Loving Oneness Now
I (first person pronoun): (See: identity, Jesus)
idea: The Course contains hundreds of references using the word idea,
or ideas, and quite a few of these are ideas about ideas! In the Workbook
Lessons each heading is referred to as an idea. In the Course, undoing our
erroneous ideas about our ideas, beliefs, concepts, thoughts, images,
perceptions, "dreams," knowledge, myths, learning and unlearning (all
of which are forms of ideas) is at the very heart of what the overall spiritual
purpose of the Course is all about. In this respect, Jesus constantly asks us to
let go our old ideas and beliefs, to correct our errors of perception, to give
up our preoccupations with dreams, to relinquish all our self-concepts, and to
unlearn all the past thoughts and images (ideas) we have made. This we can do
through forgiveness as well as by giving up all our insane ideas and the ego's
goals (which are ideas) with the help of the Holy Spirit. Thus, when we come to
God with empty, open minds, His Love will blaze its pathway to us of itself, and
our minds will again be filled with His eternal Ideas.
Ideas, psychologically speaking, are specific conceptual thoughts that are often centered on a particular situation, need, problem or endeavor. Such ideas, not infrequently, come into our minds as solutions, means, or insights that help us move forward in the task or situation we wish to resolve. In our past, almost all of these are false solutions, ready-made for us by our families, customs and culture, and they are "automatically" absorbed as we grow up. Even rebellion against the ideas of family and society is merely the embracing of their ego-level opposite polarity. However, the transformational spiritual ideas presented in the Course, when implemented and practiced, help us move along in our right-minded journey to our Real Home.
A major theme of the Course is that ideas never leave the mind which is their source. Usually, we assume that when we vent attack thoughts, or project thoughts of safety onto others to counter our inner fears, these ideas have left our minds, but this is not the case. No matter how we may try to rid ourselves (usually by means of projection, "sharing," and denial) of our ego's "ideas" involving anger, fear and depression, they are still in our minds awaiting the next triggering episode. Nevertheless, we can undo and dismantle all these old, worn-out, ego ideas and beliefs by openly owning them and giving them to the Holy Spirit (see: forgive).
Fortunately for our salvation, it is also true that God's Thoughts and Ideas of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom and Knowledge have never left our Minds where He originally placed them as His Gifts when He created us. The Course tells us that we are Ideas of God, and that our true Identities as His Sons means we are Minds within His Mind and held There eternally by God's Thoughts. All our brothers in the Universe of Universes (i.e., within God's Mind-as-such) are also His Thoughts (Ideas) and His Gifts to us, individually and collectively (see: gifts, thoughts). Even God Himself, it is said, is an Idea in our Minds--but in Reality God is Mind-as-such and His Ideas are Real too.
The major key ideas presented in the Course have been grouped below into the "levels" on which they operate. These levels are: bodies, egos, separation, right-mindedness, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Son(s), God (for information on levels, see: levels, dual). This "level" method of categorization enables us to avoid some of the "level confusion" which some students of the Course may experience as they study it.
BODY AS AN IDEA OF NOTHINGNESS
THE EGO IS AN INSANE IDEA THAT HAS NO FOUNDATION, AND ALL THE EGO'S IDEAS ARE MEANINGLESS
SEPARATION FROM GOD AS A MAD IDEA, RESULTING IN EGOS, BODIES AND AN INSANE WORLD OF ILLUSIONS AND LEVELS OF ILLUSIONS
RIGHT-MINDEDNESS, SALVATION, HEALING, FORGIVENESS, AND THE AT-ONE-MENT PROCESS
THE HOLY SPIRIT, JESUS, THE VOICE FOR GOD
OUR INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES AS THE SON OF GOD, THE CHRIST, THE SELF; AS IDEAS OF GOD IN GOD'S MIND-AS-SUCH
GOD, GOD'S IDEAS, CREATOR, FATHER (For more on God's Ideas see: C03, H1, P10)
ideal: The Course uses this word infrequently and almost always in
connection with what the ego wants. "Ego-ideal" is a psychological
term which denotes the ego's conception of a better, more successful future self
mostly founded on the expectancies and "ideals" originally implanted
in each of us by our parents, schools, society and religion.
Ego-ideals, then, are a learned set of inner standards which are part of the "parental authority system" (PAS), a set of standards we aspire to achieve. Unfortunately this inner PAS punishes us in some way (such as sickness, depression, or addiction) when we fail to meet the ego-ideals it expects, demands, or encourages us to fulfill.
Whether we have fulfilled the ego-ideals of our PAS or not, we usually project its expectancies and standards out onto those around us with whom we have special relationships, and this includes our children, partners, wider family, and friends. We also hold out these inculcated ideal roles and behavioral standards of our PAS to all those we perceive as "sinners, weirdoes, criminals, bad guys, etc." Usually these people or groups include anyone vaguely not like our "ideal" selves. In all these projected ego-ideals and attitudes and prejudices the ego is dominant, even when lip-service is given to spiritual concerns.
There is, however, an ideal teacher/student or therapist/patient relationship the Course would have us learn, one that becomes a series of holy encounters which reflect a holy relationship. In this ideal relationship the teacher or therapist (each of us is both of these) listens to the Holy Spirit within and allows the inner Christ to lead the way to the peace of God.
identify, identifications: As individual egos, we humans identify with
all kinds of people, objects and ideas, and, for any one person, these
identifications always include multiple people, things and ideas. Thus,
all at the same time, one individual might identify with his body, his ego, his
personal family, his occupation, his old school and college, his religious
group, his political think-alikes, his home, his car, his recreations, his
hobbies, his city, his state, his nation, his favorite famous people, his
entertainments, his illnesses, his handicaps, his health, his achievements, his
clubs, and his goals in life. Almost always, many of these projected
ego-identifications conflict with one another, and, just to make life even more
complicated, some of the contradictions are subconscious. If you wish to list
your ego's identifications just fill in the blanks in each of the following
sentences with specific examples of each item on the above list: "I
am a ______" or, "I just love my (or those) ______." In
answering, be aware that identification in this context does not mean we have to
look like, or need be of the same gender as, those we select.
Note that these ego-identifications, especially those projected onto people we personally know, are a two-way interaction because the perceived projections of others intertwine with our own thus resulting in mixed-up messages, meanings and motives. Therefore, as egos, we must clearly understand that our special relationship identifications are not only by no means conflict-free, but rather, that conflict is built into them all.
As humans, our major identification is with our bodies and each of us individually "extends" this body identification to all other humans. Even though we may acknowledge that everyone also has a mind of sorts, we think we can only interact with them through our bodies and this includes all speaking (the voice) and listening (the ears). We tend to forget that, on this earth, verbal communication takes place through physical processing that involves several symbolic functions. Thus, even verbal attacks (abuse) are physical, and always have a physical impact on the participants even though our ego-minds are the source.
All our identifications in this anxiety-ridden world of illusions have the purpose of giving our egos and bodies a comfortable, shored-up sense of (false) safety and security. Our identifications, the threats they try to counteract, and the security-blankets to which we cling, are all illusions of the same order, and all will collapse, or otherwise fail us, as we begin to understand how hollow and ephemeral they are. Illusions never last.
Our only True Identification is with the Father and the Son, and that is the only identification we need be, because it is the only Identification we are. This theme of our True Identity is continued in the next entry.
identity: (Please read the above entry on "identify"
first.) Out of 91 references in the Course which contain the word
"identity" some 76 use the word as a synonym for the Son of God
in us, the Christ in us, or our Self. The other 15 references refer
either to our split identity here in this world of separation, or simply
to our false identities as egos in isolation from one another.
The split identity situation refers to (a) our True Identity as Sons of God, versus (b) our false identities as body/ego-oriented humans in an unreal world, a world made by us for our erroneous perception to see.
Our True Identities, as Sons or Christs, are shared with one another as well as God, and they are eternal and changeless because God created them that way. But in this world we have denied our True Identities in our game of separation from both God and the Sonship, and as a result, we look out on dreams of evil, sin, death and despair.
One useful technique for transferring your personal identification from your ego to your True Identity as a Son of God or Christ is to psychologically step back from the incessant chatter and churning emotions of your ego and observe them (and the ego itself) in a detached way as if watching actors in a live theater.
This detached, uninvolved observer/watcher role if practiced frequently (and alternated with the ego-dismantling method) will strengthen the Self/Son/Christ in you and steadily diminish the ego. However, when identifying with the observer Self, be sure you are not judging yourself or slipping into self-criticism on behalf of the parental authority system (PAS) or any other internal judges--all of which are ego. If you have a strong critical parental authority ego-system (PAS) quietly observe it in action (as in a theater), affirm "I am not that," and give the whole PAS to the Holy Spirit for dissolution. This quiet observer/watcher technique, which is used in the early lessons of the Workbook, can also be applied to observing the egos of other people in a detached way without judgment--as you affirm, "He or she is not an ego but a Holy Son of God in disguise."
idle: This word means having no value, use or significance, as well as
minimum activity with slow movements. The Course speaks frequently of our idle
wishes, thoughts and dreams, all of which flow idly through our ego minds in
But there is more! We project most of our idle (meaningless and foundationless) ego-wishes, thoughts and dreams outwards onto the equally idle thoughts of others-as-egos, usually for the purpose of turning ourselves into victims who are being deprived of our (idle) need-satisfactions by those others. Through this process of projection, called "the idle dreaming of the world," we deny the actual cause of deprivation, lack and suffering is, in fact, in our own minds.
The Course, however, in a seeming paradox, tells us "there are no idle thoughts" and the reason is that our Minds are very powerful and never lose their creative force even when "dreaming" idle thoughts. It is our thoughts, however idle they may be, that manifest this world of illusion. In this respect it is difficult for us to realize that thoughts and beliefs, idle or not, can "combine in a power surge that can literally move mountains." Does our collective anger cause eruptions and earthquakes? In this respect, we are told that all thinking produces form at some level. Examples of this form at the ego-level would be sickness in the body, a nighttime dream, or synchronistic manifestations. At the top-most right-minded level the produced "form" would be a real World of Love, and at the Highest level it would be the co-creation of new Mind-Beings (even though, strictly speaking, such Beings are formless). Thus all our wishes, wants and needs, however idle and foundationless some may be, are thoughts that can manifest for us the forms we expect to see and want. Unfortunately almost all of us want and worship idols of one kind or another, even believing that some of them are stepping stones to God.
Thus the real conflict in this dreamworld of ours is between the ego's idle wants and wishes about idols, and the Will of God which we share. The ego and its imaginary needs has to be dismantled and totally relinquished.
IDLE WISHES, THOUGHTS AND DREAMS OF EGO AND THIS WORLD
THERE ARE NO IDLE THOUGHTS, BECAUSE ALL THOUGHTS HAVE POWER
THE TRANSITION FROM THE EGO'S PERCEPTION TO RIGHT-MINDED VISION
THE TRUTH OF JOY, PEACE AND LOVE WHICH CONTRASTS WITH THE FALSENESS OF IDLE THOUGHTS, WISHES, DREAMS AND THE WORSHIPING OF IDOLS
idols: In this world of illusion idols stand for anything that we
believe will bring us "happiness" or "salvation" as goals of
the ego. Idols are substitutes, in this world of separation, for God and His
Gifts of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom and Knowledge. We literally worship
our special deities (idols) always hoping they will give us "more of
something" that we think we need or want as a false completion for what we
think we lack. Some of these idols that we desire may be more wealth,
more intelligence, more beauty, or even more affliction and pain. Obviously, the
desire (want or need) may be conscious or unconscious, or even both of these.
When one idol falls another takes its place, so we keep on searching, trying one idol after another fruitlessly in our search for permanent salvation. Will the idol of money be our salvation? Will the finding of our perfect partner and soul-mate be our salvation? Will getting that extra education be our salvation? Will settling into a fine home and family with children be our salvation? Will winning that gold medal or high honor be our salvation? Will fame or success be our salvation? Will being promoted to a higher rank in our work or organization be our salvation? Will finding just the right kind of work, job, or position be our salvation? Will taking on that new sport, hobby or activity be our salvation? Will joining that group, club, or organization be our salvation? Will reading all those unread books be our salvation? Will taking the next Course with the next wise teacher be our salvation?
We all tend to seek our "salvation" out there (outside our Minds) in a thousand strange ways, chasing after a thousand idols, one after another. Some of us, in our delusion here, make sickness, sin, guilt and self-punishment the idol which will help us find salvation through suffering and pain. Victimhood can become an idol through which we prove ourselves "innocent" and worthy of "salvation."
We also see a wide variety of other individuals as idols who will be our salvation because they will make us contented and happy. We revere celebrities, stars, intellectual giants, forefathers, religious leaders, experts, authorities, the very wealthy, virtuosos, high-risk takers, great teachers, and medal-winners. But it is not only the famous and talented we idolize; we also turn those people close to us into positive and/or negative idols, and the Course examines this "idolatry" extensively. These are the special relationships that become our "salvation," because once we manipulate the other person (or persons) into fulfilling for us the wants and needs we lack, we will be "happy." However, our special relationships-as-idols are not always positive; in fact, when the glow wears off our relationship with a partner, child, relative or friend, the idol falls causing irritation and disappointment because the "lack" returns. Are our idolized, roller-coaster relationships with others true salvation?
Even more dismaying are the idols (gods) of cruelty, hate and vengeance in which most people see their "salvation." We say: "If only we (or I) could get rid of a particular person or group, we would be saved from their unfair attacks, demands, abuse, etc." These "enemy-type" idols may be individuals or groups, any kind of political, business or other organization, rivals, criminals, races, or nations. By punishing them, isolating them or killing them, so will we find our "salvation." But by worshipping these idols of cruelty and hate in many forms, we keep all separation going, while death (defined in the Course as any dark feeling or act) becomes our answer to our numerous problems and conflicts.
All the idols mentioned above are firmly based not only deep on fear, but also on the body. The body, says the Course, is the home of the idolater (the ego). Every idol mentioned thus far, as well as any not discussed, is designed for the sole purpose of preserving the ego/body system and its desire to continue our separation from God and the Sonship. If we were only bodiless Minds (which in Reality we are) we would have no need of money, physical beauty, jobs, homes, human families, ranks, books, courses, fame, medals, diplomas, individual soul-mates, sickness, victimhood, enemies, cruelty and so on--all of which we see as the "salvation" of the ego/body system. These idols, collectively are what we humans call "living!"
Many students of the Course immediately respond to the statements above by saying, "But I am not bodiless; I am here on this earth in my body which has to be fed and housed, and while I am here, I need to have all my basic needs met. Am I, then, just to let everything go, waste away, starve to death, and not participate in any human affairs and activities that smack of idols?" The course's answer to this is unequivocal; we are told that, with minimal food and necessary attention on our part, the Holy Spirit will look after our bodies which can then be used in the service of the Holy Spirit to implement God's Plan for True salvation, otherwise known as the At-one-ment through forgiveness. In these circumstances, we have no idols and the body's voice, ears, eyes, hands and legs become "useful, serviceable instruments" for the teacher of God.
Idols, even the negative ones, counteract our ego's fears of being unloved, of attack, of unworthiness and littleness. Idols, we think, bring us recognition, attention, specialness, and praise. Even illness can bring us sympathy and the ego-benefits of victimhood. Our special relationships with partners, children and friends, we always hope, will boost us out of anxiety and our fears of loneliness, into inflated pseudo-love. Even our (lack-oriented) prayers are usually directed towards asking God to provide us with a wide variety of need-satisfactions associated with our favorite idols. Yet the Course tells us God does not hear these prayers. You, however, may manifest satisfying outcomes synchronistically.
Self-concepts, or special ego-images, are meaningless idols we strive to achieve for ourselves as favorable false identities that we wish to substitute here for the Son of God we Really are. All self-concept idols are intended to attract to us the other more external idols we want and seek. For example, if I am vivacious and seductive, I will attract my soul-mate much more quickly. The Course describes this as "bait to catch another fish!" These self-concepts are shallow, special, ego-made, ego-designed "costumes" (artificial personalities). They are the means by which we can perceive our bodies and ego-personalities as we would wish them to be--usually so as to be favorably regarded or respected by others. The ego-ideals (we should call them ego-idols) which motivate self-concept building (e.g., I will be attractive, witty, smart, good, neat, slim, cool, fit, healthy, a winner, kind, empowered, love-worthy, etc.,) are, in fact, meaningless distractions which prevent us from realizing our True Identities as Sons of God.
If we sincerely wish to wake up to Who we Really are, we will choose to unlearn and undo all the past has taught us about idols, ego-ideals, ambitions, self-concepts, bodies, needs, wants, guilt, blame, victimhood, sicknesses and suffering. We determine to forgive everyone, everywhere, because they are all Sons of God like ourselves. As this is accomplished we re-discover inside our own Minds all the Gifts of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Knowledge, Freedom and Innocence given us by God for all eternity.
ignorance: Whereas the Course equates Light with Knowledge, it equates
ignorance with darkness. Ignorance, then, forms a vertical duality (see:
duality) with Knowledge and Understanding.
When, to be special, we separated ourselves from God and His Knowledge, we drew a heavy veil across our split minds, shrouding ourselves from His Light, thus leaving our lower minds in darkness and ignorance. Then, in our unenlightened state of specialness, we invented the idea of the ego as a false mind-identity. We also made bodies in a physical world of illusion so that the ego could constantly look down into the shadows of fear and hate without ever lifting its eyes to the Light of Understanding.
Although the word "ignorant" has become a snide, derogatory remark in our verbal bickerings, it literally means "not knowing" or, in Course terms, an absence of Knowledge. This is why Jesus said of those who had crucified him, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." In other words, they lacked Spiritual Knowledge, and it is this ignorance that is the true problem of the separation and not evil or sin. Evil is meaningless to those who Know God. An obvious next step of our "not Knowing what we (still) do," is for us to learn and teach about Love and Light, and come to Know that the Kingdom of God is within our Minds-as-such.
To achieve this en-Light-ened state calls for a complete upside-down reversal of our ignorant beliefs, ideas and perceptions about bodies, egos, relationships and the illusory nature of the world we see. This complete reversal of our traditional identities (ego/bodies), beliefs and attitudes, is the goal of the At-one-ment process, which, by changing our perceptions drastically, leads us inwards, past the veils of blame, sin, and guilt, to the Light and Understanding of God. As this occurs the veils of separation dissolve and we each come to Know that our true Identity is the Christ--the newly re-awakened Son of God.
ill, illness: It is the gap between minds which have separated in a
world of dreams that "holds the seeds of pestilence and every form of ill,
because it is the wish to keep apart and not to join." All illness is not
only a form of external searching, but also a belief in magic because it is the
idea that the body, independently of the ego-mind, can make its own illnesses.
In fact, all illness is mental illness, and whether the specific illness is mental or physical in its magical manifestation, it is an expression of separation, sorrow, sin and guilt. When we suffer illness of any kind, we (as egos) see ourselves as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered, all of which are situations that call for constant defense; defense against attacks coming from an external physical world perceived to be full of viruses, germs, poisons, pollution and other contaminants. In some circles it is even fashionable to mention "toxic people" and that is truly projected separation!
False healings of any kind (including medicine) "cure" only bodies, or parts of bodies, including symptoms. They use some form of physical or psychological magic to "cure" equally magical illnesses, thus utilizing illusions to remedy illusions. It is also equally an illusion that illnesses vary in threat and intensity. When the source of all illness is finally recognized to be only in the separated mind, we can release the entire body from all our magical projections onto and into it--projections of illness, pain, discomfort, dissatisfactions and pleasure.
Nothing outside our minds affects us. Nothing external to us can make us ill, sad, weak or frail. It is only our insane thoughts, which result from our steadfast refusal to re-awaken to God and His Kingdom, that cause us illness, pain and suffering.
The Real Cure and True Answer to all illness is to end the separation, to dismantle the ego with the Holy Spirit's help, to embrace the At-one-ment and to forgive everyone, including ourselves, for what never happened in Reality. In our re-union with the Loving Oneness of all Beings in the Mind of God (Heaven), we understand only His Thoughts are Real.
The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control. (T-2.IV.2:6-8)
If the mind believes the body is its goal it will distort its perception of the body, and by blocking its own extension beyond it, will induce illness by fostering separation. Perceiving the body as a separate entity cannot but foster illness, because it is not true. (T-8.VII.11:3-4)
Illness is some form of external searching. (T-2.I.5:10)
As all therapy is psychotherapy, so all illness is mental illness. (P-2.IV.1:1)
illumination: Only the "lower" mind is capable of
illumination by the Light of Understanding because the Spiritual aspect of our
Minds-as-such is already illuminated. It is the darkness of the separated side
of our intentional split from Heaven that needs lighting up by rejoining God.
Note that it is God's Knowledge that en-Light-ens the shadow side of our minds.
Through Knowledge, the Holy Spirit is always willing to bring us the Light of
Freedom from ego and darkness, but the choice to let Him
illuminate us is ours.
The body, the Course tells us, is too dense to be illuminated by Spirit, but it can be temporarily lit up and irradiated by the reflected inner Light of pure Mind-as-such, just as Jesus was during his spiritual transfiguration on the high mountain (Matthew 17:2).
illusion: In the Course there are well over 800 references to the word
"illusion" and its derivatives. The reason for this frequency and
emphasis is twofold.
First, everything in this world including space, time, matter, bodies and all things of form, are illusions, together with all the beliefs and ideas our ego-minds hold about anything. Many of these illusions are specifically identified in the Course, and lists of various types of illusions are set out below. The reference codes for each illusion follows its individual listing.
Second, we separated ones are so deeply entrenched in our human beliefs "the past has taught" that Jesus has to emphasize constantly that "nothing this world believes is true," i.e., it is all illusion and we are deluded about it. Not only that, but we are also slow learners of the new, yet ancient, ideas he presents in the Course, the ideas of God which are eternally True. The one ego-idea we cling to, and believe in, more than any other is that this world of form and what happens in it is real, therefore we have to be reminded again and again by Jesus that it is all illusion.
In our separated state in this world each of us has very distorted concepts, opinions and emotional attitudes about God, Creation, Life, Love, Peace, Light, Joy, Knowledge, Heaven, Freedom, Mind, Thoughts, Self, the Sonship, the Holy Spirit, Atonement, Oneness, Presence, the Christ, Jesus, etc., so much so that our current ego-ideas about all these are illusions. An intensive study of the Course combined with meditation, prayer, willingness, and listening to the Holy Spirit will correct these perceptual errors and (as we let go of everything in this world) will bring us the direct experience of God. In actual Fact, we cannot be anywhere but in the Mind of God Which is the only Reality and knows not form.
In the following lists it is very important to realize and remember that each item mentioned is not real; it is an illusion that we believe and continuously manifest in order to perpetuate our separation from God. All these illusions exist in our minds now and must be let go. Note that there are many other forms of illusion mentioned in the Course which are covered by words other than "illusion(s)." These words are "not real," "unreal," "dreams of," "imaginary," "image(s)," "not true," "untrue," "false," "fantasies," "insane," "insanity," "delusion(s)," "hallucinations," "lies," "deceits," "changing," etc. Many of these can be looked up under the appropriate word entry in this Companion.
There are, however, a few beneficial illusions which can help us "extricate" ourselves from this world of illusions. These beneficial illusions are, forgiveness, help, right-mindedness, the real world, mercy and certain forms of prayer. Why are beneficial illusions necessary? The reason is this: we have so deeply immersed ourselves in our on-going separation from God and the Sonship that, by our own choice, direct Revelation is impossible. Therefore, once we are a little willing to wake up to who we Really are (eternal Mind-as-such Sons of God in God), the Holy Spirit can help us return Home by utilizing (for spiritual purposes) some of the very illusions we have made to serve the ego, the body and the separation. Often the Holy Spirit helps us undo the ego's illusions by means of these "higher" beneficial illusions, and it should be noted that almost any illusion can be "turned around" to facilitate the goal of the Course. Indeed, the body itself can be used to teach the Course, just as it is the body's eyes that read the symbols in it. Perception, too, can look out through the Loving eyes of the Christ within and see a Real world, one that is at the highest level of "spiritual-level" illusions. Forgiveness is an illusion through which, gradually, we learn all about universal Real Love. Mercy is one form of forgiveness, one that is only applicable to the events of this ego-driven world. Even right-mindedness is only one extended phase of our spiritual passage in extricating ourselves from this world of fearful shadows. Many of our prayers ask for situational changes or for release (usually sideways shifts) from negative situations that do not exist in Reality.
image, imagery: The
dictionary definition of this word is, "an image is a reproduction,
counterpart or duplicate of the actual form of an object or a person." Thus
a photo, painting, sculpture or electronic depiction of a person is an image of
that person. We see our images when we look into a mirror. But in psychology a
mental image is the inner mind-picture we have of a person, scene or object. For
example, we all experience mental images when we dream while sleeping. Mental
images are often used by artists as the source for the images they portray in
their works (especially those who do not paint or sculpt from live models,
objects or scenes) and these imagined works of art would be outer artistic
images (e.g., paintings) of the artist's inner (psychological) images.
We never experience so-called external objects or people directly because the information we perceive comes to us (as mind-beings) first through some physical medium (such as reflected light, heat, gravity, pressure, texture, sound waves, chemistry, etc.,) and then through one or more of the five physiological organs and senses (seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, tasting, smelling) before the equally physiological nervous system (including the brain) registers the perceived objects or persons as images in mind-consciousness. Furthermore, as if that was not far enough removed from "what is supposedly out there," each of us also brings our personal past perceptual "experiences" to bear on any given inner conscious image of a person or object, and these numerous past associations distort, modify and color our current resultant mental image. For example, a farmer may welcome rain whereas a family on vacation dislikes it.
The Course illustrates this complex process using the inner image of a cup (refer to: W-pI.7.3:3-6). To a little child, for example, a cup with indecipherable writing on it, may be huge and heavy, whereas to an adult the same coffee cup is light and the writing says, "This will wake you up!" [So will the Course!]
There is, however, nothing outside us because our Minds-as-such encompass all-that-is. Every individual thing that appears to be external is, in Fact, not there in Reality; it is only a projected form that we manifest in the form of atoms and their particles holographically. "God knows not form" (T-30.III.4:5) and so forms do not exist. Perhaps, for the scientifically minded, this needs a little extra clarification. Particles, atoms, molecules and the substances they actually form in our physical universe, are what they are in the context of our universe, and those "real" particles, atoms, molecules, and substances are the illusion. Solidity is not a sign of Reality; all solidity is illusion, too. The holographic manifestation is made of atoms, molecules and energy. In this context do not be confused by the common assumption that the word "illusion" means vaporous or dreamlike. We, as limitless Sons of God, can manifest anything with no limitations, including "real" matter, bodies, brains, senses, solar systems, gravity and electromagnetic wave phenomena such as heat and light. All-form-that-is (or rather, "form-that-seems-to-be") emanates within Mind-as-such, is caused by Mind-as-such, and is experienced within Mind-as-such, but none of these manifested forms are Real. You may believe some forms are real, but if you do so, the fragmentation of our separation in this ego-world will continue to exist for you. The seeming world outside is an exact mirror of what we want it to be, and that "wanting" takes into account all the negative aspects of our unconscious ego-minds, including our externalized "nightmares."
The Course also mentions that many of the fragmented images we perceive and believe in are distorted aspects of our own false identities and identifications (see: identity and identify). The ego is the central self-image or concept of who we believe we are in this world of illusion we have made. But the ego contains numerous other false "sub-images" (we can call them "ego-children") in its meaningless mosaic of identities, and the Course details some of these as follows: agony, difficulties, distress, fear, hate, loneliness, loss, misery, pain, perplexity, sickness, sins, sorrow, stress, suffering, and weakness. (Refer to: T-31.VIII.all)
In the Course, Jesus gently asks each of us to let go all images of ourselves, our brothers, this world, and even of God, so that He may replace them with the Truth of who we Really are as His Sons. (See also: illusion, identity, dream, and similar concepts)
imagine, imagination: (Please read the above entry on image, imagery
first.) We use our imaginations to form mental images of anything that is not
present to our senses, even though some of the imagined content may come from
past experiences. Usually, we do not regard what we imagine as "real,"
because if we do, it falls more into the category of "realistic"
thoughts or concepts. The Course adopts the dictionary definition of imagination
as akin to fantasy and make-believe, and quite bluntly speaks of our very
frequent imaginings as weird, vain, feverish, terrified, sick, blind, tiny and
frail. Furthermore, the Course does not mention imagination as creative and
artistic. However, several times it does suggest a vague role for imagination,
even though the Course implies imagination is restricted to the ego-mind. In one
such instance we are told that if we could imagine the eternal constancy
of Joy and Happiness we would desire them, even though we do not understand
them. (Refer to: T-21.VIII.2:2) In another instance we are asked the rhetorical
question, "Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no
anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?" (Refer
By and large, though, Jesus says we use our imaginations almost exclusively in the service of the ego, separation, escape-mechanisms, fear and attack, and this usage would, by definition, include everything we do in the name of ego-level "creativity." In this world we waste a lot of time on our Journey preoccupied with meaningless symbols in many forms, instead of going Home as quickly as possible to Experience God.
