A Course in Miracles

Chapter 25 - The Remedy

Commuting The Sentence

And if the Holy Spirit can commute each sentence that you laid upon yourself into a blessing, then it cannot be a sin. Sin is the one thing in all the world that cannot change. It is immutable. And on its changelessness the world depends. The magic of the world can seem to hide the pain of sin from sinners and deceive with glitter and with guile. Yet each one knows the cost of sin is death. And so it is.

For sin is a request for death, a wish to make this world's foundation sure as love, dependable as Heaven, and as strong as God Himself.

The world is safe from love to everyone who thinks sin possible. Nor will it change. Yet is it possible what God created not should share the attributes of His creation, when it opposes it in every way?

It cannot be the "sinner's" wish for death is just as strong as is God's Will for life.

Nor can the basis of a world He did not make be firm and sure as Heaven. How could it be that hell and Heaven are the same? And is it possible that what He did not will cannot be changed? What is immutable besides His Will? And what can share Its attributes except Itself? What wish can rise against His Will and be immutable? If you could realize nothing is changeless but the Will of God, this course would not be difficult for you. For it is this that you do not believe. Yet there is nothing else you could believe if you but looked at what it really is.

Let us go back to what we said before and think of it more carefully.

It must be so that either God is mad or is this world a place of madness.

Not one Thought of His makes any sense at all within this world. And nothing that the world believes as true has any meaning in His Mind at all. What makes no sense and has no meaning is insanity. And what is madness cannot be the truth. If one belief so deeply valued here were true, then every Thought God ever had is an illusion. And if but one Thought of His is true, then all beliefs the world gives any meaning to are false and make no sense at all. This is the choice you make. Do not attempt to see it differently nor twist it into something it is not. For only this decision can you make. The rest is up to God and not to you.

To justify one value that the world upholds is to deny your Father's sanity and yours.

For God and His beloved Son do not think differently. And it is the agreement of their thought that makes the Son a co-creator with the Mind Whose Thought created him. And if he chooses to believe one thought opposed to truth, he has decided he is not his Father's Son because the Son is mad, and sanity must lie apart from both the Father and the Son. This you believe. Think not that this belief depends upon the form it takes. Who thinks the world is sane in any way, is justified in anything it thinks, or is maintained by any form of reason believes this to be true.

Sin is not real because the Father and the Son are not insane.

This world is meaningless because it rests on sin. Who could create the changeless if it does not rest on truth?

The Holy Spirit has the power to change the whole foundation of the world you see to something else; a basis not insane on which a sane perception can be based, another world perceived. And one in which nothing is contradicted that would lead the Son of God to sanity and joy. Nothing attests...

  • to death and cruelty,
  • to separation and
  • to differences,

for here is everything perceived as one, and no one loses that each one may gain.

Test everything that you believe against this one requirement. And understand that everything that meets this one demand is worthy of your faith. But nothing else. What is not love is sin, and either one perceives the other as insane and meaningless. Love is the basis for a world perceived as wholly mad to sinners who believe theirs is the way to sanity. But sin is equally insane within the sight of love, whose gentle eyes would look beyond the madness and rest peacefully on truth. Each sees a world immutable, as each defines the changeless and eternal truth of what you are. And each reflects a view of what the Father and the Son must be to make that viewpoint meaningful and sane.

Your special function is the special form in which the fact that God is not insane appears most sensible and meaningful to you.

The content is the same. The form is suited to your special needs and to the special time and place in which you think you find yourself and where you can be free of place and time and all that you believe must limit you. The Son of God cannot be bound by time nor place nor anything God did not will. Yet if His Will is seen as madness, then the form of sanity which makes it most acceptable to those who are insane requires special choice. Nor can this choice be made by the insane, whose problem is their choices are not free and made with reason in the light of sense.

It would be madness to entrust salvation to the insane.

Because He is not mad has God appointed One as sane as He to raise a saner world to meet the sight of everyone who chose insanity as his salvation. To this One is given the choice of form most suitable to him; one which will not attack the world he sees, but enter into it in quietness and show him he is mad. This One but points to an alternative, another way of looking at what he has seen before and recognizes as the world in which he lives and thought he understood before.

Now must he question this because the form of the alternative is one which he cannot deny nor overlook nor fail completely to perceive at all. To each his special function is designed to be perceived as possible and more and more desired as it proves to him that it is an alternative he really wants. From this position does his sinfulness and all the sin he sees within the world offer him less and less. Until he comes to understand it cost him his sanity and stands between him and whatever hope he has of being sane. Nor is he left without escape from madness, for he has a special part in everyone's escape. He can no more be left outside without a special function in the hope of peace than could the Father overlook His Son and pass him by in careless thoughtlessness.

