THE FORGIVENESS OF ILLUSIONS
I. True Empathy
T-16.I.1. To empathize does not mean to join in suffering, for that is what you must <refuse> to understand. 2 That is the ego's interpretation of empathy, and is always used to form a special relationship in which the suffering is shared. 3 The capacity to empathize is very useful to the Holy Spirit, provided you let Him use it in His way. 4 His way is very different. 5 He does not understand suffering, and would have you teach it is not understandable. 6 When He relates through you, He does not relate through your ego to another ego. 7 He does not join in pain, understanding that healing pain is not accomplished by delusional attempts to enter into it, and lighten it by sharing the delusion.
T-16.I.2. The clearest proof that empathy as the ego uses it is destructive lies in the fact that it is applied only to certain types of problems and in certain people. 2 These it selects out, and joins with. 3 And it never joins except to strengthen itself. 4 Having identified with what it thinks it understands, the ego sees itself and would increase itself by sharing what is like itself. 5 Make no mistake about this maneuver; the ego always empathizes to weaken, and to weaken is always to attack. 6 You do not know what empathizing means. 7 Yet of this you may be sure; if you will merely sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through you, you will empathize with strength, and will gain in strength and not in weakness.
T-16.I.3. Your part is only to remember this; you do not want anything you value to come of a relationship. 2 You choose neither to hurt it nor to heal it in your own way. 3 You do not know what healing is. 4 All you have learned of empathy is from the past. 5 And there is nothing from the past that you would share, for there is nothing from the past that you would keep. 6 Do not use empathy to make the past real, and so perpetuate it. 7 Step gently aside, and let healing be done for you. 8 Keep but one thought in mind and do not lose sight of it, however tempted you may be to judge any situation, and to determine your response <by> judging it. 9 Focus your mind only on this: p330
10 I am not alone, and I would not intrude the past upon my Guest.
11 I have invited Him, and He is here.
12 I need do nothing except not to interfere.
T-16.I.4. True empathy is of Him Who knows what it is. 2 You will learn His interpretation of it if you let Him use your capacity for strength, and not for weakness. 3 He will not desert you, but be sure that you desert not Him. 4 Humility is strength in this sense only; that to recognize and accept the fact that you do not know is to recognize and accept the fact that He <does> know. 5 You are not sure that He will do His part, because you have never yet done yours completely. 6 You cannot know how to respond to what you do not understand. 7 Be tempted not in this, and yield not to the ego's triumphant use of empathy for its glory.
T-16.I.5. The triumph of weakness is not what you would offer to a brother. 2 And yet you recognize no triumph but this. 3 This is not knowledge, and the form of empathy which would bring this about is so distorted that it would imprison what it would release. 4 The unredeemed cannot redeem, yet they have a Redeemer. 5 Attempt to teach Him not. 6 You are the learner; He the Teacher. 7 Do not confuse your role with His, for this will never bring peace to anyone. 8 Offer your empathy to Him for it is <His> perception and <His> strength that you would share. 9 And let Him offer you His strength and His perception, to be shared through you.
T-16.I.6. The meaning of love is lost in any relationship that looks to weakness, and hopes to find love there. 2 The power of love, which <is> its meaning, lies in the strength of God that hovers over it and blesses it silently by enveloping it in healing wings. 3 Let this be, and do not try to substitute your "miracle" for this. 4 I have said that if a brother asks a foolish thing of you to do it. 5 But be certain that this does not mean to do a foolish thing that would hurt either him or you, for what would hurt one will hurt the other. 6 Foolish requests are foolish merely because they conflict, since they always contain some element of specialness. 7 Only the Holy Spirit recognizes foolish needs as well as real ones. 8 And He will teach you how to meet both without losing either.
T-16.I.7. <You> will attempt to do this only in secrecy. 2 And you will think that by meeting the needs of one you do not jeopardize another, because you keep them separate and secret from each other. p331 3 That is not the way, for it leads not to life and truth. 4 No needs will long be left unmet if you leave them all to Him Whose function is to meet them. 5 That is His function, and not yours. 6 He will not meet them secretly, for He would share everything you give through Him. 7 That is why He gives it. 8 What you give through Him is for the whole Sonship, not for part of it. 9 Leave Him His function, for He will fulfill it if you but ask Him to enter your relationships, and bless them for you.
II. The Power of Holiness
T-16.II.1. You may still think that holiness is impossible to understand, because you cannot see how it can be extended to include everyone. 2 And you have been told that it must include everyone to <be> holy. 3 Concern yourself not with the extension of holiness, for the nature of miracles you do not understand. 4 Nor do you do them. 5 It is their extension, far beyond the limits you perceive, that demonstrates you do not do them. 6 Why should you worry how the miracle extends to all the Sonship when you do not understand the miracle itself? 7 One attribute is no more difficult to understand than is the whole. 8 If miracles <are> at all, their attributes would have to be miraculous, being part of them.
T-16.II.2. There is a tendency to fragment, and then to be concerned about the truth of just a little part of the whole. 2 And this is but a way of avoiding, or looking away from the whole, to what you think you might be better able to understand. 3 For this is but another way in which you would still try to keep understanding to yourself. 4 A better and far more helpful way to think of miracles is this: You do not understand them, either in part or in whole. 5 Yet they have been done through you. 6 Therefore your understanding cannot be necessary. 7 Yet it is still impossible to accomplish what you do not understand. 8 And so there must be Something in you that <does> understand.
T-16.II.3. To you the miracle cannot seem natural, because what you have done to hurt your mind has made it so unnatural that it does not remember what is natural to it. 2 And when you are told what is natural, you cannot understand it. 3 The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. p332 4 Wholly natural perception would show you instantly that order of difficulty in miracles is quite impossible, for it involves a contradiction of what miracles mean. 5 And if you could understand their meaning, their attributes could hardly cause you perplexity.
T-16.II.4. You have done miracles, but it is quite apparent that you have not done them alone. 2 You have succeeded whenever you have reached another mind and joined with it. 3 When two minds join as one and share one idea equally, the first link in the awareness of the Sonship as One has been made. 4 When you have made this joining as the Holy Spirit bids you, and have offered it to Him to use as He sees fit, His natural perception of your gift enables Him to understand it, and you to use His understanding on your behalf. 5 It is impossible to convince you of the reality of what has clearly been accomplished through your willingness while you believe that you must understand it or else it is not real.
T-16.II.5. How can faith in reality be yours while you are bent on making it unreal? 2 And are you really safer in maintaining the reality of illusions than you would be in joyously accepting truth for what it is, and giving thanks for it? 3 Honor the truth that has been given you, and be glad you do not understand it. 4 Miracles are natural to the One Who speaks for God. 5 For His task is to translate the miracle into the knowledge which it represents, and which is hidden to you. 6 Let His understanding of the miracle be enough for you, and do not turn away from all the witnesses that He has given you to His reality.
T-16.II.6. No evidence will convince you of the truth of what you do not want. 2 Yet your relationship with Him is real. 3 Regard this not with fear, but with rejoicing. 4 The One you called upon <is> with you. 5 Bid Him welcome, and honor the witnesses who bring you the glad tidings He has come. 6 It is true, just as you fear, that to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know. 7 But what you think you know was never true. 8 What gain is there to you in clinging to it, and denying the evidence for truth? 9 For you have come too near to truth to renounce it now, and you <will> yield to its compelling attraction. 10 You can delay this now, but only a little while. 11 The Host of God has called to you, and you have heard. 12 Never again will you be wholly willing not to listen.
T-16.II.7. This is a year of joy, in which your listening will increase and peace will grow with its increase. 2 The power of holiness and the weakness of attack are both being brought into your awareness. p333 3 And this has been accomplished in a mind firmly convinced that holiness is weakness and attack is power. 4 Should not this be a sufficient miracle to teach you that your Teacher is not of you? 5 But remember also that whenever you listened to His interpretation the results have brought you joy. 6 Would you prefer the results of your interpretation, considering honestly what they have been? 7 God wills you better. 8 Could you not look with greater charity on whom God loves with perfect Love?
T-16.II.8. Do not interpret against God's Love, for you have many witnesses that speak of it so clearly that only the blind and deaf could fail to see and hear them. 2 This year determine not to deny what has been given you by God. 3 Awake and share it, for that is the only reason He has called to you. 4 His Voice has spoken clearly, and yet you have so little faith in what you heard, because you have preferred to place still greater faith in the disaster you have made. 5 Today, let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real and that reality is not disaster. 6 Reality is safe and sure, and wholly kind to everyone and everything. 7 There is no greater love than to accept this and be glad. 8 For love asks only that you be happy, and will give you everything that makes for happiness.
T-16.II.9. You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so. 2 You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful. 3 Is it not time you brought these facts together and made sense of them? 4 This is the year for the application of the ideas that have been given you. 5 For the ideas are mighty forces, to be used and not held idly by. 6 They have already proved their power sufficiently for you to place your faith in them, and not in their denial. 7 This year invest in truth, and let it work in peace. 8 Have faith in Him Who has faith in you. 9 Think what you have really seen and heard, and recognize it. 10 Can you be alone with witnesses like these?
III. The Reward of Teaching
T-16.III.1. We have already learned that everyone teaches, and teaches all the time. 2 You may have taught well, and yet you may not have learned how to accept the comfort of your teaching. 3 If you will consider what you have taught, and how alien it is to what you thought you knew, you will be compelled to realize that your Teacher came from beyond your thought system. p334 4 Therefore He could look upon it fairly, and perceive it was untrue. 5 He must have done so from the basis of a very different thought system, and one with nothing in common with yours. 6 For certainly what He has taught, and what you have taught through Him, have nothing in common with what you taught before He came. 7 And the results have been to bring peace where there was pain, and suffering has disappeared to be replaced by joy.
T-16.III.2. You may have taught freedom, but you have not learned how to be free. 2 I said earlier, "By their fruits ye shall know them, and they shall know themselves." 3 For it is certain that you judge yourself according to your teaching. 4 The ego's teaching produces immediate results, because its decisions are immediately accepted as your choice. 5 And this acceptance means that you are willing to judge yourself accordingly. 6 Cause and effect are very clear in the ego's thought system, because all your learning has been directed toward establishing the relationship between them. 7 And would you not have faith in what you have so diligently taught yourself to believe? 8 Yet remember how much care you have exerted in choosing its witnesses, and in avoiding those which spoke for the cause of truth and its effects.
T-16.III.3. Does not the fact that you have not learned what you have taught show you that you do not perceive the Sonship as one? 2 And does it not also show you that you do not regard <yourself> as one? 3 For it is impossible to teach successfully wholly without conviction, and it is equally impossible that conviction be outside of you. 4 You could never have taught freedom unless you did believe in it. 5 And it must be that what you taught came from yourself. 6 Yet this Self you clearly do not know, and do not recognize It even though It functions. 7 What functions must be there. 8 And it is only if you deny what It has done that you could possibly deny Its Presence.
T-16.III.4. This is a course in how to know yourself. 2 You have taught what you are, but have not let what you are teach you. 3 You have been very careful to avoid the obvious, and not to see the real cause and effect relationship that is perfectly apparent. 4 Yet within you is everything you taught. 5 What can it be that has not learned it? 6 It must be this part that is really outside yourself, not by your own projection, but in truth. 7 And it is this part that you have taken in that is not you. 8 What you accept into your mind does not really change it. 9 Illusions are but beliefs in what is not there. p335 10 And the seeming conflict between truth and illusion can only be resolved by separating yourself from the illusion and not from truth.
T-16.III.5. Your teaching has already done this, for the Holy Spirit is part of you. 2 Created by God, He left neither God nor His creation. 3 He is both God and you, as you are God and Him together. 4 For God's Answer to the separation added more to you than you tried to take away. 5 He protected both your creations and you together, keeping one with you what you would exclude. 6 And they will take the place of what you took in to replace them. 7 They are quite real, as part of the Self you do not know. 8 They communicate to you through the Holy Spirit, and their power and gratitude to you for their creation they offer gladly to your teaching of yourself, who is their home. 9 You who are host to God are also host to them. 10 For nothing real has ever left the mind of its creator. 11 And what is not real was never there.
T-16.III.6. You are not two selves in conflict. 2 What is beyond God? 3 If you who hold Him and whom He holds are the universe, all else must be outside, where nothing is. 4 You have taught this, and from far off in the universe, yet not beyond yourself, the witnesses to your teaching have gathered to help you learn. 5 Their gratitude has joined with yours and God's to strengthen your faith in what you taught. 6 For what you taught is true. 7 Alone, you stand outside your teaching and apart from it. 8 But with them you must learn that you but taught yourself, and learned from the conviction you shared with them.
T-16.III.7. This year you will begin to learn, and make learning commensurate with teaching. 2 You have chosen this by your own willingness to teach. 3 Though you seemed to suffer for it, the joy of teaching will yet be yours. 4 For the joy of teaching is in the learner, who offers it to the teacher in gratitude, and shares it with him. 5 As you learn, your gratitude to your Self, Who teaches you what He is, will grow and help you honor Him. 6 And you will learn His power and strength and purity, and love Him as His Father does. 7 His Kingdom has no limits and no end, and there is nothing in Him that is not perfect and eternal. 8 All this is <you,> and nothing outside of this <is> you.
T-16.III.8. To your most holy Self all praise is due for what you are, and for what He is Who created you as you are. 2 Sooner or later must everyone bridge the gap he imagines exists between his selves. 3 Each one builds this bridge, which carries him across the gap as soon as he is willing to expend some little effort on behalf of bridging it. p336 4 His little efforts are powerfully supplemented by the strength of Heaven, and by the united will of all who make Heaven what it is, being joined within it. 5 And so the one who would cross over is literally transported there.
T-16.III.9. Your bridge is builded stronger than you think, and your foot is planted firmly on it. 2 Have no fear that the attraction of those who stand on the other side and wait for you will not draw you safely across. 3 For you will come where you would be, and where your Self awaits you.
IV. The Illusion and the Reality of Love
T-16.IV.1. Be not afraid to look upon the special hate relationship, for freedom lies in looking at it. 2 It would be impossible not to know the meaning of love, except for this. 3 For the special love relationship, in which the meaning of love is hidden, is undertaken solely to offset the hate, but not to let it go. 4 Your salvation will rise clearly before your open eyes as you look on this. 5 You cannot limit hate. 6 The special love relationship will not offset it, but will merely drive it underground and out of sight. 7 It is essential to bring it into sight, and to make no attempt to hide it. 8 For it is the attempt to balance hate with love that makes love meaningless to you. 9 The extent of the split that lies in this you do not realize. 10 And until you do, the split will remain unrecognized, and therefore unhealed.
T-16.IV.2. The symbols of hate against the symbols of love play out a conflict that does not exist. 2 For symbols stand for something else, and the symbol of love is without meaning if love is everything. 3 You will go through this last undoing quite unharmed, and will at last emerge as yourself. 4 This is the last step in the readiness for God. 5 Be not unwilling now; you are too near, and you will cross the bridge in perfect safety, translated quietly from war to peace. 6 For the illusion of love will never satisfy, but its reality, which awaits you on the other side, will give you everything.
T-16.IV.3. The special love relationship is an attempt to limit the destructive effects of hate by finding a haven in the storm of guilt. 2 It makes no attempt to rise above the storm, into the sunlight. 3 On the contrary, it emphasizes the guilt outside the haven by attempting to build barricades against it, and keep within them. p337 4 The special love relationship is not perceived as a value in itself, but as a place of safety from which hatred is split off and kept apart. 5 The special love partner is acceptable only as long as he serves this purpose. 6 Hatred can enter, and indeed is welcome in some aspects of the relationship, but it is still held together by the illusion of love. 7 If the illusion goes, the relationship is broken or becomes unsatisfying on the grounds of disillusionment.
T-16.IV.4. Love is not an illusion. 2 It is a fact. 3 Where disillusionment is possible, there was not love but hate. 4 For hate <is> an illusion, and what can change was never love. 5 It is sure that those who select certain ones as partners in any aspect of living, and use them for any purpose which they would not share with others, are trying to live with guilt rather than die of it. 6 This is the choice they see. 7 And love, to them, is only an escape from death. 8 They seek it desperately, but not in the peace in which it would gladly come quietly to them. 9 And when they find the fear of death is still upon them, the love relationship loses the illusion that it is what it is not. 10 When the barricades against it are broken, fear rushes in and hatred triumphs.
