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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 The Acceptance of the Atonement

VII.  The Two Evaluations

  1. God’s Will is your salvation. Would He not have given you the means to find it? If He wills you to have it, He must have made it possible and easy to obtain it. Your brothers are everywhere. You do not have to seek far for salvation. Every minute and every second gives you a chance to save yourself. Do not lose these chances, not because they will not return, but because delay of joy is needless. God wills you perfect happiness now. Is it possible that this is not also your will? And is it possible that this is not also the will of your brothers?
  2. Consider, then, that in this joint will you are all united, and in this only. There may be disagreement on anything else, but not on this.  This, then, is where peace abides. And you abide in peace when you so decide. Yet you cannot abide in peace unless you accept the Atonement, because the Atonement is the way to peace. The reason is very simple, and so obvious that it is often overlooked. The ego is afraid of the obvious since obviousness is the essential characteristic of reality. Yet you cannot overlook it unless you are not looking.
  3. It is perfectly obvious that if the Holy Spirit looks with love on all He perceives, He looks with love on you. His evaluation of you is based on His knowledge of what you are, and so He evaluates you truly. And this evaluation must be in your mind because He is. The ego is also in your mind, you have accepted it there. Its evaluation of you, however, is the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit’s, because the ego does not love you. It is unaware of what you are and is wholly mistrustful of everything it perceives because its perceptions are so shifting.  The ego is therefore capable of suspiciousness at best and viciousness at worst. That is its range. It cannot exceed it because of its uncertainty. It can never go beyond it because it can never be certain.
  4. You, then, have two conflicting evaluations of yourself in your mind, and they cannot both be true. You do not yet realize how completely different these evaluations are, because you do not understand how lofty the Holy Spirit’s perception of you is. He is not deceived by anything you do, because He never forgets what you are. The ego is deceived by everything you do, especially when you respond to the Holy Spirit, because at such time its confusion increases. The ego is, therefore, particularly likely to attack you when you act lovingly, because it has evaluated you as unloving and you are going against its judgment. The ego will attack your motives as soon as they become clearly out of accord with its perception of you. This is when it will shift abruptly from suspiciousness to viciousness since its uncertainty is increased. Yet it is surely pointless to attack in return. What can this mean except that you are agreeing with the ego’s evaluation of what you are?
  5. If you choose to see yourself as unloving you will not be happy. You are condemning yourself and must therefore regard yourself as inadequate. Would you look to the ego to help you escape from a sense of inadequacy it has produced, and must maintain for its existence? Can you escape from its evaluation of you by using its methods for keeping this picture intact?
  6. You cannot evaluate an insane belief system from within it. Its range precludes this. You can only go beyond it, look back from a point where sanity exists and see the contrast. Only by this contrast can insanity be judged as insane. With the grandeur of God in you, you have chosen to be little and to lament your littleness. Within the system that dictated this choice the lament is inevitable. Your littleness is taken for granted there and you do not ask, “Who granted it?” The question is meaningless within the ego’s thought system because it would open the whole thought system to question.
  7. I have said that the ego does not know what a real question is. Lack of knowledge of any kind is always associated with an unwillingness to know, and this produces a total lack of knowledge simply because knowledge is total. Not to question your littleness therefore is to deny all knowledge and keep the ego’s whole thought system intact. You cannot retain part of a thought system because it can be questioned only at its foundation. And this must be questioned from beyond it, because within it, its foundation does stand. The Holy Spirit judges against the reality of the ego’s thought system merely because He knows its foundation is not true. Therefore, nothing that arises from it means anything. He judges every belief you hold in terms of where it comes from. If it comes from God, He knows it to be true. If it does not, He knows that it is meaningless.
  8. Whenever you question your value, say: “God Himself is incomplete without me.” Remember this when the ego speaks, and you will not hear it. The truth about you is so lofty that nothing that is unworthy of God is worthy of you. Choose, then, what you want in these terms, and accept nothing that you would not offer to God as holy fitting for Him. You do not want anything else. Return your part to Him, and He will give you all of Himself in exchange for the return of what belongs to Him and renders Him complete.[1]

We have countless opportunities in our life to experience God’s Will because it is our salvation and we find our salvation, not alone but in others.  Everywhere we turn, we find salvation!  It is in our brothers that we find our joy, and God’s Will is our perfect happiness. God takes no delight in our sorrow, confusion, or disregard for our brothers.  God created us to love one another, accept each other, and to believe in the Holy Spirit’s evaluation of His Sons. 

