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Chapter 17: Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship

Section VII: The Call for Faith

Read ACIM Chapter 17, Section VII (pages 367-70)

When we have problems in our relationships, what is it showing us?

In the last section Jesus explained to us that, “The goal of truth requires faith.” (T-17.VI.6:1) In this section he goes into detail about what happens when we do not have faith in the goal of truth regarding our relationship with every brother. When we have problems in our relationships, it is always because of our lack of faith in the goal of truth. “The problem was the lack of faith [in the truth], and it is this [lack of faith in the truth] you demonstrate when you remove [the problem] from its source [in your mind] and place it elsewhere [out in the world]. As a result, you do not see the [real] problem. Had you not lacked faith that it could be solved, the problem would be gone.” (1:3-5)

When we do not acknowledge that the real source of every problem stems from our belief in separation, we will try to change the effect — the problem we see in someone else — instead of letting go of our belief in separation, which is the true cause of every problem. Jesus wants us to see how hopeless this ego solution is when we continue to focus on changing what we see with our body’s eyes (the outer form) instead of allowing our minds to be changed about what we are seeing. Do we want to see truth or illusions? When we look out from our body’s eyes, we are always seeing the effects of our thoughts. We are always seeing what we want to see. As long as we continue to want to see separation, we will continue to see guilt, conflict and problems, because that is what the ego wants to see in order to maintain the illusion of separation.

Why are our ego ‘life’ scripts filled with problems and conflict?

Along with belief in the reality of this world comes unconscious guilt. In our goal of awakening to truth, it is very important that we realize fully that guilt is the foundation stone upon which the ego’s thought system of separation from Love is held intact. That is why our ego ‘life’ scripts in this world of separation are filled with problems and experiences of conflict. When our goal is truth, we see that everyone is still one with God. The ego, on the other hand, hates oneness and is the idea of being the opposite of God. That is why Jesus tells us so many times in the Course that the ego hates us and wants to see us dead. The ego is the idea of hating God and replacing God with the idea of a world of individual bodies. That is why Jesus tells us in this section, “The thought of bodies is the sign of faithlessness, for bodies cannot solve anything. It is their intrusion on the relationship, an error in your thoughts about the situation, which then becomes the justification for your lack of faith.” (3:5-6)

Why does Jesus always tell us that the error does not matter?

Jesus knows that we still have faith in illusions (separate bodies), but he tells us, “The error does not matter. Faithlessness brought to faith will never interfere with truth.” (3:8-9) As soon as we are willing to let the goal be set not by us but by the Holy Spirit, the goal of seeing illusions (bodies) will be replaced with the goal of seeing holiness (wholeness). “But remember this; the goal of holiness was set for your relationship, and not by you. You did not set it [the goal of truth or holiness] because holiness cannot be seen except through faith, and your relationship was not holy because your faith in your brother was so limited and little. Your faith must grow to meet the goal that has been set.” (4:2-4) So here Jesus is telling us exactly what needs to be done (our faith in truth must grow) in order for our minds to be healed.

Why is every relationship another opportunity to strengthen our faith in truth?

In paragraph five Jesus shows us how every relationship we have is another opportunity for us to strengthen our faith in truth instead of illusions. He says, “Use not your faithlessness [to the goal of truth]. Let it enter and look upon it calmly, but do not use it.” (5:3-4) We are to look at our thoughts of faithlessness and see them clearly for what they are. When we look at these thoughts of separation calmly with the Holy Spirit, we will not be tempted to continue to bind ourselves to the ego, which is the same as binding ourselves to guilt and lack of Love. When we don’t recognize the truth, it doesn’t keep the truth from being there, it merely interferes with “the value of the goal [of truth] to you.” (5:8) We will not value the truth as long as we value seeing illusions. We cannot value both at the same time. As long as we value illusions, we will not experience lasting happiness.

When we are willing to value the truth, the whole universe of truth is there to help us. “The goal’s reality will call forth and accomplish every miracle needed for its fulfillment. Nothing too small or too enormous, too weak or too compelling, but will be gently turned to its use and purpose. The universe will serve it gladly, as it serves the universe. But do not interfere.” (6:6-9) So we are seeing that every moment we have an opportunity to let the enormous power of the Holy Spirit’s goal of truth aid us every day, with every relationship we have. It is only our willingness to receive the help that is needed.

In paragraph eight Jesus brings in a ‘wake up call’ that is very important for us to understand as long as we would place blame on any brother for anything. He tells us, “Yet think on this, and learn the cause of faithlessness: You think you hold against your brother what he has done to you. But what you really blame him for is what you did to him. It is not his past but yours you hold against him. And you lack faith in him because of what you were. Yet you are as innocent of what you were as he is. What never was is causeless, and is not there to interfere with truth.” (8:1-6) Once we really get it that the guilt we are seeing in every brother is really what we unconsciously think is ours, we will see the projections in the light of truth and calmly let them go. We will move past the need to project guilt because we will remember that we are innocent, as every brother is. That is why forgiveness of guilt is our way Home. Every time we forgive, or look past illusions, instead of blame, a little unconscious guilt is melted away. We will know that all unconscious guilt has been removed when we consistently see everyone as innocent, just as we are.

Jesus knows that we can do this. He is holding our hand and guiding us all along the way. “You call for faith because of Him Who walks with you in every situation. You are no longer wholly insane, nor no longer alone. For loneliness in God must be a dream.” (10:1-3) Because we know we are no longer alone, we consciously join with the Holy Spirit’s goal of truth and extend it to every brother. We do this because we know that we and our brother are one. We truly are joined as one Light as we share the goal of truth.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles

Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:

T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.

W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.

M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.

C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6

The above numbering system of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
 

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