Loving Oneness Now
ears: God, His pure Mind-as-such, His Spirit and the Sonship do not communicate with one another physically using voices, ears and eyes. Minds, which are not cluttered with bodies and egos, communicate directly (what we in popular terms would call "telepathically"), and that is the most natural form of communication between Beings. Mostly this "telepathic" interfacing between Minds communicates spiritually by using primary thoughts, not words or other symbols for thoughts. We humans in our very limited, physical states, have restricted ourselves to "mechanical" communication methods (mostly symbolic language and symbolic pictures) using our ears, voices and eyes and various media in a physical world. But we can not see the Holy Spirit with our physical eyes, nor hear Him with our physical ears. The eyes of the ego are blind to spiritual vision and our ears are deaf to spiritual communication. However we can use our physical voices, eyes and ears in the service of Spirit by reading the Course and witnessing on behalf of Spirit to those who are sent to us. The Course also encourages us to use our inner "mind-ears," our Christ, our direct Knowing, our communion with Spirit to "hear" the (non-physical) Voice for God, the Call of God Himself.
earth: This word is used in two contexts in the Course. The first refers to the physical planet and the myriad of animate and
inanimate forms that exist here. This physical world of forms is an
ingenious illusion (a gigantic "holodeck," if you like) which is an
effect created / made / manifested / generated afresh (anew) in every NOW moment
by Mind-as-Such. The second context is that of the collective
"tired" and "weary" ego-minds of humans who distort
world, this earth, and how we falsely perceive this earth. In Truth the Earth,
and indeed the Universe of Universes is only an Idea/Ideas in the Mind-as-Such
Several times this ego-world is contrasted with other existences, usually in a context of the transformation of this world into a "new earth" which is actually our earth-world seen through the eyes of Right-mindedness. This is a mind-transformation which will come about as our special relationships are changed into holy relationships. Once that has occurred we will move on to experience a Real world (which is not seen by the body's eyes and is not the earth) that is endowed with our Love and Light, but this, too, is a "final" illusion which will disappear as we are fully awakened by God as Heaven's Children.
easier: The Course points out several ways to make the accomplishment of the At-one-ment a little easier than it otherwise might have been. The first suggestion is to establish firmly the value of any goal we may have, by asking ourselves, "What do we treasure, and how much do we treasure it?" Once we have clarified that our goal is the At-one-ment and this is a total commitment, the way becomes easier. (See: T-2.II.all) Secondly, the Course also points out it is easier to think with God than against God, and this is a choice. Our minds are One with God's and to think otherwise is to split our minds and choose the difficult way. (See: T-4.IV.all) Thirdly, is it not easier to believe we were mistaken about life on earth than to believe that sin, egos, bodies, war, disease, death, evil, punishment, etc., are real? Is it not easier to acknowledge that all these are our illusions, and that it is the Grace and Love of God which are Real?
Easter: This is the time of resurrection; a sign of peace, an opportunity for forgiveness. In the Course Jesus states clearly that Easter is a time of joy and not of mourning; a time of salvation when we can look with Loving eyes upon our brothers because the Son of God was never crucified. In fact, we can join in glad awareness that the Son of God in each of us is risen from the illusion of past separation and awakened to the present holy instant.
Eden: (See: garden)
effect: God is our Cause and in His Unity we are his Effects, His Sons. But those of us who are separated from God in a dreamworld of our own making imagine that cause and effect are separate. Moreover, we imagine that almost any aspect of ourselves as egos, or bodies, or aspects of the world itself, can be both causes or effects. Thus we believe most infirmities and illnesses are caused by the body which in its turn is reacting to viruses or toxins as causes. We believe we are "the effect" of other egos (e.g., mother and father) who are the past and present causes of many of our conflicts, comforts and vexations. We believe Mother Nature is the cause of much discomfort or pleasure, and that we, who are on the receiving end, are "effects." Behind all this is our belief in our powerlessness, as ego/bodies, in the face of all these effects that we think are happening to us--in the dream we made! The Course asserts, however, that the separation is merely a faulty formulation of "reality," with no effect at all. Only right-mindedness can correct our erroneous view of cause and effect, and forgiveness is the key to right-mindedness. The best technique for dismantling the ego is to accept the sole responsibility for its existence, to not be afraid of it, and to hand over all its meaningless errors quickly to the Holy Spirit to be undone so all their effects will vanish from our minds.
effort: All effort is an ego activity that is unnecessary, and the ego is almost always devotes its efforts to ensuring its own safety and maintenance. All learning and inventiveness by the ego call for great effort and are a waste of time and energy. The things of Spirit call for no effort when we can bring our minds under the direct guidance of Jesus (as in the Course) and we can even communicate directly with him if we have a mind to. But for many of us undoing the ego and following through with the Course Lessons, requires some expenditure of effort as well as a willingness to relinquish old ego beliefs. Our past methods of learning can now be utilized, for a while, in the services of discerning what is really valuable; they can then assist us not only in determining our choice of goal but also in keeping us moving almost effortlessly along the path of the At-one-ment to our Awakening.
ego: Before discussing The Unreal Dynamics of
the Ego it is important to realize that all egos are artificially
fabricated conglomerations of fanciful beliefs, insane ideas and perceptual
distortions, which we separated ones have invented to exclude ourselves from the
At-one-ment and to usurp the power of God. In Reality none of this has happened.
The following description of how egos have been artificially developed has been
gleaned from many parts of the Course but it is only one of several variations
on this theme of separation and should be regarded as tentative, if only
because, as egos, we are unreal figments of our own imaginations.
To understand this ego-centered state we find ourselves in, we must distinguish clearly between the Minds-as-such of the Beings (Sons of God) whom God created within and from His Own Mind-as-such, and the thoughts (i.e., images, emotions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, motivations) that those Minds-as-such may contain. A rough analogy here would be to distinguish between the basic computer we buy including its operating systems (all of which is an analogy for Mind-as-such), and its inserted programs (the ego) and its inserted data (perceptual contents) manipulated by those ego-programs. Examples of the ego's "thought-programs" inserted into Mind-as-such would be our firm ego-beliefs, ethics, laws, etc. Examples of the ego's "perceptual data," which we also insert, are our ego-perceptions, relationship events, perceived stimuli, and so on. The Mind (like the computer by analogy) stores all of these programs and data in its various memory banks, most in long-term memory (the hard disk) and some in short term memory (RAM). Note that, in adults, all these inserted (mostly during childhood) ego-programs and ego-data are acquired or "learned" (in the broadest sense) in the past; they are also all modifiable, manipulable, adaptable, communicable, and, most important for us humans, erasable.
Before the separation God created us as eternal Mind-as-such Sons (Beings) within Himself (and like Himself) by "encapsulating" pieces of His Mind-as-such with Love within His Own Mind-as-such, i.e., within Reality, outside of which is no-thing. These "encapsulated" Mind-as-such Beings (Sons of God within God's Mind) consciously contained, and still contain, every one of God's Attributes or thoughts, namely, maximal Love, Light, Joy, Communion, Peace, Happiness, Freedom, Knowledge, Perfection, Abstraction, Eternalness, fatherhood, etc. Note that God and His Creations, as Mind-as-such, are also without limits of any kind, unless those Created Beings (Sons) impose such limits on themselves, and this they are free to do, because, like God's, their Will is Absolutely Free. Note that all God's Attributes (which are His thoughts) are eternally Real.
Now some of God's Created Sons wondered what it would be like to live (i.e., have Being) without God, and promptly made the momentous decision to do so, i.e., to "separate." But, because it is impossible for a God-Mind-Being (a Son) to exist outside the Mind of God (remember the Son is made of God's Mind-as-such) the only feasible way to "separate" was to imagine he had done so. [Imagination is a combination of thinking, imaging, pretending and believing in limited ways. God, himself, does not need to imagine because he is Perfect and Unlimited and Absolute.]
This detour into an imagined separation from God required us (there were many who wanted to try it) to "fall asleep" of our own Free Will by splitting our Minds-as-such into two almost completely dissociated segments, the Awake Self-Mind-Being and the separated "sleeping" self mind-being. In the interests of brevity we will label these two simply as the "Awake Self" and the "separated self," the latter being the dissociated dreamer of delusory dreams.
But this separated self, while still in sleepy collusion with the Awake Self, decided the degree of separation was not radical or remote enough--that just one thin veil was an insufficient disconnection from being Awake in Reality. Therefore the separated self decided another totally amnesic double identity was necessary, a double identity which would, in the hallucination "face away" from God's Mind-Reality. To achieve this double deception the separated self in collusion with the Awake Self mind-manufactured (or rather continuously manifests) a temporary substance called "energy/matter" with which to form bodies and physical universes of forms; and they also invented in parallel with the body an equally fictitious thought-identity called the ego. All this manifesting had to be done inside yet another imaginary invention called space/time which goes in one direction--from the past to the future, because all this elaborate and ingenious imagining took, and still takes, time.
This brings us to a description of the dynamics of the ego itself. All Mind-as-such has three major areas of expression, namely: (a) reasoning, (b) emotion/feeling, (c) motivation. In God's Mind-as-such and His Created Sons these are: (a) Pure, Perfect Reason, (b) Universal Limitless Love, (c) God's Will. Note that Reason, Love and Will are also areas of expression of the Awake Self.
The separated self, no longer having access to the above, has had to invent and install imaginary substitute forms of reasoning, emotion/feeling, and motivation. These substitute "programs" are as follows: (a) irrational chaos, (b) fear/anger/guilt/false-"love," (c) getting/taking various forms of pseudo-love, and rejecting "incoming or internal perceived negativity." Once these three substitute "programs" were universally inserted within all separated self minds, each separated self could manifest its individualized conglomerate version of ego as its false identity; an unstable, ever-shifting identity with which a separated self then partially merged.
Only one more downwards step was required. The separated self inserted much erroneous unreal data into the above programs, the major one being the belief that not only is the body the ego's center of attention, but also that the body and its environs (our perceived world) are Real. This downwards-facing orientation enabled the separated-self-as-ego to introduce a multiplicity of additional erroneous beliefs (some are programs, others are data) about the body such as, sickness, medicine, health, stress, money, disasters, accidents, instincts/drives/needs, disabilities/handicaps, aging, auditory/vocal communication, work, mobility, safety/protection, attack/assault, attractiveness, etc. These have become the ego's preoccupations, activities, diversions, distractions, and addictions, all of which keep it very, very busy, and firmly body-fixated.
To achieve and maintain its unending focus on this conglomeration of ego/body preoccupations and fixations, the separated-self had to invent, and insert in its mind diverse learning, training, and socialization programs which were all based on past experience, their perceived goal always being a "better" ego/body future. The present would be devoted to expectant learning or preparing for this better future.
But open, unlimited learning processes might sabotage the overall plan of maintaining the separation from Spiritual Reality, therefore, on every one of its levels, the separated self hedged the ego's learning processes with all kinds of warped safeguards, the major one being projection. Projection enables one ego/body to believe that another ego/body is in some way responsible for its pain or pleasure, as well as for most of its need-satisfactions including false-love. And because the whole separation excludes Real Love, the separated-self-as-ego almost always (from past learning) experiences a scarcity, a shortage of all forms of false-love and its substitutes. Therefore each ego/body is mostly absorbed in getting and taking as much false-love from whatever sources (i.e., other ego/bodies, objects and situations as external projections) as it can. Not only that, but the same ego/body will project onto and reject any other ego/bodies, etc., who are perceived as hindrances to this false-love getting/taking; moreover, this negative projection involves competition, rivalry, anger, hate, deceit, grievances, fear, war, punishment, sacrifice, crucifixion, sickness, murder and death. Denial, guilt and displacement are also warped safeguards with which the ego's identity (as well as its established beliefs and learning) are protected from any shifts and changes of outlook which might threaten its continuing separation from Spirit. These complex ego/body to ego/body getting/taking exchanges, interactions, projections and perceptions are what the Course calls special ego-relationships.
The separated self also preserves its central identity as an ego by two kinds of contrived, incessant activities, namely, running in mental circles, and polarity swinging. In repetitive circular activities we loop around and around the same old learned behavioral ego-patterns time after time. In the repetitive polarity swings we oscillate back and forth between "negative ego-mood/thinking situations" and "positive ego-mood/thinking situations." Ego-polarity swings between these opposites may take place over minutes, hours, days, months or years.
Almost all the emotional contents and motivations of the ego, including its circles, loops and swings, are manifested in our minds as a wide variety of inner ego-children. For example, most of us have an internal fearful child, an angry child, a lovey-dovey child, a clinging child, a rageful child, a worrying child, a sexual child, a deceitful child, a sad child, a depressed child, an elated child, an irritable child, a leave-me-alone child, a studious child, a needy child, a bossy child, a murderous child, an enthusiastic child, a gullible child, a distrustful child, a criticizing child, a guilty child, a shameful child, a dirty child, an acquisitive child, a clean child, etc., etc. While the Course says these need not be individually analyzed in detail, they all have to be recognized, brought openly into the Light, undone, and given to the Holy Spirit so they may disappear into the nothingness from whence they came. The parental authority system should also be given to the Holy Spirit at the same time. Behind all these ego-children and the ego-authority system is our inner Christ-Child waiting to be revealed when the former are undone and let go.
One last awareness about the ego's possible plans for us needs to be mentioned. The ego has its back-up motto, "If I can't beat them I'll join them." Therefore, once the ego realizes we are on a spiritual path, it will endeavor to climb onto "the spiritual bandwagon" and blow its megaphone loudly. In its "better-than-thou" perception the pseudo-spiritual ego will see numerous sinners out there to be judged and saved, even as it constantly affirms that its way is the only right one. The pseudo-spiritual ego will also want "to do everything" rather than do nothing. But it is only when we do nothing (and thus allow the Holy Spirit to do everything) that God's Plan can be implemented in us, for us.
The Course gives us many ways to undo and dismantle the ego, including how to relinquish it to Spirit, and to awaken to Reality in God. All this correction of ego-error (it is not sin) must be carried out "vertically from the bottom up." (See: T-1.VI.3:all) This undoing healing process encompasses, (a) being open and honest with Spirit about all our dark and secret places in the mind, (b) owning all the content and emotions involved without any projections onto others, (c) feeling the emotions fully, (d) letting go of any ego-needs, emotions and beliefs involved, (e) relinquishing the lot to the Holy Spirit, (f) accepting any resultant miracles, (g) seeing everyone as a Son of God, and (h) realizing that all we ever need in Truth is the Love, Peace and Strength of God in Whose Mind-as-such we Live eternally.
elect: We do have free will even though we have buried it under multiple layers of separation and ego fears, angers, attachments and preoccupations. It was our own free-will decision to separate and become masters of limitation as human ego/bodies. The ego's policy is to make us appear powerless and little, even though, in Reality, the Christ in us possesses God's Will, a Will that endows us with perfect freedom. Therefore we can elect to choose what we serve, Spirit or ego/body. We can elect to change all our thoughts and undo the ego in order to heal, to join with Christ and to experience the joy of God. We are here by our own election, and we can equally well join the At-one-ment and resurrection by our own election.
embrace: God embraces us with Love, Union, Safety and Peace. His embrace holds the qualities of Gentleness, Welcome and Comfort. It surrounds us with Kindness and extends to all the Sonship, all of whom embrace each other in its Light. There are many beautiful quotations which contain this word, only some of which are given here. We Sons must embrace one another in a Loving union of Oneness, all within our Father's soft embrace. We must also embrace the word embrace because it is of God.
emotion: An emotion is any state of strong, usually conscious, feeling such as affection-love, fear, hate, anxiety, panic, terror, anger, sexual arousal, guilt, jealousy, sadness, despair, joy, happiness, ecstasy, and affection. The Course states all our numerous ego-emotions are founded on one, namely, fear. All emotions are primarily psychological states most of which have one or more physical/behavioral concomitants, examples of which would be: affection/hug, hate/attack, panic/freeze, joy/dance, happiness/smile, despair/withdraw, sadness/cry, fear/flight, guilt/project or penance. Emotional states are a unique modality or facet of expression utilized by all Mind-as-such and, as such, should not be confused with cognition/reasoning, or conation/motivation which are the two other unique psychological modalities through which Mind-as-such expresses itself. Note that God has only One emotion, and it is universal, limitless Love which He extends to and shares with all His created Mind-Beings within His Mind-as-such. This Love of God is also in every human Mind but it is buried (dissociated) under layers of fear, aggression and the many ego-defenses pitted against it. What we call "love" on earth is actually a variety of fear-based compensating ego-emotions such as attachment, affection, infatuation, clinging, bonding, sexual feeling, parenting, friendship, etc., which we use to shore-up against, and distract ourselves from, the terrible loneliness and emptiness of our separation from God and His Limitless Love. All these ego-love emotions form the main support for what the Course calls special love relationships. Almost all conflict in relationships and between groups is not caused so much by clashing ideas as by the strong angry fearful emotions that accompany those unreal ideas.
empathy: In psychology the word "empathy" is used to indicate the ability to project one's own personality into the personality of another in order to understand that person better but without undue emotional involvement, and it has been regarded as a desirable quality in psychotherapists, parents, friends, etc. "Sympathy" always implies a much deeper emotional involvement with the other person who in this case is usually suffering in some way. "Empathy" can apply to happy states as well as unhappy ones. The Course, however, says that the ego's interpretation of empathy is to form a special relationship in which suffering is shared, and that the ego uses it destructively because it is applied only to certain types of problems and people. Moreover, empathy arises from learned past circumstances which makes the past real rather than illusion. In this utilization of the past, empathy imprisons both participants. Thus the Course is bundling empathy and sympathy together as special relationship delusions which are emotionally shared. But in all such emotional circumstances where empathy or sympathy might be called for, the Course says that if we are willing to "sit quietly by" the other person and let the Holy Spirit relate through us, we will empathize with strength and both will gain in strength. This is genuine healing.
emphasis: When the ego emphasizes something we
can be sure it is fear-based, or a distraction from anxiety, sin, guilt,
punishment, loneliness, etc., all of which are fear-based. Even an
emphasis on "beautiful structures" (i.e., the body as a temple) is a
sign we fear At-one-ment and communion with Spirit.
