Chapter Ten: God and the Ego
VIII. The Problem and the Answer
69 The world as you perceive it cannot have been created by the Father, for the world is not as you see it. God created only the eternal, and everything you see is perishable. Therefore, there must be another world which you do not see. The Bible speaks of a new Heaven and a new earth, yet this cannot be literally true, for the eternal are not re-created. To perceive anew is merely to perceive again, implying that before, or in the interval, you were not perceiving at all. What, then, is the world that awaits your perception when you see it?
70 Every loving thought that the Son of God ever had is eternal. Those which his mind perceived in this world are the world's only reality. They are still perceptions because he still believes that he is separate. Yet they are eternal because they are loving. And being loving, they are like the Father and therefore cannot die. The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else. For if you perceive both good and evil, you are accepting both the false and the true and making no distinction between them.
71 The ego sees some good but never only good. That is why its perceptions are so variable. It does not reject goodness entirely, for that you could not accept, but it always adds something that is not real to the real, thus confusing illusion and reality. For perceptions cannot be partly true. If you believe in truth and illusion, you cannot tell which is true. To establish your personal autonomy, you tried to create unlike your Father, believing what you made to be capable of being unlike Him. Yet everything in what you have made that is true is like Him. Only this is the real world, and perceiving only this will lead you to the real Heaven because it will make you capable of understanding it.
72 The perception of goodness is not knowledge, but the denial of the opposite of goodness enables you to perceive a condition in which opposites do not exist. And this is the condition of knowledge. Without this awareness, you have not met its conditions, and until you do you will not know that it is yours already. You have made many ideas which you have placed between yourselves and your Creator, and these beliefs are the world as you perceive it. Truth is not absent here, but it is obscure. You do not know the difference between what you have made and what God created, and so you do not know the difference between what you have made and what you have created.
73 To believe that you can perceive the real world is to believe that you can know yourself. You can know God because it is His Will to be known. The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.
74 This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel that a course which, in the end, teaches nothing more than that only reality is true is necessary. But do you believe it? When you have perceived the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you only an instant to realize that this judgment is true.
75 And then everything you made will be forgotten, the good and the bad, the false and the true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The re-interpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge. The Bible tells you to become as little children. Little children recognize that they do not understand what they perceive, and so they ask what it means. Do not make the mistake of believing that you understand what you perceive, for its meaning is lost to you. Yet the Holy Spirit has saved its meaning for you, and if you will let Him interpret it for you, He will restore what you have thrown away. As long as you think you know its meaning, you will see no need to ask it of Him.
76 You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning. You are not misguided; you have accepted no guide at all. Instruction in perception is your great need, for you understand nothing. Recognize this but do not accept it, for understanding is your inheritance. Perceptions are learned, and you are not without a Teacher. Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you have learned of yourself, for you who have learned amiss should not be your own teachers.
77 No one can withhold truth except from himself. Yet God will not refuse the answer He gave you. Ask, then, for what is yours but which you did not make, and do not defend yourself against truth. You made the problem which God has answered. Ask yourselves, therefore, but one simple question
79 Decide for the answer and you will have it, for you will see it as it is, and it is yours already.
80 You complain that this course is not sufficiently specific for you to understand it and use it. Yet it has been very specific, and you have not done what it specifically advocates. This is not a course in the play of ideas, but in their practical application. Nothing could be more specific than to be told very clearly that if you ask you will receive. The Holy Spirit will answer every specific problem as long as you believe that problems are specific. His answer is both many and one, as long as you believe that the one is many. Realize that you are afraid of His specificity for fear of what you think it will demand of you. Yet only by asking will you learn that nothing that is of God demands anything of you. God gives; He does not take.
81 You are refusing to ask because you believe that asking is taking, and you do not perceive it as sharing. The Holy Spirit will give you only what is yours and will take nothing in return. For what is yours is everything, and you share it with God. This is its reality. Would the Holy Spirit, Who wills only to restore, be capable of misinterpreting the question you must ask to learn His answer?
