THE ATTAINMENT OF PEACE
I. Healing and Faith
T-19.I.1. We said before that when a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth, peace is inevitable. 2 Its attainment is the criterion by which the wholeness of the dedication can be safely assumed. 3 Yet we also said that peace without faith will never be attained, for what is dedicated to truth as its only goal is brought to truth <by> faith. 4 This faith encompasses everyone involved, for only thus the situation is perceived as meaningful and as a whole. 5 And everyone must be involved in it, or else your faith is limited and your dedication incomplete.
T-19.I.2. Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. 2 And he is healed <because> you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him. 3 Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share. 4 And since He shares it He has given it, and so He heals through you. 5 It is this joining Him in a united purpose that makes this purpose real, because you make it whole. 6 And this <is> healing. 7 The body is healed because you came without it, and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.
T-19.I.3. The body cannot heal, because it cannot make itself sick. 2 It <needs> no healing. 3 Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would use it for. 4 It is obvious that a segment of the mind can see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose. 5 When this occurs the body becomes its weapon, used against this Purpose, to demonstrate the "fact" that separation has occurred. 6 The body thus becomes the instrument of illusion, acting accordingly; seeing what is not there, hearing what truth has never said and behaving insanely, being imprisoned <by> insanity.
T-19.I.4. Do not overlook our earlier statement that faithlessness leads straight to illusions. 2 For faithlessness is the perception of a brother as a body, and the body cannot be used for purposes of union. 3 If, then, you see your brother as a body, you have established a condition in which uniting with him becomes impossible. 4 Your faithlessness to him has separated you from him, and kept you both apart from being healed. p398 5 Your faithlessness has thus opposed the Holy Spirit's purpose, and brought illusions, centered on the body, to stand between you. 6 And the body will seem to be sick, for you have made of it an "enemy" of healing and the opposite of truth.
T-19.I.5. It cannot be difficult to realize that faith must be the opposite of faithlessness. 2 Yet the difference in how they operate is less apparent, though it follows directly from the fundamental difference in what they are. 3 Faithlessness would always limit and attack; faith would remove all limitations and make whole. 4 Faithlessness would destroy and separate; faith would unite and heal. 5 Faithlessness would interpose illusions between the Son of God and his Creator; faith would remove all obstacles that seem to rise between them. 6 Faithlessness is wholly dedicated to illusions; faith wholly to truth. 7 Partial dedication is impossible. 8 Truth is the absence of illusion; illusion the absence of truth. 9 Both cannot be together, nor perceived in the same place. 10 To dedicate yourself to both is to set up a goal forever impossible to attain, for part of it is sought through the body, thought of as a means for seeking out reality through attack. 11 The other part would heal, and therefore calls upon the mind and not the body.
T-19.I.6. The inevitable compromise is the belief that the body must be healed, and not the mind. 2 For this divided goal has given both an equal reality, which could be possible only if the mind is limited to the body and divided into little parts of seeming wholeness, but without connection. 3 This will not harm the body, but it <will> keep the delusional thought system in the mind. 4 Here, then, is healing needed. 5 And it is here that healing <is.> 6 For God gave healing not apart from sickness, nor established remedy where sickness cannot be. 7 They are together, and when they are seen together, all attempts to keep both truth and illusion in the mind, where both must be, are recognized as dedication to illusion; and given up when brought to truth, and seen as totally unreconcilable with truth, in any respect or in any way.
T-19.I.7. Truth and illusion have no connection. 2 This will remain forever true, however much you seek to connect them. 3 But illusions are always connected, as is truth. 4 Each is united, a complete thought system, but totally disconnected to each other. 5 And to perceive this is to recognize where separation is, and where it must be healed. p399 6 The result of an idea is never separate from its source. 7 The idea of separation produced the body and remains connected to it, making it sick because of the mind's identification with it. 8 You think you are protecting the body by hiding this connection, for this concealment seems to keep your identification safe from the "attack" of truth.
T-19.I.8. If you but understood how much this strange concealment has hurt your mind, and how confused your own identification has become because of it! 2 You do not see how great the devastation wrought by your faithlessness, for faithlessness is an attack that seems to be justified by its results. 3 For by withholding faith you see what is unworthy of it, and cannot look beyond the barrier to what is joined with you.
T-19.I.9. To have faith is to heal. 2 It is the sign that you have accepted the Atonement for yourself, and would therefore share it. 3 By faith, you offer the gift of freedom from the past, which you received. 4 You do not use anything your brother has done before to condemn him now. 5 You freely choose to overlook his errors, looking past all barriers between yourself and him, and seeing them as one. 6 And in that one you see your faith is fully justified. 7 There is no justification for faithlessness, but faith is always justified.
T-19.I.10. Faith is the opposite of fear, as much a part of love as fear is of attack. 2 Faith is the acknowledgment of union. 3 It is the gracious acknowledgment of everyone as a Son of your most loving Father, loved by Him like you, and therefore loved by you as yourself. 4 It is His Love that joins you and your brother, and for His Love you would keep no one separate from yours. 5 Each one appears just as he is perceived in the holy instant, united in your purpose to be released from guilt. 6 You see the Christ in him, and he is healed because you look on what makes faith forever justified in everyone.
T-19.I.11. Faith is the gift of God, through Him Whom God has given you. 2 Faithlessness looks upon the Son of God, and judges him unworthy of forgiveness. 3 But through the eyes of faith, the Son of God is seen already forgiven, free of all the guilt he laid upon himself. 4 Faith sees him only <now> because it looks not to the past to judge him, but would see in him only what it would see in you. 5 It sees not through the body's eyes, nor looks to bodies for its justification. 6 It is the messenger of the new perception, sent forth to gather witnesses unto its coming, and to return their messages to you. p400
T-19.I.12. Faith is as easily exchanged for knowledge as is the real world. 2 For faith arises from the Holy Spirit's perception, and is the sign you share it with Him. 3 Faith is a gift you offer to the Son of God through Him, and wholly acceptable to his Father as to Him. 4 And therefore offered you. 5 Your holy relationship, with its new purpose, offers you faith to give unto your brother. 6 Your faithlessness has driven you and him apart, and so you do not recognize salvation in him. 7 Yet faith unites you in the holiness you see, not through the body's eyes, but in the sight of Him Who joined you, and in Whom you are united.
T-19.I.13. Grace is not given to a body, but to a mind. 2 And the mind that receives it looks instantly beyond the body, and sees the holy place where it was healed. 3 There is the altar where the grace was given, in which it stands. 4 Do you, then, offer grace and blessing to your brother, for you stand at the same altar where grace was laid for both of you. 5 And be you healed by grace together, that you may heal through faith.
T-19.I.14. In the holy instant, you and your brother stand before the altar God has raised unto Himself and both of you. 2 Lay faithlessness aside, and come to it together. 3 There will you see the miracle of your relationship as it was made again through faith. 4 And there it is that you will realize that there is nothing faith cannot forgive. 5 No error interferes with its calm sight, which brings the miracle of healing with equal ease to all of them. 6 For what the messengers of love are sent to do they do, returning the glad tidings that it was done to you and your brother who stand together before the altar from which they were sent forth.
T-19.I.15. As faithlessness will keep your little kingdoms barren and separate, so will faith help the Holy Spirit prepare the ground for the most holy garden that He would make of it. 2 For faith brings peace, and so it calls on truth to enter and make lovely what has already been prepared for loveliness. 3 Truth follows faith and peace, completing the process of making lovely that they begin. 4 For faith is still a learning goal, no longer needed when the lesson has been learned. 5 Yet truth will stay forever.
T-19.I.16. Let, then, your dedication be to the eternal, and learn how not to interfere with it and make it slave to time. 2 For what you think you do to the eternal you do to <you.> 3 Whom God created as His Son is slave to nothing, being lord of all, along with his Creator. 4 You can enslave a body, but an idea is free, incapable of being kept in prison or limited in any way except by the mind that thought it. p401 5 For it remains joined to its source, which is its jailer or its liberator, according to which it chooses as its purpose for itself.
II. Sin versus Error
T-19.II.1. It is essential that error be not confused with sin, and it is this distinction that makes salvation possible. 2 For error can be corrected, and the wrong made right. 3 But sin, were it possible, would be irreversible. 4 The belief in sin is necessarily based on the firm conviction that minds, not bodies, can attack. 5 And thus the mind is guilty, and will forever so remain unless a mind not part of it can give it absolution. 6 Sin calls for punishment as error for correction, and the belief that punishment <is> correction is clearly insane.
T-19.II.2. Sin is not an error, for sin entails an arrogance which the idea of error lacks. 2 To sin would be to violate reality, and to succeed. 3 Sin is the proclamation that attack is real and guilt is justified. 4 It assumes the Son of God is guilty, and has thus succeeded in losing his innocence and making himself what God created not. 5 Thus is creation seen as not eternal, and the Will of God open to opposition and defeat. 6 Sin is the grand illusion underlying all the ego's grandiosity. 7 For by it God Himself is changed, and rendered incomplete.
T-19.II.3. The Son of God can be mistaken; he can deceive himself; he can even turn the power of his mind against himself. 2 But he <cannot> sin. 3 There is nothing he can do that would really change his reality in any way, nor make him really guilty. 4 That is what sin would do, for such is its purpose. 5 Yet for all the wild insanity inherent in the whole idea of sin, it is impossible. 6 For the wages of sin <is> death, and how can the immortal die?
T-19.II.4. A major tenet in the ego's insane religion is that sin is not error but truth, and it is innocence that would deceive. 2 Purity is seen as arrogance, and the acceptance of the self as sinful is perceived as holiness. 3 And it is this doctrine that replaces the reality of the Son of God as his Father created him, and willed that he be forever. 4 Is this humility? 5 Or is it, rather, an attempt to wrest creation away from truth, and keep it separate?
T-19.II.5. Any attempt to reinterpret sin as error is always indefensible to the ego. p402 2 The idea of sin is wholly sacrosanct to its thought system, and quite unapproachable except with reverence and awe. 3 It is the most "holy" concept in the ego's system; lovely and powerful, wholly true, and necessarily protected with every defense at its disposal. 4 For here lies its "best" defense, which all the others serve. 5 Here is its armor, its protection, and the fundamental purpose of the special relationship in its interpretation.
T-19.II.6. It can indeed be said the ego made its world on sin. 2 Only in such a world could everything be upside down. 3 This is the strange illusion that makes the clouds of guilt seem heavy and impenetrable. 4 The solidness that this world's foundation seems to have is found in this. 5 For sin has changed creation from an idea of God to an ideal the ego wants; a world it rules, made up of bodies, mindless and capable of complete corruption and decay. 6 If this is a mistake, it can be undone easily by truth. 7 Any mistake can be corrected, if truth be left to judge it. 8 But if the mistake is given the status of truth, to what can it be brought? 9 The "holiness" of sin is kept in place by just this strange device. 10 As truth it is inviolate, and everything is brought to <it> for judgment. 11 As a mistake, <it> must be brought to truth. 12 It is impossible to have faith in sin, for sin is faithlessness. 13 Yet it is possible to have faith that a mistake can be corrected.
T-19.II.7. There is no stone in all the ego's embattled citadel that is more heavily defended than the idea that sin is real; the natural expression of what the Son of God has made himself to be, and what he is. 2 To the ego, this is no mistake. 3 For this is its reality; this is the "truth" from which escape will always be impossible. 4 This is his past, his present and his future. 5 For he has somehow managed to corrupt his Father, and change His Mind completely. 6 Mourn, then, the death of God, Whom sin has killed! 7 And this would be the ego's wish, which in its madness it believes it has accomplished.
T-19.II.8. Would you not rather that all this be nothing more than a mistake, entirely correctable, and so easily escaped from that its whole correction is like walking through a mist into the sun? 2 For that is all it is. 3 Perhaps you would be tempted to agree with the ego that it is far better to be sinful than mistaken. 4 Yet think you carefully before you allow yourself to make this choice. 5 Approach it not lightly, for it is the choice of hell or Heaven. p403
III. The Unreality of Sin
T-19.III.1. The attraction of guilt is found in sin, not error. 2 Sin will be repeated because of this attraction. 3 Fear can become so acute that the sin is denied the acting out. 4 But while the guilt remains attractive the mind will suffer, and not let go of the idea of sin. 5 For guilt still calls to it, and the mind hears it and yearns for it, making itself a willing captive to its sick appeal. 6 Sin is an idea of evil that cannot be corrected, and yet will be forever desirable. 7 As an essential part of what the ego thinks you are, you will always want it. 8 And only an avenger, with a mind unlike your own, could stamp it out through fear.
T-19.III.2. The ego does not think it possible that love, not fear, is really called upon by sin, <and always answers.> 2 For the ego brings sin to fear, demanding punishment. 3 Yet punishment is but another form of guilt's protection, for what is deserving punishment must have been really done. 4 Punishment is always the great preserver of sin, treating it with respect and honoring its enormity. 5 What must be punished, must be true. 6 And what is true must be eternal, and will be repeated endlessly. 7 For what you think is real you want, and will not let it go.
T-19.III.3. An error, on the other hand, is not attractive. 2 What you see clearly as a mistake you want corrected. 3 Sometimes a sin can be repeated over and over, with obviously distressing results, but without the loss of its appeal. 4 And suddenly, you change its status from a sin to a mistake. 5 Now you will not repeat it; you will merely stop and let it go, unless the guilt remains. 6 For then you will but change the form of sin, granting that it was an error, but keeping it uncorrectable. 7 This is not really a change in your perception, for it is sin that calls for punishment, not error.
T-19.III.4. The Holy Spirit cannot punish sin. 2 Mistakes He recognizes, and would correct them all as God entrusted Him to do. 3 But sin He knows not, nor can He recognize mistakes that cannot be corrected. 4 For a mistake that cannot be corrected is meaningless to Him. 5 Mistakes are <for> correction, and they call for nothing else. 6 What calls for punishment must call for nothing. 7 Every mistake <must> be a call for love. 8 What, then, is sin? 9 What could it be but a mistake you would keep hidden; a call for help that you would keep unheard and thus unanswered?
T-19.III.5. In time, the Holy Spirit clearly sees the Son of God can make mistakes. 2 On this you share His vision. 3 Yet you do not share His recognition of the difference between time and eternity. p404 4 And when correction is completed, time <is> eternity. 5 The Holy Spirit can teach you how to look on time differently and see beyond it, but not while you believe in sin. 6 In error, yes, for this can be corrected by the mind. 7 But sin is the belief that your perception is unchangeable, and that the mind must accept as true what it is told through it. 8 If it does not obey, the mind is judged insane. 9 The only power that could change perception is thus kept impotent, held to the body by the fear of changed perception which its Teacher, Who is one with it, would bring.
T-19.III.6. When you are tempted to believe that sin is real, remember this: If sin is real, both God and you are not. 2 If creation is extension, the Creator must have extended Himself, and it is impossible that what is part of Him is totally unlike the rest. 3 If sin is real, God must be at war with Himself. 4 He must be split, and torn between good and evil; partly sane and partially insane. 5 For He must have created what wills to destroy Him, and has the power to do so. 6 Is it not easier to believe that you have been mistaken than to believe in this?
T-19.III.7. While you believe that your reality or your brother's is bounded by a body, you will believe in sin. 2 While you believe that bodies can unite, you will find guilt attractive and believe that sin is precious. 3 For the belief that bodies limit mind leads to a perception of the world in which the proof of separation seems to be everywhere. 4 And God and His creation seem to be split apart and overthrown. 5 For sin would prove what God created holy could not prevail against it, nor remain itself before the power of sin. 6 Sin is perceived as mightier than God, before which God Himself must bow, and offer His creation to its conqueror. 7 Is this humility or madness?
T-19.III.8. If sin is real, it must forever be beyond the hope of healing. 2 For there would be a power beyond God's, capable of making another will that could attack His Will and overcome it; and give His Son a will apart from His, and stronger. 3 And each part of God's fragmented creation would have a different will, opposed to His, and in eternal opposition to Him and to each other. 4 Your holy relationship has, as its purpose now, the goal of proving this is impossible. 5 Heaven has smiled upon it, and the belief in sin has been uprooted in its smile of love. 6 You see it still, because you do not realize that its foundation has gone. 7 Its source has been removed, and so it can be cherished but a little while before it vanishes. p405 8 Only the habit of looking for it still remains.
T-19.III.9. And yet you look with Heaven's smile upon your lips, and Heaven's blessing on your sight. 2 You will not see sin long. 3 For in the new perception the mind corrects it when it seems to be seen, and it becomes invisible. 4 Errors are quickly recognized and quickly given to correction, to be healed, not hidden. 5 You will be healed of sin and all its ravages the instant that you give it no power over your brother. 6 And you will help him overcome mistakes by joyously releasing him from the belief in sin.
