A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

Section I: The Message of the Crucifixion

Read ACIM Chapter 6, Section I (pages 91-96)

Why did Jesus not believe that he was being persecuted?

This section is an expansion of the ideas first presented in the Introduction to the Text: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” (T-Intro.2:2-4) Jesus makes it very clear that he did not share the perception that he was persecuted. He tells us, “I was persecuted as the world judges, and did not share this evaluation for myself.” (5:3) He knew that he was not a body and therefore the destruction of the body did not matter. He demonstrated he could not be destroyed by his resurrection.

One of the central teachings of the Course is that we are not a body. In twenty of the Workbook lessons we are asked to repeat many times a day: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” (W-p1.VI.3:3-5) Since God is invulnerable and He created us, His Son, like Himself, we cannot be harmed in truth. Anything that is destructible cannot be real.

What does Jesus say is the true meaning of the crucifixion?

Jesus knows with the Holy Spirit that we are only Love. He explains that the crucifixion is “the perfect symbol of the ‘conflict’ between the ego and the Son of God.” (16:7) When we try to separate from our true Self, which is Love, we are crucifying ourselves. We are in conflict with our true Identity as one with God. When we try to be separate, we are rejecting our one Self and thus crucifying our true Identity as Love.

We don’t want to admit that we are trying to crucify ourselves, so we project it onto an outside world and tell ourselves that it is the world that is crucifying us. “You have probably reacted for years as if you were being crucified. This is a marked tendency of the separated, who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves.” (3:1-2) Through projection we make it appear that an outside ‘other’ is different from us and therefore separate. Projection is the means by which the ego thought system tries to make the separation appear real. Separation is the crucifixion of our true Identity as part of God.

How can we tell when we joining with the ego’s ‘persecution complex’?

Most of us go through life with a “persecution complex.” It manifests every time we feel defensive, irritated, impatient, frustrated or abandoned. Any emotion that does not reflect the peace and Love of God comes from belief in being separate. Since God is the Source of our strength, if we believe we are separate, we will believe we have lost our strength and thus feel vulnerable and subject to loss.

The chief ego mechanism to make loss appear real is the body with all of its vulnerabilities. Sometimes we may feel anxious even though it does not appear that the body itself is threatened. Part of body identification is believing we are a unique personality. If we believe this identity is threatened in any way — that we might be proven to be wrong about who we think we are — this, too, is perceived as threat to be defended against.

So we walk through life with chips on our shoulder, wary that at any moment some external force may come along to shake our identity or even destroy the focal point of that identity, the body. The message of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection is that these concerns about our identity do not matter because this identity is composed of false, unreal images.

In truth, are we really invulnerable?

The truth about us is that we are God’s unassailable Love, unchangeable. We share God’s strength with all that is. Jesus knew this without reservation and so he could use the crucifixion as an extreme demonstration that no harm can come to the Son of God because he is not a body. The Son of God shares the invulnerability of his Creator. This is the lesson Jesus wants us to learn through his demonstration. We can learn from his example and remember that our true Self remains complete and whole, at one with God.

He asks us to join with him in deciding that we cannot be persecuted. If ever we are angry, we have forgotten the truth that we cannot be harmed and that assault of any kind can only be on the body. We have forgotten that we are not the body. “Rather, teach your own perfect immunity, which is the truth about you, and realize that it [your immunity] cannot be assailed.” (6:4)

How do we join Jesus in the resurrection?

If we are angry, we are misperceiving. When we join with Jesus, we are joining with the resurrection or our reawakening. When we learn from Jesus how to hear only one Voice, we will remember that we cannot harm or be harmed. This is what we perceive when we learn the lessons of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us that we are only Love. Love cannot harm or be harmed. Love sees the truth of Love behind every false form of separation. This is our resurrection. At any moment we are either choosing crucifixition or resurrection. It is our choice. As we learn to appreciate our resurrection, we will learn to move past time into eternity, where we will see the resurrection of every brother. We teach only Love as we remember that only Love is real.

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