LESSON 190.

I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

W-pI.190.1. Pain is a wrong perspective. 2 When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. 3 It is not a fact at all. 4 There is no form it takes that will not disappear if seen aright. 5 For pain proclaims God cruel. 6 How could it be real in any form? 7 It witnesses to God the Father's hatred of His Son, the sinfulness He sees in him, and His insane desire for revenge and death.

W-pI.190.2. Can such projections be attested to? Can they be anything but wholly false? 3 Pain is but witness to the Son's mistakes in what he thinks he is. 4 It is a dream of fierce retaliation for a crime that could not be committed; for attack on what is wholly unassailable. 5 It is a nightmare of abandonment by an Eternal Love, which could not leave the Son whom It created out of love.

W-pI.190.3. Pain is a sign illusions reign in place of truth. 2 It demonstrates God is denied, confused with fear, perceived as mad, and seen as traitor to Himself. 3 If God is real, there is no pain. 4 If pain is real, there is no God. 5 For vengeance is not part of love. 6 And fear, denying love and using pain to prove that God is dead, has shown that death is victor over life. 7 The body is the Son of God, corruptible in death, as mortal as the Father he has slain.

W-pI.190.4. Peace to such foolishness! 2 The time has come to laugh at such insane ideas. 3 There is no need to think of them as savage crimes, or secret sins with weighty consequence. 4 Who but a madman could conceive of them as cause of anything? 5 Their witness, pain, is mad as they, and no more to be feared than the insane illusions which it shields, and tries to demonstrate must still be true.

W-pI.190.5. It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. 2 Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in anyway. 3 There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. 4 No one but yourself affects you. 5 There is nothing in the world that has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail. 6 But it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see by merely recognizing what you are. 7 As you perceive the harmlessness in them, they will accept your holy will as theirs. 8 And what was seen as fearful now becomes a source of innocence and holiness.

W-pI.190.6. My holy brother, think of this awhile: The world you see does nothing. 2 It has no effects at all. 3 It merely represents your thoughts. 4 And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind, and choose the joy of God as what you really want. 5 Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever. 6 And would you deny a little corner of your mind its own inheritance, and keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die?

W-pI.190.7. The world may seem to cause you pain. 2 And yet the world, as causeless, has no power to cause. 3 As an effect, it cannot make effects. 4 As an illusion, it is what you wish. 5 Your idle wishes represent its pains. 6 Your strange desires bring it evil dreams. 7 Your thoughts of death envelop it in fear, while in your kind forgiveness does it live.

W-pI.190.8. Pain is the thought of evil taking form, and working havoc in your holy mind. 2 Pain is the ransom you have gladly paid not to be free. 3 In pain is God denied the Son He loves. 4 In pain does fear appear to triumph over love, and time replace eternity and Heaven. 5 And the world becomes a cruel and a bitter place, where sorrow rules and little joys give way before the onslaught of the savage pain that waits to end all joy in misery.

W-pI.190.9. Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven's peace holds all things still at last. 2 Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. 3 Let no attack enter with you. 4 Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.

W-pI.190.10. Here will you understand there is no pain. 2 Here does the joy of God belong to you. 3 This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation's power. 4 It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. 5 Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. 6 Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.

W-pI.190.11. And so again we make the only choice that ever can be made; we choose between illusions and the truth, or pain and joy, or hell and Heaven. 2 Let our gratitude unto our Teacher fill our hearts, as we are free to choose our joy instead of pain, our holiness in place of sin, the peace of God instead of conflict, and the light of Heaven for the darkness of the world.

LESSON 191.

I am the holy Son of God Himself.

W-pI.191.1. Here is your declaration of release from bondage of the world. 2 And here as well is all the world released. 3 You do not see what you have done by giving to the world the role of jailer to the Son of God. 4 What could it be but vicious and afraid, fearful of shadows, punitive and wild, lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?

W-pI.191.2. What have you done that this should be your world? 2 What have you done that this is what you see? 3 Deny your own Identity, and this is what remains. 4 You look on chaos and proclaim it is yourself. 5 There is no sight that fails to witness this to you. 6 There is no sound that does not speak of frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you nearer death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.

