I. The Conditions of Learning
1. If you are blessed, and do not know it, you need to learn it must be so. The knowledge is not taught, but its conditions must be acquired for it is they that have been thrown away. You can learn to bless and cannot give what you have not. If then, you offer blessing, it must have come first to yourself. And you must also have accepted it as yours, for how else could you give it away? That is why miracles offer you the testimony that you are blessed. If what you offer is complete forgiveness you must have let guilt go, accepting the Atonement for yourself and learning you are guiltless. How could you learn what has been done for you, unknown to you, unless you do what you would have to do if it had been done for you?
2. Indirect proof of truth is needed in a world made of denial and without direction. You will perceive the need for this if you realize that to deny is the decision not to know. The logic of the world must therefore lead to nothing, for its goal is nothing. If you decide to have and give and be nothing except a dream, you must direct your thoughts unto oblivion. And if you have and give and are everything, and all this has been denied, your thought system is closed off and wholly separated from the truth. This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity. There is no area of your perception that it has not touched, and your dream is sacred to you. That is why God placed the Holy Spirit in you, where you placed the dream.
3. Seeing is always outward. Were your thoughts wholly of you, the thought system you made would be forever dark. The thoughts the mind of God’s Son projects or extends have all the power that he gives to them. The thoughts he shares with God are beyond his belief, but those he made are his beliefs. And it is these, and not the truth, that he has chosen to defend and love. They will not be taken from him. But they can be given up by him, for the Source of their undoing is in him. There is nothing in the world to teach him that the logic of the world is totally insane and leads to nothing. Yet in him who made this insane logic there is One Who knows it leads to nothing, for He knows everything.
4. Any direction that would lead you where the Holy Spirit leads you not, goes nowhere. Anything you deny that He knows to be true you have denied yourself, and He must therefore teach you not to deny it. Undoing is indirect, as doing is. You were created only to create, neither to see nor do. These are but indirect expressions of the will to live, which has been blocked by the capricious and unholy whim of death and murder that your Father does not share with you. You have set yourself the task of sharing what cannot be shared. And while you think it possible to learn to do this you will not believe all that is possible to learn to do.
5. The Holy Spirit, therefore, must begin His teaching by showing you what you can never learn. His message is not indirect, but He must introduce the simple truth into a thought system which has become so twisted and so complex you cannot see that it means nothing. He merely looks at its foundation and dismisses it. But you who cannot undo what you have made, nor escape the heavy burden of its dullness that lies upon your mind, cannot see through it. It deceives you because you chose to deceive yourself. Those who choose to be deceived will merely attack direct approaches, because they seem to encroach upon deception and strike at it.
In our devotional text today, Jesus tells us that if we have forgotten our blessed state it is because we have thrown away the conditions for knowledge. What are the conditions for knowledge of our blessed state, our Sonship, our everlasting Brotherhood? The answer can be found in accepting Atonement for ourselves and learning of our guiltless state and offering that guiltless state to others. While the wording in paragraph one seems confusing, when we take the time to meditate upon each sentence and ask Holy Spirit to show us what this means, we begin to understand what Jesus is saying – He really must want us to think hard and deep about this – the conditions for learning of our blessedness is, then, something that must be fully realized.
It is one thing to preach Jesus to people and ask people to be born again. Many teachers and preachers claim all these souls for Christ simply because they get people to say the three-step plan of salvation and confess Christ as their Savior. But do we really know what we are talking about? Do we understand exactly what Jesus is teaching us and how we are to live out the rest of our days in time? Jesus teaches us our guiltlessness and we cannot accept this Atonement without sharing it with others. Jesus is not asking us to die on the cross – He is asking us to live in the world, with our brothers with no judgment and no guilt. In other words, we offer to others what has been given us. This is our blessed state.
Jesus calls this indirect proof of truth. Jesus the human lived thousands of years ago. Nobody is alive who knew Him then and all we have are some books that were written about him by his disciples and other followers. Nobody can really prove if Jesus said or did the things that were written about him. The only proof then we have is what is inside of us and the Kingdom of God within us cannot be understood by the world, it is as insanity to the perceptual world which relies on what can be experienced by the senses to determine reality. As long as we do this, we are living in a dream and our thoughts mean nothing. As long as we keep the truth about the Kingdom of God obscured from our awareness, we close off our thought system and remain confused and forget our blessed state of guiltlessness.
If we are atheists, we deny God’s Kingdom and choose oblivion. If we are religiously inclined, we cannot accept or offer true salvation for ourselves or others because our ideas about salvation are tainted by guilt and fear, by thoughts of sacrifice, by teachings that fill our hearts and minds with trepidation and sorrow. Jesus warns us that this is an insane world; we are not to be stupid about this and underestimate its ability to pervert and twist the truth – even by those who teach and preach a fear-based gospel. Jesus tells us that the insanity of the world envelopes our perceptions and that we cherish the madness and call it sacred.