T-16.IV.5. There are no triumphs of love. 2 Only hate is at all concerned with the "triumph of love." 3 The illusion of love can triumph over the illusion of hate, but always at the price of making both illusions. 4 As long as the illusion of hatred lasts, so long will love be an illusion to you. 5 And then the only choice remaining possible is which illusion you prefer. 6 There <is> no conflict in the choice between truth and illusion. 7 Seen in these terms, no one would hesitate. 8 But conflict enters the instant the choice seems to be one between illusions, but this choice does not matter. 9 Where one choice is as dangerous as the other, the decision must be one of despair.
T-16.IV.6. Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 2 It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it <is> necessary to seek for what is false. 3 Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. 4 And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. 5 If you seek love outside yourself you can be certain that you perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. 6 Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality.
T-16.IV.7. Recognize this, for it is true, and truth must be recognized if it is to be distinguished from illusion: The special love relationship is an attempt to bring love into separation. 2 And, as such, it is nothing more than an attempt to bring love into fear, and make it real in fear. p338 3 In fundamental violation of love's one condition, the special love relationship would accomplish the impossible. 4 How but in illusion could this be done? 5 It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma which seems very real to you, but which does not exist. 6 You have come close to truth, and only this stands between you and the bridge that leads you into it.
T-16.IV.8. Heaven waits silently, and your creations are holding out their hands to help you cross and welcome them. 2 For it is they you seek. 3 You seek but for your own completion, and it is they who render you complete. 4 The special love relationship is but a shabby substitute for what makes you whole in truth, not in illusion. 5 Your relationship with them is without guilt, and this enables you to look on all your brothers with gratitude, because your creations were created in union with them. 6 Acceptance of your creations is the acceptance of the Oneness of creation, without which you could never be complete. 7 No specialness can offer you what God has given, and what you are joined with Him in giving.
T-16.IV.9. Across the bridge is your completion, for you will be wholly in God, willing for nothing special, but only to be wholly like to Him, completing Him by your completion. 2 Fear not to cross to the abode of peace and perfect holiness. 3 Only there is the completion of God and of His Son established forever. 4 Seek not for this in the bleak world of illusion, where nothing is certain and where everything fails to satisfy. 5 In the Name of God, be wholly willing to abandon all illusions. 6 In any relationship in which you are wholly willing to accept completion, and only this, there is God completed, and His Son with Him.
T-16.IV.10. The bridge that leads to union in yourself <must> lead to knowledge, for it was built with God beside you, and will lead you straight to Him where your completion rests, wholly compatible with His. 2 Every illusion you accept into your mind by judging it to be attainable removes your own sense of completion, and thus denies the Wholeness of your Father. 3 Every fantasy, be it of love or hate, deprives you of knowledge for fantasies are the veil behind which truth is hidden. 4 To lift the veil that seems so dark and heavy, it is only needful to value truth beyond all fantasy, and to be entirely unwilling to settle for illusion in place of truth.
T-16.IV.11. Would you not go through fear to love? 2 For such the journey seems to be. p339 3 Love calls, but hate would have you stay. 4 Hear not the call of hate, and see no fantasies. 5 For your completion lies in truth, and nowhere else. 6 See in the call of hate, and in every fantasy that rises to delay you, but the call for help that rises ceaselessly from you to your Creator. 7 Would He not answer you whose completion is His? 8 He loves you, wholly without illusion, as you must love. 9 For love <is> wholly without illusion, and therefore wholly without fear. 10 Whom God remembers must be whole. 11 And God has never forgotten what makes Him whole. 12 In your completion lie the memory of His Wholeness and His gratitude to you for His completion. 13 In His link with you lie both His inability to forget and your ability to remember. 14 In Him are joined your willingness to love and all the Love of God, Who forgot you not.
T-16.IV.12. Your Father can no more forget the truth in you than you can fail to remember it. 2 The Holy Spirit is the Bridge to Him, made from your willingness to unite with Him and created by His joy in union with you. 3 The journey that seemed endless is almost complete, for what <is> endless is very near. 4 You have almost recognized it. 5 Turn with me firmly away from all illusions now, and let nothing stand in the way of truth. 6 We will take the last useless journey away from truth together, and then together we go straight to God, in joyous answer to His Call for His completion.
T-16.IV.13. If special relationships of any kind would hinder God's completion, can they have any value to you? 2 What would interfere with God must interfere with you. 3 Only in time does interference in God's completion seem to be possible. 4 The bridge that He would carry you across lifts you from time into eternity. 5 Waken from time, and answer fearlessly the Call of Him Who gave eternity to you in your creation. 6 On this side of the bridge to timelessness you understand nothing. 7 But as you step lightly across it, upheld <by> timelessness, you are directed straight to the Heart of God. 8 At its center, and only there, you are safe forever, because you are complete forever. 9 There is no veil the Love of God in us together cannot lift. 10 The way to truth is open. 11 Follow it with me. p340
V. The Choice for Completion
T-16.V.1. In looking at the special relationship, it is necessary first to realize that it involves a great amount of pain. 2 Anxiety, despair, guilt and attack all enter into it, broken into by periods in which they seem to be gone. 3 All these must be understood for what they are. 4 Whatever form they take, they are always an attack on the self to make the other guilty. 5 I have spoken of this before, but there are some aspects of what is really being attempted that have not been touched upon.
T-16.V.2. Very simply, the attempt to make guilty is always directed against God. 2 For the ego would have you see Him, and Him alone, as guilty, leaving the Sonship open to attack and unprotected from it. 3 The special love relationship is the ego's chief weapon for keeping you from Heaven. 4 It does not appear to be a weapon, but if you consider how you value it and why, you will realize what it must be.
T-16.V.3. The special love relationship is the ego's most boasted gift, and one which has the most appeal to those unwilling to relinquish guilt. 2 The "dynamics" of the ego are clearest here, for counting on the attraction of this offering, the fantasies that center around it are often quite overt. 3 Here they are usually judged to be acceptable and even natural. 4 No one considers it bizarre to love and hate together, and even those who believe that hate is sin merely feel guilty, but do not correct it. 5 This is the "natural" condition of the separation, and those who learn that it is not natural at all seem to be the unnatural ones. 6 For this world <is> the opposite of Heaven, being made to be its opposite, and everything here takes a direction exactly opposite of what is true. 7 In Heaven, where the meaning of love is known, love is the same as union. 8 Here, where the illusion of love is accepted in love's place, love is perceived as separation and exclusion.
T-16.V.4. It is in the special relationship, born of the hidden wish for special love from God, that the ego's hatred triumphs. 2 For the special relationship is the renunciation of the Love of God, and the attempt to secure for the self the specialness that He denied. 3 It is essential to the preservation of the ego that you believe this specialness is not hell, but Heaven. 4 For the ego would never have you see that separation could only be loss, being the one condition in which Heaven could not be.
T-16.V.5. To everyone Heaven is completion. 2 There can be no disagreement on this, because both the ego and the Holy Spirit accept it. p341 3 They are, however, in complete disagreement on what completion is, and how it is accomplished. 4 The Holy Spirit knows that completion lies first in union, and then in the extension of union. 5 To the ego completion lies in triumph, and in the extension of the "victory" even to the final triumph over God. 6 In this it sees the ultimate freedom of the self, for nothing would remain to interfere with the ego. 7 This is its idea of Heaven. 8 And therefore union, which is a condition in which the ego cannot interfere, must be hell.
T-16.V.6. The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable. 2 And the attempt to find the imagined "best" of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both, and to the inability to perceive either as it is. 3 The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion. 4 It is a kind of union from which union is excluded, and the basis for the attempt at union rests on exclusion. 5 What better example could there be of the ego's maxim, "Seek but do not find"?
T-16.V.7. Most curious of all is the concept of the self which the ego fosters in the special relationship. 2 This "self" seeks the relationship to make itself complete. 3 Yet when it finds the special relationship in which it thinks it can accomplish this it gives itself away, and tries to "trade" itself for the self of another. 4 This is not union, for there is no increase and no extension. 5 Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer. 6 And he feels guilty for the "sin" of taking, and of giving nothing of value in return. 7 How much value can he place upon a self that he would give away to get a "better" one?
T-16.V.8. The "better" self the ego seeks is always one that is more special. 2 And whoever seems to possess a special self is "loved" for what can be taken from him. 3 Where both partners see this special self in each other, the ego sees "a union made in Heaven." 4 For neither one will recognize that he has asked for hell, and so he will not interfere with the ego's illusion of Heaven, which it offered him to interfere with Heaven. 5 Yet if all illusions are of fear, and they can be of nothing else, the illusion of Heaven is nothing more than an "attractive" form of fear, in which the guilt is buried deep and rises in the form of "love."
T-16.V.9. The appeal of hell lies only in the terrible attraction of guilt, which the ego holds out to those who place their faith in littleness. p342 2 The conviction of littleness lies in every special relationship, for only the deprived could value specialness. 3 The demand for specialness, and the perception of the giving of specialness as an act of love, would make love hateful. 4 The real purpose of the special relationship, in strict accordance with the ego's goals, is to destroy reality and substitute illusion. 5 For the ego is itself an illusion, and only illusions can be the witnesses to its "reality."
T-16.V.10. If you perceived the special relationship as a triumph over God, would you want it? 2 Let us not think of its fearful nature, nor of the guilt it must entail, nor of the sadness and the loneliness. 3 For these are only attributes of the whole religion of separation, and of the total context in which it is thought to occur. 4 The central theme in its litany to sacrifice is that God must die so you can live. 5 And it is this theme that is acted out in the special relationship. 6 Through the death of your self you think you can attack another self, and snatch it from the other to replace the self that you despise. 7 And you despise it because you do not think it offers the specialness that you demand. 8 And hating it you have made it little and unworthy, because you are afraid of it.
T-16.V.11. How can you grant unlimited power to what you think you have attacked? 2 So fearful has the truth become to you that unless it is weak and little, and unworthy of value, you would not dare to look upon it. 3 You think it safer to endow the little self you made with power you wrested from truth, triumphing over it and leaving it helpless. 4 See how exactly is this ritual enacted in the special relationship. 5 An altar is erected in between two separate people, on which each seeks to kill his self, and on his body raise another self to take its power from his death. 6 Over and over and over this ritual is enacted. 7 And it is never completed, nor ever will be completed. 8 The ritual of completion cannot complete, for life arises not from death, nor Heaven from hell.
T-16.V.12. Whenever any form of special relationship tempts you to seek for love in ritual, remember love is content, and not form of any kind. 2 The special relationship is a ritual of form, aimed at raising the form to take the place of God at the expense of content. 3 There is no meaning in the form, and there will never be. 4 The special relationship must be recognized for what it is; a senseless ritual in which strength is extracted from the death of God, and invested in His killer as the sign that form has triumphed over content, and love has lost its meaning. 5 Would you want this to be possible, even apart from its evident impossibility? 6 If it were possible, you would have made yourself helpless. p343 7 God is not angry. 8 He merely could not let this happen. 9 You cannot change His Mind. 10 No rituals that you have set up in which the dance of death delights you can bring death to the eternal. 11 Nor can your chosen substitute for the Wholeness of God have any influence at all upon it.
T-16.V.13. See in the special relationship nothing more than a meaningless attempt to raise other gods before Him, and by worshipping them to obscure their tininess and His greatness. 2 In the name of your completion you do not want this. 3 For every idol that you raise to place before Him stands before <you,> in place of what you are.
T-16.V.14. Salvation lies in the simple fact that illusions are not fearful because they are not true. 2 They but seem to be fearful to the extent to which you fail to recognize them for what they are; and you will fail to do this to the extent to which you <want> them to be true. 3 And to the same extent you are denying truth, and so are failing to make the simple choice between truth and illusion; God and fantasy. 4 Remember this, and you will have no difficulty in perceiving the decision as just what it is, and nothing more.
T-16.V.15. The core of the separation illusion lies simply in the fantasy of destruction of love's meaning. 2 And unless love's meaning is restored to you, you cannot know yourself who share its meaning. 3 Separation is only the decision <not> to know yourself. 4 This whole thought system is a carefully contrived learning experience, designed to lead away from truth and into fantasy. 5 Yet for every learning that would hurt you, God offers you correction and complete escape from all its consequences.
T-16.V.16. The decision whether or not to listen to this course and follow it is but the choice between truth and illusion. 2 For here is truth, separated from illusion and not confused with it at all. 3 How simple does this choice become when it is perceived as only what it is. 4 For only fantasies make confusion in choosing possible, and they are totally unreal.
T-16.V.17. This year is thus the time to make the easiest decision that ever confronted you, and also the only one. 2 You will cross the bridge into reality simply because you will recognize that God is on the other side, and nothing at all is here. 3 It is impossible not to make the natural decision as this is realized. p344
VI. The Bridge to the Real World
T-16.VI.1. The search for the special relationship is the sign that you equate yourself with the ego and not with God. 2 For the special relationship has value only to the ego. 3 To the ego, unless a relationship has special value it has no meaning, for it perceives all love as special. 4 Yet this cannot be natural, for it is unlike the relationship of God and His Son, and all relationships that are unlike this one <must> be unnatural. 5 For God created love as He would have it be, and gave it as it is. 6 Love has no meaning except as its Creator defined it by His Will. 7 It is impossible to define it otherwise and understand it.
T-16.VI.2. Love is freedom. 2 To look for it by placing yourself in bondage is to separate yourself from it. 3 For the Love of God, no longer seek for union in separation, nor for freedom in bondage! 4 As you release, so will you be released. 5 Forget this not, or Love will be unable to find you and comfort you.
T-16.VI.3. There is a way in which the Holy Spirit asks your help, if you would have His. 2 The holy instant is His most helpful aid in protecting you from the attraction of guilt, the real lure in the special relationship. 3 You do not recognize that this is its real appeal, for the ego has taught you that freedom lies in it. 4 Yet the closer you look at the special relationship, the more apparent it becomes that it must foster guilt and therefore must imprison.
T-16.VI.4. The special relationship is totally meaningless without a body. 2 If you value it, you must also value the body. 3 And what you value you will keep. 4 The special relationship is a device for limiting your self to a body, and for limiting your perception of others to theirs. 5 The Great Rays would establish the total lack of value of the special relationship, if they were seen. 6 For in seeing them the body would disappear, because its value would be lost. 7 And so your whole investment in seeing it would be withdrawn from it.
T-16.VI.5. You see the world you value. 2 On this side of the bridge you see the world of separate bodies, seeking to join each other in separate unions and to become one by losing. 3 When two individuals seek to become one, they are trying to decrease their magnitude. 4 Each would deny his power, for the separate union excludes the universe. 5 Far more is left outside than would be taken in, for God is left without and <nothing> taken in. 6 If one such union were made in perfect faith, the universe would enter into it. 7 Yet the special relationship the ego seeks does not include even one whole individual. p345 8 The ego wants but part of him, and sees only this part and nothing else.
T-16.VI.6. Across the bridge it is so different! 2 For a time the body is still seen, but not exclusively, as it is seen here. 3 The little spark that holds the Great Rays within it is also visible, and this spark cannot be limited long to littleness. 4 Once you have crossed the bridge, the value of the body is so diminished in your sight that you will see no need at all to magnify it. 5 For you will realize that the only value the body has is to enable you to bring your brothers to the bridge with you, and to be released together there.
T-16.VI.7. The bridge itself is nothing more than a transition in the perspective of reality. 2 On this side, everything you see is grossly distorted and completely out of perspective. 3 What is little and insignificant is magnified, and what is strong and powerful cut down to littleness. 4 In the transition there is a period of confusion, in which a sense of actual disorientation may occur. 5 But fear it not, for it means only that you have been willing to let go your hold on the distorted frame of reference that seemed to hold your world together. 6 This frame of reference is built around the special relationship. 7 Without this illusion there could be no meaning you would still seek here.