What then, in the service of the ego, do we use our imaginations for? These "imagined results" are listed first in the quotations section which follows, while the second set of quotations is more to do with the Answer to all imagination. (See: fantasies, dream, illusion, delusion)
THE IMAGINED RESULTS OF WHAT IS NOT TRUE
enslavement: You have a model to follow who will strengthen your command, and never detract from it in any way. You therefore retain the central place in your imagined enslavement, which in itself demonstrates that you are not enslaved. (T-6.IV.9:6-7)
will of the ego: Knowledge can be restored only when you meet its conditions. This is not a bargain made by God, Who makes no bargains. It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of an imaginary will that is not His. Knowledge is His Will. If you are opposing His Will, how can you have knowledge? (T-8.I.1:4-8)
results of what is not true: Do not allow yourself to suffer from imagined results of what is not true. Free your mind from the belief that this is possible. (T-8.VII.16:1-2)
our violations of God's Laws: You must learn that time is solely at your disposal, and that nothing in the world can take this responsibility from you. You can violate God's laws in your imagination, but you cannot escape from them. (T-10.IN.1:4-5)
the ego's comforters: Know, then, Who abides with you merely by recognizing what is there already, and do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you. (T-11.II.7:8)
our need to attack: There is nothing to prevent you from recognizing all calls for help as exactly what they are except your own imagined need to attack. (T-12.I.4:1)
the unreal enemy: God would not have His Son embattled, and so His Son's imagined "enemy" is totally unreal. You are but trying to escape a bitter war from which you have escaped. (T-13.XI.2:1-2)
guilt about crimes: Seek not to appraise the worth of God's Son whom He created holy, for to do so is to evaluate his Father and judge against Him. And you will feel guilty for this imagined crime, which no one in this world or Heaven could possibly commit. The Holy Spirit teaches only that the "sin" of self-replacement on the throne of God is not a source of guilt. (T-14.III.15:1-3)
giving power to ego-safety: Would you continue to give imagined power to these strange ideas of safety? They are neither safe nor unsafe. They do not protect; neither do they attack. They do nothing at all, being nothing at all. (T-14.VI.3:1-4)
ego's needs: We have said that to limit love to part of the Sonship is to bring guilt into your relationships, and thus make them unreal. If you seek to separate out certain aspects of the totality and look to them to meet your imagined needs, you are attempting to use separation to save you. How, then, could guilt not enter? (T-15.V.2:2-4)
Do not, then, be afraid to let go your imagined needs, which would destroy the relationship. Your only need is His. (T-15.V.5:7-8)
the world we see as egos: Never forget the world the sightless "see" must be imagined, for what it really looks like is unknown to them. (T-21.I.1:1)
the "best" of both worlds: The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable. And the attempt to find the imagined "best" of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both, and to the inability to perceive either as it is. The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion. (T-16.V.6:1-3)
slights and injustices: Imagined slights, remembered pain, past disappointments, perceived injustices and deprivations all enter into the special relationship, which becomes a way in which you seek to restore your wounded self-esteem. (T-16.VII.1:3)
sins and betrayals: The betrayal of the Son of God lies only in illusions, and all his "sins" are but his own imagining. His reality is forever sinless. He need not be forgiven but awakened. (T-17.I.1:1-3)
terror: For what the "something else" produced was sorrow and depression, sickness and pain, darkness and dim imaginings of terror, cold fantasies of fear and fiery dreams of hell. And it was nothing but the intolerable strain of refusing to give faith to truth, and see its evident reality. (T-17.VIII.4:5-6)
our attraction to guilt: In any single instant the attraction of guilt would be experienced as pain and nothing else, and would be avoided. It has no attraction now. Its whole attraction is imaginary, and therefore must be thought of in the past or in the future. (T-18.VII.3:5-7)
a brother's body as his reality: And here, in darkness, is your brother's reality imagined as a body, in unholy relationships with other bodies, serving the cause of sin an instant before he dies. (T-20.VII.6:7)
judgment as a game of death: Judgment is but a toy, a whim, the senseless means to play the idle game of death in your imagination. But vision sets all things right, bringing them gently within the kindly sway of Heaven's laws. What if you recognized this world is an hallucination? (T-20.VIII.7:1-3)
all suffering: And [Real] love would prove all suffering is but a vain imagining, a foolish wish with no effects. Your health is a result of your desire to see your brother with no blood upon his hands, nor guilt upon his heart made heavy with the proof of sin. (T-27.II.7:6-7)
our inner and outer ego-worlds: The idea for today, like the preceding ones, applies to your inner and outer worlds, which are actually the same. However, since you see them as different, the practice periods for today will again include two phases, one involving the world you see outside you, and the other the world you see in your mind. In today's exercises, try to introduce the thought that both are in your own imagination. (W-pI.32.2:all)
our world of ego does not exist: Today's idea is true because the world does not exist. And if it is indeed your own imagining, then you can loose it from all things you ever thought it was by merely changing all the thoughts that gave it these appearances. (W-pI.132.8:2-3)
opposites to Life: We will not ask for death in any form today. Nor will we let imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the Thought of life eternal has been set by God Himself. (W-pI.167.10:4-5)
the body is a fence: The body is a fence the Son of God imagines he has built, to separate parts of his Self from other parts. It is within this fence he thinks he lives, to die as it decays and crumbles. For within this fence he thinks that he is safe from [Real] love. Identifying with his safety, he regards himself as what his safety is. How else could he be certain he remains within the body, keeping [Real] love outside? (Commentary 5 on "What is the Body?" W-pII.5.1:all)
the usurping of functions: To follow the Holy Spirit's guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. The whole world you see reflects the illusion that you have done so, making fear inevitable. To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. (M-29.3:3-8)
self-defense: If you consider carefully the means by which your fancied self-defense proceeds on its imagined way, you will perceive the premises on which the idea stands. First, it is obvious ideas must leave their source, for it is you who make attack, and must have first conceived of it. (W-pI.170.4:1-2)
immortal: The Course assures us many times that, as Sons of God, we
are immortal Mind-Beings who have eternal Life in God. This Truth, this Fact of
our immortality as God's Creations, is His Will, and nothing we can do here in
this world of illusion can alter God's Will for us. In other words, in Reality,
we have never not been immortal Mind-Beings. Death is a physical illusion cast
in time; it is not Real.
As egos, however, living in a "made" world of time, separation, bodies and fragmented forms, we have forgotten Who we Really are, and in the darkness of our ignorance, we falsely believe we are very mortal and that someday, as ego-bodies, we will inevitably die. Anyway, the ego assures us, that even if there might be eternal Life somewhere "out there," we are guilty sinners and evil people and therefore hell will be our destination, not Heaven. After all, in the ego's eyes, sin is "eternal" and we are damned.
Our trust in the Holy Spirit allows Him to lead us through the spiritual transition of the At-one-ment process, first into right-mindedness at our inner altar (the Self), then on to the Real World (seen with Christ's vision) at the gates of Heaven, whereupon God takes the final step, awakening us in His Reality where we have a complete remembrance of His Knowledge. There, as immortal Mind-Beings, we directly experience eternal maximal Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness and Freedom. (See also: eternal, infinite, levels)
immutable: Immutable means "unchangeable in any way," and
therefore we can say, "the Laws of God are immutable." God's Laws are
immutable because God's Will is immutable. Jesus tells us that if we could fully
realize God's Will is eternally changeless, the Course would not be
difficult for us to accomplish.
The ego and its "manufactured" world of illusions is constantly changing and adjusting in many meaningless ways, and in the process leads us nowhere--unless we truly want to end the separation and go Home. But the ego is a master trickster and every day it teaches us, quite falsely, that its own foundation is immutable; that sin, and the basic "reality" of this world are changeless, that death is inevitable. Yet the ego and its projected unreal world shift and change in a ceaseless dance of guilt, attack, special relationships, depression and death. Do we want such an insane nightmare, or Heaven?
By God's Will we are Free to imagine whatever nonsense we wish, including fantasies of changing our identities from Sons of God to both egos and manifested physical bodies. In Reality, however, none of these changes have ever happened because God created Reality, including the Sonship, to be immutable. God's Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness and Knowledge are also eternally immutable (by His Will) and we can rediscover these Attributes in our Selves whenever we decide to Wake up from our crazy dreams of nothingness. (See: changeless)
impatience: Although this word occurs only twice in the Course, its significance for us on our journey Home is well worth noting. In the first quotation below Jesus tells us he waits for us to call him with no impatience because he waits for us in Love. He also says he will never forsake us (i.e., abandon us), but he notes that our call to him for reunion with him and the Father must be unequivocal; by which he means we must want to retain nothing in our Minds that is not True. In other words, we must be prepared to relinquish everything un-Real and hide nothing we might be tempted to hold onto in this ego-world of illusion. This relinquishment of all our illusions calls for great honesty, but the happy outcome is our rediscovery of the Real World of inner Love and Light, Beauty and forgiveness. When reading the second quotation below it would be wise to remember that Jesus is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Also note that we should be impatient about any delay in meeting our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit.
impermanent: This is an upside-down world of illusions where bodies
and solid objects seem real, and where the True Reality of Mind-as-such and its
attributes of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness, and Knowledge appear to us
humans as ephemeral, non-substantial, impermanent whims of imagination, or even
outright deceptions foisted on us by "spiritual tricksters."
Strangely, we use our eternal God-given Minds-as-such (in a separated,
dormant ego-mode of conscious dreaming) to perpetrate this monumental lie about
the nature of True Reality.
Not only is the world of matter, form, space and time unreal and impermanent, but so also is the maze of contradictory belief-systems we, as egos, have invented to go along with it; baseless beliefs such as fear, vulnerability, littleness, depression, elation, death, special relationships, sin, guilt, attack, passing pleasures, and helplessness. We can, however, release all these false beliefs we have constructed out of nothing (to maintain the separation) and discover for ourselves the Experience of re-unification of our Eternal Minds with the One Mind of God, Whose Mind we never left. Here, in this impermanent world of make-believe we only sleep, and dream insane dreams.
important: Everything the ego thinks is important, is not
important. Everything that God, the Holy Spirit and our Christ-Selves want for
us is extremely important, and the Course explains these essential requisites
for true salvation in detail.
There are two sets of important quotations below. The first set informs us of what is not important in our lives here in this world of separation from Spirit, while the second set of quotations explains the important, indeed necessary, elements and practices we need to observe and set in motion in our lives, if we wish to return Home to God and the Sonship as One Mind. Each quotation has an introductory note to preface the key idea in it.
WHAT IS NOT IMPORTANT IN OUR LIVES HERE AND HINDERS SALVATION:
Body and ego: I [Jesus] can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself. Let us undertake to learn this lesson together so we can be free of them together. I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. (T-4.I.13:4-7)
Some thoughts are more important than others: Yet you are also used to classifying some of your thoughts as more important, larger or better, wiser, or more productive and valuable than others. This is true of the thoughts that cross the mind of those who think they live apart. (T-14.X.4:3-4)
The study of the ego: The study of the ego is not the study of the mind. In fact, the ego enjoys studying itself, and thoroughly approves the undertakings of students who would "analyze" it, thus approving its importance. Yet they but study form with meaningless content. (T-14.X.8:6-8)
Our grievances hide the Light of the Real World in us: In the shorter practice periods, which you will want to do as often as possible in view of the importance of today's idea to you and your happiness, remind yourself that your grievances are hiding the light of the world from your awareness. (W-pI.69.9:1)
Illusions are illusions of differences: Illusions are always illusions of differences. How could it be otherwise? By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. (M-8.2:1-4)
WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN OUR LIVES HERE AND FOSTERS SALVATION:
Miracles: Miracles, on the other hand, induce action. They are more useful now because of their interpersonal nature. In this phase of learning, working miracles is important because freedom from fear cannot be thrust upon you. (T-1.II.2:4-6)
Recognizing our invulnerability: You use attack to do so because you believe that attack was successful in weakening you. That is why the recognition of your own invulnerability is so important to the restoration of your sanity. For if you accept your invulnerability, you are recognizing that attack has no effect. Although you have attacked yourself, you will be demonstrating that nothing really happened. Therefore, by attacking you have not done anything. (T-12.V.1:6) & (T-12.V.2:1-4)
The Holy Instant: That is why the holy instant is so important in the defense of truth. The truth itself needs no defense, but you do need defense against your acceptance of the gift of death. (T-17.IV.10:1-2)
To realize we see a meaningless world and not be upset: I am upset because I see a meaningless world. The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself. (W-pI.12.Heading) & (W-pI.12.1:all)
The complete reversal of our egos' beliefs, and thinking: We have not lost sight of the crucial importance of the reversal of your thinking. The salvation of the world depends on it. (W-pI.20.1:4-5)
God is our Strength and Vision is His Gift: God is my strength. Vision is His gift. The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the Course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you. (W-pI.42.Heading) & (W-pI.42.1:all)
The Holiness of the mind that thinks with God: In the shorter exercise periods for today, try to remember how important it is to you to understand the holiness of the mind that thinks with God. Take a minute or two, as you repeat the idea throughout the day, to appreciate your mind's holiness. (W-pI.45.9:1-2)
Let me forgive everyone and be happy: Let me forgive and be happy. At least once devote ten or fifteen minutes today to reflecting on this with closed eyes. Related thoughts will come to help you, if you remember the crucial importance of your function to you and to the world. (W-pI.64.6:4-6)
Reaching the Light in our Minds: After you have thought about the importance of what you are trying to do for yourself and the world, try to settle down in perfect stillness, remembering only how much you want to reach the light in you today,--now! Determine to go past the clouds. (W-pI.69.6:1-2)
Miracles are seen in Light: Miracles are seen in light. It is important to remember that miracles and vision necessarily go together. This needs repeating, and frequent repeating. It is a central idea in your new thought system, and the perception that it produces. The miracle is always there. (W-pI.91.Heading) & (W-pI.91.1:1-4)
The saving of time on our spiritual journey: The saving of time is an essential early emphasis which, although it remains important throughout the learning process, becomes less and less emphasized. At the outset, we can safely say that time devoted to starting the day right does indeed save time. (M-16.3:3-4)
Refer ALL decisions to the Holy Spirit: Be glad you have a Teacher Who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours? There is another advantage,--and a very important one,--in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit's guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. The whole world you see reflects the illusion that you have done so, making fear inevitable. To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. (M-29.2:12-14) & (M-29.3:1-9)
Prayer, forgiveness and healing: Prayer has both aids and witnesses which make the steep ascent more gentle and more sure, easing the pain of fear and offering the comfort and the promises of hope. Forgiveness' witness and an aid to prayer, a giver of assurance of success in ultimate attainment of the goal, is healing. Its importance should not be too strongly emphasized, for healing is a sign or symbol of forgiveness' strength, and only an effect or shadow of a change of mind about the goal of prayer. (S-3.IN.1:all)
impose: We separated ones, as egos with an alien will, impose a wide
range of wrong-minded limitations on God, our Selves, the Holy Spirit and Jesus.
Bodies, as illusions we have made, are a major limitation, one which works in two ways; bodies impose restrictive limits on their owners, and they also impose physical limits on true communication with our brothers. In Fact this imposing of limits on Spirit is not True because Spirit can never be contained in limited bodies and it is important that we realize this.
We impose all kinds of differences on ourselves as egos, and on everything we perceive including our brothers, because we always instantly judge in terms of these perceived differences.
Some other impositions we, as limiting egos, place on ourselves and other people, are:
idle wishes (T-13.X.4:8),
limits of order (T-14.X.5:7) (W-pI.29.4:3),
obstacles to peace (T-19.IV.1:2),
sin (T-26.VII.8:7), weakness (T-27.III.1:7),
defenses that impose threat (W-pI.136.6:2) (W-pI.136.10:2), and
sickness as separation (W-pI.137.4:3).
Yet forgiveness, while it is not wholly free of limits, sets none of the restrictive kinds of limits we, as egos, have chosen to impose on ourselves and others; rather, it represents Truth temporarily as we learn to Love one another for Who we Really are.
impossible: There are 372 occurrences of this word in the Course and they are concerned with a wide range of topics. The topics covered include:
1. All "solid" physicality-per-se which denies or leaves out Mind-as-Such and Ideas.
2. Egos, separation, and everything stemming from these.
3. All goals other than At-one-ment, Reunification with God and our Brothers and Sisters throughout the Universe of God's Mind.
4. All the impossible conditions we, as egos have conceived for ourselves in this insane world of separation.
imprison, imprisoned: As human beings we all feel imprisoned in one or more ways (see: T-3.VI.11:1) and this state of imprisonment raises many fundamental questions about what imprisons us, who is imprisoned by us, which attribute is imprisoned by us, what is the opposite [duality] of imprisonment, and how can we release ourselves from imprisonment? (See: prison, jail, chains, bind)
WHAT IMPRISONS US?
The tyrannous authority of the ego: If it does not freely elect to do so [i.e., to serve Spirit], it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than Authoritative control. As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants. To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority. (T-1.V.5:4-7)
Our judgment of others: Free will must lead to freedom. Judgment always imprisons because it separates segments of reality by the unstable scales of desire. Wishes are not facts [of Reality]. (T-3.VI.11:3-5)
Wrong decisions: Wrong decisions have no power, because they are not true. The imprisonment they seem to produce is no more true than they are. (T-8.III.7:9-10)
Time can imprison us: Time can release as well as imprison, depending on whose interpretation of it you use. Past, present and future are not continuous, unless you force continuity on them. (T-13.VI.4:1-2)
Our belief in limits: For his belief in limits has imprisoned him. (T-15.IX.6:8)
Special relationships: Yet the closer you look at the special relationship, the more apparent it becomes that it must foster guilt and therefore must imprison. The special relationship is totally meaningless without a body. (T-16.VI.3:4-5)
Orders of reality are illusions: But to give illusions to truth is to enable truth to teach that the illusions are unreal, and thus enable you to escape from them. Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. There is no order in reality, because everything there is true. (T-17.I.5:5-7)
Imprisonment is our own desire: And who could bind him but himself, if he deny his freedom? God is not mocked; no more His Son can be imprisoned save by his own desire. And it is by his own desire that he is freed. (T-21.VI.11:4-6)
Senseless laws and things: We have observed before how many senseless things have seemed to you to be salvation. Each has imprisoned you with laws as senseless as itself. You are not bound by them. (W-pI.76.1:1-3)
Magic and our belief in magic: Magic imprisons, but the laws of God make free. The light has come because there are no laws but His. (W-pI.76.7:5-6)
Attack, defense; defense, attack: Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever-tightening grip of the imprisonment upon the mind. Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact. (W-pI.153.3:2-4)
Our plan to prove the false is true: There is one way, and only one, to be released from the imprisonment your plan to prove the false is true has brought to you. Accept the plan [of God] you did not make instead. (W-pI.186.5:1-2)
Giving gifts to get something back: Who gives a gift and then remains with it, to be sure it is used as the giver deems appropriate? Such is not giving but imprisoning. It is the relinquishing of all concern about the gift that makes it truly given. (M-6.3:7-9)
Our powerful thoughts: God does not contradict Himself, and His Sons, who are like Him, cannot contradict themselves or Him. Yet their thought is so powerful that they can even imprison the mind of God's Son, if they so choose. This choice does make the Son's function unknown to him, but never to his Creator. (T-8.VI.7:5-7)
We made a body to imprison us: For it is that wish [of the ego to replace God] that seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body that was made to imprison it. The limit on communication cannot be the best means to expand communication. (W-pI.72.2:3-4)
WHO IS IMPRISONED BY US?
The Son of God: For you have taught yourself how to imprison the Son of God, a lesson so unthinkable that only the insane, in deepest sleep, could even dream of it. Can God learn how not to be God? (T-14.XI.2:2-3)
I have deluded myself into believing it is possible to imprison the Son of God. I was bitterly mistaken in this belief, which I no longer want. (W-pI.rI.57.2:4-5)
Jesus: So will you learn the freedom that I taught by teaching freedom to your brother, and so releasing me. I [Jesus] am within your holy relationship, yet you would imprison me behind the obstacles you raise to freedom, and bar my way to you. Yet it is not possible to keep away One Who is there already. (T-19.IV.B.8:2-4)
Christ in us all: Pray for yourself, that you may not seek to imprison Christ and thereby lose the recognition of your own Identity. (S-1.II.4:6)
Any and all of our brothers, and ourselves: Whom you seek to imprison you do not love. Therefore, when you seek to imprison anyone, including yourself, you do not love him and you cannot identify with him. When you imprison yourself you are losing sight of your true identification with me and with the Father. Your identification is with the Father and with the Son. (T-8.IV.8:3-6)
Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines? Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone? A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. (W-pI.192.8:1-3)
WHICH ATTRIBUTE IS IMPRISONED BY US?
Our God-given will is imprisoned by us: He [the Holy Spirit] is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness. You have imprisoned your will beyond your own awareness, where it remains, but cannot help you. When I said that the Holy Spirit's function is to sort out the true from the false in your mind, I meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and recognize the Will of God there. (T-9.I.3:8) & (T-9.I.4:1-2)
You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. (T-2.III.3:3-5)
But: The ego cannot teach you anything as long as your will is free, because you will not listen to it. It is not your will to be imprisoned because your will is free. That is why the ego is the denial of free will. (T-8.II.3:1-3)
WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE [DUALITY] OF IMPRISONMENT?
Freedom and Joy: We have said that the Holy Spirit teaches you the difference between pain and joy. That is the same as saying He teaches you the difference between imprisonment and freedom. You cannot make this distinction without Him because you have taught yourself that imprisonment is freedom. Believing them to be the same, how can you tell them apart? (T-8.II.5:1-4)
HOW CAN WE RELEASE OURSELVES FROM IMPRISONMENT?
Sort out the false from the true: After this [understanding what is worthy and what is not], the ability to choose can be directed rationally. Until this distinction is made, however, the vacillations between free and imprisoned will cannot but continue. The first step toward freedom involves a sorting out of the false from the true. (T-2.VIII.3:7-9)
Miracles: They [miracles] thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity. Miracles restore the mind to its fullness. (T-1.I.33:3-5)
Forgive and undo the separation and ego: Let Him [Christ] take charge of how you would forgive, and each occasion then will be to you another step to Heaven and to peace. Are you not weary of imprisonment? God did not choose this sorry path for you. What you have chosen still can be undone, for prayer is merciful and God is just. (S-2.III.3:X) & (S-2.III.4:1-2)
Undoing wrong decisions of the ego: That is why He has given you the means for undoing it [a wrong decision]. Through His power and glory all your wrong decisions are undone completely, releasing you and your brother from every imprisoning thought any part of the Sonship holds. Wrong decisions have no power, because they are not true. (T-8.III.7:7-9)
Pray to free yourself: You have chosen a new-born chance each time you pray. And would you stifle and imprison it in ancient prisons, when the chance has come to free yourself from all of them at once? Do not restrict your asking. (S-1.IV.4:1-3)
Open the inner door to the Holy Spirit: It is your special function to ensure the door be opened, that he may come forth to shine on you, and give you back the gift of freedom by receiving it of you. 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 justice? Could your function be a task apart and separate from His Own? (T-26.I.8:4-6)
Place the future in the hands of God: Accept today's idea [I place the future in the hands of God], and you have passed all anxiety, all pits of hell, all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin, and devastation brought about by guilt. Accept today's idea, and you have released the world from all imprisonment by loosening the heavy chains that locked the door to freedom on it. You are saved, and your salvation thus becomes the gift you give the world, because you have received. (W-pI.194.2:1-3)
impulses: We have two types of impulses.
One group of impulses are those we have made as a part of the separation, and these are ego-impulses which are almost always expressed through the physical body. The Course refers to these as "physical impulses," "body impulses," "the trivial impulse to forget," "ego-alien beliefs," and "burning impulses." From other Course contexts these ego-body impulses would seem to include anger and defenses, fear, and physical pleasures of all kinds. All these ego-body impulses are unreal, unnatural and are made by us to perpetuate our separation from God.
The other set of impulses have their source in God, His Sons and the Holy Spirit. This group includes "miracle impulses," "natural impulses," the "impulse to create," and the "impulse to communicate." Note that the Course uses the word "natural" to mean "spiritually natural" at the God-Mind level of Reality; it does not refer to "nature" or "natural" as in the materialistic physical universe of forms and bodies. Only spiritual natural impulses are Real.
Obviously, through the At-one-ment process our goal is to undo all ego-body impulses, give them to the Holy Spirit to dissolve, and then remember God, and so return to expressing our Real natural Mind-as-such impulses to create and communicate truly. (See also: appetites, desire, motivation)
inability: Any special relationship between any two egos is a futile
fictitious attempt to find the "imagined best" of this ego-ridden
world and the ego's idea of Heaven. This entire fantasy leads to an
inability to perceive this fear-based world of separation accurately. Moreover,
we can only Know God when all our relationships are Holy. The ego makes many
kinds of special relationships and other dreams because of its inability
to tolerate Reality.
But the Holy Spirit is in no way limited by our ego's inability to see and hear spiritually. However, we can delay our acceptance of the healing the Holy Spirit offers us because time itself is our unreal invention for procrastinating on returning Home.
God never forgets us, and through His Holy Spirit we can remember God's eternal Love for each of us as His Sons, who are His Completion, His Wholeness.
The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable. And the attempt to find the imagined "best" of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both, and to the inability to perceive either as it is. (T-16.V.6:1-2)
inaccessible: We, as egos who imagine we are separated from God,
shroud Spirit and the At-one-ment process of healing in darkness, thus making
God, Spirit and the At-one-ment almost inaccessible to our everyday minds and
totally inaccessible to the body. This predicament causes the ego to perceive
God, Spirit and the At-one-ment healing process as a fearful threat because the
ego will be undone and disappear in Their Presence which is Light.
As a displacement defense, illness is very often dropped into the body by the fear-ridden, conflicted ego-mind. Therefore, if a particular illness is strongly perceived as "physical," it may be desirable to use physical (actually, magical) medicines and procedures for "healing" purposes, even though any such "cures" are, in fact, only unreal ego-beliefs.
In this regard carefully read the second quotation below which explains the true process of healing illness through the At-one-ment. All "physical illness" is actually in our dissociated ego-minds, and if illnesses are to be truly healed forever, it is our own separated mind which needs healing. All illness is only a decision by the separated-mind and therefore, the only place any illness can be healed is in the mind that causes it. Acceptance of the At-one-ment process accomplishes this.
inadequacy: Our egos, which produce our deep sense of inadequacy (even
when it is covered up), exist as a complex belief system within our lower
minds which have separated from God by dissociation. Here, in a lower mind
dream-world of our own making, the ego rules tyrannously because we identify
with both it and our manifested bodies. The lower mind (together with its
ego-belief-system) form a vertical duality with our higher minds. Our higher
minds, which think in accordance with the Laws of God and His Holy Spirit, are
perfect, joyous and have Everything, and therefore can never be
As perfect spiritual Mind-Beings we are quite capable of dismantling our lower minds, and thus we become aware of our perfection; it is only the ego that tricks us into believing we are inadequate so that the lower mind can maintain the status quo of our separated state. In this self-chosen, unloving, separated state we condemn ourselves to inadequacy because we continue to believe it is possible to be in an impossible situation. The ego depends on its essential belief in inadequacy for its continuing existence. But we cannot eradicate ego-inadequacy at the ego-level. The entire ego has to be undone and given to the Holy Spirit. In Fact, as Sons of God we are already Perfect.
The ego, in its self-elected state of inadequacy, cannot Love. However, by choosing and trusting in the Strength of God in our meditations and everyday "life" we can slip past our ego-inadequacies (including any compensating grandiosity), release ourselves from fear, and rediscover that His Strength is in our own Christ Selves as His Sons.
inappropriate: There are a number of ways in which the Course tells us we may act or think inappropriately. Each of these circumstances is given below (in bold type) followed by its appropriate quotation.
We should not be in awe of Jesus: Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. (T-1.II.3:5-6)
We use our God-given creative powers inappropriately by projecting our own ideas in place of truth: Because of your likeness to your Creator you are creative. No child of God can lose this ability because it is inherent in what he is, but he can use it inappropriately by projecting. The inappropriate use of extension, or projection, occurs when you believe that some emptiness or lack exists in you, and that you can fill it with your own ideas instead of truth. (T-2.I.1:5-7)
In this world of separation we waste our creative powers on useless attempts by our egos to make ourselves more "comfortable" by inappropriate means: The children of God are entitled to the perfect comfort that comes from perfect trust. Until they achieve this, they waste themselves and their true creative powers on useless attempts to make themselves more comfortable by inappropriate means. But the real means are already provided, and do not involve any effort at all on their part. The Atonement is the only gift that is worthy of being offered at the altar of God, because of the value of the altar itself. (T-2.III.5:1-4)
When, as egos, we deny our ego-belief that the separation is "real" we are using denial inappropriately. To deny one has a problem in order to avoid the problem (rather than correcting the problem) is a false use of denial. This ego-world of perceived forms and fears is not and cannot be a part of God's Kingdom: Whenever light enters darkness, the darkness is abolished. What you believe is true for you. In this sense the separation has occurred, and to deny it is merely to use denial inappropriately. (T-2.VII.5:4-6)
Our ego's association of fear with Truth is inappropriate: If you do not know what your reality is, why would you be so sure that it is fearful? The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what truth is. (T-9.I.3:1-2)
However we do have the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us out of the separation: You have set up this strange situation so that it is impossible to escape from it without a Guide Who does know what your reality is. The purpose of this Guide is merely to remind you of what you want. (T-9.I.3:5-6)
When we recognize the ego's senseless goal is an ego-autonomy composed of nothing (but which tries to usurp the Power of God) fear becomes inappropriate: Fear becomes more obviously inappropriate if you recognize the ego's goal, which is so clearly senseless that any effort on its behalf is necessarily expended on nothing. The ego's goal is quite explicitly ego autonomy. (T-11.V.4:3-4)
As egos we react to the attacks and fears of others with inappropriate responses such as attacking back or feeling afraid. The appropriate Spiritually Real response is to understand our brothers' attacks, fears, etc., only as calls for help: If you believe that an appeal for help [e.g., a brother's attack] is something else you will react to something else. Your response will therefore be inappropriate to reality as it is, but not to your perception of it. There is nothing to prevent you from recognizing all calls for help as exactly what they are except your own imagined need to attack. (T-12.I.3:9-10) & (T-12.I.4:1)
Unholy (i.e., special) relationships as an ego-goal are inappropriate to meet the Spiritual goal of Holiness. Once the ego-attractions of sacrifice, self-aggrandizement and projection are completely relinquished to the Holy Spirit, unholy relationships will become Holy Relationships: For once the unholy relationship has accepted the goal of holiness, it can never again be what it was. The temptation of the ego becomes extremely intense with this shift in goals. For the relationship has not as yet been changed sufficiently to make its former goal completely without attraction, and its structure is "threatened" by the recognition of its inappropriateness for meeting its new purpose. (T-17.V.3:9) & (T-17.V.4:1-2) (See also: T-17.IV.8:all)
Note that "unnatural" refers to this world of separation and illusion. Salvation is to be found by making Loving Spiritual responses to any situation (especially in relationships) because nothing in this world of fear is Real: Salvation does not lie in being asked to make unnatural responses which are inappropriate to what is real. Instead, it merely asks that you respond appropriately to what is not real by not perceiving what has not occurred. (T-30.VI.2:4-5)
incapable: Spirit, as God, Self or Holy
Spirit, is incapable of being ego, and ego is incapable of Knowing
Spirit. But, while our deliberate separation from God has caused this mutual incapability,
with our permission the Holy Spirit can Lovingly access our unreal
ego-beliefs and constructs to help us dismantle them. This help, which can
involve miracles, moves us first into right-mindedness and then gently wakes us
up to who we Really are as Sons of God.
