|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
Chapter 21: Reason and Perception
1. Projection makes perception. The world that you see is what you have put there to see; nothing more and nothing less and so it is important to you. The world that you perceive is the witness to your state of mind, the outward picture of your inward condition. As you think so do you perceive. So do not seek to change the world but choose to change your mind about the world’s reality. What you perceive is a result, not a cause. That is why no miracle is harder than another. What you look upon with your Christ Mind’s Vision is healed and Holy and nothing perceived without It means anything. Where there is no meaning there is chaos.
2. Through the personal mind you have damned yourself and this is the judgment that you project onto the world that you perceive. See the world as damned and what you see is what you have done to hurt What is One with God. If you behold disaster and catastrophe then you have tried to crucify yourself. But if you perceive Holiness and hope then you have joined God’s Will to set yourself free. There is no choice that lies between these two decisions. What you see witnesses to the choice you make.
1. The Forgotten Song
1. What the blind “see” they imagine because they do not know what anything really looks like. They infer what things look like indirectly and construct their inferences as they stumble or fall against them or walk around or through them unhurt. This is how it is with you without your Christ Mind’s Vision. The cues you use to infer your situation are wrong and so you get hurt. You fail to realize that the way to Heaven is open before you and that you will be welcomed There.
2. It is foolish for you to use the personal mind’s judgment, which always makes separation real to you, when you can use the Vision of your Christ Mind instead. It is not necessary for you to imagine what Reality must look like because you must see It before you recognize It for What It is. You can be shown which way to go and where you will feel safe in your mind; which way leads to despair and which way to Love. The personal mind’s judgment will always mislead you but Vision shows you Reality. Why should you guess?
3. There is no need for you to learn through pain. You acquire Gentle lessons Joyously and you remember them gladly. You want to learn What brings you Happiness and you want to remember It. You don’t deny this. But you question whether the means that this course uses will bring you the Joy that it promises. If you believed it would you would have no problem learning it. You are not yet a Happy learner because you still remain uncertain that your Christ Mind’s Vision gives you more than the personal mind’s judgment. You have not yet learned that you cannot have both.
4. In your blindness to God you have become accustomed to the world that you made by adjusting to it. You think that you know your way about in it and you learned this through the stern necessity of limits that you believed were real. Believing in them still, you hold your lessons dear because you feel like you cannot know anything real without them. You do not understand or believe that your lessons keep you from knowing Reality. So you keep the world that you see in your imagination, believing that this and nothing else is real. You hate this world because you learned it through pain and everything in it reminds you that you are incomplete and bitterly deprived.
5. You adjust to the world of bodies where you think you are because you are afraid that this is all that you have and you don’t want to lose it. You try to reach for real union with others in the world that you perceive and fail again and again. You adjust to loneliness because you believe that keeping the body is the way to save the little that you have. But listen and try to remember this:
6. Perhaps you catch a hint of a former State of Being that you have not entirely forgotten. It may be dim but It is not altogether unfamiliar. It is like a song that you once heard but you don’t remember where or what it is called. Just a wisp of the melody has stayed with you but you remember from this little part how lovely the song was, how wonderful was the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there with you.
7. The notes are nothing but you have kept them with you as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was. You are afraid to remember because you believe that you would lose the world that you have learned since then. And yet you know that nothing that you have learned in this world is half so dear. Listen, and see if you remember an ancient song that you knew long ago and held more dear than any melody that you have taught yourself to cherish since then.
8. Beyond the body, beyond the sun and the stars, past everything that the body’s eyes can see and yet more familiar to you is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. The circle fills with light and then the edges disappear and the light is no longer contained. The light extends into Infinity without break or limit. Everything within it is joined in perfect continuity. There is nothing outside of it because this light is everywhere.
9. Such is the Vision of your Christ Mind, Which you know well. It is the Vision of that Which knows God. It is the Memory of What you are: a Part of God with All of God within you and joined to All of God as surely as All of God is joined with you. Accept the Vision that can show you this instead of the body. You know this ancient song well and nothing will ever be as dear to you as the hymn that your Christ Mind sings to God.
10. Now you who were once blind with the personal mind’s judgments can see because your former State of Being, Which you dimly remember, is yours. The denial that you have made cannot withstand your Memory of God. You will look upon your Christ Mind’s Vision and remember God. Your remembering God is what your experience of the miracle is. No perception of your mind can be left out of your remembering. Any perception of Love that you extend, extends to your entire mind. When you see Love you are remembering It for your entire mind.
2. The Responsibility for Sight
1. It has often been repeated in these pages how little is asked of you for you to learn this course. Your little willingness can transform to Joy your relationship to all that your mind perceives. This is all that you need to offer to the Holy Spirit in return for Everything. This is all that your salvation rests on. This is the tiny change of mind by which your crucifixion is changed to resurrection. This little willingness is so simple that you cannot fail to understand what is asked of you. You can refuse to offer it but you cannot be confused about what is being asked of you. If you choose not to offer your little willingness it is not because what is asked of you is obscure to you but because you think it is too high a price to pay for Peace.
