FRIDAY July 1, 2016
Specialness and Guilt
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 16 THE FORGIVENESS OF ILLUSIONS
VI. SPECIALNESS AND GUILT   
    
49 Most curious of all is the concept of the self which the ego fosters in the special relationship. This "self" seeks the relationship to make itself complete. Yet when it finds the special relationship in which it thinks it can accomplish this, it gives itself away and tries to "trade" itself for the self of another. This is not union, for there is no increase and no extension. Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer. And he feels guilty for the "sin" of taking and of giving nothing of value in return. For how much value can he place upon a self that he would give away to get a better one?  
A COURSE IN MIRACLES 
WORKBOOK Part I 
INTRODUCTION to LESSONS 181-200
Introduction to Lesson 181-200
  <AUDIO><VIDEO> 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER?

1
Our next few lessons make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong, your scattered goals blend into one intent. You are not asked for total dedication all the time, as yet. But you are asked to practice now in order to attain the sense of peace such unified commitment will bestow, if only intermittently. It is experiencing this which makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth.

2
Our lessons now are geared specifically to widening horizons and direct approaches to the special blocks which keep your vision narrow and too limited to let you see the value of our goal. We are attempting now to lift these blocks, however briefly. Words alone can not convey the sense of liberation which their lifting brings. But the experience of freedom and of peace that comes as you give up your tight control of what you see speaks for itself. Your motivation will be so intensified that words become of little consequence. You will be sure of what you want and what is valueless.

3
And so we start our journey beyond words by concentrating first on what impedes our progress still. Experience of what exists beyond defensiveness remains beyond achievement while it is denied. It may be there, but you cannot accept its presence. So we now attempt to go past all defenses for a little while each day. No more than this is asked because no more than this is needed. It will be enough to guarantee the rest will come.

  
CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT ~ COMMENTARY on INTRODUCTION
          
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DAILY LESSON
L e s s o n 182
I will be still a moment and go home.*  
 Set to MUSIC by Martin Weber-Caspers

<AUDIO><VIDEO>

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER?  

   This world you seem to live in is not home  
   to you. And somewhere in your mind you know
   that this is true. A memory of home
   keeps haunting you, as if there were a place
   which calls you to return although you do
   not recognize the Voice, nor what it is
   the Voice reminds you of. Yet still you feel
   an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.
   Nowhere so definite that you could say
   with certainty you are an exile here:
   just a persistent feeling, sometimes not
   more than a tiny throb, at other times
   hardly remembered, actively dismissed,
   but surely to return to mind again.
 
   No-one but knows whereof we speak. But some
   try to put by their suffering in games
   they play to occupy their time and keep
   their sadness from them. Others will deny
   that they are sad, and do not recognize
   their tears at all. Still others will maintain
   that what we speak of is illusion, not
   to be considered more than but a dream.
   Yet who in simple honesty, without
   defensiveness and self deception, would
   deny he understands the words we speak?
 
   We speak today for everyone who walks
   this world, for he is not at home. He goes
   uncertainly about in endless search,
   seeking in darkness what he cannot find;
   not recognizing what it is he seeks.
   A thousand homes he makes, yet none contents
   his restless mind. He does not understand
   he builds in vain. The home he seeks can not
   be made by him. There is no substitute
   for Heaven. All he ever made was hell.
 
   Perhaps you think it is your childhood home
   that you would find again. The childhood of
   your body and its place of shelter are
   a memory now so distorted that
   you merely hold a picture of a past
   which never happened. Yet there is a Child
   in you Who seeks His Father's house, and knows
   that He is alien here. This Childhood is
   eternal, with an innocence which will
   endure forever. Where this Child shall go
   is holy ground. It is His holiness
   that lights up Heaven, and that brings to earth
   the pure reflection of the light above
   wherein are earth and Heaven joined as one.
 
   It is this Child in you your Father knows
   as His Own Son. It is this Child Who knows
   His Father. He desires to go home
   so deeply, so unceasingly, His Voice
   cries unto you to let Him rest a while.
   He does not ask for more than just a few
   instants of respite; just an interval
   in which He can return to breathe again
   the holy air that fills His Father's house.
   You are His home as well. He will return.
   But give Him just a little time to be
   Himself, within the peace that is His home,
   resting in silence and in peace and love.
 
