A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 31: The Final Vision

Section III. The Self-Accused

Read A Course in Miracles, Chapter 31, Section III. (pages 651-653)

When we condemn or judge another, what does it tell us about ourselves?

When we judge another or look down on them, we can now understand that we are simply saying that this is how we unconsciously think of ourselves. Jesus explains that we see only what is in our mind in this section: “You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own. Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe them to be yours, and therefore meriting a ‘just’ attack. Why should his sins be sins, if you did not believe they could not be forgiven in you? Why are they real in him, if you did not believe that they are your reality?” (1:5-6, 2:1-2)
Jesus has told us often in the Course that ideas leave not their source. Ideas of condemnation come from the mind of condemnation. Entertaining thoughts of judging another as unworthy or guilty means that we are joining with the false ego mind. When we join with the ego mind we think we are the ego mind. We think the ego’s thoughts are our thoughts and we believe in them. We are now learning that when we do this we are lost in dreams from our true Identity as one in God.

How does belief in separate bodies relate to belief in sin?

(It is helpful to understand that paragraph 3 is the ego’s perception and paragraph 4 explains the Holy Spirit’s correction of the ego’s false perception.) In paragraph 3, Jesus explains that, to the ego, sin is an action taken by a body, for which it is guilty. The ego thought system always equates what we are with what the body does. This helps us understand that as long as we think we are a body we will think that we are sinners because being guilty for our actions as a body is central to the ego’s whole thought system.

To keep its punishing game hidden from our awareness, the ego always focuses on the idea that we are bodies and not mind. If we knew that we were not the body but purely mind, we would not see the body as guilty and we would not punish or attack the body because we see the body as merely an effect of the thoughts we hold in our mind and not a cause.

What does the Holy Spirit want us to understand about the body and the mind?

In paragraph 4 the Holy Spirit tells us, “Yet is the body prisoner, and not the mind. The body thinks no thoughts. It has no power to learn, to pardon, nor enslave. [The body] gives no orders that the mind need serve, nor [does the body] set conditions that [the mind] must obey. [The body] holds in prison but the willing mind that would abide in it. [The body] sickens at the bidding of the mind that would become [the body’s] prisoner. And [the body] grows old and dies, because that mind is sick within itself.” (4:1-7)

Once we realize that it is our mind that is sick, we can be more open to letting our mind be healed by the Holy Spirit. “For mind can learn, and there is all change made.” (4:10)

How does the ego thought system preserve thoughts of sacrifice and guilt in our mind?

Jesus clarifies what we are believing in so that we can see how we have trapped ourselves into a ‘life’ cycle of guilt, attack, pain and suffering. He tells us, “The mind that thinks it is a sin has but one purpose; that the body be the source of sin, to keep [the mind] in the prison house (the body) it chose and guards and holds itself (mind) at bay, a sleeping prisoner to the snarling dogs of hate and evil, sickness and attack; of pain and age, of grief and suffering. Here are the thoughts of sacrifice preserved, for here guilt rules, and orders that the world be like itself; a place where nothing can find mercy, nor survive the ravages of fear except in murder and in death. For here [in the mind that thinks it is a body] are you made sin and sin cannot abide the joyous and the free, for they are enemies which sin must kill.” (5:1-3)

What happens when we open to letting the Holy Spirit heal our ego thoughts?

As we are willing to let go of the ego thought system, we free ourselves from a belief system that has brought us the experience of guilt, fear, pain and death. “Open your mind to change, and there will be no ancient penalty exacted from your brother or yourself. For God has said there is no sacrifice that can be asked; there is no sacrifice that can be made.” (7:3-4)

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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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