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82 Let not the world's light, given unto you, be hidden from the world. It needs the light, for it is dark indeed, and men despair because the savior's vision is withheld, and what they see is death. Their savior stands, unknowing and unknown, beholding them with eyes unopened. And they cannot see until he looks on them with seeing eyes and offers them forgiveness with his own. Can you to whom God says, "Release My Son!" be tempted not to listen when you learn that it is you for whom He asks release? And what but this is what this course would teach? And what but this is there for you to learn?

CHAPTER 31:
THE SIMPLICITY OF SALVATION
VII. THE SAVIOR'S VISION
Workbook for Students
Part II
What is the Ego?
1 The ego is idolatry—the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the will that sees the Will of God as enemy and takes a form in which It is denied. The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 335
I choose to see
my brother's sinlessness.
1 Forgiveness is a choice. I never see my brother as he is, for that is far beyond perception. What I see in him is merely what I wish to see because it stands for what I want to be the truth. It is to this alone that I respond, however much I seem to be impelled by outside happenings. I choose to see what I would look upon, and this I see and only this. My brother's sinlessness shows me that I would look upon my own. And I will see it, having chosen to behold my brother in its holy light.

2 What could restore Your memory to me except to see my brother's sinlessness? His holiness reminds me that he was created one with me and like myself. In him I find my Self, and in Your Son I find the memory of You as well.
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Course in Miracles
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Text
Chapter 31
 The Simplicity of Salvation

VII. The Savior's Vision
par 68-82
[TEXT READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
68 Learning is change. Salvation does not seek to use a means as yet too alien to your thinking to be helpful nor to make the kinds of change you could not recognize. Concepts are needed while perception lasts, and changing concepts is salvation's task. For it must deal in contrasts, not in truth, which has no opposite and cannot change. In this world's concepts are the guilty "bad;" the "good" are innocent. And no one here but holds a concept of himself in which he counts the "good" to pardon him the "bad." Nor does he trust the "good" in anyone, believing that the "bad" must lurk behind. This concept emphasizes treachery, and trust becomes impossible. Nor could it change while you perceive the "bad" in you.

69 You could not recognize your "evil" thoughts as long as you see value in attack. You will perceive them sometimes, but will not see them as meaningless. And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another "crime." You cannot give yourself your innocence, for you are too confused about yourself. But should one brother dawn upon your sight as wholly worthy of forgiveness, then your concept of yourself is wholly changed . Your "evil" thoughts have been forgiven with his, because you let them all affect you not. No longer did you choose that you should be the sign of evil and of guilt in him. And as you gave your trust to what is good in him, you gave it to the good in you.

70 In terms of concepts, it is thus you see him more than just a body, for the good is never what the body seems to be. The actions of the body are perceived as coming from the "baser" part of you and thus of him as well. By focusing upon the good in him, the body grows decreasingly persistent in your sight and will at length be seen as little more than just a shadow circling round the good. And this will be your concept of yourself, when you have reached the world beyond the sight your eyes alone can offer you to see. For you will not interpret what you see without the Aid that God has given you. And in His sight there is another world.

71 You live in that world just as much as this. For both are concepts of yourself which can be interchanged, but never jointly held. The contrast is far greater than you think, for you will love this concept of yourself because it was not made for you alone. Born as a gift for someone not perceived to be yourself, it has been given you. For your forgiveness, offered unto him, has been accepted now for both of you.

72 Have faith in him who walks with you, so that your fearful concept of yourself may change. And look upon the good in him that you may not be frightened by your "evil" thoughts because they do not cloud your view of him. And all this shift requires is that you be willing that this happy change occur. No more than this is asked. On its behalf, remember what the concept of yourself which now you hold has brought you in its wake, and welcome the glad contrast offered you. Hold out your hand that you may have the gift of kind forgiveness which you offer one whose need for it is just the same as yours. And let the cruel concept of yourself be changed to one which brings the peace of God.

73 The concept of yourself which now you hold would guarantee your function here remain forever unaccomplished and undone. And thus it dooms you to a bitter sense of deep depression and futility. Yet it need not be fixed unless you choose to hold it past the hope of change and keep it static and concealed within your mind. Give it instead to Him Who understands the changes that it needs to let it serve the function given you to bring you peace that you may offer peace to have it yours. Alternatives are in your mind to use, and you can see yourself another way. Would you not rather look upon yourself as needed for salvation of the world instead of as salvation's enemy?

