THE ADVANCED COURSE
Becoming an Apostle
Do not listen with the ego mind. Listen from the grave.
NOTES FROM UNDER GROUND
The only way to learn we are minds is not to trust our feelings and experiences. Ken Wapnick
The ego mind makes up stories. Then forgets it made them up.
Then the ego mind directs everything in the stories. All seeming happenings, experiences and feelings are at the bidding of the ego mind. They are not organic and have no cause in form. Then the ego mind forgets that it directed everything.
The ego mind tells the made up figures in the stories what to do, say, think and feel. The ego mind then forgets that it directed this.
You think those are experiences or feelings you are having?
No. They are just instructions from the ego mind to itself to make itself and its autonomy seem real. We have brainwashed ourselves.
There are no stories, experiences or feelings on the level of form. There is no level of form.
There are only stories, experiences and feelings made up by the ego mind for its purposes. The cause of all, the ego mind, is forgotten and therefore never addressed.
There are no stories. There are no experiences. There are no feelings. It is all an ego trick, a slight of hand, to fool the mind that it not return to itself.
We, as mind, have set up a system where we cannot find our way out of our insanity. We believe the stories, the experiences and the feelings are real and that they are ours. We are caught in a cruel circle of insanity, a circle of belief, a circle of death.
In order to find our way out, we would have to completely disbelieve and disown the stories, the experiences and the feelings the ego mind makes up.
This is the grave we dug for ourselves.
This is the grave we climbed into.
This is the grave we filled with dirt.
This is the grave we occupy.
And under the earth, near death, drawing endlessly our last breath, we continue to deny that any participation in these ego generated stories, experiences and feelings is only at the direction of the ego mind for its purposes, a participation in nothing, a walking death.
And the price of believing in this nothing? We are the living dead. The illusion, the stories the ego mind tells, the experiences the ego mind dictates and the feelings the ego mind generates is our graveyard.
If you want to leave the world to seek reality instead, if you want to stop participating in this insanity, if your goal is God and truth, if you want to stop participating in this living death as if it were life, if you are willing to walk through the fear, if you are willing to pay the “price” of the whole “world”, if this is your holy assignment, then I am open to questions that might be supportive in achieving your goals.
Let us dig ourselves out of this hole, this grave and reclaim our mind that we might get home to God. Let us vigilantly scratch our way to the surface, to the light. Let the Holy Spirit be our Breath and Guide in the darkness. Be not afraid. I am with you. You are not alone.
The illusion, the stories the ego mind tells, the experiences the ego mind makes up and the emotions the ego mind generates, is a graveyard populated by the living dead. We are either working with the Holy Spirit to dig our way out or we are laying in our graves piling on more dirt. We are either supporting our brothers in digging out or we are throwing more dirt on their graves to keep them imprisoned. Will you be a shovel for the ego or a shovel for the Holy Spirit? One imprisons, the other frees.
The dirt that encases us in our tomb is all the layers of brainwashing that we must look at and decide, be persuaded to, not accept as real. But first we must decide that this is a grave. We must believe this is a grave or we will not stop wanting it.
If we knew it was a living death would we want it? Did Jesus die or did he acknowledge the grave and refuse to participate?
What we call life here is a grave. Only with this acknowledgment can we access the mind level. Only with this acknowledgment can we change our minds. Only with this acknowledgment can we reclaim our minds and place them at the disposal of true authority. Only with this acknowledgment can we access the cause of our living deadness. Only with this acknowledgment can we get home to God.
A LIVING DEATH
We are buried in a grave. We tell ourselves we are not. We are buried in a grave. We died to God and are buried in a grave. We are the living dead. We have a whole crazy thought system that denies and disputes this fact. We are buried in a grave. We are buried in a grave devoid of light, save the spark. We are buried in a grave.
And in our grave we “experience”, for the millioneth time, a special relationship, a sweet treat, sickness, pain, death, birth, a sunrise, a sunset, a snowstorm, a rainbow. But nothing can change the fact that we are in our grave believing that we are not. Nothing can silence the deadness of our grave.
But we try. And then we try again. But to no avail. Nothing can change the fact that we are in a grave. And that is where we need to stand. We need to stand there until we have learned this lesson. That is our job. We are buried in a grave.
We are buried in a grave. Do the ego mind’s stories, experiences and feelings call to you? Do you desire them? Do you desire the purposes they serve?
We are buried in a grave. Our grave. The grave we made for ourselves. But we adamantly, adamantly, adamantly deny where we are and what we are. We are in a grave. We are the living dead.
For those of you whose job it is to hold that thought, welcome. This is the Advanced Course.
THE ADVANCED COURSE
Most are not ready for the Advanced Course. The Advanced Course closes the door on the illusion, the graveyard, with no further participation in it. All ties are broken. Only freeing ourselves and our brothers from the grave remains. We will raise the dead through mind training.
Only by standing on the firm foundation that we are in our graves can we do our work. No single finger will be lifted except at the explicit instruction of the Holy Spirit. And through our dedication, our willingness not to give in to the temptation of making the illusion real by not deluding ourselves that it is anything but a grave, and devotion to our brothers, we will communally reach our goal of truth.
May the winds of the Spirit carry us safely and swiftly home to God.
WE ARE IN OUR GRAVES
We are laying in our graves covered in dirt. We wait quietly and patiently for the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell us exactly what we need to do to remove the next layer of dirt.
And in the soil we have hope where once there was only despair. In the soil our suffocation is eased by His Breath. In the soil our terror begins to subside. In the soil we wait for Him to lead the way. We will not die but live.
And in the truth of where we are there is a peace. We are in our graves. We have turned the corner. We are going home to God.
DEAD IN THE GRAVE
When we believed the separation actually happened, we died. Can we be raised from the dead? Absolutely. But we first must give up our belief in the idea that what we made up to replace life is real. We must acknowledge that we are dead in the grave.
