CHRISTMAS

I offer this excerpt from A Course in Miracles as a means to overcome the commercialization of Christmas along with other modern distortions.

Keep in mind that in his Course Jesus links himself, us and the Holy Spirit together as the Christ. (See Clarification of Terms Section 5, Jesus – Christ, and Section 6, The Holy Spirit.)
For complete understanding please read the whole Chapter.

Text Chapter 15 section XI. Christmas as the End of Sacrifice,
                                                    paragraphs 2 and 3.

XI.2. The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness.  See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come.  He comes demanding nothing.  No sacrifice of any kind, of anyone, is asked by Him.  In His Presence the whole idea of sacrifice loses all meaning.  For He is Host to God.  And you need but invite Him in Who is there already, by recognizing that His Host is One, and no thought alien to His Oneness can abide with Him there.  Love must be total to give Him welcome, for the Presence of Holiness creates the holiness that surrounds it.  No fear can touch the Host Who cradles God in the time of Christ, for the Host is as holy as the perfect Innocence which He protects, and Whose power protects Him.

3. This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you.  Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us.  Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. All pain and sacrifice and littleness will disappear in our relationship, which is as innocent as our relationship with our Father, and as powerful.5 Pain will be brought to us and disappear in our presence, and without pain there can be no sacrifice.  And without sacrifice there love [must] be.

Denial Part II

My last post was about denial. In it I focused on how it blocks forgiveness of our self and our brothers and sisters, including terrorists. I mentioned two types of denial. First is one which denies that all of us are part of the one Son of God, and second is one that denies that we make this world of sin, guilt and fear. The course principle that we “make” the world, and God has nothing to do with it is very difficult for many students of ACIM to accept.

In my book, There is “…another way ~~~~,” I tell a story about how as I looked out at a beautiful Catskill Mountains scene, I said aloud to a couple sitting there, “What a beautiful place this is we are making.”

The man reacted immediately, “what’s this we Kemo Sabe?” I answered, “In a way we make this beautiful building, the lovely lawns and gardens because we pay to come here and enjoy them.” No answer.

Many, when told that we make the world, not God, react this way. ”Then you don’t believe in God,” which is based on the common belief that God creates the world. In ACIM Jesus teaches that God has nothing to do with it.

That principle is addressed in the section, What is The World, in the Workbook For Students, as Question three of 14. Like most sections in the Course it begins with difficult statements as in the following paragraph 1 sentence 1-2 and all of paragraph 2, but then provides other ways to think which are helpful, as in paragraph 1 sentences 3-5.

  1. The world is false perception. It is born of error, and it has not left its source. It will remain no longer than the thought that gave it birth is cherished. When the thought of separation has been changed to one of true forgiveness, will the world be seen in quite another light; and one which leads to truth, where all the world must disappear and all its errors vanish. Now its source has gone, and its effects are gone as well.

  2. The world was made as an attack on God. It symbolizes fear. And what is fear except love’s absence? Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him. Here was perception born, for knowledge could not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive, and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become quite possible, for certainty has gone.

Here is all of paragraph 5 which has helpful and comforting words.

Let us not rest content until the world has joined our changed perception. Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete. And let us not attempt to change our function. We must save the world. For we who made it must behold it through the eyes of Christ, that what was made to die can be restored to everlasting life.   [W-pII.3] (my emphasis)   *please check end note*

Seeing…” through the eyes of Christ” lets us perceive everyone as part of the unified Son of God. That stops the first type of denial.

As we see from the following excerpts from Text Chapter 20 Section III, some of the most difficult passages in ACIM have to do with murder, which we really, most likely, deny.

You make the world and then adjust to it, and it to you. Nor is there any difference between yourself and it in your perception, which made them both. [T-20.III.3.66-7]

A simple question yet remains, and needs an answer. Do you like what you have made?–a world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear. [You made this up.]     [T-20.III.4.1-3]

Then later in section 11 we find a way to view the world we make in a different light. One which we can use to remember this: on the level of Heaven we are all united in God

[me” in this excerpt is Jesus]

Your gift unto your brother has given me the certainty our union will be soon. …In your brother is the light of God’s eternal promise of your immortality. See him as sinless, and there can [be] no fear in you.      [T-20.III.11.1. plus 8-9]

.Later in Chapter 23 section III, Salvation without Compromise (from The Laws of Chaos), this issue is reviewed in a very harsh way. We learn that attack in any form is murder; its degree makes no difference — its effect are the same.

Is it not true you do not recognize some of the forms attack can take? … Its purpose does not change. Its sole intent is murder, and what form of murder serves to cover the massive guilt and frantic fear of punishment the murderer must feel? … If the intent is death, what matter the form it takes? [T-23.III.1.4-5 plus 9]

Then later these helpful thoughts come at the end of the section Above the Battleground.

Those with the strength of God in their awareness could never think of battle. 2 What could they gain but loss of their perfection? 3 For everything fought for on the battleground is of the body; something it seems to offer or to own. … The senselessness of conquest is quite apparent from the quiet sphere above the battleground. What can conflict with everything? … Who with the Love of God upholding him could find the choice of miracles or murder hard to make?   [T-23.IV.9. 1-3+5-6+8]

The sphere above the battleground is the real world (discussed in a previous post). “Everything” refers to heaven. With God’s love we choose miracles (not murder). Jesus’ last Teaching in the Text about this issue comes in Chapter 31 with these helpful thoughts.

Let us be glad that you will see what you believe, and that it has been given you to change what you believe. … You will not want to hold in guilt your chosen enemies, nor keep in chains, to the illusion of a changing love, the ones you think are friends. [T-31.III.6.1-2.+6]

Open your mind to change, and there will be no ancient penalty exacted from your brother or yourself. For God has said there [is] no sacrifice that can be asked; there [is] no sacrifice that can be made. [T-31.III.7.1+ 3-4]   (my emphasis)

During my first experience with an ACIM “study group” one member grumbled about a difficult course passage. Our group leader told us that a very early ACIM teacher advised this about to such a passage, “Tear it out.”   Since then I’ve learned to disagree with that advice. Every passage has great meaning. Plus each passage which begins with Jesus pointing out the negative aspects of our world making has in its second part teachings which help us overcome them.

In the Introduction to Chapter 24 Jesus states in no uncertain terms what we need to do as ACIM students.

To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. No belief is neutral. Every one has the power to dictate each decision you make. [T-24.in.2.1-4]

So must we accept all passages in the Course as they challenge us to confront the thoughts we deny. And, “…never underestimate the power of denial.”

  • So far I’ve included most of the pertinent ACIM text. From now on I will only include the most relevant text so I urge readers to read the through all of the passages I quote so as to avoid thinking out of context.