God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.
In some ways, this lesson seems to assume that we disregarded – or at least failed to bring to its fullest application – yesterday’s lesson. Twenty-four hours ago we were told that accepting God as our strength would in time – very little time, actually – bring us to a full recognition of our divine Oneness. Today, Jesus more or less repeats himself, with a bit more explanation. We might say that he is possessed of infinite patience. We might say tha he knows his students well.
We might also say that today’s lesson – which focuses on seeing – revisits the difference between perception and knowledge, thus building on yesterday’s theme of vision. That’s not an unimportant distinction in Course terms.
To see – with the physical eyes and the ego’s understanding and M.O. – is to engage in perception. The salient quality of perception is its mutability. It changes. It depends on judgment – this is good, that’s bad. This is big and that’s little. Perception apprehends form which shifts and alters and ultimately perishes. It’s neither reliable nor dependable. It is the separation write large.
Knowledge – which is what the vision of God reveals – is permanent. It cannot be changed. It’s not subject to interpretation. It’s not one thing to this person and another thing to that person. It is the state of God in which there are no questions because there is no uncertainty. There are no comparisons because there are no differences and thus no need for the dubious tool of judgment.
The separation – a decision, a thought – gave rise to perception. The ego is its voice.
At its best – which is what Lesson 43 is getting at – perception can be cleansed by the Holy Spirit, transformed right to the very brink of knowledge whereupon God will take the final steps and lift us into Oneness. This idea is very important – it is the means of salvation. Without this voice for God – which is merely another thought in our right mind, albeit one to which we are unaccustomed – we would be forever lost in perception.
The Course posits that the Holy Spirit is a sort of mediator between vision and seeing, knowledge and perception. It takes our perceptions, honors them because we made them, and then heals them. What is loving and kind is retained. What is not is brushed away. By seeing with the Holy Spirit – which is another way of saying that we are choosing Christ – or dwelling in our right minds – our perceptions are healed. They are made holy. The end result of this healing is our restoration to Heaven, which is not a place but a state of knowledge. It is the God that we are, have always been, and to which we are returning.
So today is on the one hand a mild repetition of yesterday. It asks us to accept – again – that the separation did not happen because we are joined with God. He is our Source and we cannot be apart from him. We can’t see apart from him, think apart from him or act apart from him. But also – perhaps on a slightly deeper level – today’s lesson reminds us of our fundamental goal as students of A Course in Miracles: to bring our entire existence to the Holy Spirit where it can be healed so that we – at last – can go home.