A Course in Miracles

Chapter 22 - Salvation and the Holy Spirit

Branching of the Road

When you come to the place where the branch in the road is quite apparent, you cannot go ahead. You must go either one way or the other. For now if you go straight ahead, the way you went before you reached the branch, you will go nowhere. The whole purpose of coming this far was to decide which branch you will take now. The way you came no longer matters. It can no longer serve.

No one who reaches this far can make the wrong decision, but he can delay. And there is no part of the journey that seems more hopeless and futile than standing where the road branches, and not deciding on which way to go.

It is but the first few steps along the right way that seem hard, for you have chosen, although you still may think you can go back and make the other choice. This is not so. A choice made with the power of Heaven to uphold it cannot be undone. Your way is decided. There will be nothing you will not be told, if you acknowledge this.

And so you stand, here in this holy place, before the veil of sin that hangs between you and the face of Christ. Let it be lifted! Raise it together, for it is but a veil that stands between you. Either alone will see it as a solid block, nor realize how thin the drapery that separates you now. Yet it is almost over in your awareness, and peace has reached you even here, before the veil.

Think what will happen after! The love of Christ will light your faces, and shine from them into a darkened world that needs the light. And from this holy place He will return with you, not leaving it nor you. You will become His messengers, returning Him unto Himself.

Think of the loveliness that you will see, who walk with Him! And think how beautiful will each of you look to the other! How happy you will be to be together, after such a long and lonely journey where you walked alone. The gates of Heaven, open now for you, will you now open to the sorrowful. And none who looks upon the Christ in you but will rejoice. How beautiful the sight you saw beyond the veil, which you will bring to light the tired eyes of those as weary now as once you were. How thankful will they be to see you come among them, offering Christ’s forgiveness to dispel their faith in sin.

Every mistake you make the other will gently have corrected for you, for in his sight your loveliness is his salvation, which he would protect from harm. And each will be the other’s strong protector from everything that seems to rise between you. So shall you walk the world with me, whose message has not yet been given to everyone. For you are here to let it be received. God’s offer still is open, yet it waits acceptance. From you who have accepted it is it received. Into your joined hands is it safely given, for you who share it have become its willing guardians and protectors.

To all who share the Love of God the grace is given to be the givers of what they have received. And so they learn that it is theirs forever. All barriers disappear before their coming, as every obstacle was finally surmounted which seemed to rise and block their way before. This veil you lift together opens the way to truth to more than you. Those who would let illusions be lifted from their minds are this world’s Saviours, walking the world with their Redeemer, and carrying His message of hope and freedom and release from suffering to everyone who needs a miracle to save him.

How easy is it to offer this miracle to everyone! No one who has received it for himself could find it difficult. For by receiving it, he learned it was not given him alone. Such is the function of a holy relationship; to receive together, and give as you received. Standing before the veil, it still seems difficult. But hold out your joined hands and touch this heavy-seeming block, and you will learn how easily your fingers slip through its nothingness. It is no solid wall. And only an illusion stands between you and the holy Self you share.

 

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 22 - Salvation and the Holy Spirit

Weakness & Defensiveness

How does one overcome illusions? Surely not...

  • by force or
  • anger, nor
  • by opposing them in any way.

Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness. And how can it be difficult to walk the way of truth, when only weakness interferes? You are the strong ones in this seeming conflict. And you need no defense. Everything that needs defense you do not want, for anything that needs defense will weaken you.

Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify...

  • what goes against the truth,
  • flies in the face of reason, and
  • makes no sense.

Can this be justified? What can this be except an invitation to insanity, to save you from the truth? And what would you be saved from but what you fear? Belief in sin needs great defense, and at enormous cost. All that the Holy Spirit offers must be defended against, and sacrificed. For sin is carved into a block out of your peace, and laid between you and its return. Yet how can peace be so fragmented? It is still whole, and nothing has been taken from it.

See how the means and the material of evil dreams are nothing. In truth you stand together, with nothing in between. God holds your hands, and what can separate whom He has joined as one with Him? It is your Father Whom you would defend against. Yet it remains impossible to keep love out. God rests with you in quiet, undefended and wholly undefending, for in this quiet state alone is strength and power. Here can no weakness enter, for here is no attack, and therefore no illusions. Love rests in certainty. Only uncertainty can be defensive. And all uncertainty is doubt about yourself.\

How weak is fear; how little and how meaningless! How insignificant before the quiet strength of those whom love has joined! This is your “enemy,” – a frightened mouse that would attack the universe. How likely is it that it will succeed? Can it be difficult to disregard its feeble squeaks that tell of its omnipotence, and would drown out the hymn of praise to its Creator which every heart throughout the universe forever sings as one? Which is the stronger? Is it this tiny mouse or everything that God created? You are not joined together by this mouse, but by the Will of God. And can a mouse betray whom God has joined?