T-19.III.10. In the holy instant, you will see the smile of Heaven shining on both you and your brother. 2 And you will shine upon him, in glad acknowledgment of the grace that has been given you. 3 For sin will not prevail against a union Heaven has smiled upon. 4 Your perception was healed in the holy instant Heaven gave you. 5 Forget what you have seen, and raise your eyes in faith to what you now can see. 6 The barriers to Heaven will disappear before your holy sight, for you who were sightless have been given vision, and you can see. 7 Look not for what has been removed, but for the glory that has been restored for you to see.
T-19.III.11. Look upon your Redeemer, and behold what He would show you in your brother, and let not sin arise again to blind your eyes. 2 For sin would keep you separate from him, but your Redeemer would have you look upon your brother as yourself. 3 Your relationship is now a temple of healing; a place where all the weary ones can come and rest. 4 Here is the rest that waits for all, after the journey. 5 And it is brought nearer to all by your relationship.
IV. The Obstacles to Peace
T-19.IV.1. As peace extends from deep inside yourself to embrace all the Sonship and give it rest, it will encounter many obstacles. 2 Some of them you will try to impose. 3 Others will seem to arise from elsewhere; from your brothers, and from various aspects of the world outside. 4 Yet peace will gently cover them, extending past completely unencumbered. 5 The extension of the Holy Spirit's purpose from your relationship to others, to bring them gently in, is the way in which He will bring means and goal in line. 6 The peace He lay, deep within you and your brother, will quietly extend to every aspect of your life, surrounding you and your brother with glowing happiness and the calm awareness of complete protection. p406 7 And you will carry its message of love and safety and freedom to everyone who draws nigh unto your temple, where healing waits for him. 8 You will not wait to give him this, for you will call to him and he will answer you, recognizing in your call the Call for God. 9 And you will draw him in and give him rest, as it was given you.
T-19.IV.2. All this will you do. 2 Yet the peace that already lies deeply within must first expand, and flow across the obstacles you placed before it. 3 This will you do, for nothing undertaken with the Holy Spirit remains unfinished. 4 You can indeed be sure of nothing you see outside you, but of this you <can> be sure: The Holy Spirit asks that you offer Him a resting place where you will rest in Him. 5 He answered you, and entered your relationship. 6 Would you not now return His graciousness, and enter into a relationship with Him? 7 For it is He Who offered your relationship the gift of holiness, without which it would have been forever impossible to appreciate your brother.
T-19.IV.3. The gratitude you owe to Him He asks but that you receive for Him. 2 And when you look with gentle graciousness upon your brother, you are beholding Him. 3 For you are looking where He <is,> and not apart from Him. 4 You cannot see the Holy Spirit, but you can see your brothers truly. 5 And the light in them will show you all that you need to see. 6 When the peace in you has been extended to encompass everyone, the Holy Spirit's function here will be accomplished. 7 What need is there for seeing, then? 8 When God has taken the last step Himself, the Holy Spirit will gather all the thanks and gratitude that you have offered Him, and lay them gently before His Creator in the Name of His most holy Son. 9 And the Father will accept them in His Name. 10 What need is there of seeing, in the presence of His gratitude?
A. The First Obstacle: The Desire to Get Rid of It
T-19.IV.A.1. The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. 2 For it cannot extend unless you keep it. 3 You are the center from which it radiates outward, to call the others in. 4 You are its home; its tranquil dwelling place from which it gently reaches out, but never leaving you. 5 If you would make it homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God? 6 If it would spread across the whole creation, it must begin with you, and from you reach to everyone who calls, and bring him rest by joining you. p407
T-19.IV.A.2. Why would you want peace homeless? 2 What do you think that it must dispossess to dwell with you? 3 What seems to be the cost you are so unwilling to pay? 4 The little barrier of sand still stands between you and your brother. 5 Would you reinforce it now? 6 You are not asked to let it go for yourself alone. 7 Christ asks it of you for Himself. 8 He would bring peace to everyone, and how can He do this except through you? 9 Would you let a little bank of sand, a wall of dust, a tiny seeming barrier, stand between your brothers and salvation? 10 And yet, this little remnant of attack you cherish still against your brother <is> the first obstacle the peace in you encounters in its going forth. 11 This little wall of hatred would still oppose the Will of God, and keep it limited.
T-19.IV.A.3. The Holy Spirit's purpose rests in peace within you. 2 Yet you are still unwilling to let it join you wholly. 3 You still oppose the Will of God, just by a little. 4 And that little is a limit you would place upon the whole. 5 God's Will is One, not many. 6 It has no opposition, for there is none beside it. 7 What you would still contain behind your little barrier and keep separate from your brother seems mightier than the universe, for it would hold back the universe and its Creator. 8 This little wall would hide the purpose of Heaven, and keep it <from> Heaven.
T-19.IV.A.4. Would you thrust salvation away from the giver of salvation? 2 For such have you become. 3 Peace could no more depart from you than from God. 4 Fear not this little obstacle. 5 It cannot contain the Will of God. 6 Peace will flow across it, and join you without hindrance. 7 Salvation cannot be withheld from you. 8 It is your purpose. 9 You cannot choose apart from this. 10 You have no purpose apart from your brother, nor apart from the one you asked the Holy Spirit to share with you. 11 The little wall will fall away so quietly beneath the wings of peace. 12 For peace will send its messengers from you to all the world, and barriers will fall away before their coming as easily as those that you interpose will be surmounted.
T-19.IV.A.5. To overcome the world is no more difficult than to surmount your little wall. 2 For in the miracle of your holy relationship, without this barrier, is every miracle contained. 3 There is no order of difficulty in miracles, for they are all the same. 4 Each is a gentle winning over from the appeal of guilt to the appeal of love. 5 How can this fail to be accomplished, wherever it is undertaken?. p408 6 Guilt can raise no real barriers against it. 7 And all that seems to stand between you and your brother must fall away because of the appeal you answered. 8 From you who answered, He Who answered you would call. 9 His home is in your holy relationship. 10 Do not attempt to stand between Him and His holy purpose, for it is yours. 11 But let Him quietly extend the miracle of your relationship to everyone contained in it as it was given.
T-19.IV.A.6. There is a hush in Heaven, a happy expectancy, a little pause of gladness in acknowledgment of the journey's end. 2 For Heaven knows you well, as you know Heaven. 3 No illusions stand between you and your brother now. 4 Look not upon the little wall of shadows. 5 The sun has risen over it. 6 How can a shadow keep you from the sun? 7 No more can you be kept by shadows from the light in which illusions end. 8 Every miracle is but the end of an illusion. 9 Such was the journey; such its ending. 10 And in the goal of truth which you accepted must all illusions end.
T-19.IV.A.7. The little insane wish to get rid of Him Whom you invited in and push Him out <must> produce conflict. 2 As you look upon the world, this little wish, uprooted and floating aimlessly, can land and settle briefly upon anything, for it has no purpose now. 3 Before the Holy Spirit entered to abide with you it seemed to have a mighty purpose; the fixed and unchangeable dedication to sin and its results. 4 Now it is aimless, wandering pointlessly, causing no more than tiny interruptions in love's appeal.
T-19.IV.A.8. This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. 2 It is no longer an unrelenting barrier to peace. 3 Its pointless wandering makes its results appear to be more erratic and unpredictable than before. 4 Yet what could be more unstable than a tightly organized delusional system? 5 Its seeming stability is its pervasive weakness, which extends to everything. 6 The variability the little remnant induces merely indicates its limited results.
T-19.IV.A.9. How mighty can a little feather be before the great wings of truth? 2 Can it oppose an eagle's flight, or hinder the advance of summer? 3 Can it interfere with the effects of summer's sun upon a garden covered by the snow? 4 See but how easily this little wisp is lifted up and carried away, never to return, and part with it in gladness, not regret. 5 For it is nothing in itself, and stood for nothing when you had greater faith in its protection. 6 Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake, and shiver in remembrance of the winter's cold? p409
i. The Attraction of Guilt
T-19.IV.A.10. The attraction of guilt produces fear of love, for love would never look on guilt at all. 2 It is the nature of love to look upon only the truth, for there it sees itself, with which it would unite in holy union and completion. 3 As love must look past fear, so must fear see love not. 4 For love contains the end of guilt, as surely as fear depends on it. 5 Love is attracted only to love. 6 Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear. 7 Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid. 8 Fear is attracted to what love sees not, and each believes that what the other looks upon does not exist. 9 Fear looks on guilt with just the same devotion that love looks on itself. 10 And each has messengers which it sends forth, and which return to it with messages written in the language in which their going forth was asked.
T-19.IV.A.11. Love's messengers are gently sent, and return with messages of love and gentleness. 2 The messengers of fear are harshly ordered to seek out guilt, and cherish every scrap of evil and of sin that they can find, losing none of them on pain of death, and laying them respectfully before their lord and master. 3 Perception cannot obey two masters, each asking for messages of different things in different languages. 4 What fear would feed upon, love overlooks. 5 What fear demands, love cannot even see. 6 The fierce attraction that guilt holds for fear is wholly absent from love's gentle perception. 7 What love would look upon is meaningless to fear, and quite invisible.
T-19.IV.A.12. Relationships in this world are the result of how the world is seen. 2 And this depends on which emotion was called on to send its messengers to look upon it, and return with word of what they saw. 3 Fear's messengers are trained through terror, and they tremble when their master calls on them to serve him. 4 For fear is merciless even to its friends. 5 Its messengers steal guiltily away in hungry search of guilt, for they are kept cold and starving and made very vicious by their master, who allows them to feast only upon what they return to him. 6 No little shred of guilt escapes their hungry eyes. 7 And in their savage search for sin they pounce on any living thing they see, and carry it screaming to their master, to be devoured.
T-19.IV.A.13. Send not these savage messengers into the world, to feast upon it and to prey upon reality. 2 For they will bring you word of bones and skin and flesh. 3 They have been taught to seek for the corruptible, and to return with gorges filled with things decayed and rotted. p410 4 To them such things are beautiful, because they seem to allay their savage pangs of hunger. 5 For they are frantic with the pain of fear, and would avert the punishment of him who sends them forth by offering him what they hold dear.
T-19.IV.A.14. The Holy Spirit has given you love's messengers to send instead of those you trained through fear. 2 They are as eager to return to you what they hold dear as are the others. 3 If you send them forth, they will see only the blameless and the beautiful, the gentle and the kind. 4 They will be as careful to let no little act of charity, no tiny expression of forgiveness, no little breath of love escape their notice. 5 And they will return with all the happy things they found, to share them lovingly with you. 6 Be not afraid of them. 7 They offer you salvation. 8 Theirs are the messages of safety, for they see the world as kind.
T-19.IV.A.15. If you send forth only the messengers the Holy Spirit gives you, wanting no messages but theirs, you will see fear no more. 2 The world will be transformed before your sight, cleansed of all guilt and softly brushed with beauty. 3 The world contains no fear that you laid not upon it. 4 And none you cannot ask love's messengers to remove from it, and see it still. 5 The Holy Spirit has given you His messengers to send to your brother and return to you with what love sees. 6 They have been given to replace the hungry dogs of fear you sent instead. 7 And they go forth to signify the end of fear.
T-19.IV.A.16. Love, too, would set a feast before you, on a table covered with a spotless cloth, set in a quiet garden where no sound but singing and a softly joyous whispering is ever heard. 2 This is a feast that honors your holy relationship, and at which everyone is welcomed as an honored guest. 3 And in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together, as they join in gentleness before the table of communion. 4 And I will join you there, as long ago I promised and promise still. 5 For in your new relationship am I made welcome. 6 And where I am made welcome, there I am.
T-19.IV.A.17. I am made welcome in the state of grace, which means you have at last forgiven me. 2 For I became the symbol of your sin, and so I had to die instead of you. 3 To the ego sin means death, and so atonement is achieved through murder. 4 Salvation is looked upon as a way by which the Son of God was killed instead of you. 5 Yet would I offer you my body, you whom I love, <knowing> its littleness? 6 Or would I teach that bodies cannot keep us apart? p411 7 Mine was of no greater value than yours; no better means for communication of salvation, but not its Source. 8 No one can die for anyone, and death does not atone for sin. 9 But you can live to show it is not real. 10 The body does appear to be the symbol of sin while you believe that it can get you what you want. 11 While you believe that it can give you pleasure, you will also believe that it can bring you pain. 12 To think you could be satisfied and happy with so little is to hurt yourself, and to limit the happiness that you would have calls upon pain to fill your meager store and make your life complete. 13 This is completion as the ego sees it. 14 For guilt creeps in where happiness has been removed, and substitutes for it. 15 Communion is another kind of completion, which goes beyond guilt, because it goes beyond the body.
B. The Second Obstacle: The Belief the Body is Valuable for What It Offers
T-19.IV.B.1. We said that peace must first surmount the obstacle of your desire to get rid of it. 2 Where the attraction of guilt holds sway, peace is not wanted. 3 The second obstacle that peace must flow across, and closely related to the first, is the belief that the body is valuable for what it offers. 4 For here is the attraction of guilt made manifest in the body, and seen in it.
T-19.IV.B.2. This is the value that you think peace would rob you of. 2 This is what you believe that it would dispossess, and leave you homeless. 3 And it is this for which you would deny a home to peace. 4 This "sacrifice" you feel to be too great to make, too much to ask of you. 5 Is it a sacrifice, or a release? 6 What has the body really given you that justifies your strange belief that in it lies salvation? 7 Do you not see that this is the belief in death? 8 Here is the focus of the perception of Atonement as murder. 9 Here is the source of the idea that love is fear.
T-19.IV.B.3. The Holy Spirit's messengers are sent far beyond the body, calling the mind to join in holy communion and be at peace. 2 Such is the message that I gave them for you. 3 It is only the messengers of fear that see the body, for they look for what can suffer. 4 Is it a sacrifice to be removed from what can suffer? 5 The Holy Spirit does not demand you sacrifice the hope of the body's pleasure; it <has> no hope of pleasure. 6 But neither can it bring you fear of pain. 7 Pain is the only "sacrifice" the Holy Spirit asks, and this He <would> remove. p412
T-19.IV.B.4. Peace is extended from you only to the eternal, and it reaches out from the eternal in you. 2 It flows across all else. 3 The second obstacle is no more solid than the first. 4 For you want neither to get rid of peace nor limit it. 5 What are these obstacles that you would interpose between peace and its going forth but barriers you place between your will and its accomplishment? 6 You want communion, not the feast of fear. 7 You want salvation, not the pain of guilt. 8 And you want your Father, not a little mound of clay, to be your home. 9 In your holy relationship is your Father's Son. 10 He has not lost communion with Him, nor with himself. 11 When you agreed to join your brother, you acknowledged this is so. 12 This has no cost, but it has release from cost.
T-19.IV.B.5. You have paid very dearly for your illusions, and nothing you have paid for brought you peace. 2 Are you not glad that Heaven cannot be sacrificed, and sacrifice cannot be asked of you? 3 There is no obstacle that you can place before our union, for in your holy relationship I am there already. 4 We will surmount all obstacles together, for we stand within the gates and not outside. 5 How easily the gates are opened from within, to let peace through to bless the tired world! 6 Can it be difficult for us to walk past barriers together, when you have joined the limitless? 7 The end of guilt is in your hands to give. 8 Would you stop now to look for guilt in your brother?
T-19.IV.B.6. Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt, and look upon your brother as you would look on me. 2 Forgive me all the sins you think the Son of God committed. 3 And in the light of your forgiveness he will remember who he is, and forget what never was. 4 I ask for your forgiveness, for if you are guilty, so must I be. 5 But if I surmounted guilt and overcame the world, you were with me. 6 Would you see in me the symbol of guilt or of the end of guilt, remembering that what I signify to you you see within yourself?
T-19.IV.B.7. From your holy relationship truth proclaims the truth, and love looks on itself. 2 Salvation flows from deep within the home you offered to my Father and to me. 3 And we are there together, in the quiet communion in which the Father and the Son are joined. 4 O come ye faithful to the holy union of the Father and the Son in you! 5 And keep you not apart from what is offered you in gratitude for giving peace its home in Heaven. 6 Send forth to all the world the joyous message of the end of guilt, and all the world will answer. 7 Think of your happiness as everyone offers you witness of the end of sin, and shows you that its power is gone forever. p413 8 Where can guilt be, when the belief in sin is gone? 9 And where is death, when its great advocate is heard no more?
T-19.IV.B.8. Forgive me your illusions, and release me from punishment for what I have not done. 2 So will you learn the freedom that I taught by teaching freedom to your brother, and so releasing me. 3 I am within your holy relationship, yet you would imprison me behind the obstacles you raise to freedom, and bar my way to you. 4 Yet it is not possible to keep away One Who is there already. 5 And in Him it <is> possible that our communion, where we are joined already, will be the focus of the new perception that will bring light to all the world, contained in you.
i. The Attraction of Pain
T-19.IV.B.9. Your little part is but to give the Holy Spirit the whole idea of sacrifice. 2 And to accept the peace He gives instead, without the limits that would hold its extension back, and so would limit your awareness of it. 3 For what He gives must be extended if you would have its limitless power, and use it for the Son of God's release. 4 It is not this you would be rid of, and having it you cannot limit it. 5 If peace is homeless, so are you and so am I. 6 And He Who is our home is homeless with us. 7 Is this your wish? 8 Would you forever be a wanderer in search of peace? 9 Would you invest your hope of peace and happiness in what must fail?
