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2.1 You are now asked to do two things simultaneously: To accept the new and to deny the old. Acceptance is a willingness to receive. Obviously, when you consider this definition of acceptance, you will see that this is not the way of the old. Willingness to receive is quite contrary to the attitudes and actions with which you have led your life thus far. You were told within A Course of Love that willingness was all that was necessary for you to be able to take this Course into your heart and let it return you to your true identity. Those of you who found within this willingness an ability to receive and left behind your effort to “learn” this Course, began the work that is being continued here, the work of replacing the old patterns of learning with the new pattern of acceptance.
2.2 To deny is to refuse to accept as true or right that which you know is not true or right. This is the denial of insanity in favor of the acceptance of sanity, the denial of the false for the acceptance of the true. Although you are called to these two actions simultaneously—the action of acceptance and the action of denial—it can thus be seen that they are, in truth, one and the same action, just as means and end, cause and effect are one. You are asked to accept or receive the truth of who you are and the revelations that will show you how to live as who you are within the world—and you are asked to refuse to accept who you are not and the ways of life that allowed you to live within the world as a false self.
2.3 The patterns of the new will begin to arise naturally when you deny the patterns of the old. As you have been told, you now “know what you do” and are no longer a victim to the circumstance of a split mind that allowed the confusion that led me to once say, “They know not what they do.” You must understand that you do know, and you will know, as soon as the patterns of old have been denied. Denial is the correct word here, for I do not want you combating or resisting the old patterns. Patterns are not in quite the same category as the false remembering you were able to purge through unlearning.
2.4 Patterns are both learned systems and systems of design. The pattern of learning was a pattern of divine design, created in unity and cooperation to enable the return to unity. This pattern has achieved its desired end and so is no longer needed nor appropriate. While it was once a pattern whose design was perfect for the desired end, continuation of this pattern will but interfere with your full acceptance of who you are in truth.
2.5 An example of a pattern whose design was perfect for the desired end is that of formal education. Education has a natural endpoint. When the education of a doctor, teacher, scientist, priest, or engineer is completed, it is time for the student to claim a new identity—that of doctor, teacher, scientist, priest or engineer—and to begin to live that new identity. To continue to feel a need to learn rather than realizing that the time of learning has come to an end, would be to not realize completion.
2.6 In the example used here, an example that illustrates only one aspect of the learner’s life, an inability to claim the new identity could at times be acceptable and even appropriate. In regard to the learning that you have now completed, learning that has revealed the true nature of who you are, your inability to realize your completion and claim your new identity cannot be seen as acceptable or appropriate.
2.7 This is not a judgment but simply the truth. To learn the truth and not accept it is different from learning what is necessary for a career. To learn the truth and not accept the truth is insane. To learn the truth and not accept the completion of your learning is insane.
2.8 If you do not realize that you have learned all that you need to learn, you will retain the consciousness of the separated self rather than sustaining Christ-consciousness.
2.9 It is because the patterns of old have at times provided you with a false certainty that they are difficult to deny. When we speak of denying here, we speak of denying yourself the use of the old so that the new can serve you. We speak of denying modes of learning in favor of simple acceptance of what is.
2.10 It is proper now to deny the modes of learning, even when they seemed to work for you in the past. That they seemed to work is the illusion that will give way as you deny yourself access to the old so that the new can come.
2.11 If you will examine this pattern of what you have believed “works for you,” you will find that you believe that each and every pattern will work in one instance and not in another and that you make this judgment based upon the outcome. In other words, you make this judgment “after the fact” when the outcome has occurred. For example, study habits that allowed the learner to achieve a successful grade or outcome in one instance would tend to be seen as a “successful pattern,” and would be repeated until such a time as the pattern failed to achieve the successful grade or outcome in another instance. Thus what you have believed “works for you” is really like a game of chance. You give it a try, and if the outcome is as you desired it to be you call it a success, and if the outcome is not as you desired it to be you call it a failure. You admit that what you thought would work did not work.
2.12 This will not often prevent you from trying the same thing again although at times it will. No matter what you try, however, it is based on this concept of trial and error. No sure results are counted on. When a pattern of thought or behavior has been found to work in more cases than not, it is clung to as a “sure thing”—a proven pattern or way.
2.13 What is seen as not “working for you” are often those matters that are beyond your personal control and so patterns of personal control have become particularly entrenched. Thus have you learned ideas such as “when all else fails, plain old hard work will see you through,” or that “safety is the absence of risk taking,” or that “information is power.”
2.14 Many of you have believed that the more details of life you have within your control, the more likely you are to control outcome. Others of you have believed that the more details of your life that are kept under the control of a benevolent system, such as that of government, the more likely you are to experience desired outcomes. Either way, control is seen as a powerful pattern.
2.15 Although they may not have seemed so, all patterns have had to do with learning because you were, as a separated self, a being whose only function was learning. The function of all learning was to return you to your true identity. Because we are working now for the integration of your true identity into the self of form, or the elevation of the personal self, new patterns are needed.
2.16 Systems are the result of your attempts to externalize patterns. Patterns are contained within. Looking at the patterns you have attempted to externalize can help you to understand the nature of patterns.
2.17 The justice system is a good example, an example of a system which you believe works most of the time, and are happy to use to acquire a desired end, but which, when it does not provide the solutions you might have desired, becomes a system you would rail against. You might consider that no “system” is foolproof, and still be willing to accept the bad with the good; but you would freely admit that your belief in any system “working for you” is not total.
2.18 Any system that is not foolproof is based on a faulty design, a faulty pattern. Your misperceptions of the world have allowed for the development of no foolproof systems because these systems are based upon misperceptions or illusion. Your desire to cling to systems that are not foolproof is insane, for their creation is based on the workings of a split mind and a split mind does not think clearly.
2.19 All systems have been based upon your desire to understand the world around you rather than the world within you. If you were to understand the world within, you would need no systems to understand or manage the world without. These systems were attempts to learn the nature of who you are through external means—the means of learning the nature of the world around you. Thus, in the example of the justice system, you looked at the world and people around you and found the nature of both to be hostile. From this faulty conclusion you developed a faulty system based upon faulty judgment. This system was meant to help you learn to deal fairly with a hostile environment and then to develop a pattern based on what was learned so that learning would not need to be endlessly repeated. Now these systems and patterns have become so entrenched that no new learning is seen as possible or desirable even though the systems and patterns are known not to work. In truth, no new learning or new systems based on the learning patterns of old will work. Thus we begin anew.
2.20 The seeming difficulty with this new beginning stems from your desire to learn anew. You would say, “If the justice system doesn’t work, let’s fix it.” You would say, “If the old way doesn’t work, teach me a new way.” You would say, “I will work hard to learn and to implement the new if you will just tell me what that new way is!” You would say, “Teach me the new pattern and I will put it into effect.”
2.21 What this points out is a pattern in itself. It is a pattern of reaction rather than cause. It is a pattern of looking without and wondering what to do about what you see rather than a pattern of changing what you see by looking within.
2.22 Within is where the real world and all your brothers and sisters exist in the unity of Christ-consciousness. Change within effects change without, not the other way around! Within is where you look to your own heart, rather than to any other authority, for advice or guidance. Within is where you find the knowing of Christ-consciousness, the consciousness of unity. Within is where you find the power of creation, the power to create the patterns of the new. Looking within is not an attempt to find the answers of the personal self of old, the separated self who depended on learned wisdom for answers. Looking within is turning to the real Self and the consciousness shared by all for the creation of a new answer, the answer to the only remaining question: that of how to sustain Christ-consciousness in form.
2.23 This is the agreement God asks of you, your part of the shared agreement that will fulfill the promises of your inheritance. This is the Covenant of the New in which you honor your agreement to bring heaven to earth and to usher in the reign of Christ. To usher in is to show the way, to cast your palms upon the path of your brothers and sisters. Do you not see that your acceptance of this promise is the acceptance of your own promise? Do you not see that acceptance of the new and denial of the old is the necessary forerunner of our work together in establishing the Covenant of the New?
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