"My sinless brother is my guide to peace.
sinful brother is my guide to pain.
And which I choose to see I
(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)
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 taken from the Course: "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."
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