1. Learning is change. Salvation does not seek to use a means as yet too alien to your thinking to be helpful, not to make the kinds of change you could not recognize. Concepts are needed while perception lasts, and changing concepts is salvation’s task. For it must deal in contrasts, not in truth, which has no opposite and cannot change. In this world’s concepts are the guilty “bad;” the “good” are innocent. And no one here but holds a concept of himself in which he counts the “good” to pardon him the “bad.” Nor does he trust the “good” in anyone, believing that the “bad” must lurk behind. This concept emphasizes treachery and trust becomes impossible. Nor could it change while you perceive the “bad” in you.
2. You could not recognize your “evil” thoughts as long as you see value in attack. You will perceive them sometimes but will not see them as meaningless. And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another “crime.” You cannot give yourself your innocence, for you are too confused about yourself. But should one brother dawn upon your sight as wholly worthy of forgiveness, then your concept of yourself is wholly changed. Your “evil” thoughts have been forgiven with his because you let them all affect you not. No longer do you choose that you should be the sign of evil and of guilt in him. And as you give your trust to what is good in him, you give it to the good in you.
3. In terms of concepts, it is thus you see him more than just a body, for the good is never what the body seems to be. The actions of the body are perceived as coming from the “baser” part of you, and thus of him as well. By focusing upon the good in him, the body grows decreasingly persistent in your sight, and will at length be seen as little more than just a shadow circling round the good. And this will be your concept of yourself, when you have reached the world beyond the sight your eyes alone can offer you to see. For you will not interpret what you see without the Aid That God has given you. And in His sight there is another world.
4. You live in that world just as much as this. For both are concepts of yourself, which can be interchanged but never jointly held. The contrast is far greater than you think, for you will love this concept of yourself, because it was not made for you alone. Born as a gift for someone not perceived to be yourself, it has been given you. For your forgiveness, offered unto him, has been accepted now for both of you.
5. Have faith in him who walks with you, so that your fearful concept of yourself may change. And look upon the good in him, that you may not be frightened by your “evil” thoughts because they do not cloud your view of him. And all this shift requires is that you be willing that this happy change occur. No more than this is asked. On its behalf, remember what the concept of yourself that now you hold has brought you in its wake, and welcome the glad contrast offered you. Hold out your hand, that you may have the gift of kind forgiveness which you offer one whose need for it is just the same as yours. And let the cruel concept of yourself be changed to one that brings the peace of God.
6. The concept of yourself that now you hold would guarantee your function here remain forever unaccomplished and undone. And thus it dooms you to a bitter sense of deep depression and futility. Yet it need not be fixed, unless you choose to hold it past the hope of change and keep it static and concealed within your mind. Give it instead to Him Who understands the changes that it needs to let it serve the function given you to bring you peace, that you may offer peace to have it yours. Alternatives are in your mind to use, and you can see yourself another way. Would you not rather look upon yourself as needed for salvation of the world, instead of as salvation’s enemy?
7. The concept of the self stands like a shield, a silent barricade before the truth, and hides it from your sight. All things you see are images, because you look on them as through a barrier that dims your sight and warps your vision, so that you behold nothing with clarity. The light is kept from everything you see. At most, you glimpse a shadow of what lies beyond. At least, you merely look on darkness, and perceive the terrified imaginings that come from guilty thoughts and concepts born of fear. And what you see is hell, for fear is hell. All that is given you is for release; the sight, the vision, and the inner Guide all lead you out of hell with those you love beside you, and the universe with them.
8. Behold your role within the universe! To every part of true creation has the Lord of Love and Life entrusted all salvation from the misery of hell. And to each one has He allowed the grace to be a savior to the holy ones especially entrusted to his care. And this he learns when first he looks upon one brother as he looks upon himself and sees the mirror of himself in him. Thus is the concept of himself laid by, for nothing stands between his sight and what he looks upon, to judge what he beholds. And in this single vision does he see the face of Christ, and understands he looks on everyone as he beholds this one. For there is light where darkness was before, and now the veil is lifted from his sight. 
