|The Message of A Course in Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language|
Chapter 31: The Final Vision
1. The Simplicity of Salvation
1. Your salvation is so simple! All you need to recognize is that what was never true is not true and never will be. The impossible has not occurred and it can have no effects and that is all. This cannot be hard for you to learn if you want it to be true. Only your unwillingness to learn it can make such an easy lesson seem difficult. How hard can it be for you to see that what is false is not true and what is true cannot be false? You can no longer say that you cannot perceive the difference between the false and the True. You have been told exactly how to tell one from the other and just what to do if you become confused. Why, then, do you persist in not learning such a simple thing?
2. There is a reason, but do not think it is because the simple things that you need to learn for your salvation are difficult. For your salvation you only learn the very obvious. You only go from one obvious lesson to the next, in easy steps that lead you gently from one to the next, with no strain at all. This cannot be confusing but you are confused because somehow you believe that what is totally confusing is easier to learn and understand. What your split mind has taught you is such a giant learning feat that it is indeed incredible. But you have accomplished it only because you wanted to and in your diligence you did not judge it as too hard to learn or as too complex to grasp.
3. You cannot doubt the power of your learning skill if you understand how carefully you have learned separation from God and the pains to which you have gone to practice and repeat its lessons endlessly, in every form of which you can conceive. There is no greater power in the world that you perceive than your learning because the world was made by it,and even now depends on it alone. You have so over-learned the lessons that your split mind has taught you that they are fixed in your mind like a heavy curtain to obscure the Simple and Obvious. Don’t say that you cannot learn the Simple and Obvious because your power to learn is strong enough to teach you that your will is not your own, your thoughts do not belong to you, and even that you are something other than What you are.
4. You cannot maintain that these of separation lessons are easy. But you have learned more than this. You have continued taking every step, no matter how difficult, and without complaint, to build a world that suits you. Every lesson that makes up your world arises from your first lesson that you successfully attacked and separated yourself from God. This lesson is so enormous that for you the Holy Spirit’s Voice seems still and small before it. The world began with this one strange lesson, which is powerful enough to make you forget God, to make your Self an alien to you, and to place you in seeming exile from the Home Where God establishes you. You, who are One with God, have taught yourself that you are guilty of separating from God, so do not say that you cannot learn the simple things that you need for your salvation!
5. Learning is an ability that your split mind made and that it gave to you. It was not made to do the Will of God but to uphold your split mind’s wish to oppose God’s Will and to make a will apart from God’s Will more real to you than God’s Will. This is what your learning has sought to demonstrate and you have learned this. Now your ancient over-learning stands seemingly immovable before the Holy Spirit to teach you that the Holy Spirit’s Lessons are not true, that they are too hard for you to learn, too difficult for you to perceive, and too opposed to what is “real”. But you will learn them because learning them is the only purpose that the Holy Spirit has for your learning skill. The Holy Spirit’s lessons in forgiving have a Power that is mightier than your split mind’s purpose because they call to you from God and from your Self.
6. The Holy Spirit’s Voice is not so still and small that It cannot rise above the senseless noise of meaningless sounds. God does not will that you forget God and the Power of God’s Will is in the Holy Spirit’s Voice, Which speaks for God. Which lessons will you learn? What outcome is as inevitable as God and far beyond doubt and question? Your little learning, which is incredibly difficult, and has resulted in a strange outcome, cannot withstand the simple lessons being taught to you by the Holy Spirit every moment of every day, since time began and learning was made.
7. There are only two lessons for you to learn and each has its outcome in a different perception for you. Each perception follows surely from its source. The certain outcome of the lesson that you are guilty of separating from God is the world that the personal mind perceives. It is a world of terror and despair. There is no hope of happiness in it, there is no plan of safety in it that will ever succeed, and there is no joy that you can hope to find in it. But this is not the only outcome that your learning can produce. However much you have over-learned your chosen task of separation, the lesson that reflects God’s Love is still stronger. You will learn that you are Innocent and you will experience a different perception.
8. The outcome for you of the lesson that you are Innocent is a Perception in which there is no fear and everything that you perceive is lit with Hope and Gentle Friendliness because you recognize that everything is in your mind. You perceive everything appealing to you for Love and to be One with you. You recognize that every call for Love is from a part of your mind to you and you do not misunderstand, or leave unanswered with Love, any call for Love. You understand that this call for Love is everywhere because your mind is everywhere and that it always has been but that you had not perceived this. Now you see that you were mistaken because you were deceived by forms that seemed to hide your mind’s call for Love. You did not hear the call and you appeared to have lost a Loving part of yourself. The other lesson that you can learn is the soft, Eternal calling for Love to your Whole Mind from every part of your mind that you perceive.
9. Your mind longs for Wholeness and for you to hear its call for Wholeness. Without your Loving answer what your mind perceives seems to represent death but you can perceive the call for Life instead and understand that it is your own. Your Christ Mind remembers God with all the Certainty that your Christ Mind knows God’s Love. But only in Innocence are you Love because God would be fear if you could be guilty. Your Christ Mind remembers your Oneness with God but in guilt you forget What you really are.
10. The lesson that you are guilty results in your fear of God as surely as you remember God’s Love when you learn that you are Innocent. Your hate fosters fear and looks on its source as itself. You are wrong when you fail to hear the call for Love that is behind each perception of seeming death and each murderous attack, which are only your mind’s pleading to be restored to Love. You do not understand Who calls to you behind each seeming form of hate and each call to conflict. But you will recognize your Christ Mind when you answer in the Love with Which your Christ Mind calls to you. Your Christ Mind will appear when you have answered and you will know that God is Love.
