The Course and Jesus

The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray. (M-23.4)

The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God. The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do. Yet who can save unless he sees illusions and then identifies them as what they are? Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusions. (C-5.2)

Is he God's only Helper? No, indeed. For Christ takes many forms with different names until their oneness can be recognized. (C-5.6)

It is possible to read his words and benefit from them without accepting him into your life. Yet he would help you yet a little more if you will share your pains and joys with him, and leave them both to find the peace of God. (C-5.6)

Helen Shucman identified the Voice that dictated the Course to her as Jesus. Because I always felt the Course came from some part of my own mind, I have always looked at the Voice as the Christ Mind within us all. In the quotes above you see the Course gives you options with regard to how you can use the concept of Jesus. You can use the name “Jesus Christ” as another name for God. You can use the man, Jesus, as a role-model to follow. You can use the name “Jesus” interchangeably with the word “Christ” because the man became identified with Christ. You can accept Jesus into your life to guide you until you are ready to accept Christ within you. Or, you could not use “Jesus” at all.

What is most important to remember is that Jesus is not the one and only Christ as He is depicted in traditional Christianity. Christ is the label the Course uses for you as Part of God. At the beginning of awakening some need a concrete form, another person to look to for help and guidance. They are not yet ready to experience the Presence of Truth within themselves. Eventually, this must pass because all form will pass as you identify with Truth. But while it is helpful to you, Jesus – or an awakened mind by another name – can be used without temptation.

If you are someone who does not feel a need for Jesus or another awake mind to guide you, that is okay, too. For myself, the story of Jesus’ life is a metaphor for spiritual awakening. (Birth=the dawning of Truth in one’s mind; Crucifixion=the ego’s wish to kill Truth; Resurrection=the realization it cannot). If you already experience the Presence of Christ within, the next step is to extend that awareness until it is all you see.
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jandvig said…
Thank you, Liz. This is so beautiful. I've always been drawn to Jesus for as long as I can remember. But until I awoke, I was drawn to the man, not the real meaning behind the man as you so clearly write about.
I love another teacher's words about this too - Adyashanti. He talks about the "Virgin Birth":
"Somebody was actually communicating it in a very clear language - that who we really are is not a product of the pairs of opposites. Who we appear to be appears to come from the pairs of opposites.That’s what the world of form is all about. Beautiful. Beautiful manifestation of spirit. But the “I” that I am and the you that you are, spirit Itself doesn’t come from any thing. It doesn’t come from the pairs of opposites." That's the virgin birth.
carrie genevachild said…
Although my favorite name for God is "Divine Abstraction," and I do not think of God as a father figure, I do personify the memory of Love as Jesus and as Miriam.

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