What is dependable except God's Love? And where does sanity abide except in Him? The One Who speaks for Him can show you this in the alternative He chose especially for you. It is God's Will that you remember this and so emerge from deepest mourning into perfect joy. Accept the function that has been assigned to you in God's Own plan to show His Sons that hell and Heaven are different, not the same. And that in Heaven they are all the same, without the differences which would have made a hell of Heaven and a heaven of hell, had such insanity been possible.

The whole belief that someone loses but reflects the underlying tenet God must be insane.

For in this world, it seems that one must gain because another lost. If this were true, then God is mad indeed! But what is this belief except a form of the more basic tenet, "Sin is real and rules the world"? For every little gain must someone lose and pay exact amount in blood and suffering. For otherwise would evil triumph and destruction be the total cost of any gain at all. You who believe that God is mad, look carefully at this and understand that it must be that either God or this must be insane, but hardly both.

Salvation is rebirth of the idea no one can lose for anyone to gain.

And everyone must gain if anyone would be a gainer. Here is sanity restored. And on this single rock of truth can faith in God's eternal saneness rest in perfect confidence and perfect peace. Reason is satisfied, for all insane beliefs can be corrected here. And sin must be impossible if this is true. This is the rock on which salvation rests, the vantage point from which the Holy Spirit gives meaning and direction to the plan in which your special function has a part. For here your special function is made whole because it shares the function of the whole.

Remember all temptation is but this: a mad belief that God's insanity would make you sane and give you what you want.

That either God or you must lose to madness because your aims can not be reconciled. Death demands life, but life is not maintained at any cost. No one can suffer for the Will of God to be fulfilled. Salvation is His Will because you share it. Not for you alone but for the Self which is the Son of God. He cannot lose, for if he could, the loss would be his Father's, and in Him no loss is possible. And this is sane because it is the truth.

 
 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 25 - The Remedy

The Principle of Salvation

The Holy Spirit can use all that you give to Him for your salvation. But He cannot use what you withhold, for He cannot take it from you without your willingness. For if He did, you would believe He wrested it from you against your will. And so you would not learn it is your will to be without it. You need not give it to Him wholly willingly, for if you could, you'd have no need of Him.

But this He needs:

that you prefer He take it than that you keep it for yourself alone and recognize that what brings loss to no one you would not know. This much is necessary to add to the idea no one can lose for you to gain. And nothing more.

Here is the only principle salvation needs. Nor is it necessary that your faith in it be strong, unswerving, and without attack from all beliefs opposed to it. You have no fixed allegiance. But remember salvation is not needed by the saved. You are not called upon to do what one divided still against himself would find impossible. Have little faith that wisdom could be found in such a state of mind. But be you thankful that only little faith is asked of you. What but a little faith remains to those who still believe in sin? What could they know of Heaven and the justice of the saved?

There is a kind of justice in salvation of which the world knows nothing. To the world, justice and vengeance are the same, for sinners see justice only as their punishment, perhaps sustained by someone else but not escaped. The laws of sin demand a victim. Who it may be makes little difference. But death must be the cost and must be paid. This is not justice but insanity. Yet how could justice be defined without insanity where love means hate and death is seen as victory and triumph over eternity and timelessness and life?

You who know not of justice still can ask and learn the answer. Justice looks on all in the same way. It is not just that one should lack for what another has. For that is vengeance in whatever form it takes. Justice demands no sacrifice, for any sacrifice is made that sin may be preserved and kept. It is a payment offered for the cost of sin, but not the total cost. The rest is taken from another, to be laid beside your little payment to "atone" for all that you would keep and not give up. So is the victim seen as partly you, with someone else by far the greater part. And in the total cost, the greater his, the less is yours. And justice, being blind, is satisfied by being paid, it matters not by whom. Can this be justice? God knows not of this. But justice does He know and knows it well. For He is wholly fair to everyone.

Vengeance is alien to God's Mind because He knows of justice.

To be just is to be fair and not be vengeful. Fairness and vengeance are impossible, for each one contradicts the other and denies that it is real. It is impossible for you to share the Holy Spirit's justice with a mind that can conceive of specialness at all. Yet how could He be just if He condemns a sinner for the crimes he did not do but thinks he did? And where would justice be if He demanded of the ones obsessed with the idea of punishment that they lay it aside unaided and perceive it is not true? It is extremely hard for those who still believe sin meaningful to understand the Holy Spirit's justice.

They must believe He shares their own confusion and cannot avoid the vengeance that their own belief in justice must entail. And so they fear the Holy Spirit and perceive the "wrath" of God in Him. Nor can they trust Him not to strike them dead with lightning bolts torn from the "fires" of Heaven by God's own angry hand. They do believe that Heaven is hell and are afraid of love. And deep suspicion and the chill of fear comes over them when they are told that they have never sinned. Their world depends on sin's stability. And they perceive the "threat" of what God knows as justice to be more destructive to themselves and to their world than vengeance, which they understand and love.

