Heaven is the decision I must make.
1. In this world Heaven is a choice, because here we believe there are alternatives to choose between. 2We think that all things have an opposite, and what we want we choose. 3If Heaven exists there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive, and what we think is real.
2. Creation knows no opposite. 2But here is opposition part of being “real.” 3It is this strange perception of the truth that makes the choice of Heaven seem to be the same as the relinquishment of hell. 4It is not really thus. 5Yet what is true in God’s creation cannot enter here until it is reflected in some form the world can understand. 6Truth cannot come where it could only be perceived with fear. 7For this would be the error truth can be brought to illusions. 8Opposition makes the truth unwelcome, and it cannot come.
3. Choice is the obvious escape from what appears as opposites. 2Decision lets one of conflicting goals become the aim of effort and expenditure of time. 3Without decision, time is but a waste and effort dissipated. 4It is spent for nothing in return, and time goes by without results. 5There is no sense of gain, for nothing is accomplished; nothing learned.
4. You need to be reminded that you think a thousand choices are confronting you, when there is really only one to make. 2And even this but seems to be a choice. 3Do not confuse yourself with all the doubts that myriad decisions would induce. 4You make but one. 5And when that one is made, you will perceive it was no choice at all. 6For truth is true, and nothing else is true. 7There is no opposite to choose instead. 8There is no contradiction to the truth.
5. Choosing depends on learning. 2And the truth cannot be learned, but only recognized. 3In recognition its acceptance lies, and as it is accepted it is known. 4But knowledge is beyond the goals we seek to teach within the framework of this course. 5Ours are teaching goals, to be attained through learning how to reach them, what they are, and what they offer you. 6Decisions are the outcome of your learning, for they rest on what you have accepted as the truth of what you are, and what your needs must be.
6. In this insanely complicated world, Heaven appears to take the form of choice, rather than merely being what it is. 2Of all the choices you have tried to make this is the simplest, most definitive and prototype of all the rest, the one which settles all decisions. 3If you could decide the rest, this one remains unsolved. 4But when you solve this one, the others are resolved with it, for all decisions but conceal this one by taking different forms. 5Here is the final and the only choice in which is truth accepted or denied.
7. So we begin today considering the choice that time was made to help us make. 2Such is its holy purpose, now transformed from the intent you gave it; that it be a means for demonstrating hell is real, hope changes to despair, and life itself must in the end be overcome by death. 3In death alone are opposites resolved, for ending opposition is to die. 4And thus salvation must be seen as death, for life is seen as conflict. 5To resolve the conflict is to end your life as well.
8. These mad beliefs can gain unconscious hold of great intensity, and grip the mind with terror and anxiety so strong that it will not relinquish its ideas about its own protection. 2It must be saved from salvation, threatened to be safe, and magically armored against truth. 3And these decisions are made unaware, to keep them safely undisturbed; apart from question and from reason and from doubt.
9. Heaven is chosen consciously. 2The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. 3All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help. 4And all mistakes in judgment that the mind had made before are open to correction, as the truth dismisses them as causeless. 5Now are they without effects. 6They cannot be concealed, because their nothingness is recognized.
10. The conscious choice of Heaven is as sure as is the ending of the fear of hell, when it is raised from its protective shield of unawareness, and is brought to light. 2Who can decide between the clearly seen and the unrecognized? 3Yet who can fail to make a choice between alternatives when only one is seen as valuable; the other as a wholly worthless thing, a but imagined source of guilt and pain? 4Who hesitates to make a choice like this? 5And shall we hesitate to choose today?
11. We make the choice for Heaven as we wake, and spend five minutes making sure that we have made the one decision that is sane. 2We recognize we make a conscious choice between what has existence and what has nothing but an appearance of the truth. 3Its pseudo-being, brought to what is real, is flimsy and transparent in the light. 4It holds no terror now, for what was made enormous, vengeful, pitiless with hate, demands obscurity for fear to be invested there. 5Now it is recognized as but a foolish, trivial mistake.
12. Before we close our eyes in sleep tonight, we reaffirm the choice that we have made each hour in between. 2And now we give the last five minutes of our waking day to the decision with which we awoke. 3As every hour passed, we have declared our choice again, in a brief quiet time devoted to maintaining sanity. 4And finally, we close the day with this, acknowledging we chose but what we want:
5Heaven is the decision I must make. 6I make it now, and will not change my mind, because it is the only thing I want.