Sacrifice

“It is obvious that these individuals have not been able to transcend the misperception of the need for sacrifice, or they could not possibly be willing to sacrifice themselves. Anyone who is unable to leave the requests of others unanswered has not entirely transcended egocentricity. I never ‘gave of myself’ in this inappropriate way, nor would I ever encourage you to do so.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.13:1-3)

Jesus continues his theme that the sacrifice on the cross was not what made him the savior for us. In this passage, he doesn’t mention the resurrection, but in clearly turning aside from sacrifice as a way of life, he has pointed the way to our own rising up, our own resurrection. He is trying to make enlightenment more believable.

Originally Jesus talked about Edgar Cayce’s increased number of readings, a choice Edgar made that was sacrificial. Here very precisely, Jesus turns aside from any command that we do something similar.

Sacrifice is simply not called for. And if we think it is, we are thinking in the insanity of the ego. The ego thinks that its own sacrifice is necessary, and because this “entity” thinks that it is us, it thinks that we too have to sacrifice to God. This has to make God a fearful being. And God truly is anything but fearful.

Jesus came to pass along to the world a new view of God, a loving Creator Who blesses His creations (us) with tolerance. God has never condemned us at all, and so He doesn’t need to “forgive.” He waits patiently, as we walk daily along the pathway back to Him. Our Holy Spirit guides the way.

And soon we will all be home, even if this “soon” is millions of years. Time, in the universe, after all, is an illusion.

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Seeing Truly

“But this vision can be perceived only by the truly innocent. Because their hearts are pure, they defend true perception, instead of defending themselves against it. Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the will to attack, and therefore they see truly. This is what the Bible means when it says, ‘And when He shall appear (or be perceived) we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.10:1-4)

Without the will to attack, we will indeed see truly. Our innocence will be something in which we believe, unlike now, when we want to believe we are innocent, but often feel, internally, a sense that we are very guilty indeed.
We are not guilty. Would God turn against a child who has simply made mistakes? Making mistakes is inevitable in this confused and confusing world, in which our companions, brothers and sisters alike, and ourselves, are lost in egoic intention. How could we choose rightly in every instance, when we are quite literally lost in madness, insanity?

When we start to lose the madness, we will be ripe to entertain the idea that we really have only made mistakes in our choices, that these are entirely forgivable, even by ourselves. We are our own judge, and we are a harsh judge at that.

Rest in God’s Love, and know that anything done wrong is gloriously forgiven in a universe that knows that we have simply strayed from the path.

Commend Our Spirit into the Hands of the Father

“Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the hands of his Father. By doing this, the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. All sense of separation disappears and level confusion vanishes. The Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity, but the Trinity Itself is one. There is no confusion within Its levels, because they are of one Mind and one will. This single purpose creates perfect integration, and establishes the reign of the peace of God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.9:1-6)

We need to surrender to God; this is what commending the spirit into the hands of the Father actually means. When we surrender, we are literally one step away from Awakening. We are not relying on our puny little self; we are relying on the God within Who makes all things happen.

When the mind awakens from its sleep, we have enlightenment. The way may yet be long for some of us, but for others, it is just a step away. Jesus is hoping that his channeled writings will take humankind to the next level, the level of Christ-consciousness. Eventually all will occupy this level.

The Trinity explains a great deal, and for this we are dependent on traditional Christianity. All parts of the Trinity are within each individual. To objectify God, and not know what one is doing, is a misstep—though objectification can give us something to rely upon. As long as we know what we are doing.

Turn to the Holy Spirit today, and ask to be show mysteries. God would keep no secrets from the prepared mind and heart. He wants us to know Him.

Crucifixion & Resurrection

“The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. Nobody who was free of the scarcity fallacy could possibly have made this mistake.

“If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it certainly does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. Many very devoted ministers preach this every day. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which actually arose out of the combined projection of a large number of my own would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept happens to enter into many religions, and this is neither by chance nor coincidence. The real Christian would have to pause and ask, ‘How could this be?’ Is it likely that God
Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have clearly stated is unworthy of His children?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.1:2-4 and 2:1-6)

God did not command Jesus to die; he set up his own drama, making his own decision. His Self, his Christ-Self, was the God within of Jesus.

When growing up, Jesus observed the temple sacrifices. And the thought likely arose in him that the ultimate sacrifice would be his own body. This is something that ego-oriented human beings could understand. And this idea, that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, has been played out throughout the centuries, and still is being played out in fundamentalist circles.

