You respond to what you perceive, and as you perceive so shall you behave.
Every response you make
to everything you perceive
is up to you,
because your mind determines
your perception of it.
You cannot be aware without interpretation,
for what you perceive is your interpretation.
Understand that you do not respond
to anything directly,
but to your interpretation of it.
Your interpretation thus becomes
the justification for the response.
Perception selects, and makes the world you see.
It literally picks it out as the mind directs.
The laws of size and shape and brightness
would hold, perhaps,
if other things were equal.
They are not equal.
For what you look for
you are far more likely to discover
than what you would prefer to overlook.
The world can teach no images of you
unless you want to learn them.
Reality needs no cooperation from you to be itself.
But your awareness of it needs your help.
Perception is a choice
of what you want yourself to be;
the world you want to live in,
and the state in which you think your mind
will be content and satisfied.
It chooses where you think your safety lies, at your decision.
It reveals yourself to you as you would have you be.
And always is it faithful to your purpose.
Let us be glad that you will see what you believe,
and that it has been given you to change
what you believe.
If you perceive truly
you are canceling out misperceptions
in yourself and in others simultaneously.
Because you see them as they are,
you offer them your acceptance of their truth
so they can accept it for themselves.
Let us not rest content
until the world has joined our changed perception.
Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete.
As I share the peace of the world with my brothers,
I begin to understand
that this peace comes from deep within myself.
Excerpted from "Gifts from a Course in Miracles". Edited by Frances Vaughan and Roger Walsh.