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Truth was never lost; It remains as It always was, is, and ever shall be. Truth is your Being, your Mind, and your Life. This has not changed and will never change, yet you have lost the awareness of what you are. The Truth has been replaced by a dream in your mind, while you, the dreamer, have forgotten what you are, and have lost yourself in a dream of fear and separation. None of this is true. Nothing in the world you see, the world of form, is real except the Love which comes from beyond the world. This Love is of God, and being of God, is also in you.
You are Love and Truth; this is why nothing can ever harm or threaten you in any way. Love is the most powerful force there is, being the force of Creation Itself. Love knows no boundaries, no barriers, but flows everywhere, giving Itself freely to all. Whatever you do, you do through the power of Love, for Love is the motivating force of the Universe. Without It, Creation would cease, for God is Love, and through the extension of Love, He creates.
God is Love, and in your creation, were you made Love. There is no Love but God’s; even here on earth is His Love reflected through every act of kindness, every helpful gesture, all true giving, and all forgiveness. Real forgiveness comes the closest to Love as It exists in Heaven, in God. Like Love, forgiveness is given to all, without exception, and under all conditions and circumstances. Forgiveness shows you the way Home, and practiced consistently, will take you there.
The Holy Spirit is the mind of forgiveness. If you accept His direction and turn your mind over to Him, He will teach you the meaning and the practice of forgiveness, thereby transforming your mind. The ego knows not of forgiveness. Its attempts at forgiveness are nothing more than a mild overlooking of “sins” in order to reinforce its sense of specialness. If “sin” were real and irrevocable, true forgiveness would be impossible. You could not forgive an act that inflicted “real loss, real hurt” upon you. You could forget it perhaps, in time, but not forgive it. It is precisely because loss and hurt are impossible, being different names for the idea of sacrifice, that forgiveness is real and completely justified. You are always forgiving what never occurred in truth. You are always forgiving illusions. This is the basis of real forgiveness, for what happens in dreams is but illusion, and cannot affect you unless you give it the power to do so. Even then, it cannot affect you in truth, but only in illusory experience.
You are responsible for what happens to you in time. You are the dreamer; you are doing it to yourself. What seems to be attack or loss inflicted upon you, is simply giving form to your thoughts of separation, fear, sin, and guilt. Everything that happens to you has been asked for, and then received in response. This operation of true cause and effect goes on in mind, below the threshold of conscious awareness.
To take complete responsibility for everything that happens to you, and cease to project blame and guilt, is forgiveness. By this act is investment withdrawn from sin and guilt, and the commitment made to healing your mind, to restore it to Wholeness. Operating from this understanding, belief in attack and defense becomes impossible, and all defenses are given up.
Whenever forgiveness is offered to anyone or any situation, are all blessed by the miracle of Love. Like Love, of which it is an expression, forgiveness is given freely to all without exception. The mind of forgiveness looks upon all without judgement, remembering the Truth about God’s Son, and sees the One Light that shines in all. It joins with this Light, and thus is forgiveness complete, and Love allowed to be Itself.
To accept forgiveness as your function here, is to declare your commitment to Love, and to relinquish all belief in sin, guilt, and attack. The mind of forgiveness overlooks attack, realizing that it cannot occur. It is impossible that anything happens to you without your consent. This realization sets you free from the need to project blame and guilt onto your brother, and establishes your own mind as the cause of all that happens in your life. Thus is guilt taken back and recognized as being nowhere but in your mind. To see guilt where it is, and take responsibility for it, begins the deep process of healing your mind of all that is not Love. What is not Love, is fear, perhaps in a form you do not recognize. All emotion that is not Love, peace, joy, or happiness, is a form of fear and must be healed or released.
Whenever you are asked to do something by the Holy Spirit in your mind, do you do it? He has only your highest interest as His purpose, and the guidance He gives has a positive and helpful effect on everyone concerned. He will lead you away from pain and self-destruction, and will teach you the way of Love. He guides you to peace and freedom through the practice of forgiveness. And He will give you his Vision, the Vision of Christ, that enables you to see the Christ in your brothers and in yourself.
