VII: The Totality of the Kingdom 1-6
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
 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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