1. The wish to be unfairly treated is a compromise attempt that would combine attack and innocence. Who can combine the wholly incompatible and make a unity of what can never join? Walk you the gentle way, and you will fear no evil and no shadows in the night. But place no terror symbols on your path, or you will weave a crown of thorns from which your brother and yourself will not escape. You cannot crucify yourself alone. And if you are unfairly treated, he must suffer the unfairness that you see. You cannot sacrifice yourself alone. For sacrifice is total. If it could occur at all it would entail the whole of God’s creation, and the Father with the sacrifice of His beloved Son.
2. And your release from sacrifice is his made manifest and shown to be his own. But every pain you suffer do you see as proof that he is guilty of attack. Thus would you make yourself to be the sign that he has lost his innocence and need but look on you to realize that he has been condemned. And what to you has been unfair will come to him in righteousness. The unjust vengeance that you suffer now belongs to him, and when it rests on him are you set free. Wish not to make yourself a living symbol of his guilt, for you will not escape the death you made for him. But in his innocence you find your own.
3. Whenever you consent to suffer pain, to be deprived, unfairly treated or in need of anything, you but accuse your brother of attack upon God’s Son. You hold a picture of your crucifixion before his eyes, that he may see his sins are writ in Heaven in your blood and death, and go before him, closing off the gate and damning him to hell. Yet this is written in hell and not in Heaven, where you are beyond attack and prove his innocence. The picture of yourself you offer him you show yourself and give it all your faith. The Holy Spirit offers you, to give to him. a picture of yourself in which there is no pain and no reproach at all. And what was martyred to his guilt becomes the perfect witness to his innocence.
4. The power of witness is beyond belief because it brings conviction in its wake. The witness is believed because he points beyond himself to what he represents. A sick and suffering you but represents your brother’s guilt; the witness that you send lest he forget the injuries he gave, from which you swear he never will escape. This sick and sorry picture you accept, if only it can serve to punish him. The sick are merciless to everyone, and in contagion do they seek to kill. Death seems an easy price, if they can say, “Behold me, brother, at your hand I die.” For sickness is the witness to his guilt, and death would prove his errors must be sins. Sickness is but a “little” death, a form of vengeance not yet total. Yet it speaks with certainty for what it represents. The bleak and bitter picture you have sent your brother you have looked upon in grief. And everything that it has shown to him have you believed, because it witnessed to the guilt in him which you perceived and loved.
5. Now in the hands made gentle by His touch, the Holy Spirit lays a picture of a different you. It is a picture of a body still, for what you really are cannot be seen nor pictured. Yet this one has not been used for purpose of attack, and therefore never suffered pain at all. It witnesses to the eternal truth that you cannot be hurt, and points beyond itself to both your innocence and his. Show this onto your brother, who will see that every scar is healed, and every tear is wiped away in laughter and in love. And he will look on his forgiveness there, and with healed eyes will look beyond it to the innocence that he beholds in you. Here is the proof that he has never sinned, that nothing which his madness bid him do was ever done, or ever had effects of any kind. That no reproach he laid upon his heart was ever justified, and no attack can ever touch him with the poisoned and relentless sting of fear.
6. Attest his innocence and not his guilt. Your healing is his comfort and his health because it proves illusions are not true. It is not will for life but wish for death that is the motivation for this world. Its only purpose is to prove guilt real. No worldly thought or act or feeling has a motivation other than this one. These are the witnesses that are called forth to be believed and lend conviction to the system they speak for and represent. And each has many voices, speaking to your brother and yourself in different tongues. And yet to both the message is the same. Adornment of the body seeks to show how lovely are the witnesses for guilt. Concerns about the body demonstrate how frail and vulnerable is your life; how easily destroyed is what you love. Depression speaks of death, and vanity of real concern with anything at all.
7. The strongest witness to futility, that bolsters all the rest and helps them paint the picture in which sin is justified, is sickness in whatever form it takes. The sick have reason for each one of their unnatural desires and strange needs. For who could live a life so soon cut short and not esteem the worth of passing joys? What pleasures could there be that will endure? Are not the frail entitled to believe that every stolen scrap of pleasure is their righteous payment for their little lives? Their death will pay the price for all of them if they enjoy their benefits or not. The end of life must come whatever way that life be spent. And so take pleasure in the quickly passing and ephemeral.
8. These are not sins but witnesses unto the strange belief that sin and death are real, and innocence and sin will end alike within the termination of the grave. If this were true, there would be reason to remain content to seek for passing joys and cherish little pleasures where you can. Yet in this picture is the body not perceived as neutral and without a goal inherent in itself. For it becomes a symbol of reproach, the sign of guilt whose consequences still are there to see, so that the cause can never be denied.
