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ACIM – Chapter 21 Reason and Perception II. The Responsibility for Sight

1.  We have repeated how little is asked of you to learn this course.  It is the same small willingness you need to have your whole relationship transformed to joy; the little gift you offered to the Holy Spirit for which He gives you everything; the very little on which salvation rests; the tiny change of mind by which the crucifixion is changed to resurrection.  And being true, it is so simple that it cannot fail to be completely understood.  Rejected yes, but not ambiguous.  And if you choose against it now, it will not be because it is obscure, but rather that this little cost seemed, in your judgment, to be too much to pay for peace. 

2.  This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you.  Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:

I am responsible for what I see.  I choose the feelings I experienced, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve.  And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for and receive as I have asked. 

Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you.  Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear. 

3.  It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him.  It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice.  His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident.  No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing.  Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal.  Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you.  This is the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit, and even this He gives to you to give yourself.  Whereby this gift is giving you the power to release your savior, that he may give salvation onto you. 

4.   Begrudge not then this little offering.  Withhold it, and you keep the world as now you see it.   Give it away, and everything you see goes with it.   Never was so much given for so little.   In the holy instant is this exchange affected and maintained.   Here is the world you do not want brought to the one you do.   And here the one you do is given you because you want it.   Yet for this, the power of your wanting must first be recognized.  You must accept its strength, and not its weakness.   You must perceive that what is strong enough to make a world can let it go and can accept correction if it is willing to see that it was wrong. 

5.   The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right.   This witness is insane.  You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it saw was true.   You did this to yourself.   See only this, and you will also see how circular the reasoning on which your “seeing” rests.  This was not given you.  This was your gift to you and to your brother.   Be willing, then, to have it taken from him and be replaced with truth.   And as you look upon the change in him, it will be given you to see it in yourself. 

6.   Perhaps you do not see the need for you to give this little offering.  Look closer than, at what it is.  And, very simply, see in it the whole exchange of separation for salvation.  All that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things could happen to the Son of God without his will; and thus without the will of his Creator, whose will cannot be separate from his own.  This is the Son of God’s replacement for his will, a mad revolt against what must forever be.  This is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless and so to take it for himself and leave himself without what God has willed for him.  This is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars, and which you worship.  And anything that threatens this seems to attack your faith, for here is it invested.  Think not that you are faithless, for your belief and trust in this is strong indeed. 

7. The Holy Spirit can give you faith in holiness and vision to see it easily enough.  But you have not left open and unoccupied the altar where the gifts belong.  Where they should be, you have set up your idols to something else.  This other “will,” which seems to tell you what must happen, you give reality.  And what would show you otherwise must therefore seem unreal.  All that is asked of you is to make room for truth.  You are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding.  All you are asked to do is let it in; only to stop your interference with what will happen of itself; simply to recognize again the presence of what you thought you gave away. 

8.   Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them and what is really there you cannot fail to see.  The holy instant is not an instant of creation, but of recognition.  For recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment.  Then only it is possible to look within and see what must be there, plainly in sight, and wholly independent of inference and judgment.  Undoing is not your task, but it is up to you to welcome it or not.  Faith and desire go hand in hand, for everyone believes in what he wants. 

9.  We have already said that wishful thinking is how the ego deals with what it wants, to make it so.  There is no better demonstration of the power of wanting, and therefore of faith, to make its goals seem real and possible.  Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness.  The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose.  What you desire, you will see.  And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so. 

10.  When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable.  The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect, and make effect appear to be a cause.  The seeming independence of effect enables it to be regarded as standing by itself, and capable of serving as a cause of the events and feelings its maker thinks it causes.  Earlier, we spoke of your desire to create your own creator and be father and not son to him.  This is the same desire.  The Son is the Effect, whose Cause he would deny.  And so he seems to be the Cause, producing real effects.  Nothing can have effects without a cause, and to confuse the two is merely to fail to understand them both. 

11.  It is as needful that you recognize you made the world you see, as that you recognize that you did not create yourself.  They are the same mistake.  Nothing created not by your Creator has any influence over you.  And if you think what you have made can tell you what you see and feel and place your faith in its ability to do so, you are denying your Creator and believing that you made yourself.  For if you think the world you made has power to make you what it wills, you are confusing Son and Father; effect and Source. 

12.   The Son’s creations are like his Father’s.  Yet in creating them the Son does not delude himself that he is independent of his Source.  His union with It is the Source of his creating.  Apart from this he has no power to create, and what he makes is meaningless.  It changes nothing in creation, depends entirely upon the madness of its maker, and cannot serve to justify the madness.  Your brother thinks he made the world with you.  Thus he denies creation.  With you, he thinks the world he made, made him.  Thus he denies he made it. 

13.   Yet the truth is you and your brother were both created by a loving Father, who created you together and as one.  See what “proves” otherwise, and you deny your whole reality.  But grant that everything that seems to stand between you and your brother, keeping you from each other and separate from your Father, you made in secret, and the instant of release has come to you.  All its effects are gone, because its source has been uncovered.  It is its seeming independence of its source that keeps you prisoner.  This is the same mistake as thinking you are independent of the Source by which you were created and have never left. [1]

Jesus asks us to take responsibility for not only what we see, but everything that has ever happened to us and ever will.  When we take responsibility for our humanity, we stop blaming others for what they did to us; we stop thinking it is us-against-the-world; we step out of victimhood and into our Godhood.  When we take responsibility for our humanity, we no longer fear God for now we know that God is not accountable for this crazy world or all the fruitcakes in it.  This is the mess we would make of Creation when we took our leave from God; when we decided to kill and prey upon Creation rather than love and nurture Creation; when we decided God would take vengeance upon us for our sins rather than patiently, lovingly, and gently correct our mistakes. 