2. The only thing that you need to do to have your Christ Mind’s Vision, Happiness, release from pain, and to escape from separation from God is to say this and to mean it without reservations:
I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings that I experience by choosing the goal that I want to achieve.
And separation from God or Oneness with God comes to me as I ask for it.
Do not deceive yourself any longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. Acknowledge that you have been mistaken and the effects of your mistake will disappear.
3. It is impossible for you who are One with God to be driven by events outside of yourself. It is impossible that what happens to you is not your choice. Your power of decision determines your experience in every situation in which you find yourself “by accident” or “by chance”. There is no accident or chance in What is One with God and there is nothing outside of God. If you suffer it is because you have chosen separation from God as your goal. If you are Happy it is because you gave the power of decision to the Holy Spirit, Which decides for God for you. This is the little gift that you give to the Holy Spirit and even this the Holy Spirit gives to you to give to yourself. The power of decision is given to you to release your mind from the world that you perceive so that you may see your salvation.
4. Do not begrudge the Holy Spirit your little offering. Withhold the power of decision from the Holy Spirit and you hold on to the world as you perceive it now. But give the power of decision to the Holy Spirit and what you now perceive goes away. Never was so much given for so little. This exchange occurs and is maintained in the Holy Instant. Here is the world that you do not want brought to the Real Perception that you do want and you are given Real Perception. But for this to happen you must recognize the power of your wanting. You must perceive that your mind, which is strong enough to make a world, can let it go. If you are willing to see that you were mistaken you can accept correction.
5. The world that you perceive is an idle witness that you are right in thinking that you are separate from God. It is insane for you to listen to this witness. In your identification with a personal self you project the message that you are separate from God onto the world, you listen to this message, and then you are convinced by it. Recognize only this and you see how circular is the “reasoning” of the personal mind. This was not given to you by God. This is your “gift” to yourself,and this is what you project onto your Holy relationship. Be willing to extend Truth in its place. As you look on Truth instead of the personal mind’s projections you will see your Self.
6. Perhaps you do not see the need that you have for you to give a little willingness to the Holy Spirit. Look closer, then, at what it is you are afraid of losing and see in it the whole exchange of separation for salvation. All that the personal self is, is your idea that it is possible for things to happen against the Will of you who are One with God and therefore against the Will of God. It is your replacement for your True Will; your mad revolt against What must Forever be. The personal self is your statement that you have the power to make God powerless, to take this power for yourself, and so to leave yourself without What God wills for you. This is the mad idea that you enshrine upon the many personal selves that you see and worship. Everything that threatens this seems to attack what you have faith in. Do not think that you lack faith when you identify with a personal self. Your belief and trust in the personal mind are strong indeed.
7. The Holy Spirit can give you faith in Holiness and the Vision to see It easily but you have not left your mind open and unoccupied. Where Holiness and Vision should be you have set up your idols to the personal self. You give reality to this other “will” that seems to tell you what must happen and so What can show you Reality seems unreal to you. All that you are asked to do is to make room for Truth. You are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding. Just let Truth in and stop your interference with What will happen of Itself. Recognize the Presence of What you thought you gave away.
8. Be willing, for an instant, to leave your mind open and you won’t fail to see What is really there. The Holy Instant does not make you One with God; in It you recognize that you are already One with God. You recognize this when you suspend the personal mind’s judgments and use the Holy Spirit’s Vision. Only then can you look within and see What must be there. Undoing your perception of separation from God is not your task but it is up to you to welcome its undoing. Your faith and your desire go together because you believe in what you want.
9. Wishful thinking is how the personal mind makes what it wants. There is no better demonstration of the power of your wanting and your faith to make goals real to you and to make them seem possible. Your faith in the unreal leads to you making mental adjustments to make a reality to fit your goal of madness. Your goal of separation from God induces your perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire you will see and if it is unreal you will make it seem real to you by denying the adjustments that you make to make it seem real.
10. When you deny your Christ Mind’s Vision it is inevitable that you confuse the cause and effect relationship of your perceptions. Then your purpose becomes obscuring the cause and effect relationship of your perceptions to make it seem that your perceptions, which are the effects of your thoughts, stand on their own. Your mind’s effects now seem independent of your mind and they seem to be the cause of events and your feelings about them. Earlier in this course it was mentioned that you desire to make your own god and to not be One with God. Your confusion of cause and effect is the same desire. You who are God’s Effect deny that God is your Cause. Now you seem to be your own god, a cause that produces real effects though you hide this by giving your effects power over you and make them seem to be your cause. Every effect has a cause and if you confuse cause and effect you fail to understand both.
11. Believing that you did not make the world that you see and believing that God did not create you are the same mistake. What is not One with God has no influence over you who are One with God. If you think that what you made can tell you what you think and feel then you deny that God created you and you believe that the effects of your mind made you. If you think that the world that you made has the power to make you what it wills then you are confusing the effect of your mind with God.
12. In your Oneness with God your extension of God is like God’s extension of God to you. And in your extending God you do not delude yourself that you are independent of God. Your Oneness with God is the Source of your extension of God. Apart from God you have no power to create and what you make is meaningless. What you make changes nothing in God’s Creation; it depends entirely on your madness and it cannot serve to justify your madness. Others in the world that you made seem to validate the reality of the world. Thus they seem to deny your Oneness with God. They seem to believe, with you, that the world made you and them. Thus they validate your denial that you made the world and them.
