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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 17 II Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship

II. The Forgiven World

1. Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you?  In no fantasy have you ever seen anything so lovely.  Nothing you see here, sleeping or waking, comes near to such loveliness.  And nothing will you value like unto this, nor hold so dear.  Nothing that you remember that made your heart sing with joy has ever brought you even a little part of the happiness this sight will bring you.  For you will see the Son of God.  You will behold the beauty the Holy Spirit loves to look upon, and which He thanks the Father for.  He was created to see this for you, until you learned to see it for yourself.  And all His teaching leads to seeing it and giving thanks with Him. 

2. This loveliness is not a fantasy.  It is the real world, bright and clean and new, with everything sparkling under the open sun.  Nothing is hidden here, for everything has been forgiven and there are no fantasies to hide the truth.  The bridge between that world and this is so little and so easy to cross, that you could not believe it is the meeting place of worlds so different.  Yet this little bridge is the strongest thing that touches on this world at all.  This little step, so small it has escaped your notice, is a stride though time into eternity, beyond all ugliness into beauty that will enchant you, and will never cease to cause you wonderment at its perfection.

3. This step, the smallest ever taken, is still the greatest accomplishment of all in God’s plan of Atonement.  All else is learned, but this is given, complete and wholly perfect.  No one but Him Who planned salvation could complete it thus.  The real world, in its loveliness, you learn to reach.  Fantasies are all undone, and no one and nothing remain still bound by them, and by your own forgiveness you are free to see.  Yet what you see is only what you made, with the blessing of your forgiveness on it.  And with this final blessing of God’s Son upon himself, the real perception, born of the new perspective he has learned, has served its purpose.

4. The stars will disappear in light, and the sun that opened up the world to beauty will vanish.  Perception will be meaningless when it has been perfected, for everything that has been used for learning will have no function.  Nothing will ever change; no shifts nor shadings, no differences, no variations that made perception possible will still occur.  The perception of the real world will be so short that you will barely have time to thank God for it.  For God will take the last step swiftly when you have reached the real world and have been made ready for Him.

5. The real world is attained simply by the complete forgiveness of the old, the world you see without forgiveness.  The Great Transformer of perception will undertake with you the careful searching of the mind that made this world and uncover to you the seeming reasons for your making it.  In the light of the real reason that He brings, as you follow Him, He will show you that there is no reason here at all.  Each spot His reason touches grows alive with beauty, and what seemed ugly in the darkness of your lack of reason is suddenly released to loveliness.  Not even what the Son of God made in insanity could be without a hidden spark of beauty that gentleness could release. 

6. All this beauty will rise to bless your sight as you look upon the world with forgiving eyes.  For forgiveness literally transforms vision and lets you see the real world reaching quietly and gently across chaos, removing all illusions that had twisted your perception and fixed it on the past.  The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God’s perfection.

7. From the forgiven world the Son of God is lifted easily into his home.  And there he knows that he has always rested there in peace.  Even salvation will become a dream and vanish from his mind.  For salvation is the end of dreams, and with the closing of the dream will have no meaning.  Who, awake in Heaven, could dream that there could ever be need of salvation?

8. How much do you want salvation?  It will give you the real world, trembling with readiness to be given you.  The eagerness of the Holy Spirit to give you this is so intense He would not wait, although He waits in patience.  Meet His patience with your impatience at delay in meeting Him.  Go out in gladness to meet with your Redeemer and walk with Him in trust out of this world, and into the real world of beauty and forgiveness. [1]

In the forgiven world all will be full of beauty.  Nothing in this world can begin to compare.  When I read this paragraph today during my devotional practice, I thought of how adorable my babies were to me.  When my son was born he only weighed five pounds and 12 ounces.  He had a wrinkled little face and a pointy head, and I thought that he was the most gorgeous thing I ever saw in my life!  When his sister was born six years later, I fell so deeply in love with her upon my first sight of her that I felt transformed for a while, as if I had brought a great gift into the world and she was more than human, more than anybody else before or since.  But Jesus tells us that nothing we value in this world nor hold so dear will make our heart sing with joy or give us even a little part of the happiness that forgiveness brings to us.  For when we practice the forgiveness of Christ, the completely overlooking all that is of the flesh world and identifying only with our Sonship, we will behold the Real World, Creation as it was created, the world new and sparkling and golden. 