Throughout the Course we need to be alert to the use of such phrases as "The emphasis is now on..." or, "Our emphasis is..." because they call our attention to important focal points in the Lessons or Text. The various usages of the word "emphasis" are illustrated in the quotations below.
empty, emptiness: The idea of emptiness is one of the most important concepts to grasp in the Course for two, apparently paradoxical reasons. The first is that when we seemed to separate from God and His Love we experienced a great emptiness and loneliness--a lack, a void, a huge gaping gap. Because Love was no longer available to us we filled the void, the emptiness, with fear (as our new "protector") and with all the antidotes to fear such as special relationships and other distractions. Of course the fear-filled emptiness is still present permeating and surrounding all our antidotes, distractions and busy-ness. The second reason to understand the idea of emptiness, or rather the verb "to empty," is that we cannot undo the separation and experience God directly until we have emptied our minds of all this fear-based ego-content--the special relationships, the antidotes, the distractions, the meaningless busy-ness. The means to empty our minds of all this non-sense are detailed in the Course, the main one being forgiveness through the withdrawal of all emotional ego-projections onto others. Once we can come with wholly empty (of ego) hands and minds to God, without demands, He will take the Final Step and awaken us to the Heaven we never left in Reality, that is, in His Own Mind-as-such.
encompass: This word includes in its meaning, "to span, cover and include." Thus, being in God and of God, we encompass everything Real, just as God encompasses all Beings, all His Creations. And because in our dream we have separated ourselves so far from God, Jesus, as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, encompasses or bridges that gap, thus helping us to awaken and return Home. Note also that all Mind-as-such, which we Really are, exists within God's Mind-as-such and encompasses Everything. But remember there is nothing of the unreal dreamworld we have made in Reality. We are all One in the Mind of God Who is Loving Oneness.
encounter: The Holy Encounter is a major theme in the Course because every encounter we have with anyone and everyone is actually a spiritual one even if we do not immediately realize it; it is one Son of God meeting another Son of God. The ego would have us believe that only past experiences and our judgments based on them contribute to our encounters with others. On this basis all our relationships here are fearful and angry, even when we believe otherwise. As egos we are much too afraid (too threatened) to Love everyone. This ego-viewpoint excludes present vision, a spiritual sight which enables us to see the Christ in everyone we meet, turning the event into a Loving Holy Encounter. In any meeting we encounter a part of ourselves because we are all part of God Who is Everything Real, including us as His Sons. Thus from every encounter we can experience Loving Oneness if we have a Mind to!
end: The Course explains the means by which we can accomplish the end, the goal of the Course which is to undo all our illusory ego-beliefs about ourselves, about relationships, our bodies and this world so that we can first see the Real world of Love, and then wake up in Heaven, in the Mind of God. This waking up in God's Mind takes place at the end of time because time is a device of past and future that we invented to maintain our separation from God, the Sonship and from one another. The At-one-ment is God's Plan (fully elaborated throughout the Course) by which, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can undo sin, guilt, judgment, punishment, etc., by learning to forgive everyone thus clearing the way to the "journey's end." God, Himself, will take the final step in our awakening. For now, we can always remind ourselves that Love, Light, Peace and Joy are the ends we seek, as Reality.
endless: The Course uses this word in two contexts, one of ego and the other of eternity. In its ego-related sense it means "almost endless" and refers to the repetitive acts in which we indulge, such as shopping, searching in darkness, striving to avoid catastrophes, and of placing our faith in "an endless list of forms of nothingness." In contrast with these endless little preoccupations of ego, stand the endless-as-eternal Attributes of God and His Sons, namely, Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness, Knowledge and Life Itself. Even before we awaken fully we can experience a Real World of Joy, Abundance, Charity and endless giving of Love. This is God's Will for us. Oneness in God returns our Minds to the endless present, NOW.
endure: One of the criteria for deciding whether or not some thing or quality is valuable and Real is to ask if it endures forever--is it eternal? Anything that does not last, i.e., does not endure forever, is valueless except in as much as it will temporarily serve us as a teaching aid or support system for our spiritual work and transformation, e.g., our bodies. The ego itself is a temporary bundle of beliefs, ideas and attitudes we use to maintain our belief in our separation from God, the Sonship and one another, and therefore it is a valueless impediment to our salvation and must be undone, and given to the Holy Spirit. Special love relationships are doomed not to endure, but holy relationships, in which everyone Loves everyone as Sons of God, will endure eternally. Note also that there is nothing in this world we see or of the ego that will endure forever, because it is not Real.
enemies: Individually and collectively we, as
egos, project our own negative characteristics (the things we fear
in ourselves) out onto others whom we sometimes call "enemies," be
they simply a competitor, a rival sect, party or group, or another nation. Be
sure that if we hate any "evil" characteristic in others we fear it as
a hidden characteristic within ourselves. When we point a finger at an
enemy we are pointing at our own "sins," usually unexpressed
and almost certainly unadmitted by our egos. This, then, is the ego's usual
pattern of projecting its "sins," followed by a rush to judgment, then
condemnation and, if feasible, suitable punishment, often as
"authority." Note that in psychology and sometimes in the Course all
this negative hidden material which is usually buried in our minds, is called
our shadow, or dark side. The Course emphasizes that all of us as
separated ones share equally in this shadow aspect of humanity; that each
of us possesses a murderer within, an ego-child we have to find, acknowledge and
release to the Holy Spirit. (See second quotation below.)
But our egos do much more than merely projecting onto others and condemning them. Our egos see a threat to their own continuing (unreal) existence coming at them not only from the inner Christ-Self and the Holy Spirit but also from God and the Christ-Self in the perceived "enemy" who is "outside." Thus the ego's "enemy," both inside and outside, is this hated Spirit whom the ego perceives as attacking it on all fronts threatening it with annihilation. Therefore (the ego reasons) its "little life" becomes a case of killing Spirit before Spirit kills it. This is why Jesus was crucified. His Innocence and Love as Spirit, threatened to undo the egos of the human race so, in the interest of the ego-survival, the human race (as separated ones) had to kill him. But this they could not do because humans can only kill unreal bodies, whereas Minds-as-such (as Spirit) live eternally as God's Sons. Of course, Spirit as the Christ-Self, the Holy Spirit or God never, in Fact, attacks anything or anyone, being only Loving Innocence.
But there is more yet to this "enemy" projection system of the ego. Because as egos we live in the absence of Love (which in the separation we have replaced with fear-as-security) we seek for many forms of pseudo-love, mostly projected as coming from outside ourselves (e.g., our salary) and often from other people (e.g., comfort, ego-confirmation). And because there is a shortage of even pseudo-love in this ego-world, we are very parsimonious in doling it out to others, and they to us. As egos we see them hiding this pseudo (substitute)-love from us inside themselves. However we want it (this "secret ingredient"), and if they will not freely give it to us (remember there is a shortage of it) we attack them to force them to yield it up to us. They become our enemies (especially in special relationships) with whom we war so they will surrender and we can take from them the "love" we want, whatever form it takes. This is crazy. We are saying, "I will beat up on you until you love me," and, "I will punish you until you are permanently obedient," because we see obedience (to our egos) as a form of pseudo-love. All humans do this at all ages, at all "levels" of society and in almost all interactive situations, including families. Even the slightest frown hides an inner rage. Once we have made the "enemy" feel guilty we believe we can extract from them their hidden pseudo-love, claim it as ours, and breathe a sigh of satisfaction--until the next time! All this is unreal. (See quotations 4 and 5 below.)
In Reality there are no enemies, and we are immersed in an infinite "ocean" of not only God's Love and Joy, but also the Love and Joy of all our brothers everywhere. Seek only limitless True Love and you will always find it, inside your own Mind-as-such as God created It.
enlightenment: There are two complementary
meanings of this word (en-light-enment) as used in the Course, and both
are based on the idea of Divine Light, not physical light. The first
variation calls for us to open our minds to learning the Course so that the Holy
Spirit [manifested as Jesus] who Knows God's Light can teach us all about that
Light. This is the Light of Understanding which we have buried deeply within us
under our ego's nightmares--nightmares of pain, terror and violence we are
afraid to bring to that Light. The Course also calls this kind of enlightenment,
salvation. (See first two quotations.)
But enlightenment is also the transfiguration that occurs when we recognize we are, and always have been, Sons of God who brought God's Light with us even into the separation. That realization is an Awakening to a full Awareness of ourselves within God's Mind as One with Him. The Light is the "medium" of Thought Communication within God's Mind.
enslave: One of the greatest paradoxes and absurdities of our deliberate, but imaginary, separation from God is our ingenious invention of an ego/body identity (our little self) to which we promptly enslave ourselves. To accomplish this enslavement to the ego/body-as-self we use two concomitant inventions, namely, fear and idols. Fear not only maintains our separation from both God and other beings, but also (we think) keeps us safe from all danger and attack. Idols, on the other hand, hook us in to a myriad of meaningless substitutes for the Love, Peace and Knowledge of God. Furthermore, along with our own enslavement, we have enslaved the whole world and keep it a prisoner to our insane beliefs. But, if we are willing, we can free both ourselves and our brothers by undoing the ego, opening up our dark secrets, withdrawing all projections, forgiving everyone, and Loving God.
entirely: In terms of the Mind of God (and His Reality within It) the Course never compromises or accepts any opposites. All else arises from mere imagination, insanity and false beliefs. Therefore in this context the word "entirely" comes in for a lot of use. It is also used frequently in connection with the At-one-ment process of healing all separation where, again, no compromise is possible if salvation is to be accomplished. Note in the following quotations that Mind-as-such is all there is and It encompasses everything entirely; there is nothing else anywhere or ever.
entitled: There are several entitlements mentioned in the Course. Jesus points out that he is entitled to our respect as an elder brother because of his greater experience, to obedience for his greater wisdom and to our Love because he is devoted to us. However, we should not be in awe of him because there is nothing about him we cannot attain. Awe is reserved solely for God our Creator. We are all entitled to the perfect comfort that comes from perfect trust, to the Holy Spirit's gifts of healing, deliverance and peace, and to Everything of God because it is our birthright as Sons of God. But the entitlement most emphasized in the Course is that we are entitled to miracles whenever we ask.
entrusted: In one remarkable paragraph Jesus clearly defines his role and function in our lives if we elect to entrust our minds, egos and bodies to him. He says he will substitute for our egos, and will protect and care for our bodies if we wish. If we will do this, Jesus states he will also teach us their unimportance. Furthermore, we need be concerned with them no longer. Then we can be free and become teachers who share Jesus' aim of healing the mind. (See: Text-4.I.13:all) God, as the "Lord of Love and Life" has entrusted every one of His creations (Sons) with the power to save those who have elected to separate from Him; therefore we can be saviors to those especially entrusted to our care. This entrusting is part of God's Plan. We are entrusted with all the gifts of God such as Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Knowledge, Freedom, Life eternal, etc., because we are His Sons.
envy: What we (as egos) usually envy is ego-power in one form or another, such as strength, authority, beauty, intelligence, sociability and so on. The opposite of power is ego-helplessness or weakness or inferiority. True Power lies with God and the Sons of God who are aware of Love's infinite Power. This Love-Power is hidden by veils of separation, and those who identify with their weak and blustering egos thus feel powerless. These powerless egos tend to ban together as "sorry armies" who, being envious of Something that has Power (but not knowing where to find it) overrun the world, destroying everything they hate in the hope It is included. While this applies literally to open warfare it also applies to all intolerant and competitive people, organizations and other groups. Only Love is the Answer.
equal, equality: God Loves all his children equally. He created us as equal Mind-Beings within Himself. This equality of the Sonship in terms of value, wholeness, will, perfection, beauty, inheritance, and happiness cannot be overstressed. We humans, as separated ego/bodies learn to perceive inequality everywhere even extending it to a "hierarchy" of Spiritual Beings; we see some people as more spiritual than others. However, any lack of equality we see in others anywhere, at any time, in any situation, is the result of comparative judgment, and is both false and fictional. All this mistaken perception of others has to be unlearned until we reawaken with spiritual vision and see everyone as God does, and Love everyone equally as He does. Then, and only then, is the At-one-ment accomplished. Note also that all miracles are the same and equal in their holiness.
error: One of the fundamental tenets of the Course is that sin, in any form, does not exist, and that all so-called "sins" are only errors or mistakes which are entirely correctable. This correction process entails facing our errors openly, owning them without denial or projection, and then giving them to the Holy Spirit for complete dissolution. While "sin" is defined in the Course with its traditional meaning of being permanently ineradicable, associated with guilt, and deserving only of judgment, condemnation and suitable punishment or revenge, Jesus makes it very clear that this viewpoint is a totally untrue, very distorted perception which only serves to perpetrate fear and hate, as well as maintain our separation from one another and God. "Sin" is an ingenious device of the ego, designed to keep us in darkness and away from the corrective healing of the At-one-ment process through which we will return Home. By correctly re-defining all so-called "sin" as error Jesus insures that, through forgiveness and reason (true understanding), we will experience miracles of transformation, first moving into right-mindedness and then waking up in Reality. The Course contains many valuable, insightful quotations centered around the concept of "error" and its correction through miracles, undoing and healing.
escape: Because, in Fact, we are spiritual Beings who live eternally as Minds within the Mind of God we can escape from all the temporary ego-states of separation and illusion we have made for ourselves here. This "escape" however is accomplished not by running away from the ego or the things of ego, but rather by standing in the middle of the ego (complete with its fears, conflicts, etc.,) and realizing none of it is Real, even as we bring it to Truth for dissolution. This dissolution, or dismantling of the illusory ego-system, involves choosing the Path of the At-one-ment (God's Plan), withdrawing all our projections onto others, forgiving everyone totally, seeing everyone as a Son of God, Loving everyone as a Brother, letting go all our beliefs about everything (especially time and sin) and always listening only to the Holy Spirit Who is the Voice for God (as in the Course). When a prisoner escapes from a prison in this world, the prison is left intact complete with all its wardens and prisoners inside; but when a separated one "escapes" the self-made prison of the ego, that prison is demolished around him because as he wakes up (in it) he realizes it never existed! In Reality (the awake state) there are no prisons, prisoners or jailers. In this ego-world both the jailer and the prisoner are confined to the prison, therefore we must hold no one else prisoner. Remember that the walls of this fabricated, fictional prison (this ego/body/world) are made of fear and guilt. Look at them openly and honestly with Spiritual Vision and they will collapse into the nothingness from whence they came.
establishes: It is God, and only God, Who establishes who we Really are as His Son, His Eternal Creation. The Course emphasizes this Identity over and over again. In contrast the ego strives to establish our identity as an ego/body conglomeration of beliefs, attitudes and emotions all based on fear, guilt and a belief in sin and punishment. The ego also establishes its relationships to get something from the other person or persons involved, even if it is a "deal," a give-to-get agreement. The first three quotations below delineate three ego-supporting "props" that it always tries to establish, namely, focusing on the body, on special relationships and on a hierarchy of believed false "truths" and values. The fourth quote about going along with "outrageous" requests that do not harm others is especially difficult for the ego to comprehend. (See: outrageous) The final quotations pertain to correction, choosing Sonship and Loving Oneness. Note that we walk through (not around) our illusory fears with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (as in the Course) in order to meet and join with Loving Oneness. Remember God's is the only Real "Establishment."
eternal: It is difficult for us humans who are
addicted to space/time/matter, to comprehend that only Mind-as-such with
Its Attributes of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Knowledge, etc., is eternal and Real.
All else, being not-God, is imagination and unreal; it is also not
eternal. The Eternal is Perfect, Changeless and outside time. Time is made
by the separated Sons as a context of past, present and future, so that a
fictitious changing can appear to take place within the illusory
dreamworld in which we 3-D humans imagine we "live." Change, time,
impermanence and mortality, which are the direct result of separation from God,
are also Loveless, fear-based perceptions generated by our separated
selves on behalf of maintaining our false ego/body identities.
What then exists in the Eternal Mind of God? The answers fall into two distinct categories. The first category consists of the Sonship, namely all God's Creations who are Minds-as-such within God's Mind and identical to Him, the only difference being we are created by Him and we did not create God. (Note here that egos, bodies and this world are not Real and are not in God or of God--they are nothing.)
