we are afraid of this message, we will seek God’s Will from ecstatic spiritual experiences, we will try to find it in sacred texts, we will depend upon our spiritual leaders to tell us what it is. When we do not recognize ourselves as God’s Will, we will be tempted to think that we are out of God’s Will when we are not off to the mission field winning souls for Christ. We will not recognize that our worth is in Being. 

We will close with paragraph seven today and finish this section in tomorrow’s post.  Take a good look at paragraph seven and let it rest upon your mind with joy, with a sense of fun, with a sense of overall good cheer.  If we feel as if Holy Spirit is not answering our questions, giving us what we want, is letting us down, and feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that we are learning – think about what kind of questioner we are.  What are we really asking for?  Is it what we really want?  If we truly want all the lovely attributes of God, why are we seeking it from the ego?  Why are we relying on our judgments, our little digs about others, our doubts and uncertainties, our feelings of inferiority and superiority, the pieces of gossip we exchange to give us what we can never get from that source?  If we are afraid of the harmlessness and loveliness of God and His Will, we may feel safe in our illusions of safety – but Reality is our only safety.  Being God’s Will is our salvation.  Extending love, joy, and peace and all the other beautiful fruits of Holy Spirit is our Being, is God’s Will, is, dear brothers, what we are all about.  The separation is nothing more than the belief that we are something different. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. I. The acceptance of reality. 1-7. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

IX: Healing as Corrected Perception

  1. I said before that the Holy Spirit is the Answer.  He is the Answer to everything because He knows what the answer to everything is.  The ego does not know what a real question is, although it asks an endless number.  Yet you can learn this as you learn to question the value of the ego, and thus establish your ability to evaluate its questions.  When the ego tempts you to sickness, do not ask the Holy Spirit to heal the body, for this would merely be to accept the ego’s belief that the body is the proper aim of healing.  Ask, rather, that the Holy Spirit teach you the right perception of the body, for perception alone can be distorted.  Only perception can be sick because only perception can be wrong.
  2. Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not.  The reality of everything is totally harmless because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality.  It is also the condition of your awareness of its reality.  You do not have to seek reality.  It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.  Its conditions are part of what it is.  And this part only is up to you.  The rest is of itself.  You need do so little because our little part is so powerful that it will bring the whole to you.  Accept, then, your little part, and let the whole be yours. 
  3. Wholeness heals because it is of the mind.  All forms of sickness, even unto death, are physical expressions of the fear of awakening.  They are attempts to reinforce sleeping out of fear of waking.  This is a pathetic way of trying not to see by rendering the faculties for seeing ineffectual.  “Rest in peace” is a blessing for the living, not the dead, because rest comes from waking, not from sleeping.  Sleep is withdrawing; waking is joining.  Dreams are illusions of joining because they reflect the ego’s distorted notions about what joining is.  Yet the Holy Spirit, too, has use for sleep, and can use dreams on behalf of waking if you will let Him.
  4. How you wake is the sign of how you have used sleep.  To whom did you give it?  Under which teacher did you place it?  Whenever you wake dispiritedly, it was not given to the Holy Spirit.  Only when you waken joyously have you utilized sleep according to His purpose.  You can indeed be “drugged” by sleep if you have misused it on behalf of sickness.  Sleep is no more a form of death than death is a form of unconsciousness.  Complete unconsciousness is impossible.  You can rest in peace only because you are awake.
  5. Healing is release from the fear of waking and the substitution of the decision to wake.  The decision to wake is the reflection of the will to love since all healing involves replacing fear with love.  The Holy Spirit cannot distinguish among degrees of error, for if He taught that one form of sickness is more serious than another, He would be teaching that one error can be more real than another.  His function is to distinguish only between the false and the true, replacing the false with the true.    
  6. The ego, which always wants to weaken the mind, tries to separate it from the body in an attempt to destroy it.  Yet the ego actually believes that it is protecting it.  This is because the ego believes that mind is dangerous, and that to make mindless is to heal.  But to make mindless is impossible, since it would mean to make nothing out of what God created.  The ego despises weakness, even though it makes every effort to induce it.  The ego wants only what it hates.  To the ego this is perfectly sensible.  Believing in the power of attack, the ego wants attack.
  7. The Bible enjoins you to be perfect, to heal all errors, to take no thought of the body as separate and to accomplish all things in my name.  This is not my name alone, for ours is a shared identification.  The Name of God’s Son is one, and you are enjoined to do the works of love because we share this oneness.  Our minds are whole because they are one.  If you are sick you are withdrawing from me.  Yet you cannot withdraw from me alone.  You can only withdraw from yourself and me.
  8. You have surely begun to realize that this is a very practical course, and one that means exactly what it says.  I would not ask you to do things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do.  Given this, and given this quite literally, nothing can prevent you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything argues for your doing it.  I give you no limits because God lays none upon you.  When you limit yourself, we are not of one mind, and that is sickness.  Yet sickness is not of the body, but of the mind.  All forms of sickness are signs that the mind is split and does not accept a unified purpose.
  9. The unification of purpose, then, is the Holy Spirit’s only way of healing.  This is because it is the only level at which healing means anything.  The re-establishing of meaning in a chaotic thought system is the way to heal it.  Your task is only to meet the conditions for meaning, since meaning itself is of God.  Yet your return to meaning is essential to Him because your meaning is part of His.  Your healing, then, is part of His health since it is part of His Wholeness.  He cannot lose this, but you can not know it.  Yet it is still His Will for you, and His Will must stand forever and in all things. 1

In our reading today, Jesus reminds us that Holy Spirit is the Answer to everything.  Holy Spirit has all knowledge and the answer to every question there is.  As we learn to distinguish between the Voice for God and the clamors of the ego, we will question the value of the ego, we will be able to carefully assess the temptations that it poses.  Sickness is a form of temptation, Jesus tells us.  I find this interesting because for the past few days my body has been feeling ill.  Unable to go to the community center with my sister to exercise in the pool, yesterday I rested all afternoon and sipped at 7-up and ate saltine crackers.  While I did write and make an audio for my blog and do other little things around the house, I basically took it easy.  James made sure I was comfortable, he got some medicine for me to take, and he brought supper in, so we didn’t have to cook.

I don’t like sickness and so it naturally gave me pause to read that sickness is a temptation of the ego, that sickness is accepting the perception that my identity is my body and that I have accepted the ego’s confusion.  What concerned me is that this kind of thinking can be defeating for someone who seeks God and truth, for our bodies are vulnerable and our bodies do get sick, they age, and they die.  Some of us have bodies that are handicapped, diseased, or deformed.  Just as our genitals do not define us as God’s Son, neither does anything else about our bodies.  I was not sick for the past few days, but my body was under the weather. 

When James offered a prayer for me, he prayed for my body to feel better.  And when I woke up this morning it was feeling better.  It has become apparent to me that as my body ages, it does not react in the same way to our strong, dark French roast.  For quite some time I have been pushing my luck because I so enjoy drinking coffee.  It is one of our morning rituals that I cherish.  It is a delicious way to start the day and I love, not only the way our coffee tastes, but the way it makes our whole downstairs smell.  It is a big disappointment to me that drinking coffee is one more thing that my aging body does not fare well on, but I hardly think that I am choosing to identify with my ego rather than Holy Spirit simply because certain foods and beverages make my body ill. 

However, I do ask Holy Spirit to give me the right perception of the body.  When I question my resistance to this text reading, I do not want to side with the ego and defend my “right” to be sick but remain open to the answer that Holy Spirit provides for Jesus tells us that only perception can be sick, because only perception can be wrong. 

To perceive wrongly is to wish that things be different than they are.  Reality is wholly without harm.  Harmlessness is the condition of reality just as it is the condition of our awareness of reality.  There is nothing about reality that is meant to harm, weaken, put us down, or sicken us in any way.  God is harmless even as His creation is harmless.  It is only when we meet the conditions of harmlessness that we meet the condition of reality for because it is harmless, so must be its conditions.  Jesus says that this is the only part that is up to us.  Our little part of choosing harmlessness, to believing in harmlessness, to removing all violence, all disease, death, destruction, and decay from our belief system, to finding no value in attack of any kind, to seeing no good reason for sickness and sorrow – this decision we make to become harmless and to only believe in that which is harmless – is so powerful that it will bring the whole of reality to us.  Accept this and reality will be ours, Jesus tells us. 

When our minds are whole, when not one small part of our mind believes there is value in any form of attack, any kind of sickness, sadness, or sorrow – we are healed.  As long as we hold on to the enchantment of what is not reality, as long as we love the dream of all that is not God, we will get sick, and we will die.  The ego keeps us asleep to the reality of our health, holiness, and wholeness – we feel a little crazy believing in a Kingdom where there is no harm, where there is no ill will, where there is no sickness, or sorrow, no striving, conniving, or dying. We say Rest in Peace to those who have died, but Jesus says to use this as a blessing for those who are alive, for rest comes from waking up to the reality of God, not from sleeping in the dream of separation.  Jesus likens the separation to sleep, to dreams, to illusions where reality is opposed by that which is its opposite, where all that is worthwhile, true, and everlasting is replaced by that which is valueless, false, and fades away.  The ego uses sleep to entrance and to keep captive; Holy Spirit uses sleep and can use the dreams of ego to awaken us to reality if we choose.   

To whom do we give our time in the world?  Whom did we choose to be our teacher?  When we wake up to the ego’s illusions and are still doing battle with the ego, when we have sorrow, when we feel burdened by the world and all its darkness, disease, and death – we did not choose Holy Spirit as our teacher.  We are still trapped in an illusion of waking up, of being saved, of experiencing reality. 

Only when we awaken with joy have we used our time in the world according to Holy Spirit’s purpose.  If we have remained sick, if we have remained full of sorrow, if we have allowed the ego’s version of reality to be our reality in any way, we have misused our time in the world.  Sleep and death do not absolve us for we never lose our consciousness, and therefor we can never rest in peace until we have been awakened to reality.

When we no longer fear awakening, when we no longer cling to the dream that substitutes for God’s Kingdom, when we make the decision to be harmless even as God is harmless – we are healed.  All healing comes from replacing fear with love. 

It is important to note that Holy Spirit does not distinguish between different diseases or illnesses or forms of sickness. While I may be under the weather for a few days because my body seems to have developed an aversion to coffee, and you may think Oh, you big baby, how would you like to be stricken with cancer like me? – Holy Spirit does not teach that one form of sickness is any more serious than another.  There is only truth and what is not true, and Holy Spirit’s function is to distinguish between truth and lies and replace lies with truth. 

The ego yammers at us to attack, to be sick, to sate ourselves upon sorrow, sadness, strife, and thoughts that torment us and keep us embroiled in conflict, condemnation, and confusion.  To the ego this is life for the ego wants only what it hates.  The ego is afraid of our higher minds because our higher minds are dangerous to the ego for that is where our one Teacher of truth resides and to take anything away from Holy Spirit is impossible.  The ego hates peace because peace is quiet, calm, and reflective – peace is the condition of awakening to God, just as harmlessness is the condition of reality.  The ego’s demise is our peace and our harmlessness and so it does its best to keep our minds engaged in the worries and concerns we have in and with the flesh.

Jesus tells us that we are to be perfect, to heal all sickness, to take no thought of the body as separate, and to accomplish all things in the name of our shared identification as God’s Son.  We are to join with Him to do the works of love because we are one.  Our minds are whole, not because Jesus is God’s beloved Son and we are the slaves, the servants, the second best, in which He was benevolent enough to offer salvation but because we are one with Him.  If we are sick, we are not with Him, nor are we with our true and holy Selves.  Our sickness defines us not as one with Christ but as withdrawing from the Sonship and identifying with our egos. 

In paragraph eight, Jesus tells us that this is a practical course and that it means exactly what it says.  There are no loopholes here.  He simply would not ask us to do things which we could not do.  Jesus says if He could do something, it is impossible that we could not do it as well.  Nothing can prevent us from doing exactly what He asks, and everything argues for us doing it.  We have no limits because in God there are none.  Limitations denote sickness because limitations denote the split mind.  We must remember that sickness is never of the body, it always signifies that the mind is split and does not accept a unified purpose. 

Unifying our purpose with that of Holy Spirit’s is the only way of healing because it is the only level at which healing means anything.  As long as our belief systems are governed by chaos, uncertainty, doubt, and fear we cannot be healed, we will have sickness, disease, and strife.  But when we unify our purpose, brothers, when we decide for God, when we decide for harmlessness, when we decide for peace, when we join with the Mind of Christ, our reality and God’s reality are one. 

Our healing is part of God’s Well-Being because we are part of His Wholeness.  He has never lost this, but we have not known this, we have not accepted this, we have believed in that which had no meaning and offered us attack in place of the Answer.  Our healing rests upon His Will for us, for we are His Will, and His Will stands forever and in all things. 

Today in your devotional practice, ask God to make this text real to you.  Ask Holy Spirit to be your One Teacher and to be in charge of your time in the world, correcting your perception, and thus keeping you healthy, whole, and healed.  And above all else, ask Holy Spirit to strengthen our belief in all that is real, whole, and true.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one.  Amen. 

1 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. IX Healing as corrected perception. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

VIII: The Body as a Means or End

  1. Attitudes toward the body are attitudes toward attack.  The ego’s definitions of anything are childish and are always based on what it believes the thing is for.  This is because it is incapable of true generalizations and equates what it sees with the function it ascribes to it.  It does not equate it with what it is.  To the ego the body is to attack with.  Equating you with the body, it teaches that you are to attack with.  The body, then, is not the source of its own health.  The body’s condition lies solely in your interpretation of its function.  Functions are part of being since they arise from it, but the relationship is not reciprocal.  The whole does define the part, but the part does not define the whole.  Yet to know in part is to know entirely because of the fundamental difference between knowledge and perception.  In perception the whole is built up of parts that can separate and reassemble in different constellations.  But knowledge never changes, so its constellation is permanent.  The idea of part-whole relationships has meaning only at the level of perception, where change is possible.  Otherwise, there is no difference between the part and the whole.
  2. The body exists in a world that seems to contain two voices fighting for its possession.  In this perceived constellation the body is seen as capable of shifting its allegiance from one to the other, making the concepts of health and sickness meaningful.  The ego makes a fundamental confusion between means and end as it always does.  Regarding the body as an end, the ego has no real use for it because it is not an end.  You must have noticed an outstanding characteristic of every end that the ego has accepted as its own.  When you have achieved it, it has not satisfied you.  This is why the ego is forced to shift ceaselessly from one goal to another, so that you will continue to hope it can yet offer you something.
  3. It has been particularly difficult to overcome the ego’s belief in the body as an end because it is synonymous with the belief in attack as an end.  The ego has a profound investment in sickness.  If you are sick, how can you object to the ego’s firm belief that you are not invulnerable?  This is an appealing argument from the ego’s point of view because it obscures the obvious attack that underlies the sickness.  If you recognized this and also decided against attack, you could not give this false witness to the ego’s stand.
  4. It is hard to perceive sickness as a false witness because you do not realize that it is entirely out of keeping with what you want.  This witness, then, appears to be innocent and trustworthy because you have not seriously cross-examined him.  If you had, you would not consider sickness such a strong witness on behalf of the ego’s views.  A more honest statement would be that those who want the ego are predisposed to defend it.  Therefore, their choice of witnesses should be suspect from the beginning.  The ego does not call upon witnesses who would disagree with its case, nor does the Holy Spirit.  I have said that judgment is the function of the Holy Spirit, and one He is perfectly equipped to fulfill.  The ego as a judge gives anything but an impartial judgment.  When the ego calls on a witness, it has already made the witness an ally.
  5. It is still true that the body has no function of itself because it is not an end.  The ego, however, establishes it as an end because, as such, its true function is obscured. This is the purpose of everything the ego does.  Its sole aim is to lose sight of the function of everything.  A sick body does not make any sense.  It could not make sense because sickness is not what the body is for.  Sickness is meaningful only if the two basic premises on which the ego’s interpretation of the body rests are true: that the body is for attack, and that you are a body.  Without these premises, sickness is inconceivable. 
  6. Sickness is a way of demonstrating that you can be hurt.  It is a witness to your frailty, your vulnerability, and your extreme need to depend on external guidance.  The ego uses this as its best argument for your need for its guidance.  It dictates endless prescriptions for avoiding catastrophic outcomes.  The Holy Spirit, perfectly aware of the same situation, does not bother to analyze it at all.  If data are meaningless there is no point in analyzing them.  The function of truth is to collect information that is true.  Any way you handle error results in nothing.  The more complicated the results become the harder it may be to recognize their nothingness, but it is not necessary to examine all possible outcomes to which premises give rise in order to judge them truly.
  7. A learning device is not a teacher.  It cannot tell you how you feel.  You do not know how you feel because you have accepted the ego’s confusion, and you therefore believe that a learning device can tell you how you feel.  Sickness is merely another example of your insistence on asking guidance from a teacher who does not know the answer.  The ego is incapable of knowing how you feel.  When I said that the ego does not know anything, I said the one thing about the ego that is wholly true.  But there is a corollary; if only knowledge has being and the ego has no knowledge, then the ego has no being. 
  8. You might well ask how the voice of something that does not exist can be so insistent.  Have you thought about the distorting power of something you want, even if it is not real?  There are many instances of how what you want distorts perception.  No one can doubt the ego’s skill in building up false cases.  Nor can anyone doubt your willingness to listen until you choose not to accept anything except truth.  When you lay the ego aside, it will be gone.  The Holy Spirit’s Voice is as loud as your willingness to listen.  It cannot be louder without violating your freedom of choice, which the Holy Spirit seeks to restore, never to undermine.
  9. The Holy Spirit teaches you to use your body only to reach your brothers, so He can teach His message through you.  This will heal them and therefore heal you.  Everything used in accordance with its function as the Holy Spirit sees it cannot be sick.  Everything used otherwise is.  Do not allow the body to be a mirror of a split mind.  Do not let it be an image of your own perception of littleness.  Do not let it reflect your decision to attack.  Health is seen as the natural state of everything when interpretation is left to the Holy Spirit, Who perceives no attack on anything.  Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly.  Health is the beginning of the proper perspective on life under the guidance of the one Teacher Who knows what life is, being the Voice for Life Itself.[1]

As we read today’s text reading, ask Holy Spirit to help us understand this curriculum with joy, gladness, and a sincere desire to understand our proper attitude toward bodies.  Consider that the ego’s definitions of the body, as well as everything else, is an immature belief based upon what it thinks the body is for. 

For the ego does not equate the body with what it truly is.  To the ego the body was made for attack.  Attack may seem like a strong word.  We do not really call the comparisons, the lust and desires we have toward our own body and other bodies, the competitions, and condemnations that we are so ready to dish out, or even the slapstick mockery and ridicule we display toward bodies as forms of attack, but that is what Jesus calls this, and so we should carefully consider how He comes to that conclusion and accept it as truth. 

The body simply is not what we are. As symbols of the ego, the body is used for attack.  There is only so much to go around, and we vie with other bodies to put ourselves in the best position possible to get what we feel is our fair share, or perhaps more than our fair share!  We compare our bodies to other bodies, we lust after bodies, we enslave bodies to work, to entertain, to provide for our sustenance, our pleasure, our desire for competition, our desire to put others down to build ourselves up.  Call it anything you like, but our bodies are animalistic in nature:  stand between me and my food, my kids, my husband, my this or my that, and you are putting yourself in a dangerous position.

The most radical expectation of any spiritual walk is that we are required to go beyond the body, our animal natures, our egos.  Jesus tells us that the condition of our bodies lies solely in our attitude toward its function.  When we identify our bodies as self, our bodies are used for attack, we become depressed and diseased, we do not have a happy time with our bodies.  However, if our minds transcend the body using them as a means for extending love, peace, and joy our bodies will be invulnerable to attack because our minds are invulnerable to attack.  Extending the Mind of Christ, awakening the Sonship guarantees body health and well-being until it is time to reunite completely with God. 

Meditate upon paragraph one and ask Holy Spirit to reveal its meaning to you.  This is a beautiful description of how Being stands alone.  Function comes from Being; Being does not come from function.  Being stands alone as the Treasure of God.  Whether it is performing its function or not, whether it is used for joy and gladness or seeming attack, Being never loses its place in God’s Kingdom.  In the ego realm of perception this is seldom the case.  Being is seldom recognized as having any worth at all; and it is the separate functions that define our worth to one another.  Your husband is a good husband until he stops performing the duties your ego has assigned to him and then you are only too ready to toss him over and get a new one!  Your kid who drops out of college, lays about on the couch, and plays video games all day is a crying shame to the rest of the family.  A friend who blabs all your secrets and hides her own sins behind the stories about yours – is only too easy to drop and move on.  We can barely get our mind around the fact that Being is unchangeable, because in perceptual world, everybody changes, assumes different roles, one day an ally, next an enemy.  We like this and this and this about someone but truly despise that and that.  Split minds cannot perceive wholeness and truth but rather opposites and opposition.  It is only with our whole mind that we can understand that Being is the Treasure of God and that function is a by-product of Being. 

Getting beyond the perceptual world means going beyond the two voices which seem to be in constant conflict over claiming the body.  One day we will love Jesus, read our bibles, and profess love and undying devotion for all of humankind and the next we will be spewing forth curses, ranting against the government, and wonder how in the world we are expected to love people when they are so vile, ugly, and stupid!  When we fall for this perception, we will mistake the conflicts of the two voices of ego for a quarrel between God and ego – and become depressed over our mind’s shifting allegiances.  Opposites seem to have meaning in such conditions.  Health and sickness then make sense.  That battle that goes on in our mind is all ego.  There is no battle over the mind.  The mind belongs to God, and when we accept this as truth, our mind is saved from the ongoing conflict.  We rise above the ploys of the ego, we use the body for a means to help others, and we are no longer in a state of depletion, confusion, wondering why our lives are topsy-turvy, up and down, back and forth. 

Jesus tells us that the ego will keep us shifting from one goal to the next always thinking, always hoping that there is something we can achieve, something we can do which will mean something.  Another baby. A different job.  A new friend.  A new spouse.  A bigger house.  Another degree.  But there is nothing in the perceptual world that amounts to anything of meaning and we may spend lifetimes chasing after the ruses of the ego before we realize that there must be something more.   

The ego has a clever advantage in sickness for when we are sick, how can we say we are invulnerable in Christ?  How does the Mind of Christ hold any truth when our bodies are wracked by pain or crippled by disease?  Christ says that if we recognized how illness of any kind hides the attack that triggers it, we would not fall for this ploy, for it is a false witness to our thoughts of attack.   

As hard as it may be to perceive sickness as a false witness, it is only because we do not seriously examine the hard fact that it is entirely opposite to what we really want.  When we defend sickness, we defend the ego, we defend attack, we defend our identity with body.  When ego is the judge we are bodies, and we are here to vie with other bodies.  As judge, ego will only call on witnesses that agree with it.  We are sick because we are bodies, because we are vulnerable, because we have no power and glory except through attack.  This is the ego’s judgment, and it seems to be true. 

Sick bodies do not make any sense to Holy Spirit.  It does not make sense to our higher mind because our higher mind uses the bodies not as an end, but as a means to extend God’s Kingdom.  A sick body does not extend God’s love, peace, and joy.  Knowing that we are not bodies, and that the body is not for attack – sickness is not accepted by Holy Spirit because there is no God in it, there is not truth in it, there is no Sonship in it. 

Sickness demonstrates the vulnerability of God’s Son.  Sickness stands as the ego’s witness to the falsehood of God and His Kingdom, to Holy Spirit, and to His Will.  Sickness is the ego’s way of using external treatments from the perceptual world as our source of healing, comfort, and peace.  The ego’s way of healing the body consists of endless prescriptions, operations, appointments, insurances, and cures to avoid disaster and destruction.  The ego’s way collects information, performs blood tests, links genetic markers, and derives stool and urine samples.  The more complicated and costly the procedures, the more difficult it is to see the nothingness behind it.

Holy Spirit’s way of healing does not bother with any of this at all.  To Holy Spirit data is meaningless – collecting information that is true, Holy Spirit cannot be bothered with the meaningless and senseless.  There is simply no good reason to examine all possible causes and outcomes to which sickness surfaces for they all come from the same source:  mistaking the body as an end rather than the means. 

To guarantee the health of our bodies, we use them for the aim of God’s Kingdom.  The love, peace, and joy that we extend to others not only heals them but heals us.  Whatever we use to extend God’s Kingdom will be blessed. Health is the result of giving up all attempts to use the body in unloving ways.  Health is our promise because it is the beginning of the right perception of life under the guidance of Holy Spirit, Who knows what life is because He is the Voice for Life Itself. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. VIII The body as a means or an end. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

VII: The Body as a Means of Communication

9. In this world, not even the body is perceived as whole.  Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions with little or no relationship to each other, so that it appears to be ruled by chaos. By the ego, it is. Guided by the Holy Spirit, it is not. It becomes a means by which the part of the mind you tried to separate from spirit can reach beyond its distortions and return to spirit. The egos temple thus becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit, where devotion to Him replaces devotion to the ego. In this sense the body does become a temple to God, His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.

10. Healing is the result of using the body solely for communication.  Since this is natural it heals by making whole, which is also natural. All mind is whole, and the belief that part of it is physical, or not mind, is a fragmented interpretation. Mind cannot be made physical, but it can be made manifest through the physical if it uses the body to go beyond itself. By reaching out, the mind extends itself. It does not stop at the body, for if it does it is blocked in its purpose. A mind that has been blocked has allowed itself to be vulnerable to attack, because it has turned against itself.

11. The removal of blocks, then, is the only way to guarantee help and healing.  Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind that is working through the body, but not in it. If the mind believes the body is its goal, it will distort its perception of the body, and by blocking its own extension beyond it, will induce illness by fostering separation. Perceiving the body as a separate entity cannot but foster illness because it is not true. A medium of communication loses its usefulness if it is used for anything else. To use a medium of communication as a medium of attack is an obvious confusion in purpose.

12. To communicate is to join and to attack is to separate. How can you do both simultaneously with the same thing and not suffer? Perception of the body can be unified only by one purpose. This releases the mind from the temptation to see the body in many lights and gives it over entirely to the one light in which it can be really understood. To confuse a learning device with a curriculum goal is a fundamental confusion that blocks the understanding of both. Learning must lead beyond the body to the reestablishment of the power of the mind in it. This can be accomplished only if the mind extends to other minds and does not arrest itself in its extension. This arrest is the cause of all illness because only extension is the mind’s function.

13. The opposite of joy is depression. When your learning promotes depression instead of joy, you cannot be listening to God’s joyous Teacher and learning His lessons. To see a body as anything except a means of communication is to limit your mind and to hurt yourself. Health is therefor nothing more than united purpose. If the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, it becomes whole because the mind’s purpose is one. Attack can only be an assumed purpose of the body, apart from the mind the body has no purpose at all.

14. You are not limited by the body, and thought cannot be made flesh. Yet mind can be manifested through the body if it goes beyond it and does not interpret it as limitation. Whenever you see another as limited to or by the body, you are imposing this limit on yourself. Are you willing to accept this, when your whole purpose for learning should be to escape from limitations? To conceive of the body as a means of attack and to believe that joy could possibly result, is a clear-cut indication of a poor learner. He has accepted a learning goal in obvious contradiction to the unified purpose of the curriculum, and one that is interfering with his ability to accept its purpose as his own.

15. Joy is unified purpose, and unified purpose is only God’s. When yours is unified it is His. Believe you can interfere with His purpose, and you need salvation. You have condemned yourself, but condemnation is not of God. Therefore, it is not true. No more are any of its seeming results. When you see a brother as a body, you are condemning him because you have condemned yourself. Yet if all condemnation is unreal, and it must be unreal since it is a form of attack, then it can have no results.

16. Do not allow yourself to suffer from imagined results of what is not true. Free your mind from the belief that this is possible. In its complete impossibility lies your only hope for release. But what other hope would you want? Freedom from illusions lies only in not believing in them. There is no attack, but there is unlimited communication and therefore unlimited power and wholeness. The power of wholeness is extension. Do not arrest your thought in this world, and you will open your mind to creation in God.[1]

In the perceptual world our bodies are always in need of something – on a moment-to-moment basis there is constant demand required for its sustenance, comfort, or esteem.  Ruled by ego the body is not one seeming whole but of many parts and each part having little to do with its other parts.  Go to the doctor for healing of one part of your body and come away with one medicine to treat that part and other medicines to make up for the detriment caused by the first treatment.

When we are guided by Holy Spirit we are not guided by confusion.  Our bodies become a means of communication between our lower minds ruled by ego and our higher minds where Holy Spirit resides.  That which was designed to symbolize the ego is therefore transformed into the temple of Holy Spirit.  That which was devoted to the ego becomes devoted to Holy Spirit.  In this sense the body becomes a temple to God because His Voice abides in it and directs the use to which the body is put. 

Instead of using our body for separation, Holy Spirit uses the body for communion, for communication.  By communion we are made whole – our minds made whole by saving the lower mind from its allegiance to the ego; our bodies made whole as long as we need them for communication in the world.  Jesus tells us that it is not that our mind is made physical, but that it is made manifest through the physical if it can use the body to go beyond the body.  In other words, what is of God, of Spirit, of mind can never be physical but it can shine through the physical and use it for the purpose of extending God’s Kingdom.  Just as my office light is merely a dust-collecting ornament until I turn it on and electricity flows through it, my body is merely flesh and blood, bone and gristle until it is used and guided by the Voice for God.  My body is only God’s temple when I devote it to the higher mind of Christ, and He directs the use for it. 

We must never mistake our bodies, however, for the mind of Christ, for the mind of Christ is our wholeness which cannot be made physical.  The mind of Christ never stops at the body, for if it did, it would block the purpose of God which is extension through communication that leads to communion which leads to wholeness.  We do not take our bodies with us to God’s Kingdom, they simply are transformed into useful devices when our minds are devoted to God to extend His Kingdom. 

When bodies are not used for God’s Kingdom but are instead used as an end in themselves, they are blocked from their natural function and turned against itself.  This is not only depressing to the mind, but will also become manifest in the body, weakening it and allowing it to be vulnerable to attack.

To guarantee help and healing, that which blocks the mind from its true purpose must be removed.  In paragraph eleven, Jesus tells us that help and healing are the normal expression of the mind that is working through the body but not in it.  Meditate upon this section of our text today in your personal devotion for it is critical that we have the correct way in which to relate to our bodies if we are to join with Christ in His Vision of the world. 

If extending our bodies is our goal, if we limit our perception to our own bodies, to identifying to our human form and putting our efforts and our minds to use to extend our life in the flesh, our minds’ belief in this goal will foster separation which does not heal but induces illness.  If my goal is to live to be the oldest woman in the neighborhood, and I set my mind to live for that goal alone, I am perceiving my body as a separate entity from everyone else.  I don’t care if my neighbor Sandy lives to be a hundred, or my neighbor Talisha lives to be a hundred, I only care that I do!  I am going to eat the right food, exercise, and do all the things I can to live to be older than them all.  When my neighbors begin to kick the bucket, I can only think with glee, Oh, I am glad it is not me!  I’ll show them.  I will outlive them all

This may be a humorous illustration, but this is the concept of using our medium of communication, our bodies, as a medium of attack because it is a palpable misunderstanding of its purpose.  Holy Spirit’s use of my body is not to outlive other people, to be healthier, wealthier, or more at peace than others – Holy Spirit’s use of my body is to be a communication device that extends wholeness to all – and not for myself alone. 

The way in which we perceive our bodies is unified by the one purpose of Holy Spirit.  When we view our bodies as a means in which to share the attributes of God we are freed of the temptation to see our body as a curse, as a way to show off, as an instrument of evil, or as a spineless dummy easily manipulated be the demands and drives of chemicals and impulses.  We are freed from the role of victimizer; even as we are freed from the role of victim. 

To confuse our bodies with our true Identity is to confuse the goal of our curriculum which is to find our true Identity as the spiritual attributes of God. True learning leads beyond bodies to the power of the mind within them.  Getting hung up on our belief in bodies is the cause of all illness.  As long as we think we are bodies, we deny the mind’s extension to all, we will become depressed, imprisoning our minds in a state of despair and delusion.

This is the opposite of God’s Will for us.  If what we learn gives us a sense of despair and fills us with dread, we are not listening to Holy Spirit nor learning the things of God.  When we look upon each other’s bodies as anything other than a means to communicate and extend the love, peace, and joy of God’s Kingdom, we limit our minds and hurt ourselves.  Jesus tells us that health is the result of applying our bodies to the purpose of our mind because otherwise the body has no real purpose or meaning at all.

Thoughts cannot be made flesh, but they do go beyond the body directed by a mind that does not perceive the body as a limitation.  When we look upon our brothers and see them, judge them, pity them or adore them because of their body, we are attacking them by mistaking their bodies for what they really are.  Instead of thinking with God, we are perceiving exactly what the ego would have us perceive.  Even if we are thinking of how adorable, how sexy, how downright cute and precious another brother is judging him as his body – we are attacking him, we are valuing that which has no value to God, we are overlooking the true Treasure of God.  And when we do this to another, we are valuing that which has no value in ourselves. 

This is in direct opposition to our Course.  We are not here to flatter or to be moved to pity, rage, envy, or disgust over one another’s bodies.  We are to recognize that our bodies are devices that when used by the ego, limit our worth to a finite and meaningless existence, keeping us trapped in a realm of ego, thinking that what we are doing with them is of vast importance when really it has none outside of the finite cycles of time.  This can only signify that we are poor learners.  Health and joy will never be the result of such misconception and malpractice. 

We condemn one another when we perceive each other as bodies, rather than the mind of Christ, the eternal Sons of God.  Condemnation seems like a strong word, but as long as we are relating to one another as bodies, we remain in a state of dismay, disease, and death – a realm that has no real reality.  All the condemnation we offer to one another, is no more real than the realm of nothingness in which it takes place.  However, we will think it is real and the power of our belief will convince us that we cannot be freed.

Our hope for release from the ego, from the body, from the realm of opposites and opposition depends on our willingness and our efforts toward not believing in the illusions engendered by lies.  We are called to see through them, to see past them, to refuse to fear the Son of God within us so that we are free to love that all that is of Spirit and Truth.  Make this your aim by dedicating yourself to the Mind of Christ. Ask Jesus to help you see past the world of bodies, of egos, the world of attack, the world that would limit the power and the glory of God and His Son.  As we dedicate our mind to Christ, we also dedicate our bodies to be used not for attack but for the everlasting power and wholeness of true and holy communication.  Only when we do not allow our thoughts to be arrested by this world, is our mind receptive to the Creation in God’s Kingdom. 

In your personal devotion today, ask Christ to show you how to apply these concepts in your daily walk with Him.  Ask Christ to give you His Vision when you look upon the bodies of your family, friends, and colleagues.  When we see past the bodies of others, we are freeing ourselves from the bondage of our own attachment to that which imprisons us and keeps us bound to a realm of separateness.  If this concept is hard for you to grasp and you feel strong resistance to the ideas in this text, do not be discouraged.  Simply relax and ask Christ for help.  We are the treasure of God and we are not left to our own lack of understanding; nor do we transcend the ego on our own!  Jesus promises to give us His Hand when we ask for it in our search for freedom and for truth.  My prayer is that the love of Jesus will sustain you in your seeking; that the Voice for God will guide you ever homeward, and that my thoughts and your thoughts will be united in truth forever.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The Journey Back VII The body as a means of communication 9-16. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 – The Journey Back

VII: The Body as a Means of Communication 1-8

  1. Attack is always physical. When attack in any form enters your mind, you are equating yourself with a body, since this is the ego’s interpretation of the body. You do not have to attack physically to accept this interpretation. You are accepting it simply by the belief that attack can get you something you want. If you did not believe this, the idea of attack would have no appeal for you. When you equate yourself with a body you will always experience depression. When a child of God thinks of himself in this way he is belittling himself, and seeing his brothers as similarly belittled. Since he can find himself only in them, he has cut himself off from salvation.
  2. Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication. Being the communication link between God and His separated sons, the Holy Spirit interprets everything you have made in the light of what He is. The ego separates through the body. The Holy Spirit reaches through it to others. You do not perceive your brothers as the Holy Spirit does, because you do not regard bodies solely as a means of joining minds and uniting them and mine. This interpretation of the body will change your mind entirely about its value.  Of itself it has none.
  3. If you use the body for attack, it is harmful to you. If you use it only to reach the minds of those who believe they are bodies and teach them through the body that this is not so, you will understand the power of the mind that is in you. If you use the body for this and only for this, you cannot use it for attack. In the service of uniting it becomes a beautiful lesson in communion, which has value until communion is. This is God’s way of making unlimited what you have limited.  The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do, because He knows the only reality of anything is the service it renders God on behalf of the function He gives it.
  4. Communication ends separation. Attack promotes it. The body is beautiful or ugly, peaceful or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put. And in the body of another you will see the use to which you have put yours.  If the body becomes a means you give to the Holy Spirit to use on behalf of union of the Sonship, you will not see anything physical except as what it is. Use it for truth and you will see it truly. Misuse it and you will misunderstand it because you have already done so by misusing it. Interpret anything apart from the Holy Spirit and you will mistrust it. This will lead you to hatred and attack and loss of peace.
  5. Yet all loss comes only from your own misunderstanding. Loss of any kind is impossible. But when you look upon a brother as a physical entity, his power and glory are “lost” to you and so are yours. You have attacked him, but you must have attacked yourself first.  Do not see him this way for your own salvation, which must bring him his. Do not allow him to belittle himself in your mind, but give him freedom from his belief in littleness, and thus escape from yours. As part of you, he is holy. As part of me, you are. To communicate with part of God Himself is to reach beyond the Kingdom to its Creator, through His Voice which He has established as part of you.
  6. Rejoice, then, that of yourself you can do nothing. You are not of yourself. He of whom you are has willed your power and glory for you, with which you can perfectly accomplish His holy Will for you when you accept it for yourself. He has not withdrawn His gifts from you, but you believe you have withdrawn them from Him. Let no Son of God remain hidden for His Name’s sake because His Name is yours.
  7. The Bible says, “The word (or thought) was made flesh.” Strictly speaking this is impossible since it seems to involve the translation of one order of reality into another. Different orders of reality merely appear to exist, just as different orders of miracles do. Thought cannot be made into flesh except by belief since thought is not physical. Yet thought is communication, for which the body can be used. This is the only natural use to which it can be put. To use the body unnaturally is to lose sight of the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and thus to confuse the goal of His curriculum.
  8. There is nothing so frustrating to a learner as a curriculum he cannot learn. His sense of adequacy suffers, and he must become depressed. Being faced with an impossible learning situation is the most depressing thing in the world. In fact, it is ultimately why the world itself is depressing. The Holy Spirit’s curriculum is never depressing because it is a curriculum of joy. Whenever the reaction to learning is depression, it is because the true goal of the curriculum has been lost sight of. [1]

Attack will never get us what we want!  If we think that by badmouthing others, undermining their ambitions, or plotting revenge upon our enemies will give us rest, will give us satisfaction, will make us feel worthy we are sadly mistaken.  Identifying ourselves as the symbols of the ego, always leads to depression.  We may get away with it for awhile, we may think of ourselves as mean, lean, fighting machines and others better think twice before messing with us, but this pretense does not hold up for long.  As the Will of God, we are created to be love, peace, and joy; as the ego-made body, our bodies simply cannot withstand abuse, the passing of time, or the physical/emotional trauma that wounds not only our bodies, but our emotional and mental life as well.

Thinking of ourselves as bodies set to attack other bodies belittles not only our true sense of Self but also our sense of the Brotherhood.  We cut ourselves off from salvation because we can only find our wholeness in our brothers. 

Holy Spirit sees our body only as a way we can communicate during our sojourn in separation.  Holy Spirit is our communication – with God and with the Sonship and as God’s Voice within rather than separating us through the body from other bodies, Holy Spirit uses the body to reach other bodies.  Holy Spirit sees our bodies and the bodies of everybody we meet as a means of joining minds and uniting them with the mind of Christ. 

It is not Holy Spirit which ruminates upon the past ill will and wrongdoing of our neighbors, but rather Holy Spirit sees our neighbors as they really are – fellow Treasures of God who made a mistake that simply needs to be forgiven and overlooked.  Holy Spirit sees our kids and grandkids, not as special because they belong to us and therefore are owed special favors, blessings, and protection from God, but as mutual, equal brothers who need to learn their own lessons in their own time without our interference, compulsion, or partiality. 

Until we join with the mind of Christ and see our body as only a means to join minds with Christ, we will grow depressed and despondent for our bodies are not who we are, and this becomes ever more apparent with the passing of time. 

The only way we can understand the power of the mind of Christ within us is to use the mind of Christ to unite other minds with Christ.  Our bodies become a beautiful lesson in communion when we use it solely for the purpose of uniting.  Our bodies will have value then until it is time to put them aside and unite completely with God.  When we use our bodies for uniting minds, God is making use of the limited in a way which has no limits.  While our bodies seem very real to us and very demanding and taking up a lot of our time on its incessant needs for food, water, exercise, rest, grooming, and companionship – our true Self sees our body only for what service it renders to the increase of God’s Treasury! 

When I communicate with you and you communicate with me, the separation between us is ended.  When I attack you and you attack me, the separation between us becomes wider.  Jesus tells us that our bodies can be described only by the use to which we put them.  Physically you could describe me as an older woman with gray hair, a crinkly neck, and lumpy thighs, but when my body is used as a means to unify the Sonship of God, you will not describe me as such.  For when I am what I am called to be in Christ, you will see me, and my body truly and so will I. 

When we misuse our bodies, we have taken Holy Spirit, our true Selves out of the picture.  We will not trust our bodies, because we do not trust our true Selves.  When we do not trust our Selves, we do hateful things, we say mean things about others, we project our own self-condemnation upon our friends and family, our colleagues, our neighbors, priests, and political figures.  This is in direct opposition to what we really are, and we will not be joyful, loving, or at peace. 

Loss of what belongs to us is only a perception, a feeling, a sense of what it would feel like if it were possible.  We can never lose what we are – but when we look upon ourselves and others as physical entities, the power and glory that we have is “lost” to our perception.  Because when I look upon my brother with miserly thoughts about his body, about his personality, about his dirty deeds – when I see my brother as anything other than my equal, I have belittled him in my own mind.  I have refused him entrance and thus denied him union.  By denying my brother salvation I also deny my own salvation for I cannot be saved without him.  

Jesus tells us very explicitly to give our brothers freedom from their belief in littleness and thus escape our own belief in this false and tricky kingdom.  When we can look upon our brothers as part of us, they become holy because as part of Christ, we are holy. 

Every single one of us has been given Holy Spirit with which we communicate to God and with each part of God’s Kingdom.  Jesus tells us to overcome our programming to see others as in relation to our bodies and their bodies, to see past what the ego ensnares us with, and to go straight to the Creator who sees us all as His Son.  Only when we collaborate with the Voice for God in this way, until we use our bodies as a means of communicating Brotherhood, can we be saved from the unholy realm of division, separateness, and the split mind. 

Thankful that we did not create ourselves; we can never be too appreciative that in accepting ourselves as God’s Will, we are no longer trapped in a perceptual world of no hope, no holiness, no wholeness.  When we see ourselves as God’s Treasure, we know that there is no sin too great, no shame too thick, no sorrow too heavy that would hinder us from our return to God.  God does not care about any of that – we are His and He is ours.  Whether we believe it or not – the truth remains of His undying love and devotion toward us. 

In paragraph seven, Jesus tells us that thoughts cannot be made into flesh or any other physical substance, because thoughts are spirit.  Anything other than spirit only appear to exist – our bodies, the physical manifestation of our world, and all that is in it are not real in any eternal sense of the word.  Our stab at independence from God and all of Creation is the result of our belief in separation, in sin, shame, and sacrifice.   However, real or not, our bodies can communicate thought, and this is the only natural use to which Holy Spirit can use our bodies to unite us with God, with each other, and teach us the reality we forgot.

To learn the means of return to God, we must have a curriculum that we can learn.  The world itself cannot be learned and that is why there is so much depression because nothing here makes sense or provides meaning, and senselessness and meaninglessness is disheartening.  Holy Spirit’s curriculum is one of joy – if we are not joyful in our learning, it is because we are trying to learn the wrong thing from the wrong teacher.  Let joy then be our standard in keeping us on the path that leads to God! 

We will end today’s post with paragraph eight and finish the last eight paragraphs tomorrow.  In the meantime ask Holy Spirit to teach you with joy the means to joy – giving your body as a means of communicating the Oneness of God to those who have forgotten. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. VII The body as a means of communication 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

VI: The Treasure of God 6-10

6.  Your function is to add to God’s treasure by creating yours. His will to you is His will for you. He would not withhold creation from you because His joy is in it. You cannot find joy except as God does. His joy lay in creating you, and He extends His Fatherhood to you so that you can extend yourself as He did. You do not understand this because you do not understand Him. No one who does not accept his function can understand what it is, and no one can accept his function unless he knows what he is. Creation is the will of God. His will created you to create. Your will was not created separate from His, and so you must will as He wills.

7.  An “unwilling will” does not mean anything, being a contradiction in terms that actually means nothing. When you think you are unwilling to will with God, you are not thinking. God’s will is thought. It cannot be contradicted by thought. God does not contradict Himself, and His sons, who are like Him, cannot contradict themselves or Him. Yet their thought is so powerful that they can even imprison the mind of God’s Son if they so choose. This choice does make the Son’s function unknown to him, but never to his Creator. And because it is not unknown to his Creator, it is forever knowable to him.

8.  There is no question, but one should you ever ask of yourself: – “Do I want to know my Father’s Will for me?”  He will not hide it. He has revealed it to me because I asked it of Him and learned of what He had already given. Our function is to work together because apart from each other we cannot function at all. The whole power of God’s Son lies in all of us, but not in any of us alone. God would not have us be alone because He does not will to be alone.  That is why He created His Son and gave him the power to create with Him. Our creations are as holy as we are, and we are the sons of God himself, as holy as He is. Through our creations we extend our love, and thus increase the joy of the Holy Trinity. You do not understand this, because you who are God’s own treasure do not regard yourself as valuable. Given this belief, you cannot understand anything.

9.  I share with God the knowledge of the value He puts up on you. My devotion to you is of Him, being born of my knowledge of myself and Him. We cannot be separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself. Can you be separated from your life and your being? The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. Truth can only be experienced. It cannot be described, and it cannot be explained. I can make you aware of the conditions of truth, but the experience is of God. Together we can meet its conditions, but truth will dawn upon you of itself.

10.  What God has willed for you is yours.  He has given His Will to His treasure, whose treasure it is.  Your heart lies where your treasure is, as His does.  You who are beloved of God are wholly blessed.  Learn this of me, and free the holy will of all those who are as blessed as you are. [1]

Until we understand ourselves as God’s Treasure and understand that as God’s Treasure we are to create more of God’s Treasure can we find true joy.  God did not create us to worship Him forever and ever as He sits on His throne and bloats Himself on His own importance.  We must get this picture out of our mind for it is an illustration of what the ego would be if it were God.  We were created to find the joy in creation and extend the Kingdom of God outward forever and ever.  There is no end to the extension of God’s Kingdom and to be part of that marvelous unfolding, God shared of Himself for us to share of ourselves. 

