|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
Chapter 29: The Awakening
1. The Closing of the Gap
1. There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent from you. There is nothing for you to fear. There is no way in which you can conceive of a gap in the Wholeness of God. The least little gap would be a compromise in God’s Eternal Love and this is quite impossible because it would mean that sometimes God’s Love is hate, sometimes God’s Gentleness is attack, and sometimes God’s Eternal Patience fails. But this is what you do believe when you perceive a gap in your mind between you and what your mind’s perception. How can you trust God if sometimes God is not-God? God’s Love is deceptive to you then, so you are justified in being wary and in not letting God come too close. So you leave a gap between you and God through which you can escape if you need to.
2. Here you plainly see your fear of God. If you hate your own perceptions you are afraid of Love and you perceive Love as a threat to you. And if you are afraid of Love you are afraid of God and it is certain that you don’t know what Love means. You fear to love and you love to hate so you think that Love is fearful and hate is Love. This is the consequence when you cherish the little gap between you and God and you think that it is your salvation and your hope.
3. Your fear of God, the greatest obstacle that Peace must flow across, is not yet gone from your mind. The other obstacles are past but this one remains to block your path and to make the way to Love seem frightening, perilous, and bleak to you. You have decided that part of your mind is outside of you and is your “enemy”. Sometimes you make friendships in the world that you perceive as long as your separate interests make friendship possible for a while. But a gap must remain between you and others because they may turn into an “enemy” again. You make agreements for limited relationships in which maintaining separation is agreed upon by all the parties involved. Violating this is a breach of the agreement and not to be allowed.
4. The gap between you and the rest of your mind is not the space between bodies. Bodies only seem to divide up your Mind into many separate minds. Through the body/personal self your joining with others in the world that you perceive substitutes for True Oneness. You can meet with other personal selves when you prefer and separate until you agree to meet again. Then you seem to get in touch with them again but it is always possible for each of you to go your separate ways. Conditional on the “right” to separate you will agree to meet from time to time with others, making sure there are intervals of separation that protect you from the “sacrifice” of love. The body “saves” you because it spares you total sacrifice and gives you time in which to build the personal self away from other personal selves because you believe it is diminished when you meet with others.
5. The body/personal self cannot separate your mind from the rest of itself unless you want it to be a cause of separation. Your desire for separation is how you endow the body/personal self with a power that it does not have and you give it power over you. You think that it determines when you meet with other bodies/personal selves and that it limits your Mind’s Oneness. You think that it tells you where to go and how to go there; what it is feasible for you to undertake and what you cannot do. It dictates what the body’s health can tolerate, what will tire it, and what will make it sick. And the body’s “inherent weaknesses” set up limitations on what you can do and keep your purpose limited and weak.
6. The body/personal self will do all of this if you want to have it so. It will allow you limited indulgences in “love” with intervals of hatred in between. It will take command of when you “love” and when you should shrink into the “safety” of fear. The body will be sick because you do not know that Love means Oneness. And you will misuse each circumstance and relationship in the world and see in them a purpose that is not your True Purpose.
7. Love does not ask you for sacrifice but fear demands that you sacrifice Love because fear cannot abide in Love’s Presence. To maintain hate you must fear Love, Which you allow to be sometimes present and sometimes gone. You see Love, then, as treacherous because It seems to come and go uncertainly and It never offers you stability. You do not see how limited and weak your allegiance to Love is and how frequently you demand that Love go away and leave you in “peace”.
8. The body, which has no goal of its own, is your excuse for your own variable goals, which you force it to maintain. You do not fear the body’s weakness; you fear its nothingness. Do you want to recognize that nothing stands between you and your perceptions and that there is no gap in your mind behind which you can hide? There is a shock that comes to you when you see Christ instead of an “enemy” in your perception of another. You feel wary when you learn that the body is not real. And you hear overtones of fear around the happy message “God is Love.”
9. Eternal Peace is all that happens when the gap in your mind is gone. Nothing more and nothing less. Only your fear of God can induce you to abandon God because what does the world that you perceive offer that seems to hold you back an instant from God’s Love? You allow the body/personal self to say “no” to God’s Call because you are afraid that you will lose yourself in God. But can your Self be lost by being found?
