|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
Chapter 17: Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship
1. Bringing Fantasy to Truth
1. Your betrayal of yourself is only an illusion and all your “sins” are only in your imagination. Your Reality is Forever sinless so you do not need to be forgiven; you only need to undo your illusion of separation from God. In your illusions you seem to have betrayed yourself, everyone that you perceive, and God. But what is done in illusions has not really happened. Yet it is impossible to convince you of this because you believe your illusion of separation is your reality. Only by your becoming fully aware of God again will you be fully released from your illusion because then it will be perfectly apparent to you that it has had no effect on Reality at all. Illusions seem to have the purpose of changing reality but they cannot do so in Reality; they only seem to do so in your mind when you want reality to be different.
2. It is only your wish to change what is real that makes Reality frightening to you because by your wish you think that you have made it happen. In a sense this acknowledges your Power but by distorting It and devoting It to “evil” it also makes your Power unreal to you. You cannot be faithful to two Teachers who ask conflicting things of you. What you use to make an illusion of separation you deny to Truth; and what you give to Truth to use for you is safe from your illusions.
3. When you maintain that it is too difficult to extend God’s Love to be everything that you perceive all you mean is that there are some illusions that you want to withhold from God. You believe that God cannot deal with them only because you want to keep them from God. Very simply, your lack of faith in the Power that heals all pain comes from your wish to retain some part of your mind for illusions. If you only realized how this destroys your appreciation of your Whole Mind! What you reserve for illusions you take away from the Holy Spirit, Which wants to release you from illusions. Unless you give your illusions to the Holy Spirit it is inevitable that you will believe in a warped reality and your mind will be uncorrected.
4. As long as you want it you will keep the illusion that there are some things that you perceive to which you cannot extend God’s Love. You have established this idea by giving some of your illusions to the personal mind and others to the Holy Spirit so that you have learned to deal with parts of the world that you perceive with one and with other parts with the Other. You confuse illusion with Truth and this is your “reality”. But to fragment Truth is to make It meaningless to you. There are no orders of Reality because Reality is One.
5. You cannot bring Truth to illusions and learn What Truth is from the perspective of illusions. Truth has no meaning in illusions and Truth’s Frame of Reference is Itself. When you try to bring Truth to illusions you are trying to make illusions real and to keep them by justifying your belief in them. But if you truly give illusions to Truth, Truth will teach you that illusions are not real and this will enable you to undo them. Do not hold back any idea from Truth or you will establish different realities for yourself that will limit you. There is only One Reality and only What is There is True.
6. Be willing to give all that you have held apart from Truth to the Holy Spirit, Which knows Truth and in Which all is brought to Truth. For your salvation to be at all you must be completely saved from separation. Be concerned only with your willingness to have this accomplished and the Holy Spirit will accomplish it for you. Do not forget this: When you become disturbed and lose your Peace of mind because you perceive others in their own illusions you are not forgiving yourself for perceiving illusions. You are holding part of your mind away from Truth and salvation. As you forgive the personal mind’s perceptions of others you restore Truth to your entire mind. You will see forgiveness where you have extended it.
2. The Forgiven World
1. You cannot imagine how Beautiful your perception of others will be to you when you have forgiven the personal mind’s projections onto them. You have never seen anything so Beautiful in your illusions and you will value nothing above this. Nothing that you remember in the personal self’s past has made your heart sing with the Joy this Vision will bring to you. You will see your Christ Mind. You will see the Beauty the Holy Spirit sees and for Which the Holy Spirit thanks God. The Holy Spirit is given to you to see this for you until you learn to see It for yourself. All of the Holy Spirit’s teaching leads you to seeing your Christ Mind and to your giving thanks to God for your Christ Mind.
2. This Loveliness is not an illusion. It is your Real Perception, bright and clean and new. There is nothing hidden in your Real Perception because with It you have forgiven everything and you have no illusions to hide the Truth. The bridge between your Real Perception and the world of separation that you perceive is so little and so easy to cross that you will not believe that it is the meeting place of perceptions so different. This little bridge is the strongest thing that touches on the world that you perceive. The little step it takes you to stride across this bridge takes you from time into Eternity; beyond all ugliness into enchanting Beauty that will never cease to cause you wonderment at Its Perfection.
3. Over the bridge to Real Perception the next step you take is the smallest of steps and yet the greatest accomplishment in God’s plan of Atonement. You learn everything else but this final step is given to you wholly Complete and Perfect. Only God can complete it. Crossing the bridge you learn to reach your Real Perception’s Loveliness, Where all illusions are undone and by your own forgiving you are freed to see Truth. But what you see is only the perception that you made with the blessing of your forgiveness on it. With this final blessing of your Christ Mind on Itself the Perception that reflects Reality has served Its purpose.
4. In the final step taken by God the world will disappear from your mind. Perception will be meaningless to you because it will have been perfected and everything that you used for learning will no longer have a function. Now nothing will ever change for you; no shifts or shadings or differences or variations will happen for perception to occur. When you have reached for Real Perception and you have been made ready for God your Real Perception will be so short that you will barely have time to thank God for It before God will take the last step swiftly and lift you into Heaven.
