Study Guide and Commentary
ACIM® Text, Chapter 13, Section V

The Two Emotions

How Section V Fits in This Chapter

This commentary is more informal than most, and longer, because it is a nearly unedited transcription of my original notes. In the interest of saving time (my own), I've chosen just to pass these along to you "as is." You may find the less scholarly approach to your liking; you may not. I'll very likely edit this heavily before ever publishing it. [Allen]

One of the things I like to do in my own study of the Course, and which I hope I can help you do in yours, is to keep the larger picture in mind. These sections of the Text are not separate essays on unrelated topics. There is almost always a thread of thought that runs through them, connecting them, and if you miss seeing that you often miss the primary point the Course is trying to make.

The preceding section, "The Function of Time," is not over. This section is not starting a new topic. It is a continuation. Sections IV, V and VI form a set of three sections dealing with the ego's use of time (centered on the past), how that view of time affects our minds, and how we can escape from this world view into a new world, centered upon the present rather than the past.

If we use the analogy of a telephoto lens, in this section what the Course is doing is enlarging the focus. We are stepping back from the narrow focus on time, although it is still in the center of the picture. We are zooming out to include a little more of the surrounding background and foreground. We are going to look the larger context in which time seems to be occurring, in order to see how these two emotions, love and fear, affect our perception and use of time.

You might say that in this section Jesus is generalizing what He has said in the previous section about our perceptions of time, in order to show us how the same principles apply to all of our perceptions. We've seen how, in regard to time, we use shadow images from our past to construct a private world, in which we respond to the present as if it were the past. We've seen how the way we use time is the effect of the purpose we assign to time: Do we listen to the ego's purpose (destruction) or the Holy Spirit's purpose (healing)? Now, in this section, Jesus generalizes that principle to show us that the ego's purpose is always based on fear and the Holy Spirit's purpose is always based on love. And, in words we'll discuss in a moment, he shows that not just our perception of time, but the entire world we see is the result of which emotion we choose to listen to (10:1–2).

Let's also relate this to the overall topic of the chapter, which is trying to show us how to perceive a world without guilt. In this context, there are two ways we can see the world, and only two: either it is guilty or guiltless. How you see the world depends on which emotion you are using as your guide. Identify with love and you see the world, including yourself, as guiltless. Identify with fear, and you see the world, including yourself, as guilty. In fact, fear only seems real because we believe in the reality of guilt. All fear originates in guilt. If I believe that I am sinful, guilty, and out of control, I will believe that everyone else is sinful, guilty, and out of control. And if I believe that about everyone, of course I will be afraid! Jesus put it very plainly early in the Text: "You have every reason to feel afraid as you perceive yourself" (T-3.IV.3:8).

So it all comes back to how I see myself, or what I believe is true about myself. The way I see myself is the way I will see the world. And if I see myself as sinful and separated, that is how I will see the world. This is why the Course can repeat several times that the only responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself or herself. It does not mean that we should avoid extending love within the world; rather, it means that in order to be able to extend love or work miracles, we must first deal with the mistaken perception in our minds. Once we do that, loving extension will occur naturally. As Jesus said in the very first section of the Text, if that extension does not occur, something has gone wrong (T-1.I.6:1–2).

Summary of Section V

This section deals with what the Course calls "the two emotions," love and fear. Most of Section V presents the effects of one of the emotions, fear, showing how it results in the fabrication of an illusory, private world based upon the past. In this section, notice the frequent recurrence of the phrase "private world," which characterizes the way we see the world when we are locked into the ego's views of time, sin and guilt.

"To perceive truly is to be aware of all reality through the awareness of your own" (T-13.VI.1.1). Although this line is the first line of the following section, it is the perfect summary of this one. Our own reality is love; when we lose awareness of that fact we experience fear. Fear and love are the only two emotions (1:1), and each produces a different perception of the world. Fear is false; only love is truth.

To see ourselves as guilty is to look upon ourselves with fear. It is to be afraid of what we are. We do not respect ourselves, do not trust ourselves, and do not think ourselves worthy of love or success. We make ourselves unhappy because we believe we have not earned happiness. These are all aspects of fear; these are all part of our guilt.

When we see ourselves through eyes of fear, we see the world the same way. "Projection makes perception" (3:5), so we see the world around us as a reflection of how we see ourselves.

To see ourselves as innocent is to look on ourselves with love. Seeing our innocence is to love what we see within ourselves. It is to respect our Self, trust our Self, and think of our Self as worthy of love and success. It is to be happy because we are created to be happy. These are all aspects of love; these are all part of our innocence as God's Creation.

When we see past the smokescreen of guilt to the innocent love that is within us, the world we see will change. Seeing ourselves as guiltless we will see the world as guiltless, for all the same reasons.

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1.  1I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. 2One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. 3In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. 4The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. 5Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. 6They are made of sights that are not seen, and sounds that are not heard. 7They make up a private world that cannot be shared. 8For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. 9In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.

• Study Question •

1. Why do the projections of fear result in a "private world" for each of us?

In the preceding section we saw how a focus on the past causes us to react to the present as if it were the past. In effect, in the way we normally live life, we are literally seeing something (the past) that is not there (3:8). That is a pretty good definition of insanity, isn't it?

In enlarging the focus now, the Course will tell us that what causes each of us to live in this private world, made up of our past thoughts, a world that isn't there, is an emotion, a feeling. Many people seem to think the Course has little to say about feelings and even demeans their importance. I find it has a great deal to say about them and makes them very important. For instance, look at the first two sentences in paragraph 10:

You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights (T-13.V.10:1-2).

This pair of sentences is saying that the entire world you see arises from an emotion! That gives emotion a pretty important place, doesn't it?

The gist of what this section is going to say is in those two sentences. Why do we make up this private world? Why do we use time the way we do, to focus on the past? Why can't we see love in the present? We do all these things because we allow ourselves to be guided by the wrong feeling within ourselves.

There are only two emotions: love and fear (1:1). Jesus has said this before, but in this section he says it three times (T-12.I.9:5; 1:1, 5:1, 10:1), so that it becomes the major theme of the section. The mention in Chapter 12 came toward the end of the section on the judgment of the Holy Spirit, which teaches that everything is either a loving thought or a call for help (T-12.I.iii:3–4). It points out that the "everything else," the stuff that isn't love, is what presents a problem to us. Our usual reaction to it is fear.

