Section 7 - The Constant State


It cannot be emphasized too often that CORRECTING perception is merely a temporary expedient. It is necessary ONLY because Misperception is a BLOCK to knowledge, while ACCURATE perception is a stepping-stone TOWARD it. The whole value of right perception lies in the inevitable judgment which it necessarily entails that it is UNNECESSARY. This removes the block entirely.


You may ask how this is possible as long as you appear to be living in this world. And since this is a sensible question, it has a sensible answer. But you must be careful that you really understand the question. What IS the you who are living in this world? Bill will probably have more trouble with this than you, but if he will try not to close his mind, he may decide that we are NOT engaging in denial after all.


To help him, it might be wise to review a number of the concepts with which he does not appear to have trouble, except at times. He liked the idea of invisibility, and was particularly open to the concept of different orders of reality. He also found the notion of varying densities of energy appealing. While he may yet agree that these are merely teaching aids, this is a good time to employ them.


Immortality is a constant state. It is as true now as it ever was or will be, because it implies NO CHANGE AT ALL. It is not a continuum, and it is NOT understood by comparing it with any opposite. Knowledge NEVER involves comparisons. That is its essential difference from everything else the mind can grasp.


"A little knowledge" is not dangerous except to the ego. Vaguely the ego senses threat, and, being unable to realize that "a little knowledge" is a meaningless phrase because "all" and "a little" in this context are the same, decides that since "all" is impossible, the fear does not lie in this. "A little," however, is a scarcity concept, and this the ego understands well. Regarding "all" as impossible, "a little" is perceived as the real threat.


The essential thing to remember always is that the ego DOES NOT RECOGNIZE the real source of its perceived threat. And if YOU associate yourself WITH the ego, YOU do not perceive the whole situation as it really is. Only your allegiance to it gives the ego ANY power over you. We have spoken of the ego as if it were a separate thing, acting on its own. This was necessary to persuade you that you cannot dismiss it lightly, and MUST realize how much of your thinking is ego-directed. But we cannot safely leave it at that, or you will regard yourselves as necessarily conflicted as long as you are here, or more properly, BELIEVE that you are here.


The ego is nothing more than a PART of your belief about yourselves. Your other life has continued without interruption, and has been and always will be totally unaffected by your attempts to dissociate. The ratio of repression and dissociation of truth varies with the individual ego-illusion (tell Bill that phrase is VERY good), but dissociation is always involved, or you would not believe that you ARE here.


When I told Bill to concentrate on the phrase "here I am, Lord," I did not mean "in this world" by "here." I wanted him to think of himself as a separate consciousness, capable of direct communication with the Creator of that consciousness. He, too, MUST begin to think of himself as a very powerful receiving and sending channel, a description I once gave you symbolically. Remember that HE understood it before you did, because you are more dissociative and less repressed.


Your great debt to each other is something you should never forget. It is exactly the same debt that you owe to me. Whenever you react egotistically toward each other, you are throwing away the graciousness of your indebtedness and the holy perception it would produce. The reason why the term "holy" can be used here is that, as you learn how much you ARE indebted to the whole Sonship which includes me, you come as close to knowledge as perception ever can. This gap is so small knowledge can easily flow across it and obliterate it forever.


You have very little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of to your egos for guidance. The results will convince you increasingly that your choice in turning to me is the only sane one you can make. No one who has learned from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs much conditioning. The ego cannot withstand the conditioning process, because the process itself DEMONSTRATES that there is another way.


The classic conditioning by rewards model has always been most effective. Howard Hunt made a very good point in this connection, even though he did not understand that the real reason why conditioning through pain is not the most efficient method is because pain itself is an ego-illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect.


The rewards of God are immediately recognized as eternal. Since this recognition is made by YOU and NOT by your ego, the recognition ITSELF establishes that you and your ego CANNOT be identical. You may believe that you have already accepted the difference, but you are by no means convinced as yet. The very fact that you are preoccupied with the idea of escaping FROM the ego shows this.