5. You attain Real Perception simply by your complete forgiving of the world of separation in your mind. The Holy Spirit will undertake with you the careful searching of your mind which made the world and uncover with you the seeming reason you had for making it. The Holy Spirit’s Reason for the world that you perceive is to reflect Reality and in Light of this Reason you will see that the world has no reason at all. Every spot that the Holy Spirit touches with Its reason will become Beautiful to you and what seemed ugly in the empty reason of the personal mind you will release to Loveliness. Even what you have made in insanity has a hidden spark of Beauty that is released in Gentleness.
6. All this Beauty will rise to bless your sight as you look on all that you perceive with forgiving eyes. Your forgiving literally transforms your vision and lets you see your Real Perception reaching quietly and gently across chaos, removing all the illusions that had twisted your perception and fixed it on the personal self’s past. The smallest leaf will become a thing of wonder to you, and a blade of grass will become a sign of God’s Perfection to you.
7. From your forgiving perception you will easily be lifted Home and you will know that you have always rested There in Peace. Salvation will become an illusion and then vanish from your mind because salvation is the end of illusions and it has no meaning without them. You will have no need of an illusion of salvation when you are aware of Heaven.
8. How much do you want salvation? It will give you your Real Perception, Which is trembling with readiness to be given to you. The eagerness of the Holy Spirit to give you your Real Perception is so intense that the Holy Spirit does not want to wait, although It waits in Patience. Meet the Holy Spirit’s Patience with your impatience to meet It. Go in gladness to meet the One Which corrects your perception of separation from God and walk in trust out of your perception of a world of separation and into your Real Perception of Beauty and forgiveness.
3. Shadows of the Past
1. When you forgive the personal self’s past you remember only your Loving Thoughts of the past and you forget everything else. Your forgiving is your selective remembering but it is not based on the personal mind’s selection. The “shadow figures” from the personal self’s past that the personal mind projects onto others and wants to make immortal are your “enemies” of Reality. Be willing to forgive your Christ Mind for what your Christ Mind did not do because the shadow figures are the witnesses the personal mind brings to make it seem as though you have separated from God, which you have not done. You bring them to your relationships but you do not understand how they come into your mind or what their purpose is. The shadow figures represent the “evil” that the personal mind tells you was done to you in the past and you bring them with you only so that you can return evil for evil by projecting guilt onto another in the present and seem to not harm yourself. They seem to witness clearly to the reality of your separation from God and you see them only because you are obsessed with keeping the separation real to you. They offer you the “reasons” why you should enter into unholy relationships to support the personal mind’s goals and use these relationships to witness to the personal mind’s power.
2. It is these shadow figures that seem to make the personal self holy in your sight and to teach you that what you do to keep the personal self safe is “love”. The shadow figures always speak for you getting vengeance on the personal self’s past in the present and all relationships in which you see them are totally insane. Without exception these relationships have as their purpose the exclusion of the Truth from your mind, both in you and in the world that your mind perceives. This is why you see in both yourself and others what is not there and you enslave both to vengeance; why whatever reminds you of the personal self’s past grievances attracts you and seems to go by the name of “love”, no matter how distorted are the associations by which you arrive at the connection; why all special relationships attempt union through bodies since only bodies can be seen as a means for vengeance. It is obvious that bodies are central to all unholy relationships and your own experience has taught you this. But what you may not realize are all the reasons that make the relationship unholy. Unholiness seeks to reinforce itself, just as Holiness does, by gathering to itself what it perceives as like itself.
3. In the unholy relationship it is not the body of the other with which you attempt union but the bodies of those from the personal self’s past whose shadow you bring with you. The body of the other, which already severely limits your perception of what is real, is not really your central focus. You separate off as valuable only the parts of the body of the other that you can use for your fantasies of vengeance and that you can most readily associate with those from the personal self’s past on whom you seek vengeance. Every step that you take in the making, the maintaining, and the breaking off of an unholy relationship is a move you make toward further separation and unreality. The shadow figures enter your relationship more and more and the one on whom they are projected decreases in importance to you.
4. Time is kind when you use it for Gentleness but time is cruel when you use it for the personal self and it is indeed unkind to the unholy relationship. In your identification with a personal self almost at once the attraction of the unholy relationship begins to fade for you and you question it. Once the special relationship is formed you must begin to doubt it because its purpose of true union is impossible. The “ideal” special relationship, from the personal mind’s point of view, is one in which the actual personal self of the other does not enter to “spoil” your fantasy of them, so that the less the other really brings to the relationship the “better” it becomes for you. This attempt at union really becomes your means of excluding even the personal self with whom you sought union. You formed the special relationship to get the other out of the relationship so that you could join with your fantasies of the personal self’s past in “bliss”.
5. So how can the Holy Spirit bring into relationships whose only purpose is supposed to be your separation from Reality Its interpretation of the body as a means for uniting your mind? Forgiving enables the Holy Spirit to do so. When everything but your Loving Thoughts from the past are forgotten What remains is Eternal and your transformed past is made like the present. Then the past will no longer conflict with now. This continuity extends the present by increasing its Reality and its value in your perception of it. Your Loving Thoughts from the past provide the Spark of Beauty in the ugliness of the unholy relationship, where hatred is supposed to be remembered. This Spark comes alive as you give the relationship to the Holy Spirit, Which gives it Life and Beauty. This is why the plan of the Atonement centers on your perception of the personal self’s past, which is the source of your perception of separation from God and where it must be undone. Your perception of separation must be corrected where it is made.
