A COURSE IN MIRACLES

T-2.VII Cause and Effect

1. You may still complain about fear, but you nevertheless persist in making yourself fearful. ²I have already indicated that you cannot ask me to release you from fear. ³I know it does not exist, but you do not. ⁴If I intervened between your thoughts and their results, I would be tampering with a basic law of cause and effect; the most fundamental law there is. ⁵I would hardly help you if I depreciated the power of your own thinking. ⁶This would be in direct opposition to the purpose of this course. ⁷It is much more helpful to remind you that you do not guard your thoughts carefully enough. ⁸You may feel that at this point it would take a miracle to enable you to do this, which is perfectly true. ⁹You are not used to miracle-minded thinking, but you can be trained to think that way. ¹⁰All miracle workers need that kind of training.

Expanded

You may still complain about fear, but you nevertheless persist in making yourself fearful. ²I have already indicated that you cannot ask me to release you from fear. ³I know it [fear] does not exist, but you do not [know fear does not exist]. ⁴If I intervened between your thoughts and their [your thoughts’] results, I would be tampering with a basic law of cause and effect; the most fundamental law there is. ⁵I would hardly help you if I depreciated the power of your own thinking. ⁶This [depreciating the power of your thinking] would be in direct opposition to the purpose of this course [A Course in Miracles]. ⁷It is much more helpful to remind you that you do not guard your thoughts carefully enough. ⁸You may feel that at this point it would take a miracle to enable you to do this [guard your thoughts carefully enough], which [taking a miracle] is perfectly true. ⁹You are not used to miracle-minded thinking, but you can be trained to think that [in a miracle-minded] way. ¹⁰All miracle workers need that kind of [miracle-minded] training.

Substituted

You may still complain about fear, but you nevertheless persist in making yourself fearful. ²I have already indicated that you cannot ask me to release you from fear. ³I know fear does not exist, but you do not know fear does not exist. ⁴If I intervened between your thoughts and your thoughts’ results, I would be tampering with a basic law of cause and effect; the most fundamental law there is. ⁵I would hardly help you if I depreciated the power of your own thinking. ⁶Depreciating the power of your thinking would be in direct opposition to the purpose of A Course in Miracles. ⁷It is much more helpful to remind you that you do not guard your thoughts carefully enough. ⁸You may feel that at this point it would take a miracle to enable you to guard your thoughts carefully enough; taking a miracle is perfectly true. ⁹You are not used to miracle-minded thinking, but you can be trained to think in a miracle-minded way. ¹⁰All miracle workers need miracle-minded training.

Simplified

You make yourself fearful by not guarding your thoughts carefully enough. Fear does not exist. The purpose of A Course in Miracles is to train you to think in a miracle-minded way.

Commentary

(1–6) What Jesus and the Holy Spirit do do, however, is teach us that we have made a mistake in our thinking, which has resulted in the problem of fear that we have now externalised. They have come to us to represent another way of thinking, that we may choose again. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.123.)

(4–5) One cannot undo fear by reducing or underestimating the power of the mind. If the power of our mind which chose mistakenly is not honoured and respected, then we are denying that very mind the power to correct itself through the Holy Spirit. We would have successfully denied the only means for our salvation — our power of decision — its efficacy to save us. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.2³8.) see T-2.VI.1:4, T-2.VI.4:1–4.

(4–6) Jesus is exhorting his students to pay careful attention to their mind’s decision to be unhappy, and to correct that cause, rather than continually seeking his help in remedying the effect, which ultimately makes no sense at all. (Wapnick, FCTL, p. 6.)

2. I cannot let you leave your mind unguarded, or you will not be able to help me. ²Miracle working entails a full realisation of the power of thought in order to avoid miscreation. ³Otherwise a miracle will be necessary to set the mind itself straight, a circular process that would not foster the time collapse for which the miracle was intended. ⁴The miracle worker must have genuine respect for true cause and effect as a necessary condition for the miracle to occur.

Expanded

I cannot let you leave your mind unguarded, or you will not be able to help me. ²Miracle working entails a full realisation of the power of thought in order to avoid miscreation. ³Otherwise a miracle will be necessary to set the mind [mind’s self] straight, a circular process that would not foster the time collapse for which [time collapse] the miracle was intended. ⁴The miracle worker must have genuine respect for true cause and effect as a necessary condition for the miracle to occur.

Substituted

I cannot let you leave your mind unguarded, or you will not be able to help me. ²Miracle working entails a full realisation of the power of thought in order to avoid miscreation. ³Otherwise a miracle will be necessary to set the mind straight, a circular process that would not foster the time collapse; the miracle was intended for time collapse. ⁴The miracle worker must have genuine respect for true cause and effect as a necessary condition for the miracle to occur.

