here we believe there are alternatives
to choose between. We think that all things have
an opposite, and what we want we choose.
If Heaven exists there must be hell as well,
for contradiction is the way we make
what we perceive and what we think is real.|
Creation knows no opposite. But here
is opposition part of being "real."
It is this strange perception of the truth
that makes the choice of Heaven seem to be
the same as the relinquishment of hell.
It is not really thus. Yet what is true
in God's creation cannot enter here
unless it is reflected in some form
the world can understand. Truth cannot come
where it would only be perceived with fear,
for this would be the error truth can be
brought to illusions. Opposition makes
the truth unwelcome, and it cannot come.|
Choice is the obvious escape from what
appears as opposites. Decision lets
one of conflicting goals become the aim
of effort and expenditure of time.
Without decision, time is but a waste
and effort dissipated. It is spent
for nothing in return. And time goes by
without results. There is no sense of gain,
for nothing is accomplished; nothing learned.
You need to be reminded that you think
a thousand choices are confronting you
when there is really only one to make.
And even this but seems to be a choice.
Do not confuse yourself with all the doubts
that myriad decisions would induce.
You make but one. And when that one is made
you will perceive it was no choice at all,
for truth is true and nothing else is real.
There is no opposite to choose instead.
There is no contradiction to the truth.
Choosing depends on learning. But the truth
cannot be learned, but only recognized.
In recognition its acceptance lies,
and as it is accepted it is known.
But knowledge is beyond the goals we seek
to teach within the framework of this course.
Ours are teaching goals, to be attained
through learning how to reach them, what they are,
and what they offer you. Decisions are
the outcome of your learning, for they rest
on what you have accepted as the truth
of what you are and what your needs must be.
In this insanely complicated world
Heaven appears to take the form of choice,
rather than merely being what it is.
Of all the choices you have tried to make
this is the simplest, most definitive,
the prototype of all the rest, the one
which settles all decisions. If you could
decide the rest, this one remains unsolved.
But when you solve this one the others are
resolved with it, for all decisions but
conceal this one by taking different forms.
Here is the final and the only choice
in which is truth accepted or denied.
So we begin today considering
the choice that time was made to help us make.
Such is its holy purpose, now transformed
from the intent you gave it; that it be
a means for demonstrating hell is real,
hope changes to despair, and life itself
must in the end be overcome by death.
In death alone are opposites resolved,
for ending opposition is to die.
And thus salvation must be seen as death,
for life is seen as conflict. To resolve
the conflict is to end your life as well.
These mad beliefs can gain unconscious hold
of great intensity, and grip the mind
with terror and anxiety so strong
that it will not relinquish its ideas
about its own protection. It must be
saved from salvation, threatened to be safe,
and magically armored against truth.
And these decisions are made unaware,
to keep them safely undisturbed; apart
from question and from reason and from doubt.
Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice
cannot be made until alternatives
are accurately seen and understood.
All that is veiled in shadows must be raised
to understanding to be judged again,
this time with Heaven's help. And all mistakes
in judgment which the mind had made before
are open to correction as the truth
dismisses them as causeless. Now are they
without effects. They cannot be concealed
because their nothingness is recognized.
The conscious choice of Heaven is as sure
as is the ending of the fear of hell,
when it is raised from its protecting shroud
of unawareness, and is brought to light.
Who can decide between the clearly seen
and the unrecognized? Yet who can fail
to make a choice between alternatives
when only one is seen as valuable;
the other as a wholly worthless thing,
a but imagined source of guilt and pain?
Who hesitates to make a choice like this?
And shall we hesitate to choose today?
We make the choice for Heaven as we wake,
and spend five minutes making sure that we
have made the one decision that is sane.
We recognize we make a conscious choice
between what has existence and what has
nothing but an appearance of the truth.
Its pseudo-being brought to what is real,
is flimsy and transparent in the light.
It holds no terror now, for what was made
enormous, vengeful, pitiless with hate,
demands obscurity for fear to be
invested there. Now it is seen
as but a foolish, trivial mistake.
Before we close our eyes in sleep tonight
we reaffirm the choice that we have made
each hour in between. And now we give
the last five minutes of our waking day
to the decision with which we awoke.
As every hour passed, we have declared
our choice again in a brief quiet time
devoted to maintaining sanity.
And finally we close the day with this,
acknowledging we chose but what we want:
Heaven is a decision I must make.
I make it now and will not change my mind,
because it is the only thing I want."