Course in Miracles
4 - The Root of All Evil
You have never understood
Kingdom of Heaven is within you” Luke
reason you have not understood it is because it is not understandable
to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside,
which does not mean anything. The word “within” is unnecessary.
The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator
create, and what else but you is His Kingdom? This is the whole
message of the Atonement, a message, which, in its totality, transcends
the sum of its parts. Christmas is not a time; it is a state of
mind. The Christ Mind wills from the Soul, not from the ego, and
the Christ Mind is yours.
too, have a kingdom which your Soul created. It has not ceased to
create because your ego has set you on the road of perception. Your
Soul’s creations are no more fatherless than you are. Your
ego and your Soul will never be co-creators, but your Soul and your
Creator will always be. Be confident that your creations are as
safe as you are.
Kingdom is perfectly united and perfectly protected, and the ego
will not prevail against it, – Amen.
That was written in that form because it is a good thing to use
as a kind of prayer in moments of temptation. It is a Declaration
of Independence. You will find it very helpful if you understand
In its characteristically upside-down way, the ego has taken the
impulses from the superconscious (Holy
Spirit) and perceives them as if they arise in the unconscious.
The ego judges what is to be accepted, and the impulses from the
superconscious are unacceptable to it, because they clearly point
to the nonexistence of the ego itself. The ego therefore experiences
threat, and not only censors but also reinterprets the data. However,
as Freud correctly pointed out, what you you do not perceive you
still know, and it can retain a very active life beyond your awareness.
thus operates to conceal not only the baser impulses, but also the
most lofty ones from awareness, because both are threatening to
the ego and, being concerned primarily with its own preservation
in the face of threat, the ego perceives them as the same. The threat-value
of the lofty is actually much greater to the ego, because the pull
of God Himself can hardly be equated with the pull of human appetites.
By perceiving them as the same, the ego attempts to save itself
from being swept away, as it would surely be in the presence of
knowledge (of what we really are).
upper level of the unconscious thus contains the Call of God as
well as the call of the body. That is why the basic conflict between
love and fear is unconscious. The ego cannot tolerate either, and
represses both by resorting to inhibition. Society depends on inhibiting
the latter (call of the body), but salvation
depends on disinhibiting the former (Call of God).
reason you need my help is because you have repressed your own Guide,
and therefore need guidance. My role is to separate the true from
the false in your unconscious, so it can break through the barriers
the ego has set up, and shine into your minds. Against our united
strength the ego cannot prevail.
should be apparent to you by now why the ego regards the Soul as
its “enemy.” The ego arose from the separation, and
its continued existence depends on your continuing belief in the
reduced the Soul impulses to the unconscious, the ego has to offer
you some sort of reward for maintaining this belief. All it can
offer is a sense of temporary existence, which begins with its own
beginning and ends with its own ending. It tells you this life is
your existence because it is its own.
this sense of temporary existence the Soul offers you the knowledge
of permanence and unshakable Being. No one who has experienced the
revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How
can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift
who identify with your egos cannot believe that God loves you. You
do not love what you have made, and what you made does not love
you. Being made out of the denial of the Father, the ego has no
allegiance to its own maker. You cannot conceive of the real relationship
which exists between God and His Souls because of the hatred you
have for the self you have made. You project onto your own idea
of yourself the will to separate, which conflicts with the love
you feel for what you made, because you made it. No human love is
without this ambivalence, and since no ego has experienced love
without ambivalence, the concept (of real love) is beyond its understanding.
will enter immediately into any mind which truly wants it, but it
must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence,
and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego’s “drive
to get.” There is a kind of experience which is so different
from anything the ego can offer that you will never recover. The
word “recover” is used quite literally here—you
will never be able to cover or hide again.
is necessary to repeat here that your belief in darkness, and in
hiding, is why the Light cannot enter. The Bible gives many references
to the immeasurable gifts which are for you, but for which you must
ask. This is not a condition as the ego sets conditions. It is the
glorious condition of what you are.
force except your own will is strong enough or worthy enough to
guide you. In this you are as free as God, and must remain so forever.
You can never be bound except in honor, and that is always voluntary.
Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His Love
for you, and yours for Him. He has never failed to answer this request
because it asks only for what He has already willed. Those who call
truly are always answered.
shalt have no other gods before Him" (Exodus
20:3), because there are none.
has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever
had that opposes knowledge. You retain thousands of little scraps
of meanness which prevent the Holy One from entering. Light cannot
penetrate through the walls you make to block it, and it is forever
unwilling to destroy what you have made. No one can see through
a wall, but I can step around it.
your minds for the scraps of meanness, or you will be unable to
ask me to do so. I can help you only as our Father created us. I
will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what
you have made, but I will neither honor it nor love it unless it
I will never forsake you, any more than God will, but I must wait
as long as you choose to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love,
and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly.
will come in response to a single unequivocal call. Watch carefully
and see what it is you are really asking for. Be very honest with
yourself about this, for we must hide nothing from each other. If
you will really try to do this, you have taken the first step toward
preparing your mind for the Holy One to enter.We will prepare for
this together, for once He has come you will be ready to help me
make other minds ready for Him.
long will you deny Him His Kingdom?
your own unconscious, deeply repressed by the ego, is the declaration
of your release. God has given you everything. This is the one fact
that means the ego does not exist, and which therefore makes it
profoundly afraid. In the ego’s language, remember, “to
have” and “to be” are different, but they are
identical to the Soul. The Soul knows that you both have everything
and are everything. Any distinction in this respect is meaningful
only when the idea of “getting,” which implies a lack,
has already been accepted. That is why we made no distinction before
between having the Kingdom of God and being the Kingdom of God.
calm being of God’s Kingdom, which in your sane mind is perfectly
conscious, is ruthlessly banished from the part of the mind which
the ego rules. The ego is desperate because it opposes literally
invincible odds, whether you are asleep or awake. Consider how much
vigilance you have been willing to exert to protect your ego, and
how little you have been willing to expend to protect your higher
mind. Who but the insane would undertake to believe what is not
true, and then protect this belief at the cost of truth?
Course in Miracles
4 - The Root of All Evil
you cannot hear the Voice of God, it is because you do not choose
to listen. The fact that you do listen to the voice of your ego
is demonstrated by
attitudes are obviously conflicted, your feelings have a narrow
range on the negative side but are never purely joyous, and your
behavior is either strained or unpredictable. Yet this is what you
want. This is what you are fighting
to keep and what you are vigilant to save. Your
minds are filled with schemes to save the face of your egos, and
you do not seek the Face of God. The glass in which the ego seeks
to see its face is dark indeed. How can it maintain the trick of
its existence except with mirrors? 1Corinthians13:12
But where you look to find yourself is up to you.
have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior,
but we have also said, and many times before, that you can change
your mind. When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly,
and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need
not be. In every case you have thought wrongly about some Soul that
God created and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened
honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought and
what you have not thought that God would have you think. Search
sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly, and
then change your minds to think with God's.
may seem hard to you, but it is much easier than trying to think
against it. Your mind is one with God's. Denying this and thinking
otherwise has held your ego together but has literally split your
mind. As a loving brother, I am deeply concerned with your mind
and urge you to follow my example as you look at yourselves and
at each other and see in both the glorious creations of a glorious
When you are sad,
know that this need not be. Depression always arises ultimately
from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not
have. Know you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions,
and then decide otherwise.
When you are anxious, know that all anxiety comes from the capriciousness
of the ego and need not be. You can be as vigilant against the
ego's dictates as for them.
Guilty... When you feel
guilty, know that the ego has indeed violated the laws of God,
but you have not. Leave the sins of the ego to me. That is what
Atonement is for. But until you change your mind about those your
ego has hurt, the Atonement cannot release you. As long as you
feel guilty, your ego is in command because only the ego can experience
guilt. This need not be.
your mind for the temptations of the ego and do not be deceived
by it. Know it offers you nothing. When you have given up this voluntary
dispiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above
fatigue and heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against
the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. This need not be.
habit of engaging with God and His creations is easily made if you
actively refuse to let your minds slip away. The problem is not
one of concentration; it is the belief that no-one, including yourself,
is worth consistent effort. Side with me consistently against this
deception, and do not permit this shabby belief to pull you back.