T-16.VI.8. Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality. 2 Time is kind, and if you use it on behalf of reality, it will keep gentle pace with you in your transition. 3 The urgency is only in dislodging your mind from its fixed position here. 4 This will not leave you homeless and without a frame of reference. 5 The period of disorientation, which precedes the actual transition, is far shorter than the time it took to fix your mind so firmly on illusions. 6 Delay will hurt you now more than before, only because you realize it <is> delay, and that escape from pain is really possible. 7 Find hope and comfort, rather than despair, in this: You could not long find even the illusion of love in any special relationship here. 8 For you are no longer wholly insane, and you would soon recognize the guilt of self-betrayal for what it is.
T-16.VI.9. Nothing you seek to strengthen in the special relationship is really part of you. 2 And you cannot keep part of the thought system that taught you it was real, and understand the Thought that <knows> what you are. 3 You have allowed the Thought of your reality to enter your mind, and because you invited it, it will abide with you. 4 Your love for it will not allow you to betray yourself, and you could not enter into a relationship where it could not go with you, for you would not want to be apart from it. p346
T-16.VI.10. Be glad you have escaped the mockery of salvation the ego offered you, and look not back with longing on the travesty it made of your relationships. 2 Now no one need suffer, for you have come too far to yield to the illusion of the beauty and holiness of guilt. 3 Only the wholly insane could look on death and suffering, sickness and despair, and see it thus. 4 What guilt has wrought is ugly, fearful and very dangerous. 5 See no illusion of truth and beauty there. 6 And be you thankful that there <is> a place where truth and beauty wait for you. 7 Go on to meet them gladly, and learn how much awaits you for the simple willingness to give up nothing <because> it is nothing.
T-16.VI.11. The new perspective you will gain from crossing over will be the understanding of where Heaven <is.> 2 From this side, it seems to be outside and across the bridge. 3 Yet as you cross to join it, it will join with you and become one with you. 4 And you will think, in glad astonishment, that for all this you gave up <nothing!> 5 The joy of Heaven, which has no limit, is increased with each light that returns to take its rightful place within it. 6 Wait no longer, for the Love of God and <you.> 7 And may the holy instant speed you on the way, as it will surely do if you but let it come to you.
T-16.VI.12. The Holy Spirit asks only this little help of you: Whenever your thoughts wander to a special relationship which still attracts you, enter with Him into a holy instant, and there let Him release you. 2 He needs only your willingness to share His perspective to give it to you completely. 3 And your willingness need not be complete because His is perfect. 4 It is His task to atone for your unwillingness by His perfect faith, and it is His faith you share with Him there. 5 Out of your recognition of your unwillingness for your release, His perfect willingness is given you. 6 Call upon Him, for Heaven is at His Call. 7 And let Him call on Heaven for you.
VII. The End of Illusions
T-16.VII.1. It is impossible to let the past go without relinquishing the special relationship. 2 For the special relationship is an attempt to re-enact the past and change it. 3 Imagined slights, remembered pain, past disappointments, perceived injustices and deprivations all enter into the special relationship, which becomes a way in which you seek to restore your wounded self-esteem. p347 4 What basis would you have for choosing a special partner without the past? 5 Every such choice is made because of something "evil" in the past to which you cling, and for which must someone else atone.
T-16.VII.2. The special relationship takes vengeance on the past. 2 By seeking to remove suffering in the past, it overlooks the present in its preoccupation with the past and its total commitment to it. 3 No special relationship is experienced in the present. 4 Shades of the past envelop it, and make it what it is. 5 It has no meaning in the present, and if it means nothing now, it cannot have any real meaning at all. 6 How can you change the past except in fantasy? 7 And who can give you what you think the past deprived you of? 8 The past is nothing. 9 Do not seek to lay the blame for deprivation on it, for the past is gone. 10 You cannot really <not> let go what has already gone. 11 It must be, therefore, that you are maintaining the illusion that it has not gone because you think it serves some purpose that you want fulfilled. 12 And it must also be that this purpose could not be fulfilled in the present, but only in the past.
T-16.VII.3. Do not underestimate the intensity of the ego's drive for vengeance on the past. 2 It is completely savage and completely insane. 3 For the ego remembers everything you have done that has offended it, and seeks retribution of you. 4 The fantasies it brings to its chosen relationships in which to act out its hate are fantasies of your destruction. 5 For the ego holds the past against you, and in your escape from the past it sees itself deprived of the vengeance it believes you so justly merit. 6 Yet without your alliance in your own destruction, the ego could not hold you to the past. 7 In the special relationship you are allowing your destruction to be. 8 That this is insane is obvious. 9 But what is less obvious is that the present is useless to you while you pursue the ego's goal as its ally.
T-16.VII.4. The past is gone; seek not to preserve it in the special relationship that binds you to it, and would teach you salvation is past and so you must return to the past to find salvation. 2 There is no fantasy that does not contain the dream of retribution for the past. 3 Would you act out the dream, or let it go?
T-16.VII.5. In the special relationship it does not seem to be an acting out of vengeance that you seek. 2 And even when the hatred and the savagery break briefly through, the illusion of love is not profoundly shaken. 3 Yet the one thing the ego never allows to reach awareness is that the special relationship is the acting out of vengeance on yourself. p348 4 Yet what else could it be? 5 In seeking the special relationship, you look not for glory in yourself. 6 You have denied that it is there, and the relationship becomes your substitute for it. 7 And vengeance becomes your substitute for Atonement, and the escape from vengeance becomes your loss.
T-16.VII.6. Against the ego's insane notion of salvation the Holy Spirit gently lays the holy instant. 2 We said before that the Holy Spirit must teach through comparisons, and uses opposites to point to truth. 3 The holy instant is the opposite of the ego's fixed belief in salvation through vengeance for the past. 4 In the holy instant it is understood that the past is gone, and with its passing the drive for vengeance has been uprooted and has disappeared. 5 The stillness and the peace of <now> enfold you in perfect gentleness. 6 Everything is gone except the truth.
T-16.VII.7. For a time you may attempt to bring illusions into the holy instant, to hinder your full awareness of the complete difference, in all respects, between your experience of truth and illusion. 2 Yet you will not attempt this long. 3 In the holy instant the power of the Holy Spirit will prevail, because you joined Him. 4 The illusions you bring with you will weaken the experience of Him for a while, and will prevent you from keeping the experience in your mind. 5 Yet the holy instant is eternal, and your illusions of time will not prevent the timeless from being what it is, nor you from experiencing it as it is.
T-16.VII.8. What God has given you is truly given, and will be truly received. 2 For God's gifts have no reality apart from your receiving them. 3 Your receiving completes His giving. 4 You will receive <because> it is His Will to give. 5 He gave the holy instant to be given you, and it is impossible that you receive it not <because> He gave it. 6 When He willed that His Son be free, His Son <was> free. 7 In the holy instant is His reminder that His Son will always be exactly as he was created. 8 And everything the Holy Spirit teaches is to remind you that you have received what God has given you.
T-16.VII.9. There is nothing you can hold against reality. 2 All that must be forgiven are the illusions you have held against your brothers. 3 Their reality has no past, and only illusions can be forgiven. 4 God holds nothing against anyone, for He is incapable of illusions of any kind. 5 Release your brothers from the slavery of their illusions by forgiving them for the illusions you perceive in them. 6 Thus will you learn that you have been forgiven, for it is you who offered them illusions. p349 7 In the holy instant this is done for you in time, to bring you the true condition of Heaven.
T-16.VII.10. Remember that you always choose between truth and illusion; between the real Atonement that would heal and the ego's "atonement" that would destroy. 2 The power of God and all His Love, without limit, will support you as you seek only your place in the plan of Atonement arising from His Love. 3 Be an ally of God and not the ego in seeking how Atonement can come to you. 4 His help suffices, for His Messenger understands how to restore the Kingdom to you, and to place all your investment in salvation in your relationship with Him.
T-16.VII.11. Seek and find> His message in the holy instant, where all illusions are forgiven. 2 From there the miracle extends to bless everyone and to resolve all problems, be they perceived as great or small, possible or impossible. 3 There is nothing that will not give place to Him and to His Majesty. 4 To join in close relationship with Him is to accept relationships as real, and through their reality to give over all illusions for the reality of your relationship with God. 5 Praise be to your relationship with Him and to no other. 6 The truth lies there and nowhere else. 7 You choose this or nothing.
T-16.VII.12. <Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter. 2 Our holiness is Yours. 3 What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect? 4 The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love. 5 Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will. 6 And let us receive only what You have given, and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love. 7 Amen.> p350
FORGIVENESS AND THE HOLY RELATIONSHIP
I. Bringing Fantasy to Truth
T-17.I.1. The betrayal of the Son of God lies only in illusions, and all his "sins" are but his own imagining. 2 His reality is forever sinless. 3 He need not be forgiven but awakened. 4 In his dreams he has betrayed himself, his brothers and his God. 5 Yet what is done in dreams has not been really done. 6 It is impossible to convince the dreamer that this is so, for dreams are what they are <because> of their illusion of reality. 7 Only in waking is the full release from them, for only then does it become perfectly apparent that they had no effect upon reality at all, and did not change it. 8 Fantasies change reality. 9 That is their purpose. 10 They cannot do so in reality, but they <can> do so in the mind that would have reality be different.
T-17.I.2. It is, then, only your wish to change reality that is fearful, because by your wish you think you have accomplished what you wish. 2 This strange position, in a sense, acknowledges your power. 3 Yet by distorting it and devoting it to "evil," it also makes it unreal. 4 You cannot be faithful to two masters who ask conflicting things of you. 5 What you use in fantasy you deny to truth. 6 Yet what you give to truth to use for you is safe from fantasy.
T-17.I.3. When you maintain that there must be an order of difficulty in miracles, all you mean is that there are some things you would withhold from truth. 2 You believe truth cannot deal with them only because you would keep them from truth. 3 Very simply, your lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy. 4 If you but realized what this must do to your appreciation of the whole! 5 What you reserve for yourself, you take away from Him Who would release you. 6 Unless you give it back, it is inevitable that your perspective on reality be warped and uncorrected.
T-17.I.4. As long as you would have it so, so long will the illusion of an order of difficulty in miracles remain with you. 2 For you have established this order in reality by giving some of it to one teacher, and some to another. 3 And so you learn to deal with part of the truth in one way, and in another way the other part. 4 To fragment truth is to destroy it by rendering it meaningless. 5 Orders of reality is a perspective without understanding; a frame of reference for reality to which it cannot really be compared at all.
T-17.I.5. Think you that you can bring truth to fantasy, and learn what truth means from the perspective of illusions? 2 Truth <has> no meaning in illusion. 3 The frame of reference for its meaning must be itself. 4 When you try to bring truth to illusions, you are trying to make illusions real, and keep them by justifying your belief in them. p351 5 But to give illusions to truth is to enable truth to teach that the illusions are unreal, and thus enable you to escape from them. 6 Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. 7 There is no order in reality, because everything there is true.
T-17.I.6. Be willing, then, to give all you have held outside the truth to Him Who knows the truth, and in Whom all is brought to truth. 2 Salvation from separation would be complete, or will not be at all. 3 Be not concerned with anything except your willingness to have this be accomplished. 4 He will accomplish it; not you. 5 But forget not this: When you become disturbed and lose your peace of mind because another is attempting to solve his problems through fantasy, you are refusing to forgive yourself for just this same attempt. 6 And you are holding both of you away from truth and from salvation. 7 As you forgive him, you restore to truth what was denied by both of you. 8 And you will see forgiveness where you have given it.
II. The Forgiven World
T-17.II.1. Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you? 2 In no fantasy have you ever seen anything so lovely. 3 Nothing you see here, sleeping or waking, comes near to such loveliness. 4 And nothing will you value like unto this, nor hold so dear. 5 Nothing that you remember that made your heart sing with joy has ever brought you even a little part of the happiness this sight will bring you. 6 For you will see the Son of God. 7 You will behold the beauty the Holy Spirit loves to look upon, and which He thanks the Father for. 8 He was created to see this for you, until you learned to see it for yourself. 9 And all His teaching leads to seeing it and giving thanks with Him.
T-17.II.2. This loveliness is not a fantasy. 2 It is the real world, bright and clean and new, with everything sparkling under the open sun. p352 3 Nothing is hidden here, for everything has been forgiven and there are no fantasies to hide the truth. 4 The bridge between that world and this is so little and so easy to cross, that you could not believe it is the meeting place of worlds so different. 5 Yet this little bridge is the strongest thing that touches on this world at all. 6 This little step, so small it has escaped your notice, is a stride through time into eternity, beyond all ugliness into beauty that will enchant you, and will never cease to cause you wonderment at its perfection.
T-17.II.3. This step, the smallest ever taken, is still the greatest accomplishment of all in God's plan of Atonement. 2 All else is learned, but this is given, complete and wholly perfect. 3 No one but Him Who planned salvation could complete it thus. 4 The real world, in its loveliness, you learn to reach. 5 Fantasies are all undone, and no one and nothing remain still bound by them, and by your own forgiveness you are free to see. 6 Yet what you see is only what you made, with the blessing of your forgiveness on it. 7 And with this final blessing of God's Son upon himself, the real perception, born of the new perspective he has learned, has served its purpose.
T-17.II.4. The stars will disappear in light, and the sun that opened up the world to beauty will vanish. 2 Perception will be meaningless when it has been perfected, for everything that has been used for learning will have no function. 3 Nothing will ever change; no shifts nor shadings, no differences, no variations that made perception possible will still occur. 4 The perception of the real world will be so short that you will barely have time to thank God for it. 5 For God will take the last step swiftly, when you have reached the real world and have been made ready for Him.
T-17.II.5. The real world is attained simply by the complete forgiveness of the old, the world you see without forgiveness. 2 The great Transformer of perception will undertake with you the careful searching of the mind that made this world, and uncover to you the seeming reasons for your making it. 3 In the light of the real reason that He brings, as you follow Him, He will show you that there is no reason here at all. 4 Each spot His reason touches grows alive with beauty, and what seemed ugly in the darkness of your lack of reason is suddenly released to loveliness. 5 Not even what the Son of God made in insanity could be without a hidden spark of beauty that gentleness could release. p353
T-17.II.6. All this beauty will rise to bless your sight as you look upon the world with forgiving eyes. 2 For forgiveness literally transforms vision, and lets you see the real world reaching quietly and gently across chaos, removing all illusions that had twisted your perception and fixed it on the past. 3 The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God's perfection.
T-17.II.7. From the forgiven world the Son of God is lifted easily into his home. 2 And there he knows that he has always rested there in peace. 3 Even salvation will become a dream, and vanish from his mind. 4 For salvation is the end of dreams, and with the closing of the dream will have no meaning. 5 Who, awake in Heaven, could dream that there could ever be need of salvation?
T-17.II.8. How much do you want salvation? 2 It will give you the real world, trembling with readiness to be given you. 3 The eagerness of the Holy Spirit to give you this is so intense He would not wait, although He waits in patience. 4 Meet His patience with your impatience at delay in meeting Him. 5 Go out in gladness to meet with your Redeemer, and walk with Him in trust out of this world, and into the real world of beauty and forgiveness.
III. Shadows of the Past
T-17.III.1. To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. 2 All the rest must be forgotten. 3 Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection. 4 For the shadow figures you would make immortal are "enemies" of reality. 5 Be willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do. 6 The shadow figures are the witnesses you bring with you to demonstrate he did what he did not. 7 Because you bring them, you will hear them. 8 And you who keep them by your own selection do not understand how they came into your mind, and what their purpose is. 9 They represent the evil that you think was done to you. 10 You bring them with you only that you may return evil for evil, hoping that their witness will enable you to think guiltily of another and not harm yourself. 11 They speak so clearly for the separation that no one not obsessed with keeping separation could hear them. 12 They offer you the "reasons" why you should enter into unholy alliances to support the ego's goals, and make your relationships the witness to its power. p354
T-17.III.2. It is these shadow figures that would make the ego holy in your sight, and teach you what you do to keep it safe is really love. 2 The shadow figures always speak for vengeance, and all relationships into which they enter are totally insane. 3 Without exception, these relationships have as their purpose the exclusion of the truth about the other, and of yourself. 4 This is why you see in both what is not there, and make of both the slaves of vengeance. 5 And why whatever reminds you of your past grievances attracts you, and seems to go by the name of love, no matter how distorted the associations by which you arrive at the connection may be. 6 And finally, why all such relationships become attempts at union through the body, for only bodies can be seen as means for vengeance. 7 That bodies are central to all unholy relationships is evident. 8 Your own experience has taught you this. 9 But what you may not realize are all the reasons that go to make the relationship unholy. 10 For unholiness seeks to reinforce itself, as holiness does, by gathering to itself what it perceives as like itself.
