To See Or Not To See

This collection of poems is based on Review I of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. The Workbook has one lesson per day, and the numbers before the poems refer to these lessons.

To See Or Not To See: An Introduction to the Poems

The book A Course in Miracles doesn’t pull any punches. It says that we do not see anything. What does it mean when it says this? Since we believe in sin and judgment, we seek to attack everything. Our judgments make us blind to the present because our judgments seek to reinforce our belief in sin. Sin is dependent on seeing the past because sin is associated with the past. But the past does not exist. Only the present exists, and when we focus on the past, we cannot see what is in front of us–the present.

We focus on the past because we find guilt attractive. When we let go of guilt, through forgiveness, we will not focus on the nonexistent past, but we will see what is real in the present moment. A Course in Miracles says that “projection makes perception.” In other words, we choose in our minds what we want to see, and then we project this onto the screen of the world and “see” it. When we believe in sin and guilt, we project these ideas onto the world, see them there, and then we judge and attack the “sinful” world that we “see.” This is not seeing. The world is not sinful. The Course says, “To accuse is not to understand.” In other words, to judge is not to see.

We will see only when we have overlooked sin (or put thoughts of guilt out of our mind) through forgiveness. We will only see when we want to see above all else. What we say does not matter. Only a real inner desire to see the present will allow us to see. And when we learn to see, we will not see alone, for awakening is a “joint venture” or a group project.

Oneness is reality. Division is the illusion. Judgment and attack make divisions, and thus the world is divided into a mixture of meaningless sights, sounds, and feelings. Only when the world has reunited in oneness can the world make sense again. Analysis separates the world into a multitude of meaningless parts, which cannot be understood separately. Acceptance and love, brought about by forgiveness, allow the world to coalesce again into one spiritual whole, whose meaning is itself.

A Course in Miracles is presented in the voice of Christ. As the Course says, “‘No man cometh unto the Father but by me’ does not mean that I [Christ] am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist.” Therefore, one can say that the Course is a message from Christ, our higher self, or our awake self. It is a message from Self to self, from a rational mind to an insane mind. We are still insane because we still choose to judge rather than forgive, but we are always free to decide again, change our mind, and really see.

1
I don’t see anything at all
And nothing has no meaning
I am staring at a blank wall
With nothing intervening
2
All I see are my judgments here
And my judgments have only hurt me
These judgments are not vision clear
I will see when judgments desert me
3
I will see only my errors of thought
Until my illusions are exchanged
For something that can never be bought
For a love that has never changed
4
Whatever God is thinking now
My thoughts have long obscured
My meaningless thoughts did not allow
God’s truth to be secured
5
I cannot justify attacks and, no,
My judgments I cannot make true
I am willing to let them all go
So I will no longer misconstrue
6
Reality is never affected
By the illusions that I keep
I lost my peace, for I rejected
The truth when I went to sleep
7
Everything becomes my hated foe
When I condemn what I see and hear
But when I forgive and all things know
I will bless everything that’s near
8
The coming of truth, I try to delay
For I would see only the past
But I will learn to give the old away
With all judgments that I have amassed
9
What I have learned to see
Is only constant division
But when I choose to set you free
I will waken and have real vision
10
My thoughts, private and alone,
Don’t have any meaning at all
I will my private thoughts disown
And tear down the dividing wall
11
My thoughts produce a world that’s insane
And this world makes everyone mad
But a few thoughts of sanity remain
I will choose to forgive and be glad
12
My insane thoughts produce a lawless land
And I cannot find peace within it
But I will learn to understand
That this world has no value in it
13
This insane world produces fear
There’s nothing I can depend upon
But this world is just a veneer
I will trust in the real from now on
14
An insane world does not exist
Because God did not create it
Only the real can truly persist
And no one can ever negate it
15
What I see is my thought’s reflection
So why should I think about loss?
My real thoughts can bless by my election
When I give up my illusions like dross
16
None of my thoughts are without power
All of them have their effect
The true ones are like a strong tower
The false ones with fear do infect
17
I know I exist because I think
And the world is shaped by my mind
Between my thoughts and the world there is a link
The world changes as my thoughts are refined
18
I have no thoughts that are hidden
To share in part is to share not at all
The part by the whole is overridden
Real sharing removes every wall
19
All that I think and say and do
Affects every mind and spirit
When my inner world becomes new
All others will see and hear it
20
I am determined to see
A world that has been renewed
Real love will set us free
For it does not one exclude
21
I know that I do not understand
For I see only death and destruction
These things don’t come from God’s hand
Love and joy are his production
22
In this world, a picture is shown
Of attacks on all sides
All creation gives up a groan
As judgment all things divides
23
If I give up all attack
I can find salvation
Love and joy can come back
To all of God’s creation
24
Who I am, I do not know
And I don’t know what profits me
I will follow God’s Guide, and so
His teachings will help me see
25
The purpose that I use the world for
Is to prove that my illusions are true
I can learn the world’s true purpose, and more
When I let him my purpose undo
26
My attack thoughts cannot harm me
Or any living being
My real thoughts will only show me
Everyone’s wellbeing
27
I have a self-image made
Which fills my mind with fear
I will let this image fade
So that I can see and hear
28
While I see as I do now
The truth cannot come to me
But when I the truth allow
I will truly be able to see
29
Past every veil of fear
Beyond every insane thirst
God is forever near
His will always comes first
30
Behind my thoughts of separation
God’s existence is always sure
I will recall with great elation
That our oneness he does ensure
31
The world I see will surely fade
When I desire to truly see
I’m not a victim of this world I made
I can awaken and be free
32
No one can imprison God’s son
Unless he chooses to be bound
When his illusions are undone
He’ll awaken to freedom profound
33
My world view is upside-down
The world’s purpose I don’t know
But my thoughts will turn around
And I’ll find freedom as I go
34
I must realize that my rules
Have led to continual strife
But I’ll not be one of the fools
When I find God’s laws of life
35
As I share my peace with my brother
I’ll find this peace comes from my soul
I won’t see my brother as “other”
For pardon’s light will make the world whole
36
I’ll see the real world in holiness
When I have forgiven my heart
I’ll no longer live in guiltiness
When I make a new life and start
37
My holiness will be shared with all
I need only be saved from self-illusion
Knowing my true self, I will stand tall
My mind will be freed from self-confusion
38
My holiness is limitless
It can all things and people heal
My innocence is a witness
That my self-judgment was unreal
39
My holiness is my salvation
I am holy and thus without fear
I am joined with all of creation
In understanding, it draws near
40
I cannot suffer loss
Because I am a son
Life has not any cost
When the world is one
41
God is always here within
When I live in his perfect peace
I can’t be separated from him
Or be disturbed in the least
42
Let me exchange seeing for vision
Christ’s vision is his gift to me
When I look past all division
I’ll catch a glimpse of eternity
43
I can only see by God’s will
I cannot see apart from him
Without him, I lose all my skill
My sight becomes dark and dim
44
God is my only light
I can’t see without it
My life will be bright
As I go about it
45
God’s thoughts are my real thoughts
I can’t have real thoughts alone
My private thoughts are like spots
That vanish in my real home
46
In God’s love I forgive
Since he does not condemn
He doesn’t need to forgive
But I forgive in him
47
In God’s strength only I trust
For I cannot forgive alone
Forgiveness is fair and just
For it does all wrongs atone
48
There is nothing to fear
All beings come to bless me
As they assemble near
I know and love all I see
49
There is no moment in the day
That God does not guide and lead
When I listen, I hear him say
“Forgive your brother and be freed”
50
By God’s love I am sustained
In his love I forgive
I am no longer chained
In innocence I live