The second category of What is Eternal consists of all God's Attributes which all his created Sons share with Him and one another. These shared eternal, perfect attributes of Real Mind-as-such are:
It is also worthwhile to point out that ways, means, methods, concepts and devices which aid us in our transition from a separated state of dreaming until we wake up fully in God are not eternal (even though generated by Spirit) because their usefulness ends once we are fully Awake in God. These temporary healing aids are:
To experience eternity in this world we must enter into communion with God in a Holy Instant.
evaluate: We cannot evaluate the insane beliefs of the ego from within the ego because that would be insanity investigating insanity, yet this is what we all do in this world of ego. Only Spirit can truly evaluate the ego and its beliefs, and Spirit asks us to realize they are nothing and to let them go by relinquishing everything in our lives to the Holy Spirit. One way to accomplish this is to question the value of the ego constantly, and thus establish our ability, as Self, to evaluate its insane questions and its "gifts" of pain, sickness, depression, special relationships, etc. Our habitual evaluations and appraisals of other people's egos, appearances and bodies are projected invalid judgments by our twisted egos. The only true appraisal, evaluation or judgment of any individual is that he or she is God's Son, and that evaluation is God's Own "Judgment."
events: Although the multitude of everyday events and crises that occur to us are an effect of our seeming separation from God and one another, the Course tells us there are ways in which the Holy Spirit can utilize all these events in order to facilitate our journey Home. First, we have to realize all events are not outside us; they are all generated from within our own minds. Events are contrived by the ego in "dreams" (i.e., our everyday lives) with the body as the "hero" (i.e., the actor-identity "costume" we assume for role-playing) of each "dream," each everyday happening. As ego/bodies we each play a wide variety of character-roles in these daytime "dreams," for example, as parents, as children, at work, in bed, in church, at school, in sport, watching television, on vacation, in traffic, etc. Second, this whole chaotic patchwork of ego roles, reactions, relationships, situations and events, must be brought voluntarily to the Holy Spirit Who will endow it all with one stable, constant spiritual purpose and meaning. This, then, is a state of single-mindedness or right-mindedness, which in its turn gives way to Christ's Vision. With Christ's Vision we see all events as helpful spiritual lessons and all people as Sons of God.
everlasting: While this word is a more poetic synonym for "eternal" or "timeless," it also applies more to attributes and activities than to "Spiritual Beings" such as Minds, God, Sons, and Christs. Thus, we usually speak of everlasting Love, Peace and Light. This is also mostly the case in the Course, although both "everlasting" and "eternal" are used to qualify "Life." The series of quotations below have been selected more for their intrinsic spiritual value than to illustrate the usages of "everlasting." Nevertheless they make an enlightening, Loving sequence.
everyone: When we awaken to the Light we awaken it in everyone, because What is God's belongs to everyone. In fact, the Light is in everyone now but for most it is veiled in sleep by fear. Jesus speaks with us personally on the last pages of the Text asking us to join with him by choosing once again to be a savior of the world, because, in Reality, we are as God created us and so is everyone we see, regardless of their apparent ego/body form and the many character-roles they play in everyday life.
everything: We are so familiar with the ego's frequent use of this word in our everyday lives that, when studying the Course, we have to realize that its usage of "everything" is very often as a synonym for Reality, which is the Mind of God. We do have Everything of God, i.e., Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness, Knowledge, Communion, Eternal Life, Innocence, Free Will, the Power to Create Eternal Beings, Oneness, etc. Everything is in us now. Once we undo the ego through forgiveness and relinquish it to the Holy Spirit we will recognize that the Christ in us, and in everyone else, has Everything of God.
everywhere: God is everywhere because God is in our minds and Mind-as-such is Real, while appearances and form are not. God goes everywhere with us because we as Mind-Beings are eternally alive in His Mind. Each of us is without limit in God's Mind. We must remember that time and space as physical dimensions and the world of imaginary forms within space and time are not Real because they are impermanent. Therefore, in the Course, the term "everywhere" is a figurative expression to refer to the universality of Mind-as-such as the Primary Source of Reality--as only Mind. All (Mind-as-such) is One and That is All there is.
evidence: We have to make an unequivocal decision as to who is our father, our creator. Is it God or the ego? Either God or the ego is insane, and the Course suggests that if we examine the evidence on both sides fairly we will realize that this must be true. The Introduction to Chapter 11, "God or the Ego" presents a clear case that we as egos could not make ourselves as egos, but that God, Who creates by extension, is our Creator, our Father. If we are willing to open the "dark cornerstone of terror" on which the ego's thought system rests we can bring our minds to the Light and Jesus will lead us to our Real Father to find Love, Peace and Joy. Because the full method of doing this is given in the Introduction to Chapter 11 of the Text the whole Introduction is quoted below. You may wish, however, to read it in the Course itself.
Either God or the ego is insane. If you will examine the evidence on both sides fairly, you will realize this must be true. Neither God nor the ego proposes a partial thought system. Each is internally consistent, but they are diametrically opposed in all respects so that partial allegiance is impossible. Remember, too, that their results are as different as their foundations, and their fundamentally irreconcilable natures cannot be reconciled by vacillations between them. Nothing alive is fatherless, for life is creation. Therefore, your decision [for God or ego] is always an answer to the question, "Who is my father?" And you will be faithful to the father you choose. Yet what would you say to someone who believed this question really involves conflict? If you made the ego, how can the ego have made you? The authority [i.e., father-author] problem is still the only source of conflict, because the ego was made out of the wish of God's Son to father Him. The ego, then, is nothing more than a delusional system in which you made your own father. Make no mistake about this. It sounds insane when it is stated with perfect honesty, but the ego never looks on what it does with perfect honesty. Yet that [delusional system] is its insane premise, which is carefully hidden in the dark cornerstone of its thought system. And either the ego, which you made, is your father, or its whole thought system will not stand. You make by projection, but God creates by extension. The cornerstone of God's creation is you, for His thought system is light. Remember the Rays that are there unseen. The more you approach the center of His thought system [as in the Course], the clearer the light becomes. The closer you come to the foundation of the ego's thought system, the darker and more obscure becomes the way. Yet even the little spark in your mind is enough to lighten it. Bring this light fearlessly with you, and bravely hold it up to the foundation of the ego's thought system. Be willing to judge it with perfect honesty. Open the dark cornerstone of terror on which it rests, and bring it out into the light. There you will see that it [the terror] rested on meaninglessness, and that everything of which you have been afraid was based on nothing. My brother [says Jesus], you are part of God and part of me. When you have at last looked at the ego's foundation without shrinking you will also have looked upon ours. I come to you from our Father to offer you everything again. Do not refuse it in order to keep a dark cornerstone hidden, for its protection will not save you. I give you the lamp and I will go with you. You will not take this journey alone. I will lead you to your true Father, Who hath need of you, as I have. Will you not answer the call of love with joy? (T-11.IN.all)
evil: The Course states quite clearly that in Reality there is no evil. All "evil," and for that matter "sin," are illusory dreams we think are real while we remain in our states of ego. All evil and sin are only easily correctable errors when we personally own them and give them to the Holy Spirit. There is nothing outside us. But while our ego-minds believe in (false) ideas of evil, sin, hate, crime, sickness, attack, pain, grief, death and suffering, we will experience them in this world we made when we separated from God as Prodigal Sons. Except to the ego, evil and sin are meaningless. When we, as egos, deny our Identity as Sons of God, we look out on this world of evil, sin and death, and watch despair leave us nothing but the wish to die. The "root of all evil" is to be found in conflict, in fear, and ultimately in the authority problem, i.e., of who is our author, God or the ego. But by withdrawing our projections onto others, by acknowledging that any fear, anger or conflict is in ourselves, by forgiving ourselves and others, by realizing it is all based on nothing, and by giving all of it to the Holy Spirit to dissolve, will we be free to understand we are all sinless Sons of God.
example: This word is included here only in its sense of one person being an example, a model, for others to follow, to emulate. Jesus asks us to follow his example as a Loving brother who is deeply concerned with our salvation from separation. We all teach by example all the time and this teaching may be coming from the ego or the Christ Self. Therefore, when we take Jesus as our role-model, especially the Jesus of the New Testament, we must reinterpret the words and events (such as the crucifixion) in the light of how he explains them now, in the Course. Of course, we do not need to go to the past; Jesus is "Alive and Whole" now, and he presents us with an excellent role-model throughout the Course if we need to have one on paper. But keep conversing with him directly, now.
exceed: Nothing can exceed our holy Will of Loving everyone because God created us for Himself and like Himself, and being wholly in God we encompass everything. Why, then, are we humans, apparently, so unloving? When we separated from God into a world of dreaming we dissociated (i.e., blocked off) all our God-given Attributes, including our Wills, and substituted ego-parodies which falsely mimic our Real Attributes. These Real Attributes are still there in us, but they are buried (i.e., hidden) deep within our minds under layers of defenses and fears. To resurrect these limitless Attributes we must be willing to let go the ego's parodies of them, such as special love relationships, as well as our entrenched beliefs about scarcity, sin, separation, suffering and sickness, and give them all to the Holy Spirit. Once we relinquish all ego, and re-open our Minds to God we will rediscover His Will and Peace are ours eternally.
exceptions: The ego makes many exceptions in this dreamworld of separation, but in the Reality of God's Mind there are no exceptions because Everything is Perfect. Exceptions can only occur in a world of illusion, an unreal world of imagined forms. Real Love (as contrasted with the ego's pseudo-love) is incapable of any exceptions. All exceptions to our Love are based on fear and made by fear. We do not Love those we fear, that is, distrust in any way. In the Workbook lessons we are constantly asked to make no exceptions in applying the Real Ideas they contain because we must unlearn the ego's rule of making exceptions every minute of every day. Genuine Happiness and Universal Joy must embrace Everyone, Everywhere, or it would not be Real.
face of Christ: Once we have truly forgiven everyone, including ourselves, the veils of "sin" and fear will be lifted from our Minds as we give them to the Holy Spirit, and then we will "see" (i.e., be fully aware of in a spiritual way) the face of Christ within both ourselves and our brothers--all of whom will be seen only as innocent Sons of God. In other words, in this context, the term "face of Christ" refers to the True-God-Self in each of us that can be "seen" with Spiritual Vision once we have cleared our Minds of all the nonsensical ego-rubbish that veils and blocks the Light of Spirit. It is in the Light of Spirit that the face of Christ is revealed, both in ourselves and all others. If we "see" with Vision the face of Christ shining in one person (ourselves or others) we will "see" Christ's face in every Being everywhere. Thus the term "the face of Christ," whether in ourselves or our brothers, is a much wider concept than only the image of Jesus' face, but this is not to say we cannot also see the face of Jesus in the Christ sense. If we see the face of Christ in anyone we will see it in Jesus. Jesus states several times (see: T-12.VII.6:1, 11:6, 12:1, 15:all) that we can see him for he is Real and did not die! This "seeing" of Jesus with Christ's Vision has been an actual visual image for some people, while for others it is the non-visual Presence of Jesus as a Friend, and both are equally valid experiences.
fact (as Fact): Apart from stock phrases such as "in fact" and "the fact that," the Course uses the term "fact" to denote that the word or idea referred to is an True aspect of Reality. Thus, for example, "... God is not symbolic; He is Fact." The term fact is used in an identical but negated way to indicate that something that is illusory is not Real. Thus, "... the ego is only an idea and not a fact [i.e., Fact]." It is also a Fact that Jesus is always with us now. Here are some more Course Facts: We are the Will of God. God is Love. Union is a Fact, not separation. God's Son is not guilty. The past does not exist. Perfect Love is in us all. We, like our Father, are an eternal idea. We are all joined as brothers, i.e., Sons. Everything we see is the result of our thoughts. There are no private thoughts. We are entitled to miracles. Salvation is accomplished. No decision is difficult. My Mind holds only what I think with God. We are as God created us; we are sinless. The Peace of God is a Fact. This world has nothing to give us. Facts are unchanged and unchangeable.
fail, failure: The Course references to these
words can be divided into two categories, namely, that ego must fail, and
that Spirit can not fail. The ego must fail because it is a false
identity we use to sustain the separation. The ego concerns itself with idols,
dreams, success, this world, and death; all these must fail; they will
not last. Heaven is not outside, not "out there." Also, any attempt to
escape from one illusion into another must fail. For example, a person may try
to switch from any one ego-polarity to another, or from one special relationship
to another, but neither polarities nor ego-relationships, nor anything else in
this world of separation, are the Real Answer.
Love, however, is never outside our Minds because God put Love in our Minds-as-such as an eternal attribute. But we have hidden Love away deep in our Minds, and substituted ego and fear to protect us here in our separated state as ego-bodies. Any trials we seem to face in our everyday lives are only lessons of Love we have failed to learn as yet. These trials-as-lessons are still mistaken, in that we continue to fail to realize the Source of Love from Which we came. They are not competitive lessons concerned with ego-success; they are actually lessons about what we have to unlearn, to let go, and to forgive, in order to rediscover our Christ-Selves, and Love, within. In contrast to the erratic and false ego, the Course repeatedly emphasizes that God the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Sons of God (including all our brothers), the Christ-Self, and Jesus himself will never fail us and They will always answer our clear call. In Fact we cannot fail.
faintest: Because we identify with our egos and bodies we maintain our separation from God, His Love and His Reality. In this separated state of fearful insanity, and being completely isolated from Reality, we have not the faintest glimmering of what Love means, of how we will be when Truth has come. Even the faintest hint of Who we Really are, as Sons of God awake within God's Mind, would drive the ego from our minds because we would lose all interest in the ego and its ridiculous preoccupations immediately. Note, though, that even the faintest irritation is sufficient to maintain the illusion of our ego-identity. But do not repress or hide anger, irritation or fear within yourself nor vent it outwards onto others; rather, withdraw the needy projection, "sit" in the emotion, own it, and relinquish it to the Holy Spirit for dissolution. Then rest in God.
fair, fairness: God's laws are fair and perfectly
consistent because His law is the Law of Love which is universal. God gives his
gifts of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, etc., to each and every Son equally and
totally because His fairness is only concerned with giving and extending.
As Love-less egos, however, our preoccupation with "fairness" is lopsided, full of double standards and concerned with polarities (e.g., "I'm good, you're bad," or, "I'm right, you're wrong," or, "I'm sane, you're crazy"). The ego's "fairness" is also fixated on getting, even when we are giving-to-get in some commitment, some pseudo-love "deal," often a bargain within a special love relationship. When the deal falls through, which is inevitable, we judge the other person as unfair, then, mostly, we try to correct that person through punishment until they get back in line with our ego's standards, assigned roles, rules and beliefs. Alternatively, we may abandon that relationship to try yet another one in the vain hope of success, of finding fairness. All this is ego.
We can safely hand over all fairness/unfairness situations to the Holy Spirit and (through the Course) let Jesus teach us how to share God's Loving Fairness with all our brothers as Sons of God. God gives us Everything Real to the maximum, so what else could we ever want?
faith: Belief, faith, trust and knowledge are
words with subtle differences of meaning. "Belief" is a general term
which means to accept fully with conviction, or to have extraordinary confidence
in any idea, theory or being (human or otherwise) as true, real, correct
or morally right; as such "belief" is a more cognitive or intellectual
term. "Faith" originated as an ecclesiastical term and denotes an
unquestioning belief in someone (usually God) without needing direct
sensory proof or outside evidence. Thus, "faith" is a more abstract
and directional term, in that we have faith in someone or God.
"Trust," on the other hand, is much more practical and two-way in that
when we trust someone (or God) we expect some kind of reciprocal response; for
example, in trusting another person we often mean we expect certain restraints
on their behavior, as in a commitment. "Real Knowledge," however, is
not based on any beliefs, faith or trust (even though these may have been
forerunners of Knowledge). In the Course Knowledge is founded on a direct,
personal experience of the Mind of God and must include Knowing all His
Sons. Knowledge, then, is the result of direct Revelation within God because we
are in personal, experiential communion with His Oneness continuously.
The Course places great emphasis on both faith and trust since faith leads to trust which is much more interactive (e.g., in terms, for example, of being entitled to miracles--we trust we will receive them). While faithlessness is dedicated to illusions, faith is wholly dedicated to Truth. Faith in God and all our brothers unites and heals, and leads inevitably to peace. A faith that encompasses God and all Beings is what makes Life meaningful and whole, whereas faith in the ego and its pursuits leads to separation and a meaningless existence. Any so-called faith we have in the unreal world of fear and ego separates us from one another and leads to madness, to isolation and to conflict. But through a faith in the Holy Spirit's effectiveness, and in our forgiveness of one another, we can all unite in Loving Oneness and experience God.
faithful: Are we faithful to God Who is wholly faithful to us, or are we faithful to the ego and its fear-based preoccupations, projections and delusional thought systems? We will be faithful to the "father" we choose but we cannot be faithful to two masters. The ego, the Course states, is nothing more than a delusional system in which you make your own father. Moreover, spiritual Vision cannot come to us while we choose darkness over Light. Either we are faithful to the Truth and Reality of God, or to the fantasies and fragmentations of the ego. In Chapter 19, Jesus paraphrases and adds to an old hymn to give us the Answer, not only in terms of the Union of Father and Son, but also that this Union is only to be found (rediscovered) inside our own Minds-as-such.
faithlessness: In our separation from Spirit we lack faith in God, in the Sonship, in our Christ-Self and in our brother as a Son of God. While faith is about Loving Spiritual Union (see faith and faithful above), faithlessness is the ego’s perpetuation of separation and its many symbols such as bodies, fear, sin, aloneness and sickness. In its constant efforts to maintain faithlessness (or anti-Oneness) the ego has us focus all our attention on bodies which are literal symbols of separation. The Course makes it very clear that Spiritual Union (Loving Oneness) cannot be attained through bodies or the union of bodies. Because we see only the egos and bodies of our brothers we lack faith in them as Sons of God. We see them either as sinners to blame and punish (by projecting onto them our ego-errors), or we see them as a solace, an antidote to our inner spiritual vacuum of faithlessness. Yet again, our faithlessness may cause us to punish ourselves with bodily sickness, or to make a bid for sympathy through such illnesses. Faithlessness forbids forgiveness because it is dedicated to limits, attack, and placing obstacles between God and His Sons. Faith, on the other hand, removes obstacles and limitations, even as it heals and reunites us with Reality.
fall: The Course refers to "the fall" (a noun), but also utilizes the terms "fall" or "fall away" (as verbs). "The fall," as used in the Bible, is redefined in the Course as the separation and this latter term is the one used throughout the Course. (See: separation) By Chapters 18 and 19 of the Text, the student of the Course is ready to understand the principle that all the obstacles and barriers the ego sets up to perpetuate the separation will fall away once willingness and forgiveness replace fear and attack in our relationships with our brothers thus transforming them into Holy Relationships. These barriers to Love are described as, a "little wall of dust" (i.e., bodies, anger, hatred, guilt) or as "chains" (i.e., of fear, sin and death), and as idols (i.e., the distracting things we worship in this ego-world). All these walls, chains, and idols will fall away and be replaced by our intentional opening of inner doorways to the Heaven of God's Love Which has always been Present.
false: Nothing but the Truth is true and what is false is false. Truth cannot have an opposite. All transitory states of pseudo-existence such as bodies, ego-minds, this world, sin, suffering, etc., are false illusions. The test by which we can always distinguish between Truth and illusion is given in Workbook Lesson 152. All transitory, changing, shifting states and conditions are false, whilst the unchangeable (which is of God and in God) is eternally True. The Course, however, does stress that our task is not to seek for Love because Love exists in us eternally. But we are to seek for all the false barriers, fears and beliefs we (as egos) have built against Love, and all these we must own (i.e., not project or think them true) and then relinquish to the Holy Spirit for dissolution. The Course calls our attention to many beliefs, things, ideas and perceptions all of which are false, and all of which must be let go. Workbook Lesson 139 explicitly states that nothing the world believes is true (see quotation below). After the usual quotations below, many false items are listed together with their references so the full quotation can be looked up if who wish. The first set of items listed are totally false, whereas the items in the second list may have a True or Real equivalent. For example, while the ego's plans are false, God's Plans are True. To see the True or Real equivalent you may look up the word in question in this Companion.
