VI. The Acceptance of Your Brother
- How can you become increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit in you except by His effects? You cannot see Him with your eyes nor hear Him with your ears. How, then, can you perceive Him at all? If you inspire joy and others react to you with joy, even though you are not experiencing joy yourself there must be something in you that is capable of producing it. If it is in you and can produce joy, and if you see that it does produce joy in others, you must be dissociating it in yourself.
- It seems to you that the Holy Spirit does not produce joy consistently in you only because you do not consistently arouse joy in others. Their reactions to you are your evaluations of His consistency. When you are inconsistent you will not always give rise to joy, and so you will not always recognize His consistency. What you offer to your brother you offer to Him; He cannot go beyond your offering in His giving. This is not because He limits His giving, but simply because you have limited your receiving. The decision to receive is the decision to accept.
- If your brothers are part of you, will you accept them? Only they can teach you what you are, for your learning is the result of what you taught them. What you call upon in them you call upon in yourself. And as you call upon it in them, it becomes real to you. God has but one Son, knowing them all as one. Only God Himself is more than they but they are not less than He is. Would you know what this means? If what you do to my brother you do to me, and if you do everything for yourself because we are part of you, everything we do belongs to you as well. Everyone God created is part of you and shares His glory with you. His glory belongs to Him, but it is equally yours. You cannot, then, be less glorious than He is.
- God is more than you only because He created you, but not even this would He keep from you. Therefore, you can create as He did, and your dissociation will not alter this. Neither God’s light nor yours is dimmed because you do not see. Because the Sonship must create as one, you remember creation whenever you recognize part of creation. Each part you remember adds to your wholeness because each part is whole. Wholeness is indivisible, but you cannot learn of your wholeness until you see it everywhere. You can know yourself only as God knows His Son, for knowledge is shared with God. When you awaken in Him you will know your magnitude by accepting His limitlessness first. But meanwhile you will judge it as you judge your brothers and will accept it as you accept his.
- You are not yet awake, but you can learn how to awaken. Very simply the Holy Spirit teaches you to awaken others. As you see them awaken you will learn what waking means, and because you have chosen to wake them, their gratitude and their appreciation of what you have given them will teach you its value. They will become the witnesses to your reality, as you were created witnesses to God’s. Yet when the Sonship comes together and accepts its oneness it will be known by its creations, who witness to its reality as the Son does to the Father.
- Miracles have no place in eternity because they are reparative. Yet while you still need healing, your miracles are the only witnesses to your reality that you can recognize. You cannot perform a miracle for yourself because miracles are a way of giving acceptance and receiving it. In time the giving comes first, though they are simultaneous in eternity, where they cannot be separated. When you have learned they are the same, the need for time is over.
- Eternity is one time, its only dimension being “always.” This cannot mean anything to you until you remember God’s open Arms, and finally know His open Mind. Like Him, you are always, in His Mind and with a mind like His. In your open mind are your creations, in perfect communication born of perfect understanding. Could you but accept one of them, you would not want anything the world has to offer. Everything else would be totally meaningless. God’s meaning is incomplete without you, and you are incomplete without your creations. Accept your brother in this world and accept nothing else, for in him you will find your creations because he created them with you. You will never know that you are co-creator with God until you learn that your brother is co-creator with you. 
It is only by the joy we inspire in others that we can perceive ourselves as holy and as spirit. Our physical eyes look outward; we can only see our bodies in parts unless we look at our reflections in a mirror or through another person’s observations. As babies we can only learn about ourselves by the reactions of others. If our caretakers love us, we will feel loved, accepted, and worthwhile. If they do not love us, we will feel unloved, unaccepted and unworthy. If there is a mixture of love and revulsion, we will be confused about our worth and spend a lot of our time here in a daze trying to figure it out!
But how do we perceive the Spirit? Through the joyful reactions we inspire in others. Holy Spirit is our fundamental nature. It is joyful and it extends joy to others. If we are extending joy to others, but not experiencing it ourselves, we are simply not recognizing what we have and what we are. We may be afraid to associate with holiness because we are still more comfortable identifying with the “dirty rotten sinner” version of the ego.
