|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
1. The Picture of Crucifixion
1. Your wish to be unfairly treated is your attempt to hold on to attack as something real while seeing yourself as innocent. But you cannot combine the wholly incompatible in your mind and make them one. Walk the Gentle Way and you will not fear but put frightening symbols of attack in your path and you will crucify yourself and project your crucifixion onto all that you perceive. You cannot limit the idea of crucifixion to the personal mind. If you feel you are unfairly treated you will perceive unfairness in the world in your mind. You cannot sacrifice just your little self because the idea of sacrifice will affect your entire mind. Mind is One, so if sacrifice could occur at all it would have to involve your entire mind and entail God sacrificing Part of Itself.
2. As you release yourself from sacrifice you release yourself from the idea that something outside yourself is making you suffer. But every time that you suffer pain you see proof that someone or something else is guilty for attacking you. You make yourself the sign that another has lost their innocence and that they only need to look at you to see that they are condemned. And what has happened to you will now happen to another in righteous retribution and you believe that when they receive it you will be made free. But do not wish to make yourself the living symbol of another’s guilt because you will not escape the death that you make for them. But choose to perceive your Innocence instead and you will find your own.
3. Whenever you consent to suffer pain, to be deprived, unfairly treated, or in need of anything you project responsibility for your attack on yourself onto another in the world that you perceive. You hold a picture of your crucifixion before their eyes so that they may see their sins are written in Heaven in your blood, damning them to hell. But this is written in hell, not in Heaven, Where you are beyond attack and you prove Innocence. The picture of yourself that you offer to others you show to yourself and you give it all of your faith. The Holy Spirit offers you a picture of yourself in which there is no pain and no reproach at all. What you martyred to another’s guilt becomes the perfect witness to the universal Innocence of your mind.
4. The power of witness brings conviction because the witness points beyond themselves to what they represent. If you are sick and suffering you are witnessing to someone else’s guilt so that they will not forget the injuries that they gave to you and which they cannot escape. You accept this sick and sorry picture of yourself if only it can serve to punish another. In sickness you are merciless to all that you perceive and you seek to kill. Your death seems to be an easy price for you to pay if you can blame another for it. Your sickness is the witness to their guilt and your death would prove that they are sinful. Your sickness is a little death, a form of vengeance that is not yet total, but it speaks certainly for the death it represents. But this bleak picture of yourself that you show to others you look upon with grief and everything it shows to you, you have believed because it witnesses to the guilt that you have projected away from you and onto them.
5. Now into your mind, which the Holy Spirit has made Gentle, the Holy Spirit lays a different picture of the body that you identify with in the world that you perceive. It is still a picture of a body because What you really are you cannot see or picture. But this picture you do not use for attack so it does not suffer pain at all. It witnesses to the Eternal Truth that you cannot be hurt and it points beyond itself to the Innocence that fills your entire mind.
6. It is not your Will for Life but your wish for death that is your motivation for making a world separate from God. Its only purpose is to prove to you that your separation from God is real and therefore you are guilty. Every thought that you have about the world and every act or feeling that you have in it has this sole motivation. These are the witnesses that you call forth to believe in and to lend conviction to the separation that they speak for and represent. These witnesses have many voices but their message is always the same. Your adorning the body only seeks to show you how lovely is your witness to guilt. Your concerns about the body demonstrate how frail and vulnerable your “life” is in the world that you perceive and how easily what you love is destroyed. Your depression represents death and your vanity is not concerned with anything Real at all.
7. Your sickness, in whatever form it takes, is your strongest witness to the futility of the personal self’s “life” in the world that you perceive, the one that bolsters all of your other witnesses to help them paint a picture in which you see pursuing further separation as justified. In sickness you have a reason for each of your unnatural desires and strange needs because, in a life so soon cut short, how could you not esteem the worth of passing joys? No pleasure in the world that you perceive can endure, so in your frailty you feel entitled to every stolen scrap of pleasure as your righteous payment for your little “life”. Whether or not you enjoy their benefits your death will pay the price for all of them. However you spend your “life” in the world it must end, so grab whatever passing pleasure you can.
8. These are not “sins” but witnesses to your strange belief that separation from God and death are real and your innocence and sin will end together in the grave. If this was true you would have reason to remain content to seek for passing joys and little pleasures. But in this you do not perceive that the body is neutral and that it has no inherent goal within itself. Instead the body is your symbol of reproach; a sign of your guilt, which still shows the consequences of your “sin” which you cannot deny.
9. Your function is to demonstrate to yourself that separation from God is not real and your guilt does not have a cause. It must seem futile to see yourself as a picture that is proof of what can never be! The Holy Spirit’s picture of the body does not change it into something it is not. The Holy Spirit only takes away from it all signs of your guilt and accusation. Without a purpose you see the body as neither sick, nor well; neither bad, nor good. There are no grounds to judge the body at all. It has no life but it is also not dead. It cannot experience Love or fear. It witnesses to nothing and with its purpose being open, your mind is now free to choose again what it is for. Now it is not condemned but it waits for a purpose to fulfill.
10. When the goal of separation has been removed from your mind Heaven is free to be remembered in the empty space that the body represents. Here, Peace can come and perfect healing can take the place of death. The body can become a symbol of Life, a promise of correction, and a hint of Immortality. Let it have healing as its purpose and it will represent the message that it has received and by its health and loveliness proclaim the value of the Truth it represents. Let it receive the power to represent an Endless Life, forever free from attack by separation and guilt.
