1. In the “dynamics” of attack is sacrifice to a key idea. It is the pivot upon which all compromise, all desperate attempts to strike a bargain, and all conflicts achieve a seeming balance. It is a symbol of the central theme that something must lose. Its focus on the body is apparent, for it is always an attempt to limit loss. The body is itself a sacrifice; a giving up of power in the name of saving just a little for yourself. To see a brother in another body, separate from yours, is the expression of a wish to see a little part of him and sacrifice the rest. Look at the world, and you will see nothing attached to anything beyond itself. All seeming entities can come a little nearer, or go a little farther off, but cannot join.
2. The world you see is based on “sacrifice” of oneness. It is a picture of complete disunity and total lack of joining. Around each entity is built a wall so seeming solid that it looks as if what is inside can never reach without, and what is out can never reach and join with what is locked away within the wall. Each part must sacrifice the other part, to keep itself complete. For if they joined each one would lose its own identity, and by their separation are their selves maintained.
3. The little that the body fences off becomes the self, preserved through sacrifice of all the rest. And all the rest must lose the little part, remaining incomplete to keep its own identity intact. In this perception of yourself the body’s loss would be a sacrifice indeed. For sight of bodies becomes the sign that sacrifice is limited, and something still remains for you alone. And for the little to belong to you are limits placed on everything outside just as they are on everything you think is yours. For giving and receiving are the same. And to accept the limits of a body is to impose these limits on each brother whom you see. For you must see him as you see yourself.
4. The body is a loss and can be made to sacrifice. And while you see your brother as a body, apart from you and separate in his cell, you are demanding sacrifice from him to you. What greater sacrifice could be demanded than that God’s Son perceive himself without a Father? And his Father be without His Son? Yet every sacrifice demands that they be separate and without the other. The memory of God must be denied if any sacrifice is asked of anyone. What witness to the wholeness of God’s Son is seen within a world of separate bodies, however much he witnesses to truth? He is invisible in such a world. Nor can his song of union and of love be heard at all. Yet is it given him to make the world recede before his song, and sight of him replace the body’s eyes.
5. Those who would see the witnesses to truth instead of to illusion merely ask that they might see a purpose in the world that gives it sense and makes it meaningful. Without your special function has this world no meaning for you. Yet it can become a treasure house as rich and limitless as Heaven itself. No instant passes here in which your brother’s holiness cannot be seen, to add a limitless supply to every meager scrap and tiny crumb of happiness that you allot yourself.
6. You can lose sight of oneness but can not make sacrifice of its reality. Nor can you lose what you would sacrifice, nor keep the Holy Spirit from His task of showing you that it has not been lost. Hear, then, the song your brother sings to you, and let the world recede, and take the rest his witness offers on behalf of peace. But judge him not, for you will hear no song of liberation for yourself, nor see what it is given him to witness to, that you may see it and rejoice with him. Make not his holiness a sacrifice to your belief in sin. You sacrifice your innocence with his and die each time you see in him a sin deserving death.
7. Yet every instant can you be reborn and given life again. His holiness gives life to you, who cannot die because his sinlessness is known to God; and can no more be sacrificed by you than can the light in you be blotted out because he sees it not. You who would make a sacrifice of life, and make your eyes and ears bear witness to the death of God and of His holy Son, think not that you have power to make of Them what God willed not They be. In Heaven, God’s Son is not imprisoned in a body, nor is sacrificed in solitude to sin. And as he is in Heaven, so must he be eternally and everywhere. He is the same forever. Born again each instant, untouched by time, and far beyond the reach of any sacrifice of life or death. For neither did he make, and only one was given him by One Who knows His gifts can never suffer sacrifice and loss.
8. God’s justice rests in gentleness upon His Son and keeps him safe from all injustice the world would lay upon him. Could it be that you could make his sins reality and sacrifice his Father’s Will for him? Condemn him not by seeing him within the rotting prison where he sees himself. It is your special function to ensure the door be opened, that he may come forth to shine on you and give you back the gift of freedom by receiving it of you. What is the Holy Spirit’s special function but to release the holy Son of God from the imprisonment he made to keep himself from justice? Could your function be a task apart and separate from His Own?
