Tag Archives: discussion

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.

Is Reincarnation So?

1 – Not to Deal with Now

“Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. (M60)”

2 – Take No Stand

“For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness, as well as his own decision making. (M60)”

3 – Litmus Test?

Many people would use reincarnation as a litmus test for the validity of the Course, if we were to take a public stand on where we stand on this issue. Jesus is not interested in controversy, but only in what will work for us in our lives in a practical way. So he recommends that we avoid the question of reincarnation publicly, for to engage in debate would only lessen our usefulness.

4 – Jesus

Elsewhere Jesus says that the Course can be used by both those who believe in reincarnation and those who don’t. Jesus is not interested in theological interpretation, but only in the day-to-day lives of his followers. Elsewhere he says that there can be no universal theology, but a universal experience is necessary.

5 – Only Way? No

This universal experience he spells out in the Course. This is not to say that the Course is the only Way. It is one way that many people have now chosen for salvation in this world. And the introductory pages of the text say that this is a required course, with only the time that we take it to be voluntary. Our way is to have brothers and sisters in significant relationships–holy relationships–with ourselves. This eliminates the tedium of long hours spent in meditation. All special relationships, the Course says, are meant to become holy. This is the practical means that the Course is bringing us Home.

6 – Reversal of Thought

“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. (M61)”

7 – When It Is OK to Discuss Reincarnation

This passage gives the reason that we are not to discuss reincarnation unless we are with people of a like mind. We don’t need to invite controversy. I myself have tried very hard, over the years, to keep controversy out of my blog. My innate reaction is to avoid controversy, to keep life smooth, and I would like to feel that people who read my blog are looking for a calm reassurance that all is well.

8 – Our Witness

Controversy would just interfere with our witness. We don’t need to start arguments; we need to avoid them. We don’t have to dissemble, but we can be circumspect is what we say.

9 – ACIM Leaders

Leaders in the ACIM movement differ on how they feel about reincarnation. Based on his writing, I have concluded that Jon Mundy, publisher of Miracles magazine, does not believe in reincarnation. Most other leaders have not taken a stand, and so I don’t know how they feel. I find that I can read the words of ACIM two ways, and so there is much room for disagreement.

10 – Silence

But the benefit is that we don’t have to proselytize for our opinion. We can remain silent on this issue unless and until we are in a group of kindred spirits. Then we are encouraged to discuss reincarnation, if we so desire.

Dear Father/Mother,

Remind not to engage in controversy, because this will only limit my helpfulness. May I discuss reincarnation only in intimate circles of like-minded individuals. Publicly to take a stand on reincarnation might limit my usefulness.

I know that You will guide my speech. May I not be tempted to run ahead of Your guidance.

Amen.