2. The Coming of the Guest
1. Why don’t you perceive learning that you are free of the limitations of the personal mind as relief from suffering? Why do you look on the Truth as your enemy instead of welcoming It? Why does an easy path, so clearly marked it is impossible for you to lose your way, seem thorny, rough, and far too difficult for you to follow? It is because you see the road to God as the road to hell instead of as a simple way that asks no sacrifice or loss of you. You will have some regrets about the way to God that you have chosen until you realize that you give up nothing for it and that you lose nothing on it. You do not see the many Gains that your choice offers to you but though you do not see Them They are here. Their Cause has been Effected and They must be present where Their Cause has entered.
2. You have accepted the Cause of healing and so it must be that you are healed. Being healed, you have the power to extend healing. Your experience of the miracle is not a separate thing that happens suddenly to you as an effect without a cause. Nor is it a cause in itself. But a miracle’s Cause must be where you experience a miracle. A miracle is caused now, though you do not yet perceive it. Look inward now and you will not see reason for regret but Cause indeed for glad rejoicing and for hope of Peace.
3. It has been hopeless for you to try to find Peace in conflict. It has been futile for you to demand escape from separation and pain from the body that you made to serve the function of maintaining separation and pain. Pain and separation are one illusion, as are hate and fear, and attack and guilt. Where they are without cause they are gone and Love must come where they are not. Why aren’t you rejoicing? You are free of pain and sickness, misery and loss, and all effects of hatred and attack. Pain is no longer your friend and separation is no longer your god and you should welcome the Effects of Love.
4. The Holy Spirit has come. You asked the Holy Spirit to come and the Holy Spirit is here. You are not wholly aware of the Holy Spirit because you do not wholly welcome the Holy Spirit. Yet the Holy Spirit’s Gifts of Love come with It. The Holy Spirit offers them to you and asks that you accept them as your own. The Holy Spirit needs your help in extending them to be all that you perceive. Your mind will be healed when you accept your Gifts because the Holy Spirit will extend them to all that you perceive.
5. You do not see how much you can extend in your awareness because of Everything that you have received. But the Holy Spirit, Which you invited into your awareness, waits for you to look on It. There is no place other than your mind where the Holy Spirit can find you or where you can meet the Holy Spirit. There is nowhere but your mind where you can obtain the Holy Spirit’s Gifts of Peace and Joy and all the Happiness Its Presence brings. The Holy Spirit’s Gifts are within you with the Holy Spirit. You cannot see the Holy Spirit but you can see in your perception the Gifts that the Holy Spirit brings. When you perceive Them you will believe in the Holy Spirit’s Presence within your mind. What you can do now you could not do without the Love and Grace of the Holy Spirit’s Presence.
6. Such is the Promise of the Living God: that you have Life and that all of Life be a part of you. Nothing else has Life. The body and the world that you have given “life” are not alive and they symbolize your wish to be “alive” apart from Life; alive in death, where you perceive death as “life” and Life as death. Confusion follows on confusion here because the world that you perceive is based on confusion alone. Its base does not change, although it seems to be in constant change. And what is constant change but a state of confusion? When you are confused stability is meaningless to you and shift and change are the law on which you base your “life”.
7. The body does not change but it represents your larger illusion that change is possible. To change is to attain a state unlike the one in which you found yourself before. There is no change in Immortality; Heaven does not know of change. But in the world that you perceive change can be used by the personal mind or the Holy Spirit to teach opposing things and what you teach reflects the teacher that is teaching them. The body can appear to change with time, with sickness or health, and with events that seem to alter it. But this means only that the mind remains unchanged in the purpose that it has given to the body.
8. Your sickness is your demand that the body be what it is not because its nothingness is a guarantee that it can not be sick. It is your demand that the body be more than it is because your sickness asks that God be less than All that God is. You are asked to sacrifice, then, and what becomes of you? God is told that Part of God is no longer Part of God. God must sacrifice you and in God’s sacrifice you are made more and God is lessened by the loss of you. What is gone from God becomes your god, protecting you from being Part of God.
9. Your asking the body to be your god is your attack on it because you are not recognizing its inherent nothingness. The body then seems to be a thing with power in itself. As something you perceive it as feeling and acting and you think it holds you as a prisoner to itself. It can fail to be what you demanded it be and you hate it for its littleness, not realizing that its failure does not lie in that it is not more than it should be but only in your failure to perceive it is nothing. But its nothingness is your salvation, from which you want to flee.
