II. The Atonement as Defense, P 5
5 The Atonement was built into the space-time belief to set a limit on the need for the belief itself, and ultimately to make learning complete. The Atonement is the final lesson. Learning itself, like the classrooms in which it occurs, is temporary. The ability to learn has no value when change is no longer necessary. The eternally creative have nothing to learn. You can learn to improve your perceptions, and can become a better and better learner. This will bring you into closer and closer accord with the Sonship; but the Sonship itself is a perfect creation and perfection is not a matter of degree. Only while there is a belief in differences is learning meaningful.
There is my reality. I am part of the Sonship with no needs of any kind. There is no time and space for me, no need for the Atonement or lessons. I am eternally creative and there is nothing for me to learn. I do not perceive because I know. I am perfect so there is nothing to improve upon.
There is the substitute experience I chose. I see myself as a body living in space and time. I pretend that I cannot remember my reality and don’t know who I am. I have convinced myself that I am separate from God and have scared myself with this thought. I believe I have shattered reality into endless pieces, and that I am now one small piece and have nothing to do with all the rest. I believe that I am a fragile body among billions of bodies, but alone and helpless and forever desperately grasping for all that I have lost.
The substitute experience is not real and there is a place in my mind that knows the truth, but I have buried it deeply in shadows of illusion so I can continue this pretense. This is the self that I know best, this little self of limitations, the self I have most closely identified with. But I have begun to shake off the long sleep and have begun to awaken to my true nature.
I do this by questioning the mind’s thoughts and allowing the Voice of God to guide me out of the darkness of my mind. A Course in Miracles is the instruction book, its words a pathway out of the illusion. The Holy Spirit is my Guide, my Comforter, and my Healer. As the light of truth dissolves the darkness of illusions in my mind, I allow that light to shine into my brother’s mind and show them the truth that is there.
It is through the Atonement that I slowly shift my perceptions and bring them more closely into alignment with truth. I made the world as a playground for experience and things got badly out of hand. It became a prison in which the Son of God seems to be trapped by his fear and guilt. The Holy Spirit has another use for it, though. It is now being used as a classroom where my little self can learn lessons and allow the Holy Spirit to correct my thinking and bring my perceptions closer and closer to reality.
What a strange thing this is, the perfect have seemingly made themselves imperfect and then forgotten that they did this to themselves. Now they appear to be frightened and guilty creatures, helpless and unable to remember any other state. But all that is changing. First, we pretend we need help, then we pretend to learn lessons so we can finally return our awareness to our natural state of wholeness and perfection in which there is nothing to learn.
I have had some extraordinary shifts. I was thinking about the passages from A Course in Miracles that have been most influential in those shifts. One would be from Lesson 190 which says: If God is real, there is no pain. If pain is real, there is no God. I decided to believe this and to practice this, and then to experience it. I have watched in amazement as I experienced the physical manifestations of this healing of my mind.
The second passage that has triggered a significant shift in my understanding said: There is nothing outside your mind. T18 VI Beyond the Body. Jesus says the same thing in other ways throughout the Course, but for some reason, when I heard those words I suddenly believed them and everything changed. Now, no matter what I am experiencing, physical or emotional, whether it is a challenge with finances, relationships or the body, I recognize that it is occurring in my mind and nowhere else, and therefore healing must occur in my mind.
How about you? Has there been a particular passage or idea from the Course that has greatly influenced your life this year?