Crucifixion & Resurrection

“The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. Nobody who was free of the scarcity fallacy could possibly have made this mistake.

“If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it certainly does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. Many very devoted ministers preach this every day. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which actually arose out of the combined projection of a large number of my own would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept happens to enter into many religions, and this is neither by chance nor coincidence. The real Christian would have to pause and ask, ‘How could this be?’ Is it likely that God
Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have clearly stated is unworthy of His children?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.1:2-4 and 2:1-6)

God did not command Jesus to die; he set up his own drama, making his own decision. His Self, his Christ-Self, was the God within of Jesus.

When growing up, Jesus observed the temple sacrifices. And the thought likely arose in him that the ultimate sacrifice would be his own body. This is something that ego-oriented human beings could understand. And this idea, that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, has been played out throughout the centuries, and still is being played out in fundamentalist circles.

Many are turning away from this interpretation. And Jesus himself turns away in these passages, lauding the resurrection as the real miracle. He doesn’t say how this can be, but if we believe in materialization and dematerialization, we have a peg to tie it to.

Jesus does not ask us to follow in his footsteps with sacrifice. The days of sacrifice die with the ego that caused them.

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Jesus: “When You Perform a Miracle, I Will Arrange Both Time and Space to Adjust to it”

“The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns. Since it is an illogical, or out-of-pattern, time interval by definition, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply. I do not regard time as you do, and your space problems are not mine. When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.II.1:1-4)

Here are the ground rules for miracles. If we need more to time to perform one, one that has been prompted by Jesus, he will arrange it. And arrange space as well.
There is no way that we can comprehend what he is telling us. It is something that we will have to experience, this business of miracles. Miracles are expressions of love outside time and space, and he makes sure that we have all the time and space we need to perform them. We aren’t bound in any way.

Surely the miracle does bless both giver and receiver. We are constantly wanting miracles to get us out of the fixes we get ourselves into, but we still don’t often ask for a miracle. Let’s change that.

A close walk with Jesus will create in us a desire to be more miracle-minded. We will indeed be blessed when we ask, each day, to be extended the grace to offer miracles to our brothers and sisters.

And accept miracles for ourselves.

The Return to God

“Just as the separation occurred over many millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps even longer. Its length depends, however, on the effectiveness of the present speed-up. We have frequently noted that the miracle is a device for shortening but not abolishing time. If a sufficient number of people become truly miracle-minded quickly, the shortening process can be almost immeasurable. But it is essential that these individuals free themselves from fear sooner than would ordinarily be the case, because they must emerge from the basic conflict if they are to bring peace to the minds of others.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XIII.3:1-5)

The Last Judgment is nothing to fear, for fear would be counterproductive to what Jesus is trying to do. The Last Judgment is a time of right evaluation and a soothing conclusion to eons spent engulfed by the ego. We are led to this experience by the Sonship, the brothers of Jesus, our fellow men and women (Jesus tells us elsewhere). He does not do it alone.

It seems to me that we have done Jesus a disservice by seeing him as a judge of our actions. Like his Father, he only loves. We think judgment is right and natural, that we deserve to be cast out (perhaps), but such is not the case. All will return home eventually, though it may take millions of years, as Jesus says here.

Millions of years sound daunting and discouraging. That is why the current “speed-up,” of which A Course in Miracles is a part, is so important. The miracle can shorten time immeasurably. Let us let time be shortened. There is much suffering in a world wrought by egoic thinking, and we would be wise to realize that only God’s way will really work.

Nothing we have tried to do in separation has worked. We have only hurt ourselves, and our brothers with us. The only way is surrender to God’s plan for His children, for He is omniscient, and He knows what works. Would we say the same about ourselves? Do we know? I think not. We must simply rest in His arms, certain that He will take us home.

Seek to Master Love, Not Fear

“We began this section with an attempt to correct the fundamental human error that fear can be mastered. The correction was that only love can be mastered. Even if you are ready for revelation, though, that does not mean that you have in any way mastered that form of communication. Mastery of love necessarily involves a much more complete confidence in the ability than you have as yet attained. Readiness, however, is at least an indication that you believe this is possible. This is only the beginning of confidence. In case this be misunderstood as a statement that an enormous amount of time will be necessary between readiness and mastery, I would again remind you that time and space are under my control.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XII.10:1-7)

Yes, time and space are under Jesus’ control, and here he is trying to get us to do what seems impossible to us—to master love. We often attempt to do the reverse, master fear. We are in pain when we experience anxiety, and we just want to get rid of the feeling. But we are limited in what we can do until we turn our bodies and souls over to love. Then, when love is attained, and even mastered, our fears drop away. It is just that simple.

