Guideposts For Living A Course In Miracles

A Course in Miracles is a powerful spiritual work that has influenced many. This post contains key quotes which can act as guideposts for us to understand what the course wants us to learn. These have been culled from the book: Living A Course in Miracles by Jon Mundy.

ON THE ORIGINS OF THE COURSE

Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.

A good teacher clarifies his own ideas, and strengthens them by teaching them.

Simplicity is very difficult for twisted minds.

The lessons you have taught yourself have been so overlearned and fixed, they rise like heavy curtains to obscure the simple and the obvious.

The world you seem to live in is not home to you. And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.

Belief that there is another way of perceiving is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. That is because it contains a hint of recognition that  the ego is not the self.

It is your voice to which you listen as He speaks to you.

… words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality.

Whether the flower of mysticism blooms in India or in China, in Persia or on the Rhine, its fruit is one. – Rudolf Otto

ON SELFISHNESS, ALONENESS AND INSANITY

As you look with open eyes upon your world it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity…You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe…God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.

The ego is the mind’s belief that it is completely on its own.

This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity. There is no area of your perception that it has not touched, and your dream is sacred to you. That is why God placed the Holy Spirit in you, where you placed the dream.

For the memory of God can dawn only in a mind that chooses to remember, and that has relinquished the insane desire to control reality.

The world has not yet experienced any comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. Such a rebirth is impossible as long as you continue to project or miscreate.

Inward is sanity; insanity is outside.

Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no time.

Be not content with future happiness. It has no meaning, and is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now.

AN INTRODUCTION TO A COURSE IN MIRACLES

This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect to take what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite. This course can therefore be summed up very simply this way: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.

There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, ” God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.”

Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.

We are here to learn how to remove the blocks to an awareness of love’s presence.

It is not necessary to seek for what is true but we do need to seek for what is false.

A special relationship is a device for limiting our self to a body and for limiting others to their bodies.

I am spirit and no body can contain spirit, nor impose a limitation God created not.

The path for each of us is highly individualized.

Life and death, light and darkness, knowledge and perception are irreconcilable.

You have little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of your ego for guidance.

The new beginning now becomes the focus of the curriculum. The goal is clear; but now you need specific methods for attaining it. The speed by which it can be reached depends on this one thing alone: your willingness to practice every step. Each one will help a little, every time it is attempted. And together will these steps lead you from dreams of judgment to forgiving dreams and out of pain and fear.

ON SALVATION

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.

The full awareness of the Atonement, then, is the recognition that the separation never occurred. The ego cannot prevail against this because it is an explicit statement that the ego never occurred.

Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, “protective” clothing, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the “right” people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers.

ON HOW THE MIND WORKS

Few appreciate the real power of the mind, and no one remains fully aware of it all the time. However, if you hope to spare yourself from fear there are some things you must realize, and realize fully. The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating.

For eyes and ears are senses without sense, and what they see and hear they but report. It is not they that hear and see, but you, who put together every jagged piece, each senseless crap and shred of evidence, and make a witness to the world you want.

When you made visible what is not true, what “is” true became invisible to you.

The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing. We need to see a little, that we learn a lot.

The ego analyses, the Holy Spirit accepts.

Since the Holy Spirit is in your mind, your mind can also believe only what is true. The Holy Spirit can speak only for this, because he speaks for God. he tells you to return your whole mind to God, because it has never left Him.

Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through, and carry you beyond them all.

Your Self retains Its Thoughts, and they remain within your mind and in the Mind of God.

The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else. For if you perceive both good and evil, you are accepting both the false and the true and making no distinction between them.

Belief that there is another way of perceiving is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. That is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the Self.

If the center of the thought system is true, only truth extends from it. But if a lie is at its center, only deception proceeds from it.

When you let your mind be drawn to bodily concerns, to things you buy, to eminence as valued by the world, you ask for sorrow, not for happiness.

Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it.

Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.

This holy instant would I give to You be You in charge. For I would follow You, Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

ON THE DYNAMICS OF THE EGO

The garden of Eden, or the pre-separation condition, was a state of mind in which nothing was needed. When Adam listened to the “lies of the serpent”, all he heard was untruth. You do not have to believe what is not true unless you choose to do so.

Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh.

