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When the desire to be something other than what you are in Truth arises in your mind, you must recognize it and refuse. To follow this desire, this wish that is so deeply embedded in your mind, will always leave you alone and comfortless. There is a way to recognize when you are acting out the wish for illusion. Do you feel anything other than a state of joy, of peace? Is happiness and a sense of gratitude your experience at this moment? If not, then you have chosen wrongly and you must choose again. Do not delay, for you will only gain by returning your mind to Truth.
Whatever you desire truly in your heart, you will be given. Whether you are aware of your secret wishes and desires or not, they will bear fruit. The fruit may be bitter, tasteless, or it may be beautiful beyond imagination. The desire that gave it birth determines the nature of the fruit. When you desire the things of time, the appearances and conditions that will change and disappear, you desire nothingness. You will be disappointed. A heart set on ephemeral conditions and attainments will find what it values, but never will it find peace and freedom from fear. The desires that rule your heart will set the course of your life. Your lack of awareness of them matters not.
If you would be free to live in peace, in a state of joy and happiness, you must desire this above all else. The many conflicting wishes that lie hidden must be exposed to the Light of awareness. They do not reflect your will nor do they arise from what is true. Too long has the desire for illusion in all its forms shaped your mind and your choices. All it has ever brought you is suffering and death. They are the only reward for your faithfulness to the ego. Now is the time to turn your heart back to Truth where you belong. You never wanted the bitter fruit that grows on the barren tree of illusion. How often you have watered this tree with your tears and spilled your blood on its lifeless soil. No more, no more.
When you begin the journey back to Truth, the road seems to stretch endlessly before you. Do not believe it. There is no distance to be covered to reach what is true, for it has never left you. Even now you live, move, and have your Being in God. You always have and you always will. Life in a dream of separation is only possible through the misuse of your Mind’s creative power. Mind nonetheless remains as It is, unaffected by your hallucinatory projections. You can release them in an instant if you desire Truth and only Truth with all your heart.
However, very seldom is this the case; consequently, the journey back seems to take time because you believe you are in time. You need go nowhere to find Truth, but you must become aware of everything in your mind that denies and obstructs It. The false ideas that dominate your thinking and feeling, prevent the Truth from dawning. Just beyond your awareness, the Light awaits your invitation to return. Brightly shining, blinding in Its intensity, the Light will fill your awareness instantly if you will but open yourself to It.
The end result of all your seeking is always the same: disappointment. It cannot be otherwise. The one who seeks is himself the problem. All seeking that is initiated and directed by you, operating from a thought system based in the past, simply perpetuates the meaningless identity you have given yourself. The Truth need not be sought. It was never lost. You are. You have lost yourself in a dream in which God has been excluded, and you are playing a role as if in a play, a play in which nothing is as it seems and the ending is always the same: the hero dies.
Sooner or later everyone will tire of the repetition of what has always been meaningless. At some crucial point in the journey, recognition of the futility of what has gone before will arise in the mind of the one who has struggled for so long. The idea of continuing a meaningless journey that ends in oblivion will lose its appeal. The mind will open ever so little, and the Light will shine in. Now the real life can begin.
Real life is that which partakes of Reality, which has some relationship with It. As long as your life is just a stale repetition of what has gone before, its nature will be illusion, and all its activities meaningless. The past is over and gone; to hold it in memory and imagine that what has long since passed away is still here and now, and to respond to it as if present, is to dance with shadows. No more substance does it have than what shadows possess. Surely to act as if shadows are real, and live among them quite heedless of the nothingness surrounding you, is insanity. To see what is not there, and give it life through your perception, is to do nothing while imagining you are doing something.
To live life in this condition is a tragic waste of time and energy. Yet that is exactly what you do while you sleep yet dream that you are awake. To sleep away lifetime after lifetime, lost in the oblivion of dreams, prolongs the unnecessary suffering of God’s Holy Son. To be separate from your Father and your Self is a tragedy of immense proportions. When you return to full awareness of Truth, you will forget the world of dreams and everything in it; no trace of it will remain in the mind restored to Holiness. A mind that is Whole, restored to sanity, has no room for insanity.
