“Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the delusions of the world. . . .It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt. It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, ‘My brother, what you think is not the truth.'” (WB249).
Affirmation: “I look out on the world with quiet eyes.”
1 – Guilt
Guilt is a great bugaboo in our world: “the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.” Guilt makes hell for ourselves. It is only through our forgiveness of others as well as ourselves that we emerge from this self-made hell. Guilt is even said in ACIM to “be” hell. We probably do not fully understand this, but probably can relate to the idea, also in ACIM, that our way to salvation is forgiveness. And we inevitably feel guilty when we have not forgiven.
2 – The Place for Forgiveness
Eventually we see that not even forgiveness is needed, because there is nothing to forgive in illusions. We have not actually been harmed in any real way, because the real way is only the way of love. Notice that “quiet eyes” are needed to perceive the truth. Forgiveness looks with quiet eyes. Our wrongful deeds toward another have always been a call for help, and when we receive attack from others, we can therefore recognize that this time they are asking for help. If we perceive all that happens as either an expression of love or a call for love, we will be well on our way home. I have never found in ACIM this exact quotation, though many commentators on ACIM use it. Certainly the sentiment is implied in A Course in Miracles.
3 – ACIM’s Language
This passage is filled with vivid images. Vivid images are a hallmark of the Course. The words are terrifying, but strangely beautiful, and we do well to heed them.
I would look out on the world with quiet eyes today. I would not live in hell out of a sense of guilt. I would forgive when I have held offenses in mind; I would know that illusions are not part of the real world, and it is in the real world that I would live today.
I would not overreact to terrifying images. Hell only seems terrible. In truth it cannot touch me as long as I keep my eyes on You. Only when I fall away from following my Guide do I make mistakes that lead me to feel guilty. I would avoid those mistakes, with their attendant guilt, today.