Tag Archives: controversy

Atonement and Reincarnation

1 – Discussion about Reincarnation

“Does this mean that the teacher of God should not believe in reincarnation himself, or discuss it with others who do? The answer is, certainly not! If he does believe in reincarnation, it would be a mistake for him to renounce the belief unless his internal Teacher so advised. And this is most unlikely. (M61)”

2 – Interpretations

These words have been interpreted many different ways by those who have written about A Course in Miracles. Those who do believe in reincarnation think that Jesus is “siding” with them, and those who do not, think the opposite. Jesus does not mean to tip his hand in this statement on either side of the question. That would negate the words that he has channeled just previously. (See the last reflection.)

3 – Like Minds

But we are not forbidden to discuss our beliefs with those of like minds. Jesus does not hinder us from free discourse.

4 – Salvation

Reincarnation is said elsewhere not to be the important question that it is sometimes thought. We still have to work out our salvation currently. Spending too much time in theological speculation will only slow down our speed. Jesus needs us to reach out to our brothers and sisters, regardless of their theological beliefs. He needs for us to form holy relationships with them. This is the real secret of the Course (an interpretation, not a Course tenet).

5 – At This Moment

“The emphasis of this course always remains the same;–it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. This is still your one responsibility. (M61)”

6 – One Moment

This moment is all that we have—this one moment. There is no past or future, for there is no time. Time is an illusion that allows us to experience physical life on this plane. But the Now is all that we can know, and so believing in reincarnation is superfluous. We don’t want that belief to tangle us up. We can regale in the past lives that we may have had; we can look ahead to future lives. But it is only in the present, the Now, that we can work out our salvation.

7 – Folly

And we are going to embroil ourselves in folly if we focus on the past and future of reincarnation. Many people who hold this belief also think that they were famous people of the past. This may or may not be true, but for any given individual, it is probably only a fantasy. There are too many ordinary people whom we might have been in the past—far more than names that we know from history or the Bible.

8 – Gain

This doesn’t mean that our speculation is ALL folly. We may gain much from imagining that we have been a well-known figure in the past. We may be led to live up to that reputation. But we need to focus on the present and not make studies of our previous lives (if that were possible). We need to work out our salvation now.

9 – Atonement

“Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time. (M61)”

Heaven is Now! What a glorious statement! And when we accept Atonement, or the undoing of the ego, we are living (or trying to) in the present.

10 – Heaven Is Here

And Heaven is here. We can indeed have Heaven on earth; we do not have to wait for the afterlife. How so? We won’t be internally disturbed; we will have an equanimity that is self-assured and poised. We will move to help people in pain and suffering, but we will know that we are caught in illusion, that the pain and suffering are not real. Of course, a physical cut hurts. Our bodies seem very real to us. But, in the final analysis, the inner Christ Self has not been hurt in the least. We are merely children playing a game.

11 – Happy Game

Salvation can be the happy game that children play (from ACIM). We do not have to dwell on the unfortunate. We do what we can to help others, but we realize that what we are seeing that is pain and suffering is unreal. So we don’t take it to heart the way that we used to. This doesn’t mean that we are unfeeling; it simply means that we are seeing life on earth for the illusion, the maya, that it is, for the first time.

12 – Happy Dreams

We can and will have happy dreams even in the midst of pain, once we have accepted Atonement, the undoing of the ego, in the way that ACIM recommends. We will find our illnesses falling away; we will be led to healing, sometimes miraculous, sometimes through the medical establishment. We will find a healed mind, first, in all likelihood. But projection makes perception, and so from a healed mind we look out on a healed world. Sickness doesn’t stand a chance.

13 – Sickness

Of course, there is sickness that is never healed in any way that we can recognize. But even this sickness, this illness, can hold blessings. Our inner Self is making these decisions, and we experience nothing that our inner Self has not passed on as an acceptable experience for us. Learning can be gotten by many means, and pain and suffering are one such means.

14 – Hard Road

We can choose a gentler path, but sometimes the hard road is faster. Reincarnation teachers have long seen the hard life as the one in which we learn the most, we make the most progress.

15 – Adversity

Humankind is at its best in adversity. A soft life may mean that we are prone to backslide, and none of us wants that. So be grateful for the little crosses that come. There is a reason; cling to that, even when the reason is obscure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have feelings about reincarnation, but it is best that I share those theological ideas only with intimates. I do not want to hinder my usefulness to my brothers and sisters.

May I realize that reincarnation is not the real issue. I have to work out my salvation now, and this means to be focused in the here and now always. Thank you for clarifying this for me.

Amen.

A Course in Miracles – How It Came

A Course in Miraclea began with the sudden decision of two people to join in a common goal. Their names were Helen Schucman and William Thetford, Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

1 – Sudden Decision with Far-Ranging Consequences

This sudden decision was to have far-ranging implications for the world of spirituality. The two individuals chosen were not eager for the assignment. They had much investment in their academic careers, and they were afraid that their work on what would become A Course in Miracles would jeopardize those careers. In addition, Helen’s husband objected, so much so that when she died a number of years later, absolutely nothing was said in her eulogy about her scribing of ACIM. There is controversy about such omissions in the ACIM community.

2 – Helen’s Personal Description of Herself

Helen describes herself:

“Psychologist, educator, conservative in theory and atheistic in belief, I was working in a prestigious and highly academic setting. And then something happened that triggered a chain of events I could never have predicted. The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that ‘there must be another way.’ As if on cue, I agreed to help him find it. Apparently this Course is the other way.”

What Helen describes here is typical for academia, not all setting, but many. I have seen first hand such acrimony. But I have also worked in a setting that was very congenial. Be that as it may, the setting for Helen and Bill was very dysfunctional. Bill, as department chair, was in the thick of political battles. He would eventually seem to become an Awakened individual who gave up his academic career and talked about ACIM publically, though he tried to maintain some secrecy in the beginning, using only his first name and not telling Helen’s name.

3 – An Unlikely Choice?

Helen, as an atheist, would seem an unlikely choice by Jesus. But she recognized that somewhere she had signed on for this assignment. And, despite a few faltering steps, she remained true to the assignment. On some level she understood ACIM very, very well and could expound on it easily. But A Course in Miracles never gave her the peace that it gave so many others. She remained a tortured soul. Unlike Bill, who came into his own in his final years.

4 – This Is A Course in Miracles

Helen continues:

“Although I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still very surprised when I wrote, This is a course in miracles.’ That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook.”

5 – Phone Call Interruptions

Helen said elsewhere that she could answer a phone call in mid-sentence and yet return to have the internal Voice pick up right where he left off. She used a homemade shorthand, and it is from that that Bill typed the message of the day, each morning, with the shade pulled down over his office door window.

“The writing was never automatic. It could be interrupted at any time and later picked up again. It made me very uncomfortable, but it never seriously occurred to me to stop. It seemed to be a special assignment I had somehow, somewhere agreed to complete It represented a truly collaborative venture between Bill and myself, and much of its significant, I am sure, lies in that. I would take down what the Voice ‘said’ and read it to him the next day, and he typed it from my dictation.”

6 – Helen’s Death

Helen was at peace at the time of death. She said that Jesus had promised her that he would come for her. And the expression of peace on her face said it all: Jesus had come.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for A Course in Miracles. I find the background to its scribing fascinating, but remain sorry that Helen did not enjoy the peace from her channeling that so many others who followed, have.

Thank You for this good day. May each of us find a contribution to You that will be personally meaningful.

Amen.