Many are turning away from this interpretation. And Jesus himself turns away in these passages, lauding the resurrection as the real miracle. He doesn’t say how this can be, but if we believe in materialization and dematerialization, we have a peg to tie it to.

Jesus does not ask us to follow in his footsteps with sacrifice. The days of sacrifice die with the ego that caused them.

Jesus: “When You Perform a Miracle, I Will Arrange Both Time and Space to Adjust to it”

“The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns. Since it is an illogical, or out-of-pattern, time interval by definition, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply. I do not regard time as you do, and your space problems are not mine. When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.II.1:1-4)

Here are the ground rules for miracles. If we need more to time to perform one, one that has been prompted by Jesus, he will arrange it. And arrange space as well.
There is no way that we can comprehend what he is telling us. It is something that we will have to experience, this business of miracles. Miracles are expressions of love outside time and space, and he makes sure that we have all the time and space we need to perform them. We aren’t bound in any way.

Surely the miracle does bless both giver and receiver. We are constantly wanting miracles to get us out of the fixes we get ourselves into, but we still don’t often ask for a miracle. Let’s change that.

A close walk with Jesus will create in us a desire to be more miracle-minded. We will indeed be blessed when we ask, each day, to be extended the grace to offer miracles to our brothers and sisters.

And accept miracles for ourselves.

Images of God

“So far, this course has had only indirect recourse to God and rarely even refers to Him directly. I have emphasized that awe is not appropriate in connection with me, because of our inherent equality. I have been careful to clarify my own role in the Atonement, without either over- or understating it. I have tried to do exactly the same thing in connection with yours. The next step, however, does involve the direct approach to God Himself. It would be most unwise to start on this step at all without very careful preparation, or awe will surely be confused with fear, and the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.I.6:1-6)

We are asked to read through the Text of A Course in Miracles in right order. Jesus says that if we don’t, if we skip over, we will become fearful, and when we are in fear, we are not good learners. We are heading into a direct route to God Himself, the means of our living when we have moved beyond the indirect approach of the Holy Spirit. In the meantime, listening to guidance from the Holy Spirit is less terrifying.

Bottom line, we are scared of God. We think He blames His children for leaving Him, and, in a projection of our own, we think He is mad with us, very angry.
This is Old Testament thinking, Scripture for another time and place. The image of God in the Old Testament is very different from the loving God whom Jesus presented to us in the New Testament. In the Old, God was seen as judgmental and angry with His children, surely a projection of the ego. In the New, we are primed for the revelation that
Jesus made so clear, that God is Love, and that God envelops us with that Love, blames us for mistakes not at all. He knows us through and through, indeed lives through us, for we are not separate.

We do not approach Jesus, appropriately, with awe. But we are rightfully in awe of God, awe but not fear. Being scared of the One Who knows us through and through, and holds nothing against us, makes no sense at all. Any other conclusion is the work of the insane ego.

ACIM–Preparation for Our Mission

“All learning involves attention and study at some level. This course is a mind-training course. Good students assign study periods for themselves. However, since this obvious step may not have occurred to you and since we are cooperating in this, I urge you to make the obvious assignment. You may understand the need to study this course yet still not realize that many of the problems you keep being faced with may already have been solved here. Perhaps you do not think of the course in this way at all. Or perhaps you do from time to time, but then think the answer is probably in here and do not look it up. You vaguely know that the course is intended for some sort of preparation. But are you prepared?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.I.1:1-9)

Here Jesus is talking to Helen, we might believe, Helen and Bill, the co-scribes. We, like they, are training our minds. We are bringing up for reconsideration all of the subconscious material that has so plagued us. Then we are ripe for healing, all the way down to the depths of the mind.

Jesus answers many of our questions in what he channels in A Course in Miracles. I remember my first reading of the Course. I would be puzzled about something, ask in my mind the answer to my question, and then find the answer on the very next page, if not the next paragraph. The flow of words is masterful, as befits a master, Jesus himself. One sentence builds on the preceding and flows into the next. We are not left hanging at any point.

Jesus shows ever so slight an impatience with Helen and Bill that they are not making good use of the material he is giving them. Are we?
We are not yet fully prepared, even if we have walked closely with Jesus for a long time. The time with the ego has been damaging, and we need a healed mind to proceed on our real work, the work of awakening our fellow souls. This is the real task ahead.

And A Course in Miracles provides answers to how best to do that.