Let’s watch one more movie, make one more meal, take one more shower, look for one more thing to make us happy, have one more drink, drive one more car, purchase one more thing from our grave. There is absolutely nothing happening in our grave in the graveyard. Nothing. But by all means let’s keep pretending from our grave and every grave thereafter.
We are in our graves in the graveyard. We are the living dead.
WE DIED. WE ARE DEAD.
I am dead in the grave.
You are dead in the grave.
We are dead in the grave.
Only with the acknowledgment of our death can we experience resurrection.
The illusion is a grave. We are either resting in our grave believing we are alive in delusionland or we are working to get out. There are no other choices.
I am dead. I am dead. I am dead.
I am in my grave. I am in my grave. I am in my grave.
If you do not choose to believe this, then you cannot get home. You are trapped in the delusion that you are living. The ego mind has everything rigged up so that anything that might expose this truth is immediately answered with lies. The ego mind uses everything in the illusion to conspire against the mind. The mind’s captivity is virtually inescapable. Why? Because it was made with the power of the mind.
I trusted fear in all its forms. I believed in fear in all its forms. I did not question its existence. I did not question its cause. I did not question its reality. I trusted fear in all its forms.
I AM DEAD. THIS IS MY GRAVE.
I am dead. This is my grave. There is comfort in these thoughts because they are the truest thoughts that are available, right now, on the climb home to God. We must undo all the wrong-minded thoughts by replacing them with right-minded thoughts, in the proper order, retracing our fall.
Once the affront to the ego mind wears off, the solace of these next right thoughts will sweep over us like a cool breeze. What felt like death will lead to life. The truth will set us free.
PRAYER OF THE HUMBLE
Holy Spirit please help me to stop thinking thoughts that give weight to form. Let them be recognized as dead thoughts occupying the grave. Thoughts of death and despair I do not want. I humble myself and entreat You to blow through my mind with Your healing caress. The dead shall live and never die. I depend on You.
I lay in the grave. I cannot hear. I cannot see. You are my ears. You are my eyes. You are my everything. I depend on You.
My complete dependence on You is my salvation, my light, my life. I will not lie. I am helpless in the darkness of my grave. There is only You. You are my Guide calling me forward toward the light. There is only You. I surrender.
May Your Voice fill my mind. I trust in You and only You. I believe You and only You. I obey You and only You.
THE GOOD NEWS
Here’s the good news. You are already dead. The ego’s threats of death, punishment and abandonment hold no sway. You are dead. What could harm you? What you cling to, what you desperately try to save at all costs, what you are terrified of losing is gone. It does not exist. You are dead. You are dead. You are dead.
I will not countenance fear. I will end the ego’s reign of terror with the simple truth. I am dead. And with this statement I am free. I am dead. There is nothing to fear because I am dead.
I do not want or need anything. I am dead. I do not need to do anything. I am dead. I do not need to be protected from anything. I am dead. I do not fear anything. I am dead. Rejoice. I am dead. As long as I am in consciousness, I am dead.
I am dead. I am dead. I am dead.
Stand in the truth. I am dead. Let the truth permeate everything. I am dead. Do not be afraid. This truth will not kill you. You are already dead.
Do not countenance fear. I am dead. Now lay peacefully in your grave. You are dead. The struggle is over. You are dead.
And from this place, this foundation of surrender, defenselessness and meaninglessness you can move toward the light, vertically ascending, leaving the horizontal behind. Take my hand. In the acknowledgment of our death we are reborn. I am dead. This is our freedom song.
We are dead in the grave. There is only one way out. Resurrection. There is only one way to resurrect, to be brought back to life, to escape the grave. Total dependence on God.
Self-reliance put us in the grave. Doing, saying, thinking and feeling exactly what the Holy Spirit instructs, listening only to the Voice for God, is our salvation.
If we really believe we are in the grave, what could we possibly have to contribute? We are trapped, helpless. We cannot get out. We surrender to this fact and humbly take our instructions and obey. Only in this way can we experience rebirth.
We must desire to hear only one Voice.
In the darkness of our grave we will do, say, think, and feel as the Holy Spirit directs. We will focus on our appointed task. We will not allow our minds to wander. We will concentrate on freedom.
We will be His tool to organize our communal escape from this living death orchestrated by the ego mind. Imagine the terror of being buried alive. This is the terror of the ego’s reign. One foot out of its circle of belief and the terrorizing stories begin to escalate until we beg to return to the circle, return to the seeming safety and stability of our grave, our prison.
This is our madness, our solitary and communal madness. Be willing to stand. I am dead. I will access the level of the mind. This is the key. I am dead. This is the key to unlocking the prison door and freeing our mind. Be willing to stand. I am dead.
What we call life is death. What we call death is life. What has all of our attention? The life that is actually death. How terrified, terrorized, controlled, brainwashed, deluded and insane are we? If it were not so tragic, we would laugh.
“The sense of threat the world encourages is so much deeper, and so far beyond the frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive, that you have no idea of all the devastation it has wrought.” (W-153.4:3)
FEAR IS NOT REAL
As we lay in our graves, in panic and terror, we either continue to ask the ego for relief or we learn that fear is not real. It has no effects and therefore it cannot be real. God is our Cause. We are His Effects and therefore we are real.
Fear has no effects and therefore it is not real. Fear has plenty of fake effects that we accept as real. These fake effects can be dispelled by denying their reality. Fear itself is a fake effect of our belief in the separation. Every microscopic particle of the illusion is a fake effect of fear, woven from fear, into a tapestry of fear.
In our living death we are gripped by panic and terror. This fear must be looked upon directly, unflinchingly and without protecting it in anyway. We made fear. It is not real. Our belief in it gives it its seeming reality and power. Let the Holy Spirit teach us of its unreality.
