(October 4, 1966)
The ultimate purpose of projection, as the ego uses it, is ALWAYS to get rid of guilt. But, characteristically, it attempts to get rid of it FROM ITS VIEWPOINT ONLY. For much as the ego wants to RETAIN guilt, YOU find it intolerable. For guilt stands in the way of your remembering God, Whose pull is so strong that YOU cannot resist it. On this issue, then, the deepest split of all occurs, for if you are to RETAIN guilt, as the ego insists, YOU CANNOT BE YOU. Only by persuading you that IT is you, could the ego possibly induce you to PROJECT guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind.
But consider how strange a solution the ego’s arrangement is. You PROJECT guilt to get rid of it, but you actually merely CONCEAL it. You DO experience guilt FEELINGS, but you have NO IDEA OF WHY. On the contrary, you associate them with a weird assortment of EGO ideals, which the ego claims you have failed. But you have no idea that you are failing the Son of God, by seeing HIM as guilty. Believing you are no longer YOU, you do not realize that you are failing YOURSELF.
The darkest of your hidden cornerstones holds your belief in guilt from your own awareness. For in that dark and secret place is the realization that you have betrayed God’s Son, by condemning him to death. You do not even SUSPECT that this murderous but insane idea lies hidden there. For the ego’s destructive urge is so intense, that nothing short of the crucifixion of God’s Son can ultimately satisfy it. It does not know who the Son of God IS, because it is blind. But let it perceive guiltlessness ANYWHERE, and it will try to destroy it, because it is afraid.
Much of the ego’s strange behavior is directly attributable to its definition of guilt. To the ego, THE GUILTLESS ARE GUILTY. Those who do NOT attack are its “enemies”, because, by NOT VALUING its interpretation of salvation, they are in an excellent position TO LET IT GO. They have approached the darkest and deepest cornerstone in the ego’s foundation, and while the ego can withstand your raising all else to question, it guards this one secret with its life, for its existence DOES depend on keeping this secret. And it is this secret that we must look upon calmly, for the ego cannot protect you AGAINST truth, and in its presence the EGO is dispelled.
In the calm light of truth, let us recognize that YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE CRUCIFIED GOD’S SON. You have not admitted this “terrible” secret, because you still wish to crucify him, IF YOU COULD FIND HIM. But the wish has hidden him from you, because it is very fearful, AND YOU ARE AFRAID TO FIND HIM. You have handled this wish TO KILL YOURSELF by NOT KNOWING WHO YOU ARE, and identifying with something ELSE. You have projected guilt blindly and indiscriminately, but you have NOT uncovered its source. For the ego DOES want to kill you, and if you identify WITH it, you MUST believe that ITS GOAL IS YOURS.
We once said that the crucifixion is the symbol of the ego. When it was confronted with the REAL guiltlessness of God’s Son it DID attempt to kill him. And the reason it gave was that guiltlessness is blasphemous to God. To the ego, THE EGO IS GOD, and guiltlessness MUST be interpreted AS THE FINAL GUILT WHICH FULLY JUSTIFIES MURDER. You will not yet understand that ALL your fear of this course stems ultimately from this interpretation, but if you will consider your reactions TO it, you will become increasingly convinced that this is so.
This course has explicitly stated that its goal FOR YOU is happiness and peace. Yet you are AFRAID of it. You have been told again and again that it will make you free, yet you react as if it is trying to IMPRISON you. Most of the time you DISMISS it, BUT YOU DO NOT DISMISS THE EGO’S THOUGHT SYSTEM. You HAVE seen its results and you STILL lack faith in it. You MUST, then, believe that by NOT learning the course, YOU ARE PROTECTING YOURSELF. And you do NOT realize that it is only your guiltlessness that CAN protect you.
The Atonement has always been interpreted as the release from guilt, and this is correct, if it is understood. Yet even when I have interpreted it FOR you, you have rejected it, and have NOT accepted it FOR YOURSELF. You have recognized the futility of the ego and its offerings, but though you do not want it, you will not look upon the alternative with gladness. YOU ARE AFRAID OF REDEMPTION, and YOU BELIEVE IT WILL KILL YOU. Make no mistake about the depth of your fear. For you believe that, in the presence of truth, you will turn on yourself and DESTROY yourself.
Little children, this is not so. Your “guilty secret” is nothing, and if you will but bring it to light, the Light WILL dispel it. And then no dark cloud will remain between you and the remembrance of your Father. For you will remember His guiltless Son, who did not die because he is immortal. And you will see that you were redeemed WITH him, and have never been separated FROM him. In THIS understanding lies your remembering, for it is the recognition of love WITHOUT fear. There will be great joy in Heaven on your home-coming, and the joy will be YOURS. For the redeemed son of man IS the guiltless Son of God, and to recognize HIM, IS your redemption.