I. The Judgment of the Holy Spirit 1-5
- You have been told not to make error real, and the way to do this is very simple. If you want to believe in error, you would have to make it real because it is not true. But truth is real in its own right, and to believe in truth you do not have to do anything. Understand that you do not respond to anything directly, but to your interpretation of it. Your interpretation becomes the justification for the response. That is why analyzing the motives of others is hazardous to you. If you decide that someone is really trying to attack you or desert you or enslave you, you will respond as if he had actually done so, having made his error real to you. To interpret error is to give it power and having done this you will overlook the truth.
- The analysis of ego-motivation is very complicated, very obscuring, and never without your own ego-involvement. The whole process represents a clear-cut attempt to demonstrate your own ability to understand what you perceive. This is shown by the fact that you react to your interpretations as if they were correct. You may then control your reactions behaviorally, but not emotionally. This would obviously be a split or an attack on the integrity of your mind pitting one level within it against another.
- There is but one interpretation of motivation that makes any sense. And because it is the Holy Spirit’s judgment it requires no effort at all on your part. Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing, regardless of the form it takes. Can anyone be justified in responding with anger to a brother’s plea for help? No response can be appropriate except the willingness to give it to him, for this and only this is what he is asking for. Anything else, and you are assuming the right to attack his reality by interpreting it as you see fit. Perhaps the danger of this to your own mind is not yet fully apparent. If you believe that an appeal for help is something else, you will react to something else. Your response will therefore be inappropriate to reality as it is, but not to your perception of it.
- There is nothing to prevent you from recognizing all calls for help as exactly what they are except your own imagined need to attack. It is only this that makes you willing to engage in endless “battles” with reality, in which you deny the reality of the need for healing by making it unreal. You would not do this except for your unwillingness to accept reality as it is, and which you therefore withhold from yourself.
- It is surely good advice to tell you not to judge what you do not understand. No one with a personal investment is a reliable witness, for truth to him has become what he wants it to be. If you are unwilling to perceive an appeal for help as what it is, it is because you are unwilling to give help and to receive it. To fail to recognize a call for help is to refuse help. Would you maintain that you do not need it? Yet this is what you are maintaining when you refuse to recognize a brother’s appeal, for only by answering his appeal can you be helped. Deny him your help and you will not recognize God’s Answer to you. The Holy Spirit does not need your help in interpreting motivation, but you do need His.
In today’s devotional text we begin Chapter 12 – The Holy Spirit’s Curriculum. We will divide the first section The Judgment of the Holy Spirit into two parts, covering 1-5 in today’s post and 6-10 in tomorrow’s post. Please read the entire section in your personal devotions if you have time for this will give you a broader understanding of Holy Spirit’s judgment. If you are following along in the syllabus this puts us at day 132 and Workbook lesson 132.
Jesus tells us today not to make this world real because error itself is not real. We have made that which is not God’s Kingdom real to ourselves by believing in our own lies and fabrications. To believe in truth, we do not have to do anything – because truth is always going to be true whether we believe in it or not. Lies, on the other hand, demand our belief in them to give them any weight or any sense of reality.
We respond to the stimuli in the outer world, according to our perception of it, our interpretation of what is going on. If you call me on the phone and you are ranting and raving against me, calling me names and accusing me of trashing your name and saying unkind things about you, I am going to justify the way I respond to you by the way I interpret your phone call. If I believe that you are looking for an excuse to be angry with me, that your accusations against me are entirely unjustified, that you are a liar, and just want to pick a fight, I will respond to your rants against me as if you have attacked me. I have interpreted your phone call as a personal attack, and I will overlook the truth – according to Jesus.