    This Child needs your protection. He is far
   from home. He is so little that He seems
   so easily shut out, His tiny Voice
   so readily obscured, His calls for help
   almost unheard amid the grating sounds
   and harsh and rasping noises of the world.
   Yet does He know that in you still abides
   His sure protection. You will fail Him not.
   He will go home, and you along with Him.
 
   This Child is your defenselessness, your strength.
   He trusts in you. He came because He knew
   you would not fail. He whispers of His home
   unceasingly to you. For He would bring
   you back with Him that He Himself might stay,
   and not return again where He does not
   belong, and where He lives as outcast in
   a world of alien thoughts. His patience has
   no limits. He will wait until you hear
   His gentle Voice within you, calling you
   to let Him go in peace along with you
   to where He is at home, and you with Him.
 
   When you are still an instant, when the world
   recedes from you, when valueless ideas
   cease to have value in your restless mind,
   then will you hear His Voice. So poignantly
   He calls to you that you will not resist
   Him longer. In that instant, He will take
   you to His home, and you will stay with Him
   in perfect stillness, silent and at peace,
   beyond all words, untouched by fear and doubt,
   sublimely certain that you are at home.
 
   Rest with Him frequently today. For He
   was willing to become a little child
   that you might learn of Him how strong is he
   who comes without defenses, offering
   only love's messages to those who think
   He is their enemy. He holds the might
   of Heaven in His hand and calls them friend,
   and gives His strength to them that they may see
   He would be Friend to them. He asks that they
   protect Him, for His home is far away,
   and He will not return to it alone.
 
   Christ is reborn as but a little Child
   each time a wanderer would leave his home.
   For he must learn that what he would protect
   is but this Child, Who comes defenseless and
   Who is protected by defenselessness.
   Go home with Him from time to time today.
   You are as much an alien here as He.
 
   Take time today to lay aside your shield
   which profits nothing, and lay down the spear
   and sword you raise against an enemy
   without existence. Christ has called you friend
   and brother. He has even come to you
   to ask your help in letting Him go home
   completed and completely. He has come
   as does a little child, who must beseech
   his father for protection and for love.
   He rules the universe, and yet He asks
   unceasingly that you return with Him
   and take illusions as your gods no more.
 
   You have not lost your innocence. It is
   for this you yearn. This is your heart's desire.
   This is the Voice you hear, and this the Call
   which cannot be denied. The holy Child
   remains with you. His home is yours. Today
   He gives you His defenselessness, and you
   accept it in exchange for all the toys
   of battle you have made. And now the way
   is open, and the journey has an end
   in sight at last. Be still a moment and
   go home with Him and be at peace a while.
  
*Some Original Editions have Lesson 182 as
"I call upon God's Name and on my own."
 These will be corrected in the next printing. 
 The correct wording for Lesson 182 is:
"I will be still a moment and go home."
 
 

      ~ The Original Handscript Notes
   
 
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 182

I will be still a moment and go home .

Sarah's Commentary: 
 
The words are so poetic and poignant in today's Lesson, but before I get to my thoughts on this Lesson, it may be of value to remember this. We are now preparing to go beyond words and toward experience to achieve a state of stillness and quiet, in an interval out of time in which we withdraw from the world. This is an experience of the holy instant, which gives us a foretaste of Heaven. It is a transformative experience of deep peace and joy. When we return to the world, we now see everything in a new way.
 
These Lessons are all about removing the blocks that keep the love we are away from our awareness. These blocks are ego defenses. Our defenses reflect our fear and resistance to change. We are actually afraid to know who we are, as we were created by God. We believe we want the experience of the eternal Self, yet the ego guards us against this, since the ego knows this would be its end. To know our Identity is to choose to release the ego. We still identify with this special, unique, individual self, and we still want to maintain control over our experience. We fear love though we say we want it. Why? Because, ultimately, it is the end of the familiar self we know. When we surrender our idea of what will bring us happiness and listen to what Jesus is telling us, the firm grip we hold on the reality of this world is released. When we have the experience of the holy instant and feel the peace and joy available to us, our motivation and commitment are strengthened. It means letting go of our way and our control over our lives and trusting in the Holy Spirit as our Guide. We come to trust this inner knowing.
 
Our goal now is to strengthen our commitment and our willingness to know the truth. All of us have fear about awakening to the truth of who we are, which is reflected in how we drag our feet and resist the Lessons. We still want what the ego has to offer, while also wanting the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but this creates conflict in our minds. The ego is threatened and will resist this teaching. It is therefore a relief to us when Jesus tells us we are not being asked for total dedication as yet. We have many scattered goals.
 