I trusted fear in all its forms. I believed in fear in all its forms. I did not question its existence. I did not question its cause. I did not question its reality. I trusted fear in all its forms.
Fear, made up by the ego mind, is in the ego’s arsenal. It seems to come from nowhere, attached to nothing, organic, a reaction to the external. But it is not. It appears at the direction of the ego mind. It is a sickness, a plague. It is a defense against the truth. Its reality is never challenged because we believe in what made it.
We suffer from a delusional disease caused by a delusional mind. It keeps us in our graves. It controls us. It has power over us. We gave it that. We made it. We believed in it. It is not real. It is the soil in our graves.
Fear is used to control. We stay away from things we are fearful of, that seem to generate fear. We believe those things are the cause of the fear. But it is the ego mind that directs fearful thoughts, experiences and feelings. They are not caused by anything external. Fear is a tool, a weapon of the ego.
Fear is not real. It is made up and is as unreal as the illusion, being the illusion’s fabric.
As long as the ego has the power of the mind at its disposal, it will continue to take us on experiential and emotional fear-based, terror-filled and panic-driven roller coaster rides. That is its nature. It will weaponize the self, the body, the world and everything in the illusion to attack the truth. And we will remain in the grave, in our living deadness, believing that it is all real.
I am dead. I am dead in the grave. Fear is not real. Are you ready to close the door on the illusion and move up to the next level of awareness, the level of the mind?
A PLACE TO STAND
A platform is being built for the next level. This requires removing the blocks to seeing that platform, allowing it to come into awareness. We need a place to stand.
Present your “self” as a living sacrifice. Let your mind be healed. Allow the healing, the release from fear, the removal of all that stands in the way of knowledge. The self will rebel. But everything needed for the healing will be provided. Everything has been perfectly planned. We only need accept and allow.
If we close the door on the illusion, there must be another door to open, to walk through, a place to go. We cannot just hang out in the void. We need something to step onto; a stair, a plank, a platform. The more defined the better.
But the pioneers, going into the unknown, blazing a trail for those behind, must be willing to step out in faith depending on God. Standing in the breach, the void, they must be willing to temporarily endure the darkness, the fear, the unknown; no seeming stair, or plank, or platform, only free fall.
Take heart. The first fearful stumblings in the dark will not last. Eventually we will not walk but fly.
CLOSING THE DOOR
If we close the door on the illusion, we will experience anxiety, angst, uneasiness, tension, panic and even terror. They are not real. They are fake. These forms of fear are generated by the ego mind and directed to be “experienced.” They are what drove us to hand our minds over to the ego.
The illusion was the ego mind’s solution to our agony of fear. Pretend something else is happening. Pretend we are somewhere else and someone else. We trained ourselves to dissociate, deny and forget. We made for ourselves a frozen hell; fire and ice and torment camouflaged by warm breezes and fluffy snow. And then we forgot we made it.
We are trapped in our own house of horrors, our own house of mirrors, our own maze, our own grave. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is upside down and backwards. And it is all cemented in place by fear.
Who among us will walk through the panic and terror thereby denying its reality and freeing us from its grasp? Who among us will walk through the fear? In the face of seeming agony, who among us will sit and not move? Who among us, no matter what, will do, say, think, and feel as the Holy Spirit directs? Who among us is willing to be taught of fear’s unreality while seeming to burn and freeze in hell?
Jesus was our example. Put one foot in front of the other. Fear is not real. Our feelings and experiences are not real. It is all a game, a vicious, evil, tortured mind game with no opponent save ourselves. It is an ego trick. It is not real. Thank God. It is not real.
IN THE DIRT
I am dead in the grave in the dirt. The dirt has no form. There is no preference of outcome in the dirt. There is no threat in the dirt. There is nothing happening in the dirt. The dirt is dirt and all is dirt. Anything else is a lie, a fabrication, a delusion. There is only dirt. Save yourself. See the dirt. Close the door on the illusion and see the dirt.
This is ground zero. This is the doorway to the real world. This is how we reclaim our minds. Welcome.
THE JOURNEY HOME
As we climb the ladder of awareness home to God, we will find ourselves on various platforms at various stages of our journey. The platforms are situated at differing rungs on the ladder. How long we stay on each platform is up to us. They are progressive platforms where we learn our lessons before moving on.
Most inhabit the ancient, well-worn “illusion” platform. This is the home of the living dead, Zombieland. Here the inhabitants play a devastating game of “life” with almost no awareness of its or their unreality. They endlessly execute the ego mind’s directions, thinking they are its own and real. We believe in this “magical” world where matter has creative abilities the mind does not direct. This make believe world is a “living” hell.
The next major platform is the newly birthed “I am dead” platform which is just coming into view. Not much is known about this level but it is fabled to be the doorway to the real world, the level of the mind, the new frontier.
Moving from the first platform to the second is no easy task. There are many challenges. First of all, an incredible amount of mind training, deprogramming, unlearning is necessary. This requires great willingness, diligence and desire. Another challenge is the fact that we cannot inhabit both platforms simultaneously. We can only inhabit one. Closing the door on the first is a prerequisite of moving on to the second. No half measures will work. And then, of course, there is fear and doubt and everything else in the ego’s arsenal to dissuade us from closing the door on the illusion, refusing to make it real and stepping onto the second platform.
The second platform is where the Apostles live. They have closed the door on hell. They have embraced the truth. Will they be tempted to open the door again? Of course. But as they move forward, the lessons that they learn and teach will purify their thinking. Eventually, the temptations will only be markers to point to blocks that still need to be removed and the door to the first platform will fade away into the nothingness from which it came.
The second platform is calling. Do you hear? Will you walk through the fear? If you have resistance, you are not ready. Perhaps your ground work has not been laid, your preparations not yet complete. The road ahead is long and arduous. The ego mind will challenge you at every turn. The grip the ego mind has on you is mighty. But at a certain point you realize that there is nothing else to do. All other roads have been tried. Then you are ready. Then you will answer the call.
