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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness

III. The Guide to Salvation 1-6

  1. The way to recognize your brother is by recognizing the Holy Spirit in him.  I have already said that the Holy Spirit is the bridge for the transfer of perception to knowledge, so we can use the terms as if they were related, because in His Mind they are.  This relationship must be in His Mind because, unless it were, the separation between the two ways of thinking would not be open to healing.  He is part of the Holy Trinity because His Mind is partly yours and also partly God’s.  This needs clarification, not in statement but in experience.
  2. The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing.  Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared.  Being the Call for God, is it also the Call of God. Since you are part of God it is also the idea of yourself, as well as of all His creations.  The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part.  It is strengthened by being given away.  It increases in you as you give it to your brother.   Your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit in himself or in you for this miracle to occur.  He may have dissociated the Call for God, just as you have.  This dissociation is healed in both of you as you become aware of the Call for God in him, and thus acknowledge its being. 
  3. There are two diametrically opposed ways of seeing your brother.  They must both be in your mind because you are the perceiver.  They must also be in his because you are perceiving him.  See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours.  What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen.
  4. The Voice of the Holy Spirit is weak in you.  That is why you must share It.  It must be increased in strength before you can hear It.  It is impossible to hear It in yourself while It is so weak in your mind.  It is not weak in Itself, but It is limited by your unwillingness to hear it.  If you make the mistake of looking for the Holy Spirit in yourself alone your thoughts will frighten you because, by adopting the ego’s viewpoint, you are undertaking an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide.  This is bound to produce fear. 
  5. Delay is of the ego because time is its concept.  Both time and delay are meaningless in eternity.  I have said before that the Holy Spirit is God’s Answer to the ego.  Everything of which the Holy Spirit reminds you is in direct opposition to the ego’s notions, because true and false perceptions are themselves opposed.  The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.  He undoes it at the same level on which the ego operates, or the mind would be unable to understand the change. 
  6. I have repeatedly emphasized that one level of the mind is not understandable to another.  So it is with the ego and the Holy Spirit, with time and eternity.  Eternity is an idea of God, so the Holy Spirit understands it perfectly.  Time is a belief of the ego, so the lower mind, which is the ego’s domain, accepts it without question.  The only aspect of time that is eternal is now.[1]

In today’s text, Jesus tells us that we recognize one another correctly when we recognize Holy Spirit in each other.  As long as I am looking at you as if you are not saved, and I have something special to impart to you that you have resisted, I will not see you as my brother.  I will not see Holy Spirit in you.  I will think that I have something that you do not.  I will believe that by some special blessing from God I am saved, while you are still a sinner and doomed to spend eternity in the netherworld. 

However, when I recognize your holiness, I recognize the same mind in you.  I recognize that you and I are one in the spirit.  I cannot be saved if you are not saved; you cannot be lost, or I am lost.  We are in the same boat.  We are of the same Creation.  This is healing because we are no longer divided; when we recognize our oneness in God, we are filled with joy.  Joy is love.  Love heals, renews, restores.  When we recognize Holy Spirit, we will see it in everyone.  Jesus tells us that there is no way to explain this in symbols, because it is experienced. 

The call for God and the call of God are the same thing – we are not called of God to separate us from our brothers, we are called to God to heal, to unite, to complete the Sonship.  If I am part of God, then all of Creation is part of God.  Holy Spirit shares and teaches us to share because unlike the physical realm where things are lost that are given away, all things of the Spirit are increased by sharing.  When I recognize Holy Spirit in you, I give you a miracle.  I do not have to tell you, I do not have to tell anyone else about it, I can simply recognize Holy Spirit in you and the disconnection between you and God is healed, while my oneness with God is made stronger.  This is how it works, Jesus says.  We can talk about it all we want, but it is not until we practice this that we bring genuine healing and learn of its truth. 

While I can choose to continue to see you as different from me and you can continue to see me as different from you, when I see you through Holy Spirit in your mind and bypass our physical differences, our egos, our material possessions and social status, I recognize Holy Spirit in my own mind.  Whatever I acknowledge in you I am acknowledging in myself.  As long as I see you as a sinner, I will need constant reassurance of my own salvation, for I will not recognize my own holiness.  I will have something to prove.  For whatever I share, even in my private thoughts toward you, I strengthen in my own mind about myself. 

This is a very important spiritual concept to learn, to practice, and to vigilantly establish as a spiritual devotion.  Snide and unholy thoughts about others will always be reflected back upon ourselves in the form of mental distress, physical ailments, and spiritual unrest.  Choosing the thoughts of Holy Spirit which are appreciative, loving, kind, merciful, and joyful bring healing, health, and well-being to every aspect of our being.  As we choose to see past our hurt feelings, the outrage and uproar over past wrongs, and exchange special relationships for holy relationships, our beings are filled with the light of God’s love.  We return to our natural exuberance which the ego had stunted or practically abolished in our minds.  We become conduits of God’s love and peace and joy.

In paragraph four, Jesus tells us that the voice of Holy Spirit can be weak in our minds and therefore impossible to hear because of our unwillingness to hear it.  Holy Spirit, unlike the ego, does not barge in where It is not wanted.  Quiet and still and calm, It is not loud, bossy, or clamorous.  Holy Spirit must be acknowledged and welcomed for unlike the ego, He respects our boundaries and choices.  The Voice for God never attempts to outshout another Voice for God.   If we encounter someone who screams or even so much as raises their voices at us in the name of God, who lectures us about our sinfulness and ignorance, who threatens us with either spiritual or physical punishment, we will know that they have made a mistake and are allowing the ego to speak for God.

It is important to put our ego aside as we invite the Voice for God to share with us as we share with others.  Spiritual journeys thrill the ego who find in them just another way in which to exalt itself.  The ego will tell us all kinds of ridiculous things that will make us feel as if we are the next best thing to sliced bread and flush toilets.  It will give us ideas about ourselves that simply are not true, sane, or holy, puffing us up while secretly mocking and tearing us down.  Do not let the flash and glamor of cultish, ego-driven worship tempt you on your path to God.  Brokenness and sorrow are the rewards of vain spiritual forays we make when we look for Holy Spirit through human forms, in egos, and through our lower minds which are captivated by appearances. 

Holy Spirit stands for truth; the ego stands for untruth.  God’s Answer to the ego is Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit’s function is to undo what the ego has made.  Where the ego makes enmity; Holy Spirit restores brotherhood; where the ego has perceived a call to war, Holy Spirit perceives a call for help, for charity, for love; where the ego calls for separation, Holy Spirit calls for unity. 

Opposed to one another, the lower mind and the higher mind cannot understand the other.  The ego and Holy Spirit are like time and eternity.  Eternity is of God and Holy Spirit understands always and forever perfectly; time is of the ego, so the lower mind accepts time without question.[2] This instant is the now of eternity, and in time it has already passed by the end of the sentence.  However, now is the only aspect of time that is eternal.  Now is the time of salvation means that we can step into salvation, into our higher minds, into that which stands for eternity, now.  No need to put it off, no need to wait until we clean up our act, no need to wait until we sow our wild oats and get all the partying and carousing out of our systems.  We spare ourselves and everybody else a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering by choosing against the ego now instead of later. 

This is all we will cover of “The Guide to Salvation” segment for today.  We will cover the last five paragraphs in tomorrow’s blog.  Practice today shifting your thoughts away from the chatter of your lower mind to the quiet, calm, certain Voice of the higher regions of your mind.  Choose thoughts that reflect God’s love and devotion, His mercy and affection for Creation rather than the tedious judgments, constant commentary, and banal likes and dislikes of the ego.  While we are going about our daily routines, interacting with our coworkers, our family, our friends remember the accompanying lesson idea from our Workbooks for today’s text reading: “I am sustained by the love of God.”[3]  Love and peace and joy are ours to share as we welcome Holy Spirit to lead us on the path to God. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness. III The guide to salvation. 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] This speaks volumes to those of us who question time for when we merely question the validity of time, we are thinking with Holy Spirit, and the unraveling of our ego has begun! 

[3] Visit for 2021 daily Workbook lessons courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness

II. The Voice for God 7-12

7.  The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command because it is incapable of arrogance.  It does not demand, because it does not seek control.  It does not overcome, because it does not attack.  It merely reminds.  It is compelling only because of what it reminds you of.  It brings to your mind the other way, remaining quiet even in the midst of the turmoil you may make.  The Voice for God is always quiet because it speaks of peace.  Peace is stronger than war because it heals.  War is division, not increase.  No one gains from strife.  What profited it a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?  If you listen to the wrong voice you have lost sight of your soul.  You cannot lose it, but you can not know it.  It is therefore “lost” to you until you choose right.

