The Guiltless World A Rendering
If you did not feel guilty you could not attack, for condemnation is the root of attack. It is the judgment of one mind by another as unworthy of love and deserving of punishment. But herein lies the split. For the mind that judges perceives itself as separate from the mind being judged, believing that by punishing another, it will escape punishment. All this is but the delusional attempt of the mind to deny itself, and escape the penalty of denial. It is not an attempt to relinquish denial, but to hold on to it. For it is guilt that has obscured God to you, and it is guilt that has driven you insane.
The acceptance of guilt into the mind of God’s Child was the beginning of the separation, as the acceptance of the Atonement is its end. The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt. Look carefully at this world, and you will realize that this is so. For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws that seem to govern it are the laws of death. Children are born into it through pain and in pain. Their growth is attended by suffering, and they learn of sorrow and separation and death. Their minds seem to be trapped in their brain, and its powers to decline if their bodies are hurt. They seem to love, yet they desert and are deserted. They appear to lose what they love, perhaps the most insane belief of all. And their bodies wither and gasp and are laid in the ground, and are no more. Not one of them but has thought that God is cruel.
If this were the real world, God would be cruel. For no parent could subject Her children to this as the price of salvation and be loving. Love does not kill to save. If it did, attack would be salvation, and this is the ego’s interpretation, not God’s. Only the world of guilt could demand this, for only the guilty could conceive of it. Adam’s “sin” could have touched no one, had he not believed it was God Who drove him out of Paradise. For in that belief the knowledge of God was lost, since only those who do not understand God could believe it.
This world is a picture of the crucifixion of God’s Child. And until you realize that God’s Child cannot be crucified, this is the world you will see. Yet you will not realize this until you accept the eternal fact that God’s Child is not guilty. She deserves only love because She has given only love. She cannot be condemned because She has never condemned. The Atonement is the final lesson She need learn, for it teaches Her that, never having sinned, She has no need of salvation.
As you look upon yourself and judge what you do honestly, you may be tempted to wonder how you can be guiltless. Yet consider this: You are not guiltless in time, but in eternity. You have “sinned” in the past, but there is no past. Always has no direction. Time seems to go in one direction, but when you reach its end it will roll up like a long carpet spread along the past behind you, and will disappear. As long as you believe the Child of God is guilty you will walk along this carpet, believing that it leads to death. And the journey will seem long and cruel and senseless, for so it is.
When you have accepted the Atonement for yourself, you will realize there is no guilt in God’s Child. And only as you look upon Her as guiltless can you understand Her oneness. For the idea of guilt brings a belief in condemnation of one by another, projecting separation in place of unity. You can condemn only yourself, and by so doing you cannot know that you are God’s Child. You have denied the condition of Her being, which is Her perfect blamelessness. Out of love She was created, and in love She abides. Goodness and mercy have always followed Her, for She has always extended the Love of Her Creator.
As you perceive the holy companions who travel with you, you will realize that there is no journey, but only an awakening. The Child of God, who sleepeth not, has kept faith with Her Creator for you. There is no road to travel on, and no time to travel through. For God waits not for Her Child in time, being forever unwilling to be without Her. And so it has always been. Let the holiness of God’s Child shine away the cloud of guilt that darkens your mind, and by accepting Her purity as yours, learn of Her that it is yours.
You are invulnerable because you are guiltless. You can hold on to the past only through guilt. For guilt establishes that you will be punished for what you have done, and thus depends on one-dimensional time, proceeding from past to future. No one who believes this can understand what “always” means, and therefore guilt must deprive you of the appreciation of eternity. You are immortal because you are eternal, and “always” must be now. Guilt, then, is a way of holding past and future in your mind to ensure the ego’s continuity. For if what has been will be punished, the ego’s continuity is guaranteed. Yet the guarantee of your continuity is God’s, not the ego’s. And immortality is the opposite of time, for time passes away, while immortality is constant.
Accepting the Atonement teaches you what immortality is, for by accepting your guiltlessness you learn that the past has never been, and so the future is needless and will not be. The future, in time, is always associated with expiation, and only guilt could induce a sense of a need for expiation. Accepting the guiltlessness of the Child of God as yours is therefore God’s way of reminding you of Her Child, and what She is in truth. For God has never condemned Her Child, and being guiltless She is eternal.
You cannot dispel guilt by making it real, and then atoning for it. This is the ego’s plan, which it offers instead of dispelling it. The ego believes in atonement through attack, being fully committed to the insane notion that attack is salvation. And you who cherish guilt must also believe it, for how else but by identifying with the ego could you hold dear what you do not want?
The ego teaches you to attack yourself because you are guilty, and this must increase the guilt, for guilt is the result of attack. In the ego’s teaching, then, there is no escape from guilt. For attack makes guilt real, and if it is real there is no way to overcome it. Spirit dispels it simply through the calm recognition that it has never been. As Spirit looks upon the guiltless Child of God, She knows that this is true. And being true for you, you cannot attack yourself, for without guilt attack is impossible. You, then, are saved because God’s Child is guiltless. And being wholly pure, you are invulnerable.
Rendered from Chapter 13, Introduction and excerpts,
A Course in Miracles