74 The concept of the self stands like a shield, a silent barricade before the truth, and hides it from your sight. All things you see are images because you look on them as through a barrier which dims your sight and warps your vision, so that you behold nothing with clarity. The light is kept from everything you see. At most, you glimpse a shadow of what lies beyond. At least, you merely look on darkness and perceive the terrified imaginings that come from guilty thoughts and concepts born of fear. And what you see is hell, for fear is hell. All that is given you is for release—the sight, the vision, and the inner Guide all lead you out of hell with those you love beside you and the universe with them.

75 Behold your role within the universe! To every part of true creation has the Lord of Love and Life entrusted all salvation from the misery of hell. And to each one has He allowed the grace to be a savior to the holy ones especially entrusted to his care. And this he learns when first he looks upon one brother as he looks upon himself and sees the mirror of himself in him. Thus is the concept of himself laid by, for nothing stands between his sight and what he looks upon to judge what he beholds. And in this single vision does he see the face of Christ and understands he looks on everyone as he beholds this One. For there is light where darkness was before, and now the veil is lifted from his sight.

76 The veil across the face of Christ, the fear of God and of salvation, and the love of guilt and death, they all are different names for just one error—that there is a space between you and your brother, kept apart by an illusion of yourself which holds him off from you and you away from him. The sword of judgment is the weapon which you give to the illusion of yourself that it may fight to keep the space that holds your brother off unoccupied by love. Yet while you hold this sword, you must perceive the body as yourself, for you are bound to separation from the sight of him who holds the mirror to another view of what he is and thus what you must be.

77 What is temptation but the wish to stay in hell and misery? And what could this give rise to but an image of yourself that can be miserable and remain in hell and torment? Who has learned to see his brother not as this has saved himself, and thus is he a savior to the rest. To everyone has God entrusted all, because a partial savior would be one who is but partly saved. The holy ones whom God has given each of you to save are everyone you meet or look upon, not knowing who they are, all those you saw an instant and forgot, and those you knew a long while since, and those you will yet meet, the unremembered and the not yet born. For God has given you His Son to save from every concept that he ever held.

78 Yet while you wish to stay in hell, how could you be the savior of the Son of God? How would you know his holiness while you see him apart from yours? For holiness is seen through holy eyes that look upon the innocence within and thus expect to see it everywhere. And so they call it forth in everyone they look upon that he may be what they expect of him. This is the savior's vision—that he see his innocence in all he looks upon and sees his own salvation everywhere. He holds no concept of himself between his calm and open eyes and what he sees. He brings the light to what he looks upon, that he may see it as it really is.

79 Whatever form temptation seems to take, it always but reflects a wish to be a self which you are not. And from that wish, a concept rises, teaching that you are the thing you wish to be. It will remain your concept of yourself until the wish that fathered it no longer is held dear. But while you cherish it, you will behold your brother in the likeness of the self whose image has the wish begot of you. For vision can but represent a wish, because it has no power to create. Yet it can look with love or look with hate, depending only on the simple choice of whether you would join with what you see or keep yourself apart and separate.

80 The savior's vision is as innocent of what your brother is as it is free of any judgment made upon yourself. It sees no past in anyone at all. And thus it serves a wholly open mind, unclouded by old concepts and prepared to look on only what the present holds. It cannot judge because it does not know. And recognizing this, it merely asks, "What is the meaning of what I behold?" Then is the answer given. And the door held open for the face of Christ to shine upon the one who asks in innocence to see beyond the veil of old ideas and ancient concepts held so long and dear against the vision of the Christ in you.

81 Be vigilant against temptation, then, remembering that it is but a wish, insane and meaningless, to make yourself a thing which you are not. And think as well upon the thing that you would be instead. It is a thing of madness, pain, and death; a thing of treachery and black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die and end the dream of fear. This is temptation, nothing more than this. Can this be difficult to choose against? Consider what temptation is, and see the real alternatives you choose between. There are but two. Be not deceived by what appears as many choices. There is hell or Heaven, and of these you choose but one.

82 Let not the world's light, given unto you, be hidden from the world. It needs the light, for it is dark indeed, and men despair because the savior's vision is withheld, and what they see is death. Their savior stands, unknowing and unknown, beholding them with eyes unopened. And they cannot see until he looks on them with seeing eyes and offers them forgiveness with his own. Can you to whom God says, "Release My Son!" be tempted not to listen when you learn that it is you for whom He asks release? And what but this is what this course would teach? And what but this is there for you to learn?

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 335
I choose to see
my brother's sinlessness.
Sarah's Commentary:
 
In the Introduction to Part II of the Workbook, we are encouraged to spend "time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy." (W.PII.IN.2.6) "We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire." (W.PII.IN.2.8) We apply the Lesson throughout the day as well as in morning and evening quiet times; and we apply the Lesson whenever we are tempted to judge anyone, become upset, or lose our peace. Thus, instead of sending the angry email, saying something we might regret, getting angry, getting revenge, arguing, trying to control a situation, or holding onto thoughts of distress, concern, or worry, we make the decision to step back from the ego and inquire more deeply as to what is really going on in our minds. What are we believing and valuing? Certainly, this takes discipline. The ego gets outraged, demanding action of some kind in the face of seeing itself as unfairly treated; yet we can choose to step back, which can be difficult for an untrained mind.
 
This Lesson is about the choice we can make in every moment to either judge or forgive. It is entirely up to us. No one will coerce us. However, Jesus urges us to forgive on behalf of our own happiness. Anything we put out there will always come back at us. This is the law of karma. What we give, we receive. The reality is that we never see our brother as he is. Whenever we choose to allow forgiveness to dominate, we feel redeemed, which is the only way we can know the Self we all share. This is the Christ Self, which is our only reality. We see in our brothers what is unhealed in our own mind. We see what it is we are holding against ourselves that we have denied in ourselves and projected onto our brothers. When we take responsibility for our projections, they can be forgiven. All concepts that we hold about ourselves are false and eventually need to be released. The only way we can be happy is by choosing Jesus as our guide to seeing in all situations. On our own, there is no certainty about anything, including what we really are.
 
Jesus tells us that our holy mind establishes everything that seems to happen to us. "Every response you make to everything you perceive is up to you, because your mind determines your perception of it." (T.10.IN.2.7) (ACIM OE T.9.VIII.60) "Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you will project upon the world. See it as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God." (T.21.IN.2.1-2) (ACIM OE T.21.I.2) We hurt ourselves when we see our brothers as guilty, but we can choose to give our wrong perceptions to the Holy Spirit. Making that choice over and over again, without judging ourselves for our misperceptions, brings us to a place of joy and peace found in no other way.
 
What we see in our brother is what we attribute to ourselves. My mind is the projector, projecting onto other bodies the attributes I judge in myself. This is how we are able to see the unhealed parts of our own mind. When we are reluctant to accept responsibility for the guilt, then the opportunity for healing is dismissed. Instead of healing, we are choosing to see what we don't like about ourselves "out there" in others, but there is no "out there." Everything we see starts in our own mind.  "Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them." (T.26.VII.4.7) (ACIM OE T.26.VIII.48) When we think that punishment is coming to us from the world and other bodies, we are actually seeing the effects that originate in our own mind.
 
When fears arise in the mind, they provide a beautiful opportunity to look at the beliefs in the mind that create the effects in the world. When we are willing to own the guilt and fear in the mind, we are invited to inquire about the beliefs we are holding that support the fear. It is a time to look with curiosity and willingness to discover what is there in the hidden depths of our mind. When seen and forgiven, we experience our innocence. If fears arise again, it is just because we have not gone far enough back into the unconscious mind. Everything that seems to happen is just a portal into the divine. When we embrace it instead of resist and deny what is being revealed to us, we take a step in healing.
 
There are situations and events that seem to create havoc for us and bring up anger and grievances. While we give these events meaning, they are ultimately neutral. Our interpretations of these events and our emotional responses to them are what we need to take responsibility for if we are to accept healing of our mind. We assess situations and events as "good" or "bad" based on our values, concepts, beliefs, and judgments, and this is why perceptions differ among us. This is not about trying to be spiritual in the face of difficult challenges where strong reactions are triggered in us. It is not helpful to deny or repress what we are feeling. What is helpful is to inquire what the feelings are about and the beliefs that drive them. When we get honest about what shows up and are willing to admit that it all comes from within our own mind, the process of healing can start.
 
We only see in our brothers what it is we wish to see. We can never see our brothers as they are because their reality is beyond perception. Ultimately, when we see guilt in our brothers, it is just another opportunity to let ourselves off the hook for the same guilt. Guilt and attack are what maintains the separation. The guilt in our mind is projected onto our brothers in our wish to see in them our judgments of ourselves. This process reinforces separation. We want separation to be true so our independent self can be preserved. If we want to awaken to the truth of what we are, we must choose to heal the guilt that we project onto our brothers.
 
