A COURSE IN MIRACLES

 

Punishment

  • T-2.VIII.3. The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think that punishment is deserved.
  • Punishment is a concept totally opposed to right-mindedness, and the aim of the Last Judgment is to restore right-mindedness to you.
  • Whenever you respond to your ego you will experience guilt, and you will fear punishment.
  • The ego believes that by punishing itself it will mitigate the punishment of God.
  • Any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified.
  • T-13.in.1. 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.
  • For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws that seem to govern it are the laws of death.
  • T-13.IX.2. 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 on yourself, and you will not escape the punishment it offers those who obey it.
  • The ego's laws are strict, and breaches are severely punished. Therefore give no obedience to its laws, for they are laws of punishment.
  • T-13.IX.2. 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 on yourself, and you will not escape the punishment it offers those who obey it.
  • 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.
  • But the belief in guilt must lead to the belief in hell, and always does. The only way in which the ego allows the fear of hell to be experienced is to bring hell here, but always as a foretaste of the future. For no one who considers himself as deserving of hell can believe that punishment will end in peace.
  • Sin calls for punishment as error for correction, and the belief that punishment is correction is clearly insane.
  • For the ego brings sin to fear, demanding punishment. Yet punishment is but another form of guilt's protection, for what is deserving punishment must have been really done. Punishment is always the great preserver of sin, treating it with respect and honoring its enormity. What must be punished, must be true. And what is true must be eternal, and will be repeated endlessly. For what you think is real you want, and will not let it go.
  • it is sin that calls for punishment, not error.
  • What calls for punishment must call for nothing. Every mistake must be a call for love. What, then, is sin? What could it be but a mistake you would keep hidden; a call for help that you would keep unheard and thus unanswered?
  • T-23.II.4. The second law of chaos, dear indeed to every worshipper of sin, is that each one must sin, and therefore deserves attack and death. This principle, closely related to the first, is the demand that errors call for punishment and not correction.
  • Sin is attacked by punishment, and so preserved.
  • To the world, justice and vengeance are the same, for sinners see justice only as their punishment, perhaps sustained by someone else, but not escaped.
  • T-25.VIII.8. Yet justice cannot punish those who ask for punishment, but have a Judge Who knows that they are wholly innocent in truth.
  • T-25.IX.4. The sight of innocence makes punishment impossible, and justice sure.
  • T-26.VII.3. Guilt asks for punishment, and its request is granted. Not in truth, but in the world of shadows and illusions built on sin.
  • T-30.VI.2. Pardon is always justified. It has a sure foundation. You do not forgive the unforgivable, nor overlook a real attack that calls for punishment. Salvation does not lie in being asked to make unnatural responses which are inappropriate to what is real. Instead, it merely asks that you respond appropriately to what is not real by not perceiving what has not occurred.
  • The Son of God is egoless. What can he know of madness and the death of God, when he abides in Him? What can he know of sorrow and of suffering, when he lives in eternal joy? What can he know of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt, of hatred and attack, when all there is surrounding him is everlasting peace, forever conflict-free and undisturbed, in deepest silence and tranquility?
  • M-12.2. Thus does the son of man become the Son of God. It is not really a change; it is a change of mind. Nothing external alters, but everything internal now reflects only the Love of God. God can no longer be feared, for the mind sees no cause for punishment.