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4.1 This is not a self-help course but just the opposite. This Course has stated time and time again that you cannot learn on your own and that resigning as your own teacher is the only way to learn a new curriculum. This Course will not call you to effort of any kind. It will not tell you to leave behind your addictions or to go on a diet or a fast. It will not even tell you to be kind. It does not tell you to be responsible and does not chide your irresponsibility. It does not claim that you were once bad but that by following these tenets you can become good. It gives no credence and no blame to any past cause for your depression, anxiety, meanness, illness or insanity. It merely calls you to sanity by calling you to let go of illusion in favor of the truth.
4.2 The sameness that this Course calls you to is not a sameness of body or of habit. It asks not for monks or clones. It asks not that you give up anything but illusion, which is the giving up of nothing.
4.3 Before we can go on you must take all such ideas from your mind. Such ideas are not small matters. Ideas are the foundation of the self. You cannot have an idea of goodness without having an idea of evil. You cannot have an idea of an ideal state without having an idea of a state that is not ideal. You cannot have an idea you call “right” without believing in an idea that can be “wrong.”
4.4 The ego made such ideas necessary for the idea of the ego was “wrong” or inaccurate. The only way to bring that inaccuracy to light was through contrast.
4.5 To function from an inaccurate foundation was to build upon that foundation. Building a structure with a foundation that would not support it was the folly that the ego made of life. The only way for such an error to be seen as an error was through its dysfunction.
4.6 The only way to correct such an error is to dismantle the structure and begin again with a foundation capable of being built upon. This is what we have done. We have taken away the foundation of illusion, the one error that became the basis of all that came after it. You cannot make another error such as this for it is the one error. Does it not make sense that the only error possible is that of not being who you are?
4.7 You can dismantle the ego and build another in its place and this has at times been done in the individual with great training, as in military training, or in cases of great abuse when a second ego personality is developed to save the first. The ego has also been dismantled and rebuilt over time and been seen as the rise and fall of civilizations. But as we have said before, the only replacement that will work is the replacement of illusion with the truth. The very purpose of this Treatise is to prevent the replacement of illusion with illusion, or one ego-self with another. The training of this Course, while gentle in nature, has been great, as great as that of any military training, as great as any emotional trauma that has left one in a state of emptiness. This is, in effect, the state in which you currently find yourself.
4.8 I repeat, and will do so again and again, that the ego-self is gone from you. Whether you fully realize this or not matters not. This A Course of Love has accomplished. Now the choice is before you to do one of two things: to proceed toward love or fear. If you proceed with fear you will assemble a new ego-self, an ego-self that perhaps will seem superior to the old, but which will nonetheless still be an ego-self. If you proceed with love, you will come to know your Christ-Self.
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