10. As something you ask the body to be God’s enemy, replacing God with littleness, limit, and despair. When you look on the body as something to love or to hate you celebrate your loss of God. God is the Sum of Everything and what is not of God does not exist. So God’s Completion lies in the nothingness of the body. Your Christ Mind is not dead, nor does It dwell in a body that is a temple to death. Your Christ Mind lives in God and it is this and only this that makes your Christ Mind your Savior. Look on the bodies that you perceive in a world as nothing and release from sickness and death the body with which you identify. The body with which you identify cannot be more or less than the other bodies that your mind perceives.
3. God’s Witnesses
1. Do not condemn yourself because the other in your Holy relationship looks on their self as a body. Beyond all illusions is your Reality. You must learn to perceive your Christ Mind in place of any personal mind’s perceptions to remember Who you are. Thus the purpose of your relationship with the other becomes salvation as you use it to correct your perception. Extending your Christ Mind you learn that you have Christ because extending is your proof of having. Only if you believe that God is lessened by your strength can you fail to understand this. You cannot extend your Christ Mind unless you have It and you cannot lose What is increased by your extending It.
2. Do you think God loses Itself when God extends God to you? Is God made weak because God shares Love with you? Is God made incomplete by your Perfection? As God’s Extension you are the proof that God is Perfect and Complete. Do not deny God’s Witnesses in the illusion that you prefer to your Reality. To be free from the illusion that you made you must be your own Savior. You must see your Christ Mind in your perception of another in what seems to be a world outside of your mind to learn that your Mind is One.
3. There is one theme of Truth within the world of bodies and death: The personal mind cannot awaken you to God but you can let your Christ Mind awaken you. You can overlook all forms of the illusion of separation, no matter from whose mind it seems to come. So perfectly can you forgive the illusions that others seem to perceive that they become your Saviors. As you see your Christ Mind in place of any personal mind’s illusions of separation you will see God where once you saw bodies. Bodies will disappear for you just as heavy shadows give way to light. Where you see God, bodies are gone. In Glory you will see your Christ Mind and understand What really fills the gap that seems to keep your mind separated. God’s Witness sets forth the Gentle Way of Kindness for you. When you forgive any illusion your illusions are forgiven. By extending Freedom you are given Freedom.
4. Make way for Love, Which you did not create but Which you can extend. In the world that you perceive this means you forgive all illusions of separation, wherever they seem to occur, so that all illusions may be lifted from your mind. You will be saved as you extend forgiveness.
5. How Holy you are that you can perceive your Christ Mind in the midst of illusions of desolation and disaster! See how eagerly your Christ Mind, in Gratitude and Love, comes to your mind when you look away from illusions. Your Christ Mind is not outside of you; It encompasses you. Just as God did not lose part of Itself in your creation, so your Christ Mind is made stronger because you extend It to overcome illusions. Christ in your mind must be equally strong in the part of your mind that you perceive. This is the theme of Truth in the illusion: As you extend your Christ Mind in your perception you can be sure of your Christ Mind in you. In glad salvation you are saved.
6. Dream Roles
1. Do you believe that some of your illusions of separation from God can be the Truth? They are all illusions because they are not true. Their lack of Truth is the basis for the miracle, which you experience because you have understood that an illusion of separation from God is an illusion and that your escape from separation depends on this awareness. You cannot escape some forms of separation and deny others. Your choice is not between which forms of separation you want to keep but whether you want to live in separation or in God. So the miracle does not leave some of your illusions of separation untouched by its beneficence. You cannot hold onto some forms of separation while becoming aware that other forms of separation are illusions because your being aware that separation is an illusion is total or not at all. All of your illusions will disappear when you no longer want to be separate from God.
2. In your identification with a personal self the forms of separation from God that you like hold you back as much as the forms that make you afraid. Every form of separation is an illusion of fear, no matter what the form is. You may see fear within you, outside of you, or both. Fear can be disguised in a pleasant form but it is never absent from your illusion of separation because fear is the material from which the illusion is made. The form of separation can change but it cannot be made of something other than fear. The miracle would indeed be treacherous to you if your experience of it allowed you to still be afraid because you did not recognize the source of your fear. You would not then be willing to become aware of God again, which is what your experiences of miracles prepare you for.
3. Simply stated, it can be said that the personal mind attacks when it perceives a function is unfulfilled as it wants it fulfilled. This can be in you or in someone else but where the personal mind sees this unfulfilled function it will attack. Depression or attack must be the theme of every illusion of separation because they are made of fear. They may be wrapped in a thin disguise of pleasure and joy but this only slightly veils the heavy lump of fear at their core. In the miracle you perceive the fear, not the wrapping in which fear is bound.
