Teachings of Christ Mind

Library of Christ Mind Teachings
From the Christ Mind

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Chapter Thirteen

The Way to Heaven

Here is the way to Heaven, the state of Unity you once knew and will know again: surrender, patience, unwavering trust, perseverance, and constant willingness. These qualities, these capacities, must be developed to transform the way you live now. They must be applied to the process of returning to Truth, and withdrawn from their dedication to upholding illusion. Until now, your faith in the ego has been unwavering and consistent. Likewise your perseverance in following the ego’s goals and accepting its interpretation of the world you see. This has only hurt you, and has given you a few paltry rewards that are fleeting and meaningless.

Surrender is essential in spiritual life. The ego bound personality is accustomed to living the way it chooses and making its own decisions, or so it thinks. In actuality, no decisions are made on your own. Every decision is made in concert with the guide you have chosen. There are only two, and of these two, only one guides your decisions so as to strengthen you and lead you away from pain. The decisions you think are made on your own, are always determined by the understanding and value system of the ego. Their purpose is to maintain separation and fear, and keep egoic defenses intact.

There is no more effective way to begin to free yourself from the egoic misidentification and its consequences than to turn over decision making to the Holy Spirit. This is what is meant by surrender. You have relied on the ego as your guide and identity for too long, and it has cost you dearly. The most effective way to withdraw your allegiance is to turn your life over to the Guide God has given you. He will not fail to lead you out of the trap you have made and back to freedom in God.

Can you surrender to the Higher Power is the important question? You do not realize you have already surrendered your life to an alien will not your own. You seem to be an independent entity, capable of making your own decisions based on the exercise of ‘good’ judgment. Your cherished right to decide for yourself is jealously guarded and protected from the infringement of other egos. Yet all along, while you are making decisions supposedly in your own self interest, you are actually supporting the ego’s interests rather than your own. Due to the fundamental confusion of identity, you do not realize they are not the same.

You are not the ego though it lives in your mind as a part of your mind. You invited it in as a solution to the overwhelming fear arising from the first experience of separation. The ego is the belief in separation; inviting it into your mind to become part of you made separation ‘real’, and led to the further development of separation until the world you see arose. Your true identity was lost to you though it never left your mind. Yet is it buried so deep in your mind, you cannot remember or reach it without help.

The Holy Spirit has the function of restoring the awareness of your true identity, the Self, the Christ. This is not difficult to do if He has your full cooperation. However, full cooperation takes time to develop in most cases; this delays the successful completion of the learning process. Once the decision is made for God, for Truth, and the recognition of its inestimable value dawns on your awareness, the end is certain. Do not delay my brother. Do not hesitate to make the only decision that can be made.

Salvation, or spiritual awakening, is the only purpose you can pursue that will lead to a truly beneficial outcome for you and all your brothers. Everything that supports this purpose will only help, and all that does not will only delay. The means given you through this teaching is the practice of forgiveness, and a conscious relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a part of every mind, but how many are aware of this? And of those, how many actively pursue the establishment of clear and consistent communication with Him? He is always with you, waiting for your willingness to accept His help. Whether to make use of it or not is your decision. Always is He willing and able. Are you?

Please do not turn your back on salvation when once you become aware of it and what it brings you. You will not find happiness here, you will not. You may continue to seek it where it is not, but you will find only frustration and disappointment. All things of this world will pass away, all accomplishments and honors will become as ashes, leaving only their bitter taste in the end.

You have heard it said, “Patience is a virtue.” Patience is more than a virtue; it is a necessity for patience is a part of surrender. To be patient is to forgo demands on the present, on anyone or anything. Patience does not try to control what happens or force possible outcomes to be achieved into a timetable of its choosing. The ego mind is always trying to reach its goals according to its idea of time. Time is used to get as much as possible as quickly as possible. The ego tries to use time in its own way regardless of the wishes of others. It sees time much as it sees everything else, as a limited quantity that it must control in order to meet its perceived needs. Under the ego’s influence, you are always rushing through time, never present here and now.

To be aware in the present requires the exercise of patience. The mind must be checked in its headlong flight through time, not by opposition but by relaxing in the present, by slowing down its race to the future. Release of the inner tension must be achieved, that the mind may become capable of being quiet and present. You must give up the need to force outcomes or set timetables for results; in other words, you must develop patience. As is stated in A Course in Miracles, “Infinite patience brings immediate results.” The patient mind has surrendered the egoic preoccupation with the future that prevents it from experiencing itself as it is now.

A quiet mind, resting in the present, is ready and open to receive Truth. Truth cannot enter a mind that is busy, driven to distraction, filled with its own ideas and goals. In such a mind, there is no room for Truth nor would It be welcome, for the restless, constantly active mind is interested only in itself, its needs and wants. Virtually all spiritual practices aim to achieve just this quietness of mind that is the condition in which Truth can be experienced. Patience is a part of preparation, a quality of mind that must be developed, that awareness be able to rest quietly in the present. Patience rests on surrender and deepens it until they become one.

There is no place in the ego mind where the din of constant activity is not heard. Do not allow this clamor to drown out the voice of reason. The still, small voice of Truth cannot be heard through the continuous noise that fills your mind. To hear this voice again, the desire for constant escape from the present must be recognized and given up. Then and then only, when all activity has ceased and the mind relaxed and quiet, will the Voice for God be heard. The Holy Spirit has spoken to you since time began, and He will continue to speak until time is over. Do not fail to listen; His is the voice that will lead you to freedom. Leave the shrill voice of the ego, the guide to fear, and follow the Teacher God has given you to bring you home.

Now is the time to begin the journey that will lead you out of the world you have made, beyond all pain, suffering, and sorrow, to the very gates of Heaven. You have a Guide Who will not fail you; the only question is one of time. You will leave time and all it entails and return to God. When that moment comes is your decision and yours only. The Holy Spirit will take you there, but He cannot decide for you. Just as you decided for separation long ago, you must decide for Unity now; nothing that happens to God’s Son comes but by His decision. This world was born of judgment; lay judgment down and you are free. Separation was the result of a choice for fear and the denial of Love. Renounce fear in all its forms big or small, and Love will return to heal your mind of all the consequences of what never was. Take off the mask you have worn since time began to hide the face of Christ. Release the self you have made back into the nothingness from which it came, and step into the Light so bright It illuminates the universe. Now is the time, only now. Do not delay.

All goals deemed attainable are reached through means in which you place your trust. Even the belief that a goal is attainable is a statement of trust. You will not set a course towards anything you desire unless trust is invested in the means and the attainability of your purpose. If you are investing worldly means and goals with trust, if you are trusting the guide you have made, the ego, a guide who knows nothing and leads you nowhere, how much more does the Guide given you by God deserve your trust and faithfulness?

Let us consider what God has given us. He has given us a Guide Who cannot fail, the Plan of Atonement which will bring separation to an end, and the means by which the plan of Atonement is completed: forgiveness. All that is needed to free ourselves from the prison of separation that we have made, has been provided. We need only avail ourselves of the help we are given, and add to that our own little willingness, and salvation is assured. Yet how many are actually using what has been given them to leave suffering and separation behind? Why the reluctance to let go of pain and fear, and turn towards joy and Love? Surely even a child would see the desirability of such a decision.

“Except you become as little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven,” as stated in the Bible, is an admonition to become simple in your thinking, and learn to trust as children do. The ego mind is heavily over conceptualized. Its thinking is not only complicated, convoluted, and often conflicted, but it covers over experience with a haze of concepts that further deadens and complicates. The Truth is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand for those who seek true understanding. Before understanding can be attained however, the mind must be corrected and purified. Until then, the heavy clouds of guilt, complexity, and confusion, that characterize the human mind will make real understanding impossible.

Understanding in the spiritual sense is not a matter of conceptualizing, of clever argument, or reasoning based on the past. True understanding cannot be reached by a mind that is not present or self aware. Learning as a process relating to spiritual understanding, is an entirely different undertaking than all learning that takes place in the worldly context. The faith required is a part of this process, as is the surrender that follows faith. Ultimately, no real and authentic spiritual understanding can be reached without direct experience of what is being taught. Direct experience is not mental; it has nothing to do with concepts, it is not mere thinking. Spiritual experience takes place directly in consciousness without the mediation of symbols. Spiritual experience is an entirely new kind of experience that falls entirely outside of the ego’s sphere. You will become established in the awareness it brings over time if you persist. This new awareness will become the freedom of your mind; it will expand and grow until the Self reveals Itself as you.

