I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 1 & 2
1 For learning purposes, let us consider the crucifixion again. I did not dwell on it before because of the fearful connotations you may associate with it. The only emphasis laid upon it so far has been that it was not a form of punishment. Nothing, however, can be explained in negative terms only. There is a positive interpretation of the crucifixion that is wholly devoid of fear, and therefore wholly benign in what it teaches, if it is properly understood.
2 The crucifixion is nothing more than an extreme example. Its value, like the value of any teaching device, lies solely in the kind of learning it facilitates. It can be, and has been, misunderstood. This is only because the fearful are apt to perceive fearfully. I have already told you that you can always call on me to share my decision, and thus make it stronger. I have also told you that the crucifixion was the last useless journey the Sonship need take, and that it represents release from fear to anyone who understands it. While I emphasized only the resurrection before, the purpose of the crucifixion and how it actually led to the resurrection was not clarified then. Nevertheless, it has a definite contribution to make to your own life, and if you will consider it without fear, it will help you understand your own role as a teacher.
I must confess that the crucifixion caused extreme fear in me for a very long time, even after I began studying the Course. I was greatly relieved when Jesus said that his crucifixion was the last useless journey the Sonship need make. I might hurt myself but at least it isn’t a mandate from on high. I have a choice and I am not guilty for choosing pain, and I am not guilty if I don’t choose pain.
Second confession: The crucifixion is not wholly devoid of fear for me. There is still a seed of fear in me, and I understand that this is because I still believe in fear and so everything I perceive has passed through that filter in my mind. This is true of everything, not just crucifixion. When something lovely happens, it still passes through that filter and picks up a bit of fear.
The best things that ever happened to me in this life story were the births of my children. I remember each one and the feeling of joy as I first held them, but with the joy came fear. I gave that fear stories of loss and danger, but those were just stories, explanations the mind could use to explain the fear. Nothing was actually happening to cause the fear; it was just there, painting the landscape of my illusion because it was in my mind.
At one time my fear filter was predominant in my mind and I saw everything through a heavy haze of fear. I trusted nothing, and expected the worse even as I prayed for something better. My prayer for something better did not go unanswered, though the answer was different and far better than I could have imagined. My mind began a slow but steady healing process.
I imagine it like this. I have a lovely thought or experience and it is like a brilliant and beautiful light. This light passes through my mind and its dark filter of fear and comes out much dimmed. As my mind heals, the filter gets cleaner and the light passes through with less obstruction so that when it gets to my conscious mind it is still bright.
Now I ask for healing every time I feel the fear in my mind and so fear does not have as many opportunities to take me hostage like it used to. Something happens and I notice fear and instead of just believing the fear, I ask that my mind be healed of the untrue thoughts. The part of my mind that knows no fear is stronger in my awareness now.
I do have some hooks, things that fear can hang its hat on, but there are fewer and fewer of those as I continue to ask the Holy Spirit to purify my mind. What I know is that fear is not a natural state for the Sons of God. It occurred when guilt entered the mind at the thought of our perceived betrayal of the Creator, and since nothing of the sort actually happened, the fear has no basis and is no more real than the illusion of separation. But until I have laid the guilt aside completely, fear will still haunt me and I will not know my Self.
This is why I try never to simply accept fear, but to always look at it with the Holy Spirit. I don’t ask Him to take the fear away which implies that it is real and dangerous and out of my control. I ask Him to heal my mind of the belief that the Son of God could ever be afraid. I ask Him to heal my mind of the core belief in fear, which is that my Father is angry and vengeful and so I am in constant danger.
The Holy Spirit has helped me to see that I am not afraid of things in my life, but that the circumstances of my life are the effects of my core fear. I think I am afraid of heights, but I am afraid that God hates me. I think I am afraid my children will suffer, but I am afraid that God wants our suffering. I think I am afraid of not having enough money to retire on, but I am afraid that I deserve to suffer because I betrayed God.
It is a relief to understand that I don’t have hundreds of little fears to get through and find healing for, but really I have one fear, which takes many forms. I need only be healed of the one fear, the fear of my Father. This morning I read this on Facebook. It was posted by Brian Longhurst, who receives lovely messages. It said, in part:
You have followed from afar off in faithful commitment. Now shall I draw you unto Me, into the secret place, the Holy of Holies. There shall you receive the mantle of purification (because of your heart’s desire and your faithfulness).
I just cried and cried when I read this. I cried because I recognized that I don’t believe in my worthiness, and I cried because I know this is true and I am so relieved to know it is true. God does love me, still, and holds me dear. The split mind at work again. The good news is that the part of the mind that knows the truth is much more in my awareness now and while I am still aware of the ego mind, I have no doubt that I will change my mind about that and change it fully.