Our holiness knows the Real World.  It is the yearning desire in each one of us for perfection, for beauty, for goodness, for Love.  Holy Spirit remembers this for us, Holy Spirit teaches us how to get past the illusions, until we learn to see the Real World for ourselves.  When we follow the quiet guidance and instruction from our higher minds we begin to see ourselves and each other as Sons of God.  We become one with Creation.  It is no longer me, me, me but we, we, we – and with we, we, we, we go all the way Home! 

This is no fantasy.  This is not a trite little fiction to help us get through life, to give us hope, to make sure that we play nice with each other.  This is the Real World – as bright and clean and new as always. Free of time, all things remain sparkling, fresh, and spotless.  There are no secrets, there are no dark places, there are no hidden corridors or fearful mysteries.  When all is forgiven, when the illusion is seen for the fiction it is, we walk in the happiness and the inexpressible delight of the Real World. 

Our bridge to the Real World is built on forgiveness.  As we choose holiness the things of this world seem trite and of no account.  We can shrug things off in a way that we could not before.  We can tell the truth because we trust our brothers with it.  We lose our taste for darkness, and we walk in the light and like it there!  We don’t really care about the same things we cared about before.  When I discuss another person I am not discussing them to tear them apart, I am talking about them in order to learn and grow in holiness by what they chose to teach me and by what I chose to learn from them. 

It might seem like forgiving one another and walking in the light with each other in holiness is not significant enough to span the gap between us and God.  Where are the rites and rituals?  Where are the sacrifices?  Where are the tithes and offerings, the sacred vessels and vows?  And yet forgiveness is the bravest thing we can do in the world.  Identifying with our divinity takes strength and courage that comes only from God.  Forgiveness takes us to eternity, beyond all the rot and decay, the pain and the suffering, the tedium and weariness into the beauty, ease, purity, and perfection that is forever. 

When we step into forgiveness we have completed the greatest part in God’s plan to bring us Home.  We have to be taught to welcome Atonement back to its proper place and prominence in our mind, we must learn to recognize what is false in order to remember what is true.  But forgiveness is complete for when I forgive illusions all of its fantasies are undone, all of the terrible things that have happened in human history, in the history of the world and in the history of me and the history of you – is simply undone.  The dream is over.  It goes where the past goes – into nothingness where it is never resurrected again.  What is left is only what is blessed, only what is transformed, only what can withstand eternity.  This forgiveness is the final blessing that we give to one another, for when we offer this forgiveness to the world, we are freed from our separate perceptions which are false and destructive and are given real perception which serves Love, Unity, and Oneness with God forever.

The Real World, Creation as it was and always will be, reestablishes our communication with God and prepares us for His Kingdom.  The Real World is this world forgiven and made new – perceived in holiness.  Under the tutelage of Holy Spirit, we will learn why we made the world of deception, why we chose to fear God rather than love Him, why we chose the perception of darkness over the light, why we traded in our certain divinity for uncertain flesh.  As we learn about the illusion, we turn from the illusion, we awaken from all that is not real.  The dark corridors and the secret places of our minds and hearts are alit by Him Who transforms us.  Past the shadows, past our addiction to death and delusion, past our drives for distinction and specialness, we find our God is Love.  In tenderness, gentleness, and goodness, we see past the small-minded nastiness that drove us to hate and kill to the Heart of God.  And there in love and life and laughter we find everlasting bliss and good cheer.    

Forgiving eyes see beauty rising to bless our sight.  Our minds are freed from the past.  We no longer repeat it.  Set free from its ongoing cycles, its opposites and opposition, the smallest bit of green becomes a thing of wonder, vibrant and pulsing with God’s perfection.  This is the forgiven world, the Real World and from this world the Sonship is transported back Home.  Saved from time, at rest in peace, all things from this world forgiven and forgotten, no terror, destruction, or death, salvation is the end of dreams.

Today in your personal devotional practice, ask yourself “How much do I want salvation?”  Are you willing to forgive the world?  We can never find our purpose, our happiness, our salvation in a world that in opposition to God proves to be nothing.  In holiness we give our willingness to Holy Spirit and make forgiveness our goal.  Eagerly but patiently Holy Spirit awaits.  Jesus tells us to not to delay, to meet Him, to go in gladness to meet our redemption. Today ask Holy Spirit to walk with you, to guide you out of judgment, condemnation, and the cherishment of the temporal world to the Real World where we build our bridge to God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 17 Forgiveness and the holy relationship. II The forgiven world. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love-.com

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM, Teaching and Learning

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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