13. But the Truth is that your entire mind is One with a Loving God. See what “proves” otherwise and you deny your whole Reality. But acknowledge that it is only what you have made in secret that seems to keep your mind divided into an isolated mind and a world outside of it and that this keeps your mind separate from God and the instant of release has come to you. All of separation’s effects are gone when its source has been uncovered. It is separation’s seeming independence from your mind that keeps you bound to it. This is the same mistake as thinking that you are independent of your Source, with Which you are One, and Which you have never left.
3. Faith, Belief and Vision
1. Your goal for all special relationships is to make separation from God real to you. Special relationships are a compromise that you make with Reality, Which is One, by attempting a form of union. But compromises are limits and you hate anyone with whom you have a limited relationship. In the name of “fairness” you sometimes demand more of yourself and sometimes more of the other to maintain the seeming union. You attempt this “fairness” to ease your guilt for your accepted purpose of separation from God for the relationship. So the Holy Spirit must change the purpose of your relationship to make it useful to the Holy Spirit and harmless to you.
2. If you accept this change of purpose you accept the idea of making room for Truth. Then the source of your guilt is gone from your mind. You may imagine that you still experience its effects but it is not your purpose and you no longer want it. But you will not allow your purpose to be changed while you still desire separation from God because you cherish and protect the goal that you accept for your mind. Your mind will follow your goal, grimly or happily, with faith and persistence. You never recognize the power of your faith when it is placed in separation from God but you always recognize it when it is placed in Love.
3. Why is it strange to you that your faith can move mountains? This is a little feat for such a power. Your faith can keep you limited as long as you believe you are limited. You will be released from limitations when you no longer believe in limitations and you place your faith in Limitlessness instead. You cannot place equal faith in opposite things. What faith you give to your perception of separation from God you take away from your Holiness; what faith you give to your Holiness you take away from your perception of separation from God.
4. Your faith and belief and Vision are the means by which you reach the goal of being aware of your Holiness. Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to Real Perception and away from illusions. Holiness is the Holy Spirit’s direction; the only one that the Holy Spirit sees. When you wander the Holy Spirit reminds you that there is only one direction. The Holy Spirit’s faith and belief and Vision are all for you and when you have accepted them completely in place of the personal mind you will no longer need them. Your faith and belief and Vision are only meaningful before you reach the state of certainty that only God is Real. Though they are how you reach Heaven they are not needed in Heaven.
5. It is impossible for you to lack faith but you can choose where to put your faith. For you to lack faith that only God is Real is for you to put your faith in nothing. The faith that you give to illusions does not lack power because by this faith you who are One with Power believe that you are powerless. You may lack faith in your Truth but your faith in your illusions about yourself is strong. You made faith, perception, and belief as the means to lose your certainty that only God is Real and to make separation from God real to you. This mad direction was your choice and by your faith in it you made what you desired.
6. The Holy Spirit can use everything that your split mind made to make separation from God real to you. But as the Holy Spirit uses these things they will lead you away from separation from God because the Holy Spirit’s Purpose lies in the opposite direction. The Holy Spirit sees the means that the your split mind made but not the goal of separation it made them for. The Holy Spirit will not take what you made away from you because the Holy Spirit sees value in them as a means for what the Holy Spirit wills for you. You made perception so that you could choose among personal selves to make relationships that make separation from God real to you. The Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the Vision of the Holy relationship is all that you want to see. When you learn this you will give your faith and belief to Holiness because you want It.
7. Your faith and your belief will become attached to the Vision of your Christ Mind as they are redirected toward Holiness. What you think of as separation from God limits you and when you limit your mind to looking on bodies as real you hate others because they remind you of your fear. In your refusal to forgive your own projections of bodies you project guilt onto others because then the means for separation from God are dear to you and so the body has your belief and faith. But your extending Holiness will set you free, removing hatred from your mind by removing fear, not as a symptom but at its source.
8. You will have no fear if you free yourself from seeing your projections of bodies as real. If you do so you will be to renouncing your means for making separation real to you by letting all limitations be removed from your mind. As you desire to look on Holiness instead the power of your faith and belief will go far beyond the body. They will support your Christ Mind’s Vision, not obstruct It. But first you must choose to recognize how much your faith in the body has limited your understanding of what is real. And you must want to place the power of your faith and belief in What the Holy Spirit gives to you. Your experience of miracles which follow this decision are born of your faith. When you choose to look away from separation from God you are given your Christ Mind’s Vision and you are led to Holiness.
9. When you are attached to separation from God you must think that the Holy Spirit is asking you to sacrifice the body by asking you to let go of the body. This is because sacrifice is how the personal mind’s purpose is accomplished. But the Holy Spirit knows that sacrifice brings nothing and the Holy Spirit does not make compromises. If you limit the Holy Spirit you will hate the Holy Spirit because you will be afraid. The Gift of Itself that the Holy Spirit gives to you is worth more than anything in the world that you perceive. It is time for you to recognize this. Join your awareness to What has already been joined. The faith that you have extended in your Holy relationship can accomplish this. The Holy Spirit sees your entire mind through Love for you, without one spot of separation upon it, and in the Innocence that makes it as Beautiful as Heaven.
