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 19: The Attainment of Peace

Section IV-A-i: The Attraction of Guilt

Read ACIM Chapter 19, Section IV-A-i (pages 410-12)

Is guilt and fear of punishment inherent in the idea of separation?

Inherent within the insane attraction to believe in the idea of separation from God is the belief in guilt for doing something wrong and also fear of God’s punishment. Jesus wants us to understand just how insane this whole ego thought system really is that we have bought into and shows us in this subsection just how riddled with guilt and fear the idea of separation is.

The ego literally is the belief in sin, which tells us the separation really happened and we are forever guilty for our choice. When we join with the ego, we are filled with the fear of retribution. To deal with this fear, we attempt to project the intense guilt and unworthiness we feel onto an imagined guilty world. In our attempt to relieve the intense guilt, we dream feverish dreams of ‘lives’ of being a victim of a vicious and guilty world. We dream ‘lives’ filled with experiences of scarcity, punishment and death because that is what we secretly believe we deserve for our ‘sin’ of choosing to separate from God’s Will of oneness.

What messengers do the two thought systems of fear and love send forth to seek out?

In this subsection Jesus compares the two states of mind — fear and Love. He describes how each sends different messengers into the world to go out and find what each wants to find. He tells us, “Love’s messengers are gently sent, and return with messages of love and gentleness. The messengers of fear are harshly ordered to seek out guilt, and cherish every scrap of evil and of sin that they can find, losing none of them on pain of death, and laying them respectfully before their lord and master.” (2:1-2)

Can we learn to seek and find only Love instead of guilt?

Jesus wants us to understand that we have a choice. We do not have to continue to be attracted to seeking and finding guilt in others and ourselves. We can change our minds about what we want to see. We can use the Holy Spirit’s attraction to seeing only Love instead of the ego’s attraction of guilt with every relationship we have in our life. “Relationships in this world are the result of how the world is seen. And this depends on which emotion was called on to send its messengers to look upon [the world], and return with word of what they saw. (12:1-2)

It is becoming clear to us that how we see the world depends solely upon what what we are looking for — what messengers we are sending out. If we see sin and guilt in those around us, we now know that we have sent fear’s messengers. “No little shred of guilt escapes their hungry eyes. And in their savage search for sin they pounce on any living thing they see, and carry it screaming to their master, to be devoured.” (12:6)

How does seeking for guilt feel different than seeking to see only innocence?

Think about a time where you focused on the hurts your brother gave or what was wrong about him instead of seeing “only the blameless and the beautiful, the gentle and the kind.” (14:3) How did it feel to be in this state of mind? Did it bring you peace and joy, or did it bring you sadness, depression and feeling like a victim? Once we clearly look at the results of each attraction — guilt or love — it makes the choice easier. Feeling sad and depressed is really not as fun as feeling filled with love and joy. It makes sense to send forth only love’s messengers.

How can our life experience be changed dramatically by sending Holy Spirit’s messengers instead of ego’s ‘hungry dogs of fear’?

Jesus shows us how easily our life experience can be changed dramatically: “If you send forth only the messengers the Holy Spirit gives you, wanting no messages but theirs, you will see fear no more. The world will be transformed before you sight, cleansed of all guilt and softly brushed with beauty. The world contains no fear that you laid not upon it. And none you cannot ask love’s messengers to remove from it, and see it still. The Holy Spirit has given you His messengers to send to your brother and return to you with what love sees. They have been given to replace the hungry dogs of fear you sent instead. And they go forth to signify the end of fear.” (15:1-7)

Jesus makes it sound so easy, and it is easy once we make the commitment to send forth only the messengers the Holy Spirit gives us. It really is that simple. In many places in the Course we are reminded that it takes only a little willingness. This is the truth. We will see what we want to see. As we continue on this path of letting ourselves be led out of the false perceptions guilt would show us, the road becomes smoother and smoother. It becomes easier and easier to see communion instead of separation. Jesus tells us, “Communion is another kind of completion, which goes beyond guilt, because it goes beyond the body.” (17:15)

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