A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 22: Salvation and the Holy Relationship


Read ACIM Chapter 22, Introduction (pages 467-68)

What is the difference between a holy and an unholy relationship?

In an unholy (unwhole) relationship, wholeness is not seen and separation is valued. In an unholy relationship, the ‘other’ is seen as different from ourselves. The appearance of separation is maintained through unholy relationships. The body of the ‘other’ is what is focused on, and what the body says and does. The purpose of an unholy relationship is to see ‘sin’ or guilt in the ‘other’ in an attempt to project the guilt that still resides in our own minds. Unholy relationships are full of conflict and pain and do not bring us the experience of unchanging happiness and joy.

Holy relationships, on the other hand, look past differences to the one Spirit that is the truth about everyone. No one is excluded in the holy relationship, because everyone’s wholeness is recognized and loved. The purpose of holy relationships is to see unity, oneness, holiness and innocence in every brother.

What undoes the painful effects of unholy relationships?

Jesus tells us, “Sin is a strictly individual perception, seen in the other yet believed by each to be within himself. And each one seems to make a different error, and one the other cannot understand. Brother, it is the same, made by the same, and forgiven for its maker in the same way. The holiness of your relationship forgives you and your brother, undoing the effects of what you both believed and saw. And with their going is the need for sin gone with them.” (1:4-8)

At the beginning of Chapter 21 we are told, “Projection makes perception.” (T-21.Intro.1:1) Here again in the Introduction of Chapter 22, Jesus is referring to projection when he tells us the errors we see in our brothers is simply an outward picturing of that is coming from our own mind. As we forgive, or let go of the guilt (unholiness), what we see will reflect our change of mind. Holiness, which is what is eternally real, is seen again because we have let go of unholiness, or what is not real.

What is the premise or foundation of all holy relationships?

Just as the appearance of separation is maintained by seeing guilt and differences in the unholy relationship, the appearance of oneness is maintained by seeing holiness and sameness in the holy relationship. Jesus tells us, “[In the holy relationship] Each one has looked within and seen no lack. Accepting his completion, he would extend it by joining with another, whole as himself. He sees no difference between these selves, for differences are only of the body.” (3:2-3) If we each see wholeness in ourselves and our brother, we are not needy. We need nothing from our brother. We only want to extend Love in a joyful joining with the truth of our Father in every brother.

What are we taught through a holy relationship?

Jesus tells us, “Here is belief in differences undone. Here is the faith in differences shifted to sameness. And here is sight of differences transformed to vision. Reason now can lead you and your brother to logical conclusion of your union. [Your union] must extend, as you extended when you and he joined. [Your union] must reach out beyond itself, as you reached out beyond the body, to let you and your brother be joined. And now the sameness that you saw extends and finally removes all sense of differences, so that the sameness that lies beneath them all becomes apparent. Here is the golden circle where you recognize the Son of God. For what is born into a holy relationship can never end.” (4:2-10)

So here we see that it is through our relationships with every brother that we return to God. As we see him, we see ourselves. As we no longer wish to have separation be our goal, the oneness that lies beyond separation is now seen. It is in this way that the face of Christ becomes known to us. Where we once saw separate bodies, we now see the one Spirit of Love that is eternal and changeless.

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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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