Class #73

Study Guide and Commentary
ACIM® Text, Chapter 9, Section VI

The Acceptance of Your Brother

Legend:
blue text = Material from ACIM 3rd edition (FIP)
bold blue text = words emphasized in all caps in Urtext
red text = alternate or omitted material from the Urtext
light blue text = editorial comments
strikethrough blue text = Not in Urtext, in FIP edition

 "The Acceptance of Your Brother" continues the ideas of the preceding sections. As we were told in Section III, our job is accepting our brother, not changing him: "It is not up to you to change your brother, but merely to accept him as he is" (T-9.III.6:4). We've seen why the ego's kind of forgiveness (that is, making the error real and then attempting to overlook it) cannot work. We've learned that we must look beyond the error to what was true about our brother before the error, during it, and after it. That is what accepting him means. We've seen that the only way to heal him is first to allow our own minds to be healed.

This section expands on the idea of what accepting our brother really means. As we began this chapter, I said that the entire chapter is about acceptance. Forgiveness starts with accepting your brother exactly as he is, without any attempt to change him. It starts with overlooking error, or looking beyond it. It is overlooking in the literal sense, looking over it and beyond it to something else that is hidden behind the error.

Not only is acceptance and forgiveness the way to heal our brother, it is the way we cement our own certainty. By observing the effect of the Holy Spirit through us on others, we become sure of His presence within us. As the opening sentence asks, how else could we become aware of Him?

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1.  1How can you become increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit in you except by His effects? 2You cannot see Him with your eyes nor hear Him with your ears. 3How, then, can you perceive Him at all? 4If you inspire joy and others react to you with joy, even though you are not experiencing joy yourself there must be something in you that is capable of producing it. 5If it is in you and can produce joy, and if you see that it does produce joy in others, you must be dissociating it in yourself.

• Study Question •

                  On the common sense principle that you cannot give what you do not have, would it be correct to say that unless you are experiencing joy you cannot inspire joy in others? Explain your answer.

When we see the Holy Spirit work through us, we know He is in us (1:1). As Jesus points out, He cannot be detected by our physical senses (1:2). The only way He can be perceived is by the effect He has on things around Him.

Imagine there is a ghost in the room. How would you know he was present? You could know he was there if he moved a book, or somehow created visible or audible effects. If you saw the movie Ghost, with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, you will remember the great difficulty Swaze's ghostly character had in trying to communicate with his living wife. He was finally able to move some things so she knew he was there. She knew his presence by his effects, in other words. That's the idea here.

The effects of the Holy Spirit, however, are not often physical. Rather, the effects are emotional. If you are having a lackluster day, and yet somehow, in interacting with others, you inspire joy in them, then you have something in you that can do that (1:4); this must be the Holy Spirit.

In the account of Helen Schucman's experiences while scribing the Course (primarily Absence From Felicity, by Kenneth Wapnick), it is fairly clear that often she provided tremendous help to other people, and yet she herself battled with the ideas of the Course and was not a very happy woman. I think these words applied especially to her. She doubted her own holiness, and yet, acting through her, the Holy Spirit helped scores of people. Actually we could say He has helped millions of people through her, ourselves among them. We can hope that, seeing the joy her work brought to others, she did accept the Presence within her that was producing it.

While I was in college I led a Bible study group on campus (I've been doing this study group thing for a long time). One quarter, a fellow came to me and asked if I would meet with him each morning, briefly, to pray. He was experiencing doubts, he said, and felt I could help him. I was reluctant because I was experiencing doubts myself! I felt I was a pretty poor excuse for a Christian. Yet something in me found it hard to refuse him, so I agreed. As the days went by, I started being quite open with Jack about my own doubts and struggles. I shared quite honestly about what I felt was my lack of faith. At the end of the quarter, he came and sought me out to tell me that he had decided to give his life to God and to transfer to a Bible college, and that this decision was a result of his meeting with me. He told me that I had inspired him! I still remember very clearly saying, "I don't know how!"