The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the
ego can be disheartened. Have you really considered how many opportunities
you have to gladden yourselves, and how many of them you have refused?
There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can
limit the expression of his power as much as he chooses.There is
no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can limit
the expression of his power as much as he chooses.
mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, and releasing
the strength of God into everything you think
and will and do. Do not settle for anything less than this,
and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal. Watch your
minds carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment,
and step away from them. Judge how well you have done this by your
own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment. Judgment,
like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect, to hurt
or to heal. The ego should be brought to your judgment and found
wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection and love,
it cannot exist. Judge your ego truly, and you must withdraw allegiance,
protection and love from it.
are mirrors of truth in which God Himself shines in perfect
the ego’s dark glass 1Corinthians13:12
you need but say,
will not look there because I know these images are not true.”
let the Holy One shine on you in peace, knowing that this, and
only this, must be. His Mind shone on you in your creation and
brought your mind into being. His Mind still shines on you,
and must shine through you. Your ego cannot prevent Him from
shining on you, but it can prevent you from letting Him shine
first coming of Christ is just another name for the
creation, for Christ is the Son of God.
second coming of Christ means nothing more than the
end of the ego’s rule over part of the minds of men,
and the healing of the mind.
was created like you in the first, and I have called you to
join with me in the second. If you will think over your lives,
you will see how carefully the preparations were made. I am
in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used
only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks.
Yours is so distorted that you believe I was mistaken in choosing
you. I assure you this is a mistake of your egos. Do not mistake
it for humility.
egos are trying to convince you that they are real and I am
not, because if I am real, I am no more real than you are. That
knowledge, and I assure you that it is knowledge, means that
Christ must come into your minds and heal them. Although I am
not attacking your egos, I am working with your higher mind,
whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with
your lower mind. I am your vigilance in this because you are
too confused to recognize your own hope. I was not mistaken.
Your minds will elect to join with mine, and together we are
will yet come together in my name and your sanity will be restored.
I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute
of everything that the living God created. Why do you believe
it is harder for me to inspire the dispirited, or to stabilize
the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty
in miracles; you do. I have called, and you will answer. I know
that miracles are natural because they are expressions of love.
My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable.
Course in Miracles
4 - The Root of All Evil
things work together for good." Romans
8:28 There are no
exceptions except in the ego’s judgment.
Control is a central
factor in what the ego permits into consciousness and one to which
it devotes its maximum vigilance. This is not the way a balanced
mind holds together. Its control is unconscious. The ego is further
off balance by keeping its primary motivation unconscious and raising
control rather than sensible judgment to predominance. The ego has
every reason to do this according to the thought system which gave
rise to it and which it serves. Sane judgment would inevitably judge
against the ego and must be obliterated by the ego in the interest
of its self-preservation.
A major source of
the ego's off-balanced state is its lack of discrimination between
impulses from God and from the body. Any thought system which makes
this confusion must be insane. Yet this demented state is essential
to the ego, which judges only in terms of threat or non-threat to
itself. In one sense the ego's fear of the idea of God is at least
logical, since this idea does dispel the ego. Fear of dissolution
from the Higher Source, then, makes some sense in ego-terms. But
fear of the body, with which the ego identifies so closely, is more
The body is the ego’s
home by its own election.
It is the only identification
with which the ego feels safe because the body’s vulnerability
is its own best argument that you cannot be of God. This is the
belief that the ego sponsors eagerly. Yet the ego hates the body
because it does not accept the idea that the body is good enough
to be its home. Here is where the mind becomes actually dazed. Being
told by the ego that it is really part of the body and that the
body is its protector, the mind is also constantly informed that
the body can not protect it. This, of course, is not only accurate
but perfectly obvious.
Therefore the mind
“Where can I
go for protection?”
to which the ego replies,
“Turn to me.” The
mind, and not without cause, reminds the ego that it has itself
insisted that it is identified with the body, so there is no point
in turning to it for protection. The ego has no real answer to this
because there is none, but it does have a typical solution. It obliterates
the question from the mind's awareness. Once unconscious, the question
can and does produce uneasiness, but it cannot be answered because
it cannot be asked.
