ACIM I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 15, 16. These are some of the examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, although its gospel is really only the message of love.
ACIM Chapter 6. I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 15, 16
I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P15.
15 These are some of the examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, although its gospel is really only the message of love. If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did, if they had really understood me. I could not have said, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The “punishment” I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?
I breathed a sigh of relief, reading that Jesus was misquoted.
The story of his life begins to make sense when we understand the purpose of the crucifixion and we see that he did not love his brothers one moment and blamed them for his death the next and that his purpose was always to teach love.
The crucifixion was about love, as everything in his life was about love. Anything in the New Testament that seems to point to anger or blame is a misquote or a misunderstanding. Considering the history of the Bible, this is understandable. Further, considering that the Apostles were not ready for the full message of his life, misunderstandings were inevitable.
Even now, with A Course in Miracles to guide us to his true message, we misunderstand. I, for one, have studied and tried to live the message of the Course for over 40 years, and I have just recently embraced its teachings fully. There were many things in the Course that I did not grasp, even though the concepts were simple and straightforward.
There is not one place in the Course where Jesus equivocates.
He does not say that, for the most part, you should not teach guilt or that betrayal is mostly not true. He never says to love the ones who deserve loving or be kind to the ones who are kind to you. And yet, for most of the years I studied the Course I chose not to see that there is only love because that is what God is, and that is what we are.
Even now, I see judgmental thoughts in my mind all the time, but now I am absolutely certain that they are not the thoughts I think with God, and I ask for the Atonement. I absolutely do not want to trade my Awakening for the “right” to think someone I see in Walmart should lose weight or that this guy I read about in the paper is guilty of his behavior.
I used to argue the meaning of the ideas in the Course. Is this what Jesus intended? To believe that was a valid behavior, I had to deliberately overlook the whole lesson he was trying to teach us. I want only to join with my brother, and I see no possibility of union if my opinion stands between us. God save me from the desire to be right.
I don’t know much, but this, I believe to be true.
If what I am saying or thinking or doing is not unconditionally loving, I have forgotten my purpose. My brother and I are one, and everything in my life leads to our reunion. Guilt and blame have no place in our holy minds. Pain, suffering, and death are not real, and I deny their unreality each time I experience them in any way.
I am willing to release the fierce grip I have on fear. I am through with dreaming of life and dreaming of death and repeating the cycle endlessly. Death is losing its attraction to me, and Love draws me close. I ask that my mind be healed of any fear of God that remains.
I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 16.
16 As you read the teachings of the Apostles, remember that I told them myself that there was much they would understand later, because they were not wholly ready to follow me at the time. I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you. I do not call for martyrs but for teachers. No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. Any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified. The result is a lesson in blame, for all behavior teaches the beliefs that motivate it. The crucifixion was the result of clearly opposed thought systems; the perfect symbol of the “conflict” between the ego and the Son of God. This conflict seems just as real now, and its lessons must be learned now as well as then.
The Apostles were not wholly ready for what Jesus had to teach.
Therefore, I should not believe anything in the New Testament that contradicts love. It is just a misunderstanding by those who were not fully ready to embrace the idea of unconditional love. I accept that. And even before I knew it was true, I suspected it was, though I also feared it was not true. If it turned out that God had his beloved son crucified, then I was truly in trouble. I was stuck with a choice between hell and a pretty scary God. I really wanted to believe the Course.
When I first read that Jesus did not want fear to enter into this new thought system, I felt a deep sense of relief. Little did I know how pervasive fear and guilt are in my mind and how long it would take to root them out. Forty years later, I still find guilt, fear, and their evil children, blame, suffering, and death.
I have to laugh now that I thought that just because I liked what I was reading and felt (hoped) it was true, that the struggle was over. It could have been if there was full acceptance, but I still found so much value in holding onto these ideas that I could not bring myself to accept the Atonement for them.
Sure, I like the idea that I am not sinful and will not be punished.
I really like the idea that I am not going to be martyred. But I’m not so sure about you. ~smile~ I might need someone else to be guilty. What if my child is thoughtless of me? What if my friend abandons me? Sometimes it is subtler than that. What if I pay someone to do something for me, and they take the money but fail to do the job? Surely, they are guilty.
The thought that keeps coming up in my mind is one of being unfairly treated. If I think I am unfairly treated in any way by anybody, I believe in guilt, sin, and punishment. I would like to argue that just because I believe in sin doesn’t mean I expect punishment. Surely, I am too spiritual for that. But I see that if the person who failed to complete the job is not punished for it, then I suffer, and so I am punished for his sin. Now I am a victim and, in my desire to appear holy, I am a martyr.
I can see that these ideas still have a place in my mind, but I also see that I am no longer in love with them. As I see them, I am ready to accept healing, and if it seems I have to repeat this process repeatedly, I am OK with that. I love myself enough now to be patient with myself. I remind myself that I will not use this worker to attack myself, for surely, if I hold him guilty, I have attacked myself by reinforcing the belief in guilt in my own mind.
Here is how it seems from the ego perspective.
A worker failed to fulfill his obligations, and I think he is guilty of this. I think he should be punished by not paying him. Or, if he has been paid, suing to recover my money. It all seems very reasonable to the ego mind. But I see now that the desire to place blame is an attack on myself and an attack on the Sonship. There is a desire to keep this belief system in place. It is driven by the fear that I need to defend myself from this brother. Obviously, I think he is separate from me and my enemy.
It seems that Jesus is not the only one who was crucified. This scenario I just described is how I crucified this worker and myself. Evidently, I play out the crucifixion every time I choose to see an enemy where a holy Son of God stands. I cannot return to God dragging my brother’s cross behind me. I want God, but I want retribution and punishment for this wrongdoer. This is the conflict in my mind projected outward as a labor dispute that keeps me separate from God. Oh, my word, this is ridiculous!
Do I want God, or do I want this person to be guilty? Evidently, I want both, but I cannot have both. So it is a matter of deciding what is most important to me. Each time I blame someone, whether it seems big or petty, it doesn’t matter. Each of these times that I project blame, I push away the only thing that matters to me: waking up from the dream of separation. There. That makes my decision easier.
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