W-pI.191.3. Deny your own Identity, and you will not escape the madness which induced this weird, unnatural and ghostly thought that mocks creation and that laughs at God. 2 Deny your own Identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies. 3 Deny your own Identity, and look on evil, sin and death, and watch despair snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope, leaving you nothing but the wish to die.

W-pI.191.4. Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied? 2 You are as God created you. 3 All else but this one thing is folly to believe. 4 In this one thought is everyone set free. 5 In this one truth are all illusions gone. 6In this one fact is sinlessness proclaimed to be forever part of everything, the central core of its existence and its guarantee of immortality.

W-pI.191.5. But let today's idea find a place among your thoughts and you have risen far above the world, and all the worldly thoughts that hold it prisoner. 2 And from this place of safety and escape you will return and set it free. 3 For he who can accept his true Identity is truly saved. 4 And his salvation is the gift he gives to everyone, in gratitude to Him Who pointed out the way to happiness that changed his whole perspective of the world.

W-pI.191.6. One holy thought like this and you are free: You are the holy Son of God Himself. 2 And with this holy thought you learn as well that you have freed the world. 3 You have no need to use it cruelly, and then perceive this savage need in it. 4 You set it free of your imprisonment. 5 You will not see a devastating image of yourself walking the world in terror, with the world twisting in agony because your fears have laid the mark of death upon its heart.

W-pI.191.7. Be glad today how very easily is hell undone. 2 You need but tell yourself:

3 I am the holy Son of God Himself. 4 I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain; I cannot suffer loss, nor fail to do all that salvation asks.

5 And in that thought is everything you look on wholly changed.

W-pI.191.8. A miracle has lighted up all dark and ancient caverns, where the rites of death echoed since time began.2 For time has lost its hold upon the world. 3 The Son of God has come in glory to redeem the lost, to save the helpless, and to give the world the gift of his forgiveness. 4 Who could see the world as dark and sinful, when God's Son has come again at last to set it free?

W-pI.191.9. You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this: All power is given unto you in earth and Heaven. 2 There is nothing that you cannot do. 3 You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you. 4 Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.

W-pI.191.10. Then let the Son of God awaken from his sleep, and opening his holy eyes, return again to bless the world he made. 2 In error it began, but it will end in the reflection of his holiness. 3 And he will sleep no more and dream of death. 4 Then join with me today. 5 Your glory is the light that saves the world. 6 Do not withhold salvation longer. 7 Look about the world, and see the suffering there. 8 Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?

W-pI.191.11. They must await your own release. 2They stay in chains till you are free. 3 They cannot see the mercy of the world until you find it in yourself. 4 They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you. 5 They die till you accept your own eternal life. 6 You are the holy Son of God Himself. 7 Remember this, and all the world is free. 8 Remember this, and earth and Heaven are one.

LESSON 192.

I have a function God would have me fill.

W-pI.192.1. It is your Father's holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its name, forever one with God and with your Self. 2 Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred and attack?

W-pI.192.2. Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms. 2 For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp? 3 Forgiveness represents your function here. 4 It is not God's creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone. 5 And who would pardon Heaven? 6 Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. 7 Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.

W-pI.192.3. Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. 2 It has no meaning here. 3 Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth. 4 For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all. 5 Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless. 6 What He makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain.

W-pI.192.4. Forgiveness gently looks upon all things unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear, and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before. 2 Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome, because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone. 3 Forgiveness lets the body be perceived as what it is; a simple teaching aid, to be laid by when learning is complete, but hardly changing him who learns at all.

W-pI.192.5. The mind without the body cannot make mistakes. 2 It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attack. 3 Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then? 4 What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear? 5Only forgiveness can relieve the mind of thinking that the body is its home. 6 Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. 7 Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.

W-pI.192.6. With anger gone, you will indeed perceive that, for Christ's vision and the gift of sight, no sacrifice was asked, and only pain was lifted from a sick and tortured mind. 2 Is this unwelcome? 3 Is it to be feared? 4 Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted? 5 We are one, and therefore give up nothing. 6 But we have indeed been given everything by God.

W-pI.192.7. Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so. 2 Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack. 3 Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is but confusion born of error. 4 We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there.

