1. Introductionvirtual('basetext.html') ?>
2. The Conditions of Learning
3. The Happy Learner
4. The Decision for Guiltlessness
5. Your Function in the Atonement
6. The Circle of Atonement
7. The Light of Communication
8. Sharing Perception with the Holy Spirit
9. The Holy Meeting Place
10. The Reflection of Holiness
11. The Equality of Miracles
12. The Test of Truth
The Test of Truth
Yet the essential thing is learning that you do not know. Knowledge is power, and all power is of God. You who have tried to keep power for yourself have "lost" it. You still have the power, but you have interposed so much between it and your awareness of it that you cannot use it. Everything you have taught yourself has made your power more and more obscure to you. You know not what it is, nor where. You have made a semblance of power and a show of strength so pitiful that it must fail you. For power is not a seeming strength, and truth is beyond semblance of any kind. Yet all that stands between you and the power of God in you is but your learning of the false, and of your attempts to undo the true.
Be willing, then, for all of it to be undone, and be glad that you are not bound to it forever. For you have taught yourself how to imprison the Son of God, a lesson so unthinkable that only the insane, in deepest sleep, could even dream of it. Can God learn how not to be God? And can his Son, given all power by him, learn to be powerless? What have you taught yourself that you can possibly prefer to keep, in place of what you have and what you are?
Atonement teaches you how to escape forever from everything that you have taught yourself in the past, by showing you only what you are now. Learning has been accomplished before its effects are manifest. Learning is therefore in the past, but its influence determines the present by giving it whatever meaning it holds for you. Your learning gives the present no meaning at all. Nothing you have ever learned can help you understand the present, or teach you how to undo the past. Your past is what you have taught yourself. Let it all go. Do not attempt to understand any event or anything or anyone in its "light," for the darkness in which you try to see can only obscure. Put no confidence at all in darkness to illuminate your understanding, for if you do you contradict the light, and thereby think you see the darkness. Yet darkness cannot be seen, for it is nothing more than a condition in which seeing becomes impossible.
You who have not yet brought all of the darkness you have taught yourself into the light in you, can hardly judge the truth and value of this course. Yet God did not abandon you. And so you have another lesson sent from him, already learned for every child of light by him to whom God gave it. This lesson shines with God's glory, for in it lies his power, which he shares so gladly with his Son. Learn of his happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth, and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take. Every dark lesson that you bring to him who teaches light he will accept from you, because you do not want it. And he will gladly exchange each one for the bright lesson he has learned for you. Never believe that any lesson you have learned apart from him means anything.
You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God's lesson, and not your own. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your mind that hurt and hinder you, and everyone around you. The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: You think you do not will for God's Son what his Father wills for him. Every dark lesson teaches this, in one form or another. And each bright lesson with which the Holy Spirit will replace the dark ones you do not accept, teaches you that you will with the Father and his Son.
Do not be concerned about how you can learn a lesson so completely different from everything that you have taught yourself. How would you know? Your part is very simple. You need only recognize that everything you learned you do not want. Ask to be taught, and do not use your experiences to confirm what you have learned. When your peace is threatened or disturbed in any way, say to yourself:
I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now.
By this refusal to attempt to teach yourself what you do not know, the Guide Whom God has given you will speak to you. He will take his rightful place in your awareness the instant you abandon it, and offer it to him.
You cannot be your guide to miracles, for it is you who made them necessary. And because you did, the means on which you can depend for miracles has been provided for you. God's Son can make no needs his Father will not meet, if he but turn to him ever so little. Yet he cannot compel his Son to turn to him and remain himself. It is impossible that God lose his identity, for if he did, you would lose yours. And being yours he cannot change himself, for your identity is changeless. The miracle acknowledges his changelessness by seeing his Son as he always was, and not as he would make himself. The miracle brings the effects that only guiltlessness can bring, and thus establishes the fact that guiltlessness must be.
How can you, so firmly bound to guilt and committed so to remain, establish for yourself your guiltlessness? That is impossible. But be sure that you are willing to acknowledge that it is impossible. It is only because you think that you can run some little part, or deal with certain aspects of your life alone, that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is limited. Thus would you make him undependable, and use this fancied undependability as an excuse for keeping certain dark lessons from him. And by so limiting the guidance that you would accept, you are unable to depend on miracles to answer all your problems for you.
Do you think that what the Holy Spirit would have you give he would withhold from you? You have no problems that he cannot solve by offering you a miracle. Miracles are for you. And every fear or pain or trial you have has been undone. He has brought all of them to light, having accepted them instead of you, and recognized they never were. There are no dark lessons he has not already lightened for you. The lessons you would teach yourself he has corrected already. They do not exist in his Mind at all. For the past binds him not, and therefore binds not you. He does not see time as you do. And each miracle he offers you corrects your use of time, and makes it his.
He Who has freed you from the past would teach you are free of it. He would but have you accept his accomplishments as yours, because he did them for you. And because he did, they are yours. He has made you free of what you made. You can deny him, but you cannot call on him in vain. He always gives his gifts in place of yours. He would establish his bright teaching so firmly in your mind, that no dark lesson of guilt can abide in what he has established as holy by his presence. Thank God that he is there and works through you. And all his works are yours. He offers you a miracle with every one you let him do through you.
God's Son will always be indivisible. As we are held as one in God, so do we learn as one in him. God's Teacher is as like to his Creator as is his Son, and through his teacher does God proclaim his oneness and his Son's. Listen in silence, and do not raise your voice against him. For he teaches the miracle of oneness, and before his lesson division disappears. Teach like him here, and you will remember that you have always created like your Father. The miracle of creation has never ceased, having the holy stamp of immortality upon it. This is the Will of God for all creation, and all creation joins in willing this.
Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know. Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone. Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate. They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.
Only those who recognize they cannot know unless the effects of understanding are with them, can really learn at all. For this it must be peace they want, and nothing else. Whenever you think you know, peace will depart from you, because you have abandoned the Teacher of peace. Whenever you fully realize that you know not, peace will return, for you will have invited him to do so by abandoning the ego on behalf of him. Call not upon the ego for anything; it is only this that you need do. The Holy Spirit will, of himself, fill every mind that so makes room for him.
If you want peace you must abandon the teacher of attack. The Teacher of Peace will never abandon you. You can desert him but he will never reciprocate, for his faith in you is his understanding. It is as firm as is his faith in his Creator, and he knows that faith in his Creator must encompass faith in his creation. In this consistency lies his holiness which he cannot abandon, for it is not his will to do so. With your perfection ever in his sight, he gives the gift of peace to everyone who perceives the need for peace, and who would have it. Make way for peace, and it will come. For understanding is in you, and from it peace must come.
The power of God, from which they both arise, is yours as surely as it is his. You think you know him not, only because, alone, it is impossible to know him. Yet see the mighty works that he will do through you, and you must be convinced you did them through him. It is impossible to deny the Source of effects so powerful they could not be of you. Leave room for him, and you will find yourself so filled with power that nothing will prevail against your peace. And this will be the test by which you recognize that you have understood.