"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
Course in Miracles
Salvation and the Holy Relationship
III. Your Brother's Sinlessness
The opposite of illusions is not disillusionment, but truth. Only to the ego, to which truth is meaningless, do they appear to be the only alternatives and different from each other. In truth they are the same. Both bring the same amount of misery, though each one seems to be the way to lose the misery the other brings. Every illusion carries pain and suffering in the dark folds of the heavy garments with which it hides its nothingness. Yet in these dark and heavy garments are those who seek illusions covered and hidden from the joy of truth.
Truth is the opposite of illusions because it offers joy. What else but joy could be the opposite of misery? To leave one kind of misery and seek another is hardly an escape. To change illusions is to make no change. The search for joy in misery is senseless, for how could joy be found in misery? All that is possible in the dark world of misery is to select some aspects out of it, see them as different, and define the difference as joy. Yet to perceive a difference where none exists will surely fail to
Illusions carry only guilt and suffering, sickness and death to their believers. The form in which they are accepted is irrelevant. No form of misery in reason's eyes can be confused with joy. Joy is eternal. You can be sure indeed that any seeming happiness that does not last is really fear. Joy does not turn to sorrow, for the eternal cannot change. But sorrow
be turned to joy, for time gives way to the eternal. Only the timeless must remain unchanged, but everything in time can change with time. Yet if the change be real and not imagined, illusions must give way to truth and not to other dreams that are but equally unreal. This is no difference.
Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it
and go the other way
. Truth is the same and misery the same, but they
different from each other in every way, in every instance, and without exception. To believe that one exception can exist is to confuse what is the same with what is different.
illusion cherished and defended against the truth makes
truth meaningless and
illusions real. Such is the power of belief. It cannot compromise. And faith in innocence is faith in sin if the belief excludes one living thing and holds it out apart from its forgiveness.
Both reason and the ego will tell you this, but what they
of it is not the same. The ego will assure you now that it is impossible for you to see no guilt in anyone. And if this vision is the
means by which escape from guilt can be attained, then the belief in sin must be eternal. Yet reason looks on this another way, for reason sees the
of an idea as what will make it true or false. This must be so if the idea is
its source. Therefore, says reason, if escape from guilt was given to the Holy Spirit as His purpose, and by One to Whom nothing He wills
be impossible, the means for its attainment are
than possible. They
be there, and you must
This is a crucial period in this course, for here the separation of you and the ego must be made complete. For if you
the means to let the Holy Spirit's purpose be accomplished, they can be
their use will you gain faith in them. Yet to the ego this must be impossible, and no one undertakes to do what holds no hope of ever being done.
know what your Creator wills is possible, but what you made believes it is not so. Now must you choose between yourself and an
. There is no point in trying to avoid this one decision. It
be made. Faith and belief can fall to either side, but reason tells you that misery lies only on one side and joy upon the other.
Forsake not now each other. For you who are the same will not decide alone nor differently. Either you give each other life or death; either you are each other's savior or his judge, offering him sanctuary or condemnation. This course will be believed entirely or not at all. For it is wholly true or wholly false and cannot be but partially believed. And you will either escape from misery entirely or not at all. Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you
in hell and misery.
There is no part of Heaven you can take and weave into illusions. Nor is there one illusion you can enter Heaven with. A savior cannot be a judge, nor mercy condemnation. And vision cannot damn, but only bless. Whose function is to save will save.
he will do it is beyond your understanding, but
must be your choice. For time you made, and time you
command. You are no more a slave to time than to the world you made.
Let us look closer at the whole illusion that what you made has power to enslave its maker. This is the same belief that caused the separation. It is the meaningless idea that thoughts can leave the thinker's mind, be different from it, and
opposition to it. If this were true, thoughts would not be the mind's extensions but its enemies. And here we see again another form of the same fundamental illusion we have seen many times before. Only if it were possible the Son of God could leave his Father's Mind, make himself different, and oppose His Will, would it be possible that the self he made and all it made should be his master.
Behold the great projection, but look on it with the decision that it must be healed and not with fear. Nothing you made has any power over you unless you still would be apart from your Creator and with a will opposed to His. For only if you would believe His Son could be His enemy does it seem possible that what
made is yours. You would condemn His joy to misery and make Him different. And all the misery
made has been your own. Are you not
to learn it is not true? Is it not welcome news to hear not one of the illusions that you made replaced the truth?
thoughts have been impossible. Salvation
impossible to look upon your savior as your enemy and recognize him. Yet it
possible to recognize him for what he is if God would have it so. What God has given to your holy relationship is
. For what He gave the Holy Spirit to give to you,
. Would you not look upon the savior that has been given you? And would you not exchange in gratitude the function of an executioner you gave him for the one he has in truth? Receive of him what God has given him for you, not what you tried to give yourself.
