The only problem we have is that we are not recognizing what is true and what is false correctly.
There are things that the ego says are true, which are actually false. But we believe they are true.
There are things which God says are true, which we believe are false, but are actually true.
It has a lot to do with willingness. The willingness to ACCEPT that God's truth is true, and the ego's truth is not true.
But see... if we think the ego's truth actually IS true, we're going to automatically think God's truth is false.
If we believe we sinned and are guilty, we will believe we deserve punishment and not love.
This belief will distort our perception.
We will see the worthiness of being punished as TRUTH, and we will agree with it.
We will then see the punishment NOT as punishment, but as welcome. Something we want.
We will even welcome death, seeing it as salvation.
As soon as we start being convinced that what the ego says is the truth, our perception just gets all flipped upside down and the things which would HURT us start to look like they're going to be HELPFUL.
Things which are NOT true, start to look true. Things which HURT us, start to seem appealing. Things which make things WORSE for us, start to look like solutions. Things which make us SUFFER, start to look like they are helping us.
And then, things which REALLY are true, start to look false. Things which would HEAL us, start to seem like a threat. Things which would make things BETTER, start to seem like something that would make things worse. Things which would UNDO suffering, start to seem like things which would ADD suffering.
This is how mixed up we become. We do not ****RECOGNIZE**** what is true and what is false.
We MISTAKE false things for true things, and true things for false things.
This makes us very CONFUSED, and yet we will still believe in the midst of that insanity, that we are TOTALLY sane, things TOTALLY make sense, we are TOTALLY right, we HAVE the whole truth, and we're seeing everything PERFECTLY. We will not even REALIZE that we are in a state of suffering or denial or unhappiness. We will not ACKNOWLEDGE it, or see it, or recognize it for what it is.
By believing the ego's lies are truth, those lies STOP LOOKING LIKE LIES, and start looking like truth. It doesn't matter how sane or insane someone is, or how confused, EVERYONE will always believe they are seeing fully, clearly, perfectly, correctly, rightly, accurately, and that their discernment is 100% correct. Even if the are believing the death is the only way to live, they will believe they are TOTALLY CORRECT in that perception. They simply have become BLIND to the ability to DISCERN that their own perception is very distorted.
We would, in the ego, happily jump into a vat of acid, or destroy ourselves in any number of horrific ways, BELIEVING SINCERELY, that it is going to SAVE US FROM GOD's WRATH. Death actually start to look APPEALING to those who are insane and whose thought system is so backwards that they think SUICIDE is actually SALVATION.
The ego has flipped everything around. It sees lies in the truth and truth in lies. It sees life in death and death in life. it sees gains in losses and losses in gains. It sees hurt in love and love in hurt. It sees sin in innocence and innocence as sinful. It sees death as the doorway to eternal peace. It sees sacrifice as a way to gain everything. It becomes ATTRACTED TO GUILT AND DEATH, simply because it does not RECOGNIZE them as guilt and death, it instead thinks they are sacred and HOLY and PURE and WELCOMING!!!
This is how insane it gets. And all death is suicide, CHOSEN, by people whose perception is so back to front that they think that moving AWAY from life will bring them closer to it. That death is a way OUT of the suffering that seems real. That death is a "real option" that will "solve all problems". Only the blind would choose such a solution.
"Forgive them father for they know not what they do."
Literally, anyone in the ego DOES NOT KNOW that they are in the ego. They don't RECOGNIZE it for what it is. They think they are in heaven when they are in hell. They think they are in hell when they are in heaven. They think their successes are failures and their failures are successes. It's all back to front, and it's not even RECOGNIZED.
Being in the ego means being UNCONSCIOUS, and in unconsciousness, what is true and what is false loses ALL CONTEXT. That means REAL TRUTH has been shut out of awareness, and now there is nothing to COMPARE anything to. No yard stick or hard and fast reliable consistent truth to compare things to to say, is THIS true, or is THIS false? There is a loss of perspective. A loss of sight. A loss of contrast. A loss of sanity. And all that remains is to thrash about in the dark MAKING UP truth and being totally confused about whether it is actually true or not.
To correct this we need to do only really ONE THING. That is, to become willing to consider we might be MISTAKEN about what we believe is true.... to consider, maybe we were mistaken about God's truth, and maybe what we BELIEVE IS TRUE, is actually FALSE. Every belief of the ego SEEMS true, but is false. Yet we currently believe it. Whether it be a belief that we sinned, a belief that we're guilty, a believe that we're unworthy of love, a belief that we're not good enough, or don't deserve forgiveness, or are lacking, or whatever.
These "false beliefs", these untruths masquerading as truth, NEED to be CORRECTED. The course says that perception needs to be corrected but its really your BELIEFS, because belief is your conviction about what is true. What you BELIEVE you WILL PERCEIVE. And you will perceive it BECAUSE you believed it. And then, upon perceiving it, it will seem to CONFIRM that what you believe is true, not realizing you're stuck inside a closed box of your own making.
You have to be willing to dig out and challenge your ego beliefs. Then you need to be willing to RECOGNIZE THEM AS FALSE, by "deprogramming" yourself. Whatever way works for you. To DISBELIEVE these lies, to strip them of all belief, to collapse your trust in them, to REVERSE them, to stop believing they are TRUE, and to start believing, simply, THEY ARE NOT TRUE. They are false. It's NOT TRUE that you are a sinner. It's NOT TRUE that you are guilty. It's NOT TRUE that you don't deserve love. It's NOT TRUE that you can't be forgiven. etc.
I have found personally that any act of affirming or clarifying or emphasizing that some false ego belief IS NOT TRUE, is an act of moving towards God and towards healing. It is an act of transitioning from a mistaken truth to a real truth. It seems to be ONLY this changing of hands, this willingness to CHANGE BELIEF, so that what you thought had truth to it, is BELIEVED LESS, and what you thought was false, is BELIEVED MORE. ***THAT*** right there is the way to change your perception, and THE ONLY WAY.
This sorting out of what is true and what is false will take you ALL THE WAY to the atonement. It's the ONLY process to get there. Somehow, you have to shift allegiance from listening to and trusting the ego's voice, to listening to and trusting the Holy Spirit's voice. To stop BELIEVING that the ego's beliefs are true, and to RECOGNIZE them as FALSE. That's all you need to do! Just keep systematically reversing these beliefs, undoing them, stopping believing them, withdrawing faith from them, learning to MISTRUST the ego and to TRUST God, and to CLEARLY DISTINGUISH.. what is true, from what is false.
This clarification is what will make your perception CORRECT. Correct perception, or true perception, means you are perceiving WITHOUT DISTORTION. It means you can SEE, but what you see ... you recognize which parts of it are actually true, and which parts are actually false, in terms of the REAL TRUTH. Rather than, MIS-IDENTIFYING some parts as false which are true, or some parts as true which are false.
For example do you believe people have real sickness? All those people in hospitals? THEY DO NOT HAVE "real sickness". They only have FAKE SICKNESS. There IS no such thing as real sickness. So this is a major belief which has to be CORRECTED. How about your belief that something "bad happened"? That's a belief that sin is real. Is it true? You have to question that. It did not REALLY HAPPEN. It was an illusion in a dream. There have NOT been any real consequences in reality. You did NOT lose your innocence.
Discernment. What is true. What is false. Being completely clear about which is which in reality, and not what you've made them to be. This will liberate you from all suffering and make you CONVINCED that God's truth is the ONLY TRUTH, and the ego's truth is THE ONLY LIE. Then you are ready to accept the atonement.