VIII. The Problem and the Answer 8-15
8. Beautiful child of God, you are asking only for what I promised you. Do you believe I would deceive you? The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Believe that the truth is in me, for I know that it is in you. God’s Sons have nothing they do not share. Ask for truth of any Son of God, and you have asked it of me. Not one of us but has the answer in him, to give to anyone who asks it of him.
9. Ask anything of God’s Son and his Father will answer you, for Christ is not deceived in his Father and his Father is not deceived in him. Do not, then, be deceived in your brother, and see only his loving thoughts as his reality, for by denying that his mind is split you will heal yours. Accept him as his Father accepts him and heal him unto Christ, for Christ is his healing and yours. Christ is the Son of God Who is in no way separate from His Father, whose every thought is as loving as the Thought of His Father, by which He was created. Be not deceived in God’s Son, for thereby you must be deceived in yourself. And being deceived in yourself you are deceived in your Father, in Whom no deceit is possible.
10. In the real world there is no sickness, for there is no separation and no division. Only loving thoughts are recognized, and because no one is without your help, the Help of God goes with you everywhere. As you become willing to accept this Help by asking for It, you will give it because you want it. Nothing will be beyond your healing power because nothing will be denied your simple request. What problems will not disappear in the presence of God’s Answer? Ask, then, to learn of the reality of your brother, because this is what you will perceive in him, and you will see your beauty reflected in his.
11. Do not accept your brother’s variable perception of himself for his split mind is yours, and you will not accept your healing without his. For you share the real world as you share Heaven, and his healing is yours. To love yourself is to heal yourself, and you cannot perceive part of you as sick and achieve your goal. Brother, we heal together as we live together and love together. Be not deceived in God’s Son, for he is one with himself and one with his Father. Love him who is beloved of his Father, and you will learn of the Father’s love for you.
12. If you perceive offense in a brother pluck the offense from your mind, for you are offended by Christ and are deceived in Him. Heal in Christ and be not offended by Him, for there is no offense in Him. If what you perceive offends you, you are offended in yourself and are condemning God’s son whom God condemns not. Let the Holy Spirit remove all offences of God’s Son against himself and perceive no one but through His guidance, for He would save you from all condemnation. Accept His healing power and use it for all He sends you, for He wills to heal the Son of God, in whom He is not deceived.
13. Children perceive frightening ghosts and monsters and dragons, and they are terrified. Yet if they ask someone they trust for the meaning of what they perceive and are willing to let their own interpretations go in favor of reality, their fear goes with them. When a child is helped to translate his “ghost” into a curtain, his “monster” into a shadow, and his “dragon” into a dream he is no longer afraid and laughs happily at his own fear.
14. You, my child, are afraid of your brothers and of your Father and of yourself. But you are merely deceived in them. Ask what they are of the Teacher of Reality, and hearing His answer, you too will laugh at your fears and replace them with peace. For fear lies not in reality, but in the minds of children who do not understand reality. It is only their lack of understanding that frightens them, and when they learn to perceive truly, they are not afraid. And because of this they will ask for truth again when they are frightened. It is not the reality of your brothers or your Father or yourself that frightens you. You do not know what they are, and so you perceive them as ghosts and monsters and dragons. Ask what their reality is from the One Who knows it, and He will tell you what they are. For you do not understand them, and because you are deceived by what you see you need reality to dispel your fears.
15. Would you not exchange your fears for truth, if the exchange is yours for the asking? For if God is not deceived in you, you can be deceived only in yourself. Yet you can learn the truth about yourself from the Holy Spirit who will teach you that, as part of God, deceit in you is impossible. When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made. And then your Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you, by raising you unto Himself. 
