Lesson 258: “What is sin?” “Let me remember that my goal is God.”
This section says, “A madman’s dreams are terrifying, and sin appears indeed to terrify. And yet what sin perceives is but a childish game.”
The Course’s use of contrast really works to explain the typical contents of the nightmare we call living in the world without God.
Jesus speaks effective words to describe the horror we find in this nightmare. It gives us a vivid image for sure.
It makes us hold our breath sometimes- just waiting for the description to end because it sounds so disturbing.
The Course goes on to say that this stark imagery of our nightmares are manifested as the reflection of our minds.
The Course says we can wake up from this nightmare at any moment.
Therefore, there is nothing in the nightmare that then is truly scary because it can all be undone and erased from simply awakening our consciousness. That means there is nothing to do but laugh and be free.
This lesson says that this nightmare that we give intense visuals is simply a child’s game.
This means it is something we can just undo because it is not in any real sense.
When we are adults our ideas become more firmly formed and we generally end up with distinct beliefs we have acquired over time. In childhood, we have a different perception of reality. Children get so frightened by the nightmare because they don’t realize it is false.
When we are adults, we accumulate beliefs about the world over time.
Children have yet to do this because they have had less time in life to formulate their belief systems.
Thus, children are more likely to have more fragile or fragmented ideas of the world because they are young and new at deciding what their beliefs are and not as finished than an adult’s thought system.
Adults have a more solid sense of self usually. This is why children are more impressionable. Children are also more likely to have extreme nightmares.
They don’t have the perspective- the experience- in the world to realize that these are too extreme to be real.
Furthermore, since they don’t follow the logic that we learn in the world later on in life the nightmares are also less likely to be true.
We can have compassion for that childlike part of us still terrified by the nightmare at hand.
This lesson tells us that sin is a childish game. That means that there is nothing about sin that is true. It is childish because we don’t have a full understanding of what it means to be sinful or not sinful, as the child has no experience to be able to evaluate whether we are sinful or not.
It reminds us that sin is a game we play that has no reality in truth.
Specifically, sin is a game because it has no reality in God’s world where we live in the forgiven, God-given world.
Sin therefore, ceases to exist, it becomes erased in the game because as the Course reminds us, we are never sinners. God so loves us that He gives us the right to be perfectly innocent all the time. Sin is a game that disappears when we get back to that adult mind where we realize we were just children when we had the mistaken perception of sin.
Therefore, we can return to our adult perspective where we realize that nightmares have no reality simply because God would have it otherwise.
Then we can sit and realize all of our false ideas disappeared when we returned to that inner awareness that games end when we stop playing them.
The reality that games have disappear when we refuse to participate. This is why the Course teaches us to choose well what we truly want.