I have long been prone to anxieties; they have dogged my every step through this life. But when I am immersed in love, feeling love with every bone in my body, I notice that there is no trace of fear/anxieties. And this is what Jesus is talking about. We master fear by first mastering love.

Of course, we don’t stay in a cloud of love all the time. This world drags us back. But as often as we retreat from love, and then feel fear, we can try again, take another step in a better direction. We move forward and retreat throughout our lives. Only in Awakening are the vicissitudes altered. Then we have smoother sailing.

So: Seek to master love, not fear. The benefits are stupendous. The way opens to God Himself, for God is but Love.

Freud

“The structure of the psyche follows along the lines of the particular libido concept the theorist employs. Freud’s psyche was essentially a good and evil picture, with very heavy weight given to the evil. This is because every time I mentioned the Atonement to him, which was quite often, he responded by defending his theory more and more against it. This resulted in his increasingly strong attempts to make the illogical sound more and more logical. I was very sorry about this, because his was a singularly good mind, and it was a shame to waste it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.17:1-5)

Freud! Jesus, it seems, consulted with Freud, and even though Freud barricaded himself against Jesus’ advice, we see here that Jesus respected him. Freud originated the concept of the ego, without which A Course in Miracles could not have been written in its present form. Prior to Freud, we had only the “devil” to contend with, and this projection of the ego did not serve humankind well.

So Jesus “mentioned” to Atonement to Freud “quite often,” but Freud was not open to these thoughts that were occupying his mind. He resisted.

We might as where we are resisting, for we are bombarded daily with advice, good advice, that we don’t take to heart.

Open our minds and hearts to advice from the master, Jesus himself. He seems omniscient, and so he can certainly be with all of us. He comes upon a “single unequivocal call” (from ACIM).

Praying with Jesus

“It may help if you say this prayer to me:

“I would like to pray that my will be united with thine, recognizing that thy perfect love will suffice (or correct) for my imperfect love.

“I pray that I may accept the Atonement with conviction, recognizing its inestimable worth, and my own divine worth as part of this identification with thine.

“I pray that my fear be replaced by an active sense of thy love, and they continual willingness to help me overcome the split or divided will which is responsible for my difficulty with this.

“I accept the divinity of the messages I have received, and affirm my will in both accepting and acting upon the Atonement principle.
“Here I am.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.14:1-6)

We need to empty ourselves, as Marianne Williamson says. And when we pray a prayer of such dignity and grace as this one, here quoted, we are led to empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the power and single-minded purpose of Jesus. He guides us as we pray, and if we listen attentively, and pray intently, we will join our will with our heavenly Father, and join our will with the intent of the Atonement.

There is, in truth, little more we need to do. When we empty ourselves, we are overcome with a warmth that indicates that God Himself is right here with us, in us, around us, everywhere. He is living through us, for we are part of Him. His way will ultimately win out, but we have to join our will to his, for our will itself is free, and there is no coercion.

When we realize that our way of a separate path has not worked and can never work, we are more flexible in His hands. We know that the separation is a myth best left behind. We know that God means us well, as He lives through us, and we realize that our trial of a separate existence has failed miserably. We are then ripe for the Atonement, which is the merging of our will with His, and the acceptance of Jesus’s part in our salvation.

So: Let us empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the grace of God. There is no better way to live well, no way to live well apart from this at all.

The World’s Plight

“The Atonement actually began long before the resurrection. Many souls offered their efforts on behalf of the separated ones. But they could not withstand the strength of the attack and had to be brought back. Angels came, too, but their protection was not enough, because the separated ones were not interested in peace.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.V.3:1-4)

This quotation highlights the importance of some belief in the resurrection, though many of us believe it in many different ways. In A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, Jesus is never explicit as to whether it was a bodily resurrection or an ethereal one. But the belief in a resurrection galvanized his disciples and others of the time. I think something happened, even if we cannot be sure what.

Jesus is very clear that the crucifixion did not address the Atonement. He simply did not defend himself when he was brought for crucifixion, and in this he is our example, because he doesn’t want us in a defensive posture either. The resurrection is the salient point.

The idea that others came before, and could not withstand the attack from separated people is important, never stated before. Angels, Jesus says, came, too. Nothing seemed to work. Now Jesus, after the resurrection, is spearheading a “celestial speed-up” to try to help suffering people everywhere. A Course in Miracles is part of that speed-up, as he told Helen and Bill. We can imagine that other channeled works from Jesus are also part of the speed-up. Certainly we have been on the brink of destroying ourselves for many long years now.

Jesus deserves our gratitude. We have gotten ourselves in a grand problem, and entities far more advanced than are we are seeking to find a solution. Let us hope that we can add our little part to make a positive change as well.