Perception Can Make Whatever Picture the Mind Desires to See

1 – Justice

“Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice, since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. (M49)”

2 – Heaven

What a wonderful place that Heaven will be! Error impossible! And, of course, we are told that we can enjoy Heaven on earth. Of course, too, if we get enamored of believing that we can make no mistakes, we will be deluded big time.

3 – Holy Spirit

We don’t render justice at all. We turn over justice to the Holy Spirit, who knows all circumstances. We don’t let judgment of ourselves interfere, either. If we judge, we are sure to judge wrongly, and so we let guidance show us the way.

4 – Attack

Attack is unjust, because our brother is actually innocent, even though he/she does things or says thing that hurt. He/she is doing the best possible, given the world view subscribed to. We are living a dream that we ourselves have devised; the Self has devised it. And nothing happens to us that our Self has not approved.

5 – The Path

“The path become quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. (M49)”

6 – Personal Experience

Things normally get better as we go along. My immediate supervisor, years ago, asked me one day, in a fit of pique on her part, “Do you live a charmed life?” I think she had recognized that I had far fewer grievances than she herself did, and she may also have noticed how many blessings I did enjoy. Of course, salvation is not always linear, not always a straight line. Once I got away from A Course in Miracles, and my little world started crashing down around me. At this point I didn’t much believe that I lived a “charmed life.” But when I returned to my lodestone, ACIM, life smoothed out once again. I was projecting a better dream, and so once again I knew the “happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the ACIM Workbook).”

7 – Grandeur

We cannot know when we first start out on the spiritual pathway all that the future holds of grandeur. This grandeur is different from the grandiose fantasies of the ego, and this grandeur does not hold the pain that the ego always dips into. Things will get better. We just have to surrender to our own egoistic desires, make a pact with the Holy Spirit (Who is always there for us), and follow the guidance that comes. We will not be abandoned; we will know real peace for the first time.

8 – Concepts

“All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. (M49)”

9 – Persona

When we imagine our brothers, we create a perceived persona for them that is not true; this is the “concept” that this passage explains. Likewise, when we fear for the future, for growing older and sinking into illness, we walk ahead of the Holy Spirit. He tries to meet us in the present, always the present, and when we are projecting ahead, we are endangering our good sense, our good dreams.

10 – Projection Makes Perception

When we project a distorted dream from our minds, we are playing with fire, for the projection may seem very disturbing indeed. Try, just today, to live a few minutes in the present—not worrying about what the future may bring. Of course, we all know that the only moment that we can live in IS the present, but we find it very difficult not to look back and not to look ahead. The past and the future are mirages that are not there. Only live in the present, planning as little as possible. If there are plans to be made, the guidance that we get will prompt us what and when to do. We do not have to fear that our lives will fall apart if we live in the present. It is actually the most powerful point available to us; we will be more available for any future problems because we will be “present” to them.

11 – God’s Justice

“Pray for God’s justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. (M50)”

12 – Heaven or Hell

It is a tenet of the Course that projection makes perception. This may be difficult to understand, but this passage clarifies the issue: “Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see.” Jesus declares that in this lies Heaven or hell, as we elect.

13 – Our Life Situation

This understanding puts our life situation back in our own hands. It is how we see the world, how we interpret it, that determines how we will experience it. Our own insanity has made of this world a hell, and we surely do not wish to stay in this perception.

14 – Judging

We are told elsewhere that it is not up to us to judge our brother or sister. God’s justice is wholly that they are innocent people, as are we, people who are doing the best that they can, given the understanding that they have at any given moment. Our understanding can help them to follow God’s way.

15 – Impartial

“God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. . .Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see! (M50)”

16 – Innocent Children

God’s justice is that we are all innocent children of His. He leaves out nobody, throwing the mantle of His care around us all. We know when we experience His Presence that attack and condemnation are ridiculous choices, and if we are very present, we let those choices fall away. When attack and condemnation fall away, we are happy again. It is just that simple.

17 – Our Vision

Our vision is out there waiting for us. Vision, as described in A Course in Miracles, is not the sight of the physical eyes. It is akin to understanding, to accurate perception, to perception verging into knowledge given us by the Holy Spirit. We can see! Our problems just drop away when seen in this light. We can, if we are lucky, have a moment of enlightenment, a satori, and experience God’s love in a way that is new to us. Our vision, restored, helps us walk along a smoother pathway. If we are grateful sufficiently, we have thanked God all that He wants. He, after all, does not need our gratitude; we do. He needs our communication with Him, though, for He recognizes that we sleep and need to be awakened. He recognizes that His channels of communication are closed. We are told also in ACIM that He is lonely when the minds that He created do not communicate with Him. If this seems like anthropomorphism, then perhaps this is OK. God is a very real Presence, and when we are lucky, when we have fulfilled the requirements, we will feel His Presence in our lives.

18 – God’s Presence

Sometimes we don’t feel His Presence, even when we have been diligent in following His way. At such times, we may be experiencing His withdrawal, allowing us a “dark night of the soul.” The only way out is to go through this bad feeling, and the bad feeling may last a very long time. But we are not left comfortless, as Jesus promised in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit will take us where we are and lead us, ever so gently, to the light again. And we will be stronger for having gone through the dark night of the soul. God has, in that dark night, shut us up to Him alone. And we will be grateful that He did.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my perception be cleansed, so that I elect to see only Heaven. This does not mean that I deny insane things that I see, but it does mean that I choose to see their unreality. This world is illusory, as the Course teaches me.

Help me to see Heaven in my everyday world. Help me not to get lost in dreams that are essentially insane.

Amen.

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