A Course in Miracles Chapter 28: The Undoing of Fear

The title for chapter 28 is The Undoing of Fear. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Present Memory, Reversing Effect and Cause, The Agreement to Join, The Greater Joining, The Alternate to Dreams of Fear, The Secret Vows, and The Ark of Safety.

In the concept of time we all live in, there is always a past. We cannot physically return to the past but its effects remain with us reenacted through our thoughts, feelings and actions in the present. For many people, the past contains fearful memories of painful things that happened to them or what they inflicted on others. This chapter talks about how we can choose to continue to live with these fearful memories or we can allow the Holy Spirit to release them out of us. The only reason we continue to have the fearful memories is because we choose to. We believe they keep us safe, protect us from further harm, reminding us that the world is not a safe place and if we are not careful, harm can come to us again. “And if memory seems to serve to cherish ancient hate, and gives you pictures of injustices and hurts that you were saving, this is what you asked its message be and that it is. All of the strange associations made to keep the past alive, the present dead, are stored within it, waiting your command that they be brought to you, and lived again. Nor will the call to wakening be heard, because it seems to be the call to fear.” The call to awaken and give up the fearful memories can be just as fearful as the memories themselves. For you have lived with memories a long time, and to let them go would feel like you are removing your defense system leaving you feeling fearful and defenseless.  When we choose to release the memories, there is nothing for fear to attach itself to. “The Holy Spirits use of memory is quite apart from time. He does not seek to use it as a means to keep the past, but rather as a way to let it go. How instantly the memory of God arises in the mind that has no fear to keep the memory away! Its own remembering has gone. There is no past to keep its fearful image in the way of glad awakening to present peace.”

The chapter also talks about the “gap” that is between sickness and healing. It is up to us how large or small we want this gap to be. The remembering of the fearful memories contributes to the sickness in the body and creates our illusion that we are alone and separated from others. It is God’s desire that this gap be healed and will be healed when we realize we are not alone, we are all apart of each other and of God. “I thank you Father, knowing You will come to close each little gap that lies between the broken pieces of Your holy son. Your Holiness, complete and perfect, lies in every one of them. And they are joined because what is in one is in them all. How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of Gods Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part. The beautiful relationship you have with all your brothers is a part of you because it is a part of God Himself. But miracles are the result when you do not insist on seeing in the gap what is not there. Your willingness to let illusions go is all the Healer of Gods Son requires. He will place the miracle of healing where the seeds of sickness were. And there will be no loss, but only gain.”

“Where fear has gone there love must come, because there are but these alternatives. Where one appears, the other disappears. And which you share becomes the only one you have. You have the one that you accept, because it is the only one you which to have.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Course in Miracles Chapter 27: The Healing of the Dream

The title for chapter 27 is The Healing of the Dream. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Picture of Crucifixion, The Fear of Healing, Beyond all Symbols, The Quiet Answer, The Healing Example, The Witnesses to Sin, The Dreamer of the Dream, and The Hero of the Dream.

This course teaches a different way to view the body than what we have traditionally been taught. I am going to discuss two of these examples in this blog today. You are spiritual beings living in a physical body. Your spirit is real because it is eternal and the body is temporary because it gets left behind and decays when you die. The ego wants your focus to remain on your physical body so you will not become spiritually mature, for when you do, the ego will lose its power over you.  “The body seeks in many ways to prove it is autonomous and real. It puts things on itself that it has bought with little metal discs or paper strips the world proclaims as valuable and real.” You adorn your bodies with clothing and accessories. You seek both pleasure and pain in your bodies to prove they are real. “Pain demonstrates the body must be real. It is a loud, obscuring voice whose shrieks would silence what the Holy Spirit says, and keep His words from your awareness. Pain compels attention, drawing it away from Him and focusing upon itself. Its purpose is the same as pleasure, for they both are means to make the body real.”