The trust of a child is strong, innocent, and unwavering. A child does not question its parent’s ability to take care of it and protect it. This frees the child from unnecessary anxiety, and leaves it free to learn what must be learned. Your relationship with God should be like this. Know that you are safe and taken care of always, and your mind will be free of the fear that clouds it and makes real learning so difficult. Know that your Father, through the Holy Spirit, knows what you need and will always provide. For every problem you perceive, the help you need and the solution are given. If you but knew the constant concern the Holy Spirit has for you, and His infinite Love, you would leave all doubt and fear behind. Your trust is well placed if given to Him, and misplaced if given to the ego.

Trust has never been lacking in your life. You trust implicitly in the identity you have given yourself. Your faith in sin and guilt has never been questioned, and your trust in the defenses you have made is likewise very consistent. Yet to trust, to have faith in what is constantly changing, is surely not reasonable. The self you have made has a thousand different moods that can shift instantly from one to another. The perception on which the self rests, is marked by constant variability, a variability that can change from day to day, even minute to minute. The same object of perception can be seen differently, according to your mood or state of mind. Judgment, on which perception rests, has no consistent standard other than what you consider valuable, and this too shifts with every goal. Nothing is more unreliable and less trustworthy than what you commonly place your trust in.

Contrast this with the Holy Spirit, in whom your trust is well placed. He does not depend on the erratic and uncertain process of partial perception; His perception arises from knowledge which is wholly consistent and unchanging. He always sees truly, perceiving only the reflection of Truth in the dream world. And His judgment is wholly true and never varies: you are the holy Creation of God, created in Love, as Love, forever innocent and shining in the One Light. The Holy Spirit perceives the difference between Truth and illusion, and never does He confuse the two. No matter the form, illusion is illusion; he overlooks all illusion and sees the Truth that shines just beyond it, the One Light. He understands everything that seems to happen in the world of separation is either the expression of Love or a call for Love. Never does He perceive anything other than these two possibilities. His response to both is always the same; He gives Love to all always.

There is nothing in the world to which you should give your trust. Only the Holy Spirit, Who stands beyond the world, is worthy of your complete trust. With His help, you too will go beyond the world of separation, back to the Truth you left only in dreams. He will bring you to the end of dreaming if that be your true desire. If not, He will help you, wherever you are, to turn in the direction of Truth. No positive and helpful thought, no hint of Love that appears in your mind ever so briefly, will go unnoticed by the Holy Spirit. He will always respond, reinforcing every little step you are willing to take, augmenting your little willingness with His. He cannot give you what you are unwilling to accept. Always are your learning limits respected, though He yearns to give you every gift of God He has been keeping for you since time began.

The Holy Spirit is the Teacher of teachers; all teachers of God simply represent Him in outward form. You can have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit if you make the commitment, and follow it up with honest effort and heartfelt cooperation. The cooperation that is needed is simple and straightforward. Recognize and accept that you know not the way back to God; you know not what is required. Remember always that you know nothing, but that you have a Teacher Who knows everything. He knows your strengths and weaknesses, knows how to strengthen you in every way, and bring you beyond all weakness to the strength of Christ within you. He will shorten your journey, and go before you to clear the way. God has given you the Answer to separation and all the problems you seem to have, the solution to all pain and suffering. Why would you look for another when this One Answer contains all answers? Turn within and decide for peace. Begin the process of making all decisions with the help of the Holy Spirit. Learn to listen to the Voice for God in your own mind, and follow the direction you receive.

The only way to reach God is to surrender. The egoic identity is not in a condition of surrender to anything except its inclination to seek pleasure and avoid pain, and its habit of projecting guilt onto others. Your belief in guilt is not what you should base your life upon, for it brings you only pain, conflict, and discord. Life, to be meaningful, must be based on that which is true and good, that which helps you rise above fear and limitation.

There is something within you that is true, soaring high above the pain and strife of this world. The purpose of life is to find this within yourself, and live in the Light of That. Do not seek It outside yourself, It is not there. The Truth lives deep within you, far beyond the mind of separation, far beyond the reach of the ego. It has vanished from your awareness long ago. Yet It has never left the mind where it was placed by God. To reach this long buried Truth, you need the help that comes from beyond the little circle of illusions you have erected around your mind.

God has given you the Answer, the One Who will lead you back to the Truth you have always been. The most difficult thing for you to do, and indeed the only thing you must do, is to learn to surrender. From true surrender, comes all the qualities, the capacities needed to awaken from the dream. Your mind must be purified, freed from all the falsity that characterizes and dominates it. The Great Plan of Atonement is an undoing, an unraveling and emptying of the delusory mind of separation. Your mind must become clear, quiet, and empty, freed from its dependence on the past that Truth may find welcome. Only if welcomed without resistance or reservation will It return to your awareness. You need not seek for It; you need only become aware of everything in your mind that denies and opposes Truth, and give it over to be undone.

