A Course In Miracles, Chapter 17

Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship

This chapter brings in the rather startling idea that every special relationship we have made was made as a substitute for our relationship with God.

This chapter spends a great deal on time on the concept of two pictures. One is beautifully framed, but a tiny, dark picture. Your attention is drawn to the beautiful frame, not the picture. This is how the ego presents reality to you – beautifully framed, but really surrounding a picture so dark, grim and hard to see that it might as well be a picture of nothing. This is the frame we use to surround our special relationships. It is a gift the ego offers us.

The second picture is lightly framed, and framed only in time. (Time is nothing; it passes only as something we move through – time has no meaning in itself.) The picture itself is a gorgeous vision of life with Christ – well loved by God, loving God in return, and all our relationships transformed into relationships with differing visions of God, instead of the painful special relationships we currently think of as the highest possible relationship. This is the gift from God.

Chapter 17 asks us to choose between these two gifts: the gift (picture) of the ego and its special relationships; or the gift of God, with joy and beauty beyond comparison.

We forgive the past and our special relationships when we remember only the loving thoughts and nothing else. By forgiving, we choose the gift from God.

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