Now would I be as God created me.
Jesus reminds us that the Self we are is the Christ---the One Son of God. For two thousand years, this has exclusively been used in Christian theology to denote Jesus---God's only begotten Son. Jesus' specialness was further accentuated by St. Paul, relegating the rest of humanity to the status of "adopted sons" of God. (Galatians 4:4) In the Course, Jesus wants us to really embrace him as our equal and, therefore, he uses the term "Son of God" for all of us as the One Self. He makes it clear that we are not excluded from this designation. He presents himself as no different from any of us. He is the symbol of the truth of our own reality, buried deep in our minds. Again, we see the usage of the same form as in traditional Christianity, but with a totally different content.
Jesus reminds us that we are God's children, who believe we are bodies and separate from our Source and, therefore, different from him; but this is not the truth. We are the Christ, not this person we think of as our current self. We are mistaken in our identity as a body and personality. I am the Christ, convinced that I am something else. This need not be.
"Now would I be as God created me."
We heal the mistaken perceptions we hold about ourselves by changing our minds. In Chapter 21, there is a much-quoted line,
"Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world."
(T.21.IN.1.7) (ACIM OE T.21.I) In the same way, we can choose to change our minds about the reactions we have to anything concerning us today. We can also change our minds about any negative reaction we hold about words used in the Course. For example, you may have a negative reaction to Christian terminology or to symbols like "Jesus" and "Christ," or words like "salvation," "Last Judgment,” and "sin." Some react to the male terminology used in the Course. Yet just like anything else where we have a reaction, we can take what triggers us and use it for forgiveness. Any reaction we have reflects what we are projecting onto these words, based on past associations.
The important thing we are reminded of is that we are not what we think we are. We have made a choice for the ego and have run away from the truth. Yet we are as God created us. This thought frightens us because we have become invested in the self we have made and the world we still value; but the power is in our minds to choose again.
"Now would I be as God created me."
God did not create this body that I identify as myself. It is the result of choosing the ego thought system. The truth is that we are the Christ, the Self that all of us share as the One Son. We are created in perfection. We are given the means (forgiveness) to undo what we have made. The Atonement Principle is our absolute guarantee that it is impossible to mar our perfection as we were created, no matter what we do or have done. We have simply become unaware of our true nature and our inherent innocence.
The truth seems elusive when we identify with our ego. This world and our belief in bodies seem more real and solid than what is truly real. The ego is the choice for sin, guilt, and fear reflected in the differences, uniqueness, and specialness that we prize. When we get on the spiritual path, the ego can even make this experience one of spiritual specialness. We love our uniqueness and love to see ourselves as special, even if that specialness involves suffering.
We value our perceptions, our thoughts, and our feelings. When we do not doubt them or question them, they run our lives. While our reactions feel natural to us, Jesus assures us that what we have learned is unnatural. Our nature is peace, joy, and innocence. We justify our positions and our perspectives, but they can only be maintained by denying reality. Jesus tells us that this is
an easy thing to do. He says that what we have taught ourselves is an amazing learning feat.
"What you have taught yourself is such a giant learning feat it is indeed incredible."
(T.31.I.2.7) (ACIM OE T.31.I.2)
Since we have achieved such an amazing feat in teaching ourselves that we are something we are not, the simplicity of this Course should be easy for us. Why it is
easy, he says, is because of our twisted thought system.
"His message is not indirect, but He must introduce the simple truth into a thought system which has become so twisted and so complex you cannot see that it means nothing."
(T.14.I.5.2) (ACIM OE T.13.VI.53) Even though it is twisted and complex, we still cling to it and fear what will become of us if we release our beliefs about ourselves and the world.
The ego is devious, self-serving, and narcissistic. It is addicted to external sources of happiness, compares itself to others, is convinced it knows where its happiness lies, is afraid of true love and joining, is devious and a liar, and is arrogant in its insistence that it is right about the way it has set up reality. All of the ego is false. It is all part of our twisted thinking. The only way to release it all is to get very, very honest about ourselves. It is to look at the ego with honesty and courage. It is to inquire deeply into its motivations. It is to look with courage at the beliefs upholding these patterns and be willing to release them to the Holy Spirit.
It takes considerable introspection, courage, and honesty to admit our motives. What was I trying to gain? For whose benefit was it? What was the purpose? What am I projecting onto others that reflects my own secret sins? Everything that comes up offers us another opportunity to open up to deeper levels of the ego thought system that we are holding onto. It all needs to be brought to awareness because we cannot heal what we do not acknowledge in ourselves and what we are not willing to take responsibility for.
The turning point for many of us on this spiritual path is when our lives go off track. It may be a divorce, infidelity, car accident, cancer, depression, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, financial loss, general malaise, or betrayal of some kind. At such times, we may initially want to escape into some form of safety or security that we believe will mitigate our situation, but these are often the kind of circumstances that motivate us to find another way. Such events may be what brought us to this spiritual path. When we are brought to our knees, we become motivated to find a more solid foundation for our lives, as delivered in our work with this Course. Our own solutions for our problems only bring more pain and loss. They are generally focused on fixing the forms of this world, based on our need for control. We despair when our "fixes" do not work, and they never will. In this place of deep despair, our motivation is significantly heightened to find a new direction. It takes us inward, where we call on God in our desire to join with His Will, rather than to keep relying on our own.
As the dark cornerstones of the ego are turned over to the Holy Spirit, we come to know the Self that we are. It is a process of stepping back and allowing
"the light in me to shine upon the world throughout the day."
(W.237.1.2) It is to allow the glory, the radiance, the love, and the light of what we are to radiate through us. It is not something we do. It is what we are. There is nothing we need to do to become what we already are.
"The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself."
(T.31.VI.7.4) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.67) It came with our specifications given by God. There is nothing we can do to change the truth. Can we really allow this thought to take hold? Can we accept the grandeur and magnificence, as we release our belief in our unworthiness? Can we end this bitter dream of death today? Perhaps our readiness is not yet strong, but we can make choices moment by moment to bring the blocks to the inner altar for healing. It is a process of undoing, as we sort the valuable from the valueless, until we are ready to relinquish all of the ego thought system.
When I enter the silence and connect with the Truth in my mind, I
"behold the world that Christ would have me see,"
(W.237.1.4) and not the one I made. So, today, as it is every day that we do our practice, we are urged to go beyond the words to experience the love that we are. These are not just beautiful thoughts and beautiful words to be contemplated, but they are to be lived. To do so, we not only need to connect with the silence within us, but also to apply these thoughts in our day to day activities and encounters whenever we are tempted to get upset about anything. This is a very practical Course, reminding us of the truth when we forget our reality and forget who walks with us in every moment.
Love and blessings, Sarah