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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 16 The Forgiveness of Illusions

V. The Choice for Completion 1-8

1. In looking at the special relationship, it is necessary first to realize that it involves a great amount of pain.  Anxiety, despair, guilt and attack all enter into it, broken into by periods in which they seem gone.  All these must be understood for what they are.  Whatever form they take; they are always an attack on the self to make the other guilty.  I have spoken of this before, but there are some aspects of what is really being attempted that have not been touched upon.

2. Very simply, the attempt to make guilty is always directed against God.  For the ego would have you see Him, and Him alone, as guilty, leaving the Sonship open to attack and unprotected from it.  The special love relationship is the ego’s chief weapon for keeping you from Heaven.  It does not appear to be a weapon, but if you consider how you value it and why, you will realize what it must be.

3. The special love relationship is the ego’s most boasted gift, and one which has the most appeal to those unwilling to relinquish guilt.  The “dynamics” of the ego are clearest here, for counting on the attraction of this offering, the fantasies that center around it are often quite overt.  Here they are usually judged to be acceptable and even natural.  No one considers it bizarre to love and hate together, and even those who believe that hate is sin merely feel guilty, but do not correct it.  This is the “natural” condition of the separation, and those who learn that it is not natural at all seem to be the unnatural ones.  For this world is the opposite of Heaven, being made to be its opposite, and everything here takes a direction exactly opposite of what is true.  In Heaven, where the meaning of love is known, love is the same as union.  Here, where the illusion of love is accepted in love’s place, love is perceived as separation and exclusion. 

4. It is the special relationship, born of the hidden wish for special love from God, that the ego’s hatred triumphs.  For the special relationship is the renunciation of the Love of God, and the attempt to secure for the self the specialness that He denied.  It is essential to the preservation of the ego that you believe this specialness is not hell, but Heaven.  For the ego would never have you see that separation could only be loss, being the one condition in which Heaven could not be.

5. To everyone Heaven is completion.  There can be no disagreement on this, because both the ego and the Holy Spirit accept it.  They are, however, in complete disagreement on what completion is, and how it is accomplished.  The Holy Spirit knows that completion lies first in union, and then in the extension of union.  To the ego completion lies in triumph, and in the extension of the “victory” even to the final triumph over God.  In this it sees the ultimate freedom of the self, for nothing would remain to interfere with the ego.  This is its idea of Heaven.  And therefore union, which is a condition in which the ego cannot interfere, must be hell.

6. The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven and making them indistinguishable.  And the attempt to find the imagined “best” of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both, and to the inability to perceive either as it is.  The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion.  It is a kind of union from which union is excluded, and the basis for the attempt at union rests on exclusion.  What better example could there be of the ego’s maxim, “Seek but do not find?”

7. Most curious of all is the concept of the self which the ego fosters in the special relationship.  This “self” seeks the relationship to make itself complete.  Yet when it finds the special relationship in which it thinks it can accomplish this it gives itself away and tries to “trade” itself for the self of another.  This is not union, for there is no increase and no extension.  Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer.  And he feels guilty for the “sin” of taking, and of giving nothing of value in return.  How much value can he place upon a self that he would give away to get a “better” one?

8. The “better” self the ego seeks is always one that is more special.  And whoever seems to possess a special self is “loved” for what can be taken from him.  Where both partners see this special self in each other, the ego sees “a union made in Heaven.”  For neither one will recognize that he has asked for hell, and so he will not interfere with the ego’s illusion of Heaven, which it offered him to interfere with Heaven.  Yet if all illusions are of fear, and they can be of nothing else, the illusion of Heaven is nothing more than an “attractive” form of fear, in which the guilt is buried deep and rises in the form of “love.”[1]

In today’s devotional text, Jesus asks us to take a long, deep look at the special love relationship.  When we seek specialness in the form of another person’s love and devotion, we renounce the Love of God.  For the Love of God is not given to one and not to all.  The Love of God is shared equally and equitably with all – it is not exclusive but inclusive.  The Love of God is not born of flesh but of Spirit.  Every time we try to find love through the flesh and the ego, we find an illusion of love rather then the Love that is God.

Today in your devotional practice, review the first eight paragraphs of this section.  Ask God to give you the sense of wholeness and completion that the ego would have us seek through special relationships with other people.  Ask Holy Spirit to take each of your special relationships and make them holy. Relax and know that what we ask for in sincerity and humility of spirit we receive. Turn your back upon all that would hold you and your loved ones accountable for the pain, disappointment, heartache, and failure of your special relationships.  Remember we can only find wholeness and unity with God.  We will continue with this section in the next post.  Until then, be blessed. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 16 The Forgiveness of Illusions V The choice for completion 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM, Teaching and Learning

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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