T-19.IV.B.10. Faith in the eternal is always justified, for the eternal is forever kind, infinite in its patience and wholly loving. 2 It will accept you wholly, and give you peace. 3 Yet it can unite only with what already is at peace in you, immortal as itself. 4 The body can bring you neither peace nor turmoil; neither joy nor pain. 5 It is a means, and not an end. 6 It has no purpose of itself, but only what is given to it. 7 The body will seem to be whatever is the means for reaching the goal that you assign to it. 8 Only the mind can set a purpose, and only the mind can see the means for its accomplishment, and justify its use. 9 Peace and guilt are both conditions of the mind, to be attained. 10 And these conditions are the home of the emotion that calls them forth, and therefore is compatible with them.
T-19.IV.B.11. But think you which it is that is compatible with you. 2 Here is your choice, and it <is> free. 3 But all that lies in it will come with it, and what you think you are can never be apart from it. 4 The body is the great seeming betrayer of faith. p414 5 In it lies disillusionment and the seeds of faithlessness, but only if you ask of it what it cannot give. 6 Can your mistake be reasonable grounds for depression and disillusionment, and for retaliative attack on what you think has failed you? 7 Use not your error as the justification for your faithlessness. 8 You have not sinned, but you have been mistaken in what is faithful. 9 And the correction of your mistake will give you grounds for faith.
T-19.IV.B.12. It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and not find pain. 2 It is essential that this relationship be understood, for it is one the ego sees as proof of sin. 3 It is not really punitive at all. 4 It is but the inevitable result of equating yourself with the body, which is the invitation to pain. 5 For it invites fear to enter and become your purpose. 6 The attraction of guilt <must> enter with it, and whatever fear directs the body to do is therefore painful. 7 It will share the pain of all illusions, and the illusion of pleasure will be the same as pain.
T-19.IV.B.13. Is not this inevitable? 2 Under fear's orders the body will pursue guilt, serving its master whose attraction to guilt maintains the whole illusion of its existence. 3 This, then, is the attraction of pain. 4 Ruled by this perception the body becomes the servant of pain, seeking it dutifully and obeying the idea that pain is pleasure. 5 It is this idea that underlies all of the ego's heavy investment in the body. 6 And it is this insane relationship that it keeps hidden, and yet feeds upon. 7 To you it teaches that the body's pleasure is happiness. 8 Yet to itself it whispers, "It is death."
T-19.IV.B.14. Why should the body be anything to you? 2 Certainly what it is made of is not precious. 3 And just as certainly it has no feeling. 4 It transmits to you the feelings that you want. 5 Like any communication medium the body receives and sends the messages that it is given. 6 It has no feeling for them. 7 All of the feeling with which they are invested is given by the sender and the receiver. 8 The ego and the Holy Spirit both recognize this, and both also recognize that here the sender and receiver are the same. 9 The Holy Spirit tells you this with joy. 10 The ego hides it, for it would keep you unaware of it. 11 Who would send messages of hatred and attack if he but understood he sends them to himself? 12 Who would accuse, make guilty and condemn himself?
T-19.IV.B.15. The ego's messages are always sent away from you, in the belief that for your message of attack and guilt will someone other than yourself suffer. p415 2 And even if you suffer, yet someone else will suffer more. 3 The great deceiver recognizes that this is not so, but as the "enemy" of peace, it urges you to send out all your messages of hate and free yourself. 4 And to convince you this is possible, it bids the body search for pain in attack upon another, calling it pleasure and offering it to you as freedom <from> attack.
T-19.IV.B.16. Hear not its madness, and believe not the impossible is true. 2 Forget not that the ego has dedicated the body to the goal of sin, and places in it all its faith that this can be accomplished. 3 Its sad disciples chant the body's praise continually, in solemn celebration of the ego's rule. 4 Not one but must believe that yielding to the attraction of guilt is the escape from pain. 5 Not one but must regard the body as himself, without which he would die, and yet within which is his death equally inevitable.
T-19.IV.B.17. It is not given to the ego's disciples to realize that they have dedicated themselves to death. 2 Freedom is offered them but they have not accepted it, and what is offered must also be received, to be truly given. 3 For the Holy Spirit, too, is a communication medium, receiving from the Father and offering His messages unto the Son. 4 Like the ego, the Holy Spirit is both the sender and the receiver. 5 For what is sent through Him returns to Him, seeking itself along the way, and finding what it seeks. 6 So does the ego find the death <it> seeks, returning it to you.
C. The Third Obstacle: The Attraction of Death
T-19.IV.C.1. To you and your brother, in whose special relationship the Holy Spirit entered, it is given to release and be released from the dedication to death. 2 For it was offered you, and you accepted. 3 Yet you must learn still more about this strange devotion, for it contains the third obstacle that peace must flow across. 4 No one can die unless he chooses death. 5 What seems to be the fear of death is really its attraction. 6 Guilt, too, is feared and fearful. 7 Yet it could have no hold at all except on those who are attracted to it and seek it out. 8 And so it is with death. 9 Made by the ego, its dark shadow falls across all living things, because the ego is the "enemy" of life.
T-19.IV.C.2. And yet a shadow cannot kill. 2 What is a shadow to the living? 3 They but walk past and it is gone. 4 But what of those whose dedication is not to live; the black-draped "sinners," the ego's mournful chorus, plodding so heavily away from life, dragging their chains and marching in the slow procession that honors their grim master, lord of death? p416 5 Touch any one of them with the gentle hands of forgiveness, and watch the chains fall away, along with yours. 6 See him throw aside the black robe he was wearing to his funeral, and hear him laugh at death. 7 The sentence sin would lay upon him he can escape through your forgiveness. 8 This is no arrogance. 9 It is the Will of God. 10 What is impossible to you who chose His Will as yours? 11 What is death to you? 12 Your dedication is not to death, nor to its master. 13 When you accepted the Holy Spirit's purpose in place of the ego's you renounced death, exchanging it for life. 14 We know that an idea leaves not its source. 15 And death is the result of the thought we call the ego, as surely as life is the result of the Thought of God.
i. The Incorruptible Body
T-19.IV.C.3. From the ego came sin and guilt and death, in opposition to life and innocence, and to the Will of God Himself. 2 Where can such opposition lie but in the sick minds of the insane, dedicated to madness and set against the peace of Heaven? 3 One thing is sure; God, Who created neither sin nor death, wills not that you be bound by them. 4 He knows of neither sin nor its results. 5 The shrouded figures in the funeral procession march not in honor of their Creator, Whose Will it is they live. 6 They are not following His Will; they are opposing it.
T-19.IV.C.4. And what is the black-draped body they would bury? 2 A body which they dedicated to death, a symbol of corruption, a sacrifice to sin, offered to sin to feed upon and keep itself alive; a thing condemned, damned by its maker and lamented by every mourner who looks upon it as himself. 3 You who believe you have condemned the Son of God to this <are> arrogant. 4 But you who would release him are but honoring the Will of his Creator. 5 The arrogance of sin, the pride of guilt, the sepulchre of separation, all are part of your unrecognized dedication to death. 6 The glitter of guilt you laid upon the body would kill it. 7 For what the ego loves, it kills for its obedience. 8 But what obeys it not, it cannot kill.
T-19.IV.C.5. You have another dedication that would keep the body incorruptible and perfect as long as it is useful for your holy purpose. p417 2 The body no more dies than it can feel. 3 It does nothing. 4 Of itself it is neither corruptible nor incorruptible. 5 It <is> nothing. 6 It is the result of a tiny, mad idea of corruption that can be corrected. 7 For God has answered this insane idea with His Own; an Answer which left Him not, and therefore brings the Creator to the awareness of every mind which heard His Answer and accepted It.
T-19.IV.C.6. You who are dedicated to the incorruptible have been given through your acceptance, the power to release from corruption. 2 What better way to teach the first and fundamental principle in a course on miracles than by showing you the one that seems to be the hardest can be accomplished first? 3 The body can but serve your purpose. 4 As you look on it, so will it seem to be. 5 Death, were it true, would be the final and complete disruption of communication, which is the ego's goal.
T-19.IV.C.7. Those who fear death see not how often and how loudly they call to it, and bid it come to save them from communication. 2 For death is seen as safety, the great dark savior from the light of truth, the answer to the Answer, the silencer of the Voice that speaks for God. 3 Yet the retreat to death is not the end of conflict. 4 Only God's Answer is its end. 5 The obstacle of your seeming love for death that peace must flow across seems to be very great. 6 For in it lie hidden all the ego's secrets, all its strange devices for deception, all its sick ideas and weird imaginings. 7 Here is the final end of union, the triumph of the ego's making over creation, the victory of lifelessness on Life Itself.
T-19.IV.C.8. Under the dusty edge of its distorted world the ego would lay the Son of God, slain by its orders, proof in his decay that God Himself is powerless before the ego's might, unable to protect the life that He created against the ego's savage wish to kill. 2 My brother, child of our Father, this is a <dream> of death. 3 There is no funeral, no dark altars, no grim commandments nor twisted rituals of condemnation to which the body leads you. 4 Ask not release of <it.> 5 But free it from the merciless and unrelenting orders you laid upon it, and forgive it what you ordered it to do. 6 In its exaltation you commanded it to die, for only death could conquer life. 7 And what but insanity could look upon the defeat of God, and think it real?
T-19.IV.C.9. The fear of death will go as its appeal is yielded to love's real attraction. 2 The end of sin, which nestles quietly in the safety of your relationship, protected by your union with your brother, and ready to grow into a mighty force for God is very near. p418 3 The infancy of salvation is carefully guarded by love, preserved from every thought that would attack it, and quietly made ready to fulfill the mighty task for which it was given you. 4 Your newborn purpose is nursed by angels, cherished by the Holy Spirit and protected by God Himself. 5 It needs not your protection; it is <yours.> 6 For it is deathless, and within it lies the end of death.
T-19.IV.C.10. What danger can assail the wholly innocent? 2 What can attack the guiltless? 3 What fear can enter and disturb the peace of sinlessness? 4 What has been given you, even in its infancy, is in full communication with God and you. 5 In its tiny hands it holds, in perfect safety, every miracle you will perform, held out to you. 6 The miracle of life is ageless, born in time but nourished in eternity. 7 Behold this infant, to whom you gave a resting place by your forgiveness of your brother, and see in it the Will of God. 8 Here is the babe of Bethlehem reborn. 9 And everyone who gives him shelter will follow him, not to the cross, but to the resurrection and the life.
T-19.IV.C.11. When anything seems to you to be a source of fear, when any situation strikes you with terror and makes your body tremble and the cold sweat of fear comes over it, remember it is always for <one> reason; the ego has perceived it as a symbol of fear, a sign of sin and death. 2 Remember, then, that neither sign nor symbol should be confused with source, for they must stand for something other than themselves. 3 Their meaning cannot lie in them, but must be sought in what they represent. 4 And they may thus mean everything or nothing, according to the truth or falsity of the idea which they reflect. 5 Confronted with such seeming uncertainty of meaning, judge it not. 6 Remember the holy Presence of the One given to you to be the Source of judgment. 7 Give it to Him to judge for you, and say:
8 Take this from me and look upon it, judging it for me.
9 Let me not see it as a sign of sin and death, nor use it for destruction.
10 Teach me how not to make of it an obstacle to peace, but let You use it for me, to facilitate its coming. p419
D. The Fourth Obstacle: The Fear of God
T-19.IV.D.1. What would you see without the fear of death? 2 What would you feel and think if death held no attraction for you? 3 Very simply, you would remember your Father. 4 The Creator of life, the Source of everything that lives, the Father of the universe and of the universe of universes, and of everything that lies even beyond them would you remember. 5 And as this memory rises in your mind, peace must still surmount a final obstacle, after which is salvation completed, and the Son of God entirely restored to sanity. 6 For here your world <does> end.
T-19.IV.D.2. The fourth obstacle to be surmounted hangs like a heavy veil before the face of Christ. 2 as His face rises beyond it, shining with joy because He is in His Father's Love, peace will lightly brush the veil aside and run to meet Him, and to join with Him at last. 3 For this dark veil, which seems to make the face of Christ Himself like to a leper's, and the bright Rays of His Father's Love that light His face with glory appear as streams of blood, fades in the blazing light beyond it when the fear of death is gone.
T-19.IV.D.3. This is the darkest veil, upheld by the belief in death and protected by its attraction. 2 The dedication to death and to its sovereignty is but the solemn vow, the promise made in secret to the ego never to lift this veil, not to approach it, nor even to suspect that it is there. 3 This is the secret bargain made with the ego to keep what lies beyond the veil forever blotted out and unremembered. 4 Here is your promise never to allow union to call you out of separation; the great amnesia in which the memory of God seems quite forgotten; the cleavage of your Self from you;- <the fear of God,> the final step in your dissociation.
T-19.IV.D.4. See how the belief in death would seem to "save" you. 2 For if this were gone, what could you fear but life? 3 It is the attraction of death that makes life seem to be ugly, cruel and tyrannical. 4 You are no more afraid of death than of the ego. 5 These are your chosen friends. 6 For in your secret alliance with them you have agreed never to let the fear of God be lifted, so you could look upon the face of Christ and join Him in His Father.
T-19.IV.D.5. Every obstacle that peace must flow across is surmounted in just the same way; the fear that raised it yields to the love beyond, and so the fear is gone. 2 And so it is with this. 3 The desire to get rid of peace and drive the Holy Spirit from you fades in the presence of the quiet recognition that you love Him. p420 4 The exaltation of the body is given up in favor of the spirit, which you love as you could never love the body. 5 And the appeal of death is lost forever as love's attraction stirs and calls to you. 6 From beyond each of the obstacles to love, Love Itself has called. 7 And each has been surmounted by the power of the attraction of what lies beyond. 8 Your wanting fear seemed to be holding them in place. 9 Yet when you heard the Voice of Love beyond them, you answered and they disappeared.
T-19.IV.D.6. And now you stand in terror before what you swore never to look upon. 2 Your eyes look down, remembering your promise to your "friends." 3 The "loveliness" of sin, the delicate appeal of guilt, the "holy" waxen image of death, and the fear of vengeance of the ego you swore in blood not to desert, all rise and bid you not to raise your eyes. 4 For you realize that if you look on this and let the veil be lifted, <they> will be gone forever. 5 All of your "friends," your "protectors" and your "home" will vanish. 6 Nothing that you remember now will you remember.
T-19.IV.D.7. It seems to you the world will utterly abandon you if you but raise your eyes. 2 Yet all that will occur is you will leave the world forever. 3 This is the re-establishment of <your> will. 4 Look upon it, open-eyed, and you will nevermore believe that you are at the mercy of things beyond you, forces you cannot control, and thoughts that come to you against your will. 5 It <is> your will to look on this. 6 No mad desire, no trivial impulse to forget again, no stab of fear nor the cold sweat of seeming death can stand against your will. 7 For what attracts you from beyond the veil is also deep within you, unseparated from it and completely one.
i. The Lifting of the Veil
T-19.IV.D.8. Forget not that you came this far together, you and your brother. 2 And it was surely not the ego that led you here. 3 No obstacle to peace can be surmounted through its help. 4 It does not open up its secrets, and bid you look on them and go beyond them. 5 It would not have you see its weakness, and learn it has no power to keep you from the truth. 6 The Guide Who brought you here remains with you, and when you raise your eyes you will be ready to look on terror with no fear at all. 7 But first, lift up your eyes and look on your brother in innocence born of complete forgiveness of his illusions, and through the eyes of faith that sees them not. p421
T-19.IV.D.9. No one can look upon the fear of God unterrified, unless he has accepted the Atonement and learned illusions are not real. 2 No one can stand before this obstacle alone, for he could not have reached this far unless his brother walked beside him. 3 And no one would dare to look on it without complete forgiveness of his brother in his heart. 4 Stand you here a while and tremble not. 5 You will be ready. 6 Let us join together in a holy instant, here in this place where the purpose, given in a holy instant, has led you. 7 And let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together will offer you the innocence you need, and that you will accept it for my love and His.
T-19.IV.D.10. Nor is it possible to look on this too soon. 2 This is the place to which everyone must come when he is ready. 3 Once he has found his brother he <is> ready. 4 Yet merely to reach the place is not enough. 5 A journey without a purpose is still meaningless, and even when it is over it seems to make no sense. 6 How can you know that it is over unless you realize its purpose is accomplished? 7 Here, with the journey's end before you, you <see> its purpose. 8 And it is here you choose whether to look upon it or wander on, only to return and make the choice again.
T-19.IV.D.11. To look upon the fear of God does need some preparation. 2 Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion, but not with fear. 3 For only if they share in it does it seem fearful, and you do share in it until you look upon your brother with perfect faith and love and tenderness. 4 Before complete forgiveness you still stand unforgiving. 5 You are afraid of God <because> you fear your brother. 6 Those you do not forgive you fear. 7 And no one reaches love with fear beside him.
