is a tendency to think the world can offer consolation
and escape from problems which its purpose is to keep.
should this be?
it is a place where choice among illusions seems to
be the only choice. And you are in control of outcomes
of your choosing. Thus you think, within the narrow
band from birth to death, a little time is given you
to use for you alone; a time when everyone conflicts
with you, but you can choose which road will lead you
out of conflict and away from difficulties which concern
you not. Yet they are your concern. How, then, can you
escape from them by leaving them behind? What must go
with you, you will take with you whatever road you choose
to walk along.
choice is no illusion. But the world has none to offer.
All its roads but lead to
is no choice in its alternatives. Seek not escape from
problems here. The world was made that problems could
not be escaped. Be not deceived by all the different
names its roads are given. They have but one end. And
each is but the means to gain that end, for it is here
that all its roads will lead, however differently they
seem to start; however differently they seem to go.
Their end is certain, for there is no choice among them.
All of them will lead to death. On some you travel gaily
for a while, before the bleakness enters, and on some
the thorns are felt at once. The choice is not what
will the ending be, but when it comes.
is no choice where every end is sure. Perhaps you would
prefer to try them all before you really learn they
are but one. The roads this world can offer seem to
be quite large in number, but the time must come when
everyone begins to see how like they are to one another.
Men have died on seeing this because they saw no way
except the pathways offered by the world. And learning
they led nowhere, lost their hope. And yet this was
the time they could have learned their greatest lesson.
All must reach this point and go beyond it.
It is true indeed there is no choice at all within the
world. But this is not the lesson in itself. The lesson
has a purpose, and in this you come to understand what
it is for.
would you seek to try another road, another person or
another place, when you have learned the way the lesson
starts, but do not yet perceive what it is for? Its
purpose is the answer to the search that all must undertake
who still believe there is another answer to be found.
now, without despair, there is no hope of answer in
the world. But do not judge the lesson which is but
begun with this. Seek not another signpost in the world
which seems to point to still another road. No longer
look for hope where there is none. Make fast your learning
now, and understand you but waste time unless you go
beyond what you have learned to what is yet to learn.
For from this lowest point will learning lead to heights
of happiness in which you see the purpose of the lesson
shining clear, and perfectly within your learning grasp.
would be willing to be turned away from all the roadways
of the world unless he understood their real futility?
Is it not needful that he should begin with this, to
seek another way instead? For while he sees a choice
where there is none, what power of decision can he use?
The great release of power must begin with learning
where it really has a use. And what decision has power
if it be applied in situations without choice?
learning that the world can offer but one choice, no
matter what its form may be, is the beginning of acceptance
that there is a real alternative instead. To fight against
this step is to defeat your purpose here. You did not
come to learn to find a road the world does not contain.
The search for different pathways in the world is but
the search for different forms of truth. And this would
keep the truth from being reached.
not that happiness is ever found by following a road away
from it. This
makes no sense and cannot be the way. To you who seem
to find this course to be too difficult to learn, let
me repeat that to achieve a goal you must proceed in its
direction, not away from it. And every road that leads
the other way will not advance the purpose to be found.
If this be difficult to understand, then is this course
impossible to learn. But only then. For otherwise, it
is a simple teaching in the obvious.
There is a choice which you have power to make
when you have seen the real alternatives. Until that
point is reached, you have no choice, and you can but
decide how you would choose the better to deceive yourself
again. This course attempts to teach no more than that
the power of decision cannot lie in choosing different
forms of what is still the same illusion and the same
choices in the world depend on this--you choose between
your brother and yourself, and you will gain as much as
he will lose, and what you lose is what is given him.
How utterly opposed to truth is this, when what the lesson’s
purpose is to teach that what your brother loses you
have lost, and what he gains is what is given you.
has not left His Thoughts! But
you forgot His Presence and remembered not His Love.
pathway in the world can lead to Him, nor any worldly
goal is one with His.
road in all the world will lead within, when every road
was made to separate the journey from the purpose it
must have unless it be but futile wandering? All roads
that lead away from what you are will lead you to confusion
and despair. Yet has He never left His Thoughts to die,
without their Source forever in themselves. He has not
left His Thoughts! He could no more depart from them
than they could keep Him out. In unity with Him do they
abide, and in their Oneness both are kept complete.
is no road that leads away from Him. A journey from
yourself does not exist. How foolish and insane it is
to think that there could be a road with such an aim!
Where could it go? And how could you be made to travel
on it, walking there without your own reality at one
yourself your madness and forget all senseless journeys
and all goal-less aims. They have no meaning. You can
not escape from what you are. For God is merciful and
did not let His Son abandon Him. For what He is, be
thankful, for in that is your escape from madness and
from death. Nowhere but where He is can you be found.
is no path that does not lead to Him.