These items are totally false:
ego (T-4.I.10:7) & (W-pI.110.10:3)
idols (T-29.VIII.3:1) & (T-30.IV.1:8)
judgments of ego (W-pI.151.4:4)
transitory states (W-pI.152.5:1)
These items (below) may be false as indicated, but they can, in context, have a true equivalent: (e.g., false guidance of the ego, versus, the True Guidance of the Holy Spirit.) It takes genuine discernment [see J01] to determine which is which.
false attraction (T-20.VI.9:4)
false beliefs (W-pI.126.10:1) & (T-25.VII.3:all)
false certainty (T-12.II.4:7)
false decision-making (T-7.X.7:1)
false desires (W-pI.200.10:3)
false directions (T-21.I.2:5)
false forgiveness (T-30.VI.4-6:all) & (W-pI.134.all)
false gods (T-10.IV.6:6)
false guidance (T-7.X.5:12)
false humility (W-pI.186.4:1) & (W-pII.239.1:1) & (M-7.5:6)
false independence (T-11.V.10:3)
false learning (T-14.XI.1:9)
false perceptions (W-pII.334.1:2) & (T-5.III.5:4)
false plans (W-pI.186.5:1)
false premises (T-6.I.4:5)
false security (of ego) (T-5.VI.2:4)
false thought systems (T-17.III.9:6) & (W-pI.16.1:all)
false witnesses (T-5.VI.10:3) & (T-8.VIII.3-4:all) & (T-11.V.18:5)
false world (T-11.VIII.15:4) & (T-13.VII.4:4)
fantasies: Fantasies are imagined situations, usually involving relationships, which we use in place of Real thoughts or actual "external" events to resolve some need, some desire, or some conflict. As such, fantasies are double distortions which always involve twisting unreal perceptions into fictitious unreality. Thus fantasies are false "dreams" which further warp and embroider on the world of dreams our egos make to keep us separated from the Reality of God. In general, while almost all fantasies are unreal wish-fulfillment, they fall into two broad categories, namely, fantasies of hate and vengeance, and fantasies of pleasure and personal satisfactions. Not infrequently either type of fantasy may involve "actual" people, though those people are always projected reflections of hidden or not-so-hidden aspects of our own minds. For example, in fantasies of special love relationships (whether or not the other person is actually known) we project our own internal "unconscious" ideal opposite-sex mirror-image onto the other person; but we would be wiser to bring that opposite-sex aspect of ourselves into our full consciousness and grow it up maturely so that, instead of being a "half-person," we can become a whole Being (like Jesus). In a hate relationship (even a fictional one as when we hate the villain in a film or novel) we project our own shadow side onto the other person who acts as a mirror for our negativity in the fantasy, in the "dream;" and again we would be much wiser to undo this fear and aggression within our own ego-minds, all the time asking the Holy Spirit to help us release the (actual or imagined) relationship from these chains of our own making. None of this is Real, and, in Fact, we are deprived of nothing, and we need nothing here, because in Reality we have Everything. Jesus states unequivocally that he will help us personally to transform all our special relationships into holy relationships, and he asks us to take his hand as we walk through our clouds of fantasy to the Light of God.
Father, father: God is our literal Father because
He created each of us exactly like Himself, the only difference being He created
us, we did not create Him. Our Father created us not as bodies, not
as egos, not as any kind of shape or form, not as changing
thoughts, not as separated fear-based beings in a sensory world, but as Mind-as-such
Sons (without gender) who are eternal, changeless, limitless. We are One
with God Himself and endowed with all His Attributes of Love, Life, Light,
Peace, Joy, Happiness, Free Will, Innocence and Knowledge. All this our Father
bestowed on us when He "encapsulated" a "piece" of His
Mind-as-such with Love and gave us His Identity as His Sons. We have Everything
of God, from God, within God, now. Realize this Fact as Truth and be at
Home in the Father, now.
When we separated from God we could no longer acknowledge Him as our Father, so we had to invent a false "father" to take His place. This pseudo-father that we made is the ego/body system to which we give the authority and limited "power" to rule our lives. Within the ego we have fabricated a section of it that I call the "parental authority system" (PAS) which absorbs the beliefs, mores, values and customs of our physical parents and our culture, and it is this PAS which, by middle adolescence, takes over the false "father/mother" function internally. This internal PAS is totally fear-based and uses guilt, sin, judgment, blame, projection, punishment and rewards--often on oneself (i.e., one's own inner ego-children) as well as other people. This inner ego/body system of arbitrary authoritarian control (the PAS) has to be willingly undone and completely dismantled through forgiveness with the help and miracles of the Holy Spirit so that our Real Father can be fully remembered. In Fact, we have never left God's Mind; we merely slept, and hallucinated a fearful unreality as our dreamworld. In Fact no one in this ego-world has any authority whatsoever, and God's "Authority" is only Love. As the Sons of our Father we are forever unable to suffer pain or loss, and we cannot die, though these are what the ego-as-father wants for us. Our Real Father has endowed every one of us with an eternal Life of Love, Peace and Happiness.
Fatherhood, fatherhood: God, Who is only
Mind-as-such, is our Creator; we are His Sons and He is our Father. The Course makes the point that as His Sons we establish God's Fatherhood simply because,
without Sons, He would not be a Father. It is also True that His created Sons
are the same as their Father. (By definition children, even in this
unreal world, must be the same as their parents in every way, except that their
parents procreate them and not vice versa.) But God knows not of forms or
bodies, all of which are made or manifested by us as separated ones. Moreover,
all forms, including bodies, are not Real. What we are discussing here
has nothing to do with bodies, human reproduction or our ego-lives on earth.
God Fathered (Created) us by "encapsulating" a "piece" of His eternal Mind-as-such with Love and granting it Individuality as an eternal Mind-Being within His Mind. God maintains each Individualized Mind-Being Identity as His Son by continuously Thinking of each of them; that is, God's Loving Thought of each of us within His Mind (through His Grace) guarantees each of His Mind-Being Sons eternal Life as a "fully united piece" of His Own Mind-as-such.
Because we are His Mind-Being Sons, we, too, possess all God's Attributes including that of Mind-fatherhood. Thus we are able to create Mind-as-such Beings within our Minds by "encapsulating" a "piece" of our individualized Mind with Love and giving that Mind-Being eternal Life. Due to the Fact that our Minds are a "united piece" of God's Mind-as-such, therefore the Mind-Beings we create are also a "united piece" of God's Mind-as-such. These Mind-Beings we "father" can, in their turn, create more Mind-Beings, all of whom are the same as us and God. And so on, on and on.... This is how the Kingdom of God's Mind is extended within His Mind-as-such.
One more point needs to be made. Because all Mind-Beings (whether created by God in and of His Mind-as-such, or created by the Sons from God's eternal Mind-as-such) are all "united pieces" of the Mind of God, they have always existed as His Mind-as-such even before being "encapsulated" as individualized Identities (Sons) by Him. Therefore, as an undifferentiated "portion" of God's Mind-as-such, each of us participated in our own Creation by Him or His Sons. In other words, that "united piece" of God's Mind-as-such which we are always existed and must exist eternally as One Mind.
However, as separated Beings who have identified with egos, bodies and fear, we have relinquished our fatherhood (i.e., our ability to create "new" Mind-Beings as Sons). Nevertheless, once we awaken from the dream of separation and again have full Awareness within God's Mind (Heaven) our True fatherhood will flower once again.
fatigue: Almost all of us suffer from mental fatigue from time to time, while some of us suffer from excessive tiredness. The Course tells us that the True opposite of fatigue is the inspiration which comes from genuine devotion to God and Spirit. The very word, inspiration, means "in-spirit." It is only our attachment to the temptations of the ego, namely, sin, guilt, anxiety, sadness, hurts and so on, which fatigue us because they affirm the separation and deny our Oneness with God. Know that these temptations of the ego are deceiving and offer us nothing, and they need not be. We can release all the "sins" of our own egos to Jesus (as the Holy Spirit) because that is what the At-one-ment is for. Then all our fatigue will disappear. But until we decide for God and change our minds about others by forgiving them, the At-one-ment cannot release us.
fault, faulty: We make faulty choices and judgments because our egos' perceptions are always faulty and this leads to faulty beliefs about ourselves, others and our purpose here. All this, in turn, rests on our mind's ability to sort out and categorize what the body's eyes and the ego perceive, especially in terms of other people's words, bodies and actions. In other words we critically classify and judge all the actions, appearances, traits and statements of others, or ourselves, minute by minute, usually finding faults. All this is based on (a) our faulty "reasoning," (b) our fragmentation of everything we perceive, and (c) our projected hallucinations and fantasies. All these result from our separation from God and one another. But Reality is wholly Real and differences cannot exist within it. Each one of us is to be perceived as the Son of God we Really Are.
fear: When we separated from
God by falling asleep and dreaming of a world the opposite of Heaven (as a
vertical duality), we substituted the ego's authority for God's Authority, fear
for Love, projection for extension, and the special relationship for the Love of
God (see: T-16.V.all). We made fear, and we also made egos and bodies
dependent on it for survival (a word that implies death.). All
"life" on this planet is based on death, physical and mental
survival, "protective" fear, and the "manufacturing" of
bodies. All so-called earthly "life" (i.e., encased in bodies) feeds
on "life" whether its chicken or lettuce. The entire food chain feeds
on "life" and is therefore afraid of death, whether it is the death of
the body or the annihilation of the individual's identity.
Also, because we have separated from God into an illusion, we feel our egos have no foundation of any kind. Underneath our egos we intuitively feel there is a void of absolutely nothing and this terrifies us. We "know" our egos are suspended over an abyss of bottomless darkness, and the resulting sense of panic (fear) is so profound that we invent innumerable ways to compensate. This fear causes us to invent compensatory idols, which, like multiple balloons (an analogy) float us (as pumped-up egos) high above the abyss, an elated state that can distract us from the possibility of falling into the void. Some examples of our main idols ("balloons" as antidotes to fear) are special relationships, all kinds of security, entertainment, success, "magic," addictions, wealth, sport, and health. Fear takes many forms such as panic, terror, worry, anxiety, stress, horror, dismay, suspicion, disquiet, dread, apprehension, timidity, recoiling, guilt, depression, despair, cautiousness and, in many cases, sickness.
Note that anger and attack are only the flip-side of fear because we only attack people of whom we are afraid. Even dictators fear rebellious uprisings and sabotage by guerrillas or "the resistance," and attack them. And, in a similar manner, each of us (as we strive to maintain our strong ego-control) fears the eruption of our inner angry, even rage-full, ego-children. This fear of loss of inner control, when projected, is why we fear out-of-control children outside us.
Fear also causes us to blame others (through projections) for any lacks from which our ego suffers; e.g., "You do not love me enough." It is always others who seem to deprive us of our ego-need in-coming satisfactions, or, they force on us feelings, things or situations we do not want, i.e., that we fear. Thus we learn to hate those whom we fear, and this brings with it escalating attack and defense. The result is often hell for everyone involved, and before long we begin to be very wary (fear) even of the ego's forms of pseudo-love such as bonding, affection, infatuation, bodily contact, and exclusionary special commitments. These love-getting methods of the ego must not be confused with Universal Love.
Fear is our deliberate invention. Fear is the mainstay of the separation and that is its purpose, its reason for being in our "lives." Fear protects and preserves our separation from God by making us afraid to step outside the ego/body/this-world prison we have made--as the separation manifested.
One outcome of all these fear-based ego-states is almost universal insanity in this world; everyone has fear-full ego problems and conflicts, even though in some people these ego-fears may be well disguised, projected and compensated for. Of course this whole scenario of fear, hate, compensation and insanity is an illusion. This illusion, however, must be undone; it must be dismantled with the help of the Holy Spirit. (To dismantle the ego see: forgive.) The Course states clearly that the correction of fear is our responsibility. We have to change the way we think and the Course summarizes the steps as follows (refer to: T-2.VI.7:all):
1. Know first that this (ego-situation conflict) is fear.
2. Fear arises from lack of Love.
3. The only remedy for lack of Love is perfect Love.
4. Perfect Love is the At-one-ment.
Love and a faith in miracles will replace fear, all fears, which we can then relinquish to the Holy Spirit. Fear is not our protector--Love is.
Fear and Love cannot co-exist, therefore all forms of fears must be eliminated from our Minds before God's Love can be rediscovered there. This elimination cannot be accomplished by repression or denial of the dark side, which means the separation must be ended by means of the At-one-ment healing process, at which point we Awaken as the Christ in Loving Oneness. (See next entry: fearful) (See also: conflict, frighten, fight, ego, forgive, mechanism)
THE ORIGINS OF FEAR
All fear stems from our imagined usurping of the Power of God: All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. Of course, you neither can, nor have been able to do this. Here is the real basis for your escape from fear. The escape is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which enables you to realize that your errors never really occurred. (T-2.I.4:1-4)
Separation and fear are our miscreations: Both the separation and the fear are miscreations that must be undone for the restoration of the temple, and for the opening of the altar to receive the Atonement. This heals the separation... (T-2.III.2:3-4)
Fear is the result of doing Loveless things: It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement. You have done something loveless, having chosen without love. (T-2.VI.8:3-4)
We are the originators of fear: God is not the author of fear. You are. You have chosen to create unlike Him, and have therefore made fear for yourself. You are not at peace because you are not fulfilling your [God-given] function. (T-4.I.9:1-4)
We can never control the effects of fear; we made fear: The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief. You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made. (T-1.VI.4:1-2)
FEAR IS AN ILLUSION
All aspects of fear are untrue: All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the creative level [Reality], and therefore do not exist at all. (T-1.VI.5:1)
Fear is nothing and Love is Everything: Nothing [illusion] and everything [Reality] cannot coexist. To believe in one is to deny the other. Fear is really nothing and love is everything. Whenever light enters darkness, the darkness is abolished. What you believe is true for you. (T-2.VII.5:1-5)
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FEAR?
Fear is a fragmenting emotion: Fear is both a fragmented and fragmenting emotion. (T-18.I.3:3)
The body is emphasized, with special emphasis on certain parts, and used as the standard for comparison of acceptance or rejection for acting out a special form of fear. (T-18.I.3:7)
When we substituted fragmentation for Love and Wholeness we believed God is fear: You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution. It has taken many forms, because it was the substitution of illusion for truth; of fragmentation for wholeness. (T-18.I.4:1-2)
When you seem to see some twisted form of the original error [of separating from Reality] rising to frighten you, say only, "God is not fear, but Love," and it will disappear. The truth will save you. (T-18.I.7:1-2)
The attraction of sin and guilt is only fear: Let not your fear of sin protect it from correction, for the attraction of guilt is only fear. Here is the one emotion that you made [i.e., fear], whatever it may seem to be. This is the emotion of secrecy, of private thoughts and of the body. This is the one emotion that opposes love.... (T-22.I.4:6-9)
WHAT DOES FEAR DO TO US?
Fear always makes exceptions and produces dissociation: Fear does not gladden. Healing [Atonement process] does. Fear always makes exceptions. Healing never does. Fear produces dissociation, because it induces separation. Healing always produces harmony, because it proceeds from [spiritual] integration. (T-7.V.6:1-6)
WHY WOULD WE WANT TO MAKE FEAR AND KEEP IT?