Beyond the bodies that you interposed between you and shining in the golden light which reaches it from the bright endless circle that extends forever is your holy relationship, beloved of God Himself. How still it rests, in time and yet beyond, immortal yet on earth. How great the power that lies in it. Time waits upon its will, and earth will be as it would have it be. Here is no separate will nor the desire that
be separate. Its will has no exceptions, and what it wills is true. Every illusion brought to its forgiveness is gently overlooked and disappears. For at its center Christ has been reborn to light His home with vision that overlooks the world. Would you not have this holy home be yours as well? No misery is here, but only joy.
All you need do to dwell in quiet here with Christ is share His vision. Quickly and gladly is His vision given to anyone who is but willing to see his brother sinless. And no one can remain beyond this willingness if you would be released entirely from all effects of sin. Would you have partial forgiveness for yourself? Can you reach Heaven while a single sin still tempts you to remain in misery? Heaven is the home of perfect purity, and God created it for
. Look on your holy brother, sinless as yourself, and let him lead you there.
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A Course in Miracles
I will still be blind.
Sin is the symbol of attack. Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer. For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ's vision comes to me. Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth and I am healed completely. Brother, come and let me look on you. Your loveliness reflects my own. Your sinlessness is mine. You stand forgiven, and I stand with you.
So would I look on everyone today. My brothers are Your Sons. Your Fatherhood created them and gave them all to me as part of You and my own Self as well. Today I honor You through them, and thus I hope this day to recognize my Self.
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Without forgiveness I will still be blind.
The Lesson today is about recognizing that if we see sin in anyone, we suffer. Jesus tells us,
"Sin is insanity. It is the means by which the mind is driven mad, and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth."
(W.PII.Q4.1.1-2) The belief in sin is what has driven us into the illusory world, and in this world of illusion, we experience suffering until we accept the Atonement. We project the sin that we have accepted into our own minds, and now we see it in others and attack it there. When we attack anyone, we are actually excluding ourselves from the kingdom. We are excluding ourselves from the love we are. We are blocking it from our awareness with our attacks, and thus we remain blind to Christ's vision, which sees and knows only innocence.
Today is a day for watching our thoughts as is our practice every day. If we are serious about wanting to wake up from this dream, we truly cannot harbor any thoughts of judgment, comparison, disapproval, anger, or specialness. Those thoughts will arise and yet we must be willing to let them go. When we recognize that we are responsible for our thoughts and they alone are the cause of all suffering, we will willingly let them go. Any feelings of unworthiness, sadness, fear, worry, and self-judgment are all thoughts of self-attack. It doesn't matter whether I direct these thoughts and feelings to others or to myself. They are the same. If I truly want correction for these thoughts and feelings, I have to first recognize them.
All correction and all healing are at the level of thought because this is where the problem arose‑‑‑in the mind. Defenses are what keep us from looking at what we are thinking and feeling. What are we defending except the self-concept we identify with in the dream? The self-concept is the image of myself that I hold as true. When I am willing to look at my egoic thoughts, which are the cause of all of my attachments and all of my suffering, I take responsibility for them and now they can be healed. Jesus helps us see that they are all just mistaken ideas about ourselves and others. He gives us a new interpretation, reminding us that our interpretations are always wrong. The thoughts we hold do not define what we are. On the contrary, they keep us from the truth. They keep us blind.
"Without forgiveness I will still be blind."
Jesus calls on us to
"Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear."
(T.21.II.2.6-7) (ACIM OE T.21.III.16) We believe events outside of us "cause" us to have the thoughts and feelings that we do. We absolve ourselves of responsibility, believing that we are at the mercy of the world, but Jesus helps us to recognize that we are responsible for what we think and feel. We think every sane person would react exactly the same way as we have in the face of certain situations. We justify our perspectives and our positions and rationalize the way we feel about what seems to be occurring and what or who has upset us. Yet Jesus is very clear,
"It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident."
(T.21.II.3.2-3) (ACIM OE T.21.III.17) In other words, what we are experiencing right now, we have chosen and receive as we have asked. The beauty of accepting this fact as true is that it affirms the power that we have within us to make another choice.
There is no chance or accident in what seems to be happening to us. Everything we experience is already in the script of our lives. Everything is perfectly orchestrated as a classroom for our healing. If we accept this, we will not suffer. We do not know our own best interests. When we look back on our lives, we can see the perfection of our journey in bringing us to this place where we have said "yes" to healing our minds and where we have said "yes" to the Holy Spirit. It is all quite perfect, although it is not generally seen that way by the ego. The ego is afraid, but what it fears is music to the Spirit because it is a sign of hope that we are on the road to peace. If we want to release our unforgiving thoughts, we must watch our minds consistently for these thoughts.
