A COURSE IN MIRACLES

T-1.VI The Illusion of Needs

1. You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness. ²No learning is acquired by anyone unless he wants to learn it and believes in some way that he needs it. ³While lack does not exist in the creation of God, it is very apparent in what you have made. ⁴It is, in fact, the essential difference between them. ⁵Lack implies that you would be better off in a state somehow different from the one you are in. ⁶Until the ‘separation’, which is the meaning of the ‘fall’, nothing was lacking. ⁷There were no needs at all. ⁸Needs arise only when you deprive yourself. ⁹You act according to the particular order of needs you establish. ¹⁰This, in turn, depends on your perception of what you are.

Expanded

You who want peace can find it [peace] only by complete forgiveness. ²No learning is acquired by anyone unless he [any-one] wants to learn it [learning] and believes in some way that he [any-one] needs it [learning]. ³While lack does not exist in the creation of God, it [lack] is very apparent in what you have made. ⁴It [lack] is, in fact, the essential difference between them [the creation of God and what you have made]. ⁵Lack implies that you would be better off in a state somehow different from the one [state] you are in. ⁶Until the ‘separation’, which is the meaning of the ‘fall’, nothing was lacking. ⁷There were no needs at all. ⁸Needs arise only when you deprive yourself. ⁹You act according to the particular order of needs you establish. ¹⁰This [the order of needs you establish], in turn, depends on your perception of what you are.

Substituted

You who want peace can find peace only by complete forgiveness. ²No learning is acquired by anyone unless any-one wants learning and believes in some way that any-one needs learning. ³While lack does not exist in the creation of God, lack is very apparent in what you have made. ⁴Lack is, in fact, the essential difference between the creation of God and what you have made. ⁵Lack implies that you would be better off in a state somehow different from the state you are in. ⁶Until the ‘separation’, which is the meaning of the ‘fall’, nothing was lacking. ⁷There were no needs at all. ⁸Needs arise only when you deprive yourself. ⁹You act according to the particular order of needs you establish. ¹⁰The order of needs you establish, in turn, depends on your perception of what you are.

Simplified

God’s creations have no lack. You deprived yourself by separating from God. Forgive yourself and see yourself truly.

Commentary

(3–8) The ego counsels us … to cannabalise what is outside of us, wresting it from another (or the world) and incorporating it within ourselves to fill the gaping hole of nothingness the ego has convinced us is our reality. Thus the orienting premise of the ego is the … scarcity principle: that we are missing something within, a lack that has its origin in the separation from God. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p.488.; c/f A.A.C., p.123.)

2. A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct. ²This sense of separation would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth, and had thus perceived yourself as lacking. ³The idea of order of needs arose because, having made this fundamental error, you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs. ⁴As you integrate you become one, and your needs become one accordingly. ⁵Unified needs lead to unified action, because this produces a lack of conflict.

Expanded

A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct. ²This sense of separation [from God] would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth, and had thus perceived yourself as lacking. ³The idea of order of needs arose because, having made this fundamental error [perceiving yourself as lacking], you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs. ⁴As you integrate you become one, and your needs become one accordingly. ⁵Unified needs lead to unified action, because this [unified needs] produces a lack of conflict.

Substituted

A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct. ²A sense of separation from God would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth, and had thus perceived yourself as lacking. ³The idea of order of needs arose because, having made the fundamental error of perceiving yourself as lacking, you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs. ⁴As you integrate you become one, and your needs become one accordingly. ⁵Unified needs lead to unified action, because unified needs produces a lack of conflict.

Simplified

You perceived yourself as lacking. You felt separated from God. You became fragmented by believing in different needs. Act only to restore oneness with God. God is all you need.

[You only need God, but the moment you see yourself as lacking something, lacking anything, a sense of separation from God is introduced. This is the error to be undone. —Ed.]

3. The idea of orders of need, which follows from the original error that one can be separated from God, requires correction at its own level before the error of perceiving levels at all can be corrected. ²You cannot behave effectively while you function on different levels. ³However, while you do, correction must be introduced vertically from the bottom up. ⁴This is because you think you live in space, where concepts such as ‘up’ and ‘down’ are meaningful. ⁵Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. ⁶Both are merely beliefs.