8.  The Holy Spirit is your Guide in choosing.  He is in the part of your mind that always speaks for the right choice because He speaks for God.  He is your remaining communication with God, which you can interrupt but cannot destroy.  The Holy Spirit is the way in which God’s Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Both Heaven and earth are in you because the call of both is in your mind.  The Voice for God comes from your own altars to Him.  These altars are not things, they are devotions.  Yet you have other devotions now.  Your divided devotion has given you the two voices, and you must choose at which altar you want to serve.  The call you answer now is an evaluation because it is a decision.  The decision is very simple.  It is made on the basis of which call is worth more to you.

9.  My mind will always be like yours, because we were created as equals.  It was only my decision which gave me all power in Heaven and earth.  My only gift to you is to help you make the same decision.  This decision is the choice to share it because the decision itself is the decision to share.  It is made by giving and is therefore the one choice that resembles true creation.  I am your model for decision.  By deciding for God I showed you that this decision can be made, and that you can make it.

10.  I have assured you that the Mind that decided for me is also in you, and that you can let it change you just as it changed me.  This Mind is unequivocal because it hears only one Voice and answers in only one way.  You are the light of the world with me.  Rest does not come from sleeping but from waking.  The Holy Spirit is the call to awaken and be glad.  The world is very tired because it is the idea of weariness.  Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God.  Everyone will answer the Call of the Holy Spirit, or the Sonship cannot be as one.  What better vocation could there be for any part of the Kingdom than to restore it to the perfect integration that can make it whole?  Hear only this through the Holy Spirit within you and teach your brothers to listen as I am teaching you.

11.  When you are tempted by the wrong voice, call on me to remind you how to heal by sharing my decision and making it stronger.  As we share this goal, we increase its power to attract the whole Sonship, and to bring it back into the oneness in which it was created.  Remember that “yoke” means “join together,” and “burden” means “message.”  Let us restate “my yoke is easy and my burden light” in this way: “Let us join together, for my message is Light.”

12.  I have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same Mind to do this.  This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose will is for God always.  He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result.  The power of our joint motivation is beyond belief, but not beyond accomplishment.  What we can accomplish together has no limits, because the Call for God is the call to the unlimited.  Child of God, my message is for you, to hear and give away as you answer the Holy Spirit within you. [1]

Today as we come to our devotional practice, contemplate the quiet, knowing Voice for God reminding us of the Other Way in which we can simply put our egos aside and walk with calm assurance even through the hottest messes we make in our relationships and circumstances in our lives.  We will always know the Voice for God because it is quiet and peaceful, not loud and brash!  As we become more familiar with Holy Spirit, we begin to understand what has been apparent all along – nobody gains from strife.  No matter if you won a billion dollar lottery or if you strove until you were the richest guy that ever walked the face of the earth – what possible good could it do unless you were inspired of Joy, unless your soul was happy, unless you knew God?

We must stop seeking outside of ourselves for Holy Spirit, for Holy Spirit is our inner Guide Who was given us since the separation and never taken away from us.  We can choose not to listen to our Inner Guide, we can listen to the mindless ego chatter, we can try to drown out the Voice for God with loud music, unholy relationships, and vicious thoughts, but the Voice for God can never be destroyed. Holy Spirit is the means by which God’s Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.  In paragraph two Jesus explains to us that calls for both Heaven and earth have divided the devotion of our minds.  We devote ourselves to the call which proves itself to have more value.  The world beckons and calls to us from the time we are born.  It seems to hold much value and promise.  From the outside looking in there are those who lead lives which seem full of beautiful images of people, cars, houses, travel, and acclaim.  Little do we know that devotion to the material world leads to certain despair, emptiness, loneliness, and weariness.  No matter how many people warn us, we all have to find out for ourselves in one way or the other!  Sooner or later we all pay heed to the Call for God – Jesus urges us, however, to choose sooner rather than later.  As impossible as it is for the ego to understand His love and concern for us, Jesus and all Whom He represents finds no joy in our suffering or in the disappointments and hardships that we make for ourselves in the world of striving and stress, despair and death. 

In paragraph nine, Jesus tells us that there is nothing special about His mind.  His mind and our minds were created as equal.  The only thing that sets Jesus apart from us is that His divided devotion became one united devotion to God.  Jesus was a man of flesh and blood just like you and me.  He had an ego.  He did things that are not recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The reason that his family and the people of his own household found it hard to believe in him was because unlike the way Jesus is portrayed in the myths that arose around him, he was not born with a halo over his head.  He was a mix of good and bad.  He told the truth when it suited him and otherwise he fibbed.  He was generous and greedy.  He said kind things and he said mean things.  He obeyed and he disobeyed his parents.  He reacted to the egotistical as an ego and not a Son of God.  He was chaste at times and other times he followed his lust. There were times he drank too much and ate too much.  There were times he was industrious and other times he was lazy.  He cursed, he swore, he had a potty mouth.  He ran with a rough crowd.  None of us have anything on Jesus when it comes to sin and shame.  There was nothing about his blood that was magical or his flesh that was exceptional in any way.  You may say that I am being sacrilegious by sharing this about Jesus but ask Him for yourself in your thoughts and prayers.  Instead of idolizing Jesus and making of Him some extraordinary Being Whom none of us can truly relate to, go beyond what others have made of Him and get to know the real Jesus. 

Jesus is our Savior because He decided for God.  He put aside His ego and devoted Himself entirely to God and all power in Heaven and in earth was given Him.  In devoting Himself to God, He devoted Himself to all of Creation – to you and to me and to everybody and everything that has ever been born on the face of the earth.  When we decide for Christ, we join with Him, we have one altar instead of two, we stand for oneness and unity with God.

The Mind that decided for Jesus is also in you and in me, and we can let it change us just as it changed Him.  This Mind hears only the Voice for God and responds with single, radiant devotion that awakens us from our weary restless dreams with the Call for Joy. We join in that call until everyone awakens, and the Sonship is one.  This is my calling, and it is your calling – we stand with Christ and teach the gospel of wholeness, of integration, of restoration.  Jesus tells us to hear only this through the Voice for God within us, to teach our brothers to listen to the Holy Spirit as He teaches us. 

We are all tempted by egotistical drives and impulses.  We all think that we are the center of the universe at times.  We think we have a special “in” with God.  We are tempted to think God will smite our enemies for us or shower us with blessings to prove we really are His little darlings.  We forget who and what we are and respond from anger, spite, or peevishness.  Call on me, Jesus tells us, and be healed by making and sharing my decision.  As we choose with Christ, we teach others to do the same.  Our choice for oneness is a choice for healing, for joining together instead of tearing apart, for bringing Light instead of more darkness to every relationship, to every circumstance, to every event. 

When we make the decision for total commitment to God, our Mind becomes whole and holy.  The higher mind where Holy Spirit resides expands and cancels out the lower mind of the ego.  This is not a one-and-done kind of magic!  We learn to be like Jesus.  This is a process, and it looks and feels rough and bumpy at times.  The power that comes from joining with Christ is beyond belief because belief is an ego function.  It has little meaning; believing in something has no power, you can spend your whole life believing in something, but it will not make it true.   Accomplishment however has no limits, and the Voice for God is the call to the freedom and liberty of borderless, boundless, limitless achievement.  This can only be ours by joining with Christ, by dedicating our minds to the Voice for God and communicating His message of Love and Devotion. 

Because this is not the message of the ego, do not expect to be embraced by the more traditional systems of belief anymore than Jesus was embraced by the belief systems of His days on earth.  The true gospel of Christ is mutinous to the mind of ego.  Shock and dismay at the ego’s attempts to twist and pervert it, mythologize and theologize what it simply cannot understand are not acceptable responses.  Harmless and helpful, we are called to heal and restore, not rant and rave and cast aspersions!  This has been a hard lesson for me and one in which I am still learning and for which I trust in your forgiveness. When we accept the call for God in our lives, we set ourselves apart from all that would make another call upon us.  To engage in the world simply holds so little real interest to us that others may find us boring and insular.  When we follow the Voice for God, the work we do in the Spirit is largely without physical acclaim or appreciation.  While the intangible Gifts of the Spirit are difficult if not impossible to prove in a material world, they are truly the only Gifts worth receiving and giving!    