Simplified

I need you to guard your mind. An unguarded mind miscreates. A straightened mind is needed for miracles. Straightening the mind with a miracle is ineffective. Miracles collapse time. A straightened mind respects cause and effect.

3. Both miracles and fear come from thoughts. ²If you are not free to choose one, you would also not be free to choose the other. ³By choosing the miracle you have rejected fear, if only temporarily. ⁴You have been fearful of everyone and everything. ⁵You are afraid of God, of me and of yourself. ⁶You have misperceived or miscreated Us, and believe in what you have made. ⁷You would not have done this if you were not afraid of your own thoughts. ⁸The fearful must miscreate, because they misperceive creation. ⁹When you miscreate you are in pain. ¹⁰The cause and effect principle now becomes a real expediter, though only temporarily. ¹¹Actually, ‘Cause’ is a term properly belonging to God, and His ‘Effect’ is His Son. ¹²This entails a set of Cause and Effect relationships totally different from those you introduce into miscreation. ¹³The fundamental conflict in this world, then, is between creation and miscreation. ¹⁴All fear is implicit in the second, and all love in the first. ¹⁵The conflict is therefore one between love and fear.

Expanded

Both miracles and fear come from thoughts. ²If you are not free to choose one, you would also not be free to choose the other. ³By choosing the miracle you have rejected fear, if only temporarily. ⁴You have been fearful of everyone and everything. ⁵You are afraid of God, of me and of yourself. ⁶You have misperceived or miscreated Us, and believe in what you have made. ⁷You would not have done this [misperceived Us] if you were not afraid of your own thoughts. ⁸The fearful must miscreate, because they [the fearful] misperceive creation. ⁹When you miscreate you are in pain. ¹⁰The cause and effect principle now becomes a real expediter, though only temporarily. ¹¹Actually, ‘Cause’ is a term properly belonging to God, and His [God’s] ‘Effect’ is His [God’s] Son. ¹²This [God’s effect is God’s Son] entails a set of Cause and Effect relationships totally different from those [the cause and effect relationships] you introduce into miscreation. ¹³The fundamental conflict in this world, then, is between creation and miscreation. ¹⁴All fear is implicit in the second [miscreation], and all love in the first [creation]. ¹⁵The conflict is therefore one between love and fear.

Substituted

Both miracles and fear come from thoughts. ²If you are not free to choose one, you would also not be free to choose the other. ³By choosing the miracle you have rejected fear, if only temporarily. ⁴You have been fearful of everyone and everything. ⁵You are afraid of God, of me and of yourself. ⁶You have misperceived or miscreated Us, and believe in what you have made. ⁷You would not have misperceived Us if you were not afraid of your own thoughts. ⁸The fearful must miscreate, because the fearful misperceive creation. ⁹When you miscreate you are in pain. ¹⁰The cause and effect principle now becomes a real expediter, though only temporarily. ¹¹Actually, ‘Cause’ is a term properly belonging to God, and God’s ‘Effect’ is God’s Son. ¹²God’s effect is God’s Son entails a set of Cause and Effect relationships totally different from the cause and effect relationships you introduce into miscreation. ¹³The fundamental conflict in this world, then, is between creation and miscreation. ¹⁴All fear is implicit in miscreation, and all love in creation. ¹⁵The conflict is therefore one between love and fear.

Simplified

Miracles come from thoughts. Fear comes from thoughts. You must be free to choose. You chose fear. You misperceived and miscreated God and God’s Son. Miscreating causes pain. God’s love causes the Son. Your fear causes pain. Pain causes miscreation.

4. It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made it, and your belief in it seems to render it out of your control. ²Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. ³In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. ⁴The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. ⁵In the interim, however, the sense of conflict is inevitable, since you have placed yourself in a position where you believe in the power of what does not exist.

Expanded

It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made it [fear], and your belief in it [fear] seems to render it [fear] out of your control. ²Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. ³In fact, it [attempting the master of fear] asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it [fear] need be mastered. ⁴The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. ⁵In the interim, however, the sense of conflict is inevitable, since you have placed yourself in a position where you believe in the power of what does not exist.

Substituted

It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made fear, and your belief in fear seems to render fear out of your control. ²Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. ³In fact, attempting the master of fear asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that fear need be mastered. ⁴The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. ⁵In the interim, however, the sense of conflict is inevitable, since you have placed yourself in a position where you believe in the power of what does not exist.

Simplified

Believing in fear seems to make fear out of your control. Controlling fear is not the answer. Fear is resolved by love.