The sentences below are not verbatim quotations; they are intended only to indicate the content of the full quotations so that the reader may be quickly guided to the location of the actual quotations in the Course. (See also: dual, right-mindedness)
The physical eye is incapable of Real Vision. (See: T-1.VII.2:4)
God's peace is totally incapable of being shaken by errors of any kind. (See: T-2.II.1:10)
Innocence is incapable of sacrificing anything. (See: T-3.I.6:1)
We are incapable of Knowledge while we perceive others lovelessly. (See: T-3.IV.1:3-4)
Spirit, which Knows, is incapable of darkness. (See: T-IV.6:4)
Listen only to God, Who is incapable of deception. (See: T-4.I.10:5)
God is incapable of creating the perishable, and ego cannot make the eternal. (See: T-4.I.11:7)
Problems that are incapable of solution, are favorite ego devices for impeding learning progress. (See:T-4.V.6:6)
The Holy Spirit is incapable of attack and is therefore truly open. (See: T-5.I.7:3)
The Holy Spirit does not command, because it is incapable of arrogance. (See: T-5.II.7:1)
The rediscovered Self is truly blessed and incapable of giving rise to guilt. (See: T-5.V.2:3)
Real Love is incapable of any exceptions. (See: T-7.V.5:7)
Being without allegiance to God, the ego is incapable of trust. (See: T-7.VII.9:1)
The ego whose definitions are childish is incapable of true generalizations. (See: T-8.VIII.1:3)
The ego is incapable of knowing how you feel; it hasn't any Real answers. (See: T-8.VIII.7:5)
Vulnerability makes ego incapable of judgment, except in terms of attack. (See: T-9.VIII.3:3)
Accept yourself as God created you, and you will be incapable of suffering. (See: T-10.V.9:5)
The guiltless and the guilty are incapable of understanding one another. (See:T-14.IV.10:1)
Ego is incapable of understanding content, and is unconcerned with it. (See: T-14.X.8:1)
I [Jesus] am as incapable of receiving sacrifice [from you] as God is. (See: T-15.X.2:5)
God holds nothing against anyone; He is incapable of illusions. (See: T-16.VII.9:4)
You see yourself locked in a separate prison, and incapable of reaching out. (See: T-18.VI.7:5)
You can enslave a body, but an idea is free, incapable of any limitation. (See: T-19.I.16:4)
Insanity says you see a body. Spiritual Reason would be incapable of this. (See: T-21.VI.4:4)
The world is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. (See: W-pI.23.2:4)
Your ego identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for. As a result, you are bound to misuse it. (See: W-pI.25.2:3)
The Holy Spirit is incapable of deception and He can use only genuine abilities. What is used for magic is useless to Him. (See: M-25.4:2)
The Holy Spirit, Who knows the Truth, has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, and being wholly devoid of attack, are therefore incapable of arousing guilt. (See: M-29.4:10-12)
include: This word is used in many contexts in the Course and these can be grouped into three general categories: What our ego-beliefs include; What God's Plan for healing us includes; That all God's Sons are included in God's Kingdom.
incompatible: Taken together, the first three quotations below (all
from T-14.VII.4-6) are crucial to our salvation because they explain in detail
how our ego is dismantled when we decide we want it dismantled. All too often we
separated ones try to rid ourselves of darkness, ignorance, fear, etc., by
wishing (and sometimes pretending) that they do not exist in us,
while we then focus exclusively on Light, Truth, Love, etc. But wishing
away the ego and its beliefs, and pretending to cover it up will not
work. In this respect, dissociation and repression bury our undesirable
problems (such as our fears, angers, hates, horrors, unfairness, nightmares and
ignorance) without resolving and dissolving them, causing them to
erupt insanely from time to time into consciousness. We also tend to project
this unwanted material onto others, thus making them the "nasty" ones.
This increase in incompatibility-by-dissociation only aggravates our basic dilemma of ego-preservation versus salvation. These three quotations, however, tell us we must bring all the ego's darkness to the Light (and not vice versa) by opening up our secret, repressed and undesirable inner material to the Holy Spirit who will then enter the darkness and Lighten it away; this is the At-one-ment process of healing. But we must first make the inner darkness open to the Holy Spirit, and stop all our ego-pretenses that if we hide the dark side of the ego it will magically go away.
The ego's false polarized "goody-good" view of our "reality" is superficial and meaningless because of the obscured, festering, incompatible "sinfulness" we have repressed or dissociated into our subconscious minds. Only by complete inner openness can we rediscover our God-given Innocence and Reality as His Sons. Only then can the Holy Spirit work His miracles in us and for us. (See: ego, open, darkness, murder)
Our emphasis has been on bringing what is undesirable [darkness/ignorance/fear] to the desirable [Light/Truth/Love]; what you do not want [darkness/ignorance/fear] to what you do [Light/Truth/Love]. You will realize that salvation must come to you this way, if you consider what dissociation is. (T-14.VII.4:1-2)
Bring them together [darkness to Light, ignorance to Truth, fear to Love] and the fact of their complete incompatibility is instantly apparent. One [darkness/ignorance/fear] will go, because the other [Light/Truth/Love] is seen in the same place. Light cannot enter darkness when a mind believes in darkness, and will not let it go. Truth does not struggle against ignorance, and love does not attack fear. What needs no protection does not defend itself. Defense is of your making. God knows it not. (T-14.VII.4:9-10) & (T-14.VII.5:1-5)
The Holy Spirit asks of you but this; bring to Him every secret you have locked away from Him. Open every door to Him, and bid Him enter the darkness and lighten it away. At your request He enters gladly. He brings the light to darkness if you make the darkness open to Him. But what you hide He cannot look upon. (T-14.VII.6:1-5)
incomplete: Whatever our egos make is incomplete and contradictory
because it rests on our belief that we make ourselves (quotation 1). We make
ourselves, we think, in the sense that we identify with our ego's self-image, an
image we think we author. Thus we might say, "I will make myself into a
good person," or "I will make myself successful."
However, this very limited concept of an ego making and modifying itself is incomplete because it leaves out God and the Fact that we are already His Perfect Creations. But it is also a Fact that God created His Sons with all His Own Attributes (quotation 2) including perfect Free Will, and therefore we are Free to choose to believe in error and incompleteness if we so wish, even though this is a belief in nothingness. Correcting this erroneous ego-belief is the At-one-ment process.
God's Joy is not complete when we dissociate from him because our joy is then incomplete and God does know when we are incomplete. In other words, our incompleteness results in God's Love for us being blocked by our amnesia thus closing off the Loving channels of complete communication between the Father and His separated Sons. It is this lack of two-way communication on our part that makes God lonely--in the sense that something is missing.
God's Meaning is incomplete whenever any of His Creations have unilaterally decided to break off from Him because we are His Meaning. God's Creations complete Him because God and His Creations are One Perfect Whole within His Mind-as-such (quotations 4, 5, 6).
Of course this dissociation, this incompleteness, this separation is all an illusion, in the sense that, in Reality, we, as Mind-Beings in the Mind of God, never actually left His Mind-as-such; we (as Minds in His) merely fell asleep and dreamed a dream of separation. That sleeping/dreaming condition (a split state of Mind) is our separation--our state of incompletion. Our return is to wake up..
When we decided to dissociate from God by falling asleep into our dream of incompleteness, God instantly established His Plan (called the At-one-ment) and His Perfect Communication System (called the Holy Spirit) to ensure we did not stay in our dissociated dream state for all eternity. This means that, while we are Free to choose to continue dreaming if we wish, we will wake up eventually of our own accord. The Plan of the At-one-ment, together with the Holy Spirit's help, gives each of us (when we elect to become teachers of God) a special spiritual role in waking up our brothers as well as ourselves.
inconceivable: A synonym for "inconceivable" is
"unthinkable" and the Course uses these words to describe the beliefs,
ideas, images, conditions and objects that we have made, invented or manifested
in this dreamworld of separation.
We believe (a) we make our own image/identity, (b) that sickness and illnesses are real, (c) in the idols we make and "worship," (d) that time and change are real, (e) that loss and sorrow are not only possible but genuine, (f) that sacrifice is necessary, (g) we can imprison ourselves in a body, and (h) that we as God's Creations can be unlike our Creator. Each of these insane beliefs (or premises) is inconceivable to the Holy Spirit, to the Sonship and to God.
The Course also tells us that a world of forgiveness, Peace and Light is inconceivable to those who hate and attack, whereas to those who feel God's Love in them, a world of fear and hate is inconceivable. Further, it is inconceivable that God would not provide the means to accomplish His Purpose through Holy Relationships blessed in Holy Instants.
inconsistent: Most of the discussions in the Course
that use the word
"inconsistent" center around teaching, learning and healing. The
spiritual lessons that we teach others by example or through words must not be
inconsistent if they are to be truly effective. In other words, our curriculum
must be as consistent as Jesus' curriculum. Poor, inconsistent teaching
results in poor learning, and so, for example, we must not teach a belief in both
sickness and healing. It is the ego that is responsible for diametrically
opposed ideas (in both vertical dualities and horizontal polarities) and the
ego's ideas are not only inconsistent but always wrong.
By contrast, the ideas and teachings of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are perfectly consistent and can be easily understood once the ego's false contrary viewpoints are undone. Even the God-given emotions of Joy, Love and Happiness are dependent on understanding Spiritual Consistency which means God-Level Oneness. God has given us the Spiritual Goal of Awakening in Him; He has also given us both the At-one-ment process and the Holy Spirit as the means to reach this Goal, but unless we accept His means we are being inconsistent. His Goal and His means are a unified consistent "package."
Only Spiritual Truth is perfectly consistent, and only God's Voice (the Holy Spirit) has the perfect consistency to guide and direct us unerringly along the straight path that leads us Home. The devious or circuitous routes of the ego will lead us nowhere and merely bewilder us with their inconsistencies.
increase: The ego increases guilt, fear, attack and anxiety. The ego increases
itself by "sharing" these characteristics of itself. It does so by
"putting down," by blaming, by attacking, and by causing fear and
anxiety in another person or group, the ego's objective being to weaken and
lessen the other person or group. Weakening others boosts (increases) one's own
ego-dominance. Even sympathy and empathy for another's illness is an attempt to
belittle (decrease) his or her ego-strength by endorsing their powerlessness, an
act which "increases" our own ego's pseudo-power.
On the other hand, we are advised not to perceive teachers (spiritual or otherwise) as larger egos because this would increase our own ego-anxiety about our separation from them as Sons of God, and from God Himself. We do need to undo and dismantle our egos (with lots of help from the Holy Spirit), not strengthen them or weaken them while still believing in them. Special relationships have to be cleared of all ego as well, especially ego-centricity, bartering, judgment, trading guilt, holding grievances, and bargaining of all kinds.
The Holy Spirit will never increase our fear, but we may experience the ego's fearfulness when we hear the Holy Spirit's Voice. If we turn regularly to the Holy Spirit and Jesus for sane guidance (and not to the ego's voice) we will increase our trust in them and decrease our fears. Miracles, too, will increase our Spiritual Strength by teaching us the benefits of giving all to all. Sharing God's Love, Light, Peace, etc., is the way to increase their presence in our Real Minds, even as we dismantle and undo our unreal egos through the At-one-ment process.
Our Spiritual Goal is to restore the Kingdom to Wholeness by ending the unreal separation in ourselves and our brothers. Sharing Everything Real is the key to increasing Creation and the Kingdom--which is the Mind of God. Note well that God created Creation to increase through extension, which is sharing Mind-as-such and its God-given Attributes. God does not Will to be alone which is why he Created Creation as the Sonship, giving it the power to increase itself and its Attributes of Love, Joy, etc.
What does the Course tell us we can do to increase Love, Light, Joy and Freedom? We can say, and mean, the words the Course asks us to repeat on a regular basis, especially the Workbook Lessons. We can listen to the Holy Spirit's words in the Course and in our Minds, and abide by them. We can give Love to all, freely and openly. We can choose to be spiritually helpful to ourselves and others. We can return our Mind to God's Mind by understanding we are not bodies. We can know we are eternally Free.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO INCREASE FREEDOM, LOVE, PEACE AND JOY?
Listen: This is a year of joy, in which your listening [to the Holy Spirit in the Course] will increase and peace will grow with its increase. (T-16.II.7:1)
Speak: Begin these happy exercises with the words the Holy Spirit speaks to you, and let them echo round the world through Him: Spirit am I, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole, free to forgive, and free to save the world. Expressed through you, the Holy Spirit will accept this gift that you received of Him, increase its power and give it back to you. (W-pI.97.7:1-3)
Give Freely: God's gifts [of Peace and Joy] will never lessen when they are [unconditionally] given away. They but increase thereby. (W-pI.105.3:4-5)
The truth maintains that giving will increase what you possess. (W-pI.187.1:8)
Say: Throughout the day, increase the freedom sent through your ideas to all the world, and say whenever you are tempted to deny the power of your simple change of mind: I loose the world from all I thought it was, and choose my own reality instead. (W-pI.132.17:all)
Choose helpfulness: Next, the teacher of God must go through "a period of sorting out." This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. (M-4.I.A.4:1-2)
Return our Minds to God and obey only the Holy Spirit: You are God's Son. In immortality you live forever. Would you not return your mind to this? Then practice well the thought the Holy Spirit gives you for today. Your brothers stand released with you in it; the world is blessed along with you, God's Son will weep no more, and Heaven offers thanks for the increase of joy your practice brings even to it. And God Himself extends His Love and happiness each time you say: I am not a body. I am free. I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys. (W-pI.199.8:all)
independence: Like many words in the Course, this one is also turned
upside-down in its meaning. As egos, we commonly think we have maximum
independence when we are emotionally free and separate from others, while ego-bonding
in relationships brings dependence and mutual commitment. Even our pathological
term "co-dependence" implies this lack of ego-independence. This
ego-polarity of dependence ("I need our affection") versus
independence ("I need my space") which occurs in our human
relationships causes us much confusion and stress. We therefore usually compromise
and adjust in all kinds of ways, both subtle and not so subtle. However,
all these special relationship scenarios are false substitutes for Holy
Relationships (founded only in God's Love), Relationships which are
perfectly Independent, and Free of all ego-restrictions.
Fear is the basis of all our ego-activities and relationships, but the ego tries to conceal or manipulate our fears of our circumstances, and of itself. We, as separated Sons, made (and continue to make) the ego and the body as effects, our purpose being to turn them into pseudo-causes of what happens to us in this world, in an attempt to be "independent" of God--an obviously insane and impossible maneuver. The seeming "independence" of any separation is totally false.
This would seem to be the ultimate "Catch 22" until we learn to truly understand at the highest spiritual level that the ego never allows any Real Independence or Genuine Freedom. Real Independence and Genuine Freedom are to be found only in total Union with God. Loving Oneness means Total Independence because Spiritual Love never restricts or takes, it only gives. Asking nothing and needing nothing because we have Everything of God, we (as Love) only give unlimited Love to all God's Children--who also have Everything of God. This is Creation in action. Only the ego puts fences, conditions and restrictions around God's Children (thus limiting their seeming independence and freedom) in order to satisfy its own intrinsic lack of love and emotional starvation by using and abusing Them.
Our God-given Independence can only be found in a perfectly united Kingdom of un-limited Love and absolute Freedom. To rediscover that Kingdom we forgive everyone and Love all God's Children to the maximum.
indistinguishable: Special relationships are an insane attempt on the
part of the ego to bring the ego's distorted idea of "Heaven" into
its basic composition of fear, separation, hate, attack, projection and
judgment, all of which amount to hell. In all these kinds of
special "unions" we actually live in a confused fantasy world, one in
which the ego deludes us we are enjoying ourselves in a "heavenly
relationship" even as we "work on" our projected differences and
None of this "love" is Real, and all that is not Love, the Course tells us, is murder. In this context, murder would include all attacks, fears, judgments, and perceived antagonisms. As egos we endeavor to make "ego-love" and "murder" indistinguishable, blurring the two in special give-and-take alliances that ensure most of our ego's needs are met. All these mutual ego-entanglements with family, friends, colleagues and others (that we call relationships) always involve bodies because without bodies we could have no ego-love or attack. Bodies, however, are lifeless and they are not the Son of God, therefore any identification of ourselves or others with them is not only meaningless but also negates Real Love.
We are not bodies, and we are Free because we are still Sons of God created by our Father in His Mind. As our Cause, God shared all His Attributes with us who are His Effects, to the extent that (in Reality) Cause and Its Effect are indistinguishable. This is Real Love.
individual: A question students of the Course sometimes ask is,
"If we all join as One in God after we wake up in Heaven, will I cease to
exist as an individual being?" There are several ready answers to
this question. The first answer is also a question. Is not Jesus, the fully
enlightened source of the Course, an individual being who conversed with
Helen? Obviously he is very much an individual Son of God.
Another answer is contained in the second and third quotations below, which uses the word "you" throughout, implying individuality in Heaven, an interpretation that is confirmed by the expression "each light."
The terms, "One," "Oneness" and "Union" are quite compatible with Individuality once we understand that joining without separation simply means we all truly Love one another and freely Share Everything in the Sonship and jointly Extend It. Once all our individual Minds-as-such are completely open, defenseless, fully accessible, freely Shared, and wholly Loving, both with each other and with God, we are in complete Communion with one another and our Father--so much so, that all our Minds are seamlessly joined.
Only the At-one-ment process of dismantling our egos will bring us to this Awareness of Loving Oneness.
indivisible: This word and its definition follow on naturally from the word above (individual) and perhaps that entry should be read first. Because we are One Whole in the Mind of God we are indivisible, that is, we cannot be separate in any way, even if we dream we are. But the consummate Union of God and His One Son (the Sonship as a Whole) is more than just that. We are told that, Each part [of creation, i.e., a brother] you remember [while here, in a dreaming state] adds to your wholeness because each part is whole. This means that the Whole is in each one of us as individual Sons, just as each Son is in the Whole. We have mimicked this in our separation here as humans, in the form of DNA, so that each cell (part) of our bodies contains the whole blueprint of our bodies; sufficiently so, to enable scientists to produce replicated clones if allowed. But all biology and bodies is about form and illusion. We are not bodies. In Reality each Son is a part of God as a Whole, and that Whole is in each of us. Every Son shares all God's Mind-as-such, and thus each Son also shares each other's Mind-in-God. In that sense we are all indivisible, even though, as Mind-Beings, we are held there as individual Thoughts by God within His Mind.
induces: By our denial of our true Identity as Sons of God, we become
insane egos which induce weird thoughts which mock creation and God. The ego
always induces a sense of fear, guilt, weakness, sin, separation and despair.
Right-minded sane perception, which is established through forgiveness, induces a spiritual-level vision of a sane world of Love and Peace. Miracles, which move us up from the ego-body perceptual levels, induce healing. The Holy Spirit induces sane perception. As we forgive, we remove our fear of attack and sense of danger, thereby freeing ourselves and our brothers. This strengthens the Holy Spirit in us.
Direct personal experiential revelation by God induces complete freedom from fear and doubt. It also induces Knowledge, which is only pure thought and never action.
ineffectual: One common negative polarity ploy of the ego is
its belittlement of the importance of our own thoughts, especially when
we feel powerless or depressed. Or we may think our thoughts are idle,
ineffectual or inconsequential. Sometimes, we also think our efforts are
ineffectual when we try to forgive and heal others. Usually all these negative
kinds of thoughts are subsequently compensated for (on the opposite side of the
ego-polarity) by ego-striving, and elated or arrogant thoughts.
We must come to realize however that all our thoughts are powerful--every last one! There is no such thing as an idle or ineffectual thought. Our non-spiritual thoughts are so powerful that they keep the separation and the ego going, especially when we are immersed in ego-polarity emotions rather than right-mindedness. And it our continuous decisions on behalf of either the ego or Spirit that determine which thought-system is being reinforced at any given moment.
On the other hand our forgiving thoughts, as gifts to both our brother and ourselves, are so powerful that they heal everyone, and they are always gratefully accepted and used by the Holy Spirit and the Sonship. This universal healing is true no matter how much we (as belittling egos) may think that our gifts of forgiveness are lost and ineffectual just because there seems to be no change in the other person. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives our healing gift to our brother, and ourselves, therefore it must be very effective.
inevitable: In the Course, most of the numerous occurrences (61) of
this word refer to the inevitable consequences of believing in the separation,
the ego, fear, sin and guilt. The first quotation below is representative of
Even so, there are also many references to the inevitability of waking up in God. Thus Love, Peace, Joy, Light, Happiness, Gladness and Gentleness are inevitable once we decide to accept the At-one-ment and its major goal of forgiveness as our own.
Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation. So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering and intense fear of loss. (W-pI.41.1:2-3)
The whole value of right perception lies in the inevitable realization that all perception is unnecessary. This removes the block [of misperception] entirely. (T-4.II.11:3-4)
infinite: The Course uses this word to describe the limitless nature
of God and His Attributes. The infinite Sonship, of which we are a part, also
shares God's infinite Mind-as-such Which is the Kingdom of Heaven. In
this sense infinite also means all-encompassing, perfect, changeless,
complete, eternal, and Whole; in other words Creation is Infinite. God's
Attributes include infinite Love, Peace, Patience, Wisdom, Light, and
Joy, all of which He shares with us.
Jesus comments that he has infinite patience with us as his brothers, because he learned it from God. Like Jesus, we can learn to have God's infinite patience which calls upon His infinite Love; a patience that will always produce immediate results, now. The eternal now is the only time there is in Reality. As God's Sons we Live in that infinite, eternal now which is without past or future. In Truth, we are Mind-Beings who Live in infinite Light now and have no needs. (See: eternal, Heaven, now)
influence: In this world we believe in, and are influenced by, the
ego's trivial and insane symbols and rituals, such as pills, money,
"protective" clothing, "influence," prestige, being liked,
knowing the "right" people, etc. This dance of death by the ego
includes all special relationships, as well as more coercive, unkind influences.
All these, including the negative ones, are replacements for God's Love.
It is all our extensive past learning in this world, which we made, that influences the ego's view of the present and renders the present meaningless. Although we do not believe we made the world we see, we did, and it is nothing. Nothing created not by your Creator has any influence over you. Also, as Sons of God, we did not create ourselves and cannot alter what our Creator made with bogus self-images and bodies.
All this madness from the past must be let go by giving it all to the Holy Spirit Who will dismantle it through the At-one-ment process. We think that it is arrogant to have Real Power from God (a Power in us that can literally move mountains) preferring to place our faith in our powerless egos. We do this to allay our ego's nonsensical feelings of guilt over our equally nonsensical and insane condemnation of our brothers.
Yet, in Reality, we have never ceased to be Sons of God in His Kingdom. The gift of Power by God to us is ever-present in each of us even though we have fallen asleep and dream meaningless dreams in this world of make-believe.
As Sons of God, we have limitless influence on each other and this influence must only be used for salvation.
In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, "protective" clothing, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the "right" people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers. All these things are your replacements for the Love of God. All these things are cherished to ensure a body identification. (W-pI.50.1:2-3) & (W-pI.50.2:1-2)
No rituals [such as a special relationship] that you have set up in which the [ego's] dance of death delights you can bring death to the eternal. Nor can your chosen substitute [the special relationship] for the Wholeness of God have any influence at all upon it. (T-16.V.12:10-11)
ingenious, ingenuity: As egocentric human beings in bodies we have
invented many ingenious thought systems to fill the emptiness and lack we feel
as a result of our imagined separation from God and the Sonship. Examples of
such thought systems would be special relationships, acquiring possessions,
having to work, needing money, projecting onto others and giving-to-get. All
this ingenuity and specific inventiveness by the ego are wasted effort on our
part, and unworthy of us as Sons of God.
This ingenious thinking is not concerned with Truth or Knowledge and it will not free us from this world of ego. This is because the ego's ingenuity involves the perception of its insane view of meaning, and perception always involves interpretation. The ego's use of interpretation always separates method and content. In this context, ego-level ingenuity is the method. But abstract Love, Peace and Joy are the pure unadulterated Content of God's Mind which we can experience only directly by waking up or being in a Holy Instant. The ego's ingenuity can only confuse and complicate any such simple open direct experience of God, and therefore, to avoid an ego-related impasse, we must be willing to let all ingenuity go.
Sometimes the ego seems to diminish complexity and conflict, but this is merely a polarity swing in order to keep complexity and conflict within the ego's own range of tolerability. If we found complexity and conflict excessively intolerable we might be tempted to relinquish the ego altogether, an outcome the ego does not want. The ego, to preserve itself, is also very ingenious at diminishing fear in numerous ways without undoing it.
inherent: Inherent means innate and inborn. In the
Course, this refers
to our inherited characteristics from, by and of God. Jesus frequently tells us
that, as Created Sons of God, we are all inherently equal. Therefore,
while we should not be in awe of Jesus, he is entitled to our respect as our
elder brother who completed the journey Home first, and who is now assisting us
on our paths Home.
Our ability to Create within the Kingdom is inherent in us as Mind-Beings (not bodies) because God shared His Creativity with us when He Created us as His Sons. Also, our claim to experience miracles is not only inherent in the Truth of our Sonship, but also guaranteed by the Laws of God.
In our lives in this world as humans-in-bodies our apparently numerous problems all boil down to one fundamental problem, that of our imagined separation from God and the Sonship. The Holy Spirit's one and only answer to this single problem is to help us end the separation and to ensure our return Home through the At-one-ment, a process, that is founded on learning to forgive. Then we will remember we Love Everyone, and thus find Peace.
inheritance: Our natural inheritance from God, our Father, is Himself.
In our creation God has given us (as His Effects) His Mind and all its
Attributes to the extent that we are indistinguishable from Him.
The bold headings preceding the quotations below, enumerate our inherited characteristics given us by God. Note that the word "natural" is used in the Course only to describe the nature of God, the Sonship, and Reality (the Kingdom); it is not used in connection with any forms or what humans describe as "natural" in this world of egos and bodies.
WHAT IS OUR INHERITANCE FROM GOD?
Love: It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. (T-IN.1:7)
Peace: Peace is a natural heritage of spirit. (T-3.VI.10:1)
It [Peace] is your inheritance from your real Father. (T-10.III.10:7)
Kingdom of Heaven: Instead of "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven" say, "Will ye first the Kingdom of Heaven," and you have said, "I know what I am and I accept my own inheritance." (T-3.VI.11:8)
Yet you cannot sell the Kingdom of Heaven. Your inheritance can neither be bought nor sold. There can be no disinherited parts of the Sonship, for God is whole and all His extensions are like Him. (T-12.IV.6:6-8)
Your inheritance [of the Kingdom] awaits only the recognition that you have been redeemed. (T-12.IV.7:5)
Knowledge of Truth: The extension of truth, which is the law of the Kingdom, rests only on the knowledge of what truth is. This is your inheritance and requires no learning at all, but when you disinherited yourself you became a learner of necessity. (T-7.II.5:6-7)
The Creations of each Son of God: The creations of every Son of God are yours, since every creation belongs to everyone, being created for the Sonship as a whole. You have not failed to increase the inheritance of the Sons of God, and thus have not failed to secure it for yourself. Since it was the Will of God to give it to you, He gave it forever. (T-7.IX.5:3) & (T-7.IX.6:1-2)
The Majesty of God in Everyone: Recognizing the Majesty of God as your brother is to accept your own inheritance. God gives only equally. If you recognize His gift in anyone, you have acknowledged what He has given you. (T-7.XI.5:4-6)
And as a brother, must his Father be the same as yours, as he is like yourself in truth. Together is your joint inheritance remembered and accepted by you both. (T-31.II.10:6) & (T-31.II.11:1)
Glory: Glory is your inheritance, given you by your Creator that you might extend it. (T-11.IV.1:5)
Security and Fulfillment: Yet perfect security and complete fulfillment are my inheritance. I have tried to give my inheritance away in exchange for the world I see. But God has kept my inheritance safe for me. (W-pI.rI.56.1:5-7)
Joy: I seek but what belongs to me in truth, And joy and peace are my inheritance. (W-pI.104.3:3)
Happiness and Rest, Quiet and Certainty: We need no more than this to give us happiness and rest, and endless quiet, perfect certainty, and all our Father wills that we receive as the inheritance we have of Him. (W-pI.rIV.IN.9:2)
The Name of God: The Name of God is my inheritance. God's Name reminds me that I am His Son, not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions, free in God, forever and forever one with Him. I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me. (W-pI.rVI.204.1:all)
Your Self: Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever. And would you deny a little corner [the ego] of your mind its own inheritance, and keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die? (W-pI.190.6:5-6)
Freedom: Without forgiveness is the mind in chains, believing in its own futility. Yet with forgiveness does the light shine through the dream of darkness, offering it hope, and giving it the means to realize the freedom that is its inheritance. (W-pII.332.1:7-8)
Sinlessness, Perfection: You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God's teachers does not include things that are the Son of God's inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge and eternal truth do not appear in this context. (M-4.X.3:1-2)
Resurrection and Rebirth: His Word has promised peace. It has also promised that there is no death, that resurrection must occur, and that rebirth is man's inheritance. (M-11.1:4-5)
THE EGO'S VIEWPOINT ON INHERITANCE:
The ego teaches that your function on earth is destruction, and you have no function at all in Heaven. It would thus destroy you here and bury you here, leaving you no inheritance except the dust out of which it thinks you were made. (T-13.IV.1:4-5)
Everyone is free to refuse to accept his inheritance, but he is not free to establish what his inheritance is. (T-3.VI.10:2)
God's Son is not a traveler through outer worlds. However holy his perception may become, no world outside himself holds his inheritance. (T-13.VII.13:5-6)
THE HOLY SPIRIT'S ANSWER:
Complete abstraction is the natural condition of the mind. But part of it [the separated part] is now unnatural. It does not look on everything as one [Whole]. It sees instead but fragments of the whole, for only thus could it invent the partial world you see. (W-pI.161.2:1-4)
Yet to accept the power given him [each of us] by God is but to acknowledge his Creator and accept His gifts. And His gifts have no limit. To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. (M-29.5:2-4)
injure: Egos "love" injury (the Course uses this term in its
widest sense) to themselves or others because injury puts each ego into a
neat win-win polarity role. If the injury happens to them they can
"win" the conflict by adopting the role of the "poor victim"
and happily blame (i.e., attack) the perpetrator who inflicted the injury on
them. But when they are the "righteous" (defensive, of course)
attacker and the other person is injured (i.e., punished in some way) they enjoy
his discomfort and say he is only getting his just deserts, and that he brought
the injury on himself by his original instigating behavior--after all, "he
All this is projection because the ego can never see itself as truly defeated. The ego must preserve its core identity even if it has to rationalize what it does or what happens to it, by utilizing polarity switches instantly. So, whether victim or victor, the ego always attributes the origin of the conflict or condition (and hence the injury) to someone or something outside itself. Rivals, partners, friends, enemies, children, strangers, germs, viruses, accidents, bad luck, human error, unfairness, DNA, disasters, disabilities and even so-called "Acts of God" are blamed. Of course, God knows nothing of any of this nonsense.
