“Jesus begins by speaking to us on the level of our special relationships. As we know, the term itself never appears in the workbook or manual, yet whenever Jesus talks about forgiveness or anger, he refers to our specialness. The exercise in the second part of the lesson expresses the principle that the way I see you mirrors the way I see me: If I attack you, I attack myself; if I see you as a Son of God, I reflect my first having seen the Son in myself. With anger or unforgiveness out of the way, we have made room for the love that waited patiently behind the veils of specialness for our return to it.”
“In this lesson, as always, Jesus is not suggesting we deny our physical perception of the body, but only the ego’s interpretation of it, which always entails attack. I perceive you attacking me, or as one I am justified in attacking in self-defense. Yet, seeing you blessing me because I bless myself is my response to the temptation of believing in the ego’s special purpose for our relationships.”
“The ego continually tempts us to see what is not there – i.e., sin – and to not see what is truly there – the Son’s blessing on himself.”
“Jesus tells us the answer to all our problems lies in forgiveness. In this lesson, therefore, we see another way in which he emphasizes his course’s basic theme: Forgiveness – the principle of Atonement – undoes the block to our remembering Heaven’s truth.”
“Another important principle is stated here, to be repeated in a later lesson: we – the dreamers of the dream – wrote the script for everything we experience in our lives. The Holy Spirit does not send people to us, nor provide us with relationships. Thus He does not remove them, for He is simply a presence in our minds, offering a different way of looking at what we made. Relationships we made to kill, now become in His loving perception instruments of healing; not because the body heals, but because our right minds use the body and its relationships as opportunities for learning a different lesson.”
“Everyone lies who says they do. (Understand the meaning of creation, 4:4-5). There is no way a specific individual can understand abstract and non-specific oneness. Jesus lets us know he does not expect such understanding.”
“However I will speak of undoing the specific purpose of separation you gave your relationships, and help you change it to healing.”
“Thus he repeatedly tells us that to forgive one person totally – seeing a little – is to have forgiven the ego and let it go. This lesson, therefore, is a plea that we pay careful attention to the specifics of our lives, inviting Jesus to help us understand the metaphysical abstractions he teaches elsewhere. He does not need us to master the metaphysics, but to understand it well enough to recognize that our goal is to learn from the One Who teachers us to reflect Divine Abstraction in the world of specifics.”
In response to 5:3, Ken writes:
“Needless to say, I want a response. I want to take my unconscious fear, project it, and say I am not responsible for the unhappiness and terror I feel; someone else is. Yet since there is no someone else, I have to invent one as an object of my projection. I thus write into my script one who becomes a concrete symbol of the sin, guilt and fear I do not want to look at in myself.”
“Thus we can truly say that Christ’s vision does not see a body or the world, but is the mind’s thought of forgiveness that tells us our physical eyes – the eyes of judgment – see the unreal. What is real here is that someone either calls for love or expresses it.”
“There are many spiritual paths that do not deal with hate and murder, but this course is different. Its purpose is to have us look directly at the ego and smile. However, we cannot do so until we look, and passages like these help us understand why we choose not to, for no one wants to see the venomous hate lurking within.”
“Jesus thus would say to us: “Do not mistake the intensity of this hatred and vicious murderousness within, which you then see in everyone else. Say instead to your brother: “I have hated you because I wished to see you as my maker instead of me. I did not believe I came from my own thought, but from the world that made me what I am.””
“As you go through your day, pay careful attention to the way you perceive others. This will reveal which teacher you have chosen. If you find yourself indulging in specialness, becoming bored, depressed, or critical of others, it is only because you first chose to see yourself as hateful. Rather than accept responsibility for that choice, you projected it and saw the hate in someone else. Yet when you understand that you see in this other person a projection of what you see in yourself, your ego reaction becomes a reminder that you made the wrong choice. This allows you to return to the mind where the mistake was made and choose again. It is thus not the other you forgive, but yourself for having chosen wrongly.”
“To behold you with the eyes of Christ means I see that your seeming sins have no power to deny me the peace of God. What I have labeled as sins I now see as mistakes that mirror my own. I do not deny what your body may have done, any more than I deny what my body may have done, I deny, to say it one more time, the ego’s interpretation of the body’s actions. This thus addresses a shift in the mind that says: “Thank God I am wrong and Jesus is right. The Son of God has not sinned, for his mistakes have had no effect upon his reality.”
Jesus pulls no punches in this lesson, does he?
He is abundantly clear about his definition/description of fear and what it does.
He speaks to hatred and murder.
As Ken points out, there are many spiritual paths that do not address this.
I have chosen ACIM and so I make every attempt, every effort, to Ken’s point above, to understand its metaphysics well enough to be motivated to practice in a meaningful way.
This lesson is so powerful. If it weren’t clear what Jesus has stated over and over and over again about the folly of projection, he sure makes it crystal clear in this lesson.
Have I repeatedly felt as though I were a victim of the world I see? Yes.
Have I felt sorry for myself? Yes.
Have I been unconsciously committed to sacrifice, long-suffering and martyrdom? Absolutely.
Thankfully, I can choose again.
I can rise above the battleground of bodies in conflict in every manner and connect with the right mind, align myself with the Holy Spirit and realize that whatever I think about another reflects what I think about myself.
If I am believing I am hateful, I project that and see hatred everywhere, I am looking for it when attacked to the ego.
Ah, but I can bless everyone as I bless myself. I loved the statement today that we practice. “I would behold you with the eyes of Christ, and see my perfect sinlessness in you.”
Of course, it’s preceded by “Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.” This reminds me of so many previous lessons. Excepting this one, this lesson, is a long one, full of examples of what we do when we’re projecting, sorry, what I do when I project.
I clearly am worshipping the identity I know and love as Gayle even if I am abjectly miserable.
I will not worship nor make an idol of the ego’s thought system.
Today I will practice seeing with Christ’s vision.
Have a lovely day!