If you but recognized how little stands between you and your awareness of your union! Be not deceived by the illusions it presents of size and thickness, weight, solidity and firmness of foundation. Yes, to the body’s eyes it looks like an enormous solid body, immovable as is a mountain. Yet within you there is a Force which no illusions can resist. This body only seems to be immovable; this Force is irresistible in truth. What, then, must happen when they come together? Can the illusion of immovability be long defended from what is quietly past through and gone beyond?

Forget not, when you feel the need arise to be defensive about anything, you have identified yourself with an illusion. And therefore feel that you are weak because you are alone. This is the cost of all illusions. Not one but rests on the belief that you are separate. Not one that does not seem to stand, heavy and solid and immovable, between you and your brother. And not one that truth cannot pass over lightly, and so easily that you must be convinced, in spite of what you thought it was, that it is nothing. If you forgive each other, this musy happen. For it is your unwillingness to overlook what seems to stand between you that makes it look impenetrable, and defends the illusion of its immovability.

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 22 - Specialness & Separation

Freedom & the Holy Relationship or Light of the Holy Relationship

Do you want freedom of the body or of the mind? For both you cannot have.

Which do you value? Which is your goal? For one you see as means; the other, end. And one must serve the other and lead to its predominance, increasing its importance by diminishing its own. Means serve the end, and as the end is reached the value of the means decreases, eclipsed entirely when they are recognized as functionless. No one but yearns for freedom, and tries to find it. Yet he will seek for it where he believes it is, and can be found. He will believe it possible of mind or body, and he will make the other serve his choice as means to find it.

Where freedom of the body has been chosen, the mind is used as means whose value lies in its ability to contrive ways to achieve the body’s freedom. Yet freedom of the body has no meaning, and so the mind is dedicated to serve illusions. This is a situation so contradictory and so impossible that anyone who chooses this has no idea of what is valuable. Yet even in this confusion, so profound it cannot be described, the Holy Spirit waits in gentle patience, as certain of the outcome as He is sure of His Creator’s Love. He knows this mad decision was made by one as dear to His Creator as love is to itself.

Be not disturbed at all to think how He can change the role of means and end so easily in what God loves, and would have free forever. But be you rather grateful that you can be the means to serve His end. This is the only service which leads to freedom. To serve this end, the body must be perceived as sinless, because the goal is sinlessness. The lack of contradiction makes the soft transition from means to end as easy as is the shift from hate to gratitude before forgiving eyes. You will be sanctified by one another, using your bodies only to serve the sinless. And it will be impossible for you to hate what serves what you would heal.

This holy relationship, lovely in its innocence, mighty in strength, and blazing with a light far brighter than the sun which lights the sky you see, is chosen of your Father as a means for His Own plan. Be thankful that it serves yours not at all. Nothing entrusted to it can be misused, and nothing given it but will be used. This holy relationship has the power to heal all pain, regardless of its form. Neither of you alone can serve at all. Only in your joint will does healing lie. For here your healing is, and here will you accept Atonement. And in your healing is the Sonship healed because your wills are joined.

Before a holy relationship there is no sin. The form of error is no longer seen, and reason, joined with love, looks quietly on all confusion, observing merely,

“This was a mistake.”

And then the same Atonement you accepted in your relationship corrects the error, and lays a part of Heaven in its place. How blessed are you who let this gift be given! Each part of Heaven that you bring is given you. And every empty place in Heaven that you fill again with the Eternal Light you bring shines now on you. The means of sinlessness can know no fear because they carry only love with them.

Children of peace, the light has come to you. The light you bring you do not recognize, and yet you will remember. Who can deny himself the vision that he brings to others? And who would fail to recognize a gift he let be laid in Heaven through himself? The gentle service that you give the Holy Spirit is service to yourself. You who are now His means must love all that He loves. And what you bring is your rememberance of everything that is eternal. No trace of anything in time can long remain in minds that serve the timeless. And no illusion can disturb the peace of a relationship which has become the means of peace.

