Course in Miracles
23 - War Against Yourself
Do you not see the
opposite of frailty and weakness is sinlessness?
is strength, and nothing else is strong.
The sinless cannot
fear, for sin of any kind is weakness. The
show of strength attack would use to cover frailty conceals it not,
for how can the unreal be hidden? No one is strong who has an enemy,
and no one can attack unless he thinks he has. Belief in enemies
is therefore the belief in weakness, and what is weak is not the
Will of God. Being opposed to it, it is its "enemy." And
God is feared as an opposing will.
How strange indeed
becomes this war against yourself! You will believe that everything
you use for sin can hurt you and become your enemy. And you will
fight against it and try to weaken it because of this; and you will
think that you succeeded and attack again. It is as certain you
will fear what you attack as it is sure that you will love what
you perceive as sinless. He walks in peace who travels sinlessly
along the way love shows him. For love walks with him there, protecting
him from fear. And he will see only the sinless, who can not attack.
Walk you in glory
with your head held high, and fear no evil. The innocent are safe
because they share their innocence. Nothing they see is harmful,
for their awareness of the truth releases everything from the illusion
of harmfulness. And what seemed harmful now stands shining in their
innocence, released from sin and fear, and happily returned to love.
They share the strength of love because they looked on innocence.
And every error disappeared because they saw it not. Who looks for
glory finds it where it is. Where could it be but in the innocent?
not the little interferers pull you to littleness. There can be
no attraction of guilt in innocence. Think what a happy world you
walk with truth beside you! Do not give up this world of freedom
for a little sigh of seeming sin nor for a tiny stirring of guilt's
attraction. Would you, for all these meaningless distractions, lay
Heaven aside? Your destiny and purpose are far beyond them in the
clean place where littleness does not exist. Your purpose is at
variance with littleness of any kind. And so it is at variance with
Let us not let littleness
lead God's Son into temptation. His glory is beyond it, measureless
and timeless as eternity. Do not let time intrude upon your sight
of him. Leave him not frightened and alone in his temptation but
help him rise above it and perceive the light of which he is a part.
Your innocence will light the way to his, and so is yours protected
and kept in your awareness. For who can know his glory and perceive
the little and the weak about him? Who can walk trembling in a fearful
world and realize that Heaven's glory shines on him?
Nothing around you
but is part of you.
Look on it lovingly,
and see the light of Heaven in it. So will you come to understand
all that is given you. In kind forgiveness will the world sparkle
and shine and everything you once thought sinful now will be reinterpreted
as part of Heaven. How beautiful it is to walk clean and redeemed
and happy through a world in bitter need of the redemption that
your innocence bestows upon it! What can you value more than this?
For here is your salvation and your freedom. And it must be complete
if you would recognize it.
The memory of God comes
to the quiet
It cannot come where
there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not
eternal gentleness. The means of war are not the means of peace,
and what the warlike would remember is not love. War is impossible
unless belief in victory is cherished. Conflict within you must
imply that you believe the ego has the power to be victorious. Why
else would you identify with it? Surely you realize the ego is at
war with God. Certain it is it has no enemy. Yet just as certain
is its fixed belief it has an enemy that it must overcome and will
Do you not realize
a war against yourself would be a war on God? Is victory conceivable?
And if it were, is this a victory that you would want?
Do you not realize
a war against yourself would be a war on God? Is victory conceivable?
And if it were, is this a victory that you would want? The death
of God, if it were possible, would be your death. Is this a victory?
The ego always marches to defeat because it thinks that triumph
over you is possible. And God thinks otherwise.
This is no war--only
the mad belief the Will of God can be attacked and overthrown.
You may identify with
this belief, but never will it be more than madness. And fear will
reign in madness and will seem to have replaced love there. This
is the conflict's purpose. And to those who think that it is possible,
the means seem real.
Be certain that it
is impossible God and the ego, or yourself and it, will ever meet.
