A Course in Miracles

Chapter 5 - Healing and Wholeness

The Guide to Salvation

The way to learn to know your brother is by perceiving the Holy Spirit in him.

We have already said that the Holy Spirit is the bridge or thought-transfer of perception to knowledge, so we can use the terms as if they were related because in His mind they are.

The relationship must be in His mind because, unless it were, the separation between the two ways of thinking would not be open to healing. He is part of the Holy Trinity because His mind is partly yours and also partly God's. This needs clarification, not in statement, since we have said it before, but in experience.

The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing.

Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared. Being the Call for God, it is also the idea of God. Since you are part of God, it is also the idea of yourself as well as of all the parts of God. The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part. Therefore, it is strengthened by being given away. It increases in you as you give it to your brothers. Since thoughts do not have to be conscious to exist, your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit either in himself or in you for this miracle to occur.

Your brother may have dissociated the Call for God, just as you have. The dissociation is healed in both of you as you become aware of the Call for God in him and thus acknowledge its being. There are two ways of seeing your brother which are diametrically opposed to each other. They must both be in your mind because you are the perceiver. They must also be in his because you are perceiving him. See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours. What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen.

The Voice of the Holy Spirit is weak in you. That is why you must share it. It must be increased in strength before you can hear it. It is impossible to hear it in yourself while it is so weak in your own mind. It is not weak in itself, but it is limited by your unwillingness to hear it. Will itself is an idea and is therefore strengthened by being shared. If you make the mistake of looking for the Holy Spirit in yourself alone, your meditations will frighten you because by adopting the ego's viewpoint you are undertaking an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide. This is bound to produce fear.

Delay is of the ego because time is its concept. Delay is obviously a time idea. Both time and delay are meaningless in eternity. We have said before that the Holy Spirit is God's Answer to the ego. Everything of which the Holy Spirit reminds you is in direct opposition to the ego's notions because true and false perceptions are themselves opposed. The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made. He undoes it in the same realm of discourse in which the ego itself operates, or the mind would be unable to understand the change.

We have repeatedly emphasized that one level of the mind is not understandable to another. So it is with the ego and the Soul, with time and eternity.

Eternity is an idea of God, so the Soul understands it perfectly. Time is a belief of the ego, so the lower mind, which is the ego's domain, accepts it without question. The only aspect of time which is really eternal is now. That is what we really mean when we say that "now is the only time." The literal nature of this statement does not mean anything to the ego, which interprets it at best to mean "don't worry about the future." That is not what it really means at all.

The Holy Spirit is the Mediator between the interpretations of the ego and the knowledge of the Soul. His ability to deal with symbols enables Him to work against the ego's beliefs in its own language. His equal ability to look beyond symbols into eternity also enables Him to understand the laws of God, for which He speaks. He can thus perform the function of reinterpreting what the ego makes, not by destruction but by understanding. Understanding is light, and light leads to knowledge. The Holy Spirit is in light because He is in you who are light, but you yourselves do not know this. It is therefore the task of the Holy Spirit to reinterpret you on behalf of God.

You cannot understand yourselves alone.

This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship and the rightful place of the Sonship in God. This is your life, your eternity, and yourself. It is of this that the Holy Spirit reminds you. It is this that the Holy Spirit sees. This vision invariably frightens the ego because it is so calm. Peace is the ego's greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. The ego becomes strong in strife. If you believe there is strife, you will react viciously because the idea of danger has entered your mind. The idea itself is an appeal to the ego.

The Holy Spirit is as vigilant as the ego to the call of danger, opposing it with His strength, just as the ego welcomes it with all its might. The Holy Spirit counters this welcome by welcoming peace. Peace and eternity are as closely related as are time and war. Perception as well as knowledge derives meaning from relationships. Those which you accept are the foundations of your beliefs. The separation is merely another term for a split mind. It was not an act, but a thought. Therefore, the idea of separation can be given away, just as the idea of unity can. Either way, the idea will be strengthened in the mind of the giver.

