1. To the extent to which you value guilt, to that extent will you perceive a world in which attack is justified. To the extent to which you recognize that guilt is meaningless, to that extent will you perceive attack cannot be justified. This is in accord with perception’s fundamental law: you see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there. Perception has no other law than this. The rest but stems from this, to hold it up and offer it support. This is perception’s form, adapted to this world, of God’s more basic law; that love creates itself, and nothing but itself.
2. God’s laws do not obtain directly to a world perception rules, for such a world could not have been created by the Mind to which perception has no meaning. Yet are His laws reflected everywhere. Not that the world where this reflection is, is real at all. Only because His Son believes it is, and from His Son’s belief He could not let Himself be separate entirely. He could not enter His Son’s insanity with him, but He could be sure His sanity went there with him, so he could not be lost forever in the madness of his wish.
3. Perception rests on choosing; knowledge does not. Knowledge has but one law because it has but one Creator. But this world has two who made it, and they do not see it as the same. To each it has a different purpose, and to each it is a perfect means to serve the goal for which it is perceived. For specialness, it is the perfect frame to set it off; the perfect battleground to wage its wars, the perfect shelter for illusions which it would make real. Not one but it holds in its perception; not one but can be fully justified.
4. There is another Maker of the world, the simultaneous Corrector of the mad belief that anything could be established and maintained without some link that kept it still within the laws of God; not as the law itself upholds the universe as God created it, but in some form adapted to the need the Son of God believes he has. Corrected error is the error’s end. And thus has God protected still His Son, even in error.
5. There is another purpose in the world that error made, because it has another Maker who can reconcile its goal with His Creator’s purpose. In His perception of the world, nothing is seen but justifies forgiveness and the sight of perfect sinlessness. Nothing arises but is met with instant and complete forgiveness. Nothing remains an instant, to obscure the sinlessness that shines unchanged, beyond the pitiful attempts of specialness to put it out of mind, where it must be, and light the body up instead of it. The lamps of Heaven are not for mind to choose to see them where it will. If it elects to see them elsewhere from their home, as if they lit a place where they could never be, then must the Maker of the world correct your error, lest you remain in darkness where the lamps are not.
6. Everyone here has entered darkness, yet no one has entered it alone. Nor need he stay more than an instant. For he has come with Heaven’s Help within him, ready to lead him out of darkness into light at anytime. The time he chooses can be any time, for help is there, awaiting by his choice. And when he chooses to avail himself of what is given him, then will he see each situation that he thought before was means to justify his anger turned to an event which justifies his love. He will hear plainly that the calls to war he heard before are really calls to peace. He will perceive that where he gave attack is but another altar where he can, with equal ease and far more happiness, bestow forgiveness. And he will reinterpret all temptation as just another chance to bring him joy.
7. How can a misperception be a sin? Let all your brother’s errors be to you nothing except a chance for you to see the workings of the Helper given you to see the world He made instead of yours. What, then, is justified? What do you want? For these two questions are the same. And when you see them as the same, your choice is made. For it is seeing them as one that brings release from the belief there are two ways to see. This world has much to offer to your peace, and many chances to extend your own forgiveness. Such its purpose is, to those who want to see peace and forgiveness to descend on them and offer them the light.
8. The Maker of the world of gentleness has perfect power to offset the world of violence and hate that seems to stand between you and His gentleness. It is not there in His forgiving eyes. And therefore it need not be there in yours. Sin is the fixed belief perceptions cannot change. What has been damned is damned and damned forever, being forever unforgivable. If then, it is forgiven, sin’s perception must have been wrong. And thus is change made possible. The Holy Spirit, too, sees what He sees as far beyond the chance of change. But on His vision sin cannot encroach, for sin has been corrected by His sight. And thus it must have been an error, not a sin. For what it claimed could never be, has been. Sin is attacked by punishment, and so preserved. But to forgive it is to change its state from error into truth.
9. The Son of God could never sin, but he can wish for what would hurt him. And he has the power to think he can be hurt. What could this be except a misperception of himself? Is this a sin or a mistake, forgivable or not? Does he need help or condemnation? Is it your purpose that he be saved or damned? Forgetting not that what he is to you will make this choice your future? For you make it now, the instant when all time becomes a means to reach a goal. Make, then, your choice. But recognize that in this choice the purpose of the world you see is chosen and will be justified.