Sickness, suffering, oppression, persecution, pain, litigation and punishment all come into these "I am injured," "He is injured," "We are injured," scenarios. However, the Course tells us that all injury in any form is always an illusion. Not only that, but it is always of our own making. Nothing external to our minds can hurt or injure us in any way. It is always our own condemnation (frequently projected) that injures us. Condemnation is attack, and guilt-making and punishment are its purpose. It is only our forgiveness that frees us from both injury and its fundamental cause of fear and condemnation. Note that in any and all ego-situations we implicitly, or overtly, condemn (in one way or another) everyone to whom we relate or with whom we come into contact. Therefore we have to forgive, and dismantle our egos with the help of the Holy Spirit.
injustice: In our world of ego-polarities there is only
injustice, because one person's perceived "justice" here, is the other
person's perceived "injustice," both of which stem from insane past
learning. Those of us who claim to have a just and fair (self-bestowed) face of
innocence in this "wicked world" perceive evil and injustice
everywhere without realizing we are part of the good versus evil polarity,
and firmly embedded in it. The ego's "good" and the ego's
"evil," are adversaries, and they constantly support and perpetuate
In Fact, in Heaven neither exist, and therefore, even in this world, both good and evil are illusions of the separation which they maintain. Incidentally, the Course tells us that special relationships are rife with ego-perceived injustices all stemming from the past.
God Knows of no injustice, and as His Created Sons (without ego's and bodies) we are all equal and Innocent Mind-Beings to whom the ego-polarities of justice/injustice and good/evil are meaningless because we only Love one another as God Loves us. In the Manual for Teachers, Jesus does discuss God's Justice and states that God is Just, but this is only to point out to us the vertical duality (see: dual) of levels contrasting God and ego, the latter being nonexistent.
The Holy Spirit will guide us up through the levels from the ego's justice/injustice all the Way (our journey across the bridge) to the gates of Heaven and to our Real Innocence within the Kingdom of God's Mind.
inner: As humans (with bodies) heavily involved with fear, perception
and our separation from God and our brothers, we firmly believe the root cause
of all our problems, illnesses, pain, pleasures and safety lies outside
ourselves in the outer world. It is other people and "natural" causes
(e.g., viruses, accidents, disasters) who bring us misfortunes of many kinds.
But there is nothing outside us. There is nothing outside our minds because everything external to our minds is composed of our own projections and manifestations based on inner (often fearful) expectations, insanities, wants and wishes. Furthermore, it is our own inner unforgiving ego-minds which cause this state of internal insanity and external manifestation. Before we can dismantle this material, our projections must be withdrawn from others outside, and brought inside our own minds. Then this insane inner content of the ego, once we have owned it, can be given to the Holy Spirit to dismantle and dissolve. (See: forgive)
For most of us, such a step may have to be repeated often, but the frequency and time involved can both be dramatically reduced by genuine forgiveness, asking for miracles, sincere acceptance of At-one-ment, and realizing that God's Reality is only Loving Oneness.
innocence: As Sons of God we are all Innocent. The
Course affirms our
Perfect changeless Innocence over and over again. Jesus, referring to a Biblical
description of himself as a "lamb of God," states that the metaphor
refers to his Innocence.
The Innocent, then, are Pure in heart, Know the Truth, enjoy Peace and possess Spiritual Strength. Moreover, being in a state of Innocence is identical with a state of Grace. The Innocent have Everything and are Whole in the Mind of God. Innocent Minds are incapable of sacrifice and cannot project. Innocent Minds Honor and Love one another. Innocence is the meaning of the At-one-ment. Innocence is our state of Loving Oneness once we have woken up to Who we really are as Sons of God.
Innocence is harmlessness. Innocence, in its Wisdom, is unaware of evil because evil does not exist. Innocence, which is an Attribute of God's Mind, is the True state of our Minds and in that state we Know God. Innocence can never be partial and is not Real until it is total. Real Love sees all brothers as Innocent because that is the way God sees us and Loves us. In Reality no illusions, guilt or condemnation can ever touch any of God's Sons. Only Love is the Answer to any and all insane illusions here. Our rediscovery of our Innocence will set us Free. Note that Real Spiritual Innocence has nothing in common with what the ego defines as "innocent" because the latter is just an ego-ploy to cover up its own feelings of guilt. We usually try to project our ego-guilt onto others and then put on a false "face of innocence." (Refer to: T-31.V.all)
The Holy Spirit will release us and our brothers from all perceptions of guilt. This can be accomplished through withdrawing our projections from others, owning them as in our own ego, and then relinquishing them to the Holy Spirit for dismantling and dissolving. (See: forgive, pure, guiltless)
I have been correctly referred to as "the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world," but those who represent the lamb as blood-stained do not understand the meaning of the symbol. Correctly understood, it is a very simple symbol that speaks of my innocence. The lion and the lamb lying down together symbolize that strength and innocence are not in conflict, but naturally live in peace. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" is another way of saying the same thing. A pure mind knows the truth and this is its strength. It does not confuse destruction with innocence because it associates innocence with strength, not with weakness. (T-3.I.5:all)
insane, insanity: These unequivocal blunt words, which are used in the Course 249 times, emphasize the total insanity of this world of separation we have made and all that it contains. The insanities we have made to keep us separated from God include: the world we see, the ego, bodies, fear, sin, guilt, attack, all defenses, idols, special relationships, inner darkness, symbols, hate, condemnation, punishment, littleness, grandiosity, sickness, pleasure, pain, murder, death, loneliness, non-communication, imprisonment, suffering, chaos and numerous substitutions for God and His Love.
God is not insane:
He [God] could not enter His Son's insanity with him, but He could be sure His sanity went there with him, so he could not be lost forever in the madness of his wish. (T-25.III.2:5)
You but accuse Him [God] of insanity, to think He made a world where such things [as ego, material bodies, fear, sin, guilt, attack, all defenses, idols, special relationships, inner darkness, symbols, hate, condemnation, punishment, littleness, grandiosity, sickness, pleasure, pain, murder, death, loneliness, non-communication, imprisonment, suffering, chaos] seem to have reality. He [God] is not mad. (W-pI.152.6:5-6)
Yet He [God] would not interfere with you, because He would not know His Son if he were not free. To interfere with you would be to attack Himself, and God is not insane. When you deny Him you are insane. Would you have Him share your insanity? God will never cease to love His Son, and His Son will never cease to love Him. That was the condition of His Son's creation, fixed forever in the Mind of God. To know that is sanity. To deny it is insanity. God gave Himself to you in your creation, and His gifts are eternal. (T-10.V.10:2-10)
inside: The Course tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is more than
just inside us, it is us, because God created all His Sons as His
Kingdom. Incidentally, the Kingdom of God is His Mind-as-such (which all His
Creations share) outside of which there is nothing Real.
The ego, which is nothing because it is not Real, operates on the false law that, "What we project as egos we believe." In the ego's convoluted mirror of psychological projection we learn what we project out onto others (such as guilt, sin and blame) we believe they are, even though they are Really Guiltless Sons of God.
The little make-believe walled kingdom of separation (which has the artificial ego at its center) is actually surrounded by the infinite Mind of God, and His Thoughts of Love, Light, Peace and Joy, as well as the Sonship. God, His Thoughts and the Sonship are all quietly waiting to enter our insane, ego-defended kingdom if only we will let Them in. If we do let Them in, Truth, Happiness and Life will replace the ego's philosophy of fear, guilt and scarcity. Only by letting go the many obstacles we place in the way of Peace (by means of forgiveness) will God be able to enter our separated minds, and fill them with Light. In Reality we are the Kingdom of Heaven inside the Mind of God.
It is hard to understand what "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" really means. This is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, and this does not mean anything. The word "within" is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom? (T-4.III.1:1-5)
insist: The ego is very insistent that its role as a teacher and guide
is right and proper. It also insists that what it tells you is "real and
true." The Holy Spirit tells us that the ego is fictitious, that it has no
being, it has no Knowledge, and that everything it says are lies. The ego, with
its distorted perception and false reasoning, can be very skillful in building
up false cases whenever we want something that is not real--which is
almost all the time here.
The ego usually punishes our "sins" with sickness or some other negative experience. If it does decide against self-punishment, the ego's plan of false "forgiveness" for our more obvious personal errors (sins) is to overlook it.
We, as egos, usually dislike complying with a brother's insistent request to do something we consider "outrageous" but which is harmless. However, the Course tells us to walk the extra mile in such circumstances, because if we do not go along with his request we are (a) believing our "salvation" lies in not doing it, (b) making the same ego-mistake that he is, (c) investing in an incorrect notion of salvation, (d) impoverishing both ourselves and our brother through negativity, (e) believing matters of the ego matter, thus making them "real," and (f) not extending Love.
We insist on seeking for salvation outside ourselves in a false world of egos, meaningless special relationships, hollow idols, and millions of erroneous beliefs. However salvation will never be found by looking in all these wrong places. Salvation is deep within us buried under all the ego's accumulated garbage none of which is Real.
Lastly, as egos, we arrogantly insist on rejecting the Fact that God says we are the Light of the world. The Course tells us, however, that it is true humility on our part (as His Sons) not only to accept that we are what God tells us we are, but also to accept that function as our own.
inspire, inspiration: Jesus states he inspires all miracles, and that
the Real miracle is the Love that inspires them. These miracles inspire the
dispirited, and stabilize the unstable. Note that the word inspire derives
its meaning from being in spirit.
Revelations, too, are indirectly inspired by Jesus because he is aware of our readiness to receive them. Therefore he can bring revelations down to us from God when we are ready.
Jesus also points out to us that he was a man, a human like us, whose Right thinking came from the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus describes as the Universal Inspiration. This Universal Inspiration is for each and every God-created Being to have and be and Know.
When we are healed to the point of Right-Mindedness, and become centered in our Higher Selves we are in Spirit, and devoted to our brothers. When this becomes a permanent state we are truly en-Light-ened and cannot be in darkness. This is a joyful state of being fully Awake in the Mind of God and in complete two-way communication with Him. We are then inspired to create like God within His Kingdom.
Jesus and miracles:
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle. (T-1.I.3:all)
I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created. Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; you do. (T-4.IV.11:7-9)
instant: (See: holy instant, now, time)
instincts: On all levels of everyday functioning we evade recognizing
the complete decision-making power of the mind, preferring to ascribe most
decision-making to the body. We use such terms as, "My gut tells me,"
"My heart says to do this," "My instinct is to go with
this," "It is a physical addiction," "It is a chemical
imbalance," etc. Also, we traditionally blame all illness on physical
causes preferring to believe they are caused by germs, viruses or inherited
It is extremely difficult for us to understand that all our body-oriented beliefs about causation are erroneous, right down to sickness, heredity, instincts, DNA, internal chemistry, immune systems and the like.
It is the mind from the ego-level on up (through Right-mindedness to Spirit) which makes our decisions about what happens to us--even at the physical body level. Our illnesses and physical symptoms are merely responses by the body to mis-thoughts, which in their turn are a confirmation of the separation and our deep fear of God.
In Truth our Minds-as-such, because of their Holiness, are all-powerful and have dominion over all things, including things as non-existent as our bodies.
instrument: The body was made by the separated mind as an
instrument, a weapon, that the ego could use to carry out its insane purposes
(strivings, investments) of hate, guilt, treachery, deception and separation.
We, as egos, use the body for these unholy purposes whenever we attack or fear
another person, even if those emotions and actions are very mild--such as a
slight feeling of annoyance. Our armies, punishments, defenses, protective
services, and many of our institutions reflect the ego's constant use of our
bodies as instruments of defense and attack. Note, too, that all verbal
confrontations use the body as an instrument for guilt-making and vengeance.
What, then, can we "do" with the body once we move along the Path of the At-one-ment and begin to heal?
The Course tells us that the Holy Spirit can undo the ego and convert the body into a useful instrument for the Holy Purpose of healing and salvation. The body is, in effect, actually a neutral tool with no mind of its own. Either our ego-mind uses it, or our Right-Mind uses it, the latter being under the direction of the Holy Spirit. By perceiving our bodies as instruments of healing, we can utilize them to carry out the Holy Spirit's purposes of communicating Real Love and of re-establishing God's Universal Unity. (See: body, ego)
The ego uses the body as an instrument of illusion, hate and vengeance:
For fantasies have made your body your "enemy"; weak, vulnerable and treacherous, worthy of the hate that you invest in it. How has this served you? You have identified with this thing you hate, the instrument of vengeance and the perceived source of your guilt. You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, proclaiming it to be the dwelling place of God's Son, and turning it against him. (T-18.VI.6:5-8)
It is obvious that a segment of the mind can see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose. When this occurs the body becomes its weapon, used against this Purpose, to demonstrate the "fact" that separation has occurred. The body thus becomes the instrument of illusion, acting accordingly; seeing what is not there, hearing what truth has never said and behaving insanely, being imprisoned by insanity. (T-19.I.3:4-6)
The body is the instrument the mind made in its efforts to deceive itself. Its purpose is to strive. (Commentary 4 on "What is Sin?" W-pII.4.2:1-2)
The body's usefulness as Spirit's instrument of healing and salvation:
The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defense, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over. Who would want to keep it when its usefulness is done? (W-pI.135.8:2-3)
Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation, and used for purposes of love? (T-18.VI.5:1)
Those who are healed become the instruments of healing. Nor does time elapse between the instant they are healed, and all the grace of healing it is given them to give. (W-pI.137.11:1-2)
integration: The integration mentioned in the Course
whatsoever to do with the so-called "integration" of the ego promoted
by most self-help books and practiced by ego-psychologists and ego-therapists.
On the contrary, the Course states frequently that the ego is an artificially
constructed, fragmented belief-system which has to be undone, and relinquished
to the Holy Spirit to be dissolved. (See: forgive, ego)
Our false identification with the unreal ego arose after our deliberate separation from God's Oneness dropped us into a dark dreamworld of different levels with different needs. All these needs and wants arose from a deep sense of lack. This lack of Love and our consequent fear of scarcity is the ego's foundation. (See: lack, needs, scarcity)
To heal ourselves and the whole Sonship the ego has to be dismantled, and all levels of need must be given to the Holy Spirit for eradication. Our re-integration within ourselves, with the Sonship, and with God, returns us to the state of Oneness that, in Reality, we never left. Once this awakening in the Mind of God occurs we realize our Innocence and feel Loving, Joyful and Harmonious. All this proceeds from a perfect integration based on the single purpose of the One Mind and One Will of the Trinity.
intent: Intent is a crucial aspect of our decision-making process.
Synonyms for "intent" are purpose, goal and plan. Our intent or
purpose in life is determined by our needs/wants and their satisfactions. If we
choose to seek for ego-satisfactions, our intent is to fill the lack
in ourselves (caused by our separation from God) with idols, false pursuits and
special relationships. The ego's fundamental belief in scarcity and loss leads
to a anxious, competitive scramble (our intent) for the solaces and
distractions of this world, and this, in turn, leads to attack, conflict,
jealousy and selfishness. The Course calls all attack murder, whether it
is a mild verbal rebuke or killing a body.
However, it is important to realize that while we should not attack or kill others even in war, we should also not fight against our desire to attack and "murder" because such a repression only sends it underground into the unconscious mind where it will fester and erupt in tantrums every so often--or cause sickness in the body by attacking it. All attack and anger (as projections involving our own frustrated unfulfilled ego-needs) have to be withdrawn from others, owned, and then given to the Holy Spirit for dismantling and dissolution. In this manner is the ego undone.
Once this forgiveness is accomplished our new intent to heal and re-unify with God and the Sonship is well under way. Specialness and special relationships are left behind and miracles take their place. Now we realize we ourselves are, and were, the only makers of the ego's dreams of need, frustration, attack and hate.
Our intent now becomes the unity of Loving everyone equally, just as God does. Furthermore we allow God's abundant Love, Light, Peace and Joy to flow through us non-stop so that all illusions of lack, scarcity, needs and earthly desires disappear forever.
interaction: The Course uses the word "interaction" for
interlinks between egos which are actually pseudo-communications because there
is no Real joining. Egos interact only superficially and almost always with the
intent of changing each other. As egos we say "Perhaps you will change your
mind," or, "I won't change my mind." Even when we are open to
change by becoming a learner or follower we almost always use an ego-filter, and
so we decide what incoming lessons we want to accept and allow to change our
minds. Physical interaction, too, can obviously change our minds, especially
when attacked or stroked in special relationship situations. All this
ego-interaction indicates all egos are false ideas; egos are not Facts of
God-Created Beingness, i.e., Sons of God.
Ego-oriented teachers teach only ego-interactions based on erroneous beliefs, concepts and ideas all of which are aimed only at ego-preservation.
However, Jesus tells us he will teach us and live with us, and that his ultimate spiritual goal is always to absolve us from any need to have a Teacher. This will lead us away from meaningless ego-interactions toward True spiritual Communication with one another and with God, at which point we wake up to who we Really are and re-discover our Christ Self. (See: communication, communion)
Everyone makes an ego or a self for himself, which is subject to enormous variation because of its instability. He also makes an ego for everyone else he perceives, which is equally variable. Their [ego-] interaction is a process that alters both [egos], because they were not made by or with the Unalterable. It is important to realize that this alteration [of egos] can and does occur as readily when the interaction takes place in the mind as when it involves physical proximity. Thinking about another ego is as effective in changing relative perception as is physical interaction. There could be no better example that the ego is only an [illusory] idea and not a [Real] fact. (T-4.II.2:all)
interests: The ego is interested only in its own
self-preservation and therefore competes with others (whenever necessary) to get
what it needs, and this "getting" is usually through some form of control.
The ego almost always sees its self-preserving interests conflicting with the
interests of others, even when giving-to-get. Separate egos have separate
interests even though sometimes they will form a loose alliance for mutual
benefit, as in a team or family. Even so, we usually keep a safe psychological
distance, just in case grievances turn friends into enemies who want to grab
what is ours!
As Sons of God who want to return Home, all this self-interested, self-preserving activity on the part of the ego is not in our own best spiritual interests. By admitting we do not know our own best spiritual interests we can allow the Holy Spirit to teach us (through the Course) what they are. We will learn, for example, that the ego is a false identification intent on our death. We will also learn that true forgiveness, trust, and the relinquishment of all desires except the desire to re-unite with God are in our own best Self-interest. We have no need for anything we cannot give away--and we can give away any amount of Love, Light, Peace and Joy because God continuously flows these Gifts through us in limitless amounts.
interfere: The Course points out many times that it is always the ego
that interferes with (enters fear into) our journey Home to God. The ego
keeps us confused because it insists on maintaining its own curriculum in
competition with the Holy Spirit's curriculum. Distractions, special
relationships, and our insane beliefs in fear, guilt, sin, attack and bodies all
interfere with our return to the Kingdom.
By contrast, God and the Holy Spirit never interfere with our egos or decisions unless we genuinely ask Them to do so. Even then we have to ask Them to help us undo the ego, a goal that is accomplished quite quickly if we determine to stop our interference with the At-one-ment process of healing. Our goal, then, is to dismantle the ego and rediscover our True Christ Self who is hidden by the ego behind its confused hallucinations and identification with specialness. All Sons of God are Perfect because that is how our Father created us.
Once we let God, the Holy Spirit and our Christ-Self flood through our minds (by dissolving the ego with Their help) we will have full communication with Them and the Sonship. We will then experience God's direct Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom and Knowledge.
internal: There is nothing outside our Minds-as-such which are inside
God's Mind-as-such. Bodies, this world, other egos, evil and the environment appear
to be outside us but these are all illusions we project and then perceive as if
outside. If we are to find Reality within we must realize everything external is
only an appearance, an hallucination.
All True communication is internal, i.e., mind-to-mind. The Kingdom, the Sonship and God Himself are to be found only within our Minds because all Minds are joined as One and shared, within the Mind of God. Even Extension takes place only within the Mind of God which is infinite. Love, Light, Peace and Joy can only be found within our Minds.
interpose: As egos we interpose every kind of dark obstacle between
Reality and the perceived illusions of this world in order to prevent God and
the Holy Spirit from reaching into our unreal dreams here. God, His Holy Spirit
and the Sonship will never use force to break through the walls and obstacles we
have erected to preserve our little kingdom of make-believe here. One of our
most insane barriers is our intense terror of redemption and salvation because
we project onto God our fears of His retribution and severe punishment for
deserting him and His Kingdom.
In addition, we have invented false gods and idols to worship, all of which are coming from past learning. Our families and cultures teach us to worship success, health, money, bodies, possessions, trinkets, law, entertainment, and so on and on, all of which block out Spirit. In God's Reality we already have Everything, right now.
Knowledge is Power, the Course says, and although we still possess that Power of God we deny ourselves access to it by interposing fear, hate, bodies, guilt and sin between our Christ-Self and our walled-off littleness. As we cower inside our egos we strengthen those defensive walls to prevent Spirit coming through to annihilate us. Yet the Holy Spirit only waits patiently, without threat, outside those barriers of the ego, gently persuading us to dismantle them ourselves with His help, so He can flood us with God's Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom and Knowledge. By relinquishing our tiny world of nothing we receive Everything of God--and then realize we never, in Reality, lost it!
interpret, interpreter: The ego's interpretations of
everything are always misleading, and this applies to the ego's
"spiritual" interpretations as well as its interpretations of everyday
matters. Only the Holy Spirit's interpretations are valid because His are
founded in Knowledge and Love. All ego-beliefs are erroneous.
The Course corrects dozens of the ego's false interpretations and replaces them with the True interpretations of the Holy Spirit. Some important examples of these are given in the first series of quotations below, and these are followed by brief (topic) paraphrases of many other quotations which readers may wish to look up for themselves. (See: beliefs, understand, knowledge)
The crucifixion as a message of Love: The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are. If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. (T-6.I.13:all) & (T-6.I.14:1-2)
Jesus and teaching goals: I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me, but my goal will always be to absolve you finally from the need for a teacher. This is the opposite of the ego-oriented teacher's goal. He is concerned with the effect of his ego on other egos, and therefore interprets their interaction as a means of ego preservation. (T-4.I.6:3-5)
The Kingdom of Heaven is you: It is hard to understand what "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" really means. This is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, and this does not mean anything. The word "within" is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. (T-4.III.1:1-4)
The Holy Spirit as Mediator: The Holy Spirit is the Mediator between the interpretations of the ego and the knowledge of the spirit. His ability to deal with symbols enables Him to work with the ego's beliefs in its own language. His ability to look beyond symbols into eternity enables Him to understand the laws of God, for which He speaks. (T-5.III.7:1-3)
Ego's interpretations always wrong: The ego's decisions are always wrong, because they are based on the error they were made to uphold. Nothing the ego perceives is interpreted correctly. Not only does the ego cite Scripture for its purpose, but it even interprets Scripture as a witness for itself. (T-5.VI.4:2-4)
Ego, attack and bodies: Attack is always physical. When attack in any form enters your mind you are equating yourself with a body, since this is the ego's interpretation of the body. You do not have to attack physically to accept this interpretation. You are accepting it simply by the belief that attack can get you something you want. (T-8.VII.1:1-4)
Sickness is result of the ego using body for attack: Sickness is meaningful only if the two basic premises on which the ego's interpretation of the body rests are true; that the body is for attack, and that you are a body. Without these premises sickness is inconceivable. (T-8.VIII.5:7-8)
Health is through the Holy Spirit: Health is seen as the natural state of everything when interpretation is left to the Holy Spirit, Who perceives no attack on anything. Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly. (T-8.VIII.9:8-9)
The ego's interpretations of perception are the opposite of the Holy Spirit's: The ego's interpretations of the laws of perception are, and would have to be, the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit's. The ego focuses on error and overlooks truth. (T-11.V.14:1-2)
Perception, interpretation and the Course: There has been much confusion about what perception means, because the word is used both for awareness and for the interpretation of awareness. Yet you cannot be aware without interpretation, for what you perceive is your interpretation. This Course is perfectly clear. If you do not see it clearly, it is because you are interpreting against it, and therefore do not believe it. (T-11.VI.2:5-6) & (T-11.VI.3:1-2)
Let the Christ in you interpret for you: Let the Christ in you interpret for you, and do not try to limit what you see by narrow little beliefs that are unworthy of God's Son. For until Christ comes into His Own, the Son of God will see himself as Fatherless. I am your resurrection and your life. You live in me because you live in God. And everyone lives in you, as you live in everyone. (T-11.VI.3:9-10) & (T-11.VI.4:1-3)
The ego punishes your brother for your errors seen as sins in him: Your brother's sins become the central target for correction, lest your errors and his own be seen as one. Yours are mistakes, but his are sins and not the same as yours. His merit punishment, while yours, in fairness, should be overlooked. In this interpretation of correction, your own mistakes you will not even see. The focus of correction has been placed outside yourself, on one who cannot be a part of you while this perception lasts. (T-27.II.13:4-6) & (T-27.II.14:1-2)
Hear a brother's call for help and be healed: But hear his call for the Help of God, and you will recognize your own need for the Father. Your interpretations of your brother's needs are your interpretation of yours. By giving help you are asking for it, and if you perceive but one need in yourself you will be healed. For you will recognize God's Answer as you want It to be, and if you want It in truth, It will be truly yours. (T-12.I.6:11) & (T-12.I.7:1-3)
The ego's belief in the past determines the ego's future: By the notion of paying for the past in the future, the past becomes the determiner of the future, making them continuous without an intervening present. For the ego regards the present only as a brief transition to the future, in which it brings the past to the future by interpreting the present in past terms. "Now" has no meaning to the ego. (T-13.IV.4:4-5) & (T-13.IV.5:1)
The Holy Spirit is our Interpreter: You who speak in dark and devious symbols do not understand the language you have made. It has no meaning, for its purpose is not communication, but rather the disruption of communication. If the purpose of language is communication, how can this tongue mean anything? Yet even this strange and twisted effort to communicate through not communicating holds enough of love to make it meaningful if its Interpreter is not its maker. You who made it are but expressing conflict, from which the Holy Spirit would release you. Leave what you would communicate to Him. He will interpret it to you with perfect clarity, for He knows with Whom you are in perfect communication. (T-14.VI.6:all)
The Holy Spirit's use of special relationships: In His function as Interpreter of what you made, the Holy Spirit uses special relationships, which you have chosen to support the ego, as learning experiences that point to truth. Under His teaching, every relationship becomes a lesson in love. The Holy Spirit knows no one is special. (T-15.V.4:5-6) & (T-15.V.5:1)
Power is of God, not the ego: Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so. Yet you give power as the laws of this world interpret giving; as you give you lose. It is not up to you to give power at all. Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit, Who knows that as you give you gain. He gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor to its results as this world sees them,--sickness and death and misery and pain. (T-20.IV.1:1-5)
The Laws of God and the laws of the ego: Salvation is a lesson in giving, as the Holy Spirit interprets it. It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws, and given them power to enforce what God created not. Your insane laws were made to guarantee that you would make mistakes, and give them power over you by accepting their results as your just due. What could this be but madness? (T-20.IV.2:9-10) & (T-20.IV.3:1-2)
That we are all joined as Sons of God is a Fact: That you are joined to him [your brother as a Son of God] is but a fact, not an interpretation. (T-21.VI.6:6)
We cannot be angry at a Son of God over Real Facts: Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a [Real] fact. It is always an interpretation [by the ego] that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. Regardless, too, of the intensity of the anger that is aroused. (M-17.4:1-3)
Anger over interpretations is never justified: If anger comes from an interpretation and not a [Real] fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. Now it is possible to take the next step. The interpretation can be changed at last. (M-17.8:6-9)
Resurrection, reawakening, rebirth, acceptance of At-one-ment: Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind about the meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit's interpretation of the world's purpose; the acceptance of the Atonement for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit's final dream. It is the recognition of the gifts of God. (M-28.1:1-5)
interrupt: The ego and its idols are nothing more than ridiculous,
insane beliefs systems we have invented to usurp God--in a futile attempt to
replace His Kingdom with a dark, dissociated dream kingdom of nothingness. But
God's Kingdom (which is His Mind in which our Minds Live) is
completely unaffected by our imagined separations. God's Kingdom continues
uninterrupted by our dismal efforts to set ourselves up with a false identity
and an unreal holographic world of fantasy and strange ego relationships.