11. The simple way to let this be achieved is to let the body be free from the personal mind’s past purposes. In the past you were sure its purpose was to foster guilt in others and your crippled picture of it was a lasting sign of this. Your past view of the body leaves no space for a different purpose to be given to it. You do not know its purpose. You have given an illusion of purpose to a thing that you made to hide your Function of Oneness from yourself. This thing without a purpose cannot hide the function of forgiving that the Holy Spirit gives to you. Let the body’s purpose and your function be reconciled and see them as one.
2. The Fear of Healing
1. You may find physical healing frightening. Accusation is a bar to Love and a damaged body accuses. It stands firmly in the way of trust and Peace, proclaiming that in its frailty it cannot trust and that it has no grounds for Peace. If you have been injured by someone or something outside of you, how can you love and trust? You have been attacked and you will be attacked again. A damaged body shows you that you must be protected from a world outside of you. Your forgiving then becomes an act of charity, not something justified. You may pity the separate world for its guilt but you do not exonerate it. Your forgiving then becomes a way of adding to all the guilt that the world has earned.
2. You are not forgiving when you are presenting an unhealed body because it is a witness that you believe that your forgiving is not justified. The body retains the consequences of the guilty world that you are supposed to overlook. You cannot forgive an attack that you believe is real and if you see its consequences manifest in the body it must be real to you because what it has done is there for you to see. Forgiving is not pity, which only pardons what is supposed to be true. Good cannot be returned for evil because real forgiving does not first make sin real and then forgive it. You cannot say, “You have injured me but because I am better than you I forgive you” and really mean to forgive. Your forgiving cannot exist with hurt that is supposed to be real. Each denies that the other is real.
3. For you to witness to someone separate from you harming you and then for you to forgive them is a contradiction that the Holy Spirit’s True Reasoning cannot see. Your manifesting harm indicates that you believe something real has happened, so it can not be undone. “Forgiving” this way means that you grant mercy while retaining proof that True Innocence is not real. When you are sick you remain an accuser, unable to forgive the world that you perceive or yourself. But when you truly forgive you will not manifest suffering because you will not hold on to “proof” of harm, which you will have overlooked as an illusion. To heal your mind your forgiving must be for yourself as well as all the illusions that your mind perceives. In the body’s healing is your proof that you have truly forgiven and that you retain no trace of guilt to hold against yourself or to project onto anything that your mind perceives.
4. Your forgiving is not real unless it brings healing to you and to your mind’s entire perception. To demonstrate that the sins of the world that you perceive are not real you must attest that they have no effects. How else can you see your Innocence or see It justified unless you see that your perception of separation from God has no effects? If your separation from God was real it would be beyond forgiveness because it would entail effects that you could not undo and overlook entirely. But in separation’s undoing lies your proof that it is merely an error. Forgive yourself by accepting healing and extend salvation to be all that your mind perceives.
5. A broken body shows that your mind has not been healed. A healed mind extends a miracle to the body to heal it and to manifest that separation from God is not real. When you want to manifest this you will believe it. The power of witness comes from your belief and everything that you say or do or think testifies to what you want to teach yourself. The body can be a means to teach you that you have never suffered pain from illusions. In its healing you offer mute testimony of the total Innocence of your Mind. This testimony can speak with great power because it is here that your forgiveness is proved.
6. The healing of the body shows that your mind is healed and has forgiven what has never really happened. So a miracle undoes all the things that the personal mind attests can never be undone. Hopelessness and death disappear before the Clear Call of Life, Which has a Power far beyond the weak and miserable cry of death and guilt. The Call of God to you and of you to your Extension of God will be the last sound that you will ever hear. There is no death and you learn this when you no longer wish to project away from yourself the cause of the pain that you experience by your choice to be separate from God and all that you perceive.
7. Miracles are Just because they bestow on you the gift of full deliverance from guilt to be all that your mind perceives. Healing encompasses your entire mind and you are healed when you wish that your entire mind is healed. In your experience of the miracle you see no specialness at all because the miracle comes from Love, Which is Oneness; not from pity, which is for the separate. The Oneness of Love proves that all suffering is but a vain illusion and a foolish wish for separation that has no effects. The body’s health is the result of you no longer wishing to project the source of your pain and guilt onto the world that you perceive. What you wish is what you see.
8. Your Serenity will “cost” you the separation because Oneness must become all that you perceive. This is the “price” that the Holy Spirit and the personal mind interpret differently. The personal mind sees this as a statement of the “fact” that your salvation comes selfishly at the expense of a real world that is separate from you. The Holy Spirit knows that the world is only a perception in your mind and that your mind’s healing cannot be apart from its perception. As long as you perceive a suffering world as real you will be unhealed. Yet you can teach yourself that suffering is without a purpose and has no real cause. Heal, and you will no longer consent to suffer because Innocence will be re-established in your awareness. Laughter will replace your sighs because you will remember that you are One with God.
9. You fear physical healing when you believe that your sickness makes the world guilty, that the world must be guilty for you to be happy, and that your healing would then represent the world’s release from guilt and your own loss of happiness. The constant sting of guilt that you perceive that the world suffers for your sickness seems to prove to you that it is limited and that you are free. The constant pain that you suffer seems to demonstrate to you that you are free of guilt because you hold the world to guilt. You want sickness to prevent a shift in the balance of guilt. The Holy Spirit will not be deterred an instant to reason with this argument for sickness and your need of healing does not need to be delayed because you stop to listen to this insanity.