That, to me, is exactly what the Course is talking about here. The Holy Spirit was in me, and through me, He brought healing to Jack. I didn't even know it was going on! But when I saw the effect in Jack's life, I knew that there was something in me that had caused that effect, and it uplifted me. I could not deny the Presence within me, even though I had been dissociating it in myself (1:5) for the entire quarter.

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2.  1It seems to you that the Holy Spirit does not produce joy consistently in you only because you do not consistently arouse joy in others. 2Their reactions to you are your evaluations of His consistency. 3When you are inconsistent you will not always give rise to joy, and so you will not always recognize His consistency. 4What you offer to your brother you offer to Him, because He cannot go beyond your offering in His giving. 5This is not because He limits His giving, but simply because you have limited your receiving. 6The decision [will] to receive is the decision [will] to accept.

• Study Question •

                  If the Holy Spirit consistently offers joy to you, and yet you do not experience joy consistently (Who of us does?), what might be the cause, according to this paragraph?

We only think we cannot be joyful one hundred percent of the time! (2:1) The Holy Spirit offers joy to us consistently, but we do not accept it. We can measure our willingness to receive joy by our willingness to give it. When we withhold joy from others we are withholding it from ourselves; that is the law of giving and receiving that the Course reiterates so often. We don't arouse joy in others and so we do not experience joy, and then we blame our lack of joy on the inconsistent giving of the Holy Spirit! (2:1–3).

The Holy Spirit cannot give us more joy than we are willing to offer to our brothers (2:4). This is not done by way of punishment, with the Holy Spirit withholding joy from us because we've been "bad people." It's just the way things work. Giving and receiving are the same thing. If I limit my giving I have simultaneously limited my receiving. The "will to accept" referred to here refers to our acceptance of our brothers, as can be seen from looking ahead at 3:1. There was no break between these lines in the Urtext. When I choose to accept my brother as he is, that choice is the choice to receive joy (2:6).

I am blown away by the idea that I could be joyful all the time. I am talking about a deep-seated joy that is simultaneously rooted in reality, and not some sort of air-headed blissed-out euphoria. I am talking about the kind of joy that Mother Theresa exuded despite her acquaintance with incredible suffering, pain and poverty. I am talking about the kind of joy the Dalai Lama radiates despite his people's decades of exile from their homeland. I abhor the frothy pseudo-joy of people who try to be joyful by ignoring and denying the suffering around them, but I covet the earthy, robust joy that comes from a life dedicated to giving, to transcendence of the ego, a life that is lived unto God and poured out for others. The Course is telling us that this is the only true joy there is.

To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced (T-8.III.2:1).

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3.  1If your brothers are part of you, will you accept them? 2Only they can teach you what you are, for [Ur: and] your learning [what learn from them about what you are] is the result of what you taught them. 3What you call upon in them you call upon in yourself. 4And as you call upon it in them it becomes real to you. 5God has but one Son, knowing them all as one. 6Only God Himself is more than they but they are not less than He is. 7Would you know what this means? 8If what you do to my brother you do to me[1], and if you do everything for yourself because we are part of you, everything we do belongs to you as well. 9Everyone [Every Soul] God created is part of you and shares His Glory with you. 10His Glory belongs to Him, but it is equally yours. 11You cannot, then, be less glorious than He is.

• Study Question •

                  Only your brothers can teach you your true identity (3:2). All of God's Sons are part of you and share His glory with you. What things you do cause your brothers to teach you what you are?

As the section title implies, accepting our brothers is central to what this section teaches. The Course says that accepting others follows from the fact that they are part of us (3:1), which shows how radically the Course's concept of "you" differs from our own. When is the last time your thought of "myself" included anybody but the individual living in your body? Think of someone, anyone, that you might be having trouble accepting. If you truly realized they were part of you, and not a separate being, how different your attitude toward them would be! How much easier it would be to accept them!