Whatever you do, do it with your entire being, do not hold back. Put yourself fully into what you do and your life will come alive. The resistance to being fully present prevents you from being fully alive. Resistance is but a form of fear; fear will always oppose life and inhibit its full expression.
You are responsible for your life in every way. Do not waste it. Do not live half heartedly. Do not refuse to give, to help whenever you can. You were given everything in your creation; even now is this still true. Your privilege and responsibility is to give without ceasing. By giving everything to everyone, you learn that you have a limitless store of loving gifts to give. Through the learning of this important lesson, you will realize that you are Love Itself, limitless and all encompassing.
Whatever the mind wills to do, it can accomplish. This is beyond question. However, it is possible to will self destructively. You may not realize you are doing so, but if what you desire to accomplish is of this nature, that is what you will get. The question then becomes would you desire this accomplishment if you were aware of the consequences? The obvious answer is no.
The ego must conceal the consequences of following its directions or you would withdraw your allegiance. Even a mind lost in the insanity of the dream, would not march willingly to its destruction. The ego’s goals are always attractively wrapped so as to divert your attention from what is really being given, which is nothingness. To use the power of your mind to chase shadows is a terrible waste. To pursue nothingness when you could have everything, is a tragedy of epic proportions.
To follow the ego’s guidance is to be complicit in your own destruction. It would have you use the power of your will to defeat yourself in every way. Surely this is not what you want? Your ignorance of what you are really doing, coupled with your identification with what you are not, has cost you freedom and happiness, giving you nothing but bondage and suffering in their place. No one in their right mind would choose this.
The Holy Spirit has the task of restoring you to your right mind. His task is made much easier when you decide to cooperate with Him fully. If you will trust Him to guide you in all that you do, if you follow His guidance to the best of your ability, setting no preconditions on His answers to your requests for help, you will save yourself much time and shorten your journey home immeasurably. To trust the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God, is to trust God and God’s Plan for your salvation. Only God’s Plan will work. You have probably noticed by now that your plan has failed consistently. When this recognition has become clear and stable, you will see unmistakably that there is no other choice to make than to accept and follow the plan given you by God. You will thus be fulfilling your one responsibility: to accept the Atonement for yourself.
Do all the things you value so highly, desire so avidly, and pursue with such single minded dedication, bring you happiness? Do they fill the deep sense of emptiness in your heart, or bring peace to your restless mind? Can anything that is of this world ever satisfy you wholly?
The world was not made as a place in which satisfaction and fulfillment could be found. That was never its purpose and never will be. The world was made to be the place where Love was absent, and separation from God and from the Wholeness of your Self was the condition of your being. Where fear replaced Love, and perception took the place of knowledge. Where chaos had banished the laws of God, and the dreamer was left to wander across a barren landscape littered with decaying hopes and empty promises. Where desolation is complete and relentless, leaving you to wander alone and friendless, your heart filled with despair.
Never will you find a true home in a world whose purpose is to keep you in exile, and conceal the deep longing for God that lives still in your mind and heart. The belief in the reality of separation has crippled your ability to understand who you are and what your true purpose is. The thought system of separation has taken over your mind, reinforcing and maintaining separation, limiting your perception and experience. There is nothing in your experience of yourself and others; all of it is but dream perceptions, empty and meaningless.
How long will you go on like this, pretending to be other than what you are, casting your brothers in your own illusory image? Until you have had enough of pain and sorrow, of useless journeys and empty attainments, you will continue the vain struggle to find purpose and meaning in a world devoid of both. There is a pain threshold that will be reached somewhere in your journey through time. It cannot be otherwise, for all things of this world will come to an end, even your attachment to it. The level of tolerance for pain can be very high; it can vary greatly, but it is not limitless. You will eventually tire, you will reach the end of your capacity to endure suffering.