I DO NOT ACCEPT THE PREMISE THAT I AM GUILTY
I do not accept the premise that I am guilty. This is the fourth plank on the second platform. The first three planks being:
I am dead.
I am dead in the grave.
Fear is not real.
These are foundational thoughts for this level. We do not listen to the ego mind’s jabberings about them, opening the door to doubt. We trust the Holy Spirit and think as He directs without question. He is our Deprogrammer, our Mind Trainer, our Guide to resurrection. We know nothing. We are dead in the grave.
If the ego mind persists in babbling ad nauseam, simply ask the Holy Spirit what He would have you think or do. Repeating firmly, “I am dead,” usually quiets the chatter. But the Holy Spirit is in charge. He will tell you exactly what your next right thought or action is. Our job is only to ask and obey.
I do not accept the premise that I am guilty. Somewhere, somehow we accepted the premise that we were guilty. If we accepted it, we can unaccept it. I do not accept the premise that I am guilty. Go sell it somewhere else. I am not buying it. I do not accept the premise that I am guilty. From my grave, I do not accept the premise that I am guilty, unworthy of love and deserving of punishment.
The whole foundation of the ego thought system is based on this premise. I do not accept the ego thought system or its premise. Only our acceptance of it makes it seem real. I withdraw my acceptance. I do not accept the premise that I am guilty.
And with this plank coming into awareness, our second platform is a little more defined, a little more stable, a little less fearful.
I am dead.
I am dead in the grave.
Fear is not real.
I do not accept the premise that I am guilty.
THE FIFTH PLANK
I place my faith, belief and trust in the unseen.
I withdraw my faith, belief and trust in the seen.
There are two storylines. One is the ego’s horizontal storyline, the other the Holy Spirit’s vertical one. One is seen, the other unseen. In one, the puppet (which is comprised of the little self and the body), the world, the “experiences,” the feelings and emotions are being used by the ego. In the other all those things we made are at the disposal of the true Authority, the Holy Spirit. One storyline is used to prove guilt real, the other to remember God.
The only way to be in the vertical storyline is by not believing in, accepting as real or participating in the horizontal storyline. They cannot both be real. We will experience one or the other. “Clinging to that old rugged cross,” in the land of endless self-crucifixion, we do not believe, rely on, put our faith and trust in the Holy Spirit Who counsels us to let go and let God.
Let go of the endless crucifixion stories about yourself and others. These are just patterned and programmed stories over which we have no control. They play out in a predestined robotic fashion. They are just a rehash of childhood stories and reactions. They are uninspired, made from death and ending in death. They are shadows of the separation story.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us of an unseen world where forgiveness is perfected in us, where inspired stories and actions move us toward awakening. These are Holy Spirit stories whose direction is freedom. They are available to us but we must pay the price. We must withdraw our faith, belief and trust from the seen and put it in the unseen. It requires an incredible amount of mind training to get to the vertical storyline and extreme vigilance to stay there.
The closer we get to truth, the more the ego mind will flail and lash out. It will come up with a myriad of stories, experiences and feelings to tempt us to make real what is not and to distract us from our holy assignment. It will use a carrot or a stick, or both. We must keep our focus.
On the first platform, form seems so solid, so real. It is not. It is no more real than fear. But we believe it is. We cannot believe or trust our physical senses. We must close our eyes and ears and concentrate on the dirt. All is dirt. There is no form. All is dirt.
And when the ego mind throws the kitchen sink at us, and it will, we will label it as backlash and know that we are winning. Why would the ego mind be throwing a fit? Because it feels threatened. It needs to defend itself and its delusional thought system.
At all costs we must continue to believe that the illusion is real or the ego mind’s unreality will be revealed. The ego mind must tempt us to make something, anything real. If we react, positively or negatively, to the stories, the experiences or the feelings it makes up, we make them real. We would not react to something we did not believe was real.
Do not be fooled. The ego mind is relentless. Turn everything over to the Holy Spirit. Tell your “self” firmly, “I am not in charge. I am dead in the grave.” Let the Holy Spirit decide what should be done, said, thought or felt. Allow Him to use all the ego mind’s delusions for mind training. Turn to Him to deal with all fear and doubt. Let Him lead the way.
Our unenmeshing from the ego may seem impossible. We are so far down the road of enmeshment that we believe the ego’s thoughts are ours, that we are it. But our goal is God. He has guaranteed our success. We cannot fail. I am not in charge. I am dead in the grave.
THE MASTER SEQUENCE
As we approach the second platform, a sequence of thoughts, the master sequence, can be helpful.
There is only mind training.
I am mentally ill.
I depend on God.
Ask the Holy Spirit everything.
My Grace is sufficient.
There is only mind training. There is nothing else to do. There are no other goals, no other plans and no other experiences to have. There is only mind training. If what you are doing, saying, thinking or feeling does not have the purpose of mind training, do not participate.
I am mentally ill. Whenever, which is always, you experience the solidity of form, recognize the cause. I am mentally ill. If I were not mentally ill, I would not seem to be walking on solid ground. If I were not mentally ill, this chair, this couch, this table would not seem to be solid. If I were not mentally ill, none of what I see and touch would seem to have weight. As long as they do, I am mentally ill.
I depend on God. How did we get here? We stopped relying on God and started relying on self. God was out and self was in. There is no self in Heaven. We are an extension of God. We do not exist apart from Him. He is the Sun and we are His Rays. That is our nature. We cannot be other than what we are. But the ideas of specialness, autonomy and separation have infected our minds and made of our “existence” a living hell. If you had to boil the Bible down to one idea it would be God-dependence vs. self-reliance. I depend on God.