10. Your faith in sacrifice has made sacrifice powerful to you and you do not recognize that you cannot use the Vision of your Christ Mind because of your belief in sacrifice. For sacrifice to occur it would have to be a body that demands sacrifice from another body because your mind can not ask for or receive sacrifice of itself. But a body cannot ask for sacrifice. The intention is in your the mind, which uses bodies to carry out the separation from God that you believe in. Confusing your mind with the body is inescapable when you value separation from God. Sacrifice is your means for limitation and therefore for Self-hate.
11. The Holy Spirit is not concerned with sacrifice because the Holy Spirit does not ask of you what it is Its Purpose to lead you from. You think that the Holy Spirit wants to deprive you “for your own good” but “good” and “deprivation” are opposites that cannot be meaningfully joined. If you see one then the other has disappeared. Neither demands the sacrifice of the other but the absence of one does lead to your awareness of the other.
12. Identifying with a body is the sacrifice that you make to be separate from God and even in the world that you perceive you are aware that the body limits you. Yet in your Christ Mind’s Vision you look upon the body very differently. You can have faith in the body to serve the Holy Spirit’s Goal and you can give it the power to serve as a means to help you see with your Christ Mind’s Vision. But with your Christ Mind’s Vision you look past the body. The faith and belief that you have given to the body belong beyond it. From your mind you gave perception and faith and belief to the body. Give them back to your mind so that they can be used to save you from what you made.
4. The Fear to Look Within
1. The Holy Spirit will never teach you that you are sinful. The Holy Spirit will correct your errors but this is not frightening for you. You are indeed afraid to look within and see the sin that you think is there and you are not afraid to admit this. The personal mind deems it appropriate for you to feel fear in association with sin. It smiles approvingly at this and it has no fear in letting you feel ashamed. The personal mind does not doubt your belief and faith in sin so it is not threatened. Your faith that sin is within you witnesses to your desire that it be there. But your belief that you are sinful is not the real source of your fear.
2. Remember that the personal mind is not all that is in your mind. Its rule is limited by its “enemy”, the Holy Spirit, Which it cannot see but Which it fears. The personal mind screams loudly at you to not look within because you will see your sin and God will strike you blind. You believe this and you do not look. But this is not the personal mind’s real fear, nor yours. There is another fear hidden beneath this one. Underneath its constant and frantic demand that you not look within is the personal mind’s uncertainty that sin is there to see. Beneath your fear to look within because of sin is this other fear that makes the personal mind tremble:
3. What if you looked within and did not see sin? This is the “fearful” question that the personal mind never asks. And now that you are asking it you are threatening the personal mind’s whole defense system too seriously for it to pretend to be your friend. When you extended the Holiness in your mind to encompass your perception of another you detached yourself from the belief that your identity lies in a personal self. A Holy relationship is one in which you join with What is part of you in Truth. Your belief in separation from God has already been shaken and you are no longer wholly unwilling to look within and not see sin.
4. Your liberation is still only partial, limited, and incomplete but it is born within you. No longer wholly mad, you are willing to look on much of your insanity and recognize it is madness. Your faith is moving inward, past insanity, and on to Sanity. The personal mind cannot hear what your Sanity tells you now. The Holy Spirit’s Purpose has been accepted by the Part of your mind that the personal mind does not know and that you did not know. But this Part, with Which you now identify, is not afraid to look on Itself. It does not know sin and this is how It is willing to see the Holy Spirit’s Purpose as Its own.
5. This Part has seen Christ in place of the personal mind’s projections in your Holy relationship and It has recognized Its Self. It desires nothing more than to join with Its Self and be Free again. It has been waiting for you to accept release. Now you recognize that it was not the personal mind that joined the Holy Spirit’s Purpose and so there must be Something Else in your mind. Do not think that this is madness. It is your Sanity that tells you there is Something Else and this follows perfectly from what you have already learned.
6. The Holy Spirit’s teaching is wholly consistent. This is the reasoning of the Sane. You have perceived the personal mind’s madness without fear because you did not choose to share in it. Sometimes the personal mind still deceives you but in your saner moments its ranting does not scare you. You have realized that you do not want all the “gifts” that the personal mind will withdraw from you in rage at your “presumptuous” wish to look within. A few might draw your attention still but you will not trade Heaven for them.
7. Now the personal mind is afraid. But what it perceives with terror the other Part of your mind perceives with gladness. It has longed for your mind’s Oneness since the personal self came into your mind. The personal mind’s weakness is the Holy Spirit’s Strength. Another Perception is rising in your sight and It brings you hope for Peace. You are remembering Heaven, Which the personal mind’s rule has kept from your mind for so long. Heaven has come into your awareness because It finds a home in your Holy relationship and the world that you perceive can no longer contain what belongs to Heaven.
