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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 13 The Guiltless World

II. The Guiltless Son of God

1. The ultimate purpose of projection is always to get rid of guilt.  Yet, characteristically, the ego attempts to get rid of guilt from its viewpoint only, for much as the ego wants to retain guilt you find it intolerable, since guilt stands in the way of your remembering God, Who’s pull is so strong that you cannot resist it. On this issue, then, the deepest split of all occurs, for if you are to retain guilt, as the ego insists, you cannot be you. Only by persuading you that it is you could the ego possibly induce you to project guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind.

2. Yet consider how strange a solution the ego’s arrangement is. You project guilt to get rid of it, but you are actually merely concealing it. You do experience the guilt, but you have no idea why. On the contrary, you associate it with a weird assortment of ego ideals, which the ego claims you have failed. Yet you have no idea that you are failing the Son of God by seeing him as guilty. Believing you are no longer you; you do not realize that you are failing yourself.

3. The darkest of your hidden cornerstones hold your belief in guilt from your awareness. For in that dark and secret place is the realization that you have betrayed God’s Son by condemning him to death. You do not even suspect this murderous but insane idea lies hidden there, for the ego’s destructive urge is so intense that nothing short of the crucifixion of God’s Son can ultimately satisfy it. It does not know who this Son of God is because it is blind. Yet let it perceive guiltlessness anywhere, and it will try to destroy it because it is afraid.

4. Much of the ego’s strange behavior is directly attributable to its definition of guilt. To the ego, the guiltless are guilty. Those who do not attack are its enemies because, by not valuing its interpretation of salvation, they are in an excellent position to let it go. They have approached the darkest and deepest cornerstone and the ego’s foundation, and while the ego can withstand your raising all else to question, it guards this one secret with its life, for its existence depends on keeping this secret. So it is this secret that we must look upon, for the ego cannot protect you against truth, and in its presence the ego is dispelled.

5. In the calm light of truth, let us recognize that you believe you have crucified God’s Son. You have not admitted to this “terrible” secret because you would still wish to crucify him if you could find him. Yet the wish has hidden him from you because it is very fearful, and so you are afraid to find him. You have handled this wish to kill yourself by not knowing who you are and identifying with something else. You have projected guilt blindly and indiscriminately, but you have not uncovered its source. For the ego does want to kill you, and if you identify with it you must believe its goal is yours.

6. I have said that the crucifixion is the symbol of the ego. When it was confronted with the real guiltlessness of God’s Son it did attempt to kill him, and the reason it gave was that guiltlessness is blasphemous to God. To the ego, the ego is God, and guiltlessness must be interpreted as the final guilt that fully justifies murder. You do not yet understand that any fear you may experience in connection with this course stems ultimately from this interpretation, but if you will consider your reactions to it you will become increasingly convinced that this is so.

7. This course has explicitly stated that its goal for you is happiness and peace. Yet you are afraid of it. You have been told again and again that it will set you free, yet you sometimes react as if it is trying to imprison you.  You often dismiss it more readily than you dismiss the ego thought system.  To some extent, then, you must believe that by not learning the course you are protecting yourself. And you do not realize that it is only your guiltlessness that can protect you.

8. The Atonement has always been interpreted as the release from guilt, and this is correct if it is understood. Yet even when I interpret it for you, you may reject it and do not accept it for yourself. You have perhaps recognized the futility of the ego and its offerings, but though you do not want them, you may not yet look upon the alternative with gladness. In the extreme, you are afraid of redemption and you believe it will kill you. Make no mistake about the depth of this fear. For you believe that in the presence of truth you might turn on yourself and destroy yourself.

9. Little child, this is not so. Your guilty secret is nothing, and if you will but bring it to the light, the light will dispel it. And then no dark cloud will remain between you and the remembrance of your Father, for you will remember His guiltless Son, who did not die because he is immortal. And you will see that you were redeemed with him and have never been separated from him. In this understanding lies your remembering, for it is the recognition of love without fear. There will be great joy in heaven on your homecoming, and the joy will be yours.  For the redeemed son of man is the guiltless Son of God, and to recognize him is your redemption.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us how the ego uses guilt to destroy our sense of worthiness, purity, and love for God and for each other.  When we feel guilty we are much inclined to make for ourselves a kingdom that is ruled by fear instead of love.  Guilt establishes a very weird setup, for guilt makes us so miserable, we mistakenly believe projecting guilt onto others will get us off its hook.  But that is simply not the way it works, for what we give to others, we receive in like measure – this is the law of creation and it works for us when we extend love, and it works against us when we project guilt. 

