Yesterday I wrote about release from guilt, drawing on Chapter Thirteen of A Course in Miracles. The suggestion there is that we undo guilt by loving all our brothers and sisters equally, without condition or qualification. Good advice, hard to follow.
Here I want to make a slightly different, more personal point about guilt: You are not guilty. You have not done anything wrong. You can’t do anything wrong.
If you will believe this – or at least believe that I believe it – then the separation will naturally dissolve and you will know again the peace and happiness that are your inheritance (T-in.1:7).
But first, we want to be clear about what we mean by guilt.
Imagine we go out for coffee, your treat. You pay and a loose twenty flutters to the floor. You don’t notice so I pocket it. Later I feel guilty.
This is not the guilt of which A Course in Miracles speaks. This is not the guilt which obscures our identity as Christ.
Feeling guilty for taking money that does not belong to us makes sense in the world. It induces pro-social behavior that raises the happiness waterline for all of us. You don’t want people stealing from you so don’t steal from them (T-1.III.6:4).
A Course in Miracles refers to a deeper, more sinister guilt.
Guilt is more than merely not of God. It is the symbol of attack on God . . . Fear of retaliation from without follows, because the severity of the guilt is so acute that it must be projected (T-5.V.2:9-10, 3:11).
We believe we attacked God by separating from God. We feel guilty for this attack and we’re terrified of divine punishment and retribution. We project this fear outward and make a world of pain and suffering, full of conflict and enemies, and endlessly unhappy compromises.
But here is the thing: you can’t be separate from God and Creation (for the same reason that you can’t be separate from yourself – look into this!). Separation is not a problem that you have to solve; it’s a problem you have to see is not actually a problem. It’s like you think you lost your glasses and then discover you’ve been wearing them all along.
We aren’t fixing anything. We are seeing that nothing needs to be fixed. A Course in Miracles can never do more than spin us in circles until we realize this.
You aren’t separate from the cosmos, from Creation, at all; you are an extension of Creation. All of Creation is you, and you are all of Creation. This is simple and obvious but for your insane and complex belief to the contrary. We don’t need to study oneness. We need to look at the mistaken belief that blocks our awareness of oneness.
You never attacked God because it’s impossible to attack God. And yet you do feel guilty. You do feel fear. You do project your fear. You do live by the law of attack and defense.
Thus, for all intents and purposes, you have attacked God.
How, then, can you heal? Our best thinking and good intentions got us into this mess. Do you really think another thought or insight or institution is going to be the one that finally saves you?
Healing begins when we resign as our own healer, and consent instead to be healed by the Holy Spirit.
Your learning potential, properly understood, is limitless because it will lead you to God. You can teach the way to Him and learn it, if you follow the Teacher Who knows the way to Him and understands His curriculum for learning it . . . You need offer only undivided attention (T-12.V.9:1-2, 4).
The Holy Spirit heals us by gently teaching us that we did not do the thing we fear we did. The lesson is easy and the Teacher gentle. Nor are we left alone for any aspect of our learning.
If you look at separation, especially when and where it seems most averse to being looked at (i.e., those you hate, those you ignore), then you will eventually see that separation is an illusion. You will catch a glimpse of wholeness in your brother or sister, and that glimpse will be enough. It will take you all the way to the well and the mountain. It will take you all the way to Heaven.
How do you catch that glimpse?
One way is to allow me to remind you that you are innocent, forever one in and with Creation. Your wholeness is radiant; it is literally the only reason I write – so that I can catch my own glimpse of your perfection. Perceiving your wholeness, I remember our shared holiness, and thus offer it to you in my clumsy, wordy way. You are not guilty. You have not done anything wrong. You can’t do anything wrong.
How else can you be my savior and the savior of the world?