W-pI.192.8. Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines? 2 Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone? 3 A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. 4 He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends his time in keeping watch on him. 5 The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. 6 And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them.

W-pI.192.9. Therefore, hold no one prisoner. 2Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free. 3 The way is simple. 4 Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold as word above your head. 5 And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. 6 Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death. 7 And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.

W-pI.192.10. Be merciful today. 2 The Son of God deserves your mercy. 3 It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now. 4 Deny him not. 5 His Father's Love for him belongs to you. 6 Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity. 7 He is as God created him. 8And you are what he is. 9 Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.

LESSON 193.

All things are lessons God would have me learn.

W-pI.193.1. God does not know of learning. 2 Yet His Will extends to what He does not understand, in that He wills the happiness His Son inherited of Him be undisturbed; eternal and forever gaining scope, eternally expanding in the joy of full creation, and eternally open and wholly limitless in Him. 3 That is His Will. 4 And thus His Will provides the means to guarantee that it is done.

W-pI.193.2. God sees no contradictions. 2 Yet His Son believes he sees them. 3 Thus he has a need for One Who can correct his erring sight, and give him vision that will lead him back to where perception ceases. 4 God does not perceive at all. 5Yet it is He Who gives the means by which perception is made true and beautiful enough to let the light of Heaven shine upon it. 6 It is He Who answers what His Son would contradict, and keeps his sinlessness forever safe.

W-pI.193.3. These are the lessons God would have you learn. 2 His Will reflects them all, and they reflect His loving kindness to the Son He loves. 3 Each lesson has a central thought, the same in all of them. 4 The form alone is changed, with different circumstances and events; with different characters and different themes, apparent but not real. 5 They are the same in fundamental content. 6 It is this:

7 Forgive, and you will see this differently.

W-pI.193.4. Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. 2 Yet that is the content underneath the form. 3 It is this sameness which makes learning sure, because the lesson is so simple that it cannot be rejected in the end. 4 No one can hide forever from a truth so very obvious that it appears in countless forms, and yet is recognized as easily in all of them, if one but wants to see the simple lesson there.

W-pI.193.5. Forgive, and you will see this differently.

2 These are the words the Holy Spirit speaks in all your tribulations, all your pain, all suffering regardless of its form. 3 These are the words with which temptation ends, and guilt, abandoned, is revered no more. 4 These are the words which end the dream of sin, and rid the mind of fear. 5 These are the words by which salvation comes to all the world.

W-pI.193.6. Shall we not learn to say these words when we are tempted to believe that pain is real, and death becomes our choice instead of life? 2 Shall we not learn to say these words when we have understood their power to release all minds from bondage? 3 These are words which give you power over all events that seem to have been given power over you. 4 You see them rightly when you hold these words in full awareness, and do not forget these words apply to everything you see or any brother looks upon amiss.

W-pI.193.7. How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn? 2 Does pain seem real in the perception? 3 If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned. 4 And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.

W-pI.193.8. God would not have you suffer thus. 2 He would help you forgive yourself. 3 His Son does not remember who he is. 4 And God would have him not forget His Love, and all the gifts His Love brings with it. 5 Would you now renounce your own salvation? 6 Would you fail to learn the simple lessons Heaven’s Teacher sets before you, that all pain may disappear and God may be remembered by His Son?

W-pI.193.9. All things are lessons God would have you learn. 2 He would not leave an unforgiving thought without correction, nor one thorn or nail to hurt His holy Son in any way.3 He would ensure his holy rest remain untroubled and serene, without a care, in an eternal home which cares for him. 4 And He would have all tears be wiped away, with none remaining yet un shed, and none but waiting their appointed time to fall. 5 For God has willed that laughter should replace each one, and that His Son be free again.

W-pI.193.10. We will attempt today to overcome a thousand seeming obstacles to peace in just one day. 2 Let mercy come to you more quickly. 3 Do not try to hold it off another day, another minute or another instant. 4 Time was made for this. 5 Use it today for what its purpose is. 6 Morning and night, devote what time you can to serve its proper aim, and do not let the time be less than meets your deepest need.

