NOTE: This is the full version of the excerpt. Hopefully, the added clarification will be helpful
Jesus devotes a large part of A Course in Miracles to undoing our concept of human “love” (fear in disguise). He explains the toxicity of the special relationship dynamic as the ego’s substitute for divine Love, and repeatedly reinforces the necessity of Holy Relationship as the crucial prerequisite for undoing our special relationships and therefore, our deeply hidden fear of Love (God), which happens to be our unconscious attraction to death itself.
To help us grasp the sheer magnitude and present impact of Jesus’ final accomplishment on behalf of all mankind, let’s take an unobstructed glimpse at just why the Holy Relationship is necessary to overcome the ego dream.
The “body” is the central figure of the entire ego dream. It is the most potently seductive replacement for the memory of our beloved and invulnerable Holy Self. Separate walls of flesh appear to house individual, private minds. Each private mind seems to have its own individual, self-seeking agenda, and its very own personal will, fed by the illusion of deprivation, which always revolves around its central “altar,” the body.
This personal will, centered exclusively on the body identity, is preserved by the ego’s blind obsession with special relationships. These are the ego’s chief weapon for keeping us bound to the body and death, as the dream of separation. “The special love relationship is the ego’s chief weapon for keeping you from Heaven.” T-16.V.2:3
All relationship conflict is caused by two (or more) people whose self-seeking agendas clash. They may seem to sometimes come together as bodies, but because they each pursue a self-centered goal, they value a divided purpose; one that separates them from others, God and their Holy Self. Only a selfless purpose is real and only this can be shared with another and with Holy Spirit. This is why human love via human (special) relationships is always destined to fail.
We could no longer mistake our self or others as the body if our special relationships were healed. The mistaken body identity would rapidly fall away in our awareness through the steady progression of Holy Relationship, as companions learned above all else to cherish each other’s innocence through the truly common purpose of forgiveness.
Through this single commitment they would receive the gift of true union, recognizing joyfully that they share just one Mind and one Will with each other and Holy Spirit. They realize this by learning to transcend their self-interests, overcoming their separate, private agendas and will. Only an independent, personal will apart from our brothers and God could possibly clash and experience conflict, illness and harm.
“Nothing can show the contrast better than the experience of both a holy and an unholy relationship. The first is based on love, and rests on it serene and undisturbed. The body does not intrude upon it. Any relationship in which the body enters is based not on love, but on idolatry.” … “The Holy Spirit’s temple is not a body, but a relationship.” … “You cannot make the body the Holy Spirit’s temple, and it will never be the seat of love.” … “The Holy Spirit’s purpose lies safe in your relationship, and not your body.” … “The holy relationship reflects the true relationship the Son of God has with his Father in reality.” … “Here is the way to true relationships held gently open, through which you and your brother walk together, leaving the body thankfully behind and resting in the Everlasting Arms. Love’s Arms are open to receive you, and give you peace forever.” T-26.VI.2:1-3,5:1,6:1,7:8,10:1,10:5-6
The body, as the ego’s central idol, cannot be overcome except through Holy Relationship. Ultimately, this union culminates in divine communication. It is the final “eye of the needle” experience required to undo our fear of union and our fear of God – which we have masked with our attraction to the body and our hidden attraction to death. This is the fear of perfect, changeless Love, which is our true Identity.
“Future loss is not your fear. But present joining is your dread.” T-26.VIII.4:3-4
The personal mind’s greatest terror is union. This is the fear of God. As the loss of a personal will devoted to separation, it fears union more than physical death itself. In fact, the ego projects the illusion of death over and over again in order to escape from true joining and the experience of union. Its belief in the body and death perpetuate the whole idea of time and reincarnation. “The fear of God is fear of life, and not of death.” T-23.IV.1:2
“Those who fear death see not how often and how loudly they call to it, and bid it come to save them from communication. For death is seen as safety, the great dark savior from the light of truth, the answer to the Answer, the silencer of the Voice that speaks for God. Yet the retreat to death is not the end of conflict. Only God’s Answer is its end.” T-19.IV.C.7:1-4
In contrast, the unified function of forgiveness in Holy Relationship heals the split mind’s misidentification as the body, revealing our magnificent, grace-filled, shared Will and Identity. In this union we release the ego’s irresistible attraction to physical death as its repetitive escape route from comprehensive forgiveness and the unprecedented experience of oneness.
The reason the Holy Relationship is the Holy Grail and final experience for the Victory Lap (awakening from the dream and not just in it) is because this Holy Communion with our brother/s not only erases our fear of God, but gives us the direct experience of true union which transcends the belief that we are body bound. Without the Holy Relationship, we would be forever seduced by the body and death – reincarnation and time – as our ongoing defense against return to God.
“To overcome the world is no more difficult than to surmount your little wall. For in the miracle of your holy relationship, without this barrier, is every miracle contained. There is no order of difficulty in miracles, for they are all the same.” … “His home is in your holy relationship.” T-19.IV.A.5:1-3,9
Over the years of writing this manual I have heard a typical question that is sometimes raised about Jesus.
Was Jesus’ awakening from the dream dependent upon His having an advanced Holy Relationship with another?