As we interact with another person, we would do well to ask ourselves, "What am I teaching this person about himself?" What do my words teach him? What does my attitude teach him? If he could hear my thoughts (and at some level he can), what would my thoughts teach him? The words of an earlier section come to mind: "Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be" (T-7.VII.3:8). The Course says that what you teach:

      •           you strengthen in yourself (T-6.III.1:9)

      •           is teaching you (T-6.III.2:8)

      •           you are (T-6.IV.11:7)

      •           you learn (T-6.V(C).6:2, T-9.III.5:5)

What you do, think and say teaches the people around you. As you accept your brother, overlooking his errors, not reacting to his attacks, learning from the Holy Spirit the unreality of those attacks, and accepting responsibility for your experiences of pain, you are teaching your brother the truth about himself. The effect of that loving perception will teach you what you are. So, what you teach teaches you.

This three-fold sequence is a core teaching of the Course. It occurs again and again:

Perception: Your mind is healed. You perceive the light. You open to the Holy Spirit within yourself.

Extension: You extend the light by including your brother in its perception. You overlook his ego and see the Holy Spirit in him.

Substantiation: Your brother is healed (physically or mentally), acknowledging the light in you, and by this acknowledgment confirms, substantiates or makes real the presence of the Holy Spirit in you.

By our words and actions we appeal to the Christ in our brothers, or we appeal to their egos. If what we do and say comes from Christ in us, it calls upon the Christ in them. If what we do and say comes from the ego in us, it calls upon the ego in them. Whatever we call forth from our brothers, we then perceive in our brothers, and when we perceive it, it becomes real to us (3:3–4).

A good word for making something real is "substantiate." It means to confirm that something is true, or to give it actual physical existence—to give it substance or form. By what we call forth from those around us, we substantiate either our own ego, or we substantiate Christ. In Darby's translation of the New Testament, Hebrews 11:1 is translated as, "Now faith is [the] substantiating of things hoped for, [the] conviction of things not seen." In some sense, then, what we are talking about here is faith. By exercising faith in the Christ in our brothers, Christ becomes real in us.

We call upon what is good in them. We call upon what is kind and loving in them. We call upon their innocence. We call upon their desire for peace. And as we do, these things become real in us. We are learning of our own wholeness by seeing wholeness everywhere (4.6). The evaluation we place upon our brother is the evaluation of ourselves that we will experience (see T-8.III.4.2).

This aspect of the Course, the utter necessity of extension to complete the three-fold process, is often overlooked or even denied by some students of the Course. They want to make accepting the Atonement for yourself the only thing that the Course teaches. They give it the sense of being totally concerned with your own healing, and totally disregarding the needs of anyone else. They quote the words "sole responsibility" with urgent emphasis on "sole." What they conveniently forget is that the Course clearly says that the way we accept the Atonement for ourselves is by extending it! For instance, chapter 28 clearly equates accepting the Atonement with extending healing and forgiveness to another person. Read this carefully:

Accepting the Atonement for yourself means not to give support to someone's dream of sickness and of death. It means that you share not his wish to separate, and let him turn illusions on himself. Nor do you wish that they be turned, instead, on you. Thus have they no effects. And you are free of dreams of pain because you let him be. Unless you help him, you will suffer pain with him because that is your wish (T-28.IV.1:1-6).

From those lines, it is clear that accepting the Atonement is not something that can be done by yourself alone. Its very meaning involves your relationship with another person's illusions; if you are not extending help to your brothers, you cannot be accepting the Atonement for yourself, because the two things are synonymous. Note especially T-28.IV.1:5–6.