The “dynamics” of the ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to the truth.

Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify what goes against the truth, flies in the face of reason and makes no sense.

Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact.

And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize. You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind.

….projection, occurs when you believe that some emptiness or lack exists in you, and that you can fill it with your own ideas instead of truth.

Anger always involves projection of separation, which must be ultimately accepted as one’s own responsibility, rather than being blamed on others.

The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal?

Complexity is of the ego, and is nothing more than the ego’s attempt to obscure the obvious.

Denial of error is a strong defense of truth, but denial of truth results in miscreation, the projections of ego.

When a child is helped to translate his “ghost” into a curtain, his “monster” into a shadow, and his “dragon” into a dream, he is no longer afraid, and laughs happily at his own fear.

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.

ON FINDING OUR WAY OUT OF FEAR

What else but sin could be the source of guilt, demanding punishment and suffering? And what but sin could be the source of fear, obscuring God’s creation; giving love the attributes of fear and of attack?

The world but demonstrates an ancient truth; you will believe that others do to you exactly what you think you did to them. But once deluded into blaming them you will not see the cause of what they do, because you “want” the guilt to rest on them. How childish is the petulant device to keep your innocence by pushing guilt outside yourself, but never letting go!

Choose once gain if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.

Sin is a strictly individual perception, seen in the other yet believed by each to be within himself.

Guilt is a sure sign that your thinking is unnatural. Unnatural thinking will always be attended with guilt, because it is the belief in sin.

When you maintain that you are guilty but the source of your guilt lies in the past, you are not looking inward. The past is not “in” you.

It is essential that error be not confused with sin, and it is this distinction that makes salvation possible. For error can be corrected, and the wrong made right. But sin, were it possible, would be irreversible.

Son of God, you have not sinned, but you have been much mistaken. Yet this can be corrected and God will help you, knowing that you could not sin against Him.

There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent. There is nothing to be feared. There is no way in which a gap could be conceived of in the Wholeness that is His.

Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and the future, which do not exist. There is no fear in the present when each instant stands clear and separated from the past, without its shadow reaching out into the future.

How instantly the memory of God arises in the mind that has no fear to keep the memory away!

Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit’s help. That is his function. Your part is only to offer him a little willingness to let him remove all fear and hatred, and to be forgiven.

See no one, then, as guilty, and you will affirm the truth of guiltlessness unto yourself. In every condemnation that you offer the Son of God lies the conviction of your own guilt.

For the Son of God is guiltless now, and the brightness of his purity shines untouched forever in God’s Mind.

Whenever the pain of guilt seems to attract you, remember that if you yield to it, you are deciding against your happiness, and will not learn how to be happy.

I cannot be guilty because I am a Son of God.
I have already been forgiven.
No fear is possible in a mind beloved of God.
There is no need to attack because love has forgiven me.

We have said that without projection there can be no anger, but it is also true that without extension there can be no love.

From sin comes guilt as surely as forgiveness takes all guilt away.

ON THE METAPHYSICS OF MIRACLES

What if you recognized this world is an hallucination? What if you really understood you made it up?

Your dreams contain many of the ego’s symbols and they have confused you.

There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach.

But healing is the gift of those who are prepared to learn there is no world, and can accept the lesson now. Their readiness will bring the lesson to them in some form which they can understand and recognize. Some see it suddenly on point of death, and rise to teach it. Others find it in experience that is not of this world, which shows them that the world does not exist because what they behold must be the truth, and yet it clearly contradicts the world.

You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker. You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause. This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone?

ON DEATH AND THE EGO BODY IDENTITY

The body is the central figure in the dreaming of the world. There is no dream without it, nor does it exist without the dream in which it acts as if it were a person to be seen and be believed.

The ego’s fundamental wish is to replace God. In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of that wish. For it is that wish that seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body that was made to imprison it.

The body is the ego’s idol; the belief in sin made flesh and then projected outward. This produces what seems to be a wall of flesh around the mind, keeping it prisoner in a tiny spot of space and time.

Appetites are “getting” mechanisms, representing the ego’s need to confirm itself. This is as true of body appetites as it is of the so-called “higher ego needs.” Body appetites are not physical in origin.

No one believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of a body, and could never have conceived this world as real.

