Eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge is a symbolic expression for usurping the ability for self-creating. This is the only sense in which God and His creations are not co-creators. The belief that they are is implicit in the “self-concept,” or the tendency of the self to make an image of itself. Images are perceived, not known. Knowledge cannot deceive, but perception can. You can perceive yourself as self-creating, but you cannot do more than believe it. You cannot make it true. And, as I said before, when you finally perceive correctly you can only be glad that you cannot. Until then, however, the belief that you can is the foundation stone in your thought system, and all your defenses are used to attack ideas that might bring it to light. YOU STILL BELIEVE YOU ARE AN IMAGE OF YOUR OWN MAKING. Your mind is split with the Holy Spirit on this point, and there is no resolution while you believe the one thing that is literally inconceivable. That is why you cannot create and are filled with fear about what you make. (T-3.VII.4:1-12)
This image we have made is our personality self. Just like we made the body to have something to be separate with and in, we made the personality self to be self-reliant with and in. If we are going to deny our God-reliance we must have a substitute, the fictional self-reliance. This self was modeled after the ego and like the ego it is a manipulative narcissist that can only ever be concerned with itself and its own self-preservation. It is in relationship only with itself in its own private world. It is a controlling getting machine.
The face of innocence that we made to cover up this ego self tells tales of love, happiness, compassion, interaction, mixed in with some hate, sorrow, attack and loneliness. There are endless tales of this hero and his exploits. But they are all just replays of the separation story playing in an endless loop. We are like hamsters on a wheel of self-crucifixion endlessly spinning. If we really saw what was under the face of innocence of our personality self, we would not be so quick to claim it as our self. But we must be willing to see. The ego is intent in our not looking and has serial distractions to keep us from questioning the self we made.
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. (hamster wheel of crucifixion) 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. (give up the hamster wheel of crucifixion) Do not make the pathetic error of “clinging to the old rugged cross.” (staying on the hamster wheel of crucifixion) The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. (you can get off the hamster wheel of crucifixion) Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. (get back on the hamster wheel of crucifixion and keep trucking) This is not the gospel I intended to offer you. We have another journey to undertake, (not on the hamster wheel of crucifixion) and if you will read these lessons carefully they will help PREPARE you to undertake it. (T-4.in.3:1-11)
So fellow hamsters, how in the world do we know if we are on the hamster wheel or off it?
Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit’s teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. PUT YOURSELF NOT IN CHARGE OF THIS, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success. (T-18.V.1:1-6)
We are blind and deaf hamsters. We have no idea what is on or off the hamster wheel. We have no idea what is going on anywhere, ever, or at all. In addition, being on the hamster wheel is very much an addiction. We are addicted to being the hamster on the wheel. That means that there is a whole bunch of denial, minimizing, justifying, rationalizing and delusional thinking involved in the assessment of whether we are or are not on the wheel. We need to change our minds or turn everything over to a higher Authority if we want to get off of the hamster wheel of life and death.
Teaching and learning are your greatest strengths now, because they enable you to change your mind (To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority. (T-1.V.5:7) and help others to change theirs. Refusing to change your mind (place it at the disposal of true Authority) will not prove that the separation has not occurred. The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming is not really healing his split mind. You dream of a separated ego and believe in a world that rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo it by not changing your mind about it. (by not placing your mind at the disposal of true Authority) If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you back to God. (T-4.I.4:1-7)
In order to place our our mind at the disposal of true authority we have to acknowledge that it is, to varying degrees, at the disposal of the ego. Jesus was able to completely return his mind to true Authority. What does placing your mind at the disposal of true Authority look like? Ultimately it means becoming Jesus, being a servant of the Holy Spirit where He can use our hamster vessel to teach through. By teaching and learning with Him, we learn to heal and be healed, ultimately remembering we are a mind in which illusions no longer exist. This is a process. It takes work, dedication and surrender.
Is the teacher of God, then, to avoid the use of words in his teaching? No, indeed! There are many who must be reached through words, being as yet unable to hear in silence. The teacher of God must, however, learn to use words in a new way. Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, “I will step back and let Him lead the way.” The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks.
A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception (hamster) which he would leave behind. Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself.(M-21.4:1–5:9)
Is it just a simple choice to “change our mind,” to place it at the disposal of true Authority? We as mind have placed ourselves under tyrannous control. We are imprisoned. There is an entire super-max security system in place, the ego thought system, made to prevent any escape or even thought of escape. On top of that, the majority of our brothers are in denial that we are even imprisoned. Learning to place our mind at the disposal of true Authority, changing our minds, might be a little more involved than most believe. After all, there is an over thousand page book dedicated to securing our freedom, at the end of which the author says that this is not the end but the beginning. This was just a preparation for the journey to freedom.
Whatever is true is eternal, and cannot change or be changed. Spirit is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect what it chooses to serve. The only limit put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters. If it elects to do so, the mind can become the medium by which spirit creates along the line of its own creation. If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than Authoritative control. As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants. (T-1.V.5:1-6)
Not to mention our jailer who is not going to go quietly into the night.
My role is only to unchain your will 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 recognize what it can do because you gave it the power to do it. (T-5.VI.2:8-10)
So we made-up a personality self housed in a body that is a suspicious, vicious, narcissistic ego covered by the mask of the face of innocence. Are we willing to look at that? Are we willing to have our personality self summarily exposed and deconstructed? We are deaf and blind, addicted to the ego thought system of guilt and fear needing to learn to place our mind at the disposal of true Authority so that we might be free. Are we willing to stand in the humbled place of not knowing and being completely dependent on the Voice for God? Are we willing to admit our addiction? Are we willing to realize that we cannot just wish an addiction away? Are we willing to enter the Holy Spirit’s treatment center where He will use everything in the illusion, the world, the personality self and the body to teach us of their unreality? Are we willing to put our sobriety, our sanity first no matter what? Are we willing not to value anything in the world and let it disappear? Are we willing to seek only God?
Who made this up? We did. But it is God’s Will and ours that it be undone. We have two choices. The endless repetition of the crucifixion hamster wheel or letting the Holy Spirit use EVERYTHING in the illusion to teach us of its unreality. I choose Team Holy Spirit!