Course in Miracles
12 - The Problem of Guilt
purpose of projection, as the ego uses it, is always to get rid
of guilt. Yet,
characteristically, the ego attempts to get rid of guilt from its
viewpoint only. For much as the ego wants to retain guilt, you find
it intolerable, since guilt stands in the way of your remembering
God, Whose pull is so strong that you cannot resist it.
On this issue,
then, the deepest split of all occurs. For if you are to retain
guilt, as the ego insists, you cannot be you. Only
by persuading you that it is you, could the ego possibly induce
you to project guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind.
how strange a solution the ego’s arrangement is. You project
guilt to get rid of it, but you are actually merely concealing it.
You do experience guilt feelings, but you have no idea why. On the
contrary, you associate them with a weird assortment of ego ideals,
which the ego claims you have failed. Yet you have no idea that
you are failing the Son of God by seeing him as guilty. Believing
you are no longer you, you do not realize that you are failing yourself.
of your hidden cornerstones holds your belief in guilt from your
awareness. For in that dark and secret place is the realization
that you have betrayed God’s Son by condemning him to death.
You do not
even suspect this murderous but insane idea lies hidden there, for
the ego’s destructive urge is so intense that nothing short
of the crucifixion of God’s Son can ultimately satisfy it.
It does not
know who the Son of God is, because it is blind. Yet let it perceive
guiltlessness anywhere, and it will try to destroy it, because it
Much of the
ego’s strange behavior is directly attributable to its definition
of guilt. To
the ego, the guiltless are guilty. Those
who do not attack are its “enemies,” because, by not
valuing its interpretation of salvation, they are in an excellent
position to let it go. They
have approached the darkest and deepest cornerstone in the ego’s
foundation. And while the ego can withstand your raising all else
to question, it guards this one secret with its life, for its existence
does depend on keeping this secret.
So it is this
secret that we must look upon calmly, for the ego cannot protect
you against truth, and in Its presence the ego is dispelled.
In the calm
light of truth, let us recognize that you believe you have crucified
God’s Son. You
have not admitted to this “terrible” secret because
you still wish to crucify him if you could find him. Yet the wish
has hidden him from you because it is very fearful, and you are
afraid to find him. You
have handled this wish to kill yourself by not knowing who you are,
and identifying with something else. You have projected guilt blindly
and indiscriminately, but you have not uncovered its source. For
the ego does want to kill you. And if you identify with it, you
must believe its goal is yours.
We once said
that the crucifixion is the symbol of the ego. When it was confronted
with the real guiltlessness of God’s Son, it did attempt to
kill him, and the reason it gave was that guiltlessness is blasphemous
to God. To
the ego, the ego is god. And guiltlessness must be interpreted as
the final guilt which fully justifies murder. You
do not yet understand that all your fear of this course stems ultimately
from this interpretation. But if you will consider your reactions
to it, you will become increasingly convinced that this is so.
has explicitly stated that its goal for you is happiness and peace.
Yet you are afraid of it. You have been told again and again that
it will make you free, yet you react as if it is trying to imprison
you. Most of the time you dismiss it, but you do not dismiss the
ego's thought system. You have seen its results, and you still lack
faith in it. You must, then, believe that by not learning the course,
you are protecting yourself. And you do not realize that it is only
your guiltlessness which can protect you.
has always been interpreted as the release from guilt, and this
is correct if it is understood. Yet
even when I have interpreted it for you, you have rejected it
and have not accepted it for yourself. You
have recognized the futility of the ego and its offerings. But
though you do not want the ego, you do not look upon the alternative
with gladness. You
are afraid of redemption, and you believe it will kill you. Make
no mistake about the depth of your fear. For you believe that,
in the presence of truth, you will turn on yourself and destroy
children, this is not so. Your
“guilty secret” is nothing, and if you will but bring
it to the light the Light will dispel it. And
then no dark cloud will remain between you and the remembrance
of your Father. For you will remember His guiltless Son, who did
not die because he is immortal. And
you will see that you were redeemed with him, and have never been
separated from him.
understanding lies your remembering, for it is the recognition
of love without fear. There
will be great joy in Heaven on your home-coming, and the joy will
be yours. For
the redeemed son of man is the guiltless Son of God, and to recognize
him is your redemption.