A Course in Miracles Lesson 39

My holiness is my salvation.

This lesson begins with a question: “If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?” (W-pI.39.1:1) And it further suggests that the answer is not complicated.

Tara Singh used to say that when the course asks a question, it behooves us to slow down and answer it. Doing so reflects the seriousness of our practice. If Jesus sat down next to you and posed a question, would you not bring all your intelligence and learning to bear on the answer?

The opposite of guilt is innocence, and the opposite of hell is Heaven. Thus, the answer to the question initially posed by this lesson is: Innocence. Innocence is the opposite of guilt. And so innocence undoes the hell confusion and fear make for us.

The innocence of God is the true state of the mind of His Son. In this state your mind knows God, for God is not symbolic; He is Fact . . . The understanding of the innocent is truth (T-3.I.8:1-2, 4).

To see from our own holiness, as Lesson 36 suggests we learn to do, is to see without error. It is to understand, without qualification or condition, the nature of our Source and to identify wholly with that Source.

When we remember our oneness with God, our vision becomes incapable of error.

Innocent or true perception means that you never misperceive and always see truly. More simply, it means that you never see what does not exist, and always see what does (T-3.II.2:5-6).

Thus, the miracle becomes a means of clarifying distorted thought by seeing our brothers and sisters as they truly are. Indeed, our holiness has no other purpose. Yet in order to rightly perceive our holy family, we must first be healed – or saved – our self (W-pI.39.3:4). We cannot offer what we do not have.

This is reminiscent of early admonitions in the text: the only job a miracle worker has is to accept the atonement for herself (T-2.V.5:1). Everything else – without exception – flows naturally and effortlessly from this one decision.

Lesson 39 is an exercise in identifying our unloving thoughts, which are always fear-based (W-pI.39.6:3). Each one reflects our perception of our self as guilty and thus keeps us in hell.

Our holiness – which reflects our innocence as God’s creations and thus the true state of our mind – is the antidote. We are not saved by anything we do, but by what we are in truth.

And in our salvation lies the salvation of the world (e.g., W-pI.39.3:1).

Truth overcomes all error . . . If you perceive truly you are cancelling 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 (T-3.II.6:4-7).

The attention we give unto our own healing is also given unto our brothers and sisters and unto our shared world. This current sequence of lessons is not a celebration of the egoic self – all it can do, all it can possess – but rather an opportunity to reach beyond that self to our shared mind and the healing it offers as God’s creation.

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