By ". . . firming up our willingness," (W.PI.IN.181-200.1.1) we are now bringing these scattered goals to a single purpose. Jesus assures us we will all come to this place, but right now it is unwise to force ourselves because this brings guilt and fear when we fall short. Clearly, it is unproductive to beat up on ourselves for not being where we think we should be. If we listen to this voice, we are listening to the ego chastise us for our lack of progress. We are exactly where we need to be. To seek for what we think we want is to put the ego in charge. We have been continually assured the final outcome is certain, so it is better to be gentle with ourselves, while staying as disciplined and focused as possible.
 
The Lesson today continues with the theme of the holy instant. Yesterday the theme was about forgiveness of our brothers. In today's Lesson, Jesus is talking about our awakening from this dream and returning home. Forgiveness is the means to that end. Here, Jesus is reminding us the world is not our home, yet we do whatever we can to be at home in this world. We have adjusted to living in the world, making it a place of comfort for ourselves and adapting to the requirements that have been imposed on us to conform to it, as much as we are able. Yet somewhere inside us all is a sense this is not our home. We all feel like aliens here. (W.182.2.1) We are like the Prodigal Son, who left his father's house and squandered the treasure he was given. He thought he wanted the independence, just as we do, but he ended up living in a pigsty.
 
To pray to God to improve the pigsty and make it a happier place would only keep the Son stuck in the world. His joy came from returning to his father, who greeted him with great joy at his homecoming. To put all our attention on working to improve this illusion and trying to make this place more comfortable for ourselves, just keeps us from our true home. It is not wrong to seek comforts in this world, but no matter how comfortable we make it for ourselves, the world will never deliver the deep peace we seek. Even a relationship, which seems to be made in Heaven, can actually be an obstacle to our awakening, because our motivation to undertake this journey is considerably decreased when we create our own seeming Heaven on earth. And this is why the special relationship is called the ego's most boasted gift, because it is a substitute for God.
 
Do you recognize the feeling of not fitting in, not feeling at home here? We think this makes us different from others, who do seem to do well in the world. We may start to think there is something wrong with us, because we just can't adjust to this world. Many of us have felt this way for our entire lives. Now Jesus tells us this is the case for everyone, no matter how it may look. On my son's last trip home for his twenty-year high school reunion, he commented on how most of his former classmates seemed more settled into the world than was the case for him. Most were married with children; many were living in the community in which they resided during their school years and working at regular jobs. My son had never really felt as though he fit in at school and neither did he feel that he fit the mold he observed among his friends. When we feel we do not fit in, we start to wonder what is wrong with us. Jesus reminds us there is great value in coming to the realization that we actually do not fit in here. The truth is none of us fit in this world. Yet not everyone has come to the awareness that not fitting in the world is a gift, as it motivates us to find our way to our true home.
 
We have a sense there is a place where we do belong. We all have this sense that somewhere there is a place where we once did feel at home. This is what the Forgotten Song speaks to us about. "Listen,---perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular." (T.21.I.6.1-2)(ACIM OE T.21.II.8)
 
This feeling, of not fitting in this world and longing to understand what was wrong, was the beginning of my searching. While on the outside, things seemed to look fine. I just did not feel the sense of home I longed for. This feeling of angst started in my early childhood. It culminated in a sincere request of God, when I was about ten, to give me a sign that He existed or I would have to look for truth elsewhere. I did not get the sign I was looking for, and so I started to look elsewhere. I went to university to study psychology and sociology, looking for answers there. I participated in many self-inquiry activities, group therapy sessions, psychic activities, spiritual books, and channeled material. But while it was all helpful, I never found the deep answers I was searching for. My life was not getting better, and I became quite disillusioned by it all. Now I see it was all helpful, as the disillusionment kept me searching.
 
