VIII: The Unbelievable Belief
- We have said that without projection there can be no anger, but it is also true that without extension there can be no love. These reflect a fundamental law of the mind, and therefore one that always operates. It is the law by which you create and were created. It is the law that unifies the Kingdom and keeps it in the mind of God. To the ego, the law is perceived as a means of getting rid of something it does not want. To the Holy Spirit, it is the fundamental law of sharing, by which you give what you value in order to keep it in your mind. To the Holy Spirit it is the law of extension. To the ego it is the law of deprivation. It therefore produces abundance or scarcity, depending on how you choose to apply it. This choice is up to you, but it is not up to you to decide whether or not you will utilize the law. Every mind must project or extend, because that is how it lives, and every mind is life.
- The ego’s use of projection must be fully understood before the inevitable association between projection and anger can be finally undone. The ego always tries to preserve conflict. It is very ingenious in devising ways that seem to diminish conflict, because it does not want you to find conflict so intolerable that you will insist on giving it up. The ego therefore tries to persuade you that it can free you of conflict, lest you give the ego up and free yourself. Using its own warped version of the laws of God, the ego utilizes the power of the mind only to defeat the mind’s real purpose. It projects conflict from your mind to other minds, in an attempt to persuade you that you have gotten rid of the problem.
- There are two major errors involved in this attempt. First, strictly speaking, conflict cannot be projected because it cannot be shared. Any attempt to keep part of it and get rid of another part does not really mean anything. Remember that a conflicted teacher is a poor teacher and a poor learner. His lessons are confused, and their transfer value is limited by his confusion. The second error is the idea that you can get rid of something you do not want by giving it away. Giving it is how you keep it. The belief that by seeing it outside you have excluded it from within is a complete distortion of the power of extension. That is why those who project are vigilant for their own safety. they are afraid that their projections will return and hurt them. Believing they have blotted their projections from their own mind, they also believe their projections are trying to creep back in. Since the projections have not left their minds, they are forced to engage in constant activity in order not to recognize this.
- You cannot perpetuate an illusion about another without perpetuating it about yourself. There is no way out of this because it is impossible to fragment the mind. To fragment is to break into pieces, and mind cannot attack or be attacked. The belief that it can, an error the ego always makes, underlies its whole use of projection. It does not understand what mind is, and therefore does not understand what you are. Yet its existence is dependent on your mind because the ego is your belief. The ego is a confusion in identification. Never having had a consistent model, it never developed consistently. It is the product of the misapplication of the laws of God by distorted minds that are misusing their power.
- Do not be afraid of the ego. It depends on your mind, and as you made it by believing in it, so you can dispel it by withdrawing belief from it. Do not project the responsibility for your belief in it onto anyone else, or you will preserve the belief. When you are willing to accept sole responsibility for the ego’s existence you will have laid side all anger and all attack, because they come from an attempt to project responsibility for your own errors. But having accepted the error as yours, do not keep them. Give them over quickly to the Holy Spirit to be undone completely, so that all their effects will vanish from your mind and from the Sonship as a whole.
- The Holy Spirit will teach you to perceive beyond your belief, because truth is beyond belief and His perception is true. The ego can be completely forgotten at anytime because it is a totally incredible belief, and no one can keep a belief he has judged beyond believable. The more you learn about the ego, the more you realize that it cannot be believed. The incredible cannot be understood because it is unbelievable. The meaninglessness of perception based on the unbelievable is apparent, but it may not be recognized as being beyond belief, because it is made by belief.
- The whole purpose of this course is to teach you that the ego is unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable. Yet you who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgment alone. By accepting the Atonement for yourself, you are deciding against the belief that you can be alone, thus dispelling the idea of separation and affirming your true identification with the whole Kingdom as literally part of you. This identification is as beyond doubt as it is beyond belief. Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity.
In God’s Kingdom, we share what we have in order to keep it for ourselves. This is the fundamental law of extension in the Spirit. We follow this law by sharing the attributes of God – the love, joy, and peace of the Kingdom – which produces an abundance of love, joy, and peace. The more I share love with you, the more love I will reproduce. The more joy I share, the more joy we will both have and be. The same with peace or any other gift of God. We all use this law because our mind was created to extend for our thoughts are limitless; our thought spring from an everlasting source, and sharing is its life. Our mind cannot keep anything for itself alone for in Holy Spirit we are connected with every other mind which gives us unlimited and everlasting power.
The everlasting law of extension undoes the illusions of the ego. The ego’s defense against the law of extension is to keep the awareness of who and what we are to God and His Kingdom hidden from our perception. The ego tells us that we are sinners, we are shameful, we are unworthy of love, peace, and joy and every other attribute of God and His Kingdom. We are not God’s Son; we are flesh and blood. We are selfish, pathetic grubs scrounging for existence, destructible, and disease-ridden. Therefore, we have no love to share, no joy to share, no peace to share, because what little we have, we need to keep for ourselves alone. We are sinners, ego tells us; we are shameful, we are unworthy of God and His Kingdom because we are bad, disobedient, and headstrong.
