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Whatever stands in the way of your freedom needs to be thoroughly examined. What you are unaware of nonetheless exerts an influence on your mind. The many obstructions to the return of Truth, collectively make salvation impossible. Essential to your awakening is the uncovering of all that denies it. All the dark places where unforgiveness hides in your mind must be exposed, that the Light of Love may shine on what they conceal, and forgiveness replace all grievances. The many fears that lurk beneath the threshold of conscious awareness must be brought to the light of day, that you may see the insanity of your mind, and let all fear be healed. All the mental tendencies and habits of a lifetime must be clearly examined, and evaluated by the standards of Truth. Those found wanting must be given over to correction, to be replaced by what is helpful.
You are the One Self whether you are aware of It or not. Your mind functions by means of a Light that comes from beyond it. The Light of the Self pervades the mind of separation; without this Light, there would be no mind. You cannot use this Light of Mind creatively however, for the mind reduces this creative power of the universe to partial perception, conceptualization which it regards as thinking, and habit patterns of thought and feeling. It is as if you took the power produced by a huge dynamo and used it to run a toy train. Very little of the power potentially available to you is actually used in your life. Even that is misused to make sure this greatly reduced mode of functioning is maintained.
The Light within you is brighter than a thousand suns, brighter by far. Yet you do not access It, nor is It available to the mind devoted to separation. When Truth was driven from your mind, the Light of your mind also became unavailable, for Truth is One. Truth is Spirit, Mind, Light, Love, and peace. All of Truth vanished from your awareness when you chose illusion. Nor can It return; no aspect of Truth can return to your awareness until you choose all of It. However, a little point of Light remains, waiting for the day when It can blaze forth and illuminate the darkness in a world of pain and limitation. On that day you will rejoice, and your brothers also, for the Light is given you that you may illuminate the path that all must walk.
Real creation is unlike what is considered creation in this world. To create as God does, and only this is real, you must extend your whole Being, the Light and Love that you are. In that way is Reality extended and thereby increases. Only the increase of Truth is true creation. The purpose of the Light is to create by extending Itself forever.
In this world, as you open to the Light in you, It is used to communicate Truth by joining with the Light in your brothers, and used to make a unified vision possible that perception be corrected and brought close to knowledge. God is the Light in which you see. Without the Light of God within you, you would not see. Your present way of seeing is through the body’s eyes. Seeing through the eyes of an image you have made to take the place of the Self God created, is not seeing, it is but imagination. You are literally seeing what is not really there. There is no difference between hallucinations and the way you see now. The seeming stability and continuance of the world you see prevents you from seeing it as the projected illusion it is.
Perception is always the result of a decision you have made about what you want to be true. This fact you keep hidden from yourself that your world appear as ‘reality’, something that is really existent, separate from your wishes. The means by which perception appears to take place, the body, is also an invention of the mind. Thus the means and what it perceives arise together. They are co-dependent; without one, the other would not appear to exist. Such a closed circle is indeed convincing, for you cannot see beyond it. The means to see, and the world that is perceived, seem to reinforce each other’s reality, leaving you convinced of the reality of both. Nowhere can you find your way out of this closed circle.
To see beyond the illusions of perception in which you are trapped, help is needed from beyond the illusion. The Holy Spirit sees truly. He is not fooled by appearances, by form, for He sees beyond the form to content. He responds only to content, not form, for He recognizes form as illusion and always will. He looks past what is meaningless in itself, and the vision He gives you allows you to look past the form and see what it conceals.
The Light of Heaven is reflected here in everything you see. The form matters not; it cannot conceal the One Light unless you wish it so. Like partial vision, spiritual vision is also the result of what you want to see. However, it differs from how you see now because it is a decision to see truly, to see the Truth reflected here rather than to see what has replaced Truth in your mind. The Light in what you see will join with the Light in your mind for the Light is One, and this Light will brighten the world of darkness and show you the way home. Darkness will disappear in the presence of Light; you will cease to give it your belief, and it will hamper you no more.
The Creations of Light make up the real universe. The One Creative Light that fills the universe is what you are. You, who carry the Light within you, have the power to shine away the darkness in the world of illusion. In the dream, the only truly creative action of mind is to awaken to its reality as Mind, and extend the Light and the Love that It is to the world of separation. This is done by extending Light and Love to your brothers through the vision of Christ. By giving Truth away, It is strengthened in your mind and in the mind of your brother simultaneously. To see the Light in your brother, and to join with that Light, is the greatest gift you can both give and receive.
What would you do if you suddenly realized you were living in a dream, that none of this is real? This is the realization everyone will come to in time. The total meaninglessness of all you are doing cannot fail to break through the egoic defenses and dawn on your awareness sooner or later. You cannot avoid this. However, the sooner you stop your active avoidance of the real state of your existence, the better it will be for you. No matter how you try, how successful you are at the ego’s game of defense and attack, you will not escape the penalty of pain, suffering, and death. You will not.
