II. Miracles as True Perception
- I have stated that the basic concepts referred to in this course are not matters of degree. Certain fundamental concepts cannot be understood in terms of opposites. It is impossible to conceive of light and darkness or everything and nothing as joint possibilities. They are all true or all false. It is essential that you realize your thinking will be erratic until a firm commitment to one or the other is made. A firm commitment to darkness or nothingness, however, is impossible. No one has ever lived who has not experienced some light and some thing. No one, therefore, is able to deny truth totally, even if he thinks he can.
- Innocence is not a partial attribute. It is not real until it is total. The partly innocent are apt to be quite foolish at times. It is not until their innocence becomes a viewpoint with universal application that it becomes wisdom. Innocent or true perception means that you never misperceive and always see truly. More simply, it means that you never see what does not exist, and always see what does.
- When you lack confidence in what someone will do, you are attesting to your brother that he is not in his right mind. This is hardly a miracle-based frame of reference. It also has the disastrous effect of denying the power of the miracle. The miracle perceives everything as it is. If nothing but the truth exists, right-minded seeing cannot see anything but perfection. I have said that only what God creates or what you create with the same Will has any real existence. This, then, is all the innocent can see. They do not suffer from distorted perception.
- You are afraid of God’s will because you have used your own mind, which He created in the likeness of His Own, to miscreate. The mind can miscreate only when it believes it is not free. An “imprisoned” mind is not free because it is possessed, or held back, by itself. It is therefore limited, and the will is not free to assert itself. To be one is to be of one mind or will. When the Will of the Sonship and the Father are one, their perfect accord is Heaven.
- Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the Hands of his Father. By doing this the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. All sense of separation disappears. The Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity, but the Trinity itself is one. There is no confusion within Its levels because They are of one Mind and one Will. This single purpose creates perfect integration and establishes the peace of God. Yet this vision can be perceived only by the truly innocent. Because their hearts are pure, the innocent defend true perception instead of defending themselves against it. Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the wish to attack, and there they see truly. This is what the Bible means when it says, “When He shall appear (or be perceived) we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
- The way to correct distortions is to withdraw your faith in them and invest it only in what is true. You cannot make untruth true. If you are willing to accept what is true in everything you perceive, you let it be true for you. Truth overcomes all error, and those who live in error and emptiness can never find lasting solace. If you perceive truly you are cancelling out misperceptions in yourself and in others simultaneously. Because you see them as they are, you offer them your acceptance of their truth so they can accept it for themselves. This is the healing that the miracle induces.
The miracle is a full commitment to innocence, in never choosing the dark perception or giving place to harmfulness of any kind in our minds. Any lapse would be immediately recognized as forgivable, fixable, and not worth getting worked up about or ever mentioned again. Without the innocent perception our mind is trapped in the perceptions of this world, the mean, snide, jealous, reactive world. Our mind will get itself tied in knots over the slaps and slurs that are dished up and heaped high on a platter to us each hour of each day! Because that is what this place is – a miscreation of ill will, distrust, and meanness. Our mind hooked on fear cannot see the innocence and purity and freedom of the Spirit. It is not one with God or with others or even itself. Our flesh eyes, fragments of an artificially-augmented reality, can only see in part. Our egos, however, choose to ignore this and believe that cynicism, suspicion, and distrust provide strong defense while innocence is no defense at all.
To choose the innocent perception then is to choose a miracle. It is a decision to see beyond the perception of the flesh eyes, to unite with God and ask for the real perception. The miracle begins when we realize that our defenses against innocence are defenses against Atonement. Until we are able to see no strength in that which weakens and distorts the harmlessness of Creation and the goodwill of God, we will continue to be trapped in the false perception. We will believe our perceptions – the strife, discord, disease, and death – as the true story; we will believe the Atonement as a fairy tale, something for weaklings who cannot handle the “real” world to pin their hopes.
When we accept Atonement, we see Jesus, as He is. And all we want is to be like Him. We will not see him as the helpless lamb who was whipped, stripped, and died an agonizing death on the cross. We shall see Him as the Lamb of God who could endure all of that and rise again in everlasting glory. No shame, no blame, no sense of being wronged, no bleating about how unjust it was. That would make him pitiable and not strong at all. He hung on that cross for all to see so that there would be no mistake when He rose again. To give us hope, to show us that we are forever, that our humanity is not the end of the story.
Innocence does not label and make real that which has no truth and cannot stand the test of eternity. It is only that which goes on forever that we can see as real, that we cherish, that we accept as true perception.
Let us ask the Lord to restore our innocence, to give us the miracle of true perception, to give us the vision of Christ. Today we have come to understand that true perception is innocent perception. We can say with Christ, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do!”
We will never find solace in the perceptions of our flesh for our flesh senses are programmed from a source of lack, nothingness, fiction, and lies. They sniff out scarcity; they pit brother-against-brother; instead of building they tear down, instead of creation, they destroy. Our flesh senses recycle grudges, condemnations, and ill will down through the generations drugging the Brotherhood of Christ with the enchantment of false allegiances to a world bent on never enough to go around.
We accept the holy perception, the Innocent and pure perception of Christ for now we know there is no power in darkness, there is no glory in death, there is no strength in terror and destruction, for all power and glory and honor is in God our Father, our Everything, the Holy, Pure, and Innocent of all wrongdoing. We can no longer give our allegiance to that which is not true, not good, not everlasting because it is as nothing. We see it for what it is, we see through it to the truth beyond. The truth is so beautiful, and the truth is so kind, and the truth is so real to us that we can say with Christ, “Father, forgive them for they are not in their right minds. What can I do, Father? I will use my humanity to stand with Christ and share the miracle that heals and saves. For I would not be one with You if I could return to You without them.”
This is the innocent perception, the true perception – this is the miracle that heals and saves.
A Course in Miracles. Chapter 3: II Miracles as true perception. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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