[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness II The voice for God 7-12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness

II. The Voice for God 1-6

  1. Healing is not creating; it is reparation.  The Holy Spirit promotes healing by looking beyond it to what the children of God were before healing was needed and will be when they have been healed.  This alteration of the time sequence should be quite familiar because it is very similar to the shift in the perception of time that the miracle introduces.  The Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracle-mindedness; the decision to heal the separation by letting it go.  Your will is still in you because God placed it in your mind, and although you can keep it asleep you cannot obliterate it.  God Himself keeps your will alive by transmitting it from His Mind to yours as long as there is time.  The miracle itself is a reflection of this union of will between Father and Son.
  2. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of joy.  He is the Call to return with which God blessed the mind of His separated Sons.  This is the vocation of the mind.  The mind had no calling until the separation, because before that it had only being, and would not have understood the call to right thinking.  The Holy Spirit is God’s answer to the separation; the means by which the Atonement heals until the whole mind returns to creating.
  3. The principle of Atonement and the separation began at the same time.  When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the call to joy.  This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound.  That is why you must choose to hear one of two voices within you.  One you made yourself, and that one is not of God.  But the other is given you by God, Who asks you only to listen to it.  The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense.  His is the Voice who calls you back to where you were before and will be again.  It is possible in this world to hear only that Voice and no other.  It takes effort and great willingness to learn.  It is the final lesson that I learned, and God’s Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons.
  4. You are the Kingdom of Heaven, but you have let the belief in darkness enter your mind and so you need a new light.  The Holy Spirit is the radiance that you must let banish the idea of darkness.  His is the glory before which dissociation falls away, and the Kingdom of Heaven breaks through into its own.  Before the separation you did not need guidance. You knew as you will know again, but as you do not know now.
  5. God does not guide because He can share only perfect knowledge.  Guidance is evaluative, because it implies there is a right way and also a wrong way, one to be chosen and the other to be avoided.  By choosing one you give up the other.  The choice for the Holy Spirit is the choice for God.  God is not in you in a literal sense; you are part of Him.  When you chose to leave Him, He gave you a Voice to speak for Him because He could no longer share His knowledge with you without hindrance.  Direct communication was broken because you had made another voice. 
  6. The Holy Spirit calls you both to remember and to forget.  You have chosen to be in a state of opposition in which opposites are possible.  As a result, there are choices you must make.  In the holy state the will is free, so that its creative power is unlimited, and choice is meaningless.  Freedom to choose is the same power as freedom to create, but its application is different.  Choosing depends on a split mind.  The Holy Spirit is one way of choosing.  God did not leave his children comfortless even though they chose to leave Him.  The voice they put in their minds was not the Voice for His Will, for which the Holy Spirit speaks.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus expounds upon the role of Holy Spirit in our minds.  He tells us that when we think with our higher mind we think with Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit heals the wounded mind, it restores the mind to God, to our original creation, to who and what we were before we made a mind in opposition to Love.  Holy Spirit inspires us to perform acts of love, to be charitable, to be truly helpful because to be truly helpful means we do no harm.  We let go of all that would bind us to a world governed by fear, by thoughts of limitation, by thoughts of us-against-them.  God placed His Will in our minds because His Will is our will because we belong to Him.  Our will aligning perfectly with God’s Will can never be obliterated, God calls to us through Holy Spirit throughout our sojourn in time.  Miracles, which are acts of love, charity, and helpfulness, reflect this union of the Father with His Son.

The Holy Spirit is God’s Gift to us; it is the spirit of Joy.  It lifts us from our lower minds which do not know Joy because they were not created in love but made from fear and distrust.  Holy Spirit is God’s response to the miscreation. Holy Spirit is our call to God, the means to the Atonement, to our wholeness and completeness in our Creator and to our role as co-creator with God. 

This call of Joy dissolves the ego.  We do not have to beg God to implant Holy Spirit in us – Holy Spirit is the Voice for God who calls us back to Him, Who reminds us of our Father, Who reminds us of who and what we really are, where we came from, and where we will be again.  It is possible in the flesh to hear the Voice for God and only the Voice for God, to be free of the other voice completely.  While it takes great courage, determination, and commitment to learn, it can be done.  Jesus did it and so can we.  Jesus had no advantage over us – he was not smarter or any less prone to sin and temptation. We are all like Jesus.  We do not have to be an intellectual, a scholar, a spiritual master.  In God’s eyes we are all equal learners no matter what our IQ, our intellect, or level of education.     

Unlike the separated realm, where some are attractive and some are not, where some are rich and others are poor, where some people seem to be intelligent and others are sadly lacking, each one of us are the Kingdom of God.  When we generated thoughts of fear and worry, distrust and suspicion to enter our mind, we lost the fullness of God.  We entered a bleak and darkened realm of brokenness, partiality, and disparity.  In this state, we needed a new light, Jesus tells us.  Holy Spirit is that light; It banishes thoughts of darkness because It is not afraid of darkness, nor is It afraid of anything that happens in darkness because It knows that darkness and all things that happen in darkness are a ruse, a perception based upon illusions, a mass hallucination of all that is untrue.   Holy Spirit is the glory which returns our minds to completion, wholeness, and truth.  Separation is recognized as a thing of the past, a past that is nowhere because as soon as it happens it is over, an instance of nothingness – for time and everything in it has no meaning and no place in that which is forever.

In paragraph six, Jesus distinguishes between God and Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit is not God, It is of God, it is the Voice for God within each one of us.  God did not come to the realm of darkness with us; He put His Voice in us to call us Home.  God remains outside the realm of time, of separation, of the miscreation.  God is Everything; God has no place in the nothingness of separation, and its lies, wars, bloodshed, and miscreation.  We cannot know God in such a state as ego, brothers.  When we made another voice, we broke the direct communication with God we shared in Creation.  However, we can hear the Voice for God within our higher minds, speaking for Him, calling to us to return to Him.  The choice for Holy Spirit is the choice for God – following the guidance of Holy Spirit keeps us on the path that leads to God.

Holy Spirit then is God’s Gift to us while our minds are separated from His Kingdom. I like to think of Holy Spirit as our homing device.  No matter where we are, what we do, or who we are with, Holy Spirit calls to us through our higher minds counteracting the trite, meaningless, impious drives of the ego.  Holy Spirit reminds us of the freedom and liberty of holiness, which cancels out the fearful threats, guilt, and certain shame of the ego.  Choice has no meaning for God and His Creations, for creative power has no demands, no expectations, no worries.  Rules and limitations are unnecessary for those who are holy and who think with God.  In the realm of humanity, our freedom is limited to choice – do we choose ego and its onslaught of forms with all the same content, its ongoing go-rounds of death and despair or do we choose Holy Spirit, Who returns to us our rightful Kingdom, where we enjoy true creativity, freedom, and liberty forever? 

God did not abandon us to our egos!  He puts His Voice within each of us, reminding us of His love and devotion to us, reminding us of who and what we really are and where we truly belong. 

We will end with paragraph six and finish the last six paragraphs of The Voice for God section tomorrow.  Today, let us choose the Voice for God, lifting our hearts and minds in appreciation and gratitude for the perfect Guide Who leads us Home.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5: Healing and wholeness. II. The voice for god 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Healing and Wholeness

I. The Invitation to the Holy Spirit

  1. Healing is a thought by which two minds perceive their oneness and become glad.  This gladness calls to every part of the Sonship to rejoice with them, and lets God go out into them and through them.  Only the healed mind can experience revelation with lasting effect because revelation is an experience of pure joy.  If you do not choose to be wholly joyous, your mind cannot have what it does not choose to be.  Remember that spirit knows no difference between having and being.  The higher mind thinks according to the laws spirit obeys, and therefore honors only the laws of God.  To spirit getting is meaningless and giving is all.  Having everything, spirit holds everything by giving it, and thus creates as the Father created.  While this kind of thinking is totally alien to having things, even to the lower mind it is quite comprehensible in connection with ideas.  If you share a physical possession, you do divide its ownership.  If you share an idea, however, you do not lessen it.  All of it is still yours although all of it has been given away.  Further, if the one to whom you give it accepts it as his, he reinforces it in your mind and thus increases it.  If you can accept the concept that the world is one of ideas, the whole belief in the false association the ego makes between giving and losing is gone. 
  2. Let us start our process of reawakening with just a few simple concepts:Thoughts increase by being given away. -The more who believe in them the stronger they become.Everything is an idea.How, then, can giving and losing be associated?
  3. This is the invitation to the Holy Spirit.  I have already said that I can reach up and bring the Holy Spirit down to you, but I can bring Him to you only at your own invitation.  The Holy Spirit is in your right mind, even as He was in mine.  The Bible says, May the mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus,” and uses this as a blessing.  It is the blessing of miracle-mindedness.  It asks that you may think as I thought, joining with me in Christ thinking.
  4. The Holy Spirit is the only part of the Holy Trinity that has a symbolic function.  He is referred to as the Healer, the Comforter, and the Guide.  He is also described as something “separate,” apart from the Father and from the Son.  I myself said, “If I go, I will send you another Comforter and He will abide with you.”  His symbolic function makes the Holy Spirit difficult to understand, because symbolism is open to different interpretations.  As a man and also one of God’s creations, my right thinking, which came from the Holy Spirit or the Universal Inspiration, taught me first and foremost that this Inspiration is for all.  I could not have it myself without knowing this.  The word “know” is proper in this context because the Holy Spirit is so close to knowledge that He calls it forth; or better, allows it to come.  I have spoken before of the higher or “true” perception, which is so near to truth that God Himself can flow across the little gap.  Knowledge is always ready to flow everywhere, but it cannot oppose.  Therefore, you can obstruct it, although you can never lose it.
  5. The Holy Spirit is the Christ Mind which is aware of the knowledge that lies beyond perception.  He came into being with the separation as a protection, inspiring the Atonement principle at the same time.  Before that there was no need for healing, for no one was comfortless.  The Voice of the Holy Spirit is the Call to Atonement, or the restoration of the integrity of the mind.  When the Atonement is complete and the whole Sonship is healed there will be no call to return.  But what God creates is eternal.  The Holy Spirit will remain with the Sons of God, to bless their creations and keep them in the light of joy.
  6. God honored even the miscreations of his children because they had made them.  But He also blessed His children with a way of thinking that could raise their perceptions so high they could reach almost back to Him.  The Holy Spirit is the mind of the Atonement.  He represents a state of mind close enough to One-mindedness that transfer to it is at last possible.  Perception is not knowledge, but it can be transferred to knowledge, or cross over into it.  It might even be more helpful here to use the literal meaning of transferred or “carried over,” since the last step is taken by God.
  7. The Holy Spirit, the shared Inspiration of all the Sonship, induces a kind of perception in which many elements are like those in the Kingdom of Heaven itself:

First, its universality is perfectly clear, and no one who attains it could believe for an instant that sharing it involves anything but gain.