The body serves as a physical manifestation of how you treat others and how others have treated you.  When you have been harmed by others through any type of physical or emotional abuse/attack, you will initially internalize this pain. You will most likely repress the feelings, nurse the anger, desire vengeance of some type. You may view yourself as being the “better” person because you did not initiate the harm. You may set yourself up against this other person and see them as an enemy. The longer you do this, the more you increase the chance of the initial pain and your reaction to it manifesting as physical and mental illness and disease within your body. “The sick remain accusers. They cannot forgive their brothers and themselves as well.”

This chapter states that healing is available to all who ask but not everyone wants healing. “Is healing frightening? To many, yes. Your damaged body shows that you must be protected from him, the one who hurt you. Who then fears healing? Only those to whom their brothers sacrifice and pain are seen to represent their own serenity. The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed, and cannot heal. If you are afraid of healing, then it cannot come through you.”

Healing requires that you forgive those you perceive have hurt you in some way. “Who forgives is healed. Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself.  You are healed because you wished him well. 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 in his healing, lies the proof that he has truly pardoned, and retains no trace of condemnation that he still would hold against himself or any living thing.” As you offer healing and forgiveness to those who harmed you, you yourself receive healing as you are no longer repressing all the pain but have released it to God and so both the hurt and the one who attacked are healed. “No one can ask another to be healed. But he can let himself be healed, and thus offer the other what he has received. Who can bestow upon another what he does not have? And who can share what he denies himself?”

And so, the body can be turned around and used for something positive. Healing is a sign of redemption, that what someone meant for harm can be turned around for good. What someone meant to bring division between people can bring unification. “Into this empty space, is Heaven free to be remembered. The body can become a sign of life, a promise of redemption. Let it have a healing purpose. Let it receive the power to represent an endless life, forever un-attacked.”

 

 

 

A Course in Miracles Chapter 26: The Transition

The title for chapter 26 is The Transition. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The “Sacrifice” of Oneness, Many Forms; One Correction, The Borderland, Where Sin Has Left, The Little Hindrance, The Appointed Friend, The Laws of Healing, The Immediacy of Salvation, For They Have Come, and The End of Injustice.

This chapter is about how to transition from living a life where you want to attack others, to living a life where love and unity prevail. As I have shared in past blogs, we are conditioned to believe that in every situation there is a winner and a loser, that someone needs to sacrifice something for someone else to get what they want. Then we live in fear, trying to make sure that the one who loses is them rather than us. We perceive life as being unfair and this creates anger within us so we go on the attack to defend ourselves. This course teaches that this thinking comes from our perceptions about what we believe. When we change our beliefs to align with Truth, our perception changes and we can see the situation from a heavenly perspective. “In the dynamics of attack is sacrifice a key idea. It is the pivot upon which all compromise, all desperate attempts to strike a bargain, and all conflicts achieve a seeming balance. It is the symbol of the central theme that somebody must lose. When you perceive it as unfair, you think that a response of anger now is just. Unfairness and attack are one mistake, so firmly joined that where one is perceived the other must be seen. Confused perception will block knowledge.  Projection of the cause of sacrifice is at the root of everything perceived to be unfair.”

There is a space in time between when we perceive we are hurt and when we choose to offer forgiveness. This chapter refers to this as the borderline. “Here is the meeting place where thoughts are brought together; where conflicting values meet and all illusions are laid down beside the truth, where they’re judged to be untrue. Here is every thought made pure and wholly simple.” Once something has happened to us it is no longer in the present and has moved to the past. However, when we keep reliving it over and over, either through the thoughts in our own head or verbally repeating to others what that person did to us, we keep it in the present. It is up to us how long we want to remain in the borderline state. The Holy Spirit awaits our decision and will bring salvation the moment we decide to release the hurt. “Now you are shifting back and forth between the past and present. Sometimes the past seems real, as if it were the present. Voices from the past are heard and then are doubted. You are like to one who still hallucinates, but lacks conviction in what he perceives. This is the borderland between the worlds, the bridge between the past and present. Here the shadow of the past remains, but still a present light is dimly recognized. Delay is senseless. The working out of all correction takes no time at all.”

“Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. A dreadful instant in a distant past, now perfectly corrected, is of no concern nor value. What was a place of death has now become a living temple in a world of light. Let the dead and gone be peacefully forgotten. Resurrection has come to take its place. Forgiveness turns the world of sin into a world of glory wonderful to see. Each flower shines in light, and every bird sings of the joy of Heaven. Forgive the past and let it go, for it is gone.”

There is a big difference between belief and Truth and it is easy to confuse the two. We use our intellectual reasoning and knowledge to create logical conclusions and beliefs based on our own experience which then forms our perception of what life is about and how we interpret everything that happens to us. On its own it appears to be truth. However, Truth does not come from logic, mental reasoning or experience. It is a feeling deep within you that resonates with your spirit when you connect with it. It is difficult to know Truth when you are hanging onto human based beliefs. It is only when you release these beliefs that you are open to receive and resonate with Truth. “Perception changes, yet Truth is unchanged. It cannot be perceived, but only known. What is perceived takes many forms, but none has meaning. Brought to Truth, its senselessness is quite apparent. Kept apart from Truth, it seems to have a meaning and to be real.”

 

 

A Course in Miracles Chapter 25: The Justice of God

The title for chapter 25 is The Justice of God. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Link to Truth, The Savior from the Dark, Perception and Choice, The Light You Bring, The State of Sinlessness, The Special Function, The Rock of Salvation, Justice Returned to Love, and The Justice of Heaven.

Justice is a word we hear a lot in our society. When a crime is committed, when harm has been done to us in some way, when unfairness and discrimination occur, when genocide and terror occur, we cry out for individual and global justice. So, what exactly is justice, what is it we really want? I believe we want to be compensated for some type of loss we feel happened to us and we want the person who harmed us in some way to be punished for what they did. We want a winner and a loser. What was taken from us we want to be taken from the one who harmed us. We want them to feel the pain they caused us.  From our 3rd dimensional reality on planet earth, this makes perfect sense to us. However, from God’s perspective, justice looks very different.

When someone does something we deem “wrong,” something that harmed another person, we refer to that act as sin. We have been taught that sin deserves punishment and we call that justice. However, this course teaches that what we call sin, God calls a mistake and so the correct response is correction rather than punishment. Justice is taking the time to understand why this person did what they did and help them learn a better way to respond and interact with people. Justice is holding them accountable through love, understanding, correction, rehabilitation and forgiveness. “Is this a sin or a mistake, forgivable or not? Does he need help or condemnation? Is it your purpose that he be saved or damned? God is wholly fair to everyone. Vengeance is alien to Gods Mind because he knows of justice. To be just is to be fair, and not be vengeful. Fairness and vengeance are impossible, for each one contradicts the other and denies that it is real. It is extremely hard for those who still believe sin is meaningful to understand the Holy Spirits justice. And, they perceive the threat of what God knows as justice to be more destructive to themselves and to their world than vengeance, which they understand and love.”

We learned last week that we like to make ourselves “special” better than others by looking down and punishing those who do not meet our standards of what is right or wrong. All of us are capable of doing evil and harm to others, when put in circumstances that bring this out in us. This course teaches that we are all one, the one who harmed you is your brother and one of God’s creations. To take vengeance on them, to want to punish them, is to want to do these things to yourself. To want to take from them for what they took from you is not justice. “How can the special really understand that justice is the same for everyone? To take from one to give another must be an injustice to them both, since they are equal in the Holy Spirits sight. Their Father gave the same inheritance to both. Who would have more or less is not aware that he has everything. For love and justice are not different. Because they are the same does mercy stand at Gods right Hand and gives the Son of God the power to forgive himself of sin. Without love is justice prejudiced and weak. And love without justice is impossible. In justice, then, does love correct mistakes, but not in vengeance. For that would be unjust to the innocence.”

