A Course in Miracles - 7. The Gifts of God


Chapter 1 - The Dream of Fear


Fear is the emotion of the world. It has but one. Its forms are many - call them what you will - but it is one in content. Never far, even in form, from what its purpose is, never with power to escape its cause, and never but a counterfeit of peace, it rests uncertainly upon a bed of lies. Here it was born and sheltered by its seeming comfort. Here it remains where it was born, and where its end will come. For here is nothingness, where neither birth nor death is real, nor any form in the misshapen mind that spawned it has any meaning in the Mind of God.


If you were certain - wholly sure and with consistent grasp of what the world can give - fear would be laid aside as easily as joy and peace unite on love's behalf. But first there must be certainty that there can be no love where fear exists, and that the world will never give a gift that is not made of fear, concealed perhaps, but which is surely present somewhere in the gift. Accept it not, and you will understand a gift far greater has been given you.


Let not the world deceive you. It was made to be deception. Yet its snares can be so easily escaped a little child can walk through safely, and without a care that would arrest its progress. Dreams are dreams, and every one is equally untrue. This is the only lesson to be learned. Yet will fear linger until every one is recognized as nothingness, and seen exactly as it is and nothing more. There is no person, thing, or circumstance that you can value as your own without the "gift" of fear arising in your heart. For you have seen them all as they are not, and love for them has fled as if from you. And you will think that God has ceased to care for you who have betrayed the Son He loves, and chosen fear and guilt to be their friends.


Does God deceive or does the world? For it is sure that one must lie. There is no point at which their thoughts agree, their gifts unite in kind or purpose. What you take from one the other will obscure. There is no hope of compromise in this. Nor can there be a shifting of the mind between the two without the fear that every dream must bring. How fearful it must be to see yourself as maker of reality and truth, the lord of destiny and time's domain, and arbiter appointed for the world.


Dreams never change. Remember only this, but do not let it slip away at times and let yourself give way to fear again. Deny the dream but do not fail the truth, for what is true alone will never fail. All else deceives, all else will terrify, and even when it seems to please the most it brings with it a heavy cost of pain. Be free of suffering now. There is no cost for any gift that comes to you from God. His way is certain, for His gifts remain forever as He gave them. Do not think that fear can enter where His gifts abide. But do not think His gifts can be received where fear has entered and has touched your sight with gross distortions that the world thinks real.


There are no scraps of dreams. Each one contains the whole of fear, the opposite of love, (in all its ways), the hell that hides the memory of God, the crucifixion of His holy Son. Therefore, be vigilant against them all, for in their single purpose they are one, and hell is total. It can seem to be forever for this lesson to be learned, and yet it need not be. I came to speak in time of timelessness. Have you not learned the pain of dreaming yet? There is no need to hug it to your heart, and to forget the dreadful cost of salvaging despair and building up deceptions once again.


The tiniest of dreams, the smallest wish for values of the world is large enough to stand between you and the sweet release that God would offer you. He cannot choose to change His Son, nor make your mind accept the perfect freedom He has given you. Yet it is certain you will turn to Him and suddenly remember. But be sure of this and do not let it slip away:

What God has joined is one. And one as well is everything that fear has made to be the great deceiver and the substitute for God's creation. You can choose but one, and which you choose is total. Everything the world can offer promises some joy that it will never give. And everything that God has promised you will never fail in anything. No need will be unmet, no hurt unhealed, no sorrow kept unchanged, no darkness undispelled. The smallest pain will vanish suddenly before His gifts.


An unremembered world will leave no trace behind its going, when God's gifts have been accepted as the only thing you want. "Choose once again" is still your only hope. Darkness cannot conceal the gifts of God unless you want it so. In peace I come, and urge you now to make an end to time and step into eternity with me. There will not be a change that eyes can see, nor will you disappear from things of time. But you will hold my hand as you return because we come together. Now the hosts of Heaven come with us, to sweep away all vestiges of dreams and every thought that rests on nothingness.


How dear are you to God, Who asks but that you walk with me and bring His light into a sickened world which fear has drained of love and life and hope. Surely you will not fail to hear my call, for I have never failed to hear your cries of pain and grief, and I have come to save and to redeem the world at last from fear. It never was, nor is, nor yet will be what you imagine. Let me see for you, and judge for you what you would look upon. When you have seen with me but once, you would no longer value any fearful thing at cost of glory and the peace of God.


This is my offering: A quiet world, with gentle ordering and kindly thoughts, alive with hope and radiant in joy, without the smallest bitterness of fear upon its loveliness. Accept this now, for I have waited long to give this gift to you. I offer it in place of fear and all the "gifts" of fear. Can you choose otherwise, when all the world is standing breathless, waiting on your choice? Come now to me and we will go to God. There is no way that we can go alone. But when we come together there can be no way in which the Word of God can fail. For His the Word that makes us one in Him, and mine the Voice that speaks this Word to you.

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