No one will leave this world until they are ready. As long as a single desire for illusion in place of Truth remains, you will continue the journey that goes nowhere. While illusion still attracts you, you will remain a prisoner in this world by your own choice. When the pain of bondage to illusion is greater than your attraction to it, the journey home begins in earnest. Although the journey unfolds in time, it is already over. You are actually standing in place, observing as time passes you by, imagining a life that goes on all around you. What you are doing does not really matter, for in a dream nothing is really happening. Where you are in your mind is all important; it is in the mind that learning takes place. Real learning results in correct understanding which paves the way for the return of knowledge.
All things that seem to happen in the dream are lessons if correctly used and understood. All events, situations, experiences, and circumstances will provide you with the opportunity to learn. You are constantly given the chance to remember who you are in Truth, and respond with Love and forgiveness for all. Thus you will be led deeper and deeper into your own mind, uncovering all that must be healed, all that denies the Light, preferring to hide in darkness. Your mind will return to the Light for that is what it is. Nothing can prevent this although you may delay the inevitable as long as that is your wish. All relationships will be seen in a new Light, the Light of Holiness. They will no longer be based on the bargaining of the ego: get much and give little. Giving will replace the need to get, Love will replace fear. Every relationship will become an opportunity to give all that you are, and an acknowledgment of all that your brother is.
Whatever you do, you must do with Love for that is what you are. To act without Love is to deny your brother and yourself. If you do so, you will feel the guilt of betrayal, and fear will not be far behind. To be unaware of what you are, is to be a pale substitute that has taken the place of Truth. The pain of that lies heavily upon your mind, obstructing its natural state of joy, leaving it gray and lifeless, prone to sadness. How could you not feel a deep and profound sorrow at the loss you have suffered through your own decision?
What can you do to restore your mind to Truth? You need only decide not to decide. All your decisions made on behalf of yourself alone, are but the continuation of the original decision to turn away from Wholeness. In that did the choice to be as you are not, become your ‘reality’, and an entire world of separation arose to bear witness to what you wanted to believe. All your decisions since then have been attempts to confirm the reality of separation. They are the actions of a mind that has convinced itself that it is separate from its Creative Source and its Self.
The only freedom you have left in the state of illusion is the freedom to decide. Yet is this freedom lost to you while you remain unaware of what you are deciding for and what you are deciding against. Decisions made from the standpoint of the ego are but variations of the original error. This error cannot be undone while you remain committed to repeating it. That is why you must relinquish the habit of making your own decisions. All such decisions are made under the guidance of the ego, and perpetuate the ignorance that makes right decision impossible. The freedom to decide cannot be exercised while in a state of ignorance about what you are and what your choices are.
The Holy Spirit knows the right decision to be made in every circumstance and will guide you unerringly. He knows the only two choices that can ever be made no matter what the appearance. And He knows what is true and what is illusion, and the difference between them. The Holy Spirit will help you undo the confusion in your mind that makes right understanding impossible. As you learn to recognize what is the same and what is different, to recognize all that is true and all that is false under His gentle guidance, the confusion that clouds your mind will be dispelled, and its natural clarity will return. It will become increasingly evident to you that turning over decisions to Him, to make no decisions by yourself, is the only sane thing to do. Through the consistent reliance on the Holy Spirit, you will be led step by step, day by day, back to your true identity as the Christ.
You will return to your Father when you no longer fear Him. The fear of God lies deep within every mind, waiting for the day it is uncovered, recognized as complete madness, and healed. God’s Love sustains you in all you do, even now. To fear the One Who created you by giving you His Being, His Mind, His Light and Love, is an error beyond comprehension. Yet this error cannot be reasoned away. It must be faced, recognized for what it is, and dispelled with the help of the Holy Spirit. The mind created by God must return to full awareness of its Oneness with its Creator.
The only function you have was given you by God; everything you are was given in your creation. You did not create yourself. The belief that you are your own creator, and are free to choose a function not from God, is the root of ignorance, madness, and separation. To not fulfill the function given you by your Creator will give rise to guilt, thus strengthening the belief in guilt that dominates your thinking and experiencing.