There are those who realized all at once the extreme futility and meaninglessness of their life, and, overcome by despair, descended into madness or attempts at self destruction. To see the state you are in is not enough, for the response, whatever it may be, will be a continuation of the same error, the belief in separation. What is needed at this time is a solution to the hopeless situation in which you are seemingly trapped.
The Truth will set you free, but first you must become aware of Its at least theoretical existence. Generally, for most minds, the movement towards freedom is a gradual one that may unfold over a period of many years. It will take just as long as you want it to, no less time than this. The strength of your desire for Truth is the determiner of the duration and the conditions of the journey. You may have other desires that compete with Truth for your allegiance. These may contradict or even oppose the attraction to Truth, resulting in slow and uneven progress. Salvation is not just another goal, one among many that may attract your efforts; it is the only goal worth aiming for as it is the only one worthy of you, and the only one whose attainment is wholly positive and lasting. And it is the only goal in the world of illusion that restores Reality to your experience, ending fear, pain, and suffering forever.
If you could make a choice right here and now that would end pain and sorrow forever, would you? The sane answer to this question would be yes, yet the ego bound mind can seldom respond in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner. The ego, always suspicious of what is offered, insists on controlling every decision, and censoring always what would enter the mind. Do not listen to the ego. You have chosen it as your guide by the act of identifying with a body. Through your obvious experience of separation, you have come to identify with the belief in separation that holds the center of your mind and the whole thought system that arises from it. The ego, the personification of this thought system, is suspicious of everyone and everything, for it believes danger surrounds it and attack will come at any moment from any direction. There is nothing that can be done to change this attitude, this position; the ego is itself a personification of fear and the hatred that always accompanies it.
The only thing that can be done with the ego and the thought system of separation, is to let it be undone with the help of the Holy Spirit, that Reality may be revealed to you. You need not oppose the ego or struggle against it. The ego is a part of your mind that has an illusory existence that you believe real. Illusion need not be opposed; opposition merely strengthens it. By your opposition you make it real, and this is a continuation of the problem not a solution. The belief that illusions are real is what gives them their seeming power over you.
Let the Holy Spirit teach you the unreality of illusions, and do not resist His teaching. You have believed in illusion since time began; your mind is very attached to what it has made. Illusions will not disappear in a day. With patience, and the willingness to learn what is true and what is illusion and the difference between them, all illusion will be steadily undone through the consistent choice of Truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. Nothing more is needed but also nothing less. Your true desire is to return to the Truth hidden deep in your mind. Nothing can prevent this if you apply your willingness to this goal consistently and persistently.
Pain and sorrow are constants in human life; they are never far away. Pain takes many forms, constantly exerting its dark influence on your life. Much human behavior and energy is devoted to avoiding pain, controlling pain, or suppressing it. Yet it cannot be escaped while living in the state of separation. Separation is itself a state of fear and pain, but much of it is suppressed and kept from awareness by egoic mechanisms such as dissociation. The loss of your relationship with your Father, Who is the Source of your very existence, is a wound so deep and lasting that you cannot face it; sorrow would overwhelm your defenses and flood your mind. You fear the deep emptiness within, the result of the loss of God, and much of your activity has the purpose of covering it up so that you do not have to face it.
Yet there is something that you fear more than the emptiness, more than the sorrow. Under this, and beyond the fear of God deep in your mind, is the Love you feel and have always felt for your Creator. This Love for your Father is so deep, so powerful, that were you to feel it again, you would rush back to Him, forgetting the world of separation and all you thought you held dear. Everything you have valued, everything you have learned through the ego, would vanish instantly in that moment when Love returns to Love.
This return to Love, the ego fears more than anything, though it does not understand what it fears. Yet it does recognize threat, and it is to threat of any kind that the ego devotes most of its attention. The return of the Love that you are to your awareness, would be the end of the ego’s domination of your mind, and thus the end of its existence. The day will come when you will choose Love over fear unequivocally, and on that day you will be free.
The Self is what you are and have always been. The Christ in you has never been absent, even in the dream, for the mind with which you think you think, functions by virtue of the Light arising from the Self. It is as if you have closed off what you are, and allowed only a tiny little part of it to be experienced as you; even this tiny fragment of mind is not allowed to be itself, but is distorted by form and the action of perception which has replaced knowledge in your experience. Nothing of this tiny sliver of mind that has been sliced off from the Whole, is allowed to even reflect the Truth, and it has been further divided into many levels of awareness that are cut off from each other.
The surface level of awareness we call the conscious mind; beneath it are levels of subconscious mind from which the impulses and thoughts arise that drive the actions of conscious mind. Yet even here, in this dreary arrangement of littleness and divisiveness, there is hope, for the Holy Spirit abides in a deep level of the subconscious mind beyond the levels inhabited by the ego, and He is also able to communicate with the conscious mind when it permits Him to do so.
