Light wills to be shared

In A Course in Miracles, students are encouraged to honestly look at the darkness they’ve put in their special relationships (be they with people, possessions or values, or whatever). The Course’s central message is that all specialness is illusion, and only loving thoughts are true. We are then invited to choose to change our mind to think with God (=Love; Oneness), by bringing our illusions to the light of truth (again: Love; Oneness), cleaning up yet another dark spot in our unforgiving conflicted mind. Moreover, Jesus emphasizes that our only part in this mind-healing process is to nurture our own willingness to align our will with Love, which, through the miracle of forgiveness, operates perfectly through time and space wherever it is needed.

Since we are cautioned not to try to change the external world, but solely the inner world of our own mind, we usually do not think we can influence the mind of those around us. After all, since bodies are clearly separated, it seems highly unlikely that my change of mind about you can directly influence your state of mind, especially if you’re not around. We do know that if someone in a meeting emanates a particularly negative energy, this influences the mood of all participants in the meeting, but we attribute that effect to a choice of our interpretation of the situation at hand: should I choose to be happily at peace, no negativity would be able to disturb that inner peace. Conversely, if someone in a group meeting is extremely joyful, chances are that this ‘contagious’ effect brightens the mood of everyone who’s involved.

However, aside from these obvious examples when people are in each other’s vicinity, we usually do not think that we can lighten up the mind of those who are far away. And yet, in my own Course workshops I increasingly hear reports of participants who experience the healing of a strained relationship merely by actively choosing to place the other person in the light of Love in their mind. People who almost constantly bicker at work; family members who refuse to speak to each other for years on end; neighbors whose minds are unceasingly filled with hate about each other. These are just a few examples of real-life cases in which the relationship was completely transformed to love without any mutual conversation between them whatsoever. The relationship visibly improved merely because one of them found sanity and actively chose to place the other in the light of Love. The results are often truly astounding. How could this be?

The Course teaches us (1) that minds are joined (T-18.VI.3:1), and (2) that everyone who still walks this earth has a conflicted mind (cf. W-pII.257.1:1): on the one hand, we often like to choose the ego as our mind’s guide, indulging in specialness and differences; on the other hand, sometimes we choose the Holy Spirit — the Voice for Love — as our mind’s guide, focusing on our inherent sameness and our shared purpose of living a life of Love. Of all these thoughts, we are taught that only the loving ones are true (T-12.I.8:7). Thoughts about any aspect of negativity (guilt; fear; separation; attack; hate; depression, you name it) are illusory and therefore not true. Note, by the way, that the term ‘thoughts’ refers to our mind’s impulses rather than to our verbal thought stream, which is only a representation of these impulses. Our only real thoughts, then, may be aptly summarized as our impulses of Love, in as far as that Love refers to you and me being the same in spirit, which is our essence.

The apparent fact that we can heal a strained relationship just by placing the other — in the mind! — in the light of Love, is explained in the Course by the simple statement that light is always shared (W-pI.R4.In.6:1), whereas darkness cannot be shared, since it is illusory. Darkness is a feeble wish of the ego, with the sole aim of keeping the separation ongoing. However, since the entire ‘tiny, mad idea’ of separation is illusory, darkness cannot have a real effect anywhere. As darkness in a room immediately dissipates when the light switch is turned on, so the illusory darkness in the mind dissolves whenever a mind decides to turn on the ‘inner light’ of love. The apparent healing of my previously strained relationship of course merely reflects the healing of my own mind, since in reality there is only one mind. An illusion has been brought to truth, and is thereby healed.

That’s why Jesus says that he and you and I have “all power in Heaven and on earth” (W-pI.20.3:7): by choosing to clean up the ‘dark spots’ in the mind that appear to block the flow of oneness love and therefore perpetuate my apparent unique individuality, I turn on the light switch that immediately dissipates the darkness which was illusory anyway. The ‘price’ I pay for this is that my unique individual self becomes a little less unique. This unconsciously frightens me because I do not know what I would be without a unique individual body and personality. Our unconscious fear of being annihilated into oblivion by a wrathful Creator leads us to keep the dark illusion of separated individuality alive. Jesus’ task in A Course in Miracles is to get us to accept the truth of statements such as: “You believe that without the ego, all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.” (T-15.V.1:7).