Everything you have done since time began has only maintained the belief in separation. The distance that you believe exists between yourself and God, seems to be an insurmountable barrier. And it would be, if indeed there truly were a state of separation. That would mean God’s Will for you has been defeated and replaced by an alien will that opposes Him; that you are not Spirit but rather are a bodily identity that is unlike God in every way. This the ‘truth’ the ego would have you believe, for by so doing does exile seem to be your home and the condition in which you live. The more you give credence to the ego’s defense of separation, the further does the memory of God recede from conscious awareness, until driven so deeply into the unconscious, it lies beyond your ability to recover it.
Fortunately, all the help you need to remember your Father, is waiting for your willingness to use it. God does not will that His Son be not in full communication with Him, and gave answer to the perceived separation once and for all time. So is all separation over and all its seeming effects undone. Heaven merely waits for you to recognize this, that your return Home be complete. And your return waits only on your unequivocal decision to do so. Somewhere in time is the moment when you left time forever; it has already been set though you seem not to have reached it yet.
The purpose of A Course in Miracles and this teaching is to save you time that your salvation be hastened. Time can be shortened for you through the miracle and the blessing it brings to giver and receiver. As you learn the lessons you are given through the Holy Spirit, He collapses time for you, bringing you ever closer to the Holy Moment of release. Only your unwillingness stands in your way and only through your willingness, given to the Holy Spirit, does liberation from the bonds of illusion become possible. There is no other way, for you must be willing to give up what was never true, and surrender to the Higher Power. Freedom cannot be reached without the help that comes from beyond the prison walls.
In order to receive the gifts of God, you must first realize that you have always had them. They are what you are. In Truth, you are what you have and you have what you are. Having and Being are the same. In this world it does seem as if they are different, for you have lost the awareness of what you are, thus you are also unaware of what you have. To suddenly begin to experience something you were not aware of before, does seem as if you have been given what you previously lacked. This is just the appearance in the dream. What you are apparently given from without, actually arises from within. All that you need to know and experience is revealed when you are ready. Always has it been in your mind, waiting for you to welcome it. When you are ready to receive it into your awareness, it will become apparent.
There is no need to struggle to get something in spiritual life. All that you are looking for, the Truth that you seek, was given to you in your creation and is what you are. You have everything and you are everything. What you have and what you are has not been lost, it has simply been forgotten.
The task of spiritual life is not to seek for what was never lost, but to seek to uncover all that is in your mind that obstructs and prevents you from knowing what you are in Truth. All that is false and unnecessary must be corrected and given up, turned over to the Holy Spirit that He may replace illusion with Truth. More than this you need not do. He will do the rest, if you let Him. You need add nothing to God’s Plan for salvation. To attempt to do so is to obstruct its functioning and prevent its accomplishment. This is but resistance disguised as good intentions. His Plan is perfect and the Voice for God carries it out perfectly. Surrender to God, turning your life over to the Holy Spirit, is the necessary condition for salvation.
When you reach the point in your journey where God is all you want, you will be knocking on Heaven’s door and it will swing open to greet you. Your Father will not make you wait very long before He takes the last step Himself. All troubles, all possible problems, will vanish along with the world of separation. And you will dwell in your Father’s House forever.
What must be known and understood that salvation be within easy reach? Just this: that you must remember constantly who you are in Truth. If what you are is Spirit, and I assure you that is true, then to let this thought be present in your mind constantly as fact will bring conviction and understanding, and in time will open your mind to receive the direct experience of your spiritual reality. More than that you do not need, but also not less. Do not wait for that day but hasten its coming through your constant dedication and surrender. Your Father and all the Host of Heaven await your glad return.
Do you really want everything that has gone before to remain the same? Do all the activities and accomplishments of your life add up to a state of peace, of deep fulfillment? Have you found the answer to all problems that appear in your life, the one Answer that solves them all? To attempt to find different answers to all the apparently different problems is an endless task. The purpose of an endless task is to make sure that it is never completed. Completion would mean the end of conflict which is freedom, and this the ego would never permit.
