“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” (Ode to a Grecian Urn, by John Keats)
It is still up to you to choose to be willing to join with truth or illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose, you will endow with beauty and reality because the choice depends on which you value more. The spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion, freedom or slavery–it is all the same. For you can never choose except between God and the ego. Thought systems are but true or false, and all their attributes come simply from what they are. Only the thoughts of God are true. And all that follows from them comes from what they are and is as true as is the holy Source from which they came. (A Course in Miracles, Original Edition. P. 340-341)
One theme that runs throughout A Course in Miracles is this idea that there are only ever two options, and only one choice: Truth and illusion are the options, the choice is one or the other. Any subsequent options you encounter and any possible choices simply derive from these.
This is why people say things like, “If it’s not Love, it’s fear”. The sentiment, that all non-love emotions are fear, comes from A Course in Miracles and the two-option, one-choice idea. This Love-fear concept entered our more mainstream culture only about 20 years ago; prior to that, emotions were just emotions, not juxtaposed with Love, and not all lumped together as “fear” (but I digress).
The quote above offers other examples of the same options and choice: the veil of ugliness or the real world, freedom or slavery. The course also offers these options: mind or body, ego or Holy Spirit, separation or unity.
The choice, regardless of the options is the same: either you are choosing God (Love), or choosing the ego (fear). Anything that is of Love, that unites, that brings freedom is God, anything that creates separation (and subsequently creates fear, which is a bondage), is of the ego.
Tying this in to Keats and beauty
The first line above from A Course in Miracles is: It is still up to you to choose to be willing to join with truth or illusion.
There is only one choice; your options are truth or illusion.
From Keats: Beauty is truth, truth beauty
If you choose truth, you are also choosing beauty, because for Keats (or, really for his Grecian Urn, which is actually speaking these words), truth is beauty.
Choosing anything other than truth, is choosing ugliness.
To put this another way: there are no shades or degrees of Truth. Truth is either all or nothing.
This is a lot to swallow, isn’t it? I mean, I am writing this, and I understand what I am saying, but there is a part of me going, “Come ooon, are we really supposed to buy this?” Because, this is saying that at every moment, if I am not fully in Truth, then I am in fear-ugliness-illusion, etc. And how can I buy that? Because I know I am not always fully in Truth, no matter how I strive and work, yet I cannot believe that this means I am “in” fear-ugliness-illusion.
And yet… I also see how I might be perceiving illusion. Oh confound it! Where is the middle ground in this? Where is the concession to evolution, to taking steps, to approaching, seeking, and intending?
Good thing I still have 20 days to figure this out!