8. Look gently on your Holy relationship and you will see the personal mind’s weakness. Your mind, which the personal mind wants to keep split, has joined and it looks on the personal mind without fear. You who are Innocent should gladly follow the way to Certainty. Do not be held back by fear’s insistence that sureness lies in doubt. This is meaningless and what does it matter to you how loudly the personal mind proclaims it? The senseless is not made meaningful by repetition and clamor. The Quiet Way is open. Follow It happily and do not question What must be so.
5. The Function of Reason
1. Your perception makes the world that you see. It literally picks things out in it as your mind directs it. Laws that govern size and shape and brightness would hold if you had no preferences but you do. You are far more likely to find what you are looking for than you are to find what you want to overlook. If you want to hear It, the still, small Voice of the Holy Spirit is not drowned out by the personal mind’s raucous screams and senseless ravings. Your perception sees your choices, not facts, and far more than you may realize depends on your choices. Your whole belief in what you are depends entirely on the voice that you choose to hear and the sights that you choose to see. Your perception is a witness to this but never to Reality. But it can show you those conditions in which you can become aware of Reality or those conditions in which you can never be aware of Reality.
2. Reality does not need your cooperation to be Itself but your awareness of Reality is your choice. Listen to the personal mind and see what it tells you to see and you will certainly see yourself as tiny, vulnerable, and afraid. You will experience depression, a sense of worthlessness, and feelings of impermanence and unreality. You will believe that you are the helpless prey of forces beyond your control that are much more powerful than you. And you will think that a world outside of your mind directs your destiny. This will be what you have faith in if you believe in the personal mind. But don’t believe in it because it is your faith that makes it reality to you.
3. There is another Vision and another Voice in Which your Freedom lies and they are awaiting your choice. If you place your faith in Them you will perceive another Self in you. This other Self experiences miracles as natural. Miracles are as natural to It as breathing is to the body. Miracles are Its obvious response to your calls for help - the only response this Self makes. Miracles seem unnatural to the personal mind because it cannot understand how your mind can influence your perception of others who seem separate. And if they were separate from your mind then your mind could not influence your perceptions of them. But your mind is not split and this other Self is perfectly aware of this. So It recognizes that miracles do not affect something outside but only what is in Its Own Mind. There is nothing else.
4. You do not realize the extent to which the idea of your separation from God has interfered with your ability to think clearly. Your True Reasoning lies in the other Self that you have cut off from your awareness. Nothing that you have allowed to stay in your awareness is capable of True Reasoning. How can the segment of your mind devoid of True Reasoning understand what True Reasoning is or grasp the information that True Reasoning will give you? All sorts of questions may arise in the personal mind but when the basic question “What if I looked within and saw no sin?” arises from your True Reasoning Mind the personal mind will not ask it. Like all that stems from your True Reasoning Mind the basic question is obvious, simple, and remains unasked by the personal mind. But your True Reasoning Mind can answer the question.
5. God’s Plan for your salvation could not have been established without your will and consent. It must have been accepted by your Christ Mind because, being One with God, What God wills for your Christ Mind your Christ Mind receives. God does not will apart from your Christ Mind and the Will of God does not wait upon time to be accomplished. Being Eternal, What is joined with the Will of God is in you now. You have within you a Place Where the Holy Spirit has been since your need for the Holy Spirit arose and was fulfilled in the same instant. Your True Reasoning Mind will tell you this if you listen. But this is not the personal mind’s thinking. The alien nature of your True Reasoning Mind to the personal mind is proof that you will not find in the personal mind the answer to “What if I looked within and saw no sin?” But the answer exists for you and it has as its given purpose your freedom from belief in sin so you must be free to find it.
6. God’s Plan is simple; never circular or self-defeating. God’s Thoughts are all Self-extending and your Will is included in this. So there must be a Part of you that knows God’s Will and shares It. It is not meaningful for you to ask if What must be is so but it is meaningful for you to ask why you are unaware of What is so. The question “What if I looked within and saw no sin?” must have an answer if the Plan of God for your salvation is complete. And It is complete because God does not know incompletion.
7. The answer must be in God, the Source of the Plan for your salvation. And where are you but in God with the answer? Your Identity is as much an Effect of God as is the Innocence Which is the answer so they must be the same. Oh yes, you know this and much more. But any part of this Knowledge threatens your perception of separation from God as much as all of It does because all of It comes with any part. This you can accept because What your Clear Mind points to you can see because Its Witnesses are Clear. Only in total insanity can you disregard them and you have gone past this. Your True Reasoning is a Means which serves the Holy Spirit’s Purpose. Unlike other means It cannot be reinterpreted or redirected by the goal of separation from God. Your True Reasoning is beyond the personal mind’s range of means.
8. Your faith, perception, and belief can be misplaced to serve the personal mind’s needs. But your True Reasoning has no place at all in madness and cannot be adjusted to fit its goal. Your faith and belief in madness can be strong, guiding your perception toward what your mind values. But your True Reasoning does not enter into this at all. If your True Reasoning is applied the personal mind’s perceptions fall away. There is no True Reasoning in insanity because insanity depends entirely on the absence of True Reasoning. The personal mind does not use True Reasoning because it doesn’t realize that True Reasoning exists. In your partial insanity you have access to True Reasoning, Which you need. But God does not depend on It and madness keeps It out.
