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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 13 The Guiltless World

V. The Two Emotions 1-6

1. I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given.  The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen and sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.

2. Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole.  For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.

3. It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate.  Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them.  And no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world. And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.

4. The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognize they have condemned themselves. They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered, and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot recognize.

5. You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other.  For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognized. If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. And you react with fear to love and draw away from it. Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. Your private world is filled with figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.

6. As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound. Your manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.[1]

In our devotional text, Jesus tells us that no matter how many emotions we think we have, there are two basic and opposing emotions – one is love and the other is fear.  One is changeless – offered by the eternal to the eternal and the other masquerades as many different faces which are all insane.  For fear gives us each a private world that simply cannot be shared with others. Fear creates a chaotic mind which is filled with all the shadows of our individual past and everybody’s private world is their own and distinctly different from everybody else’s. 

Jesus tells us in paragraph two that everything that fills our minds from the past has no truth.  For these shadow figure that we make of our brothers are only made up of our reactions to them and do not include their reactions to us.  They are separate and distinct – we make assumptions and carry these assumptions around with us about others based upon flimsy, trite, unholy encounters – they never tell the whole story, they never inform us of anything that has any meaning or reality because they are perceived in a separated mind. You can dislike a person based upon your perceptions of her snobbery while I can love the same person based upon her hospitality, graciousness, and benevolence.  When you look upon someone with fear which can pose a jealousy, inferiority, suspiciousness, anything at all that does not denote love – you will not realize that you are making up this person in your head.  You will take your personal encounters with someone and make up an entire version of him in your head.  This will of course not be anything close to the real person – but rather a very immature and fragmented substitute.  That shadow figure you make up is a perception only.  No matter how many “facts” you collect about someone – you are putting them together willy-nilly in your head and creating your own fictional version of them based upon your own very limited perceptions.  No matter how many people you get to agree with you about so-and-so, every single person will have their own take and it will never be true because it cannot be the whole. 

Without even realizing it then, we relate to each other through this strange and shadowy process of making up stories, judgments, motives, and character traits about the images we have in our heads towards each other.  We can never relate truly to one another as long as we believe in the perceptions we have toward one another.  In paragraph three, Jesus tells us that even when we think we are communicating with one another, we only hear what we choose to hear and see what we choose to see about others.  In other words we project our own ideas about others on them and relate to them through our own dirty mouths, our clogged ears, and our own smudged lens.  When we judge and condemn them then, we are really judging and condemning ourselves, for what we attack is not in others.  Because its only reality is in our own minds.

This is a very destructive way to live for it condemns us.  Condemnation is a death sentence and the more we condemn and judge others and relate to them through the lens of the ego we become diseased, we sicken, we die.  All the frightful things that clutter our mind appear to be all around us.  The Kingdom of Love, of Peace, of Joy is invisible to us for we mistake the illusions of the perceptual world to be the real story and do not recognize each other as Sons of God. 

In paragraph five, Jesus tells us that in our separate world we react to fear with love, and we react to love with fear.  Love is impossible in a separated world – it is not recognized in the outer world – for the perceptual world does not know what love is and would not accept it if it did know it. 

When with opened eyes we look upon the disorder, the fiction, the unreality of our minds we see how we do not truly communicate with others, how isolated we are from reality for we isolate ourselves against each other as if each individual part of Creation is a universe in and of itself.  This is madness because it overlooks the ocean and mistakes each separate droplet as an ocean – we see our own separateness everywhere we look.  When the Voice for God calls to us, we are so preoccupied with our own perceptions it is all too easy to ignore; when we are too busy engaging in the loud, the brassy, the chaos, and mayhem generated by the illusion of separateness, the Vision of Christ seems fearful and insane.  Instead of trusting in the Kingdom of God within us – the Love of God, the God of Love – we look to ourselves alone and God becomes a God of fear, of vengeance, and wrath. 

We will close with paragraph six today and continue with the rest of the section in tomorrow’s post.  Today in your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to illuminate this passage for you so that you become aware of the many faces of fear that manifest as distinct and confusing emotions that tangle our minds in a web of bewildering contradictions.  It takes courage to get past our bluster and our swagger and admit how agonizingly needy, lonely, and vulnerable we are in separateness.  It takes courage to say, “I cannot do this by myself.  I cannot figure this out on my own.  I messed up.  I thought I was the center of the universe, I thought I was special, I thought that I was right and everybody else was wrong.”  It takes courage to call upon Holy Spirit and stop blaming the problems of the world on others.  It takes courage to deny longstanding traditions and age old lies and perversions, but Love is fearless.  It takes courage to deny a place to fear in our relationship with God, with Holy Spirit, and with the Brotherhood of Christ, but Love is courageous.  Love is the only emotion that is true and sure for it is eternal and it is of God for it is God.  Fear is the fuel that keeps the web of lies and deceit spinning, and there is no place for it in God’s Kingdom.  Fear is the insanity that splits our minds and keeps us trapped in a perceptual world.  We must look upon how fear has been made manifest in our life and place it upon the inner altar.  Do not dread this process but go into it with joy and great gladness for it is our release from the prison of time. There is no place for fear in the Mind of Christ; there is no glint of apprehension in the Vision of Christ; there is no anxiety in God’s Kingdom, and God’s Kingdom is our Kingdom, and it is a Kingdom of Love. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 13 The guiltless world V The two emotions 1-6. 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

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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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