21 - The Inner Picture
makes perception. The world you see is what you
gave it, nothing more than that. But though it
is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore,
to you it is important. It is the witness to your
state of mind, the outside picture of an inward
a man thinketh," so does he perceive. Proverbs
seek not to change the world, but will to change
your mind about the world. Perception is a result,
not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty
in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked
upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived
without it means anything. And where there is
no meaning, there is chaos.
Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this
you will project upon the world. See it as damned,
and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son
you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried
to crucify him.
see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of
God to set him free.
is no choice that lies between these two decisions.
And you will see the witness to the choice you
made, and learn from this to recognize which one
forget the world the sightless “see”
must be imagined, for what it really looks like
is unknown to them. They must infer what could
be seen from evidence forever indirect; and reconstruct
their inferences as they stumble and fall because
of what they did not recognize, or walk unharmed
through open doorways which they thought were
closed. And so it is with you. You do not see.
cues for inference are wrong, and so you stumble
and fall down upon the stones you did not recognize,
but fail to be aware you can go through the doors
you thought were closed, but which stand open
before unseeing eyes, waiting to welcome you.
foolish it is to attempt to judge what could be
seen instead. It is not necessary to imagine what
the world must look like. It must be seen, before
you recognize it for what it is. You can be shown
which doors are open, and you can see where safety
lies; and which way leads to darkness, which to
will always give you false directions, but vision
shows you where to go.
should you guess? There is no need to learn through
pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously,
and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness
you want to learn and not forget. It is not this
you would deny. Your question is whether the means
by which this course is learned will bring to
you the joy it promises. If you believed it would,
the learning of it would be no problem. You are
not happy learners yet, because you still remain
uncertain that vision gives you more than judgment
does, and you have learned that both you cannot
blind become accustomed to their world by their
adjustments to it. They think they know their
way about in it. They learned it, not through
joyous lessons, but through the stern necessity
of limits they believed they could not overcome;
and still believing this, they hold those lessons
dear and cling to them because they cannot see.
do not understand the lessons keep them blind.
This they do not believe, and so they keep the
world they learned to “see” in their
imagination, believing that their choice is that
or nothing. They
hate the world they learned through pain, and
everything they think is in it, serves to remind
them that they are incomplete and bitterly deprived.
they define their life and where they live, adjusting
to it as they think they must, afraid to lose
the little that they have. And so it is with all
who see the body as all they have, and all their
brothers have. They try to reach each other, and
they fail, and fail again. And they adjust to
loneliness, believing that to keep the body is
to save the little that they have.
and try to think if you remember what we will
speak of now.
Listen—perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient
state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet
not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name
is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which
you heard completely unremembered. Not the whole
song has stayed with you, but just a little whisp
of melody, attached not to a person or a place
or anything particular. But you remember, from
just this little part, how lovely was the song,
how wonderful the setting where you heard it,
and how you loved those who were there and listened
notes are nothing. Yet you have kept them with
you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder
of what would make you weep if you remembered
how dear it was to you. You could remember, yet
you are afraid, believing you would lose the world
you learned since then. And yet you know that
nothing in the world you learned is half so dear
as this. Listen—and
see if you remember an ancient song you knew so
long ago, and held more dear than any melody you
taught yourself to cherish since.
the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything
you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc
of golden light that stretches as you look into
a great and shining circle. And all the circle
fills with light before your eyes. The edges
of the circle disappear, and what is in it is
no longer contained at all. The light expands
and covers everything, extending to infinity
forever shining, and with no break or limit
anywhere. Within it everything is joined in
perfect continuity. Nor is it possible to imagine
that anything could be outside, for there is
nowhere that this light is not.
This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you
know well. Here is the sight of him who knows
his Father. Here is the memory of what you are;
a part of this, with all of it within, and joined
to all as surely as all is joined in you. Accept
the vision which can show you this, and not
the body. You know the ancient song, and know
it well. Nothing will ever be as dear to you
as is this ancient hymn the Son of God sings
to his Father still.
now the blind can see! For that same song they
sing in honor of their Creator gives praise
to them as well. The blindness which they made
will not withstand the memory of this song.
And they will look upon the vision of the Son
of God, remembering who he is they sing of.
What is a miracle but this remembering? And
who is there in whom this memory lies not? The
light in one awakens it in all. And when you
see it in each other, you are remembering for