We retain thousands of scraps of fear to prevent the Holy Spirit from entering our minds: It has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever had that opposes [God's] knowledge. You retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One [the Holy Spirit] from entering. (T-4.III.7:1-2)
Anger and assault promote fear: Projection means anger, anger fosters assault, and assault promotes fear. (T-6.I.3:3)
The ego uses the body for attack, for pleasure and for pride: The ego uses the body for attack, for pleasure and for pride. The insanity of this perception makes it a fearful one indeed. (T-6.V.A.5:3-4)
Those who communicate fear are promoting attack: Those who communicate fear are promoting attack, and attack always breaks communication, making it impossible. Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately. (T-6.V.A.5:8-9)
Our decision to avoid the Holy Spirit's guidance makes us weak and fearful: The Holy Spirit always sides with you and with your strength. As long as you avoid His guidance in any way, you want to be weak. Yet weakness is frightening. What else, then, can this decision mean except that you want to be fearful? (T-7.X.5:1-4)
SHOULD WE TRY TO MASTER OUR FEARS TO CORRECT THEM?
Attempting the mastery of fear is useless; mastery through Love is the Answer: It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made it, and your belief in it seems to render it out of your control. Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution [of fear] rests entirely on mastery through love [thus ending all separation]. (T-2.VII.4:1-4)
WHAT ARE OUR MAJOR FEARS?
We fear the death of the ego as we demolish it: As you approach the Beginning [your Created Self], you feel the fear of the destruction of your thought system [of belief in separation] upon you as if it were the fear of death. There is no death, but there is a belief in death. (T-3.VII.5:10-11)
Our belief in separation leads to a fear of retaliation and abandonment: All who believe in separation have a basic fear of retaliation and abandonment. (T-6.V.B.1:1)
Exceptions to Love are made by fear: Love is incapable of any exceptions. Only if there is fear does the idea of exceptions [to Love] seem to be meaningful. Exceptions are fearful because they are made by fear. (T-7.V.5:7-9)
We are very afraid of remembering God because our egos will disappear: Under the ego's dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of this that you are really afraid. (T-13.III.2:1)
We are terrified of Real Love because our egos will disappear: Your fear of attack [and fear itself] is nothing compared to your fear of [Real] love. (T-13.III.2:3)
Our ego's "face of innocence" hides a devastating fear: Beneath the [superficial] face of innocence there is a lesson that the concept of the self [as ego] was made to teach. It is a lesson in a terrible displacement, and a fear so devastating that the face that smiles above it must forever look away, lest it perceive the treachery it hides. The lesson teaches this: "I am the thing you made of me, and as you look on me, you stand condemned because of what I am." On this conception of the [ego-] self the world smiles with approval, for it guarantees the pathways of the world are safely kept, and those who walk on them will not escape. (T-31.V.5:all)
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR UNDOING OUR FEAR?
The correction of fear is our responsibility: The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not [your responsibility]. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate [from God and others]. At that level you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind's miscreations [magic, fear, separation, etc.]. The particular result does not matter, but the fundamental error does. The correction is always the same. Before you choose to do anything, ask me [Jesus] if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear. Fear is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts with what you do. (T-2.VI.4:all) & (T-2.VI.5:1)
We must make no one fearful: Make no one fearful, for his guilt is yours... (T-13.IX.2:2)
SHOULD WE EXAMINE OUR FEARS OPENLY?
Honestly search out everything fearful that interferes with Truth: The search for truth is but an honest searching out of everything that interferes with truth. Truth is. It can neither be lost nor sought nor found. It is there, wherever you are, being within you. Yet it can be recognized or unrecognized, real or false to you. If you hide it, it becomes unreal to you because you hid it and surrounded it with fear. Under each cornerstone of fear on which you have erected your insane system of belief, the truth lies hidden. Yet you cannot know this, for by hiding truth in fear, you see no reason to believe that the more you look at fear the less you see it, and the clearer what it conceals becomes. (T-14.VII.2:all)
Openly examine each form of fear until you realize each is a different manifestation of separation and sacrifice: It is not necessary to follow fear through all the circuitous routes by which it burrows underground and hides in darkness, to emerge in forms quite different from what it is. Yet it is necessary to examine each one as long as you would retain the principle [of separation and sacrifice] that governs all of them. When you are willing to regard them, not as separate, but as different manifestations of the same idea, and one you do not want, they go together. The idea is simply this: you believe it is possible to be host to the ego or hostage to God. (T-15.X.5:1-4)
HOW DO WE UNDO FEAR AND RELINQUISH IT?
The undoing of fear is an essential part of the At-one-ment: Miracles represent freedom from fear. "Atoning" means "undoing." The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles. (T-1.I.26:all)
By joining the At-one-ment we will learn that only What is Loving is True: What fear has hidden still is part of you. Joining the Atonement is the way out of fear. The Holy Spirit will help you reinterpret everything that you perceive as fearful, and teach you that only what is loving is true. (T-5.IV.1:1-3)
Believe that Perfect Love casts out fear: Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love. But: Only perfect love exists. If there is fear, it produces a state that does not exist. Believe this and you will be free. (T-1.VI.5:4-9)
We realize our Worth is established by God, not ego-superiority: Your worth is not established by teaching or learning. Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. (T-4.I.7:1-3)
Replace the awareness of fear with the awareness of the inner Christ: The Lord [the Christ-in-us] is with you but you know it not. Yet your Redeemer liveth, and abideth in you in the peace out of which He was created. Would you not exchange this awareness for the awareness of fear? When we have overcome fear--not by hiding it, not by minimizing it, and not by denying its full import in any way--this is what you will really see. (T-12.II.9:2-5)
We must willingly give everything that is not of God to the Holy Spirit for dissolution and it is gone: We are therefore embarking on an organized, well-structured and carefully planned program aimed at learning how to offer to the Holy Spirit everything [including fear] you do not want. He knows what to do with it. You do not understand how to use what He knows. Whatever is given Him that is not of God is gone. Yet you must look at it [what is not of God] yourself in perfect willingness, for otherwise His knowledge remains useless to you. Surely He will not fail to help you, since help is His only purpose. Do you not have greater reason for fearing the world as you perceive it, than for looking at the cause of fear and letting it go forever? (T-12.II.10:all)
Fear that yields to Love is gone: Every obstacle that peace must flow across is surmounted in just the same way; the fear that raised it yields to the [Real] love beyond, and so the fear is gone. (T-19.IV.D.5:1)
The functions of the Holy Instant and the Holy Spirit is to remove fear, hatred and guilt from our minds: Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. 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 [your fully acknowledged] fear and hatred, and to be forgiven [i.e., released to Happiness]. (T-18.V.2:1-5)
The lessons of the Holy Spirit eliminate fear by teaching us we are Loving Sons of God: Now must the Holy Spirit find a way to help you see this concept of the [ego-] self must be undone, if any peace of mind is to be given you. Nor can it be unlearned except by lessons [of Workbook] aimed to teach that you are something else [a Son of God]. For otherwise, you would be asked to make exchange of what you now believe for total loss of self, and greater terror would arise in you. (T-31.V.8:3-5)
Minds that join in Real Love have gone past fear: Let not time worry you, for all the fear that you and your brother experience is really past. Time has been readjusted to help us [i.e., with Jesus] do, together, what your separate pasts would hinder. You have gone past fear, for no two minds can join in the desire for [Real] love without love's joining them. Not one light in Heaven but goes with you. (T-18.III.7:5-7) & (T-18.III.8:1)
NOTE: The Course states our greatest fear is our fear of God. More accurately it our fear of the Parental Authority Belief Systems (see E04) we are currently projecting out onto God -- God as we have been brought up to imagine Him to be.
fearful: We must realize we cause ourselves to be fearful because there is nothing outside us, nothing outside our Minds which are within the Mind of God eternally. It is our thoughts, our beliefs, our ideas, alone that cause us pain, misery and fearfulness. We think we have made a power within the ego which will save us from the ravages of that same ego's expression of aggression and terror. This false power is another form of fear--the protective, wary, cautious, guarded, sharp-eyed ego-watchfulness that tells us to close our shells, activate our "force-shields" and fire up our defensiveness. When we make others fearful by attacking or threatening them, even defensively, we make their guilt ours because we are in fact projecting only what is in ourselves; the Course also says we will not escape the ego's punishment in this context. (Other religions have called this karma.) Our egos fear Love, and love to hate, therefore everything and everyone is fearful to us. The ego is very fearful of change, especially those spiritual changes which lead to its own demise. Thus the ego is fearful of the At-one-ment, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Christ-Self, and of a Loving God. But when we choose the Strength of Christ in us rather than the ego's weakness, the Light of our Christ-Self is given charge of everything we do, and our Self is in full liaison with the Holy Spirit's Wisdom. Christ's Holiness is ours because he is the only Power that is Real in us. His Strength is ours because he is the Self that God created as His Son.
feeling: The Course makes several key points about feeling. (Note there are two dictionary
meanings of the word feeling: One has to do with bodily sensations, e.g.,
physical pain, while the other refers more to psychological emotions, e.g.,
feelings of hate or contentment. Some terms bridge both meanings, e.g., stress,
1. The body has no feeling; it is a kind of "animated physical puppet," an interface with the illusory outside world, the strings of the puppet being manipulated and pulled by the ego-mind. Bodies are essentially form, not mind; they are an effect of mind, not a cause of anything (e.g., they do not cause illness)
2. The ego wants to kill you as the final expression of its feeling of hatred for you; "you" here includes (a) those hidden, shameful guilty parts of the ego itself, and separately, (b) your Christ-Self, the Real You who when You Wake up spells the end of all illusions including the ego itself. Here in this world though, in our separated state, physical death is the ego's final punishment for us--paradoxically to preserve the ego, including all its beliefs in sin, guilt, judgment and projection. The ego can be preserved for thousands of years. (See: T-1.II.6:7)
3. All our feelings and acts in this insane world are ego-motivated by the wish for death in order to prove guilt is real; all of us "sinners"--as guilty as we are--deserve to die.
4. Our feelings constantly shift and change, and all these transitory states of feelings, moods and emotions are false.
5. We choose the emotions and feelings we experience, and we choose the ego-goals we wish to achieve which give rise to those emotions and feelings. Listening to the ego and abiding by its directions will make us feel vulnerable, afraid, depressed, worthless, impermanent, unreal and helpless.
6. Each day we can choose the feelings we want, the things we would like to happen to us, if we decide to ask for, and listen to, the help and answers of the Holy Spirit, including Jesus himself.
7. Love is our safety. When we identify with Love we are Home in God and each of us will Know our Christ-Self. The only Real emotion or feeling that exists is eternal, universally extended, limitless Love.
fence: In the Course the physical/material body is likened to a fence that we have made, and maintain, in order to keep us separated from Spirit--which would include our Christ Self, the Sonship and a full awareness of God. Inside this fence, this body, we imagine we live and "love" but, in fact, it is a very limited, secluded existence quite segregated from the glorious Reality of Life Itself. The Course goes so far as to say the body fences us into hell and away from Heaven, but, paradoxically, entry into Heaven is not to jump out of the fence-body, because, if we did this we would be regarding the body as real. The Answer is to transcend the body by going inwards, into the empty Mind-as-such where God and all our Christ-Selves are united in Loving Oneness.
few: Jesus rephrases a New Testament statement from, "Many are called but few are chosen," (Matthew 22:14) to, "All are called but few choose to listen." As created Sons of God, even in our separated state, we have total free will to decide what we choose to listen to, the ego's voice or the Holy Spirit's Voice. Thus the decision to listen, or not to listen, to the Voice for God is only ours to make, but if we do decide to listen then we will receive every encouragement and help along the path to God. Only the first few steps along the right way seem difficult but once that step is taken many spiritual Companions will walk with us to the gates of Heaven.
fight: Aggression in
all its many forms, from slight irritation or critical remarks to cruelty and
murder, are the "flip-side" of fear. We attack and fight because,
somewhere inside, we are afraid. Even a tyrant or dictator suppresses (a form of
aggression) all opposition because he is afraid of rebellion (more aggression).
In our lives we become angry because we think another person is depriving us of
something we need or want, something we fear is in short supply and we will
suffer without it. Another common scenario we fear and fight back about, is when
someone else imposes on us some situation or intimacy we do not like or want. We
fear both such intrusions on our persons or our "space" because we
think they take away what little we already have. The Course refers to some of
the harmless types of imposition as "outrageous" and suggests we go
along with them because they are illusions which "do not matter." The Course
has several sequential key answers to the combined problems of fear,
fighting and conflict.
1. Withdraw all the projections you are placing on the other person (or group). Cease all judgment, blame, role-assigning, expectations, condemnation, rejections, sacrifices, victimhood, alienation, guiltiness, guilt-making, concern. And do not fight yourself either. (See: T-30.I.1:7)
2. Remember it is not up to you to change your brother; that is the job of the Holy Spirit and the "brother" in question. Seek to change only your own separated-from-God ego-state by undoing it with the help of the Holy Spirit.
3. Do not seek another good, improved, nicer ego-image or self-concept. All ego-concepts have to be dismantled and let go.
4. Own all your ego's emotions, feelings, beliefs, conflicts, polarities, confusions, etc., in the sense that they are yours and you are not projecting them, displacing them, calling them by a less offensive name and so on. Remember the murderer is within each of us. (See: W-pI.196:11)
5. Once all this is "owned up to" as yours you can relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, usually bit by bit as each trial or lesson occurs in our daily lives.
6. Next, completely forgive yourself and the other person (or group) by seeing him and yourself as Sons of God. Every Being is Innocent as created by God within His Mind-as-such which is the only Reality there is.
7. Love every Being as a Son of God, eternally just as God does.
final step: The final step is taken for us by God once we have completed all the other steps along our spiritual Path (the At-one-ment process) with the help of the Holy Spirit. Although all the "little steps" we take are based on learning (or more accurately, unlearning and undoing) the final step by God is not based on learning. Rather it is an Awakening into unlimited Awareness in the Mind of God. This is the final step in the At-one-ment process of spiritual healing, a process of ending separation from God and Love, eternally.
find: "Seek and you will find" (Matthew 7:7) is a theme elaborated on extensively in the Course, especially in terms of the goal we wish to find or accomplish. Thus our seeking must be meaningful and directed if we are to find the desired goal. God, Whose Mind-as-such is Heaven, is our only valid goal, the one we seek and wish to find. There is literally nothing else to find. Reality, i.e., God, will "find us" once we relinquish all ego and its insane desire to remain separate from Love, God and His Sonship (your brothers). This is the only wise Course or Path because the Course asserts the ego will keep none of its promises with respect to finding love outside ourselves. In fact the ego's motto is "Seek and do not find." The Holy Spirit promises, "Seek and you will find," your Real Home. Truth is found only in the present, and the best place or moment to find Truth is in the holy instant.
first: The word "first" as applied to God is not a time concept and this is clearly explained in the quotation below. We need only note here that God is the Prime Creator because He created His co-creators (i.e., all Beings in His Mind-as-such) as Minds, including all of us. God creates only in timelessness therefore any concepts of sequence, such as first and last, are not applicable to God or His Kingdom. Time was made only by us separated ones as a part of our illusory separation from God and the Kingdom, so time itself is part of the dream; incidentally all form is also part of our dream. Reality is timeless, formless, and changeless. Therefore we, as God's Creations, are timeless Beings awake in Him now, a condition we have deliberately forgotten and veiled.
fixed: The Course uses this word in two quite
different incompatible contexts, ego and Spirit. In our fearful, ego-ridden
world of illusion we have fixed erroneous beliefs in perception,
projection, vengeance, unworthiness, sin, judgments, adjustments, enemies, time,
appearances, orders of difficulty, sickness, lack, death, special relationships
Spirit, on the other hand, asks us to fix our minds on God, within Whose Mind we have Being. Furthermore, to reach this goal of the At-one-ment we can dismantle our egos by handing over the process of healing to the Holy Spirit.
flesh: This is a synonym for the body, and all the comments and quotations referring to "body" apply to "flesh." The Course emphasizes again and again we are not just physical/material bodies, that we are not Really just flesh and bone. In Fact, in Reality, we are eternal Spiritual Beings who are Minds within the Mind of God and only Mind. We are asked not to identify with the body but with Spirit, not because the body is sinful or "lower" but because it is an illusion, an effect we made to perpetrate our separation from God. Our egos identify with our bodies of flesh and use them to preoccupy and fascinate our minds thus excluding Spirit from our thoughts and from our focus of attention. As you read the following quotations remember that bodies, flesh, sin, death and ego are totally fictitious forms, each of which is founded on fear in order to perpetuate our separation from God.
focus: We can focus our attention on the goals of the ego or on the goals of Spirit. We do have the free will to choose our goals, and we make these choices minute by minute. In our state of separation from Spirit and Love we tend to focus on "sin," bodies, conflict and special relationships. We do this through the ego's perceptions and projections which focus us outward; thus we blame our circumstances and those around us, or those in "authority." This is our dis-spiriting until we change our focus onto Spirit, thus healing ourselves and others through the At-one-ment process. Once this is accomplished we will be in the Kingdom, One with our brothers in God.
follower: Of our own free will we can follow the ego as a guide or the Holy Spirit, not both. If we follow the ego's guidance we become weak, afraid, confused and distrustful. These characteristics stem from projection and a belief in sacrifice, sin, guilt, pain and death. Even when our egos elect to be "leaders" (e.g., in family, work, or nation) we favor those who abide by our dictates and hate those who refuse to follow us. When our egos decide to be "followers" we admire leaders who think and act as we do and hate the authorities who do not. All this is ego. Yet the Holy Spirit is perfectly trustworthy. His wisdom, tenderness, Love and guidance will lead us into the Light of God if we elect to be His followers.