6. The personal mind seeks to “resolve” your problems where they are not to guarantee that they will have no solution. The Holy Spirit only wants to make Its solutions complete and perfect so It seeks for and finds the source of you problems where they are and undoes them. With each step in the Holy Spirit’s plan of undoing your perception of separation is undone more and more and True Union is brought closer to your mind. The Holy Spirit is not at all confused by any “reason” for your perception of separation and It only perceives that your perception of separation must be undone. Let the Holy Spirit uncover the Loving Thoughts in your relationships and show them to you. Love will so attract you that you will be unwilling to ever lose sight of Love again and you will let Love transform your relationships so that you can see Love more and more. You will want Love more and more and you will seek for and establish the conditions in which you can see Love.
7. All this you will gladly do if you let the Holy Spirit hold Love before you to make the Goal clear. Your mind is One and What God has joined as One the personal mind cannot put asunder. No matter how hidden, Holiness is safe in every relationship that you perceive because your One Relationship with God has not left your mind. The Holy Spirit sees only the Holiness that you extend to any relationship because It knows that only Holiness is True. You have made unholy and un-real relationships by not seeing your One Relationship with God. Give the personal self’s past to the Holy Spirit to change your mind about it for you. But first be sure you fully realize what you have made the past to represent to you and why.
8. The personal self’s past is your justification for entering into a continuing, unholy alliance with the personal mind against the present. The present is forgiveness so you do not perceive or feel now the relationships that your unholy alliance with the personal mind dictates. The personal mind uses the personal self’s past as a frame of reference for the present. But this is an illusion of a past in which you keep those elements that fit the purpose of the unholy alliance and you let go of everything else. What you let go of, then, are all the Loving Thoughts that the past could ever offer to the present as Witnesses to Reality. What you keep then seems to witness to the reality of illusions.
9. It is always up to you to choose to join with Truth or with illusion. But remember to choose one is to let go of the other. Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality for yourself because your choice depends on which one you value more. Your awareness of Love or the veil of separation; your Real Perception or the world of guilt and fear; Truth or illusion; Limitlessness or limitedness – it is all the same. Your only choice is between God and the personal mind. Thought systems are either True or false and their attributes come from what they are. Only the Thoughts of God are True and All that follows from Them are as True as the Holy Source from Which they come.
10. Your Christ Mind will enter all of the relationships in your mind and step between you and your fantasies. Let your Relationship with Christ be Real to you and extend your Christ Mind to your perception of your relationships in the world. God does not extend Its Mind to you so that you can hurt yourself with perceptions of a world of separation. Your mind is meant to be Whole and to extend God. This is the Truth that your Christ Mind will interpose between you and your goal of separation from God. Do not be separate from your Christ Mind and do not let the Holy Purpose of correction of the plan of the Atonement be lost to you in the personal mind’s fantasies of vengeance. Relationships in which you cherish fantasies exclude Christ. In the Name of God let your Christ Mind enter your relationships and bring you Peace so that you may extend Peace to your entire mind.
4. The Two Pictures
1. God’s Relationship with you is for Joy and nothing you do that does not share this Purpose can be Real. The Purpose God ascribes to anything is its only Function so because of your Relationship with God the Function of relationships is forever “to make happy” and nothing else. To fulfill this Function you relate to your Extension of God as God relates to you because Everything that is One with God is Joyful and extends Joy as God does. Whatever does not fulfill this Function cannot be Real.
2. Oneness is impossible in the world that you perceive but the Happiness in your mind can be reflected in your perceptions. You have been told earlier in this course that the Holy Spirit will not deprive you of your special relationships but that It will transform them. This means that the Holy Spirit will restore to them the Function of Happiness given to relationships by God. The function that the personal mind has given to relationships is clearly not “to make happy” but the Holy relationship shares God’s Purpose and does not seek to make a substitute for It. Every special relationship that you have made in your identification with a personal self is meant to be a substitute for God’s Will and glorifies the personal self instead of God because you believe the illusion that your will is different from God’s Will.
3. Even in your belief that you are in a world you have a very Real Relationship with the Holy Spirit but you do not recognize this Relationship because, as a substitute for It, when Truth calls to you – which It does constantly – you answer with the special relationship. Every special relationship that you have made has, as its fundamental purpose, the aim of occupying your mind so completely that you will not hear the Truth.
4. The Holy Spirit is God’s Answer to your perception of separation from God and, in a sense, the special relationship is the personal mind’s answer to the Holy Spirit. Although the personal mind does not understand the Holy Spirit it is aware of “threat” in your mind. The personal mind’s whole defense system evolved to protect from the Holy Spirit your belief in separation from God because the Holy Spirit is the Gift God has given to you to heal your perception. The Truth is that the Holy Spirit is in Close Relationship with you and through the Holy Spirit your Relationship with God is restored to you. Your Relationship with God has never been broken because the Holy Spirit has not been separate from you since your perception of separation began. Your Holy Relationship with God is carefully preserved by the Holy Spirit to serve God’s Purpose for you.