Everything is based on perception. Everything that happens is neutral until you decide what value, beliefs, thoughts and feelings you want to attach to it. What you perceive as an evil act done to you will appear very differently by the one who committed the act. “Perception is a choice of what you want yourself to be; the world you want to live in, and the state in which you think your mind will be content and satisfied. The Holy Spirit has the power to change the whole foundation of the world you see to something else. And when he chooses to avail himself of what is given him, then will he see each situation that he thought before was means to justify his anger turned to an event which justifies his love. He will hear plainly that the calls to war he heard before are really calls to peace. He will perceive that where he gave attack is but another alter where he can, with equal ease and far more happiness, bestow forgiveness.”

This understanding of justice from heavens perspective is very different from what I have been taught and practice. It seems impossible that we could ever get to the place in our world where we could apply this type of justice on a national or global scale. However, I do believe we could begin to incorporate it into our individual lives in how we treat those who we deem have harmed us in some way. And when enough of us can consistently do this, God’s justice will begin to permeate through our society.

A Course in Miracles Chapter 24: The Goal of Specialness

The title for chapter 24 is The Goal of Specialness. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: Specialness as a Substitute for Love, The Treachery of Specialness, The Forgiveness of Specialness, Specialness versus Sinlessness, The Christ in You, Salvation from Fear, and The Meeting Place.

This chapter defines specialness as thinking you are better than someone else. We see this in sports, music, academics, business, where we compete against each other to stand out above everyone else. We see this in religion where we view our religion as being superior to others and then make the leap that this means we must be superior to those people who believe something else. We do this through socioeconomic status, because we live in a certain neighborhood, make more money or drive a newer car, we are better than others. We build ourselves up by putting others down. Our self- esteem is based on being special or better than others. “Specialness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive. Against the littleness you see in him you stand as tall and stately, clean and honest, pure and unsullied, by comparison with what you see. Nor do you understand it is yourself that you diminish thus. Specialness is a lack of trust in anyone except yourself. Faith is invested in yourself alone. Everything else becomes your enemy, feared and attacked, deadly and dangerous, hated and worthy only of destruction. He who is “worse” than you must be attacked, so that your specialness can live on his defeat.”

In ACIM it teaches that while we are all unique and different from each other, we are all equal, none more special than anyone else. God’s love is for all his children equally and so we should love everyone equally without judgment or discrimination. “Your brother is your friend because his Father created him like you. There is no difference. You would oppose this course because it teaches you, you and your brother are alike.” This is a difficult teaching to live out. When people hurt us or disagree with us, we want to attack them, see them as “lower” than us because of what they did or said. The chapter states that it is only through Jesus that we have the capability to understand that we do not have to be “special” to be loved. We are loved just for who we are, children of God. “The death of specialness is not your death, but your awakening into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you. His Love for God replaces all the fear you thought you saw within yourself. Christs hand holds all His brothers in Himself. He gives them vision for their sightless eyes, and sings to them of Heaven, that their ears may hear no more the sound of battle and of death. The sight of Christ is all there is to see. The song of Christ is all there is to hear. The hand of Christ is all there is to hold. There is no journey but to walk with Him. It is His Will you share His Love for you, and look upon yourself as lovingly as He conceived of you before the world began, and as He knows you still.”

 

A Course in Miracles Chapter 23: The War Against Yourself

The title for chapter 23 is The War Against Yourself. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Irreconcilable Beliefs, The Laws of Chaos, Salvation without Compromise and Above the Battleground.

Throughout our day we can find ourselves at war against ourselves. We have expectations of who we want to be, what we want to do and find ourselves doing the opposite. We focus on our shortcomings, sins and failures, mentally beating ourselves up. We have expectations of others that go unmet, causing conflict between us. We spend our time attacking ourselves and attacking others, living a life of conflict rather than peace. “War is the condition in which fear is born and grows and seeks to dominate. Peace is the state where love abides, and seeks to share itself. Conflict and peace are opposites. Where one abides the other cannot be; where either goes the other disappears.”