11. Your temptation to choose illusions is only your wish to make the wrong decision about what you want to learn and to have an outcome that you do not really want. But you can recognize your unwanted state of mind as a motivation to reassess your choice because you prefer another outcome. You are deceived if you think that you want disaster, chaos, and pain. Do not hear this call within yourself but listen deeper for your call for Peace and Joy and all that you perceive will give you Peace and Joy. As you hear you will answer and your answer will be the proof of what you learned. And what you perceive is the outcome of your learning.
12. Be still an instant and forget all that you ever learned through the personal mind, all that you ever thought through it, and every preconception that it has of what things mean and what their purpose is. Let go of the personal mind’s ideas of what the world is for. It does not know. Let every image that it holds onto be loosened from your mind and swept away.
13. Be innocent of any judgment and unaware of any thought of evil or good that has ever crossed your mind about anyone or anything in the world that you perceive. Now you do not know what they are for and you are free to learn. Now the world that you perceive is born again to you and you to it, without your sentence of death upon it or on you. Now you and what your mind perceives are freed from an ancient lesson and Truth has been left a place to be reborn in your awareness.
2. Walking with Christ
1. Your old lesson of separation from God is not overcome by your new lesson of Oneness with God opposing it. Your old lesson does not need to be fought or vanquished for you to know the Truth. There is no battle to prepare, no time to expend, and no plans that you need to make for you to learn the lesson of Oneness. There is an old battle being waged within you against the Truth but Truth does not respond. You cannot be hurt in such a war unless you hurt yourself. You have no enemy in Truth and you cannot be assailed by illusions.
2. It is time to review again what seems to stand between you and the Truth of What you are. There are steps in your relinquishment of your perception of separation from God and the first is your decision for Truth. After that the Truth is revealed to you. In your split mind you wish to establish what is true and by your wish you made two choices that you think you must choose between whenever you must decide on anything. Neither choice is true, nor are they different from each other. You must see them both before you can look past them to the one Alternative that really is a different choice. This Alternative is not an illusion that you made to obscure What It represents.
3. What you want to choose between is not a choice and it is an illusion that it is a free choice because either will have the same outcome for you. The choice that you think that you have to make in any situation is whether you are going to be a leader or a follower, with someone else taking the role that you did not choose. You think each role has different advantages and that in their fusion you can find satisfaction and peace. You see yourself forever divided between these two roles and every relationship that you make in the world that you perceive, whether you have made them with “enemies” or “friends”, is supposed to be a means to help you save yourself from this split.
4. Sometimes you call the relationship “love”, sometimes you think your wanting the other dead is justified. You hate the one you give the leader’s role when you want to lead and you hate the one who does not take the leader’s role when you want to follow. These separate roles are what you made “others” for and this is what you have learned their purpose is. Only if they serve this purpose are they fulfilling the function that you have given to them and if they don’t serve this purpose you hate them because they have no purpose or usefulness to you.
5. You will think that others want from you what you want from your relationship with them. You choose Life or death for yourself and you perceive your choice in your relationships with others. There are two calls that you can hear in every relationship and they do offer you different outcomes. If you hear in your relationships a call for either a leader or a follower then you have chosen death. But if you perceive that the call is for either hate or forgiveness then you are hearing truly different calls. Hear the call for hate and your mind is separated and lost. But hear in your relationships with others your own call for forgiveness and your mind is joined and saved. What do others ask you for? Listen well, for in others you will hear what you want to come to you because it is your own mind’s perception that you are hearing.
6. Before you react to a call that you think you hear in a relationship with another think of this:
I will respond in my relationship with this other with what I want. And what I learn of this relationship is what I want to learn about myself.
Then wait an instant and be still. Forget everything that you thought you heard in the personal mind and remember how much it does not know. Your relationships with others are not for playing leader or follower but for you recognizing that your mind’s perceptions are a part of your mind. They can represent the forgiveness that you really want to the extent that you will let them. Your advance toward or retreat from Peace is made in your choice of how you look on your relationships with others. See Love in place of the personal mind’s perceptions and you progress toward Peace. Your mind remains split unless you keep your Christ Mind in your awareness by seeing It reflected in your perceptions of others.
7. Your Whole Mind is One in God’s Love so you will be saved from all appearances and you will answer your Christ Mind, Which calls to you from everything that your mind perceives. Do not think the old thoughts of separation; forget the dismal lessons that the personal mind teaches you about yourself. Your Christ Mind calls to you from everything that you perceive and It does not see leaders or followers but answers every call with Love. Because your Christ Mind hears One Voice It cannot hear an answer that is different from the One that It gave to God when God extended God to It.
8. Be very still an Instant. Come to this Instant without any of the lessons that you learned from the personal mind and put aside all of the images that it has made. Your old thoughts of separation will fall away before your new thoughts of Oneness, without opposition or intent. There will not be an attack on the things that, in separation, you thought were precious and in need of care. There will not be an attack on your wish to hear a call that has never been made. Nothing will hurt you in this Holy Instant to Which you come to listen silently and to learn of the Truth that you really want. You will not be asked to learn more than this. As you hear It you will understand that you only need to come away without the thoughts that you do not really want and that were never true.