Just as this chapter does, that earlier section emphasizes "the need to recognize fear and face it without disguise as a crucial step in the undoing of the ego" (T‑12.I.8:5). We need to recognize our fear and bring it to the Holy Spirit for translation, to see in our own fear, and that of others, the call for help that it really is. Hatred, jealousy, rage, and even self-righteousness are all just various disguises taken by fear; the call for love is its true face. In Chapter 12 we were told, "Fear itself is an appeal for help" (T-12.8:7) and "Fear is a call for love" (T-12.I.8:13). So, no matter what we perceive, if it is not love it is fear, and if it is fear, it is a call for love. There are only two emotions, love and fear, and love is the only real one. Fear is just a call for love in disguise; fear is only a misperception we have super-imposed on an appeal for love.

Since Jesus refers to this earlier discussion, it will be helpful if you read over the entire eighth and ninth paragraphs of Chapter 12, Section I, which I have just been quoting from. He clearly intends us to understand it as the background for what is about to be said in the section we are now studying.

Fear is a denial of love. As such, it is not actually a negative thing. Instead, it is "a positive affirmation of the underlying belief it masks" (T-12.I.9:7), a belief in love. Fear was made by the ego to defend us against love; if we begin to see the way that fear actually affirms our belief in love it becomes a useless defense. Useless defenses are "automatically discarded" (T-12.I.9:8). Thus, the way to dispel fear is to reinterpret it as a call for love.

This thought sequence ought to sound familiar. It is almost identical to what we have just studied in T-13.III, "The Fear of Redemption," where we saw that our apparent fear of God was really a mask for our "intense and burning love of God, and His for you" (T‑13.III.2:8). The healing process there consisted in looking past the layers of fear and anger to the anguished mind hidden beneath them, calling for love. Only love is real. The fear is a useless defense mechanism made by the ego to conceal love from our minds. Looked at properly, with the Holy Spirit, fear will reveal the love behind it.

Let us consider the characteristics of these two emotions, love and fear. One emotion—love—is changeless (1:2). That is the main thing for us to grasp, that love does not change, and if we are love, or love's extension, we don't change either. The rest of this, about love being exchanged and continually extended and increased (1:3), is something to file for future reference. We can't really understand now how something can increase without changing. Love and its continuous extension is part of what we are because it is part of what God is, but we don't yet understand it completely, although one day I'm sure we will. Love is what endures, love is what is real, and it is changeless.

The "other" emotion is fear. It has many forms (1:4). We don't yet recognize everything but love as a form of fear, but we will. The various forms fear takes are our individual illusions, which cannot be shared. These are what we often call our "private thoughts."

Whenever we feel that "No one understands what I am going through" we can be certain that we're in one of our individual illusions, one of these private worlds. What we are feeling is just another form that fear is taking. If you can't share it, it isn't real (1:7–8); it is only a product of fear in your mind, one of fear's many mutations.

The private illusions differ greatly, but "they have one thing in common: they are all insane" (1:5). Seeing something that isn't there is a form of insanity, and that is what every private illusion does; they are "sights that are not seen" and "sounds that are not heard" (1:6). You are the maker of the illusion, and you are the only one who sees it.

I think we've all been at the receiving end of this kind of perception. There are times when it is perfectly clear to you that the person you are dealing with is insane. They are seeing things that are not there, imagining things about you that you absolutely know are not true. Married couples in an argument are often astounded at how their spouse sees them. "You don't love me any more," your partner may say, and you are at a complete loss to understand how they could believe that.

What we haven't learned from this, but can learn easily, is that we all do the same thing. We do it constantly. We have our private view of the world. We already know that no one else sees things quite the way we do. We resist the implication: If we see it and no one else does, it probably isn't there! We'd much rather believe that the rest of the world is insane and only we see things truly. But reality is always shared. If it isn't shared, it isn't real (T‑9.V.2:1; T-13.X.2:10).

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2.  1Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. 2Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. 3Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole. 4For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.

• Study Question •

2. We people our private worlds with figures from our individual past (2:1). This causes the private worlds all to be different because we make up unreal figures out of our past. How do we construct these imaginary figures, and why are they incomplete and inaccurate?

Now the focus shifts again, zooming in on the part time plays in all this. Our private worlds are comprised of images from our own past (2:1).

Why is it that you and I can meet the same person and see them in entirely different ways? It happens because neither one of us really meets the person. We meet a figure from our individual past. You may see your father in the person; I may see my mother or a schoolteacher.

Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. (2:2)

This is extremely important. Your memory of your father, let's say, gets super-imposed on the person you meet and blocks you from seeing that person as he really is. But that memory is imperfect. It is one-sided. It consists entirely of your side of that past relationship; it leaves out completely your father's reactions to you! You are not remembering your father as he truly was; you are remembering your reactions to him. The father you remember never existed! You made him up.

Just pause for a moment to let this principle get imbedded in your thoughts: Your memories of other people are made up entirely of your reactions to those other people. Your memories do not include their reactions to you. If only two people were involved, you have only half of reality in your memory. If three or four people were involved, your memory has only one third or one fourth of reality!

Actually it is less than that. Your memory of the past isn't just 50% true, or 33%, or 25% true. It is much less. I've been talking about the percentage of the situation comprised of your reactions—but how much of your reactions reflect reality? From what we have learned about projection in the Course—that we see what we want to seeit should be obvious that most of our reactions to situations are completely insane and unreal. I say "Good morning!" to you in a cheery way. And you don't answer, because you are mentally processing an argument you had with a friend just before meeting me. I experience this as rejection, and judge you as an unfriendly person. I experience it this way because I want to, because I already believe I am unlovable and unworthy of love, a sinner rejected by God, guilty—which is what my ego wants me to believe because the ego's existence depends on guilt. My reaction to you only shadows what I believe God's response to me would be if I greeted Him!

What I remember of that encounter the next day is my reaction of feeling rejected and my judgment that you are unfriendly. What I remember is therefore 100% false! Well, perhaps 99.9% false, because I may remember the facts accurately, that I said "Good morning!" and that you failed to respond. But of the reality behind the situation, your fear over the conflict with your friend, my offering of love in greeting you, my deeply concealed fear that God does not love me, of that I remember almost nothing.

