A Course in Miracles Blog

Body vision versus Christ Vision - a collection of ACIM quotes

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This is a MAJOR axis in the course, transitioning from false perception to true perception. Learning to overlook the world of bodies and see beyond it to the light of the real world, so that you are ready to move on to Heaven. It is VERY CLEAR that the physical world of bodies is ONLY SEEN through the body's eyes, and learning to OVERLOOK it and not believe any of it is forgiveness.


"The world stands like a block before Christ's face. But true perception looks on it as nothing more than just a fragile veil, so easily dispelled that it can last no longer than an instant."

 

"Sin is a block, set like a heavy gate, locked and without a key, across the road to peace. No-one who looks on it without the help of reason, would try to pass it. The body's eyes behold it as solid granite, so thick it would be madness to attempt to pass it. Yet reason sees through it easily, BECAUSE it is an error. The form it takes cannot conceal its emptiness from reason's eyes."

 

"ONLY the form of error attracts the ego. Meaning it does not recognize, and does not know if it is there or not. Everything that the body's eyes can see is a mistake, an error in perception, a distorted fragment of the whole, without the meaning that the whole would give. And yet mistakes, regardless of their form, can be corrected. Sin is but error in a special form the ego venerates. It would preserve all errors, and make them sins. For here is its own stability, its heavy anchor in the shifting world it made; the rock on which its church is built, and where its worshippers are bound to bodies, and believe the body's freedom is their own."

 

"If you but recognized how little stands between you and your awareness of your union! Be not deceived by the illusions it presents of size and thickness, weight, solidity, and firmness of foundation. Yes, to the body's eyes it looks like an enormous, solid body, immovable as is a mountain. Yet, within you, there is a force which no illusions can resist. This body only seems to be immovable. This force is irresistible in truth. What, then, must happen when they come together? Can the illusion of immovability be long defended for what is quietly passed through and gone beyond?"

 

"The body's eyes see ONLY form. They cannot see beyond what they were MADE to see. And they were made to look on error, and not see past it. Theirs is indeed a strange perception, for they can see only illusions, unable to look beyond the granite block of sin, and stopping at the outside form of nothing. To this distorted form of vision, the outside of everything, the wall that stands between you and the truth, is wholly true."

 

"It is not Will for Life, but wish for death, that is the motivation for this world. Its ONLY purpose is TO PROVE GUILT REAL."

 

"The world of bodies is the world of sin, for only if there were a body is sin possible. From sin comes guilt as surely as forgiveness takes all guilt away. And once all guilt is gone what more remains to keep a separated world in place? For place has gone as well, along with time. Only the body makes the world seem real, for being separate it could not remain where separation is impossible. Forgiveness proves it is impossible because it sees it not. And what you then will overlook will not be understandable to you, just as its presence once had been your certainty."

 

"The body's eyes will NEVER look on it. Yet they will SEE what it dictates. The body will remain guilt's messenger, and will act as it directs, as long as YOU believe that guilt is real. For the REALITY of guilt is the illusion which seems to make it heavy and opaque, impenetrable, and a REAL foundation for the ego's thought system. Its thinness and transparency are not apparent, until you see the light BEHIND it. And then you see it as a fragile veil, before the light."

 

"This world you see (with the body's eyes) MUST BE DENIED, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision (christ vision). YOU CANNOT SEE BOTH WORLDS. For each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have DENIED THE OTHER."

"You do not really want the world you see (with the body), for it has disappointed you since time began. The homes you built have never sheltered you. The roads you made have led you nowhere, and no city that you built has withstood the crumbling assault of time. Nothing you made but has the mark of death upon it. Hold it not dear, for it is old and tired, and ready to return to dust even as you made it."

"The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end."

"The purpose of these exercises (workbook intro) is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now, and the second with the restoration of sight."

"Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God's teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs."

"Christ's vision has one law. It does not look upon a body and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees."

"Corrective learning always begins with awakening the spiritual eye, and turning away from belief in physical sight. The reason this entails fear is because man is afraid of what his spiritual eye will see, which was why he closed it in the first place. We said before that the spiritual eye cannot see error, and is capable only of looking beyond it to the defense of Atonement. There is no doubt that the spiritual eye does produce extreme discomfort by what it sees. The thing that man forgets is that the discomfort is not the final outcome of its perception. When the spiritual eye is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, it also looks immediately toward Atonement. Nothing which the spiritual eye perceives can induce fear. Everything that results from accurate spiritual awareness merely is channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need to correct forcibly into awareness.