Second, it is incapable of attack and is therefore truly open.  This means that although it does not engender knowledge, it does not obstruct it in any way.  Finally, it points the way beyond the healing that it brings and leads the mind beyond its own integration toward the paths of creation.  It is at this point that sufficient quantitative change occurs to produce a real qualitative shift. [1]

As we come to our devotional practice, we ask the Lord to illuminate our text and welcome the Holy Spirit to teach, guide, and remind us to ask to practice whole-hearted Joy.  Healing comes to us not through the laying on of hands, not through magical intonations, rituals, or potions, not by technological defenses or attacks against disease.  Healing is the joy of uniting minds; it is the recognition of our interconnectedness with one another and with God. 

When we practice whole-hearted joy we are healed because God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit inhabits the laughter-filled channels that promote unity, gladness, and wholeness.  Spirit can only know joy because it is joy.  God reveals Himself to the wholly joyous.  God cannot reveal Himself to a sad sack, to a whipping post, to someone who loves suffering, sacrifice, and shame. 

The high mind where the Holy Spirit resides honors only the laws of God.  It is in a state of giving with no thought of return because in Being, we serve as a channel of the Joy of God.  In Being we know that the only way to keep joy is to share joy. 

Jesus explains to us that this is a foreign concept to the ego and impossible in the physical realm.  When we give someone our cookie in the physical realm, we have lost the cookie and someone else gets to eat it.  When we share a cookie with our friends, we only get a partial cookie.  However, when I share my idea for chutney cookies with you, I still get to keep my idea but now you can make your own chutney cookies and share that idea with others, adding your own little touches to it, and inspiring me.  The more people you and I share the idea for chutney cookies with, the more people will come on board with us in our love for chutney cookies and the idea will spread.  Others will have their own ideas about what kind of chutney makes the best cookies, adding their own sense of flair and style, and before we know it, the idea for chutney cookies has spread around the world and everywhere we go, bakeries tout a multitude of different-flavored chutney cookies.  I have not lost by sharing my idea because now whether I feel like baking them or not, I can get them wherever I go. 

Learning and practicing the channels of Being brings us total freedom and liberty.  Unlike the ego which encases us in flesh and bone, and holds us captive by fear and suspicion, Being is free to explore, to interact, to be one with all of Creation.  In God we are perfectly trusted because we are trustworthy.  In God we are truly helpful, for there is no harm in us.  We do not barge in where we are not wanted.  We do not invade privacy, force ourselves into situations where we are not wanted, or teach a terroristic gospel.  We only channel God’s Joy to those who choose joy.  We give joy to keep joy.  And this joy is where healing resides. 

When we practice the simple concepts of using our thoughts to heal, to restore, to make joyous, we learn that thoughts only increase when we give them away.  No matter how long it takes, learning these simple concepts is critical to miracle mindedness, to healing, to having the mind of Christ.  We invite Holy Spirit when we devote ourselves to learning and practicing these concepts.  Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is simply our right minds!  Do not be afraid of Holy Spirit.  I grew up in a home where Holy Spirit was treated like a Holy Ghost which would descend upon people and possess them to do all kinds of ridiculous things – shake, scream, blubber, make false claims, and terroristic threats.  For years I did not want anything to do with such nonsense, and neither should you.  Holy Spirit is calm, quiet, and sane.  Holy Spirit comes only when asked and accepted.  It brings us, at our own pace, to an understanding of the laws of God, the joyousness of Being, the freedom and liberty of Spirit.

Do not get too caught up in trying to understand Holy Spirit for Jesus tells us that it has a symbolic function.  It is universal and not withheld from anyone.  We do not “get” the Holy Spirit by pleading for it.  We have Holy Spirit within us, always.  However, we obstruct our knowing Holy Spirit when we choose to think with our lower minds instead of our higher minds where Holy Spirit resides.  Holy Spirit descends upon and transforms our lower minds only when we begin to seek truth and want to know God. 

In paragraph six, Jesus tells us that God honors our efforts in the world even though they are not eternal and have no lasting value.  We have all been blessed with teachers, with relationships, with inventions and technology that our Course refers to as miscreations because of their lack of eternal worth.  While God does honor the circumstances, events, and relationships that we make in the world, God gives each of us the Holy Spirit to reside in our higher minds to remind us of our true identity.

Perception is not knowledge of God, but the high-minded perception of Holy Spirit is so close to knowledge that God literally carries us over to Being, as our minds are opened to the One-mindedness of Christ.  This is something that our egos will resist, but this is where we belong!  The purpose of Holy Spirit, which is the mind of Atonement, helps us to see things clearly.  As Holy Spirit prepares our mind for the Kingdom of Heaven we will notice:

Our minds moving away from the petty, the trivial, the small-mindedness of the ego.  Our minds will know beyond doubt, through practice and experience that sharing is gaining; that selfishness is loss.  Our minds will become incapable of attack; our minds will be open to all knowledge, we will have no time for terror, fear, or conflict of any kind.  Our minds will move beyond healing and unification towards the paths of creation itself. 

When I asked the Lord to illuminate this for me, I was shown that time is for healing and reparation of the separation. When we are healed, when our relationships are healed, when we are as one in our hearts and minds with everyone and everything, when we begin to demonstrate Being rather than ego, our minds will naturally seek to create for we were created to create with God and for God.  This is when we will be transformed into Being. This does not mean that we die in the flesh; nor does it mean that our death in the flesh will naturally transform us into Being.  It simply means that when we have genuinely committed to egolessness, we will be transformed into Being.  And this is when the adventure truly begins – for until we remember who and what we are, until we are wholly convinced of the worthlessness of opposites and opposition, until we see no more value in humanity, will we recognize and want our divinity enough to cross over without fear, without hesitation, without the backward glance.  For up until then we will content ourselves with creations which do not last, with diversions, with hobbies, with playthings.  This will not satisfy our Beings which create with God and for God that which lasts forever. 

Today let our text reading rest upon your mind and meditate upon its precepts.  Invite Holy Spirit, the inspiration of the Sonship of God, to lift your mind from the dense, uncouth, and fearful thoughts of ego-mind to the Higher Mind which aspires to return to God.  We welcome Holy Spirit by beginning to practice that which goes against our selfish, unholy, conflict-based thoughts.  Use your mind today to think thoughts of forgiveness, mercy, and love.  Share joy.  Instead of joining with the crowd of complainers, agitators, and finger-pointers, ask Holy Spirit to perceive that which is kind, lovely, and nice about others.  Generate thoughts that honor God’s Creations and share that. When we begin this journey, our practice may feel awkward, unnatural, and even hypocritical, because our egos have kept us in a poor state of mind that blinds us to the higher mind of Holy Spirit.  Training our minds to think thoughts of healing, well-being, and gratitude, welcomes Holy Spirit, giving us a powerful Friend, Teacher, and Guide, Who will lead us to eternal Life, undying Love, and everlasting Joy.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness. I The invitation to the holy spirit. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Introduction


  1. To heal is to make happy.  I have told you to think how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many you have refused.  This is the same as telling you that you have refused to heal yourself.  The light that belongs to you is the light of joy.  Radiance is not associated with sorrow.  Joy calls forth an integrated willingness to share it and promotes the mind’s natural impulse to respond as one.  Those who attempt to heal without being wholly joyous themselves call forth different kinds of responses at the same time, and thus deprive others of the joy of responding whole-heartedly.
  2. To be whole-hearted you must be happy.  If fear and love cannot coexist, and if it is impossible to be wholly fearful and remain alive, the only possible whole state is that of love.  There is no difference between love and joy.  Therefore, the only possible whole state is the wholly joyous.  To heal or to make joyous is therefore the same as to integrate and to make one.  That is why it makes no difference to what part or by what part of the Sonship the healing is offered.  Every part benefits and benefits equally. 
  3. You are being blessed by every beneficent thought of any of your brothers anywhere.  You should want to bless them in return, out of gratitude.  You need not know them individually, or they you.  The light is so strong that it radiates throughout the Sonship and returns thanks to the Father for radiating His joy upon it.  Only God’s holy children are worthy channels of His beautiful joy, because only they are beautiful enough to hold it by sharing it.  It is impossible for a child of God to love his neighbor except as himself.  That is why the healer’s prayer is:  Let me know this brother as I know myself.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that healing is making happy.  The way to healing is to gladden ourselves and yet we keep refusing to heal ourselves by making our paths to God ones of sorrow, drudgery, and sacrifice.  We have the wrong concept of God if we feel that it makes God happy to take away our sunshine, our joy, the things that make us happy.  Introducing the concepts of Healing and Wholeness in today’s devotional, we are reminded that it is JOY that unifies our wills with God, it is JOY – not suffering and sorrow – that motivates our minds to their natural, God-given desire to share without thinking of cost, without thinking of return, without grudge or resentment, without making others pay. 

Jesus tells us that when we try to heal without complete and utter joy, we deprive ourselves and others of the whole-hearted loving response that brings wholeness and healing.  There is a completely different response when someone helps us out of bind with a spirit of joy and happiness and the one who is grumpy, accusing, and makes us explain ourselves repeatedly of just exactly why we need their help!  We learn to trust, love, and appreciate those who respond to our needs with joy; we learn to be wary of those who respond to our needs with grouchiness and a grudging helpfulness.  Personally, I would rather not accept help or healing from someone who cannot be nice about it!  Jesus tells us that healing, that bringing happiness is best achieved by the completely joyous – otherwise the response to our acts of love will be mixed.  People may be grateful for your efforts to bring them healing; they may even be healed, but if the light of Joy has not been shared, both the healer and the healed are denied the wholeness necessary for true and lasting happiness vital to health and well-being.

In the second paragraph, Jesus tells us that whole-heartedness and happiness walk hand-in-hand and side-by-side.  The foundational concept which our Course rests upon is that fear and love cannot coexist.  The only state of being which is whole is of love; for it is impossible to love and fear at the same time, and a state of fear can never be anything but splintered, shattered, and incomplete. 

Jesus tells us that love and joy are the same thing.  To love is to be joyful.  To be joyful is to love.  Following this line of reasoning, it follows that joyousness brings healing which leads to uniting and making one.  We are made one with those who make us happy!  We are made one with those who bring us healing.  We are made one with those who make us laugh, who sing us lullabies, who tell us good stories, who give and live from a spirit of love and happiness.  We are blessed to even read about such people.  We are blessed to watch movies that have characters that are joyous.  We are blessed, Jesus says, by the joyousness of those we do not even know for they lift the spirit of Creation!

On the contrary, no matter how generous, helpful, or ambitious, those who are grumpy, who demand explanations, who do not communicate happiness or goodwill, who are quick to point out faults and remember mistakes, call people names and curse Creation bring separateness and divisiveness rather than wholeness. We naturally distance ourselves from them because they drain us of joy and leave us feeling bewildered and confused and resentful– yes, they may do nice things, but they do not make us feel good, they make us feel obligated, they make us feel low. We leave their home after what should have been a delicious meal with a bad taste in our mouth.  We feel insulted.  In other words, no matter what they may provide for us, they do not bring joy or true and lasting healing. 

No matter!  Jesus reminds us to bless those who think joyously.  Recognize their contribution with a deep sense of appreciation and acknowledgement.  Do not make fun of them.  Do not call them cutesy names and treat them as childish.  Do not begrudge their happiness, their bright smiles, their inner light.   For we are blessed by the joyous from across the stretch of time, space, and eternity.  We do not have to necessarily see them, be with them, name them, or number them.  We just know they are blessing us with the light of their joy, the radiance of their love, their wholehearted, whole-minded commitment to all that is true, and good, and holy.  Jesus tells us that the joyous shine throughout the Sonship and that their gratitude rises to God.  As we recognize ourselves as Children of God, Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves!  For we are God’s children, holy because our Father is holy, joyous because we are so loved and so lovely.  We serve as a network of His beautiful Joy because in our holiness, in our God-likeness, we are beautiful enough to keep His Joy only because we share His Joy.  We are not here to hoard His joy and think of ourselves as one of God’s chosen, separate from the sinners and the lost.  We are here to heal the separation – and how we do that is to be one with our brothers, to know them and to love them even as we love ourselves.  Today meditate upon and let the healer’s prayer bring happiness to your every encounter: 

Let me know this brother as I know myself.

[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 4 Illusions of the Ego

Section VII. Creation and Communication

  1. It is clear that while the content of any particular ego-illusion does not matter, its correction is more helpful in a specific context. Ego-illusions are quite specific, although the mind is naturally abstract.  Part of the mind becomes concrete, however, when it splits.  The concrete part believes in the ego because the ego depends on the concrete.  The ego is the part of the mind that believes your existence is defined by separation.
  2. Everything the ego perceives is a separate whole, without the relationships that imply being.  The ego is thus against communication, except insofar as it is utilized to establish separateness rather than to abolish it.  The communication system of the ego is based on its own thought system, as is everything else it dictates.  Its communication is controlled by its need to protect itself, and it will disrupt communication when it experiences threat.  This disruption is a reaction to a specific person or persons.  The specificity of the ego’s thinking, then, results in spurious generalization which is really not abstract at all.  It merely responds in certain specific ways to everything it perceives as related. 
  3. In contrast, spirit reacts in the same way to everything it knows is true and does not respond at all to anything else.  Nor does it make any attempt to establish what is true.  It knows that what is true is everything that God created.  It is in complete and direct communication with every aspect of creation because it is in complete and direct communication with its Creator.  This communication is the Will of God.  Creation and communication are synonymous.  God created every mind by communicating His Mind to it, thus establishing it forever as a channel for the reception of his Mind and Will.  Since only beings of a like order can truly communicate, His creations naturally communicate with Him and like Him.  This communication is perfectly abstract, since its quality is universal in application and not subject to any judgment, any exception, or any alteration.  God created you by this and for this.  The mind can distort its function, but it cannot endow itself with functions it was not given.  That is why the mind cannot totally lose the ability to communicate, even though it may refuse to utilize it on behalf of being.
  4. Existence as well as being rests on communication.  Existence, however, is specific in how, what, and with whom communication is judged to be worth undertaking.  Being is completely without these distinctions.  It is a state in which the mind is in communication with everything that is real.  To whatever extent you permit this state to be curtailed you are limiting your sense of your own reality, which becomes total only by recognizing all reality in the glorious context of its real relationship to you.  This is your reality.  Do not desecrate it or recoil from it.  It is your real home, your real temple, and your real Self.
  5. God, Who encompasses all being, created beings who have everything individually, but who want to share it to increase their joy.  Nothing real can be increased except by sharing.  That is why God created you.  Divine Abstraction takes joy in sharing.  That is what creation means.  “how,” “what,” and “to whom,” are irrelevant, because real creation gives everything, since it can create only like itself.  Remember that in the Kingdom there is no difference between having and being like there is in existence.  In the state of being the mind gives everything always.
  6. The Bible repeatedly states that you should praise God.  This hardly means that you should tell Him how wonderful He is.  He has no ego with which to accept such praise, and no perception with which to judge it.  But unless you take your part in the creation, His joy is not complete because yours is incomplete.  And this He does know.  He knows it in His Own Being and its experience of His Son’s experience.  The constant going out of His Love is blocked when His channels are closed, and He is lonely when the minds He created do not communicate fully with Him.
  7. God has kept His kingdom for you, but He cannot share His joy with you until you know it with your whole mind.  Revelation is not enough, because it is only communication from God.  God does not need revelation returned to him, which would clearly be impossible, but He does want it brought to others.  This can not be done with the actual revelation; its content cannot be expressed, because it is intensely personal to the mind that receives it.  It can, however, be returned by that mind to other minds, through the attitudes the knowledge from the revelation brings. 
  8. God is praised whenever any mind learns to be wholly helpful.  This is impossible without being wholly harmless, because the two beliefs must coexist.  The truly helpful are invulnerable, because they are not protecting their egos and so nothing can hurt them.  Their helpfulness is their praise of God, and He will return their praise of Him because they are like Him, and they can rejoice together.  God goes out to them and through them, and there is great joy throughout the Kingdom.  Every mind that is changed adds to this joy with its individual willingness to share in it.  The truly helpful are God’s miracle workers, whom I direct until we are all united in the joy of the Kingdom.  I will direct you to wherever you can be truly helpful, and to whoever can follow my guidance through you.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus explains to us that the mind of our True Self is abstract.  It does not get caught up in particulars.  It is the splintered part of our mind that believes in separation, that depends upon the concrete, that can not know anything because it only sees in fragmented, separated, isolated incidents. 

