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9.1 The door that is being opened to you here is the door of awareness of what is, a door that swings open and closed on the hinges of your thoughts. Thoughts are a greater boundary than the dot of your body and a greater means of imprisonment than bars and walls. They are why you do not see what is and are the reason that you continue to desire to be provided with set answers.
9.2 The final thought reversal that was spoken of in the section on acceptance is what is spoken of here. There you were asked to become aware of what imprisons you, only to have it later suggested that what you think imprisons you may not be what imprisons you at all. That you think is what imprisons you.
9.3 You continue to think that your desire to know who you are calls you to think about who you are and in that thinking to come up with a definition of who you are, a truth of who you are, a certainty about who you are. You have been led to see that this desire has always been with you, and you have thought it is the very desire that, once defined and acted upon, would fulfill you, allow you to be who you truly are, end your confusion, and give you peace to usher in the new.
9.4 But you have thought about this desire to know who you are in one way or another all of your life without reaching the place of fulfillment you have sought. Even now, when you have learned all that you are in need of learning, the pattern, even of your wholeheartedness, remains one of thought. This pattern is what the new patterns of acceptance and discovery that we are beginning to lay out here are going to replace.
9.5 Thought is a practice and a pattern of the separated and thus learning self. When it was said within this Course that you are an idea of God, and when ideas were spoken of as if they were synonymous with thought, this was an accurate and truthful way of expressing what was true for you as a learning being.
9.6 But your reality has changed, and with that change, new patterns apply. This does not mean that the truth has changed, but that you have changed; and with your change, the truth, while it remains the truth, can now be presented in a way that speaks to who you are now rather than who you were when you began A Course of Love.
9.7 As we continue, you may feel as if contradictory things are being said, such as being called to consider what imprisons you and then being called to reconsider. The call is still the same, but the means by which you are considering the call has changed. Thus there is no contradiction although there may at times seem to be.
9.8 This may seem as well to be inconsistent with the teaching of “A Treatise on the Art of Thought.” If thought is what imprisons you, why would the “art of thought” be taught? You must continually remember your newness and the different aim toward which we now work. The aims we clearly embraced together when you were still a learning being were meant to allow you to come to know your true identity. “A Treatise on the Art of Thought” was but a forerunner to what we now will embrace together. It was a means and an end.
9.9 The same is true of the beliefs set forth in “A Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition”. What was taught in order to aid your “recognition” will clearly be different from what is revealed once that recognition has been brought about.
9.10 Just as the “Art of Thought” led to abilities beyond the thinking of the ego-mind, the beliefs of the “Treatise on Unity” were meant to lead beyond the need for beliefs, and “A Treatise on the Personal Self” meant to lead beyond the personal self. Thus the Treatises were not inconsistent with our aims here. Learning always has as its goal leading the learner beyond learning. With “A Treatise on the New” we established what lies beyond learning. Now, as we embrace the new together, it must be realized again and yet again, that the new cannot be learned. In other words, it must be realized that you cannot come to know the new, or to create the new, through the means of old, including the means of thought.
9.11 We thus return to discovery and continue to expand the territory of your conscious awareness. We do this by discussing now the nature of ideas as opposed to the nature of thoughts.
9.12 Like the natural abilities you discovered existed within you prior to the time of learning, ideas are also discoveries that you make, discoveries that exist apart from learning. Ideas “come to you.” They are given and received. They are surprising and pleasing in nature. You may think that they are the result of learning, of thoughts you have contemplated and struggled with. You may think that all of your previous learning and thinking merely resulted eventually in a new idea being birthed, but this is not the case. Heredity can be cited as a cause for talent, but what is heredity but that which already exists within you? So too is it with an idea. An idea already exists within you, but is awaiting its birth through you.
9.13 This is how you must now come to see your form; it is that through which what already exists, what is already accomplished, comes or passes through by means of the expression of your form and the interaction of your form with all you are in relationship with.
9.14 If we return to the image of the body as the dot in the wider circle and accept that your discovery of your natural talent or ability and your discovery of new ideas are discoveries of something that already existed beyond the dot of the body; and if you accept that these ideas that already exist were able to pass through you in order to gain expression in form; then you are beginning to see, on a small scale, the action that, on a large scale, will become the new way.
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