82 You have heard the answer, but you have misunderstood the question. You have believed that to ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit is to ask for deprivation. Little Children of God, you do not understand your Father. You believe in a world that takes, because you believe that you can get by taking. And by that perception, you have lost sight of the real world. You are afraid of the world as you see it, but the real world is still yours for the asking. Do not deny it to yourself, for it can only free you. Nothing of God will enslave His Son, whom He created free and whose freedom is protected by His Being.
83 Blessed are you who will ask the truth of God without fear, for only thus can you learn that His answer is the release from fear. Beautiful Child of God, you are asking only for what I promised you. Do you believe I would deceive you? The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Believe that the truth is in me, for I know that it is in you. God's Sons have nothing which they do not share. Ask for truth of any Son of God, and you have asked it of me. No one of us but has the answer in him, to give to anyone who asks it of him. Ask anything of God's Son and His Father will answer you, for Christ is not deceived in His Father, and His Father is not deceived in Him.
84 Do not, then, be deceived in your brother and see only his loving thoughts as his reality, for by denying that his mind is split, you will heal yours. Accept him as his Father accepts him and heal him unto Christ, for Christ is his healing and yours. Christ is the Son of God, Who is in no way separate from His Father, Whose every thought is as loving as the Thought of His Father by Which He was created. Be not deceived in God's Son, for thereby you must be deceived in yourself. And being deceived in yourself, you are deceived in your Father in Whom no deceit is possible.
85 In the real world there is no sickness, for there is no separation and no division. Only loving thoughts are recognized, and because no one is without your help, the Help of God goes with you everywhere. As you become willing to accept this Help by asking for it, you will give it because you want it. Nothing will be beyond your healing power because nothing will be denied your simple request. What problems will not disappear in the presence of God's answer? Ask, then, to learn of the reality of your brother because this is what you will perceive in him, and you will see your beauty reflected in him.
86 Do not accept your brother's variable perception of himself, for his split mind is yours, and you will not accept your healing without his. For you share the real world as you share Heaven, and his healing is yours. To love yourself is to heal yourself, and you cannot perceive part of you as sick and achieve your own goal. Brother, we heal together as we live together and love together. Be not deceived in God's Son, for he is one with himself and one with his Father. Love him who is beloved of His Father, and you will learn of the Father's Love for you.
87 If you perceive offense in a brother, pluck the offense from your mind, for you are offended by Christ and are deceived in Him. Heal in Christ and be not offended by Him, for there is no offense in Him. If what you perceive offends you, you are offended in yourself and are condemning God's Son, whom God condemneth not. Let the Holy Spirit remove all offense of God's Son against himself and perceive no one but through His guidance, for He would save you from all condemnation. Accept His healing power and use it for all He sends you, for He wills to heal the Son of God in whom He is not deceived.
88 Children perceive terrifying ghosts and monsters and dragons, and they are terrified. Yet if they ask someone they trust for the real meaning of what they perceive and are willing to let their interpretations go in favor of reality, their fear goes with them. When a child is helped to translate his "ghost" into a curtain, his "monster" into a shadow, and his "dragon" into a dream, he is no longer afraid and laughs happily at his own fear. You, my children, are afraid of your brothers and of your Father and of yourselves. But you are merely deceived in them.
89 Ask what they are of the Teacher of Reality, and hearing His answer, you too will laugh at your fears and replace them with peace. For fear lies not in reality, but in the minds of children who do not understand reality. It is only their lack of understanding which frightens them, and when they learn to perceive truly, they are not afraid. And because of this, they will ask for truth again when they are frightened. It is not the reality of your brothers or your Father or yourself which frightens you. You do not know what they are, and so you perceive them as ghosts and monsters and dragons. Ask of their reality from the One Who knows it, and He will tell you what they are. For you do not understand them, and because you are deceived by what you see, you need reality to dispel your fears.
90 Would you not exchange your fears for truth if the exchange is yours for the asking? For if God is not deceived in you, you can be deceived only in yourself. Yet you can learn the truth of yourself of the Holy Spirit, Who will teach you that, as part of God, deceit in you is impossible. When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made. And then your Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you by raising you unto Himself.