5. The personal mind is always alert to threat and the part of your mind into which you have accepted the personal mind is very anxious to preserve its “sanity” as it sees it. You do not realize that the personal mind is totally insane but you must realize this if you want to be restored to Sanity. In insanity you project your thought system and you do so insanely. All your defenses are as insane as what they are supposed to protect. Every part of your perception of separation is insane and its “protection” is part of it and as insane as the whole of it. The special relationship, which is your chief defense for your perception of separation from God, is therefore insane.
6. You have little difficulty realizing now that the personal mind’s thought system is delusional and, at least in general terms, that the personal mind is insane. But the special relationship still seems somehow different to you. You have looked more closely at the special relationship than at many other aspects of the personal mind’s thought system that you have been willing to let go. But while the special relationship remains you have not let the others go because it is not different from them. Hold on to this one aspect of your perception of separation and you hold on to all of it.
7. All of your defenses do what they defend. You defend your perception of separation from God by offering yourself further perceptions of separation. Your defense of your perception of separation takes elaborate forms but they all frame a miniature picture of separation. Your defense is meant to be of value in itself to divert your attention away from the fact that it is framing a perception of separation from God. But you cannot have the defense without the perception of separation it is defending, although the defense is meant to make you think that you can.
8. The special relationship is the most imposing and deceptive of defenses that the personal mind uses. Separation from God is the picture it offers you but the special relationship frames it with the illusion of love, fantasies of sacrifice, personal self-promotion, and Self-destruction. It is an offering of blood and tears in an elaborate disguise.
9. But look at the picture of separation from God inside the frame of the special relationship and do not let the special relationship distract you. It is a gift of damnation given to you by the personal mind and if you take this gift you will believe that you are damned. The frame has no meaning without the picture; the special relationship has no meaning without separation from God. You value the special relationship because you do not see the conflict in it but it is only the frame for a gift of conflict. Do not be deceived by the superficial aspects of the personal mind’s thought system because they enclose your whole belief in separation from God. Death is its real gift to you, so do not be hypnotized by the special relationship but look at what it is framing.
10. This is why the Holy Instant is so important in defending your awareness of Truth. You need to defend yourself against the gift of death because when you who are Truth accept an idea that would undo Truth you threaten to destroy your awareness of Truth. The Power of Heaven, the Love of God, the Joy of Christ and Its Holy Spirit are All marshaled to defend you from your own attack. You attack Them when you attack yourself because you are One with Them and they must save you because They Love Themselves.
11. The Holy Instant is a miniature Picture of Heaven sent to you from Heaven. It is a Picture of Timelessness set in the frame of time. If you accept this Gift you will not see the frame of time at all because you can accept this Picture of Timelessness only through your willingness to focus all of your attention on It. If you focus on the Picture the frame will fade away and you will see only Eternity. Just as the whole thought system of the personal mind lies in its gifts so does the Whole of Heaven lie in this Holy Instant, borrowed from Eternity and set in time for you.
12. You are offered two gifts; each is complete and cannot be partially accepted. Each is a picture of all that it offers to you but around the picture of your separation from God you look only on the frame of the special relationship that seems to defend it. You cannot compare a picture to a frame – the Holy Instant to the special relationship. You must compare picture to picture - the Holy Instant to your perception of separation from God - for the comparison to have any meaning because the picture is the gift. Only if you look clearly at both pictures are you free to make a choice. The picture of separation is a tiny miniature obscured by the enormous frame of the special relationship; the Holy Instant is so lightly framed by time that Its Lovely Image is all that you see.
13. You have tried hard to fit the better picture into the wrong frame – to make a god of the special relationship. They cannot be combined, so accept this and be glad: Each picture is framed perfectly for what it represents. Your perception of your separation from God is framed by the special relationship to be out of focus and not seen. The Holy Instant is framed for perfect clarity because you have nothing to hide in It. The picture of denial and death that is your perception of separation from God will grow less appealing as you seek it within its heavy frame. As you examine each senseless aspect of the special relationship it will cease to attract and distract you. And as you finally look on the picture of separation from God it is meant to hide you will see that the picture has no meaning.
14. The Picture of the Holy Instant is lightly framed by time because time cannot contain Eternity. The frame does not distract you from the Picture. The Picture of Heaven and Eternity grows more convincing as you look at It. By real comparison now a transformation of both pictures can happen. When you see both in relation to the other the picture of your perception of separation from God will not frighten you but you will recognize it is only a picture; something you mistakenly thought was real and nothing more. There is nothing beyond this picture.
15. The Picture of the Holy Instant in clear-cut contrast is transformed into the Eternity that lies beyond the Picture. The Holy Instant is not a Picture; It is Reality. It does not merely represent a thought system; It is the Thought of God and what It represents is here. The frame of time will fade gently as you remember God, Which offers you Oneness in exchange for your little valueless and meaningless picture of separation.