So what we need to get very clearly from this section is that our memories of the past are almost totally unreliable. At best they are only 50% true! Because what I remember is my own reactions and my memory does not include at all your reaction to me!

Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole. For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only. (2:3–4)

Your memory of your father, your image of your father, exists only in your separate mind. It exists nowhere else. The image you have made of your father is your individual fabrication. That image never existed in the real world at all. No one else remembers your father exactly as you do; everyone remembers only their own reactions to him. It is your completely fabricated image of your father that you are imposing on the person you are meeting today. You are seeing this person through a distorting filter that exists only in your own mind. No wonder you live in a private world! No wonder my world is different from yours.

This goes on and on; it multiplies and multiplies. Because of the shadow image of your father from the past you meet a man today and see him in a certain way, distorted by that image. The way you see this person today forms a new image in your mind, made up of your reactions to this totally imaginary person you think you have met, and that image gets super-imposed on someone else you meet tomorrow. And so on.

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3.  1It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. 2For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate. 3Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them. 4And no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. 5Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. 6Again and again have you [men] attacked your brother [each other], because you [they] saw in him [them] a shadow figure in your [their] private world. 7And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. 8Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.

• Study Question •

3. (a) According to this paragraph, what things and people in this world do we normally relate to? (b) Where, then, is all the apparent "relating" really taking place? (c) When we attack, what are we really attacking?

This explains a lot of what the Course means when it says you are seeing illusions. It isn't saying that there is no person there to meet. It's saying you are not meeting the real person; you're meeting a stick figure in your mind and calling it the person. It is all nothing but a bunch of lifeless puppets, and your mind is the puppeteer. What we know as the world is just a bunch of stick figures, shadows and illusions flitting around pretending to have relationships.

The Text, says, "There is no order in relationships. They either are or not. An unholy relationship is no relationship. It is a state of isolation, which seems to be what it is not. No more than that" (T-20.VI.8:1–5).  An unholy relationship is just a state of isolation pretending to be a relationship. All of our unholy relationships are just the imaginary state of isolation from God taking form in the world, pretending to be relationships and giving isolation the illusion of reality.

It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. (3:1)

"The insane" is us, all of us when we act as if we were egos. We see the world through images in our mind, and we relate to the images, not to reality (3:2). We "communicate" with these images in our minds and receive the answers, and no one else hears what we do because it is all happening in our own separated minds (3:3–4). Communicating with persons who are not there, and hearing answers from them, is a pretty good sign of insanity, isn't it?

Projection makes perception. (3:5)

This is one of the foundational principles of the Course. As a serious student of the Course you need to understand this and memorize it.

Projection—that is the process that this section describes. Projection is the forming of images in our minds that we then superimpose, or project, onto reality, just as a movie is projected onto a screen. We project shadow images, made up of imaginary figures from our past which consist entirely of our reactions to people in our past, and which never include their reactions to us. We encounter a person and project this image from the past onto them, and react to that person as if they were the image that we have made up.

Perception—Perception is what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears. We perceive the world, thinking it is real, but what we perceive is really made up of images projected from our own minds. We are not seeing a fact and reacting to a fact; we are seeing an interpretation and reacting to that interpretation.

"Projection makes perception." That is, the images we fabricate in our minds and project out onto the world totally control what we see. Our eyes never see reality; they see what we have superimposed upon reality. We see reality masked through our illusions; in fact, usually we see the illusions only, and reality remains hidden by them.

This central concept is repeated over and over in the Course, in many different ways. Here are just a few of them:

This is in accord with perception's fundamental law: You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there. Perception has no other law than this. (T-25.III.1:3-4)

The section containing this paragraph is all about perception.

You see what you expect, and you expect what you invite. Your perception is the result of your invitation, coming to you as you sent for it. …For you will believe in what you manifest, and as you look out so will you see in. Two ways of looking at the world are in your mind, and your perception will reflect the guidance you have chosen. (T-12.VII.5:1–2, 5–6)

What you made of it [the world] is not its reality, for its reality is only what you give it. (T-12.VII.9:3)

Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause. (T-21.Int.1:1-1:8)

Perception selects, and makes the world you see. It literally picks it out as the mind directs.…Perception is a choice and not a fact. But on this choice depends far more than you may realize as yet. For on the voice you choose to hear, and on the sights you choose to see, depends entirely your whole belief in what you are. Perception is a witness but to this, and never to reality. (T-21.Int.1:1–2, 7–18)

[A person who identifies with the ego] always perceives this world as outside himself, for this is crucial to his adjustment. He does not realize that he makes this world, for there is no world outside of him. (T-12.III.6:6-7)

Everything you perceive as the outside world is merely your attempt to maintain your ego identification. (T-12.III.7:5)

The world you made…is made out of what you do not want, projected from your mind because you are afraid of it. Yet this world is only in the mind of its maker, along with his real salvation. Do not believe it is outside of yourself, for only by recognizing where it is will you gain control over it. (T-12.III.9:6-8)

The world you see is not outside you; it is in your mind and only there. You gave it all the reality it seems to have. The shadow images in your mind, made out of what you do not want, made from past fears, are projected outward. They show you the world you see, but it exists only in your mind. It is not real, but it is important because it is an outside picture of an inward condition. The world you see shows you your own mind. It is a witness to your belief in what you are. In the context of this chapter, "The Guiltless World," the world you now see is a witness to the belief that you are guilty.

Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world. And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there. (3:5–8)

When you attack a brother—by judging him, by competing with him, by shutting him out of your heart, or in any way—you are literally attacking what is not there. You are only attacking an image in your own mind. Therefore, what you are attacking is yourself! You are attacking him the way you see him, but the way you see him is just a reflection or projection of how you see yourself. You are attacking your own reflection. You are attacking yourself.

This teaching about projection is absolutely fundamental to the Course. I can tell you from personal experience that you are going to resist it tooth and nail! We don't want to see this! The whole reason we are projecting things onto other people is because we don't want to see them in ourselves. Every judgment you make on another person, every thought in which you condemn another person or see them as the cause of your problems, is projection. You never see any sin except your own! You see it out there, on another person, because you don't want to see that you share the same thought.