4. When you are angry isn’t it because someone has failed to fulfill the function that, in your identification with a personal self, you have given to them? Isn’t this the “reason” your attack is justified? The illusions of separation that the personal mind likes are those in which the functions that it has given have been fulfilled and the needs that it thinks you have, have been met. But your fear actually arises from your belief that you have needs and it doesn’t matter whether they have been met or not. You do not want the illusion of separation more or less; you either want it or you don’t want it. Each form of separation represents some function that you have assigned from the personal mind, a goal which an event or a body or a thing should achieve for you. If it or they succeed you like the illusion; if it or they don’t succeed then you think that the illusion is sad. But whether your needs are met or not met is not the illusion’s core but its flimsy covering.
5. Your illusions would become Happy Illusions if the personal mind were not the one to assign roles to everyone in them. Everyone must fail the personal mind’s idea of them and this is the only betrayal there is. The core of the illusions that the Holy Spirit gives is never fear. The illusions may not appear to change but what they mean changes for you because they stand for Something Else. Your perceptions are determined by their purpose in that perceptions seem to be what they are for. If your forgiving is the function of your illusions then someone in your illusions who seems to attack you is really giving you a chance to forgive your perception of separation. And then your illusion of sadness is turned to an Illusion of Joy.
6. What are others for in the world that you perceive? You do not know because in your identification with a personal self your function is obscure to you. Do not ascribe roles to others that the personal mind tells you will bring happiness to you. And do not try to hurt others when they fail the part that the personal mind assigned to them in the illusion of your “life”. Every illusion of separation is your call to heal your mind and you have healing to extend when you see the purpose of illusions as the Holy Spirit sees them. Because the Holy Spirit loves you and not your illusions, each illusion can become for you an opportunity for you to extend Love. As the Holy Spirit sees it, at the core of every illusion is the Holy Spirit’s Love for you, Which fills whatever form it takes with Love.
5. The Changeless Dwelling Place
1. There is a Place in you Where your forget the world that you perceive and Where you have no memory of separation or illusions. There is a Place in you Where time has left and you can hear Echoes of Eternity. There is a Resting Place in you so Still that no sound except your praise of Heaven rises up to gladden God. Where God abides, you remember God. And Where God is, is Heaven and Peace.
2. Do not think that you can change God’s Dwelling Place because your Identity is in God and Where God is you must be Forever. The Changelessness of Heaven is so deep within you that the world that you perceive just passes It by, unnoticed and unseen. The Still Infinity of Endless Peace surrounds you Gently in Its soft embrace, so Strong and Quiet and Tranquil in the Might of God that nothing can intrude on your sacred Oneness with God.
3. Perceive your Christ Mind and be glad because this is the role that the Holy Spirit gives to you who wait for Christ. The Christ that you perceive is of your Mind, as your Mind is reflected in the Christ that you perceive because your Mind is One in God and It is not what the personal mind wants It to be. You are asked only to accept the Changeless and Eternal that abide in your perception because your Identity is there. The Peace in you can only be found in your perception. Every Thought of Love that you extend brings you nearer to your own full awareness of your Eternal Peace and Endless Joy.
4. Your perception of your Sacred Christ Mind is the Mirror of God’s Love for you. It is the Soft Reminder of God’s Love by Which your Whole Mind was created and Which still dwells in your Mind and in Its Perception. Be very still and hear God’s Voice in your perception and let It tell you the function of the world that you perceive. Your Mind was created Whole because only the Complete can be part of God’s Completion, Which created you.
5. The only gift that God asks of you is that you perceive everywhere What God has given to you. Behold your Christ Mind, God’s Perfect Gift, in Which God dwells Forever and in Which is all of Creation. Because your Christ Mind has all of Creation all of Creation is given to you and Where Creation lies in your Christ Mind you can behold your Peace. The Quiet that surrounds you dwells in your Christ Mind and from this Quiet your Happy Perceptions extend to unite your mind in Innocence. There is no pain or attack in these Perceptions because in Them you leave behind your every vain illusion of separation that is the world. And being open, your mind receives the Perceptions in Which its Completion lies.
