The Home of Guilt
Excerpts from the Workshop held at the
Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
"The Guiltless Son of God" (T-13.II) (cont.)
(T-13.II.4:1-4) Much of the ego's strange behavior is directly attributable to its definition of guilt. To the ego, the guiltless are guilty. [They are the ones who have to be punished.] Those who do not attack are its "enemies" because, by not valuing its interpretation of salvation, they are in an excellent position to let it go. [And if they let it go the whole thought system disappears, which means your individual self disappears—that is the fear.] They have approached the darkest and deepest cornerstone in the ego's foundation, and while the ego can withstand your raising all else to question, it guards this one secret with its life, for its existence depends on keeping this secret.
The next section, "The Fear of Redemption," teaches that the real secret is that there is nothing there. What the ego tells us is the secret that must be kept secret is the guilt over the belief that we have crucified God's Son. That is why there is that line in the next section that says our real fear is not of crucifixion but of redemption: "You are not really afraid of crucifixion. Your real terror is of redemption" (T-13.III.1:10-11). When we finally go within the mind and look, we see the light of the Atonement, not the cesspool of guilt or sin. That is the fear—that we will at some point make that choice.
Thus, the ego keeps telling us that we are wretched, awful people. Our individual existence tells us that, for how did we get here as separate entities? We must have gotten here by destroying God and crucifying Christ. That memory is there every time we take a breath, so we keep pushing it down; and when we push the guilt down, it pushes back up through projection and lands on someone else. That is why it is so difficult, almost impossible to give up judgment—because judgment is what keeps this whole miserable mess going. That is why everyone loves to jump on their bandwagon when the enemy is found. Once again we say ah, I am off the hook; sin is real, but it is not in me.
(T-13.II.4:5) So it is this secret that we must look upon, for the ego cannot protect you against truth, and in its presence the ego is dispelled.
That is our big fear: in the presence of truth the ego disappears. That is why we are so afraid of truth.
(T-13.II.5:1-2) In the calm light of truth, let us recognize that you believe you have crucified God's Son. You have not admitted to this "terrible" secret ["terrible" is in quotes because to us it is terrible, while in truth it is nothing] because you would still wish to crucify him if you could find him.
What will be talked about in paragraph 6, which we are not going to look at, is that when the world does find him—and Jesus is not the only ego-less person who has been here—then he always has to be crucified, because the real fear is the light of the truth.
(T-13.II.5:3) Yet the wish has hidden him from you because it is very fearful, and so you are afraid to find him.
We never want to find someone or something that represents the truth, because that is the end of our ego. We all have split minds, so there is a part of us that does want to find that person, thought system, or teaching that represents it, but we have to be aware we have a split mind. There is a part of us that wants this, that wants to have the little Child within us grow, the little Child that Lesson 182 speaks about. There is the other part of us, however, that is terrified. That is the ambivalence one always finds on the spiritual path. We are very naive if we think we are not going to be part of that ambivalence. Everyone has that.
We all want to awaken from the dream and go home because on some level we realize this is a nightmare, and it is terrible. On the other hand, there is a part of us, that little voice that whispers, "If you do this you will disappear." That is the ambivalence that is built into any true spiritual aspirant. There is a part of us that wants to go home, and a part that is terrified of going home. Part of us wants to take Jesus' hand, and the other part of us wants to kill him. Since we have a split mind, both thoughts coexist, but they are split off. Typically what we do is split off the hate, but if the hate is still there, then the true love that we feel for this figure—let us stay with Jesus—very quickly gets contaminated by the hate and turns into special love. Voila, we have the Bible and Christianity.