Ask the Holy Spirit everything. Ask the Holy Spirit what to do, say, think and feel. Ask what clothes to wear, what job to take, what to drink, what to eat…everything. Ask what is your next right thought or action. This is serious and essential mind training. It is mandatory if you want to hear the Holy Spirit. You will never hear only His Voice without mastering “ask, listen, trust and obey,” an ability that must be developed before it can be used.
To ask is to pray. The act of asking is the act of praying. Pray without ceasing. Ask without ceasing. To ask is to communicate with the Holy Spirit. To ask is to depend on God. To ask is to disavow any belief in self-reliance or the ego or the separation. To ask is to be a servant of the Spirit. To ask is to acknowledge that we know nothing. To ask is to surrender. To ask is to embrace our identity as Self, the Son of God.
To listen is to pause, in patience, waiting for a reply, knowing that having asked, He will answer. Temporarily turn the volume down on the ego’s instructions to self-effort, to do something, to jump into action. We are not saved by works. Nor will we engage our “intellect” to guide us. Listen reverently for your reply.
To trust is to believe, to have faith, to not give in to doubt. To trust is to believe that the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing and will get us home to God. Trust His plan, abandoning all other plans. Walk by faith and not by sight. Do not trust your physical eyes or ears. No matter what seems to be happening in form, believe. Trust that you can do what He asks. Trust that it is possible.
To obey is to walk through the fear. Our partnership with the Holy Spirit will empower us to do as we are told. Jesus did. So can we.
My Grace is sufficient. If you repeat this often enough, as directed, you will be given understanding of this phrase.
These phrases should be repeated at the direction of the Holy Spirit. You will know which phrase is applicable because a calmness will accompany the repetition of the appropriate phrase. Sometimes ten repetitions are called for and at other times a whole day of repetitions is necessary. The Holy Spirit knows what your deprogramming requires. You do not. Trust the Holy Spirit. Do not judge the seeming results. He knows what He is doing. Ask, listen, trust and obey.
If you surrender to the fact that you are not in charge, that you know nothing and that you are blind, deaf and dumb and in the grave, you will be healed and mightily used.
THE POWER OF PURPOSE
We are not asking the Holy Spirit for instruction for the purpose of obtaining the right answer to achieve a favorable result in form. We are not concerned with outcome. We are asking to train our minds only to listen to His Voice. By asking, we automatically turn everything over to Him to be used for His purpose: mind training, miracle working (exchanging wrong minded thoughts for right minded thoughts), healing (release from fear) and salvation (undoing of all this). There is nothing we can ask that is too trivial. Drive the ego crazy. Ask the Holy Spirit everything.
There are two ways of being in the world, a result of choosing to listen to one of two voices, each having a different purpose. We can choose to ask, listen, trust and obey one of these voices whose purpose is to get us home to God, the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This results in being God-dependent and identifying as a servant of the Spirit, an Apostle, the Son of God, the eternal and spiritual Self. Or we can embrace the fiction of self-reliance by asking, listening, trusting and obeying the other voice of self, Satan, the ego whose purpose is to perpetuate itself, giving it a semblance of “eternal life.” This results in our believing that we are the self we made: autonomous, self-reliant, separate from God, a slave to the ego, the old man, the carnal and mortal self.
Which voice we choose to listen to, which voice we believe, will determine which self we identify as which will then determine our actions. We can choose what to believe and our actions attest to what we believe. We will be an agent of one voice or the other and its purpose will be ours. We cannot serve two masters.
We are always, by default, asking, listening, trusting and obeying the ego or we would not seem to be here. That is why we seem to be here. The asking, listening, trusting and obeying of the ego is our accepting of it and all of its misperceptions and miscreations as real, our identifying as body and self and the denial of God and Heaven. This seemingly uninterrupted, endless, nonstop process of asking, listening, trusting and obeying the ego occurs in an instant. We are not aware. It is a Pavlovian acceptance of the ego mind’s instructions and the dissociation of that acceptance. This makes for a seamless “reality.”
The reflexive nature of our asking the ego everything makes it almost impossible to stop doing. It is an addiction of the worst sort, a brainwashing, a seeming hardwiring in our minds. In addition, we have taught ourselves that the ego and its thought system are our salvation from a retaliative and abandoning God. We have taught ourselves that asking the ego everything and obeying its instructions insures our safety and stability.
But we must not forget. Nothing can transpire or seem to transpire without our assent as mind. We are tacitly assenting to accept all the ego’s offerings by not asking the Holy Spirit. Not asking the Holy Spirit is asking the ego, is assenting. Let us reclaim our minds. Ask the Holy Spirit everything.
THE BURNING OFF OF SELF
Your self and everyone else’s self are a block to love’s presence. They are a defense against the truth. They are used by the ego mind as testaments to the reality of the separation, autonomy and specialness. There is only one reason to believe that anyone else’s self is real. Because the reality of their self testifies to the reality of yours. It is a selfish act. There is no love or God in it.
The self we made needs to be disbelieved and disowned, yours and everyone else’s. The self shields the body from being disbelieved and disowned. It is a distraction, a defense against the truth. All special relationships are just a shadow of the special relationship we have with the self we made. We are narcissists who are only interested in the self we birthed.
Our true nature, our union, our oneness calls unceasingly to us but we are too busy with the ego mind’s fantasies of union with other selves. Belief in these fantasies is costing us our awareness of God and Heaven. But we continue. The mockery of union we pray to is devoid of even the possibility of union. But we continue. We take the dirt and fashion it into an elaborate picture of love and life and union. The ego mind is very busy making up stories to testify to its “reality.” And we believe.
The ego tells us endlessly that we are in charge and must do something to respond to its fictional stories, experiences and feelings. There are problems to be solved and it is our job to solve them. We are on full alert, anticipating the worst. We try to avoid the problems, fix the problems or protect ourselves from impending catastrophes caused by the problems. We, as nonexistent selves, are very busy, at the instruction of the nonexistent ego mind, moving nonexistent chairs around on the nonexistent deck of the nonexistent Titanic that will eventually and inevitably sink into the nonexistent ocean.