T-19.IV.D.12. This brother who stands beside you still seems to be a stranger. 2 You do not know him, and your interpretation of him is very fearful. 3 And you attack him still, to keep what seems to be yourself unharmed. 4 Yet in his hands is your salvation. 5 You see his madness, which you hate because you share it. 6 And all the pity and forgiveness that would heal it gives way to fear. 7 Brother, you need forgiveness of your brother, for you will share in madness or in Heaven together. 8 And you and he will raise your eyes in faith together, or not at all.
T-19.IV.D.13. Beside you is one who offers you the chalice of Atonement, for the Holy Spirit is in him. 2 Would you hold his sins against him, or accept his gift to you? 3 Is this giver of salvation your friend or enemy? p422 4 Choose which he is, remembering that you will receive of him according to your choice. 5 He has in him the power to forgive your sin, as you for him. 6 Neither can give it to himself alone. 7 And yet your savior stands beside each one. 8 Let him be what he is, and seek not to make of love an enemy.
T-19.IV.D.14. Behold your Friend, the Christ Who stands beside you. 2 How holy and how beautiful He is! 3 You thought He sinned because you cast the veil of sin upon Him to hide His loveliness. 4 Yet still He holds forgiveness out to you, to share His Holiness. 5 This "enemy," this "stranger" still offers you salvation as His Friend. 6 The "enemies" of Christ, the worshippers of sin, know not Whom they attack.
T-19.IV.D.15. This is your brother, crucified by sin and waiting for release from pain. 2 Would you not offer him forgiveness, when only he can offer it to you? 3 For his redemption he will give you yours, as surely as God created every living thing and loves it. 4 And he will give it truly, for it will be both offered and received. 5 There is no grace of Heaven that you cannot offer to your brother, and receive from your most holy Friend. 6 Let him withhold it not, for by receiving it you offer it to him. 7 And he will receive of you what you received of him. 8 Redemption has been given you to give your brother, and thus receive it. 9 Whom you forgive is free, and what you give you share. 10 Forgive the sins your brother thinks he has committed, and all the guilt you think you see in him.
T-19.IV.D.16. Here is the holy place of resurrection, to which we come again; to which we will return until redemption is accomplished and received. 2 Think who your brother is, before you would condemn him. 3 And offer thanks to God that he is holy, and has been given the gift of holiness for you. 4 Join him in gladness, and remove all trace of guilt from his disturbed and tortured mind. 5 Help him to lift the heavy burden of sin you laid upon him and he accepted as his own, and toss it lightly and with happy laughter away from him. 6 Press it not like thorns against his brow, nor nail him to it, unredeemed and hopeless.
T-19.IV.D.17. Give faith to your brother, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give. 2 Into the hands that give, the gift is given. 3 Look on your brother, and see in him the gift of God you would receive. 4 It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. 5 Let us give redemption to each other and share in it, that we may rise as one in resurrection, not separate in death. 6 Behold the gift of freedom that I gave the Holy Spirit for you. 7 And be you and your brother free together, as you offer to the Holy Spirit this same gift. p423 8 And giving it, receive it of Him in return for what you gave. 9 He leadeth you and me together, that we might meet here in this holy place, and make the same decision.
T-19.IV.D.18. Free your brother here, as I freed you. 2 Give him the selfsame gift, nor look upon him with condemnation of any kind. 3 See him as guiltless as I look on you, and overlook the sins he thinks he sees within himself. 4 Offer your brother freedom and complete release from sin, here in the garden of seeming agony and death. 5 So will we prepare together the way unto the resurrection of God's Son, and let him rise again to glad remembrance of his Father, Who knows no sin, no death, but only life eternal.
T-19.IV.D.19. Together we will disappear into the Presence beyond the veil, not to be lost but found; not to be seen but known. 2 And knowing, nothing in the plan God has established for salvation will be left undone. 3 This is the journey's purpose, without which is the journey meaningless. 4 Here is the peace of God, given to you eternally by Him. 5 Here is the rest and quiet that you seek, the reason for the journey from its beginning. 6 Heaven is the gift you owe your brother, the debt of gratitude you offer to the Son of God in thanks for what he is, and what his Father created him to be.
T-19.IV.D.20. Think carefully how you would look upon the giver of this gift, for as you look on him so will the gift itself appear to be. 2 As he is seen as either the giver of guilt or of salvation, so will his offering be seen and so received. 3 The crucified give pain because they are in pain. 4 But the redeemed give joy because they have been healed of pain. 5 Everyone gives as he receives, but he must choose what it will <be> that he receives. 6 And he will recognize his choice by what he gives, and what is given him. 7 Nor is it given anything in hell or Heaven to interfere with his decision.
T-19.IV.D.21. You came this far because the journey was your choice. 2 And no one undertakes to do what he believes is meaningless. 3 What you had faith in still is faithful, and watches over you in faith so gentle yet so strong that it would lift you far beyond the veil, and place the Son of God safely within the sure protection of his Father. 4 Here is the only purpose that gives this world, and the long journey through this world, whatever meaning lies in them. 5 Beyond this, they are meaningless. 6 You and your brother stand together, still without conviction they have a purpose. 7 Yet it is given you to see this purpose in your holy Friend, and recognize it as your own. p424
THE VISION OF HOLINESS
I. Holy Week
T-20.I.1. This is Palm Sunday, the celebration of victory and the acceptance of the truth. 2 Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God's Son, but happily in the celebration of his release. 3 For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain. 4 A slain Christ has no meaning. 5 But a risen Christ becomes the symbol of the Son of God's forgiveness on himself; the sign he looks upon himself as healed and whole.
T-20.I.2. This week begins with palms and ends with lilies, the white and holy sign the Son of God is innocent. 2 Let no dark sign of crucifixion intervene between the journey and its purpose; between the acceptance of the truth and its expression. 3 This week we celebrate life, not death. 4 And we honor the perfect purity of the Son of God, and not his sins. 5 Offer your brother the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the "gift" of fear. 6 You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. 7 Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them. 8 This Easter I would have the gift of your forgiveness offered by you to me, and returned by me to you. 9 We cannot be united in crucifixion and in death. 10 Nor can the resurrection be complete till your forgiveness rests on Christ, along with mine.
T-20.I.3. A week is short, and yet this holy week is the symbol of the whole journey the Son of God has undertaken. 2 He started with the sign of victory, the promise of the resurrection, already given him. 3 Let him not wander into the temptation of crucifixion, and delay him there. 4 Help him to go in peace beyond it, with the light of his own innocence lighting his way to his redemption and release. 5 Hold him not back with thorns and nails when his redemption is so near. 6 But let the whiteness of your shining gift of lilies speed him on his way to resurrection.
T-20.I.4. Easter is not the celebration of the <cost> of sin, but of its <end.> 2 If you see glimpses of the face of Christ behind the veil, looking between the snow-white petals of the lilies you have received and given as your gift, you will behold your brother's face and recognize it. p425 3 I was a stranger and you took me in, not knowing who I was. 4 Yet for your gift of lilies you will know. 5 In your forgiveness of this stranger, alien to you and yet your ancient Friend, lies his release and your redemption with him. 6 The time of Easter is a time of joy, and not of mourning. 7 Look on your risen Friend, and celebrate his holiness along with me. 8 For Easter is the time of your salvation, along with mine.
II. The Gift of Lilies
T-20.II.1. Look upon all the trinkets made to hang upon the body, or to cover it or for its use. 2 See all the useless things made for its eyes to see. 3 Think on the many offerings made for its pleasure, and remember all these were made to make seem lovely what you hate. 4 Would you employ this hated thing to draw your brother to you, and to attract his body's eyes? 5 Learn you but offer him a crown of thorns, not recognizing it for what it is, and trying to justify your own interpretation of its value by his acceptance. 6 Yet still the gift proclaims his worthlessness to you, as his acceptance and delight acknowledges the lack of value he places on himself.
T-20.II.2. Gifts are not made through bodies, if they be truly given and received. 2 For bodies can neither offer nor accept; hold out nor take. 3 Only the mind can value, and only the mind decides on what it would receive and give. 4 And every gift it offers depends on what it wants. 5 It will adorn its chosen home most carefully, making it ready to receive the gifts it wants by offering them to those who come unto its chosen home, or those it would attract to it. 6 And there they will exchange their gifts, offering and receiving what their minds judge to be worthy of them.
T-20.II.3. Each gift is an evaluation of the receiver and the <giver.> 2 No one but sees his chosen home as an altar to himself. 3 No one but seeks to draw to it the worshippers of what he placed upon it, making it worthy of their devotion. 4 And each has set a light upon his altar, that they may see what he has placed upon it and take it for their own. 5 Here is the value that you lay upon your brother and on yourself. 6 Here is your gift to both; your judgment on the Son of God for what he is. 7 Forget not that it is your savior to whom the gift is offered. 8 Offer him thorns and <you> are crucified. 9 Offer him lilies and it is yourself you free.
T-20.II.4. I have great need for lilies, for the Son of God has not forgiven me. p426 2 And can I offer him forgiveness when he offers thorns to me? 3 For he who offers thorns to anyone is against me still, and who is whole without him? 4 Be you his friend for me, that I may be forgiven and you may look upon the Son of God as whole. 5 But look you first upon the altar in your chosen home, and see what you have laid upon it to offer me. 6 If it be thorns whose points gleam sharply in a blood-red light, the body is your chosen home and it is separation that you offer me. 7 And yet the thorns are gone. 8 Look you still closer at them now, and you will see your altar is no longer what it was.
T-20.II.5. You look still with the body's eyes, and they can see but thorns. 2 Yet you have asked for and received another sight. 3 Those who accept the Holy Spirit's purpose as their own share also His vision. 4 And what enables Him to see His purpose shine forth from every altar now is yours as well as His. 5 He sees no strangers; only dearly loved and loving friends. 6 He sees no thorns but only lilies, gleaming in the gentle glow of peace that shines on everything He looks upon and loves.
T-20.II.6. This Easter, look with different eyes upon your brother. 2 You <have> forgiven me. 3 And yet I cannot use your gift of lilies while you see them not. 4 Nor can you use what I have given unless you share it. 5 The Holy Spirit's vision is no idle gift, no plaything to be tossed about a while and laid aside. 6 Listen and hear this carefully, nor think it but a dream, a careless thought to play with, or a toy you would pick up from time to time and then put by. 7 For if you do, so will it be to you.
T-20.II.7. You have the vision now to look past all illusions. 2 It has been given you to see no thorns, no strangers and no obstacles to peace. 3 The fear of God is nothing to you now. 4 Who is afraid to look upon illusions, knowing his savior stands beside him? 5 With him, your vision has become the greatest power for the undoing of illusion that God Himself could give. 6 For what God gave the Holy Spirit, you have received. 7 The Son of God looks unto you for his release. 8 For you have asked for and been given the strength to look upon this final obstacle, and see no thorns nor nails to crucify the Son of God, and crown him king of death.
T-20.II.8. Your chosen home is on the other side, beyond the veil. 2 It has been carefully prepared for you, and it is ready to receive you now. 3 You will not see it with the body's eyes. 4 Yet all you need you have. 5 Your home has called to you since time began, nor have you ever failed entirely to hear. 6 You heard, but knew not how to look, nor where. p427 7 And now you know. 8 In you the knowledge lies, ready to be unveiled and freed from all the terror that kept it hidden. 9 There <is> no fear in love. 10 The song of Easter is the glad refrain the Son of God was never crucified. 11 Let us lift up our eyes together, not in fear but faith. 12 And there will be no fear in us, for in our vision will be no illusions; only a pathway to the open door of Heaven, the home we share in quietness and where we live in gentleness and peace, as one together.
T-20.II.9. Would you not have your holy brother lead you there? 2 His innocence will light your way, offering you its guiding light and sure protection, and shining from the holy altar within him where you laid the lilies of forgiveness. 3 Let him be to you the savior from illusions, and look on him with the new vision that looks upon the lilies and brings you joy. 4 We go beyond the veil of fear, lighting each other's way. 5 The holiness that leads us is within us, as is our home. 6 So will we find what we were meant to find by Him Who leads us.
T-20.II.10. This is the way to Heaven and to the peace of Easter, in which we join in glad awareness that the Son of God is risen from the past, and has awakened to the present. 2 Now is he free, unlimited in his communion with all that is within him. 3 Now are the lilies of his innocence untouched by guilt, and perfectly protected from the cold chill of fear and withering blight of sin alike. 4 Your gift has saved him from the thorns and nails, and his strong arm is free to guide you safely through them and beyond. 5 Walk with him now rejoicing, for the savior from illusions has come to greet you, and lead you home with him.
T-20.II.11. Here is your savior and your friend, released from crucifixion through your vision, and free to lead you now where he would be. 2 He will not leave you, nor forsake the savior in his pain. 3 And gladly will you and your brother walk the way of innocence together, singing as you behold the open door of Heaven and recognize the home that called to you. 4 Give joyously to your brother the freedom and the strength to lead you there. 5 And come before his holy altar where the strength and freedom wait, to offer and receive the bright awareness that leads you home. 6 The lamp is lit in you for your brother. 7 And by the hands that gave it to him shall you be led past fear to love. p428
III. Sin as an Adjustment
T-20.III.1. The belief in sin is an adjustment. 2 And an adjustment is a change; a shift in perception, or a belief that what was so before has been made different. 3 Every adjustment is therefore a distortion, and calls upon defenses to uphold it against reality. 4 Knowledge requires no adjustments and, in fact, is lost if any shift or change is undertaken. 5 For this reduces it at once to mere perception; a way of looking in which certainty is lost and doubt has entered. 6 To this impaired condition <are> adjustments necessary, because it is not true. 7 Who need adjust to truth, which calls on only what he is, to understand?
T-20.III.2. Adjustments of any kind are of the ego. 2 For it is the ego's fixed belief that all relationships depend upon adjustments, to make of them what it would have them be. 3 Direct relationships, in which there are no interferences, are always seen as dangerous. 4 The ego is the self-appointed mediator of all relationships, making whatever adjustments it deems necessary and interposing them between those who would meet, to keep them separate and prevent their union. 5 It is this studied interference that makes it difficult for you to recognize your holy relationship for what it is.
T-20.III.3. The holy do not interfere with truth. 2 They are not afraid of it, for it is within the truth they recognize their holiness, and rejoice at what they see. 3 They look on it directly, without attempting to adjust themselves to it, or it to them. 4 And so they see that it was in them, not deciding first where they would have it be. 5 Their looking merely asks a question, and it is what they see that answers them. 6 You make the world and then adjust to it, and it to you. 7 Nor is there any difference between yourself and it in your perception, which made them both.
T-20.III.4. A simple question yet remains, and needs an answer. 2 Do you like what you have made?-a world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear. 3 <You made this up.> 4 It is a picture of what you think you are; of how you see yourself. 5 A murderer <is> frightened, and those who kill fear death. 6 All these are but the fearful thoughts of those who would adjust themselves to a world made fearful by their adjustments. 7 And they look out in sorrow from what is sad within, and see the sadness there. p429
T-20.III.5. Have you not wondered what the world is really like; how it would look through happy eyes? 2 The world you see is but a judgment on yourself. 3 It is not there at all. 4 Yet judgment lays a sentence on it, justifies it and makes it real. 5 Such is the world you see; a judgment on yourself, and made by you. 6 This sickly picture of yourself is carefully preserved by the ego, whose image it is and which it loves, and placed outside you in the world. 7 And to this world must you adjust as long as you believe this picture is outside, and has you at its mercy. 8 This world <is> merciless, and were it outside you, you should indeed be fearful. 9 Yet it was you who made it merciless, and now if mercilessness seems to look back at you, it can be corrected.
T-20.III.6. Who in a holy relationship can long remain unholy? 2 The world the holy see is one with them, just as the world the ego looks upon is like itself. 3 The world the holy see is beautiful because they see their innocence in it. 4 They did not tell it what it was; they did not make adjustments to fit their orders. 5 They gently questioned it and whispered, "What are you?" 6 And He Who watches over all perception answered. 7 Take not the judgment of the world as answer to the question, "What am I?" 8 The world believes in sin, but the belief that made it as you see it is not outside you.
T-20.III.7. Seek not to make the Son of God adjust to his insanity. 2 There is a stranger in him, who wandered carelessly into the home of truth and who will wander off. 3 He came without a purpose, but he will not remain before the shining light the Holy Spirit offered, and you accepted. 4 For there the stranger is made homeless and <you> are welcome. 5 Ask not this transient stranger, "What am I?" 6 He is the only thing in all the universe that does not know. 7 Yet it is he you ask, and it is to his answer that you would adjust. 8 This one wild thought, fierce in its arrogance, and yet so tiny and so meaningless it slips unnoticed through the universe of truth, becomes your guide. 9 To it you turn to ask the meaning of the universe. 10 And of the one blind thing in all the seeing universe of truth you ask, "How shall I look upon the Son of God?"
