The aim of our purification, of sorting out the true from the false, is to become fully committed only to the truth. This means purifying or filtering out anything which is not of God, and accepting everything that is of God.
It's kind of like firmly taking sides. You are to fully and completely side with heaven, and completely refuse to accept anything illusory. To become completely 100% clear about what is true, totally distinct from what is false. Having absolutely no false mixed in with the true, and being entirely clear about the difference.
"For if you perceive both good AND evil, you are accepting both the false AND the true, AND MAKING NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN THEM."
Being able to work miracles for example requires maximal love, which is a state in which there is no fear at all. When there is some fear mixed in, you're essentially an unhealed healer, and can only partly heal. You call forth two simultaneous opposing goals, and so you ask for healing and attack at the same time.
"The way out of conflict between two opposing thought systems is clearly TO CHOOSE ONE AND RELINQUISH THE OTHER"
So there is one goal of the Holy Spirit which is pure life, and the ego's goal is pure death. And we're talking here in the extreme of contrast. In accepting truth, we need to accept all of the truth and nothing but the truth. And we need to properly use denial to reject anything that is not true. And you can be sure that ALL illusions will tempt you toward the false.
"It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made."
"But the mind will put them all in one category - they are unreal. This is the gift of its Teacher; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world."
"The first step toward freedom, then, MUST entail a sorting out of the false from the true."
Until we get there, to that place of certainty and doubtlessness, of acceptance and clarity, of clear recognition and the Holy Spirit's perfect judgement, we will find ourselves in a kind of muddy middle ground. We will in our minds have some commitment to some of the truth, and some to lies. We'll be partly convinced by the ego and the body and the world. We'll fall into temptation and be deceived.
"The reason this is upsetting you is because the Atonement is a TOTAL commitment."
"I have no function but the one God gave me. This recognition releases me from all conflict, because it means I cannot have conflicting goals." "Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes."
"You, then, have two conflicting evaluations of yourself in your minds, and they CANNOT BOTH BE TRUE."
When we are in this in-between state we are "in two minds", because it means the mind is split between two masters. It is trying to achieve two opposing goals at the same time, producing tension and thwarting and cancellation of power. In this "untrained" state we are ineffective and disempowered, we keep hurting ourselves by mistake, and we are frequently lost and confused.
"You cannot be faithful to two masters, who ask of you conflicting things."
"An untrained mind can accomplish nothing."
This middle-ground is where most of us find ourselves most of the time, perhaps sometimes moving closer to a clearer unequivocal immersion in reality, and at other times descending into the darkness of false perceptions. In this state we are not certain, which means we are afraid. We are not clear on what is what, so we are confused, and as a result are able to be deceived, and so fall for temptation only because we don't recognize what's happening.
"A mind and body cannot both exist."
"Time and Eternity cannot both be real, because they contradict each other."
"The power of decision is all that is yours. What you can decide BETWEEN is fixed, because there are no alternatives, EXCEPT truth and illusion. And there is no overlap between them, because they are opposites which CANNOT be reconciled, and CANNOT both be true. You are guilty OR guiltless, bound OR free, happy OR unhappy."
Without a clear full and firm commitment to truth and reality and the laws of God, our whole perception falls down into a fight with the world. We see bodies and suffering and enter into false empathy. We become forgetful of who we are. We buy into mortality and fear. And then we have reactions based on making illusions real, trying to solve unsolvable problems and trying to escape from hell.
"Both are not true, yet either one will seem as real to you as the amount to which you hold it dear. And yet their power is NOT the same, because their real attraction to you is unequal. You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began."
The only reason for this is because we have our feet in two canoes at once, and they're heading in different directions. We want the world and we want heaven. We want the mind and the body. We want bodies but without problems. We want worldly magical solutions to make bad stuff go away so that we can get what we want. And so we are torn and adrift and lost.
It is clear then that in order to really access the power of God, to work miracles, to have conviction and fearlessness, to be certain and empowered, to be not deceived or tempted, we have to more consistently side with God. We have to be more fully vigilant for the Kingdom as the only reality and the only truth. It's always when we're in this no-man's-land of in-between that we can't tell which way is up.
"If you believe in truth AND illusion you CANNOT TELL WHICH IS TRUE."
I find that when I am more firmly siding with the truth I can dispel illusions more easily. I can rise above the battlefield, pay less attention to bodies, be less deceived by what I see and assert more strength and light. When I become out of touch with heaven I sink into the darkness and lose sight of the truth, becoming confused and tempted, deceived and lost, and this arising of false perceptions always leads to suffering.
It's salvation that we really need, and salvation is true perception. It is also miracle mindedness. But we can only get into that state and stay there if we're really fully committed to the whole truth all the time. To get there and stay there will take a lot of purification because every attitude, every grievance, ever unforgiveness, has to be purified of its support for death, its siding with darkness, its choice for fear and for guilt.
"Forgiveness, salvation, Atonement, true perception, all are one."
We are moving into the light. When we are fully in the light there will be no more hesitation, no more guessing, no more uncertainty or temptation. Until we get there, we will continue to be thrown around on the rollercoaster. Tempted into the belief that the world is hell, and tempted away from the recognition that it is nothing. Only as we rise above and into the light do we regain our sanity.
"Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one."
So ideally, in the long run, we want to get into miracle-mindedness and stay there all the time. Into forgiveness, the state of christ vision. To stay above the battlefield, away from deception, identified with spirit, owning of our immortality and siding with God's laws only. That's how you are fully siding with reality and full against unreality. A clear distinction between what is true and what is false.
"The former needs YOUR careful protection, because it is a state of miracle-READINESS. This is what the Bible means in the many references to "Hold yourself ready" and other similar injunctions.
Readiness here means keep your perception right side up, (or valid), so you will ALWAYS be ready, willing, and able. These are the essentials for "listen, learn, and do."
"As long as perception lasts, prayer has a place. Since perception rests on lack, those who perceive have not totally accepted the Atonement and given over themselves to truth. Perception IS a separated state, and the perceiver DOES need healing. Communion, not prayer, is the natural state of those who know. God and HIS miracles are inseparable."
Thank you for this beautiful, strenghtening discourse.
I finally accepted, even though I knew for a while, that if we want to go home, total commitment is unavoidable.
For so long I was in this almost totally commited place, which even sounds absurd, believing that it will be enough. Giving 95% of myself for some time and then going back the world again and again…
I remember thinking about it like being in a relationship, as though God is your significant other, and God is asking – are you loyal to me, or are you cheating on me with illusions still? And I answer – I rarely cheat. And God just sighs..