By Ivor Sowton: The Time Is Now! A Note on the Appreciation of Others

Jesus in A Course of Love (ACOL), as he does in A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and for that matter in the New Testament (“Love Thy neighbor as thyself”), is often working to convince us of the critical importance of appreciating our brothers and sisters in our lives just as they seem to be occurring to us.

In the New Testament (our reading of which is admittedly encumbered by the passage of two millennia and translations from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English, with numerous political influences on the translations by all accounts), Jesus still comes through with the same basic message: we are to recognize whom we perceive to be “others” as ourselves, and this will lead us into the Kingdom of Heaven. Moreover, we are to forgive “our transgressor” (that is, the one we thought had done us wrong!) 70X7 times–meaning all the time!

In ACIM, Jesus has many extremely beautiful and powerful Workbook Lessons devoted to “seeing our brother differently” as a way of letting go of our grievance against him, as our grievance can only hamper our own experience of the enveloping Peace of God. Original ACIM teacher Ken Wapnick put it in such an effective way by saying “No one but YOU can prevent your own direct experience of the Peace of God!” So when we really do the insight work asked of us in any of these great Dispensations from Jesus, we eventually see that we were judging “someone else” in order to remain separated and unrelated to them and a lot of others like them, making us vastly superior to “them” and effectively blocking access to Divine Love and Peace– FOR US! When we finally see this (!), then we undertake the undoing of “the old thought system” that both ACIM and ACOL refer to so often.

In A Course of Love, Jesus is in my opinion gives a current re-tuning of that eternal message of love, by which I mean he uses terminology and insight into our present time realities in a way that can be extremely helpful to us. In the wonderful Third Treatise, Jesus leads us into an understanding of our own unique role in a world that has become over-populated with humans, many of whom seemed determined to operate by the old paradigm of “kill or be killed,” also known as “the survival of the fittest.” This is the old ego thought system that has literally run the show for us humans here on Earth for AT LEAST the full length of our recorded history (which is at least seven thousand years–a pretty good chunk of time!), and by extrapolation for long long before that.

Now, however, we are coming into a truly New Age, according to this Great Master in this great Work. In “The New,” children now being born into “The Time of Christ” will have now have no desire to form a separate and conflicted ego, and will only settle for its provisional establishment while they wait for something MUCH BETTER, which they seem to be “geared” to expect as natural and the way things should be. All this is to be found at the end of the Third Treatise of ACOL, which I cannot recommend more highly!

My job as a man in his 60s, as I now understand it from this Teaching, is to hold a space for these new ones coming into a Higher Age–an age much closer to the Gates of Heaven, as the end of the Text of ACIM would say. My generation can and should mentor the young, of course (we just had our first grandchild, and it makes me appreciate just how helpless and dependent we are on our adult relatives when we “pop in” as 7-9 pound infants!) But as we help raise the young we can also be trying to cultivate an attitude of sincere appreciation for who they are in their True Natures.

Perhaps we could look at it this way. A highly advanced, highly empathic and very compassionate Alien first coming into contact with Earth and its dominant species right now would most probably be VERY CONCERNED for our continued existence, and any potential ability to thrive in harmony with all might well appear to be an almost impossibly remote chance! Overpopulation, extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a privileged few while the masses languish, huge ongoing wars causing massive loss of life, impoverishment and starvation, huge stockpiles of armed nuclear warheads just waiting for “parts of the Sonship” crazy enough to set them off, easily preventable environmental degradation including the now exponential global warming—all with the powers that be seemingly having no desire to do anything different from what got us into this mess in the first place!

So it is actually a daunting scenario. The thing that can turn it around, according to Jesus in the ACOL, is a whole new state of consciousness, which he calls the Elevated Self of Form. This is our sense of ourselves becoming hugely expanded through receiving the Christ Consciousness of Unity in Relationship with ALL our brothers and sisters. He entreats us very directly and personally here in the Fourth Treatise:

“What you are called to do is to, through your multitude, sustain Christ-consciousness, and thus create the union of the human and the divine as new state of being.” (4.18)

May we all be empowered to do this, whatever the apparent age of our bodies! We are coming into a very auspicious time, according to our Great Master. Time to jump on the bandwagon!

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