A Course in Miracles: Lesson 36

My holiness envelopes everything I see.

Having reestablished the identity of the perceiver in the previous lesson, Lesson 36 shifts our focus back to what is perceived, with the caveat that how we see has shifted because of how we understand our identity.

You are holy because your mind is part of God’s. And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well . . . Your sight is related to [God’s] Holiness, not to your ego, and therefore not to your body (W-pI.36.1:2-3, 8).

It is critical to discern here between what the body’s eyes do and what mind does. The body’s eyes can gaze at an altar and see icons and candles but it is mind that sees holiness. The body’s eyes see a field of wildflowers but it is mind that sees beauty.

And, since our mind is part of God’s, we cannot be sinful – which is to say, we cannot actually make errors that require correction. Thus, when we “see” with God we are seeing in Truth and can only perceive reality as God created it: beauty, holiness, grace, love.

Echoes of this concept abound in the text, perhaps nowhere more acutely than in the early section The Illusion of Needs.

Perfect love casts out fear.
If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.
Only perfect love exists.
If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist (T-1.VI.5:4-8).

Indeed, the text suggests that to the extent we are willing to submit everything to this test, we will instantly and perfectly remember our identity in God.

This lesson is also a reframing of our use of projection. We are not denying the existence of external objects – be they rugs, fingers, walls or hemlock trees – but rather investigating what happens when we observe them enveloped in our holiness.

That is, rather than projecting fear and hate and guilt, we are extending our holiness, which is an aspect of the Love we both have and are as God’s creations.

What happens to the world when we do this? What happens to us?

It can be helpful to keep the admonitions of Lesson 23 in mind here.

There is no point in trying to change the world. It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. Here you are changing the cause. The effects will change automatically (W-pI.23.2:3-7).

We are advancing our understanding of what the world is and what we are by recognizing that God is our Source, our Creator, and that our holiness is unconditional and therefore what is seen from within it can only serve the cause and function of Love.

We are saying that to see is to create, and it is given us to create like our Creator. We are saying that the cause of the world can be fear or holiness.

And we are experimenting now with what happens when our gaze is given to holiness and thus sees only what is holy.

There is great healing potential in this lesson. It is an opportunity to lastingly ground ourselves in a way of thinking and being that is given to undoing confusion and misdirection.

What are you in truth? You may not yet be able to answer that question but are you ready perhaps to at least acknowledge that what ever you are, it is holy indeed?

←Lesson 35
Lesson 37→

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