A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 12: The Holy Spirit’s Curriculum

Section VII: Looking Within

Read ACIM Chapter 12, Section VII (pages 229-233)

What are the only two options we have for seeing?

In this section Jesus is helping us understand that there are only two ways of seeing — through the ego’s eyes or the Holy Spirit’s eyes. We are always choosing between these two perceptions, whether we realize it or not. And the guide we choose determines what we see. He tells us, “I said before that what you project or extend is up to you, but you must do one or the other, for that is a law of mind, and you must look in before you look out. As you look in, you choose the guide for seeing. And then you look out and behold his witnesses. This is why you find what you seek.” (7:1-4) Note: Jesus expands on this decision making process in Chapter 30, Section I. Rules for Decision.

Our true Self remains united with God as It was created. Our one true Self knows our oneness with all and sees no separation. No matter what dreams we may dream, our Self does not change. As long as we believe in the ego’s thought system of separation, we are trying to hold two ways of looking at the world in our mind. When we identify with our Self, we see only unity. When we identify with the ego, we see only separation.

Why is our decision in what we want to see so important?

When we have it clear in our minds that the world we see through the body’s eyes is coming from our own decision of what we want to see, we will stop blaming the world for what we experience. When we choose the ego, we are choosing to see differences, individuality and unique bodies. Guilt always comes with this decision to see separation. We hate the guilt that comes with wanting specialness. That is why we try to dissociate or project what we have chosen so that it looks like it is not coming from our mind. In this way we think we have hurled the guilt away from of us onto an outside world. That is why we are attracted to see guilt in others. That is why we write scripts of being mistreated — being a victim of others who are the guilty ones. “If you are afraid, it is because you saw something that is not there.” (10:4)

Jesus is helping us understand very clearly that when we don’t like what we see in the ‘outer’ world, it is just a reflection of the dissociation that is happening in our minds. He is helping us understand that the outer world is just a projection of what we are trying to dissociate from in our mind to make it seem like it is outside us. (Review paragraph 7 on page 231.)

What happens to our sight as we practice seeing with the Holy Spirit?

The good news is when we want to see as the Holy Spirit sees, we receive miracles. A miracle as defined in the Course is a change in perception given to us by the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we will see only wholeness or holiness. We see only innocence because wholeness and innocence are in our minds and we extend oneness rather than project separation. As we accept the Holy Spirit’s correction of our perception in more and more situations, we learn that there is no order of difficulty in miracles because the Holy Spirit is there to help us in every situation we think we are encountering. “There is no situation to which miracles do not apply, and by applying them to all situations you will gain the real world. For in this holy perception you will be made whole, and the Atonement will radiate from your acceptance of it for yourself to everyone the Holy Spirit sends you for your blessing.” (1:4-5)

When we accept the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we see through the eyes of the Holy Spirit as Jesus did. Jesus is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit because he completely renounced the ego and followed only the Holy Spirit’s guidance. “I am the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and when you see me it will be because you have invited Him. For he will send you His witnesses if you will but look upon them.” (6:1-2) The Holy Spirit only witnesses to the truth. The Holy Spirit knows that only Love is real and anything else is an illusion. “When you want only love you will see nothing else. The contradictory nature of the witnesses you perceive is merely the reflection of your conflicting invitations.” (8:1-2)

Why is it our job to do the Holy Spirit’s work?

Jesus tells us many times throughout the Course that we share the Holy Spirit’s function. “Do the Holy Spirit’s work, for you share in His function. As your function in Heaven is creation, so your function on earth is healing.” (4:6-7) We share the Holy Spirit’s function when we choose the Holy Spirit to be our Guide in seeing rather than the ego. When the Holy Spirit is our Guide, He shows us the real world that is beyond this world. He shows us the Love that is behind every illusion. “If you make love manifest, its messengers will come to you because you invited them.” (8:6) When we invite Love’s messengers, we will be shown only the Love that lies behind illusions of separation.

Why does Jesus say it is impossible to give anything but Love to anyone?

Jesus reminds us that it is always our decision. We can remember that only Love is real. We can become aware of the Holy Spirit’s witnesses, which speak for the presence of Love behind every false image of separate bodies. We will experience the truth in the statement, “You cannot really give anything but love to anyone or anything, nor can you really receive anything but love from them.” (9:4) What we seek for we will find. “When you have accepted your mission to extend peace you will find peace, for by making it manifest you will see it. Its holy witnesses will surround you because you called upon them, and they will come to you.” (11:1-2)

Why does Jesus say that what we think we are is what we think we see?

What we think we are is what we will think we see. If we think we are the ego, we will see the ego in the form of separate bodies and think it real. If we believe we are separate and capable of harming, we will see a world capable of harm. “Everything you behold without is a judgment of what you beheld within.” (12:4) Jesus reminds us that this image of ourselves is not true and consequently what we see in the world is not true. When we let the Holy Spirit guide our seeing, He will judge truly on our behalf, for that is His function. Our job is to reserve no judgment for ourselves alone, but let the Holy Spirit judge for us.

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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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