T-20.III.8. Does one ask judgment of what is totally bereft of judgment? 2 And if you have, would you believe the answer, and adjust to it as if it were the truth? 3 The world you look on is the answer that it gave you, and you have given it power to adjust the world to make its answer true. 4 You asked this puff of madness for the meaning of your unholy relationship, and adjusted it according to its insane answer. p430 5 How happy did it make you? 6 Did you meet your brother with joy to bless the Son of God, and give him thanks for all the happiness that he held out to you? 7 Did you recognize your brother as the eternal gift of God to you? 8 Did you see the holiness that shone in both you and your brother, to bless the other? 9 That is the purpose of your holy relationship. 10 Ask not the means of its attainment of the one thing that still would have it be unholy. 11 Give it no power to adjust the means and end.
T-20.III.9. Prisoners bound with heavy chains for years, starved and emaciated, weak and exhausted, and with eyes so long cast down in darkness they remember not the light, do not leap up in joy the instant they are made free. 2 It takes a while for them to understand what freedom is. 3 You groped but feebly in the dust and found your brother's hand, uncertain whether to let it go or to take hold on life so long forgotten. 4 Strengthen your hold and raise your eyes unto your strong companion, in whom the meaning of your freedom lies. 5 He seemed to be crucified beside you. 6 And yet his holiness remained untouched and perfect, and with him beside you, you shall this day enter with him to Paradise, and know the peace of God.
T-20.III.10. Such is my will for you and your brother, and for each of you for one another and for himself. 2 Here there is only holiness and joining without limit. 3 For what is Heaven but union, direct and perfect, and without the veil of fear upon it? 4 Here are we one, looking with perfect gentleness upon each other and on ourselves. 5 Here all thoughts of any separation between us become impossible. 6 You who were a prisoner in separation are now made free in Paradise. 7 And here would I unite with you, my friend, my brother and my Self.
T-20.III.11. Your gift unto your brother has given me the certainty our union will be soon. 2 Share, then, this faith with me, and know that it is justified. 3 There is no fear in perfect love <because> it knows no sin, and it must look on others as on itself. 4 Looking with charity within, what can it fear without? 5 The innocent see safety, and the pure in heart see God within His Son, and look unto the Son to lead them to the Father. 6 And where else would they go but where they will to be? 7 You and your brother now will lead the other to the Father as surely as God created His Son holy, and kept him so. 8 In your brother is the light of God's eternal promise of your immortality. 9 See him as sinless, and there can <be> no fear in you. p431
IV. Entering the Ark
T-20.IV.1. Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so. 2 Yet <you> give power as the laws of this world interpret giving; as you give you lose. 3 It is not up to you to give power at all. 4 Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit, Who knows that as you give you gain. 5 He gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor to its results as this world sees them,-sickness and death and misery and pain. 6 These things have not occurred because the Holy Spirit sees them not, and gives no power to their seeming source. 7 Thus would He keep you free of them. 8 Being without illusion of what you are, the Holy Spirit merely gives everything to God, Who has already given and received all that is true. 9 The untrue He has neither received nor given.
T-20.IV.2. Sin has no place in Heaven, where its results are alien and can no more enter than can their source. 2 And therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. 3 In him <is> Heaven. 4 See sin in him instead, and Heaven is lost to you. 5 But see him as he is, and what is yours shines from him to you. 6 Your savior gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you. 7 It lies in him to overlook all your mistakes, and therein lies his own salvation. 8 And so it is with yours. 9 Salvation is a lesson in giving, as the Holy Spirit interprets it. 10 It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws, and given them power to enforce what God created not.
T-20.IV.3. Your insane laws were made to guarantee that you would make mistakes, and give them power over you by accepting their results as your just due. 2 What could this be but madness? 3 And is it this that you would see within your savior from insanity? 4 He is as free from this as you are, and in the freedom that you see in him you see your own. 5 For this you share. 6 What God has given follows His laws, and His alone. 7 Nor is it possible for those who follow them to suffer the results of any other source.
T-20.IV.4. Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. 2 Their power is of God, and they will give it only to what God has given, to share with them. 3 Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. 4 And thus their freedom is established and maintained. 5 It is upheld through all temptation to imprison and to be imprisoned. 6 It is of them who learned of freedom that you should ask what freedom is. p432 7 Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars, for those with little wings have not accepted for themselves the power to share with you.
T-20.IV.5. The sinless give as they received. 2 See, then, the power of sinlessness within your brother, and share with him the power of the release from sin you offered him. 3 To each who walks this earth in seeming solitude is a savior given, whose special function here is to release him, and so to free himself. 4 In the world of separation each is appointed separately, though they are all the same. 5 Yet those who know that they are all the same need not salvation. 6 And each one finds his savior when he is ready to look upon the face of Christ, and see Him sinless.
T-20.IV.6. The plan is not of you, nor need you be concerned with anything except the part that has been given you to learn. 2 For He Who knows the rest will see to it without your help. 3 But think not that He does not need your part to help Him with the rest. 4 For in your part lies all of it, without which is no part complete, nor is the whole completed without your part. 5 The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of another world goes with them. 6 Each holy relationship must enter here, to learn its special function in the Holy Spirit's plan, now that it shares His purpose. 7 And as this purpose is fulfilled, a new world rises in which sin can enter not, and where the Son of God can enter without fear and where he rests a while, to forget imprisonment and to remember freedom. 8 How can he enter, to rest and to remember, without you? 9 Except you be there, he is not complete. 10 And it is his completion that he remembers there.
T-20.IV.7. This is the purpose given you. 2 Think not that your forgiveness of your brother serves but you two alone. 3 For the whole new world rests in the hands of every two who enter here to rest. 4 And as they rest, the face of Christ shines on them and they remember the laws of God, forgetting all the rest and yearning only to have His laws perfectly fulfilled in them and all their brothers. 5 Think you when this has been achieved that you will rest without them? 6 You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you, and forget part of myself.
T-20.IV.8. You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. 2 Perhaps this seems impossible to you. 3 But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. 4 Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. p433 5 He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. 6 Nothing you need will be denied you. 7 Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. 8 You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill. 9 As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. 10 God's guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. 11 It rests on <you.> 12 And what can be more certain than a Son of God?
V. Heralds of Eternity
T-20.V.1. In this world, God's Son comes closest to himself in a holy relationship. 2 There he begins to find the certainty his Father has in him. 3 And there he finds his function of restoring his Father's laws to what was held outside them, and finding what was lost. 4 Only in time can anything be lost, and never lost forever. 5 So do the parts of God's Son gradually join in time, and with each joining is the end of time brought nearer. 6 Each miracle of joining is a mighty herald of eternity. 7 No one who has a single purpose, unified and sure, can be afraid. 8 No one who shares his purpose with him can <not> be one with him.
T-20.V.2. Each herald of eternity sings of the end of sin and fear. 2 Each speaks in time of what is far beyond it. 3 Two voices raised together call to the hearts of everyone, to let them beat as one. 4 And in that single heartbeat is the unity of love proclaimed and given welcome. 5 Peace to your holy relationship, which has the power to hold the unity of the Son of God together. 6 You give to your brother for everyone, and in your gift is everyone made glad. 7 Forget not Who has given you the gifts you give, and through your not forgetting this, will you remember Who gave the gifts to Him to give to you.
T-20.V.3. It is impossible to overestimate your brother's value. 2 Only the ego does this, but all it means is that it wants the other for itself, and therefore values him too little. 3 What is inestimable clearly cannot be evaluated. 4 Do you recognize the fear that rises from the meaningless attempt to judge what lies so far beyond your judgment you cannot even see it? 5 Judge not what is invisible to you or you will never see it, but wait in patience for its coming. p434 6 It will be given you to see your brother's worth when all you want for him is peace. 7 And what you want for him you will receive.
T-20.V.4. How can you estimate the worth of him who offers peace to you? 2 What would you want except his offering? 3 His worth has been established by his Father, and you will recognize it as you receive his Father's gift through him. 4 What is in him will shine so brightly in your grateful vision that you will merely love him and be glad. 5 You will not think to judge him, for who would see the face of Christ and yet insist that judgment still has meaning? 6 For this insistence is of those who do not see. 7 Vision or judgment is your choice, but never both of these.
T-20.V.5. Your brother's body is as little use to you as it is to him. 2 When it is used only as the Holy Spirit teaches, it has no function. 3 For minds need not the body to communicate. 4 The sight that sees the body has no use which serves the purpose of a holy relationship. 5 And while you look upon your brother thus, the means and end have not been brought in line. 6 Why should it take so many holy instants to let this be accomplished, when one would do? 7 There <is> but one. 8 The little breath of eternity that runs through time like golden light is all the same; nothing before it, nothing afterwards.
T-20.V.6. You look upon each holy instant as a different point in time. 2 It never changes. 3 All that it ever held or will ever hold is here right now. 4 The past takes nothing from it, and the future will add no more. 5 Here, then, is everything. 6 Here is the loveliness of your relationship, with means and end in perfect harmony already. 7 Here is the perfect faith that you will one day offer to your brother already offered you; and here the limitless forgiveness you will give him already given, the face of Christ you yet will look upon already seen.
T-20.V.7. Can you evaluate the giver of a gift like this? 2 Would you exchange this gift for any other? 3 This gift returns the laws of God to your remembrance. 4 And merely by remembering them, the laws that held you prisoner to pain and death must be forgotten. 5 This is no gift your brother's body offers you. 6 The veil that hides the gift hides him as well. 7 He <is> the gift, and yet he knows it not. 8 No more do you. 9 And yet, have faith that He Who sees the gift in you and your brother will offer and receive it for you both. 10 And through His vision will you see it, and through His understanding recognize it and love it as your own. p435
T-20.V.8. Be comforted, and feel the Holy Spirit watching over you in love and perfect confidence in what He sees. 2 He knows the Son of God, and shares his Father's certainty the universe rests in his gentle hands in safety and in peace. 3 Let us consider now what he must learn, to share his Father's confidence in him. 4 What is he, that the Creator of the universe should offer it to him and know it rests in safety? 5 He looks upon himself not as his Father knows him. 6 And yet it is impossible the confidence of God should be misplaced.
VI. The Temple of the Holy Spirit
T-20.VI.1. The meaning of the Son of God lies solely in his relationship with his Creator. 2 If it were elsewhere it would rest on contingency, but there <is> nothing else. 3 And this is wholly loving and forever. 4 Yet has the Son of God invented an unholy relationship between him and his Father. 5 His real relationship is one of perfect union and unbroken continuity. 6 The one he made is partial, self-centered, broken into fragments and full of fear. 7 The one created by his Father is wholly Self-encompassing and Self-extending. 8 The one he made is wholly self-destructive and self-limiting.
T-20.VI.2. Nothing can show the contrast better than the experience of both a holy and an unholy relationship. 2 The first is based on love, and rests on it serene and undisturbed. 3 The body does not intrude upon it. 4 Any relationship in which the body enters is based not on love, but on idolatry. 5 Love wishes to be known, completely understood and shared. 6 It has no secrets; nothing that it would keep apart and hide. 7 It walks in sunlight, open-eyed and calm, in smiling welcome and in sincerity so simple and so obvious it cannot be misunderstood.
T-20.VI.3. But idols do not share. 2 Idols accept, but never make return. 3 They can be loved, but cannot love. 4 They do not understand what they are offered, and any relationship in which they enter has lost its meaning. 5 The love of them has made love meaningless. 6 They live in secrecy, hating the sunlight and happy in the body's darkness, where they can hide and keep their secrets hidden along with them. 7 And they have no relationships, for no one else is welcome there. 8 They smile on no one, and those who smile on them they do not see.
T-20.VI.4. Love has no darkened temples where mysteries are kept obscure and hidden from the sun. p436 2 It does not seek for power, but for relationships. 3 The body is the ego's chosen weapon for seeking power <through> relationships. 4 And its relationships must be unholy, for what they are it does not even see. 5 It wants them solely for the offerings on which its idols thrive. 6 The rest it merely throws away, for all that it could offer is seen as valueless. 7 Homeless, the ego seeks as many bodies as it can collect to place its idols in, and so establish them as temples to itself.
T-20.VI.5. The Holy Spirit's temple is not a body, but a relationship. 2 The body is an isolated speck of darkness; a hidden secret room, a tiny spot of senseless mystery, a meaningless enclosure carefully protected, yet hiding nothing. 3 Here the unholy relationship escapes reality, and seeks for crumbs to keep itself alive. 4 Here it would drag its brothers, holding them here in its idolatry. 5 Here it is "safe," for here love cannot enter. 6 The Holy Spirit does not build His temples where love can never be. 7 Would He Who sees the face of Christ choose as His home the only place in all the universe where it can not be seen?
T-20.VI.6. You cannot make the body the Holy Spirit's temple, and it will never be the seat of love. 2 It is the home of the idolater, and of love's condemnation. 3 For here is love made fearful and hope abandoned. 4 Even the idols that are worshipped here are shrouded in mystery, and kept apart from those who worship them. 5 This is the temple dedicated to no relationships and no return. 6 Here is the "mystery" of separation perceived in awe and held in reverence. 7 What God would have <not> be is here kept "safe" from Him. 8 But what you do not realize is what you fear within your brother, and would not see in him, is what makes God seem fearful to you, and kept unknown.
T-20.VI.7. Idolaters will always be afraid of love, for nothing so severely threatens them as love's approach. 2 Let love draw near them and overlook the body, as it will surely do, and they retreat in fear, feeling the seeming firm foundation of their temple begin to shake and loosen. 3 Brother, you tremble with them. 4 Yet what you fear is but the herald of escape. 5 This place of darkness is not your home. 6 Your temple is not threatened. 7 You are an idolater no longer. 8 The Holy Spirit's purpose lies safe in your relationship, and not your body. 9 You have escaped the body. 10 Where you are the body cannot enter, for the Holy Spirit has set His temple there.
T-20.VI.8. There is no order in relationships. 2 They either are or not. 3 An unholy relationship is no relationship. p437 4 It is a state of isolation, which seems to be what it is not. 5 No more than that. 6 The instant that the mad idea of making your relationship with God unholy seemed to be possible, all your relationships were made meaningless. 7 In that unholy instant time was born, and bodies made to house the mad idea and give it the illusion of reality. 8 And so it seemed to have a home that held together for a little while in time, and vanished. 9 For what could house this mad idea against reality but for an instant?
T-20.VI.9. Idols must disappear, and leave no trace behind their going. 2 The unholy instant of their seeming power is frail as is a snowflake, but without its loveliness. 3 Is this the substitute you want for the eternal blessing of the holy instant and its unlimited beneficence? 4 Is the malevolence of the unholy relationship, so seeming powerful and so bitterly misunderstood and so invested in a false attraction your preference to the holy instant, which offers you peace and understanding? 5 Then lay aside the body and quietly transcend it, rising to welcome what you really want. 6 And from His holy temple, look you not back on what you have awakened from. 7 For no illusions can attract the mind that has transcended them, and left them far behind.
T-20.VI.10. The holy relationship reflects the true relationship the Son of God has with his Father in reality. 2 The Holy Spirit rests within it in the certainty it will endure forever. 3 Its firm foundation is eternally upheld by truth, and love shines on it with the gentle smile and tender blessing it offers to its own. 4 Here the unholy instant is exchanged in gladness for the holy one of safe return. 5 Here is the way to true relationships held gently open, through which you and your brother walk together, leaving the body thankfully behind and resting in the Everlasting Arms. 6 Love's Arms are open to receive you, and give you peace forever.
T-20.VI.11. The body is the ego's idol; the belief in sin made flesh and then projected outward. 2 This produces what seems to be a wall of flesh around the mind, keeping it prisoner in a tiny spot of space and time, beholden unto death, and given but an instant in which to sigh and grieve and die in honor of its master. 3 And this unholy instant seems to be life; an instant of despair, a tiny island of dry sand, bereft of water and set uncertainly upon oblivion. 4 Here does the Son of God stop briefly by, to offer his devotion to death's idols and then pass on. 5 And here he is more dead than living. 6 Yet it is also here he makes his choice again between idolatry and love. p438 7 Here it is given him to choose to spend this instant paying tribute to the body, or let himself be given freedom from it. 8 Here he can accept the holy instant, offered him to replace the unholy one he chose before. 9 And here can he learn relationships are his salvation, and not his doom.
T-20.VI.12. You who are learning this may still be fearful, but you are not immobilized. 2 The holy instant is of greater value now to you than its unholy seeming counterpart, and you have learned you really want but one. 3 This is no time for sadness. 4 Perhaps confusion, but hardly discouragement. 5 You have a <real> relationship, and it has meaning. 6 It is as like your real relationship with God as equal things are like unto each other. 7 Idolatry is past and meaningless. 8 Perhaps you fear your brother a little yet; perhaps a shadow of the fear of God remains with you. 9 Yet what is that to those who have been given one true relationship beyond the body? 10 Can they be long held back from looking on the face of Christ? 11 And can they long withhold the memory of their relationship with their Father from themselves, and keep remembrance of His Love apart from their awareness?