Believing these things about ourselves is hard to take. Sure we may make mistakes; we may not live up to our potential; our bodies do fail us; and we are not exactly saints – but are we really all that bad? We know in our heart of hearts, in the highest and most intelligent part of our minds, that the ego’s lies about us simply cannot be true. After all we are created beings; we did not make ourselves; we hardly deserve punishment for that which we do not understand. We must be worthy; there must be something good and loving and true about us. Sooner or later all the ego’s lies about us will become so tiresome that we will stop believing in them. So the ego, losing its hold upon our minds, twists the law of extension to one of projection. If ego cannot get us to believe its lies about ourselves, it will get us to project its lies about us onto others. We will talk about their sins. We will dwell upon their stupidity. All of our own angst, despair, sorrow, and shame we will put on others and declare them to blame. This is a fun, gratifying, time-extending game for the ego which opposes all that is timeless and forever.
As long as the Sons of God are busy projecting, getting caught up in perceptual world’s political, religious, social, and personal battles – going to war against each others’ bodies, shouting and calling names and flinging accusations about from right to left back to right again – they will not remember who and what they really are nor will they realize the real problem. This perverted use of the law of extension not only wreaks havoc in every relationship and every interaction and every circumstance; it keeps us from knowing our true and eternal identity as everlasting peace, unlimited love, and never-ending joy. It is very important that we understand the ego’s use of projection so that it can be undone in our lives. We must stop practicing it, so that we teach only the law of extension – for we must know what the real conflict is and how to undo it.
Projection makes two major mistakes. First of all when there is a conflict, it cannot be shared in any meaningful sense of the word. Conflicted teachers give conflicting messages. When we project our thoughts of sin and shame and unworthiness to those who go to a different church or do not go to church at all, when we think of ourselves as in any way different from others, we are not thinking with the right mind. There is absolutely nothing about me that sets me apart from you except in a physical, perceptual world. If I believe that I am going to heaven and you are going to hell, I cannot really share this with you or anyone else, because this could be reversed at any given time. There is no certainty involved in it. There is nothing about this message that you will receive because there is no harmony, no love, no happiness. I could never be happy in heaven without you, brother nor could you be happy without me.
The second mistake is the idea that I can get rid of something I do not want by putting it on you. Giving it away is how I keep it! When I see you as the culprit, I see myself as guilty. I cannot escape this. I may think I am making myself safe by projecting that you are the sinner, and I am the saint; that you are at fault and I am blameless; that you believe fallacy and I believe truth – but the thoughts and judgments I hold toward you, I keep for myself. This becomes an ongoing struggle because the more I project my conflicts upon you, the more persecuted I am going to think I am by exactly what I project upon you. We have all been around people who cannot seem to stop ruminating upon the evildoing and failures of others – it is this constant activity ego provides to keep us from becoming aware of the real problem.
In paragraph four Jesus tells us that we simply cannot maintain another’s guilt without maintaining our own. It is impossible to fragment the mind. We are whole and complete; the ego would have us believe that we are broken into separate pieces, making it possible to attack another mind, but what I wish upon you, I receive for myself and vice versa. Ego fails to understand our minds; nor does it understand our true being. And yet its illusions depend on our minds because the only way it exists is our belief in separation, confusing our identity, misusing and misapplying the laws of God.
We have nothing to fear from the ego – it is a lie, and we are not obligated, nor can we be forced to uphold it with our belief. Jesus tells us not to blame anybody else for our ego but rather to take sole responsibility for making it and believing in it. This means we can no longer blame our parents, churches, childminders, teachers, or God Himself. We cannot hold anything at all in the perceptual world accountable for how we got here or how we ended up. Until we stop projecting all anger and attack we are not taking responsibility for our own mistakes. This is something we must all do for ourselves because only then can we give our belief in and practice of the unbelievable belief over to Holy Spirit to be purged completely from the effects it had upon our mind and upon the mind of the whole Sonship.
The purpose of this course is to teach us that the ego and the perceptual world is too unbelievable to ever believe. The more we learn about them the more we realize the truth. The perceptual world has no meaning because it is based upon the ego which gives us nothing but conflict, separateness, and death. However, we are not able to make this judgment on our own. When we accept Holy Spirit’s great undoing of the ego belief system we are dispelling the separation. We are recognizing that we are not flesh and blood, we are not egos, you are not separate from me and I am not separate from you. For our true identity is in God and His Kingdom. When we identify as God’s Son we recognize ourselves as not only having the virtues of God but being the infinite and unlimited virtues of God. No more doubt. No more need for belief. This is as certain as God Himself.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 7 The gifts of the kingdom. Section VIII The unbelievable belief. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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