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 17: Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship

Section I: Bringing Fantasy to Truth

Read ACIM Chapter 17, Section I (pages 351-52)

How do we make every relationship holy?

Bringing fantasy to truth has the effect of making every relationship holy. Holy means whole. When we have the goal of truth, we bring every special relationship to the Holy Spirit to be shown the truth of wholeness, or oneness, behind every illusion of separation. With Holy Spirit we see that “... what is done in dreams has not been really done.” (1:5) We see that dreams of lives in bodies do not change reality at all. Nothing has happened to change God’s one Son, Who is still united with God.

Why is trying to change our reality from wholeness into separate pieces so painful?

When we wish to see illusions, or fantasies of special, unique, individual bodies, we will see them because of the power of our wanting. Yet we cannot distort God and stay within the realm of Reality. Because in truth, we are eternally in God and of God, we cannot really change anything because God is eternal and does not change. In this section Jesus is bringing to our awareness that trying to change our reality from wholeness into unique, separate pieces is a painful experience. Jesus tells us, “Very simply, your lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy. If you but realized what this must do to your appreciation of the whole! What you reserve for yourself, you take away from Him Who would release you. Unless you give it back, [what you have reserved for yourself alone] it is inevitable that your perspective on reality be warped and uncorrected.” (3:3-6)

As long as our perspective on reality is warped and uncorrected, we will feel lonely, deprived and afraid. We will feel depressed and lacking. We will experience this until we are willing to let our mind be changed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning-point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight.” (T-2.III.3:5-8)

Until we are willing to forgive, or let go of illusions, we will continue to try to make our illusions true. We will try to change the illusions to make them into a better dream that is more to our liking. To this Jesus tells us, “When you try to bring truth to illusions, you are trying to make illusions real, and keep them by justifying your belief in them. But to give illusions to truth is to enable truth to teach that the illusions are unreal, and thus enable you to escape from them. Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you.” (5:4-6)

Why is forgiveness, or letting illusions go, so important to our happiness?

As Course students, this is an important concept to understand. Before we fully ‘get it’ that forgiveness really means letting illusions go, we will be tempted to change what we see in the outer world instead of realizing that the only meaningful change happens in our mind. Letting our fantasies of uniqueness and specialness be brought to the truth of our eternal sameness as Love is the only meaningful answer to every problem we may think we have.

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