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 22: Salvation and the Holy Relationship

Section III: Reason and the Forms of Error

Read ACIM Chapter 22, Section III (pages 474-76)

What is the beginning of the ego’s undoing?

Jesus tells us, “The introduction of reason into the ego’s thought system is the beginning of its undoing, for reason and the ego are contradictory. Nor is it possible for them to coexist in your awareness. For reason’s goal is to make plain, and therefore obvious. You can see reason. This is not a play on words, for here is the beginning of a vision that has meaning. Vision is sense, quite literally.” (1:1-6) Here we see that reason is what the Holy Spirit brings us when we open to Its healing insight. Holy Spirit’s reason sees past the errors of the ego thought system, showing us that the separated bodies we see through the body’s eyes are not real.

What does Jesus say about what the body’s eyes see?

“Everything the body’s eyes can see is a mistake, an error in perception, a distorted fragment of the whole without the meaning that the whole would give.” (4:3) When we look through the body’s eyes, it seems very easy to believe that what we see is real. The Course tells us that to the ego, this is what the body is for — to make illusions of separation appear to be real. Now, as we join with the Holy Spirit, we are going through a thought reversal process which the Course calls forgiveness.

How does reason reverse our errors in thinking?

In this section Jesus refers to the return to sanity as a return to reason. “For reason sees through errors, telling you what you thought was real is not. Reason can see the difference between sin and mistakes, because it wants correction.” (2:3-4) Here we see that as we accept reason from the Holy Spirit, we are able to see past our errors in thinking. The reason the Holy Spirit shows us helps us see that the separate forms we once saw as real are really only a mistake in our thinking that can be corrected if we are willing.

What does the ego call our errors in perception and why?

The ego calls all our errors in perception sins. By making them sins instead of just an error to be corrected, the ego anchors its thought system of a rock bed of making us think we are guilty for our mistaken thoughts and therefore making our separation from God appear to be permanent. “For here is its own stability, its heavy anchor in the shifting world it made; the rock on which its church is built, and where its worshippers are bound to bodies believing the body’s freedom is their own.” (4:7) The core of the ego thought system is that we are guilty and that we can escape the wrath of God by continuing to hide from our oneness with God by maintaining the belief in the reality of separate bodies.

How does perception of form obscure our understanding of the truth?

Perception of form obscures seeing the reality of our oneness with God, which is perfect Love. We see a world of separate forms that appear to be outside us in order to project or hurl the guilt we believe is ours onto someone or some thing outside us.

Jesus tells us, “Reason will tell you that if form is not reality it must be an illusion, and is not there to see. And if you see it you must be mistaken, for you are seeing what can not be real as if it were.” (7:4-5) Here we see that our efforts at projecting guilt onto those separate bodies we perceive as outside us is hopeless and will never free us from the pain of guilt. He tells us, “Let your awareness of your brother not be blocked by your perception of his sins and of his body. What is there in him that you would attack except what you associate with his body, which you believe can sin? You gave him not his holiness, but tried to see your sins in him to save yourself. And yet, his holiness is your forgiveness. Can you be saved by making sinful the one whose holiness is your salvation?” (8:3-8)

What happens when we are willing to see past the ego’s idea of sin?

As we are willing to see past the body, we are brought to the awareness of the changeless Love that is what every brother truly Is. We see the holiness that is there beyond the body. “Yet reason sees a holy relationship as what it is; a common state of mind, where both give errors gladly to correction, that both may happily be healed as one.” (9:7)

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