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Why does the Course say "I need do nothing" yet also provides a Workbook to DO?
Question: I’m confused about certain things in "A Course in Miracles." I live in a past dream, dreamed by "the dreamer of the dream." Since I cannot change the dream, all decisions I experience in the dream, including the experience of awakening, already occurred. I therefore do not have free will to choose what to do in the dream, although the little “i” believes he does. Given that this little “i” has no real free will to act, then it's obvious that there is no real guilt either. If all I see and experience are illusions from the past dream of the "dreamer,” including my thoughts, logic, and rationale, how can I ever learn to hear the Holy Spirit, which is also some voice within the dream?
Given the above, the Course says "I need do nothing,” but then presents a whole book of lessons to follow every day of the year. There seems to be something to do in the dream to provide the illusion that we are going towards awakening, yet there also seems to be nothing to do except watch it happen.
Answer: Thanks for your questions and the willingness to Awaken. To help clear up any confusion and illustrate what I am sharing, I will use the metaphor of 3 states of mind: a dream of conflict (the ego), a happy dream of non-judgment (the Holy Spirit), and Mind Awake in Absolute Bliss (the Christ Mind in the Mind of God).
In the first state the mind is identified as a dream figure and sees the cosmos through the "personal perspective" of the ego. In this state the mind is either entirely unaware that it is dreaming or sees itself as a part of someone else's dream. This state is a decision.
In the second state of mind the dreamer of the dream is aware of dreaming and knows the content of the dream is not true, and therefore has nothing to judge. Since the dreamer is completely aligned with Holy Spirit there is indeed "nothing to do except watch." This state is also a decision.
The third State of Mind is Christ, Pure Abstract Light, Awake forever in the Mind of God. This State of Mind knows Oneness as Divine Love and has no opposite. Love simply Is. This State is not a decision for Heaven, it is a Fact and Oneness does not involve the illusion of "choice."
One cannot be a dream figure AND simultaneously be the dreamer of the dream, yet every instant a sleeping mind makes the choice between these options: ego or Holy Spirit, wrong mind or right mind. The ego "i" is not Life and is not Alive. The ego "i" is the belief that the past is NOT over, for to it the past is retained in memory as if it were still present. The Holy Spirit is the decision to Awaken by realizing that the past is over, and the ego is the decision to continue sleeping by retaining the past in memory. These are decisions of mind and are not decisions in the dream. These are decisions regarding which "lens" is being used to view the cosmos/self. The Holy Spirit's lens is a present moment decision and opens the way for "...God to take the final step." In Reality God does not take steps, yet this is but another way of describing remembering Creation or remembering Knowledge or remembering Oneness.
You are correct that "there is no 'real' guilt,” yet this is experienced only in the decision for—or alignment with—the Holy Spirit. The mind identified as a dream figure, as a body or in a body, IS the ego, and the ego is synonymous with guilt. The Holy Spirit's Perspective represents or reflects Eternity, God, and Christ (or Pure Oneness) and thus the Holy Spirit represents the choice for guiltlessness. Free Will does not involve choice, Being a State of Mind of Pure Oneness in Which there is literally nothing to choose between. In creating Christ God gave Christ Free Will, and this Free Will is Eternal Happiness.
With regard to learning, I described 3 states of mind above. The first (ego) was learned and now must be unlearned so that the second (Holy Spirit's Perspective) can be learned. One cannot learn contradictory thought systems, and the ego and the Holy Spirit have no meeting point. The ego's purpose is death and the Holy Spirit's Purpose is forgiveness. To learn forgiveness is to unlearn or release the belief in death. The third state, called the State of Heaven, simply Is—and has nothing to do with learning. Yet Heaven cannot be remembered until the ego has been unlearned and thus forgiveness has been learned.
The lessons and study and practice of "A Course In Miracles" are one way of unlearning the ego and forgiving the past. If the mind is fearful, it is not ready or willing to forgive completely, and thus the Holy Spirit uses time to undo the belief in time. This seeming "process" appears to include actions, yet the "I need do nothing" solution is ever available. As trust seems to grow, the mind is closer to the Holy Instant. Salvation takes no time. The acceptance of Salvation only seems to take time. Salvation requires no compromise, and time could be viewed as a compromise attempt. Atonement is therefore the acceptance of Correction without compromise.
Love & Blessings, David