The self we made must be burned off. It, in combination with the body, is an effigy the ego mind made of our Self which it hates and would destroy. It endlessly burns this effigy, in all of its forms, in protest. It demands to be autonomous, to be in control. It demands to be real. It demands to be God. We would burn off the self, die to self, for a very different purpose. We do not protest using what we made. We take responsibility for our misperception, our miscreation and offer it up to be undone that we might get home to God.
The self is a foundational weapon of the ego which it uses to club the mind into unawareness. It engages in open warfare using the self we made that is not even real. We must reclaim this self by not accepting it as real. Its preferences, its judgments, its opinions must be silenced. They are not real. Its goals, its plans, its wants, its needs must be disowned. They are not real. Disarm the ego mind. Give the self we made to the Holy Spirit. He will teach us of its unreality. He will show us that it is a prison we built for ourselves. He will set us free.
A BALM FOR A SICK MIND
We have trained our minds to think that what is life is death, what is freedom is imprisonment, what is stability is chaos and what is safety is threat. And that is our “experience” as directed by the ego mind.
These words, written here, are a balm for the sick mind, a soothing agent prescribed by the Holy Spirit. But the ego mind will see them as a threat and that will be our “experience.” Do not trust that fake experience and the accompanying feelings.
If we are willing, we can deny that experience and those feelings and know that if we continue to train our minds by reading these words, the fake experience and feelings will eventually disappear and we will experience these words with the Holy Spirit. These words will become our life, our freedom, our stability and our safety. They will become an oasis in the desert of our seeming separation. They will sooth our minds and be a balm for as long as we have need.
RELEVANT COURSE QUOTES
Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of holiness is reached. Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world, and away from all illusions where your faith was laid. (T21.III.4:1-2)
The sense of threat the world encourages is so much deeper, and so far beyond the frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive, that you have no idea of all the devastation it has wrought. (W-153.4:3)
It is the function of God’s ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, salvation waits and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you, and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the light, until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own. (W-153.11:1-6)
Yet eyes accustomed to illusions must be shown that what they look upon is false. (W-137.4:5)
Many stand guard over their ideas because they want to protect their thought systems as they are, and learning means change. Change is always fearful to the separated, because they cannot conceive of it as a move towards healing the separation. They always perceive it as a move toward further separation, because the separation was their first experience of change. You believe that if you allow no change to enter into your ego you will find peace. (T-4.I.2:1-4)
The more you learn about the ego, the more you realize that it cannot be believed. The incredible cannot be understood because it is unbelievable. The meaninglessness of perception based on the unbelievable is apparent, but it may not be recognized as being beyond belief, because it is made by belief.
The whole purpose of this course is to teach you that the ego is unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable. You who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgment alone.(T-7.VIII.6:3–7:2)
Freedom from illusions lies only in not believing them. (T-8.VII.16:5)
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. (W-199.1:4)
What is temptation but a wish to make illusions real? (T-30.VIII.3:1)
This is the corollary of the “original sin”; the belief that guilt is real and fully justified. It is therefore the psychotherapist’s function to teach that guilt, being unreal, cannot be justified. But neither is it safe. And thus it must remain unwanted as well as unreal.
Salvation’s single doctrine is the goal of all therapy. Relieve the mind of the insane burden of guilt it carries so wearily, and healing is accomplished. (P-2.IV.10:6–11:2)
It is not will for life but wish for death that is the motivation for this world. Its only purpose is to prove guilt real. No worldly thought or act or feeling has a motivation other than this one. (T-27.I.6:3-5)
The world has not yet experienced any comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. Such a rebirth is impossible as long as you continue to project or miscreate. (T-2.I.3:7-8)
In a world of form the ego cannot be denied for it alone seems real. Yet could God’s Son as He created him abide in form or in a world of form? (C-2.2:3-4)
The therapist is seen as one who is attacking the patient’s most cherished possession; his picture of himself. (P-2.IV.9:5)
The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfill His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere. Remember that you choose the guide for helping, and the wrong choice will not help. But remember also that the right one will. Trust Him, for help is His function, and He is of God. As you awaken other minds to the Holy Spirit through Him, and not yourself, you will understand that you are not obeying the laws of this world. But the laws you are obeying work. “The good is what works” is a sound though insufficient statement. Only the good can work. Nothing else works at all.