9. The Part of your mind where your True Reasoning lies was dedicated, by your joint Will with God, to the undoing of your insanity. Here you accepted the Holy Spirit’s Purpose and It was accomplished at once. Your True Reasoning is alien to insanity and when you use It you gain a Means Which cannot be applied to separation from God. Knowledge of God is far beyond what you can attain but your True Reasoning opens your mind, which you have closed against God.
10. You have come very close to this open mind. Your faith and belief have shifted and you have asked the question that the personal mind will never ask. Your True Reasoning must tell you that the question came from Something that you do not know but Which must be in you. Your faith and belief, upheld by True Reason, cannot fail to lead to changed perception in you. In this change you make room for the Vision of your Christ Mind. Vision extends beyond Itself, as does the Purpose that It serves.
6. Reason versus Madness
1. Your True Reasoning Mind cannot see sin but It can see errors and It leads to their correction. Your True Reasoning Mind does not value the errors but their correction. Your True Reasoning Mind will also tell you that when you think that you sin you call for Help. If you do not accept the Help that you call for you will not believe that It is yours to extend, you will not extend It, and you will maintain your belief that Help is not for you. Any error in your mind that you leave uncorrected deceives you about the Power that is in you to make correction. This Power can correct but if you do not allow It to do so you deny correction to yourself through your perception of the other in your Holy relationship. You will share with your perception of the other your belief that you are damned. You can spare yourself and your perception of the other this because your True Reasoning can correct your perception of both.
2. You can only accept or refuse correction of your mind by including your perception of the other. Your belief in sin maintains that this isn’t necessary. But True Reasoning tells you that you cannot see yourself or the other as having the purpose of separation from God and still perceive one of you as Innocent. You cannot feel guilty and perceive Innocence any more than you can perceive a guilty world and see yourself Innocent. Sin maintains that you must be separate from the world that you perceive; True Reasoning tells you that this is a mistake. Your Mind is One, so how can thoughts that seem to be in your private mind alone have no effect at all on what your mind perceives? This is impossible.
3. God cannot think without you who are One with God; no more can you think without including all that your mind perceives. Only if bodies are real is it possible for there to be more than one mind. But bodies can only be separate and they are therefore unreal. The home of madness cannot be the home of True Reason but it is easy for you to leave the home of madness if you Reason Truly. You do not leave insanity by going somewhere else; you leave it by accepting True Reason in its place. Madness and True Reason see the same things but it is certain that they look on them differently.
4. Madness is an attack on True Reasoning; it drives True Reasoning out of your mind and takes Its place. True Reasoning does not attack but if it is your choice to listen to It, It quietly takes the place of madness. In insanity you do not know your Will because you see the body and you let your madness tell you that it is real. True Reasoning is incapable of this and if you defend the body against your True Reasoning Mind you will not understand the body or yourself.
5. The body does not separate you from the world that you perceive and if you think that it does you are insane. Madness has a purpose and it believes it has the means to make its purpose real. It is insane to see the body as a barrier to a Mind that True Reasoning tells you must be One. You will not see the body if you hear the Voice for True Reason. Nothing can stand between What is One and so must be Continuous. Since there is nothing between, what enters part of One cannot be kept from the other parts. True Reasoning will tell you this. But think about what you must recognize.
6. If you choose sin over healing you condemn your Whole Mind to what can never be corrected. You tell It that by your choice It is damned, split within Itself, and separated from God Forever without hope of safe return. You teach your Whole Mind this and you will learn exactly what you teach. You can teach your Whole Mind only what you want It to be and what you choose for your Whole Mind you chose for yourself. But don’t be frightened by this. That your Mind is One is but a Fact, not an interpretation. A fact is only frightening when it disagrees with what you hold more dear than truth. True Reasoning tells you that this Fact is your release.
7. You cannot attack another in your perception or yourself without it affecting you and your perception. But you also cannot accept the experience of a miracle without its blessing extending to and healing your perception. True Reasoning, like Love, seeks to reassure you, not to frighten you. The power to heal your mind is yours because your mind is One. You are responsible for what you perceive. True Reasoning tells you that it is given to you to change your entire mind, which is One, in just an instant. Any Instant will serve to bring complete correction of all your errors and make you Whole in your awareness again. In the Instant in which you choose to let yourself be healed your entire mind’s salvation is complete. True Reasoning is given to you to understand that this is so. True Reasoning, Which is as Kind as Its Purpose, leads you steadily away from madness and toward the Goal of Truth. Here you will lay down the burden of denying Truth. Truth is not a burden but your denying Truth is a terrible burden.
8. That your Mind is One is your salvation. This is the Gift of Heaven, not the gift of fear. Heaven seems to burden you only in your madness. But what you see in madness is dispelled by True Reasoning. True Reasoning assures you that Heaven is What you want and that It is all that you want. Listen to the Holy Spirit, Which speaks with True Reasoning and brings your thinking into line with It. Be willing to let True Reasoning be the means by which the Holy Spirit directs you to leave insanity behind. Do not hide behind insanity to escape from True Reasoning. What madness wants to conceal from you the Holy Spirit still holds out to you to look upon with gladness.