10. Consider how this self-perception must extend and do not deny the fact that mind always extends itself because that is its purpose. If your mind is split between “you” and a world outside of you then the function of these two parts must be split as well. And then what you want to correct is only half of the error which you think is all of it. Your target for correction is the world that seems outside of you so that you don’t see that your errors and the errors of the world are happening in the same mind. You make mistakes and the world’s “sins” are not your own. The world merits punishment, while your mistakes should be overlooked.
11. In this interpretation of correction you won’t even see your own mistakes. The focus of correction is outside of you on a world that you will not want to see as part of you while you perceive it as “sinful”. You hate the world as a symbol of your fear. This “unworthy” world must be outside of you; it must be denied as part of you. Only the part of your mind that is not the world – the isolated personal self – can you perceive as “you”. To you in this identification the Holy Spirit must represent the rest of your mind until you recognize that what you perceive is the rest of your mind. The Holy Spirit does this by giving you and what you perceive a function that is one, not different.
12. Your function is to extend correction through your perception. When it is fulfilled your corrected perception corrects your mind. You cannot heal your perception without healing your mind since what you perceive is in your mind. If one was healed and the other wasn’t your mind would remain divided, which is not the Holy Spirit’s Purpose of Oneness. Oneness is the only Purpose that the Holy Spirit fulfills and in so doing the Holy Spirit preserves your Purpose despite you seeing your purpose as something else. If the Holy Spirit upheld a divided purpose you would indeed be lost. But the Holy Spirit’s inability to see a goal that separates your mind from its perceptions saves you from a purpose that is not yours and this is how healing is given to you.
13. Your correction must be left to the Holy Spirit, Which knows that your correction and your forgiveness are the same. You cannot understand this with only part of your mind. Leave correction to a Mind that is One because it is not split in purpose and It sees only one function for Itself. Its function of correction comes from God. In the Holy Spirit’s acceptance of this function lies the means by which your mind is made One in your awareness again. As you forgive your perception of a world that is separate from your mind you accept that your perception is part of your mind.
3. Beyond All Symbols
1. Everything is its purpose, so True Power cannot oppose anything because opposition intends to weaken and limit. Power that opposes, then, is actually weakness and limitation. A “weakened power” is a meaningless contradiction. To be Itself, True Power in unopposed and opposes nothing. If it is weak it is not Power. To weaken is to limit and to impose an opposite that contradicts the concept that it attacks. Double concepts like “weakened power” and “love/hate” are unintelligible.
2. For you the world that you made is a symbol of contradictory concepts that cancel out each other: Love and hate, weakness and power, life and death. It is meaningless and it stands for nothing but an empty space in your mind. Emptiness cannot interfere with your awareness of Reality, except when you believe that something is there.
3. The picture of a world that you see in your mind means nothing. There is nothing to attack or to deny; to love or to hate; to endow with power or to see as weak. This picture cancels out itself with its contradictory ideas and it has no cause at all. There is no effect without a cause; what isn’t caused is nothing. The picture of a world that you see is really an empty space in your mind, so recognize that it is vacant and that the time that you devote to it is occupied with nothing.
4. An empty space and unoccupied time in your mind, when you recognize them as such, can become your silent invitation to the Truth to enter and make Itself at home. You don’t need to make any other preparation because what you leave empty God will fill and where God is the Truth is. Power without opposite is What God’s Oneness is. There are no symbols for this because no symbol can stand for Everything. But true undoing must be kind and the first replacement for your picture of a world of separation is another kind of perception.
5. Just as you cannot picture nothingness there is no symbol for Totality. You ultimately know Reality without form; you cannot picture It or perceive It. You do not yet know that your forgiving is a power that is wholly free of limits and that it does not set any of the limits that you want to impose. Your forgiving is the means by which Truth is temporarily represented to you in the world that you perceive. It lets the Holy Spirit exchange your perceptions until such aids are meaningless and your learning is done. When a learning aid’s function has been accomplished its use is over. Yet while you are learning to forgive it has a use that you now fear but will love one day.
6. The Perception that the Holy Spirit gives to you to occupy the space in your mind that you have recently left unoccupied by a world of separation does not need defense of any kind because you will give It overwhelming preference. Nor will you delay in deciding It is the only perception that you want. It does not stand for double concepts and even though It is incomplete It is all the same within Itself. It does not cancel out God, Which wants to complete It, so God is free to take the final step of completing It. What will ultimately take the place of every learning aid simply is.
7. Forgiveness will vanish and symbols will fade and nothing that the body’s eyes have ever seen or its ears have ever heard will remain for you to perceive. God’s Limitless Power will come to you, not to destroy, but to receive Its Own. There is no choice of function in God and the choice that you fear to lose you have never really had. Only your perception of choice seems to interfere with the Unlimited Power of One Thought, Complete and Happy, and without opposite. You do not know the Power of Peace that never opposes but there can be no other power. Welcome the Power that is beyond your forgiving and beyond the world of symbols and limitations. God is.
4. The Quiet Answer
1. In Quietness all things are answered and every problem is quietly resolved. In conflict there is no resolution or answer because its purpose is to make resolution impossible and to make sure no answer is plain to you. A problem set in conflict cannot have an answer because you see it in different ways and what is an answer from one point of view is not an answer from another point of view. In your identification with a personal self you are in conflict so it must be clear that you cannot answer anything. But God has given you the Holy Spirit as the Answer to conflict so there must be a way in which your problems are resolved. What God wills has already been done.
2. So time must not be involved in the Answer to your problems and It must be able to answer your every problem now. In your separated state of mind solution is impossible so God has given you a way of reaching another State of Mind in Which the Answer is. This is the Holy Instant, Where all of your problems should be brought and left. They belong Here because their Answer is Here. It is pointless for you to try and solve problems where their Answer cannot be.
