A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 21: Reason and Perception

Section III: Faith, Belief and Vision

Read ACIM Chapter 21, Section III (pages 451-54)

Why must the Holy Spirit change the purpose of our relationships to make them useful to him and harmless to us?

When we see our brother as unique and separate from God’s undivided Love, we are choosing to experience individuality instead of Heaven’s oneness. We are trying to change God’s Reality to suit our desire to experience something different.

With this desire to see differences comes belief in sin and guilt. We believe we sinned for trying to change Love’s oneness and hate the feeling of guilt that comes with our belief in sin. And so we joined with the ego thought system, which dreamed up a world that had separate bodies with separate minds. In this dream-world scheme, we project the sin and guilt onto the ‘foreign’ bodies we now think of as separate from our mind.

Jesus explains what is really going on in these mental games when he tells us, “All special relationships have sin as their goal. For they are bargains with reality, toward which the seeming union is adjusted.” (1:1-2) Jesus is helping us see that we are trying to change God when we dream of looking through the bodies eyes and believe in the ‘differences’ we see. He is helping us see the futility of this dream of projecting guilt onto unique bodies that we now think are separate from us. He guides us to open to the Holy Spirit, Who will reverse the purpose that we have given our ‘relationships’ in the dream.

With the Holy Spirit as our Guide, the purpose for every relationship we have in the dream is changed from one of seeing differences and individuality to the purpose of returning to the recognition of our union. Instead of projecting sin and guilt, we now see innocence and wholeness. Jesus tells us, “If you accept this change, you have accepted the idea of making room for truth. The source of sin is gone. You may imagine that you still experience its effects, but it is not your purpose and you no longer want it.” (2:1-3) With the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we receive the thought reversal that the Holy Spirit offers. We no longer want to see guilt outside us. We are open to seeing everyone’s innate holiness.

Why is it so important to place our faith in Love?

Love is all there is in Reality. Anything ‘else’ is an illusion, a dream made up that is a ‘bargain with reality.’ Waking up to Reality is a process of placing our faith in Love instead of placing our faith in the dreams of separate ‘lives’ in separate bodies that are isolated and alone. Jesus tells us, “The power of faith is never recognized if it is placed in sin. But [the power of faith] is always recognized if [faith] is placed in love.” (2:6-7) What we place our faith in is what we will experience. In the dream world of the ego, this power is never recognized in order to keep the charade of the ego dream of projecting guilt going.

Jesus wants to help us understand the power of faith and how important it is to place our faith in Love instead of sin. He tells us, “For faith can keep the Son of God in chains as long as he believes he is in chains. And when he is released from them it will be simply because he no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold him, and placing [faith] in his freedom instead. It is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions. What faith you give to sin you take away from holiness. and what you offer holiness has been removed from sin.” (3:3-7) The dream of being a separate body can no longer hold us to the pain and suffering this dream of sin brings as we are willing to place our faith in Love, Which means placing our faith in Reality instead of dreams.

How is the goal of holiness reached?

Jesus is very direct in his answer to this question. He tells us, “Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of holiness is reached. Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world, and away from all illusions where your faith was laid. This is His direction; the only one He ever sees. And when you wander, he reminds you there is but one. His faith and His belief and vision are all for you.” (4:1-5) We have placed our faith in our dream of separation. Because of our faith in it, it has become real to us. We became lost in our dreams and forgot that they are not reality. We are led to wake up from this insane dream as we accept Holy Spirit’s faith and belief and vision instead of our own. We can know that we are doing this as we begin to see holiness instead of sin.

Why do we feel powerless when we place our faith in illusions?

Jesus tells us, “Faith given to illusions does not lack power, for by it does the Son of God believe that he is powerless. Thus is he faithless to himself, but strong in faith in his illusions about himself. For faith, perception and belief you made, as means for losing certainty and finding sin. This mad direction was your choice, and by your faith in what you chose, you made what you desired.” (5:3-6) Here we are seeing that faith in illusions is the same as faith in being powerless. Belief in being separate from Love is the same as belief in being separate from our Source, which is where all real power lies. It is no wonder that we feel powerless when we place our faith in a world that is separate from God, where all power lies.

How does the Holy Spirit use all that we have made for a different purpose?

The Holy Spirit does not try to take away all that we have made in order to see guilt outside us. He uses our projections (perception) in a new way. Jesus tells us, “You made perception that you might choose among your brothers, and seek for sin with them. The Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the vision of a holy relationship is all you want to see. Then will you give your faith to holiness, desiring and believing in it because of your desire.” (6:5-7)

Why do we have no fear when we place our faith in Holy Spirit’s vision?

Jesus answers this when he tells us, “Those who would free their brothers from the body can have no fear. They have renounced the means for sin by choosing to let all limitations be removed. As they desire to look upon their brothers in holiness, the power of their belief and faith sees far beyond the body, supporting vision, not obstructing it. (8:1-3) When we choose to see with Holy Spirit’s vision, we see that where we once saw frightening dreams of separation, only Love is there. We feel safe as we release ourselves from belief in harm. Nothing but Love could ever be real. We remember we are surrounded by Love and are Love. How could there be fear in remembering this? When we want to let go of fear, we will make this choice.

How does the body serve the Holy Spirit’s goal?

The body was originally made to make separation appear to be real, but now it can serve the Holy Spirit’s purpose. Jesus tells us how this can happen: “The body was made to be a sacrifice to sin, and in the darkness so [the body] still is seen. Yet in the light of vision [the body] is looked upon quite differently. You can have faith in [the body] to serve the holy Spirit’s goal, and give it power to serve as means to help the blind to see. But in their seeing they look past [the body], as do you. The faith and the belief you gave [the body] belongs beyond. You gave perception and belief and faith from mind to body. Let [belief and faith] now be given back to what produced them, and can use them still to save itself from what it made.” (12:1-7 italics added) We have placed our faith in the body and now we are learning to see beyond the body to the truth. We now use the body as a tool to help the Sonship awaken to the 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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