9. Christ in you and Christ in your perception of your Holy relationship is your Savior because your mind is One. True Reasoning speaks happily of this to you. This Gracious Plan was given to Love by Love. What Love plans is like Itself in this: Being One, It wants you to learn that you must be One, too. And since you are One with Love, Love extends Love to you to extend. Spend only an Instant in the glad acceptance of What is extended to you to extend to your Holy relationship and learn What has been given to your entire mind. To give is no more blessed than to receive but neither is it less.
10. Your entire mind is always blessed as One. You cannot stand apart from the blessing or the gratitude that you extend to your entire mind. The gratitude that you experience is God’s Gratitude for God’s Completion through you. Here alone does True Reasoning tell you that you can understand What you must be. God is as close to you as is all that you perceive. What can be closer to you than your Self?
11. The power that you have over your entire mind is not a threat to its Reality; it attests to It. If you want to be Free, where does the whole of your mind’s Freedom lie but within you? If you want to deny your Freedom, who can limit you but yourself? God is not thwarted and you can be limited only by your own desire. It is also by your own desire that you are freed. This is your strength, not your weakness. You are at your own mercy and where you choose to be Merciful you are Free. Where you choose guilt instead you are limited, waiting for your own pardon to be Free.
7. The Last Unanswered Question
1. Can you see that all of your misery comes from your strange belief that you are powerless? Being helpless is the cost of your belief that separation from God is a sin. Helplessness is sin’s condition, the one requirement that it demands for you to believe in it. Only if you are helpless can you believe in sin because being “bad” appeals to you as a defense for the smallness and vulnerability of the personal self. Treachery to your Christ Mind is your defense against your Christ Mind when you do not want to identify with It. Either you are for your Christ Mind or you are against It; either you Love your Christ Mind or you attack It; either you protect your awareness of your Christ Mind’s Oneness or you perceive your Christ Mind shattered and slain by your attack.
2. You can not believe that What is One with God is powerless so if you see yourself as helpless you must not believe that you are One with God. This splits your mind and makes your Christ Mind your “enemy”. Then you envy your Christ Mind’s Power and your envy makes you afraid of It. You project outside of your mind a world where you live with others with whom you all walk alone and isolated in personal selves, secretly afraid of a Power that will strike you all dead and that you are all helpless against. You and these seeming others wage a war of vengeance, bitterness, and spite on each other to make yourselves one with the vengeful, bitter, spiteful “Christ” that you have made in your own image. But because you do not know that you are One with Christ you do not know What Christ really is. You are as likely to attack others, or even yourself, as you are to remember that you are supposed to have a common cause against this “alien” Power.
3. The world that you have projected outside of your mind seems frantic and loud and strong but though you all hate your “enemy” you do not really know What It is. You have joined with others in hatred but you are not One with them. If you saw that they are in your mind and that you are One with them hatred would be impossible. In the Presence of True Strength your world of powerlessness would be undone. In Strength you are never treacherous because you have no need to act out an illusion of power. You can act any way in an illusion. You can attack anyone or anything. Illusions are not True Reasoning. Love is turned to hate easily in illusions. There is no real joining in powerlessness, only insanity, and what seems to be a planned attack against an “alien” Power is really chaos.
4. You are indeed weak when you are powerless but you have no real weapons - and no real enemy. You can overrun the world and seek an enemy but you will never find one. You can have an illusion that you have found an enemy but this will shift even as you attack and you will have to run and find another, never resting. You will turn against yourself or anyone in whom you see a glimpse of your elusive “enemy”.
5. Your hate must have a target. You cannot have faith in your separation from God without an enemy because to believe in your separation from God you cannot admit that you made it up and made yourself powerless. True Reasoning tells you to stop seeking for what is not there. But first you must be willing to perceive that you have no enemy to take your power. It is not necessary for you to understand how you can see this and you shouldn’t try. If you focus on what you cannot understand you will emphasize your helplessness and your belief in sin will tell you that your enemy must be yourself. Ask yourself only these questions:
Do I desire a perception that I rule instead of one that rules me?
Do I desire to perceive that I am powerful instead of powerless?
Do I desire to perceive that I do not have enemies and that I cannot sin?
Do I want to see that I do rule my perception, that I am powerful, that I do not have enemies, and that I cannot sin because these are the Truth?
6. You may already have answered the first three questions but not yet the last one. This last one may still seem fearful to you and unlike the others. But True Reasoning shows you that they are all the same. Earlier you were told that this year your lessons will emphasize the sameness of things that are the same. This last question, which is the last that you need to decide, still seems to hold a threat to you that the others do not. This imagined difference attests to your belief that Truth may yet be the enemy that you have to find. Here seems to be your last remaining hope of finding sin and of not accepting Power.
