47 This is a course in miracles. And as such, the laws of healing must be understood before the purpose of the course can be accomplished. Let us review the principles that we have covered and arrange them in a way that summarizes all that must occur for healing to be possible. For when it once is possible, it must occur. All sickness comes from separation. When the separation is denied, it goes. For it is gone as soon as the idea which brought it has been healed and been replaced by sanity. Sickness and sin are seen as consequence and cause in a relationship kept hidden from awareness that it may be carefully preserved from reason's light.
48 Guilt asks for punishment, and its request is granted—not in truth but in the world of shadows and illusions built on sin. The Son of God perceives what he would see, because perception is a wish fulfilled. Perception changes, made to take the place of changeless knowledge. Yet is truth unchanged. It cannot be perceived, but only known. What is perceived takes many forms, but none has meaning. Brought to truth, its senselessness is quite apparent. Kept apart from truth, it seems to have a meaning and be real.
49 Perception's laws are opposite to truth, and what is true of knowledge is not true of anything that is apart from it. Yet has God given answer to the world of sickness which applies to all its forms. God's answer is eternal, though it operates in time where it is needed. Yet because it is of God, the laws of time do not affect its workings. It is in this world, but not a part of it. For it is real and dwells where all reality must be. Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out and seems to be external to the mind is not outside at all but an effect of what is in and has not left its source.
50 God's answer lies where the belief in sin must be, for only there can its effects be utterly undone and without cause. Perception's laws must be reversed, because they are reversals of the laws of truth. The laws of truth forever will be true and cannot be reversed, yet can be seen as upside-down. And this must be corrected where the illusion of reversal lies.
51 It is impossible that one illusion be less amenable to truth than are the rest. But it is possible that some are given greater value and less willingly offered to truth for healing and for help. No illusion has any truth in it. Yet it appears some are more true than others, although this clearly makes no sense at all. All that a hierarchy of illusions can show is preference, not reality. What relevance has preference to the truth? Illusions are illusions and are false. Your preference gives them no reality. Not one is true in any way, and all must yield with equal ease to what God gave as answer to them all. God's Will is One. And any wish that seems to go against His Will has no foundation in the truth.
52 Sin is not error, for it goes beyond correction to impossibility. Yet the belief that it is real has made some errors seem forever past the hope of healing and the lasting grounds for hell. If this were so, would Heaven be opposed by its own opposite, as real as it. Then would God's Will be split in two and all creation be subjected to the laws of two opposing powers until God becomes impatient, splits the world apart, and relegates attack unto Himself. Thus has He lost His Mind, proclaiming sin has taken His reality from Him, and brought His love at last to vengeance's heels. For such an insane picture, an insane defense can be expected but cannot establish that the picture must be true.
53 Nothing gives meaning where no meaning is. And truth needs no defense to make it true. Illusions have no witnesses and no effects. Who looks on them is but deceived. Forgiveness is the only function here and serves to bring the joy this world denies to every aspect of God's Son where sin was thought to rule. Perhaps you do not see the role forgiveness plays in ending death and all beliefs that rise from mists of guilt.
54 Sins are beliefs which you impose between your brother and yourself. They limit you to time and place and give a little space to you, another little space to him. This separating off is symbolized in your perception by a body which is clearly separate and a thing apart. Yet what this symbol represents is but your wish to be apart and separate. Forgiveness takes away what stands between your brother and yourself. It is the wish that you be joined with him and not apart. We call it "wish" because it still conceives of other choices and has not yet reached beyond the world of choice entirely.
55 Yet is this wish in line with Heaven's state and not in opposition to God's Will. Although it falls far short of giving you your full inheritance, it does remove the obstacles which you have placed between the Heaven where you are and recognition of where and what you are. Facts are unchanged. Yet facts can be denied and thus unknown, though they were known before they were denied.
56 Salvation, perfect and complete, asks but a little wish that what is true be true; a little willingness to overlook what is not there; a little sigh that speaks for Heaven as a preference to this world which death and desolation seem to rule. In joyous answer will creation rise within you to replace the world you see with Heaven, wholly perfect and complete. What is forgiveness but a willingness that truth be true? What can remain unhealed and broken from a Unity Which holds all things within Itself? There is no sin. And every miracle is possible the instant that the Son of God perceives his wishes and the Will of God are one.
57 What is the Will of God? He wills His Son have everything. And this He guaranteed when He created him as everything. It is impossible that anything be lost if what you have is what you are. This is the miracle by which creation became your function, sharing it with God. It is not understood apart from Him and therefore has no meaning in this world.
58 Here does the Son of God ask not too much but far too little. He would sacrifice his own identity with everything to find a little treasure of his own. And this he cannot do without a sense of isolation, loss, and loneliness. This is the treasure he has sought to find. And he could only be afraid of it. Is fear a treasure? Can uncertainty be what you want? Or is it a mistake about your will and what you really are? Let us consider what the error is, so it can be corrected, not protected.