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. 
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.
 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).
For daily 2021 workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com