Many of us in our human condition think that it is God’s Will to have a big family, to have many children and perhaps many wives in order to have as many children as we possibly can to extend God’s Kingdom.  Jesus teaches us that we extend God’s Kingdom by extending the attributes of God.  When we extend love and peace and joy we create more love and peace and joy.  If we think that having more humans is extending God’s Kingdom, taking a close look at the history of the world will show us that more humans does not necessarily mean more love, peace, and joy.  In fact having more humans means just the opposite.  For humans are symbols of the ego’s making.  While we make the decision to identify as humans, we are in opposition to God.  It does not matter how “good” we are as humans; our very human form is the symbol of opposition.  We took what we are and decided to remake ourselves into something else and this dear friend is what we have here! 

Because we belong to God our will and God’s Will are the same.  We will create.  In the perceptual world we make more humans, we build bridges, we paint, sew, plant, weave, we do all kinds of things in which to create, but what we make does not last and has no everlasting value.  Any life that is given in the perceptual world is very temporary and uncertain and everything else within the world is out to take it away.  It is impossible to keep what is made in this world, and yet it seductively keeps our minds asleep to this fact as long as it can, distracting it with constant concerns of the flesh, the flash, the fictional.

God’s Will is not of this world.  What God gives cannot ever be taken away because it is Spirit, and it is Truth.   God’s Will lasts forever.  It is not flesh, there is no need for it to be flashy, nor is it fictional.  It is not in parts, but it is whole.  It is not for this one or that one, but for all – it is all inclusive and cannot be divided. 

To divide our wills then is a contradiction of God’s Will and can only be done in a fictional kingdom, a story that we wish to believe, a virtual reality that poses as reality itself.  In yesterday’s post, Jesus asked us to listen to the story of the prodigal son.  He left his father’s home to whoop it up in the place that had no worth, no value, no substance, no truth.  He stayed until he spent his inheritance and only after it was spent did he realize that it had passed away and he was left with nothing.  That is our life in the flesh.  Many times it is not until decades of our life are spent thinking that our human identity is our true identity and wondering why God lets such terrible things happen to little babies and why He sends disasters and death and disease on our populations until we realize that this is not God’s Kingdom and could never be God’s Kingdom!  

We are the son who left the Father’s Kingdom.  Perhaps we thought that maybe there was something more exciting than being love, peace, and joy.  We could take our Father’s Treasure and make something dangerous and thrilling and dreadful.  We wanted power and glory, but we wanted it for ourselves alone, not only for dominion over the animals but over each other.  Our thoughts were entranced by a world of predators, stalking, and lust.   We would sate ourselves on fear, rather than love.  Instead of spirit we would be flesh, we would get physical, we would take our creativity and use it for opposites and opposition rather than wholeness and peace. Our minds would be split between good and evil, light and dark, love and hate, happiness and despair.  We would make war as well as peace.  We would make our own gods and project all our own desires upon our gods and make them like us, demanding sacrifices and blood, enslavement, sorrow and shame.  We would make a hellish realm and say it was made by God and blame every bad thing that happened therein on His wrath, His anger, His spite and revenge.  He would be big; we would be small.  He would have all power; we would have none.  He would be strong; we would be weak and vulnerable. 

We may have forgotten that we are God’s Treasure, but God remembered.  We may have forgotten what we were made to do, but God remembered.  And because He never forgot it, when we are ready to take a long, hard look at what we made and ask for what God Wills, it is ours.  For we can no longer lose our Identity as God’s Will than God could lose His Identity as God. 

The power of God’s Son lies in all and never in one alone.  We are God’s treasure and yet we have no value at all, have no meaning, and are as nothing without God, without Christ, and without each other.  Pay particular attention to paragraphs eight through ten.  Jesus tells us that God’s Will cannot be separated – God has joined all His Sons with Himself.  The journey to God is simply awakening to this fact – that our minds are one with Christ, that we all belong to God, that our sojourn in separateness is as a dream, an illusion, that the march of time itself is a lie.  It is a record of a fictional account about nothing.  The only thing to learn here is that it is not God’s Kingdom, it is not God’s Creation, and to behold it is to be taken in by its lies and delusion. 

We must experience this truth for ourselves for Jesus Himself cannot describe truth or explain it to us.  We can learn the conditions of truth, but to know truth is an experience of God.  With Christ we meet the condition of truth – only Jesus can bring us past the illusions of the world to the place of peace in which truth is made known.  Truth dawns upon each one of us as we ask for it, as we prepare ourselves for it, when we are ready for it. 

Know this, dear brothers, you are the Will of God; you are the treasure of God.  Our heart and God’s heart belongs  together and the benevolence of God wills for us to share this treasure, to extend it to all, to withhold it from nobody in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds.  In your personal devotional habit, ask God to show you how to share what you are – in your thoughts offer all of those that parade across your mind thoughts of love, peace, and joy.  Do not give any credit to the thoughts of the lower mind which delight in jealousy, greed, gossip, and grudges but join your mind with the mind of Christ and ask to be taught the conditions for truth. 

Learning this of Christ frees all who are held captive by the entrancement of this world.  For we are all the treasure of God and none of us can go Home until we all go Home together. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. VI The treasure of God 6-10. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lesson visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

VI: The Treasure of God

  1. We are the joint will of the Sonship, whose wholeness is for all.  We begin the journey back by setting out together and gather in our brothers as we continue together.  Every gain in our strength is offered for all, so they too can lay aside their weakness and add their strength to us.  God’s welcome waits for us all, and He will welcome us as I am welcoming you.  Forget not the Kingdom of God for anything the world has to offer.
  2. The world can add nothing to the power in the glory of God and His holy Son’s, but it can blind the Sons to the Father if they behold it. You cannot behold the world and know God. Only one is true. I am come to tell you the choice of which is true is not yours to make. If it were, you would have destroyed yourself. Yet God did not will the destruction of His creations, having created them for eternity. His will has saved you, not from yourself but from your illusion of yourself. He has saved you for yourself.
  3. Let us glorify Him Whom the world denies, for over His Kingdom the world has no power. No one created by God can find joy in anything except the eternal; not because he is deprived of anything else, but because nothing else is worthy of him. What God and His Sons create is eternal, and in this and this only is their joy.
  4. Listen to the story of the prodigal son and learn what God’s treasure is and yours. This son of a loving father left his home and thought he had squandered everything for nothing of value, although he had not understood its worthlessness at the time. He was ashamed to return to his father because he thought he had hurt him. Yet when he came home the father welcomed him with joy, because the son himself was his father’s treasure. He wanted nothing else.
  5. God wants only His Son because His Son is His only treasure. You want your creations as He wants His. Your creations are your gift to the Holy Trinity, created in gratitude for your creation. They do not leave you any more than you left your Creator, extend your creation as God extended Himself to you. Can the creations of God Himself take joy in what is not real? And what is real except the creations of God and those that are created like His? Your creations love you as you love your Father for the gift of creation. There is no other gift that is eternal, and therefore there is no other gift that is true. How, then, can you accept anything else or give anything else, and expect joy in return?  And what else but joy would you want? You made neither yourself nor your function. You made only the decision to be unworthy of both. Yet you cannot make yourself unworthy because you are the treasure of God, and what He values is valuable. There can be no question of its worth because its value lies in God’s sharing Himself with it and establishing its value forever.[1]

To learn the treasure of God meditate upon the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  We are the treasure of God Jesus tells us in paragraph five of today’s reading.  We bring God’s treasure back to the Father by joining our mind with the mind of Christ.  We gather in our brothers as we continue on our journey – we are not here in the world to conquer it, to torture and to kill those who do not believe like us, to fight over limited resources, to bicker over differences in doctrines and tenets of faith.  We are not here to build huge tabernacles or make a name for ourselves in the spread of Christianity.  We are here to join Christ in the Atonement gospel.  This has lost its meaning for so long that most of us have no idea what it means anymore, what it looks like, how the practical application of joining our minds with Christ plays out in our day-to-day, moment-to-moment lives.

It is not a hard gospel.  There is nothing heavy about it.  While its application is natural and comes easily to our real and holy Selves, the ego cannot understand it, cannot do it, and is terrified of the Atonement gospel for it eradicates all lies, all delusions, all false pretenses, and brings together that which can only be held captive when kept apart. 

Practicing the Atonement gospel is simply sharing the whole mind of Christ.  Our whole minds in Christ is the acceptance of what we are in Him – the treasure of God,  the will of God, we are God’s Son even as Christ is His Son.  There is no arrogance in this, no false pride – only deep appreciation and recognition of our true identity as the love of God, as the peace of God, as the joy of God and all the other beautiful virtues and attributes of God which He has bestowed upon us, His Treasure, when He created us as His Son, as His Creation. 

When we know this, we can no longer be bound with shame, with guilt, with egocentric thinking or narcissistic concerns.  The chaotic state of opposites and opposition has nothing to offer us.  The ego has no real substitute for the attributes of God but as those of us who have been taken in by its sorcery, its drives, its lusts, and its temptations – soon come to find out – much like the prodigal son – that we have squandered our selves on that which has no real worth, that which cannot be built upon, that which we cannot take with us on our journey home. 

But does that matter?  The ego would have us go and waste ourselves on that which brings no lasting happiness, love, or peace and then shame us, guilt us, torment our minds with our wrong decisions, our bad choices, the ways in which instead of extending love and joy and peace, we projected our pride, we projected our lust, we tried to take what belonged to another and call it our own.  There is no point thinking that we are any good to God or anybody else in such a state, the ego would tell us.  Sink into depression, drown your sorrows and shame in excess, take yourself out of the picture, the ego says.  But God says:  Come home, My Treasure, My Will, My Son.  Come home! 

We must never forget this because the world teaches a completely different gospel.  The world’s gospel is not good news at all and yet it can blind us to the Atonement gospel of Christ.  The world’s gospel is a destructive gospel, twisted by those who fail to understand Christ and would hold Creation spellbound in its world of opposites and opposition to all truth. 

We will never find joy in the world because we belong to God and His Kingdom and were created by Love, to be loved, and to be love itself.  There is nothing in the world that is worthy of a creation of God for we are created to be eternal and only in the everlasting is our joy. 

The gift of creation is given us, God does not keep anything from us, including the Fatherhood itself for we are created to create.  When I asked Holy Spirit to show me what this means I was shown that love creates love, joy creates joy, peace creates peace by extending itself.  Because we are the attributes of God as His Son, when we extend the attributes that we are to others it creates more love, peace, and joy.  When we extend respect to others, respect is created, and it is extended.  There is not a one of us who are exempt of the eternal attributes of God.  There is not a one of us who cannot create that which created us and thus add to God’s Treasure.

This is not a walk for the ego.  The ego always wants to get its picture in the paper for any little crumb it takes and gives to someone else.  The ego always wants another star in its crown, another way to insinuate itself into someone else’s story.  The ego is sneaky and clever and so we must be very wise to its manipulations and lies. 

Holy Spirit on the other hand asks us to be quiet about what we give, what we do for others, and take no glory, or insinuate ourselves into the lives of others.  Extending our Selves is a natural process that truly is its own reward.  It does not seek the approval of others because what we do as individuals actually belongs to the Sonship.  When I set aside the hours each day to meditate upon, receive understanding and inspiration to write this blog for instance, that time is no sacrifice to me and brings me no personal acclaim or glory, for all power and all glory belong to the Sonship of which I am a part.  My will is God’s Will for I belong to Him and when I extend what I am, I am adding to His Kingdom.  I am not collecting souls to put in my own crown, or to elevate my status in the great beyond.  I am adding to the Treasury of God!  And when I add to the treasury of God and you add to the treasury of God, both of us are enriched beyond measure.

 If I did not understand my function, if I had not accepted my place in the Sonship, I would be tempted to think this was my blog and the result of my efforts.  I would have been tempted to overlook the fact that my husband supports this ministry – I do not have to worry about who pays the bills, who pays for the website, who does not mind when the laundry piles up or the dust collects a bit because Eckie is in her office with the door closed praying and writing and doing that thing she does in there!  If I did not realize my place in the Sonship and my function, I would be tempted to overlook the fact that the insights of our ACIM group inspires and teaches me what I cannot grasp on my own.  I would forget the years that Helen and Bill scribed the Course, looking past their own egos, their own skepticism and unbelief, and just did it because the part of themselves that were real and holy knew that Jesus was answering their request and calling them to enlighten the world.  I would forget the efforts of the Foundation of Inner Peace and the Circle of Atonement which made A Course in Miracles available to the world.   I would not remember the books I have read, the people who have taught me through positive and negative measures that there must be a better way, or the countless plants, animals, and people who sustain my life here in this realm on a moment-to-moment basis.  My ego would have me believe that somehow I do it all on my own and therefore am owed some sort of recompense.  This is how the ego operates.

It is imperative that we remember that we did not make ourselves or our function – we are the Will of God just as our function is the Will of God.  The only decision that the ego would have us make is to be unworthy of both.  But this is impossible!  There can be no question of our worth – no matter what kind of hot mess we have made ourselves out to be.  Our value lies in God and He has established us as His Treasure forever. 

We will stop with paragraph five today and cover paragraphs six through ten in our next blog.  In your personal devotions read over or listen to this lesson as many times as you can today and let the words of Jesus rest in the higher realm of your mind.  Do not be afraid of the world, of the ego, of your past or present woes and limitations.  Make no place in your mind for the illusions of the world and its weird history or its promises that always lead in the opposite direction of our true identity in Christ.  Join with our holy Brother that withstood the crucifixion, relinquished the ego, overcame the destruction of the body, and arose from the dead in all power and glory forever by accepting who you are as God’s Treasure today. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. VI The treasure of God 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8: The Journey Back

V: The Undivided Will of the Sonship

  1. Can you be separated from your identification and be at peace?  Dissociation is not a solution; it is a delusion.  The delusional believe that truth will assail them, and they do not recognize it because they prefer the delusion. Judging truth as something they do not want they perceive their illusions which block knowledge.  Help them by offering them your unified mind on their behalf, as I am offering you mine on behalf of yours.  Alone we can do nothing, but together our minds fuse into something whose power is far beyond the power of its separate parts.  By not being separate, the Mind of God is established in ours and as ours.  This Mind is invincible because it is undivided.
  2. The undivided will of the Sonship is the perfect creator, being wholly in the likeness of God, Whose Will it is.  You cannot be exempt from it if you are to understand what it is and what you are.  By the belief that your will is separate from mine, you are exempting yourself from the Will of God which is yourself.  Yet to heal is to make whole.  Therefore, to heal is to unite with those who are like you, because perceiving this likeness is to recognize the Father.  If your perfection is in Him and only in Him, how can you know it without recognizing Him?  The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.  There is no separation of God and His creation.  You will realize this when you understand that there is no separation between your will and mine. Let the love of God shine upon you by your acceptance of me.  My reality is yours and His.  By joining your mind with mine you are signifying your awareness that the Will of God is one. 
  3. God’s Oneness and ours are not separate, because His Oneness encompasses ours.  To join with me is to restore His power to you because we are sharing it.  I offer you only the recognition of His power in you, but in that lies all truth.  As we unite, we unite with Him.  Glory be to the union of God and His holy Sons!  All glory lies in them because they are united.  The miracles we do bear witness to the Will of the Father for His Son, and to our joy in uniting with His Will for us.
  4. When you unite with me you are uniting without the ego, because I have renounced the ego in myself and therefore cannot unite with yours.  Our union is therefore the way to renounce the ego in you.  The truth in both of us is beyond the ego.  Our success in transcending the ego is guaranteed by God, and I share this confidence for both of us and all of us.  I bring God’s peace back to all His children because I received it of Him for us all. Nothing can prevail against our united wills because nothing can prevail against God’s.
  5. Would you know the Will of God for you?  Ask it of me who knows it for you, and you will find it.  I will deny you nothing, as God denies me nothing.  Ours is simply the journey back to God Who is our home.  Whenever fear intrudes anywhere along the road to peace, it is because the ego has attempted to join the journey with us and cannot do so.  Sensing defeat and angered by it, the ego regards itself as rejected and becomes retaliative.  You are invulnerable to its retaliation because I am with you.  On this journey you have chosen me as your companion instead of the ego.  Do not attempt to hold on to both, or you will try to go in different directions and will lose the way.  
  6. The ego’s way is not mine, but it is also not yours.  The Holy Spirit has one direction for all minds, and the one He taught me is yours.  Let us not lose sight of His direction through illusions, for only illusions of another direction can obscure the one for which God’s Voice speaks in all of us.  Never accord the ego the power to interfere with the journey.  It has none because the journey is the way to what is true.  Leave all illusions behind and reach beyond all attempts of the ego to hold you back.  I go before you because I am beyond the ego.  Reach, therefore, for my hand because you want to transcend the ego.  My strength will never be wanting, and if you choose to share it you will do so.  I give it willingly and gladly because I need you as much as you need me.[1]

We can not have or be peace and true joy if we have dissociated ourselves from Who is Peace and Joy.  Trying to have anything else or be anything else deludes us and would have us be afraid of what we are, what we were created to be, and the very Source of all which we truly love, yearn for, and are part of forever.  Still, we learn to be afraid of truth and prefer the stories we make up.  And make up stories we do!  We make up stories about God and tell each other of His great anger and spite toward us.  We blame God for the state of the world, which is not God’s Kingdom, but our own fairy tale realm.  We distort the gospel of Jesus and make it seem as if God demanded sacrifice and suffering in His righteous indignation toward His Own creation.  We make up all kinds of rites and meaningless rituals to take the place of seeking and knowing God.   And we go to battle against anybody who dares to question our delusions! 

Jesus calls us to help the deluded by offering them the undivided mind of Christ, even as He offers His mind to us.  Jesus is not a magical being that is set apart from us to worship and adore.  Nor is He replaceable by another symbol.  Jesus is our holy brother.  He is created in the same order that we were created. He is not God; He is the personification of the Sonship.  The only difference between Jesus and us is that Jesus never forgot what He was.  He never split His mind between humanity and His Sonship.  He always knew.  And because He always knew, because Jesus never allowed his body and his ego to delude him, His mind was whole.  His undivided mind gave Him the power and the glory that He offers to us.   

The world inflicted upon Jesus just about everything that separated minds will do to punish those who dare to question its delusions.  He was beaten, spit upon, mocked, and crowned with thorns. He was stripped of his clothing, nailed on a cross for all of His family, followers, and enemies to see.  He was offered vinegar to quench His thirst and ease His pain, humiliation, and suffering.  Through all of that, He did not change His mind about what He was because He knew.  Because He knew that was not the end of His story.  He rose again.  He defeated the ego, He defeated all the ploys and devices of the ego, He stood for truth and in that undivided mind He resurrected to restore the Sonship of God.

The story of Jesus may distress us.  We hate to think of what humanity did to Jesus.  We can project our sorrow about this onto the Romans or the Jews, we can blame it on Judas, we can say oh that would never be us. But what happened to Jesus, happens all over the world when we project our sense of guilt, shame, and sin onto the innocent and justify our terrible revenge upon their bodies, their homes, their cities, their livelihoods.  We can lie to ourselves and say, “But they are not innocent.  They are evil.  They are our enemies.  They stand for all that is wrong, inhumane, selfish, and ignorant.”  But we are all innocent Sons of God, deluded and afraid of the truth, preferring the flesh and blood miscreations of the ego over our everlasting creation in and of God.    

In paragraph two of our text today, Jesus tells us that the undivided will of the Sonship creates as perfectly as God, because it is like God and it is God’s Will for the Sonship to create.  None of us can be exempt from the Sonship. Jesus is not the Lone Ranger.  He is not the Superhero that comes in and saves us with His supernatural skills and maneuvers and is harked by one and all.  Our belief system that worships and adores Jesus yet keeps our will separate from His, thinks of ourselves as different, He the perfect; we the abject sinners, – deny that we, too, are the Will of God.  We deny our healing because we deny our Sonship, for only in the wholeness of Sonship can we be healed.  We can only recognize our true Selves in the Sonship.  We unite with Jesus because we recognize our Selves in Him.  We recognize the perfection we forgot.  Through Jesus we recognize God, and remembering God is remembering our Sonship.  We are not separated from God and His Creation, dear brothers, for that is the lie and entrancement of our hostage taker.

We realize this when we understand that our will and the will of Jesus is one and the same.  We are not here for ourselves alone!  The Love of God shines upon us when we accept Jesus, when we accept His reality as our reality, as God’s reality.  We join our minds with Christ, when we get over the fear of His crucifixion, over the fear of martyrdom, of weakness, of the pansy way in which Jesus has been portrayed.  We join our minds with Christ when we see past the ego’s mean lies about the cost of our salvation, about the punitory God and His call for sacrifice, suffering, and shame.  When we accept Christ, we accept that we are the beloved Son of God, and that our will and the will of the Sonship are one. 

To join with Christ is to restore the power and the glory of God to ourselves because we are part of the Sonship. The wholeness of God and the wholeness of us is not separate, but one.  In the recognition of what we are in Christ, is all truth for as we unite with Christ we unite with God.  There is no glory in any sense of separation, in estrangement, in believing that God is vengeful, volatile, or violent.  Just as no healing, no acts of love, blessing, or everlasting goodwill come from denying Jesus His place in the Atonement.  There is no symbol that would ever stand in the place of Christ for His very mission is to reunite the Sonship with God, to restore the minds of those who have been led astray, to show that death is not the end of our story. 

Every act of love, every time we choose to forgive and forget the hurtful, wrongful deeds of another, every time we refuse to gossip or collect meaningless facts about others and instead respect and love the Sonship as we love Christ, we bear witness that we are the will of God.  Christ is God’s gift to us.  Without Him we are nothing, for without the mind of Christ our individual lives, our divided efforts, our hard work and our sacrifices hold no meaning. 

Make no mistake.  We can be good-enough people without the mind of Christ.  We can refrain from lying, practice wise decision-making, respect our colleagues, give to the poor, love our family and friends, and pay our taxes but in the end, this story ends in death.  We can pretend to be content with that.  We can say oh well, it is what it is, and I have led a wonderful life and tried my best not to hurt anybody.  You may tell this story to yourself and even come to believe it. 

But we do not belong to ourselves.  We belong to God.  We cannot change the truth about our Sonship.  We are the Will of God and His Son and while we have the freedom to choose to disbelieve this for as long as we want, our Sonship does not rely upon our belief in it. 

When we unite with Christ, we come without the fear and denial of this fact.  We put aside all the ego’s lies, perversions, and delusions.  Jesus does not unite with our egos, brothers.  We cannot use Jesus to defeat our enemies or conversely, to bestow special favors for those we love.  When we come to Jesus we renounce the divisiveness, disrespect, and distress of the ego because our truth is far beyond anything that would separate and dispose or oppose any particular one of us.  Transcending this human tendency is guaranteed by God only when we join our minds with the mind of Christ.  The simple recognition that without the mind of Christ we are nothing, restores the prodigal minds of the Sonship to the Kingdom of God where our wholeness, our happiness, our love and peace towards God and one another is certain forever.   

Jesus is the Will of God for you and for me.  Jesus leads us back to God where we belong, and this is God’s Will.  We are not asked to sacrifice.  We are not asked to martyr ourselves.  We are not asked to convert those who are not ready for this journey.  We are simply asked to lay down our egos, for we cannot take its lies, delusions, and oppositions with us on this journey.  This journey takes us to territory dangerous to the ego and to its kingdom.  No longer can this world’s lies and torments control our minds, for we have placed our trust in that which cannot be perceived with its flesh eyes or esteemed by its false values. 

Jesus tells us that we may experience a sense of retaliation and rejection from the lower part of our minds and the lower minds of those who do not walk with us.  Ego-based relationships in our lives will dwindle while our love-based relationships flourish.  The ego will do its best to call us back to its spells; if that does not work it will try to hitch a ride on our spiritual journey.  Do not let it come along!  Jesus is our companion on a direction that does not align with egoistic aims and desires.  Taking our egos with us, making the mistake of thinking of our ego as our little friend will only delay our journey for while Jesus does not compete for our minds nor go to battle against our egos, He has nothing to do with the ego’s nonsense and when we join our minds with Him, neither will we!

Our Holy Spirit has only one direction for our mind and for all minds.  Ego on the other hand separates minds that go every which way but loose.  Scattered in divided directions, we lose sight of the only real direction.  The ego chatter of our lower brains attempts to drown out the Voice for God which is our real and holy Self that abides in the higher mind of Christ.  Jesus cannot and does not force us to join our minds with His, but Jesus does ask us to reach for His Hand for this is our strength, this is our guidance, this is our decision to make.  Turning our backs upon our lower minds and joining with Him gives us the power to overcome any interference from the ego.  Joining with Him we are no longer alone; we have the power and glory of Jesus who died as a human and resurrected as the Son of God to lead our way.  He did not come to earth to restore a few to the Sonship, but to restore all to the Sonship.  And it is not the Sonship without you and without me!    

Let us thank Him today for suffering the crucifixion to demonstrate to us that no amount of pain, suffering, and humiliation can defeat a Son of God for all power and all glory belong to Him as God’s perfect Son. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. V. The undivided will of the sonship. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8: The Journey Back

IV: The Gift of Freedom

  1.  If God’s Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will.  His Will does not vacillate, being changeless forever.  When you are not at peace it can only be because you do not believe you are in Him.  Yet He is All in all.  His peace is complete, and you must be included in it.  His laws govern you because they govern everything.  You cannot exempt yourself from His laws, although you can disobey them.  Yet if you do, and only if you do, you will feel lonely and helpless, because you are denying yourself everything.
  2. I am come as a light into a world that does deny itself everything.  It does this simply by dissociating itself from everything.  It is therefore an illusion of isolation, maintained by fear of the same loneliness that is its illusion.  I said that I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  That is why I am the light of the world.  If I am with you in the loneliness of the world, the loneliness is gone.  You cannot maintain the illusion of loneliness if you are not alone.  My purpose, then, is still to overcome the world.  I do not attack it, but my light must dispel it because of what it is.  Light does not attack darkness, but it does shine it away.  If my light goes with you everywhere, you shine it away with me.  The light becomes ours, and you cannot abide in darkness any more than darkness can abide wherever you go.  The remembrance of me is the remembrance of yourself, and of Him Who sent me to you.
  3. You were in darkness until God’s Will was done completely by any part of the Sonship.  When this was done, it was perfectly accomplished by all.  How else could it be perfectly accomplished?  My mission was simply to unite the will of the Sonship with the Will of the Father by being aware of the Father’s Will myself.  This is the awareness I came to give you, and your problem in accepting it is the problem of this world.  Dispelling it is salvation, and in this sense I am the salvation of the world.  The world must therefore despise and reject me, because the world is the belief that love is impossible.  If you will accept the fact that I am with you, you are denying the world and accepting God.  My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.  As God sent me to you so will I send you to others.  And I will go to them with you, so we can teach them peace and union.
  4. Do you not think the world needs peace as much as you do?  Do you not want to give it to the world as much as you want to receive it?  For unless you do, you will not receive it.  If you want to have it of Me, you must give it.  Healing does not come from anyone else.  You must accept guidance from within.  The guidance must be what you want, or it will be meaningless to you.  That is why healing is a collaborative venture.  I can tell you what to do, but you must collaborate by believing that I know what you should do.  Only then will your mind choose to follow me.  Without this choice you could not be healed because you would have decided against healing, and this rejection of my decision for you makes healing impossible. 
  5. Healing reflects our joint will.  This is obvious when you consider what healing is for.  Healing is the way in which the separation is overcome.  Separation is overcome by union.  It cannot be overcome by separating.  The decision to unite must be unequivocal, or the mind itself is divided and not whole.  Your mind is the means by which you determine your own condition because mind is the mechanism of decision.  It is the power by which you separate or join, and experience pain or joy accordingly. My decision cannot overcome yours, because yours is as powerful as mine.  If it were not so the Sons of God would be unequal.  All things are possible through our joint decision, but mine alone cannot help you.  Your will is as free as mine, and God Himself would not go against it.  I cannot will what God does not will.  I can offer my strength to make yours invincible, but I cannot oppose your decision without competing with it, and thereby violating God’s Will for you.
  6. Nothing God created can oppose your decision, as nothing God created can oppose His Will.  God gave your will its power, which I can only acknowledge in honor of His.  If you want to be different, I will wait until you change your mind.  I can teach you, but only you can choose to listen to my teaching.  How else can it be if God’s Kingdom is freedom?  Freedom cannot be learned by tyranny of any kind, and the perfect equality of all God’s Sons cannot be recognized through the dominion of one mind over another.  God’s Sons are equal in will, all being the Will of their Father.  This is the only lesson I came to teach. 
  7. If your will were not mine it would not be our Father’s.  This would mean you have imprisoned yours and have not let it be free.  Of yourself you can do nothing, because of yourself you are nothing.  I am nothing without the Father and you are nothing without me, because by denying the Father you deny yourself.  I will always remember you, and in my remembrance of you lies your remembrance of yourself.  In our remembrance of each other lies our remembrance of God.  And in this remembrance lies your freedom because your freedom is in Him. Join, then, with me in praise of Him and you whom He created.  This is our gift of gratitude to Him, which He will share with all His creations, to whom He gives equally whatever is acceptable to Him.   Because it is acceptable to Him it is the gift of freedom, which is His Will for all His Sons.  By offering freedom you will be free. 
  8. Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an acknowledgment of what they are and what He is.  Freedom is creation because it is love.  Whom you seek to imprison you do not love.  Therefore, when you seek to imprison anyone, including yourself, you do not love him, and you cannot identify with him.  When you imprison yourself, you are losing sight of your true identification with me and with the Father.  Your identification is with the Father and with the Son.  It cannot be with one and not the other.  If you are part of one you must be part of the other, because they are one.  The Holy Trinity is holy because It is One.  If you exclude yourself from this union, you are perceiving the Holy Trinity as separated.  You must be included in It because It is everything.  Unless you take your place in It and fulfill your function as part of It, the Holy Trinity is as bereft as you are.  No part of It can be imprisoned if Its truth is to be known.[1]    

God’s Will is complete peace and joy.  God’s Will does not waver, His Will is always for our complete peace and joy.  There is not one part of God’s Will that wills that we suffer, that we feel shame, that we feel lonely or helpless.  If that is what we seem to be experiencing we are denying ourselves the Will of God. 

How do we deny ourselves the Will of God?  By offering that which is not His Will to others.  We may take on too much and then get grouchy and tired, distressed and feel the martyr.  This is not God’s Will!  Someone we know and love may be opposed to us.  It may seem as if we will never be able to get past the wall they have built between us.  We choose to be sad, to cry on someone’s shoulder, to take what happens in time and believe that it will drag on forever.  This is not God’s Will.  God does not will for us to feel sad or to despair.  We are to take all our hurts and pains to Him and ask Him to show us how to heal our relationships, how to bear the pain of loss, how to get over the grudges and resentments and spite we have toward those who have hurt us or the ones we love.  Rather than asking Him to fight our battles, and deny ourselves the Will of God entirely, we are to ask God to show us how to love and forgive others, to perceive with the vision of Christ.

For Christ is the light of the world.  Let there be no doubt about this.  For those who want to promote A Course in Miracles and leave Jesus out of it, this would only deny the validity and veracity of the Course itself.  The ego teaches us to dissociate ourselves with everything, to live in an illusion of isolation, and maintain that sense of isolation by keeping us in fear of being alone, stranded, without God and without one another.  Jesus promises to be with us during the whole history of separation.  Jesus gives us His Mind; Jesus gives us His Vision; Jesus gives us Himself.  His purpose is to overcome the world not by force, but by shining His light upon the illusion of madness and freeing our spellbound minds.    

We become Christ even as He becomes us.  Like Christ, we are the light of the world and darkness is dispelled wherever we are.  We cannot abide it, nor can it abide us!  So remember Jesus, for we are one with our holy Brother.  He is the head of the Brotherhood, He is the Sonship personified, He deserves all of our respect, our love, our appreciation for when we remember Him we remember our Father who sent Him to us. 

We were all in darkness until someone shared God’s Will with us.  When any part of the Sonship shares God’s Will it is perfectly accomplished by all.  This is part of the Atonement curriculum and one which is meant to fill us with joy in communion and unity of Spirit.  We simply cannot perfectly accomplish the Will of God off on our own thinking we are God’s elect, collecting followers, and believing we are special.  When I pray for someone and they are healed, I am not a miracle worker alone.  The whole Sonship was involved in this miracle!  The power and the glory is not mine alone.  I am not special, and nobody should think of me as such.  This business of calling each other advanced teachers and masters and God’s anointed is an ego device to pervert the message of oneness and mock the teachings of Jesus who refuses to elevate Himself above us but rather becomes us as we are to become Him. 

As God sent Christ to us, so Christ sends us to others.  When we accept the fact that Christ is with us we deny the world’s denial of Christ and accept the awareness of our Sonship.  We accept that we are the Will of God and this is our salvation.  Christ is the salvation of the world for His purpose was to reunite the Sonship with God. 

Make no mistake that the world needs peace as much as you do!  We cannot receive peace until we share peace with our brothers.  There is no other way to do this, then to take on the mind of Christ.  Healing comes in peace and it comes through Christ who abides as one within our minds and hearts.  Until we practice going within for our guidance and learn to trust in this guidance, to want this guidance, to be certain of this guidance it will have little to no meaning.  Jesus can tell us what to do but it will not help us unless we believe first that it is Jesus telling us what to do and second, that He actually knows what is best for us.  Only until we practice this – learning by doing it right and doing it wrong can we know to choose Him always. 

Healing is a collaborative venture because Jesus tells us what to do but we must choose to follow His guidance.  We cannot be healed without this decision to choose Christ, for to choose Christ is healing and to decide against Him is to decide against healing.  Healing is the way in which the separation is overcome.  Separation is healed by uniting with Christ Who makes us one with the Sonship of God.  The decision to unite our minds with the mind of Christ is one that makes our mind whole and no longer split between our true identity and our false one.  When we know what we are, we are healed.  We accept the power and glory that are ours as God’s Son.  We no longer see ourselves as depraved, depressed, diseased or destined for death – we see ourselves as we were created. 

Our minds are the mechanism for decision.  We can decide for the pain of separation or for the joy of union.  Jesus cannot make this decision for us; our minds are as powerful as His.  This is part of the equality of God’s Son – this is why we can say all things are possible with Christ, but yet Christ will not help us without our collaboration!  Our will is as free as the will of Jesus and God Himself would never go against it. 

Jesus only wills what God wills, but He can offer his power to make our wills invincible!  But never will He oppose our decision, never will He compete for our choice, for this would be violating the Will of God.  If this is difficult for you to understand prayerfully ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the meaning of God’s Will and why it can never use force, any form of attack, or competition.  God’s Will is freedom and liberty.  It is His Gift to us.  Anything that opposes freedom and liberty is not a gift, but a form of captivity. 

Our humanity is the result of our choice to be something other than God’s Will.  Jesus waits with undying devotion and patience until we want to learn to be God’s Will.  Jesus does not teach us freedom by forcing Himself upon us, by threatening and cursing us, by scaring the living daylights out of us, or shaming us.  The gift of freedom does not come through torture or sacrifice of any kind.  One mind cannot be in dominion over the other minds of the Sons of God – for this is not freedom but bondage.  Freedom cannot be learned by tyranny of any kind. The only lesson that Jesus came to teach was the lesson of oneness, of equality, of every single one of us being the Will of God.

Again, Jesus states very plainly that our wills, and His Will, are the Will of God.  If we believe that God’s Will is outside of us, out in the world somewhere, being held up by something or someone in our life that is keeping us from it, we have imprisoned ourselves with a false belief.  Within that false belief we are nothing – for we are nothing without God’s Will.  Without our love, peace, joy and all the other good things of God which make us His Will we are nothing.  We are an empty shell.  Jesus Himself would be nothing without God just as we are nothing without Christ for He leads us back to our truth! 

When we remember what we are in Christ we remember God.  This is our freedom from the world of pain and suffering, loneliness and despair.  We are no longer at the mercy of our faulty defense systems, our mortal bodies, our weapons of mass destruction, the snobberies and aggressiveness that define human interaction.  When we realize our freedom we naturally join with Christ in praise of God and in praise of the Sonship which He created.  Our gift of appreciation, of gratitude, of praise to God flows joyfully from our thoughts for Him back through the Sonship, the Kingdom, all of Creation for God shares equally what is given to Him. 

Because Jesus offers us this freedom, we offer this freedom to our brothers.  We do not force our love upon others.  We do not wax on to those who have no interest in spiritual matters about the things of God.  We meet people where they are and we talk to them about things that are mutually pleasant, enlivening, fun, and which make for a good time.  We give others the respect and dignity that they deserve as God’s Son no matter what condition we find them in.  By offering others freedom we show appreciation for our own freedom to learn at our own pace and when we are good and ready!

Freedom is creation because it is love.  When we seek to dominate anybody, we do not love them, we do not trust them, we do not respect them, nor can we identify with them.  We imprison ourselves by trying to dominate others.  We may offer a gospel that loses sights of our true identification with Christ and with the Father.  We try to get rid of the baby and keep the bath water, thinking that something good and worthwhile can be found without Christ Who is our only way to oneness with God, with the Sonship, with the Holy Trinity. 

We are used to saying Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as if the trinity is apart from us, as if we are separated from the blessed trinity because of our sin, shame, and guilt – but Jesus tells us today that we are free of illusions about ourselves.  We are restored to our true identity.  Our spirits are holy; we are holy spirit.  As we take our place as part of the oneness of God, as part of the Holy Trinity itself we are no longer imprisoned by lies, by disease, darkness, and death.  God’s Kingdom and the Trinity itself is complete. 

Do not be afraid of this teaching for this is the gift of freedom that Christ offers us. It is why He was born; it is why He allowed Himself to be crucified; it is why He resurrected and showed Himself to His followers and to those of us who seek Him still.  We are One in the Brotherhood of Christ, we are as Christ, as Christ is as us.  Today in your devotional practice, ask your real and everlasting Self, your Holy Spirit to reveal this truth in a way that helps you accept your place in God’s Kingdom as His Will. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. IV The gift of freedom. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

III: The Holy Encounter

  1. Glory to God in the highest, and to you because He has so willed it. Ask and it shall be given you because it has already been given.  Ask for light and learn that you are light.  If you want understanding and enlightenment you will learn it, because your decision to learn it is the decision to listen to the Teacher Who knows of light and can therefore teach it to you.  There is no limit on your learning because there is no limit on your mind.  There is no limit on His teaching because He was created to teach.  Understanding His function perfectly He fulfills it perfectly because that is His joy and yours
  2. To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced.  When this is accomplished, then, there is no other experience.  Yet the wish for other experiences will block its accomplishment because God’s Will cannot be forced upon you, being an experience of total willingness.  The Holy Spirit understands how to teach this, but you do not.  That is why you need Him, and why God gave Him to you.  Only His teaching will release your will to God’s, uniting it with His power and glory and establishing them as yours.  You share them as God shares them because this is the natural outcome of their being.
  3. The Will of the Father and of the Son are one, by Their extension.  Their extension is the result of Their oneness, holding Their unity together by extending Their joint Will.  This is perfect creation by the perfectly created, in union with the Perfect Creator.  The Father must give fatherhood to His Son because His Own Fatherhood must be extended outward.  You who belong in God have the holy function of extending His Fatherhood by placing no limits upon it.  Let the Holy Spirit teach you how to do this, for you can know what it means only of God Himself. 
  4. When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.  As you see him you will see yourself.  As you treat him you will treat yourself.  As you think of him you will think of yourself.  Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.  Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation.  Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself.  For I am always there with you, in remembrance of you.
  5. The goal of the curriculum, regardless of the teacher you choose, is “Know thyself.”  There is nothing else to seek.  Everyone is looking for himself, and for the power and glory he thinks he has lost.  Whenever you are with anyone, you have another opportunity to find them.  Your power and glory are in him because they are yours.  The ego tries to find them in yourself alone, because it does not know where to look.  The Holy Spirit teaches you that if you look only at yourself you cannot find yourself, because that is not what you are.  Whenever you are with a brother, you are learning what you are because you are teaching what you are.  He will respond either with pain or with joy, depending on which teacher you are following.  He will be imprisoned or released according to your decision, and so will you.  Never forget your responsibility to him because it is your responsibility to yourself.  Give him his place in the Kingdom and you will have yours.
  6. The Kingdom cannot be found alone, and you who are the Kingdom cannot find yourself alone.  To achieve the goal of the curriculum, then, you cannot listen to the ego, whose purpose is to defeat its own goal.  The ego does not know this, because it does not know anything.  But you can know it, and you will know it if you are willing to look at what the ego would make of you.  This is your responsibility, because once you have really looked at it you will accept the Atonement for yourself. What other choice could you make?  Having made this choice you will understand why you once believed that when you met someone else you thought he was someone else.  And every holy encounter in which you enter fully will teach you this is not so. 
  7. You can encounter only part of yourself because you are part of God, Who is everything.  His power and glory are everywhere, and you cannot be excluded from them.  The ego teaches that your strength is in you alone.  The Holy Spirit teaches that all strength is in God and therefore in you.  God wills no one suffer.  He does not will anyone to suffer for a wrong decision, including you.  That is why He has given you the means for undoing it.  Through His power and glory all your wrong decisions are undone completely, releasing you and your brother from every imprisoning thought any part of the Sonship holds.  Wrong decisions have no power because they are not true.  The imprisonment they seem to produce is no truer than they are.
  8. Power and glory belong to God alone.  So do you.  God gives whatever belongs to Him because He gives of Himself, and everything belongs to Him.  Giving of yourself is the function He gave you.  Fulfilling it perfectly will let you remember what you have of Him, and by this you will remember also what you are in Him.  You cannot be powerless to do this because this is your power.  Glory is God’s gift to you because that is what He is.  See this glory everywhere to remember what you are.[1] 

Today Jesus tells us that we share God’s glory because that is the nature of God, to share what He has and what He is.  When we ask for truth, for light, for health and wellbeing – we learn that this is what we already are in God.  Seeking enlightenment and understanding guarantees that we will learn it, because the decision to learn is the decision to listen to Holy Spirit who remembers our light and can therefore teach it to us.  When we accept our worthiness, when we are over our fear of God and have come to know His love and undying devotion to us, there are no limits on our learning because our mind expands like the Mind of God.  Jesus tells us that there are no limits on Holy Spirit’s teachings because being created to teach, teaching is the joyful perfect function of Holy Spirit as it is ours. 

In paragraph two, we learn that joy and peace can only be had by fulfilling God’s Will perfectly.  This is the only function which fulfills us; accomplishing God’s Will is the only experience there truly is.  When I read this today, several different memories surfaced in my mind about my former teachings about “God’s Will.”  I was always taught to seek God’s Will for my life as if it were concealed from me. God would reveal His Will only if I were a good girl, if I stopped loving boys so much, if I stopped making up stories, if I wore dresses that covered my chubby knees, and prayed and read my bible and stopped reading novels.  God’s Will and my will would remain going in two different directions until I stopped questioning the word of God found in the King James version of the Holy Bible, until I spoke in tongues, until I obeyed my mother who had a list of do’s and don’ts that surpassed Mosaic law!  God’s Will was also a slippery thing, it would send you to the places that you expressly did not want to go, which led my sister who had a fear of Africa to use reverse psychology on God Himself and pray to be sent there as a missionary!

In our Course we learn that God’s Will is simply sharing of the love, peace, and joy that is naturally ours because it is God’s.  We meet no other condition than that we seek not to replace His Will with the very things that impede it – for when we choose grudges, conflict, suffering, and sacrifice and try to share that, we are not extending the Kingdom of God.  God has no way to force His attributes on us for love, peace, and joy cannot be found in unwillingness, in force or in constraint.  The moment love, peace, and joy is forced upon a will, it is no longer love, peace, and joy but a law which inflicts limits, becomes complicated, requiring enforcers and a place to inflict punishment upon those who do not comply.  In other words it becomes a device of the ego rather than the Will of God. 

Holy Spirit teaches us that we are God’s Will, the very attributes of God, and being God’s Will, we share in the power and glory of God.  It is only natural to share love and peace and joy because love and peace and joy can only be love and peace and joy when they are shared.  Try to keep love and peace and joy to oneself and it evaporates into a sad, twisted form of egoism that is no good for anybody! 

God’s Will and our will are one because they are shared.  Sharing peace is sharing joy is sharing love.  No matter how you may arrange the attributes of God’s Will, we cannot share a single attribute of God without sharing them all!  This makes a perfect creation by the perfectly created as one with the Perfect Creator.  When we know God as our Father, we know the love that is bestowed upon us as His Son, as His Will and the only way to be His Will is to share the attributes of Sonship outward.  We place no limits on it.  We love because God loves and made us to love and to be love.  We share peace because God made us in peace and for peace and to be peace.  We share joy because God made us in joy to be joyful and to be joy itself.  We are not out of God’s Will just because we are not out on the mission field saving souls.  Stay at home, clean your office, cook meals, feed your ducks, take a walk with your mate, or head off to work each day.  Our only function as God’s Will is to extend love and peace and joy wherever we are and with whomever we find ourselves.  Ask Holy Spirit to reveal this to you and teach you how to do this, for we cannot understand this concept without understanding God. 

So often we will be tempted to think that we are not doing enough for God.  Our egos will send us down many unnecessary paths in our efforts to please Him, to earn our salvation, to share the good news.  My missionary mother would get tired and so cranky, resenting her children, our house, our few acres, animals, and even my dad for holding her back from doing God’s Will.  She could not understand why people were not particularly happy to hear about her visions, her calling, her little mission trips here and there, and the thrill she got from serving Jesus.  It was not until her final days that she realized that she was God’s Will on earth and that her boundless acts of kindness, generosity, benevolence, and goodness that she extended to her family, her nieces and nephews, the people she visited in prison, the hymn sings she held at local nursing homes, her beautiful smile and the deep appreciation that she expressed toward any small favor was the Will of God! 

The ego’s goal is to establish a Kingdom in opposition to God’s Kingdom, but the ego cannot establish an ongoing Kingdom because it opposes love, peace, and joy.  A kingdom which opposes love, peace, and joy – falls to pieces.  The ego cannot understand this, but we can.  A friendship, a marriage, a family, any kind of organization at all cannot last where there is conflict, hatred, and unhappiness.  We were made to be happy!  We were made to get along!  We were made to love one another, have fun together, to enjoy creation as one.  It is our responsibility to recognize how the ego would come between us to keep us apart and then feel victimized and project blame when its schemes always fail. 

When we accept the Atonement we have accepted what we are.  We have accepted that we can never be apart from God.  We have accepted that our brothers are one with us.  Every holy encounter teaches us that oneness is true and separation is not.

God has no need to shame us or make us suffer.  Punishment does not correct mistakes – this is why we have the means to undo every wrong decision we have ever made.  Through the power and glory that God bestows upon us, every wrong is undone completely.  We are set free from every wrongful thought and deed that the Sonship has made.  Wrong decisions have no power because they are wrong, they are not right.  In God’s Kingdom that which is not right is not true.  That which is not true is simply a lie, it has no power because it is not true and therefore does not exist.  Any kind of bondage that wrong decisions seem to produce is not true and are erased from the record.

