Course in Miracles

Chapter 24 - Specialness & Separation

Specialness as a Substitute for Love

Forget not that the motivation for this course is the attainment and the keeping of the state of peace. Given this state the mind is quiet, and the condition in which God is remembered is attained.

It is not necessary to tell Him what to do. He will not fail. Where He can enter, there He is already. And can it be He cannot enter where He wills to be? Peace will be yours because it is His Will. Can you believe a shadow can hold back the Will that holds the universe secure? God does not wait upon illusions to let Him be Himself. No more His Son. They are. And what illusion that idly seems to drift between them has the power to defeat what is Their Will?

To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold.

Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. No belief is neutral. Every one has the power to dictate each decision you make. For a decision is a conclusion based on everything that you believe. It is the outcome of belief and follows it as surely as does suffering follow guilt and freedom sinlessness. There is no substitute for peace. What God creates has no alternative. The truth arises from what He knows. And your decisions come from your beliefs as certainly as all creation rose in His Mind because of what He knows.

Love is extension.

To withhold the smallest gift is not to know love's purpose. Love offers everything forever. Hold back but one belief, one offering, and love is gone because you asked a substitute to take its place. And now must war, the substitute for peace, come with the one alternative that you can choose for love. Your choosing it has given it all the reality it seems to have.

Beliefs will never openly attack each other because conflicting outcomes are impossible. But an unrecognized belief is a decision to war in secret, where the results of conflict are kept unknown and never brought to reason to be considered sensible or not. And many senseless outcomes have been reached, and meaningless decisions have been made and kept hidden to become beliefs now given power to direct all subsequent decisions. Mistake you not the power of these hidden warriors to disrupt your peace. For it is at their mercy while you decide to leave it there. The secret enemies of peace, your least decision to choose attack instead of love, unrecognized and swift to challenge you to combat and to violence far more inclusive than you think, are there by your election. Do not deny their presence nor their terrible results. All that can be denied is their reality but not their outcome.

All that is ever cherished as a hidden belief, to be defended though unrecognized, is faith in specialness.

This takes many forms but always clashes with the reality of God's creation and with the grandeur which He gave His Son. What else could justify attack? For who could hate someone whose Self is his and whom He knows? Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same. And difference of any kind imposes orders of reality and a need to judge that cannot be escaped.

What God created cannot be attacked, for there is nothing in the universe unlike itself.

But what is different calls for judgment, and this must come from someone "better," someone incapable of being like what he condemns, "above" it, sinless by comparison with it. And thus does specialness become a means and end at once. For specialness not only sets apart but serves as grounds from which attack on those who seem "beneath" the special one is "natural" and "just." The special ones feel weak and frail because of differences, for what would make them special is their enemy. Yet they protect its enmity and call it "friend." On its behalf they fight against the universe, for nothing in the world they value more.

Specialness is the great dictator of the wrong decisions.

Here is the grand illusion of what you are and what your brother is. And here is what must make the body dear and worth preserving. Specialness must be defended. Illusions can attack it, and they do. For what your brother must become to keep your specialness is an illusion. He who is "worse" than you must be attacked so that your specialness can live on his defeat. For specialness is triumph, and its victory is his defeat and shame. How can he live with all your sins upon him? And who must be his conqueror but you?

Would it be possible for you to hate your brother if you were like him?

Could you attack him if you realized you journey with him to a goal that is the same? Would you not help him reach it in every way you could if his attainment of it were perceived as yours? You are his enemy in specialness; his friend in a shared purpose. Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach. And he must never reach them, or your goal is jeopardized. Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you? Your brother is your friend because his Father created him like you. There is no difference. You have been given to each other that love might be extended, not cut off from one another. What you keep is lost to you. God gave you both Himself, and to remember this is now the only purpose that you share. And so it is the only one you have.

Could you attack each other if you chose to see no specialness of any kind between you? Look fairly at whatever makes you give each other only partial welcome or would let you think that you are better off apart. Is it not always your belief your specialness is limited by your relationship? And is not this the "enemy" that makes you both illusions to each other?

The fear of God and of each other comes from each unrecognized belief in specialness.

For each demands the other bow to it against his will. And God Himself must honor it or suffer vengeance. Every twinge of malice or stab of hate or wish to separate arises here. For here the purpose which you share becomes obscured from both of you. You would oppose this course because it teaches you you are alike. You have no purpose that is not the same and none your Father does not share with you. For your relationship has been made clean of special goals. And would you now defeat the goal of holiness that Heaven gave it? What perspective can the special have that does not change with every seeming blow, each slight, or fancied judgment on itself?

Those who are special must defend illusions against the truth. For what is specialness but an attack upon the Will of God?

You love your brother not while it is this you would defend against him. This is what he attacks and you protect. Here is the ground of battle which you wage against him. Here must he be your enemy and not your friend. Never can there be peace among the different. He is your friend because you are the same.

