Section 5 - The Escape from Fear


If you cannot hear the voice of God, it is because you do not choose to listen. The fact that you DO listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings, and your behavior. Your attitudes are obviously conflicted; your feelings have a narrow range on the negative side, but are never purely joyous; and your behavior is either strained or unpredictable. Yet this IS what you want. This is what you are fighting to keep, and what you are vigilant to save. Your minds are filled with schemes to save the face of your egos, and you do not seek the Face of God.


The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed. How can it maintain the trick of its existence except with mirrors? But where you look to find yourself is up to you. We have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but we have also said, and many times before, that you CAN change your mind.


When your mood tells you that you have willed wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then KNOW this need not be.


In every case you have thought wrongly about some Soul that God created, and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass. Think honestly what you have thought that God would NOT have thought, and what you have NOT thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly. And then change your minds to THINK WITH GOD's.


This may seem hard to you, but it is MUCH easier than trying to think AGAINST it. Your mind IS one with God's. Denying this and thinking otherwise has held your ego together, but has literally split your mind. As a loving brother, I am deeply concerned with your minds, and urge you to follow my example as you look at yourselves and at each other and see in both the glorious Creations of a glorious Father.


When you are sad, KNOW that this NEED NOT BE. Depression ALWAYS arises ultimately from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. KNOW you are deprived of nothing, except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.


When you are anxious, KNOW that all anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and NEED NOT BE. You can be as vigilant AGAINST the ego's dictates as FOR them.


When you feel guilty, KNOW that your ego has indeed violated the laws of God, but YOU have not. Leave the sins of the ego to me. That is what the Atonement is for. But until you change your mind about those your ego has hurt, the Atonement cannot release you. As long as you feel guilty, your ego is in command, because only the ego CAN experience guilt. THIS NEED NOT BE.


You, Helen, have been more honest that Bill in really trying to see whom your ego has hurt, and also in trying to change your mind about them. (Helen Schucman doubtful whether this is accurate - written at a time when she was very angry.) I am not unmindful of your efforts, but you still have much too much energy invested in your ego. THIS NEED NOT BE. Watch your minds for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. KNOW it offers you nothing.


You, B, have not made consistent efforts to change your mind except through applying old habit patterns to new ideas. But you have learned, and learned it better than H., (Helen Schucman doubtful about accuracy here) that your mind gains control over ITSELF when you direct it genuinely toward perceiving someone ELSE truly. Your lack of vitality is due to your former marked effort at solving your needless depression and anxiety through disinterest. Because your ego WAS protected by this unfortunate negative attribute, you are afraid to abandon it.


When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you have already seen how your mind can focus, and rise above fatigue, and heal. But you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of your ego that you disengage yourself. THIS NEED NOT BE. The habit of engaging WITH God and His Creations is easily made if you refuse actively to let your minds slip away. Your problem is not concentration: it is a belief that nobody, including yourself, is WORTH consistent effort.


Side with me CONSISTENTLY against this deception, as we have sided against it briefly already. Do not permit this shabby belief to pull you back. The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can be disheartened.


Have you REALLY considered how many opportunities you have to gladden yourselves, and how many of them you have refused? There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can limit the expression of his power as much as he wills. Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, and releasing the strength of God into everything you think and will and do. Do not settle for ANYTHING less than this, and refuse to accept anything BUT this as your goal.


Watch your minds carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one RIGHT use of judgment. Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect, to hurt or to heal. The ego SHOULD be brought to your own judgment and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection, and love it cannot exist.


Judge your ego truly, and you MUST withdraw allegiance, protection, and love from it. You are mirrors of truth in which God Himself shines in perfect light. To the ego's dark glass you need but say, "I will not look there because I KNOW these images are not true."


Then let me the Holy One shine upon you in peace, knowing that this and only this MUST be! His Mind shone on you in your creation, and brought YOUR mind into being. His Mind still shines on you and MUST shine THROUGH you. Your ego cannot prevent HIM from shining on you, but it CAN prevent you from letting Him shine THROUGH you.


The first coming of Christ is just another name for the Creation, for Christ is the Son of God. The SECOND coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego's rule over part of the minds of men, and the healing of the mind. I was created like you in the First, and I am reminding you that I have called you to join with me in the Second.


If you will think over your lives, you will see how carefully the preparations were made. I am in charge of the Second Coming as I have already told you, and my judgment, which is used only for its protection, cannot be wrong because it NEVER attacks. YOURS is so distorted that you believe that I was mistaken in choosing you. I assure you this is a mistake of your own egos. Do NOT mistake it for humility.


Your egos are trying to convince you that THEY are real, and I am not, because if I AM real, I am no more real than YOU are. That knowledge, and I assure you that it IS knowledge, means that Christ must come into your minds and heal them.


While I am not attacking your egos, I AM working with your higher mind whether you are asleep or awake, (just as your ego does with your lower mind.) I am your vigilance in this, because you are too confused to recognize your own hope.


I was not mistaken. Your minds WILL elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible. You two will yet come together in my name and your sanity will be restored. I raised the dead by KNOWING that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God Created. Why do you believe that it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles: YOU do. I have called and you will answer. I KNOW that miracles are natural, because they are expressions of love. My calling you is as natural as your answer and as inevitable.

A Course in Miracles - Urtext material - reproduced with permission from the Foundation for Inner Peace (, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles ( ©2021 Paul West