T 3 I. Creating versus the Self-Image
T 3 I. Creating versus the Self-Image
T 3 I 1. Every system of thought MUST have a starting point. It begins with either a making or a creating, a difference which we have already covered. Both are acts of will, except that making involves doing, and creating involves active willing. Their resemblance lies in their power as FOUNDATIONS. Their difference lies in what rests upon them. Both are cornerstones for systems of belief by which men live.
T 3 I 2. It is a mistake to believe that a thought-system which is based on lies is weak. NOTHING made by a child of God is without power. It is absolutely essential that you realize this, because otherwise you will not understand why you have so much trouble with this course, and will be unable to escape from the prisons you have (made) created for yourselves. (The use of creative here was an error. You should have said made for yourself.)
T 3 I 3. You have both made the error of the psychotherapist we described in some detail before, and it is particularly serious at this time. You cannot resolve your authority problem by depreciating the power of your minds. It152 CAN hurt you if you misuse it, because you KNOW its strength. You also know that you CANNOT weaken it any more than you can weaken God.
T 3 I 4. The devil153 is a frightening concept ONLY because he is thought of as extremely powerful and extremely active. He is perceived as a force in combat with God, battling Him for possession of Souls. He deceives by lies, and builds kingdoms of his own, in which everything is in direct opposition to God. Yet, he ATTRACTS men rather than repels them, and they are perceived as willing to “sell” him their Souls in return for gifts they KNOW are of no real worth at all.
T 3 I 5. This makes absolutely no sense. The whole picture is one in which man acts in a way he HIMSELF realizes is self destructive, but which he does NOT WILL to correct, and therefore perceives the cause as beyond his control.
T 3 I 6. We have discussed the fall or Separation before, but its meaning must be clearly understood, without symbols. The Separation is NOT symbolic. It is an order of reality, or a system of thought that is PERFECTLY real in time, though not in Eternity. All beliefs are real to the believer.
T 3 I 7. The fruit of only ONE tree was “forbidden” to man in his symbolic garden.154 But God could not have forbidden it, or it could not have BEEN eaten. If God knows His children, and I assure you he does, would he have put them in a position where their own destruction was possible? The “tree” which was forbidden was correctly named “tree of knowledge.” Yet God created knowledge, and gave it freely to His Creations. The symbolism here is open to many interpretations, but you may be SURE that any interpretation which perceives either God OR His creations as if they were capable of destroying their own Purpose is wrong.
T 3 I 8. Eating of the tree of knowledge is a symbolic expression for incorporating into the self the ability for self-creation. This is the ONLY sense in which God and His souls are NOT co-creators. The belief that they ARE is implicit in the “self concept,” a concept now made acceptable by its WEAKNESS, and explained by a tendency of the self to create an IMAGE of itself. Its fear aspect is usually ascribed to the “father figure,” a particularly interesting idea, in view of the fact that nobody means the physical father by the term. It refers to an IMAGE of a father in relation to an IMAGE of the self.
T 3 I 9. Once again, images are perceived, NOT known. Knowledge cannot deceive, but perception CAN. Man can perceive himself as self-creating, but he CANNOT do more than BELIEVE it. He CANNOT make it true. I told you before that when you finally perceive correctly, you can only be GLAD YOU CAN’T. But until then, the belief that you CAN is the central foundation-stone in your thought-system, and all your defenses are used to attack ideas which would bring it to light.
T 3 I 10. You and B. still believe you are images of your own creation. You are split with your own Souls on this point, and there is NO resolution, because you believe the one thing that is literally INCONCEIVABLE. That is why you CANNOT create, and are afraid to make or produce.
T 3 I 11. You, Helen, are CONSTANTLY arguing about the authorship of this course. This is NOT humility; it is a REAL authority problem. You, Bill, really believe that by teaching you are assuming a dominant or father role, and that the “father figure” will kill you. This is not humility either. Castration fears are a particularly distorted reflection of the real basic anxiety, or Separation fear.
T 3 I 12. 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. Never underestimate the155 power of this denial. Look at your lives and see what the devil has made. But KNOW that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation IS a lie.
T 3 I 13. Your creation by God is the only foundation which cannot be shaken, because the light is IN it. Your starting point IS truth, and you MUST return to this Beginning. Much has been perceived since then, but nothing else has happened. That is why your Souls are still in peace, even though your minds are in conflict.
T 3 I 14. You have not yet gone back far ENOUGH and that is why you become so fearful. As you approach the beginning, you feel the fear of the destruction of your thought-systems upon you, as if it were the fear of death. There IS no death,156 but there IS a belief in death.
T 3 I 15. The Bible says that the tree that bears no fruit will be cut off and will wither away.157 Be glad! The light WILL shine from the true Foundation of Life, and your own thought-systems WILL stand corrected. They CANNOT stand otherwise.
T 3 I 16. You who fear salvation are WILLING death. Life and death, light and darkness, knowledge and perception are irreconcilable. To believe that THEY can be reconciled is to believe that God and man can NOT. Only the Oneness of Knowledge is conflictless. Your Kingdom is not of this world158 because it was given you from BEYOND this world. Only IN this world is the idea of an authority problem meaningful. The world is not left by death but by truth, and truth CAN be known by all those for whom the Kingdom was created, and for whom it waits.
152 Originally typed “It,” the word is crossed out nad “THIS” is written above in block caps.
153 Revelation 12:7-10 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
154 Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
155 The word “the” is not in the manuscript. It is added to make the sentence grammatical.
156 2 Timothy 1:10 But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
157 John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
158 John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”