59 Perhaps some of our concepts will become clearer and more personally meaningful if the ego's use of guilt is clarified. The ego has a purpose, just as the Holy Spirit has. The ego's purpose is
only the fearful can
be egotistic. The ego's logic is as impeccable as that of the Holy Spirit because your mind has all the means at its disposal to side with Heaven or earth, as it elects. But again, let us remember that both are in
you. In Heaven there is no guilt because the Kingdom is attained through the Atonement, which releases you to create. The word "create" is appropriate here because, once what
you have made is undone by the Holy Spirit, the blessed residue is restored and therefore continues in creation.
60 What is truly blessed is incapable of giving rise to guilt and
must give rise to joy. This makes it invulnerable to the ego because its peace is unassailable. It is invulnerable to disruption
because it is whole. Guilt is
always disruptive. Anything that engenders fear is divisive because it obeys the law of division. If the ego is the symbol of the separation, it is also the symbol of guilt. Guilt is more than merely not of God. It is the symbol of the
attack on God. This is a totally meaningless concept
except to the ego, but do not underestimate the power of the ego's belief in it. This is the belief from which
all guilt really stems.
61 The ego
is the part of the mind which believes in division. How can part of God detach itself
without believing it is attacking Him? We spoke before of the authority problem as involving the concept of
usurping God's power. The ego believes that this is what
you did because it believes it
is you. It follows, then, that if you identify
with the ego, you
must perceive yourself as guilty. Whenever you respond to your ego, you
will experience guilt and you
will fear punishment. The ego is quite literally a fearful thought.
62 However ridiculous the idea of attacking God may be to the
sane mind, never forget that the ego is
not sane. It represents a delusional system, and it speaks
for it. Listening to the ego's voice
means that you believe it is possible to attack God. You believe that a part of Him has been torn away by
you. The classic picture of fear of retaliation
from without then follows because the severity of the guilt is so acute that it
must be projected. Although Freud was wrong about the basic conflict itself, he was very accurate in describing its effects.
63 Whatever you accept
into your mind has reality for you. It is, however, only your
acceptance of it that makes it real. If you enthrone the ego in it, the fact that you have accepted it or allowed it to enter
makes it your reality. This is because the mind, as God created it,
is capable of creating reality. We said before that you must learn to think
with God. To think with Him is to think
like Him. This engenders joy, not guilt, because it is natural. Guilt is a sure sign that your thinking is
unnatural. Perverted thinking will
always be attended with guilt because it
is the belief in sin.
64 The ego does not perceive sin as a lack of love. It perceives sin as a
positive act of assault. This is an interpretation which is necessary to the ego's survival because as soon as you regard sin as a
lack you will automatically attempt to remedy the situation. And you will succeed. The ego regards this as doom, but
you must learn to regard it as freedom. The guiltless mind
cannot suffer. Being sane, it heals the body because
it has been healed. The sane mind cannot conceive of illness because it cannot conceive of attacking anyone or anything.
65 We said before that illness is a form of magic. It might be better to say that it is a form of magical solution. The ego believes that by punishing
itself it will mitigate the punishment of God. Yet even in this it is arrogant. It attributes to God a punishing intent, and then takes over this intent as its
own prerogative. It tries to usurp
all the functions of God as it perceives them because it recognizes that only total allegiance can be trusted.
66 The ego cannot
oppose the laws of God any more than
you can, but it can
interpret them according to what it wants, just as
you can. That is why the question, "What
do you want?" must be answered. You
are answering it every minute and every second, and each moment of decision is a judgment which is anything
but ineffectual. Its effects will follow automatically
until the decision is changed. This is repeated here because you have not learned it. But again, your decision can be
unmade as well as made. Remember, though, that the
alternatives are unalterable.
67 The Holy Spirit, like the ego, is a decision. Together they constitute all the alternatives which the mind can accept and obey. The ego and the Holy Spirit are the
only choices open to you. God created one, and so you
cannot eradicate it.
You made the other, and so you
Only what God creates is irreversible and unchangeable. What
you have made can always be changed because when you do not think
like God you are not really thinking at all. Delusional ideas are not real thoughts, although you
can believe in them. But you are wrong. The function of thought comes
from God and is
in God. As part of His Thought, you cannot think
apart from Him.
68 Irrational thought is a thought
disorder. God Himself orders your thought because your thought was created
by Him. Guilt feelings are always a sign that you do not know this. They also show that you believe you can think apart from God
and want to. Every thought disorder is attended by guilt at its inception and maintained by guilt in its continuance. Guilt is inescapable for those who believe they order their own thought and must therefore obey its orders. This makes them feel
responsible for their mind errors, without recognizing that by
accepting this responsibility they are really reacting irresponsibly. If the
sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself, and I assure you that it is, then the responsibility for what is atoned
69 The dilemma cannot be resolved except by accepting the solution of
would be responsible for the effects of all your wrong thinking if it could not be undone. The purpose of the Atonement is to save the past in purified form only. If you accept the remedy for a thought disorder, and a remedy whose efficacy is beyond doubt, how can its symptoms remain? You have reason to question the validity of symptom cure, but
no one believes that the symptoms can remain if the underlying
cause is removed.