First definition

Hand roadWhat could you want forgiveness cannot give?

* Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it.

* Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world?

* Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always?

* Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?

All this forgiveness offers you, and more.

* It sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day.

* It soothes your forehead while you sleep, and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice and attack.

* And when you wake again, it offers you another day of happiness and peace.

All this forgiveness offers you, and more…

* Forgiveness lets the veil be lifted up that hides the face of Christ from those who look with unforgiving eyes upon the world.

* It lets you recognize the Son of God, and clears your memory of all dead thoughts so that remembrance of your Father can arise across the threshold of your mind.

What would you want forgiveness cannot give? What gifts but these are worthy to be sought? What fancied value, trivial effect or transient promise, never to be kept, can hold more hope than what forgiveness brings? W-122.1-3, A Course in Miracles

Second definition

Hour Glass…a component of practicing forgiveness would be to remember that you are dreaming.

You authored the dream and made the figures act out for you, so you could see your unconscious guilt outside yourself.

If you remember you’re dreaming, then there’s nothing out there but your own projection.

Once you believe that – and belief only comes from practice and experience – then there’s no need for what you’re seeing and now ‘forgiving’ to have any impact on you.

As the Course puts it:

The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and that its content is not true. This is a crucial step in dealing with illusions. No one is afraid of them when he perceives he made them up. The fear was held in place because he did not see that he was author of the dream, and not a figure in the dream. T-28.II.7:1-4


So now it’s my dream, not somebody elses because there’s only one of us. There’s not anybody or anything besides my projection, which I’m now ‘recalling’ by taking responsibility for it.

Yes. Remember, that doesn’t mean there aren’t seemingly separated minds who think they’re really there, but like you, they have to learn the truth in order for the entire mind to be one again. DU 235-236.


Third definition

Source: ACIM Mentor; A mentoring blog for students of A Course in Miracles. Date: May 18, 2011 (Link to blog: Main Menu – Links)

Ask: Why didn’t forgiving work? I feel angry at “Joe” and I’m attacking him in my mind. Then, I remember to choose again and follow ACIM steps of forgiveness. First, I recognize my anger or attack thoughts. Then I recall that ideas leave not their source e.g. my rage is actually a projection of my belief that I’m separate from God and take responsibility. Third and last step, I ask the Holy Spirit to take it from here by healing a grain of my mind. Twenty minutes later I feel angry at Joe again about the same issue. Did forgiveness fail to work? Could it be that since my anger is really about my own guilt over thinking God is still separate, that it’s irrelevant whether I project onto Joe a 1000x or a 100 different people 10x, it’s all the same? Each attack thought episode is an opportunity to “bring home” to my mind projected attacks and give them over to the Holy Spirit. Or am I just making excuses for Course forgiveness that really doesn’t work and I’m just deluding myself? If I’m not kidding myself and these described decisions are in line with ACIM forgiveness, why can’t I forgive “my” whole personal self-world by saying “I withdraw all projected guilt and turn it over to the Holy Spirit” at once and experience immediate and lasting peace? Can you comment on this whole scenario please?


What you are experiencing is very common for new, practicing students of A Course in Miracles. Let’s look at each of the issues that you bring up:

Book trail1. It is good that you stop to recognize that you are experiencing anger and attack thoughts, and that these, not what another says or does, are the source of your rage. But, it takes a long time to learn to generalize and really understand that the real source of your anger comes from deeply-rooted guilt and fear over a belief that you have separated from God. At first, it is best to focus on only what the personal thought system (ego) is telling you right now are the justification for anger. Those thoughts will tie into the story that it has for you as a personal self. In fact, their purpose is really just to reinforce your identification with a personal self. The deeper thoughts about guilt from separating from God will come up later, after you have worked through layers of false beliefs about yourself as a personal self.

2. When you give something to the Holy Spirit, what you are really saying is that you are turning away from the personal thought system, and turning your mind to the thought system in your mind that comes from Truth. For this to really work for you, the Holy Spirit has to be a real experience for you, not just a nice idea. Only from the Holy Spirit within you can you look on the personal thought system’s story for you with detachment.

3. True forgiveness means recognizing that only God is real. Until the Holy Spirit is real to you, you will not be able to let go of (forgive) the personal thought system’s story for you, because you will think that it is your identity. So, if anger returns, this indicates that you have not really let go of (forgiven) an idea that you have about yourself, either because God is not yet a real experience for you, or because you do not want to let go of the personal story that you have for yourself. Before you can truly forgive, you will have to develop enough of an awareness of God to be willing to release your attachment to a personal story. This may mean working through layers of fear of God first. Then, when God is real to you, forgiveness will happen naturally.

4. Yes, all projections of guilt and anger are really the same, whether they are over the same person or situation or over many different people or situations, because at the core they come from your guilt and fear over the belief that you have separated from God. And, yes, each episode of unforgiving is an opportunity to turn your mind to your True thought system, the Holy Spirit.

5. The Course’s method of forgiving does work, and you are not deluding yourself; you probably just do not yet experience God as real, or trust God enough yet, to be willing to let go of the personal story that you have for yourself. You are never really attached to a particular incident of unforgiving thoughts, but to the story about yourself that they support. So, instead of struggling to forgive, work instead on building your awareness of God first.

6. When God is real to you and not just a nice idea, and you are truly willing to let go of the personal identity and its world, then you will indeed let go of it all, all at once, and have lasting peace. You can prepare for that moment by becoming aware of God, working through your guilt toward and fear of God, and rooting out of your mind all of the ways that you are attached to a personal identity. Peace first comes and goes, then comes to stay, then comes to be all that you experience.

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