The ego is the symbol of separation, just as the Holy Spirit is the symbol of peace. What you perceive in others, you are strengthening in yourself. You let your mind misperceive, but the Holy Spirit lets your mind reinterpret its own misperceptions.

The Holy Spirit is the perfect teacher. He uses only what your minds already understand to teach you that you do not understand it.

The Holy Spirit can deal with an unwilling learner without going counter to his will because part of his will is still for God. Despite the ego's attempts to conceal this part, it is still much stronger than the ego, even though the ego does not recognize it. The Holy Spirit recognizes it perfectly because it is His own dwelling place or the place in the mind where He is at home.

You are at home there, too, because it is a place of peace, and peace is of God. You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace. If peace is eternal, you are at home only in eternity. The ego made the world as it perceives it, but the Holy Spirit, the reinterpreter of what the ego made, sees it only as a teaching device for bringing you home. The Holy Spirit must perceive time and reinterpret it into the timeless. The mind must be led into eternity through time because, having made time, it is capable of perceiving its opposite.

The Holy Spirit must work through opposites because He must work with and for a mind that is in opposition.

Correct and learn and be open to learning. You have not made truth, but truth can still set you free. Look as the Holy Spirit looks, and understand as He understands. His understanding looks back to God in remembrance of me. He is in Holy Communion always, and He is part of you. He is your Guide to salvation because He holds the remembrance of things past and to come. He holds this gladness gently in your minds, asking only that you increase it in His name by sharing it, to increase His joy in you.

 
 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 5 - Healing and Wholeness

Therapy and Teaching

You must have noticed how often I have used your own ideas to help you. You have learned to be a loving, wise, and very understanding therapist except for yourself. That exception has given you more than perception for others because of what you saw in them but less than knowledge of your real relationships to them because you did not accept them as part of you. Understanding is beyond perception because it introduces meaning. It is, however, below knowledge even though it can grow towards it. It is possible, with great effort, to understand someone else to some extent and to be quite helpful to him, but the effort is misdirected. The misdirection is quite apparent; it is directed away from you.

This does not mean that it is lost to you, but it does mean that you are not aware of it. I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you have had. I have purified them of the errors which hid their light and have kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt. They came from the Holy Spirit within you, and we know what God creates is eternal. What fear has hidden still is part of you.

Joining the Atonement, which I have repeatedly asked you to do, is always a way out of fear.

This does not mean that you can safely fail to acknowledge anything that is true. However, the Holy Spirit will not fail to help you reinterpret everything that you perceive as fearful and teach you that only what is loving is true. Truth is beyond your ability to destroy but entirely within your grasp. It belongs to you because you created it. It is yours because it is a part of you, just as you are part of God because He created you.

The Atonement is the guarantee of the safety of the Kingdom. Nothing good is lost because it comes from the Holy Spirit, the Voice for creation. Nothing that is not good was ever created and therefore cannot be protected. What the ego makes, it keeps to itself, and so it is without strength. Its unshared existence does not die; it was merely never born. Real birth is not a beginning; it is a continuing. Everything that can continue has been born, but it can increase as you are willing to return the part of your mind that needs healing to the higher part and thus render your creating undivided.

As a therapist, you yourself tell your patients that the real difference between neurotic and "healthy" guilt feelings is that neurotic guilt feelings do not help anyone. This distinction is wise though incomplete. Let us make the distinction a little sharper now. Neurotic guilt feelings are a device of the ego for "atoning" without sharing and for asking pardon without change. The ego never calls for real Atonement and cannot tolerate forgiveness, which is change.

Your concept of "healthy guilt feelings" has merit, but without the concept of the Atonement, it lacks the healing potential it holds. You made the distinction in terms of feelings, which led to a decision not to repeat the error, which is only part of healing. Your concept lacked the idea of undoing it. What you were really advocating, then, was adopting a policy of sharing without a real foundation. I have come to give you the foundation, so your own thoughts can make you really free. You have carried the burden of the ideas you did not share and which were therefore too weak to increase, but you did not recognize how to undo their existence because you had made them.