Jesus says there are many ways we distract ourselves from this feeling of loneliness and sadness. Some of us play games to occupy our time. (W.182.2.2) Others push the sadness so far from them that they do not even recognize their tears at all; (W.182.2.3) and others dismiss it all as an illusion. In other words, some will say the idea of God and Heaven is just a dream, a fantasy, and that this world is all there is. There are those who deny the fact they do not feel at home here. When we occupy ourselves with distractions, we can forget this calling for our home in Heaven, at least for a while. Some deny the sadness, always affirming they are happy to the point they ". . . do not recognize their tears at all." (W.182.2.3) It reminds me of someone who is trained in positive thinking and affirms every day how great they feel, while covering over their sadness. Until we acknowledge our sadness, we cannot do our healing. Others claim the world is wonderful and everything about it is beautiful. They claim it is a beautiful life. Yet the Lesson would suggest these people are in a state of deep denial, where they do not even recognize their tears and deep sadness.
 
We may look around and think there are people happy in the illusion, but Jesus clearly disputes this thought. "No one but knows whereof we speak." (W.182.2.1) There may be an illusion of happiness, but ultimately, we are told, everyone who walks this world is not at home here. (W.182.3.1) Thus, there are no exceptions to this reality. Any adjustment we make to this world, believing it can offer us something of value, is just an ". . . endless search, seeking in darkness what he cannot find; not recognizing what it is he seeks." (W.182.3.2)
 
We seem to be searching endlessly for happiness in this world; but the world is not where we will find it, for we are looking for it in the darkness. We are looking for this sense of home, of belonging, of happiness, of contentment, and of welcome in our relationships, workplaces, and activities, yet it is all elusive. Our happiness still seems to escape us and always will, according to this Lesson, because we are looking where it cannot be found. The deep contentment of "home" is not where we find ourselves, so we just keep hoping it will be in the next situation, the next job, the next relationship, the next car, and the next vacation; and so we keep seeking for it. We hang onto hopes and dreams for what will make us happy. We are endlessly searching, and the searching itself provides the evidence it is not here.
 
There is a poignant movie I saw years ago that speaks beautifully about our seeking for our home. It is reflected in the line, "Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again." (W.182.4.1) In this movie called, "Trip to Bountiful," an elderly woman is desperately trying to find her way back to her childhood home. I remember when I first saw this movie many years ago, I wept uncontrollably, obviously deeply feeling this same pull to return home. Jesus tells us this pull for our childhood home is a distorted desire to go home to our Father's house.
 
We have a home where we truly belong. It is a place we fit in perfectly---a place where we will eventually return because, while we think we have left it, we have only left our awareness of it. This Child ". . . desires to go home so deeply, so unceasingly, His voice cries unto you to let Him rest a while. He does not ask for more than just a few instants of respite; just an interval in which He can return to breathe again the holy air that fills His Father's house." (W.182.5.3-4) Our distractions and denial obscure the cries of this Child. In the holy instant, we breathe in the holy air and can experience the fact that we have a home we never left. We are still at home in God. The Child is the Christ, our true Self eternally awake. In the separation we seemed to drag this Child down from its holy place. This Child now appeals to us for respite, which becomes available when we enter the place of peace always in our minds and always accessible to us. When we feel the tiny throb of aloneness, it is this Child calling to us. It is the part of us that knows it is deeply unhappy. Jesus makes his appeal to us to recognize this deep unhappiness and to see he has an answer for us. The Answer is within all of us. All that is required is to no longer listen to the voice of the ego. The means we use are contemplation, meditation, and forgiveness.
 
Today, we are again asked to let our restless minds be still and our "valueless ideas" (W.182.8.1) be set aside. When we hold valueless ideas, we experience distress and anxiety. We are called to see they are meaningless and to let them go. The truth is in us. We do not have to seek for it. The presence of the Child in you is your inner strength. It is the truth about you. It is your invulnerability, which demonstrates to you there is nothing to defend against. "This Child is your defenselessness; your strength. He trusts in you. He came because He knew you would not fail. He whispers of His home unceasingly to you." (W.182.7.1-4) You are this Christ Child, but you believe you have made yourself into something else.
 
When we experience our innocence and our invulnerability, we will understand we need no defenses. We will trust we are always safe and always supported. "His patience has no limits. He will wait until you hear His gentle Voice within you, calling you to let Him go in peace, along with you, to where He is at home and you with Him." (W.182.7.6-7) This is achingly beautiful and speaks to the heart that yearns to know its Self again and to be resurrected in the holy instant.
 
