Innocence

“Innocence is also not a partial attribute. It is not a real defense until it is total. When it is partial, it is characterized by the same erratic nature that holds for other two-edged defenses. The partly innocent are apt to be quite stupid at times. It is not until their innocence is a genuine viewpoint which is universal in its application that it becomes wisdom. Innocent (or true) perception means that you never misperceive and always see truly. More simply, this means that you never see what does not exist in reality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IV.3:1-7)

Innocent perception, true perception, is our perception just before knowledge dawns on our previously deluded minds. “The partly innocent are apt to be quite stupid at times.” The term “stupid” is a correction harkening back to the original; the edition of the Foundation for Inner Peace used the term “foolish.” We can see that “stupid,” in this case, does mean “foolish,” though there is a denunciatory slant to “stupid” for our minds that have long sought to be superior to the heart.

Innocence is total when we have found Awakening or Christ-consciousness. Until then, we will oscillate between innocence and only partial innocence, and we will be erratic in our emotions around these terms. When we are innocent, we know that we have only made mistakes, not committed “sins.” When we are partly innocent, we will harbor a fear that our mistakes, some of them at least, have actually been sins.

This is not so, of course. Sin carries a sense of hopelessness that mistakes do not. And sin also is thought to be erased only by blood sacrifice, at least in traditional Christianity.

Jesus has altered all this in A Course in Miracles. He asks us not to look to the cross for our salvation, but to the resurrection, which assures eternal life. The resurrection is the mystery that binds us to Jesus. Let its value sweep over us, and take us home to God.

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