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4.1 This Covenant is the fulfillment of the agreement between you and God. The agreement is for you to be the new. As you are new, so too is God, for you are one, if not the same. As you are new, so too is the world, for you are one, if not the same. As you are new, so are your brothers and sisters, for they, too, are one, if not the same.
4.2 While not the same, you also are not different. The differences you saw during the time of learning, differences that made you feel as if each being stood separate and alone, you are now called to see no more. In unity you are whole and inseparable, one living organism now raised above the level of the organism as you become aware of unity of form.
4.3 It is time now for this idea to be accepted, for if it is not, you will remain in the prison you have created.
4.4 Prison is an excellent example of a system you created with your faulty perception. As with all systems, it reflects an inward state and shows you what becomes of all of those who see not what it means to be neither different nor the same but to be one.
4.5 For the moment, disregard any idea you may have of there being those who deserve the prison system you have developed and any arguments you would cite about the heinous crimes of some. Think instead of prison simply becoming a way of life for those who are incarcerated there. Each of you has had an imprisoned personal self. Each of you who have entered Christ-consciousness has had the cell door and the prison gate thrown open and a new world offered. If you do not “accept” this opportunity, you remain incarcerated in a system that tells you when you will awaken, how you will spend your day and when you will retire. You remain at the mercy of those who are incarcerated along with you. You remain at the mercy of those who would have power over you, and you remain subject to the laws of man.
4.6 I tell you truthfully that until you are living as who you are and are doing what you love, you are in prison. This prison is as much of your own making as are the actual prison systems that developed when shape and form was given to what you fear and what you believe will protect you.
4.7 Just as an actual prisoner, when released from prison, must adjust to a life in which his or her actions are no longer restricted artificially, you must adjust to your new freedom. Your life has been artificially restricted by the prison you have created of it, and the actual prison system merely mirrors this restriction on a grand scale for all to see and look upon with dread. For most, the prison system is a very successful deterrent. The thought of time in prison fills the mind with fear. And yet those who are imprisoned often become so acclimated to prison life, that life on the “outside” is no longer seen as desirable. How can this be?
4.8 A life of artificial structure is all any of you have known. An internally structured life will quickly replace the life of the inmate if you will but let it do so. Even those who actually are incarcerated in the prison system you have made are free to follow an internally structured life to a greater extent than many of those who call themselves free.
4.9 Your prison was created by the separated thoughts of the separated thought “system.” Systems, as you may recall, are the result of your attempts to externalize the patterns contained within. Patterns are both of learning and of design.
4.10 Let’s look at each of these terms separately so that we see the nature of existence in the same way and speak the same language while discussing it.
4.11 Let us begin by coming to agreement about the idea of divine design. This divine design could also be called creation, and where we have spoken of creation previously, divine design was also spoken of. Here I am quite confident that you have either seen and learned enough during your time as a learning being that you accept that a divine design created the universe and all that is in it, or that you trust enough in the wisdom of your heart, that you know that this is so. Either way, you may still believe in a divine design without accepting that a divine design exists and that you are part of it. Remember that our goal here is to deny the old and accept the new. In this case, the old you would deny is the idea of a purposeless existence, a universe with no divine order, a life in which you are at the mercy of fate. The new idea you are asked to accept is that existence is purposeful, that the universe exists in divine order, and that your life is part of that divine design.
4.12 Divine patterns are the patterns that made your existence in form possible as well as the patterns that have made your return to your true identity possible. These patterns are both external and internal. External divine patterns include the observable forms that make up your world, everything from the planet on which you exist to the stars in the sky, from the body you seem to inhabit to the animal and plant life that exists around you. From the daintiest and most intricately laced snowflake to the stem of a plant to the workings of the human brain, a divine pattern is evident and should not be beyond your belief. Despite the differences in what you see, think, and feel, there is but one external divine pattern that created the observable world, and only one internal divine pattern that created the internal world. The internal divine pattern was that of learning.
4.13 The two patterns, the internal and the external, were created together to exist in a complementary fashion. Both of these divine patterns are being newly recreated and we will talk much more of them and of the creative time we are now entering. Thus far, we are merely working together to create a pattern of acceptance to replace the pattern of learning.
4.14 Systems of thought are both divinely inspired and products of the separated self. The idea of giving and receiving as one might be thought of as a divinely inspired system of thought. In such a way of thinking, one would take the internal thought pattern, enhance it with the external pattern, and by seeing the unity and cooperation of all, understand and live according to the system of thought of giving and receiving being one. Systems of thought are thus the foundation upon which how you live arises. The truth is a system of thought. It exists in wholeness and has always been available.
4.15 Systems of thought that arose from the separated self are those you have accepted as the truth. Some of these systems of thought were part of the divine pattern. Contrast is one such system. As a learning being, you accepted that you learned through contrast, knowing that contrast was provided for your learning. It was upon the foundation of this and other thought systems that your perception developed. Through contrast, you identified and classified the world around you based upon the differences, or contrast that you saw.
4.16 Other systems of thought were not part of the divine pattern. The ego is one such system. It may seem peculiar to think of the ego as a system, and we have heretofore referred to both the ego and to the ego’s thought system, but the ego is quite rightly seen as a system in and of itself. It is thought externalized and given an identity you but falsely believed to be yourself. From this one externalized thought pattern came most of your false ideas, ideas that made it difficult even for the divinely inspired thought systems to provide the learning they were designed to impart. Such is the case with the system of learning through contrast, since when the ego entered with its false ideas and judgment, contrast did not always provide the lessons it was meant to provide. In addition, believing the ego had become an externalized self took you, the true Self and the true learner, out of the learning loop. Obviously these systems, built as they were upon patterns now being recreated, are part of the old.