There is an additional reason for hope, which, along with the help of the Holy Spirit, is the way out of the labyrinth of illusion. Awareness is in itself of the essence of Mind. In the state of separation, it becomes the basis of mind, being used for perception and delusory thinking. Constantly distracted and filled with the activity of perception, thought, and feeling, awareness becomes absorbed in and identified with the content that appears in it. Thus is its fundamental nature lost to experience. As mind in separation, you seldom if ever experience the basis of your mind which is awareness; even then, it is only a fleeting, momentary experience quickly swallowed up by the maelstrom of thought activity.
Awareness in its fundamental nature as itself, is quiet, open, and empty. It need not be constantly filled by frantic activity nor need it be identified with such. How often is it said in A Course in Miracles that Truth comes to a quiet mind. This quiet mind is nothing more than the quality of awareness freed from its false identification and absorption in delusory thought, resting quietly in itself in a condition of openness and receptivity. In such a mind, Truth is easily reflected, like an image appearing in a mirror.
How is one to attain the quiet mind? Mind is ceaselessly active, filled with a constant parade of thoughts. This activity goes on automatically. You have no real control over your thoughts or their source, the ego, because you are so constantly identified with both. The nature of ego mind is to be busy, filling awareness with a stream of thoughts, feelings, and impulses that go on without interruption during the so called waking hours. If this frantic mind is what you are, and that is what you believe while you identify with it, then the state of a quiet mind is impossible to reach. You will be what you think you are, and you will act it out.
Fortunately for you, you are not the frantic and fearful ego mind nor the sense of self that arises from the false identification. There is no self. There is only awareness that mistakenly identifies with the content that ceaselessly demands its attention. The unconscious identification with what you are not, gives rise to the sense of personhood, a thinker, a bodily identity. This identity is a fiction, an imaginary entity. As long as you think it real and continue to believe in it, you will seem to be the thinker of thoughts and a bodily identity. The power of belief will make it real in your experience.
The solution to this dilemma is, as always, to step outside the circle of illusion that seems to hold you fast. With the Holy Spirit’s help, the false mind can be undone. Through the practice of constant vigilance, your attention will move from absorption in the thought stream to resting in awareness itself which is its source. Generally speaking, the mind that would be free must go through a process of relinquishing all that has been learned before and all that has been valued. You have been badly taught by one who knows nothing, the ego. How could you learn anything but what is meaningless from the guide who does not know what is meaningful? As you give up all false beliefs, they will be replaced by true ideas, thoughts that support and point to Truth.
An important part of this process is getting to know your mind as it is, in action. Here is where vigilance is applied in the form of becoming constantly aware of your thoughts, feelings, and reactions. By becoming aware of this movement as you go through your day, you will see the constant choices you are making that are shaping your life and determining its experiences. You will also see how fear in all its forms, the activity of attack and defense, and the projection of guilt and judgment, are distorting and agitating your mind, making peace impossible.
What is the cost of sin? What does the belief in sin and guilt demand of you? The loss of happiness and peace of mind, is the cost of believing what is not true, of replacing Truth with illusion. Nothing you can do is as important as giving up the belief in guilt and sin. Their complete renunciation is perfect forgiveness. Through forgiveness, you will heal all sense of guilt and sin in your mind by offering this healing to your brothers. If you believe you are guilty, that is how you will see your brother, for what is seen and believed within will be projected without. There is a kind of reciprocity at work in all partial perception. How you see your brother is how you see yourself. You will believe you are what he is, and he is what you are.
No more perfect example of this exists than the beliefs around the body. If you believe you are a body, it is impossible not to see your brother as a body also. As long as you see him limited to a body, so long will you be so limited. You cannot see the Sonship except as One, though you are no longer aware of this fact. How you see and think of your brother will always be how you see and think of yourself. Your brother is likewise bound by this principle. All projection is always a projection of yourself onto yourself. You are always and only seeing as real what is in your mind.
The perception of sin and guilt in the world, in the figures that come and go in your dream, is always a projection of the guilt that lives in your mind. It cannot be otherwise. That is why you must forgive the world and everyone and everything in it, for only thus do you forgive yourself. Only by healing all guilt and sin wherever you perceive it, is the sense of sinfulness and guilt in your mind healed. This naturally follows from what was stated earlier. The Sonship is One, you are a whole part of that Oneness; therefore, to heal and free your mind, you must offer healing to the Whole as It appears in little bits and pieces in the condition of separation. All these apparently separate bits and pieces are actually part of you, and you will be healed in your entirety or you will not be healed at all.
Do not let guilt cloud your mind any longer. It brings you nothing but suffering and death. Guilt drives Love from your awareness and leaves you alone and friendless in an alien land. The belief in guilt has robbed you of all that is good and valuable, yet you remain a willing victim to this loss as long as you cling to guilt. It exerts a strong attraction on you; through the projection of guilt, you maintain your identity in separation and justify your attacks on your brothers. Because you are consciously unaware that you are always the first victim of your attacks, you continue to judge and condemn your brothers, thinking that attack on another brings you something of value. Attack brings you nothing! This cannot be overemphasized. If you were aware of the total loss you suffer with every attack on your brother, attack would lose its attraction for you.
The attraction to attack is the choice of fear over Love, of conflict over peace. My brother, now is the time to stop this insane war on yourself, and lay down your arms. You never wanted to attack yourself or your brother. It was simply an error, a mistake in identification, easily corrected if that is your will. To give up insanity is impossible until you honestly recognize that you are insane, that you are acting insanely. Ignorance of the mental condition of insanity protects and perpetuates it. You cannot say that you are still unaware of your mental state or the mad behavior that results. There is nothing to do now but turn your back on the madness of the past and choose Truth. Reason tells you that to stop attacking yourself will bring an end to the pain and suffering that seemed to come from outside, yet was always self inflicted.
Forgiveness is the solution to all pain, all fear and conflict. Forgiveness ends the dream of death, for it leads to the perception of a forgiven world where all are loved and blessed by its kindly Light. There is a world beyond the world of darkness and strife, seen only by those who have laid down their weapons, renounced all attack and judgment, and chosen Love instead. You can live in the kindly Light of the real world if you would exchange it for the one you inhabit now.
The real world appears to those who see not only with the body’s eyes. It must be seen through the eyes of Love, through spiritual vision shared with them by the Holy Spirit. He has been holding this vision for you since time began. The readiness to see truly arises only in the mind that chooses forgiveness for all, leaving all judgment to the Holy Spirit Whose function it is. He, and only He, always judges truly, for He sees only the holiness in all of God’s children. Everything else is simply an error; He helps you correct all errors in your mind until only Truth remains.
The real world appears to those who have let their perception be corrected. Through the body’s eyes, the world appears to be a place of attack and conflict, ruled by fear and driven by the need for vengeance. Threat lurks everywhere, and nowhere can safety be found, for vengeance may strike at any time. In such a world Love is absent; It is not welcomed by those who prefer attack and judgment. Yet those who see with the Holy Spirit, look upon quite a different world. Everywhere they look, the holy Light of God stands revealed; It shines from within everything they see, and lights the world with its kindly glow. There is no threat anywhere; only Love and mercy await them everywhere they go.
The real world is a forgiven world, where judgment is forgotten, replaced with the vision of Christ that sees only the reflection of Truth everywhere. The Oneness of all things is apparent, and Love is offered to all without exception or exclusion of any kind. The real world, like the world seen by the body’s eyes, is also a projection of the mind that sees it, but there is one important difference: The Love of God is not excluded, so it contains the reflection of Truth. There is no doubt or uncertainty where Truth prevails. The real world extends to the gates of Heaven. Freed of sin and guilt, doubt and uncertainty, illuminated by the Love of God, you may rest there a little while until you are ready for God to take the final step.
Those with spiritual vision do not trust the body’s eyes to show them the reality of what they see. The body’s eyes see only the external, the form, never the content of what appears before them. Forms differ and change over time; they may come and go, but never does the content change. Content is always and only one of two possibilities; Truth or illusion. The body’s eyes cannot make the distinction between the two, but the mind that has chosen Love and forgiveness has let itself be corrected. Its vision is whole, not partial, and it sees directly without the mediation of the eyes that see only form. The lovely Light that is Truth’s reflection, is easily seen by those who are willing. To see this Light is to join with It; in this union are all blessed as One.
To see the Light in your brother is to know It in yourself. To forgive your brother is to forgive yourself. Only through the relinquishment of judgment and the offering of forgiveness to all, will you be set free from the limitations of your self-made identity. There is nothing you can do in this sad world of pain and suffering that is as meaningful as forgiving your brothers. Only action that arises from Love has any lasting effect on you and the world. Either you will act from Love or you will act out fear. One will lead you in the direction of Truth, the other away from it. One will set you free and bring suffering to an end, the other will strengthen the bonds that bind you to suffering, and deny your freedom.
Forgiveness is your function as long as you are in the world of appearances and separation. This world is the projection of your thoughts, reflecting back to you what you want to be true. As long as you maintain the wish to be separate from your Self and your Creator, you will be at the mercy of your unconscious guilt and self hatred. To be guilty is to hate yourself for what you believe you have done, for your unworthiness. Guilt demands punishment; the guilty will project both their guilt and the demand for punishment onto their brothers in a vain attempt to relieve their burden. Your brother is yourself. To see him as guilty will reinforce your belief in your own guilt, and never will it be gone from your mind.
The mind must be freed of guilt if you would return to Love and freedom. Your function of forgiveness is the way out for you from the prison you have made. Forgiveness will set you free and your brother along with you. To fulfill your function, to reclaim your freedom and return to Love, you must deny guilt in all its forms. No matter where it seems to appear, guilt is still always and only in your mind. To forgive your brother is to forgive yourself; to forgive the world is to forgive yourself. To forgive yourself is to forgive yourself, the world, and your brother as One. The mind that has let its guilt be healed, will see no guilt anywhere. In your healing is everyone healed.
