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 3: The Innocent Perception

Section II: Miracles as True Perception

Read ACIM Chapter 3, Section II (pages 38-39)

Why does fear and guilt not really exist?

Central to the Course is the idea that reality and unreality cannot coexist. This idea is introduced in the second paragraph of the introduction where it says, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” (T-Intro.2:2-4) Because only Love is real, all our perceived causes for fear and guilt do not really exist. This is radically different from what we have learned in this world.

Why does Jesus use the metaphor of light and darkness?

In the first paragraph of this section, Jesus uses the metaphor of light and darkness, which cannot both occupy the same space. This metaphor is very helpful because it demonstrates how truth works in a form that is easy for us to relate to. Light does not need to do battle with darkness in order to replace it. When Light is brought into a dark room, the darkness disappears instantly. The only way darkness can be maintained is for the darkness to build barriers to keep out the light. It does not affect the light at all. It only means that a part is separated off from the light. But the light continues to radiate and extend itself, unaffected by this little part that seems to have excluded itself. The light does not try to break down the barriers. It simply continues to extend itself.

The Course is telling us that the seeming barriers put up to keep out the Light of Love are really illusions that could never be real. In order to keep Love out, we must actively believe in the barrier. This barrier requires constant defense, constant effort to believe in its strength, in order to maintain the illusion that Love has been kept out. The moment we cease to defend the barrier and let it down, the Light of Love floods in and lights that part of our mind that we have kept in seeming darkness. The barriers in the darkness were never real.

Every one of us has known in our heart, no matter how dark it seemed, that the Light is there. We have seen the Light somehow, sometime through a crack in the barriers. The Light calls to us and our heart reaches out for It. For beneath all the denial, all the defense against Light, is the yearning to reconnect with the Love that is our Self. Everyone has experienced this, no matter how much they may deny it. Though it may be misdirected because of mistaken ideas about where we will find what we are looking for, we are all searching to find the way back to the Light of Love.

Where does the ego direct us to find love?

When the ego is directing the search for Love, it will never direct us to where It can be found because the ego does not know what Love is. The ego will always direct us to look at appearances — what the body does. It believes that love is shown by what the body says and does. And if a body behaves in a way that does not fit the ego’s idea of love, it is perceived as attack. The ego responds to this with defense and attack. This reaction comes because we are misdirected by a false idea of what Love is.

How do we receive true perception?

True perception looks past the behavior that results from this misguided searching. True perception recognizes the Love behind the fear, the innocence behind the anger and attack. True perception knows that the outer appearances do not reflect the truth that lies behind it and does not believe in the appearances.

To obtain true perception, we need to turn to the Source of true perception in our mind, the Holy Spirit. As we practice bringing all our perceptions to Him for His Light of clarity, we will begin to experience the miracle of seeing perfect innocence through the Holy Spirit’s eyes. Innocence is all the Holy Spirit sees. As we dedicate our minds to aligning with the Holy Spirit, innocence is all we will see. It is through aligning with the Holy Spirit Who has only one goal that our will becomes unified and we become of one mind. “To be one is to be of one mind or will. When the Will of the Sonship and the Father are one, their perfect accord is Heaven.” (4:5-6)

When we let the Holy Spirit guide our perception, we don’t believe in appearances and thus we do not give them any power. A brother may be acting out his misguided beliefs, but if we are unwilling to join in his belief, it weakens the seeming strength of the false ideas that he is carrying.

Think about what you experience when you share what you believe with someone and they don’t believe it. Two responses are likely. You may become angry and try to defend your belief, separating yourself from the one who questions you. In this case you may try to get them to agree with you or seek someone else who will agree with you so you can keep your belief. Or you may begin to question the truth of your belief. You open your mind to another possibility because you have at least some level of readiness to receive another way of perceiving.

So when you align yourself with the Holy Spirit and perceive the innocence the Holy Spirit perceives, disregarding what is not real, you offer your brother the opportunity to question his false beliefs about himself and take a step toward freeing himself from them. You are “canceling out misperceptions in yourself and in others simultaneously. Because you see them as they are, you offer them your acceptance of their truth so they can accept it for themselves. This is the healing that the miracle induces.” (6:5-7)

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