6. If you only knew of the Glorious Goal that lies beyond your forgiving you would not keep hold of any thought of separation, no matter how light the touch of evil on it seems to be. You would understand that the cost of holding onto anything God did not give to you is great when your mind can be directed to bless and to lead you Home to God instead. Wouldn’t you rather perceive God’s Home in place of a world of separation? God esteems your mind as worthy of God, so why do you attack your mind’s perceptions with hate? Others in the world that you perceive seem to perceive death in you, too, but do not believe this. Learn instead how blessed you are because you can release your mind by extending your Christ Mind in your perception.
7. A Perception is given to you in Which your relationship with one other in the world that you perceive is your salvation. A Perception is given to you in Which you forgive all of your illusions of death, no matter in what mind they seem to happen, and you extend Hope instead of projecting separate illusions of hate. Why does it seem so hard for you to extend this Perception? Unless the Holy Spirit gives your perception its function it is for hate and it will continue in death’s service. Each form an illusion of separation takes calls for your death in some way. When you serve the lord of death you worship in a world of separation, using all of your defenses to keep your promise to die.
8. This is the core of fear in every illusion of separation that you keep from the Holy Spirit, Which sees a different function for the illusions that you perceive. When you use an illusion to extend Oneness it is no longer about attack and separation, even though this is what you initially made illusions for. Nothing in the world of separation is without the hope of change and betterment because it is not in the world that you find Changelessness. Be glad that this is so and do not seek for the Eternal in the world. Your illusions of forgiving are your means for detaching from illusions of a world outside yourself and they lead you beyond all illusions to the Peace of Everlasting Life.
6. Forgiveness and the End of Time
1. How willing are you to forgive the personal mind’s perceptions? How much do you desire Peace over endless strife, misery, and pain? These questions ask the same thing in a different way. Your forgiving is your Peace because in it lays the end of your perception of separation and your illusions of danger and destruction, sin and death, madness and murder, grief and loss. Salvation asks that you “sacrifice” all of this and it gladly offers you Peace instead.
2. You who are One with God, swear not to die! You make a bargain that you cannot keep because What is One with Life cannot be killed. You are as Immortal as God and What you are cannot be changed. You are the only Thing in Reality that is One. What seems eternal in your illusions will end: the stars will disappear and night and day will no longer be. The tides, the seasons, the “lives” of countless personal selves, what blooms and fades, and all the things that change with time will not return. The Eternal is not where time has set an end. You cannot be changed by what the personal mind has made of you. You are One with God as you have always been and time has not appointed your destiny, nor set the hour of your birth and death. Your forgiving will not change you but time waits on your forgiving so that the things of time can disappear because you have no use for them.
3. Nothing survives its purpose. If you conceive of it to die then it will die unless you change its purpose. Change is the only thing that you made that can be made into a blessing in the world that you perceive because purpose is not fixed in the world, however changeless it seems to be. Do not think that you can set a goal unlike God’s Purpose for you and make it as Changeless and Eternal as God. You can give yourself a purpose that you do not have but you cannot remove your power to change your mind and to see another purpose.
4. God gave you the ability to change what you have tried to make eternal to ensure that Heaven will not pass away from you. God does not extend God to you so that you can die. You cannot change because your Function of Extension is fixed by God. But all your other goals are set in time and change to preserve time except for one: your forgiving, which does not aim at preserving time but at ending time. Time is gone for you when its purpose has ended. Where time once filled your mind your mind will be restored to full awareness of the Function of extending God that God establishes for it. Time cannot end your Function’s Fulfillment, nor Its Changelessness. There is no death because you share your Function with God and Life’s Function cannot be to die. Life’s Function must be Life’s extension so that It may be One Forever without end.
5. The world that you perceive will bind your feet and tie your hands and kill your body only if you think that it was made to crucify you. Even though the world is an illusion of death you do not need to let it stand for this to you. Change its purpose and everything in it will be changed as well. Everything in the world is defined for you by what you perceive it is for.
6. How lovely is the world when you perceive its purpose is your extension of forgiveness! How free from fear and how filled with blessing and Happiness! What a Joyous thing it is for you to dwell a little while in such a Happy place. And in such a world you cannot forget that it is a little while until Timelessness comes Quietly to take the place of time.
