VI: From Vigilance to Peace 1-6
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
 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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