All this the Holy Spirit will give you and more, and all He asks from you is your little willingness. To give Him your willingness is all you need do, not more, but also not less. This willingness must be actively and consistently exercised through choice. Your mind is split between Truth and illusion, and in this condition, your will is not free. By consistently giving the Holy Spirit your willingness, He can restore to you the freedom of choice. This is essential, for everything you do and are, is the result of choices you are making, moment to moment. When you are free to choose, Truth will be all you desire.
Mind is what you are. You are a Thought of God, forever in His Mind, joined with Him. You are Mind in Mind, and all that you see before you is in your mind. The world is but a collection of many images, each representing a variation of the idea of separation. Differences between images are only superficial ones of form. What every image represents is the same, the idea of separation. And the content of each does not vary: illusion. What is the same in content, is the same in purpose and meaning. Differences of form, great or small, matter not if they be all illusion. They may appear in a million different disguises, each seemingly separate from the rest, yet is illusion still illusion. Reality is not composed of illusions, separate or together. It does not fade or change or disappear. Reality is always the same, unchanging and unchanged, throughout all time and beyond. The images that appear in your mind as perceptions are not real. The Unity beyond all appearances of separation is the Reality you seek.
The correction of perception is the goal of A Course in Miracles. This correction, or undoing, is called the Plan of Atonement. It atones for, or undoes, all errors in your mind, leading to the replacement of error with Truth. The Holy Spirit is the Mind of the Atonement; and through His Mind, His unified perception, His understanding, is error corrected and Truth allowed to be Itself.
In this world your mind is divided. The lower mind is the realm of the ego, the level of bodily identity, personal identity, physical experience. Here the dream seems real, and you appear trapped in an uncaring and hostile world, over which you have no control. The Holy Spirit resides in your Higher Mind, and holds for you the memory of where and what you are in Truth. He holds the gifts of God for you until the readiness to receive them has been attained. His concern and care for you are limitless; He will never forsake you. His task is to shift your attention upwards, so as to begin experiencing from a higher perspective. This higher perspective is gradually developed, and leads your mind to align itself with Truth.
Through mind, you experience yourself and the world. Your experience of yourself determines your experience of the world, for the world is the outpicturing, or projection, of the ideas you hold about yourself. What you believe to be true of yourself is your experience of life and the world. Therefore, to change your ideas about yourself, will transform your experience in all respects.
Your task is, then, to undergo a profound transformation of your mind through the process of letting go all your old ideas, and learning the thought system given you by the Holy Spirit. This includes the constant application of the true ideas He teaches you, for they are not simply concepts. These true ideas are mighty forces that will come alive in your mind, if you will let them.
When your mind is sufficiently open, spiritual law will be revealed to you as the very law of your mind itself. Mind functions according to the laws that govern it, even in this world. Due to the nature of the dream, these laws may not be apparent, or may be operating in reduced form. Yet will these laws be obeyed, for mind is still mind, even asleep and dreaming.
Whenever you call upon the Holy Spirit, He will answer you. You must, however, be willing to hear His answer without reservations. Too often have you decided what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, before you ask. Under such conditions, you are not truly asking for help but rather for confirmation of your own position. This makes it impossible for His answer to be given and received. If you want His help, you must ask with an open mind, setting no preconditions on His answer, and be sincerely willing to act on it as directed.
Only if you truly want to awaken to the Truth of your own Being, will you do so. A strong and sincere aspiration, an unyielding commitment, and perseverance are necessary to attain this goal. When you have begun to see the Light everywhere, and all your brothers as One with you, completely innocent and deserving of your Love, you are knocking on Heaven’s Gate. No one can enter Heaven alone, for the condition of the Kingdom is Unity. You must stand before the Gate with your Holy Brother beside you, if you would enter Heaven.
The Son of God is One although here He appears as many. Your responsibility is to see the many as One, to demonstrate this in your life, and to help your brothers return to Truth along with you. Through forgiveness is Unity restored to the minds of those lost in the darkness of the dream. Only forgiveness can restore sanity, right understanding, to the mind that believes in attack, guilt, and sin. In the kindly Light of forgiveness is all hatred, sin, and guilt seen as nothingness, and through this vision simply shined away, leaving only innocence.