You seem to meet, and make your strange alliances on grounds that
have no meaning. For your beliefs converge upon the body, the ego’s
chosen home, which you believe is yours. You meet at a mistake;
an error in your self-appraisal. The ego joins with an illusion
of yourself you share with it. And yet illusions cannot join. They
are the same, and they are nothing. Their joining lies in nothingness;
two are as meaningless as one, or as a thousand. The ego joins with
nothing, being nothing. The victory it seeks is meaningless as is
Brothers, the war
against yourself is almost over. The journey's end is at the place
of peace. Would you not now accept the peace offered you here? This
"enemy" you fought as an intruder on your peace is here
transformed before your sight into the giver of your peace. Your
"enemy" was God Himself, to Whom all conflict, triumph,
and attack of any kind are all unknown. He loves you perfectly,
completely, and eternally.
The Son of God
at war with his Creator is a condition as ridiculous as nature
roaring at the wind in anger and proclaiming that it is part
of itself no more.
Could nature possibly
establish this and make it true? Nor is it up to you to say what
shall be part of you and what is kept apart. The war against yourself
was undertaken to teach the Son of God that he is not himself and
not his Father's Son. For this, the memory of his Father must be
forgotten. It is forgotten in the body's life, and if you think
you are a body, you will believe you have forgotten it. Yet truth
can never be forgotten by itself, and you have not forgotten what
Only a strange illusion
of yourself, a wish to triumph over what you are, remembers not.
The war against yourself
is but the battle of two illusions, struggling to make them different
from each other in the belief the one which conquers will be true.
There is no conflict between them and the truth. Nor are they different
from each other. Both are not true. And so it matters not what form
they take. What made them is insane, and they remain part of what
made them. Madness holds out no menace to reality and has no influence
upon it. Illusions cannot triumph over truth, nor can they threaten
it in any way. And the reality which they deny is not a part of
What you remember
is a part of you. For you must be as God created you. Truth does
not fight against illusions, nor do illusions fight against the
truth. Illusions battle only with themselves. Being fragmented,
they fragment. But truth is indivisible and far beyond their little
reach. You will remember what you know when you have learned you
cannot be in conflict. One illusion about yourself can battle with
another, yet the war of two illusions is a state where nothing happens.
There is no victor, and there is no victory. And truth stands radiant,
apart from conflict, untouched and quiet in the peace of God.
Conflict must be
between two forces. It cannot exist between one power and nothingness.
There is nothing you could attack that is not part of you. And by
attacking it, you make two illusions of yourself in conflict with
each other. And this occurs whenever you look on anything that God
created with anything but love.
Conflict is fearful,
for it is the birth of fear. Yet what is born of nothing cannot
win reality through battle. Why would you fill your world with conflicts
with yourself? Let all this madness be undone for you and turn in
peace to the remembrance of God, still shining in your quiet mind.
See how the conflict
of illusions disappears when it is brought to truth! For it seems
real only as long as it is seen as war between conflicting truths,
the conqueror to be the truer, the more real, and vanquisher of
the illusion that was less real, made an illusion by defeat. Thus,
conflict is the choice between illusions, one to be crowned as real,
the other vanquished and despised. Here will the Father never be
remembered. Yet no illusion can invade His home and drive Him out
of what He loves forever. And what He loves must be forever quiet
and at peace because it is His home. And you who are beloved of
Him are no illusions, being as true and holy as Himself.
The stillness of
your certainty of Him and of yourself is home to both of you, who
dwell as one and not apart. Open the door of His most holy home
and let forgiveness sweep away all trace of the belief in sin that
keeps God homeless and His Son with Him. You are not strangers in
the house of God. Welcome your brother to the home where God has
set him in serenity and peace and dwells with him.
Illusions have no
place where love abides, protecting you from everything that is
not true. You dwell in peace as limitless as its Creator, and everything
is given those who would remember Him. Over His home the Holy Spirit
watches, sure that its peace can never be disturbed.
How can the resting-place
of God turn on itself and seek to overcome the One Who dwells there?
And think what happens when the house of God perceives itself divided.
The altar disappears, the light grows dim, the temple of the Holy
One becomes a house of sin. And nothing is remembered except illusions.
Illusions can conflict because their forms are different. And they
do battle only to establish which form is true.
illusion; truth, itself. The
meeting of illusions leads to war. Peace,
looking on itself, extends itself.
War is the condition
in which fear is born and grows and seeks to dominate. Peace is
the state where love abides and seeks to share itself. Conflict
and peace are opposites. Where one abides the other cannot be; where
either goes the other disappears. So is the memory of God obscured
in minds that have become illusion's battleground. Yet far beyond
this senseless war it shines, ready to be remembered when you side