16. As God ascends to Its
5. The Healed Relationship
1. Your Holy relationship with another in the world that you perceive is an expression of the Holy Instant. It represents the healing of your mind by uniting your mind with the part that you have projected onto a world. Like everything else that the Holy Spirit uses for your salvation, it is practical and its results witness to it. The Holy Instant never fails you and you can always experience It but without Its expression you will not remember It. Your Holy relationship is your constant reminder of the experience of the Holy Instant, in Which your Relationship with the Holy Spirit is. As the unholy special relationship represents hatred of you through its praise of the personal self so your Holy relationship is Happy praise for the Holy Spirit, Which corrects all of your relationships.
2. You learn a Holy relationship and it is a major step toward your Real Perception. It is an unholy relationship with another in the world that you perceive that you allow to be transformed and that you see with Real Perception. It is a phenomenal teaching accomplishment because as it begins, develops, and becomes accomplished it represents for you the reversal of the unholy relationship. Be comforted that the only difficult phase is the beginning because this is when your unholy goal for the relationship is abruptly shifted to the exact opposite of what it was. This is the first result of your offering a relationship to the Holy Spirit to use for Its purposes.
3. Your invitation to the Holy Spirit to enter your relationship was accepted immediately by the Holy Spirit, Which wastes no time in introducing you to the practical results of your invitation. At once the Holy Spirit’s Goal of Oneness replaces the personal mind’s goal of separation and since this is accomplished very rapidly it makes the relationship seem disturbed, disconnected, and distressing for you. This is because the relationship as it is, is out of line with its new Goal and it is clearly unsuited for this new Purpose that you have accepted for it. In its unholy condition the personal mind’s goal of specialness was all that seemed to give the relationship meaning for you and so its new Purpose seems to make the relationship make no sense to you. You may be tempted to break off your relationship at this point to pursue the old goal of specialness in another relationship because once you have accepted the Goal of Holiness for an unholy relationship it can never again be what it was.
4. With this shift in goals the temptation to follow the personal mind will become extremely intense for you because the relationship will not yet have changed enough to make its former goal of specialness completely unattractive to you. The structure of the relationship will seem “threatened” by your recognition of its inappropriateness for meeting its new Purpose of Holiness. The conflict between your new Goal and the structure of the relationship will be so obvious that they cannot coexist. But now the Goal cannot be changed back and so the only course for you is to change the relationship to fit the new Goal. Until you accept that this happy solution is the only way out of conflict the relationship may seem to you to be severely strained.
5. It would not be kinder to shift the goal of the relationship more slowly because the contrast would be obscured for you and the personal mind would have time to re-interpret each slow step according to its goal. Only a radical shift in purpose will induce you to completely change your mind about what the relationship is for. As this change develops and is finally accomplished the relationship will grow increasingly beneficial and Joyous for you. But at the beginning you will experience the relationship as very precarious. You have entered the relationship for your unholy purposes and you now have Holiness for your goal. As you contemplate your relationship from the point of view of this new Purpose you will inevitably be appalled. Your perception of the relationship might even become quite disorganized but the former organization of your perception will no longer serve the Purpose that you have agreed to meet.
6. This is the time for faith. You let the Goal be set for you and that was an act of faith so do not abandon faith now that the rewards of faith are being introduced. You believed that the Holy Spirit was there to accept the relationship and you can believe that the Holy Spirit is here to purify what It has taken under Its guidance. Have faith in your new perception of your relationship in what seems to be a trying time. The Goal is set and your relationship now has Sanity as its purpose. In Light of your new Goal you can see that your relationship was insane.
7. Now the personal mind will counsel you to substitute for your Holy relationship another relationship that serves your former goal of specialness. It will tell you that you can only escape from your discomfort by getting rid of the other. You won’t have to get rid of the other completely but you must exclude the other from major areas of your life in the world to protect your sanity. Do not listen to this! Have faith in the Holy Spirit, Which has answered you very clearly. You are not wholly insane. The Holy Spirit asks for faith in the midst of your bewilderment because this confusion will go away and you will see your faith justified. Do not abandon the Holy Spirit by abandoning the other because your relationship has been reborn as Holy.
8. Accept with gladness a relationship you do not understand and let it be explained to you as the Holy Spirit’s Purpose works in it to make it Holy. It will seem at times to have no purpose and the personal mind will find many opportunities to blame the other for the “failure” of your relationship. A sense of aimlessness may come to haunt you and to remind you of all the ways in which you used to seek for satisfaction for the personal self and in which you thought that you had found it. But do not forget the misery that you really found and do not breathe life into the failing personal mind. Your relationship has not been disrupted; it has been saved.
9. You are very new to the ways of salvation and you may think that you have lost your way. The personal mind’s way was loss for you so do not think that giving it up is loss. In your newness remember that by recognizing your Holiness in your perception of another in the world in your mind you walk along a road to God that is far more familiar to you than you now believe. It is certain that you will remember the Oneness that is unchanged throughout Eternity. You have chosen the Goal of God, from Which your True intentions have never left.
10. Your Christ Mind sings the song of Freedom in Joyous echo of your choice. You have joined your entire mind in the Holy Instant. Your choice will not leave you comfortless because God blesses your Holy relationship. Join in God’s blessing by blessing the relationship yourself because this is all that it needs for you to see that in it rests your salvation. Salvation has come to you so welcome it because in this relationship your entire mind is blessed.
