Chapter Nine: The Correction of Error
IX. The Decision to Forget
68 Unless you know something, you cannot dissociate it. Knowledge therefore precedes dissociation, and dissociation is nothing more than a decision to forget. What has been forgotten then appears to be fearful, but only because the dissociation was an attack on truth. You are fearful because you have forgotten. And you have replaced your knowledge by an awareness of dreams because you are afraid of your dissociation, not of what you have dissociated. Even in this world's therapy, when dissociated material is accepted,it ceases to be fearful, for the laws of mind always hold.
69 Yet to give up the dissociation of reality brings more than merely lack of fear. In this decision lie joy and peace and the glory of creation. Offer the Holy Spirit only your will to remember, for He retains the knowledge of God and of yourself for you, waiting for your acceptance. Give up gladly everything that would stand in the way of your remembering, for God is in your memory, and His Voice will tell you that you are part of Him when you are willing to remember Him and know your own reality again. Let nothing in this world delay your remembering of Him, for in this remembering is the knowledge of yourself.
70 To remember is merely to restore to your mind what is already there. You do not make what you remember; you merely accept again what has been made but was rejected. The ability to accept truth in this world is the perceptual counterpart of creating in the Kingdom. God will do His part if you will do yours, and His return in exchange for yours is the exchange of knowledge for perception. Nothing is beyond His Will for you. But signify your will to remember Him and behold! He will give you everything but for the asking.
71 When you attack, you are denying yourself. You are specifically teaching yourself that you are not what you are. Your denial of reality precludes the acceptance of God's gift because you have accepted something else in its place. If you understand that the misuse of defenses always constitutes an attack on truth and truth is God, you will realize why this is always fearful. If you further recognize that you are part of God, you will understand why it is that you always attack yourself first.
72 [All attack is self-attack. It cannot be anything else. Arising from your own decision not to be what you are, it is an attack on your identification. Attack is thus the way in which your identification is lost because, when you attack, you must have forgotten what you are. And if your reality is God's, when you attack you are not remembering Him. This is not because He is gone, but because you are willing actively not to remember Him.]
73 If you realized the complete havoc this makes of your peace of mind, you could not make such an insane decision. You make it only because you still believe that it can get you something you want. It follows, then, that you want something other than peace of mind, but you have not considered what it must be. Yet the logical outcome of your decision is perfectly clear if you will look at it. By deciding against your reality, you have made yourself vigilant against God and His Kingdom. And it is this vigilance that makes you afraid to remember Him.
74 You have not attacked God, and you do love Him. Can you change your reality? No one can will to destroy himself. When you think you are attacking your self, it is a sure sign that you hate what you think you are. And this, and only this, can be attacked by you. What you think you are can be hateful, and what this strange image makes you do can be very destructive. Yet the destruction is no more real than the image, although those who make idols do worship them. The idols are nothing, but their worshipers are the Sons of God in sickness.
75 God would have them released from their sickness and returned to His Mind. He will not limit your power to help them because He has given it to you. Do not be afraid of it because it is your salvation. What Comforter can there be for the sick Children of God except His power through you? Remember that it does not matter where in the Sonship He is accepted. He is always accepted for all, and when your mind receives Him, the remembrance of Him awakens throughout the Sonship. Heal your brothers simply by accepting God for them.
76 Your minds are not separate, and God has only one channel for healing because He has but one Son. His remaining communication link with all His Children joins them together and them to Him. To be aware of this is to heal them because it is the awareness that no one is separate, and so no one is sick. To believe that a Son of God can be sick is to believe that part of God can suffer. Love cannot suffer because it cannot attack. The remembrance of love therefore brings invulnerability with it.
77 Do not side with sickness in the presence of a Son of God even if he believes in it, for your acceptance of God in him acknowledges the love of God which he has forgotten. Your recognition of him as part of God teaches him the truth about himself, which he is denying. Would you strengthen his denial of God and thus lose sight of yourself? Or would you remind him of his wholeness and remember your Creator with him? To believe a Son of God is sick is to worship the same idol he does. God created love, not idolatry. All forms of idolatry are caricatures of creation, taught by sick minds which are too divided to know that creation shares power and never usurps it. Sickness is idolatry because it is the belief that power can be taken from you. Yet this is impossible because you are part of God, Who is all power.
78 A sick god must be an idol, made in the image of what its maker thinks he is. And that is exactly what the ego does perceive in a Son of God; a sick god, self-created, self-sufficient, very vicious, and very vulnerable. Is this the idol you would worship? Is this the image you would be vigilant to save? [Are you really afraid of losing this?] Look calmly at the logical conclusion of the ego's thought system and judge whether its offering is really what you want, for this is what it offers you. To obtain this you are willing to attack the divinity of your brothers and thus lose sight of yours. And you are willing to keep it hidden and to protect this idol, which you think will save you from the dangers which the idol itself stands for, but which do not exist.
79 There are no idolaters in the Kingdom, but there is great appreciation for every Soul which God created because of the calm knowledge that each one is part of Him. God's Son knows no idols, but he does know his Father. Health in this world is the counterpart of value in Heaven. It is not my merit that I contribute to you but my love, for you do not value yourselves. When you do not value yourself, you become sick, but my value of you can heal you because the value of God's Son is one. When I said, "My peace I give unto you," I meant it. Peace came from God through me to you. It was for you, although you did not ask.
80 When a brother is sick, it is because he is not asking for peace and therefore does not know he has it. The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion, and sickness is an illusion. Yet every Son of God has the power to deny illusions anywhere in the Kingdom merely by denying them completely in himself. I can heal you because I know you. I know your value for you, and it is this value that makes you whole. A whole mind is not idolatrous and does not know of conflicting laws. I will heal you merely because I have only one message, and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me.
81 I do not bring God's message with deception, and you will learn this as you learn that you always receive as much as you accept. You could accept peace now for everyone you meet and offer them perfect freedom from all illusions because you heard. But have no other gods before Him, or you will not hear. God is not jealous of the gods you make, but you are. You would save them and serve them because you believe that they made you. You think they are your father because you are projecting onto them the fearful fact that you made them to replace God. Yet when they seem to speak to you, remember that nothing can replace God, and whatever replacements you have attempted are nothing.
82 Very simply, then, you may believe you are afraid of nothingness, but you are really afraid of nothing. And in that awareness you are healed. You will hear the god you listen to. You made the god of sickness, and by making him, you made yourself able to hear him. Yet you did not create him because he is not the Will of the Father. He is therefore not eternal and will be unmade for you the instant you signify your willingness to accept only the eternal. If God has but one Son, there is but one God. You share reality with Him because reality is not divided. To accept other gods before Him is to place other images before yourself.
83 You do not realize how much you listen to your gods and how vigilant you are on their behalf. Yet they exist only because you honor them. Place honor where it is due, and peace will be yours. It is your inheritance from your real Father. You cannot make your father, and the father you made did not make you. Honor is not due to illusions, for to honor them is to honor nothing. Yet fear is not due them either, for nothing cannot be fearful. You have chosen to fear love because of its perfect harmlessness, and because of this fear, you have been willing to give up your own perfect helpfulness and your own perfect Help.
84 Only at the altar of God will you find peace. And this altar is in you because God put it there. His Voice still calls you to return, and He will be heard when you place no other gods before Him. You can give up the god of sickness for your brothers; in fact, you would have to do so if you give him up for yourself. For if you see him anywhere, you have accepted him. And if you accept him, you will bow down and worship him because he was made as God's replacement. He is the belief that you can choose which god is real. Although it is perfectly clear that this has nothing to do with reality, it is equally clear that it has everything to do with reality as you perceive it.