ACIM Chapter 6. I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 12-14

ACIM I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 12-14. Teach only love, for that is what you are.

ACIM Chapter 6. I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 12-14

ACIM Chapter 6. I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 12-14

I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 12,13

12 The crucifixion cannot be shared because it is the symbol of projection, but the resurrection is the symbol of sharing because the reawakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know its wholeness. Only this is knowledge.

13 The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear:

Teach only love, for that is what you are.

The crucifixion was only Jesus’ experience, but it has a message for us: that we are love in every instant, regardless of appearances, and that in being love, we teach love. The resurrection, however, is a shared experience. It is a symbol of awakening. And the Awakening is complete only when each and every one of us knows our wholeness.  So, I cannot awaken from the dream without you.

This understanding that we are in this together motivates me to let go of guilt in all its forms. I am pretty good at this now. I can still have guilt thoughts, but I don’t identify with them as strongly as I used to. Also, I find it much easier to let them go. But that was not always true, of course.  The following is something from my journal that happened when I was still struggling with the desire to find others guilty.

I was feeling frustrated with someone I work with.

I didn’t think it was a big deal, but while doing some work in a Pathways of Light course, this situation was brought to mind, so I used it to look at the guilt in my mind and to ask the Holy Spirit to heal me.

As I looked at the situation with the Holy Spirit, I saw the depth of my rage at this person and the fear that caused me to suppress my feelings about it. I was shocked at how angry I was and how resistant to forgiving. But looking at it, allowing the feelings to fully surface so I wasn’t hiding anything from myself, I knew that this desire to project guilt did not have a place in my holy mind. I asked that it be undone for me.

This morning as I read this paragraph, I see how important it is that I forgive everything that is not part of God’s Will. This man at work and our relationship are the “biggest” thing in my life until it is healed because if I condemn him, I cannot know my own salvation. As my mind is healed, I realize how unimportant it is that he be a better co-worker.

My desire for him is the same as my desire for myself.

I want only to resurrect from the death of forgetfulness, and I cannot do this without him. I can either hold him in bondage to his guilt, or I can awaken. However, I cannot have both because if I believe in his guilt, I also believe in mine. Either guilt is true for the entire mind, or it is not true for any of it. Either I am guilty and so teach guilt, or I am love and so teach only love.

Yesterday, when I was angry with a co-worker, it was because of my imperfect love, which, as Jesus explains, made me vulnerable to projection. Because I still fail to see love as all-encompassing, I imagine that some things are outside of love and thus feel open to attack. I tried to defend myself through retaliation, thinking of stinging retorts, even wishing him to be fired so I wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore. 

I no longer think in terms of the “wrath of God,” but yesterday, at least until I accepted the Atonement, I absolutely felt that wrath should come from somewhere, maybe from my boss or, if not him, then at least from my ill wishes. But I knew that this was not of God, and so I felt guilty for my thoughts, and guilt led to anger. I wanted him to be guilty, not me, and that I felt guilty anyway just increased the anger.

This really isn’t different from the crucifixion, as Jesus talks about it here.

I crucified myself with my wrong-minded thoughts, and I suffered for it. I wanted to crucify the co-worker in an attempt to avoid my own crucifixion (projection). My motives were the same as theirs, and I experienced the same emotional reactions as the Apostles at Jesus’ crucifixion. Thanks to Jesus, we have a way out of this kind of thinking, and I am very grateful this is so.

I am also grateful that this little war only took place in my mind. It is through the grace of God that there has been enough healing in my mind that I can usually resolve these misunderstandings within myself before I allow them to take form. Not always, but usually. However, if I put it off and don’t ask for the Atonement immediately, these thoughts will show themselves, and then I have to deal with the aftermath.

I do not want to bring myself or anyone else more deeply into the illusion. Jesus asks us not to set our brothers back on their path, and if I attack a brother, even if the attack appears as a defense, then I am making it harder for both of us to move into forgiveness. When I defend myself against any apparent attack, this makes the attack seem real with real effects. I am teaching something I will regret learning, and I am not, by any means, being truly helpful to either of us.

It is time to stop repeating the crucifixion over and over.

This is not helping. I ask that my mind be healed of this insane reaction to someone’s call for love. Yesterday, when I asked for the Atonement in this situation with my co-worker, I was shown his fear, which expressed itself as anger and defense. A call for love like this must be answered with love if we are ever to know ourselves as the love we are.

Thanks to the healing that took place in my mind yesterday, I will never again look at this brother as if he were outside the love of God. I will recognize his anger and frustration as the call for love that it is. And I will respond to that call rather than to his words. I’m not putting myself back on that cross again, nor am I putting him there. Thank you, God!

14 I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 14

14 If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the “wrath of God” as His retaliatory weapon. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry.

This is a very helpful interpretation of how we got the meaning of the crucifixion so wrong. It seems clear to me now that Jesus taught us that nothing is beyond forgiveness and that we are invulnerable to attack. He was teaching us that there is only one way to respond to anyone: with the love that we are. It was a call to peace.

But the Apostles saw it as an attack and they wanted to retaliate.

They couldn’t do anything, and so called on the wrath of God as their weapon. Anyone who does not understand and embrace the perfect love they are will have this same experience when they are afraid. They will also react with anger because they are afraid. Certainly, I have done this.

I used to think that the really bad guys who seemed to get away with their treachery would get theirs in the end. I thought it was only fair that God would even things out when they died. Of course, none of us live a blameless life so this only increased my fear of God. And frightened people can be vicious. (ACIM, T-3.I.4:2) It is an endless, discouraging cycle that leaves all involved with more guilt and a sense of hopelessness.

I am learning a different way of experiencing life.

When I accept what Jesus is helping us to remember, I lose all desire to defend myself. I am beginning to remember that we are not bodies living in a world. We are all one with each other, living in God, but I cannot alone have that experience because I am not alone. As one, we decided to have this experience, and as one, we will return to our reality. We cannot bring separation into God. This understanding changes the way I live my life and the way I interact with others.

We cannot bring separation into Wholeness, nor can we bring guilt into Innocence. Because we go Home together, I want everyone to know their innocence. I don’t want to teach guilt, which is what I would be doing if I showed them how they hurt me. I want everyone to know they are safe and loved despite their errors.

Teaching innocence is how I reinforce the belief I am innocent.

What we teach, we learn, and we teach continuously through our actions, our words, and even our thoughts. It takes vigilance and resolve at first, but with consistent effort, it becomes a joy to do this. As Jesus tells us in the Introduction to the Course: ⁷It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. (ACIM, T-in.1:7) As we remove those blocks (the separation thoughts), we discover all-encompassing love. We discover that Love is what we are.

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