Day 170 - A Course in Miracles
Chapter Fifteen: The Purpose of Time
VIII. The Holy Instant and Communication
65 Beyond the poor attraction of the special love relationship and always obscured by it is the powerful attraction of the Father for His Son. There is no other love that can satisfy you, because there is no other love. This is the only love that is fully given and fully returned. Being complete, it asks nothing. Being wholly pure, everyone joined in it has everything. This is not the basis for any relationship in which the ego enters. For every relationship on which the ego embarks is special. The ego establishes relationships only to get something. And it would keep the giver bound to itself through guilt.
66 It is impossible for the ego to enter into any relationship without anger, for the ego believes that anger makes friends. This is not its statement, but it is its purpose. For the ego really believes that it can get and keep by making guilty. This is its one attraction; an attraction so weak that it would have no hold at all, except that no one recognizes it. For the ego always seems to attract through love and has no attraction at all to anyone who perceives that it attracts through guilt.
67 The sick attraction of guilt must be recognized for what it is. For having been made real to you, it is essential to look at it clearly, and by withdrawing your investment in it, to learn to let it go. No one would choose to let go what he believes has value. Yet the attraction of guilt has value to you only because you have not looked at what it is and have judged it completely in the dark. As we bring it to light, your only question will be why it was you ever wanted it. You have nothing to lose by looking open-eyed at this, for ugliness such as this belongs not in your holy mind. The host of God can have no real investment here.
68 We said before that the ego attempts to maintain and increase guilt, but in such a way that you do not recognize what it would do to you. For it is the ego's fundamental doctrine that what you do to others, you have escaped. The ego wishes no one well. Yet its survival depends on your belief that you are exempt from its evil intentions. It counsels, therefore, that if you are host to it, it will enable you to direct the anger that it holds outward, thus protecting you. And thus it embarks on an endless, unrewarding chain of special relationships, forged out of anger and dedicated to but one insane belief—that the more anger you invest outside yourself, the safer youbecome.
69 It is this chain that binds the Son of God to guilt, and it is this chain the Holy Spirit would remove from his holy mind. For the chain of savagery belongs not around the chosen host of God, who cannot make himself host to the ego. In the name of his release, and in the name of Him Who would release him, let us look more closely at the relationships which the ego contrives, and let the Holy Spirit judge them truly. For it is certain that, if you will look at them, you will offer them gladly to Him. What He can make of them, you do not know, but you will become willing to find out if you are willing, first, to perceive what you have made of them.
70 In one way or another, every relationship which the ego makes is based on the idea that by sacrificing itself, it becomes bigger. The "sacrifice," which it regards as purification, is actually the root of its bitter resentment. For it would much prefer to attack directly and avoid delaying what it really wants. Yet the ego acknowledges "reality" as it sees it and recognizes that no one could interpret direct attack as love. Yet to make guilty is direct attack but does not seem to be. For the guilty expect attack, and having asked for it, they are attracted to it.
71 In these insane relationships, the attraction of what you do not want seems to be much stronger than the attraction of what you do. For each one thinks that he has sacrificed something to the other and hates him for it. Yet this is what he thinks he wants. He is not in love with the other at all. He merely believes he is in love with sacrifice.And for this sacrifice, which he demanded of himself, he demands the other accept the guilt and sacrifice himself as well. Forgiveness becomes impossible, for the ego believes that to forgive another is to lose him. For it is only by attack without forgiveness that the ego can ensure the guilt which holds all its relationships together.
72 Yet they only seem to be together. For relationships, to the ego, mean only that bodies are together. It is always physical closeness that the ego demands, and it does not object where the mind goes or what it thinks, for this seems unimportant. As long as the body is there to receive its sacrifice, it is content. To the ego, the mind is private, and only the body can be shared. Ideas are basically of no concern, except as they draw the body of another closer or farther. And it is in these terms that it evaluates ideas as good or bad. What makes another guilty and holds him through guilt is "good." What releases him from guilt is "bad," because he would no longer believe that bodies communicate, and so he would be "gone."
73 Suffering and sacrifice are the gifts with which the ego would "bless" all unions. And those who are united at its altar accept suffering and sacrifice as the price of union. In their angry alliances, born of the fear of loneliness and yet dedicated to the continuance of loneliness, they seek relief from guilt by increasing it in the other. For they believe that this decreases it in them. The other seems always to be attacking and wounding them, perhaps in little ways, perhaps "unconsciously," yet never without demand of sacrifice. The fury of those joined at the ego's altar far exceeds your awareness of it. For what the ego really wants, you do not realize.
74 Whenever you are angry, you can be sure that you have formed a special relationship which the ego has "blessed," for anger is its blessing. Anger takes many forms, but it cannot long deceive those who will learn that love brings no guilt at all, and what brings guilt cannot be love and must be anger. All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty, and this attempt is the only basis which the ego accepts for special relationships. Guilt is the only need the ego has, and as long as you identify with it, guilt will remain attractive to you.
75 Yet remember this—to be with a body is not communication. And if you think it is, you will feel guilty about communication and will be afraid to hear the Holy Spirit, recognizing in His voice your own need to communicate. The Holy Spirit cannot teach through fear. And how can He communicate with you while you believe that to communicate is to make yourself alone? It is clearly insane to believe that by communicating you will be abandoned. And yet you do believe it. For you think that your minds must be kept private or you will lose them, and if your bodies are together your minds remain your own. The union of bodies thus becomes the way in which you would keep minds apart. For bodies cannot forgive. They can only do as the mind directs.