When I look upon you with gentle recognition of the Christ in you, I am seeing you beyond your body, beyond your mistakes, beyond all the ways you get on my nerves and fail to meet my expectations of you. When I look at you and see what is in you, I can no longer judge you or hold you accountable for things that you said and did in the past, because the things I have done and the things I have said in the past are gone, my mistakes and your mistakes have taught us what we needed to learn from them, we are corrected, we are healed, and they is no longer a use for them on our record. From now on I will trust the good within you and because I trust the good in you, the good within me is trustworthy.
This goes beyond judging you as “good” according to how nice you are to me personally! I have no right to judge you in this regard. Whether you suit me as a person or you do not, whether I like the way you look, the way you smell, the way you style your hair, or the political party you support has nothing to do with the Christ in you. For now I see you beyond your body, and what is good in you and what is good in me is from the Christ within. When we say the Christ within, we are speaking of Sonship here. We are speaking of who we are to God, who we are to each other in God, not in bodies.
Jesus tells us that we live in that world just as much as this one. One concept we have of ourselves is of our image, our form, our flesh and blood bodies; the other one is our Spirit, our Mind, our Oneness with God. The contrast between these two concepts is far greater than we can imagine, for we love the one concept of us because it was made for all. It was a given, it was our true creation, it was in love and for love and to Be love.
When we practice faith in one another, we develop faith in our Self. When we look upon the Christ in each other, we can no longer be afraid of that which is not Christ in us. It no longer has any meaning. The mistakes we make, the times we use vulgar words and prance an angry jig because things are not going our way, the times we murmur and complain and find fault, do not cloud our vision of the Christ in us. We can laugh at my mistakes and we can laugh at yours. They hold no power over us, they do not change the facts about us. We do not have to strive and connive to please God; we do not have to weep and wail and beat our chests in sorrow over our failure to be perfect in the flesh. We simply put our trust in the Christ within, we ask that we know ourselves as Christ, we welcome and embrace this happy change in our awareness.
This is a lovely way of Being. There is no guilt involved. There is no fear of hell and torment. There is no punishment. There is no judgment. Hold our old self-concept of miserable sinner, unworthy flesh-monger, a species not deserving of love, joy, and peace – and we will be miserable, we will sicken ourselves pleading with God trying to change ourselves, attempting to placate His supposed anger, wheedling and groveling and forsaking the real call of Christ in our minds and hearts.
As long as we believe that Christ is a separate and special entity – the Lone Ranger of salvation, our function as savior remains unaccomplished and undone. This belief dooms us to depression and futility for we will fail to see our parents, our siblings, our friends, our very children as Christ. We will believe that they are going to burn in hell if they do not read their Bibles, attend church, or say their prayers a certain way. When we see Christ in all, we no longer judge this one as good and this one as bad. We no longer say this one is saved and this one is unsaved. We give all of Creation to Him Who in our giving gives to us. When we see each other as Christ sees us, we see each other as savior, and when we see each other as savior, we see ourselves as Christ. Seeing ourselves as Christ expands our consciousness from one that pushes and keeps others out, separates and divides, hurts and maims and kills to one of inclusion, of unity, oneness, healing, love, peace, joy, and extender of everlasting life.
Today we will end with paragraph eight and continue tomorrow with the last eight paragraphs of The Savior’s Vision. In your personal devotional practice today, meditate upon the first half of this section. Dare to picture your role within the universe. The Lord of Love and Life has entrusted salvation to us. By grace we are called to join with the Christ, our true Self within. There is no room for judgment between us for when I look upon you with the savior’s vision, I see myself, I see the face of Christ, and I see everyone as I see you. In other words I see love, I see joy, I see peace. I see all that is real and nothing that is unreal. The light has come and there is no more darkness, the truth has dawned upon my consciousness and the world of opposites disappears.
A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision vii. the savior’s vision 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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