A Course in Miracles

Chapter 8 - The Journey Back

Direction of the Curriculum

You are hampered in your progress by your demands to know what you do not know.This is actually a way of holding on to deprivation. You cannot reasonably object to following instructions in a course for knowing on the grounds that you do notknow. The need for the course is implicit in your objection.

Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is. As the prerequisite for knowledge, peace must be learned. This is only because those who are in conflict are not peaceful, and peace is the condition of knowledge, because it is the condition of the Kingdom.

Knowledge will be restored when you meet its conditions (peace). This is not a bargain made by God, Who makes no bargains. It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of a will that is not His. Knowledge IS His Will. If you are opposing His Will, how can you have knowledge?

I have told you what knowledge offers you, but it is clear that you do not regard this as wholly desirable. If you did, you would hardly be willing to throw it away so readily, when the ego asks for your allegiance. The distraction of the ego seems to interfere with your learning, but the ego has no power to distract you, unless you give it the power.

The ego’s voice is an hallucination. You cannot expect it to say “I am not real.”

Hallucinations are inaccurate perceptions of reality. Yet you are not asked to dispel them alone. You are merely asked to evaluate them in terms of their results to you. If you do not want them on the basis of loss of peace, they will be removed from your mind for you. Every response to the ego is a call to war, and war does deprive you of peace. Yet in this war there is no opponent. This is the reinterpretation of reality which you must make to secure peace, and the only one you need ever make.

Those whom you perceive as opponents are part of your peace, which you are giving up by attacking them. How can you have what you give up? You share to have, but you do not give it up yourself. When you give up peace, you are excluding yourself from it.

This is a condition which is so alien to the Kingdom that you cannot understand the state which prevails within it. Your past learning must have taught you the wrong things, simply because it has not made you happy. On this basis alone, its value should be questioned.

If learning aims at change, and that is always its purpose, are you satisfied with the changes your learning has brought you? Dissatisfaction with learning outcomes must be a sign of learning failure, since it means that you did not get what you want.

The curriculum of the Atonement is the opposite of the curriculum you have established for yourselves, but so is its outcome. If the outcome of yours has made you unhappy, and if you want a different one, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary.

The first change that must be introduced is a change in direction. A meaningful curriculum cannot be inconsistent. If it is planned by two teachers, each believing in diametrically opposed ideas, it cannot be integrated. If it is carried out by these two teachers simultaneously, each one merely interferes with the other. This leads to fluctuation, but not to change. The volatile have no direction. They cannot choose one, because they cannot relinquish the other even if the other does not exist. Their conflicted curriculum teaches them all directions exist, and gives them no rationale for choice.

The total senselessness of such a curriculum must be fully recognized before a real change in direction becomes possible. You cannot learn simultaneously from two teachers who are in total disagreement about everything. Their joint curriculum presents an impossible learning task. They are teaching you entirely different things in entirely different ways, which might be possible, except for the crucial fact that both are teachong you about yourself. Your reality is unaffected by both, but if you listen to both, your mind will be split about what your reality is.




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