 

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 24 - Specialness & Separation

Treachery of Specialness

Comparison must be an ego device, for love makes none. Specialness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another and maintained by searching for and keeping clear in sight all lacks it can perceive. This does it seek, and this it looks upon. And always whom it thus diminishes would be your savior had you not chosen to make of him a tiny measure of your specialness instead. Against the littleness you see in him, you stand as tall and stately, clean and honest, pure and unsullied by comparison with what you see. Nor do you understand it is yourself that you diminish thus.

Pursuit of specialness is always at the cost of peace.

Who can attack his savior and cut him down yet recognize his strong support? Who can detract from his omnipotence yet share his power? And who can use him as the gauge of littleness and be released from limits? You have a function in salvation. Its pursuit will bring you joy. But the pursuit of specialness must bring you pain. Here is a goal that would defeat salvation and thus run counter to the Will of God. To value specialness is to esteem an alien will to which illusions of yourself are dearer than the truth.

Specialness is the idea of sin made real.

Sin is impossible even to imagine without this base. For sin arose from it out of nothingness; an evil flower with no roots at all. Here is the self-made "savior," the "creator" who creates unlike the Father and which made His Son like to itself and not like unto Him. His "special" sons are many, never one, each one in exile from himself and Him of Whom they are a part. Nor do they love the Oneness Which created them as one with Him. They chose their specialness instead of Heaven and instead of peace and wrapped it carefully in sin to keep it "safe" from truth.

You are not special. If you think you are and would defend your specialness against the truth of what you really are, how can you know the truth? What answer that the Holy Spirit gives can reach you when it is your specialness to which you listen and which asks and answers? Its tiny answer, soundless in the melody which pours from God to you eternally in loving praise of what you are, is all you listen to. And that vast song of honor and of love for what you are seems silent and unheard before its "mightiness." You strain your ears to hear its soundless voice, and yet the Call of God Himself is soundless to you.

You can defend your specialness, but never will you hear the Voice for God beside it. They speak a different language and they fall on different ears. To every special one a different message, and one with different meaning, is the truth. Yet how can truth be different to each one? The special messages the special hear convince them they are different and apart-each in his special sins and "safe" from love, which does not see his specialness at all. Christ's vision is their "enemy," for it sees not what they would look upon, and it would show them that the specialness they think they see is an illusion. What would they see instead?

The shining radiance of the Son of God, so like his Father that the memory of Him springs instantly to mind. And with this memory, the Son remembers his own creations, as like to him as he is to his Father. And all the world he made and all his specialness and all the sins he held in its defense against himself will vanish as his mind accepts the truth about himself as it returns to take their place. This is the only "cost" of truth: you will no longer see what never was, nor hear what makes no sound. Is it a sacrifice to give up nothing and to receive the love of God forever?

You who have chained your savior to your specialness and given it his place, remember this: He has not lost the power to forgive you all the sins you think you placed between him and the function of salvation given him for you. Nor will you change his function, any more than you can change the truth in him and in yourself. But be you certain that the truth is just the same in both. It gives no different messages and has one meaning. And it is one you both can understand, and one which brings release to both of you. Here stands your brother with the key to Heaven in his hand held out to you. Let not the dream of specialness remain between you. What is one is joined in truth.

Think of the loveliness that you will see within yourself when you have looked on him as on a friend. He is the enemy of specialness but only friend to what is real in you. Not one attack you thought you made on him has taken from him the gift that God would have him give to you. His need to give it is as great as yours to have it. Let him forgive you all your specialness and make you whole in mind and one with him. He waits for your forgiveness only that he may return it unto you. It is not God Who has condemned His Son. But only you, to save his specialness and kill his Self.

You have come far along the way of truth--too far to falter now. Just one step more and every vestige of the fear of God will melt away in love. Your brother's specialness and yours are enemies and bound in hate to kill each other and deny they are the same. Yet it is not illusions which have reached this final obstacle that seems to make God and His Heaven so remote that they cannot be reached. Here in this holy place does truth stand waiting to receive you both in silent blessing and in peace so real and so encompassing that nothing stands outside. Leave all illusions of yourself outside this place to which you come in hope and honesty.

Here is your savior from your specialness. He is in need of your acceptance of himself as part of you, as you for his. You are alike to God as God is to Himself. He is not special, for He would not keep one part of what He is unto Himself, not given to His Son but kept for Him alone. And it is this you fear, for if He is not special, then He willed His Son be like Him, and your brother is like you. Not special, but possessed of everything including you.

Give him but what he has, remembering God gave Himself to both of you in equal love that both might share the universe with Him Who chose that love could never be divided and kept separate from what it is and must forever be. You are your brother's; part of love was not denied to him. But can it be that you have lost because he is complete? What has been given him makes you complete, as it does him. God's love gave you to him and him to you because He gave Himself.

What is the same as God is one with Him.

And only specialness could make the truth of God and you as one seem anything but Heaven, and the hope of peace at last in sight.

