1 – New Testament
The title of this posting, a passage from ACIM, sometimes causes problems for students of A Course in Miracles, because it is a statement directly contrary to one that occurs in the New Testament. On a number of occasions, Jesus clarifies and refutes words attributed to him in the New Testament, but I do not think that a refutation is what is happening in this instance.
2 – Before Resurrection
In the New Testament, he is speaking before his resurrection. He says at that time that we will have tribulation in this world. But in A Course in Miracles, he is speaking after his life, death, and resurrection, from the Other Side, and he is saying that he overcame the world. He has made the journey before us. He has paved the way. So we need not have tribulation (a caveat: we sometimes do), but ought to be of good cheer.
3 – Tribulation
Why do we have tribulation in this world when Jesus says explicating in ACIM that we need not endure tribulation? I think that we don’t know any better. We use the law of attraction by thinking of disaster, and so disaster all too often comes. When we think of the joy that Jesus promises, we are much more likely to live a life of equanimity.
4 – Humility
When we have understood Jesus’s lesson, we will be in the spirit, and we will beyond humility. Note the following passage:
“Humility is a lesson for the ego, not for the spirit. Spirit is beyond humility, because it recognizes its radiance and gladly sheds its light everywhere. (T56)”
We do not have to worry about whether or not we are humble enough. The ego will always tell us that we are being arrogant when we claim “great” things for ourselves, but Jesus reassures us that it is not us, but the ego in us, that is really the source of arrogance. When we are meek, as Jesus encourages both in the New Testament as well as A Course in Miracles, we will know great things and not be moved, egotistically, by them.
5 – Meek
“The meek shall inherit the earth because their egos are humble, and this gives them true perception. (T56)”
True perception comes before knowledge, and knowledge is of God. Our true perception will not last when knowledge has arrived via Awakening. But most of us have not yet known Awakening, at least to be sustained. What may we hope for in that regard?
6 – Awakened
I think that the Awakened are meek people, and the adjective “meek” is not soft or downtrodden or falsely humble. They have let their egos go, and with that omission from their minds, they see truly. I know two enlightened people, one from books and one from my circle of intimate friends (right here in the town where I live). The first is Eckhart Tolle, and his accounts are engaging in the extreme. He is a distinctly and quietly happy individual, with no sense of ego involvement as he tells his story. He has sustained enlightenment for over 30 years, and so his experience is not just a glimpse, or satori.
7 – Personal Experience
Similarly, in the town where I live, my personal friend is to all accounts an ego-less individual. But she doesn’t push herself forward. I have known her for eight years, taking part in a writing group in which we share our impressions of religious themes. She always writes poetry that is deep and heartwarming. But I never suspected that she was Awakened until she requested that I read a manuscript that she drafted some 30 years ago. For several reasons, she has not tried to publish until now. But now she is eager to share her story. And I hope that she will succeed in finding a publisher. My friend’s demeanor is quiet and gentle. The words in her manuscript are convincing of her experience of enlightenment.
8 – Christ-consciousness
I feel blessed to have read, and to know, of experiences of Christ-consciousness. It gives hope to all of us that this blessing is perhaps not far away and impossible of accomplishment. But I hasten to add that we must be patient and wait on God’s timing, for it is He who makes the decision about when we are ready to Awaken. As my friend notes, God gave us free will, and if we impose preconditions on our desire for enlightenment, God will hold off. There must, in her belief, be a total surrender, no preconditions.
9 – Tribulation
Let’s return to the title of this posting:
“In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. This is why you should be of good cheer. (T56)”
10 – ACIM Differs from the New Testament
This passage from Jesus is a paraphrase of what he is quoted to have said in the New Testament. But in the New Testament, we are led to believe that we will have tribulation. His resurrection is meant to counter all of that; the resurrection happened after his teaching that said the reverse. And the Course stands by the resurrection as truth. A Course in Miracles does not say if the resurrection was revelation or a miracle, but, given the definitions found therein, it seems to be a miracle.
11 – Avoid Tribulation
Tribulation is pain that we would want to avoid at all costs. Remembering that Jesus overcame the world, and harkening to good cheer are mental actions that we can take at any time.
12 – Be of Good Cheer
When we are feeling down, it is wise to recall such passages. We can conjure up good cheer, even when the day seems drab. It takes only a moment to recall us to ourselves.
Thank you that in this world we do not have to have tribulation. We can be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world. Help me not to be confused by the difference that this quotation from A Course in Miracles constitutes from the New Testament. Help me to take from this ACIM quotation what it can do for me, something that is considerable.
It takes only a moment of reflection or of prayer to recall us to ourselves. We can know peace as well as good cheer, even in this world that too often seems filled with woe.