I will try to figure out what went south between us. I will blame it on other people, the things that they told me about you that I passed on to others or vice versa. I will blame it on you for taking advantage of my kindness, for not being appreciative of all the nice things I have done for you, the way I tried to include you in things and went out of my way to make you feel welcome. As I am trying to analyze why you would call me and yell at me like that, my own ego becomes very wounded and aggrieved. I did not deserve that kind of treatment after all I have done! I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect! You were always the type to blame all your difficulties on someone else! The things you are accusing me of are the very things you do yourself! I will do my best to understand what just happened and will react to my interpretation of things as if they were true. No matter how calmly I address your anger, no matter how coolly I hang up the phone, and no matter how respectfully I refrain from building a case against you to others, my emotions will be in an uproar, I will have lost my joy and peace. I will not believe that I ever loved you regretting all the years I spent sharing my life with you. While I may never tell you how much you hurt me or how unfair it was of you to attack me like that, holding me accountable for the sins of many, my discretion will not reflect my true emotions, I will be living a lie, in other words. This will wreak havoc upon my mind and my heart, it will affect my health and well-being, and without peace, I will not meet the condition of God’s Kingdom.
Jesus says that there is only one interpretation to all forms of attack that makes any sense at all. It is the judgment of Holy Spirit and because it is Holy Spirit’s and does not come from the ego self, it requires no effort. Holy Spirit judges thus: Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing – regardless of the form it takes.
We deny the reality of God – we deny the reality of love, peace, and joy – which are attributes of God when we find causes for attack or defense. In God, Who is all power, we never have a need to defend ourselves or attack others. When we accept the world’s perception of reality we will interpret our relationships and personal interactions through flesh eyes, we will spend our lives in endless “battles” with reality. We will point fingers, blame, and justify all manner of spite and viciousness. We will withhold our love and affection. We will deny others the mind of Christ because we will have denied the mind of Christ in our own lives.
It is always better not to judge what we simply cannot understand. Calls for help come in all forms and if we are unwilling to give help we are unwilling to receive it. When we ask for Holy Spirit’s interpretation we no longer respond to others anger or grief as personal attacks or infringements.
In our ego state, there is absolutely no meaning to our relationships – no matter how much we put into them, no matter how much we may flaunt them, no matter how near and dear they may seem to us. We can think that we are helping each other, we can think we do so much for so-and-so, and they should be eternally grateful to us, but the sad fact is that we can rarely, if ever, even help ourselves in any way that has everlasting meaning.
It is only when we hear one another and see one another through the Holy Spirit’s understanding that we can respond to one another with true appreciation and love. Holy Spirit connects us with God and with each other in a way that is simply impossible in our separate states of consciousness. Otherwise, I can never really know you and you can never really know me. I will imagine all kinds of things about you, and you will imagine all kinds of things about me. Our two imagined selves will then engage in what we call relationship. They will have all kinds of imaginary times together – they will have ups and they will have downs. They will have fights; they will kiss and make up. But as long as they pose for us, we are not really engaging with ourselves or with each other. It is just two meaningless bits of fiction pretending to have a relationship.
Jesus tells us to avoid this kind of nothingness because making things up and trying to find meaning out of the interactions that come from our illusions does not bring true love, peace, and joy but rather shallow substitutes that require a lot of work. However, we do not have to engage in the ego drama. We do not have to invent ways to justify taking each other apart and strategizing means to teach other people lessons, give them a taste of their own medicine, or dig ditches and lines of demarcation between ourselves and others. We can simply welcome Holy Spirit into our every encounter, our every relationship, and our every interpretation. When we rely on that which is holy and that which is spirit, we can relax and enjoy one another. I do not have to take you apart and examine everything you say and do with the scrutiny of the ego’s judgment. Nor do you have to go through all that with me. We can appreciate each other. We can bask in the warmth and fellowship and fun we share. This will bring out the God in you. This will bring out the God in me. Our times together will mean something. Our relationship will go from an illusion to something that is real and everlasting.
We will finish the last five paragraphs of this section in the next blog. Today in your personal devotions, ask for Holy Spirit’s judgment for all your encounters and interactions with others. Ask Holy Spirit to illuminate in your mind the peace that comes from letting Him fill you with the appreciation necessary to interpret your brothers with love. Ask Him to help you see others the way God sees them – and let your mind and heart be full of His Love.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 12 The Holy Spirit’s curriculum. I. The judgment of the Holy Spirit. 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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