The time for forgiveness is now. As you go through your day, if you are paying attention to the movements of your mind, you will see little irritations and judgments come up again and again. It matters not the apparent cause or the circumstances; if there is an upset of any kind, there is unforgiveness, there is a grievance. Perhaps you think that mild irritation or a sense of dislike is harmless, especially in regard to certain situations. Not so. All grievances, no matter how mild they may seem, are a refusal to love. They represent the belief in and projection of guilt regardless of the details.
All grievances are affirmations of the desire to remain separate, providing the justification for attack and condemnation. All attack, no matter the mask it wears, is the intent to injure and kill. And always it is yourself who suffers the effects of your intent. There is no such thing as a mild attack; all attack carries the same intent and will have the same results. All irritation, no matter how mild it seems, but masks the rage underneath that would attack and kill. As you learn to become aware of your mind and its unconscious movements and motivation, you will see clearly what you now deny.
Forgiveness offers you a choice as to how you feel about yourself and your brother. The choice of guilt has left you in a state of mind where you hate rather than love yourself. To hate yourself is to hate your brother, for those who hate are unable to love, and must project how they feel about themselves onto their brothers. Forgiveness is a choice of Love over hate, and a rejection of all attack in any form.
The belief in attack has made the attainment of peace impossible. Forgiveness makes possible the return to a state of peaceful mind. A mind at peace within itself, having forgiven itself and everyone and everything it sees, can offer only Love to a world made dark by hate. Through your forgiveness, the world is blessed. A blessed world offers you only sanctuary and mercy; the help you need at any time and in any way will always be given. Those whose minds are ruled by forgiveness, whose hearts are filled with Love for all, see a world ruled by kindness. Everywhere they look they see the reflection of Heaven; Heaven’s gates stand wide open to receive them. They know the way is short, and time is almost over; they will remember their Father, and leave the world forever behind them.
What could offer you more than forgiveness? There is nothing the world can give that is worth even a tiny fraction of what forgiveness makes possible. All worldly gifts and accomplishments are temporary, fading from your sight almost as quickly as they appear. Everything you think you now possess will be left behind, forgotten, even the temporary learning aid that is the body. The Love you give through the miracle of forgiveness, will return to you multiplied manyfold. It will remain to bless you through all eternity, for Love has always been a part of you. Through forgiveness your mind is healed, and you return to the awareness of what you have always been. Forgiveness simply brings you back to what you are and where you are always. That is enough.
Remember always the gifts held out to you by the practice of forgiveness. Never forget that forgiveness is the answer to all fear and suffering of any kind. To forgive is to be free; free to Love, free to bless. Through forgiveness, you become One with the world and everything in it. In its gentle sight, your brother will appear as he is in Truth. His innocence is revealed, and the One Light that shines in him will become visible. As the Light in you extends to the Light in your brother, you will feel a touch of Heaven.
There is a very practical question that arises in relation to forgiveness. How are you to actually forgive when your mind tells you forgiveness is not warranted? You have been attacked, seemingly injured in some way. You have suffered loss at the hands of another due to his unfair and unprovoked action. In truth, you cannot forgive what has really happened; the ego will not allow it. The human mind by itself will never be able to forgive its brother. Forget maybe, even overlook occasionally, but forgive? Never! What you believe has really happened to you is unforgiveable by all worldly thinking. The thinking of the world is based on the belief in guilt and the necessity of judgment. The continuing ‘reality’ of what you see depends on it. If attack were real and loss possible, if you could be unfairly deprived of anything, if injury could be inflicted upon you, forgiveness would have no meaning and no basis. However, you are not a body, and the ‘reality’ in which you seem to live and move, is but a dream. You cannot attack or be attacked, and everything that seems to happen to you is imagination. Forgiveness as taught by A Course in Miracles and within these pages, is based on Truth, not dreams. Reality is not the result of idle dreams of separation and death. The domain of Spirit is the basis and Source of what is real, not the wishful projections of a mind lost in the nightmare of its own fearful imagery.
Forgiveness is rooted in and arises from the understanding of Truth. As such, it reflects the Truth in the world of dreams. Forgiveness takes the place of all illusions that cloud the mind of God’s holy Son, folding them all into itself until only Love remains. Forgiveness is the operation of Love in a world that was made to keep Love out. The return of Love in the form of forgiveness, brings an end to evil dreams of hate and malice that have kept you a prisoner of fear and suffering.
Whatever you believe will be true for you. Believe in illusions, and they will be your reality. Withdraw your belief and faith in them, and they will collapse into nothingness. The Truth need not be believed to be real. It is real in and of Itself. Yet It must be believed and accepted in order to enter the realm of your experience. The refusal to accept Truth is the choice for illusion, and what you choose you will experience, even if only in dreams. Dreams are real to the dreamer and Truth is lost to him, replaced by a distorted wish to be separate from his Source and his Self. Neither the Creator, nor anything in Creation, will go against your wish to be what you are not. Truth does not oppose. It does not attack or do battle. Truth merely overlooks what has never occurred, and lets it go down to nothingness. You can believe in dreams or in the Truth, and whichever one you choose will be your experience. That is the law of Mind. Never will you make illusions true, never will you make them into Reality. The power of your belief will make them seem real, and the experiences they bring will be ‘proof’ of their reality, but this is only seeming. The stuff of dreams will convince the dreamer as long as that is what he wants. Change your mind, and the whole flimsy edifice of your ‘reality’ will come crashing down. Without your support, it cannot exist in your experience.
The Light is what you are in Truth, being the natural brightness, the radiance of your Whole Mind. The extension of Light is the creative action of Mind. Light naturally extends Itself, and thereby creates like Itself in the true condition of creating with God. For this you were created. The awareness of yourself as Light was lost in the separation. Mind became split, reduced and distorted, cut off from its wholeness. Its natural radiance was lost, and it became dim, dull, and lifeless. Yet the Light remains, reduced to a tiny point, lost to awareness and imperceptible to the mind that thinks itself separate.
The natural radiance of Mind that is Light, is your truly creative energy. When this is lost to you, you are left with the uncreative use of mind. Mind is then used to perceive and to think thoughts it does not share with God. What is considered creative in the world of perception is, at best, but a pale shadow of the true creativity given you by God. That glory can perhaps be mirrored in a small way, as have some of what are considered great masterpieces of art. You cannot however, create in the manner given you in your creation until you return to the awareness of the Light that is you. The radiance of this Light outshines everything in the world of perception. It lights up the universe with a glory that cannot be imagined by anyone who lives in the dimness of perceptual mind. When you are ready, you will recover the awareness of the beautiful Light that shines in you and all things. Pray that day be soon.
Love, like Light, is part of what you are in Truth. It has also been lost to your awareness except in distorted form with few exceptions. Yet is Love always present, for you are surrounded and sustained by the Love of God. You become aware of God’s Love, Which is everywhere and in everything, through the practice of forgiveness. Forgiveness mirrors Love as It truly is, for it is given to all without conditions or exclusion. True forgiveness sees no one and no event, circumstance, or happening, as evidence of guilt or sin; it sees only the perfection of everything reflected in the dream. Love, as it exists in Heaven, is reflected here in every act, every thought of forgiveness. The practice of forgiveness will return Love to your awareness, and where Love is, the memory of God cannot be far behind.
True forgiveness is the most powerful force for healing your mind and setting you free. As the highest expression of Love on earth, it heals your mind of all that is not Love, and paves the way for Love’s return. Extended to all your brothers, it restores the Oneness in which all are joined. Due to its all encompassing and uncompromising nature, it undoes the ego’s hold on your identity, for it gives the ego no place to turn and undoes guilt, the cornerstone of the ego’s thought system. Forgiveness removes the basis for attack and defense, and gives judgment back to the Holy Spirit where it belongs. It removes all fear from your mind, for it is the choice of Love and the renunciation of fear.
Work, effort, and struggle: these are the basic conditions under which human life takes place. Everything must be sought, accomplished, and then maintained, that its usefulness continue. All things in the world of separation are in a state of constant change. Nothing is as it was even a little while ago; all is changing whether you are aware of it or not. Only that which is valued, and in which you invest belief and effort, appears to offer satisfaction and a sense of security.
Your mind, constantly active and changing, shifting its focus here and there, subject to various moods that follow each other like the clouds drifting across the sky, offers no security and peace in itself. You respond by seeking them in external circumstances and conditions, in goals, attainments, and experiences. All of these have no meaning in and of themselves. Your mind gives them all the meaning they have for you. The same mind that is constantly changing, at times contradicting itself, and does not understand its own workings and motivation. This mind is what gives all things in your life whatever meaning and purpose they may appear to have. Is there any basis for life, for security and satisfaction, more unstable and erratic than this?
Despite the investment and effort you expend in controlling and responding to the external, that which appears outside of you, you have set yourself an impossible task. You are looking in the wrong place for what you need. Life begins and ends in the mind. Everything you do and experience is experienced through awareness. You determine the value of all things to you in your mind. The mind determines what is valued, what will provide satisfaction and security. The external circumstances of your life are a result of how you use your mind, what you choose, and what you choose against. Your mind determines the goal, how to attain it, and directs your efforts. It decides when a goal is attained, and how satisfying that should be. If you really look at the whole process and dynamic of your life, and the role played by the mind, it would be obvious to you that what happens in your mind is the key to everything.