Although Jesus did indeed have Holy Relationships during His short incarnation, His transfiguration, resurrection and final Ascension were not dependent on His having an advanced Holy Relationship, as they are for us. Due to our profound misidentification with the body as our “self,” we are dependent on Holy Relationship. The reason is that we need the experience of at least one true relationship beyond the body to offer us the blinding contrast between love (fear) and changeless Love. Until then we will continue to be attracted to separation through both the body and special love.
Before I explain more I feel it would help to shed some light on a common fear pertaining to Jesus’ uncompromising devotion to God and His fellow brothers and sisters. Reflecting on the scriptures referring to Jesus’ lifetime, He is often portrayed as “perfect,” capable of supernatural powers that we mere mortals would be foolish to try to emulate. Jesus is frequently perceived by the false self as the supreme, “one and only” Son of God. His level of extreme perfection and undivided union with God, is seen as ridiculously unattainable for many.
The ego must view Jesus’ accomplishment as impossibly unachievable. It says we can never attain His level of mastery. But – what the ego doesn’t allow into conscious awareness is that we already are a Son of God, along with Jesus. Our unrivalled perfection, supernatural powers and undivided union with God as His Will, constitute the unopposed and eternal nature of our Holy Self. This realization is what the ego is terrified of because in our sincere acceptance of such truth … the ego would cease to exist! This level of embodiment of the Christ we are is the wholly inevitable outcome of releasing our fear of Love. After all, the ego mind can never awaken. The Christ we are is revealed in awareness to the degree we align with Holy Spirit to forgive (undo) the ego’s body/world identification.
While Jesus demonstrated that He was the Christ, He still faced the ego’s temptation to perceive through fear. Jesus mentions in the Course that He was tempted to believe in the ego and the body Himself. This is a strong indication that Jesus did endure a period of divine purification during His life in a body.
“I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself.” T-4.I.13:4-5
And yet paradoxically, Jesus’ was more aligned as the embodied Will of God than any other Soul that preceded Him in the dream of time. He incarnated already conscious of His union with the Father. Even as a child He was found in the temple teaching and confounding religious scholars with His unprecedented knowledge and understanding. The scholars at the time were adept only in their intellectual understanding of the scriptures. They were blind to the perfect Love of God, the divine experience, which the scriptures pointed to. I am sure that Jesus left these religious scholars thunderstruck as He offered an entirely new interpretation that exposed the religious ego’s blatant misinterpretation.
Jesus was the first Christ amongst us, in the long dream of separation, to consciously incarnate already unified with God clearly in His Mind.
Precisely because Jesus knew all His brothers were sinless He had no fear of God, of union. The fear of God can only arise when we fear (judge or blame) our brothers, perceiving we have a personal, different “will” than that of our brothers and God.
However, because Jesus was the embodiment of perfect Love, there were very few among His followers that were able to join Him in that level of Love without being terrified. Among His Holy Relationships were His mother Mary, and Mary Magdalene. These two joined Jesus in the truly common and undivided purpose of forgiveness and Atonement. They understood that their union with Him was beyond the body to the Christ He exemplified and demonstrated. Unlike anyone else who appeared in the dream of time, Jesus was born of a virgin birth without the agency of a human father.
As explained in the section, Sex and Death in the chapter, Sex and Transorgasmic Union, Jesus’ incarnation was a direct result of divine union, untainted by ego distortion of the pure miracle impulse. He was both conceived and resurrected through the Laws of God and not by ego laws. In other words, there was no element of fear in Jesus’ conception. This extraordinarily supernatural conception gave Jesus complete dominion over the illusory laws and idols of the relative world. Further, this level of mastery over the ego’s hallucinations is what He is urging us to accept as available to each of us as we singularly seek to embody the Christ we are.
After all, Jesus’ first miracle principle tells us, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” And in miracle principle 24 He instructs us with, “Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both.” Once we genuinely realize that the body and world are a dream, we can and will do as Jesus did, using them not to witness to separation, disease and death, but to witness to true union which proves the Holy Self’s unequivocal dominion over these phenomena.
Jesus was the first Son of God to have overcome the entire ego dream, including its central dream of death. His Mind was consciously fused in Holy Relationship with the Father. Hence, His awakening and Ascension were not dependent on a human Holy Relationship. As for those of us who remain hypnotized by the body, special relationships, illness and death, we do require Holy Relationship, a consenting witness with whom we agree to consistently forgive the ego’s illusions of separation.
In the following passages Jesus speaks with commanding authority. He tells us that He is the Atonement, that He is in charge of the Second Coming, and that He is the salvation of the world. Let’s join Him as fellow Children of God, by opening our hearts to want to see nothing other than the innocence in all our brothers.
JESUS: “I am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin.” …“I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement.” T-1.III.1:1,4:1
JESUS: “I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks.” T-4.IV.10:4
JESUS: “You were in darkness until God’s Will was done completely by any part of the Sonship. When this was done, it was perfectly accomplished by all. How else could it be perfectly accomplished? My mission was simply to unite the will of the Sonship with the Will of the Father by being aware of the Father’s Will myself. This is the awareness I came to give you, and your problem in accepting it is the problem of this world. Dispelling it is salvation, and in this sense I [am] the salvation of the world.” T-8.IV.3:1-6
“Jesus is the manifestation of the [Holy Spirit], Whom he called down upon the earth after he ascended into Heaven, or became completely identified with the Christ, the Son of God as He created Him.” … “He has established Jesus as the leader in carrying out His plan since he was the first to complete his own part perfectly.” C-6.1,2.
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