9. Forgive your relationships with others all the appearances that are only the old lessons that you have taught yourself about the reality of separation in you. Hear in your relationships your own call for mercy and release from all the fearful images of what you think you are. You think that it is safer to play a role of leader or follower in your relationships but you cannot make progress toward Peace when you think that any role in a world of separation is the way to attain It. Your journey’s goal is the re-uniting of your mind, so the way for you to attain Peace is in your recognizing that all that you perceive is in your mind. In this choice the outcome of your learning is changed because your Christ Mind is reborn in your awareness.
10. To let this happen it is enough for you to spend an Instant without your old ideas of what your relationships with others are for and of what others are asking of you. You will perceive your purpose in your perceptions of others. You can perceive in them a request for the forgiveness that you want. Everything that your mind perceives needs forgiveness as you do. The request may take many different forms but it is not the form that you answer to. If you see your request for forgiveness in your perceptions you receive forgiveness as you answer because you will perceive one purpose in everything and that is that your mind unite in Love. As part of your mind, your perceptions of others are Part of God.
11. Uniting your mind and its perceptions is how you remember and accept your mind’s Oneness. Alone in the personal mind you deny your mind’s Oneness with what your mind perceives. While you insist that your relationships with others are for playing the role of leader or follower you are lost because Love cannot be given to you in the personal self. You are confused and in your endless doubting you stagger back and forth between roles. But these roles are only appearances of what the journey is and how it must be made. Your Christ Mind is here to be sure that every step that you take to God you make in certainty. Your denial can obscure your perception and make your path seem obscure but your Christ Mind makes it all clear.
3. The Self-Accused
1. You condemn others for their guilt only when you believe that you are guilty. As you prepare to make a choice that will result in a different outcome from all that has gone before there in one thing that you first must over-learn. Being aware of this must become a habit of response so typical of everything that you do that it becomes your first response to all temptation to choose illusions and to every situation that occurs. Learn this well because it is here that you can shorten your unhappiness by a span of time that you cannot realize: You never hate others for their “sins” but only for what you believe is your own “sin” of separating from God. Whatever you see as another’s form of separation obscures the fact that you are seeing your own separation from God and that is why you think it merits attack.
2. You would not see another’s form of separation as a sin if you did not believe that you cannot be forgiven for separating from God. To you, separation from God is real in another because you believe it is real in you. You attack sin everywhere else so that you don’t have to hate yourself for “sinning” by separating from God. Whenever you attack it is because you believe that you are sin and by attacking you assert that you are guilty of separating from God and you must give as you deserve. Your mind always perceives itself. If you did not believe that you deserve attack it would not occur to you to give attack. There would be nothing to gain for you in attacking and you would not see any benefit in destroying another.
3. You always perceive sins in bodies, not in your mind. You don’t see sins as purposes but as actions and bodies act; your mind does not act. So you think that the body must be at fault for what it does. You do not see it as a passive thing that is only obeying your mind’s commands. If you are sin then you are a body because your mind does not act and purpose must be of the body, not of your mind. So you think the body acts on its own and is self-motivating. If you are sin you lock your mind in a body and you give your mind’s purpose to the body, which acts instead of your mind.
4. But the body obeys your mind. It cannot think and it does not have the power to learn, to pardon, or to limit. It does not give your mind orders,or set conditions your mind must obey. It only limits your mind when you are willing for it to be limited. It sickens at the bidding of your mind when you want to be restricted to it and it grows old and dies when your mind is sick. Your learning is all that causes change and so the body, which cannot learn, cannot change unless you prefer that the body change to suit your mind’s purpose. Your mind can learn and it is only in your mind that change is made.
5. When you prefer to think that you are sin your mind has one purpose for you: that it see the body as the source of sin to keep itself limited and to deny that it is the source of hate, evil, sickness, attack, pain, age, grief, and suffering. When you see yourself in a body your mind preserves the idea of sacrifice because in a body separation and guilt rule. Then the mind orders that the world that it perceives be like what it is in the body: a place where there is no mercy and where fear is overcome only through death. In the body you are made into sin and sin cannot abide in the Joyous and Free because these are the enemies that sin must kill. Sin is preserved in death and if you believe that you are sin you must die for what you think that you are.
6. Be glad that you recognize what you believe because you have the means to change what you believe. The body will only follow your mind and it cannot lead you where you do not want to go. The body does not guard your denial of God and it cannot interfere with you becoming aware of God. Release the body and you will no longer see any body as limitation on your mind. You will not want to hold onto guilt and limitation by perceiving them in others.
7. In Innocence you release your mind’s perceptions in gratitude for your own release. Then what you perceive upholds your freedom from limitations and death. Open your mind to change and there will be no punishment for you or for what you perceive. God has not asked you for sacrifice so there is no sacrifice for you to make.
4. The Real Alternative
1. You have a tendency to think that the world that you perceive can offer you consolation and escape from the problems that it is its purpose to keep in your awareness. This is because the world is a place where your only choices are among illusions and you seem to be in control of the outcomes that you choose. So you think that the narrow band of time between birth and death is given to you to use for you alone; a time when everyone conflicts with you but you can choose which road leads you out of the conflict and difficulties that you’ve decided do not concern you. But they are in your mind so they are your concern. You cannot escape your mind’s perceptions by leaving them behind. Whatever road you choose to take, what is in your mind must go with you.
2. You have a Real Choice that is not an illusion but the world that you perceive does not offer you this. All its roads lead you to disappointment, nothingness, and death. It offers you no other alternative. Do not seek within the world for escape from your problems because you made the world so that you could not escape your problems. Do not be deceived by all the different names that you have given its roads because they have only one end – death. Each is your means to gain death, however different they seem to be. You may travel happily on some a while before the bleakness enters and on others you suffer from the start. Your choice, then, is not what the ending will be but when it will come.
