If we are interested in peace, then we must discover our own innocence, which - for those of us sharing the path of A Course in Miracles - is discovered in our brother or sister. They are our savior. Relationship is the way.
The course suggests that true healing begins when we release all our relationships from expectations grounded in the past and literally "with each one each day be born again" (T-13.X.5:2).
Most of us look at the past and see the cause of the present. Dad did this, and then my best friend died, and then I started drinking . . .
When I blame Dad, circumstances or my genes for letting me down at some critical juncture, I am refusing to look at what A Course in Miracles calls the "deeper source" of all this pain, which is guilt (e.g., T-13.1:1-4). We project guilt outward rather than look at it within.
When we do this, the one upon whom we project our guilt - be it Dad, genes, or a deceased friend - ceases to be a brother or sister. They become an enemy, one of the bad or evil ones, the cause of my suffering and, by extension, the world's.
And that, teaches A Course in Miracles, that judgment right there, is the problem. That is what we have to let go of in order to be born again in peace and forgiveness.
When you condemn a brother you are saying "I who was guilty choose to remain so." You have denied his freedom, and by so doing you have denied the witness unto yours. You could as easily have freed him from the past, and lifted from his mind that cloud of guilt that binds him to it. And in his freedom would have been your own (T-13.X.4:4-7).
Thus the law: "When everyone is welcome to you as you would have yourself be welcome to your Father, you will see no guilt in you" (T-13.X.5:4).
Notice the future tense - as you would have yourself be welcomed by God. We will see our brothers and sisters as our savior when we welcome them exactly as we imagine God will one day give welcome to us.
Therefore, stop reading for a moment and ask yourself: in your most heartfelt, honest and optimistic vision, how does God feel about you? How do you imagine God would welcome you?
Now ask: is that the way you welcome all your brothers and sisters?
I don't mean your kids, your pets, the cheerful neighbor, the smiling baby, the sunflowers and shooting stars. That's easy. I mean the ones that you actually hate - the ones who start wars, traffic children, make money on algorithms that hijack vulnerable minds, et cetera?
I also mean the ones nobody sees - not the homeless guy who asks you for money, but the homeless guy who's given up on even those crumbs. The invisible ones - the expendable ones - who are all around us and yet upon whom our gaze doesn't even rest, let alone seek out.
Those we hate and those we refuse to see: are we welcoming them like we dream one day God will welcome us? Because welcoming them that way is literally the way to God.
Nothing can keep from you what Christ would have you see. His Will is like His Father's, and He offers mercy to every child of God, as He would have you do (T-13.X.9:8-9).
Every child, as he would have us do . . . The absence of exceptions is how we know it is Love (T-13.X.11:2).
You cannot enter into real relationship with any of God's Sons unless you love them all and equally . . . if you single out part of the Sonship for your love, you are imposing guilt on all your relationships and making them unreal (T-13.X.11:1,3).
Is it clear? To refuse even one brother or sister - no matter how apparently justified our reasoning - renders all our relationships unholy and illusory. "No one who condemns a brother can see himself as guiltless and in the peace of God" (T-13.X.11:7).
The point is not to use this as an excuse for even more guilt. The point is to begin - right here, right now, in all our relationships - to love as God loves, no matter how awkward it feels, no matter how apparently imperfectly we do it.
As always, our willingness is what matters because it rests on the Holy Spirit's trust in God. When we enter into a relationship whose goal is the end of guilt we learn that all guilt - ours and everyone else's - is an illusion.
Behold the Son of God, and look upon his purity and be still. In quiet look upon his holiness, and offer thanks unto his Father that no guilt has ever touched him (T-13.X.11:10-11).
It is not so much that we are called to be activists in the world - we may and we may not be. But we are called to look upon our brothers and sisters - without any exceptions at all - as extensions of God's Love and thus as our savior. It's the "without any exceptions" part that slows us down. And yet it is in that part that all salvation rests.
Find that place in your mind where fear and hate live - find the one you have chosen as a symbol of justified hate and anger - and then love them. If you can't love them, accept them. Don't fight them. Nonviolence is the way.
God forgives us our past by refusing to judge at all. Therefore, we hold nothing from the past against our brothers and sisters. In our refusal to judge the other we learn that "alone we are all lowly, but together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it" (T-13.X.14:2).
Thank you, as always, for sharing your light with me that I might learn again to shine with you.