|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
Chapter 10: The Idols of Sickness
1. Nothing beyond you can make you fearful or Loving because nothing is beyond you. Time and Eternity are both in your mind and they will conflict until you perceive time only as a means for regaining your awareness of Eternity. You cannot do this as long as you believe that anything that happens to you is caused by forces outside of you. Time is yours to use as you want and nothing in the world that you perceive can take this responsibility from you. You can imagine that you have violated Godís Law of Oneness but you cannot escape from It. It was established for you and It is as unchanged as you are secure in God.
2. God extends God to you and nothing but you exists because you are One with God. Only God exists. Nothing beyond God can happen because only God is Real. As you extend God you add to God but nothing is added to God that is not God because God has always been. Only what is temporary can upset you but the temporary is not real because you are Godís only Extension and God extends you Eternally. But your powerful mind determines what happens to you by choosing what to perceive and how to respond to what you perceive.
3. God cannot change Its Mind about you because God is not uncertain about God. What God knows can be known because God does not limit Its Knowledge. God extended God to you for Godís sake and gave you the power to extend God so that you are like God. That is why your Mind is Holy. Nothing can exceed the Love of God or your Will. Nothing can reach you from beyond God because, being in God, you encompass Everything. Believe this and you will realize how much is up to you. When your Peace of mind is threatened ask yourself, ďHas God changed Its Mind about me?Ē Then accept Godís Decision, Which is Changeless, and refuse to change your mind about yourself. God cannot decide against you because God cannot side against God.
1. At Home in God
1. You do not know your Extension of God because as long as your mind is split you are deciding against It. But you cannot attack your Extension of God just as it is also impossible for God to attack you because you are Godís Extension. The Law of Creation is that you Love your Extension of God because It is One with you. Godís Extension is perfectly safe, then, being protected by Godís Love. Any part of your mind that does not know this has banished itself from God because it is not willing to know God. This could only have been done by you. You can recognize this gladly because this recognition means that you have not been banished by God and therefore banishment does not exist.
2. You are at Home in God dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to Reality if you so decide. In the world that you perceive what you see in dreams at night you think is real while you are sleeping but the moment that you wake up you realize that everything that happened in the dream did not really happen. You donít think this is strange even though all the laws of the waking world were violated while you were sleeping. And so it will be when you awaken to God. [When you waken from sleep in the world that you perceive you are merely shifting to another dream of separation from God.]
3. You wouldnít bother to reconcile what happens in conflicting dreams if you recognized that neither one is Reality. You do not remember being awake in God. When you hear the Holy Spirit you may feel relief because it seems as though Love is possible but you do not remember that once you knew that Love is All that there is. And remembering Love is how you will know that this can be so in your awareness again. Only Love is possible, even though It does not seem to have been accomplished in your perception of a world. Yet Love was once so and is now because It is Eternal. When you remember Love you will remember that It is Eternal and that therefore It is now.
4. You will remember God the moment that you wholly desire God. For you to wholly desire God is for you to extend God and this wills away the separation from you, returning your mind to God and to your own Extension of God. Knowing Both you will not wish to sleep but to be awake in God and happy. Dreams will be impossible because you will want only Truth and Truth will be yours because It is your Will.
2. The Decision to Forget
1. You must first know God to choose to deny God so your perception of separation from God is nothing more than your decision to forget God. This makes God seem fearful to you because you feel that your decision to be separate from God is your attack on God. You are afraid because you have forgotten God and replaced God with illusions. So you are really afraid of your forgetting, not of God. When you accept God you will no longer be afraid of God.
2. When you decide to stop denying God you will do more than merely undo fear. Your decision will return Peace and Joy and Oneness to your awareness. Offer the Holy Spirit only your willingness to remember God because the Holy Spirit is waiting for your acceptance of God. God is in your memory so give up everything that stands in the way of your remembering God. The Holy Spirit will tell you that you are part of God when you are willing to know your own Reality again. Do no let your belief in a world delay your remembrance of God because when you remember God you remember yourself.