A major source of the ego’s off-balanced state is its lack of discrimination between the body and the Thoughts of God.

If the mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger than the body.

You see the flesh or recognize the spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s messengers are sent far beyond the body, calling the mind to join in holy communion and be at peace.

Pain is the only “sacrifice” the Holy Spirit asks, and this he would remove.

Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy. Do not forget this. The love of God, for a little while, must still be expressed through one body to another, because vision is still so dim. You can use your body best to help you enlarge your perception so you can achieve real vision, of which the physical eye is incapable. Learning to do this is the body’s only true usefulness.

You can rest in peace only because you are awake.

In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past or future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times. Reincarnation cannot, then, be true in any real sense.

When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that you will last forever. Perhaps you think this is accomplished through death, but nothing is accomplished through death, because death is nothing. Everything is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and in the mind. The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who are life.

ON THE PRACTICE OF PATIENCE

Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by.

God wills you perfect happiness now. Is it possible that this is not also your will?

Be still today and listen to the truth. Be not deceived by voices of the dead, which tell you they have found the source
of life and offer it to you for your belief. Attend them not, but listen to the truth.

Unless you learn that past pain is an illusion, you are choosing a future of illusions and losing the many opportunities you could find for release in the present.

You consider it “natural” to use your past experience as the reference point from which to judge the present. Yet this is unnatural because it is delusional. When you have learned to look on everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able to learn from what you see now.

Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your mind. It seems to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him.

The holy instant is the Holy Spirit’s most useful learning device for teaching you love’s meaning. For its purpose is to suspend judgment entirely. Judgment always rests on the past, for past experience is the basis on which you judge. Judgment becomes impossible without the past, for without it you do not understand anything.

Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome, at a time perhaps unknown to him as yet, but not in doubt.

Arrogance is the denial of love, because love shares and arrogance withholds. As long as both appear to you to be desirable the concept of choice, which is not of God, will remain with you. While this is not true in eternity it is true in time, so that while time lasts in your mind there will be choices. Time itself is your choice. If you would remember eternity, you must look only on the eternal. If you allow yourself to become preoccupied with the temporal, you are living in time. As always, your choice is determined by what you value. Time and eternity cannot both be real, because they contradict each other. If you will accept only what is timeless as real, you will begin to understand eternity and make it yours.

One source of perceived discouragement from which you may suffer is your belief that this takes time, and that the results of the Holy Spirit’s teaching are far in the future. This is not so. For the Holy Spirit uses time in His Own way, and is not bound by it.

Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects. This is the way in which time is exchanged for eternity. Infinite patience calls upon infinite love, and by producing results now it renders time unnecessary.

On this side of the bridge to timelessness you understand nothing. But as you step lightly across it, upheld by timelessness, you are directed straight to the Heart of God. At its center, and only there, you are safe forever, because you are complete forever.

ON THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

All miracles mean life, and God is the giver of life. His voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know.

This is a course in how to know yourself. You have taught what you are, but have not let what you are teach you.

Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever. For your Father is your Creator, and you are like him.

God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.

You may not realize that the ego has set up a plan for salvation in opposition to God’s. It is this plan in which you believe. Since it is the opposite of God’s, you also believe that to accept God’s plan in place of the ego’s is to be damned. This sounds preposterous, of course. Yet after we have considered just what the ego’s plan is, perhaps you will realize that, however preposterous it may be, you do believe in it.

To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority.

The issue of authority is really a question of authorship. When you have an authority problem, it is always because you believe you are the author of yourself and project your delusion onto others.

The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance.

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.

If you cannot hear the voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen. That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior. Yet this is what you want. This is what you are fighting to keep, and what you are vigilant to save.

ON TRIALS, ACCIDENTS, COINCIDENCES AND DESTINY

Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes; nothing that did not serve to benefit the world, as well as him to whom it seemed to happen.

Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, “My brother, choose again.

The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters; a “chance” meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult “by chance,” two students “happening” to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another, perhaps the adult will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.

ON WATCHING, WITNESSING AND WILLINGNESS

When you have given up this voluntary disspiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and
heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. This need not be.

Everyone here has entered darkness, yet no one has entered it alone.

Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal.

Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world.

Learn of his happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth, and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take.