The power of salvation lies in taking responsibility for what we see.  We no longer blame others for rejecting us, disrespecting us, or getting on our last nerve for now we know that we choose the feelings we have toward others; we decide if we want holy relationships or unholy relationships; we decide for heaven or for the hellish realm.  When we can admit that everything that happens to us happened because we asked for it and received what we have asked for – we let every other player off the hook.  We no longer hold the guy who left us at the altar accountable.  We free the woman who left us for another man from the dark dungeon of our lower minds.  We no longer devise torments of revenge towards the rapist, the killer, the vain neighbor, or the brash religious zealot.  We set them free because we take responsibility. 

This may seem like madness to us for we do not remember asking for the terrible things that befall us.  Who would request thoughtless relatives or disloyal friends? Who would ask for molestation, child abuse, and abandonment?  Who would ask for bankruptcy, poverty, and shame?  However, Jesus tells us to stop deceiving ourselves.  We are not helpless pawns.  We did this to ourselves.  We chose separation and the only way to make the effects of the mistake disappear is to acknowledge our responsibility. 

Do our dead loved ones rise again?  Are all our relatives suddenly transformed into loving and caring individuals that support one another instead of mock and degrade one another?  Do our fickle friends suddenly prove true?  In paragraph three, Jesus tells us that what happens in this realm simply is not real.  As Sons of God, we are invulnerable to accidents, to chance, to the whims of weather and the curses of others.  When we look upon this realm and let it make us suffer, we have made sin our goal, for we have accepted the temporal world as our reality.  When we look upon this realm and realize it is a farce, that our loved ones can never die; that our relatives are not what they seem to be here on earth; that our friends can never let us down or deceive us in the reality of God’s Kingdom, we can be happy – because we gave the power of our decision to Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit decides for us and our happiness every time. 

Our happiness is the little gift we give to Holy Spirit and when we give our happiness to holiness, holiness returns it to such a degree that it releases the Vision of Christ in us.  I can no longer look at you and fear death; I can no longer look at you and judge you by your past mistakes, the times you made fun of me when I was poor, the things you said about me behind my back, the times you threw me under the bus to protect your own reputation.  With the Vision of Christ, you are my savior and I am yours.  We are free from the hallucination of this realm. 

When we choose happiness, we give up the world we see with our flesh eyes and we accept the reality of God’s Kingdom where love and peace and joy abide forever!  We no longer believe in this world with all its chanciness, its failures, its opposition and opposites.  We no longer thrive on drama and trauma; we thrive on peace and joy.  In paragraph four, Jesus tells us that choosing happiness is bringing the world we do not want to the world we do want and accepting strength and not weakness.  We who were strong enough to make a time-bound world to take the place of Creation are certainly strong enough to realize our mistake and put it behind us – forever.

Our humanity evolved to testify to the dangerous, iffy, fear-driven world.  To witness this world – its cruel nature, its ruthless dichotomies, its thirst for blood and vengeance – is to witness insanity.  We made it the way it is.  God did not oust us from His Kingdom; we took leave of it ourselves when we wanted something other than love and peace and joy.  We give the gift of opposites to each other and in opposites we will never find truth for truth has no opposition. 

Jesus asks us to give up the world of opposites and replace it with the true world, the real world, the Creation with nothing taken away.  As I look upon you with no opposites I can see only the truth about you – our beautiful relationship, the way in which we love one another, the joy we have in fellowship, the peace we share with one another.  For when I see this change in you, I will see it in myself. 

When I can see God’s Kingdom in you, I have exchanged separation for salvation.  I have looked upon you with the vision that is not of this world.  I no longer believe that this world can take my Sonship away from me; I know now that there is no power in the universe except the power of God and His Will. 

In paragraph six Jesus tells us that the idea that there is another power that is not God’s or that could lift itself up against God is madness and yet this idea we have enshrined upon our altars and we worship this idea every time we believe in sin and choose to let the world make us unhappy. 

Jesus asks us to make room for truth – to let it in, to stop letting the perceptual world tell us what is true through our flesh eyes and our flesh senses.  We make room for truth by taking time each day to devote to spiritual practice, to quiet our minds, to ask Holy Spirit to restore to us our true sight, to make us aware of the Sonship, to return our awareness to God. 

As we practice the holy instant, we leave our altars free of the worldviews that we have placed upon them.  We leave our religions behind.  We leave our traditions behind.  We leave all the talk of fear and sacrifice, sin and shame behind and we come to the light.  We recognize who and what we are.  When we truly see we can no longer judge.  We can no longer assume anything about each other.  We want only to see in the light of love. 

When we hold a sin-based approach to our salvation, our perceptions of the world will be fearful. All around us we will see things with our flesh eyes that confirm how wicked and sinful people are and how wonderful it is going to be when God takes His revenge.  We will adjust our minds that were made in love, for love, and to be love to oppose love and our God will change from loving to fearful.

God did not create a crazy, hell-bent world and that which was not created by God can have no influence over us.  We may think that the hellish realm can tell us what we see, how we feel, and we may even give the world the ability to do this to us, but this is denying our Creator and believing that we made ourselves.  God made us, not the world.  We are God’s Sons and not sons of the world.  God is the Cause and we the effect and Cause and Effect are one. 

Happiness comes when we realize flesh cannot stand between you and me.  There is nothing that can separate us from God.  Our instant of release comes when we recognize our oneness; when we accept our oneness with our Creator, when we take responsibility for seeing past the perceptual world and behold the light of God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 21 Reason and perception. II The responsibility for sight. 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, 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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