Instead of seeing the whole, the ego sees each fragment as a whole in and of itself.  The ego’s worst nightmare is truthful communication, which in the context of God is the only communication there is.  The ego’s way of communicating is through control, through its need to protect itself from the truth, through thoughts based upon fear, survival, and spinning the illusion of its worth.  Every time the ego experiences a threat, it shuts down communication.  This shut-down of communication is in reaction to a specific person or group of people.  We see it all the time in our personal life and in the larger context of society and world.  As soon as love and harmony is established, the ego comes in to distort, deform, and defame all that would uphold truth.  It becomes us-against-them.  They are the bad guys; we are the good guys.  I am right; she is wrong.  Women are angels; men are brutes.   Jesus calls these spurious generalizations which is ego’s way of responding to everything as it has related to specific people or groups.

This is something we must be aware of in any given situation – there are no right and wrong issues in the world – everything in the ego domain, in the concrete world, is wrong because it is not truth.  The ego loves to entrap us with religious debates, political battles, family squabbles, and office disputes – because taking sides relegates us to ego-serfdom, shutting down communication from God to our Being.   

Instead of relating to Creation as one united whole, ego perceives each separate piece as a whole.  The ego is afraid of true communication because true communication puts all the pieces together again, tells the whole story, emphasizes our unity, and makes our different gifts a cause for sharing, celebrating, and appreciating.   The ego “communicates” only in a way that protects itself.  It shuts down the moment it feels the least bit threatened by a specific person or a group of people.  Communicating to the ego is a form of an attack or a defense against the truth.  It begins to make spurious, sweeping statements.  People with a certain color of skin have all the beauty, the money, and the advantages of the world and they are keeping it away from us, who deserve it.  People who drive Tesla’s are snobs.  People who do not graduate from high school are losers.  People with red hair have hot tempers.  People from that particular country are more lustful.  People who vote Democrat are of the devil.  We can determine which part of the mind is thinking for us when we watch our thoughts and notice how we are responding to the people and the circumstances around us, making bogus assumptions that do not reflect love, but rather fear and an us-against-them mentality. 

Our higher mind which is the home of the Holy Spirit, our true and holy Self is a true creator and a true communicator. Because it does not have to prove Itself or protect Itself, It only communicates the Will of God.  Creation and communication are synonymous Jesus tells us.  As God’s Creation we communicate with God and like God.  True communication with God does not rest upon words, symbols, or language – it is abstract, it is unknowable to the ego.  Communication with God is so far beyond the ego’s capability to understand, it cannot be judged, mistaken, overlooked, or distorted.  Jesus tells us very clearly that God created you and He created me through communication and for communication, for companionship, for fellowship, joy, and sharing of Himself. 

While we can certainly use communication in the wrong way, we can never lose our ability to communicate with God for we have a channel within us that goes straight to our Creator.  No matter how long we refuse to use it on behalf of Being rather than mere existence, it is always there and will never depart from us.  This is our eternal security, our eternal promise, our eternal hope.  Never must we use communication against Creation by threatening, fighting, or sending people to hell for what we do against Creation is reflected back upon us until we change our tune. 

In paragraph four Jesus makes a distinction between existing and being.  Existence is related to the ego – existence uses communication for specific purposes.  There is always a sense of who, what, and how much a separate part of creation is worth communicating with.  If a relationship is deemed to have little value, we do not return their phone calls, we do not respond to their emails, we limit communication.  Conversely, if a person is in a position to offer us a better job, a higher status, or just more of a good time, we will welcome communication and do our best to keep the lines open for their calls.  We all do this to one extent or the other.  In this separated state we cannot be everybody’s friend.  We have to make tough choices about with whom we are going to spend our limited amount of free time.  We can genuinely like somebody but realize we simply have too many obligations than to follow through with a friendship.  This is part of being human, of being separate from the whole, of living with and in the ego realm.

However, our true Being, as Jesus refers to Spirit, has no distinctions or limitations in this arena.  In Being, mind is in constant communication with everything that is real.  Nobody gets their feelings hurt because there is nothing concrete in which to stop the flow of love, of truth, of communication.  You can see into my heart and I can see into yours.  We communicate a flow of love and goodwill to one another in the joy of oneness, unity, and completeness.  As hard as this may be for us to imagine, to accept, to embrace as our reality, Jesus tells us that this is who and what we are – we are Being, we are connected, and we are communicating at all times with the whole of Creation.  We are not to recoil from this idea, brothers, for this is who and what we really are.  We are not to desecrate this by mocking it, by disbelieving it, by rebuking it.  This is our one reality – we are in relationship with Everything real in the Spirit.  This is the Kingdom of God which we have blocked from our awareness because we chose to be a kingdom unto ourselves. 

God created us out of a divine sense of joy and wanting to share in it.  That which is not love, peace, and joy cannot Be, it cannot last, it can only exist in a temporary time span and its only real purpose is as a teaching and learning device.  In Being, there is simply no difference in having and being like there is in existence.  In Being, I do not just have a mansion over the hilltop; I am the mansion over the hilltop. I do not just have a means of transportation; I am the means of transportation.  I am spirit and what I have, I am.  There is no reason to hoard anything or call it ours because, in Being, we have everything we could possibly want or need at all times.  If this is difficult for you to fathom, meditate upon the idea and ask the Lord to give your mind a personal illustration of the difference between Being in Spirit, and existence in the flesh.  Have fun with this concept and do not allow your ego to make you afraid of it.  We are to see our human existence for what it is and stop denying ourselves the freedom and liberty of the spirit, which will never force itself upon our awareness, intercept our freedom to choose, or give us false perceptions of fear, poverty, and hatred toward ourselves, each other, and God. 

Throughout the bible, we are commanded to praise God.  In my love and appreciation for God, I have never found any good reason to keep telling God how wonderful He is.  He does not have an ego.  Who could love and respect a deity which always demanded worship and praise and throws temper tantrums without it?  As much as egos adore being flattered and praised and made much over, it is only natural that the humans who were inspired to write about God would give Him egotistical characteristics.  However, Jesus is asking us to open our minds and to address this with honesty and truth.  We are to correct this mistake and not keep teaching the mistakes of the past, for when we do this, we just keep repeating history instead of moving closer to our goal. 

God’s Will is our joy.  His joy is complete when our joy is complete.  I am always drawn back to the story of the Prodigal Son.  The Father did not deny His Son the freedom to leave the Kingdom, but His joy was not complete until His Son returned.  As long as the voice of the ego blocks His Love and devotion from our awareness, God longs for our return to full communication with Him.  We can praise God all we want, but we honor God best by bringing our egos home to Him, laying them down, and letting them go in the light of His Love, His Joy, His Peace. 

God’s Kingdom of joy cannot be known with the ego, only with the mind of Christ.  We can receive revelations, visions, and messages from the Kingdom, but these are particular to each of us who receive them.  The visitations and messages that God bestows upon me do not help you the way that they help me, but I can share the faith and the truth that they instill in my mind with you if you are ready to receive it.  We get over our fear, our shyness, our reluctance to share the voice for God in our lives when we communicate our bumpy, imperfect processes, our revelations, our visions, and encourage others to walk in paths of courage and truth. 

We teach God’s Kingdom when we can love ourselves and others, refuse to judge or get our feelings hurt whether others embrace what we have to share or deny it and cast out our names as evil.  Being only recognizes truth; it has no time, interest, or faith in that which rests upon lies, deceit, and nothingness.  Practice Being.  This is not magic.  It is a journey.  It requires getting rid of the stuff that weighs us down and keeps us trudging in tradition rather than committing to devotional habits which gives us right minds, which welcomes Being, which frees us from the past, and leads us to communion with God. 

We honor God, we praise God when our mind learns to be wholly helpful and wholly harmless – two beliefs which must walk hand-in-hand.  We can only be truly helpful when our egos are not tagging along in our walks with God!  We do not have to be spiritual know-it-alls.  We have nothing to prove to anyone.  People may not believe exactly the same way we do; they may not believe at all.  Jesus assures us that belief is a function of the ego.  It means nothing.  All come to Christ in the end, and so we can relax in our efforts to shove our religious doctrines down the throats of others.  We can simply be whom God has called us to be during our sojourn in time.  When our minds are changed, we naturally and with no real effort on our own part change the minds of others.  While we all make mistakes, go on rants against ideals and practices which have hurt us, choose sides, stick our noses where they do not belong, and get overly preachy, if we are to really honor God, we must let our hurts, rages, nosiness and gossiping, judgments and condemnation go.  Our egos are like packrats intent on burdening our journey to God with unnecessarily heavy loads that not only hinder our journeys, but make stooges of us, which is not helpful to God or anyone!