So yes, you and I really can actively heal our conflicted special relationships, and you don’t even need the other’s conscious consent! Why not try it now. After reading this, close your eyes and picture someone whom you seem to have trouble with. The form of the conflict or situation doesn’t matter. What matters is your intention to bring that particular illusion of darkness to the light of truth through forgiveness, thereby allowing the Holy Spirit — again, the Voice for Love — to bring the miracle to its full efficacy. First and foremost, we should realize that I cannot heal if I do not love myself, that is, my essence as spirit. Since in truth there are no “others”, any grudge or grievance I seem to hold merely mirrors a dark conviction about some aspect of myself. Therefore, begin the healing process by immersing yourself in the light of love.

There are many ways to experience this, and you should follow your own preferred method. Paradoxically, your body may be of great help to experience that light. Try to immerse every single vein in your body in light; feel it tickle across your skin; try to become consciously aware of as many body parts at once as you can. See your body as a body of light. Say silently to yourself, then: “I will there be light. There is no will but God’s; therefore, any conflict in my mind, including my conflict with you, cannot be real. I am Light. You are the same Light. We are the same Light. I want to see us as that Light above all else, that we may both be healed of all darkness.” Be assured that the Holy Spirit wastes no time in following up on this invitation, and casually notice what happens to your relationship in the time that follows. You might just be astounded. Happy practicing!

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See also my Feb. 2019 Course workshop at called “Farewell to your self, to find your true Self”. (English captions/subtitles available)

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Choose to forgive… yourself

In A Course in Miracles, workbook lessons 61 (“I am the light of the world”), 62 (“Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world”), and 63 (“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness”) form a triad in Jesus’ mind training program. They could even be seen as a decidedly positive summary of the entire curriculum. Just to remind ourselves, let’s quickly revisit the central message of this trio.

First of all, “I am the light of the world” is true for everyone, since God has only one Son (i.e., all life combined, also called the Sonship). However, saying this, we immediately find ourselves bringing together (or, perhaps: confusing) the Course’s metaphysical level, and the Course’s practical everyday level in the ‘waking dream’ we call the material world. Since everyone who experiences himself living in this dream world has the same split mind (wherein both the ego and the Holy Spirit reside), everyone both has and is the light of the world.

The trick is that almost nobody is consciously aware of this ‘inner light beyond time and space’. On the contrary, most of us walk this illusory world in a state of ego mindlessness, that is, “uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear” (T-31.VIII.7:1). So when we read lesson 61 from this state of “wrong-minded thinking”, the ego will exuberantly conclude that I apparently am the light of the world, and others are not. Needless to say, this is exactly the opposite of what Jesus is trying to make us see here. Since you and I and everyone else are exactly the same, at least on the level of the mind, everyone is the light of the world.

That’s why Jesus says about this message that it is simply a fact: “This, then, is merely a statement of the truth about yourself.” But he also reminds us: “It does not describe the self-concept you have made.” (W-pI.61.1:4) In other words, the challenge is that we have not accepted this truth about ourselves as yet. This is because we still do not want the separation healed, since we are still so intimately attached to our special individual little self. I may be plagued by pain and anxiety, but at least I exist as an autonomous individual. In this lesson, Jesus is saying that even though we still experience ourselves as separated, we can at least begin to consider the truth of what he is conveying here.

Lesson 62 adds the central concept of forgiveness to this message. Here, he again emphasizes the fact that our view of our separated self is an illusion of self. Just as our nightly dreams are populated by various characters, so is our ‘waking’ dream world populated with seemingly separated people and events that are no more real than our nightly dreams. Again, God has only one Son, our daily experience to the contrary. That’s why Jesus states: “Illusions about yourself and the world are one. That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself.” (W-pI.62.2:1-2).