T-17.III.3. In the unholy relationship, it is not the body of the other with which union is attempted, but the bodies of those who are not there. 2 For even the body of the other, already a severely limited perception of him, is not the central focus as it is, or in entirety. 3 What can be used for fantasies of vengeance, and what can be most readily associated with those on whom vengeance is really sought, is centered on and separated off as being the only parts of value. 4 Every step taken in the making, the maintaining and the breaking off of the unholy relationship is a move toward further fragmentation and unreality. 5 The shadow figures enter more and more, and the one in whom they seem to be decreases in importance.
T-17.III.4. Time is indeed unkind to the unholy relationship. 2 For time <is> cruel in the ego's hands, as it is kind when used for gentleness. 3 The attraction of the unholy relationship begins to fade and to be questioned almost at once. 4 Once it is formed, doubt must enter in, because its purpose is impossible. 5 The "ideal" of the unholy relationship thus becomes one in which the reality of the other does not enter at all to "spoil" the dream. 6 And the less the other really brings to the relationship, the "better" it becomes. 7 Thus, the attempt at union becomes a way of excluding even the one with whom the union was sought. 8 For it was formed to get him out of it, and join with fantasies in uninterrupted "bliss."
T-17.III.5. How can the Holy Spirit bring His interpretation of the body as a means of communication into relationships whose only purpose is separation from reality? p355 2 What forgiveness <is> enables Him to do so. 3 If all but loving thoughts have been forgotten, what remains is eternal. 4 And the transformed past is made like the present. 5 No longer does the past conflict with <now.> 6 This continuity extends the present by increasing its reality and its value in your perception of it. 7 In these loving thoughts is the spark of beauty hidden in the ugliness of the unholy relationship where hatred is remembered; yet there to come alive as the relationship is given to Him Who gives it life and beauty. 8 That is why Atonement centers on the past, which is the source of separation, and where it must be undone. 9 For separation must be corrected where it was made.
T-17.III.6. The ego seeks to "resolve" its problems, not at their source, but where they were not made. 2 And thus it seeks to guarantee there will be no solution. 3 The Holy Spirit wants only to make His resolutions complete and perfect, and so He seeks and finds the source of problems where it is, and there undoes it. 4 And with each step in His undoing is the separation more and more undone, and union brought closer. 5 He is not at all confused by any "reasons" for separation. 6 All He perceives in separation is that it must be undone. 7 Let Him uncover the hidden spark of beauty in your relationships, and show it to you. 8 Its loveliness will so attract you that you will be unwilling ever to lose the sight of it again. 9 And you will let this spark transform the relationship so you can see it more and more. 10 For you will want it more and more, and become increasingly unwilling to let it be hidden from you. 11 And you will learn to seek for and establish the conditions in which this beauty can be seen.
T-17.III.7. All this you will do gladly, if you but let Him hold the spark before you, to light your way and make it clear to you. 2 God's Son is One. 3 Whom God has joined as one, the ego cannot put asunder. 4 The spark of holiness must be safe, however hidden it may be, in every relationship. 5 For the Creator of the one relationship has left no part of it without Himself. 6 This is the only part of the relationship the Holy Spirit sees, because He knows that only this is true. 7 You have made the relationship unreal, and therefore unholy, by seeing it where it is not and as it is not. 8 Give the past to Him Who can change your mind about it for you. 9 But first, be sure you fully realize what you have made the past to represent, and why. p356
T-17.III.8. The past becomes the justification for entering into a continuing, unholy alliance with the ego against the present. 2 For the present <is> forgiveness. 3 Therefore, the relationships the unholy alliance dictates are not perceived nor felt as <now.> 4 Yet the frame of reference to which the present is referred for meaning is an <illusion> of the past, in which those elements that fit the purpose of the unholy alliance are retained, and all the rest let go. 5 And what is thus let go is all the truth the past could ever offer to the present as witnesses for its reality. 6 What is kept but witnesses to the reality of dreams.
T-17.III.9. It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion. 2 But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. 3 Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more. 4 The spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion, freedom or slavery-it is all the same. 5 For you can never choose except between God and the ego. 6 Thought systems are but true or false, and all their attributes come simply from what they are. 7 Only the Thoughts of God are true. 8 And all that follows from them comes from what they are, and is as true as is the holy Source from which they came.
T-17.III.10. My holy brother, I would enter into all your relationships, and step between you and your fantasies. 2 Let my relationship to you be real to you, and let me bring reality to your perception of your brothers. 3 They were not created to enable you to hurt yourself through them. 4 They were created to create with you. 5 This is the truth that I would interpose between you and your goal of madness. 6 Be not separate from me, and let not the holy purpose of Atonement be lost to you in dreams of vengeance. 7 Relationships in which such dreams are cherished have excluded me. 8 Let me enter in the Name of God and bring you peace, that you may offer peace to me.
IV. The Two Pictures
T-17.IV.1. God established His relationship with you to make you happy, and nothing you do that does not share His purpose can be real. 2 The purpose God ascribed to anything is its only function. 3 Because of His reason for creating His relationship with you, the function of relationships became forever "to make happy." 4 <And nothing else.> p357 5 To fulfill this function you relate to your creations as God to His. 6 For nothing God created is apart from happiness, and nothing God created but would extend happiness as its Creator did. 7 Whatever does not fulfill this function cannot be real.
T-17.IV.2. In this world it is impossible to create. 2 Yet it <is> possible to make happy. 3 I have said repeatedly that the Holy Spirit would not deprive you of your special relationships, but would transform them. 4 And all that is meant by that is that He will restore to them the function given them by God. 5 The function you have given them is clearly not to make happy. 6 But the holy relationship shares God's purpose, rather than aiming to make a substitute for it. 7 Every special relationship you have made is a substitute for God's Will, and glorifies yours instead of His because of the illusion that they are different.
T-17.IV.3. You have made very real relationships even in this world. 2 Yet you do not recognize them because you have raised their substitutes to such predominance that, when truth calls to you, as it does constantly, you answer with a substitute. 3 Every special relationship you have made has, as its fundamental purpose, the aim of occupying your mind so completely that you will not hear the call of truth.
T-17.IV.4. In a sense, the special relationship was the ego's answer to the creation of the Holy Spirit, Who was God's Answer to the separation. 2 For although the ego did not understand what had been created, it was aware of threat. 3 The whole defense system the ego evolved to protect the separation from the Holy Spirit was in response to the gift with which God blessed it, and by His blessing enabled it to be healed. 4 This blessing holds within itself the truth about everything. 5 And the truth is that the Holy Spirit is in close relationship with you, because in Him is your relationship with God restored to you. 6 The relationship with Him has never been broken, because the Holy Spirit has not been separate from anyone since the separation. 7 And through Him have all your holy relationships been carefully preserved, to serve God's purpose for you.
T-17.IV.5. The ego is always alert to threat, and the part of your mind into which the ego was accepted is very anxious to preserve its reason, as it sees it. 2 It does not realize that it is totally insane. 3 And you must realize just what this means if you would be restored to sanity. 4 The insane protect their thought systems, but they do so insanely. p358 5 And all their defenses are as insane as what they are supposed to protect. 6 The separation has nothing in it, no part, no "reason," and no attribute that is not insane. 7 And its "protection" is part of it, as insane as the whole. 8 The special relationship, which is its chief defense, must therefore be insane.
T-17.IV.6. You have but little difficulty now in realizing that the thought system the special relationship protects is but a system of delusions. 2 You recognize, at least in general terms, that the ego is insane. 3 Yet the special relationship still seems to you somehow to be "different." 4 Yet we have looked at it far closer than we have at many other aspects of the ego's thought system that you have been more willing to let go. 5 While this one remains, you will not let the others go. 6 For this one is not different. 7 Retain this one, and you have retained the whole.
T-17.IV.7. It is essential to realize that all defenses <do> what they would defend. 2 The underlying basis for their effectiveness is that they offer what they defend. 3 What they defend is placed in them for safe-keeping, and as they operate they bring it to you. 4 Every defense operates by giving gifts, and the gift is always a miniature of the thought system the defense protects, set in a golden frame. 5 The frame is very elaborate, all set with jewels, and deeply carved and polished. 6 Its purpose is to be of value <in itself,> and to divert your attention from what it encloses. 7 But the frame without the picture you cannot have. 8 Defenses operate to make you think you can.
T-17.IV.8. The special relationship has the most imposing and deceptive frame of all the defenses the ego uses. 2 Its thought system is offered here, surrounded by a frame so heavy and so elaborate that the picture is almost obliterated by its imposing structure. 3 Into the frame are woven all sorts of fanciful and fragmented illusions of love, set with dreams of sacrifice and self-aggrandizement, and interlaced with gilded threads of self-destruction. 4 The glitter of blood shines like rubies, and the tears are faceted like diamonds and gleam in the dim light in which the offering is made.
T-17.IV.9. Look at the <picture.> 2 Do not let the frame distract you. 3 This gift is given you for your damnation, and if you take it you will believe that you <are> damned. 4 You cannot have the frame without the picture. 5 What you value is the frame, for there you see no conflict. 6 Yet the frame is only the wrapping for the gift of conflict. 7 The frame is not the gift. 8 Be not deceived by the most superficial aspects of this thought system, for these aspects enclose the whole, complete in every aspect. p359 9 Death lies in this glittering gift. 10 Let not your gaze dwell on the hypnotic gleaming of the frame. 11 Look at the picture, and realize that death is offered you.
T-17.IV.10. That is why the holy instant is so important in the defense of truth. 2 The truth itself needs no defense, but you do need defense against your acceptance of the gift of death. 3 When you who are truth accept an idea so dangerous to truth, you threaten truth with destruction. 4 And your defense must now be undertaken, to keep truth whole. 5 The power of Heaven, the Love of God, the tears of Christ, and the joy of His eternal Spirit are marshalled to defend you from your own attack. 6 For you attack Them, being part of Them, and They must save you, for They love Themselves.
T-17.IV.11. The holy instant is a miniature of Heaven, sent you <from> Heaven. 2 It is a picture, too, set in a frame. 3 Yet if you accept this gift you will not see the frame at all, because the gift can only be accepted through your willingness to focus all your attention on the picture. 4 The holy instant is a miniature of eternity. 5 It is a picture of timelessness, set in a frame of time. 6 If you focus on the picture, you will realize that it was only the frame that made you think it <was> a picture. 7 Without the frame, the picture is seen as what it represents. 8 For as the whole thought system of the ego lies in its gifts, so the whole of Heaven lies in this instant, borrowed from eternity and set in time for you.
T-17.IV.12. Two gifts are offered you. 2 Each is complete, and cannot be partially accepted. 3 Each is a picture of all that you can have, seen very differently. 4 You cannot compare their value by comparing a picture to a frame. 5 It must be the pictures only that you compare, or the comparison is wholly without meaning. 6 Remember that it is the picture that is the gift. 7 And only on this basis are you really free to choose. 8 Look at the pictures. 9 Both of them. 10 One is a tiny picture, hard to see at all beneath the heavy shadows of its enormous and disproportionate enclosure. 11 The other is lightly framed and hung in light, lovely to look upon for what it is.
T-17.IV.13. You who have tried so hard, and are still trying, to fit the better picture into the wrong frame and so combine what cannot be combined, accept this and be glad: These pictures are each framed perfectly for what they represent. 2 One is framed to be out of focus and not seen. 3 The other is framed for perfect clarity. 4 The picture of darkness and of death grows less convincing as you search it out amid its wrappings. p360 5 As each senseless stone that seems to shine from the frame in darkness is exposed to light, it becomes dull and lifeless, and ceases to distract you from the picture. 6 And finally you look upon the picture itself, seeing at last that, unprotected by the frame, it has no meaning.
T-17.IV.14. The other picture is lightly framed, for time cannot contain eternity. 2 There is no distraction here. 3 The picture of Heaven and eternity grows more convincing as you look at it. 4 And now, by real comparison, a transformation of both pictures can at last occur. 5 And each is given its rightful place when both are seen in relation to each other. 6 The dark picture, brought to light, is not perceived as fearful, but the fact that it is just a picture is brought home at last. 7 And what you see there you will recognize as what it is; a picture of what you thought was real, and nothing more. 8 For beyond this picture you will see nothing.
T-17.IV.15. The picture of light, in clear-cut and unmistakable contrast, is transformed into what lies beyond the picture. 2 As you look on this, you realize that it is not a picture, but a reality. 3 This is no figured representation of a thought system, but the Thought itself. 4 What it represents is there. 5 The frame fades gently and God rises to your remembrance, offering you the whole of creation in exchange for your little picture, wholly without value and entirely deprived of meaning.
T-17.IV.16. As God ascends into His rightful place and you to yours, you will experience again the meaning of relationship and know it to be true. 2 Let us ascend in peace together to the Father, by giving Him ascendance in our minds. 3 We will gain everything by giving Him the power and the glory, and keeping no illusions of where they are. 4 They are in us, through His ascendance. 5 What He has given is His. 6 It shines in every part of Him, as in the whole. 7 The whole reality of your relationship with Him lies in our relationship to one another. 8 The holy instant shines alike on all relationships, for in it they <are> one. 9 For here is only healing, already complete and perfect. 10 For here is God, and where He is only the perfect and complete can be. p361
V. The Healed Relationship
T-17.V.1. The holy relationship is the expression of the holy instant in living in this world. 2 Like everything about salvation, the holy instant is a practical device, witnessed to by its results. 3 The holy instant never fails. 4 The experience of it is always felt. 5 Yet without expression it is not remembered. 6 The holy relationship is a constant reminder of the experience in which the relationship became what it is. 7 And as the unholy relationship is a continuing hymn of hate in praise of its maker, so is the holy relationship a happy song of praise to the Redeemer of relationships.
T-17.V.2. The holy relationship, a major step toward the perception of the real world, is learned. 2 It is the old, unholy relationship, transformed and seen anew. 3 The holy relationship is a phenomenal teaching accomplishment. 4 In all its aspects, as it begins, develops and becomes accomplished, it represents the reversal of the unholy relationship. 5 Be comforted in this; the only difficult phase is the beginning. 6 For here, the goal of the relationship is abruptly shifted to the exact opposite of what it was. 7 This is the first result of offering the relationship to the Holy Spirit, to use for His purposes.
T-17.V.3. This invitation is accepted immediately, and the Holy Spirit wastes no time in introducing the practical results of asking Him to enter. 2 At once His goal replaces yours. 3 This is accomplished very rapidly, but it makes the relationship seem disturbed, disjunctive and even quite distressing. 4 The reason is quite clear. 5 For the relationship as it <is> is out of line with its own goal, and clearly unsuited to the purpose that has been accepted for it. 6 In its unholy condition, <your> goal was all that seemed to give it meaning. 7 Now it seems to make no sense. 8 Many relationships have been broken off at this point, and the pursuit of the old goal re-established in another relationship. 9 For once the unholy relationship has accepted the goal of holiness, it can never again be what it was.
T-17.V.4. The temptation of the ego becomes extremely intense with this shift in goals. 2 For the relationship has not as yet been changed sufficiently to make its former goal completely without attraction, and its structure is "threatened" by the recognition of its inappropriateness for meeting its new purpose. 3 The conflict between the goal and the structure of the relationship is so apparent that they cannot coexist. 4 Yet now the goal will not be changed. p362 5 Set firmly in the unholy relationship, there is no course except to change the relationship to fit the goal. 6 Until this happy solution is seen and accepted as the only way out of the conflict, the relationship may seem to be severely strained.
T-17.V.5. It would not be kinder to shift the goal more slowly, for the contrast would be obscured, and the ego given time to reinterpret each slow step according to its liking. 2 Only a radical shift in purpose could induce a complete change of mind about what the whole relationship is for. 3 As this change develops and is finally accomplished, it grows increasingly beneficent and joyous. 4 But at the beginning, the situation is experienced as very precarious. 5 A relationship, undertaken by two individuals for their unholy purposes, suddenly has holiness for its goal. 6 As these two contemplate their relationship from the point of view of this new purpose, they are inevitably appalled. 7 Their perception of the relationship may even become quite disorganized. 8 And yet, the former organization of their perception no longer serves the purpose they have agreed to meet.
T-17.V.6. This is the time for <faith.> 2 You let this goal be set for you. 3 That was an act of faith. 4 Do not abandon faith, now that the rewards of faith are being introduced. 5 If you believed the Holy Spirit was there to accept the relationship, why would you now not still believe that He is there to purify what He has taken under His guidance? 6 Have faith in your brother in what but seems to be a trying time. 7 The goal <is> set. 8 And your relationship has sanity as its purpose. 9 For now you find yourself in an insane relationship, recognized as such in the light of its goal.
T-17.V.7. Now the ego counsels thus; substitute for this another relationship to which your former goal was quite appropriate. 2 You can escape from your distress only by getting rid of your brother. 3 You need not part entirely if you choose not to do so. 4 But you must exclude major areas of fantasy from your brother, to save your sanity. 5 <Hear not this now!> 6 Have faith in Him Who answered you. 7 He heard. 8 Has He not been very explicit in His answer? 9 You are not now wholly insane. 10 Can you deny that He has given you a most explicit statement? 11 Now He asks for faith a little longer, even in bewilderment. 12 For this will go, and you will see the justification for your faith emerge, to bring you shining conviction. 13 Abandon Him not now, nor your brother. 14 This relationship has been reborn as holy.
T-17.V.8. Accept with gladness what you do not understand, and let it be explained to you as you perceive its purpose work in it to make it holy. 2 You will find many opportunities to blame your brother for the "failure" of your relationship, for it will seem at times to have no purpose. 3 A sense of aimlessness will come to haunt you, and to remind you of all the ways you once sought for satisfaction and thought you found it. 4 Forget not now the misery you really found, and do not breathe life into your failing ego. 5 For your relationship has not been disrupted. 6 It has been saved.
T-17.V.9. You are very new in the ways of salvation, and think you have lost your way. p363 2 <Your> way <is> lost, but think not this is loss. 3 In your newness, remember that you and your brother have started again, <together.> 4 And take his hand, to walk together along a road far more familiar than you now believe. 5 Is it not certain that you will remember a goal unchanged throughout eternity? 6 For you have chosen but the goal of God, from which your true intent was never absent.
T-17.V.10. Throughout the Sonship is the song of freedom heard, in joyous echo of your choice. 2 You have joined with many in the holy instant, and they have joined with you. 3 Think not your choice will leave you comfortless, for God Himself has blessed your holy relationship. 4 Join in His blessing, and withhold not yours upon it. 5 For all it needs now is your blessing, that you may see that in it rests salvation. 6 Condemn salvation not, for it has come to you. 7 And welcome it together, for it has come to join you and your brother together in a relationship in which all the Sonship is together blessed.
T-17.V.11. You undertook, together, to invite the Holy Spirit into your relationship. 2 He could not have entered otherwise. 3 Although you may have made many mistakes since then, you have also made enormous efforts to help Him do His work. 4 And He has not been lacking in appreciation for all you have done for Him. 5 Nor does He see the mistakes at all. 6 Have you been similarly grateful to your brother? 7 Have you consistently appreciated the good efforts, and overlooked mistakes? 8 Or has your appreciation flickered and grown dim in what seemed to be the light of the mistakes? 9 Perhaps you are now entering upon a campaign to blame him for the discomfort of the situation in which you find yourself. 10 And by this lack of thanks and gratitude you make yourself unable to express the holy instant, and thus lose sight of it.
T-17.V.12. The experience of an instant, however compelling it may be, is easily forgotten if you allow time to close over it. p364 2 It must be kept shining and gracious in your awareness of time, but not concealed within it. 3 The instant remains. 4 But where are you? 5 To give thanks to your brother is to appreciate the holy instant, and thus enable its results to be accepted and shared. 6 To attack your brother is not to lose the instant, but to make it powerless in its effects.
T-17.V.13. You <have> received the holy instant, but you may have established a condition in which you cannot use it. 2 As a result, you do not realize that it is with you still. 3 And by cutting yourself off from its expression, you have denied yourself its benefit. 4 You reinforce this every time you attack your brother, for the attack must blind you to yourself. 5 And it is impossible to deny yourself, and to recognize what has been given and received by you.
T-17.V.14. You and your brother stand together in the holy presence of truth itself. 2 Here is the goal, together with you. 3 Think you not the goal itself will gladly arrange the means for its accomplishment? 4 It is just this same discrepancy between the purpose that has been accepted and the means as they stand now which seems to make you suffer, but which makes Heaven glad. 5 If Heaven were outside you, you could not share in its gladness. 6 Yet because it is within, the gladness, too, is yours. 7 You <are> joined in purpose, but remain still separate and divided on the means. 8 Yet the goal is fixed, firm and unalterable, and the means will surely fall in place because the goal is sure. 9 And you will share the gladness of the Sonship that it is so.
T-17.V.15. As you begin to recognize and accept the gifts you have so freely given to your brother, you will also accept the effects of the holy instant and use them to correct all your mistakes and free you from their results. 2 And learning this, you will have also learned how to release all the Sonship, and offer it in gladness and thanksgiving to Him Who gave you your release, and Who would extend it through you.
VI. Setting the Goal
T-17.VI.1. The practical application of the Holy Spirit's purpose is extremely simple, but it is unequivocal. 2 In fact, in order to be simple it <must> be unequivocal. 3 The simple is merely what is easily understood, and for this it is apparent that it must be clear. 4 The setting of the Holy Spirit's goal is general. p365 5 Now He will work with you to make it specific, for application <is> specific. 6 There are certain very specific guidelines He provides for any situation, but remember that you do not yet realize their universal application. 7 Therefore, it is essential at this point to use them in each situation separately, until you can more safely look beyond each situation, in an understanding far broader than you now possess.
T-17.VI.2. In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is "What do I want to come of this? 2 What is it <for?"> 3 The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome. 4 In the ego's procedure this is reversed. 5 The situation becomes the determiner of the outcome, which can be anything. 6 The reason for this disorganized approach is evident. 7 The ego does not know what it wants to come of the situation. 8 It is aware of what it does not want, but only that. 9 It has no positive goal at all.
T-17.VI.3. Without a clear-cut, positive goal, set at the outset, the situation just seems to happen, and makes no sense until it has already happened. 2 Then you look back at it, and try to piece together what it must have meant. 3 And you will be wrong. 4 Not only is your judgment in the past, but you have no idea what should happen. 5 No goal was set with which to bring the means in line. 6 And now the only judgment left to make is whether or not the ego likes it; is it acceptable, or does it call for vengeance? 7 The absence of a criterion for outcome, set in advance, makes understanding doubtful and evaluation impossible.
T-17.VI.4. The value of deciding in advance what you want to happen is simply that you will perceive the situation as a means to <make> it happen. 2 You will therefore make every effort to overlook what interferes with the accomplishment of your objective, and concentrate on everything that helps you meet it. 3 It is quite noticeable that this approach has brought you closer to the Holy Spirit's sorting out of truth and falsity. 4 The true becomes what can be used to meet the goal. 5 The false becomes the useless from this point of view. 6 The situation now has meaning, but only because the goal has made it meaningful.
T-17.VI.5. The goal of truth has further practical advantages. 2 If the situation is used for truth and sanity, its outcome must be peace. 3 And this is quite apart from what the outcome <is.> 4 If peace is the condition of truth and sanity, and cannot be without them, where peace is they must be. p366 5 Truth comes of itself. 6 If you experience peace, it is because the truth has come to you and you will see the outcome truly, for deception cannot prevail against you. 7 You will recognize the outcome <because> you are at peace. 8 Here again you see the opposite of the ego's way of looking, for the ego believes the situation brings the experience. 9 The Holy Spirit knows that the situation is as the goal determines it, and is experienced according to the goal.
T-17.VI.6. The goal of truth requires faith. 2 Faith is implicit in the acceptance of the Holy Spirit's purpose, and this faith is all-inclusive. 3 Where the goal of truth is set, there faith must be. 4 The Holy Spirit sees the situation as a whole. 5 The goal establishes the fact that everyone involved in it will play his part in its accomplishment. 6 This is inevitable. 7 No one will fail in anything. 8 This seems to ask for faith beyond you, and beyond what you can give. 9 Yet this is so only from the viewpoint of the ego, for the ego believes in "solving" conflict through fragmentation, and does not perceive the situation as a whole. 10 Therefore, it seeks to split off segments of the situation and deal with them separately, for it has faith in separation and not in wholeness.
T-17.VI.7. Confronted with any aspect of the situation that seems to be difficult, the ego will attempt to take this aspect elsewhere, and resolve it there. 2 And it will seem to be successful, except that this attempt conflicts with unity, and must obscure the goal of truth. 3 And peace will not be experienced except in fantasy. 4 Truth has not come because faith has been denied, being withheld from where it rightfully belonged. 5 Thus do you lose the understanding of the situation the goal of truth would bring. 6 For fantasy solutions bring but the illusion of experience, and the illusion of peace is not the condition in which truth can enter.
VII. The Call for Faith
T-17.VII.1. The substitutes for aspects of the situation are the witnesses to your lack of faith. 2 They demonstrate that you did not believe the situation and the problem were in the same place. 3 The problem <was> the lack of faith, and it is this you demonstrate when you remove it from its source and place it elsewhere. 4 As a result, you do not see the problem. 5 Had you not lacked faith that it could be solved, the problem would be gone. 6 And the situation would have been meaningful to you, because the interference in the way of understanding would have been removed. p367 7 To remove the problem elsewhere is to keep it, for you remove yourself from it and make it unsolvable.
T-17.VII.2. There is no problem in any situation that faith will not solve. 2 There is no shift in any aspect of the problem but will make solution impossible. 3 For if you shift part of the problem elsewhere the meaning of the problem must be lost, and the solution to the problem is inherent in its meaning. 4 Is it not possible that all your problems have been solved, but you have removed yourself from the solution? 5 Yet faith must be where something has been done, and where you see it done.
T-17.VII.3. A situation is a relationship, being the joining of thoughts. 2 If problems are perceived, it is because the thoughts are judged to be in conflict. 3 But if the goal is truth, this is impossible. 4 Some idea of bodies must have entered, for minds cannot attack. 5 The thought of bodies is the sign of faithlessness, for bodies cannot solve anything. 6 It is their intrusion on the relationship, an error in your thoughts about the situation, which then becomes the justification for your lack of faith. 7 You will make this error, but be not at all concerned with that. 8 The error does not matter. 9 Faithlessness brought to faith will never interfere with truth. 10 But faithlessness used <against> truth will always destroy faith. 11 If you lack faith, ask that it be restored where it was lost, and seek not to have it made up to you elsewhere, as if you had been unjustly deprived of it.
T-17.VII.4. Only what <you> have not given can be lacking in any situation. 2 But remember this; the goal of holiness was set for your relationship, and not by you. 3 You did not set it because holiness cannot be seen except through faith, and your relationship was not holy because your faith in your brother was so limited and little. 4 Your faith must grow to meet the goal that has been set. 5 The goal's reality will call this forth, for you will see that peace and faith will not come separately. 6 What situation can you be in without faith, and remain faithful to your brother?
T-17.VII.5. Every situation in which you find yourself is but a means to meet the purpose set for your relationship. 2 See it as something else and you are faithless. 3 Use not your faithlessness. 4 Let it enter and look upon it calmly, but do not use it. 5 Faithlessness is the servant of illusion, and wholly faithful to its master. 6 Use it, and it will carry you straight to illusions. 7 Be tempted not by what it offers you. p368 8 It interferes, not with the goal, but with the value of the goal to you. 9 Accept not the illusion of peace it offers, but look upon its offering and recognize it <is> illusion.
T-17.VII.6. The goal of illusion is as closely tied to faithlessness as faith to truth. 2 If you lack faith in anyone to fulfill, and perfectly, his part in any situation dedicated in advance to truth, your dedication is divided. 3 And so you have been faithless to your brother, and used your faithlessness against him. 4 No relationship is holy unless its holiness goes with it everywhere. 5 As holiness and faith go hand in hand, so must its faith go everywhere with it. 6 The goal's reality will call forth and accomplish every miracle needed for its fulfillment. 7 Nothing too small or too enormous, too weak or too compelling, but will be gently turned to its use and purpose. 8 The universe will serve it gladly, as it serves the universe. 9 But do not interfere.
T-17.VII.7. The power set in you in whom the Holy Spirit's goal has been established is so far beyond your little conception of the infinite that you have no idea how great the strength that goes with you. 2 And you can use <this> in perfect safety. 3 Yet for all its might, so great it reaches past the stars and to the universe that lies beyond them, your little faithlessness can make it useless, if you would use the faithlessness instead.
T-17.VII.8. Yet think on this, and learn the cause of faithlessness: You think you hold against your brother what he has done to you. 2 But what you really blame him for is what <you> did to <him.> 3 It is not his past but yours you hold against him. 4 And you lack faith in him because of what you were. 5 Yet you are as innocent of what you were as he is. 6 What never was is causeless, and is not there to interfere with truth. 7 There is no cause for faithlessness, but there <is> Cause for faith. 8 That Cause has entered any situation that shares Its purpose. 9 The light of truth shines from the center of the situation, and touches everyone to whom the situation's purpose calls. 10 It calls to everyone. 11 There is no situation that does not involve your whole relationship, in every aspect and complete in every part. 12 You can leave nothing of yourself outside it and keep the situation holy. 13 For it shares the purpose of your whole relationship, and derives its meaning from it.
T-17.VII.9. Enter each situation with the faith you give your brother, or you are faithless to your own relationship. 2 Your faith will call the others to share your purpose, as the same purpose called forth the faith in you. 3 And you will see the means you once employed to lead you to illusions transformed to means for truth. p369 4 Truth calls for faith, and faith makes room for truth. 5 When the Holy Spirit changed the purpose of your relationship by exchanging yours for His, the goal He placed there was extended to every situation in which you enter, or will ever enter. 6 And every situation was thus made free of the past, which would have made it purposeless.
T-17.VII.10. You call for faith because of Him Who walks with you in every situation. 2 You are no longer wholly insane, nor no longer alone. 3 For loneliness in God must be a dream. 4 You whose relationship shares the Holy Spirit's goal are set apart from loneliness because the truth has come. 5 Its call for faith is strong. 6 Use not your faithlessness against it, for it calls you to salvation and to peace.
VIII. The Conditions of Peace
T-17.VIII.1. The holy instant is nothing more than a special case, or an extreme example, of what every situation is meant to be. 2 The meaning that the Holy Spirit's purpose has given it is also given to every situation. 3 It calls forth just the same suspension of faithlessness, withheld and left unused, that faith might answer to the call of truth. 4 The holy instant is the shining example, the clear and unequivocal demonstration of the meaning of every relationship and every situation, seen as a whole. 5 Faith has accepted every aspect of the situation, and faithlessness has not forced any exclusion on it. 6 It is a situation of perfect peace, simply because you have let it be what it is.
T-17.VIII.2. This simple courtesy is all the Holy Spirit asks of you. 2 Let truth be what it is. 3 Do not intrude upon it, do not attack it, do not interrupt its coming. 4 Let it encompass every situation and bring you peace. 5 Not even faith is asked of you, for truth asks nothing. 6 Let it enter, and it will call forth and secure for you the faith you need for peace. 7 But rise you not against it, for against your opposition it cannot come.
T-17.VIII.3. Would you not want to make a holy instant of every situation? 2 For such is the gift of faith, freely given wherever faithlessness is laid aside, unused. 3 And then the power of the Holy Spirit's purpose is free to use instead. 4 This power instantly transforms all situations into one sure and continuous means for establishing His purpose, and demonstrating its reality. 5 What has been demonstrated has called for faith, and has been given it. p370 6 Now it becomes a fact, from which faith can no longer be withheld. 7 The strain of refusing faith to truth is enormous, and far greater than you realize. 8 But to answer truth with faith entails no strain at all.