W-pI.193.11. Give all you can, and give a little more. 2 For now we would arise in haste and go unto our Father's house. 3 We have been gone too long, and we would linger here no more. 4 And as we practice, let us think about all things we saved to settle by ourselves, and kept apart from healing. 5 Let us give them all to Him Who knows the way to look upon them so that they will disappear. 6 Truth is His message; truth His teaching is. 7His are the lessons God would have us learn.

W-pI.193.12. Each hour, spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lesson in forgiveness in the form established for the day. 2 And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before. 3 The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way. 4 Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it. 5 Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal in the world of time.

W-pI.193.13. This is the lesson God would have you learn: There is a way to look on everything that lets it be to you another step to Him, and to salvation of the world. 2 To all that speaks of terror, answer thus:

3 I will forgive, and this will disappear.

4 To every apprehension, every care and every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words. 5 And then you hold the key that opens Heaven's gate, and brings the Love of God the Father down to earth at last, to raise it up to Heaven. 6 God will take this final step Himself. 7 Do not deny the little steps He asks you take to Him.

LESSON 194.

I place the future in the Hands of God.

W-pI.194.1. Today's idea takes another step toward quick salvation, and a giant stride it is indeed! 2 So great the distance is that it encompasses, it sets you down just short of Heaven, with the goal in sight and obstacles behind. 3 Your foot has reached the lawns that welcome you to Heaven's gate; the quiet place of peace, where you await with certainty the final step of God. 4 How far are we progressing now from earth! 5 How close are we approaching to our goal! 6 How short the journey still to be pursued!

W-pI.194.2. Accept today's idea, and you have passed all anxiety, all pits of hell, all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin, and devastation brought about by guilt. 2 Accept today’s idea, and you have released the world from all imprisonment by loosening the heavy chains that locked the door to freedom on it. 3 You are saved, and your salvation thus becomes the gift you give the world, because you have received.

W-pI.194.3. In no one instant is depression felt, or pain experienced or loss perceived. 2 In no one instant sorrow can be set upon a throne, and worshipped faithfully. 3 In no one instant can one even die. 4 And so each instant given unto God in passing, with the next one given Him already, is a time of your release from sadness, pain and even death itself.

W-pI.194.4. God holds your future as He holds your past and present. 2 They are one to Him, and so they should be one to you. 3 Yet in this world, the temporal progression still seems real. 4 And so you are not asked to understand the lack of sequence really found in time. 5 You are but asked to let the future go, and place it in God's Hands. 6 And you will see by your experience that you have laid the past and present in His Hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless.

W-pI.194.5. Release the future. 2 For the past is gone, and what is present, freed from its bequest of grief and misery, of pain and loss, becomes the instant in which time escapes the bondage of illusions where it runs its pitiless, inevitable course. 3 Then is each instant which was slave to time transformed into a holy instant, when the light that was kept hidden in God’s Son is freed to bless the world. 4 Now is he free, and all his glory shines upon a world made free with him, to share his holiness.

W-pI.194.6. If you can see the lesson for today as the deliverance it really is, you will not hesitate to give as much consistent effort as you can, to make it be a part of you. 2 As it becomes a thought that rules your mind, a habit in your problem-solving repertoire, a way of quick reaction to temptation, you extend your learning to the world. 3 And as you learn to see salvation in all things, so will the world perceive that it is saved.

W-pI.194.7. What worry can beset the one who gives his future to the loving Hands of God? 2 What can he suffer? 3 What can cause him pain, or bring experience of loss to him? 4 What can he fear? 5 And what can he regard except with love? 6 For he who has escaped all fear of future pain has found his way to present peace, and certainty of care the world can never threaten. 7 He is sure that his perception may be faulty, but will never lack correction. 8 He is free to choose again when he has been deceived; to change his mind when he has made mistakes.

W-pI.194.8. Place, then, your future in the Hands of God. 2 For thus you call the memory of Him to come again, replacing all your thoughts of sin and evil with the truth of love. 3 Think you the world could fail to gain thereby, and every living creature not respond with healed perception? 4 Who entrusts himself to God has also placed the world within the Hands to which he has himself appealed for comfort and security. 5 He lays aside the sick illusions of the world along with his, and offers peace to both.

W-pI.194.9. Now are we saved indeed. 2 For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us. 3 If we forget, we will be gently reassured. 4 If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love's reflection.5 And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind. 6 No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its friend.