There is a line in the Course which says it succinctly: The world you see is your judgment on yourself. It repeats this idea in several places.

The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. (T-21.Int.1:2)

The world you made…is made out of what you do not want, projected from your mind because you are afraid of it. (T-12.III.9:6)

Everything you behold without is a judgment of what you beheld within. (T‑12.VII.12:4)

The world you see is but a judgment on yourself. It is not there at all (T‑20.III.5:2–3)

You have been wrong about the world because you have misjudged yourself. (T‑13.VII.5:1)

And that is exactly what we don't want to see, what we don't want to admit. Jesus is telling us that becoming aware of our projection is the way to salvation. Our only problem is our guilt, our self-loathing, our stubbornly bad opinion of ourselves, and the judgments and grievances we experience towards others are trying to show us how we see ourselves.

The world is a giant diagnostic center. We come here to find out what is wrong with our minds. The world we see is like a huge, holographic CAT scan of our minds; it shows us exactly what we think of ourselves. We come here and we find a world filled with fear and hatred, suffering and pain. We see war and famine and pestilence. We see people who can't be trusted, people who betray us, people who are out to steal everything we have, people who would sell their own mother for a better job, rapists and thieves and murderers. We see total insanity. And we are utterly, absolutely horrified by all of it.

The Course is asking me to see, in this diagnostic picture, a picture of what I think of myself. It is telling me that what I see is my judgment on myself, a projection of my mind, a picture of what I am thinking all the time. It is asking me to say, "I am responsible for what I see."

We resist this with a fierce intensity, like a cornered rat. We vehemently deny it: "I don't think anything at all like that!" It is just this denial that forces our minds to project it outward in an attempt to get rid of it. Jesus tells us we are wrong, that we do think like that. If you see it out there, it must be in here, because that is the only way it works.

And so—take a deep breath!—I come to the point where I am willing to consider the idea. I say, "OK, maybe I am responsible for everything I see." And in that instant, I experience a feeling of incredible, overwhelming guilt, unbearable guilt. This is the guilt I've been hiding from myself for millions of years! It is the guilt of believing that the separation is real and it is all my fault. But in that same instant I experience the compassionate presence of God in my mind, my Father, whispering to me, "My child, this is not so!"

…you are not what you pretend to be. One walks with you Who gently answers all your fears with this one merciful reply, "It is not so." (W-pI.166.11:2–3)

That is the Atonement. That is the experience to which A Course in Miracles is continually leading us. "It is not so." "You have been wrong about the world because you have misjudged yourself." "What you attack is not in others." The separation never happened. "Its only reality is in your own mind."

The separation has not interrupted [creation]. Creation cannot be interrupted. The separation is merely a faulty formulation of reality, with no effect at all. (T‑13.VIII.3:3-5)

You have not lost your innocence. Love is still with you, and Love will lead you Home.


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4.  1The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognize they have condemned themselves. 2They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. 3And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered, and where what is within appears to be without. 4Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot recognize [see].

• Study Question •

4.    This process of projecting our thoughts and then attacking what we perceive can be "very destructive." The mention of "condemnation" here shows how this process is related to guilt, the subject of the chapter. In the final two sentences the words "what is within" appear twice, but with different meanings. What does this phrase mean in sentence 3? In sentence 4?

Habitually we don't recognize what we are doing. We don't see attacks on others as attacks on ourselves; we think we are defending our "self."

We don't understand that we are condemning ourselves when we think we are condemning others (4:1). We won't let go of condemnation, yet it is destroying us, not them (4:2). "What is within appears to be without" (4:3), that is, we are only seeing the ugly thoughts of our own minds, yet we don't wake up to it, we don't catch on. The world is our mirror; it shows us our own minds, all the time, and we think it is something separate from us! We think it is safe to sit in our little fortress and take pot shots at the world (4:3). The Workbook lesson #196, "It can be but myself I crucify," deals completely with this concept. "The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross." (W-pI.196.5:1)

Not only are we seeing things that exist only in our minds as though they really existed outside of us, we are not seeing the reality of our brothers and sisters. Our projections are hiding their reality as God's holy creations.

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s5.       1You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other. 2For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes, it is not recognized. 3If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. 4Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. 5And you react with fear to love, and draw away from it. 6Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. 7Your private world is filled with [the] figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.

• Study Question •

5.     The first sentence is a real key to understanding the way the ego works: We react to love as if it were fear, and to fear as if it were love. Some more obvious examples are the way many people are attracted to destructive relationships, victims to victimizers, people who fear abandonment to those who will abandon them, and so on. (a) Why do we fail to recognize love, and recoil from it? (b) Why do we invite "figures of fear" into our private world?

The emotion we choose to listen to, love or fear, determines what world we see (10:1). When we choose to listen to fear, we see a world of separation. This perception completely perverts what we see and reverses its meaning for us. We can't recognize love when we see it. We react to love with fear, and we react to fear with love.

We fear God's punishment because we think we are guilty. We don't want to look at the guilt, so we project it onto other people. We see them as guilty. The ego thinks that if we can make others guilty, we'll get off the hook. Therefore when love presents itself in the form of another person, calling for love, we choose to see it as attack, as something to fear (5:1). When another person attacks us, we love it! Because it proves they are guilty and therefore, so we think, we must be innocent.

Because of our warped perception we see everything as the opposite of what it is (5:4). We see a call for love as an attack, and react with fear. We see an offer of openness and vulnerability as a threat, and pull away into our private kingdoms. Dangerous people strangely attract us. Abused as children, as adults we seek out those who will abuse us and marry them. We seek out people who will support our neuroses instead of those who can facilitate our healing (5:6). You judge one brother as an idiot or asshole, and you consider as friends those who will agree with your judgment. We totally fail to see that literally everyone is offering us love. Yet that is the reality of it, a reality we cannot see because we have blocked it all out with our mental "figures of fear" (5:7).

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6.  1As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. 2[For] You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound [what is soundless]. 3Your [behavioral] manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. 4You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. 5In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. 6God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. 7And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.

• Study Question •

6.    If we look honestly at the private world we live in, "it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity." (a) Name several of the characteristics of insanity listed here, all of which apply to us. (b) We do not see reality. What do we see instead, everywhere we look?

