1. Is healing frightening? To many, yes. For accusation is a bar to love, and damaged bodies are accusers. They stand firmly in the way of trust and peace, proclaiming that the frail can have no trust and that the damaged have no grounds for peace. Who has been injured by his brother, and could love and trust him still? He has attacked and will attack again. Protect him not, because your damaged body shows that you must be protected from him. To forgive may be an act of charity, but not his due. He may be pitied for his guilt, but not exonerated. And if you forgive him his transgressions, you but add to all the guilt that he has really earned.
2. The unhealed cannot pardon. For they are the witnesses that pardon is unfair. They would retain the consequences of the guilt they overlook. Yet no one can forgive a sin that he believes is real. And what has consequences must be real because what it has done is there to see. Forgiveness is not pity, which but seeks to pardon what it thinks to be the truth. Good cannot be returned for evil, for forgiveness does not first establish sin and then forgive it. Who can say and mean, “My brother, you have injured me, and yet, because I am the better of the two, I pardon you my hurt.” His pardon and your hurt cannot exist together. One denies the other and must make it false.
3. To witness sin and yet forgive it is a paradox that reason cannot see. For it maintains what has been done to you deserves no pardon. And by giving it, you grant your brother mercy but retain the proof that he is not really innocent. The sick remain accusers. They cannot forgive their brothers and themselves as well. For no one in whom true forgiveness rests can suffer. He holds not the proof of sin before his brother’s eyes. And thus he must have overlooked it and removed it from his own. Forgiveness cannot be for one and not the other. Who forgives is healed. And in his healing lies the proof that he has truly pardoned and retains no trace of condemnation, but he still would hold against himself or any living thing.
4. Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself. You must attest his sins have no effect on you to demonstrate they are not real. How else could he be guiltless? And how could his innocence be justified unless his sins have no effect to warrant guilt? Sins are beyond forgiveness just because they would entail effects that cannot be undone and overlooked entirely. In their undoing lies proof that they are merely errors. Let yourself be healed that you may be forgiving, offering salvation to your brother and yourself.
5. A broken body shows the mind has not been healed. A miracle of healing proves that separation is without effect. What you would prove to him you will believe. The power of witness comes from your belief. And everything you say or do or think but testifies to what you teach to him. Your body can be means to teach that it has never suffered pain because of him. And in its healing can it offer him mute testimony of his innocence. It is this testimony that can speak with power greater than a thousand tongues. For here is his forgiveness proved to him.
6. A miracle can offer nothing less to him than it has given onto you. So does your healing show your mind is healed and has forgiven what he did not do. And so is he convinced his innocence was never lost and healed along with you. Thus does the miracle undo all things the world attests can never be undone. And hopelessness and death must disappear before the ancient clarion call of life. This call has power far beyond the weak and miserable cry of death and guilt. The ancient calling of the Father to His Son, and of the Son on to his own, will yet be the last trumpet that the world will ever hear. Brother, there is no death. And this you learn when you but wished to show your brother that you had no hurt of him. He thinks your blood is on his hands, and so he stands condemned. Yet it is given you to show him, by your healing, that his guilt is but the fabric of a senseless dream.
7. How just are miracles! For they bestow an equal gift of full deliverance from guilt upon your brother and yourself. Your healing saves him pain as well as you, and you are healed because you wished him well. This is the law the miracle obeys, that healing sees no specialness at all. It does not come from pity but from love. And love would prove all suffering is but a vain imagining, a foolish wish with no effects. Your health is a result of your desire to see your brother with no blood upon his hands, nor guilt upon his heart made heavy with the proof of sin. And what you wish is given you to see.
8. The “cost” of your serenity is his. This is the “price” the Holy Spirit and the world interpret differently. The world perceives it as a statement of the “fact” that your salvation sacrifices his. The Holy Spirit knows your healing is the witness unto his and cannot be apart from his at all. As long as he consents to suffer, you will be unhealed. Yet you can show him that his suffering is purposeless and wholly without cause. Show him your healing, and he will consent no more to suffer. For his innocence has been established in your sight and his. And laughter will replace your sins because God’s Son remembered that he is God’s Son.