LESSON 195.

Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

W-pI.195.1. Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss. 2 The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others. 3 And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they. 4 How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts! 5 For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause? 6 And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more? 7 Your gratitude is due to Him alone Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.

W-pI.195.2. It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. 2 But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness. 3 Nor could the even partly sane refuse to take the steps which He directs, and follow in the way He sets before them, to escape a prison that they thought contained no door to the deliverance they now perceive.

W-pI.195.3. Your brother is your "enemy" because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you, and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining. 2 Now is vengeance all there is to wish for. 3 Now can you but try to bring him down to lie in death with you, as useless as yourself; as little left within his grasping fingers as in yours.

W-pI.195.4. You do not offer God your gratitude because your brother is more slave than you, nor could you sanely be enraged if he seems freer. 2 Love makes no comparisons. 3 And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love. 4 We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find their freedom. 5 It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound. 6 For who can bargain in the name of love?

W-pI.195.5. Therefore give thanks, but in sincerity.2 And let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. 3 All these go with you. 4 Let us not compare ourselves with them, for thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share with them, as they must share with us.

W-pI.195.6. We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. 2 And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness, nor impair or change our function to complete the One Who is Himself completion. 3 We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we fail to recognize the gifts of God to us.

W-pI.195.7. Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest a while. 2 We offer thanks for them. 3 For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. 4 An ancient door is swinging free again; a long forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory, and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear.

W-pI.195.8. Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love. 2 For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. 3What more remains as obstacles to peace? 4 The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing. 5 Thus we cannot choose to overlook some things, and yet retain some other things still locked away as "sins." 6 When your forgiveness is complete you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self.

W-pI.195.9. Today we learn to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice and revenge. 2 We have been given everything. 3 If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. 4 Gratitude becomes the single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. 5 God has cared for us, and calls us Son. 6 Can there be more than this?

W-pI.195.10. Our gratitude will pave the way to Him, and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of.2 Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. 3 For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all creation. 4 God gives thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. 5 Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. 6For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way to God.

LESSON 196.

It can be but myself I crucify.

W-pI.196.1. When this is firmly understood and kept in full awareness, you will not attempt to harm yourself, nor make your body slave to vengeance. 2 You will not attack yourself, and you will realize that to attack another is but to attack yourself.3 You will be free of the insane belief that to attack a brother saves yourself. 4 And you will understand his safety is your own, and in his healing you are healed.

W-pI.196.2. Perhaps at first you will not understand how mercy, limitless and with all things held in its sure protection, can be found in the idea we practice for today. 2 It may, in fact, appear to be a sign that punishment can never be escaped because the ego, under what it sees as threat, is quick to cite the truth to save its lies. 3 Yet must it fail to understand the truth it uses thus. 4 But you can learn to see these foolish applications, and deny the meaning they appear to have.

W-pI.196.3. Thus do you also teach your mind that you are not an ego. 2 For the ways in which the ego would distort the truth will not deceive you longer. 3 You will not believe you are a body to be crucified. 4 And you will see within today's idea the light of resurrection, looking past all thoughts of crucifixion and of death, to thoughts of liberation and of life.

W-pI.196.4. Today's idea is one step we take in leading us from bondage to the state of perfect freedom. 2 Let us take this step today, that we may quickly go the way salvation shows us, taking every step in its appointed sequence, as the mind relinquishes its burdens one by one. 3 It is not time we need for this. 4 It is but willingness. 5 For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.

W-pI.196.5. The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross. 2 Perhaps it seemed to be salvation. 3 Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real. 4 And what is that but hell? 5 Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?

W-pI.196.6. Such is the form of madness you believe, if you accept the fearful thought you can attack another and be free yourself. 2 Until this form is changed, there is no hope. 3Until you see that this, at least, must be entirely impossible, how could there be escape? 4 The fear of God is real to anyone who thinks this thought is true. 5 And he will not perceive its foolishness, or even see that it is there, so that it would be possible to question it.

