The Course says…

 

“The body no more dies than it can feel.” (T-19.IV-C.5:2-3)

 

“Yet this is no more foolish than to believe the body’s eyes can see; the brain can think.” (W-92.2:4)

 

But most everyone seems to have the very “real” experience of death and physical and emotional sensations of the body. Most everyone believes the fantasy that the body’s eyes can “see”; the brain can “think.” Why?

 

“Separation is only the decision not to know yourself (as mind and spirit). This whole thought system (of separation) is a carefully contrived learning experience, designed to lead away from truth and into fantasy.” (T-16.V.15:3-5)

 

The “death” and the physical and emotional “feelings” of the body are an aspect of the whole thought system of separation and are carefully contrived to support us in learning to believe we are a body that dies and can feel, a body with eyes that “see” and a brain that “thinks.” This is fantasy.

 

“Do you really believe you can devise a thought system that can separate you from Him (God)? (T-5.VII.1:2)

 

We have learned our lessons too well and the fantasy has become our “reality.” Most are 99.9% certain that we are bodies that “die” and “feel”, that can “see” with the eyes and “think” with the brain. And the fantasy that this is true, and the seeming “experiences” that go along with it, are cited as proof of its reality.

 

If we are to escape and return home to God, we must acknowledge that we are brainwashed. We must admit we have a problem. We must step out of our denial. We cannot deprogram ourselves. We need a deprogrammer, a savior. We are trapped in the prison of our mind with no way out. So we endlessly “abide” as our fantasy self, in our fantasy world doing, saying and thinking as our fantasy God, the ego, instructs.

 

Jesus tells us this about that…

 

“The ego believes you cannot escape from it.

But you can and must.

My role is only to unchain your will (and mind) and set it free.

Your ego cannot accept this freedom and will oppose it at every possible moment and in every possible way.

And as its maker, you (as mind) recognize what it can do because you gave it the power (of the mind) to do it.” (T-5.VI.2)

 

“Yet you have surely recognized that the ego, whose goals (separation from and death of God) are altogether unattainable, will strive for them with all its might, and will do so with the strength that you have given it.” (T-15.IX.3:5)

 

We ceded our mind to the ego. And the ego, using the mind, came up with a thought system based on lies that we accepted.

 

“Whatever you accept into your mind has reality for you. It is your acceptance of it that makes it real. If you enthrone the ego in your mind, your allowing it to enter makes it your reality.” (T-5.V.4:1-4)

 

We do not appreciate the magnitude and severity of our captivity.

 

“It is a mistake to believe that a thought system based on lies is weak. Nothing made by a child of God is without power. It is essential to realize this, because otherwise you will be unable to escape from the prison you have made.” (T-3.VII.1:6-8)

 

Here are some of the things the Course says about the deprogramming process, which we embark on after the lessons, when we are ready.

 

“We have another journey to undertake, and if you will read these lessons carefully they will help prepare you to undertake it.” (T-4.in.3:11)

 

“This course is a beginning, not an end.” (W-ep.1:1-2)

 

“And now I place you in His hands…” (W-ep.4:1)

 

“No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own.” (W-ep.3:1-5)

 

As we step into Apostlehood, our deprogramming can be challenging, to say the least, because it is literally a dying to the self we made and think we are. It is an emptying out of all illusions that the Holy Spirit might flow freely through us. This is why the Bible calls this deprogramming process spiritual warfare. It is a battle to the death in the mind. If we identify as the self we made, we will think the process includes our death.

 

“The “devil” is a frightening concept because he seems to be extremely powerful and extremely active. He is perceived as a force in combat with God, battling Him for possession of His creations. The devil deceives by lies, and builds kingdoms in which everything is in direct opposition to God. Yet he attracts men rather than repels them, and they are willing to “sell” him their souls in return for gifts of no real worth. This makes absolutely no sense.” (T-3.VII.2:4-8)

 

“The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful, and this belief is the “devil.” It is powerful, active, destructive and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His Fatherhood. Look at your life and see what the devil has made. But realize that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation is a lie.” (T-3.VII.5:1-4)

 

We must escape from the ego we made that is not real if we are to remember that we are mind and spirit and get home to God. How do we do that? We must let the Holy Spirit teach us of the ego’s, the devil’s unreality. We must…

 

“In the Name of God, be wholly willing to abandon all illusions.” (T-16.IV.9:5)

 

“Every fantasy (illusion), be it of love or hate, deprives you of knowledge for fantasies (illusions) are the veil behind which truth is hidden. To lift the veil that seems so dark and heavy, it is only needful to value truth beyond all fantasy (illusions), and to be entirely unwilling to settle for illusion (fantasy) in place of truth.” (T-16.IV.10:3-4)

 

“Would you not go through fear to love? (and we must) For such the journey seems to be. Love calls, but hate would have you stay. Hear not the call of hate, and see no fantasies.” (T-16.IV.11:1-4)

 

“Turn with me firmly away from all illusions now, and let nothing stand in the way of truth.” (T-16.IV.12:5)

 

After all, the ego’s goal is to destroy reality and substitute illusions. This includes murdering God and replacing Him with itself.