11. You have invited the Holy Spirit into your relationship with another in the world that you perceive; the Holy Spirit could not have entered it otherwise. Although you may have made mistakes by projecting the personal mind onto the other since then you have also made enormous efforts to help the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit appreciates all that you have done for It and It does not see your mistakes at all. Have you done the same in your relationship with the other? Have you gratefully extended Holiness to your perception of the other in place of the personal mind’s projections? Or have you looked on the personal mind’s projections as real? Maybe you are now embarking on a campaign to blame the other for your discomfort in this relationship. By your lack of gratitude to the other for the opportunities your relationship with them gives to you to extend Holiness in your awareness you make yourself unable to express the Holy Instant and so you lose sight of It.
12. No matter how compelling you find the experience of the Holy Instant you will easily forget it if you allow time to close over It. It must be kept graciously in your awareness of time but not buried in it. The Holy Instant is always here; but where are you? For you to be grateful for your Holy relationship is for you to appreciate the Holy Instant and to enable yourself to experience and extend its results. For you to attack the other in your relationship is not for you to lose the Holy Instant but for you to make It powerless for you.
13. You have received the Holy Instant but you may have established a condition in which you cannot use It so you do not realize that It is still with you. By cutting yourself off from the Holy Instant’s expression through the Holy relationship you deny yourself Its benefits. You reinforce this every time you attack the other with the personal mind’s projections because the attack blinds you to yourself by blocking the reflection of your Holiness in your perception. When you deny yourself you cannot recognize the Holiness that God has given to you and that you have.
14. In your relationship with the other you stand in the Holy Presence of God. Here is the Goal and the Goal Itself will gladly arrange the means for you to accomplish It. The discrepancy between the Purpose that you have accepted for your relationship and the relationship as it is now makes Heaven glad, although in your identification with a personal self this discrepancy seems to make you suffer. Because Heaven is within you, you can share Its Gladness. Through your relationship with another who once seemed outside of you, your mind is united in Purpose but you still remain conflicted on the means to attain It. But the Goal is Fixed, Firm, and Unalterable and the means will fall into place because the Goal is sure. You will share your Christ Mind’s gladness that this is so.
15. As you begin to recognize and accept the Gifts of God that you freely extend to your relationship you will also accept the effects of the Holy Instant and use them to correct all of your mistaken projections and free yourself from their results. Learning this you will learn how to free all of your relationships in the world that you perceive by offering them to the Holy Spirit in gladness and thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit has freed you and will extend your Freedom through you.
6. Setting the Goal
1. The practical application of the Holy Spirit’s Purpose of extending God’s Truth in your awareness is extremely simple and clear. In fact, to be simple it must be clear. The Holy Spirit’s Goal of Truth, being Everywhere, is general but for now the Holy Spirit will work with you to apply It in specific situations. There are certain very specific guidelines that the Holy Spirit provides for you in any situation but you do not yet realize their potential for application everywhere. So for now it is essential for you to use them in each situation separately until you can more safely look beyond each situation in an understanding far broader than you now possess.
2. In every situation the first thing for you to consider is: What experience do I want to have? Your goal will determine your experience of any situation so clarifying your goal belongs at the beginning of every situation. The personal mind reverses this procedure and teaches you that the situation determines your experience, which can be anything. It does this because it does not know what it wants you to experience. It is aware that it does not want you to experience God but it has no positive goal at all.
3. When you don’t have a clear-cut positive goal set at the beginning of a situation it just seems to happen to you and it makes no sense to you until it has already happened and you try to piece it together and give it meaning. Then your judgment will be wrong because the situation is in the past and you have no idea what it should have meant. You did not set a goal to make the situation a means for meeting it. Now the only judgment left is whether or not the personal mind finds the situation acceptable or thinks it calls for vengeance on you. The absence of a goal that you set in advance of a situation leaves you doubting its meaning and makes your evaluating it impossible.
4. The value of your deciding on a goal in advance is simply that you will perceive the situation as a means for achieving that goal. You will therefore make every effort to overlook what interferes with the goal’s accomplishment and you will concentrate your efforts on what helps you to meet the goal. Notice that this approach has brought you closer to the Holy Spirit’s sorting out of Truth from illusion. The True is What you extend to meet the Goal of God and everything else you perceive as useless. The situation has meaning for you only because your Goal has made it meaningful for you.
5. The personal mind teaches you that a situation’s meaning can be anything and that the situation itself causes your experience of it. The Holy Spirit teaches you that your goal determines a situation’s meaning for you, as well as the experience that you will have. Besides giving a situation meaning for you, another practical advantage of your setting the Goal of God at the beginning of any situation is that what you use for Truth and Sanity results in Peace for you. This is quite apart from the outcome of the situation that shows up in the world that you perceive. God is always here and if you experience Peace it is because you have accepted and extended this Truth in your awareness. You will recognize that you see a situation Truly when the result for you is Peace.