3. Attempt to solve problems only in the Certainty of the Holy Instant because Here the problem will be resolved. There are no real answers outside of the Holy Instant because outside of It you never really ask a simple question. The world that you perceive can only present double questions and a question with many answers has no answer. The personal mind does not ask a question to be answered but only to restate its point of view.
4. All questions asked by the personal mind are not really questions but a means of reinforcing separation in your mind. A question asked in Self-hate cannot be answered because it is an answer in itself. A double question asks and answers, each attesting the same thing in different form. The personal mind asks only one question, though in different forms: “Of these illusions which of them is true? Which illusions can bring me Peace and Joy? Which illusions can bring me escape from all the pain from which this world is made?” Whatever form they take the purpose of the personal mind’s questions is to make separation from God real to you. Its answer is always for you to choose a form of separation that you prefer and the other possible answers will become not “true” for you. So what does the personal self want most? The body is your servant and your friend, so tell it what you want and it will serve you lovingly and well. The personal mind’s questions state that you want separation and its answers tell you where to go to find it. The personal mind does not question its beliefs because its questions are really only statements that separation from God is real.
5. A pseudo-question has no answer; it dictates the answer even as it is asked. The personal mind’s questions are actually propaganda for itself. Just as the body’s witnesses are its own senses, the answers to the personal mind’s questions are always within the question itself. You learn nothing new from them. But an honest question is a learning tool that asks for something that you do not know. It does not set conditions for response but asks what the response should be. In the conflict of the personal mind you are not free to ask honest questions because you don’t really want an honest answer that will end your conflict.
6. Only within the Holy Instant can you honestly ask an honest question. A Meaningful Answer comes to you then because by going to the only Real Answer you are asking for It no matter the form of your question. The personal mind’s wishes are separated from the Answer so you can receive It. The Answer is provided everywhere but it is only in the Holy Instant that you can hear It. An Honest Answer cannot offer you further separation because It only answers a questioner that is asking for Truth. The personal mind’s questions, however, ask how to perpetuate separation from God, not if separation from God is real. When you identify with a personal self, unless an answer comes in terms of the world that you perceive, then you will not recognize or hear it and the separation will be preserved in your mind because the personal mind asked the question of itself. But the Holy Instant is the interval in Which your mind is still enough to hear an Answer that is not included in the question. It offers Something new and different from the question. An answer that repeats the content of the question is not a real answer.
7. Don’t attempt to solve problems in a world from which the only Real Answer has been barred. Bring your problems to the Holy Instant, Which lovingly holds the Answer for you. Here the Answer that solves your problems stands apart from your problems because It sees what your question really is. The personal mind’s answers only raise further questions in your mind. In the Holy Instant you bring the question to the Answer and receive the Answer that was made for you.
5. The Healing Example
1. The only way to extend healing in your perception is to first accept healing for yourself. The miracle extends God’s Love in your awareness without your help but you are needed for it to begin. Accept the miracle of healing and it will extend because it is natural for it to do so the instant that it is begun. And a miracle is begun the instant that you receive it. You cannot ask for healing from someone or something outside of you but you can accept healing for yourself and then extend it in your awareness. You can extend only what you have. The Holy Spirit speaks to you and by your listening the Holy Spirit extends in your awareness because you have accepted what the Holy Spirit says.
2. The body’s health is your witness to a healed mind. As long as healing is not manifested in the body your belief in healing will not have conviction. Healing is proved by demonstration that compels your belief. You cannot be healed by teaching yourself conflicting messages. If you wish only to be healed you will heal. A single purpose makes this possible but if you are afraid you will not accept healing. The only thing required for your healing is a lack of fear because you cannot heal when you are afraid of healing. This does not mean that conflict must be gone from your mind entirely because then you would have no need for healing. But it does mean that for an instant you perceive that Oneness, not separation, is Real. An instant is enough because miracles are not bound by time.
3. The miracle abides in the Holy Instant. From the Holy Instant each miracle is brought forth in your perception as a witness to a State of Mind that has transcended conflict and reached Peace. The miracle carries comfort into your mind, which perceives a conflicted world and demonstrates that the conflict has no effects.
4. You are not sad where a miracle has come to heal. The only thing you need for a miracle to occur is just one Instant where you accept Oneness in place of separation. In that one Instant you are healed and all healing is done. There is no separation in your mind when you accept the blessing that the Holy Instant brings. Do not be afraid of blessing because the Holy Spirit, Which blesses you, loves all that your mind perceives and leaves nothing to fear in your perception. But if you shrink from blessing you will perceive a frightening world of death is real because you will have withheld Peace and Comfort from your mind.
5. Your perception of a bereft world must seem like condemnation to you who can choose to see salvation instead but who has stepped back from doing so because you are afraid of healing your mind. Your perception of a world of death and suffering presents you with the question, “What is there to fear in healing?” This question is asked on your behalf. Your mind asks only that you rest an instant from attacking yourself with the perception of a world of separation so that it can be healed.
6. Come to the Holy Instant and be healed because you leave nothing behind Here when you return to perceiving yourself in a world. Being blessed you will bring blessing with you. Life is given to you to extend to replace your perception of a world of death. Having given up suffering you will no longer look on a world that accuses you of separating from God but Gratitude will shine in your mind as you extend blessing in your perception. The Holy Instant’s Radiance will give you Vision to look beyond all suffering to see your Christ Mind instead. Healing replaces suffering because you cannot perceive both in the same place. Your perception witnesses to your mind, as your mind witnesses to what you perceive.