This chapter talks about the 4 laws of chaos we can sometimes find ourselves living by and how they can bring about the conflict and war within us. The first one is “the truth is different for everyone.” We believe that what we perceive as truth is The Truth and anyone who does not believe our truth becomes our enemy. This can be religious beliefs, political beliefs, child rearing beliefs, money beliefs; all kinds of different things. We justify our beliefs by attacking everyone else’s beliefs. If someone does not agree with us we become defensive, attempting to convince them that we are right and they are wrong. Increasing the conflict we feel within us and with the other person, creating separation between us.

The second is “each one must sin, and therefore deserves attack and death.”  We look at errors and mistakes as sin and therefore, the person who committed them deserves some kind of punishment rather than correction. You see this in the workplace, in parenting, in our penal system and even in how we view our relationship with God. We believe if we can instill fear in people it will stop them from doing something we perceive as wrong or bad. We use fear rather than love as a motivator. It puts fear in people that if they can’t do something right, they will be punished, therefore, many people do not even try to do something they have never done before. Once again it causes separation between us and other people.

The third is “Chaos is eternal.” This refers to the belief that everything we do on earth has eternal consequences. The punishment will continue when we die and cross over to the other side because God is a fearful, vengeful God of justice and hell is real. Now it becomes impossible for people to turn to God in their time of need for now “He has become the enemy who caused it, to whom appeal is useless.” This idea of eternal punishment is another belief man created to control others through fear. A God of love is incapable of inflicting eternal punishment on his own dearly beloved creation. If he did, he would be inflicting it on himself as we are all eternally one.

The fourth is “the belief you have what you have taken.” This comes from the idea that we are all separate from each other, therefore, we have enemies we must compete and fight against to get anything in life. Enemies are not going to freely share what they have with you, you must take them out to get what you want.

Fortunately, this chapter has the cure for how to live your life outside of these laws based on illusions of chaos, attack and war against yourself and others. It is to take a higher perspective. To allow yourself to step back from your everyday life and look at what is going on from a heavenly, eternal perspective. “When the temptation to attack rises to make your mind darkened and murderous, remember you can see the battle from above. There is a stab of pain, a twinge of guilt, and above all, a loss of peace. When they occur be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it. From there will your perspective be quite different. And the perspective coming from this choice shows you the battle is not real, and easily escaped. And God Himself and the lights of Heaven will gently lean in to you, and hold you up.”

When you find yourself at war with yourself or those around you, get in the presence of God so you can have God’s perspective on what is happening. You will then receive the peace of God.

A Course in Miracles Chapter 22: Salvation and the Holy Relationship

The title for chapter 22 is Salvation and the Holy Relationship. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Message of the Holy Relationship, Your Brothers Sinlessness, Reason and the Forms of Error, The Branching of the Road, Weakness and Defensiveness, and The Light of the Holy Relationship.

This chapter revisits relationships. “For an unholy relationship is based on differences, where each one thinks the other has what he has not. They come together, each to complete himself and rob the other.” So many people are raised to believe that there is something wrong with them, that they’re not worthy of love. They feel the emptiness inside and look to people rather than God to fill this. The relationship becomes about what I can take from the other to feel better about me or making bargains with each other, I will do this for you if you will do that for me. It is these kinds of unspoken obligations that can destroy relationships. “A holy relationship starts from a different premise. Each one has looked within and seen no lack. Accepting his completion, he would extend it by joining with another, whole as himself. Therefore, he looks on nothing he would take.” It is very difficult for us to understand that in God we are complete and we do not need other people to complete us. The illusion we live with is that there is something wrong with us and this is often confirmed by those around us in their words and behaviors toward us. However, from God’s eternal perspective, the truth is that we are perfect. He accepts us just as we are. Therefore, a relationship is not based on obligations but on the fact that you happen to enjoy being with one another, respect and appreciate each other.

