V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirit
C: Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom 1-5
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 
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 God. This 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.
 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).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com