The sentence from the Text that is so often quoted and misunderstood is: "The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself" (T-2.V.5:1). We are talking here about the only responsibility of a person whose purpose is the working of miracles. What this says, in my own words, is that in order to extend healing and miracles to others, I must first be healed myself. Susan Trout, the author of "Born to Serve: The Evolution of the Soul Through Service," has said that we have nothing to offer others but our own healing. In this passage, Jesus seems to take for granted that we will extend healing to others because that is our function in this world ("Accept only the function of healing in time, because that is what time is for" (T-9.III.8:3).). We are, indeed, "born to serve." He is instructing us in how we can fulfill that function. If we aspire to work miracles, we have only one responsibility: accepting the Atonement for ourselves. If we truly do that, we will extend healing, because healing always extends.

As I've pointed out, giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. They cannot happen in isolation from one another. To be healed, I must give healing. To give healing, I must be healed. In giving, I receive, and in receiving, I give. Therefore if I am unwilling to give healing, I am unwilling to receive it.

There is only one Son of God—and it isn't Jesus! It is a corporate Son, a Sonship. The Sonship is One (3:5). My brothers are part of me. We are the one Son of God, and our Self is "not less than He [God] is" (3:6). I cannot be healed alone; all healing is shared because there is really only one of us. What I do for anyone or to anyone, I am doing for and to myself (3:8). In order to truly know what the one Self is (3:7), I must open up past the limited perspective of my ego. I must open to include everyone and everything as my equal, as part of my own being, a beloved component of what I am rather than a possible competitor. Everything I do for others is something I am doing for myself. But if that is true, everything anyone else does for anyone is also done for me (3:8). Individual interests simply do not exist. All of it belongs to me. Everything you are and do and achieve is mine as well, just as everything I am and do and achieve belongs to you. In fact, as expressions of God's own Being, each of us is radiating the glory of God, and sharing that glory with every other part of our mutual Self (3:9–10).

What a magnificent vision this mutual Self is! It is as glorious as God Himself. It is something that cannot possibly be known or understood if we stand apart and alone, or if we exclude anyone from its borders. Only as we acknowledge the all-inclusive nature of our Self can we possibly experience Its reality.

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4.  1God is more than you only because He created you, but not even this would He keep from you. 2Therefore you can create as He did, and your dissociation will not alter this. 3Neither God's Light nor yours is dimmed because you do not see. 4Because the Sonship must create as one, you remember creation whenever you recognize part of creation. 5Each part you remember adds to your wholeness because each part is whole. 6Wholeness is indivisible, but you cannot learn of your [learn your] wholeness until you see it everywhere. 7You can know yourself only as God knows His Son, for knowledge is shared with God. 8When you awake in Him you will know your magnitude by accepting His limitlessness as yours. 9But meanwhile you will judge it as you judge your brother's, and will accept it as you accept his.

• Study Question •

                  How, according to this paragraph, do we become aware of our wholeness? Where does recognizing and remembering fit into this process?

In the preceding paragraph Jesus said that only God is more than the Son (3:6), although, paradoxically, the Son is not less than God. There is one way in which we are eternally subservient to God, and another way in which we are eternally equal. Both are true simultaneously. Here in 4:1, Jesus explains that as God's Son we are His equal in every way except one: He created us, but we did not create Him.

As a former evangelical Christian I still have difficulty in thinking of us as so nearly equal to God. The Course teaches that due to our likeness to God, we have the same creative ability He has (4:2), although we may have deliberately cleared our minds of any memory of this ability (4:3). I confess that I am still on the dark side of the fence here; I still don't typically see myself as a co-equal with God in creation! I don't know anyone who does, frankly, although I believe there have been a few who have achieved that.

But that's the point. As we now are, we cannot truly know the immensity of what we are in God, nearly God's equal. We need not try to grasp that at the beginning. We can start more simply, with attempting to recognize that what we are includes our brother.  All of us are here to recover the memory of our creative ability in God, and the way to do that is by means of accepting our brothers. Every time we recognize a part of creation in a brother or sister, we recover a bit of our memory of creation (4:4–5). The more we remember, the more complete we seem to be, because what we are remembering is wholeness, a completion (4:5).