9. Your function is to show your brother sin can have no cause. How futile must it be to see yourself a picture of the proof that what your function is can never be! The Holy Spirit’s picture changes not the body into something it is not. It only takes away from it all signs of accusation and of blamefulness. Pictured without a purpose, it is seen as neither sick nor well, nor bad nor good. No grounds are offered that it may be judged in any way at all. It has no life, but neither is it dead. Is stands apart from all experience of love or fear. For now it witnesses to nothing yet, its purpose being open, and the mind made free again to choose what it is for. Now is it not condemned, but waiting for a purpose to be given, that it may fulfill the function that it will receive.
10. Into this empty space, from which the goal of sin has been removed, is Heaven free to be remembered. Here its peace can come, and perfect healing take the place of death. The body can become a sign of life, a promise of redemption, a breath of immortality to those grown sick of breathing in the fetid scent of death. Let it have healing as its purpose. Then will it send forth the message it received, and by its health and loveliness proclaim the truth and value that it represents. Let it receive the power to represent an endless life, forever unattacked. And to your brother let its message be, “Behold me, brother, at your hand I live.”
11. The simple way to let this be achieved is merely this; to let the body have no purpose from the past, when you were sure you knew its purpose was to foster guilt. For this insists your crippled picture is a lasting sign of what it represents. This leaves no space in which a different view, another purpose, can be given it. You do not know its purpose. You but gave illusions of a purpose to a thing you made to hide your function from yourself. This thing without a purpose cannot hide the function that the Holy Spirit gave. Let, then, its purpose and your function both be reconciled at last and seen as one.
As humans we have no idea why we have bodies; who or what formed them; why we have the drives and passions, the likes and dislikes that we seem to be born with. Each child that is born seems to have their own agenda, believing themselves to be the center of the universe, demanding rights and privileges and feeling quite unhappy when their many needs are not met and gratified!
In today’s devotional text, we learn that in the flesh, our bodies are a testament to guilt. For from the time we are babies everyone fails us! Nobody can make us happy all the time. Nobody can meet our every need. No matter how doting our parents are, how nice our siblings might be, how caring and thoughtful, kind and patient every single person in our life may be – they simply cannot meet our every need, protect us from every harm, or shelter us from every storm. And we hold others accountable for our every unhappiness, insecurity, and illness. All that hurts us, defeats us, and kills us is always someone else’s fault.
We are to step out of this way of thinking. The crucifixion is a wrongful symbol of the ways in which we blame one another and hold each other accountable for the unhappiness, for the hurt and pain and suffering of separation. You can do nothing that will take away my salvation; you can do nothing that will prevent my Sonship; you can do nothing that will stand in the way of my health, holiness, and happiness when you are as Christ to me.
When I no longer have a purpose for my body, Holy Spirit steps in and gives it the only meaningful purpose it can have in this realm. Look carefully at paragraphs nine and ten and contemplate the purpose of healing. Our bodies become a symbol of life, redemption, immortality when we release others from guilt and despair. As we accept Holy Spirit, the lowness of finding fault, casting blame, and pointing accusing fingers toward our brothers goes away! Our bodies become a healthy, lovely organism that proclaims the true and worthy vocation of healing. Our bodies can represent an endless life forever free from attack of any kind. Our message is transformed from the low-minded “Look at the hurt, pain, and suffering you have brought to my life,” to the Christ-minded “What happiness, joy, and goodness you bring to me – from your hand I live!”
We get to this by giving our body no opportunity to linger in the past, no chance to cherish old wounds and seeming betrayals. My body no longer exists to carry the weight of your guilt and your body no longer exists to carry mine. We are free from this mean-spirited perception of who and what we are to each other. It is important that we clarify that there is no purpose for the body outside of the one for healing. It is just a thing we try to keep gratified and satisfied and hold others accountable for its ongoing needs and wishes. It grasps unto any little passing pleasure and makes as much of it as it possibly can because that is all it has without the function of healing.
Staying trapped in a body that serves guilt, doomed for crucifixion, enslaved for lifetime after lifetime to thoughts of sin and guilt with brief respites of vain riches and passing pleasures is simply a way not to heal the Sonship, to remain apart from God and from each other. Small joys and passing trifles do not satisfy the Son of God. This thing without purpose cannot hide the function Holy Spirit gives, and so we are called to give purpose where there was none.
Today in your devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to bring together your lack of purpose in the body by showing you your function in Christ. We are called out of crucifixion and into resurrection. While this is an instantaneous happening in Spirit, in time it seems to be drawn out into a process of one step following another. This does not have to take a long time. We do not have to wait for years and years for our function to be given us, for our lives in the flesh to have a purpose, for us to have the liberty and freedom of Spirit. It can happen now, in this present moment as our minds comprehend the concepts that free us from our dedication to guilt, sickness, despair, and death. Jesus tells us to let this happen by holding no attachment to thoughts of guilt, punishment, blame, and sin from the past. Do not make the mistake of believing there is any justice in punishment, in crucifixion, in sickness, or in death. We are here to set each other free. To recognize Christ in each other. To heal the Sonship. To be reconciled. To be one.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 27 The healing of the dream. i. the picture of crucifixion. 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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