We tend to feel wobbly about our relationship with Holy Spirit, but there is no need to be afraid that we will lose it, that Holy Spirit will become indignant with us and leave us. This will never happen for we were created in holiness and for holiness and we were created in spirit and for spirit. Flesh does not determine who we are as God’s Son.
Until we accept this for ourselves and for all of our brothers, we limit our knowing of Holy Spirit in our lives. We limit the amount of joy we receive because we limit our acceptance of this truth. What we offer to our brother is what we offer to Holy Spirit – Holy Spirit cannot go beyond what we extend to others. As long as I am withholding acceptance toward my brothers, as long as I look at them as sinners, and label them according to the judgements I have made toward their addictions, their behaviors, their treatment of me – I am not extending joy. I am projecting judgment and condemnation. I am putting myself in a different category than my brother and therefore setting a limit on what I can accept from Holy Spirit. For we cannot be consistently joyful or express Holy Spirit in our lives as long as we think that we have something that others do not have. The decision to receive the joy of the Lord is the decision to accept that it is intended for all.
In paragraph three Jesus tells us that only our brothers can teach us what we are because what we learn from them is what we taught them about ourselves. What we judge about our brothers is exactly what we call upon in our own selves. If I label my brother a dimwit, I will be made aware of my own incapacity to understand concepts or abstractions. If I label my friend clumsy, I will be keenly aware of what a klutz I am! If I label my atheistic neighbor as unsaved, I will be uncertain of my own salvation. Everything I call upon in others, will seem real about me.
God has only one Son and knows all of His Sons as one. Until we can accept that God is more than all of us, but we are not less than He is can we understand the oneness and unity and wholeness we can only have in God. In paragraph three, Jesus tells us that what we do to our brothers we do to Jesus, for we are one. Everything we do belongs to the Brotherhood of Christ; everything each part of the Brotherhood of Christ does belongs to us. Every single person created by God is part of me and part of you and we share in the glory of God in everybody. The glory in each of us belongs to God, and yet it is equally mine and equally yours. The glory of God cannot be diminished by sharing but only increased.
Whether we accept it or not, God does not keep Himself from us. We are created by Him, to be like Him. He did not create us to be servants, to be grovelers before Him, to be His little children who are always in a state of subjection and immaturity so He can boss us around for all eternity. We must lose this image of God which has been instilled in us in order to keep us in an arrested state of development, which suits the purposes of this world but not God’s Kingdom where we belong.
God’s Light shines in us. It will not be dimmed just because we do not see it or accept it. Whenever we recognize the light in any part of creation, we remember God. Each part we remember adds to our wholeness because each part is whole. Wholeness cannot be divided, but it will seem divided – we will see the outlines and spaces between us – until we see wholeness everywhere and in everyone. We will not know what we really are until we accept ourselves as part of God’s Sonship, as part of the whole, as completing the Kingdom of God.
When we awaken in God, when our minds become fully cognizant of His magnitude which He shares with us, of His everlasting and infinite power, we will know ourselves as we really are. But in the meantime, we will judge God as we judge our brothers and judging them, we judge ourselves.
Jesus tells us in paragraph five that we are not yet awake, but we can learn to awaken. To wake up, we awaken others because this is how it works. We are not called to awaken for ourselves alone. I take this to mean that we do not have to know it all before I share the light that does get through. As I share it with you, the light comes on in you and your light awakens others and so on. There is no call here to be an apprentice for ten years before we get to mastery; there is no call here to spend decades in the Course before we are worthy to share what we learned; there is no call to have a degree, to be certified in any way, or that this little light is any less than your larger one. As we share the light in us without fear, without judgment, without timidity or false modesty, we teach each other through our appreciation and thankfulness of the value of waking up versus staying asleep. In a world designed to obscure reality and make false images to stand for God, we become each other’s witness to our reality in God, even as we are created as witnesses to God’s reality. Together we are known for our creations – for our love, our peace, our joy – indeed any of the attributes of God will be our witness to reality, even as the Sonship witnesses the reality of God.
Miracles are reparative. They heal, they work outside the laws of this world. While there is no need for miracles in God’s Kingdom, here in this one the miracles we offer are the only way in which we can recognize the reality of God. Without miracles, the perceptual world seems too compelling not to be real. Without miracles, our bodies and the names that we are given at birth or choose for ourselves seem to be all the identity we need. Without miracles, we have to fend for ourselves against a world that would take every gift and turn it into a commodity, a bargaining tool, a call for sacrifice masked by the face of benevolence and charity.
Miracles are not performed by the lone rangers of the spiritual word. Signs and wonders may excite and flatter the ego, but they are little more than magic acts. Go to the circus and be wowed by the performance but go home and you are still sick, you still hate your neighbor for infringing on your property line, you still cannot get along with your family. This is not the witness to our reality in God that Jesus is talking about. I spent my childhood under the Big Revival tent of A. A. Allen. It was so exciting to hear the peppy music, to hear the fiery sermons, to witness the long prayer lines – the people in wheelchairs that rose up and walked, the people brought in on stretchers that leaped about, the demons that were cast out of people right up on the stage. My mother was hooked by these performances, piling us all into her station wagon and hauling us to the nearest cities where the evangelist appeared next. There was tongue speaking and banging foreheads and people dropping out flat on the floor under the power of the Holy Ghost.
Although it may sound like I have judgment and condemnation for this, I have none. I simply feel as if we need to question what are the fruits of all this excitement and frenzy when miracles are used as a performance, to be witness to the reality of God, by one man on a platform who exhausts himself with the laying on of hands and the ministry of Christ? We are not called to be an audience to that. Signs and wonders may be necessary for unbelievers, but as believers in Christ miracles are a way of giving acceptance and receiving it.
Miracles are quiet and calm as Holy Spirit is quiet and calm. There is nothing necessarily showy or glamorous about a miracle though when you extend a miracle to me and I extend a miracle to you it is the most elegant and gracious act that the world can conceive for you welcome me and I welcome you as part of God’s Creation, as part of God’s Kingdom, as part of God Himself. We look past all the ways in which the world would make us seem different and we recognize our oneness, our completeness in one another. And because we recognize this, that which was sick in us is healed.
It is important to note that in this realm, you give me acceptance and I give you acceptance before we receive acceptance, but in eternity the giving and receiving are inseparable. When we learn that giving and receiving are the same, when all the fear attached to accepting one another is over, when we realize that we are one just as giving and receiving are one, our need for time is over.
In closing, Jesus tells us that we will not understand eternity until we remember God’s open Arms and Mind. We are always in His Mind, with a mind like His. God’s Arms and God’s Mind are open even when ours is engaged in dreams which would oppose Him. When we embrace the Mind of God, we will remember creation, perfect communication is ours because we have perfect understanding of everything.
Conversely, our education in the world comes by hook and crook, in dribs and drabs, and the more we learn the more we must confess our ignorance. The world charges us a terrible price for education – most of which we learn by trial and error. Our lives are spent trying to squeeze every little bit of meaning out of that which only leads to death. In other words, the world has nothing to offer us. The enmity, the jealousies, the petty meanness and judgments that blight even the closest and dearest of friendships are the result of closing our minds and arms to the open Ones of God. Accept only one of the attributes of God, and nothing in the world would hold any meaning to us again!
God’s meaning is incomplete without each one of us just as we are incomplete without each other. Accepting each other in this world and accepting no other doctrine or practice that would make of us enemies, would divide our devotion, would label us different in any way, and we will find the love, the joy, the peace of God – for we created them together. We will remain ignorant, immature, and egotistical in our spiritual practices until we recognize our real function as God’s Son, for we cannot create love and peace and joy by ourselves or for ourselves alone.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of atonement. VI The acceptance of your brother. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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