A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 22: Salvation and the Holy Relationship

Section II: Your Brother’s Sinlessness

Read ACIM Chapter 22, Section II (pages 471-74)

What is the opposite of illusions to the ego?

The Course tells us in this section that, to the ego, the opposite of illusions is ‘disillusionment.’ The dictionary describes disillusionment as “The condition or fact of being disenchanted.” When we are ‘enchanted’ with something, we are attracted to it or desire it. To be disenchanted, we are no longer attracted to it or are ‘disillusioned.’ The attraction disappears and is gone. The ego responds to this ‘disillusionment’ by shifting to another illusion because the ego does not even recognize that only Love is real.

What is the opposite of illusions to the Holy Spirit?

To the Holy Spirit, the opposite of illusions is the truth. Jesus tells us, “In truth, they [illusions and disillusionment] are the same. Both bring the same amount of misery, though each one seems to be the way to lose the misery the other brings. Every illusion carries pain and suffering in the dark folds of the heavy garments in which it hides its nothingness. Yet by these dark and heavy garments are those who seek illusions covered, and hidden from the joy of truth.” (1:3-6) The Holy Spirit knows that illusions of separate bodies and separate things are nothing and will never satisfy us and will only bring us pain.

How does Jesus explain the difference between true happiness and what is really fear?

In answer to this Jesus tells us, “Joy is eternal. You can be sure indeed that any seeming happiness that does not last is really fear. Joy does not turn to sorrow, for the eternal cannot change. But sorrow can be turned to joy, for time gives way to the eternal.” (3:4-7)

In this world everything is in a state of constant change and flux. Nothing stays the same. Nothing here is eternal and therefore ‘is really fear.’ This means that true happiness is not found in a world of separation where concepts of time and space are given meaning. The good news is that we have the choice to let go of our hold on fearful concepts and give welcome to the truth, which resides in our minds eternally through the Holy Spirit. “Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it and go the other way.” (4:1) We go the other way by allowing the Holy Spirit to bring us Christ’s vision.

What does Jesus say about trying to hold onto both truth and illusions at the same time?

He tells us it is impossible to hold onto illusions and remember the truth because the truth will show us that illusions are nothing. When we try to maintain that even one illusion is real, we are denying Reality. “One illusion cherished and defended against the truth makes all truth meaningless, and all illusions real. Such is the power of belief. It cannot compromise. And faith in innocence is faith in sin, if the belief excludes one living thing and holds it out, apart from its forgiveness.” (4:4-7)

What is the one decision we must make?

We must choose to accept our true Self and let go of identifying with the illusory image of an independent ‘self’ that is a separate body, living in a world of time and space. Jesus tells us, “There is no point in trying to avoid this one decision. It must be made. Faith and belief can fall to either side, but reason tells you misery lies only one one side and joy upon the other.” (6:8-10)

Because our true Self includes everyone, the way to make this one decision is to accept the truth about every brother, with no exceptions. Accepting the reality of every brother is accepting our true reality. “Forsake not now your brother. For you who are the same will not decide alone nor differently. Either you give each other life or death; either you are each other’s savior or his judge, offering him sanctuary or condemnation. This course will be believed entirely or not at all.” (7:1-4)

What is at the core of our belief that we could be at the mercy of anything in this world?

At the core of our belief that we can be at the mercy of anything outside us is the belief that ideas can leave the mind that thinks them. Jesus tells us, “Let us look closer at the whole illusion that what you made has power to enslave its maker. This is the same belief that caused the separation. It is the meaningless idea that thoughts can leave the thinker’s mind, be different from it and in opposition to it. If this were true, thoughts would not be the mind’s extensions, but its enemies.” (9:1-4 italics added)

Belief in the idea that thoughts could leave the mind that thinks them stems from the belief that we could separate from the Mind of God and be different from God. Jesus tells us, “Only if it were possible the Son of God could leave his Father’s Mind, make himself different and oppose His Will, would it be possible that the self he made, and all it made, should be his master.” (9:6) Because we are eternally Thought in the Mind of God, we cannot leave God. The truth is we are still Love, just like God and being Love, we cannot leave Love. We cannot leave What we Are because we cannot change What we Are. Isn’t this good news? We are still safe as we were created in the Mind of God and it is only the world of separation that is impossible.

What does this mean to us who think that we are still in this world of separate bodies?

The fact that illusions have not replaced the truth that we are still Love in the Mind of Love can now hold great meaning for us. We can be comforted instead of fearful. Jesus tells us how to do this: “Behold the great projection, but look on it with the decision that it must be healed, and not with fear. Nothing you made has any power over you unless you still would be apart from your Creator, and with a will opposed to His. For only if you would believe His Son could be His enemy does it seem possible that what you made is [your enemy].” (10:1-3) Our dream is not our enemy. It is really nothing but a dream. We may dream of being harmed, but it is not true. It is merely a dream of trying to be something different from the Universal Love that we were created to be. We can let go of the dream and realize it could never be real.

As we let go of the false idea that ideas can leave their source, we now see that everything we experience is coming from our own mind and has not left our mind. As we allow our insane thoughts of separation to be healed by the Holy Spirit, we are brought to the awareness that none of our illusions have replaced God. Separate bodies with separate minds could never really happen. Beyond every illusion of separation, there is only Love. So this means that our only real relationship is with Love. “Heaven is the home of perfect purity, and God created It for you. Look on your holy brother, sinless as yourself, and let him lead you [to Heaven].” (13:6-7) As we allow the great projection to be healed, we find that we are still in Heaven, and have never left.

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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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