What the physical eye sees is not corrective, nor can it be corrected by any device which can be physically seen. As long as a man believes in what his physical sight tells him, all his corrective behavior will be misdirected. The reason why the real vision is obscured is because man cannot endure to see his own defiled altar. But since the altar has BEEN defiled, this fact becomes doubly dangerous unless it IS perceived. This perception is totally not-threatening because of the Atonement. The fear of healing arises in the end from an unwillingness to accept the unequivocal fact that healing is necessary. The fear arises because of the necessary willingness to look at what man has done to himself."

"Pain thresholds can be high, but they are not limitless. Eventually, everybody begins to recognize, however dimly, that there MUST be a better way. As this recognition is more firmly established, it becomes a perceptual turning-point. This ultimately reawakens the spiritual eye, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two types or levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict for a long time, and can become very acute."

"But the outcome is as certain as God. The spiritual eye literally CANNOT SEE error, and merely looks for Atonement. All the solutions which the physical eyes seek, dissolve in its sight. The spiritual eye, which looks within, recognizes immediately that the altar has been defiled, and needs to be repaired and protected."

"The REAL beauty of the Temple cannot be seen with the physical eye. The spiritual eye, on the other hand, cannot see the building at all, but it perceives the altar within with perfect clarity. This is because the spiritual eye has perfect vision."

"Vision adapts to wish, for sight is always secondary to desire. And if you see the body, you have chosen judgment, and not vision. For vision, like relationships, has no order. You either SEE, or not."

"By focusing upon the "good" in him, the body grows decreasingly persistent in your sight, and will at length be seen as little more than just a shadow circling round the "good".

"The concept of the self stands like a shield, a silent barricade before the truth, and hides it from your sight. All things you see are images because you look on them as through a barrier which dims your sight and warps your vision, so that you behold nothing with clarity. The light is kept from everything you see. At most, you glimpse a shadow of what lies beyond. At least you merely look on darkness, and perceive the terrified imaginings that come from guilty thoughts and concepts born of fear. And what you see is hell, for fear IS hell. All that is given you is for release; the sight, the vision and the inner Guide all lead you out of hell with those you love beside you, and the universe with them."

"And this he learns when first he looks upon ONE brother as he looks upon himself, and sees the mirror of himself in him. Thus is the concept of himself laid by, for nothing stands between his sight and what he looks upon, to judge what he beholds. And in this single vision does he see the Face of Christ, and understands he looks on everyone as he beholds this One. For there is light where darkness was before, and now the veil is lifted from his sight.

The veil across the Face of Christ, the fear of God and of salvation, and the love of guilt and death, - they all are different names for just one error; that there is a space between you and your brother, kept apart by an illusion of yourself which holds him off from you, and you away from him. The sword of judgment is the weapon which you give to the illusion of yourself, that it may fight to keep the space that holds your brother off unoccupied by love. Yet while you hold this sword, you must perceive the body as yourself, for you are bound to separation from the sight of him who holds the mirror to another view of what he is, and thus what YOU must be."

"Your brother's body is as little use to you as it is to him. When it is used only as the Holy Spirit teaches, it has no function. For minds need not the body to communicate. The sight that sees the body, has no use which serves the purpose of a holy relationship. And while you look upon each other thus, the means and end have not been brought in line."

"If you send forth ONLY the messengers the Holy Spirit gave you, WANTING no messages but theirs, you will see fear no more. The world will be transformed before your sight, cleansed of all guilt, and softly brushed with beauty. The world contains no fear that you laid not upon it. And none you cannot ask love's messengers to REMOVE from it, and see it still. The Holy Spirit has given you HIS messengers, to send each other, and return to each with what love sees. They have been given to REPLACE the hungry dogs of fear you sent instead. And they go forth to signify the END of fear."

"My holy vision sees all things as pure" - "And while we still remain outside the gate of Heaven, let us look on all we see through holy vision and the eyes of Christ. Let all appearances seem pure to us, that we may pass them by in innocence, and walk together to our Father's house as brothers and the holy Sons of God."