W-pI.196.7. To question it at all, its form must first be changed at least as much as will permit fear of retaliation to abate, and the responsibility returned to some extent to you. 2 From there you can at least consider if you want to go along this painful path. 3 Until this shift has been accomplished, you can not perceive that it is but your thoughts that bring you fear, and your deliverance depends on you.

W-pI.196.8. Our next steps will be easy, if you take this one today. 2 From there we go ahead quite rapidly. 3 For once you understand it is impossible that you be hurt except by your own thoughts, the fear of God must disappear. 4 You cannot then believe that fear is caused without. 5 And God, Whom you had thought to banish, can be welcomed back within the holy mind He never left.

W-pI.196.9. Salvation's song can certainly be heard in the idea we practice for today. 2 If it can but be you you crucify, you did not hurt the world, and need not fear its vengeance and pursuit. 3 Nor need you hide in terror from the deadly fear of God projection hides behind. 4 The thing you dread the most is your salvation. 5 You are strong, and it is strength you want. 6 And you are free, and glad of freedom. 7 You have sought to be both weak and bound, because you feared your strength and freedom. 8 Yet salvation lies in them.

W-pI.196.10. There is an instant in which terror seems to grip your mind so wholly that escape appears quite hopeless. 2 When you realize, once and for all, that it is you you fear, the mind perceives itself as split. 3 And this had been concealed while you believed attack could be directed outward, and returned from outside to within. 4 It seemed to be an enemy outside you had to fear. 5 And thus a god outside yourself became your mortal enemy; the source of fear.

W-pI.196.11. Now, for an instant, is a murderer perceived within you, eager for your death, intent on plotting punishment for you until the time when it can kill at last. 2 Yet in this instant is the time as well in which salvation comes. 3 For fear of God has disappeared. 4 And you can call on Him to save you from illusions by His Love, calling Him Father and yourself His Son. 5 Pray that the instant may be soon, --today. 6 Step back from fear, and make advance to love.

W-pI.196.12. There is no Thought of God that does not go with you to help you reach that instant, and to go beyond it quickly, surely and forever. 2 When the fear of God is gone, there are no obstacles that still remain between you and the holy peace of God. 3 How kind and merciful is the idea we practice! 4 Give it welcome, as you should, for it is your release. 5 It is indeed but you your mind can try to crucify. 6 Yet your redemption, too, will come from you.

LESSON 197.

It can be but my gratitude I earn.

W-pI.197.1. Here is the second step we take to free your mind from the belief in outside force pitted against your own.2 You make attempts at kindness and forgiveness. 3 Yet you turn them to attack again, unless you find external gratitude and lavish thanks. 4 Your gifts must be received with honor, lest they be withdrawn. 5 And so you think God's gifts are loans at best; at worst, deceptions which would cheat you of defenses, to ensure that when He strikes He will not fail to kill.

W-pI.197.2. How easily are God and guilt confused by those who know not what their thoughts can do. 2 Deny your strength, and weakness must become salvation to you. 3 See yourself as bound, and bars become your home. 4 Nor will you leave the prison house, or claim your strength, until guilt and salvation are not seen as one, and freedom and salvation are perceived as joined, with strength beside them, to be sought and claimed, and found and fully recognized.

W-pI.197.3. The world must thank you when you offer it release from your illusions. 2 Yet your thanks belong to you as well, for its release can only mirror yours. 3 Your gratitude is all your gifts require, that they be a lasting offering of a thankful heart, released from hell forever. 4 Is it this you would undo by taking back your gifts, because they were not honored? 5 It is you who honor them and give them fitting thanks, for it is you who have received the gifts.

W-pI.197.4. It does not matter if another thinks your gifts unworthy. 2 In his mind there is a part that joins with yours in thanking you. 3 It does not matter if your gifts seem lost and ineffectual. 4 They are received where they are given. 5 In your gratitude are they accepted universally, and thankfully acknowledged by the Heart of God Himself. 6 And would you take them back, when He has gratefully accepted them?

W-pI.197.5. God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself. 2 And what belongs to God must be His Own. 3 Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.

W-pI.197.6. Withdraw the gifts you give, and you will think that what is given you has been withdrawn. 2 But learn to let forgiveness take away the sins you think you see outside yourself, and you can never think the gifts of God are lent but for a little while, before He snatches them away again in death. 3 For death will have no meaning for you then.