Today we learn that the justice of God is reflected even in the perceptual world through our perceptions of one another. God’s plan of salvation is a beautiful way for the Sonship to be restored to the place of trust and fellowship, devotion and love. For how I perceive you is how I will be perceived, and how you perceive me is how you will be perceived. Once we learn this lesson in gentleness all fear has been removed from our minds, for we will recognize our power and our glory in the mercy and forgiveness we extend to one another.
As long as I want to hold you forever accountable for the wrongs you have seemed to commit against me and mine, I will damn myself along with you. But the moment I offer you tender mercy and forgiveness, we are saved in our mutuality and God’s love. I must be willing to believe that God created me invulnerable to attack with no need of defense from the Sonship. My mind must be fully converted to the concept that what is good is truth; what is beautiful is truth, what is everlasting is truth. I must believe that my safety and security, my certain happiness and everlasting peace is established now and forever and no matter what mistakes you may make toward making this not my truth, those mistakes do not define you. For you are one with me and my forgiveness of you sets us both free from the murky world of opposition and opposites to truth.
When we look back over our lives, even up to yesterday, or this morning, or up to this very moment, we will find one opportunity after the other to set ourselves free from the bondage of sin. It sounds easy to forgive, to let go of, to offer mercy and understanding toward our brother for all the ways in which he hurt us, seemed to set us back, seemed to want to keep us in a place beneath him instead of beside him. But as easy as forgiveness is for the Mind of Christ within us; forgiveness is not easy for the flesh.
Our flesh is designed to manipulate us, to control us, to make us vie for resources, for attention and praise, for competing and comparing. In the unnatural, dark nature of the ego-made world, females compete over males and males go to the death competing for females. This is not just regulated for reproductive relationships, but also for pairing relationships of all kinds. There is always someone more attractive, smarter, stronger, richer, or more ruthless that can come along and steal our mates and leave us sobbing in our lonely beds. That is just the way it is set up here and while this is a call for at the very least a grudge and resentment, years spent complaining about it and making up stories about it to drive even our dearest friends and our therapists to drink – many times in our anger, bitterness and spite, we want to hurt or even kill those who have hurt us in this way.
This is not sin. It is forgivable. It is the way of flesh and bone. We are driven by chemicals and electricity. We are going to have a tough time of it overcoming the dark natures of the ego’s symbol – not because we are evil, not because the body is evil, but because the very nature of specialness cannot bear not to be special. The desire to be special is what got us in this hot mess and the desire to be special keeps us in this hot mess. We do not need another hell for this realm is hellish enough already!
Jesus asks us to make a conscious choice to overcome the perceptual world and our desire to be special and offer mercy and forgiveness. We cannot do this until we see that no call for sin and punishment is ever justified, that if we want peace and love and joy, if we want to heal the Sonship and escape the beastly realm of opposition and opposites, ignorance and ignobility – we must undo all thoughts of sin and shame and see every opportunity as a means to practice forgiveness, to practice the mercy of God, to see our “enemies” as our saviors.
We cannot do this in the flesh. We can only do this from the High Mind of Christ. We must want it, we must reach for it, we must see the low mind for what it is and turn our backs upon it, for it will call to us, it will clamor, it will whisper insidious temptations to succumb to its dark charms and mean-spirited tricks. For as long as we engage in its petty conflicts, if we fail to communicate in honesty, courage, and love, if we hold one thought toward another that is not trusting, gracious, and merciful, the low mind has us ensnared in its smallness and confined in its dark meandering corridors that lead nowhere.
The justice of God gives us an uncomplicated way out of this seemingly hopeless muddle. It should be easy and when it is not, we are often tempted to throw in the towel and say, “I just can’t do this!” But you can and you will – and so will I. We are on the path; we have come this far; we have seen too many peaceful, practical results in following the gentle instruction offered by our devoted Teacher to turn back now. We will use every opportunity to forgive, to refuse to keep a dark spot in our mind toward those whose “sins” would obscure our peace, cloud our beautiful minds with thoughts of specialness and hell, and defeat our purpose.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 25 The justice of God. III. Perception and choice. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
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