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3. Forgiveness - The Face of Christ
C-3.1. Forgiveness is for God and toward God but not of Him. 2 It is impossible to think of anything He created that could need forgiveness. 3 Forgiveness, then, is an illusion, but because of its purpose, which is the Holy Spirit's, it has one difference. 4 Unlike all other illusions it leads away from error and not towards it.
C-3.2. Forgiveness might be called a kind of happy fiction; a way in which the unknowing can bridge the gap between their perception and the truth. 2 They cannot go directly from perception to knowledge because they do not think it is their will to do so. 3 This makes God appear to be an enemy instead of what He really is. 4 And it is just this insane perception that makes them unwilling merely to rise up and to return to Him in peace.
C-3.3. And so they need an illusion of help because they are helpless; a Thought of peace because they are in conflict. 2 God knows what His Son needs before he asks. 3 He is not at all concerned with form, but having given the content it is His Will that it be understood. 4 And that suffices. 5 The form adapts itself to need; the content is unchanging, as eternal as its Creator.
C-3.4. The face of Christ has to be seen before the memory of God can return. 2 The reason is obvious. 3 Seeing the face of Christ involves perception. 4 No one can look on knowledge. 5 But the face of Christ is the great symbol of forgiveness. 6 It is salvation. 7 It is the symbol of the real world. 8 Whoever looks on this no longer sees the world. 9 He is as near to Heaven as is possible outside the gate. 10 Yet from this gate it is no more than just a step inside. 11 It is the final step. 12 And this we leave to God.
C-3.5. Forgiveness is a symbol, too, but as the symbol of His Will alone it cannot be divided. 2 And so the unity that it reflects becomes His Will. 3 It is the only thing still in the world in part, and yet the bridge to Heaven.
C-3.6. God's Will is all there is. 2 We can but go from nothingness to everything; from hell to Heaven. 3 Is this a journey? 4 No, not in truth, for truth goes nowhere. 5 But illusions shift from place to place; from time to time. 6 The final step is also but a shift. 7 As a perception it is part unreal. 8 And yet this part will vanish. 9 What remains is peace eternal and the Will of God.
C-3.7. There are no wishes now for wishes change. 2 Even the wished-for can become unwelcome. 3 That must be so because the ego cannot be at peace. 4 But Will is constant, as the gift of God. 5 And what He gives is always like Himself. 6 This is the purpose of the face of Christ. 7 It is the gift of God to save His Son. 8 But look on this and you have been forgiven.
C-3.8. How lovely does the world become in just that single instant when you see the truth about yourself reflected there. 2 Now you are sinless and behold your sinlessness. 3 Now you are holy and perceive it so. 4 And now the mind returns to its Creator; the joining of the Father and the Son, the Unity of unities that stands behind all joining but beyond them all. 5 God is not seen but only understood. 6 His Son is not attacked but recognized.