A Course in Miracles

Chapter 6 - Attack and Fear

The Only Answer

Remember that the Holy Spirit is the answer, not the question. The ego always speaks first, because it is capricious, and does not mean its maker well. That is because it believes, and correctly, that its maker may withdraw his support from it at any moment. If it meant you well it would be glad, as the Holy Spirit will be glad, when He has brought you home and you no longer need His guidance. The ego does not regard itself as part of you. Herein lies its primary perceptual error, the foundation of its whole thought system.

When God created you, He made you part of Him. That is why attack within the Kingdom is impossible.

You made the ego without love, and so it does not love you. You could not remain within the Kingdom without love, and since the Kingdom is love, you believe that you are without it. This enables the ego to regard itself as separate and outside its maker, thus speaking for the part of your mind that believes you are separate and outside the Mind of God. The ego, then, raised the first question that was ever asked, but one which it can never answer. That question...

“What are you?”

was the beginning of doubt.

The ego has never answered any questions since, although it has raised a great many. The most inventive activities of the ego have never done more than obscure the question, because you have the answer and the ego is afraid of you.

You cannot understand the conflict until you fully understand one basic fact the ego does not know.

The Holy Spirit does not speak first, but He always answers. Everyone has called upon Him for help at one time or another, and in one way or another, and has been answered. Since the Holy Spirit answers truly, He answers for all time, which means that everyone has the answer now.

The ego cannot hear the Holy Spirit, but it does believe that part of the same mind that made it is against it. It interprets this as a justification for attacking its maker. It believes that the best defense is attack, and wants you to believe it. Unless you do believe it, you will not side with it. And the ego feels badly in need of allies, though not of brothers. Perceiving something alien to itself in your mind, the ego turns to the body, not the mind, as its ally because the body is not part of you. This makes the body the ego’s friend. It is an alliance frankly based on separation.If you side with this alliance you will be afraid, because you are siding with an alliance of fear.

The ego and the body conspire against your minds. And because the ego realizes that its “enemy” (the mind) can end them both merely by knowing they (ego & body) are not part of him, they join in the attack together. This is perhaps the strangest perception of all, if you consider what it really involves. The ego, which is not real, attempts to persuade the mind, which is real, that the mind is its own learning device, and that the learning device is more real than it (the mind) is. No one in his right mind could possibly believe this, and no one in his right mind does believe it.

Hear, then, the one answer of the Holy Spirit to all the questions which the ego raises:

You are a Child of God, a priceless part of His Kingdom, which He created as part of Him. Nothing else exists and only this is real. You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but the sleep is not real, and God calls you to awake.

There will be nothing left of your dream when you hear Him, because you will be awake. Your dreams have contained many of the ego’s symbols, and they have confused you. Yet that was only because you were asleep and did not know. When you awake you will see the truth around you, and in you, and you will no longer believe in dreams, because they will have no reality for you.

Yet the Kingdom and all that you have created there will have great reality for you, because they are beautiful and true. In the Kingdom, where you are and what you are is perfectly certain. There is no doubt there because the first question was never asked. Having finally been wholly answered, it has never been. Being alone lives in the Kingdom, where everything lives in God without question: the time that was spent on questioning in the dream has given way to creation and to its eternity.

You are as certain as God, because you are as true as He is, but what was once quite certain in your minds has become only the ability for certainty. The introduction of abilities into being was the beginning of uncertainty, because abilities are potentials, not accomplishments. Your abilities are totally useless in the presence of God’s accomplishments, and also of yours. Accomplishments are results which have been achieved. When they are perfect, abilities are meaningless. It is curious that the perfect must now be perfected. In fact, it is impossible. You must remember, however, that when you put yourselves in an impossible situation, you believed that the impossible was possible.

Abilities must be developed, or you cannot use them. This is not true of anything that God created, but it is the kindest solution possible to what you have made. In an impossible situation you can develop your abilities to the point where they can get you out of it. You have a Guide to how to develop them, but you have no commander except yourself. This leaves you in charge of the Kingdom, with both a Guide to find it and a means to keep it. You have a model to follow who will stregthen your command, and never detract from it in any way. You therefore retain the central place in your perceived enslavement, a fact which itself demonstrates that you are not enslaved.