Recoiling from love and drawn to fear: Is this insane, or what? Of course it is! It is the very definition of insanity. Look in the dictionary under "insanity" and you'll find your picture next to the definition.

Suppose I were to describe a person to you this way. "He sees things that aren't there; he hears voices in his head. He responds to any friendly approach with terror, he shrieks and runs away. He is self-destructive and seeks out things that can injure him; he likes pain. He is totally non-communicative, catatonic in withdrawal from the world. He only talks to his 'voices.' He lives entirely in his own head and does not relate to reality at all."

Does that sound like the description of an insane person? Yet it is a description of you.

God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone. (6:6–7)

That is the ultimate insanity. We don't hear God because we are preoccupied with our own voice, the voice of the ego in our mind. We are egocentric. We are self-possessed. Everywhere we look, all we see is our own split mind; we never see God, we never see the love, we never see the Christ.

Remember I said that this chapter was going to take us into the ego very deeply? Remember that Jesus says it is crucial to our healing to do this? It isn't fun, is it? It's like lancing a boil; all the pus has to be let out. But don't let this get you down! When you unmask the ego, when you really get where this is all happening, in your mind, you have the key of your release. There is nothing outside of you to worry about. Nothing "out there" is your enemy. The enemy is only in your mind, and you have control of your mind. It may seem to be out of control but that's only because you've let go of the controls. In fact, you've got a very capable Helper in regaining control, which the Course calls the Holy Spirit. He's right there in your mind, along with the ego.

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7.  1Little child, would you offer this to your Father? 2For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to Him. 3And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. 4Yet He would release you from it and set you free. 5His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. 6You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. 7It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. 8You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself. 9For you will love them, and by drawing nigh unto them you will draw them to yourself, perceiving them as witnesses to the reality you share with God. 10[For] I am with them as I am with you, and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united so would we unite with them. 11The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should [would] offer Him. 12For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. 13And it is God Whom you must offer them, to recognize His gift to you.

• Study Question •

7.    When we begin to see this insanity we realize we do not want it. The Father does not want it for us, either. (a) What do we need to do to begin to be released from it (see 7:5-8)? (b) What will be the result, in relationship to our brothers, if we do this?

This insanity is not what you want to show to God, is it? But in continually showing it to yourself you are showing it to God. (7:1–2)

And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. (7:3)

You may be showing an insane face to God. Your ego may be constantly rejecting His love. But God is not going to treat you that way! The ego wants you to think God will punish you because you, so to speak, kicked God out; because you sinned, God is going to give you hell in return. But God is not like that. The ego wants you to think that God is a Giant Ego and gets really ticked off by the ego's posturing; God doesn't even notice. He created you. He knows what you really are. And you do not deserve anger and punishment. God knows that because He knows Himself. Because He is not worthy of your insanity, neither are you.

Although our thought of separation has had no effect, in the sense that God's love and acceptance of us has never faltered, and we still remain as we were created, yet God is aware of our insanity and wants to free us from it (7:4). The instant the thought of separation occurred, the Course tells us, God placed the Answer in our minds[1]: the Holy Spirit, His Voice of sanity (7:4). The "eternal sanity" (T-13.III.7:4) of the Holy Spirit has already been planted in your mind. The dark game of separation and death is therefore already over; the complete Answer has been given. All the rest, all our experience in this world, is just a silly psychodrama being played out in our mind—just a bad dream about something that never happened. The world we offered to ourselves is not true. What God offers us has never changed.

You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. (7:6,7)

That first phrase recalls Jesus' words on the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." We are "them." We are those "who know not what they do." As it said earlier in the chapter, we are those who believe we have crucified the Son of God.

Here is the whole purpose of the Course in a nutshell: to "learn what insanity is, and look beyond it." We have to look at insanity to look beyond insanity. If we don't look at  it, we are trapped in it. We have to see what we are doing so we can stop it. We are like people complaining of a pain in our leg when we are pinching ourselves. Jesus is saying, "Look! You're pinching yourself. Stop it and the pain will go away." This is the topic of Workbook lesson #79, "Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved." It says:

A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is really solved already you will still have the problem, because you will not recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. Yet the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognized.

Everyone in this world seems to have his own special problems. Yet they are all the same, and must be recognized as one if the one solution that solves them all is to be accepted. Who can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? (W-139.1–2)

We have to learn what our insanity is so we can look beyond it. And we can look beyond it! We can learn how to deny the insanity of separation and guilt, and "come forth from [our] private world in peace." How is that going to happen? How will it look? The rest of the paragraph describes it.

You come out of your private world, the world made up of images in your mind, and you start really meeting other people. You see them as they really are, as God created them (7:8). You have seen your own insanity and so you recognize the same insanity in others, and know it is just something superimposed over their real being, just as your insanity was superimposed over your own intense and burning love for God. They are the same as you are. You will see that you have been denying the truth about your brothers because you have been denying it about yourself; the way you saw them was only the result of the way your saw yourself. So the way they see you is just a result of how they see themselves. They may attack you, but you won't take it personally because you know they are really just attacking an image in their own mind, and so are just attacking themselves. You understand that they don't know what they are doing because you have become aware that you didn't know what you were doing.

So instead of returning their attack, you will love them, just as you now know God has always loved you (7:9). You will "draw nigh" to them; you won't be frightened off by their projections or even your own, which will probably linger on for a while. You won't let the illusions keep you separate. You'll see even their insanities as "witnesses to the reality you share with God." Your insanity was just covering up the "loving mind that thought it made [these illusions] in anger" (T-13.III.6:4), the mind that was so deeply in pain and guilt over what it thought it had done. All your pain, all your anger came from a loving mind that believed it had ceased to be Love! You've seen that about yourself, and now even the insanity of your brothers can show you the same thing about them. Even in their insanity, they will constantly remind you of the reality you share with God.

Jesus says, "I am with them as I am with you" (7:10). That's what we'll see, and so "we," which includes Jesus, "will draw them from their private worlds." We know we have an ally on the inside, and we will work with him to draw them out. What a beautiful picture! Calling to our brothers and saying, "Surrender to the love that is in you. You are not guilty. You are a holy Son of God." That is my mission in the world, and that is your mission. That is the only mission. "The healing of God's Son is all the world is for" (T-24.VI.4:1).