We are all united in God’s Will because God’s Will is the same for everybody.  That does not mean that we are going to agree about everything.  God’s Will does not make us automatons that chant, rise, sit, sing, pray, and raise our hands as one.  It simply means that we cast nobody into a lake of fire for any reason.  We extend the love and acceptance of Jesus to everybody. This is a spiritual walk and does not necessarily pertain to the flesh.  There are people whom we are going to accept in the Spirit but avoid in the flesh for no other reason than they are simply not aware of their Sonship yet.  Damaged people are very often dangerous people.  Even their views on salvation are often so skewed and retaliative against the world which hurt them that they simply cannot be trusted with one’s children, with one’s household, with one’s property, and with one’s trust. 

Jesus does not ask us to put ourselves in dangerous positions with others.  He simply asks us to accept them as our brother, to continue to believe in them because we believe in Jesus and because we believe that God’s Will is not fearful, sorrowful, or spiteful.  When people tell us with their words or with their behaviors that they mean us harm, do not care about our happiness, or have no appreciation for the blessings we have brought into their life, we are under no obligation to do any more for them than love them in Jesus and offer them the Atonement in our hearts and minds. 

When we offer others the Atonement we are not offering them the false forgiveness of the world.  Only the Atonement forgives wrongdoing by undoing it, thus eradicating it forever.  We offer the Atonement to others, not by saying to them, I offer you the Atonement.  This would give them an opportunity to reject it!  Or this could frighten them or put false ideas in their mind about what we are.  We offer others the Atonement by asking Holy Spirit to forgive them because it is not our function to forgive them, it is only our function to share love, peace, and joy.   Holy Spirit forgives others when we ask Him to forgive.  We let the forgiving and the undoing up to Holy Spirit simply by giving the wrongdoing of others to God. 

The only way we reap the beautiful rewards of Atonement is by offering it to our brothers.  We are not here to change them.  We are not here to let them walk all over us.  We are not here to put ourselves in harm’s way just to prove how Christlike we are.  We are simply here to offer them Atonement, to ask Holy Spirit to atone for their works of the flesh even as we accept the Atonement for our own mistakes and personal failings. 

The ego looks on our brothers with fear and loathing and disgust.  The ego looks on our brothers as a nitpicker, with jealousy, spite, and malice.  The ego seeks to divide and make war.  The ego is afraid of the Atonement because giving our grudges, spite, and calls for war to Holy Spirit leads to peace and peace is the condition of God’s Kingdom, but certainly not the realm of ego.   

Holy Spirit looks with love on you and on me.  He looks with love on all the people who have cheated us, abused us, used us, and talked mean about us behind our backs.  Holy Spirit does not evaluate  us on that which means nothing – He evaluates on what we are to God.  He sees each one of us as the Treasure of God.  He does not care that I stole your accordion or that you trash-talked me out of jealousy and spite.  That which is not peace, which is not love, which is not joy holds absolutely no interest to Holy Spirit.  When we get to the place in our spiritual walks where we have no more interest in such foolishness we will know that the ego is losing its grip on our minds.

Jesus tells us in paragraph three that in our human state, we have both Holy Spirit in our minds as well as the ego.  Holy Spirit resides in our higher minds; the ego’s domain in our lower, reptilian mind that reflects the separation from God and the lies and illusions of the perceptual world. 

Holy Spirit evaluates us with love.  Holy Spirit’s function in our minds is to remind us of who and what we really are and to save our minds from the lies, the fiction, the illusion of the ego.  Holy Spirit always goes to bat for us in direct relation to how we go to bat for others.  When we offer Atonement to our brothers, the ones we love as well as the ones we are not so keen about, our minds are freed from the illusion of separateness.  We find that the very brothers we were loathe to forgive are the very ones that taught us lessons critical to our awakening.  Clearly, this does not mean we invite people who are harmful into our lives and give them another chance to “teach” us a lesson that hurts us!  We simply give their wrongdoing to Holy Spirit and ask for Atonement in our minds.  This sets our minds free from ruminating about their wrongdoing and gives us full appreciation for the Atonement in our own minds.  For when we offer Atonement to others, we accept it for ourselves and are then free to fulfill our function.  Only in a state of peace can we give and have the creations of God’s Kingdom.  A mind that is full of love, peace, and joy is a beautiful thing.  It is so blissful and serene that the slightest temptation to bear ill will is seen as immediately as insane! 