The chapter talks about how we continue to go back and forth between living for ego/hell/illusions and living for Spirit/heaven/Truth and how we live in the illusion that it is possible to do this. Reason would state that either you are living for ego or you are living for spirit but you cannot live for both at the same time. This reminds me of the words of Jesus that we are to be hot or cold, not lukewarm. “Either you give each other life or death, either you are each other’s savior or judge, offering him sanctuary or condemnation. For it is wholly true or wholly false, and cannot be but partially believed. Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you even pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery.  There is no part of Heaven you can take and weave into illusions. Nor is there one illusion you can enter Heaven with.” When we choose the holy relationship with God and others, we have made our decision to be led by Spirit, to allow ourselves to discern that the beliefs we have called truth are really illusions. The illusion is that we humans believe we can understand who God is by applying human characteristics to God. We make God into our own image. Meanwhile, God is trying to show us who he/she really is but because this does not line up with our preconceived beliefs, we deny this Truth.  God tells us we are all one and connected to him and we see ourselves as separate from each other and from God. God tells us we are wonderful, perfect, magnificent creations and we tell ourselves we are sinners, unworthy, victims of life. God tells us we are love and we believe we are fearful. “How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true.  For reason sees through errors, telling you what you thought was real is not. Only illusions need defense because of weakness. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify what goes against the truth, flies in the face of reason and makes no sense.” I found this interesting because in Christianity we have created apologetics which teaches us how to defend our faith against those who oppose it. If what God is saying is true, that Truth needs no defense, then either we do not have the truth since we feel such a strong need to defend it, or we do have the truth and need to quit trying to defend it.

“To all who share the Love of God the grace is given to be the givers of what they have received. Those who would let illusions be lifted from their mind are the worlds saviors, walking the world with their Redeemer, and carrying His message of hope and freedom and release from suffering to everyone who needs a miracle to save him.”

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.”

A Course in Miracles Chapter 20: The Vision of Holiness

The title for chapter 20 is The Vision of Holiness. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: Holy Week, The Gift of Lilies, Sin as an Adjustment, Entering the Ark, Heralds of Eternity, The Temple of the Holy Spirit, The Consistency of Means and End, and The Vision of Sinlessness.

The chapter talks about how we can choose what we want to set our vision on. We can focus on the ego and the fearful illusions it creates in and around us or we can focus our vision on the spirit, the truth it reveals and the love it creates. We are taught in our society to see separation between ourselves and others, which the course refers to as our “brother.” The course teaches that the best way to know yourself is through your brother because we are all interconnected.

  • If I want someone to show me kindness, I need to show kindness to them.
  • I cannot love others until I first love myself so I have love to give others.
  • If I judge others, I am judging myself because they are an extension of me.
  • I set myself free by forgiving and setting others free

The chapter talks about the honesty of love. We say we love others, spouses, friends, God. And yet we hold back and are not completely honest in our relationships with them. We fear being vulnerable in that they could use this against us. We allow our fears of how they could hurt us build walls of protection between us. Therefore, we create unholy relationships. “Love wishes to be known, completely understood and shared. It has no secrets; nothing that it would keep apart and hide. It walks in sunlight, open eyed and calm, in smiling welcome and in sincerity so simple and so obvious it cannot be misunderstood.” We learn how to do this through our relationship with God and are then able to transfer this to our relationships with others. “The meaning of the Son of God lies solely in his relationship with his Creator. And this is wholly loving and forever. One of union and unbroken continuity.” This is one of the reasons this course stresses so much that God is love, not fear. If you fear God as some of us were taught to do, you will never be able to be honest and open with God.

The chapter continues with the theme of illusions created by our fears and how proper vision from the Holy Spirit will help us see through the illusions to the truth within.  Do you like what you have made? A world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear. You made this up. It is a picture of what you think you are; of how you see yourself. Have you not wondered what the world is really like; how it would look through happy eyes?” There is incredible power in the unity of mind to create strife or create peace on earth. The choice is up to us. We can believe the illusions of the ego and manifest a fearful world or we can believe the truth of the Holy Spirit and manifest a loving world.

“Each herald of eternity sings of the end of sin and fear. Each speaks in time of what is far beyond it. Two voices raised together call to the hearts of everyone, to let them beat as one. And in that single heartbeat is the unity of love proclaimed and given welcome. Peace to your holy relationship, which has the power to hold the unity of the Son of God together.”