What, isn’t that a bit late for a blog topic, a full week after Christmas? Well, apart from the observation that for many people Christmas isn’t primarily about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth anymore but rather simply yet another excuse to forget about life’s ‘problems’ for a while, “Christ” in A Course in Miracles denotes not just Jesus but the entire Sonship, made up of all seemingly separated life forms combined. So I chose the blog title ‘The birth of Christ’ as a reminder that from a Course perspective, this Season ought to be about inviting the Christ Mind in us to be ‘reborn’ again, that is, remembered again in the mind, which is what you and I are in reality, right now. You and I are not separated bodies but connected minds, and the quality of our lives directly mirrors the quality of the thoughts we choose, which in turn mirrors the amount of inner peace we will experience.
So ‘the birth of Christ’ should be read as ‘remembering who you are in essence, and practicing that realisation in thought, word, and action on a daily basis’. You and I are an integral (holographic) part of the Son of God, Who was created by Love as Love. “Teach only love, for that is what you are”, we read in (T-6.13:1). Each time I remember my function of seeing the sameness in myself and my brother, whoever it may be in whatever circumstance, Christ is metaphorically ‘reborn’ in my mind. Each rebirth is therefore nothing more (but also nothing less) than a ‘re-minder’ to myself that although I still choose to experience myself as a seemingly separated individual on a planet in time and space, the Christ Mind is nevertheless within me (poetically speaking: within my heart), and I want to reconnect to that by switching the inner teacher in my mind from ego to Holy Spirit.
In the introduction to the Fifth Review in the Workbook in particular (just before lesson 171), Jesus addresses this notion of the rebirth of Christ in our minds. Let’s review some key snippets from this inspiring introduction. “This is the thought which should precede the thoughts that we review. Each [lesson to follow] but clarifies some aspect of this thought, or helps it be more meaningful, more personal and true, and more descriptive of the holy Self we share and now prepare to know again: God is but Love, and therefore so am I. This Self alone knows Love. This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its Thoughts; knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its Love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself” (W-pI.RV-In.4.1:-5). This ‘Self’ is the Christ, our collective true Identity as part of God, Who is Love.
So we can see that the ‘rebirth of Christ’ can happen to us many times even during one single day. We might even say that each time we manage to truly forgive a person, a situation or an event, we’ve allowed the Christ in ourselves to be reborn again. Jesus then comments: “Let us raise our hearts from dust to life, as we remember this is promised us, and that this course was sent to open up the path of light to us, and teach us, step by step, how to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost. (W-pI.RV-In.5:4). And then Jesus applies the concepts of rebirth and renewal once again to himself, though to be manifested in anyone who chooses his line of thought: “I am renewed each time a brother learns there is a way from misery and pain. I am reborn each time a brother’s mind turns to the light in him and looks for me” (W-pI.RV-In.7:2-3). Since in the Course, Jesus is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, he can rightly state that he himself is reborn in each mind who chooses the Holy Spirit as the mind’s guide instead of the ego.
So the concept of ‘the rebirth of Christ in me’ might be succinctly summarized as follows, in Jesus’ own words from the text: “Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt, and look upon your brother as you would look on me. Forgive me all the sins you think the Son of God committed. And in the light of your forgiveness he will remember who he is, and forget what never was” (T-19.IV-B.6:1-3). Thus we follow in the example Jesus has given us as an elder brother, and in this sense his message (or line of thought) is ‘born again’. Seven chapters later, Jesus adds to that: “judge him [your brother] not, for you will hear no song of liberation for yourself, nor see what it is given him to witness to, that you may see it and rejoice with him. Make not his holiness a sacrifice to your belief in sin. You sacrifice your innocence with his, and die each time you see in him a sin deserving death. Yet every instant can you be reborn, and given life again. His holiness gives life to you, who cannot die because his sinlessness is known to God; and can no more be sacrificed by you than can the light in you be blotted out because he sees it not” (T-26.I.6:4-7:2; my italics).
So why not turn the Christmas ‘ritual’ into a ‘lesson of Love’ that Jesus would gladly have us all learn, namely to be merely a reminder and an assurance that we really would be happier choosing the advice of the Holy Spirit than choosing the advice of the ego, which is what most of us usually do, even at Christmas time. Let’s close with this happy summary of the true nature of the essence of you and me and all our brothers around us: “You who would make a sacrifice of life, and make your eyes and ears bear witness to the death of God and of His holy Son, think not that you have power to make of Them what God willed not They be. In Heaven, God’s Son is not imprisoned in a body, nor is sacrificed in solitude to sin. And as he is in Heaven, so must he be eternally and everywhere. He is the same forever. Born again each instant, untouched by time, and far beyond the reach of any sacrifice of life or death. For neither did he make, and only one was given him by One Who knows His gifts can never suffer sacrifice and loss (T-26.I.7:3-8). Happy rebirthing!
— Jan-Willem van Aalst, December 2022