You are in an impossible situation only because you thought it was possible to be in one. You would be in an impossible situation if God showed you your perfection and proved to you that you were wrong. This would demonstrate that the perfect were inadequate to bring themselves to the awareness of their perfection, and thus side with the belief that those who have everything need help and are therefore helpless. This is the kind of “reasoning” which the ego engages in, but God, Who knows that His creations are perfect, does not insult them. This would be as impossible as the ego’s notion that it has insulted Him.

That is why the Holy Spirit never commands. To command is to assume inequality, which the Holy Spirit demonstrates does not exist. Fidelity to premises is a law of mind, and everything God created is faithful to His laws. Fidelity to other laws is also possible, however, not because the laws are true, but because you made them.

What would be gained if God proved to you that you have thought insanely? Can God lose His own certainty? We have frequently stated that what you teach you are. Would you have God teach you that you have sinned? If He confronted the self you made with the truth He created for you, what could you be but afraid? You would doubt your sanity, which is the one thing in which you can find the sanity He gave you.

God does not teach. To teach is to imply a lack, which God knows is not there. God is not conflicted. Teaching aims at change, but God created only the changeless. The separation was not a loss of perfection, but a failure in communication. A harsh and strident form of communication arose as the ego’s voice. It could not shatter the peace of God, but it could shatter yours. God did not blot it out, because to eradicate it would be to attack it. Being questioned, He did not question. He merely gave the Answer. His Answer is your Teacher.

 

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 6 - Attack and Fear

To Have, Give All to All

Like any good teacher, the Holy Spirit does know more than you do NOW, but He teaches only to make you equal with Him. This is because you had already taught wrongly, having believed what was not true.

You did not believe in your own perfection.

Could God teach you that you had made a split mind, when He knows your mind only as whole? What God does know is that His communication channels are not open to Him, so that He cannot impart His joy, and know that His Children are wholly joyous. This is an ongoing process, not in time, but in eternity. God’s extending outward, though not His completeness, is blocked when the Sonship does not communicate with Him as one. So He thought, “My Children sleep, and must be awakened.”

How can you wake children better and more kindly than by a gentle Voice that will not frighten them, but will merely remind them that the night is over and the Light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares which frightened them so badly were not real, because children believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe now. Then you train them to recognize the difference between sleeping and waking, so that they will understand they need not be afraid of dreams. Then, when bad dreams come, they will call on the light themselves to dispel them.

A wise teacher teaches through approach, not avoidance. He does not emphasize what you must avoid to escape from harm so much as what you need to learn to have joy. This is true even of the world’s teachers. Consider the confusion a child would experience if he were told, “Do not do this, because it might hurt you and make you unsafe, but if you do that you will escape from harm and be safe, and then you will not be afraid.” All of this could be included in only three words: “Do only that!” This simple statement is perfectly clear, easily understood, and very easily remembered.

The Holy Spirit never itemizes errors because He does not frighten children, and those who lack wisdom are children. Yet He always answers their call, and His dependability makes them more certain.

Children do confuse fantasy and reality, and they are frightened because they do not know the difference. The Holy Spirit makes no distinction among dreams. He merely shines them away. His Light is always the call to awake, whatever you have been dreaming. Nothing lasting lies in dreams, and the Holy Spirit, shining with the Light from God Himself, speaks only for what lasts forever.

When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that you will last forever. Many think this is accomplished through death, but nothing is accomplished through death because death is nothing. Everything is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and in the Mind.

The body neither lives nor dies because it cannot contain you who are life. If we share the same mind, you can overcome death because I did. Death is an attempt to resolve conflict by not willing at all. Like any other impossible solution which the ego attempts, it will not work.

God did not make the body because it is destructible, and therefore not of the Kingdom. The body is the symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist. The Holy Spirit, as always, takes what you have made and translates it into a learning device for you. Again as always, He re-interprets what the ego uses as an argument for separation into a demonstration against it. If the mind can heal the body but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger. Every miracle demonstrates this.

We have said that the Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracles. This is because He always tells you that only the mind is real, since only the mind can be shared. The body is separate, and therefore cannot be part of you. To be of one mind is meaningful, but to be of one body is meaningless. By the laws of mind, then, the body is meaningless. To the Holy Spirit there is no order of difficulty in miracles. This is familiar enough to you by now, but it has not yet become believable. Therefore, you do not understand it and cannot use it.

