Chapter Thirteen: From Perception to Knowledge
III. The Shadow of Guilt
11 Guilt remains the only thing that hides the Father, for guilt is the attack upon His Son. The guilty always condemn, and having done so, they will condemn, linking the future to the past as is the ego's law. Fidelity unto this law lets no light in, for it demands fidelity to darkness and forbids awakening. The ego's laws are strict, and breaches are severely punished. Therefore give no obedience to its laws, for they are laws of punishment. And those who follow them believe that they are guilty, and so they must condemn. Between the future and the past, the laws of God must intervene if you would free yourselves. Atonement stands between them like a lamp that shines so brightly that the chain of darkness in which you bound yourselves will disappear.
12 Release from guilt is the ego's whole undoing. Make no one fearful, for his guilt is yours, and by obeying the ego's harsh commandments, you bring its condemnation of yourself, and you will not escape the punishment it offers those who obey it. The ego rewards fidelity to it with pain, for faith in it is pain. And faith can be rewarded only in terms of the belief in which the faith was placed. Faith makes the power of belief, and where it is invested determines its reward. For faith is always given what is treasured, and what is treasured is returned to you.
13 The world can give you only what you gave it, for being nothing but your own projection, it has no meaning apart from what you found in it and placed your faith in. Be faithful unto darkness and you will not see, because your faith will be rewarded as you gave it. You will accept your treasure, and if you place your faith in the past, the future will be like it. Whatever you hold as dear, you think is yours. The power of your valuing will make it so.
14 Atonement brings a re-evaluation of everything you cherish, for it is the means by which the Holy Spirit can separate the false and the true, which you have accepted into your minds without distinction. Therefore, you cannot value one without the other, and guilt has become as true for you as innocence. You do not believe the Son of God is guiltless because you see the past and see him not. 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 the cloud of guilt that binds him to it. And in his freedom would have been your own.
15 Lay not his guilt upon him, for his guilt lies in his secret that he thinks that he has done this unto you. Would you, then, teach him that he is right in his delusion? The idea that the guiltless Son of God can attack himself and make himself guilty is insane. In any form, in anyone, believe this not. For sin and condemnation are the same, and the belief in one is faith in the other, calling for punishment instead of love. Nothing can justify insanity, and to call for punishment upon yourself must be insane.
16 See no one, then, as guilty, and you will affirm the truth of guiltlessness unto yourself. In every condemnation that you offer the Son of God lies the conviction of your own guilt. If you would have the Holy Spirit make you free of it, accept His offer of Atonement for all your brothers. For so you learn that it is true for you. Remember always that it is impossible to condemn the Son of God in part. Those whom you see as guilty become the witnesses to guilt in you, and you will see it there, for it is there until it is undone. Guilt is always in your own mind, which has condemned itself. Project it not, for while you do, it cannot be undone. With everyone whom you release from guilt, great is the joy in Heaven, where the witnesses to your fatherhood rejoice.
17 Guilt makes you blind, for while you see one spot of guilt within you, you will not see the light. And by projecting it, 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. You are afraid of what you would see there, but it is not there. 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.
18 Do not be afraid to look within. The ego tells you all is black with guilt within you and bids you not to look. Instead, it bids you look upon your brothers and see the guilt in them. Yet this you cannot do without remaining blind. 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. Within you is not what you believe is there and what you put your faith in.
19 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. Can you see guilt where God knows there is perfect innocence? You can deny His knowledge, but you cannot change it. Look, then, upon the light He placed within you and learn that what you feared was there has been replaced with love.