Course in Miracles
24 - Specialness & Separation
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
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
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
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.
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.