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1.1 You are all aware, at least at times, that there are treasures that lie within you. What was once regarded as treasure, such as a talent that was in need of developing, when realized, is often disregarded thereafter as a treasure and becomes instead something regarded as an ability and later as simply part of your identity. This is what we are going to explore in this Treatise. A treasure that you do not as yet recognize is going to be recognized. Once recognized it will begin to be regarded as an ability. And finally, through experience, it will become your identity. We will begin by discussing the nature of treasure.
1.2 Treasure is most often seen in one of two ways—as something valuable to be sought and found or as something found that is kept secure and cherished.
1.3 Treasure in the first sense is, first and foremost, something that you believe exists and have defined as being of value. As this Treatise is not concerned with material treasure, we will not explore the dimensions of physical treasure except to say that the feelings that cause one to think that any physical thing is capable of being a treasure or being treasured are of the ego. We will instead assume that you have moved beyond these ego concerns and explore the realm of internal treasures.
1.4 Those of you who have moved beyond the realm of the ego, in your fear of returning to it, often turn away from internal treasures that you believe, when realized, might feed the ego. Despite many observations within this Course regarding desire, you may still fear your desire. Despite many exhortations that your purpose here is to be who you are, you may have determined that exploring your internal treasure is now unnecessary. You may well be feeling a sense of relief in having learned that who you are right now is a being of perfection, and you may find in this a somewhat peaceful resting place to dwell in for a time. You may find that despite having learned much about the need to leave judgment behind, you judge your desire to be other than you are now, including any desires related to those internal treasures you had once hoped to have become abilities. You think this willingness to accept who you are now is what this Course has led you to and evidence of your accomplishment. You may view this as license to stay as you are and to cease striving for more.
1.5 This resting place is indeed hallowed ground and an earned respite, a demarcation even between the old way and the new way of living. But it is not the end that is sought. No matter how peaceful this place of rest may at first seem, it will soon become stagnant and unsatisfying. Left in such a place without further instruction, you would soon return to your old ideas of heaven and see peace as a state of being for those too weary to fully live. Done with the adventures of living, you would deem yourself no longer interested in the hunt for buried treasure and see it not.
1.6 This place is not life but neither is it death, for even death is not an eternal resting place in the sense that you have imagined it. Even rest, once truly learned, is simply rest. It is not a resting place, a place to stop along the journey of life any more than it is a place at which life stops and death reigns. It is not a point at which you arrive, never to depart. Rest, when truly learned, is a state of being in which struggle has ceased and peace has triumphed over chaos, love has triumphed over fear.
1.7 You may still see but two choices: peace or struggle. But with such an attitude, you would soon be struggling to maintain your peace. There is another choice, and it lies within.
1.8 The treasure that lies within that you do not yet fully recognize is that of unity. As you have learned much of unity within the context of this Course, unity, like rest, may have come to be viewed as a place at which you can arrive. Like peace, it may feel like a bubble of protection, something that sets you apart from life and the chaos that seems to reign there. You must realize that you think in terms of place because you think in terms of form. Thus even I have often used the idea of place as a teaching aid. But you are ready now to begin to think without the need for form.
1.9 Even the desires you may have once identified as hoping to develop into abilities, are given a structure and form in your thinking of them. A desire to paint, in your thoughts becomes a completed painting that you hang upon your wall. The time of painting becomes a place. A room or studio is envisioned in which all the tools of the artist’s trade are available. An aspiring pianist imagines a grand piano and performances in a magnificent concert hall or a little spinet that will grace a living room and invite friends and family to gather round. A writer sees a book in print, a runner wins a race, a tennis player becomes a champion. These are all scenes of things and places, or in other words, of the external, of form.
1.10 Thinking without form is a harbinger of unity. Form is a product of the separation. Thought “forms” are the product of the separation. Unity is not a place or a thing but the realm of the one heart and one mind; the realm of the formless and timeless. But also the realm of connectedness, of what binds all that lives in creation with the Creator.
1.11 You are a creator but a creator who creates with thought unlike to any thoughts you have had before. Your thoughts of a grand piano will never create a grand piano. What kind of thoughts, then, would create a pianist?
1.12 Thoughts joined in unity. Thoughts joined in unity can be likened to thinking without thought. They can be likened to imagination. They can be likened to love.
1.13 Ego desires cause one to think of a grand piano. Thoughts joined in unity hear music. Ego desires cause one to think of an elaborately framed painting. Thoughts joined in unity see beauty. You are used to thinking that if you do not have a tangible goal, such as that of music lessons or the purchase of a piano, you will never reach the goals associated with those tangible steps. Thoughts joined in unity create without goals or planning, without effort or struggle. This does not make an instrument unnecessary for a musician or mean that a painter will not eventually put a brush to a canvas. But it does mean that the treasure exists without these “things” and that the treasure is already a fully realized creation. The treasure already is and it is already valuable and available.
1.14 This is a first step in the change in thinking that needs to occur. It is an elementary step and one easily accomplished with but a bit of willingness. This change in thinking in regards to treasures you do recognize will pave the way for recognition of treasures you heretofore have not recognized.
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