Unaware of how this works, we have no idea why we ourselves are so unhappy and steeped in a sense of unworthiness.  We will wake up in the night and remember all the mean, stupid, unholy things we ever did.  We are not the bad asses we thought we were, we’re just plain stupid, sorry, and miserable frauds.  All the ways in which we may impress ourselves and others during the day flies out the window and there we are in our shameful, lonely, individualized pit of despair.  And we think that this is us – this wretched worm, this fraud.  And we fail ourselves by seeing ourselves as guilty for the higher part of us, the part that never went about thinking of ourselves as anything more or anything less than the Sonship is the real us – the invisible us, the Spirit us.  And when we accept any part of this other version of ourselves and others, we condemn ourselves to death.

Pay particular attention to paragraph three for Jesus exposes the ego’s blind rage against guiltlessness.  Each one of us have a dark and secret place hidden in our subconscious that holds us accountable for the curse of death upon the world – this is the root of insanity.  Insanity is the foundation stone of the world’s thought system for it is a world built upon the assumption that there can be opposition to Love, there can be an equally desirable opposite to Joy, there can be a revolt against Peace.  In this blind and ridiculous rebellion against all that has any reality, power, meaning and purpose, against all that brings us health and wealth and well-being – we find the churlish thought system, a lip-smacking, leering, and loutish desire to destroy innocence, to make that which is pure impure, to make that which is high and holy, low and unholy, to take that which is indestructible and destroy it. 

For the guiltless are the guilty ones according to the lower-minded.  Those who maintain their purity, those who refuse to take sides against others, those who do not join in the gossip circles are the enemies of ego because by not valuing the ego’s interpretation of salvation, those who go with their holiness and their spirit are positioned to let the ego go.  When we let the ego go, we let the perceptual world go.  When we let the perceptual world go, we are only good for one thing – and that is the Kingdom of God. 

Until we approach the ego’s foundation stone of guilt hidden dark and deep within our subconscious does the ego have much to worry about.  Oh we can talk about our narcissism and do our best to get over our selfish and self-centered behaviors.  We can realize that it is not nice to call names or point fingers or hold grudges.  We can join with others who are against human trafficking or child labor or rape.  We can do all kinds of things that would make us feel better about ourselves.  We are doing something to change the world, we can say.  We are saying NO MORE.  We carry our signs and wear particular colors on certain days of the year to take a stand.  We can live in a realm of outrage and condemnation against all the works of the flesh.  But our egos are along for the ride – seeping into the narrow corridors and the dark closets of our consciousness– keeping us bound in guilt and doing time. 

Guilt is the ego’s secret weapon, its Big Gun, its weapon of mass destruction – and it guards it for it cannot exist without it.  As long as the ego can get us to hate each other, to judge each other, to use and abuse one another – the ego has us over a barrel – for we will feel guilty – we cannot get away with it.  The ego did not make us, God did.  And God made us with love and for love and to be love.  No matter how the ego bends our sense of identity and uses us to maim, torture, and destroy others with our words, thoughts, and deeds – we will never get away with it for that is not what we are – it is not our true nature, it is not our forever Self which is God’s Son.  Eventually all lies falter and truth stands alone.  And the truth breaks the spell that guilt has cast upon our mind. 

Guilt tells us that we want Christ crucified, and we would kill Christ all over again if we could find a remnant of Sonship left.  This wish is hidden from us, in the dark and deep places where the ego abides in us – and few of us have the courage to face this or be honest about it.  We cannot stand brotherhood. We cannot stand those who love, we are jealous of the happiness and blessings bestowed upon our brothers. If we are preachers, we are secretly happy when other preachers “fall into sin.”  Especially if they preach a different gospel than our own!  We are titillated by disasters as long as they do not affect us personally.  We may keep it hidden behind our religious rites and rituals, our outward goodness, and our social responsiveness.  We keep our desire for death and killing projected outward – we watch it instead in the movies, we read about it in the newspapers, our eyes are drawn to that which strikes terror.  We entertain each other with stories of death and torture and despair.  We choose gods that are bloodthirsty and require meaty sacrifices and the genocide and eternal torment of all who do not look like us, talk like us, or sacrifice to the same gods.  Few of us care to peer down the dim, shadowy corridors of our mind and bring to light the enemy that has been lurking within our DNA, stealing our identity, usurping our light and calling our life its own.  The ego makes of life something in which we despair of for it seeks only to kill us and when we identify with that which is not Sonship, we believe that the ego’s desire for death is our own. 