7. Seek Not Outside Yourself
1. Do not seek outside yourself because you will fail to find Happiness there and you will weep each time an idol falls. Heaven cannot be found where It is not and your only Peace is the Peace of Heaven. Every idol that you worship in place of God will never fulfill you. There is nothing you can substitute to find the Happiness that God brings to you. Do not seek outside yourself. All of your pain comes from searching for Happiness where you insist It must be. It is not there. Do you prefer to be right or Happy? Be glad that you have been told Where Happiness abides and do not seek any longer for It elsewhere because you will fail. It is given to you to know the Truth and do not seek outside yourself for It.
2. You go into the world with the hopeful illusion that something outside of yourself will bring you Happiness and Peace. But Everything is in you, so this cannot be so. By looking in the world you deny the Truth about yourself and you look for something to be more than Everything. It is as if you think that a Part of Everything is separated off and can be found where all the rest of It is not. You give to the body/personal self the purpose of seeking for what you lack and finding you what you think that you need to make yourself complete. So you wander about aimlessly in search of something that you cannot find, believing that you are what you are not.
3. Your lingering belief that you can find wholeness outside of yourself will compel you to seek out a thousand idols. And all will fail you but one: death. You do not understand that the idol that you seek is death. Its form seems to be outside of you but in your identification with a personal self you seek to kill your Christ Mind within and prove that you are victor over It. This is the purpose that you have assigned to every idol and this is the role that they cannot fulfill.
4. Whenever you attempt to reach a goal in which the body/personal self will gain you try to bring about your death because you believe that you can suffer lack and lack is death. To sacrifice is to give up and therefore to suffer loss and this is how you renounce Life. Do not seek outside yourself. For you to search outside of yourself implies that you are not Whole within and that you are afraid to look within on your devastation, so you must look outside yourself for what you are.
5. Idols must fall because they have no life and what is lifeless is a sign of death. You perceive yourself in a world to die, so what do you expect but to find the signs of death that you seek? Your sadness and suffering proclaim the message that you found an idol that in its lifelessness is death but which you conceive of as real and give a “living” form. Yet each idol must fail and crumble and decay because a form of death cannot be Life and what is for sacrifice cannot be Whole.
6. You made all idols in the world that you perceive to keep yourself from being aware of the Truth within you and to maintain your allegiance to the illusion that you must find completion and happiness outside of yourself. It is vain for you to worship idols in the hope of Peace. God dwells within you and your Completion lies in God. No idol can take God’s Place. Do not look to idols; do not seek outside yourself.
7. Forget the purpose that the personal self’s past has given to the world that you perceive. Otherwise the future will be like the past: a series of depressing illusions in which your idols fail you one by one and you see disappointment and death everywhere.
8. To change all this and to open up a road of hope and release in what appears to be an endless circle of despair, all that you need to do is decide that you don’t know what the world is for. You split your mind between within you and outside of you and in the world outside you perceive idols that are supposed to have the power to make you complete within. You choose your illusions of separation and they are what you wish but you perceive them as though they have been given to you. Your idols do what you want them to do and they have the power that you ascribe to them. You pursue them vainly in your illusion of separation because you want their power as your own.
9. Illusions of separation are only in your mind through your denial. You cannot succeed in making real the illusions that you project outside of yourself. Save time by learning what time is for. Speed the end of idols in your mind, which is made sad and sick by seeing idols as real. Your Holy Mind is God’s Home and no idols can abide Where God is. Your fear of God is your fear of loss of your idols, not your fear of loss of your Reality. But you have made a false reality that is an idol which you feel you must protect against the Truth. The world that you perceive is the means that you use to save this idol and salvation seems to threaten your “life” and to offer you death.
10. It is not so. Salvation seeks to prove to you that there is no death and only Life exists. In “sacrificing” death you lose nothing. An idol cannot take the place of God. Let God remind you of God’s Love for you and do not seek to drown out God’s Voice with chants of deep despair to idols of yourself. Do not seek outside God for your Hope because you will not find Hope of Happiness in despair.
8. The Anti-Christ
1. Do you think that you know what an idol is? You never recognize idols as what they really are. That is the only power that they have. Their purpose is obscure to you and you both fear and worship them because you do not know what they are for and why they have been made. An idol is someone or something that you value more than God. No matter their form, they are made to replace your Christ Mind in your awareness and it is this that you never perceive and recognize. A body, a thing, a place, a situation, something that you own or want, a right that you demand or have achieved – all these are idols.
