Chapter Seven: The Consistency of the Kingdom
XI. The Confusion of Strength and Weakness
101 You no more recognize what is painful than you know what is joyful and are in fact very apt to confuse the two. The Holy Spirit's main function is to teach you to tell them apart. However strange it may seem that this is necessary, it obviously is. The reason is equally obvious. What is joyful to you is painful to the ego and, as long as you are in doubt about what you are, you will be confused about joy and pain. This confusion is the cause of the whole idea of sacrifice. Obey the Holy Spirit, and you will be giving up the ego. But you will be sacrificing nothing. On the contrary, you will be gaining everything. If you believed this, there would be no conflict.
102 That is why you need to demonstrate the obvious to yourself. It is not obvious to you. You believe that doing the opposite of God's Will can be better for you. You also believe that it is possible to do the opposite of God's Will. Therefore, you believe that an impossible choice is open to you and one which is both very fearful and very desirable. Yet God wills. He does not wish. Your will is as powerful as His because it is His. The ego's wishes do not mean anything, because the ego wishes for the impossible. You can wish for the impossible, but you can will only with God. This is the ego's weakness and your strength.
103 The Holy Spirit always sides with you and with your strength. As long as you avoid His guidance in any way, you want to be weak. Yet weakness is frightening. What else, then, can this decision mean except that you want to be fearful? The Holy Spirit never asks for sacrifice, but the ego always does. When you are confused about this very clear distinction in motivation, it can only be due to projection. Projection of this kind is a confusion in motivation and, given this confusion, trust becomes impossible.
104 No one obeys gladly a guide he does not trust, but this does not mean that the guide is untrustworthy. In this case, it always means that the follower is. However, this too is merely a matter of his own belief. Believing that he can betray, he believes that everything can betray him. Yet this is only because he has elected to follow false guidance. Unable to follow this guidance without fear, he associates fear with guidance and refuses to follow any guidance at all. [If the result of this decision is confusion, this is hardly surprising.] The Holy Spirit is perfectly trustworthy, as you are. God Himself trusts you, and therefore your trustworthiness is beyond question. It will always remain beyond question, however much you may question it.
105 We said before that you are the Will of God. His Will is not an idle wish, and your identification with His Will is not optional, since it is what you are. Sharing His Will with me is not really open to choice, though it may seem to be. The whole separation lies in this fallacy. The only way out of the fallacy is to decide that you do not have to decide anything. Everything has been given you by God's decision. That is His Will, and you can not undo it. Even the relinquishment of your false decision-making prerogative, which the ego guards so jealously, is not accomplished by your wish. It was accomplished for you by the Will of God, Who has not left you comfortless. His Voice will teach you how to distinguish between pain and joy and will lead you out of the confusion which you have made. There is no confusion in the mind of a Son of God whose will must be the Will of the Father because the Father's Will is His Son.
106 Miracles are in accord with the Will of God Whose Will you do not know because you are confused about what you will. This means that you are confused about what you are. If you are God's Will and do not accept His Will, you are denying joy. The miracle is therefore a lesson in what joy is. Being a lesson in sharing, it is a lesson in love, which is joy. Every miracle is thus a lesson in truth, and by offering truth you are learning the difference between pain and joy.