Specialness is the seal of treachery upon the gift of love. Whatever serves its purpose must be given to kill. No gift that bears its seal but offers treachery to giver and receiver. Not one glance from eyes it veils but looks on sight of death. Not one believer in its potency but seeks for bargains and for compromise that would establish sin love's substitute and serve it faithfully. And no relationship that holds its purpose dear but clings to murder as safety's weapon and the great defender of all illusions from the "threat" of love.

The hope of specialness makes it seem possible God made the body as the prison-house which keeps His Son from Him.

For it demands a special place God cannot enter and a hiding-place where none is welcome but your tiny self. Nothing is sacred here but unto you and you alone, apart and separate from all your brothers, safe from all intrusions of sanity upon illusions, safe from God, and safe for conflict everlasting. Here are the gates of hell you closed upon yourself, to rule in madness and in loneliness your special kingdom, apart from God, away from truth and from salvation.

The key you threw away God gave your brother, whose holy hands would offer it to you when you were ready to accept His plan for your salvation in place of yours. How could this readiness be reached save through the sight of all your misery and the awareness that your plan has failed and will forever fail to bring you peace and joy of any kind? Through this despair you travel now, yet it is but illusion of despair. The death of specialness is not your death but your awaking into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you.

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 24 - Specialness & Separation

Forgiveness of Specialness

Forgiveness is the end of specialness.

Only illusions can be forgiven, and then they disappear. Forgiveness is release from all illusions, and that is why it is impossible but partly to forgive. No one who clings to one illusion can see himself as sinless, for he holds one error to himself as lovely still. And so he calls it "unforgivable" and makes it sin. How can he then give his forgiveness wholly, when he would not receive it for himself? For it is sure he would receive it wholly the instant that he gave it so. And thus his secret guilt would disappear, forgiven by himself.

Whatever form of specialness you cherish, you have made sin.

Inviolate it stands, strongly defended with all your puny might against the Will of God. And thus it stands against yourself; your enemy, not God's. So does it seem to split you off from God and make you separate from Him as its defender. You would protect what God created not. And yet this idol that seems to give you power has taken it away. For you have given your brother's birthright to it, leaving him alone and unforgiven and yourself in sin beside him, both in misery before the idol that can save you not.

It is not you that is so vulnerable and open to attack that just a word, a little whisper that you do not like, a circumstance that suits you not, or an event that you did not anticipate upsets your world and hurls it into chaos. Truth is not frail. Illusions leave it perfectly unmoved [and undisturbed]. But specialness is not the truth in you. It can be thrown off balance by anything. What rests on nothing never can be stable. However large and overblown it seems to be, it still must rock and turn and whirl about with every breeze.

Without foundation nothing is secure. Would God have left His Son in such a state, where safety has no meaning? No, His Son is safe, resting on Him. It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes or creeps or crawls or even lives at all. Nothing is safe from its attack, and it is safe from nothing. It will forever more be unforgiving, for that is what it is-a secret vow that what God wants for you will never be and that you will oppose His Will forever. Nor is it possible the two can ever be the same while specialness stands like a flaming sword of death between them and makes them "enemies."

God asks for your forgiveness. He would have no separation, like an alien will, rise between what He wills for you and what you will. They are the same, for neither one wills specialness. How could they will the death of love itself? Yet they are powerless to make attack upon illusions. They are not bodies; as One Mind they wait for all illusions to be brought to them and left behind. Salvation challenges not even death.

And God Himself, Who knows that death is not your will, must say, "Thy will be done" because you think it is.

Forgive the great Creator of the universe, the Source of life, of love and holiness, the perfect Father of a perfect Son, for your illusions of your specialness. Here is the hell you chose to be your home. He chose not this for you. Ask not He enter this. The way is barred to love and to salvation. Yet if you would release your brother from the depths of hell, you have forgiven Him Whose Will it is you rest forever in the arms of peace in perfect safety and without the heat and malice of one thought of specialness to mar your rest. Forgive the Holy One the specialness He could not give and which you made instead.

The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see.

Freedom and peace and joy stand there beside the bier on which they sleep and call them to come forth and waken from their dream of death. Yet they hear nothing. They are lost in dreams of specialness. They hate the call that would awaken them, and they curse God because He did not make their dream reality. Curse God and die, but not by Him Who made not death, but only in the dream. Open your eyes a little; see the savior God gave to you that you might look on him and give him back his birthright. It is yours.

The slaves of specialness will yet be free. Such is the Will of God and of His Son. Would God condemn Himself to hell and to damnation? And do you will that this be done unto your savior? God calls to you from him to join His Will to save you both from hell. Look on the print of nails upon his hands that he holds out for your forgiveness. God asks your mercy on His Son and on Himself. Deny them not. They ask of you but that your will be done. They seek your love that you may love yourself. Love not your specialness instead of them. The print of nails are on your hands as well.

Forgive your Father. It was not His Will that you be crucified.

 

 
 

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