IV. Your Function in the Atonement
1. When you accept a brother’s guiltlessness you will see the Atonement in him. For by proclaiming it in him you make it yours, and you will see what you sought. You will not see the symbol of your brother’s guiltlessness shining within him while you still believe it is not there. His guiltlessness is your Atonement. Grant it to him, and you will see the truth of what you have acknowledged. Yet truth is offered first to be received, even as God gave it first to His Son. The first in time means nothing, but the first in eternity is God the Father, who is both first and one. Beyond the first there is no other, for there is no order, no second or third, and nothing but the first.
2. You who belong to the First Cause, created by Him like unto Himself and part of Him, are more than merely guiltless. The state of guiltlessness is only the condition in which what is not there has been removed from the disordered mind that thought it was. This state, and only this, must you attain, with God beside you. For until you do, you will still think that you are separate from Him. You can perhaps feel His Presence next to you but cannot know that you are with Him. This cannot be taught. Learning applies only to the condition in which it happens of itself.
3. When you have let all that obscured the truth in your most holy mind be undone for you, and therefore stand in grace before your Father, He will give Himself to you as He has always done. Giving Himself is all He knows, and so it is all knowledge. For what He knows not cannot be, and therefore cannot be given. Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished. Ask, rather, to learn how to forgive, and to restore what always was to your unforgiving mind. Atonement becomes real and visible to those who use it. On earth this is your only function, and you must learn that it is all you want to learn. You will feel guilty till you learn this. For in the end, whatever form it takes, your guilt arises from your failure to fulfill your function in God’s Mind with all of yours. Can you escape this guilt by failing to fulfill your function here?
4. You need not understand creation to do what must be done before that knowledge would be meaningful to you. God breaks no barriers, neither did He make them. When you release them they are gone. God will not fail, nor ever has in anything. Decide that God is right, and you were wrong about yourself. He created you out of Himself, but still within Him. He knows what you are. Remember that there is no second to Him. There cannot, therefore, be anyone without His Holiness, nor anyone unworthy of His perfect Love. Fail not in your function of loving in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit, for thus are darkness and deceit undone. Fail not yourself, but instead offer to God and you His blameless Son. Where this small gift of appreciation for His Love, God will Himself exchange your gift for His.
5. Before you make any decisions for yourself, remember that you have decided against your function in heaven, and then consider carefully whether you want to make decisions here. Your function here is only to decide against deciding what you want, and recognition that you do not know. How, then, can you decide what you should do? Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God, and for your function as He knows it. So will He teach you to remove the awful burden you have laid upon yourself by loving not the Son of God and trying to teach him guilt instead of love. Give up this frantic and insane attempt that cheats you of the joy of living with your God and Father, and of waking gladly to His Love and Holiness that joined together as the truth in you, making you one with Him.
6. When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer. Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard. The Holy Spirit will not delay in answering your every question what to do. He knows. And He will tell you, and then do it for you. You who are tired will find this is more restful than sleep. For you can bring your guilt into sleeping, but not into this.
7. Unless you were guiltless you cannot know God, whose will is that you know Him. Therefore, you must be guiltless. Yet if you do not accept the necessary conditions for knowing Him, you have denied Him and do not recognize Him, though He is all around you. He cannot be known without His Son, whose guiltlessness is the condition for knowing Him. Accepting His Son as guilty is denial of the Father so complete, that knowledge is swept away from recognition in the very mind where God Himself has placed it. If you would but listen and learn how impossible this is! Do not endow Him with attributes you understand, you made Him not, and anything you understand is not of Him.
8. Your task is not to make reality. It is here without your making, but not without you. You who have tried to throw yourself away and value God so little, hear me speak for Him and for yourself. You cannot understand how much your Father loves you, for there is no parallel in your experience of the world to help you understand it. There is nothing on earth with which it can compare, and nothing you have ever felt apart from Him resembles it ever so faintly. You cannot even give a blessing in perfect gentleness. Would you know of One Who gives forever, and who knows of nothing except giving?
9. The children of Heaven live in the light of the blessing of their Father, because they know that they are sinless. The Atonement was established as the means of restoring guiltlessness to minds that have denied it, and thus denied Heaven to themselves. Atonement teaches you the true condition of the Son of God. It does not teach you what you are, or what your Father is. The Holy Spirit, who remembers this for you, merely teaches you how to remove the blocks that stand between you and what you know. His memory is yours. If you remember what you have made, you are remembering nothing. Remembrance of reality is in Him, and therefore in you.
10. The guiltless and the guilty are totally incapable of understanding one another. Each perceives the other as like himself, making both unable to communicate, because each sees the other unlike the way he sees himself. God can communicate only to the whole Holy Spirit in your mind, because only He shares the knowledge of what you are with God. And only the Holy Spirit can answer God for you, for only He knows what God is. Everything else that you have placed within your mind cannot exist, for what is not in communication with the mind of God has never been. Communication with God is life. Nothing without it is at all.
