Chapter Thirteen: From Perception to Knowledge
VII. The Happy Learner
54 The Holy Spirit needs a happy learner in whom His mission can be happily accomplished. You who are steadfastly devoted to misery must first recognize that you are miserable and not happy. The Holy Spirit cannot teach without this contrast, for you believe that misery is happiness. This has so confused you that you have undertaken to learn to do what you can never do, believing that unless you learn it, you will not be happy. You do not realize that the foundation on which this most peculiar learning goal depends means absolutely nothing. It does make sense to you.
55 Have faith in nothing, and you will find the "treasure" that you sought. Yet you will add another burden to your mind, already burdened or you would not have sought another. You will believe that nothing is of value and will value it. A little piece of glass, a speck of dust, a body or a war are one to you. For if you value one thing made of nothing, you have believed that nothing can be precious and that you can learn how to make the untrue true.
56 The Holy Spirit, seeing where you are but knowing you are elsewhere, begins His lesson in simplicity with the fundamental teaching that truth is true. This is the hardest lesson you will ever learn, and in the end the only one. Simplicity is very difficult for twisted minds. Consider all the distortions you have made of nothingall the strange forms and feelings and actions and reactions that you have woven out of it. Nothing is so alien to you as the simple truth, and nothing are you less inclined to listen to. The contrast between what is true and what is not is perfectly apparent, yet you do not see it.
57 The simple and the obvious are not apparent to those who would make palaces and royal robes of nothing, believing they are kings with golden crowns because of them. All this the Holy Spirit sees and teaches simply that all this is not true. To these unhappy learners who would teach themselves nothing and delude themselves into believing that it is not nothing, the Holy Spirit says, with steadfast quietness:
59 Like you, the Holy Spirit did not make truth. Like God, He knows it to be true. He brings the light of truth into the darkness and lets it shine on you. And as it shines, your brothers see it, and realizing that this light is not what you have made, they see in you more than you see. They will be happy learners of the lesson which this light brings to them because it teaches them release from nothing and from all the works of nothing. The heavy chains which seem to bind them unto despair they do not see as nothing until you bring the light to them. And then they see the chains have disappeared, and so they must have been nothing. And you will see it with them. Because you taught them gladness and release, they will become your teachers in release and gladness.
60 When you teach anyone that truth is true, you learn it with him. And so you learn that what seemed hardest was the easiest. Learn to be happy learners. You will never learn how to make nothing everything. Yet see that this has been your goal and recognize how foolish it has been. Be glad it is undone, for when you look at it in simple honesty, it is undone. We said before, "Be not content with nothing," for you have believed that nothing could content you. It is not so.
61 If you would be a happy learner, you must give everything that you have learned over to the Holy Spirit to be unlearned for you. And then begin to learn the joyous lessons that come quickly on the firm foundation that truth is true. For what is builded there is true and built on truth. The universe of learning will open up before you in all its gracious simplicity. With truth before you, you will not look back.
62 The happy learner meets the conditions of learning here, as he also meets the conditions of knowledge in the Kingdom. All this lies in the Holy Spirit's plan to free you from the past and open up the way to freedom for you. For truth is true. What else could ever be or ever was? This simple lesson holds the key to the dark door which you believe is locked forever. You made this door of nothing and behind it is nothing. The key is only the light which shines away the shapes and forms and fears of nothing. Accept this key to freedom from the hands of Christ Who gives it to you that you may join Him in the holy task of bringing light to darkness. For, like your brothers, you do not realize the light has come and freed you from the sleep of darkness.
63 Behold your brothers in their freedom and learn of them how to be free of darkness. The light in you will waken them, and they will not leave you asleep. The vision of Christ is given the very instant that it is perceived. Where everything is clear, it is all holy. The quietness of its simplicity is so compelling that you will realize it is impossible to deny the simple truth. For there is nothing else. God is everywhere, and His Son is in Him with everything. Can he sing the dirge of sorrow when this is true?