VII. The Consistency of Means and End
T-20.VII.1. We have said much about discrepancies of means and end, and how these must be brought in line before your holy relationship can bring you only joy. 2 But we have also said the means to meet the Holy Spirit's goal will come from the same Source as does His purpose. 3 Being so simple and direct, this course has nothing in it that is not consistent. 4 The seeming inconsistencies, or parts you find more difficult than others, are merely indications of areas where means and end are still discrepant. 5 And this produces great discomfort. 6 This need not be. 7 This course requires almost nothing of you. 8 It is impossible to imagine one that asks so little, or could offer more.
T-20.VII.2. The period of discomfort that follows the sudden change in a relationship from sin to holiness may now be almost over. 2 To the extent you still experience it, you are refusing to leave the means to Him Who changed the purpose. 3 You recognize you want the goal. 4 Are you not also willing to accept the means? 5 If you are not, let us admit that <you> are inconsistent. 6 A purpose is attained by means, and if you want a purpose you must be willing to want the means as well. p439 7 How can one be sincere and say, "I want this above all else, and yet I do not want to learn the means to get it?"
T-20.VII.3. To obtain the goal the Holy Spirit indeed asks little. 2 He asks no more to give the means as well. 3 The means are second to the goal. 4 And when you hesitate, it is because the purpose frightens you, and not the means. 5 Remember this, for otherwise you will make the error of believing the means are difficult. 6 Yet how can they be difficult if they are merely given you? 7 They guarantee the goal, and they are perfectly in line with it. 8 Before we look at them a little closer, remember that if you think they are impossible, your wanting of the purpose has been shaken. 9 For if a goal is possible to reach, the means to do so must be possible as well.
T-20.VII.4. It <is> impossible to see your brother as sinless and yet to look upon him as a body. 2 Is this not perfectly consistent with the goal of holiness? 3 For holiness is merely the result of letting the effects of sin be lifted, so what was always true is recognized. 4 To see a sinless body is impossible, for holiness is positive and the body is merely neutral. 5 It is not sinful, but neither is it sinless. 6 As nothing, which it is, the body cannot meaningfully be invested with attributes of Christ or of the ego. 7 Either must be an error, for both would place the attributes where they cannot be. 8 And both must be undone for purposes of truth.
T-20.VII.5. The body <is> the means by which the ego tries to make the unholy relationship seem real. 2 The unholy instant <is> the time of bodies. 3 But the <purpose> here is sin. 4 It cannot be attained but in illusion, and so the illusion of a brother as a body is quite in keeping with the purpose of unholiness. 5 Because of this consistency, the means remain unquestioned while the end is cherished. 6 Seeing adapts to wish, for sight is always secondary to desire. 7 And if you see the body, you have chosen judgment and not vision. 8 For vision, like relationships, has no order. 9 You either see or not.
T-20.VII.6. Who sees a brother's body has laid a judgment on him, and sees him not. 2 He does not really see him as sinful; he does not see him at all. 3 In the darkness of sin he is invisible. 4 He can but be imagined in the darkness, and it is here that the illusions you hold about him are not held up to his reality. 5 Here are illusions and reality kept separated. 6 Here are illusions never brought to truth, and always hidden from it. 7 And here, in darkness, is your brother's reality imagined as a body, in unholy relationships with other bodies, serving the cause of sin an instant before he dies. p440
T-20.VII.7. There is indeed a difference between this vain imagining and vision. 2 The difference lies not in them, but in their purpose. 3 Both are but means, each one appropriate to the end for which it is employed. 4 Neither can serve the purpose of the other, for each one is a <choice> of purpose, employed on its behalf. 5 Either is meaningless without the end for which it was intended, nor is it valued as a separate thing apart from the intention. 6 The means seem real because the goal is valued. 7 And judgment has no value unless the goal is sin.
T-20.VII.8. The body cannot be looked upon except through judgment. 2 To see the body is the sign that you lack vision, and have denied the means the Holy Spirit offers you to serve His purpose. 3 How can a holy relationship achieve its purpose through the means of sin? 4 Judgment you taught yourself; vision is learned from Him Who would undo your teaching. 5 His vision cannot see the body because it cannot look on sin. 6 And thus it leads you to reality. 7 Your holy brother, sight of whom is your release, is no illusion. 8 Attempt to see him not in darkness, for your imaginings about him will seem real there. 9 You closed your eyes to shut him out. 10 Such was your purpose, and while this purpose seems to have a meaning, the means for its attainment will be evaluated as worth the seeing, and so you will not see.
T-20.VII.9. Your question should not be, "How can I see my brother without the body?" 2 Ask only, "Do I really wish to see him sinless?" 3 And as you ask, forget not that his sinlessness is <your> escape from fear. 4 Salvation is the Holy Spirit's goal. 5 The means is vision. 6 For what the seeing look upon <is> sinless. 7 No one who loves can judge, and what he sees is free of condemnation. 8 And what he sees he did not make, for it was given him to see, as was the vision that made his seeing possible.
VIII. The Vision of Sinlessness
T-20.VIII.1. Vision will come to you at first in glimpses, but they will be enough to show you what is given you who see your brother sinless. 2 Truth is restored to you through your desire, as it was lost to you through your desire for something else. 3 Open the holy place that you closed off by valuing the "something else," and what was never lost will quietly return. 4 It has been saved for you. p441 5 Vision would not be necessary had judgment not been made. 6 Desire now its whole undoing, and it is done for you.
T-20.VIII.2. Do you not want to know your own Identity? 2 Would you not happily exchange your doubts for certainty? 3 Would you not willingly be free of misery, and learn again of joy? 4 Your holy relationship offers all this to you. 5 As it was given you, so will be its effects. 6 And as its holy purpose was not made by you, the means by which its happy end is yours is also not of you. 7 Rejoice in what is yours but for the asking, and think not that you need make either means or end. 8 All this is given you who would but see your brother sinless. 9 All this is given, waiting on your desire but to receive it. 10 Vision is freely given to those who ask to see.
T-20.VIII.3. Your brother's sinlessness is given you in shining light, to look on with the Holy Spirit's vision and to rejoice in along with Him. 2 For peace will come to all who ask for it with real desire and sincerity of purpose, shared with the Holy Spirit and at one with Him on what salvation is. 3 Be willing, then, to see your brother sinless, that Christ may rise before your vision and give you joy. 4 And place no value on your brother's body, which holds him to illusions of what he is. 5 It is his desire to see his sinlessness, as it is yours. 6 And bless the Son of God in your relationship, nor see in him what you have made of him.
T-20.VIII.4. The Holy Spirit guarantees that what God willed and gave you shall be yours. 2 This is your purpose now, and the vision that makes it yours is ready to be given. 3 You have the vision that enables you to see the body not. 4 And as you look upon your brother, you will see an altar to your Father, holy as Heaven, glowing with radiant purity and sparkling with the shining lilies you laid upon it. 5 What can you value more than this? 6 Why do you think the body is a better home, a safer shelter for God's Son? 7 Why would you rather look on it than on the truth? 8 How can the engine of destruction be preferred, and chosen to replace the holy home the Holy Spirit offers, where He will dwell with you?
T-20.VIII.5. The body is the sign of weakness, vulnerability and loss of power. 2 Can such a savior help you? 3 Would you turn in your distress and need for help unto the helpless? 4 Is the pitifully little the perfect choice to call upon for strength? 5 Judgment will seem to make your savior weak. 6 Yet it is <you> who need his strength. 7 There is no problem, no event or situation, no perplexity that vision will not solve. 8 All is redeemed when looked upon with vision. 9 For this is not <your> sight, and brings with it the laws beloved of Him Whose sight it is. p443
T-20.VIII.6. Everything looked upon with vision falls gently into place, according to the laws brought to it by His calm and certain sight. 2 The end for everything He looks upon is always sure. 3 For it will meet His purpose, seen in unadjusted form and suited perfectly to meet it. 4 Destructiveness becomes benign, and sin is turned to blessing under His gentle gaze. 5 What can the body's eyes perceive, with power to correct? 6 Its eyes adjust to sin, unable to overlook it in any form and seeing it everywhere, in everything. 7 Look through its eyes, and everything will stand condemned before you. 8 All that could save you, you will never see. 9 Your holy relationship, the source of your salvation, will be deprived of meaning, and its most holy purpose bereft of means for its accomplishment.
T-20.VIII.7. Judgment is but a toy, a whim, the senseless means to play the idle game of death in your imagination. 2 But vision sets all things right, bringing them gently within the kindly sway of Heaven's laws. 3 What if you recognized this world is an hallucination? 4 What if you really understood you made it up? 5 What if you realized that those who seem to walk about in it, to sin and die, attack and murder and destroy themselves, are wholly unreal? 6 Could you have faith in what you see, if you accepted this? 7 And would you see it?
T-20.VIII.8. Hallucinations disappear when they are recognized for what they are. 2 This is the healing and the remedy. 3 Believe them not and they are gone. 4 And all you need to do is recognize that <you> did this. 5 Once you accept this simple fact and take unto yourself the power you gave them, you are released from them. 6 One thing is sure; hallucinations serve a purpose, and when that purpose is no longer held they disappear. 7 Therefore, the question never is whether you want them, but always, do you want the purpose that they serve? 8 This world seems to hold out many purposes, each different and with different values. 9 Yet they are all the same. 10 Again there is no order; only a seeming hierarchy of values.
T-20.VIII.9. Only two purposes are possible. 2 And one is sin, the other holiness. 3 Nothing is in between, and which you choose determines what you see. 4 For what you see is merely how you elect to meet your goal. 5 Hallucinations serve to meet the goal of madness. 6 They are the means by which the outside world, projected from within, adjusts to sin and seems to witness to its reality. 7 It still is true that nothing is without. p443 8 Yet upon nothing are all projections made. 9 For it is the projection that gives the "nothing" all the meaning that it holds.
T-20.VIII.10. What has no meaning cannot be perceived. 2 And meaning always looks within to find itself, and <then> looks out. 3 All meaning that you give the world outside must thus reflect the sight you saw within; or better, if you saw at all or merely judged against. 4 Vision is the means by which the Holy Spirit translates your nightmares into happy dreams; your wild hallucinations that show you all the fearful outcomes of imagined sin into the calm and reassuring sights with which He would replace them. 5 These gentle sights and sounds are looked on happily, and heard with joy. 6 They are His substitutes for all the terrifying sights and screaming sounds the ego's purpose brought to your horrified awareness. 7 They step away from sin, reminding you that it is not reality which frightens you, and that the errors which you made can be corrected.
T-20.VIII.11. When you have looked on what seemed terrifying, and seen it change to sights of loveliness and peace; when you have looked on scenes of violence and death, and watched them change to quiet views of gardens under open skies, with clear, life-giving water running happily beside them in dancing brooks that never waste away; who need persuade you to accept the gift of vision? 2 And after vision, who is there who could refuse what must come after? 3 Think but an instant just on this; you can behold the holiness God gave His Son. 4 And never need you think that there is something else for you to see. p444
REASON AND PERCEPTION
T-21.in.1. Projection makes perception. 2 The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. 3 But though it is no more than that, it is not less. 4 Therefore, to you it is important. 5 It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. 6 As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. 7 Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 8 Perception is a result and not a cause. 9 And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. 10 Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. 11 Nothing perceived without it means anything. 12 And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.
T-21.in.2. Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you will project upon the world. 2 See it as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God. 3 If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him. 4 If you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him free. 5 There is no choice that lies between these two decisions. 6 And you will see the witness to the choice you made, and learn from this to recognize which one you chose. 7 The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours. 8 And, if this <is> its meaning, then the power to give it joy must lie within you.
I. The Forgotten Song
T-21.I.1. Never forget the world the sightless "see" must be imagined, for what it really looks like is unknown to them. 2 They must infer what could be seen from evidence forever indirect; and reconstruct their inferences as they stumble and fall because of what they did not recognize, or walk unharmed through open doorways that they thought were closed. 3 And so it is with you. 4 You do not see. 5 Your cues for inference are wrong, and so you stumble and fall down upon the stones you did not recognize, but fail to be aware you can go through the doors you thought were closed, but which stand open before unseeing eyes, waiting to welcome you. p445
T-21.I.2. How foolish is it to attempt to judge what could be seen instead. 2 It is not necessary to imagine what the world must look like. 3 It must be seen before you recognize it for what it is. 4 You can be shown which doors are open, and you can see where safety lies; and which way leads to darkness, which to light. 5 Judgment will always give you false directions, but vision shows you where to go. 6 Why should you guess?
T-21.I.3. There is no need to learn through pain. 2 And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly. 3 What gives you happiness you want to learn and not forget. 4 It is not this you would deny. 5 Your question is whether the means by which this course is learned will bring to you the joy it promises. 6 If you believed it would, the learning of it would be no problem. 7 You are not a happy learner yet because you still remain uncertain that vision gives you more than judgment does, and you have learned that both you cannot have.
T-21.I.4. The blind become accustomed to their world by their adjustments to it. 2 They think they know their way about in it. 3 They learned it, not through joyous lessons, but through the stern necessity of limits they believed they could not overcome. 4 And still believing this, they hold those lessons dear, and cling to them because they cannot see. 5 They do not understand the lessons <keep> them blind. 6 This they do not believe. 7 And so they keep the world they learned to "see" in their imagination, believing that their choice is that or nothing. 8 They hate the world they learned through pain. 9 And everything they think is in it serves to remind them that they are incomplete and bitterly deprived.
T-21.I.5. Thus they define their life and where they live, adjusting to it as they think they must, afraid to lose the little that they have. 2 And so it is with all who see the body as all they have and all their brothers have. 3 They try to reach each other, and they fail, and fail again. 4 And they adjust to loneliness, believing that to keep the body is to save the little that they have. 5 Listen, and try to think if you remember what we will speak of now.
T-21.I.6. Listen,-perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. 2 Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. p446 3 But you remember, from just this little part, how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.
T-21.I.7. The notes are nothing. 2 Yet you have kept them with you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was to you. 3 You could remember, yet you are afraid, believing you would lose the world you learned since then. 4 And yet you know that nothing in the world you learned is half so dear as this. 5 Listen, and see if you remember an ancient song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since.
T-21.I.8. Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. 2 And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. 3 The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. 4 The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever shining and with no break or limit anywhere. 5 Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity. 6 Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that this light is not.
T-21.I.9. This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you know well. 2 Here is the sight of him who knows his Father. 3 Here is the memory of what you are; a part of this, with all of it within, and joined to all as surely as all is joined in you. 4 Accept the vision that can show you this, and not the body. 5 You know the ancient song, and know it well. 6 Nothing will ever be as dear to you as is this ancient hymn of love the Son of God sings to his Father still.
T-21.I.10. And now the blind can see, for that same song they sing in honor of their Creator gives praise to them as well. 2 The blindness that they made will not withstand the memory of this song. 3 And they will look upon the vision of the Son of God, remembering who he is they sing of. 4 What is a miracle but this remembering? 5 And who is there in whom this memory lies not? 6 The light in one awakens it in all. 7 And when you see it in your brother, you <are> remembering for everyone. p447
II. The Responsibility for Sight
T-21.II.1. We have repeated how little is asked of you to learn this course. 2 It is the same small willingness you need to have your whole relationship transformed to joy; the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit for which He gives you everything; the very little on which salvation rests; the tiny change of mind by which the crucifixion is changed to resurrection. 3 And being true, it is so simple that it cannot fail to be completely understood. 4 Rejected yes, but not ambiguous. 5 And if you choose against it now it will not be because it is obscure, but rather that this little cost seemed, in your judgment, to be too much to pay for peace.
T-21.II.2. This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you. 2 Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:
3 I am responsible for what I see.
4 I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve.
5 And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.
6 Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. 7 Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear.
T-21.II.3. It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him. 2 It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice. 3 His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident. 4 No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing. 5 Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. 6 Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you. 7 This is the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit, and even this He gives to you to give yourself. 8 For by this gift is given you the power to release your savior, that he may give salvation unto you.
T-21.II.4. Begrudge not then this little offering. 2 Withhold it, and you keep the world as now you see it. 3 Give it away, and everything you see goes with it. 4 Never was so much given for so little. 5 In the holy instant is this exchange effected and maintained. 6 Here is the world you do not want brought to the one you do. p448 7 And here the one you do is given you because you want it. 8 Yet for this, the power of your wanting must first be recognized. 9 You must accept its strength, and not its weakness. 10 You must perceive that what is strong enough to make a world can let it go, and can accept correction if it is willing to see that it was wrong.
T-21.II.5. The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right. 2 This witness is insane. 3 You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it saw was true. 4 You did this to yourself. 5 See only this, and you will also see how circular the reasoning on which your "seeing" rests. 6 This was not given you. 7 This was your gift to you and to your brother. 8 Be willing, then, to have it taken from him and be replaced with truth. 9 And as you look upon the change in him, it will be given you to see it in yourself.