Whenever you turn away from Truth, from Love, you take a step backwards into darkness, though this is not necessarily recognized; in fact, it is usually not. Only a mind that is present, quiet, and aware of its activity, is in a position to ascertain truly what it is doing. Unless you are in a state of present awareness of your mind and its constant activity, you will be unable to control or direct it. What you are unaware of can, and does, hurt you. What you do not understand is a barrier to learning. The goal of learning is to bring you to a right understanding of what is true and what is false, and the difference between them.
What is true is characterized by Love, peace, joy, and happiness, and is unchanging, despite changing conditions and events. Truth is not affected by changes of any kind, as It does not arise from, or within, the world of form. It has no form, and is present everywhere and always. Truth belongs to all, for It is the essence and nature of all that is. Nothing can threaten Truth or influence It in any way. Time and space do not contain It or limit It. Truth is One in all Its aspects: Being or Spirit, Mind, Light, Love, peace, joy, and happiness.
Illusion is the opposite of Truth in every way. It appears as many separate, unrelated parts, each contained within itself, having no real relationship with anything other than itself. Illusion is the world of form, of limits, of many different forces and beings. Difference characterizes the world of illusion: size, shape, color, function, and various other qualities. Nothing is permanent or unchanging; everything is in a state of flux, transient. Things seem to come into being, then disappear again.
On the level of mind, perception and conceptual thought dominate and shape experience. Fear is the dominant emotion, appearing in many different forms: anxiety, terror, anger, rage, hatred, sadness, depression, all are variations of fear. The appearance of conflict, the belief in sin and guilt, the need for attack and defense, and pain, sickness, suffering, and death; all characterize the world of illusion. Happiness, safety, and Love cannot be found within it.
Recognizing what is true, what is false, and how they differ, is the practice, the discipline, you will learn with the Holy Spirit as your Teacher. Even more importantly you must learn to truly understand and accept His Teaching, which takes great dedication and willingness on your part. To turn over your life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, great trust must be developed. Day by day, as you apply the practice, this trust will grow. It must grow, for without trust and surrender to the Higher Power, awakening cannot happen.
What else is there to do with your energy of mind but to seek and embrace Truth? This is the only truly creative use of mind, for all else is just a stale repetition of the past, under the guidance of the ego. It may appear that you are doing something new you have not done before, yet beneath the apparent difference of form and circumstance, the content is the same. Illusion is illusion, and nothingness is nothingness, no matter the disguise it may wear. To use the mind creatively is to let its Light shine forth and illuminate your life, shining away the darkness. Rather than let the mind continue to wander along the well-worn path of habit, let the Holy Spirit show you the clear distinction between the choices you are called upon to make. Whenever you do so, are you guided in the ways of Truth.
Before you can begin again, must you first realize change is necessary. So long as you continue to follow the way you have walked, will you be fated to repeat the past. Many different variations on the same theme will lead to the same result, if that theme is meaningless. Once you realize a course of action is meaningless, you will naturally avoid it.
Avoidance as an effective response, depends on the accuracy of perception. Perception is affected by what you value. For too long have you been choosing separation, believing this is where your safety lies. The valuation of bodily identity is all you know. To so value the body makes no sense, if you could really look at it. Convinced by the ego that the body is what you are, you do not see an alternative, so an alternative must be presented for you to consider. Then it must be demonstrated that to think and act according to this new way of being, will provide better results. Once this begins to establish itself in your mind as understanding, real change becomes possible as a goal.
While you are learning just how to change your mind by becoming aware of the only two choices available and the fact that you are constantly choosing, you will undergo a long learning process guided by the Holy Spirit in your mind. You must develop the stability of mind that allows you to be continually present, moment to moment, in your awareness. To choose Truth over falsity requires awareness of the constant activity of your mind.