Do not delay or resist what is inevitable. Everyone without exception will return to God. God’s Will, which is also your true will, will be done. The longer you live in the condition of separation from God and the Self, the more suffering you will have to endure. There is no substitute for Truth. Always you have tried to find what can take Its place, and always you have failed. Why go on trying to find what does not exist? Illusion will not satisfy you no matter how attractive the form or temporarily gratifying the experience. All form, all experience, passes away in the end, leaving nothing behind but fading memories and shattered hopes. And death waits for all who come here for that is why they came: to prove death victor over life and the ego victor over God. This is madness plain and simple, and never will it bring you anything but pain and suffering.

You do not need to continue as you have always done since time began. You can change your mind about who you are and the purpose of your life. All the help you need will be provided if you decide for Truth. God’s grace is always available, but you must be willing to receive. Effort is needed on the road to Truth. You have exerted yourself with all your might to maintain and defend separation. Now you must engage in the effort to bring about its end. You are not alone in this task; mighty companions will be given you, the Holy Spirit will help and guide you in all things, the Truth within will draw you into Itself. Success is assured if you are willing to surrender, trust, persevere, and cooperate with the help that is given, the guidance that is received.

Whatever the cost of freedom, are you willing to pay it? The price that must be paid is nothing less than all you hold dear, for what you cling to so tenaciously has enslaved your mind. The state of separation is a self imposed state of limitation and bondage. Bondage to what is not true, what has only hurt you. What you value, what establishes the basis of your life, has robbed you of your freedom. Yet are you a willing victim, for you choose what you value and decide upon the means of attaining or keeping it. No one outside of your mind has deprived you of anything. You have voluntarily chosen illusion in place of Truth, fear in place of Love, and limitation in place of freedom. You can just as well choose again, and you must if you would be free.

The belief in sin and guilt is the foundation of the ego’s entire thought system. From this arises projection, judgment, the need to defend and attack, and the misuse of all relationships. To the ego, all relationships have the purpose of keeping guilt alive and separation unquestioned. All relationships must be limited, tightly controlled, and based on what you can get from them. The giving they require is always a kind of exchange, a bargaining in which you decide how much you will give for what you get. Love, if It enters at all, is present in an incomplete and distorted form, and is used as one of the bargaining chips by which each of you decides the value of what you exchange.

A holy relationship is the opposite of the ego’s relationships in every way. Its purpose, given it by the Holy Spirit, is to bring an end to guilt and replace it with Love. It does this by joining rather than maintaining separation, by learning to see the other as innocent, which is to see your brother as he truly is. A holy relationship has the goal of bringing Truth into both your minds that Heaven be restored to you. It has no other goal than this, for there is no other goal worthy of you. In the holy relationship, you learn to give without concern for what you get. The emphasis on exchange, so characteristic of the ego, is absent. Love only gives, It does not exchange for It already has everything. The inclusion of Love and the purpose of Truth will establish holiness rather than guilt as the foundation of your relationship. The holiness which you look for and see in your brother, will restore you to the Kingdom and bring Heaven to earth. The ego will not prevail against the will to unite in Love.

Nowhere in this world will you see the results of your actions as clearly as in a holy relationship. Its transformative power is literally limitless in its capability to restore Truth to your awareness. Recognizing that your brothers interest and yours are one and the same, releases the healing power of the miracle into both your lives. The holiness of your relationship will spread until it covers your whole life, bringing all of your relationships to Love. When Love is the purpose and foundation of all you do, life will become an expression of holiness in action, and you will offer only God’s Blessings to all.

In all you do that you value, in learning what you want to learn, you demonstrate perseverance. Very little can be accomplished unless you persevere. To learn what you must learn to replace illusion with Truth, requires great perseverance exercised over a long period of time. The undoing of your mind, the false mind of separation, requires constant dedication to a single purpose. This purpose must become the guiding Light that illumines your entire life, clarifying all the factors of existence, putting everything in proper perspective. There is not your spiritual purpose and your other purposes to which you also give time and attention; there is only your one true purpose and the relationship of all parts of your life with that purpose. Eventually, everything you think, do, or say, must be evaluated in relation to Truth. Does it support your journey back to God, or does it hinder you?