"Be willing, then, to see your brother sinless, that Christ may rise before your vision and give you joy. And place no value on your brother's body, which held him to illusions of what he is."

"Vision is freely given to those who ask to see. Your brother's sinlessness is given you in shining light, to look on with the Holy Spirit's vision, and to rejoice in, along with Him."

"There is no problem, no event or situation, no perplexity, that vision will not solve. All is redeemed, when looked upon with vision. For this is not YOUR sight, and brings with it the laws beloved of Him Whose sight it IS. Everything looked upon with vision falls gently into place, according to the laws brought to it by His calm and certain sight. The end, for everything He looks upon, is always sure. For it will meet His purpose, seen in unadjusted form, and suited perfectly to meet it. Destructiveness becomes benign, and sin is turned to blessing under His gentle gaze.

What can the body's eyes perceive, with power to CORRECT? Its eyes ADJUST to sin, unable to overlook it in any form, and seeing it everywhere, in everything. Look through its eyes, and everything will stand condemned before you. All that could save you, you will never see. Your holy relationship, the source of your salvation, will be deprived of meaning, and its most holy purpose bereft of means for its accomplishment. Judgment is but a toy, a whim, the senseless means to play the idle game of death in your imagination. But vision sets all things right, bringing them gently within the kindly sway of Heaven's laws."

"The barren sands, the darkness, and the lifelessness are seen only through the body's eyes. ITS vision IS distorted, and the messages IT transmits to you, who MADE it to limit your awareness, ARE little and limited, so fragmented that they are meaningless. From the world of bodies, MADE by insanity, insane messages seem to be returned to the mind which made it. And these messages bear witness to this world, pronouncing it as true. For YOU sent forth these messengers, to bring this BACK to you."

"Anger but screeches, "Guilt is real!" Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God's Word. The body's eyes now "see"; its ears alone can "hear." Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless."

"Reason would tell you that the world you see through eyes that are not yours, MUST make no sense to you. To whom would vision such as this send back its messages? Surely not you, whose sight is wholly independent of the eyes which look upon the world. If this is not your vision, what can it show to you? The brain can not interpret what YOUR vision sees. This you would understand. The brain interprets to the body, of which it is a part. But what it says, YOU cannot understand.

Yet you have listened to it. And long and hard you tried to understand its messages. You did not realize it is impossible to understand what fails entirely to reach you. You have received no messages at all you understood. For you have listened to what can never communicate at all. Think, then, what happened. Denying what you are, and firm in faith that you are something else, this something else, which you have made to be yourself, BECAME your sight. Yet it must be the SOMETHING ELSE which sees, and, as NOT you, explains its sight to you.

YOUR vision would, of course, render this quite unnecessary. But, if your eyes are closed, and you have called upon this thing to lead you, asking it to explain to you the world it sees, you have no reason not to listen, nor to suspect that what it tells you is not true. Reason would tell you that it can't be true, BECAUSE you do not understand it. God has no secrets. He does not lead you through a world of misery, waiting to tell you, at the journey's end, why He did this to you. What could be secret from His Will? Yet you believe that YOU have secrets. What could your secrets be except ANOTHER will, that is your own, APART from His? "

"Your sight was given you, along with everything that you can understand. You will perceive no difficulty in understanding what this vision tells you. For everyone sees only what he thinks he IS. And what your sight will show you, you will understand BECAUSE it is the truth. Only your vision can convey to you what YOU can see. It reaches you directly, without a need to be interpreted to you. What needs interpretation MUST be alien. Nor will it ever be made understandable, by an interpreter you cannot understand. Of all the messages you have received and failed to understand, this course alone is OPEN to your understanding, and CAN be understood."

"Reason will tell you that they must have seen each other through a vision not of the body, and communicated in a language the body does not speak"

"My condemnation keeps my vision dark, and through my sightless eyes I cannot see the vision of my glory."

"The love of God, for a little while, must still be expressed through one body to another. That is because the real vision is still so dim."

"Miracles are seen in light" "It is important to remember that miracles and vision necessarily go together. This needs repeating and frequent repeating. It is a central idea in your new thought system and the perception which it produces. The miracle is always there. Its presence is not caused by your vision; its absence is not the result of your failure to see. It is only your awareness of miracles that is affected. You will see it in the light; you will not see it in the dark."

