18. How is Correction Made?
1. Correction of a lasting nature,—and only this is true correction,—cannot be made until the teacher of God has ceased to confuse interpretation with fact, or illusion with truth. If he argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has “proved,” both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. And this can only be impossible. Reality is changeless. Magic thoughts are but illusions. Otherwise salvation would be only the same age-old impossible dream in but another form. Yet the dream of salvation has new content. It is not the form alone in which the difference lies.
2. God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. Through them, the Holy Spirit can now speak of the reality of the Son of God. Now He can remind the world of sinlessness, the one unchanged, unchangeable condition of all that God created. Now He can speak the Word of God to listening ears and bring Christ’s vision to eyes that see. Now is He free to teach all minds the truth of what they are, so they will gladly be returned to Him. And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.
3. Anger but screeches, “Guilt is real!” Reality is blocked out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word. The body’s eyes now “see;” its ears alone can “hear.” Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless. Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.
4. In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his Eternal Guide and let Him judge what the response should be. So is he healed and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to hear?
When we allow all our mistakes to be corrected, it means that we do not hold some back because we are afraid of looking at our past, because we are afraid of how we may have hurt someone or caused them to hate us. The world has nothing on us. We have accepted Atonement for ourselves.
No matter what we bring up about each other – it cannot hurt us or change who we are. It has no effect upon our eternal place in God’s heart as His Son. Whether in your estimation I am worthy to live for God and be called to teach God, because I have accepted the identity offered to me through Christ, I am worthy – and your opinion about the matter has no influence over me. No matter what you bring up about my past, my present, or the future, because I have accepted Atonement for myself, none of it matters. It is a flesh story, and that story will die because it never really lived. It means nothing because the whole thing was made up by our perceptions of something we could not begin to understand without the All-seeing, All-knowing Love of God.
While the Voice for God will always speak for God’s love, grace and mercy; the clamor of ego screeches angrily, clamoring for guilt, for shame, for punishment. This is the chant of the world; its aim in direct opposition to the goal of God. God lovingly awaits our return to Him in Spirit and in truth; while the world would keep us trapped in the flesh, in ongoing cycles of karmic retribution, pain, suffering, drama, and trauma. Giving up the drama and trauma of the world is to regain the knowledge of God.
Correction is made in our minds and hearts as we learn by contrast the result of the responses we make to the world. When we respond in Spirit we will receive an increase of love, joy, and peace because we gave an increase of love, joy, and peace. When we respond in the flesh we do not increase love, joy and peace. Instead we will deplete others and thus deplete ourselves. Perhaps we thought that bringing others low would lift us up, but when we practice this, we find that it does not work that way.
These are lessons that everyone will learn in their own good time. We can only teach by living this ourselves. We learn by our mistakes when we let them be corrected; not by a matter of willing ourselves to be “good,” for a good human and a bad human are the same thing – human. As teachers of God, we go beyond humanity. In Spirit our goodness is not attributed to humanity, because we know the only goodness is God’s goodness. The goodness of God does not turn to dust; it does not change its mind; it does not come with strings attached. The goodness of God is extended to all, not accorded by the ego’s petty judgments and preferences. . When we reach for the High Mind of Christ, we learn that the random, chaotic perceptions of flesh are not real. As we devote ourselves to the practice of God, the perceptions of flesh can no longer distract or dismay us as they did before. We learn to no longer rely on our interpretation of others, events, and situations. We realize that our interpretations are not the truth of the matter. We know that God reigns in all ways and forever. His Love remains the only thing there is, and we are like Him. When we have fully accepted this, Atonement is complete in our lives. Because we can no longer condemn ourselves, we cannot condemn others, and when we stop condemning each other, we are healed.
This is our correction. This is the miracle. This is how correction is made. It is a matter of changing one’s mind about Who and What is in charge of it, and Who and What we really are.
 A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 18. How is correction made? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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