To wake up from this alien dream we have manifested we need only listen closely to the Holy Spirit Who is the Voice for God. He will tell us through the Course (and personally if we listen) all we need to know to end the separation, and wake up within God's Mind-as-such, a Place we never left. In Fact, it is impossible to be outside God's Mind because it encompasses Everything Real, including the entire Sonship of which we are a part within the Whole. God will take the final step of waking us up once we have decided to give up the dream of separation and then make ourselves ready and willing to be at Home in Peace and Love.
interval: Miracles collapse time by establishing out-of-pattern time
intervals that are master-minded by Jesus who arranges time and space
accordingly. Through a miracle a spiritual insight (which ordinarily may have
taken thousands of years to learn the hard way) happens instantly. Whenever we
perceive all our brothers, including Jesus, as equal Sons of God, miracles occur
In Fact, our separation from God never occurred in Reality because in the tiny interval the separation was conceived, God gave His Correction, His Answer, and so the separation was gone forever. Now we live in our unreal, imagined dreams which only "remember" that tick of time; in Fact, Reality surrounds our sleeping Minds which live in the Mind of God.
Miracles, spiritual insights and experiences of Grace can take place in the brief time interval of the Holy Instant (say, in the stillness of meditation) during which the mind is emptied of ego-thoughts. In the Holy Instant we can experience God's Love, Light, Peace and Joy through His Grace.
intolerable: There are several fundamental conflicts in our minds that
the ego finds intolerable and is thus forced to do something about.
The ego finds the strain of constant judgment and inner guilt intolerable, but, because its existence depends on judgment, the ego tries to project its guilt out as a judgment onto others and thus diminish inner conflict. However, all projection is deluded self-deception because the guilt never actually leaves the mind of its "owner" (the ego) who therefore constantly tries to bury it subconsciously. This buried guilt is a serious block to our remembrance of God. This deep split (between our waking up to God as His Sons and the ego's need to retain guilt as the mainstay of its own existence) is quite intolerable, so the ego constantly informs us we are not Sons of God--we are, it tells us, only ego.
All this deep inner conflict causes considerable stress, strain and pain which, sooner or later, become intolerable, and it is at that point of intolerability that we begin to look for "a better way." This is the turning point (after bottoming out on conflict and pain) at which we begin to accept the At-one-ment process of healing and of returning Home.
You are not really capable of being tired, but you are very capable of wearying yourself. The strain of constant judgment is virtually intolerable. (T-3.VI.5:5-6)
The ego always tries to preserve conflict. It is very ingenious in devising ways that seem to diminish conflict, because it does not want you to find conflict so intolerable that you will insist on giving it up. The ego therefore tries to persuade you that it can free you of conflict, lest you give the ego up and free yourself. (T-7.VIII.2:2-4)
intrusions: The ego (an artificial belief system) tries to intrude on
Spirit in many, many devious ways, as it strives to preserve its false identity
in the face of Truth. The ego fears Truth, because it senses that Spirit
and Reality, once They resurrect the Christ-Self in us, will be the instruments
of the ego's own demise--which is True.
Along with fear, the ego's intrusions are: guilt, appearances, bodies, special relationships, specialness, time, wars, conflicts, senseless journeys, mad careers, artificial values, all past events, petty thoughts, idols, and even God perceived as the "enemy."
However, it is God to Whom we journey because he is our only Home. The way to accomplish the At-one-ment process (the journey without distance) of reaching Heaven is forgiveness. Forgiveness will abolish all the above-mentioned intrusions by the ego. Once the journey of the At-one-ment is well under way, the whole intrusion process becomes reversed because we choose not to allow the ego to intrude on our Spiritual growth towards our Awakening in the Mind of God.
invent, inventions: All inventions and manifestations, however
ingenious, are illusions of the ego, made by the ego for the preservation of the
ego. All our inventiveness in this insane dream world of separation is not
worthy of us as Sons of God who are capable of Abstract Creation with God, in
The ego cannot know who we really are as Sons of God and therefore it invents all kinds of diversionary activities here to keep us distracted from the Real Answer. We have even invented an unreal, unholy relationship with our Father. Even more insanely, we also believe we are victims of the very world we have invented! Fear, guilt, suffering, pain, sadness, depression, dissociation, anger, attack, sin, crime, disasters, accidents, sickness, bodies, special relationships, and separation are all our personal inventions. Our invented outer world (the one we see with the body's eyes) is merely an imaginary projection of the inner world of ego. In addition we (as egos) have invented many ego-level cures and counteractive measures (e.g., laws, medicines, social activism) to cope with the very problems, negativity, polarities and vicissitudes we made in the first place. Perversely we even turn around and blame God for our own chaotic, crazy inventions. We have each built our own prison here, but we can demolish it just as easily as we made it because it is not Real.
God created us as Free as Himself and with all His Powers and Attributes. Every one of us has Being only as a Limitless Mind within the Mind of God Whose Thoughts we share eternally. All else is illusion, however inventive and ingenious it may seem.
When you make something to fill a perceived lack, you are tacitly implying that you believe in separation. The ego has invented many ingenious thought systems for this purpose. None of them is creative. Inventiveness is wasted effort even in its most ingenious form. The highly specific nature of invention is not worthy of the abstract creativity of God's creations. (T-3.V.2:4-8)
invest: We invest in either the ego and the body, or God and
the Christ-Self. As egos we invest heavily in fear, bodies, guilt, judgment,
pain, pleasure and special relationships, all of which are illusions that profit
The Course tells us frequently that it is not possible to invest in both the ego/body system and in God/Self; we must choose one or the other. Investment in the ego/body system always brings separation, guilt, pain and death, whereas investment in God and the Christ-Self brings Love, Light, Peace, Joy and eternal Life.
One of the ego's most tempting illusory investments are all kinds of special relationships, which are always substitutes for God's Love and Light. Although we treasure our special relationships dearly, they are no more than senseless rituals of form and empty "love" designed to bring about the "death" of God--through our continued separation from Him.
But the ego "is immobilized in the presence of God's grandeur," and in His Presence we will immediately relinquish all investment in the ego and the body. To help us accomplish this glorious state of Mind the Holy Spirit will guide us through the At-one-ment process to the Real world of Love and Peace where we find our True Christ-Self.
The ego is immobilized in the presence of God's grandeur, because His grandeur establishes your freedom. Even the faintest hint of your reality literally drives the ego from your mind, because you will give up all investment in it. (T-9.VIII.4:1-2)
invincible: The Mind of God, in which we share as His eternal
Creations, is invincible. However, in our dissociated state of ego and bodies,
we are weak, divided and vulnerable. Our egos strongly (but erroneously) sense
Spirit's invincibility as a threat. Sheltering behind its encircling walls of
vigilant fear and desperation, our egos seek to protect themselves by ruthlessly
banishing our Christ-Selves outside its tiny fenced domain where Those Selves
and the Holy Spirit merely wait with infinite patience.
Only by re-uniting with Jesus and with all our brothers as recognized Sons of God can we realize our Real invincibility has never left our Minds because we are still as God created us.
inviolate: The dictionary's definition of this word is, "not able
to be violated; kept sacred and unbroken." The Course tells us that while
we can violate the Laws of God in our imaginations, His Laws are, in Fact, not
only inviolate, but also inescapable.
We, in our imagined separation from God, a separation we perceive as "real," find it very difficult to understand how it can be that the separation never occurred. But the split is only an imaginary dream. The ego thinks specialness and sin are inviolate. We, as egos, find it difficult to believe that our bodies, our special relationships, and this world we see, are not Real. Yet the Truth is inviolate. God Himself devised the Plan of the At-one-ment to wake us up gently from our meaningless unreal dreams and nightmares.
The Oneness of the Mind of God and His Creations within His Mind-as-such is inviolate, and, while we may remain fast asleep as Minds within the Mind of God dreaming dreams of separation, those dreams have never happened in Reality.
invisible: What is Real has become invisible to us while we stay in
our separated state as isolated egos focused on bodies, and on the world we see
through the body's eyes. Yet, even here, we can detect the effects of the
"invisible" Real (redeemed) world by observing those effects in the
form of miracles and Love.
Although the Holy Spirit is invisible to us, we can see the results (effects) of His Presence in our lives because He manifests the above-mentioned miracles--which are His witnesses to that Presence. Moreover, the fact that miracles occur in our lives demonstrates that learning has occurred under His Guidance, even though the learning, too, is invisible.
In this insane world we have made visible what is not true, and this preoccupation with our externalized perception of what is unreal blinds us to the Truth the Holy Spirit sees with perfect clarity. Only God decides what is Real, not the deluded, dissociated minds of the separated ones (us) who have made what has never been. Soon we will see the Real world which we will take from the hand of our inner Christ-Selves as we look out with eyes of Peace and Love.
invite, invitation: We invite into our minds either the ego or the
Holy Spirit. As host to the ego we think we can give all our "sin" and
guilt away in a barter for "peace." But the ego is always treacherous
to its host, because, in its insanity, the ego fills our little make-believe
world with figures of fear, hate and false giving-to-get special relationships.
To retrieve us from this world of separation and darkness God created the Holy Spirit as His communication system and Jesus clearly states he is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. When we actually see Jesus it will be because we have invited the Holy Spirit into our minds unequivocally to help us undo and replace the ego with the Christ-Self. This will bring us into our Right Mind which is a major step along our spiritual path of the At-one-ment process. The key is to let go of fear, guilt, and all our projections onto our brothers, which, together with total forgiveness, will enable us to see the Christ in each of them--and ourselves. When we see only Love everywhere we will want nothing else. Love needs only this invitation to come in.
involuntary: Miracles should be involuntary, the Course
miracles should not be under our conscious control. Furthermore Jesus
tells us that, (a) if we choose to let him, he can take over control of all
ego-material because it does not matter, and (b) his guidance can direct
everything that does matter if we choose to let him direct us.
What does all this mean? The ego habitually muscles it way into every aspect of our everyday lives and this dominance often also includes interpreting and initiating spiritual matters. As egos we want to determine our own "miracles" consciously, such as for example, attaining financial abundance (perhaps winning the lottery), a physical healing, finding a soul-mate, or achieving some kind of successful venture (a business, writing a book, winning a medal). All these ego-oriented "pseudo-miracle" goals are not only misguided and meaningless, but are always based on deep underlying ego-fears, ego-punishment (sickness), separation, loss, littleness and the wish for grandiosity.
Jesus states that he cannot control our fear because we have raised our fearful thoughts about the vulnerability of our bodies to damage to the level of our minds, thus causing us to believe our minds are also vulnerable to damage from other sources. The ego believes in this mind-vulnerability, for example, when it feels it has been insulted or that it might become insane. These controlling defensive twin fears of the ego (over the vulnerability of both body and mind) are barriers which prevent Jesus from entering our minds to help us with his Loving control. Simply put, we believe our fears will protect our bodies and minds from attack (by our using, for example, locks, guns, and retaliation) and keep us safe, much more effectively than Jesus and his miracles can.
However, it is in our defenselessness that our safety lies, not in our defenses and protective ego and body armor. All defensiveness expects attack, invites attack and requires attacking back as a retaliation or vengeance. How can Jesus (as the Holy Spirit manifested) bring us continuous miracles through such heavily guarded walls and defensive armaments? By being defenseless, not fearful and full of faith, we can choose to allow Jesus as the Holy Spirit to control and direct our minds and our lives through a flow of continuous "natural" miracles. At our request he does this for us Lovingly, acting from the Spiritual level of Mind and Life.
All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His Voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know. Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided. Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong. (T-1.I.4:all) & (T-1.I.5:all) & (T-1.I.6:all)
invulnerable: The Course makes the vertical duality (see:
of the ego's vulnerability and the invulnerability of God's Son very clear. The
vulnerability of the ego to hurt and harm is caused by its paradoxical desire to
attack and defend itself protectively from attack. Because, as fear-based
egos, we believe in the protective value of "defensive" attack
to prevent ourselves from being harmed, we also believe we can be
attacked and harmed, and so we are constantly vulnerable. Thus the ego
can never become invulnerable no matter how powerful its aggression or
how thick its armor. The ego even attacks within its own little kingdom by
causing sickness, pain and misery. Therefore it is our beliefs about the efficacy
of attack and defense that are causing (a) others to attack us, and (b)
our defensive retaliation. We may even believe in pre-emptive strikes!
Certainly, our egos tell us there are no other options, except perhaps to run
away--which would be only another demonstration of extreme vulnerability.
Is invulnerability, then, impossible in this world? Jesus tells us we can be invulnerable to the ego, to attack and retaliation, when we choose him as our companion instead of the ego. Then the miracles will happen. The secret to this invulnerability is the acceptance of the At-one-ment process, the essence of which is twofold, namely, forgiveness and defenselessness (also known as demonstrations of Love). The restoration of our invulnerability is essential to our Real Sanity. Only illusions can attack and hurt illusions in an illusory world of nothing. Therefore, we must come to realize that God created us eternally invulnerable, and that no one and nothing can hurt or damage the Son of God.
inward: We, as egos, project outside (our egos) all the antagonism and
hatred we feel onto others and the "external" world, blaming those
outside for all the conflicts, problems, and nastiness that occurs. We, of course, usually maintain our "face of innocence." Even if we feel
somewhat guilty, well, the other party started it. Yet all this guilt-making,
blaming, antagonism, conflict and hatred originates inside our own egos and
nowhere else. Furthermore, we cannot get rid of this negativity by projecting it
onto others because it never actually leaves our minds; all we do by
projecting negativity is stuff it deep into our own unconscious minds where it
festers and erupts in all kinds of damaging ways. As individuals and in groups
we all learn from childhood to hate the haters and punish them! This negativity
can only really be released from our minds by withdrawing our negative
projections from others, owning the hatred and fear, and then giving all of it
freely to the Holy Spirit for permanent dissolution. This is the process of
Yet even deeper inside our Minds, far "below" the negative unconscious, is the vast Mind of God in Which we share, and from Which we have separated and dissociated ourselves, thus splitting our minds in two parts, Spirit (which is Sanity), and the ego (which is insane). In our innermost, quiet Spiritual Minds the Love, Light, Peace and Joy of God still reside, and they are accessible to us now if we have the willingness to rediscover them. For they are the characteristics of our inner Christ Self as well as of God, and they reside in all our brothers as well. Find them inwardly and God will take the Final Step.
irreconcilable: The vertical dualities of illusions on the one
hand with Reality and Its Attributes of Mind-as-such on the other hand are
irreconcilable (see: dual). The One Mind-as-such of God is the only
Reality, although His Mind has many Thoughts and Attributes such as: Truth,
Creation (the Sonship, the Kingdom, Heaven), Life, Oneness, Light, Knowledge,
Love, Peace, Joy, Happiness, Spirit, Perfection, God's Will, Strength, Sanity,
Freedom, Extension, Now, God's Laws, the Christ-Self, Wholeness, Communion and
the Holy Spirit.
The following list of illusions, which is by no means complete, is totally irreconcilable with the Reality of God's Mind and Its Attributes (listed above): separation, dissociation, ego, perception, darkness, ignorance, death, fear, worry, depression, rejection, abandonment, anger, hate, lies, attack, war, defensiveness, all judgments, projection, guilt, blame, condemnation, punishment, special relationships, insanity, madness, sickness, deformity, poverty, the laws of this world, wishing, weakness, littleness, magic, grandiosity, invention, time, past, future, and all forms such as bodies and the physical world.
Note, however, that there are illusions which the Holy Spirit can use to help us end the separation if we are even a little willing to go along. These Right-Minded "illusions" are: salvation, miracles, spiritual healing, spiritual teaching, forgiveness, enlightenment, the holy instant, right-mindedness, listening, faith, trust, honesty, open-mindedness, tolerance, patience, correction, reawakening and resurrection.
irrelevant: All specific forms of illusions are irrelevant to the
success of spiritual healing and the At-one-ment process. Thus, if we use
sickness as an example, we can say that a cancer or a cold, AIDS or asthma,
diabetes or diarrhea, multiple sclerosis or mumps, paralysis or pimples are all
the same and their seeming differences are irrelevant because (a) they are all
equal as illusions, and (b) there is no order of difficulty in miracles. This is
also true of any other category of illusions such as "sin"
(murder or meanness), suffering (victimhood or vexation), or loss (a loved one
or fifty dollars). All acknowledge death as "real" and deny
that we Live eternally in the Mind of God. All classifications, degrees and
properties of illusions are really irrelevant.
To free ourselves from illusions and understand their irrelevance to Life all we need do is ask the questions: Is this what I would see? Do I want this? The At-one-ment is the remedy, whatever the illusion or error being made by the ego. When we look through the eyes of forgiveness we will see a Real World of miracles, without enemies, and full of Love.
Another area of irrelevancy is mentioned in the Course; it says that there is no need to give examples of Knowledge because they are irrelevant to understanding it. This, in turn, is because Knowledge is both impersonal and abstract, whilst perception and ego are not only individually personal, but also specific and concrete belief systems. However, a little later in the same section of the Course, Jesus does give us an example of abstract Knowledge (Thought) when he says that in the Kingdom having and being are not different because in a state of Christ-Mind-Being we give Everything we have, always. We are able to do this continuous giving-sharing because Everything Real (but not illusions) flows limitlessly from God's Mind-as-such, within Whom Everything has Mind-Being. Another piece of abstract Knowledge is that time, being an invention of illusion, is irrelevant to Revelation (i.e., God's Knowledge) and Eternal Oneness, because salvation-within-time, though beneficial, is itself an illusion.
irreplaceable: This word is only used once in the
Course, but it is
used in such an important quotation that it is included here. The two paragraphs
associated with it are so relevant to understanding our True state of Mind-Being
that they are reproduced in full below.
We must all come to the point of letting go our false beliefs in our littleness by understanding that our bodies and egos are illusions we have invented to perpetuate our unreal dreamlike separation from God and His Kingdom.
In Truth, as God's created Sons, we are eternal Minds within the Mind of God, and His Mind contains His Kingdom. This Kingdom (of God's Mind) also contains all our extensions who are our Creations, and our Creations are identical to God's. Collectively, we are One Son, otherwise known as the Sonship.
Jesus makes a key point when he bluntly tells us that it is arrogance for us to falsely maintain our littleness (our fictitious ego/body identity) when God tells us we are His eternal Creations, altogether irreplaceable in His Mind-as-such. On the other hand, it is genuine humility for us to accept God's Knowledge that we are, in Fact, His Created Sons. This is what the Holy Spirit tells us (if we listen), and His words come from God.
You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part in it, and while you leave your part of it empty your eternal place merely waits for your return. God, through His Voice, reminds you of it, and God Himself keeps your extensions safe within it. Yet you do not know them until you return to them. You cannot replace the Kingdom, and you cannot replace yourself. God, Who knows your value, would not have it so, and so it is not so. Your value is in God's Mind, and therefore not in yours alone. To accept yourself as God created you cannot be arrogance, because it is the denial of arrogance. To accept your littleness is arrogant, because it means that you believe your evaluation of yourself is truer than God's.
Yet if truth is indivisible, your evaluation of yourself must be God's. You did not establish your value and it needs no defense. Nothing can attack it nor prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely is. Ask the Holy Spirit what it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, because it comes from God. It is an exalted answer because of its Source, but the Source is true and so is Its answer. Listen and do not question what you hear, for God does not deceive. He would have you replace the ego's belief in littleness with His Own exalted Answer to what you are, so that you can cease to question it and know it for what it is. (T-9.VIII.10:all) & (T-9.VIII.11:all)
irresistible: God did not give us bodies, fear, sin, guilt or any
other part of the unreal world we have made here, and so all of it is a
thing of despair. It has no power over us other than what we, as egos who wish
to continue the separation, accord it.
However, God did share all His Love with us at our creation as Mind-Beings within His Mind-as-such and He continues to do so uninterruptedly. All His Sons share that limitless Love with God and with each other and in that sharing the attraction of Love for Love remains forever irresistible. We can exchange our ego-made world, the one we see, for the Real World of Love and Light that God has given us in exchange.
This exchange can happen to us during a Holy Instant, perhaps in meditation, when a sudden expansion of streaming-out Mind awareness also floods into us as perfect Peace and ecstatic Joy. In that moment of Joy, the body and ego disappear as we directly experience God's Love and Light. Ever after that experience, the Holy Instant holds out an irresistible appeal for us, because it calls to us to be our Christ-Selves within God. However, for this Holy Instant to happen again and again, God has to be all we desire, want, or need. Let us, then, open our Minds to its Freedom and Peace.
irritation: The Course tells us that there is rage, intense fury, and
violent attack hiding not far below the surface of any irritation and annoyance
we may feel when faced with injustices or even small assaults upon our ego's
"face of innocence." Nevertheless every instance of aggression in us,
from mild irritation to furious attack, is the same error even when it is
felt in the cause of self-defense.
Aggression, which is one of our major ego-emotions, is a broad category that covers numerous degrees of intensity and many forms, some of which are: irritation, annoyance, rage, anger, fury, hate, nastiness, sarcasm, assault, spite, competition, rivalry, war, punishment, murder, sadism, dislike, teasing, intolerance, terrorism, revenge, persecution, ostracism, hostility, malevolence, stubbornness, loathing, and resentment.
All forms and degrees of aggression are the result of living in the past, in the sense that it is the effects of our past upbringing, training, family dynamics, and inculcated cultural attitudes that dictate how we react to any and all frustrating circumstances now. All aggression is a learned (in the past) response to all present frustrations (also learned from past experiences).
How then, should we react? Lovingly, because nothing in this world is Real and none of it matters. Once we realize this world of ego contains nothing that we want or need, and that God, Whose Mind we share, has given us Everything we could ever need, all frustration as well as all its accompanying aggression disappears forever. God is our only Source of Everything and therefore we need nothing from any of our brothers. Once we allow God's Love, Light, Peace and Joy to flow through us with incredible abundance, we will have copious amounts of these Attributes to give away and share with all our brothers. Of course, they will also Love us dearly for this sharing, but, while we will accept their Love gladly, we will not need their Love simply because we will no longer have an ego-driven scarcity of Love. We have God.
isolation: We experience feelings of isolation in this world of ego
and appearances because isolation and separation are indistinguishable. We have
isolated ourselves from God and the Sonship and set up our own unloving kingdom,
even though the separation is only a psychological dissociation or imagined
split within our minds.
Because we think we are isolated from God and His Creations (our brothers) we are depressed and do not see our brothers in the dark dreamworld we have made. In this insane world we have made, everyone (even those closest to us) appears to be a stranger, because the alien kingdom of the ego is based on fear, not Love. In this desolate situation we can no longer communicate telepathically with shared Minds, but have to resort to limited physical speech, gestures and touch. In place of the Holy Relationships of fully-shared, gentle, Loving Minds, we have substituted special relationships based on proximity, giving-to-get, protective bonding, commitment "love" (which excludes others) and superficial attractions. This is equally true for all family relationships as those between companions, lovers and friends. Most often, bodies are the central focus of all special relationships, even though the respective egos involved are using them for their own ulterior ego-satisfactions.
Sickness is another device of the ego to deepen and perpetuate our isolation from one another and from God. Sickness separates us from others, although the ego revels in the attention received (often in fantasy), any sympathy we get, and our self-punishment for past guilt.
Of course, in our isolated state here, we do not realize that every ego-thought we think, and ego-emotion we feel, influences the collective Mind of the Sonship, and that each such unhappy thought will have to be relinquished (unlearned and undone) on behalf of the Sonship if we are to all go Home and wake up in God. We need to learn that Loving forgiveness is our only function here.
Fortunately we are not alone in our journey of the At-one-ment. We have the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a well as the wisdom and Love of Jesus who will light our way Home with miracles, give us direct advice, and make all our decisions for us--if we will let him. Then we will come to Know our Lives are God's, and that we have never Really existed in isolation from Him.
issues: There are six crucial issues mentioned in the Course and fairly extensive quotations have been presented below. Understanding and resolving these issues is important to our direct experience of God. To elaborate on each of these essential issues here would be a book in itself, as well as a duplication of the explanations and definitions given under the appropriate word heading elsewhere in this Glossary.
AUTHORSHIP/AUTHORITY: The issue of authority is really a question of authorship. When you have an authority problem, it is always because you believe you are the author of yourself and project your delusion onto others. You then perceive the situation as one in which others are literally fighting you for your authorship. This is the fundamental error of all those who believe they have usurped the power of God. This belief is very frightening to them, but hardly troubles God. He is, however, eager to undo it, not to punish His children, but only because He knows that it makes them unhappy. (T-3.VI.8:1-6)
ETERNALNESS/EGO: The ego thinks it is an advantage not to commit itself to anything that is eternal, because the eternal must come from God. Eternalness is the one function the ego has tried to develop, but has systematically failed to achieve. The ego compromises with the issue of the eternal, just as it does with all issues touching on the real question in any way. By becoming involved with tangential issues, it hopes to hide the real question and keep it out of mind. The ego's characteristic busy-ness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose. (T-4.V.6:1-5)
HOLY SPIRIT/EGO DISAGREEMENTS: Whatever is in accord with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in you. What is partly in accord with it He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified. Remember, however, that what the Holy Spirit rejects the ego accepts. This is because they are in fundamental disagreement about everything, being in fundamental disagreement about what you are [a Son of God or an ego]. The ego's beliefs on this crucial issue vary, and that is why it promotes different moods. The Holy Spirit never varies on this point, and so the one mood He engenders is joy. (T-6.V.C.1:3-10)
REMEMBERING GOD/GUILT: The ultimate purpose of projection is always to get rid of guilt. Yet, characteristically, the ego attempts to get rid of guilt from its viewpoint only, for much as the ego wants to retain guilt you find it intolerable, since guilt stands in the way of your remembering God, Whose pull is so strong that you cannot resist it. On this issue, then, the deepest split of all occurs, for if you are to retain guilt, as the ego insists, you cannot be you. Only by persuading you that it is you could the ego possibly induce you to project guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind. Yet consider how strange a solution the ego's arrangement is. You project guilt to get rid of it, but you are actually merely concealing it. (T-13.II.1:all) & (T-13.II.2:1-2)
MAGIC THOUGHTS: How do God's teachers deal with magic thoughts? This is a crucial question both for teacher and pupil. If this issue is mishandled, the teacher of God has hurt himself and has also attacked his pupil. This strengthens fear, and makes the magic seem quite real to both of them. How to deal with magic thus becomes a major lesson for the teacher of God to master. (M-17.Heading) & (M-17.1:1-4)
THEORETICAL AND THEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS: He should both learn and teach that theoretical issues but waste time, draining it away from its appointed purpose. If there are aspects to any concept or belief that will be helpful, he will be told about it. He will also be told how to use it. What more need he know? (M-24.4:5-8)
The ego will demand many answers that this Course does not give. It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. The ego may ask, "How did the impossible occur?", "To what did the impossible happen?", and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you. You will notice that the emphasis on structural issues in the Course is brief and early. Afterwards and soon, it drops away to make way for the central teaching. Since you have asked for clarification, however, these are some of the terms that are used. (C-IN.4:all) & (C-IN.5:all)
jail, jailers: There are several ways in which the ego adopts, or
projects the role of jailer and prisoner in order to preserve our state
of separation from God, the Sonship and our brothers.
Strangely, as separated selves, we deliberately imprison ourselves (as our ego-minds) within a mind-manifested body. This is insane, and calls for closer examination. What we have done is this: We, as separated selves, usurped God by falling asleep. We then dreamed up this fantasy world of forms as a replacement kingdom for Heaven. Next, we invented, within each of our separated minds, a weird mishmash of fallacious beliefs and ideas as an unstable ego. The purpose of this ramshackle ego (or self-concept) was to provide a lower identity--a personality founded on fear and aggression, not Love.
Egos, however, proved inadequate to keep us focused downwards, away from God and Heaven. And because minds-as-such cannot be hurt, our egos needed an even lower "solid" identity, namely bodies, onto which they could project pain, sin, fear, attack and blame. This pain, sin, fear, attack and blame is projected either onto the ego's own body, or when appropriate, onto the ego/bodies of other people. This body identification is a clever ego device for deluding us into the erroneous belief that our minds and egos are imprisoned within our bodies as aspects of our bodies (our brains and sensory functions). Furthermore, we firmly believe that human minds and egos can only feel and interact through bodies, either physically or verbally. Thus bodies become the major "downward" focus of all our feelings and emotions, including pain, sin, fear, attack and blame. So, when we think of another person, we almost always think of him or her as a body (a physical human being) first.
In this upside-down reversal, the body is thus seen as a kind of "prison house" as well as the jailer who tells the ego-mind (the prisoner) what to do, or what the facts of prison life are. For example, it is the body that gets sick, suffers and feels pain; it is another person's body that attacks you physically or verbally, and it is your body that trembles with fear and anger, and becomes stressed. It is through bodies we express pseudo-love for one another in special relationships, be it sex, hugs or compliments.
