Chapter Eight: The Journey Back
X. The Acceptance of Reality
90 Fear of the Will of God is one of the strangest beliefs that the human mind has ever made. This could not possibly have occurred unless the mind were already profoundly split, making it possible for the mind to be afraid of what it really is. It is apparent that reality cannot "threaten" anything except illusions, since reality can only uphold truth. The very fact that the Will of God, which is what you are, is perceived as fearful to you demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are. It is not, then, the Will of God of which you are afraid, but yours. Your will is not the ego's, and that is why the ego is against you. What seems to be the fear of God is really only the fear of your own reality.
91 It is impossible to learn anything consistently in a state of panic. If the purpose of this course is to learn what you are and if you have already decided that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet you might remember that the reason for the course is that you do not know who you are. If you do not know your reality, how would you know whether it is fearful or not?
92 The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what truth is. All that this kind of association means is that you are arbitrarily endowing something quite beyond your awareness with something you do not want. It is evident, then, that you are judging something of which you are totally unaware. You have set this strange situation up so that it is completely impossible to escape from it without a Guide Who does know what your reality is. The purpose of this Guide is merely to remind you of what you want. He is not attempting to force an alien will upon you. He is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your consciousness.
93 You have imprisoned your will in your unconscious, where it remains available but cannot help you. When we said that the Holy Spirit's function is to sort out the true from the false in your unconscious, we meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and perceive the Will of God there. His perception of this Will can make it real to you because He is in your mind and therefore He is your reality. If, then, His perception of your mind brings its reality to you, He is teaching you what you are.
94 The only source of fear in this whole process can only be what you think you lose. Yet it is only what the Holy Spirit sees that you can possibly have. We have emphasized many times that the Holy Spirit will never call upon you to sacrifice anything. But if you ask the sacrifice of reality of yourselves, the Holy Spirit must remind you that this is not God's Will because it is not yours. There is no difference between your will and God's. If you did not have split minds, you would recognize that willing is salvation because it is communication. It is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. You and your Creator can communicate through creation because that, and only that, is your joint Will.
95 Divided wills do not communicate because they speak for different things to the same mind. This loses the ability to communicate simply because confused communication does not mean anything. A message cannot be said to be communicated unless it makes sense. How sensible can your messages be when you ask for what you do not want? Yet as long as you are afraid of your will, this is precisely what you will ask for. You may insist that the Holy Spirit does not answer you, but it might be wiser to consider the kind of asker you are.
96 You do not ask only for what you want. This is solely because you are afraid you might receive it, and you would. That is really why you persist in asking the teacher who could not possibly teach you your will. Of him you can never learn it, and this gives you the illusion of safety. Yet you cannot be safe from truth but only in it. Reality is the only safety. Your will is your salvation because it is the same as God's. The separation is nothing more than the belief that it is different.
97 No mind can believe that its will is stronger than God's. If, then, a mind believes that its will is different from His, it can only decide either that there is no God or that God's Will is fearful. The former accounts for the atheist and the latter for the martyr. Martyrdom takes many forms, the category including all doctrines which hold that God demands sacrifices of any kind. Either basic type of insane decision will induce panic, because the atheist believes he is alone, and the martyr believes that God is crucifying him. Both really fear abandonment and retaliation, but the atheist is more reactive against abandonment and the martyr against retaliation.
98 The atheist maintains that God has left him, but he does not care. He will, however, become very fearful and hence very angry if anyone suggests that God has not left him. The martyr, on the other hand, is more aware of guilt and, believing that punishment is inevitable, attempts to teach himself to like it. The truth is, very simply, that no one wants either abandonment or retaliation. Many people seek both, but it is still true that they do not want them. Can you ask the Holy Spirit for "gifts" such as these and actually expect to receive them? [The Holy Spirit is totally incapable of giving you anything that does not come from God. His task is not to make anything for you.] He cannot make you want something you do not want. When you ask the Universal Giver for what you do not want, you are asking for what cannot be given, because it was never created. It was never created, because it was never your will for you.
99 Ultimately everyone must remember the Will of God because ultimately everyone must recognize himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God's are one. In the presence of truth, there are no unbelievers and no sacrifices. In the security of reality, fear is totally meaningless. To deny what is can only seem to be fearful. Fear cannot be real without a cause, and God is the only Cause. God is Love, and you do want Him. This is your will. Ask for this and you will be answered because you will be asking only for what belongs to you.
100 When you ask the Holy Spirit for what would hurt you, He cannot answer, because nothing can hurt you and so you are asking for nothing. Any desire which stems from the ego is a desire for nothing and to ask for it is not a request. It is merely a denial in the form of a request. The Holy Spirit is not concerned with form at all, being aware only of meaning. The ego cannot ask the Holy Spirit for anything because there is complete communication failure between them. Yet you can ask for everything of the Holy Spirit because your requests are real, being of your will. Would the Holy Spirit deny the Will of God? And could He fail to recognize it in His Sons?
101 The energy which you withdraw from creation you expend on fear. This is not because your energy is limited but because you have limited it. You do not recognize the enormous waste of energy which you expend in denying truth. What would you say of someone who persisted in attempting the impossible, believing that to achieve it is success? The belief that you must have the impossible in order to be happy is totally at variance with the principle of creation. God could not will that happiness depended on what you could never have.
102 The fact that God is love does not require belief, but it does require acceptance. It is indeed possible for you to deny facts, although it is impossible for you to change them. If you hold your hands over your eyes, you will not see, because you are interfering with the laws of seeing. If you deny love, you will not know it, because your cooperation is the law of its being. You cannot change laws you did not make, and the laws of happiness were created for you, not by you.
103 Attempts of any kind to deny what is are fearful, and if they are strong, they will induce panic. Willing against reality, though impossible, can be made into a very persistent goal, even though you do not want it. But consider the result of this strange decision. You are devoting your mind to what you do not want. How real can this devotion be? If you do not want it, it was never created. If it was never created, it is nothing. Can you really devote yourself to nothing?
104 God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise, you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and therefore you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal, because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create. Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.
105 Remember, then, that God's Will is already possible and nothing else will ever be. This is the simple acceptance of reality because only this is real. You cannot distort reality and know what it is. And if you do distort reality, you will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimately panic, because you are trying to make yourself unreal. When you feel these things, do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say, therefore,