To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read ACIM Chapter 19, Section I (pages 398-402)
In this first section of Chapter 19 Jesus again returns to the idea of faithlessness and how it affects our minds and our relationships. Here he describes faithlessness as “the perception of a brother as a body, and the body cannot be used for purposes of union.” (4:2) Previously, in Chapter 17, Section VII. he said: “A situation is a relationship, being the joining of thoughts. If problems are perceived, it is because the thoughts are judged to be in conflict. But if the goal is truth, this is impossible. Some idea of bodies must have entered, for minds cannot attack. 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.” (T-17.VII.3:1-6)
Jesus is being very helpful to us here when he emphasizes again that in order to heal, we need to let go of the error of perceiving our brother as a body. When we believe in the reality of bodies, the truth of union is lost to us. We cannot believe in separation and union at the same time. We cannot heal when we are not remembering the truth of our unity in the one Mind of Love.
Jesus knows that we have imprisoned our minds by the insanity of the ego so he very specifically tells us how to move past faithlessness (or focus on bodies) to healing (focus on the truth): “Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. And he is healed because you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him.” (2:1-2) So, instead of continuing to see our brother as a body, we hand over this false perception of separate bodies to the Holy Spirit because we want to choose the truth of oneness instead of separation.
This process of ‘giving him to the Holy Spirit’ comes most easily when we have built the habit of remembering that we do not know what anything means. (This habit comes naturally with repeated practice of the first 50 lessons in the Workbook.) As we really ‘get it’ that our meaningless thoughts of separation are showing us a meaningless world of separate bodies, we are more open to the healed perception of union that the Holy Spirit brings to our minds. “Thus do you see him [every brother] free [of the limitation of the body], and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share. And since He shares it He has given it, and so He heals through you. It is this joining Him in a united purpose that makes this purpose real, because you make it whole. And this is healing. The body is healed because you came without [the body], and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.” (2:3-7)
We are being invited to join the Holy Spirit in the Universal Purpose of seeing past the ‘instrument of illusion’ — the body — by putting all of our faith in the truth of our one, united Mind. We accept this invitation to remember the truth of one Mind as we are willing to apply giving faith to the truth as we perceive every brother. “And everyone must be involved in [your faith], or else your faith is limited and your dedication incomplete.” (1:5)
Because seeing everyone as the same extension of God’s Love is so important to freeing ourselves from the insanity of the ego, let’s practice this joining with the Holy Spirit’s Universal Purpose now. Take one person who you usually think of as a separate person and hand over this perception to the Holy Spirit… Mentally imagine yourself handing over this perception… Now let the Holy Spirit replace this with true perception… Let the Holy Spirit bring in the awareness of the eternal truth that this person’s reality is still only God’s Love… Feel the peace that comes with thinking about your brother as united with you eternally in the one Mind of Love…
Jesus describes how this works: “By faith, you offer the gift of freedom from the past, which you received. You do not use anything your brother has done before to condemn him now. You freely choose to overlook his errors, looking past all barriers between yourself and him, and seeing [yourself and him] as one. And in that one you see your faith is fully justified.” (9:3-6) Here is how we truly find peace at last. Here is how we free our brother and ourselves. “You see the Christ in him, and he is healed because you look on what makes faith forever justified in everyone.” (10:6) As we open our minds to see the Christ in him, we also see that we are united in the one Mind of which we all are part.
In paragraph 11 we see that there are only two ways of seeing — through the eyes of faith or through the body’s eyes. The eyes of faith sees only the eternal now and do not confuse our brother with what the dream of separation would show us. In paragraph 12 Jesus calls seeing every brother through the eyes of faith a holy relationship. He says, “Yet faith unites you in the holiness you see, not through the body’s eyes, but in the sight of Him Who joined you, and in Whom you are united.” (12:7) As we learn to look with the Holy Spirit, we see beyond the body to the eternal Love every brother truly is. In our dedication to remembering only the eternal, we bring healing to every brother and ourselves.
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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
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The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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