God does not need us to defend Him, but He does call to us to share His Joy, reflect His Love, bring His Peace to every encounter.  This is the reason for Creation; this is true communication; this is the reason for our Being.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 4 Illusions of the ego. VII Creation and communication. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 4: The Illusions of the Ego

VI. The Rewards of God

  1. The ego does not recognize the real source of “threat,” and if you associate yourself with the ego, you do not understand the situation as it is.  Only your allegiance to it gives the ego any power over you.  I have spoken of the ego as if it were a separate thing, acting on its own.  This was necessary to persuade you that you cannot dismiss it lightly and must realize how much of your thinking is ego-directed.  We cannot safely let it go at that, however, or you will regard yourself as necessarily conflicted as long as you are here, or as long as you believe that you are here.  The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself.  Your other life has continued without interruption and has been and always will be totally unaffected by your attempts to dissociate it.
  2. In learning to escape from illusions, your debt to your brother is something you must never forget.  It is the same debt that you owe to me.  Whenever you act egotistically toward another, you are throwing away the graciousness of your indebtedness and the holy perception it would produce.  The term “holy” can be used here because, as you learn how much you are indebted to the whole Sonship, which includes me, you come as close to knowledge as perception can.  The gap is then so small that knowledge can easily flow across it and obliterate it forever.
  3. You have very little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of to your ego for guidance.  The results will convince you increasingly that this choice is the only sane one you can make.  No one who learns from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs additional convincing.  Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain, because pain is an ego illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect.  The rewards of God, however, are immediately recognized as eternal.  Since this recognition is made by you and not the ego, the recognition itself establishes that you and your ego cannot be identical.  You may believe that you have already accepted this difference, but you are by no means convinced as yet.  The fact that you believe you must escape from the ego shows this; but you cannot escape from the ego by humbling it or controlling it or punishing it. 
  4. The ego and the spirit do not know each other.  The separated mind cannot maintain the separation except by dissociating.  Having done this, it denies all truly natural impulses, not because the ego is a separate thing, but because you want to believe that you are.  The ego is a device for maintaining this belief, but it is still only your decision to use the device that enables it to endure. 
  5. How can you teach someone the value of something he has deliberately thrown away?  He must have thrown it away because he did not value it.  You can only show him how miserable he is without it, and slowly bring it nearer so he can learn how his misery lessens as he approaches it.  This teaches him to associate his misery with its absence, and the opposite of misery with its presence.  It gradually becomes desirable as he changes his mind about its worth.  I am teaching you to associate misery with the ego and joy with the spirit.  You have taught yourself the opposite.  You are still free to choose, but can you really want the rewards of the ego in the presence of the rewards of God?
  6. My trust in you is greater than yours in me at the moment, but it will not always be that way.  Your mission is very simple.  You are asked to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego, and I do not choose God’s channels wrongly.  The Holy One shares my trust and accepts my Atonement decisions because my will is never out of accord with His.  I have said before that I am in charge of the Atonement.  This is only because I completed my part in it as a man and can now complete it through others.  My chosen channels cannot fail, because I will lend them my strength as long as theirs is wanting. 
  7. I will go with you to the Holy One, and through my perception He can bridge the little gap.  Your gratitude to your brother is the only gift I want.  I will bring it to God for you, knowing that to know your brother is to know God.  If you are grateful to your brother, you are grateful to God for what He created.  Through your gratitude you come to know your brother, and one moment of real recognition makes everyone your brother because each of them is of your Father.  Loves does not conquer all things, but it does set all things right.  Because you are the Kingdom of God, I can lead you back to your own creations.  You do not recognize them now, but what has been dissociated is still there.
  8. As you come closer to a brother you approach me, and as you withdraw from him, I become distant to you.  Salvation is a collaborative venture.  It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me.  God will come to you only as you will give Him to your brothers.  Learn first of them and you will be ready to hear God.  That is because the function of Love is one.[1]

As we come to today’s devotional text, ask the Lord to reveal the message within “The Rewards of God,” to your mind and heart so that you may live in the world as one with Christ.  In the first paragraph Jesus tells us quite plainly that the ego is only a belief that we have about ourselves.  While it has no real substance, it is a lie that has seemed to gain a life of its own, it is a device that we choose to maintain our separateness from God.  The device is fueled on fear and all that is not of Love.  When we see ourselves as anything but Love, we have chosen the ego as a device to keep us apart from who and what we really are.  

Jesus tells us throughout today’s reading that we are under no obligation to this delusion.  The one sure way to escape the ego is to remember our debt to our brothers.  When we are willing to align ourselves with our true identities in Christ and extend the graciousness, mercy, and holiness of God to our brothers, our perceptions become so holy that to know God can only follow! 

There is no other way in which to obliterate the lie of ego in our minds than to turn to Christ for guidance rather than to turn to ego.  In every human interaction, circumstance, and event that we ask Jesus to be in charge, we will have the immediate reward of peace and joy.  Contrarily, when we follow the ego’s response we will experience calamity, conflicts, and corruption.  As we experience the peace and joy of doing things God’s Way, we will learn to trust in the Lord to be our guide and eventually the ego will have no more role in our life at all.  Because we are the Sons of God we naturally align ourselves with the eternal rewards of peace and joy and recognize them as our own, whereas shame and sorrow, the certain end to all ego endeavors, has no lasting worth.  As Sons of God, we naturally move away from pain, affliction, and suffering for we have no real affinity with these expedients. 

The ego and the Spirit do not know each other.  The ego is a device made to perceive separation.  The ego focuses our attention on the spaces and the outlines between ourselves and others.  It is a device that maintains our specialness, a world of fear and limitations, a world of opposition and opposites.  The ego keeps us in a state of dissociation from our eternal Spirits, at war with our natural God-given impulses for love and wholeness and unity.  We do not escape the ego by humbling it, abusing it, or punishing it.  We simply put it down and do not pick it back up again once we ascertain that it serves us no good purpose.

The purpose of time is to learn the difference between the rewards of the ego and the rewards of God.  When we threw away our knowledge of God for the world of perception, we thought we were going to get a better deal.  We thought that there was something more special than love, peace, and joy.  We believed that there was an opposite to Everything.  We thought there was value in fear and limitations.  We have taught ourselves to fear the Spirit and to love the artifice of ego.

Jesus undoes the deceit with quiet certainty.  He teaches us through trial and error.  We learn what makes us truly happy; we learn what makes us miserable and lonely.  We learn what lifts our spirits, we learn what stomps our hopes and kills our joy.  Whether it takes one lifetime or several, we will all learn eventually to associate all that is fearful and unholy with ego and all that is loving, peaceful, and joyful with God. 

Jesus entrusts to us His vision, His mission, His sure knowledge.  He calls to us because He has put His complete trust in us as we will, sooner or later, put our complete trust in Him.  He asks us to put aside the ego, to live as He lived upon the face of the earth, to see with His Vision and to demonstrate the right mind to each other.  He chooses us because He knows and believes in us.  He will never give up on us.  He will never appear in the sky and take some and leave the others behind.  His love does not conquer all things because Love is not a warrior, it is not a soldier, it is not a weapon.  His love sets all things right.  He puts us in our right mind so that we perceive rightly and are saved from the illusion. 

We are called to our brothers.  We cannot love God unless we love our brothers.  We cannot know God without knowing our brothers.  There are no exceptions to this.  We cannot preach a gospel of exclusion and know God.  We cannot preach a gospel of some people go to heaven and some people go to hell and know the heart of God.  We cannot keep traditions that have driven us farther from God’s Love instead of closer.  We cannot despise any part of God’s Creation and hope to advance ourselves in His Kingdom!  It is very clear what Jesus wants from us:  Our gratitude to our brothers.  Jesus tells us that salvation is a collaborative venture.  We draw to God as we are drawn to our brothers; we withdraw from God as we withdraw from our brothers.  Just as Jesus says: God comes to us, only as we give Him to our brothers; we can say:  Love comes to us, only as we give Love to our brothers, because God is Love, and this is how we become One.      

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 4 The illusions of the ego. VI The Rewards of God. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 4 The Illusions of the Ego

V. The Ego-Body Illusion

  1. All things work together for good.  There are no exceptions except in the ego’s judgment.  The ego exerts maximal vigilance about what it permits into awareness, and this is not the way a balanced mind holds together.  The ego is thrown further off balance because it keeps its primary motivation from your awareness and raises control rather than sanity to predominance.  The ego has every reason to do this, according to the thought system which gave rise to it and which it serves.  Sane judgment would inevitably judge against the ego and must be obliterated by the ego in the interest of its self-preservation.
  2. A major source of the ego’s off-balanced state is its lack of discrimination between the body and the Thoughts of God.  Thoughts of God are unacceptable to the ego because they clearly point to the nonexistence of the ego itself.  The ego therefore either distorts them or refuses to accept them.  It cannot, however, make them cease to be. It therefore tries to conceal not only “unacceptable” body impulses, but also the Thoughts of God, because both are threatening to it.  Being concerned primarily with its own preservation in the face of threat, the ego perceives them as the same.  By perceiving them as the same, the ego attempts to save itself from being swept away, as it would surely be in the presence of knowledge.
  3. Any thought system that confuses God and the body must be insane.  Yet this confusion is essential to the ego, which judges only in terms of threat or non-threat to itself.  In one sense the ego’s fear of God is at least logical since the idea of Him does dispel the ego.  But fear of the body, with which the ego identifies so closely, makes no sense at all. 
  4. The body is the ego’s home by its own election.  It is the only identification with which the ego feels safe, since the body’s vulnerability is its own best argument that you cannot be of God.  This is the belief that the ego sponsors eagerly.  Yet the ego hates the body, because it cannot accept it as good enough to be its home.  Here is where the mind becomes actually dazed.  Being told by the ego that it is really part of the body and that the body is its protector, the mind is also told that the body cannot protect it.  Therefore, the mind asks, “Where can I go for protection?” to which the ego replies, “Turn to me.”  The mind, and not without cause, reminds the ego that it has itself insisted that it is identified with the body, so there is no point in turning to it for protection.  The ego has no real answer to this because there is none, but it does have a typical solution.  It obliterates the question from the mind’s awareness.  Once out of awareness the question can and does produce uneasiness, but it cannot be answered because it cannot be asked. 
  5. This is the question that must be asked: “Where can I go for protection?”  “Seek and ye shall find” does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize.  Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized, and consciously directed.  The goal must be formulated clearly and kept in mind.  Learning and wanting to learn are inseparable.  You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you.  However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value.  Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last.
  6. The ego thinks it is an advantage not to commit itself to anything that is eternal, because the eternal must come from God.  Eternalness is the one function the ego has tried to develop but has systematically failed to achieve.  The ego compromises with the issue of the eternal, just as it does with all issues touching on the real question in any way. By becoming involved with tangential issues, it hopes to hide the real question and keep it out of mind.  The ego’s characteristic busy-ness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose.  Preoccupations with problems set up to be incapable of solution are favorite ego devices for impeding learning progress. In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, “What for?”  This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything.  What is the purpose?  Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically.  When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have made a decision about your future effort; a decision that will remain in effect unless you change your mind.[1]

In the book of Romans 8:28, the Apostle writes: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  However, Jesus tells us in today’s text reading that all things work together for good.   There are no exceptions except in the way the ego judges things.  The ego uses maximal vigilance in keeping the whole story in any situation from our awareness, and because we are kept ignorant of the greater good our minds become saddened, disheartened, unbalanced with the sorry human tale.  We have discussed before how the only free will that is available to us is from God for the ego seeks to control us rather than restore us to our freedom and liberty.  The ego has a very good reason to do this, brothers.  Because if we did know the whole story, if we were restored to our freedom and liberty and knowledge of Spirit, we would no longer want it, believe in it, and would obliterate the ego from our consciousness.   

The ego’s lack of stability is its inability to discriminate between the body and Thoughts of God.  What does this mean?  What does this look like? 

Thoughts of God are unacceptable to the ego because they unmistakably clarify the nothingness of ego itself.  So the ego either distorts Thoughts of God or denies them.  Jesus tells us that the ego has no power to make them go away, but it does try to hide them, just as it tries to hide the baser impulses and functions of the body.   The baser impulses and functions of the body – such as defecating and urinating, masturbating, the more morbid sexual fantasizing and perversions, our drives to kill anyone who opposes us or stands in our way, decay and aging, and certain death of the body, the ego does its best to deny, just as it does Thoughts of God.  To the ego both of these sides to the human existence are equally off-putting.  The baser sides of our existence we are taught to keep secret, to never talk about, think about, or admit to other people that yes, we too have human functions that make us feel dirty, stinky, and perverted.  No matter how well we clean ourselves up, no matter how we may idolize other human beings – we know on one level that there is a part of us which would kill for a loaf of bread in famine conditions, that our bodies smell like a sewer without our daily baths, that without laws that protect us from each other, it would be an open field day of rape, gangbanging, and pillage.  We know this but rarely if ever do we discuss it openly and frankly.  It is not subject for polite company, and for good reason, nobody wants to be reminded of the lower side to our natures.  But Jesus tells us that the reason we do not want to talk about the baser impulses of our ego bodies is because when we do have to look at them – we can only be repulsed and recognize our need for salvation. So the ego keeps our awareness focused on our pretty clothes, cars, and houses.  It keeps promoting the best smelling bath and grooming products, establishing a good self-image.  The ego loves to hide itself within the religious, the educated, professionals in the helping professions, creating an us-against-them attitude between classes, races, ethnic groups, and cultures.     

What is remarkable is that the ego puts Thoughts of God in the same category as it does its fear and shame over the body.  While fear and shame of the body would turn our minds toward God, Thoughts of God naturally liberate our minds from the ego as well.  And so the ego works very hard to twist our Thoughts of God into something less dangerous to it.  The ego inserts itself into our Thoughts of God.  It blames its miscreations on God – thus the story that we have all accepted about the Garden of Eden.  We believe that God intentionally set us up for failure; that He made us from dirt; that instead of taking responsibility for His creations, He became wrathful, jealous, and irate; that He cursed nature and set the whole of Creation up for disease, decay, and death.  Instead of loving God, which is our natural inclination as Spirit, the ego tempts us to fear Him, to venerate ancient texts that promote misogyny, mass murder, and discrimination. 

By perceiving our lower body functions and impulses in the same category as Thoughts of God, the ego attempts to save itself from being exposed for a lie, as it surely is when we learn the truth. 

Confusing God with the body is insane, Jesus tells us.  The ego’s fear of God is logical, but the ego’s fear of the body takes some explaining because the body is the ego’s home by its own choice.  The body’s vulnerability and its basic unholiness is a very good argument that it cannot be loved or cherished by God.  The ego promotes this belief with enthusiasm – but the ego hates the body because it is vulnerable and because it does not last.  Here is where the ego’s argument for our loyalty and our commitment to it dissipates, because while the ego can tell us that there is no God, or that God is terroristic, or that God has favorites, it cannot offer us anything but the body for protection.  And we all know that the body is a poor protector.

This is where the mind goes into a daze.  It sinks into a morass of despair for when we ask the ego where it can go for protection, the ego replies “turn to me.”  And the mind knows that the ego is the body and therefore there is no point in turning to it for protection.  The only solution to this dilemma is what the ego does best – it keeps us caught up in things that do not have any lasting value, it keeps the subject of its vulnerability and its certain death taboo in most human interactions, even in our most intimate relationships. 

Jesus tells us we must ask ourselves: “Where can I go for protection?”  While many of us seek blindly and desperately for some kind of solace for our terrible vulnerability in the flesh, this need not be!  True seeking is consciously undertaken, thoughtfully organized, and mindfully directed.  We must set a clear goal; and keep that goal in mind.  We all learn best when we believe that what we are trying to learn has value to us. 

The ego will offer us all kinds of things to learn, but nothing the ego teaches us has any lasting value.  Keeping us preoccupied with insoluble puzzles, theories, and problems is one of the ego’s favorite ways in which to impede our learning progress.  Whenever we get thrown off track by a tactic of the ego, we must ask ourselves, “What is this for?” “What is this for?” – when we find other people’s dramas, business, and shenanigans more interesting to us than pursuing our devotional practices and practicing what we learn and teach.  “What is this for?” – when we spend hours in front of the television watching people act out meaningless dramas that only distract us from all that does have meaning.  “What is this for?” – our obsession with houses, cars, bodies, holidays, social media, and hobbies.  We must always ask ourselves, “What is this for?”  “What is the purpose?” 

Jesus tells us that the purpose we determine will affect our future effort until we change our minds.  When we put seeking God first and foremost in our lives, the distractions and the diversions of the ego do not go away.  Our bodies are designed to need constant maintenance and replenishment.  Our relationships follow suit.  Everything we own in this world, seems to own us.  Our time, our money, our energy is spent on that which simply does not last. 

Jesus understands this!  He was here.  He was human; He had a body; and He had an ego.  He knows what we are up against.  Jesus leads us beyond the ego-body.  Jesus urges us to commit ourselves to that which is eternal.  This is not a one and done kind of salvation; there is no magic in it.  We must establish a goal, we must consciously embark upon our journey to God, we must willingly and willfully undertake a thoughtful and carefully organized curriculum, developed and masterfully directed by our wiser, older, most trustworthy brother, Jesus Christ.  Created as one with us, Christ welcomes us to join Him in eradicating the reptilian mind from our Identities forever, as we become whole and holy, complete in Him.  Christ not only raises the questions that ego will never raise; Christ responds with the means to overcome all our doubts, our fears, and our unease.  Let us commit ourselves to His teaching today because His teaching leads to Life. Life everlasting.  Let us do what He says to do and not do what He says not to do.  Let our future effort be focused upon the one true purpose determined in our hearts today!    

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 4 The illusions of the ego. V The ego-body illusion. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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