2. Do not let their form deceive you; idols are your substitutes for your Reality. In some way you think that they will complete your little self. You want them for safety in a dangerous world where forces are massed against your confidence and peace of mind. You believe that they have the power to supply your lacks and to add the value that you feel you do not have. You only believe in idols because you have limited and sacrificed yourself to a personal self. You seek beyond this little self for strength and for a means to stand apart from all of the misery of the world that you perceive. But your misery is the consequence of your not looking within for the Certainty and Quiet Calm that frees you from the world and lets you stand apart in Peace.
3. An idol is a false belief, a form of anti-Christ that constitutes a gap between your Christ Mind and what your mind perceives. An idol is your wish given tangible form, perceived as real, and projected outside of your mind. But it is still your thought and it cannot leave the mind of its thinker. Nor is its form apart from the idea that it represents. All forms that oppose your Christ Mind are anti-Christ and, if you want, they can all fall away before your Christ Mind like a dark veil that seems to shut you off from Christ. Your Christ Mind is here. A veil cannot banish or undo What it seems to separate off from you.
4. The world of idols that you perceive is like a veil across your awareness of your Christ Mind because its purpose is to separate your Mind from Itself. It has a dark and frightening purpose but it has no power to change Life into death. The world that you perceive is nothing but a thought in your mind where God is not. Where is this place in your mind where What is Everywhere has been excluded? What can block God’s Way? Whose voice can demand that God not enter your mind? The “more-than-Everything” that you have tried to make is not something to make you tremble in fear. Your Christ Mind’s “enemy” cannot take a form that will ever be real.
5. An idol is nothing! You must believe in it before it seems to come to life and you must give it power before you fear it. Its life and power are your gifts to it and your awareness of this is what your experience of the miracle restores to you who have Life and Power worthy of the Gift of Heaven and Eternal Peace. Your experience of the miracle does not restore the Truth to you. It merely lifts the veil from your mind so that Truth can be What It is. Truth does not need belief to be Itself because being of God It merely is.
6. An idol is established by your belief and when you withdraw your belief in it, it falls away. The anti-Christ is your strange idea that there is a power past Omnipotence, a place beyond the Infinite, and a time that transcends Eternity. This power, place, and time have taken form as the world of idols that you perceive. In this impossible world the Deathless comes to die, the All-encompassing comes to suffer loss, the Timeless is made a slave to time, the Changeless changes, and the Peace of God gives way to chaos. And you who are One with God and who are as Perfect, Innocent, and Loving as God come to hate yourself a little while, to suffer pain, and finally to die.
7. An idol is nowhere. There cannot be a gap in Infinity, an interval of time to interrupt Eternity, denial Where All is Known, or a dismal corner that is separated off from the Endless. An idol is outside Where God has set All Things Forever and Where God has left no room for anything but God’s Will. An idol must be nothing and nowhere since God is Everything and Everywhere.
8. What is an idol for? This question has many answers in the world of separation that you perceive because your world is peopled with idolaters. In your identification with a personal self you worship idols and you seek for one that might yet offer you a gift that Reality does not contain. You harbor the hope that your special deities will give you more than others possess. It must be more. It does not matter more of what: beauty, intelligence, wealth; even affliction and pain. An idol is always for more of something. When one idol falls you find another to give you hope of finding more of something else. Do not be deceived by the many forms that “something” takes. An idol is for you to get something more and it is this that is against God’s Will.
9. God is One, not many. What Part of God can have more and what Part can have less? The Holy Spirit speaks for God and It tells you that your idols have no purpose. You can never have more than Heaven. Heaven is within you, so why seek for idols that make Heaven seem like less than It is so that you can have more than God has given you in your Oneness with God? God has given you All that there is. To be sure that you could not lose Everything, God extends Everything Everywhere. All of Life is a Part of You as It is a Part of God. No idol can establish you as more than God and you will never be content with less than God.
9. The Forgiving Dream
1. You are a willing slave of idols. You must be to bow down in worship of what has no life and to seek for power in the powerless. What happened to you who are One with God that it is your wish to fall lower than the stones on the ground and to look for idols to raise you up? Here is your story in the illusion of separation that you have made; ask yourself if it isn’t true that you do not believe that it is an illusion:
2. An idea of judgment against yourself came into your Mind, Which was created by God as Perfect as God. In that illusion Heaven was changed to hell and God was made into your enemy. But you can undo your illusion of judgment by not judging because your illusion will seem to last for you only while you are a part of it. Do not judge because if you do you will need idols on which to project your judgment so that your judgment does not rest on you. Do not judge or you will not know the Self that you have judged against. Do not judge because to do so is to make yourself a part of illusions of separation, where idols are your true “identity” and are your “salvation” from the judgment of guilt and fear that you have laid on yourself.
