For it’s not a place to go, but a place to Be, for We either personify It or else it’s hell. And if it’s hell, We need to choose again.
The crucifixion was a perfect opportunity for Me to choose again. I chose to Love instead of hate, and this allowed Me the freedom from the pain of the experience. It was the loving Presence of God right there with Me – as It always is with All of Us – that enabled Me to do that.
1 In this world, Heaven is a choice because here we believe there are alternatives to choose between. – (This belief is quite a gross delusion.) – We think that all things have an opposite, and what we want we choose. If Heaven exists, there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive and what we think is real. Creation knows no opposite. But here is opposition part of being “real.”
Why is this? You are wondering. It’s simple. Opposition is the basis of the separation.
The mad idea that God/Good could be opposed. It should have been slightly amusing in its preposterousness. Instead, it seemed to happen. What really occurred was that the self-will brought on an hypnotic state quite like sleep and dreaming. And the Son has yet to Waken.
2 It is this strange perception of the truth that makes the choice of Heaven seem to be the same as the relinquishment of hell. It is not really thus. Yet what is true in God’s creation cannot enter here unless it is reflected in some form the world can understand. Truth cannot come where it could only be perceived with fear, for this would be the error truth can be brought to illusions. Opposition makes the truth unwelcome, and it cannot come.
First must Heaven be chosen. And with strong determination.
3 Choice is the obvious escape from what appears as opposites. Decision lets one of conflicting goals become the aim of effort and expenditure of time. Without decision, time is but a waste and effort dissipated. It is spent for nothing in return. And time goes by without results. There is no sense of gain, for nothing is accomplished; nothing learned.
To support Your steadfastness, I recommend to read most regularly the passage Choose Once Again.1
4 You need to be reminded that you think a thousand choices are confronting you when there is really only one to make.
Heaven is the only choice for Sanity.
And even this but seems to be a choice. – For You are sane already. You cannot lose Your Sanity, any more than You can lose Your Identity. – Do not confuse yourself with all the doubts that myriad decisions would induce. You make but one. – Choose for God, for it is the choice for Love, and the choice for Truth. – And when that one is made, you will perceive it was no choice at all, for truth is true and nothing else is real. There is no opposite to choose instead. There is no contradiction to the truth.
This may be hard to get, for Your world is made up of nothing else but opposites. Even the devil was invented to create an opposite to God Himself.
5 Choosing depends on learning. But the truth cannot be learned but only recognized.
What You can learn to do is be still and attentive to It, with a willingness for the experience of Truth in every situation.
In recognition its acceptance lies, and as it is accepted, it is known.
What You can do is learn to pay attention.
But knowledge is beyond the goals we seek to teach within the framework of this course.
The Living Awareness of Reality – the Holy Presence of the Father’s Love and Life continually – They cannot be taught You, but must be experienced. Our teaching is designed to lead You toward the experience.
Ours are teaching goals to be attained through learning how to reach them, what they are, and what they offer you. Decisions are the outcome of your learning, for they rest on what you have accepted as the truth of what you are and what your needs must be.
We aim for Your trust in God perfectly and so peacefully.
6 In this insanely complicated world, Heaven appears to take the form of choice rather than merely being what it is. Of all the choices you have tried to make, this is the simplest, most definitive, the prototype of all the rest, the one which settles all decisions. If you could decide the rest, this one remains unsolved. But when you solve this one, the others are resolved with it, for all decisions but conceal this one by taking different forms. Here is the final and the only choice in which is truth accepted or denied.
What is the choice for Heaven but the choice for God, Our Father? It’s very simple.
7 So we begin today considering the choice that time was made to help us make. Such is its holy purpose, now transformed from the intent you gave it, that it be a means for demonstrating hell is real, hope changes to despair, and life itself must in the end be overcome by death. In death alone are opposites resolved, for ending opposition is to die. And thus salvation must be seen as death, for life is seen as conflict. To resolve the conflict is to end your life as well.
Do You see how ‘time’ is crucial to the belief of ‘dying’? For either it is tied to the ‘progress’ of disease and/or deterioration, or the grim expectation of the process of ‘aging’.
8 These mad beliefs can gain unconscious hold of great intensity and grip the mind with terror and anxiety so strong that it will not relinquish its ideas about its own protection. It must be saved from salvation, threatened to be safe, and magically armored against truth. And these decisions are made unaware to keep them safely undisturbed, apart from question and from reason and from doubt.
The bottom line of all the fear is that the ego does not wish to leave off dreaming, for it cannot co-exist with God.
9 Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help, and all mistakes in judgment which the mind had made before are open to correction as the truth dismisses them as causeless. Now are they without effects. They cannot be concealed because their nothingness is recognized.
To choose for Heaven rests on the understanding that the hell of the dream is without any value.
10The conscious choice of Heaven is as sure as is the ending of the fear of hell when it is raised from its protective shield of unawareness and is brought to light. Who can decide between the clearly seen and the unrecognized? Yet who can fail to make a choice between alternatives when only one is seen as valuable, the other as a wholly worthless thing, a but imagined source of guilt and pain? Who hesitates to make a choice like this? And shall we hesitate to choose today?
The value that You’ve seemed to get from dreaming is seen to be pure insanity!
11 We make the choice for Heaven as we wake and spend five minutes making sure that we have made the one decision that is sane. We recognize we make a conscious choice between what has existence and what has nothing but an appearance of the truth. Its pseudo-being, brought to what is real, is flimsy and transparent in the light. It holds no terror now, for what was made enormous, vengeful, pitiless with hate demands obscurity for fear to be invested there. Now it is recognized as but a foolish, trivial mistake.
