There are two ways to be innocent and only one of them will work

Friday, May 19, 2017 683 words 3 mins 2 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2017 Paul West

As you attempt to get rid of parts of yourself that you do not like, such as parts that you have condemned as sinful and guilty, you will gradually be running out of Self to get rid of.

Yet, trying to keep only the good parts and get rid of the bad parts appears to make you seem like an increasingly good person. And that's because you're progressively denying more and more that there is any bad stuff in you.

If your strategy is to become more innocent by denying your own belief that there's unlovability in you, and if the only way to get rid of those unlovable parts is to unlove them even more, pretty soon you're going to be perfecting your innocence. And that really means, you will find that there is none of you left to BE innocent.

This attempt at denial and suppression of your belief in your sinfulness, will eventually put so much self-hate into your unconscious that it will erupt into consciousness and be perceived as an attack. You won't be able to keep it concealed forever, and the more you censor yourself the more you'll feel threatened by anything that lets the hate leak out.

This is the ego's strategy for finding a way to prove that you're innocent. It logically concludes that if it can isolate outside conscious awareness all of the stuff about you which is less than innocent and good, and if nobody (including you) ever sees the bad parts, then you'll finally be recognized as innocent.

And conveniently you'll find lots of opportunities to project and blame the relegated self-hatred in yourself onto others, giving you yet another way to displace your sinfulness and get rid of it. Or at least you believe you're getting rid of it, when in fact you are just lost in a private world where your unloved parts are at war with your acceptable parts.

Eventually the end of the war will only happen when you run out of goodness, because the ego suspiciousness will always undermine the potential for you to be truly good. Good is never good enough, and your efforts to people-please will always make you suffer. Your attempt to wear a mask of innocence is actually an attempt to destroy you, because it creates in your mind the very toxic enemy - your own hated self - which will haunt you incessantly.

There is no real escape in this arrangement. There is no real way to be free of guilt without self-sacrifice. There is no way you can truly be free of it without dying. And this is why you see death as a logical and worthwhile conclusion to your efforts at being "good" all the time. Being good, in denial of being bad, leads to death and is a choice to die.

It is a choice to die because feeding your persona and trying to *pretend* that you don't believe in your own guilt is diminishing what's left of you. Pretty soon you'll run out of anything that's good enough about you, and meanwhile your hated self will be making plans for your funeral.

While sin and guilt are real, or true of you, there is no escape. While you believe in them, you will try to cut off parts of yourself that you deem the locations of that sinfulness, and attack it to try to get rid of it. You will attack it with denial and disassociation as well as hate.

The only true escape for you is to learn that you have not really sinned and that guilt is therefore never justified. When you can see that you must be innocent because you did not sin "in reality", you no longer need to try to make yourself be innocent in the face of sin being real. Instead, you are simply innocent because there is no real sin. And this is forgiveness, and it is also the atonement.

So either you will use the ego's strategy to make you innocent, which will kill you, or you will use the Holy Spirit's strategy to make you innocent, which will save your life.

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