Responsive image

Previous Section

Next Section

Table of Contents

Search the Course

Return to The Little Garden

III. Reason and the Forms of Error

T-22.III.1. The introduction of reason into the ego's thought system is the beginning of its undoing, for reason and the ego are contradictory. 2 Nor is it possible for them to coexist in your awareness. 3 For reason's goal is to make plain, and therefore obvious. 4 You can see reason. 5 This is not a play on words, for here is the beginning of a vision that has meaning. 6 Vision is sense, quite literally. 7 If it is not the body's sight, it must be understood. 8 For it is plain, and what is obvious is not ambiguous. 9 It can be understood. 10 And here do reason and the ego separate, to go their separate ways.

T-22.III.2. The ego's whole continuance depends on its belief you cannot learn this course. 2 Share this belief, and reason will be unable to see your errors and make way for their correction. 3 For reason sees through errors, telling you what you thought was real is not. 4 Reason can see the difference between sin and mistakes, because it wants correction. 5 Therefore, it tells you what you thought was uncorrectable can be corrected, and thus it must have been an error. 6 The ego's opposition to correction leads to its fixed belief in sin and disregard of errors. 7 It looks on nothing that can be corrected. 8 Thus does the ego damn, and reason save.

T-22.III.3. Reason is not salvation in itself, but it makes way for peace and brings you to a state of mind in which salvation can be given you. 2 Sin is a block, set like a heavy gate, locked and without a key, across the road to peace. 3 No one who looks on it without the help of reason would try to pass it. 4 The body's eyes behold it as solid granite, so thick it would be madness to attempt to pass it. 5 Yet reason sees through it easily, because it is an error. 6 The form it takes cannot conceal its emptiness from reason's eyes.

T-22.III.4. Only the form of error attracts the ego. 2 Meaning it does not recognize, and does not see if it is there or not. 3 Everything the body's eyes can see is a mistake, an error in perception, a distorted fragment of the whole without the meaning that the whole would give. 4 And yet mistakes, regardless of their form, can be corrected. 5 Sin is but error in a special form the ego venerates. 6 It would preserve all errors and make them sins. 7 For here is its own stability, its heavy anchor in the shifting world it made; the rock on which its church is built, and where its worshippers are bound to bodies, believing the body's freedom is their own.

T-22.III.5. Reason will tell you that the form of error is not what makes it a mistake. 2 If what the form conceals is a mistake, the form cannot prevent correction. 3 The body's eyes see only form. 4 They cannot see beyond what they were made to see. 5 And they were made to look on error and not see past it. 6 Theirs is indeed a strange perception, for they can see only illusions, unable to look beyond the granite block of sin, and stopping at the outside form of nothing. 7 To this distorted form of vision the outside of everything, the wall that stands between you and the truth, is wholly true. 8 Yet how can sight that stops at nothingness, as if it were a solid wall, see truly? 9 It is held back by form, having been made to guarantee that nothing else but form will be perceived.

T-22.III.6. These eyes, made not to see, will never see. 2 For the idea they represent left not its maker, and it is their maker that sees through them. \ 3 What was its maker's goal but not to see? 4 For this the body's eyes are perfect means, but not for seeing. 5 See how the body's eyes rest on externals and cannot go beyond. 6 Watch how they stop at nothingness, unable to go beyond the form to meaning. 7 Nothing so blinding as perception of form. 8 For sight of form means understanding has been obscured.

T-22.III.7. Only mistakes have different forms, and so they can deceive. 2 You can change form because it is not true. 3 It could not be reality because it can be changed. 4 Reason will tell you that if form is not reality it must be an illusion, and is not there to see. 5 And if you see it you must be mistaken, for you are seeing what can not be real as if it were. 6 What cannot see beyond what is not there must be distorted perception, and must perceive illusions as the truth. 7 Could it, then, recognize the truth?

T-22.III.8. Let not the form of his mistakes keep you from him whose holiness is yours. 2 Let not the vision of his holiness, the sight of which would show you your forgiveness, be kept from you by what the body's eyes can see. 3 Let your awareness of your brother not be blocked by your perception of his sins and of his body. 4 What is there in him that you would attack except what you associate with his body, which you believe can sin? 5 Beyond his errors is his holiness and your salvation. 6 You gave him not his holiness, but tried to see your sins in him to save yourself. 7 And yet, his holiness is your forgiveness. 8 Can you be saved by making sinful the one whose holiness is your salvation?

T-22.III.9. A holy relationship, however newly born, must value holiness above all else. 2 Unholy values will produce confusion, and in awareness. 3 In an unholy relationship, each one is valued because he seems to justify the other's sin. 4 Each sees within the other what impels him to sin against his will. 5 And thus he lays his sins upon the other, and is attracted to him to perpetuate his sins. 6 And so it must become impossible for each to see himself as causing sin by his desire to have sin real. 7 Yet reason sees a holy relationship as what it is; a common state of mind, where both give errors gladly to correction, that both may happily be healed as one.