When you have looked upon each other with complete forgiveness, from which no error is excluded and nothing kept hidden, what mistake can there be anywhere you cannot overlook? What form of suffering could block your sight, preventing you from seeing past it? And what illusion could there be you will not recognize as a mistake; a shadow through which you walk completely undismayed?

God would let nothing interfere with those whose wills are His, and serve it willingly. And could rememberance of what they are be long delayed?

You will see your value through each other’s eyes, and each one is released as he beholds his Savior in place of the attacker who he thought was there. Through this releasing is the world released. This is your part in bringing peace. For you have asked what is your function here, and have been answered. Seek not to change it, nor to substitute another goal. Accept this one and serve it willingly, for what the Holy Spirit does with the gifts you give each other, to whom He offers them, and where and when,is up to Him. He will bestow them where they are received and welcomed. He will use every one of them for peace. Nor will one little smile or willingness to overlook the tiniest mistake be lost to anyone.

What can it be but universal blessing to look on what your Father loves with charity? Extension of forgiveness is the Holy Spirit’s function. Leave this to Him. Let your concern be only that you give to Him that which can be extended. Save no dark secrets that He cannot use, but offer Him the tiny gifts He can extend forever. He will take each one and make of it a potent force for peace. He will withhold no blessing from it, or limit it in any way. He will join to it all the power that God has given Him, to make each little gift of love a source of healing for everyone.

Each little gift you offer to the other lights up the world. Be not concerned with darkness; look away from it, and toward each other. And let the darkness be dispelled by Him Who knows the light, and lays it gently in each quiet smile of faith and confidence with which you bless each other.

On your learning depends the welfare of the world.

And it is only arrogance that would deny the power of your will. Think you the Will of God is powerless? Is this humility? You do not see what this belief has done.

You see yourself as..

  • vulnerable,
  • frail and easily destroyed, and
  • at the mercy of countless attackers more powerful than you.

Let us look straight at how this error came about. For here lies buried the heavy anchor that seems to keep the fear of God in place, unmovable and solid as a rock. While this remains, so will it seem to be.

Oneness

Who can attack the Son of God and not attack his Father? How can God’s Son be weak and frail and easily destroyed unless his Father is? You do not see that every sin and every condemnation which you perceive and justify is an attack upon your Father. And that is why it has not happened, nor could be real.

You do not see that this is your attempt because you think the Father and the Son are separate.

And you must think that they are separate, because of fear. For it seems safer to attack another or yourself than to attack the great Creator of the universe, Whose power you know.

If you were one with God and recognized this oneness, you would know His power is yours. But you will not remember this while you believe attack of any kind means anything. It is unjustified in any form because it has no meaning. The only way it could be justified (have meaning) is if each one of you were separate from the other, and all were separate from your Creator. For only then would it be possible to attack...

  • a part of the creation without the whole,
  • the Son without the Father; and
  • to attack another without yourself, or
  • hurt yourself without the other feeling pain.

And this belief you want. Yet wherein lies its value except in the desire to attack in safety?

Attack is neither safe nor dangerous. It is impossible. And this is so because the universe is one.

You would not choose attack on its reality if it were not essential to attack to see it separated from its maker. And thus it seems as if love could attack, and become fearful.

Only the different can attack. So you conclude because you can attack you must be different. Yet does the Holy Spirit explain this differently. because you are not different, you cannot attack. Either position is a logical conclusion, if only the different can attack. Either could be maintained, but never both. The only question to be answered to decide which must be true is whether you are different. From the position of what you understand, you seem to be, and therefore can attack. Of the alternatives, this seems more natural and more in line with your experience. And therefore it is necessary that you have other experiences, more in line with truth, to teach you what IS natural and true.

This is the function of your holy relationship. For what one thinks the other will experience with him. What can this mean except your minds are one? Look not with fear upon this happy fact, and think not that it lays a heavy burden on you. For when you have accepted it with gladness, you will realize that your relationship is a reflection of the union of the Creator and His Son.

From loving minds there is no separation. And every thought in one brings gladness to the other because they are the same. Joy is unlimited because each shining thought of love extends its being, and creates more of itself. There is no difference anywhere in it, for every thought is like itself.

The light that joins you shines throughout the universe, and because it joins you, so it makes you one with your Creator. And in Him is all creation joined. Would you regret you cannot fear alone, when your relationship can also teach the power of love is there, which makes all fear impossible? Do not attempt to keep a little of the ego with this gift. For it was given you to be used, and not obscured. What teaches you you cannot separate denies the ego. Let truth decide if you be different or the same, and teach you which is true.

 

 
 

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