Yesterday, someone shared his perception of me and I felt hurt by what was said. However, I took a breath and chose to inquire into what I believed about myself that triggered me. Instead of defending myself and making a case as to why he was wrong, I was able to look more deeply at the source of my upset. There must be something in me that believes what he was saying about me in order to have a reaction. Clearly, it was a judgment I was a holding against myself. Because of my own self-judgment, what was said found a place to land in me. If I did not see any truth in what was being said, I would not have a reaction to it. When we are willing to step back from our defenses, we can learn a lot about our own hidden judgments and be grateful to our brother for bringing this to our attention.
 
Everyone is a mirror to us of our own inner condition. "You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there." (T.25.III.1.3) (ACIM OE T.25.IV.23) "When you want only love you will see nothing else." (T-12.VII.8.1) (ACIM OE T.11.VIII.69)
 
The gift of forgiveness is the awakening of the memory within of our sinlessness. The Atonement Principle is the assurance that we cannot and have not changed ourselves into guilty sinners. Thus, forgiveness undoes the reality of sin, and we are offered the opportunity, through forgiveness, to receive the gifts the Holy Spirit holds out to us, rather than all the "gifts" of the ego, which only deliver more pain and suffering. Jesus wants us to recognize just how unhappy we are and to see that when we choose him as our teacher of forgiveness, more and more peace is experienced.
 
In any relationship, we have lots of opportunities daily to see our projections. I have expectations about the way I want things to be. The ego is always demanding, "I want it thus." I believe things have to be a certain way, and people have to meet my requirements and expectations for me to be happy. When it is not the way I want it, I hold grievances. Yet I have set it up this way in the first place by determining how things must be for me to be happy. I am responsible for the setup, and now, I am upset. What is being offered in every one of my relationships is the opportunity to look at what is in my mind. Now, I have a choice. "I choose to see what I would look upon, and this I see, and only this. My brother's sinlessness shows me that I would look upon my own. And I will see it, having chosen to behold my brother in its holy light." (W.335.1.5-7)
 
Unless and until we choose to release our false perceptions, we will suffer. It is obvious that our emotional response has nothing to do with what anyone did. I can know my response is wrong by recognizing that not everyone would respond the way I did under the same circumstances. I can decide to look at my unforgiving thoughts and take responsibility for them. Do I want to be right or happy? As Jesus says, "Nothing at all has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep, and dreamed a dream in which you were an alien to yourself, and but a part of someone else's dream. The miracle does not awaken you, but merely shows you who the dreamer is. It teaches you there is a choice of dreams while you are still asleep, depending on the purpose of your dreaming. Do you wish for dreams of healing, or for dreams of death? A dream is like a memory in that it pictures what you wanted shown to you." (T.28.II.4.1-5) (ACIM OE T.28.III.18-19)
 
If I want a change in my life experience, I have to realize that I am doing the dreaming. I have dreamed every situation I encounter. It has been presented to me for a purpose. Sometimes, the purpose is not very clear to me, especially while in the midst of a difficult situation. This is not about denying what our eyes see when we witness pain, attack, murder, and sickness, but it is an opportunity to deny the ego’s interpretation. It is up to us to choose the interpretation that we give to these events and to the people involved. "This world is full of miracles. They stand in shining silence next to every dream of pain and suffering, of sin and guilt. They are the dream's alternative, the choice to be the dreamer, rather than deny the active role in making up the dream." (T.28.II.12.1-3) (ACIM OE T.28.III.27)
 
There is a tendency in all of us to deny responsibility for our attacks as a way to claim our innocence and see ourselves as victims of someone else’s attack. "If he had not said or done that, I would not be so frustrated with him." This is all about our preference to be seen as the innocent victim, rather than admitting responsibility for everything that seems to happen to us. We are indeed the dreamer of the dream. The good news is that we have the power within us to change the dream and no longer stay stuck in it. We can look at all of it from above the battleground, where we gain a new perspective.
 
"What could restore Your memory to me, except to see my brother's sinlessness? His holiness reminds me that he was created one with me, and like myself. In him I find my Self, and in Your Son I find the memory of You as well." (W.335.2.1-3) If we want to wake up to the truth of who we are, if we want enlightenment, and if we want to know the love we are, we must forgive our brother for our own guilt that we have projected onto him. To be enlightened is not an event in the future. It happens in each moment in which a grievance is released. It is here now when we choose to embrace forgiveness. It is always in the moment when a block to love is released and peace is experienced Now .
 
We are One Self. We need our brothers to show us all the unhealed places in our minds that block us from the truth of what we are. They are indeed our saviors. The only way we will remember the truth is through forgiveness. Our special relationships provide us with the perfect classroom for undoing the ego, and with willingness, we can be happy learners, regardless of what is being presented to us in any situation.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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