Section 4 - The Holy Encounter


Glory be to God in the highest, and to you because He has so willed it. Ask and it shall be given you, because it has already been given. Ask for light and learn that you are light. If you WANT understanding and enlightenment you will learn it, because your will to learn it is your decision to listen to the Teacher who knows of light and can therefore TEACH IT TO YOU.


There is no limit on your learning, because there is no limit on your MINDS. There is no limit on His will to teach, because He was created by unlimited Will in ORDER to teach. KNOWING His function perfectly, He wills to fulfill it perfectly, because that is His joy AND YOURS. To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully KNOWN, because it is the only function that can be FULLY EXPERIENCED. When this is accomplished, then, there IS no other experience. But the WISH for other experience will block this, because God's Will CANNOT be forced upon you, being an experience of total WILLINGNESS.


The Holy Spirit knows how to teach this, but YOU do not. That is why you need Him, and why God gave Him TO you. Only HIS teaching will release your will to God's, uniting it with His power and glory, and establishing them as yours. You will share them as He shares them, because this is the natural outcome of their being. The Will of the Father and of the Son are one together BY THEIR EXTENSION. Their extension is the RESULT of their Oneness, holding THEIR unity by extending their JOINT will.


This is perfect creation by the perfectly created in union with the Perfect Creator. The Father MUST give fatherhood to His Sons, because His Own Fatherhood must be extended outward. You who belong in God have the holy function of extending His Fatherhood by placing no limits upon it. Let the Holy Spirit teach you HOW to do this, for you will know what it MEANS of God Himself.


When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose sight of yourself. Whenever two Sons of God meet they are given another chance at Salvation. Do not leave anyone without giving salvation TO him and receiving it yourself. For I am always there WITH you, in remembrance of YOU.


The goal of the curriculum, regardless of the teacher you choose, is KNOW THYSELF. There is nothing else to learn. Everyone is looking for himself and the power and glory he thinks he has lost. Whenever you are with anyone ELSE, you have another opportunity to find them. Your power and glory are in HIM BECAUSE they are yours. The ego tries to find them in YOURSELF, because he does not know where to look. But the Holy Spirit teaches you that if you look only at yourself you CANNOT find yourself because that is NOT what you are.


Whenever you are with a brother you are learning what you are, because you are TEACHING what you are. He will respond either with pain or with joy, depending on which teacher YOU are following. HE will be imprisoned or released according to your decision, AND SO WILL YOU. Never forget your responsibility to him, because it is your responsibility to YOURSELF. Give him HIS place in the Kingdom, and you will have YOURS. The Kingdom CANNOT be found alone, and you who ARE the Kingdom cannot find YOURSELVES alone.


To achieve the goal of the curriculum, then, you CANNOT listen to the ego. Its purpose is to DEFEAT ITS OWN GOAL. It does not know this, because it does not know anything. But YOU can know this, and you WILL know it if you are willing to look at what the ego has made of YOU. This IS your responsibility, because once you have really done this you WILL accept the Atonement for yourself. What other choice could you make?


Having made this choice, you will begin to learn and understand why you have believed that when you met someone else, you have thought he WAS someone else. And every holy encounter in which YOU enter fully will teach you THAT THIS IS NOT SO. You can encounter ONLY part of yourself, because you are part of God WHO IS EVERYTHING. His power and glory are everywhere, and you CANNOT be excluded from them. The ego teaches that your strength is in you ALONE. The Holy Spirit teaches that ALL strength is in God and THEREFORE in you.


God wills NO-ONE suffer. He does not will ANYONE to suffer for a wrong decision you have made, including YOURSELF. That is why He has given you the means for UNDOING it. Through His power and glory all your wrong decisions are undone COMPLETELY, releasing you AND your brothers from EVERY IMPRISONING THOUGHT ANY part of the Sonship has accepted. Wrong decisions HAVE no power BECAUSE they are not true. The imprisonment which they SEEM to produce is no more true than THEY are.


Power and glory belong to God alone. So do YOU. God gives WHATEVER belongs to Him, because He gives OF HIMSELF, and EVERYTHING belongs to Him. Giving of YOUR self is the function He gave you. Fulfilling it perfectly will teach you what YOU have of HIM. And this will teach you what you are IN Him. You CANNOT be powerLESS to do this, because this IS your power. Glory is God's gift to you because that is what HE is. See this glory everywhere, to learn what YOU are.

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