The above exclamation is usually an outcry of frustration or anger at a particular person. It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to convince someone to change behavior. In the light of A Course in Miracles, however, this idiom gets a decidedly different meaning. Although most people think about “Jesus” wherever they read “Christ”, in ACIM the term “Christ” denotes all life combined, including you and I and even the most horrible murderer. Christ is the sleeping Son of God, the collective Sonship, forever guiltless and forever safe. You and I who experience ourselves as individuals merely hallucinate about fragmentation and separation in a dream of time and space. A Course in Miracles has come to us, in this psychologically sophisticated age, as a plea from Jesus to honestly look at the world of thought we call our own individual personality. Jesus invites us to see illusions for what they are, and to learn about unconditional forgiveness as the sole function in our lives. It’s a curriculum in mind training, with lasting inner peace through acceptance of the Atonement as its inevitable outcome.
In the thought system of A Course in Miracles, “For Christ’s sake” is equivalent to “for your own sake”, meaning “for lasting happiness, your own and everyone else’s”. This is Jesus’ call to us in every chapter of the text book and every lesson in the workbook and the manual for teachers. It can be useful to bear that in mind each time you read another chapter or lesson wherein Jesus asks no less of you than a complete reversal of your entire thought system, not to mention giving up your very individuality! In lesson 133 we read that we should not value anything that does not last (W-pI.133.6), which includes just about everything that keeps us occupied daily. Many ACIM readers feel that Jesus asks too much sacrifice of us. Our beliefs, desires, plans, and passions seem more desirable than some vague promise that giving up all this is going to make us feel better. And so we read about spirituality a bit every now and then, and happily keep living on auto-pilot. Until the pain gets too much. Eventually you might reach the point that the emptiness becomes so unbearable that you exclaim “There must be a better way!” Reading A Course in Miracles, you begin to reconsider some key notions that have kept you dreaming for so long. Here are a few:
For Christ’s sake (for your own sake), Jesus calls on us, begin to consider the idea that you don’t have to live your life on auto-pilot. You have a kingdom to rule; it’s called your mind (W-pI.236.1). You are fully “response-able”. That is, you can actively choose how to respond to any situation. Each time you notice you get upset, you can realize that you “could see peace instead of this” (W-pI.34.6). Never again need you be completely mindless in your life again. All you need do is start to look at your own judgments and ask yourself: “will this bring me peace?” As you practice this more frequently, you’ll notice that the list of things that used to upset you but you can now gently smile at, will steadily grow. What joy!
For Christ’s sake (for everyone’s happiness, including yours), become aware of the universal law that holds that “as you sow, so shall ye reap“. Responding with judgment and attack on a perceived assault will result in more judgment and attack, as ten thousand years of human history clearly illustrate. You want love? Give it! The more love you put in your thoughts and deeds, the more love will pour back into your life. True, usually it’s not from the people and at the times you expect, but somehow, someway it’s coming back to you tenfold! From ACIM‘s point of view, this is obvious, as there is no-one else: there is only one Son of God, and we also share the same ego. You can but give to yourself (W-pI.108). That’s why it takes only one to save the world: you.
For Christ’s sake (for your own and everyone’s happiness), think now about the kind of thoughts you would choose for the rest of your days on this planet. At the end of your earthly life, your possessions and achievements (or lack of them) won’t be important. What will be important is how much love you’ve allowed yourself to express. How would you like to be remembered? The time to plan the next twenty years of your life is now, not twenty years from now. To be a Teacher of God does not require that you believe in God, but it does require that you choose forgiveness rather than condemnation. Could that be a difficult choice to make, for the sake of Christ?
Well… in practice: yes, it’s darn difficult to question every value that you hold and to completely reverse your entire well-conditioned thought system, which rests on judgment. So how to go about it? Certainly not by fighting yourself (T-30.II.1). One practical answer is so simple that it eludes many of us. The key is to realize that you don’t have to do anything. You should merely practice your willingness to let your mind be changed for you. In lesson 132, we read (W-pI.132.15): “Merely rest, alert but with no strain, and let your mind in quietness be changed so that the world is freed, along with you. You need not realize that healing comes to many brothers far across the world, as well as to the ones you see nearby, as you send out these thoughts to bless the world.”
Stillness silences the ego’s thought system, making room for the Holy Spirit (true intuition) to be heard. This is the voice that is guaranteed to lead you to inner lasting peace. Take time every now and then to resign from your busyness, to be still. Practicing quietness is a skill many of us have forgotten in this hectic society, but it’s actually the most valuable time you will ever spend. So for Christ’s sake, keep deepening your experience with stillness – it’s the key to let your mind be gently changed for you.
Also see my seven “guidelines for living in an illusory world” in “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles”. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com: