Lesson 351 • December-17

My sinless brother is my guide to peace. My sinful brother is my guide to pain. And which I choose to see I will behold.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Practice suggestion: Here is a longer, more specific form of today's idea. Choose someone to focus on and then repeat:

My sinless brother [name] is my guide to peace, He shows me that I am sinless, that my Comforter and Friend walks beside me, that I walk home along a way that is secure and clear. My sinful brother [name] is my guide to pain. He proclaims that I am a sinner, that I am alone and friendless, that I wander in danger in a fearful world. Which I choose to see determines my whole journey. Father, choose for me which I will see.

Commentary

I once read an article by Jon Mundy in On Course magazine about Bill Thetford (the man who transcribed the Course from Helen's Schucman's shorthand notes). Bill once said that the entire Course could be summed up in a single sentence: Are you willing to see your brother sinless? Jon relates the following story:

Judy Skutch Whitson tells an interesting story about Bill. There was one occasion on which Judy experienced a monumental ego attack which was focused on her friend, Dr. Gerry Jampolsky. In an effort to find some peace of mind she called Bill Thetford and proceeded to describe for him all of what she perceived to be Gerry's faults. Bill listened till Judy ran out of breath and then he said quietly, "You know, Judy, the Course can be summed up in just eight words. Are you willing to see your brother sinless?"

"No!" Judy screamed. "Well, dear," he replied, "when you are, you will feel much better." And he hung up.

The perception of my brother as sinful is a choice I am making. It is not based on fact. It is not caused by something in my brother; it is purely my chosen perception. Choosing to see my brother as sinful will always lead to inner pain. And truly, when we are willing to see our brother, or sister, as sinless, we really will feel much better. The power of the question Bill asked (and which the Course asks us all) lies in the fact that it reveals the often hidden fact that we are choosing this perception, and that we are not willing to let it go. Until we are, there is nothing the Holy Spirit can do for us. He will not oppose our will. Love does not oppose. We can stay in the pain of unforgiveness as long as we wish.

But when we are willing, when we have recognized that we are choosing how to see our brother, when we have realized that we do not like how we feel when we are choosing to see his sin, and we are willing, at least, to change that perception, then we can pray:

Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice. For He alone gives judgment in Your Name. (1:6-7)

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