7. For you to perceive only healing all that is required is that you accept only healing for your mind. Your mind needs to learn only the one perfect lesson of forgiveness and when you forget it your Real Perception will gently remind you of the lesson of forgiveness that you have taught yourself. Your gratitude will reinforce this because you will let yourself be healed so that you can perceive only Love. You will look on Witnesses to your Christ Mind because you will extend your Christ Mind to Witness to It. The world that seemed to accuse you of separating from God will be replaced by a perception of Oneness, which releases your mind from limitation.
8. Your problem of separation is not specific but it takes specific forms and these make up the world that you perceive. You do not really understand that the nature of all of your problems is your perception that your separation from God is real because, if you did, they would no longer be there for you to see. Since you cannot be separate from God the very nature of any problem in the world that you perceive is that it does not exist. But while you perceive it you do not perceive it as the nothing that it is. So your healing first shows up in the world that you perceive in specific instances and then you can generalize it to include all seeming problems. This is because all seeming problems are the same despite their different forms. All of your real learning aims to be transferred to everything and it becomes complete when you see two situations are the same despite their difference in form. This can only be attained by the Holy Spirit in your mind because It does not see the differences that the personal mind sees. The total transfer of your learning to encompass everything that you perceive is not made by you in your identification with a personal mind. But that the transfer has been made in spite of all the differences that you see convinces you that the differences could not be real.
9. Your healing will extend and it will be brought to problems that you do not even perceive as your own. As you escape any one problem it will be apparent that your many different problems will be solved. You will realize that the problems are the same despite their seemingly different forms because learning does not jump to opposite situations and bring the same results. All healing proceeds in an orderly manner in accord with the Law of Oneness when It is properly perceived but not when It is violated. Do not fear the laws that the personal mind perceives because they do not work but the Holy Spirit within you knows the Law that does work.
10. Leave the transfer of your learning to the Holy Spirit, Which understands the Law of Oneness. The Holy Spirit will guarantee that this Law remains inviolate and unlimited within you. Your part is only to apply to yourself what the Holy Spirit teaches you and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. All the different witnesses to your learning that you perceive will prove your learning to you. Your Holy relationship is the first you see correctly but beyond this relationship are thousands more in the world that you perceive. Each relationship may seem to be a different form of separation than the rest but they will all be solved together. Their common Answer shows you that the question that they represent was the same.
11. Peace be to you to whom healing is extended. You will learn that Peace is given to you when you accept It for yourself. You don’t need to appraise Its Total Value to understand that you have benefited from It. What occurs the Instant that Oneness enters your mind and undoes separation will stay with you Forever. Your healing will be one of Its effects. All of the witnesses that you behold will be far less than all there really are. You cannot understand Infinity by counting up Its separate Parts. God thanks you for your healing because God knows it is a gift of Love to your Self and therefore it is given to God.
6. The Witnesses to Sin
1. Physical pain demonstrates that the body must be real. It is a loud, obscuring voice whose shrieks are meant to keep the Holy Spirit’s Voice from reaching your awareness. Physical pain compels your attention, drawing it away from the Holy Spirit to be focused on the body. The purpose of physical pain is the same as physical pleasure because both are meant to make the body real to you. What shares a common purpose is the same. It is the law of purpose that what shares in a purpose unites within that purpose. Physical pleasure and pain are equally unreal because their purpose is to make the body real, which cannot be achieved. They are the means for nothing because their goal is without meaning. They share the lack of meaning of their purpose.
2. Your perception that you are separate from God is a state where you are constantly shifting between pain and seeming pleasure. Both witness to the same thing: You are a personal self within a body that can be hurt and that can also feel pleasure but only at the painful cost of Reality. Pain and pleasure come in many forms, and you call them by many names, but all have the same purpose. Call pleasure pain and it will hurt; call pain pleasure and the pain will seem to fade. Your witnesses to separation from God shift from name to name as one steps forward and the other steps back but they all hear the call of death.
3. The body, without a purpose in itself, is the repository of the personal mind’s memories and hopes. From the personal mind you use the body’s eyes to see, its ears to hear, and you let it tell you what it feels. But it does not know. The personal mind tells you what to call the pain and pleasure that witness to the body’s reality but you cannot choose which are real because they are all equally unreal. All that you do is give pain different names and sometimes call it pleasure. But you do not make a witness true just because you have called it Truth. What isn’t true is a lie, even if you call it “God”.
4. God’s Witnesses do not witness against the body, nor do they recognize the witnesses to the body’s reality. God knows that the body is not real because nothing can contain you who are One with God, nor can the body tell you what it feels or what its function is. But God must love what you hold dear and for each of your witnesses to the body’s death the Holy Spirit sends a Witness to your Eternal Life in God. Each miracle that you experience is a witness that the body is not real. God heals the body’s pains and pleasures alike because God’s Witnesses replace all of your witnesses to separation from God.
5. When you experience the miracle you do not distinguish between the forms that separation’s witnesses take because the miracle merely proves that the separation that they represent has no effects. The miracle’s own effects take the place of the forms of suffering, no matter what you called them. The Holy Spirit, Which perceives all of your suffering as the same, calls all of suffering’s forms fear of God. As your fear witnesses to death your extension of God’s Love that is the miracle witnesses to Life. It is a witness that you cannot deny because it brings the Effects of Life: the dying live, the dead rise up, and pain vanishes. The miracle does not speak for itself but for God, Which it represents.