We have too much to accomplish on behalf of the Kingdom to let this crucial concept slip away. It is a real foundation stone of the thought system I teach and want you to teach. You cannot perform miracles without believing it, because it is a belief in perfect equality. Only one equal gift can be offered to the equal Sons of God, and that is full appreciation. Nothing more and nothing less. Without a range, an order of difficulty is meaningless. And there must be no range in what you offer to each other.

The Holy Spirit, Who leads to God, translates communication into Being, just as He ultimately translates perception into knowledge. The ego uses the body...

  • for attack,
  • for pleasure, and
  • for pride.

The insanity of this perception makes it a fearful one indeed. The Holy Spirit sees the body only as a means of communication, and because communicating is sharing, it becomes communion. You might argue that fear as well as love can be communicated, and therefore can be shared. Yet this is not so real as it sounds. Those who communicate fear are promoting attack and attack always breaks communication, making it impossible.

Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately. The Holy Spirit communicates only what each one can give to all. He never takes anything back because He wants you to keep it.

1

Therefore, His teaching begins with the lesson: “To have, give all to all.”

This is a very preliminary step, and the only one you must take for yourself. It is not even necessary that you complete the step yourself, but it is necessary that you turn in that direction. Having chosen to go that way, you place yourself in charge of the journey, where you, and only you, must remain.

This step appears to exacerbate conflict rather than resolve it, because it is the beginning step in reversing your perception, and turning it right-side up.
This conflicts with the upside-down perception which you have not yet abandoned, or the change in direction would not have been necessary.

Some people remain at this step for a very long time, experiencing very acute conflict. At this point many try to accept the conflict, rather than take the next step towards its resolution. Having taken the first step, however, they will be helped. Once they have chosen what they cannot complete alone, they are no longer alone.

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 6 - Attack and Fear

To Have Peace, Teach Peace to Learn It

All the separated ones have a basic fear of retaliation and abandonment. This is because they believe in attack and rejection, so this is what they perceive and teach and learn. These insane concepts are clearly the result of their own dissociation and projection. What you teach you are, but it is quite apparent that you can teach wrongly, and therefore teach yourselves wrong. Many thought that I was attacking them, even though it was quite apparent that I was not. An insane learner learns strange lessons.

What you must understand is that, when you do not share a thought system, you are weakening it. Those who believe in it therefore perceive this as an attack on them. This is because everyone identifies himself with his thought system, and every thought system centers on what you believe you are. If the center of the thought system is true, only truth extends from it, but if a lie is at its center, only deception proceeds from it. All good teachers realize that only fundamental change will last, but they do not begin at that level. Strengthening motivation for change is their first and foremost goal. It is also their last and final one.

Increasing motivation for change in the learner is all that a teacher need do to guarantee change. This is because a change in motivation is a change of mind, and this will inevitably produce fundamental change because the mind is fundamental.

The first step in the reversal or undoing process, then, is the undoing of the getting concept. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit’s first lesson was “To have, give all to all.” We said that this is apt to increase conflict temporarily, and we can clarify this still further now.

At this point, the equality of “having” and “being” is not yet perceived. Until it is, “having” appears to be the opposite of “being.” Therefore, the first lesson seems to contain a contradiction, since it is being learned by a conflicted mind. This means conflicting motivation, and so the lesson cannot be learned consistently as yet. Further, the mind of the learner projects its own split, and thus does not perceive consistent minds in others, making him suspicious of their motivation. This is the real reason why, in many respects, the first lesson is the hardest to learn: Still strongly aware of the ego in himself, and responding primarily to the ego in others, he is being taught to react to both as if what he does believe is not true.

Upside-down as always, the ego perceives the first lesson as insane. In fact, this is its only alternative here, since the other one, which would be much less acceptable to it, would obviously be that it is insane. The ego’s judgment, then, is predetermined by what it is, though no more so than is any other product of thought. The fundamental change will still occur with the change of mind in the thinker. Meanwhile, the increasing clarity of the Holy Spirit’s Voice makes it impossible for the learner not to listen. For a time, then, he is receiving conflicting messages, and accepting both. This is the classic “double bind” in communication.