"It is God Whom you must offer them, to recognize His gift to you" (7:13). This is the whole beauty of it: we save ourselves by saving others. We learn by teaching. We recognize God's gift in ourselves by offering it to others. The human race has spent thousands of years teaching separation by offering separation; now, at last, we can begin to teach unity by offering unity, to teach love by offering love, to teach peace by offering peace, to teach innocence by offering release from guilt, to teach God by offering God to everyone we see.

The messengers of God perform their part by their acceptance of His messages for themselves, and show they understand the messages by giving them away. (W‑pI.154.7:2)

No one can receive and understand he has received until he gives. For in the giving is his own acceptance of what he received. (W-pI.154.8:6-7)

The world believes that to possess a thing, it must be kept. Salvation teaches otherwise. To give is how to recognize you have received. It is the proof that what you have is yours. (W-pI.159.1:5-8)

You understand that you are healed when you give healing. You accept forgiveness as accomplished in yourself when you forgive. You recognize your brother as yourself, and thus do you perceive that you are whole. There is no miracle you cannot give, for all are given you. Receive them now by opening the storehouse of your mind where they are laid, and giving them away. (W‑pI.159.2:1-5)

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8.  1Vision depends on light. 2You cannot see in darkness. 3Yet in darkness, in the private world of sleep, you see in dreams although your eyes are closed. 4And it is here that what you see you made. 5But let the darkness go and all you made you will no longer see, for sight of it depends upon denying vision. 6Yet from denying vision it does not follow [that] you cannot see. 7But this is what denial does, for by it you accept insanity, believing you can make a private world and rule your own perception. 8Yet for this, light must be excluded. 9Dreams disappear when light has come and you can see.

• Study Question •

8.    Using the analogy of dreaming, explain how denial of our reality has made the insane perception of private worlds possible.

To enter this world of light, we must be willing to abandon our darkness. We must come out of our private worlds. We must cease imagining there is value in the world we have made and let it go, just let it go. All that we have learned about how to relate to others in this shadow world is completely useless. All our imagined understanding of how to play the game of life is worthless. We have to let go of everything we have made.

This paragraph is talking about physical light, darkness and sight. You can't see in the dark (8:1–2); that's pretty basic fact. Still, when you are asleep, with your eyes closed in darkness, you see things—you see things in your dreams (8:3). It is obvious to anyone, if they think about it at all, that what you see in your dreams is something you made (8:4). It isn't real. But if you "let the darkness go," that is, if you open your eyes, the dream vanishes (8:5). Seeing the dream depends upon darkness, it depends on closing your eyes to normal vision and denying yourself the normal vision you see in light. But just because you don't see normally when your eyes are closed, it doesn't mean you can't see normally (8:6). You've just got your eyes closed!

But this is what denial does…(8:7).

Now we shift to denial in the sense the Course has been talking about it, the denial of our own reality as God's creations, the denial of union with God. By denying our union with God, by denying our own innocence, we have shut our spiritual eyes. So we see dreams and visions, images and shadows, instead. Just as by shutting our physical eyes we shut out the light required for normal vision, so in shutting our spiritual eyes we have shut out the Light required for true Vision. Yet that does not mean we are incapable of true Vision. It only means we have our eyes closed. If we open our spiritual eyes, the dream, the illusory picture of the world we made with our mind, will vanish (8:9).

By our denial of our spiritual origins in God, we accept insanity—this insanity we've been talking about. Our belief in guilt has made this world. To see this dream world, we have had to shut our eyes to the real world. Yet if we open those spiritual eyes to light, we will see another world entirely.

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9.  1Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. 2Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. 3Your "vision" comes from fear, as His from love. 4And He sees for you, as your witness to the real world. 5He is the Holy Spirit's manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you. 6[For] He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. 7And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. 8And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with Him.

• Study Question •

9.    Why should we not look for vision with our physical eyes? (b) What is the part of Christ (perhaps here referring to Jesus as the "manifestation of the Holy Spirit") in our finding real vision (see also T-14.VII.6:6 and T-17.II.1:8)?

In comparison to the Real World, this world we call real is just like our world of dreams is in comparison to the physical world. We are talking about another level of reality here. Compared to our dreams, this world is "real." Compared to the world seen in God's Light, this physical world is the dream. It is made in exactly the same way, by shutting our spiritual eyes to spiritual light so we can make up whatever we want. We've seen exactly how we do that, peopling our lives with images from the past.

You know you can't trust what you 'see' in your dreams. Apply the same lesson here: you can't trust what your body's eyes are showing you, either (9:1). All you see is a higher level of dream. To dream, you close your eyes and make up another way of seeing things that are not there. To enter this world, you shut your spiritual eyes and made up this physical way of seeing, and it is showing you things that are not there just as your dreams do! You cannot trust what your eyes see. You made up what you see. You are seeing what your mind wants to show you, nothing more. You can't see in darkness.

The Manual has some very clear statements of this same idea:

The body's eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. (M-8.6:1-2)

When healed, we still see the differences. We still see the shadow figures, the illusions, the images from the past superimposed on the present. But we don't acknowledge them. We recognize they are meaningless. We are aware that what we are seeing is only a dream and not reality at all.

Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God's teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. (M-12.6:6-8)

We still see the dream, but we are aware we are dreaming. We are no longer fooled into believing that what we see is that which is real. We know it is only our dream, a projection of images from our own mind. We are aware, perhaps dimly at first, that reality is something beyond what we see, something not seen with our eyes at all. It is for this something else we are constantly looking.

Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your "vision" comes from fear, as His from love. And He sees for you, as your witness to the real world. (9:2–3)

There is another way of seeing, and it is within you. Just because you closed your eyes you didn't lose the ability to see. The vision of Christ is still within you. Your eyes may not see the real world, but Christ does. We need to learn to see with our hearts instead of our eyes. We need to learn again to see through the eyes of love, instead of the eyes of fear.  (That's those "two emotions" again, fear and love. We'll return to them more fully in the next paragraph.) We need to learn to say, "I will not be afraid of love today." Not afraid of our own love. Not afraid to see love in others.

And He [Christ] sees for you, as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit's manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you.

