“Changing form is part of the pattern of life-everlasting. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.8)”
1 – Life after Death
This passage echoes a previous reflection on life after death. We are not meant, according to A Course of Love, to hope for new discoveries in science that will give us an eternal physical life on earth. Would we really want such a thing, if it were possible?
2 – The Same Form?
Some early writings on A Course in Miracles thought that a passage in those volumes promised that eternal physical life would be not only possible, but to be expected. This has not been upheld by more recent writings, and ACOL now comments on this hypothesis.
3 – Death
We may be threatened by death, in that it is the one thing that we cannot control. The control freaks among us may be especially threatened. We do not know exactly what form our body will take in the afterlife. Even careful readings of psychic commentary do not make this finally clear. But of one thing we can be certain: Life after death is not to be feared. We will change form, but we will know life everlasting. And we can hope that the death itself, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides said, will be like “walking through an open door.”
4 – Reincarnation
Is reincarnation? Is this the changing form that is meant? It would not be wise for students/teachers of ACIM and ACOL to take any definite stand, outside the confines of close personal friends. All of us need to be as helpful as possible to all those we encounter, not to introduce tenets of controversy that would limit our usefulness. This attitude is a paraphrase of ideas in the Manual of A Course in Miracles.
5 – Afterlife
While changing form may suggest another form in the afterlife, and then a reintroduction of ourselves to form in this world, we do not know that for sure. Jesus’s words in ACIM can be read in two ways, and students/teachers of ACIM have differed on the point of reincarnation. But we do need to realize that in the grand scheme, we do change form, for our worn-out bodies need to be replaced. We cannot live indefinitely in these bodies. To change form is natural, nothing to be feared. It is, I believe, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides told her (and us) “like walking through an open door.” That is what death really is.
May I know in the depth of my being that death is not the end, that I only change form. I do not, therefore, have to fear death.
As time goes by, and pain comes to me through health changes, may I not suffer any more than would happen when I finally make the transition to life everlasting, life after death.