The way out of conflict between two opposing thought systems is clearly to choose one and relinquish the other.

If you identify with your thought system, and you cannot escape this, and if you accept two thought systems which are in compete disagreement, peace of mind is impossible.

If you teach both, which you will surely do as long as you accept both, you are teaching conflict and learning it.

Yet you do want peace, or you would not have called upon the Voice for peace to help you. His lesson is not insane; the conflict is.

There can be no conflict between sanity and insanity. Only one is true, and therefore only one is real. The ego tries to persuade you that it is up to you to decide which voice is true, but the Holy Spirit teaches you that truth was created by God, and your decision cannot change it. As you begin to realize the quiet power of the Holy Spirit’s Voice and its perfect consistency, it must dawn on your minds that you are trying to undo a decision which was made irrevocably for you. That is why we suggested before that there was help in reminding yourselves to allow the Holy Spirit to decide for God for you.

You are not asked to make insane decisions, although you are free to think you are. It must, however, be insane to believe that it is up to you to decide what God’s creations are. The Holy Spirit perceives the conflict exactly as it is.

2

Therefore, His second lesson is: “To have peace, teach peace to learn it.”

This is still a preliminary step, since “having” and “being” are still not equated. It is, however, more advanced than the first step, which is really only a thought reversal.
The second step is a positive affirmation of what you want. This, then, is a step in the direction out of conflict, since it means that alternatives have been considered, and one has been chosen as more desirable.

Nevertheless, the evaluation “more desirable” still implies that the desirable has degrees. Therefore, although this step is essential for the ultimate decision, it is clearly not the final one. It is clear, at this point, that the lack of order of difficulty in miracles has not yet been accepted, because nothing is difficult that is wholly desired. To desire wholly is to create, and creating cannot be difficult if God Himself created you as a creator. The second step, then, is still percep-tual, although it is a giant step toward the unified percep-tion which parallels God’s knowing.

As you take this step and hold this direction, you will be pushing toward the center of your thought system, where the funda-mental change will occur. You are only beginning this step now, but you have started on this way by realizing that only one way is possible.

You do not yet realize this consistently and so your progress is intermittent, but the second step is easier than the first because it follows. The very fact that you have accepted that is a demonstration of your growing awareness that the Holy Spirit will lead you on.

 

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 6 - Attack and Fear

Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom

For your own salvation you must be critical, since your salvation is critical to the whole Sonship. We said before that the Holy Spirit is evaluative, and must be, yet His evaluation does not extend beyond you, or you would share it. In your mind, and your mind only, He sorts out the true from the false, and teaches you to judge every thought that you allow to enter your mind in the light of what God put there. Whatever is in accord with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in you. What is partly in accord with truth He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified.

What you must remember, however, is that what the Holy Spirit rejects the ego accepts. This is because they are in fundamental disagreement about everything, being in fundamental disagreement about what you are. The ego’s beliefs on this crucial issue vary, and that is why it promotes different moods.

The Holy Spirit never varies on this point, and so the one mood He engenders is joy. He protects it by rejecting everything that does not foster joy, and so He alone can keep you wholly joyous.

The Holy Spirit does not teach your mind to be critical of other minds because He does not want you to teach errors and learn them yourselves. He would hardly be consistent if He allowed you to strengthen (through teaching) what you must learn to avoid. In the mind of the thinker, then, He is judgmental, but only in order to unify the mind so it can perceive without judgment. This enables the mind to teach without judgment, and therefore to learn to be without judgement. The undoing is necessary only in your mind, so that you cannot project falsely. God Himself has established what you can project with perfect safety.

3

Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s third lesson is: “Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom.”

This is a major step toward fundamental change. Yet it is still a lesson in thought reversal, since it implies that there is something you must be vigilant against. It has advanced far from the first lesson which was primarily a reversal, and also from the second which was essentially the identification of what is more desirable.

This step, which follows from the second as the second follows from the first, emphasizes the dichotomy between the desirable and the undesirable. It therefore makes the ultimate choice inevitable.