3. To remember is to restore to your mind what is already there. You do not make what you remember. Remembering is accepting what is there but that you have denied. Remembering God by extending God in place of the world that you perceive in your mind is a reflection of your Infinite extension of God in God. God will do Its Part when you are willing to exchange perception of a world for Knowledge of God. Nothing is beyond Godís Will for you. Just be willing to remember God and God will give you Everything.
4. When you attack others in the world that you perceive you are coming from the personal self and denying your True Self in God. You are teaching yourself that you are what you are not. When you deny Reality you cannot accept Godís Gift of Everything because you have accepted something else in Its place. If you understand that this is always an attack on God you will understand why attack is always frightening for you. If you further recognize that you are One with God you will understand that you always attack yourself before you lash out at another.
5. All attack is an attack on yourself. It cannot be anything else because it comes from your own decision to not be yourself and to deny your True Identity. Attack is then the way you lose your True Identity because when you attack you must forget What you are. Your Reality is Godís and when you attack you are forgetting God. But God is not gone because you actively decided to forget God.
6. You would not make such an insane decision if you saw how it robs you of your Peace. You make this decision because you believe it can get you something you want. So what you want, then, must not be Peace of mind. But what could you want then? The logical conclusion of your decision to forget your True Identity is that you must put great effort in denying God. It is just this effort that makes you afraid of God.
3. The God of Sickness
1. You have not attacked God and you do love God. You cannot change your Reality. You cannot will to destroy yourself and when you think you are attacking yourself it is because you hate what you think you are. Only the personal self can be attacked by you because only the personal self can be hateful and what this strange image of you makes you do can seem to be destructive. But the destruction is no more real than the image. You may worship the personal self as an idol but idols are nothing and your worship of them is a form of sickness. God wants you to be healed of this sickness and fully returned to Godís Mind. God puts no limits on your ability to do this. Do not be afraid because this is your salvation.
2. Extending the Holy Spirit is the only comfort for you in your sickness of perceived separation from God. Remember, it does not matter what projection you exchange for an extension of the Holy Spirit. Whenever you accept the Holy Spirit you remember God for your entire mind. Heal your mind by accepting God in place of your perception of a world. Your mind is not split into ďyouĒ and a world outside of you and the Holy Spirit is Godís One Channel of healing because your mind is One. The Holy Spirit is the Communication link that joins your mind in Oneness and joins your mind with God. To be aware of this is to heal your mind because it is the awareness youíre your separation from God is not real and so sickness of any kind is not real.
3. For you to believe in sickness in any form is for you to believe that Part of God can suffer. But Love does not suffer because It does not attack and bring suffering to Its Mind. Remembering Godís Love makes you invulnerable. Do not believe in a projection of the personal mind no matter how real it seems but remember the Presence of Godís Love instead. Your recognition of Godís Presence reminds you of the Truth in you, Which you had been denying. If you strengthen your denial of God you will lose sight of yourself. Remind yourself of your Wholeness and remember God.
4. To look on sickness in any form as real is to worship an idol. You are One with God in Love, not idolatry. All forms of idolatry are distortions of Godís Oneness taught by your sick and divided mind, which cannot understand that Love is Oneness, not power-over. Sickness is a form of idolatry because it is the belief that power can be taken from you. But this is impossible because you are One with God, Which is All Power. In your identification with a personal self you have made an image of a sick god: self-created, self-sufficient, vicious, and vulnerable. This is the idol that you worship as yourself and that you project onto others in your identification with the personal mind. This is the idol that you put so much effort into saving and that you are afraid of losing.
5. Look calmly at what the personal self is offering you and ask yourself if this is what you really want. To attain this you are willing to attack the Divinity of your mind by perceiving part of it as a separate world outside of you and therefore to lose sight of your Divinity. You keep your Divinity hidden to protect this idol that you think will save you from the very dangers it brings but which do not really exist.
6. There is no idolatry in God but there is great appreciation because All is One in God. You cannot be One with idols but you are One with God. In the world that you perceive health is the counterpart of valuing yourself in Heaven. Your Christ Mind does not make you worthy of God but It brings you Godís Love because you do not value yourself. When you do not value yourself you become sick but your Christ Mind can heal you because It can make you aware of your Value. Peace comes from God to you through your Christ Mind. It is always here for you, though you may not ask for It.
7. When you are sick you are not asking for Peace and you do not know that you have It. Your acceptance of Peace denies illusions and sickness is an illusion. You have the power to deny illusions that you see anywhere in the world that you perceive merely by denying that you are an illusion. Your Christ Mind can heal you because it knows your Value for you and it is this Value that makes you Whole. A whole mind has no idols or conflicting laws. Your Christ Mind heals you because It has only one Message and this Message is the Truth. You will be Whole again when you have faith in the Message and in your Christ Mind.
8. Your Christ Mind does not deceive you about God and you will learn this as you learn that you receive as much as you are willing to accept. Because you can hear the Holy Spirit you can accept Peace now for your entire mind and be free of all illusions. But if you have any other gods before God you will not hear the Holy Spirit. God is not jealous of the gods you made but you are jealous for them. You save and serve the projections of the personal mind because you believe that they make you. You made them to replace God but you deny this and you project onto them the frightening idea that they have replaced God so you can believe that they, not God, are your source. Yet when your projections seem to tell you what you are remember that nothing can replace God and the replacements that you have attempted are nothing.
9. Very simply, you think that you are afraid of being turned into nothing by God but you are really afraid of the nothingness you made. In this awareness you are healed. You will hear the god to which you listen. You made the god of sickness and because you made it you can hear it. This is not Oneness because this is not the Will of God. Your god is not eternal and it will be unmade for you the moment that you indicate that you are willing to accept only the Eternal.
10. There is only One God and you share Reality with God because Oneness is not divided. To place other gods before God is to place other images of yourself before you. You do not realize how much you listen to your gods and how much effort you put into preserving them. They only exist because you honor them. But honor God instead and Peace will be yours because it comes to you from your real Source. You cannot make God and the god you made cannot make you. For you to honor illusions is for you to honor nothing. Yet you need not fear them either because they are nothing. You have chosen to fear Love because It is Perfectly Harmless and you have made yourself unlike It. Because of this fear you have been willing to give up the Help of the Holy Spirit.
11. You will only find Peace in God within you. The Holy Spirit calls you to return to God and you will hear It when you place no other gods before God. You must give up the god of sickness that you project onto a world to give up the god of sickness for yourself. If you see the god of sickness anywhere and believe it you have accepted it as real. Having accepted it you will worship it because it was made to replace God. The god of sickness is the belief that you can choose which god is real. While it is clear that this has nothing to do with Reality it is equally clear that this has everything to do with what you think is real.
4. The End of Sickness
1. All magical thinking is an attempt to reconcile illusion with Truth. True spiritual thinking recognizes that illusion and Truth cannot be reconciled. You cannot reconcile sickness and Perfection. In God you are Perfect and if you believe that you are sick then you have placed another god before God. God is not at war with the god of sickness that you made but you are. The god of sickness symbolizes your decision to separate from God and it makes you feel guilty and afraid because you cannot reconcile it with Godís Will. If you attack the god of sickness you will make it real to you but if you let it go in whatever form it appears to you, wherever it appears to you, it will disappear into the nothingness out of which you made it.
2. Reality can only dawn on your clear mind. It is always here to be accepted by you but you must be willing to have It to accept It. For you to remember Reality you must be willing to judge unreality as the nothing that it is. For you to overlook nothingness is for you to judge it correctly and to let it go. God cannot dawn on your mind when it is full of illusions because you cannot reconcile Truth and illusion. Truth is Whole and It can only be known with a whole mind.
3. Godís Oneness cannot be partly sick and to perceive It that way is to not perceive It at all. Oneness cannot be divided and still be One. If you perceive gods other than God your mind is split. You cannot limit the split because you have removed part of your mind from Godís Will so it is out of control and cannot be ordered in a rational manner. When you misunderstand your mind you perceive it functioning incorrectly.
4. Godís Law of Oneness keeps your mind at Peace because Peace is Godís Will and Godís Law is for Peace. Godís Law sets you free but the personal mindís law limits you. Limitlessness and limitedness are irreconcilable and you cannot understand them together. Only Godís Law is Real and only Godís Law works for you. Anything else is lawless and chaotic. Yet God protects you with Its Law of Oneness and any other seeming law does not exist. A ďLaw of ChaosĒ is a contradictory term. God is One and chaos is without God and therefore it has no meaning. You may have given your Peace to these other gods that you made but there is nothing to take your Peace from you and you cannot really give your Peace away.