In your mind is the creation of God, the creation which is God's Son, which the Course calls the Christ. The Christ is also your real Self—Who you really are. This is love in your heart. Call it what you will, there is something in you which represents an alternate way of seeing the world. This divine energy, which is part of you, which is  you, is always active. Always! He is "looking always on the real world." He sees the love that is there, in you, in your brother, and he does not see the dream figures. He looks right past them. When you choose to see love He will show it to you, any time, anywhere. He is constantly calling forth witnesses to love.

When you open the eyes of your heart to Christ's vision, to love's vision, everyone who comes into your life comes as a witness to love. Exactly the right person shows up to show you love in the way you need it at that moment. All things become lessons of love.

He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with Him.

Christ loves what He sees within you! It would be good to just sit with those words in silence for a long time, repeating them to ourselves. "He loves what He sees within me. He loves what He sees within me."

He loves it and He wants to extend it. He wants to extend love through you and through me to the entire world. He wants the light of our love to shine on everyone and everything. That's what all this is about, that's why we are here.

"He will not return to the Father" must refer to the end of time, the end of physical world. When we have learned to perceive God or love in everything, the need for the world will be over. The need for perception is over as well. The Apostle Paul was saying much the same thing in I Corinthians 13:12. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known." (NASB) There will be such a direct knowing then that perception will fade away. It will be the knowing of identity—the knowing that consists in being that which we know and in knowing that which we are. We will know God just as He knows us.

And just as the apostle was saying in that chapter of Corinthians, the great Love Chapter, the path to that ultimate knowing in which perception vanishes is the path of love and its extension. It is the path of recognizing the illusory nature of what we see with our eyes in this world, and looking beyond it with the vision of Christ to see only what is real, which is always love. It is to remove, one by one, the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, as the Introduction to the Text says. Blocks which we have erected. It is seeing past the shadow figures we have made with our minds. It is knowing in every moment, "Love is here if I would see it," and choosing to see it, determining to see it.

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10.            1You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. 2Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights. 3See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ's vision He beholds Himself. 4And seeing what He is, He knows His Father. 5Beyond your darkest dreams He sees God's guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance that is undimmed by your dreams. 6And this you will see as you look with Him, for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father for you.

• Study Question •

10.   This is a good summary paragraph. How can we come to see "God's guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance?"

We return now to the two emotions. The Course is always distinguishing between what we made and what God created. God created us as love, so love was given to us in that creation. We made fear. What we make is never real. It is always an illusion and never really exists. Elsewhere it says that if we could learn the truth that "I remain as God created me," we would have learned the entire Course. All our making has changed nothing of what God created.

Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights.

Fear is a way of seeing. Love is another way of seeing. From our choice of which feeling we use as the base of our seeing, completely different worlds arise. If we choose to listen to the voice of fear, we will see a fearful world. If we choose to listen to the voice of love, we will see a loving world. Fear arises only from our guilt, from our own judgement on ourselves. We can see a "guiltless world" when we realize that all the guilt we see is our own, projected out on the world. We can, if we will, choose not to listen to our fear. We can be aware that it is a dream; what fear shows us is never the truth.

We will continue to have fears, and it is up to us to handle them. Earlier in the Text (pages 24–29) Jesus discusses fear and says very plainly that he cannot and will not take it away from us because to do so would interfere with cause and effect and depreciate the power of our mind. We do not need to make fear go away. We just have to decide not to listen to it.

Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love. (T-2.VII.4:2-4)

In other words, don't fight fear; replace it with love. Listen to what love is telling you and ignore what your fears say.

See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ's vision He beholds Himself. And seeing what He is, He knows His Father.

We are asked to choose to see through "the vision that is given you," that is, through love, not fear. We are to choose not to see through the vision that we have made, which is the vision of fear, the vision supported by our physical eyes. This is a choice not to acknowledge the "differences" that our eyes show us, not to give credence to the fearful perceptions our fearful minds have laid over the real world to obscure it. This isn't easy. The ego is constantly telling us we need to be cautious, we need to be careful about whom we love, we need to ration love, we need to be always on guard against injury.

The Course is telling us here that if we are willing to trust that love really is what is real, and that all this other stuff is just shadows cast by the darkness in our minds, we'll find out that it is true. It is safe to love indiscriminately. We'll find out by experience. Christ sees only Himself. Choose His vision and you will see Him. Through that seeing, Christ, in you, will know His Father.

Let yourself look on yourself through the eyes of love, and love is all you will see. In yourself! No matter how dark the dream, how ugly your mind may appear to you, beyond it is the guiltless Son of God, shining in perfect radiance. You are that Son. Look through the dreams. Look past them. The monster in the closet isn't there. (10:5–6)

If it helps you, you might want to envision Jesus coming to you and saying:

Come! Come with me. Take my hand and look at all you've been afraid of. Look with me. There is nothing to fear. Don't let the frightening illusions scare you off; they are hiding something incredibly wonderful. You've believed the shadows and you've lived your life in terror, but you are in terror of nothing. There's nothing here but love. Come! I'll show you. I'll show you just how beautiful you are, just how radiant you are.

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11.            1The Holy Spirit is the light in which Christ stands revealed. 2And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light. 3Nor will they see Him alone, for He is no more alone than they are. 4Because they saw the Son, they have risen in Him to the Father. 5And all this will they understand, because they looked within and saw beyond the darkness the Christ in them, and recognized Him. 6In the sanity of His vision they looked upon themselves with love, seeing themselves as the Holy Spirit sees them. 7And with this vision of the truth in them came all the beauty of the world to shine upon them.

• Study Question •

11.     Desiring to see Christ and asking to see Him is all that is required to see Him: "All who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light." (a) Sentences 5 and 6 sum up the process we go through. Restate this process in your own words. (b) What is the result of seeing the truth in ourselves, in relation to others (see 11:3, 11:7)?

Have you asked (11:2)? You're not going to see Christ with your own eyes. You have to ask. Trying to do it on your own is a waste of time. Where you are, not seeing, you are trapped inside the ego illusion. You have to reach out to a "higher power," as the Twelve Step programs call it. You have to ask for help, ask for light. It is a matter of will, of choice. All that is asked of you is your willingness. The word "would" in the sentence "All who would behold Him can see Him" is a form of the verb "will." It means, "Those who choose to see Him can see Him." It is all a matter of choice, of willingness. You show your willingness by asking. "Yes, I want to see. Show me, shine Your light on me."

