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20.1 By saying that there is no longer any time to be wasted on illusion we are saying that you will no longer serve time but that time will serve you. Time was wasted on illusion and so but seemed to become a master that made of you a slave. Now time must be thought of in a new way, a way that has to do with effectiveness. Illusion has at its base a false cause and so no effects that exist in truth. Now, your every thought and action will have effect, and the choices that lie before you will be choices of where your thoughts and actions will have the greatest effect.
20.2 Although there was no sense to be made of concepts such as more or less within illusion, and although more or less are concepts also foreign to the truth, there is sense to be made from these concepts in regards to the learning of the truth. As this is all that time is for, and all that time is but a measurement of, it rightly follows that learning can take place at a slow pace or a fast pace. There is no more or less to learning in terms of knowing the truth that you have always known, but there are degrees of remembering and since this is what we work to have occur, time can become our ally by using it for effectiveness.
20.3 Again, do not let your thoughts stray to benefiting and affecting others. In unity, all others are one with you and thus what you strive for in effectiveness is your own learning. Now, rather than learning the truth, you are learning how to live by the truth. This will benefit you and in so doing benefit all others.
20.4 In “A Treatise on the Art of Thought,” you were asked to request a miracle as a learning device. This learning device had two aspects. The first was to reveal to you your fears concerning the miracle so that you would learn from them. The second was to assure you that the miracle is the most effective way of convincing you of who you are.
20.5 Let us now link observation and the miracle. An easy illustration is provided, as so often is the case, by looking at observation under the guidance of the ego-thought system and thus seeing the errors of the old way in order to realize the perfect sense of the new.
20.6 Think about a situation in which you have observed the illness or suffering of another. Sympathy is the most common observance in such a circumstance. You might feel called to tears, to words that acknowledge how “bad” the illness or suffering is. You are likely to be drawn into discussions concerning how the illness or suffering can be “fought.” You are likely to hear questions concerning why the illness or suffering has come to be and to hear or offer comments about the unfairness of the situation. Judgment is never far from these observations. Suffering, you would think, could not be seen as anything but “bad.” You cannot feel anything but “sorry” for the one suffering. Yet you are always drawn, despite these feelings of the “badness” of the situation, to offer encouragement. If the situation is particularly grim—and realize that this too is a judgment, for some illnesses and suffering are surely seen as being worse than others—encouragement is given despite the “fact” that it is unwarranted. Yet even while you offer encouragement, you worry about giving “false” hope and wonder how realistic you should be or should assume the other to be. You look ahead, and in your mind’s eye you “observe” the future as a repetition of the present or as a long war with little chance of being won. You chide yourself not to deny the facts, and you begin, along with the one whom you observe, the long walk toward death’s door. All of these actions could be called your “observance” of the situation.
20.7 You do not seem to realize that all of this is happening in relationship and that the relationship is meaningful or able to cause effect. You can’t imagine not feeling “bad” given such circumstances. You cannot imagine not offering sympathy. You think it naïve to believe in positive outcomes. You listen to statistics of what has occurred before and in similar situations, and you believe in what the statistics would seem to tell you. You might “thank God” for technology that would seem to offer hope, or for drugs that would ease suffering, and you might pray that God spare this one from a future seemingly already written, and think that is more realistic and even helpful than living by the laws of truth.
20.8 You will see it as quite difficult at first to respond to such situations in a new way, but all situations within the house of illusion call for the same response, the response of love to love. Why think you it is loving to believe in suffering? Do you not begin to see that in so doing you but reinforce it? What you might even call the “fact” of it? Can you not instead ask yourself what harm could be done by offering a new kind of observance?
20.9 While you need not act in ways inconsistent with compassion or even verbalize your new beliefs, you are being told directly here that no circumstance should call you to abandon them.
20.10 Your new thought system is not tied to beliefs of an “if this, then that” nature. Look at the examples all around you. People who live what you call healthy lives succumb to illnesses and accidents just as do those who live what you call unhealthy lives. “Good” people have as much calamity befall them as do “bad.” I am not calling you to just another version of being good or mentally healthy, to exercises in visualization or positive thinking. I am calling you to live by the truth and to never deny it. To see no circumstance as cause to abandon it. Yes, I am providing you with means to help you know how to live by the truth, but the means are not the end and are never to be confused as such. Your observance is to remain with cause rather than stray to effect.
20.11 Miracles are not the end, but merely the means, of living by the truth. Miracles are not meant to be called upon to create specific outcomes in specific circumstances. They are meant to be lived by as the truth is meant to be lived by. Not because you desire an outcome, but because it is who you are and because you realize you can no longer be, live, or think as other than who you are in truth. This is how thorough your learning must be. It is a learning that must not change to fit the circumstances of illusion but be unchanging to fit the circumstances of the truth.
20.12 You can no longer return to the house of illusion, not even to cause explosions within it. You have stepped out of this house and are called not to return. To turn your back not on the truth nor on God or love.
20.13 Will those you love still suffer? Many may. But not with your help. Will many more, with your help, see an end to suffering? Many will. Will an end to suffering be what you work toward? No. This is not your work. This is not about your effort. This is about your observance. Your observance of the laws of love. Your observance is to remain with cause rather than to stray to effect, the manner of living practiced by those who have birthed the idea that cause and effect are one in truth.
20.14 I thank you for your strong desire to be saviors of the world and to end her suffering. I thank you for your compassion and for your desire to be of service to the world. But I call to you from peace and ask for you to remain in peace with me and let not the suffering of the world call you from it. When these things of the world threaten to call you from your peace, you must remind yourself that it is only from within the Peace of God that your wholeheartedness and our unity is accomplished.
20.15 My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let nothing call you to return to the ways of old. They do not work! To minister to those within the house of illusion is to offer the temporary to the temporary when I call you to offer the eternal to the eternal. The new way will work wherever it finds willingness. You cannot call others to abandon their willingness to live in illusion by joining them there! You can only call others to a willingness to set illusion aside and to begin the journey home to unity. You can only call to them from unity if you are already there!
20.16 These calls go out from love to love. It is not the words of your mouth that will be heard or the language of your mind that will be responded to. It is the love within your heart that will sound the call. And when it is heard, and your brother or sister reaches out to you, all you need ask for is a little willingness. All you need do is open the door through which love can enter.
20.17 And thus we return to observance, the observance of love by love. See not what love would not have you see. Turn from the dark ways of illusion and shine the light of truth for all to see. Remain who you are and continue to live by the laws of love in every circumstance, and you bring love to every circumstance. Be neither dismayed nor discouraged by those who do not see and have no willingness to offer. Just know these aren’t the ones given you to bring to love and trust that none will remain forever lost to his or her own Self.
20.18 You are as pioneers to this new world. Its mere existence will attract others and each will find the price of admission is their willingness to leave the old behind. This is a price they must freely give and it cannot be extorted from them, not from special ones of your choosing, and not from anyone. Thus you are released from a burden never meant to rest upon you even if it is one you might have freely chosen. Your task is to create the new world and make it observable, not for you to recruit others to it.
20.19 Thus, the circumstance of suffering or illness is not different but the same as every other circumstance you will encounter. You will encounter truth or illusion and nothing else for there is nothing else. There is but one call for all circumstances, the call to love from love, the call that welcomes all to live in truth.
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