5. Nothing and everything cannot coëxist. ²To believe in one is to deny the other. ³Fear is really nothing and love is everything. ⁴Whenever light enters darkness, the darkness is abolished. ⁵What you believe is true for you. ⁶In this sense the separation has occurred, and to deny it is merely to use denial inappropriately. ⁷However, to concentrate on error is only a further error. ⁸The initial corrective procedure is to recognise temporarily that there is a problem, but only as an indication that immediate correction is needed. ⁹This establishes a state of mind in which the Atonement can be accepted without delay. ¹⁰It should be emphasised, however, that ultimately no compromise is possible between everything and nothing. ¹¹Time is essentially a device by which all compromise in this respect can be given up. ¹²It only seems to be abolished by degrees, because time itself involves intervals that do not exist. ¹³Miscreation made this necessary as a corrective device. ¹⁴The statement “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoëver believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” needs only one slight correction to be meaningful in this context: “He gave it to His only begotten Son”.

Expanded

Nothing and everything cannot coëxist. ²To believe in one is to deny the other. ³Fear is really nothing and love is everything. ⁴Whenever light enters darkness, the darkness is abolished. ⁵What you believe is true for you. ⁶In this sense [what you believe is true] the separation has occurred, and to deny it [the separation] is merely to use denial inappropriately. ⁷However, to concentrate on error is only a further error. ⁸The initial corrective procedure is to recognise temporarily that there is a problem, but only as an indication that immediate correction is needed. ⁹This [temporary recognition of a problem] establishes a state of mind in which [state of mind] the Atonement can be accepted without delay. ¹⁰It should be emphasised, however, that ultimately no compromise is possible between everything and nothing. ¹¹Time is essentially a device by which [time] all compromise in this respect [between everything and nothing] can be given up. ¹²It [time] only seems to be abolished by degrees, because time itself involves intervals that do not exist. ¹³Miscreation made this [time] necessary as a corrective device. ¹⁴The statement “For God so loved the world that he [God] gave his [God’s] only begotten Son, that whosoëver believes in him [God’s Son] should not perish but have everlasting life” needs only one slight correction to be meaningful in this context: “He [God] gave it [the world] to His [God’s] only begotten Son”.

Substituted

Nothing and everything cannot coëxist. ²To believe in one is to deny the other. ³Fear is really nothing and love is everything. ⁴Whenever light enters darkness, the darkness is abolished. ⁵What you believe is true for you. ⁶What you believe is true, so the separation has occurred, and to deny the separation is merely to use denial inappropriately. ⁷However, to concentrate on error is only a further error. ⁸The initial corrective procedure is to recognise temporarily that there is a problem, but only as an indication that immediate correction is needed. ⁹Temporary recognition of a problem establishes a state of mind where the Atonement can be accepted without delay. ¹⁰It should be emphasised, however, that ultimately no compromise is possible between everything and nothing. ¹¹Time is essentially a device; by time all compromise between everything and nothing can be given up. ¹²Time only seems to be abolished by degrees, because time itself involves intervals that do not exist. ¹³Miscreation made time necessary as a corrective device. ¹⁴The statement “For God so loved the world that God gave God’s only begotten Son, that whosoëver believes in God’s Son should not perish but have everlasting life” needs only one slight correction to be meaningful in this context: “God gave the world to God’s only begotten Son”.

Simplified

There is no fear. There is only love. You must first recognise that you believe in separation. Recognising the belief in separation is temporary. Then the belief in separation can be corrected. Separation is corrected by accepting the Atonement. Time is a learning device. Time is the gap that enables you to recognise the belief in separation before you accept the Atonement.

Commentary

(14) A Course in Miracles does not teach that the world, the flesh and the devil are to be avoided, indulged in or fought against. Rather, its central teaching is to forgive the world, loving it for its gift of forgiveness. … The world that God gave “to” us is the real world, which reflects the Holy Spirit’s purpose in helping us shift from the ego’s purpose for being here — hatred and separation — to the Holy Spirit’s of forgiveness and joining. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p. 583.)

(14) … [the Course’s] central teaching is to forgive the world, being grateful for its capacity of being a classroom in which we can accept Jesus’s gift of forgiveness. (Wapnick, A.A.C., p. 300.)

6. It should especially be noted that God has only one Son. ²If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. ³The Sonship in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts. ⁴However, this is obscured as long as any of its parts is missing. ⁵That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned. ⁶Only then can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood. ⁷Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if he so chooses. ⁸However, if he does so, he is believing in the existence of nothingness. ⁹The correction of this error is the Atonement.

Expanded

It should especially be noted that God has only one Son. ²If all His [God’s] creations are His [God’s] Sons, every one [son] must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. ³The Sonship in its [the Sonship’s] Oneness transcends the sum of its [the Sonship’s] parts. ⁴However, this [the Sonship’s Oneness] is obscured as long as any of its [the Sonship’s] parts is missing. ⁵That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned. ⁶Only then [when all the parts of the Sonship have returned] can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood. ⁷Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if he [part of the Sonship] so chooses. ⁸However, if he [part of the Sonship] does so [believe in error or incompleteness], he [part of the Sonship] is believing in the existence of nothingness. ⁹The correction of this error [of believing in the existence of nothingness] is the Atonement.