Yet you are, for the most part, oblivious to this fact. You do not know or understand that which is most central to your life and experience. Perhaps you think using your mind to make decisions and judgments constantly, is enough to understand it. No so. If you would look honestly at your life, the decisions made, the conflicts and so called failures and successes, you would see the erratic patterns of thought and response by which you live. Much of human life is determined or shaped by various unconscious habit patterns of which you are at best dimly aware. The awareness that is the fundamental characteristic of mind, is absorbed in and dominated by the continuous stream of thought, feeling, and impulse, that fills it. Never is there a moments respite from this constant activity. The source of this activity is the levels of mind that lay beneath the threshold of conscious awareness. In other words, you are dominated by the unconscious content of your mind.
The more superficial levels of the unconscious mind are the domain of the ego. The ego is not you although you think it is. The ego is a part of your mind, whose core is fear and whose thought system is the crystallization and development of the belief in separation. The ego is only a part of your mind, and yet has seemingly taken over all of your mind because of your identification with the sense of separateness, and its chosen home, the body. The ego has its own agenda of which you are not aware; it acts always to pursue its own interests which are not yours. Due to the lack of comprehension of what the ego is and its goals, you accept its goals as yours, thinking it is in your interest to pursue them. Hidden from your awareness is the ego’s beliefs about you. It believes you are guilty, unworthy, and deserve punishment and eventual death for your sins.
The ego’s goal is to take the place of God, of Truth, and make sure that your mind and life are dedicated to maintaining this illusion. This means that as long as you identify with the ego and its chosen home, the body, you will be denying and excluding the truth of what you are from your life and experience. The ego does not know Love; it regards Love as an enemy, a threat to its existence. It does not know peace or happiness or kindness. To the exact degree to which you give your life and mind to the ego and its goals, you will not know Love or peace, and happiness will elude you.
Surely it is insane to cast your lot with the one who plots your death, rather than the One Who gives you life? Yet this is exactly what you do when you defend and maintain the separation between yourself, your brothers, and your Creator. It does seem as if you are self-evidently separate from all others because you experience yourself as a body. However, the body separates you from your brothers only if that is your choice. The body is a neutral thing; it does not separate or join. It responds to the purpose given it by the mind; it is the mind that separates or joins according to its purpose. If the purpose chosen is to maintain separation, guilt, sin and attack, that will be your self-validating experience.
The mind cannot be cut off from all that surrounds it; the wall of flesh that seems to limit it is but illusion. Unless you want the illusion of a body to imprison your mind, it cannot. Even asleep, the mind is still One, and continuous without interruption. Bodies appear in the mind, mere images without substance. Mind is not contained by appearances, by form. It cannot be separated into fragments, kept apart from each other by the projected images of bodily form. Withdraw your dedication to illusion, cease your fascination with the hallucinations that seem to people your world. There is nothing out there separate from you. Everything is in you and you are in everything you see. There is no objective world separate from the mind that perceives it.
When you are willing to see your brother as he is, the Light in him will join with the Light in you. In that moment, the whole world is blessed, for the Oneness of God’s holy Son has been affirmed. Let go the illusion of separation and all the misery it entails. You never wanted to suffer, alone in an alien world, separate from your Father and your Self. It was simply a mistake, easily rectified if that is your will. In any moment, it is possible to leave this world if only for an instant, and be once again the pure Light of Heaven.
What you think and do today will affect you in every way; its effect will continue until you change your mind. This is true of every day, every hour, even every minute and each moment. All you think and do echoes through time, accompanying you until time comes to an end or you choose again. Ideas leave not their source and continue to influence the mind in which they live. Everything you do is the result of an idea in your mind, and reinforces or cancels that idea accordingly. Every act, every thought, affects the whole world for mind is One.
There are no neutral thoughts, words, or deeds. Each one either multiplies and reinforces illusion, or supports the Truth. There is no in between nor any other effect. Each moment you are choosing Truth or illusion, Love or fear, freedom or imprisonment, and you will always experience the consequences of your choosing. Thus is it imperative that you be aware of your choices moment to moment, if you would choose wisely and well. The decisions made by the sleeping mind are responsible for all that seems to happen in your life. To be aware of and accept that fact is very important; otherwise you will continue to be at the mercy of your unconsciousness. The sleeping mind is the slave of time and human destiny.
If you would free yourself from the parade of events and situations that drive your responses, you must become aware of the activity of your mind. The mind is always active; always choosing the thoughts it would follow, the feelings it would animate, the actions it would carry out. Much if not most of this activity of choosing, goes on below the threshold of conscious awareness and is determined by past habit. You are thus unconsciously acting out the past in the present, which assures a future that is a continuation of the past. As long as this continues, you will be stuck in the past, destined to repeat it over and over, and never will you know the freedom that is your birthright.
Do you want freedom or don’t you? Do you want to become aware of your own mind or continue to activate the past habit patterns that control your responses? These are really the same question. Freedom and unconsciousness are incompatible; where one is, the other isn’t. Freedom is restored to those who earn it by their efforts. It comes to those who truly want it. Like everything else that is a part of your life, freedom is the result of decisions that you make. How could it be otherwise?
