Sometimes the question is: how shall we live in these bodies? How shall we live in this world? We grasp the idea that we aren’t bodies and the world isn’t real but . . . That’s not how it feels. It’s not how it seems.
A Course in Miracles acknowledges this confusion, and gently corrects it by asking us to give attention to how we perceive our self, other selves, and the world.
Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions I made up (W-pI.52.1:4-5).
This is reminiscent of the ACIM insight that the “secret to salvation” is to realize that our suffering is of our own making. We are doing this to our own self (T-27.VIII.10:1).
The “self” in question is not the embodied self with its past and its future, struggling for survival on a blue marble floating through an indifferent cosmos. It is God’s creation, currently confused about its origins and thus its identity but perfectly capable of remembering truth.
Thus, the only problem the course is actually solving – the only error it is actually correcting – is the one where we have forgotten what we are.
When I have forgiven myself and remember Who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see. There will be no past, and therefore no enemies. And I will look with love on all that I failed to see before (W-pI.52.2:5-7).
Forgiveness, as the course uses it here, is a form of “right” seeing or “right” thinking. It is a way of focusing on neither past nor future, but on the living present (e.g., W-pI.52.3:4). We think that we are able to select between past and future; we think that the present is a choice as well. But in fact, the decision is simply whether or not we will see at all.
In essence, we are choosing between spiritual blindness and the Vision of Christ.
What I have chosen to see has cost me vision. Now I would choose again, that I may see (W-pI.52.4:5-6).
Critically, as lesson ten points out, this new vision has nothing to do with the body’s eyes. Rather, it is a form of thought and – more than that – of relating to and through thought with our brothers and sisters.
This is why the course teaches that what we are in truth has “no private thoughts” (W-pI.52.5:2). Instead . . .
. . . my mind is part of creation and part of its Creator. Would I not rather join the thinking of the universe than to obscure all that is really mine with my pitiful and meaningless “private” thoughts (W-pI.52.5:6-7)?
When we say “yes,” we are committing to retraining our mind to remember its underlying connection to God and to wholeness. We are affirming our intention to remembering our own holiness, and perceiving the world and our brothers and sisters through it.
Step by step – lesson by lesson – we are being gently guided through the tangled mess we have made of thought and reclaiming the purity and perfection that is our true home and identity.