Today in our devotional text reading, Jesus tells us that we find Atonement in giving it to our brothers. Unlike this realm in which we give out of our abundance – in the holy realm we give what we ourselves need, we give guiltlessness. We hold nothing against anybody. We set each other free from the realm of illusion by putting our minds in alignment with truth and denying the ability of our brothers to sin. This goes against everything we have been taught. To get along in this world we have made many laws, we have codes of ethics, we teach our children good manners, we tend to dislike and harbor ill will toward those who are unproductive, who do not contribute, who take more than their fair share. We are very much aware of how our brothers fail us, how much more they take that what they give, their snotty attitudes and unlovely ways. Jesus is asking us to step out of the human perception and into the realm of Spirit and to see all things with love and forgiveness – we are to give each and every one of us – no matter how vile and undeserving they may seem to be – Atonement, guiltlessness, salvation.
This is our only function here in this busy, clamoring, demanding, and stressful world. Offering guiltlessness to our brothers, holding nobody accountable for the flesh and the things of the flesh, seeking not vengeance, holding no spite, but offering only brotherhood, compassion, and the sure knowledge of God and His Love for all and to all.
Jesus tells us that Atonement teaches us the true condition of God’s Son and Jesus builds a very strong case for our innocence in that if we judge ourselves and others as unworthy of God’s love, we are judging God Who is the Creator. Many of us are afraid of such teaching – the churches themselves which are in a wonderful position to be offering Atonement are fearful that this teaching will give others a license to sin, that people will adopt the attitude that God’s love is to be taken in a cavalier way: God loves me. I always have His Love; therefore I can do anything I want and get away with it.
However, accepting Atonement for my brothers sets them free from the illusion that happiness can be found in sin and shame. When I no longer find you guilty, you are free of all that would make you guilty even as I am free. We are free of our bondage to a flesh life that preys upon and desires to inflict guilt and shame and suffering to others. This is a spiritual practice, and it works on a spiritual level first and then all things naturally follow. To practice this in the physical realm we will get in trouble. I may forgive the rabid raccoon for eating my kitten, but this in no way stops me from taking it out of its misery. I may offer my enemies guiltlessness in the spiritual realm and hold not the unlawful things they did to my family against them, but this is not a welcome mat for more abuse. Atonement protects those who offer it; we are safe in Atonement. When we offer Atonement to those who would abuse it, we are safe in the arms of God.
Accepting our function in the Atonement is a spiritual practice and when we get it right, we live miraculous lives that help and heal restoring peace and unity. Spirit must always come first for Spirit is the only reality – and to get to this we must engage fully in our spiritual endeavors, accepting our holiness and our Spirit as our constant friend, guide, and Teacher. We will not remember our true Identity without Holy Spirit; we will not remember what we are on our own for our flesh and our flesh senses are designed to engage only with the perceptual world.
Jesus tells us that those who accept guiltlessness will have no communication with those who cherish guilt. To those who would cherish my guilt, they see me as like them and therefore cannot see or understand my guiltlessness for like them, I am different and set apart from everybody else. I am my own entity in their eyes, accountable for what I alone suffer and what I alone do about it. All of us have many witnesses to this fact – some, if not most, of the people in our lives cherish guilt and love to project it upon others. Always digging about to find things in which to make others guilty even if it means digging about in the past which is long gone and leaves no survivors. A mind engaged in guilt-finding has no real communication with God and does not accept Atonement because it is finding too much pleasure in making others guilty. It is a mind steeped in arrogance and ignorance – to believe that one finite little human with their limited, finite perceptions and no understanding of the entire story could possibly gather enough facts together to pronounce guilt upon the dreams of others. It is their hobby if not their fulltime profession, and Atonement holds no interest to them for they find their identity in the low mindedness of the ego.
God speaks to us through our higher minds where our holiness and our Spirit reside forever. As we learn to know and to love and to fully accept Holy Spirit we find our true Identity in God. We no longer find any use for guilt; we can only offer Atonement – it does not matter if others understand this concept or not, for in this truth is our love, our happiness, and the peace of God. No matter what else seems to fill our minds, none of it has any reality for what is not of God is only part of the splintered dream of unreality. God is in wholeness and holiness and in wholeness and holiness we find our Selves. For only in God is life.
This does not mean we walk about on earth with sappy smiles and a circle of light over our heads. We do not have a physical aura that separates and makes us stand out from our brothers. To seek specialness in the spiritual realm shows a complete lack of understanding of Atonement for Atonement establishes our identity in the mutuality and equality of brotherhood. We offer Atonement to receive Atonement and we must do it every single moment of every single day of our earthly experience and in every single encounter until we get it right for to withhold guiltlessness from any one that God sends to us is to withhold it from all – including ourselves. For only when we offer Atonement to all, have we healed the Sonship, have we learned the love for all that we forgot. We have met the conditions of the Kingdom of God. Our communication with God is fully restored and we are set free.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 14 Teaching for truth. IV Your function in the atonement. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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