When someone steals our belongings, and we are without while they reap the benefits of our money, jewels, or retirements savings – my forgiveness toward them cannot be real if I suffer any pangs of poverty, despair, or thoughts of revenge. As long as I am telling the story of how they stole from me, and how hard it is to scrape by without my treasure, I remain unhealed. It still hurts! Any forgiveness that I extend to the would-be thieves is a pretense – because I still believe that what they took from me is of value and I still sting from the loss of what was stolen.
In estrangements that we have with our loved ones, we blame their pettiness and lies, their hypocrisy and bad manners for breaking up our family, for causing us to miss out on new births and family get-togethers, shared holidays and fun times we were meant to share. We mourn the joys we missed, the sorrows we endured without the support of our loved ones – because of them. As long as we are thinking along these lines, we are unhealed and in our unhealed state we cannot offer forgiveness. We can say we forgive, but forgiveness is impossible as long as we are blaming someone or something in particular for our hurt feelings and our sense of loss.
We cannot witness sin and forgive it. We cannot watch our family members die at another’s hand and blithely say, “We must forgive you the murder of my father and my mother, my sister and my brother.” Doing so, means that I still consider you a murderer, which makes you guilty. And your guilt and my thinking of you as the culprit of my family’s murder keep us both locked in the realm of separateness and sickness. There is no real forgiveness and no real justice as long as I see you or you see me as a sinner of any kind. For when we see with the eyes of Christ, we see innocence. We see the ongoing dramatic happenings in the perceptual realm as an illusion. There is no “proof” of sin; there is no evidence that would label you different from me.
Only those who have accepted this are healed. And only those who are healed of the illusion can forgive. And it is only by forgiving the whole realm for its lie, for its trickery, for its opposition to Love, its bloody history, its ongoing attachment to cruelty, injustice, war, and ill will that frees us from the cycles of despair.
On the personal level, we are assigned to each other to learn and practice true forgiveness and to heal the separateness between us, to bring our consciousness back to oneness, to demonstrate that that sin and the effects of sin have no effect upon us. How else could we be healed? For if I am still demonstrating that what you did still hurts me, that the things you took from me will forever sadden me, be the subject of my thoughts and conversation, I will be a constant reminder of your sin. I am not healed, and because I am not healed, you are not healed. We demonstrate instead our sickness and any forgiveness we try to maintain is fraudulent and cannot fool a Son of God. We will not be happy with one another and our unhappiness does not witness to our Sonship.
We are to let the idea of sin be removed from our consciousness. Of course it is not right what happened to you as a child at the hands of the abusive, the bullies, the cruel things that were said and done through out your life that made your home, school, military assignment, college dorm, prison cell, or workplace a place of terror, dreariness, or despair. There is nothing at all positive that can be said about letting someone get away with a hurtful, mean-spirited, ignorant, and backwoods approach to relationships. We do not have to find excuses for the unruly behavior of others. We do not have to turn the other cheek and accept being beat down and held down. We are not expected to let our voice be drowned by those who would steal our joy, wreck our homes, or make unkind comments about what makes us happy. There is no justification for those who would sneer at our triumphs and mock our efforts. But we do not allow these things to sicken us. We forgive it because we know that the individuals who did this to us are not apart from us. We are all in the same dream, we suffer the same mass delusion. As one, what others do to us and what we do to others is a direct result – not of their personal sin – but the wrongfulness of the brokenness between us.
Our bodies will carry the karmic unforgiven sins of the world as long as we blame each other. Hold each other accountable for the separation, the wheels of ignorance and unforgiveness churn out thoughts of sinners and saints, victims and victimizers, good and evil, black and white. And in the perception of opposition and opposites, we find sin, we find guilt, we find blame and shame. It is not wholesome, it is not nourishing, it makes us sick and it keeps us sick. For you are innocent as God’s Son and I am innocent as God’s Son and that is who we are and not this other thing that would oppose each other.
