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What Accepting the Atonement for Oneself Mean to Me

Jesus sends us into the world, fulfilling certain functions….We are sent to certain people….If, for example, our work takes us to the inner city…If we teach suffering and neglected children…If we seek to help free those who are oppressed…
Jesus needs us to be his apostles of peace, or teachers of God, because only through us can he complete the saving work he undertook to begin in his own life….He needs our eyes to see the suffering in the world, and yet see the light shining beyond it; he needs our ears to hear the calls for help of people frightened into responses of attack and violence; he needs our arms and feet to bring his hope and comfort to those who have forgotten him, he needs our voice to speak his message of salvation that all our sins have been forgiven. Most of all he needs our willingness to become his messengers of love. ~Ken Wapnick, 1983
The teachers of God need merely accept the Atonement for themselves, and that salvation of the world depend on their simply doing just that and only that. This is not an insignificant point….The ego's need to make the world and itself special will distort the words to mean that the Course student, now a seemingly advanced teacher of God, is asked by Jesus behaviorally to teach other students, heal the sick, or preach to the world.
One does not heal others, minister to others, or teach others; one simply accepts the truth within oneself by realizing the illusory nature of the ego….
Even more to the point, one cannot heal others because ultimately, if the world is an illusion, who is there to help?…Needless to say, the whole concept of helping presupposes a dualistic universe, of which God knows nothing….Passages like this poem [the closing paragraph of the Manual for Teachers] are meant to be taken as symbols of God's Love, and not as literal truth.~ Ken Wapnick, 1997

Having offered love, only love can be received.


It is in this that the teacher of God must trust. This is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do. By accepting healing, he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognize it for what it is and let it be corrected for him. ~ACIM


Eric: In my time on the internet interacting with course circles, I have seen a phenomenon among some students that apathy equates to spirituality. It seems the less you care about anything, the more “spiritual” you are. This is also not that uncommon in some New Age teachings. There is this idea that if you try to do anything in this world, then you're making error real.


   Yet, I don't believe this is what the course teaches. If one were to use the “reasoning” that to do anything in this world would be to make error real, then everything from brushing our teeth, getting a haircut, paying our bills, going to work, eating ,sleeping, exercising, etc. would be making error real. In fact, Helen scribing  the course itself would only reinforce making the error real. Yet, tell someone that who believes that doing anything in this world would make error real, and they are sure to rebuff the statement with, “that doesn't count” or “ we don't mean that”. Yet, if one holds that doing anything in this world only makes error real, then the scribing of the course cannot be excluded from this. But if we don't exclude the course's scribing from this “rule” then it becomes apparent that this rule is rather ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous, is the teachers who are proponents of this idea, spend a great deal of time writing books on the course's teachings, doing seminars on the course's teaching, speaking at lectures about the course, and even taking “spiritual cruises all in the name of the course. That is obviously a lot of doing something in this world. Yet, somehow the teacher excludes themselves from the “rule” they postulate to everyone else.


   But shouldn't the sincere student question this? Does the student really believe that Jesus did nothing in his time on earth? That all he did was sit somewhere and accept the Atonement for himself and only that? When we stop blindly accepting what “authority figures” tell us and look to the implications of what they are saying, does it really make sense? For it to make sense, then the “authority figure” then must exclude himself/herself from the very statement they are making.  This then leaves us with another version of “Do as I say, not as I do.”


  If this is brought up though, it is usually met with the usual suspect course quotes, “I need do nothing”, “This is a course in Cause and not effect”, or “Seek not to change the world, but instead change one's mind about the world” as “proof” that apathy does indeed equate to spirituality. I think one of the more tragic things, is how these quotes have been taken out of context. I need do nothing, is not about not doing anything. It is in reference that when we come to the Holy Spirit to help correct our perception, we don't try to make ready for Him, we don't try to resolve our inner conflict before coming to Him, we don't make an answer then ask the question to Him, etc.


  It is not about apathy. Neither is the statement that this is a course on Cause and not effect. In no way does that statement dismiss behavior. In fact, before the statement itself it is asking us how we see our brothers and speaks of attack, which is a behavior. The statement is telling us that we must choose how we see our brothers and don't be concerned with effects, because effects of our choice will surely follow. The statement about changing our minds about the world is the same thing. It is not dismissing action in this world, but is a statement that perception is not a cause, but a result. It is a statement on how we choose to see the world. Do we want to see it damned or one in which there is hope? Like the statement of Cause and effect, effects will surely follow the choice we make. There are many people that tried to change the world while seeing it damned, and in turned damned those that “got in the way”, which only caused further suffering. There are those that helped change the world by helping their brothers change their minds, that did so, because they saw hope and in turn brought hope.


   Even the passage I quoted from ACIM is stating the same thing in its own language, when it says we can do no more than accept the Atonement for oneself. This is simply another way of saying, “I need do nothing, except not to interfere”.  The statement that proceeds the statement:


“The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do.”~ACIM


  Then goes onto say, “ By accepting healing, he can give it.” Read Wapnick's statement again from 1983. Doesn't this sound more in line with the course than the apathy disguised as spirituality of Wapnick's current made up “pure non-duality” theology?


  Wapnick has said in this video about using non-dualism as a defense that course students are some of the worst people on the face of earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTURXujg_T0


Yet, shouldn't Wapnick shoulder some the responsibility for this result? After all, people are simply following what he is saying about absolutes. This is one of the problems that arises when people believe they understand what is beyond the comprehension of the conceptual mind. I think this is why the course emphasizes correction from the bottom-up, rather than trying to counteract error with “knowledge”.  Because what you get is the conceptual mind trying to believe that it is far more advanced than it really is, simply on the basis that it believes that intellectually understanding an explanation given by an authority figure about what is beyond the comprehension of the conceptual mind of both the authority figure and the student is the same as “Knowledge”.  This then seems to result in an apathetic, narcissistic, self- absorbed, solipsistic,  and even sometimes a sociopath spirituality  attitude that comes from such level confusion.


  Ideas are strengthened as they are shared. This idea of apathy is disguise as spirituality has been shared for a while now. I think we need to share a new or the original idea that the course presents.


  Doing anything in this world does not make error real, or reinforce it. Yes, there are many things done in this world that does reinforce error, even some well meaning things, because the action resulted from the perception one still held/holds. Yet, the course says that action MUST occur in time and that miracles INDUCE ACTION. It also says that the Holy Spirit can use the body as a means of communication and help one teach another they are not a body.


  It is my hope that course students who believe that doing anything in this world is making error real (which “making error real”  is actually a term the course uses as to how we see and react to our brothers as guilty or the Son of God) will come to see that apathy is not spiritual.

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