6. The Goal of God requires your faith that God is Real. Faith is implied in your acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s Purpose and this faith includes everything in a given situation. Where you set the Goal of God you must have faith in It. The Holy Spirit sees a situation as a whole and you must extend God’s Truth to everyone and everything involved in it. This is inevitable and will not fail. This seems to ask for faith beyond you and beyond what you can give but this is only so from the personal mind’s viewpoint. The personal mind believes in “solving” conflict through fragmentation and does not perceive any situation as whole. It seeks to split off segments of a situation and to deal with them separately because its faith is in separation and not in wholeness.
7. When you are confronted with a problem situation and it seems too difficult for you to extend your awareness of God to all of it the personal mind will try to keep some parts away from Truth and resolve them itself. This can seem to be successful, except that this obscures the Goal of God for you by conflicting with Oneness. If you experience peace doing this it is only a temporary illusion of peace. You have lost sight of God because you have lost faith that only God is Real. The situation will lose the Meaning for you that the Goal of God would have given to it. Illusory solutions bring you illusory experiences and an illusion of peace is not the condition of Truth.
7. The Call for Faith
1. When you accept the personal mind’s substitute “solutions” for parts of a problem situation in place of the Holy Spirit’s extension of your awareness of God they witness to your lack of faith that only God is Real. They demonstrate that you do not believe that the problem situation is only your perception of separation from God. Any problem that you perceive is always your lack of faith that only God is Real because if you extended your awareness of God to the situation the problem would be gone. And the situation would be meaningful to you because there would be no interference in your extension of Truth. When you see a problem as outside of your mind you keep it because this makes it unsolvable.
2. Your faith that only God is Real can solve any problem in any situation. If you shift parts of a problem to the personal mind to solve you make real solution impossible because your perception of separation is the problem. Your problems have all been solved but you have removed yourself from the Solution. Your faith must be in the Holy Spirit, Which is the Solution to your perception of separation from God, and Which you can see by extending It.
3. Every situation in the world that you perceive is your relationship with yourself because it is made up of thoughts in your mind that you project onto the world. If you perceive problems it is because your thoughts are conflicting. But if your Goal is God conflict is impossible. So if you are conflicted some thought making bodies real to you must have entered your mind because you can not allow yourself to see your mind attacking itself and you need to project the source of attack onto something. Bodies cannot solve anything and your thinking that bodies are real indicates that you lack faith that only God is Real. In your relationship with yourself bodies seem to intrude and justify your lack of faith that God is True but seeing bodies as real is just an error in your thoughts. You will make this error but do not be concerned with it because errors do not matter. Bring your errors to Truth and then they cannot interfere with Truth. But use your errors against Truth and your faith in Truth will be destroyed. When you believe in error ask that your faith that only God is Real be restored in your mind where it was lost and do not seek to have your lack of faith corrected elsewhere as though you have been unjustly deprived of your faith by something outside of you.
4. Only what you have not extended to any situation can be lacking. Remember this: The Goal of Holiness was set for your relationship with another and it was not set by the personal mind. The personal mind did not set it because you can see Holiness only through your faith in Holiness’ Reality and your relationship was not Holy before because you limited your perception of the other to the personal mind’s projections. Your faith will grow to meet the Goal that has been set for you by the Holy Spirit within you. The Goal’s Reality will call forth your faith and you will learn that your faith and Peace come together. You cannot be faithful to yourself in any situation where you lack faith that only God is Real.
5. Every situation in which you find yourself in the world that you perceive is a means for you to perceive the Holiness that is the Goal for your relationship with the other and therefore your Goal for your relationship with yourself. See a situation as for something else and you lack faith that only God is Real. Let the personal mind’s goals enter your mind, look on them calmly, and then let them go. Your lack of faith that only God is Real serves the personal mind and its illusions. Use the personal mind and you will go straight to illusions. Do not be tempted by what it offers you because it interferes, not with your Goal of God, but with the value that God has for you. Do not accept the illusion of peace it offers but look on it and recognize it is an illusion.
6. Your lack of faith that only God is Real results in your having illusions as your goal; and your faith that only God is Real results in God as your Goal. If you commit a situation to God in advance and then lack faith by not extending your awareness of God to the whole situation then your commitment is divided. You have lacked faith that God is in your mind and can be extended in your perception and you have used this lack of faith against yourself. Holiness goes everywhere with a Holy relationship. Since Holiness and faith go hand-in-hand faith must go everywhere with Holiness. The Reality of your Goal of God will call forth and accomplish every miracle that you need for Its fulfillment. Everything – small, enormous, weak, compelling – in the world that you perceive will be gently turned to the Holy Spirit’s use and Purpose. Reality will serve the world that you perceive as the world serves your awareness of Reality as long as you do not allow the personal mind to interfere.
7. The Power set in you in whom the Holy Spirit’s Goal of Holiness has been established is so far beyond the personal mind’s little conception of the Infinite that you have no idea how Great is the Strength that goes with you. You can use this Power in perfect safety. Yet for all Its Strength, so great It reaches past all that you can perceive, your little lack of faith can make It useless if you want to use your faithlessness instead.