We are the Child, believing we are separate from God and need to reconnect with what we seem to have lost. Our yearning is really for our lost innocence---our hearts desire, but Jesus assures us we cannot lose our innocence, though we do think it is lost to us. As we trust our brothers and see their innocence, we will know our own. "And who could weep but for his innocence?" (Psychotherapy Pamphlet-2.IV.1.7) In other words, the only tears we ever cry are for our own lost innocence. Think about it. All the tears we cry, no matter what we think we are crying about, are only for believing we are no longer innocent! We feel this need, to know again our innocence, so deeply and poignantly. Perhaps this is also why we react so defensively when we feel accused of something, or we feel misunderstood. We are just defending an innocence we fear we have lost, and yet we still want someone else to be responsible. It is reassuring to be told, "You have not lost your innocence. It is for this you yearn." (W.182.12.1-2) Today, let us ". . . exchange all the toys of battle we have made." (W.182.12.7) Let us "Be still an instant and go home with Him, and be at peace a while." (W.182.12.9)
 
Our home is found in the stillness. It is when we connect with the Divine within that we recognize, "It is the Child in you your Father knows as His Own Son." (W.182.5.1) The Christ Self we are is the strength in us that we can rely on. It requires our willingness and readiness to take the steps necessary to surrender the self. The Child is defenseless. It is the ego that needs defenses and keeps the shield up to protect itself from an ". . . enemy without existence." (W.182.11.1) Let us choose to take the time today to connect with the peace within, and stay in that place of rest for a while. When toys of battle come to tempt us during the day, we bring them to the truth, where they are replaced with gifts of peace. Bring all your dark thoughts to the Truth within, so the way can be opened up to love.

Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca

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VI. Specialness and Guilt 
 
43 In looking at the special relationship, it is necessary first to realize that it involves a great amount of pain. Anxiety, despair, guilt, and attack all enter into it, broken into by periods in which they seem to be gone. All these must be understood for what they are. Whatever form they take, they are always an attack on the self to make the other guilty. We have spoken of this before, but there are some aspects of what is really being attempted that we have not touched upon.
 
44 Very simply, the attempt to make guilty is always directed against God. For the ego would have you see Him, and Him alone, as guilty, leaving the Sonship open to attack and unprotected from it. The special love relationship is the ego's chief weapon for keeping you from Heaven. It does not appear to be a weapon, but if you consider how you value it and why, you will realize what it must be. The special love relationship is the ego's most boasted gift, and one which has the most appeal to those unwilling to relinquish guilt. The "dynamics" of the ego are clearest here, for counting on the attraction of this offering, the fantasies which center around it are often quite open. Here they are usually judged to be acceptable and even natural. No one considers it bizarre to love and hate together, and even those who believe that hate is sin merely feel guilty and do not correct it.
 
45 This is the "natural" condition of the separation, and those who learn that it is not natural at all seem to be the unnatural ones. For this world is the opposite of Heaven, being made to be its opposite, and everything here takes a direction exactly opposite of what is true. In Heaven, where the meaning of love is known, love is the same as union. Here, where the illusion of love is accepted in love's place, love is perceived as separation and exclusion.
 
46 It is in the special relationship, born of the hidden wish for special love from God, that the ego's hatred triumphs. For the special relationship is the renunciation of the love of God and the attempt to secure for the self the specialness which He denied. It is essential to the preservation of the ego that you believe this specialness is not hell, but Heaven. For the ego would never have you see that separation can only be loss, being the one condition in which Heaven cannot be.
 
47 To everyone Heaven is completion. There can be no disagreement on this because both the ego and the Holy Spirit accept it. They are, however, in complete disagreement on what completion is and how it is accomplished. The Holy Spirit knows that completion lies first in union and then in the extension of union. To the ego, completion lies in triumph and in the extension of the "victory" even to the final triumph over God. In this it sees the ultimate freedom of the self, for nothing would remain to interfere with it. This is its idea of Heaven. From this it follows that union, which is a condition in which the ego cannot interfere, must be hell.
 
48 The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven and making them indistinguishable. And the attempt to find the imagined "best" of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both and to the inability to perceive either one as it is. The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion. It is a kind of union from which union is excluded, and the basis for the attempt at union rests on exclusion. What better example could there be of the ego's maxim, "Seek but do not find?"
 
49 Most curious of all is the concept of the self which the ego fosters in the special relationship. This "self" seeks the relationship to make itself complete. Yet when it finds the special relationship in which it thinks it can accomplish this, it gives itself away and tries to "trade" itself for the self of another. This is not union, for there is no increase and no extension. Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer. And he feels guilty for the "sin" of taking and of giving nothing of value in return. For how much value can he place upon a self that he would give away to get a better one?
 