5. You cannot give up your Freedom but you can deny It. You cannot do what God does not intend to do because what God does not intend does not happen. Your gods do not bring chaos but you endow them with chaos and then you accept it of them. But none of this has ever been. You are One with God and Godís Will and you extend God as God extends God. What you have made is unworthy of you and you would not want it if you saw it as the nothing that it is. When you look on what you have made honestly you will automatically look beyond it to What is in you and all around you. God cannot break through the obstacles you make to God but God will envelop you completely when you let your obstacles go.
6. When you have experienced the Security of God you will find it inconceivable to make idols to replace God. Godís Mind holds no strange images of you and what is not in Godís Mind cannot be in yours because your Mind is Godís Mind. Godís Oneness is Everywhere and What is so for God is so for you. No false gods that you want to put between you and God affect God at all. Peace is yours because you are One with God and only Godís Oneness exists.
7. You will extend Godís Love to replace the world in your mind when you lay aside all false gods. Your extension of the miracle is your act of faith because by it you recognize that the Holy Spirit is here no matter what is appearing. It calls on the Holy Spirit to join your mind with its perceptions and to strengthen it by joining. When you hear the Holy Spirit instead of the world of separation in your mind you strengthen the Holy Spirit in you and you weaken your belief in sickness. The Power of your Mind can shine on all that your mind perceives and undo the world because your mind is One. Your Mind is Everywhere and It is Eternal.
8. God may be obscured to you by your perception of a world but God remains in your Whole Mind and can never be completely forgotten by you. If you extend your awareness of God to replace the world of separation in your mind you will learn that God fills your Whole Mind. Perceiving this will heal your mind and when you know it completely you will return to God. But to return you first have to acknowledge God can be all that you perceive because the separation was a shift from Limitlessness to limitedness in your awareness. Now you must shift back. God is still in your entire mind even though it perceives a world, and God is calling to you. Put your faith in God and God will answer you.
5. The Denial of God
1. The god of sicknessí rituals are strange and very demanding. Joy is not permitted and depression is a sign of allegiance to this god because it means that you have denied God. You may be afraid of committing blasphemy but do you understand what blasphemy really means? For you to deny God is for you to deny your own Identity and in this sense the ďwages of sinĒ is death because for you to deny Life is for you to perceive death as real. You cannot really do this but you can think that you can and you believe that you have.
2. When you deny God you inevitably project the cause of your sense of separation from God onto others. You receive the message that you project onto others because it is the message that you want. You may believe that you judge others by the messages they give you but you really judge them by the message you have projected onto them. Do not blame others for your lack of Joy or you will not see Godís Love in place of your projections and be Joyous. Denying that Godís Love is here is what depresses you. Whenever you look on your projections as real you are denying God.
3. The personal mindís religion is allegiance to the denial of God. The god of sickness obviously demands the denial of health because health is in opposition to its survival. What this means for you is that unless you are sick you cannot keep the gods you made because you could only want them in sickness. Blasphemy, then, is self-destructive not God-destructive because it means that you are willing to not know yourself in order to be sick. Self-destruction is the offering your god demands because, having made this god out of the insane desire to be not as you are, this god is an insane idea. But though it takes many different forms it is one idea: your denial of God.
4. Sickness and death seemed to enter your mind against your will. The ďattack on GodĒ makes you think that you are isolated and without a Source and in your depression you make a god of depression. This is your alternative to Joy because in your wanting to be separate from God you cannot accept that God is your Source. But you are helpless without God because God alone is the Help that you need.
5. Of the personal mind you can do nothing because you are not of the personal mind. If you were then the personal self would be true and you would not be able to undo it. It is because you did not make yourself that you do not need to be troubled over anything. Your gods are nothing because God did not make them. You cannot make real anything unlike God anymore than God can be One with anything unlike God. God extends God and God and cannot extend what is unlike God. God can only extend What is. Your depression comes from your perception of separation from God and cannot come from the Oneness of God.
