I recently received an inquiry from a woman who is the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister and has been a devoted student/teacher of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) for the past 10 years. The question was with regards to how ACIM views certain biblical passages in the New Testament. The question could only have come from someone who has looked earnestly at the world and has found it difficult to reconcile the real message of a loving God and Jesus Christ compared to what is actually being preached from the pulpit in many of our religious institutions today.
She asked: “My question is about the Bible, Revelations, the Second Coming of Christ, and the 7 years of darkness preceding the awakening. As a student/teacher of ACIM, do you believe that these, as well as other biblical stories, are abstract representational, and not linear and factual? In other words, would you interpret all concepts from the Bible (especially the New Testament) to be metaphor?” In my response to her I indicated that ‘yes’ I would make just that interpretation, just as I would consider the teachings of a spiritual psychotherapy called ACIM to be metaphor as well.
I recognize that at so many levels, all of these teachings serve as a great moral compass for living. But, they have also served as divisive communication, particularly when used for proselytizing and hopelessness for others who think differently. I hasten to add that I do not consider any books or other forms of communication to be holy in content unless the result is awareness that there is only a God of Infinite Love. Why? Because I look at the primary premise of ACIM which brings us to the realization that the world is not real, that there is nothing outside of us and what we are experiencing is a dream world filled with complexities in both form and content. In other words, what our physical eyes see is the projection of our thought system in forms we understand. Each moment we are either extending love or projecting fear. We are never involved in any thought that strays outside of this frame of reference. Not ever!
ACIM tells us that God is not physically in the world, but we learn through its teaching how to attain more and more peace of mind, such that our journey here is altered, changed, and transformed to a place where peace abides. We, through the Holy Spirit, are able to make the transfer from darkness to light. We do this for our brothers so that we can have it. This means that the reflection of the Love of God is the very essence of what we practice here. To do anything else is a repudiation of what we are. As the course reminds us: Teach only love for that is what you are. We now move past the need to pay attention to other sources, to which the ego eagerly responds by attack, instead of accepting the sinlessness of our brothers who are one with us.
A reading from ACIM: Today, our purpose is to free the world from all the idle thoughts we ever held about it, and about all living things we see upon it. They cannot be there. No more can we. For we are in the home our Father set for us [Heaven], along with them. And we who are as He created us would loose the world this day from every one of our illusions, that we may be free [by recognizing what we really are].
*See also my April 2015 blog entitled Perfect for My Learning