Section 8 - "Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom"


For your own salvation you MUST be critical, because YOUR salvation IS critical to the whole Sonship. We said before that the Holy Spirit IS evaluative, and MUST be. Yet His evaluation does not extend BEYOND you, or you WOULD share it. In YOUR mind, and your mind ONLY, He sorts out the true from the false, and teaches you to judge every thought that you allow to ENTER in the light of what God PUT there. Whatever is IN ACCORD with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in YOU. When it is PARTLY in accord with truth He accepts it and purifies it. But what is OUT OF ACCORD ENTIRELY He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified.


But what you must remember is that what the Holy Spirit REJECTS the ego ACCEPTS. This is because they are in fundamental disagreement about everything, because they are in fundamental disagreement about WHAT YOU ARE. The ego's beliefs on this crucial issue vary, and that is why it promotes different moods. The Holy Spirit NEVER varies on this point, and so the ONE mood that He engenders is joy. He PROTECTS this by rejecting everything that does NOT foster joy, and so He alone can keep you wholly joyous.


The Holy Spirit does not teach your mind to be critical of other minds, because He does not want you to teach your errors and LEARN THEM YOURSELVES. He would hardly be consistent if He allowed you to STRENGTHEN what you must learn to avoid. In the mind of the THINKER, then, He IS judgmental, but only in order to unify it so IT CAN perceive WITHOUT judgment. This enables the mind to TEACH without judgment and therefore learn to BE without judgment. The UNdoing is necessary only in YOUR mind, so that you cannot PROJECT it. God Himself has established what you can project with perfect safety. Therefore, the Holy Spirit's third lesson is: Be vigilant ONLY for God and HIS Kingdom.


This is a major step toward FUNDAMENTAL change. Yet it is still a lesson in thought REVERSAL, because it implies that there is something you must be vigilant AGAINST. It has advanced far from the first lesson which was PRIMARILY a reversal, and also from the second, which was essentially the identification of what is MORE desirable. This step, which follows from the second as the second does from the first, emphasizes the DICHOTOMY between the desirable and the UNdesirable. It therefore makes the ULTIMATE choice inevitable. But while the first step seems to INCREASE conflict, and the second still ENTAILS it to some extent, this one calls for CONSISTENT EFFORT AGAINST IT.


We said already that you can be as vigilant AGAINST the ego as FOR it. This lesson teaches not that you CAN be, but that you MUST be. It does not concern itself with order of difficulty, but with CLEAR-CUT PRIORITY FOR VIGILANCE. This step is unequivocal in that it teaches THERE MUST BE NO EXCEPTIONS, but it does NOT deny that the temptations to MAKE exceptions will occur. Here, then, your consistency is called on DESPITE chaos. But chaos and consistency CANNOT coexist for long, because they are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. As long as you must be vigilant against ANYTHING, however, you are not recognizing this, and are holding the belief that you can CHOOSE EITHER ONE.


By teaching you WHAT to choose, the Holy Spirit will ultimately be able to teach you that YOU NEED NOT CHOOSE AT ALL. This will finally liberate your will FROM choice, and direct it toward creation WITHIN the Kingdom. Choosing through the Holy Spirit will only lead you TO it. You create by what you ARE, but this IS what you must learn. The way to learn it is INHERENT in the third step, which brings together the lessons inherent in the others, and goes beyond them toward real integration.


If you allow yourselves to HAVE in your minds only what God put there, you are acknowledging your mind as God created it. Therefore, you are accepting it AS IT IS. And since it IS whole, you are teaching peace BECAUSE you have believed in it. The final step will still be taken FOR you by God. But by the third step, the Holy Spirit has PREPARED you FOR God. He is GETTING YOU READY to translate having into being by the very nature of the steps you must take WITH Him. You learn first that having rests on GIVING and NOT getting. Next you learn that you learn what you TEACH, and that you WANT TO LEARN PEACE. This is the CONDITION for identifying WITH the Kingdom, because it is the condition OF the Kingdom.


But you have believed that you are WITHOUT the Kingdom, and have therefore excluded yourself FROM it in your belief. It is therefore essential to teach you that YOU must be INCLUDED, and the BELIEF THAT YOU ARE NOT is the ONLY thing that you must exclude.


The third step is thus one of PROTECTION for your minds by allowing you to identify ONLY with the center, where God placed the altar to HIMSELF. We have already said that altars are BELIEFS, but God and His creations are BEYOND belief because they are beyond question. The Voice FOR God speaks only for BELIEF beyond question, but this IS the preparation for BEING without question.


As long as belief in God and His Kingdom is assailed by ANY doubts in your minds, His perfect Accomplishment is NOT apparent to you. This is why you MUST be vigilant ON GOD's BEHALF. The ego speaks AGAINST His Creation, and therefore DOES engender doubt. You cannot go BEYOND belief UNTIL you believe wholly. No one can EXTEND a lesson he has NOT LEARNED FULLY. Transfer, which IS extension, is the measure of learning because it is the MEASURABLE RESULT. This, however, does NOT mean that what it transfers TO is measurable. On the contrary, unless it transfers to the whole Sonship, which is immeasurable because it was created BY the Immeasurable, the learning itself MUST be incomplete.


To teach the WHOLE Sonship WITHOUT EXCEPTION demonstrates that you PERCEIVE ITS WHOLENESS and have learned that it IS One. Now you must be vigilant to HOLD its Oneness in your minds because if you allow doubt to enter, YOU will lose awareness of its wholeness, and WILL BE UNABLE TO TEACH IT. The wholeness of the Kingdom does NOT depend on your perception, but your AWARENESS of its wholeness DOES. It is only your awareness that NEEDS protection, because your BEING cannot be assailed. Yet a real sense of being CANNOT be yours while you are doubtful of what you ARE. THIS IS WHY VIGILANCE IS ESSENTIAL. Doubts ABOUT being MUST not enter your mind, or you CANNOT know what you are with certainty.


Certainty is OF God for YOU. Vigilance is not necessary for truth, but it IS necessary AGAINST ILLUSION. Truth is WITHOUT illusions, and therefore WITHIN the Kingdom. Everything OUTSIDE the Kingdom IS ILLUSION. But you must learn to ACCEPT truth because YOU THREW IT AWAY. You therefore saw yourself AS IF you were WITHOUT it. By making another Kingdom WHICH YOU VALUED, you did NOT keep the Kingdom of God alone in your minds, and thus placed part of your mind OUTSIDE of it. What you have made has thus DIVIDED YOUR WILL and given you a sick mind that MUST be healed. Your vigilance AGAINST this sickness IS the way to heal it.


Once YOUR mind is healed, it radiates health and thereby TEACHES healing. This establishes you as a teacher who teaches LIKE me. Vigilance was required of me as much as of you. But remember that those who will to teach the same thing MUST be in agreement about what they believe.


The third step, then, is a statement of what you WANT to believe, and entails a willingness to RELINQUISH EVERYTHING ELSE. I told you that you were just beginning the second step, but I also told you that the third one FOLLOWS it. The Holy Spirit WILL enable you to go on IF YOU FOLLOW HIM. Your vigilance is the sign that you WANT Him to guide you. Vigilance DOES require effort, but only to teach you that effort ITSELF is unnecessary. You have exerted GREAT effort to preserve what you made BECAUSE it is NOT true. Therefore, you must now turn your effort AGAINST it. Only this can cancel out the NEED for effort, and call upon the BEING which you both HAVE and ARE. THIS recognition is wholly WITHOUT effort, because it is ALREADY true and needs no protection. It is in the perfect safety of God. Therefore, inclusion is total and Creation is WITHOUT LIMIT.

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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