Excerpts from the Workshop held at the
Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
"The Cloud of Guilt" (cont.)
(T-13.IX.7:1) Guilt makes you blind, for while you see one spot of guilt within you, you will not see the light.
The first way we see guilt as blinding is that as long as we are guilty we are shrouded in this darkness and do not see the light. The second way is what we are going to see in the next sentence:
(T-13.IX.7:2-3) And by projecting it [the guilt] the world seems dark, and shrouded in your guilt. You throw a dark veil over it, and cannot see it because you cannot look within.
This is exactly what we have been talking about. We first make guilt real because we are afraid of the light. Individuality does not exist in the light; it only exists and thrives in the dark. Then we become so terrified of the guilt in our minds that we project it out, and now we live in a darkened world. To deny the dark we make a sun, so the sun gives us light, and then we invent light bulbs and we have electricity. All of this is artificial light. This is not the light of Christ or the light that shines forth from the Great Rays. These are all attempts to conceal the darkness of our life here. That is what special love is: an attempt to conceal the pain of what it really means to be living outside Heaven. The denial is expressed in being with another person, a substance, or anything else that makes us feel good. That is what tells God, I do not need your Love, because I have this. I have a warm body next to me. I have a warm bottle next to me. I have a warm drug in me. I have warm apple pie inside me. It does not matter what it is, as long as it is comforting. What we are doing is thumbing our nose in God's face, telling Him we do not need Him. We tell Jesus, too, we do not need him, because we have what we need. There is a line in Hamlet where Hamlet says, "Here is metal more attractive." We say to God and to Jesus, "I found something more attractive than the love you are offering me."
That just makes us feel even guiltier, and the guilt becomes heavier and heavier on us, which means we have to deny it more and more, which means we need more specialness, more things, more objects, and more warm bodies. We just keep going on and on, and there is no end. The ego's lust for guilt and specialness is insatiable. It will never be satiated. The only thing that will end it is to choose against the ego; then the whole thing just stops. The ego is like one big mouth: it just wants to be filled and filled and filled, and it is never enough. Again, what ends this mad, insane cycle is simply to realize it is mad, then to say there is something else, and then to make the other choice.
(T-13.IX.7:4) You are afraid of what you would see there [The ego tells us, as I quoted earlier, "do not look within because your eyes will light on sin" (T-21.IV.2:3). Here Jesus is talking about guilt], but it is not there.
This is the other side. This is the Voice of the Atonement that says, "What are you so upset about? Nothing happened. You did not leave God; this is just a bad dream. Nothing happened." But, again, we must understand and recognize our resistance to hearing that Voice, because if nothing happened, we are not here. So in order to preserve our identity here, we have to put that light away. What Jesus is trying to tell us is that what we have opted for is awful, and what he is offering us is wonderful. That is where real peace is found.
(T-13.IX.7:5-6) The thing you fear is gone. If you would look within you would see only the Atonement, shining in quiet and in peace upon the altar to your Father.
The "altar" is always the mind, the part of our mind that chooses. Jesus is saying to reverse our original choice. We made a mistake when we chose guilt instead of the Atonement, and we can now change our mind. He is promising us that when we look within we will not see guilt; we will simply see the light of the Atonement shining that gently reminds us nothing happened: "You are at home in God, [yet] dreaming of exile…" (T-10.1.2:1). And the dream is now over.
(T-13.IX.8:1-2) Do not be afraid to look within. The ego tells you all is black with guilt within you, and bids you not to look.
That is the same idea that opens Lesson 93: "You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin." Again, it is this thought—do not look within—that we heard at the beginning, that led us to look without. But there was not a "without," so we had to make one. That is the world.
(T-13.IX.8:3-4) Instead, it [the ego] bids you look upon your brothers, and see the guilt in them. Yet this you cannot do without remaining blind.
We can see how very simply and clearly all this is stated. What you have to be able to do is remember this as you go about your daily life and begin to make judgments, whether you are doing it in terms of current world events, or in terms of current events in your home or place of work.
(T-13.IX.8:5) For those who see their brothers in the dark, and guilty in the dark in which they shroud them, are too afraid to look upon the light within.
We are afraid of the light within. We cover it with guilt, and then we take the guilt and put it outside us. And we re-enact this over and over and over again.
(T-13.IX.8:6) Within you is not what you believe is there, and what you put your faith in.
We put our faith, the power of the belief of our mind, in the ego and then in the ego's tale of sin, guilt, and fear.
(T-13.IX.8:7-10) Within you is the holy sign of perfect faith your Father has in you. He does not value you as you do. He knows Himself, and knows the truth in you. He knows there is no difference, for He knows not of differences.
That is the problem. God does not know about differences, which means we do not have a different identity. We are not separate from Him; we are not distinct from Him. One of the things that people have always found so comforting about the Bible is, for example, that in the Bible God knows about us as individuals. People like to hear that, and obviously it makes us feel very special if God loves us even more than the lilies of the field or the sparrows. How wonderful that God counts every hair on our head! It is wonderful to believe that God personally cares about us. That is not the Course's God. That is not the real God. We do not want to be told that God does not know about us. That is what the fear of the Atonement is all about.
(T-13.IX.8:11-12) Can you see guilt where God knows there is perfect innocence? You can deny His knowledge, but you cannot change it.
This theme is repeated over and over again in A Course in Miracles. Within the illusion we have the power to push knowledge away, to push Heaven away, to push God away. But that has no effect upon God. And our relationship to Him as His one Son, totally unified within Him, has never changed.
(T-13.IX.8:13) Look, then, upon the light He placed within you, and learn that what you feared was there has been replaced with love.
What enables us to do that is to first project our guilt and fear onto other people, then come to Jesus for help. The help comes in having us look differently at what we have misperceived. Jesus is saying that you should look, with his loving guidance, at what you see in the other person, at what you are condemning in the other person, at what you are coveting in the other person, and you will see it as a projection of what you have first made real in yourself: guilt, the belief in scarcity, the belief in lack.
So what he does is bring our attention from the world back within. If you look on the chart, you will see that that is what the miracle does. The line on the right-hand side leads from the world back up to the black dot. That is the miracle. It begins where we think we are, which is in the world, in relationships that are filled with victimization, one or the other, kill or be killed—all of our special relationships.
The way Jesus helps us is to have us look through his eyes and hear him say: "There is nothing out here: What you are seeing is a dream. Let me help you understand the origin of the dream. It began when you chose against God's Love and chose guilt instead." Then he goes through everything that we have just been through. That is what this whole Course is about. That is the only hope.