A Course in Miracles Chapter 21: Reason and Perception

The title for chapter 21 is Reason and Perception. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Forgotten Song, The Responsibility for Sight, Faith, Belief and Vision, The Fear to Look Within, The Function of Reason, Reason versus Madness, The Last Unanswered Question, and The Inner Shift.

What we project out into the world around us is like a mirror of what we are thinking and feeling inside. If we do not understand this we will look around at the world we live in and complain about everything we do not like and blame it on everyone but ourselves, expecting others to fix the problems. “Projection makes perception. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”

As long as I can remember I have been taught to embrace painful situations, that it is through these that we grow and mature. You all know the phrases, no pain no gain. Thank God for the hard times of your lives. If this is what you believe, this is what you will manifest in your life. Reading through this book has caused me to question this idea and change my belief that everything I need to learn to grow and mature can come through happy experiences. I have found this a much more enjoyable way to live. “There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness you want to learn and not forget.”

We have been taught that we have little control over what happens to us and sometimes it does feel like this.  It is a hard concept to accept when “bad” things happen to us that it is because we asked for them. Yet this is what this course teaches. I am still working to fully understanding how this works. “I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked. Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. It is impossible the Son of God (mankind) be merely driven by events outside of him. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident. No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it.”

This chapter asks 5 interesting questions:

  1. Do I desire a world I rule instead of one that rules me?
  2. Do I desire a world where I am powerful instead of helpless?
  3. Do I desire a world in which I have no enemies and cannot sin?
  4. Is this what I would see? Do I want this?
  5. And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?

Unfortunately, many of us were taught through our society, families and religion that we have little control over our lives, that we are helpless to change anything and that we need to fear anyone who is “different” from us, turning them into enemies. This is what the ego teaches us to keep us in a state of apathy, helplessness and fear. It takes courage to honestly ask ourselves what we really do believe and why we continue to believe these things. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the Truth of God that we are magnificent, creative, powerful and loving people. How different the world will look when we choose to believe this. “Listen to what the ego says, and see what it directs you to see, and it is sure that you will see yourself as tiny, vulnerable and afraid. You will experience depression, a sense of worthlessness, and feelings of impermanence and unreality. You will believe that you are hopeless prey to forces far beyond your own control, and far more powerful than you. And you will think the world you made directs your destiny. Do you not see that all your misery comes from the strange belief that you are powerless? If you choose to see a world without an enemy, in which you are not helpless, the means to see it will be given you.”

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