A person who represents only love then gets turned into someone who represents special love, and the reason that happens is that we did not take that genuine love and use it as the beacon of light that would accompany us to the ego's darkness and shine its light on the darkness. The reason we need someone like a Jesus—not a person or a body anymore, but a presence or symbol of love in our mind—is that we need some light-filled presence who would go into the darkness with us and shine it away. But we must look at the darkness. That is what Jesus is saying here. If we do not do this, and instead use Jesus in some other way, we would turn him into just another magical figure, just another symbol of special love. We will do the same thing everyone else has done, and we once again will accuse ourselves of having crucified God's Son.
This is why the crucifixion of Jesus as it is treated in the gospels has been such a major symbol: it re-enacts for all of us what we all have done. In worshipping it and making it into a saving act, the world did exactly what the ego wants. It brought the truth into the illusion and then the illusion swallows up the truth. This has no effect on the truth that is never in the illusion anyway. But the world will now believe it has claimed truth and knows truth, but all that it has done is dress it up in the clothing of illusion. Then we worship the clothing and think it is the truth, but it is not, because there is no love there. There can be no love there until the guilt in the mind is exposed. We must look within.
Again, the purpose of a spiritual teacher or a spiritual symbol is to help us go within and look at our ego without judgment, without fear, and without guilt—but we must look at it. Only then does its solid granite appearance change to a fragile veil and the light shine through.
(T-13.II.5:3-6) Yet the wish has hidden him from you because it is very fearful, and so you are afraid to find him. You have handled this wish to kill yourself by not knowing who you are, and identifying with something else [the ego]. You have projected guilt blindly and indiscriminately, but you have not uncovered its source. For the ego does want to kill you, and if you identify with it you must believe its goal is yours.
The ego wants to kill us, meaning kill our true Self, the Christ in us, God's Son. And if we identify with that ego thought, which we obviously all have done, then we will always seek to kill God's Son in everyone. Every time I judge you, every time I try to weave a web and entrap you in that web of specialness, what I am doing is crucifying God's Son. I am saying you are not innocent; you are not part of the Sonship; you are guilty. That is how we re-enact the moment of separation over and over and over again. Every time we make a judgment we are crucifying God's Son.
And I want to crucify God's Son in you because I do not want to look at what I believe I have done in my reality. I want to see you as the bad one. Then I always try to justify my crucifixion of you, my hatred of you. I try to justify my special love for you. It does not make any difference. I try to justify it and then get as many people as I can to agree with me so that I can avoid the real guilt inside, which is that I am the one who did this to God's Son. I try to take that guilt and throw it onto you, and since I believe I am a sincere student of a spirituality, A Course in Miracles or any other path, I will not be aware of what I am really doing. I will think my judgment of you is justified; I will believe that my special love for you is justified; my special hate for you is justified. And I will never be aware that what I am really doing is trying to escape from the punishment of my own sin.
Once again, that is why we need people in the world—so that we could have objects to project onto. There is no way out of this until we finally recognize there is something very wrong with this picture. That is what Jesus means in "The Two Pictures" section (T-17.IV), which I read from at the beginning, when he tells us not to look at the frame, which is the special relationship, but to look at the picture. The picture in the context of this section is the picture of death. For our purposes in this discussion we will say the picture is guilt. Jesus is telling us to look at the ego purpose for the relationship, which would be anything that would prevent us from going within to uncover the guilt, and behind the guilt to see the light of Christ that is in us. We do not need anything outside us for that; it is all within us. That is very, very difficult, because we believe that if we are all alone we will be destroyed—that if we are all alone it is just a hop, skip, and a jump back to the mind and finding the horror that is there.
The ego makes up all these separate bodies and says we need bodies—there is something missing, something lacking in us, and so there is this other person, this other thing, or this other substance that will bring us peace and make us feel good inside. Again, this is not saying we should not have relationships; it just means we need to look at the purpose, the picture, and then ask help of our Teacher to change the picture. We do not have to change the frame (the form), just the picture (the content). When we change the picture, the frame will automatically shift. Instead of having as its purpose to be dark and imposing, attracting us so that the picture is kept hidden, the frame will now become very light so that it lets the picture, now of light, shine forth.