What we are is so much greater than our isolated, individual selves! To say that we cannot be enlightened alone does not demean us and make us less than whole. It merely recognizes the truth about us. We cannot be enlightened alone because we are not alone. What we are includes all of creation; my Self includes my brothers. Unless we are willing to see wholeness in everyone, in every place, we cannot become aware of the wholeness of which we are a part (9:6). Everyone is the wholeness of which we are a part. The truth about us is simply what God knows as truth. The truth is what is actually so. God does not know us as separate individuals; He knows us as His one and only Son, and that is the only Self we can ever know in truth (4:7). There is no other self to know.

Ultimately, we will accept our equality with God, although that may seem now to be impossibly beyond our reach or even ludicrous to consider. Until we have matured to that level of acceptance of God's creation in ourselves, our perception of our brothers and sisters will determine the way we see ourselves. Only to the degree that we are willing to grant our brothers their equality with God will we accept it as true for us (4:8–9).

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5.  1You are not yet awake, but you can learn how to awaken. 2Very simply the Holy Spirit teaches you to awaken others. 3As you see them waken you will learn what waking means, and because you have chosen [willed] to wake them, their gratitude and their appreciation of what you have given them will teach you its value. 4They will become the witnesses to your reality, as you were created witnesses to God's. 5Yet when the Sonship comes together and accepts its oneness it will be known by its creations, who witness to its reality as the Son does to the Father.

• Study Question •

                  You awaken by awakening others. In this section and the previous one we have been told that our brothers awaken us, teach us what we are, etc. Based on this paragraph, how exactly do our brothers awaken us?

In 4:8 Jesus spoke of when we awake, and how at that time we will completely accept our union with and equality with God. As I just pointed out, however, we are not yet at that point. We are not awake; we are still caught in the dream, and while that is so, we need to learn to wake up (5:1). Instead of shooting for experiences of oneness with everything, we need aim closer to home. We need to do what facilitates our awakening. And what is that? Awakening other people. Read the first two sentences of paragraph 5 carefully. Our lessons in how to become spiritually awake consist of lessons in awakening others (5:2).

The three-fold sequence I outlined in discussing paragraph 3 (perception, extension, substantiation) comes to the forefront again, succinctly summarized in sentence 3 of this paragraph. Below, I have indicated step numbers 1, 2 and 3 in brackets:

As [2] you see them waken [3] you will learn what waking means, and because [1] you have chosen to wake them, [3] their gratitude and their appreciation of what you have given them will teach you its value. (5:3)

The next sentence introduces the idea of a "witness," which is an important term in the Course. A witness is someone or something that points to the truth of something else, the way an effect points to the reality of its cause. The rustling leaves of a tree are a witness to the wind, for instance. The movement of the leaves demonstrates the existence of the wind. In the same way, in Heaven, we are witnesses to God's reality. We exist; therefore, He must exist. Our existence is the proof of His because an effect must have a cause. Likewise, those whom we awaken prove by their awaking that we have the divine spark within us (5:4). How could they receive something from us that we do not first possess? They therefore are a witness to what is within us.

When the Course talks about our brothers being our teachers, this is primarily what it means. Many people talk about the way other people can be our teachers by pushing our buttons, or in other words, by triggering our egos. They say that when someone treats you with disrespect, or rubs you the wrong way, that person is teaching you by exposing your ego. And that is true; that is one aspect of how we learn from each another. But when the Course talks about our brother being our savior, it primarily refers to the way that our brother's gratitude for our gifts teaches us the value of what we have and are (5:3). Our brothers can only become our saviors in this way if we, first, offer them miracles. For now, this exchange of miracles and appreciation, limited as it may be, is the highest expression of our reality of which we are capable. When the entire Sonship has awakened as One, it will resume its function of creation in Heaven. Then, the creations of the Sonship will witness to its reality (5:5). Those creations will be a living tablet inscribed with the nature of the Sonship that created them.