"No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing. Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal."
(T.21.II.3.4-5) (ACIM OE T.21.III.17)
We bring pain to ourselves because we hold the idea that we deserve punishment because we believe we have sinned in leaving God and destroying Oneness. Oneness now seems to be out of reach. Instead, we see billions of separate forms in this world. Because of this belief in sin, we made a world of forms where we can now hide from the punishment we think we have coming to us. The good news that Jesus brings us is that we can return to the love buried in our minds. We do it by releasing our brothers from our belief that they are the source of our pain. By releasing them, we save ourselves, and thus we choose our own experience of release. As Jesus reminds us,
"I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked."
(T.21.II.2.3-5) (ACIM OE T.21.III.15)
This is a very powerful thought, but it is one we are not entirely comfortable with. We would actually prefer to think of ourselves as victims of circumstances that we had nothing to do with. We tell ourselves that we didn't know what we were doing, or that we were oblivious to how this could come about. We tell ourselves that we did not mean to hurt anyone. Yet these excuses keep us from healing the mind. As Jesus tells us, we are actually choosing to be unaware. Everything that seems to happen to us, we have asked for. Why would we decide against our own happiness? Jesus acknowledges that no one would do such a thing unless he does not see what he does, and that is how we keep ourselves blind. Yet when the blinders are removed through forgiveness, we experience a beautiful world, shining with loveliness.
"Think of the loveliness that you will see, who walk with Him! And think how beautiful will you and your brother look to the other! How happy you will be to be together, after such a long and lonely journey where you walked alone. The gates of Heaven, open now for you, will you now open to the sorrowful. And none who looks upon the Christ in you but will rejoice. How beautiful the sight you saw beyond the veil, which you will bring to light the tired eyes of those as weary now as once you were. How thankful will they be to see you come among them, offering Christ's forgiveness to dispel their faith in sin."
(T.22.IV.4.1-7) (ACIM OE T.22.V.41)
A Course in Miracles focuses only on the content in our minds, not on form or behavior. This content is either of the ego (sin and guilt) or Holy Spirit (love). Whether you are in a monastery or in a corporate office, it makes no difference. What does make a difference is whether we see our interests as different or the same as those of everyone else. Jesus encourages us to see our life circumstances and settings as a classroom in which we continue to learn the ego's curriculum, which is based on separation, or choose the Holy Spirit's curriculum, which is based on the undoing of separation. He teaches us to think always in terms of purpose. Are we using the world and our relationships to reinforce our belief in separation or to undo it? Thus, the world and the body are not the problem. The way we use them is the problem and it is always as a result of the choice we make in our minds---to be taught by the ego or by Jesus. What would be most helpful in any situation is to ask for help in undoing the specialness usually involved in the decisions we are making. This would go a long way toward removing the doubts and conflicts we experience. The curriculum of the ego and our choice for the ego as our guide keep us blind.
We regain our sight by forgiving our brothers and seeing the Christ in them. By continuing to project guilt, we keep ourselves blind. Forgiveness is the only answer. Through forgiveness, we see our brothers with Christ's vision. We see the loveliness of our brothers when we forgive them. Our blindness to the truth of who they are and who we are is healed. There is a sense of a joyous encounter in the lines,
"Brother, come and let me look on you. Your loveliness reflects my own. Your sinlessness is mine. You stand forgiven, and I stand with you."
(W.247.1.5-8) There is joy that comes from our eagerness to know the truth of our brother, to honor him, and to see everyone as a friend.
Let us carry this purpose into all of our encounters today. This is not a Lesson for a select few. It is to be applied to everyone with no exceptions. There is no "other." Everyone is me. I am my brother. Everyone I encounter gives me another opportunity to forgive, to see them with tenderness, and to know them intimately as my Self. Their souls shine forth beyond their mistakes when we can step outside of the dream and see with the eyes of Christ.
Our prayer today is to choose to see with the eyes of Christ, rather than our own, so we can look on everyone with love. We commit to waking up from this dream that we may recognize our brother as One with us. We make no exceptions today, being willing to apply this thought to everyone we meet or think about. By honoring our brother, we honor God.
"Today I honor You through them,
and thus I hope this day to recognize my Self."
(W.247.2.4) We choose to remember today that if we are serious about waking up, we cannot crucify God's Son, but when we attack or judge anyone, we can choose the Correction offered by the Holy Spirit. We are not responsible for the error, only for the Correction.
Love and blessings, Sarah
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