50 The "better" self the ego seeks is always one that is more special. And whoever seems to possess a special self is "loved" for what can be taken from him. Where both partners see this special self in each other, the ego sees "a union made in Heaven." For neither one will recognize that he has asked for hell, and so he will not interfere with the ego's illusion of Heaven, which it offered him to interfere with Heaven. Yet if all illusions are of fear, and they can be of nothing else, the illusion of Heaven is nothing more than an "attractive" form of fear in which the guilt is buried deep and rises in the form of "love."
 
51 The appeal of hell lies only in the terrible attraction of guilt, which the ego holds out to those who place their faith in littleness. The conviction of littleness lies in every special relationship, for only the deprived could value specialness. The demand for specialness and the perception of the giving of specialness as an act of love would make love hateful. And the real purpose of the special relationship, in strict accordance with the ego's goals, is to destroy reality and substitute illusion. For the ego is itself an illusion, and only illusions can be the witnesses to its "reality."
 
52 If you perceived the special relationship as a triumph over God, would you want it? Let us not think of its fearful nature nor of the guilt it must entail nor of the sadness and the loneliness. For these are only attributes of the whole religion of the separation and of the total context in which it is thought to occur. The central theme in its litany to sacrifice is that God must die so you can live. And it is this theme which is acted out in the special relationship. Through the death of your self, you think you can attack another self and snatch it from the other to replace the self which you despise. And you despise it because you do not think it offers the specialness which you demand. And hating it, you have made it little and unworthy because you are afraid of it.
 
53 How can you grant unlimited power to what you think you have attacked? So fearful has the truth become to you that unless it is weak and little, [and unworthy of value,] you would not dare to look upon it. You think it safer to endow the little self which you have made with power you wrested from truth, triumphing over it and leaving it helpless. See how exactly is this ritual enacted in the special relationship. An altar is erected in between two separate people on which each seeks to kill his self and on his body raise another self which takes its power from his death. Over and over and over this ritual is enacted. And it is never completed nor ever will be completed. For the ritual of completion cannot complete, and life arises not from death, nor Heaven from hell.
 
54 Whenever any form of special relationship tempts you to seek for love in ritual, remember love is content and not form of any kind. The special relationship is a ritual of form, aimed at the raising of the form to take the place of God at the expense of content. There is no meaning in the form, and there will never be. The special relationship must be recognized for what it is-a senseless ritual in which strength is extracted from the death of God and invested in His killer as the sign that form has triumphed over content and love has lost its meaning. Would you want this to be possible, even apart from its evident impossibility? For if it were possible, you would have made yourself helpless. God is not angry. He merely could not let this happen. You cannot change His Mind.
 
55 No rituals that you have set up in which the dance of death delights you can bring death to the eternal. Nor can your chosen substitute for the wholeness of God have any influence at all upon it. See in the special relationship nothing more than a meaningless attempt to raise other gods before Him and by worshiping them to obscure their tininess and His greatness. In the name of your completion, you do not want this. For every idol which you raise to place before Him stands before you in place of what you are.
 
56 Salvation lies in the simple fact that illusions are not fearful because they are not true. They but seem to be fearful to the extent to which you fail to recognize them for what they are, and you will fail to do this to the extent to which you want them to be true. And to the same extent you are denying truth, and so are making yourself unable to make the simple choice between truth and illusion, God and fantasy. Remember this and you will have no difficulty in perceiving the decision as just what it is and nothing more.
 
57 The core of the separation delusion lies simply in the fantasy of destruction of love's meaning. And unless love's meaning is restored to you, you cannot know yourself, who shares its meaning. Separation is only the decision not to know yourself. Its whole thought system is a carefully contrived learning experience designed to lead away from truth and into fantasy. Yet for every learning that would hurt you, God offers you correction and complete escape from all its consequences. The decision whether or not to listen to this course and follow it is but the choice between truth and illusion. For here is truth separated from illusion and not confused with it at all.
 
58 How simple does this choice become when it is perceived as only what it is. For only fantasies made confusion in choosing possible, and they are totally unreal. This year is thus the time to make the easiest decision that ever confronted you and also the only one. You will cross the bridge into reality simply because you will recognize that God is on the other side and nothing at all is here. It is impossible not to make the natural decision as this is realized.

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