Ultimately, you cannot avoid the necessity to make an uncompromising decision for Truth if you would awaken from the dream of suffering and death. No compromise is possible between Truth and illusion, between God and the ego. You are always choosing one or the other with every thought, word, and action. The uncompromising commitment to awakening must be an active one, for you are called upon to choose the Self or the ego a thousand times a day. The perseverance required is way beyond what is needed to accomplish worldly goals. The goal itself, to realize the Self that is your true nature, is of immeasurably greater value than any worldly accomplishment. Whatever you accomplish in the worldly sense, no matter how seemingly glorious or worthwhile at the time, will pass away. Illusions do not last no matter how stable they may appear for a little while. All things in the world of separation are temporary, ephemeral, and destined to return to dust.

Even the body, your most prized possession, is temporary and subject to decay, disease, and death. No goal whose purpose centers on the body, is anything but a fleeting memory in time. Your life does not depend on the body, nor does it begin or end there. Life is One, and all who live share that One Life with God. He is the Creator of all that is real; what He created not does not exist. The body is your invention, made to be the symbol of separation, the ‘proof’ that you are not what you were created to be. The body is a thing of madness, meant to surround the mind with a wall of flesh, and separate it from other minds.

Mind is continuous; it cannot be separated into little disconnected pieces unless you want that to be true. Your body appears to separate you from your brother whose body likewise separates him from you. That is but a choice you make, not a fact. Your minds are still joined as One. To know this, you must be willing to accept the fact that you are not a body, you are Mind. The entire experience and context of separation rests on the belief that what you are can change and become something unlike itself. You believe that Mind, formless and unlimited, can take on and become form which is limited. This is the basis for the “I am a body” idea.

Despite the persistence of this belief, you are not a body and never have been. Yes, it is true the body is a part of your experience, and used rightly according to the Holy Spirit’s purpose, it will not hinder but will support your awakening. In your awakening, you discover that you are not a body. In fact, you are not even in a body; the body, like the world you see, is in your mind. The body is but a projected image, used to apparently surround your mind and wall it off from other minds, thus keeping you safe from Love. The body is the home the ego has chosen; as long as you continue to identify with the ego, with separation, you will think you are a body.

The body need not limit you nor separate you from your brothers. In itself, the body is a neutral thing, incapable of feeling or purpose. It does what you assign it to do, nothing more and nothing less. If you would use it to separate, it becomes your prison, reducing your mind to a tiny location in space., From this tiny place of nothingness, you look out at all the other tiny fragments of mind likewise confined, for as you see yourself you will see your brothers. This need not be.

If you so choose, the body can be a learning aid, used to help you learn the lessons that end separation. It can be used as a teaching aid, to communicate the Truth to your brothers who still think they are bodies. The body will fulfill the purpose you give it. Why not accept the Holy Spirit’s purpose and use it to help set you free?

Mind is continuous, extending everywhere without hindrance or limit. In the world of separation, mind appears to be broken up into separate discontinuous fragments whose communication with each other apparently takes place through bodily forms. The continuous communication that joins all minds appears to be interrupted, occurring sporadically, chaotically. The illusion of separation thus appears to rule the mind as well as the body. In this condition, each separate fragment seems to be isolated, complete in itself, with its own private thoughts unshared with any others. This will indeed be your experience if this is your choice: to live in a world of sleepwalkers, each lost in his own dream, pursuing his own goals at the expense of all others. Is this what you want?

In truth, all minds are joined in a state of continuous communication with each other and their Creator. Nothing can interrupt this communication but the wish to be separate and alone. Even then is the experience of non-communication nothing but illusion, yet illusion is what you experience as real. Only the wish to be as you are not maintains the illusory experience of non-communication with all that is. You can choose again, and you must if you would have Reality restored to your awareness. To do what must be done to bring you back into full communication, is the task of the Holy Spirit. He knows all minds are joined forever, and He recognizes that you have lost awareness of this fact.

Through true vision, you are shown the Truth in your brother, the One Light that shines in everything that God created. As you see this Light through the Light in you, the Light in your brother will extend and join with you. Thus is communication restored and the illusion of separation and discontinuity proven false. The Light, like Mind, like Love, is One and nothing can interrupt or fragment what God created One. Nothing in Heaven or earth is separate from God or its true nature as the One Self.

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