A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 31: The Final Vision

Section IV. The Real Alternative

Read A Course in Miracles, Chapter 31, Section IV. (pages 653-655)

In this world, what does every road lead to in the end?

In this section we learn that in this world we seem to be the decision makers. There seems to be an endless choice of paths that we can travel. But in this section we are learning that, in this world, our only choice is between illusions and that all roads in this world lead to death in the end.

In this world we encounter a constant series of problems. We think we are a separate body who is in charge of solving our problems through our individual choices. Now we see that if we are in a state of mind where we think we are on our own, these thoughts are coming from the thought system that has our death as its goal because the ego thought system is built on the foundation that we are guilty for our ‘sin’ of separating from our Source.

Why does Jesus say that there is no choice at all within the world?

In paragraph 3 Jesus answers this question: “There is no choice [in the world] where every end is sure. Perhaps you would prefer to try them all, before you really learn they are but one. The roads this world can offer seem to be quite large in number, but the time must come when everyone begins to see how like they are to one another.” (3:1-3) We are now seeing that the purpose of every ‘life’ in this world is to make illusions of separation appear to be real. We are attempting to be something other than our true Self.

We have tried again and again to learn this lesson of separation, but eventually we come to understand its futility. “Who would be willing to be turned away from all the roadways of the world, unless he understood their real futility? Is it not needful that he should begin with [seeing the world’s futility], to seek another way instead?” (5:1-2)

What is the beginning of acceptance that there is a real alternative?

We must come to the point of accepting that what the world offers (illusions of separation) is not really what we want. It will not bring us lasting happiness. Jesus tells us, “Think not that happiness is ever found by following a road away from it. This makes no sense, and cannot be the way.” (7:1-2)

What does Jesus say A Course in Miracles attempts to teach?

Jesus answers this in paragraph 8: “There is a choice that you have power to make when you have seen the real alternatives. Until that point is reached you have no choice, and you can but decide how you would choose the better to deceive yourself again. This course attempts to teach no more than that the power of decision cannot lie in choosing different forms of what is still the same illusion and the same mistake.” (8:1-3 italics added to sentence 3)

What are we to learn about every brother in this mistaken world?

We are to learn that nothing has happened to change God’s one Son. We are to learn that every brother is still as God created Him — as perfect Love that still resides in the Mind of Love. 

Jesus brings us to the real alternative when he tells us: “He (God) has not left His Thoughts! He could no more depart from [His Sons] than they could keep Him out. In unity with Him do they abide, and in their oneness Both are kept complete. There is no road that leads away from Him. A journey from yourself does not exist.” (10:1-5) Here we see that in reality there is no world and every dream of separation does not exist.

What are we to forgive ourselves for?

Jesus tells us, “Forgive yourself your madness, and forget all senseless journeys and all goal-less aims. They have no meaning. You cannot escape from what you are. For God is merciful, and did not let His Son abandon Him. For what He is be thankful, for in that is your escape from madness and from death.” (11:1-5)

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