7. Do not forget that as you choose between sin and Truth, and helplessness and Power that you are choosing whether to attack or to heal your mind through your perceptions. Your healing comes from your Power and you attack when you feel helpless. When you attack your perceptions you cannot want to heal and when you want to heal you will not attack your perceptions. The decision that you make is your choice to look through the body’s eyes and the personal mind’s projections or to let your Christ Mind be revealed to you through Vision. How this decision leads to its effects is not your concern; this is a course in cause, not in effect.
8. Carefully consider your answer to the last question. Let your True Reasoning Mind tell you that it must be answered and that it is answered in the other three. Then it will be clear to you that as you look on the effects of your belief in sin in any form all that you need to do is ask yourself:
Is this what I want to see?
9. This is your one decision; the condition for what you see. How it happens is irrelevant but not why. You have control over what you see and if you choose to perceive that you have no enemy and that you are not helpless the means to see this will be given to you.
10. True Reasoning will tell you why the last question is so important. It is the same as the other three questions, except in time. The others are decisions that can be made, unmade, and then made again. But Truth is constant and does not vacillate. You can desire a perception that you rule and then change your mind. You can desire to exchange helplessness for Power and then lose this desire as a glint of separation attracts you. And you can see Innocence and then let a projection of the personal mind tempt you to believe what the body’s eyes show you.
11. In content all the questions are the same because each asks if you are willing to exchange your world of separation for the Real Perception of the Holy Spirit. Real Perception is what your world of separation denies so that when you look on separation you are seeing your denial of Real Perception. But the last question asks for consistency in your desire for Real Perception so that this desire becomes the only one that you have. By answering the final question with “yes” you add sincerity to your affirmative answer to the other questions. Only then will you have renounced the option to change your mind again. When you no longer want this option all the questions are wholly answered.
12. You are unsure that the other questions have been answered and this is why they are asked so often. Until you decide the last question “yes” the answer is both “yes” and “no” to the other questions. You have answered “yes” without perceiving that “yes” means “not no”. You do not mean to decide against your Happiness; you do not recognize that this is what you are doing. You decide against your Happiness when you see its source as ever changing: coming from this, then that; an ever elusive shadow attached to nothing.
13. Happiness that shifts with time and place is an illusion that has no meaning. Your Happiness must be constant because It is attained by your giving up your wish for the inconstant. You can only perceive Joy through the constant Vision of your Christ Mind. And you can only have constant Vision when you wish for Constancy. The Power of your Mind is the proof that you are wrong to perceive yourself as helpless. What you desire you see and think is real. All your thoughts have the power to either release you or to seem to kill you. Your thoughts cannot leave your mind or leave you unaffected.
8. The Inner Shift
1. Your thoughts are dangerous only to the body. The thoughts that seem to kill you are those that tell you that you can be killed. And so when you identify with a body you “die” because of what you taught yourself. Going from life to death is meant to be the final “proof” that you value the inconstant more than Constancy. You think you want Happiness but you do not yet want it because it is the Truth and therefore must be Constant.
2. The Constancy of Joy is alien to the personal mind’s understanding. If you could even imagine What It must be you would desire It, even though you cannot understand It. The Constancy of Happiness has no exceptions and no variations of any kind. It is as Unshakable as God’s Love for you who are One with God. As sure in Its Vision as God is in What God knows, Happiness looks on everything and sees it is like Itself. It does not see the temporary because It wants everything to be Eternal like Itself. Nothing can frustrate Its Constancy because Its Own desire cannot be shaken. Happiness will come to you when you want Power and Innocence because they are the Truth, just as Peace will come to you when you choose to heal instead of to judge separation from God as real.
3. True Reasoning will tell you that you cannot ask for Happiness inconstantly. Happiness is Constant and since you always receive what you desire then you need only ask for Happiness once to have It always. So if you do not always have Happiness you did not ask for It from What can really give It. You ask for Happiness only from something that you believe holds some promise of giving It to you. You may be wrong in how you ask for It or wrong about what can give It to you. But you will ask for Happiness because you desire It and your desire is a request. God will never fail to answer you. God has already extended God to you, Which is What you really want. But if you are uncertain that God is Happiness you will not be aware that you have It. You do not desire God while you remain uncertain of God and God’s extension of God to you is incomplete unless you accept It.
4. You who complete God’s Will and who are God’s Happiness, whose will is as Powerful as God’s Will and whose Power is not lost in illusions, think carefully why you have not yet decided that you want Happiness and Power because they are your Truth. You are already partly Sane because you do not want to be powerless or sinful. But accepting Happiness and Power because they are your Truth means that you are willing to be wholly Sane.
5. The Holy Instant is God’s Appeal to you to recognize What God has given to you. Here is the Great Appeal of True Reasoning, the awareness of What is always here for you to see, and the Happiness that can always be yours. Here is the Constant Peace that you can experience Forever. Here is What your denial has denied revealed to you. Here Truth is given to you because It is the Truth and What you have asked for is given to you. Here What seems to be in the future is now because time is powerless in your desire for What will never change. You have asked that nothing stand between the Holiness of your entire mind and your awareness of its Holiness.
 Paragraphs 6-9 in this part mix auditory (song) and visual (light) metaphors for God. In this translation the metaphor in paragraph 10 has been omitted for clarity.
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|