“The First Coming of Christ is merely another name for the creation, for Christ is the Son of God. The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of the mind. I was created like you in the first, and I have called you to join with me in the second. I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks. (T64)”
1 – Reassessment
In this passage, if we can believe that Jesus channeled it, is a reassessment of what the First and the Second Coming of Christ means. Christ here means the spirit which we all share; it is not solely attributed to the Jesus spirit. Jesus does not talk about his living 2000 years ago as the First Coming; neither does he talk about a physical embodiment of the Second Coming, with him as the spirit embodying a reincarnation.
2 – Jesus
What are we to make of this? Can we not think of Jesus as both the First and the Second Coming? In the broadest sense, no. Jesus is not seeing himself as unique, as having something that we too can’t have. He sees himself as equal to us, not in time but in eternity. He has nothing that we cannot ultimately reach; he makes this clear elsewhere in A Course in Miracles.
3 – What Is Jesus Saying?
So what is he saying in this passage above? We were created by God in the First Coming; our Self, as the real internal essence of ourselves, is the Christ Self discussed in A Course of Love (viewed by some as a sequel to A Course in Miracles). And in the Second Coming, we see what ACIM has been leading us to all along—the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of our minds. This healing will finally bring us to Awakening, though the timetable for this extreme form of salvation is not ours, but God’s.
4 – ACIM and ACOL
The interpretation of the First and Second Coming of Christ, to my mind, unites both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, but the passage is from A Course in Miracles.
5 – Gladden Yourself
“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? (T64)”
This is a message of extreme optimism. We can be happier! Jesus says that we have actually turned aside moments of joy, turning again to depressed thoughts. How wrong of us!
6 – This Day
It would be a useful practice for all of us to look upon the day as full of opportunities to gladden ourselves. Elsewhere Jesus asks us to think of pure joy and limitless release in our daily lives. This passage is a reiteration of this request.
7 – Mistake
It is a serious mistake to refuse to entertain joy. We make our lives much harder than they need to be as a result. Would that we might remember this passage often when faced with a day that seems filled with woe!
8 – United Minds
“Your mind and mine can unit in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. (T64)”
When we shine the ego away, we are participating in the Second Coming of Christ. Nowhere in either ACIM or ACOL does Jesus affirm nor deny a physical embodiment of himself in the Second Coming. It is likely that he doesn’t know if a physical embodiment would be recognized in the probability in which we find ourselves. (Probabilities are exhaustively explained in Jane Roberts’ Seth books, an entity channeled in the last century.)
9 – Give Up Judgment
When we shine the ego away, we are turning light on our inner reflections. We are giving up judgment, the obvious prerequisite to Awakening. In fact, Jesus tells us in ACIM that when we give up judgment, we will awaken. But the giving up of judgment, so long cherished by us, is not always easy.
10 – Guidance
We need to let guidance direct us in all things, and in ACIM this guidance comes from the Holy Spirit, and in ACOL this guidance comes from the Christ Self. The two are not really different; they just represent a different place on the continuum of our walk toward home and Heaven—not after death, but very much in the midst of the life that we live in this world.
11 – Give Up Judgment
We think, based on ego’s thinking and the teaching of this world, that we aim to refine judgment of our own so that we will know how to best live. But in the Manual, Jesus makes clear that we cannot judge rightly, and so we must give it up. This is in direct opposition to the teaching of this world. He explains that we cannot know all circumstances, past, present, and future, that impinge on a given decision. So we rightly give up judgment, and let our “knowing” tell us what to do. This knowing is frequently intuition, though guidance does not always come as intuition. As we progress, the knowing comes more often as simple knowing that we cannot explain. (See “The Gift of Guidance” under “Articles and Book Reviews” at the top of this blog.)
12 – Disheartened
“The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can be disheartened. (T64)”
This passage indicates another reason that withdrawal from the world is not recommended. We have a role to play in the salvation of the world. If we do not take our place, it is left empty, and Jesus needs us to take the role that he assigns.
13 – Ego
Remember that feeling disheartened is a function of the ego. In fact, it is one of the most common ways in which we are derailed. Ego-based action is always misguided; there are no exceptions to this rule, in the tenets of the Course.
14 – Ego II
We see, therefore, another way that we can recognize that the ego has taken over again. If we feel disheartened, we are leading our lives in the way of the ego. This cannot but bring us down. The answer? Give up thinking that we are more special than our brothers. We are all equal, though not all equal in time. Some have greater and some have lesser roles to play. Some are closer to Awakening than others. But we will all take the pathway to Awakening and find its conclusion eventually. That is what time is for.
15 – Temptations
“Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. It offers you nothing. When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. This need not be. (T63)”
“Voluntary dis-spiriting.” Of course! This is what Jesus has been trying to tell us in these several passages with a similar theme. Elsewhere he indicates that the disspirited are not helpful to him, and we need to give up this emotion. Now we learn that it is voluntary. We can choose to leave this depressed spirit behind.
16 – Depression
Jesus places the blame for our depression solely on the temptations of the ego. Elsewhere he believes that we are strong enough to leave these temptations behind. Of course, we do not do it alone ever, and we do not have to feel that we are alone in this trial. The Holy Spirit will guide us if we let Him into our lives, if we turn to him often.
17 – Do Not Withdraw
Elsewhere Jesus also counsels in ACIM that we not withdraw from the world in our low moments. We will make more progress if we stay engaged. The only exception might be the need to take control of ourselves in a weak moment, but even this is a momentary withdrawal. And even the thought of taking control of ourselves is a little misleading. We are never alone. This cannot be said often enough. We need only ask for help, and it is there for us. Life then gets a whole lot better.
May I just give up feeling low, feeling disspirited. There is no need to feel this emotion when the Course tells us that we can feel pure joy and limitless release.
Be with me as I resolve to drop disspirited feeling from my range of emotions. I know that You will help me, because you have promised this to me.