When I forgive my childhood abuses, when I understand that those who abused me meant me no lasting harm; that what was done to me was merely an example of separation, I am healed. My mind is cleansed of the bewilderment, the questions, the doubts, the hurts, and fears. My body no longer carries the “evidence” of their hurtful deeds. I no longer attract or am attracted to others that would use me to project their own ignorance and failures to be decent, loving, and kind. I am healed. And because I am healed, they are healed and because they are healed, they are in a position to heal others.
The power then of our witness comes from teaching these concepts. We teach these concepts by practicing them, by learning them from each other. I did not learn this until a dear brother in our ACIM group taught it to me. Here is mute testimony to the miracle – my body and all my flesh conversations, behaviors, and relationships are a testimony then to my abusers’ innocence, and it is the mute testimony of this miracle that speaks with greater power than a thousand tongues!
Do not be dismayed in your practice if the ones you are called to forgive have already passed away. It is never too late for there is no real death. We communicate with the seeming dead all the time, in our thoughts, in our dreams, and in our daily interactions. We imprison them in our fake forgiveness, our beliefs in sin, in hell, in punishment, in the unreality of humanity and the perceptual world. We are one and always will be whether in one form or in another.
The perceptual world will haunt us with its message of despair. We waited too long. It can never be undone. There is no correction for the sins of the past. We have to live with the effects of mistakes made in ignorance from one generation to the next. We are doomed by generational curses that keep us bound in poverty, lack of intellect, and low-mindedness. We are branded not only for this life but for every life to come by the wrongdoing of our ancestors!
But this misery and hopelessness is not our reality in Christ. As Son of God, the Father’s Love – the Father’s justice is the last trumpet sound that this world will ever hear. Let it sound in your inner ear – for we learn this, we recognize this, we accept it, and know it when we wish to show our every brother that they did not hurt us, that what they did means nothing, that it was nothing but an illusion of separation, a means to push us and keep us apart. The guilt our brothers carry upon them is not our joy, but our burden. We free them from the guilt, and we are free!
This is the justice of miracles. The “cost” of your serenity is the serenity you wish for all who taught you separateness, who seemed to hurt you, who tried to relieve their sense of guilt and unworthiness by the unkind, unpleasant, ignorant ways they treated you. This starts out as a personal, highly individualized process until we have gained enough ground for it to be generalized to the whole realm of separation. We gain ground through our practice. We learn that the law of miracles must be obeyed – there is no specialness at all in the law. It does not come from a spiritual superior granting clemency to an inferior. It does not come from a sense of obligation, reluctance, or pity. It comes from seeing all suffering as a vain attempt to make itself real, a foolish wish to defy God’s Will of love, peace, and joy, a ridiculous whim to prove that God’s Son can be sickened and die against the Will of the Father.
Let your health be a witness to your desire to see your brother with no blood on his hands, no guilt in his heart, no proof of sin to weigh upon his shoulders. For when we wish upon others what is God’s Will for ourselves, we practice the healing of the Sonship, we establish the desire for oneness in our hearts and minds, we begin to see with the eyes of Christ and our faith is strengthened by what we see. We are not told to have faith and keep on having faith while we suffer and martyr ourselves, work too hard, sicken, and eventually end up in the grave along with everybody else. This is not God’s Will, for the Father only wishes a happy dream for His Son, and we cannot have a happy dream when we are sick and full of despair believing the dream the dream of separation is our reality.
The holy Spirit within you, your holy Self knows that your healing is a witness to my healing, that there is no specialness in your healing. It does not call you out away from me in eclecticism and separateness, but rather testifies to me of what is my own. I cannot stay sick when you are healed! I will not be content to hang on to my madness when I see your sanity and your health, when I behold your innocence and hear the purity and joy of laughter that has replaced thoughts of sin, guilt, and servanthood. When you remember that you are God’s Son, I remember what I am and can be nothing but well. And only in our wellness, in our happiness, in our beautiful Sonship can we awaken together and go home.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 27 The healing of the dream. ii. the fear of healing 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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