When you see the Christ anywhere you see Him everywhere, because He is everywhere (11:3). When you see Him in others you see Him in yourself, and when you see Him in yourself you inevitably see Him in others. That's the only way to see Him because that's the only way He is. He does not exist in isolation any more than you do. If you look within, look at and past the darkest dreams that are there until you see the radiance of love beneath them, the radiance that is you, you will realize this truth: "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind." (W-p1.30)

To 'rise to the Father' (11:4) means simply to extend your perception of love to all of God's creation. It means you find God in everything because you have found God in your own mind. You suddenly wake up and realize, "If He is in me, He is in everything." When you see the Son [in yourself] you see the Father [in everything].

Let us today learn to look on ourselves with love (11:6). This is the sanity of Christ's vision.

• Study Question •

12.    In one or two short paragraphs, describe what seems to you to be the main message of this section. What spoke to you?


Answer Key

1.   Paragraph 1. Only we perceive these sights and sounds, since they come from our own mind; therefore they cannot be shared.

2.     Paragraph 2. These imaginary figures are unique to us by their very nature, because they represent only our subjective, individual response to the other person, and do not reflect the way the other person responds to us. Therefore, we are the only ones who see these incomplete figures, which exist only within our own minds.

  1. Paragraph 3. (a) We relate only to people and things that remind us of our shadow figures. (b) Within our own minds, we relate to people who are not there, and we hear them answer us. No one else hears them or sees them. (c) We are really attacking our own minds.
  2. Paragraph 4. In sentence 3, it refers to the mental illusions we project and seem to see outside of us. In sentence 4, it refers to the Christ Self that is really what is within, but is obscured by our projections.
  3. Paragraph 5. (a) Because we have projected our own hatred, and see that instead of the love that is really there. (b) We project the figures from our own mind, and relate only to these figures of fear, which we believe to be love.
  4. Paragraph 6. (a) We see what is not there, and hear what makes no sound. We react to emotions as the opposite of what they are. We are completely isolated and overlook reality, reacting only to images within our own minds. We are preoccupied with our own voice and do not hear God calling us. (b) We see only our own split mind.
  5. Paragraph 7. (a) Realize that our private worlds are not real; learn they are insane and look beyond them to what is real. We must deny the insanity and come forth from our private worlds. We will begin to see the reality of love in our brothers that has been hidden from us because we denied it in ourselves. (b) Coming out of our isolation we will love our brothers and be drawn to them. They will, in turn, be drawn to us, and become witnesses to the reality we share in Christ. (In a word, extension.)
  6. Paragraph 8. Denying reality is like closing our eyes to physical light. Only when we shut out physical sight can we see the imaginary world of dreams; only when we shut out reality can we perceive private worlds. Opening our eyes to light (our minds to reality) causes the dreams (the insanity) to vanish.
  7. Paragraph 9. (a) Our physical sight comes from the emotion of fear, and deceives us. (b) Vision comes from him; he sees for us until we are able to see for ourselves. He loves the reality in us and in our brothers; he calls forth its witnesses and draws them to us, extending our vision of reality.
  8. Paragraph 10. By looking with him.
  9. Paragraph 11. (a) We look within, deny the reality of the darkness there and look past it to see the Christ in ourselves, causing us to look upon ourselves with love. (b) When this occurs we do not see Him alone, or just in ourselves; we see Him everywhere. We see the Father. And we see the true beauty of the world around us, the real world.
  10. Summary. The emotion of fear makes an entirely private world comprised of shadow figures from the past that exist only in our minds. We are caught in this internal world, reacting like an insane person to things that are not there and completely overlooking reality. We are called to emerge from these private worlds by sharing the vision of Christ. We look within, deny the reality of our darkness, and look past it to the Christ; so the beauty of the real world will dawn on us.


A Few Additional Thoughts

Main Message

The reason we hold on to the past in our minds is that we have chosen to listen to fear instead of to love. The emotion (or thought) of fear in our minds produces the world we see: projection makes perception. Fear—and therefore the world fear sees—exists only in our minds; it is not real. Fear's perception is insane because it sees what is not there. The perception of fear totally blocks out the sight of what is real, which is Love. We must be willing to give up the perception of darkness in order to see the light. The Holy Spirit loves what He sees within you, and wants to extend it. We must give up our own vision and accept His; we must learn to look within, to see beyond the darkness, and to see the Christ within ourselves.

We do this by ceasing to locate guilt outside ourselves in our brothers (we forgive them) and recognize it is a projection of our minds. The guilt is only in our minds, and it is a guilt we have made up. Then, the Holy Spirit enables us to look beyond that guilt and see, within ourselves, the innocent Son of God.

Key Thoughts

There are only two emotions: love and fear.

Which emotion we listen to determines how we will see the world.

The worlds seen through these emotions are mutually exclusive: sight of one blocks out sight of the other.

Memory of the past is inaccurate: it consists of our reactions to our brothers and omits their reactions to us. We have made up our own memories; they are not whole.

Projection makes perception. You cannot see beyond perception; you cannot see beyond what is projected from your mind. "What is within appears to be without." You always are seeing a mirror of your thoughts. "You see only your split mind everywhere you look." If you attack what you see, you are attacking your own mind.

In our insanity we are attracted to fear, and afraid of love. The figures of fear in our world are there because we have invited them.

The Holy Spirit in our minds tells us the world of fear we have made up is not true. We can "learn what insanity is, and look beyond it." We do this by forgiving our brothers, and thus forgive ourselves. We have not lost the ability to see just because we have closed our eyes.

We cannot trust what our eyes show us, because "you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness," that is, we made physical sight to show us evidence of sin and guilt. This vision comes from fear.

The Holy Spirit's vision comes from love. He loves what He sees within us. "He sees God's guiltless Son within you." He shows us what is within ourselves by showing it to us in others. The way out of guilt's darkness is to "look within" and see beyond the darkness we think is there to the Christ who is our Self. It is to look upon ourselves with love, seeing ourselves as the Holy Spirit sees us.



[1] "The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God's Son, in that same instant was God's Answer given" (M-2.2:6).