5. Beliefs and Specialness
What is the Course teaching except that everyone is the same, and that we are all the Christ. (DU247)
Beliefs- You make decisions (interpretations) based on your collective beliefs.
Hidden Beliefs- If you have hidden beliefs, you will not understand why you are making the decisions (interpretations) you are making. All negative emotions (interferences with your peace) are caused by a misinterpretation of fact. You cannot change your misinterpretation (which was made based on your beliefs causing your peace to be disturbed) unless you examine your hidden beliefs. All hidden beliefs have to be examined and brought to the light.
But an unrecognized belief is a decision to war in secret, where the results of conflict are kept unknown and never brought to reason, to be considered sensible or not. (T24.I.2:2)
Mistake you not the power of these hidden warriors to disrupt your peace. (T24.I.2:4)
Do not deny their presence nor their terrible results. (T24.I.2:7)
All that is ever cherished as a hidden belief, to be defended though unrecognized, is faith in specialness. (T24.I.3:1)
All of your hidden beliefs have to do with specialness. Your hidden belief in specialness is what causes all of your decisions (interpretations). Therefore, your hidden belief in specialness is what causes all of your negative emotions.
To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. (T24.in.2:1)
No belief is neutral. Every one has the power to dictate each decision you make. (T24.in.2:3)
For a decision (interpretation) is a conclusion based on everything that you believe. It is the outcome of belief… (T24.in.2:5)
…your decisions come from your beliefs… (T24.in.2.:10)
The Problem with Specialness
1) The desire for specialness was the original “tiny mad idea”. We asked God if we could be special.
2) If there were no specialness there could be no attack.
What else could justify attack? For who could hate someone whose Self is his, and Whom he knows? Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same. (T24.I.3:3)
3) You have to engage in judgment in order for there to be differences.
And difference of any kind imposes orders of reality, and a need to judge that cannot be escaped. (T24.I.3:6)
But what is different calls for judgment, and this must come from someone “better,” someone incapable of being like what he condemns, “above” it, sinless by comparison with it. (T24.I.4:2)
A. Sets apart
B. …serves as grounds from which attack on those who seem “beneath” the special one is “natural” and “just.” (T24.I.4:4)
C. The special ones feel weak and frail because of differences… (T24.I4:5)
5) Specialness is the great dictator of the wrong decisions. (T24.I.5:1)
6) Your brother becomes a tool for specialness.
He who is “worse” than you must be attacked, so that your specialness can live on his defeat. For specialness is triumph, and its victory is his defeat and shame. (T24.I.5:7-8)
7) Specialness is a lack of trust in anyone except yourself. Faith is invested in yourself alone. Everything else becomes your enemy; feared and attacked, deadly and dangerous, hated and worthy only of destruction. (T24.IV.1:1-3)
Would it be possible for you to hate your brother if you were like him? Could you attack him if you realized you journey with him, to a goal that is the same? Would you not help him reach it in every way you could, if his attainment of it were perceived as yours? You are his enemy in specialness; his friend in a shared purpose. Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach. And he must never reach them, or your goal is jeopardized. Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you? (T24.I.6)
More on Specialness
Specialness is the function that you gave yourself. It stands for you alone, as self-created, self-maintained, in need of nothing, and unjoined with anything beyond the body. In its eyes you are a separate universe, with all the power to hold itself complete within itself, with every entry shut against intrusion, and every window barred against the light. Always attacked and always furious, with anger always fully justified, you have pursued this goal with vigilance you never thought to yield, and effort that you never thought to cease. And all this grim determination was for this; you wanted specialness to be the truth. (T24.VI.11)
Comparison must be an ego device, for love makes none. Specialness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another, and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive. This does it seek, and this it looks upon. And always whom it thus diminishes would be your savior, had you not chosen to make of him a tiny measure of your specialness instead. Against the littleness you see in him you stand as tall and stately, clean and honest, pure and unsullied, by comparison with what you see. Nor do you understand it is yourself that you diminish thus. (T24.II.1)
Pursuit of specialness is always at the cost of peace. (T24.II.2:1)
What makes “you” special? What gives you your “individuality”? The cost of believing specialness is real, is your Self. The pursuit of specialness (difference, duality) is what led to our illusory existence and our separation from God. The pursuit of mastery, salvation, enlightenment, the remembrance of our sameness and oneness, will reunite us with our Father.
Specialness is the idea of sin (the acceptance of the idea of separation) made real.(T24.II.3:1)
You are not special. If you think you are, and would defend your specialness against the truth of what you really are, how can you know the truth? What answer that the Holy Spirit gives can reach you, when it is your specialness to which you listen, and which asks and answers? Its tiny answer, soundless in the melody that pours from God to you eternally in loving praise of what you are, is all you listen to. And that vast song of honor and of love for what you are seems silent and unheard before its “mightiness.” You strain your ears to hear its soundless voice, and yet the Call of God Himself is soundless to you.
You can defend your specialness, but never will you hear the Voice for God beside it. They speak a different language and they fall on different ears. To every special one a different message, and one with different meaning, is the truth. Yet how can truth be different to each one? The special messages the special hear convince them they are different and apart; each in his special sins and “safe” from love, which does not see his specialness at all. Christ’s vision is their “enemy,” for it sees not what they would look upon, and it would show them that the specialness they think they see is an illusion.
What would they see instead? The shining radiance of the Son of God, so like his Father that the memory of Him springs instantly to mind. And with this memory, the Son remembers his own creations, as like to him as he is to his Father. And all the world he made, and all his specialness, and all the sins he held in its defense against himself, will vanish as his mind accepts the truth about himself, as it returns to take their place. This is the only “cost” of truth: You will no longer see what never was, nor hear what makes no sound. Is it a sacrifice to give up nothing, and to receive the Love of God forever? (T24.II.4-6)
The biggest witness to specialness is the body. Without the body it would be hard for the ego to enroll you in continuing to play the game of specialness and therefore separation. The body defines your identity and therefore your specialness.
What could the purpose of the body be but specialness? (T24.IV.2:1)
The hope of specialness makes it seem possible God made the body as the prison house that keeps His Son from Him. For it demands a special place God cannot enter, and a hiding place where none is welcome but your tiny self. Nothing is sacred here but unto you, and you alone, apart and separate from all your brothers; safe from all intrusions of sanity upon illusions; safe from God and safe for conflict everlasting. Here are the gates of hell you closed upon yourself, to rule in madness and in loneliness your special kingdom, apart from God, away from truth and from salvation. (T24.II.13)
We made specialness. We are dreaming a dream of specialness. In order to attain mastery, salvation, or enlightenment, we must forgive all the symbols of our specialness and get that they are not real and that we don’t want them. We want to awaken, and we will.
The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see. Freedom and peace and joy stand there, beside the bier on which they sleep, and call them to come forth and waken from their dream of death. Yet they hear nothing. They are lost in dreams of specialness. They hate the call that would awaken them, and they curse God because He did not make their dream reality. Curse God and die, but not by Him Who made not death; but only in the dream. Open your eyes a little; see the savior God gave to you that you might look on him, and give him back his birthright. It is yours.
The slaves of specialness will yet be free. Such is the Will of God and of His Son. Would God condemn Himself to hell and to damnation? And do you will that this be done unto your savior? God calls to you from him to join His Will to save you both from hell. Look on the print of nails upon his hands that he holds out for your forgiveness. God asks your mercy on His Son and on Himself. Deny Them not. They ask of you but that your will be done. They seek your love that you may love yourself. Love not your specialness instead of Them. The print of nails is on your hands as well. Forgive your Father it was not His Will that you be crucified. (T24.III.7)
What does the end of specialness mean? What am I without my specialness?
The death of specialness is not your death, but your awakening into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you. (T24.II.14:4)
Why don’t we practice forgiveness all day every day? Because…
Forgiveness is the end of specialness. (T24.III.1:1)
If forgiveness is not making the illusion real, not valuing any part of it, forgiving everything, good and bad, no matter the form, then how can there be any differences? Everything is valueless. Therefore no one is special. We are all the same and perfect; the sinless Son of God in whom He is well pleased.
Forgive the great Creator of the universe, the Source of life, of love and holiness, the perfect Father of a perfect Son, for your illusions of your specialness. Here is the hell you chose to be your home. He chose not this for you. Ask not He enter this. The way is barred to love and to salvation. Yet if you would release your brother from the depths of hell, you have forgiven Him Whose Will it is you rest forever in the arms of peace, in perfect safety, and without the heat and malice of one thought of specialness to mar your rest. Forgive the Holy One the specialness He could not give, and that you made instead. (T24.III.6)
Everything in the illusion speaks of separateness, specialness and individuality. We all want to make our own choices. We are all seemingly different with different names and different bodies and different “lives”. All this difference of form serves one purpose; to keep us playing the illusory game. The differences are not real but our choosing to believe we are different and special is costing us dearly. It is costing us our remembrance of God and Heaven and who we are in truth.