W-pI.197.7. And with the end of this belief is fear forever over. 2 Thank your Self for this, for He is grateful only unto God, and He gives thanks for you unto Himself. 3 To everyone who lives will Christ yet come, for everyone must live and move in Him. 4 His Being in His Father is secure, because Their Will is One. 5 Their gratitude to all They have created has no end, for gratitude remains a part of love.

W-pI.197.8. Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God. 2 For as you were created, you contain all things within your Self. 3And you are still as God created you. 4 Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. 5 In your heart the Heart of God is laid. 6 He holds you dear, because you are Himself. 7 All gratitude belongs to you, because of what you are.

W-pI.197.9. Give thanks as you receive it. 2 Be you free of all ingratitude to anyone who makes your Self-complete. 3 And from this Self is no one left outside. 4 Give thanks for all the countless channels which extend this Self. 5 All that you do is given unto Him. 6 All that you think can only be His Thoughts, sharing with Him the holy Thoughts of God. 7 Earn now the gratitude you have denied yourself when you forgot the function God has given you. 8 But never think that He has ever ceased to offer thanks to you.

LESSON 198.

Only my condemnation injures me.

W-pI.198.1. Injury is impossible. 2 And yet illusion makes illusion. 3 If you can condemn, you can be injured. 4 For you have believed that you can injure, and the right you have established for yourself can be now used against you, till you lay it down as valueless, unwanted and unreal. 5 Then does illusion cease to have effects, and those it seemed to have will be undone.6 Then are you free, for freedom is your gift, and you can now receive the gift you gave.

W-pI.198.2. Condemn and you are made a prisoner. 2 Forgive and you are freed. 3 Such is the law that rules perception. 4 It is not a law that knowledge understands, for freedom is a part of knowledge. 5 To condemn is thus impossible in truth. 6 What seems to be its influence and its effects have not occurred at all. 7 Yet must we deal with them a while as if they had. 8 Illusion makes illusion. 9 Except one. 10 Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest.

W-pI.198.3. Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. 2 All illusions save this one must multiply a thousand fold. 3 But this is where illusions end. 4 Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking. 5 It is not itself the truth. 6 Yet does it point to where the truth must be, and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. 7 It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are One.

W-pI.198.4. Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death. 2 How could there be another way, when this one is the plan of God Himself? 3 And why would you oppose it, quarrel with it, seek to find a thousand ways in which it must be wrong; a thousand other possibilities?

W-pI.198.5. Is it not wiser to be glad you hold the answer to your problems in your hand? 2 Is it not more intelligent to thank the One Who gives salvation, and accept His gift with gratitude? 3 And is it not a kindness to yourself to hear His Voice and learn the simple lessons He would teach, instead of trying to dismiss His words, and substitute your own in place of His?

W-pI.198.6. His words will work. 2 His words will save. 3 His words contain all hope, all blessing and all joy that ever can be found upon this earth. 4 His words are born in God, and come to you with Heaven's love upon them. 5 Those who hear His words have heard the song of Heaven. 6 For these are the words in which all merge as one at last. 7 And as this one will fade away, the Word of God will come to take its place, for it will be remembered then and loved.

W-pI.198.7. This world has many seeming separate haunts where mercy has no meaning, and attack appears as justified.2 Yet all are one; a place where death is offered to God's Son and to his Father. 3 You may think They have accepted. 4 But if you will look again upon the place where you beheld Their blood, you will perceive a miracle instead. 5 How foolish to believe that They could die! 6 How foolish to believe you can attack! 7 How mad to think that you could be condemned, and that the holy Son of God can die!

W-pI.198.8. The stillness of your Self remains unmoved, untouched by thoughts like these, and unaware of any condemnation which could need forgiveness. 2 Dreams of any kind are strange and alien to the truth. 3 And what but truth could have a Thought which builds a bridge to it that brings illusions to the other side?

W-pI.198.9. Today we practice letting freedom come to make its home with you. 2 The truth bestows these words upon your mind, that you may find the key to light and let the darkness end:

3 Only my condemnation injures me. 4 Only my own forgiveness sets me free.

5 Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought. 6 Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.

