1. Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing. And through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions. All belief in sin, in power of attack, in hurt and harm, in sacrifice and death, has come to you. For no one can make one illusion real and still escape the rest. For who can choose to keep the ones that he prefers, and find the safety that the truth alone can give? Who can believe illusions are the same, and still maintain that even one is best?
2. Lead not your little life in solitude, with one illusion as your only friend. This is no friendship worthy of God’s Son, nor one with which he could remain content. Yet God has given him a better Friend, in Whom all power in earth and heaven rests. The one illusion that you think is friend obscures His grace and majesty from you and keeps His friendship and forgiveness from your welcoming embrace. Without Him you are friendless. Seek not another friend to take His place. There is no other friend. What God appointed has no substitute, for what illusion can replace the truth?
3. Who dwells with shadows is alone indeed, and loneliness is not the will of God. Would you allow one shadow to usurp the throne that God appointed for your Friend, if you but realized its emptiness has left yours empty and unoccupied? Make no illusion friend, for if you do, it can but take the place of Him whom God has called your Friend. And it is He who is your only Friend in truth. He brings you gifts that are not of this world, and only He to Whom they have been given can make sure that you receive them. He will place them on your throne when you make room for Him on His.
When we live in a mind that is constantly being bombarded by the perceptual world to have an opinion about this and quarrel with others who hold an opposing view, when our mind dwells upon hurts and betrayals and snubs that are long since past, when we hold on to ancient hatreds passed down from previous generations and mean-spirited versions of God that have kept us bound to meaningless rites, rituals, and unholy practices that promote murder and bloodshed and sacrifice – we dwell in shadows. We are blighted and lead lives that cannot enjoy Creation for we must be wary and alert to the dangers that creation pose to us and ours. This is not God’s Will for His Creation.
Do not make these shadows your friends, for we have a Friend in Holy Spirit who dwells within us and unites us all in tender mercy and gentle kindness. The world we see with our flesh eyes is but a passing dream of all that would be if it were possible to oppose God’s Will and put enmity in place of Love. Holy Spirit is our only Friend in truth for He unites us all and shines the light of forgiveness upon the perceptual world which can and will always hurt us if we call it friend. Holy Spirit sees past our little separate worlds and brings us gifts that awaken us and place us on the throne we share together, equally and without rank and rancor.
When we put Holiness on the throne, we say goodbye to our idols of perception. You are far more than a friend to me for Holy Spirit as my Friend has brought us together in such a way that we will never be apart again. There will be no spite between us – for you will know me and I will know you as we know our Selves as Christ is in us, and of us, and is us. We cannot understand this Oneness without Holiness, for without Holiness we would shudder at such a concept and cling to perceptions of separateness, sin, and shame that seem to fill the spaces and outlines between us.
In your daily devotion, consciously practice relying upon Holiness to be your only Friend and Guide. This is a deliberate decision and requires a moment-by-moment practice that draws us ever closer to our throne as Sons of God. While it seems an individual practice in the realm of separateness, we are each drawing from the same Source, you in your dream and me in mine. When we go to the same Source, we receive the same gifts, the same guidance, the same call to mercy and grace in our daily dealings with one another as we warm to the idea of the oneness and unity that is the Kingdom of God. These practices prepare our mind for getting past the enchantment of the perceptual world, where I want things my way even if it conflicts with the way you want things your way! Relying on our Holiness removes the idolatry we practice when we cherish our separate perceptions and believe them to be trustworthy and true even though they divide us and keep us apart.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 26 The transition. VI. The appointed friend. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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