4.17 Externalized patterns, or systems, were also built from the systems of thought that have been your foundation, the basic building blocks of what you have seen as reality. As such, these systems too are obviously of the old.
4.18 Just as obviously, all we are left with is divine design. All we are left with is what was given: A divine universe, a divine existence. That divine universe, our divine existence, is now recreating the patterns that served the time of learning. What was learned in the instant in which you came to know your Self is all that learning was for. Let us not dwell any longer on why this has taken so long or on the suffering that occurred during the time of learning. This would be like dwelling on the inmate’s life as an inmate once he has been freed. Let us simply create a new structure around the new pattern of acceptance, a structure that will provide you with the home on Earth you have so long sought and used your faulty systems to but attempt to replicate.
4.19 I speak of structure here not as a thing—not as a building in which to dwell or as a set of rules or instructions to follow in order to build the new—but as structure that will provide you with parameters in which to begin to experience your new freedom. It is your questions and concerns that have led me to speak of such, for it is you who have felt such as this is needed. The unlimited freedom offered you is too vast for your comfort. Thus without limiting this freedom at all, let us simply speak of a place and a way to begin to experience it, and of a place and a way to begin to create the new.
4.20 This place and this way begins at the prison doors, begins, as we said earlier, with acceptance of the new and denial of the old. Turn your back on the prison of your former existence and do not look at it again. Do not long for its old structure or the false security you came to feel at times within it. Do not look for a new structure with barred windows and doors to keep you safe. Do not seek someone to tell you anew what to do with who you are now that you are no longer a prisoner. Do not give keys to a new jailer and ask to be taken care of in exchange for your newfound freedom.
4.21 Instead see the world anew and rejoice in it, just as you would have had you literally spent your life within a prison’s walls. Breathe the sweet air of freedom. Be aware constantly of the sky above your head and desire no more ceilings to shield you from it.
4.22 Beware of gifts offered in exchange for your newfound freedom. A hungry ex-prisoner may soon come to feel the three meals a day provided in the prison were gifts indeed. So too are the gifts many of you have desired and still feel as if you need. If you have imprisoned yourself in order to earn a living by doing work that brings you no joy and allows you not to be who you are, then you are called to walk away. If you are tempted by a relationship in which you cannot be fully yourself because of the security it will provide, you are but tempted by a false security, and are called to turn away. If you are lured away from who you are by a drive to succeed, if you fear doing what you want to do because you might fail, if you follow another’s path and seek not your own, then you have imprisoned yourself for the “three meals a day” of the old way.
4.23 What has this to do with structure and parameters? Everything. You cannot deny the old and remain in the prison of the old. You have asked, and because you have asked I am telling you, that the permission you seek must come from your own heart and from your commitment to the Covenant of the New. Once again I remind you that there is no authority to whom you can turn. But in place of that “outside” authority, I give you your own authority, an authority you must claim in order for it to be your own. An authority you must claim before your externally structured life can become an internally structured life.
4.24 Let this acceptance of your own internal authority be your first “act” of acceptance rather than learning. Turn to this as the new pattern and to the thought system of giving and receiving as one. Let the authority of the new be given and received. Become the author of your own life. Live it as you feel called to live it.
4.25 We cannot build the new upon prison walls of old. Whatever imprisons you must now be left behind.
4.26 Those of you now protesting having heard what you have so longed to hear, protest no more. You cannot keep your prison and have the new life that you long to have. You may have to examine just what it is that imprisons you. You may find that it is attitude more so than circumstance, or you may feel as if the walls that imprison you are so sturdy and so long barred that they may as well be prison walls. You may even be a prisoner in truth, and wonder how, save a grand escape, you can proceed. But I tell you truthfully, your release is at hand and it will come from your own authority and no place else. It is up to you to accept that your release is possible, to desire it without fear, to call it into being.
4.27 Do you not see that you must begin with yourself? That if you are unwilling to claim your freedom it will not claim you?
4.28 What is one, or in union with all, draws from the well of divine design. You need not turn to old patterns or systems to accomplish your release. You can only turn to what is, to what is left now that the patterns and systems of learning are no longer.
4.29 You accept that what has been given is available. You accept and you receive. You realize that the first order of creation of the new is restoration of the original order, or original design. As you have been returned to your Self, now your life must be returned to where it fits within the divine design, to where it is a life of meaning and purpose. This return is the return of wholeness. This return is not selfish on your part, but magnanimous. It returns wholeness to you and wholeness to the divine design. It returns creation to what it is.
4.30 Understand—this cannot be fearful. This cannot fail. This will not bring suffering but will end suffering. Your part is to invite it and accept it when it comes. State your willingness, accept the coming of your release, and prepare to leave your prison behind. Invite this simply by inviting what brings you joy. Invite yourself first to this new world, but leave not your brothers and sisters behind. Invite them too. For those who are imprisoned are one with you, and need but your release to find their own.
4.31 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I hear your protests and the reasons that you feel must prevent you from the acceptance I call you to. Yet as you fully accept that your right to your inheritance, your right to be who you are, and your commitment to the Covenant of the New, are one and the same, these reasons will disappear. All the different reasons you would cite become what they are—one reason, the same reason—and you will see that what is one is neither the same nor different. You will see that there is one answer, an answer different for everyone and yet the same for everyone. That answer is acceptance of your Self. That answer is acceptance of the new you.
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