VII. Looking Within 8-15
8. When you want only love you will see nothing else. The contradictory nature of the witnesses you perceive is merely the reflection of your conflicting invitations. You have looked upon your mind and accepted opposition there, having sought it there. But do not believe that the witnesses for opposition are true, for they attest only to your decision about reality, returning to you the messages you gave them. Love, too, is recognized by its messengers. If you make love manifest, its messengers will come to you because you invited them.
9. The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world. You can decide to see it right. What you made of it is not its reality, for its reality is only what you give it. You cannot really give anything but love to anyone or anything, nor can you really receive anything but love from them. If you think you have received anything else, it is because you have looked within and thought you saw the power to give something else within yourself. It was only this decision that determined what you found, for it was the decision for what you sought.
10. You are afraid of me because you looked within and are afraid of what you saw. Yet you could not have seen reality, for the reality of your mind is the loveliest of God’s creations. Coming only from God, its power and grandeur could only bring you peace if you really looked upon it. If you are afraid, it is because you saw something that is not there. Yet in the same place you could have looked upon me and all your brothers, in the perfect safety of the Mind which created us. For we are there in the peace of the Father, Who wills to extend His peace through you.
11. When you have accepted your mission to extend peace you will find peace, for by making it manifest you will see it. Its holy witnesses will surround you because you called upon them, and they will come to you. I have heard your call and I have answered it, but you will not look upon me nor hear the answer that you sought. That is because you do not yet want only that. Yet as I become more real to you, you will learn that you do want only that. And you will see me as you look within, and we will look upon the real world together. Through the eyes of Christ, only the real world exists and only the real world can be seen. As you decide so will you see. And all that you see but witnesses to your decision.
12. When you look within and see me, it will be because you have decided to manifest truth. And as you manifest it you will see it both without and within. You will see it without because you saw it first within. Everything you beheld without is a judgment of what you beheld within. If it is your judgment it will be wrong, for judgment is not your function. If it is the judgment of the Holy Spirit it will be right, for judgment is His function. You share His function by judging as He does, reserving no judgment at all for yourself. You will judge against yourself, but He will judge for you.
13. Remember, then, that whenever you look without and react unfavorably to what you see, you have judged yourself unworthy and have condemned yourself to death. The death penalty is the ego’s ultimate goal, for it fully believes that you are a criminal, as deserving of death as God knows you are deserving of life. The death penalty never leaves the ego’s mind, for that is what it always reserves for you in the end. Wanting to kill you as the final expression of its feeling for you, it lets you live but to await death. It will torment you while you live, but its hatred is not satisfied until you die. For your destruction is the one end for which it works, and the only end with which it will be satisfied.
14. The ego is not a traitor to God, to whom treachery is impossible. But it is a traitor to you who believe that you have been treacherous to your Father. That is why the undoing of guilt is an essential part of the Holy Spirit’s teaching. For as long as you feel guilty you are listening to the voice of the ego, which tells you that you have been treacherous to God and therefore deserve death. You will think that death comes from God and not from the ego because, by confusing yourself with the ego, you believe that you want death. And from what you want God does not save you.
15. When you are tempted to yield to the desire for death, remember that I did not die. You will realize that this is true when you look within and see me. Would I have overcome death for myself alone? And would eternal life have been given me of the Father unless He had also given it to you? When you learn to make me manifest, you will never see death. For you will have looked upon the deathless in yourself, and you will see only the eternal as you look out upon a world that cannot die.
Today in our devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to let us see the Christ in us rather than what the ego would have us see. The ego will tell us all kinds of sorry things about who and what we are. While none of them are true, as long as we believe that we are flesh and blood, bone and gristle, as long as we believe that we were put here to kill and to prey upon Creation, as long as we believe that there is any power that is not Love – we are denying our rightful inheritance as God’s Son. We are keeping ourselves from seeing the Real World. We are allowing our light to be obscured by a pathetic alternate version of God and His Kingdom.
When we are tempted to yield to the ego’s version of Creation, of God, and of each other, we are to choose with our holiness and with our Spirit. We are to choose to go high and not low. We are to choose life and not death. For when we choose without love we are choosing against ourselves.
Every single day we have opportunities to choose love or choose hate. We have encounters with all kinds of different people – some are really nice, and some are really snotty. Some have good things to tell us, and others want to fill our heads with negativity and accusations and spite. Depending on the way the wind blows on any particular day – we can feel up or down, we can feel love or hate, we can go from peace to conflict.
Jesus is telling us as individuals and us as a collective to stop this cycle of conflict and opposition to God and to look within and choose Christ. Choose the Sonship. Refuse to seek anything but love and the peace and joy which come along with it. Choose only Christ and we get the Kingdom, and we get it now instead of later. There is just no point in any more wars, any more conflict, any more sorrow, grief, and death.
When we stop killing each other in our perceptual world, and start loving one another again – we will make love manifest first within ourselves as individuals and then without in the perceptual world which will become real when all that opposes love is denied. This starts with you and it starts with me. It starts at home in our families and in our communities, in our workplaces and in our marketplaces. We begin to practice love, we manifest love. We stop being afraid of love and begin being love to our mates, to our children, to our pets, to our coworkers, to our neighbors – and the more we practice love, the more real it becomes to us and to others. It is not until we practice love and see the witnesses to love that we can understand the power and the freedom of will we have even as prisoners of the perceptual world.
Jesus is not scolding us in today’s text reading, He is merely stating a fact and telling us how to overcome our resistance to God’s Kingdom. Start small and go from there. Practice responding with Holy Spirit instead of with our own judgment. Our own judgment will want to punch people, we will want to punish people, we will want to send them to hell to burn forever. Our judgments upon others are always judgments against ourselves – for without our higher minds where Holy Spirit resides, our lower minds where ego resides are particularly reptilian and only wish us dead. The more we practice deciding with Love, the more we will want to practice with Love for we will see that it works. Perhaps we want Christ to be formed in us, but right now we want Christ to be formed in us just a little bit. We may still want other things as well. This is not a problem. We will want what we want and then getting that we will want more and then we will want more of Christ and then we will want only Christ, for accepting Christ simply means accepting our Sonship with God. It is not like Jesus moves in on us and steals our Being from us and we all walk about like holy automatons saying, “Jesus saves, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.”
Our salvation means we are saved, not taken over by an alien being. We are saved for Sonship. To know God as our Father, to have the Everything that is God as our inheritance. When we look within, we will no longer see an uncertain, flesh and blood creature, craving meat and attention and identifying with our private parts and yammering about things that simply can never matter in any world anywhere. When we look within we will recognize ourselves as God’s Son – that is accepting Christ. And accepting Christ is to choose only love for that is all we want to see.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 12 The Holy Spirit’s curriculum. VII Looking within. 8-15. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com