Expanded

The idea of orders of need, which follows from the original error that one can be separated from God, requires correction at its [the idea-of-orders-of-need’s] own level before the error of perceiving levels at all can be corrected. ²You cannot behave effectively while you function on different levels. ³However, while you do [function on different levels], correction must be introduced vertically from the bottom up. ⁴This [correction from the bottom up] is because you think you live in space, where concepts such as ‘up’ and ‘down’ are meaningful. ⁵Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. ⁶Both [space and time] are merely beliefs.

Substituted

The idea of orders of need, which follows from the original error that one can be separated from God, requires correction at the idea-of-orders-of-need’s own level before the error of perceiving levels at all can be corrected. ²You cannot behave effectively while you function on different levels. ³However, while you do function on different levels, correction must be introduced vertically from the bottom up. ⁴Correction from the bottom up is because you think you live in space, where concepts such as ‘up’ and ‘down’ are meaningful. ⁵Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. ⁶Both space and time are merely beliefs.

Simplified

You believe you need something in the world of space and time. This belief must be corrected in the world of space and time. Then you can correct the error of separation.

Commentary

(5–4:1) The purpose of the world is to correct our belief about the reality of space and time. (Wapnick, A.V.I., p. 247.)

4. The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief. ²You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made. ³In attitude, then, though not in content, you resemble your Creator, Who has perfect faith in His creations because He created them. ⁴Belief produces the acceptance of existence. ⁵That is why you can believe what no one else thinks is true. ⁶It is true for you because it was made by you.

Expanded

The real purpose of this world is to use it [this world] to correct your unbelief. ²You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made. ³In attitude, then, though not in content, you resemble your Creator, Who [your Creator] has perfect faith in His [your Creator’s] creations because He [your Creator] created them [your Creator’s creations]. ⁴Belief produces the acceptance of existence. ⁵That is why you can believe what no one else thinks is true. ⁶It [what you believe] is true for you because it [what you believe] was made by you.

Substituted

The real purpose of this world is to use this world to correct your unbelief. ²You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made. ³In attitude, then, though not in content, you resemble your Creator; your Creator has perfect faith in your Creator’s creations because your Creator created your Creator’s creations. ⁴Belief produces the acceptance of existence. ⁵That is why you can believe what no one else thinks is true. ⁶What you believe is true for you because what you believe was made by you.

Simplified

God believes in God’s creations. You believe in what you made. You made this world of fear. You can correct the world you made.

Commentary

The course urges us to look at the world benevolently: since we believe we are here, the world can be seen as kind, offering us itself as a classroom in which we learn the lessons that will lead us beyond the world entirely. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p.575–576.)

5. All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the creative level, and therefore do not exist at all. ²To whatever extent you are willing to submit your beliefs to this test, to that extent are your perceptions corrected. ³In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines:

⁴Perfect love casts out fear.
⁵If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.

⁶But:

⁷Only perfect love exists.
⁸If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist.

⁹Believe this and you will be free. ¹⁰Only God can establish this solution, and this faith is His gift.

Expanded

All aspects of fear are untrue because they [all aspects of fear] do not exist at the creative level, and therefore do not exist at all. ²To whatever extent you are willing to submit your beliefs to this [existing at the creative level] test, to that extent are your perceptions corrected. ³In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines:

⁴Perfect love casts out fear.
⁵If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.

⁶But:

⁷Only perfect love exists.
⁸If there is fear,
It [fear] produces a state that does not exist.

⁹Believe this [only perfect love exists] and you will be free. ¹⁰Only God can establish this solution [perfect love], and this faith [in perfect love] is His [God’s] gift.

Substituted

All aspects of fear are untrue because all aspects of fear do not exist at the creative level, and therefore do not exist at all. ²To whatever extent you are willing to submit your beliefs to the test of existing at the creative level, to that extent are your perceptions corrected. ³In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines:

⁴Perfect love casts out fear.
⁵If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.

⁶But:

⁷Only perfect love exists.
⁸If there is fear, Fear produces a state that does not exist.

⁹Believe only perfect love exists and you will be free. ¹⁰Only God can establish the solution of perfect love, and faith in prefect love is God’s gift.

Simplified

There never could be any fear. God only creates love.

Commentary

(4) In the presence of God’s Love all fear automatically disappears. (Wapnick, A.V.I., p.96.)


T-1.V Wholeness and SpiritT-1.VII Distortions of Miracle Impulses