While we placed this madness in our minds, God placed Holy Spirit Who knows and never forgot the truth. All of us seek truth from outside of ourselves. We try to find ourselves in the perceptions of others who base their opinions about us on how we look, act, what kind of family we came from, how intelligent we are, how rich or how poor, the color of our skin, from what region of the world we came from. When we rely on the perceptions of others to determine who and what we are – we are in trouble! We forget our true identity. We are groping about in the dark trying to find ourselves in a changeable, uncertain world. Our thoughts then that we share with our higher minds where Holy Spirit resides are beyond our belief, but the thoughts we made about ourselves based upon the judgments and perceptions of others are the ones we choose to believe about ourselves. This is the identity – not the true identity we have in Sonship, that we choose to love and defend against the truth about ourselves.
God is not out to be take these false identities away from us. But Holy Spirit knows the truth about who and what we are and when we come to know the truth about our identity, we only too gladly give up the false and ridiculous to that which gives us the true and the rational. The world does not teach us of its own insanity and emptiness and lack of promise, yet in each one of us resides our holy Spirit who knows the truth about the world because our holy Spirit knows everything for it is of God.
That is why no matter what we do in the world, no matter how advanced we become, no matter how big, or smart, rich, beautiful, or sexy we may think we are – we end up nowhere and as nothing. When we deny the love, the peace, the joy, the purity and innocence of truth, we have denied ourselves. We end up doing things that are entirely unworthy of us, that bring us low. This is why Holy Spirit teaches us not to deny God’s Kingdom within. We are to accept our Sonship, our holiness and purity and goodness for when we accept our Sonship and all that goes with it, we are accepting God.
We were created to be like God, to be creators – not perceivers. Seeing and doing are only indirect expressions of the will to live. I may call it living when I turn on the coffee and go feed the chickens and sit out on the slab and drink our morning brew with James. I may call it life when I wash dishes, go to the market, get my exercise and work in the garden – but this is only seeing and doing. It is not my reality and nothing that I see and nothing that I do define me. Our will to live has been blocked by desires for death and murder that God did not give us. Death and murder cannot be shared for death and murder lead to oblivion; there is nothing about death and nothing about murder that is of God. As long as we think that death and murder is about God, that God ordained death and ordains killing of any part of the Sonship, that it is God’s Will that we prey upon Creation, we will not believe in holiness and purity and guiltlessness. We will believe instead in our own forms of salvation, our own separate religions. We will spend our lives praying and trying to please gods that were devised by egos, that look and act and attack like egos. And this will get us nowhere. We may as well be atheists.
In the ending paragraph of today’s devotional text, Jesus tells us that Holy Spirit begins teaching us what we can never learn from the world. Because our thought systems are so polluted by fear, guilt, idolatry, and identifying with flesh and blood it is impossible for us to see that the perceptual world means nothing.
We think it really matters. Everybody acts like it really matters. The media keeps pumping out stories of death and murder, rape and plunder. Old battles are fought over and over again. Blood is shed. Graves are dug. New babes are born to take the place of the dead and dying. Diseases come and diseases go. People get all worked up over their politics, their football teams, their religious orders, and other silly conflicts. Tonight my grandson and I got into an argument over his aunt’s address – I was certain I was right, and he was certain he was right and neither one of us were entirely right nor entirely wrong!
Holy Spirit does not get worked up. Holy Spirit is quiet, calm, and certain. Our holy Spirits look directly at the foundation of all that separates us from God and completely dismisses it. We cannot do this in our humanity. It is impossible for us to see beyond the perceptual world, beyond our own senses, beyond our own beliefs and memories and relational ties. We are held fast to all that was made outside of God’s Kingdom. It is impossible for us to escape the dullness that takes over our lives – the stress, the triteness, the melodrama, the sense of confusion and uncertainty. We are only deceived by it because we choose to deceive ourselves. We keep trying to find our happiness where it can never be found. We keep looking out instead of looking in. We chase after things – maybe a new lover, a new boat, a new baby. We live from our lower mind instead of the higher mind of Sonship and Holy Spirit where we are one with God and His Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit’s message is direct. It is very simple. None of this is real. Holy Spirit is smart. Unlike me who tends to talk too much and go on rants and call a spade a spade, Holy Spirit knows that a direct approach is not always the best approach. For those of us who are entranced by the perceptual world, a direct approach is an attack upon the only world we know and accept.
An old friend told me the other day that when I first talked to him about the unreality of this world, he thought I was a whack job! While my words struck him as somebody who had lost their marbles, he had to find truth for himself. He gradually came to see what is impossible for us to see on our own just as it happened for me and as it happens for you. Our friends will not get us and if you are like me, maybe you will feel obligated to make them see – but this is not our job! This is the function of Holy Spirit. Our function in the world is to heal and to help, not to attack and divide. However, there is a stark division between truth and unreality and there is sometimes no nice way to address this issue without compromising our love. Each one of us must seek guidance from Holy Spirit whose function is to teach us, guide us, and return us to God’s Kingdom. Let our prayer today be that we meet the conditions of learning by offering guiltlessness to the guiltless and thereby know that we are blessed.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 14 Teaching for Truth I. The conditions of learning. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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