Yet bodies think no thoughts. Only minds think, and therefore all our feelings, emotions, stress, sickness, pain, sin, suffering, fear, attack and verbal interactions are in our minds, not our bodies. By realizing this fact, we are released from the bondage of perceiving our bodies as "robotic" prisons that enslave us with instincts, DNA, viruses, illnesses, infirmities, attractiveness, medicine, etc. Of course it is the ego that is the actual jailer, as well as the source of the body-as-jail delusion. Yet the ego itself is only an artificial delusion, a false identification, that we can be determined to dismantle with the help of the Holy Spirit--if we wish.
But the ego also projects the role of jailer onto the world it has made, with the result that we feel, even more depressingly, that we are victims and prisoners who appear to be powerless to do much about the roles, conditions and circumstances in which we (as ego/bodies) find ourselves. Even if we faintly believe we may be Sons of God we mostly feel helpless to bring about significant changes in our lives because the outside world imprisons us, forces schedules on us, and imposes numerous constricting laws and limitations on us. We blame everyone and everything outside ourselves (in the world we see) for this projected and perceived jail-house/jailer predicament we seem to experience, without realizing the original and continuing cause is the denial of our own Real Identity as Sons of God. It is our separated selves and false ego-identities who are not only the jailers, but also the makers of imaginary bodies and this unreal world as prisons.
Utilizing these insane ego-identities, we judge and blame others, and, as their jailers, we hold everyone as a prisoner in their bodies as well as in our mutually manifested, dark world of bondage. Yet, because the jailer is in the prison as much as his prisoner, we can only escape this deluded scenario by releasing our brothers from judgment. We accomplish this by forgiving them and ourselves. Through forgiveness we learn to Love everyone. Then we are all Free to wake up as Christs and discover we are at Home in the Loving Mind of God.
jealous, jealousy: The Course tells us we are never upset for the
reasons we think. When we are jealous, we seem to be upset because our ego-love
for a partner, friend or relative is threatened by a meddling, intrusive third
party who will steal away the affection of our "loved one." Even
parents and children can become jealous of one another, and sibling rivalry is
not uncommon. It is not unusual for families to encourage rivalry as a
motivation for success.
Behind all jealousy, envy and rivalry is the firm belief by the ego that all forms of ego-love and affection are in short supply. Furthermore, we all believe that we must receive a considerable regular quota of ego-love and affection if we are to avoid feeing depressed, empty and unloved. Thus each of us (as an ego desperately in need of constant love) feels it is very necessary to attach to, and bond with, at least one other person, exclusively. In short, we endeavor to corral our ego-love-giving partner for our individual use. This "commitment" as it is often called, establishes the incoming flow of ego-love more or less permanently, and if the affectionate bond should break another committed person must be quickly found to fill the "love-gap" in order to keep depression at bay. The Course calls these ego-love arrangements special relationships. Special relationships invariably identify people as egos-with-bodies. Most of our "upsets" are caused by various kinds of intrusive third party threats to our exclusive, special love relationships, in which the body symbolizes the ego.
Only Holy Love Relationships with every Son of God will end all jealousy because only Holy Relationships are Real and of God. They are also universal and totally inclusive. To accomplish this we must end our separation from God and one another. All fences and corrals must go. Once we share our God-given Love with everyone equally, and to the maximum just as God does, all upsets, jealousies, rivalries and other ego-emotions will disappear because any scarcity of Love, Light, Peace and Joy will be impossible. God has infinite Love to give each of us, and if we allow His limitless Love to flow continuously through the Christ in us (our True Identity) we will have copious amounts of Love to give all our partners, friends, relatives and brothers everywhere.
Jesus [Numerous ACIM quotations by and about Jesus are included below]: In the Course Jesus refers to himself by name or in the first person, as "I" or "me," over 170 times, and each of these quotations is given below. The purpose here is to make all these available (in one place) to students and teachers of the Course. There is no need to elaborate on the contents of these quotations because they can be looked up in this Glossary under the appropriate key words. (See: Christ, man, son)
JESUS: "THIS COURSE HAS COME FROM HIM..."
This Course [ACIM] has come from him [Jesus] because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. Are other teachers possible, to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. Would God leave anyone without a very present help in time of trouble; a savior who can symbolize Himself? Yet do we need a many-faceted curriculum, not because of content differences, but because symbols must shift and change to suit the need. Jesus has come to answer yours. In him you find God's Answer. Do you, then, teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here. (M-23.7:all)
JESUS AS THE CHRIST AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
For Christ takes many forms with different names until their oneness can be recognized. But Jesus is for you the bearer of Christ's single message of the Love of God. You need no other. (C-5.6:3-5)
The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God. The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do. Yet who can save unless he sees illusions and then identifies them as what they are? Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusions. (C-5.2:all)
In his complete identification with the Christ--the perfect Son of God, His one creation and His happiness, forever like Himself and one with Him--Jesus became what all of you must be. He led the way for you to follow him. He leads you back to God because he saw the road before him, and he followed it. He made a clear distinction, still obscure to you, between the false and true. He offered you a final demonstration that it is impossible to kill God's Son; nor can his life in any way be changed by sin and evil, malice, fear or death. (C-5.3:all)
Is he [Jesus] the Christ? O yes, along with you. His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you. He will remain with you to lead you from the hell you made to God. And when you join your will with his, your sight will be his vision, for the eyes of Christ are shared. (C-5.5:1-5)
When I [Jesus] said "I am come as a light into the world," I meant that I came to share the light with you. (T-5.VI.11:1)
When I [Jesus] said, "My peace I give unto you," I meant it. Peace comes from God through me to you. (T-10.III.6:6-7)
JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT; THE HOLY SPIRIT AS MIND
Jesus is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, Whom he called down upon the earth after he ascended into Heaven, or became completely identified with the Christ, the Son of God as He created Him. The Holy Spirit, being a creation of the One Creator, creating with Him and in His likeness or spirit, is eternal and has never changed. He [the Holy Spirit] was "called down upon the earth" [by Jesus after he ascended] in the sense that it was now possible to accept Him and to hear His Voice. His is the Voice for God, and has therefore taken form. This form is not His reality, which God alone knows along with Christ, His real Son, Who is part of Him. (C-6.1:all)
I [Jesus] am the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and when you see me it will be because you have invited Him. For He will send you His witnesses if you will but look upon them. Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you will find. (T-12.VII.6:1-3)
The Holy Spirit is described throughout the Course as giving us the answer to the separation and bringing the plan of the Atonement to us, establishing our particular part in it and showing us exactly what it is. He has established Jesus as the leader in carrying out His plan since he was the first to complete his own part perfectly. All power in Heaven and earth is therefore given him and he will share it with you when you have completed yours. The Atonement principle was given to the Holy Spirit long before Jesus set it in motion. (C-6.2:all)
I [Jesus] will go with you to the Holy One, and through my perception He can bridge the little gap. Your gratitude to your brother is the only gift I want. I will bring it to God for you, knowing that to know your brother is to know God. (T-4.VI.7:1-3)
This is the invitation to the Holy Spirit. I [Jesus] have said already that I can reach up and bring the Holy Spirit down to you, but I can bring Him to you only at your own invitation. The Holy Spirit is in your right mind, as He was in mine. The Bible says, "May the mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus," and uses this as a blessing. It is the blessing of miracle-mindedness. It asks that you may think as I thought, joining with me in Christ thinking. (T-5.I.3:all)
I myself said, "If I [Jesus] go I will send you another Comforter and He will abide with you." His symbolic function makes the Holy Spirit difficult to understand, because symbolism is open to different interpretations. As a man and also one of God's creations, my right thinking, which came from the Holy Spirit or the Universal Inspiration, taught me first and foremost that this Inspiration is for all. I could not have It myself without knowing this. (T-5.I.4:4-7)
It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I [Jesus] learned, and God's Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons. (T-5.II.3:9-11)
I [Jesus] have assured you that the Mind that decided for me is also in you, and that you can let it change you just as it changed me. This Mind is unequivocal, because it hears only one Voice and answers in only one way. You are the light of the world with me. (T-5.II.10:1-3)
I [Jesus] have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same Mind to do this. This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose Will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result. The power of our joint motivation is beyond belief, but not beyond accomplishment. What we can accomplish together has no limits, because the Call for God is the call to the unlimited. Child of God, my message is for you, to hear and give away as you answer the Holy Spirit within you. (T-5.II.12:all)
If you would know God and His Answer [the Holy Spirit], believe in me [Jesus] whose faith in you cannot be shaken. (T-9.II.4:3)
The Mind that was in me [Jesus] is in you, for God creates with perfect fairness. Let the Holy Spirit remind you always of His fairness, and let me teach you how to share it with your brothers. (T-5.VI.3:2-3)
Believe in your brothers because I [Jesus] believe in you, and you will learn that my belief in you is justified. Believe in me by believing in them, for the sake of what God gave them. They will answer you if you learn to ask only truth of them. (T-9.II.8:1-3)
I [Jesus] love you for the truth in you, as God does. Your deceptions may deceive you, but they cannot deceive me. Knowing what you are, I cannot doubt you. I hear only the Holy Spirit in you, Who speaks to me through you. If you would hear me, hear my brothers in whom God's Voice speaks. (T-9.II.7:1-5)
I [Jesus] do not want to share my body in communion because this is to share nothing. Would I try to share an illusion with the most holy children of a most holy Father? Yet I do want to share my mind with you because we are of one Mind, and that Mind is ours. See only this Mind everywhere, because only this is everywhere and in everything. (T-7.V.10:7-10)
The Holy Spirit is glad when you can learn from mine [Jesus' experiences], and be reawakened by them. That is their only purpose, and that is the only way in which I [Jesus] can be perceived as the way, the truth and the life. When you hear only one Voice you are never called on to sacrifice. (T-6.I.10:2-4)
We cannot sing redemption's hymn alone. My task is not completed until I [Jesus] have lifted every voice with mine. And yet it is not mine, for as it is my gift to you, so was it the Father's gift to me, given me through His Spirit. (T-13.VII.17:1-3)
JESUS ACCEPTED THE AT-ONE-MENT PERFECTLY, AND THUS CAN HEAL THE WORLD; WE ARE ALL ONE IN GOD
DOES JESUS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN HEALING? (M-23.Heading)
What does it mean to call on Jesus Christ? What does calling on his Name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing? We have repeatedly said that one who has perfectly accepted the Atonement for himself can heal the world. Indeed, he has already done so. Temptation may recur to others, but never to this One. He has become the risen Son of God. He has overcome death because he has accepted Life. He has recognized himself as God created him, and in so doing he has recognized all living things as part of him. There is now no limit on his power, because it is the Power of God. So has his name become the Name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him. What does this mean for you? It means that in remembering Jesus you are remembering God. The whole relationship of the Son to the Father lies in him. His part in the Sonship is also yours, and his completed learning guarantees your own success. (M-23.1:7-9) & (M-23.2:all) & (M-23.3:1-4)
I [Jesus] am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin. When you offer a miracle to any of my brothers, you do it to yourself and me. (T-1.III.1:1-2)
My [Jesus] part in the Atonement is the cancelling out of all errors that you could not otherwise correct. When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it. The power to work miracles belongs to you. I will provide the opportunities to do them, but you must be ready and willing. (T-1.III.1:4-8)
I [Jesus] am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement. You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you. Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. (T-1.III.4:1-4)
I [Jesus] need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. Spirit is far beyond the need of your protection or mine. Remember this: In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. (T-4.I.13:7-10)
Leave the "sins" of the ego to me [Jesus]. That is what Atonement is for. But until you change your mind about those whom your ego has hurt, the Atonement cannot release you. (T-4.IV.5:2-4)
Your mind and mine [Jesus' mind] can unite in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. (T-4.IV.8:3)
When you are tempted by the wrong voice, call on me [Jesus] to remind you how to heal by sharing my decision and making it stronger. As we share this goal, we increase its power to attract the whole Sonship, and to bring it back into the oneness in which it was created. (T-5.II.11:1-2)
My part in the Atonement is not complete until you join it and give it away. As you teach so shall you learn. I [Jesus] will never leave you or forsake you, because to forsake you would be to forsake myself and God Who created me. (T-5.IV.6:3-5)
I [Jesus] am making His plan [the Atonement] perfectly explicit to you, and will also tell you of your part in it, and how urgent it is to fulfill it. (T-5.VII.4:4)
You cannot behold the world and know God. Only one is true. I [Jesus] am come to tell you that the choice of which is true is not yours to make. If it were, you would have destroyed yourself. (T-8.VI.2:2-5)
When you look within and see me [Jesus], it will be because you have decided to manifest truth. And as you manifest it you will see it both without and within. You will see it without because you saw it first within. (T-12.VII.12:1-3)
The Bible enjoins you to be perfect, to heal all errors, to take no thought of the body as separate and to accomplish all things in my [Jesus'] name. This is not my name alone, for ours is a shared identification. The Name of God's Son is one, and you are enjoined to do the works of love because we share this oneness. Our minds are whole because they are one. (T-8.IX.7:1-4)
I [Jesus] can heal you because I know you. I know your value for you, and it is this value that makes you whole. A whole mind is not idolatrous, and does not know of conflicting laws. I will heal you merely because I have only one message, and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me. (T-10.III.7:4-8)
Stand quietly within this circle, and attract all tortured minds to join with you in the safety of its peace and holiness. Abide with me [Jesus] within it, as a teacher of Atonement, not of guilt. Blessed are you who teach with me. Our power comes not of us, but of our Father. In guiltlessness we know Him, as He knows us guiltless. I stand within the circle, calling you to peace. Teach peace with me, and stand with me on holy ground. (T-14.V.8:6-7) & (T-14.V.9:1-5)
For you leave empty your place in His plan, which you must fill if you would join with me [Jesus], by your decision to join in any plan but His. I call you to fulfill your holy part in the plan that He has given to the world for its release from littleness. (T-15.IV.3:3-4)
We who are one cannot give separately. When you are willing to accept our relationship as real, guilt will hold no attraction for you. For in our union you will accept all of our brothers. The gift of union is the only gift that I [Jesus] was born to give. Give it to me, that you may have it. (T-15.X.3:1-5)
My holy brother, I [Jesus] would enter into all your relationships, and step between you and your fantasies. Let my relationship to you be real to you, and let me bring reality to your perception of your brothers. They were not created to enable you to hurt yourself through them. They were created to create with you. This is the truth that I would interpose between you and your goal of madness. Be not separate from me, and let not the holy purpose of Atonement be lost to you in dreams of vengeance. Relationships in which such dreams are cherished have excluded me. Let me enter in the Name of God and bring you peace, that you may offer peace to me. (T-17.III.10:all)
There is no obstacle that you can place before our union, for in your holy relationship I [Jesus] am there already. We will surmount all obstacles together, for we stand within the gates and not outside. How easily the gates are opened from within, to let peace through to bless the tired world! Can it be difficult for us to walk past barriers together, when you have joined the limitless? (T-19.IV.B.5:3-6)
JESUS' NAME STANDS FOR LOVE; HE LOVES US AS HIMSELF
The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray. (M-23.4:1-3)
Jesus has led the way. Why would you not be grateful to him? He has asked for love, but only that he might give it to you. You do not love yourself. But in his eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father. (M-23.5:1-5)
I [Jesus] have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had. I have purified them of the errors that hid their light, and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. (T-5.IV.8:3-4)
You can indeed depart in peace because I [Jesus] have loved you as I loved myself. You go with my blessing and for my blessing. Hold it and share it, that it may always be ours. I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share. (T-5.IV.8:7-10)
I [Jesus] share with God the knowledge of the value He puts upon you. My devotion to you is of Him, being born of my knowledge of myself and Him. We cannot be separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself. (T-8.VI.9:1-4)
JESUS WALKS OUR JOURNEY WITH US AND HOLDS OUR HANDS
Since all illusions of salvation have failed you, surely you do not want to remain in the clouds [of ego-imaginings], looking vainly for idols there, when you could so easily walk on into the light of real salvation. Try to pass the clouds [of ego-illusions] by whatever means appeals to you. If it helps you, think of me [Jesus] holding your hand and leading you. And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy. (W-pI.70.9:all)
I [Jesus] take the journey with you. For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome. We walk together. I must understand uncertainty and pain, although I know they have no meaning. Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him. God's Son is crucified until you walk along the road with me. My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot. I am renewed each time a brother learns there is a way from misery and pain. I am reborn each time a brother's mind turns to the light in him and looks for me. I have forgotten no one. Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me. Release me as you practice once again the thoughts I brought to you from Him Who sees your bitter need, and knows the answer God has given Him. (W-pI.rV.IN.6:all) & (W-pI.rV.IN.7:all) & (W-pI.rV.IN.8:1)
When I [Jesus] said "I am with you always," I meant it literally. I am not absent to anyone in any situation. Because I am always with you, you are the way, the truth and the life. (T-7.III.1:7-9)
You cannot forget the Father because I [Jesus] am with you, and I cannot forget Him. To forget me is to forget yourself and Him Who created you. Our brothers are forgetful. (T-7.V.10:1-3)
Would you know the Will of God for you? Ask it of me [Jesus] who know it for you and you will find it. I will deny you nothing, as God denies me nothing. Ours is simply the journey back to God Who is our home. (T-8.V.5:1-4)
On this journey you have chosen me [Jesus] as your companion instead of the ego. (T-8.V.5:8)
I [Jesus] go before you because I am beyond the ego. Reach, therefore, for my hand because you want to transcend the ego. My strength will never be wanting, and if you choose to share it you will do so. I give it willingly and gladly, because I need you as much as you need me. (T-8.V.6:7-10)
My brother, you are part of God and part of me [Jesus]. 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.4:all)
I [Jesus] am leading you to a new kind of experience that you will become less and less willing to deny. Learning of Christ is easy, for to perceive with Him involves no strain at all. (T-11.VI.3:6-7)
Trust in my help, for I [Jesus] did not walk alone, and I will walk with you as our Father walked with me. Do you not know that I walked with Him in peace? And does not that mean that peace goes with us on the journey? (T-12.II.7:5-7)
In me [Jesus] you have already overcome every temptation that would hold you back. We walk together on the way to quietness that is the gift of God. Hold me dear, for what except your brothers can you need? We will restore to you the peace of mind that we must find together. (T-13.VII.16:1-4)
Return with me [Jesus] to Heaven, walking together with your brother out of this world and through another, to the loveliness and joy the other holds within it. (T-18.I.12:4)
You who hold your brother's hand also hold mine, for when you joined each other you were not alone. Do you believe that I would leave you in the darkness that you agreed to leave with me? In your relationship is this world's light. (T-18.III.4:1-3)
JESUS NEEDS OUR VOICES, EYES, FEET AND HANDS TO HELP HIM SAVE THE WORLD; HE WILL DIRECT US
Let this review [Workbook Review V] be then your gift to me [Jesus]. For this alone I need; that you will hear the words I speak, and give them to the world. You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands through which I save the world. The [Christ] Self from Which I call to you is but your own. To Him [your Christ-Self] we go together. Take your brother's hand, for this is not a way we walk alone. In him I walk with you, and you with me. Our Father wills His Son be one with Him. What lives but must not then be one with you? (W-pI.rV.IN.9:all)
The truly helpful are God's miracle workers, whom I [Jesus] direct until we are all united in the joy of the Kingdom. I will direct you to wherever you can be truly helpful, and to whoever can follow my guidance through you. (T-4.VII.8:7-8)
Beautiful child of God, you are asking only for what I [Jesus] promised you. Do you believe I would deceive you? The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Believe that the truth is in me, for I know that it is in you. God's Sons have nothing they do not share. Ask for truth of any Son of God, and you have asked it of me. (T-11.VIII.8:1-6)
I [Jesus] said before that God so loved the world that He gave it to His only-begotten Son [the One Sonship]. God does love the real world, and those who perceive its reality cannot see the world of death. (T-12.III.8:1-2)
You chose to forget your Father but you do not really want to do so, and therefore you can decide otherwise. As it was my [Jesus'] decision, so is it yours. You do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of it you look upon with love. (T-12.VI.2:7-8) & (T-12.VI.3:1-2)
I [Jesus] am with them as I am with you, and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united so would we unite with them. The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should offer Him. For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. (T-13.V.7:10-12)
God's guiltless Son is only light. There is no darkness in him anywhere, for he is whole. Call all your brothers to witness to his wholeness, as I [Jesus] am calling you to join with me. (T-13.VI.8:4-6)
Decide with me [Jesus], who has decided to abide with you. I will as my Father wills, knowing His Will is constant and at peace forever with itself. You will be content with nothing but His Will. Accept no less, remembering that everything I learned is yours. What my Father loves I love as He does, and I can no more accept it as what it is not, than He can. And no more can you. (T-15.III.10:1-6)
You are not making use of the Course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for you. Save time for me [Jesus] by only this one preparation, and practice doing nothing else. "I need do nothing" is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation. (T-18.VII.6:5-8)
So shall you walk the world with me, whose message has not yet been given everyone. For you are here to let it be received. (T-22.IV.5:4-5)
Deny me [Jesus] not the little gift I ask, when in exchange I lay before your feet the peace of God, and power to bring this peace to everyone [as our brother] who wanders in the world uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear. For it is given you to join with him, and through the Christ in you unveil his eyes, and let him look upon the Christ in him. My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words. I ask for nothing but your own release. There is no place for hell within a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven. To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before. (T-31.VIII.7:all) & (T-31.VIII.8:1-4)
JESUS WILL NEVER LEAVE US COMFORTLESS
Joy attends our way [Home]. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him [the Holy Spirit] and say "Amen." In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God's Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God's angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I [Jesus] will never leave you comfortless. (W-E.5:6-7) & (W-E.6:all)
We spend this day together, you and I [Jesus]. And all the world joins with us in our song of thankfulness and joy to Him [our Father] Who gave salvation to us, and Who set us free. We are restored to peace and holiness. There is no room in us for fear today, for we have welcomed [our Father's] love into our hearts. (W-pII.310.2:all)
JESUS IS THE INSPIRATION OF MIRACLES; ONLY JESUS KNOWS WHERE TO BESTOW THEM
I [Jesus] inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. (T-1.I.32:1-2)
A miracle is a universal blessing from God through me [Jesus] to all my brothers. It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive. (T-1.I.27:all)
That the miracle may have effects on your brothers that you may not recognize is not your concern. The miracle will always bless you. Miracles you are not asked to perform have not lost their value. They are still expressions of your own state of grace, but the action aspect of the miracle should be controlled by me [Jesus] because of my complete awareness of the whole plan. The impersonal nature of miracle-mindedness ensures your grace, but only I am in a position to know where they can be bestowed. (T-1.III.8:all)
When you perform a miracle, I [Jesus] will arrange both time and space to adjust to it. (T-2.V.A.11:3)
The miracle is a sign that the mind has chosen to be led by me [Jesus] in Christ's service. The abundance of Christ is the natural result of choosing to follow Him. (T-1.V.6:1-2)
You can do anything I [Jesus] ask. I have asked you to perform miracles, and have made it clear that miracles are natural, corrective, healing and universal. There is nothing they cannot do, but they cannot be performed in the spirit of doubt or fear. (T-2.II.1:1-3)
I [Jesus] cannot let you leave your mind unguarded, or you will not be able to help me. Miracle working entails a full realization of the power of thought in order to avoid miscreation. (T-2.VII.2:1-2)
I [Jesus] do not attack your ego. I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home. I am your vigilance in this, because you are too confused to recognize your own hope. I am not mistaken. Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible. You and your brother will yet come together in my name, and your sanity will be restored. I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created. Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; you do. I have called and you will answer. I understand that miracles are natural, because they are expressions of love. My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable. (T-4.IV.11:all)
JESUS IS IN CHARGE OF THE SONSHIP; AS AN ELDER BROTHER HE IS OUR BRIDGE; WE ARE TO UNITE WITH HIM
I [Jesus] bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it. (T-1.II.4:5-6)
The miracle is therefore a sign of love among equals. Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me [Jesus]. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. (T-1.II.3:4-7)
As a loving brother I [Jesus] am deeply concerned with your mind, and urge you to follow my example as you look at yourself and at your brother, and see in both the glorious creations of a glorious Father. (T-4.IV.2:9)
When you unite with me [Jesus] you are uniting without the ego, because I have renounced the ego in myself and therefore cannot unite with yours. Our union is therefore the way to renounce the ego in you. The truth in both of us is beyond the ego. (T-8.V.4:1-3)
I [Jesus] share with God the knowledge of the value He puts upon you. My devotion to you is of Him, being born of my knowledge of myself and Him. We cannot be separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself. (T-8.VI.9:1-4)
I [Jesus] have heard your call and I have answered it, but you will not look upon me nor hear the answer that you sought. That is because you do not yet want only that. Yet as I become more real to you, you will learn that you do want only that. And you will see me as you look within, and we will look upon the real world together. (T-12.VII.11:3-6)
In your relationship you have joined with me [Jesus] in bringing Heaven to the Son of God, who hid in darkness. You have been willing to bring the darkness to light, and this willingness has given strength to everyone who would remain in darkness. Those who would see will see. And they will join with me [Jesus] in carrying their light into the darkness, when the darkness in them is offered to the light, and is removed forever. My need for you, joined with me in the holy light of your relationship, is your need for salvation. Would I not give you what you gave to me? For when you joined your brother, you answered me. (T-18.III.6:all)
Here all thoughts of any separation between us become impossible. You who were a prisoner in separation are now made free in Paradise. And here would I [Jesus] unite with you, my friend, my brother and my Self. Your gift unto your brother has given me the certainty our union will be soon. Share, then, this faith with me, and know that it is justified. There is no fear in perfect love because it knows no sin, and it must look on others as on itself. (T-20.III.10:5-7) & (T-20.III.11:1-3)
JESUS CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS AS HIS BIRTH, AND AS THE BIRTH OF HOLINESS
In this season (Christmas) which celebrates the birth of holiness into this world, join with me [Jesus] who decided for holiness for you. It is our task together to restore the awareness of magnitude to the host whom God appointed for Himself. (T-15.III.7:1-2)
This is the season when you would celebrate my [Jesus'] birth into the world. Yet you know not how to do it. Let the Holy Spirit teach you, and let me celebrate your birth through Him. The only gift I [Jesus] can accept of you is the gift I gave to you. Release me as I choose your own release. The time of Christ we celebrate together, for it has no meaning if we are apart. (T-15.X.1:5-10)
Holy child of God, when will you learn that only holiness can content you and give you peace? Remember that you learn not for yourself alone, no more than I [Jesus] did. It is because I learned for you that you can learn of me. I would but teach you what is yours, so that together we can replace the shabby littleness that binds the host of God to guilt and weakness with the glad awareness of the glory that is in him. My birth in you is your awakening to grandeur. Welcome me not into a manger, but into the altar to holiness, where holiness abides in perfect peace. My Kingdom is not of this world because it is in you. And you are of your Father. Let us join in honoring you, who must remain forever beyond littleness. (T-15.III.9:all)
This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us. Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me [Jesus] you will give it with me. (T-15.XI.3:1-3)
Let no despair darken the joy of Christmas, for the time of Christ is meaningless apart from joy. Let us join in celebrating peace by demanding no sacrifice of anyone, for so you offer me the love I [Jesus] offer you. What can be more joyous than to perceive we are deprived of nothing? Such is the message of the time of Christ, which I give you that you may give it and return it to the Father, Who gave it to me. For in the time of Christ communication is restored, and He joins us in the celebration of His Son's creation. (T-15.XI.8:all)
JESUS DISCUSSES THE INTRUSION OF FEAR ON TRUST AND RIGHT-MINDEDNESS
You are perfectly safe as long as you are completely unconcerned about your readiness, but maintain a consistent trust in mine [Jesus']. If your miracle working inclinations are not functioning properly, it is always because fear has intruded on your right-mindedness and has turned it upside down. All forms of not-right-mindedness are the result of refusal to accept the Atonement for yourself. (T-2.V.4:2-4)
Being afraid seems to be involuntary; something beyond your own control. Yet I [Jesus] have said already that only constructive acts should be involuntary. My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose. Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled. Fear prevents me from giving you my control. The presence of fear shows that you have raised body thoughts to the level of the mind. This removes them from my control, and makes you feel personally responsible for them. This is an obvious confusion of levels. (T-2.VI.1:all)
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. (T-2.VI.4:8-10)
You may still complain about fear, but you nevertheless persist in making yourself fearful. I have already indicated that you cannot ask me to release you from fear. I know it does not exist, but you do not. (T-2.VII.1:1-3)
My [Jesus'] lesson was like yours, and because I learned it I can teach it. I will never attack your ego, but I am trying to teach you how its thought system arose. When I remind you of your true creation, your ego cannot but respond with fear. (T-4.I.3:4-6)
It has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever had that opposes knowledge. You retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One from entering. Light cannot penetrate through the walls you make to block it, and it is forever unwilling to destroy what you have made. No one can see through a wall, but I [Jesus] can step around it. Watch your mind for the scraps of fear, or you will be unable to ask me to do so. I can help you only as our Father created us. I will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what you have made, but I will not uphold it unless it is true. I will never forsake you any more than God will, but I must wait as long as you choose to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly. I will come in response to a single unequivocal call. (T-4.III.7:all)
Forgiveness that is learned of me [Jesus] does not use fear to undo fear. Nor does it make real the unreal and then destroy it. (T-9.IV.5:1-2)
I [Jesus] have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One [Love] is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. (T-13.V.1:1-2)
You have very little trust in me [Jesus] as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of to your ego for guidance. The results will convince you increasingly that this choice is the only sane one you can make. (T-4.VI.3:1-2)
My trust in you is greater than yours in me [Jesus] at the moment, but it will not always be that way. Your mission is very simple. You are asked to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego, and I do not choose God's channels wrongly. The Holy One shares my trust, and accepts my Atonement decisions because my will is never out of accord with His. I have said before that I am in charge of the Atonement. This is only because I completed my part in it as a man, and can now complete it through others. My chosen channels cannot fail, because I will lend them my strength as long as theirs is wanting. (T-4.VI.6:all)
JESUS DISCUSSES HIS CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION
I [Jesus] elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter. As the world judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. It was clear that this was only because of the projection of others onto me, since I had not harmed anyone and had healed many. (T-6.I.9:all)
He [Jesus] offered you a final demonstration that it is impossible to kill God's Son; nor can his life in any way be changed by sin and evil, malice, fear or death. (C-5.3:5)
Do not make the pathetic error of "clinging to the old rugged cross." The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the Gospel I [Jesus] intended to offer you. (T-4.IN.3:7-10)
I [Jesus] was not "punished" because you were bad. The wholly benign lesson the Atonement teaches is lost if it is tainted with this kind of distortion in any form. (T-3.I.2:10-11)
The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. (T-3.I.1:2)
My [Jesus'] word, which is the resurrection and the life, shall not pass away because life is eternal. (T-1.III.2:2)
I [Jesus] have also made it clear that the resurrection was the means for the return to knowledge, which was accomplished by the union of my will with the Father's. (T-3.V.1:3)
The crucifixion cannot be shared because it is the symbol of projection, but the resurrection is the symbol of sharing because the reawakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know its wholeness. Only this is knowledge. The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are. (T-6.I.12:all) & (T-6.I.13:all)
I [Jesus] said before that the message of the crucifixion was, "Teach only love, for that is what you are." This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified, because it is the only lesson that is one. (T-6.III.2:4-5)
The Love of God surrounds His Son whom the god of crucifixion condemns. Teach not that I [Jesus] died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you. For the undoing of the crucifixion of God's Son is the work of the redemption, in which everyone has a part of equal value. God does not judge His guiltless Son. (T-11.VI.7:2-6)
The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who are life. If we share the same mind, you can overcome death because I [Jesus] did. (T-6.V.A.1:4-5)
A little while and you will see me [Jesus], for I am not hidden because you are hiding. I will awaken you as surely as I awakened myself, for I awoke for you. In my resurrection is your release. Our mission is to escape from crucifixion, not from redemption. Trust in my help, for I did not walk alone, and I will walk with you as our Father walked with me. Do you not know that I walked with Him in peace? And does not that mean that peace goes with us on the journey? (T-12.II.7:all)
When you are tempted to yield to the desire for death, remember that I [Jesus] did not die. You will realize that this is true when you look within and see me. Would I have overcome death for myself alone? And would eternal life have been given me of the Father unless He had also given it to you? When you learn to make me manifest, you will never see death. (T-12.VII.15:1-5)
I [Jesus] am made welcome in the state of grace, which means you have at last forgiven me. For I became the [ego's] symbol of your sin, and so I had to die instead of you. To the ego sin means death, and so atonement is achieved through murder. Salvation [to the ego] is looked upon as a way by which the Son of God was killed instead of you. Yet would I offer you my body, you whom I love, knowing its littleness? Or would I teach that bodies cannot keep us apart? Mine was of no greater value than yours; [mine was] no better means for communication of salvation [than your body], but [the body is] not its [salvation's] Source. No one can die for anyone, and death does not atone for sin. (T-19.IV.A.17:1-8)
It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. Let us give redemption to each other and share in it, that we may rise as one in resurrection, not separate in death. Behold the gift of freedom that I [Jesus] gave the Holy Spirit for you. (T-19.IV.D.17:4-6)
Free your brother here, as I [Jesus] freed you. Give him the selfsame gift, nor look upon him with condemnation of any kind. See him as guiltless as I look on you, and overlook the sins he thinks he sees within himself. Offer your brother freedom and complete release from sin, here in the garden of seeming agony and death. So will we prepare together the way unto the resurrection of God's Son, and let him rise again to glad remembrance of his Father, Who knows no sin, no death, but only life eternal. (T-19.IV.D.18:all)
You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. Join now with me [Jesus] and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them. This Easter I would have the gift of your forgiveness offered by you to me, and returned by me to you. We cannot be united in crucifixion and in death. Nor can the resurrection be complete till your forgiveness rests on Christ, along with mine. (T-20.I.2:6-10)
I [Jesus] have great need for lilies [of forgiveness], for the Son of God has not forgiven me. And can I offer him forgiveness when he offers thorns to me? For he who offers thorns to anyone is against me still, and who is whole without him? Be you his friend for me, that I may be forgiven and you may look upon the Son of God as whole. But look you first upon the altar in your chosen home, and see what you have laid upon it to offer me. (T-20.II.4:1-5)
This Easter, look with different eyes upon your brother. You have forgiven me [Jesus]. And yet I cannot use your gift of lilies while you see them not. Nor can you use what I have given unless you share it. (T-20.II.6:1-4)
In effect, then, what you believe you do see. That is what I [Jesus] meant when I said, "Blessed are ye who have not seen and still believe," for those who believe in the resurrection will see it. The resurrection is the complete triumph of Christ over the ego, not by attack but by transcendence. For Christ does rise above the ego and all its works, and ascends to the Father and His Kingdom. (T-11.VI.1:4-7)
I [Jesus] am your resurrection and your life. You live in me because you live in God. And everyone lives in you, as you live in everyone. (T-11.VI.4:1-3)
You will awaken to your own call, for the Call to awake is within you. If I [Jesus] live in you, you are awake. Yet you must see the works I do through you, or you will not perceive that I have done them unto you. Do not set limits on what you believe I can do through you, or you will not accept what I can do for you. (T-11.VI.9:1-4)
JESUS ON THE TOPIC OF SACRIFICE
I [Jesus] have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but it is always possible to twist symbols around if you wish. Sacrifice is a notion totally unknown to God. It arises solely from fear, and frightened people can be vicious. Sacrificing in any way is a violation of my injunction that you should be merciful even as your Father in Heaven is merciful. (T-3.I.3:11) & (T-3.I.4:1-3)
The lesson I [Jesus] was born to teach, and still would teach to all my brothers, is that sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere. For communication embraces everything, and in the peace it re-establishes, love comes of itself. (T-15.XI.7:5-6)
JESUS DISCUSSES OUR MISPERCEPTIONS, AND CORRECTING ERRORS OF THE EGO
I [Jesus] was a man who remembered spirit and its knowledge. As a man I did not attempt to counteract error with knowledge, but to correct error from the bottom up. I demonstrated both the powerlessness of the body and the power of the mind. By uniting my will with that of my Creator, I naturally remembered spirit and its real purpose. I cannot unite your will with God's for you, but I can erase all misperceptions from your mind if you will bring it under my guidance. Only your misperceptions stand in your way. Without them your choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. I [Jesus] cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. (T-3.IV.7:3-11)
I [Jesus] will substitute for your ego if you wish, but never for your spirit. (T-4.I.13:1)
I [Jesus] can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. (T-4.I.13:4)
My [Jesus'] role is only to unchain your will and set it free. (T-5.VI.2:8)
I [Jesus] have repeatedly said that beliefs of the ego cannot be shared, and this is why they are unreal. How, then, can "uncovering" them make them real? (T-9.V.2:1-2)
I [Jesus] once asked you to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me. This is what I meant: If you have no investment in anything in this world, you can teach the poor where their treasure is. The poor are merely those who have invested wrongly, and they are poor indeed! (T-12.III.1:1-3)
If peace is homeless [which is impossible], so are you and so am I [Jesus]. And He [God] Who is our [Real] home is homeless with us. Is this your wish? Would you forever be a wanderer in search of peace? (T-19.IV.B.9:5-8)
JESUS AS OUR TEACHER AND MODEL
I [Jesus] will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me, but my goal will always be to absolve you finally from the need for a teacher. (T-4.I.6:3)
I [Jesus] am constantly being perceived as a teacher either to be exalted or rejected, but I do not accept either perception for myself. (T-4.I.6:7)
Vigilance was required of me [Jesus] as much as of you, and those who choose to teach the same thing must be in agreement about what they believe. (T-6.V.C.9:9)
I [Jesus] can tell you what to do, but you must collaborate by believing that I know what you should do. Only then will your mind choose to follow me. (T-8.IV.4:9-10)
If you want to be like me [Jesus] I will help you, knowing that we are alike. If you want to be different, I will wait until you change your mind. I can teach you, but only you can choose to listen to my teaching. How else can it be, if God's Kingdom is freedom? (T-8.IV.6:3-6)
My [Jesus'] mind will always be like yours, because we were created as equals. It was only my decision that gave me all power in Heaven and earth. My only gift to you is to help you make the same decision. This decision is the choice to share it, because the decision itself is the decision to share. It is made by giving, and is therefore the one choice that resembles true creation. I am your model for decision. By deciding for God I showed you that this decision can be made, and that you can make it. (T-5.II.9:all)
I [Jesus] have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same Mind to do this. This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose Will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result. The power of our joint motivation is beyond belief, but not beyond accomplishment. (T-5.II.12:1-4)
You have been asked to take me [Jesus] as your model for learning, since an extreme example is a particularly helpful learning device. Everyone teaches, and teaches all the time. (T-6.IN.2:1-2)
You are not asked to be crucified, which was part of my [Jesus'] own teaching contribution. You are merely asked to follow my example in the face of much less extreme temptations to misperceive, and not to accept them as false justifications for anger. (T-6.I.6:6-7)
Your resurrection is your reawakening. I [Jesus] am the model for rebirth, but rebirth itself is merely the dawning on your mind of what is already in it. God placed it there Himself, and so it is true forever. I believed in it, and therefore accepted it as true for me. Help me to teach it to our brothers in the name of the Kingdom of God, but first believe that it is true for you, or you will teach amiss. (T-6.I.7:1-5)
I [Jesus] must found His [God's] church on you, because those who accept me as a model are literally my disciples. (T-6.I.8:6)
You are not persecuted, nor was I [Jesus]. You are not asked to repeat my experiences because the Holy Spirit, Whom we share, makes this unnecessary. To use my experiences constructively, however, you must still follow my example in how to perceive them. My brothers and yours are constantly engaged in justifying the unjustifiable. My one lesson, which I must teach as I learned it, is that no perception that is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit can be justified. I undertook to show this was true in an extreme case [the crucifixion and resurrection], merely because it would serve as a good teaching aid to those whose temptation to give in to anger and assault would not be so extreme. I will with God that none of His Sons should suffer. (T-6.I.11:all)
I [Jesus] would not ask you to do things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do. Given this, and given this quite literally, nothing can prevent you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything argues for your doing it. I give you no limits because God lays none upon you. (T-8.IX.8:2-4)
You can refuse to enter, but you cannot bar the door that Christ holds open. Come unto me [Jesus] who hold it open for you, for while I live it cannot be shut, and I live forever. God is my life and yours, and nothing is denied by God to His Son. (T-11.IV.6:5-7)
JESUS AND THE APOSTLES, INCLUDING JUDAS
As you read the teachings of the Apostles, remember that I [Jesus] told them myself that there was much they would understand later, because they were not wholly ready to follow me at the time. I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you. I do not call for martyrs but for teachers. No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. Any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified. (T-6.I.16:1-5)
If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me [Jesus] as saying, "I come not to bring peace but a sword." This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did, if they had really understood me. I could not have said, "Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The "punishment" I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible? (T-6.I.15:2-9)
If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the "wrath of God" as His retaliatory weapon. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry. (T-6.I.14:all)
JESUS AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
The First Coming of Christ is merely another name for the creation, for Christ is the Son of God. The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego's rule and the healing of the mind. I [Jesus] was created like you in the first, and I have called you to join with me in the second. I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks. Yours may be so distorted that you believe I was mistaken in choosing you. I assure you this is a mistake of your ego. Do not mistake it for humility. Your ego is trying to convince you that it is real and I am not, because if I am real, I am no more real than you are. That knowledge, and I assure you that it is knowledge, means that Christ has come into your mind and healed it. (T-4.IV.10:all)
Would you be this, if Christ appeared to you in all His glory, asking you but this: Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there. For He has come, and He [Jesus] is asking this. (T-31.VIII.1:4-6)
JESUS DISCUSSES FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness that is learned of me [Jesus] does not use fear to undo fear. Nor does it make real the unreal and then destroy it. (T-9.IV.5:1-2)
You will see me [Jesus] as you learn the Son of God is guiltless. He has always sought his guiltlessness, and he has found it. (T-13.I.5:1-2)
Let me [Jesus] be to you the symbol of the end of guilt, and look upon your brother as you would look on me. Forgive me all the sins you think the Son of God committed. And in the light of your forgiveness he will remember who he is, and forget what never was. I ask for your forgiveness, for if you are guilty, so must I be. But if I surmounted guilt and overcame the world, you were with me. Would you see in me the symbol of guilt or of the end of guilt, remembering that what I signify to you you see within yourself? (T-19.IV.B.6:all)
JESUS EXPLAINS THE HOLY INSTANT
In time, you have been told to offer miracles as I [Jesus] direct, and let the Holy Spirit bring to you those who are seeking you. Yet in the holy instant you unite directly with God, and all your brothers join in Christ. (T-15.V.10:7-8)
I [Jesus] offer you my perfect faith in you, in place of all your doubts. But forget not that my faith must be as perfect in all your brothers as it is in you, or it would be a limited gift to you. In the holy instant we share our faith in God's Son because we recognize, together, that he is wholly worthy of it, and in our appreciation of his worth we cannot doubt his holiness. And so we love him. (T-15.VI.2:3-6)
Yet the Holy Spirit gives you this faith, because He offered it to me [Jesus] and I accepted it. Fear not the holy instant will be denied you, for I denied it not. And through me the Holy Spirit gives it unto you, as you will give it. Let no need you perceive obscure your need of this. For in the holy instant you will recognize the only need the Sons of God share equally, and by this recognition you will join with me in offering what is needed. (T-15.VI.6:6-10)
The holy instant is truly the time of Christ. For in this liberating instant no guilt is laid upon the Son of God, and his unlimited power is thus restored to him. What other gift can you offer me [Jesus], when only this I choose to offer you? And to see me is to see me in everyone, and offer everyone the gift you offer me. I am as incapable of receiving sacrifice as God is, and every sacrifice you ask of yourself you ask of me. (T-15.X.2:1-5)
And in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together, as they join in gentleness before the table of communion. And I [Jesus] will join you there, as long ago I promised and promise still. For in your new relationship am I made welcome. And where I am made welcome, there I am. (T-19.IV.A.16:3-6)
You will be ready. Let us [Jesus and us] join together in a holy instant, here in this place where the purpose, given in a holy instant, has led you. And let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together will offer you the innocence you need, and that you will accept it for my love and His. (T-19.IV.D.9:5-7)
JESUS: THE WILL OF GOD IS OUR WILL AND IN HIS WILL LIES OUR FREEDOM
My [Jesus'] mission was simply to unite the will of the Sonship with the Will of the Father by being aware of the Father's Will myself. This is the awareness I came to give you, and your problem in accepting it is the problem of this world. Dispelling it is salvation, and in this sense I am the salvation of the world. (T-8.IV.3:4-6)
My [Jesus'] decision cannot overcome yours, because yours is as powerful as mine. If it were not so the Sons of God would be unequal. All things are possible through our joint decision, but mine alone cannot help you. Your will is as free as mine, and God Himself would not go against it. (T-8.IV.5:9-12)
If your will were not mine [Jesus'] it would not be our Father's. This would mean you have imprisoned yours, and have not let it be free. Of yourself you can do nothing, because of yourself you are nothing. I am nothing without the Father and you are nothing without me, because by denying the Father you deny yourself. I will always remember you, and in my remembrance of you lies your remembrance of yourself. In our remembrance of each other lies our remembrance of God. (T-8.IV.7:1-6)
Would you know the Will of God for you? Ask it of me [Jesus] who know it for you and you will find it. I will deny you nothing, as God denies me nothing. Ours is simply the journey back to God Who is our home. (T-8.V.5:1-4)
There is no question but one you should ever ask of yourself;--"Do I want to know my Father's Will for me?" He will not hide it. He has revealed it to me [Jesus] because I asked it of Him, and learned of what He had already given. Our function is to work together, because apart from each other we cannot function at all. (T-8.VI.8:1-4)
Hear me, my brothers, hear and join with me [Jesus]. God has ordained I cannot call in vain, and in His certainty I rest content. For you will hear, and you will choose again. And in this choice is everyone made free. (T-31.VIII.9:4-7)
I [Jesus] thank You, Father, for these holy ones [all of us] who are my brothers as they are Your Sons. My faith in them is Yours. I am as sure that they will come to me as You are sure of what they are, and will forever be. They will accept the gift I offer them, because You gave it me on their behalf. And as I would but do Your holy Will, so will they choose. And I give thanks for them. Salvation's song will echo through the world with every choice they make. For we are one in purpose, and the end of hell is near. (T-31.VIII.10:all)
In joyous welcome is my hand outstretched to every brother who would join with me [Jesus] in reaching past temptation, and who looks with fixed determination toward the light that shines beyond in perfect constancy. Give me my own [Father], for they belong to You. And can You fail in what is but Your Will? I give You thanks [Father] for what my brothers are. And as each one elects to join with me, the song of thanks from earth to Heaven grows from tiny scattered threads of melody to one inclusive chorus from a world redeemed from hell, and giving thanks to You. (T-31.VIII.11:all)
join, joint: Our egos and bodies strive to "join" in frantic
false "unions" which are imaginary substitutes for our
seemingly lost Union with God and the Sonship. Our dreams of "joining"
in this world are mostly exclusive special relationships that we delude
ourselves are built on "love." In fact, however, special relationships
are based on a clinging together in order to counteract (as a polarity) the
ego's projected fears, lacks and attacks that appear to threaten us on all
sides. These relationships are only temporary allegiances of mutual convenience,
security and comfort (even if they last for many years) because they depend on a
two-way system of giving-to-get which can deteriorate when the
"getting" dries up. All these "joining" dreams of the ego
are distorted illusions.
The Course states very clearly that all special relationships have to be transformed into egoless Holy Relationships which are inclusive of the entire Sonship. This, then, is Real Mind Union; a genuine spiritual joining that excludes no one.
To heal we must join in the resurrection and free our brothers from all "giving-to-get" relationships. We can accomplish this through the At-one-ment process by joining with Jesus who will help us transcend our egos through forgiveness and our rediscovery of the Power of God's Oneness.
Heaven is God's Will for us, because Heaven is the Mind of God within which the True Joining of all God's Creations (the Sonship) is continuously and mutually extended.
EGOS DO NOT REALLY JOIN, EXCEPT TO GET SEPARATELY
Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately. (T-6.V.A.5:9)
The fury of those joined at the ego's altar far exceeds your awareness of it. For what the ego really wants you do not realize [it is suffering, sacrifice, guilt, loneliness]. (T-15.VII.9:6-7)
JOINING IN FORGIVENESS AND HEALING THROUGH THE AT-ONE-MENT PROCESS
The forgiven are the means of the Atonement. Being filled with spirit, they forgive in return. Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement. Miracles are the way in which minds that serve the Holy Spirit unite with me [Jesus] for the salvation or release of all of God's creations. (T-1.III.3:all)
Healing reflects our joint will. This is obvious when you consider what healing is for. Healing is the way in which the separation is overcome. Separation is overcome by union. (T-8.IV.5:1-4)
TRANSCENDING THE EGO AND JOINING WITH JESUS BRINGS US GOD'S PEACE
God's Oneness and ours are not separate, because His Oneness encompasses ours. To join with me is to restore His power to you because we are sharing it. I offer you only the recognition of His power in you, but in that lies all truth. As we unite, we unite with Him. Glory be to the union of God and His holy Sons! All glory lies in them because they are united. The miracles we do bear witness to the Will of the Father for His Son, and to our joy in uniting with His Will for us. When you unite with me you are uniting without the ego, because I have renounced the ego in myself and therefore cannot unite with yours. Our union is therefore the way to renounce the ego in you. The truth in both of us is beyond the ego. Our success in transcending the ego is guaranteed by God, and I share this confidence for both of us and all of us. I bring God's peace back to all His children because I received it of Him for us all. Nothing can prevail against our united wills because nothing can prevail against God's. (T-8.V.3:all) & (T-8.V.4:all)
In time, you have been told to offer miracles as I [Jesus] direct, and let the Holy Spirit bring to you those who are seeking you. Yet in the holy instant you unite directly with God, and all your brothers join in Christ. Those who are joined in Christ are in no way separate. For Christ is the Self the Sonship shares, as God shares His Self with Christ. (T-15.V.10:7-10)
PROCLAIMING THE KINGDOM OF GOD BY JOINING OUR MINDS IN THE LIGHT
This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose Will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result. The power of our joint motivation is beyond belief, but not beyond accomplishment. What we can accomplish together has no limits, because the Call for God is the call to the unlimited. (T-5.II.12:2-5)
My [Jesus'] part in the Atonement is not complete until you join it and give it away. As you teach so shall you learn. (T-5.IV.6:3-4)
This alignment with light is unlimited, because it is in alignment with the light of the world. Each of us is the light of the world, and by joining our minds in this light we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and as one. (T-6.II.13:4-5)
THE JOINT WILL OF THE FATHER AND THE SON: ONLY CREATION IN HEAVEN IS REAL
The Will of the Father and of the Son are one, by Their extension. Their extension is the result of Their oneness, holding Their unity together by extending Their joint Will. This is perfect creation by the perfectly created, in union with the Perfect Creator. (T-8.III.3:1-3)
We cannot be separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself. Can you be separated from your life and your being? The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. (T-8.VI.9:3-7)
Everything God created knows its Creator. For this is how creation is accomplished by the Creator and by His creations. In the holy meeting place are joined the Father and His creations, and the creations of His Son with Them together. There is one link that joins them all together, holding them in the oneness out of which creation happens. The link with which the Father joins Himself to those He gives the power to create can never be dissolved. Heaven itself is union with all of creation, and with its one Creator. And Heaven remains the Will of God for you. (T-14.VIII.4:7-10) & (T-14.VIII.5:1-3)
journey: The Course uses such descriptive words as fear, futility,
depression, useless, wasted, repetitious, pathetic, crucifixion, alien,
separation, turmoil, cruel, senseless (and many more) to describe the ego's dark
It is important to realize that the ego's journey in time is endlessly repetitive, with self-crucifixion and death (in all its forms) being the inevitable outcome of each ego-cycle. Think of the ego's repetitive loop as a circle that it moves round and round as it constantly searches in the same old situations and patterns (such as special relationships, wealth, etc.,) for pseudo-love, security and other idols--which are all doomed to fail because we are separated from God and His Love. Now, think of a straight vertical line running up from one side of the circle to God; this is the journey Home, the path of At-one-ment. The vertical straight line forms a fork (in the road, so to speak) where it touches the ego's circular loop; it is at this junction that the road branches. It is at this point (each time we circumnavigate the ego's cycle) that we can choose to switch from the ego's incessant "ring-road" to the vertical "exit-road" leading us straight Home. The decision to switch to the vertical route to God is entirely voluntary but once that choice is made we will receive all the help we need. Our decision to forgive is a key element in the switching process.
Jesus, the Holy Spirit and many holy companions will accompany us on this journey of re-awakening in the Mind of God. When our awakening occurs we will experience indescribable Love, Light, Peace, Happiness and Joy.
THE DARK JOURNEY OF THE EGO IS ONE OF FEAR, DEPRESSION AND FUTILITY
Do you realize that the ego must set you on a journey which cannot but lead to a sense of futility and depression? (T-12.IV.4:1)
Do not embark on useless journeys, because they are indeed in vain. The ego may desire them, but spirit cannot embark on them because it is forever unwilling to depart from its Foundation. The journey to the cross should be the last "useless journey." Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection. Until you do so your life is indeed wasted. It merely re-enacts the separation, the loss of power, the futile attempts of the ego at reparation, and finally the crucifixion of the body, or death. Such repetitions are endless until they are voluntarily given up. Do not make the pathetic error of "clinging to the old rugged cross." The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the Gospel I intended to offer you. We have another journey to undertake, and if you will read these lessons carefully they will help prepare you to undertake it. (T-4.IN.2:5-6) & (T-4.IN.3:all)
ON OUR JOURNEY, WHEN THE ROAD BRANCHES, WE MUST CHOOSE THE ONE WAY TO GOD
And there is no part of the journey that seems more hopeless and futile than standing where the road branches, and not deciding on which way to go. It is but the first few steps along the right way that seem hard, for you have chosen, although you still may think you can go back and make the other choice. This is not so. A choice made with the power of Heaven to uphold it cannot be undone. Your way is decided. (T-22.IV.1:8) & (T-22.IV.2:1-4)
Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain. Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again. Yet is the ending sure. No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do. (C-E.1:1-4)
JESUS ACCOMPANIES US ON OUR JOURNEY HOME
Would you know the Will of God for you? Ask it of me [Jesus] who know it for you and you will find it. I will deny you nothing, as God denies me nothing. Ours is simply the journey back to God Who is our home. Whenever fear intrudes anywhere along the road to peace, it is because the ego has attempted to join the journey with us and cannot do so. (T-8.V.5:1-5)
On this journey you have chosen me [Jesus] as your companion instead of the ego. (T-8.V.5:8)
Never accord the ego the power to interfere with the journey. It has none, because the journey is the way to what is true. Leave all illusions behind, and reach beyond all attempts of the ego to hold you back. I [Jesus] go before you because I am beyond the ego. Reach, therefore, for my hand because you want to transcend the ego. (T-8.V.6:4-8)
OUR WAY HOME IS ACTUALLY AN INNER JOURNEY. IN REALITY THERE IS NO ROAD, NO DISTANCE AND NO TIME -- ONLY AN AWAKENING TO REAL PEACE AND LOVE IN THE MIND OF GOD
Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace. Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal. The goal of love is but your right, and it belongs to you despite your dreams. (T-12.II.5:5-7)
As you perceive the holy companions who travel with you, you will realize that there is no journey, but only an awakening. The Son of God, who sleepeth not, has kept faith with his Father for you. There is no road to travel on, and no time to travel through. For God waits not for His Son in time, being forever unwilling to be without him. And so it has always been. (T-13.I.7:1-5)
It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. Truth can only be experienced. (T-8.VI.9:8)
WHEN OUR DREAMS OF SEPARATION ARE OVER, OUR UNREAL JOURNEYS END IN HEAVEN AT THE PLACE WHERE THEY BEGAN, AND NO TRACE OF THEM WILL REMAIN
For Christ has come to dwell in the abode You set for Him before time was, in calm eternity. The journey closes, ending at the place where it began. No trace of it remains. (T-31.VIII.12:2-4)
When dreams are over, time has closed the door on all the things that pass and miracles are purposeless, the holy Son of God will make no journeys. There will be no wish to be illusion rather than the truth. (W-pI.155.11:1-2)
GOD'S ONLY EMOTION IS LOVE, AND THE CHRIST-SELF IN EACH OF US KNOWS THIS LOVE. WHEN OUR JOURNEY ENDS WE WILL EXPERIENCE INDESCRIBABLE LOVE, PEACE AND JOY
God is but Love, and therefore so am I. This Self alone knows love. This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts; knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself. And it is This That waits to meet us at the journey's ending. (W-pI.rV.IN.4:3-5) & (W-pI.rV.IN.5:1)
The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases and time ends with it. (M-19.2:5-7)
joy, joyous: The Joy of God and His Creations, including all humans,
is a very important theme of the Course which occurs 450 times. Every human
being should be deliriously Joyful all the time because this is what a
Joyful God created us to be--just as Joyful as He is. Joy is an eternal
Attribute of God.
Note that Love is an active verb; in other words, as Sons of God (within the Mind of God), we actively Love Everyone He has Created. Thus Love is something we do, something we share together. Joy, however, is not a verb--it is a noun. It is the feeling in each of us individually that always emanates from sharing Loving. Joy is the elated feeling of inner personal exhilaration and exultation that a Mind experiences whenever Love is present and actively shared. Because the inner experience of Joy always accompanies Loving one another (actively), the Course tells us that there is no difference between Love and Joy; they are (to use an analogy) like active sunshine (Love) and glowing warmth (Joy). Note that in all the above discussion we are discussing only Real spiritual Love and Joy.
Unfortunately, in our separated "sleeping" state, we have shut ourselves off from Real Love and Joy, even though we may imagine our emotional highs and elated states here are "real." We delude ourselves that the ego's so-called "love" and "joy" (which are, at best, roller-coaster, on-off experiences occurring within special relationships) are real even though they rarely last. Some of us turn to other idols for our "highs" such as success, work-satisfaction, property, trinkets, money, health, sports, entertainment and so on. All ego activities and their outcomes are, in fact, joyless dreams and meaningless substitutes for our True Communion with God and His Sonship.
The only way to rediscover Real Love and Joy is to wake up in the Mind of God as the Christ-Self which is within each of us. The Holy Spirit will help us dismantle the ego and steadily lead us through the At-one-ment process to God. However, God can only take the Final Step of awakening us within the Heaven of His Mind when this Step is the only thing we want or desire. (See: joyless)
THE EGO'S WAY IS ONE OF JOYLESS DEPRESSION, SICKNESS AND UNFULFILLMENT
The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see. Freedom and peace and joy stand there, beside the bier on which they sleep, and call them to come forth and waken from their dream of death. Yet they hear nothing. They are lost in dreams of specialness. They hate the call that would awaken them, and they curse God because He did not make their dream reality. (T-24.III.7:1-5)
The ego is afraid of the spirit's joy, because once you have experienced it you will withdraw all protection from the ego, and become totally without investment in fear. (T-4.I.10:1)
The ego's whole thought system blocks extension, and thus blocks your only function. It therefore blocks your joy, so that you perceive yourself as unfulfilled. (T-7.IX.3:4-5)
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE AT-ONE-MENT AND VARIOUS METHODS OF HEALING
The principle of Atonement and the separation began at the same time. When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the call to joy. This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound. (T-5.II.3:1-3)
When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy. (T-1.IV.1:5)
Whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God's creations [a brother]. (T-5.VII.5:1)
And every thought of [Real] love you offer him [your brother] but brings you nearer to your wakening to peace eternal and to endless joy. (T-29.V.3:5)
JESUS IS VERY WILLING AND HAPPY TO HELP US WAKE UP TO JOY
I [Jesus] am teaching you to associate misery with the ego and joy with the spirit. You have taught yourself the opposite. (T-4.VI.5:6-7)
The world is very tired, because it is the idea of weariness. Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God. (T-5.II.10:6-7)
THE IMPORTANCE OF SHARING AND GIVING BOTH LOVE AND JOY; THESE ARE OUR CHOICE
There is no difference between love and joy. Therefore, the only possible whole state is the wholly joyous. To heal or to make joyous is therefore the same as to integrate and to make one. (T-5.IN.2:3-5)
Joy has no cost. (T-30.V.9:9)
THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL TEACH US TO TEACH WITH HIM AS WE OPEN OURSELVES TO TRUTH
You no more recognize what is painful than you know what is joyful, and are, in fact, very apt to confuse the two. The Holy Spirit's main function is to teach you to tell them apart. (T-7.X.3:4-5)
The joy of learning that darkness has no power over the Son of God is the happy lesson the Holy Spirit teaches, and would have you teach with Him. It is His joy to teach it, as it will be yours. (T-14.III.6:6-7)
There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness you want to learn and not forget. (T-21.I.3:1-3)
IT IS GOD'S WILL THAT WE EXPERIENCE HIS UNIFIED LOVE AND JOY WITH HIM AS HIS CREATIONS
God, Who encompasses all being, created beings who have everything individually, but who want to share it to increase their joy. (T-4.VII.5:1)
Through our creations we extend our love, and thus increase the joy of the Holy Trinity. (T-8.VI.8:9)
His Will to you is His Will for you. He would not withhold creation from you because His joy is in it. You cannot find joy except as God does. His joy lay in creating you, and He extends His Fatherhood to you so that you can extend yourself as He did. (T-8.VI.6:2-5)
To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced. When this is accomplished, then, there is no other experience. (T-8.III.2:1-2)
Joy is unified purpose, and unified purpose is only God's. (T-8.VII.15:1)
joyless: When we separated from God and fell into our dream-filled
sleep here, we left Joy, Love and Peace behind--because they are only of
God and the Heaven of His Mind. It is impossible, here, to experience Real Joy,
Love and Peace while believing in a world based on fear and attack.
Being absent from Joy, Love and Peace the ego can experience only depression, delusions, sickness, death, fear, sin, darkness, assault, guilt and poverty of spirit. It is obvious, then, that as egos we are joyless. Nor can the false "joys," pleasures and brief "highs" (that the ego tries to foist on us as antidotes) do more than temporarily distract us from the fundamental joyless despair and darkness the ego tries to hide from us deep in our ego-minds. The ego, in its insatiable desire to get, uses possessions of all kinds (including owning people in special relationships) to preoccupy us and distract us from its joyless emptiness and our inevitable death as ego/bodies.
But the Course tells us that if God Knows us to be His eternal Sons within his Mind, then we are indeed blasphemous to perceive ourselves or our brothers in any other way. The only way out of joylessness is to dismantle the ego through forgiveness and honest openness, with the help of the Holy Spirit. We will then wake up and reunite with God and the Sonship in order to share in Heaven's eternal Joy, Love and Peace.
The rituals of the god of sickness are strange and very demanding. Joy is never permitted, for depression is the sign of allegiance to him. Depression means that you have forsworn God. (T-10.V.1:1-3)
Depression or assault must be the theme of every dream, for they are made of fear. The thin disguise of pleasure and of [false] joy in which they may be wrapped but slightly veils the heavy lump of fear that is their core. (T-29.IV.3:3-4)
Look at the desert--dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless--that makes up your little kingdom. And realize the life and joy that love would bring to it from where it comes, and where it would return with you. The Thought of God surrounds your little kingdom, waiting at the barrier you built to come inside and shine upon the barren ground. (T-18.VIII.8:6-7) & (T-18.VIII.9:1)
The holy instant is your invitation to love to enter into your bleak and joyless kingdom, and to transform it into a garden of peace and welcome. Love's answer is inevitable. (T-18.VIII.11:1-2)
Think of your "enemies" a little while, and tell each one, as he occurs to you: My brother, peace and joy I offer you, (W-pI.105.7:1-2)
Judas: One of the more startling passages in the Course is Jesus' first-hand account of his true relationship with Judas during the events surrounding the crucifixion. As you read the following quotation note that Jesus is providing us with himself as a model, especially in terms of his demonstration that condemnation is impossible for all Sons of God. The Course teaches total forgiveness in the sense that the event never happened in Reality. The Christ in us sees only the Christ in others because all egos and their events are fictitious. Only the ego in us is endlessly preoccupied with sin, guilt, blame, condemnation and punishment. Jesus tells us he calls for us to be teachers, not martyrs, a choice we can easily make. (See: Apostles)
If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, "I come not to bring peace but a sword." This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did, if they had really understood me. I could not have said, "Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The "punishment" I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible? As you read the teachings of the Apostles, remember that I told them myself that there was much they would understand later, because they were not wholly ready to follow me at the time. I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you. I do not call for martyrs but for teachers. (T-6.I.15:2-9) & (T-6.I.16:1-3)
judge, judgment: The
Course contains over 500 references to the important topic of judging and judgment. The
reason is that judgment is a major activity in which the ego continuously
indulges. All judgments by the ego are wrong, even the
"good," "positive," or seemingly "helpful" ones,
because they are always based on faulty perception and false belief
systems. The vast majority of the many quotations on judgment in the Course analyze why the ego is unable to judge anything or anybody correctly, and
key sample quotations are set out below. Jesus examines every psychological
aspect of the ego's need to constantly judge. He does this in order to convince
us to relinquish all judgment of any kind, because all the ego's
judgments are incorrect and unreal.
The Course teaches us several methods by which we can relinquish all judgment. They are: practicing true forgiveness, withdrawing our projections, dismantling our egos, entering the Holy Instant, listening to the Holy Spirit, being tolerant and open-minded, and always striving to see our brothers as Sons of God through the eyes of our inner Christs.
Note that to see yourself or a brother as a Son of God is not a judgment; it is a Fact. But God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus "judge" each of us to be eternal Holy Sons of God and that is their only judgment. This last statement is quite consistent with the course's statement that judgment is not an attribute of God, because God's "judgment" of us as His Sons is really Knowing. (See: condemn, guilt, sin, blame, projection)
THE EGO'S INCESSANT JUDGMENTS ARE ALWAYS WRONG BECAUSE THEY ARE BASED ON PERCEPTION, SPECIALNESS AND UNFORGIVENESS; ONLY THE EGO HAS ENEMIES
Perception is a continual process of accepting and rejecting, organizing and reorganizing, shifting and changing. Evaluation is an essential part of perception, because judgments are necessary in order to select. What happens to perceptions if there are no judgments and nothing but perfect equality? Perception becomes impossible. Truth can only be known. (T-3.V.7:7-8) & (T-3.V.8:1-3)
The choice to judge rather than to know is the cause of the loss of peace. Judgment is the process on which perception but not knowledge rests. I [Jesus] have discussed this before in terms of the selectivity of perception, pointing out that evaluation is its obvious prerequisite. Judgment always involves rejection. It never emphasizes only the positive aspects of what is judged, whether in you or in others. What has been perceived and rejected, or judged and found wanting, remains in your mind because it has been perceived. One of the illusions from which you suffer is the belief that what you judged against has no effect. This cannot be true unless you also believe that what you judged against does not exist. You evidently do not believe this, or you would not have judged against it. In the end it does not matter whether your judgment is right or wrong. Either way you are placing your belief in the unreal. This cannot be avoided in any type of judgment, because it implies the belief that reality is yours to select from. (T-3.VI.2:all)
What do your [ego's] scripts reflect except your [ego's] plans for what the day should be? And thus you judge disaster and success, advance, retreat, and gain and loss. These judgments all are made according to the roles the [ego's] script assigns. The fact they have no meaning in themselves is demonstrated by the ease with which these labels change with other judgments, made on different aspects of experience. (T-30.VII.2:1-4)
THE EGO'S JUDGMENTS ARE FOUNDED ON (FEAR-BASED) THREAT OR NON-THREAT TO ITSELF; NOTE THAT FEAR IS ALWAYS A JUDGMENT
Any thought system that confuses God and the body must be insane. Yet this confusion is essential to the ego, which judges only in terms of threat or non-threat to itself. (T-4.V.3:1-2)
The ego is, therefore, particularly likely to attack you when you react lovingly, because it has evaluated you as unloving and you are going against [threatening] its judgment. (T-9.VII.4:5)
THE ROLES OF PROJECTION AND ATTACK IN JUDGMENTS MADE BY THE EGO; THE UNREAL WORLD WE SEE IS BUT A JUDGMENT ON OURSELVES
What you project you disown, and therefore do not believe is yours. You are excluding yourself by the very judgment that you are different from the one on whom you project. Since you have also judged against what you project, you continue to attack it because you continue to keep it separated. (T-6.II.2:1-3)
The world you see is but a judgment on yourself. It is not there at all. Yet judgment lays a sentence on it, justifies it and makes it real. Such is the world you see; a judgment on yourself, and made by you. This sickly picture of yourself is carefully preserved by the ego, whose image it is and which it loves, and placed outside you in the world. (T-20.III.5:2-6)
Unless you had seen yourself as without love, you could not have judged them [your brothers] so like you in lack. (T-15.V.6:6)
AS EGOS WE EXIST IN OUR OWN GUILT-RIDDEN DREAM OF JUDGMENT; THEREFORE DO NOT JUDGE
A dream of judgment came into the mind that God created perfect as Himself. And in that dream was Heaven changed to hell, and God made enemy unto His Son. How can God's Son awaken from the dream? It is a dream of judgment. So must he judge not, and he will waken. For the dream will seem to last while he is part of it. Judge not, for he who judges will have need of idols, which will hold the judgment off from resting on himself. Nor can he know the Self he has condemned. Judge not, because you make yourself a part of evil dreams, where idols are your "true" identity, and your salvation from the judgment laid in terror and in guilt upon yourself. (T-29.IX.2:all)
CORRECTING ANY AND ALL JUDGMENT BY THE EGO THROUGH RIGHT-MINDEDNESS
Salvation is nothing more than "right-mindedness," which is not the One-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, but which must be achieved before One-mindedness is restored. Right-mindedness leads to the next step automatically, because right perception is uniformly without attack, and therefore wrong-mindedness is obliterated. The ego cannot survive without judgment, and is laid aside accordingly. The mind then has only one direction in which it can move. (T-4.II.10:1-4)
THE WISE JUDGMENTS OF JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT HELP US TO HEAL
Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment. (M-10.4:5)
Your mind and mine [Jesus'] can unite in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. Do not settle for anything less than this, and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal. Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment. Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or to heal. The ego should be brought to judgment and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection and love, the ego cannot exist. Let it be judged truly and you must withdraw allegiance, protection and love from it. (T-4.IV.8:3-10)
TEACHERS OF GOD NEVER JUDGE IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BECAUSE IT IS A LACK OF TRUST
Tolerance: God's teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. How, then, could you not have been deceived in yourself? Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bedrock of the teacher of God's whole thought system. Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn. (M-4.III.Heading) & (M-4.III.1:all)
The centrality of open-mindedness, perhaps the last of the attributes the teacher of God acquires, is easily understood when its relation to forgiveness is recognized. Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment. As judgment shuts the mind against God's Teacher, so open-mindedness invites Him to come in. (M-4.X.1:1-3)
GOD, CHRIST, AND THE SPIRITUAL SELF ARE FAR BEYOND ANY JUDGMENT
For Christ is the Self the Sonship shares, as God shares His Self with Christ. Think you that you can judge the Self of God? God has created It beyond judgment, out of His need to extend His Love. (T-15.V.10:10) & (T-15.V.11:1-2)
Judgment is not an attribute of God. It was brought into being only after the separation, when it became one of the many learning devices to be built into the overall plan. (T-2.VIII.2:3-4)
THE ULTIMATE MEDITATION ON UNION--WITHOUT ANY JUDGMENT WHATSOEVER
Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this Course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God. (W-pI.189.7:all)
Judgment (the Last): Traditionally (though it is not the
course's point of view) it is believed that the Last Judgment by God and/or
Jesus occurs (at a time decided by Them) when all human beings who ever lived
are to be judged and sorted into two groups, the "good" and the
"evil." The group judged "good" will go to Heaven while the
"evil" group will be consigned to hell. Michelangelo's masterpiece in
the Vatican's Sistine Chapel pictures the Last Judgment graphically.
For the many people who believe in it, this idea of the Last Judgment is an extremely fearful and threatening prospect. Will we be assigned to Heaven or cast into eternal damnation at the end-time? This means that most conventional religious morality is based on a fear of hell as a punishment by God because we have not been "good"--we have sinned. Therefore, in this view, fear, punishment and evil are very much eternal attributes of God's Thought system, even if Love is another attribute.
In the Course, however, Jesus reinterprets the Last Judgment only in terms of Love and Light. Sooner or later everyone everywhere will be awakened (resurrected) to the full Realization that they are Sons of God Living in the Reality of His Mind, eternally; there will be no exceptions because in Reality no Creation of God has ever left the Reality of His Mind except in imaginary dreams.
In the first quotation below Jesus tells us that, without miracles the "Last Judgment" (i.e., the process of everyone waking up to God, in God) could extend over millions of years. Therefore, each of us must want to become spiritually miracle-minded in order to speed up this universal resurrection of all the separated ones; even a "sufficient number" of miracle-minded individuals will suffice to accelerate the process immeasurably.
In the second quotation, Jesus makes it clear that it is all of us humans who will undertake to bring about the Last Judgment--with his guidance, miracles and help. In effect, Jesus explains, the Last Judgment is a final healing; it is not a meting out of punishment because neither judgment nor punishment are known to God. The aim of the Last Judgment (which is actually a process of coming to see everyone is a Son of God) is the restoration of our right-mindedness, a process in which we are very much involved because each of us chooses between God and the ego.
Looking at the third quotation we see that, as separated Sons of God, we can not direct our last judgment toward the Holy Son of God (who is us) because the Holy Son of God is not our creation; He is God's Creation. God's Final Judgment on His Own Creation is that His Holy Son (which is the Real us) is forever innocent, forever loving and forever loved. Therefore, in Reality, there can never be any "bad" or "evil" Children/Creations of God. So, then, what is being judged in the Last Judgment? We (as separated Sons of God) are judging what we made apart from God (the ego). We are given as much time as we need to judge for ourselves and finally recognize for ourselves that what we made (the ego) is a mistake. Once we make this right-minded decision with the help of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we will let the ego be undone for us by the Holy Spirit and relinquish it. Then we ourselves will retain only our Selves as God's creation and what we create as God creates, i.e., our brothers as His Sons--all of which are naturally perfect creations and perfectly lovable.
The final three beautiful quotations (7-9) clearly state that God's Final Judgment is that we are still His Loved Sons, forever Innocent, Loving, Limitless, Changeless, Pure and at Peace. In Fact we never left Home, we merely fell asleep and dreamed ridiculous dreams.
 The Last Judgment is one of the most threatening ideas in your thinking. This is because you do not understand it. Judgment is not an attribute of God. It was brought into being only after the separation, when it became one of the many learning devices to be built into the overall plan. Just as the separation occurred over millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps an even longer one. Its length can, however, be greatly shortened by miracles, the device for shortening but not abolishing time. If a sufficient number become truly miracle-minded, this shortening process can be virtually immeasurable. (T-2.VIII.2:1-7)
 The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think that punishment is deserved. Punishment is a concept totally opposed to right-mindedness, and the aim of the Last Judgment is to restore right-mindedness to you. The Last Judgment might be called a process of right evaluation. It simply means that everyone will finally come to understand what is worthy and what is not. (T-2.VIII.3:1-6)
 The term "Last Judgment" is frightening not only because it has been projected onto God, but also because of the association of "last" with death. This is an outstanding example of upside-down perception. If the meaning of the Last Judgment is objectively examined, it is quite apparent that it is really the doorway to life. No one who lives in fear is really alive. Your own last judgment cannot be directed toward yourself, because you are not your own creation. You can, however, apply it meaningfully and at any time to everything you have made, and retain in your memory only what is creative and good. This is what your right-mindedness cannot but dictate. The purpose of time is solely to "give you time" to achieve this judgment. It is your own perfect judgment of your own perfect creations. When everything you retain is lovable, there is no reason for fear to remain with you. This is your part in the Atonement. (T-2.VIII.5:all)
 We have already discussed the Last Judgment, but in insufficient detail. After the Last Judgment there will be no more. Judgment is symbolic because beyond perception there is no judgment. (T-3.VI.1:1-3)
 The ego literally lives on borrowed time, and its days are numbered. Do not fear the Last Judgment, but welcome it and do not wait, for the ego's time is "borrowed" from your eternity. This is the Second Coming that was made for you as the First was created. The Second Coming is merely the return of sense. (T-9.IV.9:1-4)
 Forgiveness lights the Second Coming's way, because it shines on everything as one. And thus is oneness recognized at last. The Second Coming ends the lessons that the Holy Spirit teaches, making way for the Last Judgment, in which learning ends in one last summary that will extend beyond itself, and reaches up to God. The Second Coming is the time in which all minds are given to the hands of Christ, to be returned to spirit in the name of true creation and the Will of God. (Commentary 9 on "What is the Second Coming?" W-pII.9.2:3-4) & (Commentary 9 on "What is the Second Coming?" W-pII.9.3:all)
 This is God's Final Judgment: "You are still My holy Son, forever innocent, forever loving and forever loved, as limitless as your Creator, and completely changeless and forever pure. Therefore awaken and return to Me. I am your Father and you are My Son." (Commentary 10 on "What is the Last Judgment?" W-pII.10.5:all)
 This is the Judgment [of God] in which all things are freed with him [each of us]. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God: Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God. Where is the world, and where is sorrow now? (M-15.1:9-12)
 Father, I was created in Your Mind, a holy Thought that never left its home. I am forever Your Effect, and You forever and forever are my Cause. As You created me I have remained. Where You established me I still abide. And all Your attributes abide in me, because it is Your Will to have a Son so like his Cause that Cause and Its Effect are indistinguishable. (W-pII.326.1:1-5)
justice: In our personal lives here, and in all
countries, our systems of justice are based on sin, crime, hate, blame, guilt,
condemnation, judgment, punishment and vengeance. A person commits an offense,
is arrested, tried, judged guilty, and punished. Furthermore, most people are
gratified (this is vengeance) to see that justice was done and that the
"sinner" has been penalized by his sentence. In novels and films we
feel it is right and proper when the villain gets his just deserts.
Even within the family this system of "justice" holds. From very early childhood we learn to fear punishment and pain (however mild they may be) from our parents, caregivers and teachers (the parental authority system) and almost all our "good" behavior occurs because we are afraid of punishment and the pain that accompanies it. This insane system of justice is how ego takes care of ego in order to establish "lawful" conformity to its laws in the absence of Love and Peace. This insane fear-based system of the ego's justice is designed to perpetuate the separation endlessly.
Because the ego is a deceitful trickster who always endeavors to confuse us, the justice of the ego in all worldly relationships, countries and courts is inherently flawed--because it was made to be so. Moreover, the untrustworthy justice of the ego means that its verdicts and decrees simply do not work. For example, the justice of the parental authority ego-system (in all its many human forms) has been judging and punishing crime and sins for over 10,000 years and yet there has been no decrease in so-called crime and sin down through the ages to the present. Therefore, in terms of the ego's justice, we might well ask, "Is there a better way?"
The answer is true forgiveness which has to be thoroughly understood. True forgiveness, which sees through Loving eyes, regards all so-called "crime" or "sin" as an easily correctible error that is essentially a cry for help and Love. This is true for both children and "criminals." In the case of little children who are Loved, clear explanations--peacefully given--are all that is necessary, preferably in a consistently constructive, creative Loving environment. For teenagers and adults, psychospiritual therapy (as described in the Course supplement) may be necessary. As an aside here, a good beginning example is to be seen in a maximum security prison in India (New Delhi) where a new program of meditation spread rapidly bringing a degree of peace to the inmates and reducing recidivism. May the seeds in this paragraph bear fruit.
God's justice is only Love. In this world of separation God's Love is reflected in miracles, forgiveness, patience and fairness of a Loving kind. We can have the help of the Holy Spirit to further these spiritual goals any time we ask. Once we are through the At-one-ment process of healing we will realize that every Son of God is Innocent because he never left Heaven, which is the Mind of God; he only dreamed a ridiculous dream.
OUR WORLD HERE IS ONE OF SIN, GUILT, HATE, VENGEANCE, PUNISHMENT AND INJUSTICE
To the world, justice and vengeance are the same, for sinners see justice only as their punishment, perhaps sustained by someone else, but not escaped. The laws of sin demand a victim. Who it may be makes little difference. But death must be the cost and must be paid. This is not justice, but insanity. (T-25.VIII.3:2-6)
Yet how could justice be defined without insanity where love means hate, and death is seen as victory and triumph over eternity and timelessness and life? You who know not of justice still can ask, and learn the answer. Justice looks on all in the same way. It is not just that one should lack for what another has. (T-25.VIII.3:7) & (T-25.VIII.4:1-3)
WE FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT AND FEARFUL TO REPLACE OUR BELIEFS ABOUT THE EGO'S INSANE JUSTICE WITH GOD'S AND THE HOLY SPIRIT'S IDEAS ON REAL JUSTICE
It is extremely hard for those who still believe sin meaningful to understand the Holy Spirit's justice. They must believe He shares their own confusion, and cannot avoid the vengeance that their own belief in justice must entail. And so they fear the Holy Spirit, and perceive the "wrath" of God in Him. Nor can they trust Him not to strike them dead with lightning bolts torn from the "fires" of Heaven by God's Own angry Hand. They do believe that Heaven is hell, and are afraid of love. And deep suspicion and the chill of fear comes over them when they are told that they have never sinned. Their world depends on sin's stability. And they perceive the "threat" of what God knows as justice to be more destructive to themselves and to their world than vengeance, which they understand and love. (T-25.VIII.6:all)
It is impossible for you to share the Holy Spirit's justice with a mind that can conceive of specialness at all. (T-25.VIII.5:8
WHAT, THEN, IS THE TRUE JUSTICE OF GOD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT?
There is a kind of justice in salvation of which the world knows nothing. (T-25.VIII.3:1)
God knows not of this [ego-justice based on sin]. But [Real] justice does He know, and knows it well. For He is wholly fair to everyone. Vengeance is alien to God's Mind because He knows of [Real] justice. (T-25.VIII.5:2-5)
In God's Own justice does He recognize all you deserve, but understands as well that you cannot accept it for yourself. It is His special function to hold out to you the gifts the innocent deserve. And every one that you accept brings joy to Him as well as you. He knows that Heaven is richer made by each one you accept. And God rejoices as His Son receives what loving justice knows to be his due. For love and justice are not different. Because they are the same does mercy stand at God's right Hand, and gives the Son of God the power to forgive himself of sin. (T-25.VIII.9:5-11)
MIRACLES ARE TRUE JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD
The Holy Spirit's problem solving is the way in which the problem ends. It has been solved because it has been met with justice. Until it has it will recur, because it has not yet been solved. The principle that justice means no one can lose is crucial to this Course. For miracles depend on justice. Not as it is seen through this world's eyes, but as God knows it and as knowledge is reflected in the sight the Holy Spirit gives. (T-25.IX.5:all)
A miracle is justice. It is not a special gift to some, to be withheld from others as less worthy, more condemned, and thus apart from healing. (T-25.IX.6:6-7)
ONLY FORGIVENESS OFFERS MIRACLES
In justice, then, does love correct mistakes, but not in vengeance. For that would be unjust to innocence. You can be perfect witness to the power of love and justice, if you understand it is impossible the Son of God could merit vengeance. (T-25.VIII.11:11-12) & (T-25.VIII.12:1)
Only forgiveness offers miracles. (T-25.IX.8:5)
Forgiveness is this world's equivalent of Heaven's justice. It translates the world of sin into a simple world, where justice can be reflected from beyond the gate behind which total lack of limits lies. (T-26.IV.1:1-2)
justified: The quotations below are divided
into two groups. The first group includes all the ego's activities and beliefs
that are never justified, for example fear, anger and sacrifice. The
second group of quotations includes all the spiritual ideas and practices that
are always justified and will help us along our Path Home to God so we
can be ready when He takes His Final Step.
The bold titles in front of the quotations summarize their key words for easy reference. Note that the most frequent reference (some 32 in the Course) to what is not justified is attack in any form, while forgiveness is the most frequent reference to what is justified. (See: forgive)
WHAT CAN NEVER BE JUSTIFIED
Attack and anger: Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack is justified in return, and that you are in no way responsible for it. (T-6.IN.1:3)
Can anyone be justified in responding with anger to a brother's plea for help? (T-12.I.3:5)
Deprivation breeds attack, being the belief that attack is justified. (T-15.XI.5:6)
Can you be sure your murderous attack is justified unless you know what it is for? (T-23.II.12:2)
Punishment and blame: Any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified. The result is a lesson in blame, for all behavior teaches the beliefs that motivate it. (T-6.I.16:5-6)
Fear: Fear is a judgment never justified. Its presence has no meaning but to show you wrote a fearful script, and are afraid accordingly. But not because the thing you fear has fearful meaning in itself. (T-30.VII.3:8-10
Fear is not justified in any form. Fear is deception. (W-pII.240.Heading) & (W-pII.240.1:1)
Ego-perception: My one lesson, which I must teach as I learned it, is that no perception that is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit can be justified. (T-6.I.11:5)
The world of ego: That is all the world of the ego is. Nothing. It has no meaning. It does not exist. Do not try to understand it because, if you do, you are believing that it can be understood and is therefore capable of being appreciated and loved. That would justify its existence, which cannot be justified. You cannot make the meaningless meaningful. (T-7.VI.11:4-10)
Guilt: As long as you believe that guilt is justified in any way, in anyone, whatever he may do, you will not look within, where you would always find Atonement. The end of guilt will never come as long as you believe there is a reason for it. (T-13.X.6:1-2)
Sin is the proclamation that attack is real and guilt is justified. (T-19.II.2:3)
Sacrifice: And so long will you also perceive yourself as a victim of sacrifice, justified in sacrificing others. (T-15.XI.5:2)
Faithlessness: You do not see how great the devastation wrought by your faithlessness, for faithlessness is an attack that seems to be justified by its results. (T-19.I.8:2)
Sin: Who has need for sin? Only the lonely and alone, who see their brothers different from themselves. It is this difference, seen but not real, that makes the need for sin, not real but seen, seem justified. (T-22.IN.2:1-3)
The strongest witness to futility, that bolsters all the rest and helps them paint the picture in which sin is justified, is sickness in whatever form it takes. (T-27.I.7:1)
Ego-defenses: Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify what goes against the truth, flies in the face of reason and makes no sense. Can this be justified? What can this be except an invitation to insanity, to save you from the truth? (T-22.V.2:1-4)
Vengeance: This is the reason [there is a substitute for Love in your brother that he hides from you] why you must attack. Here is what makes your vengeance justified. Behold, unveiled, the ego's secret gift, torn from your brother's body, hidden there in malice and in hatred for the one [your ego] to whom the gift [of substitute love] belongs. (T-23.II.12:6-8)
Thinking the world of ego is sane: Who thinks the world is sane in any way, is justified in anything it thinks, or is maintained by any form of reason, believes this to be true. (T-25.VII.4:7)
Reproach: That no reproach he [your brother] laid upon his heart was ever justified, and no attack can ever touch him with the poisoned and relentless sting of fear. Attest his innocence and not his guilt. (T-27.I.5:8) & (T-27.I.6:1)
WHAT IS ALWAYS JUSTIFIED
Jesus' belief in each of us: Believe in your brothers because I believe in you, and you will learn that my belief in you is justified. Believe in me by believing in them, for the sake of what God gave them. (T-9.II.8:1-2)
Faith: And in that one [your brother and you as One] you see your faith is fully justified. There is no justification for faithlessness, but faith is always justified. (T-19.I.9:6-7)
The Eternal: Faith in the eternal is always justified, for the eternal is forever kind, infinite in its patience and wholly loving. (T-19.IV.B.10:1)
Union: Your gift unto your brother has given me [Jesus] the certainty our union will be soon. Share, then, this faith with me, and know that it is justified. (T-20.III.11:1-2)
Innocence: Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself. You must attest his sins have no effect on you to demonstrate they are not real. How else could he be guiltless? And how could his innocence be justified unless his sins have no effect to warrant guilt? (T-27.II.4:1-4)
Forgiveness: The real world is achieved when you perceive the basis of forgiveness is quite real and fully justified. (T-30.VI.3:3)
Now is forgiveness seen as justified. Forgiveness is the home of miracles. (Commentary 13 on "What is a Miracle?" W-pII.13.2:5) & (Commentary 13 on "What is a Miracle?" W-pII.13.3:1)
Real Strength: You must also gain an awareness that confidence in your real strength is fully justified in every respect and in all circumstances. (W-pI.47.6:2)
Hope: Practice today in hope. For hope indeed is justified. Your doubts are meaningless, for God is certain. And the Thought of Him is never absent. Sureness must abide within you who are host to Him. (W-pI.165.7:1-5)
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD