Accepting ACIM Atonement

The point of ACIM Atonement is realizing that this world is a delusion, none of it really happened; hence you and everyone are innocent. Accepting Atonement for yourself means you believe this and hence live that way: seeing only the light of love and not shadows of darkness. Accepting Atonement and ACIM forgiveness are the same: overlooking the shadows and seeing only love.

God is love. Reality is love. Anything else does not exist.

My ACIM workbook lesson for today was about the topic of seeing the world forgiven: The light has come. I have forgiven the world.

Reading the lesson for the first time, it seemed like such pie-in-the-sky to believe I would see a world filled only with light starting today. But a series of thoughts brought me to the conclusion that I do believe I have accepted Atonement, even if I clearly saw for only a little bit. Having seen once, I can continue to re-produce the opening.

I was thinking about the plant manager whose plant I just left. I was thinking about the move to Texas. I was thinking about the myriad of negative thoughts I have all day long and how, since I seem unable to stop them, they would prevent me from ever forgiving the world (seeing it as light). But then, my ACIM teaching whispered to me:

  1. My negative thoughts are \”just\” temptation. 
  2. And anyway, none of this \”really\” happened. 
  3. I am not guilty.
These 3 thoughts, constitute my realization that I have accepted the Atonement for myself; and that I know it in my heart. These 3 thoughts, realized as beliefs, put a distance between me and my ego. I identify less with my ego. If I am not my ego, I can be innocent. Being innocent is the only way to be free. I must be free; that\’s the only way I\’ll be happy or go to Texas as a free person. I must go to Texas as a free person because I have more to learn. I can\’t learn if I continually hold my past against the present. The spiral of my learning must go higher.
As of this moment, I do have a bright future as a free innocent person.

My Vow to Atonement

Jesus is in charge of the Atonement (1.III.1)

My Vow to Atonement

1. If I am afraid, I am deceived.
2. His peace cannot be shaken. I am healed.
3. This is The Truth and my commitment.

My background thinking:

A Course in Miracles is filled with words which have been redefined in the attempt to correct our thinking. Like: miracle, Atonement, forgiveness, ego, salvation, body, world, sickness and healing. I have read the course 6 times and completed the workbook 3, but am still trying to understand and purposefully use the concepts. Undoing 50 years worth of worldly programming takes me time. It doesn’t take God any time, but a sudden rearrangement might scare me so Jesus is working slowly.

Miracle principle 25: \”Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement.\”

The meaning of Jesus is corrected by the Course. The early church, mainly after 200 ac, interpreted Jesus and his teachings incorrectly.

There are no vows to be taken in the Course; but you are asked to make choices. Throughout the course, there are many emphatic statements: just remember this one thing, just do this, your only purpose is this, etc. I believe that each of these emphatic statements are saying the same thing but in different words. The feeling of the idea in my gut is the same for each one. The feeling is a deep and insistent yearning for connection to the Love behind each of the statements. The real meaning is: I am in Love, always have been, always will be, only rely on This Love, It gives me peace and safety.

In chapter 19D, The Fear of God, the text discusses the secret vow made to the ego never to lift the veil of fear which we made to hide the face of Christ, and ultimately God. The ego is afraid of God. This secret vow needs to be uncovered and brought into the light. Hence my idea that a counter vow, used all the time but especially when I am afraid, is beneficial for returning my awareness of my existence to God.

My reflection:

OK, so I was studying in Chapter 2 and learning about the Atonement. The simplest meaning is that the Atonement undoes our incorrect thinking. There are many more facets to the term. The Atonement is/was an act of love, given so that we could defend our minds against incorrect thinking. Use of the defense against the ego’s thought system relieves fear and opens the mind to the inner light, the Holy Spirit’s thought system and we rejoin the truth of our existence solely in the heart of God. “The Atonement is a total commitment” (2.II.7). From my life as a nun, I understand commitment and vow to be related. The vow is a statement of the commitment.

OK, so my head is filled with new synapses, corrected thoughts. Musing on everything said in chapter 2 about the Atonement, the body, fear etc, and laying in bed last night wondering if I was getting a sore throat, I realized that I was afraid and decided to use the Course to relieve my fear and stop the process of getting sick. I looked again at chapter 2 and my mind pieced together, in my own words, the entire meaning of the Course, its entire learning and usefulness and what I am committed to. I’m calling this my Vow to Atonement. It is a litany I can play in my head to keep me “on course” all day, safe in the heart of God no matter what appears to be happening (so called good or bad). The world is an illusion. I am really an idea in the Mind of God. My body is part of my experience in the dream of this world, but its purpose is as a learning device. It does not have a mind of its own and nothing happens in the world which is real.

2.I.1: \”All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. Of course, you neither can nor have been able to do this. Here is the real basis for your escape from fear. The escape is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which enables you to realize that your errors never really occurred. \”

So here is my Vow of Atonement:

1. If I am afraid, I am deceived.
2. His peace cannot be shaken. I am healed.
3. This is The Truth and my commitment.

Fear is my agreement to believe the ego’s proposition that I am separate from God and in a world which will hurt me. This thought is not true. What is true is that I have been given the peace of God, which is truly a rock. Knowing God’s peace is in me, fear leaves and my mind is healed. This is The Atonement. This is the Truth and I am committed to the Truth.

The key core principle that any human must adopt and cling to at all times is reliance on God, not self. This returns the mind to the heart of God and heals the mind of fear. Living in love instead of fear, I project love and deny the ego\’s hate filled world.

Spirit Flower\’s How to be Happy

1. Identify and list: unhappy situations, persons affecting you, places, or things; feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger, irritation, annoyance, unfairness, or lack no matter how small; all grievances against anyone or anything, no matter how small; all idle wishes or fantasies; all past hurts, hates, etc.. Making this list will need to be done over and over, perhaps over several years. Follow the following steps each time you make a list (ideally every day).

2. Look inside and see only a holy fire of love called Atonement. Any darkness, unbelief, fear or guilty feeling about this should be added to the list.

3. Realize that this holy fire is love, you are love and love is all there is anywhere and everywhere. Any other beliefs are lies and illusions and should be added to the list.

4. Achieve peace in the presence of the fire of Atonement. Feel safe there. Practice this.

5. Gently feed the items on your list into the fire. They will be undone by the Atonement.

6. Now you are free.

7. Go running! (my way of saying, have fun, be happy)

ps: If you want to talk to the flame or call it Jesus, or Christ, or Tao, do so. It will help you.

Ultra retreat – Day 11, Awakening

Today’s lesson: It can be but my gratitude I earn.

I started off not knowing what this meant saying to Jesus, “gratitude confuses me.” Then I thought, “I blame ACIM for my unemployment.” That is, ACIM (A Course in Miracles) breaks the ego world’s rules, so the world punished me by having me laid off. I fear being in the world but outside it’s rules.

But Jesus says the world is grateful to me for the salvation work I’m doing. Here begins awakening: What if I changed my mind and decided the world was grateful to me for learning ACIM?

I became belligerent against my ego. Job or no job, the world is an illusion. Just dismiss the ego. Stop listening. Stop believing in it. Decide I don’t know what this situation is for. Here occurred an actual fluttering of eyelids to the light of the real world (not the ego world): What if I didn’t do anything wrong? What if nobody did anything wrong? This is self (ego) transcendence at its finest. It is the reason I came to my personal self transcendence race.

What if Self/Christ really is grateful for my attempts to awaken? Why was this an awakening? Because my thought about not doing anything wrong came spontaneously from inside a part of my mind which is not the ego part of my mind. I believe it to be a real thought, not an ego thought. It is the sort of thought that questions the ego propaganda about my body and this world being real and God hating me. Questioning the ego, with heartfelt authenticity, is the beginning of the end for the ego. It doesn’t have unquestioned power over my thinking and the Holy Spirit now does have influence.

Its like this: I think I am a piece of crap. Now, most people tell me that is silly. I’m nice and fun and smart and spiritual; and I shouldn’t think that. Last November when I was depressed, I can’t tell you how many fellowship members told me not to kill myself because they come early on Saturday mornings just to hear me! But I do think I am a piece of crap, and no matter what people say, I still think I’m a piece of crap. Thinking I am a piece of crap is insane thinking; and it is clearly ego thinking. The ego clearly wants me to think that. But…suddenly one day…what if I honestly asked the question: what if I’m not a piece of crap? Wouldn’t that change things? Well, yes it would. It has dawned on me that I might not be a piece of crap. In the same way, Jesus\’ teaching from ACIM dawns on me: what if I\’m not really a separate being?

Jesus in ACIM tells us over and over: the separation never happened, you are only love, God is only love, this world is an illusion made by the ego that thinks it is separate from God. But until you are able to ask the question from deep in your heart instead of at a superficial, what Jesus says will more or less bounce off. Until I’m ready to honestly consider the possibility that I haven’t done anything wrong; hence there is no separation and I’ve accepted Atonement for myself, I can listen to Jesus but won\’t really believe him. I come to a place of joy: maybe I’m accepting Atonement for myself. Jesus says that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept Atonement for themselves. What if I really can? I have evidence: I honestly questioned my ego.

What if my experience of world really is a bad dream and the truth about me is that I exist as pure love in the Heart of God who is also only pure love, pure existence? Seriously, what if that is true?

All is quiet. All is love. Peace be with you.

Off topic thought: I may actually be able to have a reality with no visible means of support and live as a full time hermit and metaphysicist. Talk about being outside the ego world\’s rules, this is way outside.

New topic: Personal Self Transcendence Race – Day 11 (wow!)

Today was a breakthru.

First, yesterday was not a breakthru. I was tired and wondering if my ultra retreat was not silly and I should do something else. I had a sore ankle (of all things) and decided to slack off. That meant, I walked the first two hours of my 14 mile jog/walk. I took it back to the hilly course because it was mostly dirt. Then in the afternoon, we had a torrential storm when I wanted to go for my walk so I walked on the tm for an hour.

Today, I woke up feeling great. I went back to the hilly course and jogged much more than yesterday. I thought I was feeling good enough to maybe go for five hours tomorrow, but after 3:40 hours today (already longer than I\’ve been doing) I still felt good. I had a bottle of water to refill my nathan and one Gu (my emergency Gu) to \”pay\” for another 50 minutes. So…lets do it. I ended up with 20 miles (6 miles more than I have been doing).

This week, I decided to stop using Gu and Sports drink because it was too expensive and too wasteful. So I went to water, pb and honey sandwiches and 1 S-cap electrolyte. This has been working well. I use up about 2 liters of water for 3 1/2 hours.

I am doing this crazy multi-day run for self transcendence. I\’ve had many interesting mental breakthrus. That I went farther today means that maybe my fitness is building and my project is headed in the right direction.

The New Jesus Paradigm

From A Course in Miracles:
\”My mind gives the world meaning.\” \”What keeps the world in chains but my beliefs?\”

I am a Roman Catholic, formerly spent 4 years in a monastery, attended Catholic seminary, and am deeply conditioned by standard Catholic beliefs. The standard Christian teaching on atonement is the one I was originally taught: Jesus died for my sins. ACIM changes the meaning of this word, atonement, and how we are saved. Today, I put the ACIM concept of Atonement in my own words (which may or may not be accurate).

Most people blithely say Atonement according to ACIM means undoing; and it does. But here is more: Atonement is not a sacrificial offering of Jesus to God; but a joining with the living Christ (NOW) and sacrificing the ego belief system. The ego belief system is symbolized by the crucifixion story; a story of God needing an offering of His murdered Son before He will see us as sinless. The ego belief system summed up: anything that is not love or peace is ego. Sacrifice, meaning give up, means give up anything not love or peace. Because God is love, all I need to do is give up (sacrifice) my ego belief system in order to enter Heaven. Killing anyone or paying for anything has nothing to do with it.

I subscribe to ACIM because a) I get to keep the personal relationship to Jesus, the living Christ, that I have always had, and b) ACIM makes more sense to me if God is love instead of anger and punishment. I am willing to go through the process and the work of changing my beliefs in order to give the world a meaning of love and peace.