Perhaps it is not so hard to see it as a mistake, yet to see the world as powerless seems daunting, for it does not look or act that way at all. Yes, I can have dominion over My little part of it – My thinking – but what about all the Others? Aren’t They responsible?
I hear You saying I must: “Change (My) mind about the world (I) see, and the world will change accordingly.” And yet, it hasn’t!
Sister Mine, when You need healing of a migraine, what do We do but sit down together, and You listen for My Guidance on the Lesson, or in whatever else You might be doing, and as We stay Joined – as in perseverance – where goes the migraine? This is the key: Keep Your stand in the face of what seems to be ‘reality’.
12 Before we close our eyes in sleep tonight, we reaffirm the choice that we have made each hour in between. And now we give the last five minutes of our waking day to the decision with which we awoke. As every hour passed, we have declared our choice again in a brief quiet time devoted to maintaining sanity. And finally we close the day with this, acknowledging we chose but what we want:
(And the key is that We do this Together
13 Heaven is the decision I must make.
I make it now and will not change my mind,
Because it is the only thing I want.
For I would choose for Sanity this time. I learned My lesson.
1 Choose Once Again, Chapter 31
Choose Once Again
Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel. It sets the limits on what he can do; its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach. Would you BE this, if Christ appeared to you in all His glory, asking you but this, “Choose once again if you would take your place among the Saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.” For He HAS come, and He IS asking this.
(October 10, 1968)
How do you make the choice? How easily is this explained! You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real. Simply by never using weakness to direct your actions, you have given it no power. And the Light of Christ in you is given charge of everything you do. For you have brought your weakness unto Him, and He has given you His strength instead. Trials are but lessons which you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain which what you chose before has brought to you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity you face, Christ calls to you, and gently says, “My brother, choose again.” He would not leave one source of pain unhealed, nor any image left to veil the truth. He would remove all misery from you whom God created alters unto joy. He would not leave you comfortless, alone in dreams of hell, but would release your minds from everything that hides His Face from you. His holiness is yours because He is the ONLY power that is real in you. His strength is yours because He is the Self that God created as His ONLY Son. The images you make can not prevail against what God Himself would have you be.
Be never fearful of temptation, then, but see it as it is; another chance to choose again, and let Christ’s strength prevail in every circumstance and every place you raised an image of yourself before. For what appears to hide the Face of Christ is powerless before His Majesty, and disappears before His holy sight. The Saviors of the world, who see like Him, are merely those who chose His strength instead of their own weakness, seen apart from Him. They will redeem the world, for they are joined to all the power of the Will of God. And what they will is ONLY what He wills.
Learn, then, the happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable with these words:
“I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I AM His Son.”
Thus is Christ’s strength invited to prevail, replacing all your weakness with the strength that comes from God, and that can never fail. And thus are miracles as natural as fear and agony appeared to be before the choice for holiness was made. For in that choice are false distinctions gone, illusory alternatives laid by, and nothing left to interfere with truth.
You ARE as God created you, and so is every living thing you look upon, regardless of the images you see. What you behold as sickness and as pain, as weakness and as suffering and loss, is but temptation to perceive yourself defenseless and in hell. Yield not to this, and you will see all pain in every form wherever it occurs but disappear as mists before the sun. A miracle has come to heal God’s Son, and close the door upon his dreams of weakness, opening the way to his salvation and release. Choose once again what you would have him be, remembering that every choice you make establishes your own identity as you will see it, and believe it IS.
Deny me not the little gift I ask, when in exchange I lay before your feet the peace of God, and power to bring this peace to everyone who wanders in the world, uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear. For it is given you to join with him, and through the Christ in you unveil his eyes, and let him look upon the Christ in him. My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words. I ask for nothing but your OWN release. There is no place for hell within a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven. To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before.
But this a vision is which you must share with everyone you see. For otherwise you will behold it not. To give this gift is how to make it yours. And God ordained, in loving kindness, that it BE for you. Let us be glad that we can walk the world, and find so many chances to perceive another situation where His gift can once again be recognized as ours. And thus will all the vestiges of hell, the secret sins and hidden hates be gone, and all the loveliness which they concealed appear like lawns of Heaven to our sight, to lift us high above the thorny roads we traveled on before the Christ appeared.
Hear me, my brothers, hear and join with me. God has ordained I cannot call in vain. And in His certainty I rest content. For you WILL hear, and you WILL choose again. And in this choice is everyone made free. I thank You, Father, for these holy ones who are my brothers as they are Your Sons. My faith in them is Yours. I am as sure that they will come to me as You are sure of what they are, and will forever be. They will accept the gift I offer them because You gave it me on their behalf. And as I would but do Your holy Will, so will they choose. And I give thanks for them.
Salvation’s song will echo through the world with every choice they make. For we are one in purpose, and the end of hell is near. In joyous welcome is my hand outstretched to every brother who would join with me in reaching past temptation and who looks with fixed determination toward the light that shines beyond in perfect constancy. Give me my own, for they belong to You. And can You fail in what is but Your Will? I give You thanks for what my brothers are, and as each one elects to join with me, the song of thanks from earth to Heaven grows from tiny, scattered threads of melody to one inclusive chorus from a world redeemed from hell, and giving thanks to You.
And now we say “Amen.” For Christ has come to dwell in the abode You set for Him before time was, in calm Eternity. The journey closes, ending at the place where it began. No trace of it remains. Not one illusion is accorded faith, and not one spot of darkness still remains to hide the Face of Christ from anyone. Thy Will is done, complete and perfectly, and all creation recognizes You and knows You as the only Source it has. Clear in Your Likeness does the Light shine forth from everything that lives and moves in You. For we have reached where all of us are One, and we are home where You would have us be.