3. You have no real choice when whatever road you choose ends the same. You may prefer to try them all before you learn that they are all one. The world that you perceive seems to offer you a large number of roads to take but the time must come when you learn that they are all the same. You may be tempted to despair and lose hope when you see that they all lead nowhere but this is a time when you can learn your greatest lesson. You must reach this point and then go beyond it. It is true that there is no choice at all within the world but this is not the whole lesson. This is only the first part of the lesson.
4. Do not try another road, another person, or another place because you have learned the way the lesson starts but you do not yet perceive what it is for. The purpose of the lesson is the Answer to the search that you undertook when you came to believe that there is an Alternative to be found beyond the world that you perceive. Learn without despair that there is no hope of real answer in the world but do not judge the lesson that only begins with this. Understand that you waste time if you do not go beyond this part of the lesson. From this lowest point your learning will lead you to the Heights of Happiness in Which you will see that the purpose of the lesson is perfectly within your grasp.
5. In order for you to turn away from them, you must understand the futility of the many paths that you can take in the world that you perceive. This is where you begin to seek Another Way. While you see a choice where there is none you cannot make a real decision. The power of your decision making begins with your learning where it has real use.
6. Your learning that the world that you perceive offers you only one choice, no matter what form it seems to take, is the beginning of your accepting that there is a Real Alternative to choose. For you to fight against this step is for you to defeat your True Purpose in the world. In your split mind you do not perceive yourself in a world to find Truth but to make separation real to you. And your searching among many different paths in the world is your attempt to decide for yourself what is true and this keeps you from reaching the Truth.
7. Do not think that your Happiness can ever be found by your taking a road away from It. This does not make sense. To you who seem to find this course too difficult to learn let it be repeated that to achieve a goal you must proceed in its direction, not away from it. And every road that leads away from your goal will not advance your purpose. If this is difficult for you to understand then this course is impossible for you to learn. Otherwise it is a simple teaching in the obvious.
8. When you have seen the Real Alternative It presents you with a choice that you have the power to make. Until you have reached this Point you have no choice and can only choose how to continue to deceive yourself. This course attempts to teach you that the power of your decision making cannot lie in your choosing among different forms of the same illusion. In the world that you perceive you see your only choice as whether you are going to perceive lack within you or to project it onto what you perceive. This is utterly opposed to Truth because all real lessons teach you that what your mind perceives is what you believe about yourself.
9. God has not left Its Thought! But you have forgotten God and you do not remember God’s Love. No path in the world that you perceive can lead to God, nor can any worldly goal be one with God. No road in the world leads you within because, unless your purpose is futile wandering, every road in the world was made to separate your journey from your True Purpose of God. All roads that lead you away from your Oneness with God will lead you to confusion and despair. But God has not left you to die or to be without God within you.
10. God has not left Its Thought! God can no more depart from you than you can keep God out. You abide with God in Oneness, Which keeps you Both complete. There is no road that really leads you away from God; a journey away from yourself does not exist. It is foolish and insane for you to think that there could be a road with this aim. Where would it go and how could you travel on it without your own Reality?
11. Forgive yourself your madness and forget all the senseless journeys and goal-less aims that you have undertaken. They have no meaning. You can not escape from your Oneness with God because God is Merciful and did not let you abandon God. Be thankful for What you are because in that is your escape from madness and death. You can only find yourself in God and every real path leads you to God.
5. Self Concept versus Self
1. Your learning in the world that you perceive is built on your concept of a “self” that is adjusted to the “reality” of the world. This image of a “self” suits well a world of shadows and illusions because it walks at home where what it sees is like itself. Building a concept of a “self” is the purpose that the personal mind has for your learning in the world that you perceive. You come to the world without a self and you make a self as you go along. By the time you reach “maturity” you have perfected this self to meet the world on equal terms and to be at one with its demands.
2. You make a concept of a self but it bears no resemblance to your Real Self at all. It is an idol that you make to replace the Reality of your Oneness with God. This concept of a self that the personal mind teaches you is not what it appears to be because it serves two purposes, only one of which your mind can recognize. The first aspect of this self presents a face of innocence and it is this you act on. This aspect smiles, charms, and even seems to “love”. It searches for companions and it sometimes looks on suffering with pity and an offering of solace. It believes that it is good in an evil world.
3. This aspect grows angry at the world, which is wicked and unable to provide the love and shelter that its innocence deserves. It is often wet with tears over the injustices that the world accords those who are generous and good. It never makes the first attack but every day a hundred little things make small assaults on its innocence, provoking its irritation and, at last, its open insult and abuse.
4. This aspect, with the face of innocence that your “self” proudly wears, can tolerate attack in self-defense because it is a well-known fact that the world deals harshly with defenseless innocence. The personal mind never omits this aspect because you need it and the other aspect is the one that the personal mind does not want you to see. It is this other aspect on which the personal mind looks because it is here that its “reality” is set in your mind to see that it lasts.
5. Beneath your face of innocence is the lesson that you made a concept of a self to teach yourself: Someone else is responsible for your separation from God. This is a terrible lesson in displacement and it causes you fear so devastating that your face smiling above it must look away so that you do not perceive the self-treachery it hides. This lesson teaches: “I am the thing that you have made of me and as you look on me you stand condemned because of what I am.” The personal mind smiles with approval on this concept of you as someone else’s responsibility because it guarantees that you will not look within and it and its world will be safe because you will never escape them.
6. Here is your central lesson, in which someone else is eternally condemned in your place because what you are is now their sin. It is not possible for you to forgive this. It does not matter what another actually does because your accusing finger points at them, unwavering and deadly in its aim. Your finger also points at you but the personal mind keeps this buried even deeper below your face of innocence. You keep all of your and the other’s “sins” hidden so that you do not perceive them as only errors, which you would clearly see if you looked honestly at them. Now you cannot be blamed for what you are because you cannot change what others make of you. You and others are symbols of separation and sin to each other and you condemn others for the thing that you think you are and that you hate.
7. A self-concept is not natural to you; you learn it. It does not exist apart from your learning. It is not given to you by God so you must make it. Not one self-concept that you make for yourself or for others is true and many are distortions of your fear. A concept is a thought to which its maker gives meaning. Self-concepts maintain the world that you perceive but they cannot be used to demonstrate that the world is real. You make all of them within the world, where they are born in its shadow, grow in the world’s ways, and finally “mature”. They are ideas of idols, painted with brushes of separation, that cannot make a single picture representing Truth to you.
8. A concept of a self is meaningless because it is really for your separation from God. Yet all of your learning, as the personal mind directs, begins and ends with the single aim of teaching you a concept of yourself so that you will choose to follow the “laws” of the world of separation and never seek to go beyond its paths, nor realize the real way to see yourself. So the Holy Spirit must find a way to help you see that if you want Peace your self-concept must be undone. It can only be unlearned through lessons that teach you that you are Something Else. Otherwise you will think that you are being asked to be without a self and a greater terror would arise in you.
9. The Holy Spirit’s lesson plans are arranged in easy steps. Though you may experience some discomfort, and even distress at times, there is no shattering of the self that you have taught yourself, only a re-translation of what seems to be the evidence on its behalf. Consider, then, what proof there is that you are what others have made of you. Even though you may not yet perceive that this is what you think, you certainly see that you behave as though it were true. Do others react for you, see your future, and ordain beforehand what you should do in every circumstance? They must’ve made the world as well as you to have such prescience of things to come!
10. That you are what others have made of you seems most unlikely. Even if they did, who gave you the face of innocence? Is this your contribution? Then who is the “you” who made it? And who is deceived by your goodness and attacks it? Forget the foolishness of the concept that others make you and think about the two aspects of the self that you think you are. If one is made by others, who made the other? And from whom are you hiding the awareness that others make you? Even if the world is evil there is still no reason for you to hide that others make you. Who is there to care? Only what is attacked needs to be hidden in defense.
11. Maybe the reason the concept that others make you must be kept hidden is that you are the one who would not think it was true. What would happen to the world that you perceive if all of its underpinnings were removed? Your concept of the world depends on your concept that others make you. Both would go if you raised either concept to doubt. But the Holy Spirit does not seek to throw you into panic; It only asks if just a little question might be raised.
12. There is an alternative way for you to look at what you must be. You might, for instance, be the thing that you choose others to be. This shifts your concept of the self from something that is totally passive to make way for your active choice and some acknowledgment that your own interaction must enter into your self-concept. There is some understanding that you choose for both you and others and that what others represent to you is your choice. This shows a glimmer of perception’s law that what you see reflects your mind. But who did the choosing first? If you are what you choose others to be then there must be alternatives for you to choose among and someone must have made the choice.
13. This step has some gains for you but it does not yet approach a basic question: What did the learning that gave rise to your concepts of a self? There must be something that came before. The main advantage of shifting to the second point of view from the first point of view is that you acknowledge that you have entered into the choice of your self-concept. But your pay for this gain in almost equal loss because now you stand accused for others’ separation from God. You must share in guilt because you chose it for others in the image of your own separation from God. Before, only others were treacherous; now you must be condemned as well.
14. The great preoccupation of the personal mind is a self-concept for you. In your identification with it you believe that you must find the answer to the riddle of yourself. So your salvation is nothing more than your escape from concepts. It does not concern itself with the content of your mind but with the simple fact that it thinks and that what can think can choose and can be shown that different thoughts have different consequences. Your mind can learn that everything that it thinks in separation from God reflects the deep confusion that you feel about how you were made and what you are. Only vaguely does a concept of a self appear to answer what you do not know.
15. Do not seek your Self in symbols. There is no concept that stands for What you are. It doesn’t matter what concept you accept while you perceive a self in separation from God. It is meaningless and you do not perceive that you interact only with your own perceptions. For you to see a world of separation is for you to be guided by the personal mind and you see the world as you see yourself. Your self-concept embraces all that you look on and nothing is outside of this perception. If you are hurt by anything you are seeing a picture of your secret wish to be hurt. In your suffering you see your own desire to kill the Christ Mind in you.
16. As your learning goes along you will make many self-concepts. As you change your perception of yourself each change will show up in your relationship with your mind’s perceptions. You will experience some confusion with each shift but be grateful that what you have learned through the personal mind is loosening its grip on your mind. Be happy in the confidence that all self-concepts will go at last and leave your mind in Peace. The role of the accuser will appear in many places and in many forms and each will seem to be accusing you. But you can trust it will all be undone.