T-17.VIII.4. To you who have acknowledged the Call of your Redeemer, the strain of not responding to His Call seems to be greater than before. 2 This is not so. 3 Before, the strain was there, but you attributed it to something else, believing that the "something else" produced it. 4 This was never true. 5 For what the "something else" produced was sorrow and depression, sickness and pain, darkness and dim imaginings of terror, cold fantasies of fear and fiery dreams of hell. 6 And it was nothing but the intolerable strain of refusing to give faith to truth, and see its evident reality.
T-17.VIII.5. Such was the crucifixion of the Son of God. 2 His faithlessness did this to him. 3 Think carefully before you let yourself use faithlessness against him. 4 For he is risen, and you have accepted the Cause of his awakening as yours. 5 You have assumed your part in his redemption, and you are now fully responsible to him. 6 Fail him not now, for it has been given you to realize what your lack of faith in him must mean to you. 7 His salvation is your only purpose. 8 See only this in every situation, and it will be a means for bringing only this.
T-17.VIII.6. When you accepted truth as the goal for your relationship, you became a giver of peace as surely as your Father gave peace to you. 2 For the goal of peace cannot be accepted apart from its conditions, and you had faith in it for no one accepts what he does not believe is real. 3 Your purpose has not changed, and will not change, for you accepted what can never change. 4 And nothing that it needs to be forever changeless can you now withhold from it. 5 Your release is certain. 6 Give as you have received. 7 And demonstrate that you have risen far beyond any situation that could hold you back, and keep you separate from Him Whose Call you answered. p371
THE PASSING OF THE DREAM
I. The Substitute Reality
T-18.I.1. To substitute is to accept instead. 2 If you would but consider exactly what this entails, you would perceive at once how much at variance this is with the goal the Holy Spirit has given you, and would accomplish for you. 3 To substitute is to choose between, renouncing one aspect of the Sonship in favor of the other. 4 For this special purpose, one is judged more valuable and the other is replaced by him. 5 The relationship in which the substitution occurred is thus fragmented, and its purpose split accordingly. 6 To fragment is to exclude, and substitution is the strongest defense the ego has for separation.
T-18.I.2. The Holy Spirit never uses substitutes. 2 Where the ego perceives one person as a replacement for another, the Holy Spirit sees them joined and indivisible. 3 He does not judge between them, knowing they are one. 4 Being united, they are one because they are the same. 5 Substitution is clearly a process in which they are perceived as different. 6 One would unite; the other separate. 7 Nothing can come between what God has joined and what the Holy Spirit sees as one. 8 But everything <seems> to come between the fragmented relationships the ego sponsors to destroy.
T-18.I.3. The one emotion in which substitution is impossible is love. 2 Fear involves substitution by definition, for it is love's replacement. 3 Fear is both a fragmented and fragmenting emotion. 4 It seems to take many forms, and each one seems to require a different form of acting out for satisfaction. 5 While this appears to introduce quite variable behavior, a far more serious effect lies in the fragmented perception from which the behavior stems. 6 No one is seen complete. 7 The body is emphasized, with special emphasis on certain parts, and used as the standard for comparison of acceptance or rejection for acting out a special form of fear.
T-18.I.4. You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution. 2 It has taken many forms, because it was the substitution of illusion for truth; of fragmentation for wholeness. 3 It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was. 4 That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. 5 Your whole world rests upon it. 6 Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship that you have ever made is part of it.
T-18.I.5. You may be surprised to hear how very different is reality from what you see. 2 You do not realize the magnitude of that one error. 3 It was so vast and so completely incredible that from it a world of total unreality <had> to emerge. p372 4 What else could come of it? 5 Its fragmented aspects are fearful enough, as you begin to look at them. 6 But nothing you have seen begins to show you the enormity of the original error, which seemed to cast you out of Heaven, to shatter knowledge into meaningless bits of disunited perceptions, and to force you to make further substitutions.
T-18.I.6. That was the first projection of error outward. 2 The world arose to hide it, and became the screen on which it was projected and drawn between you and the truth. 3 For truth extends inward, where the idea of loss is meaningless and only increase is conceivable. 4 Do you really think it strange that a world in which everything is backwards and upside down arose from this projection of error? 5 It was inevitable. 6 For truth brought to this could only remain within in quiet, and take no part in all the mad projection by which this world was made. 7 Call it not sin but madness, for such it was and so it still remains. 8 Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. 9 And above all, <be not afraid of it>.
T-18.I.7. When you seem to see some twisted form of the original error rising to frighten you, say only, "God is not fear, but Love," and it will disappear. 2 The truth will save you. 3 It has not left you, to go out into the mad world and so depart from you. 4 Inward is sanity; insanity is outside you. 5 You but believe it is the other way; that truth is outside, and error and guilt within. 6 Your little, senseless substitutions, touched with insanity and swirling lightly off on a mad course like feathers dancing insanely in the wind, have no substance. 7 They fuse and merge and separate, in shifting and totally meaningless patterns that need not be judged at all. 8 To judge them individually is pointless. 9 Their tiny differences in form are no real differences at all. 10 None of them matters. 11 <That> they have in common and nothing else. 12 Yet what else is necessary to make them all the same?
T-18.I.8. Let them all go, dancing in the wind, dipping and turning till they disappear from sight, far, far outside of you. 2 And turn you to the stately calm within, where in holy stillness dwells the living God you never left, and Who never left you. p373 3 The Holy Spirit takes you gently by the hand, and retraces with you your mad journey outside yourself, leading you gently back to the truth and safety within. 4 He brings all your insane projections and the wild substitutions that you have placed outside you to the truth. 5 Thus He reverses the course of insanity and restores you to reason.
T-18.I.9. In your relationship with your brother, where He has taken charge of everything at your request, He has set the course inward to the truth you share. 2 In the mad world outside you nothing can be shared but only substituted, and sharing and substituting have nothing in common in reality. 3 Within yourself you love your brother with a perfect love. 4 Here is holy ground, in which no substitution can enter, and where only the truth in your brother can abide. 5 Here you are joined in God, as much together as you are with Him. 6 The original error has not entered here, nor ever will. 7 Here is the radiant truth, to which the Holy Spirit has committed your relationship. 8 Let Him bring it here, where <you> would have it be. 9 Give Him but a little faith in your brother, to help Him show you that no substitute you made for Heaven can keep you from it.
T-18.I.10. In you there is no separation, and no substitute can keep you from your brother. 2 Your reality was God's creation, and has no substitute. 3 You are so firmly joined in truth that only God is there. 4 And He would never accept something else instead of you. 5 He loves you both, equally and as one. 6 And as He loves you, so you are. 7 You are not joined together in illusions, but in the Thought so holy and so perfect that illusions cannot remain to darken the holy place in which you stand together. 8 God is with you, my brother. 9 Let us join in Him in peace and gratitude, and accept His gift as our most holy and perfect reality, which we share in Him.
T-18.I.11. Heaven is restored to all the Sonship through your relationship, for in it lies the Sonship, whole and beautiful, safe in your love. 2 Heaven has entered quietly, for all illusions have been gently brought unto the truth in you, and love has shined upon you, blessing your relationship with truth. 3 God and His whole creation have entered it together. 4 How lovely and how holy is your relationship, with the truth shining upon it! 5 Heaven beholds it, and rejoices that you have let it come to you. 6 And God Himself is glad that your relationship is as it was created. p374 7 The universe within you stands with you, together with your brother. 8 And Heaven looks with love on what is joined in it, along with its Creator.
T-18.I.12. Whom God has called should hear no substitutes. 2 Their call is but an echo of the original error that shattered Heaven. 3 And what became of peace in those who heard? 4 Return with me to Heaven, walking together with your brother out of this world and through another, to the loveliness and joy the other holds within it. 5 Would you still further weaken and break apart what is already broken and hopeless? 6 Is it here that you would look for happiness? 7 Or would you not prefer to heal what has been broken, and join in making whole what has been ravaged by separation and disease?
T-18.I.13. You have been called, together with your brother, to the most holy function this world contains. 2 It is the only one that has no limits, and reaches out to every broken fragment of the Sonship with healing and uniting comfort. 3 This is offered you, in your holy relationship. 4 Accept it here, and you will give as you have accepted. 5 The peace of God is given you with the glowing purpose in which you join with your brother. 6 The holy light that brought you and him together must extend, as you accepted it.
II. The Basis of the Dream
T-18.II.1. Does not a world that seems quite real arise in dreams? 2 Yet think what this world is. 3 It is clearly not the world you saw before you slept. 4 Rather it is a distortion of the world, planned solely around what you would have preferred. 5 Here, you are "free" to make over whatever seemed to attack you, and change it into a tribute to your ego, which was outraged by the "attack." 6 This would not be your wish unless you saw yourself as one with the ego, which always looks upon itself, and therefore on you, as under attack and highly vulnerable to it.
T-18.II.2. Dreams are chaotic because they are governed by your conflicting wishes, and therefore they have no concern with what is true. 2 They are the best example you could have of how perception can be utilized to substitute illusions for truth. 3 You do not take them seriously on awaking because the fact that reality is so outrageously violated in them becomes apparent. 4 Yet they are a way of looking at the world, and changing it to suit the ego better. p375 5 They provide striking examples, both of the ego's inability to tolerate reality, and of your willingness to change reality on its behalf.
T-18.II.3. You do not find the differences between what you see in sleep and on awaking disturbing. 2 You recognize that what you see on waking is blotted out in dreams. 3 Yet on awakening, you do not expect it to be gone. 4 In dreams <you> arrange everything. 5 People become what you would have them be, and what they do you order. 6 No limits on substitution are laid upon you. 7 For a time it seems as if the world were given you, to make it what you wish. 8 You do not realize you are attacking it, trying to triumph over it and make it serve you.
T-18.II.4. Dreams are perceptual temper tantrums, in which you literally scream, "I want it thus!" 2 And thus it seems to be. 3 And yet the dream cannot escape its origin. 4 Anger and fear pervade it, and in an instant the illusion of satisfaction is invaded by the illusion of terror. 5 For the dream of your ability to control reality by substituting a world that you prefer <is> terrifying. 6 Your attempts to blot out reality are very fearful, but this you are not willing to accept. 7 And so you substitute the fantasy that reality is fearful, not what you would do to it. 8 And thus is guilt made real.
T-18.II.5. Dreams show you that you have the power to make a world as you would have it be, and that because you want it you see it. 2 And while you see it you do not doubt that it is real. 3 Yet here is a world, clearly within your mind, that seems to be outside. 4 You do not respond to it as though you made it, nor do you realize that the emotions the dream produces must come from you. 5 It is the figures in the dream and what they do that seem to make the dream. 6 You do not realize that you are making them act out for you, for if you did the guilt would not be theirs, and the illusion of satisfaction would be gone. 7 In dreams these features are not obscure. 8 You seem to waken, and the dream is gone. 9 Yet what you fail to recognize is that what caused the dream has not gone with it. 10 Your wish to make another world that is not real remains with you. 11 And what you seem to waken to is but another form of this same world you see in dreams. 12 All your time is spent in dreaming. 13 Your sleeping and your waking dreams have different forms, and that is all. 14 Their content is the same. 15 They are your protest against reality, and your fixed and insane idea that you can change it. 16 In your waking dreams, the special relationship has a special place. p376 17 It is the means by which you try to make your sleeping dreams come true. 18 From this, you do not waken. 19 The special relationship is your determination to keep your hold on unreality, and to prevent yourself from waking. 20 And while you see more value in sleeping than in waking, you will not let go of it.
T-18.II.6. The Holy Spirit, ever practical in His wisdom, accepts your dreams and uses them as means for waking. 2 You would have used them to remain asleep. 3 I said before that the first change, before dreams disappear, is that your dreams of fear are changed to happy dreams. 4 That is what the Holy Spirit does in the special relationship. 5 He does not destroy it, nor snatch it away from you. 6 But He does use it differently, as a help to make His purpose real to you. 7 The special relationship will remain, not as a source of pain and guilt, but as a source of joy and freedom. 8 It will not be for you alone, for therein lay its misery. 9 As its unholiness kept it a thing apart, its holiness will become an offering to everyone.
T-18.II.7. Your special relationship will be a means for undoing guilt in everyone blessed through your holy relationship. 2 It will be a happy dream, and one which you will share with all who come within your sight. 3 Through it, the blessing the Holy Spirit has laid upon it will be extended. 4 Think not that He has forgotten anyone in the purpose He has given you. 5 And think not that He has forgotten you to whom He gave the gift. 6 He uses everyone who calls on Him as means for the salvation of everyone. 7 And He will waken everyone through you who offered your relationship to Him. 8 If you but recognized His gratitude! 9 Or mine through His! 10 For we are joined as in one purpose, being of one mind with Him.
T-18.II.8. Let not the dream take hold to close your eyes. 2 It is not strange that dreams can make a world that is unreal. 3 It is the <wish> to make it that is incredible. 4 Your relationship with your brother has now become one in which the wish has been removed, because its purpose has been changed from one of dreams to one of truth. 5 You are not sure of this because you think it may be this that is the dream. 6 You are so used to choosing among dreams you do not see that you have made, at last, the choice between the truth and <all> illusions.
T-18.II.9. Yet Heaven is sure. 2 This is no dream. 3 Its coming means that you have chosen truth, and it has come because you have been willing to let your special relationship meet its conditions. p377 4 In your relationship the Holy Spirit has gently laid the real world; the world of happy dreams, from which awaking is so easy and so natural. 5 For as your sleeping and your waking dreams represent the same wishes in your mind, so do the real world and the truth of Heaven join in the Will of God. 6 The dream of waking is easily transferred to its reality. 7 For this dream reflects your will joined with the Will of God. 8 And what this Will would have accomplished has never <not> been done.
III. Light in the Dream
T-18.III.1. You who have spent your life in bringing truth to illusion, reality to fantasy, have walked the way of dreams. 2 For you have gone from waking to sleeping, and on and on to a yet deeper sleep. 3 Each dream has led to other dreams, and every fantasy that seemed to bring a light into the darkness but made the darkness deeper. 4 Your goal was darkness, in which no ray of light could enter. 5 And you sought a blackness so complete that you could hide from truth forever, in complete insanity. 6 What you forgot was simply that God cannot destroy Himself. 7 The light is <in> you. 8 Darkness can cover it, but cannot put it out.
T-18.III.2. As the light comes nearer you will rush to darkness, shrinking from the truth, sometimes retreating to the lesser forms of fear, and sometimes to stark terror. 2 But you will advance, because your goal is the advance from fear to truth. 3 The goal you accepted is the goal of knowledge, for which you signified your willingness. 4 Fear seems to live in darkness, and when you are afraid you have stepped back. 5 Let us then join quickly in an instant of light, and it will be enough to remind you that your goal is light.
T-18.III.3. Truth has rushed to meet you since you called upon it. 2 If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible. 3 You do not know because the journey into darkness has been long and cruel, and you have gone deep into it. 4 A little flicker of your eyelids, closed so long, has not yet been sufficient to give you confidence in yourself, so long despised. 5 You go toward love still hating it, and terribly afraid of its judgment upon you. 6 And you do not realize that you are not afraid of love, but only of what you have made of it. 7 You are advancing to love's meaning, and away from all illusions in which you have surrounded it. p378 8 When you retreat to the illusion your fear increases, for there is little doubt that what you think it means <is> fearful. 9 Yet what is that to us who travel surely and very swiftly away from fear?
T-18.III.4. You who hold your brother's hand also hold mine, for when you joined each other you were not alone. 2 Do you believe that I would leave you in the darkness that you agreed to leave with me? 3 In your relationship is this world's light. 4 And fear must disappear before you now. 5 Be tempted not to snatch away the gift of faith you offered to your brother. 6 You will succeed only in frightening yourself. 7 The gift is given forever, for God Himself received it. 8 You cannot take it back. 9 You have accepted God. 10 The holiness of your relationship is established in Heaven. 11 You do not understand what you accepted, but remember that your understanding is not necessary. 12 All that was necessary was merely the <wish> to understand. 13 That wish was the desire to be holy. 14 The Will of God is granted you. 15 For you desire the only thing you ever had, or ever were.
T-18.III.5. Each instant that we spend together will teach you that this goal is possible, and will strengthen your desire to reach it. 2 And in your desire lies its accomplishment. 3 Your desire is now in complete accord with all the power of the Holy Spirit's Will. 4 No little, faltering footsteps that you may take can separate your desire from His Will and from His strength. 5 I hold your hand as surely as you agreed to take your brother's. 6 You will not separate, for I stand with you and walk with you in your advance to truth. 7 And where we go we carry God with us.
