Course in Miracles
3 - Retraining The Mind
Loss of Certainty
We said before that the abilities
which man possesses are only shadows of his real strengths and that
the intrusion of the ability to perceive, which is inherently judgmental,
was introduced only after the separation. No one has been sure of
anything since. You will also remember, however, that I made it
clear that the resurrection was the means for the return to knowledge,
which was accomplished by the union of my will with the Father's.
We can now make a distinction which will greatly facilitate clarity
in our subsequent statements.
Since the separation,
the words "create" and "make" have been greatly
confused. When you make something, you make it out of a sense of
lack or need. Anything that is made is made for a specific purpose
and has no true generalizability. When you make something to fill
a perceived lack, which is obviously why you would want to make
anything, you are tacitly implying that you believe in separation.
Knowing, as we have frequently observed, does not lead to doing
The confusion between
your own creation and what you create is so profound that it has
become literally impossible for you to know anything.
Knowledge is always
stable, and it is quite evident that human beings are not. Nevertheless,
they are perfectly stable as God created them. In this sense, when
their behavior is unstable they are disagreeing with God's idea
of the creation. Man can do this if he chooses, but he would hardly
want to do it if he were in his right mind. The problem that bothers
you most is the fundamental question which man continually asks
of himself, but which cannot properly be directed to himself at
all. He keeps asking himself what he is. This implies that the answer
is not only one which he knows but is also one which is up to him
cannot perceive himself correctly. He has no image. The word "image"
is always perception-related and not a product of knowing. Images
are symbolic and stand for something else. The current emphasis
on "changing your image" merely recognizes the power of
perception, but it also implies that there is nothing to know.
Knowing is not open
It is possible to
"interpret" meaning, but this is always open to error
because it refers to the perception of meaning. Such wholly needless
complexities are the result of man's attempt to regard himself as
both separated and unseparated at the same time. It is impossible
to undertake a confusion as fundamental as this without engaging
in further confusion.
man's mind has been very creative but, as always occurs when method
and content are separated, it has not been utilized for anything
but an attempt to escape a fundamental and entirely inescapable
impasse. This kind of thinking cannot result in a creative outcome,
although it has resulted in considerable ingenuity. It is noteworthy,
however, that this ingenuity has almost totally divorced him from
knowledge. Knowledge does not require ingenuity.
When we say, “the
truth shall set you free,” John
8:32 we mean that
all this kind of thinking is a waste of time, but that you are
free of the need to engage in it if you are willing to let it
Prayer is a way of
asking for something. Prayer is the medium of miracles, but the
only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness because those who have
been forgiven have everything. Once forgiveness has been accepted,
prayer in the usual sense becomes utterly meaningless. Essentially,
a prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that we
may be able to recognize something we already have.
In electing to perceive
instead of to know, man placed himself in a position where he
could resemble his Father only by miraculously perceiving.
He has lost the knowledge
that he himself is a miracle. Miraculous creation was his Source
and also his real function.
created man in his Own image and likeness” Genesis
5:1 is correct
in meaning, but the words are open to considerable misinterpretation.
is avoided, however, if "image" is understood
to mean "thought" and "likeness"
is taken as "of a like quality." God did
create the Soul in His own Thought and of a quality
like to His own. There is nothing else. Perception,
on the other hand, is impossible without a belief
in "more" and "less." Perception
at every level involves selectivity and is incapable
of organization without it. In all types of perception,
there is a continual process of
and rejecting, or
and reorganizing, of
and changing focus.
is an essential part of perception because judgments
must be made for selection.
happens to perceptions if there are no judgments
and there is nothing but perfect equality? Perception
becomes impossible. Truth can only be known. All
of it is equally true, and knowing any part of it
is to know all of it. Only perception involves partial
awareness. Knowledge transcends all the laws which
govern perception because partial knowledge is impossible.
It is all one and has no separate parts. You who
are really one with it need but know yourself, and
your knowledge is complete. To know God's miracle
is to know Him.
the healing of the perception of separation.
perception of each other is necessary, because minds
have willed to see themselves as separate. Each
Soul knows God completely. That is the miraculous
power of the Soul. The fact that each One has this
power completely is a fact that is entirely alien
to human thinking, in which if anyone has everything,
there is nothing left. God’s Miracles are
as total as His Thoughts because they are are His
long as perception lasts prayer has a place. Since
perception rests on lack, those who perceive have
not totally accepted the Atonement and given themselves
over to truth. Perception is a separated state,
and a perceiver does need healing. Communion, not
prayer, is the natural state of those who know.
God and His Miracles are inseparable. How beautiful
indeed are the Thoughts of God Who live in His Light!
Your worth is beyond perception because it is beyond
doubt. Do not perceive yourself in different lights.
Know yourself in the One Light where the miracle
that is you is perfectly clear.