The mind is constantly active, constantly creating or miscreating according to your will. In the true state of Oneness with God and all His Creation, Mind is constantly creating. In the dream of separation, mind is still mind; it must still express its creative nature. However, true Creation is impossible while the mind is split. In this world, the action of Creation is replaced by the action of choice. The conscious mind constantly chooses to follow the thoughts that arise within it. These thoughts originate in the subconscious levels of mind: in the superficial levels where the ego resides, or in the deeper level that is the domain of the Holy Spirit. All thought arises from one of these two sources.
To be in a position to actually choose the thoughts you want to think, to express, requires real self awareness; that is, awareness of the constant parade of thoughts that cross your mind. In addition to self awareness, you must learn to recognize the difference between egoically originating thoughts, and those that are given you by the Holy Spirit. In other words, you must be able to distinguish between what is true and what is the continuation of illusion. These are essential goals of the mind training you must undergo in the process of freeing yourself from illusion and returning your mind to Truth.
When the mind training really begins to take hold, you will begin to experience in a new way. The mind, when freed of the constant and unconscious domination of egoic thought activity, begins to experience itself as simple, direct awareness. Its natural sensitivity and openness begin to return, and the ability to contemplate Truth can now be developed and stabilized. While dominated by a constant stream of thoughts, feelings, and desires, by conflict and fear, the energy of awareness is completely absorbed and wasted on the perpetuation of nothingness. Truth cannot enter where there is no room for It.
Truth enters a quiet mind, a mind at peace within itself and without. When the din of mental activity, of mentation, has been replaced by self awareness, you will be ready to experience in a new way. This cannot be described except to say it is unlike anything you experience now. This experience will be the proof that you are not a body or a mind in separation. Experience brings conviction.
What you are is not in question except by the ego. In this world, there seem to be two possible versions of yourself. To the ego you are a body, a separate identity contained in form, living in isolation from all others, under constant threat of attack, and subject to pain, sickness, suffering, and death. Your guilt is unquestioned, and for your sins you deserve only punishment, never mercy. Such is the picture of you held by the ego.
The Holy Spirit sees you very differently and He sees you truly, for His understanding comes from God, Who created you. Only from your Creator will you learn the Truth about your Self. The Holy Spirit holds this memory for you until you are ready, then He returns it to your awareness. He knows you as the Christ, the Holy Son of God Himself, forever One with His Father and all Creation, forever creating in unison with God, eternally loving, abiding forever in joy and peace.
You cannot know who you are while you believe you are something you are not, for you cannot be two opposing identities, unlike in every respect. Either you are one or you are the other. In dreams, it may seem as if you have a choice of what to be; in truth, there is no choice. You are what you are, and that will never change. You cannot choose to be other than what you were created to be. Yet, in this world where choice seems possible, you must learn the difference between the self you made and the Self created by God.
In the world of separation, whenever you make a choice, you are deciding for one or the other. Though it is not always apparent, this is always true. Every choice confirms your identity as the ego, or the Holy Son of God. Everything you think, say, or do, is an expression of who you think you are. You are always responding from either Love or fear.
Your function here is to bring Love into everything you do, and into every relationship. To extend Love to all is your purpose and responsibility, for by so doing, you offer the world the healing it has denied itself. Love is carried into the world by those who have chosen their Reality as God’s Holy Creation, the Christ. The nature of the Christ is Love, and to know Love again, you must give It freely to all. This requires no effort on your part, but you must become aware of all that denies Love in your mind, and give it to the Holy Spirit to be healed. When everything that is not Love has been removed from your holy mind, only Love will remain to brighten your life with its blessings, and this blessing will extend to everyone and everything.
The existence of doubt is the sign of the ego. When the ego is threatened, it will attack, and its attack may take many different forms such as doubt, fear, and resistance. Yet one thing is sure: its attack can have no effect unless you wish it so. The ego is a part of your mind and can be controlled by you. You need not fight it, but simply recognize it is nothing in itself. This recognition and the withdrawal of your allegiance, will render the ego harmless.
The ego exists in your mind, and is a part of your mind, because of your invitation and forbearance. A part of the energy of awareness has been taken over by the ego, the belief system of separation. This fundamental split in your mind has led to the fear, conflict, and confusion that distort your mind and your decision making. The ego is not content unless it controls all of your mind. It does this by projecting a continuous stream of thoughts, feelings, and impulses to action onto the screen of awareness that is your conscious mind, the conscious level of awareness.
Awareness has many levels, a result of the original separation of the One Mind and the further divisions that followed. The belief system of separation occupies the more superficial levels of the unconscious; from here motivation and the impulses to action arise, and the conscious mind responds according to the message it is given.
Thoughts also arise from the deeper level of the unconscious where the Holy Spirit resides. He also provides motivation for action, but it is of a very different kind. He motivates you to act from Love, not fear. He gives you understanding if you will let Him, and helps you heal fear until only Love remains. The mind must be healed on all levels so that integration can occur. Integration is a necessary condition for the reestablishment of Wholeness, the natural condition of the mind.
When the establishment of Wholeness is your goal, you will learn to let go all partial perception and all fragmentary thinking. Partial perception, seeing through the ego’s eyes, breaks up the Unity into many different and unconnected pieces, each separate from all others. It sees the Son of God as a body existing in isolation, and doomed to sickness, suffering, and death. No purpose to life is seen but the defense of separation, the pursuit of pleasure and stimulation, and the attainment of goals that reinforce the sense of specialness. Partial perception is incomplete, constantly changing, and unreliable. It shows you what you want to see, what you want to be true, rather than what is true.
Fragmented thinking underlies all partial perception, for all perception starts with thought. In the thought system of separation, are all regarded as disconnected forms in isolation from all other forms, without meaningful relationship to each other except through continued separation. Reality is believed to be material, and mind found only in bodies.
The correction of illusion is the undoing of the belief in separation. Belief in separation is belief in illusion; this unquestioned belief, so long established in your mind, gives the world you see its power over you. The world would have no effect on you at all unless your mind gave it the power to do so. To withdraw your belief from the world of separation, is to allow freedom’s return. Separation cannot survive the withdrawal of belief, for it is but the expression in experience of what you wish to be true. When you no longer want separation, Reality will rush in to take its place.
All that Truth requires of you is but a little willingness to let It return to your mind, and set you free. No more than that, but also no less. As long as a lingering desire to be what you are not darkens your mind, so long will Truth be absent. Search your mind carefully, and let no unconscious desires remain to keep you bound to the world of fear and separation.
The Holy Spirit will help you search your mind and uncover all that must be released, given up, undone, and healed, to return it to Wholeness. In particular, must all the darkened places where unforgiveness hides be brought to Light. To protect, to cherish, even one grievance towards a brother is to defend separation and all it entails. Forgiveness will set you free of all that you have made and return your mind to Spirit, but it must be total, without exception. As an expression of the miraculous power of Love, the meaning of forgiveness is lost unless, like Love, it is all encompassing.
There are many different names for forgiveness but its meaning and purpose remain unchanged, for it comes not from this world, although it operates here. Forgiveness too is an illusion, for it is directed at healing what never occurred in truth; yet is there one important difference. Forgiveness, unlike all other illusions, reflects Truth and thus does not multiply and reinforce illusions. Forgiveness replaces all illusions, enfolding them into itself, and bringing all illusions to an end until forgiveness is needed no more. Then forgiveness too disappears back into the Love from which it came, leaving Truth to be Itself.
The Holy Spirit teaches you the ways of forgiveness. He will help you understand that you are always and only forgiving yourself. It is your sins you are forgiving in your brother, and to forgive your brother is to forgive yourself. When the guilt in your mind is completely healed, you will no longer see guilt anywhere, for only the guilty are impelled to condemn their brothers. One in whom forgiveness has washed away all sense of guilt, can only bless. Where guilt was seen, now is innocence only. Where before was punishment called for, now is heard only the call for Love.
Forgiveness lifts the terrible burden you laid upon the world, and lets the Light behind all appearances shine forth. The forgiven are blessed for they offer blessings to all, and in their kindly sight are all joined in Love. The Peace of God belongs to the forgiven, for they have renounced all conflict, seeing only Love instead.
The choice is yours to make: a life of happiness and peace, or continuous conflict and sadness. Only by learning to forgive will you find happiness, and only through forgiveness will you know peace.
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