Course Teachings and The Historical Jesus

An Academic reader of the Course said that ACIM dismantles Christianity, but I think not. It reinforces and confirms Jesus’ lessons about forgiveness, kindness, love, caring, benevolence, compassion, gentleness, and charity. Among the list of sayings J.D. Crossan attributes to the Historical Jesus;* many confirm these qualities, but some do not. From the Course’s new perspective the account of the rich man who finds himself in Hell and sees a poor man held in “Abraham’s Bosom.” epitomizes lack of forgiveness and Biblical teaching about Hell. [Crossan, xxv-xxvi]
One which certainly concurs with Course Teaching is the parable of the prodigal son. [Crossan xxiv – xxv] The story includes the loyal son’s jealous complaint to his father that he has been ignored compared to the returned prodigal. I see the story as an injunction for all of us to see that we are one with the prodigal and the loyal son. ACIM’s teaching differs; however, because we, being both sons, have never left the “father” but are only dreaming of separating. The parable gives a way to grasp the central aspect of ACIM, forgiveness.
Love Song for Bobby Long, and a NY times article, In Andalusia, Searching for Inherited Memories,”* both quote T.S. Eliot’s famous declaration, “And the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” My paraphrase of Elliot to concur with ACIM teaching is, “And the end of all our dreaming will be to remember where we started, and know it as it always is.” Eliot’s thought is about the world, but reflects a nominal aspect. ACIM teaches us that our journey here is “without distance,” and asks us to recall our true relationship with our creator. ACIM succinctly states that at the end of Text Chapter 16 in the new Lord’s Prayer. The first sentence is,
Forgive us our illusions father and help us to accept our true relationship with you
where there are no illusions and none can ever enter.”
The “illusions” are our dream of separation, and “where there are no illusions,” is heaven. When we accept that Heaven is our “true relationship with out creator,” the world’s complications become insignificant. We place ourselves “Above the Battleground,” (our dream of separation). In my next blog I’ll discuss that section from ACIM’s Text.
*J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of A Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, (Harper, San Francisco) 1992. *N.Y. Times on line 17 Ag. 2012