You cannot escape from the ego by humbling it, or controlling it, or punishing it. The ego and the Soul DO NOT KNOW each other. The separated mind cannot maintain the separation EXCEPT by dissociating. Having done this, it utilizes repression against all truly natural impulses, not because the EGO is a separate thing, but because you want to believe that YOU are. The ego is a device for maintaining this belief, but it is still only YOUR willingness to use the device that enables it to endure.


My trust in you is greater than yours in me at the moment, but it will not always be that way. Your mission is very simple. You have been chosen to live so as to demonstrate that You are NOT an ego. I repeat that I do not choose God's channels wrongly. The Holy One shares my trust and always approves my Atonement decisions, because my will is never out of accord with His.


I have told you several times that I am in charge of the whole Atonement. This is ONLY because I completed my part in it as a man, and can now complete it through other men. My chosen receiving and sending channels cannot fail, because I will lend them MY strength as long as theirs is wanting. I will go with you to the Holy One, and through MY perception HE can bridge the little gap. Your gratitude to each OTHER is the only gift I want. I will bring it to God for you, knowing that to know your brother IS to know God.


A little knowledge is an all-encompassing thing. If you are grateful to each other you are grateful to God for what He created. Through your gratitude you can come to know each other, and one moment of real recognition makes all men your brothers because they are all of your Father. Love does not conquer all things, but it DOES set all things right.


Because you are all the Kingdom of God, I can lead you back to your own creations, which you do not yet know. God has kept them very safe in HIS knowing while your attention has wandered. Bill gave you a very important idea when he told you that what has been dissociated IS STILL THERE. I am grateful to him for that, and I hope he will not decide that it is true only for you. Even though dissociation is much more apparent in you, and repression is much more evident in him, each of you utilizes both.


Wisdom always dictates that a therapist work through WEAKER defenses first. That is why I suggested to Bill that he persuade you to deal with REPRESSION first. We have only just about reached the point where dissociation means much to you, because it is so important to your misbeliefs. Bill might do well, - and you could help him here, - to concentrate more on HIS dissociative tendencies and not try to deal with repression yet.


I hinted at this when I remarked on his habit of disengaging himself, and when I spoke to him about distantiation. These are all forms of dissociation, and these weaker forms were always more evident in him than in you. That is because dissociation was so extreme in your case that you did not have to hide it because you were not aware that it was there. Bill, on the other hand, DOES dissociate more than he thinks, and that is why he cannot listen. He does not need to go through the same course in repression that you did, because he will give up his major misdefense AFTER he has rid himself of the lesser ones.


Do not disturb yourself about repression, Bill, but DO train yourself to be alert to any tendency to withdraw from your brothers. Withdrawal is frightening, and you do not recognize all the forms it takes in you. Helen is right that she will experience things that will cut across all her perceptions because of their stunning knowledge. You were right that this will occur when she learns to recognize what she ALREADY knows and has dissociated.


You, Bill, will learn somewhat differently, because you are afraid of all complete involvements, and believe that they lessen YOU. You have learned to be so much more clear-sighted about this that you should be ready to oppose it in yourself RELATIVELY easily. As you come closer to a brother, you DO approach me, and as you withdraw from him I become distant to you.


Your giant step forward was to INSIST on a collaborative venture. This does NOT go against the true spirit of meditation at all. It is inherent IN it. Meditation is a collaborative venture with GOD. It CANNOT be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. God will come to you only as you will give Him to your brothers. Learn first of them, and you will be ready to hear God as you hear them. That is because the function of love is One.


How can you teach someone the value of something he has thrown away deliberately? He must have thrown it away because he did NOT value it. You can only show him how miserable he is WITHOUT it, and bring it near very slowly, so he can learn how his misery lessens as he approaches it. This conditions him to associate his misery with its ABSENCE, and to associate the OPPOSITE of misery with its presence. It gradually becomes desirable, as he changes his mind about its worth.


I am conditioning you to associate misery with the ego, and joy with your Soul. You have conditioned yourself the other way around. But a far greater reward will break through any conditioning, if it is repeatedly offered when the old habit is broken. You are still free to choose. But can you really WANT the rewards of the ego in the presence of the rewards of God?

A Course in Miracles - Urtext material - reproduced with permission from the Foundation for Inner Peace (acim.org), and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (facim.org).
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