The escape from darkness involves two stages: First, the recognition that darkness cannot hide. This step usually entails fear. Second, the recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could. This step brings escape from fear. When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy.

Do you prefer that you be right or happy?

You need but leave the mirror clean and clear of all the images of hidden darkness you have drawn upon it. God will shine upon it of himself. Only the clear reflection of himself can be perceived upon it.

ON REMEMBERING WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW

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.

Since the Holy Spirit answers truly He answers for all time, which means that everyone has the answer now.

A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own.

The ego is the questioning aspect of the post-separation self, which was made rather than created. It is capable of asking questions but not of perceiving meaningful answers, because these would involve knowledge and cannot be perceived.

We are not concerned with intellectual feats nor logical toys. We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been
overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.

Yet projection will always hurt you. It reinforces your belief in your own split mind, and its only purpose is to keep the separation going. It is solely a device of the ego to make you feel different from your brothers and separated from them. The ego justifies this on the grounds that it makes you seem “better” than they are, thus obscuring your equality with them still further. Projection and attack are inevitably related, because projection is always a means of justifying attack. Anger without projection is impossible. The ego uses projection only to destroy your perception of both yourself and your brothers. The process begins by excluding something that exists in you but which you do not want, and leads directly to excluding you from your brothers.

You do not need judgment to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself. In the presence of knowledge all judgment is automatically suspended, and this is the process that enables recognition to replace
perception.

When you love someone you perceive him as he is, and this makes it possible for you to know him. Until you first perceive him as he is you cannot know him.

There is nothing partial about knowledge. Every aspect is whole, and therefore no aspect is separate. You are an
aspect of knowledge, being in the Mind of God, Who knows you. All knowledge must be yours, for in you is all knowledge.

Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love.

ON ANGER AND RESPONSIBILITY

You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune and its bitter jests, its brief relationships and all the “gifts” it merely lends to take away again; attend this lesson well. The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack, and all its “gifts” of seeming safety are illusory deceptions.

To interpret error is to give it power, and having done this you will overlook truth.

It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.

If you perceive offense in a brother pluck the offense from your mind, for you are offended by Christ and are deceived in him.

Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it and go the other way.

No one can become an advanced teacher of God until he fully understands that defenses are but foolish guardians of mad illusions. The more grotesque the dream, the fiercer and more powerful its defenses seem to be.

We make no plans for how it will be done, but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.

Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.

The alertness of the ego to the errors of other egos is not the kind of vigilance the Holy Spirit would have you maintain. To the ego it is kind and right and good to point out errors and “correct” them. If you point out the errors of your brother’s ego you must be seeing through yours, because the Holy Spirit does not perceive his errors.

That is why attack is never discrete, and why it must be relinquished entirely.

If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself. You cannot know your brother when you attack him. Attack is always made upon a stranger.

You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them.

Whenever you consent to suffer pain, to be deprived, unfairly treated or in need of anything, you but accuse your brother of attack upon God’s Son.

You have probably reacted for years as if you were being crucified. This is a marked tendency of the separated, who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves.

I could not have said, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? ” unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The “punishment” I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?

It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down. It is safety. It is peace. It is joy. And it is God.

There is a way of finding certainty right here and now. Refuse to be a part of fearful dreams whatever form they take, for you will lose identity in them.

So is the memory of God obscured in minds that have become illusions’ battleground. Yet far beyond this senseless war it shines, ready to be remembered when you side with peace.

ON SELFISHNESS AND WHO YOU REALLY ARE

Selfishness is of the ego, but Self-fullness is of spirit because that is how God created it.

Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was.

You are not special. If you think you are, and would defend your specialness against the truth of what you really are, how can you know the truth?

Your mind is filled with schemes to save the face of your ego, and you do not seek the face of Christ. The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed. How can it maintain the trick of its existence except with mirrors?
But where you look to find yourself is up to you.

Again . . . nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. This point is not debatable except in delusions. Your ego is never at stake because God did not create it. Your spirit is never at stake because he did.

Do not deceive yourself into believing that you can relate in peace to God or to your brothers with anything external.

My salvation cannot come from any of these things. My salvation comes from me and only from me.

No one can judge on partial evidence. That is not judgment. It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt. Its seeming certainty is but a cloak for the uncertainty it would conceal.