foolish: The Course uses the word
"foolish" (i.e., lacking in wisdom and common sense) to describe many
aspects of our egos and their functions. We are told often that the ego's
thoughts are foolish, that we have foolish fantasies, foolish wishes, foolish
beliefs, foolish laws, foolish ideas, foolish fantasies, foolish self-images,
foolish goals, foolish images, foolish dreams, foolish little things, foolish
mistakes, foolish cobwebs, foolish separations, foolish reasoning, foolish
seekings, foolish fears, foolish toys and foolish defenses. The ego itself is,
of course, insane foolishness. (Key-word references to these quotations are
The Course also discusses how we, who are on a spiritual path, should act when someone asks us to do a foolish, but Truly harmless, act. The answer is we should do it because "it does not matter." The Holy Spirit recognizes that foolish needs in others, if unmet, can be sources of conflict and thus keep relationships special. Conflict anchors the ego of both protagonists in turmoil and perpetrates the separation. When we refuse to go along with someone else's "outrageous" request we are seeing it as real and important, whereas if we do go along with harmless "foolishness" we are not seeing it as real, or as anything at all except as an act of brotherliness. The Course tells us that all the foolishness of this world is not real, and that all the "ills of the world" can be cured by the idea that God goes with each of us wherever we go.
foolish thoughts (W-pI.41.7:2), (W-pI.50.5:3),
(W-pI.131.10:1), (W-pI.137.15:2), (W-pI.156.6:5), (W-pI.156.7:1),
(W-pII.229.2:1), (W-pII.278.2:2), (M-15.3:1)
foolish fancies (T-24.VII.5:3)
foolish wishes (T-27.II.7:6)
foolish beliefs (W-pI.76.9:2)
foolish laws (W-pI.76.10:1)
foolish ideas (W-pI.65.7:1)
foolish fantasies (W-pI.93.2:3), (W-FL.IN.5:4)
foolish self-images (W-pI.93.8:4)
foolish goals (W-pI.100.8:5), (W-pI.100.9:5)
foolish images (W-pI.131.10:3), (M-29.7:9)
foolish dreams, and dreamers (W-pI.134.11:2)
foolish little things (W-pI.135.26:5)
foolish mistakes (W-pI.138.11:5)
foolish cobwebs (W-pI.139.12:2)
foolish separations (W-pI.184.14:3)
foolish reasoning (W-pI.189.6:4)
foolish seekings (W-pI.200.3:6)
foolish fears (W-pII.240.2:1)
foolish toys (W-pII.346.1:7)
foolish defenses (M-4.VI.1:6)
the ego (self-concept) as foolishness (T-31.V.10:6), (T-31.V.all)
force: While the Will of God is a Force that is irresistible in truth, God never forces His Will upon us in any circumstances. Why? Because we, too, have complete free will just like God's, a Will given us by God when He created us as Minds within His Mind-as-such. Therefore we have to be totally willing to change and to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to change. Only His teaching will enable us to bring our free will back into re-unification with God's Will--thus ending the separation. Our Minds-as-such never lose their creative force which is very powerful. Here, it makes worlds. No force except our own wills is strong enough or worthy enough to guide us because we are as free as God and must remain so forever. True freedom, however, is Freedom without any limitation and this can be found only in re-aligning our will with God's Will, and His Will is Love, Light, Peace and Joy.
forever: We, as Minds within the Mind of God, live forever because we are Life, which, in Reality is Spirit. Being in God we are forever in a state of Grace. But God gave us complete free will just like His own, forever. He also communicates with us continuously, forever, and has established each of us as a channel for His Mind and Will. Our bodies, egos and dreams of "life" here in a separated state are temporary unnatural aberrations; in Truth we are eternal Beings fully Awake in the Mind of God. We are also joyful co-creators with God who extend His Kingdom forever. The whole purpose of the Course is to teach us that the ego and this world of form are forever unreal and unbelievable. Our true Reality can only be experienced by re-Awakening in God. God Loves us unconditionally and we Love God forever, and it is the At-one-ment which shows us what every one of us Truly is--His Son.
forgetful: When we are forgetful of God, and of Jesus as the Christ now, we do not fulfill our function of enlightening others through our full remembrance of Them and who we Really are. And no one who has become a true and dedicated teacher of God ever forgets any of his brothers are Sons of God. We can safely forget all the foolish toys we have made here, along with all the equally foolish laws of the ego.
forgive, forgiveness: In the Course forgiveness is presented as the most important and
indispensable key to spiritual progress and salvation (enlightenment).
Forgiveness is not just a matter of saying, "You are forgiven or
pardoned," especially if that stance is a condescending one. Forgiveness,
which is really a process of re-discovering Love, must be genuine and total to
be of spiritual value to those persons involved. Forgiveness becomes necessary
in any situation involving conflict, attack, hate and/or fear. Even the mildest
dissension or faint irritation calls for forgiveness.
Although a detailed knowledge of the processes underlying the complex act of forgiveness is not essential to its implementation in any given situation, it may help some students of the Course to understand those processes (which are scattered throughout the Course). The key processes involved in forgiving are as follows, and this is the best step by step method for dismantling (undoing) our egos and uncovering our Christ Selves:
1. IT DOES NOT MATTER BECAUSE IT IS NOT REAL. Whatever the reason for the conflict or issue, the "bone of contention" is originating in some illusory, unreal need or want that is of no importance or consequence whatsoever. It is not Real! Therefore we can drop the issue altogether, or go along with the other person if their request is harmless. (See also: fight)
2. IT IS NOT UP TO YOU TO CHANGE YOUR BROTHER. In order to get our ego-body needs or wants met we assign roles to those around us expecting them to fulfill those needs or wants in us or for us (including, in some circumstances, that they desist from or curb certain behaviors). Let all this manipulation go.
3. CEASE ALL JUDGMENT. The "sins," shortcomings, vexing problems and guilt we see in others are actually components of our own egos, our own (often subconscious) desires, needs and motives. We project this unwanted personal ego-stuff outwards to try to rid ourselves of it, dump it on others, and blame them as responsible for it. In Fact, there is nothing outside us, and all projected judgment is quite futile. So...
4. WITHDRAW ALL PROJECTIONS FROM OTHERS. We must bring all the unwanted, usually "negative" ego-stuff back inside our own minds and own it because owning it is the only way it can be internally dealt with and relinquished. Therefore...
5. OWN THIS UNACKNOWLEDGED INNER "SECRET" MATERIAL AND BRING IT INTO THE OPEN IN YOURSELF. Do not fear the ego or any of its forms or aspects, because the ego is nothing and fear is nothing. Literally, bring all "secret" and guilt-laden "subconscious stuff" out into the open, and up into the Light. Be specific. Sit with it (preferably while alone) and in it until all fear of it dissipates because it is nothing. It all comes out of the past and the past has gone!
6. RELINQUISH ALL OF IT TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. Give all this newly acknowledged material (including all its emotions, feelings, fantasies and content) to the Holy Spirit for dissolution as you feel it and experience it. Be quite open, honest and specific about what you are releasing to the Holy Spirit; He Knows it is nothing! Give it all to Him. Let it all go--over and over again if necessary,
7. NEXT, REALIZE WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND WHO YOUR BROTHER IS--WE ARE ALL SONS OF GOD. Once we are quiet, we can state, out loud, "I am the Holy Son of God Himself," several times, followed by, "I am still as You created me, Father, One with You," (or similar wordings on these themes.)
8. RELAX PEACEFULLY INTO THE MIND OF GOD, and realize that His Love, which is continuously welling up in us, and flowing through us to our brothers, is all the Love we ever need. Once we identify with Love as our only Real emotion, we are eternally Free, because we are only Loving Oneness.
It is always necessary to implement steps 1-8 each time any conflict situation arises. The ego has taken eons to make and is not usually dismantled rapidly. The Course advises patience in this respect, along with unswerving willingness and trust. Remember separation, conflict and ego/body needs are the problem, forgiveness is the means, and that Loving Oneness in God is the only Answer. The numbering of the Course quotations below corresponds with that of steps 1-8 given above so links can be made. But first there is the beautiful quotation which elaborates on the spiritual benefits which flow from continuous acts of forgiveness, i.e., Love.
forgiveness-to-destroy: This phrase occurs in "The Song of Prayer" supplement to the Course. It is included here because we need to be reminded we may delude ourselves into thinking we have forgiven others when the "forgiveness" is actually a false cover for attack-in-disguise. Four major forms of forgiveness-to-destroy are defined in "The Song of Prayer" and these are summarized here as a guide to the similarly numbered, fuller quotations set out below.
1. Lordly arrogance: If we consider ourselves superior, holier, and definitely "better" than the person we are "forgiving" and consider him "baser," a sinner who is definitely worse than us, it is forgiveness-to-destroy.
2. Conjoint sinners: We are both sinners and deserve the wrath of God; we are not His Sons.
3. Martyr's false smile of accusation: This forgiveness-to-destroy proves the other guilty of sin by showing a face of pain, hurt and suffering, together with superficial, long-suffering silence, meekness and even false smiles.
4. Bargainers and compromisers: These forms of forgiveness-to-destroy say, "I will forgive you if you meet my needs," or, "let's discuss and negotiate on this grievance of mine to our mutual advantage; I will let you off the hook if you back off, or agree to make amends." All these bargains, adjustments and ego-compromises do is bind both parties into mutual slavery.
We see only our own sins in others when we judge and condemn them, and therefore when we truly forgive them we are actually forgiving ourselves for our own sins. Likewise it is only in someone else that we can find our own innocence because as we withdraw our ego's projections we see the face of Christ in them by looking out through Christ's Vision in ourselves.
forgot, forgotten: We, in our separated state of dreaming, have forgotten God and His Sons. We have dissociated (completely blotted out) Reality and this has made us very fearful in this dreamworld we substituted for It. But God has never forgotten us. He Loves us in each now-moment and eternally, even though we have forgotten Love. Total forgiveness is the one beneficial illusion that will enable us to remember Heaven instantly and to see the face of Christ in ourselves and all our brothers.
"God knows not form," (See: T-30.III.4:5) the Course states
unequivocally. The words "form" and "forms," as used in the Course, include all physical objects, all manifestations and configurations, all
life-forms including bodies, all things and parts of things, all actions and
activities, all rituals, laws, customs, habits and behaviors, all physical
energy and work, and all levels, classes, taxonomies, opposites and hierarchies!
But it is not only what the body's eyes can see, ears can hear or hands can feel
that is form; form also includes all the non-eternal thoughts, beliefs, ideas,
emotions, feelings and images existing in our minds at any time. However, while
time itself, along with space, matter and energy are all form, pure
Mind-as-such Itself is formless (see next entry).
All forms are illusions. Forms are but Ideas of God/Mind/Spirit
The Course distinguishes clearly between two distinct categories of forms. The first and largest category includes all the forms mentioned above that perpetuate our separation (in our awareness) from God, His Spirit, the Sonship and our own Christ-Selves. The list of the separation-sustaining forms is very long and most of the 650+ references to form(s) in the Course refer to them. This list is set out below together with a key reference or two for each "form" for those Course students who wish to look up specific examples.
The second category of forms consists of those which help us heal in accord with the At-one-ment thus facilitating our re-Awakening to the Experience of God in full Awareness. These spiritually healing forms include miracles, forgiveness, "happy dreams," holy relationships, resurrection, prayer, giving Love, the Course, paths of salvation, and even the body as a vehicle of spiritual communication. Note that all these spiritually healing forms are unnecessary in Heaven where Everything is Real and Perfect. But here in this unreal world they are very necessary to help us clear the way to Heaven's Gate where God will take the final step. Nevertheless all forms are illusions even when, in these cases, their "reflected" formless content is Love, Peace and Knowledge. As long as we separated ones continue to be preoccupied with, and fascinated by, a myriad of fragmented forms, there will be spiritually healing ones that the Holy Spirit will use in the process of waking us up from our world of dreams.
Note that Course students who need further clarification on any of the key words or terms used in this section (definitions or quotations) can look them up elsewhere in this Companion.
The actual words relating to "form" (see list below) are worth examining in their own right not only to make us aware of the great variety of forms illusion takes, but also to enable each of us to pick out those particular forms our own egos hate, fear, or enjoy seeking. As we do so, however, we should be well aware there are hundreds, indeed thousands, of forms to which we relate, that are not mentioned below. No forms are Real and all forms in this world are brought about by our continuing separation from Reality. We must always remember, "Nothing the world believes is true." (W-pI.139.7:1)
This first list includes most of the "internal" and "external" unreal forms we separated ones make and use to ensure our continued imagined separation from God, the Sonship and our own Christ-Selves.
anti-Christ (T-29.VIII.3:1-2), (T-29.VIII.3:5)
attack (W-pI.21.all), (T-6.III.3:9), (T-8.VII.1:2), (T-22.VI.12:2-3), (T-27.VIII.10:1-2), (T-23.II.20:5), (T-26.X.2:1-2)
battles (T-23.I.11:6), (T-23.IV.5:8), (T-23.IV.6:2)
chaos (T-23.II.16:5), (T-23.II.16:7), (T-23.II.20:2)
confusion (T-26.X.1:5-7), (M-7.6:1-2)
death (T-22.II.3:1-2), (T-23.III.1:9), (W-pI.163.8:5-6), (W-pI.163.1:all)
deceits (W-pI.79.10:1), (W-pI.133.6:5), (M-27.7:5), (T-31.I.8:6)
denial (T-10.V.1:6), (T-10.V.3:8), (T-11.IV.4:3)
disasters (T-26.VIII.6:8-9), (T-30.VIII.2:5)
doubts (T-4.I.8:1), (W-pI.99.11:1), (M-7.5:all)
dreams (T-28.IV.2:2-6), (T-29.IV.6:5-7), (T-18.II.5:13), (T-27.VIII.2:1), (T-27.VIII.3:3), (W-pI.185.5-7)
ego (T-27.IV.5:1-3), (T-9.V.4:1), (T-15.X.4:4), (W-pI.66.9:2)
error (T-18.I.7:1), (T-22.III.4:1)
evil (T-3.I.7:7), (T-30.VI.9:5)
fear (T-16.IV.6:3), (W-pI.161.5:2-4), (W-pII.240.1:1-4), (T-30.III.10:2), (T-15.X.5:1), (W-pII.293.1:3), (W-pII.240.1:4)
gaps (T-28.III.4:2-5), (T-30.IV.3:1)
guilt (T-14.IV.3:9), (T-19.III.3:4-6), (T-30.V.2:4), (T-14.V.3:5), (T-30.VI.9:2)
hurt (W-pI.158.9:4), (T-3.I.2:7)
idols, idolatry (T-29.VIII.1:6-9), (T-29.IX.9:1), (T-10.III.4:3), (T-29.VIII.8:11), (T-30.VIII.3:1-4), (T-30.VI.6:1)
illness (T-2.I.5:10), (T-5.V.5:4)
illusions (T-23.I.11:5), (T-23.II.19:8), (T-31.IV.8:3)
irritation (W-pI.21.2:3), (M-17.4:4-5)
loss (T-26.VII.14:7), (T-23.IV.6:2-3)
madness (T-23.II.17:10), (W-pI.153.4:1-2), (W-pI.196.6:1)
magic (M-17.1:6), (M-18.1:6-7), (M-16.9:7), (M-16.11:9)
medications (W-pI.140.10:1), (T-2.V.2:2)
mistakes (T-22.III.4:4), (M-7.5:7-8), (M-7.6:1), (T-31.IV.8:3), (T-22.III.7:1)
murder (T-23.III.1:5), (T-23.III.6:11), (T-23.IV.1:9-10), (T-23.II.17:1), (T-23.III.5:3)
pain (T-26.II.7:2), (T-27.VIII.11:4-6), (T-30.V.2:4), (W-pI.190.1:1-6), (W-pI.198.9:6)
problems (T-26.II.1:4-7), (W-pI.79.5:1-2), (W-pI.79.10:1), (T-26.II.1:5), (W-pI.80.3:4-5), (T-27.V.8:1-7)
rage (W-pI.21.2:3), (M-17.4:5)
resistance (W-pI.44.9:1), (W-pI.9.2:2)
sacrifice (T-26.VII.14:2-5), (W-pI.187.6-7:all)
sickness (T-22.II.3:1-2), (T-26.VII.4:2), (T-27.I.4:8), (W-pI.140.1-2:all), (T-8.IX.8:7), (T-8.IX.3:2), (M-22.4-6:all)
sin (T-19.III.3:6), (T-22.III.4:5), (W-pI.158.9:4)
sorrow (T-27.VIII.11:4-6), (W-pI.185.1:1-4)
special relationships (T-16.V.12:1)
specialness (T-24.III.2:1), (T-24.V.2:1), (T-24.I.3:2)
suffering (W-pI.187.7:all), (T-22.II.3:1-2), (T-27.VIII.11:2-6), (W-pI.193.5:2), (W-pI.124.6:2), (W-pI.198.9:5), (T-27.VIII.12:1)
temptation (T-31.VII.12:1), (W-pI.64.2:1), (T-31.VIII.1:1), (W-pI.94.1:1)
time and space (T-26.VIII.1:3)
unforgiveness (W-pI.193.4:1-3), (W-pI.198.9:5), (P-2.II.3:3)
unloving thoughts (W-pI.39.6:2-3), (T-25.IV.4:6)
vengeance (T-27.I.4:8), (T-25.VIII.14:4)
world of form (C-2.2:1-3), (W-pI.41.2:all), (Commentary 3 on "What is the World?" W-pII.3.all)
This second list includes most of the beneficial forms which facilitate spiritual healing. These forms are used by the Holy Spirit or by us if we are willing to heal ourselves and other Sons of God. These, too, are all illusions that will disappear as soon as we have all returned Home because, in Heaven, they are pointless and purposeless.