So do they think the loss of sin a curse. And flee the Holy Spirit as if He were a messenger from hell sent from above in treachery and guile to work God's vengeance on them in the guise of a deliverer and friend. What could He be to them except a devil dressed to deceive within an angel's cloak. And what escape has He for them except a door to hell that seems to look like Heaven's gate?

Yet justice cannot punish those who ask for punishment but have a Judge Who knows that they are wholly innocent in truth. In justice, He is bound to set them free and give them all the honor they deserve and have denied themselves because they are not fair and cannot understand that they are innocent. Love is not understandable to sinners because they think that justice is split off from love and stands for something else.

And thus is love perceived as weak and vengeance strong. For love has lost when judgment left its side and is too weak to save from punishment. But vengeance without love has gained in strength by being separate and apart from love. And what but vengeance now can help and save, while love stands feebly by with helpless hands, bereft of justice and vitality and powerless to save? What can Love ask of you who think that all of this is true? Could He, in justice and in love believe in your confusion you have much to give? You are not asked to trust Him far. No further than what you see He offers you and what you recognize you could not give yourself.

In God's own justice does He recognize all you deserve but understands as well that you cannot accept it for yourself.

It is His special function to hold out to you the gifts the innocent deserve. And every one that you accept brings joy to Him as well as you. He knows that Heaven is richer made by each one you accept. And God rejoices as His Son receives what loving justice knows to be his due. For love and justice are not different. Because they are the same does mercy stand at God's right hand and give the Son of God the power to forgive himself of sin.

To him who merits everything, how can it be that anything be kept from him?

For that would be injustice and unfair indeed to all the holiness that is in him, however much he recognize it not. God knows of no injustice. He would not allow His Son be judged by those who seek his death and could not see his worth at all. What honest witnesses could they call forth to speak on his behalf? And who would come to plead for him and not against his life? No justice would be given him by you. Yet God ensured that justice would be done unto the Son He loves and would protect from all unfairness you might seek to offer, believing vengeance is his proper due.

As specialness cares not who pays the cost of sin, so it be paid, the Holy Spirit heeds not who looks on innocence at last, provided it is seen and recognized. For just one witness is enough if he sees truly. Simple justice asks no more. Of each one does the Holy Spirit ask if he will be that one, so justice may return to love and there be satisfied. Each special function He allots is but for this-that each one learn that love and justice are not separate. And both are strengthened by their union with each other. Without love is justice prejudiced and weak. And love without justice is impossible. For love is fair and cannot chasten without cause. What cause can be to warrant an attack upon the innocent? In justice then does love correct mistakes, but not in vengeance. For that would be unjust to innocence.

You can be perfect witness to the power of love and justice if you understand it is impossible the Son of God could merit vengeance. You need not perceive in every circumstance that this is true. Nor need you look to your experience within the world, which is but shadows of all that is really happening within yourself. The understanding which you need comes not of you but from a larger Self, so great and holy that He could not doubt His innocence. Your special function is a call to Him that He may smile on you whose sinlessness He shares. His understanding will be yours. And so the Holy Spirit's special function has been fulfilled. God's Son has found a witness unto his sinlessness and not his sin. How little need you give the Holy Spirit that simple justice may be given you!

Without impartiality there is no justice. How can specialness be just? Judge not because you cannot, not because you are a miserable sinner too. How can the special really understand that justice is the same for everyone? To take from one to give another must be an injustice to them both, since they are equal in the Holy Spirit's sight. Their Father gave the same inheritance to both. Who would have more or less is not aware that he has everything. He is no judge of what must be another's due, because he thinks he is deprived. And so must he be envious and try to take away from whom he judges. He is not impartial and cannot fairly see another's rights because his own have been obscured to him.

You have the right to all the universe--

to perfect peace, complete deliverance from all effects of sin, and to the life eternal, joyous and complete in every way, as God appointed for His holy Son.

This is the only justice Heaven knows, and all the Holy Spirit brings to earth. Your special function shows you nothing else but perfect justice can prevail for you. And you are safe from vengeance in all forms. The world deceives, but it cannot replace God's justice with a version of its own. For only love is just and can perceive what justice must accord the Son of God. Let love decide and never fear that you in your unfairness will deprive yourself of what God's justice has allotted you.

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 25 - The Remedy

The Justice of Heaven

What can it be but arrogance to think your little errors cannot be undone by Heaven's justice?

