Section 2 - The Direction of the Curriculum


Those whom you PERCEIVE as opponents are PART of your peace, which YOU are giving up by attacking them. How can you have what YOU give up? You SHARE to have, but you do NOT give it up yourselves. When you GIVE UP peace, you are EXCLUDING yourself FROM it. This is a condition which is so ALIEN to the Kingdom that you CANNOT understand the state which prevails WITHIN it.


Your past learning MUST have taught you the wrong things, simply because it has not made you happy. On this basis alone, its value should be questioned. If learning aims at CHANGE, and that is ALWAYS its purpose, are you satisfied with the changes YOURS has brought you? Dissatisfaction with the learning outcome MUST be a sign of learning failure, because it means that you did NOT get what you WANT.


The curriculum of the Atonement IS the opposite of the curriculum you have established for yourselves, but SO IS ITS OUTCOME. If the outcome of yours has made you unhappy, and if you WANT a different outcome, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary.


The first change that MUST be introduced is a change in DIRECTION. A meaningful curriculum CANNOT be inconsistent. If it is planned by two teachers, each believing in diametrically opposed ideas, it CANNOT be integrated. If it is carried out by these two teachers simultaneously, EACH ONE MERELY INTERFERES WITH THE OTHER. This leads to fluctuation, but NOT to change. The volatile HAVE no direction. They cannot choose one, because they CANNOT relinquish the others EVEN IF THE OTHERS DO NOT EXIST. Their conflicted curriculum teaches them that ALL directions exist, and gives them no RATIONALE for choice.


The total senselessness of such a curriculum must be fully recognized before a real change in direction becomes possible. You CANNOT learn simultaneously from two teachers who are in TOTAL DISAGREEMENT ABOUT EVERYTHING. Their joint curriculum presents an IMPOSSIBLE learning task. They are teaching you ENTIRELY different things in ENTIRELY different ways, which WOULD be possible except for the crucial fact that both are teaching you about YOURSELF. Your REALITY is unaffected by both. But if you LISTEN to both, your mind will split on WHAT YOUR REALITY IS.

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