VII. Cause and Effect, P 6
6 It should especially be noted that God has only one Son. If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. The Sonship in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts. However this is obscured as long as any of its parts is missing. That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned. Only then can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood. Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if he so chooses. However, if he does so, he is believing in the existence of nothingness. The correction of this error is the Atonement.
This is the place in the Text where I discovered that I, too, am a Son of God. The mystery deepens as I am told that God has only one Son. I am a part of a whole, it seems and this does seem mysterious to me because I don’t know what this means. All I know, really, is separation and so it is hard to get a feeling for wholeness. And yet, the memory of what I am must be in my mind. This memory, though I cannot access it on a conscious level, is the reason I didn’t toss the whole thing at this point.
Though buried very deeply, the memory of my Self is in my mind and this memory draws me to the Course and keeps me reading it even though nothing in the world validates what I am reading. I try to imagine something that symbolizes this idea of being part of a whole. I think of cells in the body. Am I a cell in the body of Christ dreaming I have a life separate from the body?
It’s not a perfect metaphor but maybe the best I can do. Jesus says that I will not understand this until I return to wholeness, so there is little sense in trying. I will just continue to do my part in the correction of the error through accepting the Atonement. As I have been doing this practice the last few days my experience of it has expanded.
Quite honestly, the idea of accepting the Atonement has had little real meaning for me until very recently. I understood the words and intellectually grasped the meaning, but until I was ready I did not accept the meaning into my heart. As it turns out, “accept” is the key word. In the past I asked for the Atonement, but did not fully accept it. I kept it at bay with my defenses, and so did not really know what it was.
Quite suddenly, really, as I was doing the study and practice of this section of the Text, I accepted what was being offered. In the acceptance of it, I realized that Love came into my mind and healed me. That, evidently, is the Atonement. It is the Jesus’ plan for our salvation. We just keep looking at our thoughts and beliefs, learning to question their validity, and then when we are ready, we open ourselves to Love and all is corrected and the mind healed of its confusion.
Oh, dear Jesus, could it be that simple? Evidently, it is. Of course I still have to accept the Atonement. I still defend against it, but now I see what is happening more clearly than before, and with a startling clarity I see how the ego is undone. I have said before that it is not my job to heal my mind only to want it healed, but now I see it. I see the simplicity and perfection of the plan of atonement. It makes me cry in relief and gratitude as I write this.
Of course my mind is still split so the part that wants to think of itself as a solitary cell with its on little universe is not giving up the fight. In fact it keeps mounting these surprise attacks, some of them very subtle and some quite vicious. I remember something shameful from my past or I become obsessed with a worry thought about possible futures. Soon the ego is putting forth very reasonable presumptions, and I start to doubt reality (which now seems far fetched) and to believe the ego story.
But Jesus has given me the solution and even in my pain and doubt, I remember that this solution works, and now, after practicing it, I know I want the solution. I tell the Holy Spirit that I accept the Atonement in this situation. At first it is tentative and the ego kicks into high gear as it points out that these are just words and what do they mean anyway? But I know I don’t want to live in fear and guilt anymore and I open more fully to the solution.
I tell the Holy Spirit that I really want the Atonement. I stand there in the middle of the room with my arms outstretched. “Here I am God. I stand naked and defenseless against Your love. I accept Your offer. I invite Love into my mind, and I ask Love to heal me.” I feel a little foolish, but also giddy with relief. I have discovered the way out of this insanity.
I accept the Atonement in this situation where I believe I was guilty because I want it more than I want to hide from my guilt. I accept Atonement in this situation where I believe I am endangered because I want it more than I want to protect myself. I accept even in the face of my fear and doubt and uncertainty. I trust and so I accept.
Do you see where this is leading? I dream of my little cell floating nearer and nearer the body of which it is an integral part. “God, swallow me up. Take me in. Return me to my Home. Wake me from my dream of separation. I accept.” I trust that my prayer is answered. I look forward to discovering how much I am willing to accept today.