And what could this mean except that they are sins and not mistakes, forever uncorrectable, and to be met with vengeance not with justice? Are you willing to be released from all effects of sin? You cannot answer this until you see all that the answer must entail. For if you answer "yes," it means you will forego all values of this world in favor of the peace of Heaven. Not one sin would you retain. And not one doubt that this is possible will you hold dear that sin be kept in place. You mean that truth has greater value now than all illusions. And you recognize that truth must be revealed to you because you know not what it is.

To give reluctantly is not to gain the gift because you are reluctant to accept it. It is saved for you until reluctance to receive it disappears, and you are willing it be given you. God's justice warrants gratitude, not fear. Nothing you give is lost to you or anyone, but cherished and preserved in Heaven, where all of the treasures given to God's Son are kept for him and offered anyone who but holds out his hand in willingness they be received. Nor is the treasure less as it is given out. Each gift but adds to the supply. For God is fair. He does not fight against His Son's reluctance to perceive salvation as a gift from Him. Yet would His justice not be satisfied until it is received by everyone.

Be certain any answer to a problem the Holy Spirit solves will always be one in which no one loses.

And this must be true because He asks no sacrifice of anyone. An answer which demands the slightest loss to anyone has not resolved the problem but has added to it and made it greater, harder to resolve, and more unfair. It is impossible the Holy Spirit could see unfairness as a resolution. To Him, what is unfair must be corrected because it is unfair. And every error is a perception in which one at least is seen unfairly. Thus is justice not accorded to the Son of God. When anyone is seen as losing, he has been condemned. And punishment becomes his due instead of justice.

The sight of innocence makes punishment impossible and justice sure. The Holy Spirit's perception leaves no ground for an attack. Only a loss could justify attack, and loss of any kind He cannot see. The world solves problems in another way. It sees a resolution as a state in which it is decided who shall win and who shall lose-how much the one shall take and how much can the loser still defend.

Yet does the problem still remain unsolved, for only justice can set up a state in which there is no loser, no one left unfairly treated and deprived, and thus with grounds for vengeance. Problem solving cannot be vengeance, which at best can bring another problem added to the first, in which the murder is not obvious. The Holy Spirit's problem solving is the way in which the problem ends. It has been solved because it has been met with justice. Until it has, it will recur because it has not yet been solved. The principle that justice means no one can lose is crucial to this course. For miracles depend on justice. Not as it is seen through this world's eyes, but as God knows it, and as knowledge is reflected in the sight the Holy Spirit gives.

No one deserves to lose. And what would be unjust to him cannot occur. Healing must be for everyone because he does not merit an attack of any kind. What order can there be in miracles, unless someone deserves to suffer more and others less? And is this justice to the wholly innocent? A miracle is justice. It is not a special gift to some to be withheld from others as less worthy, more condemned, and thus apart from healing. Who is there who can be separate from salvation if its purpose is the end of specialness? Where is salvation's justice if some errors are unforgivable and warrant vengeance in place of healing and return of peace?

Salvation cannot seek to help God's Son be more unfair than he has sought to be. If miracles, the Holy Spirit's gift, were given specially to an elect and special group and kept apart from others as less deserving, then is He ally to specialness. What He cannot perceive He bears no witness to. And everyone is equally entitled to His gift of healing and deliverance and peace. To give a problem to the Holy Spirit to solve for you means that you want it solved. To keep it for yourself to solve without His help is to decide it should remain unsettled, unresolved, and lasting in its power of injustice and attack. No one can be unjust to you, unless you have decided first to be unjust. And then must problems rise to block your way and peace be scattered by the winds of hate.

Unless you think that all your brothers have an equal right to miracles with you, you will not claim your right to them because you were unjust to one with equal rights. Seek to deny, and you will feel denied. Seek to deprive, and you have been deprived. A miracle can never be received because another could receive it not. Only forgiveness offers miracles. And pardon must be just to everyone.

The little problems that you keep and hide become your secret sins because you did not choose to let them be removed for you. And so they gather dust and grow until they cover everything that you perceive and leave you fair to no one. Not one right do you believe you have. And bitterness, with vengeance justified and mercy lost, condemns you as unworthy of forgiveness. The unforgiven have no mercy to bestow upon another. That is why your sole responsibility must be to take forgiveness for yourself. The miracle that you receive you give. Each one becomes an illustration of the law on which salvation rests-that justice must be done to all if anyone is to be healed. No one can lose, and everyone must benefit.

Each miracle is an example of what justice can accomplish when it is offered to everyone alike.

It is received and given equally. It is awareness that giving and receiving are the same. Because it does not make the same unlike, it sees no differences where none exist. And thus it is the same for everyone because it sees no differences in them. Its offering is universal, and it teaches but one message:

What is God's belongs to everyone and is his due.

 

 
 

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