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II.  SECTION 10.  What is the Last Judgment?

Lesson 312. I see all thing as I would have them be.

  1. Perception follows judgment.  Having judged, we therefore see what we would look upon.  For sight can merely serve to offer us what we would have.  It is impossible to overlook what we would see and fail to see what we have chosen to behold.  How surely, therefore, must the real world come to greet the holy sight of anyone who takes the Holy Spirit’s purpose as his goal for seeing.  And he cannot fail to look upon what Christ would have him see and share Christ’s Love for what he looks upon.
  2. I have no purpose for today except to look upon a liberated world, set free from all the judgments I have made.  Father, this is Your Will for me today, and therefore it must be my goal as well.[1]
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com Lesson 312

We are taught in today’s lesson that perception follows judgment – we will see things the way we have already decided to see them.  Some of us, myself included, have experienced an inner resistance and reluctance to accept today’s lesson because it at first does not seem to be true in daily application. 

As a student of psychology, I learned that observer bias, ways in which the experimenter influences study outcomes, is a well-known phenomenon.  These biases are particularly strong when researchers have a preconceived idea of what the result of an experiment is going to be, when subjective variables are being measured, and when there is a reward associated with evidence that confirms their predictions.[2] 

The other day one of the Course brothers went to deposit a check in the bank.  He was not dressed in his usual khaki, tie, button-down shirt, and leather loafers that he wears to work each day. Instead he had been outside working on the side of his house in old scruffy clothes, he was dirty and sweaty, and had made a mad dash to the bank in an attempt to deposit a check before closing.  There he received a chilly reception. There was a hold placed on the check he deposited, and consequently when he wrote checks against his deposit, he was charged a bank fee for having overdrawn.  As an example of perception follows judgment, this did not seem to hold up.  When he deposited his paycheck on workdays when he was professionally attired, the bank teller deposited his paycheck without placing a hold on it.  When the bank teller observed his scruffier appearance, he made a judgment against the depositor and placed a hold on the check.  Surely, in this case, judgment came after perception!

Using this everyday illustration, we pored over this lesson trying to understand what Jesus is saying here that seems so counterpoint to what goes on in our everyday lives here in ego-world.  

Finally we determined a way in which we can understand our lesson today:  When the bank teller went to work that day, he had already decided to go with his judgments.  He would not rely on Holy Spirit; he would rely instead upon his judgments about what constituted a trustworthy or untrustworthy customer.  His judgment in place, his perceptions saw someone who matched his judgment of what a questionable person looked like, leading him to make a decision with negative repercussions for his customer and for himself.  However, if he had asked Holy Spirit to judge through him, the bank teller would have not made decisions based on his judgment that customers with shabby appearances are not trustworthy.  He would have noticed that this check was from the same source it was every week. He would have smiled and stamped it and deposited it without delay. There would be no overdrafts, no apologies offered, no late fees, no disruption of peace and harmony.

Only when we ask for Christ’s judgment, can our perceptions of the world be healed.  Christ’s perception does not change the shabby into the elegant; the wrong into the right; the gory into the blessed.  The vision of Christ, however, allows us to look upon the world with love and understanding and know that appearances do not tell the whole story.  We make judgments then, based upon love and forgiveness, because we know the state of the world of separation.  Does this give us license to kill, murder, rape, and plunder?  Not at all.  But it does give us license and ability to correct harmful and hurtful behavior, simply by recognizing and reminding ourselves and our brothers of who and what we really are. 

When we have already determined to use our own judgments, we will make mistakes.  We will judge our brothers’ beauty, loving motives, and innate holiness as ugly, manipulative, and sinful.  We will accuse them of hidden agendas and assert they are putting on a show.  When people make mistakes, we will assume that this is their destiny and their fate.  We will tell stories of their past in order to keep them firmly within the confines of our judgments.  If they make moves in a forward direction, we will mock or throw insults.  We will see only what we have already judged them to be.  This is why our justice system brings little to no real justice.  This is why our efforts to forgive and mend relationships seldom work.  What we judge determines what we see and what we experience on the micro and on the macro levels. 

Today we set the world free from the judgments we have made about it.  We look only upon what Christ would have us see and share Christ’s Love for what we look on.  It is in this way that we free the world from the tyranny of ego-judgment and condemnation.  Let this be our practice and purpose.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


[1] A Course In Miracles, Workbook for Students, 312. I see all things as…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 456

[2] Holman, L., Head, M. L., Lanfear, R., & Jennions, M. D. (2015). Evidence of Experimental Bias in the Life Sciences: Why We Need Blind Data Recording. PLoS biology13(7), e1002190. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002190