17. The personal mind cannot teach you images of yourself unless you want to learn them. There will come a time when images have all gone by you and you will see that you do not know what you are. It is to your open mind that Truth returns without limits. Where you lay aside self-concepts Truth is revealed to you exactly as It is. When you have raised every self-concept to doubt and question and you have recognized that they cannot stand before the Truth in you then the Truth will be free to enter your guilt-free mind. There is no statement that the personal mind is more afraid to hear from you than this:
“I do not know what I am so I do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look on the world or myself.”
In this lesson your salvation is born. And What you are will tell you of Itself.
6. Recognizing the Spirit
1. You see the body or you recognize your Spirit; there is no compromise between these two perceptions for you. If one is real then the other must be false because reality denies its opposite. You have no choice in perception but this and what you decide to perceive determines what is real and true for you. Your whole world depends on this one choice because you believe that you can establish what you are. If you choose the body you will never escape it as your reality because you want it to be so. But choose your Spirit and all of Heaven will bless your perceptions and you will see a world only for the purpose of extending healing and blessing in your awareness.
2. Your salvation is the undoing of your perception of separation from God. If you choose to see the body you will behold a world of unrelated things and events that make no sense at all. This person appears and then disappears in death; that one is doomed to suffering and loss. No one is exactly as they were an instant before and they will not be the same an instant from now. You cannot trust where change is constant and who is worthy of your trust if they are only dust? Your salvation is the undoing of all of this because Constancy arises in your perception when you release yourself from perceiving the cost of separation from God by letting it go.
3. To be saved you do not have to perceive only your Spirit and not perceive the body at all; you only have to want this to be your choice. You can see the body without help but you do not yet understand how to perceive Truly. Your salvation is the undoing of your world of separation in your mind and this brings you a perception that the body’s eyes can never find. Do not be concerned with how this can be because you do not even understand how you see the world that you made. If you did it would be gone. You must let go of all perceptions of good and evil so that both may disappear and your perception cannot hide behind them. How is this done? It is not done at all. There is nothing left to be done in God’s Creation.
4. Only in arrogance do you think that you must make the way to Heaven plain to yourself. The means are given to you for Real Perception to replace the world of separation that you perceive. Your Will be done! In Heaven and in the world this is forever true. It does not matter where you believe you are or what you think is the truth about you. It makes no difference what you perceive or what you choose to feel, think, or wish. Gods says, “Your Will be done” and It is done to you accordingly.
5. You who are One with God, but who believe that you can choose to perceive yourself as your split mind wants you to be, do not forget that there isn’t a concept of yourself that will stand against the Truth of What you are. Truth cannot be undone but concepts are not difficult to change. One True Vision that does not fit your picture of your world will change your perception of the world because it will change your concept of yourself.
6. If you know that you are invulnerable then you will perceive a world that is harmless. If you are forgiving then the world that you perceive will be forgiving because you will have forgiven it your misperceptions. If you think that you are a body then you will perceive a world that is treacherous and out to kill you. And if you know that you are Spirit then you know that you are deathless and without the promise of corruption or the stain of “sin”. From Spirit you will perceive a world that is stable and worthy of your trust, a happy place to rest a while, where you don’t need to fear anything and you only love. You will welcome everyone and everything to your Kind heart and in your True Innocence you will not be hurt.
7. Holy Part of God, your Will be done. It does not matter if you are in Heaven or if you think that you are in a world. What God Wills for you can never change. The Truth in you is as Pure and Innocent as Love Itself. You are worthy that your Will be done!
7. The Savior’s Vision
1. Learning is change and your salvation does not require that you use a means that is still too alien to your thought system to be helpful or that you make changes that you can not yet recognize. While you still perceive yourself in a world you need concepts but your salvation requires that your concepts change. For your salvation you must learn through contrasts, not through Truth, Which has no opposite and cannot change. In the personal mind’s concept the guilty are “bad” and the innocent are “good” and you hold a concept of yourself in which you are both and you count the good in you to pardon the bad in you. You do not trust the “good” in anyone else because you believe that the “bad” in them is lurking behind it. This concept emphasizes treachery and it is impossible for you to trust. It cannot change while you perceive the “bad” in you.
2. As long as you value separation from God you will not reveal all of your “evil” thoughts to yourself and you will not see that those you are aware of are meaningless. So they will come to you in fearful forms to shake your sorry concept of yourself,and to darken it with yet another “crime”. You are too confused about yourself to see your Innocence. But if you find your projections of the personal mind on one other who seems outside of you are wholly worthy of forgiveness then your concept of yourself will change. You forgive your “evil” thoughts when you forgive the personal mind’s projections on another because you do not let them affect you. You choose to no longer make the other a symbol of your evil and guilt and as you give your trust to the Innocence in your perception you give it to the “good” in you.
3. In terms of concepts this is how you look on more than a body when you look on another because a body never seems to you to be the “good”. You perceive the actions of a body to come from the “baser” parts of a person. By focusing on the Innocence in your perception of another their body decreases in importance in your sight and you eventually see their body as little more than a frame around the “good” in you. And when you have reached the Perception of Innocence that is beyond what the body’s eyes alone can see this will then become your concept of yourself. You will interpret what you see with the Holy Spirit that God has given you as Aid and in the Holy Spirit’s Vision there is another Perception.
4. You can live in that Perception as much as in your perception of a world of separation because both are concepts of yourself, which you can alternate but you can never hold at the same time. The contrast between these concepts of yourself is far greater than you think and you will love this new Concept of yourself because It will not limit you to a personal self. By extending forgiveness in your perception of someone that you once perceived as separate and outside of you, you recognize that your mind is not limited to a personal self and you accept forgiveness for your entire mind.