T-21.II.6. Perhaps you do not see the need for you to give this little offering. 2 Look closer, then, at what it is. 3 And, very simply, see in it the whole exchange of separation for salvation. 4 All that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things could happen to the Son of God without his will; and thus without the Will of his Creator, Whose Will cannot be separate from his own. 5 This is the Son of God's replacement for his will, a mad revolt against what must forever be. 6 This is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless and so to take it for himself, and leave himself without what God has willed for him. 7 This is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars, and which you worship. 8 And anything that threatens this seems to attack your faith, for here is it invested. 9 Think not that you are faithless, for your belief and trust in this is strong indeed.
T-21.II.7. The Holy Spirit can give you faith in holiness and vision to see it easily enough. 2 But you have not left open and unoccupied the altar where the gifts belong. 3 Where they should be, you have set up your idols to something else. 4 This other "will," which seems to tell you what must happen, you give reality. 5 And what would show you otherwise must therefore seem unreal. 6 All that is asked of you is to make room for truth. 7 You are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding. 8 All you are asked to do is <let it in;> only to stop your interference with what will happen of itself; simply to recognize again the presence of what you thought you gave away.
T-21.II.8. Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see. p449 2 The holy instant is not an instant of creation, but of recognition. 3 For recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment. 4 Then only it is possible to look within and see what must be there, plainly in sight, and wholly independent of inference and judgment. 5 Undoing is not your task, but it <is> up to you to welcome it or not. 6 Faith and desire go hand in hand, for everyone believes in what he wants.
T-21.II.9. We have already said that wishful thinking is how the ego deals with what it wants, to make it so. 2 There is no better demonstration of the power of wanting, and therefore of faith, to make its goals seem real and possible. 3 Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. 4 The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. 5 What you desire, you will see. 6 And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.
T-21.II.10. When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable. 2 The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect, and make effect appear to be a cause. 3 This seeming independence of effect enables it to be regarded as standing by itself, and capable of serving as a cause of the events and feelings its maker thinks it causes. 4 Earlier, we spoke of your desire to create your own creator, and be father and not son to him. 5 This is the same desire. 6 The Son is the Effect, whose Cause he would deny. 7 And so he seems to <be> the cause, producing real effects. 8 Nothing can have effects without a cause, and to confuse the two is merely to fail to understand them both.
T-21.II.11. It is as needful that you recognize you made the world you see, as that you recognize that you did not create yourself. 2 <They are the same mistake.> 3 Nothing created not by your Creator has any influence over you. 4 And if you think what you have made can tell you what you see and feel, and place your faith in its ability to do so, you are denying your Creator and believing that you made yourself. 5 For if you think the world you made has power to make you what it wills, you are confusing Son and Father; effect and Source.
T-21.II.12. The Son's creations are like his Father's. 2 Yet in creating them the Son does not delude himself that he is independent of his Source. 3 His union with It is the source of his creating. 4 Apart from this he has no power to create, and what he makes is meaningless. p450 5 It changes nothing in creation, depends entirely upon the madness of its maker, and cannot serve to justify the madness. 6 Your brother thinks he made the world with you. 7 Thus he denies creation. 8 With you, he thinks the world he made, made him. 9 Thus he denies he made it.
T-21.II.13. Yet the truth is you and your brother were both created by a loving Father, Who created you together and as one. 2 See what "proves" otherwise, and you deny your whole reality. 3 But grant that everything that seems to stand between you and your brother, keeping you from each other and separate from your Father, you made in secret, and the instant of release has come to you. 4 All its effects are gone, because its source has been uncovered. 5 It is its seeming independence of its source that keeps you prisoner. 6 This is the same mistake as thinking you are independent of the Source by which you were created, and have never left.
III. Faith, Belief and Vision
T-21.III.1. All special relationships have sin as their goal. 2 For they are bargains with reality, toward which the seeming union is adjusted. 3 Forget not this; to bargain is to set a limit, and any brother with whom you have a limited relationship, you hate. 4 You may attempt to keep the bargain in the name of "fairness," sometimes demanding payment of yourself, perhaps more often of the other. 5 Thus in the "fairness" you attempt to ease the guilt that comes from the accepted purpose of the relationship. 6 And that is why the Holy Spirit must change its purpose to make it useful to Him and harmless to you.
T-21.III.2. If you accept this change, you have accepted the idea of making room for truth. 2 The <source> of sin is gone. 3 You may imagine that you still experience its effects, but it is not your purpose and you no longer want it. 4 No one allows a purpose to be replaced while he desires it, for nothing is so cherished and protected as is a goal the mind accepts. 5 This it will follow, grimly or happily, but always with faith and with the persistence that faith inevitably brings. 6 The power of faith is never recognized if it is placed in sin. 7 But it is always recognized if it is placed in love.
T-21.III.3. Why is it strange to you that faith can move mountains? 2 This is indeed a little feat for such a power. p451 3 For faith can keep the Son of God in chains as long as he believes he is in chains. 4 And when he is released from them it will be simply because he no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold him, and placing it in his freedom instead. 5 It is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions. 6 What faith you give to sin you take away from holiness. 7 And what you offer holiness has been removed from sin.
T-21.III.4. Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of holiness is reached. 2 Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world, and away from all illusions where your faith was laid. 3 This is His direction; the only one He ever sees. 4 And when you wander, He reminds you there is but one. 5 His faith and His belief and vision are all for you. 6 And when you have accepted them completely instead of yours, you will have need of them no longer. 7 For faith and vision and belief are meaningful only before the state of certainty is reached. 8 In Heaven they are unknown. 9 Yet Heaven is reached through them.
T-21.III.5. It is impossible that the Son of God lack faith, but he can choose where he would have it be. 2 Faithlessness is not a lack of faith, but faith in nothing. 3 Faith given to illusions does not lack power, for by it does the Son of God believe that he is powerless. 4 Thus is he faithless to himself, but strong in faith in his illusions about himself. 5 For faith, perception and belief you made, as means for losing certainty and finding sin. 6 This mad direction was your choice, and by your faith in what you chose, you made what you desired.
T-21.III.6. The Holy Spirit has a use for all the means for sin by which you sought to find it. 2 But as He uses them they lead away from sin, because His purpose lies in the opposite direction. 3 He sees the means you use, but not the purpose for which you made them. 4 He would not take them from you, for He sees their value as a means for what He wills for you. 5 You made perception that you might choose among your brothers, and seek for sin with them. 6 The Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the vision of a holy relationship is all you <want> to see. 7 Then will you give your faith to holiness, desiring and believing in it because of your desire.
T-21.III.7. Faith and belief become attached to vision, as all the means that once served sin are redirected now toward holiness. 2 For what you think is sin is limitation, and whom you try to limit to the body you hate because you fear. p452 3 In your refusal to forgive him, you would condemn him to the body because the means for sin are dear to you. 4 And so the body has your faith and your belief. 5 But holiness would set your brother free, removing hatred by removing fear, not as a symptom, but at its source.
T-21.III.8. Those who would free their brothers from the body can have no fear. 2 They have renounced the means for sin by choosing to let all limitations be removed. 3 As they desire to look upon their brothers in holiness, the power of their belief and faith sees far beyond the body, supporting vision, not obstructing it. 4 But first they chose to recognize how much their faith had limited their understanding of the world, desiring to place its power elsewhere should another point of view be given them. 5 The miracles that follow this decision are also born of faith. 6 For all who choose to look away from sin are given vision, and are led to holiness.
T-21.III.9. Those who believe in sin must think the Holy Spirit asks for sacrifice, for this is how they think <their> purpose is accomplished. 2 Brother, the Holy Spirit knows that sacrifice brings nothing. 3 He makes no bargains. 4 And if you seek to limit Him, you will hate Him because you are afraid. 5 The gift that He has given you is more than anything that stands this side of Heaven. 6 The instant for its recognition is at hand. 7 Join your awareness to what has been already joined. 8 The faith you give your brother can accomplish this. 9 For He Who loves the world is seeing it for you, without one spot of sin upon it, and in the innocence that makes the sight of it as beautiful as Heaven.
T-21.III.10. Your faith in sacrifice has given it great power in your sight; except you do not realize you cannot see because of it. 2 For sacrifice must be exacted of a body, and by another body. 3 The mind could neither ask it nor receive it of itself. 4 And no more could the body. 5 The intention is in the mind, which tries to use the body to carry out the means for sin in which the mind believes. 6 Thus is the joining of mind and body an inescapable belief of those who value sin. 7 And so is sacrifice invariably a means for limitation, and thus for hate.
T-21.III.11. Think you the Holy Spirit is concerned with this? 2 He gives not what it is His purpose to lead you <from.> 3 You think He would deprive you for your good. 4 But "good" and "deprivation" are opposites, and cannot meaningfully join in any way. 5 It is like saying that the moon and sun are one because they come with night and day, and so they must be joined. p453 6 Yet sight of one is but the sign the other has disappeared from sight. 7 Nor is it possible that what gives light be one with what depends on darkness to be seen. 8 Neither demands the sacrifice of the other. 9 Yet on the absence of the other does each depend.
T-21.III.12. The body was made to be a sacrifice to sin, and in the darkness so it still is seen. 2 Yet in the light of vision it is looked upon quite differently. 3 You can have faith in it to serve the Holy Spirit's goal, and give it power to serve as means to help the blind to see. 4 But in their seeing they look past it, as do you. 5 The faith and the belief you gave it belongs beyond. 6 You gave perception and belief and faith from mind to body. 7 Let them now be given back to what produced them, and can use them still to save itself from what it made.
IV. The Fear to Look Within
T-21.IV.1. The Holy Spirit will never teach you that you are sinful. 2 Errors He will correct, but this makes no one fearful. 3 You are indeed afraid to look within and see the sin you think is there. 4 This you would not be fearful to admit. 5 Fear in association with sin the ego deems quite appropriate, and smiles approvingly. 6 It has no fear to let you feel ashamed. 7 It doubts not your belief and faith in sin. 8 Its temples do not shake because of this. 9 Your faith that sin is there but witnesses to your desire that it <be> there to see. 10 This merely seems to be the source of fear.
T-21.IV.2. Remember that the ego is not alone. 2 Its rule is tempered, and its unknown "enemy," Whom it cannot even see, it fears. 3 Loudly the ego tells you not to look inward, for if you do your eyes will light on sin, and God will strike you blind. 4 This you believe, and so you do not look. 5 Yet this is not the ego's hidden fear, nor yours who serve it. 6 Loudly indeed the ego claims it is; too loudly and too often. 7 For underneath this constant shout and frantic proclamation, the ego is not certain it is so. 8 Beneath your fear to look within because of sin is yet another fear, and one which makes the ego tremble.
T-21.IV.3. What if you looked within and saw no sin? 2 This "fearful" question is one the ego never asks. 3 And you who ask it now are threatening the ego's whole defensive system too seriously for it to bother to pretend it is your friend. 4 Those who have joined their brothers have detached themselves from their belief that their identity lies in the ego. p454 5 A holy relationship is one in which you join with what is part of you in truth. 6 And your belief in sin has been already shaken, nor are you now entirely unwilling to look within and see it not.
T-21.IV.4. Your liberation still is only partial; still limited and incomplete, yet born within you. 2 Not wholly mad, you have been willing to look on much of your insanity and recognize its madness. 3 Your faith is moving inward, past insanity and on to reason. 4 And what your reason tells you now the ego would not hear. 5 The Holy Spirit's purpose was accepted by the part of your mind the ego knows not of. 6 No more did you. 7 And yet this part, with which you now identify, is not afraid to look upon itself. 8 It knows no sin. 9 How, otherwise, could it have been willing to see the Holy Spirit's purpose as its own?
T-21.IV.5. This part has seen your brother, and recognized him perfectly since time began. 2 And it desired nothing but to join with him and to be free again, as once it was. 3 It has been waiting for the birth of freedom; the acceptance of release to come to you. 4 And now you recognize that it was not the ego that joined the Holy Spirit's purpose, and so there must be something else. 5 Think not that this is madness. 6 For this your reason tells you, and it follows perfectly from what you have already learned.
T-21.IV.6. There is no inconsistency in what the Holy Spirit teaches. 2 This is the reasoning of the sane. 3 You have perceived the ego's madness, and not been made afraid because you did not choose to share in it. 4 At times it still deceives you. 5 Yet in your saner moments, its ranting strikes no terror in your heart. 6 For you have realized that all the gifts it would withdraw from you, in rage at your "presumptuous" wish to look within, you do not want. 7 A few remaining trinkets still seem to shine and catch your eye. 8 Yet you would not "sell" Heaven to have them.
T-21.IV.7. And now the ego <is> afraid. 2 Yet what it hears in terror, the other part hears as the sweetest music; the song it longed to hear since first the ego came into your mind. 3 The ego's weakness is its strength. 4 The song of freedom, which sings the praises of another world, brings to it hope of peace. 5 For it remembers Heaven, and now it sees that Heaven has come to earth at last, from which the ego's rule has kept it out so long. 6 Heaven has come because it found a home in your relationship on earth. 7 And earth can hold no longer what has been given Heaven as its own. p455
T-21.IV.8. Look gently on your brother, and remember the ego's weakness is revealed in both your sight. 2 What it would keep apart has met and joined, and looks upon the ego unafraid. 3 Little child, innocent of sin, follow in gladness the way to certainty. 4 Be not held back by fear's insane insistence that sureness lies in doubt. 5 This has no meaning. 6 What matters it to you how loudly it is proclaimed? 7 The senseless is not made meaningful by repetition and by clamor. 8 The quiet way is open. 9 Follow it happily, and question not what must be so.
V. The Function of Reason
T-21.V.1. Perception selects, and makes the world you see. 2 It literally picks it out as the mind directs. 3 The laws of size and shape and brightness would hold, perhaps, if other things were equal. 4 They are not equal. 5 For what you look for you are far more likely to discover than what you would prefer to overlook. 6 The still, small Voice for God is not drowned out by all the ego's raucous screams and senseless ravings to those who want to hear It. 7 Perception is a choice and not a fact. 8 But on this choice depends far more than you may realize as yet. 9 For on the voice you choose to hear, and on the sights you choose to see, depends entirely your whole belief in what you are. 10 Perception is a witness but to this, and never to reality. 11 Yet it can show you the conditions in which awareness of reality is possible, or those where it could never be.
T-21.V.2. Reality needs no cooperation from you to be itself. 2 But your awareness of it needs your help, because it is your choice. 3 Listen to what the ego says, and see what it directs you see, and it is sure that you will see yourself as tiny, vulnerable and afraid. 4 You will experience depression, a sense of worthlessness, and feelings of impermanence and unreality. 5 You will believe that you are helpless prey to forces far beyond your own control, and far more powerful than you. 6 And you will think the world you made directs your destiny. 7 For this will be your faith. 8 But never believe because it is your faith it makes reality.
T-21.V.3. There is another vision and another Voice in which your freedom lies, awaiting but your choice. 2 And if you place your faith in Them, you will perceive another self in you. 3 This other self sees miracles as natural. 4 They are as simple and as natural to it as breathing to the body. 5 They are the obvious response to calls for help, the only one it makes. p456 6 Miracles seem unnatural to the ego because it does not understand how separate minds can influence each other. 7 Nor <could> they do so. 8 But minds cannot be separate. 9 This other self is perfectly aware of this. 10 And thus it recognizes that miracles do not affect another's mind, only its own. 11 They always change <your> mind. 12 There <is> no other.
T-21.V.4. You do not realize the whole extent to which the idea of separation has interfered with reason. 2 Reason lies in the other self you have cut off from your awareness. 3 And nothing you have allowed to stay in your awareness is capable of reason. 4 How can the segment of the mind devoid of reason understand what reason is, or grasp the information it would give? 5 All sorts of questions may arise in it, but if the basic question stems from reason, it will not ask it. 6 Like all that stems from reason, the basic question is obvious, simple and remains unasked. 7 But think not reason could not answer it.
T-21.V.5. God's plan for your salvation could not have been established without your will and your consent. 2 It must have been accepted by the Son of God, for what God wills for him he must receive. 3 For God wills not apart from him, nor does the Will of God wait upon time to be accomplished. 4 Therefore, what joined the Will of God must be in you now, being eternal. 5 You must have set aside a place in which the Holy Spirit can abide, and where He is. 6 He must have been there since the need for Him arose, and was fulfilled in the same instant. 7 Such would your reason tell you, if you listened. 8 Yet such is clearly not the ego's reasoning. 9 Your reason's alien nature to the ego is proof you will not find the answer there. 10 Yet if it must be so, it must exist. 11 And if it exists for you, and has your freedom as the purpose given it, you must be free to find it.
T-21.V.6. God's plan is simple; never circular and never self-defeating. 2 He has no Thoughts except the Self-extending, and in this your will must be included. 3 Thus, there must be a part of you that knows His Will and shares it. 4 It is not meaningful to ask if what must be is so. 5 But it is meaningful to ask why you are unaware of what is so, for this must have an answer if the plan of God for your salvation is complete. 6 And it must be complete, because its Source knows not of incompletion.