You cannot cancel out your past errors alone. They will not disappear from your mind without remedy.

The remedy is not of your making, any more than you are. The Atonement cannot be understood except as a pure act of sharing. That is what is meant when we said it is possible even in this world to listen to one voice. If you are part of God and the Sonship is one, you cannot be limited to the "self" the ego sees. Every loving thought held in any part of the Sonship belongs to every part. It is shared because it is loving. Sharing is God's way of creating and also yours. Your ego can keep you in exile from the Kingdom, but in the Kingdom itself it has no power.

You have become willing to receive my messages as I give them without interference by the ego, so we can clarify an earlier point. We said that you will one day teach as much as you learn and that will keep you in balance. The time is now because you have let it be now. You cannot learn except by teaching.

I heard one voice because I had learned that learning is attained by teaching. I understood that I could not atone for myself alone. Listening to one voice means the will to share the voice in order to hear it yourself. The mind that was in me is still irresistibly drawn to every mind created by God because God's Wholeness is the wholeness of His Son.

"Turning the other cheek" Matthew 5:39 does not mean that you should submit to violence without protest. It means that you cannot be hurt and do not want to show your brother anything except your wholeness.

Show him that he cannot hurt you and hold nothing against him, or you hold it against yourself. Teaching is done in many ways, –

  • by formal means,
  • by guidance, and above all
  • by example.

Teaching is therapy because it means the sharing of ideas, and the awareness that to share them is to strengthen them. The union of the Sonship is its protection. The ego cannot prevail against the Kingdom because it is united. And the ego fades away and is undone in the presence of the attraction of the parts of the Sonship which hear the call of the Holy Spirit to be as One.

I cannot forget my need to teach what I have learned, which arose in me because I learned it. I call upon you to teach what you have learned because by so doin you can depend on it. Make it dependable in my name because my name is the name of God’s Son. What I learned I give you freely, and the Mind which was in me rejoices as you choose to hear it. The Holy Spirit atones in all of us by undoing and thus lifts the burden you have placed in your mind. By following Him, He leads you back to God where you belong, and how can you find this way except by taking your brother with you?

My part in the Atonement is not complete until you join it and give it away. As you teach, so shall you learn. I will never leave you or forsake you because to forsake you would be to forsake myself and God who created me. You will forsake yourselves and God if you forsake any of your brothers. You are more than your brother's keeper. In fact, you do not want to keep him. You must learn to see him as he is and know that he belongs to God as you do. How could you treat your brother better than by rendering unto God the things which are God's?

Ideas do not leave the mind which thought them to have a separate being, nor do separate thoughts conflict with one another in space because they do not occupy space at all. However, human ideas can conflict in content because they occur at different levels and include opposite thoughts at the same level. It is impossible to share opposing thoughts.

The Holy Spirit does not let you forsake your brothers. Therefore, you can really share only the parts of your thoughts which are of Him and which He also keeps for you. And of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. All the rest remains with you until He has reinterpreted them in the light of the Kingdom, making them, too, worthy of being shared. When they have been sufficiently purified, He lets you give them away. The will to share them is their purification.

The Atonement gives you the power of a healed mind, but the power to create is of God. Therefore, those who have been forgiven must devote themselves first to healing because having received the idea of healing, they must give it to hold it. The full power of creation cannot be expressed as long as any of God's ideas withhold it from the Kingdom. The joint will of all the Sonship is the only creator that can create like the Father because only the complete can think completely, and the thinking of God lacks nothing. Everything you think that is not through the Holy Spirit is lacking.

How can you who are so holy suffer?

All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left except a blessing. You can indeed depart in peace because I have loved you as I loved myself. You go with my blessing and for my blessing. Hold it and share it, that it may always be ours. I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share. The heart is pure to hold it and the hands are strong to give it. We cannot lose. My judgment is as strong as the wisdom of God, in Whose Heart and Hands we have our being.

His quiet Children are His blessed Sons. The Thoughts of God are with you.

 

 
 

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