“Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes. Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave. Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams. He represents his Father, Whom you see as offering both life and death to you. (T585)”
1 – How We See God
The final sentence in the above passage is pivotal; we see God as offering both life and death to us, and we think that it is our brother (or sister). In other words, as long as we are caught in the ego, we will see our brother as offering both life and death to us, because we see God the same way. We see God in our brother, though we are not usually aware of this. When we progress, we gradually realize that God offers only life, and then our brother’s significance to us becomes clearer and more benign.
2 – Intimate Relationships
The earlier portions of this passage help a good deal in our intimate relationships. We can choose what to fantasize, what to think, about our loved ones. We can think of the times that we have been disappointed or hurt, or we can dwell on those times of happiness, when our brother has been all that we might wish in a loved one. The obvious choice, for happiness, is to choose to focus on the good aspects of our relationships.
3 – Overlook Mistakes
Note that the more negative times with our brother have signified his mistakes, not his real self. We may also see that we contributed to the situation by our own mistakes. But the Course stresses that mistakes, once recognized, will be corrected, because we will desire to correct them. We will dream of happiness rather than sadness.
May I forgive totally all that I have not yet forgiven of my brothers and sisters who, I think in my weaker moments, have mistreated me. I realize that there is no other way to You. And there is not value in clinging to grievances. I will know that I am safe when I have given up all grievances. I would know that I am safe today.
May I dream, in my illusory world, of all that my brothers and sisters have done that is right. May I recall to mind the good times, the times when we were very close and all was well. May I never dip into negative thoughts that I do not immediately forgive myself for this irrationality. There is no better way to approach You than through my holy relationships to my brothers and sisters. It is the way to You, the salvation that A Course in Miracles counsels. May I never forget this.
I am not so advanced that I am free of dipping into negative thoughts about my loved ones, my closest relationships. But help me to realize that this is my most important task, to let go the negativity and turn to You for the guidance of what to do next. And You will always counsel forgiveness, because nothing has gone wrong in the real world. It has all been illusion, my dream.