Suffering is an emphasis
upon all that the world has done to injure you. Here is the world's
demented version of salvation clearly shown. Like to a dream of
punishment in which the dreamer is unconscious of what brought on
the attack against himself, he sees himself attacked unjustly and
by something not himself.
He is the victim
of this "something else," a thing outside himself for
which he has no reason to be held responsible.
He must be innocent
because he knows not what he does, but what is done to him. Yet
is his own attack upon himself apparent still, for it is he who
bears the suffering. And he cannot escape because its source is
seen outside himself.
Now you are
being shown you can escape. All that is needed is you look upon
the problem as it is, and not the way that you have set it up. How
could there be another way to solve a problem which is very simple
but has been obscured by heavy clouds of complication which were
made to keep the problem unresolved? Without the clouds, the problem
will emerge in all its primitive simplicity. The choice will not
be difficult, because the problem is absurd when clearly seen. No
one has difficulty making up his mind to let a simple problem be
resolved if it is seen as hurting him and also very easily removed.
by which the world is made, on which it rests, by which it is maintained,
is simply this:
are the cause of what I do. Your presence justifies my wrath,
and you exist and think apart from me. While you attack, I must
be innocent. And what I suffer from is your attack.”
No one who looks
upon this “reasoning” exactly as it is could fail to
see it does not follow, and it makes no sense. Yet it seems sensible
because it looks as if the world were hurting you, and so it seems
as if there is no need to go beyond the obvious in terms of cause.
There is indeed
a need. The world’s escape from condemnation is a need which
those within the world are joined in sharing. Yet they do not recognize
their common need, for each one thinks that if he does his part,
the condemnation of the world will rest on him. And it is this (being
condemned) that he perceives to be his part in its deliverance.
have a focus. Otherwise is the avenger’s knife in his own
hand, and pointed to himself. And he must see it in another’s
hand, if he would be a victim of attack he did not choose. And thus
he suffers from the wounds a knife he does not hold has made upon
This is the
purpose of the world he sees. And looked at thus, the world provides
the means by which this purpose seems to be fulfilled.The means
attest the purpose, but are not themselves a cause, nor will the
cause be changed by seeing it apart from its effects.
The cause produces
the effects, which then bear witness to the cause, and not themselves.
Look, then, beyond effects. It is not here the cause of suffering
and sin must lie. And dwell not on the suffering
for they are but
reflections of their cause.
The part you
play in salvaging the world from condemnation is your own escape.
Forget not that the witness to the world of evil cannot speak except
for what has seen a need for evil in the world, and this is where
your guilt was first beheld. In separation from your brother was
the first attack upon yourself begun, and it is this the world bears
Seek not another
cause, nor look among the mighty legions of its witnesses for its
undoing. They support
its claim on your allegiance. What conceals the truth is not where
you should look to find the truth.
to sin all stand within one little space. And it is here you find
the cause of your perspective on the world. Once you were unaware
of what the cause of everything the world appeared to thrust upon
you, uninvited and unasked, must really be.
Of one thing
you were sure...
of all the
many causes you perceived as bringing pain and suffering to you,
your guilt was not among them. Nor did you, in any way, request
them for yourself.
This is how
all illusions come about. The one who makes them does not see himself
as making them, and their reality does not depend on him. Whatever
cause they (illusions of pain and suffering) have is something quite
apart from him, and what he sees is separate from his mind. He cannot
doubt his dreams’ reality, because he does not see the part
he plays in making them, and making them seem real.
No one can waken
from a dream the world is dreaming for him. He becomes a part of
someone else’s dream. He cannot choose to waken from a dream
he did not make. Helpless he stands, a victim to a dream conceived
and cherished by a separate mind. Careless indeed of him this mind
must be, as thoughtless of his peace and happiness as is the weather,
or the time of day. It loves him not, but casts him as it will,
in any role that satisfies its dream. So little is his worth that
he is but a dancing shadow, leaping up and down according to a senseless
plot conceived within the idle dreaming of the world.
This is the
only picture you can see, the one alternative that you can choose,
the other possibility of cause, if you be not the dreamer of your
dreams. And this is what you choose if you deny the cause of suffering
is in your mind.
Be glad indeed
it is, for thus are you the one decider of your destiny in time.
The choice is yours to make between...
sleeping death and dreams of evil or
happy wakening and joy of life.
What could you choose between
life or death,
waking or sleeping,
peace or war,
your dreams or your reality?
(In FIP : There is
a risk of thinking death is peace, because the world equates the
body with the Self which God created. Yet a thing can never be its
opposite: And death is opposite to peace, because it is the opposite
of life. And life is peace. Awaken and forget all thoughts of death,
and you will find you have the peace of God.)
Yet if the choice is really
given you, then you must see the causes of the things you choose
between exactly as they are, and where they are.
What choices can
be made between two states, but one of which is clearly recognized?
Who could be free
to choose between effects, when only one is seen as up to him?
An honest choice
could never be perceived as one in which the choice is split between
a tiny you and an enormous world, with different dreams about the
truth in you.
The gap between
reality and dreams lies not between the dreaming of the world and
what you dream in secret. They are one. The dreaming of the world
is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it
were its start and ending, both. Yet was it started by your secret
dream, which you do not perceive, although it caused the part you
see and do not doubt is real.
How could you
doubt it while you lie asleep, and dream in secret that its cause
brother separated from yourself, an ancient enemy, a murderer who
stalks you in the night and plots your death, yet plans that it
be lingering and slow; of this you dream. Yet
underneath this dream is yet another, in which you become the murderer,
the secret enemy, the scavenger and the destroyer of your brother
and the world alike.
Here is the
cause of suffering, the space between your dreams and your reality.
The little gap you do not even see; the birthplace of illusions
and of fear, the time of terror and of ancient hate, the instant
of disaster, all are here.
the cause of unreality, and it is here that it will be undone...
the dreamer of the world of dreams. No other cause it has,
nor ever will.
more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s
Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence,
denied his Father, and made war upon himself. So
fearful is the dream, so seeming real, he could not waken
to reality without the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal
fear, unless a gentler dream preceded his awaking, and allowed
his calmer mind to welcome, not to fear, the Voice that
calls with love to waken him.
he waken gently, and with joy, and gave him means to waken without
fear. Accept the dream He gave instead of yours.
It is not
difficult to change a dream when once the dreamer has been recognized.
Rest in the Holy Spirit, and allow His gentle dreams to take
the place of those you dreamed in terror, and in fear of death.
He brings forgiving dreams, in which the choice is not who is
the murderer and who shall be the victim.
In the dreams
He brings, there is no murder and there is no death. The dream
of guilt is fading from your sight, although your eyes are closed.
A smile has come to lighten up your sleeping face. The sleep
is peaceful now, for these are happy dreams.
Dream softly of your sinless
brother, who unites with you in holy innocence. And from this
dream, the Lord of Heaven will Himself awaken His beloved Son.
Dream of your brother’s
kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes.
Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting
up the hurts he gave.
him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness
he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is
not perfect in your dreams. He represents his Father, Whom you
see as offering both life and death to you.
He gives but life. Yet what you see as gifts your brother offers
represent the gifts you dream your Father gives to you. Let
all your brother’s gifts be seen in light of charity and
kindness offered you. And let no pain disturb your dream of
deep appreciation for his gifts to you.