This is the question
which must be asked: “Where am I to go for protection?”
Even the insane ask it unconsciously,
but it requires real sanity to ask it consciously.
When the Bible says,
“Seek and ye shall find,” Matthew
7:7 it does not mean that you
should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not
recognize. Meaningful seeking is...
- consciously undertaken,
- consciously organized,
- consciously directed.
The goal must be formulated
clearly and kept in mind. As a teacher with some experience, let
me remind you that learning and wanting to learn are inseparable.
All learners learn best when they believe that what they are trying
to learn is of value to them. However, values in this world are
hierarchical, and not everything you may want to learn has lasting
Indeed, many of the
things you want to learn are chosen because their value will not
The ego thinks it
is an advantage not to commit itself to anything that is eternal
because the eternal must come from God. Eternalness is the one function
which the ego has tried to develop but has systematically failed.
It may surprise you to learn that had the ego wished to do so it
could have made the eternal because, as a product of the mind, it
is endowed with the power of its own creator. However, the decision
to do this, rather than the ability to do it, is what the ego cannot
tolerate. That is because the decision, from which the ability would
naturally develop, would necessarily involve accurate perception,
a state of clarity which the ego, fearful of being judged truly,
results of this dilemma are peculiar, but no more so than the dilemma
itself. The ego has reacted characteristically here as elsewhere
because mental illness, which is always a form of ego involvement,
is not a matter of reliability as much as of validity. The ego compromises
with the issue of the eternal, just as it does with all issues that
touch on the real question in any way. By compromising in connection
with all tangential questions, it hopes to hide the real question
andkeep it out of mind. The ego’s characteristic busyness
with non-essentials is for precisely that purpose.
Consider the alchemist's
age-old attempts to turn base metal into gold. The one question
which the alchemist did not permit himself to ask was, "What
for?" He could not ask this because it would immediately become
apparent that there was no sense in his efforts even if he succeeded.
If gold became more plentiful, its value would decrease, and his
own purpose would be defeated. The ego has countenanced some strange
compromises with the idea of the eternal, making many odd attempts
to relate the concept to the unimportant in an effort to satisfy
the mind without jeopardizing itself. Thus, it has permitted minds
to devote themselves to the possibility of perpetual motion, but
not to perpetual thoughts.
with problems set up to be incapable of solution are also favorite
ego devices for impeding the strong-willed from making real learning
progress. The problems of squaring the circle and carrying pi to
infinity are good examples. A more recent ego attempt is particularly
noteworthy. The idea of preserving the body by suspension, thus
giving it the kind of limited immortality which the ego can tolerate,
is among its more recent appeals to the mind. It is noticeable,
however, that in all these diversionary tactics, the one question
which is never asked by those who pursue them is,
This is the question
which you must learn to ask, in connection with everything your
mind wishes to undertake. What is the purpose? Whatever it is, you
cannot doubt that it will channelize your efforts automatically.
When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have made a decision
about your future effort, a decision which will remain in effect
unless you change the decision.
in a good position to realize that the ego is capable of making
and accepting as real some very distorted associations. The confusion
of sex with aggression and the resulting behavior, which is perceived
as the same for both, serves as an example. This is "understandable"
to the psychologist and does not produce surprise. The lack of surprise,
however, is not a sign of understanding. It is a symptom of the
psychologist's ability to accept as reasonable a compromise which
is clearly senseless—to attribute it to the mental illness
of the patient rather than his own and to limit his questions about
both the patient and himself to the trivial.
Such relatively minor
confusions of the ego are not among its more profound misassociations,
although they do reflect them. Your egos have been blocking the
more important questions which your minds should ask. You do not
understand a patient while you yourselves are willing to limit the
questions you raise about his mind because you are also accepting
these limits for yours. This makes you unable to heal him and yourselves.
Be always unwilling to adapt to any situation in which miracle-mindedness
is unthinkable. That state in itself is enough to demonstrate that
the perception is wrong.