6. You who are One with God have not sinned but you have been much mistaken. But this can be corrected and God will help you because God knows that you cannot sin against God. You denied God because you loved God and knew that if you recognized your love for God you could not separate from God. Your denial, then, affirms your love for God and your knowledge that God loves you. What you deny you must once have known and since you can accept denial you can accept its undoing.
7. God has not denied you and God does not retaliate but God does call to you to return to God. When you think God has not answered your call it is because you have not answered Godís Call. God calls to you from beyond every projection that you make in your perception of a world because God loves your entire mind. If you listen for God beyond your projections you will be answered. The Love of God fills your entire mind, which is everywhere. Make Peace all that you perceive and God will come rushing into your mind in gratitude for your gift to God.
8. Do not look to the god of sickness for your healing but only to the God of Love because healing is your acknowledgment of God. When you acknowledge God you will know that God has never failed to acknowledge you and that Godís Acknowledgment of you lies in your shared Being. You are not sick and you cannot die but you can confuse yourself with things that do. This confusion is blasphemy because it means you are looking on God and yourself without Love. God cannot be separate from you and as you see one of you, you will see the other.
9. You can love only the Eternal because Love does not die. What is of God is Godís Forever and you are of God. God will not allow God to suffer and God will not offer you anything that is not acceptable to God. If you accept that you are One with God you will be incapable of suffering. But to do this you must acknowledge that God is your Source, not because you will be punished if you do not but because your acknowledging God acknowledges you as you are. In God you are wholly without sin, wholly without pain, and wholly without suffering of any kind. But when you deny God you bring sin, pain, and suffering into your own mind because your mind has the Power God gave to it. Your mind is capable of making a world but it can also deny the world that it made because it is free.
10. You have denied yourself so much and God in Godís Love for you does not want it so. But God cannot interfere with you because God does not know you if you are not free. God would be attacking God if God interfered with you and God is not insane. When you deny God you are insane. God will never cease to love you and you will never cease to love God because that is the Condition of your Oneness with God, Which is fixed in Godís Mind Forever. For you to know this is sanity; for you to deny this is insanity. God extends God to you and Godís Gift is Eternal. Would you deny God the gift of yourself?
11. Out of your gift of yourself to God, Godís Wholeness will be restored to your awareness. You removed yourself from Godís Gift by refusing Oneness with God and your own Extension of God. Heaven waits for your return because It is your Home. You are not at home anywhere else or in any other condition. Do not deny yourself the Joy of your Oneness with God to have the misery that you have made for yourself. God has given you the Means to undo what you have made. Listen to the Holy Spirit and you will learn how to remember What you are.
12. God knows you are wholly sinless so it is blasphemous for you to perceive guilt anywhere; God knows you wholly without pain, so it is blasphemous for you to perceive suffering anywhere; God knows you to be wholly joyous, so it is blasphemous for you to be depressed about anything. All forms of blasphemy are your refusals to accept that your mind is whole, as it is in God. In God your Whole Mind is Perfect and you must learn to see Perfection everywhere to learn of your Reality and Perfection.
13. When you perceive what is not of God you are denying God. God is the only Creator and you can extend God only because God extends God to you. The ďgiftsĒ of the personal self are meaningless but your gift of Godís extension is like Godís extension of God to you because It is given in Godís Name. You must acknowledge God as your Source to know yourself in God. You believe that the sick things that you have made are real because you believe the sick images you project are part of God. Only if you accept God as your Source will you have anything Real because God has given you Everything. That is why for you to deny God is for you to deny yourself.
14. Arrogance is the denial of Love because Love extends and arrogance withholds. As long as you want both Love and arrogance the concept of choice, which is not of God, will remain with you. Choice does not exist in Eternity but in time so that while you believe in time you will believe in choice. Your belief in time is a choice in itself. To remember Eternity look only on the Eternal. When you are preoccupied with the world that you perceive you think that you are living in time. Your choice is determined by what you value. Time and Eternity cannot both be real because they contradict each other. If you accept only the Timeless as Real you will begin to understand Eternity and make It yours.
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|