While the first step seems to increase conflict and the second step still entails it to some extent, this one calls for consistent effort against it. We said already that you can be as vigilant against the ego as for it. This lesson teaches not only that you can be, but that you must be. It does not concern itself with order of difficulty, but with clearcut pirority for vigilance.

This step is unequivocal in that it teaches there must be no exceptions, although it does not deny that the temptation to make exceptions will occur. Here, then, your consistency is called on despite chaos. Yet chaos and consistency cannot coexist for long, since they are mutually exclusive.

As long as you must be vigilant against anything, however, you are not recognizing this mutual exclusiveness, and are holding the belief that you can choose either one. By teaching what to choose, the Holy Spirit will ultimately be able to teach you that you need not choose at all. This will finally liberate your will from choice, and direct it towards creation within the Kingdom. Choosing through the Holy Spirit will lead you to the Kingdom. You create by what you are, but this is what you must learn. The way to learn it is inherent in the third step, which brings together the lessons implied in the others, and goes beyond them towards real integration.

If you allow yourselves to have in your minds only what God put there, you are acknowledging your mind as God created it. Therefore, you are accepting it as it is. Since it is whole, you are teaching peace because you believe in it. The final step will still be taken for you by God, but by the third step, the Holy Spirit has prepared you for God. He is getting you ready for the translation of having into being, by the very nature of the steps you must take with Him.

You learn first that having rests on giving, and not on getting.

Next you learn that you learn what you teach, and that you want to learn peace.

This (peace) is the condition for identifying with the Kingdom, since it is the condition of the Kingdom. You have believed that you are without the Kingdom, and have therefore excluded yourself from it in your belief. It is therefore essential to teach you that you must be included, and that the belief that you are not is the only thing that you must exclude.

The third step is thus one of protection for your minds, allowing you to identify only with the center, where God placed the altar to Himself.

We have already said that altars are beliefs, but God and His creations are beyond belief, because they are beyond question. The Voice for God speaks only for belief beyond question, which is the preparation for being without question. As long as belief in God and His Kingdom is assailed by any doubts in your minds, His perfect accomplishment is not apparent to you. This is why you must be vigilant on God's behalf. The ego speaks against His creation, and therefore does engender doubt. You cannot go beyond belief until you believe fully.

Transfer, which is extension, is a measure of learning because it is its measurable result. This, however, does not mean that what it transfers to is measurable. On the contrary, unless it transfers to the whole Sonship, which is immeasurable because it was created by the Immeasurable, the learning itself must be incomplete. To teach the whole Sonship without exception demonstrates that you perceive its wholeness, and have learned that it is one. Now you must be vigilant to hold its oneness in your minds because, if you let doubt enter, you will lose aware-ness of its wholeness and will be unable to teach it.

The wholeness of the Kingdom does not depend on your perception, but your awareness of its wholeness does. It is only your awareness which needs protection, since your being cannot be assailed. Yet a real sense of Being cannot be yours while you are doubtful of what you are. This is why vigilance is essential. Doubts about being must not enter your mind, or you cannot know what you are with certainty. Certainty is of God for you. Vigilance is not necessary for truth, but it is necessary against illusions.

Truth is without illusions, and therefore within the Kingdom. Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion, but you must learn to accept truth because you threw it away. You therefore saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom which you valued, you did not keep only the Kingdom of God in your minds, and thus placed part of your mind outside it. What you have made has thus divided your will, and given you a sick mind which must be healed.

Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it. Once your mind is healed, it radiates health and thereby teaches healing. This establishes you as a teacher who teaches like me. Vigilance was required of me as much as of you, but remember that those who will to teach the same thing must be in agreement about what they believe.

The third step, then, is a statement of what you want to believe, and entails a willingness to reliinquish everything else. I told you that you were just beginning the second step, but I also told you that the third one follows it. The Holy Spirit will enable you to go on, if you follow Him.

Your vigilance is the sign that you want Him to guide you. Vigilance does require effort, but only to teach you that effort itself is unnecessary. You have exerted great effort to preserve what you made because it was not true. Therefore, you must now turn your effort against it. Only this can cancel out the need for effort, and call upon the being which you both have and are. This recognition is wholly without effort, since it is already true and needs no protection. t is in the perfect safety of God. Therefore inclusion is total and creation is without limit.

 

 
 

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