5. Have faith in the Innocence in your perception of the other in your Holy relationship so that your fearful concept of yourself may change. Look on your “good” perceptions of the other so that you are not frightened by your “evil” thoughts. All this happy shift requires is that you be willing to let it occur. Remember the Concept of yourself that this shift brings and welcome the contrast to your former self-concept that it offers. Extend the kind gift of forgiveness so that you can have forgiveness in your awareness and let your cruel concept of yourself be changed to one that brings you the Peace of God.
6. The concept of yourself that you have before this shift means to guarantee that your real function in the world that you perceive remains forever unaccomplished. It dooms you to bitter depression and to a sense of futility. But this does not have to be, unless you choose to conceal your self-concept in your mind and hold it beyond the hope of change. Give this concept to the Holy Spirit, Which understands the changes that your mind needs to let it serve the Function of Peace by extending Peace. You can see yourself in another way. Wouldn’t you rather see yourself as necessary to your salvation than as the enemy of your salvation?
7. Your concept of your self stands like a barricade before the Truth in you and hides It from your sight. Everything that you perceive is merely an image because you look at it through a barrier that dims and warps your Spiritual Vision so that you see nothing with Real Clarity. At best you see a shadow of the Truth beyond and at worst you see frightening images that come from your guilt and fear. What you see is hell because fear is hell. But your True Perception, your Spiritual Vision, and the Holy Spirit within you lead you out of hell with all the Love that your mind perceives.
8. Behold your role in the world that you perceive! God has entrusted your salvation from the misery of hell to your mind and to everything that it perceives. Your extension of God’s Grace makes everyone and everything that you perceive your Savior. You first learn this when you look on your perception of one other in the world that you perceive and you see your Self. You then lay aside your personal self-concept because nothing stands between your mind and What it perceives so there is no separation. In this Vision you see your Christ Mind and you realize that you can look on everything as you look on this one other. The veil is lifted from your Perception and you are aware where you were once in denial.
9. The veil across your Christ Mind, your fear of God and salvation, and your love of guilt and death are all different descriptions for the error of separation that seems to split your mind between “you” and a world that you perceive outside of you. Judgment is the weapon that you give to your illusion of yourself to maintain without Love the space between your mind and what it perceives. While you hold the weapon of judgment you are perceiving yourself in separation as a body/personal self because you perceive others as a reflection of what you believe you are.
10. All of your temptation to choose illusions is only your wish to stay in hell and misery. This gives rise to an image of yourself that can be miserable and remain in hell. Overlook one other body/personal self as real and you save yourself and you become a Savior to your entire mind as your forgiveness extends to all that it perceives. God entrusts you with all that your mind perceives because if you were only a partial Savior you would be only partially saved. God has given you to forgive your perception of everyone you meet or look upon, everyone you see an instant and forget, everyone you have known long, those you knew but have forgotten, and those you will meet. God gives you your Whole Mind and your part in salvation is to forgive your mind every concept of separation it ever had.
11. You cannot save yourself while you wish to stay in hell. You see Holiness through your Holy Mind, Which looks on the Innocence within and so expects to see It everywhere. Your Holy Mind calls on Innocence in your perception of everyone and everything so that they can be what you expect. With your Savior’s Vision you see Innocence in everything and your own salvation everywhere. You hold no self-concept between your Calm Mind and What It sees. You bring Love to what you perceive so that you can see your Mind as It really is.
12. Whatever forms the temptation to choose illusions takes for you they reflect your wish to be a self that you are not. From this wish a concept of yourself rises to teach you that you are the thing that you wish to be. It will remain your concept of yourself until you no longer cherish the wish to be not-yourself. But while you cherish being not-yourself you will perceive others in the likeness of the self that you made. Your perception can only represent your wishes because it does not have the power to create. It can look with Love or it can look with hate, depending on whether you want to see your mind is One or to keep your mind separated.
13. Your Savior’s Vision is innocent of any of the personal mind’s judgments on you or others. It does not see a past anywhere so It serves your open mind, which is unclouded by old concepts and is prepared to look only on the present. It does not judge because It does not know and recognizing this It asks: “What is the meaning of what I behold?” Then the answer is given as Christ enters your open mind because you asked, in Innocence, to see beyond the veil of old ideas.
14. Be vigilant against your temptation to choose illusions, remembering that it is only your insane and meaningless wish to make yourself a thing that you are not. Then think well on the thing that you want to be because it is a thing of madness, pain, treachery, despair, and failing dreams, whose only hope is to die to end its illusion of fear. This, and only this, is what tempts you. Is it difficult for you to choose against this? Consider what your temptation to choose between illusions is and see the real alternatives that you have to choose between. There are only two, so do not be deceived by what seems like many choices. Your choice is Heaven or hell and you can only choose one.
15. Do not deny to all that you perceive the Love that has been given to you. You need to perceive the Love in you because you despair when you withhold your Savior’s Vision from your perception and all you see is death. You do not know that your salvation is here when you deny it and you will not see it until you look on everything with forgiveness. Can you to whom God says, “Release yourself!” be tempted to not listen? This is what this course teaches you and this is all there is for you to learn.
8. Choose Once Again
1. In all its many forms your temptation to choose illusions has only one lesson that it teaches: You, who are One with God, are a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders you to feel. The body sets the limits on what you can do, its power is the only strength that you have, and your grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach. Ask yourself if this is what you want to be when your Christ Mind is asking you to:
“Choose once again if you want to be your own Savior or if you want to hold your mind in hell.”
