ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS 3. Forgiveness-The Face of Christ

ACIM Clarification of Terms 3. Forgiveness-The Face of Christ

1. Forgiveness is for God and toward God but not of Him. It is impossible to think of anything He created that could need forgiveness. Forgiveness, then, is an illusion, but because of its purpose, which is the Holy Spirit’s, it has one difference. Unlike all other illusions it leads away from error and not towards it.

2. Forgiveness might be called a kind of happy fiction; a way in which the unknowing can bridge the gap between their perception and the truth. They cannot go directly from perception to knowledge because they do not think it is their will to do so. This makes God appear to be an enemy instead of what He really is. And it is just this insane perception that makes them unwilling merely to rise up and to return to Him in peace.

3. And so they need an illusion of help because they are helpless; a Thought of peace because they are in conflict. God knows what His Son needs before he asks. He is not at all concerned with form but having given the content it is His Will that it be understood. And that suffices. The form adapts itself to need; the content is unchanging, as eternal as its Creator.

4. The face of Christ has to be seen before the memory of God can return. The reason is obvious. Seeing the face of Christ involves perception. No one can look on knowledge. But the face of Christ is the great symbol of forgiveness. It is salvation. It is the symbol of the real world. Whoever looks on this no longer sees the world. He is as near to Heaven as is possible outside the gate. Yet from this gate it is no more than just a step inside. It is the final step. And this we leave to God.

5. Forgiveness is a symbol, too, but as the symbol of His Will alone it cannot be divided. And so the unity that it reflects becomes His Will. It is the only thing still in the world in part, and yet the bridge to Heaven.

6. God’s Will is all there is. We can but go from nothingness to everything, from hell to Heaven. Is this a journey? No, not in truth, for truth goes nowhere. But illusions shift from place to place, from time to time. The final step is also but a shift. As a perception it is part unreal. And yet this part will vanish. What remains is peace eternal and the Will of God.

7. There are no wishes now for wishes change. Even the wished-for can become unwelcome. That must be so because the ego cannot be at peace. But Will is constant, as the gift of God. And what He gives is always like Himself. This is the purpose of the face of Christ. It is the gift of God to save His Son. But look on this and you have been forgiven.

8. How lovely does the world become in just that single instant when you see the truth about yourself reflected there. Now you are sinless and behold your sinlessness. Now you are holy and perceive it so. And now the mind returns to its Creator; the joining of the Father and the Son, the Unity of unities that stands behind all joining but beyond them all. God is not seen but only understood. His Son is not attacked but recognized.[1]

When we come to understand the world as illusion and all the things that appear in it and seem to happen in it as part of that illusion, it is not so difficult for us to grasp that forgiveness is not of God. God has nothing to forgive us for because in reality we never left the Kingdom – we can only dream of time, space, and separateness for as long as we care to oppose the reality of the oneness of God. 

And yet we are called upon to forgive because to forgive is to overlook the world we made our reality in opposition to the reality of God. And we cannot forgive the world until we perceive the face of Christ beyond the world of form and faction. I must see you as Christ before I can know God; you must see me as Christ before you can know God.  When I can see you as Christ and you can see me as Christ, we have forgiven – we have gone past the flesh and the separation – we have perceived the Sonship and only until we perceive the Sonship, can we see God. God is not the least bit interested in anything outside of the unity and blessedness of Spirit. As real as this world and its dramas and traumas seem to us, why would God concern Himself with a dream?  But to reach beyond the dream, to awaken to the reality of this not being reality – that is the Will of God, that is the forward motion that returns our consciousness to the Kingdom.

The Face of Christ is our salvation because it involves perception. I can see you. I can look upon your flesh and yet see beyond it to the Christ within. I remember your Sonship, I remember our Brotherhood, I see past all that the world would make us out to be – so different, so at odds, you so much more privileged than me, you so much less than me – and I can see you as Christ even as I can see myself as Christ.  In one holy instant, I recognize the unity of our Spirit and I can never see this world the same again, I can never experience the world the same again, in many ways you can say that I never see the world again, for once I see the Face of Christ in you – I am as near to Heaven as I can get in the flesh! It is only one step – and this final step is God’s.

The purpose of the Face of Christ is to save us from the hellish realm of separation, sin, and shame. The Face of Christ is the Will of God, for the Face of Christ is like Himself – for we are like Him. Accept this, hold this dear to your heart and mind, look on this, meditate upon this, devote yourself to this for it is our only function in the world – as we devote ourselves to look upon each other as Christ, our mind returns to its Creator, we join with God the Father and God the Son in Spirit and in truth.  The only way to understand our Father is to recognize each other as His Son. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Clarification of terms. 3. Forgiveness-the face of Christ. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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Published by eckief

My love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at

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