We sacrifice our oneness and unity to be separate and see each other as bodies rather than the Sonship of God. In the body we can only demand sacrifice of one another for unlike Sonship, what I do for you is something I am not doing for myself in the body. We cannot every communicate fully as bodies. Everything you say will be clouded by my perception of you. You may tell me that you like my hairstyle, and I will never know if you are sincere or not, because you are not one with me. And my perception of you may be based upon all the times I heard you falsely compliment another and then mock and scorn them behind their back! My perception of what you say will be clouded by all my other perceptions of you, personal and otherwise – the color of your skin, your religious and political affiliations, our past encounters, your education level, your ability to communicate clearly and succinctly without going off on different tangents. Without oneness, you will always be a closed book to me, and I will be a closed book to you – no matter how much we talk and text each other, no matter how many secrets we share, no matter how closely we are related. There is absolutely no way we can know one another as fully and truly as we do in Sonship.
We sacrifice our Sonship, our oneness, each time we hold each other accountable and judge each other according to the perceptions of the body. I may ask you for a favor on a day in which you are just not able to give me what I ask of you. And instead of being gentle, tender, and understanding I will mentally list to myself all the times I went out of my way for you and helped you out whether I felt like it or not. I will hold a grudge toward you for not being the friend to me that I am to you. I will sacrifice our oneness in my efforts to justify how unfairly I have been treated by you. My feelings for you will cool and I may determine in my heart that the next time you need a favor I will not be available to help you.
This is the way it works here in the world as we relate to one another from our separateness. There seems to be no way to escape the loneliness of our separateness and yet we hold on to our precious little scrap of humanity as if it is priceless and precious and not the hell of despair, darkness, and death that is its only promise. While the oneness of Sonship can never be “sacrificed” because it is God’s Will and therefore eternal and never lost – it is lost to us as long as we rely on our human perceptions.
All of us know what it is like to get our signals crossed with those who are our nearest and dearest. The ones we love the best are the ones who seem to fail us the most. It may be a scowl or a cross word. A social slight. A selfish ploy to get more than ones gives. We fail to recognize each other’s joys and sorrows. We think we mean more to someone than we really do. We mistake another’s good manners for genuine interest in our boring monologues about ourselves and our passions. We hate their choice of spouse and partner. We cannot stand their laziness or the way they cripple themselves with their addictions and predilections.
To those who are not as near and dear we tend to be even less merciful. Someone from their culture disrespected someone from ours, but we still lump them all together and judge them for the meanness and spite which was passed down to us from previous generations. They have more privilege than us. They were born rich, and we were born having to struggle for every little thing. The world we see with our little eyes is based on the “sacrifice” of oneness. I will not see you as one with me as long as I see you as a body, as anything other than Christ, in holiness and purity of Sonship. And when I do not see you as one with me, I will not be one with my true and everlasting self, for as I see you, I see myself.
There seems to be no escape from our human perceptions of one another, separated by these flesh and blood bodies which draw us close and then tear us apart. And yet every instant we can be reborn and given life again. There is a way to not sacrifice our oneness with each other. When we come to our daily practice and devote our mind to God’s Kingdom, we find the Sonship is not imprisoned in separate bodies nor is sacrificed to loneliness and sinful thoughts of hatred and conflict with one another.
God’s justice rests upon us in gentleness and as we seek God’s justice for each other, we no longer sacrifice our oneness, but embrace it – bringing light and freedom from the despair of loneliness and separateness. We choose to no longer fear one another, but to love one another. We refuse to believe the false report. As Holy Spirit awakens the High Mind of Christ within us we return to God’s judgment of one another – and God always judges for us and not against us. As we awaken, our purpose becomes one with that of our Father.
In your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to awaken the Mind of Christ within you and bring you to this place. Do not be afraid to ask for enlightenment for only in the light of Christ and His Love for us, will we know one another as we were created. Only in knowing one another, we will find our own true and everlasting happiness for we can only be happy together, and at peace, and as one.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 26 The transition. I. The “sacrifice” of oneness. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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