“…by making it all the same,” is Jesus’ tongue-in-cheek counsel to his students at New Year’s eve (T-15.XI.10:11). We smile because of the nice play on words, but few students fully realize just what Jesus is proposing here. What does he actually mean when he wants us to “make it all the same”? Its implications have far-reaching consequences for everything we think, say, and do in our lives. If we merely glance over this ‘pun’ and not follow through, we’ll soon find ourselves wondering why we do not spiritually progress, as is generally the case with new year’s resolutions. So let’s briefly review a few of the more important applications of Jesus’ New Year resolution counsel.
The first major application of this principle is to be determined to see everyone – yes, literally everyone – as the same sinless Son of God, just like you and I are. As Jesus emphasizes several times in his Course: “Never doubt a Son of God. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in yourself.” (T-9.II.4:1-2). “If you point out the errors of your brother’s ego you must be seeing through yours, because the Holy Spirit does not perceive his errors.” (T-9.III.3:1). Now, you may be able to apply that to your friends and neighbors, but perhaps not to the President. Or your parents. Or your boss. Or any authority figure for that matter. As good egos, there are always a few persons that we still hold grudges against, no matter how unconscious these might be, surfacing only when our buttons are pushed. So why is this so important?
Jesus’ point on perceiving the inherent sameness in all people has of course nothing to do with form. We should “never doubt a brother” because all of us are made of the same spirit-stuff. In essence, the content of the same light of the Holy Spirit, of God’s Love, shines in all of us, including the President, our boss, crooks and criminals; you name it. It’s true that in the illusory dualistic world of time and space they haven’t chosen right as yet. It’s true that they might have committed crimes which should be brought to justice. But regardless of what they did (or failed to do) in form, in content they are still the Son of God, just as you and I are. Remember the metaphysical basis of the Course that states that “the world is an outside picture of an inward condition” (T-21.in.1:5). When we choose to limit our perception to what the eyes of the body behold, we’re still caught in the illusion of duality, and we are not practicing the vision of spiritual sight.
So “making it all the same” means that all these authority figures that I dislike ought to be looked at in a different light, if I am really serious about my own desire to find lasting inner peace. Remember that no-one can enter Heaven alone; it must be “together, or not at all” (T-19.IV-D.12:8). Hence the sentence that immediately follows Jesus’ New Year’s counsel: “And let all your relationships be made holy for you” (T-15.XI.10:12). Therefore, the next time I notice myself becoming upset about the President, I can catch myself before I live it out, bring my awareness to an honest examination of my state of mind now, and realize that I’m being taken in by my own little ego again, because I’m still convinced my salvation lies in being an autonomous individual, separated from everyone and everything.
I could choose to see this person as the light-bulb of love that we all are. Phew, I’ve just been offered an excellent forgiveness opportunity by the Holy Spirit! Will I follow through by “making it all the same”, or will I wait a while and try later? Although Jesus has infinite patience (since his reality is outside time and time does not really exist anyway), we should fully realize just how much we keep ourselves in pain by clinging to the old rugged ego: “How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? […] There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?” (W-pII.251.4.5)
A second application of Jesus’ counsel to “make it all the same”, which is really just another form of the same principle, is to realize that there are no different categories of negative emotions. “A slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury” (W-pI.21.2:5). Most of us would agree that intensely hating someone is far worse than the occasional ‘twinge of annoyance’ that we feel daily with many people and situations. In this same lesson, Jesus cautions us to “not let these ‘little’ thoughts of anger escape our attention” (W-pI.21.3:1), since we are “never upset for the reason we think” (W-pI.5). The real reason for any negative emotion is that we unconsciously realize that the ontological separation from God did not make us omnipotent on our own — on the contrary, we find that we are prone to being helplessly tossed around in an uncontrollable world, with much struggling and sacrifice before we die.
So be determined to see all negativity as expressions of the same dynamic: rejecting and attacking God, and then realizing that it was all wrong: “Each day, and every minute in each day, and every instant that each minute holds, you but relive the single instant when the time of terror took the place of love” (T-26.V.13:1). As in the aforementioned first application, the trick is, once again, to bring your awareness to that liberating place “above the battleground”, and honestly realize which teacher you’ve chosen in the mind, and then asking Jesus (or the Holy Spirit) to guide you in looking at this differently. Again, Jesus wants us to re-interpret any negative feeling as yet another forgiveness opportunity in the Holy Spirit’s classroom. So don’t feel guilty when you notice you become frustrated once again — be thankful for the lesson. Realize that all negativity is the same — it’s one problem that calls for one solution: forgiveness, again from the basic premise that there really is no world and that I am no longer willing to keep my own mind in chains.
We find a third, much more basic application of Jesus’ counsel to ‘make it all the same’ in the first few lessons in the workbook. These deceptively simple lessons ask us to glance around us indiscriminately, and then affirm to ourselves that nothing that we see means anything, because we are not looking at it from the perspective of spiritual sight, or vision. Obviously, we are all convinced that, for example, bodies are more important than tea cups or pencils. In his Course, Jesus would have us realize that everything in time and space that’s composed of form shares the same basic characteristic: it is unreal. Paraphrasing the statement in the context of different forms of sickness, Jesus says in the Manual for teachers: “ The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. […] But the healed mind will put them all in one category: they are unreal.” (M-8.6:1-4). While in our daily lives in the dualistic dream we will still treat our body differently than we do a pencil (Kenneth Wapnick’s “Level II” awareness), this insight does help us to become less attached to the world of specifics and forms, and to bring our awareness of our Identity as Son of God (“Level I” awareness) to the foreground in our minds.
By now, you may have noticed that all these exemplary applications of Jesus’ call to “make it all the same” are really examples of the very first miracle principle that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. In our daily experience we see hierarchies in all the forms we perceive, but Jesus’ curriculum teaches us that such perception merely serves to distract the mind from reconsidering the true nature of the world, our identity, and above all our mistaken choice for the ego as prime teacher. Once we realize that all forms are equally illusory, we can truly choose to shift our focus from form to content, only to happily realize that the content in all things is the same: “God is in everything I see” (W-pI.29), that is: I can see God’s purpose (i.e., the content of Love) in everything I see. And this also means that “all expressions of love are maximal” (T-1.I.1).
To summarize: when Jesus counsels us to “Make this year different by making it all the same”, he is really asking us to try to avoid the perception of orders of difficulties. To revisit the aforementioned section 8 in the Manual of Teachers: “Where do all these differences come from? Certainly they seem to be in the world outside. Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that […] gives it meaning. And this meaning does not exist in the outside world at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. […] It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful. It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception occur. And it is here correction must be made.” (M-8.3:1-4:2). Hence Jesus’ New Year resolution!
The way forward, then, is to choose to shift teachers in the mind, from ego to Holy Spirit, Who will guide the mind in discerning between illusions and truth: “This is the gift of its Teacher: the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And of these two, but one is real.” (M-8.6:5-6). So be determined, indeed, to make this year different, by choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to true perception. You and I will still perceive forms and differences, but we won’t be taken in by them, mistaking them for reality. Never again will we feel we are aimlessly tossed about in the world. In the Holy Spirit’s classroom, you and I can learn that we “can become a spotless mirror, in which the Holiness of your Creator shines forth from you to all around you […] Clean but the mirror [by making it all the same; seeing only the content of Love], and the message that shines forth from what the mirror holds out for everyone to see, no one can fail to understand” (T-14.IX.5:1,5; 6:5).
See also “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: