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1.1 Let me tell you what this Treatise will not be about. It will not be predictive. It will leave no one out. It will not appeal to fear nor give you cause for fear. It will not be about tools or tell you that some have the tools for accomplishment and that others do not. It will continue the view from within the embrace, an embrace and a view that is inclusive of all.
1.2 It will, however, be conclusive. It will separate truth from illusion in ways that will make some uncomfortable. It will continue to challenge your former ideas and beliefs as have the previous Treatises. But it will do this only to reach a conclusion of certainty from which you can live.
1.3 In doing so, it may seem to you as if some will be left out and as if you are being told that you can achieve what many others have tried and failed to achieve. These are the types of ideas that will cause discomfort to many of you as you still find it hard to believe in your own worthiness, and particularly in your own chosenness. It is this idea of being chosen that will cause your mind to conclude that some are not chosen now and that many were not chosen in the past.
1.4 Can you choose what is unavailable for choosing? Can you choose to own another’s property? Take another’s husband or wife? Choosing is not taking. Choosing implies relationship. Just as there are answers to choose between on a test, some of them correct and some of them incorrect, there are some answers that are not offered to be chosen because they do not relate to the question. All of the commandments and all of the beliefs of all of the world’s religions are but related to this idea of choosing, a process of the free will with which you all are endowed.
1.5 A question has been asked and a response is awaited. Are you willing to be chosen? Are you willing to be the chosen of God? All are asked. What is your answer?
1.6 Why, you might ask, is a word such as chosen used, when many other words would do, and when the concept of being chosen is one laden with so many false ideas about exclusivity? I am using this word specifically because of the precedent of its use historically. Many different groups believe they are the chosen people of God, or Buddha, or Muhammad. Many of this generation believe they are a chosen generation. Neither way of thinking is wrong. All are chosen.
1.7 An elementary example might be useful. In many countries, all are given the opportunity to go to school. This might be as easily stated as all are chosen for schooling. Some might look at this as lack of choice, saying that anything that is mandatory allows no room for choice. In their rebellion against the mandatory nature of their chosenness or opportunity, they might easily choose not to learn. The nature of life, however, is one of learning, and if they do not learn what is taught in school, they will, by default, learn what is not taught in school. If you can consider this example with no judgment, you can see it simply as a choice.
1.8 As is clearly being seen amid many school systems in the current time, the choice to not learn what is taught in school, when taken up by many, becomes a crisis in education that calls for education to change. It may signal that what is taught is no longer relevant, or that the means of teaching what is relevant no longer works. It may be a choice made regarding means or content, a choice made from fear or made from love. But there is, in other words, no lack of choice. A choice is always made. A choice to accept or reject, say yes or say no, to learn this or to learn that, to learn now or to learn later.
1.9 There but seems to be a difference in the “educated” choice and the “uneducated” choice. Many of you may look back on choices that you made and say, “I would have chosen differently if I had but known” this or that. The choice is the way of coming to know. No choice is not such. No choice ever excludes anyone from coming to know his or her chosen lesson.
1.10 This curriculum is mandatory and so some have rebelled and will rebel against it. Those who do not choose to learn from the curriculum, will, like school children, learn through what is not of the curriculum because they have chosen another means of learning. Means is what is being spoken of here. But all means are for one end. All will learn the same content, for all are chosen; and all learning, no matter what the means, will eventually lead them to the truth of who they are.
1.11 The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.
1.12 As was said within “A Treatise on the Personal Self,” even the house of illusion is held within the embrace of love, of God, of the truth. Does this sound exclusive to you? The embrace is inclusive. All are chosen.
1.13 And yet, as many of you have come instinctively to feel, something is different now. You are beginning to become excited by the feeling that something different is possible; that you might just be able to achieve what others have not; that this time might just be different than any other time. Even as you begin to tentatively let this excitement grow, your loyalty to your race, species, and the past, hinders your excitement. If what you are beginning to believe might be possible is possible, and has been possible, are you to look on all of those who have come before you as failures? Has the seed of the future lain dormant in the past? Could it have been activated hundreds or thousands of years ago, by countless souls more worthy than you, and ushered in the time of heaven on earth and the end of suffering long ago? Could many have been spared who weren’t? How capricious this must seem in your imaginings. What a fickle universe. What a perverse God. If an end to suffering and fear has been possible, and is possible, why has it not come to be? Why has it not been known? What could possibly make you believe it could come to be now when it didn’t come to be before?
1.14 The only answer might seem to lie in the laws of evolution, the slow learning and adaptive process of man. Surely this would seem a likely answer and one to assuage your guilt and uncertainty, your fear of believing in yourself and in this time as the time to end all time. There must be something different about this time, the capabilities of those existing within it. It must be your science or technology, your advanced mental abilities, or even your leisure time that has opened up this opportunity. The only alternative would seem to be that this must be simply the chosen time and you the chosen people. If the chosen time had been two thousand years ago, life would have been different since then. If Jesus Christ were the chosen one, his life would have changed the world. If the Israelites were the chosen people, so much calamity would not have befallen them. And so the idea of choice rears its head again and wraps the simple statement that All Are Chosen in confusion.
1.15 This confusion is what this Treatise will seek to dispel so that you are left with no confusion and only certainty. The only thing that will dispel this confusion and bring you the certainty that is needed to create the new world is an understanding of creation and your role within it, both as Creators and Created.