Did you want to be free before you became aware that freedom is possible? Until an idea actually enters awareness, there is no possibility of its attainment. The mind asleep and dreaming that it is awake, does not realize it is in a condition of bondage. Until you are ready to honestly consider the true state of your life and mind, you will be in a state of denial. As long as denial rules your awareness, keeping unconscious all that you do not wish to face, true freedom will not be possible. Freedom is your natural condition as the Self.
To be in the natural state is of itself effortless. You need make no effort to be what you are and always have been. Yet you have lost the awareness of what you are in Truth, and have replaced it with a substitute identity whose purpose is to keep Truth away. As your present self is the result of effort, and much energy and effort are expended to defend and maintain it, the undoing of it will also require effort and dedication. No effort is required to be what you truly are, but effort is required to undo all that obstructs your natural awareness of what you are. When all obstacles are removed, the Self will shine forth as you.
The search for Truth is never a search for what was never lost, for how can you lose that which is your very life and Being? Rather it is the search for, the bringing to awareness, of all that clouds and dims your holy mind, that it may be corrected and the mind purified. When all obstacles have been removed, the Truth will reveal Itself as you, and you will realize It has never been lost.
The starting point for the process of undoing the false identity, must be the recognition that something is missing in your life, and the idea that perhaps there is another way to live. Until this question is raised, the mind is not ready to start down the road to Truth. If you are satisfied with where you are or afraid to change, you will defend and perpetuate the status quo as long as you are able. And you will follow the ego’s guidance faithfully until it leads you to your death. What enables this sad and meaningless travesty of life to continue, is the denial of the pain you are in. The mind of separation dissociates habitually from its fear, its pain, from the contents of the unconscious mind. Through identification with the ego, dissociation is maintained and the mind kept continually busy and distracted, never truly aware in the present.
One of the fundamental requirements of spiritual life is the return of attention to the present. This can only be done by quieting the mind, by slowing it down. Truth comes to a quiet mind that is empty and open to receive It. The mind that is constantly busy chasing the succession of shadows passing across its surface, or absorbed and fascinated by the world of outer perception, has no interest in what is truly real nor has it made a place within to which Truth can return. Truth can be experienced only in the present moment for only the present is real. Although time may seem real to you, it too is but imagination. The past is over and gone. It can only be thought about in the present, and the future is the play of imagination, nothing more.
Bringing attention and awareness back to the present, is the action of a mind that has recognized the only purpose of life that is true and meaningful. No other purpose is worth pursuing. You may seek many things, pursue the many goals the world seems to offer you, but never will you find anything of lasting value. Nowhere will you find the peace, happiness, and fulfillment that you really need in the experiences of this world. Only Truth will restore you to life, and bring the freedom that was yours before you chose separation and death.
What would it take to demonstrate to you the meaninglessness and ultimate futility of all pursuits that lead only to death in the end? Surely by now you have reached some understanding of the conditions of life here, their constant changeability, the shifting sands of circumstances, and the lack of anything that deserves your lasting trust. The world is not bereft of proof that happiness cannot be found within it. Is anyone you know truly happy? Have you found anything that gives you lasting happiness? Yes, there are amusements, stimulations, and distractions of all kinds, that can keep you busy indefinitely. Yet do not all these activities and their effects on you turn out to be empty and unfulfilling in the end? Don’t you go from one to another, never finding lasting satisfaction of any kind? Does the restlessness of your mind ever cease and leave you in peace? We know the answers to these questions, don’t we? You have more than enough evidence from your own experience to convince a rational mind that change is needed; a change of outlook, change in understanding, change in the way you think and believe and act.
The world you see has grown old and tired. Those who think they live in it, who call it their home, are sad and fearful, bereft of hope. All who are called to the Light must accept the responsibility of healing the world, one mind at a time. When you are healed, is the world’s healing included. As has been so often stated, when I am healed I am not healed alone. To accept healing for yourself is to accept it for the world and everyone and everything in it. Nothing is separate from you, despite appearances. Even in the dream, mind is One, uninterrupted by time and difference.
Let your Love for your brothers pervade all that you think, do, and say. When Love rules your mind and directs your life, you will bring the blessings and Grace of God to all you know or meet or see. God’s Grace is given to those who have chosen Love in the midst of darkness, forgiveness in a world of conflict. His Grace is available to all, but It cannot be received by a mind dedicated to attack. Love opens the door that Grace may enter. Grace accompanies Love as surely as sorrow accompanies hatred.
God’s Grace is all encompassing; It cannot be put into words. By Grace you live, by Grace you are released. By Grace you give, by Grace you will release. All that is given by God must be shared, that It extend to the whole world and beyond. The Grace and the Love of God is the greatest Gift that can be given or received.
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