My brothers and yours are constantly engaged in justifying the unjustifiable.

Beware of the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated.

This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you. Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:

I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would
achieve.
And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have
asked.

Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear.

The self you made can never be your Self, nor can your Self be split in two, and still be what It is and must forever be.

Of yourself you can do nothing, because of yourself you are nothing.

The building of a concept of the self is what the learning of the world is for. This is its purpose; that you come without a self, and make one as you go along. And by the time you reach “maturity” you have perfected it, to meet the world on equal terms, at one with its demands. A concept of the self is made by you. It bears no likeness to yourself at all.
It is an idol, made to take the place of your reality as Son of God.

The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that.

When every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt. There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this:

I do not know the thing I am,
and therefore do not know what I am doing,
where I am,or how to look upon the world or on myself.
Yet in this learning is salvation born.
And What you are will tell you of Itself.

The death of specialness is not your death, but your awaking into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you.

All this takes note of time and place as if they were discrete, for while you think that part of you is separate, the concept of a Oneness joined as One is meaningless.

This fragment of your mind is such a tiny part of it that, could you but appreciate the whole, you would see instantly that it is like the smallest sunbeam to the sun, or like the faintest ripple on the surface of the ocean. In its amazing arrogance, this tiny sunbeam has decided it is the sun; this almost imperceptible ripple hails itself as the ocean.

You believe you can harbor thoughts you would not share, and that salvation lies in keeping thoughts to yourself alone. For in private thoughts, known only to yourself, you think you find a way to keep what you would have alone, and share what you would share. And then you wonder why it is that you are not in full communication with those around you, and with God Who surrounds all of you together.

Truth is so far beyond time that all of it happens at once. For as it was created one, so its oneness depends not on time at all.

Oneness is simply the idea God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things. No mind holds anything but Him. We say “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless.

He will exchange His certainty for all your doubts, if you agree that He is One with you, and that this Oneness is endless, timeless, and within your grasp because your hands are His.

ON STRENGTHENING MOTIVATION TO CHANGE

All good teachers realize that only fundamental change will last, but they do not begin at that level. Strengthening motivation for change is their first and foremost goal. It is also their last and final one. Increasing motivation for
change in the learner is all that a teacher need do to guarantee change. Change in motivation is a change of mind, and this will inevitably produce fundamental change because the mind is fundamental.

The holy instant is the result of your determination to be holy. It is the answer. The desire and the willingness to let it come precede its coming. You prepare your mind for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else.

You cannot be totally committed sometimes.

Belief that there is another way of perceiving is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. That is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the self.

You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your creator, who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight.

Learning and wanting to learn are inseparable. You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you.

You want to be happy. You want peace. You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear. You are now learning how to tell them apart. And great indeed will be your reward.

There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness you want to learn and not forget.

When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer. Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard.

You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training. It is necessary that you be aware of this, for it is indeed a hindrance to your advance.

Say to the Holy Spirit only, “Decide for me,” and it is done. For his decisions are reflections of what God knows about you, and in this light, error of any kind becomes impossible. Why would you struggle so frantically to anticipate all you cannot know, when all knowledge lies behind every decision the Holy Spirit makes for you?

ON CHANGING OUR MINDS AND OUR LIVES

This is a course in mind training. All learning involves attention and study at some level.

You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training. It is necessary that you be aware of this, for it is indeed a hindrance to your advance.

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.

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.

You cannot separate yourself from the truth by “giving” autonomy to behavior.

Only the self-accused condemn. As you prepare to make a choice that will result in different outcomes, there is first one thing that must be overlearned. It must become a habit of response so typical of everything you do that it becomes your first response to all temptation, and to every situation that occurs. Learn this, and learn it well, for it is here delay of happiness is shortened by a span of time you cannot realize. You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own. Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe them to be yours, and therefore meriting a “just” attack.

Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up.

You do not realize the whole extent to which the idea of separation has interfered with reason. Reason lies in the other self you have cut off from your awareness. And nothing you have allowed to stay in your awareness is capable of reason. How can the segment of the mind devoid of reason understand what reason is, or grasp the information it would give?

The habit of engaging with God and his creations is easily made if you actively refuse to let your mind slip away.

Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.

Where all reality has been withdrawn from what was never true, can it be hard to give it up, and choose what must be true?

Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing.” The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles.

“Give up what you do not want, and keep what you do.” How simple is the obvious!

The first step toward freedom involves a sorting out of the false from the true.

You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness. You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible.

Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness to let all littleness go.

Structure, then, is necessary for you at this time, planned to include frequent reminders of your goal and regular attempts to reach it. Regularity in terms of time is not the ideal requirement for the most beneficial form of practice
in salvation. It is advantageous, however, for those whose motivation is inconsistent, and who remain heavily defended against learning.

Forgiveness is acquired. It is not inherent in the mind, which cannot sin. As sin is an idea you taught yourself, forgiveness must be learned by you as well, but from a Teacher other than yourself, Who represents the other Self
in you. Through Him you learn how to forgive the self you think you made, and let it disappear. Thus you return your mind as one to Him Who is your Self, and Who can never sin.

The lessons you have taught yourself have been so overlearned and fixed they rise like heavy curtains to obscure the simple and the obvious.

ON OBSERVING AND CORRECTING OUR THOUGHTS

And so we start our journey beyond words by concentrating first on what impedes your progress still.

The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought.

Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong?

Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them.

Sometimes a sin can be repeated over and over, with obviously distressing results, but without the loss of its appeal. And suddenly, you change its status from a sin to a mistake. Now you will not repeat it; you will merely stop and let it go, unless the guilt remains.

The more you approach the center of his thought system, the clearer the light becomes.

God offers only mercy. Your words should reflect only mercy, because that is what you have received and that is what you should give.

Would you condemn your brothers or free them?

Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. It offers you nothing.

It is not you who are so vulnerable and open to attack that just a word, a little whisper that you do not like, a circumstance that suits you not, or an event that you did not anticipate upsets your world, and hurls it into chaos.
Truth is not frail. Illusions leave it perfectly unmoved and undisturbed. But specialness is not the truth in you. It can be thrown off balance by anything.

Teach no one he has hurt you, for if you do, you teach yourself that what is not of God has power over you.

Watch your mind for the scraps of fear, or you will be unable to ask me to do so.

I have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but it is always possible to twist symbols around if you wish.

Your words should reflect only mercy, because that is what you have received and that is what you should give.

ON REAL FORGIVENESS AND WHAT THE PAST MEANS

And when the memory of God has come to you in the holy place of forgiveness you will remember nothing else, and memory will be as useless as learning, for your only purpose will be creating.

The ego’s plan is to have you see error clearly first, and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real? By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it.

“Unjustified forgiveness is attack. And this is all the world can ever give. It pardons “sinners” sometimes, but remains aware that they have sinned. And so they do not merit the forgiveness that it gives. This is the false forgiveness which the world employs to keep the sense of sin alive.

The major difficulty that you find in genuine forgiveness on your part is that you still believe you must forgive the truth, and not illusions. For it is impossible to think of sin as true and not believe forgiveness is a lie.

But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is the only sane response.

When you forgive the world your guilt, you will be free of it.

You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.

As sin is an idea you taught yourself, forgiveness must be learned by you as well, but from a Teacher other than yourself, Who represents the other Self in you. Through Him you learn how to forgive the self you think you made,
and let it disappear. Thus you return your mind as one to Him Who is your Self, and Who can never sin.

See no one, then, as guilty, and you will affirm the truth of guiltlessness unto yourself. In every condemnation that you offer the Son of God lies the conviction of your own guilt.

Illusion makes illusion. Except one. Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not.

ON TEACHING AND LEARNING THE COURSE

Therefore, God’s teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation becomes easy.

The might of God’s teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thoughts came neither from God’s Son nor his Creator.

This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent. For from this center will you be directed how to use the body sinlessly.

When a brother behaves insanely, you can heal him only by perceiving the sanity in him. If you perceive his errors and accept them, you are accepting yours. If you want to give yours over to the Holy Spirit, you must do this with his.

To accuse is not to understand.

The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness.

Holiness created me holy.
Kindness created me kind.
Helpfulness created me helpful.
Perfection created me perfect.

A SIMPLE WAY TO PRACTISE

Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or
false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

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