Practice the power and the glory of God by extending this gift to everyone you meet.  Let bygones be bygones.  Do not bring up the sins and shortcomings of others but extend to them the forgiveness and undoing that God extends to us.  Practice vigilance in extending loving, peaceful and joyful thoughts toward those who oppose you.  When we give of ourselves in this way, we are denying the ego’s opposition to God’s Kingdom which would have us give hatred, bitterness, and spite.  When we give love and peace and joy we remember what we really are in God and realize that we can never be victimized again, because what we are is powerful.  Let us personalize and meditate upon the last two lines of our reading today, asking Holy Spirit to make it real to our minds and hearts:

Glory is God’s Gift to me because that is what He is.  I will see His glory everywhere to remember what I am.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back III The holy encounter. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

II: The Difference Between Imprisonment and Freedom

  1. There is a rationale for choice. Only one Teacher knows what your reality is. If learning to remove the obstacles to that knowledge is the purpose of the curriculum, you must learn it of Him. The ego does not know what it is trying to teach. It is trying to teach you what you are without knowing what you are. It is expert only in confusion.  It does not understand anything else. As a teacher, then, the ego is totally confused and totally confusing. Even if you could disregard the Holy Spirit entirely, which is impossible, you could still learn nothing from the ego, because the ego knows nothing.
  2. Is there any possible reason for choosing a teacher such as this? Does the total disregard of anything it teaches make anything but sense? Is this the teacher to whom a Son of God should turn to find himself? The ego has never given you a sensible answer to anything. Simply on the grounds of your own experience with its teaching, should not this alone disqualify it as your future teacher? Yet the ego has done more harm to your learning then this alone. Learning is joyful if it leads you along your natural path and facilitates the development of what you have. When you are taught against your nature, however, you will lose by your learning because your learning will imprison you. Your will is in your nature, and therefore cannot go against it.
  3. The ego cannot teach you anything as long as your will is free because you will not listen to it. It is not your will to be imprisoned because your will is free. That is why the ego is the denial of free will. It is never God who coerces you because He shares His will with you. His Voice teaches only in accordance with His Will, but that is not the Holy Spirit’s lesson because that is what you are. The lesson is that your will and God’s cannot be out of accord because they are one. This is the undoing of everything the ego tries to teach. It is not, then, only the direction of the curriculum that must be unconflicted, but also the content.
  4. The ego tries to teach you that you want to oppose God’s Will. This unnatural lesson cannot be learned, and the attempt to learn it is a violation of your own freedom, making you afraid of your will because it is free. The Holy Spirit opposes any imprisoning of the will of a Son of God, knowing that the will of the Son is the Father’s. The Holy Spirit leads you steadily along the path of freedom, teaching you how to disregard or look beyond everything that would hold you back.
  5. We have said that the Holy Spirit teaches you the difference between pain and joy. That is the same as saying he teaches you the difference between imprisonment and freedom. You cannot make this distinction without Him because you have taught yourself that imprisonment is freedom. Believing them to be the same, how can you tell them apart? Can you ask the part of your mind that taught you to believe they are the same, to teach you how they are different?
  6. The Holy Spirit’s teaching takes only one direction and has only one goal. His direction is freedom, and his goal is God. Yet He cannot conceive of God without you because it is not God’s Will to be without you. When you have learned that your will is God’s, you could no more will to be without Him then He could will to be without you. This is freedom and this is joy. Deny yourself this and you are denying God His Kingdom because He created you for this.
  7. When I said, all power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His, this is what I meant: The Will of God is without limit, and all power and glory lie within it. It is boundless in strength and in love and in peace. It has no boundaries because its extension is unlimited, and it encompasses all things because It created all things. By creating all things, It made them part of Itself. You are the Will of God because that is how you were created. Because your Creator creates only like Himself, you are like Him.  You are part of Him Who is all power and glory and are therefore as unlimited as He is.
  8. To what else except all power and glory can the Holy Spirit appeal to restore God’s Kingdom?  His appeal, then, is merely to what the Kingdom is, and for its own acknowledgement of what it is.  When you acknowledge this, you bring the acknowledgement automatically to everyone, because you have acknowledged everyone.  By your recognition you awaken theirs, and through theirs yours is extended.  Awakening runs easily and gladly throughout the Kingdom, in answer to the Call for God.  This is the natural response of every Son of God to the Voice for his Creator, because It is the Voice for His creations and for His own extension.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that there is a rationale for choice because only one Teacher can teach us truly.  There is the ego, expert only in confusion, and understanding nothing but confusion, and there is Holy Spirit – our one Teacher who does know what our reality is.

Learning fills us with happiness when what we learn follows our natural will and supports the unfolding of what we have and are.  Under the right Teacher we blossom, we look forward to our lessons, there is no fear, no trembling, no competition, or comparison when we learn with love, peace, and joy, by love, peace, and joy, to be love, peace, and joy. When we are taught against our natural attributes of love, peace, and joy our learning imprisons us and attempts to turn us against our very natures.  Instead of blossoming and unfolding into more of what we are, we shrivel, we shrink, we grow distressed and worried and full of doubt.

When our wills are loving, peaceful, and joyful, when our wills are free to be what they really are – the ego cannot teach us a thing because what it offers in exchange is meaningless to us.  Why would we choose its spite, meanness, and poverty of spirit?  Why would we choose its addictions and obsessions and drives for power, control, and dominance which is a denial of free will?  It is not God who takes our wills away from us for God shares His love, His peace, and His joy with us as our natural attributes.  This is what we are – God’s love, peace, and joy, and Holy Spirit teaches us that our will and God’s Will cannot be out of accord because we are God’s Will.  Knowing this frees us from the lies of the ego which have held us captive in fear of God, of ourselves, of each other and of all Creation.  It is not just the direction of the curriculum that must only point to peace for one and all, but also the content of the curriculum must offer peace for one and all.  Without a totally peaceful and loving content, our wills which are one with God’s, would be imprisoned in traps of learning what could never be.  We can study war, we can strategize battle plans, we can choose alliances, we can offer judgment and condemnation – but it will teach us nothing because nobody can learn under such duress.  Distress, sorrow, pain, and suffering is simply against our God-given nature.

Imprisoning the will is not the plan of Holy Spirit because He knows that the will of the Son and the Father are one.  This is how we were created and that is just the way it is.  Imprisoning the will of a Son of God is a lesson in futility for always, in the end, the will of the Son escapes the traps of illusion, lies, and fear.  Holy Spirit, with no coercion, no shame and guilt, no threats of dire punishment – leads us steadily along the path of freedom, showing us how to disregard or look beyond all that would hold us back.  This is how we learn to love, trust, obey, and appreciate the Holy Spirit as our one Teacher.  Always kind, logical, and respectful, using things that make sense and agree with our true natures, Holy Spirit frees us from all that would bind us to striving, contending, and comparing and reminds us of our oneness with God, with one another, and with all of creation. 

Without Holy Spirit we do not know the difference between pain and joy or imprisonment and freedom.  When we believe they are the same, that we must accept the good with the bad, the mean and spiteful with the kind and merciful, the conflict with the peace – we lose our ability to distinguish between right and wrong, sanity and insanity, pain and pleasure, imprisonment and freedom.  We certainly cannot rely upon the part of our mind that taught us that we are to accept opposites and opposition to teach us how to tell them apart and thus be free to choose between one or the other. 

There is only one direction and one goal in the Holy Spirit’s curriculum:  the direction is freedom; the goal is God.  The goal is God because Holy Spirit knows that God’s Will cannot be without us, for we are God’s Will.  When we learn that lesson, when we come to understand that God would never turn His back upon us, oust us from His Kingdom, send us into the darkness, the loneliness, the despair of flesh and blood and bone and gristle, we could no more run from Him than He could run from us.  Our return to our true identity is our freedom and our joy!  If we remain confused about this issue, if we still think that God has a grudge toward us, has made us into flesh and blood to torment us and keep us captive to the flesh body withs its limitations, meanness, and constant calls for attention, if we still deny ourselves as God’s Will and cling to ego’s substitutes for love and peace and joy, we are keeping ourselves imprisoned and denying God His Kingdom because it was created for us and with us only in mind. 

Egos mock our humanity and lay our bodies low.  Egos can inflate themselves within us and puff us up to strut about thinking that we are God’s Gift in the flesh, the anointed one, the charmed, the famous, the most popular.  We can get our jollies discussing other people in a disrespectful way, collecting information about them, judging, condemning, idolizing, doing anything but truly knowing them and truly loving them.  We can form cliques, join clubs, align ourselves with doctrines and tenets of faith that exalt some and abase the rest, but this is not freedom, this is imprisonment.  For what we do to others, how we think about others, what we will for others, is always what we will for ourselves for we are one.  What you wish to happen to me, my brother, is what you wish upon yourself. 

When we accept that our will and God’s Will are one, we accept our oneness with all of creation. We are part of God and nothing can change that – ever.  He created us to be like Himself; we are an extension of God.  We are the will of God and because all power and glory lie within the Will of God, we too are boundless in strength, love, and peace.  We extend forever and all that exists is enfolded within us.  By creating all things, the Will of God made them part of God.  This should not fill us with fear, but with awe and appreciation.  His joy is our joy.  His love is our love.  His strength is our strength.  We will never find this in our humanity, we will never find this promise in the ego, there is no superman or superwoman that can withstand the love, the peace, the joy, the strength of God’s Will.

Holy Spirit appeals to us to restore God’s Kingdom – the Voice for God is within each one of us not because we are sinful, corrupt, and worthless human beings, but because we are the Will of God and the Kingdom of God itself.  Acknowledge this.  For when we acknowledge this we naturally bring everyone with us, because when I acknowledge my own Sonship I automatically acknowledge yours and we both then extend the Kingdom of God. 

Be full of courage and take a stand for freedom.  Do not be afraid for truth not only sets us free but sets free all of those who would oppose it.  Some of the people whom I least expected to understand the concepts of this Course were gladdened by its message.  They say things like, “Oh, I always knew that what they were teaching me could not be true!”  One dear atheistic friend came to see me right before she died, making a tremendous effort. She wanted to let me know that she understood it now, her Sonship, the love of God, the oneness in which He created us to share His Will with us.  The light on her face, the joy in her countenance, the absolute certainty in her freedom as she faced her impending death with no fear was a wonderful testimony to the power of truth to withstand all lies and delusions of the ego. 

Awakening, Jesus says, runs easily and gladly throughout the Kingdom when we answer the call of God in our lives.  It is only natural for us to awaken at our Father’s Voice, for we know His Voice.  It is the Voice of Love.  It is the Voice of Peace.  It is the Voice of Joy.  It is the Voice of the Brotherhood of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Sonship of God.  It is the Voice that reminds us of what we really are and where we really belong; we recognize it because it is our own. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. II The difference between imprisonment and freedom. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8 The Journey Back

I: The Direction of the Curriculum

  1. Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is. This is a prerequisite for knowledge only because those who are in conflict are not peaceful, and peace is the condition of knowledge because it is the condition of the Kingdom. Knowledge can be restored only when you meet its conditions. This is not a bargain made by God, who makes no bargains. It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of an imaginary will that is not His. Knowledge is His will. If you were opposing His will, how can you have knowledge?  I have told you what knowledge offers you, but perhaps you do not yet regard this as wholly desirable. If you did you would not be so ready to throw it away when the ego asks for your allegiance.
  2. The distractions of the ego may seem to interfere with your learning, but the ego has no power to distract you unless you give it the power to do so. The ego’s voice is a hallucination. You cannot expect the ego to say, “I am not real.” Yet you are not asked to dispel your hallucinations alone.  You were merely asked to evaluate them in terms of their results to you. If you do not want them on the basis of loss of peace, they will be removed from your mind for you.
  3. Every response to the ego is a call to war, and war deprives you of peace. Yet in this war there is no opponent. This is the reinterpretation of reality that you must make to secure peace, and the only one you need ever make. Those whom you perceive as opponents are part of your peace, which you are giving up by attacking them.  How can you have what you give up? You share to have, but you do not give it up yourself. When you give up peace, you are excluding yourself from it. This is a condition so alien to the Kingdom that you cannot understand the state that prevails within it.
  4. Your past learning must have taught you the wrong things, simply because it has not made you happy. On this basis alone its value should be questioned. If learning aims at change, and that is always a purpose, are you satisfied with the changes your learning has brought you? Dissatisfaction with learning outcomes is a sign of learning failure, since you did not get what you wanted.
  5. The curriculum of the atonement is the opposite of the curriculum you have established for yourself, but so is its outcome. If the outcome of yours has made you unhappy, and if you want a different one, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary. The first change to be introduced is a change in direction. A meaningful curriculum cannot be inconsistent. If it has two teachers, each believing and teaching diametrically opposed ideas, it cannot be integrated. If it is carried out by these two teachers simultaneously, each one merely interferes with the other.  This leads to fluctuation, but not to change. The volatile have no direction. They cannot choose one because they cannot relinquish the other, even if it does not exist. Their conflicted curriculum teaches them that all directions exist and gives them no rationale for choice.
  6. The total senselessness of such a curriculum must be fully recognized before a real change in direction becomes possible. You cannot learn simultaneously from two teachers who are in total disagreement about everything. Their joint curriculum presents an impossible learning task. They are teaching you entirely different things in entirely different ways, which might be possible except that both are teaching you about yourself. Your reality is unaffected by both, but if you listen to both, your mind will be split about what your reality is.[1]

Today as we come to our devotional practice, let us be still and in that stillness, ask for peace.  For we can only know God when our minds are in peace.  Peace is established where there is no conflict.  As we come to our holy practice today, ask Holy Spirit to reveal any allegiance that you may have to the teachings of the ego, to its opposition to love and peace and joy, and ask Him to help you make the choice for peace.  The direction of this course is to teach us the state of peace which is required to know God, to be restored to our original state, to stop misusing the laws of God for that which amounts to zilch. 

We live in a state of entrancement.  Jesus does not expect us to deliver ourselves from the hellish realm where what is real seems imaginary and what is fiction seems real.  The ego is not going to expose itself or its mass delusions.  However, Jesus does expect us to evaluate them, to ask what the result is for following the rest of the world into the multitude of paths that seem promising at the outset but always result in sorrow, suffering, and sacrifice.  If we lose our peace, if what the world teaches us leads us to conflict, distress, worries, and loss, Jesus promises us that all of this will be removed from our minds for us.  The ego has no real power over us except the belief in it that we give it. 

Carefully read and meditate upon paragraph three, for Jesus tells us that every response to the ego is a call to war, and war keeps us from knowing God.  Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how you are choosing war over peace in your response to yourself and others, to the world, and to all of Creation.  Ask Holy Spirit to show you how when we perceive others as anything but equals in God’s Kingdom, we are responding to the ego and we have made a call to war.  Do not deceive yourself that you are on the side of what is right and so it is not a call to war to call someone a racist, a sexist, or a hypocrite.  Do not deceive yourself about peace when you are willing that others are cast into a lake of fire if they do not look like you, believe like you do, or go to the same religious institutions that you do.  Having peace, knowing peace, and being peace means that we have no enemies, that God has no enemies, and that our reality can never be found in this realm for it is a lie, an illusion, a result of misusing our inheritance and building a fictional kingdom that has lost the meaning of peace. 

This Course teaches us that those we perceive as opposing us are part of our peace, and if we respond to them in any form of attack, we give up our peace.  We cannot have what we give up, dear brothers.  We cannot call names, say nasty things, remind people of their wrongdoings, or demand that a world built on lies, on strife, on that which opposes love, peace, and joy give us what only belongs to and can be found in God and His Kingdom.  The only way to respond to any call for opposition is not to give up our peace, but to share it!  We are Sons of God, created for God’s Kingdom and by God’s Kingdom.  To make this more real to us, let us say we are Sons of Peace, we are Sons of Love, we are sons of Joy and our true Kingdom is one of Peace, of Love, of Joy.  This other thing we have going on here is alien to our true kingdom, it is alien to our very selves.  Losing peace then is losing our sense of what we are – it throws us into a state of not only conflict, but confusion, distress, and unhappiness. 

If our learning in the world, including our religious doctrines and texts, has not made us happy, Jesus asks us to question the value of what we have learned based upon our unhappiness alone.  What does it profit us to learn the books of the bible, the names of the prophets, the prophecies and the curses, the list of dos and the list of don’ts, if our learning disheartens us?  Knowing all that may make us feel special, give us an elevated sense of importance, entitling us to think of ourselves as more than others, but does it bring us joy?  And if it does not bring us joy, how can we share joy?  And if we cannot share joy, what are we sharing?  Go beyond your fear of punishment, displeasing an ego-made god, or being tormented in hell forever.  Ask yourself these questions in all sincerity and in your longing for truth.

Learning aims at making a change.  Are we happy with the changes our learning has brought us?  If the answer is no, we did not get what we really wanted or needed. 

The outcome of Atonement curriculum is different from the curriculums offered by the world.  If what I have chased after in the world has made me unhappy, has filled me with sorrow, has taught me of inequality, injustice, needless battles, abuse, and violence and I want something else, I have to choose something that teaches me that which fills me with joy, I want to learn what takes me to equality, to mutuality, to fellowship and fun, to getting along and supporting one another, to going in the direction of love and peace and all that brings warmth and goodness. 

To teach me anything that can be built upon, I must have one consistent teacher, not two conflicting ones.  If I learn that I am a flesh and blood creature prone to do evil from one teacher and I learn that I am a spirit and a perfect Son of God from the other, I will not know what I am!  Everything I learn from one teacher will be contradicted by the other.  One day I will do that which honors Sonship, the next I will dishonor it by believing I am little more than a beast, driven by my passions and my id.   Our traditional religious texts teach from this contradictory curriculum – and we are not only confused, but ashamed for we learn of a volatile God who cannot control His temper, holds everlasting grudges against His own Creations; and preens Himself upon praise and worship from His groveling underlings.  

The absurdity of such curriculums must be addressed before any of us can make a real change in direction.  We must go beyond our loyalty to our ancestral traditions, our fear in the curses attached to our religions, our ignorant hopes that we can make it out of here and leave the rest of the ninnies behind and never have to think about them again.  If we want to know God, if we want truth we must come in peace with no conflict.  It is important to note that no matter what curriculum we choose, our reality as God’s Son is not changed, but our minds will be divided, and we will not know ourselves as God’s Son.  We will still be confused about our identity. Sometimes we will extend love, peace, and joy, other days we will project what opposes love, peace, and joy.  We will still be unstable and uncertain.  Only when we become fully aligned with Holy Spirit’s curriculum, can we become teachers of the peace that leads to God. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. I The direction of the curriculum. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom

XI: The State of Grace

  1. The Holy Spirit will always guide you truly because your joy is His.  This is His Will for everyone because He speaks for the Kingdom of God, which is joy.  Following Him is therefore the easiest thing in the world, and the only thing that is easy, because it is not of this world.  It is therefore natural.  The world goes against your nature, being out of accord with God’s laws.  The world perceives orders of difficulty in everything.  This is because the ego perceives nothing as wholly desirable.  By demonstrating to yourself there is no order of difficulty in miracles, you will convince yourself that, in your natural state, there is no difficulty at all because it is a state of grace.
  2. Grace is the natural state of every Son of God.  When he is not in a state of grace, he is out of his natural environment and does not function well.  Everything he does becomes a strain, because he was not created for the environment that he has made.  He therefore cannot adapt to it, nor can he adapt it to him.  There is no point in trying.  A Son of God is happy only when he knows he is with God.  That is the only environment in which he will not experience strain, because that is where he belongs.  It is also the only environment that is worthy of him, because his own worth is beyond anything he can make.
  3. Consider the kingdom you have made and judge its worth fairly.  Is it worthy to be a home for a child of God?  Does it protect his peace and shine love upon him?  Does it keep his heart untouched by fear, and allow him to give always, without any sense of loss?  Does it teach him that this giving is his joy, and that God Himself thanks him for his giving?  That is the only environment in which you can be happy.  You cannot make it any more than you can make yourself.  It has been created for you, as you were created for it.  God watches over His children and denies them nothing.  Yet when they deny Him they do not know this, because they deny themselves everything.  You who could give the Love of God to everything you see and touch and remember, are literally denying Heaven to yourself.
  4. I call upon you to remember that I have chosen you to teach the Kingdom to the Kingdom.  There are no exceptions to the lesson because the lack of exceptions is the lesson.  Every Son who returns to the Kingdom with this lesson in his heart has healed the Sonship and given thanks to God.  Everyone who learns this lesson has become the perfect teacher, because he has learned it of the Holy Spirit.
  5. When a mind has only light, it knows only light.  Its own radiance shines all around it, and extends out into the darkness of other minds, transforming them into majesty.  The Majesty of God is there, for you to recognize and appreciate and know.  Recognizing the Majesty of God as your brother is to accept your own inheritance.  God gives only equality.  If you recognize His gift in anyone, you have acknowledged what He has given you.  Nothing is so easy to recognize as truth.  This is the recognition that is immediate, clear, and natural.  You have trained yourself not to recognize it, and this has been very difficult for you.
  6. Out of your natural environment you may well ask, “What is truth?” since truth is the environment by which and for which you were created.  You do not know yourself, because you do not know your Creator.  You do not know your creations because you do not know your brothers, who created them with you.  I have already said that only the whole Sonship is worthy to be co-creator with God, because only the whole Sonship can create like Him.  Whenever you heal a brother by recognizing his worth, you are acknowledging his power to create and yours.  He cannot have lost what you recognize, and you must have the glory you see in him.  He is a co-creator with God with you.  Deny his creative power, and you are denying yours and that of God Who created you.
  7. You cannot deny part of truth.  You do not know your creations because you do not know their creator.  You do not know yourself because you do not know yours.  Your creations cannot establish your reality, any more than you can establish God’s.  But you can know both.  Being is known by sharing.  Because God shared His Being with you, you can know Him.  But you must also know all He created, to know what they have shared.  The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons and their children, who are as like the Sons as they are like the Father.  Know, then, the Sons of God, and you will know all creation.[1]

As I read this first paragraph and then stopped to read it again and then again, I was filled with such deep appreciation for A Course in Miracles which speaks of God’s Kingdom and the Holy Spirit in the love and generosity of spirit which is our real spiritual nature.  It is easy to follow the Holy Spirit!  There are not a long list of do’s and don’ts.  There are not curses attached to it.  There are no threats or punishments.  It is joyful; it is loving; it is benevolent and kind – always.  Not just some of the time.  Not just when everybody is acting a certain way.  Not just when people are bowing and offering sacrifices and singing praises and telling God how big and wonderful He is.  All of the time – joyful, loving, benevolent, and kind.  This is our God in Whom we can really trust.  This is our God in which we can be certain.  We can talk about Him without any guilt or shame.  For He is not responsible for the atrocities of this world because He did not make this world or anything in it except the minds that were ensnared by their own fiction. 

When we follow Holy Spirit and learn how natural it is to be joyful, to be loving, to share of our true essence and therefore engage in a process which does not come at all to the ego, we will perform miracles.  One act of love and joy and benevolence is no more and no less than another act because love and joy and benevolence is the state of grace in which we dwell.  Only as we begin to demonstrate this in our daily lives, to practice this state of grace, to offer what we are to others in the form of love, joy, benevolence and all the other attributes of God which are our attributes as well because He created us to be like Him, will we realize how natural and easy it is to accept our true selves, to let them out instead of keeping them hidden inside, to stop being afraid of our true selves.  We live in a state of grace.  We know we can never be lost.  We know Who and What we belong to and we have demonstrated to ourselves that certainty through our practice of loving, appreciative, benevolent thought for all of Creation. 

This is one of most benevolent spiritual teachings in the world.  It is not for some, but for all.  It has not absolved God of His responsibility toward His Creations, because God did not make creations which were beneath Him but beside Him.  Because we are His Sons we cannot be lost forever; we cannot be trapped in an illusion that has no end; ensnared in tales of death.  We have within each one of us a homing device, the Voice for God, which calls us back to our real Selves, to our Father, to see past what seems to be an ongoing, unending stream of bad news to the state of grace, which reminds us of our worth, which reminds us where we really belong, which reminds us that our joy and certainty and bliss is in God Who has never abandoned us and never will.    

In paragraph three, Jesus ask us to consider the kingdom we have made.  Do we keep the Creations of God safe, secure, calm, and loving?  Do we keep the creations of God happy to give always of their true and benevolent natures without fear of loss, of extortion, of spite?  Does this world teach that giving is joyful and that God Himself thanks us for sharing, for extending, to advancing our selves through giving?  Jesus tells us that this is in the only way in which we can be happy for this is the Kingdom which was created for us and for which we were created. 

Until we get past our humanity and the alternate kingdom in which we find ourselves, we will not be able to fathom the Kingdom of God for this kingdom is the opposite of God’s Kingdom. 

This kingdom denies our happiness.  This kingdom makes us work very hard and sacrifice much to have only stabs at happiness.  This kingdom teaches us to hoard, to be selfish, to be suspicious of hidden agendas and ulterior motives when people profess love or express a compliment or practice benevolence. 

Jesus calls upon us to teach God’s Kingdom to the Kingdom with no exception.  We withhold ourselves from nobody; we extend it to all.  The very lack of exception is the lesson.  We will hear no gospel which saves some and leaves the rest behind.  When we realize what we are in God’s Kingdom, we can never turn our backs on the world for we are the attributes of God Himself.  Losing any part of God’s Creation would distress and torment all.  We return to the Kingdom only with this truth in our heart, because we are not bringing our humanity to God’s Kingdom, brothers.  We are not there to practice lust, hoard blessings, or climb ladders of success so we can look down upon those who are lower and crane our necks to see who is ahead.  We are in no competition here for one is for all and all are for one.  Holy Spirit teaches us this lesson and to become the perfect teacher, we must learn it.

When we begin to recognize the Majesty of God in one another, we begin to recognize and appreciate and know our own inheritance.  When we see the equality of God and recognize His gifts in others we recognize our own worth, we realize what God has given us.  It is so easy to recognize this truth because it is immediately clear, and it comes naturally to us.  We have trained ourselves to adjust to the artificial environment of this world where we create walls and barriers in which to guard us from love, acceptance, and appreciation for one another.  Building walls and maintaining guards is stressful and fills us with strain and sorrow.   We think we are protecting ourselves from each other, but what we are doing is driving each other insane.  For we are made of love, of joy, of peace.  We are made to be complete in one another.  As long as I see you as separate from me, I cannot know you and to know you is the only way I can love you.  However, when I can see you not as flesh and blood, but as one with me in Spirit, we begin to remember what we really are and the barriers we have made to obscure the truth come tumbling down.

In the realm of separateness we can never find truth because this is not the place which was created for us or for which we were created. This is an alternate kingdom which is built on lies, on illusions, on fear, and on that which cannot last.  Our flesh eyes see a perceptual world.  Our physical senses experience a physical world.  As long as we identify ourselves with our bodies, we will not know God, we will not know ourselves, and we will not know our creations because we will fail to recognize our brothers who created them with us.  When I asked Jesus to explain to me what He meant by our “creations,” He told me that our creations are our extensions of love, our sharing of joy, our acts of benevolence, and other holy encounters with others.  These extensions literally create more love, more joy, more benevolence, more holy encounters that last forever.  These creations are obscured to us in the flesh because we cannot taste them, we cannot hold them in our hands, we cannot brag about them or strut about with little pieces of gems and metals attached to our clothing to signify what great creators we are.  Easily discounted by the ego, these creations are the only thing that makes us happy, truly pleases God, and increases His Kingdom.  

As long as we deny any part of truth we will not know our creations because we will not know God and we will not know our Selves.  Our decision about our creations and God Himself have no bearing on the truth.  However we can know the truth.  It all boils down to sharing, to get over the idea that our tribe, our culture, our religion, our this or our that holds the keys to the kingdom alone, to get over the us-against-them mentality that keeps us trapped in an alternate state of reality which obscures the truth of God’s Kingdom.

God shared His Being with us so we can know Him.  To know Him we must know each other, we must know all creation, we must know all that was shared.  We must appreciate the whole package – His Sons and all they have created which are also Sons of God.   In your personal devotional habit today – ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the meaning of this text in a way that will show you how to demonstrate the state of grace in which all of Creation is restored to God’s Kingdom.  Ask Holy Spirit to show your creations to you – to express to your mind the benevolence and thankfulness that God Himself extends to you for your thoughts of appreciation, mercy, kindness, love, and joy that you share with Creation. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom XI The state of grace. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom

X: The Confusion of Pain and Joy

  1. The Kingdom is the result of premises, just as this world is. You may have carried the ego’s reasoning to its logical conclusion, which is total confusion about everything. If you really saw this result you could not want it. The only reason you could possibly want any part of it is because you do not see the whole of it. You are willing to look at the ego’s premises, but not at their logical outcome. Is it not possible that you have done the same thing with the premises of God? Your creations are the logical outcome of His premises. His thinking has established them for you. They are exactly where they belong. They belong in your mind as part of your identification with His, but your state of mind and your recognition of what is in it depend on what you believe about your mind. Whatever these beliefs may be, they are the premises that will determine what you accept into your mind.
  2. It is surely clear that you can both accept into your mind what is not there and deny what is. Yet the function God Himself gave your mind through His you may deny, but you cannot prevent. It is the logical outcome of what you are. The ability to see a logical outcome depends on the willingness to see it, but its truth has nothing to do with your willingness. Truth is God’s will. Share His will and you share what He knows. Deny His Will as yours, and you are denying His Kingdom and yours.
  3. The Holy Spirit will direct you only so as to avoid pain. Surely no one would object to this goal if he recognized it.  The problem is not whether what the Holy Spirit says is true, but whether you want to listen to what He says. You no more recognize what is painful then you know what is joyful, and are, in fact, very apt to confuse the two. The Holy Spirit’s main function is to teach you to tell them apart. What is joyful to you is painful to the ego, and as long as you are in doubt about what you are, you will be confused about joy and pain. This confusion is the cause of the whole idea of sacrifice. Obey the Holy Spirit, and you will be giving up the ego. But you will be sacrificing nothing. On the contrary, you will be gaining everything. If you believe this, there would be no conflict.
  4. That is why you need to demonstrate the obvious to yourself.  It is not obvious to you. You believe that doing the opposite of God’s Will can be better for you. You also believe that it is possible to do the opposite of God’s Will. Therefore, you believe that an impossible choice is open to you, and one which is both fearful and desirable. Yet God wills. He does not wish. Your will is as powerful as His because it is His. The ego’s wishes do not mean anything, because the ego wishes for the impossible. You can wish for the impossible, but you can will only with God.  This is the ego’s weakness and your strength.
  5. The Holy Spirit always sides with you and with your strength. As long as you avoid His guidance in any way, you want to be weak.  Yet weakness is frightening. What else, then, can this decision mean except that you want to be fearful? The Holy Spirit never asks for sacrifice, but the ego always does. When you are confused about this distinction in motivation, it can only be due to projection. Projection is a confusion in motivation, and given this confusion, trust becomes impossible. No one gladly obeys a guide he does not trust, but this does not mean that the guide is untrustworthy. In this case, it always means that the follower is. However, this, too, is merely a matter of his belief. Believing that he can betray, he believes that everything can betray him. Yet this is only because he has elected to follow false guidance. Unable to follow this guidance without fear, he associates fear with guidance, and refuses to follow any guidance at all. If the result of this decision is confusion, this is hardly surprising.
  6. The Holy Spirit is perfectly trustworthy, as you are. God Himself trusts you, and therefore your trustworthiness is beyond question.  It will always remain beyond question, however much you may question it.  I said before that you are the Will of God. His Will is not an idle wish, and your identification with His Will is not optional, since it is what you are. Sharing His Will with me is not really open to choice, though it may seem to be. The whole separation lies in this error. The only way out of the error is to decide that you do not have to decide anything.  Everything has been given you by God’s decision. That is His Will, and you cannot undo it.
  7. Even the relinquishment of your false decision-making prerogative, which the ego guards so jealously, is not accomplished by your wish. It was accomplished for you by the Will of God, Who has not left you comfortless. His Voice will teach you how to distinguish between pain and joy and will lead you out of the confusion you have made. There is no confusion in the mind of a Son of God, whose will must be the Will of the Father, because the Father’s Will is His Son.
  8. Miracles are in accord with the Will of God. Who’s Will you do not know because you are confused about what you will. This means that you are confused about what you are. If you are God’s Will and do not accept His Will, you are denying joy. The miracle is therefore a lesson in what joy is. Being a lesson in sharing it is a lesson in love, which is joy. Every miracle is thus a lesson in truth, and by offering truth you are learning the difference between pain and joy.[1]

God’s Kingdom is founded upon the principles of love, peace, and joy while this world is founded upon the premise of chaos, entropy, and pain.  While there can be no conclusion of God’s Kingdom because it is Spirit which dwells in timelessness, eternity, life everlasting – the conclusion of the world is decay and death. 

It is important to remind ourselves that when Jesus talks about our minds He is not referring to our human brain, He is referring to our spirit, our true and everlasting self.  It is our minds that ego has entranced; it is our minds that have put us in a state of separation and unawareness of God and His Kingdom.  But yet what we believe about our minds determines what we accept into them.

Our minds can believe truth and our minds can believe lies.  And yet our minds belong to God and so no matter what we believe, it does not change this fact.  We cannot separate ourselves from God for we are God’s Will.  We can deny His Will as ours, but when we deny God’s Will we are denying our own will for He created us like Him.  Denying God then is going to lead to pain and confusion – not because God is mean and punishes us and enjoys inflicting pain upon those who do not appreciate and obey Him.  Denying God we deny ourselves what we are – we deny ourselves love, peace, and joy and all the other attributes and gifts of God.  Denying God we have only the ego’s lies, the ego’s substitutes, the ego’s weirdness and insanity. 

The Voice for God is within each one of us.  It does not matter who we are, what country we come from, if we are rich or poor, literate or illiterate, beyond religion, beyond politics, beyond government or any power on earth – Holy Spirit is instilled within each one of us equally.  His guidance will always lead to joy.  Joy however is always painful to the ego and so as long as we are in doubt about what we are, we will not understand the difference between joy and pain. 

This is why it always feels like such a sacrifice to give up things that are not good for us in the first place.  Giving up substance abuse is not a sacrifice but to the ego it is.  Giving up cheating is not a sacrifice but to the ego it is.  Giving up spite is not a sacrifice but to the ego it is.  Obeying Holy Spirit, we give up pain and the only thing we “sacrifice” is the ego which only brings us decay, destruction, and death.  Giving up the ego, we gain everything and lose what amounts to nothing.  Once we come to know this as truth and believe in it, our minds will have no conflict!

When we believe that opposing God’s Will makes things better for us, we believe in an impossible choice.  We desire that which is fearful and painful.  Fear and pain are not God’s Will, they are mere ego wishes.  Ego wishes cannot prevail against the will of God and we are God’s Will.  Created by God and for God, we can only wish for the impossible.   Our wills will never go along with the mere wishes of the ego for our wills are strong in God.    

Holy Spirit always sides with us and our strength in God. If we fail to listen to the Voice for God, we are choosing to be weak, to be afraid, to suffer pain and loss.  Holy Spirit never asks for us to give something up; it is the ego that demands sacrifice.  We are not to confuse this issue, but it happens to us all the time.  We think we are listening to the Voice for God, but it is the clamor of the ego misleading us, asking us to sacrifice our goodness, our love, our peace, and joy in order to make something happen in the world.  Ego loves to befuddle our concept of God, to project its own falseness, untrustworthiness, and confusion upon God.  When we follow the voice which tells us how special we are, how anointed, how much more we know about God than other people do, we are apt to do things that later we regret.  People end up bitter and suspicious about guidance from the Voice for God because they have fallen victim or witnessed others falling victim to listening to the wrong voice. 

However, just because we may have been misled by the wrong voice takes nothing away from the fact that Holy Spirit will always be on our side to make us strong and remind us of what we really are.  Holy Spirit is entirely trustworthy and so are we.  God made us.  He has put His trust in us.  Our trustworthiness is ordained by God.  In my own life, I had to learn that the voice in my head that scolded, lectured, called me names, and woke me up at night with shame and sorrow was not Holy Spirit!  The voice in my head that told me to give up certain foods for God was not Holy Spirit!  The voice in my head that ridiculed and mocked me was not Holy Spirit! 

Holy Spirit is the quiet inner voice which speaks to us of our strengths and goodness.  Holy Spirit never tells us that we are more than or less than other people, but rather reminds us that we are God’s Will, that we are not flesh and blood but Spirit with the spiritual qualities of God.  We are not personalities, we are not our moods, we are not our likes and dislikes, we are not our physical forms – we are love, we are joy, we are peace.  We are the Will of God.  This is something that nobody can take from us nor can we ever lose.  It goes beyond any choice or decision that we can make – it is just a fact. 

When we realize that we really have no say about what we are, we can be free of the ego who tells us that we can choose.  No matter how much we may wish that we do not belong to God, our Sonship was accomplished by His Will.  No matter how far our wish to not belong to God and His Kingdom may seem to take us, the Voice for God within each one of us knows the difference between pain and joy and will lead us out of any confusion we may find ourselves in!  For there is nothing but certainty and knowledge in God’s Will. 

These concepts may be difficult to grasp but they are very real ideas that will free your mind from the doctrines that would teach that we are unworthy, that we are hopeless dirtbags, that we are underlings in God’s Kingdom.  The ego has projected its own wishes upon our theological doctrines making God out to be a physical entity that goes to battle against His Creations, keeps us in state of fear and trembling, and saves some while punishing the many.  The ego sanctions all sorts of atrocities against flesh and blood and calls itself God.  This confuses us about not only who God is but what we are as His Creations. 

Miracles are in harmony with God’s Will!  As God’s Will, you have joy.  In God’s Kingdom to have is to be and so to have joy is to be joy.  The miracle, Jesus says, is a lesson in what joy is.  Pay particular attention to the logical conclusion of this premise for it is the way in which we demonstrate an extraordinary life in the otherwise dreary world of perception.  We are to share joy to become joy.  When we share, we love.  And love is joy.  Love and joy are truth for love and joy are virtues that expand and extend outward forever.  When we offer this truth, we learn the difference between pain and joy. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom X The confusion of joy and pain. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom

IX: The Extension of the Kingdom

  1. Only you can limit your creative power, but God wills to release it. He no more wills you to deprive yourself of your creations then He wills to deprive Himself of His. Do not withhold your gifts to the Sonship or you withhold yourself from God! Selfishness is of the ego, but Self-fullness is spirit because that is how God created it. The Holy Spirit is in the part of the mind that lies between the ego and the spirit, mediating between them always in favor of the spirit. To the ego this is partiality, and it responds as if it were being sided against. To spirit this is truth, because it knows its fullness and cannot conceive of any part from which it is excluded.
  2. Spirit knows that the awareness of all its brothers is included in its own, as it is included in God. The power of the whole Sonship and of its Creator is therefore spirit’s own fullness, rendering its creations equally whole and equal in perfection. The ego cannot prevail against the totality that includes God, and any totality must include God. Everything He created is given all His power, because it is part of Him and shares His Being with Him. Creating is the opposite of loss, as blessing is the opposite of sacrifice. Being must be extended.  That is how it retains the knowledge of itself. Spirit yearns to share its being as its Creator did. Created by sharing, its will is to create. It does not wish to contain God, but wills to extend Him.
  3. The extension of God’s Being is spirit’s only function. Its fullness cannot be contained, anymore than can the fullness of its Creator. Fullness is extension. The ego’s whole thought system blocks extension, and thus blocks your only function. It therefore blocks your joy, so that you perceive yourself as unfulfilled. Unless you create you are unfulfilled, but God does not know unfulfillment and therefore you must create. You may not know your own creations, but this can no more interfere with their reality than your unawareness of your spirit can interfere with its being.
  4. The Kingdom is forever extending because it is in the mind of God. You do not know your joy because you do not know your own Self-fullness. Exclude any part of the Kingdom from yourself and you are not whole.  A split mind cannot perceive its fullness and needs the miracle of its wholeness to dawn upon it and heal it. This reawakens the wholeness in it and restores it to the Kingdom because of its acceptance of wholeness. The full appreciation of the mind’s Self-fullness makes selfishness impossible and extension inevitable.  That is why there is perfect peace in the Kingdom. Spirit is fulfilling its function, and only complete fulfillment is peace.
  5. Your creations are protected for you because the Holy Spirit, who is in your mind, knows of them and can bring them into your awareness whenever you will let Him. They are there as part of your own being because your fulfillment includes them. The creations of every Son of God are yours, since every creation belongs to everyone, being created for the Sonship as a whole.
  6. You have not failed to increase the inheritance of the Sons of God, and thus have not failed to secure it for yourself.  Since it was the will of God to give it to you, He gave it forever.  Since it was His will that you have it forever, He gave you the means for keeping it. And you have done so. Disobeying God’s will is meaningful only to the insane. In truth it is impossible. Your Self-fullness is as boundless as God’s. Like His, it extends forever and in perfect peace. Its radiance is so intense that It creates in perfect joy, and only the whole can be born of Its wholeness.
  7. Be confident that you have never lost your Identity and the extensions which maintain It in wholeness and peace. Miracles are an expression of this confidence. They are reflections of both your proper identification with your brothers, and of your awareness that your identification is maintained by extension. The miracle is a lesson in total perception.  By including any part of totality in the lesson, you have included the whole.[1]

In today’s text, Jesus tells us that we can limit our creative power by being selfish.  In this world we feel as if creativity is a special gift given to special people who can create great works of art, music, design, or literature.  While creatives seem to be unique and set apart from the rest of us in the ego realm, all of us are made by the extension of God, Who made to us express and to be Love, Peace, and Joy and all His other wonderful attributes. These are not only God’s attributes, but they are also our attributes.  We learn to recognize God’s attributes and ourselves when we express them.  We fail to recognize ourselves and God when we withhold love, peace, and joy from any part of creation.

The ego will put up as many barriers as it can to limit the extension of God’s Kingdom.  It will get us to make fun or dislike those who have deformities, to feel as if people who need more attention, care, and resources have no right to inflict their excessive needs upon the rest of us, to believe that they have no right to be born.  The ego will get us to make bargains with others; getting into selfish, bean-counting, tit-for-tat relationships that keep careful records of what goes out and what comes in rather than the freedom and liberty of creation which creates for the sheer joy, pleasure, and goodwill involved in sharing of Itself. 

Holy Spirit mediates between the ego and our true, spiritual Identity. Holy Spirit naturally favors our true Identity which ego takes as having been sided against.  While we are still conflicted about who and what we are, our egos will put up a terrible stink about being sided against.  It will resist the extension of the Kingdom, but our true Identity will know the truth about what is right and what is wrong.  Our true Identity knows that we cannot withhold God’s Kingdom from any part of the Sonship, no matter how the perceptual world may twist and distort the Sons of God in the ego’s efforts for us to limit our love. 

Spirit, which is our true Identity, knows its fullness only in the whole of Creation.  Spirit remembers Creation’s perfection, its completeness, its equality.  The ego simply cannot prevail against the totality of God, the unbelievable beliefs in division, separateness, specialness, selfishness, opposites absolutely have no strength compared to God who creates by sharing all power, by bestowing Everything that He is upon His own creations.  Creating is the opposite of taking away. Creating is the opposite of loss just as blessing is the opposite of sacrifice.  We have been taught that if we want God’s blessing we must sacrifice something which we deem of value in order to get our requests from God.  This may be the way to bargain in the perceptual world, but this is part of the unbelievable belief system of this world. 

We must share of ourselves to be as God for we were created to share, and this is the way to create.  In the world we create with physical media – in the Spirit we create with the virtues of God.  This is how we find our true Selves.  If we think we can hoard the attributes of God, rather than share them; if we think we can use the attributes of God to bargain for life’s goodies; if we think that we can go through life loving one part of the Sonship and despising another, we are limiting our creativity through our lack of understanding of God and our Identity in Him.

When we lack joy, when we feel unfulfilled, when we feel depressed and ill, let us remember that the ego’s whole thought system blocks our creativity – it blocks our only function in the world.  We will never find fulfillment in selfish pursuits; we were created to create, and this is what we must do.  Jesus tells us that whether ego has blocked our awareness of this or not, we are all creators because no matter who we are, we have shared of our true selves with others.  Every single bit of goodness we have shared is being held for us, not against us.  The ego will never convince God of our unworthiness or our failure to extend His Kingdom. We are not to let the ego convince us of anything less than our great worth to God and His Kingdom. 

Today ask Holy Spirit to fill you with confidence in your Identity as God’s Son.  Ask Him to help you remember the goodness you have shared which maintains your Identity in Him.  Ask Holy Spirit to illuminate this reading to you so that you may understand that who and what you really are is the extension of God and that the love, the joy, the peace and goodwill you extend to others is the expression of this confidence. As we reflect the attributes of God to our brothers, forget the ego’s twisted version that would tell us we are unworthy, we have failed, we are beyond redemption.  Let us remember our true Selves.  Whether we feel like it or not, today ask Holy Spirit to show you how to share miracles for miracles are lessons in total perception.  Each time we deny the ego’s response to our brothers and share thoughts of empathy, acts of kindness, appreciation, and goodness, we are extending it to all of the brothers.  We are teaching to learn and learning to teach.  This is the extension of God’s Kingdom and it starts with my love for you and your love for me and moves outward, always increasing and never decreasing.  This is the promise of God.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom. IX The extension of the kingdom. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

VIII: The Unbelievable Belief

  1. We have said that without projection there can be no anger, but it is also true that without extension there can be no love. These reflect a fundamental law of the mind, and therefore one that always operates. It is the law by which you create and were created. It is the law that unifies the Kingdom and keeps it in the mind of God.  To the ego, the law is perceived as a means of getting rid of something it does not want. To the Holy Spirit, it is the fundamental law of sharing, by which you give what you value in order to keep it in your mind. To the Holy Spirit it is the law of extension. To the ego it is the law of deprivation. It therefore produces abundance or scarcity, depending on how you choose to apply it. This choice is up to you, but it is not up to you to decide whether or not you will utilize the law. Every mind must project or extend, because that is how it lives, and every mind is life.
  2. The ego’s use of projection must be fully understood before the inevitable association between projection and anger can be finally undone. The ego always tries to preserve conflict. It is very ingenious in devising ways that seem to diminish conflict, because it does not want you to find conflict so intolerable that you will insist on giving it up. The ego therefore tries to persuade you that it can free you of conflict, lest you give the ego up and free yourself. Using its own warped version of the laws of God, the ego utilizes the power of the mind only to defeat the mind’s real purpose. It projects conflict from your mind to other minds, in an attempt to persuade you that you have gotten rid of the problem.
  3. There are two major errors involved in this attempt. First, strictly speaking, conflict cannot be projected because it cannot be shared. Any attempt to keep part of it and get rid of another part does not really mean anything. Remember that a conflicted teacher is a poor teacher and a poor learner.  His lessons are confused, and their transfer value is limited by his confusion. The second error is the idea that you can get rid of something you do not want by giving it away. Giving it is how you keep it. The belief that by seeing it outside you have excluded it from within is a complete distortion of the power of extension. That is why those who project are vigilant for their own safety. they are afraid that their projections will return and hurt them. Believing they have blotted their projections from their own mind, they also believe their projections are trying to creep back in. Since the projections have not left their minds, they are forced to engage in constant activity in order not to recognize this.
  4. You cannot perpetuate an illusion about another without perpetuating it about yourself. There is no way out of this because it is impossible to fragment the mind. To fragment is to break into pieces, and mind cannot attack or be attacked. The belief that it can, an error the ego always makes, underlies its whole use of projection. It does not understand what mind is, and therefore does not understand what you are. Yet its existence is dependent on your mind because the ego is your belief. The ego is a confusion in identification. Never having had a consistent model, it never developed consistently. It is the product of the misapplication of the laws of God by distorted minds that are misusing their power.
  5. Do not be afraid of the ego. It depends on your mind, and as you made it by believing in it, so you can dispel it by withdrawing belief from it. Do not project the responsibility for your belief in it onto anyone else, or you will preserve the belief. When you are willing to accept sole responsibility for the ego’s existence you will have laid side all anger and all attack, because they come from an attempt to project responsibility for your own errors. But having accepted the error as yours, do not keep them. Give them over quickly to the Holy Spirit to be undone completely, so that all their effects will vanish from your mind and from the Sonship as a whole.
  6. The Holy Spirit will teach you to perceive beyond your belief, because truth is beyond belief and His perception is true. The ego can be completely forgotten at anytime because it is a totally incredible belief, and no one can keep a belief he has judged beyond believable. The more you learn about the ego, the more you realize that it cannot be believed. The incredible cannot be understood because it is unbelievable. The meaninglessness of perception based on the unbelievable is apparent, but it may not be recognized as being beyond belief, because it is made by belief.
  7. The whole purpose of this course is to teach you that the ego is unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable. Yet you who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgment alone. By accepting the Atonement for yourself, you are deciding against the belief that you can be alone, thus dispelling the idea of separation and affirming your true identification with the whole Kingdom as literally part of you. This identification is as beyond doubt as it is beyond belief. Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity.[1]

In God’s Kingdom, we share what we have in order to keep it for ourselves.  This is the fundamental law of extension in the Spirit.  We follow this law by sharing the attributes of God – the love, joy, and peace of the Kingdom – which produces an abundance of love, joy, and peace.  The more I share love with you, the more love I will reproduce.  The more joy I share, the more joy we will both have and be.  The same with peace or any other gift of God.  We all use this law because our mind was created to extend for our thoughts are limitless; our thought spring from an everlasting source, and sharing is its life.  Our mind cannot keep anything for itself alone for in Holy Spirit we are connected with every other mind which gives us unlimited and everlasting power. 

The everlasting law of extension undoes the illusions of the ego.  The ego’s defense against the law of extension is to keep the awareness of who and what we are to God and His Kingdom hidden from our perception.  The ego tells us that we are sinners, we are shameful, we are unworthy of love, peace, and joy and every other attribute of God and His Kingdom.  We are not God’s Son; we are flesh and blood.  We are selfish, pathetic grubs scrounging for existence, destructible, and disease-ridden.  Therefore, we have no love to share, no joy to share, no peace to share, because what little we have, we need to keep for ourselves alone.  We are sinners, ego tells us; we are shameful, we are unworthy of God and His Kingdom because we are bad, disobedient, and headstrong.

Believing these things about ourselves is hard to take.  Sure we may make mistakes; we may not live up to our potential; our bodies do fail us; and we are not exactly saints – but are we really all that bad?  We know in our heart of hearts, in the highest and most intelligent part of our minds, that the ego’s lies about us simply cannot be true.  After all we are created beings; we did not make ourselves; we hardly deserve punishment for that which we do not understand. We must be worthy; there must be something good and loving and true about us.  Sooner or later all the ego’s lies about us will become so tiresome that we will stop believing in them.  So the ego, losing its hold upon our minds, twists the law of extension to one of projection.  If ego cannot get us to believe its lies about ourselves, it will get us to project its lies about us onto others.  We will talk about their sins.  We will dwell upon their stupidity.  All of our own angst, despair, sorrow, and shame we will put on others and declare them to blame.  This is a fun, gratifying, time-extending game for the ego which opposes all that is timeless and forever. 

As long as the Sons of God are busy projecting, getting caught up in perceptual world’s political, religious, social, and personal battles – going to war against each others’ bodies, shouting and calling names and flinging accusations about from right to left back to right again – they will not remember who and what they really are nor will they realize the real problem.  This perverted use of the law of extension not only wreaks havoc in every relationship and every interaction and every circumstance; it keeps us from knowing our true and eternal identity as everlasting peace, unlimited love, and never-ending joy.  It is very important that we understand the ego’s use of projection so that it can be undone in our lives.  We must stop practicing it, so that we teach only the law of extension – for we must know what the real conflict is and how to undo it. 

Projection makes two major mistakes.  First of all when there is a conflict, it cannot be shared in any meaningful sense of the word.  Conflicted teachers give conflicting messages.  When we project our thoughts of sin and shame and unworthiness to those who go to a different church or do not go to church at all, when we think of ourselves as in any way different from others, we are not thinking with the right mind.  There is absolutely nothing about me that sets me apart from you except in a physical, perceptual world.  If I believe that I am going to heaven and you are going to hell, I cannot really share this with you or anyone else, because this could be reversed at any given time.  There is no certainty involved in it.  There is nothing about this message that you will receive because there is no harmony, no love, no happiness.  I could never be happy in heaven without you, brother nor could you be happy without me.

The second mistake is the idea that I can get rid of something I do not want by putting it on you.  Giving it away is how I keep it!  When I see you as the culprit, I see myself as guilty.  I cannot escape this. I may think I am making myself safe by projecting that you are the sinner, and I am the saint; that you are at fault and I am blameless; that you believe fallacy and I believe truth – but the thoughts and judgments I hold toward you, I keep for myself.  This becomes an ongoing struggle because the more I project my conflicts upon you, the more persecuted I am going to think I am by exactly what I project upon you.  We have all been around people who cannot seem to stop ruminating upon the evildoing and failures of others – it is this constant activity ego provides to keep us from becoming aware of the real problem.

In paragraph four Jesus tells us that we simply cannot maintain another’s guilt without maintaining our own.  It is impossible to fragment the mind.  We are whole and complete; the ego would have us believe that we are broken into separate pieces, making it possible to attack another mind, but what I wish upon you, I receive for myself and vice versa.  Ego fails to understand our minds; nor does it understand our true being.  And yet its illusions depend on our minds because the only way it exists is our belief in separation, confusing our identity, misusing and misapplying the laws of God. 

We have nothing to fear from the ego – it is a lie, and we are not obligated, nor can we be forced to uphold it with our belief.  Jesus tells us not to blame anybody else for our ego but rather to take sole responsibility for making it and believing in it.  This means we can no longer blame our parents, churches, childminders, teachers, or God Himself.  We cannot hold anything at all in the perceptual world accountable for how we got here or how we ended up.  Until we stop projecting all anger and attack we are not taking responsibility for our own mistakes.  This is something we must all do for ourselves because only then can we give our belief in and practice of the unbelievable belief over to Holy Spirit to be purged completely from the effects it had upon our mind and upon the mind of the whole Sonship.

The purpose of this course is to teach us that the ego and the perceptual world is too unbelievable to ever believe.  The more we learn about them the more we realize the truth.  The perceptual world has no meaning because it is based upon the ego which gives us nothing but conflict, separateness, and death.  However, we are not able to make this judgment on our own.  When we accept Holy Spirit’s great undoing of the ego belief system we are dispelling the separation.  We are recognizing that we are not flesh and blood, we are not egos, you are not separate from me and I am not separate from you.  For our true identity is in God and His Kingdom.  When we identify as God’s Son we recognize ourselves as not only having the virtues of God but being the infinite and unlimited virtues of God.  No more doubt.  No more need for belief.  This is as certain as God Himself.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom. Section VIII The unbelievable belief. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

VII: The Totality of the Kingdom 7-11

7. One child of God is the only teacher sufficiently worthy to teach another.  One Teacher is in all minds and He teaches the same lesson to all.  He always teaches you the inestimable worth of every Son of God, teaching it with infinite patience born of the infinite Love for which He speaks.  Every attack is a call for His patience since His patience can translate attack into blessing.  Those who attack do not know they are blessed.  They attack because they believe they are deprived.  Give, therefore, of your abundance, and teach your brothers theirs.  Do not share their illusions of scarcity, or you will perceive yourself as lacking.

8. Attack could never promote attack unless you perceived it as a means of depriving you of something you want.  Yet you cannot lose anything unless you do not value it, and therefore do not want it.  This makes you feel deprived of it, and by projecting your own rejection you then believe that your brother is attacking you to tear the Kingdom of Heaven from you. This is the ultimate basis for all the ego’s projection.

9. Being the part of your mind that does not believe it is responsible for itself, and being without allegiance to God, the ego is incapable of trust.  Projecting its insane belief that you have been treacherous to your Creator, it believes that your brothers, who are as incapable of this as you are, are out to take God from you.  Whenever a brother attacks another, that is what he believes.  Projection always sees your wishes in others.  If you choose to separate yourself from God, that is what you will think others are doing to you.

10. You are the Will of God.  Do not accept anything else as your will, or you are denying what you are.  Deny this and you will attack, believing you have been attacked.  But see the Love of God in you, and you will see it everywhere because it is everywhere.  See His abundance in everyone, and you will know that you are in Him with them.  They are part of you, as you are part of God.  You are as lonely without understanding this as God Himself is lonely when His Sons do not know Him.  The peace of God is understanding this.  There is only one way out of the world’s thinking, just as there was only one way into it.  Understand totally by understanding totality. 

11. Perceive any part of the ego’s thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional, and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it.  This correction enables you to perceive any part of creation as wholly real, wholly perfect, and wholly desirable.  Wanting this only you will have this only and giving this only you will be only this.  The gifts you offer to the ego are always experienced as sacrifices, but the gifts you offer to the Kingdom are gifts to you.  They will always be treasured by God because they belong to His beloved Sons, who belong to Him.  All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His. [1]

We are here to teach one another; we are worthy teachers to one another; and all of us have the same Holy Spirit within us which teaches us the same lesson. If we lean toward any other voice that tells us that we are not worthy and beloved Sons of God, if we heed a voice that scolds, lectures, and shames, who puts undue burdens upon us and makes our walk with God seem tedious, stressful, or heavy in any way, we are not listening to the Voice for God.  For God’s Voice within each one of us is one of infinite Love.  Attack does not call for attack, but for patience because Holy Spirit interprets all attack into blessing.  All attack comes from feelings of being deprived – so Jesus tells us to give of our abundance and teach abundance to others.  We are not to share any illusions of scarcity, limitation, or lack in others, but to remind our brothers of their abundance, to show them how to recognize the reality of their blessings. 

This was a mistake that I often made thinking that I was being “nice” to people by listening to all their complaints, tsking over the perceived wrongs that they suffer at the actions of others and agreeing with them about their ill treatment.  I would give them what seemed like reasonable advice on how to protect themselves from those who were mean, spiteful, jealous, and untrustworthy.  But Jesus tells us that when others attack us they feel as if someone has deprived them, which cannot be true in any eternal sense of the word. We are not to agree with their wrong perception, because if we agree with their wrong perception, it would be like jumping in the raging sea of nothingness with them instead of pulling them out to the reality of certain safety and peace.

Just as agreeing with someone’s tale of woe is never the answer, so attack is never the correct response to attack of any kind.  Nobody can take anything that has true value away from us unless we do not want it anymore.  So when we let thoughts of attack justify attacking others in return, we think it is okay to throw away who and what we are in God and become the version of us that the ego projects upon us. 

We needlessly get ourselves worked up into caricatures of the ego’s making when we identify with the ego’s untrustworthiness and forget our allegiance to God.  We always feel bad about this afterwards, ashamed of our lack of warmth, love, wisdom, and graciousness, embarrassed by our temper tantrums, our selfishness, our ignorance, our spite which the ego projects upon us and project it upon others.  Jesus tells us in paragraph nine that projection always sees our wishes in others.  When we choose to separate ourselves from the God in us, we will blame others for doing it to us.

How does this play out in our daily lives?  A personal example in my own life bears sharing.  When I play along with the ego’s game plan, my mind can easily find plenty of reasons for choosing to be grumpy, ill-mannered, and ungracious.  I am grumpy because James forgot to get the coffee ready last night even though this is not really his job – when I get up in the morning and the coffee is not ready to go, the ego will encourage me to pity myself – oh if I do not get the coffee ready the night before nobody else thinks of doing it, ever.  Poor little me.  If I fail in exhibiting good manners when I am out with my friends and talk over people, interrupt others while they are still talking, brag about my accomplishments, or make fun of other people, it is not my fault!  It is because my friends do all that and to be part of their group, I must also engage in bad behavior, or they will think of me as a priss and party-pooper.  If I am ungracious toward a guest it is always because they were ungracious to me, never reciprocated all my past kindnesses and so they do not deserve my graciousness because they overstay their welcome, do not pick up after themselves, or any of a host of other reasons that the ego can use to get me to throw away God’s Kingdom.

We may think that it is a strong term to say God’s Kingdom is my good cheer, goodwill, good manners, and graciousness, but these attributes make up the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God is a spiritual realm where we do not only possess attributes, we are them.  When we throw these attributes away because of some perceived injustice or attack in the world, we are literally throwing away God’s Kingdom within us.  We are choosing to go with the ego’s story of us – pathetic little whiners, weasels, and wimps at the mercy of other pathetic little whiners, weasels, and wimps, simpletons all, rather than who and what we are in and as God’s Kingdom.

When we do not accept this about ourselves, we are denying God’s Will in our lives.  God’s Will is not what we are going to wear today, eat today, or go today.  God’s Will is that we are His Attributes, His Sons, His Gifts.  Denying this, we will fall into the traps of ego – we will attack part of the Sonship and not realize that we are attacking all of it! 

But see that we are the Love of God, and we will see it everywhere.  We will see His abundance in ourselves as we see it in everyone.  We will know each other as one in God.  It is important for us to realize this, to understand this, for we will be lonely as God is lonely when we do not know Him in totality.  Herein lies our peace for it is the peace of God.  Ask Holy Spirit to awaken your mind and help you understand totally by understanding totality.  This may go against all our traditional religious instruction which divides us into different belief systems, different names for God and for His Son, and casts blights and curses upon others who do not believe like us, legitimizing attack upon each other rather than the totality of God’s Kingdom. 

When we understand that any part of the ego’s thought system is irrational and not the least bit desirable, we have rightly understood all of it.  This helps us perceive that the opposite is also true – that when we see any small part of creation as real, perfect, and completely desirable, our minds will be open to see that this is the truth about all of creation.  When we want only this, we will have only this, and when we have only this, we give only this, and when we give only this, we become only this. This is how God’s Kingdom is restored to our awareness and becomes real to us once again. 

Pay homage to the ego, and it will cost us time, money, effort, and a sense of sacrifice for the ego demands sacrifice.  But when we share the attributes of God, the attributes of God are restored to us.  Our gifts are treasured by God because they belong to His Sonship who belong to Him.  All power and glory are ours because the Kingdom is God’s, and we are part of His Kingdom. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom VII The totality of the kingdom 7-11. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

VII: The Totality of the Kingdom 1-6

  1. Whenever you deny a blessing to a brother, you will feel deprived, because denial is as total as love.  It is as impossible to deny part of the Sonship as it is to love it in part.  Nor is it possible to love it totally at times.  You cannot be totally committed sometimes.  Denial has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit.  If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you.  Reality cannot be partially appreciated.  That is why denying any part of it means you have lost the awareness of all of it.  Yet denial is a defense, and so it is as capable of being used positively as well as negatively.  Used negatively it will be destructive because it will be used for attack.  But in the service of the Holy Spirit, it can help you recognize part of reality, and thus appreciate all of it.  Mind is too powerful to be subject to exclusion.  You will never be able to exclude yourself from your thoughts.  
  2. When a brother acts insanely, he is offering you an opportunity to bless him.  His need is yours.  You need the blessing you can offer him.  There is no way for you to have it except by giving it.  This is the law of God, and it has no exceptions.  What you deny you lack, not because it is lacking, but because you have denied it in another and are therefore not aware of it in yourself.  Every response you make is determined by what you think you are, and what you want to be is what you think you are.  What you want to be, then, must determine every response you make.
  3. You do not need God’s blessing because that you have forever, but you do need yours.  The ego’s picture of you is deprived, unloving, and vulnerable.  You cannot love this.  Yet you can very easily escape from this image by leaving it behind.  You are not there and that is not you.  All illusions about the Sonship are dispelled together as they were made together.  Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be.  Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts.  And perception will last until the Sonship knows itself as whole.  You made perception and it must last as long as you want it.
  4. Illusions are investments.  They will last as long as you value them.  Values are relative, but they are powerful because they are mental judgments.  The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you will have put them out of your mind.  While you include them in it, you are giving life to them.  Except there is nothing there to receive your gift.
  5. The gift of life is yours to give because it was given you.  You are unaware of your gift because you do not give it.  You cannot make nothing live since nothing cannot be enlivened.  Therefore, you are not extending the gift you both have and are, and so you do not know your being.  All confusion comes from not extending life, because that is not the Will of your Creator.  You can do nothing apart from Him, and you do do nothing apart from Him.  Keep His way to remember yourself and teach His way lest you forget yourself.  Give only honor to the Sons of the living God and count yourself among them gladly.
  6. Only honor is a fitting gift for those whom God Himself created worthy of honor, and whom He honors.  Give them the appreciation God accords them always, because they are His beloved Sons in whom He is well pleased.  You cannot be apart from them because you are not apart from Him.  Rest in His Love and protect your rest by loving.  But love everything He created of which you are a part, or you cannot learn of His peace and accept His gift for yourself and as yourself.  You cannot know your own perfection until you have honored all those who were created like you.[1]
Photo credit: Zachary D. Curry Sunrise on Litterer

In today’s text reading we learn that we will feel depressed when we fail to bless others.  If we withhold a blessing to any part of the Sonship, we withhold it from all, including ourselves.  We must be 100% committed to this concept, the principle, and the practice to know God and His Kingdom.  For the Sonship is total and cannot be divided, separated, nor it is bound by time or time frames.  To be committed, it must be for all time.  To bless others we extend to them loving thought.  We do not bring up past misdeeds, we offer them forgiveness without demanding an apology for we recognize the difference between what is nothing and what is real.  To bless others and deny nobody a blessing, we do not gossip about others, pass on negative stories about them, or find anything at all to share with them or others except that which holds the attributes of Creation – love, peace, and joy.  We hold their perfect Creation dear to us and carry others inside of our minds as tenderly and gently as a new baby, innocent and pure, lovely and spotless.  This is practicing vigilance for God and His Kingdom.  When we do anything else toward others we have lost the awareness of God and denying ourselves the reality of His eternal Kingdom.

However, even as denial can be used as a defense against God and His Kingdom, so can it be used positively in the service of Holy Spirit.  Because denial will depress and deprive our awareness of the attributes of God when we fail to bless others, the sense of deprivation and depression alone will help us remember the Sonship principles and thus learn to deny only thoughts of denying blessings!

No matter how crazy the behaviors of others, we are being given an opportunity to bless them.  What they need is the blessing; what we need is to bless them. There is no other way for us to be blessed except by blessing our brothers– this is the law of God and His Kingdom and there is no way around it. 

We all run into people who seem to have a chip on their shoulder – constantly in a bad mood, they do not make us feel happy, they drone on recounting stories about how others have taken advantage of them, shun them, or make them work harder than other people to get any advantages.  Others do not appreciate all the years they have worked, given their best, and have put others first.  We have often been tempted to avoid these people; their negativity is what seems to be depressing us, draining us of joy, and depleting our energy.  However Jesus tells us that this is not the reason we feel deprived.  We feel deprived because we fail to see that these people need blessed.  Instead of avoiding them, we need to uphold them in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  Instead of protecting ourselves against them, we are to use this opportunity to share loving and kind thoughts towards others who feel lonely, unacknowledged, and at a disadvantage. 

When we choose to deny others a blessing, we are limiting the attributes of God and His Kingdom to shine through our minds.  While what we are in God can never change, we can forget that and therefore not offer others what we need to offer them.  Jesus tells us that what we want to be must determine every response we make.  Because I want to be as I was created, I want to offer blessings.  I do not want to roll my eyes at another’s self-pitying stories just because I have heard them many times before!  I do not want to dwell upon how annoying the persecution complex; I do not want to avoid others. I want to be fully appreciative and offer only love, respect, and peace.

God’s blessings are something that we have always and forever, but our own blessings are those that we give others.  The ego sees each of us as poor, unloving, weak, and pathetically holding on to every little scrap of something-something we can get our grubby little hands upon to call our own.  We are unable to love this picture of ourselves or others. So instead of denying God’s interpretation of us, Jesus tells us to deny the ego’s version of who and what we are – our brothers are the mirror in which we see our own needs as long as perception lasts.  As long as I see others as a pathetic case, this is what I will see about myself.  This will last until we know ourselves, not as separate entities but as whole and complete in one another.  While I do not remember making perception and you probably do not feel responsible for the perceptual world either, Jesus tells us that as Sons of God who chose another version of themselves, we made perception and it will last as long as we want it.  

As long as we mentally judge everything we see with our flesh eyes, we are investing our power in illusions.  The only way to make illusions go away is to stop mentally judging them and putting them out of our mind.  When I include sour thoughts toward others into my mind, I am giving “life” to their negativity.  And yet their negativity is a big nothing and cannot actually receive the thoughts I am giving it.  My mind then is engaged in rounds of nothingness.

The only way I can be aware of how powerful my thoughts are is to stop giving “life” to that which cannot receive it.  No matter how long I dwell on the lower traits of others, I cannot make those traits that I find so annoying and disheartening real.  I cannot bring them to life except in my mind.  This means that I am not extending the attributes of God that I both have and am, and so I do not know my own being.  We are to extend that which is life – love, joy, peace – the attributes of God’s Kingdom, the gifts that we both have and are in God.  It is God’s Will for us because we are God’s Will to extend what we are to all.  We can only do this in God because we can do nothing apart from Him. 

We remember our true identity and find our Selves when we remember that we are His Son, His attributes, His spiritual gifts, His life.  Remembering who we really are teaches others who they really are and helps us all to remember to practice extending only what we are.  This is the way we honor the Sonship and count ourselves among God’s Son with joy. 

This is the gift of life and it is ours to give.  As long as we do not know what we are in the Brotherhood of Christ, we will not think we are worthy or capable of sharing that which we believe God keeps only for Himself and the elect.  We will think that is somebody else’s job.  We may put money in the collection plate for missions and for all those special people who are called to do God’s Will, seeming to let ourselves off the hook perhaps, but denying ourselves the gift of what we have and what we are in God. 

When we think it is the masters, the saints; the preacher; the pope, the gurus who are the only ones endowed with God’s gifts –  we will be confused about our own place in God’s Kingdom.  We will think that perhaps we should do more for God’s Kingdom but where do we begin?  Who knows what we are talking about when we talk about God and His Kingdom, who can describe it, who knows what it looks like, who knows what is it going to be like existing in a spiritual realm?  Our underlying worry will be:  if it is so wonderful why did we leave it in the first place?  While we all have problems in the world and things are not exactly peachy keen we have all managed to get used to the go-rounds of birth, suffering, death, and despair.  We have even come to cherish our little routines and the systems we have built to manage separation.  So why all this vigilance for God and His Kingdom? 

All of our confusion comes from not realizing our true identity in Him.  We are His beloved Sons in whom He is well pleased, Jesus tells us. When we refuse to believe the ego’s version of our brothers we deny the ego’s version of ourselves. We are not our wretched bodies wasting away in time, we are the Attributes of God, we are Peace, we are Love, we are Joy, we are everlasting spirit and as attributes we cannot be apart from God, we can rest in His Love and protect our rest by extending the attributes of God, which is what we really are and what we are really about.

In paragraph six where we will close for today, Jesus exhorts us to love everything God created for only in loving Creation can we learn of His peace and accept His Peace for ourselves and as ourselves.  We cannot know our own perfection until we honor all others who were created like us.

Today in your personal devotion, ask Holy Spirit to help you through any confusion you may have about what you really are in God.  Ask Him to enlighten your mind and help you to see Creation through the eyes of Christ who perceives us perfectly whole, wholly loving, and as one in His Brotherhood.  Ask Holy Spirit to teach you how to honor everything God created for this is the way to learn His peace, to accept His peace, and to know yourself as His peace. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom VII The totality of the kingdom. 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

VI: From Vigilance to Peace 7-13

7. If you will keep in mind what the Holy Spirit offers you, you cannot be vigilant for anything but God and His Kingdom. The only reason you may find this hard to accept is because you may still think that there is something else. Belief does not require vigilance unless it is conflicted. If it is, there are conflicting components within it that have led to a state of war, and vigilance has therefore become essential. Vigilance has no place in peace. It is necessary against beliefs that are not true and would never have been called upon by the Holy Spirit if you had not believed the untrue. When you believe something, you have made it true for you. When you believe what God does not know, your thoughts seems to contradict His, and this makes it appear as if you are attacking Him.

8.  I have repeatedly emphasized that the ego does believe it can attack God and tries to persuade you that you have done this.  If the mind cannot attack, the ego proceeds perfectly logically to the belief that you must be a body. By not seeing you as you are, it can see itself as it wants to be. Aware of its weakness the ego wants your allegiance, but not as you really are. The ego therefore wants to engage your mind in its own delusional system, because otherwise the light of your understanding would dispel it. It wants no part of truth because the ego itself is not true. If truth is total, the untrue cannot exist. Commitment to either must be total; they cannot coexist in your mind without splitting it. If they cannot coexist in peace, and if you want peace, you must give up the idea of conflict entirely and for all time. This requires vigilance only as long as you do not recognize what is true. While you believe that two totally contradictory thought systems share truth, your need for vigilance is apparent.

9. Your mind is dividing its allegiance between two kingdoms, and you are totally committed to neither. Your identification with the Kingdom is totally beyond question except by you when you are thinking insanely.  What you are is not established by your perception and is not influenced by it at all. Perceived problems in identification at any level are not problems of fact. They are problems of understanding, since their presence implies a belief that what you are is up to you to decide. The ego believes this totally, being fully committed to it. It is not true. The ego therefore is totally committed to untruth, perceiving in total contradiction to the Holy Spirit, and to the knowledge of God.

10. You can be perceived with meaning only by the Holy Spirit because your being is the knowledge of God. Any belief you accept apart from this will obscure God’s Voice in you and will therefore obscure God to you. Unless you perceive His creation truly you cannot know the Creator, since God and His creation are not separate. The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity, and your limitless power. This limitless power is God’s gift to you because it is what you are. If you dissociate your mind from it you are perceiving the most powerful force in the universe as if it were weak, because you do not believe you are part of it.

11. Perceived without your part in it, God’s creation is seen as weak, and those who see themselves as weakened do attack. The attack must be blind, however, because there is nothing to attack. Therefore, they make up images, perceive them as unworthy, and attack them for their unworthiness. That is all the world of the ego is. Nothing. It has no meaning. It does not exist. Do not try to understand it because, if you do, you are believing that it can be understood and is therefore capable of being appreciated and loved. That would justify its existence, which cannot be justified. You cannot make the meaningless meaningful. This can only be an insane attempt.

12. Allowing insanity to enter your mind means that you have not judged sanity as wholly desirable. If you want something else you will make something else, but because it is something else, it will attack your thought system and divide your allegiance. You cannot create in this divided state, and you must be vigilant against this divided state because only peace can be extended.  Your divided mind is blocking the extension of the Kingdom, and its extension is your joy. If you do not extend the Kingdom, you are not thinking with your Creator and creating as He created.

13. In this depressing state the Holy Spirit reminds you gently that you are sad because you are not fulfilling your function as co-creator with God and are therefore depriving yourself of joy. This is not God’s choice but yours. If your mind could be out of accord with God’s, you would be willing without meaning.  Yet because God’s Will is unchangeable, no conflict of will is possible.  This is the Holy Spirit’s perfectly consistent teaching.  Creation, not separation, is your will because it is God’s, and nothing that opposes this means anything at all. Being a perfect accomplishment, the Sonship can only accomplish perfectly, extending the joy in which it was created, and identifying itself with both its Creator and its creations, knowing they are one. [1]

When we keep our mind on the peace Holy Spirit offers us, that is all we want – for this is what we are inf God and His Kingdom.  As long as we cherish even the smallest of grudges, hold on to our resentment, and enjoy shame, blame, and projection, we will have not met the conditions of God and His Kingdom.  Until we learn the value of peace over any desire for or tolerance for conflict of any kind, we will need vigilance, we will need practice, we will have to learn the value of peace.

When we have opportunities designed for conflict, we will keep in mind the peace of God and His Kingdom.  We will do our best to choose the peaceful response.  We will avoid conflict by choosing honesty, reason, and attack non-attack.  We would not have to even think about this if we had not believed that fighting and hating and building cases against each other was okay.  When we fail to keep our minds aligned with peace, we will attack others instead of loving them, and when we attack others instead of love them, we will be contradicting the love and peace of God. 

If we want peace, we must give up all that would contradict peace.  This requires vigilance because we live in a human form in a physical world where peace may be discussed quite a bit, but not truly taught, practiced, or understood.  The ego’s pretense of offering peace comes in the form of wars, blame, boundaries, threats, treaties, law and order, and complicated agreements.  It does not work.  Holy Spirit teaches that we find our true selves only in peace as a condition of God and His Kingdom.  Our true selves value peace, love peace, practice peace, have peace, to become Peace itself. 

The ego is totally committed to that which divides, causes fear, and makes war – not peace.  Ego perceives every person, every relationship, every encounter and every interaction in total contradiction to Holy Spirit.  The ego offers us a different identity than the one we have in God.  When we think with our ego, we think that it is up to us to decide what we are.  We think that it is us against Creation.  The ego thrives on conflict and offers us a multitude of contradictions to the knowledge of God’s peace, His love, His joy.  The ego exists on the fiction of our false identities, making us not one and complete, but shattered and splintered and uncertain about who and what we are, where we came from, and where we belong. 

Only Holy Spirit perceives us with meaning because our being is in knowing God and His Attributes, His Creations, His Kingdom as one.  We are created to be God’s Peace, God’s Love, God’s Joy, God’s Will.  We cannot be separated from God for He created us as one with Him and the Kingdom.  As long as we perceive ourselves as separated we perceive ourselves as flesh and blood, as being vulnerable to attack, to limitations, to thievery, and injustice of every kind.  Our vigilance in the insane dream reminds us of the limitless power that is ours as God’s Will.  Practicing vigilance for peace, we remember the most powerful force in the universe is ours.  Not practicing vigilance for peace we will forget the most powerful force in the universe is ours and instead engage in the petty, meaningless, time-extending conflicts of the world, shouting and cursing, calling names, and pointing fingers. 

Forgetting who we are and what we about, we will attack because we will feel all alone, weak, and defenseless.  The world according to the ego is a place that warrants attack because it is a world of unworthy images, of lies, of deceit, betrayals, and chaos.  Ego’s world has no meaning.  There is no truth.  It is not real.  We are not to try to understand that which is not love, peace, and joy because to try to understand fear, hatred, war, suffering, and despair would seem to justify it by making it worthy of study.  It is basically insane to attempt to give meaning to that which has none. 

In our lives, this means we do not try to resolve conflict by trying to lay blame on who said what or who started it first.  We do not delve into someone’s past and make excuses for them or for ourselves.  We do not try to understand the ego by blaming childhood trauma or the devil or a poor diet or education.  We do not punish, threaten, or draw up a list of commandments.  We are simply vigilant for peace, for joy, for love.

Our minds are spirit.  We do not allow thoughts of anything that opposes peace to enter it for this would be asking for insanity.  Insanity cannot attack the Peace of God, but it does attack our belief system and divides our allegiance to God’s Kingdom.  We cannot extend love; we cannot extend peace; we cannot extend joy when our allegiances are divided.  Love and peace and joy are the attributes of God in which we were created and in which His Will creates through us.  Minds which are in conflict cannot extend His Kingdom, and extending His Kingdom is our function, it is what brings us joy, it is what gives our lives meaning! 

Without a sense of purpose and meaning, we are dispirited, we are depressed, we are despondent.  We are not co-creating with God when we are not extending the virtues of His Kingdom and we simply will find no fulfillment in anything but this.  This has nothing to do with God, but all to do with the decision we make when we choose against any part of God’s creation. 

Welcome the Holy Spirit’s gentle reminders that our despondency comes from not extending the virtues of God – by extending love, peace, and joy, we are co-creating with God, fulfilling our function and it is in this alone where we find our meaning.   Our mind cannot be out of accord with God and have any meaning at all!  This is the consistent teaching of Holy Spirit – it is creation and not separation which is our will because it is God’s Will and nothing that opposes God’s Will has any meaning at all.  This seems so obvious to us once we learn it, but until we learn this truth by practicing it, following the principles, and experiencing the liberation from conflict that it brings, we will be tempted to think that we can find meaning elsewhere!   

The Creations of God create by extending the virtues of God in which they were created.  As part of the Sonship of God, we identify not with flesh and blood, not with the ego, not with the fiction of the alternate kingdom, but with God and all of Creation, knowing that we are one with God and His Kingdom.  As Sons of God in human form we teach peace to learn peace, to have peace, with due diligence we stand guard against any lies or half truths that would contradict our function and obscure our meaning.  Vigilance for God and His Kingdom is a must until we become Peace, for as Peace we are a perfect accomplishment extending all of the attributes of God, for we are One. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom VI From vigilance to peace. 7-13. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom

VI: From Vigilance to Peace 1-6

  1. Although you can love the Sonship only as one, you can perceive it as fragmented. It is impossible, however, to see something in part of it that you will not attribute to all of it. That is why attack is never discrete, and why it must be relinquished entirely. If it is not relinquished entirely it is not relinquished at all. Fear and love make or create, depending on whether the ego or the Holy Spirit begets or inspires them, but they will return to the mind of the thinker and they will affect his total perception. That includes his concept of God, of His creations, and of his own.  He will not appreciate any of them if he regards them fearfully. He will appreciate all of them if he regards them with love.
  2. The mind that accepts attack cannot love.  That is because it believes it can destroy love, and therefore does not understand what love is. If it does not understand what love is, it cannot perceive itself as loving. This loses the awareness of being, induces feelings of unreality, and results in utter confusion. Your thinking has done this because of its power, but your thinking can also save you from this because its power is not of your making. Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose is part of its power. If you do not believe you can do this you have denied the power of your thought, and thus rendered it powerless in your belief.
  3. The ingeniousness of the ego to preserve itself is enormous, but it stems from the very power of the mind the ego denies. This means that the ego attacks what is preserving it, which must result in extreme anxiety. That is why the ego never recognizes what it is doing. It is perfectly logical but clearly insane. The ego draws upon the one source that is totally inimical to its existence for its existence. Fearful of perceiving the power of this source, it is forced to depreciate it. This threatens its own existence, a state which it finds intolerable. Remaining logical but still insane, the ego resolves this completely insane dilemma in a completely insane way. It does not perceive its existence as threatened by projecting this threat onto you and perceiving your being as nonexistent. This ensures its continuance if you side with it, by guaranteeing that you will not know your own safety.
  4. The ego cannot afford to know anything. Knowledge is total, and the ego does not believe in totality. This unbelief is its origin, and while the ego does not love you it is faithful to its own antecedents, begetting as it was begotten.  Mind always reproduces as it was produced. Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear. This is its allegiance, and this allegiance makes it treacherous to love because you are love. Love is your power, which the ego must deny. It must also deny everything this power gives you because it gives you everything. No one who has everything wants the ego. Its own maker, then, does not want it. Rejection is therefore the only decision the ego could possibly encounter, if the mind that made it knew itself.  And if it recognized any part of the Sonship, it would know itself.
  5. The ego therefore opposes all appreciation, all recognition, all sane perception, and all knowledge. It perceives their threat as total, because it senses that all commitments the mind makes are total. Forced, therefore, to detach itself from you, it is willing to attach itself to anything else.  But there is nothing else. The mind can, however, make up illusions, and if it does so it will believe in them, because that is how it made them.
  6. The Holy Spirit undoes illusions without attacking them because He cannot perceive them at all.  They therefore do not exist for Him. He resolves the apparent conflict they engender by perceiving conflict as meaningless. I have said before that the Holy Spirit perceives the conflict exactly as it is, and it is meaningless.  The Holy Spirit does not want you to understand conflict; He wants you to realize that, because conflict is meaningless, it is not understandable. As I have already said, understanding brings appreciation and appreciation brings love. Nothing else can be understood because nothing else is real and therefore nothing else has meaning.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that we cannot love part of the Sonship and not all.  The Kingdom of God is nothing like the ego’s world.  Here we can have favorites; we can assign all kinds of virtuous traits upon one person and all kinds of demonic traits upon another.  From the time we are little tots we are accosted with the uneven distribution of power, goods, looks, and status in this world.  It seems perfectly fair and justified to attack those who seem to have something that should also belong to us, to take something away from others so we can have more of it ourselves!  This world is based upon the assumption that we must be able – through brawn or by our wits – to survive in a dog-eat-dog world and to do that we must regard others as rivals.

When we adopt this mentality as our belief system, we may or may not thrive for a time in the world, but we can know one thing beyond doubt and that is this:  We will not find our home in God’s Kingdom.  When the ego stands as our belief system, it will be our concept of God, of Creation, of ourselves.  We will not be able to fully appreciate anything or anybody because we will think of ourselves as separate, of having something to lose or something to gain, but never as fully mutual, equal, and loved.

Pointblank, as long as we accept attack as an option in any of our relationships, we cannot love.  Jesus makes this perfectly clear and expounds upon this in paragraph two where He says that when we attack we believe we can destroy love which shows we have no understanding of love.  Not understanding love, we do not experience ourselves as loving.  We have lost our awareness of our true identity, we dissociate ourselves from who and what we really are, and we land up in a bewildered state about what we are and of what we are capable and culpable.

Our fear and our hatred and our conflict seem very real to us because we chose to believe lies rather than truth.  We have been given a mind that can choose what thoughts to believe and what thoughts to act upon.  When we act upon lies, we make them real to us, our perceptual world reflects what we believe right back at us – this is the power that we have been given but have chosen to forget.

When we think that the perceptual world is the cause and our thoughts have no power, we think of ourselves as helpless pawns in a world gone mad.  It becomes a very scary world to us because we believe that the lies we have acted upon are the real story of us. 

Only until we take back the power of our thoughts and choose thoughts that align with God’s Kingdom and our true identity will we begin to recognize the truth about ourselves and each other, restoring the Sonship of God to our awareness. 

Lies simply cannot stand in truth.  Appreciation, recognition, sane perception, and all knowledge all stand as dissolution to the ego.  When we commit our mind to truth, Holy Spirit’s function is to keep only the truth, purify that which has some truth, and purge our minds of all that has none.  Lies, no longer able to draw any reaction from us, will seek to attach to something else.  But there is no other place except a mind that makes up lies and believes in them – because that is what makes egos and that is what sustains them. 

Holy Spirit does not attack falsehood; Holy Spirit simply fails to perceive them.  Falsehood does not exist to the Voice for God.  Any conflict that is aroused by perceiving lies is meaningless to Holy Spirit.  He does not seek to understand war or mouth battles, He does not seek to understand and get to the bottom of my ill will toward my neighbor or my sister or my friend nor does He want us to understand conflict because He knows that it simply is not understandable. 

Understanding brings appreciation and appreciation brings love – nothing else but appreciation and love can be understood because nothing else is real and nothing else has meaning. 

Years ago I would go to God with the hard feelings I had toward this one and that one.  My gossipy coworkers were getting on my last nerve; a loved one continued to overstep perfectly reasonable boundaries; I felt used and abused by two of my friends; I was bitterly disappointed by some relatives whom I felt showed no appreciation for all I had done for them.  Each time I would go to the Lord in prayer about my complaints, I felt as if I were getting farther away from God rather than closer.  I stayed in a state of confusion for several years over what I presumed were unresolvable conflicts.  While I enjoyed plenty of life’s blessings, the wrongdoings of others loomed large in my mind and marred the peace, love, and joy that surrounded me, not to mention stunted my spiritual growth and hampered my understanding.

The perceptual world will always give us plenty of reasons to fear others, to despise others, to roll our eyes in despair at the absolute tedium of others, but we do not have to accept this version of reality – when we undo the ego in ourselves; we undo it in others.  When we realize that conflicts of any kind, no matter how justified the ego may paint them out to be, will not meet the conditions of the Kingdom, when we experience the joy and peace and love of giving up the ego’s version of perceiving others and accepting Holy Spirit’s truth – we will aim for nothing less than total vigilance for God and His Kingdom. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom. VI From vigilance to peace. 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

V: Healing and the Changelessness of Mind 6-11

6.  Fear does not gladden. Healing does. Fear always makes exceptions. Healing never does. Fear produces dissociation because it induces separation. Healing always produces harmony because it proceeds from integration. It is predictable because it can be counted on. Everything that is of God can be counted on, because everything of God is wholly real. Healing can be counted on because it is inspired by His Voice and is in accord with His laws.  Yet if healing is consistent it cannot be inconsistently understood. Understanding means consistency because God means consistency. Since that is His meaning, it is also yours. Your meaning cannot be out of accord with His because your whole meaning and your only meaning comes from His and is like His. God cannot be out of accord with Himself, and you cannot be out of accord with Him. You cannot separate yourself from your Creator, who created you by sharing His Being with you.

7. The unhealed healer wants gratitude from his brothers, but he is not grateful to them. That is because he thinks he is giving something to them and is not receiving something equally desirable in return. His teaching is limited because he is learning so little. His healing lesson is limited by his own ingratitude, which is a lesson in sickness. True learning is constant, and so vital in its power for change that a Son of God can recognize his power in one instant and change the world in the next. That is because, by changing his mind, he has changed the most powerful device that was ever given him for change. This in no way contradicts that changelessness of mind as God created it, but you think that you have changed it as long as you learn through the ego. This places you in a position of needing to learn a lesson that seems contradictory; — you must learn to change your mind about your mind.  Only by this can you learn that it is changeless.

8. When you heal, that is exactly what you are learning. You are recognizing the changeless mind in your brother by realizing that he could not have changed his mind. That is how you perceive the Holy Spirit in him. It is only the Holy Spirit in him that never changes his mind. He himself may think he can, or he would not perceive himself as sick. He therefore does not know what his Self is. If you see only the changeless in him you have not really changed him.  By changing your mind about his for him, you help him undo the change his ego thinks it has made in him.

9. As you can hear two voices, so you can see in two ways. One way shows you an image, or an idol that you may worship out of fear but will never love. The other shows you only truth, which you will love because you will understand it. Understanding is appreciation, because what you understand you can identify with, and by making it part of you, you have accepted it with love. That is how God Himself created you, in understanding, in appreciation, and in love. The ego is totally unable to understand this, because it does not understand what it makes, does not appreciate it, and does not love it. It incorporates to take away. It literally believes that every time it deprives someone of something, it has increased. I have often spoken of the increase of the Kingdom by your creation, which can only be created as you were. The whole glory and perfect joy that is the Kingdom lies in you to give. Do you not want to give it?

10. You cannot forget the Father because I am with you, and I cannot forget Him. To forget me is to forget yourself and Him who created you. Our brothers are forgetful. that is why they need your remembrance of me and of Him who created me. Through this remembrance, you can change their minds about themselves, as I can change yours.  Your mind is so powerful a light that you can look into theirs and enlighten them, as I can enlighten yours. I do not want to share my body in communion because that is to share nothing.  Would I try to share an illusion with the most holy children of a most holy Father? Yet I do want to share my mind with you because we are of one mind, and that mind is ours. See only this mind everywhere, because only this is everywhere and in everything. It is everything because it encompasses all things within itself. Blessed are you who perceive only this, because you perceive only what is true.

11. Come therefore onto me and learn of the truth in you. The mind we share is shared by all our brothers, and as we see them truly they will be healed. Let your mind shine with mine upon their minds, and by our gratitude to them make them aware of the light in them. This light will shine back upon you and on the whole Sonship, because this is your proper gift to God. He will accept it and give it to the Sonship, because it is acceptable to Him and therefore to His Sons. This is true communion with the Holy Spirit, who sees the altar of God in everyone, and by bringing it to your appreciation, He calls upon you to love God and His creation. You can appreciate the Sonship only as one. This is part of the law of creation, and therefore governs all thought. [1]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom V. Healing and the changelessness of mind 6-11. Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

V: Healing and the Changelessness of Mind 1-5

  1. The body is nothing more than a framework for developing abilities, which is quite apart from what they are used for.  That is a decision.  The effects of the ego’s decision in this matter are so apparent that they need no elaboration, but the Holy Spirit’s decision to use the body only for communication has such a direct connection with healing that it does need clarification.  The unhealed healer obviously does not understand his own vocation.
  2. Only minds communicate.  Since the ego cannot obliterate the impulse to communicate because it is also the impulse to create, it can only teach you that the body can both communicate and create, and therefore does not need the mind.  The ego thus tries to teach you that the body can act like the mind and is therefore self-sufficient.  Yet we have learned that behavior is not the level for either teaching or learning, since you can act in accordance with what you do not believe.  To do this, however, it will weaken you as a teacher and a learner because, as has been repeatedly emphasized, you teach what you do believe.
  3. Healing is the only ability everyone can develop and must develop if he is to be healed.  Healing is the Holy Spirit’s form of communication in this world, and the only one He accepts.  He recognizes no other because He does not accept the ego’s confusion of mind and body.  Minds can communicate, but they cannot hurt.  The body in the service of the ego can hurt other bodies, but this cannot occur unless the body has already been confused with the mind.  This situation, too, can be used either for healing or for magic, but you must remember that magic always involves the belief that healing is harmful.  This belief is its totally insane premise, and so it proceeds accordingly. 
  4. Healing only strengthens.  Magic always tries to weaken.  Healing perceives nothing in the healer that everyone else does not share with him.  Magic always sees something “special” in the healer, which he believes he can offer as a gift to someone who does not have it.  He may believe that the gift comes from God to him, but it is quite evident that he does not understand God if he thinks he has something that others lack. 
  5. The Holy Spirit does not work by chance, and healing that is of Him always works.  Unless the healer always heals by Him the results may vary.  Yet healing itself is consistent, since only consistency is conflict-free, and only the conflict-free are whole.  By accepting exceptions and acknowledging that he can sometimes heal and sometimes not, the healer is obviously accepting inconsistency.  He is therefore in conflict and is teaching conflict.  Can anything of God not be for all and for always?  Love is incapable of any exceptions.  Only if there is fear does the idea of exceptions seem to be meaningful.  Exceptions are fearful because they are made by fear.  The “fearful healer” is a contradiction in terms and is therefore a concept that only a conflicted mind could possibly perceive as meaningful.[1]

In the opening paragraph of today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that it is up to us how we use our bodies.  While Jesus felt no need to elaborate on the effect of the ego’s use of the body let me elaborate on it for a few sentences just to make it clear what is being said here. The ego use of our body involves pleasure, pride, and separation and ultimate shame.  There is never any ongoing triumph in the body – no matter how we dress them up and strut them about and think of them as a source of pride and conquest, in the end there is abasement, humility, shame, and death.  Few of us are willing to face these hard facts, we would much rather not think about it, but because of our unwillingness to address this in an honest, forthright way we face the ultimate death of our bodies with a sense of bewilderment, isolation, and despair.

However, when Holy Spirit uses the body as a communication device for God we can bypass the effects of ego’s use of the body.  We need to be taught the connection between Holy Spirit’s use of the body and healing because many of us who are called to be healers have no real understanding of our function and remain unhealed ourselves.   Jesus tells us that only our minds communicate.  We may think we are communicating with our words, our conversations, our body language but this is not communicating anything real – we can talk all night and all day and communicate nothing.  We can call it communication, but Jesus calls it a poor substitute because the body is not the mind and behavior is not the level for teaching and learning because we can say and do things that fail to line up with what we really believe.  Saying and doing things that do not line up with what we believe does not make us good teachers or learners because we teach what we do believe.  In other words, we continue to practice that which denies truth, teaching that which is opposite to truth because we still have misplaced our faith in that which will fail us.   

Every single one of us are called to be healers.  This is an ability that everyone can and must develop to be healed.  Holy Spirit communicates healing and healing alone.  If I want to project anything other than healing, Holy Spirit does not share it.  For instance, if I perceive you as having taken advantage of my kindness and I build a case against you and talk about you behind your back, complain about you to this one and that one – Holy Spirit does not recognize this as a form of communication – it is all ego blather, blabbing, yapping and yipping about nothing.  My body in the service of the ego may think it is hurting you, getting even with you, making you pay for the hurt and disappointment and grievance you caused me, but the only thing it can hurt is your body or your ego, but never the truth about you, never who you are as God’s Son. 

When you are hurt by what I say about you in the flesh, you can use this situation for healing or for magic.  Healing the situation, you would take it to Holy Spirit and say something along the line of, “Dear Holy Spirit, Eckie has said venomous things about me.  I was really hurt by what she said.  But upon closer examination of the situation, I can see that what she said and did was not anything that I, too, have not been guilty of saying and doing. I forgive her, because we are the same.  She is my teacher even as I am her teacher.  We are both God’s Son and both created in perfect love.” 

Healing strengthens because it makes one, it wipes out wrongdoing by refusing to hold on to it. It does not trap you and me in an ongoing conflict, but rather sets us both free to recognize our mutuality as God’s Son. 

Conversely, when you are hurt by something I have done against you in the flesh, you can use this situation to offer magic.  Magic is the belief that healing is harmful.  Magic will make you out to be an exceptional person for deigning to forgive me.  You will pretend to forgive me because you are a better person than me.  Instead of letting the situation heal me and heal you, you will deny that we are the same.  You will see yourself as God’s Son and me as the spawn of the devil.  You will demand an apology because you are perfect, and I am imperfect.  You will put a lot of stipulations upon your forgiveness. You may punish me by withholding love and affection.  You may even start a campaign against me, building a side and gathering allies.  It is quite apparent that you do not understand God because you still think you have something over on me, that you are better, that you are exceptional, that your flesh has an advantage over mine. 

Magic weakens because there is no truth in it.  Instead of undoing a mistake, magic makes it real and draws others into a meaningless lie, extending the need for time.  It teaches a false belief in God who would give someone gifts that it withholds from others.  Instead of wholeness, magic divides and undermines.

As we come to know Holy Spirit as our Guide and Teacher, our healing will be consistent, free of conflict, and whole.  We will know that that which comes from God is for everybody and is always available.  As we practice inviting Holy Spirit to take the lead in our lives, we will know that Love does not make exceptions.  We will know that to heal, is to be healed just as to forgive, is to be forgiven.  We will have no fear, no shame, no question about who and what we are in God and what we are called to do in the world. 

Today in your devotional practice, commit to developing the ability to heal in your mind and in your heart.  Know that this ability is a given and is for everybody – not a chosen few, not an anointed one here and there, but for you and for me as we live out our days in the alternate to God’s Kingdom.   Ask the Lord to show you how to put these concepts to practical daily application, inviting Holy Spirit to illuminate your thoughts and deliver you from every conflicting thought and giving you the changelessness of mind necessary for the Gifts of God’s Kingdom. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom. V. Healing and the changelessness of mind 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

IV: Healing as the Recognition of Truth

  1. Truth can only be recognized and need only be recognized. Inspiration is of the Holy Spirit, and certainty is of God according to His laws. Both, therefore, come from the same source since inspiration comes from the Voice for God and certainty comes from the laws of God. Healing does not come directly from God, who knows His creations as perfectly whole.  Yet healing is still of God because it proceeds from His Voice and from His laws. It is their result, in a state of mind that does not know Him. The state is unknown to Him and therefore does not exist, but those who sleep are unaware. Because they are unaware, they do not know.
  2. The Holy Spirit must work through you to teach you He is in you. This is an intermediary step toward the knowledge that you are in God because you are part of Him. The miracles the Holy Spirit inspires can have no order of difficulty, because every part of creation is of one order. This is God’s will and yours. The laws of God establish this, and the Holy Spirit reminds you of it. When you heal, you are remembering the laws of God and forgetting the laws of the ego. I said before that forgetting is merely a way of remembering better. It is therefore not the opposite of remembering when it is properly perceived. Perceived improperly, it induces a perception of conflict with something else, as all incorrect perception does. Properly perceived, it can be used as a way out of conflict, as all proper perception can.
  3. The ego does not want to teach everyone all it has learned, because that would defeat its purpose. Therefore, it does not really learn at all. The Holy Spirit teaches you to use what the ego has made, to teach the opposite of what the ego has “learned.” The kind of learning is as irrelevant as is the particular ability that was applied to the learning. All you need do is make the effort to learn, for the Holy Spirit has a unified goal for the effort. If different abilities are applied long enough to one goal, the abilities themselves become unified. This is because they are channelized in one direction, or in one way. Ultimately, then, they all contribute to one result, and by so doing, their similarities rather than their differences is emphasized.
  4. All abilities should therefore be given over to the Holy Spirit Who understands how to use them properly. He uses them only for healing because He knows you only as whole. By healing you learn of wholeness, and by learning of wholeness you learn to remember God. You have forgotten Him, but the Holy Spirit understands that your forgetting must be translated into a way of remembering.
  5. The ego’s goal is as unified as the Holy Spirit’s, and it is because of this that their goals can never be reconciled in any way or to any extent. The ego always seeks to divide and separate. The Holy Spirit always seeks to unify and heal.  As you heal you are healed, because the Holy Spirit sees no order of difficulty in healing. Healing is the way to undo the belief in differences, being the only way of perceiving the Sonship as one. This perception is therefore in accord with the laws of God, even in a state of mind that is out of accord with His. The strength of right perception is so great that it brings the mind into accord with His because it serves His voice, Which is in all of you.
  6. To think you can oppose the Will of God is a real delusion. The ego believes that it can, and that it can offer you its own “will” as a gift. You do not want it. It is not a gift. It is nothing at all. God has given you a gift that you both have and are. When you do not use it, you forget that you have it. By not remembering it, you do not know what you are. Healing, then, is a way of approaching knowledge by thinking in accordance with the laws of God and recognizing their universality. Without this recognition, you have made the laws meaningless to you. Yet the laws are not meaningless, since all meaning is contained by them and in them.
  7. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, because that is where the laws of God operate truly, and they can operate only truly because they are the laws of truth. But seek this only because you can find nothing else. There is nothing else. God is All in all, in a very literal sense. All being is in Him who is all Being. You are therefore in Him since your being is His. Healing is a way of forgetting the sense of danger the ego has induced in you, by not recognizing its existence in your brother.  This strengthens the Holy Spirit in both of you because it is a refusal to acknowledge fear. Love needs only this invitation. It comes freely to all the Sonship, being what the Sonship is. By your awakening to it, you are merely forgetting what you are not. This enables you to remember what you are.[1]

Jesus tells us in today’s text reading that truth cannot be taught.  It can only be recognized.  We will recognize the truth when we find it– it will make sense to us, it will resolve conflict, it will set us free from that which keeps us asleep in a spiteful dream.  The Voice for God within each one of us inspires us to seek the truth; and until we put all else aside and turn in that direction, we can have no confidence in God, because the clamors of the ego use the perceptual world and its ongoing dramas, conflicts, and crises to provide an alternate to our true Source and our real identity. 

God created us whole and our wholeness is His Will.  He knows all of His creations in wholeness.  That which is broken, shattered, shameful, and sick is part of the deception which weakens and cripples us, keeping our true identities from our consciousness.  This is the result of not remembering God; this is the result of being swept up in the perceptual world and heeding the clamor of the ego rather than the quiet certain Voice for God within. 

Only as we experience Holy Spirit working through us can we learn that the Voice for God is in us.  Holy Spirit is the mediator between that teaches us that we are part of God and in and of God.  Every single part of creation is in one order, it is a whole, it is complete, and creation is connected – this is why there are no big miracles and small miracles, for every single part of creation has equal worth.  The laws of God establish this; His Voice within us, reminds us of its truth.  When we heal, we are remembering the laws of God and forgetting the laws of the ego.  We forget what is not true and which can never work in order to remember that which is true and will always work.  Forgetting lies is not the opposite of remembering truth.  When I believe a rumor that my friend has been spreading lies and blabbing my secrets to everybody, and later find out that it is not true – forgetting the lie that I had once believed helps me to remember her loyalty and discretion, giving us a solid foundation for our relationship rather than the brokenness and lack of integrity made by lies.    

While Holy Spirit teaches us to forget lies so that we can remember truth better, ego has no such desire to teach us anything, but would rather have us keep repeating history extending the need for time.  Keep killing, keep going to battle, keep us apart distrusting one another rather than sharing our cultures, embracing our differences, and accepting our equality. No worries!  Holy Spirit uses everything the ego makes to teach us the opposite of what it has “learned.” It does not matter what it has learned, all we have to do is make the effort to learn from our time in the perceptual world.  When we get past our ego and examine our lives in perceptual world, Holy Spirit’s unified goal becomes apparent in our minds for we begin to see how every effort we make in this direction contributes to our awakening.  We begin to see that no matter how varied or intermittent or stunted our efforts, Holy Spirit uses each effort we make in the right direction, focusing on the relationships and parallels in our efforts instead of disparities and differences. 

This morning in our devotional practice, James and I were discussing how at different times in our lives, we put our minds to searching for truth.  We knew that what we had been taught was truth was not, but we looked to many different avenues – we read our bibles, we read the book of Zen, we read the Celestine Prophecy, I read William James and Joseph Campbell.  We prayed.  We practiced meditative poses.  We went to one church and then another, separately and apart, we were on an ongoing spiritual quest that nobody would have guessed by judging from our outer lives.  There were times we gave it up, it all seemed insane and impossible and yet the Voice for God kept calling to us, becoming increasingly clear, consistent, and concise amid all the racket of ego.  Taking all our scattered efforts and unifying them over the course of time without using judgment, condemnation, mockery, or shame. 

This is healing.  As Holy Spirit teaches us, so must we teach others for this heals us to heal.  Accepting and offering no judgment, no condemnation, no mockery, guilt, or shame, we offer only the recognition of who and what we are in God. 

This is why we give our abilities to Holy Spirit who uses them for healing.  Without giving our gifts to Holy Spirit, our abilities will be smothered or used for cynicism, blame, derision, and other forms of projection, which keeps us locked in separation instead of unity.  When we are healed, we remember our wholeness in God.  We forgot that, but Holy Spirit translates our forgetting into a way of remembering.  All our talents are now devoted not to our egos but to bring health, healing, and wholeness, to help others recognize their truth in God. 

The ego’s goal is not to unify, but its goal is unified.  Ego’s goal – always and in all ways – is to divide and separate, while Holy Spirit seeks to unify and heal.  There is no rank and division among who deserves healing and who does not.  You need not have insurance, a lot of money, or know the right people.  No matter how undeserving and unworthy a person may appear to be, healing is the way we undo the belief in differences for this is the only way to see the Sonship as one.  Seeing the Sonship as one is in accord with the laws of God.  The strength of this perception brings the mind into accord with God even while we identify with our human form because the reconciled Sonship serves the call of God within each one of us. 

Part of the overall delusion is believing that we can oppose God’s Will.  The will of the ego, the aim of its delusion, takes many different forms – all with the same goal – to leave us isolated, apart, and blaming one another, giving us nothing in the end.  Nothing can oppose God’s Will.  Even ego’s delusion serves, in the end, to bring us to God. 

God has given us a gift that we both have and are.  He has given us Holy Spirit, His Voice and when we do not heed His Voice, we forget that we have it.  When we forget what we have, we forget what we are.  Healing is simply remembering our true identity as God’s Son, not just for the few, but for all. Without recognizing the universality of our Sonship with God, the Sonship becomes meaningless to us.  There can be no Sonship without everybody!  Thinking otherwise is why we need healing, because all meaning is contained in the all-embracing laws of God. 

When we seek only the Kingdom of God, we recognize that there is nothing else.  God is All in all.  All being is in Him who is all Being.  When we recognize this fact we are healed because we forget the sense of danger the ego has induced in us by not recognizing it anymore in our brothers.  When I can look upon Creation without fear, Holy Spirit is strengthened in me and in you, because I am no longer afraid to love you, to enjoy your company, to share with you my food and drink, to give you equal standing in the Kingdom of God.  You are no longer my enemy because of our physical and cultural differences, you are my brother, you are my friend, you are one with me in God.  Love comes to us when we refuse to listen to the media, to our ancestral chronicles of hatred and bitterness, to religious traditions which would tear us apart, teaching us it is the will of God to maim and kill one another.  Love comes freely to the Sonship because that is what we are. 

Today in your devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to help you reject that which divides and shatters – and embrace Him Who unifies and makes us one.   This is a blessed teaching, one in which will heal the world, bringing God’s Will to earth as it is in Heaven.  Commit to recognizing all others as God’s beloved Son, thus healing them as you are healed through your loving thoughts, words, and deeds.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom IV Healing as the recognition of truth. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7: The Gifts of the Kingdom

III: The Reality of the Kingdom

  1. The Holy Spirit teaches one lesson and applies it to all individuals in all situations. Being conflict-free, he maximizes all efforts and all results. By teaching the power of the Kingdom of God Himself, He teaches you that all power is yours. Its application does not matter. It is always maximal.  Your vigilance does not establish it as yours, but it does enable you to use it always and in all ways. When I said I am with you always, I meant it literally. I am not absent to anyone in any situation.  Because I am always with you, you are the way, the truth, and the life. You did not make this power, anymore than I did. It was created to be shared, and therefore cannot be meaningfully perceived as belonging to any one at the expense of another. Such a perception makes it meaningless by eliminating or overlooking its real and only meaning.  
  2. God’s meaning waits in the Kingdom because that is where He placed it. It does not wait in time. It merely rests in the Kingdom because it belongs there, as you do. How can you who are God’s meaning perceive yourself as absent from it? You can see yourself as separated from your meaning only by experiencing yourself as unreal. This is why the ego is insane; it teaches you that you are not what you are. That is so contradictory it is clearly impossible. It is therefore a lesson you cannot really learn, and therefore cannot really teach. Yet you are always teaching. You must, therefore, be teaching something else, even though the ego does not know what it is. Ego, then, is always being undone, and does suspect your motives. Your mind cannot be unified in allegiance to the ego because the mind does not belong to it. Yet what is treacherous to the ego is faithful to peace. The ego’s enemy is therefore your friend.
  3. I said before that the ego’s friend is not part of you, because the ego perceives itself at war and therefore in need of allies. You who are not at war must look for brothers and recognize all whom you see as brothers, because only equals are at peace. Because God’s equal Sons have everything, they cannot compete. Yet if they perceive any of their brothers as anything other than their perfect equals, the idea of competition has entered their minds.  Do not underestimate your need to be vigilant against this idea, because all your conflicts come from it. It is the belief that conflicting interests are possible, and therefore you have accepted the impossible as true. Is that different from saying you perceive yourself as unreal? 
  4. To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it. As long as you believe you can attend to what is not true, you are accepting conflict as your choice. Is it really a choice? It seems to be but seeming and reality are hardly the same. You who are the Kingdom are not concerned with seeming. Reality is yours because you are reality. This is how having and being are ultimately reconciled, not in the Kingdom, but in your mind. The altar there is the only reality. The altar is perfectly clear in thought because it is a reflection of perfect thought. Your right mind sees only brothers because it sees only in its own light. 
  5. God has lit your mind Himself and keeps your mind lit by His light because His light is what your mind is. This is totally beyond question, and when you question it you are answered. The answer merely undoes the question by establishing the fact that to question reality is to question meaninglessly. That is why the Holy Spirit never questions. His sole function is to undo the questionable and thus lead to certainty. The certain are perfectly calm because they are not in doubt. They do not raise questions, because nothing questionable enters their minds. This holds them in perfect serenity, because this is what they share, knowing what they are. [1]

The one lesson of the Holy Spirit is applied across the board to everybody at all times and in all situations.  Holy Spirit does not allow the differences that we see between ourselves and others to interfere with the truth of the matter.  Because He sees no difference between you and me, it does not matter if we are male or female, black or white, rich or poor, Jew, Muslim, or Christian.  He simply teaches the reality of God’s Kingdom; the strength of God’s Kingdom belongs to you and belongs to me equally.  How we want to use that strength has no bearing, it is always there and always at full capacity.  Whether we are vigilant about it or not we all have the strength of God’s Kingdom.  However, our vigilance about God and His Kingdom enables us to call upon it, to use it and apply it in all situations and for all purposes.

Jesus is with us always.  Because of His constant presence within us, we are the way, the truth, the life along with Him.  We did not and cannot make this happen for ourselves, nor did Christ.  God created the power of the Kingdom to share – nobody can keep it only for themselves, not even Christ; nobody would want to keep it for themselves, if they properly understood the meaning of the Kingdom of God for its very meaning is always about unity, oneness, sharing, and equality for all. 

God has no meaning in time; God’s meaning is in the Kingdom because that is where He is and where His meaning is made real, just as where we belong and where we are.  When we perceive ourselves apart from God, we can have no meaning; we live lives that are filled with a lot of meaningless activities, drives, passions, and temporary accomplishments.  The ego teaches us that we are not strong and powerful, but rather weak and vulnerable.  Our brains which are ego’s replacement for the mind can easily get scrambled, making all kinds of havoc on our lives.  Ego teaches us exactly opposite of what we are, making lessons that are so contradictory and full of suppositions and untruth, that we cannot really learn nor share with any surety what it teaches. 

Jesus tells us that we are always teaching and what we teach undoes the ego.  Even though the ego understands nothing, it does suspect our motives and is always suspicious and easily turned against us because we cannot be made one with the ego.  None of us are capable of 100% loyalty to the ego for the ego itself is too contradictory, unstable, and scattered to command allegiance. Our minds were made by God and belong to God.  Our minds were made for peace; to the ego peace is treacherous, for peace, which unifies the mind and the Sonship is the very undoing of the ego.    

That which is friend to the ego can never be part of us, because the ego perceives itself at war while the mind is made for peace.  The perceptions of the ego are looking for allies, not brothers.  The mind of peace is looking for brothers, not allies.  The mind of peace sees equals, for peace can only be in equality.  The Sonship of God does not compete; they are equals and equally share all.

 It is only when we see our brothers as having more or less that the idea of competition enters into the mind.  Jesus tells us to never underestimate our need to be vigilant against the idea of comparisons, because all of our conflict comes from this idea that someone has more or less than we do, that someone is more special or less special, that someone has truth and the other has lies, that someone is better and the other is worse.  We have fallen into the ego’s realm of perception and denied the oneness and unity of God’s Kingdom when we believe that conflicting interests are possible.  God cannot love some and despise others, and neither can we.  God cannot give one person more and another person less and love His Sons equally.  If we believe that perceptual world is created of God, we believe in a God who made some people beautiful, healthy, and whole and others deformed, unattractive, and diseased.  We will believe that He is a God that condoned slavery, human trafficking, wars, and sacrifice.  We will believe that He has special people who are chosen and the elect and the rest He made to afflict with sorrows and death, hunger and poverty.  We will believe in an impossible God and call this truth, which is no different than believing ourselves as full of conflicts, contradictions, and confusion. 

Jesus tells us that all we have to do is focus our full attention on the Kingdom of God. This is the only way to be awake in the dream – for otherwise we will believe that conflict, contradiction, and opposites are a real choice.  We will believe that the story that ends in death and decay is a real choice.  But life and death are not the same; love and fear are not the same, blessing and curse are as different as peace and war!  No matter how real the conflicts of the world and our traditional religions seem, reality is ours because we are reality.  Having and being are reconciled in our minds, not in some faraway Kingdom in which we fly upon our physical death, but upon the altar in the center of our mind, which is the only real thing about us in this world. On this altar, we see only brothers, we see only equals, we see only oneness, wholeness, completeness.  This is the altar which reflects the light of God’s perfect love.  It is from this altar that we live and move and have our being as His Kingdom.  This is the altar where healing of the nations takes place.  This is the altar where salvation rests. 

Our mind is God’s Light.  Any questions about it have been answered.  The truth has been established.   This is why Holy Spirit never questions for His function is to undo that which is doubtful, that which is questionable, that which is uncertain and replace all ambiguity with the certainty of God’s Kingdom.  In God’s Kingdom, we do not have to wonder where we got this trait from or that one.  We are not at the mercy of hormones, testosterone, or our drives for money, power and control over others.  We do not have to worship our ancestors, or make up stories about them, or try to find our meaning in the stories, myths, and fables of the past.  We are Sons of God and the certainty of God’s Kingdom is ours.  With certainty, we are calm.  We do not ask questions because nothing questionable enters our minds.  With certainty, we enjoy perfect serenity, and this is what we share because we know what we are, we know who we are, and we know where we belong.  This is the reality of God’s Kingdom. 

In our devotional practice, we ask Holy Spirit to teach us this one lesson.  The power of God’s Kingdom is ours for you and I are the Kingdom of God.  Our being is beyond perception, beyond questions, beyond all doubt and fear.  As we accept our place in and as God’s Kingdom, use the power of God’s Kingdom to correct all of our misperceptions, heal all suffering and pain, and awaken all of our equal brothers to the light that shines forever upon the altar lit by God. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 Gifts of the kingdom III The reality of the kingdom. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom

II: The Law of the Kingdom

  1. To heal is the only kind of thinking in this world that resembles the Thought of God, and because of the elements they share, can transfer easily to it. When a brother perceives himself as sick, he is perceiving himself as not whole, and therefore in need. If you, too, see him this way, you are seeing him as if he were absent from the Kingdom or separated from it, thus making the Kingdom itself obscure to both of you. Sickness and separation are not of God. But the Kingdom is. If you obscure the Kingdom, you are perceiving what is not of God.
  2. To heal, then, is to correct perception in your brother and yourself by sharing the Holy Spirit with him. This places you both within the Kingdom and restores its wholeness in your mind. This reflects creation because it unifies by increasing and integrates by extending. What you project or extend is real for you. This is an immutable law of the mind in this world as well is in the Kingdom. However, the content is different in this world because the thoughts it governs is very different from the Thoughts in the Kingdom. Laws must be adapted to circumstances if they are to maintain order. The outstanding characteristic of the laws of mind as they operate in this world is that by obeying them, and I assure you that you must obey them, you can arrive at diametrically opposed results. This is because the laws have been adapted to the circumstances of this world, in which diametrically opposed outcomes seem possible because you can respond to two conflicting voices.
  3. Outside the Kingdom, the law that prevails inside is adapted to “What you project you believe.” This is its teaching form, because outside the Kingdom learning is essential. This form implies that you will learn what you are from what you have projected onto others, and therefore believe they are. In the Kingdom there is no teaching or learning because there is no belief. There is only certainty. God and His Sons, in the surety of being, know that what you extend you are. That form of the law is not adapted at all, being the law of creation. God Himself created the law by creating by it. And His Sons, who create like Him, follow it gladly, knowing that the increase of the Kingdom depends on it just as their own creation did.
  4. Laws must be communicated if they are to be helpful. In effect, they must be translated for those who speak different languages. Nevertheless, a good translator, although he must alter the form of what he translates, never changes the meaning. In fact, his whole purpose is to change the form so that the original meaning is retained. The Holy Spirit is the translator of the laws of God to those who do not understand them. You could not do this yourself because a conflicted mind could not be faithful to one meaning and will therefore change the meaning to preserve the form.
  5. The Holy Spirit’s purpose in translating is exactly the opposite. He translates only to preserve the original meaning in all respects and in all languages. Therefore, He opposes the idea that differences in form are meaningful, emphasizing always that these differences do not matter. The meaning of His message is always the same: Only the meaning matters. God’s law of creation does not involve the use of truth to convince His Sons of truth. The extension of truth, which is the law of the Kingdom, rests only on the knowledge of what truth is. This is your inheritance and requires no learning at all, but when you disinherited yourself you became a learner of necessity.
  6. No one questions the connection of learning and memory. Learning is impossible without memory since it must be consistent to be remembered. That is why the Holy Spirit’s teaching is a lesson in remembering. I said before that He teaches remembering and forgetting, but the forgetting is only to make the remembering consistent.  You forget in order to remember better.  You will not understand His translations while you listen to two ways of interpreting them.  Therefore, you must forget or relinquish one to understand the other.  This is the only way you can learn consistency, so that you can finally be consistent. 
  7. What can the perfect consistency of the Kingdom mean to those who are confused? It is apparent that confusion interferes with meaning, and therefore prevents the learner from appreciating it. There is no confusion in the Kingdom because there is only one meaning. This meaning comes from God and is God. Because it is also you, you share it and extend it as your Creator did. This needs no translation because it is perfectly understood, but it does need extension because it means extension. Communication is perfectly direct and perfectly united. It is totally free because nothing discordant ever enters. This is why it is the Kingdom of God. It belongs to Him and is therefore like Him.   That is, its reality, and nothing can assail it.[1]

Our most godly approach to thinking in this world is one of healing.  Sickness and separation go hand-in-hand and they are not of God’s Kingdom.  When we come to understand the law of the Kingdom, we know that anything that is not God’s Will is not real, and we do not have to accept it as such, in ourselves or in each other. 

When we share Holy Spirit with our brother, the Kingdom of God is restored to our minds.  The wholeness of God’s Kingdom mirrors creation, it brings us together and expands; it makes us one and extends.  Jesus tells us that an unchangeable law of the mind in perceptual world as well as in God’s Kingdom is that what we think we make real to ourselves, we perceive it, it is true to us.  When we project sin and shame, grudges and condemnation, unforgiveness and spite we make those thoughts real to us.  We will perceive these thoughts in the physical realm – they will play out their viciousness, making them more real in our mind.  They will seem to be true.  The thoughts will be projected unto the screens of our lives and will hurt us, they will harm others and draw out the need for time.  The laws of mind must be obeyed; they are immutable.  Minds are creative and thoughts either make the need for time or create that which is beyond time; they either project illness and separation or they extend healing and wholeness.  Only when we become vigilant solely for God and His Kingdom will our thoughts be consistently those that heal.   

Here in the flesh and blood world, what we project unto others we believe – this form of teaching asserts that we learn what we are from the thoughts we hold about others and believe about them.  We learn then to be human; we learn how scary the world is, we learn to distrust those we love; we experience jealousy and spite from our nearest and dearest; we experience suffering and shame at the hands of those who are put in charge of us.  There are battles and taking sides.  As little children we learn about ourselves by overhearing what the adults and bigger kids in our lives are projecting upon others.  We learn to think of ourselves with uncertainty. We identify with our bodies, we spend our whole lives trying to figure out what it means to be human, chasing after things that hold promise but always fail us in the end.

This does not happen in the Kingdom of God.  In the Kingdom there is no teaching, no learning, no belief.  We know who and what we are, and in the certainty of our being, we extend what we are.  This is the law of creation.  The increase of God’s Kingdom depends on this law of extension.  Love begets Itself in its wholeness, not in parts, not in brokenness, not in separation. 

Holy Spirit translates the law of God’s Kingdom to us in ways that we will understand.  We cannot understand the law of God’s Kingdom because our minds are split between the higher mind of Spirit and the lower mind of flesh and ego.  What the higher mind would understand, the lower one would pervert the meaning to protect itself.  Because the laws of God’s Kingdom set us free from this one, the ego has come up with all kinds of ways to keep us blinded and distracted from them.  The ego has come up with all kinds of ways to insinuate itself into them, passing off our flesh and blood bodies as God’s creations, making itself the head of the ego’s religions, educational institutions, and healthcare systems, and building civilizations throughout time paralyzing the Sons of God in its stupefying enchantment with fear, strife, bloodshed, and division. 

Holy Spirit translates the laws of God, not to enchant, enslave, or turn us upon one another but only to bring us to our senses, to bring us to the truth, to see past the illusion.  Creation is whole and complete and unified.  Differences in form do not matter, only the meaning matters.  We do not use the truth to convince each other of truth.  This means we do not go about preaching “the truth,” or pushing it upon people.  The extension of truth rests on the knowledge of what truth is – this does not require learning.  This requires only knowing and accepting the truth.  When I know who I am, I do not have to convince myself or anybody else who I am.  I just am and because I just am, then my husband knows me as I am.  And my children and my grandchildren, my sisters and brothers, my friends and coworkers all know me as I am.  When we realize our Sonship, this is who and what we are.  We would never have had to learn this if we had not disinherited ourselves in the first place and put ourselves in a position to have to learn it. 

Holy Spirit teaches us to remember and to forget.  We remember who we really are; we forget who we thought we were.  He teaches us to forget in order that we may remember better, Jesus tells us.  As long as we think we are both flesh and spirit, lower mind and higher mind we will interpret the lessons in two ways.  The ego will intrude upon our spiritual paths; the ego will impede our minds’ awakening for its very maintenance depends upon our sleep.  This is why Holy Spirit teaches us to forget the ego – to relinquish it so that we can learn with consistency, that we can heal with consistency, so that we can finally be the attribute of consistency itself. 

The perfect consistency of God’s Kingdom clears up all confusion.  When we are confused, we do not really know who and what we are, we cannot hold fast to our meaning, nor appreciate our place in God’s Kingdom.  There is absolutely no confusion in God’s Kingdom.  There is only one meaning of God’s Kingdom because it comes from God and it is God.  It is also me and it is also you, and we share it and extend it as God does.  Holy Spirit has no need to translate this for us – we perfectly understand this as Sons of God, and we know that to have it, we must extend it because to know God means to know extension.  God is extension.  Extension is communication.  When we communicate in Holy Spirit we extend love to one another, we extend joy and peace – we extend unity without obstruction or deviance of any kind.  Everything is always in accord.  We have relinquished the voice which would obstruct, which would perceive, which would divide and separate us from our Father.  We know who and what we are. And we extend this knowledge to everybody still asleep in the dream. 

In your devotional practice today, ask Holy Spirit to prepare your mind and heart to accept and become the consistency of God, for consistency is the law of the Kingdom.  Consistency is the Kingdom of God; it belongs to Him and is therefore like Him.  This is reality and nothing else is real, nothing can assail it, nothing can shake it or break it.  When we know this, we share it in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds, and thus, as the healed and the healer, we fulfill our function in the world.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom. II. The law of the kingdom. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 7 The Gifts of the Kingdom

I: The Last Step

  1. The creative power of God and His creations is limitless, but they are not in reciprocal relationship. You communicate fully with God, as He does with you. This is an ongoing process in which you share, and because you share it you are inspired to create like God. Yet in creation you are not in a reciprocal relation to God, since He created you, but you did not create Him. I have already told you that only in this respect your creative power differs from His.  Even in this world there is a parallel. Parents give birth to children, but the children do not give birth to parents. They do, however, give birth to their children, and thus give birth as their parents do.
  2. If you created God and He created you, the Kingdom could not increase through its own creative thought. Creation would therefore be limited, and you would not be co-creators with God. As God’s creative thought proceeds from Him to you, so creative thought proceed from you to your creations. Only in this way can all creative power extend outward. God’s accomplishments are not yours. But yours are like His. He created the Sonship, and you increase it. You have the power to add to the Kingdom, though not to add to the Creator of the Kingdom. You claim this power when you become vigilant only for God and His Kingdom. By accepting this power is yours you have learned to remember what you are.
  3. Your creations belong in you, as you belong in God. You are part of God, as your sons are part of His Sons. To create is to love. Love extends outward simply because it cannot be contained. Being limitless it does not stop. It creates forever, but not in time. God’s creations have always been because He has always been. Your creations have always been because you can create only as God creates. Eternity is yours because He created you eternal.
  4. The ego, on the other hand, always demands reciprocal rights, because it is competitive rather than loving. It is always willing to strike a bargain, but it cannot understand that to be like another means that no bargains are possible. To gain you must give, not bargain. To bargain is to limit giving, and this is not God’s will. To will with God is to create like Him. God does not limit His gifts in any way. You are His gifts, and so your gifts must be like His. Your gifts to the Kingdom must be like His gifts to you.  
  5. I gave only love to the Kingdom because I believed that was what I was. What you believe you are determines your gifts, and if God created you by extending Himself as you, you can only extend yourself as He did. Only joy increases forever since joy and eternity are inseparable. God extends outward beyond limits and beyond time, and you who are co-creator with Him extend His Kingdom forever and beyond limit. Eternity is the indelible stamp of creation. The eternal are in peace and joy forever. 
  6. To think like God is to share His certainty of what you are, and to create like Him is to share the perfect love He shares with you. To this the Holy Spirit leads you, that your joy may be complete because the Kingdom of God is whole.  I have said that the last step in the reawakening of knowledge is taken by God. This is true, but it is hard to explain in words because words are symbols, and nothing that is true need be explained. However, the Holy Spirit has the task of translating the useless into the useful, the meaningless into the meaningful, and the temporary into the timeless. He can therefore tell you something about this last step.
  7. God does not take steps, because His accomplishments are not gradual. He does not teach, because His creations are changeless. He does nothing last because He created first and for always. It must be understood that the word “first” as applied to Him is not a time concept.  He is first in the sense that He is the first in the Holy Trinity Itself. He is the Prime Creator because He created His co-creators. Because He did, time applies neither to Him nor to what He created. The “last step” that God will take was therefore true in the beginning, is true now, and will be true forever. What is timeless is always there, because its being is eternally changeless. It does not change by increase, because it was forever created to increase. If you perceive it as not increasing you do not know what it is. You also do not know Who created it. God does not reveal this to you because it was never hidden. His light was never obscured because it is His Will to share it. How can what is fully shared be withheld and then revealed?[1]

Our ability to create is limitless, Jesus teaches for we are created by God and for God.  God’s Voice is in us meaning that we can communicate fully with God as He does with us.  Because of this communication, whether we are aware of it or not, we are inspired to be creators, we appreciate creative endeavors, we are, in our spiritual forms and in our human forms, both the contributors and recipients of God’s creation and ours.  The only difference between us and God is that He created us, and we did not create Him.  We might make up different versions of God, but we did not create God!

If we fall prey to the idea that we created God and He created us and we are in some kind of back and forth creating each other in a weird time loop, creation would be limited, we would not be co-creators with God.  God’s creativity flows from Him to us, and this creative inspiration thus flows from us to our creations.  Creative power extends and expands outward, it does not keep looping back upon itself.  Likewise, God’s accomplishments are not ours but ours are like His.  He created the Sonship; we increase it.  When we become vigilant only for God and His Kingdom, we claim the power to increase His Kingdom; but of course we could never add to God, for God is everything and all there is.  In our vigilance, we accept the creative thoughts of God and in so doing, we learn to remember what we really are. 

In paragraph three, Jesus takes us beyond the confines of time.  Our creations are like God’s creations, He tells us.  Just as God’s creations have always been and ever will be, so are our creations – we are eternal creations just as our creations are eternal.  Our creations, like God’s creations, belong in us as we belong in God. 

What we create extends outward because loving thoughts cannot be contained – loving thoughts are limitless, they never stop, loving thoughts are not only the created, but they are also imbued with creativity, continuing to create throughout eternity.  Fearful thoughts do not create.  They tear apart and divide and splinter.  They are bound in time because they do not meet the conditions of eternity.

We can always tell the difference between creativity and ego because ego will always demand reciprocation.  Ego is competitive rather than loving.  Ego does not realize the equality of being like one another – it will try to use even the gifts of God as bargaining tools.  Jesus tells us that to truly gain, we must give, not make bargains.  When we use the gifts of God to make bargains this will limit our giving.  It is not God’s Will that we charge people for the message of Love.  It is not God’s Will that we gather people around us and set ourselves up as a guru or master teacher to create a worshipful following for ourselves.  As tempting as it may be that we use the gifts of God as a way to get famous, rich, or get our picture in the paper, making bargains with the ego would have us put a price tag on our teaching, making it available to some and not to others.  It would make us feel “special,” and we would think it would be okay to charge people for our insights or think that we were more “intellectual” or spiritual than our brothers. 

God does not limit His gifts in any way.  We are His gifts, and our gifts must be like His.  Our vigilance is for God and His Kingdom, not for ourselves, our church, our little study group, or our sacred texts. This means we share the gifts of God freely and without judgment. 

What we believe we are will determine our gifts and we can only extend ourselves as God extended Himself to us.  Jesus shared only love, for He believed He was love.  Only when we begin to understand the love and devotion, the peace and the joy that God has and takes in creation, can we begin to extend His gifts to us to others.  We are co-creators with God, and we extend His Kingdom forever – beyond the limits of time, flesh, and ego.  We cannot extend condemnation.  We cannot extend fear and hatred and loathing.  We cannot extend flesh and blood and bone and gristle.  We can only extend the eternal virtues of God – this is the stamp of creation.  We must never teach or learn other versions of God than one of perfect love and devotion, undying patience and mercy toward those of us who dream a fearful dream, for fearful dreams are not creative, they are destructive, and they cannot last except in time. 

When we think like God we share God’s certainty about what we are.  We share the perfect love He shares with us. Holy Spirit teaches and leads us to this awareness and truth so that our joy may be complete even as the Kingdom of God is complete.  As difficult as it may be to put the last step of our reawakening into words, it is the function of Holy Spirit within each one of us to find a way to tell us what we need to know about this last step, to prepare our hearts and minds, so that we may recognize the shift in consciousness that takes place right before we are taken beyond belief and beyond question, into the certainty and wholeness of God’s Kingdom. 

In the last paragraph of today’s text reading, Jesus again expands our minds by speaking of the attributes of God.  Outside the bounds of time, there are no steps, accomplishments are not gradual, there is no teaching – because God and His creations are changeless, knowing and having all.  The changelessness of God does not change by increase because it was created to increase and if we do not see God as increasing, we do not yet fathom the concept of eternity nor do we yet know our Creator. 

This needs no revelation – we have no need of any special light, awakening, or vision because God hides nothing from us.  It is God’s Will to share His Will, His attributes, His Kingdom, His All.  It is entirely up to us to decide when to put down all that would deceive us about Him.  It is entirely up to us how much time we take to reach the conditions of the Kingdom – our consciousnesses beyond belief and ready to take the Last Step. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom I. The last step. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirt

C:  Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom 6-10

6.  You learn first that having rests on giving, and not on getting.  Next you learn that you learn what you teach, and that you want to learn peace. This is the condition for identifying with the Kingdom since it is the condition of the Kingdom. You have believed that you are without the Kingdom and have therefore excluded yourself from it in your belief. It is therefore essential to teach you that you must be included, and that the belief that you are not is the only thing that you must exclude.

7.  The third step is thus one of protection for your mind, allowing you to identify only with the center, where God placed the altar to Himself. Altars are beliefs, but God and His creations are beyond belief because they are beyond question.  The Voice for God speaks only for belief beyond question, which is the preparation for being without question. As long as belief in God and his Kingdom is assailed by any doubts in your mind, His perfect accomplishment is not apparent to you. This is why you must be vigilant on God’s behalf.  The ego speaks against His creation, and therefore engenders doubt. You cannot go beyond belief until you believe fully.

8.  To teach the whole Sonship without exception demonstrates that you perceive its wholeness and have learned that it is one. Now you must be vigilant to hold its oneness in your mind because if you let doubt enter you will lose awareness of its fullness and will be unable to teach it. The wholeness of the Kingdom does not depend on your perception, but your awareness of its fullness does. It is only your awareness that needs protection, since being cannot be assailed. Yet a real sense of being cannot be yours while you are doubtful of what you are. This is why vigilance is essential. Doubts about being must not enter your mind, or you cannot know what you are with certainty. Certainty is of God for you. Vigilance is not necessary for truth, but it is necessary against illusions. 

9.  Truth is without illusions and therefore within the Kingdom. Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion. When you threw truth away you saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom that you value, you did not keep only the Kingdom of God in your mind and thus placed part of your mind outside it. What you made has imprisoned your will and given you a sick mind that must be healed. Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it. Once your mind is healed it radiates health, and thereby teaches healing. This establishes you as a teacher who teaches like me. Vigilance was required of me as much as of you, and those who choose to teach the same thing must be an agreement about what they believe.

10. The third step then is a statement of what you want to believe and entails a willingness to relinquish everything else. The Holy Spirit will enable you to take this step, if you follow Him. Your vigilance is a sign that you want Him to guide you. Vigilance does require effort, but only until you learn that effort itself is unnecessary. You have exerted great effort to preserve what you made because it was not true. Therefore, you must now turn your effort against it.  Only this can cancel out the need for effort and call upon the being which you both have and are. This recognition is wholly without effort since it is already true and needs no protection. It is in the perfect safety of God. Therefore, inclusion is total, and creation is without limit. [1]

Today as we conclude the third lesson of Holy Spirit, Jesus describes how the three lessons must be learned in the proper order to condition us for the condition of God’s Kingdom.  In the flesh we learned a completely different lesson than having rests on giving and not getting!  In the flesh we learned a completely different lesson than we learn what we teach and that we want to learn peace!  Instead of learning appreciation for all, we learned to be cynical, sneering, and snobby.  We learned to compare up and compare down and to look at others, not with love, goodwill, and mutuality, but through perceptions that focused on that which goes in another direction. 

When we think with the thoughts of flesh, we exclude ourselves from God’s Kingdom which is not only loving, merciful, and peaceful, but is Love, Mercy, and Peace.  It does not just have attributes; it is the very attributes it has because in God’s Kingdom having and being are the same. 

Holy Spirit’s lessons then reintroduce us to who and what we really are and where we truly belong.  When we go about thinking and saying that those who are not like us, those who vote differently than us, those who look differently from us, those who worship differently from us are the lost and we are the saved, we are not in the proper condition for the conditions of God’s Kingdom.   When we label some lost and others saved, we have not relinquished attack thoughts; we are practicing exclusion, we are not offering peace, we are offering war.  Religious wars are not holy, though the ego would label them that and try to trick us into supporting such insane ideas.  Religious mouth battles, name-calling, and putdowns are divisive, not peaceful.   It is essential that we know that all must be included in God’s Kingdom.

In the flesh world, we must learn before we teach.  However, in the Spirit we teach to learn.  How do we teach to learn?  We practice.  We keep our ego out of it.  We put the concepts that Holy Spirit instructs to practice in our lives.  We share them with others.  There is no punishment or curse attached to what Holy Spirit teaches.  If we make a mistake, we are corrected and we get as many chances as we need to make it right.  This is Holy Spirit’s use of time.  Nobody gets sent to the torture chamber for making a mistake – this is the ego’s way which does not correct, but only seeks to punish and cause suffering and sorrow, anguish and despair.  Holy Spirit conditions us to love peace and we teach peace to learn it. 

Practicing vigilance then for God’s Kingdom protects our mind, giving us access to the center of our being where our belief system resides.  Jesus refers to this as our altar.  It was placed there by God Himself, this inner homing device that calls within us to that which lies beyond belief and beyond question.  To the communion with All that is which we can no longer experience in a perceptual world. 

Holy Spirit speaks from beyond our inner altar, from beyond belief and questions, to that certainty where all doubt is gone.  Vigilance is called for in this quest, because as long as we hold fear and suspicion in our minds toward our Father’s Will for us, we are giving place to the lie which speaks against Him and His creation.  We cannot go beyond belief until we believe fully.   

In our personal lives this looks very much like what we are doing in our daily devotional practices.  We come to Him, answering the call of Holy Spirit.  We pray for truth.  We ask for guidance.  We admit that we no longer believe in this world and recognize that there is something in which we do not understand and clearly remember that is and always was calling to us, speaking from and to our hearts and minds.  We say we will pay attention now.  For some it takes a lot of rounds in the perceptual world until it becomes apparent it is an illusion designed to distract us from the truth; for others they seem to get it right away.  No matter.  Nobody is ahead; nobody is behind.  We tentatively put our trust in what we begin to realize is truth; we gingerly begin to take our trust from that which has proved itself to be false and unworthy.  More and more we believe in that which cannot be seen or experienced in the flesh; less and less we believe in the story that only ends in death and begins again – the same old content, a slightly different form, a weary ongoing soap opera with a cast of different characters who are all alarmingly the same!  And then we come to the place where our belief is full because we have practiced our daily holy habits, we have been proved even as we have proved, we are there in full belief.  Nothing can shake us.  We cannot go back; not ever – we can only go beyond belief to the place of having and being are the same.  We become God and His Kingdom even as God and His Kingdom become us.    

This is what we teach without any exceptions.  We cannot let anyone or anything out.  The Sonship is complete only with all of Creation.  No matter what the perceptual world claims as its own, which it would hold in a vice of sin, shame, sorrow, suffering, blame, and projection – we must be vigilant to hold the wholeness in our minds because any doubt about the power of God and His Love and Devotion to all of Creation will render us incapable of teaching God’s peace, God’s power, God’s Will. 

Make no mistake, brothers.  God’s Kingdom is whole whether we can perceive it or not, but only until we become aware of its wholeness do we meet the conditions for God’s Kingdom.  As long as we harbor one little doubt about God’s love and devotion toward any single part of His Creation, as long as we think that there is one particular person, or group, or thing that we cannot bear to spend eternity with, or who is blameworthy, unforgiven, or conversely especially worthy, righteous, and deserving of special honors, we have missed the point.  God’s Kingdom is not whole until all are accounted for and none are lost, uncertain, and driven out of their minds with despair. 

While vigilance is not necessary for truth, it is necessary against illusions, Jesus tells us.  A perceptual world is a hellish world.  It is a bewildering, crazy-making world.  It has the ability to make truth seem like lies and lies seem like truth.  It seems to take a beautiful baby and turn it into a ruthless serial killer; it seems to take gestures of love and make of them manipulative measures.  It is hellbent on perpetuating that which opposes the conditions of God. 

Everything outside God’s Kingdom is illusion.  In the dream we dream we tossed God’s Kingdom aside. We thought there might be more than truth.  Like the prodigal, we wanted our inheritance and we wanted to make our own stories up, we preferred our fiction over who and what we really are.  Little did we know that our fictional kingdom would imprison us, would sicken our minds, would entrap us in flesh and bone and keep us blinded to who and what we really are and where we truly belong. 

It is our vigilance against this perverted form of creation which heals our minds and radiates health and teaches healing.  Our vigilance establishes us as teachers who teach like Jesus.  It is important to note that Jesus had no special advantage over us – He, too, had to practice vigilance.  He was just as tempted to be taken in by the perceptual world as we are.  To teach as Jesus taught, we must all take a stand against the illusion of separateness.    

In conclusion, of both Chapter Six, The Lessons of Love and the third step of Holy Spirit’s lessons, vigilance for only God and God’s Kingdom is a statement of belief which brings to the forefront of our minds a commitment to give up all belief in anything else.  Our higher minds enable us to take this step because our higher minds meet the conditions of Holy Spirit.  Guarding our minds against all thoughts that are not of full appreciation and peace may take effort, but Jesus reminds us that whether we realize it or not we have expended great effort in maintaining that which is not appreciation and that which is not peace and therefore not true.  Turning our effort against that which is not true will eventually cancel out the need for effort altogether because truth really needs no protection once we have stopped believing that God is against creation and so then must we be against the creation of God and the peace and safety of His Kingdom.  Today in your devotional practices, ask Holy Spirit to bring you to a state of vigilance for God and His Kingdom.  Let no thoughts rest in your mind that teach anything but the perfect safety of God, a God of perfect love, certainty, and security forever.  And teach of His Kingdom where all are included, and Creation is without stipulations and limitations. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. V. The lessons of the Holy Spirit. C. Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom 6-10. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A Course in Miracles Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirit

C:  Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom 1-5

  1. We said before that the Holy Spirit is evaluative and must be. He sorts out the true from the false in your mind and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there. Whatever is in accord with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom and you. What is partly in accord with it He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how he keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified. Remember, however, that what the Holy Spirit rejects the ego accepts. This is because they are in fundamental disagreement about everything, being in fundamental disagreement about what you are. The ego’s beliefs on this crucial issue vary and that is why it promotes different moods. The Holy Spirit never varies on this point, and so the one mood He engenders is joy. He protects it by rejecting everything that does not foster joy, and so he alone can keep you wholly joyous.
  2. The Holy Spirit does not teach you to judge others, because he does not want you to teach error and learn it yourself. He would hardly be consistent if he allowed you to strengthen what you must learn to avoid. In the mind of the thinker, then, He is judgmental, but only in order to unify the mind so that it can perceive without judgment. This enables the mind to teach without judgment, and therefore to learn to be without judgment. The undoing is necessary only in your mind, so that you will not project, instead of extend. God Himself has established what you can extend with perfect safety. Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s third lesson is: Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom.
  3. This is a major step toward fundamental change. Yet it still has an aspect of thought reversal, since it implies that there is something you must be vigilant against. It has advanced far from the first lesson, which is merely the beginning of the thought reversal, and also from the second, which is essentially the identification of what is more desirable. This step, which follows from the second as the second follows from the first, emphasizes the dichotomy between the desirable and the undesirable. It therefore makes the ultimate choice inevitable.
  4. While the first step seems to increase conflict and the second may still entail conflict to some extent, this step calls for consistent vigilance against it. I have already told you that you can be as vigilant against the ego as for it. This lesson teaches not only that you can be, but that you must be. It does not concern itself with order of difficulty, but with clear-cut priority for vigilance. This lesson is unequivocal in that it teaches there must be no exceptions, although it does not deny that the temptation to make exceptions will occur. Here, then, your consistency is called on despite chaos. Yet chaos and consistency cannot coexist for long, since they are mutually exclusive.  As long as you must be vigilant against something, however, you are not recognizing this mutual exclusiveness, and still believe that you can choose either one. By teaching what to choose, the Holy Spirit will ultimately teach you that you need not choose at all.  This will finally liberate your mind from choice, and direct it towards creation within the Kingdom.
  5. Choosing through the Holy Spirit will lead you to the Kingdom. You create by your true being, but what you are you must learn to remember. The way to remember it is inherent in the third step, which brings together the lessons implied in the others, and goes beyond them towards real integration. If you allow yourself to have in your mind only what God put there, you are acknowledging your mind as God created it. Therefore, you are accepting it as it is. Since it is whole, you are teaching peace because you believe in it. The final step will still be taken for you by God, but by the third step the Holy Spirit has prepared you for God.  He is getting you ready for the translation of having into being by the very nature of the steps you must take with Him. [1]

The more we learn about the function of Holy Spirit in our minds, the more we can work with Him instead of against Him.  We can understand what seems to be a bewildering state of knowing and believing one thing while an alternate reality poses very realistically as truth.  The perceptual world is designed to be a virtual reality for us and until we awaken in the dream it serves as an ongoing history of repetitive cycles, same form different content, a mish-mash of peace and war, love and hate, birth and death – no certainty, no knowledge, no real answers, no seeming escape. 

That is without Holy Spirit whose function is to set us free.  Sorting out the true from the false and teaching us to know the difference between the thoughts of God and the thoughts of ego, Holy Spirit serves as both the purifier of all that can be saved, and the purge of all that cannot be.  Holy Spirit knows who we are and has never forgotten it, while the ego belief system holds at its core the opposite viewpoint. 

Holy Spirit authors our joyousness; ego is the thief of all that makes us truly happy.  Only when we think with Holy Spirit are we wholly joyous because Holy Spirit rejects all that would make us feel otherwise. 

In perceptual world, to live for that which is an ideal, which is invisible, which is spirit and not flesh seems downright crazy!  And yet, we who are life know that the end of every story in perceptual world ends in death.  We know that there must be more than this, that this is not our home, and this is not who and what we really are.  The lessons of Holy Spirit teach us how to escape perceptual world.  This third step is a major one because it emphasizes the gulf between who we really are and who we really are not.  It emphasizes the contradiction between what we want and what we do not want.  As long as we go with both ego and Holy Spirit, we will always be a bit wishy-washy.  We will teach one thing and do another.  We will think going to church on Sunday mornings and reading our bibles and saying a little prayer before we go to bed will make up for all the times we blast our enemies, hold thoughts of ill will toward others, and fail to show mercy to those who commit evil deeds.  When we commit ourselves to vigilance only for God and His Kingdom, unfailingly practicing the virtues of full appreciation and peace, our ultimate choice for God is inevitable.  We simply cannot go back to relating to Creation in any other way once we begin this practice, for we are sold on it.  It speaks to our hearts, it makes sense in our minds, promoting healing, well-being, and love. 

In the first lesson we learn that to have, give all to all.  Holy Spirit exhorts us to give full appreciation to all of Creation.  Without full appreciation we cannot truly love.  I may not appreciate some of the things that others have done to me or said about me, however, I can only appreciate the fact that I learned forgiveness, that I learned to extend God’s mercy, that I learned the bliss of thinking with Holy Spirit and being set free from the heavy load of grudges and resentments.  As we practice the first lesson of full appreciation to all, we will have our ups and downs, just as when we practice teach peace to learn peace.  There will be some circumstances where we think that to offer peace is weak while entering into the fray would be show of strength.  We will have days when we think we are really getting it and it all makes sense and other days when we cannot seem to help falling into the grubby tit-for-tat of the perceptual world! 

But when we come to the third lesson, we are taught to practice vigilance.  We are to carefully observe our own thoughts and our own behaviors.  We are to stop them in their tracks if they are heading towards anything that bears the opposite of appreciation and peace.  We are to turn to Holy Spirit and say, “Help me to see this differently!”  We are to be watchful, prayerful, and alert.  We are to be strong in the Lord. 

This vigilance is not forever – our vigilance serves to strengthen our resolve to the point where it is the only way we think, it is the only way we interact, it is the only thing we are.  Our minds, completely liberated from the ego, will no longer have to make a choice; our minds will be as God’s mind, His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.   

When we allow only thoughts of love, peace, and joy we are thinking solely with God and His Kingdom.  We are acknowledging our minds as they were created.  There is only one final step after the third lesson and this step is taken by God for us – for the love, the peace, the freedom we have – now becomes us as we become the eternal virtues of GodThis is our oneness with God, our being restored to Him. 

We will close with paragraph five today.  In your personal devotional practice, ask God to illuminate your mind with the light of His Voice within.  Ask Him to show you how choosing with Holy Spirit leads us to the Kingdom of God.  Ask Him to give you personal illustrations from your daily life to help you to understand how our vigilance for God and His Kingdom helps us to remember who and what we really are and integrates our minds into oneness, purging us of ego and humanity and restoring our divinity, our true being, our creator Selves. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. V The lessons of the Holy Spirit. C Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirt

B:  To Have Peace, Teach Peace to Learn It

  1. All who believe in separation have a basic fear of retaliation and abandonment. They believe in attack and rejection, so that is what they perceive and teach and learn. These insane ideas are clearly the result of dissociation and projection. What you teach you are, but it is quite apparent that you can teach wrongly and can therefore teach yourself wrong. Many thought I was attacking them, even though it was apparent I was not. An insane learner learns strange lessons. What you must recognize is that when you do not share a thought system, you are weakening it. Those who believe in it therefore perceive this as an attack on them. This is because everyone identifies himself with his thought system, and every thought system centers on what you believe you are. If the center of the thought system is true, only truth extends from it. But if a lie is at its center, only deception proceeds from it.   
  2. All good teachers realize that only fundamental change will last, but they do not begin at that level. Strengthening motivation for change is their first and foremost goal. It is also their last and final one. Increasing motivation for change in the learner is all that a teacher need do to guarantee change. Change in motivation is a change of mind, and this will inevitably produce fundamental change because the mind is fundamental.
  3. The first step in the reversal or undoing process is the undoing of the getting concept. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit’s first lesson was “To have, give all to all.” I said that this is apt to increase conflict temporarily, and we can clarify this still further now. At this point, the equality of having and being is not yet perceived. Until it is, having appears to be the opposite of giving. Therefore, the first lesson seems to contain a contradiction, since it is being learned by a conflicted mind. This means conflicting motivation, and so the lesson cannot be learned consistently as yet. Further, the mind of the learner projects its own conflict, and thus does not perceive consistency in the minds of others, making him suspicious of their motivation. This is the real reason why, in many respects, the first lesson is the hardest to learn.  Still strongly aware of the ego in yourself, and responding primarily to the ego in others, you are being taught to react to both as if what you do believe is not true.  
  4. Upside down as always, the ego perceives the first lesson as insane. In fact, this is its only alternative since the other possibility, which would be much less acceptable to it, would obviously be that it is insane. The ego’s judgment, here as always, is predetermined by what it is. The fundamental change will still occur with the change of mind in the thinker. Meanwhile, the increasing clarity of the Holy Spirit’s voice makes it impossible for the learner not to listen. For a time, then, he is receiving conflicting messages and accepting both.
  5. The way out of conflict between two opposing thought systems is clearly to choose one and relinquish the other. If you identify with your thought system, and you cannot escape this, and if you accept two thought systems which are in complete disagreement, peace of mind is impossible. If you teach both, which you will surely do as long as you accept both, you are teaching conflict and learning it. Yet you do want peace, or you would not have called upon the Voice for Peace to help you. Its lesson is not insane; the conflict is.
  6. There can be no conflict between sanity and insanity. Only one is true, and therefore only one is real. The ego tries to persuade you that it is up to you to decide which voice is true, but the Holy Spirit teaches you the truth was created by God, and your decision cannot change it. As you begin to realize the quiet power of the Holy Spirit’s voice, and its perfect consistency, it must dawn on your mind that you are trying to undo a decision that was irrevocably made for you. That is why I suggested before that you remind yourself to allow the Holy Spirit to decide for God for you.
  7. You are not asked to make insane decisions, although you can think you are. It must, however, be insane to believe that it is up to you to decide what God’s creations are. The Holy Spirit perceives the conflict exactly as it is. Therefore, His second lesson is: To have peace, teach peace to learn it.
  8. This is still a preliminary step, since having and being are still not equated. It is, however, more advanced than the first step, which is really only the beginning of the thought reversal. The second step is a positive affirmation of what you want. This, then, is a step in the direction out of conflict, since it means that alternatives have been considered, and one has been chosen as more desirable. Nevertheless, the term “more desirable” still implies that the desirable has degrees.  Therefore, although this step is essential for the ultimate decision, it is clearly not the final one. Lack of order of difficulty in miracles has not yet been accepted, because nothing is difficult that is wholly desired. To desire wholly is to create and creating cannot be difficult if God himself created you as a creator.
  9. The second step, then, is still perceptual, although it is a giant step toward the unified perception that reflects God’s knowing. As you take this step and hold this direction, you will be pushing toward the center of your thought system, where the fundamental change will occur. At the second step progress is intermittent, but the second step is easier than the first because it follows. Realizing that it must follow is a demonstration of a growing awareness that the Holy Spirit will lead you on.[1]

When we believe we are bodies rather than minds, we have an instinctual fear of vengeance and rejection.  Because we believe in vengeance and rejection, this is what we teach each other, this is what we warn our kids about, this is what we do our best to protect ourselves and the ones we love from.  This seems like sanity in the world of bodies, egos, and separation from God and from each other. 

When Jesus taught lessons of love, forgiveness, and the putting down of arms, the religious and political leaders of his day naturally took offense.  He learned and He teaches that when we do not agree with the thought system of another, we are weakening it.  People who believe they are bodies, who believe that God creates that which can be destroyed, who believe in an egotistical God who seeks vengeance and retaliation against His Creation perceive the message of Christ as an attack against themselves.  True or false, our thought systems, the things we believe about the world, about bodies, about God are precious to us.  When we have doubts about our belief systems, we are afraid when other people do not share our beliefs for we see them as taking something away from us.  When our thought systems are true, we have no fear for truth needs so defense, and no matter how many people believe in that which is not true, it does not change the truth itself. 

Herein lies the peace of God.  To have peace about our thought system, we must know that it is true, that it is Godly, that it is loving and extends to all.  We do not have to scare people into believing it.  We do not have to attack people who do not believe in it.  We do not have to threaten or curse anybody who does not believe the truth.  We do not have to worship the truth, we do not have to pay tithes to it, nor do we have to tiptoe around it in case we hurt its little feelings.  We have peace and certainty because it is true. 

As long as we are thinking with the ego, we are thinking in the physical realm.  In our first Holy Spirit lesson we undo the ego’s way of thinking by learning to have, we give all to all.  This is impossible of course in the flesh.  The more we give to others in the flesh, the less we have for ourselves!  But in our thoughts, the more we give appreciation and love to others, the more we get for ourselves.  It is a miracle.  Thoughts do not operate like physical things.  And yet our egos will be mortified at even extending loving thoughts to those it wants us to hate.  While our minds are still thinking in the flesh world, giving and having is opposed. 

Until we start thinking with the higher mind and realize that the world of thought and spirit are entirely different from the ego realm of flesh and physicality, we will not learn this lesson.  Our minds will be conflicted.  We will project this on to others as well making us very suspicious of others, thinking that they are only pretending to hold goodwill out to us, waiting for them to turn on us as soon as we learn to trust them and appreciate them, waiting for them to reciprocate our goodwill with one unkindness or another. 

Jesus understands how hard “to have, give all to all” is for us who are still strongly aware of the ego in ourselves and in others.  We are being taught to react to both our own ego and the ego of others as if what we believe is not true, and this cannot help but hinder our learning. 

There will always be a period of time when the voice of ego opposes the first lesson of the Holy Spirit.  In ego world, the first lesson is insane – it does not work.  The more of anything physical I give to someone else, the less I have.  That is all there is to it.  Jesus tells us however that the fundamental change required for learning the thought system of Holy Spirit will still occur because the increasing clarity of the Voice for God in our minds makes it impossible for the learner not to listen.  We have turned our minds in the right direction.  We have asked for truth.  We have concluded that the world and all that is in it is off its rocker.

We identify with our thought systems, we simply cannot escape this, and as long as we hold two opposing thought systems, we cannot have peace.  If we teach this, and we all do it as long as we accept that we are bodies and spirit, that both the perceptual world and God’s Kingdom are on equal footing, that there is an everlasting heaven and an eternal hell, we are teaching and learning conflict.  No matter how much we yearn for peace, we will not have it.  “To have, give all to all” is not an insane lesson, the conflict over it is what is crazy making!

We behave as if it is up to us to decide which voice is true, but the truth is of God and whether we believe in it or not – it cannot be changed.  As we listen to the Voice for God within our minds and realize the quiet power, the perfect consistency, the logical underlying principles of Holy Spirit’s lessons, we cannot help but understand that there is no conflict, that we are who God says we are, that we are not our bodies, we are not egos, we are not flesh and blood, but rather we are mind, we are spirit, we are forever.  When our higher minds make the decision for God for us, we are no longer deceived by the lower mind with its dog-eat-dog modes of survival, limitations, and fear.    

When we begin to see the insanity of taking it upon ourselves to judge, condemn, and figure out what is true and false in a world opposed to truth, we are filled with a sense of peace, love, and joy.  We can only have peace when we are fully appreciative of everyone and everything.  We get to love, forgive, enjoy, and share happy thoughts with everyone, no matter what.  It is no longer my self-appointed job to point out who goes to heaven or hell because I offer everyone the thoughts that I want for myself.  I love God’s Creation because I am one with God.  I withhold judgement and condemnation.  I extend mercy – flesh and blood is capable of every form of viciousness from snubbing to stabbing; but thank God we are not flesh and blood.  No matter what the ego has made us out to be on its perverted stage, in this upside down dream, we are God’s perfect Son.

“To have peace, teach peace to learn it” can only mean responding in a peaceful manner to unkind words, attitudes, or deeds.  “To have peace, teach peace to learn it” can only mean that we promote goodwill, forgiveness, understanding, and fun times with each other over quarrelling, calling names, holding grudges, believing in the perceptual world and shunning those who hurt our feelings rather than communicating with them.   

We are talking about thought reversal here, brothers.  Ego has entrapped our mind in the perceptual world to relate to one another in an outer-directed way.  Holy Spirit is freeing our mind by asking us to go within to the higher, invisible ideals of loving thought, gratitudinal attitudes, and habits of empathy.  When we think with Holy Spirit, we use our higher minds which communicate with God’s Kingdom, where having and being are the same thing.  Instead of just having love, we are love.  Instead of just having peace, we are peace.  Instead of just having joy, we are joy.  So when we teach the second lesson of Holy Spirit, we are making a conscious choice against what is not peace.  We have still not arrived at the place where we have and are peace itself, because then we would not have to make a choice; Peace would just be ours; Peace would be what we are.  In the meantime, in order to become Peace, we must teach and learn it by committing to this lesson and practicing it at every opportunity.

Ask Holy Spirit to increase your understanding of this lesson and illuminate its finer points for we are pushing toward the center of the thought system of the ego, which has bound us to its lies about our identity, our lack of purpose and meaning, and our innate sinfulness and shame.  This thought system is where the fundamental change necessary for our full awakening will first occur. 

As we embrace the second lesson: “To have peace, teach peace to learn it,” our progress will seem intermittent.  We may still react to perceptions of viciousness with that which is not peace!  We may curse those who curse us, snub those who snub us, hold unkind thoughts in our minds, be jealous and not promote peace at all some of the time.  But we are not here to judge our progress, we are here to learn our lessons and do the best we can!  No matter how many times we flub up, the second step is still easier than the first because teaching and learning peace, becoming Peace Itself, can only follow for those who fully appreciate all.  Realizing that becoming peace must occur for those who extend full appreciation for all the Sons of God demonstrates the growing awareness that Holy Spirit is our chosen Guide.  The ego’s hold has loosened upon our minds and we are well on our way Home where we belong.    

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. V. The lessons of the Holy Spirit. B. To have peace, teach peace to learn it. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirit

I. To Have, Give All to All

  1. When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that you will last forever. Perhaps you think this is accomplished through death, but nothing is accomplished through death, because death is nothing. Everything is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and in the mind. The body neither lives nor dies because it cannot contain you who are life. If we share the same mind, you can overcome death because I did. Death is an attempt to resolve conflict by not deciding at all. Like any other impossible solutions the ego attempts, it will not work.
  2. God did not make the body, because it is destructible, and therefore not of the Kingdom. The body is the symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist. The Holy Spirit, as always, takes what you have made and translates it into a learning device. Again, as always, He reinterprets what the ego uses as an argument for separation into a demonstration against it. If the mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger than the body. Every miracle demonstrates this.
  3. I have said that the Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracles. He always tells you that only the mind is real, because only the mind can be shared. The body is separate, and therefore cannot be part of you. To be of one mind is meaningful, but to be of one body is meaningless. By the laws of mind, then, the body is meaningless.
  4. To the Holy Spirit, there is no order of difficulty in miracles. This is familiar enough to you by now, but it has not yet become believable. Therefore, you do not understand it and cannot use it. We have too much to accomplish on behalf of the Kingdom to let this crucial concept slip away. It is a real foundation stone of the thought system I teach and want you to teach. You cannot perform miracles without believing it because it is a belief in perfect equality.  Only one equal gift can be offered to the equal Sons of God, and that is full appreciation. Nothing more and nothing less. Without a range, order of difficulty is meaningless, and there must be no range in what you offer to your brother.
  5. The Holy Spirit, who leads to God, translates communication into being, just as He ultimately translates perception into knowledge. You do not lose what you communicate. The ego uses the body for attack, for pleasure, and for pride. The insanity of this perception makes it a fearful one indeed. The Holy Spirit sees the body only as a means of communication, and because communication is sharing it becomes communion. Perhaps you think that fear as well as love can be communicated; and therefore, can be shared.  Yet this is not so real as it may appear.  Those who communicate fear are promoting attack, and attack always breaks communication, making it impossible. Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately.  The Holy Spirit communicates only what each one can give to all. He never takes anything back because He wants you to keep it. Therefore, His teaching begins with the lesson: To have, give all to all.
  6. This is a very preliminary step, and the only one you must take for yourself. It is not even necessary that you complete the step yourself, but it is necessary that you turn in that direction. Having chosen to go that way, you place yourself in charge of the journey, where you and only you must remain. This step may appear to exacerbate conflict rather than resolve it because it is the beginning step in reversing your perception and turning it right-side up. This conflicts with the upside-down perception you have not yet abandoned, or the change in direction would not have been necessary. Some remain at this step for a long time, experiencing very acute conflict. At this point they may try to accept the conflict, rather than take the next step towards its resolution. Having taken the first step, however, they will be helped. Once they have chosen what they cannot complete alone, they are no longer alone.[1]

In today’s devotional text, Jesus tells us that each one of us will know our eternal selves when our bodies, our egos, and our dreams are completely gone.  We must not make the mistake of thinking that this means death, because death accomplishes nothing.  We accomplish our true awakening through life because life has nothing to do with our bodies, and all to do with our minds. 

While we think of our identity as bodies, we will think of life and death in terms of whether our bodies are breathing and functioning in any capacity, or if they have shut down and are no longer viable.  But Jesus tells us that our bodies are not dead or alive and cannot contain us, for we are life.  We can overcome death just as Christ did, when we share His mind.  The ego and the bodies that represent it in this illusion, uses death as a way to get out of deciding against itself.  It does not work because the mind is not the body and keeps living because it is life.  In other words, until we resolve the conflict between the ego and the Kingdom of God, we are stuck in this realm and in this dream. 

God does not make that which can be destroyed – our bodies are not of God and they are not of His Kingdom.  Our bodies are symbols of what we think we are in a realm that is not unified but splintered, shattered, and in opposition to communion with God.  In reality, our bodies do not exist – they are used to keep us in state of conflict with one another.  I see you as different from me, you see me as different from you.  I will think that you are more privileged than me; you will think that I enjoy unfair advantages.   Conversely, I will judge you as deserving of guilt, shame, and hardship; you will see me as deserving of punishment, banishment, and estrangement.  This is not of God’s Kingdom, this is an insane world full of disparity and partiality, and therefore not real except in the dream of time. 

However, Holy Spirit uses our bodies as a means of communication.  Our bodies which clearly maintain separateness as part of the ego’s device, Holy Spirit uses to demonstrate that bodies are not life and therefore reality, but that the mind is life and our reality. 

Holy Spirit reveals through the use of miracles that the mind heals the body, while the body can never heal the mind.  Therefore, it only stands to reason that the mind as life, is stronger than the body, which signifies death. 

Only the mind is real because only the mind can be shared.  As a separation device, the body cannot be part of me or part of you.  It is simply not who or what we are.  I can take off all my clothes and you can take off all your clothes and we can put our bodies together in as many ways as bodies can go together, but we did not share our bodies.  What we did does not make us one; it does not resolve our differences, in fact, in many cases, trying to share our bodies only increases conflict, insecurity, disease, and death.  What happens between bodies has absolutely no meaning to Holy Spirit, who motivates us and teaches us that miracles occur when our minds connect, communicate, and share truth. 

It is crucial both to our own awakening and the awakening of others, that we understand that in the Spirit there is no level of difficulty between miracle thinking.  They are all the same.  Until we know this and understand it, we cannot accomplish the vision of Christ.  A foundational concept, we cannot perform miracles without believing in perfect equality.  In other words, it is a belief that there is nobody and nothing which is any more or any less deserving of full appreciation.  This is the one equal gift offered to the equal Sons of God.  Jesus tells us very clearly, with no room for uncertainty, question, or doubt – fully appreciative thoughts towards everyone.  In our minds, we hold full appreciation to all. 

In my personal life, I have made lists of all the ones I have had to change my mind about!    I have shared in my blog posts the hard time I seemed to have fully appreciating those whom I thought deceived, bullied, cheated, disappointed, played mean games, and pulled nasty tricks on me.  On a wider, more general note, there were institutions, clubs, social movements, political and religious organizations for whom I would have much rather offered condemnation! 

Just as Holy Spirit adapts our perceptions in the perceptual world into knowledge of God, Holy Spirit translates our earthly communication into spiritual communication which connects us to God, making us one.  In the spiritual realm, we do not lose what we communicate.  The body is only a means of communication to Holy Spirit.  With Holy Spirit, we use our bodies as a means to communicate with one another and with God – this communication leads to communion, to true sharing, to oneness. 

The ego however does not use the body for communication, it uses the body for attack, for pleasure, for pride.  It uses the body as a means to enslave us.  The cruel insanity of this perception makes it fearful.  In case you think that fear can be communicated just as easily as the love of Holy Spirit’s message, you are wrong.  For communicating fear promotes attack; attack breaks communication, making true communion and oneness impossible.  While egos do form alliances and join together for causes – they do not actually unite for each ego is in it for what they can get out of it separately. 

Holy Spirit communicates what each individual can give to all.  There is never a “big cheese” in Holy Spirit; there are never any dues or special privileges, rank or hierarchies. We cannot lose our standing in Holy Spirit, for Holy Spirit is a given by God and will never be taken back.  What is given to one is always given to all.  This leaves no room for exclusion, privilege, or lack of any kind.  Holy Spirit’s teaching begins with:  To have, give all to all.

As long as we turn in the direction of giving our full appreciation to all with no differentiation of person, place, or thing, we have replaced the ego as our guide.  We have put our true self, our holy self in charge and this is where we remain.  Nobody else can be in charge of our journey.  We cannot blame anybody else for the perceptual world and the mistakes we are bound to make in it, nor can we credit any particular person or group for our awakening.  We are the choosers, the deciders, the ones who make the decision to choose the Voice for God, Holy Spirit as our guide and go for the communion and unity of God’s love. 

As we step in the direction of full appreciation for all, we reverse the thinking of this world and we turn from what never really worked to what always works.  Appreciating all is frightening to the ego which is sustained on blame and shame, guilt and division.  We may, on our initial attempts, experience conflict, uncertainty, and doubt but it is only in the commitment to and the practice of these concepts which will utterly convince us of their veracity, their helpfulness, their truth.

Jesus tells us that there are some that remain at this step for a long time, not being yet willing to extend appreciation to all.  There will be some who just cannot bring themselves to appreciate the conservative, or the liberal, the black or the white, the rich or the poor.  There will be some that believe that the practice of full appreciation is good on paper but cannot be practiced in our daily lives because some people are not worthy of appreciation.  The fathers who abandon their little ones, the women who have abortions, the guys who beat their wives, the wives who cheat on their husbands…it is not that we do not want to appreciate them, we just do not know how they could be so evil, so sinful, so shameful.  Some of us will accept the conflict – knowing with our higher minds that this is the way to be but being too attached to the perceptual view of things to even attempt to teach and learn appreciation for all.

For when we fully appreciate everyone, we love everyone, and when we love others we are not afraid of them.  We speak of their goodness. We show gratitude for their contributions.  We focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses.  We seek not to kill and destroy, blame and shame, isolate and apprehend, but rather to help and heal, awaken, and become one.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. V. The Lessons of the Holy Spirit. A. To have, give all to all. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirit – 1-4

  1. Like any good teacher, the Holy Spirit knows more than you do now, but He teaches only to make you equal with Him. You had already taught yourself wrongly, having believed what was not true.  You did not believe in your own perfection. Will God teach you that you had made a split mind when He knows your mind only as whole? What God does know is that His communication channels are not open to Him, so that He cannot impart his joy and know that His children are wholly joyous. Giving His joy is an ongoing process, not in time but in eternity. God’s extending outward, though not His completeness, is blocked when the Sonship does not communicate with Him as one.  So, He thought, “My children sleep and must be awakened.”  
  2. How can you wake children in a more kindly way then by a gentle voice that will not frighten them, but will merely remind them that the night is over, and the light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares that frightened them so badly are not real, because children believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe now. Then you train them to recognize the difference between sleeping and waking, so they will understand they need not be afraid of dreams. And so, when bad dreams come, they will themselves call on the light to dispel them.
  3. A wise teacher teaches through approach, not avoidance. He does not emphasize what you must avoid to escape from harm, but what you need to learn to have joy. Consider the fear and confusion a child would experience if he were told, “Do not do this because it will hurt you and make you unsafe; but if you do that instead, you will escape from harm and be safe, and then you will not be afraid.” It is surely better to use only three words: “Do only that!”  This simple statement is perfectly clear, easily understood, and very easily remembered.
  4. The Holy Spirit never itemizes errors because He does not frighten children, and those who lack wisdom are children. Yet He always answers their call, and His dependability makes them more certain. Children do confuse fantasy and reality, and they are frightened because they do not recognize the difference. The Holy Spirit makes no distinction among dreams. He merely shines them away. His light is always the call to awaken, whatever you have been dreaming. Nothing lasting lies in dreams, and the Holy Spirit, shining with the light from God Himself, speaks only for what lasts forever.[1]

In the fifth section of The Lessons of Love, Jesus introduces us to the instructional methods of Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the perfect teacher.  He teaches us and then sets us free – happy that we have learned and can be on our own.  Holy Spirit is not an institution which enslaves us and makes our salvation dependent upon it for any longer than it takes to realize our flawlessness.  While we are asleep and believe in what could never be, Holy Spirit teaches us of our own perfection, our worthiness, our reality in God.  When we come to know ourselves as God’s Will, we awaken to the joyousness of His Kingdom.  We can commune with God, not as groveling worshipers, not as bickering, tattle-tale, name-calling siblings, but as beloved and loving Sons.  As one throughout eternity.  This is the goal of Holy Spirit whose only gain is our gain.

Holy Spirit teaches that ongoing joyous communication with God is blocked by taking sides, exclusiveness, and disunity of every kind.  Only in oneness can we experience the joyous communion with God on an ongoing basis in time.  Outside of oneness, we are asleep in the dark dream; in oneness, we are awakened to the joyousness of God. 

God has instilled in us the Voice for God, the gentle voice inside our higher minds that kindly reasons with us, reminds us of our truth, shines His light upon the dim corridors of our mind.  Holy Spirit is sent – not to alarm us, to blare its truth to us in any way that would frighten us, chase us away, or cause us to doubt our sanity.  Slowly and surely, step-by-step and inch-by-inch Holy Spirit assures us of God’s love and devotion, trains us to recognize truth from fiction, darkness from light, enchantment from reality.  Holy Spirit teaches fearlessness for the perceptual world is a dark dream easily dispelled in the light of truth.

In paragraph three, Jesus expounds upon the pedagogy of Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit’s lessons do not focus on sin, shame, and guilt but rather focuses on how to be happy, how to learn joy.  We do not need a long list of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” to be reborn into God’s Kingdom.  Teaching that makes sense to us, that can be proved and strengthened by practice, and are intuitively recognized as truth do not need threats, curses, and vengeance attached to it. 

Jesus tells us that Holy Spirit never lists our sins and shortcomings. Like the foibles of children, the mistakes we make are easily forgiven.  For when we forgot the knowledge of God, we confused the stories we made up with the real deal.  We lost our way.  We have no way of knowing anything or anybody for we are separate, and our perceptions are awry.  In a realm that makes no ongoing sense or has any ongoing purpose, Holy Spirit makes no distinctions among illusions but merely calls for us to awaken from whatever dream it is that we are dreaming.  It might not be such a bad dream, you may even like it because you have accepted it as your reality and figured this is as good as it gets.  But be assured that your dream, no matter how much you may like it now, will wear thin.  It simply will not last, and Holy Spirit speaks only for that which lasts forever. 

For the next three days we will continue with the three main lessons taught by Holy Spirit:  March 7, we will cover A. To Have, Give All to All; March 8, we will cover B. To Have Peace, Teach Peace to Learn it; and March 9, we will conclude with C. Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom.  I look forward to sharing these lessons with you.  Your emails are always welcome. I so enjoy reading your personal insights and thank you for your love and support.    

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love V The lessons of the Holy Spirit 1-4. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

IV:  The Only Answer 7-12

7. In the Kingdom, where you are and what you are is perfectly certain. There is no doubt, because the first question was never asked. Having finally been wholly answered, it has never been. Being, alone lives in the Kingdom, where everything lives in God without question.  The time spent on questioning in the dream has given way to creation and to its eternity. You are as certain as God because you are as true as He is, but what was once certain in your mind has become only the ability for certainty.

8. The introduction of abilities into being was the beginning of uncertainty, because abilities are potentials, not accomplishments. Your abilities are useless in the presence of God’s accomplishments, and also of yours. Accomplishments are results that have been achieved. When they are perfect, abilities are meaningless. It is curious that the perfect must now be perfected. In fact, it is impossible. Remember, however, that when you put yourself in an impossible situation you believe that the impossible is possible.

9. Abilities must be developed before you can use them. This is not true of anything that God created, but it is the kind of solution possible for what you made. In an impossible situation, you can develop your abilities to the point where they can get you out of it. You have a guide to how to develop them, but you have no commander except yourself. This leaves you in charge of the Kingdom, with both a guide to find it and a means to keep it. You have a model to follow who will strengthen your command, and never detract from it in any way. You therefore retain the central place in your imagined enslavement, which in itself demonstrates that you are not enslaved.

10. You are in an impossible situation only because you think it is possible to be in one. You would be in an impossible situation if God showed you your perfection and proved to you that you were wrong. This would demonstrate that the perfect are inadequate to bring themselves to the awareness of their perfection, and thus side with the belief that those who have everything need help and are therefore helpless. This is the kind of reasoning in which the ego engages. God, who knows that His creations are perfect, does not affront them. This would be as impossible as the ego’s notion that it has affronted him.

11. That is why the Holy Spirit never commands. To command is to assume inequality, which the Holy Spirit demonstrates does not exist. Fidelity to premises is a law of mind, and everything God created is faithful to His laws. Fidelity to other laws is also possible, however, not because the laws are true, but because you made them. What would be gained if God proved to you that you have thought insanely? Can God lose His Own certainty? I have frequently said that what you teach you are. Would you have God teach you that you have sinned? If He confronted the self you made with the truth He created for you, what could you be but afraid? You would doubt your right mind, which is the only place where you can find the sanity He gave you.

12. God does not teach. To teach is to imply a lack, which God knows is not there. God is not conflicted. Teaching aims at change, but God created only the changeless. The separation was not a loss of perfection, but a failure in communication. A harsh and strident form of communication arose as the ego’s voice. It could not shatter the peace of God, but it could shatter yours. God did not blot it out, because to eradicate it would be to attack it. Being questioned, He did not question. He merely gave the Answer.  His Answer is your teacher. [1]

As we conclude “The Only Answer” today, Jesus assures us that in the Kingdom of God, our identity never changed.  There is no room for lies, for doubt, for uncertainty, and questions in God’s Kingdom because our Sonship is forever.  This is our true state of Being.  This other thing that goes on in the world gives way to Creation and to its eternity. 

When God creates something, nothing must be developed because God creates wholeness; He shares Himself with what He creates.  However, we fabricated another creation in which the perfect Creation of God has been shattered, been rejected by its Maker, barred from the Kingdom and now must return to the place in which we never really left except in our dreams.  In this impossible dream, our abilities can be developed to the point in which we realize it is a dream, we awaken, and we are reborn into the perfection in which we never really lost. 

We are put in charge of our awakening with Holy Spirit as our guide.  Jesus emphasizes that we are not put under the control of Holy Spirit but are in charge of our own awakening.  God does not enslave us.  Holy Spirit does not come over us and make us do things that we have no control over.  Holy Spirit is our guide to salvation.  To follow the Voice for God is always our choice and it can never be a flippant choice for if we follow the Voice for God we must be quiet, we must be at peace, we must be in a meditative or contemplative state to hear His Voice.  He does not shout at us, scold us, condemn or judge against us.  He is always for us.  If we make a mistake, Holy Spirit shows us the way to correction.    

Just as Holy Spirit is our guide, Jesus is our model to follow.  Jesus strengthens our command and does not take it away. Jesus does not seek to control us, take over our minds against our wills, or do anything but restore us to God’s Kingdom.  There is no mind control involved in our awakening, in our salvation, in our return to God.  We are always in control for this is the way God created us to be. 

The only reason we are in this impossible situation is because we believe it is possible to be separate from God.  We believe that we can set up an alternate kingdom.  We believe that what God created perfect can be made imperfect.  Jesus tells us that God does not show us our perfection to prove that we are wrong – this is our own responsibility for we are not created helpless and we are quite capable of bringing ourselves to awakening. 

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father did not chase his son down and force him to come home.  He did not go into the dens of iniquity and remind his son of what a good family he came from and how he did not belong with the kind of people he was hanging out with.  He did not follow him into darkness or hire private detectives to follow him around and report back about the whereabouts and the particular activities in which the son was engaged.  The Father trusted that the son would come to his senses on his own steam. The Father trusted that the part of Him that was inside the son would remind the son who he was and where he belonged. 

Jesus tells us that chasing after people, confronting, scolding, shaking them awake, and forcing the gospel down their throats is the kind of reasoning in which the ego engages.  God does not affront His Creations, because He is incapable of being affronted. 

If Holy Spirit pushed to the front, bossed us around, or pushed us aside to take charge of us, this could only mean that God’s eternal laws of equality were broken.  Holy Spirit is never threatened by our humanity or feels better than us.  He is not our overlord; nor are we His underlings.  We should never use language that would indicate that Holy Spirit is not respectful of us or would force Himself upon us or anybody else.  We must never think we can “sic” Holy Spirit upon another person as if the Voice for God is a hound from heaven.  While this viewpoint will never hurt Holy Spirit, this viewpoint will hurt us if we think that Holy Spirit is our own personal attack dog.  This would indicate that we have Holy Spirit mixed up with the ego who follows a completely different set of laws which do not work, which are untrue, and will lead us into an egotistical, harmful walk with God that will corrupt our inner altar and mar our testimony of Christ.     

God is Love and Certainty.  He trusts in us to wake up in our own perfect timing and find our way home to him.  He will never force Himself upon us, put limits on us, or think up new ways in which to punish or toy with us in any way.  Any other teaching about God is simply wrong-minded and based upon ego-perceptions. 

In the last paragraph of today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that God is not our teacher.  God does not see that we lack anything; His attitude toward us is not conflicted; He sees no reason for us to change because He created us as perfect and therefore changeless.  God does not see the separation as a loss of our perfection, but merely a failure in communication.  The mean, stern voice of ego can never shatter the peace of God or make Him lose faith in His own Creation.  This would weaken God and we could not trust in Him if He could so be weakened.  However, believing in the harsh voice of ego instead of the peace of God has shattered our peace.  We have taken the wrong voice and called it God, but God’s Voice remained ever the same.  He has no need to blot out the wrong voice, because God has no need for attack of any kind.  Why would He Who is Everything, attack that which is nothing?  How can that which has no truth, which is a dream, which is a magical enchantment based upon illusion be attacked?  How can the truth be “proved,” in a perceptual world terrified of all that is spirit and truth?  To these questions, God does not respond with more questions – He simply provides the Answer.  His Answer is our teacher, the Voice for God within our higher minds teaching us, guiding us, and never letting us forget who we really are and where we really belong.  Holy Spirit will lead us home. 

In our devotional practice today let us thank our holy brother, Jesus for making this truth apparent to us.  Let us thank the scribes and the many people who put their time, efforts, and energies into dispersing A Course in Miracles.  Let us thank the people who brought it to our attention.  For me, it was Dan Sweeney, my supervisor and friend, who led me to A Course in Miracles after I shared the messages of my Inner Voice with him.

So many of us cannot put our faith in our religious traditions, attend church regularly, or read our sacred texts – for we keep coming up against a version of God that demands sacrifice, false humility, sorrowful supplication, and vengeance.  Our higher minds where Holy Spirit resides can not find truth, rest, or peace in that which distorts God’s Love and keeps us trapped in a perceptual world trying to appease that which never be appeased.  Holy Spirit knows the difference between truth and fiction.  Holy Spirit knows the way out.   Holy Spirit is God’s Response to our dilemma. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. IV The only answer. 7-12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

IV:  The Only Answer 1-6

  1. Remember that the Holy Spirit is the answer, not the question. The ego always speaks first. It is capricious and does not mean its maker well. It believes, and correctly, that its maker may withdraw his support from it at any moment. If it meant you well it would be glad, as the Holy Spirit will be glad, when He has brought you home and you no longer need His guidance. The ego does not regard itself as part of you. Herein lies its primary error, the foundation of this whole thought system.    
  2. When God created you, He made you part of Him.  That is why attack within the Kingdom is impossible. You made the ego without love, and so it does not love you. You could not remain within the Kingdom without love, and since the Kingdom is love, you believe that you are without it. This enables the ego to regard itself as separate and outside its maker, thus speaking for the part of your mind that believes you are separate and outside the Mind of God. The ego, then, raises the first question that was ever asked, but one it can never answer. That question, “What are you?” was the beginning of doubt. The ego has never answered any questions since, although it has raised a great many. The most inventive activities of the ego have never done more than obscure the question, because you have the answer, and the ego is afraid of you.
  3. You cannot understand the conflict until you fully understand the basic fact that the ego cannot know anything. The Holy Spirit does not speak first, but He always answers. Everyone has called upon Him for help at one time or another and in one way or another and has been answered. Since the Holy Spirit answers truly He answers for all time, which means that everyone has the answer now.
  4. The ego cannot hear the Holy Spirit, but it does believe that part of the mind that made it is against it. It interprets this as justification for attacking its maker. It believes that the best defense is attack and wants you to believe it. Unless you do believe it you will not side with it, and the ego feels badly in need of allies, though not brothers. Perceiving something alien to itself in your mind, the ego turns to the body as its ally, because the body is not part of you. This makes the body the ego’s friend. It is an alliance frankly based on separation. If you side with this alliance you will be afraid because you are siding with an alliance of fear.
  5. The ego uses the body to conspire against your mind, and because the ego realizes that its enemy can end them both merely by recognizing they are not part of you, they join in the attack together. This is perhaps the strangest perception of all if you consider what it really involves. The ego, which is not real, attempts to persuade the mind, which is real, that the mind is the ego’s learning device; and further, that the body is more real than the mind is. No one in his right mind could possibly believe this, and no one in his right mind does believe it. Hear, then, the one answer of the Holy Spirit to all the questions the ego raises: You are a child of God, a priceless part of His Kingdom, which He created as part of Him, nothing else exists and only this is real.  You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but this sleep is not real, and God calls you to awake.  There will be nothing left of your dream when you hear Him because you will awaken. Your dreams contain many of the ego’s symbols and they have confused you. Yet that was only because you were asleep and did not know. When you wake you will see the truth around you and in you, and you will no longer believe in dreams because they will have no reality for you. Yet the Kingdom and all that you have created there will have great reality for you, because they are beautiful and true. [1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that Holy Spirit is the one answer that resolves all conflict, opposition, and questions about our identity.  Holy Spirit remembers and never lets us forget that we are Sons of God.  No matter what the perceptual world may throw at us in order to label us otherwise, whether it exalts us or tears us down, as long as we believe we are flesh, as long as we choose to identify with that which is not love, we are destined for dreams of disease, decay, and death.  We can look to all sort of avenues for our answers, we can try to find our identity in making the world a better place, we can try to resolve the conflicts in the perceptual world, feed the world’s hungry, provide clean drinking water, teach the illiterate to read and write – but all of our efforts are wasted in time for this is not who we are, and this is not the Creation of God. 

There is only one answer.  We awaken from the dream and accept the truth of the Voice for God.  Our identity is not of this world.  We are a priceless part of God’s Kingdom and this is our truth, our reality, and all that is and was and will ever be.  As we awaken, the dream and all that it holds out to us goes away.  It no longer has any hold upon us.  We can no longer get worked up over its issues.  We no longer see enemies, we see brothers.  We no longer form alliances with flesh and blood, we accept our oneness with the Sonship of God.  The world simply has no more reality when we awaken.  We can laugh at what once would have mortified us.  Only what is beautiful, true, and everlasting will hold our interest, increase our joy, and engage our holy minds. 

This is the answer to the conspiracy of the ego/body alliance!  For the ego/body can only exist in the nightmare, can only hold us captive in the dream of opposition for as long as we choose to believe in them.  The blighted part of our mind tries to persuade us that it has all the power, that our survival depends upon its cunning, that the flesh body defines us for we have been individualized and separated from the Sonship.  All alone and defenseless in a world that is out to get us at every turn, the ego badgers us constantly with questions that it can never answer but does manage to keep us in a state of striving, stress, and confusion. 

The perceptual world, Jesus says, is the dream of separation.  It is our fiction.  The alternate we made to Creation.  A world of fear, of lies, of opposites.  A world of never knowing, always theorizing, guessing, coming up with game plans, devising ways in which to hold the Sons of God in the dark dream.  As long as we sleep in the perceptual world, our real identity is kept hidden from us.  I see you and you see me not as brothers, not in mutuality, not in completeness, but in splintered, separate parts – always judging, comparing, always with a sense of some are ahead and some are behind, and nothing is completely fair, right, and certain. 

We can never really know each other in the dream world.  You are over there living in your culture, apart from me, doing things differently, looking different from me, having ideas about me based upon – not my identity in the Sonship of God – but in my flesh body which defines me by the color of my skin, my genitals, my age, my country of origin, my cultural and religious traditions, and a myriad of other fictional facts about me that can never capture the truth about me.  Therefore I remain a stranger to you.  You will justify forming judgments for or against me depending on the time of day, what you read in the news, what your religious traditions tell you about others, and whatever else the ego uses to keep us from knowing our mutual Sonship in God, our oneness, our joint perfection.  This is insanity.

And yet Holy Spirit – awaits our awakening.  He does not rudely shake us from our dream.  He does not reveal our perfection and our connection to one another before we have come to some very astute conclusions on our own.  Residing in our higher minds, Holy Spirit has all the time in the world.  He is not impatient.  He is not a Teacher who overwhelms us with information that we are not ready to learn.  Holy Spirit knows and trusts us to awaken from the dream in our own good time.  As Sons of God, we are God’s Will, and it is God’s Will that we awaken.  We will choose to come home.  We will not be content in a world of chaos, uncertainty, and death cycles forever.  Sooner or later we will conclude on our own steam that our flesh bodies have no bearing upon who we really are!  Our egos will be put aside and hold no more interest to us.  This answer is as sure as God.  Holy Spirit, as God’s Voice in our minds, not only has the answer; He is the answer. 

Jesus tells us that all of us have called out to Holy Spirit at one time or another throughout our lives.  This means everyone no matter how they may have declared atheism, antagonism, and agnosticism toward the idea of God.   Holy Spirit responds to every call.  And yet we are so mired in our humanity and so skeptical and afraid of our divinity, that to heed the Voice for God fills us with either fear of ridicule, mockery, and insanity or on the other hand a sense of grandiosity and specialness! 

We will complete “The Only Answer” in the next post because the first six paragraphs give us enough to contemplate today in our devotional practice.  I read over this section several times, asking Holy Spirit to make the message clear to my mind.  My ego resisted this teaching and distracted me with a lot of other things that would appear to be more fun, more interesting, even more important!  And yet, the title of this section alone informs us that we have the answer to the most basic question that we spend lifetimes in ego-world trying to answer.  It is our God-given gift, the Voice for God within our minds, Who leads us to all that is beautiful and true about ourselves, about each other, and reawakens our minds to unity with God.    

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter Six The lessons of love. IV The only answer. 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

III. The Relinquishment of Attack

  1. As we have already emphasized, every idea begins in the mind of the thinker. Therefore, what extends from the mind is still in it, and from what it extends it knows itself. The word “knows” is correct here because the Holy Spirit still holds knowledge safe in your mind through His impartial perception. By attacking nothing, He presents no barrier to the communication of God. Therefore, being is never threatened. Your God-like mind can never be defiled. The ego never was and never will be part of it, but through the ego you can hear and teach and learn what is not true. You have taught yourself to believe that you are not what you are. You cannot teach what you have not learned, and what you teach you strengthen in yourself because you are sharing it. Every lesson you teach you are learning.  
  2. That is why you must teach only one lesson. If you are to be conflict-free yourself, you must learn only from the Holy Spirit and teach only by Him. You are only love, but when you deny this, you make what you are something you must learn to remember. I said before that the message of the crucifixion was, “Teach only love, for that is what you are.” This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified, because it is the only lesson that is one. Only by teaching it can you learn it. As you teach so will you learn. If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you. And what you project or extend you believe. 
  3. The only safety lies in extending the Holy Spirit, because as you see His gentleness in others your own mind perceives itself as totally harmless. Once it can accept this fully, it sees no need to protect itself.  The protection of God then dawns upon it, assuring it that it is perfectly safe forever. The perfectly safe are wholly benign. They bless because they know that they are blessed. Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind, and because it extends beneficence it is beneficent. Safety is the complete relinquishment of attack. No compromise is possible in this.  Teach attack in any form and you have learned it, and it will hurt you. Yet this learning is not immortal, and you can unlearn it by not teaching it. 
  4. Since you cannot not teach, your salvation lies in teaching the exact opposite of everything the ego believes. This is how you will learn the truth that will set you free and will keep you free as others learn it of you.   The only way to have peace is to teach peace. By teaching peace, you must learn it yourself, because you cannot teach what you still dissociate. Only thus can you win back the knowledge that you threw away. An idea that you share you must have. It awakens in your mind through the conviction of teaching it. Everything you teach you are learning. Teach only love and learn that love is yours and you are love. [1]

Every idea we have begins in the mind of either the high mind of Holy Spirit or the low mind of ego.  Holy Spirit extends His loving thoughts to others – Holy Spirit never confuses the issue – it does not extend thought to the egos of others, it extends to Itself in others – it is one, it is the spirit of unity and completeness.  Holy Spirit does not play favorites, it does not make one special and leave another bereft.  Holy Spirit never attacks or withholds good things to punish others who relate at times with their ego.  Holy Spirit does not obligate Himself to the ego or give the ego any attention at all. Giving the ego any regard at all would present a barrier to the Voice of God, for God’s Voice is loving, joyful, kind, and sharing, but above all respectful.  It does not try to drown out the ego or push itself to the front.  Holy Spirit is quiet and must be welcomed in a state of peace and calm.  It is because of the wholeness and wellness of Holy Spirit that our Being is never threatened and can never be defiled. 

The ego cannot ever be a part of it, but it is through the lower mind of ego that we can hear lies, we can believe in lies, and we can teach things that are not true.  Jesus tells us that we have taught ourselves to believe what is not true about us.  And as long as we believe that we are imperfect, that we are not whole and holy, that we are separated from God and from one another, we continue to teach that which cannot be built upon, we continue to teach that we are not as God created us to be.  We continue to believe and to teach that there can exist in a Universe that is Loving, Joyous, and full of Peace, that which is not any of those things.  Hence, the world keeps spinning its birth and death cycles, until we remember who we are and what we are about!

One lesson that we bring to our practice will free us of all that is not love and peace and joy – forever.  To free ourselves of opposition, we learn and teach only the message of Holy Spirit: You are made of and for and by Love, and so am I.  When we deny this, we forget who and what we are.  We must learn again, we must be reminded, we must let go of any false thoughts and misleading ideas about ourselves and be born again.  The message of the crucifixion teaches us who we really are.  The crucifixion is not who we are, it is not something we did, it is not something we deserve.  We are not that which can hang upon a cross nor are we that which can nail another upon a cross.  We are love.  When we accept this, we learn it and we teach it, and this is the only message that Christ taught us through the crucifixion.  It is the only lesson, the one, unified lesson and the only way we establish this truth in us it to practice it – because what we practice, we teach, and what we practice and teach, we learn.  It is the same as saying what we share we receive.  Whatever we project with our ego or extend with Holy Spirit is what we believe about ourselves and about each other.  Because we are one – we cannot believe something different about our own selves than we believe about each other.  This is why projection hurts us – when we blame others, we are blaming ourselves.  This is why extending God’s love and mercy blesses us because when we share God’s love and mercy, we are receiving it for ourselves as well. 

Our only safety is in extending Holy Spirit.  As your eyes are opened and my eyes are opened to see past the ego in others and see their purity, goodness, kindness and gentleness, our own minds recognize themselves as pure and innocent, incapable of doing harm.  In this state our minds are full of peace and goodwill.  It cannot make attack us anymore.  Our minds will not wake us up in the night and remind us of all our cruel words and hurtful deeds, for when we remembered the tender lovingkindness of others, our tender lovingkindness was reborn in us – because we are one.  God’s protection dawns upon our minds, assuring us of our salvation and our eternal security.  Those who have nothing to fear are completely harmless.  Those who remember that they have everything cannot be selfish, they do not withhold, they bless because they know they are blessed.  When I am no longer worried about anything at all, my mind is no longer in a state of attack, but a state of benevolence. 

Jesus tells us that there is simply no compromise in this.  If we teach attack in any form, if we think that defending ourselves against each other, calling names and blaming, quarrelling over the things of God or the things of flesh is of benefit to us, we will be hurt by that which we teach and practice. 

Jesus tells us that if we are tempted to attack, we are not held accountable forever.  We simply “unlearn” it.  Yesterday I was so angry at Lover.  I felt as if he had set me up to be embarrassed by telling me it was okay to use the emergency door at Sam’s Club.  When I opened the door the alarms went off and kept wailing loud and piercing, and I could only imagine the inconvenience and headache that the alarms would have upon the other shoppers and the workers.  I huffed out of the store, fuming and asking him why he would blankety-blank lie like that.  Going down the road, the lower part of my mind wanted to nurse my grudge and build a case against him.  I started to think of all the other little things James had said and done throughout the day that indicated he did not extend goodwill toward me.  He had made a judgmental comment toward me when I chose to play the table arcade at Olive Garden; he had blamed me when my Sam’s Club app acted up and I had to restart my phone to restore our barcode.  He had not seemed too thrilled…

But I knew better.  I have invited Holy Spirit to take over my mind.  I have asked God to establish His thoughts of love, mercy, and goodness in my mind toward Creation.  James is the man that God gave me to share this dream with – to learn of love together, to be reborn together, to share in the ministry of Christ.  My anger toward him was not immortal.  When I chose to give up all misperception, which is anything that is not loving, I began to see the whole escapade as harmless, even funny.  James had not blankety-blank lied to me; he had made a mistake, and it was a humorous mistake.  Instead of being embarrassed and stewing over it, I let it go and laughed.

I did not demand an apology from him – because any perception that makes James out to steal my joy and make me feel low is the same perception I have toward God and toward myself!  When we accept this to be true and put this concept into practical application in our lives, we teach it and when we practice and teach it, we learn it.  And we are freed from the results of ego’s division, multitudinous maladies, and needless dramas that would follow otherwise. 

In paragraph four, Jesus tells us that it is impossible for us not to teach.  If we want to know the truth, practice doing exactly opposite our ego’s inclinations to accept perceptions of attack, ill will, and mean comments.  When we practice communicating honestly, taking the time to address slights with love instead of defense, taking a stand for peace and unity rather than conflict and division, we teach it to others.  This is the way we end our dissociation with who and what we really are.  We win back the knowledge we threw away when we forgot our divinity.  What we practice we teach, we share, we strengthen. 

Meditate upon this concept in your devotional practice today, letting it rest upon your quiet mind and enlighten your consciousness.  Renounce all thoughts of anger, revenge, retaliation, and division by teaching only love.  Take note that we do not have to believe in it to begin our practice of teaching love.  We just have to do it, for when we do it, we teach it.  It may seem awkward, it will definitely go against our egos, it will seem counterintuitive, unnatural, and even a bit scary, but the only way we will know it works and learn that love is ours and that what is ours is what we are, is in the doing.  Ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind and give you personal illustration in which to experience the liberty, the joy, the healing that happens by letting go of all thoughts of attack.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love III The relinquishment of attack. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

II.  The Alternative to Projection 9-13

9. Thoughts begin in the mind of the thinker, from which they reach outward. This is as true of God’s thinking as it is of yours. Because your mind is split, you can perceive as well as think. Yet perception cannot escape the basic laws of mind. You perceive from your mind and project your perceptions outward. Although perception of any kind is unreal, you made it and the Holy Spirit can therefore use it well.  He can inspire perception and lead it toward God. This convergence seems to be far in the future only because your mind is not in perfect alignment with the idea, and therefore does not want it now.

10. The Holy Spirit uses time but does not believe in it. Coming from God He uses everything for good, but He does not believe in what is not true. Since the Holy Spirit is in your mind, your mind can also believe only what is true. The Holy Spirit can speak only for this because He speaks for God. He tells you to return your whole mind to God because it has never left Him. If it has never left Him, you need only perceive it as it is to be returned. The full awareness of the Atonement then is the recognition that the separation never occurred.  The ego cannot prevail against this because it is an explicit statement that the ego never occurred.

11. The ego can accept the idea that return is necessary because it can so easily make the idea seem difficult. Yet the Holy Spirit tells you that even return is unnecessary because what never happened cannot be difficult. However, you can make the idea of return both necessary and difficult. Yet is surely clear that the perfect need nothing, and you cannot experience perfection as a difficult accomplishment, because that is what you are. This is the way in which you must perceive God’s creations, bringing all of your perceptions into the one line the Holy Spirit sees. This line is the direct line of communication with God, and lets your mind converge with His. There is no conflict anywhere in this perception because it means that all perception is guided by the Holy Spirit, Who’s mind is fixed on God.  Only the Holy Spirit can resolve conflict, because only the Holy Spirit is conflict-free. He perceives only what is true in your mind and extends outward only to what is true in other minds.

12. The difference between the ego’s projection and the Holy Spirit’s extension is very simple. the ego projects to exclude, and therefore to deceive. The Holy Spirit extends by recognizing Himself in every mind, and thus perceives them as one. Nothing conflicts in this perception because what the Holy Spirit perceives is all the same. Wherever He looks He sees Himself, and because He is united He offers the whole Kingdom always. This is a one message God gave to Him and for which He must speak, because that is what He is. The peace of God lies in that message, and so the peace of God lies in you. the great peace of the Kingdom shines in your mind forever, but it must shine outward to make you aware of it.

13. The Holy Spirit was given you with perfect impartiality, and only by recognizing Him impartially can you recognize Him at all. Ego is legion, but the Holy Spirit is one. No darkness abides anywhere in the Kingdom, but your part is only to allow no darkness to abide in your own mind. This alignment with light is unlimited, because it is in alignment with the light of the world. Each of us is the light of the world, and by joining our minds in this light we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and as one.[1]

Jesus tells us in our opening paragraph today that Holy Spirit inspires our perception in time to restore our mind to completeness in God.  Without Holy Spirit we are out of alignment with this idea and there should be no wonder over our resistance to God.  We have been misled about our Creator.  The myths and traditional sacred texts that are written about God originated from fear, superstition, and guilt-ridden consciousnesses.  In a perceptual world, spiritual truths, invisible to our flesh eyes, do not seem real, trustworthy, or verifiable.  While we all know that love exists; evil seems more powerful, and something we must defend against.  As we try to make sense of a God Who could place vulnerable meat creatures in a universe intent upon devouring them at every turn, we are naturally stupefied, suspicious, and unwilling to put our trust in such a deity. 

Holy Spirit uses time to bring us back to God, to lead us back to truth, to awaken us from the perceptual world of time, space, and separateness to the light of God’s love, joy, and peace.  Holy Spirit is the voice for God within each of us.  Holy Spirit is the voice within each of our minds which calls for healing of our divided minds, to restore our love and devotion to God, to save our Being from the hellish dream. 

Full awareness of the Atonement is simply the recognition that this is a mass hallucination – that the separation never occurred.  The ego cannot prevail against this because when we realize that the world is the miscreation, we realize that the ego version of God, the ego version of us, the ego version of reality is a lie, it is a work of fiction, it is a temptation that never occurred except in the place where all lies originate and stay trapped in time outside the reality of eternity.  When our eyes are opened, we begin to see the truth of the matter.  It is the truth that sets us free. 

God awaits our awakening with warmth and welcome.  It is not God that makes cumbersome demands, obligations, and mean threats for our return. We are awakened with kindness, joy, love, and light.  We are awakened by God’s Perfect Love and His never-ending Peace.  We are awakened by His Voice which is placed within each one of us and calls to us quietly and with gentle tones.  We do not return to God so to speak, because in God’s eyes we never left, we only fell asleep and dreamed a dark dream, we simply made a mistake which can easily be corrected.

The ego tells us that return to God is hard, it is a path of sacrifice, we will never have any more fun, we will have to give up everything we enjoy in the flesh.  God is harsh.  He demands all our attention.  He is jealous and unswervingly besotted with His need for worship and praise.    Who would want to return to a bully God who is impatient, egotistical, and prone to temper tantrums when things do not go His way?  Who would want to return to God who demands we sacrifice that which we love?  Who would want to return to God who ordains eternal suffering, pain, death, and sorrow for not only those who have not been convinced of Jesus’s role in salvation, but for all of us, even babies? I cannot speak for you, but I would rather take my chances in hell than to have to worship a cruel, depraved, egotistical deity for all of eternity!  Yet this is the picture the ego paints of God and one in which we have been taught and continue to teach to this day. 

Holy Spirit teaches that return to God is unnecessary – because this realm is not reality.  We are not flesh and blood; we are spirit.  Humanity and the story of humanity is an invention of the ego; our true Being is in God and has never lost its perfection.  Accepting our identity in God we accept our perfection.  We give up the lies we made up about our creation; we stop putting our faith in the perceptual world; we give the darkened parts of our mind to Holy Spirit – and our minds converge with God.  Joining with God’s mind resolves all conflict, perceives only what is true, and shares only Creation’s perfection.   

Pay particular attention to paragraph 12 which shows us how to detect whether ego or Holy Spirit is in charge of our perceptions.  Ego manipulates the perceptual world to exclude, to banish, to break communion and unity.  Holy Spirit uses perception to counteract the ego’s goal and perceives others as one.  Wherever Holy Spirit looks He sees Himself and He offers the Kingdom always.  There is never any judgment, any unforgiveness, any withholding.  This is the one message God gave to Holy Spirit and this is the Voice for God within each of us – it is a call to be one.  The peace of God is in this message.  The peace of God is in each of us.  The abiding peace of God’s Kingdom shines in our minds forever, and this is what we are to see in each other, this is what we share with each other.

Holy Spirit is given to each of us with perfect impartiality and it is only when we recognize Holy Spirit without partiality that we can recognize Him at all.  Ego would have us think that we are special, that we have the Holy Spirit and others do not.  Ego would have us think that some people are favored by God and others are not.  Ego is legion, Jesus tells us. Each and every one of us have a different one.  It will offer all kinds of different paths to God, a thousand different religions, a thousand different interpretations, a mass of many conflicting paths in which to judge one another and teach conflict, schisms, and factions.  We must not accept this dark tale.  We align ourselves with the light of truth because we are the light of the world.  By joining our minds to this light we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and as one.  We go to heaven as one for we are one, we are the same.  The Kingdom is incomplete until the Sonship is restored to full awareness of this fact.

Today in your devotional practice ask Holy Spirit to shine the light of truth in your mind.  Align with the light of God’s undying love and devotion.  We are the light of the world.  We accept God’s love, and we know ourselves as God knows us – without favoritism, without specialness, without magic formulas or sacrifices of any kind.  We give up all perceptions we may have heard about, been taught about, or read about God in which He is said to be anything but the Loving Father, merciful, kind, and never failing in His abiding patience toward those who still fear Him instead of love Him. 

Dear Father, let our minds be full of the light of Your love so that Your love shines through us, quietly and calmly awakening everyone we greet.  We pray in the name of Jesus Who makes us one.  Amen. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. II The alternative to projection 9-13. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

II:  The Alternative to Projection 1-8

1. Any split in mind must involve a rejection of part of it, and this is the belief in separation. The wholeness of God, which is His peace, cannot be appreciated except by a whole mind that recognizes the wholeness of God’s creation. By this recognition it knows its Creator. Exclusion and separation are synonymous, as are separation and dissociation. We have said before that the separation was and is dissociation, and that once that occurs projection becomes its main defense, or the device that keeps it going. The reason, however, may not be so obvious as you think.

2. What you project you disown, and therefore do not believe is yours. You are excluding yourself by the very judgment that you are different from the one on whom you project. Since you have also judged against what you project, you continue to attack it because you continue to keep it separated. By doing this unconsciously, you try to keep the fact that you attacked yourself out of awareness, and thus imagine that you have made yourself safe.

3. Yet projection will always hurt you. It reinforces your belief in your own split mind and its only purpose is to keep the separation going. It is solely a device of the ego to make you feel different from your brothers and separated from them. The ego justifies this on the grounds that it makes you seem better than they are, thus obscuring your equality with them still further. Projection and attack are inevitably related because projection is always a means of justifying attack. Anger without projection is impossible. The ego uses projection only to destroy your perception of both yourself and your brothers. The process begins by excluding something that existed in you but which you do not want and leads directly to excluding you from your brothers.   

4. We have learned, however, that there is an alternative to projection. Every ability of the ego has a better use, because its abilities are directed by the mind, which has a better Voice. The Holy Spirit extends and the ego projects as their goals are opposed, so is the result.

5. The Holy Spirit begins by perceiving you as perfect. Knowing this perfection is shared He recognizes it in others, thus strengthening it in both. Instead of anger this arouses love because it establishes inclusion. Perceiving equality, the Holy Spirit perceives equal needs. This invites Atonement automatically because Atonement is the one need in this world that is universal. To perceive yourself this way is the only way in which you can find happiness in the world.  That is because it is the acknowledgement that you are not in this world, for the world is unhappy.

6. How else can you find joy in a joyless place except by realizing that you are not there? You cannot be anywhere God did not put you, and God created you as part of Him. That is both where you are and what you are. It is completely unalterable. It is total inclusion. You cannot change it now or ever. It is forever true. It is not a belief, but a Fact. Anything that God created is as true as He is. Its truth lies only in its perfect inclusion in Him who alone is perfect. To deny this is to deny yourself and Him, since it is impossible to accept one without the other.  

7. Perfect equality of the Holy Spirit’s perception is the reflection of the perfect equality of God’s knowing. The ego’s perception has no counterpart in God, but the Holy Spirit remains the bridge between perception and knowledge. By enabling you to use perception in a way that reflects knowledge, you will ultimately remember it. The ego would prefer to believe that this memory is impossible, yet it is your perception the Holy Spirit guides. Your perception will end where it began. Everything meets in God because everything was created by Him and in Him.

8. God created His Sons by extending His Thought and retaining the extensions of His Thoughts in His mind. All His Thoughts are thus perfectly united within themselves and with each other.  The Holy Spirit enables you to perceive this wholeness now. God created you to create.  You cannot extend His Kingdom until you know of its wholeness. [1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus gives us a deeper understanding of the split mind, projection, which is ego’s main defense, and a blessed alternative to projection given to us by Holy Spirit.  In this realm, we see each other as separate and distinct, rather than one and the same with and in Creation.  In choosing separation we chose exclusion – because they are one and the same.  It is in dissociation with Creation where projection comes to raise its ugly head.  It is the serpent in the garden so to speak. Projection turns us upon one another and keeps us turned against each other.

It may seem that we have good reasons to cast the blame for our unhappiness and lack of peace on others.  But what we project we disown.  In the Garden myth we have Eve who listened to the suggestions of the serpent rather than to the Voice for God and yet, she disowns responsibility.  Instead of acknowledging that she listened to another voice and asked for more than everything she could possibly ever want or need, she projected her mistake on to something outside of herself.  She said it was the serpent’s fault.  Instead of seeing herself as one with Creation, she decides to unload her mistakes upon something else.  She dissociates from her mistake, and she teaches Adam to do the same.  In judging against another, they judged against Creation.  We judge against and attack Creation when we listen to the wrong voice, then fail to acknowledge our mistake, and blame others.  By doing this we blindly believe that we are safe as long as the negative attention, the blame and shame of it, is on someone or something else. 

In a personal example, I spent years trying to “get over” my childhood only to either repeat the mistakes of the abusers or make just as many mistakes in my efforts to be unlike them!  As long as I judged against my mother, for example, I continued to attack her.  Even though I loved her, provided her with a home and tender care when she became feeble, and wept in deep sorrow when she passed from this world, I blamed her and held harsh attitudes toward her.  When I attacked her in my thoughts, my unforgiveness toward her for childhood abuses, my bitter attitudes about her irrational and terroristic religious beliefs, I may have thought I was protecting myself from her, that I was safe.  But nope.  My judgmental and unforgiving thoughts toward her hurt me and left me wide open to repeat the same or even worse mistakes with those I loved.  No matter how much I prayed, read scripture, or tried to follow Jesus, I denied myself joy and continued to hurt others. 

Projection always hurts the one who is projecting.  It is an ego device which is designed to keep the separation going, to keep us from seeing ourselves as one.  Projection makes us feel superior to the one we blame, which obscures our mutuality and similarity.  When we project, we attack in our thoughts, words, and deeds because when we cast the blame on others, we justify attacking them.  Any love and goodwill we have toward those we blame and hold accountable will be polluted and perverted with anger.  Projection takes all the goodness, beauty, tenderness and warmth between the created and makes the indecent, ugly, mean, unpleasant, and cold. 

Jesus tells us that the process of projection starts out by rejecting something we do not like about own story and ends in removing ourselves from any sense of relationship with those we choose to blame. The separation and dissociation which results sustain the ego and extends the need for time.

Happily, our minds have not been turned over entirely to the ego – God has implanted in each one of us, Holy Spirit, the Voice for God, Who has a better use for every device of the ego.  While the goal of the ego is to project sin, guilt, and shame, driving us apart and keeping us separate, the goal of Holy Spirit is to promote love, peace, joy and wholeness, unifying Creation and restoring knowledge.

Holy Spirit’s alternative to projection begins by letting us perceive our own perfection.  Holy Spirit shares God’s Will of our perfection and helps us recognize God’s Will of perfection in others.  When we recognize our own perfection and see it in others, we strengthen the Vision of Christ.  A deep, abiding love and appreciation is aroused in our minds for ourselves and for others.  We see our oneness, we see the ways in which we are alike, we recognize our equality, we perceive our mutual need for mercy, for correction, for awakening to the truth of God’s Love.

When we perceive perfection in one another, rather than projecting shame and blame, we welcome Atonement. Atonement undoes the ego and the works of the ego.  To recognize our perfection is to recognize ourselves not as humans, not as flesh and blood, but as part of the Sonship of God. Until we perceive ourselves as mutually perfect, as mutually worthy, as mutually forgiven and corrected of all that could never be, we will not find happiness in the world.  For until we see ourselves as Sons of God, we will think we are human, we will identify with flesh and blood, we will feel persecuted, we will cast blame, and we will believe that we are of a world that is not equitable, not fully loving, joyful, or peaceful. 

When we refuse to project, we commit to believing only the best about each other.  This is what we perceive, this is what we talk about, this is what we allow in our minds, and this is what we offer one another.  As we extend Holy Spirit’s perfection to our husbands and wives, our partners, our children, our grandchildren, our brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends, we do it for all.  We refuse to let one evil thought mar the perfection of the Sonship of God.  We welcome Atonement to correct all mistakes; we give no place in our minds for the ego or the results of the ego’s doing.  We see ourselves as One. We offer only what we want for ourselves.

When we accept our identity in perfection, we remove our identities from the unhappy world of flesh and blood.  God created us as part of Him and we cannot change our perfection, whether we believe in it or not.  We are the Will of God, and that is a fact!  When Jesus said that we are to be perfect even as He is perfect, He essentially said, “ Accept Holy Spirit’s judgment which is for you and not the ego’s judgment which is always against you.”  For we could never be perfect in the flesh!

In paragraph seven, Jesus emphasizes how the perception of Holy Spirit reflects the perfect equality of knowing God.  The ego’s perception has no counterpart in God for ego cannot know oneness or relate to unity in any way.  Holy Spirit enables us to perceive the things of God by reflecting the knowledge of God in ways which we can relate to and understand from this realm.  As we practice thinking with Holy Spirit all memory of our Sonship comes back to us no matter how the ego tries to deny the possibility. 

Our old perceptions of victimhood, of sin and shame, projection and separation, heaven for some, hell for the many ends where Holy Spirit’s perception of us begins.  Jesus tells us that Everything meets in God because Everything was created by Him and in Him.  Holy Spirit lets us perceive this wholeness now.  God created us to be co-creators with Him, to extend His Kingdom.  We can only do this when Holy Spirit enables us to experience, to know His Kingdom in its completeness, to accept our perfection now. 

We will end today’s text reading with paragraph eight and complete the final paragraphs of “The Alternative to Projection” section tomorrow.  Today in your devotional practice invite Holy Spirit’s judgment of you into your awareness.  Accept your perfection and share perfection even as Christ is perfect, for it is in our perfection, our worthiness, our shared Sonship that we complete and extend God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. II The alternative to projection 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

I.  The Message of the Crucifixion 14-19

14. If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended.  The apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the wrath of God as His retaliatory weapon. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry.

15. These are some of the examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, although its gospel is really only the message of love. If the apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did if they had really understood me. I could not have said, “Betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss?” unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The “punishment” I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?

16. As you read the teachings of the Apostles, remember that I told them myself that there was much they would understand later, because they were not wholly ready to follow me at the time. I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system towards which I am guiding you. I do not call for martyrs but for teachers. No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified. The result is a lesson in blame, for all behavior teaches the beliefs that motivate it. The crucifixion was the result of clearly opposed thought systems, the perfect symbol of the conflict between the ego and the Son of God. This conflict seems just as real now, and its lessons must be learned now as well as then.

17. I do not need gratitude, but you need to develop your weakened ability to be grateful, or you cannot appreciate God. He does not need your appreciation, but you do. You cannot love what you do not appreciate, for fear makes appreciation impossible. When you are afraid of what you are you do not appreciate it and will therefore reject it. As a result, you will teach rejection.

18. The power of the Sons of God is present all the time, because they were created as creators.  Their influence on each other is without limit and must be used for their joint salvation. Each one must learn to teach that all forms of rejection are meaningless. The separation is the notion of rejection. As long as you teach this you will believe it. This is not as God thinks, and you must think as He thinks if you are to know Him again.

19. Remember that the Holy Spirit is the communication link between God the Father and His separated Sons. If you will listen to His voice you know that you cannot either hurt or be hurt, and that many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves.  When you perceive only this need in them and do not respond to any other, you will have learned of me and will be as eager to share your learning as I am. [1]

Today as we finish the first section of The Lessons of Love, let us ask Holy Spirit to cleanse our mind of all misunderstanding of the crucifixion.  Our only lesson that we should take from the suffering of Christ in the flesh is the call for peace for which it was intended.  He suffered horrendously and did not curse, did not blame, but only reflected the love and mercy and perfect understanding of God.  If we take any other message from the cross we will respond and teach others to respond as if God was the one Who demanded blood and the suffering of His most beloved.  We must always remember God is a God of love and devotion and would never demand blood and sacrifice, nor does He have favorites and a most “beloved.”  We must never hold the people who betrayed Jesus, who misunderstood or misinterpreted His life and message, or who have, in their imperfect love for Him twisted the message to one of God’s wrath and need for retaliation. 

When we truly understand the message of the cross, we will not be inflamed against the Jewish religion, we will not justify any attacks upon the religious institutions which promoted suffering and torments in the name of Christ, nor hold those who engaged in war and promoted conflict instead of love and peace in His name.  Visiting the “Holy Lands” and walking where Christ walked does not give us any deeper understanding of His message.  The apostles themselves did not entirely get it and for the same reason few of us in this hellish realm are able to get it.  The ego’s hold upon us is a death grip – its only recourse is to pervert and weaponize the teachings of love.  We should get no more worked up over the crucifixion of Christ than we get worked up over any Son of God suffering needlessly in the flesh.  We are freed of guilt; we are freed of the need to suffer; we have nothing to project upon others when we have the love and devotion of God.  This is the message of the cross. 

In paragraph 15, Jesus corrects some of the ways in which He is quoted in the New Testament.  Jesus never said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword.  This would have contradicted everything He stood for, for Jesus is our Prince of Peace and invites us to the Sonship only in peace and never a sword.  He came to unite us, not to divide us. 

Jesus did not chastise Judas for his so-called betrayal.  Jesus calls Judas brother and equal.  Jesus could not be betrayed anymore than any Son of God can betray or be betrayed.   Remember, we are not the flesh and we do not respond to the destructible as if it were anything more than what it is – nothing.  Jesus would not condemn Judas – His message was one of mercy, forgiveness, and harmlessness.  It is plain that Jesus is not the author of the Bible – nor did He authorize others to mythologize Him in their attempts to deify His message.  Nobody, including the disciples, do Jesus any favors by writing the gospels in a spirit of retaliation, guilt, sorrow, or specialness.

When we read or hear any teachings of Christ, we must always remember that we are perceiving the words of people – just like you and just like me.  We have faulty listening devices.  We often hear two voices – one of Holy Spirit which is quiet, merciful, and loving.  The Voice for God within us must be welcomed in a state of devotion, meditation, and peace while the voice of ego pushes to the front, and is always chattering and clamoring, distracting and judgmental.  Jesus states very bluntly that there is no fear in the thought system in which He is teaching us.  Jesus says that He does not call for us to be martyrs but teachers.  There is no condemnation or punishment for sins because Sons of God are not sinners, they cannot be sinners because they are of God.  Our mistakes are canceled out by simply recognizing the error and asking Holy Spirit to undo any works of the ego in our lives and mind. 

The cross is the perfect symbol of the conflict between the ego and the Son of God.  This conflict seems just as real now as it ever did simply because it was not understood fully, and the misunderstanding was projected forward into our religions, traditions, rites, and rituals.  The cross has no magic power to save us from our sins.  It is a message of the Son of God’s love, mercy, and peace under the most harrowing conditions of the flesh.  It is a message of who and what we really are – not the destructible, but the indestructible.  We belong to God and to God we return when we have learned the lessons of love.

Jesus says that He does not need our gratitude for what He has done for us, but until we realize the gift He has given to us, we can never appreciate God.  We cannot love what we do not appreciate.  We cannot truly devote ourselves to loving God, when we fear Him, and when we fear Him, we teach others to do the same.  Until we know ourselves as beloved Sons of God, we will teach others a gospel of rejection, a gospel of having to sacrifice to be worthy of God, of having to “get saved,” instead of accepting our salvation as a given, of having to “get the Holy Ghost,” instead of accepting that the still quiet inner Voice for God has been with us all along, quietly guiding and keeping us for His Kingdom.  A gospel of rejection keeps us always on our toes, pleading Jesus blood, struggling with our flesh, and seeing persecution where there is none. 

There is no belief system that needs to be adopted, although one does need to be given up!  For we can only know God when we think the way God does.  We meet God through the story of the Prodigal.  He is the Father who watches His Son go down the path of separation and patiently awaits for His return.  He does not send the other son to die on the cross to shed blood to satiate His need for payment for the wastrel’s sins.  He does not prepare a dungeon of torments for the wastrel’s punishment.  He does not make His Son kill baby animals and offer them on the altar.  He does not demand that His Son take a bath and put on clean garments.  He does not say the hell with Him and give Him over to the devil.  He does not demand special prayers, fasting, or pleading.  With patience and undying devotion, He waited for His Son to come to His senses, to awaken from the fascination with fear, sin, shame, guilt, and sorrow.  He awaits with only love, joy, and peace to welcome Him home.  This is the gospel of Christ untainted by rejection, purified of all guilt and punishment. 

God loves us!   His devotion to us has been misrepresented by our holy books, by our religions, and the myths which have designed ego-like deities that exclude and reject rather than include and accept. 

The Holy Spirit connects us to God.  When we listen to the Voice for God, we will know the real gospel of Christ – we can bypass the lies, the perverted gospel, the misinterpretations and purposeful misleading.  There is no punishment, no revenge, no spite or wrath for God is our Loving Father, not a fearful one.  Our identity in Christ as God’s Son gives us perfect immunity to which maims, robs, and devours only in this realm. The message of love, of harmlessness, of acceptance and welcome is sorely needed for all who have been hurt, dismayed, and bewildered by the mixed messages of love and hate, acceptance and rejection, equality and inequality, heaven and hell taught from our pulpits, written in our sacred texts, and envisioned by our prophets.  Holy Spirit judges for us and not against us.  We are blameless in the eyes of God.  He does not care what we have done in the flesh and never will – He just awaits our awakening to His Love. 

The last sentence of this section tells us that when we bless everybody we meet as part of the Sonship of God and help them to recognize this for themselves we will have learned of Christ.  Christ endured the cross to teach us the harmlessness, mercy, and love of God toward those who have succumbed to a lower life form.  He knew who and what He was, even as He calls us to know who and what we really are.  We are not here to sit about and rant about the works of the flesh, to get involved in political battles, to decide what sins are beyond forgiveness and which ones are not so bad!  We are to learn as Christ learned and love Creation, sharing God’s love and acceptance with everyone we meet.  It matters not who ego has labeled straight or gay, liberal or conservative, pro-choice or pro-life.  It matters not how good or bad, tall or short, morbidly obese or skinny as a rail the ego has made us out to be – God knows us as His Son.  He loves us, brothers, in spite of ourselves. And we return to Him when we recognize and share His love.   When Holy Spirit enlightens our minds with the light of God’s Love, convincing us beyond doubt of God’s devotion toward His creation, we are free of the lies and deceptions of all that would tell us otherwise.  We no longer believe in the punishing god of ego; we know God Who is compassionate and kind!  Jesus modeled this by offering forgiveness and love from His human death on the cross; we are to learn from Him and share His teachings with all.    

[1] A Course in Miracles.  Chapter Six The lessons of love I. The message of the Crucifixion 14-19. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

I. The Message of the Crucifixion 6-13

6. As I have said before, as you teach so shall you learn. If you react as if you are persecuted, you are teaching persecution. This is not a lesson a Son of God should want to teach if he is to realize his own salvation. Rather, teach your own perfect immunity, which is the truth in you, and realize that it cannot be assailed. Do not try to protect it yourself, or you are believing that it is assailable. You are not asked to be crucified, which was part of my own teaching contribution. You are merely asked to follow my example in the face of much less extreme temptations to misperceive, and not to accept them as false justifications for anger. There can be no justification for the unjustifiable.  Do not believe there is, and do not teach that there is. Remember always that what you believe you will teach.  Believe with me, and we will become equal as teachers.

7. Your resurrection is your reawakening. I am the model for rebirth but rebirth itself is merely the dawning on your mind of what is already in it. God placed it there Himself, and so it is true forever. I believed in it, and therefore accepted it as true for me. Help me to teach it to our brothers in the name of the Kingdom of God, but first believe that it is true for you, or you will teach amiss. My brothers slept during this so-called agony in the garden, but I could not be angry with them because I knew I could not be abandoned.

8. I am sorry when my brothers do not share my decision to hear only one voice, because it weakens them as teachers and as learners. Yet I know they cannot really betray themselves or me, and that it is still on them that I must build my church. There is no choice in this, because only you can be the foundation of God’s church. A church is where an altar is, and the presence of the altar is what makes the church holy. A church that does not inspire love has a hidden altar that is not serving the purpose for which God intended it. I must found His church on you, because those who accept me as a model are literally my disciples. Disciples are followers, and if the model they follow has chosen to save them pain in all respects, they are unwise not to follow him.

9.  I elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter.  As the world judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. It was clear that this was only because of the projection of others on to me, since I had not harmed anyone and had healed many.

10. We are still equal as learners, although we do not need to have equal experiences.  The Holy Spirit is glad when you can learn from mine, and be reawakened by them.  That is their only purpose, and that is the only way in which I can be perceived as the way, the truth, and the life.  When you hear only one voice you are never called on to sacrifice. On the contrary, by being able to hear the Holy Spirit in others you can learn from their experiences, and can gain from them without experiencing them directly yourself. That is because the Holy Spirit is one, and anyone who listens is inevitably led to demonstrate his way for all.

11.  You are not persecuted, nor was I.  You are not asked to repeat my experiences because the Holy Spirit, who we share, makes this unnecessary. To use my experiences constructively, however, you must still follow my example and how to perceive them.  M  brothers and yours are constantly engaged in justifying the unjustifiable. My one lesson, which I must teach as I learned it, is that no perception that is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit can be justified. I undertook to show this was true in an extreme case, merely because it would serve as a good teaching aid to those whose temptation to give into anger and assault would not be so extreme. I will with God that none of His Sons should suffer.

12. The crucifixion cannot be shared because it is the symbol of projection, but the resurrection is the symbol of sharing because the reawakening of every son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know it’s wholeness.  Only this is knowledge.

13. The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear:

Teach only love, for that is what you are.[1]

As we come to our devotional practice today, let us open our minds to the message of the Crucifixion.  Today we start on paragraph six where Jesus clearly tells us that we are to be perfectly harmless in the world.  We are not here to be whipping posts; we are not here to boo-hoo to each other how dangerous the world; we are not here to set up our kingdom in the physical realm.  When we know ourselves as Sons of God, we know that we are perfectly immune to all that would rise up against us.  We do not try to protect ourselves.  Nobody is asking us to be crucified – that was the function of Christ.  However, we are to follow in the footsteps of Christ and refuse to respond with anger and fear to anything or anyone because there is no justification for anger and fear.  We are to believe with our whole hearts that there is nothing that can hurt us.  We are to teach with 100% devotion that nothing can hurt us because what we believe we will teach.  As we believe with Christ, we become equal teachers with Christ.  This is a promise.

Jesus resurrected from the dead; our resurrection is our reawakening.  Rebirth is the dawning on our minds of what is already in there.  God placed a part of Himself in our minds and we can never lose it.  Jesus believed in this and accepted this as true, and He is calling for us to help Him teach it to our brothers in the name of God’s Kingdom.  If we do believe that God will turn His back upon His Creations; if we believe that He made us from dirt and made some for eternal glory and some for eternal shame and punishment, if we believe that God is bloodthirsty, capable of anger, pettiness, jealousy, throws fits, goes into rages, and has favorites, we will teach that which is not God’s Kingdom.   Jesus believed in and taught that God was love and that all would be saved.  Even when His disciples seemed to abandon Him, He could not be angry with them because He could not be abandoned.  We do not hold people accountable for their shortcomings, because it does not really affect our safety or touch who we really are.

Yesterday when Linda R. and I were reading through this section together and discussing the impact that modeling Christ and His teachings has on our lives, she said that as she practiced no-harm and forgiveness when her husband betrayed her, some of her Christian friends stopped talking to her because she did not take their advice.  They urged her to “lawyer up,” they told her to give him a good taste of his own medicine, they said they could not stand by and watch her be used and abused in this manner.  And yet Christ teaches that she was not betrayed, that she could not be betrayed because as Sons of God, we are invulnerable.  The ego is always going to let us down, but because we are born again, we are not egos, and not able to be hurt by other egos.

As long as we still think with the lower mind of ego and regard ourselves as flesh and blood, our teaching and our learning will be impaired.  When we do not completely give place to Holy Spirit in our life, we will still be used of God but there will be a part of us that is not serving the purpose that God intended for us to serve.  When we accept Jesus as our model we are His disciples. He does His best to help us understand our perfect immunity in the spirit, He does His best to spare us unnecessary pain and suffering, sickness and insanity.  It is to our best interest to follow Him, and yet we do not inspire love, if we are in the world getting angry, hurling insults, taking sides against any part of Creation, persecuting and being persecuted, and seeing ourselves as vulnerable, fragile, and fleshy. 

Jesus chose to demonstrate that the most outrageous, vicious attack upon His flesh does not matter.  In the world, Jesus was betrayed.  He was abandoned by His disciples in His greatest hour of need.  He was whipped. His flesh was torn from muscle and the bone.  He bled.  He suffered agony and He was killed.  All manner of ill intent was projected on to Him – and He had done nothing to deserve what happened to Him.  He bore it all without holding a grudge.  He was forgiving.  He knew Who He was and what He was about. 

Jesus wants us to be like Him, to learn from Him, to be reawakened by Him, for His mind to be formed in us.  He went through all that He went through as a human for one reason – to teach us to identify with our Sonship and listen only to the Voice for God.  Unless we learn what Jesus teaches we will not know Him as the way, the truth, and the life.  We will think He was just a nice guy who healed people and had supernatural powers.  We will believe that Jesus had advantages over us and we will not be able to relate to Him.  We will think that we owe Him something for what He did for us.

But in paragraph nine, Jesus tells us that when we only heed the Voice for God, we are never called to sacrifice.  It is the voice for ego that calls for sacrifice, for payment, for suffering, and pain.  God calls for love and devotion because He is love and devotion.  We learn and gain from the experiences of others just as others learn and gain from our experiences, because when we are led by Holy Spirit, it is always one for all and all for one. 

The one lesson of Christ that He learned and now teaches is to see only through the judgment of Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit always speaks for Creation and never against.  Even during the Crucifixion Christ did not get angry, He did not bear ill will, He did not curse His tormentors, or send them to hell.  The will of Christ was with God – that none of His Sons should suffer. 

The crucifixion cannot be shared because it symbolizes untruth, it stands for blame and shame, guilt and despair.  Sacrifice is not a call for God, it is a demand of the ego.  The resurrection, on the other hand symbolizes sharing.  It stands for the reawakening of all of Creation to the Sonship of God, to the completeness and unity of wholeness.  Only this is knowledge. 

No matter how many advanced degrees we may obtain, the world is incapable of bestowing knowledge.  In our separated state, we have no way of knowing much more than splintered facts and faulty theories that do not amount to anything.  No matter how many books we read or lectures we attend, no matter what elite university we manage to get into, knowledge can only be found in the Sonship of God .  When we are restored to the Sonship of God, we have and know everything.   As hard as that may be to fathom, we all know on one level of being that this is truth. 

We will end today’s text review with paragraph 13, which clearly and succinctly sums up what we have read so far about the message of the crucifixion.  Ask Holy Spirit to be the one voice in your mind today.  While in our humanity nothing is fair, mutual, or equitable – in the Spirit we are one. Rich and poor, black and white, academically gifted and intellectually handicapped, man or woman, Greek or Jew, young and old –

All of us are able to teach only love, for all of us – that is what we are.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. I The message of the crucifixion 6-13. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

I.  The Message of the Crucifixion 1-5

  1. For learning purposes, let us consider the crucifixion again. I did not dwell on it before because of the fearful connotations you may associate with it. The only emphasis laid up on it so far has been that it was not a form of punishment.  Nothing, however, can be explained in negative terms only. There is a positive interpretation of the crucifixion that is wholly devoid of fear, and therefore wholly benign in what it teaches, if it is properly understood.
  2. The crucifixion is nothing more than an extreme example. Its value, like the value of any teaching device, lies solely in the kind of learning it facilitates. It can be, and has been, misunderstood. This is only because the fearful are apt to perceive fearfully. I have already told you that you can always call on me to share my decision, and thus make it stronger. I have also told you that the crucifixion was the last useless journey the Sonship need take and that it represents release from fear to anyone who understands it. While I emphasized only the resurrection before, the purpose of the crucifixion and how it actually led to the resurrection was not clarified then. Nevertheless, it has a definite contribution to make to your own life, and if you will consider it without fear, it will help you understand your own role as a teacher.
  3. You have probably reacted for years as if you were being crucified. This is a marked tendency of the separated, who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves. Projection means anger, anger fosters assault, and assault promotes fear. The real meaning of the crucifixion lies in the apparent intensity of the assault of some of the Sons of God upon another. This, of course, is impossible, and must be fully understood as impossible. Otherwise, I cannot serve as a model for learning.
  4. Assault can ultimately be made only on the body. There is little doubt that one body can assault another and can even destroy it. Yet if destruction itself is impossible, anything that is destructible cannot be real. Its destruction, therefore, does not justify anger. To the extent to which you believe that it does, you are accepting false premises and teaching them to others. The message the crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to perceive any form of assault and persecution, because you cannot be persecuted. If you respond with anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible, and are therefore regarding yourself insanely.
  5. I have made it perfectly clear that I am like you and you are like me, but our fundamental equality can be demonstrated only through joint decision. You are free to perceive yourself as persecuted if you choose. When you do choose to react that way, however, you might remember that I was persecuted as the world judges and did not share this evaluation for myself. And because I did not share, I did not strengthen it. I therefore offered a different interpretation of attack, and one which I want to share with you. If you will believe it, you will help me teach it.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus assures us of the positive message we are to take from the crucifixion – the only message we are to take from the crucifixion.  We are to see the crucifixion of Christ as the last useless journey.  When we understand what the crucifixion of Christ really means, we are released from fear.  We come to understand our role as a teacher, for how we live, the choices we make in our human form, how we understand the crucifixion, will determine how we teach and what others will learn from our lives.

Obviously, bodies can hurt each other.  The crucifixion is an extreme example of what we go through each and every day our lives here in the hellish, separated, ego realm.  Jesus is not condemning us for painting ourselves as the victims of persecution, but He is certainly not condoning the fact that our walks with the Lord have often been tainted by thinking of ourselves as victims.  As humans we adore other people to hear our tales of woe.  We pour out our hearts to anyone who will listen to us about what others have put us through – our parents, our teachers, our husbands, our children, the government, our classmates.  We act as if we are the ones being crucified, Jesus says.  It is a rare bunny that considers what we do to ourselves – the choices we make, the things we say, the insane thinking and doing that wreak havoc upon our state of being.  When we blame others for our unhappiness, our sense of separation, loneliness, and despair instead of taking responsibility to find the real culprit, we project.  When we project all the blame to others, we get angry, we lash out, and by lashing out we do not promote love, peace, and goodwill, we promote fear, we promote conflict, we promote ill will. 

Jesus tells us that the only way in which He can serve as a model for our learning is if we come to the true understanding of the message of the crucifixion.  The crucifixion is an extreme example of what the Sons of God would inflict upon one another if it were possible for this to happen.  It is extremely significant that we understand that it is absolutely impossible for a Son of God to assault another Son of God.  Our identity is in Being, and only in Being can Jesus serve as a model for us. 

As long as our identity is in crisis and we still cling to our humanity, the crucifixion will distress us, will make us feel guilty, will fill us with sorrow, shame, and a sense of contriteness.  We will feel we owe Jesus something and may even go to ridiculous measures in our efforts to “pay Him back” for suffering for us.  We may give up things that we enjoy, be extra “good,” put more money in the collection plates, wear sackcloth and bloody our knees in hopes of relieving the agony of His time on the cross.  In our right minds we would know that this would not work, but the ego is not sane and will tell us all kinds of things about the crucifixion which derange our minds. 

However, when we know who and what we really are, Jesus serves as a model for us.  Not as a model to be crucified, but as a model of giving up our humanity in exchange for our divinity. 

Only egos can batter, assault, and destroy other egos; only flesh can war upon other flesh.  As an extreme example of this, the humiliation, bloodshed, scorn, mockery, suffering and torment of the Crucifixion of Christ serves as a model that there is nothing that can happen to us in the flesh and in our egos that will deny us our divine and holy Sonship.  Jesus could not serve as a model of this if He had died peacefully in sleep as an old man.  If the angels of God had delivered Him from the torment that was to come, we would have been denied the resurrection.  It was the Cross that showed us who and what we really are – not the vulnerable flesh body of ego, but the divine and everlasting Son of God Who is beyond reach to the meanest and most vile assault of the ego-enchanted. 

Jesus serves as our model of learning only when He convinces us that whatever another person does to us in this realm – to our bodies, to our “boundaries,” to the ideas we have about ourselves, our possessions, and so forth – cannot really hurt the real and everlasting “Us.”  Who we really are is beyond anything at all that can possibly happen to us in this realm, and if we do not understand this, we do not get the teachings of Christ.  To be like Jesus, to have the mind of Christ formed in us, to undo the ego in our minds, is to recognize and fully understand that what happens in the flesh does not matter unless we make it matter.  And if we make it matter, Christ is not our model of learning.  We are living in the insane realm of that which can be destroyed rather than the creative realm of that which is forever.

This is an entire stepping out of this world’s system of protecting the body and living for the body.  Jesus asks us to live and care about, and only live and care about the Sonship of God, the Brotherhood of Christ. 

As long as we want to identify with ego’s insane world, we can go on accusing this one, pointing our finger at that one, blaming our parents, our sister, our brother, get all worked up over lack of respect, the dangers we face on the street, the conflicts we have with our coworkers, the grudges we have toward our government officials.  We can say we are persecuted.  We can grouse.  We can take up arms.  We can go to war, call ourselves Christian soldiers, and name our battles holy.  But Jesus is not our model for learning. We have confused the issue.  We think of ourselves as flesh; we think that the ego and ego world should play “nice,” we have missed the message of the crucifixion.  We hold our humanity dear to us, we love our flesh and hold out false hope for flesh and blood, and because we love our flesh we do not know our spirits and we cannot know God. 

Jesus assures us that He is like us, but we must choose to be like Him.  We can take as long as we want.  I can continue to see myself as a victim of my mother, of my sister, of my brother, my teachers, my ex-lovers and first husband.  I can continue to see myself as not being respected by this one or appreciated by that one.  Whatever my ego tries to make me feel, I can continue to perceive myself as a victim, as persecuted, but Jesus went through the crucifixion.  Jesus, holy Son of God, went through far worse than I can ever imagine going through and He did not see Himself as anybody’s victim.  His followers failed to get the message; the apostles failed to teach the true message of the cross. It became mythologized; His blood was made into a magic potion, His stripes into a sacrifice but only when we understand what the Crucifixion was meant to teach us, can we be like Him and be the miracle workers He calls us to be. 

This is all we will cover for today.  In your daily devotional practice, ask the Lord to illuminate this passage to your mind and heart.  Pray that you learn the true meaning of the Crucifixion, to remove all fear, guilt, shame, and sense of sacrifice from our consciousness, for the Crucifixion is a lesson of love.   I want to make a special note of thanks to Linda R. from for prayerfully reading this passage with me and discussing its meaning as we devoted our afternoon to studying The Message of the Crucifixion in its entirety.  We are called to walk this path not by ourselves alone for we cannot learn the truth of God alone.  And for this we are utterly thankful! 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter Six The lessons of love. I. The message of the crucifixion 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love


  1. The relationship of anger to attack is obvious but the relationship of anger to fear is not always so apparent. Anger always involves projection of separation, which must ultimately be accepted as one’s own responsibility, rather than being blamed on others. Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack is justified in return, and that you were in no way responsible for it. Given these three wholly irrational premises, the equally irrational conclusion that a brother is worthy of attack rather than of love must follow. What can be expected from insane premises except an insane conclusion? The way to undo an insane conclusion is to consider the sanity of the premises on which it rests. You cannot be attacked, attack has no justification, and you are responsible for what you believe.
  2. You have been asked to take me as your model for learning, since an extreme example is a particularly helpful learning device. Everyone teaches and teaches all the time. This is a responsibility you inevitably assume the moment you accept any premise at all, and no one can organize his life without some thought system. Once you have developed a thought system of any kind, you live by it and teach it. Your capacity for allegiance to a thought system may be misplaced, but is it is still a form of faith and can be redirected.[1]

It is only natural for us to attack others when we are feeling angry, but today Jesus wants us to examine how anger and fear are related.  When we look at the reasons that we feel anger toward others or toward certain situations, we will always see an indication of separation.  When I get angry at my sister for example, I will see her as separate from me, I will see her as different than me, I will see her as the culprit and myself as the innocent party.  Jesus asks us to take responsibility for the ways in which we see others as separate from ourselves.  For when I see my sister as part of me, I do not see her as different, I see her as myself.  Her happiness is my happiness; her need for correction is my need for correction.  If my sister disrespects my boundaries, I have disrespected her boundaries.  Jesus tells us that anger simply cannot occur unless we believe another person is attacking us.  When we see the actions of others as an attack upon us, we justify attacking them in return.  We justify our anger by not taking responsibility for it.  We conclude that the person who attacked us is not worthy of love; they are only worthy of attack. 

All three premises which lead to this unloving response Jesus calls insane because:  We cannot be attacked; attack has absolutely no justification; and we are always responsible for what we believe. 

You are called and I am called to take Jesus as our model for learning.  His human life serves as an extreme example to teach lessons of love, which we are here to learn.  Jesus is not the only one who teaches.  Every single one of us teach and we teach all the time.  We do not need teaching degrees, we do not need an education, we do not even have to know how to read and write – the moment we accept any premise at all, we organize our life around what we think works to keep us reasonably well and happy.  We live by what we adopt as our system of belief and we all serve as teachers to everyone who knows us by the ideas we share and the examples we give.  There will always be some who will follow in our footsteps whether we do things that call forth health or sickness, wealth or poverty, honesty or lies.   Jesus calls our allegiance to our thoughts systems a form of faith because we become very attached to them and think of them as extensions of ourselves.  We get our feelings hurt and get downright antagonistic if our thought systems are challenged in any way. 

Jesus knows what it is like to be human; He knows how dearly we cherish our thought systems and the hold that they have upon us – in spite of the harm and unhappiness they may bring.  In this chapter, Jesus will redirect our faith in the senseless belief system of the ego which justifies anger, attack, and fear, to one which is sensible, practical, and leads to love, peace, and unity. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter Six Lesson of love. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness

VII. The Decision for God

  1. Do you really believe that you can make a voice that can drown out God’s?  Do you really believe you can devise a thought system that can separate you from Him?  Do you really believe you can plan for your safety and joy better than He can?  You need be neither careful nor careless; you need merely cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you.  You are His care because He loves you.  His Voice reminds you always that all hope is yours because of His care.  You cannot choose to escape His care because that is not His Will, but you can choose to accept His care and use the infinite power of His care for all those He created by it. 
  2. There have been many healers who did not heal themselves.  They have not moved mountains by their faith because their faith was not whole.  Some of them have healed the sick at times, but they have not raised the dead.  Unless the healer heals himself, he cannot believe that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.  He has not learned that every mind God created is equally worthy of being healed because God created it whole.  You are merely asked to return to God the mind as He created it.  He asks you only for what He gave, knowing that this giving will heal you.  Sanity is wholeness, and the sanity of your brothers is yours.
  3. Why should you listen to the endless insane calls you think are made upon you, when you can know the Voice for God is in you?  God commended His Spirit to you and asks that you commend yours to Him.  He wills to keep it in perfect peace, because you are of one mind and spirit with Him.  Excluding yourself from the Atonement is the ego’s last-ditch defense of its own existence.  It reflects both the ego’s need to separate and your willingness to side with its separateness.  This willingness means that you do not want to be healed. 
  4. But the time is now.  You have not been asked to work out the plan of salvation yourself because, as I told you before, the remedy could not be of your making.  God Himself gave you the perfect Correction for everything you made that is not in accord with His holy Will.  I am making His plan perfectly explicit to you and will also tell you of your part in it, and how urgent it is to fulfill it.  God weeps at the “sacrifice” of His children who believe they are lost to Him. 
  5. Whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God’s creations.  Perceiving this as “sin” you become defensive because you expect attack.  The decision to react in this way is yours and can therefore be undone.  It cannot be undone by repentance in the usual sense because this implies guilt.  If you allow yourself to feel guilty, you will reinforce the error rather than allow it to be undone for you. 
  6. Decision cannot be difficult.  This is obvious, if you realize that you must already have decided not to be wholly joyous if that is how you feel.  Therefore, the first step in the undoing is to recognize that you actively decided wrongly but can as actively decide otherwise.  Be very firm with yourself in this, and keep yourself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there.  Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made and give it over to the Atonement in peace.  Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation:

I must have decided wrongly because I am not at peace.

I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.

I want to decide otherwise because I want to be at peace.

I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.

I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.[1]

As we wrap up Healing and Wholeness today with the Decision for God, Jesus asks us if we really believe we can separate ourselves from God’s Love or come up with a better way in which to keep ourselves safe and full of joy.  When we choose to accept God’s love and devotion for us, we use the everlasting power of His Love and Devotion for all of Creation. 

Jesus tells us that healing and wholeness comes to those who learn that every single aspect of Creation is worthy and equally worthy of healing and wholeness.  Each one of us is asked to return to God what God gives us – undying love and devotion.  In God’s eyes there is nobody who is worthy of any more or any less.  If we love God, we devote ourselves to one another in love.  This makes the world sane.  This completes the Sonship.  This is our salvation.

God placed His Holy Spirit within each one of us and asks us to commend our spirit to Him.  Holy Spirit calls to us and why would we want to listen to any other call which drives us apart, keeps us at each other’s throats, and does not give us rest?  God offers us perfect peace.  When our minds join with Him, we join with God and our brother.  When we reject our brother we are siding against Atonement and with separation.   

Jesus tells us in paragraph four that it is not our job to work out the plan of salvation – it is not for us to decide who is saved and who is not or how to go about saving souls.  God has given us the perfect way in which to make everything new, to correct all things that do not reflect God’s health and wholeness.  Jesus tells us that it is urgent for us to learn this, to know what our part in salvation is, and to teach that God will not allow any aspect of His Creation to be lost to Him.

When we do not experience joy, we have responded to God’s creation with something other than love.  Just as we have no need to point out the “sin” in others, we have no need to point it out in ourselves.  We have no need to ever attack others for their lack of love, nor respond to attack with defensiveness.  When we make the mistake of responding without love, it is not the end of the world.  God does not take our salvation away.  We have not committed the unpardonable sin.  We are not guilty, and we are not to allow ourselves to be guilty.  Guilt does nothing but reinforce mistakes.  Our lack of joy indicates to us that we have responded without love.

Deciding to respond with love leads to wholeness which is joyous and brings healing.  Deciding not to respond to others with love leads to that which makes us unhappy and sick.  The first step we must take every time we do not experience the wholesomeness of joy and healing is to recognize that we have decided against it but that we can change our minds.  We do not have to grovel before God, begging Him to forgive us, and make vain promises.  We simply take positive action.  With firm resolve, we undo the unwholesome unloving response.  God has placed Holy Spirit within us to undo all things that are not God’s Will.  God’s Will is in joy, healing, and wholeness.  God’s Will is not in sorrow, sickness, brokenness, or separation. 

Our part in the undoing of all that is not God’s Will is to bring our minds to the situation of distress and peacefully bring it to Atonement.  This means we do not make a big hubbub about it.  We do not have to cry, beat our chests, or put on a show of any kind.  We simply address any situation, relationship, or event which does not bring joy, health, and wholeness with quiet certainty and complete faith in Atonement.

What is Atonement?  Remember Atonement is Holy Spirit’s corrective plan to undo the ego.  Atonement dissolves the lies and the illusion of that which is not the Will of God.  Atonement denies any power of the ego to interfere in our minds return to God.  Holy Spirit is within each one of us and responds fully to our slightest invitation. 

Healing and Wholeness come to us when we decide completely for God.  When we decide for God, we have peace.  We have joy.  We reflect God’s mercy, His undying love and devotion to all of Creation. 

When we make a mistake, we have no cause for guilt because Holy Spirt undoes all the works of the ego when we address the mistake with honesty, sincerity, and a positive change of mind.  Holy Spirit will always decide for God for us, no matter what we do, how many times we flub up, or how long it takes us to finally make some progress on our path to God.  All we are asked to do in return is to share Holy Spirit with Creation, withholding God’s love and devotion which He has extended to us from no one and for any reason.

No matter how many wrong decisions we have made, now matter how many dastardly deeds we may have done, Jesus tells us that we can have peace, when we give our mistakes over to the Atonement and ask Holy Spirit to undo all the consequences of our wrong decisions.  We do not have to accept the world’s guilt and shame that leads to sickness, perversions of justice, and insanity in our minds.  Holy Spirit always judges for us and never against us.  And we are required to do the same. 

Today in your devotional practice, examine your mind and ask Holy Spirit to illuminate the decisions you have made in your life which are reflected in your lack of healing and wholeness.  No matter how much time it takes, using your own words and your own situations address each instance with the following passage, which Jesus has outlined for us:

In this situation with ______, I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.

I made the decision to say or do unkind things, but I can also decide otherwise.

I want to decide otherwise because I want to be at peace.

I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my unkindness if I will let Him.

I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness. VII The decision for God. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5: Healing and Wholeness

VI. Time and Eternity 7-12

7. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” is easily reinterpreted if you remember that ideas increase only by being shared.  The statement emphasizes that vengeance cannot be shared.  Give it therefore to the Holy Spirit, Who will undo it in you because it does not belong in your mind, which is part of God.

8. “I will visit the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation,” as interpreted by the ego, is particularly vicious.  It becomes merely an attempt to guarantee the ego’s own survival.  To the Holy Spirit, the statement means that in later generations He can still reinterpret what former generations had misunderstood, and thus release the thoughts from the ability to produce fear. 

9. “The wicked shall perish” becomes a statement of Atonement if the word “perish” is understood as “be undone.”  Every loveless thought must be undone, a word the ego cannot even understand.  To the ego, to be undone means to be destroyed.  The ego will not be destroyed because it is part of your thought, but because it is uncreative and therefore unsharing, it will be reinterpreted to release you from fear.  The part of your mind that you have given to the ego will merely return to the Kingdom, where you whole mind belongs.  You can delay the completion of the Kingdom, but you cannot introduce the concept of fear into it.

10.  You need not fear the Higher Court will condemn you.  It will merely dismiss the case against you.  There can be no case against a child of God, and every witness to guilt in God’s creations is bearing false witness to God Himself.  Appeal everything you believe gladly to God’s Own Higher Court because it speaks for Him and therefore speaks truly.  It will dismiss the case against you, however carefully you have built it up.  The case may be fool-proof, but it is not God-proof.  The Holy Spirit will not hear it, because He can only witness truly.  His verdict will always be “thine is the Kingdom,” because He was given to you to remind you of what you are.

11.  When I said, “I am come as a light into the world,” I meant that I came to share the light with you.  Remember my reference to the ego’s dark glass, and remember also that I said, “Do not look there.”  It is still true that where you look to find yourself is up to you.  Your patience with your brother is your patience with yourself.  Is not a child of God worth patience?  I have shown you infinite patience because my will is that of our Father, from Whom I learned of infinite patience.  His Voice was in me as It is in you, speaking for patience towards the Sonship in the Name of Its Creator.

12.  Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate results.  This is the way in which time is exchanged for eternity.  Infinite patience calls upon infinite love, and by producing results now it renders time unnecessary.  We have repeatedly said that time is a learning device to be abolished when it is no longer useful.  The Holy Spirit, Who speaks for God in time, also knows that time is meaningless.  He reminds you of this in every passing moment of time because it is His special function to return you to eternity and remain to bless your creations there.  He is the only blessing you can truly give because He is truly blessed.  Because He has been given you freely by God, you must give Him as you received Him.[1]

Continuing from yesterday’s post, we can see how “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” cannot mean that God takes vengeance upon His Creations.  Why would He?  How could He?  He created us in love and for love; He poured Himself into our Beings.  Vengeance does not give us anything; it takes away.  It cannot be shared or built upon – for it will always take away.  We give it to Holy Spirit, and vengeance is exchanged for forgiveness, which reflects God’s love.  As special as it may make us feel to believe that God despises those whom we despise, we who are called of God are called to Love. 

Jesus tells us that “I will visit the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation,” does not mean that God punishes us for what our ancestors did.  A visit from God can only mean healing, restoration, correction, renewal, or cleansing.  While any tribe, clan, or religious group can claim that they are God’s favorites, that they are the only ones who have begat people holy enough to write about God or for God, Jesus tells us that God is fair.  No one person or group of people have special favor in God’s eyes.  God does not play mean tricks on any part of Creation, nor does He hold grudges or act in any way disrespectful toward all attempts to reach Him, return to Him, and love Him.  God is Life; God is Love; God is Light.  While those who have gone before us may have sincerely believed that God was fearful, petty, and vengeful, we are here today to be healed from the ego’s interpretations of the Creator.  We are visited by God, not to disrespect our loved ones or hold grudges against them for not teaching us the truth, but to be corrected and released from fearful perceptions of our Loving Father.  This is their will as well as God’s Will for us.

In my personal life, I have experienced a sense of how happy my mother is that I am not bound, nor do I teach the fear-based doctrines that she believed and taught about God, salvation, and eternal punishment.  The hours she spent crying and pleading with God over the souls of her loved ones were torturous to her. The thought of not only those she knew and loved, but those in other countries who had never heard of Jesus weighed heavily upon her.  Her salvation was a heavy burden, not the message of light that Jesus promises in the gospel.  When she died, she was convinced that she was the only one out of all the people she knew who was going to go to heaven.  It broke her heart to think of us missing out on the glories of heaven.  The God she believed in evidently could not allow women who wore slacks, makeup, and went to beauty salons past the gateway to heaven.  Nor was the Kingdom of Heaven open to couples who were divorced and remarried, Christians who did not “have” the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues, and children who slept with their hands under the covers instead of on top. 

These are not beliefs in God that can be shared, passed down, or built upon.  They are belief systems that arise from the trickery of the ego who uses guilt, shame, and exclusiveness to swamp our lower minds and keep us in cycles that guarantee its survival.  And yet the sincere love and genuine devotion of those who have gone before is reinterpreted by Holy Spirit.  We may not be able to build upon such insane beliefs, but we can learn from them.  God visits us! Truth and understanding heals us from all distortions of our ancestors and sets them free as it sets us free.    

Another case in point are the scriptures that indicate that the wicked will perish.  Jesus shows us how all Scripture that would otherwise judge against Creation, condemning, punishing, killing becomes statements of Atonement when we understand all words to indicate punishment and death to simply mean “undone.”  All things that are not based upon love, are undone.  They are erased, they are no more.  Time is swallowed by eternity – all things that happen in it are no more. 

Ego does not understand the undoing, because to the ego, undoing is destruction, it is death.  Ego will not be destroyed, cast into everlasting torments, or have its little bits plucked out one by one!  Because lies and darkness do not create and cannot share, the ego will simply fade away.  The part of our mind which believed in its lies returns to the higher mind of the Kingdom where it belongs.  We can take as long as want to learn of, practice, and establish the Kingdom mind within us, but there is no place in the Kingdom of Light for fear, distrust, darkness, death, or torments of any kind.

As we begin to open our mind to the light of reason, to the higher mind of Holy Spirit, to accept the love and devotion of our Father, we experience the certainty of our place in His Kingdom.  Nobody can take it away.  No matter what humanity has made of us, the verdict is and always will be that we are His Sons.  All charges against us are dismissed.  We have been given Holy Spirit to always remind us of who we are no matter the hot mess we have seemed to make of ourselves here on earth.  The Kingdom of God is not complete without you, dear brother.  No matter who you are and what atrocities you may have inflicted upon others, God will never give up on you.  He has given you Holy Spirit and will never take it away.  The world may never forgive us for what we do in the flesh, but when others find us guilty, and refuse to forgive us, they are finding God guilty and refusing their own forgiveness.

God’s love and mercy is certainly not a license to hurt Creation in any way, shape, or form.  However, we are left off the hook of guilt and shame.  As humans, none of us will ever measure up because we are symbols of the ego.  Our flesh and blood do not define us and never will.  As we welcome Holy Spirit to shine His light upon our minds, our minds are cleansed of all that is dark, vicious, and harmful.  Our ego and all that it wrought in our lives is undone in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the Sonship. 

In paragraph 11, Jesus tells us that our patience toward one another is our patience with ourselves.  As Christ is formed in our minds, we begin to experience the infinite patience that God has shown to each one of us through Christ.  Christ has only exhibited the patience of God toward us.  Christ has not forced Himself upon us.  He has not interfered in world events.  He has not stopped people from falsely using His name or teaching fear and conflict instead of His message of love.  He has allowed us the freedom and the liberty to come to the truth by looking for it in places where it will never be found.  He has left us to our own devices because our own devices are what we chose over God’s gift. 

No matter how long it takes or how many of us are born and die and are born again, the same Voice for God in Jesus is in us, calling us to loving, certain faith in and patience toward humanity, toward the Sonship of God and the Brotherhood of Christ. 

Let the last paragraph of today’s text rest in your mind and meditate upon its deeper meaning.  Jesus tells us that now we must learn that undying patience produces immediate results.  Ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind so that you can grasp this concept that Jesus proposes.  When we devote ourselves to one another with infinite patience, we exchange time for eternity.  When I devote myself to my sister, I am not giving her a deadline, I am not recalling her sins against me, I am not putting myself in a superior position to her or an inferior one.  When I devote myself to my sister, I love her with the love of God that overlooks anything she could say or do that would offend me, get on my last nerve, or make me feel small and useless.  When I devote myself to my sister, I am saying how worthy she is of my devotion because I perceive her beauty, goodness, generosity, humor, wit, and intelligence.  I perceive her innocence and godliness; I let all the ego perceptions that would mar my love for her go.  I see her as she really is!  I see her past time and ego and human form.  And when I devote myself to that which never dies, which never fades, which never gets put on a shelf because of human foibles, time ceases to be.  Because in the undying patience and love of God, time becomes meaningless.  It is no longer necessary as a learning device when I understand what it is that I came here to learn.

Holy Spirit is not conditional, it is not for one and not the other, it is not earned, and it can never be taken away.  Holy Spirit sees past the many separate forms to the unifying content.  Holy Spirit does not focus upon the spaces and outlines of the separated perception, but rather spotlights the oneness and unity of all Creation.  Holy Spirit cannot be found in books or words or circumstances, experiences, or events; Holy Spirit is in us, as God’s Gift to all and for all.  We give Holy Spirit by recognizing Holy Spirit in each other and letting Holy Spirit undo all that would keep us apart, would make us unwell, and keep us from our eternal Kingdom. 

Today commit to seeing the light of Holy Spirit in others even as you welcome His light to shine in and through you. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness VI Time and eternity 7-12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness

VI. Time and Eternity 1-6

  1. God in His knowledge is not waiting, but His Kingdom is bereft while you wait. All the Sons of God are waiting for your return, just as you are waiting for theirs.  Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time.  You have elected to be in time rather than eternity, and therefore believe you are in time.  Yet your election is both free and alterable.  You do not belong in time.  Your place is only in eternity, where God Himself placed you forever.
  2. Guilt feelings are the preservers of time.  They induce fears of retaliation or abandonment, and thus ensure that the future will be like the past.  This is the ego’s continuity.  It gives the ego a false sense of security by believing that you cannot escape from it.  But you can and must.  God offers you the continuity of eternity in exchange.  When you choose to make this exchange, you will simultaneously exchange guilt for joy, viciousness for love, and pain for peace.  My role is only to unchain your will and set it free.  Your ego cannot accept this freedom and will oppose it at every possible moment and in every possible way.  And as its maker, you recognize what it can do because you gave it the power to do it.
  3. Remember the Kingdom always and remember that you who are part of the Kingdom cannot be lost.  The Mind that was in me is in you, for God creates with perfect fairness.  Let the Holy Spirit remind you always of His fairness and let me teach you how to share it with your brothers.  How else can the chance to claim it for yourself be given you?  The two voices speak for different interpretations of the same thing simultaneously; or almost simultaneously, for the ego always speaks first.  Alternate interpretations were unnecessary until the first one was made. 
  4. The ego speaks in judgment, and the Holy Spirit reverses its decision, much as a higher court has the power to reverse a lower court’s decisions in this world.  The ego’s decisions are always wrong, because they are based on the error they were made to uphold.  Nothing the ego perceives is interpreted correctly.  Not only does the ego cite Scripture for its purpose, but it even interprets Scripture as a witness for itself.  The Bible is a fearful thing in the ego’s judgment.  Perceiving it as frightening, it interprets it fearfully.  Being afraid, you do not appeal to the Higher Court because you believe its judgment would also be against you. 
  5. There are many examples of how the ego’s interpretations are misleading, but a few will suffice to show how the Holy Spirit can reinterpret them in His Own Light.
  6. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” He interprets to mean what you consider worth cultivating you will cultivate in yourself.  Your judgment of what is worthy makes it worthy for you.[1]

Is it any wonder we have been homesick for that which we cannot find on earth, weary of conflict, strife, and bloodshed, discouraged by our inability to connect and truly know anything or anybody?   In our text reading today Jesus reminds us that this is not our home.  This is not where we belong!  We can wait as long as we want, but until we come home, the Kingdom is incomplete without us just as we are incomplete without the Kingdom.

When we accept the Love of God, we put down our fear of God.  We put down guilt, viciousness, and pain and we pick up joy, love, and peace.  Jesus frees us of the tyranny of ego which keeps us bound in flesh and blood and fear, by demonstrating the truth about God and His Love and Devotion toward Creation. 

You are part of God’s Kingdom and I am part of God’s Kingdom.  We can never be lost.  We belong to God and the Mind that was in Jesus is in us – Jesus had no advantage over us.  God is fair.  He is not going to send some Savior into the world to teach us about our identity Who is superior to us in any way, has unfair advantages, and magic powers that can be used against us.  God does not have favorites.  Getting to heaven is not some kind of unholy contest that depends upon a particular belief system or who is the saintliest of all.  Every single one of us are designed for and destined for Heaven for this is the Will of God.  And this is the gospel of Christ.

The two voices in our minds interprets this quite differently.  The voice of ego always speaks loud, butts in first, and does its best to drown out the Voice for God.  The voice of ego is bossy, condemning, and motivates by fear.  It uses guilt, shame, and threats to get its way.  The voice of ego interprets God as an ego would interpret God – a temperamental deity which is jealous, demands blood sacrifices, and needs constant adoration, flattery, and worship.  

Always remember that it is not the Voice for God which accuses, condemns, and judges!  The Voice for God reverses all the ego’s decisions and interpretations of who and what we are.  Unlike the ego, Holy Spirit always judges for us.  The ego would send us to hell to burn forever; Holy Spirit returns us to God to live forever in joy and peace.  The ego will take scriptures that are meant to uplift and motivate us toward eternal bliss and interpret them in the meanest and most vicious manner possible.  The ego’s purpose is to fill us with fear toward God and Creation.  Being afraid of God, many of us fail to appeal to Him, because we believe the ego’s version of the bloodthirsty, irate, unstable God is the only one there is.  Holy Spirit calls to us through our higher minds and asks us to use our reason, our sanity, our innate goodness and inborn love.  Our higher minds see past the ego’s bluster and blunder.  Holy Spirit reinterprets the ego’s scriptures to one which frees us from its chains. 

Instead of imprisoning our beings in an ongoing cycle of karmic law, of hanging on to the past and projecting it into the future – Holy Spirit reinterprets “As you sow, so shall you reap,” to mean that which we find of worth is what we focus our minds and energies toward, and where we will see the result. 

There is nothing threatening, mean, or unforgiving in this interpretation of “as you sow, so shall you reap.”  It simply means what it says – What we consider worth cultivating, we will cultivate and reap the returns of what was cultivated. 

In my own life, I did my best to overcome social stigma, emotional disorder, and other impediments to learning.  Even though I dropped out of high school, I earned a GED and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Education.  Just because I dropped out of high school did not mean that I was doomed to continue reaping a sense of failure when it came to learning.  I could change my mind about myself.  I did not have to accept the ego’s verdict.

Whatever we find worth putting our minds to, our energies will follow.  We can start wherever we are and whenever we are ready to sow what we find worthy.  Never believe that we are fated to reap the bad seeds that we sow.  Bad seeds are simply mistakes.  Mistakes do not define us nor limit us in any way. Our mistakes, reinterpreted by Holy Spirit, teach us to let the ego go and return our minds completely to the Kingdom where we reap eternal love, peace, and joy. 

Tomorrow we will complete the last six paragraphs of “Time and Eternity.”  Today, let us calm our minds and listen for the still, quiet Voice for God which always speaks for love and mercy in the certain peace of our high and holy minds in Christ.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter Five Healing and wholeness. VI Time and eternity. 1-6.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5: Healing and Wholeness

V. The Ego’s Use of Guilt

  1. Perhaps some of our concepts will become clearer and more personally meaningful if the ego’s use of guilt is clarified.  The ego has a purpose, just as the Holy Spirit has.  The ego’s purpose is fear, because only the fearful can be egotistic.  The ego’s logic is as impeccable as that of the Holy Spirit because your mind has the means at its disposal to side with Heaven or earth, as it elects.  But again, remember that both are in you.
  2. In Heaven there is no guilt, because the Kingdom is attained through the Atonement, which releases you to create.  The word “create” is appropriate here because, once what you have made is undone by the Holy Spirit, the blessed residue is restored and therefore continues in creation.  What is truly blessed is incapable of giving rise to guilt and must give rise to joy.  This makes it invulnerable to the ego because its peace is unassailable.  It is invulnerable to disruption because it is whole.  Guilt is always disruptive.  Anything that engenders fear is divisive because it obeys the law of division.  If the ego is the symbol of the separation, it is also the symbol of guilt.  Guilt is more than merely not of God.  It is the symbol of attack on God.  This is a totally meaningless concept except to the ego, but do not underestimate the power of the ego’s belief in it.  This is the belief from which all guilt really stems.
  3. The ego is the part of the mind that believes in division.  How could part of God detach itself without believing it is attacking Him?  We spoke before of the authority problem as based on the concept of usurping God’s power.  The ego believes that this is what you did because it believes that it is you.  If you identify with the ego, you must perceive yourself as guilty.  Whenever you respond to your ego you will experience guilt, and you will fear punishment.  The ego is quite literally a fearful thought.  However ridiculous the idea of attacking God may be to the sane mind, never forget that the ego is not sane.  It represents a delusional system and speaks for it.  Listening to the ego’s voice means that you believe it is possible to attack God, and that a part of Him has been torn away by you.  Fear of retaliation from without follows, because the severity of the guilt is so acute that it must be projected. 
  4. Whatever you accept into your mind has reality for you.  It is your acceptance of it that makes it real.  If you enthrone the ego in your mind, your allowing it to enter makes it your reality.  This is because the mind is capable of creating reality or making illusions.  I said before that you must learn to think with God.  To think with Him is to think like Him.  This engenders joy, not guilt, because it is natural.  Guilt is a sure sign that your thinking is unnatural.  Unnatural thinking will always be attended with guilt because it is the belief in sin.  The ego does not perceive sin as a lack of love, but as a positive act of assault.  This is necessary to the ego’s survival because, as soon as you regard sin as a lack, you will automatically attempt to remedy the situation.  And you will succeed.  The ego regards this as doom, but you must learn to regard it as freedom.
  5. The guiltless mind cannot suffer.  Being sane, the mind heals the body because it has been healed.  The sane mind cannot conceive of illness because it cannot conceive of attacking anyone or anything.  I said before that illness is a form of magic.  It might be better to say that it is a form of magical solution.  The ego believes that by punishing itself it will mitigate the punishment of God.  Yet even in this it is arrogant.  It attributes to God a punishing intent, and then takes this intent as its own prerogative.  It tries to usurp all the functions of God as it perceives them, because it recognizes that only total allegiance can be trusted.
  6. The ego cannot oppose the laws of God any more than you can, but it can interpret them according to what it wants, just as you can.  That is why the question, “What do you want?” must be answered.  You are answering it every minute and every second, and each moment of decision is a judgment that is anything but ineffectual.  Its effects will follow automatically until the decision is changed.  Remember, though, that the alternatives themselves are unalterable.  The Holy Spirit, like the ego, is a decision.  Together they constitute all the alternatives the mind can accept and obey.  The Holy Spirit and the ego are the only choices open to you.  God created one, and so you cannot eradicate it.  You made the other, and so you can.  Only what God creates is irreversible and unchangeable.  What you made can always be changed because, when you do not think like God, you are not really thinking at all.  Delusional ideas are not real thoughts, although you can believe in them.  But you are wrong.  The function of thought comes from God and is in God.  As part of His Thought, you cannot think apart from Him.
  7. Irrational thought is disordered thought.  God Himself orders your thought because your thought was created by Him.  Guilt feelings are always a sign that you do not know this.  They also show you that you believe that you can think apart from God and want to.  Every disordered thought is attended by guilt at its inception and maintained by guilt in its continuance.  Guilt is inescapable by those who believe they order their own thoughts and must therefore obey their dictates.  This makes them feel responsible for their errors without recognizing that, by accepting this responsibility, they are reacting irresponsibly.  If the sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself, and I assure you that it is, then the responsibility for what is atoned for cannot be yours.  The dilemma cannot be resolved except by accepting the solution of undoing.  You would be responsible for the effects of all your wrong thinking if it could not be undone.  The purpose of the Atonement is to save the past in purified form only.  If you accept the remedy for disordered thought, a remedy whose efficacy is beyond doubt, how can its symptoms remain?
  8. The continuing decision to remain separated is the only possible reason for continuing guilt feelings.  We have said this before but did not emphasize the destructive results of the decision.  Any decision of the mind will affect both behavior and experience.  What you want you expect.  This is not delusional.  Your mind does make your future, and it will turn it back to full creation at any minute if it accepts the Atonement first.  It will also return to full creation the instant is has done so.  Having given up its disordered thought, the proper ordering of thought becomes quite apparent.[1]

We may have thought with guilt so long that joy seems unnatural to us, but Jesus tells us that learning to think with God engenders joy because this is our natural state.  As our Beings become spontaneously exuberant, the appearance of any form of guilt will become alien.  We will recognize it as a belief in sin and as a lack of love.  When we begin to see thoughts of guilt as a call for help we will practice healing, we will seek the remedy of Atonement.  Instead of reacting with attack, we will naturally respond with the remedy.  And healing is guaranteed. When our minds are healed and set free, the ego, the real culprit, is busted.   

When our minds are free of guilt; our minds are healed.  Healed minds lead to healed bodies, for we have no more need to punish ourselves, to carry around our heavy loads, to feel accountable for that which has no real value or worth.

 “What do we want?”  There are two choices – we go with the Higher Mind of Holy Spirit which made by God cannot be changed, reversed, or destroyed, or the lower mind of ego, which is changeable, reversible, and erasable.    Do we want to think with God and share healing, love, peace, and joy or do we want to make up delusions with the ego which blames, shames, judges, and condemns using guilt to keep us in a state of division and conflict?

When we feel guilty, we are not thinking with God.  When we assign guilt upon others, we are not thinking with God.  Our minds are not thinking, they are dreaming insane dreams.   When we act upon the ego’s version of reality as if it were real, we feel guilty; when we free our minds from the perceptual world and no longer free responsible for judging it, building a case against it, or holding anybody accountable for what goes on in it, our natural inclination is to turn to Holy Spirit, the only other alternative. 

Our sole responsibility as miracle workers, is to accept Atonement for ourselves.  The responsibility for what ego has wrought in our lives is not ours.  The very purpose of the Atonement is to save the past in purified form only.  When our minds are healed, made whole, and returned to innocence, it is impossible to feel guilty or to hold others guilty for that which has no more effect.  Only the ego would attempt to resurrect the painful, sorrowful, or shameful things that no longer exist and keep them fresh in our minds.

When we cherish guilt, we choose to remain separated from the Sonship.  Our decision to delude ourselves with the guilt game will affect our behavior and we will experience our daily lives, not with exuberance and lightheartedness, but with dullness and heaviness.  Our minds make our future – and how we answer, “What do you want?” will determine our role in the world.  Will we be healed and offer health, holiness, and wholeness, or we will be the unhealed and contribute to the ego’s tyrannous delusional world of chaos, conflict, and uncertainty? When we stop relating to our ego, we stop relating to all egos.  Our thoughts, words, and deeds begin to relate to everything and everybody on a higher level.  We are lifted from the shifting sands of ego-based relationships to the higher realm of holiness in which to build mutually trusting, loving, joyful interactions that teach oneness and wholeness. 

Today, put these ideas and this teaching to practice in your daily life by committing to our joint innocence through Christ, our Savior and Holy Brother.  Guilt, blame, and shame is not of God, is not used by God, and have no place in His Kingdom. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter Five Healing and wholeness V The ego’s use of guilt. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5: Healing and Wholeness

IV. Teaching and Healing

  1. What fear has hidden still is part of you.  Joining the Atonement is the way out of fear.  The Holy Spirit will help you reinterpret everything that you perceive as fearful and teach you that only what is loving is true.  Truth is beyond your ability to destroy, but entirely within your ability to accept.  It belongs to you because, as an extension of God, you created it with Him.  It is yours because it is part of you, just as you are part of God because He created you.  Nothing that is good can be lost because it comes from the Holy Spirit, the Voice for creation. Nothing that is not good was ever created, and therefore cannot be protected.  The Atonement is the guarantee of the safety of the Kingdom, and the Union of the Sonship is its protection.  The ego cannot prevail against the Kingdom because the Sonship is united.  In the presence of those who hear the Holy Spirit’s call to be as one, the ego fades away and is undone.
  2. What the ego makes it keeps to itself, and so it is without strength.  Its existence is unshared.  It does not die; it was merely never born.  Physical birth is not a beginning; it is a continuing.  Everything that continues has already been born.  It will increase as you are willing to return the unhealed part of your mind to the higher part, returning it undivided to creation.   I have come to give you the foundation, so your own thoughts can make you really free.  You have carried the burden of unshared ideas that are too weak to increase but having made them you did not realize how to undo them.  You cannot cancel out your past errors alone.  They will not disappear from your mind without the Atonement, a remedy not of your making.  The Atonement must be understood as a pure act of sharing.  That is what I meant when I said it is possible even in this world to listen to one Voice.  If you are part of God and the Sonship is one, you cannot be limited to the self the ego sees.
  3. Every loving thought held in any part of the Sonship belongs to every part.  It is shared because it is loving.  Sharing is God’s way of creating, and yours.  The ego can keep you in exile from the Kingdom, but in the Kingdom itself it has no power.  Ideas of the spirit do not leave the mind that thinks them, nor can they conflict with each other.  However, ideas of the ego can conflict because they occur at different levels and include opposite thoughts at the same level.  It is impossible to share opposing thoughts.  You can share only the thoughts that are of God and that He keeps for you.  And of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.  The rest remains with you until the Holy Spirit has reinterpreted them in the light of the Kingdom, making them, too, worthy of being shared.  When they have been sufficiently purified, He lets you give them away.  The decision to share them is their purification.
  4. I heard one Voice because I understood that I could not atone for myself alone.  Listening to one Voice implies the decision to share It in order to hear It yourself.  The Mind that was in me is still irresistibly drawn to every mind created by God, because God’s Wholeness is the wholeness of His Son.  You cannot be hurt, and do not want to show your brother anything except your wholeness.  Show him that he cannot hurt you and hold nothing against him, or you hold it against yourself.  This is the meaning of “turning the other cheek.”
  5. Teaching is done in many ways, above all by example.  Teaching should be healing, because it is the sharing of ideas and the recognition that to share ideas is to strengthen them.  I cannot forget my need to teach what I have learned, which arose in me because I learned it.  I call upon you to teach what you have learned, because by so doing you can depend on it.  Make it dependable in my name because my name is the Name of God’s Son.  What I learned I give you freely, and the Mind that was in me rejoices as you choose to hear it.
  6. The Holy Spirit atones in all of us by undoing, and thus lifts the burden you have placed in your mind.  By following Him you are led back to God where you belong, and how can you find the way except by taking your brother with you?  My part in the Atonement is not complete until you join it and give it away.  As you teach so shall you learn.  I will never leave you or forsake you, because to forsake you would be to forsake myself and God Who created me.  You forsake yourself and God if you forsake any of your brothers.  You must learn to see them as they are, and understand they belong to God as you do.  How could you treat your brother better than by rendering unto God the things that are God’s?
  7. The Atonement gives you the power of a healed mind, but the power to create is of God.  Therefore, those who have been forgiven must devote themselves first to healing because, having received the idea of healing, they must give it to hold it.  The full power of creation cannot be expressed as long as any of God’s ideas is withheld from the Kingdom.  The joint will of the Sonship is the only creator that can create like the Father, because only the complete can think completely, and the thinking of God lacks nothing.  Everything you think that is not through the Holy Spirit is lacking.
  8. How can you who are so holy suffer?  All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing.  I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had.  I have purified them of the errors that hid their light and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance.  They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt.  They came from the Holy Spirit within you, and we know what God creates is eternal.  You can indeed depart in peace because I have loved you as I loved myself.  You go with my blessing and for my blessing.  Hold it and share it, that it may always be ours.  I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share.  The heart is pure to hold it, and the hands are strong to give it.  We cannot lose.  My judgment is as strong as the wisdom of God, in Whose Heart and Hands we have our being.  His quiet children are His blessed Sons.  The Thoughts of God are with you.[1]

In today’s devotional practice, we completely accept the message of Atonement, we know who and what we are, and we know what we are not!  No longer puppets of the ego, fear falls away!  The Atonement is our guarantee of safety, Jesus tells us.  The ego cannot prevail against us because we hear the call of Holy Spirit to be as one. 

Only Atonement heals the mind and makes it one – returning it undivided to Creation.  Jesus gives us the basis upon which our own thoughts can free us completely from ego.  We all make mistakes.  We all have ideas, which we think are best, but simply do not work.  Instead of bringing us the happiness, the sense of purpose and meaning that we thought they would, our ideas are mistaken and lead to disappointment, heartache, and sorrow.  The memory of our mistakes stay with us.  They burden us and make us afraid.  We do our best to hide them, cover them up, focus on the mistakes or the mishaps going on around us to distract us from our own sense of guilt and shame.  There is no remedy for this except Atonement.  There is no therapy in the world that can resolves our guilt and shame.  There is no substance that will drown out the accusations of our ego against us.  Until we accept our oneness in God, our Brotherhood with Christ, we carry the burden of personal failure with us.  We can practice positive self-talk, we can pray all day long, we can do nice things for others, and attend mass faithfully – but we will never feel good enough as long as we think of ourselves as a body, an ego, a human.  Our Being is united, automatically forgiven for all mistakes in the flesh, for the flesh is not truth, reality, or in any way created by God. 

Jesus tells us in paragraph three that all loving thought belongs to all.  When we love, we share – it is God’s way of creating and it is our way of creating.  The ego can keep us in a state of deception, but it can never deceive the Kingdom of God.  In the Spirit, in oneness, ideas do not leave the mind of those that think them, nor do they conflict with others, because of the oneness and unity.  Every idea belongs to all, and all ideas are those of love, of unity, of one for all and all for one. 

This is hard for us to imagine because in our ego-controlled minds we hang on tight to our ideas and really resent it when someone “steals” them and calls them their own.  Even A Course in Miracles was not exempt from this conflict between two different organizations trying to grab rights to its distribution!  In the ego realm, there are many versions of what is right and what is wrong.  There have been so-called “holy” wars over how to worship God correctly or by what name we should call Him.  People think they have a legitimate right to coerce, control, and even kill other people who do not agree with them.  It is impossible to build upon opposing thoughts.  When we keep practicing the same traditions, rites, and rituals that our ancestors practiced out of some misguided sense of loyalty, we are simply repeating the same mistakes they made.  Repeating the same mistakes they made, we will continue to suffer in much the same way.  We are not building upon anything – it is the same old, recycled pain, suffering, and separateness. 

Jesus says that until we welcome Holy Spirit to reinterpret conflicting viewpoints in the light of love, understanding and truth, those ideas stay with us. Try as we might to make them true, we are beating a dead horse.  They will continue to fail us until we ask God for truth, for unity, for oneness. 

When we choose the Voice for God, we have understood the basic concept of salvation.  We must share Atonement in order to have Atonement for ourselves.  Every mind created by God contributes to the Wholeness of God and His Son – we do not fall into cliques, clans, or church membership and think that we alone have the key to the Kingdom.  Wholeness means everybody.  Because nobody can hurt or hinder us; we hold nothing against others for when we hold things against others, we hold it against ourselves.  Jesus tells us that we literally turn the other cheek when someone attacks us because they can only attack our flesh and the ego in which it symbolizes.  Our Being is never attacked, never vulnerable, never at war. 

Teaching by example is the best way to get our points across.  Sharing ideas and recognizing the strength in sharing is healing.  This does not necessarily mean that I share my ideas about the Course with you and therefore strengthen them.  It means that I share my ideas and do not call them my own.  I do not hold on to them in fear that you will steal them from me and perhaps get as much knowledge as I have or earn more stars in your crown than I do.  It means that I do not try to copyright my ideas and make you pay for them or sue you for taking them and using them as your own.  We are called to teach what we learn because we learned it – I share what I learned and call upon you to teach what you learned.  We can depend upon each other to follow Christ, to do so in His Name, to do as He does.  He does not jealously guard His ideas – He shares them.  Freely.  We rejoice even as Christ does when other choose to hear it and share it with others.  We do not seek vainglory for ourselves.  We learn how to enjoy our Being by letting all the ego’s jealousy, guardedness, neediness, and hostility toward others go.  Our reward is in sharing for sharing is strengthening and growth. 

Holy Spirit atones by uniting our minds with the minds of others and with God.  No longer burdened with thoughts of being alone and afraid in a universe filled with danger on every side, our Beings are led back to God where we belong. In the healed mind, we would not dream of going without our brothers. We complete Christ’s part in Atonement when we join it and share in His magnanimous mind.

We teach to learn and learn to teach. Do not be afraid of teaching the wrong gospel, of making mistakes, of not having the intellect or the spiritual knowledge to share what we learn.  We start with what we have and work with that – we let our egos out of it.  If we flub up, Holy Spirit will correct us, and we have learned an important lesson.  When our brothers flub up, we forgive them and ask Holy Spirit to correct them.  We certainly do not make fun of them, point out how stupid they are, or how unqualified they are to teach the things of God!  Ego would have us looking for faults and comparing our credibility with the credibility of others.  But when we forsake our brothers in this egotistical way we forsake Jesus, and we forsake the Voice for God.  We render our brothers unto God because they are God’s!  And Being of God, we love them, support them, and appreciate them because we are one with them.  We certainly do not compete with them, play tricks on them, or cast out their name as evil. 

Atonement heals our minds by restoring its oneness and unity with all that is God’s.  The full power of Creation cannot be expressed by any one of us alone – we must all be restored to the Sonship to create like God because only in completion can we think completely because God’s thinking lacks nothing.  Our minds need healed if we still think without the desire for oneness and unity of Holy Spirit. When our minds are healed, we are to teach and heal other minds until Atonement is complete.  In other words, focus on healing the separation before getting too carried away by the grander things of God!  

Read over the last paragraph of today’s text reading and meditate upon the words of Christ that speak to our innermost Beings assuring us of God’s Love and Devotion. Today share God’s Love in your thoughts, in your words, and in your deeds. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness. IV Teaching and healing. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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