After studying A Course in Miracles, I have come a lot closer to reconciling many of the different beliefs of different religions which I have learned about. Not being an expert on any religion, I would be grateful if you point out any beliefs which I inadvertently misrepresent.
I think I have resolved a couple of the major differences between Christianity and Islam in relation to Jesus’ death and his role in attaining heaven. I think the gap between eastern religions’ belief in reincarnation and the belief of Christianity and Islam’s in this one life followed by the last judgement has also been narrowed.
In the Christian Gospel, John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. In John 14:6, Jesus is reported as saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. These two verses have seemed contentious for many people, including myself. I knew that God is in each one of us, so how could it be that we could not reach Him and the everlasting life that he represents, unless we believe in Jesus. Could God deny himself and the promise of eternal life to all those who were born in lands ignorant of Jesus and his works?
There are clues in the Bible, in Matthew 25:40 for instance: “‘as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”, and in Matthew 12:50: “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”.
A Course in Miracles explains that within each of us there is the Christ Mind and the ego mind. The Christ Mind is that part of your mind that listens only to the Voice for God (the Holy Spirit), but everything we think, say, and do, is based on our decision about which mind to listen to. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus explains: “My mind will always be like yours, because we were created as equals. “ “I am your model for decision. By deciding for God I showed you that this decision can be made, and that you can make it.
I have assured you that the Mind that decided for me is also in you, and that you can let it change you just as it changed me.” (T-5.II.9-10)
When Jesus said that no one comes to the Father, except by him, he was referring to himself as the Christ, not the man, Jesus. A Course in Miracles defines Christ as: “the Son of God , Who lives in His Creator and shines with His glory. Christ is the extension of the Love and the loveliness of God” (T-IV.7). In this world, we cannot find God within, unless we listen to the Voice for God, and use our Christ Mind for all decisions. Jesus advises that: “Because I am always with you, you are the way, the truth and the life.” (T-7.III.1)
There is also an explanation for Jesus being the only begotten Son of God. This is my understanding of it:
We are advised that “God has only one Son”, but that “all God’s creations are His Sons”, which comprise the “whole Sonship” of which “every one is an integral part”. Although “the Sonship in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts”, we cannot understand this wholeness in time, because not all of the parts of the one Sonship have returned. (T-2.VII.6)
Time was created when we decided to separate ourselves from God and each other, and it is God’s will that we return to Him. In eternity, where God rests, we have never left; it is only our belief in separation and time which allows us to perceive ourselves as separate from God and separate from each other. The aim of all of us is to reunite with God and to reunite with each other, because our wills and God’s will are one. It is just that some of us have forgotten our true wills. It is as though we are sleeping, and dreaming. We just need to be awoken and reminded of our reality.
One major sticking point between Islam and Christianity is that Islam believes only in the one true God, and in The Koran (in 4:171) it reproaches: “Do not say: ‘Three’.”, which refers to the Trilogy of Christianity. If we understand the workings of this world, we would understand that God is comprised of all of his creation, but greater than the sum of Its parts. Atonement, or at-one-ment, is the returning to God, and in its completion, it reunites God with all of the Sonship, including the Holy Spirit within us all, thus making the Trilogy one. This atonement has already taken place in eternity, but not in time.
By far the greatest difference between Christianity and Islam is The Koran’s statement (in 4:157) “They declared: ‘We have put to death the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did..”
A Course in Miracles allows us to understand that Jesus did not perceive himself as under attack, as attack is only of the body. The Messiah, the Christ, was never killed, nor crucified. The body of Jesus was crucified, but as a child of God, he allowed his body to be crucified as a message to the world:
“The message the crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to perceive any form of assault in persecution, because you cannot be persecuted. If you respond with anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible, and are therefore regarding yourself insanely.” (T-6.I.4)
When we perceive someone to have died, it is not a real death. “The body is a learning device for the mind.” (T-2.IV.3) “If the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, it becomes whole because the mind’s purpose is one.” (T-8.VII.13)
Once we understand the way to live according to the Voice for God and our Christ Mind, we have no more need for the learning device. This may take us many lifetimes to discover, and in that case our karma may cause us to need to have further lessons, but we are never judged by God at the end of our lives.
The Last Judgement is “a final healing”, “a process of right evaluation” carried out by Jesus’ brothers with his help, a chance to “finally come to understand what is worthy and what is not”.
When we understand the lesson which all of the world’s religions hold – to do unto others as you would have them do unto you – we understand the purpose of physical life, and then all of life. Our purpose in life is to extend God’s love, for that is what we are – an extension of God’s love. Our purpose in physical life is to understand that there is no separation between us and our brothers and sisters, and what we do to another we do to ourselves, as we give we receive.
Once we understand this basic lesson, we understand that we have no more need of karma, because we have understood just what is worthy of a Son of God.
Until that time, you can know that “whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God’s creations.” Knowing that you have decided wrongly, you can change your mind:
I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will endeavour to answer them to the best of my ability.Love Lorelle http://courseinmiracles.com/
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