8. Think about this: You think that you hold against the other in your Holy relationship what they have done to you but what you really blame them for is what you have projected onto them. You do not hold their past against them but your past against them and you do not extend your awareness of God’s Oneness to your perception of them because of your guilt for your past. But your past is the personal mind’s illusion and you are Innocent. What never was has no cause and is not here to interfere with God. There is no cause for you to lack faith that only God is Real but there is Cause for your faith that only God is Real. The Cause for your faith that only God is Real is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit enters any situation that you have given the Holy Spirit’s Purpose of extending Holiness. Truth extends from the center of any situation that you have devoted to Truth and calls to It all that your mind perceives. There is no situation that you enter that does not involve your whole Holy relationship with the other in every aspect and in every part because your mind is whole. You cannot leave any of your perceptions outside of the relationship and keep the situation Holy. Every situation in the world that you perceive is your Holy relationship with the other because everything is your relationship with yourself and from this everything derives its meaning for you.
9. Enter every situation in the world that you perceive with the awareness of God that you extend to your Holy relationship or you will lack faith in your Holy relationship. Your faith in the Holiness of this one relationship will call all that you perceive to share the Purpose of God. You will see the means that you once employed to make your illusions real to you transformed into means for your remembering God. God calls for your faith and your faith makes room for God. When the Holy Spirit changed the purpose of your one relationship with another to Holiness, Holiness became the Goal for every situation you will ever enter in the world that you perceive. Every situation is thereby made free of the personal self’s past, which would make it purposeless.
10. You call for faith because of the Holy Spirit, Which walks with you in every situation. You are no longer wholly insane or limited to the personal mind. Limitation in God must be an illusion. You, whose relationship shares the Holy Spirit’s Goal, are freed from limitation because the Truth has come into your awareness. Its call for your faith is strong. Do not lack faith in Truth because It calls you to your salvation and to your Peace.
8. The Conditions of Peace
1. The Holy Instant is an extreme example of what every situation is meant to be in the Holy Spirit’s perception of the world. The Meaning that the Holy Spirit’s Holiness gives to the Holy Instant It also gives to every situation that you perceive. The Holy Instant calls for a suspension of your faith in the personal mind so that your faith can answer the Call of God. The Holy Instant is the shining example, the clear and explicit demonstration, of the Meaning that you can extend to every relationship and every situation that you perceive. You can extend your faith that only God is Real to every aspect of every situation and not allow the personal mind to force any aspect to be excluded from God. Then a situation will become one of Perfect Peace for you by you allowing What is to simply be in your awareness.
2. The Holy Spirit asks you for just this simple courtesy: Let God be What God is. Do not intrude the personal mind upon God; do not interrupt God’s coming to you; let your awareness of God’s Reality encompass every situation and bring you Peace in your perception of a world. God does not ask for anything, not even for faith. Let God’s Reality enter your mind and It will call forth and secure from you the faith in It you need to be at Peace. Do not let the personal mind rise against Truth because Truth cannot come when you oppose It.
3. Don’t you want to make every situation in the world that you perceive a Holy Instant? This is the gift of faith that you freely give whenever you put aside faith in the personal mind. This frees you to use the Power of the Holy Spirit’s Purpose, Which instantly transforms all situations into one sure and continuous means for establishing your Holiness in your mind and demonstrating the Reality of your Holiness to you. What is demonstrated calls your faith to It and It becomes a Fact from Which you can no longer withhold your faith. The strain for you in your refusing faith in the Truth in you is enormous and far greater than you realize. There is no strain for you in answering Truth with faith.
4. You have acknowledged the Call of the Holy Spirit and now the strain of not responding to It seems greater than before but this is not so. Before, the intolerable strain of your refusing to have faith that only God is Real took the form of sorrow and depression, sickness and pain, dark and terrifying imaginings, fearful fantasies, and dreams of hell.
5. Such was the crucifixion of your Christ Mind. You did this to yourself through your lack of faith that only God is Real. Think carefully before you put your faith in the personal mind because Christ is within you and you have accepted Christ’s Cause as your own. You have accepted your part in correcting your perception of separation from God and you are now responsible to your Christ Mind. Do not fail to give your faith to your Christ Mind because you now know What your lack of faith will cost you. Your salvation is now your only Purpose, so see only this Purpose in every situation and every situation will be a means for bringing you salvation.
6. When you accepted Truth as the Goal for your relationship with another you became an extender of Peace as surely as God extends Peace to you. You can accept the Goal of Peace only when you have faith in It and you only put your faith in what you believe is real. Your Purpose has not changed and It will not change because you have accepted What can never change. You can no longer withhold yourself from God’s Changelessness. Your Freedom is certain so extend It as you have received It and demonstrate to yourself that you have risen far beyond any situation in the world that you perceive that once would’ve held you back and kept you separate from God.
 For example, instead of giving a whole relationship to the Holy Spirit you only call on the Holy Spirit when the relationship is particularly conflicted. This is your attempt to forge a compromise where you get to keep separation from God but you benefit from the Holy Spirit’s occasional guidance. You do not achieve total Peace in the relationship because you are living in two “realities” – the world and God. But if you acknowledge that only God is Real and you see extending this awareness to the relationship as a means for remembering God then you will give the whole relationship to the Holy Spirit and experience it in total Peace.
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|