You Are Innocent
by Michael Maciel
The harsh law of Moses, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", is juxtaposed in the literature with the "forgiveness of sins" preached by Jesus.
"Eye for an eye" can be seen in two ways: as a mandate to punish sinners and as the general legal principle of "let the punishment fit the crime."
The "forgiveness of sins" is the logical reversal of the "punishment for sins".
When we look for the logical reversal of "let the punishment fit the crime", we arrive at "there is no punishment, therefore there is no crime".
This is found in the Tao te Ching. Laotse says, in effect, "no laws, no crime," and St. Paul reaches for the same principle when he says, "Before there was law, there was no sin."
A Course in Miracles says that our brother is incapable of sin and is therefore innocent. If he is innocent, there is no need for attack, or punishment. In the absence of attack, there is no need to sin. Therefore, if there is no punishment (attack), there is no crime.
The solution to the problem of crime is to see the perpetrator as innocent. In the literal sense, this is impossible, because by definition the perpetrator is guilty. By using the Power of Paradox, which is to hold the two words, perpetrator and innocent, as equally true when they are used together, we arrive at the understanding that the perpetrator's action does not originate with the perpetrator. This leads us to ascribe "blame" to the impersonal "mass-mind" or race-consciousness.
While the perpetrator is innocent, neither can he be a victim, not even a victim of the mass-mind. The word "victim" negates the word "innocent". There is no such thing as an "innocent victim". At the same time, however, the perpetrator's "victim" cannot be blamed for the actions of the perpetrator, because to do so would be to negate the principle of innocence as it applies to the "victim".
In the mass mind, the perpetrator is attacked, because he is guilty of the crime. The victim is also attacked, because he is responsible for the crime (the rape victim was "asking for it"). If the perpetrator understands that he is innocent, and the victim understands that he too is innocent, then the force that drives the two roles dissipates, and neither crime nor punishment can exist.
The argument of "inequity" as the cause of crime cannot survive in this environment, because inequity itself (haves vs. have-nots) is a result of attack-consciousness. New Thought calls this the "belief in limited supply," which is the rationale for a "market-driven" economy (supply vs. demand). The concept of "perceived value", the basis for the demand side of the equation, is an aberration manufactured by the ego to gird itself with props of importance. The fact that it needs these props is evidence that it believes that it is unimportant, which is the ego's own attack upon itself.
Attack-consciousness is instinctual to animals. The sickly and weak are killed or driven from the herd, because they endanger the safety of the group. The recognition that each human person has an individual soul necessitates a higher order of law for humanity. The sickly and weak are protected, not killed or banished. The world's great religions set this higher standard for the self-aware, the one quality that differentiates humans from animals. Self-awareness is by definition individuality, the "wholeness within the Whole" expressed in the Hermetic axiom "As above, so below", in Genesis as "God created them in His own image", and in physics as "holographic integrity" (each piece broken off of a hologram contains the whole image).
If innocence is the fact, then punishment is the crime. It is the ego's desire for separation, not individuality, that is the underlying force of attack-consciousness. Separation is dis-identification with the Whole (the concept of "special-ness"), whereas individuality is oneness with It. Jesus said, "I and my Father are One." Crime, the manifestation of attack-consciousness, can only exist within the environment of special-ness, because individuality sees itself in others and has no reason or desire to attack that which is whole.