3. All the figures in your illusion of separation are idols that you made to save you from your painful illusion. But they are part of the illusion that they are made to save you from. So your idols actually keep your illusion alive and terrible since you wish for idols only because you are in terror and despair. This is what your idols represent, so for you to worship them is for you to worship terror and despair and the illusion in which they seem to be. Your judgment is your injustice to your Christ Mind and it is the Law of Mind’s Oneness that you will not escape the penalty that you have laid upon your Christ Mind. God knows of the Justice of Oneness, not of penalty. But in your illusion when you attack you suffer and you wish to be the slave of idols which are interposed between your judgment and the penalty that your judgment brings.
4. There can be no salvation for you in your illusion in the way that you maintain it. Idols must be a part of your illusion to save you from the separation from God that you believe that you have accomplished and that you think has resulted in Love being put out of you. But Love is always within you. You only have an illusion of separation from God and idols are the toys that you think that you play with. Only children have need of toys. They pretend that they rule the world and they give their toys the power to move about, talk, think, feel, and speak to them. But everything their toys appear to do is only in the mind of the child playing with them. And children are eager to forget that they made up the daydream in which their toys are real and to deny that their toys’ wishes are their own.
5. Nightmares are childish dreams. A child’s toys turn against the child who thought that he had made them real. But a dream cannot attack and a toy cannot grow large and dangerous. A child believes this can happen because he fears his own thoughts and gives them to the toys instead. The toys’ “reality” becomes the child’s own because they seem to save him from his thoughts. But really they keep his thoughts alive and real, though seen outside of him, where they can turn against him for his treachery to them. The child thinks he needs the toys to escape his own thoughts because he thinks his own thoughts are real. So he makes anything a toy to make a world outside of himself and plays as though he is part of it.
6. There is a time when childhood should be passed and gone forever. Do not seek to retain the toys of children and put them all away because you don’t need them anymore. Your illusion of judgment against yourself is a child’s game in which you become your own powerful maker but with the little wisdom of a child. What hurts you, you destroy; what helps you, you bless. But you judge as a child does and you do no know what really hurts you and what really heals you. Bad things seem to happen and you are afraid of the chaos in a world that is governed by laws that you think you made. But your Real Perception is unaffected by the world of separation that you think is real. And Its Law has not been changed because you do not understand It.
7. Your Real Perception is also an illusion but the figures in it have been changed. They are not idols that betray because they are not used by you to substitute for God, nor are they interposed between your mind and what it perceives. You do not use them for something they are not because you have put away childish things. Your illusion of judgment is changed into an illusion of Joy because that is its purpose. Your Real Perception sees only forgiving illusions because time is almost over. You now perceive the figures in your illusion as part of your mind, not in judgment but in Love.
8. Your forgiving illusions do not need to last long. You do not make them to separate your mind from what it thinks. They do not seek to prove that your illusion is made by someone else. And in these illusions you see the Reflection of Something familiar, though you have not seen It since before time began. Once your forgiving is complete Timelessness is so close that you can perceive a Reflection of Heaven, not with the body’s eyes but with your Holy Mind, which has never left you. When you see this Reflection you will realize that you have always known It. And time is over when you have put away illusions of judgment.
9. Whenever you feel fear in any form – and you are afraid if you do not feel a deep content, a certainty of help, and a calm assurance that Heaven is with you – you can be sure that you have made an idol that you believe will betray you. Beneath your hope that it will save you lay the guilt and pain of self-betrayal and uncertainty, so deep and bitter that your illusion cannot completely conceal your sense of doom. Your self-betrayal must result in fear because fear is your judgment, leading to your frantic search for idols and for death.
10. Your forgiving illusions remind you that you live in Safety and that you have not attacked yourself. Your childish terrors will melt away and new illusions will come as a sign that you have made a new beginning, not another attempt to worship idols and keep attack. Your forgiving illusions are kind to every figure in your illusion and so they bring you full release from your illusions of fear. When you stop judging the world that you perceive you will stop fearing your own judgment. And you will stop using judgment to bring release from the limitations that judgment imposes. You will remember What you forgot when judgment seemed to be the way to save you from its own penalty.
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|