Substituted

It should especially be noted that God has only one Son. ²If all God’s creations are God’s Sons, every son must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. ³The Sonship in the Sonship’s Oneness transcends the sum of the Sonship’s parts. ⁴However, the Sonship’s Oneness is obscured as long as any of the Sonship’s parts is missing. ⁵That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned. ⁶Only when all the parts of the Sonship have returned can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood. ⁷Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if a part of the Sonship so chooses. ⁸However, if a part of the Sonship does believe in error or incompleteness, a part of the Sonship is believing in the existence of nothingness. ⁹The correction of the error of believing in the existence of nothingness is the Atonement.

Simplified

God has one Son. The Son has many parts. The Son is not whole without all the parts. A part of the Son can believe in error or incompleteness. Believing in error or incompleteness is believing in the existence of nothingness. The Atonement is the correction of the error of believing in the existence of nothing.

Comment

The conflict is between there being only one Son while the Son has many parts. It is an error to believe either a) we are part of the Sonship but somehow incomplete; or b) we are separate, or apart from, or not a part of, the Sonship (—Ed.)

Commentary

(1–3) Similarly, the Course talks about the Great Rays (not Ray), which are the extensions of the light of God, similar to the rays of light that emanate from the sun. … we may yet state that Christ consists of infinite Rays (Sons of God), all perfectly united and indivisible; however, we clearly are not speaking here of personal individuality as we experience it in the world. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p. 449.) (Wapnick’s qualification appears unwarranted, but is somewhat Expanded on in A.A.C., pp. 9–10. —Ed.)

(3) …one cannot appreciate the pure wholeness and oneness of Christ by simply adding up the billions and billions of fragments that the world thinks is the Son of God, as if the Sonship were like a huge pie, a quantifiable entity consisting of a certain amount of separated fragments. (Wapnick, FCTL, p. 67.)

7. I have already briefly spoken about readiness, but some additional points might be helpful here. ²Readiness is only the prerequisite for accomplishment. ³The two should not be confused. ⁴As soon as a state of readiness occurs, there is usually some degree of desire to accomplish, but it is by no means necessarily undivided. ⁵The state does not imply more than a potential for a change of mind. ⁶Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished. ⁷We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasised that the only real mastery is through love. ⁸Readiness is only the beginning of confidence. ⁹You may think this implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control.

Expanded

I have already briefly spoken about readiness, but some additional points might be helpful here. ²Readiness is only the prerequisite for accomplishment. ³The two [readiness and accomplishment] should not be confused. ⁴As soon as a state of readiness occurs, there is usually some degree of desire to accomplish, but it [the desire to accomplish] is by no means necessarily undivided. ⁵The state [of readiness] does not imply more than a potential for a change of mind. ⁶Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished. ⁷We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasised that the only real mastery is through love. ⁸Readiness is only the beginning of confidence. ⁹You may think this [readiness being the beginning of confidence] implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control.

Substituted

I have already briefly spoken about readiness, but some additional points might be helpful here. ²Readiness is only the prerequisite for accomplishment. ³Readiness and accomplishment should not be confused. ⁴As soon as a state of readiness occurs, there is usually some degree of desire to accomplish, but the desire to accomplish is by no means necessarily undivided. ⁵The state of readiness does not imply more than a potential for a change of mind. ⁶Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished. ⁷We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasised that the only real mastery is through love. ⁸Readiness is only the beginning of confidence. ⁹You may think that readiness being the beginning of confidence implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control.

Simplified

Be ready to accomplish. Being ready to accomplish means having potential for a change of mind. The desire for accomplishment can be misguided because of fear. Fear is resolved by love in time. I control time and space.

Commentary

(8–9) …we do not have to be perfect, and need not have mastered something in order to be ready to perform it. …if we feel overwhelmed by this task and think it would take a tremendous amount of time to learn to forgive, Jesus steps in at that point to remind us that time and space are under his control and therefore the miracle has the power to shorten time. (Wapnick, A.V.I., p.204.)

(9) …when we turn our minds over to him, his love can then direct us within the illusory world of time and space to learn our lessons of forgiveness through the miracle. (Wapnick, A.V.I., p.129.)

(9) …time is not linear, space is not real … if we let him teach us his lesson we could learn very quickly. (Wapnick, A.V.I., p.152.)


T-2.VI Fear and ConflictT-2.VIII The Meaning of the Last Judgement