ATONEMENT IN A COURSE IN MIRACLES: Definition, Purpose, Acceptance

Introduction

Chapter 1: How A Course in Miracles Defines Atonement

Chapter 2: The Purpose of Atonement

Chapter 3: Accepting Atonement for One’s Self

Chapter 4: Atonement and Healing

Chapter 5: Jesus’s Role in Atonement

Looking Ahead

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INTRODUCTION

One of the most frequently read posts on my blog is the one on the meaning of the Atonement. Given that interest, I thought it helpful to my readers to make a study of the Atonement, as presented in A Course in Miracles, and post that study on the web.

I used my kindle (an amazon product) to search A Course in Miracles in its entirety on the word “atonement.” There were 266 instances of the word (or some variant of it, such as “atoning”). I studied these 266 and selected those that I felt to be most illustrative of the meaning of atonement, without choosing those that were repetitive. This gave me a total of 64 quotations from which this series of postings has been derived.

The format is akin to my usual blog. I reproduce the quotations in various categories, and then write meditations based on these quotations.

We begin with the definition of Atonement.

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CHAPTER 1: HOW A COURSE IN MIRACLES DEFINES ATONEMENT

Atoning Means Undoing

“’Atoning’ means ‘undoing.’ The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles. (T-1.I.26)

So we need to keep in mind, whenever the concept of Atonement seems difficult for us to wrap about minds around, that Atoning means “undoing.”

We are seeking to undo so much in the course of studying A Course in Miracles. The primary undoing that we seek is the undoing of the ego, that part of ourselves that about which we believe and that part of ourselves which has led us into imprisoned wills, wills that could not protect us from pain. The goal of ACIM is to dislodge the ego, and the way that ACIM does this is through forgiveness—forgiveness of our brother, and in forgiving our brother, we come to know that we are also forgiven ourselves. We learn that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned. Can any of us say the same? No, for our entry into the darkness of the ego has been deep and long, and we have wandered far from God’s pathway back to Him.

So Atoning does mean that we are undoing what has led us into illusions, into dreams. We are seeking our rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom that we never really left—but think that we did. And in the undoing of what never was, we are home at last.

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5 thoughts on “ATONEMENT IN A COURSE IN MIRACLES: Definition, Purpose, Acceptance

  1. David Smith

    I know this series will be great, and Celia I appreciate you doing it.

    I read a new viewpoint on the ego recently, and I thought I would pass it along. The thought is that the ego is part of our consciousness and is a TOOL that we use while we navigate life in this three dimensional reality of duality. We cannot function here without it. As part of our consciousness or Self, it too never dies but remains with us after physical death, perhaps to be used again should we experience life in another “lessor” reality.

    The Atonement is vital for out spiritual awakening because we must make the distinction between the ego and our whole, true Self. Like any tool, it must be used properly if it is to be helpful. If misused, it can be harmful.

    I believe that ACIM also sees Forgiveness as a tool in a similar light, a tool given to us by the Holy Spirit that allows us to release and let go of our error thinking and perception.

    I’m not yet sure yet on whether I agree with this new thought on the ego, but it seemed an interesting and credible possibility.

    David Smith

    1. David —

      I do know that this understanding is the way that Freud thought of the ego, and perhaps we have to develop an egoic persona as we grow up to be able to then fully release that egoic persona to the Self. Freud didn’t believe that we should ever even try to relinquish the ego, because his interpretation of the ego is that it mediated between the superego and the subconscious.

      I don’t think that A Course in Miracles addresses the point about whether or not an ego is ever necessary, because the ego is seen as evidence of the illusory separation.

      These are important thoughts to have. Ken Wapnick, a major scholar for ACIM, thought that Freud’s use of the term “ego” was different from the “ego” as described in ACIM. I don’t know whether or not I agree with either Freud or Ken. I can see having a developing ego when growing up, and then relinquishing it to something much grander, the Self. But children seems much closer to Heaven than we are, many times. And their egos have not yet developed.

      This is an interesting discussion to have. Thanks ever so much for writing in. I don’t think that ACIM ever addresses this point definitively.

      Most cordially, Celia

  2. David Smith

    The ego has certainly been cast by many in a negative light, and justifiably so. Strangely, Carl Jung referred to the ego as “an organ of consciousness.” I never understood this before,but I am beginning to see this as saying the ego is a lessor part of who we are. I think for us to awaken to Christ Consciousness which is our destiny, the ego must first be willing to give way. I’m not sure even Jesus mastered that while in his human life. There is not doubt that he expressed fear and anger at times, all traits of the ego.

    David

    1. In A Course of Love, Jesus says that nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness. I have often wondered if he meant to include himself. Your point about fear and anger is certainly well-taken. But if Jesus couldn’t do it, could any of us have any hope at all of sustaining Christ-consciousness? Previously I have always believed that Jesus reached Awakening when the dove descended at his baptism. But that is just a personal thought.

      Celia

  3. Pingback: Thirty Days of Gratitude: Days 14-30, Sigh - Turn Toward the Light

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