L e s s o n 181
I trust my brothers, who are one with me.
1 Trusting your brothers is essential to establishing and holding up your faith in your ability to transcend doubt and lack of sure conviction in yourself. When you attack a brother, you proclaim that he is limited by what you have perceived in him. You do not look beyond his errors. Rather, they are magnified, becoming blocks to your awareness of the Self that lies beyond your own mistakes and past his seeming sins as well as yours.
2 Perception has a focus. It is this which gives consistency to what you see. Change but this focus, and what you behold will change accordingly. Your vision now will shift to give support to the intent which has replaced the one you held before. Remove your focus on your brother's sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.
3 Therefore, in practicing today, we first let all such little focuses give way to our great need to let our sinlessness become apparent. We instruct our minds that it is this we seek and only this, for just a little while. We do not care about our future goals, and what we saw an instant previous has no concern for us within this interval of time wherein we practice changing our intent. We seek for innocence and nothing else. We seek for it with no concern but now.
4 A major hazard to success has been involvement with your past and future goals. You have been quite preoccupied with how extremely different the goals this course is advocating are from those you held before. And you have also been dismayed by the depressing and restricting thought that, even if you should succeed, you will inevitably lose your way again. How could this matter? For the past is gone, the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more.
5 We lay these pointless limitations by a little while. We do not look to past beliefs, and what we will believe will not intrude upon us now. We enter in the time of practicing with one intentto look upon the sinlessness within. We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother's sins occur to us, our narrowed focus will restrict our sight and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our "sins."
6 So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise, we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say:
8 And we will also use these thoughts to keep us safe throughout the day. We do not seek for long range goals. As each obstruction seems to block the vision of our sinlessness, we seek but for surcease an instant from the misery the focus upon sin will bring, and uncorrected will remain.
9 Nor do we ask for fantasies. For what we seek to look upon is really there. And as our focus goes beyond mistakes, we will behold a wholly sinless world. When seeing this is all we want to see, when this is all we seek for in the name of true perception, are the eyes of Christ inevitably ours. And the love He feels for us becomes our own as well. This will become the only thing we see reflected in the world and in ourselves.
10 The world which once proclaimed our sins becomes the proof that we are sinless. And our love for everyone we look upon attests to our remembrance of the holy Self Which knows no sin and never could conceive of anything without Its sinlessness. We seek for this remembrance as we turn our minds to practicing today. We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present. And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now. Our sinlessness is but the Will of God. This instant is our willing one with His.