[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
We tend to go through life feeling accused from many corners, from bosses, children, former (and current) spouses. Defending ourselves against these accusations can seem like a full-time job. We seem to be always offering our counter-explanation of the same events, in which the blame quite clearly rests on someone else.
Isn’t it strange, then, that underneath our verbal protestations, we are constantly accusing ourselves? Haven’t you ever caught yourself berating yourself for your weakness or selfishness, only to react angrily when someone else voices the very same opinions about you? A Course in Miracles depicts us as building a case against ourselves, slowly and methodically, in an attempt to prove that we are miserable sinners.
We build this case in little, half-conscious thoughts that flash through our minds like a reflex action. We hear a voice in our minds say, “You idiot!” or “You are so stingy!” Over time these thoughts add up to a massive case against ourselves. This case seems so air-tight that, in some deep place within us, we have already convicted ourselves.
We are probably afraid to appeal this conviction to God, for we think His verdict would probably be worse than ours. Yet what if it wouldn’t? The Course says that we should appeal our case to God’s Higher Court, for that Court’s whole job is to lovingly overturn the harsh judgments of our lower court.
You might imagine this appeal taking place. You might even want to take some time and visualize it. See yourself, if you will, in a courtroom. You, the defendant, shuffle in wearing a prisoner’s uniform, your hands and feet shackled. Now see the prosecuting attorney. To your shock, the prosecuting attorney looks exactly like you. In his or her hands, the attorney holds the case against you, composed of several thick volumes, which recount every wrong you ever did or thought, and all the witnesses that can testify against you. The attorney loudly declares the case to be fool-proof and places it before the judge.
Now, the judge is God, but a God Who does not believe in guilt, only in love. You may picture Him however you wish—as an old man, as a radiant light, as Jesus—remembering that any form you put on God is merely a symbol for That Which transcends all form. In response to the prosecuting attorney’s words, the Judge speaks. Imagine His voice sounding however you think God’s voice would sound. He ignores the attorney and speaks directly to you:
“This case may be fool-proof, but it is not God-proof. Every witness to your guilt is bearing false witness against Me. Although you have built this case up very carefully, I will not hear it. I am dismissing the case against you.
My verdict is always, ‘THINE IS THE KINGDOM.'” (based on T-5.VI.10)
Hear these words echo in your mind, “Thine is the Kingdom.” You may have said these words to God countless times in the Lord’s Prayer. Now He is saying them to you. Feel the honor, the majesty, and the total absolution contained in them. “Thine is the Kingdom.” Finally, hear Him say, “This court is adjourned.” There is a single pounding of the gavel, and the case against you vanishes into thin air.