T-18.III.6. In your relationship you have joined with me in bringing Heaven to the Son of God, who hid in darkness. 2 You have been willing to bring the darkness to light, and this willingness has given strength to everyone who would remain in darkness. 3 Those who would see <will> see. 4 And they will join with me in carrying their light into the darkness, when the darkness in them is offered to the light, and is removed forever. 5 My need for you, joined with me in the holy light of your relationship, is your need for salvation. 6 Would I not give you what you gave to me? 7 For when you joined your brother, you answered me.
T-18.III.7. You who are now the bringer of salvation have the function of bringing light to darkness. 2 The darkness in you has been brought to light. 3 Carry it back to darkness, from the holy instant to which you brought it. p379 4 We are made whole in our desire to make whole. 5 Let not time worry you, for all the fear that you and your brother experience is really past. 6 Time has been readjusted to help us do, together, what your separate pasts would hinder. 7 You have gone past fear, for no two minds can join in the desire for love without love's joining them.
T-18.III.8. Not one light in Heaven but goes with you. 2 Not one Ray that shines forever in the Mind of God but shines on you. 3 Heaven is joined with you in your advance to Heaven. 4 When such great lights have joined with you to give the little spark of your desire the power of God Himself, can you remain in darkness? 5 You and your brother are coming home together, after a long and meaningless journey that you undertook apart, and that led nowhere. 6 You have found your brother, and you will light each other's way. 7 And from this light will the Great Rays extend back into darkness and forward unto God, to shine away the past and so make room for His eternal Presence, in which everything is radiant in the light.
IV. The Little Willingness
T-18.IV.1. The holy instant is the result of your determination to be holy. 2 It is the <answer.> 3 The desire and the willingness to let it come precede its coming. 4 You prepare your mind for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. 5 It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more. 6 Do not attempt to give the Holy Spirit what He does not ask, or you will add the ego to Him and confuse the two. 7 He asks but little. 8 It is He Who adds the greatness and the might. 9 He joins with you to make the holy instant far greater than you can understand. 10 It is your realization that you need do so little that enables Him to give so much.
T-18.IV.2. Trust not your good intentions. 2 They are not enough. 3 But trust implicitly your willingness, whatever else may enter. 4 Concentrate only on this, and be not disturbed that shadows surround it. 5 That is why you came. 6 If you could come without them you would not need the holy instant. 7 Come to it not in arrogance, assuming that you must achieve the state its coming brings with it. 8 The miracle of the holy instant lies in your willingness to let it be what it is. 9 And in your willingness for this lies also your acceptance of yourself as you were meant to be. p380
T-18.IV.3. Humility will never ask that you remain content with littleness. 2 But it does require that you be not content with less than greatness that comes not of you. 3 Your difficulty with the holy instant arises from your fixed conviction that you are not worthy of it. 4 And what is this but the determination to be as you would make yourself? 5 God did not create His dwelling place unworthy of Him. 6 And if you believe He cannot enter where He wills to be, you must be interfering with His Will. 7 You do not need the strength of willingness to come from you, but only from His Will.
T-18.IV.4. The holy instant does not come from your little willingness alone. 2 It is always the result of your small willingness combined with the unlimited power of God's Will. 3 You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him. 4 It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace. 5 God has established them. 6 They do not wait upon your willingness for what they are. 7 Your willingness is needed only to make it possible to teach you what they are. 8 If you maintain you are unworthy of learning this, you are interfering with the lesson by believing that you must make the learner different. 9 You did not make the learner, nor can you make him different. 10 Would you first make a miracle yourself, and then expect one to be made <for> you?
T-18.IV.5. You merely ask the question. 2 The answer is given. 3 Seek not to answer, but merely to receive the answer as it is given. 4 In preparing for the holy instant, do not attempt to make yourself holy to be ready to receive it. 5 That is but to confuse your role with God's. 6 Atonement cannot come to those who think that they must first atone, but only to those who offer it nothing more than simple willingness to make way for it. 7 Purification is of God alone, and therefore for you. 8 Rather than seek to prepare yourself for Him, try to think thus:
9 I who am host to God am worthy of Him.
10 He Who established His dwelling place in me created it as He would have it be.
11 It is not needful that I make it ready for Him, but only that I do not interfere with His plan to restore to me my own awareness of my readiness, which is eternal.
12 I need add nothing to His plan. p381
13 But to receive it, I must be willing not to substitute my own in place of it.
T-18.IV.6. And that is all. 2 Add more, and you will merely take away the little that is asked. 3 Remember you made guilt, and that your plan for the escape from guilt has been to bring Atonement to it, and make salvation fearful. 4 And it is only fear that you will add, if you prepare yourself for love. 5 The preparation for the holy instant belongs to Him Who gives it. 6 Release yourself to Him Whose function is release. 7 Do not assume His function for Him. 8 Give Him but what He asks, that you may learn how little is your part, and how great is His.
T-18.IV.7. It is this that makes the holy instant so easy and so natural. 2 You make it difficult, because you insist there must be more that you need do. 3 You find it difficult to accept the idea that you need give so little, to receive so much. 4 And it is very hard for you to realize it is not personally insulting that your contribution and the Holy Spirit's are so extremely disproportionate. 5 You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is. 6 Yet we have emphasized that you need understand nothing. 7 Salvation is easy just <because> it asks nothing you cannot give right now.
T-18.IV.8. Forget not that it has been your decision to make everything that is natural and easy for you impossible. 2 If you believe the holy instant is difficult for you, it is because you have become the arbiter of what is possible, and remain unwilling to give place to One Who knows. 3 The whole belief in orders of difficulty in miracles is centered on this. 4 Everything God wills is not only possible, but has already happened. 5 And that is why the past has gone. 6 It never happened in reality. 7 Only in your mind, which thought it did, is its undoing needful.
V. The Happy Dream
T-18.V.1. Prepare you <now> for the undoing of what never was. 2 If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. 3 The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit's teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose. 4 For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. p382 5 Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. 6 Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.
T-18.V.2. Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. 2 That is <its> function. 3 Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit's help. 4 That is <His> function. 5 Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred, and to be forgiven. 6 On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfill it easily. 7 And with Him, you will build a ladder planted in the solid rock of faith, and rising even to Heaven. 8 Nor will you use it to ascend to Heaven alone.
T-18.V.3. Through your holy relationship, reborn and blessed in every holy instant you do not arrange, thousands will rise to Heaven with you. 2 Can you plan for this? 3 Or could you prepare yourself for such a function? 4 Yet it is possible, because God wills it. 5 Nor will He change His Mind about it. 6 The means and purpose both belong to Him. 7 You have accepted one; the other will be provided. 8 A purpose such as this, without the means, is inconceivable. 9 He will provide the means to anyone who shares His purpose.
T-18.V.4. Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy. 2 And so they must be loving. 3 Their message is, "Thy Will be done," and not, "I want it otherwise." 4 The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. 5 You do not even realize you have accepted the Holy Spirit's purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. 6 The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them.
T-18.V.5. It is no dream to love your brother as yourself. 2 Nor is your holy relationship a dream. 3 All that remains of dreams within it is that it is still a special relationship. 4 Yet it is very useful to the Holy Spirit, Who <has> a special function here. 5 It will become the happy dream through which He can spread joy to thousands on thousands who believe that love is fear, not happiness. 6 Let Him fulfill the function that He gave to your relationship by accepting it for you, and nothing will be wanting that would make of it what He would have it be. p383
T-18.V.6. When you feel the holiness of your relationship is threatened by anything, stop instantly and offer the Holy Spirit your willingness, in spite of fear, to let Him exchange this instant for the holy one that you would rather have. 2 He will never fail in this. 3 But forget not that your relationship is one, and so it must be that whatever threatens the peace of one is an equal threat to the other. 4 The power of joining its blessing lies in the fact that it is now impossible for you or your brother to experience fear alone, or to attempt to deal with it alone. 5 Never believe that this is necessary, or even possible. 6 Yet just as this is impossible, so is it equally impossible that the holy instant come to either of you without the other. 7 And it will come to both at the request of either.
T-18.V.7. Whoever is saner at the time the threat is perceived should remember how deep is his indebtedness to the other and how much gratitude is due him, and be glad that he can pay his debt by bringing happiness to both. 2 Let him remember this, and say:
3 I desire this holy instant for myself, that I may share it with my brother, whom I love.
4 It is not possible that I can have it without him, or he without me.
5 Yet it is wholly possible for us to share it now.
6 And so I choose this instant as the one to offer to the Holy Spirit, that His blessing may descend on us, and keep us both in peace.
VI. Beyond the Body
T-18.VI.1. There is nothing outside you. 2 That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. 3 For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. 4 The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. 5 Heaven is not a place nor a condition. 6 It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.
T-18.VI.2. What could God give but knowledge of Himself? 2 What else is there to give? p384 3 The belief that you could give and get something else, something outside yourself, has cost you the awareness of Heaven and of your Identity. 4 And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize. 5 You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind. 6 Yet a body cannot be guilty, for it can do nothing of itself. 7 You who think you hate your body deceive yourself. 8 You hate your mind, for guilt has entered into it, and it would remain separate from your brother's, which it cannot do.
T-18.VI.3. Minds are joined; bodies are not. 2 Only by assigning to the mind the properties of the body does separation seem to be possible. 3 And it is mind that seems to be fragmented and private and alone. 4 Its guilt, which keeps it separate, is projected to the body, which suffers and dies because it is attacked to hold the separation in the mind, and let it not know its Identity. 5 Mind cannot attack, but it can make fantasies and direct the body to act them out. 6 Yet it is never what the body does that seems to satisfy. 7 Unless the mind believes the body is actually acting out its fantasies, it will attack the body by increasing the projection of its guilt upon it.
T-18.VI.4. In this, the mind is clearly delusional. 2 It cannot attack, but it maintains it can, and uses what it does to hurt the body to prove it can. 3 The mind cannot attack, but it can deceive itself. 4 And this is all it does when it believes it has attacked the body. 5 It can project its guilt, but it will not lose it through projection. 6 And though it clearly can misperceive the function of the body, it cannot change its function from what the Holy Spirit establishes it to be. 7 The body was not made by love. 8 Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.
T-18.VI.5. Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation, and used for purposes of love? 2 Would you not welcome and support the shift from fantasies of vengeance to release from them? 3 Your perception of the body can clearly be sick, but project not this upon the body. 4 For your wish to make destructive what cannot destroy can have no real effect at all. 5 What God created is only what He would have it be, being His Will. 6 You cannot make His Will destructive. 7 You can make fantasies in which your will conflicts with His, but that is all.
T-18.VI.6. It is insane to use the body as the scapegoat for guilt, directing its attack and blaming it for what you wished it to do. 2 It is impossible to act out fantasies p385. 3 For it is still the fantasies you want, and they have nothing to do with what the body does. 4 It does not dream of them, and they but make it a liability where it could be an asset. 5 For fantasies have made your body your "enemy"; weak, vulnerable and treacherous, worthy of the hate that you invest in it. 6 How has this served you? 7 You have identified with this thing you hate, the instrument of vengeance and the perceived source of your guilt. 8 You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, proclaiming it to be the dwelling place of God's Son, and turning it against him.
T-18.VI.7. This is the host of God that <you> have made. 2 And neither God nor His most holy Son can enter an abode that harbors hate, and where you have sown the seeds of vengeance, violence and death. 3 This thing you made to serve your guilt stands between you and other minds. 4 The minds <are> joined, but you do not identify with them. 5 You see yourself locked in a separate prison, removed and unreachable, incapable of reaching out as being reached. 6 You hate this prison you have made, and would destroy it. 7 But you would not escape from it, leaving it unharmed, without your guilt upon it.
T-18.VI.8. Yet only thus <can> you escape. 2 The home of vengeance is not yours; the place you set aside to house your hate is not a prison, but an illusion of yourself. 3 The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication that is an eternal property of mind. 4 But the communication is internal. 5 Mind reaches to itself. 6 It is <not> made up of different parts, which reach each other. 7 It does not go out. 8 Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. 9 It encompasses everything. 10 It encompasses you entirely; you within it and it within you. 11 There is nothing else, anywhere or ever.
T-18.VI.9. The body is outside you, and but seems to surround you, shutting you off from others and keeping you apart from them, and them from you. 2 It is not there. 3 There is no barrier between God and His Son, nor can His Son be separated from Himself except in illusions. 4 This is not his reality, though he believes it is. 5 Yet this could only be if God were wrong. 6 God would have had to create differently, and to have separated Himself from His Son to make this possible. 7 He would have had to create different things, and to establish different orders of reality, only some of which were love. 8 Yet love must be forever like itself, changeless forever, and forever without alternative. 9 And so it is. 10 You cannot put a barrier around yourself, because God placed none between Himself and you. p386
T-18.VI.10. You can stretch out your hand and reach to Heaven. 2 You whose hand is joined with your brother's have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourself, to reach your shared Identity together. 3 Could this be outside you? 4 Where God is not? 5 Is <He> a body, and did He create you as He is not, and where He cannot be? 6 You are surrounded only by Him. 7 What limits can there be on you whom He encompasses?
T-18.VI.11. Everyone has experienced what he would call a sense of being transported beyond himself. 2 This feeling of liberation far exceeds the dream of freedom sometimes hoped for in special relationships. 3 It is a sense of actual escape from limitations. 4 If you will consider what this "transportation" really entails, you will realize that it is a sudden unawareness of the body, and a joining of yourself and something else in which your mind enlarges to encompass it. 5 It becomes part of you, as you unite with it. 6 And both become whole, as neither is perceived as separate. 7 What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness, and lost your fear of union. 8 The love that instantly replaces it extends to what has freed you, and unites with it. 9 And while this lasts you are not uncertain of your Identity, and would not limit It. 10 You have escaped from fear to peace, asking no questions of reality, but merely accepting it. 11 You have accepted this instead of the body, and have let yourself be one with something beyond it, simply by not letting your mind be limited by it.
T-18.VI.12. This can occur regardless of the physical distance that seems to be between you and what you join; of your respective positions in space; and of your differences in size and seeming quality. 2 Time is not relevant; it can occur with something past, present or anticipated. 3 The "something" can be anything and anywhere; a sound, a sight, a thought, a memory, and even a general idea without specific reference. 4 Yet in every case, you join it without reservation because you love it, and would be with it. 5 And so you rush to meet it, letting your limits melt away, suspending all the "laws" your body obeys and gently setting them aside.
T-18.VI.13. There is no violence at all in this escape. 2 The body is not attacked, but simply properly perceived. 3 It does not limit you, merely because you would not have it so. 4 You are not really "lifted out" of it; it cannot contain you. 5 You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of Self. p387 6 In these instants of release from physical restrictions, you experience much of what happens in the holy instant; the lifting of the barriers of time and space, the sudden experience of peace and joy, and, above all, the lack of awareness of the body, and of the questioning whether or not all this is possible.
T-18.VI.14. It is possible because you want it. 2 The sudden expansion of awareness that takes place with your desire for it is the irresistible appeal the holy instant holds. 3 It calls to you to be yourself, within its safe embrace. 4 There are the laws of limit lifted for you, to welcome you to openness of mind and freedom. 5 Come to this place of refuge, where you can be yourself in peace. 6 Not through destruction, not through a breaking out, but merely by a quiet melting in. 7 For peace will join you there, simply because you have been willing to let go the limits you have placed upon love, and joined it where it is and where it led you, in answer to its gentle call to be at peace.
VII. I Need Do Nothing
T-18.VII.1. You still have too much faith in the body as a source of strength. 2 What plans do you make that do not involve its comfort or protection or enjoyment in some way? 3 This makes the body an end and not a means in your interpretation, and this always means you still find sin attractive. 4 No one accepts Atonement for himself who still accepts sin as his goal. 5 You have thus not met your <one> responsibility. 6 Atonement is not welcomed by those who prefer pain and destruction.