BENEFICIAL FORMS OF SPIRIT
appeals for help (T-12.I.3:4)
body as a vehicle (W-pI.199.4:4)
forgiveness (T-30.VI.8:all), (W-pI.140.3:2), (W-pI.186.14:2), (W-pI.192.3:1-6), (W-pI.193.12:1)
giving forms of Love (W-pI.186.13:5), (W-pI.187.4:5-6), (W-pI.187.5:6-7) (Note: To bless is to give Love, which is the thought behind the form.)
happy dreams (T-30.VIII.2:5)
healing spiritually (T-7.V.3:2), (M-5.II.2:2)
holy relationships (T-22.VI.5:1-3)
miracles (T-26.VII.15:3), (W-pII.345.1:3-4), (T-30.VI.7:1), (T-30.VI.8:5)
paths of salvation (T-30.VI.7:7)
prayer, pray (T-1.I.11:1-2), (T-3.V.6:1-3), (T-9.II.6:1-3), (W-pI.140.12:1), (W-pI.168.6:4)
resurrection (T-6.I.7:1-2), (T-6.I.12:1), (T-14.III.4:1)
teachers of God (M-12.2:7)
the Course (M-1.3:2), (M-1.4:1-2), (M-2.3:6)
transcendence, transcend (T-8.V.6:7-10), (T-11.VI.1:6), (T-20.VI.9:5), (T-30.VIII.1:8)
Formlessness: Formless means "without shape,
outline, design, configuration, structure etc." Pure Mind-as-such is formless,
even though it has the inherent power to manifest and manipulate any
forms. Pure Mind-as-such is Absolute Being; the two are identical. Pure
Mind-as-such, i.e., Absolute Being, is God. God, Who is Pure
Mind-as-such, is Formlessness Itself. Formless, Absolute, Pure Mind-as-such is
the Source (i.e., God) Who is able to create individuated Minds-as-such
(i.e., Sons) within His Mind-as-such of His Mind-as-such.
[Incidentally, Pure Mind-as-such, as the generator of thoughts and
thinking, should not be confused with the enormous variety of thinking
processes, actual thoughts, emotions and manifestations that Mind-as-such may produce,
especially while we are in our separated condition.]
These Creations, then, are God's Sons who are as Formless as the Original Mind-as-such of God--of Which they are individuated "encapsulations." In other words, through His Grace, we (His Sons) share the Formless, Absolute Mind-as-such of God as His Creations--and we have all His attributes and powers. These shared attributes include the power to "encapsulate" other Minds-as-such as our Creations within God's Mind-as-such. Our Mind-as-such Creations are identical to God's Mind-as-such Creations. All Mind-as-such Creations, including the Sons' Creations, are God's Sons because the Original Mind-as-such of God is What they are created of. Since all Sons, and Sons of Sons (to any Mind-as-such "generation") are created out of God's Original Formless Mind-as-such they are identical to one another and to God--except for the Fact that God's Mind-as-such is the Original First (or Prime) Creator within Whom all individuated Minds-as-such have Being. Note that any Existence or Being outside God's Formless Mind-as-such is utterly meaningless and impossible. The Course refers to this Creative attribute of the Sons as our "fatherhood." This Creative "fatherhood" is only in terms of pure Mind-as-such Creativity and never refers to physiological reproduction in this false human dreamworld of "holographic" forms. As eternal Beings (Sons) we are only Formless Minds-as-such who are One with Formlessness Itself, and we have, in Reality, unlimited access to the Whole of Mind-as-such, i.e., God's and all the Sons' Minds-as-such which are One with God's.
To sum up, then, Pure Formless Mind-as-such is the only Source of True formless Creation, and this Source (i.e., God) individuates Himself as formless Creation (i.e., His Sons). Note also that the only "emotion" Pure Mind-as-such generates (Thinks) is Pure limitless Love which is the God-level formless emotion that "encapsulates" us as individuated Beings (Sons).
foundation: The foundation of the ego is a lie, but God, and only God, is the true Foundation of Life-as-Mind. Our false egos believe that they can make us as "Self" but this is not true; we "make" egos, bodies and innumerable perceptions (i.e., forms) but God created us as His Mind-as-such Sons in the One Reality of His Own Mind and not in physical bodies or psychological ego-forms. Note that the two foundations (God and ego) are explained in detail in one lengthy passage of the Text which is quoted below. It is also worth noting that the "devil" is our own false ego-system that firmly believes in the lie of our separation of ourselves from our Sonhood within God's Mind-as-such, Which is our only Reality.
fragmentation: Fragmentation is the way of life
for humans. We divide and redivide everything, always examining the tiny parts
rather than seeing the Whole. Although we cannot fragment Mind-as-such, we
strive, in this world of dreams, to do the next best thing by breaking up and
compartmentalizing all our thoughts and projected perceptions, especially in
terms of other people. We pigeon-hole everything and everyone, including
fragmented bits of "ourselves," on the basis of bizarre beliefs,
preposterous prejudices, incomplete knowledge and warped judgments. Almost never
do we see Sons of God who are still perfect as God created them. Our eyes and
ego-perceptions fixate on fear-based appearances, behaviors,
personalities, sins and imperfections; therefore we do not see the Light
or Love in others, or in ourselves. All this is insane fragmentation.
First, right-mindedness, and then, Christ's Vision will restore us to Sanity and Wholeness. To accomplish this reversal of the world's fragmented ways of perceiving things, we have to trust the Holy Spirit, learn forgiveness, and be willing to undo everything the past has taught. Then, when we can see the face of Christ in all our brothers, we will experience again the Oneness of Life and Love as Reality in the Mind of God.
frailty: Our egos are frail, our bodies are frail, and both are vulnerable to hurt. Why? Because we usurped the Will and "place" of God by separating from Him in an unreal dreamworld, and (subsequently) by substituting egos and bodies to take His place. At the same time we denied our own Sonhood when we denied God as our Real Father. Our dissociation from the Mind of God has made Him (we imagine falsely) our great, powerful "enemy," in contrast with Whom we are weak, frail and wide open to attack. Terrified of this outcome of the separation (and usurpation) we resort to magical ego thoughts of self-preservation such as attack, projection, denial, distractions, guilt, sin, idols and amnesia. (See: M-17.5-9 some of which is quoted below.) What, then, is the Answer to all this imagined nonsense? The Answer is the At-one-ment process of Awakening from the dream of frailty and remember we are still as God created us like Himself for all eternity. His limitless Strength is in all His Sons.
frame: In chapter 17, section IV, the Course uses the analogy of a picture with a bejeweled frame to give prominence to our use of special relationships as a major defense against the (less than obvious to most of us) insanity of the ego, as well as the ego's on-going hidden involvement in our continued separation from God. The Course tells us it is essential to realize that, paradoxically, all defenses do what they would defend, namely, they maintain the ego's basic insanity and yet strive to protect and preserve its false integrity and reasoning. The picture and glittering frame, then, which are a gift of the ego, represent the special relationship situations which the ego fosters. The elaborate golden frame represents all the enjoyable pleasures, great feelings, cozy comforts and hypnotic illusions of "love" we receive from our special relationships, and it is this superficial frame which hypnotizes us. However the Course exhorts us to look closely at the picture which is one of "darkness and of death," because this destructive thought system is the core of the ego and all the special relationships it offers as its gifts. But we need not be dismayed, because, if the dark picture of destruction and its glittering frame are both brought to Light, they are not perceived as valuable or fearful; in the Light all the ego's special relationships are seen as meaningless and valueless illusions as we look on the face of Christ who is the Real Being in everyone, everywhere. It takes only one Holy instant of Light and Love to transform a relationship into a Holy Relationship, at which moment all relationships will become Holy. Note that the following Course quotations have been individually selected to highlight a few key sentences. To appreciate the richness of the whole passage all of chapter 17, section IV in the Text should be carefully studied.
frantic: The Course uses the word "frantic" some 18 times to describe one main feature of the ego's activities. The ego is never at peace, because as the Course states quite bluntly, the angry ego's sole intent is some form of murder. What passes for "peace" is usually, denial, fatigue, bemusing distraction, day-dreaming or a lethargic apathy. But underneath these, the ego is concurrently continuing its frantic search for idols, toys, trinkets, distractions, magic, and the false love of special relationships, even as it frantically proclaims its "innocence" in the sea of projected "sin" it sees outside itself. Peace can never be found in the ego's frantic pursuits and meaningless endeavors. Only the Holy Spirit can substitute the Peace of God for our frantic thoughts and senseless, repetitive journeys. Only by waking up through the At-one-ment process can we re-experience fully the Love of God.
free, freedom/Freedom: In our present state of separation from God we are not Free by our own decision; in fact the Course says we are bound in chains of fear made by the ego for its own survival. True Freedom can only be ours when there is perfect equality of all God's Sons, and therefore this Freedom can never be ours while there is dominion of one mind over another. Thus when we imprison anyone, in any relationship, as a captive source of pseudo-love we put them, and ourselves, in chains, and this is exactly what we do all the time in this world of ego. Freedom for all God's Sons is Love. We automatically imprison others in any special relationship because all special relationships are both exclusive and binding. But Love is Freedom (and vice versa) and, therefore, only when we release all others from our egos' bondage will we be released with them to Real Freedom. The Real Loving Freedom God gave all His creations is the Key to the Kingdom and to Heaven on Earth. (See next entry: free will)
free will: We, as Sons of God, have complete Free
Will -- because it is God's Will which He shares with us. This Fact has to be
thoroughly understood. It is often not understood because we humans seem
to be in a state of very restricted limitation. We appear to be locked into
bodies which are imprisoned on a physical world (the earth) that gives us few
degrees of freedom. In addition to this, through self-imposed
"authorities," laws, codes and regulations, all of which are
fear-based, we make our lives cramped and, not infrequently, unhappy. Yet,
paradoxically, all this limitation, confinement and authoritarian restriction is
our own choice as Sons of God who are perfectly Free. Of our own
Free Wills we choose separation, fear, death and sin, now. We made
this world of personal conflict, disease, disaster, wars and "crime."
It is all our own doing out of our own Free Will as Sons of God using all
the powers God gave us. This is the Truth however hard it is to believe. We put ourselves
in a prison of separation (without Real Love), slammed the cell door shut and
threw away the keys! This act of separation from God, and of putting ourselves
inside this limited prison of illusion (namely, the ego, the body and this
world) is the denial of our Free Will as Sons of God. Now we sit in
darkness with our toys, television, trinkets and other distractions, not to
mention depression and death, bemoaning our fate and projecting the blame. Do
not believe it!
The cell doors are not locked and never were! We are still as God created us. Here, as humans, we are merely dreaming a dream we voluntarily made. There is nothing outside us, nothing outside our Minds-as-such. We decided of our own Free Will to fall asleep and fantasize lives as humans filled with fears, pain, idols and special relationships. And, if we are willing, we can decide to wake up to Who we Really are and re-discover our Free Wills are identical to God's Free Will. We are His eternal Sons created like Himself.
friend, friendship: Although these words are used
some six dozen times in the Course, their varying usages are summed up in one
key section of the Text (Section VI. The Appointed Friend) in Chapter 26 (see
second quotation below). The ego and its "companion," the body, are
false friends who strive to persuade us to believe that the false
"good" and "valuable" things we all strive for in this world
(on the ego's and the body's behalf) are real. This is a deception and a
delusion of great magnitude. The ego and its body are not our friends. In
Reality neither the ego nor the body, being fictitious, are part of us--Who are
Sons of God.
There are two Real Friends we have, even here. The first is the Holy Spirit Who will lead us Home if we will let Him. The other Friend is the Christ, the Son of God who is deep within our Minds (as Self) and in all our brothers' Minds as well. Yet These are all One Friend because God is One. All this is neatly summed up in the two long quotations below.
friend, friendship: Although these words are used
some six dozen times in the Course, their varying usages are summed up in one
key section of the Text (Section VI. The Appointed Friend) in Chapter 26 (see
second quotation below). The ego and its "companion," the body, are
false friends who strive to persuade us to believe that the false
"good" and "valuable" things we all strive for in this world
(on the ego's and the body's behalf) are real. This is a deception and a
delusion of great magnitude. The ego and its body are not our friends. In
Reality neither the ego nor the body, being fictitious, are part of us--Who are
Sons of God.
There are two Real Friends we have, even here. The first is the Holy Spirit Who will lead us Home if we will let Him. The other Friend is the Christ, the Son of God who is deep within our Minds (as Self) and in all our brothers' Minds as well. Yet These are all One Friend because God is One.
frighten: We are only ever frightened by our own
unreal ego-thoughts even when we seem to be afraid of God, the Holy
Spirit, or our own Christ Selves. And, of course, we are also very frightened of
the dark side of our own egos, whose anxieties and nightmares arise from our
protracted separation from God in a world we made--a Loveless world of lack,
founded on fear. The dark ego-thoughts that frighten us are often
projected outwards onto other people or threatening events. The main people
who frighten us are attackers, robbers, enemies, murderers, deserters,
betrayers, authorities, bosses, unruly gangs, and those in relationships who
cause us pain. The main events which frighten us are death, disasters,
diseases, insanity, accidents, suffering, poverty, aging, and the loss of those
close to us. All of these situations and circumstances are our own
projections from our inner shadow side and have no external
"reality." At this point in the discussion some students of the Course
usually exclaim, "But people die every day of disease and in accidents;
they suffer pain and lose loved ones. Some are murdered and others go broke. I
could be mugged, and I have been betrayed! Anything can happen to me at
any time, yet all this is my projection? It is not real?"
The Course affirms many times that all of these situations with people, and all negative events, are projected illusions reflecting our ego's darkness. To these we can add all the so-called "positive" experiences generated by our egos which are pleasurable illusions that we may also project outwards. Whenever we seem to feel hurt, anxious or frightened in any circumstances it would be wise to study the following quotations carefully. Also study the entry on "forgive, forgiveness" if you wish to dismantle your ego and its projections.
fulfillment: The Course uses the word fulfillment
in its widest meaning of carrying out all the requirements of some spiritual
process, such is the At-one-ment, to the point of completion so that the
final goal is reached and fully realized. That goal is Peace. The only way
fulfillment of the At-one-ment process and its goal can be accomplished is to
own everything in the mind including the ego and its emotions (without
projection, judgment, blame or guilt) and then hand it all over to the
Holy Spirit. God guarantees our way Home will be made clear, but we must not
interfere by introducing our ego's plans.
Therefore, do what you do now for the moment, but leave the whole future (from this moment on) and all its events and synchronicities wide open to miracles orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
fullness: Our Minds-as-such, once we are fully
Awake again, will be full and overflowing with Love, Light, Peace, Joy,
Happiness and Knowledge, and what could be fuller than that? Spiritual Fullness
was, and still is, the condition in which we were created, and in Reality this
Fullness has never left us. When we split our minds during the separation
we identified consciously with the tiny piece we call ego and chose to let it
"dominate" Spirit. Of course, the Spiritual Self never resists or
defends itself because such acts would be, (a) recognizing "ego" as
Real, and (b) being un-Loving. Nevertheless, while ego is allowed to continue
its "rule," the Spiritual Self, with all its Joyfulness, Peacefulness
and Love-fullness waits patiently for us to relinquish the ego and its
fearful insanity of our own free will. Fullness is extension, which means
that God and the Sonship (as Mind) continuously overflow with so much Love,
Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness and Knowledge that They have to keep Creating new
Spiritual Mind-Beings as Sons (by "encapsulating" more pieces of God's
Mind-as-such) to assimilate the overabundance of these Attributes of God and His
With respect to the split or separation, only the Holy Spirit, with our willing cooperation through acts of forgiveness, can undo the ego. Miracles will happen frequently during this healing process because the At-one-ment is guaranteed by God; we will go Home to Fullness.
function: There are eight
"levels" of functions described in the Course and we are asked to
understand their differences if we are to undertake our correct spiritual
function in this world. The separation was, and still is, our attempt to take
God's function as our Creator away from Him, deny that it is His, and re-make
ourselves (i.e., redefine ourselves) in our own desired image of an ego and a
body. Each level of function is the way in which a Being, or group of beings,
operate, i.e., it is their particular modus operandi. These eight levels
of Being, or being, are: (1) God, (2) the Son or Sonship, (3) the Holy Spirit,
(4) the Christ--the re-Awakened Spirit of humans, (5) the Self--the Christ
potential still in us, (6) the right-minded identity in us (also called the
miracle worker or teacher of God in certain circumstances), (7) the wrong-minded
ego which is the false identity of the separated self, and (8) the body
within which the ego thinks it "lives."
Each of these eight "levels" of functioning, as well as the Being or beings associated with a particular level, are described below, together with their relevant quotations. It must be made quite clear, though, that these so-called "levels" of function are, in Reality, fictitious, in that they are the outcome of our imagined separation from God into a dreamworld of unreal levels, forms, egos and bodies. In the Reality of the Mind of God there is only One "level" (Heaven), One shared Beingness, and One undivided Function. We all have our True Beingness in God, but "levels" (2) through (8) exist in each human being on this planet. The Son, the Christ and the Self are merely descriptive facets of the same Son at varying phases of our At-one-ment process while Awakening.