6. Love also has Its symbols in the world of separation that you perceive. The miracle forgives because it stands for the Truth that is beyond forgiving. It is foolish and insane for you to think that miracles are bound by laws it came to undo. Your laws of separation from God have different witnesses with different strengths and they attest to different sufferings. Yet to the Holy Spirit, Which sends forth miracles to replace your perception of a miserable world with a perception of blessing, a tiny stab of pain, a little worldly pleasure, and the throes of death are a single call for healing and help from your split mind. Your experience of the miracle proves the sameness of these illusions because they are all undone together. The laws that call them different are dissolved and shown to be powerless. Accomplishing this is the miracle’s purpose and God has guaranteed the strength of miracles because they witness to God.
7. Be witness to the miracle and not to the laws of separation. There is no need to suffer anymore but you do need to be healed because the suffering and sorrow of the world that you perceive with your mind have made you deaf to salvation and deliverance.
8. Your Real Perception waits to be resurrected in your awareness so that you may demonstrate your healed and Happy Mind. The Holy Instant will replace all of your perceptions of separation if you carry Its effects with you. You will no longer elect to perceive suffering and what better function can you have than this? Be healed that you may extend healing to be all that you perceive and do not suffer from the laws of separation. Truth will be revealed to you who chose to let Love’s symbols take the place of your perception of separation.
7. The Dreamer of the Dream
1. Your suffering emphasizes to you that the world that you perceive has injured you. Here you can clearly see the personal mind’s demented version of salvation. Just like in a dream of punishment that you have at night when you sleep, you are unaware that it is you who brings an attack against you and you see yourself unjustly attacked by something or someone who is not you. You are the victim of something or someone outside of you and you have no reason to be held responsible for the attack. You must be innocent because you don’t know that it is you who does it but you only know that it is done to you. But ideas do not leave the mind of the thinker so it is obvious that the attack on you comes from you because you are the one suffering. You cannot escape attack by perceiving the source of the attack outside of you.
2. Now you are being shown that you can escape. All that you have to do is look on the problem as it is, not as you have set it up. This is the only way for you to solve a problem that is very simple but that has been obscured by complications that you made to keep the problem unresolved. Without obscuring complexity the problem will emerge in its simplicity. Your choice to have it resolved will not be difficult for you because the problem is absurd when you see it clearly. You won’t have a difficult time letting a simple problem be resolved when you see that it is hurting you and that it is easily removed.
3. The purpose for the world that you made, on which it rests, and by which it is maintained is to be the source of your pain. In the world you exist and think apart from everyone and everything. The world is the cause of what you do. Its injustice justifies your wrath. The world attacks, so you are the innocent one and what you suffer from is the world’s attack. And from the perspective that you are a little self in a world it does look as if the world is hurting you, so from this perspective you don’t think that there is any need to go beyond the obvious to find the source of your pain.
4. There is indeed a need to look. Guilt is in your mind, no matter that you project it away from you so that you can perceive it in a world outside of you. Your mind needs to escape the idea of guilt completely. But you are afraid that if you do your part all the guilt that you see in the world will rest on you and you believe that accepting this guilt as your own is actually your part in God’s Plan of Deliverance. So for you vengeance must have an external focus, otherwise you will see that it is coming from you and that it is directed toward you. You must see it coming to you from outside so that you can be a victim of an attack that you did not choose. You must suffer from an attack that has not come from you.
5. You made the world to hide your own responsibility for your pain and in the guilty world that you perceive it is as though the world fulfills this purpose. But the guilty world is in your perception and it attests to your pain, it is not the cause of your pain. And you will not change the fact that you are the cause of your pain by seeing the cause as something else. The guilty world in your perception and your pain both witness that your mind is their cause, not that one causes the other. Look beyond the world in your mind because it is not the cause of your separation from God or of your suffering. And do not dwell on the separation and suffering of the world that you perceive because they only reflect the error in your mind.
6. The part that you play to relieve yourself from a perception of a guilty world is your own escape from guilt. Do not forget that you see an evil world because you have a need to see it. This is where you first saw your guilt. The split of your mind into “you” and a world outside of you was the first attack upon yourself and this attack is what you perceive in the world. Do not look for another cause for your pain or look among the many legions of witnesses to your guilt for its undoing. Your witnesses to guilt support your allegiance to guilt. What conceals the Truth is not where you should look to find the Truth.
7. Your witnesses to separation from God are all in one little space in your mind. It is here that you find your perspective on the world. Once you were unaware of the cause of everything that the world thrusts upon you, uninvited, and unasked. But you were sure that of all of the causes of your pain and suffering your guilt was not among them, nor did you in any way request pain and suffering. All illusions come about and are maintained by your not seeing that you make them and by your denying that their seeming reality depends on you. You must see them as separate from your mind and whatever cause they have must be something separate from you. You do not doubt the reality of your illusions when you do not see the part that you play in making them and in making them real to you.
8. You cannot undo illusions that you deny are your own. In your denial you must be part of a world that has a cause other than you. You are a helpless victim of a reality conceived and cherished by a separate mind. This mind doesn’t care about you and it is as thoughtless of your peace and happiness as it is of the weather and the time of day. It doesn’t love you but casts you in a role that satisfies itself. Your worth to it is so little that you are a dancing shadow leaping up and down according to the senseless plot conceived within this mind that idly makes the world that you are in.