Jesus tells us that the crucifixion symbolizes the ego’s response when confronted with guiltlessness.  Call yourself a Son of God and find out what the world wants to do to you!  Because the ego thinks of itself as god and guilt is the key to its kingdom.  When I first began the study of A Course in Miracles I was filled with a real sense of horror when I realized it was teaching me that I was right up there with Jesus as God’s beloved.  God’s love for me was almost too much for me to believe, I was much more comfortable believing in my sin, my shame, my filth and despair.  As long as we can believe in the ego gods that demand our guilt and repentance and sacrifices, which punish and humiliate us and make of us eternally grateful beings which must worship them day and night forever and ever in exchange for their mercy and kindness toward us – the ego’s gods have stolen the place in our minds that belong only to the Father. For it is only when we consider the irresistible draw we have to the tender devotion of a Father that we will be convinced that God is Love and Love is God and Love is the only Power there truly is and ever will be. 

Jesus expounds on this in paragraph seven.  Why are we afraid of the happiness and peace that A Course in Miracles teaches?  Why are we suspicious of that which relieves our minds of guilt, shame, and torment?  What possible good can we be to ourselves, our loved ones, the world if we are forever indebted by our guilt?  What kind of salvation is that?  What kind of person would save a drowning child and then make the child bow down and worship him for the rest of the child’s life?  When we help someone, do we expect ongoing appreciation and gratitude from that person or should a simple thank you and a gift of appreciation suffice?  Why would we be afraid to serve a God of Freedom and Liberty, Love and Peace and Joy unless we thought that there was some protection in guilt and punishment?

Atonement is release from guilt.  Be not afraid of redemption but accept it with gladness.  I no longer dread spending eternity with God because I am freed from a need to be eternally repentant, I am freed from a need to needlessly worry and fret over the salvation of my loved ones, I am freed from a sense of being second best because I have females parts instead of male parts.  These are the fears that are deeply stamped upon our consciousness and it takes courage to face the truth about the ego god.  Jesus tells us to make no mistake about the depth of our fear.  Our religions are based upon fear – if it is not God we are taught to fear, it is our ancestors, it is our karma, it is the devil or the gods of nature and wildlife.  This world is based upon fear and fueled by fear.  Guiltlessness dissolves fear.  Guiltlessness is nothing to be afraid of and yet when we share our denial of guilt it causes consternation in some who still cherish it.  Perhaps they think that if we see ourselves as guiltless, we may do all kinds of terrible things because we can “get away with it.”  Heck, if we are guiltless, we can commit all kinds of crime, we can kill all those we hate, we can prowl about like devils and maim and destroy with impunity. 

And yet it does not work that way for guiltlessness makes of us pure and holy.  The innocent can do no wrong.  We no longer have to try to be good, we are Goodness Itself.  When we bring guilt to the inner altar and lay it down and ask for the Light of Christ to shine upon it, it is dispelled.  It will try to come back and attach itself to our mind throughout our stint in time, but it is over the moment we ask Holy Spirit to shine the Light of Sonship upon it.  No dark cloud can come between us and our memory of the Father’s Love.  We will not only remember it, we will know it.  Nobody will ever be able to tempt us to exchange our Father’s Love for guilt again, for we will know ourselves as we were created.  Here is love without fear. 

When we recognize ourselves as innocent, as pure, as guiltless before God and before our brothers, we are redeemed.  The Kingdom which is only visible to those who have accepted their guiltless Sonship is full of joy and that joy belongs to us – forever. 

In your personal devotion invite Holy Spirit to shine the light of Christ upon the guilt you project upon others and harbor toward your own self.  Meditate upon how to apply the concepts in today’s text to your own life – ask for truth for seeking truth and finding truth are one.  Open your heart and mind to the idea that guilt is a construct of ego which keeps us bound to time and blindly party to the ego’s wish for death and destruction.  Ask Holy Spirit for the courage, the grace, and the mercy to set you free – that your own little scrap of humanity can be exchanged for the marvel and the magnitude of the guiltless Son of God.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 13 The guiltless world. II The guiltless son of God. 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

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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