"Only be quiet. You will need no rule but this to let your practicing today lift you above the thinking of the world, and free your vision from the body's eyes."

"To the extent to which you value guilt, to that extent will you perceive a world in which attack is justified. To the extent to which you recognize that guilt is meaningless, to that extent you will perceive attack cannot BE justified. This is in strict accord with vision's FUNDAMENTAL law: You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you WANT it there. Perception HAS no other law than this."

"But on His Vision sin can NOT encroach, for sin HAS BEEN corrected by His sight."

"What is the resurrection?" "Here the curriculum ends. From here on, no directions are needed. Vision is wholly corrected and all mistakes undone."

"Now there are no distinctions. Differences have disappeared and Love looks on Itself. What further sight is needed? What remains that vision could accomplish? We have seen the face of Christ, His sinlessness, His Love behind all forms, beyond all purposes."

"These things await us all, but we are not prepared as yet to welcome them with joy. As long as any mind remains possessed of evil dreams, the thought of hell is real. God's teachers have the goal of wakening the minds of those asleep, and seeing there the vision of Christ's face to take the place of what they dream. The thought of murder is replaced with blessing."

"The body's eyes are therefore not the means by which the real world can be seen, for the illusions that they look upon must lead to more illusions of reality. And so they do. For everything they see not only will not last, but lends itself to thoughts of sin and guilt. While everything that God created is forever without sin and therefore is forever without guilt."

"These are among the many magical beliefs that come from the conviction you are a body, and the body's eyes can see. You also believe the body's brain can think. If you but understood the nature of thought, you could but laugh at this insane idea." " Yet this is no more foolish than to believe the body's eyes can see; the brain can know."

"It is your weakness that sees through the body's eyes, peering about in darkness to behold the likeness of itself; the small, the weak, the sickly and the dying, those in need, the helpless and afraid, the sad, the poor, the starving and the joyless. These are seen through eyes which cannot see and cannot bless. Strength overlooks these things by seeing past appearances. It keeps its steady gaze upon the light that lies beyond them. It unites with light, of which it is a part. It sees itself. It brings the light in which your Self appears. In darkness you perceive a self that is not there."

"The body's eyes are closed, and as you think of him who grieved you, let your mind be shown the light in him beyond your grievances."

"You can SEE reason. This is not a play on words, for here is the beginning of a vision that has meaning. Vision is sense, quite literally. If it is not the body's sight, it MUST be understood. For it is PLAIN, and what is obvious is not ambiguous. It CAN be understood. And here do reason and the ego separate, to go their different ways."

"Yet how can sight which stops at nothingness, as if it were a solid wall, see truly? It is HELD BACK by form, having been made to guarantee that nothing else but form will be perceived. These eyes, made NOT to see, will NEVER see. For the idea they represent left not its maker, and it is their maker that sees through them. What was its maker's GOAL, but not to see? For this the body's eyes are perfect means. But not for seeing. See how the body's eyes rest on externals, and cannot go beyond. Watch how they stop at nothingness, unable to go beyond the form to meaning."

"Let not the FORM of his mistakes keep you from him whose holiness is yours. Let not the vision of his holiness, the sight of which would show you your forgiveness, be kept from you by what the body's eyes can see. Let your awareness of your brother not be blocked by your perception of his sins, and of his body. What is there in him that you would attack, except what you associate with his body, which YOU believe can sin? Beyond his errors is his holiness, and YOUR salvation. You gave him not his holiness, but tried to see your sins in him, to save yourself. And yet his holiness IS your forgiveness. Can YOU be saved by making sinful the one whose holiness is your salvation?"

"There has been some controversy (in human terms) as to whether seeing is an attribute of the eyes, or an expression of the integrative powers of the brain. Correctly understood, the issue revolves around the question of whether the body or the mind can see (or understand). This is not really open to question at all." " The body is not capable of understanding. Only the mind KNOWS anything." "Only the mind sees".

"Your world is seen through eyes of fear, and brings the witnesses of terror to your mind. The real world cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness"

"I would bless the world by looking on it through the eyes of Christ."

"You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he IS."