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6.  1Miracles have no place in eternity, because they are reparative. 2Yet while you still need healing, your miracles are the only witnesses to your reality that you can recognize. 3You cannot perform a miracle for yourself, because miracles are a way of giving acceptance and receiving it. 4In time the giving comes first, though they are simultaneous in eternity, where they cannot be separated. 5When you have learned they are the same, the need for time is over.

• Study Question •

                  Your miracles are the witnesses to your reality down here. If you cannot perform a miracle for yourself, for whom do you perform it?

Miracles are an earthbound phenomenon; there is no need for miracles in Heaven (6:1, compare with, "The miracle, without a function in Heaven, is needful here" (T-13.VIII.3:6)). In saying that miracles are "reparative," the Course is pointing out that a miracle is required only when something is wrong, something is broken, or something needs healing. In Heaven we won't need miracles. We will be whole, able to experience creation and the witness of creation to our reality. Until then, however, we are unable to recognize our creations. Miracles, in these circumstances, are "the only witnesses to [our] reality that [we] can recognize" (6:2). Note the word "only." We need something to substantiate our reality, to give form and substance to our nature as the holy Son of God—and the only such things we can recognize are miracles.

I think the third sentence is crucial to understanding what the Course means by a miracle. Pause now to read it and think about it. Quite often you will hear Course students define a miracle as "a shift in perception," which fits in with the view that a miracle is something that happens entirely within the mind of one person. Nowhere does the Course say that! It does say that miracles entail a shift in perception (T-1.II.6:3), but the word "entail" means "to involve or result in something inevitably" (Encarta® World English Dictionary). Thus, a shift in perception is the result of a miracle. A miracle inevitably causes a shift in perception, but they are two distinct things. Sentence 3 of this paragraph wouldn't make sense if a miracle were the same thing as a shift in perception. It would be saying: "You cannot perform a shift in perception for yourself." Does that make any sense? If you cannot shift your own perception, whose can you shift? How can you shift someone else's perception?

A miracle in the Course generally involves two people at least. It is "a way of giving acceptance and receiving it" (6:3). That is the reason why you can't perform a miracle for yourself: To exchange acceptance requires at least two people. Robert Perry did a study of every occurrence of the word "miracle" in the Course and discovered that "The primary usage is the act of the Holy Spirit extending through our mind to heal the mind of another" (A Course Glossary, page 54).

As I have pointed out in previous commentaries, the Course here points out that, as with forgiveness, so with miracles: giving are receiving are "simultaneous in eternity" (6:4). This is a key to understanding the correlation between forgiving yourself and forgiving others, for instance. You can get tied up in knots trying to figure out which comes first. Some say you must forgive yourself before you can forgive anyone else. Others say that you have to forgive others before you can forgive yourself. The fact is, both are true! Both are true because forgiving others and forgiving yourself are simultaneous; you cannot do one without doing the other. If you are withholding forgiveness from yourself, you will not be able to give it to others. But it is equally true that if you withhold forgiveness from another person, you will be unable to truly forgive yourself.

And yet, as is clear from this passage, the Course very firmly emphasizes that "in time the giving comes first" (6:4). Our hearts must open up to another person in giving—giving acceptance—before we can receive their acceptance in return. Learning that there is no real difference between giving and receiving is really the only purpose time has (6:5). Once we truly know they are the same, the question of which comes first will evaporate. As the difference between giving and receiving vanishes, time, which we use to measure the distance between them, will also vanish.

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7.  1Eternity is one time, its only dimension being "always." 2[But] This cannot mean anything to you until you remember God's open Arms, and finally know His open Mind. 3Like Him, you are "always"; in His Mind and with a mind like His. 4In your open mind are your creations, in perfect communication born of perfect understanding. 5Could you but accept one of them you would not want anything the world has to offer. 6Everything else would be totally meaningless. 7God's meaning is incomplete without you, and you are incomplete without your creations. 8Accept your brother in this world and accept nothing else, for in him you will find your creations because he created them with you. 9You will never know that you are co-creator with God until you learn that your brother is co-creator with you.