9. If you are not the one who makes your illusions this is the only picture that you can see, the one alternative that you can choose, the only other possibility of the cause of the world that you perceive. This is what you are choosing when you deny that the cause of your suffering is in your own mind. Be glad that it is in your mind because then you are the one to decide your destiny in time. The choice for you to make is between a sleeping death and dreams of evil, and a happy awakening and Joy in Life.
10. Your only choices are between Life and death, awareness and denial, Peace and conflict, Reality and illusions. You may confuse death with Peace because the personal mind equates the body with the Self that is One with God. But a thing can never be its opposite and death is the opposite of Peace because it is the opposite of Life, Which is Peace. Awaken and forget all thoughts of death and you will find that you have the Peace of God. But to see your choices you must see their causes exactly as they are and where they are.
11. You cannot make a choice between two states when you recognize only one clearly. You are not free to choose between the effects of two states when you see yourself as the cause of only one of them. You can never perceive an honest choice as one in which their causes are split between a tiny you and an enormous world outside of you, each with their different ideas about the truth in you. The gap between Reality and illusions is not between the world and what goes on in your private mind. They are one. The world that you perceive is the part of your own mind that you have projected away and see as though it is its own source. But the world was started by your own secret wish to be separate from God, which you do not perceive although you see it in the world and you do not doubt that it is real. How can you doubt that the world is real while you are in such denial and you believe that the separation that caused it is real?
12. Your illusion of a separate world outside yourself is one where you are stalked by an attacking world and your inevitable death. But underneath this illusion is another belief in which you are the guilty one, the murderer of God, and the destroyer of the world. This is the little space in your mind between your illusions and your Reality. This little gap that you do not even see is the birthplace of your illusions and of your fear; of time with all of its terrors, hate, and disasters. This is the cause of your unreality and it is here that it can all be undone.
13. You are the maker of the illusion of the world. It has no other cause and never will. Nothing more fearful than an idle illusion terrifies you and makes you think that you have lost your Innocence, denied God, and attacked yourself. So fearful is this illusion, and so seemingly real, that you cannot accept Reality without terror and mortal fear unless a gentler perception precedes It in your awareness and allows your calmer mind to welcome, not fear, the Holy Spirit, Which calls you to Reality. God wills that you remember Reality gently and with Joy and has given you the Means to do so without fear.
14. Accept the Holy Spirit’s Perception in place of the world of separation that have you made. It is not difficult to change what you perceive when you recognize that you made it. Rest in the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit’s Gentle Perception to take the place of your illusions of terror and fear of death. The Holy Spirit brings a forgiving Perception in which your choice is not between who is the murderer and who is the victim. There is no murder or death in the Holy Spirit’s Perception. Your perception of guilt will fade from your sight, although you will not yet be wholly aware of God yet. Peace will come to you first in your perception of Happiness.
15. Gently perceive your mind’s Holy Innocence in your relationship with one other in the world. From this perception God will remind you of your Oneness with God. Overlook the personal mind’s perceptions of mistakes and be grateful to the other for the opportunity to forgive yourself your illusion of separation. Do not brush aside the gift that the other offers to you because they are not perfect in the sight of the personal mind. Your perception of them can represent God to you and you will see in them Life or death according to what you think God offers to you.
16. God extends only Life to you. But what you see as the purpose for your relationship with another in the world that you perceive represents what you believe God extends to you. In charity and kindness to yourself see your relationship with another as offering you only an opportunity to perceive the Life that God extends to you and let no pain disturb your appreciation for what it gives to you.
8. The “Hero” of the Dream
1. The body/personal self is the central figure in your illusion of the world. There is no illusion without a body/personal self and it only exists within the illusion in which it acts as though it was a real self to be believed in. A body/personal self takes the central place in every seemingly separate story in the illusion which tells of how it was made by other bodies, was born into a world outside of itself, lives there a little while, and then dies, uniting in the dust with other bodies. In the brief time allotted for it to “live” it seeks for other bodies/personal selves to be its friends and enemies. Its safety is its main concern and its comfort is its guiding rule. It looks for pleasure and avoids pain. Above all, it tries to teach itself that its pains and joys are different and can be told apart.
2. Stories of bodies/personal selves in your illusion of the world take many forms because your split mind seeks in many ways to prove it is independent of God and real. Each personal self puts things on its body that it has bought with little metal discs or paper strips that it has declared is valuable and real. It works to get these doing senseless things and then spends them for senseless things it does not need and does not really want. It hires other bodies/personal selves to protect it and to collect more senseless things that it can call its own. It looks for special bodies/personal selves that can share its “life”. Sometimes it has the illusion of conquering other bodies/personal selves that are weaker than itself. Sometimes it is the slave of bodies/personal selves that want to torture it.
3. The serial adventures of a body/personal self, from birth to dying, is the theme of every story in the world that you perceive. The “hero” in these illusions, and his or her purpose, will never change. Though the illusion takes many forms and has a great variety of places and events where the “hero” finds his or herself, the illusion has only one purpose taught in many ways again and again: The world is the cause of you, and you, as one of these “heroes” in one of its stories, are its effect.
4. So you are not the maker of the illusion; you are in the illusion, which seems like your reality. It is true that the body/personal self only wanders in and out of places that the world contrives because it is only part of the illusion of the world. But you wouldn’t react to figures in an illusion unless you thought that they were real. The instant that you see them as they are they will have no effect on you because you will understand that you give them their effects by causing them and making them seem real to you.