 

“For the ego is itself an illusion…” (T-16.V.9:5)

 

“Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?” (W-66.8:4)

 

“The ego makes illusions.” (W-332.1:1-2)

 

“The ego’s fundamental wish is to replace God.” (W-72.2:1)

 

“To the ego, the ego is God, and guiltlessness must be interpreted as the final guilt that fully justifies murder.” (T-13.II.6:3)

 

“Mourn, then, the death of God, Whom sin has killed! And this would be the ego’s wish, which in its madness it believes it has accomplished.” (T-19.II.7:6-7)

 

“Whenever you respond to your ego you will experience guilt, and you will fear punishment. The ego is quite literally a fearful thought.” (T-5.V.3:6-7)

 

We must turn our backs on this illusion of a world, this fantasy that the ego offered us as a “gift” to keep us safe and stable in the face of a “wrathful” God and as a replacement for Heaven. It is a fallen world, ruled by Satan/ego, whose only purpose is to perpetuate itself. This is all an illusion, a fantasy, an error to be undone and corrected.

 

“As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it.” (T-1.III.1:6)

 

The degree of learning necessary to accomplish this becomes obvious when we realize that…

 

“As long as you believe in what your physical sight tells you, your attempts at correction will be misdirected.” (T-2.V.8:3)

 

How many of us are at the point in our process where we do not believe what our physical sight tells us?

 

Offer your mind up to be deprogrammed. Consent to be healed or released from fear. Let all illusions, including your “self,” disappear as they are undone. Retire from the world to seek reality instead. Stop valuing the seen and value the unseen. Be done with fantasy and accept only the truth because it is the truth. Admit there must be a better way. Admit that you have a problem that you, of yourself, are powerless over. Admit you need a Savior.

 

“Yet who can save unless he sees illusions and then identifies them as what they are? Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusions.

 

In his complete identification with the Christ—the perfect Son of God, His one creation and His happiness, forever like Himself and one with Him—Jesus became what all of you must be. He led the way for you to follow him. He leads you back to God because he saw the road before him, and he followed it. He made a clear distinction, still obscure to you, between the false and true.”(C-5.2:4–3:5)

 

Ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit everything.

 

“Make no decisions about what it is or where it lies, but ask the Holy Spirit everything, and leave all decisions to His gentle counsel.” (T-14.III.12:6)

 

“The One Who knows the plan of God that God would have you follow can teach you what it is. Only His wisdom is capable of guiding you to follow it. Every decision you undertake alone but signifies that you would define what salvation is, and what you would be saved from. The Holy Spirit knows that all salvation is escape from guilt. You have no other “enemy,” and against this strange distortion of the purity of the Son of God the Holy Spirit is your only Friend. He is the strong protector of the innocence that sets you free.” (T-14.III.13:1-6)

 

“Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” (T-2.VI.4:9-10)

 

We have traded the awareness of our true nature, God-dependence, for the fantasy of self-reliance.

 

“The Holy Spirit teaches only that the “sin” of self-replacement on the throne of God is not a source of guilt.” (T-14.III.15:3)

 

This self-reliance, this specialness we value above all else. It is our drug, our panacea to cure the panic, fear, hate and guilt that is the foundation of our “existence” in fantasy land. Escaping the ego, and its whole thought system of separation, is an Apostle’s job. Only complete God-dependence will get us where we want to go. This would require we give up our drug of self-reliance, letting go of all the illusions, the fantasies and the miscreations that testify to the “reality” of independence from God. When we are ready.

 

And finally…

 

“Undermining the ego’s thought system must be perceived as painful, even though this is anything but true. Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or scissors, although they may well harm themselves if you do not. In this sense you are still a baby. You have no sense of real self-preservation, and are likely to decide that you need precisely what would hurt you most. Yet whether or not you recognize it now, you have agreed to cooperate in the effort to become both harmless and helpful, attributes that must go together.” (T-4.II.5:1-5)