An Exercise in Charity

The following exercise is based on the discussion of charity in T-2.V.9-10. The normal definition of charity is: generous giving to those who are in real need. While we usually think of this as a physical thing–physical giving to those physically in need–we also speak of charity in inner terms: We can see, feel, or speak about someone in a charitable way. The Course takes this notion and runs with it, saying that true charity is a gift of generous perception to those in need of a better perception. True charity is to give to someone who sees only the imperfect in himself the generous gift of seeing him as perfect. The following exercise is based in particular on this line: “Charity is a way of looking at another as if he had already gone far beyond his actual accomplishments in time [his current level of development]” (T-2.V.10:1).

Think of someone whose opinion of herself puts her in need of charity, in the sense it is used here.
Now see this person going through time and slowly advancing spiritually….
See her becoming freer, less afraid, less bitter and angry….
See her face clearing, becoming more peaceful, filled with quiet strength, lit with joy and love, and seasoned by wisdom….
If it helps, you need not picture this happening in this person’s current life.
You might want to picture centuries going by, in whatever form you see that happening.
The important thing is to see this person advancing beyond what currently seems possible to you….
See her gaining pupils; see her performing miracles….
Now see that this person has reached the level that Jesus reached,
and is every bit his equal, on the very same plane as he was.
Like Jesus, she has become a perfectly pure beacon of light to the entire world, her mind shining as brightly as the sun, without the slightest shred of darkness left in it.
Spend a moment with this perception….See her moving among people as a manifestation of perfection….
Now bring that picture of a distant future into the present.
Realize that this exalted being is who this person is right now, beneath the disguise of her ego.
Realize that when someday she achieves this high plane, she will be the same person that she is now.
The only difference is that then she will have shaken the slumber that masks the exalted being she really is.
See that she is that being now ….
Seeing that is true charity.

 

[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]