Jesus calls us beautiful, and we are beautiful because we are Sons of God. We were created by God to be like Him. There is no deception in this. There is God in us because His Kingdom is in us. When we believe that the truth is in Christ, we must also believe that it is in us – whether we recognize it or not. Reality is this: God created you and He created me. He created the world, and all that is in it. And He created it good, He created it one with His Kingdom, He put Himself into Creation and Creation was part of Him. All of us know this and yearn for the perfection of the Kingdom of God. We miss it. Born in this world, we know that this is not our home, that this flesh is not what we are, and that the things that happen here are a fright.
We all share in this yearning for God’s Kingdom, for our Father, for the love and joy and peace of brotherhood. While we try to find a sense of it here in our families, communities, churches, clubs, and so forth – no matter how happy it may seem, there is always a level of viciousness and spite running through encounters in this realm. Where did God’s Kingdom go? And how do we get there? We all have the answer within us because God’s Kingdom is within us.
When we accept that we are the Kingdom of God, that we are Sons of God, we have accepted and recognized the Christ within us. Christ is the resurrected Jesus that stands for each one of God’s Son. The human Jesus was not very different from the rest of us. He did not have a halo around his head; He did not have an aura; He ate, and so we can assume he urinated and defecated. He was loving sometimes and other times not so much. He made mistakes just like you do and just like I do. The only thing that was different about Jesus was that He did not forget Who and What He really was. He may have had a body, but he did not identify with the body. His mission was similar to the mission we all have – to remember who and what we really are and to live this in the world so that other people also recognize their Sonship.
Christ teaches that we are not here to separate ourselves from our brothers, we are here to recognize them as Sons of God. We who have accepted Christ and have recognized our Sonship do not get to fly away with Jesus and leave the Brotherhood behind. God is not our King; He is our Father. God is not a deceiver, a killer, a tempter, or a respecter of persons – God is Creator and all that He creates is good. In paragraph nine, Jesus tells us to accept our brothers – not with the ego’s version of them, but with the Christ version. Refuse to see our brothers as sinners, as adulterers, as fornicators and thieves, liars and killers, and it follows that we will see them as they were created. Deny all the lies that would lead to death; for we proclaim only the One Way that leads to Christ. When we accept our brothers as God accepts His Sonship they are healed. Because we have been as Christ to our brothers, we are healed. Their healing is our healing; our healing is theirs.
This reminds me of a movie I watched on Amazon Prime last night called “Fishbowl.” The theme of the drama serves as a good example of our text today. The father’s drunkenness had caused a terrible accident that killed his beloved wife and mother of their three beautiful daughters. Everybody in the community turned against him except his daughters, who remembered who and what their father really was. They knew that the accident was not the result of a vicious killer but a mistake from an otherwise loving, faithful husband and father. When they attended church, the parishioners stared with hate-filled, reproachful eyes at him. The preacher finally asked the father not to come anymore, to give the people in the church time to get over their anger and spite toward him.
Time passed, and as he struggled alone and tormented with his remorse and self-hatred, he fell under the sway of one of those doomsday prophets…I won’t go on and say anymore here in case you want to watch the movie yourself, but how much different this story would have been if the preacher and the congregation would have accepted the father as Christ rather than as the devil. Instead of asking him not to attend church anymore, the preacher could have led his followers in healing rather than in separating themselves from the would-be sinner in their midst. By allowing their ego version of the fellow to determine their response, they were deceived not only in him but in themselves and in God.
In God, no deceit is possible. When we see others as sinners and ourselves as saved, when we see ourselves as Sons of God and others the spawn of the devil, we deny who and what we are, and we deny Christ and we deny God. This is the message that Jesus is giving us today as I understand it, as I read it, as my heart and my mind are lifted in stillness and I ask for truth.
When we accept our own wholeness we must accept our brother’s wholeness. Only when we accept his healing can we accept our own. This protects the Sonship, does it not? This protects us from falling prey to such beliefs that to be saved, we must abandon those we love who do not
believe in Jesus and who do not go to our church or interpret their Bibles in the same way we do. This takes the burden for souls off our shoulders and puts a song in our heart for we are not compelled to go out and try to get people to believe that they can be special like us and go to heaven and leave everybody else behind.