5. Are you willing to escape from the effects of all of your illusions of the world? Are you willing to stop letting your illusions appear to be the cause of you? Look at the beginning of your illusion because the part that you see as the world is only its effect. In your denial and identification with a personal self you do not remember your attack on yourself. You don’t believe that there was a time when there was no body and you could never have conceived of a world. You would have seen these ideas as one illusion and too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they appear to be now! You don’t remember when you would’ve laughed at them in disbelief. But you can remember this if you look directly at the cause of your illusions. Then you will see cause for laughter, not for fear.
6. Return to your mind the illusion that you made but have projected away so that it seems separate from you and done to you. Into Eternity, Where All is One, there crept a tiny, mad idea of separation at which you who are One with God forgot to laugh. In your forgetting the thought became serious to you, its accomplishment seemed possible, and its effects seemed real. With the Holy Spirit you can laugh these effects away and understand that time cannot intrude on Eternity. It is a joke to think that time can avoid Eternity, Which means there is no time.
7. A Timelessness in Which time is real, a Part of God that attacks Itself, a part of your mind that seems separate and outside that attacks you, and a mind within a body are all forms of circular thinking that end where they began in your mind. The world that you perceive depicts exactly what you thought that you did. But now you think that what you did is being done to you. You project your guilt for your perceived attack on God outside yourself and onto a guilty world that depicts your thoughts and illusions. You do not see that the world’s vengeance on you is your own. The world keeps you confined to a limited body, which it punishes because of all of the “sinful” things that you do in your identification with it. You have no power to stop the body/personal self from doing its evil deeds because you did not make it and you cannot control its actions, purpose, or fate.
8. Your illusion of the world does to you exactly what you unconsciously believe that you do to it. Once you are deluded into blaming the world you will not see that you are the cause of what the world seems to do because you want the guilt to rest on it. This is the childish and petulant device that you use to keep your innocence by pushing your guilt onto a world outside of you. But this does not release the guilt in your mind. It is not easy for you to perceive that your guilt is not necessary when your eyes behold its heavy consequences all around you but never look on its cause as impossible. When you won’t see that the cause is merely your own erroneous perception that you are separate from God these effects seem serious and sad indeed. But they only follow from a cause that is nothing and can only be a joke.
9. The Holy Spirit perceives the cause of your guilt with gentle laughter and does not look at its effects. This is how the Holy Spirit corrects your error, the cause of which you have entirely overlooked. The Holy Spirit asks you to look with It on each terrible effect of your guilt that is made manifest in the world that you perceive so that you may laugh together at your foolish belief in separation from God, which is their cause. You look at the world and judge the effects of guilt but the Holy Spirit judges their cause. By the Holy Spirit’s Gentle Judgment the effects are removed from your mind. Maybe you come in tears but enter the Holy Instant and hear the Holy Spirit say to you, “You are One with God and it is only an idle illusion that separation from God can occur” and you will leave the Holy Instant with your entire mind joining in laughter with the Holy Spirit.
10. The secret of your salvation from a world of separation and attack is this: You are doing this to yourself. No matter what form the attack takes, this is true. Whoever takes the role of attacker, this is true. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is true. You would not respond at all to figures in an illusion if you knew that it was an illusion. No matter how vicious and hateful they may be they could not have an effect on you unless you failed to recognize that they were in your illusion.
11. Learn this single lesson, and you will be free from suffering in all of its forms. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one lesson of deliverance, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain, until you have learned it. Whatever hurt you bring to the Holy Spirit It will answer with this very simple truth because this answer takes away the cause of your every form of sorrow and pain. The form does not affect the Holy Spirit’s answer at all because the Holy Spirit teaches you the single cause of them all is your own erroneous belief that you are guilty for separating from God. And you will understand that all miracles that you experience reflect this simple statement: “I have done this thing and it is this that I want to undo.”
12. Bring all forms of suffering to the Holy Spirit, Which knows that they are all the same. The Holy Spirit does not see differences where none exists and the Holy Spirit will teach you how each form of suffering is caused. Your perception that you are guilty for separating from God is the cause of them all and all of them are undone by a single lesson that you truly learn. Salvation is a secret that you have kept from yourself; Reality proclaims that this is so. But you do not heed Reality’s Witnesses because they attest to the Oneness that you do not want to know. They seem to keep Reality secret from you but you need to learn that you choose not to see Reality.
13. How differently you will perceive the world when you recognize this! When you forgive your perception of guilt you will be free of the world. You do not have to perceive your guilt elsewhere to be Innocent; your Innocence does not depend on a sinful world outside of you. This is obvious, a secret that you keep from yourself. And it is your belief that something has to be guilty for you to be Innocent that has kept the world that your mind perceives separate from you. Now you need to learn that you and what your mind perceives are either both Innocent or both guilty. It is impossible that what your mind perceives be unlike your mind or that your guilt and your Innocence be true together. This is the only secret that you need to learn and when you do it will be no secret that you are healed.
In the original, some parts of this chapter deal specifically with how Dr. Schucman used a sick body to make Dr. Thetford feel guilty and how she could help him undo his sense of guilt by accepting healing for her body. This would seem to imply that Dr. Schucman was responsible for Dr. Thetford’s perceptions but the dynamics of their specific Holy relationship were under the guidance of Jesus, Who understood how each of their minds worked and what they could understand through their reciprocal experience of Oneness in their Holy relationship. Where possible, these references have been generalized here.
 Much of this chapter is about using physical illness as an accusation against the world. This is only one of many uses to which the personal mind puts physical illness.
 For example, “What happens when I die?” This question has no real answer because there is no such thing as death. It is actually a statement that death is real and any possible answer then reinforces its reality. A real question would be: “Do I die?”
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|