T-18.VII.2. There is one thing that you have never done; you have not utterly forgotten the body. 2 It has perhaps faded at times from your sight, but it has not yet completely disappeared. 3 You are not asked to let this happen for more than an instant, yet it is in this instant that the miracle of Atonement happens. 4 Afterwards you will see the body again, but never quite the same. 5 And every instant that you spend without awareness of it gives you a different view of it when you return.
T-18.VII.3. At no single instant does the body exist at all. 2 It is always remembered or anticipated, but never experienced just <now.> 3 Only its past and future make it seem real. 4 Time controls it entirely, for sin is never wholly in the present. 5 In any single instant the attraction of guilt would be experienced as pain and nothing else, and would be avoided. 6 It has no attraction <now.>> 388 7 Its whole attraction is imaginary, and therefore must be thought of in the past or in the future.
T-18.VII.4. It is impossible to accept the holy instant without reservation unless, just for an instant, you are willing to see no past or future. 2 You cannot prepare for it without placing it in the future. 3 Release is given you the instant you desire it. 4 Many have spent a lifetime in preparation, and have indeed achieved their instants of success. 5 This course does not attempt to teach more than they learned in time, but it does aim at saving time. 6 You may be attempting to follow a very long road to the goal you have accepted. 7 It is extremely difficult to reach Atonement by fighting against sin. 8 Enormous effort is expended in the attempt to make holy what is hated and despised. 9 Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. 10 All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. 11 Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the future for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy.
T-18.VII.5. Your way will be different, not in purpose but in means. 2 A holy relationship is a means of saving time. 3 One instant spent together with your brother restores the universe to both of you. 4 You <are> prepared. 5 Now you need but to remember you need do nothing. 6 It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do. 7 When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; "<I need do nothing.>"
T-18.VII.6. Here is the ultimate release which everyone will one day find in his own way, at his own time. 2 You do not need this time. 3 Time has been saved for you because you and your brother are together. 4 This is the special means this course is using to save you time. 5 You are not making use of the course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for <you.> 6 Save time for me by only this one preparation, and practice doing nothing else. 7 "I need do nothing" is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. 8 Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation. p389
T-18.VII.7. To do anything involves the body. 2 And if you recognize you need do nothing, you have withdrawn the body's value from your mind. 3 Here is the quick and open door through which you slip past centuries of effort, and escape from time. 4 This is the way in which sin loses all attraction <right now.> 5 For here is time denied, and past and future gone. 6 Who needs do nothing has no need for time. 7 To do nothing is to rest, and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention. 8 Into this place the Holy Spirit comes, and there abides. 9 He will remain when you forget, and the body's activities return to occupy your conscious mind.
T-18.VII.8. Yet there will always be this place of rest to which you can return. 2 And you will be more aware of this quiet center of the storm than all its raging activity. 3 This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent. 4 For from this center will you be directed how to use the body sinlessly. 5 It is this center, from which the body is absent, that will keep it so in your awareness of it.
VIII. The Little Garden
T-18.VIII.1. It is only the awareness of the body that makes love seem limited. 2 For the body <is> a limit on love. 3 The belief in limited love was its origin, and it was made to limit the unlimited. 4 Think not that this is merely allegorical, for it was made to limit <you.> 5 Can you who see yourself within a body know yourself as an idea? 6 Everything you recognize you identify with externals, something outside itself. 7 You cannot even think of God without a body, or in some form you think you recognize.
T-18.VIII.2. The body cannot know. 2 And while you limit your awareness to its tiny senses, you will not see the grandeur that surrounds you. 3 God cannot come into a body, nor can you join Him there. 4 Limits on love will always seem to shut Him out, and keep you apart from Him. 5 The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea. 6 It draws a circle, infinitely small, around a very little segment of Heaven, splintered from the whole, proclaiming that within it is your kingdom, where God can enter not. p390
T-18.VIII.3. Within this kingdom the ego rules, and cruelly. 2 And to defend this little speck of dust it bids you fight against the universe. 3 This fragment of your mind is such a tiny part of it that, could you but appreciate the whole, you would see instantly that it is like the smallest sunbeam to the sun, or like the faintest ripple on the surface of the ocean. 4 In its amazing arrogance, this tiny sunbeam has decided it is the sun; this almost imperceptible ripple hails itself as the ocean. 5 Think how alone and frightened is this little thought, this infinitesimal illusion, holding itself apart against the universe. 6 The sun becomes the sunbeam's "enemy" that would devour it, and the ocean terrifies the little ripple and wants to swallow it.
T-18.VIII.4. Yet neither sun nor ocean is even aware of all this strange and meaningless activity. 2 They merely continue, unaware that they are feared and hated by a tiny segment of themselves. 3 Even that segment is not lost to them, for it could not survive apart from them. 4 And what it thinks it is in no way changes its total dependence on them for its being. 5 Its whole existence still remains in them. 6 Without the sun the sunbeam would be gone; the ripple without the ocean is inconceivable.
T-18.VIII.5. Such is the strange position in which those in a world inhabited by bodies seem to be. 2 Each body seems to house a separate mind, a disconnected thought, living alone and in no way joined to the Thought by which it was created. 3 Each tiny fragment seems to be self-contained, needing another for some things, but by no means totally dependent on its one Creator for everything; needing the whole to give it any meaning, for by itself it does mean nothing. 4 Nor has it any life apart and by itself.
T-18.VIII.6. Like to the sun and ocean your Self continues, unmindful that this tiny part regards itself as you. 2 It is not missing; it could not exist if it were separate, nor would the Whole be whole without it. 3 It is not a separate kingdom, ruled by an idea of separation from the rest. 4 Nor does a fence surround it, preventing it from joining with the rest, and keeping it apart from its Creator. 5 This little aspect is no different from the whole, being continuous with it and at one with it. 6 It leads no separate life, because its life <is> the oneness in which its being was created.
T-18.VIII.7. Do not accept this little, fenced-off aspect as yourself. 2 The sun and ocean are as nothing beside what you are. 3 The sunbeam sparkles only in the sunlight, and the ripple dances as it rests upon the ocean. 4 Yet in neither sun nor ocean is the power that rests in you. p391 5 Would you remain within your tiny kingdom, a sorry king, a bitter ruler of all that he surveys, who looks on nothing yet who would still die to defend it? 6 This little self is not your kingdom. 7 Arched high above it and surrounding it with love is the glorious whole, which offers all its happiness and deep content to every part. 8 The little aspect that you think you set apart is no exception.
T-18.VIII.8. Love knows no bodies, and reaches to everything created like itself. 2 Its total lack of limit <is> its meaning. 3 It is completely impartial in its giving, encompassing only to preserve and keep complete what it would give. 4 In your tiny kingdom you have so little! 5 Should it not, then, be there that you would call on love to enter? 6 Look at the desert-dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless-that makes up your little kingdom. 7 And realize the life and joy that love would bring to it from where it comes, and where it would return with you.
T-18.VIII.9. The Thought of God surrounds your little kingdom, waiting at the barrier you built to come inside and shine upon the barren ground. 2 See how life springs up everywhere! 3 The desert becomes a garden, green and deep and quiet, offering rest to those who lost their way and wander in the dust. 4 Give them a place of refuge, prepared by love for them where once a desert was. 5 And everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you. 6 They enter one by one into this holy place, but they will not depart as they had come, alone. 7 The love they brought with them will stay with them, as it will stay with you. 8 And under its beneficence your little garden will expand, and reach out to everyone who thirsts for living water, but has grown too weary to go on alone.
T-18.VIII.10. Go out and find them, for they bring your Self with them. 2 And lead them gently to your quiet garden, and receive their blessing there. 3 So will it grow and stretch across the desert, leaving no lonely little kingdoms locked away from love, and leaving you inside. 4 And you will recognize yourself, and see your little garden gently transformed into the Kingdom of Heaven, with all the Love of its Creator shining upon it.
T-18.VIII.11. The holy instant is your invitation to love to enter into your bleak and joyless kingdom, and to transform it into a garden of peace and welcome. 2 Love's answer is inevitable. 3 It will come because you came without the body, and interposed no barriers to interfere with its glad coming. 4 In the holy instant, you ask of love only what it offers everyone, neither less nor more. p392 5 Asking for everything, you will receive it. 6 And your shining Self will lift the tiny aspect that you tried to hide from Heaven straight to Heaven. 7 No part of love calls on the whole in vain. 8 No Son of God remains outside His Fatherhood.
T-18.VIII.12. Be sure of this; love has entered your special relationship, and entered fully at your weak request. 2 You do not recognize that love has come, because you have not yet let go of all the barriers you hold against your brother. 3 And you and he will not be able to give love welcome separately. 4 You could no more know God alone than He knows you without your brother. 5 But together you could no more be unaware of love than love could know you not, or fail to recognize itself in you.
T-18.VIII.13. You have reached the end of an ancient journey, not realizing yet that it is over. 2 You are still worn and tired, and the desert's dust still seems to cloud your eyes and keep you sightless. 3 Yet He Whom you welcomed has come to you, and would welcome you. 4 He has waited long to give you this. 5 Receive it now of Him, for He would have you know Him. 6 Only a little wall of dust still stands between you and your brother. 7 Blow on it lightly and with happy laughter, and it will fall away. 8 And walk into the garden love has prepared for both of you.
IX. The Two Worlds
T-18.IX.1. You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. 2 And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. 3 Therefore, it is the tiny part of yourself, the little thought that seems split off and separate, the Holy Spirit needs. 4 The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. 5 Yet this wild and delusional thought needs help because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery. 6 This is the little part you think you stole from Heaven. 7 Give it back to Heaven. 8 Heaven has not lost it, but <you> have lost sight of Heaven. 9 Let the Holy Spirit remove it from the withered kingdom in which you set it off, surrounded by darkness, guarded by attack and reinforced by hate. 10 Within its barricades is still a tiny segment of the Son of God, complete and holy, serene and unaware of what you think surrounds it. p393
T-18.IX.2. Be you not separate, for the One Who does surround it has brought union to you, returning your little offering of darkness to the eternal light. 2 How is this done? 3 It is extremely simple, being based on what this little kingdom really is. 4 The barren sands, the darkness and the lifelessness, are seen only through the body's eyes. 5 Its bleak sight is distorted, and the messages it transmits to you who made it to limit your awareness are little and limited, and so fragmented they are meaningless.
T-18.IX.3. From the world of bodies, made by insanity, insane messages seem to be returned to the mind that made it. 2 And these messages bear witness to this world, pronouncing it as true. 3 For you sent forth these messengers to bring this back to you. 4 Everything these messages relay to you is quite external. 5 There are no messages that speak of what lies underneath, for it is not the body that could speak of this. 6 Its eyes perceive it not; its senses remain quite unaware of it; its tongue cannot relay its messages. 7 Yet God can bring you there, if you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit through seeming terror, trusting Him not to abandon you and leave you there. 8 For it is not His purpose to frighten you, but only yours. 9 You are severely tempted to abandon Him at the outside ring of fear, but He would lead you safely through and far beyond.
T-18.IX.4. The circle of fear lies just below the level the body sees, and seems to be the whole foundation on which the world is based. 2 Here are all the illusions, all the twisted thoughts, all the insane attacks, the fury, the vengeance and betrayal that were made to keep the guilt in place, so that the world could rise from it and keep it hidden. 3 Its shadow rises to the surface, enough to hold its most external manifestations in darkness, and to bring despair and loneliness to it and keep it joyless. 4 Yet its intensity is veiled by its heavy coverings, and kept apart from what was made to keep it hidden. 5 The body cannot see this, for the body arose from this for its protection, which depends on keeping it not seen. 6 The body's eyes will never look on it. 7 Yet they will see what it dictates.
T-18.IX.5. The body will remain guilt's messenger, and will act as it directs as long as you believe that guilt is real. 2 For the reality of guilt is the illusion that seems to make it heavy and opaque, impenetrable, and a real foundation for the ego's thought system. 3 Its thinness and transparency are not apparent until you see the light behind it. 4 And then you see it as a fragile veil before the light. p394
T-18.IX.6. This heavy-seeming barrier, this artificial floor that looks like rock, is like a bank of low dark clouds that seem to be a solid wall before the sun. 2 Its impenetrable appearance is wholly an illusion. 3 It gives way softly to the mountain tops that rise above it, and has no power at all to hold back anyone willing to climb above it and see the sun. 4 It is not strong enough to stop a button's fall, nor hold a feather. 5 Nothing can rest upon it, for it is but an illusion of a foundation. 6 Try but to touch it and it disappears; attempt to grasp it and your hands hold nothing.
T-18.IX.7. Yet in this cloud bank it is easy to see a whole world rising. 2 A solid mountain range, a lake, a city, all rise in your imagination, and from the clouds the messengers of your perception return to you, assuring you that it is there. 3 Figures stand out and move about, actions seem real, and forms appear and shift from loveliness to the grotesque. 4 And back and forth they go, as long as you would play the game of children's make-believe. 5 Yet however long you play it, and regardless of how much imagination you bring to it, you do not confuse it with the world below, nor seek to make it real.
T-18.IX.8. So should it be with the dark clouds of guilt, no more impenetrable and no more substantial. 2 You will not bruise yourself against them in traveling through. 3 Let your Guide teach you their unsubstantial nature as He leads you past them, for beneath them is a world of light whereon they cast no shadows. 4 Their shadows lie upon the world beyond them, still further from the light. 5 Yet from them to the light their shadows cannot fall.
T-18.IX.9. This world of light, this circle of brightness is the real world, where guilt meets with forgiveness. 2 Here the world outside is seen anew, without the shadow of guilt upon it. 3 Here are you forgiven, for here you have forgiven everyone. 4 Here is the new perception, where everything is bright and shining with innocence, washed in the waters of forgiveness, and cleansed of every evil thought you laid upon it. 5 Here there is no attack upon the Son of God, and you are welcome. 6 Here is your innocence, waiting to clothe you and protect you, and make you ready for the final step in the journey inward. 7 Here are the dark and heavy garments of guilt laid by, and gently replaced by purity and love.
T-18.IX.10. Yet even forgiveness is not the end. 2 Forgiveness does make lovely, but it does not create. p395 3 It is the source of healing, but it is the messenger of love and not its Source. 4 Here you are led, that God Himself can take the final step unhindered, for here does nothing interfere with love, letting it be itself. 5 A step beyond this holy place of forgiveness, a step still further inward but the one <you> cannot take, transports you to something completely different. 6 Here is the Source of light; nothing perceived, forgiven nor transformed. 7 But merely known.
T-18.IX.11. This course will lead to knowledge, but knowledge itself is still beyond the scope of our curriculum. 2 Nor is there any need for us to try to speak of what must forever lie beyond words. 3 We need remember only that whoever attains the real world, beyond which learning cannot go, will go beyond it, but in a different way. 4 Where learning ends there God begins, for learning ends before Him Who is complete where He begins, and where there <is> no end. 5 It is not for us to dwell on what cannot be attained. 6 There is too much to learn. 7 The readiness for knowledge still must be attained.
T-18.IX.12. Love is not learned. 2 Its meaning lies within itself. 3 And learning ends when you have recognized all it is <not.> 4 That is the interference; that is what needs to be undone. 5 Love is not learned, because there never was a time in which you knew it not. 6 Learning is useless in the Presence of your Creator, Whose acknowledgment of you and yours of Him so far transcend all learning that everything you learned is meaningless, replaced forever by the knowledge of love and its one meaning.
T-18.IX.13. Your relationship with your brother has been uprooted from the world of shadows, and its unholy purpose has been safely brought through the barriers of guilt, washed with forgiveness, and set shining and firmly rooted in the world of light. 2 From there it calls to you to follow the course it took, lifted high above the darkness and gently placed before the gates of Heaven. 3 The holy instant in which you and your brother were united is but the messenger of love, sent from beyond forgiveness to remind you of all that lies beyond it. 4 Yet it is through forgiveness that it will be remembered.
T-18.IX.14. And when the memory of God has come to you in the holy place of forgiveness you will remember nothing else, and memory will be as useless as learning, for your only purpose will be creating. 2 Yet this you cannot know until every perception has been cleansed and purified, and finally removed forever. 3 Forgiveness removes only the untrue, lifting the shadows from the world and carrying it, safe and sure within its gentleness, to the bright world of new and clean perception. p396 4 There is your purpose <now.> 5 And it is there that peace awaits you. p397