There is one answer to every seeming problem or conflict that appears in your life: the Holy Spirit. He is God’s Answer to the only problem you have or ever will have: separation from God. Through God’s Answer was separation over and gone for all time. Yet in your mind does separation live on, held in memory and experienced as if here and now. This one problem is the source, content, and form of all problems you seem to have. In this world do problems appear as if many and varied. Different situations and circumstances present themselves, seeming to require different solutions. Conflict appears in endless variations, yet are all but empty form. The content is the same, and it is to content you must respond if you would have all problems resolved for all time. The end of conflict is the end of time; when conflict and fear have gone, time is no more. Love has no need of time, being eternal and forever beyond change of any kind.
If you allow the Holy Spirit to give answer to all that troubles you, life will become a happy dream, an effortless journey. You will become a conduit for God’s Grace, giving what you have been given to all. The Gifts of God are apparent and ever present to those who want them above all else. To truly desire only what is of God, is to welcome the return of Holiness. As you realize the Holiness that resides within you, you will see only Holiness in your brother.
The Holy Spirit will respond immediately to the least invitation. This is what He has been waiting for since time began. You need only call and He will answer, and His answer is the one you need. You have listened to the voice of insanity, the ego, and it has never brought you anything but misery in one form or another. There have been periods of respite, and even a seeming happiness from time to time. But never have you found a lasting peace, a happiness that stays with you. The ego’s gifts are ephemeral, fleeting, devoid of real substance. All satisfactions found in this world are hollow, empty shells whose content is nothingness. And that is all you will ever find in this dream of a world until you learn to look beyond all appearances, all seeming.
What is real, lasting, and of immeasurable value will not be found where dreaming rules. Yet it is right here and always with you. In your mind is all that is true and worth having, given you by God in your creation. How could it be otherwise, for God gives His creation all that is His. Even now, although you are unaware, you rest in God, forever safe and at peace. You must and will return to the home you once knew; there is nowhere else to go. Although you will not find Truth in the dream, you can bring the dream to Truth and see Truth reflected even here. The real world is but the reflection of Truth in the dream, yet it is a giant step in the journey, the one that will take you to the gates of Heaven.
The world you see around you is the projection of your errors of thought, the beliefs you prefer over reality. It is the out-picturing of the way you want reality to be. The world is in your mind, nowhere else. As it simply reflects back to you your thoughts, what you want to see, you can decide to see differently, to see the thoughts you share with God. The world will change accordingly, reflecting the Light and Unity of God in place of fear and sorrow. Your mind is the source of the world you see; it is in your mind that the world is healed of all suffering.
Never through the long, dark time of separation from God and your true home, have you been left abandoned and alone though that was your wish. In your confusion, driven mad by fear, you abandoned God and all that is true. Projecting the act of abandonment onto God rather than recognizing what you had done, you took refuge by projecting a world to take the place of what you thought you had lost. Yet deep in your mind the awareness remained that you had separated yourself from your Creator, and from that belief arose the sense of guilt and the fear of God. Guilt calls for punishment; the guilty always project their sins. You fear that God will attack you in retribution for your ‘attack’ on Him.
God does not know of attack nor can He be attacked. Your guilt, your beliefs, and fear are nothing but the imaginings of a mind lost in the confusion of separation. God has been calling you since time began, but you have not been listening. He gave answer to separation, and so it is over and gone though you hold it still in your memory. Accept His Answer to all your problems whatever their form. His one Answer is the solution to all because all problems are but different forms of the one and only problem you have: separation from God.
Do not be afraid of anything in this world. You cannot be attacked or threatened in any way. Nothing can hurt you but your own thoughts. Let the Holy Spirit teach you how to change your thinking and perception. Let Him lead you back to where you belong, to your home in God. Trust Him with your life for His Love and care for you are limitless. Let Him take you in a new direction. The old direction in which you have been traveling for so long has taken you away from Truth. You have been going round and round in a circle, repeating this meaningless journey again and again, going nowhere.
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