W-pI.198.10. Accept the one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God's Son, and Heaven is remembered instantly; the world forgotten, all its weird beliefs forgotten with it, as the face of Christ appears unveiled at last in this one dream. 2 This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for you from God your Father. 3 Let today be celebrated both on earth and in your holy home as well. 4 Be kind to Both, as you forgive the trespasses you thought Them guilty of, and see your innocence shining upon you from the face of Christ.

W-pI.198.11. Now is there silence all around the world. 2 Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense. 3 Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep. 4 And now the Word of God alone remains upon it. 5 Only that can be perceived an instant longer. 6 Then are symbols done, and everything you ever thought you made completely vanished from the mind that God forever knows to be His only Son.

W-pI.198.12. There is no condemnation in him. 2 He is perfect in his holiness. 3 He needs no thoughts of mercy. 4 Who could give him gifts when everything is his? 5 And who could dream of offering forgiveness to the Son of Sinlessness Itself, so like to Him Whose Son he is, that to behold the Son is to perceive no more, and only know the Father? 6 In this vision of the Son, so brief that not an instant stands between this single sight and timelessness itself, you see the vision of yourself, and then you disappear forever into God.

W-pI.198.13. Today we come still nearer to the end of everything that yet would stand between this vision and our sight. 2 And we are glad that we have come this far, and recognize that He Who brought us here will not forsake us now. 3 For He would give to us the gift that God has given us through Him today. 4 Now is the time for your deliverance. 5 The time has come. 6 The time has come today.

LESSON 199.

I am not a body. I am free.

W-pI.199.1. Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself. 2 The body is a limit. 3 Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it can not be found.4 The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it and sheltered by its presence. 5 If this were the truth, the mind were vulnerable indeed!

W-pI.199.2. The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked. 2 Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind, because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter in a mind that has attached itself to love. 3 It rests in God. 4 And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves?

W-pI.199.3. It is essential for your progress in this course that you accept today's idea, and hold it very dear. 2Be not concerned that to the ego it is quite insane. 3 The ego holds the body dear because it dwells in it, and lives united with the home that it has made. 4 It is a part of the illusion that has sheltered it from being found illusory itself.

W-pI.199.4. Here does it hide, and here it can be seen as what it is. 2 Declare your innocence and you are free. 3The body disappears, because you have no need of it except the need the Holy Spirit sees. 4 For this, the body will appear as useful form for what the mind must do. 5 It thus becomes a vehicle which helps forgiveness be extended to the all-inclusive goal that it must reach, according to God's plan.

W-pI.199.5. Cherish today's idea, and practice it today and every day. 2 Make it a part of every practice period you take. 3 There is no thought that will not gain thereby in power to help the world, and none which will not gain in added gifts to you as well. 4 We sound the call of freedom round the world with this idea. 5 And would you be exempt from the acceptance of the gifts you give?

W-pI.199.6. The Holy Spirit is the home of minds that seek for freedom. 2 In Him they have found what they have sought. 3 The body's purpose now is unambiguous. 4 And it becomes perfect in the ability to serve an undivided goal. 5 In conflict-free and unequivocal response to mind with but the thought of freedom as its goal, the body serves, and serves its purpose well. 6 Without the power to enslave, it is a worthy servant of the freedom which the mind within the Holy Spirit seeks.

W-pI.199.7. Be free today. 2 And carry freedom as your gift to those who still believe they are enslaved within a body. 3 Be you free, so that the Holy Spirit can make use of your escape from bondage, to set free the many who perceive themselves as bound and helpless and afraid. 4 Let love replace their fears through you. 5 Accept salvation now, and give your mind to Him Who calls to you to make this gift to Him. 6 For He would give you perfect freedom, perfect joy, and hope that finds its full accomplishment in God.

W-pI.199.8. You are God's Son. 2 In immortality you live forever. 3 Would you not return your mind to this? 4 Then practice well the thought the Holy Spirit gives you for today. 5Your brothers stand released with you in it; the world is blessed along with you, God's Son will weep no more, and Heaven offers thanks for the increase of joy your practice brings even to it. 6And God Himself extends His Love and happiness each time you say:

7 I am not a body. 8 I am free. 9 I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only this my mind obeys.