T-21.V.7. Where would the answer be but in the Source? 2 And where are you but there, where this same answer is? 3 Your Identity, as much a true Effect of this same Source as is the answer, must therefore be together and the same. p457 4 O yes, you know this, and more than this alone. 5 Yet any part of knowledge threatens dissociation as much as all of it. 6 And all of it will come with any part. 7 Here is the part you can accept. 8 What reason points to you can see, because the witnesses on its behalf are clear. 9 Only the totally insane can disregard them, and you have gone past this. 10 Reason is a means that serves the Holy Spirit's purpose in its own right. 11 It is not reinterpreted and redirected from the goal of sin, as are the others. 12 For reason is beyond the ego's range of means.
T-21.V.8. Faith and perception and belief can be misplaced, and serve the great deceiver's needs as well as truth. 2 But reason has no place at all in madness, nor can it be adjusted to fit its end. 3 Faith and belief are strong in madness, guiding perception toward what the mind has valued. 4 But reason enters not at all in this. 5 For the perception would fall away at once, if reason were applied. 6 There is no reason in insanity, for it depends entirely on reason's absence. 7 The ego never uses it, because it does not realize that it exists. 8 The partially insane have access to it, and only they have need of it. 9 Knowledge does not depend on it, and madness keeps it out.
T-21.V.9. The part of mind where reason lies was dedicated, by your will in union with your Father's, to the undoing of insanity. 2 Here was the Holy Spirit's purpose accepted and accomplished, both at once. 3 Reason is alien to insanity, and those who use it have gained a means which cannot be applied to sin. 4 Knowledge is far beyond attainment of any kind. 5 But reason can serve to open doors you closed against it.
T-21.V.10. You have come very close to this. 2 Faith and belief have shifted, and you have asked the question the ego will never ask. 3 Does not your reason tell you now the question must have come from something that you do not know, but must belong to you? 4 Faith and belief, upheld by reason, cannot fail to lead to changed perception. 5 And in this change is room made way for vision. 6 Vision extends beyond itself, as does the purpose that it serves, and all the means for its accomplishment. p458
VI. Reason versus Madness
T-21.VI.1. Reason cannot see sin but can see errors, and leads to their correction. 2 It does not value <them,> but their correction. 3 Reason will also tell you that when you think you sin, you call for help. 4 Yet if you will not accept the help you call for, you will not believe that it is yours to give. 5 And so you will not give it, thus maintaining the belief. 6 For uncorrected error of any kind deceives you about the power that is in you to make correction. 7 If it can correct, and you allow it not to do so, you deny it to yourself and to your brother. 8 And if he shares this same belief you both will think that you are damned. 9 This you could spare him and yourself. 10 For reason would not make way for correction in you alone.
T-21.VI.2. Correction cannot be accepted or refused by you without your brother. 2 Sin would maintain it can. 3 Yet reason tells you that you cannot see your brother or yourself as sinful and still perceive the other innocent. 4 Who looks upon himself as guilty and sees a sinless world? 5 And who can see a sinful world and look upon himself apart from it? 6 Sin would maintain you and your brother must be separate. 7 But reason tells you that this must be wrong. 8 If you and your brother are joined, how could it be that you have private thoughts? 9 And how could thoughts that enter into what but seems like yours alone have no effect at all on what <is> yours? 10 If minds are joined, this is impossible.
T-21.VI.3. No one can think but for himself, as God thinks not without His Son. 2 Only were Both in bodies could this be. 3 Nor could one mind think only for itself unless the body <were> the mind. 4 For only bodies can be separate, and therefore unreal. 5 The home of madness cannot be the home of reason. 6 Yet it is easy to leave the home of madness if you see reason. 7 You do not leave insanity by going somewhere else. 8 You leave it simply by accepting reason where madness was. 9 Madness and reason see the same things, but it is certain that they look upon them differently.
T-21.VI.4. Madness is an attack on reason that drives it out of mind, and takes its place. 2 Reason does not attack, but takes the place of madness quietly, replacing madness if it be the choice of the insane to listen to it. 3 But the insane know not their will, for they believe they see the body, and let their madness tell them it is real. 4 Reason would be incapable of this. 5 And if you would defend the body against your reason, you will not understand the body or yourself. p459
T-21.VI.5. The body does not separate you from your brother, and if you think it does you are insane. 2 But madness has a purpose, and believes it also has the means to make its purpose real. 3 To see the body as a barrier between what reason tells you must be joined must be insane. 4 Nor could you see it, if you heard the voice of reason. 5 What can there be that stands between what is continuous? 6 And if there is nothing in between, how can what enters part be kept away from other parts? 7 Reason would tell you this. 8 But think what you must recognize, if it be so.
T-21.VI.6. If you choose sin instead of healing, you would condemn the Son of God to what can never be corrected. 2 You tell him, by your choice, that he is damned; separate from you and from his Father forever, without a hope of safe return. 3 You teach him this, and you will learn of him exactly what you taught. 4 For you can teach him only that he is as you would have him, and what you choose he be is but your choice for you. 5 Yet think not this is fearful. 6 That you are joined to him is but a fact, not an interpretation. 7 How can a fact be fearful unless it disagrees with what you hold more dear than truth? 8 Reason will tell you that this fact is your release.
T-21.VI.7. Neither your brother nor yourself can be attacked alone. 2 But neither can accept a miracle instead without the other being blessed by it, and healed of pain. 3 Reason, like love, would reassure you, and seeks not to frighten you. 4 The power to heal the Son of God is given you because he must be one with you. 5 You <are> responsible for how he sees himself. 6 And reason tells you it is given you to change his whole mind, which is one with you, in just an instant. 7 And any instant serves to bring complete correction of his errors and make him whole. 8 The instant that you choose to let yourself be healed, in that same instant is his whole salvation seen as complete with yours. 9 Reason is given you to understand that this is so. 10 For reason, kind as is the purpose for which it is the means, leads steadily away from madness toward the goal of truth. 11 And here you will lay down the burden of denying truth. 12 <This> is the burden that is terrible, and not the truth.
T-21.VI.8. That you and your brother are joined is your salvation; the gift of Heaven, not the gift of fear. 2 Does Heaven seem to be a burden to you? 3 In madness, yes. 4 And yet what madness sees must be dispelled by reason. 5 Reason assures you Heaven is what you want, and all you want. p460 6 Listen to Him Who speaks with reason, and brings your reason into line with His. 7 Be willing to let reason be the means by which He would direct you how to leave insanity behind. 8 Hide not behind insanity in order to escape from reason. 9 What madness would conceal, the Holy Spirit still holds out for everyone to look upon with gladness.
T-21.VI.9. You <are> your brother's savior. 2 He is yours. 3 Reason speaks happily indeed of this. 4 This gracious plan was given love by Love. 5 And what Love plans is like Itself in this: Being united, It would have you learn what you must be. 6 And being one with It, it must be given you to give what It has given, and gives still. 7 Spend but an instant in the glad acceptance of what is given you to give your brother, and learn with him what has been given both of you. 8 To give is no more blessed than to receive. 9 But neither is it less.
T-21.VI.10. The Son of God is always blessed as one. 2 And as his gratitude goes out to you who blessed him, reason will tell you that it cannot be you stand apart from blessing. 3 The gratitude he offers you reminds you of the thanks your Father gives you for completing Him. 4 And here alone does reason tell you that you can understand what you must be. 5 Your Father is as close to you as is your brother. 6 Yet what is there that could be nearer you than is your Self?
T-21.VI.11. The power you have over the Son of God is not a threat to his reality. 2 It but attests to it. 3 Where could his freedom lie but in himself, if he be free already? 4 And who could bind him but himself, if he deny his freedom? 5 God is not mocked; no more His Son can be imprisoned save by his own desire. 6 And it is by his own desire that he is freed. 7 Such is his strength, and not his weakness. 8 He is at his own mercy. 9 And where he chooses to be merciful, there is he free. 10 But where he chooses to condemn instead, there is he held a prisoner, waiting in chains his pardon on himself to set him free.
VII. The Last Unanswered Question
T-21.VII.1. Do you not see that all your misery comes from the strange belief that you are powerless? 2 Being helpless is the cost of sin. 3 Helplessness is sin's condition; the one requirement that it demands to be believed. 4 Only the helpless could believe in it. p461 5 Enormity has no appeal save to the little. 6 And only those who first believe that they are little could see attraction there. 7 Treachery to the Son of God is the defense of those who do not identify with him. 8 And you are for him or against him; either you love him or attack him, protect his unity or see him shattered and slain by your attack.
T-21.VII.2. No one believes the Son of God is powerless. 2 And those who see themselves as helpless must believe that they are not the Son of God. 3 What can they be except his enemy? 4 And what can they do but envy him his power, and by their envy make themselves afraid of it? 5 These are the dark ones, silent and afraid, alone and not communicating, fearful the power of the Son of God will strike them dead, and raising up their helplessness against him. 6 They join the army of the powerless, to wage their war of vengeance, bitterness and spite on him, to make him one with them. 7 Because they do not know that they <are> one with him, they know not whom they hate. 8 They are indeed a sorry army, each one as likely to attack his brother or turn upon himself as to remember that they thought they had a common cause.
T-21.VII.3. Frantic and loud and strong the dark ones seem to be. 2 Yet they know not their "enemy," except they hate him. 3 In hatred they have come together, but have not joined each other. 4 For had they done so hatred would be impossible. 5 The army of the powerless must be disbanded in the presence of strength. 6 Those who are strong are never treacherous, because they have no need to dream of power and to act out their dream. 7 How would an army act in dreams? 8 Any way at all. 9 It could be seen attacking anyone with anything. 10 Dreams have no reason in them. 11 A flower turns into a poisoned spear, a child becomes a giant and a mouse roars like a lion. 12 And love is turned to hate as easily. 13 This is no army, but a madhouse. 14 What seems to be a planned attack is bedlam.
T-21.VII.4. The army of the powerless is weak indeed. 2 It has no weapons and it has no enemy. 3 Yes, it can overrun the world and <seek> an enemy. 4 But it can never find what is not there. 5 Yes, it can <dream> it found an enemy, but this will shift even as it attacks, so that it runs at once to find another, and never comes to rest in victory. 6 And as it runs it turns against itself, thinking it caught a glimpse of the great enemy who always eludes its murderous attack by turning into something else. 7 How treacherous does this enemy appear, who changes so it is impossible even to recognize him.
T-21.VII.5. Yet hate must have a target. 2 There can be no faith in sin without an enemy. p462 3 Who that believes in sin would dare believe he has no enemy? 4 Could he admit that no one made him powerless? 5 Reason would surely bid him seek no longer what is not there to find. 6 Yet first he must be willing to perceive a world where it is not. 7 It is not necessary that he understand how he can see it. 8 Nor should he try. 9 For if he focuses on what he cannot understand, he will but emphasize his helplessness, and let sin tell him that his enemy must be himself. 10 But let him only ask himself these questions, which he must decide, to have it done for him:
11 Do I desire a world I rule instead of one that rules me?
12 Do I desire a world where I am powerful instead of helpless?
13 Do I desire a world in which I have no enemies and cannot sin?
14 And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?
T-21.VII.6. You may already have answered the first three questions, but not yet the last. 2 For this one still seems fearful, and unlike the others. 3 Yet reason would assure you they are all the same. 4 We said this year would emphasize the sameness of things that are the same. 5 This final question, which is indeed the last you need decide, still seems to hold a threat the rest have lost for you. 6 And this imagined difference attests to your belief that truth may be the enemy you yet may find. 7 Here, then, would seem to be the last remaining hope of finding sin, and not accepting power.
T-21.VII.7. Forget not that the choice of sin or truth, helplessness or power, is the choice of whether to attack or heal. 2 For healing comes of power, and attack of helplessness. 3 Whom you attack you <cannot> want to heal. 4 And whom you would have healed must be the one you chose to be protected from attack. 5 And what is this decision but the choice whether to see him through the body's eyes, or let him be revealed to you through vision? 6 How this decision leads to its effects is not your problem. 7 But what you want to see must be your choice. 8 This is a course in cause and not effect.
T-21.VII.8. Consider carefully your answer to the last question you have left unanswered still. 2 And let your reason tell you that it must be answered, and is answered in the other three. 3 And then it will be clear to you that, as you look on the effects of sin in any form, all you need do is simply ask yourself: p463
4 Is this what I would see? 5 Do I want this?
T-21.VII.9. This is your one decision; this the condition for what occurs. 2 It is irrelevant to how it happens, but not to why. 3 You <have> control of this. 4 And if you choose to see a world without an enemy, in which you are not helpless, the means to see it will be given you.
T-21.VII.10. Why is the final question so important? 2 Reason will tell you why. 3 It is the same as are the other three, except in time. 4 The others are decisions that can be made, and then unmade and made again. 5 But truth is constant, and implies a state where vacillations are impossible. 6 You can desire a world you rule that rules you not, and change your mind. 7 You can desire to exchange your helplessness for power, and lose this same desire as a little glint of sin attracts you. 8 And you can want to see a sinless world, and let an "enemy" tempt you to use the body's eyes and change what you desire.
T-21.VII.11. In content all the questions are the same. 2 For each one asks if you are willing to exchange the world of sin for what the Holy Spirit sees, since it is this the world of sin denies. 3 And therefore those who look on sin are seeing the denial of the real world. 4 Yet the last question adds the wish for constancy in your desire to see the real world, so the desire becomes the only one you have. 5 By answering the final question "yes," you add sincerity to the decisions you have already made to all the rest. 6 For only then have you renounced the option to change your mind again. 7 When it is this you do not want, the rest are wholly answered.
T-21.VII.12. Why do you think you are unsure the others have been answered? 2 Could it be necessary they be asked so often, if they had? 3 Until the last decision has been made, the answer is both "yes" and "no." 4 For you have answered "yes" without perceiving that "yes" must mean "not no." 5 No one decides against his happiness, but he may do so if he does not see he does it. 6 And if he sees his happiness as ever changing, now this, now that, and now an elusive shadow attached to nothing, he does decide against it.
T-21.VII.13. Elusive happiness, or happiness in changing form that shifts with time and place, is an illusion that has no meaning. 2 Happiness must be constant, because it is attained by giving up the wish for the <inconstant.> 3 Joy cannot be perceived except through constant vision. 4 And constant vision can be given only those who wish for constancy. 5 The power of the Son of God's desire remains the proof that he is wrong who sees himself as helpless. p464 6 Desire what you want, and you will look on it and think it real. 7 No thought but has the power to release or kill. 8 And none can leave the thinker's mind, or leave him unaffected.
VIII. The Inner Shift
T-21.VIII.1. Are thoughts, then, dangerous? 2 To bodies, yes! 3 The thoughts that seem to kill are those that teach the thinker that he <can> be killed. 4 And so he "dies" because of what he learned. 5 He goes from life to death, the final proof he valued the inconstant more than constancy. 6 Surely he thought he wanted happiness. 7 Yet he did not desire it <because> it was the truth, and therefore must be constant.
T-21.VIII.2. The constancy of joy is a condition quite alien to your understanding. 2 Yet if you could even imagine what it must be, you would desire it although you understand it not. 3 The constancy of happiness has no exceptions; no change of any kind. 4 It is unshakable as is the Love of God for His creation. 5 Sure in its vision as its Creator is in what He knows, happiness looks on everything and sees it is the same. 6 It sees not the ephemeral, for it desires everything be like itself, and sees it so. 7 Nothing has power to confound its constancy, because its own desire cannot be shaken. 8 It comes as surely unto those who see the final question is necessary to the rest, as peace must come to those who choose to heal and not to judge.
T-21.VIII.3. Reason will tell you that you cannot ask for happiness inconstantly. 2 For if what you desire you receive, and happiness is constant, then you need ask for it but once to have it always. 3 And if you do not have it always, being what it is, you did not ask for it. 4 For no one fails to ask for his desire of something he believes holds out some promise of the power of giving it. 5 He may be wrong in what he asks, where, and of what. 6 Yet he will ask because desire is a request, an asking for, and made by one whom God Himself will never fail to answer. 7 God has already given all that he really wants. 8 Yet what he is uncertain of, God cannot give. 9 For he does not desire it while he remains uncertain, and God's giving must be incomplete unless it is received.
T-21.VIII.4. You who complete God's Will and are His happiness, whose will is powerful as His, a power that is not lost in your illusions, think carefully why you have not yet decided how you would answer the final question. 2 Your answer to the others has made it possible to help you be already partly sane. 3 And yet it is the final one that really asks if you are willing to be wholly sane.
T-21.VIII.5. What is the holy instant but God's appeal to you to recognize what He has given you? 2 Here is the great appeal to reason; the awareness of what is always there to see, the happiness that could be always yours. p465 3 Here is the constant peace you could experience forever. 4 Here is what denial has denied revealed to you. 5 For here the final question is already answered, and what you ask for given. 6 Here is the future <now,> for time is powerless because of your desire for what will never change. 7 For you have asked that nothing stand between the holiness of your relationship and your <awareness> of its holiness. p466