 God: The Course tells us that God's function is to create perfect Beings like Himself and this function of fatherhood He gave to all His Sons and to their creations. This creation is extension. God creates His Sons by extending His Thought, and retaining, eternally, the extensions of His Thought in His Mind as His Mind-as-such. God's Love is shared with all His extensions in this creative process, and this shared Love is Happiness. In passing, with respect to the third quotation, I would like to point out that Love is an active verb, a function, while Happiness is the resulting state of Mind. (See also: create, extension)
God created His Sons by extending His Thought, and retaining the extensions of His Thought in His Mind. (T-6.II.8:1)
He [God] gave the function to create unto His Son because it is His Own. (T-23.IV.3:2)
God, being Love [i.e., actively Loving], is also happiness. (W-pI.103.Heading)
 Son, Sonship: God's Son also has the function of fatherhood, of creating Beings who are also God's Sons. In Reality the Sons of God cannot change because their functions of creating and Loving through extension (within the Mind of God) have been fixed by God. This creative extension completes God because His creations and their creations are God's Wholeness, His Mind-Kingdom, His Reality.
I have a function God would have me fill. It is your Father's holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of Love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its [God's] Name, forever one with God and with your Self. (W-pI.192.Heading) & (W-pI.192.1:1)
Would you refuse to take the function of completing God, when all He wills is that you be complete? (Commentary 7 on "What is the Holy Spirit?" W-pII.7.5:4)
It is our function to remember Him [God] on earth, as it is given us to be His Own completion in reality. (W-FL.IN.4:1)
That [unity of the Kingdom] is because the function of Love is one. (T-4.VI.8:6)
You who have God must be as God, for His function became yours with His gift. Invite this knowledge back into your mind, and let nothing that obscures it enter. (T-11.II.6:3-4)
But it is given you to know that God's function is yours, and happiness cannot be found apart from your joint Will. (T-11.V.12:4)
You cannot change, because your function [as His Son] has been fixed by God. (T-29.VI.4:3)
Completion is the function of God's Son. (T-30.III.5:1)
 Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit's function is entirely communication. This Loving, healing communication flows from God, through the Sonship and our Christ-Selves to the separated ones (us as ego/bodies) in order to enact the At-one-ment process of our Awakening to Who we Really are. In other words this communication system (the Holy Spirit) is in place to correct our miscreating separated minds and to heal (unite) the separated "pieces" of the Sonship returning them to Wholeness or Loving Oneness. Thus the Holy Spirit of God returns us to Eternity by undoing (with our willingness) the ego's whole thought system and replacing it with God's Thoughts which, in Fact, are hidden within our Minds. By this means the Holy Spirit replaces the false with the True. Only the Holy Spirit can judge correctly, therefore we must reserve no judgment for ourselves as egos. We can safely leave all decisions to the Holy Spirit without our interference. The Holy Spirit will enter all our relationships, heal them, bless them, and make them Happy. Extension of forgiveness through us, is the Holy Spirit's function here, and this will release us from imprisonment and lead us to Oneness.
The Holy Spirit's function is entirely communication. He therefore must remove whatever interferes with communication in order to restore it. (T-14.VI.8:1-2)
The Holy Spirit is described as the remaining communication link between God and His separated Sons. (C-6.3:1)
The Holy Spirit abides in the part of your mind that is part of the Christ Mind. He represents your Self and your Creator, Who are one. (C-6.4:1-2)
The Holy Spirit is described throughout the Course as giving us the answer to the separation and bringing the [God's] plan of the Atonement to us, establishing our particular part in it and showing us exactly what it is. (C-6.2:1)
Correction is not your function. It belongs to One [the Holy Spirit] Who knows of fairness, not of guilt. (T-27.II.10:1-2)
Leave, then, correction to the Mind that is united, functioning as one because it is not split in purpose, and conceives a single function as its only one. (T-27.II.16:3)
The Holy Spirit's function is to take the broken picture of the Son of God and put the pieces into place again. (T-28.IV.8:1)
But having accepted the errors as yours, do not keep them. Give them over quickly to the Holy Spirit to be undone completely, so that all their effects will vanish from your mind and from the Sonship as a whole. (T-7.VIII.5:5-6)
His [the Holy Spirit's] function is to distinguish only between the false and the true, replacing the false with the true. (T-8.IX.5:4)
If it is your judgment it will be wrong, for judgment is not your function. If it is the judgment of the Holy Spirit it will be right, for judgment is His function. (T-12.VII.12:5-6)
Before you make any decisions for yourself, remember that you have decided against your function in Heaven, and then consider carefully whether you want to make decisions here. (T-14.IV.5:1)
Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God [the Holy Spirit], and for your function as He knows it. (T-14.IV.5:4)
I [each of us] have invited Him [the Holy Spirit], and He is here. I need do nothing except not to interfere. (T-16.I.3:11-12)
Follow the Holy Spirit's teaching in forgiveness, then, because forgiveness is His function and He knows how to fulfill it perfectly. (T-9.IV.6:1)
Extension of forgiveness is the Holy Spirit's function. (T-22.VI.9:2)
What is the Holy Spirit's special function but to release the holy Son of God from the imprisonment he made to keep himself from [God's Loving] justice? (T-26.I.8:5)
[4&5] Christ as Self: Note that in this Companion the term "Christ" is reserved for the re-Awakened Self, i.e., the Son who has become Spiritually resurrected from ego and separation. The Holy Spirit communicates with the Christ-Self in each of us at the symbolic altar in our Minds where They share the function of ending the dissociation of our seeming separation from Spirit. The Course constantly encourages us to regain Christ's Vision by looking on all our brothers with true forgiveness--through eyes of Love--so we see the face of Christ in them.
Christ is God's Son as He created Him. He is the Self we share, uniting us with one another, and with God as well. (Commentary 6 on "What is the Christ?" W-pII.6.1:1-2)
Home of the Holy Spirit, and at home in God alone, does Christ remain at peace within the Heaven of your holy mind [-as-such]. This is the only part of you that has reality in truth. The rest is dreams. Yet will these dreams [of the ego] be given unto Christ, to fade before His glory and reveal your holy Self, the Christ, to you at last. (Commentary 6 on "What is the Christ?" W-pII.6.3:all)
For when forgiveness rests upon the world and peace has come to every Son of God [all of us], what could there be to keep things separate, for what remains to see except Christ's face [in everyone]? (Commentary 6 on "What is the Christ?" W-pII.6.4:3)
Father, Christ's vision is Your gift to me, and it has power to translate all that the body's eyes behold into the sight of a forgiven world. (W-pII.270.1:1)
 Right-mindedness, the miracle worker, minister, and the teacher of God: These identical "identities" all operate in us, and as us, during the process of Awakening from the dreams of the ego and our separated selves. Right-mindedness is a kind of intermediate stage in our healing that occurs in between being totally preoccupied with ego-concerns and idols, and being totally Awake in God with His Knowledge. The Course states that the ego is wrong-minded because it attempts to perceive us as what it wants us to be, rather than Who we Really are, namely, Sons of God. The process of moving through our spiritual healing by undoing the ego, learning to forgive everyone, and of developing Trust in Spirit is right-mindedness. Right-mindedness, then, is a process of correction in which we train our minds to ask Jesus if any choice we make in our daily lives is in accord with his guidance as given in the Course. Miracle-mindedness (which is the same as right-mindedness) occurs when we heal ourselves and others through forgiveness--which contains no judgment. Jesus says he will arrange time and space to adjust to any such miracles we perform through forgiveness. As we heal, and as we offer ourselves to Spirit to be conduits for healing others through miracles of forgiveness, we are God's teachers. This phase of right-mindedness calls for much Trust and the relinquishment (to the Holy Spirit) of both ego and judgment. The teacher of God lets go all that is valueless and keeps only what is of Spirit. He places all events, encounters, circumstances and "needs" under the sole direction of the Holy Spirit, and he does not interfere. This is advanced right-mindedness. (See: faith, forgive)
Accept only the function of healing in time, because that is what time is for. (T-9.III.8:3)
Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished. Ask, rather, to learn how to forgive, and to restore what always was to your unforgiving mind. Atonement becomes real and visible to those who use it. On earth this is your only function, and you must learn that it is all you want to learn. You will feel guilty till you learn this. (T-14.IV.3:4-8)
Fail not in your function of loving [everyone] in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit, for thus are darkness and deceit undone. (T-14.IV.4:10)
Release yourself to Him [the Holy Spirit] Whose function is release. (T-18.IV.6:6)
Once you accept His [God's] plan as the one function you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. (T-20.IV.8:4)
This [oneness] is the function of your holy relationship. (T-22.VI.14:1)
Right-mindedness is not to be confused with the knowing mind [of Spirit], because it is applicable only to right perception. You can be right-minded or wrong-minded, and even this is subject to degrees, clearly demonstrating that [True] knowledge is not involved. The term "right-mindedness" is properly used as the correction for "wrong-mindedness," and applies to the state of mind that induces accurate perception. It is miracle-minded because it heals misperception, and this is indeed a miracle in view of how you perceive yourself. (T-3.IV.4:all)
I [Jesus] have already said that miracles are expressions of miracle-mindedness, and miracle-mindedness means right-mindedness. The right-minded neither exalt nor depreciate the mind of the miracle worker or the miracle receiver. However, as a correction, the miracle need not await the right-mindedness of the receiver. In fact, its purpose is to restore him to his right mind. It is essential, however, that the miracle worker be in his right mind, however briefly, or he will be unable to re-establish right-mindedness in someone else. (T-2.V.3:all)
Such is the Holy Spirit's kind perception of specialness; His use of what you made, to heal instead of harm. To each He gives a special function in salvation he alone can fill; a part for only him. Nor is the plan complete until he finds his special function, and fulfills the part assigned to him, to make himself complete within a world where incompletion rules. (T-25.VI.4:all)
Your special function opens wide the door beyond which is the memory of His [God's] Love kept perfectly intact and undefiled. (T-26.II.8:4)
Forgiveness is the only function meaningful in time. (T-25.VI.5:3)
Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world. (W-pI.62.5:2)
My happiness and my function are one. (W-pI.66.Heading)
Salvation [through forgiveness] is my only function here. (W-pI.99.11:3)
It is the function of God's ministers [teachers] to help their brothers choose as they have done. (W-pI.153.11:1)
The peace of God is my one goal; the aim of all my living here, the end I seek, my purpose and my function and my life, while I abide where I am not at home. (W-pI.rVI.205.1:3)
This [trust] is the foundation on which their [God's teachers] ability to fulfill their function rests. (M-4.I.1:1)
The third stage through which a teacher of God must go can be called "a period of relinquishment." If this is interpreted as giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. (M-4.I.A.5:1-2)
Its potential is literally staggering, and the teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at which he sees in it his whole way out. "Give up what you do not want [i.e., the things of ego and separation], and keep what you do [i.e., the Attributes of God]." How simple is the obvious! And how easy to do! (M-4.I.A.6:5-8)
[7&8] Ego and body:
The major function of the ego is to maintain our continuing separation from God
by (a) using fear, guilt and projection to keep us "in check," and (b)
diverting all our attention to a fixated preoccupation with bodies. We humans
devote almost all our time to body maintenance and grooming; we spend
approximately 40 hours per week working to earn money to keep the body in
food, clothes, shelter, transportation, health, fitness, cleanliness and
attractiveness. Our special relationships are primarily preoccupied with bodies
and physical attraction. Our entertainment emphasizes body and physical (action)
experiences. If bodies did not exist none of these preoccupations, jobs,
interests or experiences would exist. Without a body the ego would have nothing
to do, because all physical doing requires faces, eyes, ears,
hands, legs, mouths, brains, speech, reproductive organs, lungs, muscles, bones,
an alimentary canal, a central nervous system and countless other more obscure
organs. Without bodies families would not exist and neither would special
relationships. The ego dotes on bodies and "lives" for bodily
activities and functions, especially as manifested in special relationships of
all kinds, including families. But the ego is nothing more than an artificially
made fictitious identity concocted by the separated self (see: ego,
self) to maintain the ongoing separation from all Spirit, especially God.
Although Spirit never opposes or confronts the ego because it is not real, the
ego regards Spirit as an "enemy" who threatens its existence.
The Course describes the ego's functions as follows: The ego interprets what we perceive, which permits us to identify ourselves with our bodies because we see through "our" physical eyes and hear through "our" physical ears. Believing in the unreal is also the ego's function because only Spirit has Knowledge of Truth. The ego itself is no more than an arbitrary conglomeration of irrational, insane beliefs, the most fundamental of which are our entrenched beliefs in fear, sin, guilt and special relationships. This is insane. The ego divides and redivides everything, thus shattering what it perceives into millions of meaningless bits which it then proceeds to examine with myopic absorption; Wholeness, Unity and Mind-as-such are avoided at all costs! In the ego's view our "Grand Unified Theories of Everything" must exclude God and Loving Oneness. Discordant, disconnected specialness is the ego's function in this world, a specialness intent on separation and attack. The ego seeks salvation only where it can not be found, because it thinks its safety is physical and can only be found in fear.
The following quotations are limited to the functions of the ego. (For a wider definition and variety of quotations, see: ego, fear, body, separation.)
The interpretive function of perception, a distorted form of creation, then permits you [as ego] to interpret the body as yourself in an attempt to escape from the conflict you have induced. (T-3.IV.6:3)
Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint. (T-4.II.4:8)
The ego's whole thought system [of false beliefs] blocks extension, and thus blocks your only function. (T-7.IX.3:4)
It is still true that the body has no function of itself, because it is not an end. The ego, however, establishes it is an end because, as such, its true function is obscured. This is the purpose of everything the ego does. Its sole aim is to lose sight of the [healing] function of everything. (T-8.VIII.5:1-4)
Specialness is the function that you gave yourself [as ego]. (T-24.VI.11:1)
The ego teaches that your function on earth is destruction, and you have no function at all in Heaven. (T-13.IV.1:4)
The confusion of functions is so typical of the ego that you should be quite familiar with it by now. The ego believes that all functions belong to it, even though it has no idea what they are. This is more than mere confusion. It is a particularly dangerous combination of grandiosity and confusion that makes the ego likely to attack anyone and anything for no reason at all. (T-9.IV.7:1-4)
The function you have given them [your special relationships] is clearly not to make happy. (T-17.IV.2:5)
It has been futile to demand escape from sin and pain of what was made to serve the function of retaining sin and pain. (T-29.II.3:2)
The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. (W-pI.66.2:1)
Let us end this set of definitions and quotations about functions on a Happy note.
Only by fulfilling the function [of extension] given you by God will you be happy. That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable. (W-pI.64.4:1-2)
For it is the function of [Real] love to unite all things unto itself, and to hold all things together by extending its wholeness. (T-12.VIII.7:11)
fuse: Although it is used only a few times in the
Course this word gives us a powerful clue as to what happens when minds join
together and unify in Oneness.
When we become the Christ our perception fuses into Knowledge; in other words our perception becomes more and more holy or spiritual as we look out on everyone and everything through the Loving Mind of the Son of God in us. Remember that it is Mind that sees, not the body's eyes, and therefore once our Minds return to their natural Real state (i.e., as God created them as Love), our "new" perception has fused or melded with the Knowledge God Himself put there.
Furthermore, our Spiritual Minds can fuse together and become One with the Mind of God which, then, collectively, become invincible because they are undivided. In this seamless joining, the fusion of Minds becomes all-powerful.
Note, too, that prayer is an active means or method (when practiced in accord with the Course) for reaching this fused, formless Mind-state of communication with God in God.
futile, futility: Everything the ego does is futile and will always lead to a feeling of futility, or even hopelessness. The Course sets down many futile actions of the ego, and futile situations the ego puts us in, most of them, on our part, being repetitive. The ego makes futile attempts to escape from its own inescapable impasses, it encourages futile searches "outside" itself in a futile world of its own making, and it persuades us to pursue an endless list of futile goals and dreams all of which are substitutions for the truth. All these often drop us into a sense of futility, sickness and depression because they lead nowhere.
future: We humans, as egos, tend to live for future
events and goals, and very rarely do we live right now. Even when we do
enjoy the activity we are currently engaged in (e.g., a game, work, fishing,
watching television, talking with a friend) we are waiting expectantly
for the outcome, the next event, the plot to unfold, the
point to be made. No sooner does one outcome eventuate, then we immediately
transfer our attention to our next expectation. This almost continuous
"futurizing" by our egos emanates from past learning, past fears, past
indoctrinated beliefs, past guilt, past pain and suffering, past
"successes" and "failures," and above all, past ego
"solutions" to problems (usually to fight or to flee). Out of our past
we plan our future, our major (futile) motive being to make the future safe,
But only now exists because now is the only time there is, and now is the only time we really live. The past, present and the future are not continuous unless the ego forces continuity on them. Even when we turn to spiritual paths we expect (as egos) that the results of the Holy Spirit's teaching will be far in the future. Why in the future? Be not content with future happiness because it is never here and now. What, then, holds us in the past? It is the ego's unforgiving mind that holds us there, and, in fact, that unforgiving mind secretly dooms us a bleak future. But what worry can beset us when we forgive everyone, including ourselves, and place the future in the Loving Hands of God, now. The At-one-ment process of healing can be equated with a total escape from the past and a total lack of interest in the future. When we ask the Holy Spirit for Everything, All Reality will be given us, not in the future, but immediately, Now, because God is timeless.
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD