Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 138 Heaven is the Decision I Must Make.
- In this world Heaven is a choice, because here we believe there are alternatives to choose between. We think that all things have an opposite, and what we want we choose. If Heaven exists there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive, and what we think is real.
- Creation knows no opposite. But here is opposition part of being real. It is this strange perception of the truth that makes the choice of Heaven seem to be the same as the relinquishment of hell. It is not really thus. Yet what is true in God’s creation cannot enter here until it is reflected in some form the world can understand. Truth cannot come where it could only be perceived with fear. For this would be the error truth can be brought to illusions. Opposition makes the truth unwelcome, and it cannot come.
- Choice is the obvious escape from what appears as opposites. Decision lets one of conflicting goals become the aim of effort and expenditure of time. Without decision, time is but a waste and effort dissipated. It is spent for nothing in return, and time goes by without results. There is no sense of gain, for nothing is accomplished; nothing learned.
- You need to be reminded that you think a thousand choices are confronting you, when there is really only one to make. And even this but seems to be a choice. Do not confuse yourself with all the doubts that myriad decisions would induce. You make but one. And when that one is made; you will perceive it was no choice at all. For truth is true, and nothing else is true. There is no opposite to choose instead. There is no contradiction to the truth.
- Choosing depends on learning. And the truth cannot be learned, but only recognized. In recognition its acceptance lies, and as it is accepted it is known. But knowledge is beyond the goals we seek to teach within the framework of this course. Ours are teaching goals, to be attained through learning how to reach them, what they are, and what they offer you. Decisions are the outcome of your learning, for they rest on what you have accepted as the truth of what you are, and what your needs must be.
- In this insanely complicated world, Heaven appears to take the form of choice, rather than merely being asked what it is. Of all the choices you have tried to make this is the simplest, most definitive, and prototype of all the rest, the one which settles all decisions. If you could decide the rest, this one remains unsolved. But when you solve this one, the others are resolved with it, for all decisions but conceal this one by taking different forms. Here is the final and the only choice in which is truth accepted or denied.
- So we begin today considering the choice that time was made to help us make. Such is its holy purpose, now transformed from the intent you gave it; that it be a means for demonstrating hell is real, hope changes to despair, and life itself must in the end be overcome by death. In death alone are opposites resolved, for ending opposition is to die. And thus Salvation must be seen as death, for life is seen as conflict. To resolve the conflict is to end your life as well.
- These mad beliefs can gain unconscious hold of great intensity and grip the mind with terror and anxiety so strong that it will not relinquish its ideas about its own protection. It must be saved from Salvation, threatened to be safe, and magically armored against truth. And these decisions are made unaware, to keep them safely undisturbed, apart from question, and from reason, and from doubt.
- Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help. And all mistakes in judgment that the mind had made before are open to correction, as the truth dismisses them as causeless. Now are they without effects. They cannot be concealed because their nothingness is recognized.
- The conscious choice of Heaven is as sure as is the ending of the fear of hell when it is raised from its protective shield of unawareness and is brought to light. Who can decide between the clearly seen and the unrecognized? Yet who can fail to make a choice between alternatives when only one is seen as valuable; the other as a wholly worthless thing, a but imagined source of guilt and pain? Who hesitates to make a choice like this? And shall we hesitate to choose today?
- We make the choice for Heaven as we wake and spend five minutes making sure that we have made the one decision that is sane. We recognize we make a conscious choice between what has existence and what has nothing but in an appearance of the truth. Its pseudo-being, brought to what is real, is flimsy and transparent in the light. It holds no terror now, for what was made enormous, vengeful, pitiless with hate, demands obscurity for fear to be invested there. Now it is recognized as but a foolish, trivial mistake.
- Before we close our eyes and sleep tonight, we reaffirm the choice that we have made each hour in between. And now we give the last five minutes of our waking day to the decision with which we awoke. As every hour passed, we have declared our choice again, in a brief quiet time devoted to maintaining sanity. And finally, we close the day with this, acknowledging we chose but what we want: Heaven is the decision I must make. I make it now, and will not change my mind, because it is the only thing I want.
Notes and Personal Application: It is only after we begin to understand that all that we see and experience in the flesh is not reality, cannot be true, has no eternal value, that we can make the choice for Heaven. Creation has no opposite; Jesus reminds us today. Truth has no opposite. A lie is unreality, and no matter how much we choose to make it true, it never will be anything but an illusion. No matter how real this realm of time seems to be, it is only a dream of opposites, a nightmare of separateness, a struggle for survival to but die another day!
The world makes it seem as if there are multitudes of choices from which to choose, thousands of religions, doctrines, theories, dogmas complete with rituals, rites, and shamanistic practices. But there is no division, no partial truths and obscure veracities, no parts scattered between warring factions – there is only truth. God’s Kingdom is the only reality, the only thing we really want, the answer to our heart’s cry, and all of our human striving and conniving. Nobody can make that decision for us – to awaken to the truth is a decision that we all must make sooner or later – today Jesus is calling to us to understand this truth.
When we realize that nothing outside of truth is real, we can walk away from our wheelbarrows full of muddied hopes and shitty sorrows. We recognize that these heavy loads were nothing but a means for demonstrating that nothing was something. Life is no longer a conflict; nobody has to die to escape– we can leave the sense of panic, anxiety, and sadness behind and see it gently fade with the past. We see the world for what it is; we understand its purpose, and we make the decision for Heaven. No longer can the world torment us or fill us with despair. It has no more effect upon us; we have nothing to conceal because we know nothing never changed the truth, it never changed our reality, it meant nothing because it is nothing. We had a dream of sin; we awoke to our oneness with God.
Until we recognize our sojourn in time for what it is, we are unable to make the decision for heaven. There is no point trying to convince someone of the unreality of the world – while it happens for some early in life, others in midlife, it happens for most of us later in life when we recognize the meaninglessness of mortality, as the ashes of those we love are sifted through our fingers, as one by one the sweet enchantments of the world go to seed, as a lifetime of sins and sorrows fill our minds with anguish, we finally begin to heed the Voice for God within. In verse 9, Jesus says, All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help…They cannot be concealed, because their nothingness is recognized.
It is impossible to teach the truth – the truth is only recognized. When we recognize something is true, we accept it. We have no need to have it forced upon us – it makes sense. It adds up. It simply is. No matter how we cling to the past, harbor old grudges, keep careful account of long-ago wounds – we cannot make it real. It has no everlasting value. It means nothing outside of time. Conversely, no matter how we hope for the future, plan for every circumstantial occasion, force our body to behave and practice good ethics, sacrifices, and abstinences, we cannot give our good works substance or use them as barter to get into God’s Kingdom. We simply cannot change the truth of the matter. We are as God created us and nothing we do, good, bad, or ugly can change this fact.
Today as we begin to understand this truth, we choose Heaven simply because there are no alternatives. God is Everything. We choose Everything or we choose nothing. And nothing is not a real choice.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 138 Heaven is the decision…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 264-266.
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