Right Perception

Right Perception

Sometimes a significant amount of light can be derived from examining the use of a single word in A Course in Miracles. A reason for this is the Course will often attach meaning to various words that go beyond the general definitions supplied by the dictionary. If one goes by the black and white dictionary definition, he may often miss much of the depth of what is being said.

Then too, there are situations where certain words are related to other words that are unique to the Course. Here are four such words:

“Perception, Facts, Revelation & Knowledge”

The Course tells us there is true and false perception, but true perception leads to true facts which leads to revelation which leads to knowledge. To understand this sequence, we must take an in depth look at what the Course says about these words and their relationship. Let us start with perception.

The dictionary basically has two definitions of this word. The first are those things perceived through the senses. Example: “I perceive this desk in front of me.”  The second are those things perceived through the understanding of our minds.  Example: “I perceive that love is more desirable than fear.”

That said, how does the Course use the word?  In this case the use is very similar to the dictionary, but with a very expansive view.

The Course does normally associate perception with the body and form:

“Even in its most spiritualized form perception involves the body.” T-3.III.5  Then it speaks of “the world of dreams, where all perception is.” T-13.VII.9

And here it relates it to separation in form:

“This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world’s perception is achieved.” W-pI.184.1-2

The Holy Spirit is usually associated with second part of the dictionary definition which relates perception to that which is beyond sensory perception.

“The Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the vision of a holy relationship is all you want to see.” T-21.III.6

“He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind.” W-pI.43.1

This also tells us that the idea of perception is so powerful that we would have been trapped in the dream forever if not for the creation of the Holy Spirit.

It is important to know that the Course divides perception into two categories: right perception and wrong perception. Concerning wrong perception it says:

“Only perception can be sick, because only perception can be wrong. Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not.” T-8.IX.1-2

Then it points out the necessity of right perception:

“Right perception is necessary before God can communicate directly to His altars, which He established in His Sons.” T-3.III.5-6

We have to be in our right mind to perceive correctly:

“Right-mindedness is not to be confused with the knowing mind, because it is applicable only to right perception.” T-3.IV.4

It further defines right and wrong perception:

“Perception is temporary. As an attribute of the belief in space and time, it is subject to either fear or love. Misperceptions produce fear and true perceptions foster love, but neither brings certainty because all perception varies.” T-3.III.1

Perception then is “an attribute of the belief in space and time” and is therefore related to the dream state in which we find ourselves. In fact, “Perception did not exist until the separation introduced degrees, aspects and intervals” T-3.IV.1

Even though perception is related to the dream world and, was not found in heaven, it is essential that we use it correctly so that we can awaken. After all, without perception you could not even read this or even study the Course itself. Here we have the key to correct perception:

“Perception is the medium by which ignorance is brought to knowledge. Yet the perception must be without deceit, for otherwise it becomes the messenger of ignorance rather than a helper in the search for truth. T-14.VII.1

 The key phrase there is “perception must be without deceit.”

Now, let us look at examples of right and wrong perception. The first level of perception are those things we perceive directly with the physical senses, and a common example of misperception occurs in our courts when eyewitness testimony is given. Let us say that two people involved are giving their testimony and a $50,000 judgment is at stake. In most cases each witness will perceive things incorrectly in his favor because of what is at stake. Unfortunately, this will lead him further into the illusion for “perception must be without deceit.”

Or perhaps you remember having a heated argument, and the other guy quotes you incorrectly and makes it look like you were saying something that you did not say or even think. You could reach agreement if this person would just perceive what you are actually saying, but instead he seems to want you to be wrong.

Hundreds of examples could be given but the key for the ACIM student is to perceive “without deceit” and not let our personal bias distort what we register in our minds as the truth as it relates to this world.

The second level of perception is not through the physical senses, but the eyes of understanding. This is emphasized when the Course teaches about the frame and the picture. The frame represents the black and white words that are being said and the picture represents the actual meaning which is being communicated.

The students who look at the frame only perceive the words. The problem is that communication by words alone is far from perfect as you cannot see the picture by looking only at the frame. Instead, you have to bring in the Holy Spirit to see the picture, or the true meaning, and truly understand what is being actually communicated.

“The Holy Spirit corrects the world of dreams, where all perception is.” T-13.VII.9

“Perception, at its loftiest, is never complete. Even the perception of the Holy Spirit, as perfect as perception can be, is without meaning in Heaven.” T-13.VIII.2

Even so, perception is a tool used by the Holy Spirit to assist us in taking the needed steps to awakening.

“With this link (to the Holy Spirit) with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge. That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it.” W-pI.43.1

“You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly.” T-1.III.6.

Perception thus leads to true facts which we will discuss next.

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1 thought on “Right Perception

  1. I am enjoying your wisdom. Sir. Thank you for sharing. I came across you by pumping atom proton male positive sun electricity electron female negative and your work popped up. And I found a lot of interesting profundities that would usually be found in the occult!

    best wishes and all love

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