No matter how sinful or wicked our brothers claim to be, we know the truth about them because God knows the truth about them, and they are God’s Son whether they know it or not. We cannot be a Sonship without them. We can finally truly love ourselves for we cannot love ourselves and leave anybody out. When we recognize our wholeness and oneness, we correct the damage to the Sonship. We heal together as we live together and love together, Jesus says in paragraph 11.
Many times throughout my life, when I would go to God to complain about a lover, friend, coworker, or relative– the Voice for God within me would remind me that God loved them and did not want to hear anything but the best about them. Once when I was about six years old, I overheard my mom and dad talking about how they wanted Barry Goldwater to win the election. I was sitting in the backseat of our car and I bowed my head and prayed fervently for Mr. Goldwater to win and Mr. Johnson to lose. Even before I finished praying my prayer, my heart was telling me that this was not a prayer that concerned God. No matter who won the election, God would still be God and that was all that mattered, my inner voice informed me. That was well over fifty years ago and that message still rings true in my heart and mind today. To let the things of this realm get us worked up and deny the spirit of brotherhood to all is not the way to God.
We are to take this realm as a dream, to laugh happily at the fear that it would arouse in us – for this is not our home nor does it have any lasting value. Its only value is to teach us its unreality. Our worst nightmares in this realm are simply nightmares. They are designed to make us afraid of one another, afraid of God, and afraid of ourselves. We do not have to be deceived by them.
When we ask Holy Spirit for the perception of Christ, we can laugh at all that would otherwise make us tremble. Jesus urges us to grow up, to deny any version of God which is frightful and mean and terroristic. We are to accept God as our Father, loving and creative, not spiteful and destructive. Just because someone tells us that something is holy and true does not mean that it is. In that movie I watched last night, the doomsday prophet was very convincing. He said with great authority that he knew when the world was coming to an end and he knew how to save those who would believe in him. He called his visions holy. He wrote gospel tracts and printed pamphlets and compelled his followers to spread the word. He used the bible to back up his assertions. He used fear and false promises to prey upon the vulnerable.
God’s Voice is within us. When people demand that we interpret the bible the way they interpret it, when people tell us that certain events in the world landscape indicate the return of Christ or the Last Judgment, when people try to get us to follow them and put curses upon us if we do not swallow their particular line of reasoning – we can go to the Voice for God within and ask Holy Spirit to show us the way. God replaces our fear of each other with a love for one another that the world simply cannot understand. When I recognize you as my brother, as one with me in Christ, I can no longer judge you, fear you, or condemn you. I cannot call you a fiend, a monster, a son of Beelzebub when I know you as you are. Christ informs me of your reality when I give no place to what the ego would make you out to be. Instead of being afraid of you I love you, and you love me, and we are healed of our disease.
We end this chapter, and we end this section with paragraph 15 with the question: “Would you exchange your fears for truth if the exchange is yours for the asking?” Each one of us must answer this question for ourselves. We cannot blame the decision we make about this on our parents, teachers, or preachers. We cannot blame it on our political leaders or our social groups. We can only know God and know who and what we are in God by asking for Holy Spirit to teach us the truth as individuals. When we come to God without our traditions, without our religious teachings or holy texts, without any preconditions or conceptions, we cannot be deceived. For we ask in Spirit and we ask in Truth and it is only in this way we cannot be deceived. It is only in this way we can accept the Real World in place of the false one we have here.
When we come to Him in peace, with no hidden agenda, no need to be a favorite or have a special blessing, with no need to tell Him what He is or what we want Him to do in our life, God leans down and brings us up and we are one with Him. And this is the answer to every question, every problem, every lack. For in Him is all knowledge, all comfort, all we ever were and all we will ever be.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 11 God or the ego. VIII The Problem or the Answer 8-15. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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