Course in Miracles
21 - Imagined World
Projection 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.
to you it is important.
is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture
of an inward condition.
a man thinketh," so does he perceive. Proverbs
seek not to change the world, but will to change your mind about
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 of God.
you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him.
you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him
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 you chose.
The Imagined World
Never forget the world the sightless “see” must be
imagined, for what it really looks like is unknown to
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.
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.
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 light.
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
question is whether the means by which this course is learned
will bring to you the joy it promises.
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 have.
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.
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.
try to reach each other, and they fail, and fail again.
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.
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 with you. The
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.
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.
Vision Can Show You
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.
edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained
light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever
shining, and with no break or limit anywhere.
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.
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.
the vision which can show you this, and not the body.
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
And now the blind can see! For that same song they sing
in honor of their Creator gives praise to them as well.
blindness which they made will not withstand the memory of this
And they will look upon the vision of the Son of God, remembering
who he is they sing of.
is a miracle but this remembering?
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 everyone.
Course in Miracles
21 - Responsibility For Sight
have repeated how little is asked of you to learn this course. It
small willingness you need to have your whole relationship transformed
little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit for which He gives you
very little on which salvation rests;
tiny change of mind by which the crucifixion is changed
to resurrection. And
being true, it is so simple that it cannot fail to be completely
yes, but not ambiguous—and
if you choose against it now, it will not be because it is obscure,
but rather that this little cost seemed, in your judgment,
to be too much to pay for peace.
is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release
from pain and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you.
Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power
of salvation lies:
“I am responsible for what I see.
I chose the feelings I experience, and I decided on the goal I
And everything that seems to happen to me
I asked for, and received as I had asked.”
Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of
what is done to you. Acknowledge
but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes
is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside
is impossible that the happenings that come to him were not his
power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which
he seems to find himself by chance or accident. No
accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created
it, outside of which is nothing.
you decided sin was your goal.
you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God
is the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit, and even this He
gave to you to give yourself; for by this gift is given you the
power to release your Savior, that he may give salvation unto you.
Begrudge not then this little offering.
you keep the world as now you see it. Give
it away, and everything you see goes with it. Never
was so much given for so little.
the holy instant is this exchange effected and maintained. Here
is the world you do not want brought to the one you do, and
here the one you do is given you because you want it.
for this, the power of your wanting must first be recognized.
must accept its strength, and not its weakness. You must perceive
that what is strong enough to make a world can let it go,
and can accept correction if it is willing to see that
it was wrong.
The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right.
witness is insane. You trained it in its testimony. and as it gave
it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it
saw was true.
did this to yourself.
only this, and you will also see how circular the reasoning on which
your “seeing” rests. This was not given you. This was
your gift to you, and to your brother. Be
willing, then, to have it taken from him and be replaced with truth;
and as you look upon the change in him, it will be given you to
see it in yourself.
Perhaps you do not see the need for you to give this little offering.
closer, then, at what it is. And, very simply, see in it the whole
exchange of separation for salvation.
that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things should
happen to the Son of God without his will; and thus without the
Will of his Creator, Whose Will cannot be separate from his own.
is the Son of God’s replacement for his will, a mad revolt
against what must forever be.
is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless,
and so to take it for himself and leave himself without what God
has willed for him.
is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars and which
you worship, and anything which threatens this seems to attack
your faith, for here is it invested.
not that you are faithless, for your belief and trust in this is
Holy Spirit can give you faith in holiness and vision
to see it easily enough, but you have not left open
and unoccupied the altar where the gifts belong. Where They (faith
in holiness & vision to see it) should be, you have set up your
idols to something else. This
other will, which seems to tell you what must happen, you gave reality.
And what would show you otherwise must therefore seem unreal.
All that is asked of you is to make room for truth.
are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding.
All you are asked to do is let it in; only to stop your interference
with what will happen of itself; simply to recognize again the presence
of what you thought you gave away.
willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you
placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot
fail to see.
holy instant is not an instant of creation, but of recognition,
for recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment. Then
only it is possible to look within and see what must be
there, plainly in sight, and wholly independent of inference and
is not your task, but it is up to you to welcome it or not.
and desire go hand in hand, for everyone believes in what he
have already said that wishful thinking is how the
ego deals with what it wants, to make it so. There
is no better demonstration of the power of wanting,
and therefore of faith, to make its goals seem real and possible.
in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make
it fit the goal of madness.
goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world
to justify its purpose.
you desire you will see. And
if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing
all the adjustments you have introduced, to make it
When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect
becomes inevitable. The
purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the
effect, and make effect appear to be a cause. This
seeming independence of effect enables it to be regarded
as standing by itself, and capable of serving as a cause of
the events and feelings its maker thinks it causes.
ago, we spoke of your desire to create your own Creator, and
be father and not son to Him. This
is the same desire.
Son is the effect, whose Cause he would deny, and so
he seems to be the cause, producing real effects. Nothing
can have effects without a cause, and to confuse the two is
merely to fail to understand them both.
is as needful that you recognize you made the world
you see, as that you recognize that you did not create
are the same mistake.
created not by your Creator has any influence over
you; and if you think what you have made can tell you
what you see and feel, and place your faith in its ability to
do so, you are denying your Creator and believing that
you made yourself. For
if you think the world you made has power to make you what
it wills, you are confusing Son and Father; effect and Source.
Son’s creations are like his Father’s. Yet
in creating them, the Son does not delude himself that he is
independent of his Source.
union with It is the Source of his creating; apart from this
he has no power to create, and what he makes is meaningless.
changes nothing in creation, depends entirely upon the madness
of its maker, and cannot serve to justify the madness.
brother thinks he made the world with you. Thus
he denies creation. With
you, he thinks the world he made made him. Thus
he denies he made it.
Yet the truth is you were both created by a loving
Father, Who created you together and as one.
what “proves” otherwise, and you deny your whole
grant that everything which seems to stand between you, keeping
you from each other and separate from your Father, you made
in secret, and the instant of release has come to you.
its effects are gone because its source has been uncovered.
is its (effect's) seeming independence of its source
that kept you prisoner. This is the same delusion that
you are independent of the Source by which you were created,
and have never left.
Course in Miracles
21 - Faith and, Belief and Vision
special relationships have sin as their goal, for they are bargains
with reality, toward which the seeming union is adjusted.
not this; to bargain is to set a limit, and any brother
with whom you have a limited relationship you hate.
You may attempt to keep the bargain in the name of “fairness,”
sometimes demanding payment of yourself, perhaps more often of the
other. Thus in the “fairness” you attempt to ease the
guilt that comes from the accepted purpose of the relationship.
that is why the Holy Spirit must change its purpose to
make it useful to Him and harmless unto you.
you accept this change, you have accepted the idea of making room
for truth. The source of sin is gone. You may imagine that
you still experience its effects, but it is not your purpose, and
you no longer want it.
one allows a purpose to be replaced while he desires it,
for nothing is so cherished and protected as is a goal the mind
accepts. This it will follow,
grimly or happily, but always with faith and with the persistence
that faith inevitably brings.
power of faith is never recognized if it is placed in sin.
But it is always recognized if it is placed in love.
is it strange to you that faith can move mountains?
is indeed a little feat for such a power. For faith can keep the
Son of God in chains as long as he believes he is in chains,
and when he is released from them, it will be simply because he
no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold
him and placing it in his freedom instead.
is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions. What
faith you give to sin you take away from holiness; and
what you offer holiness has been removed from sin.
Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of
holiness is reached.
them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world, and away from
all illusions where your faith was laid. This is His direction,
the only one He ever sees. And when you wander, He reminds you there
faith and His belief and vision are all for you, and
when you have accepted them completely instead of yours, you will
have need of them no longerl; for faith and vision and belief are
meaningful only before the state of certainty is reached.
In Heaven they are unknown. Yet Heaven is reached through them.
It is impossible that the Son of God lack faith, but he can choose
where he would have it be.
Is Not Lack of Faith
is not a lack of faith, but faith in nothing. Faith given to illusions
does not lack power, for by it does the Son of God believe that
is he faithless to himself, but strong in faith in his illusions
faith, perception and belief you made as means for losing
certainty and finding sin. This
mad direction was your choice, and by your faith in what you chose,
you made what you desired.
Holy Spirit has a use for all the means for sin by which you sought
to find it. But as He uses them, they lead away from sin,
because His purpose lies in the opposite direction.
sees the means you use, but not the purpose for
which you made them. He would not take them from you, for He sees
their value as a means for what He wills for you.
made perception that you might choose among your brothers, and
seek for sin with them.
Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the vision
of a holy relationship is all you want to see.
will you give your faith to holiness, desiring and believing in
it because of your desire. Faith and belief become attached
to vision, as all the means that once served sin are redirected
now toward holiness. For what you think is sin is limitation,
and whom you try to limit to the body, you hate because you fear.
your refusal to forgive him, you would condemn him to the body
because the means for sin are dear to you, and so the body has
your faith and your belief.
holiness would set your brother free, removing hatred by removing
fear, not as a symptom, but at its source.
who would free their brothers from the body can have no
have renounced the means for sin by choosing to let all limitations
be removed. Desiring to look upon their brothers in holiness, the
power of belief and faith goes far beyond the body, supporting vision,
not obstructing it.
first they chose to recognize how much their faith had limited
their understanding of the world, desiring to place its power
elsewhere should another point of view be given them.
miracles which follow this decision are also born of faith. For
all who choose to look away from sin are given vision and
are led to holiness.
who believe in sin must think the Holy Spirit asks
for sacrifice, for this is how they think their purpose
the Holy Spirit knows that sacrifice brings nothing.
makes no bargains; and if you seek to limit Him, you will hate
Him because you are afraid.
gift that He has given you is more than anything that stands
this side of Heaven.
instant for its recognition is at hand. Join your awareness
to what has been already joined.
faith you give each other can accomplish this.
He Who loves the world is seeing it for you, without one spot
of sin upon it, and in the innocence which makes the sight of
it as beautiful as Heaven.
faith in sacrifice has given it great power in your sight; except
you do not realize you cannot see because of it.
sacrifice must be exacted of a body, and by another body.
mind could neither ask it nor receive it of itself, and no more
could the body.
intention is in the mind, which tries to use the body
to carry out the means for sin in which the mind believes.
is the joining of mind and body an inescapable belief
of those who value sin.
so is sacrifice invariably a means for limitation, and thus
Think you the Holy Spirit is concerned with this?
gives not what it is His purpose to lead you from.
think He would deprive you for your good, b
“good” and “deprivation” are opposites
and cannot meaningfully join in any way.
is like saying that the moon and sun are one because they come
with night and day, and so they must be joined; y
sight of one is but the sign the other has disappeared
from sight, no
is it possible that what gives light be one with what depends
on darkness to be seen.
demands the sacrifice of the other; yet on the absence
of the other does each depend.
body was made to be a sacrifice to sin, and in the darkness,
so it still is seen; yet in the light of vision it is looked
upon quite differently.
can have faith in it to serve the Holy Spirit’s
goal, and give it power to serve as means to help the blind
to see, b
in their seeing they look past it, as do you.
faith and the belief you gave it belongs beyond.
gave perception and belief and faith from mind to body. Let
them now be given back to what produced them, and can use them
still to save itself from what it made.