"The real world is attained simply by the COMPLETE forgiveness of the old; the world you see WITHOUT forgiveness. The Great Transformer of perception will undertake WITH you the careful searching of the mind that MADE this world, and uncover TO YOU the SEEMING reasons for your making it. In the light of the REAL reason that He brings, as you follow Him, He will SHOW you that there is NO reason here at all. Each spot HIS reason touches, grows alive with beauty. And what SEEMED ugly, in the darkness of your LACK of reason, is suddenly released to loveliness. Not even what the Son of God made in insanity, could be without a hidden spark of beauty, that gentleness could release.

All this beauty will rise to bless your sight, as you look upon the world with forgiving eyes. For forgiveness literally TRANSFORMS vision, and lets you see the real world, reaching quietly and gently across chaos, and removing ALL illusions that had twisted your perception, and fixed it on the past. The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God's perfection. From the forgiven world, the Son of God is lifted easily to his home. And there he knows that he has ALWAYS rested there, in peace."

"Forgiveness is the home of miracles. The eyes of Christ deliver them to all they look upon in mercy and in love. Perception stands corrected in His sight, and what was meant to curse has come to bless. Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world the silent miracle of love. And each is laid before the Word of God upon the universal altar to Creator and creation, in the Light of perfect purity and endless joy."

"Seen through understanding eyes the holiness of the world is all I see, for I can picture only the thoughts I hold about myself."

"Vision is the means by which the Holy Spirit translates your nightmares into happy dreams; your wild hallucinations, that show you all fearful outcomes of imagined sin, into the calm and reassuring sights with which He would replace them. These gentle sights and sounds are looked on happily, and heard with joy. They are His substitutes for all the terrifying sights and screaming sounds the ego's purpose brought to your horrified awareness. They step away from sin, reminding you that it is not reality that frightens you, and that the errors which you made CAN be corrected.

When you have looked on what seemed terrifying, and seen it change to sights of loveliness and peace; when you have looked on scenes of violence and death, and watched them change to quiet views of gardens under open skies, with clear life-giving water running happily beside them in dancing brooks that never waste away; who need persuade you to accept the gift of vision? And after vision, who is there who could refuse what MUST come after? Think but an instant just on this. You can behold the holiness God gave His Son. And never need you think that there is something else for you to see."

"This is your purpose now, and the vision that makes it yours is ready to be given. You have the vision that enables you to see the body not. And as you look upon each other, you will see an altar to your Father, holy as Heaven, glowing with radiant purity, and sparkling with the shining lilies you laid upon it."

And this will be your concept of YOURSELF, when you have reached the world beyond the sight your eyes alone can offer you to see. For you will not interpret what you see without the Aid that God has given you. And in His sight there IS another world. You live in that world just as much as this, for both are concepts of yourself, which can be interchanged, but never jointly held. The contrast is far greater than you think, for you will love this concept of yourself, because it was not made for you alone. Born as a gift for someone not perceived to be yourself, it has been given YOU. For your forgiveness, offered unto him, has been accepted now for BOTH of you."

"A world forgiven cannot last. It was the home of bodies. But forgiveness looks past bodies. This is its holiness; this is how it heals."

 

"Accept the one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God's Son, and Heaven is remembered instantly; the world forgotten, all its weird beliefs forgotten with it, as the Face of Christ appears unveiled at last in this one dream. This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for you from God your Father."

"Now is there silence all around the world. Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense. Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep. And now the Word of God alone remains upon it. Only That can be perceived an instant longer. Then are symbols done, and everything you ever thought you made completely vanished from the mind which God forever knows to be His only Son."

"And now God's knowledge, changeless, certain, pure and wholly understandable, enters its kingdom. Gone is perception, false and true alike. Gone is forgiveness, for its task is done. And gone are bodies in the blazing light upon the altar to the Son of God. God knows it is His Own, as it is his. And here They join, for here the face of Christ has shone away time's final instant, and now is the last perception of the world without a purpose and without a cause. For where God's memory has come at last there is no journey, no belief in sin, no walls, no bodies, and the grim appeal of guilt and death is there snuffed out forever."

"The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons, and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade, will not return."

"The stars will disappear in light, and the sun, which opened up the world to beauty, will vanish. Perception will be meaningless, when it has been perfected. For everything that has been used for learning, will have no function. Nothing will ever change; no shifts nor shadings, no differences, no variations that made perception possible, will occur. The perception of the real world will be so short, that you will barely have time to thank God for it. For God will take the last step swiftly, when you have reached the real world, and have been made ready for Him."

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