76 The illusion of the autonomy of the body and its ability to overcome loneliness is but the working of the ego's plan to establish its own autonomy. As long as you believe that to be with a body is companionship, you will be compelled to attempt to keep your brother in his body, held there by guilt. And you will see safety in guilt and danger in communication. For the ego will always teach that loneliness is solved by guilt and that communication is the cause of loneliness. And despite the evident insanity of this lesson, you have learned it.
77 Forgiveness lies in communication as surely as damnation lies in guilt. It is the Holy Spirit's teaching function to instruct those who believe that communication is damnation that communication is salvation. And He will do so, for the power of God in Him and you is joined in real relationship, so holy and so strong that it can overcome even this without fear. It is through the holy instant that what seems impossible is accomplished, making it evident that it is not impossible. In the holy instant, guilt holds no attraction, since communication has been restored. And guilt, whose only purpose is to disrupt communication, has no function here.
78 Here there is no concealment and no private thoughts. The willingness to communicate attracts communication to it and overcomes loneliness completely. There is complete forgiveness here, for there is no desire to exclude anyone from your completion in sudden recognition of the value of his part in it. In the protection of your wholeness, all are invited and made welcome. And you understand that your completion is God's, Whose only need is to have you be complete. For your completion makes you His in your awareness. And here it is that you experience yourself as you were created and as you are.
L e s s o n 170
There is no cruelty in God and none in me.
1 No one attacks without intent to hurt. This can have no exception. When you think that you attack in self defense, you mean that to be cruel is protection; you are safe because of cruelty. You mean that you believe to hurt another brings you freedom. And you mean that to attack is to exchange the state in which you are for something better, safer, more secure from dangerous invasion and from fear.
2 How thoroughly insane is the idea that to defend from fear is to attack! For here is fear begot and fed with blood, to make it grow and swell and rage. And thus is fear protected, not escaped. Today we learn a lesson which can save you more delay and needless misery than you can possibly imagine. It is this:
3 You make what you defend against, and by
your own defense against it, is it real
and inescapable. Lay down your arms,
and only then do you perceive it false.
4 It seems to be the enemy without that you attack. Yet your defense sets up an enemy within—an alien thought at war with you, depriving you of peace, splitting your mind into two camps which seem wholly irreconcilable. For love now has an "enemy," an opposite; and fear, the alien, now needs your defense against the threat of what you really are.
5 If you consider carefully the means by which your fancied self-defense proceeds on its imagined way, you will perceive the premises on which the idea stands. First, it is obvious ideas must leave their source. For it is you who make attack and must have first conceived of it. Yet you attack outside yourself and separate your mind from him who is to be attacked with perfect faith the split you made is real.
6 Next are the attributes of love bestowed upon its "enemy." For fear becomes your safety and protector of your peace, to which you turn for solace and escape from doubts about your strength and hope of rest in dreamless quiet. And as love is shorn of what belongs to it and it alone, love is endowed with attributes of fear. For love would ask you lay down all defense as merely foolish. And your arms indeed would crumble into dust. For such they are.
7 With love as enemy must cruelty become a god, and gods demand that those who worship them obey their dictates and refuse to question them. Harsh punishment is meted out relentlessly to those who ask if the demands are sensible or even sane. It is their enemies who are unreasonable and insane, while they are always merciful and just.
8 Today we look upon this cruel god dispassionately. And we note that though his lips are smeared with blood and fire seems to flame from him, he is but made of stone. He can do nothing. We need not defy his power. He has none. And those who see in him their safety have no guardian, no strength to call upon in danger, and no mighty warrior to fight for them.
9 This moment can be terrible. But it can also be the time of your release from abject slavery. You make a choice, standing before this idol, seeing him exactly as he is. Will you restore to love what you have sought to wrest from it and lay before this mindless piece of stone? Or will you make another idol to replace it? For the god of cruelty takes many forms. Another can be found.
10 Yet do not think that fear is the escape from fear. Let us remember what the course has stressed about the obstacles to peace. The final one, the hardest to believe, is nothing, and a seeming obstacle with the appearance of a solid block, impenetrable, fearful and beyond surmounting, is the fear of God Himself. Here is the basic premise which enthrones the thought of fear as god. For fear is loved by those who worship it, and love appears to be invested now with cruelty.
11 Where does the totally insane belief in gods of vengeance come from? Love has not confused its attributes with those of fear. Yet must the worshippers of fear perceive their own confusion in fear's "enemy," its cruelty as now a part of love. And what becomes more fearful than the heart of Love Itself? The blood appears to be upon His Lips; the fire comes from Him. And He is terrible above all else, cruel beyond conception, striking down all who acknowledge Him to be their God.
12 The choice you make today is certain. For you look for the last time upon this bit of carven stone you made and call it god no longer. You have reached this place before, but you have chosen that this cruel god remain with you in still another form, and so the fear of God returned with you. This time you leave it here. And you return to a new world unburdened by its weight; beheld not in its sightless eyes but in the vision that your choice restored to you.
13 Now do your eyes belong to Christ, and He looks through them. Now your voice belongs to God and echoes His. And now your heart remains at peace forever. You have chosen Him in place of idols, and your attributes, given by your Creator, are restored to you at last. The Call of God is heard and answered. Now has fear made way for love, as God Himself replaces cruelty.
14 Father, we are like You. No cruelty abides in us for there is none in You. Your peace is ours. And we bless the world with what we have received from You alone. We choose again and make our choice for all our brothers, knowing they are one with us. We bring them Your salvation as we have received it now. And we give thanks for them who render us complete. In them we see Your glory, and in them we find our peace. Holy are we because Your holiness has set us free. And we give thanks. Amen.
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A Daily Miracle Lesson
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