A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 13: The Guiltless World

Section V: The Two Emotions

Read ACIM Chapter 13, Section V (pages 247-250)

How does Jesus describe the two emotions of Love and fear?

The first paragraph gives us a good description of the emotion of Love. Jesus tells us Love is changeless, and is continually exchanged. In this sense Love is always active, never stopping Its extension to Itself. “In this exchange [Love] is extended, for [Love] increases as [Love] is given.” (1:3) A key here is that Love is continuously being exchanged — being shared with all of Itself. Sharing Itself with all of Itself is how It knows Itself.

Jesus describes fear as individual illusions that make up a private world that cannot be shared. We do not realize that we make up these illusions ourselves. The figures in our world are projections of our individual past. We do not see our brothers as they are now. “For they see only those who remind them of these images [from the past], and it is to them that they relate.” (3:2) These projections from the past make it impossible for us to see the loving reality of our brother, which is also our own reality. These projections are really an attack on ourselves because they come from our own mind and keep us from recognizing the truth in ourselves. “And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. It’s only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.” (3:7-8)

So we are seeing that our illusionary private worlds are filled with fear and condemnation. In this delusion, the condemnation that is in our minds appears to be in an outside world. Fear, guilt and condemnation are tied together. We learned before that when we identify with the ego, we are afraid of Love. Thus we think we are searching for Love, but at the same time we are trying to avoid it.

What do we need to learn in order to let go of insanity?

We will not let go of insanity until we learn to take a very close look at it and see it for what it is. As we look at the many forms of fear, it will help us learn what insanity is so that we can learn to look beyond it. “It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself.” (7:7-8)

Guilt is central to the ego thought system. Condemnation is the means for maintaining guilt. We perceive condemnation as the means for defending our individual identity. Along with condemnation comes fear because we fear the punishment that condemnation demands. So our belief in the value of condemnation is really an attraction to fear and our world is filled with images of fear. This fear blocks our awareness of the Love in our brothers that is forever being offered us.

As we open to the vision of the Holy Spirit, we recognize the insanity of the world we see through the body’s eyes. We see that separate figures could not be real in the oneness of Love. “You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace.” (7:6-7) We realize that the only ‘sound’ we could really hear is the song of Heaven. We realize that we really want the joyous oneness of Love and a private world offers us nothing. We hear God’s call of Love because we cease desiring to keep a private world we can call our own.

How do we open our eyes to the Light of Love?

In paragraph 8 Jesus uses the metaphor of sleep we experience with the body to illustrate how we could perceive a world we made that seems real but is only a dream. We “sleep” by denying vision — denying the awareness of our oneness with Love. Denying what is, we then have to make up a replacement, which is the dream of a private world in which we rule our own perception. For this to seem to be real, we must exclude the Light of Love. We must exclude God. We open our eyes to the Light of Love through forgiveness. (See Workbook lesson 75.)

Vision cannot come through the body’s eyes because the body is part of the dream we made that denies vision. But despite this denial, the vision of Christ is still within our minds. Christ’s vision sees the Love in all our brothers. It sees the real world forgiveness offers us and disregards all the images we have made. This vision is already ours. We need only be willing to let go of the past and our images of a private world and we will experience the clarity of Christ’s vision.

In paragraph 11 Light is equated with the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit is the Light in which Christ stands revealed. And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for Light.” (11:1-2) We ask for Light when we are willing to become aware of the truth. Our dreams of separation are not the truth and are only perceived in the darkness of the denial of the truth. With the Light we see ourselves as the Holy Spirit sees us and we experience the beauty of Love Which is everywhere.

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