2. How do you make this choice? This is easily explained because you always choose between the weakness of the personal self and the Strength of your Christ Mind. What you choose is what you think is real. By simply not using the personal mind to direct you, you withhold your power from it and the Love of Christ in you takes charge of everything you do. Give the weakness of the personal mind to your Christ Mind and your Christ Mind will give you Christ’s Strength in its place.
3. Those situations that you judge as “trials” are lessons in forgiveness that you did not learn before. They are presented again so that where you made a faulty choice before you can now make a better one and escape the pain you chose before. In every difficult, distressful, or perplexing situation your Christ Mind gently says, “Choose again.” Your Christ Mind will not leave you with one source of pain unhealed or any image to veil the Truth in you. Your Christ Mind will not leave you comfortless and alone in an illusion of hell but will release your mind from everything that hides your Christ Mind from your awareness. Your Christ Mind’s Holiness is yours because your Christ Mind is the only Power that is Real in you. Your Christ Mind’s Strength is yours because your Christ Mind is the One Self that God created.
4. The images that you make cannot prevail against What God wants you to be. Never fear your temptation to choose illusions, then, but see it as another chance to choose again and let your Christ Mind’s Strength prevail in every situation where you raised an image of yourself before. What appears to hide your Christ Mind is powerless before your Christ Mind’s Majesty and disappears in your Christ Mind’s Holy Vision. You are your Savior when you see as your Christ Mind sees and when you choose your Christ Mind’s Strength instead of the personal mind’s weakness. You will correct your perception because your mind is One with all the Power of God’s Will. You Will only What God wills.
5. Make these words your happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable:
“I am One with God. I cannot suffer.”
Thus you invite your Christ Mind’s Strength to prevail, replacing the personal mind’s weakness with the Strength of God, Which cannot fail. You will see that your experience of miracles is as natural as fear and agony appeared to you to be before you chose Holiness. In that choice all false differences are gone from your perception, you lay aside all illusory alternatives, and nothing is left to interfere with the Truth in you.
6. You are One with God and so is what your mind perceives, despite the images that you see. What you see as sickness, pain, weakness, suffering, and loss is but your temptation to perceive yourself as defenseless and in hell. Do not yield to this and you will see all pain in every form disappear like mist before the sun. A miracle has come to heal you and to close the door on your illusions of weakness so that the way to salvation is open for you. Choose once again what you want to perceive, remembering that every choice establishes what you will believe is your own identity.
7. Do not deny your Christ Mind the little gift It asks of you when in exchange your Christ Mind lays the Peace of God before you and the power to extend Peace in place of the personal mind’s uncertain, lonely, and fearful perceptions. It is given you through your Christ Mind to perceive your Oneness.
8. Do not fail to hear the Voice of your Christ Mind or to listen to Its Words. Your Christ Mind asks you only for your own release. There is no place for hell in your mind’s perception, which can still be so intensely Lovely and One that it is only a step for you from it to Heaven. To your tired mind Christ brings a new Perception, so clean and fresh that you will forget the pain and sorrow that you perceived before. But you must extend this Perception everywhere, otherwise you will not see It. For you to extend this Gift is for you to make It yours. God has ordained, in Loving Kindness, that It be for you.
9. Be glad that you can walk the world that you perceive aware of your Christ Mind and find so many situations in which to extend God’s Gift of Real Perception, and so receive It as your own. This is how every trace of hell, secret sins, and hidden hates are undone in your mind. All the Loveliness that they conceal are like Lawns of Heaven that lift you high above the thorny roads that you traveled before you remembered your Christ Mind. Hear your Christ Mind and join with It. God has ordained that your Christ Mind cannot call to you in vain and in God’s Certainty your Christ Mind rests content. You will hear and you will choose again. In this choice your entire mind is set free.
10. Thank you, God, for the Holiness that I can perceive in place of every misperception of separation. My faith in my Holiness is Your Faith in It. I am as sure of the Holiness of my Mind as You are sure that It will always be Holy. I will extend this Gift of Holiness to all that my mind perceives because you gave It to me for my entire min, and as I want to do Your Holy Will, so will I perceive It. I give thanks for every Perception of Holiness. My salvation will echo through my mind with every choice to perceive Holiness that I make because my mind is One in Purpose and the end of hell is near.
11. In joyous welcome I extend my Mind to all that I perceive, reaching past my every temptation to make separation from You real to me and looking with fixed determination toward Your Constant Love beyond. You give me my Whole Mind because It belongs to You and You cannot fail in Your Will. I give You thanks for What my Mind is and each time I extend Love Heaven is brought closer to being all that I perceive and I give thanks to You.
12. And now I say “Amen” because my Christ Mind dwells in my awareness, where You set Christ in Calm Eternity before I imagined time. My journey ends Where it began. No trace of it remains, I do not believe in illusions, and not one spot of denial remains to hide my Christ Mind from me. Your Will is done, Completely and Perfectly, and your Creation recognizes You and I know that You are my only Source. Clear in Your Likeness does Love extend from Everything that Lives in You. I have reached Where my Mind is One and I am Home, Where You want me to be.
 Consider your feelings toward others that are reflected in these statements: “You make me feel…”; “If only you would…then I would be happy”; “I have a headache because you…” These feelings imply that others are the cause of your experience; they make you.
 Italicized to represent a prayer.
|Copyright 2009 Elizabeth A. Cronkhite|