• Study Question •

                  What can you do in this world to help yourself remember your creations?

I love the way the Course will make some profound statement (like sentence 1) and immediately follow it with a line like sentence 2, telling us that he knows we have no idea what he is talking about. We so love profound metaphysical statements like this one about eternity having only one dimension: always (7:1). It seems so deep! But what the heck does it mean? I have no doubt it means something, and indeed something profoundly true. But its meaning surpasses our present understanding, which is set firmly in time's linear framework of past time, present time , future time, and three physical dimensions. How can we possibly understand something with only one dimension and only one time?

What I really love, though, is the way the Course offsets this highly abstract metaphysical statement with a terribly mushy, touchy-feely declaration about remembering God's open Arms and knowing His open Mind (7:2). In these two sentences there is plenty for the head people to think about, and plenty for the heart people to emote about. They cater to both heart and mind, while at the same time probably rankling them both. The thinkers would rather do without the "God's open Arms" stuff; the feelers would rather do without the mind-bending stuff about one dimension and one time.

We need both. The mind simply cannot grasp God without being empowered by the heart. We will know what eternity is when we have realized that "…all my sorrows end in Your embrace…" (W-pII.317.2:5). Yet neither can the emotions alone show us the way home. We must love God with all our heart and mind (Matthew 22:37).

Why make this abstruse statement about eternity if we cannot understand it? I think Jesus means to intrigue us and pique our curiosity, so that we desire to do that which enables us to find the understanding we crave. In a sense, Jesus is teasing us, enticing us, and tantalizing us. He is dangling a wonderful carrot in front of our noses, just out of reach, to get us moving forward. The promise of knowing what eternity is like, awash in the experience of God's open Arms, living in the always within His Mind (7:3) is powerful enough to motivate us even to accept our brothers. And accepting our brothers is precisely what we must do to attain that knowledge.

How can we find our creations? How can we connect with them in perfect understanding? (7:4). How can we realize the value of our creations so deeply that nothing the world has to offer can tempt us any longer? (7:5).

There is only one way: Love our brothers so completely that they become everything to us, and thus become all that we want (7:8). This theme is echoed all through the Course. For instance, consider these passages:

The way to God is through forgiveness here. There is no other way (W-pII.256.1:1-2).

God knows His Son as wholly blameless as Himself, and He is approached through the appreciation of His Son (T-11.IV.7:2).

…to know your brother is to know God (T-4.VI.7:3).

Recognizing the Majesty of God as your brother is to accept your own inheritance (T-7.XI.5:4).

You will never know that you are co-creator with God until you learn that your brother is co-creator with you (T-9.VI.7:9).

These lines all say virtually the same thing. Your brother is your way home.


Answer Key

1.     No, sentence 4 talks about inspiring joy in others while not experiencing it yourself. Sentence 5 says it must be in you but you are dissociating it.

2.     Although the Holy Spirit consistently offers joy to me, if I am not willing to give joy to others I will not be willing to receive it for myself. My willingness to give and my willingness to receive are one and the same.

3.     You accept them and call upon the truth in them. You believe in the Christ that is in them, and draw it forth from them by your faith in them. As you see them manifesting love and joy, you see a living example of the truth about yourself.

4.     We learn of, or add to, our wholeness, by remembering more and more parts of creation. We remember more parts of creation as we recognize parts of creation in our brothers and acknowledge them as part of creation with us. The steps are: first, recognizing our brothers as parts of creation; second, remembering a larger creation with ourselves and our brothers as parts; finally, learning to embrace this larger creation as our own wholeness.

5.     Our brothers awaken us with their gratitude for the miracles we give them. Their response to the love we extend will validate the reality of our own loving hearts.

6.     You perform miracles for others.

7.     You can accept your brother who created your creations with you, and you will find your creations in him (7:8).



[1] A reference to Matthew 25:40: "…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."