This course offers a very direct and a very simple learning situation, and provides the Guide Who tells you what to do. If you do it, you will see that it works. Its results are more convincing than its words. They will convince you that the words are true. By following the right Guide, you will learn the simplest of all lessons:
By their fruits ye shall know them, and they shall know themselves. (T-9.V.8:4–9:6)
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. This is because the mind is capable of creating reality or making illusions. (T-5.V.4:1-4)
I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself. Let us undertake to learn this lesson together so we can be free of them together. I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. (T-4.I.13:4-7)
No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking honestly for truth. The “dynamics” of the ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth. (T-11.V.1:1-6)
In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices. Will is not involved in perception at any level, and has nothing to do with choice. Consciousness is the receptive mechanism, receiving messages from above or below; from the Holy Spirit or the ego. Consciousness has levels and awareness can shift quite dramatically, but it cannot transcend the perceptual realm. At its highest it becomes aware of the real world, and can be trained to do so increasingly. Yet the very fact that it has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge. (C-1.7:1-6)
I hear the Voice that God has given me, and it is only this my mind obeys. (W-199.8:9)
I am sorry when my brothers do not share my decision to hear only one Voice, because it weakens them as teachers and as learners. (T-6.I.8:1)
Be not afraid, therefore, for what you will be looking at is the source of fear, and you are beginning to learn that fear is not real. (T-11.V.2:3-4)
For bodies cannot forgive. They can only do as the mind directs. (T-15.VII.11:7-8)
Recognition of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones. It represents a situation in which God and the ego “challenge” each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish its own ideas there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to demonstrate its own impotence and unreality. And on this alone it is correct. (W-13.2:1-4)
The ego’s laws are strict, and breaches are severely punished. (T-13.IX.1:4)
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. (C-5.2:4-6)
Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. (T-2.III.3:6-8)
Illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them. Values are relative, but they are powerful because they are mental judgments. The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you will have put them out of your mind. While you include them in it, you are giving life to them. Except there is nothing there to receive your gift. (T-7.VII.4:1-6)
The awakening of His Son begins with his investment in the real world, and by this he will learn to re-invest in himself. (T-12.VI.4:9)
Why should the body be anything to you? Certainly what it is made of is not precious. And just as certainly it has no feeling. It transmits to you the feelings that you want. Like any communication medium the body receives and sends the messages that it is given. It has no feeling for them. All of the feeling with which they are invested is given by the sender and the receiver. (T-19.IV-B.14:1-7)
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. (T-24.IV.1:1-3)
It is possible to reach a state in which you bring your mind under my guidance without conscious effort, but this implies a willingness that you have not developed as yet. (T-2.VI.6:1)
MIND – SPIRIT
- The term mind is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy. When the term is capitalized it refers to God or Christ (i.e., the Mind of God or the Mind of Christ). Spirit is the Thought of God which He created like Himself. The unified spirit is God’s one Son, or Christ.
- In this world, because the mind is split, the Sons of God appear to be separate. Nor do their minds seem to be joined. In this illusory state, the concept of an “individual mind” seems to be meaningful. It is therefore described in the course as if it has two parts; spirit and ego.
- Spirit is the part that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit, Who abides in this part but sees the other part as well. The term “soul” is not used except in direct biblical quotations because of its highly controversial nature. It would, however, be an equivalent of “spirit,” with the understanding that, being of God, it is eternal and was never born.
- The other part of the mind is entirely illusory and makes only illusions. Spirit retains the potential for creating, but its Will, which is God’s, seems to be imprisoned while the mind is not unified. Creation continues unabated because that is the Will of God. This Will is always unified and therefore has no meaning in this world. It has no opposite and no degrees.
- The mind can be right or wrong, depending on the voice to which it listens. Right-mindedness listens to the Holy Spirit, forgives the world, and through Christ’s vision sees the real world in its place. This is the final vision, the last perception, the condition in which God takes the final step Himself. Here time and illusions end together.
- Wrong-mindedness listens to the ego and makes illusions; perceiving sin and justifying anger, and seeing guilt, disease and death as real. Both this world and the real world are illusions because right-mindedness merely overlooks, or forgives, what never happened. Therefore it is not the One-mindedness of the Christ Mind, Whose Will is one with God’s.
- In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices. Will is not involved in perception at any level, and has nothing to do with choice. Consciousness is the receptive mechanism, receiving messages from above or below; from the Holy Spirit or the ego. Consciousness has levels and awareness can shift quite dramatically, but it cannot transcend the perceptual realm. At its highest it becomes aware of the real world, and can be trained to do so increasingly. Yet the very fact that it has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge. (C-1.1:1–7:6)
That is why you must choose to hear one of two voices within you. One you made yourself, and that one is not of God. But the other is given you by God, Who asks you only to listen to it. The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God’s Sons are as equal as learners as they are as Sons. (T-5.II.3:4-11)
The Voice for God comes from your own altars to Him. These altars are not things; they are devotions. Yet you have other devotions now. Your divided devotion has given you the two voices, and you must choose at which altar you want to serve. The call you answer now is an evaluation because it is a decision. The decision is very simple. It is made on the basis of which call is worth more to you. (T-5.II.8:6-12)
In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices. (C-1.7:1)
Forgiveness is acquired. It is not inherent in the mind, which cannot sin. As sin is an idea you taught yourself, forgiveness must be learned by you as well, but from a Teacher other than yourself, Who represents the other Self in you. Through Him you learn how to forgive the self you think you made, and let it disappear. Thus you return your mind as one to Him Who is your Self, and Who can never sin. (W-121.6:1-5)
Real choice is no illusion. But the world has none to offer. All its roads but lead to disappointment, nothingness and death. There is no choice in its alternatives. Seek not escape from problems here. The world was made that problems could not be escaped. Be not deceived by all the different names its roads are given. They have but one end. And each is but the means to gain that end, for it is here that all its roads will lead, however differently they seem to start; however differently they seem to go. Their end is certain, for there is no choice among them. All of them will lead to death. On some you travel gaily for a while, before the bleakness enters. And on some the thorns are felt at once. The choice is not what will the ending be, but when it comes. (T-31.IV.2:1-14)
We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless. (W-ep.6:1-8)
This course is a beginning, not an end. (W-ep.1:1)
There is another advantage,—and a very important one,—in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. The whole world you see reflects the illusion that you have done so, making fear inevitable. To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you. (M-29.3:1-11)
Here again is the paradox often referred to in the course. To say, “Of myself I can do nothing” is to gain all power. And yet it is but a seeming paradox. As God created you, you have all power. The image you made of yourself has none. The Holy Spirit knows the truth about you. The image you made does not. Yet, despite its obvious and complete ignorance, this image assumes it knows all things because you have given that belief to it. Such is your teaching, and the teaching of the world that was made to uphold it. But the Teacher Who knows the truth has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, being wholly devoid of attack. And therefore incapable of arousing guilt. (M-29.4:1-12)
The journey to the cross should be the last “useless journey.” Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection. Until you do so your life is indeed wasted. It merely re-enacts the separation, the loss of power, the futile attempts of the ego at reparation, and finally the crucifixion of the body, or death. Such repetitions are endless until they are voluntarily given up. Do not make the pathetic error of “clinging to the old rugged cross.” The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the gospel I intended to offer you. 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.3:1-11)
God is not the author of fear. You are. (T-4.I.9:1-2)
You have decided that your brother is a symbol for a “hateful love,” a “weakened power,” and above all, a “living death.” (T-27.III.2:1)
Such is the promise of the living God; His Son have life and every living thing be part of him, and nothing else have life. What you have given “life” is not alive, and symbolizes but your wish to be alive apart from life; alive in death, with death perceived as life, and living, death. (T-29.II.6:1-2)
You who believe you walk in sanity with feet on solid ground, and through a world where meaning can be found, consider this: These are the laws on which your “sanity” appears to rest. These are the principles which make the ground beneath your feet seem solid. And it is here you look for meaning. These are the laws you made for your salvation. They hold in place the substitute for Heaven which you prefer. This is their purpose; they were made for this. (T-23.II.13:4-9)
Vigilance is not necessary for truth, but it is necessary against illusions. (T-6.V-C.8:9)
Truth is without illusions and therefore within the Kingdom. Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion. When you threw truth away you saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom that you valued, you did not keep only the Kingdom of God in your mind, and thus placed part of your mind outside it. What you made has imprisoned your will, and given you a sick mind that must be healed. Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it. Once your mind is healed it radiates health, and thereby teaches healing. This establishes you as a teacher who teaches like me. Vigilance was required of me as much as of you, and those who choose to teach the same thing must be in agreement about what they believe. (T-6.V-C.9:1-9)
The third step, then, is a statement of what you want to believe, and entails a willingness to relinquish everything else. The Holy Spirit will enable you to take this step, if you follow Him. Your vigilance is the sign that you want Him to guide you. Vigilance does require effort, but only until you learn that effort itself is unnecessary. You have exerted great effort to preserve what you made because it was not true. Therefore, you must now turn your effort against it. Only this can cancel out the need for effort, and call upon the being which you both have and are. This recognition is wholly without effort since it is already true and needs no protection. It is in the perfect safety of God. Therefore, inclusion is total and creation is without limit. (T-6.V-C.10:1-10)
If you will keep in mind what the Holy Spirit offers you, you cannot be vigilant for anything but God and His Kingdom. The only reason you may find this hard to accept is because you may still think there is something else. Belief does not require vigilance unless it is conflicted. If it is, there are conflicting components within it that have led to a state of war, and vigilance has therefore become essential. Vigilance has no place in peace. It is necessary against beliefs that are not true, and would never have been called upon by the Holy Spirit if you had not believed the untrue. When you believe something, you have made it true for you. When you believe what God does not know, your thought seems to contradict His, and this makes it appear as if you are attacking Him. (T-7.VI.7:1-8)
You do not realize how much you listen to your gods, and how vigilant you are on their behalf. (T-10.III.10:4)
Believing it has the power to do this it does nothing else, because its goal of autonomy is nothing else. The ego is totally confused about reality, but it does not lose sight of its goal. It is much more vigilant than you are, because it is perfectly certain of its purpose. You are confused because you do not recognize yours. (T-11.V.7:2-5)
Be not content with littleness. But be sure you understand what littleness is, and why you could never be content with it. Littleness is the offering you give yourself. You offer this in place of magnitude, and you accept it. Everything in this world is little because it is a world made out of littleness, in the strange belief that littleness can content you. When you strive for anything in this world in the belief that it will bring you peace, you are belittling yourself and blinding yourself to glory. Littleness and glory are the choices open to your striving and your vigilance. You will always choose one at the expense of the other. (T-15.III.1:1-8)
All your striving must be directed against littleness, for it does require vigilance to protect your magnitude in this world. To hold your magnitude in perfect awareness in a world of littleness is a task the little cannot undertake. Yet it is asked of you, in tribute to your magnitude and not your littleness. (T-15.III.4:4-6)
It is only your awareness that needs protection, since being cannot be assailed. Yet a real sense of being cannot be yours while you are doubtful of what you are. This is why vigilance is essential. Doubts about being must not enter your mind, or you cannot know what you are with certainty. Certainty is of God for you. Vigilance is not necessary for truth, but it is necessary against illusions. (T-6.V-C.8:4-9)
Yet to find the place, you must relinquish your investment in the world as you project it, allowing the Holy Spirit to extend the real world to you from the altar of God. (T-12.III.10:9)
The awakening of His Son begins with his investment in the real world, and by this he will learn to re-invest in himself. For reality is one with the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit blesses the real world in Their Name. (T-12.VI.4:9-10)
For you can see the body without help, but do not understand how to behold a world apart from it. It is your world salvation will undo, and let you see another world your eyes could never find. (T-31.VI.3:3-4)
When you have seen this real world, as you will surely do, you will remember Us. Yet you must learn the cost of sleeping, and refuse to pay it. Only then will you decide to awaken. And then the real world will spring to your sight, for Christ has never slept. (T-12.VI.5:1-5)
The world you see must be denied, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. You cannot see both worlds, for each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have denied the other. Both are not true, yet either one will seem as real to you as the amount to which you hold it dear. (T-13.VII.2:1-5)
However, the miracle entails a sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception. (T-1.II.6:3)
Not yet is Heaven quite remembered, for the purpose of forgiveness still remains. Yet everyone is certain he will go beyond forgiveness, and he but remains until it is made perfect in himself. He has no wish for anything but this. And fear has dropped away, because he is united in his purpose with himself. There is a hope of happiness in him so sure and constant he can barely stay and wait a little longer, with his feet still touching earth. Yet is he glad to wait till every hand is joined, and every heart made ready to arise and go with him. For thus is he made ready for the step in which is all forgiveness left behind. (T-30.V.3:1-7)