1.16 As was said within “A Treatise on the Personal Self,” all notions of blame must be gone from you. Thus, you are asked not to look back with blame, for no such cause for blame exists. No cause to look back exists at all, for the truth exists in the present. This is the same as saying the truth exists within you. It is in this way that time is not real and will no longer be real to you as you come to live by the truth. It is in this way that the truth of the past still lives and that the illusion of the past never was.
1.17 The difference between this time and the time that has but seemed to have gone before has already been stated as the difference between the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Christ. This has also been restated as the difference between the time of learning through contrast and the time of learning through observation. It is further stated here as the difference between learning by contrast and indirect communication and learning through observation and direct communication or experience. The same truth has always existed, but the choice of a means of coming to know the truth has shifted. All were chosen and all are chosen.
1.18 You have completed God’s act of choosing you by choosing God. This is all the chosen people are in time—those who have chosen God as God has chosen them. That you have chosen God and chosen a new means of coming to know the truth—the means of Christ-consciousness—is what has ushered in the new time.
1.19 Many came to know the truth by indirect means and shared what they came to know through similarly indirect means. This is the nature of learning and of sharing in relationship. Means and end are one. Cause and effect are the same. It is these indirect means of communicating the truth that have led to your advances in science and technology, and to the refinement of your minds, hearts and senses, not the reverse. Your ancestors have done you a great service. With the means they had available—in the chosen means of a chosen consciousness united in oneness with the Holy Spirit—they passed on, indirectly, all that they came to know. This indirect means of communication is the reason for the existence of churches, and these means too have served you well.
1.20 But these indirect means of communication left much open to interpretation. Different interpretations of indirectly received truth resulted in different religions and varying sets of beliefs that, in the way of the time—the way of learning through contrast—provided contrast through dissent. The good in which one believed became the evil that another fought and in the contrast learning did occur and has continued to occur even unto this time. You have learned much of the nature of the truth by seeing what you have perceived as the contrast between good and evil.
1.21 It is the truth that you have now learned all that can be learned from this state of consciousness and that you have given your willingness to learn in a new way. The new way is here. If you are now to learn directly, you are also now to share directly. This is the way of learning in relationship. Means and end are one. Cause and effect are the same.
1.22 You have felt this shift coming and so has the world. This is the yearning we have spoken of as the proof of love’s existence and of your existence in a state of unity rather than a state of separation. This yearning called you to the limits of the state of consciousness that was the time of the Holy Spirit. This limit acted upon you as a catalyst to create desire for the new. It is what has caused your growing impatience with the personal self, with acquiring all that your new learning in science and technology but seemed to offer. It is what has caused your growing desire for meaning and purpose. It is what has caused you to finally be ready to still your fear, a fear that once prevented the direct and observable learning that now is available to you.
1.23 While the state of the world and the people within it may not outwardly seem much changed from the world of your ancestors despite the advances of learning that have taken place, it is a different world. You have not known the secret yearning in the hearts of your brothers and sisters, nor have you known that it matched your own. You may have seen the acts that this yearning has driven them to and thought, incorrectly, that the new time that is here is the end of the days of innocence. You may have thought it advantageous to have once been so clearly able to see the contrast between good and evil and feel now as if these distinctions have become more and more obscure. Some have yearned for a return to days not long past, days during which distinctions between right and wrong did seem to be more certain. But the very blurring of these edges have been the forerunners, the signs of the shift in consciousness that is occurring.
1.24 All across the world, people of the world have been demanding to learn directly, through experience, and saying “no more” to the lessons of the intermediaries. What has grown in you has grown in your children and they are not only ready, but also demanding to learn through observation and direct communication or experience. Many not yet grown to maturity have been born into the time of Christ, and do not fit within the time or the consciousness of the Holy Spirit.
1.25 For a short time, an overlap is occurring during which those unable to allow themselves to become aware of the new state of consciousness are resisting it, again indirectly. Some occupy themselves with mind and spirit numbing activities in order to block it out, having chosen to die within the state of consciousness in which they have lived. Others do not wish to experience the truth directly, but only to experience experience. They are in the desperate throes of wanting to experience everything before they allow themselves to directly experience the truth, thinking still that the experience of the truth will exclude much that they would want to try before they give in to its pull and settle there. But all have become aware that a new experience awaits and that they stand at the threshold of choice.
1.26 Those born into the time of Christ will settle for nothing less than the truth and will soon begin looking earnestly for it. Even the ego-self will be perceived clearly by these, and they will not want it for their identity but only will accept it until another identity is offered.
1.27 Let me repeat that during the time of the Holy Spirit, some were able to come to know themselves and God through the indirect means of this state of consciousness and to pass on what they learned through indirect means. Fewer were able to achieve a state of consciousness in which direct communication was possible, to come to know themselves and God directly, and to pass on this learning through direct means. What I am saying is that it is not impossible for those who remain unaware of the new consciousness to come to know themselves and God, and to continue to pass their learning on indirectly, or through indirect communication and contrast. But this also means that the great majority will become aware of the new state of consciousness and that learning will pass through them directly through observation and direct communication or experience. It means that the last generation born into the time of the Holy Spirit will live out their lives and that soon all who remain on earth will be those born into the time of Christ.
1.28 This is the truth of the state of the world in which you exist today.
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