The ego looks upon Atonement with fear and loathing for Atonement is its demise.  It can only exist as long as we believe the best and the worst about ourselves and others.  It can only exist in the spaces and outlines between us, in the quasi-reality of the perceptual world where opposites and opposition really does appear real, dangerous, and even scintillating.  As long as we believe in truth and lies, as long as we fear God rather than love Him, as long as we feel ashamed and unworthy of God’s Son, we continue on in the flesh holding God accountable for the seeming mercies of the elements and the changing tides of the ego.  The Atonement is the awakening – it undoes all the works of the flesh, the schemes and manipulations of the ego – because it exposes the illusion for what it is! 

The two evaluations cannot both be true.  One seems very true in the world of perception but brings us down.  It finds fault, it gets jealous, it is conniving and shuns mutuality – it either wants to be the big cheese or it wants to be the little mouse worshipping the big cheese.  The ego is always deceived by everything because it was made by a lie and all that is based upon opposites.  The ego is especially spiteful when we create love, peace, and joy with our brothers because its evaluation of us is that which is not love, and we are going against its judgment against us.    

One of the ways that we can see this operate in the world are the occasions when someone performs a loving deed, an act of kindness, shows appreciation or extends graciousness.  The ego will often interpret this as “putting on an act.”  “She is just putting on an act,” someone will say.  “We know how she really is.  She can’t fool us.”  Or “He must want something.”  The ego can not imagine you or me or anybody else doing something nice for the sheer joy in sharing!   

Holy Spirit, however, never evaluates against us.  He absolutely does not see through the eyes of the ego.  He knows the truth about us.  We may call someone’s goodness an act, but Holy Spirit knows that goodness cannot be faked, that love is the only real thing there is, and that God’s Treasures cannot thrive in the low realm of ego and will eventually find their way Home. 

Accepting ego’s evaluation of us makes us feel smarmy, ill, and fraudulent.  No matter how hard we work, how many credentials we accumulate, no matter how much money we give, or how we sacrifice our own happiness to give others a hand – as long as we choose the ego’s evaluation of what we are, we condemn ourselves and God.  The world offers us no escape from ego’s condemnation of us – we cannot look for help from that which prospers from our sense of worthlessness.  We cannot evaluate an insane belief system from within the same system.  We must go beyond it and look back from a place where sanity exists to see the contrast.  The contrast is what helps us to judge just how delusional the world and the ego systems that uphold it really are. 

The Voice for God bespeaks the grandeur of God, it is our true Self for we were created holy, and we were created Spirit.  We who are the grandeur of God, His Treasure, make of ourselves small and of no account when we choose the ego’s evaluation of us.  We become very unhappy and distraught.  There is no way around this, there is no escape within the system that made it – any help it offers to make you happy will be a pretense, it will cost you your life and livelihood, it will drain you of your resources and leave you hanging out to dry. 

Holy Spirit eradicates the ego simply by giving it no consideration.  Because its whole belief system is based upon that which is not true, there is no reality in the ego’s evaluation of us.  Working with Holy Spirit we look at the ego’s thought system that tells us we are miserable sinners and say, “How could that be?”  If we made ourselves, we would not make of ourselves miserable sinners, so why would God make miserable sinners of us?  If we made ourselves, we would not make ourselves little and mean and spiteful, so surely God would not make us little, mean, and spiteful.  If we made ourselves, we would not make ourselves vulnerable, fleshy, and doomed to die, and so why would God make us vulnerable, fleshy, and doomed to die?  We must ask ourselves these questions from beyond the systems in which we are entrenched.  As long as we are under the spell of our ego-based religions, our lower minds, our enchantment with the flesh and all of its demands, we cannot question it because it seems to make sense because it is all we can perceive. 

None of the ego’s thought system has any truth, and Holy Spirit knows that nothing that happens within it means anything.  Holy Spirit evaluates every belief we have in terms of where it came from.  If it comes from God – it is true, if it does not come from God – it has no meaning.   

Our worth is beyond any value that the world can place upon it.  When the ego asks, “Who do you think you are?” the perfect response is “God Himself is incomplete without me.”  Today in your personal devotions, ask Holy Spirit to show you the truth about you, to illuminate your mind with your worthiness which is the worthiness of God.  Jesus tells us to refuse to accept for ourselves anything we would not offer God.  Make your mind strong in accepting the Atonement, for we cannot share the Atonement until we accept it for ourselves.  Give no thought to what the ego would make of you because it is a lie.  Refuse to believe it by not arguing with it, not fighting with it, but simply taking a stand.  Say, “God Himself is incomplete without me.  No matter what the ego has wrought in my life, it does not define me, because I belong to God.”   Strengthen your resolve by giving your best to God to receive His best in return, for you are only giving Him what already belongs to Him in truth.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The two evaluations. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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