We usually see forgiveness as a process from me to you. I forgive you for what I think you did, or failed to do. However, almost every Course student has learned that such thinking only makes the original ontological error of separation real, since it presumes a ‘better’ person who may rightfully judge ‘lesser’ people. To the ego, this makes perfect sense; but if God has only one Son, this cannot be the case. Who, then, is there to forgive? And for what? Here, once again, we can easily mix up the metaphysical level of the Course and the daily, practical level, and this unfortunately happens a lot.

On the metaphysical level, we are taught that time is already over; we are mentally reviewing what seemingly happened long ago. All people and events I perceive are “outside pictures of the inward condition of [the ontological] separation” (; a condition that can only be sustained through constant judgment and attack, which is what we do all the time. But since the thought of separation has not left the mind of the seemingly sleeping Son of God, all “evil” that we perceive outside merely symbolizes (represents) darkness in my own mind. Therefore, true forgiveness means forgiving myself for having chosen to be the host of dark thoughts. I chose this to be able to uphold the idea of separation from God; a separation which in reality never happened. How tragic!

Lesson 63, then, describes the mechanism of the practical process of forgiveness in this illusory dream world of time and space. As we all know, it is not enough to stubbornly repeat to ourselves: “I have no dark thoughts anymore. I have no dark thoughts anymore. I have no dark thoughts anymore.” That’s like trying not to think of the color blue. As long as we still experience ourselves in the dream world of time and space, interacting with other people, we are invited to shift the purpose of the world. Instead of constantly finding opportunities to blame, judge, and attack, we can train the mind to constantly find opportunities to see the sameness in everyone and everything. Others then become symbols of the light, which we can then recognize in ourselves as well.

So we heal our own mind by ‘placing’ others in the timeless light of Love, seeing the sameness in everyone and everything, including ourselves. That’s why Jesus says: “How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind! How blessed are you who can learn to recognize the means for letting this be done through you!” (W-pI.63.1:1-2). And that’s also why Jesus answers the question in the Manual for Teachers (M-12) about how many teachers are needed to save the world with: “One”, since we are all a seemingly splintered fragment of the one seemingly sleeping Son of God, Who is still One, even in the waking dream.

This does not mean, by the way, that the one you lovingly place in the timeless light of Love, will immediately accept that light. In fact, usually they don’t. This, however, is irrelevant because time really does not exist and everything that seems to happen in time is really happening now. The ego sees this as a reason not to keep up this practice: “If I place someone in the light of Love and he keeps being an asshole, what good is it?” However, as Jesus reminds us in, the effect of our forgiveness practice (“the miracle”) should not be our concern (T-18.V.2:4). We should not be worried about whether our forgiveness will be accepted by the other. The Holy Spirit sees to it by definition that the miracle reaches its ultimate destination in time and space. All we are asked is the “little willingness” to choose to see our brother as sinless. As Jesus concludes: “What purpose could you have that would bring you greater happiness?” (W-pI.63.1:3).

Even though the observable effects of our forgiveness practice should not be our concern, many can attest to situations wherein there clearly were observable effects. In my own workshops, several participants shared their forgiveness decision about very strained relationships, wherein they found that that particular relationship unmistakably improved in the weeks that followed. This illustrates Jesus’ statement that “The Son of God looks to you for his redemption” (W-pI.63.2:2), albeit unconsciously. We all yearn to be seen as innocent and worthy of the Love of God. This is exactly the message that we send out when we decide to forgive that person, even when we’re not in their vicinity. Simultaneously, we have cleaned yet another dark spot in our own mind, which is of course the essence.

As our motivation to master this Course is strengthened by our experience of inner peace whenever we truly forgive, so does our peaceful countenance inspire those who still hesitate to make the same choice. This way, “a strong chain of forgiveness is welded” (T-1.III.9:2). The goal of A course in Miracles, then, is to fuel our own willingness to keep practicing our function of total forgiveness, embracing everyone, until no single dark spot remains to hide the Face of Christ from anyone (T-31.VIII.12:5). Once we reach that point, we find in glad astonishment that we’re done with time, and where we used to fear we had to sacrifice everything for salvation, we happily conclude that we gave up nothing!


See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See also my Feb. 2019 Course workshop at called “Farewell to your self, to find your true Self”. (English captions/subtitles available)

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: