I. Atonement Without Sacrifice, P 4
4 Sacrifice is a notion totally unknown to God. It arises solely from fear, and frightened people can be vicious. Sacrificing in any way is a violation of my injunction that you should be merciful even as your Father in Heaven is merciful. It has been hard for many Christians to realize that this applies to themselves. Good teachers never terrorize their students. To terrorize is to attack, and this results in rejection of what the teacher offers. The result is learning failure.
God does not want our sacrifice. He doesn’t even know what sacrifice is. Here are some examples of ways that I have believed in sacrifice.
I want to pray that my friend recover from her sickness but then I question that. Maybe she has a lesson to learn and is supposed to be sick. When I ask Jesus about it I receive a thought questioning why I would think that God wants her pain and suffering. Sanity returns to my mind and I pray that her mind (along with mine) to be healed knowing that a healed mind projects a healed life.
It is not always so direct. My life is an expression of my wishes. When my body is in pain or is sick this is an expression of the need to suffer. I sacrifice through pain now so that later God will not hold my evil deeds against me. Suffering is a way of pushing away from God because I am afraid of Him. I say I am not afraid of God, but my life shows me otherwise, though this is slowly changing.
I suffer when I feel unloved or unaccepted. I suffer when I perceive someone I love as endangered. I suffer when I worry about money. All of these forms of suffering represent an effort to appease an angry God. As I write this I want to argue against it, but I cannot come up with another reason that I would have these things in my life if this were not true. In several places in the Course Jesus says that we choose everything in our life.
· Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you will find.
· As you look in, you choose the guide for seeing. And then you look out and behold its witnesses.
· No one can suffer loss unless it be his own decision. No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him. No one can grieve nor fear nor think him sick unless these are the outcomes he wants. And no one dies without his own consent. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose. Here is your world, complete in all its details. Here is its whole reality for you.
· You made this up. It is a picture of what you think you are; of how you see yourself.
· “This is salvation’s keynote: What I see reflects a process in my mind, which starts with my idea of what I want. From there, the mind makes up an image of the thing the mind desires, judges valuable, and therefore seeks to find. These images are then projected outward, looked upon, esteemed as real and guarded as one’s own.”
· You but do this to yourself.
· “From insane wishes comes an insane world. From judgment comes a world condemned. And from forgiving thoughts a gentle world comes forth, with mercy for the holy Son of God, to offer him a kindly home where he can rest a while before he journeys on, and help his brothers walk ahead with him and find the way to Heaven and to God.”
· All forms of sickness, even unto death are physical expression of the fear of awakening.
My life, my whole world, is a projection of the beliefs in my mind. If my body or my relationships or my finances are in disarray then it can only be so because this is what I have secretly asked for. (It’s a secret because I am not so insane that I will admit I want pain so I pretend it happens because of someone or something else.)
The only reason to ask for things that hurt me and to populate my world with them is because I think I deserve punishment. My self-imposed guilt has me convinced that I must punish myself in the hopes of appeasing an angry God. Through my life I am basically saying to God, “Look how I suffer for you. Please don’t do anything worse. I have suffered enough, don’t you think?”
Here is the simple truth. God loves us. He does not see us as sinners. He does not believe in our illusions. He does not hold anything against us and does not want our sacrifice to make up for anything. God wants only our happiness. He wants only to love us. We have nothing to fear from God. When we know these things are true we will have banished fear from our minds and there will be nothing left to project except love. My new favorite prayer: My mind is healed and whole right now! Everything else is an illusion.